Is CBD Addictive? Learn the Facts

While CBD and marijuana are often used interchangeably, they are not considered the same substance. There might be some confusion about the difference and what using CBD or marijuana does to a person, but don’t worry!

Because they are so closely connected, you have to get into the specifics of CBD for others to better understand. You’re not wrong if you’re curious about CBD and have been hearing that it can benefit a person’s physical and mental health.

CBD has different effects than marijuana and is used for completely different reasons. As the research suggests, CBD is safe and can be effective for a variety of different ailments.

To learn more about what CBD is, how it’s used, and what kind of effects it can have on a person, keep reading.

What Is CBD?

CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, a compound found in cannabis sativa plants. It’s one of hundreds found in the cannabis plant, but it’s directly derived from the hemp plant and does not produce psychoactive effects.

If you thought CBD did produce a high, you might be thinking of another compound found in cannabis called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

How Do You Use It?

CBD is extracted and created into an oil, which means that it can be consumed in a variety of different ways. The most straightforward way is to use a dropper and place the oil directly under your tongue, but you can swallow capsules of it, mix it into food and drinks, and even apply it topically with a lotion or cream.

Now, many products have hemp-derived CBD oil infused into them, making CBD dog treats, CBD protein shakes, CBD gummies, CBD brownies, and vapes.

Is It Addictive?

CBD itself is not addictive. Cannabidiol interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system when consumed into the body but does not have an intoxicating effect. It’s even described as having a good safety profile, which is where its healing properties seem to come into play. Using CBD is considered more of a therapeutic choice rather than substance abuse.

Something to look out for if you’re only interested in the benefits of CBD is that some products may contain varying levels of THC, even though it’s stated that it’s a remarkably low percentage. It’s good to know where you’re getting these products before you start to take them so that you can understand the product you’re consuming and whether they will cause cravings, drowsiness, or dry mouth!

Effects of CBD

CBD may not get you high, but it can produce a variety of different effects on your mental and physical health. While it likely won’t lower your heart rate or blood pressure, it can help to soothe feelings of stress and discomfort.

Various studies have been done to learn more about what kind of benefits can actually come from CBD use, and they range from arthritis to anxiety to seizures. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests high-quality CBD could be helpful in the treatment of medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

CBD is often people’s last option when other medications or treatments aren’t working as they anticipated. It’s an alternative choice that doesn’t have to be your last hope but rather can help to work alongside your other treatments.

May Soothe Stress

One of CBD’s main uses appears to be for helping to soothe feelings of stress. This particular compound is thought to help alleviate some of the symptoms of stress, as well as help people with sleep disorders. CBD can help to support good sleep in people that struggle with insomnia and other related disorders.

Research is also being conducted to learn more about the potential benefits of managing the symptoms of anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorders.

Relief for Chronic Pain

It’s reported that the use of CBD isn’t known for significant side effects, making it a great alternative to try when dealing with health problems. Studies done on mice show that after using CBD, there was less neuropathic pain being recorded.

Many people that have tried CBD for their chronic pain say they have experienced improved quality of life, better sleep, and a higher appetite. It’s thought that cannabis treatments, including both THC and CBD, might be able to replace opioid-based treatment methods that are used specifically for pain. There is a lower risk of abusing this kind of treatment and less risk of serious side effects.

Helping With Symptoms of Depression

There is promise that CBD could help soothe the symptoms of depression. It’s thought that CBD works positively with serotoninreceptors in the brain, supporting the amount of serotonin being produced in the body. For people that struggle with depression and have lower serotonin levels, this results in a boost in mood and alleviates low feelings.

People that suffer from depression may be interested in trying out CBD alongside other treatment options like medication and therapy to see if there are any benefits. You can consume CBD daily or during episodes of depression to really see what the effects are.

Reduces Epileptic Seizures

Arguably most interestingly, CBD has been approved to treat certain epilepsy conditions, including very rare ones like Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastuaut syndrome. While these two extremely rare disorders do not typically respond to seizure medication, they showed signs of reduction when using this CBD-based drug.

This drug, Epidiolex, is a purified form of CBD that reduces the number of epileptic seizures that people have. This can be life-changing for some, as epilepsy and seizures can make living life very difficult.

When using any kind of alternative medication or treatment, you have to do what works for you and is best for you. CBD may not be something that you’re interested in, but if it becomes the last safe thing to try, it’s completely worth giving it a shot.

Side Effects of CBD

There aren’t many adverse side effects of CBD to make it concerning. Certain individuals may not respond to it the way that the majority of people do, but that’s often something you have to figure out on your own after trying it.

CBD use does not lead to addiction and does not pose a risk for abuse. However, there are some side effects that people may experience as a result of them using CBD products:

  • CBD may interact with other drugs or medication that you are taking, so you should consult with your doctor before combining the two.
  • CBD may cause an upset stomach in some individuals, whereas it can help promote better gut health in others.
  • If used with THC, you may experience mental-health-related problems like anxiety or paranoia.

It’s important that you know what you’re consuming and that you are prepared for there to be side effects, even if they don’t end up being prevalent. Doing research to learn more about CBD before using it can never hurt!

What Do the Experts Say?

Research is constantly being done on cannabidiol to learn more about its health effects and possible side effects. Especially with the legality of marijuana throughout the country, CBD has become more popular and somewhat of a stepping stone for people who are hesitant about marijuana use.

Currently, more positive research is out there supporting the belief that CBD is both safe and effective for treating a variety of disorders and health problems. If you’re interested in learning more about CBD, consult your primary care doctor to let them know why you are considering using it.

They may be able to help you decide what’s best for you and make sure that you’re using it properly.

A Word from SOBA

Though CBD is extracted from marijuana plants, it’s not considered to be on the same level as marijuana. There is no risk for abuse when using CBD unless it leads people to start using substances that contain high levels of THC or substances that are considered dangerous.

If you believe that you or a loved one are putting themselves in danger due to their CBD use, consider reaching out to SOBA Recovery of San Antonio, Texas, to talk about your concerns.

Here at SOBA, we can help you understand what you or your loved one is going through from a different perspective. While we support treatment options that will not cause addiction, you must always be careful when using a new treatment method. If you feel you could benefit from CBD, there is no harm in trying.

But be sure to share your journey with those around you, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help if it’s ever needed.


An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies | Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research

CANNABIDIOL (CBD): Critical Review Report | World Health Organization

The Therapeutic Effectiveness of Full Spectrum Hemp Oil Using a Chronic Neuropathic Pain Model | NCBI

Cannabinoids in the Treatment of Epilepsy: Current Status and Future Prospects | NCBI

Heroin Detox: What To Expect

When grappling with the thorny issue of heroin addiction, many people might feel overwhelmed and alone. But it’s important to remember that there’s help available, and taking the first step toward seeking this help is a commendable milestone in the recovery process.

Here at SOBA New Jersey, we understand the struggle and are dedicated to providing the necessary support and care to guide you or your loved one through this challenging journey. One of the crucial steps in this journey is the detoxification process, a medical procedure aimed at clearing toxins from the body and managing withdrawal symptoms.

What Should You Know About Heroin Addiction?

Understanding heroin addiction is essential on the road to recovery. But what exactly is heroin addiction, and how does it affect those who struggle with it?

Heroin, an opioid drug derived from morphine, is highly addictive. It operates by interacting with opioid receptors in the brain, inducing feelings of intense pleasure and euphoria. Over time, repeated use of heroin can lead to physical dependence and addiction — an intense, compulsive urge to use the drug despite its harmful consequences.

Addiction doesn’t just impact the individual; it can also affect those around them, causing emotional distress and strain in relationships. The disruptive nature of heroin addiction often extends beyond the user, touching every aspect of their life.

Employment, education, social activities, and family bonds can be severely affected, further underscoring the comprehensive care and support required to overcome addiction. That’s where SOBA New Jersey comes in.

As a trusted and dedicated rehabilitation facility, we’re here to provide a safe, warm, and non-judgmental space for recovery. We understand that addiction is not a choice, but recovery is. Our mission is to guide you through every step of your recovery journey, starting with understanding the nature of heroin addiction.

Why Is Detox an Important Part of Heroin Addiction Treatment?

Detox, short for detoxification, is an essential part of heroin addiction treatment. It’s the first step in the recovery process and involves the removal of heroin and other toxins from the body. This helps to manage withdrawal symptoms when one stops using the drug.

The detoxification process is pivotal as it addresses the physical aspects of addiction, helping the body rid itself of the drug’s influence. Moreover, detox is essential because it initiates the physiological healing process, preparing the individual for the next stages of recovery, which address the psychological aspects of addiction.

Attempting to detox from heroin at home, or “self-detox,” can be hazardous due to severe withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, vomiting, and more. These symptoms can become overwhelming without medical support and potentially escalate to life-threatening conditions.

Unsupervised detox can also increase the risk of relapse due to the discomfort and distress associated with withdrawal symptoms. That’s why a professionally supervised detox is crucial.

At SOBA New Jersey, our expert medical team ensures a safe and comfortable detox process. We provide medical supervision and care tailored to each individual’s needs, making the detox process manageable and significantly safer than attempting it alone. Our team is prepared to manage any complications that may arise, providing reassurance and expert care to individuals during this critical first step toward recovery.

What To Expect During a Heroin Detox

If you’re preparing to undergo a heroin detox, feeling a bit apprehensive about the unknown is natural. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re committed to making this process as comfortable and manageable as possible for you. Here’s a brief overview of what to expect during detox with us.

Upon admission, our experienced medical team will assess your health status, history of substance use, and any co-occurring mental health disorders. This comprehensive evaluation is crucial as it provides a holistic view of your current situation.

The information gathered is vital in helping us develop a personalized detox plan that caters to your unique needs. Our approach to care is tailored, ensuring that your treatment plan aligns with your physical, emotional, and psychological needs.

The Detoxification Process

During detox, our primary aim is to manage withdrawal symptoms while your body adjusts to the absence of heroin. This might involve using approved medications to alleviate discomfort and potential cravings under the careful supervision of our medical staff.

While challenging, it’s important to note that this phase is temporary and a significant first step towards recovery.

Part of our detox protocol involves regular check-ins and monitoring, allowing our medical team to adjust your treatment plan as necessary and respond quickly to any medical needs. This level of attentiveness ensures your detox process is as comfortable and safe as possible.

Compassionate Care Throughout the Detox Process

Regarding detox, we understand that your mental and emotional well-being is just as crucial as your physical well-being. With us, you can expect to be treated with the utmost dignity, respect, and compassion throughout your detox process.

Our team at SOBA New Jersey is dedicated to providing a high level of care and attention, offering reassurance and support around the clock. Our small size allows us to focus on you as an individual, ensuring you receive the personalized care you deserve.

We understand the emotional challenges of detox, and our team is committed to providing emotional support, empathy, and understanding throughout the process. This compassionate approach underscores our belief in each individual’s strength and resilience in their recovery journey.

At SOBA New Jersey, we acknowledge you as a distinct individual with your own unique needs and strengths, and we passionately believe in your potential to lead a fulfilling life free from addiction.

Coping With Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms can be one of the most challenging aspects of the detox process. These symptoms, which can range from mild discomfort to severe physical and psychological distress, are a natural response as the body adapts to the absence of heroin.

Some of these withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Muscle aches and joint pain
  • Insomnia or sleep disturbances
  • Sweating and fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Intense cravings for heroin
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Flu-like symptoms (chills, runny nose, fever)

At SOBA New Jersey, we utilize evidence-based medications to alleviate symptoms like restlessness, nausea, muscle aches, and anxiety.

It’s essential to remember that withdrawal symptoms can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous if not managed under professional medical supervision. That’s why it’s crucial not to attempt detoxification alone.

Remember, recovery is a journey, and each step, no matter how difficult, brings you closer to reclaiming the life and happiness you deserve. You don’t have to go through it alone.

Moving Forward After Detox: Treatment Programs at SOBA New Jersey

Once the detox process is complete, it’s crucial to understand that the journey to recovery doesn’t end there. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re dedicated to supporting you through the next steps of your recovery journey, providing a variety of treatment programs tailored to your individual needs.

Our treatment programs are designed to address the root causes of addiction, offering you the tools and skills needed to achieve long-term sobriety. We offer a range of services, including Dual Diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders, short-term residential and long-term rehab programs, outpatient treatment, family programs, and much more.

Our holistic approach includes therapies like adventure therapy and spiritual care alongside traditional treatment methods to foster overall wellness and ensure a comprehensive recovery journey. You can also benefit from our telehealth services, bringing our dedicated support and care directly to you, wherever you may be.

We work with you to create a robust aftercare plan, ensuring you’re well-equipped to face the world with a renewed sense of purpose and confidence in your sobriety. We believe every individual is unique, and we strive to cater to these unique needs to ensure you have the foundation for sustained recovery.

Start Your Journey Towards Sobriety

Embarking on the journey to recovery is a courageous act, one that is built on healing, self-discovery, and personal growth. In this journey, the first significant step is the detoxification process, an essential part of recovery where the body rids itself of the heroin’s influence.

This process, while challenging, is made safer and more comfortable when supervised by professional medical teams like the one at SOBA New Jersey.

Remember, you are not alone in this journey. At SOBA New Jersey, we are dedicated to supporting you every step of the way, helping you reclaim the life and happiness you deserve. Our team of skilled professionals, including medical staff, wellness coaches, and aftercare planners, stand ready to provide personalized and compassionate care.

Your journey to recovery starts with understanding, compassion, and quality care. Reach out to us at SOBA New Jersey when you’re ready to take the next step toward sobriety. Together, we can pave the way toward a healthier, happier future that is within your reach.


Heroin DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

How opioid drugs activate receptors | National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings | NCBI Bookshelf

What Are Gateway Drugs? Your Complete Guide

Drug use can become a problem long before anyone may even realize it. Everyone may have their own opinions on what is considered reasonable use, but you can’t deny that introducing illicit substances can lead people down a dark path. Some people will use substances recreationally or for experimentation and not walk away with an addiction, but that isn’t always the case for everyone.

There is a theory that certain “mild” substances more commonly used for recreation can give way to more serious substance use disorders. This doesn’t just mean using those drugs more frequently or in a higher quantity, but also using harder drugs that can be more damaging. These drugs are considered “gateway drugs,” and they’re thought to open the path up to drugs like cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, or meth.

All don’t believe in the gateway drug theory, but there are some truths to it that you can’t ignore. To learn more about what are considered to be gateway drugs and what impact they have on a person, keep reading!

The Gateway Drug Theory

The gateway drug theory is that certain substances make it more likely for a person to use harder drugs or develop a substance abuse problem later on in life. Gateway drugs are considered to be more mild drugs and may not seem dangerous right away.

Many people use these drugs in social settings and are comfortable doing so because they are legal. Gateway drugs are very commonly used among adolescents, which furthers the theory that if teens are exposed to these specific drugs for the first time, they may have issues later on in life.

In other words, gateway drugs open the door to harder drugs and are seen as just as dangerous because of this thought process. Additionally, many people that end up with substance abuse issues from these harder drugs like cocaine or meth have said that they’ve used these gateway drugs at least once in their lifetime.

How Does This Theory Work?

This theory’s groundwork comes from two overarching concepts: how drugs alter the brain and how genes and the environment can form addictive behaviors in later life. Many of these gateway drugs release dopamine into the brain, and when used as adolescents, it impacts how your brain will release it in adulthood.

Less dopamine is produced as an adult if, for years, you’ve been supplementing how you get it with drug use. As your body craves more dopamine, it must seek out more intense substances to get the desired feeling.

Some studies on animals show that the animals that were given drugs at an early age developed addictive behaviors as they aged. This drug use in early life then changes the neuropathways in the brain, making you more vulnerable to drug abuse later on. Compared to normal animals who did not get introduced to the drug, the animals that did show signs of different brain activity.

For some people, the gateway drug theory may seem more likely, especially if they come from a background that shows a lot of family history of drug use and mental health issues. If a person’s environment is already unhealthy or gives them easy access to drugs, the likelihood that gateway drugs lead them to harder drugs is much higher.

History of Gateway Drugs

The concept of the gateway drug came about more in the 1970s and 1980s when there was a lot of contention about marijuana use. It helped people to bring attention to the “War on Drugs” and was used somewhat as a tactic to scare people away from using these specific substances.

At first, it was thought that marijuana use would lead a person to heroin use, and then it was found that even more than marijuana, alcohol use was a stepping stone towards substance abuse and harder drugs.

Since the 1980s, there have been countless efforts made by anti-drug groups to promote abstinence from three specific gateway drugs: alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. So much so that these classes are still being taught across the country today, fighting against peer pressure to use.

These classes show people the harm that can come from using gateway drugs and helping people to understand the consequences.

Common Gateway Drugs

There are three main gateway drugs that come up when talking about the concept. These three habit-forming substances are thought to bridge people between casual, social substance use and drug addiction.

Alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are all common enough that they are easy to get ahold of, even if you’re underage or in a state where it’s illegal to purchase them. Due to the prevalence of these drugs among adolescents, it’s assumed that these are the three drugs that start other addictions to more dangerous drugs, like opioids or other hard drugs.


Alcohol is one of the most commonly consumed substances, whether an adolescent, young adult, or elderly person. It’s ingrained in our society, which might make one think it can’t be too bad. Unfortunately, alcohol, especially when used from a really young age, can be a gateway drug to other substances. Over 15 million people in the United States claim to have an alcohol addiction.

Many of these people also have a co-occurring drug use disorder. Even if they started off just using alcohol, that could quickly expand to mixing substances and putting themselves in riskier positions.

Though legal when you’re 21, alcohol isn’t always a friend. It can put people in dangerous situations, increases the risk of a variety of different health conditions, and can put stress on a person’s relationships or career.


Tobacco use is still the leading cause of death and disability in the United States, with people of all ages still suffering from the aftermath of it. Many smokers admit to using other drugs, such as alcohol and marijuana, in conjunction with tobacco use. People who have used tobacco in the earlier stages of their life can respond more intensely to illicit drugs later in life.

People that use tobacco and smoke cigarettes are often quick to develop a dependence on smoking. It can also be a social thing, where people feel pressured to use cigarettes and soon find that they need one whenever they’re out with people.


Marijuana has always been considered at the forefront of gateway drugs. As THC has become legal in many places across the country, it’s harder to back this up. However, a majority of people that go on to use harder drugs have admitted to using marijuana at least once in their lifetime.

Some studies show that early use of marijuana by young peoplecan lead to a higher likelihood of drug abuse in adulthood. Additionally, many people that use marijuana in early childhood but don’t stop can develop a dependence on smoking which can cause health-related problems like insomnia and a suppressed appetite.

Controversy About This Theory

The main controversy around the gateway drug theory is that animal models are not always good at generalizing how humans experience things, and correlation doesn’t equal causation. Just because a majority of people who suffer from substance abuse problems have once used marijuana in their life does not mean that it’s that use that caused their future addiction.

All of the studies that have been done are considered to be correlational studies and aren’t always regarded as hard facts. The risk factors don’t always translate.

Many people have used all three of these drugs before and have not experienced substance abuse problems. There is more to substance abuse than just using one of these gateway drugs as an adolescent. It’s important to keep in mind that if you aren’t monitoring your substance use, even with legal substances, there is a potential for harm to come.

SOBA Can Help

If at any point you recognize that your or your loved one’s casual substance use is beginning to morph into something uncontrollable, don’t be afraid to seek out help. Here at SOBA Recovery Centers in San Antonio, Texas, you will receive the help you need to overcome your addiction through a personalized treatment program. Treatment options range from inpatient services to outpatient, with everything from detoxification to sober living being offered in between.

Reach out to a SOBA representative to learn more about our addiction treatment center and what you would get from professional treatment. The time to overcome your addiction is now, so don’t wait any longer!


“Gateway Hypothesis” And Early Drug Use: Additional Findings From Tracking A Population-Based Sample Of Adolescents To Adulthood | NCBI

Alcohol As A Gateway Drug: A Study Of Us 12th Graders | NCBI

Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Cannabis Use And Other Illicit Drug Use: Testing The Cannabis Gateway Hypothesis | NCBI

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?

Alcohol affects everyone differently, which can mean having a universal equation to detect how much alcohol is in someone’s system is impossible. Several factors influence how alcohol will affect any given person, including gender, size, amount of alcohol consumed, and type of alcohol consumed.

While a person may no longer feel the effects that alcohol creates, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have alcohol in their system. People may not feel drunk and still be over the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit. This has a lot to do with a person’s tolerance and perception of what it means to be unable to operate efficiently.

If you have to undergo an alcohol test to determine if you have consumed alcohol, you might not be as in the clear as you think. Keep reading to learn more about how long alcohol stays in your system and how long it can be detected through multiple methods of testing.

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol?

As soon as you start drinking alcohol, it enters your bloodstream, working to help you undergo various effects, from giddiness to a loss of coordination. Some effects are deemed more positive than others, but all of them lead to lowered inhibitions and a loss of control over your functioning.

Everyone is affected by alcohol in their own unique way, and the amount of alcohol consumed by a person can influence different behaviors. The more a person drinks, the more incapable they become of making good decisions and taking care of themselves.

Side Effects

Common side effects that a person consuming alcohol will undergo are:

  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Sense of euphoria
  • Loss of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Boost in confidence
  • Giddiness
  • Nausea
  • Head pain
  • Inability to focus
  • Loss of consciousness

These effects can set in at different stages in alcohol consumption, with some of the more serious ones like loss of consciousness and impulsive behaviors happening after several alcoholic beverages.

How Long Is Alcohol in Your System?

Alcohol is not a substance that typically is tested for unless there is a specific reason due to an accident in the workplace or a legal case. Most drug tests that are undergone don’t seek out alcohol in the results, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen!

How long alcohol stays in your system and can be detected depends on the testing method. Most people will test using one of the following five methods: urine, blood, breath, saliva, and hair.


Alcohol stays in your urine for between 12 and 72 hours, depending on your test type. Some newer methods can detect it for up to 72 hours or more, but the typical tests can find it in your system anywhere between 12 and 24 hours.

However, urine tests don’t measure BAC; rather, they test whether or not a person has consumed alcohol within a certain time frame. One type of urine test, known as an ETG test, detects byproducts of alcohol found in the urine up to 72 hours after drinking.


Alcohol stays in your blood for up to six hours and is only detectable via blood tests for around that same amount of time, with a maximum of up to 12 hours. While blood alcohol level tests are the most accurate way to test for blood alcohol content in a person’s system, they do require specific medical training and aren’t always the handiest of test methods.


A breathalyzer is often the most common type of test for detecting BAC and the presence of alcohol, spanning anywhere from 12 to 24 hours after your last drink of alcohol. This means that even after a night of drinking, you could wake up the next morning and still be above the legal limit. If you were pulled over while driving between those 12 to 24 hours, you might still be at risk of failing a breath test.


The presence of alcohol can be detected in a person’s saliva for between 12 and 24 hours, similar to the length that it’s detectable in the breath. Saliva tests are the most accurate to determine whether or not someone has consumed alcohol, but not to determine their BAC.


When it comes to hair tests, alcohol can be detected in hair follicles for up to 90 days. This doesn’t necessarily pinpoint exactly when it was that you consumed it, but if you aren’t supposed to be drinking, you’d have to wait 90 days after your last drink to have a negative hair test result.

Factors That Influence Alcohol Detection

There are a variety of factors that influence how a body absorbs and processes alcohol. Different people may react differently to alcohol, so not everyone goes through the same experience. A few factors, such as body fat and age, play into a person’s response to alcohol consumption that is consistent, whereas other factors change each time you drink alcohol.


Gender can have an impact on how a body processes alcohol because of an enzyme called dehydrogenase. This enzyme helps to break down alcohol in the liver, but women have less of it than men, meaning their bodies break alcohol down slowly. Additionally, women typically have a lower muscle-to-body-fat ratio, which also impacts the breakdown of alcohol.

Due to these two things, women can reach higher levels of intoxication at a much quicker rate than most men. Even if a woman and a man drank the same amount of alcohol at the same rate, there would likely be less impact on the man.


Younger people typically have a faster metabolism than older people, so they can process and eliminate alcohol at a quicker rate. It’s also why you might wonder, as you age, why you can’t drink in the same fashion as you used to.

As we age, there is a slowing of our metabolism, a decrease in our water weight, and a loss of muscle tissue, which can impact how alcohol affects us.

Contents of Stomach

When someone drinks on an empty stomach, there is a speeding up in how alcohol impacts them. You might hear people encouraging you to eat before starting to drink, and that’s because it allows for a slower absorption process.

It takes you longer to feel the effects of alcohol when you’ve eaten a big meal, especially if it is high in protein. Drinking water can also help before consuming alcoholic drinks.

Type of Alcohol Consumed

What kind of alcohol you consume can impact how alcohol impacts you and how long it stays in your system. Some alcoholic beverages have higher alcohol concentrations than others, meaning you consume more alcohol with every drink.

Certain spirits and wines might have a greater effect on you than beers or ciders, but you should check the percentages of each drink you have before consuming.

Individual Tolerance

Depending on how much a person drinks regularly, their tolerance will differ from the next. When someone has a higher tolerance, they can consume more in one setting without feeling all of the normal side effects.

What this means, though, is that even though those people don’t feel the same effects, it doesn’t mean that they have a lower BAC level. A person could be perceived as completely sober but have a higher BAC level double the legal limit.

When someone who doesn’t drink frequently has alcohol, it may only take one drink to feel its effects. Consequently, that person may feel inebriated and incapable of proper functioning, but they may be within the legal BAC levels.

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use

Not everyone must have a substance abuse problem with alcohol to receive treatment. Some people may not be comfortable with how they react to alcohol and what it does to their mental health or body and want to find a way to eliminate it from their life.

So many people decided not to get help because they think their problems aren’t as bad as others, but that really is the perfect excuse to change. You don’t want your relationship with alcohol to worsen or lead to binge drinking, especially if you already have conflicting feelings about it.

If you or a loved one are struggling with their alcohol abuse, you can reach out to a representative at Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, to learn more about ways that we can help. There are many options for people wanting to change their relationship with alcohol.

Whether total abstinence is your thing or you are trying to find a way to detox and improve your behaviors surrounding alcohol, we can help you get to a place where you feel confident and healthy.

Through both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, you can gain access to medical professionals, therapists, and other sober-seeking individuals who are on the same journey as you. Don’t wait for things to progress; get help with Soba today!


What Is Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)? | Vaden Health Services

The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism | NCBI

Alcohol Metabolism | NCBI

Lean Drug: What Is Purple Drank?

Lean Drug: What Is Purple Drank?

You may have heard the term “purple drank” being referred to by celebrities and hip hop stars over the years, seemingly glorifying the use of the drug lean. You may have never known quite what they were talking about.

Lean is a drug that has caused fatalities due to this nonchalant attitude and comes with some very high risks. Lean may seem unattainable because of its status in Hollywood and the music scene, but it’s a concoction that most people can figure out how to create.

If you are ever offered this purple-colored drink, you should know the risks and outcomes that it can have. It’s always best to turn down substances like lean, especially if you don’t know who is creating them or their intended use.

Keep reading to learn more about lean, what the drink is made of, how it can impact you, and the risks of this substance use!

What Is Lean?

Lean is a drug concoction that typically has three main ingredients: prescription cough syrup, sprite or other soda, and a hard candy for sweetness. Once all combined, it resembles a grape or cranberry soda but has a much different effect on the body.

The main component in lean is the prescription cough syrup. Cough medicine can have Promethazine hydrochloride and codeine, which, when combined, can create a drug that impacts your ability to feel pain and heightened euphoric feelings. Over-the-counter cough medicines do not contain these ingredients due to their misuse.

Promethazine hydrochloride is used in antipsychotic medications and antihistamines, while codeine is classified as an opiate medication that treats pain.

If you take cough syrup at the recommended dosages, you should have nothing to worry about. As soon as you begin consuming them in larger quantities for inappropriate reasons, issues like drug addiction and dependency can form.

Some other names that lean is referred to include:

  • Purple drank
  • Sizzurp
  • Dirty Sprite
  • Purple lean

How Lean Works in the Body

When the codeine in cough syrup is consumed, it is broken down into morphine once it reaches the liver. Morphine is a highly addictive component in drugs that gives a person a sense of relaxation and euphoria, which can be viewed as pleasurable to some.

As you begin to misuse the drug, your body starts to become accustomed to having the morphine in its system and won’t be able to function properly without it. Morphine binds to the nerves that block out pain at the same time that it sends out a rush of dopamine. It also binds to the brainstem, which controls a person’s breathing.

When a person has low levels of oxygen in the blood, the brainstem sends out a signal to breathe deeper and faster. However, when morphine is bound to the brainstem, this function does not work as efficiently and will not send the signals to your body to breathe. As a result, your body can forget how to breathe in these instances,

How Long Do the Effects Last?

Lean gets its name from the fact that when consumed, a person has a difficult time standing up straight. They tend to lean to one side, unable to maintain balance and control of their bodies. Once a person drinks one glass of lean, they can begin to feel the effects of it after an hour or so, and it can last for up to six hours.

However, because lean is regarded as an opioid, this is a very easy drink to become addicted to. A person will need more of the drink to achieve the same effects as the first time they used it, developing a tolerance before de-evolving into a full-blown addiction.

What Are the Dangers of Purple Drank?

The reason why lean is so dangerous is because of the lack of awareness of how much codeine you are actually consuming in one drink. Typically, in just one drink, there is about 25 times the recommended dosage of codeine.

People jump right into consuming more than is good for them, but the results of sipping on just one drink can exhibit a feeling of euphoria that you’ve never felt before. This can become highly addicting extremely quickly.

The risks of drinking lean are much worse than one might think. You may ask: how could a drink be so dangerous? But too many people have lost their lives due to this concoction.

Some potential risks of drinking lean are:

  • Respiratory issues
  • Coma or loss of consciousness
  • Inability to move
  • Delirium
  • Very low blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Death

Who Is Using Lean?

While celebrities and musicians have popularized the drug concoction in media and music, they aren’t the main people affected by its abuse. Lean is most commonly abused by adolescents.

This might be because of the availability of the three main ingredients. If someone can get their hands on prescribed cough medication with codeine in it, they can make their own concoction.

This drink can be created and shared at parties to help achieve heightened effects that alcohol can’t help you obtain. It may be seen as “cool” and “unique,” especially because of its ability to be homemade. For that reason, teens tend to be the ones who are most directly impacted by their addiction.

Side Effects of Lean

The more lean a person drinks, the worse their side effects will be. As someone builds up their tolerance, they stop achieving the desired effects and seek out higher doses. While the physical effects might not seem as bad as you become accustomed to the feeling, extended use can lead to serious health problems.

Additionally, because lean cannot be purchased pre-made, how it’s made each time might use different components or doses of codeine. You never know what the ratio of cough syrup to soda will be, so the effects you feel might differ depending on how you made that specific concoction.


Some of the physical side effects that you might feel after your first time drinking lean are:

  • Nausea
  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty with memory and concentration
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria

At first, it may seem similar to what it’s like to drink really strong alcohol and smoke marijuana at the same time, but as your tolerance quickly builds, you’ll need more of the drink to feel anything.

Long-term use of lean can result in a myriad of health-related issues, including:

  • Liver damage
  • Hormonal problems
  • Issues with fertility
  • Pancreatitis
  • Congenital disabilities (when used by pregnant people)
  • Tooth decay
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Constipation
  • Overdosing


Without having lean in your system, you might begin to feel the mental side effects of it more and more. People that are already struggling with their mental health might be more likely to seek out lean because of its side effects of euphoria. If you’re already struggling with anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, or other mental health-related issues, lean might cause those feelings to become much stronger, especially when you aren’t using.

If you are relying on lean to maintain some semblance of happiness, you likely have developed an addiction to it and should seek out addiction treatment immediately.

Developing a Lean Addiction

Lean addictions can happen fast, especially when you’re consuming high amounts of it in a short period of time. The feeling that it gives the first time you use it may be addicting enough to develop an addiction right then and there.

It is somewhat hard to track how many people are addicted to lean because prescription codeine is legal and somewhat obtainable. It can be hard to determine who is using cough syrup to create lean and who is using it to help their cough.

If you or a loved one are struggling with their use of codeine in the form of lean, it is necessary to find treatment options for opioid addiction and other substance use disorders if you want to see progress.

Treating a Lean Addiction at Soba Recovery

At Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, we help anyone that walks through our door with an addiction. It can be terrifying to ask for help, but the end result is one that you can’t take for granted.

Struggling with an addiction to lean can alter your life in a very negative way. Especially with so many young people drinking this concoction, seeking out a treatment center for addiction as soon as possible can limit health-related issues later on in life.

Reach out to a Soba representative if you want to learn more about our treatment services. For more severe addictions, like opioids, we recommend going through medical detox to manage withdrawal symptoms under our trained medical professionals’ supervision before entering inpatient or outpatient services.

We help you to figure out what path is best for your specific needs and help you to navigate it, so you aren’t alone during the journey.

Don’t wait another minute and get help for your lean addiction today!


Promethazine – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Codeine – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Beliefs And Social Norms About Codeine And Promethazine Hydrochloride Cough Syrup (Cphcs) Onset And Perceived Addiction Among Urban Houstonian Adolescents: An Addiction Trend In The City Of Lean | NCBI

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

If you have followed the news over the last few years, the rise in fentanyl overdoses has spiked, making it far more common to come across than one might think. In many cases, people that use fentanyl aren’t even aware that they are doing so. They often think they are using another drug, like cocaine or heroin.

However, fentanyl can be used to cut other drugs, which costs less for dealers, especially drugs sold on the streets. Many opioid overdoses in the last few years have resulted from fentanyl in a person’s system. Whether those people knowingly took fentanyl or not, the outcomes have been dire and intense intervention is needed.

For those that don’t overdose on fentanyl, it can become highly addicting and debilitating. To better understand just how long fentanyl stays in your system and how it affects your mind and body, keep reading.

What Is Fentanyl?

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid prescribed to some people to help with severe, uncontrollable pain. Though not frequently prescribed due to its high risk for addiction, it is given out as lozenges or transdermal patches. Compared to morphine, it takes significantly less of the drug to manage pain.

While pharmaceutical fentanyl exists and can contribute to someone’s addiction, most of what harms the general public is illegally made fentanyl. This illegal fentanyl gives off similar feelings as heroin does, and is often mixed with heroin or cocaine.

For many people that use heroin or cocaine, they aren’t being made aware that their drugs have fentanyl in them, which is leading to an influx in overdose and death. A safe dosage of fentanyl is almost impossible to estimate on your own. The margin for mistakes is very slim, putting fentanyl use into the high-risk category.

How Does Fentanyl Work?

Almost immediately after consuming fentanyl, the user begins to feel its effects. Fentanyl attaches to opioid receptors and activates them to impact the pain and emotion part of your brain.

It also gives you a burst of dopamine that can make you feel euphoric, only reinforcing further usage. However, as much as it might make you feel good, there is a high possibility of it slowing your breathing and leading to overdose.

In many cases, we end up reading headlines that involve the words “accidental” and “fentanyl”, because for many people they aren’t aware that it is what they are using. Fentanyl is highly potent — somewhere between 50 and 100 times as potent as morphine is.

If you, knowingly or unknowingly, consume too much fentanyl, you are putting yourself at a very high risk of overdose and death.

Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl can suppress functions in the central nervous system (CNS) that relate to breathing, heart rate, and temperature regulation. Fentanyl additionally increases the amount of dopamine in the body, which is why there is a high rate of addiction with its usage.

You may feel a sense of calmness, peace, euphoria, and sedation, which might be what you’re looking for. However, if you use more than what is considered to be a “safe” dosage, you could find yourself in a lot of trouble.

Other effects of fentanyl are:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Shallow breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Hot flashes and sweating

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Use

If you fear that you or your loved one is being impacted by fentanyl use, there are some major signs that you can look out for before it’s too late.

  • If a person is continuously “nodding off”
  • Showing impaired judgment about the drug
  • Not taking the side effects of risk of death seriously

Additionally, someone using fentanyl unknowingly might go through withdrawals like:

  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory depression
  • Respiratory arrest
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle aches
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fast heart rate
  • Paranoia

How Long Does It Stay In Your System?

Fentanyl can stay in your system for a varying amount of time, depending on how much you use, your biological makeup, metabolism, and how you tested for it. The effects of fentanyl may only last for a few hours, but it stays in your system for a lot longer.

That means that if you are trying to estimate how long you have to go without using it for it not to be detected in your system, you will have to know what kind of testing you will be undergoing.

  • Urine: If you undergo urine testing, fentanyl can be detected anywhere from one to three days after using it.
  • Hair: Your hair follicles will carry fentanyl in them for up to three months, which means that even if you haven’t used it in several months, it can still be detected.
  • Blood: Fentanyl can be detected in your bloodstream for five to 48 hours.
  • Saliva: Testing through your saliva is ineffective in detecting fentanyl.

What Influences How Long Fentanyl Stays In Your System?

Despite how long fentanyl can be detected in the body, some factors influence how long it actually is inside of you. Your metabolism, weight, age, drug use, and kidney and liver function can all influence how long fentanyl impacts you and stays in your system.

However, the most influential factor that plays into how long fentanyl stays in a person’s system is the method of administration. Each method of administration has a different “half-life.” A “half-life” refers to the amount of time half of the drug takes to exit the body. After half of the drug has left the system, most of its effects of it have worn off.

The main three administration methods are: intravenous, transdermal, and transmucosal.


Intravenous (injected) fentanyl has a half-life of two to four hours, depending on how big the dosage of fentanyl is that you consume. Fentanyl that is injected can have a pretty immediate and jarring effect on a person, but after a few hours, most of the side effects should have worn off. However, this burst of the drug can give an extremely high risk for overdose and be potentially fatal.


Fentanyl administered through an adhesive patch that goes onto the skin has a much slower progression and longer half-life. The half-life of transdermal fentanyl absorption is up to 17 hours, meaning it can impact you for that entire time.


Transmucosal fentanyl is absorbed through the mucous membranes in the mouth in the form of lozenges and has a half-life that sits between five and 14 hours. This depends on the formulation of those lozenges, dosage, and other factors.

How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated?

Someone with a fentanyl addiction might not even realize that is what they are struggling with. They might think they are using other drugs without realizing that fentanyl is present. Before they know it, the drug they think they are using no longer cuts it, and they seek more powerful substances.

Fentanyl is sought when people no longer get the euphoric feelings their other substances brought to them. Addiction can creep up on you slowly before you realize it’s taking over your life.

Getting help might involve medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in conjunction with therapy and counseling. Seeking out treatment facilities might be the most efficient and safe way to overcome fentanyl addiction, but there are other ways that you can seek out support.

Seek Treatment With Soba Recovery

Fentanyl addiction can be extremely debilitating and seemingly impossible to fight on your own. The risks that come with withdrawals from it make seeking out a detoxification center your best bet for a safe start to your recovery.

With Soba Recovery Center of San Antonio, Texas, you gain access to medical professionals who are available around the clock to support you. After going through the detoxification process, you have options for both inpatient treatment and outpatient treatment services, choosing which fits best with your needs and capabilities.

Overcoming fentanyl addiction is no easy feat, but you shouldn’t give up because it’s hard. Instead, use the resources and help made available at Soba Recovery Center so that you can get back to living your best drug-free life.

Reach out to a representative today to learn more about what Soba Recovery Center can offer to you on your path to sobriety.


Drug Overdose Death Rates | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Fentanyl | Opioids | CDC

Fentanyl | DEA

Vicodin Side Effects And Long-Term Abuse

Vicodin Side Effects And Long-Term Abuse

Vicodin (hydrocodone/acetaminophen) is an analgesic medication that can be found in hospitals and is prescribed to people with severe pain. It is not always recommended that Vicodin is prescribed to people by their healthcare providers, especially those who are at higher risk for developing an addiction or dependency.

While Vicodin is meant to help people that are in pain, many people end up misusing it. Vicodin might not be the first drug you can find on the streets. This is because this addiction usually starts after being prescribed it.

Most people addicted to Vicodin and other prescription drugs once used it as pain medication for pain relief, but improper usage and habit-forming can happen quickly. Whether a person starts taking more than they need or tries to access it for longer periods than recommended, how the addiction starts doesn’t matter.

Patients can also find themselves experiencing dependency on benzodiazepines, such as Alprazolam, once prescribed for anxiety.

What matters is how long the abuse continues before you can seek treatment for it. In order to enter into recovery, you may need to undergo detoxification and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) at a recovery center like Soba Recovery. Keep reading to learn more about Vicodin, its common side effects, and long-term drug abuse.

What Is Vicodin?

Vicodin is the brand name for a prescription painkiller composed of hydrocodone and acetaminophen. These two components help to minimize pain and fever in someone who has been prescribed the pills. However, hydrocodone is an opiate that has a similar efficiency as morphine.

Acetaminophen may sound familiar because you can buy this at any drug store in the form of over-the-counter Tylenol. It is a fever-reducer and also works as a mild pain reliever.

Hydrocodone is one of the most frequently distributed opioid medications, with Vicodin and Lortab being the top two brands being prescribed to people. Drugs with hydrocodone in them are abused by over five million people in the United States and are constantly being seized on the illicit market.

While the intention might not be to cause addiction, using this drug heightens the risk of developing one over time.

What Is Vicodin Used For?

Vicodin is most commonly prescribed to people experiencing moderate to severe pain due to injury or after surgery. It has a rather fast response time, setting in after about 30 minutes to an hour, and will last four to six hours, providing immediate relief. On top of diminishing feelings of pain, it can bring about feelings of elation and euphoria, which assists in pain management.

Short-Term Side Effects

Due to Vicodin containing hydrocodone, the effects of the drug can be very similar to the effects of other opiates. As the drug enters the system, it attaches itself to opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and other various organs. Once attached to these receptors, a chemical reaction occurs and creates various effects.

Some of the effects of using Vicodin are:

  • Euphoric feelings and a sense of calm, and relaxation
  • Lower perception of pain
  • Suppression of cough reflex
  • Lightheadedness

These feelings will last between four and six hours after taking Vicodin. People abusing the medication might need a higher dosage to feel these same effects. Otherwise, they might wear off faster than normal.

There can be unwanted adverse effects that happen as a result of taking Vicodin, such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Impaired judgment
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Drowsiness
  • Shallow breathing problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Dangerous drug interactions

The Risk of Abuse

When you take Vicodin for a long period, your body begins to get used to having it in its system. Vicodin impacts the reward system in your body, creating a desire to consume the substance to achieve feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

You will inevitably begin to build up a tolerance over time as your body continues to adapt to it being in your system. What happens as a result of that is needing high doses of the drug to feel its effects.

This mix of tolerance and your body becoming accustomed to the drug to get rid of pain and increase euphoric feelings can lead you down the path of addiction. Soon, you may not be able to function without Vicodin in your system, doing whatever is necessary to get your hands on it.

When a person’s Vicodin prescription runs out, other ways for them to get ahold of the drug might be:

  • Seeking out prescriptions from multiple doctors
  • Falsifying or modifying their doctor’s prescriptions
  • Giving pharmacies fraudulent information
  • Seeking it out on the black market

Withdrawal from Vicodin

If a person cannot obtain Vicodin once their prescription has run out, they might experience withdrawal from the drug. This withdrawal often enforces the need for the drug because the user understands it that if they can take more of it, it will subdue the pain they are experiencing.

A person that is going through the withdrawal of Vicodin will have symptoms that mirror the withdrawal from heroin. Some withdrawal symptoms to expect are:

  • Discomfort throughout the entire body, not just the original source of pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Cold Sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to sleep
  • Irritability
  • Agitation and aggression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Cardiovascular issues

Long-Term Side Effects

Someone addicted to Vicodin can also expect to see negative long-term side effects. There is a reason that when Vicodin is prescribed, it’s often only a very small amount and is instructed to be taken with the right dose as needed.

Because the main goal of Vicodin is to relieve pain and help people with their discomfort, long-term usage is often overlooked. People might think, “If it’s helping me, isn’t it doing its job?”

When you misuse Vicodin, the job it was meant to do becomes null and void. Instead, you’ve created an entirely new issue for yourself that Vicodin can’t fix. Instead, it makes things much more difficult in the long run.


With long-term use of Vicodin comes tolerance and addiction. Even if you start using Vicodin as prescribed, continued drug use will raise your tolerance. You might begin to notice that what you’re prescribed is no longer allowing you to reach the drug’s desired effects.

You might feel that you’re still experiencing pain and think that raising your dose on your own could do the trick. Soon you’ll need higher doses more frequently than originally intended as your tolerance builds up.

This is when addiction really begins. As you need more of the drug, you put more time and effort into finding and obtaining Vicodin. For many, it becomes like a full-time job acquiring Vicodin illegally, as it’s not always the easiest of processes.

Physical Effects

Using Vicodin at an unintended rate can lead to serious side effects. For one, there is the risk of overdosing on Vicodin if you take too much of it at one time.

This is because your heart rate slows, and you can have trouble breathing, not allowing enough oxygen to reach your brain. These effects can be life-threatening.

Some physical effects related to long-term Vicodin abuse are:

  • Liver damage and problems with its functioning
  • Respiratory infections and lung problems
  • Chronic constipation and permanent damage to the intestinal tract
  • Infections in the urinary tract can lead to kidney problems
  • Cardiovascular damage
  • Reproductive issues
  • Loss of pregnancy
  • Hearing loss
  • Increase of bodily harm as a result of frequent sedation

Mental Effects

Vicodin addiction can cause serious mental health-related issues to arise. Not only does addiction impact you physically, but it takes a toll on a person’s mental health. Trying to obtain a drug that is not easy to get can create a lot of tension and frustration in a person’s life.

Addiction controls a person’s behaviors, and the possible side effects of long-term use of Vicodin can make seeking help very difficult.

A few mental health side effects that arise when a person has been using Vicodin long-term are:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Mood changes
  • Long-term mental illness
  • Irritability and aggression
  • Loss of memory skills
  • Tension among family and loved ones

Get Help From Soba Recovery Center

When you are struggling with addiction to Vicodin, getting help can be a scary thing. For many, the whole point of Vicodin was to help the person receiving it, so admitting that it has made your life worse can feel contradictory. It can also bring up many feelings of shame and guilt about substance abuse of a drug that was prescribed to help.

If you want to get help, then you should. Everyone deserves treatment for their addiction, no matter how deep it has taken them. At Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you can access the best care in a way that makes the most sense for you. By undergoing the detoxification process with us, you can lower your risk for opioid overdose simply by putting yourself into good hands.

Our goal here at Soba is to help you get back the life you had — free from pain but also free from addiction. Whether you stay with us through our inpatient treatment or become a part of the outpatient program, the goal is to help you overcome your addiction and get back on track.

If you’re ready to make the change to sobriety, reach out to a Soba representative today to discuss how we can help free you from addiction.


Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Hydrocodone (Trade Names: Vicodin®, Lortab®, Lorcet-HD®, Hycodan®, Vicoprofen®) | Drug Enforcement Administration

The Vicodin Abuse Problem: A Mathematical Approach | ScienceDirect

6 Months Sober: What To Expect

If you’ve made it to six months of sobriety, congratulations! Not only is six months a major milestone, but we here at Soba Recovery know just how difficult the journey to get there is. In just six months, you have exponentially improved your quality of life through dedication and determination.

If you’re here because you want to start your recovery journey but want to know more about why choosing sobriety is beneficial, we’re here to bring you some peace of mind. Keep reading to learn more about how your body and mind benefit from sobriety, even after just six months.

Physical and Emotional Sobriety

When you are actively using, you might notice that your overall demeanor is depressed and your morale is low. You might become easily irritated and withdrawn around family and friends trying to help you. Jobs and other responsibilities might falter as you choose substances over taking care of yourself.

With sobriety comes a sort of clarity. While this clarity can be difficult to accept, as it might bring feelings of shame and guilt, it allows you to move forward. Seeing how just six months of sobriety affect you, both physically and emotionally, should be enough to motivate you to continue.

Some people like to document their sobriety journey through photos so that they can see the improvements they are making. You will look and feel better every day, no longer spending days feeling unwell or anxious. Relationships improve, and opportunities start coming your way that could benefit your mental health.

Sobriety Benefits You in More Ways Than One

Throughout the first six months of sobriety, you will have to fight your addiction and stay committed to recovery. If you think you will go through withdrawals, consider starting your journey with the detoxification process. This will allow you to start supervised and safely in a controlled environment.

As you continue your sober journey, the changes in your health and emotional well-being will become apparent. You can maintain these improvements through resilience and commitment and get back to living your best life possible.

Healthier Appearance

When you are in an active addiction, your body struggles to keep up with you. You likely cannot maintain your health due to the toxins in your body from every substance you take.

When you use alcohol, for instance, signs of premature aging can present themselves. Drugs and alcohol can also make you feel anxious, fatigued, and sore. You may lose some of your strength.

Six months into sobriety and your skin may appear healthier, with less dry skin and discoloration. Your eyes might not seem bloodshot, and the dark-colored circles under them may disappear. You may gain back some healthy weight and notice less bloating and puffiness. You might feel more like yourself again when you look in the mirror!

Relationships Improve

Addiction doesn’t just impact you. Friends and family are often at the other end of your addiction without even realizing it. Even if you think you’re hiding it, your loved ones can usually tell when something is wrong.

Substance use can strain the most important of relationships, and though being supportive and loving is a necessity, you can’t force someone to stay beside you and help you manage your pain.

With sobriety comes the opportunity to heal the wounds you’ve created with your loved ones. With a clear mind and goals, you can open conversations that may have been impossible to start while using. Trust and communication are key to maintaining sobriety, and opening up to those close to you can help with accountability.

Balanced Emotions

Drugs and alcohol are known to numb the pain you feel daily. You might want to stop feeling your feelings, but that can be incredibly unhealthy. When you become sober, you begin to feel emotions you have been suppressing with substances. It can be difficult to face, but it shows emotional maturity and balance.

This doesn’t just happen naturally for everyone; going through therapy is a great way to help you get there. Therapy is often required when entering inpatient services at a treatment facility. Even if you are in outpatient, treatment centers can help you get what you need.

You may quickly notice improved moods, less irritability, and a more positive outlook on life. Little things will no longer set you off, and if you are triggered, you can use coping skills to prevent becoming overwhelmed.

Reduced Social Anxiety

Social anxiety might be one of the reasons that you felt comfortable using substances, but they don’t go away just because you are under the influence. You might notice that your social anxiety is back when you first become sober.

You may feel worried about telling people you are sober and wonder how people perceive you if you aren’t partaking in substance use.

If the right people surround you, they won’t even think twice and will support your sobriety. Soon, you’ll notice how much more confident and comfortable you are on your own. You won’t need to hide behind substances to feel good about yourself.

Liver and Brain Damage Control

Alcohol and other substances have a really negative impact on your liver and brain. When you cut back on using substances, your body can begin to repair itself. Alcohol specifically increases the amount of fat in the liver, which can cause the liver to react abnormally. After six months, your liver can become healthier and function properly.

Substances have varying impacts on the brain. Substances can give you brain fog, lower your inhibition, and lead you to lose memories or have a false sense of reality.

Throughout the first six months, you may feel the fog lifted. Your reaction time will improve, you may have more coherent thoughts pop into your head, and your ability to communicate may become easier.

The first month of sobriety is always hard. Feelings of depression or genuine sickness might occur due to withdrawals, which might keep you from being motivated. Persevere, and you will get to the point where the withdrawals don’t exist anymore, and you can feel healthy and happy.

Better Sleep

When you cut back on alcohol, you may begin to feel improvements in your sleep. You are more likely to have deep and restorative sleep when you cut out alcohol from your life because you aren’t waking up as frequently.

Though, this doesn’t happen instantaneously. The first month of sobriety may include a lot of restless nights. Many people use alcohol to help them fall asleep, forming an unhealthy pattern. By the six-month mark, you will likely have a restored natural sleep pattern and feel much more rested.

Better sleep leads to many improvements in your life, including improved appearance, higher energy levels, and balanced moods.

Improved Focus

When you use substances, you never truly have a clear mind. By this point, many individuals claim they have a better outlook on life. People are more likely to reach their goals and maintain good habits after six months of sobriety.

Your thoughts will be clearer, and you will likely be able to communicate them better. At this point, it’s important that you focus on the next steps.

Your recovery journey doesn’t end in six months. It is a lifelong commitment that you need to make every day. Use your newfound focusing skills to make new goals so you hit the next milestone in your sobriety — one whole year.

Continued Care Is Important!

Sobriety takes hard work and dedication. No one has a perfect recovery, so don’t let any slip-ups discourage you. Use them as motivation to continue on your journey to sobriety. Individual therapy and group therapy can be great ways to continue your addiction treatment even after you’ve started to hit sobriety milestones.

With Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you get a personalized treatment plan that puts your needs first. We will help you hit all of your milestones and offer multiple solutions to maintain your sobriety. You may not need to stay with us inpatient or undergo detoxification again, but we have resources available to assist you.

Call today to learn more about the treatment services that we offer and how we can help you live your best sober life.



Impact of Smoking and Alcohol Use on Facial Aging in Women: Results of a Large Multinational, Multiracial, Cross-Sectional Survey | NCBI

Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder Comorbidity in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions | NCBI

Brain Structure and Function in Recovery | NCBI

Substance Abuse Statistics You Might Not Have Heard

Substance Abuse Statistics You Might Not Have Heard

Substance abuse affects millions of people in the United States every year, yet many misguided understandings exist. Addiction is a disease, not a choice. The people that struggle with addiction did not choose for their lives to play out this way, but choosing to get better isn’t always easy.

Substance abuse is often misunderstood, meaning that the people seeking help are misunderstood. We need to understand it better to better treat addiction and allow for a more open-minded approach to treating individuals with substance use disorder.

Keep reading to learn more about different statistics connected to substance abuse of different kinds.

What Is Substance Abuse?

Substance abuse is a disease that impacts a person’s brain and behavior and causes intense cravings for substances such as alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamines, and more. People who struggle with substance use disorder use even though they are aware of the consequences. They become reliant on the substance and can experience distress and withdrawals without it.

Causes of Addiction

People can be impacted by addiction as a result of many factors. It is a mental health disorder that has both environmental and genetic influences.

Environmental: Someone who grows up around other people with substance use disorder can be influenced to use substances as they develop. You might have friends that don’t have your best interests in mind and introduce you to substances. You might have grown up with trauma and other mental health issues that were never treated. All of these things in your environment can lead you to addiction, whether or not you want them to.

Genetics: Addiction is a disease that can be passed down through genetics. Some people are more prone to developing substance use disorder, especially if people in their bloodline struggle with it. However, not all people that have the addiction gene become substance abusers.

Addiction and Abuse Statistics

Every substance has different statistics attached to it. Not all substances affect a person in the same way; some are considered more dangerous or damaging than others. It’s important to know the different statistics for each substance to create a more informed environment.

Substance abuse does not just impact the person who is using. Friends and family suffer at the same time as the people using them, and trying to get help for your loved ones is not easy. Staying informed and understanding the intricacies of substance use can help everyone involved seek help.


Alcohol is one of the most commonly used substances in the United States. With it being legal, many people use alcohol once they have turned 21. Additionally, there are many underage users of alcohol, which can be dangerous, especially when being misused.

Even though it’s the most abused substance, people with alcohol use disorder often go untreated. This is partly due to the general acceptance of alcohol use in the United States. Some statistics that you should know about binge drinking are:

  • Alcohol use disorder (AUD), alcoholism, and alcohol abuse account for nearly six percent of global deaths.
  • Around 141,000 people in the United States die every year from the effects of alcohol.
  • One in 10 Americans over the age of 12 suffer from AUD.
  • Men make up about 62 percent of people diagnosed with Alcohol Use Disorder; women make up 36 percent of people diagnosed with AUD; adolescents make up about three percent of people with AUD.
  • As with many substances, excessive alcohol consumption and alcohol-related substance use disorders are often associated with other mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety.


The opioid epidemic is a public health emergency affecting thousands of Americans daily. Anyone can use opioids, and many start when prescribed an opioid to treat pain. There is a high risk of overdose when using a high dosage of opioids. They can slow your breathing which can lead to death.

Opioids are controlled substances that, in the wrong hands, can be detrimental to a person’s livelihood. Statistics about opioid use disorder (OUD) are:

  • Almost four percent of adults in the United States abuse opioids.
  • From 1999 to 2019, the percentage of overdoses on opioids increased by over 519 percent.
  • Opioids are a factor in seven out of 10 overdoses that occur.
  • There is an average of 103,333 opioid users a day.
  • Teens who were prescribed opioids were 33 percent more likely to misuse opioids after high school.
  • Fentanyl is the most dangerous opioid out there, with Fentanyl overdoses surpassing prescription opioid overdoses by over 550 percent.

Heroin falls under opioid misuse disorder and is one of the more dangerous opioids to get your hands on.

Some statistics involving heroin are:

  • Fourteen thousand people die every year from heroin overdoses.
  • Over six million Americans have used heroin in their lifetime.
  • Eighty percent of people who misused heroin first abused prescription opioids.
  • Over ten thousand men die annually from a heroin overdose; 3,500 women die annually from a heroin overdose.


With the legalization of marijuana in parts of the United States, like alcohol, it has become more widespread and accepted. While it’s thought that cannabis is less dangerous than other drugs, such as alcohol and opioids, people can still develop substance abuse issues with it.

Some statistics that are important to know are:

  • There are about 55 million people who use marijuana in the United States.
  • Almost half of Americans have tried marijuana once in their lifetime.
  • The amount of people that use marijuana is about 20 million more than the number of people who currently use tobacco.
  • Seventy-six percent of the population think marijuana use is less dangerous than tobacco use.
  • Chronic users can develop a mental dependency on marijuana, resulting in physical symptoms.
  • Forty percent of high school students have admitted to trying marijuana before.
  • Thirteen percent of young users will develop a dependency on marijuana.


Stimulants include various drugs known for the euphoric and energetic feeling you get when using them. They also increase your heart rate and blood pressure, putting you at risk for heart conditions in the future or overdosing.

There are also prescription stimulants like Adderall and Preludin that treat people for disorders such as ADHD or help someone lose weight. Without proper care, these prescription drugs can be abused as well.

Stimulants include:

  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Nicotine

Some statistics about stimulants are:

  • Almost two million people admitted to having used meth in 2018.
  • Over five million people admitted to having used cocaine in 2018.
  • One in five drug overdose deaths was related to cocaine use.
  • Caffeine is considered a stimulant and can become addicting, just like other stimulants.


Hallucinogens, like marijuana, have started to make their way into the mainstream. Some medical professionals now use ketamine for treatment-resistant depression in some parts of the United States. Additionally, the legalization of mushrooms (psilocybin) in Colorado has sparked interest nationally.

LSD and ecstasy are also hallucinogens, as well as PCP and DMT. Some statistics on hallucinogens are:

  • Around 7.4 million people have used hallucinogens in the last year.
  • Around 493,000 people have a hallucinogen use disorder.
  • LSD is the most powerful hallucinogen and can create the most issues for a person later on in life.

How To Find Help With Substance Abuse

No matter what you or a loved one is struggling with, Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, is here to help. If you think that someone you know is in need of a treatment program for alcohol or drug use disorder, it’s never a bad idea to give us a call and discuss our treatment options. Our healthcare providers are ready and able to help.

Substance abuse is a debilitating mental health disorder that can ruin a person’s life. No matter what the substance is that you use, the effects that come from long-term misuse can be deadly. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do, and seeking addiction treatment might be a part of your self-care routine.

Call today to learn more about our services and how we can get you on the road to recovery today!


Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health | SAMHSA

Substance Use Disorders and Addiction: Mechanisms, Trends, and Treatment Implications | American Journal of Psychiatry

Drug Abuse Statistics | NCDA

What is the scope of hallucinogen use in the United States? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

13 Substance Abuse Group Activities

13 Substance Abuse Group Activities

Recovery from substance abuse can be intimidating and isolating. Deciding to take care of your addiction can mean leaving a lot of your life behind, including friends you have shared your addiction with. Finding a support system that focuses on building community and creating new connections is essential to your recovery.

Joining a substance abuse group can open you up to new experiences different from your own. Not only do you meet people who understand your struggles, but you can open up and speak freely about your addiction with no fear of judgment.

If you are part of a group or considering joining, here are some activities you can share to try at your next meeting.

The Importance of Substance Abuse Group Activities

The goal of support groups for substance abuse is to bring people with similar struggles together and create a safe space for expression. It can be hard to open up to people you do know, but for some reason, opening up to strangers feels less intense.

In group therapy, you can learn about coping strategies that have worked for others, find out about activities or hobbies you may have never thought to try, and build friendships with people you can talk to about your addiction.

Group topics will apply to anyone struggling with addiction, including how to battle cravings and rebuild healthy relationships with loved ones.

Why Does It Work?

There are multiple reasons why substance abuse recovery groups are effective. For one, they bring together a community that can feel comfortable with one another. Accountability and encouragement are offered throughout sessions, showcasing the progress of everyone’s recovery.

Isolation is a real fear among people with substance use disorder. Whether it’s because you have lost friends due to addiction or have strained relationships with family and friends, sometimes seeking community is not an option you feel comfortable with.

Group therapy eliminates the fear of standing out because you are all there for the same reason. You can also find role models in the group who have been on the recovery journey longer and gain their wisdom.

Where Can You Find Group Activities?

When you go through the recovery process, you will work with the recovery center staff to develop your perfect recovery plan. This might include medically-assisted therapy (MAT), individual therapy, or group therapy. Most treatment centers, such as Soba Recovery Center, offer group therapy to people undergoing both inpatient and outpatient services.

Emotional Health Group Activities

Group therapy activities will have a wide range of topics with unique goals. Not every activity will be your favorite, but others might stick, and you’ll find yourself practicing them on your own.

When dealing with addiction recovery, it is important to check in with yourself and see how you are doing mentally and emotionally. Substance abuse group therapy activities can be aimed at helping you to discuss your emotional health and find ways to improve your overall well-being.

Discussing Triggers

Everyone has different triggers. Discussing them in your group can be helpful in learning about the different ways people have learned to cope. Not every method you try will work for you, so it’s good to learn about various coping skills, including anger management skills, communication skills, and stress management.

Through this activity, you can recognize patterns in your addiction treatment. This might help you learn how to take yourself out of situations that might trigger you before anything ever happens. This is one of the first steps in harm reduction and prevention.

Sharing Your Fears

Every group member takes a piece of paper and writes down what they fear. It can be anything from dealing with their addiction to fears they have in their everyday life. What you write down does not have to be shared publicly unless that is something you’re comfortable with.

Take these lists of fears and put them into a box. Have the group leader read off the lists one by one anonymously. What you are sure to find will be that some of you have similar fears. This helps to recognize that you are not alone in these fears; it’s just that everyone deals with things differently.

Talk About Your Journey So Far

One of the biggest struggles with addiction is feeling isolated and alone. Sharing your journey within your group will help others to feel more comfortable. In this exercise, you can all share one bad thing that has come from your journey to sobriety and one good thing that has come from it.

Shame is often associated with addiction recovery, but if you are all sitting in a room dedicated to recovery, you should be proud of how far you’ve come. You are deciding to turn your life around, and others around you are supporting you.

Share Your Favorite Memory

This activity allows people in your group to lighten up and share something that makes them happy. This can be a memory from childhood, about a good day you had at school or work where you felt accomplished, or the moment you met someone that changed your life.

With addiction comes bouts of depression, anxiety, and other mental illness struggles, and staying positive can be difficult. Sharing memories that bring you joy can brighten the mood in group therapy and remind everyone why they are there.

Sharing Positive Affirmations

Until you’ve done them, you might be hesitant about how well positive self affirmations work. By speaking highly of yourself, you can help to motivate yourself through your recovery journey.

In this group activity, you should write down the affirmations you say to yourself when you’re struggling. Share in a circle what these affirmations are and how they’re intended to help. Who knows? You might learn about new ones that could benefit your daily life.

Self-Care Group Activities

Properly taking care of yourself while in addiction recovery is essential. During the worst parts of addiction, hygiene, physical and mental health, and nutrition often decline. It can be difficult to take care of yourself, but it is so important to get back on track during your recovery journey.

Talk About Your Self-Care Routine

Everyone needs a self-care routine, no matter what you think! Self-care is not just about taking yourself out to nice dinners or buying yourself something when you want it. Self-care is all about doing things that are good for you, and that will help you to be more successful in your life.

Share with the group what it is that you do for self-care. Through this, you might find new habits to pick up on that will benefit you. Your self-care routine might include:

  • Waking up at 7 a.m. and going on a brisk 10-minute walk.
  • Coming home and making yourself coffee and breakfast.
  • Reading or journaling while you drink your coffee.
  • Practicing yoga for 10 minutes before heading off to work.

Make a List of Bad Habits You Want to Break

Speaking of new habits… it’s time to get rid of your bad ones. Write down a list of habits that you want to break and partner up with someone in the group. (If the group is small, share with everyone.)

This person(s) will be your accountability partner and will check in with you throughout the week or at each meeting to see how you’re doing. Check off habits that you’ve broken as you go. It’s almost more satisfying and encouraging to break them when checking them off a list!

Share Your Favorite Recipes

For this activity, you can create a cookbook with your substance abuse group members. Nutrition is part of self-care, but finding the time and energy to develop new recipes can be difficult.

Have everyone in your group bring in two of their favorite recipes: one that is savory and one that is sweet. Put them together in a binder or a shared online document, and try them for yourself. Maybe cooking will become your new hobby!

Physical Group Activities

Exercising and moving your body should be a refreshing part of your recovery. Keeping up with your physical health during active addiction is not easy, but starting on your own can be intimidating. That’s why many people have gym buddies to help motivate them and keep them on track.

Practice Meditation

Stress and anxiety are common for those undergoing addiction recovery. You might find that meditating for the first 10 minutes of every group therapy session sets the mood for the rest of the meeting.

Put some soft and peaceful music of white noise in the background. Have everyone close their eyes and focus on their breathing. Let your mind relax and concentrate on how your breath feels coming in and out of your body. When you’re done, allow people to share how the experience made them feel before moving on.

Start a Hiking Group

You may find people in your substance abuse group who want to spend more time outdoors. Start a hiking group within your substance abuse group. Set up times and places to participate in group hikes or even group walks.

If you aren’t interested in solo hikes, this might be the perfect opportunity for you. Spending time outdoors is good for your mental and physical health. Finding a hobby that brings you joy is essential during recovery, and doing it with friends with similar goals can make it all the better.

Artistic Group Activities

Expression and creativity can free a person from the hurt they carry inside. Art therapy is a form that is used for people of all ages. Anyone can be an artist or use art as a way to help them cope and grow. Find a time, maybe even as you discuss other topics, to sit around and create together.

Paint Night

Painting is a great way to express yourself because there are no rules. Everyone can get a piece of paper or canvas and paint together as they tackle other topics. You can even have it so every time you paint; there is a prompt that everyone can follow.

Share with the group your finished product at the end of the meeting. Find a space where you can hang up all of your pieces so that they can remind you of your strength and creativity the next time you go for group therapy.

Vision Boarding

Vision boarding is a fun activity that can be done in group therapy. Everyone brings in a posterboard and some old magazines. Use these tools, along with stickers, markers, paint, colored pencils, or stamps, to map out what you want the next year of your life to look like.

Keep these vision boards on display throughout the next year to remind you of your goals.

Create a Playlist of Shared Music

Creating a shared playlist is an easy and relaxing activity you can all participate in. Everyone in your group is bound to have vastly different tastes in music. Music is its own therapy for people, so sharing your favorite songs can be really cathartic.

Have someone in the group create a playlist of all of the songs loved by your group members. You can share it so everyone can access it and have it playing in the background of your next meeting.

Finding Help With Soba

Group therapy is essential. Finding people you can relate to and building a safe community to grow in can help your recovery journey immensely. Soba Recovery Center of San Antonio, Texas, can help you get started on your journey today.

After going through an intake process with staff from Soba, a personalized treatment program will be created to give your recovery the best chance. Group therapy is likely to be a part of that treatment plan.

Get help today and see just how bright your future can be!


1 Groups and Substance Abuse Treatment | NCBI

Emotional and Social Loneliness in Individuals With and Without Substance Dependence Disorder | NCBI

Mindfulness Meditation In The Treatment Of Substance Use Disorders And Preventing Future Relapse: Neurocognitive Mechanisms And Clinical Implications | NCBI