Xanax Addiction: How To Spot a Problem

Xanax Addiction: How To Spot a Problem

In recent years, the term “Xanax” has been popularized in modern culture to a point where many people are desensitized to it. Xanax is not just a random street drug, and it’s definitely not something to laugh about.

Xanax, a benzodiazepine, is a prescription drug that helps anxiety but can sometimes be abused by the patient.

Spotting a drug addiction to Xanax can be difficult if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. Understanding the signs and learning ways to help someone struggling with a Xanax addiction could be the difference in them living a long and happy life.

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a benzodiazepine (aka benzos) that can help people with behavioral health issues like severe anxiety disorders or panic disorders because of the calming effects it can have. The generic name for Xanax is alprazolam.

This drug is characterized as “fast-acting” and is classified as one of the most highly addictive drugs because of the brain alterations that it makes in such a short period of time.

That’s why this drug is only recommended for short periods of time — to help keep someone from experiencing a physical dependence on the drug. Even with this risk, it’s the most prescribed psychiatric drug in the United States because its effects are so impactful. With supervision and open communication, Xanax can be taken safely and does help many people overcome their everyday anxiety.

Many people who are prescribed Xanax do use it properly. This means the right amount of Xanax is taken for the right amount of time. Xanax works as expected and may never become an issue for the person. But that’s not always the case.

Some people take Xanax for the short-term yet fall into addiction quite easily, while others might have used it once or twice and began seeking it out from illegal sources.

What Are the Potential Positive Effects of Xanax?

Using Xanax produces many different effects to help support mental health, all of which aim to relax your body.

Xanax is a central nervous system depressant that helps to slow your body down. This prescription drug works by increasing the effects of a brain chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA. GABA promotes calmness in the body by decreasing the excitement in the brain that triggers panic attacks or anxiety.

Some effects that prescribed Xanax may have are:

  • Easing of muscle tension
  • Help with insomnia
  • Feelings of calm
  • Anxiety relief

What Are Some Unintended Side Effects of Xanax?

Like with any addictive drug, there are unwanted side effects that can come from using too much of the drug for too long or, as with any drug, from taking higher doses or too much in one sitting.

Some side effects to look out for are:

  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurry vision
  • Lack of coordination
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Appetite changes
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive sweating
  • Constipation
  • Issues with memory
  • Swelling of the hands and feet
  • Decline in mental health

Of course, not everyone will experience these side effects, but the more often you use Xanax can influence these reactions.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Xanax?

When someone is using Xanax, it is never a good idea to quit it cold turkey. This can be very dangerous for the user as your body has become accustomed to your benzodiazepine use. Some who quit Xanax without tapering off might be sent into shock without it.

Someone who is withdrawing from Xanax may experience:

  • Insomnia and trouble staying asleep
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Headaches
  • Irritability and anger

Some even more serious withdrawal symptoms that someone might experience are:

  • Delusions and delirium
  • Psychosis
  • Severe anxiety

If you are someone who has been prescribed Xanax, you should talk with your healthcare providers about coming up with a plan to reduce your usage instead of quitting on your own.

For those that get their Xanax illegally, you still generally not quit cold turkey. It might be more difficult to lower your dosage if you don’t have it readily available to you, so reaching out to addiction treatment centers can help you with the process.

Xanax and Sedative, Hypnotic, or Anxiolytic Use Disorder

If Xanax abuse becomes prolonged, it can eventually lead to sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder. In order to be diagnosed with this disorder, you need to exhibit at least 2 out of 11 of the symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • Repeated issues showing up for important events due to Xanax usage
  • Using Xanax in a hazardous setting
  • Wanting to stop using it but being unable to
  • Using Xanax even though it brings you distress and frustration
  • Spending a lot of time trying to obtain Xanax
  • Using Xanax for longer than prescribed or needed
  • Using despite one or more negative personal outcomes
  • Craving Xanax
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms
  • Stopping participation in work, family, or social events
  • Building up a tolerance to Xanax so that you need more to feel the effects

These symptoms need to co-occur within a 12-month period for someone to be diagnosed with this disorder. It’s still classified as a substance use disorder. Fortunately, there is Xanax addiction treatment.

How To Recognize a Xanax Problem

Trying to recognize Xanax addiction is not always easy, as is with any substance abuse issue. If you don’t know what to look out for, you may never see the signs. If you are aware that someone you know is being prescribed Xanax, and you know they have addictive tendencies, don’t be afraid to reach out to see how they are doing.

As helpful as Xanax may be for mental wellness, it can become a slippery slope into addiction for some people.

Xanax is commonly prescribed to people. It’s typically easy to get, which makes it that much easier for it to potentially cause a problem.

College-age students are at higher risk of coming into possession of Xanax without having a prescription. Some people might think that it is a “fun” drug to use and mix with other substances, but it can be deadly to combine Xanax with other drugs like opioids and alcohol.

Signs of Xanax Abuse

There are different ways for you to recognize whether or not someone is struggling with Xanax addiction. No two people will present their symptoms or issues in the same way, but Xanax has certain effects that might be prevalent.

If you think that someone you love is struggling with an addiction to Xanax, consider reaching out to representatives at Soba Recovery Center to voice your concerns and come up with a plan for treatment.

Find others who love and support this person and try to have a safe and open conversation about your concerns and their wellbeing. Choose friends or family who can contribute to a judgment-free zone to better encourage someone with a benzodiazepine addiction to seek help.

Withdrawn From Family and Friends

Someone who is struggling with Xanax addiction might find that they are avoiding facing their friends and family. They might begin to feel intense shame or guilt over their usage and don’t want to face their loved ones.

Sometimes facing people who know you best is difficult because they know what to look out for. It’s harder to pretend everything is okay. A person who is addicted to Xanax may become defensive about their addiction. Loved ones without the right tools or resources in place may unknowingly create more tension.

Needing More Xanax To Feel the Effects

As someone becomes more dependent on Xanax, their tolerance will go up. If you notice that someone is using more Xanax than they are prescribed or using it every day without a prescription, they may have a problem.

A person’s body adapts to Xanax. Over time, someone might find that they need more Xanax to feel the same way. This pattern can lead to an addiction.

If you or someone you love begins to take more Xanax without medical supervision, it could lead to an addiction. Tolerance is one of the easiest ways to determine whether or not someone has an addiction to Xanax.

Experiencing Financial Issues

Someone who is struggling with Xanax might need more Xanax than they are prescribed, which could lead to illegal sourcing. This can be dangerous for many reasons. Many Xanax pills that are bought off the street aren’t actual Xanax pills, which could lead to a dangerous situation. Additionally, it can be quite expensive to keep up with a Xanax addiction.

A loved one might ask you for money or show signs of financial distress when using Xanax improperly. It’s important to pick up on these subtle signs to determine whether or not someone is in need of addiction treatment.

Having Erratic Emotions

A sign of Xanax abuse is emotional instability. A person who has a Xanax addiction might have intense mood swings, become easily irritable, and sometimes become aggressive. Someone who is using Xanax may be emotionally unpredictable, which can be alarming.

You may feel like you’re walking on eggshells around them, trying to anticipate their next mood swing.

Someone struggling with their addiction might also experience severe depression and suicidal thoughts, especially if they are trying to cut back on their usage and stop altogether. The process is not easy, and it can feel isolating. Showing support to your loved ones who are struggling can help encourage them to seek treatment.

Getting Help with Soba Recovery

Xanax addiction is not something people can typically overcome on their own. They need a safe place to detox, find support, and get the right addiction treatment.

At Soba Recovery Centers in San Antonio, Texas, you’ll receive professional addiction treatment geared specifically to your personal needs. 

If you are struggling with Xanax withdrawal symptoms, you can enter into a detoxification treatment that will safely allow you to come off of the drug. Afterward, there are both inpatient and outpatient services available, depending on your treatment needs.

Whether you are looking for sober living in a supportive community atmosphere or need intense treatment that allows more freedom like partial hospitalization, we have got you covered.

Addiction is not a choice. It’s scary, difficult, and debilitating. Get back to feeling like yourself again. If you or a loved one need assistance overcoming Xanax addiction, reach out today and learn more about what Soba has to offer.



Alprazolam (Xanax) | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

A Review of Alprazolam Use, Misuse, and Withdrawal | NCBI

Sedative, Hypnotic or Anxiolytic Drug Use Disorder | Harvard Health

How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted to Meth?

How Long Does It Take To Get Addicted to Meth?

Methamphetamines are nothing to joke about. It is a dangerous substance. Any amount of meth use is too much meth use.

If you’re concerned about someone and aren’t sure if it’s due to meth addiction, keep reading to learn more about the drug, its effects, and how long it can take someone to become addicted to it.

What Is Meth?

Meth, otherwise known as methamphetamine, is a highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system in a person’s brain.

You may hear other names for meth, including:

  • Crystal meth
  • Speed
  • Zoom
  • Crank
  • Glass
  • Rock candy
  • Crystal

Meth was created by combining amphetamine and other chemicals over a century ago. In fact, meth was originally prescribed as a decongestant and a weight loss aid. It didn’t take long to notice that meth was a highly addictive drug and an extreme danger to people.

Methamphetamine use is unlike alcohol or marijuana. Most people can use these substances without them turning into an addiction. Alcohol and marijuana can be safe in small quantities in controlled environments.

Meth, however, is a serious drug that can lead to addiction, ongoing health issues, and even death. 

Meth users don’t usually start off using meth as their first drug. It’s often a drug that comes after experimenting with other kinds of drugs. Sometimes people turn to meth once other hard drugs stop producing the high they crave.

The effects of meth are strong and intense, usually more so than other drugs. If someone has built up a tolerance to a different substance, meth might still be able to give them the high that they are looking for.

You can ingest crystal meth through injections, swallowing a pill, snorting it, and smoking it. It might look different depending on the ingredients used to create it, like little shards of glass or an odorless powder, with colors ranging from pink to white to brown.

It’s one of the most addictive substances you could get your hands on. Any use of meth is considered abuse.

What Are the Effects of Meth?

When you smoke or inject meth, you experience an initial “rush” of euphoria that increases your heart rate and blood pressure while enhancing pleasure-inducing neurotransmitters. When you snort meth, you experience the euphoria but not the “rush.”

Injecting meth produces the most intense feelings. The stimulant effects can last for 30 minutes, followed by a steady high that lasts anywhere from eight hours to a full day. Many people who use meth will be high for several days before coming down.

Some effects of meth use are:

  • Paranoia
  • Elation
  • Alertness
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression
  • Talkativeness
  • Hyperactivity
  • Agitation
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Irregular heartbeat

How Long Is Meth in Your System?

Meth can last up to 24 hours in your blood, creating the feeling of being high. Depending on how you take it, it might affect you more rapidly. An injection is the quickest way to become high.

It can remain in your urine between four days and one week and up to 90 days in your hair. Though it might not make you high during these extended periods on its own, the impact that meth can have on your health long-term is still there.

What Is the History of Meth?

There was one point in history when the effects and impacts of amphetamines were unknown. Since its creation over a century ago, meth has been used legally, though not for very long. During this time of uncertainty, right as this drug was being created, meth tablets were being distributed to German soldiers during World War II so that they could fight all day and night.

Military amphetamine was also available to American and British soldiers to help them fight off fatigue and boost their overall morale. Unfortunately, it also led to violent behavior.

Afterward, amphetamine was prescribed as Benzedrine to treat colds and asthma and began to be used recreationally during the 1950s. This then began a domino effect of substance abuse. The side effects of anger and aggression quickly became apparent.

In 1971, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (USDEA) made amphetamines a Schedule II controlled substance because of their risk for abuse and dependence. Still, there is. Desoxyn –the pure form of methamphetamine that occasionally will be prescribed to someone who is struggling with ADHD. Regardless, it’s still highly monitored and poses a risk for substance use disorder.

Can You Become Addicted After One Use?

In order to be diagnosed with an addiction, there needs to be repeated misuse of a substance. Therefore, by the definition of “addiction,” you can’t technically be addicted to meth after just one use.

However, meth is a highly addictive substance, and using it once can cause you to crave more. It is very easy to become addicted to meth, which is why some people believe you can become addicted after just one use.

Once you start using meth, it becomes difficult to stop. Your body is constantly chasing a high that can only be reached by using methamphetamines. Without meth addiction treatment, you can spiral into severe meth addiction.

What Are the Signs of Meth Addiction?

Once a person becomes addicted to meth, there are some things you might begin to notice. Of course, there are immediate side effects of meth that are noticeable when you’re in the presence of someone using meth, but meth addiction has more social and financial effects.

If you believe someone is struggling with a meth addiction, you might notice some of the following:

  • Bouts of paranoia
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Burn marks
  • Skin sores
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Rapid eye movement
  • Facial tics
  • Abnormal sleep patterns
  • Twitching
  • Financial strain
  • Hiding from friends and family
  • Missing social gatherings
  • Struggling to retain a job
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Decline in mental health
  • Increased body temperature
  • Wakefulness
  • Dry mouth

If you notice any of these signs in someone or are experiencing them yourself, it might be time to reach out and enter into addiction treatment. You can improve your well-being with the right professional help.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Meth Addiction?

Using meth over an extended period of time will result in multiple unwanted side effects. Like any substance abuse, it starts to catch up with both your mind and body. Identifying your issues with meth early can help you avoid many of these outcomes.

We understand it is difficult to ask for help. There is a lot of stigma around meth use and addiction. Opening up about your struggles is never easy. That’s where Soba Recovery Center comes in. No one should suffer through the long-term effects of meth addiction.

After all, the long-term effects of meth abuse are frightening. People who develop skin sores might pick and scratch at them, making them more susceptible to infection. Long-time use of meth can also result in severe tooth decay and gum disease (otherwise known as “meth mouth”.)

Many people lose their teeth if they do not get treated soon enough for their addiction. If you snort meth, you are more likely to develop chronic nosebleeds from damage to your sinus cavities and nasal passages.

People who inject meth can suffer from collapsed veins and put themselves at more risk of developing a blood-borne pathogenic disease, such as HIV or AIDS, as a result of sharing needles. Additionally, people who use meth are at a higher risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease than others.

Meth already increases heart rate and blood pressure, but extended use of meth can lead to serious heart problems later on in life. Meth usage can lead to stroke or a heart attack because it overwhelms the system, especially when used in high quantities. Meth has a negative effect on the brain and the dopamine in a person’s body when used long-term.

Other long-term effects of meth use to look out for are:

  • Inability to complete daily tasks
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep issues
  • Psychosis
  • Organ damage
  • Delusions
  • Impulsivity
  • Heart failure
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of close relationships
  • Homelessness
  • Financial issues

What Are the Drugs Often Used With Meth?

If you are using meth, it’s likely that you are also struggling with other substances. You might be using them at the same time as meth, which can be very dangerous.

Mixing drugs with meth can create an even more intense feeling. If this drug mixing occurs due to tolerance to meth, finding ways to experiment with the high is an unfortunate reality. It can lead to death.


Alcohol and meth work somewhat opposite of each other. Alcohol is a depressant and meth is a stimulant. Using both at the same time often results in a person drinking more as the effects of alcohol are masked by the effects of meth.

When you use both at the same time, you increase your risk factors for things like liver failure, hallucinations, cancer, and even sudden death.


A “speedball” is when someone combines both opioids and meth to create an ultra-intense high that is hard to replicate otherwise. For daily users, this is something that might give them a shot at a new level of high that they are searching for.

But, when these substances are combined, it is more likely to cause that person to overdose. Speedballs greatly limit a person’s ability to function, increasing the risk that they will injure themselves or others.


People who use meth frequently are known to experience some level of anxiety. Xanax is commonly prescribed for people with anxiety and panic disorders and is used to offset the effects of meth. So, while meth might make you feel anxious and sad, Xanax helps alleviate those feelings of stress.

This combination can lead to serious heart problems including heart failure. Meth speeds your heart up while Xanax slows it down, so they are constantly fighting with each other to overpower one another. Over time, this can cause damage to your heart.

What Is the Treatment for Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction is often severe, and there is no easy way to “cure” it. However, when you enter into addiction treatment, you are giving yourself the best chance at recovery.

You will need professional healthcare assistance to overcome meth cravings. Trying to become sober from meth use can be fatal. That’s why we offer a variety of different treatment options, so you can find something that works for you.

Treatment programs for meth addiction will likely involve a detox. Trying to quit meth on your own can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms. With detoxification treatment, you get 24/7 surveillance and access to medical professionals to help keep you safe during your meth withdrawal.

Afterward, you can move on to either an inpatient or partial hospitalization program to begin working on other aspects of your addiction. It’s not just about drug use. Behavioral health is an essential part of treatment that can help set you up for sobriety in the future.

Get Help at Soba Recovery Center

If you’re wondering where you can get this kind of treatment, look no further. Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, can offer you the support you need to overcome meth addiction with both inpatient and outpatient services.

Admitting you have a meth addiction can be scary. Don’t let your fear hold you back from living your best life. If you feel like you lack support from the people around you, finding community through group therapy and sober living at Soba Recovery Center can help change your outlook on recovery.

Get the sense of community you need and the support of health professionals who care. 

If you or a loved one are struggling with meth abuse or addiction, reach out to Soba Recovery Center. The sooner you seek help, the quicker you can start feeling like yourself again.



Methamphetamine | DEA

Current Research on Methamphetamine: Epidemiology, Medical and Psychiatric Effects, Treatment, and Harm Reduction Efforts | NCBI

What are the Long-term Effects of Methamphetamine Misuse? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

​​How Methamphetamine Became a Key Part of Nazi Military Strategy | TIME

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction and Depression

How To Help Someone With Drug Addiction and Depression

People who are addicted to substances and deal with depression have two forces working against them at all times. Substances are often used to ease the pain of mental health conditions like depression.

If you get stuck in a cycle where your substance of choice is the only thing that feels like it alleviates your depression symptoms, it’s easy to fall into full-blown drug addiction.

Recognizing the signs that someone you know might be struggling with both, and offering up your support and guidance to the right resources, can lead to someone getting treatment. To do that, you need to understand depression, its causes and signs, and the symptoms that go with it. Then you can learn about ways to intervene and help out — while avoiding a strain on your relationship.

What Is Drug Addiction and Depression?

Drug addiction, or substance use disorder, is a chronic disorder that disrupts your daily functioning because of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors. People who struggle with drug addiction become reliant on how that drug makes them feel. They will often do whatever is necessary to get ahold of more.

When occasional recreational substance use becomes an addiction, people can experience both mental and physical decline.

Depression is a mental disorder that impacts people both physically and mentally. Depending on the drug and the frequency, mental health and behavioral changes can range from minor to severe. It doesn’t take long for these drugs to impact how you function and take care of yourself.

You might not care that much about your own well-being, leading to risky behaviors that harm yourself and others. Many people with depression find themselves experiencing a lack of motivation, an inability to care for themselves properly, and a general disinterest in their own lives and the lives of others.

When someone is struggling with one of these disorders alone, it can be difficult, but together, the combination can potentially become fatal that much faster. Unfortunately, these two conditions often go hand-in-hand. Of course, these actions cause a rift in long-term relationships. But there is hope.

How Do They Connect?

There are a few crossovers between depression and drug addiction. You don’t always become addicted to drugs due to your depression, or vice versa, but it does happen. People who suffer from substance use disorder are more likely to be depressed because what comes with addiction can be very difficult.

Addiction can cause a loss of friends and family, financial struggle, and even homelessness. The reality of drug addiction can cause someone to experience situations they never imagined for themselves, which often leads to further feelings of hopelessness. Drug addiction causes increasing isolation from the positive things and people that matter and can cause depressive symptoms to keep spiraling downward.

People who are depressed might look to self-medication in order to limit some of their symptoms. For instance, many people who struggle with depression will use alcohol to forget and numb the pain or marijuana to provide some sort of relief from the stress of life. Again, the two are not mutually exclusive, but treating one without the other might not always provide the best results.

How Can You Tell if Someone Needs Help?

If a close friend or family member is beginning to show signs of either depression or drug addiction, it isn’t always so obvious. Everyone can express these signs in different ways. Not all depressed or drug-addicted people behave the same way. However, there are a few different signs that might come to light in regards to your friend’s well-being.

These are a few of the more common signs of addiction and depression:

  • A person might begin to withdraw from friends and family.
  • They might become easily irritated and angered, snapping out of nowhere.
  • They might not speak to you for days, weeks, or even months, seemingly disappearing.
  • Not showing up for events or gatherings without being under the influence.
  • Missing work, school, or other important events.
  • Having erratic sleep schedules and more frequent health issues.
  • Asking for money or showing other signs that they are struggling financially.

How To Help

If you recognize that someone you love might be in need of support and assistance, figuring out how you can help is the hardest part. Everyone is different and reacts to support and the idea of seeking treatment in different ways.

For the best outcome, it’s important that you don’t imply or state that you are angry or disappointed with them, but rather that you love and want to help them. You may not understand what your loved one is going through, but you can still offer your non-judgemental support.

Asking for help is sometimes impossible, and while a person might not appreciate it at the moment, offering help that someone desperately needs is always worthwhile in the end. There are a few ways that you can help someone who is struggling with drug addiction and depression without bombarding and overwhelming them.

Understand that not everyone is going to immediately jump at the idea of entering into an inpatient rehab program. However, showing them the options that are available to them can help plant the seed to get them started in the right direction when they feel ready.

Show Support

Being a shoulder to lean on, offering your time, and letting people talk are just a few ways for you to show support. Showing up for your loved one is what they truly need right now. Both depression and drug addiction can be isolating diseases. Knowing someone is in your corner can make the fight worth it.

No one likes the symptoms of depression or being addicted to drugs for the entirety of their life. Getting out of these conditions alone is not always possible.

Suggest a sober living environment to detox and move forward in a safe place. Attend support meetings with your loved one, help them find the right professionals that can hold them accountable for their actions, and check in to let them know that you are thinking of them during the long road to recovery.

Find a Treatment Center

Not everyone who struggles with both depression and drug addiction has the energy to look for treatment centers. They may lack the energy or motivation to even get out of bed and start their day.

Offer a list of substance abuse treatment centers to make sobriety and treatment feel possible. Find a place that will take into consideration the needs of your loved one and address your concerns, as well as create a personalized treatment plan to guide you and yours to success.

A treatment center that will truly help will have many options for treatment, including detoxification treatments and partial hospitalization. Your loved one’s struggles will not be the same as yours, so talking with these centers about their treatment can help pinpoint what might be the most impactful way to spur them to action.

Getting Help at Soba Recovery

When your friend enters the Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, they can be sure to get personalized plans geared to their needs. Drug addiction and depression need to be treated both separately and together in order to get to the root of the problem and come up with working solutions. You cannot treat one without the other.

With both inpatient and outpatient services, we can work with your loved one to figure out what treatment plan will address the issues at hand while we work toward sober living. Medical professionals and therapists are available at all times when help is needed. Those with severe addiction are monitored 24/7.

If Soba Texas seems like a place they’d like to be, reach out to a representative and discuss all of their options. Of course, once we get to know your loved one better, we can come up with a plan that fits their situation to help ensure long-lasting success.



Drug Misuse and Addiction | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Depression | NIMH

Part 1: The Connection Between Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness | National Institute on Drug Abuse 

What Is in a Substance Abuse Assessment?

Substance Abuse Assessment

If you want to enter a treatment facility for your substance use disorder, you will first undergo a substance abuse assessment. This allows the providers at the facility to better understand your condition, needs, and history.

This assessment will determine if you or a loved one has a substance use disorder. Many individuals in our society use alcohol and recreational drugs, but that doesn’t always mean they have a substance use disorder.

Sometimes the lines are blurred on whether or not someone might be abusing a substance. This assessment allows for health professionals to determine the level of use.

There is no need to prepare for this assessment. The best thing you can do is tell the truth and remain open with the clinician to create a treatment plan. Keep reading to learn more about substance abuse assessments and what to expect from them.

What Is a Substance Abuse Assessment?

A substance abuse assessment is a face-to-face meeting between an individual and an addiction care professional. This meeting is usually about an hour long and goes over various questions to learn more about that specific person’s relationship to substances.

It’s important for the healthcare provider to understand the patient’s family, social, occupational, legal, medical and mental health history, and substance use patterns. Past behaviors, such as driving under the influence or DUI and opioid abuse, should be shared to help form a more complete picture of your struggles — and help develop the best course of treatment.

The assessment session can better determine what level of substance misuse you are struggling with and to figure out the right treatment options to fit your needs. Depending on your needs and your schedule, you may be offered outpatient services over an inpatient stay, or a detox followed by weeks of inpatient care.

Your substance abuse story and your daily life will help professionals plot out the best course of action. The substance abuse assessment helps to place you exactly where you need to be so you can rise above your alcohol abuse.

What To Expect During a Substance Abuse Assessment

Substance abuse assessments are usually broken into two sections: the initial screening test and the actual assessment. As mentioned above, not everyone who uses substances has an addiction.

The first step in the substance abuse assessment process is to determine if there is an actual problem.

The Screening Process

The screening process allows whoever is administering the assessment to say: yes, this person has a substance abuse problem, or, no, this person does not misuse substances. This first step in the process allows for preemptive care.

During this time, the administrator might notice that the patient is seriously struggling and is open to receiving help. The substance use assessment is an important tool to getting relevant answers.

Different assessment tools that are used in this process include:

  1. CAGE Substance Abuse Screening Tool: This tool was initially created to better understand an individual’s alcohol use, but it can be adapted to drug abuse as well. The only issue with this is that if someone is trying to hide their substance use issues, these questions might not fully showcase the extent of the problem. It asks four questions:
    1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking or drug use?
    2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
    3. Have you felt guilty about your drinking or drug use?
    4. Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
  2. Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI): A tool that helps determine whether substance use extends beyond social use into more serious levels. This tool also helps to determine how willing someone is to get help and how much they understand about their substance use.
  3. Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI): This tool is self-administered and can be used to track how much alcohol you are consuming. It asks you questions about your use, how frequently you use, at what points in the day you turn to alcohol, and if it’s affected your family members or friends.

Once you’ve undergone the screening process, you will either continue with the assessment to gain a more in-depth understanding or discuss substance abuse prevention strategies to avoid falling deeper into addiction.

The Assessment

If it’s been determined that you have a substance use disorder, the next step is a more in-depth assessment. During the assessment, your counselor is looking for direct evidence to back up their claims in order to help get a diagnosis.

The questions from the screening test will be asked again but in more depth. This will help you get a better understanding of your history and needs.

Some of the tools that are used during the assessment are:

  • Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (DIS-IV): This is a structured questionnaire that helps to determine if there is a diagnosis for substance use disorder the way that it’s defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The first step is usually an exact diagnosis to understand treatment programs better. Almost anyone can administer this test as you simply have to follow along with the questions, but it might not be as in-depth.
  • Addiction Severity Index (ASI): This tool is a semi-structured questionnaire that asks more personal questions about your substance use over the course of your lifetime. This is often more in-depth and asks detailed questions about family, friends, mental health, legal issues, emotions, and other histories to understand the diagnosis.

After the assessment has been completed, the providers will begin crafting an addiction treatment plan that is specific to your needs. This will offer you the best chance for success and recovery.

Entering Treatment at Soba Texas

In order to enter a treatment facility to treat your substance use disorder, the substance abuse assessment is required. It helps to determine your path through treatment and recovery, which is why it’s so important that you are truthful and upfront with your provider.

Here at the Soba Recovery Centers in San Antonio, Texas, we consider an assessment essential. It allows us better insight into your substance use history and helps us determine your needs.

Working towards recovery is not only your goal but ours. We want to help you succeed and reach recovery so that you can live the type of life you deserve. But we have to start somewhere.

At Soba’s treatment facility, that means undergoing a substance abuse assessment before we can move forward. If you or a loved one is potentially struggling with a drug addiction or other substance use disorder, reach out to a representative at our treatment center to learn more about the inpatient services offered.

It’s never too late to get help, and you can do so in the comfort of Soba professionals.



4 Screening and Assessment | Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women | NCBI Bookshelf

CAGE Substance Abuse Screening Tool | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Alcohol Use Inventory (AUDIT) | University of Kentucky

Alcohol Rehab Insurance: How Does it Work?

Alcohol Rehab Insurance

Every day another person struggles with their alcohol addiction. It impacts their work life, close personal relationships, and relationships with themselves. Alcohol dependency can be debilitating, yet not that many people seek out treatment when they first become aware of their addiction.

It doesn’t mean it isn’t because they don’t want to seek help. Not everyone has access to good treatment facilities, which can be a major roadblock. Whether it’s because there aren’t any facilities close to you, you don’t have insurance or aren’t able to cover what your insurance doesn’t; treatment might seem out of reach to some folks.

If you have insurance, you might be wondering what access you have to alcohol rehab treatment but aren’t sure where to start. Keep reading to learn more about how insurance works for substance abuse treatment and what options might be available to you.

Does Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab Treatment?

If you have insurance, it’s likely that alcohol rehab treatment services are either fully or partially covered. Health insurance will cover it because addiction is classified as a disease and requires medical intervention in order to get better.

Some insurance providers only cover so much and certain treatment programs, while some drug rehab facilities only accept certain insurance plans. It’s important that you talk to a representative with your insurance company so that you can learn about the insurance coverage you can receive for addiction treatment according to your plan.

In the same breath, reaching out to prospective treatment facilities about what insurance plans they accept and what options they might have for financial support can give you a better understanding of what to prepare for.

Once you’ve talked to both, you can begin to lay out a plan in order to receive the treatment you deserve.

Providers Who Cover Alcohol Rehab Treatment

There is health insurance coverage that will handle the costs of alcohol rehab treatment, but depending on the plan you’ve opted for, the exact services and costs might differ.

Some of the providers who are known to cover this kind of treatment are:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • United Healthcare
  • Humana
  • Kaiser Permanente

Insurance Plans for Alcohol Treatment

In order to find the best treatment center for your needs and for your insurance policy, you should know what kind of plan you have opted for. Two common plans are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).

HMO plans only allow you coverage to healthcare providers within the insurance plan and won’t cover anything outside of it. PPO plans are more flexible with the available health insurance providers, but you usually have to pay a higher premium for this kind of access.

This information is important to know as you start to look into different rehab centers so that you can limit your search to the treatment plans that will be covered.

Services Covered by Insurance

There are a variety of different alcohol rehab treatment services out there, and you might find that your insurance covers some rehab programs but not others. It also might be that your insurance provider only covers so much for a specific kind of treatment, leaving you to cover the rest on your own. It might limit your options, though not completely shut you away from them.

A few treatment options that are usually covered, at least partially, by insurance providers are:

  • Detoxification: The detoxification process is used when someone is heavily reliant on a substance to the point that it is dangerous for them to quit cold turkey. Medical detox at a treatment facility allows for constant monitoring so that you can stay safe and as comfortable as possible when undergoing withdrawals. This is usually the first step before entering inpatient and can be essential to the trajectory of your recovery process.
  • Inpatient Services: This is 24/7 care that allows you to focus on your recovery in a safe and encouraging environment. These mental health services are usually covered by insurance and include group therapy, individual therapy, activities, and exercises that can help you beat your drug addiction. Inpatient treatment is very structured in order to help get you back on track and hold you accountable.
  • Outpatient Services: For someone who might not be able to afford the full cost of rehab inpatient services, outpatient programs are a great option. You still live at home and can attend your job or school, but you go to the treatment facility on a schedule to participate in group and individual therapy and other activities. This allows for more flexibility while also allowing you access to alcohol abuse treatment.
  • Aftercare: Once you’ve undergone detox, inpatient, and/or outpatient treatment, you might still need some additional support. Insurance companies will often cover aftercare if it is going to assist you in your path to sobriety. These services help you to maintain sobriety and find ways to cope with life after treatment. This is an excellent time to enter AA or other support groups to keep holding yourself accountable.

Paying Without Insurance

Not everyone has the luxury of insurance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get alcohol or drug treatment. There are public insurance plans that you might be eligible to apply for, including Medicare if you are over the age of 65 or disabled, Medicaid if you are in a state where it’s eligible, or even through the VA if you are an honorably discharged veteran.

If this doesn’t work out for you, you do have other options:

  • Payment plans might be available to you so that you can split up the total cost over a period of time
  • Some rehab centers might have payment options like sliding scales for how much you can pay to get a certain type of treatment
  • You can check out state-funded or free rehabilitation centers and services
  • You can apply for scholarships or grants that will help pay for the treatment services

You deserve treatment for your substance use disorder, and the lack of insurance shouldn’t stop you from seeking treatment. Don’t feel ashamed to ask your friends and family members to consider helping out and supporting you financially to allow you to recover. There is no shame in asking for help.

Alcohol Rehab at Soba Texas

At Soba San Antonio, we want to see you succeed. Alcohol use disorder is a serious condition that can bring lots of pain and suffering to your life. In order to get better, you have to commit to yourself and your sobriety. It can be difficult, but it’s always worth it in the end.

Soba Recovery Centers provide you with all kinds of behavioral health treatment options that are often covered by insurance. We help you undergo detoxification, through inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment, and even your aftercare. The recovery process is long and windy. We want to be there every step of the way.

If you or a loved one is considering entering treatment for their alcohol addiction or drug abuse, reach out to a Soba representative to learn more about if your health insurance plan will cover your cost of treatment.

We can help get you the treatment you deserve and work together to come up with a proper plan. Change doesn’t just happen overnight — but we can help guide you toward the right path!



Diagnosis and Pharmacotherapy of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Review | NCBI

Type Of Plan And Provider Network | HealthCare.gov

Health Maintenance Organization | StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Medicare Preferred Provider Organization Demonstration: Plan Offerings and Beneficiary Enrollment | NCBI

Signs of Cocaine Addiction: What To Look Out For

Often glorified in movies and television, cocaine is a drug that is used by millions of Americans who may not understand its full potential danger. It’s highly addictive, with dependencies forming easier than one might anticipate. Cocaine addiction is a serious condition that requires intervention and commitment to getting better in order to overcome it.

If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine addiction, finding professional treatment can help you through recovery. It can be difficult to ask for help, so having others recognize the signs of cocaine addiction can kick start the road to recovery.

Reaching out to your loved ones about problems they might be struggling with can be intimidating, but in the end, it is always worth it.


What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant that causes a person to feel alert and euphoric feelings. Cocaine is a white powdery substance that is often snorted, but it can be injected and swallowed as well.

There is also crack cocaine, which comes in rock form and is typically smoked. Regardless of how you ingest it, it can leave you feeling high for anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours at a time. This is just one reason why addiction to it is so prevalent – people use it frequently because the high wears off “too fast.”


Side Effects of Cocaine

When someone is using cocaine, many side effects can occur. The most prominent of these include alertness and euphoria. Others include:

  • Overconfidence
  • Paranoia or confusion
  • Runny nose or sniffles
  • Irritability
  • Anger and aggression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia or long periods of being awake
  • Increased heart rate


Signs of Overdose

Someone might have used too much cocaine if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Panicking and anxiety
  • Chest pains and trouble breathing
  • Tremors, shaking, confusion


What Are Signs of Cocaine Addiction?

Some people who abuse and misuse cocaine don’t develop into a full-blown addiction. Sometimes, there are immediate adverse consequences as a result.

Not everyone will develop a cocaine addiction. However, it can be very difficult for those who do develop an addiction to stop using cocaine.


Physical Changes

A person experiencing cocaine addiction might suffer from severe headaches and frequent bloody noses. They also might not be sleeping, further contributing to these symptoms. People who develop an addiction to cocaine might stop caring about their hygiene, like showering regularly or brushing their teeth daily.

You might notice rapid weight loss or an overall look of exhaustion, especially in moments of comedowns and periods without using. When a person is using, you might also notice erratic movements, wide eyes, and an overall sense of unpredictability.


Mental and Emotional Decline

When you struggle with cocaine addiction, you become dependent on that drug to keep you afloat. It can feel like you simply won’t be able to exist without it, but in reality, it’s causing you to wither away. Cocaine addictions can cause severe depression and anxiety to occur as well as intense mood swings.

When actively using, you might also suffer from delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, especially in large amounts. Cocaine has a severe toll on your mental and emotional health because it becomes all-consuming. You rely on cocaine to do what dopamine should be able to do for you. If you already struggle with mental health, using cocaine could be detrimental.


Changes in Behavior

When someone uses cocaine, their behavior is almost the easiest to acknowledge. If you suspect that your loved one is using cocaine, you might notice a few signs first. A person might begin sneaking around behind your back more, not having direct answers to support decisions or actions, and lying more frequently.

If you notice that someone is becoming more secretive and uneasy during basic conversations, they might be trying to hide drug use from you. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but if you suspect that cocaine use might be happening, these are things to look out for.

People may also develop financial issues because they have to keep up with their addiction. It’s a fast-acting drug, so multiple uses throughout the day to keep the high going is not uncommon. While these are all things that someone might try to deal with on the back burner and not directly ask for help with, they are still signs that you could pick up on and assist with.


What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?

Someone who uses cocaine once probably isn’t subject to major long-term side effects. You might experience an uncomfortable come down after using, which may increase your anxiety and any depressive thoughts. You might feel run down the next day as well.

Long-term users might experience:

  • Consistent nosebleeds and the loss of smell
  • Respiratory infections
  • Asthma
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Heart-related issues, like heart attacks and arrhythmia
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including perforation of the stomach and intestines
  • Kidney problems
  • Easier time contracting blood-borne diseases, like HIV and Hepatitis C


Impact on Loved Ones

Cocaine addiction can seriously impact the relationships around you, which means it’s not just you that is affected by it. You might begin to pull away from your close friends and family members, lie and hide things from them, and potentially even use them for finances to help continue the addiction.

Many might notice that you are struggling but not be sure how to come to you about getting help. Entering a treatment facility like Soba Recovery Centers can allow for a safe place for you to deal with your addiction, surrounded by people who understand your struggles and want to help you.


Getting Help With Soba Recovery Centers

Treatment for one person may look different than your own treatment plan, but at Soba Recovery Centers, the goal is to craft an individual recovery plan that you can find success in. The three main kinds of treatment you can get are detoxification, inpatient, and outpatient.

Choosing to undergo a detox from the drug can help you begin recovery. While you can attempt to do this independently, you may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms and might relapse. When at a detoxification treatment, you are supervised and cared for to keep you safe. Once you complete your detox, you may be urged to participate in inpatient services.

Inpatient is when you stay in the treatment facility with medically trained staff and participate in therapy sessions, both individual and group, and recreational activities like yoga and meditation. This can last for a few weeks or several months, depending on how severe the addiction is.

Transitioning out of inpatient might seem scary, but with outpatient services, you can continue going to therapy and participating in activities at the facility while gaining your independence back. You might be able to start back up at your job while you continue to work towards your recovery.

Call a Soba representative today if this is something that you believe could help you or your loved one. Addiction is nothing you should be ashamed about, so let’s get you the help you deserve.



What is Cocaine? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

What Are The Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Adverse health consequences of cocaine abuse. | PMC

Meth Addiction: Long Term Effects and How To Fight It

Meth (methamphetamine) is a drug that you only need to take once before risking an addiction.

It’s a highly addictive stimulant that produces a rush of dopamine that is not easy to obtain otherwise. Your brain cannot produce that much dopamine at once — after you use meth just one time, you can never achieve that rush again without it. This leads to cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and ultimately a methamphetamine addiction.

For this exact reason, millions of people suffer from a crystal meth addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, seek professional assistance immediately. It can be difficult to make that first step of asking for help, but you ensure that your future will look a lot brighter as you enter recovery.

The long-term effects of meth are extremely detrimental and cause both physical, mental, and social issues as you continue to use. Early intervention through inpatient and outpatient services can get you on the right path.


What Is Meth?

Meth, or methamphetamine, is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that sends waves of dopamine to your brain. It was once prescribed throughout the United States to help with weight loss and as a decongestant, but in the 1970s, it was labeled a schedule II controlled substance.

Now, only one form of methamphetamine is prescribed in pharmacies today, and it helps treat severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.

The two most common forms of methamphetamines misused today are crystal meth and meth. Though chemically, they are made up of the same thing, they look different and are ingested slightly differently.

Crystal meth is a clear or light blue color coarse crystal that is typically used by smoking it. Meth is a powder that is usually white (sometimes pink, yellow, or brown) and used by smoking, snorting, or injecting the drug. Sometimes meth is cut with other drugs, which can make it even more dangerous.


What Does Meth Addiction Look Like?

Meth addiction can look like a lot of things to different people. No two people will have the same exact story, but you might find through therapy and meetings that many people share similar struggles. If you suspect that someone you love is struggling with meth abuse, it’s important to talk to them and encourage them to seek help.

If someone is using meth, they might become distant and stand-offish. They might become easily irritated or seem a bit paranoid about their surroundings. Someone who is using might sweat a lot more than usual and have dilated eyes. All of these are potential indicators of meth use.


What Are the Long Term Effects of Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction is not easy to overcome. Once you use the drug once, you could become trapped in the neverending cycle of finding your next dopamine rush through drug use. Short-term side effects of meth addiction include nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, and tremors.

These short-term effects usually last for days at a time because a person might use meth for many days before giving it a break. It can be difficult to stop using once you start because you don’t want the high to disappear. Unfortunately, this leads to long-term effects that can be detrimental to your life.


On Your Brain

As soon as you begin using meth or crystal meth, your brain starts to change and morph to fit the feelings of the high. Continuous use further damages the brain and can trigger health-related issues. It negatively impacts the microglia, which supports brain health and protects the brain against infectious agents.

People who use meth for a long time might experience issues with concentrating and memory, daily functioning, and impulse control. Some people even experience paranoia and detachment that can put them into psychosis.

There are lasting effects on the brain, and these will stick around as long as you continue to use. Your brain can better repair itself when you aren’t using meth.


On Your Body

Not only does meth mess with your brain, but it also has negative impacts on your physical health long into the future. Many people who use meth experience a loss of appetite, which can lead to extreme weight loss. Skin sores and scabs can form on a person’s skin, easily attracting infections and bacteria when not treated properly.

People who use meth, especially those who smoke it, also experience severe dental issues. You might experience your teeth decaying, falling out, or developing gum disease. Over time, with meth use, you also risk organ failure.


On Your Relationships

When you use meth, you put intense stress on your personal and interpersonal relationships. You might struggle with yourself and your mental health — experiencing severe depression, anxiety, and mood swings. You might take less care of yourself, not participate in proper hygiene, or sleep poorly.

You might also withdraw from the people you love because the addiction is becoming shameful and out of control. If you find that you or a loved one are prioritizing a drug over the people that care, it’s time to seek out professional help.


Get Help With Soba Recovery

Meth addiction is a tough illness to suffer from. It takes a lot to seek out help, but getting treatment can help ensure that you are once again able to truly enjoy your life. There is so much more out there than a drug, and while it’s up to you to choose to seek those things out, we at Soba Recovery Centers are here to support you through your recovery.

Everyone deserves a chance at happiness, and you are no different! Meth addiction recovery requires a specific treatment plan catered to your needs. There are three treatment options that Soba Recovery Centers can help you with.



The first step to meth addiction recovery is undergoing a detoxification program. At Soba, we can help you undergo the detox stage to complete it safely. Detoxification means withdrawal, and your body will reject the idea of not using more meth. Our 24/7, around-the-clock staff is there to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. At Soba, you are in good hands.



Once you complete the detoxification process, you will be feeling all sorts of things, both mentally and physically. By staying in a residential inpatient program, you have access to trained therapists that can help you unpack your addiction and other issues.

Being surrounded by people who are there to watch you succeed can be instrumental in your recovery process. You’ll attend individual therapy and group therapy — where you’ll meet others who share many of the same struggles. You’ll find the kind of community you never thought possible!



Once you’ve stayed inpatient, you aren’t just left alone to navigate the world outside. With outpatient services, you still attend group meetings and therapy sessions to work on your sobriety and recovery.

Holding yourself accountable and having a place to go where you can be safe will help you throughout your recovery. Your recovery is all about your individual treatment plan, and we can help you with that.

So what are you waiting for? Call a representative today and learn more about how Soba can help you or your loved one choose a life of happiness, health, and recovery from meth addiction.



Methamphetamine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse | NIDA

Know the Risks of Meth | SAMHSA

What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse? | National Institute on Drug Abuse | NIDA