Is Contact High Real?

Is Contact High Real?

As the dawn of cannabis legalization sweeps across numerous states and countries, being near people who are smoking is becoming more common. In these situations, you may wonder, “Can breathing in their smoke get me high?”

This is a genuine concern; you’re not alone in seeking clarity. It’s crucial to be informed and understand the situations we find ourselves in. When it comes to the idea of a contact high, the reality is that while it’s rather unlikely, it’s not entirely off the table.

We’re here to delve into this topic, providing clear, accessible information. Trust that by the end, you’ll better understand contact highs and the factors surrounding them, all delivered with a gentle touch and concern for your well-being.

What Is a Contact High?

A “contact high” refers to the idea that one can experience the effects of cannabis by being near someone using it without smoking it yourself. From attending a party where guests are smoking to walking by someone smoking in passing, it’s common to wonder if these experiences can affect your mental state or pose any long-term health risks.

Many have reported feeling altered or slightly euphoric in such scenarios, but is this psychological, physiological, or a mix of both? Delving into this concept requires an understanding of how drugs interact with our environment and our bodies.

Let’s explore the science and experiences behind contact highs, ensuring you have clear, accessible information on this intriguing phenomenon.

How Does Cannabis Work in the Body?

At the heart of the marijuana plant lies a compound known as THC or tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the primary psychoactive component responsible for the “high” that users feel. Simply put, it’s the ingredient that changes perceptions, mood, and various other cognitive functions.

But THC is just one of the myriad cannabinoids present in marijuana. These compounds are essential to understand as they play a significant role in the effects of marijuana use, both direct and secondhand.

Now, you might wonder how one gets “high” from these cannabinoids. The answer lies in a process called decarboxylation.

Raw cannabis leaves contain cannabinoids in an acidic form that can’t readily bind with the receptors in our brains to produce a high. It’s only when these cannabinoids are activated, often through heat (like when smoking weed or baking edibles), that they undergo a chemical transformation and become able to induce psychoactive effects.

Is a Contact High Possible?

The aroma of cannabis wafting through the air often raises a commonly asked question: Is it possible to get high just by being around someone smoking? In reality, the chance of experiencing a contact high, although possible, is exceptionally rare.

The conditions under which you find yourself exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke play a critical role. For instance, timing and how well-ventilated the room is matters.

Imagine being in a small room with no windows open. In this unventilated room, the smoke has nowhere to go, and the amount of THC in the air rises. In such environments, the possibility of a contact high increases, though it remains uncommon.

Now, picture the same scenario but with a breeze circulating through the ventilated room, carrying away most of the secondhand smoke. Here, the odds of experiencing any psychoactive effects are reduced dramatically.

Secondhand exposure from vaping tends to be less potent than from smoking. Vapor dissipates more quickly than smoke and usually contains fewer cannabinoids. Still, as with traditional smoking, the risk of a contact high remains minimal.

Perhaps one of the most extreme conditions is “hotboxing.” This is where individuals deliberately smoke in a confined space like a car or a tiny room without ventilation.

The goal is to intensify the effects of the cannabis. In these extreme conditions, those not actively smoking may indeed experience some effects from the overwhelming concentration of secondhand smoke.

What Does a Contact High Feel Like?

Most individuals who claim to have experienced a contact high describe it as a milder version of the sensation one gets when directly consuming cannabis. It’s vital to emphasize that most people near smokers likely won’t inhale enough THC to produce noticeable effects.

However, human experiences are varied and complex, and no two individuals react identically. Here are some possible experiences, though unlikely:

  • Potential Impairment: Some non-smokers, especially in extreme conditions, might feel light-headedness or changes in their perception of time.
  • Psychological Components: For some, merely knowing they are inhaling secondhand cannabis smoke might make them feel anxious, highlighting the psychological aspect of a contact high.
  • Intensity and Duration: Those who feel something typically describe it as subdued compared to directly smoking or consuming cannabis. Some individuals in poorly ventilated areas or during hotboxing might experience psychological and physiological effects that last just a few minutes.
  • Unsettling Effects: Even though the effects are usually milder, they can be disturbing or upsetting, especially for non-smokers who weren’t expecting to feel any different.

Is Secondhand Cannabis Smoke Dangerous?

As the understanding of cannabis grows, so does the investigation into the potential risks of secondhand cannabis smoke.

While the levels of THC in secondhand cannabis smoke are lower than in inhaled smoke, it is not entirely absent. The levels, however, are generally not high enough to cause any significant psychoactive effects.

While both secondhand cannabis and cigarette smoke carry their unique risks, it’s crucial to note that secondhand cannabis smoke doesn’t contain nicotine. However, similar to secondhand tobacco smoke, it does contain other harmful chemicals, some of which are cancer-causing.

Beyond psychoactive effects, exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke might lead to symptoms like increased heart rate, dry throat, or even mild respiratory irritation. In any case, it’s always advisable to be cautious and considerate of those around you, ensuring that everyone’s well-being and comfort are taken into account.

Tips for Smokers and Nonsmokers

Creating a harmonious environment around cannabis use requires understanding and empathy from both smokers and nonsmokers. For smokers, it’s vital to recognize the comfort and well-being of those around you, especially those who are sober or unfamiliar with the effects of cannabis. Being mindful of where and when you smoke can go a long way in ensuring everyone feels at ease.

Actions like opting for outdoor spaces, ensuring rooms are well-ventilated, or even considering alternatives like edibles can significantly reduce unintentional secondhand exposure. Remember, while smoking does introduce cannabis smoke to those nearby, consuming edibles ensures that only the person consuming is affected. This might be preferable when in the company of nonsmokers or those in recovery.

For nonsmokers, it’s reassuring to know that the likelihood of a contact high is quite low. However, it’s still essential to be proactive in ensuring your comfort. Simple measures like opening windows, using fans, or even communicating your concerns can make a substantial difference in how you feel.

If ever in doubt or if you’re feeling the effects of secondhand smoke, always prioritize your well-being and consider consulting a medical professional for guidance. Everyone has a role to play in fostering a respectful and considerate environment around cannabis use.

Protecting non-smokers and ensuring responsible behavior around cannabis consumption is paramount. Empathy lies at the heart of creating a comfortable environment for everyone, particularly when it comes to secondhand cannabis exposure. Just as individuals show caution with tobacco smoke, marijuana smokers must similarly be conscious of their surroundings.

Simple actions like stepping outside or ensuring adequate ventilation can make a significant difference. Small, enclosed spaces can be particularly challenging for non-smokers and may lead to unintended passive exposure.

It’s worth noting that while smoking introduces secondhand cannabis smoke to others in the vicinity, edibles don’t pose the same challenges. Edibles are consumed directly, ensuring the effects are confined to the consumer. This method might be a more considerate choice in certain situations.

Nevertheless, if there are any concerns about the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke, it’s always recommended to seek advice from a medical professional who can provide tailored guidance.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the nuances of a contact high is integral to harmonious coexistence in our evolving society.

The potential for a contact high, although minimal, does exist. As with many aspects of life, awareness, understanding, and respect for others play pivotal roles. Responsible marijuana use isn’t solely about the user but also about the comfort and well-being of those around them.

Drawing parallels with the ethos of organizations like SOBA New Jersey, it’s evident that creating an understanding environment, whether it’s about addiction recovery or passive marijuana exposure, always yields the best outcomes for everyone involved.

Because at the end of the day, it’s not just about understanding the facts but also about how we approach and support one another on our unique journeys.


Non-Smoker Exposure to Secondhand Cannabis Smoke. I. Urine Screening and Confirmation Results | Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Oxford Academic

Concentrations of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol and 11-nor-9-carboxytetrahydrocannabinol in blood and urine after passive exposure to Cannabis smoke in a coffee shop | PMC

Fine Particulate Matter Exposure From Secondhand Cannabis Bong Smoking | PMC

General Information About Secondhand Smoke | CDC

Why Do People Do Drugs?

Exploring the reasons behind drug use with empathy. Dive into the complexities of addiction and discover the promise of recovery.

When someone we love is struggling with a drug addiction, it is common to feel helpless and confused. We may wonder, “Why are they doing this?” or “Why are they choosing something that is hurting themselves and others in the process?”

As difficult as this is, it’s important to remember that addiction is not a choice made out of malice or ignorance. It’s a complex interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that can pull individuals into its grip. Approaching the topic with compassion, understanding, and an open heart can pave the way for healing and support.

Instead of passing judgment, let’s embark on a journey to comprehend the intricacies of addiction and how we, as a community, can offer the right support.

Why Do People Do Drugs? 8 Reasons To Consider

Every individual’s journey with drugs is unique. While we may never fully understand every reason, shedding light on some known factors can guide our compassion and empathy.

1. Biological Factors

The brain is at the heart of our feelings, emotions, and even decisions — an organ guiding our every move. One significant area is the brain’s pleasure center, which rewards behaviors that promote survival, like eating and socializing, with feelings of joy and satisfaction.

Drugs can intensely stimulate this center, giving powerful sensations of pleasure. Over time, the brain can rely on these substances to feel good, leading to a cycle where seeking out the drug becomes a priority.

Genetics also plays a pivotal role. Some individuals might be genetically predisposed to addiction.

Research shows that they might inherit genes that make the effects of drugs more pleasurable or decrease the impact of withdrawal symptoms. This genetic lottery doesn’t mean someone will inevitably become addicted, but it might make the journey into addiction swifter for some compared to others.

2. Emotional and Psychological Reasons

Life is a mosaic of experiences — some uplifting, others heart-wrenching. Research suggests that many people turn to drugs to respond to or cope with trauma, mental health struggles, and emotional distress.

The burdens of past traumas, unresolved emotional pain, or even daily stressors can lead someone to seek solace in substances. For many, drugs offer a temporary escape, a momentary relief from the overwhelming feelings of despair or anxiety.

Yet, it’s essential to understand that this isn’t about seeking harm but rather a search for respite. Self-medication attempts to manage unbearable feelings or psychiatric symptoms that haven’t been addressed appropriately. Though offering temporary relief, this cycle can exacerbate the underlying issues, leading to a deepened reliance on drugs.

At SOBA New Jersey, we understand that turning to substances can sometimes seem like the only way out for many amidst the tumultuous storm of emotions. But we also believe in the strength of the human spirit and the potential for healing, recovery, and rediscovery.

3. Social and Environmental Factors

Our surroundings have a profound influence on our choices. They shape our perceptions, beliefs, and, often, our actions.

One of the most powerful social influences is the longing for acceptance and the fear of exclusion. Peer pressure isn’t just a term thrown around in school assemblies; it’s a genuine force that can lead individuals to adopt behaviors, including drug use, in the hope of fitting in or gaining approval.

Family dynamics play an essential role as well. Upbringing, family values, and even observed behaviors can shape one’s attitude toward drugs. Growing up in an environment where substance use is frequent can normalize the behavior, making experimentation seem less risky or taboo.

The sheer availability and exposure to drugs can be a determining factor. If substances are easily accessible and commonly seen in one’s community or social circles, the barrier to trying them can be much lower.

It’s the communal gatherings, the parties, and the weekend hangouts where drugs can be presented as a casual and regular activity, making it challenging for some to abstain.

4. Curiosity and Experimentation

From touching a hot stove as a toddler to exploring new hobbies as an adult, humans are inherently curious. This innate desire to explore, understand, and experience can sometimes lead to drug experimentation. Especially when it comes to teenagers and young adults, those who are curious about the effects of drugs may be acting on impulse.

The brain development at this stage correlates with an invincibility complex, where one might feel they are almost immortal, believing that potential negative results of dangerous or risky behavior won’t happen to them. This mentality can lead individuals to experiment without acknowledging the risks.

While not everyone who experiments will develop an addiction, understanding the risks can pave the way for informed decisions.

5. The Role of Mental Health

Our mental well-being is deeply interwoven with our choices, behaviors, and life experiences. When mental health struggles exist, they can push individuals towards substances as a way of coping.

This phenomenon, known as dual diagnosis, arises when substance abuse coexists with mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. In many cases, individuals might use drugs to manage or mask the symptoms of their mental health challenges, creating a cycle where one exacerbates the other.

This is why, at SOBA New Jersey, we emphasize the importance of holistic treatments. Addressing just one aspect, be it the addiction or the mental health disorder, isn’t enough.

True healing and lasting recovery demand an approach that caters to the entirety of an individual’s well-being, both mental and physical.

6. Pressure To Perform

In our society that is always expecting more from us, pressure to always be at the top, excel, and outperform can sometimes feel never-ending. This constant hustle, whether in the classroom, sports field, or boardrooms, creates tangible pressure.

The desire to perform optimally, to meet deadlines, and to exceed expectations might lead some to seek shortcuts, and this is where substances like stimulants come into play. Adderall, for instance, is a prescription stimulant drug for ADHD that is often misused to enhance focus and efficiency.

But while it might offer short-term advantages, the potential long-term harm and dependency can outweigh the benefits and interfere with our ability to accomplish everyday tasks as addiction takes over.

7. The Chemical Effects

The allure of the high, that fleeting euphoria, can be tempting. It’s a momentary escape, a burst of pleasure that promises an immediate reprieve from life’s challenges.

But herein lies the trap. While drugs can initially stimulate pleasurable feelings, they can trick our brains into a state of dependency. Over time, our natural ability to feel joy diminishes, and we become reliant on substances to recreate those moments of happiness.

The more we lean on these drugs, the harder it becomes for our neurotransmitters to induce pleasure on their own. It’s a dangerous cycle where chasing that initial high requires higher doses, leading to heightened dependency and a profound alteration in our brain chemistry.

8. The Cycle of Addiction

The journey from experimentation to dependency can sometimes be subtle and swift. It starts innocently enough — a curious taste, a momentary escape.

Yet, over time, the body and brain begin to expect and rely on the substance. This increasing reliance is known as tolerance, wherein one requires more of the drug to achieve the same effects.

But it doesn’t stop there. As dependence grows, the body negatively reacts when deprived of the substance, leading to withdrawal symptoms.

These can range from mild discomforts to severe physical and psychological challenges. The resulting pain and distress further drive the individual to consume the drug, reinforcing the cycle of addiction.

It’s a daunting path, but it’s crucial to remember that it’s not a one-way street. Recovery, though challenging, is entirely possible.

With individualized care, understanding, and the right tools, one can break free from this cycle. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re dedicated to providing that support, ensuring everyone has a chance to reclaim the life and happiness they deserve.

Recovery Is Possible: The Importance of Community

One of the pillars of successful recovery is the embrace of a loving and understanding community. Many find their road to healing in the strength of unity, the warmth of shared experiences, and the compassion of kindred spirits.

For anyone navigating the labyrinth of addiction, having a support system is not just comforting but also crucial. It’s the gentle reminder that they’re not alone, that there are shoulders to lean on and hands to hold.

At SOBA New Jersey, our commitment is unwavering. We’ve cultivated a sanctuary where individualized care meets the power of community and provides resources to support their loved ones through the process.

Our approach is rooted in understanding and personalized treatment, always with the belief that with the right support, anyone can reclaim the joy and purpose in their life. Encourage your loved ones. Approach them with an open heart, and together, let’s pave the path to recovery.


Genetics and Epigenetics of Addiction DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Substance use, childhood traumatic experience, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in an urban civilian population | PMC

The adolescent perception of invincibility and its influence on teen acceptance of health promotion strategies | PMC

Prescription stimulants in individuals with and without attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: misuse, cognitive impact, and adverse effects | PMC

The Top 3 Addiction Risk Factors

The Top 3 Addiction Risk Factors

Have you ever wondered why some people are more prone to substance use and addiction than others? This complex issue has puzzled healthcare professionals, families, and those struggling with addiction for years. Understanding the key risk factors for addiction can provide critical insights and help prevent or mitigate substance use disorders.

Substance use disorder, often referred to as addiction, is a pervasive issue that affects millions globally. It’s an intricate problem with roots entwined in a person’s environment, biology, and experiences. There’s a significant degree of variability in who becomes addicted and why, and the answer often lies in a combination of risk factors that increase an individual’s vulnerability to addiction.

Let’s dive into the top three addiction risk factors: genetics, environment, and mental health. Additionally, we’ll explore protective factors and interventions that can help reduce these risks and provide a safer, healthier path forward for individuals at risk.

Understanding these components can empower us to take proactive steps in addiction prevention and support those affected by substance use disorders.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction. The word can conjure up stark images — of people we’ve known, scenes we’ve witnessed, or even personal battles we’ve fought. But what does it really mean?

In the broadest sense, addiction, or substance use disorder, refers to the compulsive use of substances despite harmful consequences. It’s a brain disorder characterized by altered structure and functioning, leading to changed behavior, including an increased craving for the substance and continued use despite damaging effects.

But let’s get this straight — addiction doesn’t play favorites. It can affect anyone, irrespective of age, income, education level, or social standing. It’s not a choice nor a moral failing; it’s a chronic disease, much like diabetes or hypertension.

One of the most distressing aspects of addiction is its impact on mental and physical health. Substance use can exacerbate mental health disorders like ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder or even lead to dual diagnosis, where a person experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously. Physically, the effects range from minor health problems, such as fatigue or diminished immunity, to major issues like heart disease and liver failure.

But addiction’s ripple effects reach far beyond the individual. Family members and loved ones are often caught in the turmoil, suffering emotional pain and, in many cases, bearing the burden of caregiving and financial support. The social cost is equally enormous, from healthcare expenses to lost productivity and crime.

What Is Substance Dependence?

While “addiction” and “substance dependence” are often interchanged, they depict different facets of substance use disorders. Substance dependence, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), is the body’s physical adaptation to persistent substance use, leading to tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon reduction or cessation of the substance.

Tolerance necessitates higher substance quantities to attain the effect once achieved with less. Conversely, withdrawal symptoms are the physical and mental distress that arises when regular heavy substance use is discontinued.

Yet, addiction delves deeper, straddling physical and psychological dimensions. It involves physical reliance, compulsive behavior, inability to regulate substance use, and continued use despite harmful consequences.

So, while substance dependence may be a component of addiction, it’s not the entirety of it. One can be dependent without addiction — for instance, a patient may be physically reliant on a prescription drug but not misuse it compulsively. Alternatively, an individual could be addicted without dependence, like a cannabis user who compulsively uses but isn’t physically dependent.

Understanding these distinctions aids in recognizing, diagnosing, and treating substance use disorders while dispelling misconceptions about addiction.

The Top 3 Addiction Risk Factors

The factors that contribute to substance use and addiction are numerous and varied. However, research suggests that certain factors tend to hold more weight than others.

Let’s explore the top three risk factors consistently associated with an increased risk of addiction.

Genetics and Family History

It’s true — addiction can run in families. But it’s not as simple as inheriting a “substance abuse” gene. Rather, a complex interplay of genetics and environment comes into play. Researchers estimate that genetics accounts for 40 to 60 percent of a person’s risk of addiction.

Certain genetic factors can predispose an individual to addiction. For instance, genes can influence how one experiences the effects of a drug or how quickly they metabolize it.

Other genes may be linked to impulsivity, a trait often seen in those with substance use disorders. Moreover, a family history of addiction can also imply a shared environment that increases risk.

This could include the availability of substances, lack of parental supervision, or normalization of drug use. It’s essential to remember that a family history of addiction doesn’t guarantee a person will develop an addiction, but it does increase the risk.

Early Exposure and Adolescence

The early bird may catch the worm, but when it comes to drug use, early exposure can be a recipe for disaster. Adolescent brains are still developing, particularly the parts involved in decision-making, risk assessment, and impulse control.

Young people who start using substances at an early age are at a much higher risk of developing addiction. Early drug use can prime the brain for addiction, making young adults more vulnerable to substance use disorders later in life.

Additionally, adolescence is a time when peer pressure and the desire for acceptance are at their peak. The pressure to fit into a peer group can lead adolescents to experiment with drugs, and in some cases, this experimentation can progress to addiction.

Mental Health Disorders

The link between mental health conditions and substance use disorders is well established. Those who struggle with mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, ADHD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, are at a greater risk of developing substance use disorders — a phenomenon often referred to as “dual diagnosis.”

The reasons for this are twofold. On the one hand, individuals may use substances as a way to self-medicate, attempting to alleviate symptoms of their mental health disorder. On the other hand, substance use can exacerbate mental health conditions, creating a vicious cycle.

Understanding this correlation is crucial because treating only one condition can leave the other untreated and likely lead to a relapse. Therefore, an integrated approach that treats both conditions simultaneously is often the most effective.

Protecting Against Addiction: The Role of Protective Factors

Though risk factors can increase a person’s likelihood of developing an addiction, the presence of protective factors can significantly mitigate these risks. These factors act as a safety net, reducing the impact of risk factors and promoting healthier decisions and behaviors.

Family and Community Support

One of the most potent protective factors against addiction is strong family support. Love, understanding, and communication can help a person navigate the challenges of life without resorting to substance use. Encouraging open dialogues about substance use and addiction can also play a critical role in prevention.

Additionally, community support plays a substantial role in preventing substance abuse. This can come in various forms, such as school-based interventions, community recreational activities, or local support groups. Communities that offer these resources provide healthier outlets and alternatives for individuals, especially young adults and adolescents.

Positive Social Connections and Peer Groups

The company we keep can significantly impact our behaviors and decisions, especially during our formative years. Friends who discourage drug use and partake in positive, healthy activities can act as a strong protective factor against addiction.

Having supportive, positive friendships can provide emotional comfort, reduce feelings of loneliness, and promote better coping mechanisms. In the face of peer pressure, having at least one friend resistant to drug use can make a big difference.

Mental Health Care and Coping Skills

Access to mental healthcare is a crucial protective factor. Regular check-ups with healthcare providers can help identify mental health conditions early and provide the necessary support or intervention. It’s important to remember that mental health conditions can often precede addiction, so managing these conditions can significantly reduce the risk of substance use disorders.

Developing healthy coping skills is another effective protective factor. Stress is a part of life, and how we manage it can impact our susceptibility to addiction. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, exercise, and other stress management methods can serve as healthier alternatives to substance use.

Getting Help With Soba

At Soba Recovery, we understand the complexities of addiction and the unique challenges each individual faces. Our compassionate, holistic approach to treatment ensures that you or your loved one receives the necessary care to overcome addiction. Whether you’re struggling with opioids, methamphetamines, alcohol, or other substances, our experienced team is here to help.

Our treatment programs address not just the physical symptoms of addiction but also the underlying mental health conditions and environmental factors that may contribute to substance misuse. We believe in equipping our clients with the tools they need to live fulfilling, substance-free lives.

If you or a loved one is battling addiction, don’t wait. Reach out to Soba Recovery today, and take the first step towards a healthier, brighter future.


What Is a Substance Use Disorder? | American Psychiatric Association

Drug addiction (substance use disorder) – Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Is Addiction Hereditary? | Cleveland Clinic

Stress: Coping with Everyday Problems | Mental Health America

DSM-5 Criteria for Substance Use Disorders | Gateway Foundation

Mental Health & Addiction: What Is Substance Use Disorder?

Gain a deeper understanding of Substance Use Disorder's impact on mental health. Discover hope and healing in our informative guide.

We all grapple with challenges in our lives. And sometimes, people turn to substances as a way to cope, resulting in the development of a Substance Use Disorder (SUD).

The importance of understanding this condition cannot be understated. In this ever-inclusive, compassion-driven world, we ought to understand that mental health issues, like SUD, are medical conditions, not moral failings.

In this article, we’ll explore what Substance Use Disorder is, its symptoms, and the factors contributing to it. Further, we’ll discuss how we can provide support to individuals facing this challenge and where to seek help. Your journey towards understanding starts here.

What Is Substance Use Disorder?

If you’ve ever tried to understand addiction, you’ve probably come across the term ”Substance Use Disorder” (SUD). It sounds pretty technical, right? But really, it’s just a way for professionals to talk about a pattern of substance use that’s causing significant problems in a person’s life.

Think about alcohol or drugs interfering with work, school, or relationships. Or perhaps even causing health problems or legal issues. If any of these sound familiar, we’re likely looking at a case of SUD.

Now, within this broad umbrella of SUD, there are two terms that you might find — substance dependence and substance addiction. Let’s dive into those.

What Is Substance Dependence?

Substance dependence can be a bit tricky to understand, but in simple terms, it’s when a person becomes physically dependent on a substance. Their body has become so used to the substance that they need it to feel “normal.”

Without it, they might experience withdrawal symptoms — these can be anything from feeling anxious or irritable to having physical symptoms like shaking, sweating, or nausea.

What Is Substance Addiction?

Now, substance addiction (also known as drug addiction) is a notch higher on the severity scale. It’s not just about the body needing the substance. It’s more about the mind.

Here, the person has an intense craving or compulsion to use the substance, even when they’re aware of the negative consequences. In other words, despite knowing the substance is causing harm, the desire to use it overshadows everything else.

What Substances Are Associated With Substance Use Disorder?

A wide array of legal and illicit substances can lead to the development of a Substance Use Disorder. These include alcohol, opioids (such as heroin and prescription pain medications), stimulants (like cocaine and methamphetamine), hallucinogens (LSD, for example), inhalants, sedatives, hypnotics, and anxiolytics (such as benzodiazepines).

It’s also important to note that Substance Use Disorders can develop from the use of substances that some might not consider harmful, like cannabis or prescription drugs.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA), through its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), provides detailed criteria for diagnosing SUD for different substances, including cannabis, opioids, hallucinogens, stimulants, alcohol, and others. The DSM-5 makes it clear that SUD is a mental illness, highlighting the substantial overlap between mental health and addiction.

The Impact of Substance Use Disorder on Mental Health

The intricate relationship between mental health and substance use can’t be overstated. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), have both highlighted this complex interaction.

Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) often co-occur with SUD. This co-occurrence can exacerbate both conditions, leading to larger amounts of substance use and increased mental health symptoms.

What Are the Signs of Substance Use Disorder?

Recognizing the signs of Substance Use Disorder is crucial in seeking timely help.

Here are some common signals you may observe:

Increased Tolerance

Increased tolerance is a clear red flag. As a person continues using a substance, their body adjusts, requiring more to achieve the same effect.

This escalation isn’t just about needing one more drink at a party; it’s a systemic change in how the body responds to the substance, making substance use more dangerous and withdrawal more intense.

Neglect of Responsibilities

As Substance Use Disorder progresses, the substance becomes the person’s main priority. This obsession often results in missed deadlines at work, skipped classes, or ignored household chores.

Everyday responsibilities are abandoned in pursuit of substance use, which disrupts a person’s daily life and can have severe consequences in their professional and personal relationships.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms occur when a substance-dependent person attempts to quit or cut back. These can be physical symptoms like nausea, shaking, and sweating or psychological symptoms like anxiety, irritability, or depression. The intensity of withdrawal can be terrifying, often leading individuals back to substance use just to feel normal again.

Failed Attempts to Quit

Despite the adverse effects, a person with Substance Use Disorder may find quitting or reducing their substance use incredibly challenging. They may express a strong desire to change and even make multiple attempts.

Yet, substance dependence’s physical and psychological grip often leads to relapse, highlighting the importance of professional help and support in recovery.

Persistent Use Despite Known Harm

One of the most alarming signs of SUD is persistent use despite awareness of harm. Individuals continue to use substances even when it’s causing significant health issues, ruining relationships, or leading to financial troubles.

This persistent use, even in the face of negative consequences, underscores the compulsive nature of Substance Use Disorder and the critical need for intervention.

What Contributes to Substance Abuse?

Understanding the factors contributing to Substance Use Disorder is crucial. These contributing elements can vary from person to person and are typically a mix of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. Each of these elements interplays uniquely in every person’s life, leading to the complexity of addiction.

Genetic Factors

Genetics can play a significant role in the development of Substance Use Disorder. Research indicates that addiction has a strong hereditary component.

If a person has a close relative, like a parent or sibling, who struggles with substance use, their risk of developing a similar disorder is higher. However, it’s essential to remember that genetics alone don’t predetermine addiction. Instead, they influence susceptibility to it.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors significantly impact a person’s likelihood of substance use. Individuals exposed to environments where drug use is prevalent or normalized have a higher risk of developing Substance Use Disorder.

Such environments might include households, peer groups, schools, or communities. Furthermore, exposure to trauma, high-stress levels, or the lack of a supportive social network can contribute to a higher risk of substance use.

Early Use

The age at which a person first uses drugs or alcohol can affect the likelihood of developing Substance Use Disorder. Studies suggest that using substances at a young age can interfere with normal brain development, leading to long-term mental and physical health effects. Early use often acts as a gateway, increasing the risk of more severe substance use in the future.

Social Pressure

Social pressure is a significant factor contributing to the initiation and continuation of substance use, particularly among younger individuals. The desire to fit in or to escape criticism or judgment can lead to the experimental use of substances. This occasional use can gradually morph into a routine and ultimately result in Substance Use Disorder.

Easy Availability and Accessibility

When substances are readily available, the risk of substance use increases. This accessibility could be from living in an area with a high prevalence of drugs or alcohol, or it might involve having friends or family members who use substances regularly. The ease of obtaining substances can lower the barrier to initial experimentation and continued use.

Inadequate Coping Skills

Individuals may turn to substances as a means to cope with life’s stressors, such as personal problems, financial difficulties, or career challenges. Without the development of healthy coping strategies, the reliance on substances for stress relief can become a pattern. This coping mechanism can ultimately lead to the development of Substance Use Disorder.

Mental Health Disorders

A strong correlation exists between mental health disorders and Substance Use Disorder, creating what experts refer to as a dual diagnosis. Conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADHD can make an individual more susceptible to substance abuse.

Some people may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate, managing symptoms of their mental health conditions. However, this often leads to a vicious cycle where substance use worsens mental health symptoms, leading to further use.

Lack of Knowledge

Lack of awareness about the dangers of substance use and addiction can also contribute to Substance Use Disorder. People might underestimate the risk of addiction when they start experimenting with drugs or alcohol, especially if they’re young. Education about the dangers of substance use, including the risk of addiction, is crucial for prevention.

Understanding these factors makes it clear that no single cause leads to Substance Use Disorder. Instead, it is a complex interplay of various elements. By acknowledging these factors, we can better comprehend the struggles faced by those with Substance Use Disorder, empathize with their journey, and offer the support they need during their recovery process.

Remember, substance use is not a moral failing; it’s a complex health issue requiring understanding, compassion, and comprehensive treatment.

What Is the Best Way To Support Someone With Substance Use Disorder?

Supporting someone with Substance Use Disorder requires understanding, patience, and appropriate actions. It’s not always easy, but your support can significantly impact their journey to recovery.

Below are some of the best ways to provide that support:

Educate Yourself About Substance Use Disorder

Understanding Substance Use Disorder is the first step in providing meaningful support. Learn about the nature of addiction, its causes, its impacts on mental and physical health, and the available treatment options.

The more knowledge you have, the more empathetic and effective your support will be. Knowledge will also help dispel myths or misconceptions about addiction, allowing you to interact without bias or judgment.

Practice Empathy and Understanding

Empathy goes a long way when dealing with individuals struggling with Substance Use Disorder. Try to understand the person’s feelings and experiences without criticism or judgment.

Acknowledge their struggle without enabling their substance use. Express your concern about their well-being in a caring and understanding way, focusing on their potential to recover rather than their current situation.

Encourage Treatment

While the decision to seek help must ultimately come from the individual, you can encourage this step. Discuss the benefits of professional help and assure them of your support throughout the treatment process.

You can assist in researching different treatment options and centers, like Soba Recovery, to help them make an informed decision.

Maintain Healthy Boundaries

When supporting someone with a Substance Use Disorder, it’s essential to maintain healthy boundaries to protect your own mental and emotional health. Let the person know what you can and can’t do to support them, and be firm in upholding these boundaries.

This might involve refusing to provide money that could be used for substances or declining to cover up for their behaviors related to substance use.

Offer Emotional Support

Living with Substance Use Disorder can be an isolating experience. Offering emotional support to your loved one can make a significant difference in their recovery journey.

Listen to them, show that you care about their feelings, and reassure them they’re not alone. This might involve simply being there for them, encouraging open conversations, or participating in activities that help them relax and feel connected.

Reinforce Positive Behaviors

Recognize and reward the efforts they’re making toward recovery. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in motivating individuals to stick with their treatment plan and make necessary lifestyle changes.

This could be acknowledging their commitment to attending therapy sessions, their courage in discussing their struggles, or even their effort to reduce substance use.

Seek Professional Advice

Substance Use Disorder is a complex issue, and it’s okay not to have all the answers. Reach out to healthcare professionals or addiction specialists for advice. They can provide guidance on how best to support your loved one, help you understand what they’re going through, and recommend appropriate treatment options.

They can also offer resources to help you cope with the challenges of supporting someone with a Substance Use Disorder. For example, joining a support group can provide an outlet to share experiences and learn from others in similar situations.

Can Behavioral Therapy Help With Substance Use Disorder?

Behavioral therapy can modify attitudes and behaviors related to drug use, enhance healthy life skills, and support medication and treatment adherence.

Are Prescription Drugs a Concern in Substance Use Disorder?

Yes, misuse of prescription drugs like opioids and benzodiazepines can lead to Substance Use Disorder and dangerous health conditions, including drug overdose.

How Do Inpatient and Outpatient Treatments Differ?

Inpatient treatment involves full-time living at a facility, while outpatient treatment permits individuals to live at home and attend daytime treatment.

Where Can I Find More Information on Substance Use Disorder?

Fact sheets and information are available on the NIDA, SAMHSA, and other .gov health websites. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Getting Help With Soba

Navigating the road to recovery from a Substance Use Disorder can be challenging, but it’s essential to remember that you’re not alone. At Soba Recovery, we understand the intricate dynamics of addiction, and we believe in the power of comprehensive treatment to foster healing and sustained recovery.

We offer individualized treatment plans crafted to address each person’s unique needs and circumstances. Our compassionate team, comprising medical professionals and addiction specialists, works tirelessly to provide a supportive and nurturing environment that facilitates recovery. We take pride in our holistic approach, which combines various therapeutic modalities such as individual counseling, group therapy, family therapy, and skills training.

At Soba Recovery, we’re more than just a treatment center — we’re a community. Our clients and their families find strength and support from our team and each other. We stand together in the fight against addiction and celebrate every victory, no matter how small it may seem.

Don’t let Substance Use Disorder dictate your life. We invite you to reach out to us today and discover how we can support your journey toward recovery. We believe in you, and together, we can help you regain control of your life. Your story is far from over, and with Soba Recovery, a new chapter awaits.

Recovery starts with a call. Contact Soba Recovery today to discuss your options and start your journey toward healing.


What Is a Substance Use Disorder? | American Psychiatric Association

Drug addiction (substance use disorder) – Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Substance Use Disorder | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Opioids: Understanding Addiction Versus Dependence | HSS

How Long Does Fentanyl Last? What To Expect

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid at the center of the opioid crisis. With potency up to 50 times that of heroin, understanding its effects and dangers is critical. In this guide, we’ll delve into the key aspects of fentanyl — from its medical use and illicit misuse to its duration in the body, potential for overdose, and the life-saving role of Narcan.

More importantly, we’ll shine a light on the pathway to recovery, underscoring the reality that help is always available and recovery is possible.

What Is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid pain reliever. Its power is akin to morphine but is 100 times more potent. Fentanyl is frequently used in medical settings to relieve pain after surgeries or for those battling chronic pain who no longer find relief from other opioids.

It is prescribed in various forms, such as injections, patches, and even lozenges. However, fentanyl has also become a significant player in the opioid epidemic.

Its potency and highly addictive nature make it a target for illicit manufacturing and misuse, thereby contributing to the ongoing opioid crisis. Non-prescription fentanyl, often sold in powder form or mixed into other drugs like heroin or cocaine, can significantly increase the risk of overdose.

We understand that dealing with severe pain or navigating the path of a loved one’s pain management can be a challenging journey. In this light, it’s our aim to ensure you have the information you need on fentanyl.

This knowledge can empower you and your loved ones to recognize the signs of misuse or addiction and know when to seek help.

How Long Does Fentanyl Last in the Body?

When it comes to this powerful opioid, its impact and duration in your system can depend on several factors, including the method of use, individual metabolism, age, overall health status, and dosage.

When taken as prescribed by a healthcare provider, fentanyl can relieve pain within minutes. Transdermal patches, designed to release the drug slowly, can relieve pain for up to 72 hours. However, its half-life, or the time it takes for half the drug to leave the body, is typically around two to four hours.

In the case of illicit fentanyl, which can be mixed with other drugs, the effects can be unpredictable and potentially deadly. Overdose can occur rapidly, often within seconds to minutes after ingestion, due to fentanyl’s high potency.

How Long Is Fentanyl Detectable in the Body?

Fentanyl metabolites, or the products of the body breaking down the drug, can linger, much like echoes of the drug’s effects. These metabolites can be detected in urine for up to three days after use.

Hair tests can detect fentanyl for up to three months. However, it’s important to note that detection times can vary based on the individual’s metabolism, how much they used, and the type of test used.

Understanding how long fentanyl stays in the body and its effects is vital, but it is equally important to recognize signs of misuse or addiction. This can include drowsiness, confusion, sedation, trouble breathing, and decreased heart rate. If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms after using fentanyl, immediately seeking medical attention is important.

How Does Fentanyl Impact the Body?

Fentanyl, with its exceptional potency, has a profound impact on various bodily systems. Its role as an opioid means it interacts primarily with the nervous system, but its influence reaches far beyond.

Let’s delve into a more detailed exploration of how fentanyl interacts with your body.

The Nervous System

At its core, fentanyl is designed to alter our perception of pain. It achieves this by interacting with the opioid receptors in our brain and spinal cord.

Once it attaches to these receptors, it effectively blocks pain signals from reaching the brain. This can provide powerful relief for individuals grappling with severe or chronic pain.

Additionally, this interaction triggers a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. This is why, along with pain relief, users may experience a sense of euphoria or intense happiness.

However, this action also presents a significant risk. Overuse or misuse of fentanyl can result in respiratory depression — a severe slowing or cessation of breathing. This occurs because opioid receptors in the brainstem, responsible for automatic processes like breathing, also respond to fentanyl.

The Digestive System

Fentanyl can impact the digestive system as well. Like other opioids, it tends to slow the movement of the intestines. This can lead to issues like constipation, nausea, and vomiting, particularly in long-term use or overconsumption.

The Cardiovascular System

Fentanyl’s influence extends to the cardiovascular system too. It may cause low blood pressure, slow heart rate, or even cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to a feeling of lightheadedness or fainting.

The Dangers of Overconsumption and Long-Term Use

While fentanyl can feel like a lifeline for those in severe pain, its misuse can be perilous. Overconsumption can rapidly lead to overdose, given its potency.

Long-term use also has its risks. The body can develop a tolerance to fentanyl, requiring higher doses for the same effect and potentially leading to dependence and addiction. Over time, this can cause significant changes to the brain’s functionality, including problems with decision-making, memory, and emotional regulation.

Signs of a Fentanyl Overdose

Identifying the signs of a fentanyl overdose is crucial, whether you’re a user, a loved one, or even a passerby. An overdose may sometimes appear similar to a high, making it harder to recognize. But it’s always safer to err on the side of caution; if unsure, treat the situation as an overdose.

Signs of a fentanyl overdose may include:

  • Extreme drowsiness or difficulty waking up
  • Slowed or stopped breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Blue lips and/or fingernails
  • Loss of consciousness or unresponsiveness

The faster you recognize these signs, the quicker you can act, potentially saving a life.

What To Do If You Think Someone Is Overdosing on Fentanyl

If you suspect someone is overdosing on fentanyl, it’s essential to act swiftly and thoughtfully.

Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Call for Immediate Medical Attention:

Always start by calling 911. They can provide guidance and dispatch emergency medical assistance. Most states have Good Samaritan laws that protect the caller and the person overdosing from legal consequences.

2. Administer Naloxone (Narcan), If Available:

Narcan is a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of opioid overdose. If you have it on hand, administer it as per the instructions. Narcan acts swiftly to bind to opioid receptors, effectively blocking the effects of fentanyl and reversing the overdose.

3. Try To Keep the Person Awake and Breathing

Engage the person in conversation, keep them moving if possible, and remind them to take breaths.

4. Lay the Person on Their Side

Laying the person on their side helps prevent potential choking if the person vomits.

5. Stay With the Person Until Emergency Assistance Arrives

Even after administering Narcan, it’s crucial to stay with the person. The effects of Narcan last for about 30 to 90 minutes, while fentanyl can last much longer, meaning a second overdose is possible.

Understanding and recognizing the signs of a fentanyl overdose, knowing the steps to take, and the role of Narcan can make a significant difference.

Seeking Treatment for a Fentanyl Addiction

Recognizing a struggle with fentanyl addiction is the first crucial step on the road to recovery. If you or a loved one are dealing with addiction, it’s important to understand that you’re not alone and help is available.

Treatment plans are not one-size-fits-all, and the approach that works best for you might involve a combination of therapy, medication, support groups, and lifestyle changes. At SOBA New Jersey, we believe that every person’s experience with addiction is unique.

That’s why we provide personalized treatment programs tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. Our evidence-based approach focuses on the symptoms of addiction and the underlying causes, giving you a comprehensive recovery plan.

We also recognize the significant role that community plays in the recovery process. Our team provides opportunities for you to connect with others on their path to recovery. In this supportive and understanding environment, shared experiences can provide comfort, reduce feelings of isolation, and offer valuable insights from others’ journeys.

The Bottom Line

Understanding fentanyl — its nature, its impact on the body, how long it lasts in the system, the potential for overdose, and the life-saving role of Narcan — is key to recognizing signs of misuse or addiction, ensuring timely intervention, and ultimately, safeguarding health and lives.

However, the most important takeaway should be that if you or a loved one are struggling with fentanyl addiction, you are not alone. Treatment and recovery are not only possible but are a path to a healthier, happier life.

We at SOBA New Jersey know firsthand that seeking support is not an admission of failure but a courageous step toward reclaiming control over your life. We are committed to providing personalized, comprehensive treatment as a trusted partner on your recovery journey. With our professional support, a strong recovery community, and your determination, recovery from fentanyl addiction is entirely possible.

No one should have to face this battle alone. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re with you every step of the way. Reach out today, and let us help you start your journey to recovery.


Fentanyl Facts | CDC

Drug Misuse: Most States Have Good Samaritan Laws and Research Indicates They May Have Positive Effects | U.S. GAO

Naloxone DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Meth Withdrawal Symptoms: What To Expect

Methamphetamine, known as meth, is a potent, highly addictive stimulant affecting the central nervous system. Originating from amphetamine, meth is typically found as a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder — hence the street name “crystal meth.”

Meth use and subsequent dependency can lead to addiction, making it vital for individuals and their loved ones to understand meth withdrawal symptoms. By recognizing these symptoms, you’re already taking a big step on your recovery journey. We know it’s hard, and we’re here to help you through it.

How Does Meth Affect the Body?

Methamphetamine significantly impacts the central nervous system and cognitive function. By stimulating an influx of dopamine in the brain — the neurotransmitter that regulates the body’s reward system — meth can create an intense feeling of pleasure. While this sense of euphoria can feel desirable in the short term, it also causes a range of harmful effects on the body, including increased heart rate, blood pressure, and hyperactivity.

Repeated meth use can disrupt the natural balance of neurotransmitters, and long-term meth use can lead to severe changes in brain structure and function, which can persist even after prolonged abstinence. The effects of meth on the brain’s dopamine system can result in reduced motor speed and impaired verbal learning.

By altering the brain’s cognitive functions, methamphetamine use leads to problems with thinking, understanding, learning, and remembering, which often manifest as difficulties in attention, memory, decision-making, and problem-solving.

Long-term effects of meth use may also cause changes in the brain’s reward system, making it increasingly challenging for users to experience pleasure outside of drug use — a state known as anhedonia. The persistent cognitive deficits caused by meth abuse can adversely affect an individual’s social and occupational functioning, causing significant problems in their daily life.

Meth users can also experience a range of mental health-related side effects, such as anxiety, confusion, insomnia, mood disturbances, and even psychotic features like hallucinations and delusions. Some of these changes might be irreversible, underscoring the importance of addressing methamphetamine addiction promptly and adequately.

What Are Common Signs of Meth Use and Abuse?

Meth abuse or addiction can often be recognized through a combination of physical, behavioral, and psychological signs.

These signs may include:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Dental problems
  • Skin sores
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased physical activity
  • Increased wakefulness
  • Obsessive behaviors
  • Paranoia
  • Mood swings
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions

Recognizing these signs in oneself or a loved one can be the first step toward seeking help from a treatment center or healthcareproviders experienced in handling meth addiction. Remember that every individual’s experience with meth use and withdrawal can differ, and professional help should be sought for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Meth Withdrawal: What Are the Symptoms?

Withdrawal from methamphetamine use is a process that occurs when a person who has been regularly using meth discontinues or reduces their intake significantly. This sudden shift can trigger a series of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms, given how meth alters the brain’s reward system over time.

It’s crucial to understand that meth withdrawal symptoms can be severe and potentially dangerous; therefore, detox should always be conducted under the supervision of medical professionals.

Withdrawal from methamphetamine can be challenging due to the wide range of symptoms that can occur. Understanding these symptoms can better equip individuals and their loved ones to manage the withdrawal process.


One methamphetamine withdrawal symptom is hypersomnia or excessive sleepiness. The body will need substantial rest to recover after the intense high that meth use provides. This symptom contrasts with insomnia often experienced during active meth use.


During the withdrawal period, individuals might experience psychosis, including hallucinations or delusions. This symptom can be frightening for both the individual and their loved ones and is a clear signal that medical professionals should be involved in the withdrawal process.

Mood Swings

Mood swings are common during meth withdrawal. Methamphetamine users might experience sudden shifts from feelings of depression to agitation or anger. Understanding that these mood swings are a part of the withdrawal process can help individuals cope with these changes.

Suicidal Ideation

Suicidal thoughts can occur during meth withdrawal due to the severe shifts in mood and the body’s adjustment to the absence of the drug. Any indication of suicidal ideation is a severe symptom that requires immediate attention from healthcare or mental health professionals.


Drug cravings are one of the most challenging aspects of the withdrawal process. These cravings can persist for a significant amount of time after discontinuing meth use and can coincide with physical symptoms such as headaches, muscle discomfort, chills, tremors, fevers, and chills. These intense cravings can lead to relapse if not adequately managed.

Recognizing these cravings as a part of the withdrawal process can help manage them. It is important to remember that the intensity and duration of these symptoms can vary based on the length and severity of meth use.

Understanding these symptoms is vital in preparing for meth withdrawal, but the process should not be undergone alone. Treatment centers like SOBA New Jersey can provide the support, medical supervision, and therapy needed to manage these symptoms and guide individuals toward recovery.

What Is the Timeline for Meth Withdrawal?

The meth withdrawal timeline can vary significantly from person to person, depending on factors such as the severity of addiction, the individual’s overall health, and the level of support available during withdrawal. But, generally, symptoms of meth withdrawal can begin as soon as a few hours after the last dose and may persist for weeks or even months in some cases.

Acute withdrawal symptoms usually peak within the first week after stopping meth use and then gradually subside over the next few weeks. Some symptoms, however — particularly psychological ones like cravings and depression — may persist for longer and require ongoing support and treatment.

Given the complexity and potential severity of meth withdrawal, it’s highly recommended that meth detox be carried out under the supervision of medical professionals in a treatment facility. They can provide the necessary support and resources to help manage symptoms, reduce discomfort, and mitigate the risk of relapse.

How To Cope With Meth Withdrawal Symptoms

Tackling meth withdrawal can be a daunting journey, but with the right strategies, you can make this process more manageable.

Here are a few tips to help you handle withdrawal symptoms:

  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms. Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated.
  • Healthy Eating: Proper nutrition can help your body recover from the effects of meth use. Opt for a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains.
  • Physical Activity: Light exercises, such as walking or yoga, can help manage withdrawal symptoms by releasing endorphins, your body’s natural mood enhancers.
  • Mindfulness and Relaxation Techniques: Practices like meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation can help you manage stress and anxiety during withdrawal.
  • Stay Connected: Reach out to trusted friends, family, or a support group who understand what you’re going through. You don’t have to face this alone.
  • Embrace professional support: Seeking out a medically supervised environment for detoxification is invaluable; healthcare providers in these settings can monitor your symptoms, provide medication to alleviate discomfort, and address any complications that may arise. They can also provide emotional support and counseling to help you cope with cravings and other psychological symptoms.

Remember, these tips are general advice and might not work for everyone. It’s crucial to seek professional medical advice for personalized strategies that fit your specific needs.

What are Possible Treatment Options for Meth Addiction?

Once you’ve completed detox, ongoing treatment is essential for maintaining sobriety and preventing relapse.

There are several treatment options available, each with its unique benefits.

  • Inpatient Treatment: Inpatient treatment involves staying at a treatment center for a period, usually between 30 to 90 days, to provide a structured environment free from triggers and stressors. This can be particularly helpful for those with severe addiction or co-occurring mental health issues.
  • Outpatient treatment: Outpatient treatment allows you to live at home and continue with your usual activities while attending regular therapy sessions. This type of treatment might be more suitable for those with milder addiction or significant family or work commitments.
  • Therapy Programs: Some treatment centers like SOBA New Jersey also offer a wealth of therapy programs for added support. Our team has specialized programs for dual diagnosis (co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders), family therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and adventure therapy. SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) also offers resources to help you find suitable treatment programs.
  • Support Groups: Participation in support groups like Narcotics Anonymous can provide invaluable peer support and encouragement during your recovery journey by offering a safe, non-judgmental space to share experiences, learn from others, and build a supportive community.

Remember, overcoming meth addiction is a journey, and it’s important to find a treatment approach that works best for you.

How To Help Support a Loved One Through Meth Withdrawal

Witnessing a loved one struggling with methamphetamine withdrawal can be heart-wrenching. Here are a few guidelines to help you provide them with the best possible support during this challenging time (and remember to care for yourself during this time, too).

  • Understand Their Struggle: Recognizing the symptoms of meth withdrawal, realizing the challenges they are facing, and empathizing with their pain is one of the most important ways you can support your loved one. Understanding that their behaviors are symptoms of their withdrawal rather than personal affronts can help make it easier to maintain a supportive stance.
  • Support Their Well-being: Remember that recovery is about more than just abstaining from meth. It also involves promoting overall well-being. It can help to gently encourage your loved one to engage in healthy behaviors such as regular exercise, a nutritious diet, adequate sleep, and stress-reducing activities during their recovery process.
  • Encourage Professional Help: While your support is invaluable, you should not have to support your loved one with this process on your own. The complexities of meth withdrawal and addiction often require professional help. Encourage your loved one to seek assistance from treatment centers and healthcareproviders that specialize in addiction treatment.

Receive the Support You Deserve With SOBA Recovery

You don’t have to face methamphetamine withdrawal alone. At SOBA New Jersey, we understand the struggles of overcoming meth addiction. Our team of dedicated, experienced, and knowledgeable professionals is committed to providing you with the highest level of care, ensuring you have the foundation you need for a successful recovery.

Whether it’s medical detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment, or a combination of these, our team will work with you or your loved one to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your unique needs. With a range of therapies and programs at our disposal, we are equipped to help you overcome the physical and psychological symptoms of meth withdrawal and build a fulfilling, substance-free life.

If you’re struggling with meth addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. At SOBA New Jersey, we’re here to listen, support, and help you reclaim the life you deserve.


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

Dopamine: What It Is, Function & Symptoms | Cleveland Clinic

Neurobiological mechanisms of anhedonia | PMC

Cognitive behavioral therapy | Mayo Clinic

SAMHSA | US Department of Health & Human Services

Adderall Addiction Signs: What To Look For

Understanding the impact and signs of Adderall addiction is crucial for our society today. The reality is that this widely prescribed medication, while beneficial for those with ADHD and narcolepsy, can have severe repercussions when misused. This article is designed to guide you through the complex landscape of Adderall addiction.

Together, we can break the cycle of addiction, educate others, and promote healthier communities. It’s time to understand, recognize, and tackle an Adderall addiction.

What Is Adderall?

Adderall, a prescription drug used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, has become a staple in modern medicine. This medication contains two active ingredients: amphetamine and dextroamphetamine.

Both substances are pivotal in increasing attention, reducing impulsivity, and curbing hyperactivity in patients with ADHD. For those battling narcolepsy, a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness, using Adderall works as a potent combatant against excessive daytime sleepiness.

The impact of this prescription stimulant on the central nervous system is significant, as it enhances the effect of certain neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine is often associated with pleasure, movement, and attention, while norepinephrine acts as both a neurotransmitter and a hormone, contributing to attentiveness, emotions, sleeping, dreaming, and learning.

While Adderall can be a significantly useful tool in managing ADHD and narcolepsy when used as recommended, it’s crucial to note that Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration, meaning it has a high potential for abuse and can lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Misuse of Adderall: A Growing Concern

The misuse of Adderall, particularly among young adults and college students who often refer to it as a “study drug,” is a growing concern. This term is misleading and dangerous, as it implies a benefit that far outweighs the potential risk associated with Adderall misuse.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has identified this trend as a significant public health issue. Students, under mounting academic pressure, may misuse higher doses of Adderall than prescribed or take it without a prescription in an attempt to enhance focus and cognitive performance.

But these higher doses can lead to a number of health and well-being concerns, including the development of physical dependence and, in some cases, addiction, a severe form of substance abuse.

It’s important to clarify that physical dependence — a biological adaptation where the body requires the drug to function normally — differs from addiction, which is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking and use that is compulsive or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.

The misuse of Adderall, especially in non-prescribed situations, is a serious issue that requires our attention. Recognizing the signs of misuse and potential addiction is the first step in getting help for yourself or a loved one who may be struggling.

What Are the Signs of Adderall Addiction?

The potential for Adderall addiction is significant, given the drug’s stimulating effects on the brain’s reward center. Regular misuse can lead to tolerance, meaning the individual will require larger doses to achieve the same effect, leading to an escalating cycle that can result in addiction.

Adderall addiction can manifest in various ways, including changes in physical health, behavior, and mental well-being.

Physical Symptoms

Physical signs of Adderall addiction can be subtle at first, gradually becoming more noticeable.

Common signs can include:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dry mouth
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irregular heartbeat

Behavioral Changes

Behavioral changes can often be more apparent. Individuals may show signs of hyperactivity and excitability due to the stimulant effects of Adderall. Additionally, an increased focus on obtaining and using Adderall, such as visiting multiple doctors to get prescriptions (known as ‘doctor shopping’), can indicate a developing addiction.

Psychological Symptoms

Adderall addiction can also affect an individual’s mental health. It’s not uncommon for those struggling with addiction to experience psychological symptoms like increased anxiety, restlessness, or even psychosis in more severe cases.

Remember, addiction is not a moral failing but a complex interplay of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

Warning Signs To Look for in a Loved One

If you’re concerned that a family member or loved one may be struggling with Adderall addiction, there are several signs of Adderall abuse you can look for. These may include secretive behavior, an unusual obsession with tasks requiring focus, changes in social behavior, and potential withdrawal from family activities.

What Are the Risks of Adderall Abuse?

Misusing Adderall raises the risk of addiction and can lead to a range of serious health issues. Adderall side effects can range from mild to severe. The risks of severe side effects are typically greater when the drug is taken in higher doses or through non-prescribed methods, such as snorting.

Short-term side effects of Adderall misuse can include dry mouth, increased blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and irregular heartbeat. But when misused over a longer period or in high doses, it can potentially lead to severe health complications like cardiac arrest or a heart attack.

Moreover, misusing Adderall by snorting it can cause additional health problems. Snorting Adderall can lead to damage to the nasal and sinus cavities and even more severe health problems, such as lung complications.

Adderall misuse can also have profound effects on mental health, contributing to increased anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, and in severe cases, hallucinations or delusional psychosis. These risks highlight the importance of seeking professional help if you or a loved one are struggling with Adderall misuse.

What Treatment Options Are Available for Adderall Addiction?

When it comes to Adderall addiction treatment, it’s important to note that recovery is not a one-size-fits-all journey. Each person has unique needs and challenges that require an individualized approach to treatment.

Several comprehensive drug addiction treatment options are available that combine various therapies and support systems to address the individual’s unique needs and challenges. Professional treatment centers like SOBA New Jersey play a critical role in this recovery process.

Supervision During Detoxification

Often, overcoming Adderall addiction begins with detoxification, the process where the body naturally eliminates the drug. During detox, withdrawal symptoms such as fatigue, depression, and changes in sleep patterns can occur.

Cravings are also a common part of the Adderall withdrawal process. This period can be uncomfortable and, in some cases, lead to severe health issues.

Because of the potential health risks during withdrawal, it’s crucial to undergo detox under the guidance of professional healthcare providers. Detox facilities can provide medical supervision and necessary support to manage withdrawal symptoms effectively and safely. Detox is not a cure for addiction but a critical first step toward recovery.

Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment Options

After detox, the next step usually involves either an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. For inpatient programs, individuals live at the treatment facility, which produces a structured and supportive environment.

On the other hand, outpatient programs allow individuals to live at home and attend treatment sessions at the center. The choice between inpatient and outpatient treatment depends on the individual’s needs, addiction severity, and personal circumstances.

Treatment Programs and Support Groups

Treatment programs typically use a combination of therapies. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), for instance, can help individuals understand their addiction triggers and develop coping strategies.

In addition to therapy, support groups play a vital role in recovery, providing a sense of community and shared understanding that can offer emotional support throughout the recovery process.

We understand the importance of personalized treatment. Our team of dedicated professionals uses an array of resources — from adventure therapy to dual diagnosis treatment — to provide individualized care that sets our clients up for success in their recovery journey.

SOBA New Jersey: Your Partner in Recovery

Recognizing the signs of Adderall addiction is crucial in taking the first step toward recovery. Addiction is a complex but treatable disorder that requires comprehensive care.

At SOBA New Jersey, we are deeply committed to helping individuals struggling with substance use disorders, including Adderall addiction. Our team focuses not only on treating addiction but also on promoting overall behavioral health. We believe in treating the whole person, not just the addiction, focusing on holistic care that addresses mental, physical, and emotional well-being.

Our team of addiction specialists, clinicians, and holistic caregivers work together to provide a comprehensive and personalized treatment approach. Our services range from medical detox and mental health treatment to outpatient treatment, family programs, and aftercare planning.

If you’re dealing with addiction or concerned about a loved one, we encourage you to reach out to us. Remember, prioritizing your well-being and seeking help is not a sign of weakness but an act of strength. At SOBA New Jersey, we are ready to accompany you on this journey toward reclaiming the life and happiness you deserve.


What is ADHD? | CDC

Narcolepsy: What It Is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

Drug Scheduling | DEA

Commonly Used Drugs Charts | NIDA

Cognitive behavioral therapy | Mayo Clinic

What Is the Drug Ice? Crystal Methamphetamine

We often hear different addictive drugs being referred to by street names, and crystal meth is no different. Crystal meth, or ice, has a variety of names, but don’t let that distract you from the dangers of it.

It is a methamphetamine that is part of the amphetamine family of drugs and is known to have devastating mental health and physical effects. People that are suffering from addiction do not always think that that’s the situation that they are going to end up in.

Drug use is a slippery slope, and once introduced to harder drugs, it can be more difficult to break the cycle and overcome addiction. Ice is no different, and when it becomes a part of a person’s routine can risk the overall safety of that individual.

To learn more about ice, how it’s used, what the effects are, and long-term issues that can arise from using it, keep reading.

What Is Ice?

Ice is a synthetic stimulant that directly impacts the central nervous system. Crystal methamphetamine is one of the most potent variants of this drug and has no color to it.

It has a very strong odor and bitter taste. It gets its name ‘ice’ from the crystal-like formations that it appears to have. These crystals are either white or brownish and are jagged in their appearance.

Ice is the stronger and more addictive form of methamphetamines out there, making it the most dangerous. It typically has more harmful side effects and a more intensive reaction after using it.

How Is It Used?

Ice is used by smoking it or injecting it. When smoked, you can feel the effects of ice almost immediately, and when injected, you can feel the effects within the next 30 seconds. These two methods are the most efficient to get crystal meth into your bloodstream so that the effects are brought on quickly.

Sometimes ice will be swallowed or snorted, but it takes between 15 and 20 minutes for it to kick in if swallowed and three to five minutes if snorted. Many people that use crystal meth want to feel the effects as quickly as possible, so these last two ways aren’t as efficient.

Other Names for Ice

Ice may not be the most common name that you hear to describe this substance. Crystal meth is likely the first thing you think of, but it’s called ice because of how it looks. It’s very similar in look to ice crystals and usually is clear or white.

Ice is also known as shabu, crystal, glass, shard, and Tina. Despite what you call it, it’s all the same substance and has the same effect on a person’s mind and body.

What Are the Effects of Taking Ice?

Ice can trick a person into thinking they are doing great because it sends an intense rush of dopamine, energy, and even confidence through the person’s system. The effects of ice can last for up to 12 hours, but a person may not feel like themselves for several days after using it.

Some people claim that even after the high is gone, it can be very difficult to sleep for days as it continues to exit your system. How ice affects a person is dependent on a few things: how much they take, how big of a person they are, how strong the drugs are, if they are used to using ice, and whether or not they are taking other drugs simultaneously.

Some of the effects of taking ice that you could experience are:

  • Feelings of confidence
  • Energy bursts
  • Increased alertness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Itching and scratching
  • Widened pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Reduced appetite
  • Teeth grinding
  • Quickened heart rate
  • Increased sex drive

When you use crystal meth through injection, you are putting yourself at risk of infections and vein damage. You also put yourself at risk for tetanus, hepatitis B and C, and HIV or AIDS if you are sharing needles or not handling them properly.

People that use ice for prolonged periods of ice also might suffer from paranoia, hallucinations, and memory loss. Some people enter into psychosis and struggle to tell what is real and what is not. They might experience paranoid delusions, aggressive behaviors and outbursts, and confusion, leading to dangerous situations.

Coming Down From Ice

Coming down from ice can take several days. The effects can last up to 12 hours, but side effects from use don’t just go away. People report having trouble falling and staying asleep, suffering from paranoia and hallucinations, irritability and depression, and dizziness and blurred vision.

Some people find that because of the extremely low feeling that can happen during the comedown, they will try to use other drugs to offset those effects. Using marijuana, alcohol, or even benzodiazepines is not uncommon during ice comedowns.

Risk of Overdosing

There is also a risk of overdosing when using any amount of ice. You may not know it and end up with a strong and potent batch of crystal meth, or you could use too much of it in one sitting, resulting in an overdose. If you or a loved one experience any of the following symptoms, contact 911 immediately and seek medical intervention.

The following symptoms are signs that you could be experiencing an overdose of ice:

  • Chest pain
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Uncontrolled jerking
  • A sudden and severe headache
  • Breathing problems
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Even death

Don’t wait to seek out help. It could be the difference between life and death.

What Are the Long-Term Problems of Using Ice?

Like with many drugs, ice can cause an array of long-term problems to come up, both mentally and physically.

Some of the most common physical problems that can occur due to long-term ice use are chronic and extreme weight loss, poor sleep quality, dental health problems, stiff muscles, heart and kidney problems, regular colds, an overall lowered immune system, and stroke.

Long-term ice use usually ages a person and makes them appear much older than they actually are. It can cause wrinkly skin, discoloration, and teeth to fall out. As for mental health, ice can have long-term effects on you, including a lack of happiness and less time enjoying activities, rapid mood swings, trouble concentrating, depressive episodes, higher stress levels, and paranoia.

They might experience outbursts of violent behavior that seem uncharacteristic, along with severe shame and guilt. Many people also suffer from financial, social, and career problems as a result of their ice use.

Dependence and Addiction to Ice

As people use ice more frequently and in larger doses, their body keeps up with what’s being put into their system and adjusts. It begins to require more and more of the drug to feel the same level of intoxication as the first time they ever used it. Ice is a highly addictive substance that often leads to dependence and substance abuse.

After prolonged use, most users feel they need it daily to function. The withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating and hard to overcome alone, only prolonging the addiction and experience.

Addiction to a substance like ice needs substantial intervention to see progress toward a sober lifestyle. If you or a loved one is struggling with their addiction to crystal meth, reach out sooner than later to get help. It could be a matter between life and death.

Seek Treatment With SOBA

To overcome your addiction to ice, you will need to go through the detoxification process to help safely get it out of your system. Going through withdrawals alone can be impossible, but with SOBA Recovery Center of San Antonio, Texas, you don’t have to do anything alone.

From the moment you show up, you get around-the-clock care so you can get the help you deserve. With an addiction to a drug like ice, you will likely need to stay inpatient until you have the drug out of your system and have been working towards recovery. It’s not an easy drug to avoid, but the SOBA employees know just how to make it achievable.

Reach out today to talk to a SOBA representative about our treatment options and how the process goes. After a thorough intake process, your team will help develop a dedicated and specialized treatment plan to treat your specific needs. To overcome addiction, you have to get to the bottom of your problems and treat them there.

Don’t wait another day and seek out help now!


Methamphetamine – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

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

Methamphetamine Toxicity – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

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

What Is the Difference Between Crack and Cocaine?

When you think of crack and cocaine, you often consider them to be the same. You may hear people call it crack cocaine and wonder if that refers to a different substance. It is not. Both crack and cocaine are highly addictive and illegal drugs that can cause mental and physical health damage.

People that use crack or cocaine often find themselves suffering from severe addiction. To seek help for this addiction, people using crack or cocaine must undergo detoxification and intensive therapy and intervention services. It can be a very difficult addiction to overcome and support is often needed in order to see progress.

As much as crack and cocaine are similar, they are different. How these substances are consumed, what kind of effects they give, and the penalties given if they are criminally charged for using them vary.

To learn more about the differences between crack and cocaine, keep reading.

Are They the Same?

There is not much that separates cocaine and crack from each other chemically. They are virtually the same substance, but the form they come in separates them.

They are both derived from the coca plant indigenous to South America and produce similar effects. The chemical found in this plant, benzoylmethylecgonine, is a central nervous system stimulant with a high risk for abuse.

Both cocaine and crack produce a euphoric feeling when consumed by people. Both affect the dopamine in a person’s body and increase the amount produced when used.

This means people will get a rush of happiness and warmth flooded over them after using, followed by a dramatic decrease as it exits. This constant rush prevents the body from making enough dopamine on its own, leading to serious lows if not using the drug.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant that is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. It comes in a powdery form that can be snorted, rubbed on the gums, or injected into a person’s veins.

Depending on the person using and how much cocaine is consumed, the effects can set in anywhere from almost immediately to within five minutes. Highs can range from 15 seconds to 30 minutes, depending on your consumption.

At first, cocaine was being used medicinally before the understanding of its risk for abuse set in. It was used topically to help numb body parts for surgery before it was considered to be a Schedule II controlled substance.

What Is Crack?

Crack is chemically the same as cocaine, but the way that it’s created is what sets it apart. To make crack, you have to dissolve cocaine powder and mix it with baking soda, and then heat it.

The heating removes the hydrochloride from the substance completely. What results from this is a highly concentrated form of cocaine that looks like little rocks. This is a very powerful and active form of cocaine that is smokeable and produces even higher effects than cocaine.

The high from crack is much quicker than with cocaine in several ways. People experience the high faster with crack, it doesn’t last as long, but it’s often more intense. As a result of the quick effects, many users will consume high quantities of both to continue the high for as long as possible.

What Makes Crack and Cocaine Different?

We’ve established that cocaine and crack are hardly different regarding the makeup of the drugs. They are the same chemically, just in different stages of life.

The differences that surround cocaine and crack boil down to how they are viewed by society and the criminal justice system, how you use them, and what the effects of them are like.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to either crack or cocaine, just know there are ways to seek help. Though difficult, getting treatment for an addiction to cocaine or crack is one of the best ways to overcome your substance abuse problems.

Methods of Use

How you use cocaine and crack differs. Cocaine comes in a powdery substance that is most frequently snorted or rubbed on the gums.

It’s a very fine powder that doesn’t take too much to get you feeling the side effects. Some people inject cocaine into the bloodstream with a needle, but this isn’t the most common way to use it.

Crack is typically smoked and inhaled into the lungs. Crack can have a very powerful effect, and like cocaine doesn’t take much to get you intoxicated.

Side Effects

Some of the side effects that you get from cocaine and crack use will be very similar, like the following:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Heart attack
  • Mood swings
  • Violent outbursts

The main differences in their side effects are related to how they are consumed. For cocaine, people will experience a runny nose, nosebleeds, difficulty swallowing, holes in their nose, and a loss of smell. People that smoke crack will have side effects like respiratory distress, cough, asthma, and an increased risk of respiratory infections.

Price Point

Cocaine is often referred to as a “rich man’s drug” because it is commonly found among more wealthy individuals. This association comes from the 1980s and Wall Street bankers and Hollywood stars.

It’s a drug often used to party and stay up all night, with bursts of energy and confidence as you continue to pump it into your system. It has maintained this idea for years and still is regarded as a very expensive drug, which is ironic for its short-lived intoxication.

On the other hand, crack was created and distributed as a cheaper alternative to cocaine. So for less money, you could experience an even more powerful version of cocaine, which flooded lower-income communities throughout the United States.

As a result of these price differences, there is also a different view on people who use crack and cocaine, even though they are virtually the same drug.

The Onset of Action and Half-Life

Both cocaine and crack are quick to respond in the body. You will feel the effects of using either of these in a short amount of time, though crack has a faster effect.

Not only do you feel the effects of crack faster, but they come in shorter bursts. Cocaine may take a bit longer to get through your system and can have a longer-lasting effect after the fact.

Cocaine effects can last up to 30 minutes, whereas crack effects usually are gone within 10 minutes. For people that want a quicker effect than cocaine, they tend to move on towards crack so that they can keep up with their needs.

Criminal Penalties

Every state has different penalties for selling and using cocaine or crack. However, the history of crack and cocaine shows a disproportionate breakdown of crack than cocaine. The penalties are often stronger and harsher for the distribution of crack over cocaine.

Not only does this target people in lower-income communities, but it paints the picture that crack is worse than cocaine use. You could easily argue that both crack use and cocaine use should be avoided and that they both have serious implications for a person’s health and safety.


Because of the difference in penalties for crack and cocaine, more people will admit to having used cocaine over crack. In general, despite cocaine being more expensive, cocaine is regarded as the better version of the two and more likely to be consumed by people. People know you’re less likely to receive a harsh punishment if caught with cocaine over crack.

Addiction Treatment Can Help

People suffering from drug abuse and addiction do not need to be penalized. They need to be helped and given proper treatment to overcome their addiction. Seeking help is half the battle, but SOBA Recovery Center of San Antonio, Texas, offers an easy solution.

When you seek addiction treatment at SOBA, you work with our addiction specialists and therapists to come up with a treatment plan that is right for you. Everyone requires their own set of needs, and SOBA works with each individual to better understand their needs.

You can start with our inpatient services, detoxification program, and group therapy. Reach out today to a SOBA representative to learn more about what we have to offer to help you or a loved one overcome their addiction to crack or cocaine.


Cocaine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Drug Scheduling | DEA

Crack Cocaine Fast Facts | National Drug Intelligence Center

Cracks in the System: 20 Years of the Unjust Federal Crack Cocaine Law | American Civil Liberties Union

Methadone Side Effects and Long-Term Use

Methadone is a drug that can be prescribed by a doctor or used illicitly off the streets. How you obtain methadone and why you use it can vary drastically, but when taken under medical supervision, it can have a lot of benefits.

There is a risk of becoming dependent on methadone, so you must be careful about how much you take and how often. If problems arise with your or a loved one’s methadone use, seek a professional treatment program.

Methadone is somewhat of a double-edged sword — while it can be beneficial for people with opioid use disorder to use it, the short- and long-term side effects can be damaging. To learn more about what methadone is and its side effects, continue reading.

What Is Methadone?

Methadone is described as a synthetic, narcotic analgesic drug that works to help relieve chronic pain. It’s a prescription painkiller that can be given out to those that experience moderate to severe pain.

While it can be prescribed to people, it has a risk of becoming addictive, so it may not be the first painkiller to be prescribed to someone. When a person has a history of substance abuse, with opiates or benzodiazepines, methadone might not be the best thing to give them.

On the other hand, methadone is often used to help people struggling with addiction to opioids wean themselves off their drug abuse. Similar to buprenorphine, methadone maintenance treatment is usually monitored by a medical healthcare provider because there is still a risk of becoming dependent on methadone, even though it can really help with opioid withdrawal symptoms.

How Does It Work?

Methadone works to change the way your brain, body, and nervous system react to pain. It can bring you a sense of pain relief while in your system, so it can be helpful for those that have undergone surgery, are experiencing chronic or acute pain, or suffer from a long-term illness.

Methadone that is prescribed will be given to a patient in an oral form, such as a tablet, powder, or liquid. It is important to stick to the exact dose of methadone (methadose) and timeline when taking methadone to lower the risk of becoming dependent on having it in your system.

What Is It Used For?

Methadone is used as a pain reliever when it’s being prescribed, but it has another purpose that is useful for those struggling with addiction. Methadone is often given to people struggling with opioid use disorder because it works to block the high that opioids like heroin, codeine, hydrocodone, morphine, and oxycodone. People trying to come off of opioids are strongly advised not to do it cold turkey but to wean themselves off it.

While methadone will still produce a high in the body, it is not as strong as other opioids. This means it can limit the chance of overdose, withdrawal symptoms, or intense cravings as you replace your opioid use with methadone.

This is often called “replacement therapy,” but it is not the end of the addiction journey. You still need to seek therapy and professional addiction treatment to see the results you want.

History of Methadone

Methadone was first used by German medics during World War II when morphine was becoming hard to get ahold of. Methadone was created by two German scientists, Max Bockmühl and Gustav Ehrhart, and was seen as less addicting than morphine.

Eventually, its use crossed over to the Allied forces, and a few years later, it was made available to the people of the United States. In the late 1940s, it was marketed as an all-purpose pain medication, but three decades later, it was approved by the FDA to treat opioid addiction and narcotic abuse.

Now, doctors can prescribe methadone for pain and as a way to help opioid users through their recovery journey.

Side Effects of Methadone

The side effects of methadone have a great range, and everyone has their own response to it. While it can be extremely helpful and useful to those in recovery, it’s important not to forget that it’s still a narcotic and has the risk of being abused. Even when a person uses methadone under their doctor’s orders, it can cause negative side effects.

Some of the mild side effects that you might experience when using higher doses of methadone are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Lightheadedness
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Urinary retention
  • Constipation
  • Sexual impotence
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Sore tongue
  • Skin flushing

Some more serious side effects that you might experience during short-term use are:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Tremors
  • Fainting
  • Seizures
  • Chest pain
  • Allergic reactions
  • Depressed respiratory function
  • Tremors
  • Death as a result of an overdose

Risk of Long-Term Use of Methadone

Methadone use is not meant to be used indefinitely. For some, it might take a little longer to wean themselves off of opioids, and methadone is there to help. However, long-term use of methadone can produce various negative side effects that will need intervention of their own.

It’s important that if you think someone is misusing their methadone, reach out and offer your support. It can be difficult to admit that you’re struggling, especially when the purpose of the medication is to help overcome your opioid addiction.


When people are prescribed methadone for their pain, there is a risk that they can become chemically dependent on having it in their system. Addiction can happen to anyone, so if not monitored properly, you might be at a higher risk.

When methadone is taken improperly, like by snorting a powdered version of it, it can result in a high similar to that of an opioid use high. When misused in this way, addiction is more likely to occur. Methadone use alters your brain, similarly to how other opioids can change your brain and how it functions.

Psychological Effects

Methadone can directly impact your mental health, increasing the likelihood of experiencing psychological effects. People can suffer from hallucinations and delusions, making it more difficult to distinguish what is real.

As a result, people using methadone might become more paranoid and suffer from sleep disorders or suicidal ideations. It can create more anxiety and put you into a place of depression, which is why going through other forms of therapy during your methadone use can be helpful.

While methadone is a medication that can help, going through talk therapy or group therapy sessions works on a different part of your problem.

Health Impacts

Long-term use of methadone can impair your liver, kidney, nerves, and brain, with more research being done to learn more about side effects. When lab rats were tested with methadone, it was found that the rats had lower attention spans than previously. This implication might mean there is a chance of impaired concentration after prolonged methadone use.


If people using methadone begin to change their doses on their own or take it more frequently, they are putting themselves at risk of an overdose. Even trying to quit cold turkey might send your body into shock, causing you to crave more than usual.

The signs that someone using methadone might be experiencing an overdose are:

  • Breathing problems: shallow breathing or trouble breathing deeply
  • A slower heart rate
  • Respiratory depression
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Fainting
  • Weak muscles
  • Small pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Inability to communicate

An overdose of methadone can be fatal and will need intervention to happen immediately.

Seeking Treatment With Soba Recovery

Treating methadone addiction is similar to treating every other drug addiction here at Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas. We believe that addiction can not be treated without treating each patient as the individual that they are. When you call today, you can schedule an initial consultation that helps the staff here better understand your needs.

Everyone goes through addiction differently, so we create customized treatment plans that put your needs first. Then we can determine treatment options to move you toward success and recovery.

Whether you start inpatient and move to outpatient or start with outpatient to enter into sober living quarters, we will help you make the best decisions.

Call us to talk with a Soba representative about how we can help you through your addiction. You can start your journey toward sobriety and recovery as soon as today!


Methadone – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Disposition Of Nasal, Intravenous, And Oral Methadone In Healthy Volunteers | NCBI

The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: Implications for Treatment | NCBI

Possible Harmful Effects From Prolonged Use Of Methadone | Medical News Today