What Is Norco? Uses and Side Effects

What Is Norco? Uses and Side Effects

If you or a loved one has ever had to endure severe pain due to an injury or surgery, they might have been prescribed Norco. Norco is the brand name for a prescription drug combination used to relieve severe pain.

When pain becomes unbearable, a doctor will usually prescribe a drug that can soothe the discomfort with more pleasurable side effects. Not everyone will be prescribed Norco; it truly depends on the severity of a person’s pain and their history with addiction.

When misused, Norco can become highly addictive and can negatively impact a person’s life. Though it can help with your pain, you don’t want to end up in the vicious cycle of opiate addiction and drug abuse.

To learn more about what Norco is, what it is used for, and what its side effects are, keep reading!

What is Norco?

Norco, similar to Vicodin, is a combination of two drugs: hydrocodone and acetaminophen. These are used to help relieve severe pain.

Hydrocodone is a schedule IIpain reliever that works on opioid receptors, similar to other controlled substances such as codeine, oxycodone, and benzodiazepines such as alprazolam. Hydrocodone will work to alter how your brain feels and reacts to pain, even sending your brain pleasure signals.

Acetaminophen is a non-opioid medication for pain relief and fever. You can find over-the-counteracetaminophen, such as Tylenol, which many use as an alternative to Ibuprofen (Advil).

Both hydrocodone and acetaminophen are analgesics, which are medicines that relieve feelings of pain. However, OTC analgesics and opioid analgesics are subject to different FDA and other regulations pertaining to prescribing and use.

It is given to a person in a capsule, a tablet, or an oral solution, usually in doses such as 5 mg, 7.5 mg, 10 mg, and 15 mg. Like other medications that contain opioids, Norco has the potential to lead to dependence or addiction. If you or someone you know is prescribed Norco, it is important to take the correct dose each time and only for the necessary length of time.

How Do Opioids Work?

Opioids are either natural or synthetically made, but a majority of the opioids that people are prescribed for pain are synthetic. Opioids act on the central nervous system (CNS), binding to receptors in a person’s brain to help reduce pain by blocking it out.

When people use opioids, the good feelings that they get can become highly addicting. The euphoria that opioids can bring is not always easy to experience without the drugs in your system. For people more susceptible to addiction, this can be dangerous.

Trying to stop using opioids when you’ve been misusing them can result in negative side effects, so it’s important to seek help if substance abuse occurs.

What Is Norco Used For?

Norco is usually prescribed to people who have endured an injury, undergone serious surgery, have acute back pain, or suffer chronic pain. It blocks nerve impulses telling you that you are in pain so you don’t feel it while it’s in your system.

The dose you are given depends on your pain levels and should be taken based on your doctor’s orders.

Cough Suppressant/Muscle Relaxant

Another reason that someone might be prescribed Norco is as a muscle relaxant. If someone is dealing with moderate to severe muscle spasms or stiffness, Norco can help relax the muscles and reduce discomfort.

Norco can also work as a cough suppressant because hydrocodone is an antitussive that directly impacts the cough center of the brain.

Side Effects of Norco

The most common side effects of using Norco are constipation, breathing problems such as slowed breathing, respiratory depression, and urinary retention. This can even occur when taking Norco appropriately and changing the dosage once, so it’s important to stick to the appropriate amount.

Sometimes, slow breathing and urinary retention can be a sign that you are having an allergic reaction to the drug, so reach out to your doctor if there are any immediate issues.


If you are not using Norco for a short period of time, there are still short-term side effects that you may experience. Over time you might notice that these adverse effects go away, but new ones will pop up after long-term use.

Some short-term side effects of using Norco that you could encounter are:

  • Drowsiness, sedation, tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleepiness
  • Drop in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Constipation


There are long-term effects that might impact you as a result of the habit-forming use of Norco. Even for people that do not abuse the drug, extended use of it could lead to the following long-term side effects:

  • Abnormal nervous system function
  • Allergic reaction
  • Breathing problems
  • Bronchospasm (tightening of the muscles that line the airways in your lungs)
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Liver damage
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hearing loss
  • Possible head injury
  • Life-threatening implications, such as death

If you experience any continuous side effects, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Dangers of Addiction to Norco

Due to the hydrocodone that is in Norco, the combination product has the potential to influence addiction. An addiction can begin if a person using Norco develops a physical dependence on the drug.

Getting help for an addiction to Norco might not happen right away as the person taking them might not even recognize they have an issue with the use of hydrocodone. Sometimes addiction is more obvious to those around the person struggling as the signs of addiction become easier to see.

Some people that develop an addiction to Norco also have co-occurring disorders like depression or bipolar disorder that can influence their chances of addiction.

Signs of Addiction

Before a person struggling can ask for help, they might give away signs of their addiction. When someone is dealing with addiction, their mental health, physical health, and behavior begin to change drastically.

Mental Health:

  • Poor judgment and decision making
  • Impaired memory
  • A decline in mental health, i.e. more anxiety, severe depression
  • Inability to focus or concentrate

Physical Health:

  • Poor coordination and balance
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred Speech
  • The yellowness of skin or eyes
  • Changes in appetite

Behavioral Changes:

  • Lying or trying to deceive
  • Using Norco even though they’re no longer prescribed it
  • Using the drug despite the negative side effects
  • Borrowing or stealing Norco from other people
  • Changing their friend group
  • Spending less time with family and friends
  • Change in personality
  • Asking for money to get more Norco

Norco Withdrawal and Overdose

When someone has become dependent on Norco, trying to quit without tapering off on your prescription can cause an adverse reaction. You may suffer from withdrawal symptoms that lead you to using again or even an opioid overdose due to using high doses of Norco.

When a person overdoses from Norco, they might have symptoms like the following. If you notice that someone is experiencing one of these symptoms, seek professional medical help as soon as possible:

  • Seizures
  • Losing consciousness
  • Disorientation
  • Slurred speech
  • Clammy skin that is cold to the touch
  • A blue tint near their fingertips
  • Labored or shallow breathing

Withdrawal from Norco can happen slowly, getting worse before it can get better. Quitting any drug cold-turkey can be extremely difficult and dangerous, so it’s recommended that you wean yourself off of drugs and under medical supervision. When someone is dependent on a drug like Norco, it can feel like something is missing when they stop using it. The brain is unable to function properly without the drug in its system blocking the pain signals.

Signs that someone is suffering from withdrawal of Norco are:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Dilated pupils

Seeking help to go through the withdrawal process safely can expand your odds of a successful recovery. Trying to detox your body by yourself doesn’t always go as planned, and getting help is always a good idea.

Get Help With Soba Recovery

Using Norco doesn’t have to lead to addiction, but when it does, seeking treatment to overcome it can give you the best results. You don’t want to go through the withdrawal process alone, and you don’t have to!

With Soba Recovery Centers in San Antonio, Texas, you can receive 24/7 care while you overcome your addiction and work toward recovery. Here at the Soba Recovery Center, our addiction specialists will develop a personalized plan.

They will guide you through the detoxification process, start you with inpatient care, implement both group therapy and individual therapy along with medication if needed, and work with you on your own time.

To see results, you have to get to the bottom of where your addiction is coming from. Reach out to a Soba representative today to learn more about what we can offer you during your addiction recovery journey.


Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen | NCBI Bookshelf

Bronchospasm And Its Biophysical Basis In Airway Smooth Muscle | NCBI

The Neurobiology of Opioid Dependence: Implications for Treatment | NCBI

Warning Signs of Substance and Alcohol Use Disorder | Information for Family and Friends | Indian Health Service

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms: What To Expect

Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms: What To Expect

Anyone can struggle with addiction, no matter who they are or what the circumstances in their life are. It’s a disease that does not discriminate against anyone and can impact people you might never even consider.

Cocaine is a drug common in the party scene and is often referred to as a drug for “the rich.” That’s because of the high price point and the amount someone might need to buy to maintain their addiction.

Someone trying to quit using cocaine and become sober may find it difficult to do. Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug that impacts the brain and nervous system. Even after you’ve used it just once, your brain can begin to crave the euphoria associated with the drug.

Withdrawal symptoms from prolonged use or misuse of cocaine can be painful and dangerous, so intervention is often encouraged. Learn more about what to expect from cocaine use withdrawals below.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive, Schedule II controlled substance. It is derived from the coca plant, but only recently has the psychoactive component been extracted to obtain what we know as cocaine.

It is usually snorted in powder form but can be injected or rubbed into the gums. The rock-form, known as “crack,” is smoked through a pipe.

There was a time when cocaine was used commonly in medication and elixirs before it became clear it had a high potential for addiction. When there is repeated cocaine use, the person using it can develop a physiological dependency on it.

Side Effects of Cocaine Use

When you use cocaine, there are both short-term and long-term effects that can occur. The short-term effects of cocaine use are:

  • Euphoria
  • Energy
  • Being talkative
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of sleep

Some of the long-term effects of cocaine use can be:

  • Tolerance
  • Addiction
  • Mood swings
  • Increased anxiety and stress
  • Convulsions
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Chronic inflammation of the nasal passage

Cocaine Withdrawal: What Is It?

When someone has been using cocaine for a long period, trying to stop can feel impossible. Your brain and body are so used to having cocaine in their system that you can experience intense withdrawal symptoms if you stop.

You will have built up your tolerance and developed a physiological dependence on cocaine to the point that you will not feel normal unless you have it. Cocaine is highly addictive and doesn’t take much to get you hooked. As you use it more and more, you will need a higher quantity of it to feel good.

Eventually, they will be suffering from substance abuse without proper intervention. When a person goes without cocaine, how their body reacts can be uncomfortable and potentially fatal. For that reason alone, seeking detoxification treatment to help you through withdrawal can ensure your safety.

Causes of Cocaine Withdrawal

Cocaine impacts the brain and alters how it perceives pain and pleasure. Your brain will release higher amounts of certain chemicals into your body when using cocaine, especially for prolonged periods. This causes you to rely more on the drug to feel pleasure and a lack of pain.

When a person stops using cocaine, a crash usually follows. Not only will a person go through mental turmoil during this period, but they will also feel the negative physical side effects.

The urge to use when trying to stop or after a binge can be hard to control. If you are trying to stop using cocaine, withdrawal symptoms are likely to occur. Having a plan and support system is best to help get you through it.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Everyone going through the withdrawal process will experience it differently. How you react to the lack of cocaine in your system depends on how much you have used and for long you have been using. This varies from person to person, which means the reaction does too.

Regardless of your experience, the process can be dangerous and often very uncomfortable and painful. Your body is essentially going into shock as it’s being stripped away of any feelings of pleasure, which only enhances how bad your body feels without it.

The three areas that are most greatly affected during a cocaine withdrawal are your mental health, physical health, and behavioral health. If you’re trying to recognize if someone is going through withdrawal signs, these are the three main areas to pay attention to.

Mental Health

A person using cocaine is likely to show signs of mental distress. They may think they are behaving normally but can come across as highly energetic or irrational.

You may begin to see changes in their mood and emotions, with the inability to figure out what side of them you’re getting on a given day. Cocaine withdrawal can cause a person to experience outbursts and irritability without any great reason.

If a person is undergoing withdrawals from cocaine use, you may notice the following negative mental health symptoms:

  • Poor concentration
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Increased signs of depression
  • Paranoia
  • Debilitating dysphoria that leads to suicidal ideation

Physical Health

One of the easiest ways to tell if someone is suffering from cocaine withdrawal is to note their physical health. For many, a decline in physical health during withdrawals makes relapsing very common.

The pain and discomfort can become too much, leading to a person seeking out cocaine to make it stop. In general, a person going through cocaine withdrawal will not experience nausea or vomiting, two symptoms often associated with withdrawal from other drugs.

Physical signs that a person is experiencing cocaine withdrawals are:

  • Increased appetite
  • Slowed movements
  • Disruptions in sleep patterns
  • Cravings
  • Slowed speech
  • Lack of hygiene

Behavioral Health

You may begin to notice changes in how a loved one behaves. They may not be acting like themselves and becoming more and more distant. Going through withdrawal is difficult; people must get sick before getting better.

Withdrawals can cause a person to act out and take out their frustration and pain on others. While it’s not always a healthy way to cope, it can say a lot about what a person is going through.

Some of the behavior changes you might notice are:

  • Lashing out at loved ones
  • Isolating themselves
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Lying to loved ones

How Long Does Cocaine Withdrawal Last?

The amount of time that you go through withdrawals from cocaine depends on if you are using crack cocaine or powdered cocaine. Crack cocaine usually has a faster onset of withdrawal symptoms just hours after using it.

Acute cocaine withdrawal symptoms may only last a few days, but for others, the symptoms can occur for up to four months.

If you are not actively treating your addiction, you are more likely to relapse after trying to stop. While it’s important to stop using cocaine, you must also treat your mental and physical health. Taking care of yourself and having a support system that can help keep you on track will give you a better chance at recovery.

With the help of treatment, managing your cocaine use and withdrawal is safer and more effective. It lets you focus your energy on getting better and getting through your withdrawals.

Seeking Treatment Can Help

You don’t have to go through cocaine withdrawal on your own. Considering how uncomfortable and painful the process can be, you don’t have to be alone when seeking treatment.

Instead, with Soba Recovery in San Antonio, Texas, you can be cared for 24/7 with inpatient services or find a treatment plan that works around your schedule.

At Soba Recovery, our goal is to develop a treatment plan that helps you get to the bottom of your addiction. We work to treat all of your struggles so that you can work towards improving your mental health and getting back on track.

So much of recovery is the work you put into improving your well-being. The longer you continue to use without treatment, the harder it is to quit.

Reach out to a Soba representative to learn more about our services and how we can help you or a loved one. It’s never too late to ask for help, and we promise to be there every step of the way.


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

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

The Neurobiology of Cocaine Addiction | NCBI

Cocaine withdrawal | UF Health, University of Florida Health

Signs of Cocaine Use: What To Look For

Many people in the United States will come across cocaine in their lifetime. Though not everyone will take it, it can develop into an addiction for some. Using cocaine often occurs earlier in a person’s life, with it being considered a party drug.

About 1.5 million people in the United States over 12 are estimated to have cocaine use disorder. Its prevalence in media and accessibility to it makes it a very dangerous drug, as the dangers of it aren’t always made clear.

Cocaine’s glorification in the media can bring about a misunderstanding of the drug, its high risk of addiction, and the damaging effects that it can have. To help someone that is struggling with a cocaine addiction, you should be aware of the different signs to look out for.

To learn more about cocaine use and the signs that someone is misusing it, read below.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug known to be more expensive than other street drugs. It is often referred to as “blow” or “coke” and is usually snorted to achieve the high. The federal government classifies it as being highly addictive with a high dependency risk.

Cocaine is a stimulant that is classified as a Schedule II drug due to the dangers it can cause. People that use cocaine often do it while partying and are more likely to use alcohol with it, which can cause even more problems.

When using cocaine, a person might experience a heightened sense of euphoria and pleasure. Cocaine stimulates the part of the brain that rewards us for good behavior, so it can become addicting quickly.

Once your body has experienced cocaine, it might become dependent on the feeling and crave more. Even after just one use, a person might begin to seek out more and mortoto achieve the same high.

Signs of Cocaine Use

When a person is using cocaine, they might show signs of the usage. It might not be obvious at first, but the more time you spend with them, the more you will be able to see it.

Cocaine use is often associated with a higher class and way of life, with many people being really good at holding jobs and maintaining families while in deep addiction. It’s not always apparent that someone is struggling with cocaine use, but the signs become clearer over time.

Every person will have their own story regarding their cocaine abuse, so no two people will display the same signs. It’s important to check in on your family and friends if you think they are struggling to give them the support they might need.


Some of the first signs of cocaine use you might pick up on are physical ones. Cocaine use can take a toll on a person’s physical health, and those close to the person might be able to see how their body and face change.

Some of the physical signs of cocaine use that you may notice are:

  • Nosebleeds
  • White powdery residue left on the nose and mouth
  • Burn marks on a person’s hands or lips
  • Lack of hygiene (not showering, brushing teeth, or combing hair)
  • Intense weight loss
  • Change in eating habits
  • Sleep-related issues
  • Dilated pupils
  • Runny nose
  • Damage to nasal passages
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Increased bursts of energy

A person may stop looking like themselves, with more of a gaunt appearance, when misusing cocaine. They might feel weaker and easily fatigued when not actively using the drug.


Cocaine use also impacts your mental health and increases your chances of mental illness. If you are someone that already struggles with mental health-related issues, using cocaine can make them worse or cause flare-ups.

Specifically, when you are coming down from a cocaine high, you can become deeply depressed and experience mental turmoil.

Some other mental health signs that someone is struggling with their cocaine use are:

  • Mood swings
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depressive episodes
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability

People using cocaine may think they are on top of the world but do not realize that their mental health is slowly declining as they continue their abuse. Seeking treatment that works on your addiction and mental health struggles is often the best way to see results.


Cocaine changes how a person behaves. While they are using it and even when they are not, cocaine can influence a person’s behavior and make them act out in ways that are not in their character.

For many, watching a person’s behavior is the greatest giveaway that they struggle with drugs. When you know the person struggling well, the changes in their behavior are hard to ignore.

Some changes that you might notice are:

  • Lying about their drug use
  • Constantly asking to borrow money
  • Hanging around with new people
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Not being able to hold down a job
  • Not taking care of their responsibilities
  • Engaging in risky and dangerous behaviors
  • Excited speech patterns
  • Bizarre and violent behaviors
  • Increased sex drive
  • Restlessness
  • Loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
  • Boost in confidence
  • Social isolation and a need for privacy

You know your loved one best. If you begin to notice changes in their behavior, you may want to work towards intervening and offering them your support. Dealing with a cocaine addiction can be isolating, and even though asking for help is hard, a community of support goes a long way.

Addiction to Cocaine

A person becomes addicted to cocaine for multiple reasons. No one thing leads a person to addiction or cocaine in particular. Instead, multiple factors play into why cocaine addiction has developed.

Anyone can become addicted to any substance, but there might be reasons why one person is more susceptible to the disease than others.

  • Genetics: People with a parent or sibling who suffers from addiction are more likely to develop an addiction in their lifetime. When meshed with other factors, this can lead to a dangerous outcome.
  • Environmental: People around drugs more, either at home or through their friends, are more likely to develop an addiction.
  • Psychological: A person struggling with other mental health disorders is more likely to develop an addiction. Addiction often latches on to people at a low place in their life. If you’re struggling and looking for ways to cope, cocaine can provide a burst of energy and euphoria that feels like a reward.
  • BrainChemistry: People who may not have been born with the proper neurotransmitters may be more likely to develop a cocaine addiction. This is because cocaine supplements what they lack and can help them to feel pleasure.

Seeking Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine addiction, there are treatment options out there that can help. Trying to quit cocaine alone might feel overwhelming and difficult to do without the right support system. Cocaine addiction requires you to detoxify and enter into therapy for your substance use disorder.

To see positive changes, you must take care of all aspects of your health. Therapy, detox, and being surrounded by supportive community members make the journey to addiction recovery feel less intimidating.

Soba Recovery Can Help

When you visit us at Soba Recovery Center in San Antonio, Texas, you can gain access to medical professionals and addiction specialists that want you to succeed. You are not alone when you’re at Soba. From around-the-clock care with our inpatient services or a more flexible commitment with our outpatient care, you get the care you deserve at our facility.

Cocaine addiction doesn’t have to be for the rest of your life. If you want help, you can get help! Reach out to a Soba representative to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one find their way to recovery.


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

Warning Signs of Drug Abuse | Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

Understanding The Genetics And Neurobiological Pathways Behind Addiction (Review) | NCBI

The Neurobiology of Cocaine Addiction | NCBI

Is CBD Addictive? Learn the Facts

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

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

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

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

What Is CBD?

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

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

How Do You Use It?

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

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

Is It Addictive?

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

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

Effects of CBD

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

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

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

May Soothe Stress

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

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

Relief for Chronic Pain

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

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

Helping With Symptoms of Depression

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

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

Reduces Epileptic Seizures

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

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

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

Side Effects of CBD

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

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

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

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

What Do the Experts Say?

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

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

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

A Word from SOBA

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Heroin Detox: What To Expect

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

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

What Should You Know About Heroin Addiction?

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

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

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

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

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

Why Is Detox an Important Part of Heroin Addiction Treatment?

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

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

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

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

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

What To Expect During a Heroin Detox

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

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

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

The Detoxification Process

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

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

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

Compassionate Care Throughout the Detox Process

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

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

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

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

Coping With Withdrawal Symptoms

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

Some of these withdrawal symptoms may include:

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

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

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

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

Moving Forward After Detox: Treatment Programs at SOBA New Jersey

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

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

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

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

Start Your Journey Towards Sobriety

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

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

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

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


Heroin DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

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

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

What Are Gateway Drugs? Your Complete Guide

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

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

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

The Gateway Drug Theory

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

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

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

How Does This Theory Work?

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

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

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

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

History of Gateway Drugs

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

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

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

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

Common Gateway Drugs

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

Controversy About This Theory

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

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

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

SOBA Can Help

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

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


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

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

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

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

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?

How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your Urine?

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

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

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

What Happens When You Drink Alcohol?

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

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

Side Effects

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

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

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

How Long Is Alcohol in Your System?

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

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


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

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


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


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


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


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

Factors That Influence Alcohol Detection

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


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

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


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

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

Contents of Stomach

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

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

Type of Alcohol Consumed

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

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

Individual Tolerance

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

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

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

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Use

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

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

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

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

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


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

The Risks Associated With Alcohol Use and Alcoholism | NCBI

Alcohol Metabolism | NCBI

Lean Drug: What Is Purple Drank?

Lean Drug: What Is Purple Drank?

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

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

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

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

What Is Lean?

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

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

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

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

Some other names that lean is referred to include:

  • Purple drank
  • Sizzurp
  • Dirty Sprite
  • Purple lean

How Lean Works in the Body

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

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

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

How Long Do the Effects Last?

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

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

What Are the Dangers of Purple Drank?

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

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

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

Some potential risks of drinking lean are:

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

Who Is Using Lean?

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

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

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

Side Effects of Lean

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Developing a Lean Addiction

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

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

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

Treating a Lean Addiction at Soba Recovery

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

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

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

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

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


Promethazine – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Codeine – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

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

How Long Does Fentanyl Stay In Your System?

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

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

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

What Is Fentanyl?

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

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

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

How Does Fentanyl Work?

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

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

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

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

Effects of Fentanyl

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

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

Other effects of fentanyl are:

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

Signs and Symptoms of Fentanyl Use

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

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

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

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

How Long Does It Stay In Your System?

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

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

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

What Influences How Long Fentanyl Stays In Your System?

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

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

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


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


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


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

How Is Fentanyl Addiction Treated?

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

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

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

Seek Treatment With Soba Recovery

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

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

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

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


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

Fentanyl | Opioids | CDC

Fentanyl | DEA

Vicodin Side Effects And Long-Term Abuse

Vicodin Side Effects And Long-Term Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

What Is Vicodin?

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

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

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

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

What Is Vicodin Used For?

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

Short-Term Side Effects

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

Some of the effects of using Vicodin are:

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

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

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

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

The Risk of Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

Withdrawal from Vicodin

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

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

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

Long-Term Side Effects

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

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

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


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

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

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

Physical Effects

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

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

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

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

Mental Effects

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

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

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

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

Get Help From Soba Recovery Center

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

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

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

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


Hydrocodone and Acetaminophen – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

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

The Vicodin Abuse Problem: A Mathematical Approach | ScienceDirect