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All across this country in small towns, rural areas and cities, alcoholism and drug abuse are destroying the lives of men, women and their families. Where to turn for help? What to do when friends, dignity and perhaps employment are lost?

The answer is Palm Partners Recovery Center. It’s a proven path to getting sober and staying sober.

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11 Meth Addiction Side Effects and Health Risks

11 Meth Addiction Side Effects and Health Risks

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Methamphetamine is a powerful stimulant drug commonly referred to as meth. It is used by roughly 4% of the population of the U.S., with recent reports showing meth using rising in areas around the country.

  • 2012- 440,000 people reported using meth
  • 2014- 569,000 people reported using meth

That is a 29% increase in just two years!

  • 2014- 3,700 overdose deaths were caused by meth
  • 2015- 4,900 overdose deaths were caused by meth
  • 2016- 7,700 overdose deaths were caused by meth

Recent statistics indicate that meth is one of the most commonly used drugs in America. This illicit chemical substance is a Schedule II drug, with an elevated potential for:

  • Abuse
  • Dependency
  • Addiction
  • Long-term health issues

Using this drug is not only illegal but extremely dangerous for both mental health and physical health. Meth addiction can lead to some very serious organ problems, and can even be fatal. The risks associated with meth addiction only get worse the longer that someone uses it. More damage is done to the organs and the risks of developing other health issues continued to increase.

Meth is a highly addictive drug, and meth addiction can be very difficult to overcome without safe medical detox, professional treatment, and continued support. Due to the risks of meth use, one should not wait to get help. But how do you know someone has a meth addiction?

Here are 11 signs and side effects of meth addiction to watch out for.

  1. Meth Mouth

Xerostomia, commonly known as dry mouth, is a well-known side-effect of meth addiction. The mouths own saliva contains antibacterial properties that naturally help to maintain oral hygiene. When someone has a chronic dry mouth, less saliva is produced, causing more exposure to bacteria. “Meth mouth” is when dry mouth from meth use causes thing like:

  • Inflammation
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth loss

Regular issues with oral hygiene such as these may be an indication of frequent meth use.

  1. Hallucinations

A common side effect of long-term meth addiction is experiencing hallucinations. This may not mean they are currently under the influence of the drug. Hallucinations are not only visual either. Some people who hallucinate due to meth use experience:

  • Disturbing images or people who aren’t there
  • Hear phantom sounds and voices
  • Smell odors
  • Fell phantom sensations

Sometimes the hallucinated sensations can lead to other side effects.

  1. Open Sores

A side effect of meth use is severe itching, which can cause intense scratching that creates huge, red, open sores on the skin. The sores can happen even after the first use. Typically they show up on:

  • Face
  • Arms
  • Chest

This is because the chemicals used to make meth can dry out the skin. But the itching and scratching fits can also be caused by hallucinations created by the chemicals in the drug. Some users will think there are bugs on, or even beneath their skin.

  1. Violent Outburst

Meth addiction is frequently connected to aggressive behavior and even bursts of violence. Studies conducted among meth users have determined that:

  • 56% of meth uses admit the drug causes them to commit violence
  • 59% reported specific violent criminal behaviors, such as robbery and homicide

This powerful stimulant can exaggerate aggression. If you or a loved one exhibits uncharacteristically violent outbursts, it may be a sign of serious meth addiction.

  1. Insomnia

A signature side effect of most stimulants is that they prominently influence the central nervous system, giving an individual an energy boost. Due to the heightened sense of alertness, meth addiction often causes sleep disturbances and insomnia.

Many meth users report to staying awake for several days or even weeks at a time. Eventually, they may experience an intense crash for two or three days between extended periods of intense stimulation.

  1. Nervous/Anxious

As meth continues acting on the central nervous system, the stimulant typically makes someone feel more nervous or anxious on a constant basis.

  • Evidence shows roughly 75% of meth users have experience anxiety disorders

Anxiety is one of the most commonly reported psychiatric symptoms of people addicted to meth.

  1. Paranoia

Along with the effects of the stimulant on energy levels, meth also influences the part of the brain that controls rational thinking and emotional responses. Once this chemical acts on the brain, it can create an imbalance that causes paranoid thoughts to creep in. Other side-effects of meth can actually make it worse, including:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Increased Aggression
  • Anxiety

These various factors can contribute to a growing sense of paranoia, which could be an indication of severe meth use.

  1. Depression

Because of the effects of using meth on the brain, the stimulant also causes emotional imbalance. Some studies show:

  • 48% of meth users struggle with depression

The imbalance in brain chemicals for altering and controlling a person’s mood can lead to other mental health disorders, including bipolar disorder.

  1. Weakened Immune System

The use of meth has been connected to higher rates of inflammation and cell damage. These side effects cause many meth users to have weakened immune systems. This decreased immunity makes meth addicts more vulnerable to illnesses and diseases. Meth users suffer high rates and are at higher risk of illnesses like:

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Staph infection/MRSA
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer

These are a few examples of why someone recovering some meth should seek professional medical treatment.

  1. Brain Damage

As mentioned, the potential damage caused by meth only gets worse the longer it is used. Extended meth addiction can damage blood vessels in the brain can cause fatal side effects, including:

  • Stoke
  • Heart attack

Data has also shown meth can decrease gray matter in the brain, which increased the risk of memory problems and Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Organ Failure

Methamphetamine is commonly cut with various chemicals that are very toxic to the body. These toxins put vital organs through a lot of stress, which can lead to organ failure. A very dire sign of meth addiction is organ failure, especially regarding:

  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Lungs
  • Brain
  • Heart

Too much meth containing toxins that cannot be properly filtered or processed can cause organs to permanently shut down or cease to function, which can ultimately lead to death.

Meth Addiction Treatment

All the damage caused by meth and the chemicals combined with it should not be underestimated. This is why it is purposely suggested that those trying to recover from meth should seek out a safe medical detox in order to properly diagnose and treat related issues, and avoid further health complications. Look for a professional and personalized program that is right for you.

Beyond the physical harm, comprehensive addiction treatment should include cognitive behavioral therapy and other holistic and innovative treatment options. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, do not wait. Please call toll-free now. We want to help.

CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

5 Comic Book Superheroes Who Battled Addiction

5 Comic Book Superheroes Who Battled Addiction

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Justin Mckibben

Addiction has shattered the barriers of stigma we once believed to be separating the castes created of financial and cultural differences. Drug addiction has touched the lives of people living in every nook and cranny of our society, while climbing its way to impact those cradled in the lap of luxury, claiming countless lives everywhere in between.

Addiction is not limited to the poor and disenfranchised, nor to the morally or intellectually imbalanced, and it seems some artists and writers went out of their way to prove that point.

Looking back through the history of comic book superheroes, we can even see how the lives of our most iconic and courageous idols of the imagination were once overwhelmed with the effects of addiction, and we see how even our childhood heroes had struggled to recover.

  1. Iron Man- Alcoholic

Tony Stark is both CEO of his own company, Stark Industries, and a metal-bound man of action known as Iron Man. Being a CEO and a superhero are both job titles with an abundance of stress attached, what with needing to balance a corperate check-book and fight off alien warlords or 3 story monsters… and for Tony Stark that stress reached its climax when his Iron Man armor malfunctions, causing him to accidentally kill a diplomat at a public event.

Iron Man turns to the bottle for escape from his turmoil. Even after discovering his rival tech company Hammer was behind the malfunction and exacting vengeance, the killing of the ambassador continues to haunt Iron Man and his alcoholism spirals out of control.

Finally, after a drunken episode of self-destruction that impacts his girlfriend and butler, he finally acknowledges his alcoholism and asks them for help, and thus begins his road to recovery, which is also hinted at in the comics.

  1. Moon Knight- Prescription Pills

Moon Knight is a Marvel character that has been described as a murderous, schizophrenic anti-hero who will carry out justice by any means necessary… who just so happens to be tangled up in prescription pill abuse.

Moon Knight believes he fights as the avatar of Khonshu, Egyptian god of the moon and vengeance. It is unclear a lot of the time if his visions of the god are real or an elaborate expression of his mental illness, but either way the pills probably aren’t helping.

After one climactic battle with an arch-nemesis Moon Knight finds himself confined to a wheelchair with a pair of shattered knees. But instead of letting this be his rock-bottom, Moon Knight amplifies the abuse of painkillers and anti-psychotics to only exacerbate his role as an insane anti-hero with some serious issues.

  1. Captain America- Crystal Meth

Yes… you read that right… even Mr. Goodie Good himself, the Hitler-punching defender of democracy himself Captain America has had his stint with drug addiction.

While investigating a drug ring in New York City, Captain America gets caught in a meth-lab explosion. The big difference with Cap is that he doesn’t willingly ingest the drugs, but instead due to freak-comic-book science, the drug bonds with the super-soldier serum in his blood and instantly hooks him on Crystal Meth.

After assaulting a fellow hero and other outrageous behavior, finally Black Widow gets him under control long enough to get him back to Avengers Tower, where he detoxes… not as cool of a detox story as mine, but I can’t complain.

  1. Arsenal- Heroin

Arsenal was once the sidekick to Green Arrow from DC’s Justice League. I never knew that, and I definitely never knew he was addicted to heroin. Arsenal apparently even got clean for a while, but years after quitting, he relapses into his heroin addiction following his the death of his daughter in a terrorist attack.

High on a drug called “China Cat” and driven insane by grief Arsenal goes on a heroin addict killing spree, until Batman finally steps in to apprehend him… I kinda wish Batman had done my intervention.

Arsenal is sent to supervillain drug rehab. The story is not very popular by the fans accounts, but this series did win a PRISM award for “accurate depiction of substance abuse and mental illness.”

  1. Batman- Performance Enhancing Drugs

This one is hard for me to talk about… I mean, it’s Batman! Justice… Vengeance… the Night… the Caped Crusader himself!

Yes, even my childhood hero had an addiction… and not just to Justice. In one series after failing to save the life of a young girl, a younger Batman becomes obsessed with becoming stronger and resorts to abusing the performance-enhancing drug called “Venom.” (Fun fact- this is the same substance that later powers Bane)

The pills Batman gets hooked on take a devastating toll, as most steroid addictions do. Besides being highly addictive, the PED Venom scrambles the Dark Knight’s mind, making him take a strange pleasure in inflicting violence.

Like many of us in recovery can relate to, a drug battered Bruce Wayne suffers through various stages of addiction including:

  • Denial
  • Powerlessness
  • Relapse

Finally, the worlds greatest detective decides to go cold turkey and asks Alfred to lock him in the Batcave for 30 days. Again, sounds like a way cooler place to detox than most, but still 30 days cold turkey is not easy to shake anywhere. In the end, Batman returns as a much wiser hero, the hero Gotham deserves.

The stories of struggles with addiction for the super powered and awe inspiring may just be made up cartoons for drama, but it still makes a point to humanize the characters while simultaneously trying to show that drug abuse, addiction and mental health are very real, very powerful and pervasive issues that can impact even the most amazing people. If even our greatest and mightiest heroes can get lost and feel hopeless from drugs and alcohol, we should respect the disease and the influence it can have on our peers.

No one is perfect… yes, even Batman… and it takes compassion to realize that and support those who truly struggle. If anything, let the idea of superheroes with addiction break down the concept of stigma, and help become part of a world that promotes saving lives from addiction.

Addiction and mental illness should never be ignored, and there is hope for those who are suffering. It doesn’t have to be Batman (who is the greatest hero ever)… as cliché as it may sound, not all heroes wear capes. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, be a hero, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Drug Implant Could Save Australia’s Meth Addiction Crisis

Drug Implant Could Save Autrailia's Meth Addiction Crisis

(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model)

Author: Shernide Delva

Hundreds of addicts from Australia are turning to an unconventional and controversial treatment to try to cut their addiction to methamphetamines, or “ice”. The treatment has a 70 percent success rate but addictive medicine specialists are warning that it is not the answer.

The treatment involves surgery to have the drug naltrexone implanted in meth addicts to cut their craving. In Australia, meth is the most commonly used drugs next to marijuana. Each year, more than 300 people with drug problems consent to receive the naltrexone implant from the Fresh Start clinic in the city of Perth. The clinic is run by George O’Neil, one of the few doctors in the area who is willing to install the device. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that has been proven to reduce the reward associated with drug use.

“With amphetamine addicts, it just isn’t as enjoyable as it used to be,” on naltrexone. “And so the reward is reduced,” Dr. O’Neil said.

However, naltrexone treatments often run into problems. Drug users intentionally skip doses in order to get high or stop taking the treatment all together.  Essentially, the drug addict who desires to get high knows if they stop taking the drug, they can go back to using and feeling high again.

Now, with the implant, this will not be possible. The implant would be surgically placed into the patient’s abdomen which would remove the problem of compliance by slowly releasing naltrexone into the bloodstream maintaining an effective dose at all times.

Many believe the implant has not been proven effective. However Dr. O’Neil argues that is one of the more effective treatments. He argues that the implant has a bad reputation because other clinics provide inferior devices which dispense incorrect doses.

In 2012, three patients addicted to heroin passed away after getting naltrexone implants at a Sydney clinic. The danger of naltrexone is after it is used for a lengthy period of time, a user’s tolerance for opiates will be significantly reduced. When that happens, the chances of an overdose become much higher.

The Jury is Out

So far, The National Health and Medical Research Council’s position on the implants is that further research is needed before a statement on safety can be confidently made. A small study by West Australian addiction expert Gary Hulse is promising. Hulse studied 44 of Dr. O’Neill’s patients and found that 75 percent were not using methamphetamines after 12 to 14 weeks.  Hulse believes that the use of naltrexone for meth addicts is sound. However since there has not been any large scale studies, it is still uncertain how effective the implants could be.

Regardless, anything that could be effective in increasing the chance of recovery for addicts is worth examining further. According to a 2013 Nation Drug Strategy Survey, 7 % of the Australian population aged 14 years or older have reported using meth at least once in their lifetime.

Even in the states, meth has become a huge epidemic. People are creating meth in homemade labs. The meth crisis has resulted in many severe injuries, even death. The meth industry has become so huge all over the world that many are resorting to treatment facilities. A Thailand temple offers free treatment to addicts and its patients are most commonalty meth addicts.

Overall, the meth problem needs to be tackled. For many, it is a consuming addiction that takes over their life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or alcoholism, please call toll-free 1-561-221-1125

 

Thailand’s “Vomit Temple” Offers Free Treatment for Drug Addicts

Thailand’s “Vomit Temple” Offers Free Treatment for Drug Addicts

Author: Shernide Delva

There’s a temple called Wat Thamkrabok in Thailand that operates as a no-cost drug rehabilitation center. The temple, run by Buddhist monks, has garnered the name “Vomit Temple” and it’s not for the faint of heat.

Every day, patients at the center are told to consume a “secret” cocktail made of 120 herbal ingredients which makes them vomit. They must continue the treatment for at least five days. The process is believed to cure addiction by purging out their demons. You only get one chance to get clean.

So what happens if you don’t? Well, you’ll be cursed for eternity, of course. Patients must vow to stay off a list of drugs and are threatened with a curse if they break those vows.

The Sacred Vow: Sajja

As soon as you arrive you must take a vow known as the “Sajja.” In Thai, the Sajja means you are making a commitment to yourself. The vows are told to you by a monk and you must say them out loud in front of the founders, the monk and the temple. It’s the ultimate commitment to get clean.

The belief in Thailand is that breaking the Sajja is really dangerous.  Breaking the promise means you’ll be back to your old path that this time will lead to your demise. It’s free to come here but you only get one shot. There are no second chances. If you decide to come here, you are making a commitment to give up drugs for the rest of your life.

Of course all treatment centers want you to commit to a lifestyle of sobriety however one has to wonder if the intense nature of the vows produces a stronger commitment and prevent relapses.  It definitely seems like an “ends-all- be-all” way of approaching treatment that could be successful.

History of the Temple Thamkrabok

The temple Thamkrabok started functioning as a rehab center back in 1959 and now attracts foreigners from across the world.  Recently the temple has gained media attention as a subject for a new documentary about Australians who are turning to Thamkrabok to treat their meth addiction.

Meth, known overseas as “ice,” has become a huge problem in Australia where over 70,000 people are estimated to be dependent on the drug.

The temple has been functioning as a rehab center since 1959, attracting numerous foreigners from across the world. It has gained media attention as the subject of a new documentary about Australians who are turning to Thamkrabok to treat their meth addiction. Meth, known overseas as “ice,” is a rising problem in Australia, where over 70,000 people are estimated to be dependent on the drug.

In the documentary, it discusses how Australia has failed to address the ice epidemic driving increasing numbers of addicts to a place like Thamkrabok for an alternative form of treatment.

The documentary claims that the country has failed to address the problem, driving increasing numbers of addicts to places like Thamkrabok seeking an alternative form of treatment. Once patients arrive, they are in for a grueling daily routine.

“The routine at the temple involves going out to the yard to help with daily tasks, meals and then, of course, there’s the vomiting,” says Steve, a patient from Perth featured in the documentary. “Vomiting is at 3pm every day. Foreigners must vomit for the first five days. The vomiting is intense.”

Last year, an estimated 1,300 foreigners traveled to Thailand to go to rehab for treatment from all sorts of addictions like drug and alcohol addiction to eating disorders and even depression. There are other rehab options available like the renowned Hope Rehab which is a high-end luxury rehab that attracts famous clientele from all around the world. At the center, patients pay $10,000 for beach views and activities like horseback riding. And unlike Thamkrabok, they are not forced to drink a vomit-inducing potion every day.

Still, for those desperate to seek treatment for their addiction who can’t quite afford other options, Thamkrabok is a more than ideal option. Since rehabs in the United States can run close to 30,000, the fact that the temple is free is a huge reason why the temple is so popular with westerners.

Since often insurances cover the expense of rehab, it would be best to check into that before taking a more extreme option like traveling across the globe. Insurance could be able to cover your expenses for months rather than just a few short days. Still, it’s encouraging that options like this exist for those who desperately need it.

If you are falling into the path of addiction, get help immediately. Time is of the essence. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

Meth Lab Injuries on the Rise

Meth Lab Injuries on the Rise

Author: Shernide Delva

According to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Meth lab injuries are on the rise.

Unlike drugs that come from plants like Marijuana and Cocaine, Meth is made from other chemicals often in makeshift home laboratories. Fires, explosions, injuries and environmental contamination can occur in these labs putting the public at risk.

Data collected from five states — Louisiana, Oregon, Utah, New York, and Wisconsin have shown that meth related chemical incidents have increased from 2001 to 2004 when the drug reemerged in popularity.

There was a decline from 2005 to 2007 as lawmaker’s limited access to the drugs needed to make meth.  From 2001 to 2012, there were a total of 1325 meth-related chemical incidents. The most common reported injuries were respiratory irritation, burns, eye irritation, and skin irritation.

Recent Meth Lab Injuries:

  • In Eastern Wisconsin, a 35 year old man was treated for burn injuries after investigators say was a meth lab explosion.
  • In Louisiana, a woman was seriously injured in what investigators determined was a “rolling meth lab fire. “
  • In Daytona Beach, Florida, an 8 month old and four adults were injured when a meth lab exploded early this year.
  • Last month, an explosion in Maryland was blamed on a meth lab established in a government building. A federal security officer who was injured was blamed and charged in the case. The officer resigned his position a day after the explosion.

The CDC stated the new method of making meth called the “shake-and-bake” method is the reason for the increasing injuries being reported. The “shake-and-bake” method involved shaking chemicals in a 2-liter plastic bottle. The bottle can frequently burst causing burns and injuries.

Law enforcement officials make up a large percentage of meth-related injuries. Forty-two law enforcement officials were injured in meth lab injuries. The most common injury is respiratory irritation.

To reduce injury, researchers suggest law enforcement officials increase training in order to recognize risk as well as using personal protective equipment. Researchers cautioned that a state-by-state approach to meth production may not be effective.

For example, in 2010, Mississippi introduced “prescription-only” laws for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. While the law resulted in fewer meth labs seized in Mississippi, meth related incidents increased in neighboring state Louisiana.

Dangers lurk even after the meth lab is closed down because people can still come in contact with the leftover hazardous materials.

“Employees working as cleanup contractors, or in housekeeping, patient intake and other high-risk occupations should be alerted to the dangers,” the study authors said.

The implementing laws limiting access to the meth chemicals tracking people buying the chemicals with electronic monitoring, and maintaining a database of the offenders.

The study concludes by noting that public health is urgently needed to protect those who are most injured in meth incidents children and law enforcement officials.

Meth labs are seriously dangerous to the general public. Because of the increasing popularity of meth use, meth lab injuries are on the rise. The hope is that new policies are implemented that prevent these incidents. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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