Safe, effective drug/alcohol treatment

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.

Palm Partners’ innovative and consistently successful treatment includes: a focus on holistic health, a multi-disciplinary approach, a 12-step recovery program and customized aftercare. Depend on us for help with:

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

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone?

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone?

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

Author: Justin Mckibben

In the fight against opioid addiction many have turned to medication maintenance programs as a means to help them curb their substance abuse. Methadone is one of the more commonly utilized medication maintenance drugs. However, the system is not without its inherent and relatively serious risks. In fact, methadone abuse is common.

While methadone may not produce the same high in the same manner as heroin, it can be abused to cause the same effects as most opiates, including:

When considering methadone, there are a lot of reasons to do your research and make sure you fully understand how methadone is used and what the dangers are. Dosing of methadone will depend on a few factors, including:

  • Age of the individual
  • General condition and medical status of the patient
  • Other medications being taken

It is very important to note that methadone can have side-effects when interacting with other medications, such as:

  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Sedatives
  • Tranquilizers
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Medicines that can cause drowsiness or slow your breathing
  • Diuretics(water pills)
  • Antibiotics
  • Heart or blood pressure medications
  • HIV medicines
  • MAO inhibitors
  • Rifampin
  • Seizure medication

If methadone is taken with some other medicines the combination can cause serious medical problems. Looking at the side-effects of methadone, one should talk to their doctor about any other medications they take.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Common Side-Effects

Methadone is a narcotic used as a pain reliever, and is also used as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone hydrochloride is the generic form. Common side effects of methadone hydrochloride include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep problems
  • Weakness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Impotence

Some of these more common side-effects may not be especially dangerous, but they can lead to much more serious complications.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Serious Side-Effects

When experiencing these serious side-effects, immediately contact your doctor or seek emergency medical treatment if you experience serious side effects of methadone hydrochloride including:

  • Confusion
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Bleeding gums
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Blurred vision
  • Convulsions
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Fast or pounding heartbeat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Fainting
  • Seizures

One of the most critical mistakes many people make is assuming there is no danger in relying heavily on methadone as a means of recovery from opioid abuse. The reality is, approximately 5,000 people die due to abuse of methadone each year.

Admittedly, this is often more likely when methadone has been mixed with other substances, including alcohol and benzodiazepines. However, it is absolutely possible to overdose on methadone.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Overdose

It is possible to overdose on methadone, just as with any other powerful prescription opioid medication. Again, methadone is a narcotic and many of the overdose symptoms for methadone are the same as with other opioid medications, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing/shallow breathing
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Twitching muscles
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • bluish fingernails and lips
  • Coma
  • Death

With drug overdose, especially with such strong substances, death is a possible side-effect. Therefore it is extremely important that all side-effects are taken seriously and that someone trying to utilize methadone consults with their doctor about the risks.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Mental Health

While the physical side-effects of methadone can be very difficult to deal with, methadone also has a tendency to cause some psychological side-effects, such as:

The truth is, these psychological side-effects can be just as serious as physical side-effects, and some people have more difficulty dealing with the psychological aspect of methadone.

Also, people who already struggle with other co-occurring mental health disorders may experience some side effects more intensely. It is important to make sure both mental and physical health is taken into account with every form of drug treatment.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Withdrawal

The reality that makes the use of methadone seem self-defeating is that methadone does indeed come with its own set of withdrawal symptoms that become more severe with prolonged use. These withdrawal symptoms are often similar to those from other opioid drugs, such as heroin. The most common withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle pain and aches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Stomach cramps
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Diarrhea
  • Cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression

Quitting methadone “cold turkey”, meaning abruptly without a safe medical taper or detox, can cause more severe withdrawal symptoms.

What Are the Side-Effects of Methadone: Detoxing from Methadone

Detoxing from methadone is safest and most efficient when done under the supervision in a medical detox of a drug treatment facility or hospital. Most medical detoxes provide a tapering off of the drug in order to reduce the severity of withdrawals. Quitting cold turkey is much more painful and difficult to do.

Drug treatment programs like Palm Partners also utilize the combined expertise of therapists and medical physicians in order to design a personalized treatment plan in order to give the individual the best opportunity for lasting recovery, and anyone who has been using methadone for an extended period or developed a tolerance to it should pursue an inpatient treatment option. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free now.

   CALL NOW 1-800-951-6135

Can Synthetic Cannabis Cause Cancer?

Can Synthetic Cannabis Cause Cancer?

Author: Justin Mckibben

New synthetic psychoactive drugs are hitting the streets and congesting the underground market somewhere every day, many of which can even be ordered legally and with great ease over the internet under the guise of incense blends or other ‘natural’ herbs or supplements. Others have been passed off as bath salts or plant fertilizers.

Synthetic cannabinoids are very deadly, but they are also increasingly difficult to identify chemically, especially with the smallest piece of the formula being altered frequently. Therefore investigating all the possible unwanted toxic effects that can occur following their consumption has barely been an exact science.

Between 2005 and 2012, the European Union’s early warning system established:

  • Just under 240 new psychoactive substances
  • Around 140 of them contained synthetic cannabinoids

All this and more have fueled a synthetic epidemic that has started to gain more and more recognition as the damage being done becomes progressively visible.

Now, new research is suggesting some disturbing ideas on how these dangerous compounds could actually contribute to cancer.

SPICE I and II Seeking Signs of Damage

SPICE I and SPICE II Plus are international cooperation projects at EU level that have been led by the Institute of Medical Jurisprudence at the University Hospital of Freiburg (Prof. Volker Auwärter) and which have also involved the MedUni Vienna and the Goethe University of Frankfurt, the University of Helsinki, the Institute of Therapy Research in Munich, as well as input from partners such as the Federal Criminal Office of Wiesbaden.

As part of the international the European Union (EU) project “SPICE II Plus” teams of scientists from the MedUni Vienna’s Institute for Cancer Research have reportedly found evidence synthetic substances do serious damage to human cell’s DNA, which therefore means there is a possibility synthetic drugs have an impact fundamentally cancer-causing.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. It is also the ingredient synthetic cannabinoids mimic when binding to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, triggering similar neurophysiological effects.

Siegfried Knasmüller from the Institute for Cancer Research at the MedUni Vienna warns,

“The substances are directly active, in other words they are not activated via enzymes that metabolise foreign substances. The respiratory organs and the digestive tract especially are subjected to increased concentrations of these drugs.”

Knasmüller goes on to explain his times investigations on human cell lines in the laboratory have demonstrated synthetic cannabinoids are likely to trigger damage to the DNA that may have significant consequences for the consumers of such substances. This especially relevant in the high concentrations found in cells in the oral cavity or in the lungs.

Again, what points to their impact on developing cancer is that they damage chromosomes, which is directly associated with cancer.

Difficult Differences in Dangers

A huge hurdle to try and overcome when comparing and connecting these drugs and their effects to the symptoms and signs of cancer is most synthetic cannabinoids bind very differently and some have different but profound effects even in very small quantities.

Consumers have absolutely no information about the varying levels of effect thanks to the devious efforts made by manufacturing entities, making people purchasing these products unaware of the detailed composition of unnaturally chemical drugs.

As we had mentioned before, even with “known” products the makers will change the type and quantity of ingredients added constantly to slip through loopholes in the system. The risk of an unwanted overdose is congruently great, with an increasing number of deaths being credited to overdoses of synthetic drugs.

With the added possibility that synthetic drugs could be causing cancer these is no doubt more will be done to combat this issue. Still, with such a growing popularity and being so difficult to track it could take a long time to prove which chemicals are causing cancer. What is even more disheartening is will it even matter to the producers or consumers?

One thing is for sure, with all the detrimental side-effects already known, adding that these drugs destroy your DNA at a cellular level should be more than enough.

Legal or not, synthetic or ‘designer’ drugs are much more lethal than far too many people give credit. Although they are relatively new and not all details are understood, there are still effective rehabilitation programs built to help. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

 

 

 

 

Dangerous New Drug: Moxduo

Dangerous New Drug: Moxduo

Rich Pedroncelli/AP
via http://www.npr.org/

In the news is a powerful new prescription painkiller that The Food and Drug Administration is trying to decide whether it should be approved. This new drug is called Moxduo and it’s not exactly new; it’s a combination of two already-established drugs: morphine and oxycodone in one capsule. It was designed to relieve severe pain quickly, however with fewer side effects than other opiate painkillers.

Moxduo is the result of the first time these 2 drugs have been combined, as far as in a legitimate, medical way. “It’s designed to provide quick relief to patients suffering severe pain from accidents or surgeries,” says Ed Rudnic, COO of QRxPharma, the company that makes Moxduo.

Rudnic asserts that the benefits of Moxduo are that it allows the patient to take lower doses of the two narcotics – morphine and oxycodone, it’s two ingredients – than they’d need if they took either of the medicines alone as well as with fewer side effects.

“We believe that we’ve achieved some benefit in reducing the risk of some of the respiratory complications of these strong opioids,” he says.

But just like with any other opiate painkiller and illicit opiates such as heroin, the most serious risks associated with Moxduo are suppressed breathing and other respiratory complications, which is what leads to fatal overdoses.

Dr. Joseph Audette of Harvard Medical School is not convinced the company has yet proved that Moxduo has fewer side effects.

“They haven’t really done the hard work of absolutely showing … in humans with real pain problems that synergy is making a big difference,” Audette says, “compared to just using the agents that we [already] have available.”

Andrew Kolodny, an addiction specialist at Phoenix House as well as leading member of the Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, which is fighting for tighter control of prescription painkillers, has his misgivings, too. “I have serious concerns about this product.”

Millions of people are addicted to these legal narcotics already, Kolodny says, with thousands dying from overdoses each year. Drugs like Moxduo will only make that worse.

“This is pure morphine and pure oxycodone,” he says. “This is a product that is very easy to misuse, very easy to crush and snort or crush and inject. So it’s significantly more dangerous than the products that it would be competing with.” Kolodny gives examples of other narcotic painkillers that already exist and that contain multiple other ingredients that make them difficult to abuse in those ways. Drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet are prescription painkillers already in use that are made in such a way as to deter abuse and would be Moxduo’s competitors. Kolodny added that patients requiring treatment for pain issues already have plenty of options and said that a marketing push to prescribe Moxduo could spell trouble.

“If they get this product put on the market and are able to have a sales force going in and out of doctors’ offices encouraging prescribing with the marketing claim that this is somehow a safer product … I believe that’s likely to exacerbate an already severe public health crisis,” Kolodny added.

Rudnic, on the other hand, argues that QRxPharma already has good evidence that Moxduo is a safer painkiller with fewer side effects. And he denies that Moxduo is easier to abuse.

Rudnic said that his company will set up a system to quickly spot any signs that Moxduo is being misused and further said that the manufacturer is already developing a version of the drug that would make it harder to abuse.

FDA Committee on Moxduo

An FDA advisory committee held a day-long hearing Tuesday to decide whether to recommend FDA approval of the drug. The outcome: all 14 members of the FDA’s Anesthetic and Analgesic Drug Products Advisory Committee voted unanimously against recommending approval of Moxduo.

This is the second time the agency has shot down Moxduo, the first time being in August.

The committee members said they failed to see enough evidence that Moxduo is safer than either morphine or oxycodone alone for the treatment of moderate to severe acute pain. “It is the sense of this committee that the applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to support a claim that Moxduo is safer than morphine or oxycodone,” Chairperson Randall Flick, MD, MPH, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN stated. “The primary failing was in study design and the inability of the committee to be able to rely with confidence on multiple post-hoc analyses.”

The FDA has until May 25th to decide whether to approve Moxduo.

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.

 

 

 

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

So far, we’ve given you some great movies, documentaries and shows to watch on Netflix that are about addiction and eating disorders. It would also be nice to know some titles that are about mental illness; so I’ve thought of the 10 best movies/documentaries/shows on Netflix about Mental Illness.

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness:

 

1. OC87: The Obsessive Compulsive, Major Depression, Bipolar, Asperger’s Movie –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.imdb.com

This documentary is about Bud Clayman, whose ambition to become a filmmaker was disrupted in college when he was diagnosed with a mental illness that overwhelmed him. 30 years later he was able to overcome this hurdle and made a documentary about his difficulties to achieve his dreams.

 

2. Prozac Nation –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.en.wikipedia.org

This movie is based on the memoir of Elizabeth Wurtzel. It stars Christina Ricci who is playing a girl who is on the edge of losing her grasp on life after she leaves her emotionally unstable home for college and her psychiatrist prescribes her Prozac.

 

3. Of Two Minds –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.rottentomatoes.com

Merging together the stories of numerous interesting Americans living with bipolar disorder, this documentary explores their successful highs, miserable lows and struggles to live in a culture that doesn’t always understand them.

 

4. Augustine –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.trailers.apple.com

When a teenager named Augustine is diagnosed as hysteric and confined in a hospital for the mentally ill in 1885, she becomes the pet patient of prominent neurologist Professor Charcot in this performance based on the actual relationship between the two.

 

5. Wilfred –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.imdb.com

This show, which was adapted from the Australian TV series, is an alternative comedy that follows the bizarre experiences of Ryan. Ryan is an extremely depressed man who becomes convinced that his neighbor’s dog is really a man wearing a costume.

 

6. High Anxiety –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.en.wikipedia.org

This movie, made in 1977, is about psychiatric administrator Dr. Thorndyke who finds some strange shenanigans taking place at the Psychoneurotic Institute for the exceptionally nervous. When Dr. Thorndyke is framed for a murder, he must confront his own neurotic demons to clear his name.

 

7. Strange Voices –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.fanpix.net

Lynn and Dave Glover are trying to toughen their unraveling family union and convince their resistant college-aged daughter Nikki to consent to treatment as she rapidly begins acting erratically and is diagnosed with schizophrenia.

 

8. 6 Souls –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.rottentomatoes.com

In this creepy thriller, a forensic psychiatrist who has spent her profession uncovering cases of multiple personality disorder must think outside the box when she takes on a patient whose several identities are those of murder victims.

 

9. Side Effects –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.imdb.com

Emily deals with with her depression by taking antidepressant medication. But when her horrible state apparently twists out of control due to her husband’s prison discharge, she turns to a different medication that changes her life forever.

 

10. United States of Tara –

10 Best Movies/Documentaries/Shows on Netflix about Mental Illness

Photo Credit: www.imdb.com

Artist and mom Tara Gregson has her hands full managing her career, her kids and a major case of dissociative identity disorder. This show follows Tara’s fight to find her real self while keeping her six others straight.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll free 1-800-951-6135.

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