Tremors & DIMD (Drug-Induced Movement Disorders)

Drug use harms the health of drug users. One common symptom reported or seen in drug addicts is tremors, also called Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD). The tremors may or may not be apparent to the drug users. The severity generally depends on the extent of addiction.

Drug abuse is currently at an all-time high. According to National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 12.9 million Americans aged 12 years and above have abused illicit drugs at some point in their lives. A report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that in 2020, approximately 92,000 U.S citizens died from a drug-related overdose of both illegal drugs and prescription opioids.

There is a bidirectional relationship between substance abuse and movement disorders. Some movement disorders develop due to acute use of alcohol or drugs, while others result from withdrawal from drugs.

Common illegal drugs that cause Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD) are cocaine, opioids, amphetamine, and heroin.

Symptoms of drug-induced tremors interfere with the performance of day-to-day motor tasks, interpersonal communication, and social functioning. Additionally, Drug-Induced Movement Disorders will interfere with your quality of life.

 

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Movement Disorders

There are two broad categories of movement disorders:

Hyperkinetic disorders are characterized by excess movement. They include dystonia, tremor, myoclonus, akathisia, tics, and chorea. Hyperkinetic disorders interfere with your day-to-day activities, and you may find it challenging to perform easy tasks. In addition, drug use can result in hyperkinetic disorders.

On the other hand, hypokinetic disorders are characterized by lack or absence of movement due to weakness.

Most movement disorders will develop due to neurological disorders. Some instances of these can manifest in people addicted to drugs or those who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop using drugs. A drug-induced movement disorder is a substance use disorder.

 

Drugs That Cause Tremors Or DMID

As mentioned above, drugs can cause tremors or DIMD. The drugs that tend to cause tremors or Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD) after acute use or during withdrawal are:

Here is how the various drugs will affect you.

Cocaine

Cocaine abuse has numerous adverse side effects on the body, such as involuntary tremors.

Cocaine blocks the dopamine transporter. Consequently, it prevents the reuptake of dopamine, increasing extracellular dopamine levels.

Your body’s dopaminergic system affects various processes, including movement control and cognition. Therefore, when cocaine increases your extracellular dopamine levels, your dopamine levels significantly decrease, affecting your motor function.

The involuntary movements in cocaine addicts or recovering addicts are due to locomotor sensitization. This can occur when you repeatedly, or even intermittently abuse cocaine.

The most visually dramatic movement disorder caused by cocaine is transient chorea, also called crack dancing and buccolingual dyskinesias.

Crack dancing is characterized by involuntary limb movements that last for several days at a time. If you are an addict, the spontaneous movements may not seem apparent to you.

Cocaine abuse may also cause subtle parkinsonian symptoms like tremors at rest. The said symptoms may persist during withdrawal.

 

Opioids

Like most commonly abused drugs, opioids raise dopamine levels by blocking the inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Dopamine abuse may result in restless leg syndrome (RLS) and tremors.

Opioid abuse may also cause quick, involuntary muscle jerks, also known as myoclonus. Again, it would be best to seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

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Alcohol

Alcohol abuse may result in alcohol shakes, also called jitters or tremors. Often, the tremors occur when a person dependent on alcohol stops taking alcohol.

Alcohol tremors primarily affect the hands, but they affect the legs and arms in some circumstances. The tremors manifest approximately 8 hours after you stop drinking and peak about 30 hours after your last drink.

When you abstain from alcohol, you may experience a tremor similar to an essential tremor. However, alcohol tremors have a higher frequency, mainly involving the hands. 

These tremors can effectively be treated with propranolol.

Alcohol abuse may also cause bilateral flapping tremors, characterized by arrhythmic interruptions of sustained voluntary muscle contraction.

Unfortunately, the tremors may also indicate a more serious underlying issue. Alcohol tremors are a symptom of  Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a medical condition that can easily result in death.

Tremors may also result in other symptoms like depression and anxiety, which may have severe consequences.

There are different treatment options for alcohol tremors. It is crucial to seek professional help to settle for a treatment plan that best suits your needs. Common medications used to treat alcohol tremors are Thiamine, Benzodiazepines, and Propranolol.

 

 

Amphetamine

Amphetamines bind and reverse the dopamine transporter (DAT) function. Consequently, they inhibit reuptake, releasing dopamine at the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic nerve terminals. This stimulation may cause tremors, ataxia, and agitation. In extreme cases, it may also induce intracranial hemorrhages, comas, or seizures.

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), better known as ecstasy, is also known to cause movement disorders in addicts.

 

Heroin

Heroin is an addictive opioid that causes severe withdrawal symptoms. One of the most common symptoms in heroin addicts is tremors.

Luckily, heroin addiction is treatable. Several treatment options are available for those struggling with heroin addiction, including pharmacological treatment and behavioral therapy. You may have to undergo both pharmacological treatment and behavioral therapy to make a full recovery. The treatments clear the tremors with time.

 

Get Your Life Back On Track

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Tremors or Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD) may harm your quality of life and general well-being. You may find it challenging to perform easy tasks, which may, in turn, affect your social functioning and interpersonal communication. You may also lose your independence as you’d need help performing easy tasks.

If you believe you or your loved one’s movement disorder results from drug use, it is best to seek professional help. A professional drug rehabilitation program will help by offering advice, diagnosis, or discussing treatment options.  

More Than Rehab offers high-quality, individualized treatment to anyone struggling with addiction. Additionally, we treat any co-occurring disorders to improve your quality of life.

We have both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, so you are free to select a program that suits you best.

Our experts will offer support and walk you through the challenging recovery process. Contact us anytime, during the day or night, to talk to us and start your recovery journey. Our friendly staff is always ready and willing to listen to you and answer any questions you may have.

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Teens In Texas Are Abusing ADHD Medications To Get Ahead

Doctors prescribe stimulant medications like Adderall and Ritalin to approximately 2.5 million Americans every year to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These ADHD medications can help some patients, but they can also be easily abused.

When used as a treatment for ADHD, Adderall and Ritalin reduce symptoms, making it easier for patients to concentrate and control impulsive behaviors. Unfortunately, most people, especially teens, use ADHD medications to get ahead. Most don’t have prescriptions, so they will buy them from friends who have prescriptions.

A Monitoring the Future survey revealed that prescription drug abuse is rising among teens. Approximately 7.5% of 12th graders admitted using Adderall as a study aid.

Most teens downplay the danger of Adderall, while some are simply unaware. By virtue of it being a prescription drug, they assume that Adderall is not dangerous, yet it has harmful side effects, including addiction and substance use disorders.

This article discusses what Adderall is, the Adderall high, its relationship with academic performance, side effects, effects on mental health, and signs of addiction.

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What is Adderall?

Adderall is a drug that contains two stimulants: dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. It comes in two forms, Adderall and Adderall XR.

Medical practitioners designed the drug to improve the attention span and focus of ADHD patients. Sometimes, they prescribe it to patients who need to suppress daytime sleepiness.

Adderall also tends to suppress appetite. Consequently, some people abuse it in the hope of losing weight.

Adderall is classified as a Schedule II drug. This means that its potential for dependence and abuse is extremely high.

The Adderall high

As mentioned above, teen pill abuse is on the rise in Texas, and Adderall happens to be one of the pills teens abuse most. So how exactly does Adderall make you feel?

Adderall increases dopamine levels, giving you a feeling of euphoria. It also stimulates the brain by activating the body’s fight-or-flight responses.

Most teens use Adderall to get high. They often mix it with other drugs and alcohol, which is extremely dangerous and life-threatening.

Since Adderall makes teens feel alert, they are more alcohol-tolerant since they can’t tell how drunk they are. Consequently, it increases the risk of alcohol poisoning.

Why do teens in Texas abuse Adderall? 

Most Texan teens abuse Adderall because they believe it; gives them the necessary energy to focus and get high grades in school, improves their mental focus, enables them to complete their homework on time, and makes studying much more effortless.

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It is noteworthy that most teens often feel overwhelmed and find it hard to balance out their academic work, social activities, and securing internships.

The relationship between Adderall and academic performance

Most high school and college students believe that Adderall is a harmless study aid since it improves attention and alertness. They use it to think clearly and focus, especially when writing papers or studying for exams.

Contrary to their belief, research shows Ritalin and Adderall don’t improve thinking or learning ability in people who aren’t diagnosed with ADHD. There is no evidence that Adderall can help teens improve their academic performance.

Students who abuse Adderall in the hope that it will improve their academic performance may:

Adderall side effects

Adderall use has several short-term and long-term side effects. They are divided into two types: physiological effects and psychological effects.

Physiological effects

They include:

Psychological effects

They include:

How Adderall affects your mental health

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Since Adderall affects dopamine production, you will experience depressive episodes when you don’t use the drug. Additionally, it will be difficult for you to experience pleasure without it.

An NCBI study revealed that using Adderall for a long time may also result in psychosis. You will have schizophrenia-like symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, and mood disturbances. Additionally, you may experience panic attacks and anxiety.

The effects of Adderall are reportedly worse in individuals with underlying mental health conditions or a history of mental illness.

Adderall and heart problems

Adderall strains the heart and cardiovascular system. Even when you use it short-term, you may experience cardiac problems, including high blood pressure, palpitations, irregular heartbeat, and heart failure.

When you use it long-term, you are at risk of cardiac arrhythmias and a pounding heartbeat.

Adderall is just one type of ADHD medications that is also known to cause sudden death in teens. The risk with these is higher in those who have heart problems or heart defects.

Signs of addiction

If you repeatedly use Adderall without a prescription, medical monitoring, or care, you may get addicted. Signs of Adderall addiction include:

Withdrawal symptoms

When you abuse Adderall for some time but stop, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. The most prevalent withdrawal symptoms are:

Withdrawal symptoms for Adderall addiction may be dangerous and overwhelming. Therefore, it would be best to have the assistance of medical practitioners and recovery professionals when you decide to stop using the drug.

Get help today

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According to scientific studies, Adderall addiction and mental health disorders go hand in hand. Most Texans teens who abuse Adderall try to commit suicide. Therefore, treatment programs need to address mental health issues in treatment for Adderall addiction.

More Than Rehab offers an evidence-based, scientific treatment approach to ADHD medication addiction treatment. We also treat underlying mental health conditions like depression to give you the best chance at recovery.

We offer individual programs based on your needs. We have inpatient programs, outpatient programs, and partial in and outpatient programs. Our experts will guide and support you during the withdrawal process and teach you to focus and be productive without Adderall.

Contact us today to start your recovery journey and take control of your life. We are open 24/7. We are here to help.

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Friends & Family Can Contribute to Drug Addiction

There is truth to the expression, “One rotten apple spoils the whole barrel.” That’s because ripe apples produce ethylene, a ripening agent. When you store apples together, the ethylene prods other apples to ripen further and eventually rot.

It takes a single apple to start a domino chain that ruins the rest of the bunch. And guess what? The same holds true for drug users. You’re very likely to abuse drugs when you hang out with people who abuse drugs. Not because of weak morals, but because of several mechanisms that we’ll cover in this article.

Understanding addiction

The initial decision to use drugs or alcohol is voluntary for most people. However, repeated use changes the brain in ways that make it hard to quit, even for those who want to. Those recovering from a long term substance abuse disorder have a higher risk of drug use, even after years of leading a sober life. This is especially true if they’re dealing with mental health problems or are hanging around places or people connected to the addictive behavior.

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Friends or family members, who participated in the addictive behavior, are potential triggers for relapse, irrespective of whether or not they’re still using drugs. That’s because they bring back the memories of addiction. In some cases, they may ask you to go out or even tell you stories and share images of their happy moments in your absence. All these can lead you back to addiction.

But relapse is not the only way friends can contribute to drug addiction. This article will discuss different ways friends can worsen your drug use problems. But before we do, let’s look at the relationship between peer pressure and drug use.

Social learning theory

Social scientists who study peer pressure see it through the lens of social learning theory. According to this theory, when people observe other people’s behaviors and reactions using addictive substances, they may wish to replicate what they saw. For example, an agitated friend walks into the room.

They then sniff cocaine or smoke meth. After a few minutes, they’re relaxed and fun to be around. The person observing all this will know that the drug is a good way of coping with stress – because it’s what they’ve seen. So, any time they feel stressed or agitated, they may use the drugs to calm down.

Social learning is the most common way that people learn. When you observe your friends abusing drugs, you become more likely to try out drugs too. That’s because you have learned through observation that drugs achieved a positive result. You could also use drugs out of a need to be part of the group.

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Human beings have a strong need for social interaction. So, it becomes critical to consider the compelling social nature of many addictions. Most addictions need at least the cooperation of other people. And as the addiction progresses, the chances of a person interacting with healthy, non-using individuals become slimmer.

That’s because family and friends eventually disengage. At the same time, addiction takes up most of the addict’s time. In the end, the addict’s entire social circle is dominated by role models associated with the addiction.

How friends and family can contribute to drug addiction

Negative peer pressure

Negative peer pressure can be divided into two parts:

Direct negative often involves peers or friends directly asking you to try something, like abuse illegal drugs. It may be difficult to say no, especially if you are young and are concerned about how they’ll think of you. In some cases, they may hint that you’d be “uncool” if you didn’t take part or even provide reasoning that’s hard to argue against. The fear of losing friends or facing mockery can make you yield. Direct negative peer influence includes your friends or peers:

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Indirect negative is a subtle type of peer pressure and isn’t as apparent as direct negative. It happens when you try out drugs or alcohol just to fit in. Your friends don’t encourage you to participate in risky behaviors, but you feel pressure to do so to continue being part of that social group. Indirect negative peer pressure includes things like:

An NIH study assesses the group influences on an individual’s drinking and other drug use at clubs. A total of 368 social groups representing 986 people were anonymously surveyed. The study found that social groups had a definite impact on the individual outcome.

Group members seemed to know about other members’ drug use or drinking patterns, which were related to their drinking and other drug use. This suggests that normative patterns are established for the group, and social modeling happens within the group.

Signs your friends are making your drug use problem worse

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Positive peer pressure

Not all peer pressure is bad. Friends can influence you into making the right choices. Positive peer pressure is when friends bring a good change in your life – and this can be a useful tool in addiction treatment. In fact, many treatment facilities use this strategy to influence patients’ behavior. The same way a person in a drug-using circle uses drugs to fit in is the same way a person in a sober circle will want to stop using to fit in.

If you or someone close to you is struggling with substance abuse as a result of hanging out with wrong company, we can help. Contact us today to get started. 

What are Quaaludes and Why Were They Popular?

Quaaludes--perhaps you’ve heard of them or maybe you have even tried them yourself? Quaaludes are often talked about with a sense of nostalgia, usually being referenced in movies by someone’s grandma who has a secret stash of them left over from the 70’s when the drug was at its height in popularity. More recently however, the drug has hit media headlines, as accusations of alleged sexual assault against Bill Cosby resurfaced. The disgraced, former TV star later admitted to giving Quaaludes to women he wanted to have sex with. It comes as no surprise that the drug was eventually outlawed in 1983 when authorities caught on to the large amount of people who were either abusing the drug recreationally or using it as a date rape drug. So exactly are Quaaludes and why were they popular?

The brief history of Quaaludes

Before the drug was marketed under the brand name of Quaaludes (as well as Sopor) by pharmaceutical companies, the generic name for it was methaqualone. Quaaludes were first synthesized in India during 1951 by Indra Kishore Kacker and Syed Husain Zaheer. Originally, methaqualone was synthesized as a new treatment for malaria when they found that it also had some highly sedative properties aside from what they had created it for. The first two markets it hit were Germany and Japan, where it racked up quite the extensive record of addiction and recreational abuse. Eventually, by 1955 it was being prescribed in Britain under the name of Mandrax, a name still used to this day.

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The drug slowly made its way over to the United States in the 1960’s, where it became widely popular in the “hippie” era. In the United States, methaqualone was mainly manufactured by a pharmaceutical company in Pennsylvania who gave the drug its iconic name. The word Quaalude combines the word “quiet” with “interlude”.  During this time, doctors were essentially giving Quaaludes out like candy. People could buy “Ludes” in semi-legal stress clinics without ever having to visit with an actual doctor. By 1972, it was the sixth best-selling sedative in America. They were also widely prescribed for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety.

However, it did not take very long for the recreational abuse and addiction to follow methaqualone overseas where it was now sold in America under the brand name of Quaaludes.

How Quaaludes became so popular in the drug culture of the United States

In part due to the easy access of obtaining Quaaludes, it became very popular in night clubs and disco scenes. This earned the drug yet another popular pop culture name known as “disco-biscuits”. Due to its popularity in night clubs and disco scenes, non-alcoholic clubs known as “juice bars” were established. These clubs catered to people who wanted to dance while high on Quaaludes, or for short, “Ludes”. Moreover, in 1981 the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) declared Quaaludes the second most abused drug in America. So, by 1983 Quaaludes were outlawed in the United States for reasons including: widespread rates of addiction, recreational abuse and because it could potentially be used as a “date rape drug”.

With the popularity of the drug during the time it was legal in the United States, one has to wonder why so many people abused the drug. Considering how long it has remained in pop culture references during the 1960’s, up until it was banned in 1983, “Ludes” remained somewhat of an urban legend. One of the main reasons for its popularity is that Quaaludes are a very powerful barbiturate. These types of drugs act as a central nervous system depressant. Quaaludes are also highly addictive.

Some of the more noticeable side effects of Quaaludes include:

These are just a few of the side effects that come with taking Quaaludes or methaqualone. Part of the increased risk of abusing Quaaludes is that it was often consumed with other substances such as alcohol, which severely increased the risk of these negative side effects occurring.

The real danger of Quaaludes

At its peak, it was also associated with a large number of suicides, overdoses, injuries, and other dangerous incidents, like car accidents. In prescribed doses, methaqualone was known to produce relaxation, sleepiness, and a slight feeling of euphoria. But the often deadly trio of easy access, peer popularity, and consumption of alcohol lead to many overdoses and comas. The reason being that a lethal dosage of methaqualone is much smaller when combined with other substances, such as alcohol, crystal meth, or other drugs with a potential for abuse. Many people also reported using the substance because of its euphoric high and sleepy drunk effect.

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Addictive drugs often become popular in the United States

Part of the popularity of the drug was also due to its highly addictive properties. When people begin using drugs, it chemically and physically alters the functioning of the brain and its production of dopamine. Much like any other substance, with repeated use people eventually will develop tolerance to the drug. This leads them to consume more and more of the drug, in order to achieve the same desired effects. Over time, the chemicals that get released in the brain will eventually trick your brain into believing that it needs that certain substance in order to survive. This makes quitting the drug much more difficult, as the brain begins to associate different places, people, or things with the drug use.

Thankfully, psychological and medical research on addiction has come a very long way since Quaaludes were outlawed in 1983. Since then, they are nearly impossible to come by on the street, but that doesn't mean they have completely vanished. If you or a loved one may be struggling with an addiction to Quaaludes, or any other substance, then please allow our wonderfully trained staff here at More Than Rehab to help. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help when you need it! You do not have to go through your addiction alone. We understand what it takes to lead a healthy and fulfilling life without the use of drugs or alcohol, so give us a call today:

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Why Do People Get High?

In today’s crazy world it may seem like more and more people are reaching for drugs and alcohol to get high, in order to help them cope with the struggles of our "new normal". Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic that our country is still facing, alcoholism and relapse rates are once again on the rise. Unfortunately, this is due to a multitude of different reasons like self-quarantine, isolation, boredom, change in routine and schedule, closures of local AA or NA support groups, and even having kids home full time, or being around your partner 24/7. All of these are stressful situations which could lead even the strongest willed person to have their long-lasting sobriety to come to an end.

Though COVID-19 has certainly caused a surge in relapse rates, alcoholism, and drug use, that certainly doesn’t mean that substance abuse problems weren’t a problem before 2020. In fact, it is estimated that every year, nearly 21 million Americans will suffer from a substance abuse problem of some kind. With so many people affected, it may be easy to wonder why do people get high in the first place? Well, for someone who has ever struggled with an addiction firsthand, they may know that sometimes the answer to that question is simple… But sometimes, the answer to that question is much more complicated. While we certainly cannot find one or two primary reasons people choose to get high, we can isolate some of the more common reasons people turn to drugs or alcohol.

Here are some of the most popular reasons why people, especially teens and young adults, get high:

Boredom

We are all pretty familiar with being bored, perhaps today even more so than ever before with practically everything moving online and becoming virtual. Sometimes, when a person is left to one’s own devices, it can be pretty easy to see the temptation in trying drugs or alcohol just for the sake of having something to do. That is why drugs and alcohol are so dangerous around young teens and adults because they are particularly susceptible to boredom.

Curiosity

We have all probably heard the saying, “Curiosity killed the cat” -- and while trying drugs and alcohol likely won't kill you the first time, it still most certainly could. With dangerous drugs like fentanyl being laced in some common street drugs, a drug overdose death is more likely now, than ever.

Beginning with something as simple as wanting to know what it feels like to be high or get drunk, can end up leading someone down that path of a lifetime of hurt caused by an addiction to drugs or alcohol. If curiosity ever strikes, it is best to remember that there is no way to tell who will become addicted to drugs or alcohol and that even one time could lead to an addiction.

The Desire to Belong

As humans, we all have an innate desire to fit in or belong. For teens and young adults, this is even more important. According to a recent survey, nearly 29% of teens said they had tried drugs or alcohol because their friends were also doing it. It seems that friends can play a huge role in determining whether or not a teen or young adult will eventually try drugs or alcohol for the first time. The same can be said for adults as well, something as simple as changing jobs and getting asked to go out for drinks with your new coworkers and agreeing, even though you have been sober for a year, could potentially be a huge relapse trigger for anyone.

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Peer Pressure in Social Situations

Along the same lines as the desire to belong is peer and social pressure. A lot of times people, especially teens and young adults, try drugs or alcohol for the first time because of pressure from their peers. Even though someone may initially say no to using drugs and alcohol, pressure from friends can eventually make them give in for fear of being ostracized or outcast. In turn, they may continue using drugs or alcohol even if they don't want to, simply out of the fear of rejection.

Trauma or Abuse

Any past or current trauma and/or abuse, such as a sexual assault, a car accident, childhood neglect, or emotional abuse, can lead anyone to trying drugs or alcohol. Traumatic events can imprint on the memory, making it very difficult to get past the experience. Oftentimes, people get high in an attempt to escape having to deal with the painful emotions associated with the experience.

Career Pressure

Teens and young adults are not the only age group that can fall victim to addiction from environmental pressures. For instance, career pressure can drive someone of any age to get high on drugs or alcohol. A lot of times, people tie their self-worth into their career and if they feel as though they are not living up to their potential or are struggling to meet demands they may turn to drugs and alcohol in order to make themselves feel better.

Dealing With Grief

Losing a loved one is a devastating feeling and grief is an especially painful experience. Living through a loved one’s death is an especially difficult time for people and no two people grieve the same. Unfortunately, many people who are undergoing grief may want to get high, in an attempt to forget about the loved one’s passing. However, while this is normally just a short term coping mechanism it can turn into a life-long problem for those who are not careful.

There are many other reasons why someone may want to get high from drugs or alcohol.

Usually, the reasons are psychological, mental, or physical. Some people use drugs or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate some sort of mental illness like depression or insomnia. There is also no way to tell who will become addicted to drugs or alcohol, so it is best to try and steer clear of all illicit substances when possible.

If you, or a loved one, are having difficulty with a substance abuse disorder, then we are here to help. Reach out to us today and let our family at More Than Rehab help take care of you, or your loved one who is struggling. We have years of experience and knowledge when it comes to treating substance abuse disorders and many of our staff have been where you are before, so we know what it takes to lead a healthy and fulfilling life of sobriety! Call us anytime. We are available 24/7 and we hope to hear from you soon!

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Common Ways Addicts Store or Hide Their Drugs

Anyone who has ever known or loved an addict knows just how far they would go to continue getting high and they would also never question their ingenuity when it comes to trying to conceal or hide their drugs from others. If there is one thing in common between all people who suffer from the disease of addiction, it would certainly have to be the fact that they all lie, at least in one way or another. Many will tell you until they are blue in the face that they haven’t been using drugs or alcohol, even though they are under the influence at the same time they are telling you that.

For any parent of an addict, it can be extremely difficult to trust or believe your child when they tell you that they are no longer getting high, especially if they haven't changed any of their behaviors or actions. Perhaps you have found drugs and paraphernalia in your child’s bedroom before and insisted that they throw it out, never to be brought back in the house again.

Even though they may have the best of intentions, sometimes quitting drugs and alcohol just isn’t that easy. If you are the parent of a teen, or young adult, and have concerns that they are still abusing drugs or alcohol, then keep reading.

Here are some of the most common ways that addicts hide their drugs.

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Writing Utensils

A popular way that teens hide drugs is inside of writing utensils. While that highlighter sitting on their desk or hiding in their pencil pouch may seem harmless enough, it may be used to store pills, marijuana, or even powdered substances. Simply pop off the back and the highlighter instantaneously turns into a pipe for marijuana. There are many videos on the internet teaching teens or young adults how to do just that.

Prop Soda Bottles, Cans, or Candy Containers

A quick search on the internet will turn up tons of fake items used to conceal or hide drugs. Things like unopened soda bottles, soda cans, or candy boxes can actually be stash spots for drugs. If you see the same soda bottle all the time or the same candy wrapper, try opening it up to see what's really inside. If it is a fake item, it will usually have a place to twist open, revealing a hidden compartment.

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Belt Buckles

Who knew that belt buckles were not just for fashion anymore? Well, apparently, they are often used as a way to conceal drugs. Somehow, people have found a way to change these buckles into a secret compartment to hide their drugs. If you suspect that your child is using their belt buckle to conceal drugs, try flipping it over to see if the back slides off.

Hygiene and Makeup Supplies

That makeup bag on the floor in the bedroom, or on the counter in the bathroom, may be serving a more illicit purpose than you might originally think. A lot of make-up supplies come in a tube that can be hollowed out for drug storage. Things like lipstick, lip balm, deodorant, mascara, or hair products can be great hiding spots for people trying to conceal their drugs.

Posters, Wall Hangings, Picture Frames

Don’t let that seemingly innocent boy band poster fool you, teens or young adults have been known to flatten their drugs and hang them behind posters or other wall hangings. Picture frames also make a great spot to hide their drugs, as they can open up the back and stash them inside. Look for tape that is constantly peeling or a corner that looks like it's been folded back and forth if you suspect your child of hiding drugs.

 

Socks and Shoes

Socks and shoes are also extremely common, but not in the way you might think. While some have been known to stash drugs just inside the sock or the shoe, many also have hidden pockets that can be used to conceal drugs as well. Try looking inside the shoe to determine if there are any other areas that might be used to hide drugs. Socks can also have hidden pockets, so be sure to check those too.

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Vehicles

While not necessarily in the home, vehicles are another common way that people hide their drugs. You may be prone to searching their room, but how often are you checking their car? If you suspect your child of using drugs, it may be wise to thoroughly inspect their vehicle. Check places like behind the dashboard, under the seats, or even under the hood.

Vents and Toilets

Air vents are easy to remove and put back on, making it an ideal spot to put something that isn't meant to be discovered. Another popular place to hide drugs is underneath the toilet tank lid. Both are easy, quick, and inconspicuous options when it comes to concealing drugs. Many would not think to check in the air vent or under the toilet tank lid, which is why these are popular options. A quick look in both of these places may ease your mind if you suspect your child of hiding drugs.

Inhalers

When an item is necessary for one’s health, it tends to fall under even less suspicion. But, nevertheless, inhalers have become a popular place to hide drugs. Once the inhaler has been taken apart, it becomes a clever place to stash drugs. This is a great place to check if you are concerned about your child, especially if the inhaler doesn't belong to them.

Game Consoles or Electronics

For those who are even slightly inclined, storing drugs in game consoles or electronic devices can prove to be very easy. Loosen up a few screws here and a few screws there, then voila, a perfect hiding place for drugs. Look for signs that the electronic has been tampered with or taken apart and put back together.

These are just a few of the most common places that people may use to hide their drugs when they don’t want them to be found. If you suspect your loved one may have developed problem with drugs or alcohol, we are here to help! Our trained addiction specialists at More Than Rehab can help answer any questions you might have. We know how to treat and manage substance abuse disorders, and would love the chance to offer help for your family.

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Hygiene and Drug Use: Why Does Use Cause a Lack of Care?

For many of us, maintaining our image is a matter of importance, at least to some degree. The power of first impressions have a huge impact in our modern world. Because of this, cleanliness and personal hygiene are often taught to us early on as children. The majority of people shower on a regular basis, brush their teeth every day, wear clean clothes, and keep a tidy house. Although it is true that hygiene habits may look somewhat different, especially depending on the person, in large part, many of us take some sort of pride in our appearance. Unfortunately, substance abuse has been known to change personal hygiene habits for people who have become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

A lack of care for personal hygiene and outward appearance can be a sign of drug use.

One of the most common physical signs or symptoms that someone may be struggling from a substance abuse problem is the deterioration in one's appearance. If you have ever struggled with an addiction, or have known someone that has, you may be aware that addiction is often defined as an inability to stop using drugs or alcohol, even despite harmful consequences, and that it is caused by chemical changes to the brain. If you know someone who has recently stopped caring about their appearance, along with other concerning behavioral or physical symptoms, it may be time to reach out for help. We have many experienced professionals ready to answer any questions you might have if you suspect a loved one of needing help.

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Call us today for help with your drug or alcohol addiction. We offer the best evidence-based treatment program in the Houston, Texas area.

Why does an addiction to drugs or alcohol have such an impact on personal hygiene?

Some may wonder why many addicts seem to be affected in such a way that they stop caring about their appearance and personal hygiene? If you stopped and asked an addict on the street, I’m sure that many of their answers would be the same. Many just stop caring, their addiction takes first priority, and is often their only priority. They spend most of their time too high to take care of themselves and the rest of the time they spend trying to get more drugs and resupplying their stash.

For others, they barely even notice that they haven’t showered or brushed their teeth for days, or that the clothes they are wearing smell of vomit, or they simply haven't changed their clothes in who knows how long. Some might even tell you that they are afraid that getting in the shower will ruin their high, so they avoid doing it for days on end.

One thing is for certain though, considering all the different reasons why many addicts either chose to neglect, or give up on, their personal appearance, it is no surprise that this can have significant consequences to an addict. Combine this with poor nutrition and an improper diet, along with the toxic chemicals often found in drugs, you have a deadly recipe for a lack of hygiene and poor outward appearance. The disease of addiction is very destructive and this has been shown time and time again.

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Drug or alcohol addiction can cause significant changes to things like your skin, your teeth, your weight, the way you smell, and even your hair.

Perhaps one of the first noticeable changes that occur when an addict stops caring about their appearance is what happens to the skin. Neglect, poor hygiene, poor nutrition, and dehydration are all associated with substance abuse and can have negative impacts on the skin. Common symptoms of substance-related skin issues include:

These common effects to the skin are why many addicts, or those in early recovery from addiction can appear to be much older than they actually are.

The negative effects of addiction on oral hygiene.

Another common consequence of poor hygiene, toxic chemicals from drug use, and poor nutrition is the tooth loss that many addicts experience. Although how heavily impacted your smile may be can differ greatly, depending on the drug of choice, all of these substances have a chance to steal it. For example:

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Substance abuse can also greatly affect your hair.

Improper hygiene and poor nutrition can lead to a lack of shine, brittle hair, and inadequate new hair growth. Certain drugs can also cause temporary hair loss. Throwing in a poor diet and bad hygiene practices only accelerates this process. For others, the lack of care for their hair appears as developing huge, dreadlocked knots, as they forget to, or are unwilling to brush it. Some recovering addicts report going so far as to shave their own head instead of dealing with chunks of hair falling out or having to brush it.

Sudden or extreme weight-loss can be a sign of a substance use disorder.

Along with changes to your hair, skin, and teeth is extreme weight loss. When your only concern is how you are going to get your next high, eating becomes way less important. Many addicts will also forgo buying food even if they are hungry in order to get more drugs. Certain drugs also reduce or eliminate hunger, acting as an appetite suppressant. Oftentimes, cocaine or methamphetamine users will go days, or sometimes even weeks without eating food.

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It can be very sad when we see a loved one who is putting off their appearance, or is not taking care of themselves, because of drug abuse or drug addiction. If you, or a loved one, need help getting back on the road to a healthy, sober life, then we are here to help! We can answer any questions you may have about the recovery process and would love to teach you the tools to get back on the road to loving yourself again!

If you, or a loved one is experiencing an addiction to drugs or alcohol and you need help, call us today! We are open 24/7.

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Is it Easy to Buy Drugs on the Dark Web?

Most of us are aware of the illicit drug market that usually consists of players, like your local street dealers, their suppliers, and then their suppliers, eventually working all the way up, ending at whoever manufactured the product. When most people think of the drug trade, they associate it with organizations like the Mexican drug cartels or the sketchy guy people meet on the street corner downtown or in a dark alley somewhere in the bowels of a large city. What many may not know is that there is an even more illicit, and hidden way to purchase these highly dangerous and illegal drugs or substances. Something that is known as the deep net, or dark web. So, is it easy to buy drugs on the dark web?

What is the dark web, or deep net?

The dark web is a secret not known to many, especially to those who never go looking, and to those who are aware of its existence, know it to be extremely hidden. It is actually designed to be intentionally difficult to access and navigate. Essentially, the dark web is a part of the internet that is not indexed by search engines. Its anonymous nature, means that it cannot be found by searching in places like Google, or by stumbling upon it accidentally.

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It is estimated that nearly 96% of the internet is inaccessible by search engines and the general public. To access the deep net, certain types of software are usually required. A major component in being able to access the dark web is by having a specific web browser that allows you to do so. With the exception of computer hackers or cybersecurity experts, it’s pretty safe to say that most people have never even heard of the browser. (Hint: it’s not Firefox, Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge).

Why is buying drugs on the dark web so dangerous?

Some people might assume that buying drugs on the dark web is safer because of its perceived anonymity, but that isn't necessarily true. The mere fact that most people are unable to access the dark web, especially without some sort of insider knowledge, shows just how difficult it could be for the average joe to purchase illicit drugs using it. However, many tech-savvy people, say, college students for instance, are seeking out a variety of substances on the dark web, from ecstasy, heroin, cocaine, date rape drugs like GHB or Quaaludes, to bootlegged prescription painkillers, and even nootropics like Adderall or Modafinil.

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There are many reasons why the deep net marketplace makes it more difficult to purchase drugs. Typically, the dark net is more expensive than your local street-corner drug dealer. It can also be riskier to the buyer, you may get ripped off, or you may get a drug laced with another drug that could kill you. You may have ordered Adderall, but what you get could be methamphetamine or something entirely different. Many of the substances on the dark web have been laced with fentanyl, whether intentional, or not.

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However, experts have seen a recent uptick in people using the dark web, as the Coronavirus has swept across the globe. COVID-19 has certainly made it more difficult for some regular users to obtain the drugs they are addicted to. Manufacturing, supply chains and local dealer’s supplies have all been disrupted to some extent, due to the pandemic.

Buying drugs on the dark web is expensive, complicated and inherently risky.

While it is more difficult to access, the dark web is a haven for some drug dealers as the prices for their drugs are also more expensive. Considering the dealers seem to be assuming less risk, it is a surprise that they are able to charge more for their illegal, and oftentimes harmful, products. Not to mention, having to pay for shipping and handling. Though this may not be a problem for the addict with tons of cash flow, that is not ordinarily the case. For the majority of users, the dark web is often highly unaffordable. So, even if they were to somehow gain access in order to buy them, they most likely would be deterred because it typically costs much more than just meeting your dealer on the street.

Another reason why getting drugs on the dark web is more difficult, or less appealing to the buyer, is having to wait for the product to come in the mail. Although some users may have to wait a couple hours for their normal dealer to answer the phone, or show up at the meeting spot, waiting for drugs purchased on the dark web could take weeks, that is, if they ever come. This could be a major problem for someone looking to get a quick fix, while avoiding withdrawal symptoms.

Many people who use drugs regularly do not think that far ahead, especially in terms of how long their stash is going to last. The majority of people who are actively using drugs need to resupply daily and do not want to go through the hassle of having to wait for a package in the mail.

Buying illegal drugs on the internet can get you arrested.

Additionally, when a person buys drugs off of the dark web, they are also assuming all of the risks of federal drug trafficking charges. For many unsuspecting buyers, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) has been known to show up at their door instead of the package they were waiting for. The majority, if not all, of law enforcement agencies are aware of the illegal drug trade conducted on the deep net. For any suspicious packages being shipped overseas or across state borders, there is a high probability that they will be inspected. Drugs purchased from the dark web are often discovered during the transportation process. Getting caught shipping drugs is a federal crime and you could easily be charged with a felony.

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You never know what you’ll get when buying drugs on the dark web.

On top of being riskier and more expensive, buying drugs on the darkweb also increases the unpredictability of the product, making it more dangerous to one's health. When someone buys drugs off of the internet there is no way to guarantee on the strength of the actual product, or the ingredients used to manufacture it. People who sell drugs over the internet have a much broader market and do not have to meet face-to-face. The anonymity of the dark net causes dealers to care less about their reputation and the quality of their products. A local dealer has an image they need to maintain if they want to continue having clients. If word ever got out on the street that they were selling “wack” product, the majority of their business would be lost.

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As you can see, there are a number of reasons why buying drugs on the dark web is not a good idea for your personal, financial and legal safety. The best route possible would be not buying drugs at all and getting help for your addiction, if you need it. If you, or a loved one, are having difficulties staying sober, or you suspect there is a substance abuse problem, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our addiction specialists today. Instead of trying to find a new way to buy drugs, we urge you to consider taking back control over your life.

Here at More Than Rehab, we understand what it takes to lead a happy and successful life of sobriety, through an evidence-based approach to addiction treatment. We are always here to help, 24/7. Give us a call!

888-249-2191

Colleges and Drugs: What are the Popular Drugs to Look Out for in 2020?

For those who have been lucky enough to attend college, they know that it can be a very exciting experience. For some, the experience is mainly focused around the academic aspect and the desire to further their education. For others, while academia may still be a factor, the experience is more about what college itself has to offer; individual freedom, and the chance to make decisions without constant parental guidance, the opportunity to expand one’s social circle, and it is often a setting where experimentation with drugs or alcohol is common for a variety of different reasons, either for fun, to celebrate, for social reasons, or perhaps even to deal with the stress. Whatever the reason may be, it is no secret that for the majority of college students, college experience tends to be a place for experimentation, especially when it comes to alcohol and drugs.

What kinds of drugs do college students typically use on Texas campuses?

A recent study found that nearly 23 percent of college students reported using an illicit drug sometime within the past 30 days and more than 75 percent say it is very easy to buy drugs on campus. While this has always been an issue, it may be of even more concern today. In the year of 2020, as the coronavirus, the pandemic  also commonly known as covid-19, has caused a shift in the way college campuses are currently being operated. With classes being shut down and having been moved to only online, students are finding themselves with more free time than ever. However, it is unclear how this may impact data as far as drug use among college students is concerned, but young adults will likely continue to seek-out and use drugs.

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Here are some of the most popular drugs on college campuses to look out for in the United States during the year of 2020:

Alcohol

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reports that alcohol is the substance that most people abuse in college, with 4 out of 5 college students drinking alcohol. To make matters worse, the majority of the college population are between the ages of 18 to 22, where 21 is the legal drinking age. More so, around half of the college students who drink also participate in binge drinking, which is where they consume four or more alcoholic beverages per hour.

Cocaine

Although the use of cocaine peaked around the mid 1980’s, it is still commonly found on college campuses. Cocaine is a highly addictive and illegal stimulant. College students reportedly use the drug at parties and clubs. While it is sometimes used by itself, the majority of college students say they combine it with other drugs like alcohol and marijuana at social gatherings. One study showed that 69 percent of users reported abusing the drug after entry into college.

Adderall and Ritalin

Adderall and Ritalin are both prescription medications often used for the treatment of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). They have become the “study drug” of choice as both are known to have stimulating properties. College students are twice as likely to abuse prescription stimulants due to related workload stress. According to the 2017 results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, around 60% of young adults used prescription stimulants obtained from friends for non-medical purposes.

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Marijuana or Synthetic Marijuana

Some other commonly abused drugs by college students are marijuana and synthetic marijuana. Many students report using these substances in order to relieve the stress associated with college life. It is often abused at parties or other social events. It is estimated that nearly 38 percent of college students use marijuana, according to Monitoring the Future, a survey that is used to measure adolescent drug and alcohol activity. Synthetic marijuana is also a commonly used substance among college students who want to achieve the same effects as marijuana without the legal risk, as synthetic marijuana strains are made in order to circumvent detection from law enforcement agencies.

 

Xanax & Benzodiazepines

Xanax, also known as alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety. Since it is widely prescribed and widely used, it has become easily obtainable through illicit channels. College students are more likely to abuse anti-anxiety medications to deal with stress from college life. It is also commonly combined with other substances such as alcohol, or barbiturates and has been known to cause blackouts, leading to its us as a date-rape drug on college campuses as well.

 

Psychedelics

Psychedelics, such as mushrooms, LSD, or acid, are another group of substances that are commonly abused by people attending college. Psychedelics are hallucinogens, and can cause extreme hallucinations, leading people to lose their sense of reality. The effects of psychedelics are often unpredictable, and can last anywhere from 2-48 hours. This combination can cause people to act erratically, resulting in things like paranoia and psychosis. Use among college students is popular as the report trying to escape from their everyday life, which can oftentimes be stressful.

 

Ecstasy

Along with the rise of raves and EDM culture, is the use of ecstasy, or “molly” among college kids. In part due to the increased popularity of the rave culture is the increased use of ecstasy, or other MDMA related drugs, among college students. Many report using the drug where alcohol is common, such as at parties, bars, festivals, and raves. The euphoric feeling often associated with the substance is what leads students to using it in social settings. However, it can result in things like paranoia, dehydration, and it can even turn fatal in certain situations.

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Drug use among college students is not a new problem.

These are just a few of the most commonly abused drugs by college students in Texas. Due to things like social experimentation, peer pressure, stress and childhood trauma, many college students turn to drugs or alcohol. If you or someone you know may be struggling with a substance use disorder, please do not hesitate to reach out for help! Many have been where you are before and they have gotten the help necessary to get back on track. College is a very rewarding experience, but we also know that it can be very stressful. There is no shame in asking for help! Call us anytime. We are here to help you.

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Nootropics: A Dangerous New Addiction

Alcohol and addictive substances, such as heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine, have long been a problem here in the United States. A new class of drug, termed: nootropics is adding to those problems. Today, it is estimated that nearly 21 million Americans struggle with a substance abuse problem of some kind. A person struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs was once considered to lack moral fortitude, but now, with a deeper understanding of addiction, doctors and scientists alike now profile addiction as a disease of the brain. Addiction literally causes changes to the functioning of an addicts brain, and sometimes these changes are even permanent.

An addiction to drugs or alcohol means when a person is unable to stop using these mind altering substances even though they usually have experienced some extreme, and often negative, consequences because of their substance abuse problem. This could be anything like going to jail, losing a job, spending all their time and money drinking alcohol or using drugs, not seeing their family, living on the streets, etc. The problem with addiction is that oftentimes it is really hard to stop abusing these substances without the help of a professional or some other type of interference, such as an overdose or a rock bottom experience.

While the use of alcohol and illegal illicit drugs, like marijuana or crack cocaine, have all been around for some time now, there is now a newer category of drugs that have been slowly sweeping across the nation. Unfortunately, not all commonly abused substances are illegal. Like alcohol, things like prescription drugs and over the counter medications are also commonly abused by members of the population. This new class of drugs are referred to as “nootropics”, which can literally be translated from the Greek words meaning mind and bending.

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"Smart drugs" or "cognitive enhancers" are substances that people take to improve an area of brain function.

Nootropics can be illegal substances, prescription drugs, and even over the counter medications. Nootropics are drugs used to improve cognitive brain functions, such as:

The first nootropic was discovered by Romanian scientist Corneliu Giurgea in the 1960s. Named Piracetam, the drug was first intended to lull patients into a gentle slumber, but they quickly realized it had the opposite effects. Patients also reported that it let to substantial improvement to their memories. While the drug is not approved by the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration), it is a prescription drug available in the UK and it is still widely used by students and young professionals alike, despite there being any scientific evidence to support their claims of cognitive improvement.

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According to a study that was recently conducted, there is evidence to suggest that nearly 30% of people living in the United States have used a nootropic at least once in the past year. If you have ever seen the movie “Limitless”, a movie that was produced in 2011 where the main character was introduced to a nootropic drug called NZT-48, then you may be familiar with the phenomena of this newly spreading craze. During the movie, NZT-48 allows him to access and fully utilize all areas of his brain, leading to substantial improvement in his life and career, but by the end of the movie it is clear that the drug also has very harmful side-effects, including dependence and addiction.

Nootropics can be very addictive.

It is true that not all nootropic drugs are considered to be dangerous, but there are still those who have very serious side effects. Part of what makes these drugs so compelling is that they are usually medically prescribed or available for purchase over the counter, so people associate them with having less risk. Another component that increases the danger level of these drugs is what is known as increased tolerance, sometimes the user needs more and more to achieve the desired effect, this can cause them to use more of the same drug, or turn to other more harmful drugs instead. Some of the most dangerous and addictive nootropic drugs are listed as follows;

It is important to note that none of these drugs have ever been shown to increase cognitive abilities, and they have had the most positive impact on someone who already had cognitive impairment problems to begin with.

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However, as I mentioned earlier there are some natural substances known to have nootropic effects with little to no side effects. So, if you must, and you are feeling like you may need a little cognitive enhancement, try drinking the age old cup of coffee for that natural boost. Caffeine has been shown to have a positive effect with a low risk of dependence. Other over the counter substances like L-theanine or ginkgo biloba have also had positive effects reported by users, and they also carry a low risk of dependency. As always, speak with a medical professional before trying any of these safer alternatives as they may react with other medications. As always, if you believe that you or a loved one have developed a dependence on any type of substance, do not worry! We are here to help, do not hesitate to ask!

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