Overdoses Are at an All-Time High: 100,000 Deaths Last Year

Drug overdose deaths have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. In fact, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdoses killed more than 100,000 people in just one year. This is the first time drug overdose deaths have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in America. Most of these overdose deaths were caused by opioids, including prescription painkillers and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The State of Drug Abuse in the US

The drug crisis in America is showing no signs of slowing down, and states all over the country are feeling the effects. While some states have been hit harder than others, there seems to be a general trend of rising overdose deaths in almost every state. West Virginia, for instance, had a 52.8% overdose death rate in 2019 and 81.4% in 2020. Ohio had 38.4% in 2019 and 47.2% in 2020.

The states that have been most affected by the drug crisis have been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic. In addition to West Virginia and Ohio, which had a significant rise in overdose deaths cases, other states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania also had high death rates in 2020.

And while these numbers are alarming enough on their own, they only tell part of the story. Because illicit drugs are becoming more potent and more available than ever before, the drug crisis is only getting worse. To combat this growing problem, we need to invest in education and drug treatment programs that can help people get off of drugs.

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What's Driving Drug Overdoses in the US?

There are many reasons why drug overdoses have become so common. One of the biggest factors is the availability of drugs. With the rise of the internet, it's easier than ever to get your hands on illegal drugs.

Another factor is the potency of these drugs. Drug dealers are constantly trying to one-up each other by selling more potent drugs. This means that even first-time users are at risk of overdosing.

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are largely to blame for this increase in fatalities

Illegal drug users are at an increased risk of overdose because of the rise in synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is much more potent than other opioids, such as heroin. This increased potency makes fentanyl more dangerous and likely to cause overdose fatalities.

It can also be easily laced into other illegal drugs without the user's knowledge. As a result, drug users may unwittingly take a lethal dose, increasing drug-related fatalities. 

In addition, synthetic opioids are often cheaper and more readily available than traditional drugs, making them more attractive to illegal drug users. The increase in the availability of these drugs is likely to continue to fuel the current epidemic of drug overdoses.

In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in deaths caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl. New data shows that opioid-related deaths increased from 56,064 in April 2020 to 75,673 in April 2021. Most of these deaths were accidental overdoses, which highlights the dangers of using illegal drugs like fentanyl.

Addiction to prescription painkillers after receiving them from a doctor for a legitimate injury or illness

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Overdose deaths in the United States are at an all-time high, and prescription painkillers are a major contributor to this trend. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16,416 people died from drug overdoses in 2020. Painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine are highly addictive, and it is easy for users to develop a tolerance and require ever-increasing doses to achieve the same effect.

As users become increasingly dependent on these drugs, they are more likely to turn to illegal narcotics like heroin when their prescriptions run out. This is a dangerous cycle that often leads to overdose and death. In addition, many users accidentally overdose on prescription painkillers because they are not aware of how powerful these drugs can be. As the opioid epidemic continues to claim lives, it is clear that something needs to be done to address this problem.

It's important to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid overdoses and how they can ruin lives

It's no secret that opioids are a serious problem in the United States. Each year, overdose deaths involving opioids claim the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. In addition to the human toll, the economic cost of the opioid epidemic is estimated to be over $500 billion. Despite these alarming statistics, many people remain unaware of the dangers of opioids and how easily they can ruin lives.

This lack of awareness is one of the biggest challenges in addressing the opioid epidemic. Raising awareness about the dangers of opioids is essential to saving lives and reducing the economic cost of this devastating problem. Only by increasing public understanding of the risks can we hope to make progress in tackling this pressing issue.

Get Help for Your Addiction

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Overdose deaths are at an all-time high in the United States. Every day, more than 130 people die from opioid overdose. If you're struggling with addiction, it's important to reach out for help. There are many effective treatments available, including rehab and medication-assisted treatment programs.

These programs can help you overcome addiction and achieve long-term sobriety. If you're unsure where to start, you can reach out to your doctor or a local addiction treatment center. They can connect you with the resources you need to get started on the road to recovery.

Contact More Than Rehab

When it comes to addiction, getting timely help could help save lives. MoreThanRehab provides information and resources on addiction treatment and a safe space for those who are struggling with addiction.

We also offer a range of treatment options, including detox, rehabilitation and therapies to those struggling with addiction who don’t know where to turn. If you or a loved one needs help, call us immediately. Don't hesitate.

888-249-2191

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.

888-249-2191

Why Do I Keep Relapsing On Drugs?

If you wonder why you or your loved one keeps relapsing on drugs, you are not alone. Relapse is common among people seeking recovery. Statistics show that approximately 85% of recovering addicts relapse within a year following treatment. For this reason, there is a need for a long-term drug relapse prevention plan.

Although society deems recovering addicts who relapse as not having enough willpower, you mustn’t lose hope. The National Institute on Drug Abuse acknowledges that addiction treatment involves altering deeply rooted behaviors. Therefore, relapse on drugs or alcohol does not mean that the treatment failed. 

The first thing you should do after relapse is to forgive yourself or your loved one. This way, you will have a more positive attitude that will, in turn, help you in your addiction recovery journey. The next step would be to get treatment for the substance abuse. After that, start a drug relapse prevention program. 

Most treatment programs offer relapse prevention programs to address the issue of relapse by teaching you techniques to prevent and manage its reoccurrence. This way, you can successfully achieve long-term sobriety.

Common Reasons Why Addicts Relapse

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Addiction recovery differs from individual to individual. When you’re addicted to illegal drugs, they take control of your life. Consequently, you may not make healthy and logical choices.

Addiction treatment requires time and effort. Being in a treatment program doesn’t mean you will no longer crave drugs. However, you will actively find ways to avoid substance use and address underlying issues. You will also receive treatment for health problems you acquire when addicted to drugs.

Although the causes of relapse differ from person to person, there are a few commonalities. Here are some common reasons why addicts relapse:

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Signs That You Are On The Verge of Relapse

Below are signs that you are on the verge of experiencing a relapse:

  1. You stop making an effort to maintain sobriety. Recovery is an ongoing journey. For this reason, you need to go out of your way to ensure you stay sober. If you no longer do, you are likely to relapse.
  2. You romanticize your addiction days. If you think of your substance abuse days as good days, you may relapse soon.
  3. You try to reconnect with friends from your addiction days. Reconnecting with friends from your substance abuse days will likely lead to relapse.
  4. You now consider drugs or alcohol harmless. This is a dangerous sign of relapse.
  5. You become selfish and moody. Behavior changes are a substantial danger sign of relapse.
  6. You embrace an unhealthy self-righteous attitude.

Dangers of Relapse

Most recovering addicts assume they can quickly achieve abstinence after relapse. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The more you relapse, the harder it will become for you to get sober.

Often, your relapse lasts longer than your recovery. Relapse may also become permanent.

Relapse is dangerous for several reasons. Here are a few of them:

 

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What To Do During Recovery To Prevent Relapse

To prevent relapse during recovery, you should:

 

Get Help Today

If you feel yourself slipping into a relapse, you should seek professional help. Relapse shouldn’t make you give up on your journey to recovery.

If you feel close to relapsing on drugs or need someone to talk to, contact More Than Rehab for help. We have highly qualified experts that will do all it takes to get you back on track and in control of your life.

You can live a happy, healthy, drug-free life with the proper support and treatment.

888-249-2191

What Is the Best Therapy for Drug Addiction Treatment?

Your addiction treatment will vary based on a range of factors, including the level of care you need, the substance you are addicted to, your mental health, and what you can afford.

There are several treatment options available for addiction recovery. If you are unfamiliar with them, this article is for you. We will discuss the various therapies for addiction treatment to help you decide which one suits you or your loved one best.

 

Detoxification

Detoxification can either be part of a more extensive treatment program or a stand-alone service that various treatment facilities offer. It is an essential step for people who actively use drugs and alcohol.

Medical detox helps you get rid of addictive substances from your body. During detoxification, you will not use the drugs you are addicted to until the chemical substances leave your body.

Detox must occur in a professionally monitored environment because you are likely to experience painful or severe withdrawal symptoms. In addition, in some circumstances, withdrawal may have psychological effects.

Most drug abusers tend to revert to drug use when they experience withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, there is a need to have professional help to ensure you stay on course.

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In addition to ensuring you are safe during the withdrawal period, professionals will help ease discomfort during the withdrawal period. For example, specific medications can reduce the physical symptoms of withdrawal.

Note that detoxification does not address the underlying behavioral causes of addiction. For this reason, it is best to combine it with other therapies.

 

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) 

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)  is a therapy that helps you realistically manage your behavior, emotions, and thoughts. The main goal is to help you recognize and change negative thinking patterns. This helps to overcome the mental distress and psychological patterns that can result in addiction.

 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has proved efficient in treating alcohol and drug addiction. CBT focuses on behavioral health. It helps you recognize your unhealthy behavioral patterns and how to deal with them better. Additionally, CBT enables you to identify your triggers and develop coping skills for them.

Often, CBT is combined with other therapies to treat drug addiction.

 

Twelve-step facilitation therapy

Twelve-step facilitation therapy, also called 12-step programs, can effectively treat alcohol and substance abuse. This group therapy recognizes that addiction has negative physical, emotional, social, and spiritual consequences.

These 12 step programs begin with acceptance, surrender to a higher power, and finally involvement in regularly scheduled group meetings. Most support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous use the twelve-step facilitation therapy.

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Contingency Management

Contingency management treats various addictions, including tobacco, narcotics, and alcohol addiction. Its primary focus is reinforcing positive behavior, e.g., staying sober by giving you tangible rewards.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, research has demonstrated that contingency management successfully prevents relapse in recovering addicts.

 

Treatment with Medication

Medication plays a vital role in addiction recovery. However, it is combined with behavioral therapies for it to be effective.

Some medications suppress cravings, reduce addictive behaviors, and improve your mood. A good example is lofexidine, an FDA-approved medication for addiction treatment. Lofexidine eases withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings in patients recovering from opioid addiction. 

 

Treatment Programs

Most addiction treatment facilities offer three treatment programs:

The treatment program ideal for you significantly depends on your level of addiction and personal preference.

Residential Addiction Treatment Programs

Residential treatment programs offer intensive and comprehensive inpatient treatment. They can be for a short time (30 days), but some may extend for one year.

The advantage of this treatment program is that it incorporates a holistic approach to changing your relationship with drugs or alcohol. Often, you will undergo counseling, extensive education, and behavioral therapy to ensure you don’t revert to drug use.

Generally, residential addiction treatment programs have a multi-angled treatment approach. Most programs require you to start with detox before proceeding to other aspects of the program, including peer support and self-help programs.

Residential programs are beneficial to those who have abused drugs for an extended time and people with substance use disorders. If you got a dual diagnosis on your initial consultation, you should consider opting for residential programs.

 

Outpatient Addiction Treatment Programs

Outpatient treatment programs offer two services; one-time appointments and repeated appointments. Unlike residential treatment programs, you don’t have to stay at the treatment facility.

Most outpatient treatment programs focus on opioid or heroin addiction. That is because medical providers use medications like buprenorphine and methadone to control cravings and minimize the effects of opioids. You will have to visit the clinic regularly to get the medicine. Treatment facilities often require you to pass a drug test to remain in the program.

Not only does addiction affect the individual, but also family members, friends, and other people they interact with. For this reason, there is a need for counseling. Most outpatient addiction treatment programs also offer individual and family therapy in the form of counseling.

Counseling addresses underlying causes of addiction, including past trauma, depression, anger, and many others. It also mends relationships by helping family members understand the reasons for compulsive behavior.

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Peer Support and Self-Help Programs

Several support groups connect people struggling with addiction, the most common ones being Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The main aim of support groups is to help you remain accountable for your recovery.

By sharing your experience with other people who have undergone similar experiences, you remain more encouraged on your recovery journey. Support groups have proved to be an essential tool for long-term recovery.

 

Choose The Type of Addiction Treatment That Suits You Best

Since you are now more familiar with the various types of addiction treatment programs, you can decide which one suits you best. We highly recommend going for a professional addiction assessment before deciding on treatment.

More Than Rehab offers high-quality, individualized addiction treatment services throughout the recovery process. Our treatment models are founded on successful national models. Contact us today to start your recovery journey.

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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The Link Between Risky Sexual Behaviors & Drug Use

For ages, human beings have intentionally used different substances for sexual pleasure. For example, Egyptians used extracts from the blue lotus flower to facilitate and enhance sexual desire. 

Today is no different. People use alcohol and illicit drugs for sexual pleasure. The trend is prevalent among teenagers and young adults in the United States. While substance misuse happens at any age, young adult years are critical at-risk periods. 

Studies have identified strong associations between substance use disorders and risky sexual behaviors and experiences. A review published on JAMA Network suggests that illegal drug use, and alcohol, increases the chances of risky sexual behavior and STIs by interfering with rational decision-making and cognitive functioning. 

The review further indicates that sexual impulses may be linked to subsequent drug use by alienating the teen from a more conventional context. This promotes attachment to rogue peers, and fosters exposure to drugs or alcohol. It also suggests that sex & drugs may have a common aspect that underlies and precedes both manifestations like personality (rebelliousness) or family factor (like mother-child relationship) etc.

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People who meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual criteria for substance abuse disorders are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors, including unsafe sex and having multiple partners. According to the national institute on drug abuse, the following are some of the risky sexual behaviors associated with alcohol and drug abuse 

Using the Global Drug Survey data, a 2019 study found the below as the most common drugs used with sex.

Let's discuss the sexual functioning associated with each drug in detail.

Alcohol

Alcohol is a popular drug that most people use to relax before engaging in sexual activity. In addition, it is used as an aphrodisiac to increase sexual desire and enhance performance. When taken in smaller doses, it enhances sexual arousal in men and increases subjective stimulation and pleasure in women.

However, when taken in higher quantities, alcohol impairs erectile function in men due to neuropathy or cardiovascular complications. In women, chronic users experience decreased vaginal lubrication and delayed orgasm.

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Alcohol abuse has been associated with risky sexual behavior due to impaired judgment. In addition, under the influence of alcohol, individuals are likely to be inconsistent with condoms and have multiple sexual partners whose health status is unknown. This results in increased cases of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy. 

Cocaine

Cocaine is known to stimulate the central nervous system. As a result, it increases sexual urges due to activating systems responsible for sexual behavior such as oxytocin, dopamine, and melanocortin. This leads to sexual arousal in women and erectile function in men. However, long-term use can cause reduced sexual desire and delayed ejaculation/orgasm.

Cocaine use with an intimate partner is more frequent as compared to heroin. This is because cocaine is known to improve sexual performance, intensify sensation and increase libido. On the other hand, heroin is believed to send blood away from sexual organs and reduce testosterone production. This diminishes sexual desire, difficulty maintaining an erection, and delayed ejaculation/orgasm.

In addition, cocaine use has been predominantly linked with the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases compared to alcohol and other illegal drugs. This is highly attributed to increased sexual urges, impaired judgment, and sharing needles amongst users when injecting the drug. Diagnostic criteria show chronic users of cocaine exhibit violent and erratic behavior leading to anxiety, depression, and loss of interest in sex.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is recognized to be a potent aphrodisiac better known in the streets as "speed" or "crack." Like cocaine but at a higher degree, methamphetamine improves sexual performance by lowering inhibitors, increasing sex drive, and delaying ejaculation/orgasm. In addition, the sexual urges last longer in methamphetamine users than cocaine users making it more popular to people seeking extended and extremely stimulating sexual experiences.

However, chronic users of meth may experience difficulty in attaining a full erection. In this case, they experience a strong sexual drive coupled with inadequate penile erection. This condition is known as "crystal dick."

Methamphetamine has contributed to the high rates of sexually transmitted diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV/AIDS. Increased sexual urges lead to unsafe and risky sexual behaviors such as vigorous unprotected anal or vaginal sex with strangers and casual sex partners. In addition, users who inject the drug share needles, putting them at a higher risk of contracting these diseases.  

Cannabis

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Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug. Consumption in small doses leads to subjective satisfaction and enhanced sexual pleasure in both men and women. Cannabis has resulted in teenage sex and increased cases of sexual addictions because the drug is cheap and easily accessible. 

However, chronic use of cannabis has been known to reduce testosterone, leading to erectile dysfunction in men. It is also associated with an increased risk of abuse and mental health conditions such as depression, extreme anxiety, and hallucination. 

Opioids

In the initial stages, opioids cause enhanced vaginismus in women and delayed ejaculation in men. This gives the user a false perception of improved sexual function. However, the use of opioids such as heroin and morphine for an extended period inhibits the release of luteinizing hormone.

This leads to erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced sexual desire, and mental illness. The same effects are associated with opioid substitution therapy, such as buprenorphine and methadone.

Despite certain drugs showing a positive relationship to improved sexual performance and pleasure when used in small quantities, there is a need to create awareness of the potentially harmful health consequences that they can cause. In search of a few minutes of extreme pleasure, you can expose yourself to STDs, infertility, unplanned pregnancies, sexual addiction, and mental illnesses. 

If you or someone close to you relies on alcohol and drugs for sexual performance, or you notice more risky sexual behaviors, it is essential to seek immediate help. Healthcare providers, educators, and social workers will provide the counseling and professional treatment that is needed to help you/them gain control of your/their sexual life again.

How Does Someone Use Methamphetamines?

Dealers produce methamphetamines in various forms. Therefore, it can be orally ingested, smoked, snorted, or injected. The methods meth addicts prefer vary depending on the geographical region.

This article discusses the various methods people use to get meth into the body. We will also look at paraphernalia for meth use and how meth affects your body.

How meth addicts take meth

Oral ingestion

Initially, methamphetamines were developed for medical purposes , and medical practitioners administered it in pill form. Today, some addicts abuse meth by ingesting the pills. Some of them are manufactured, while others are homemade.

When you ingest meth pills, you’ll experience its effects after approximately 20 minutes. The euphoric high meth gives you only lasts for a few minutes.

Snorting

Most new users prefer to snort methamphetamine that is in powder form. They use credit cards to chop the powder and inhale it through the nostrils. The meth is absorbed into the bloodstream through nasal tissues.

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When you snort meth, you get a euphoric high. The high only lasts for a few minutes, so the chances are you’d want to snort it again and again.

Snorting meth may damage your sinus cavities. Consequently, you’ll have a chronic runny nose. If you snort meth for a long time, you may end up having a hole in your septum.

Smoking

The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Community Epidemiology Work Group data revealed that smoking is the most common method of abusing methamphetamine.

You can smoke the hydrochloride salt of methamphetamine as it is. You don’t need to change its form or add any other ingredient. Usually, crystal meth resembles blue-white rocks.

Most people smoke meth in a glass pipe, commonly referred to as a flute. The flute is usually the first indication that someone abuses meth.

Using this method has several side effects, the most prominent being meth mouth. Symptoms of meth mouth are corroded gums, corroded teeth, and dry mouth. These side effects result from the illicit ingredients dealers use during the manufacturing process.

According to NCBI, smoking meth is highly addictive, possibly more than the other methods.

Injections

You can inject powdered methamphetamine into your bloodstream. This method is high-risk for several reasons. For starters, most addicts share needles, exposing them to infections like HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.

Injecting meth quickly puts it in your bloodstream and brain, giving you an intense rush almost immediately. The rush lasts for a few minutes, and addicts describe it as highly pleasurable.

Ideally, you should wash your hands with soap and water, then clean the injection site using an alcohol swab. This way, germs will not get into your blood. You should also rotate the injection site to reduce the risk of infection. Most addicts don’t do the above, so they are exposed to diseases.

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Binge and crash pattern

Since the meth high doesn’t last long, most meth users abuse the drug in a pattern commonly referred to as ‘binge and crash.’ They take several hits in succession in an attempt to maintain the high.

Some go on a ‘run’ where they neither sleep nor eat for several days at a time. Instead, they binge on meth to maintain the euphoric feeling or rush.

Paraphernalia for meth use

The most common paraphernalia for meth use are as follows;

1.     Syringes.

Meth addicts use syringes to inject themselves with meth. Usually, they use a spoon to hold the meth and use a lighter to burn the meth from underneath the spoon. Burnt lighters and spoons are an indication of meth abuse.

2.    Cut pieces of straws/hollowed-out ink pens.

Meth addicts use cut pieces of straws and hollowed-out ink pens to snort powdered meth.

3.    Glass pipes.

Most meth addicts use glass pipes or tubes to smoke meth.

4.    Torch lighters

Meth users prefer torch lighters to standard lighters because they don’t burn the tip of the thumb.

How Use of Methamphetamines Affects Your Body

report by the United States department of health and human services states that meth can cause health adversities that may result in death.

Methamphetamine has short-term and long-term effects on your body and mental health. It may also result in substance use disorders. Generally, meth affects your heart, brain, kidneys, immune system, skin, and teeth.

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Heart

According to a National Institutes of Health report, the primary cause of death in methamphetamine addicts is cardiovascular disease.

Meth can constrict your blood vessels, raise blood pressure, increase your heart rate, and make your heart muscles collapse. Using meth increases your risk of a heart attack.

Brain

Meth is a stimulant that increases your dopamine levels. You will experience an intense high for a few minutes, but the crash will leave you feeling depressed and irritable.

Extended meth use can kill the dopamine cells in your brain. You won’t experience pleasure the way you used to. You may also have paranoia and psychosis symptoms.

The proper treatment can rebuild parts of your brain that take in dopamine. If you stay drug-free, the effects of meth in your brain may reverse.

Kidneys

Long-term meth use can damage your kidneys. This is due to your body’s inability to break down toxins in meth.

Immune system

Meth can weaken your immune, making you more susceptible to infections. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that meth abuse could worsen hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.

Skin

Meth makes your skin extremely itchy. Consequently, you end up picking at your skin, resulting in sores.

Teeth

Meth results in a condition called meth mouth, which is tooth decay and gum disease. The symptoms you are likely to experience are:

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In extreme cases, you may require cosmetic surgery to fix your mouth.

Get help today

Meth addiction has serious side effects. If you are struggling with meth addiction, you should seek professional help. Most treatment facilities have a comprehensive substance abuse treatment plan.

At More Than Rehab, we have several treatment options for meth addiction. You can choose from our long-term outpatient programs or short-term in-patient programs. We also offer medically supervised detoxification, help you through the initial stages of detox, and help you manage the withdrawal symptoms.

Contact us today to start your recovery journey and regain control of your life.

888-249-2191

Texas Overdose Trend Remains At All-Time High For 2022

Substance abuse harms individuals’ physical, mental, and behavioral health. It also affects their families and communities at large. In some instances, it may result in overdose deaths.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that over 4,000 people in Texas died due to drug overdose in 2020 alone. The same report revealed that overdoses claimed a total of 93,000 lives in the United States in 2020.

Experts connected the rise in drug addiction deaths with the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Robert Redfield, the CDC director, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected individuals with substance use disorders. The need to isolate left them bored and lonely, thus they used drugs and alcohol for solace.

report by DSHS revealed that opioid use is one of the leading causes of overdose deaths in Texas. Other drugs reported causing overdose deaths are cocaine and methamphetamine.

Director of CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Deb Houry, said that the significant increase in overdose deaths is worrying.

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How to prevent drug overdose deaths

Until recently, there was no state-wide system to collect overdose data. Researchers at the University of Texas have created a digital reporting and surveillance system to track this data. The system, commonly known as Project CONNECT. Its purpose is to give stakeholders a clear picture of the Texas overdose crisis and influence future interventions.

The CDC also made the following recommendations in a bid to reduce the number of overdose deaths:

What you can do

Everyone has a role to play in preventing overdose deaths. There is a high chance that someone you know or someone from your community may overdose at some point, but not all overdoses should end in death.

To prevent overdose deaths in your community, you can:

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Ways to talk loved ones into getting treatment

When a loved one is struggling with an addiction, you may be at a loss on what to do to help them. You wouldn’t want to risk losing anyone due to a drug overdose.

Addiction treatment is a personal choice, so you can’t force your loved one to get treatment. The best you can do is be there for them every step of the way. However, you can do a few things to convince your loved one to get substance abuse treatment. Here are some of the most important ones.

Be non-judgemental

If your loved one admits that they are struggling with drug addiction, try to react as calmly as possible. Talk to them in a non-judgemental manner and offer to help them. If your loved one doesn’t confide in you, but you notice they are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may have to approach them with the issue. Try to be as non-judgemental as possible.

Research the effects of the drug

When your loved one is an addict, it would be best to research the short-term and long-term effects of the drug they are addicted to. When you are well informed, it is unlikely that they will misinform you on the seriousness of the problem. Additionally, they will more likely listen to you when you sound like an expert.

You can get information on various drugs on our website.

Seek professional help

Drug addiction is a chronic illness. Therefore, it needs professional intervention. Reach out to rehab facilities, doctors, or counselors to get relevant information.

Choose a convenient place and time to talk to them

When you decide to approach your loved one to air your concerns, choose a place and time when you would both be comfortable. Do not exhibit aggressive behavior as they may be defensive as a result. Instead, remain calm, maintain an even tone, and focus on the issue at hand.

It would be best to try talking to them when they are as sober as possible. This way, it will be easier to reason with them.

Listen to them

If your loved one is willing to talk about their addiction, listen to them. Give them a chance to air their side of the story, but don’t let them sway you into believing their problem is not serious. Additionally, it would be best to be mindful of how you react or respond.

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Bring up treatment options

From your initial research, you will notice several treatment options available depending on the drug your loved one is addicted to. Some treatment facilities offer both inpatient and outpatient programs. Let your loved ones know their options and help them select the one that suits them best.

Be supportive    

Your loved one will need a lot of your support throughout the treatment and recovery process.

Most treatment programs have medical detox as the first step of treatment. It is arguably the most challenging part of treatment, and most patients feel like they want  to give up. Be there for your loved one and offer emotional support to better their chances of recovery.

You may also have to accompany them to support groups which play a significant role in ensuring recovering addicts maintain sobriety.

What if they don’t want to get treatment?

Sometimes, addicts may refuse to voluntarily get treatment, posing a danger to themselves and those around them. When this happens, you may have to opt for interventionist court-ordered Rehab. You can petition the court for the order if you can prove your loved one’s addiction endangers them and others.

Get help today

If you are searching for trusted and proven drug treatment, Texas has one of the finest. More Than Rehab provides high-quality addiction treatment for Texas residents. We offer unique, individualized treatment programs based on successful national models.

Our experts will take care of your loved one throughout the recovery process, including medical detox, inpatient rehabilitation, and our comprehensive outpatient program. We also provide additional support for Texas overdose victims through sober living arrangements.

How To Be Grateful Even When Times Are Tough

Gratitude is an essential tool for those in the recovery process. It is known to significantly reduce relapse rates, especially during the holidays.

If you feel grateful to be on the road to recovery, the chances are that you won’t relapse. A thankful attitude allows you to face any challenges that come your way and focus on your recovery goal.

Grateful people generally have a positive outlook on life. This outlook influences their behavior and promotes a sustainable recovery-oriented life.

Most people who abuse drugs or alcohol tend to be self-centered, caring only about themselves. If you are in recovery, expressing gratitude makes you less selfish and more aware of the needs of others. Additionally, you will be more in control of your life, more optimistic, and less stressed.

Practicing gratitude influences the behaviors and thoughts of those recovering from addiction and co-occurring disorders. It also helps them appreciate the present and improve interactions with other people.

This article will discuss how to be grateful, even when things are tough. Additionally, we will talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), its symptoms, and how to fight it.

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Gratitude

Here are a few tips on being grateful during the holidays to avert experiencing a relapse.

1.     Have a gratitude journal.

Have a journal where you list at least three things you are grateful for every day. Journaling daily will change your mindset and make you a grateful person overall.

2.    Focus on the essential things.

It would be best to focus on important things, including your relationships with your friends and family, instead of worrying about the unknown. You will realize just how lucky you are to have the people you have in your life at the moment. Interact with your friends and family often. Remember, isolation can lead to addiction.

3.    Change your perspective.

If you’re having a hard time coming up with things you are grateful for, take a moment to think about other people whose misfortunes are more than yours. Changing your perspective will make you realize just how much you should be grateful for.

4.    Savor the good experiences/moments.

During your day-to-day, pay attention to the moments you genuinely feel happy and savor them. Pay attention to how your body feels, and try to relive the moments when you don’t feel grateful.

5.    Appreciate yourself for the small milestones you make.

Most people tend to overlook what they do for themselves, mainly when they cultivate healthy habits during their recovery journey. Remember to always appreciate yourself for the small milestones you make.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that arises due to change in seasons. It is a co-occurring disorder that starts during fall, worsens during winter, and ends during spring. On rare occasions, people get a rare SAD type called summer depression.

SAD is a severe condition that harms your day-to-day life, including how you think and feel. It may cause major depression.

The mild version of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is commonly referred to as the winter blues. Unlike SAD, winter blues simply make you feel down since you are mostly stuck indoors.

Who is likely to get SAD?

SAD tends to affect women  and young people more. Additionally, people with mood disorders, e.g., bipolar disorder and mental health conditions, are more likely to get SAD. People who live further north of the equator in high latitudes or cloudy regions are also more likely to get SAD.

People suffering from SAD may suffer from other mental health conditions, including but not limited to eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and panic disorders.

Symptoms of SAD

Here are a few symptoms of SAD patients are likely to experience:

Those who suffer from summer SAD are likely to experience:

How to fight SAD

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Here are a few tips on fighting seasonal depression.

  1. Work out.

Most times, people’s physical activity decreases during the colder months. Working out is a great way to combat seasonal depression since you fight your body’s urge to be sluggish.

2.    Consider light therapy.

Research has shown that light therapy is a first-line treatment for SAD since it keeps the patient’s circadian rhythm on track.

3.    Participate in social activities.

Most people tend to avoid participating in social activities during the colder months. As discussed above, isolating yourself is a risk factor for SAD. Try as much as possible to participate in social activities and interact with your family and friends.

4.    Have a schedule and stick to it. 

People with SAD often either sleep a lot or have trouble sleeping. Try maintaining a regular schedule to improve your sleeping patterns. This will help reduce the symptoms of seasonal depression.

5.    Ensure you get enough vitamin D.

The  National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that insufficient vitamin D may cause depressive symptoms, including SAD.

It is unclear whether taking vitamin D supplements may relieve SAD symptoms, but experts say getting enough vitamin D from sunlight and your diet could go a long way in preventing SAD.

6.   Go on vacation.

If you get SAD during the colder months, you can take a winter vacation to countries with warm climates at the time. Being in a warm place can relieve SAD symptoms.

7.    Be grateful.

As discussed above, gratitude is an essential part of recovery. Purpose to stay grateful and appreciate what and who is in your life.

Conclusion

Being grateful goes a long way in promoting sobriety. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, most addicts relapse when they can no longer deal with the pressure of their day-to-day lives.

Most addicts can avert a relapse on drugs by cultivating gratitude during recovery, especially during the fall and winter months, when SAD tends to kick in.

Check out our blog for more information on relapse prevention and drug rehabilitation. At More Than Rehab, we offer quality service to everyone struggling with addiction. Contact us today to start your recovery journey.

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Cartels Are Shipping Thousands of Pounds of Meth Into Texas

The National Drug Intelligence Center reported that Mexican drug cartels have come up with extensive drug distribution and transportation networks along the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas. 

According to the intelligence center, the drug trafficking networks extend from Texas to all other states in the US. The cartels have drug suppliers in most, if not all, the states.

Law enforcement officers in Texas have, on several occasions, seized drugs from traffickers in the area. Some of the most common drugs seized in Texas are: methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.

 Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, or crystal meth is an addictive stimulant that harms the general health and well-being of those who use it. It is a controlled substance, and its potential for abuse is relatively high.

This article discusses meth abuse in Texas and how cartels are shipping thousands of pounds of meth into Texas.

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Meth abuse in Texas

A 2017 survey revealed that approximately 120,000 Texas residents aged over 12 years abuse meth every year. In 2018, there were over 950 deaths involving meth abuse. Additionally, 570 calls to the poison center were related to meth.

The Addiction Research Institute (ARI) also researched meth abuse in Texas. The research revealed that there were 12,385 treatment admissions of Texas residents. Treatment facilities admitted most of them due to meth abuse.

Why is meth abuse prevalent in Texas?

Meth abuse is prevalent in Texas for several reasons. For starters, Texas shares a 1254-mile border with Mexico. The border has proved difficult to fence since it is on an extensive stretch of land. Therefore, there are no physical barriers between Texas and Mexico, making it easy for cartels to transport their merchandise to the United States across the border.

Another reason is that there are thousands of acres of unoccupied land in Texas, specifically in southeast Texas. This gives traffickers ample time and space to ensure their meth supply reaches the intended destinations with no interruptions.

The Gulf of Mexico is also a contributing factor since it allows drug traffickers to use narco submarines, boats, and other crafts for their illegal business.

Cartels

Recently, according to the Tarrant County Sheriff Office, Texas, seized over 1400 pounds of liquid methamphetamine in five weeks. According to them, the street value of the seized liquid meth is $ 16 million dollars. Although officers made arrests during the drug bust, they declined to reveal further details citing ongoing investigations by undercover officers and surveillance. 

Bill Waybourn, the Tarrant County Sheriff, confirmed that authorities seized the drugs on two different occasions. On the first occasion, police officers pulled over a vehicle whose license plate matched a car someone had reported stolen. The seizure led to further investigations which resulted in a second seizure. 

Special agent Eduardo Chavez, DEA Dallas division, said that the liquid methamphetamine they seized was 99% pure. He also noted they were sure a drug cartel was behind the illegal trade.

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Investigator Calvin Bond, who works in Tarrant County, said they suspect the drug cartels targets locations like Dallas-Fort Worth because they are closer to Mexico. Additionally, he said they suspect the meth was produced in meth labs in Mexico, converted to liquid meth, then smuggled to the States through the Texas border. When the liquid meth reaches its intended destination, distributers crystallize it and sell it in the streets.

Police departments, the DEA, and the Sheriff’s office helped in the investigations.

Texas meth penalties

In Texas, meth attracts severe penalties. This is because meth use has become more prevalent in the past few years. To deter Texas residents from using meth, law enforcement officers, judges, and courts put stringent measures in place. If you are found in possession of meth, you will face harsh penalties, including hefty fines and jail time.

The penalties vary depending on the amount of meth the accused person had. The judges also consider the facts of the case and one’s criminal history.

Here is a breakdown of penalties you are likely to face;

Why treatment for meth addiction is difficult

Compared to alcohol and drug abuse, treatment for meth addiction is relatively difficult for several reasons. For starters, there are no medications to help with the rehabilitation and treatment efforts.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) has proved to be very efficient in easing withdrawal effects and preventing relapses. It is an essential tool in most addiction treatment center programs. Unfortunately, there are no FDA-approved medications for meth addiction treatment. This makes detox for meth addiction overwhelming to most patients.

Another major cause for concern is the ease of access. Between the 1990s and 2000s, there was an extensive crackdown on meth labs in the United States, most of which were located in Texas, specifically in the San Antonio and Houston areas. Some were small operations while others were quite big, inside large warehouses. When the government became strict after the crackdown, most labs closed down.

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Today, most meth in the United States is supplied by Mexican drug cartels. It is very potent and quite affordable. A report by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that the current price of meth is the lowest they have ever seen. Therefore, addicts undergoing treatment can easily relapse since meth is easily accessible and affordable.

Rehab options for people addicted to meth

Different treatment centers have a variety of rehab options for meth addicts. Most treatment facilities use behavioral therapies in the treatment of meth addiction.

At More Than Rehab, we have a comprehensive meth rehabilitation program. Our staff is excellently equipped to deal with meth addiction treatment and other underlying mental issues. We focus on ensuring that the patient is healthy both physically and mentally.

Considering that currently, there is no FDA-approved medication to help those in treatment deal with treatment effects, we incorporate a combination of group therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), relapse prevention, and contingency management to make the recovery process more manageable.

If you or your loved one is struggling with addiction, contact us for professional help. We offer meth addiction treatment to all persons regardless of addiction severity. Let us help you turn your life around.

888-249-2191