Tag Archives: drug abuse

Trazodone High

Trazodone is a common antidepressant. It isn’t popular as a recreational drug, and drug tests don’t often check for it. Nevertheless, like any substance the potential for abuse exists. Furthermore, abusing it can still lead to serious dependence and addiction.

What is Trazodone?

Trazodone Addiction

Trazodone is a prescription medication which helps treat patients with depression. Designed to boost the brain’s Serotonin levels and change a person’s mood, the drug prevents serotonin from absorbing back into the brain’s neurons. This creates an abundance of the chemical. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) is a naturally occurring chemical in the brain. Commonly referred to as the “happy chemical,” it promotes feelings of well-being and happiness.  Trazodone has proven as an effective antidepressant, as well as a mood and anxiety regulator. 

However, the idea of a drug giving you the “happy chemical” in order to make you feel happy is misleading. Trazodone does not make you feel naturally happy, as you would when seeing a loved one or doing something you enjoy. Instead, it creates a sedative effect to provide relief. Rather than making you feel happy, it works to calm you down. This is not necessarily the same as a euphoric high one might experience with other drugs, such as Marijuana or opioids. Rather, a Trazodone high is similar to a benzodiazepine high, though the effect is not as strong. Even though it is not a commonly abused drug, its calming and sedative effects can still be addictive. 

Addiction

Trazodone is not usually sold illegally. Nor is it considered to be a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Typically, Trazodone abuse begins when someone takes too much of their prescription – or takes it for too long. Regular Trazodone use will cause the body to develop a tolerance. Therefore, in order to feel the same calming effects, individuals sometimes take progressively higher doses. An individual who can no longer feel the effects may also move on to stronger and more deadly drugs – such as Xanax or opioids – in order to achieve a high.

Some people enjoy  the Trazodone high because it makes them forget their current situation and detach from life. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that substance use disorders and mental disorders are co-related and usually go hand in hand. This can be especially important to consider when looking at the kinds of patients who take Trazodone. 

Trazodone High

Trazodone Side Effects

Even when taken for the appropriate reasons and at the prescribed dosage, Trazodone can have negative side effects. These include:

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Digestive problems
  • Muscle aches
  • Dry mouth or eyes
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Constipation
  • Nervousness or confusion
  • Weakness or fatigue

More severe side effects can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures 
  • Labored breathing
  • Fainting

How Long Does Trazodone Stay In Your System?

Trazodone’s half-life is between five and nine hours. This means that it takes approximately this amount of time for the original ingested dosage to reduce to half of its size. Therefore, it takes approximately 42 hours before the drug completely leaves your system. This does not mean the effects will last 42 hours.  Nor does it mean that all traces of the drug will be gone. However, Trazodone drug testing is very uncommon.

Trazodone High

Overdose

Trazodone overdose, while not common, is still very possible. Most overdoses occur when individuals simply take too much, thinking that a higher dose will help alleviate their depressed thoughts or anxiety. It can also be dangerous in combination with other central nervous system depressants, such as alcohol. CNS depressants can enhance the drug’s effects and lead to overdose by slowing critical brain and organ functions, such as breathing. 

A lethal dose is unlikely, but not impossible. One medical case study found that fatal arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) can occur during a Trazodone overdose. Therefore, always call emergency medical services if you or someone you know shows overdose symptoms.

Treatment for Trazodone Addiction

Substance use disorders and mental health problems often go hand in hand. This is especially true for Trazodone, since it is prescribed to individuals with depression or anxiety. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, seek professional treatment. A professional will be able to help diagnose the root cause rather than just treating the symptoms. Contact us today for help on your path to recovery.

Synthetic Cocaine

Synthetic Cocaine

In 2014, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported 1.5 million American cocaine users above the age of 12. As alarming as this number is, it only accounts for individuals using pure cocaine or “coke”. In fact, there has been a rise in of individuals using what is known as “synthetic cocaine,” or fake cocaine, in order to achieve cocaine’s effects for cheaper and longer.

What is Synthetic Cocaine?

Cocaine is a central nervous system stimulant much like any other amphetamine. Derived from the coca leaf, cocaine was originally produced in its pure hydrochloride form. It is rare to find 100% pure cocaine on the market. Instead, cocaine is mostly sold as “crack” or impure coke. Crack cocaine is a mixture of pure cocaine and cutting agents like baking soda. Crack’s immediate effect makes it popular. This effect is short-lived, and users often binge in order to extend the high – a primary reason why cocaine is so addictive.

The term “synthetic cocaine” is essentially a misnomer, since it does not actually contain any cocaine. “Fake cocaine” is a more accurate title, since it is designed to replicate cocaine’s effects. Most of the time, synthetic cocaine refers to synthetic cathinones.

What are synthetic cathinones?

Why do people take synthetic cathinones instead of cocaine? First, it is important to understand what a cathinone is. Benzoylethanamine, ß-keto-amphetamine (cathinone) is a monoamine alkaloid found in the khat plant which can mimic an emphetamine or cocaine high.

Amphetamines are a very powerful group of drugs which include meth and adderall. Some amphetamine effects include:

  • Very high energy
  • Lack of sleep
  • Decreased mental performance
  • Fast talking

Many people take amphetamines and cocaine for the same reason – an intense rush of energy and focus. Some claim that cocaine also increases alertness, strength, and speed, though this has not been medically proven.

Synthetic cathinones contain one or more laboratory-made (synthetic) chemicals that behave like cathinones. These substances can cause a long-lasting cocaine-like rush.

Why is Synthetic Cocaine So Popular?

The biggest factors are price and availability. A common misconception is that crack cocaine is cheaper than pure coke. This is not necessarily true. Crack’s absorption rate is generally the real reason for its popularity. Inhaling it creates an intense, nearly instant high.

However, compared to the synthetic cathinone ‘flakka,’ price can be a factor. Flakka can cost around $5 for one hit and the effects can last nearly 5 hours, whereas cocaine can cost more than $80 for a hit lasting only around 10 minutes.

Synthetic cathinones are also usually more accessible, which increases their popularity. The U.S. explicitly prohibits synthetic cathinone production and sale. However, some manufacturers find shortcuts around this by slightly changing certain ingredients, effectively making their cathinone products more or less legal. This drug type is classified as a “new psychoactive substance” (NPS) which is unregulated by the government, making it much easier to purchase. It can even show up in some convenience stores.

Types of Synthetic Cathinones

There are various types of cathinones, some more notorious than others. All of them are dangerous. The two most popular cathinones are flakka and bath salts.

Flakka

Flakka (also known as the ‘zombie drug’) became famous in Florida for allegedly causing cannibalistic behavior.  In one notorious case, an individual under the influence bit another person’s face. Claims like this are unconfirmed; however, media coverage popularized the drug’s infamous nickname. Flakka is also known to cause hallucinations in some rare cases.

Bath salts

Bath salts are one of the more popular forms of cathinones and very similar to flakkas. They are also called bloom, cloud nine, ivory wave and scarface. Generally sold in brown or white crystalline powders, they visually resemble real bath epsom salts. Generally swallowed or snorted through the nose, bath salts are a cheaper alternative to MDMA and cocaine.

Dangers of Synthetic Cocaine

There is little medical research on cathinones and their addictive potential. Any substance that causes a powerful euphoric high comes with the risk of addiction for certain people – especially those with preexisting mental health issues. Synthetic cathinone side effects can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Confusion
  • In some rare cases, excited delirium and hallucinations
  • Risky behavior

Thankfully, synthetic cathinones are not a very popular drug in the U.S. Poison control calls peaked in 2012 at 2,697 and continue on a downward trend – likely due to negative media coverage. Overdose and death from synthetic cathinones are possible. However, risky behavior under the influence is the most common reason for injury and death.

Treatment for Synthetic Cocaine Abuse

Synthetic cathinone treatment is rare. This is not to say that people who abuse it don’t need help. People with substance abuse problems often have other mental health issues. Rather than just managing the symptoms, it’s important to get help from trained professionals to treat an addiction’s root cause. 

If you or someone you care about is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, contact us today. 

Dissociative Drugs

Dissociative drugs are a classification of hallucinogenic drugs which distort a user’s perceptions of sight and sound. The effect of these drugs causes the user to feel detached or a ‘dissociation’ from their mind and body. While for some, this experience can sound like an exciting way to view their world in a different lens, it does not come without its risks.

dissociative drugs

How do dissociative drugs work? 

Some dissociative drugs started off as general anesthetics such as PCP (phencyclidine) and Ketamine to be used during surgery but are now commonly used as party drugs. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), these drugs “ cause their effects by disrupting the actions of the brain chemical glutamate at certain types of receptors—called N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors—on nerve cells throughout the brain.” Glutamate is a critical chemical which is responsible for cognition (such as learning and memory), emotion, and perceptions of pain (which explains its use as a surgical anesthetic).

What are the effects of dissociative drugs

Dissociative drugs can have varying effects on people and everyone’s experience seems to be different. However, generally, users can expect to experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired motor function
  • Body tremors
  • Numbness 

In addition, individuals who take lower doses may experience:

  • Disorientation
  • Confusion
  • Changes in sensory perceptions (sight, sound, shapes)
  • Hallucinations
  • Feelings of detachment 
  • Increase in blood pressure, heart rate, respiration and body temperature

Those who take high doses of dissociative drugs may further experience:

  • Hallucinations
  • Physical distress
  • Extreme paranoia, panic, fear, anxiety, aggression
  • Overdose when mixed with other depressants such as alcohol

dissociative drugs

Dissociative drugs FAQ

What will I feel when taking a dissociative drug?

It is extremely difficult to accurately determine how individuals will react to dissociatives because everyone’s experience is different. While most people will feel a general sense of detachment, some will experience a more intense hallucinogenic effect whereas others may only feel a euphoric high.

What are the long-term effects of dissociative drugs?

Some long term effects of dissociative drugs such as PCP can be speech difficulties, memory loss, depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety and social withdrawal. 

What is a ‘k hole’?

A k-hole is the name given to the dissociative and hallucinogenic effects felt when taking high doses of Ketamine. People have described a k-hole as being an immensely powerful out of body experience and as if they felt physically separated from their body. This feeling can be desirable for some but carries a lot of the negative effects as discussed above.

Are dissociative drugs illegal?

The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has a classification system it uses to ‘schedule’ certain drugs into tiers. If a substance falls under one of the DEA categories, it is a controlled substance. Most dissociative and hallucinogenic drugs are classified under this system. For example, DMT is a schedule I drug which means it has no accepted medical uses and a high risk for abuse. Its categorization makes DMT illegal. Likewise PCP falls under the schedule 2 drug category.

What is Mescaline?

Mescaline is a naturally occuring hallucinogenic drug which is known to have similar effects to that of LSD and psilocybin. It is  the main psychoactive ingredient found in the peyote cactus which is another popular hallucinogenic drug.

What is the difference between dissociative and hallucinogenic drugs?

Essentially, hallucinogens are also known as psychedelics and only cause visual, auditory and sensory hallucinations. Popular hallucinogenic drugs include LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and peyote. Dissociative drugs will cause a sense of detachment from your body along with hallucinations. PCP, Ketamine, and DXM are the most popular dissociative drugs.

dissociative drugs

What is HPPD?

Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) is essentially a never ending ‘trip.’ Medical science still has not come to a conclusion about why this occurs and what the mechanics of this is. However, some people report using a hallucinogenic drug once and never fully recovering from its effects.

Getting treatment

Dealing with dissociative drug addiction can be a major issue. This category of drugs provides an easy escape from reality and some people may begin to rely on it just to get through their day. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please contact us today.