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Excuses Alcoholics Make

A lot of people struggling with alcoholism make excuses for their drinking. They might say that they drink because they’re stressed out or because they’re depressed. But the truth is, alcohol is a powerful drug that can easily take over someone’s life. If you’re struggling with alcoholism, it’s time to face the facts and get help. There’s no shame in admitting that you need help, and plenty of resources are available.

The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found a whopping 85.6% of adults 18 years of age and older stated that they had taken a drink sometime in their lives. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but a trend has been emerging in the United States, and it is more disturbing.


The trend is for “high-intensity drinking.” High-intensity drinking is when a man or a woman drinks two times the threshold for binge drinking. For a woman, binge drinking is when she consumes four or more alcoholic beverages within two hours. For a man, it is when he drinks five or more alcoholic beverages within two hours, leading to several deleterious consequences.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is when a person has the physical need or a desire to consume alcohol even though it is causing negative consequences for them. The words “alcoholism” and “alcoholic” are seen as negative, so the medical community changed the name of this disease to “substance use or alcohol use disorder.”

What are some excuses used by people with alcohol use disorder?

Talking to people about their drinking can be very difficult because they tend to answer your observations about their behavior with excuses. In order for you to combat these excuses, you must first know what to expect. The following 10 excuses are the most common that people with substance use disorder use:

They claim that they do not drink spirits.

This doesn’t matter because the critical point that you want to make is that they are drinking too much. They may make this statement because spirits contain more alcohol than other beverages, but you are concerned about the amount of alcohol your loved one drinks in a day.

They state that they can’t sleep without drinking.

Alcohol is undoubtedly known as a “depressant,” but this doesn’t mean it is a sedative. In actuality, alcohol can keep people awake.

Alcohol eases my pain.

People often use alcohol to relieve physical or emotional pain, a form of “self-medication.” The excuse for abusing alcohol is that it makes them feel better, but it also causes them to experience physical and emotional pain. This also affects the people around them. Besides, drinking to dull the pain is only a temporary solution to a problem that needs a more effective remedy.

Depression, Stress, or Sadness makes me drink.

When someone uses this excuse, they admit that there is a problem. Even if you are drinking because it is ameliorating your sadness, easing your depression, and numbing your pain, you are still experiencing a substance use disorder.

They state that their friends all drink.

This excuse isn’t a good one at all. Your friend may be comfortable surrounded by other people with substance use disorders, but the behavior is still very destructive.

Some people insist that they aren’t craving alcohol, so they can take it or leave it.

Someone with a substance use disorder can stop drinking for one day or even a week, but this doesn’t last long. In addition, the lack of cravings does not mean someone does not have a problem. Many people haven’t stopped drinking long enough to have cravings, and if someone drinks when they need to dull his or her feelings, the addiction may be mental rather than physical.

They state they cannot take time to enter a Treatment Program.

If a person with a substance use disorder obtains treatment for it, they will gain time in terms of a longer life. Drinking without limits is what causes people to lose time.

They claim that they need to go to work.

This is one of the most popular excuses for not going into rehab. If someone with a substance use disorder is still working, they are functioning with a substance use disorder. They may not necessarily be as productive as they need to be in their jobs, and their choices may be very bad.

They state that they are not drinking in the morning.

This is a common excuse people use to inform you that they are not drinking throughout the day, but it doesn’t mean they don’t drink excessively. It’s important to remember that the amount of alcohol they drink is disturbing and not the time in which they are doing it.

What is a high-functioning substance use disorder?

You don’t necessarily know that someone is a high-functioning person with a substance use disorder if you only know them casually. These people can go to work every day and excel at their jobs. Their children are never late for school; they live up to all their obligations, never neglect any of their responsibilities, and are highly successful. Nothing looks out of the ordinary for a high-functioning person with substance use disorder. Everyone around them believes that they are functioning normally. Only their family members and close friends know the truth. They may be functioning well today, but one day, the consequences of their actions will catch up with them.

What is Denial?

A person often needs to be in denial to continue to go through addiction. If the person you love doesn’t think his drinking is problematic, he will have no reason to seek help. Denial means that your loved one refuses to admit the truth about his or her drinking, and when someone is addicted to a substance, denial can serve as a defense mechanism that can be very hard to break down. Your loved one is an expert at using denial to remain in the throes of an addiction.


It can be not easy to convince a loved one that they need treatment. Because of the addiction, your friend or loved one isn’t themself, and he uses denial to delay having to face the fact that there is a severe issue. This may be too difficult to tackle, so you may want to stage an intervention to convince your friend or loved one to enter a treatment program.

At Garden State Treatment Center, we have a medication-assisted treatment program in which your loved one will receive medication to treat his physical addiction and behavioral therapies to treat his psychological addiction. Past program attendees have seen great results after completing the program. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more about our medication-assisted treatment program.

Published on: 2024-03-02
Updated on: 2024-03-02

Magic Mushroom Chocolate Bars

Magic mushroom chocolate bars, also known as “shroom bars” and psilocybin chocolate, are one of the most popular kinds of magic mushroom edibles available today, although they are illegal in most places. Many people say that the modern-day pairing of chocolate and psychedelic mushrooms was inspired by the Aztecs, who are believed to have combined cacao with magic mushrooms to create a ceremonial psychoactive drink in pre-Columbian times. Today, modern psilocybin chocolate producers are creating new and enjoyable ways to consume mind-altering mushrooms, but they come with some risks.


Although psilocybin use has become more common, the chemical compound remains a highly restricted substance that is believed to have a high potential for abuse. The 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances classifies psilocybin as a Schedule I substance that is said to have no recognized medical use. At the same time, research shows that magic mushrooms are not likely to cause physical or psychological addiction. Magic mushrooms are illegal in most areas of the United States, but they have been decriminalized in some states and localities. In recent years, restrictions on research into psychedelics have eased, and scientific and medical researchers have been looking into their potential therapeutic benefits. They are increasingly the subject of reporting by mainstream media outlets such as The Guardian, Bon Appetit, GQ, and National Public Radio (NPR).

When it comes to magic mushroom chocolate products, Polka Dot chocolate bars are among the most recognized. These bars (and their fake counterparts) can be easily found online, but they may pose unknown and undisclosed legal and health risks to consumers. In order to make informed decisions about consuming these products, it’s important to assess their safety and potential for misuse.

Understanding Magic Mushrooms

Magic mushrooms, also known as “shrooms,” are a kind of fungus that contain psilocybin, which turns into a hallucinogenic compound called psilocin when it is consumed. Psilocin binds to serotonin receptors, alters neural activity associated with emotion and self-awareness, and reduces the activity of slow brain waves. Many people who consume psilocybin will hallucinate and feel that time is slowing down. The substance also increases and disrupts regular neural function, changes perception, and may help people deal with and release past trauma.

Psilocybin mushrooms have historical ceremonial significance in many cultures, are often used as recreational drugs, and may potentially have therapeutic benefits as well as serious side effects. Some researchers believe that people have been intentionally consuming psilocybin mushrooms since ancient times. Many historians are confident that glyphs and sculptures created by indigenous South Americans represent mushrooms, which the Aztecs called teonanacatl. As the Spanish colonized the New World in the 16th century, they are believed to have created the first written account of psychoactive mushrooms when they made note of their use in indigenous religious ceremonies.

Psilocybin mushrooms chocolate

Magic Mushroom Chocolate Bars: An Emerging Trend

The use and mention of magic mushrooms in Western art and culture is not new, but when psilocybin was prohibited in the 1970s, the drug became stigmatized. Nevertheless, people continued to experiment with magic mushrooms and use them in the edibles that have become popular today.

Overview of Different Magic Mushroom Chocolate Brands

Of all the magic mushroom chocolate bars available, Polka Dot bars are perhaps the most widespread. They are available in many appealing flavors, like “Reese’s,” “Fruity Pebbles,” Belgian Chocolate, and Cookies & Cream. Other psychedelic chocolate brands that have gained attention in the media include Trē House, Azul Chocolates, Wonder, Neautropics, Mycoday, Woosah, Humboldt Mycology, ROMS, and Master Mind.

How Magic Mushroom Chocolate Bars Are Made

Magic mushroom chocolate bars are typically made by mixing full-spectrum mushroom extracts or powdered dried ground mushrooms into liquified chocolate at 70 degrees Celsius. In a best-case scenario, producers control and can measure the amount of psilocybin in their products so that their customers can easily know how much of the psychoactive compound is contained in each serving and adjust their consumption accordingly. In reality, there is currently no way for producers to know or test exactly how much psilocybin is in any given batch of mushroom powder before it is mixed into chocolate, making it difficult to predict what its effects might be or expect a consistent experience.

The Increasing Popularity of Magic Mushroom Chocolate

Magic mushrooms have captured the imaginations of people for centuries, and they have frequently been used as a means of seeing the world in a new way. A variety of cultural influences are also changing perceptions about psychedelics, opening minds to their potential benefits, and bringing these ideas to a broader mainstream audience.

Many non-psychoactive mushroom species, such as lion’s mane and cordyceps, are known to benefit cognitive function and the immune system. Wellness brands are making all kinds of non-toxic mushrooms into tasty treats, and combining them with cacao or chocolate may provide synergistic health benefits. People also appreciate that mushroom chocolate can be better tasting and more enjoyable than eating unaltered, dried mushrooms that can be unpleasant or “dirty” to their taste buds. Magic mushrooms can oxidize and spoil if they are not properly stored; mushroom chocolate is unlikely to spoil. If the amount of psilocybin in a bar could be standardized, it would allow people to control their own dosage to suit themselves.

Addiction and Psychedelics

Addiction and Psychedelics

Psilocybin has strong mind-altering and physiological effects and can potentially be abused, but the belief that it is addictive is not supported by science. The 16th edition of Meyler’s Side Effects of Drugs notes that, in general, hallucinogens, including psilocybin, are not habit-forming and do not cause cravings or dependence. Frequent use of psilocybin can create a tolerance to its effects, but consumption is not known to cause withdrawal.

Current research indicates that there is little scientific information to suggest that magic mushrooms are physically or psychologically addictive. Research published in the quarterly journal Addiction Biology in 2002 found that repeat use of psilocybin does not create a physical dependence on the drug, while a 2008 study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors concluded that using psilocybin as an adolescent did not create a greater potential for drug addiction in adulthood.

Potential Side Effects of Psychedelics

Psilocybin has an inherently low toxicity, but ingesting too much at once has psychological and physiological risks, especially for people who have a history of mental health issues.

Overdosing on shroom chocolate bars can induce unpleasant or dangerous symptoms, which may include:

  • extreme anxiety
  • frightening panic attacks
  • an hours-long altered state of mind
  • a feeling of losing control
  • impaired judgment
  • intense paranoia
  • auditory or visual hallucinations
  • delusions
  • psychosis

Potential for Harm from Consuming Magic Mushrooms

According to the 2017 Global Drug Survey, magic mushrooms are the safest recreational drug, with 0.2% of 12,000 interviewed users reporting that they needed emergency medical care as a result of ingestion. Unfortunately, psilocybin can be extremely hazardous when it is misused, potentially leading to harmful behavior, poor decision-making, and illegal activity. When used indiscriminately, it can also worsen mental illnesses like mania and depression and even lead to psychosis. Some users have reported long-term and possibly irreversible ill effects, like depression and loss of a sense of self, after a psilocybin trip.

On the other hand, recent scientific research suggests that psilocybin may be instrumental in treating substance use disorders like alcoholism in a medically supervised setting. Alcohol, opiates, and nicotine can create physical dependencies and psychological addictions that can have devastating effects on a person’s well-being. Psychedelic substances like psilocybin affect the body and mind differently. Research by Johns Hopkins University published in 2019 found that psilocybin may effectively treat alcohol use disorder by disrupting or diminishing cravings for the substance. It may also be a promising treatment for other substance use disorders, including tobacco and heroin abuse. More study is needed to determine psilocybin’s potential for abuse when it is prescribed by doctors.

Polka Dot Chocolates

Polka Dot Chocolates: Popularity and User Demographics

As magic mushroom use becomes more socially acceptable, consumption of magic mushroom chocolates is rising. According to research published in the journal Addiction, 6.6% of adults aged 19 to 30 used psilocybin and other non-LSD hallucinogens in 2021, an increase from 3.4% in 2018. Anecdotally, many creative professionals in large cities and “middle-class moms” also like to consume psychedelic chocolate recreationally. Respected authors like Michael Pollan have also touted the benefits of psychedelics in popular literature.

Composition and Safety of Polka Dot Chocolate

When people move toward consuming Polka Dot and similar chocolates, they should consider these factors:


Online message boards that link to purported sources for Polka Dot magic mushroom chocolate bars claim that they are “highly potent” with four grams of magic mushrooms per bar. The intensity of a mushroom chocolate experience is said to depend on how much of the bar they eat. Polka Dot bars have 15 same-sized pieces each. The more pieces you eat, the greater the effects, which usually kick in 20 to 30 minutes after ingestion. A one- to three-piece serving is considered to be a “mind-stimulating” microdose, while four to nine pieces are said to create a therapeutic “mindful and elevated” euphoria. Eating 10 to 15 pieces is purported to send a person into “god mode” with a full psychedelic experience. While the site claims that Polka Dot bars offer“ a convenient and consistent dosage for those seeking a “controlled psychedelic experience,” there may be no way to know for sure, even if the bars are authentic. The amount of psilocybin in mushrooms can vary, and there is no way for a consumer to test for or guarantee the amount of psilocybin in a chocolate bar that has been infused with natural magic mushrooms.

Negative Effects of Overdose

Consuming too much psilocybin-containing chocolate of any variety, including Polka Dot mushroom chocolate bars, could induce the same side effects that can occur when eating plain psilocybin mushrooms. These effects can vary in onset, duration, and intensity and can include derealization, depersonalization, distorted thinking, dilated pupils, dizziness, visual or auditory hallucinations, drowsiness, impaired concentration, lack of coordination, nausea, vomiting, confusion, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and more. A psychedelic experience can be very dangerous if it happens in a setting where it can contribute to accidents.

Potential Dangers from Counterfeit Products

Unfortunately, since all magic mushroom chocolate “brands” are illicit and not trademarked, and packaging and molds can be purchased online, the candy is easy to counterfeit. The greatest risk to safety from consuming a Polka Dot chocolate bar is likely to come from unknowingly ingesting a fake product that doesn’t actually contain psilocybin. Since the psychedelic compound is illegal in most places, products like magic mushroom chocolates are unregulated by any recognized independent agency and are therefore potentially unsafe. There are often rumors among people who consume psychedelics that some, or even most, magic mushroom chocolates contain a research chemical known as 4-AcO-DMT, not psilocybin derived from mushrooms. Although both chemicals are broken down by the body into psilocin and are said to have similar effects, 4-AcO-DMT is not known or proven to be safe.

Online, people sometimes report that they have unintentionally consumed some other substance, like cannabis, when they believed they were ingesting psilocybin. Some people report having very bad and even regrettable experiences.

Counterfeit magic mushroom chocolate can be truly hazardous if it is laced with fentanyl or related compounds. Unfortunately, the illicit nature of psilocybin in most places, plus the fact that anyone can buy mushroom chocolate molds and packaging, makes it easy for bad actors to produce bad bars.

magic mushrooms

Responsible Psychedelic Use and Harm Reduction

Because Polka Dot chocolates are attractively packaged and designed to be tastier than unadulterated magic mushrooms, they are potentially more appealing to some users than plain magic mushrooms. People who like the taste of magic mushroom chocolate but dislike the taste of plain mushrooms might be more inclined to consume this psychoactive candy more often than they would be to eat plain magic mushrooms.

Despite the risks, it is likely that the consumption of magic mushroom chocolate will only increase in the years to come. To reduce the risk of harm, people who insist on using magic mushroom chocolate should:

  • Purchase and consume magic mushroom chocolate in an area where psilocybin has been legalized or decriminalized.
  • Only buy magic mushroom chocolate from authorized, licensed psilocybin dispensaries.
  • Consume at home or in a safe place with trustworthy people.
  • Stay away from potential sources of physical danger like roadways, windows, standing bodies of water, automobiles, and heavy machinery.
  • Start with a very small piece of chocolate and gradually increase the dose after about 30 minutes if no effects are felt.
  • Avoid consuming a full bar in one sitting.

Personal Experiences and Societal Impact

As the use of magic mushroom chocolate becomes more common, stories of its effects are making the rounds. Plenty of anecdotal user experiences with magic mushroom chocolate bars can be found online, including accounts of “bad trips.”

A writer on Medium confessed that:

“Basically, I bit off more than I could chew (literally) with a magic mushroom chocolate bar. My hallucinations got intense, and my skin started changing colors. I got stuck in a paranoia thought loop, convincing myself that the chocolate had way more than it labeled or that it was laced with another drug.”

On Reddit, another user shared:

“I’ve tripped over a dozen times, mainly full mushrooms, and all those times it was the same great experience. I tried a chocolate bar from someone new, and I immediately noticed that it felt different 30 minutes in. As things set in, the feeling intensified, and I felt the most stimulated I’ve ever been. Everything became distorted, including my sense of time. There became a lag between what I wanted to do and my body actually executing the command. I felt like I was about to faint at any moment. My heart was racing, and it felt like I was drunk. I tried to get my phone to call my brother to come over and sit with me, but I couldn’t type the text fast enough before I felt like I was losing consciousness. I skipped calling my brother and tried to call 911, but I also couldn’t manage to navigate my phone long enough to call. I kept closing my eyes, and it became harder and harder to snap myself up and move around. At one point, I gave up and laid on the floor to make it easier to bag my body.”

“Eventually I came back to sobriety, and things cooled down. I wanted to take a drug test to see if there was something else at play or maybe just a bad trip, but I never did it because of the cost.”

magic mushrooms Legal

Legal and Regulatory Perspectives

Although views toward psilocybin are changing, magic mushrooms and magic mushroom chocolate remain illegal and unregulated in most parts of the United States. In some locations, any kind of direct association with psilocybin can incur serious legal consequences. In states where psilocybin is illegal to buy, sell, or possess, the penalties for selling, distributing, purchasing, possessing, or consuming a magic mushroom chocolate bar can be severe.


In Texas, magic mushrooms are classified as a “Penalty Group 2-A” controlled substance, similar to other hard drugs such as illegal amphetamines. Possessing even a tiny amount of psilocybin is a felony-level offense, with penalties that can include incarceration, multi-thousand-dollar fines, and more. The circumstances may be different in Travis County and the city of Austin, Texas, because the District Attorney has pledged to avoid pressing charges against people who are caught possessing less than one gram of mushrooms. Still, purchasing or possessing magic mushroom chocolate in Texas or states with similar laws and penalties can be extremely risky.

New Jersey

In 2023, New Jersey reduced the legal penalties for possession of psilocybin. Today, possessing 1 ounce or less of the substance is classified as a disorderly offense that can incur up to six months in county jail and a $1,000 fine. Before the law was passed, possessing psilocybin could be punishable with up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $35,000. State senators are attempting to legalize psilocybin for medical use and set up a legal and regulatory framework for therapeutic use. If the Psilocybin Behavioral Health Access and Services Act is passed, psilocybin would effectively be legalized in the state.


With some exceptions, psilocybin is illegal in California, but residents and legislators are pushing for decriminalization. In 2019, Oakland decriminalized a group of naturally occurring psychedelics that include psilocybin and ayahuasca. Santa Cruz passed similar legislation in 2020. Although it is still a felony offense to sell psilocybin-infused products, including magic mushroom chocolate, in these cities, they are commonly available at bodegas and smoke shops. Another Oakland outlet, called the Zide Door Church of Entheogenic Plants, has been pushing to offer psilocybin products to its congregation under the auspice of a religious exemption, but this has not been fully approved.

Although state senators are working to decriminalize psychedelics for medical purposes state-wide, it hasn’t happened yet. In 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill to decriminalize plant-based psychedelics for adults aged 21 years and older.

United States

Overall, more states are pushing for the decriminalization of psychedelics. In November 2020, Oregon decriminalized all drugs, and voters opted to legalize psilocybin. The first city to decriminalize psilocybin was Denver, Colorado. Washington, DC, Amherst, Massachusetts, and other cities scattered across America have passed similar laws or are moving toward low enforcement practices. Currently, permits or regulations allow psilocybin to be commercially cultivated, distributed, or sold.

magic mushrooms health

Impact of Magic Mushroom Chocolates on Society and Public Health

As psychedelics continue to gain legitimacy in the medical community and positive mainstream media attention, many people contend that the United States is undergoing a “psychedelic revolution.” Still, the illicit status of psilocybin in the USA can create serious risks for people who have mental contraindications or who buy, sell, consume, or get caught with the substance under the wrong circumstances.

The Future of Magic Mushroom Chocolates and Medical Research

While psilocybin undergoes reappraisal, research into its medical applications continues as legislation evolves. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University believe that psychedelic substances could help treat a range of ailments, including anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease. Johns Hopkins and psychedelic advocacy organizations like MAPS are advocating for psilocybin to pass through U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials, which are now in the final stages. If psilocybin receives FDA approval, many experts believe that it will be rescheduled as a Schedule IV drug. Other centers for psychedelic studies are creating training programs for psychedelic administration to create a path toward legitimacy.

Magic Mushroom Chocolates: Balancing Their Potential and Risks

Although psychedelic substances like psilocybin are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, they still come with a fair amount of risk to public health and safety. Products like macic mushroom chocolate can be problematic or dangerous if they are faked or used irresponsibly. While psilocybin can be safe for many people, it still has the potential to create serious long-term mental disturbances in some individuals.

People who consume magic mushroom chocolates and other forms of psilicybin should educate themselves about the risks and effects of these substances and seek help immediately if they cause physical or mental disturbances.

If consuming psychedelics is making it difficult to live a happy, functional life, users can seek help at a treatment center like Garden State Treatment Center. Our caring professional staff can help users navigate the potential risks and harm that can result from using magic mushroom chocolate and set them on the path toward a healthy future.


List of sources used for the article for further reading and verification.

  • (published in “Neuropharmacology”)

Published on: 2024-02-07
Updated on: 2024-04-03

Can Zyn cause cancer?

Nicotine pouches have experienced a massive growth in popularity in recent years and, for many, have become the preferred form of smokeless tobacco. One of the most popular brands of these pouches is ZYN, as many users feel that it has distinct advantages over other methods of getting nicotine. Some of them even believe that it has a lower risk of cancer compared to these other forms, but is it true? Let’s take a look at ZYN and then we’ll explore whether or not this belief has any basis in reality.

What is ZYN?

ZYN is a small pouch made of plant fibers that functions similarly to a bag of tea. As saliva from the user’s mouth gets the pouch damp, the nicotine diffuses into the user’s gums and through the bloodstream, much like adding hot water causes the flavor of the tea to come out and mix with the water.

Nicotine pouches were first created in the early 2000s as an alternative to traditional dipping tobacco products like Skoal, Copenhagen, and Kodiak. The main benefit they provide over these brands is that the user does not have to spit constantly since they’re tobacco-free, and the contents of the bag remain inside with no risk of accidentally swallowing any.

Nicotine Pouch addiction

ZYN was created by a company in Sweden and bears many similarities to a Swedish product called “snus”, which works and looks almost exactly the same as ZYN. The one major difference is that snus is made with tobacco and ZYN has none at all.

Additionally, many tobacco users use ZYN either as a cessation method or as a replacement for more traditional methods of nicotine products like smoking cigarettes, along with other methods like vaping and e-cigarettes.

Unlike cigarette smoking, ZYN doesn’t make the user or their clothes smell like smoke. The user also doesn’t have to worry about spitting juices or accidentally swallowing tobacco, which can lead to nausea or vomiting.

Effects of Nicotine Use

Nicotine is a chemical compound found in the nightshade family of plants. When nicotine enters a person’s bloodstream, it produces euphoric effects and can be a powerful stress reliever. It also increases mental focus, although there are some side effects like increased blood pressure and heart rate.

Nicotine addiction is a common side effect of use and can present within a few days of the initial exposure. Withdrawals can cause irritability and agitation, as well as increased stress levels.

The main distinction between tobacco and nicotine in terms of health risks is that tobacco use has been definitively linked to increased cancer risk for decades while nicotine’s role in cancer is still being debated by scientists and experts today.

Cancer Risks Associated with Tobacco Products

Traditional tobacco products like cigarettes and dipping tobacco have been associated with lung cancer for many years. With cigarettes, the main cause is the tobacco smoke entering the lungs, as well as the presence of other additives that are considered carcinogenic.

Up to 16 different types of cancer are associated with smoking, with the most common being lung, throat, esophageal, and stomach. Dip has been linked to cancer of the throat, mouth, esophagus, and pancreas.

ZYN and Cancer Risk: The Current Understanding

The main ingredients in ZYN are maltitol, gum arabic, hydroxypropyl cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, and nicotine salt. All ingredients are of food-grade quality, according to the company.

These have been known to cause negative health effects such as increased blood pressure, high heart rate, gum irritation, sores in the mouth, and tooth decay.


Current research shows that ZYN and similar oral nicotine pouches may have some risk of cancer, although further research must be conducted.

Although ZYN may come with a risk of cancer and other health risks, it is significantly less dangerous than traditional tobacco products like cigarettes. That does not mean the product is completely safe, of course.

It’s worth noting that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have allowed Zyn to stay on the market while Philip Morris’ marketing application is being reviewed (pending since 2020).

The Addiction Factor

Nicotine pouch addiction can affect health in many ways, such as sore or damaged gums, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and other conditions previously mentioned. However, the most common effect will be increased usage of these pouches, which can lead to tooth decay, tooth loss, recessed gums, and potentially cancer (although the risks are not 100% known at this time). It may also be a “gateway device” that leads users to try other, more harmful forms of nicotine ingestion like smoking or chewing tobacco.

It’s also important to consider the psychological aspect of nicotine addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can lead to “nicotine fits,” a term used to describe agitation or combativeness exhibited by a person unable to consume nicotine.

Safety and Regulation

ZYN and other nicotine pouches have been subject to safety regulations around the world. In the United States, they may only be sold to customers over the age of 21, although some states may have a lower requirement. Additional American legislation against ZYN has been recommended by members of the US Senate, although action has not yet been taken.

The European Union has a blanket ban on snus outside of Sweden but ZYN is not covered by any of their current tobacco-related restrictions, legislation, or other forms of regulation.

Health organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have an important role in providing safety guidelines, product warnings, and recommending legislation designed to educate potential users about the dangers associated with nicotine.

Alternatives and Cessation Methods

Although nicotine pouches are used as a smoking cessation method in some countries, including some in which it’s actually prescribed by a doctor, there are many safer alternatives. Examples include pouches, gum, or other tools that can help wean a person off of nicotine and help them overcome their addiction. To quit smoking “cold turkey”, which is to say without external aids, is possible but can be difficult.

There are many resources and support systems available for nicotine addiction, such as treatment centers, smoking hotlines, and support groups. Many hospitals, medical service providers, and other organizations offer cessation counseling or tools for free.

Summary and Final Thoughts

Although research on nicotine pouch addiction and its associated cancer risk is ongoing, it is believed that ZYN and similar products cause cancer in the same way that other smokeless tobacco products do.

The importance of ongoing research and its use for making informed decisions cannot be understated. As we learn more about ZYN and nicotine in general, however, it remains clear that nicotine addiction should be dealt with as soon as possible, as cancer risks increase as time goes on. The experts at Garden State Treatment Center are here to help. Call or visit their website to see what they can do for you today!

Published on: 2024-02-07
Updated on: 2024-04-03

How much wine to get drunk?

Ernest Hemingway once referred to wine as “one of the most civilized things in the world,” but it’s important to remember that even a “civilized” alcoholic beverage can get you tipsy — or even drunk. Unlike many other types of alcohol, wine has been a part of our society for thousands of years. While some sip on a glass of wine from time to time, others may imbibe a bottle every night. What many people want to know, however, is how much wine does it take for a person to get drunk? It’s time to explore some answers to this eternal question.

Look at the Wine Label

When you’re trying to determine how much wine will get you drunk — or how to space out your drinks over the course of an evening — you will want to take a look at the wine bottle in question. Labels on wine bottles actually reveal a lot of information; you’ll see what region the grapes originated from, and you should also see a percentage listed. Usually, this will be between 9% and 14% and you’ll notice the letters ABV. This stands for Alcohol By Volume, and it refers to the amount of ethanol alcohol present in this wine. The higher the percentage, the more inebriated you will become.

Our Wines Contain More Alcohol Than Our Ancestors’ Did

Did you know that climate change can affect ABV? With temperatures hitting record highs, the world’s grapes have been fermenting into alcohol at a higher rate. This has been an issue everywhere across the globe. Whether a vineyard is in France or California, chances are that it has had issues with making sure its varietals are balanced. When researchers recently found bottles of champagne in a shipwreck that was almost 200 years old, they noted that the ABV was indeed lower than what we see in bubbly bottles today.

Will One Bottle of Wine Get Me Drunk?

The majority of people will start to feel the effects way before hitting the bottom of a wine bottle. Women will typically begin to feel inebriated after having two glasses of wine while men usually report feeling tipsy or slightly once they’ve had three glasses of wine. When drinking the same amount of alcohol, why do women get drunker than men do? Much of the reason for this has to do with an enzyme, surprisingly enough. It’s called ADH (alcohol dehydrogenase), and it resides in the stomach and liver. Its job is to break down alcohol, and men have more of it than women do. As a result, women have more alcohol entering their bloodstream. Also, a man will often — but not always — be physically larger than a woman he’s drinking with; when someone has a higher body weight, they wield an advantage when it comes to being able to tolerate alcohol.

bartender serving wine

How Fast Are You Drinking?

There is a reason why you will see some people repeatedly reaching for the water on a night out; they realize that the faster they consume their alcohol, the more likely they are to catch a buzz or even get drunk. When you drink a glass of water in between ordering wine, you take that time to slow down your rate of consumption. This is an area where new drinkers often get into trouble, so it’s crucial to be on the lookout for any signs that you may be getting too tipsy. When it comes to feeling the effects faster than you anticipated, sometimes bubbles can be the culprit. Although this seems like it would be an urban legend, it is actually true. Carbonation encourages your body to absorb the alcohol faster. This is why you’ll see some people claiming to feel immediately buzzed after just a few sips of champagne or prosecco.

Can My Tolerance Increase If I Keep Drinking Wine?

If you make a habit of drinking wine to excess, then your tolerance will definitely increase. Unfortunately, this can become quite a cycle. Many people find themselves in a battle with their better judgment. Suddenly, one to two glasses of wine at night isn’t enough; they need the whole bottle to get to that euphoric state.

Does My Medication Affect How Much Wine I Can Have?

If you are on a medication, it is imperative for you to educate yourself on how that medication interacts with alcohol. Whether you’re taking blood pressure medication or you’re on an SSRI for depression-related symptoms, you will want to have all the facts in order before taking even one sip of wine. Although these medications can impact the wine’s effect on you, there are a plethora of other possible adverse reactions that you need to know about.

Will I Get Drunk Faster If I Didn’t Eat Dinner?

The short answer to this question is yes! If your stomach is empty, then the alcohol you’ve just imbibed will definitely hit your bloodstream faster than it would have if you had eaten a full meal.

Does Our Culture Make Excuses for Drinking Wine to Excess?

Recently, the casual nature of wine culture has made some people in the media question whether or not we have become too comfortable with drinking too much of it. Blogs about “mommy wine culture” have made people wonder if many in our society have been masking their feelings with a wine addiction.

Does Drinking One Bottle of Wine a Day Make You an Alcoholic?

This is a question that has come up a lot in pop culture recently. Brazilian Supermodel Gisele Bündchen, who no longer drinks alcohol, has been very open about the way she feels that wine affects her body. She has admitted to using wine as a crutch when she was in her twenties, drinking a bottle of wine every night. Actor John Stamos has also been reflecting on his wine drinking habits recently, stating in a book that he once drank a whole bottle of wine to cope with the fact that he had just gotten a DUI. Lately, it does seem as if there has been a cultural reckoning when it comes to wine. Some wonder if the articles from the 1990s proclaiming that wine was “healthy” may have set us up for failure.

Have You Been Drinking Too Much Wine?

If you’ve been questioning your relationship with wine recently, rest assured that you are far from the only one. Maybe you’ve been embarrassed by a friend peeking into your recycling bin and spotting so many bottles. Perhaps you’ve become a “regular” at your local wine shop or the clerk at the convenience store is all too familiar with your favorite brand. Whatever the warning signs are, chances are that they are highly personal to you and your situation. And there is no need to feel shame about exploring a change in your relationship with wine. Maybe you’d like more information about how you can get back to being the person who took an entire week to go through a bottle of wine. For some people, it really just is a matter of slowing down.

Talk to Someone Who Understands What You’re Experiencing

Regardless of what your questions about wine dependence may be, chances are that the folks at Garden State Treatment Center have heard them all before. In a world in which a lot of problematic drinking has been normalized, you may feel like you’re the only person feeling a certain way. You are not. Once you speak to a team member, it’s likely that you’ll feel a great sense of relief; getting control of your life often has that effect.

Published on: 2024-01-14
Updated on: 2024-02-16

What does Ritalin feel like?

Ritalin, a medication commonly prescribed for ADHD, can have varying effects depending on the individual. In those with ADHD, it often produces a calming effect, improving focus and reducing impulsivity. For people without ADHD, it might cause feelings of heightened alertness or energy, but can also lead to side effects like nervousness or insomnia. The experience can vary widely based on individual brain chemistry and dosage.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a chronic and common condition that affects children and adults. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that 6.1 million children in the United States had an ADHD diagnosis. This accounts for roughly 9.4% of American children at that time. ADHD can range in severity from being a minor condition to one with significant impacts on all aspects of a person’s life. It causes an inability to focus, poor ability to listen, difficulty performing in work and school, relationship challenges and low self-esteem. One of the ADHD medications that is commonly prescribed is Ritalin. Notably, Ritalin is also used as an effective treatment option for narcolepsy because of its stimulating effects on the brain. While Ritalin offers life-changing benefits to those suffering from these conditions, it has significant short-term and long-term side effects that an individual should be aware of before starting the medication. In addition, Ritalin is frequently misused and abused, and this can lead to more pronounced side effects and serious health issues or death.

What Is Ritalin?

Ritalin is the brand name for methylphenidate, which is a central nervous system stimulant, targeting the brain and nerves. In addition, it affects the circulatory system with an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure. Ritalin is available in both immediate-release tablets and extended-release capsules. The immediate-release tablets should be taken up to three times a day and roughly 30 to 45 minutes before meals. The extended-release capsules are usually taken at the start of the day only. For the best results with both formulas, the medication should be taken at the same time each day.

How Ritalin Works in the Body

The striatum is an area of the brain that manages cognition, action and motivation, and it is driven by dopamine. Ritalin increases the amount of dopamine in this area of the brain, enhancing a person’s ability to do tasks. Ritalin also increases the brain’s level of norepinephrine activity. Norepinephrine affects a person’s attention span, movement and pleasure. Ritalin affects dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain slowly, so the full effects of a specific dosage may not be realized for a few weeks. However, the unpleasant and potentially dangerous side effects of Ritalin can be experienced quickly after starting the medication. Because of this, a doctor may start a patient on a low dose of Ritalin and increase the dosage slowly as needed. The ability to increase the dosage safely is generally dependent on the severity of the individual’s side effects and any underlying health conditions. As the dosage increases, an individual may be more likely to experience side effects, and the severity of some side effects may increase. After the dosage is stabilized, the doctor may require regular checkups every couple of months to monitor side effects.


Expected Effects of Ritalin

As Ritalin works in the brain to increase dopamine and norepinephrine, a person typically is less fidgety and can concentrate better. A person may be able to better control actions. In addition, because Ritalin enhances focus and listening abilities, many people find that their performance in school or at work increases. While Ritalin increases focus and performance, it does not affect a person’s intelligence directly. In many cases, Ritalin is prescribed to those who are diagnosed with ADHD along with behavioral therapy for more comprehensive results.

Common Physical and Psychological Effects

Side effects are common when taking Ritalin. Often, they are temporary and fade after the first few days or week on the medication. They may recur as the dosage is increased. If side effects linger, the doctor should be notified. Initial side effects when starting the drug or increasing the dose could include decreased appetite, elevated blood pressure, dilated pupils, blurry vision, an increased heart rate and rapid breathing. Men could experience prolonged and painful erections. This effect is most common after the dosage is increased, and it may be alleviated over time. It can also be the result of prolonged use.

Ritalin is a stimulant medication that increases alertness, making it effective for treating narcolepsy. However, by doing so, it can worsen the symptoms of those with anxiety or a psychotic disorder. Increased hostility, agitation and paranoia are also possible. For those who are prone to seizures, the number of seizures can increase.

In children, Ritalin can slow growth. Often, doctors will monitor height and weight closely and instruct a break from use when the child is not in school during the summer. In addition to minimizing the effects on a child’s growth, the doctor can use the breaks to determine if Ritalin is still beneficial.

Regardless of a person’s underlying health conditions, Ritalin may cause significant side effects at high doses. These include seizures, twitching or shakiness, mood swings, irregular or rapid breathing, delusional thoughts, hallucinations and confusion. High dosages and misuse can also result in joint pain as well as muscle pain and weakness. At lower dosages, Ritalin can cause blurry vision, nervousness, moodiness, headaches, insomnia, irritability and increased blood pressure.

Some people also experience problems with their circulatory system. These can include reddish or bluish skin. Toes and fingers may feel painful and cold. Notably, use of Ritalin can increase the likelihood of developing Raynaud’s disease and other types of peripheral vascular diseases. Because Ritalin can increase blood pressure, the risk of a stroke or a heart attack increases with use.

Ritalin’s effects on the digestive can be considerable in some people. When used correctly, the medication may cause nausea or drowsiness and stomach pain. When the medication is misused, diarrhea, vomiting and more severe abdominal pain can occur. When misused for a long period of time, unintentional weight loss and malnutrition can be problematic.

Ritalin Abuse

Ritalin Misuse and Abuse

The positive effects of Ritalin can be life-changing, and it can also cause a sense of euphoria when taken at higher doses. In addition, the medication is habit-forming. Some people may take higher doses or more frequent doses, and still others take the medication without a diagnosis and a prescription. However, when Ritalin is misused or abused, serious and even fatal consequences can occur.

Some people crush Ritalin pills and mix the medication with water or another liquid. They then inject the Ritalin directly into their bloodstream. This can cause a blockage in the blood vessels that results in an irregular heartbeat and concerningly high blood pressure. Regardless of whether Ritalin is injected or taken at higher doses orally, it could cause the body’s temperature to increase to a dangerous level. It may also cause seizures, heart failure and death. For those who have structural heart abnormalities, the medication can cause sudden death.

For those who develop a dependency on the medication, withdrawal effects may be experienced when stopping usage quickly. Ritalin withdrawal symptoms may include depression, fatigue and trouble sleeping. When stopping Ritalin, it is important to follow the doctor’s recommendations for tapering doses.

Consult With a Physician When Taking Ritalin

While Ritalin has beneficial effects for narcolepsy and ADHD treatment, it may cause a variety of side effects throughout the body. These side effects can be more serious and even fatal at very high doses and when the medication is misused or abused. Because of these effects, it is important to only take medication prescribed by a doctor and at recommended doses. Those taking Ritalin should follow the doctor’s instructions for follow-up visits and inform their doctor of concerns about side effects in between appointments as needed.

Published on: 2023-12-27
Updated on: 2024-04-03

How Far Back does a Lab Urine Test Go?

The detection window of lab urine tests varies based on several factors. They include the type of substance consumed, frequency of use, body mass, gender, age, and ethnicity, to mention a few.

urine test

A urine drug test is a biological process that analyzes drug-related molecules in a urine sample. Evidenced-based sources reveal that urine is the most prevalent biological specimen used for drug screening compared to hair, saliva (oral fluid), and blood tests. This is because a wide range of drugs are detectable in urine. One can detect prescription drugs, illegal substances, and legal drugs. The most common drug molecules analyzed in urine samples include opioids, cocaine, PCP, marijuana, and amphetamines. Alcohol is also detectable during a urine drug test, although a breath test is usually more recommendable. Aside from detecting a wide range of molecules, specimen collection is quick and painless, as it is non-invasive. Also, due to its affordability, most folks prefer drug testing to other methods. This article will explore and review significant details concerning urine drug testing, including the detection windows of different substances.

Urinalysis Vs. Urine Drug Use Screen

Urinalysis is a general lab urine test. This type of routine test monitors overall health diagnoses a medical condition, or monitors an existing medical condition. For instance, kidney and liver complications are some of the conditions diagnosed through urinalysis. On the other hand, a urine drug test incorporates advanced methods to detect a wide variety of metabolites. Many of the molecules are undetectable during the standard urinalysis test. A urine drug test is painless. All one has to do is collect urine in a sample container and hand it over to the healthcare professionals. While urine drug test results come out fast, the amount of time it takes varies depending on the reason for the test. This is due to the different metabolic rates of drugs. A positive result means a particular drug molecule is present, and a negative effect suggests the drug is absent.

Why Does the Detection Time Vary in Urine Drug Tests?

Drug detection time varies depending on several factors. Below are the significant issues that influence the detection time of drugs in a urine sample.

Hydration Level

Drinking large amounts of water or non-toxic fluids interferes with a test significantly. A high amount of non-toxic fluid before sample collection increases dilution within thirty minutes. Usually, the urine remains diluted for a couple of hours, during which it will be challenging to detect particular drug metabolites. Some drug molecules will often be below the cut-off level or even test negative. Depending on the reason for testing, one may have to repeat the test.

Mass and Metabolism

A person’s body mass influences the rate of a drug’s distribution, absorption, and metabolism. Typically, the metabolic rate in a person with a higher body mass will take longer than that of a lower body composition counterpart.

Type of Substance

Drugs last in the body for varying periods, mainly depending on their half-life. For instance, a single dose of marijuana’s detection time lasts two days, while methadone can be detected even five days after use.

Frequency of Consumption

Frequent use of drugs increases the amount of metabolites detectable in a urine sample. Therefore, depending on the type of drug, the detection window for a person who seized altogether and that of a chronic user will vary. Most times, an individual who stopped using a substance several days before testing will test negative.

urine test

The Detection Window for the Commonly Tested Substances


Amphetamines are a group of drugs under the class stimulants. The most abused are Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, and a combination of the two. The standard window detection period for this class of drugs is up to 72 hours.


During a marijuana drug test, health experts trace the molecules of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. This cannabinoid lasts in the body for up to 30 days.


Methadone is a narcotic that has a detection window period of up to 14 days.


Phencyclidine belongs to the class of drugs hallucinogens. Usually, it is in powder form and mostly dissolved in water or alcohol. The standard window detection period for PCP is four weeks.


This is a commonly abused opioid with a detection period of up to three days.


Morphine metabolites can be present in urine up to three days after use.


The standard window detection period for alcohol after consumption is seven to twelve hours.

DrugDescriptionDetection Window
AmphetaminesA group of drugs under the class stimulants. Most abused are Methylphenidate, Dextroamphetamine, and a combination of the two.Up to 72 hours
MarijuanaHealth experts trace the molecules of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).Up to 30 days
MethadoneA narcotic with a detection window period of up to 14 days.Up to 14 days
PCPBelongs to the class of drugs hallucinogens. Usually in powder form, dissolved in water or alcohol.Four weeks
HeroineA commonly abused opioid.Up to 3 days
MorphineMorphine metabolites can be present in urine.Up to 3 days
AlcoholAfter consumption, detectable for 7 to 12 hours.7 to 12 hours

Why Does Detection Window Vary Among Individuals?

Various factors influence the different detection windows for persons primarily because of every individual’s metabolism rate. The issues responsible for varying detection windows for individuals include body weight, frequency of consumption, age, sex, and ethnicity. For instance, the detection window in older adults is longer than their younger counterparts—as people age, the rate of metabolism reduces. When it comes to ethnicity, drug metabolism is heavily influenced by genotypes.

Detection Window

According to the National Institutes of Health, drug interactions in the body may differ due to gene mutations and polymorphism distribution in different ethnicities.
Regarding sex, men generally have a higher metabolic rate than women, primarily due to their lean muscle mass. On the other hand, women naturally have more adipose tissue, which reduces molecule metabolic rate. In conjunction with that, hormonal fluctuation in women interferes with metabolism. Thus, the urine drug detection time in women takes longer than that of their male counterparts.

The Science Behind Drug Detection Window

The primary methods used in urine drug tests are immunoassay and chromatography procedures.

Immunoassay Approach

The immunoassay technique detects the presence of specific drugs and metabolites in urine using antibodies as reagents. Typically, the antibody operates based on specificity. It interacts with an antigen of interest specific to the drug in question. A positive interaction releases signals which indicate the presence of a drug or metabolite.

Chromatography Approach

The chromatography technique applies the molecular mass of substances in urine to detect the presence of a metabolite. A positive or negative result depends on the interaction of urine compounds with the transporting medium, usually a gas or liquid.

Metabolites and Drug Testing

Metabolites are small molecules that result from metabolism. They are significant in drug testing because they are biomarkers of the parent molecules. Regarding drug monitoring, metabolites act as cofactors and signaling molecules, thus confirming or disregarding an individual’s use of the parent drug.

The Downsides of Urine Drug Testing

Specimen Tampering

An individual may interfere with the procedure during or after sample collection. For instance, one can consume vast amounts of water or non-toxic fluids, diluting the urine before sample collection. In turn, the number of metabolites in urine will likely be below the cut-off threshold and, in some cases, absent. Some individuals also tamper with the procedure by diluting the urine sample after collection—this refers to adulteration.

Turnaround Time

One may have to wait 24 to 48 hours for the results.

Urine Drug Testing

False Positives and Negatives

Urine lab tests are prone to inaccurate results due to external factors such as food, over-the-counter medication, and other substances. Many times, health professionals will suggest additional tests for certainty.

Privacy Concerns

In circumstances where a second party is mandatory to certify the integrity of the collected sample, the individuals in question may feel violated.

Legal and Ethical Considerations of Urine Drug Testing

Urine drug testing is a routine procedure applied in the majority of establishments such as private organizations, government agencies, and other professional administrations for safety purposes. Although approved by OSHA and other health and safety-related organizations, the urine drug testing method still raises several ethical concerns and debates in society.

The Benefits of Urine Drug Testing

1. It helps one in receiving the medical assistance they need in case of drug abuse.

2. Urine drug testing is also valuable in diagnosing other underlying medical conditions.

3. Concerning court cases, UDM is significant in making verdicts.

4. The test also prevents workplace accidents, thus safeguarding all employees’ lives.

5. A urine drug test also improves organizational performance by ensuring employees stay focused and alert.

6. The test also helps detect a mental complication that others may find challenging to notice.

Concerns about UDM

1. A person may feel violated in the case where sample collection is mandatory.

2. Specimen collection in the presence of a second party such as a police officer or medical practitioner may rob one their dignity.

3. The social stigma associated with substance abuse is a cause of shame for many victims, which drives them away from getting help.

4. Many employers would rather fire their employees than give them the support they require to overcome substance abuse.

5. Many individuals consume legal substances such as alcohol during their leisure time, away from the workplace and other professional premises. It makes no sense to subject such individuals to urine drug testing.

Sober Living

How Do You Prepare for a Urine Drug Test?

1. The first step to take before a drug test is to quit using the substance in question if you have been consuming it.

2. Drink an adequate amount of water days before the test. 10-12 ounces daily should be okay. Avoid taking a lot of water on the day of the test, as this will seem suspicious.

3. It is also a brilliant idea to exercise daily. This increases metabolism and helps you sweat out the toxins. However, remember to keep the exercises light.

4. Talk to your trusted healthcare professional for advice about types of food and supplements to avoid. This is to prevent false negatives and positives.

5. On the day of the test, drink water as you would on regular days and relax.

6. Ensure that you bring the required documents.

The detection window of lab urine tests varies based on several factors. They include the type of substance consumed, frequency of use, body mass, gender, age, and ethnicity, to mention a few. The time of substance use before testing also influences the detection window. Although one can take measures to avoid passing a drug test, it is essential to know that some actions can lead to suspicion.

Urine drug screening is crucial to integrity at the workplace, educational institutions, correctional facilities, and judicial verdicts. Following the legal and ethical concerns associated with the practice, knowing your rights and responsibilities would be best. This will help you approach the situation with a better understanding. To better understand all the issues linked to urine drug screening, kindly look into our page for professional information.


  • Kale, N. (2019). Urine drug tests: Ordering and interpretation. American Family Physician, 99(1), 33-39.
  • Kapur, B. M., & Aleksa, K. (2020). What the lab can and cannot do: clinical interpretation of drug testing results. Critical reviews in clinical laboratory sciences, 57(8), 548-585.
  • Kolla, B. P., Callizo, G. L., & Schneekloth, T. D. (2019). Utility of urine drug testing in outpatient addiction evaluations. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 13(3), 188-192.

Published on: 2023-12-27
Updated on: 2024-04-07

Blown Vein from IV

Intravenous (IV) treatments, as we know them today, have actually been around since 1950. The advent of plastics in the 1940s paved the way for the Rochester plastic needle, the first modern catheter device, which was developed at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Since 1950, intravenous therapies have proven highly safe. However, medical accidents can occur, and an IV-related mishap can lead to a blown vein.

What is a blown vein? How do you know if you have one? And what could be done about it? If you or a loved one is scheduled for IV therapy soon, these are important questions to answer.

IV Therapy

Understanding IV Therapy

To begin with, IV Fluid therapies have numerous uses. They can transfer blood or blood draws and administer painkillers. IV insertion can also deliver fluids to someone who’s dehydrated. And they can supply special nutrients, supplements, or drugs to patients (IV drug use). For example, people who have cancer sometimes receive vitamin C intravenously.

In such cases, IV therapy provides fluids, nutrients, and medicine to patients who couldn’t accept them any other way — or who’d have a difficult time doing so. In fact, when these materials enter a person’s system via a vein, they bypass the digestive system completely.

To provide traditional IV therapy, medical professionals first pierce a patient’s skin — usually through the soft inner part of the elbow — with a needle or needle insertion. They next insert a small tube called a cannula through the injection site or insertion site and into a vein wall.

The other end of the cannula connects to a larger tube, and that bigger tube is attached to an IV bag. The IV bag holds the specific substances that the patient needs, and they drip down into the vein.

What is a Blown Vein?

During a proper injection, the needle’s tip penetrates the vein’s wall, and it stops in the lumen. A lumen is the passageway of a blood vessel through which blood flows.

However, on occasion, a medical provider inserts the needle a little too far, and its tip pokes through the other side of the vein. When that happens, the vein might be ruptured vein–this injury is known as a blown vein which could result in vein damage if neglected.

Blown Vein

In most cases, a blown vein isn’t a serious health concern at all. The patient will just get a fairly large bruise called a hematoma. A hematoma occurs when some portion of leaking blood from a blood vessel pools just below the skin.

Typically, this bruise is mildly uncomfortable, but it will start clearing up in a few days. Then it’ll be totally gone within 10 to 12 days. At that point, a healthcare professional could pierce that same vein again.

Many times, medical providers realize right away that a patient has a blown vein. In such an instance, they’ll try to lessen the blood loss by pressing down on the injection area. They’ll also sterilize that part of the body so that it won’t get infected. And, if there’s any swelling, they might apply ice pack to the area.

Causes of a Blown Vein

Various factors make a blown vein more likely to occur.

For one thing, a healthcare provider might use a needle that’s too large for the vein. Or the needle might enter the vein at an incorrect angle. In fact, even if that angle is off just slightly, it can lead to a blown vein.

In addition, if a patient moves at all during an injection, it can knock the needle off target. Sometimes — perhaps due to a fear of needles or medical procedures in general — people unintentionally twitch at exactly the wrong moment.

On top of that, some veins are especially susceptible to this kind of injury. For example, veins can become more fragile with age or after multiple injections. And some veins move a little to the side whenever they’re touched; they’re called rolling veins. Fragile veins and rolling veins are both more likely to rupture.

intravenous drug use

Complications of a Blown Vein

Blown veins sometimes cause pain, swelling, numbness, or skin tightness in the affected area.

In rare instances, a blown vein will cave in, preventing blood from passing through. This situation is called a collapsed vein, and it will usually heal on its own.

Some collapsed veins never get better, though. And there’s no way to treat a collapsed vein that won’t heal.

A person’s body will make up for a permanent collapsed vein by redirecting blood into smaller nearby veins. Furthermore, the body will absorb that collapsed vein; it will, in essence, vanish. And, once blood starts going through those smaller veins, varicose veins often become visible on the skin.

Prevention Strategies

The first key to preventing a blown vein is to be open with your healthcare professionals. Let them know if you’ve ever fainted during an injection or if you’re uncomfortable around needles. They might have you lie flat on your back or close your eyes during your injection. That way, you can stabilize yourself more effectively.

Your healthcare professional might also touch your vein before injecting it, just to make sure it isn’t a rolling vein.

Moreover, unless your medical facility instructs you otherwise, drink plenty of fluids in the 24 hours before your injection. (A healthy amount is about 11.5 cups for women and 15.5 for men.) Avoid caffeine during that period as well. If you’re well-hydrated, it’s easier for your caregiver to find the right vein to inject.

Note that, these days, some hospitals and clinics have started utilizing needle-free IV systems. If that technology eventually gains widespread usage, it could greatly curtail blown veins. Until that day, though, taking the right precautions could help you to avoid this nettlesome issue.

Finally, to learn more about blown veins and IV therapies more broadly, please contact the Garden State Treatment Center, a treatment center at any time. We’re always here to help you and your loved ones with tailored treatment options, especially for you and for further treatment.


  • How do you treat a blown vein?


Published on: 2023-12-27
Updated on: 2024-03-25

How long does alcohol stay in hair?

The presence of alcohol can be detected through several tests, including blood, urine, and hair. Each has advantages and disadvantages. A big advantage of hair alcohol testing is the detection window. A hair alcohol test can detect alcohol consumption over a much longer period compared to the other methods.


A hair alcohol test evaluates strands of hair for the presence of two alcohol metabolites: ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs). When a person consumes alcohol, it gets broken down into these metabolites, which enter the bloodstream. Since blood nourishes hair follicles, these metabolites get deposited into the hair, creating a record of alcohol use.


Alcoholic beverages get metabolized in the body, and the metabolites produced by this process circulate in the bloodstream, including to the hair follicles, where blood is required to make the hair grow. Some of these metabolites get cleaved off and embedded into individual hair strands, where they remain until the hair is cut. This enables testing for alcohol use over a longer period.

alcohol test


Hair testing typically provides a detection window of 90 days or more, but the exact time can vary based on several factors, such as hair growth rate, hair color, and alcohol consumption patterns. For instance, people with fast-growing hair or light hair colors often have shorter detection windows, as do people with a history of heavy alcohol consumption.

Type of Alcohol TestDetection Window
Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) Hair TestUp to 90 days
Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE) Hair TestUp to 90 days
  • Ethyl Glucuronide (EtG) Hair Test: This test looks for EtG, a direct metabolite of alcohol. It can typically detect alcohol use for up to 90 days after consumption.
  • Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE) Hair Test: This test checks for FAEEs, which are also metabolites of alcohol. Like the EtG test, it can identify alcohol use for up to 90 days.


The most common type of hair alcohol test is an EtG test, which checks for the presence of ethyl glucuronide, the most salient of the metabolites produced when the body processes alcohol. Other tests check for different alcohol metabolites, such as FAEEs, but the EtG test is considered the gold standard and is the most commonly used.

Hair alcohol tests are distinct from tests for other substances as they target alcohol-specific metabolites. Since these metabolites have no way of entering the body without alcohol consumption, hair alcohol tests are highly accurate, and false positives are rare.


Hair alcohol testing is highly accurate for detecting long-term or chronic alcohol consumption. For recent or sporadic use, it’s a bit less reliable. For instance, if a person has a beer during a ballgame or a glass of wine with dinner and submits to a hair alcohol test, their consumption might not be detected since the metabolites produced by such a small amount of alcohol likely wouldn’t be enough for the test to pick up. A urine or blood test is a better option for detecting recent or light alcohol consumption.


Both external and biological factors can impact hair alcohol test results. External factors such as hair dyes and treatments can reduce the accuracy of the test by introducing contaminants that mask or obscure the presence of alcohol metabolites. In rare cases, a person who doesn’t consume alcohol but is exposed to alcohol vapors might get a false positive.

Several biological factors, such as a person’s hair structure or rate of alcohol metabolism, can impact the test by influencing the retention of metabolites in hair.


Hair alcohol testing can be useful for employment screening, medical diagnostics, and legal cases. Because this type of test is most effective at picking up on the type of long-term consumption associated with alcoholism and chronic use, employers might find it useful for identifying if a job applicant is a problem drinker. Doctors can use it as part of a broader screening to gauge a patient’s risk for alcohol-related health problems. Even lawyers are known to use hair alcohol testing to establish patterns of alcohol use when prosecuting or defending cases.

Although hair alcohol testing provides the best historical perspective of any detection method, it might not be the most accurate choice in situations where recent alcohol use needs to be established, such as during a DUI investigation.

hair test


Depending on the jurisdiction, hair alcohol testing might or might not be admissible in court. Anyone planning to use it in a legal setting should make sure they understand the legal implications of doing so.

Civil liberties advocates have raised ethical concerns surrounding the use of hair alcohol testing. The long detection window associated with the test and its inability to pinpoint the exact time or amount in which alcohol was consumed have led to privacy concerns, especially since alcohol is legal for those 21 and older.


Individuals preparing for a hair alcohol test should be aware of the long detection window, especially in the weeks leading up to the test, assuming advance notice was given. They should also avoid tampering with their hair or using harsh chemicals before the test, as this can alter the results and lead to charges of obfuscation.

The testing process itself is simple and straightforward. A small hair sample will be taken from the scalp (if a person is bald, the hair can come from another part of the body) and analyzed for alcohol metabolites. The amount of hair taken is not enough for anyone to notice.


Improvements are underway for hair alcohol testing. Future versions of the test could have even longer detection windows and be less vulnerable to the impact of external factors such as hair dyes. Looking further down the road, the tests could be refined even more in a society of hair testing and used in broader fields and contexts, such as personalized medicine.

To recap, hair alcohol testing is a highly accurate way to detect alcohol consumption over a long time or amount of time–a window of 90 days or more, but it’s less reliable at picking up on recent or sporadic use.

Considering its strengths but also its limitations and potential legal and ethical concerns, this testing method should be used judiciously.



Published on: 2023-12-27
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Zaza Red

Not all dangerous substances come in plastic bags sold by suspicious people on the street. The unfortunate reality is that a lot of highly addictive products can be found in your local stores. Items like Zaza Red are marketed as harmless dietary supplements, yet they can cause consumers to end up dealing with a full-blown addiction. In fact, Zaza Red has become so common lately that many healthcare experts are starting to experience a “Zaza Red Epidemic.” To understand what this substance is and why it’s so dangerous, explore our helpful guide.

What Is Zaza Red?

Zaza Red is the street name for a variety of products that contain tianeptine. The pills are sold under names including “Za Za Red” and “Tianna.” This atypical tricyclic drug is often prescribed as an antidepressant in Europe and Latin America, but it has never been approved for use in the United States due to its high risk of addiction. This product has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

Where Zaza Red Comes From

Unfortunately, the unregulated status of tianeptine means that it often gets sold over the counter as a supplement. Usually sold in the form of small, red and white pills, tianeptine has many brand names such as Zaza, Tianaa, and Pegasus. These pills contain a blend of tianeptine and other undisclosed substances. They’re often available at gas stations, convenience stores, smoke shops, and other small retailers. Though Zaza Red is the most common street name, they also go by names such as TD Red, Tia, and gas station heroin.

How Zaza Red Works

Zaza Red affects the brain by moderating serotonin and dopamine production. It activates opioid receptors and causes a rush of euphoria throughout the body. People who use Zaza Red often say that it boosts their mood and helps them feel calm or relaxed. These pills claim to be a dietary supplement that improves brain function. It also causes a wide range of problematic side effects including drowsiness, mental confusion, and difficulty breathing.

Understanding the Appeal of Zaza Red

In the past few years, tianeptine use has skyrocketed. Between 2014 and 2019 alone, Zaza Red abuse has become 24 times more common. Almost no one knew what it was a decade ago, and now one can easily find it for sale in their state. There are several different factors contributing to this issue.


Zaza Red is frequently sold in small shops like gas stations. People can get it without needing a prescription or the ability to contact a drug seller. Instead, they can pick up a dose alongside a bottle of soda or a bag of chips. Since tianeptine is so widespread, many people who would not actively seek out illegal drugs can get curious and end up trying it. The drug’s accessibility means that it frequently ends up trending on social media and attracting new users. Some include a disclaimer stating the vendors are not responsible for any misuse of the product and that it is only available to those over the age of 18; others encourage repeated use.


Another reason many people have become addicted to Zaza Red is the fact that it is not a controlled substance in most parts of the United States. The Alabama Department of Public Health classified Tianeptine as a Schedule II controlled substance therefore, it is only banned in Michigan, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio. Mississippi became the latest state to enact a ban on tianeptine which will take effect on July 1. Anyone can sell it or possess it without facing consequences. Sadly, many people make the unfortunate mistake of assuming that it’s harmless simply because it’s legal. Since the drug is sold alongside many everyday items, some users don’t realize how dangerous it is when they start using it.

Similarity to Opioids

2018 research found that the majority of people with a tianeptine addiction had a past history of other substance use disorders. Zaza Red’s reputation as “gas station heroin” and “gas station dope,” makes it very appealing to people with opioid use disorders. It functions much the same way as heroin, and since it also activates opioid receptors, it can stave off withdrawal symptoms in people with opioid addictions. This means that many victims of the opioid epidemic are turning to tianeptine as a way to get a fix.

Why Zaza Red Is So Dangerous for Your Health

Zaza Red might be legal, but it’s not harmless. There are many different health risks associated with using Zaza Red. Even if you only use a small amount occasionally, you risk problematic side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness

At higher doses, Zaza Red becomes even riskier. People who take large amounts can potentially overdose. Tianeptine has been associated with many fatalities. Like traditional opioids, taking too much tianeptine causes difficulty breathing, slow breathing, slow heart rate, unconsciousness, and eventually death. In fact, one of the main reasons that other countries are scaling back on prescribing tianeptine for depression is because it has such a high risk of overdose. In high doses, tianeptine can lead to addiction and other serious health conditions, including respiratory depression and overdose, which can lead to coma or even death directly related to the mu-opioid receptors effect.

In addition to the risks associated with single-time use of tianeptine, there are also dangers from repeated use. If you take this substance regularly, you can end up dealing with a substance use disorder. You’ll find yourself engaging in risky behavior, losing control of your ability to moderate usage, and feeling physically ill if you don’t get regular tianeptine doses.

For example, one woman interviewed by Vice Media explained that within seven hours of taking her last dose of Zaza Red, she’d end up puking, shivering, and dealing with other symptoms of withdrawal. To avoid withdrawal, she’d purchase Zaza Red instead of food or other essentials. Other users report feeling suicidal while withdrawing or even taking fentanyl to help with Zaza Red withdrawal.

Zaza Red vs. Traditional Opioids

Zaza Red is often called gas station heroin due to its similarity to heroin, Xanax, and other opioids. It is true that both interact with the opioid receptors in the brain and cause a rush of relaxation, calmness, happiness, and joy. These feelings are so desirable that it is very easy to become addicted to them. Without tianeptine or opioids, an addict may feel intense anxiety, depression, diarrhea, vomiting, and tremors. Many people find that taking Zaza Red can stave off opioid withdrawal and vice versa.

However, at a chemical level, these substances are a little different. Zaza Red is a tricyclic antidepressant that works by blocking the breakdown of certain neurotransmitters, so substances like serotonin build up in the brain. Meanwhile, opioids bind directly to opioid receptors in the brain and replace certain neurotransmitters. This means that Zaza Reds can cause some unpredictable effects not found in traditional opioids. Furthermore, most gas station brands of tianeptine have other additives that can cause even more unpleasant side effects.

Addressing the Zaza Red Epidemic

Tianeptine use has become so widespread that many experts have started calling it an epidemic. Since 2021, three states have rushed to ban tianeptine. However, it may take some time before federal legislation catches up. In the meantime, the FDA has started a campaign to warn people about Zaza Red.

Public safety announcements caution that tianeptine isn’t FDA-approved for consumption and comes with intense risks for addiction. The CDC has also released bulletins to advise users that tianeptine use can lead to dependence, withdrawal, or overdose. Most of the steps taken to address the Zaza Red epidemic have focused on warning the public of the dangers. Since so many people might see these substances for sale at their local store and get curious, educating people can help to reduce the risks of addiction or abuse.

How to Help Those Addicted to Zaza Red

If you or a loved one is dealing with a Zaza Red addiction, it’s important to seek medical assistance. Long-term use of this drug can cause a variety of health issues including malnutrition, digestive issues, anxiety, depression, and even fatal overdoses. There are several different treatment options for people dealing with Zaza Red addiction.

Rehab and Therapy

The most effective treatment for tianeptine addiction is a substance use treatment program. Inpatient or outpatient rehab can help you get the support, encouragement, and assistance you need to overcome addiction. Most programs will include intensive therapy sessions to help you process and understand your addiction. Your therapist will assist you with identifying triggers and finding coping skills to avoid giving in to triggers.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Tianeptine abuse has both a physical and mental side. Even patients who are mentally ready to quit using Zaza Red may struggle to break their physical dependency. However, some people have found relief with medication-assisted treatment. This treatment involves a patient taking methadone, naltrexone, or another substance that helps reduce cravings. The medication can prevent withdrawal and reduce the pleasurability of taking tianeptine, so it’s easier to quit abusing Zaza Red.

Garden State Treatment Center Is Here to Help

At Garden State Treatment Center, we have the expertise needed to help with this unique type of addiction. Our professionals and addiction treatment specialists ensure you stay comfortable during withdrawal and get the care you need to overcome Zaza Red addiction. To get started, contact our team today.

Published on: 2023-06-27
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Why do people snort drugs?

When you think of people using drugs, you probably think of smoking them, swallowing pills or injecting them. However, drugs can also be snorted. One of the most commonly snorted drugs is cocaine, and an estimated 4.8 million people used cocaine in 2021, according to the NIH. People snort drugs for a variety of reasons, including for a faster high and because it can be less stigmatizing and better concealed. Let’s take a look at why people snort drugs and some of the common effects.

The Science of Snorting Drugs

A common way people use drugs is through snorting, also known as nasal insufflation. When an individual snorts a drug, whether it’s already in powder form or was a pill and they crushed it into a powder, it enters the body through the nose and goes into the bloodstream through the nasal membrane. From the bloodstream, the drug enters the brain, and the effects are felt. This bypasses the stomach and liver and can produce a faster and more intense high than other methods.

It’s important to understand that while snorting a drug can produce a faster and more intense high, it’s not good for the body. Snorting drugs can cause damage to the nasal tissues in the nasal cavity, which can cause small blood vessels in the nose to become irritated and rupture, and even result in a perforated nasal septum, which is the center cartilage between the nostrils in the nose. When the membranes and septum of the nose become damaged, it can result in chronic sinus infections, difficulty breathing, and an increase in nasal discharge. Individuals may even experience frequent bacterial infections in their noses.

snort drugs

Reasons for Snorting Drugs

People choose to snort drugs for a variety of reasons. The most common are:

  • Able to get high faster
  • Appearance of being safer because they’re less likely to acquire a blood-borne pathogen or damage their lungs
  • Being peer pressured to snort or experiencing social pressure to snort drugs
  • Easier to hide the use of the drug and their dependence on it
  • Easier to snort drugs than take them via other methods
  • To get a more intense high

Types of Drugs Commonly Snorted

People most often snort cocaine, but many types of drugs can be snorted, including stimulants, opioids, benzodiazepines and hallucinogens.


Stimulants are known for making people feel like they have increased energy and are more alert. People on stimulants may clean, exercise or do other activities with an increased vigor. Cocaine and amphetamines are stimulants and fall into this category.


Opioids are primarily used as painkillers, but they can also produce feelings of pleasure and euphoria, which are side effects of the medication. Common opioids that are snorted include heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone.


Benzodiazepines are most commonly used to treat mental health disorders as well as seizures. They can even be prescribed to help with the withdrawal symptoms of other types of drugs. Common benzodiazepines that are inhaled include Xanax, Valium, and Ativan.


Hallucinogens cause people to see or hear things that are not actually there, but they are also sometimes used to relieve pain. These drugs include LSD, ketamine and PCP, which is usually referred to as angel dust.

Dangers and Risks of Snorting Drugs

If you’re tempted to start snorting drugs, you may be interested in their adverse effects. Snorting drugs just like ingestion through any other way can still lead to unwanted side effects and illnesses.

Damage to the Nasal Passages and Sinuses

Snorting drugs can lead to severe damage of the nasal passages and the sinuses. It’s important to understand that the membranes inside the nose and sinuses are extremely sensitive. Repeated exposure to illicit substances can cause nosebleeds, a constantly runny nose, sneezing, congestion, loss of smell and a perforated nasal septum, which can result in difficulty breathing.

Increased Risk of Infection and Disease

Snorting drugs can lead to an increase in bacteria infections, abscesses and cellulitis. It can cause chronic sinus infections and increase your risk of acquiring fungal infections. It also increases the risk of developing infective endocarditis, which is an infection in the heart valves. This can occur when bacteria from the nose get into the bloodstream and travel to the heart. If the drug is shared between different people, it can lead to the transmission of infections such as Hepatitis C.

Overdose and Other Medical Complications

Snorting drugs can increase your risk of experiencing an overdose. This is due to the rapid onset of the effects of the drug. Depending on the type of drug you snort, you could also experience respiratory depression, problems with your circulatory system or heart, damage to your internal organs and even seizures.

Long-Term Physical and Psychological Effects

Long-term drug abuse can lead to negative physical and psychological effects, including loss of coordination, changes in your blood pressure and heart rate, heart disease, strokes, an increased risk of cancer, digestive or intestinal problems, loss of smell and permanent damage to the nose and sinuses. Long-term drug use is also known to create long-term cognitive and behavioral changes and exasperate existing mental health conditions.

Treatment for Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

If you snort drugs or use illicit drugs in any other manner, it’s important to get reliable, caring treatment so that you can overcome your substance use disorder. At Garden State Treatment Center in New Jersey, we offer a large variety of programs and therapy to help you recover.

Detoxification and Withdrawal

When you first enter treatment, you’ll start your program with detox. This means that you’ll stop using your drug of choice and let the substance dissipate from your body via natural means. Since this often causes withdrawal symptoms, you’ll be monitored by our professional and caring medical staff.

Medications for Addiction Treatment

Depending on the substance on which you are dependent, you may be given some medications to take in lieu of your preferred drug. Some common medications include:

  • Methadone – Helps treat opioid withdrawal symptoms by tricking the brain into thinking it is still receiving opioids. However, it does not produce any sort of high or euphoric feelings.
  • Buprenorphine – This medication helps reduce the severity of your cravings and your symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
  • Naltrexone – reduces cravings and helps block the effects of opioids. This medication shouldn’t be confused with Naloxone, which is used to treat opioid overdoses.

Behavioral Therapies

While you detox and afterward, you’ll be given various types of therapy, including individual addiction counseling, group therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. We also offer adventure therapy, which can help you heal in nature and get you physically active. If you have a partner or a loved one, we also offer couples therapy.

Support Groups and Aftercare Programs

Once you complete your initial drug rehabilitation program, you’ll need ongoing care in order to prevent relapsing. These are called aftercare or alumni programs, and they can include additional therapy and meetings. Some people even choose to enter community step-based programs, like Narcotics Anonymous. Participating in an aftercare program can give you additional tools, resources and reasons to continue your path of sobriety. You’ll even gain access to members who can help you if you feel triggered or tempted to fall back into your substance use disorder. Remember, recovery from an addiction should be treated like any other chronic illness. You’ll need to get it under control and then take steps to maintain your progress.


If you snort drugs, like cocaine, heroin or PCP, you may feel like it’s safer because you’re not injecting yourself with drugs or sharing needles or other drug paraphernalia. You may even think that you can control your usage by precisely measuring out each dose before you snort it. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Snorting is not safer than other methods of ingesting drugs, and you can still become physically and mentally dependent on the substance. Thankfully, there are programs available that can help you stop using your drug of choice, heal from the addiction and maintain long-term sobriety.

If you’re ready to stop using drugs and start on the path of sobriety, give our caring and understanding staff at Garden State Treatment Center a call today!


  • What does it mean to snort drugs?
  • Why do people snort drugs?
  • What are the risks associated with snorting drugs?
  • Which drugs are commonly snorted?
  • How can snorting drugs affect the brain?
  • Is snorting drugs more addictive than other methods of administration?
  • Can snorting drugs cause an overdose?
  • What should I do if someone I know is snorting drugs?
  • How can I help someone who is addicted to snorting drugs?
  • Where can I find more information about the dangers of snorting drugs and treatment options?

Published on: 2023-04-05
Updated on: 2024-03-25

What Are Meth Bongs?

Meth bongs are equipment used to smoke methamphetamines or, for short, meth. The drug paraphernalia is one of the several ways to identify meth abuse.

The glass contraption gives users a larger dose of meth than standard meth pipes. Subsequently, they pose a more dangerous risk of developing meth mouth, addiction, and lung damage.

That said, meth is an addictive substance with multiple counts of abuse in the U.S. Due to its availability and cheapness, users target it for its quick and easy high. Stick around to learn more about meth bongs and the dangers they can inflict.

About Meth Bongs

Meth bongs are among one of the many paraphernalia used when smoking meth. It’s a telltale sign of drug abuse. The bong resembles other drug equipment, such as Cannabis bongs.

The meth bong consists of a bowl where the drugs are present. Bong water is also added inside the bowl to ease the consumption of meth. The stem connects to the bowl. The user inhales and smokes the meth from the other side of the stem, which has a tube connected.

The drug equipment is around 8 to 12 inches long. Water glass bongs are usually available in smoke shops. Nevertheless, some users opt for one-liter plastic water or soda bottles. Paraphernalia producers developed silicone bongs as a way to prevent breakage.

Meth Bongs: Dangers and Risks

Meth bongs exacerbate drug addictions due to their more potent intake. The drug is highly tolerable, making users revert to it more often.

Crystal meth can cause multiple physical issues ranging from strokes to organ failure. Here are some other physical risks associated with meth.

Meth Mouth

Meth notoriously damages your teeth. It causes your gums to dry out since the drug hinders your saliva flow. Additionally, users often clench their teeth due to the paranoia associated with the drug.

Grinding your teeth will only worsen your teeth’s condition after experiencing other tooth decay symptoms from the drug. Users’ teeth will end up black-stained and have a decaying gum line.

Lung Complications

Smoking ice constricts blood vessels. Consequently, it negatively affects how and where the blood flows to and from your lungs.

The chemical fumes inhaled are toxic and cause more lung damage. Continuous meth smoking can lead to irreversible lung issues and infections such as pneumonia.

Heart Issues

Meth charges your nervous system and allows your brain to send signals to the heart to beat faster. The drug narrows your blood vessels, weakens heart muscles, and causes high blood pressure.

One of the risks of meth to your heart health is that it can induce a spasm in the coronary arteries. The latter pumps blood to your heart muscles, and a spasm will likely trigger a heart attack. Meth use increases your likelihood of heart disease by over 27.5%.

Digestive Issues

Due to the harsh chemicals ingested, the meth user’s digestive system will likely try to eradicate these toxic elements from their body. In turn, they’ll experience diarrhea, stomach pain, and other digestive complications.

One of these issues includes intestinal ischemia. It occurs when your intestines receive little blood supply due to blood vessel constrictions. Subsequently, the organ doesn’t function well, and users typically experience cramping.

Kidney Problems

The reduced blood flow to the kidneys from drug use can cause renal tubular necrosis. The complication can lead to acute or sudden kidney failure.

Another nephrotoxic effect of meth is acute interstitial nephritis. It’s a disease that harms the kidney’s tubules, which affects the organ’s capacity to filter waste. Kidney failure for meth users can either be chronic and long-term or acute and sudden.

Skin Complications

Not only does meth affect your internal organs, but its harmful effects can also be seen on your skin after prolonged use. The skin damage can be both direct and indirect.

In the prior’s case, when meth users hallucinate, they tend to imagine bugs crawling on their skin. Consequently, they rub and itch at their skin, irritating.

The itching is frequent during the “tweaking” phase. The phase occurs when users experience frantic behavior.

Meanwhile, meth can indirectly harm your skin due to the lack of nutrients you’re receiving from a suppressed appetite. On top of a poor diet, users tend to neglect their hygiene.

Signs of Meth Bong Abuse

If you suspect someone is struggling with meth addiction, you can use these signs to confirm your suspicions.

Acute Energy

Sudden bursts of energy and action are typical signs of meth abuse. The drug could cause its user to move excessively and engage in redundant activities.

After coming down from a high, users often enter a deep sleep. Post-high leads to severe energy depletion, where you may only wake up to go to the bathroom.

Weight Loss

Increased meth intake often decreases its user’s appetite, leading to noticeable weight loss. Some users forget to eat as well. The drug increases your body’s metabolism and burns more energy faster.

Mental Instability

You can single out meth users from their behavior. Signs of their instability can include hallucinations, memory loss, paranoia, aggression, and isolation.
Meth addicts usually develop a high tolerance for the drug. They use meth bongs to increase the drug’s potency and achieve the same euphoria. The long-term psychological effects of the drug can range from depression to insomnia and, in severe cases, psychosis.

Another mental aspect associated with meth users is mood swings. They may feel happy and excited at one point and quickly switch to anger and violent tendencies.

To Conclude

5% of the adult population in the U.S. used meth at least once in their lifetime. It accumulates to about 12.3 million people. Close to half a million people in the country consume meth weekly.

The drug issue worsens as paraphernalia like meth bongs are more widely available to the public and induce stronger effects.

Fortunately, government action has provided the public with safe smoking kits and test kits to reduce the dangers of using meth.

Published on: 2023-02-26
Updated on: 2024-04-07

What is Tucibi (Pink Cocaine)?

Tucibi, or pink cocaine (pink coke), is a designer drug popular in the rave and festival market. It produces a stimulant and psychoactive effect on its users.

Despite being named pink cocaine, Tucibi doesn’t have chemical structures resembling cocaine. Nevertheless, it imitates the same psychedelic effects.

The manufacturers create the drug in pill form, and it’s characteristically pink-colored. Users ingest the pill orally or intranasally.

Stick around to learn more about Tucibi and the dangers and risks associated with the recreational drug.

pink powder

About Tucibi (Pink Cocaine)

Tucibi, also known as 2C-B, abbreviates to 2.5 dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine. The drug has a similar chemical composition to mescaline, another psychedelic. It’s popularly referred to as pink cocaine as well.

Tucibi stimulates a similar high to LSD and MDMA drugs. The blend of drugs within pink cocaine has popularized it in the rave and party scenes.

It has several other names, like Nexus, Venus, Toonies, and Erox. In terms of its history, Harvard Organic Chemist Alexander Shulgin synthesized the drug in 1974.

He created the drug to increase libido and treat erectile dysfunction. The narcotic became commonplace in psychotherapy during that time. It was later sold as an aphrodisiac in the U.S. market before being criminalized in 1995.

Pink cocaine is part of the New Psychoactive Substances list. It mimics the effects of widespread drugs like cocaine, a well known party drug.

Pink Cocaine vs. Cocaine

Pink cocaine and cocaine have different sources. The prior is purely synthetic, whereas the latter comes from the coca leaves.

In addition to their origin, pink cocaine and cocaine differ in their effects on the user’s brain. Traditional cocaine targets the brain’s dopamine receptors in the central nervous system. The receptors are responsible for feelings of happiness and pleasure.

On the other hand, pink cocaine targets the dopamine and serotonin receptors. The latter induce psychedelic effects and hallucinations.

Tucibi Abuse

Tucibi addicts can abuse the drug through multiple formats. They can snort it in powder form, similar to cocaine. Users may also swallow the pills, especially in public spaces.

Nevertheless, snorting is more popular since the drug’s effects kick in faster. Other, less common administrations include injections.

Injections are usually associated with long-term addicts that need to feel the potency of the drugs. They sometimes mix in more drugs with injections to enhance their experience.

Manufacturing Process of Tucibi

Most of the drug’s manufacturers hail from Colombian origins. The drug mixture consists of pink food coloring, ketamine, and MDMA.

Nonetheless, the drug’s traces are often unverifiable. It can contain traces of caffeine, meth, cathinone, or benzos.

Local kitchen labs often manufacture the drug. It’s becoming a popular choice in the neo-drug trafficking culture in Colombia. The drug is part of a new shift from plant-based narcotics like cocaine and cannabis to synthetic options that are more available and affordable.

Tucibi (pink coke) Addiction

Dangers and Risks of Tucibi

The effects of Tucibi usually culminate at hour two after ingestion. The drug can take as long as eight hours to wear off. That said, pink cocaine can cause various health complications, such as cardiac arrest and hypothermia.

Heart Issues

Tucibi can increase your heart rate exponentially. Users often experience a high heart rate, especially after a large dose.

They will also develop high blood pressure. The effect will affect those with a history of heart conditions even more, causing more risk.


Seizures are primarily a common effect after overdosing. Even if a user had no history of seizures, they could still have one after Tucibi intake.

During the seizure, a user may harm themselves after erratic movements. They could break a bone or sustain a brain injury. After the convulsion, the user may go into cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.

Dilated Pupils

Pupils dilate from the contraction of two muscles, the iris sphincter and the iris dilator. Your body’s parasympathetic nervous system can cause a sphincter response.

Meanwhile, the sympathetic nervous system controls the dilator’s response. Tucibi can influence these parts of your nervous system, triggering dilated pupils.

Overdose Risks

Overdosing on pink cocaine can have detrimental effects on your body. Users will likely experience shallow breathing, clammy skin, respiratory arrest, and comas.

As a synthetic drug, it’s difficult to trace the origins of Tucibi’s ingredients. In turn, it can contain potentially fatal ingredients like fentanyl.

Mental Effects of Tucibi

Similar to the physical effects of Tucibi, the psychological signs also vary. Pink cocaine can induce hallucinations, disorientation, and panic attacks.

Tucibi can cause other psychological responses, such as sexual arousal, delirium, and euphoria. The prime motivator for users is the burst of energy the drug provides. It allows them to stay through the night at a rave or party.

Nevertheless, the drug can cause mood swings. For instance, a minor issue can result in paranoia and crying. The psychological effects of pink cocaine (Tucibi) pose a more dangerous risk for those dealing with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or psychosis.

Besides that, pink cocaine also enhances user focus. They may feel more confident and willing to undergo dangerous feats since they view themselves as invincible. Additionally, they may hear or see things that aren’t there, resulting in hallucinations.


Tucibi is an addictive drug. It’s even more addictive than methamphetamines. One dose of pink cocaine can lead to a long-term battle with addiction.

For this reason, early addiction treatment is crucial. Otherwise, users may abuse the drug and develop a higher tolerance. They’ll need to increase their intake to experience the same high. A dose increase will only increase physical and mental health risks.

To Conclude

Tucibi is a relatively new substance in the drug scene. It’s more popular in the younger demographics due to its affordability and availability in raves.

The drug is a type of psychedelic usually sourced from South America. It can include multiple blends, such as ketamine, amphetamines, and MDMA.

That said, pink cocaine, like other synthetic drugs, poses multiple physical and mental risks. They can range from heart complications to mood swings and hallucinations.

Harm reduction starts by educating yourself regarding drug interactions.


  • What is Tucibi?
  • What is Tucibi made of?
  • What is pink cocaine?

Published on: 2023-02-24
Updated on: 2024-03-25

Hot Rail Meth: Definition, Effect, Dangers

Among the various methods meth addicts use, hot railing is one of them. The procedure involves a hollow glass tube.

The tube is heated, and users inhale the drug from the other end. The method is highly associated with meth addicts since it provides a more potent kick than ingestion.

Users also use it as opposed to smoking because they believe it’s less damaging to their lungs.

Nevertheless, the drug, whether inhaled, smoked, ingested or injected, causes detrimental effects on your health.

Stick around to learn more about what hot rail meth is, its effects, and its dangers.


What is Hot Rail Meth?

Hot railing meth is a method used to take the drug. In this method, users crush the meth into a powdery form. Often confused with smoking, the procedure involves a glass tube. The paraphernalia is open from both ends.

The user heats the tube from one end. Users position the other end against the meth. The user then places their nose near the opening and inhales the vapors diffusing from the hot end.

In other methods, hot railing can involve placing the powder meth inside the tube and heating it. Consequently, the user is both hot railing and smoking the drug.

The Appearance of Hot Rail Pipe

A hot rail pipe is a heat-resistant, long tube made of glass. The contraption likely has some burn marks on one end from use.

Some users extract household ingredients to make the hot rail pipe. Meth abusers may construct hot rail pipes in the same fashion as meth bongs.

Reasons for Hot Railing Meth

All techniques of taking meth can lead down the path of addiction. Users often build a high tolerance rapidly after each use.

In turn, they may resort to hot railing to increase the potency of meth in their bloodstream. Aside from that, here are some reasons why users choose to hot rail meth.

Faster Rush

As users inhale the meth, they feel an instant euphoric rush. Meanwhile, ingesting meth can take up to 15 to 20 minutes for the effects to kick in.

Hot railing gives users the rush after a few minutes or seconds. For this reason, the hot railing method is synonymous with those experiencing withdrawal and who want a quick kick.

Higher Potency

For long-term meth abusers, potency is critical. Hot railing tends to yield the potent effects addicts crave.

Less Harmful

Users often perceive the hot railing method as less harmful compared to smoking. The logic behind this is that since they’re not heating the drug, they’re not directly inhaling it.

In turn, they believe it reduces the damage to the lungs and sinuses. Plus, it reduces asthma symptoms. Nevertheless, like all other forms of drug intake, hot railing causes addiction and physical and psychological damage to humans.

Difference Between Hot Railing and Smoking Meth

Although both methods seem similar and involve heat, the intake is different. When hot railing, users heat the glass paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, smoking meth involves heating the drug itself on a glass pipe. Another difference between the two methods is the form of meth used.

Smokers often use the rock crystal kind. On the other hand, hot rail users favor the drug’s powder form.

Effects of Hot Rail Meth

Inhaling meth vapors can cause multiple side effects, both short and long-term. Check them out below to know more about the dangers of this method.

Short-Term Effects of Hot Rail Meth

The short-term effects of hot rail meth can include burns on users’ noses and throats. Plus, it can irritate the nasal passageways. Subsequently, inhalers will have difficulty breathing and may experience nosebleeds.

Other short-term effects can be seizures, stomach pain, chest pain, irregular heart rate, mood swings, agitation, and confusion. Some users may experience tweaking or uncontrollable movements.

In addition, hot railing puts users at a high risk of overdosing. Since the drug is absorbed more rapidly into the bloodstream, it increases its potency. Overdose symptoms of hot railing meth can include dizziness and breathing difficulties.

Long-Term Effects of Hot Rail Meth

Hot railing meth, in the long run, can lead to several irreversible symptoms. Check out the physical and psychological damage hot rail meth can pose for your health.

Psychological Effects

Meth is a highly addictive narcotic because it triggers your brain’s dopamine levels. That said, continuous use allows you to become too dependent on it for the happiness hormone.

Your brain’s hormone production becomes inhibited. In turn, it doesn’t process the natural amount of dopamine, resulting in addictive tendencies.

Psychological symptoms of meth dependency can be delusions, paranoia, and delusions. Additionally, the drug alters your brain’s cognitive function. It affects your Central Nervous System, which houses your hippocampus.

The organ is responsible for learning new information and recalling memories. The drug eliminates neuron cells from the organ, causing memory loss and confusion.

Physical Effects

Inhaling meth can show through several physical signs. One of them includes meth mouth. The vapor can deteriorate your salivary glands’ saliva production.

Subsequently, you may experience dry mouth, leaving your teeth vulnerable to several dental issues. Additionally, the drug typically results in teeth clenching that wears the enamel. Other oral complications can include gum disease, abscesses, and tooth loss.

Hot railing meth may also lead to nasal issues and irritations. It can lead to lung and sinus inflammations and infections as well.

To Conclude

Hot railing meth, like all other methods of illicit drug intake, pose a plethora of risks for your health. In terms of short-term effects, the hot rail pipe can carry several contaminants, increasing the likelihood of infection.

When not performed correctly, the hot railing method can cause burns around the nostril region. That said, it can also result in nosebleeds and breathing difficulties.

The long-term effects of hot railing meth can involve developing meth mouth and psychological issues such as psychosis.

Apart from that, meth abusers are particularly attracted to hot railing due to its stronger kick and reduced harm compared to smoking. Nonetheless, treating the harm involves tackling the root issue, meth abuse, and addiction.

Published on: 2023-02-23
Updated on: 2024-04-07

Coke Nose: Definition, Effects, and Signs

Over 4.8 million people reported using cocaine in the past year. The prevailing drug has multiple side effects. One of them is coke nose.

Coke nose occurs in users who snort the narcotics rather than inject or ingest them. Snorting the drug allows the body to absorb ice faster and skips the pathway to the stomach and liver.

The nose is a delicate organ and holds several sensitive tissues that experience irritation after constant coke snorting.

For this reason, coke nose can cause several effects, from a short-term nosebleed to a long-term perforated septum. Stick around to learn more about coke nose, its side effects, signs, and treatments.

coke nose

What is Coke Nose?

Cocaine abusers typically snort the drug to induce a more potent and prompt effect. The powder directly enters the users’ bloodstream, invoking a more overpowering high. That said, snorting the powder form of the drug causes multiple health issues identified as “coke nose.”

Effects of Coke on the Nose

Cocaine constricts blood flow to the nose, which is why medical professionals sometimes use it to treat dangerous nosebleeds.

Nevertheless, prolonged use of cocaine can constrict blood flow to your nose resulting in several infections and complications. The reduced blood supply can hinder the oxygenation of your nose cells, eliminating them.

Here are some of the effects of cocaine on your nose below.

Sinus Infections

Since there isn’t much blood flow reaching your nose, immune responses can become compromised, leading to a sinus infection.

In addition, snorting foreign powder into your nasal passageway can introduce a myriad of contaminants. When left untreated, a sinus infection can find its way to your bloodstream and cause a fatal sepsis case.

Lung Infections

Since your nose connects to your lungs, coke nose’s damaging effects can reach your respiratory region.

Your nose is your body’s first line of defense against outside contaminants. If it’s not functioning adequately, your lungs receive these foreign objects. Plus, they can reach other parts of your body, such as your brain.

Saddle Nose

Coke nose can cause physical deformities, such as Saddle nose. The complication causes your nose bridge to deteriorate and collapse.

Due to the excess exposure to foreign objects on your nose’s passageway, the nose’s tissues weaken and rot.

Since there’s little blood flow supplying the region, the inner part of your nose gives out and deforms the smell organ. The condition is common with long-term cocaine abusers.

Septum Issues

The septum is the part that divides your nostrils. Coke nose can eat away at this part of your nose and cause perforations to appear.

Additionally, you may experience a deviated septum, where the septum leans on one side more. In turn, the condition can plug one of your nostrils and affect your breathing.

Hard Palate Complications

The hard palate is the area found on the roof of your mouth, which splits your nasal cavity and mouth region. Coke nose can severely damage your hard palate.

Prolonged use can result in perforations, which affect your voice. Plus, it can cause your food to come out of your nose when eating.


Nosebleeds are a short-term effect of coke nose. Although cocaine restricts blood flow to your nose, once the effects wear off, blood flow can overwhelm your blood vessels and cause bursting.

Plus, nosebleeds can also occur from the irritation caused by snorting the toxic drug. It can also result from the increase in nasal pressure when snorting. You may also notice scabs and general redness around the nose region.

Nasal Lining Damage

Our noses aren’t able to handle the constant intake of powder substances. In turn, the nasal lining becomes intensely irritated, and swelling may also occur in your sinus area.

Runny Nose

After your nose experiences irritation and becomes inflamed, your mucus lining expels excess fluids. In turn, your nose gets runny and suffers from blockage and crusting.

Signs of Coke Nose

The signs of coke nose vary depending on how long the user abused the drug. That said, short-term signs of coke nose can be anything from a runny nose, nosebleeds, dryness, and congestion.

Nonetheless, long-term users can suffer from snoring, whistling while breathing, loss of smell, and nasal ulcers.

Healing Coke Nose

Although the short-term effects of coke nose can heal on its own, the long-term ones need medical intervention. Septal, hard palate, and nose bridge perforations need surgical input.

Regulating Infection

Healing nasal infections requires prescribed antibiotics from an assigned physician. Besides that, medicated nasal sprays may cause dryness symptoms to worsen. Instead, you can resort to a saline nasal rinse to help mitigate excess mucus production and dryness.

Plastic Surgery

Reconstructive surgery can help correct the deformities caused by a coke nose. Minor issues usually call for an outpatient rhinoplasty procedure. Meanwhile, large holes in the nasal lining may require a more challenging surgical process.

Some sergeants use tissue from a patient’s forearm and connect it to the perforated area. Once inserted, the medical professionals add cartilage grafts to support the region and reshape the nose as it once was.

The procedure can take between three to four days, depending on the severity of each case. Swelling and bruising may occur after the surgery, but patients usually fully recover after a week or two.

If the patient goes back to snorting cocaine, complications will arise, and the chance of performing additional surgery decreases.

Treating the Addiction

Before considering surgical procedures, patients need to undergo addiction treatment. Stopping cocaine is the first step to recovering your nose. Cocaine detox programs and addiction care is critical in this situation.

To Conclude

Coke nose is a prevalent issue among cocaine snorters. The drug can cause multiple long-term and short-term damaging effects.

Some short-term effects include nosebleeds and runny noses, which can be treated through physician care. Long-term effects may include a perforated nose septum or hard palate damage. In this case, surgery is likely needed.

Before undergoing medical treatment, your primary concern should be to control your addictive tendencies first. Otherwise, going back to the drug after surgical treatment can pose more harmful risks.

Published on: 2023-02-23
Updated on: 2024-02-29

What Happens if a Doctor Finds Drugs in Your System?

If you use drugs and come under the care of a medical professional, it is likely that the substances will be detected. This may cause great concern, especially if they are illegal items. You may be afraid that your doctor will report your behavior to the police. This can cause troubles with work and family. To avoid problems, it is helpful to understand what occurs when a doctor uncovers drugs in a person’s system.


Risks of Denying Drug Use

Any substance that enters a person’s body influences his or her health. If a doctor suspects improper drug usage, it is tempting for the patient to deny taking anything. However, this can be dangerous. Hiding the consumption of medication can make it impossible to deliver a proper diagnosis.

In dire emergencies, surgery may be a necessary part of treatment. Certain drugs cause harm to the liver, which affects the processing of anesthesia. Also, amphetamines raise heart rate and blood pressure. This can complicate surgical procedures as well. Many kinds of drugs cause depression, breathing difficulties, and racing pulse. Therefore, it is essential to list all drugs that are present in your system.

Medical Confidentiality

Doctors are made to honor a code of confidentiality with their patients. There are federal laws that prohibit medical professionals from reporting your drug misuse to the authorities. Also, it is unlawful to report this type of issue to an employer.

There are a few instances when a physician can share a patient’s medical records without written consent. First, a doctor must always comply with a court order. Also, a doctor must contact authorities when he or she thinks that a person may harm himself or herself.

Drug Misuse Effects on Insurance

When drugs are found in your system, you may be concerned about effects on your auto and health insurances. A doctor is not allowed to disclose these issues to either type of insurance provider. In fact, certain laws are made to help people receive assistance for negative drug habits. Some health insurance providers offer benefits that cover substance misuse treatment. This means that you should not worry about rate increases or canceled policies.

The Right Time to Discuss Drug Misuse with Your Physician

As soon as you admit that a drug misuse disorder exists, it is time to have a discussion with your doctor. Even if you are misusing prescription medication, you have a form of addiction that must be addressed. If you are having a medical issue, it is essential to disclose any type of drug that is in your system.

A medical professional will be able to correctly diagnose your condition and recommend the best type of treatment option. When you want to start on the road of recovery, a physician can bridge a connection with various resources, including counseling programs and more intensive therapies. There is not one simple solution for everyone, but help is always available. In most instances, your struggles remain private.


  • Can a doctor call the police on you?
  • What do doctors have to report to the police?
  • Do doctors test for drugs when they take blood?
  • If you are on a pain pump, can oral meds be detected with the computer they use for the pain pump?

Published on: 2023-01-31
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Dealing With Character Defects in Recovery

Whether we care to admit it or not, we all have character defects. And sometimes, they can ruin or stand in the way of things that would otherwise be positive in our lives, overcoming addiction being one of them. So that everyone is on the same page, character defects are imperfections in how someone thinks or behaves. Examples of these defects can include the following:

  • Anger
  • Hatred
  • Selfishness
  • Defensiveness
  • Being closed-minded
  • Codependence
  • Being judgmental
  • Self-loathing
  • Being overly critical or overly apologetic
  • Perfectionism
  • Resentment
  • Arrogance
  • Dishonesty

These examples do not encompass every possible character defect that can negatively impact someone’s life. But they are among the ones that make it exceedingly difficult for some individuals to break the cycle of addiction, especially when it comes to certain substance use disorders (SUDs).

The Truth About Character Defects and the Struggles To Achieve Sobriety

Trying to put one’s life back together after having had it upended by addiction is no small task, and character defects only add to the challenge. And this is because they can significantly increase the risk of relapse. Most of the roughly 40% to 60% of individuals who relapse while still in rehab do so because they struggle with codependence, self-loathing, anger, and a wide range of other character defects. With some substances, the relapse rate is well over 60% because of these defects. According to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), the relapse rate for some of the more commonly abused substances in the U.S. are as follows:

  • Heroin use disorders 78.2%
  • Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) 68.4%
  • Cocaine use disorders 61.9%
  • Methamphetamine use disorders 52.2%

While temptation, drug cravings, and peer pressure are responsible for most relapse cases, character defects can sometimes also be a factor. They can also contribute to the denial that stops people from admitting they have a substance abuse problem and seeking the help they need to overcome it. Studies show only 10% of the nearly 23 million people in the U.S. with a substance abuse problem seek treatment. For the remaining 90% who do not, character defects partly explain why.

Mental Illness and Character Defects Are Not the Same

With mental health issues being raised more and more frequently on social media and mainstream media, some people have started to confuse character defects with mental illness and vice versa. While the two might share some similarities, they are certainly not the same animal. According to a MedlinePlus article, mental illnesses are mental health conditions officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) and not merely a personality or character trait. Examples of mental illnesses recognized in the DSM-5 include the following:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychotic disorders

The article further notes that mental illnesses, also known as mental health disorders, are usually a byproduct of genetics, chronic diseases, and biological factors. They seldom appear from out of nowhere; there is usually a cause and effect. None of this applies to character defects, which can exist without anything contributing to their existence.

Identifying Character Defects and Working Through Them While Going Through an Addiction Recovery Program

Resolving some problems in life requires employing a multipronged approach. Addiction recovery is no exception. Mindful of this, most rehab facilities offer a variety of addiction recovery programs to help individuals regain control over their lives. For someone struggling with physical addiction alone, such programs might include medication-assisted detox followed by addiction counseling and a referral to a sober living home or a support group. If someone has a co-occurring disorder or a stand-alone mental illness, the journey toward addiction recovery might look quite different. The same is true if someone has a character defect that makes quitting drugs or alcohol especially difficult.

Addiction Recovery for Individuals With a Substance Abuse Problem Coupled With a Co-occurring or Stand-alone Mental Illness

When someone struggling with a substance abuse problem coupled with a co-occurring or stand-alone mental illness goes to rehab, a lot of work goes into helping them overcome the psychological aspects of addiction. Some might argue that, aside from detox, this is the hardest part of breaking the cycle of addiction. And this is because individuals are forced to confront and finally deal with many of the same traumas that led to them abusing drugs or alcohol in the first place. This part of their journey to sobriety involves counseling sessions with a licensed therapist. These sessions typically include one or more of the following psychotherapy modalities:

When paired with other addiction recovery treatments, such as medication-assisted detox and addiction education, these psychotherapy modalities can improve one’s chances of achieving long-term sobriety quite a bit.

Addiction Recovery for Individuals With Character Defects: How a 12-Step Program Can Help

Because some character defects can make some individuals more susceptible to relapse, many rehab facilities refer those individuals to support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). In either of these referral programs, individuals can join a 12-step program that helps them identify their specific character defects and learn more about how they might have negatively impacted friends and loved ones.

They also learn to recognize character defects and the behaviors associated with them as problematic rather than just personality quirks. And it does not end there. Whether an individual goes to AA or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), they participate in activities that force them to take a long hard look at how their character defects or shortcomings led them down the path of addiction and how to avoid those pitfalls in the future. One of those activities is making a list of what they believe are their faults, weaknesses, and challenges and then making a second list explaining how they think those shortcomings influence their behavior.

Additional Ways To Deal With Character Defects Commonly Associated With Addiction

While professional addiction recovery treatments and support groups can help most people get and stay clean, they might not be enough for some. But all hope is not lost; there are things they can do to combat character defects that could send them spiraling toward relapse, some of which include

Meditating – Few things can silence ruminating thoughts, cravings, and thoughts of acting out as meditating can. Studies show individuals who meditate for a few minutes each day better appreciate how the mind impacts thoughts and behavior. Meditating also makes it easier to identify self-destructive habits and patterns, which tend to go hand in hand with addiction.

Journaling – Even though the process is old-fashioned and the progress is slow, journaling is an excellent way to control character defects before they give rise to maladaptive behaviors, including addiction. Doing so can also provide a sense of accomplishment whenever someone looks back at the positive and negative entries they made in their journal and know the best is yet to come.

Character defects are part of the human experience. And like co-occurring and stand-alone orders, they can make becoming addicted easy and overcoming addiction hard. Fortunately, there is no shortage of treatments that can help individuals who want to quit drugs or alcohol and are dealing with such defects. To learn more about these treatments, including the ones detailed in this article, consider speaking with a Garden State Treatment Center associate today.

Published on: 2022-12-30
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Does drinking water help flush out medication?

TL;DR – Drinking water can assist in flushing out some medications by supporting kidney function and hydration, but it’s not universally effective for all medications. Always follow specific guidelines provided by healthcare professionals for each medication.

Over the past 30 years, more employers have been requiring their employees to submit to drug tests. In some industries, this drug testing is mandatory, but not every employer requires you to take a drug test. If you are in an industry in which you are required to submit to a drug test, it will be impossible for you to refuse these tests and retain your job. This may be the reason that you want to know if drinking water helps flush out substances from your system, so we will answer this question right now.

drinking water

Can Drinking Water Flush Out Substances?

Gearing up for a pending drug test, contemplating the efficacy of guzzling down lots of water, how much water, enough water, or glasses of water to potentially dilute any substances lingering in your system? This practice, commonly termed “hyper-hydration,” is often hailed as a go-to method by some for detoxification (detox) purposes. However, there’s a split in opinions regarding its effectiveness. Let’s delve deeper into this discourse and decipher whether inundating your system with water truly aids in flushing out substances or if it’s merely a myth.

At the core of understanding the role of water in detoxification lies the intricate functionality of our kidneys. These vital organs serve as the body’s natural filtration system, responsible for sifting through toxins and waste products, ultimately expelling them through urine. So, does increasing water intake amplify this detoxification process?

One school of thought champions the notion that flooding the body with water can indeed expedite the elimination of substances. The rationale behind this belief rests on the premise that by consuming ample water, you effectively bolster urine production. As a result, the concentration of any illicit substances within the urine decreases, potentially rendering them undetectable during a drug test.

Conversely, skeptics argue that hyper-hydration merely dilutes the urine without significantly impacting the concentration of toxins within the body. In essence, while the volume of urine increases, the potency of any residual substances remains relatively unchanged. Moreover, excessively flushing out fluids can disrupt the delicate balance of electrolytes in the body, leading to potential health complications.

glass of water

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the importance of maintaining adequate water intake for overall well-being. Water plays a pivotal role in regulating body temperature, aiding digestion, and facilitating various biochemical processes. Striking a balance in water consumption ensures optimal bodily functions and supports overall health.

When it comes to detoxification and drug testing, relying solely on hyper-hydration may not be the panacea it’s often touted to be. While staying hydrated is undeniably beneficial, particularly for promoting kidney function, it’s unlikely to single-handedly purge your system of illicit substances in a short timeframe.

Instead, adopting a holistic approach to detoxification is advisable. This entails adopting healthy lifestyle practices such as regular exercise, consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and minimizing drug use altogether. Additionally, consult with healthcare professionals for personalized guidance and support tailored to your specific circumstances.

In conclusion, while the idea of hyper-hydration as a detoxification method may hold some appeal, its efficacy remains debatable. Rather than placing undue reliance on excessive water intake as a quick-fix solution, prioritize sustainable lifestyle choices that promote overall health and well-being. Remember, the true essence of detoxification lies not in quick fixes but in nurturing your body through mindful habits and self-care practices.


Sharma, P., Murthy, P., & Bharath, M. M. S. (2010). Chemistry, metabolism, and toxicology of cannabis: Clinical implications. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry, 5(4), 135–140.

Armstrong, L. E., & Johnson, E. C. (2019). Water Intake, Water Balance, and the Elusive Daily Water Requirement. Nutrients, 11(10), 2364.

Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439–458.

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020). Drug Testing. Retrieved from

The Kidneys and Their Job

One of the jobs of the kidneys is to remove toxins from the blood by way of renal excretion. The kidneys’ filtration system filters the plasma and sends it into the renal tubule. In this way, your kidneys filter approximately 20% of the plasma that comes to them. A molecule may be reabsorbed back into the blood after it has been filtered. This requires the molecule to cross membranes, and substances contain molecules that can easily do this. There is also secretion when transporters pump some of the molecules into the renal tubules.

alcohols effects on your kidneys

Hyper-hydration and Renal Excretion

Most of the water that reaches the kidneys is absorbed. Therefore, they do not create more urine by increasing filtration. If the kidneys want to create more urine, they do this by reabsorbing a smaller amount of water.

How Does Hyper-Hydration Impact the Reabsorption of Substances?

When hyper-hydration occurred, researchers learned that the kidneys reabsorbed a little less water. When the water is being reabsorbed into the blood, the urine contains more of the drug’s molecules. Then, the kidneys seek to balance the molecules by reabsorbing the substance into the blood.

When the body absorbs less water, fewer molecules are reabsorbed, and the urine flow speeds up. Because urine is moving faster, the substance has less time to move into the bloodstream. Therefore, if you were to drink more water, it would reduce the reabsorption of water. This will only increase the renal elimination of substances by a modest amount.

Scientists have not performed any research that demonstrates that drinking more water will affect the renal secretion process.

The Bottom Line

Drinking more water will increase renal excretion if the molecules are subject to being reabsorbed. Elimination through the renal process is just one way that substances can be removed from your system. If the other elimination pathways remove the substance faster, increasing renal elimination will not have much of an effect.

Drinking water cannot help eliminate a substance from your body.

hand with pills

An Example

If you have ingested methamphetamine, for example, you will have to wait for your body to eliminate the presence of the substance naturally. In most cases, methamphetamine remains in the body for as long as five days, but it can be a shorter period or a longer period depending on your body type, age, or amount of substance that was taken.

If you are scheduled to take a blood test, be aware that meth can be detected in blood between one and three days. A saliva test can detect meth for up to four days, and a urine test can detect meth between three and five days. A test of your hair follicles can detect methamphetamine for as long as 90 days.

Factors that influence when methamphetamine can be detected in a drug test:

  • Whether or not you have ingested other substances
  • The mood you were in when you ingested the substance
  • Your age, gender, overall health, and tolerance for the drug
  • The dose and how you ingested the substance

Is There Any Way to Mask the Use of Substances before a Drug Test?

There is no way that you can mask the use of illicit substances before a drug test. All that you can do is ensure that you wait long enough for your body to metabolize the substances in their entirety.

Drinking Too Much Water

If you are not convinced that drinking more water cannot flush out substances, you may want to consider the reasons that drinking too much water isn’t good for you before you try it. Drinking too much water can disrupt the functioning of your brain. That is because the water enters your cells, and this results in swelling. If the brain cells begin to swell, it increases the pressure on your brain. When this occurs, you may experience headaches, drowsiness and confusion. As the pressure continues to build, it may lead to a low heart rate or high blood pressure.

Drinking Too Much Water

When you are drinking too much water, your electrolytes often become imbalanced. The electrolyte most affected at this time tends to be the sodium in your blood, so too much water causes a condition known as “hyponatremia.” Sodium has the job of keeping the fluids inside and outside of the cells balanced, and when there is less sodium because there is too much water, fluids make their way into the cells. This causes the cells to swell and then you would be at risk of going into a coma, having a seizure or even dying.

The Alternative

There is an alternative to cheating a drug test. The best way to ensure that a urine, saliva, blood or hair follicle test comes up negative is to refrain from using illicit substances. You may know that you have a problem with substances, but you may not know what to do about it. The Garden State Treatment Center has the answer for you.

Common Reasons People Resist Entering a Drug Treatment Program

One of the most common reasons that people resist drug treatment is because they are concerned about how it will look at work. Another common reason is that they are just not ready to stop using their substances of choice. If the first reason is the reason that you want to make sure that no one at your job knows you are experiencing a substance issue, it is understandable why you would want to cheat a drug test. However, it is not a good idea to continue to hide this issue from people at work, your friends and your family. The best option is to enter a treatment center so that you can get the help that you need.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Another reason that you need to seek treatment for the use of substances is because you may need treatment for a co-occurring mental health disorder. Mental health disorders and substance use disorders are known as “co-occurring” disorders when one person is suffering from both conditions at the same time. At Garden State Treatment Center, we can diagnose and treat a possible mental health disorder and treat your substance use disorder.

It is possible that you are experiencing both disorders. After being diagnosed with a substance use disorder, many people also receive a diagnosis of a mental health disorder. Also, after receiving a diagnosis of a mental health disorder, many people develop substance use disorders.

Why Do Mental Health Disorders and Substance Use Disorders Co-Occur at Such a High Rate?

Both mental health disorders and substance use disorders may be triggered by the same sources. For example, the research demonstrates that several genes contribute to the risk of developing both substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Also, mental health disorders and substance use disorders are associated with the same regions in the brain.

If the mental health disorder presents itself first, it can be the reason that people begin to use substances. This is known as “self-medicating,” and it occurs whether someone has mild, moderate or severe symptoms of a mental health disorder. Substance use can also be the reason that a mental health disorder develops. That is because the use of substances disrupts the same areas in the brain that mental health disorders also disrupt.


Getting Help at Garden State Treatment Center

The best way to make sure that you or your loved one pass a drug test is to never ingest substances in the first place, so if you are ready to enter into treatment for substance use or substance abuse and drug dependency or cravings, the Garden State Treatment Center, a healthcare provider, can help you. We can offer you partial care, an intensive outpatient program (IOP), and evening IOP. If needed, we will place you in our medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and/or dual diagnosis programs. We have a variety of therapy options that include individual addiction counseling, group therapy, couples therapy, and adventure therapy. Contact us today.


  • Does drinking water help flush out medication?
  • What are some uncommon facts about “Does drinking water help flush out medication?”

Published on: 2022-12-30
Updated on: 2024-04-10

Halcion vs. Xanax

Halcion and Xanax are two very commonly prescribed medications for treating anxiety, panic attacks and other conditions. Having numerous medicinal options for treating these conditions is very beneficial because some people may have adverse reactions or better results from one medication over another. However, it’s easy to become confused about what the differences are between medications and how they could affect you for better or worse. Here is everything you need to know about the similarities and differences between Halcion and Xanax to get the most effective and safest treatment possible.

Halcion vs. Xanax

What are Halcion and Xanax Prescribed to Treat?

Halcion, also known as triazolam, and Xanax, also known as alprazolam, are both benzodiazepines that are typically prescribed for anxiety disorders and panic attacks, but they’re also commonly used to treat seizures, depression and insomnia. Benzodiazepines work by slowing activity in the neurotransmitters in the brain, creating a calming effect to counteract the symptoms of anxiety and other conditions.

Is Halcion Stronger than Xanax?

While both Halcion and Xanax have similar effects, Halcion is considered slightly more powerful than Xanax. Studies have shown that triazolam has a stronger effect on motor functions than alprazolam, and triazolam is more fast-acting than alprazolam. Keep in mind that medications affect people differently depending on a wide variety of factors. You may have a stronger or weaker reaction to one medication than someone else. Your dosage may need to be adjusted to better suit your body type and medical history to achieve maximum effectiveness.

What are the Differences Between Halcion and Xanax?

While both are prescribed for treating insomnia, only Halcion is FDA approved for use as a treatment for insomnia. It’s still safe in most cases for Xanax to be used to treat insomnia, but it hasn’t yet received FDA approval to be used for that purpose. Xanax is also more commonly prescribed for use as a treatment for anxiety and panic attacks while Halcion is most commonly used to treat insomnia.

Since Halcion is faster acting and slightly more powerful, dosage recommendations are different between the two drugs. Most doctors recommend a 0.25 mg dose of Halcion daily for the average patient, but the amount may be halved or doubled depending on how the user reacts. Dosage amounts should never exceed 0.5 mg.

Xanax is usually prescribed at 0.25 mg doses three times a day, which may be increased to 0.5 mg at maximum.

Xanax is considered an intermediate-acting drug, which means the effects are felt more slowly, but last longer. Halcion is a short-acting drug with an almost immediate effect, but the effects wear off more quickly.

Dependency issues aren’t as prevalent in users of Halcion as they are in Xanax users, but there is still a significant risk of becoming addicted. Halcion usually has more severe withdrawal symptoms than Xanax, which makes people hesitant to stop taking it. Doctors recommend ending usage of Halcion after a maximum of ten days to avoid developing a dependency.

Xanax is one of the most commonly abused and highly addictive prescription drugs on the market. Studies have shown that around 40% of Xanax users who stay on the medication for longer than six weeks develop a dependency on the drug.

Side Effects of Halcion

The side effects associated with Halcion are typically less frequent and not as severe as the side effects commonly felt by users of Xanax.

As a medication intended to treat insomnia, drowsiness is the most common side effect of Halcion. To help reduce drowsiness during the day, doctors instruct users of Halcion to only take it before bedtime.

Other common mild side effects of Halcion include dizziness, headaches, lightheadedness, numbness, irritability, itchiness, nervousness and loss of coordination.

There are some uncommon and serious side effects of Halcion that require treatment by a doctor. These side effects include memory loss, aggressive behaviors, extreme irritation, confusion, hallucinations, sleepwalking, increased anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts or actions.

Finally, there are some rare but dangerous side effects that require immediate emergency medical attention. These side effects include blurred vision, vision loss, eye pain, vomiting, difficulty breathing, fainting, irregular or fast heartbeat, slurred speech, weakness in the arms and legs, difficulty walking, elevated fever, sweating and shaking.

Side Effects of Xanax

The side effects of Xanax are significantly more common and tend to be more severe. The most common and mildest side effects include fatigue, memory loss, trouble balancing, irritability, dry mouth, constipation, difficulty concentrating, low blood pressure, decreased appetite and muscle weakness.

Less common and slightly more severe side effects of Xanax include vomiting, swollen joints, eye spasms, fever, difficulty breathing, muscle pain, pain while urinating, diarrhea, joint pain, rash, visual and auditory hallucinations, chills and stomach pain.

The rarer and more serious side effects of Xanax include suicidal thoughts, extreme fatigue, numbness in the extremities, increased or irregular heartbeat, aggressive feelings and actions, ear pain, hearing loss, chest pain, lack of responsiveness and swelling.

Symptoms of Halcion and Xanax Overdoses

Overdosing is a risk with any prescription medication, but it’s most common among people who develop a dependency. Using Halcion or Xanax regularly dulls the effects of either drug over time, prompting people to increase their dosage to feel stronger effects. Additionally, people who relapse after having been off of either drug for long periods of time may overdose due to taking their previously increased dosage when their body has been weaned off of the drug and is no longer adapted to it. In some cases, people overdose on accident due to misunderstanding their prescriptions or forgetting when they took their pills. Overdosing on either medication requires immediate medical attention and may result in death if not treated promptly.

The symptoms of Halcion overdoses are extreme drowsiness, slurred speech, confusion, seizures and falling into a coma.

Xanax overdoses cause slow reflexes, nausea, slow and shallow breathing, coordination problems, slurred speech, drowsiness, vomiting and coma.

Is It Safe to Take Halcion and Xanax Together?

Before taking any two prescription drugs together, you need to consult a doctor. Your medical history and other factors may make it riskier for you to take certain drugs together than it would be for other patients. Halcion and Xanax have not been known to cause any severe effects when taken together, but combining the two medications may increase the severity and frequency of the side effects from either drug.

If you or a loved one have developed a dependency on Halcion, Xanax or other prescription drugs, contact Garden State Treatment Center today. They can provide you with valuable information, resources and treatment to help anyone escape the harmful effects of addiction.

Published on: 2022-12-30
Updated on: 2024-02-16