Mental health Archives - Garden State Treatment Center

Spotting Drug Use: Dilated Pupils

The eyes are a window to our souls, so says the old adage. But the truth is, our eyes can give an indication of health in some circumstances. If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, seeing someone who has eyes with the center enlarged, called dilation, can be a red flag. The dilated pupils drugs cause is often a visible sign that a person may have used or abused a substance. And since pupil dilation is a common symptom of drug abuse, understanding which drugs cause this noticeable condition is an important step in helping to navigate addiction. Let’s look at what eye dilation is and which abused substances and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can cause dilation.

Dilated Pupils

Internal vs. External Eye Dilation

The central portion of our eyes, called the pupil, contracts or expands for normal, internally caused reasons as well as external circumstances the body experiences. When we are happy to see someone or something, our eyes may dilate as a result of our natural sympathetic system kicking in. This expanded pupil allows us to see the thing, person, or event a little bit better. Our internal fight-or-flight responses work on the same principle, so dangerous or alarming situations can also cause our pupils to dilate. Brain injuries, eye injuries, and some health disorders can also cause this condition.

But not all eye dilation is caused by naturally occurring internal factors or as a result of an illness or injury. External dilation is caused by some prescription drugs or some commonly misused substances. Most of the external causes are drugs that share common characteristics: they are stimulants or psychotropics. Some dilations result from withdrawals as well, rather than the actual drug abuse itself.

Commonly Abused Drugs That Dilate Pupils

When someone you love struggles with addiction, it is wise to watch for signs that they may have fallen into old (or even new) addictive, dangerous behaviors. The dilated pupils’ drugs can usually cause easy to spot since the eyes take on an unnatural look with pupils that do not contract and enlarge when experiencing light changes or as an emotional response. While dilation doesn’t always indicate drug abuse, for the safety and sobriety of those you love, knowing the drugs that could be at the cause of pupil dilation is necessary to assist those suffering from addiction.

Cocaine and crack cocaine

As stimulants, cocaine and crack cocaine produces recognizable “cocaine eyes” that are described as widely dilated pupils. While the dilated pupils drugs cocaine and crack cocaine cause are visible red flags to those struggling with addiction, other visible symptoms of current use may be agitation, elevated heart rate, tremors or muscle twitching, nausea, insomnia, or other disrupted sleep patterns.

Ecstasy (MDMA)

This highly stimulating substance is well known for its ability to dilate the pupils of users. But other common visible red flags may indicate someone is misusing ecstasy or MDMA (a modification of methamphetamine). Some other potential symptoms that may be present along with dilated pupils have increased body temperature and sweating, high energy, or an increase in the need for tactile sensory input (need for touch or touching others). Sometimes teeth clenching, nausea, chills, or sleep disruptions are noticeable in users of these drugs as well.


This narcotic-like drug not only produces dilated pupils but also can create noticeably involuntary eye movements. Those struggling with addiction to ketamine may also appear sedated or calm as this drug’s intended use is as a “dissociative anesthetic” that allows users to feel detached from their pain or environment. Other visible side effects of using ketamine may be salivation, increased tear production, nausea, and stiffening of muscles, in addition to pupil dilation.

Bath Salts

Originally developed as research drugs that were fairly recently sold OTC, bath salts mimic drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, and methamphetamines. Bath salts users will experience pupil dilation, but other visible cues that bath salts are being abused may be a prolonged agitated state, increased energy, trouble sleeping as well as rapid heart rate.


Those who misuse LSD, also known as acid, will experience not only pupil dilation but also other effects to the nervous system that users will not be able to control, such as distorted equilibrium, disorganized speech, or extreme movement changes like sitting still for hours. Those who are struggling with the misuse of LSD may also unexpectedly become violent or become dangerous for no apparent reason.


Although the exact reasons why are unclear, ingesting marijuana or its key component, THC, will dilate the user’s pupils. This red flag can indicate possible cannabis use, but other visible cues that someone has abused cannabis may be the addition of redness in the eyes as well, a common side effect of using this substance.


This hallucinogenic drug that is derived from a cactus is also known as peyote, buttons, moon, or cactus. Users of mescaline will not only have dilated pupils but may also experience distortions of reality through hallucinations, have a rapid heartbeat, experience “mixed” senses, or become anxious.

Withdrawal from These Drugs Causes Pupil Dilation

Sometimes the drug use itself is not the cause of pupil dilation. Withdrawal symptoms from heroin and other opioids like Oxycontin and Fentanyl can produce dilated pupils during the period of time users stop using the substance, and their body becomes physically free from the substance.

Prescription and OTC Medications That Cause Dilation

Whether these substances are prescribed and used appropriately or used without cause, these commonly prescribed prescriptions and over-the-counter medications can cause eyes to dilate. Most of these substances work by interfering with a person’s neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers in the brain. The neurotransmitters play a part in eye dilation, so the use of any of these OTC or prescription drugs may cause dilation along with producing other side effects to the body.

  • Antihistamines These OTC medications are commonly used to treat seasonal, food, and pet allergies. This category of drugs works by blocking the natural body immune response to irritants that trigger allergic symptoms like itching, swelling, or a runny nose. A commonly used OTC antihistamine is Benadryl.
  • Decongestants Another common OTC drug type that may cause dilation are decongestants like the Sudafed, which comes in a pill form, or even the nasal spray Afrin. These types of medicines restrict blood vessels in the nose to decrease congestion.
  • Antidepressants This class of prescription drugs affects the natural serotonin and norepinephrine, two of the body’s chemical messengers.
  • SSRIs are Used to treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD; selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to enhance the naturally occurring serotonin in the brain. SSRIs are the most commonly prescribed depression medications.
  • Benzodiazepines This type of prescription medication is used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and seizures. These medications relax the muscles by affecting a neurotransmitter in the body called GABA.
  • Anticholinergics This type of prescription medication works by blocking the body’s ability to contract specific muscles. As a result, these drugs are used commonly to treat COPD, nausea, overactive bladder or incontinence, as well as motion sickness.
  • Anticonvulsants/Antiepileptics Phenobarbital is a common barbiturate that is used to affect the nerve impulses in the brain that contribute to epilepsy or other seizure disorders.
  • Stimulants commonly used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are well known to cause pupil dilation with use.
  • Dopamine precursors For movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease, dopamine precursors are used to encourage the neurotransmitter dopamine and, as a result, may cause dilation.
  • Mydriatics This medication is specifically intended to dilate the eyes and is used primarily by doctors during eye examinations or eye surgeries.

The Opposite: Pupil Constriction

For every action, there is an opposite reaction. Pupils can constrict and turn into a pinpoint rather than expanding to dilation. Eyes that pinpoint unnaturally (without extreme light exposure) may be the result of an overdose. Consumption of heroin and opioids causes pinpoint pupils, but anyone displaying constricted pupils is at risk of overdosing.


  • Drugs that cause dilated pupils?

Published on: 2022-01-26
Updated on: 2024-04-07

Dangers in Smoking embalming fluid

Drug use can involve many substances, including many that would surprise the uninitiated. Embalming fluid, which contains many dangerous chemicals and is meant for preserving bodies, is commonly used to get high. Some people use the substance to dissolve PCP, a synthetic drug with multiple dangerous properties. Others dip marijuana or tobacco cigarettes into the fluid to increase the effect.

Smoking embalming fluid in any form and for any reason is hazardous. For one thing, PCP and similar drugs are highly addictive. Once the body has become accustomed to the substance, a painful, risky withdrawal process is the only way to break free. Embalming fluid also causes aggressive behavior while bringing a host of health risks, including seizures, brain damage, and cancer.

If you habitually smoke embalming fluid, you need to seek professional care as soon as possible. Medical detox is the only safe way to overcome your addiction, and working with professionals will also give you the best chance to build a clean, healthy life in the months after leaving the drug behind. Embalming fluid might be a dangerous, addictive substance, but options are always available for beating the addiction.

Embalming Fluid Defined

Embalming fluid is commonly used in funeral homes to prepare dead bodies for burial. The main ingredients include formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, and methanol, which can help preserve dead tissue but are extremely dangerous when consumed by a living person.

When you see a dead body displayed, it is usually preserved with embalming fluid. You might also recognize the smell of formaldehyde from biology class since it’s often used to prepare dead animals for dissection.

Why People Smoke Embalming Fluid

There are two main reasons people smoke embalming fluid: to consume PCP or enhance the effects of some cigarettes. PCP, a synthetic drug known for its hallucinogenic effects, can’t be dissolved in water. Therefore, many people turn to an embalming fluid to dissolve the drug in a readily-available liquid. Once the drug has been dissolved in the embalming fluid, a user can dip a cigarette into the mixture and smoke it to feel the desired effects. These dipped cigarettes are commonly referred to as “wet drugs.”

Dangers in Smoking embalming fluid

Some users will dip cigarettes into an embalming fluid that doesn’t contain a dissolved substance. The chemicals within the liquid, while dangerous, are said by many to enhance the effects of marijuana or tobacco.

The Drug That’s Mixed With Embalming Fluid

PCP, technically known as phencyclidine, is a hazardous drug with countless problematic side effects. While it’s illegal to manufacture the drug, the ease of production has led to a thriving underground market. Illegal producers can manufacture the drug with simple equipment and inexpensive ingredients, making it almost impossible for authorities to stop production at the source.

In its impure powder form, PCP cannot be dissolved in water, and that’s why many users and dealers have turned to embalming fluid. By dissolving the powder in a liquid, they turn the drug into something to coat cigarettes. This process is designed to make the drug smokable.

Common Lingo: Angel Dust and Sherm

To understand the presence of drugs in your life or your community, it’s vital to grasp everyday slang and popular nicknames for substances. PCP is often referred to as “angel dust,” a likely allusion to the white powdered form that the substance sometimes takes. The word “sherm,” meanwhile, refers to a tobacco or marijuana cigarette that has been dipped in a mixture of PCP and embalming fluid. This seemingly random nickname stems from the cigarettes’ appearance, which resembles Nat Sherman cigarettes.

How Dealers Obtain Embalming Fluid

While embalming fluid is hardly a household good, it’s surprisingly easy to get your hands on. You can buy the substance in bulk from a manufacturer, but most dealers choose a more straightforward route: getting it on the sly from people who work in the funeral home industry. Anyone with the right connections can sneak small amounts of fluid away from a facility without being caught. The daily diversion of embalming fluid from legitimate sources is enough to fuel the illegal trade.

Common Side Effects From Smoking Embalming Fluid

Smoking embalming fluid with or within dissolved drugs inside is dangerous and addictive. Many side effects are associated with the substance, some of which can even prove deadly. While users might consider specific results desirable, there’s no escaping the general destructive nature of the substance.

When someone smokes embalming fluid, they often experience an elevated mood. They’ll notice a sudden rush of adrenaline and a sense of detachment from the problems in their life. Hallucinations and delusions are also common, and they sometimes have deadly consequences. People who have smoked embalming fluid have been known to become angry and aggressive, putting everyone around them at risk. Users can also endanger themselves by acting out their delusions. In some cases, people have jumped off buildings in the false belief that they could fly.

Like alcohol, embalming fluid causes impaired mobility and coordination, making it highly dangerous for anyone operating a motor vehicle. It can also infringe on a person’s memory and even cause total blackouts. Taken together, these side effects make the consumption of angel dust, Sherm’s, and all wet drugs a hazardous activity.

Embalming Fluid Health Risks

As you would imagine, embalming fluid is a highly toxic substance. After all, it’s designed for preserving dead bodies, not contributing to the health of a living organism. Long-term use of the substance can cause several devastating health issues, including cancer, brain damage, lung damage, seizures, tissue destruction, comas, and even death.

Addiction and Treatment

Embalming fluid, primarily when used alongside other drugs, can prove highly addictive. Not only does the mind crave additional highs, but the body comes to depend on the substance for its daily functioning. These addictive qualities make the substance especially dangerous.

Because of its addictive qualities, embalming fluid is tricky for users to quit independently. Not only are cravings all but irresistible, but physical side effects can also prove dangerous. To overcome the substance once and for all, it’s best to go through a professional treatment center.

Why a Medical Detox is Necessary

When the body has become accustomed to embalming fluid, the sudden cessation of consumption can have serious medical consequences. While withdrawal from the substance is rarely deadly, it brings a host of painful side effects. People often experience depression and anxiety alongside intense cravings upon quitting the drug. The strength of these unpleasant symptoms often drives people to relapse and resume their substance use.

Medical detox is the best way to control nasty symptoms and avoid a devastating relapse. The doctors at a treatment center can help individuals through the challenging first week. Once the worst effects of withdrawal have subsided, the newly clean individual can start developing coping mechanisms to defeat the addiction.

Seeking Professional Treatment

Overcoming an addiction is a long, arduous process, and most people struggle to do it alone. Luckily, support structures are available to help people through this challenging process. Facilities like the Garden State Treatment Center provide 24-hour care, giving patients the resources they need to fight through withdrawal and build a better life. Counseling sessions help develop a sense of mental fortitude, and peer groups provide additional moral support.

Smoking embalming fluid is undoubtedly a dangerous activity, but there’s no reason it has to be a death sentence. With the right strategy, it’s always possible to overcome addiction and lead a drug-free life. If you or a loved one are suffering from this addiction, seek professional assistance as soon as possible. A happier, healthier existence could be just a few weeks away.


  • What are the dangers in smoking embalming fluid?

Published on: 2021-11-27
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Understanding Amitriptyline Withdrawal

Amitriptyline hydrochloride was initially manufactured as Elavil and was one of the most popular early antidepressant drugs. Although the brand Elavil is no longer sold, the generic amitriptyline hydrochloride is still available today. In addition to treating depression, physicians often prescribe a tricyclic antidepressant to treat neuropathic pain. It is also used to treat some anxiety disorders, and it even has uses in treating nocturnal bedwetting for children. As it is with other prescription drugs, withdrawal can occur with Elavil. It is essential to know what causes withdrawal, how to recognize it, and what to do.

Amitriptyline Pills

What Causes Amitriptyline Withdrawal?

The main reason for withdrawal is stopping the use of amitriptyline. A person may stop using it altogether and suddenly. More severe side effects may be associated with suddenly stopping amitriptyline after using it for a long time or taking a larger dose. When stopping the medication, whether to discontinue treatment or switch to a different antidepressant, it is crucial to taper off to minimize withdrawal symptoms properly. A professional can guide how to taper off, offering specific dosing recommendations based on the current dose.

Signs of Amitriptyline Withdrawal

The signs of withdrawal may vary from one person to another. While some people may experience a broad spectrum of symptoms, others may only notice a few. The effects of withdrawal are not as severe as with medications that have a much higher potential for abuse. Withdrawal from the drug is often called antidepressant discontinuation syndrome, or ADS. These are some of the most common symptoms that people experience when they stop taking amitriptyline.

Flu-Like Feelings

Especially when a person takes a larger dose of amitriptyline, it is common to feel like the flu hits after discontinuing the drug. People often feel like their muscles are achy, weak, or tired. They may have chills, and some people may develop a low-grade fever. Sweating is also common, with or without chills. It is also common to feel exhausted and have achy joints.

Headaches and Pain

Because amitriptyline effectively treats several types of pain, discontinuing it can bring a swift return to the original pain. Headaches are common after stopping the drug, and this is incredibly uncomfortable for people who use amitriptyline to treat frequent migraines.

Mood Changes

As it is with discontinuing an antidepressant, stopping the use of amitriptyline can come with a variety of mood-related shifts. Although withdrawal can be more uncomfortable for people who take the drug for depression or anxiety, mood changes and psychological effects may also happen to people who take it for pain and then discontinue it. These are some of the possible psychological or mood-related symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Strange dreams
  • Memory changes
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Crying
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts


Amitriptyline affects multiple neurotransmitters in the brain and blocks some of them. Because it alters how the brain functions, stopping the drug suddenly can cause a flurry of changes as the brain tries to adjust. As this happens, it is common to feel hypersensitivity to light, sound, or other stimulants in the environment. That hypersensitivity can be distressing, leading to crying spells, mood swings, and a rollercoaster of different feelings.

Amitriptyline Medication

How Long Do Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

The short answer is one to three weeks. However, the most noticeable symptoms will usually occur within a few days of stopping the medication. This may not be the case for all people. For example, some people may notice more severe symptoms after a week. While many people experience mild symptoms, others may have more severe ones. The good news is that most discomfort, especially flu-like symptoms, will resolve quickly. People who experience lasting psychological symptoms may need additional treatment. Because of the risks of psychological changes, it is vital to have professional supervision during withdrawal.

Treating Withdrawal From Amitriptyline

Withdrawal from amitriptyline, commonly marketed as Elavil (elavil withdrawal), necessitates a nuanced approach tailored to each individual’s dosage and sensitivity. While some may successfully taper off the medication under the guidance of a professional from the comfort of their homes, others with a history of severe mental health conditions may require more intensive treatment during the withdrawal process. This differentiation underscores the absence of a universal tapering regimen applicable to all cases.

Individuals that experience withdrawal symptoms from amitriptyline can manifest differently and may include tiredness, among other potential effects. The withdrawal timeline duration and intensity of these symptoms vary, further emphasizing the importance of personalized treatment plans. Healthcare professionals are adept at crafting tapering schedules that minimize discomfort and prevent adverse effects, drawing on their expertise to determine the optimal duration for each reduced dosage.

Consideration of the type of antidepressant medication, along with adherence to FDA regulations, is integral to the withdrawal process. While amitriptyline is generally well-tolerated, transitioning to alternative medications with potentially fewer side effects may be beneficial for some individuals. This transition should be undertaken under medical supervision to ensure a smooth and safe tapering process.

In cases where individuals develop dependence on amitriptyline, supervised detox programs offer valuable support. These programs provide a structured environment for managing withdrawal symptoms and addressing any underlying issues contributing to dependence. Through collaboration with healthcare professionals, individuals can navigate the withdrawal process with confidence, paving the way for a successful transition to alternative supplement treatments and improved well-being.

Amitriptyline Pill

Risks of Amitriptyline Dependence

Although amitriptyline has a lower abuse potential than some other prescription drugs prescribed to treat pain, such as opioids, people can still misuse it. For instance, someone with depression or anxiety may take amitriptyline and start taking a larger-than-recommended dose after experiencing a traumatic event. As the brain and body adjust to the larger quantity, the person may become dependent on the drug over time. A person who takes amitriptyline for pain may take larger doses over time to treat additional or increasing pain.

Taking large doses of amitriptyline over time can lead to cardiac changes and signs of toxicity. These are some of the potential side effects of taking too much amitriptyline:

  • Irregular heartbeat or rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Labored or slowed respiration
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Vision changes

An overdose may also lead to unconsciousness or other severe adverse effects. Anyone who suspects an amitriptyline overdose should call 911 immediately.

Detox for Amitriptyline Dependence or Misuse

Detoxification from amitriptyline, a common medication used to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder and chronic pain, is a crucial process for individuals who have become dependent on or misused the drug. Amitriptyline, sold under various brand names, is an antidepressant medication known for its effectiveness in managing mood disorders and alleviating pain. However, its potential for misuse and dependence necessitates a structured detox program under medical supervision.

Amitriptyline has a half-life ranging from 10 to 28 hours, indicating that it takes several days for the drug to completely leave the body. Even after cessation, traces of amitriptyline can linger in bodily fluids, with detectable levels in urine for up to a month and in hair for up to three months. Despite these lingering traces, detoxification is essential to break the cycle of dependence and prevent further misuse.

Individuals who have taken amitriptyline for extended periods or at high doses may require medical intervention to detoxify from the drug safely. Under the guidance of healthcare professionals specializing in psychiatry and addiction medicine, a detox program addresses the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the individual’s well-being. Medical supervision ensures that uncomfortable symptoms, such as drowsiness and disruptions to the nervous system, are managed effectively.

Moreover, seeking medical advice before initiating a detox program is paramount, especially considering the potential risks associated with the abrupt discontinuation of amitriptyline. Healthcare providers can offer personalized guidance based on the individual’s medical history and current needs, minimizing the risk of withdrawal symptoms and complications.

It’s important to note that detoxification from amitriptyline should always be conducted under the supervision of qualified healthcare professionals. This article serves as a general overview and does not constitute medical advice. Individuals considering a detox program should consult with their healthcare provider for personalized recommendations and guidance.

In conclusion, detoxification from amitriptyline dependence or misuse requires a comprehensive approach that addresses the unique needs of each individual. Through medical supervision, individuals can safely navigate the process, leading to improved well-being and reduced risk of further harm.

Amitriptyline Meds

Finding Help for Amitriptyline Detox and Withdrawal in New Jersey

If you or someone you know is planning to stop using amitriptyline, we are here to help. We especially encourage anyone who has a history of substance misuse or mental health struggles to work with us to safely detox from amitriptyline or any other prescription drug that affects brain function. Detoxing can come with a wide range of emotions, which may lead to unsafe thoughts or behavior. When discontinuing amitriptyline after misuse, the temptation to relapse and take a large dose exists for people who experience physical or psychological discomfort.

At Garden State Treatment Center, we take a customized approach to substance misuse and mental health treatment. Since many substance misuse problems stem from mental health conditions, we simultaneously use dual diagnosis treatment to address all co-occurring issues. We offer multiple therapy structures at our Sparta facility, including addiction treatment options, treatment of depression, antidepressant withdrawal, amitriptyline withdrawal symptoms and withdrawal effects recovery, and others utilizing various practical approaches that help people learn behavior causes or triggers and develop strategies to overcome or cope with life’s issues and life-threatening cases. To learn more about amitriptyline withdrawal and detox in New Jersey, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.


  • What are amitriptyline withdrawal symptoms?
  • How do I manage dizziness as a withdrawal symptom after stopping using Amitriptyline?

Published on: 2021-11-21
Updated on: 2024-03-25

What is the Strongest Anti-Anxiety Medication?

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health condition in the United States, affecting roughly 14 million men and women over 18. The majority of people who struggle with anxiety suffer from moderate or mild generalized anxiety, though many other varieties — including social anxiety and panic disorder. Most people experience a touch of anxiety on occasion, usually based on their current circumstances.

However, once the circumstance or situation resolves, the anxiety subsides, continuing with their day-to-day life. Unfortunately, for people struggling with a diagnosable anxiety disorder, this panicked feeling never goes away, and over time it becomes entirely crippling. Therefore, if a person is diagnosed with any type of anxiety disorder, they are often treated with a combination of intensive psychotherapy and anti-anxiety medication.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

Also known as benzodiazepines, include brand-name drugs like Xanax, Klonopin, and Valium. Because these drugs can be extremely habit-forming when taken for an extended period. They are generally only prescribed to be taken short-term, like at the onset of a panic attack. But which anxiety medication is the strongest, and which is the most commonly abused?

What Is the Strongest Anti-Anxiety Medication?

The Strongest Anxiety Medications

The strongest type of anxiety medication currently available is benzodiazepines, more specifically Xanax. It is important to note that benzodiazepines are not the only medication used to treat anxiety; however, they are the most potent and habit-forming. Other types of medication commonly used to treat anxiety include:

  • Beta-blockers.
  • Antidepressants.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants.
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors.
  • Anticonvulsant medications.
  • Mild tranquilizers.

If a person wants to stay away from prescription medications completely, some over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the symptoms of an anxiety attack. For example, a person might take acetaminophen with diphenhydramine, something along the lines of Advil PM. However, it is never recommended to self-medicate a disorder of any kind. Doing so can be extremely dangerous.

Dual Diagnosis Disorders

Many people who struggle with anxiety disorders simultaneously struggle with substance abuse and dependence. This is known as a dual diagnosis disorder. Dual diagnosis disorders can develop in three distinct ways. First of all, the risk factors for both disorders (anxiety and addiction) tend to overlap.

These risk factors include genetic predisposition, upbringing, and environmental factors. Secondly, someone with an untreated anxiety disorder might be inclined to self-medicate symptoms with alcohol or drugs. Finally, certain drugs can lead to the development of anxiety disorders.

Garden State Treatment Center and Benzodiazepine Addiction Recovery

At Garden State Treatment Center, we understand just how difficult it can be to admit you have a prescription drug problem to yourself, let alone to other people. Rest assured that every one of our admissions counselors has either been through addiction themselves and come out the other side or has helped a family member or close friend through the process.

We will help you with no judgment – with nothing but compassion and understanding. As soon as you decide to contact us, we will begin developing a plan that involves how you will get the treatment you need as quickly as possible.

Get On The Path Of Recovery From Benzo Dependence

We believe that quality clinical care should be readily available to everyone who needs it, especially those struggling with a drug addiction that can be fatal, like a benzodiazepine addiction. Many people mistakenly believe that because a knowledgeable professional prescribes prescription drugs, they are always safe to use. While they are typically safe to use when they’re used as directed, if they are abused, they can lead to a range of serious issues like physical dependence, overdose, and fatality. Call us today to receive the addiction treatment you both need and deserve.


  • What is the strongest anti-anxiety medication?
  • How can anxiety treatment in New Jersey help individuals dealing with both anxiety and addiction?

Published on: 2021-08-25
Updated on: 2024-02-16

How Dangerous is Smoking Crack?

Crack, or crack cocaine, is an illegal stimulant drug that is made from the powdered version of cocaine. Baking soda or ammonia is mixed with water and powdered cocaine and cooked until it forms a solid substance.

Once it dries and hardens, it is broken down into rocks and smoked by the user in a glass tube, usually referred to as a crack pipe. Crack cocaine is more potent than powdered cocaine because all impurities are cooked out, making it that much more dangerous.

How Does a Crack Work?

When the crack is smoked, it puts the drug straight into the user’s lungs, causing an immediate but short-lived high that lasts anywhere from 5-15 minutes. Once the drug enters the brain, it causes a massive and excessive dump of dopamine.

Dopamine is responsible for causing feelings of pleasure. Once the high wears off, the user will have a strong desire for more of the drug. This is how to crack cocaine addiction forms. This drug is so powerful and dangerous that a user can get hooked even after the first hit.

How Dangerous Smoking Crack Can Be?

Smoking crack is a quick and easy way to turn your life upside down because of how incredibly addictive it is. It has the ability to destroy both your mental and your physical health. It is also very common for many users to turn to stealing, drug dealing, and prostitution to afford their drug habit. As a result, crack puts your entire well-being in danger.

How Dangerous is Smoking Crack?

Major Organ Damage After Smoking Crack

Long-term or heavy crack cocaine use can cause major organ damage. It can cause heart, kidney, and lung function to deteriorate. In addition, many crack smokers can experience respiratory problems like shortness of breath, coughing, lung damage, and bleeding.

The most major form of organ damage is to your heart. Stimulant drugs like crack put a significant amount of strain on the heart, especially in long-term addiction. As a result, you can experience chest pains, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and, most serious, a heart attack. A heart attack is even possible for the first time.

Psychological Problems and Brain Damage After Crack Use

Smoking crack changes the way your brain will function and can even lead to a stroke. As your body gets used to having the crack in your system, it no longer knows how to function properly without it. Most notably, crack cocaine use has a massive impact on the psychiatric health of a person. Some of the psychiatric effects can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Mood changes
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Aggressive and violent behavior

Signs of Dependence Crack Use

Cocaine in any form is dangerous, but smoking crack tends to be that much more dangerous because it allows for immediate effects to the lungs, heart, and brain, causing a rapid addiction. There are some signs to look out for that someone is addicted to smoking crack. You will likely notice behavioral changes before you see physical ones. You will see changes in their level of motivation, social groups, and overall attitude.

Their relationships with family and friends will likely deteriorate, and they will become distant and hostile. They may begin lying and stealing to get what they need to fuel the addiction, despite who they hurt in the process.

Overcome Crack Misuse at Garden State Treatment Center

Even though smoking crack will undoubtedly lead to a dangerous addiction, there is a way out. Treatment centers like Garden State dedicate themselves to providing the support and care necessary to get on the road to recovery.

We suggest you contact one of our addiction specialists so they can help you find out the best treatment options for you. They are available around the clock and all called are free and confidential, it is time to take the important step to become free of addiction before it is too late.

Published on: 2021-08-04
Updated on: 2024-02-29

Why is the IV Dilaudid Rush so Strong?

Dilaudid is the brand name for the drug hydromorphone, an opioid narcotic painkiller used to treat moderate or severe pain. Dilaudid can be administered orally (taken in a pill form) or intravenously (injected directly into the bloodstream through the veins). Painkillers are only used intravenously in professional medical settings – for example, in a hospital setting after a patient undergoes a surgical procedure, or in a cancer treatment ward.

Intravenous Dilaudid Abuse and Addiction

A medical professional will never hand over liquid Dilaudid and a syringe and say, “Here you go, inject two and call me in the morning.” If you know someone who has been using Dilaudid intravenously, there is a very good chance that he or she is suffering at the hands of a serious substance abuse disorder. Why do people who are not experiencing moderate or severe pain use IV Dilaudid?

In large part, it is because the rush they experience is so strong. Using a medication (or an illicit drug) intravenously always leads to a more intense rush, or “high.” However, using drugs intravenously also leads to a range of other serious issues and health-related complications. If you or someone you know has been dabbling in intravenous Dilaudid abuse, Garden State Treatment Center is available to help. Our comprehensive program of opioid addiction recovery takes all of the underlying factors of drug addiction into careful consideration and works to heal clients on a mental and emotional basis as well as a physical basis. To learn more about our program of Dilaudid addiction recovery, simply contact us over the phone or through our website.

Why is the IV Dilaudid Rush so Strong?

Why is the Rush From IV Dilaudid So Powerful?

There have been numerous studies conducted on the “rush” that goes hand-in-hand with intravenous Dilaudid use. According to an article published by the US National Library of Medicine, this notorious “rush: is related to the act of injecting the drug itself.  In a controlled study it was found that injecting a potent opioid-like Dilaudid resulted in feelings of “excitement, pleasure, thirst, strength, and anxiety.” While only two of the three feelings are favorable, all of these feelings increase adrenaline, which could be considered a “rush.” After the first instance of intravenous Dilaudid use, however, this “rush” becomes more and more difficult to achieve, which rapidly leads to physical and psychological dependence.

Dangers Involved in Intravenous Dilaudid Abuse

There are many additional dangers involved in intravenous drug use, including:

  • Abscesses and skin infections
  • Track marks
  • Permanent scarring
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • The contraction of blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV
  • Overdose-related death

Some people might mistakenly believe that because Dilaudid is a prescription medication – one that is initially prescribed by a medical professional – it is safer to use than illicit opioids like heroin. This is only true when Dilaudid is used exactly as prescribed, and if it is being injected in an at-home setting, there is a very slim chance that this is the case.

Begin Your Journey of Recovery from Dilaudid Addiction

Using Dilaudid intravenously is extremely dangerous for several reasons – the most significant being the inherent risk of overdose-related death that goes hand-in-hand with unsupervised IV drug use. If you or someone you love has been using any type of drug intravenously, seeking professional help sooner rather than later is extremely important.

The moment you give Garden State Treatment Center a call we will begin formulating a plan for intake – we know just how time-sensitive receiving treatment can be for those who have already progressed to injecting their drug of choice. We look forward to speaking with you as soon as you decide to contact us, and helping you begin living an entirely new way of life as soon as possible.

Published on: 2021-04-16
Updated on: 2024-04-28

Which Type of Alcohol is the Most Dangerous?

Alcohol abuse is one of the most serious public health threats that Americans currently face – and it has been a major area of concern for quite some time. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 14.1 million Americans over the age of 18 had a diagnosable alcohol use disorder in the year 2019 alone. More men struggle with alcohol use disorders than women – 8.9 million as compared to 5.2 million, respectively.

Alcohol abuse is not the only danger involved in excessive alcohol consumption. According to the same NIDA report, roughly 95,000 Americans lose their lives to alcohol-related causes on an annual basis. When considering alcohol and how dangerous it is for several reasons, you might be wondering whether or not one type of alcohol is more dangerous than another.

Is Alcohol Dangerous to the Body?

When it comes to alcohol abuse and dependence, men and women who struggle with excessive alcohol consumption tend to convince themselves that one type of alcohol is less dangerous, less habit-forming, or generally safer to use. For example, someone who struggles with alcoholism might convince themselves that beer is safer to drink than liquor, seeing as beer has a lower alcohol content. The truth is that all alcohol is equally as harmful when substance abuse or dependence is involved. For more information on alcohol abuse, reach out to us today.

types of alcohol

Most Dangerous Types of Alcohol 

Even though drinking is never safe for an individual who has been struggling with substance abuse, there are some particularly dangerous types of alcohol currently in circulation. The most dangerous types of alcohol are as follows:

  • Everclear – This type of grain alcohol is 190 proof in its purest form, making it the most dangerous kind of alcohol a person can consume. Even two shots of Everclear can land a person in the emergency room – easily.
  • Absinthe – Traditionally, this type of alcohol is made with wormwood, which is a naturally occurring hallucinogen. Additionally, many types of Absinthe are around 70% alcohol.

There are also many dangerous cocktails – for example, The Four Horsemen is a “cocktail” made up of four different shots of pure liquor, and a Long Island is an “iced tea-tasting” cocktail made from five different types of liquor and a splash of Coca-Cola. Again – and we can’t stress this enough – there is no “safe” liquor or cocktail when it comes to alcoholism. Alcoholism is a disease that revolves around a mental obsession with alcohol. Even one sip of an alcoholic beverage that others would consider mellow can be enough to send someone struggling with alcoholism into a serious downward spiral.

Recovery from Alcoholism is Possible

If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of an alcohol abuse disorder, Garden State Treatment Center is available to help. Our program of alcohol addiction recovery is integrated, meaning that it tackles the underlying causes of alcohol addiction as well as the symptoms themselves. Because alcoholism is such a complex disease, a multi-faceted approach to clinical care is always necessary. We utilize a range of evidence-based therapies, 12-step support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, and the careful development of highly personalized aftercare plans. Alcohol addiction recovery is not a journey that simply ends once inpatient treatment has concluded. Aftercare is essential to long-term success.

Alcohol Rehab at Garden State Treatment Center 

At Garden State Treatment Center we thoroughly treat all symptoms related to alcohol abuse and dependence. We teach our clients how important complete abstinence is, and how all forms of alcohol are extremely dangerous to those with a personal history of substance abuse. To learn more about our personalized recovery program or to learn more about the most dangerous types of alcohol, call Garden State Treatment Center today. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any additional questions you may have.


  • How is liquor made?
  • What is the most dangerous alcohol?
  • Which alcohol is bad for health?
  • Which Type of Alcohol is the Most Dangerous?
  • Is wormwood psychedelic?

Published on: 2021-02-14
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Do Opiates Make You Sleepy?

Opiates are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant. Some prescription opiates are made from the plant directly, and others are made by scientists in labs using the same chemical structure. Opiates are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that relax the body and can relieve pain. Prescription opiates are used mostly to treat moderate to severe pain, though some opioids can be used to treat coughing and diarrhea.

Opiates can also make people feel very relaxed and “high” – which is why they are sometimes used for non-medical reasons. This can be dangerous because opioids can be highly addictive, and overdoses and death are common.

Do Opiates Make You Sleepy?

Opiates and Pain Relief

Opiates are effective for pain relief, but because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they can be misused by taking a larger quantity than prescribed or taken without a doctor’s prescription. Regular use, even as prescribed by a doctor, can lead to dependence and, when misused, can lead to addiction, overdose incidents, and deaths.

Some of the most common opiates include:

  • Prescription painkillers
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone
  • Vicodin
  • Oxycodone
  • OxyContin
  • Percocet
  • Heroin

Some may think because when they are on opiates and they get drowsy and nod off for a bit, that they are good for sleep. But do opiates make you sleepy? Yes, they make you drowsy because your respiratory system slows down but they are not considered a sleep aid. They can be dangerous when taking too much and your heart can slow down that you stop breathing.

Opiates Cause Fatigue and Sleepiness

Because opiates are depressants, users inevitably experience fatigue while using the drug. Fatigue often creates disorientation, dizziness, and random moments of hyperactivity or excitability. Equally devastating is how opiates affect the deepest phase of sleep, rapid eye movement sleep. During this phase, the body is at its least active and the mind at its most active. Even though opiates are painkillers that induce drowsiness, they do not necessarily induce restful sleep. Opiate abuse can lead to insomnia and disturbed sleep.

There is more than just sleep that is affected. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), in the short term, opioids can relieve pain and make people feel relaxed and happy. However, opioids can also have harmful effects, including:

  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Euphoria
  • Slowed breathing

Opioid misuse can cause slowed breathing, which can cause hypoxia, a condition that results when too little oxygen reaches the brain. Hypoxia can have short- and long-term psychological and neurological effects, including coma, permanent brain damage, or death. Researchers are also investigating the long-term effects of opioid addiction on the brain, including whether the damage can be reversed.

Physical Dependency on Opiates

The physical dependence on a drug means that a person’s brain structure and brain chemicals have altered to accommodate the drug. When the person stops using opiates, their body has to adapt to not having the drug in the body, which results in withdrawal symptoms.

When a person stops taking opiates, they may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as pain, body aches, fatigue, and nausea. The symptoms of opiate withdrawal can be very distressing, but they are rarely life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms can arise hours after the last dose of the drug and may last for a week or more.

There are several treatments and detox options for the removal of opiates from the body. Medical detox, for instance, includes both medical and psychological treatments while under the close supervision of both medical and mental health specialists in a safe and comforting residential setting, while standard detox may be performed on an outpatient basis.

Opiate Addiction Treatment 

At Garden State Treatment Center we can get you on your path to recovery. Our Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medication along with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders, most commonly geared for opioid addicts.

At Garden State Treatment Center, we offer a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program that is perfectly suited to assist our clients that need to build a strong relapse prevention plan. Call today and let’s walk the path to recovery together.


  • Does oxycodone make you sleepy?
  • Is it normal that Opiates don’t make you sleepy?

Published on: 2021-01-13
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Does Xanax Help With Insomnia?

Xanax, or Alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It acts on the brain and the central nervous system to produce a calming effect on the body. This drug works but mimics the brain’s GABA neurotransmitter to provide a sedating effect. This drug calms you down and makes you sleepy, which is why many people think it is okay to take to treat insomnia. Insomnia is difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking up too early. Insomnia can affect your energy level, mood, health, performance at work, and general quality of life.

Sleep Disorders

Dangers of Xanax for Sleep Disorders

In their early life, Xanax was prescribed to treat insomnia beginning in the early 1970s; however, Xanax has rarely prescribed anymore for treating this sleep disorder, and it is no longer recommended because of the drug’s high potential for dependence and addiction. Yes, Xanax will ultimately make you very sleepy; however, its short half-life is not as effective as other medications and has a high risk for dependence and addiction.

Xanax has a very high risk of dependency, abuse, and addiction. You can become physically dependent upon this drug even if you take it as prescribed, and you will most likely experience withdrawal. Withdrawal is a combination of mental and physical symptoms that a person experiences when they stop taking to decrease their intake of a drug like Xanax.

Whether you are physically dependent and/or abusing Xanax, this drug can worsen insomnia due to withdrawal. During withdrawal of the drug, a person may experience a worsened return of insomnia symptoms while the brain tries to rebound without the drugs. In fact, according to NIH:

Rebound insomnia, a worsening of sleep compared with pretreatment levels, has been reported upon discontinuation of short half-life benzodiazepine hypnotics.

Xanax truly does not do anything to treat insomnia. It simply numbs you from the symptoms and will return as soon as the drug is not taken. There are many other, much less addictive medications you can take to treat insomnia and some natural remedies to cure it. A healthy sleep schedule and good nutrition are known to be linked together. Some of the most beneficial ways to treat insomnia include:

  • Mindful Meditation: This technique consists of slow and steady breathing while observing your body, breathing, thoughts, feeling, and other sensations and they happen. It is said to reduce stress, boost immunity, and improve concentration. All things that promote good sleep.
  • Exercise: Exercising will boost a person’s overall health. It heightens mood, gives more daily energy, and promotes better sleep. Making your body more active during the day will make your body and mind calmer at night.
  • Melatonin: Taking a very low dose of melatonin has been shown to help insomnia in the short term, but we recommend speaking to your medical provider for more information.

Treatment for Xanax Dependency

We offer many treatment programs that provide therapeutic education and guidance for each individual to help them safely reintegrate into society. Addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let us help you do it. Contact Garden State Treatment Center today to learn how we can help you safely recover from Xanax dependence and abuse.


  • Does Xanax help you sleep?
  • Can Xanax make you sleepy?
  • If you take Xanax 1-2 times a week at .25 mg for insomnia , shouldn’t that prevent addiction?
  • What medications are safe to take for Insomnia?

Published on: 2020-08-05
Updated on: 2024-05-07

Can You Get Seizures From Abusing Tramadol?

We have prescribed pills for almost everything today. For mental ailments such as stress or anxiety, we just go to the doctor for Xanax or Valium. If we have a major injury or surgery; we are prescribed Percocet to ease the pains, even if they are not that severe and a Tylenol would be enough. While these prescription drugs are a lifesaver to some to be able to get through daily life., they also have a dark side. Millions of people in the United States suffer from pain that, if not treated, can affect their lives included being able to work. Unfortunately, prescribed painkillers abuse and overdoses have been a continuing growing problem for years.

There have been pain medications that have been made to lessen the chance of dependency and addiction. One such pain medication is called Tramadol. Tramadol is a weaker form of pain medication but is a synthetic opioid just like fentanyl or oxycodone. It comes in two forms of immediate-release and an extended-release version. It was created by doctors to be a safer alternative to the stronger painkillers, but research shows, too, can become dependent on and cause addiction, taken as prescribed or not.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), tramadol prescriptions increased 88 percent from 23.3 million in 2008 to 43.8 million in 2013.  The estimated number of tramadol-related ED visits involving misuse or abuse increased about 250 percent from 6,255 visits in 2005 to 21,649 in 2011. And this statistic has surlily increased considering the opiate crisis we are in these days.

Can You Get Seizures From Abusing Tramadol?

What Are Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms?

Just like other opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, Tramadol can cause withdrawal symptoms if your body is chemically dependent on the drug and you suddenly stop taking it. But unlike the stronger opioids, which activate the opioid receptors for a feel-good “high”, it also blocks serotonin, like an antidepressant. So not only are you going to experience opioid withdrawals, which are considered traditional symptoms, you will experience additional withdrawals related to an antidepressant called atypical symptoms.

Traditional Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Gastrointestinal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle aches
  • Body pains

Atypical Tramadol Withdrawal Symptoms include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Intense paranoia
  • High anxiety and panic attacks
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Depersonalization
  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities

Some side effects from Tramadol abuse are rare such as seizures but they are possible if taking high doses of Tramadol recreationally. According to the United States National Library of Medicine (NCBI), seizures are a rare side effect of tramadol but are real and possible. Tramadol-related seizures are short, convulsion type seizures that, like other drug-related seizures. These types of seizure effects of tramadol occur at both low and high doses. The seizures that happen when being on a low dose of tramadol is also related to those that have laryngeal or larynx cancer from smoking or drinking too much alcohol.

Risk of Seizures from Tramadol

There are other cases where tramadol has caused seizures with those who’ve had a history of epilepsy and other combination of medicines such as antidepressants and antipsychotic medicines.

There is always a risk when taking medications. They should always be taken as directed by your doctor and make it known of other medications you are taking or other health issues need to be known as well for the less chance of health problems or even possible death.

Treatment for Tramadol Addiction

If you are a loved one has had a difficult time getting off pain medication, Garden State Treatment Center can put you on the right track to recovery. Clients receive both individual and group therapy sessions at Garden State Treatment Center. We’ll go into more detail on the program pages, but these therapies each have the multi-faceted goals of resolving traumatic events, peer support, and long term relapse prevention.

The most important thing you can expect from your Garden State Treatment Center Treatment experience is that you will emerge from it transformed, stable, and ready to begin a lifetime of recovery.

Published on: 2020-07-24
Updated on: 2024-03-25

What Does Being Powerless Over Drugs Feel Like?

When anyone is amid drug addiction, feeling powerless is one of the hardest things to come to terms with. It is hard to admit to yourself that your life has become so unmanageable that you no longer have any power over your own life or mind. While that powerless feeling can feel like an end for you, it is also the beginning of a new chapter. In most 12-step recovery groups, the first step towards recovery is admitting that you are powerless over drugs. This is one of the hardest things to do because, to overcome your addiction, you must first admit to yourself that you have an addiction. The power of admitting you are powerless is the first step to getting your life back.

A person would be considered powerless over drugs when, even though they know the drugs are causing harm to them in every way, they continue to use the drugs anyway and they simply cannot stop. Most people who are still in active addiction don’t realize what they are feeling is powerlessness because they may still be in denial over their addiction. They may be blaming what they are feeling or going through on everything but their drug use or use the drugs to further “cope” with their feelings.

What Does Being Powerless Over Drugs Feel Like?

What Does it Feel Like to be Addicted?

Unmanageability is one of the most common feelings you have when you are powerless over drugs. You can’t seem to juggle anything in your life including work, family, or household responsibilities because you just can’t wait until you have that next hit. Many people try to control this feeling by limiting themselves to how much of a substance they are going to use or only using on certain days of the week. This might work for a while but eventually, you will slip back into your destructive ways and will do virtually anything necessary to get the drugs you feel you need.

The powerlessness of drug us also makes one feel hopeless. They may feel this way because they see no way out of the never-ending cycle of addiction. The feelings of hopelessness and despair are very persuasive in keeping people in this cycle of addiction. They may feel that life no longer holds any meaning or value, so what it the point of trying to quit anyway?

The Mentality of Drug Addiction

Mental obsession also makes those suffering from addiction feel powerless. You are powerless over that drug because you have a completely irresistible urge to get high. And when you aren’t getting high, all you can think about is when you can get high again. This is the powerlessness of the mind for which the drugs have a complete hold of. For those in addiction, mental obsession feels more like life or death.

This is actually how it feels to them and there is no reasoning or bargaining that can stop them until they have satisfied the obsession. When mental obsession has come into play, a person will feel like they have lost all self-control. That is because they have. They are powerless over their own lives because of drug use.

Treatment for Drug Addiction

There is also a positive side to admitting to oneself that they are powerless over drugs. Once they admit they are powerless is when the real healing can begin. A person cannot fix a problem if they can’t admit to themselves that there is a problem. Being powerless does not mean you are helpless. You are only helpless when you remain in denial of your addiction. Admitting powerlessness is the first step to living a healthy and sober life. If you are ready to get the help you need, Garden State Treatment Center is ready to help you get your life back on track. Now is the time to start your journey in recovery. Let us help you do it!

Published on: 2020-07-22
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Differences Between Swallowing and Snorting Drugs

There are many different ways to abuse drugs, whether they are illegal and illicit drugs or prescription drugs. Most can be ingested in many ways and can be swallowed, snorted, inhaled, smoked, or injected. Either of these methods eventually delivers the drug into the bloodstream, which is how it is carried to the brain.

crushed pills

Swallowing and snorting drugs are both popular methods of abusing drugs, but they are different in some aspects that can impact the consequences of drug abuse. The potential risks and side effects also vary but one constant remains the same – if you are getting high and can’t stop, then reaching out for professional help is the number one priority.

  • Swallowing Drugs: Slower onset, longer-lasting effects, potentially less intense high, more predictable absorption, and generally considered safer.
  • Snorting Drugs: Faster onset, shorter duration, more intense high, higher risk of damage to nasal passages, and increased risk of overdose.

Dangers of Snorting Drugs to Get High

Snorting drugs is the practice of sniffing any powdered substance through the nose whether it is already in a powdered form or it is crushed into a powder. Substances such as cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, and crystal meth, most commonly abused this way. Many people also often crush and snort prescription opioids like oxycodone or hydrocodone to snort them.

When you snort drugs, the way the drug is administered to the brain is different than when you swallow them. Snorting a drug requires the drug to be absorbed through the nasal membrane and goes into the surrounding blood vessels.

Then those blood vessels carry the drug to the heart and throughout the bloodstream and to the brain where the drug then interacts with the brain’s receptors resulting in the drug’s effects on the body. Snorting drugs also allows the drug to enter the bloodstream quicker than if it were swallowed, causing the effects of the drugs o the body to be much quicker. This also can increase the effects of the drug making the high much more intense.

Snorting drugs can also create different devastating effects on a person’s physical health. Because drugs enter the body through the nasal cavity, these drugs can negatively impact a person’s respiratory system. Long-term use of intranasal use can lead to things such as nose bleeds, loss of smell, and perforation of the nasal cavity, which can lead to difficulty breathing. Often, the side effects can be permanent.

Dangers of Swallowing Drugs to Get High

Many different drugs can be administered by swallowing them. Most prescription medications as well as many illegal street drugs like Acid and MDMA. When substances are swallowed, they are absorbed onto the body differently than when it is snorted and will have to overcome additional steps to reach the brain to feel the effects.

Swallowing Drugs

When swallowed, the drug is dissolved in the person’s stomach and is absorbed into the bloodstream by going through the stomach lining. Once it is in the bloodstream it travels to the liver to be metabolized before it can make it to the brain and the effects of the drug are felt. Due to this process, swallowing a drug can have less of a noticeable effect.

According to NIH:

About 4 percent of Americans met the criteria for drug use disorder in the past year and about 10 percent have had drug use disorder at some time in their lives.

When you swallow drugs, you can have different but equally serious negative effects on the body than when snorting them. The digestive tract and the liver are impacted after prolonged drug use in this way and can eventually lead to liver failure.

Both snorting and swallowing drugs can create lasting physical and mental health problems and both can lead to very serious substance abuse disorders. Chronic use of addictive substances in any form can lead to addiction and potentially death.

Treatment for Substance Abuse

Drug addiction isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. Our admissions counselors and professionals are available around the clock. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the disease of addiction. Now is the time to change your life. Let Garden State Treatment Center help you do it.


  • Why do people snort drugs?

Published on: 2020-07-06
Updated on: 2024-04-14

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and Anxiety

For most of us, detoxing from substances can be something we never want to face because of the intense withdrawal symptoms. It even keeps some of us in the cycle of addiction because the fear of withdrawal is so real. But unfortunately, it doesn’t end there. There are more withdrawals after the initial ones called PAWS  – Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome. These can last for quite some time and can even bring on some physical symptoms, such as anxiety, that you may have never experienced before.

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome and Anxiety

The Stages of Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

When we start this road to recovery we have to be in it for the long haul. We have to be committed to the fact that it will not be easy and it there will have to be efforts made every single day for the rest of our lives. Some days are easier than others but we have to be prepared and never let our guards down or we may lose the battle and give in to a relapse.

There are two stages of detox or withdrawal symptoms and to fully understand Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS), you must fully understand what each stage is.

The first stage of detox, acute withdrawal – is the main physical withdrawal symptoms, which can last from a few days and up to two weeks. These occur immediately after the substance of whatever you were using starts leaving your body.

Some of us try to stop “cold-turkey” at our homes, which have minimal chance of success and can be very dangerous because of some drugs causing life-threatening complications when abruptly stopped. This is especially true, for example, of individuals who are in the acute withdrawal stage of alcohol, benzodiazepines, and barbiturates, as these substances have increased risk of complications without medical supervision, including seizures or coma.

Another, the more successful and safer route is to seek help through a medically supervised detox where a supervised setting by a professional medical team is available. Because there are so many different acute withdrawal symptoms that may occur, and the various addictive substances that may be used, it is always advised to seek a medically assisted detox rather than quitting on your own, or cold turkey.

The second stage of detox, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS) – This happens when your brain tries to re-calibrates and function properly and get back to normal after active addiction. Unlike acute withdrawal, which is primarily physical withdrawal symptoms, the symptoms of post-acute withdrawal are all psychological and emotional. Depending on the amount and the length you used the alcohol or other drugs, post-acute withdrawal symptoms typically last between one to two years; but, the severity and frequency of symptoms tend to dissipate as times go by with abstinence of substances.

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can be not only uncomfortable, but symptoms can happen to hear and there, and because we may be taken by surprise, it makes PAWS a driving reason for many people that are new to recovery to relapse. Even sometimes no matter how committed we are to stay clean and sober, we can be taken off guard. Also, PAWS is basically the same for everyone no matter what they were abusing.

Anxiety is one of the most common post-acute withdrawal symptoms

Some of the most common post-acute withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
  • Irritability, aggression, hostility
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Impaired concentration
  • Lack of enthusiasm or motivation
  • Mood-swings (severe highs and lows in the mood)
  • Fatigue or low energy
  • Foggy thought process
  • Poor impulse control
  • Increased sensitivity to stress
  • Alcohol or other drug cravings
  • Apathy

Some of these like sleep issues or memory can be easily taken care of with consistency of healthier lifestyle changes such as reading or exercise. But some such as panic attacks and anxiety can be very difficult to get over. You may never even had anxiety before and if you did, while you were using, you would have just taken drugs or alcohol to cope. Now that you are off substances you must find new and healthy ways to cope with anything and everything that comes your way. Whatever it takes to keep us on the road to recovery. 

Overcoming PAWS

PAWS is a normal step in the recovery process and it is important to learn what it is and how to deal with it because If not, the uncomfortable symptoms can lead to a relapse. There is good news though, episodes of PAWS usually only last a few days at a time and if you use effective coping strategies, you can ride out the difficult days until the good days return. Some coping strategies might include:

  • Practice self-care so you are strong enough to handle episodes when they arise
  • Maintain a balanced diet so nutritional deficiencies become less of an issue
  • Prepare yourself for dealing with stress by practicing positive stress management
  • Exercise daily to keep your body in shape and improve your mental well-being
  • Seek the support of others to help you through the difficult days
  • Remember the symptoms of PAWS are temporary and better days are ahead

Post-acute withdrawal syndrome can be a difficult part of one’s recovery and many facilities can help including Garden State Treatment Center. Our outpatient programs can keep you on your road to recovery by providing emotional as well as physical stability, by connecting clients to support groups and other long term sobriety resources.

Get the Help You Need

Our care continues after clients leave our facility. We ensure that before their treatment ends, every one of our clients is connected to whatever resources they need to maintain their sobriety. The result is an addict or alcoholic who finds that they have been launched into a new and more rewarding dimension of their experience, one that’s healthy, full of life, and grounded in authentic recovery. Get help now at Garden State Treatment Center.


  • How to help post-acute withdrawal syndrome and anxiety?

Published on: 2020-05-29
Updated on: 2024-02-16

What Does Valium Feel Like?

Valium (the brand name for the drug diazepam) is a potent prescription sedative used to treat anxiety disorders and seizures. Valium is often frequently used to treat severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms in a medical detoxification setting. This specific medication has a high potential for abuse and is one of the most commonly abused prescription medications throughout the United States. It is essential to take Valium precisely as prescribed by a medical professional because it is highly habit-forming and can result in serious side effects when not taken properly. This specific drug is generally only prescribed for short periods; taking Valium long-term leads to tolerance, symptoms of withdrawal upon ceased use, and other health-related severe concerns. It is possible to overdose on this medication.

What Does Valium Feel Like?

Diazepam-related overdoses can be fatal and are responsible for thousands of fatalities nationwide annually. If you or someone you love has been abusing Valium, professional medical help must be sought immediately. Garden State Treatment Center offers comprehensive addiction treatment services to those abusing prescription drugs of any kind. For more information on our recovery program, please feel free to reach out at any point in time. Our dedicated team of diverse, compassionate professionals is standing by to answer any questions you may have and to get you started on the road to recovery as soon as possible.

What Does Valium Feel Like?

Those who abuse Valium (take more than the recommended dose or take the prescription medication other than as prescribed) generally report similar experiences. Some of the short-term symptoms of Valium abuse include:

  • Slurred speech and an inability to form complete sentences.
  • A lack of coordination.
  • Dilated pupils.
  • Changes in appetite, usually a loss of appetite.
  • Mood swings, typically marked by agitation, irritability, and sadness.

The immediate effects of Valium abuse are similar to alcohol consumption – an individual who is high on Valium might appear to be intoxicated. Because the medication is generally used to treat anxiety, the “high” produced by the drug will somewhat resemble the “high” produced by heroin but significantly less intense. The user will feel relaxed, calm, and maybe even euphoric. Unfortunately, getting high off of prescription diazepam also results in serious side effects like respiratory depression, irregular heartbeat, and seizures. Drowsiness, weakness, confusion, and extreme dizziness are also side effects of Valium abuse.

Those who use Valium regularly over an extended period are also at risk of developing permanent mental health disorders. This medication, which is most commonly used to treat anxiety, changes brain chemistry so that the brain cannot adequately regulate stress without it. Prolonged abuse can lead to anxiety-related disorders or worsening symptoms if an anxiety disorder is already present. Brain damage can also include long-term and lasting issues with memory and cognition. Those struggling with Valium abuse or addiction must seek help sooner rather than later to prevent severe and permanent damage to the brain and the body.

Valium Abuse and Addiction Recovery

Many people believe that medications prescribed by a medical professional do not pose the same risks as illicit substances, like heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine. The truth is that prescription medications are just as dangerous when abused. The abuse of prescription drugs like Valium is far more common than many illicit substances. It can be challenging to determine whether or not someone is abusing Valium because many prescription drug users hide their symptoms well. Fortunately, if you or your loved one is struggling with Valium abuse or addiction, Garden State Treatment Center is available to help.

However, there are several telltale signs and symptoms to keep an eye out for, including all of the characters listed above as well as a general lack of motivation, disinterest in activities and hobbies that were previously enjoyed, increased desire for privacy, and doctor shopping (attempting to obtain Valium from more than one source). For more information on our recovery program, give us a call today.


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Published on: 2020-05-07
Updated on: 2024-04-14

Can I Snort Ativan?

Ativan, the brand name for Lorazepam, is one of the 5 most prescribed benzodiazepines, which are a class of central nervous system depressant drugs.  It was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1977 to treat a variety of disorders including anxiety attacks, panic disorder, and insomnia, pre-surgical and surgical anesthesia.

The medication also has numerous off-label uses including, but not limited to, delirium, alcohol withdrawal, panic disorder, and to treat agitated or unruly patients. Due to its’ fast onset (typically 1-3 minutes), Ativan is a popular sedative in the inpatient setting when administered intravenously. When taken as prescribed by a physician, Ativan comes in tablet form, which is the most common method of use.

Benzos enhance the activity of the GABA neurotransmitter, an inhibitory transmitter, which in turn reduces the excitatory signaling brain activity that induces stress and anxiety. There is normally a natural balance between inhibitory and excitatory brain signals, however, for people with certain conditions, such as chronic anxiety and seizures, this balance can be far off.

The general effect of Ativan on the neurotransmitter causes a feeling of relaxation and well-being. Benzodiazepines, including Ativan, are Schedule IV drugs in the US Controlled Substances Act, meaning that while it has medicinal purposes, it can also become physically and psychologically addictive.

Can I Snort Ativan?

Snorting Ativan

One of the ways that Ativan is abused is by snorting it. The pill is crushed into a powder and ingested nasally. Once inhaled, Ativan is absorbed rapidly and a rush of GABA initiates the euphoric “high”. When snorted, Ativan has an expedited transit to the nervous system and receptors in the brain. This makes for high abuse and addiction potential. Regular intranasal use can cause increased tolerance and physical dependence. The withdrawal symptoms once dependence is achieved are extremely unpleasant.

The dangers of abusing Ativan must not be downplayed.  According to

A 2010 study found that nearly 30% of deaths caused by pharmaceutical drugs were due to the overuse or overdose of benzodiazepines like Ativan. Furthermore, 75% of overdose deaths caused by benzodiazepines are unintentional. When Ativan is snorted, for instance, it may be easier to misgauge or underestimate the effects of the drug, prompting higher-than-recommended dosing, which can then lead to lethal consequences.

There are many side effects to taking Ativan, including nausea, dry mouth, reduced or increased appetite, constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, restlessness, blurry vision.  The more serious side effects, which occur more frequently when the drug is abused, include difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, shuffling walk, inability to walk in a straight line, or have a normal gait, tremors, irregular heartbeat. In the case of overdose, the central nervous system can be shut down and the user might have pale bluish skin and lips, labored breathing, slurred speech, impaired motor skills, oversedation, and respiratory depression. During an overdose, the respiratory system slows dramatically, the brain and other organs are deprived of oxygen, and the result could be coma or even death.

This is more of a danger when snorting the drug than taking it in pill form as it is more difficult to gauge the amount and rate at which it is entering the system, so the user can take too much unintentionally. A person experiencing an Ativan overdose must be treated immediately, otherwise, they run the risk of brain and nervous system damage. Their respiratory and cardiovascular systems must be stabilized and then they are orally treated with charcoal, binding to the toxic substances and drugs, removing them from the bodily tissues. A person who has overdosed on Ativan must be monitored until their bodily functions return to a normal state.

Ativan Addiction Signs and Symptoms

There are many signs that a person is addicted to Ativan, including confusion, sweating, slurred speech, doctor shopping, breathing difficulties, drowsiness, giving up hobbies and responsibilities, lying, stealing, mood swings, irrational and impulsive behavior, financial woes, and defensiveness when confronted about their abuse of the drug. In addition to these common symptoms of all addicts, those snorting Ativan will most likely show damage to the nasal cavities and sinuses.  The addict might sniff excessively, frequently have nosebleeds, have a diminished sense of smell, as well as difficulty swallowing.

Once addicted to Ativan, it is extremely difficult, both physically and mentally, to withdraw from the drug. It is one of the more dangerous substances to withdraw from and must not be done alone and detox should take place at a medical facility if possible. Acute benzodiazepine withdrawal begins with unpleasant symptoms of increased anxiety, nausea, irritability, mood swings, and insomnia, and acute withdrawal symptoms can last 3 to 5 weeks.

We are Here to Help with Ativan Abuse

Once the addict has gone through the initial detox, they will continue to face withdrawal symptoms such as extreme mood swings, panic attacks, depression, confusion, and suicidal thoughts. At Garden State Treatment Center, men and women addicted to Ativan can safely begin their long term recovery.  There is lasting damage caused by Ativan, and this should be processed with the guidance of professional therapists and caring staff. The addict faces the daunting task of treating the underlying issues that led to their addiction, and they must learn to deal with these feelings without the help of chemicals.

Garden State Treatment Center has many programs to help the addict stay sober. We educate and assist the addict in returning to society and living a sober life. We provide one on one therapy, group therapy, family and cognitive behavioral therapy, as well as relapse prevention programs. We have a partial care rehab program for dual diagnosis conditions like anxiety, trauma, and depression.  Our programs are all evidence-based and intended to treat each individual’s underlying issues which are at the core of their addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to Ativan or any other substance, please call and speak with an admissions counselor today.  We are open 24/7 and are ready to help you create a path to a healthy and sober life.


  • Why do people enjoy snorting ativan?

Published on: 2020-04-27
Updated on: 2024-02-16

Mixing Cocaine and Xanax

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is an illicit, powerfully addictive substance. Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant most frequently used as a recreational drug. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation. Cocaine can be snorted, smoked or injected. It fluctuates in pigment from white to light rose or yellow. It stimulates the reward system, dopamine, of the brain and generates instant effects throughout the central nervous system.

Cocaine addicts build a forbearance swiftly because their bodies get used to the drug, and therefore more of the substance is necessary to deliver the consistent results of reaching a high. A cocaine addict’s physical brain function is dependent on the substance to be able to function normally.

Mixing Cocaine and Xanax2

What is Xanax?

Xanax, which is alprazolam, is a benzodiazepine. Alprazolam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression. Xanax may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide. Xanax can cause paranoid or suicidal ideation and impair memory, judgment, and coordination.

Combining with other substances, particularly alcohol, can slow breathing and possibly lead to death. Xanax is commonly abused because it is an analgesic that treats moderate to severe pain, but people who don’t have pain can get a significant high off it.

Why is it Common for People to Mix Cocaine and Xanax?

People may co-use stimulants and depressants for several reasons. Cocaine is an infamous drug that is associated with high energy levels, excitability, and mental alertness, but it can cause irritability and paranoia as well. Some people may take Xanax to curb the acute effects of cocaine or to ease the discomfort associated with “coming down” from a cocaine high. Cocaine may also be taken to counteract the depressant effects of Xanax, including drowsiness and a sense of low energy.

What Happens When You Mix Cocaine and Xanax?

Both Xanax and cocaine can be incredibly dangerous drugs on their own, and each has a high risk of developing dependence and addiction. When they are taken together, the risk of immediate and long-term negative health and social consequences is substantially increased. A major danger of combining Xanax and cocaine is a heightened risk of acquiring dependence and addiction to one or both.

When they are taken at the same time, they limit the efficiency of each other, which may lead to someone taking greater doses of one or both drugs than they ordinarily would. Both Xanax and cocaine have opposite effects on the body and brain making difficult for someone who is using to identify the symptoms of an overdose. According to studies done by the Centers for Disease Control both cocaine and alprazolam were among the highest rates of death by overdose in recent years.

Among drug overdose deaths that mentioned at least one specific drug, the 10 most frequently mentioned drugs during 2011–2016 included fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, methadone, morphine, oxycodone, alprazolam, diazepam, cocaine, and methamphetamine. (CDC)

Polydrug abuse means mixing two or more drugs to get high and it’s a very dangerous road. The more drugs you take at the same time, the more complex the interactions become, and they can often turn deadly. Mixing cocaine and Xanax is especially risky because one is an upper and the other a downer.

How Can Rehab at Garden State Treatment Center Help You?

Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we offer group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, and 12-step addiction treatment. We will look at your health and your life to make an individualized treatment plan that fits your needs and the safest route will be approached.

The medical staff will provide care that is around the clock. We are committed to an evidence-based treatment approach to be able to facilitate a long-term recovery for you. Take the first courageous step on the road to a healthy and happy life and call now for a confidential evaluation.

Published on: 2019-11-26
Updated on: 2024-05-07

Does Drug Addiction Destroy Brain Cells?

Addiction impacts the brain on many levels. The chemical compounds in stimulants, nicotine, opioids, alcohol, and sedatives enter the brain and bloodstream upon use. Once a chemical enters the brain, it can cause people to lose self-control of their impulses (impulse control) or cravings for a harmful substance. When someone develops an addiction, the brain craves the reward of the substance.

This is due to the intense stimulation of the brain’s reward system. In response, many continue the use of the substance, unlocking a host of euphoric feelings and strange behavioral traits. Long-term addiction can have severe outcomes, such as decision-making concerns due to sudden human brain changes affecting cognitive functions of the nervous system, leading to brain damage and other substance use disorders that can even result in death.

Drug addiction destroy brain cells

Is the Brain Damage Caused by Drug Abuse Minimal?

Drug abuse has devastating effects on the mind, behavior, and relationships, mental health, but the permanent effects of drugs on the body can slowly destroy vital systems and functions, culminating in permanent disability or even death. Even legal drugs, taken to excess, can cause significant problems that cannot be easily undone, and for some illegal drugs, excessive consumption might not even be necessary for lifelong damage to occur. Drug use causes more than minimal damage to the brain function.

Is Brain Damage from Substance Abuse Reversible?

The saying that brain damage is irreversible is a myth. Brain damage is an extremely scary thing. For something so mysterious and amazing, the brain can be quite fragile and susceptible to the abuse of drugs. Brain damage can be caused by the smallest amount of drug abuse, and it essentially means the death of brain cells. To many people, the mere idea of brain damage conjures images of people in persistent vegetative states or, at the very least, permanent physical or mental disability. But that’s not always the case.

There are many different types of brain damage, and exactly how it will affect someone depends largely on its location and how severe it is. Mild brain damage can result in bleeding and tearing of the tissue in the brain. The brain can recover from minor brain damage remarkably well; most people who experience mild brain damage don’t experience permanent disability. On the other end of the spectrum, severe brain damage due to drug abuse means that the areas of the brain have suffered extensive damage. It sometimes requires surgery to remove built-up blood or relieve pressure. For nearly all patients who live through severe brain damage due to drug abuse, permanent, irreversible damage results.

Brain Cells

Does Time Heal Brain Damage?

There is minimal evidence on how we can improve brain recovery from substance use, but emerging literature suggests that exercise as an intervention may improve brain recovery. Physical activity has been shown to improve brain health and neuroplasticity. In previous studies of adults, physical activity has improved executive control, cerebral blood flow, and white matter integrity. While the brain can improve from most brain damage, there are some things that the National Institute of Drug Abuse has confirmed may stay damaged in the long run.

Scientists have linked dopamine to most drugs of abuse – including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, alcohol use, and nicotine. These addictive drugs activate the reward system and cause neurons to release large amounts of dopamine. Over time, drugs damage this part of the brain. As a result of this damage, things that used to make you feel good – like eating ice cream, skateboarding, or getting a hug – no longer feel as good. (NIDA)

Every time a person takes a hit sniffs a line, or injects a dose of drugs into their body, there is a possibility this substance could cause brain damage. Getting help for your or a loved one’s substance abuse as soon as possible is the best solution for reversing the negative effects of chemical dependency.

How Can Garden State Treatment Center Help You?

Here at Garden State Treatment Center, we provide group therapy, individual addiction counseling, relapse prevention treatment programs, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), family therapy, 12-step addiction treatment, and many other services that facilitate the recovery process of anyone with brain damage caused by drug abuse, alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder, and any addictive behavior. We believe in treating the entire person, not just their addictions.

We personalize their treatment plan based on their individual characteristics to provide a long-lasting and meaningful addiction recovery. You can assume to come out of our program changed, firm, and prepared to begin a lifetime of recovery regardless of the extent of the brain damage. Our admissions team is standing by for your call.


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  • Can your brain recover from drugs?
  • How to repair brain damage from drugs?

Published on: 2019-11-20
Updated on: 2024-04-15