Frequently Abused Pills

Prescription pill addiction is an ever-pressing issue in this day and age. However, some people tend to abuse certain pill types over others. At first, these frequently abused pills may seem different. However, nearly every prescription can become dangerous if you fail to take it properly…

Frequently Abused Pills: A Dangerous Habit

Sedatives

One of the frequently abused pills out there are sedatives. There’s three different main types of sedatives which are available depending on a person’s needs. But, each type tends to address similar issues of anxiety, panic attacks, and issues with sleep.

Usually, abuse of these pills will start because of the relaxing and calming effect they create. In order to keep this feeling going for longer, people will start to take either more pills throughout the day. Abusing sedatives can cause serious issues with memory, the nervous system, and one’s ability to breathe. In the most extreme cases, it could even cause comas!

Stimulants

Stimulants are also another kind of frequently abused pills. Unlike sedatives, which relax a person, stimulants provide them extra energy. Usually, doctors will prescribe these pills to help with attention disorders such as ADHD. It might seem a bit odd, but research does show these pills do help those with these disorders focus.

The reason other people might abuse stimulants is because they boost dopamine levels in the brain. They’ll also take them for the energy boost they provide, which is why many students will abuse them. Some people even use them to try and lose weight! However, abuse can lead to high body temperatures and heart attacks.

Opioids

Of course, opioids are perhaps the most frequently abused pills these days. After all, they’re both very powerful, and have been widely available for a long time. While doctors are cutting back on how much they prescribe opioids, these pills still see use for treating things such as chronic pain.

Due to just how powerful opioids are, this makes them very addictive as well. Even if someone takes these pills as intended, it’s still very possible for them to develop a dependency. Some side effects of addiction can include depression and digestive problems.

Fentanyl: A Hidden Danger

People these days are more aware of the dangers opioids present than ever before. However, at this point in the crisis, there are new things people must worry about, such as fentanyl. This drug can be quite dangerous and hard to spot if you aren’t careful…

Fentanyl: Understanding the Opioid Crisis

What is it?

Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid which doctors use as a painkiller. Compared to morphine, this drug is 50 to 100 times more powerful. Due to this, doctors tend to only give it to those suffering from high amounts of pain, such as after surgery. They may also give it to those with a very high tolerance to other opioids.

Doctors may prescribe fentanyl, but it isn’t a common occurrence. Plus, it also doesn’t come in a pill form. Instead, you can take it through a shot, a patch placed on your skin, or a lozenge, which is closer to a cough drop than a pill.

Illicit copies

Regular fentanyl poses many of the same risks as other opioids. However, the main risk these days comes from illicitly-made fentanyl. Due to how powerful it is, drug dealers who can’t access opioids otherwise try to make their own to sell. It’s this illicitly-produced version which is responsible for the rise in many opioid-related overdoses.

The problem is that these versions have no kind of quality control, which makes them even more dangerous than their normal counterpart. Many makers of this version also don’t know how much is a “safe” dosage, causing people to overdose by mistake. In fact, some dealers have begun to put fentanyl in other drugs to increase their potency, further increasing the risk of an overdose.

Steps to take

Being safe with fentanyl is very similar to being safe with other opioids. In particular, you should watch how much you take, and be aware of when you may be forming a potential addiction. Also, never take any kind of prescription drug which doesn’t come from your pharmacist.

It’s also good to know what you should do if you suspect someone is overdosing. With how strong fentanyl is, you should be sure to call 911 as soon as you can. Make sure to also stay with the person overdosing until help arrives.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

When trying to sober up, one of the hardest parts to deal with can be the alcohol withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can be so bad for some, that they might even make them think about drinking again. However, better understanding these symptoms can help you stick to the right path…

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

Causes

The causes behind alcohol withdrawal symptoms are similar to those of other drugs. Alcohol has a depressive effect to your brain and body. When you drink constantly, you body eventually tries to adjust to these effects. To do this, you brain will release more stimulating chemicals than it normally would.

Eventually, this overproduction becomes the new “normal” for your body. However, this overproduction will continue even after you stop drinking. Eventually, your body will readjust, but in the meantime, you might end up experiencing some unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Different symptoms

In general, there’s two different types of alcohol withdrawal symptoms you might experience. The first are physical symptoms. These can be things like constant headaches, nausea, sweating, and tremors. You may even start experiencing insomnia and elevated blood pressure.

The second kind of symptoms are the psychological ones. Some common ones include feelings of nervousness, anxiety, irritability or fatigue. Depression and difficulty concentrating can also be experienced. As you’d imagine, dealing with both types of symptoms at the same time can be a pretty hard task.

Pushing through

The thing about alcohol withdrawal symptoms is that there’s no set time length for them. Some of them may clear up around 24-48 hours after your last drink, while others can last longer. Usually, most people tend to start to feel better after 5 days to a week since they quit drinking. Still, some symptoms could last for up to a month!

Therefore, it’s important to set yourself up for success. Try to stay in a nice, quiet, and low-light area during those first few days of recovery. You’ll also want to make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you feel your symptoms are too severe, it’s always a good idea to visit your doctor just in case.

Recovering Friend: Sober Companions

A good support network is a very helpful for people trying to get sober. If you have a recovering friend, you might be wondering what you can do to help them out. There’s a few ways you can offer your support to them during this time…

Recovering Friend: Offer Support

Keep them included

One helpful way you can help a recovering friend is by making sure they feel included. An important part of the recovery process is limiting one’s exposure to alcohol. Still, there’s a whole host of places which may serve drinks. This can make it hard for your friend to feel like they can go anywhere.

If your friend feels like an “outcast”, then it could have a negative impact on their plans to get sober. Therefore, be sure you and your other friends help them stay included in social events. Find places to go that don’t have alcohol, or restrict its presence. Even just hanging out with them at their home can help them out greatly.

Check in on them

Another good way to help a recovering friend is by checking in on them. As your friend cuts out alcohol, they’ll probably be going through some tough withdrawal symptoms. While these symptoms may not be life-threatening, they can be pretty painful to experience. Sometimes, these symptoms can make a recovering person tempted to drink again, in order to get rid of them.

However, helping them get through these symptoms can ensure they remain clean. If you can, it’s good to be with your friend in-person to offer help, especially during those first few days. Still, just being in constant text or phone conversation can help them push through.

Encourage extra help

While it’s always good to do what you can to help a recovering friend, it’s important to also understand when extra help may be required. One good form of extra help are recovery groups. This will give your friend a place to share their own experiences, and hear from others like them.

Counseling or inpatient recovery services might also be needed, depending on how severe your friend’s alcohol dependence was. Don’t be afraid to encourage them to seek out these resources if you feel they may need them. Often times, they might’ve been thinking the same, and waiting to hear what others thought.

Opioid Health Risks: Short & Long-Term

Opioids, much like alcohol, can have some negative impacts on your overall health. Still, not too many people are aware of what negatives look like. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of opioid health risks. That way, you can know what to watch for…

Opioid Health Risks: What To Know

Confusion and drowsiness

Confusion and drowsiness are some common short-term opioid health risks. Opioids mainly take effect inside our brains. This is because the drugs target special receptors for pain relief. The opioids mimic the natural pain relieving chemicals our body makes, which reduces pain and creates a feeling of calmness.

However, this process can also lead to some unintended, but common side effects. Feelings of confusion and drowsiness are some of the most common which people experience. Due to this, many prescriptions will state that you should avoid doing things like driving while under the influence of opioids just in case.

Addiction and withdrawal

Perhaps the biggest of the opioid health risks is addiction. Opioids are highly addictive, and many times people don’t even realize when an addiction is starting. Usually, this starts slowly by them building a dependence. Before they realize it, they need to take opioids in order to even function normally.

Once this dependence has started, it can be very hard to break it. Mainly, this is because of the withdrawal symptoms.Things like anxiety, nausea, irritability, and muscle pains are just some of the most-common symptoms. For some people, these symptoms are enough to make them continue taking opioids instead of trying to get clean.

Other addictions

Another of the opioid health risks to be aware of are how an opioid addiction can lead to other ones. Once someone develops an addiction, they’ll struggle if they can’t renew their prescription. This can leave them looking for some kind of alternative.

Due to how powerful opioids are, these people will try and find something which matches it. Usually, this leads them to dangerous drugs like heroin. Recently, counterfeit pills have also been growing in popularity. However, these pills tend to be poorly made, and lead to a lot of accidental deaths.

Relax Without Alcohol: Find Your Zen

When trying to quit drinking, one of the hardest steps can be relaxing. For many people, they aren’t sure how to relax without alcohol. However, there are a few techniques you can use to help you mellow out…

Relax Without Alcohol

Do some deep breathing

Deep breathing and meditation are good ways to relax without alcohol. One of the major reasons people like to drink and unwind is due to stress or negative thoughts. If you don’t have alcohol to fall back on, then that stress may start to build up and get worse over time.

By doing some deep breathing and meditation, though, you’ll help yourself calm down. When you feel that stress build up, try to take a moment and stop what you’re doing. Then, take a couple deep breaths while thinking about why you’re stressed, and how to tackle those issues without drinking. After all, alcohol won’t solve what’s stressing you out!

Exercise

Exercising might not seem like a good way to calm down at first. In reality, it’s actually great if you’re looking for ways to relax without alcohol. Exercising helps our bodies burn off a lot of excess stress. When we work out, we enter this meditative-like state and our overall mood tends to improve by quite a bit.

Plus, after a good workout, you might feel tired, but you’ll also feel less stress for the rest of the day. Trying out new workouts is a fun way to mix up your usual routine when things get a bit repetitive. Plus, the health benefits that come with exercise are also great for reducing stress.

Pick up a hobby

Hobbies are another good way to relax without alcohol. Having a hobby to invest yourself in will reduce stress and take your mind off of drinking. Also, depending on the hobby, it can be a great way to meet other people with similar interests, and potentially make some new friends.

One type of hobby which is popular is gardening. Others may prefer painting, writing, or some other kind of artistic endeavor. Whatever you decide to do, what matters is you find enjoyment in it. Be sure to look for local clubs as well to see if others nearby feel the same!

Getting Sober: Avoiding Pressure

With the potential health benefits that can come with quitting drinking, you might want to try getting sober. However, this can be much harder than people realize. That’s why it can be helpful to try out some specific strategies…

Getting Sober: Helpful Methods

Avoid being around alcohol

Getting sober mainly involves limiting your exposure to alcohol. This is especially key during those first initial weeks and months. After all, if you aren’t around alcohol, you’ll be less tempted to drink. That’s why you’ll want to temporarily avoid situations that have alcohol.

For example, these could be bars or parties that you know will have a lot of alcohol out. You’ll also want to not hang out with friends who you know will drink, and won’t stop despite you asking. At first, you might feel like you’re cutting yourself out socially. However, you’re just ensuring you’ll be sober for sure when you do go back out.

Have a support network

A good support network is also important for getting sober. Trying to get sober on your own can be very hard. It always help to have people to lean on for extra help when the going gets tough. That’s why a great resource to have are friends and family who support your efforts to quit drinking.

Meeting with support groups can also be very helpful. These groups, like Alcoholics Anonymous, are full of people who either went through or are going through what you are dealing with. This can help you not feel so alone, and get some good advice to assist you with your own journey.

Stay busy

Boredom is always hard to deal with when getting sober. If you don’t have anything to keep your attention, your thoughts may turn to drinking. In order to avoid this, it’s good to try and keep yourself busy to avoid the cravings.

In some cases, you might just need a short-term distraction, like chewing gum. Still, it’s also useful to look at longer-term things like new hobbies and activities like going to the gym. By immersing yourself in these, you can keep your mind off of alcohol.