Monthly Archives: August 2018

K2/Spice detox at SoCal

90 People Overdosed on K2 … What Is It?

On August 15th, 2018, people across the world were shocked to hear of more than 90 people suddenly collapsing in a park in New Haven, Connecticut. In May, more than 25 people suddenly collapsed and were sent to the hospital in Brooklyn, New York. The cause in these instances and many others was the same: an overdose of a synthetic cannabinoid known on the street as synthetic marijuana, K2 or Spice. 

The New Haven K2 Overdoses 

Initially, New Haven K2 users felt relaxed and euphoric. However, fairly soon after using the drug, people quickly began to experience rapid heart rates, slow respiration and violent vomiting. They quickly collapsed to the ground, either semi-conscious or completely unconscious. The scene was chaotic as emergency personnel rushed to help. Two people almost died. After being released from the hospital, some people overdosed a second time and were readmitted. 

What is K2 or Spice? 

K2/Spice can be purchased legally in head shops and gas stations in many places (it’s currently legal in 40 states). It consists of a smokable material from a plant that has been sprayed with synthetic cannabinoids or something else. Many teens and young adults believe K2 will give them a safe, natural high because it’s frequently advertised as a “natural” alternative to marijuana. 

K2/Spice Is Dangerous 

K2/Spice has serious side effects. It’s not natural, can be addictive, and withdrawal can be accompanied with severe symptoms. There’s no way a user can know what’s in this drug and how potent it is. Each batch that hits the street can be different. Depending on the drugs used by the “cook,” Spice/K2 can be up to 100 times more psychoactive than natural marijuana. 

Symptoms 

Synthetic cannabinoids are widely regarded by health experts as much more dangerous than natural marijuana. There are both short-term and long-term symptoms and consequences including: 

  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe anxiety and panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Increased heart rate and heart attacks
  • Permanent serious heart damage
  • Kidney failure

Professional Treatment for Substance Abuse Is Necessary 

In 2017, more than 72,000 Americans died from a drug overdose. Many more suffer from chronic and permanent health problems as a result of their substance use disorder

Sometimes drug use is a symptom of the bigger problem of addiction. You or someone you know might try to write off the use of K2 because of its availability or current status of legality. However, it’s addictive and can quickly take over your life and control your drives and behaviors. Substance use disorders are serious diseases and have to be treated by professionals. Clearly such large scale effects as mass ODs are signs of an intense and widespread problem.

Don’t put your life at risk. If you believe you are addicted to K2/Spice (or know someone who is), please call us today. The risk is not worth the temporary numbness. Our detox team will not only help you get clean of the drug, we will give you individualized attention and create a plan/program to walk you through each stage of the full recovery process. Call us today for a free consultation and to find out what makes our program stand out as a premier detox in Orange County, California.

Get the help you need today, call us: 888-590-0777. Or fill out the form and we will get back to you right away.

ecstasy addiction treatment

Understanding Ecstasy: Addiction and Awareness

There is a bit of an air of mystery around the drug that is known as ecstasy. It shows up amongst young people and has all the signs of a romanticized ideal that makes it attractive to experimenters and uninitiated: easy, quick, available. This “fun drug,” however, is extremely addictive and has a dark aspect that most are not aware of before deciding to risk it all for a short fix that imitates a good time.

Traditionally, ecstasy is found in conjunction with parties, nightclubs, or raves. While that can certainly still be the case, there is no real boundary to the haunts of this particular substance. It’s also a bit of a unique one, too. It’s a stimulant … and a hallucinogen. basically that means it gives a person a boost of energy and vitality while at the same time it produces aspects of distorted reality.

Ecstasy goes by many names. E and Molly are the most common, but you might hear people referring to their “Dancing Shoes” or getting ahold of a “happy pill.” Sometimes it will be referred to as Scooby Snacks or vitamin E, but the chemical 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is what creates the effects of the drug, and gives it its official name: MDMA.

What about Ecstasy & Health Problems?

When MDMA affects the neurotransmitters in the brain (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, in particular) a person will experience euphoria and an increase of attention and energy. However, a person’s heart rate and blood pressure can skyrocket in the process. No one should be experimenting with ecstasy, but a person with a heart problem has even more reason to steer clear. Of course, tragedy is right around the corner when a young person is unaware of their own medical heart condition, and chooses to use this illicit substance.

Though fatality from overdosing is less common, it is absolutely possible. Add to that a slew of other health issues that arise from continued use of ecstasy, and the danger signs are nearly overwhelming. The NIDA cites such varied, acute adverse health problems as high blood pressure, faintness, panic attacks, loss of consciousness, and even seizures. MDMA can even impair a person’s ability to regulate their body temperature. When this is mixed with warm environments and stimulating activity (ie dance parties/raves), the result can be lethal.

Common Symptoms of Regular Ecstasy Use:

  • concentration difficulties
  • depression
  • impulsivity
  • lack of appetite
  • sleep disturbances
  • heart disease
  • risky sexual behavior 

Purity Issues With Ecstasy

As ecstasy is mostly taken in pill or capsule form, there is no real way of knowing what is in there. Pills are cut with all kinds of harmful substances—everything from amphetamines to piperazine, and more. Pills often come in colors or with car logos on them or even superhero tags. These are all supposed to denote different purity levels. However, the realty is that the majority of E is cut with some type of substance, and those chemicals can be any type of horror.

Individuals With an addiction to Ecstasy

If you or your loved one is currently suffering from a hallucinogen use disorder (or psychological and/or physical addiction to ecstasy), it is time to reach out for help. Managing the symptoms of ecstasy withdrawals is often too much for an individual to handle … especially the depression.

SoCal Detox offers a safe and compassionate environment for detox with an experienced team available for around-the-clock care. Please call us today for information on our program or for a free drug or alcohol addiction consultation. Call now: 888-590-0777.

dry drunk detox

Sober but Angry: What Is a Dry Drunk?

The idea of recovery is a profound one. It is someone choosing to take the steps necessary to create an entire new life for themselves. It’s more than simply quitting. Much more.

You can stop eating unhealthy foods. You can stop seeing a friend who is bad for you. You can stop doing just about anything. However, there is always the possibility of starting back up again. Getting back in the bad habit. Going back to all the wrong places. Returning to who you once were.

Addiction Recovery: More Than Sobriety

This is why “stopping” isn’t the essence of recovery. Recovery represents a complete new outlook. A complete metamorphosis that you take part in every day. It’s not about stopping doing something you want to do. It’s about reorienting yourself, so substance use is no longer part of the equation.

Indeed, a person can be sober, but not in recovery. A person can just say no, and not understand what it means to be part of the higher plane of existence available to them. It’s beyond saying no; it’s not even having to say anything. It’s a new existence.

Digging Deeper Into Addiction

That said, stoping doing drugs or drinking is a great first step. But that’s just what it is, the FIRST step. This step is a powerful and life-changing one. It often comes because a person has seen, felt, and suffered through the horrendous consequences of living in the grips of a substance use disorder.

But that is just the first step.

The problem comes when the person stops there—creating what has been termed the dry drunk.

Still Unhealthy

Dry drunk syndrome was originally coined by the creators of the 12-Step program: Alcoholics Anonymous. 

The essence of the issue is when a person who has stopped using a substance still has unhealthy habits that influence their life. There is all kinds of baggage still there. Emotional. Physical. Psychological. These are very likely the deeper issues that played a big part in leading to a substance use disorder in the first place. 

This kind of phenomenon is actually quite common. It occurs because getting healthy is hard work. It takes effort and intentionality, and almost always, help from a professional (or someone who has been there).

The latter of these is partly why the “dry drunk” is very often someone who has tried to quit cold turkey on their own. Support and guidance are vital to lasting, deep recovery.

Do you know a Dry Drunk?

There are a couple of tell-tale signs on whether you have someone in your life with this kind of condition. Do they exhibit:

  • Damaging life decisions
  • Lashing out at friends or family
  • Bitterness toward recovery
  • Finding new addictions
  • Always talking about the good ol’ days (referring to their substance use)
  • Upset about life
  • Self-pity
  • And more …

These things are not part of recovery. Often the person suffering with this condition are fixated on the fact that they never wanted to get sober in the first place. This causes deep resent and even bitterness.

It Happens

The Dry Drunk is not a bad person. They have actually done something very impressive: taken on a powerful addiction all on their own. But now they are miserable!

And recovery is not miserable. It is the superior way to experience life. This is why detox and addiction from a high-quality treatment center with an experienced staff and a individualized approach to each person’s recovery, is the best option. This is the kind of treatment clients receive from SoCal Detox in Orange County, California (San Clemente).

In order to get put on the right path for full, real recovery as opposed to angry abstinence, chose SoCal for the first step for you or your loved one. Call us today for a free consultation with one of our addiction specialists to find out about our unique individualized program: 888-590-0777.

help loved one stop drinking

Helping Someone Stop Drinking

It’s an uphill grind to be sure. The romanticized picture of the glories of alcohol and the people who imbibe is one of the major players in the fight for sobriety. Here in Southern California, the problem is as big as anywhere. The commercials, the rows of bars, the West Coast IPA beer culture. As well, there is a growing market for alcohol being pushed towards women. T-shirts that talk about drinking wine all day as well as other campaigns that encourage women to have a drink because they deserve it as their parental right.

So with all these things in play, how do you know if your loved one is drinking too much? And how do you help them quit?

Spotting Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder is the term used for when someone is addicted to alcohol, or otherwise known as an alcoholic. AUD is an actual medical diagnosis, and can only be applied by a qualified doctor. However, there are a few things you can be on the look out for to gauge wether your loved one is at risk for this disease.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), here are a few questions you can ask:

In the past year has your loved one:

  • Had times when you ended up drinking more, or longer than they intended?
  • More than once wanted to cut down or stop drinking, or tried to, but couldn’t?
  • Spent a lot of time drinking? Or being sick or getting over the aftereffects?
  • Experienced craving — a strong need, or urge, to drink?
  • Found that drinking — or being sick from drinking — often interfered with taking care of their home or family? Or caused job troubles? Or school problems?
  • Continued to drink even though it was causing trouble with their family or friends?
  • Given up or cut back on activities that were important or interesting to you, or gave you pleasure, in order to drink?
  • Found that when the effects of alcohol were wearing off, they had withdrawal symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, nausea, or sweating? Or sensed things that were not there?

These are some of the symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder, and if your loved one has one or multiple of these, there may be a cause for concern.

How to Talk to Someone About Their Alcohol Addiction

Talking to someone about AUD is going to vary from person to person. And it will make a difference what kind of relationship is already in existence. If you currently have a tenuous relationship with the person you believe is suffering from AUD, you might not be the best person to bring it up. This type of disease is quite personal, and the way that it hijacks the brain makes individuals very defensive when the topic is broached.

If, however, you already have a loving relationship where there is plenty of mutual respect and trust, you may not only have the right, you may have a responsibility to talk to your friend or family member.

Just Do It: Talking About Alcohol Addiction

Though there are lots of wrong ways, there is really no “correct” way to bring up a possible alcohol addiction. But there are a few guidelines.

Be supportive: Speaking up is only the start. If you love the person, you will be willing to walk with them through their journey to recovery. When you talk to your loved one, be prepared with what their options are and what you are willing to do to help.

Express concern, not stigma: Addiction to alcohol happens to anyone, anywhere, at any time. It is not a sign of laziness or moral failure. It is a disease that affects the brain and takes over many behaviors and internal drives of the person afflicted. When you talk to your loved one, let them know you have seen some aspects of their life that seem to be at risk because of their attachment to alcohol and its effects. These might include their family, job, school, friendships, finances, safety and more. These are “big” deals, and hopefully your loved one cares enough to take those kinds of things seriously.

Know that it takes more than concern: If your loved one does indeed have AUD, this is not something they can fix on their own. It’s not a question of will power and it even goes beyond that of desire. They will need the help of a professional, qualified addiction treatment center that will give them individualized care and an executable plan that will enable them to find real, lasting recovery.

Start Here: A High Quality Orange County Detox — SoCal Detox

SoCal Detox is the most comprehensive and powerful program available to get your loved one started on the right track. Our detox program is carefully crafted for each individual client that comes to us for help, and it is expansive to make sure the appropriate assessments are made to place each person in the most effective next-step situation for further treatment and lasting recovery.

If you are planning on talking to a loved one about their possible alcohol addiction, please call us today. One of our addiction specialists will be happy to answer any questions about what your next steps should be. Call today: 888-590-0777.

Demi Lovato’s Opioid Overdose and How Narcan Can Save a Life

Narcan can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Here’s info on what happens, where to get it, and … why it’s not the full solution.

As was widely publicized and talked about in across the media, in late July, 2018, Demi Lovato, pop starlet and TV personality, overdosed on heroin.

However, one of her friends had Narcan on-hand. This quite possibly saved her life.

So what is Narcan? What did it do for her? Why did her friends have some lying around?

Be Prepared

In the case of Lovato, reportedly her friends had seen the cycle of heavy use returning. So they took the precaution of stocking up on Narcan (the brand name for Naloxone). This is usually a nasal spray you can use to treat an opioid overdose. Other forms of Narcan include an intravenous option or one you can inject into muscle, similar to what you would get with an  EpiPen. 

What Does It Do?

When a person takes opioids (including heroin or morphine or other prescription drugs such as  OxyContin, Vicodin), the drug binds to opioid receptors, which are situated around the body. Once in the brain, however, dopamine (a pleasure hormone) is released to a much further extent than is usually possible. As well, pain is blocked, breathing slows, and the overall feeling of calm becomes prevalent. Along with these effects, the heart slows as well. And when a person overdoses on opioids, their brain ceases to receive the correct signals. So the slowed breathing and heart actually begin to shut down. During an opioid overdose, drain damage occurs quickly because of the lack of oxogen.

opioid overdose

Enter Naloxone: Narcan

If a person is experiencing this kind of overdose, the Narcan will effectively reverse the results. It competes with the opioids and clears the receptors. This can definitely save a person undergoing an overdose. However, depending on how much of the substance is in the system, sometimes multiple doses of Narcan are necessary. The effects can even wear off before a person is out of the clear.

There are not many side-effects to Narcan; however, it’s possible for a person overdosing on heroin to experience full, instantaneous withdrawal after taking Narcan. Which is clearly undesirable. 

Where to Get It?

Though Narcan typically requires a prescription, recent laws have passed to make it easier to obtain. At a typical pharmacy most of the time you can get a “prescription” right there. If you are using opioids or love someone who is, get some Narcan. It could save their life. But Don’t Stop There.

Detoxing From Opioids in San Clemente, California

The opioid epidemic in America is widespread and devastating in its reach. Narcan is a tool to use in the fight, but is not the solution. If you or a loved one are addicted to opioids, real recovery comes with a program that has proven methods and a team that is able to administer the recovery program with excellence. SoCal Detox is the first step to full recovery from opioids.

To talk to one of our addiction specialists, call us today: 888-590-0777.