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Breaking the Cycle of Depression and Substance Use Disorder

Substance abuse can intensify feelings of loneliness and depression. This article discusses the relationship between depression and substance use disorders (SUD). It covers how substance use disorders and depression interact. It also covers how depression can raise the likelihood of substance use disorders. You will also learn about the possible treatments as well as the symptoms connected to these diseases.

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Can Depression Increase Your Risk of Substance Use Disorders?

Living with depression can lead individuals to engage in self-medication, using alcohol and other substances to alleviate or manage their depressive symptoms. Research indicates that people with depression are nearly twice as likely to self-medicate with alcohol than drugs. There are several common reasons why individuals may resort to self-medication:

Soothing Unwanted Emotions

Feeling sad, lonely, or angry for extended periods can be emotionally draining. Some individuals use alcohol to relax, temporarily escape distress, or numb emotional pain.

Lifting Moods

Depression often impairs the ability to experience happiness or joy, even during positive events. Some individuals may rely on alcohol or other substances to feel good or to feel anything at all.

Improving Sleep

Depression and insomnia often coexist, leading some individuals to seek sedatives for sleep assistance.

Boosting Energy Levels

Depression can deplete energy levels, partly due to sleep disturbances. Some individuals may use stimulants to feel more alert. While alcohol and drugs may temporarily relieve symptoms, they cannot fully eliminate or address the underlying condition. When substance use is discontinued, depression symptoms usually resurface.

Additionally, prolonged substance use may result in tolerance, requiring larger quantities of the substance to achieve the same effect. Over time, dependence on the substance may develop, further increasing the risk of addiction.

Lack of access to mental health care often contributes to higher rates of self-medication among individuals with untreated depression. Early diagnosis of depression and anxiety in young individuals can reduce the likelihood of developing a substance use disorder.

Can Substance Use Disorders Increase Your Risk of Depression?

Similar to how depression can influence substance use, substance use disorders can also contribute to depression. More severe substance use disorders are more likely to contribute to depressive symptoms. Substance use can affect depression through four main mechanisms:


Certain substances, especially alcohol, can stimulate the short-term release of dopamine, producing pleasurable feelings. However, they can also lead to inflammation in the brain. Inflammation interferes with the brain’s ability to naturally produce mood-boosting chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.


Alcohol and drugs not only reduce levels of mood-boosting chemicals but also elevate stress-related chemicals. For example, individuals who regularly use MDMA may have significantly higher stress hormone cortisol levels than non-users.


Regular use of alcohol or drugs can lead to dependence, causing the brain to rely on these substances to function properly. Abrupt discontinuation of substance use can result in an adjustment period during which the brain struggles to produce adequate levels of serotonin, dopamine, and other essential chemicals.

This adjustment can cause feelings of sadness, numbness, or a loss of interest and pleasure, similar to symptoms of depression. Consequently, individuals may resort to substance use again to feel normal.


Excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs can negatively impact personal and professional life, leading to isolation. Isolation reduces access to emotional support, vital in managing and coping with mental health symptoms. Loneliness is associated with an increased risk of developing depression.

Symptoms of Depression and Substance Misuse

Depression symptoms vary among individuals but commonly include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Guilt
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Physical aches and pain
  • Agitation
  • Decreased physical activity

Symptoms of substance misuse also vary depending on the substance used and existing mental health conditions. Prolonged substance use can have detrimental effects on a person’s health and personal life, resulting in:

  • Impaired daily functioning
  • Declining physical health
  • Financial strain
  • Mood swings
  • Decreased participation in hobbies
  • Increased isolation and reduced social interaction

Individuals experiencing substance misuse meet one or more addiction criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. These criteria include strong urges or cravings, withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation, unsuccessful attempts to control substance use, tolerance, and increased substance use over time.


To diagnose a substance use disorder (SUD), a licensed healthcare or mental health professional must assess an individual based on the criteria established in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Individuals who meet 1-2 criteria are typically diagnosed with mild SUD. A diagnosis of moderate SUD has considered if the person meets 3-5 criteria, while meeting 6 or more criteria indicates a severe SUD.

To diagnose depression, mental health professionals or doctors rely on specific guidelines. For instance, a person needs to have experienced a depressive episode lasting longer than 2 weeks and exhibiting the following symptoms to be considered developing depression disorder.

  • Suicidal thoughts or intentions
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Feelings of guilt or low self-worth
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sluggishness or restlessness
  • Difficulty with decision-making or concentration

If an individual presents symptoms of both SUD and depression, a doctor may concurrently diagnose them with both conditions. However, individuals may receive separate diagnoses for each condition in other cases.


Typically, mental health professionals take a comprehensive approach to addressing both substance use disorders (SUD) and depression simultaneously. Since symptoms of these conditions often intersect, their treatments also tend to overlap. Integrating certain medications and therapeutic interventions can effectively target SUD and depression, enhancing overall treatment outcomes.

To ensure optimal results, a personalized treatment plan should be developed by a doctor, considering the individual’s unique conditions and symptoms. The treatment options may include:

Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a commonly used form of talk therapy that helps individuals develop new coping strategies by challenging irrational thoughts and modifying behaviors.

Depression Medications

Antidepressant medications aim to improve the brain’s processing of mood-controlling chemicals. Finding the most effective medication with minimal side effects may require some trial and error. In certain cases, combining multiple medications may be recommended for a limited period to enhance effectiveness. It is crucial to inform healthcare providers about co-occurring depression and addiction to devise an appropriate treatment plan that prioritizes sobriety.


Living with depression and substance use disorders can be challenging, and seeking support from organizations and support groups can be beneficial for individuals in managing these conditions. You can also opt for organizations offering programs like Outpatient Rehab (OP) and Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP).

These programs help individuals eliminate any harmful behavior they have developed due to peer pressure, genetics, or mental health illnesses. At California Prime Recovery, we ensure our patients get excellent support encouraging them to leave their harmful habits.

Get Help!

Understanding the relationship between depression and substance use disorders is crucial for effective treatment and support. Recognizing the symptoms and available treatments can help individuals seek appropriate help and find healthier ways to cope with their mental health challenges.

If you are looking for credible experts for help, California Prime Recovery is here to help you. Our fully equipped team of experts can tailor treatment programs based on patients’ needs and requirements. So, if you or your loved one is experiencing depression or SUD, contact us today at 866-208-2390

Acid Trip: How Long Does It Last, and What Does It Feel Like?

Acid is a common name for lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), a hallucinogenic substance that affects a person’s mental state for a given period. And the phrase “acid trip” is often used to describe what a person experiences when under the influence of acid. Most individuals may feel disconnected from their surroundings when under the influence of acid. They may hear sounds and sensations that were not there. The user has no control over how long the effects of this drug last; they might last up to 12 hours.

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What is an Acid Trip?

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), commonly known as acid, belongs to the class of drugs known as psychedelics. When someone consumes lysergic acid diethylamide, they may experience substantial alterations in their mental and emotional states and their perception of their surroundings; this is called an “acid trip.” 

During an acid trip, which typically lasts 12 hours, the user loses touch with reality and may feel, see, hear, or sense and observe things that are not real. Acid is a drug that is classified as a Schedule I drug. This indicates that it is not presently used in clinical practice and that there is a significant risk of abuse.

What Does an Acid Trip Feel Like?

The symptoms of an acid trip might begin anywhere between 20 and 90 minutes after intake. The trip may take 10 to 12 hours, but the length of the medication’s effect is determined by various variables, including the dosage, the patient, and the medicine’s quality. Acid’s effects vary widely from person to person and even within the same individual. As a result, there is no generally true way to express the sensations one has during an acid trip. However, several investigations have demonstrated that an acid trip may result in any of the following:

Visual Distortions

Some individuals claim to be able to see colors far more vividly than others. Dazzling halo effects or patterns that revolve around them may attract their attention. Massive things can seem much smaller than they are, and vice versa. Even inanimate things might seem to move at times.


During an acid trip, a person’s senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste, or scent may lead them astray and cause them to perceive something that isn’t there. It might be difficult to distinguish between hallucinations and reality at times. These hallucinations might generate relaxing, comfortable sensations but also induce negative feelings.

Mood Swings

A person may feel an intense connection to and affection for other people or things. Conversely, they may become fearful, paranoid, or angry at others. These feelings may shift rapidly, causing intense mood swings.

Physical Changes

During the acid trip, people may have an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, and profuse sweating. There is also often a total absence of hunger for the duration of the trip.

The Comedown

The comedown is the period following the wearing off of the initial high. Coming down from an acid trip may have various severe emotional consequences. The individual may likely desire to find another way to recreate their exhilaration and pleasure while high. This may encourage some individuals to seek short-term gratification via gambling, retail therapy, or dining out.

A person experiencing a comedown should attempt to relax and sip caffeine-free drinks. Dehydration may occur due to increased sweat and body warmth caused by an acid trip. As a result, rehydrating after an acid trip is critical.

The Afterglow

Some individuals experience an “afterglow” effect long after the comedown has started. The lack of hallucinations or mood swings does not rule out the possibility of experiencing more enjoyment than is customary for the person.

It’s conceivable that your good mood may endure for many weeks. This has encouraged research on the effectiveness of psychedelics such as LSD as depression therapies. While some individuals may have a positive aftereffect after a good trip, this is not guaranteed for everyone.

First Trip

When people use acid for the first time, they may be oblivious to what to anticipate. Some people may be scared or apprehensive about this, while others may be excited. A user’s innermost feelings are likely to influence their acid trip. Some persons with anxiety or stress difficulties may discover that being on an acid trip worsens their symptoms. Those who can balance excitement and relaxation while on a trip are more likely to enjoy themselves. But it’s hard to predict how things will turn out before they happen.

A Bad Trip

Contrary to a good trip, a bad trip describes when someone consumes acid and has a horrible experience. They may have hallucinations, which heighten their anxiety, panic, suicidal thoughts, or fear of death. A bad trip may cause a person’s vision of the world to become warped, resulting in paranoia and, in extreme cases, violent outbursts.

Those who have seen or experienced the impacts of mental diseases such as schizophrenia or psychosis in their family or themselves should avoid using acid. A bad trip with long-term unpleasant consequences, such as flashbacks, may be more prevalent in those with certain genetic predispositions.

Some trips might start as good trips but quickly devolve into bad ones. That’s why bringing along a reliable friend who won’t ditch you halfway through your acid trip is a good idea.

Risks and Side Effects of Acid Trip

The use of acid may result in arrest, prosecution, and the development of a criminal record since it is a controlled substance. Furthermore, since it is unlawful, the government has no control over its security or strength. It may be hard to determine a person’s dosage with exact confidence.

The user may be unaware that the acid contains additional medications such as opioids or hallucinogens and potentially dangerous impurities. Depending on the strength of the medicine, the patient may get a higher or lower dose than intended.

When under the influence of acid, it is normal for people to shut out the world around them. They might have a drastically warped vision of the world and endanger themselves or others. For example, a person may not see that they are about to cross a busy street or are precariously leaning out of a second-story window.

Even though tolerance to acid may develop, the chemical itself is not physiologically addictive. And with tolerance, the more a person uses, the fewer effects they feel. So, to get the same “high,” a higher dose of the medication may be necessary, which might be harmful.

Also,  hallucinogen usage has been linked to a state known as hallucinogen-induced persistent psychosis (HPPD). After using acid, HPPD may cause visual flashbacks, the impression of moving objects, and “halos” of light, all illusions created by the human eye when none exist.

The Way Forward

While a bad trip may be devastating, a good trip can offer you immeasurable joy. However, there is no way of knowing if someone who has already used acid will have a good or bad experience the next time they try it.

Acid does not pose the same risks to the body as other opioids. On the other hand, people who are more prone to mental illness may discover that trip negatively impacts their mental health. If you are struggling to quit acid use, it is best to seek professional help.

At California Prime Recovery, we understand the possible consequences of an acid trip. Those struggling with acid usage may find solace when effective support is available. Contact us today to learn about how we can help at 866-208-2390

Tips to Find Inspiration in Your Recovery Journey

It is not uncommon that a person gets off track during their recovery journey. Many people fighting for themselves to leave alcohol, drug, sex, or other addictions have great chances of starting abuse again in the middle of their journey.

This is when they need inspiration to stay focused on their goal and leave their harmful habit. But for inspiration, they need motivation. And for motivation, they need to practice several things daily. Read further to learn want you can do for an effective recovery journey.

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The Connection between Inspiration and Motivation

Embarking on your journey of addiction recovery marks the initial stride towards a vibrant and wholesome future, a path that will persist throughout your lifetime. To propel yourself forward on this expedition towards vitality, wellness, and the abundant joys that wait, it is imperative to nurture both your motivation and inspiration.

What Does Motivation Mean?

To be precise, it is the dynamic force that propels our actions. There are merely two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. When your actions are driven by a deep-rooted belief in the healthiness and righteousness of your choices, you are guided by intrinsic motivation.

Conversely, if your actions are influenced by external factors or the pursuit of rewards, you have tapped into extrinsic motivation. In the realm of addiction treatment and recovery, both types of motivation often intertwine.

For instance, your triumphs in recovery can be amplified by cultivating meaningful relationships (extrinsic motivation) and the yearning to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life (intrinsic motivation). The key lies in sustaining the motivation to pursue recovery, outweighing the past motivations that bound you to your substance of choice.

What Does Inspiration Mean?

While motivation provides a purpose to break free from addiction, you must also attain the mental, emotional, and spiritual state to tenaciously pursue recovery. Inspiration acts as the driving force that fuels motivation. Also, motivation is defined as an emotional and spiritual compass that directly impacts the human mind and soul to act. These concepts help us to understand why we as individuals must nurture inspiration.

Without motivation, you lack the momentum to embark on the difficult path of recovery. Your motivations can’t do anything without inspiration and nurturing your emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Thus, motivation and inspiration are inherently intertwined and will help you achieve what you seek.

Ways to Find Motivation and Inspiration for Recovery

Embracing the Sunrise

Discovering inspiration in your recovery doesn’t require a grand voyage. In the past, you may have witnessed the sun’s arrival amidst the haze of drug or alcohol use, but now, make a conscious effort to rise early and witness the morning sun.

Savor a cup of coffee or tea as you acknowledge how it helps to start a new day and a fresh beginning, not just for your recovery but for every living being on this planet. Allow the magnificent beauty of the sunrise to ignite a sense of belonging to something vast and magnificent.

Learn about Other People's Stories

If you feel that nobody could comprehend the profound experience of getting and staying sober, remind yourself that this perception is mistaken. Countless individuals have openly shared their journeys through various mediums, both online and in print, and immersing yourself in their narratives can be a great way to find inspiration. It reminds you that you are not alone and that while the path may be complex and long, lifelong sobriety is not only achievable but also immensely rewarding.

Benefit From the Motivational Quotes

When you require a swift surge of motivation, make it a habit to regularly explore quotes that ignite the fires of addiction recovery. These inspirational messages will redirect your thoughts in a more positive direction, providing ample food for thought. You can save them on your smartphone or write them in a journal so that you can check them regularly to stay focused on your journey.

Embrace the Power of Journaling

It’s easy to lose sight of your progress in your recovery journey. Journaling serves as a window into your past, allowing you to witness the subtle transformations over time and fortifying your determination to persevere.

Embrace Your Sober Support Community

Our happiness and fulfillment stem from the companionship, emotional support, and shared experiences of others. Being actively involved in a recovery community provides social support and a sense of fellowship.

Apart from participating in local 12-Step groups or similar programs, your support network can also encompass outpatient group therapy, cultivating sober friendships, and engaging in online forums. These resources are teeming with inspiring individuals who will help fuel your motivation and reinforce your commitment to sobriety.

Be an Inspiration Yourself

One of the most powerful ways to strengthen your recovery is by actively assisting newcomers as they embark on their journey toward healing. Whether it’s serving as a sponsor, sharing your story as a speaker, volunteering at sober events, or simply making coffee and offering words of encouragement during meetings, being of service to those in early recovery helps you maintain your intrinsic motivation and a deep-rooted desire to succeed in your recovery. By becoming a source of inspiration for others, you reinforce your determination and commitment to lasting sobriety.

Embrace the Present Moment

Life spirals into chaos, and time slips through our fingers, leaving behind days and weeks we barely recall. However, by immersing ourselves in the present moment and making the most of it, we can find a wellspring of inspiration.

While life may present its share of mundane moments, it’s important to recognize that there lies the potential for joy even in the ordinary. Discover and cherish those precious moments, cultivating mindfulness and finding comfort within yourself.

Engaging in meditation and mindfulness training can greatly facilitate this process. Free guided meditation videos on platforms like YouTube can be completed in just five to ten minutes, grounding you firmly in the present. As a result, triggers that once stirred anger and worry will breeze by, barely leaving a trace. By becoming less reactive and unbothered by external circumstances, staying inspired in your sobriety becomes effortless.

Contact Recovery Center for Help!

Leaving addiction is not easy for anyone! It requires significant effort and a great time to completely recover from alcohol, drug, or other addictions. As we have discussed, you need to have the inspiration to stay motivated and focused on your goal. While you can try to stay motivated and inspired throughout the process, a reliable recovery center can help you make the process seamless.

At California Prime Recovery, we teach you techniques that offer inspiration and prevent you from leaving the path in the middle of the journey. Our team of experts is fully equipped and has years of experience. They understand patient needs and requirements. Therefore, our professionals tailor our services to the individual’s challenges and needs. So, if you are struggling to completely depart from addiction behaviors, contact us today at 866-208-2390

Why is Meth so Addictive?

Methamphetamine, sometimes known as “meth,” is a stimulant with a high potential for misuse. Nasal inhalation, smoking, oral intake, and intramuscular injection are all common modes of administration; these methods provide a rapid-onset, strong, and euphoric high that may last up to twelve hours. 

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What is Meth?

Methamphetamines, sometimes known as “meth,” “crystal meth,” and “crank,” are highly stimulant drugs that may be smoked, snorted, swallowed, or injected. It is a stimulant drug developed from amphetamines. However, methamphetamines are significantly more potent than amphetamines because the substance may reach the brain in greater quantities. 

Methamphetamine is classified as a Schedule II drug and can potentially cure narcolepsy and ADHD. Methamphetamine dosages used in medical settings are far lower than those observed in illegal markets.

Like cocaine, methamphetamine may be manufactured into a white powder or clear, rock-like shards. Crystal meth, often known as methamphetamine rock, is the narcotic’s purest and most powerful form. The phrase “club drug” refers to the prevalence of crystal meth during raves and club events. It is sometimes referred to as “glass” or “ice.”

Meth Addiction

Methamphetamine is very addicting. Methamphetamine’s euphoric qualities, which include a sense of pleasure and false confidence, make it particularly addictive for first-time users. Some meth users claim that after only one hit, they were addicted. Methamphetamine usage, although initially enjoyable, may ruin a person’s life since it depletes the body of its resources and leaves the user with a dependency that can only be relieved by taking more of the substance.

Furthermore, the pleasure experienced by those who smoke or inject meth wears off rapidly, even before the substance enters circulation. People who use meth this way sometimes participate in a “binge-and-crash pattern,” in which they repeatedly overdose to retain their initial high. If they continue to use meth, they will most likely not eat or sleep for many days. This is referred to as a “run.”

The euphoric high that increases dopamine levels in the brain causes methamphetamine addicts to experience. So, chronic use of methamphetamine destroys brain cells that create dopamine. As a consequence, long-term methamphetamine users lose the capacity to enjoy activities that they previously did without the drug. The pleasure centers may heal over time, but the cognitive capacities of the user may be permanently harmed.

Causes and risk factors for meth addiction

One of the most prevalent reasons for drug abuse is discontent with living conditions. Drug addiction may develop for various causes, including the quest for novelty, social acceptability, respite from boredom, escape from unpleasant events, etc. Methamphetamine is often used to “solve” a medical issue, but its overuse and the repercussions become a problem in their own right. The main causes of meth addiction can be categorized into the following:


Genetic investigations have shown that certain people are genetically predisposed to drug misuse and addiction. This is particularly true for persons with a close member who is an alcoholic or addict, such as a parent or brother. These persons are more likely to get addicted to illegal drugs.


Some data supports biological experts’ hypothesis that low dopamine levels in the brain are the basis of methamphetamine addiction. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps us feel happy when we do things like cuddle with our kids or eat a particularly nice meal. Because of the specific neurochemistry that renders them sensitive to its effects, those who misuse methamphetamines may be hardwired to seek the drug’s euphoric effects.


Because many mental diseases and other ailments may reduce pleasant feelings, many people resort to drug misuse to manage their symptoms. Methamphetamine, like other addictive chemicals, affects the brain’s normal supply of dopamine. While not under the drug’s effect, methamphetamine addicts eventually lose their feeling of pleasure.


If a person was raised in a dysfunctional environment where they felt unwanted and neglected, their sensitivity to drug misuse rises. Furthermore, if children watch their parents taking drugs such as meth, they may begin to assume that consuming drugs is a good way to deal with stress. Furthermore, when parents drink or use drugs in front of their children, they normalize the behavior, making it more socially acceptable to the child. In the future, this might lead to addiction issues.

Warning Signs of Meth Abuse

Because of the drug’s broad-ranging effects on the brain and body, there is a wide variety of probable symptoms and warning indications of meth usage. Although meth is very addictive, not everyone who takes it gets addicted. Addiction is formally defined as a drug use disorder, although not everyone who shows drug use symptoms, such as weariness, neurotic scratching, and irritability, is addicted to meth.

One of the first signs of meth addiction is a sudden loss of interest in formerly interesting activities. Meth use will eventually precede other hobbies, relationships, and job ambitions. People who begin using methamphetamines are likely to attempt to conceal their addiction at first, but the longer they misuse the drug, the more visible it becomes in their everyday life. Methamphetamine can change a user’s chemistry so that a drug activity done for pleasure becomes a significant priority.

Tweaking is another indicator of meth use. Stress and sleep deprivation may last anywhere from three to fifteen days. Tweaking is a behavior shown by meth users after a drug binge when they can no longer experience a high or rush from the substance. Because of the strong desire to use the drug again, tweaking may create psychological symptoms such as paranoia, aggression, and bewilderment. These signs and symptoms may persist for an extended length of time. 

Also, the crash phase is an indication of meth usage. Throughout this phase, the absence of dopamine provided by the meth induces tremendous weariness. Crash effects may last anywhere from one to three days, including excessive tiredness, acute drug cravings, and depression.

The Dangers of Meth

Although many individuals know the harmful repercussions of using meth, a surprising number of people do so. Methamphetamine is much more harmful than other stimulants because a larger concentration of the substance survives digestion and remains in the brain for longer. Because of the drug’s ability to alter the connections between brain cells, methamphetamine use has been linked to changes in mood and tolerance. 

The drug is damaging to the nerve endings in the brain. Long-term meth use changes brain chemistry, destroys circuitry in the pleasure region of the brain, and ultimately makes it impossible for the user to feel pleasure without the drug. Long-term meth use has been related to behavioral problems and damage to organ systems and brain arteries, possibly leading to a stroke.

Effects of Meth Abuse

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive narcotic that can destroy a person’s life. In the absence of therapy, the following problems are likely to arise as a result of meth use:

  • Interpersonal conflict
  • Marital issues/divorce 
  • Emotional alienation.
  • Disconnection from society
  • Persistent unemployment
  • Money issues
  • Homelessness
  • Weakened immune system
  • Contracting diseases such as HIV or hepatitis from unsterilized needles or unprotected sex
  • Death, either from overdose or suicide

Get Help Today

Meth is a dangerous narcotic with a significant risk of misuse and overdose. If you know someone who is displaying indications of meth misuse, you must emphasize the need to receive professional treatment. Inpatient treatment programs, counseling, and support groups may all assist persons battling methamphetamine addiction in becoming and becoming clean. 

At California Prime Recovery, we understand the possible consequences of meth use. Those struggling with meth addiction may find solace when effective support is available. Contact us today to learn about how we can help at 866-208-2390

Pica Disorder: Eating Chalk, Dirt and Soap?

Have you ever seen people, kids especially, eating chalk, dirt, soap, and other non-edible items? Do you also do that? In that case, you might be experiencing pica disorder. While many people don’t pay heed to it, it’s a disorder that needs attention.

There are several signs and causes of the disorder that you need to know before you move to its treatment method. Here we have explained signs, causes, treatment, and much more to help you understand the condition. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

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What is Pica Disorder?

Pica is a condition primarily affecting pregnant individuals and children, leading them to experience an intense urge to consume non-food substances. These items may pose a danger to their health and safety. People with pica disorder compulsively ingest objects that lack nutritional value, ranging from relatively harmless items like ice to potentially hazardous materials such as flakes of dried paint or metal pieces.

Engaging in the latter behavior can have severe consequences, including the risk of lead poisoning. Although this disorder is most commonly observed in children and pregnant women, it is typically temporary. If you or your child find it challenging to resist consuming non-food items, it is crucial to consult a doctor immediately. Seeking treatment can assist in avoiding potentially serious side effects.

Furthermore, individuals with intellectual disabilities are also susceptible to developing pica. In these cases, the condition often manifests as more severe and persistent, particularly among individuals with some developmental disabilities.

How to Identify Pica Disorder?

As we have discussed, people with pica disorder habitually eat non-edible items. If this behavior persists for a month, it is classified as pica disorder.

 If you or someone around you have pica, they might be habitual of consuming things like:

  • Soap
  • Ice
  • Clay
  • Buttons
  • Dirt
  • Hair
  • Cigarette ashes
  • Sand
  • Chalk
  • The remainder of the cigarette
  • Glue

While people commonly eat these items, there are several other non-food items that many people prefer to eat when suffering from the disorder.

Causes of Pica Disorder

The underlying causes of pica are not yet fully understood by experts, but various factors can increase the likelihood of its development.

Learned Behaviors and Culture

They play a role in certain forms of pica, where specific non-food item consumption is considered socially acceptable in particular cultures or religions. For instance, eating dirt is a religious practice at El Santuario de Chimayó, a Roman Catholic shrine in New Mexico, USA. In cities within South Africa, it is culturally common among young women.

Severe Anxiety and Stress

Stress or anxiety can contribute to pica as it may serve as an outlet or coping mechanism for individuals experiencing these issues. Negative childhood conditions, particularly in low socioeconomic environments such as poverty, have been associated with a higher prevalence of pica. The reasons behind this correlation are not yet fully understood. However, it is hypothesized that pica may serve as a coping mechanism for children facing abuse or neglect or as attention-seeking behavior, particularly in cases where one or both parents are absent.

Mental Health Disorders

Psychological issues, whether developed spontaneously or present since birth due to disruptions in fetal development or inherited genetic disorders, may also lead to weird eating habits, leading to pica.

Medical Conditions

Some medical issues, such as pregnancy and sickle cell anemia, have been found to have connections to pica. But the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood.


While certain medications have been linked to an increased risk of developing pica or similar behaviors, it remains uncertain whether these medications directly cause pica in individuals. Further research is needed to establish a definitive relationship between medication usage and the onset of pica symptoms.

Symptoms of Pica

You can notice pica symptoms based on the specific non-food item you have been consuming for a long time. These symptoms may include:

Upset Stomach

Individuals may experience discomfort or a sense of unease in the abdominal region.

Stomach Pain

Pica can lead to abdominal pain, characterized by aching or cramping sensations in the stomach.

Presence of Blood in the Stool

The blood in the stool may indicate the presence of an ulcer that has developed due to ingesting non-food items.

Bowel Problems

Pica can disrupt normal bowel function, leading to complications such as constipation or diarrhea. These symptoms arise due to the toxic, poisonous, and bacterial nature of consumed non-food items. Prolonged and repeated ingestion of non-food items can result in the following adverse consequences:

Lead Poisoning

Ingesting paint chips that contain lead can lead to lead poisoning, which can have severe health implications.

Intestinal Blockage or Tear

Consumption of hard objects like rocks can potentially cause blockages or tears within the intestines, posing a serious risk to overall gastrointestinal health.

Tooth Injuries

Eating non-food items can cause damage to the teeth, resulting in various dental problems and potential tooth injuries.


It is obvious that when you are eating unhealthy or harmful items, they can result in infections. Non-food items may introduce harmful organisms and parasites into the body, leading to infections and associated diseases.

Treatment for Pica Disorder

Treatment approaches for pica disorder are tailored to address the underlying factors associated with the condition. Healthcare professionals are crucial in managing the symptoms often associated with pica.

The specific symptoms exhibited depend on the types of non-food items consumed. Common treatment options for pica include:

Medications for Constipation or Diarrhea

 Medications can also be prescribed to address constipation or diarrhea and to alleviate gastrointestinal issues resulting from pica.

Treatment of Stomach Ulcers

In cases where stomach ulcers have developed due to consuming non-food items, appropriate treatments are administered to manage and heal these ulcers.

Antibiotic Treatment for Infections

When pica leads to infections caused by the introduction of harmful organisms or parasites into the body, antibiotics may be prescribed to address and resolve these infections.

Nutritional Supplements for Nutrient Deficiencies

To tackle the nutritional deficiencies often associated with pica, healthcare providers may recommend and provide nutritional supplements to ensure adequate nutrient intake.

Additionally, addressing other concurrent medical issues, such as lead poisoning resulting from ingesting lead-containing substances, is essential to pica treatment.

Behavioral Treatment Methods for Pica Disorder

Behavioral treatment plays a significant role in managing pica behaviors, which share similarities with symptoms and patterns observed in other conditions like bulimia or obsessive-compulsive disorder. It has also been observed in individuals with bipolar disorder.

Treatment methods targeting the pica behavior itself may involve:

  • A referral to behavioral health offering different mental health treatment
  • Usage of medications that eliminates or manage certain behavioral problems and help control the urges and impulses to consume non-food.
  • Behavior modification programs reward the appropriate food choice to help redirect an individual’s attention.

Get Help!

Professional help is necessary when you or your friends or family suffer from severe pica disorder. At California Prime Recovery, we help our patients to overcome several disorders, mental health issues, and addiction. Our experts are fully equipped, experienced, and trained to create treatment plans based on your medical needs. So, if you need help, California Prime Recovery is here to help you. Contact us today at 866-208-2390

Cost of Addiction on the Individual and Society

The negative effects of addiction can easily become evident in a person’s emotional and physical health, as well as their relationships, careers, and educational opportunities. However, one of the most important effects of addiction is the likely toll it can take on a person’s finances. Whether addicted to illegal drugs like cocaine or legal substances like alcohol, the maintenance expense may be detrimental to one’s financial situation.

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The Cost Of Drug Addictions On Your Finances

Because of their increasing tolerance, victims of addiction will often need to purchase more and more of the substance before they begin to feel its effects. This means that even if the drug of choice is cheap, the costs of drinking and using it daily may soon pile up. Addiction usually costs people thousands of dollars each year, leaving addicts in debt if they don’t receive support.

Many addicts borrow money from loved ones or refuse to fulfill crucial financial commitments to fuel their habit. Worse still, most individuals with drug addiction problems often deplete their savings or retirement assets, sell belongings, and/or take out loans to sustain their habit. And addiction’s financial consequences may be exacerbated if legal or medical expenses arise due to the addict’s behavior. 

Regardless of how much different drugs and alcohol cost, compulsive usage is always connected with addiction. The costs of these drugs will mount with continued usage, and evaluating how much you’re spending on your addiction may prompt you to question whether or not they are worth it.


Most alcoholics don’t have just one drink, and the prices of alcoholic beverages vary widely. Understanding that a cheap beer addiction can still harm your finances is important. Spending $60 every weekend on booze at bars and social events would total more than $3,000 annually.

However, many alcoholics continue to drink, resulting in much more financial losses through recurring binge drinking episodes that are likely to become habitual for the addict. Binge drinkers spend between $4,500 and $6,000 annually on alcoholic drinks.



Cigarette smoking is an expensive habit that may rapidly get out of hand. Because most packs in the United States contain at least 20 cigarettes, many American smokers acquire the “pack-a-day” habit. A pack-a-day smoker should expect to spend $138 to $320 monthly on cigarettes or $1,600 to more than $4,000 annually. 

It’s important to realize that none of these estimates consider the expenses of smoking-related health problems. Some possible consequences of smoking include lung illness, cancer, heart disease, blood clots, and asthma aggravation.


Illegal Substances

Many illicit and restricted medications are difficult to obtain without official authorization. These drugs include Marijuana, heroin, cocaine, opium, and other regulated medications. Because many users get these drugs via smuggling and illegal ways, their costs are substantially higher than legal options such as alcohol and cigarettes.

Marijuana is still considered potentially addictive, although it is not as addictive as other illegal substances. In most circumstances, one ounce of cannabis may cost more than $200; if you smoke four joints daily, that ounce won’t last you more than a week. Marijuana addicts spend about $7,000 each year on their habits.

However, the expense and risk of addiction associated with cocaine and heroin are far higher. For instance, one gram of cocaine could cost as much as $150 daily. And using this estimate, cocaine addicts are likely to spend anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 yearly. Those with serious addictions may spend tens of thousands of dollars on their habit yearly. While a single dosage of heroin may only cost $5 or $10, “die-hard” users spend $100 to $200 per day on the drug, amounting to more than $54,000 per year.

The Cost Of Drug Addiction To Society

It is important to consider the personal cost of drug addiction and the overall cost that society bears due to people’s drug addictions. Everyone in our society pays a price in the battle against addiction, from intimate friends and family to colleagues and acquaintances. The following are the most typical costs that drug addiction imposes on society:


Lost Productivity

Drug abuse victims often find it difficult to be at their peak performance when they are under the influence of the substance they abuse. This loss in optimal performance might seem negligible when examined on individual bases, but over time, it can add to a lot of loss in productivity. 

This loss in productivity is calculated using statistics such as lower labor participation, imprisonment, illness, early mortality, and the usage of addiction treatment programs that hinder productive work. All these components are counterproductive to efficiency.

Addiction may influence a person in various ways, each of which can lead to decreased productivity. Someone may get ill, spend all of their sick time to feed their drug habit, recuperate from the aftereffects of their drunkenness, and then become ill again, necessitating even more time off work. An alcoholic may be three times a week late for work, unable to perform their job owing to the consequences of an alcohol hangover. All these scenarios lead to decreased productivity in society.


Increased Crime Rate

Cocaine and methamphetamine are the most often connected narcotics with criminal conduct. Heroin is a significant contributor to property crime throughout the nation. Many people who get addicted to drugs first assume they would never participate in criminal activity due to their addiction.

However, some addictions are more likely to lead to criminal behavior than others. Alcoholics, for example, are less likely to resort to robbery or other illicit ways to get alcohol since it is legal, freely available, and affordable. Opiate users, on the other hand, are more likely to transition to heroin, which has been shown to create the kind of desperation that may lead to criminal conduct to sustain the costly habit.

Burden on the Healthcare Systems

It’s no secret that drug addiction contributes significantly to the expenditures faced by healthcare systems. Many addicts attempt to conceal the signs of their drug consumption by missing routine checks, but this may lead to more costly medical treatment in the long run. Many hospitals are experiencing staffing shortages due to the increased demand for medical treatment caused by the avoidable effects of drug addiction.

You Can Stop Addiction Today

Substance abuse, such as drug and alcohol misuse, harms one’s emotional and physical well-being and financial situation. Although overcoming addiction is not an easy task, it is essential that individuals strive due to the many severe health and financial implications of addiction.

At California Prime Recovery, we assist clients in overcoming their alcohol and drug addictions. You can contact us to see how we can help you deal with your addiction problems at 866-208-2390

Can You Get Addicted to Benadryl?

Are you taking Benadryl for a long time? Do you think you have developed a drug addiction? Or are you worried that your loved one might have a Benadryl addiction? In that case, you need to read this article further. Here we have discussed its signs and symptoms that will help you identify the problem.

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What is Benadryl Addiction?

Although it may be difficult to believe, Benadryl has been linked to addiction problems. It is an over-the-counter allergy medication. Many people use Benadryl to treat insomnia and reduce anxiety because it can lower histamine activity in the body, which has a sedative effect.

After some time, the body needs additional medication to provide the intended effects. As a result, when someone stops taking Benadryl, they frequently have trouble falling asleep and may experience increased anxiety. There will also be other withdrawal effects from Benadryl.

Because taking more of the medicine is the only way to temporarily eliminate these symptoms, addiction to the drug may develop. While you can get addicted to Benadryl, it can only happen if you take it excessively.

Benadryl Dependence vs. Benadryl Addictions

It’s critical to distinguish between a Benadryl addiction and dependence. Strong cravings, obsession with obtaining the substance, and an inability to manage use are common characteristics of addiction. Overdosing on Benadryl as a result of addiction can be harmful to one’s health.

However, dependence is when a person’s body starts to rely on a particular amount of medication. Abuse of Benadryl leads to excessive use of the drug. If people abruptly stop using the drug, they will experience withdrawal symptoms like sadness, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia.

Symptoms of Benadryl Overdose or Abuse

Several signs help you identify if an individual is taking Benadryl excessively. These symptoms can vary from person to person and affect each person differently. Knowing the symptoms of Benadryl addiction is important to help your loved ones escape the addiction. Here we have mentioned some of the most common psychological, social, physical, and behavioral signs of Benadryl abuse.

Psychological Signs 

Some psychological symptoms are as follows.

  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood swings

Physical Signs 

Here are some common physical symptoms of abuse.

  • Inability to fall asleep until you consume the drug
  • Low blood pressure
  • Shivering
  • Increased tolerance to the drug
  • Increased anxiety when you don’t consume Benadryl

Behavioral Signs 

Some behavioral signs of Benadryl addiction are:

  • Don’t consider self-care
  • Legal issues
  • Financial issues
  • Spend a great amount of time taking Benadryl

Social Signs

Benadryl addiction social signs are also quite noticeable, which are:

  • Withdrawing from society
  • Inability to enjoy activities or hobbies you once loved
  • Trouble in most relationships

Side Effects of Benadryl Addiction

Benadryl substance abuse disorder has both short and long-term effects. It’s critical for you to know so that you can identify them in yourself and your loved ones. Several visible signs of a Benadryl overdose will help you know if someone has taken the substance.

Short-Term Side Effects

Here are some short-term side effects of Benadryl abuse.

  • Thinking and memory impairments
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Liver issues
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Seizures

Long-Term Side Effects

Some long-term side effects of Benadryl overdose are:

  • Difficulties with coordination and cognition
  • Trembling
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, hallucinations, and seizures
  • Abnormal heartbeat
  • Increased dementia risk
  • Double vision
  • Liver and kidney issues

Who Is Prone to a Benadryl Abuse?

Benadryl can be used to treat several illnesses; therefore, getting addicted to it might not be your main motivation for taking it. Those who take the drug to get rid of insomnia have more risk of developing addiction. Patients with Parkinson’s disease have a significant risk of developing an addiction to the drug when prescribed Benadryl to treat tremors and muscle spasms.

Schizophrenia patients can get addicted to Benadryl, as it helps them cope with the side effects of antipsychotic medication. Due to its capacity to completely and utterly relax users, anxious people commonly use Benadryl. This is the primary reason it turns into an addiction. This drug is very cheap and can be easily found. You don’t need a doctor’s prescription to purchase it, which often results in drug abuse.

Treatment Options for Benadryl Addiction

While Benadryl addiction can impact a person’s mind and body, several treatment options exist to overcome this problem. Based on the organization you choose, your doctor will treat Benadryl addiction in different ways, including:

Residential Treatment Program

This program requires you to stay in the treatment facility for one to three months. This program works great for people who are dealing with severe addictions. If your doctor notices that you can’t stop taking Benadryl without the proper expert supervision, they will suggest you opt for this option.

Intensive Outpatient Program

This program is designed to split your treatment time between home life and drug treatment. Patients might need to live in the facility for six to eight hours daily but can return to their houses. Intensive outpatient treatment might act as a follow-up for residential care or primary treatment.

Outpatient Treatment

This treatment option for Benadryl addiction requires you to get a few therapies in a month. This is usually done as the final stage of the addiction treatment. Also, your doctor will suggest the right number of visits you need every month.

Benadryl Addiction Treatments Stages


Detox will be the first recovery phase if you have a Benadryl dependency. It helps your body to get rid of harmful toxins. There will be withdrawal symptoms, but the healthcare team will monitor the procedure to make you comfortable.


To lessen the effects of Benadryl withdrawal, use medication. Additionally, it can treat despair and anxiety, two underlying causes of diphenhydramine addiction.

Mental Health Therapy

People dependent on Benadryl will speak with a therapist as part of their treatment. A dual diagnosis approach will typically be established, treating both the addiction and the root of it at the same time.

Peer Support Groups

In this kind of group therapy, you get together with your peers to talk about common issues and realize many people are experiencing the same problem, making it easier for you to overcome the issue.

Treating Benadryl Addiction at California Prime Recovery

If you need assistance with Benadryl addiction, California Prime Recovery can assist you. You may get the help you need to quit using Benadryl at California Prime Recovery, one of the premier treatment facilities you can find in California.

Benadryl addiction treatment program offered by California Prime Recovery is made to provide you with the resources you need to overcome addiction. Each client’s treatment plan is created specifically for them by professionals skilled at addressing any underlying conditions that might force them to depend on a drug.

Doing this will create fresh, healthy coping strategies and plans for addressing potential triggers. You can attain sobriety and receive the resources you need to maintain it with the help of the compassionate doctors offered at California Prime Recovery. Don’t wait, and contact California Prime Recovery today at 866-208-2390

Amphetamine vs. Dextroamphetamine: Uses, Differences, Side Effects, and More

Amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are stimulant drugs that are often prescribed for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD is one of childhood’s most common neurodevelopmental disorders. It is characterized by attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness. 

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What is Amphetamine?

Amphetamine is a potent drug in ADHD therapy because it includes d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine salts that are combined in the ratio of 3:1, respectively. The drug is best suited for children above the age of three. It also includes various binders, guaranteeing that the body can function properly. 

Amphetamine is available as a tablet or capsule. The medication triggers the production of more dopamine and norepinephrine, thus exciting the nerve cells, making the individual feel more at ease, and assisting in alleviating their anxiety. 

The mental effects of amphetamine use can be compared to the high that is gotten from the intake of cocaine, except that the effects of cocaine only last around one hour. In contrast, the effects of amphetamine consumption might last from a few minutes to many hours. Using other drugs or alcohol together with amphetamine may intensify the euphoria, but you may be endangering your life.

What is Dextroamphetamine?

Dextroamphetamine is mainly composed of d-amphetamine, a less powerful but effective version of amphetamine. While both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine therapies accomplish the same results, removing one of the salts makes dextroamphetamine less damaging to patients. Although youngsters account for most instances of ADHD, anyone over three can take the drug, according to a doctor’s prescription.

There are two capsule options for dextroamphetamine: the extended capsule, which is taken entirely at once, and the span capsule, which is taken gradually over a longer period. It is important to ensure you take this medication under the supervision and prescription of a professional healthcare practitioner because it has a broad spectrum of physiological and psychological side effects.

Uses of Amphetamines and Dextroamphetamine

Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine work by altering the levels of certain endogenous brain neurotransmitters. This drug combination has shown potential in the treatment of ADHD. It might help you concentrate better, pay attention for longer periods, and control behavioral disorders. They may also be used to improve attentiveness and boost listening skills.

How Should Amphetamines and Dextroamphetamine Be Used?

The tablet may be taken with or without meals, but it must be taken consistently as prescribed. Dextroamphetamine and amphetamine shouldn’t be taken late in the afternoon or evening since they can prevent you from falling asleep. Always follow the prescription on your medication’s label, and if you have any questions, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

The extended-release capsules should be consumed whole without being chewed or broken. If an extended-release capsule cannot be taken whole, the contents may be sprinkled over a spoonful of applesauce. Only split the capsule open if you are having problems taking it whole. Fill your mouth with the applesauce mixture and swallow it whole without chewing. You should not save the medicine-in-applesauce combination for subsequent use, and you should not split the contents of a capsule into more than one dose.

Because dexamphetamine and amphetamine are stimulants, your doctor will most likely begin with a modest dosage and progressively increase it, but no more than once per week. Your doctor may advise you to stop dextroamphetamine or amphetamine to determine if you still need the medicines. Because of the various ways the body processes the chemical inside each product, switching between different dextroamphetamine and amphetamine preparations is not encouraged.

Difference Between Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

While amphetamine and dextroamphetamine are very similar, there are a couple of differences between the two drugs. While dextroamphetamine can only be obtained as a capsule, amphetamine is available as a tablet and an extended-release capsule. 

Also, the use of amphetamine triggers the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. On the other hand, dextroamphetamine triggers the release of only dopamine. 

Furthermore, dextroamphetamine comprises only d-amphetamine, while amphetamine is obtained by mixing d-amphetamine and l-amphetamine at a recommended ratio of 3:1.

Side Effects of Amphetamine and Dextroamphetamine

The major side effects of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine include:

  • nervousness
  • headache
  • changes in sex drive or ability
  • painful menstrual cramps
  • dry mouth
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • weight loss

Possible Risk Of Drug Abuse And Addiction

The effects of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine may be very addictive when combined. Inform your primary care physician about any previous issues with alcohol or drug abuse. Do not raise your dosage, administration frequency, or therapy duration without first seeing your doctor. Taking too much of the stimulants dextroamphetamine and amphetamine may result in addiction and possibly bizarre behavior.

Those who have taken too much dextroamphetamine or amphetamine should see a doctor before discontinuing therapy. Your doctor will most likely gradually reduce your dosage while closely monitoring you. Sudden withdrawal from stimulants such as dextroamphetamine and amphetamine may induce intense depression and fatigue.

Another way to reduce the likelihood of addiction is to avoid giving your prescription to someone else without first consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Because dextroamphetamine and amphetamine are highly addictive, doing so may put the person at risk of developing a drug addiction.

Amphetamines and dextroamphetamines are regulated drugs due to the potential for damage to people who use them. Therefore, you are always advised to lock up the amphetamine and dextroamphetamine so that no one else comes across them accidentally or on purpose. Keep note of how many pills or capsules are in the container to check whether any are missing.


Dextroamphetamine is an amphetamine enantiomer. It acts as a stimulant on the central nervous system (CNS) and is often used to treat narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The two amphetamine isomers that have an impact on the body are dextroamphetamine (also known as d-amphetamine) and levoamphetamine (also known as l-amphetamine). Dextroamphetamine is three to five times stronger than levoamphetamine.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is treated with a combination of dextroamphetamine and amphetamine sold under the brand names Adderall, Adderall XR, and Mydayis.

It works by altering the levels of certain endogenous brain neurotransmitters. Both amphetamine and dextroamphetamine belong to the stimulant family of medications. It may help you concentrate more efficiently, boost self-control, and improve your attention.

Get Help Today

ADHD drugs have a significant potential for abuse due to their intoxicating effects. Therefore, you must get professional assistance if you or a loved one abuses prescription stimulant medications. Abuse of these medications may lead to major problems, including fatal overdoses, but therapy can help you overcome your addiction and resume a healthy, productive life.

People must constantly remember that asking for help does not have to make them feel humiliated. Giving medical practitioners the necessary information allows them to work with patients to develop the most successful treatment approach for their specific circumstances. Testing may not easily detect drug misuse or addiction, but a medical specialist may speak to a patient about their substance usage and identify any risk factors that might suggest it.

At California Prime Recovery, we understand the possible consequences of addiction. As a result, our comprehensive approach to treating addiction may benefit those struggling with drug addiction. Contact us today at 866-208-2390

Addiction to Dopamine: Is it Possible?

Wondering whether dopamine production in your body is causing any type of addiction? Well, it can be possible. You need to read further to identify whether you are getting affected by dopamine or not.

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What Is Dopamine?

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in our brains that makes us feel good and happy. So, when we do certain things, our brain releases dopamine and boom, we get that pleasurable sensation. And here’s the cool part: our brain connects that behavior with pleasure, so we feel motivated to do it again.

It’s like our brain has this built-in reward system going on. And this process is also known as the “rewards system.” But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. While it evolved to help us survive, this system also leads to addiction and abuse related to different things. Hence, dopamine plays a complex role in addiction.

Activities That Release Dopamine

In general, anything that you do that makes you feel excited and good can trigger dopamine production in your brain. Some of these ways are excellent ways to increase the level of dopamine in your body, while many of them might be harmful to you. Here are some examples of activities that produce dopamine.

  • Exercise
  • Having sex
  • Listening to music
  • Eating a dessert or tasty meal
  • Caffeine
  • Meditation
  • Recreational alcohol and drugs

Dopamine can Lead to Risky Behaviors

Let’s delve into the potential risks associated with dopamine and how certain behaviors can lead to problematic outcomes.

Sex Addiction

Sex addiction is one example of how dependency on the pleasurable effects of dopamine can become problematic. Seeking out sexual experiences to achieve that feel-good sensation may result in engaging in unsafe practices, such as unprotected sex or having encounters with unfamiliar and potentially dangerous individuals. It can also lead to neglecting important life responsibilities due to the preoccupation with pursuing sexual gratification.

Food Dependency

Another behavior influenced by the pursuit of dopamine is eating. While eating is necessary for survival, the desire for pleasurable tastes can sometimes escalate into food addiction. In this case, your relationship with food primarily revolves around seeking more pleasure rather than fulfilling basic nutritional needs. The person addicted to food may start eating excessively just to get that dopamine hit which could lead to various mild to chronic health issues.

Substance and Alcohol Use Disorders

Alcohol and recreational drugs offer a more direct route to dopamine release. Substances like cocaine can flood our brains with dopamine, triggering intense pleasure. However, this quest for dopamine can lead to alcohol and substance use disorders, which pose severe threats to individuals suffering from addiction and their close relationships.

Beyond these specific examples, various dopamine-oriented activities can result in significant problems and risky behaviors. These can range from life-altering situations like losing one’s savings due to gambling to dealing with temporary issues or overexerting your body during exercise that can lead to minor injuries from excessive strain on the body.

Addiction Is Not A Result Of A Single Cause

Understanding addiction requires recognizing it as a brain disorder with no single, straightforward cause. While dopamine does play a role in addiction, it is just one piece of a larger puzzle.

Experts emphasize that a variety of biological and environmental factors can significantly heighten an individual’s vulnerability to addiction. Let’s explore some of these factors:

Biological Factors


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, genetic factors account for approximately 40 to 60 percent of addiction risk.

Health History

A history of specific medical conditions, particularly mental health disorders, can increase susceptibility to addiction.

Developmental Stage

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, using drugs during adolescence raises the risk of developing addiction later in life.

Environmental Factors

These factors more affect children and teenagers relatively than adults or seniors.

Home Life

Living with or near individuals who misuse drugs or alcohol or involve in wrong activities can elevate the risk of addiction.

Social Influence

Having friends who use drugs and alcohol can heighten the likelihood of experimentation and the potential development of addiction.

School Challenges

Difficulties in social or academic aspects of school life can increase the risk of drug experimentation and subsequent addiction.

It’s important to note that these factors are just some examples among many that contribute to addiction. It is crucial to understand that their presence does not guarantee the development of addiction.

Break the Cycle with Dopamine Fast

Consider taking a 30-day break from the source of pleasure you heavily rely on, whether it’s social media, sugar, video games, sex, marijuana, alcohol, or any other addictive behavior. It’s important to note that this break is not a permanent commitment but a crucial period to restore your balance between pleasure and pain. Initially, completely cutting out the addictive behavior is often easier, allowing you to reintroduce it gradually and in moderation later on.

This technique may make you feel heightened discomfort before experiencing improvements, but it’s important to persevere. After approximately two weeks, the pleasure-pain equilibrium in your brain will gradually return to its natural state, enabling you to find satisfaction in more moderate rewards. For example, you may be able to enjoy a single scoop of ice cream or limit yourself to watching just one episode of a TV show.

However, it’s crucial to note that this approach should not be applied to highly addictive substances like drugs and alcohol. Abruptly stopping their use can result in severe withdrawal symptoms that may pose life-threatening risks. If you are dealing with addiction to drugs or alcohol, seeking professional care and treatment for addiction for withdrawal and recovery is imperative.

Create Obstacles to Prevent Addictive Behaviors

To establish boundaries and regain control over addictive behaviors, you can use three effective approaches. These strategies enable you to maintain some level of engagement with the addictive behavior while preventing it from overpowering your life.

Physical Self-Binding

It involves creating a tangible separation between yourself and the addiction. For instance, if you are addicted to a substance, removing it from your home and immediate surroundings can be a significant step. For instance, in the case of video game addiction, having separate devices designated for work and leisure can be an effective measure.

Chronological or Time-Related Binding

This approach involves setting specific time limits or periods of abstinence from addictive behaviors. For example, participating in a 30-day fast from addictive behavior establishes a chronological boundary. Similarly, intermittent fasting can be applied to control food addiction, and implementing time limits on social media usage can effectively manage addiction to online platforms.

Categorical Binding

Categorical binding entails placing restrictions on specific types of addictive substances or behaviors. For instance, if reality TV proves to be an irresistible temptation, but you can enjoy sitcoms in moderation, cutting out reality TV entirely is an example of categorical binding. It involves identifying the categories of addictive stimuli that are most problematic for you and abstaining from them completely.

By implementing these strategies, you can establish boundaries and regain a sense of balance in your relationship with addictive behaviors, allowing you to enjoy a modified version of the behavior without it overwhelming your life.

Contact California Prime Recovery for Dopamine Addiction Help

 If you can control your dopamine addiction, then it’s great. But most of the severe addiction that leads to drug and alcohol abuse is not easy to control all by yourself. In that case, you need professional help. At California Prime Recovery, we help you find the root cause of your addiction and overcome it with effective methods. So, don’t wait and contact us today to improve your life at 866-208-2390

Dangers of HotBoxing for Young Adults

Young adults are coming up with new, potentially deadly ways of increasing the effects of illicit drugs. One way they do this is by smoking in relatively airtight spaces. The idea behind this is to enjoy some privacy while smoking and, of course, to get “high” faster through secondhand smoking. So, in this article, we will explore the art of hotboxing and the dangers of hotboxing for young adults.

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What is Hotboxing?

The term “hotboxing” refers to smoking in a tiny, enclosed place with no windows or other sources of fresh air. In addition to cars, basements, attics, restrooms, tents, and practically any other enclosed location have been identified as suited for this activity. The exhaled smoke accumulates during the activity and spreads over the enclosed space. Consequently, smokers in the hotbox are exposed to secondhand smoke from other smokers and their own, amplifying the effects of the substance in question.

What Makes Hotboxing Popular Among Young Adults?

Hotboxing is a popular way for drug users to increase their bliss. It is equivalent to consuming twice as much marijuana smoke as normal since you breathe smoke from your smoking device and smoke in the air.

Because they have easy access to a car, teenagers and young adults often carry out hotboxing inside a car to smoke marijuana. Young people are especially susceptible to the idea that marijuana is safe. The legalization of marijuana in several states has further bolstered this stance.

Because it is so easy to build up confined areas, young adults often resort to hotboxing as a fun way to spend time together. And the potency of the high it brings may be another reason for its growing popularity among young adults.

Partying may seem pleasant and harmless when you gather with your buddies in a compact place, light up some smoke, and revel in the head high it brings. On the other hand, hotboxing may have long-term harmful impacts on your physical and emotional health.

Dangers Of Hotboxing

Many individuals feel marijuana is perfectly natural and risk-free; thus, they are unaware of the possible dangers of hotboxing. The physical structure of a marijuana hotboxing space might create a potentially hazardous scenario. The lack of air in a closed setting, such as a car, intensifies marijuana’s euphoric effects. This might result in unpleasant reactions as well as other unforeseen effects. Hotboxing is dangerous for several reasons, including the following:

High Risk of a Car Accident

Some individuals often hotbox while driving, while others quickly return to their car afterward. Generally, driving under the influence of marijuana is risky. Smoking cannabis decreases cognitive capacities such as response speed, attention, depth perception, peripheral vision, motor control, and decision-making—all of which are important for safe driving. Therefore, hotboxing in a car may impair a person’s driving ability and increase the risk of a car accident or death.


When confined in an enclosed space, people rapidly exhaust the area’s oxygen supply and replace it with the carbon dioxide (CO2) they generate. In the same way, if the enclosed space where you’re hotboxing isn’t properly ventilated, the oxygen levels in the air may fall below normal, and the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels may increase. This causes hypercapnia, which is characterized by an excessively high quantity of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the patient’s blood. In its most severe forms, hypercapnia may be deadly.

Seizures, collapse, coma, and even death may result from hypercapnia. As a result, you should restrict the amount of time you spend hotboxing and take regular breaks, such as opening a window or leaving the room. Hotboxing may produce fatigue, dizziness, and lightheadedness. This sensation may easily be confused with a feeling of being high, which makes it even more dangerous.

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoking refers to inhaling the tobacco smoke produced by the active smoking of others. Hotboxing marijuana generates a smokey atmosphere in which people continually inhale the smoke from others in the enclosed space. And being exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke poses substantial health risks. This is because marijuana smoke contains high amounts of chemicals, including tar. Some of these chemicals include:

  • Benzene
  • Ammonia arsenic
  •  Nickel
  • Formaldehyde
  •  Hydrogen cyanide
  •  Chromium
  • Quinoline
  • Aromatic amines

Lung Damage

There is evidence that “hotboxing” (as the practice is often known) may increase the risk of acquiring lung cancer. Marijuana smoke contains toxic compounds such as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and nitrosamines. The lungs are especially exposed to these substances’ corrosive effects.

Furthermore, smoking marijuana may cause long-term respiratory difficulties. The intensity of these symptoms will rise as the smoke gets more concentrated during hotboxing. If you have a history of any form of health concern, you should avoid hotboxing.

Dizziness and Confusion

Marijuana’s sedative and analgesic effects may make smokers feel tired and confused. Certain people may experience greater dizziness and disorientation, which may be harmful. Hotboxing also has the potential to enhance one’s rate of smoke inhalation significantly. As a result, the likelihood of having these negative symptoms increases. Hotboxing may induce significantly more dizziness and nausea than smoking does.

Heart Problems

Hotboxing has been linked to several heart problems. Regular marijuana users are more prone to cardiovascular issues such as heart attacks and strokes. People who use marijuana in more conventional forms, such as joints or pipes, put their health in danger. This is because of the large number of smoke particles ingested.

Hotboxing is significantly dangerous since controlling how much smoke is ingested is difficult. People who smoke their drugs using pipes or joints inhale twice as much smoke as those who use vaporizers. Breathing smoke increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke in direct proportion to the amount of smoke inhaled.

Hotboxing Can Lead to Marijuana Addiction

Using a hotbox to smoke marijuana may increase your chances of becoming addicted to marijuana. Since marijuana is obtained from a natural plant, it is easy for people to assume that it is harmless. However, marijuana contains TetraHydroCannabinol, a potent chemical that can distort the mind’s workings. Hotboxers are in danger of serious side effects and long-term health concerns if they indulge in hotboxing regularly. Marijuana users may have short-term effects such as reduced cognition, confusion, dizziness, and hallucinations after only one session.

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There is a link between a shortage of oxygen and the potency of the high that cannabis users get from hotboxing. Individuals who engage in hotboxing have a high chance of becoming addicted. However, addiction is just one of the major health risks that hotboxing poses.

At California Prime Recovery, we understand the possible consequences of hotboxing. The good news is that addiction therapy is widely accessible to support those who are suffering from marijuana addiction. We support anybody battling substance misuse in getting clean and developing the skills they will need to remain clean. Contact us today to learn about how we can help at 866-208-2390

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