Drug and alcohol detox is the first stop on your journey to sobriety. You may not know what to expect, which often means not knowing what to bring with you. Every detox center has its guidelines on what is and isn’t allowed. Still, there are some general items that you should plan to bring whether…
Have you thought about inpatient detox? You may know you cannot stop using drugs or alcohol even though you want to, but you’re worried about what detox may mean. While it may seem problematic and difficult, it does not have to be. At Compass Detox, we offer a luxury detox, an opportunity for you to…
Drugs and chemicals are separated into five classifications based on a variety of factors. These classifications, or schedules, are used by medical professionals, drug manufacturers, and the government to protect the public from potentially dangerous or addictive drugs.
Whenever prescription drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances are mentioned, a “class” or “schedule” is typically included. Keep reading to learn more about the specifics of drug schedules and how they are determined.
What are drug classifications? Drug classifications were first put in place by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in the 1970s. Since that time, the DEA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were named responsible for determining whether or not substances are fit for medical use.
Both legal and illegal substances are controlled by the CSA, which provides an outline for the five classifications of drugs. Each classification comes with its own set of regulations. Regulations for drugs include possession, manufacturing, importation, use, and distribution. The CSA does not include alcohol or tobacco products among the classified substances.
In 1986, an American music group by the name of General Kane released a song describing the painful and consuming nature of drug addiction. The fictional Nathan “Applejack” Lewis came from a loving, two-parent home, but after being exposed to drugs, his life was turned upside down. He stole and even prostituted his wife … and himself … to maintain his drug addiction. There is nothing glamorous about cocaine … in any form. There is no grey area or silver lining when it comes to cocaine usage. It is a dangerous, illegal drug that should be avoided at all costs. Let’s jump straight in and get to the facts.
What is cocaine?
The USDEA categorizes drugs into a number of categories according to the potency and potential for addiction. Cocaine is listed as a Schedule II drug, which is defined as a drug which has the potential for abuse and physical dependence.
Cocaine can appear as a fine, white, crystal powder or as a solid, rock crystal. It can be snorted through the nose, injected into the bloodstream via a needle, smoked, or rubbed into the gums to induce a high that involves feelings of increased energy and alertness. It is an extremely addictive and destructive drug. Cocaine increases the arousal activity in the brain, resulting in feelings of invincibility, loss of appetite, and sexual arousal.
Depending on your specific situation, you may not readily be able to tell if alcohol is a stimulant or a depressant. Drinking alcohol brings about a myriad of emotions for people. Some people feel peppy and uppity, while others struggle with anxiety and depression. Scientifically, alcohol is a depressant, but it is more complicated than that. Alcohol enhances the mood you are already in for most people. If you were happy before you started drinking, you may be excited and giddy when you drink. However, if you were sullen or angry before you had a drink, that mood may only get worse. The only way to stop alcohol from controlling the mood you show everyone else is to stop drinking altogether.
Is Alcohol a Stimulant?
Alcohol does have some stimulating effects. Many people who drink wind up with higher heart rates and lower inhibitions, making them appear to be more energetic. However, that is not a simple way of defining what alcohol does to the body. Instead, it is just some of the effects that some people go through whenever they have a drink in their system. Alcohol will speed you up for a short time after having a drink, giving you a tiny bit of energy. However, once you settle into your second or third drink, the depressant effects begin to kick in. Your body will slow, which is why falling asleep is so easy when you have been drinking.
Is Alcohol a Depressant?
Have you decided to get sober? If so, that is one step in the right direction and you should be extremely proud of yourself. Now, you will need to decide whether you should go to an alcohol detox facility that is close to home or one that is farther away. There are many pros and cons of going to an alcohol detox program that is closer to your home. Learning about these pros and cons can help you to decide what detox facility you should go to when beginning your sobriety and recovery journey.
Pros of Going to an Alcohol Detox Facility Close to Home
If you are thinking about going to an alcohol detox facility that is closer to your home, there are some benefits of doing this that you should know about.
Loved Ones Are Closer to Support You Through This Journey
One of the benefits of attending an alcohol detox program closer to your home is that your loved ones will be closer, so they can support you better through the journey of sobriety and recovery. Knowing that your loved ones are closer can motivate you to get sober and stay sober. Just knowing that they are close-by if you need them to come and see you is a plus. While you might not be able to see your loved ones during the beginning of inpatient alcohol abuse treatment, after some time, they should be able to see you during visiting or family hours.
When a person comes to a doctor’s office, two things will point toward a diagnosis of alcohol withdrawal: the first is long-term alcohol use with sudden cessation, and the second being symptoms typical of withdrawal (these will be explained in the following paragraphs). For the symptoms, physicians use a largely accepted algorithm known as the CIWA-Ar (Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment) protocol. This survey takes a snapshot of a patient to determine how severe their withdrawal is at a point in time during their visit.
What doctors look for when determining severity of alcohol withdrawal: The categories assessed by the patient include nausea and vomiting, tremor (often in the hands), auditory, tactile or visual hallucinations, sweats, anxiety, headache, agitation, and disorientation. Additionally, the doctor will measure heart rate, blood pressure, and do a physical exam. Each category is measured out of 7 points, with 7 being the worst (the exception to this is disorientation, which is measured out of 4 points). The maximum score in the assessment is a 67, with patients under 10 usually being safe without medication, and with any number over 20 being considered severe withdrawal. However, this scale is meant to determine the severity of withdrawal, and is not as helpful in laying out a timeline of when these symptoms will present. For that, it is more helpful to understand the body’s reaction to the cessation of alcohol use.
Finding out how long alcohol can stay in your system is a common question. After all, you do not want to risk trying to drive if there is still any alcohol left in your system. Unfortunately, the answer depends on many different factors. You need to measure how much you were drinking, the proof of the alcohol, and your body size as starters. How well your kidneys and liver function also factor into how long alcohol can stay in your system. Then there is the factor of how old you are, whether you are male or female, and if you ate anything before or while drinking.
Thankfully, there is a pretty good rule to follow should drinking be a part of your regular routine. Most people will have no residual alcohol left after 2-4 hours if they were drinking a can or two of beer in that time. Anything more than that, the time goes up exponentially. The best way to be sure that there is never any alcohol in your system is to stop drinking. That way, any time you need to go out, you know it is safe to do so without putting yourself, or anyone else around you, at risk.
What is Methadone?
Methadone is a prescription medication that seems to have received more attention in recent years. According to experts writing for the Western Journal of Medicine, methadone belongs to the opiate class of drugs, and it is comparable to morphine. This prescription medication does have legitimate medical uses and is safe and effective when people use it as a doctor prescribes it, but for some people, it may become addictive and dangerous.
Medical Uses of Methadone
What is methadone used for? One of the most common uses of methadone is for the long-term treatment of addiction to opiates like heroin. Methadone is used as a maintenance medication to help people remain abstinent from heroin and other opiates. It promotes abstinence because it has long-lasting effects and stops the unpleasant symptoms of opiate withdrawal; methadone also reduces heroin cravings and stops people from feeling high if they do take heroin, per the authors writing for the Western Journal of Medicine.
It is exceedingly rare that someone in Western society will have gone through their life without this being presented as a question. In fact, it is one of the more often debated subjects in addiction. It is clear that as a country we the United States have not given the mental health field the dedicated studying it deserves, and our rate of mental health issues and addiction correspond to this fact.
The question is: How does the fall into addiction happen to some and not to others?
Predisposition to alcoholism has been a much researched topic in both psychological and medical fields, and seems to be correlated somewhat to how much stress someone experiences as baseline. Most of this research that involves intervention has been performed on non-human models. A study performed in 1990 using rhesus monkeys showed that more anxious monkeys were predisposed to increased alcohol consumption. However, when stress was induced in the monkeys by separation, they would increase their intake to the same levels as the naturally anxious monkeys.