Category: Facts About Drugs and Alcohol

What Are Track Marks and Do They Go Away?

Track Marks Are Signs of Intravenous Drug Use

needle Track Marks

Track marks are scar tissue that follows the path of veins. Track marks are caused by chronic intravenous drug use. In most cases track marks appear in the forearms but can appear any place on the body where repeated injections of drugs such as heroin or meth occur. They can be easily identified by their dark pigmentation and bruising. Track marks are a tell tale sign of an individual who is a chronic or habitual drug user. These scars are most commonly found in heroin users but any drug that is routinely injected by an addict can and will cause track marks. Many addicts try to convince family and friends that the marks on their body occurred after first time use but this is not medically possible. All track marks are caused by continued drug use over a significant period of time. If you know someone with these scars on their body you should talk to them about seeking addiction therapy at once.

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How Addicts Hide Track Marks

These indicators of intravenous drug addiction are very noticeable and most heroin addicts go to great length to try and hide them. Heroin abusers, in an effort to try and spread out injection sites and limit the extent of the track marks will start shooting heroin in none conventional places on the body. Alternative injection sites include but are not limited to the groin, neck, hands, feet and toes. Areas that are conventionally covered by clothing and make up are the places most injections occur. Many addicts will cover their track marks by wearing long sleeves regardless of the weather.

Addiction Therapy, The Only Way to Remove Track Marks.

IV Track Marks

Individuals who inject drugs in to their veins on a consistent and addictive basis will always have track marks until the cease use. Ointments and creams and various wound care techniques can be used with limited success, but the only way to remove track marks is to seek addiction therapy. These unsightly blemishes will go away with time but can and will reappear unless the habit is discontinued on a permanent basis.

Addiction Therapy Works

Track marks are just a symptom of a larger problem. If someone you love has track marks there are addicted to drugs and the scars on there are the least of your worries. Infection, clogged arteries and in extreme cases amputation can occur. Intravenous drug is the leading cause of overdose deaths. The best way to end the abuse is to locate an addiction therapy center and speak to an admission counselor. Last year more people died in the United States from opiate overdoses than car accidents. Addiction is the first disease to ever kill more people than cars. If you notice track marks on your child or loved one do not wait to seek professional support. Calling an addiction therapy center could save a life.

What Does Heroin Look Like?

I Found Powder in My Kids Room. Could It Be Heroin?

All across America the biggest fear parents have is that their son or daughter will begin to us heroin. With news of the heroin epidemic taking the lives of our youth far to often, their fears are very valid. In many case this has lead to a large number of parents realizing that they would not know heroin if the saw it. This is the situation Debbie Johnson found herself in one evening when she reached out to a member of our staff. She called and said, “I Found Powder In My Son’s Room and I’m scared it could be heroin, but I’m not sure. What Does Heroin Look Like?

Here are some examples of what heroin looks like.

heron

Drug Rehabs Help Concerned Parents Identify Drugs

Our staff member lead her though he identification process. Asking her to describe the color texture and referred her to the website getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/drugs. This government was created for parents for this specific situation. To help them get smart about drug and to help them answer the all to common question, what does heroin look like? The website goes beyond heroin and show examples of all types of drugs ranging from ecstasy to cocaine and flakka. Many parents have found the information on this site extremely helpful in identifying strange substances found in their home and answering the question, what does heroin look like?

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What Does Heroin Look Like and What to Do with It?

In most cases heroin comes in the form of a white or brown powder. It can also be seen as a black and sticky substance called “black tar heroin.” Heroin is also called street names such as: Smack, Chiva, Thunder, Big H and Hell Dust. Heroin is always cut with other drugs or substances like sugar or the powdered form of milk. This is where the biggest problem arises because the addict is unaware how much actual heroin is being used, making the chance of overdose likely. Forms of paraphernalia used to get high off heroin include needles, glass or metal pipes, spoons and straw or tubes. If you find any of these items or anything that looks like it could be heroin you should call one of the many drug rehabs immediately and ask to speak to a staff member. They will help you assess the situation and the next coarse of action. Many times, once we have answered the question of what does heroin look like, we will tell the parent to throw the drugs away. Keeping them in the house will only tempt the addict. Other times we may instruct you to take the drugs to the police but each situation is different.

If you feel you or someone in the home may be in danger DO NOT call a one of the drug rehabs, call 9-1-1.

Should Marijuana Be Used To Fight The Heroin Epidemic? We Say NO.

Using Marijuana to Fight the Heroin Epidemic is A Bad Idea.

The official position of Lighthouse Recovery Institute is that Marijuana should never be used to fight the heroin epidemic. We also feel it is part of our duty to our past, current and future clients and their family members to report the danger and long term consequences of this radical and misguided approach to fighting heroin abuse.

Marijuana Used to Combat Heroin Addiction by Neurobiologist

Heroin

At the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai neurobiologist Dr. Yasmin Hurd has just made public data she collected data from studies conducted from a small pilot group of men and women that shows marijuana, could reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms in heroin users. The finding were published in Trends in Neuroscience in an article entitled “Cannabidiol: Swinging the Marijuana Pendulum From ‘Weed’ to Medication to Treat the Opioid Epidemic.”

An article detailing the results of the study can be found here in it’s entirety. This article states several shortsighted claims for the legitimacy of the use of marijuana to fight the heroin epidemic. We will dispute each individually:

“Opioids are much more dangerous, in part because of the potential for overdose”

While it is true that you cannot overdose and die fro marijuana, the use of one addictive drug to fight another will only prolong active addiction. Treatment for heroin addiction though the use of licensed drug and alcohol treatment centers has been proven to be much more successful.

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“Cannabinoids could have long-lasting therapeutic effects”

While this may be true in cases such as cancer, marijuana also has many harmful side effects.

“Cannabidiol particularly helped to relieve anxiety related to cravings in heroin”

Marijuana can also produce withdrawal symptoms both physical and mental.

“The National Institute on Drug Abuse is asking researchers to think creatively about new strategies for pain relief.”

Substituting one addictive drug for another is not a “creative” solution, it is harmful ill-advised and ethically wrong.

The Study Never Mentions Marijuana’s Highly Addictive Components

The study conducted and the article quoted above never once mention the highly addictive nature of marijuana. Dr. Yasmin Hurd’s noble intentions only focuses on heroin addiction and fails to acknowledge that her idea is simply substituting one addiction for another. It is our experience working with hundreds of heroin addicts, that any drug, including alcohol will help combat the craving for opioids, while increasing the dependency and cravings for any drug used as a substitute. Several clients who have used this substitution method have turned back to heroin once they have used the alternative substance for a period of one month or more.

Heroin Addiction

Marijuana Addiction Facts

    The National Institute On Drug Abuse lists the short-term effects of marijuana abuse as:

  • altered senses (for example, seeing brighter colors)
  • altered sense of time
  • changes in mood
  • impaired body movement
  • difficulty with thinking and problem-solving
  • impaired memory

    The long-term effects of using marijuana are:

  • Breathing problems.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Problems with child development during and after pregnancy
  • temporary hallucinations—sensations and images that seem real though they are not
  • temporary paranoia—extreme and unreasonable distrust of others
  • worsening symptoms in patients with schizophrenia (a severe mental disorder with symptoms such as hallucinations, paranoia, and
  • disorganized thinking)
  • lower life satisfaction
  • poorer mental health
  • poorer physical health
  • more relationship problems
  • grouchiness
  • sleeplessness
  • decreased appetite
  • anxiety
  • cravings

Using Marijuana to Fight the Heroin Epidemic Will Make It Worse

Lighthouse Recovery Institute agrees that more serious steps must be taken to fight the heroin epidemic and to help end heroin addiction altogether. We also feel strongly that this is not it and the suggestion of a doctor that using marijuana to combat heroin use is a failure to accept the disease model of addiction. Using marijuana to fight the countries deadliest killer will only delay sobriety for the sick and suffering addict.

Millions of men and women have found permanent sobriety through the use of substance abuse treatment centers and 12 step programs. These organizations combat addiction, not just heroin. Addiction is the disease that needs to be treated and defeated. Ignoring that fact will only take our country from one epidemic to another.

If you or someone you love is addicted to heroin, please give a call 24/7 at 866-787-7234

Why Rehab Centers In Florida Work

Rehab Centers in Florida Help Reverse Negative Brain Chemistry

chemical dependency

The disease of alcohol and drug addiction is chronic and incurable. It is accompanied by uncontrollable, compulsive behavior and pursuit of mood altering chemicals despite detrimental consequences. The constant and use drugs and alcohol alter the addicts and alcoholics brain chemistry leading to the repetitive display of harmful behaviors. This altered state of brain chemistry found in individuals suffering from chemical dependency, is long lasting. Many drug addicts and alcoholics have found success reversing and repairing the negative effects of substance abuse on the brain by attending rehab centers in Florida.

Vital Components of Chemical Dependency Recovery Found in Florida

Most people suffering from the chronic disease of addiction need long-term support and repeated care to recover from the disease of addiction and to rebuild their lives. Rehab centers in Florida have proven to provide the necessary conditions to support recovering individuals. Successful long-term recover can be achieved through the following:

Continued Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP)
12-Step Chemical Dependency Meeting Participation
Socialization Mentoring With Other Recovering Drug Addicts

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Rehab Centers in Florida Offer Expert Intensive Outpatient Programs

Rehab centers in Florida work, because they offer unique access to all three of these vital components. Intensive outpatient programs provide accurate psychiatric assessment, group therapy, individual counseling, and unique programs for men and women recovering from substance abuse, mental illness, and trauma. In Florida access to this type of therapy is abundant. The ideal weather conditions in Florida have attracted many reputable and trusted chemical dependency rehabs, offering plenty of options for addicted individuals to choose from based on their financial limitations and specific needs.

Florida Offers More 12-Steep Recovery Meetings Than Any Other State

Recovering individuals find sustained success when their intensive outpatient therapy is supplemented by 12-Step recovery meetings. Rehab centers in Florida have infused the communities in which the do business with thousands of recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. These recovering mean and women have built the nations largest community of 12-step meetings. Meetings in Florida take place every hour almost 365 days a year. This provided on demand access to the essential tool and relationships needed for permanent sobriety. Many Community’s across the United States suffer from a lack of these meetings, Florida offers a surplus and has gained a reputation for providing recovery.

Recovering Addicts Find Friendship and Fun in Florida

rehab centers

The New york Times Called Delray Beach Florida, “The epicenter of the country’s largest and most vibrant recovery community.” Delray Beach and Boynton Beach Florida is home to hundreds of sober houses, over 7,000 people at 12-step meetings every week, a recovery motorcycle club, a recovery coffeehouse with its own meetings, recovery radio programs and recovery bingo nights, dances, talent shows and trivia nights. For people suffering from the disease of addiction, having all of these activities and levels of support available has made the road to recovery very smooth and often times, conflict free. It is the Florida recovery community that makes rehab centers in Florida work so well.

Alcohol Withdrawal and Side Effects

Most people know about alcohol addiction and how it can potential ruin peoples lives and their loved ones, but what about the physical effects of alcohol withdraw? Here is a review of all the basic side effects of alcohol withdrawal.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Those who have problems with drinking will experience a common set of symptoms when they have suddenly stopped from drinking everyday. This withdrawal from alcohol is more likely to happen the more alcohol is consumed. These symptoms could also happen to those who have had an episode of binge drinking.

It is considered a medical and clinical syndrome that can seriously affect people when they completely stop drinking. When a person is constantly drinking alcohol, the central nervous system will adjust to the presence of alcohol and seek a balance with it. “So, the CNS of a regular drinker naturally “speeds up”: to compensate for the CNS depressant effects of alcohol on both brain function and the communication among nerve cells. And when the alcohol level is suddenly lowered, the brain remains for some time in a hyperactive state. This hyperactive state manifests as withdrawal symptoms.”

alcohol withdrawal

Alcohol Withdrawal Effects

The side effects of withdrawal can start to occur between 8 hours and the next day, after the last sip of alcohol. The peak of the side effects starts 24-72 hours after the last drink.

Common Side Effects

  • Shakiness
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability

Physical Effects

  • Loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Pallor
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Enlarged pupils

Most of the side effects people experiences are mild, but sometimes they can become dangerous and result to illness or even death. Some might experience seizures that can increase in severity. Other symptoms that have been experienced are mental confusion, disorientation, and hallucinations.

These serious side effects could lead to chronic memory disorder. Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol addiction should be taken seriously. They can grow and become intense quickly.

 

Discovering How to Artificially Produced Opioids Could Be a VERY Bad Thing

Artificially Produced Opioids

A seemingly insane story started to sweep around the internet a couple of months ago. Scientists had, it goes, been able to synthesize opioids from yeast cultures.

Think about that for one second – scientists in a lab had been able to artificially produce opioids. We’re not talking about scrapping opium poppies, taking the raw opium back to a lab, and producing painkillers.

No, we’re talking about a team in a lab, probably dressed in HAZMAT suits, cooking up completely synthetic opioids.

That’s a terrifying prospect when you really consider it.

We weren’t sure how to feel about it here at Lighthouse. After all, who knew if it was true and, more importantly, who knew the positive and negative impacts this discovery might have on our culture at large.

Then we read this excellent article. In it, author David DiSalvo explores some of those positive and negative impacts.

It’s interesting stuff. Read on for a breakdown of his ideas and our own spin on whether 100% artificial opioids are a blessing or a curse.

Benefits of Synthetically Produced Opioids

Before getting into any doomsday prophecies, it’s important to look at some of the very real benefits that synthetically produced opioids may offer. DiSalvo makes this very clear in his article and I couldn’t agree more.

Artificially made opioids can lead to a whole host of positive effects, including things like:

  • Increased production of painkillers both inside and outside of the US
  • Unique additions to any given chemical which can potentially produce less addictive drugs
  • Painkillers would most likely become cheaper to produce which would enable them to be distributed to those who need them most, rather than those with good insurance

 

DiSalvo touches on these in his article. I’d like to add one of my own.

If creating opioids of all shapes and sizes starts to take place solely in labs, there’s a good chance this’ll lead to a decrease in “opium farms.” This, in turn, could lead to a decrease in the illegal production of morphine, heroin, and other potent chemicals.

There are a few ifs in that scenario. Still, it makes logical sense that increasing production of opioids in labs will lead to decreased production in the Middle East.

Okay, those are the positives. Now let’s look at some of the potentially disastrous side effects of mass-producing artificial opioids in a lab.

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Drawbacks of Synthetically Produced Opioids

The first thing DiSalvo makes clear is the connection between synthetically creating narcotics and the other synthetic drug explosion in recent years.

He writes, “Right now more than 160,000 labs in China are pumping out synthetic drugs for buyers across the globe” (Forbes).

Call them bath salts, flakka, gravel, or any of their other ridiculous names. The point is the same – when creating drugs in a lab, there’s the potential that someone can, and most likely will, start creating those same drugs for a different purpose.

America is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. That much is old news. Do we really need another source of painkillers for our population to consume? Do we really need to outsource that production (as it were) to illicit labs in foreign countries?

negative effects of artifical painkillers

Of course those are worst-case scenarios. Still, they’re worth considering. After all, look what happened to Tramadol in Egypt.

There’s another angle that DiSalvo doesn’t touch on that bears examining. I’m talking about the simple idea of supply and demand.

There’s likely always going to be a demand for painkillers and other opioids. If the supply increases – as artificial production is refined, it’s going to cost less and less to produce these pills – and demand remains steady, then the price of black-market opioids is going to drop.

On one hand this is a good thing. After all, it takes money out of the pockets of drug dealers. On the other hand, though, this is horrible. Incredibly addictive and powerful chemicals could become available for pennies on the dollar.

That’s a scary thought!

So What?

That’s a good question reader! So what? Why does any of this matter? A small group of scientists were able to create thebaine and hydrocodone from yeast. That’s a far cry from any scenarios mentioned above, good or bad!

This stuff matters because it gives us the opportunity to be prepared! Remember when OxyContin first emerged in the late ‘90s? No one saw it coming and it started the painkiller epidemic – it fundamentally changed America.

We have the opportunity to avoid that if, and most likely when, synthetically produced opioids start to cause trouble.

What do you think? Let us know on social media!

These are Some Seriously Strange Cocaine Ads

Cocaine…Ads?

Your eyes aren’t lying – we’re actually talking about cocaine ads.

The ‘70s and ‘80s were a weird couple of decades. We had Presidents in the White House who were telling us to Just Say No. At the same time, cocaine was the most popular drug on the planet.

Drug cartels were raking in millions of dollars each week producing and transporting cocaine from South America to Miami. Drug dealers in the US were making almost as much selling coke to, well, everyone.

Our country was in the midst of a love affair with cocaine. These vintage cocaine and cocaine accessory ads make that much abundantly clear.

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Find the old school – and pretty shocking – ads below!

cocaine snorter ad
via AdWeek

 

weird drug ads from 70s and 80s
via AdWeek

 

gold razorblade for snorting drugs
via Death and Taxes

 

cocaine ads from 70s and 80s
via AdWeek

 

old cocaine advertisments
via AdWeek

 

fake cocaine
Fake coke via Death and Taxes

The Disturbing Physical Side Effects of Cocaine Addiction

These Aren’t For the Faint of Heart

lines of cocaine powder

We’ve all heard the horror stories of what cocaine can do to our bodies. Things like perforated septums, sudden heart attacks, abscesses due to missed injections, and everything associated with smoking crack are common talk about among recovering addicts.

Well it looks like two more topics are about to be added to our conversations. According to two recent articles, palatal perforation and a gruesome heart condition can also be caused by extended cocaine use.

Both stories come from the UK, which has long been a hotbed of cocaine use, abuse, and addiction…certainly no more than the United States though. So, while us U.S. residents may take some small relief in the fact that these are English issues, for now, we can’t celebrate too much.

Read on to learn about the disturbing new physical side effects of long-term cocaine addiction.

A Hole in the Roof of Your Mouth

Palatal perforation is exactly what it sounds like – developing a hole in the roof of your mouth.

While heavy cocaine use has long been associated with contributing to holes in our nasal cavities, palatal perforation is a relatively new phenomenon.

Actually, that’s not 100% true. It may have been around for a long time, but is only coming to our attention now. We don’t know because this condition has a lot of stigma associated with it.

Think about it like this – if you develop a perforated palate due to cocaine abuse, you’re going to have significant trouble drinking, speaking, and eating. That’s fairly embarrassing and probably not something you’re going to be keen to speak about.

hole in mouth from cocaine abuse

How does someone develop a hole in the roof of their mouth? Well, it all has to do with cocaine’s vasoconstriction properties. This is when cocaine actually constricts and shrinks blood vessels, which, ironically, is what makes it an incredibly effective local anesthetic.

When cocaine cuts off the supply of blood to a certain area, say the roof of your mouth, it also deprives that area of oxygen. This, in turn, causes tissue to begin to shrink and die.

Over time, this leads to a hole in the area in question.

Okay, that’s more than a little disturbing. Still, it’s nothing compared to what’s next.

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An Enlarged & Still Beating Heart

What to know what 15 years of heavy cocaine abuse does to your heart? Then watch this video. A quick warning though – it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s as disturbing as anything we’ve ever seen.

heart issues due to cocaine addiction

Okay, recovered yet? Let’s explore just what was going on there.

First, the heart was around three times as large as a normal, healthy heart. That alone is alarming. Doctors are theorizing the increase in size is due to, once again, cocaine’s vasoconstriction properties.

Basically, because cocaine constricts blood vessels, the heart has to work harder than ever to pump and supply the body with blood. This may have led it to grow over many years.

Okay, next is the fact that the heart beats for 25 minutes after being removed from the user’s body. A healthy heart is expected to beat for up to one minute after being removed. This one beat for 25 times that long.

The CEO of MEDspiration, a “non-profit organisation specialising in the art of medicine and science” and the company that produced the video, thinks the prolonged beating may be thanks “to the adaptation the heart cells underwent due to long-term cocaine abuse.”

He goes on to explain,

“It is possible that this heart had become so adapted to myocardial ischemia [reduced blood flow to the heart] over the past 15 years that it became resilient enough to beat without an oxygen supply for 25 minutes!” (Mirror)

That’s some scary stuff!

I don’t know about you, but I’m grateful neither of these happened to me. I’ve been in recovery for a bit over seven years. Before that, I used cocaine frequently.

I could have developed either palatal perforation or done significant damage to my heart. I didn’t. Thank God for that.

What do you think of these two new conditions? Let us know on social media.

The Strange World of Veteran Marijuana & Painkiller Policy

Their Drug Policies Make No Sense!

veteran affairs policy on medical marijuana

I recently stumbled across a fascinating article on the confusing and strange world of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ policy on painkillers and illegal drugs. It told the story of Bill Williams, a Vietnam War veteran living in Texas, and his fight to continue receiving hydrocodone (Vicodin) for chronic pain.

Without going into detail here – find that below – I found Williams’ story incredibly interesting. It raised a number of questions over how the VA treats pain and how they, a federal agency, deal with medical marijuana.

Think about it – all forms of marijuana, medical and recreational, are illegal at a federal level. How can a federal agency prescribe, provide, regulate, and simply deal with a drug that’s illegal nationally but legal in certain states?

The answer is that a federal agency can’t deal with it. Williams’ story makes this abundantly clear. Read on to learn what he went through and where the VA stands on medical marijuana.

What states have legalized marijuana for recreational use?

Chronic Pain, Narcotic Pills & Medical Marijuana

Bill William’s story starts, like many veterans, in Vietnam.

Williams served on a submarine and developed PTSD as a result of his service. The VA regularly prescribed him Valium and other benzo-like drugs to treat his PTSD for the past thirty years. They also prescribed him Vicodin for chronic pain since late 2013.

Williams also smoked marijuana to help combat both his PTSD and chronic pain. While the VA was at first sympathetic, and even urged him to continue smoking pot if it helped, that’s no longer the case.

In fact, the VA recently implemented a number of “no-tolerance” policies surrounding the prescription of opioid painkillers. These are a result of the DEA’s crackdown on hydrocodone in late 2014 (moving it from a Schedule III to a Schedule II narcotic).

These policies culminated in Williams losing his hydrocodone prescription in April after failing a drug test for marijuana.

According to the Military.com article, Williams hadn’t smoked pot in months. Rather, his friends’ secondhand smoke caused him to fail the test. Regardless of whether he inhaled or not, Williams did admit to failing previous drug tests for marijuana.

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He doesn’t see why the Texas VA is punishing him for smoking marijuana when it’s legal in other states. This point gets to the heart of the matter – how the VA dictates its medical marijuana policy.

According to Williams’ doctor, the Texas VA doesn’t allow any leeway when it comes to marijuana and opioids. Still, when other states’ VAs allow for civilian based medical marijuana prescription…things start to fall into legal gray area.

In fact, according to the article,

“But in states such as Texas, where marijuana isn’t legal, the VA’s policy is less clear. Asked specifically about marijuana use by Texas patients, VA officials couldn’t provide clarification” (Military.com).

So where does the VA stand on medical marijuana? What’s its position on vets like Bill Williams who aren’t smoking pot to get high, but rather using it as a vital and necessary form of medicine?

The VA’s Position on Medical Marijuana

For years the Department of Veterans Affairs’ doctors, nurses, and medical professionals were unable to even officially talk about medical marijuana with their patients.

This was, and still largely is, due to the Controlled Substances Act. That’s the piece of law that makes marijuana illegal on a federal level. It also prevents any federal government employee from recommending a substance deemed to be illegal.

Advocacy groups, like Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access, argue this line of thought is outdated and serves no one – not policy makers, not doctors, and certainly not veterans.

Things started to change this past May though. The Senate advanced a VA funding bill – the FY16 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriation bill – that includes a provision enabling VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana.

There are a few caveats though. First, VA doctors would only be able to recommend medical marijuana. They wouldn’t be able to prescribe or dispense it, as marijuana is still illegal at a federal level.

veteran affairs legal and illegal drug policy

Second, the bill wasn’t passed into law. Rather, the amendment regarding VA doctors and marijuana was voted on and officially added to the bill. It still has to be passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives – where a slightly different version of the bill is making its way through committee.

Finally, both the Senate and the House bill need to be the same to be passed into law.

Still, this is a major step forward in addressing the discrepancy between national and state-level marijuana law. It’s also a major step forward in regulating how the VA views medical marijuana.

Think about it like this – Bill Williams may be able to get the pain relief he needs if the VA takes a unified stance on how to treat medical marijuana.

It doesn’t mean things are going to change overnight and it doesn’t mean that Williams will immediately get his painkiller prescription back. It does mean that lawmakers, federal agencies, state departments, and government-employed doctors will be on the same page.

That’s something we can all hope for.

Vermont may be the next state to legalize marijuana…

The Real Difference Between Pain Pills and Heroin

Pain Pills and Heroin: What’s the Real Difference?

Vicodin vs Percocet

When I think about the difference between pain pills and heroin, I immediately ask myself “what difference?”

I’ve been addicted to heroin and more pain pills than I can count. My addiction started with Percocet and moved to OxyContin. Along the way, I wanted to know more about Vicodin vs. Percocet. The only difference between these two was the strength and the absence of fillers like Tylenol.

As my disease progressed, the money I made from the pills I sold (to support the larger amount of pills I took) wasn’t enough. Naturally, I turned to something thought of as much darker. I turned to heroin.

Pills aren’t nearly as stigmatized as heroin is. Even within addict circles, heroin is often seen as a big “no-no.” Because of this stigma, I kept my addiction hidden for a long time.

What do you do if your child is using prescription pills?

Do Pain Pills and Heroin Feel the Same?

After I went to treatment and learned about addiction as a disease, I realized there wasn’t any difference between the pills I began my addiction with, or the heroin I ended it with. I liked heroin because it produced exactly the same high as pain pills, but was much cheaper.

Learn more about heroin addiction

Which is Worse?

What’s the difference between Oxycodone and OxyContin? It’s a question I hear often and for good reason – plenty of confusion surrounds the subject. Heroin and prescription pain pills affect the same neuroreceptors and create the same physical dependence. Withdrawal from both pain pills and heroin is exactly the same. Opioid withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, insomnia, pain, muscle cramps and spasms, hot and cold sweats, and diarrhea.

Both pain pills and heroin are semi-synthetic drugs derived from the opium poppy. That means at the end of the day there’s little difference between Vicodin vs Percocet. Both are central nervous system depressants and analgesics (pain-blockers). Both are highly addictive. Both produce tolerance and dependence in users.

To put it another way, there’s no difference between a pain pill addiction and a heroin addiction. One isn’t worse than the other. In fact, they’re both pretty devastating addictions. Many wonder, “Is Vicodin stronger than Percocet?” Medical professionals can point to the opioids within, but those struggling with addiction have their own reasons for asking.

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Pain Pills and Heroin: What’s On the Rise?

Over the past ten years, the amount of people addicted to prescription pain pills has increased substantially. In fact, 79.5% of individuals who report using heroin in the past year had previously abused prescription pain pills.

This statistic makes me wonder if, like me, those users made the switch to heroin after their pain pill habit became too expensive. Many will similarly want to know what is the difference between hydrocodone and oxycodone? As we’ve established, very little given the minimal missing links to active opioids and heroin.

Do you know someone suffering from a pain pill addiction? What about a heroin addiction? Both are progressive and deadly diseases, therefore successful treatment must be just as progressive and specialized. Fortunately, Lighthouse Recovery Institute takes this idea to heart.

We offer Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment, so our patients can focus on what’s important while in treatment and begin living healthy and successful lives.

Call Lighthouse today at 1-844-I-CAN-CHANGE or 1-(561)-381-0015 to learn more about the importance of gender-specific substance abuse treatment.

Lighthouse Recovery Institute: Guiding You to a Brighter Tomorrow

Is Tramadol more addictive than heroin?

 

 

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