Saturday, 24 June 2017

What is Sex Addiction, Anyway?

Sex Addiction is a Prism

Addiction to sex is a complex disorder that incorporates many aspects of your:

  • Personality
  • Bio-chemistry
  • Socio-cultural environment
  • Family-of-origin issues
  • Thinking/feeling processes
  • Self-esteem

…and quality of relations with others.

I see sex addiction as a prism; depending on the angle you hold it, it can look completely different.

Difficulty Labeling

The complexity of addiction to sex is shown by the fact that psychologists still don’t know if it’s a symptom of an obsessive-compulsive disorder, an impulse-control disorder, or an addictive disorder. The fact that it was only recently recognized as a distinct disorder means that not much substantive research has been done to understand this multi-dimensional condition

We do know that sexual addiction represents an expression of the same processes of addiction that underlie all compulsive behaviors:

an enduring, inordinately strong tendency to engage in some form of pleasure-producing behavior to regulate unwanted emotional states that are painful and potentially overwhelming.

Also common to all addictions, underlying the symptom of the sexual behavior are problems with self-care and self-regulation. Achieving a sense of “self-governance” is part of sex addiction treatment.

Being perpetually ensnared in the jaws of the addiction cycle (see SAA website for a discussion of the addiction cycle) with its loss-of-control, shame and distress, and negative impacts on work/relationships/finances/self-esteem, is demoralizing from the sexual addict’s perspective. Yet the perceived benefits seem to outweigh the high cost of the behavior, as you no doubt experience the lure of the sexual rush to be irresistible, regardless of the knowing consequences.

Therapy Must Treat a Person on Multiple Levels

Therapy for sex addiction must address both the destructive addictive sexual behaviors as well as the underlying addictive process. The challenge of the sex addiction therapist who offers a sex addiction treatment program is that of presenting a variety of treatment approaches to accommodate and treat the addict on multiple levels. The sex addiction therapist needs to have the concrete skills of an addiction counselor as well as the psychological sophistication to deal with the underlying issues.

Treating sex addiction, then, is most likely to be effective when it emerges from an integrated, comprehensive approach that brings together different treatment methods, is individually tailored to your personality and evolves as you progress.

Looking at the Bottom of the Iceberg

If being addicted to sex is the tip of the iceberg, then the personality deficits, recurring self-defeating patterns, trauma from early life relationships with caretakers, unconscious conflicts and skewed perceptions about self and others represent the bottom of the iceberg. I contend that permanent freedom from enslaving, out-of-control, humiliating sexuality cannot be achieved unless the issues on the bottom of the iceberg are resolved.


About the Author: www.sextreatment[dot]com contains 40 full-length articles ,130 blog posts and a free e-book download “Total Sex Addiction Recovery – A Guide to Therapy.” For a consultation please contact Ms. Hayden at

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Friday, 23 June 2017

Can you get addicted to morphine?

Morphine is addictive

Yes, you can get addicted to morphine.

Morphine causes addiction by interacting with neurons in the brain. Repeated use of morphine can actually change the way your brain and body respond to pain and pleasure. Once addicted, you start to crave morphine constantly and start to use it to deal with physical and emotional pain.

So, how can you avoid getting addicted to morphine? In this article, we explain more about morphine’s addiction potential, signs and symptoms of a problem, and what you can do to prevent it. Then, we invite your questions at the end. In fact, we try to respond to all legitimate questions personally and promptly.

Addiction is a medical condition.
It can be treated…medically.

Call 1-877-721-2951 for help TODAY.
Toll-FREE and Confidential.

What is morphine…really?

Morphine is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seedpod of the poppy plant. As a medication, morphine is used for the relief of pain, both acute and chronic. Additionally, morphine can also be used to sedate patients pre-operatively and to facilitate the induction of anesthesia.

Morphine belongs to the group of drugs called “narcotic pain relievers”, or opiates. It acts directly on the central nervous system. As a powerful opiate, morphine is a drug of choice for people who abuse prescription medicines or street drugs. Morphine is available in a variety of prescription forms, such as:

  • Immediate and controlled release tablets and capsules (15-200 mg)
  • Injectables (0.5-25 mg/mL)
  • Oral solutions (2-20 mg/mL)
  • Suppositories (5-30 mg)

Brand name medicines with morphine

Morphine has several clinical uses. Therefore, morphine is included in several brand names under which it is sold. Some of the most widely used brand names for morphine include:

  • Avinza
  • Embeda
  • Kadian
  • MS Contin
  • MSiR
  • Oramorph
  • RMS
  • Roxanol

Morphine effects on the brain

The human body has a natural ability to produce its own opiate-like effects of pain relief and pleasure. Specific groups of neurons communicate with one another to produce sensations, perceptions, and behaviors. The three general types of opioid receptors are:

  1. The mu (µ) receptor found throughout the brain and spinal cord.
  2. The kappa (k) receptor found predominately in the brain (hypothalamus).
  3. The delta (δ) receptor located in certain sections of the spinal cord.

Morphine has the ability to alter the neuronal communication within these systems. However, the drug activates specific receptors with different effet. For example, morphine’s pain relieving and euphoric activities appear to be mediated mostly by the mu-receptor.

When the opioid receptors are activated, these neurons release neurotransmitters that shut down the ability of other neurons to communicate with one another. The end result of this activity is the change in the sensation and perception of pain, as well as the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors.

How does morphine get you ‘hooked’?

Morphine has crucial effects on the midbrain that includes the following structures:

  • the limbic system
  • the thalamus
  • the hypothalamus
  • the hippocampus
  • the nucleus accumbens

Each of these brain structures inside the midbrain control behaviors such as : emotions, pain, hormones, memory, and reward. Morphine use also clouds the brain’s ability to make judgments, understand reasoning and planning. However, the cerebellum is the part of the brain which gets addicted to drugs, including morphine.

When a person uses morphine s/he feels a sense of reward and pleasure. Individuals who are high on morphine feel cravings and a constant need for more and more morphine because of the intense feelings of pleasure and relaxation. Reward, pleasure, and instinct are behaviors controlled by the cerebellum. Repeat the behavior, repeat the reward…and a cycle is born.

Am I at risk of morphine addiction?

Addiction doesn’t choose…anyone can fall a victim to this chronic disease. But, while some people may use morphine therapeutically and never cross the line, some face greater risks of addiction.

If you may be wondering why some people are more likely to get ‘hooked’, here are some of the main contributing factors:

  1. Your home, peer, and community environment.
  2. Having parents with a history of drug abuse.
  3. Your individual response to opioids and other drugs.
  4. Severe physical or psychological trauma.
  5. Mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Morphine addiction signs and symptoms

Q: What does it mean to be addicted to morphine?
A: Addiction to morphine is a chronic disease characterized by drug seeking behavior and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.

If a loved one is prescribed morphine, it can be difficult to determine whether they have developed an addiction or are simply keeping the pain under control. While it can control extreme chronic pain to some extent, this drug is often abused. If you suspect that someone you care about may be addicted to morphine, you can look for the following tell tale signs:

Behavioral signs of addiction:

  • Avoiding/neglecting activities due to morphine use.
  • Compulsive use of morphine.
  • Continued use of morphine regardless of harmful consequences.
  • Using multiple sources (often illegal) to get morphine.

Physical signs of addiction:

  • Cravings.
  • Increase in morphine doses without consultation with doctor.
  • Loss of control over morphine use and doses.
  • Experiencing withdrawal after morphine discontinuation.

Are you ready to stop your suffering?
You CAN take back control over your life!
Call 1-877-721-2951.

How to avoid morphine addiction

The best way to avoid morphine addiction is to only take morphine as prescribed. Furthermore, be in constant communication with your prescribing doctor. Honesty will be your best ally. For example, when you notice euphoric effect, report it immediately. When you notice an increase in your tolerance for morphine, report that, too.

In order to prevent addiction to morphine it is important to be honest about any past addiction problems or addiction risk factors. Another way to prevent the occurrence of morphine addiction is to look for available pain-management alternatives. Some possible pharmacological alternatives will vary by situation. For example, medications for migraine will be different than medications used for fibromyalgia. Medicines used to treat pain include:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Botulinum toxin (BOTOX) injections
  • Gabapentin
  • Pregabalin
  • Norephinephrine reuptake inhibitors
  • Tricyclic antidepressants and serotonin
  • NSAIDs
  • Topical agents (lidocaine, capsaicin, NSAIDs)

You can also look into drug-free treatments for acute or chronic pain. Complementary and alternative treatments for pain that are opiate-free include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Cold or heat therapy
  • Electroanalgesia such as CES, PENS, SCS, TENS
  • Exercise therapy
  • Herbal medicines and dietary supplements
  • Interventional pain management
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Physical therapies
  • Psychological interventions

Questions about morphine dependency

We hope to have addressed your main concerns about taking morphine and avoiding addiction. But, we realize that you may still have a question you’d like answered.

Please let us know if you have questions about morphine or its addictive properties. Leave us your question(s) in the comments section right below the article. If you have a personal experience that you’d like to share, please feel free to post in the comments section below. We try to respond to all legitimate inquiries personally and promptly, or refer you to professionals who can help.

Reference sources: CDC: Non Opioid Pain Alternatives
NCBI: Morphine
Medline Plus: Morphine Oral
DEA: Morphine
State of Michigan: Non-Opioid Pain Treatments
NHTSA: Morphine (And Heroin)
Mark Nawrot, Ph.D. – Areas of the Brain Affected
Drugs The Straight Facts – Morphine

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Hospitals Are Hiring People In Recovery To Support Patients Battling Addiction

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Thursday, 22 June 2017

How does Addiction Affect the Brain

It is a known fact that the brain serves as the most dynamic and complex organ in the body. Weighing about three pounds, the brain consists of gray and white matter that oversees all bodily function.  The proper functioning of the brain ensures our very survival.

In summary, the proper functioning of the brain ensures our very survival. It interprets and responds to everything that we experience, it shapes our emotions, thoughts and even behavior.  When our brains function well, we are constantly adapting to our environment. Ironically, the adaptive ability of the brain contributed to the development of addiction.

Addiction can cause four fundamental modifications to the brain. This includes:

  1. Addiction changes the brain’s natural balance.
  2. Addiction changes the brain’s chemistry.
  3. Addiction changes the brain’s communication pathways.
  4. Addiction Changes the structures in the brain

# 1 Addiction changes the brain’s natural balance.

Addictive behavior hampers in the biological process of the brain called homeostasis. Scientists and experts consider the human body as a biological system. For them, all biological systems attempt to maintain a normal balance as part of its functioning.

The brain functions as the main overseer of this balance.  It makes countless adjustments to maintain a balanced, well-functioning, biological system. The brain individually determined each person’s normal balance. Drug abuse and addictive behavior can lead to changes in this so called normal balance.

Addiction can over stimulate and interferes with the balance of the brain. The brain makes a quick adjustment to maintain the balance, creating a new balance set-point. The creation of the new balance referred to as “allostasis”.

The brain’s adaptive behavior triggers changes in the brain’s normal function. These changes account for many behaviors associated with addiction such as:

  • Intense cravings to get drugs.
  • Persistent behavior to seek the drug despite its negative effects.
  • Difficulty or unsuccessful trials quitting the addiction.
  • The obsessive nature of addictions that see little else in life matters.

The new behavior causes the brain’s balance to accommodate the addiction. Once changed, the brain adapts the addictive behavior to maintain the new homeostatic balance.

#2 Addiction Changes The Brain’s Chemistry

Good communication is absolutely important, functioning as the major key to coordinate with family members or people from work. Our bodies are no different. Neuron systems deliver messages back and forth within the structures of the spinal cord, nerves and the brain. These complex networks regulate and interpret everything that we feel, see, think and do.

To understand the effect of addiction on the brain system, one must understand how communication works. Communication systems consist of five senses, namely:

  • sight
  • sound
  • taste
  • touch
  • smell

These five senses collect and analyze information around us; the brain processes all these.

As a complex organ, the brain receives a massive amount of information. It may sound complex but the brain works on a simple electrochemical process.

The communication system works allowing the brain to interact with the other body parts. Billions of neurons passed the information to the brain. Human brains contain billions of these neurons connections. The massive network builds an electrochemical communication system.

Some neurotransmitters can affect other neurons (excitatory). They can affect other neurons and produce reactions. Here are some of the neurons found in the brain.

  •    Inhibitory neurons – prevents the next neuron from sending another reaction.
  •    Glutamate – the most common excitatory neurotransmitter found in the brain.
  •    Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA – the most common inhibitory. This plays an important role in addiction.

Neuropeptides that are relevant to addiction are:

  •    natural opiates  present in the brain (called endorphins)
  •    stress hormones
  •    peptides (associated with feeding and anxiety)

These molecules have their own specific types of receptors.  Some neurotransmitters react to specific drugs. All drugs can affect this system to varying degrees more so in the dopamine system.

Here are some of the illicit substance and its effect on the system.

Drugs and  its affected brain system

Cocaine and Methamphetamine – Alters the dopamine system

Opiates (heroin, codeine, Oxycontin®, Vicodin®, and hydrocodone) – Cause changes in the dopamine, opiate (endorphin), and GABA systems.

Alcohol- Changes the dopamine, glutamate, and GABA systems

Marijuana- activates dopamine and in the brain’s own cannabinoid system.

Nicotine found in cigarettes- Changes in the acetylcholine system

Ecstasy- Affects both dopamine and serotonin systems.

# 3 Addiction Changes The Brain’s Communication Pathways

New neural pathways are formed as an addiction develops. This is because addiction chemically altered the brain’s communication system. When you take that drug away, the brain must again form new neural pathways. Just as when we had to forge a new trail in the woods. The experience is initially uncomfortable.  Successful recovery cases can press on through this brief, uncomfortable period.

Remember, it was difficult and uncomfortable to forge a new pathway around a fallen tree. The same is true for the initial period of recovery. It can be difficult and uncomfortable while these new neural pathways are forming.

It is important for the recovering person to persevere and does not give up. Particularly in this initial stage of discomfort, new neural pathways will form for recovery. These new pathways will become more established and better developed over time. As they do, recovery becomes easier and more comfortable.

Unfortunately, because the brain can adapt easily, it also serves as the root of addiction. The brain adapts to the strong effects of addictive drugs and activities.

Changes that occur in the brain regions associated with the following:

  • reward
  • memory and emotion
  • decision-making
  • stress regulation

These changes to our brain make the repeated use of addictive substances or activities very compelling. Luckily, the neuroplasticity of the brain permits the person to these changes.

Therefore, although addiction leads to structural changes in the brain, we are capable of learning new coping skills. The brain’s plasticity allows these new coping skills to be imprinted.

# 4 Addiction Changes the structures in the brain

The brain is composed of many different regions and structures. The communication of the brain system allows these different regions to manage their activities. Each of these different structures has its own purposes.

Addictions can alter these regions and structures and how the brain functions. It affects some regions and structures of the brain, such as:

  • Decision-making
  • Drug-seeking behavior and craving
  • Withdrawal effects, and relapse triggers
  • Stress regulation and withdrawal.

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Helping Someone with Drug Addiction and Depression | West Palm Beach

One of the common fears that people and loved ones of a drug addict face are the questions. How do I help them avoid addiction and depression?

Depression is a common scenario for all human beings. At one point or the other, we find certain events of our lives depressing, either because things did not turn out how we wanted it to be, expectations were not met. Any traumatic event in our lives can trigger our depression and lead to addiction. We find drugs as a means of escape and there are several drugs that have been introduced to allow one to have a temporal escape from their reality.

Your loved one may turn to drugs for comfort, but depression could strike anyway. There is always that danger that a person may not get the chance to process, understand or cope up with the traumatic event in their life which was the root cause of why they opted to turn to drugs in the first place.

It is normal for us to empathize with a loved one who is suffering depression and living with them may even be more challenging. Helping someone with drug addiction and depression needs one to be able to support that person which can be done in several ways, such as:

Listening and learning

Lending an ear is one of the idiomatic expressions that would completely describe and explain this. Listening to a person suffering from depression is very hard because sometimes the stories and tales are just the same.

Set boundaries.

If your loved one is living under the same roof, you should set rules and regulations that would help them recover from their addiction. This means that if you do not feel comfortable with drugs or alcohol in your house, you establish that rule and stick to it. It also might involve financial and other household boundaries.

Organize an intervention.

Having a third-party intervention would also be trying to seek the help of professional. A trained psychologist or psychiatrist can handle sensitive situations better. You can turn to professional interventionist not because you refuse to help your loved ones. But rather you want to provide the best possible help you can provide. Sometimes, having an intervention can be proved a powerful factor to change the person.

Be supportive and encouraging.

Provide all support that you can give to your loved one with an addiction. This means that you support them in their decision to change. When your loved one suffering from addiction decided to change, half of the battle has been won. Their decision to change serves as one of the key factors to help a person recover from addiction and depression.

But bear in mind that that the person involved with addiction and depression is still in charge of their own recovery. No matter hoe supportive or how much encouragement you provide, they are the ones making the decision.

It’s important to show continued to support and to have an open heart. Let them know that your concern comes from a place of love. Make them feel the best encouragement and support you can give the person.

You should understand that depression and drug addiction acts similarly. As mentioned earlier, a depressed person would have a bigger chance of turning into drug use since one of the misconceptions and believe in taking drugs is that it alleviates you and makes you forget your problem or whatever is causing your depression. Knowing this should give us the edge in conquering and fighting the huge problem of drug addiction.

If your loved one approaches you and asks for your help regarding his drug addiction problem, the first thing that you must do is to convince them to get an evaluation from a doctor. Having themselves evaluated by a physician or doctor would allow you to determine how deep their addiction problem is. You may also try to convince them to seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist who would walk them through their journey and help them conquer the roadblocks in the life that led them to their addiction in the first place.

There are a lot of organizations and clinics that offer treatment for drug addiction and depression but you should remember that each treatment program is tailored to the person or patient’s need. Therefore, you would need to encourage your friend or loved one to seek professional help. If they are afraid of what others would think of them, just sell to them the good points of having a drug-free life. It takes a lot of courage to seek help from a drug problem and if your friend or a loved one has trusted you with this problem, we must do all our best to understand, and extend a hand to them.

There are several drug rehabilitation centers that provide medication to the patient which helps alleviate their depression. It is expected though that every person who has been using drugs and is heavily addicted to it will exhibit withdrawal symptoms within a few days or sometimes, even longer. Along with the drugs that they take to alleviate their depression, they are also being given a nutritional diet, and exercise that would eliminate all traces of drugs in the patient’s body. Aside from medicines, a nutritional diet, and exercise, patients are also provided with mental assistance or therapy.

Once a person becomes aware that the cause of their drug addiction is depression and other traumatic experiences in their life, they would soon realize that addiction is something that can be stopped and the only thing that would hinder them from stopping is themselves.

Detox of South Florida works to provide educational articles to help those who are suffering with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

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Good Alcoholic Drinks: A Big NO! For Recovering Alcoholics, Ever

If you think that quitting on alcohol is like a sprint, it is not; it is like a marathon. After a long time of sobriety, it could appear as if you can begin drinking alcohol socially once more. It may not seem like a problem to have a beer or a couple more with your friends; however, if you have been an alcoholic before, a single drink can be equivalent to losing all the years of progress you have been making to maintain a sober life.

Should an alcoholic be drinking again after they have gained sobriety?

NO, regardless of whether it is good alcoholic drinks or not. Remember that it took you a very long time to recover from alcoholism and it is only wise to completely avoid alcohol.

Studies show that a single drink may lead you back to the path of more and more drinking, once again.

It could be quite tempting to drink alcohol as you see others successfully able to drink alcohol in moderation. Then you think to yourself that since you have proven that you can quit drinking, then a single drink cannot possibly do you any harm, right? Unfortunately, those who have a history of alcoholism cannot and should not have the liberty to drink, even in moderation.

When can recovering alcoholics drink after getting treatment?

A lot of recovering alcoholics often think about, why are medical professionals advising them to avoid alcohol completely? It is not that gulping a single drink with alcohol can hurt you, but that a single drink more often than not leads to a second, then a third. Before you know it, you have already fallen into the alcoholism trap once more. It will be easier to drink once again; however, this is completely opposite of what you have been trying to work hard for – your sobriety – so, it is not worth taking the risk at all.

Research also reveals that abstinence from alcohol may be the best thing to do to avoid falling into a relapse. Although you should not be ashamed if you relapse as it happens to a lot of individuals, you should do best to avoid that from happening to you. The chances of you suffering a relapse are close to zero if you do not indulge at all.

Should a recovering alcoholic be allowed to drink once more?

Some people oppose the idea of not permitting recovering alcoholics to drink again. They believe that the approach to abstinence is not realistic; instead, it becomes a punishment to those suffering from the disease. Such people claim that abstinence can create a stigma on the recovering alcoholic as most will stand out at social events. There is a certain truth in the claim as it could be very difficult to explain your situation to others and why you are not drinking; however, when you think of your sobriety being at stake, you will be able to overcome those challenges.

You can relapse to problem drinking any time you take in one or two drinks socially that’s likely to become 8 or 9. When you finally realize that you really can’t moderate your drinking, your old habits may have sunk in already. Again your social, work and personal relationships suffer and you experience the negative impact of alcohol on your health. Once more, you will have to restart your path to recovery.

Check out this video from Detox of South Florida for more information and resources.


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Good Alcoholic Drinks: A Big NO! For Recovering Alcoholics, Ever is available on Detox of South Florida’s Blog



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Wednesday, 21 June 2017

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How Cocaine is Made | Okeechobee

Cocaine tops the list as the most commonly abused illegal drug in the United States, after marijuana and heroin, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.  Overdose from cocaine consists of about 10% of the total admission in public-funded abuse treatment programs.

However, in a study which the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime conducted, cocaine is one of the most expensive illegal drugs in the black market. In a 2015 Global Drug Survey, a gram of cocaine cost about 80 USD. This will make you wonder what cocaine is made of and how it is made to yield this kind of amount in the market. Before delving yourself in this kind of information, you must first know what cocaine is.


Cocaine is primarily made of extract from coca leaves, native to South America. But it can also contain several ingredients like cornstarch, talcum powder, powdered milk and other substances once it is diluted or “cut.” This drug can over stimulate the central nervous system and contains anesthetic properties.  For hundreds of years, South American people use the coca leaves whenever they need an energy boost. The cocaine plant is relatively harmless but once chemically synthesized it can produce short- and long-term dangerous effects.  Street names of cocaine include Crack, Rock, Coke, Snow, Candy, Blow, Flake and Charlie.

How is Cocaine Made?

After marijuana, cocaine is the most widespread drug in the US but few people understand where it comes from.

To make just a kilo of cocaine, coca farmers need to hand pick 1,000 kilos of coca leaves. After harvesting the leaves, they laid it out under the sun. Famers will let the leaves dry in the sun for about half to full day. The leaves will somewhat dry out and ready for the next step. There are two ways to extract cocaine from the basic coca leaf plant, using solvents or using acid-based chemicals.

Cocaine extraction using solvents

Once the leaves are dried out, it is finely chopped and dusted with lime or carbonate salt along with a small amount of water. Some manufacturers will use a weed-whacker to complete this process. Some people may just do it by hand. After the leaves have been cut, makers will sprinkle a small amount of cement powder.  Then ammonia and lime are added to the leaves. Next, they will spray diesel or kerosene over the leaves and strongly stirred up for three days. The process will remove the cocaine from the leaves and into the liquid mixture. The makers may use a washing machine or cement mixer while some poor manufacturers will just do it by hand.

The ingredients will help separate cocaine from the leaves.  Manufacturers will heat the liquid to eliminate any wax from the coca leaves. The mixture will then be filtered to separate cocaine from the leafy concoctions.  Initially, the mixture will look like a large amount of liquid mixture. Makers will then add sulfuric acid and re-mix it again. This will transform the cocaine free base to cocaine sulfate.

Manufacturers or makers will let the mixture sit for some time. During this process, cocaine sulfate will separate from the mixture. After the separation process, makers will then add lime or caustic soda. This will neutralize the sulfuric acid; the by-product of the chemical is a sticky yellow solid mixture. Again, this paste is dried then package and shipped to another location for additional handling and extraction.

Cocaine paste extraction using acid

Another procedure to make cocaine is using acid-based chemicals to extract the drug.  Makers pour the leaves of the coca plant in a container with dilutes sulfuric acid. Makers need to work exuberantly to soften the mixture which usually lasts for about 2 hours. The acid in the container will transform the leaves to cocaine sulfate. To remove unnecessary waxy deposit, makers will drain the chemical and then heated. The rest of the mixture will undergo filtration process to remove any remaining plant residues.

Lime or carbonated chemicals are added to the mixture, makers stirred the ingredients vigorously. The result of the concoction is called coca paste. Makers will then add kerosene and re-filter the concoction for further sulfuric acid treatment.

From ‘paste’ to Street Cocaine

After the coca extraction process, it needs further processing to change the mixture from chemical concoction to an ingestible substance. The mixture will undergo purification process, in which it is dissolved in a small amount of diluted sulfuric acid. Next, an exact measurement of potassium permanganate is added to the mixture. As a potent oxidizing agent, it removes the impurities in the coca paste. It even changes the color of the paste from a brown-yellowish color to an almost translucent white color.  The translucent, acidic solution by-product is then filtered and treated with the chemical ammonia to neutralize the acid.

Before it reaches the black market, the ‘raw’ cocaine is further dried to transform it into cocaine hydrochloride. The final result is the street product that circulated the black market with crystal-like properties that produce a numbing effect.

In order for the users to inject cocaine, it must be water soluble. If not, the drug will just form in clumps and can lead to cardiac arrest. As a salt, users can both inject and snort cocaine which the body can easily absorb.

Changing Cocaine to Crack Cocaine

Considered as the most powerful form of cocaine, crack cocaine produces a very powerful high. With regular abuse, it is often associated with intense energy, hyperactivity, aggression, and even paranoia. Most people convert hydrochloride into a solid substance of freebase cocaine. To produced crack cocaine, makers will add sodium bicarbonate or ammonia. In this form, users commonly heat the drug and smoke it using glass pipe and inhaling the smoke or vapor.

Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

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Famous People who have Overcome Drug Addiction | Miami FL

Drug addiction can affect anybody, and almost everyone knows that Hollywood celebrities tend to do drugs. While some succumbed into the deadly habit, most recovered it all and gone to better days. Here are some of the Celebrities who battled addiction and successfully overcome it.

Drew Barrymore

Growing up in the Hollywood spotlight as a child actor exposes her to the same path that most child actors went through. She also had to deal with family problems while growing up. At a very young age, she was exposed to nightclubs, drug use, cigarettes, and alcohol. By the time she was 14 years old; Drew changed her lifestyle and remained sober to this day.

Britney Spears

One of the most popular and sensationalized addiction problems that the country saw was Britney Spears. She went into a total meltdown because of her drug and alcohol addiction. When she had enough, Britney check herself into a rehab facility and battled her addiction. Presently, she fully regains her celebrity status and continues to build her career in the music industry.

Robert Downey Jr.

Before he was cast as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., suffered from addiction. It was the most publicized and at the same time the most inspiring addiction recovery cases in Hollywood. Robert suffering from different kinds of addiction like heroin, cocaine and other illegal substance there is lost his career as an actor. During his addiction, Hollywood deliberately outcast the actor and lost many acting roles. He just simply had enough of his struggles and check into a rehab center. When he got off from the treatment program he was able to live a sober life. Robert Downey Jr. became one of the highest Hollywood A-list actors today.

Matt Damon

The movie industry knew Matt Damon as a longtime chain smoker, but it all changed when he saw a particular picture. Matt saw himself smoking and realized how terrible he looked. He then began his healthy living which resulted to quit his habit. He was so sure that quitting is the right choice that he even convinced his best friend, Ben Affleck to quit smoking as well.

Ben Affleck

Beating addiction actually skyrocketed his career even more. Ben’s problems with gambling and alcoholism almost ended his Hollywood career. In 2001, realizing that it is his addiction is causing damage to his health and career, he voluntarily went into rehab. After the program, he turned to some of his friends for support and was drug-free ever since.  Ben reportedly visited Lindsey Lohan when the Hollywood actress also went to rehab. He hoped that he can help the young actress in maintaining sobriety after the rehab program.

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie, the daughter of the famous singer, Lionel Richie also fell into the addiction trap. She was addicted to pills, marijuana, and heroin. In 20017, authorities arrested Nicole for illegal possession of heroin and for being under the influence of marijuana and Vicodin. After rehab therapy, Nicole gained her vitality and is now married with two kids.

Steven Tyler

The lead singer of the well-renowned rock band, Aerosmith battled addiction ever since he was in high school. In one of his interview, Steven admitted that his addiction led to poor relationships and difficulty following lessons in class. His band mates intervene with Steve’s addiction and finally convinced the singer to check into rehab in 1986.


Eminem publicly admitted that he once used drugs and other painkillers. His friends intervene with his addiction problem and he was convinced to go to rehab. During his treatment, Elton John befriended the rapper and convinced him to seek additional treatment to maintain a sober life.

Demi Lovato

Demi’s career was at its peak when the actress suffered alcohol and drug addiction. In 2010, she entered a rehab facility to get treatment. Until now the singer and actress maintain a drug-free lifestyle as well as building her successful career in the industry.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine never denied that she used to smoke as a teenager. However, she continued to light cigarettes until her adulthood. But one momentous event changed everything for her.  Paparazzi took a picture of her smoking while pregnant. The image disgusted the actress that she decided to end the habit for good. Also, not wanting her children to grow up smoking, she quit the habit for good.

Daniel Radcliffe

Not many people knew that behind the success of the Harry Potter series, Daniel suffered alcoholism privately. He was addicted to alcohol during the filming of the popular wizard movie series. He then realized that his behavior was causing him his life and his successful career. The young actor went through alcohol treatment and has lived a sober life ever since.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah serves as one of the inspiration all over the globe. She was a role model for children who wants to be successful in life despite all challenges. However, she also battled one difficult ordeal of crack cocaine addiction during the 80s. Nobody knows exactly how long she suffered from addiction. Oprah gave up the habit ages ago and is now trying to help people overcome the same battle she won.

Kelly Osborne

Kelly Osborne journey to recovery was not an easy one. The daughter of Ozzy Osborne battled with addiction and numerous relapses along the way. In 2009, she went to rehab four times because of drugs and painkillers before learning the way of sobriety.


The Black Eyes Peas singer also suffered from drug abuse during her career. The addiction was so worse that it caused her to leave the group and get help from a rehab facility. After the treatment, she created several songs about the addiction and it was a hit. She was now married to Josh Duhamel.

Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

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Addiction Prevention Strategies for the LGBT Community

Can Substance Abuse Be Prevented?

Along with unique issues like institutional discrimination, the LGBT community as a whole suffers from higher-than-average rates of substance abuse and addiction. In fact, the rate of substance abuse (including the use of illicit drugs as well as excessive drinking) in the LGBT community is two to three times higher than the national average.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the general population abuses drug and alcohol at a rate of 9% while the LGBT community suffers from a staggering 20-30% rate of substance abuse in their specific population. Clearly, the need for substance abuse prevention strategies in the LGBT community is serious.

So, can substance abuse be prevented?

We explore possible approaches to help serve people at risk of addiction in the LGBT community here. Then, we invite your participation at the end. Please send us your questions or feedback! We do our best to respond to anyone who takes the time to reach out.

Why Such High Rates of Substance Abuse?

There are a few different factors contributing to such high rates of substance abuse in the LGBT community. Issues like:

  • higher rates of homelessness
  • interpersonal violence
  • sexual abuse

…contribute to the development of substance use problems for many in the community. This is compounded with societal and institutional discrimination, family rejection for many, and a lack of safe, drug-free spaces to create staggering levels of addiction and substance abuse.

Substance abuse prevention strategies in the LGBT community must go beyond the norm. Education is key, but it doesn’t cut to the core of the many reasons that substance abuse is such a problem for the LGBT community as a whole.

As with the general population, simply arresting people for drug use won’t work, either. The most effective substance abuse prevention strategies for the LGBT community must incorporate grassroots-level initiatives as well as approaches that are informed by the real, specific issues faced by this particular subset of the population.

Facing the Core Issues

Any strategies for substance abuse prevention for the LGBT community must come from a place of understanding of the specific core issues faced by so many members of this group. LGBT-identifying people suffer higher rates of homelessness, sexual abuse, domestic and interpersonal violence, bullying, and isolation than does the general population.

In fact:

1. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), LGBT youth are at a greater risk of bullying, social rejection, and violence at school.

2. LGBT adults are more likely to be victims of sexual abuse, assault, or intimate partner violence than heterosexual and cisgender peers (CDC).

3. A disproportionate number of homeless youth are LGBT-identifying (The Williams Institute at UCLA Law School).

4. LGBT people are more likely to be estranged from immediate family (CBS News).

5. In many states, LGBT people still face legal discrimination from employers, businesses, and even elected officials, which can contribute to feelings of rejection, anger, hopelessness, and frustration.

Substance abuse prevention strategies must be initiated with an understanding of these unique risk factors. Strategies that increase the funding and reach of social outreach programs, such as homeless shelters that are LGBT-friendly, are a big step toward reducing the level of substance abuse within the community.

Strategies That Address Risk Factors

In this same vein, strategies that mitigate the negative effects of the above-listed experiences could significantly reduce substance abuse in the LGBT population. Interventions to consider include:

  • Assistance programs for people who have been victims of domestic or sexual abuse.
  • Access to mental health care services.
  • Advocacy for an end to legal discrimination against LGBT people.
  • Anti-bullying campaigns.

These can all make progress in reducing some of the effects of rejection and abuse that many LGBT people face. Offering healthy solutions and support to people who have faced these sort of challenges can offer a better solution to many people who feel that drugs and alcohol are their only escape.

Safe Places for the LGBT Community

One of the major reasons that so many people in the LGBT community turn to drugs and alcohol is that there is a lack of safe spaces for LGBT-identifying people in the broader public. What this means is that, oftentimes, the only social environment in which LGBT people can meet one another, have fun, and be themselves are dedicated LGBT safe spaces. The majority of these designated LGBT spaces are places like gay bars and dance clubs. While these venues provide much-needed spaces for LGBT to meet and socialize, they often go hand-in-hand with alcohol and drug use.

For many young LGBT people who are just beginning to explore their identity, gay bars and clubs provide an opportunity to come out of their shell and be themselves, to make friends, and to find romantic partners. However, they also involve a lot of opportunities to drink and use drugs. Unfortunately, the social and romantic life of an LGBT person can easily become tied up with substance abuse.

Making more safe spaces in the community that don’t involve the use of alcohol or drugs can do wonders for substance abuse prevention.

One example is Pride marches.

These events happen in nearly every major American city and town every year. They’re a chance for LGBT people to gather, to celebrate their sexuality and gender identities, to meet one another, to mourn losses in the community, and to advocate for social and economic justice for the LGBT community. The inclusion of sober spaces in these events, such as tents run by sober LGBT people and alcohol-free zones at parades can offer a safe space for people to participate in Pride while still avoiding drug use or drinking.

LGBT community centers can also offer substance-free events and gathering spaces for people who need community connection without drugs and alcohol. LGBT support groups and alternative support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, can offer a place for LGBT people to connect with one another and still avoid substance use.

It’s About Offering Multiple Approaches

Ultimately, substance abuse prevention within the LGBT community requires multiple approaches geared toward addressing the reasons for substance abuse in the community, as well as alternative safe spaces for LGBT people to live and express themselves without the pressure of drinking and drug use.

About the Author: Molly is a content writer for All About Recovery, located in Royal Palm Beach, Florida. All About Recovery offers age- and gender-specific outpatient and IOP addiction treatment as well as sober living facilities in South Florida. For information about All About Recovery’s treatment options, call 888 712-8480.

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