Meth And Coke: Overcoming the Crack Comedown.How do you overcome stimulant cravings? When the cravings hit, it’s hard to put the thoughts aside. They become overwhelming, like an itch that must be scratched.
Dr. Michael S. Miller of the Miller Care Group has been studying and treating meth addiction as well as other stimulant addictions for years. He believes that he may have the answer to overcoming meth cravings and cocaine cravings.
He believes that the main problem with earlier methods of addressing these powerful addictions is that taking on the patient’s addiction issue head-on is not the answer. His secret is to first address the underlying mental health condition that is a major risk factor for cocaine and methamphetamine misuse. He focuses on the co occurring disorder, or the dual diagnosis.
Please keep reading and I will go into more detail about Dr. Miller’s incredible methods for identifying and treating different types of stimulant addicts. You will be surprised at how he has discovered the secret to helping his patients to overcome methamphetamine addiction.
What are the major stimulants being used on the streets?
When it comes to stimulant drugs, different types of stimulants tend to be more popular in different regions of the country. In some places, crystal meth is dominant. Stimulants that are related to amphetamine and methamphetamine are often referred to as “speed.”
There are whole towns that appear to be in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Hoards of people strung out on meth wander the streets, their eyes sunken in from lack of sleep for days. Methamphetamine abuse destroys entire communities.
What are some common meth addiction signs? Meth abusers can show signs of antisocial personality disorder and even psychotic symptoms. Often, law enforcement is called in to deal with the violent behavior or a delusional and paranoid methamphetamine user suffering from a meth overdose.
In other areas, crack cocaine is the preferred choice on the streets. Small rocks that look like soap chips are sold by the handful, sometimes in tiny plastic baggies. The rocks are cheap, but the intense high wears off in minutes.
In the middle to upper class crowd, powder cocaine is often the drug of choice. The drug is snorted into the nose and absorbed in the nasal cavity. Being a potent vasoconstrictor, cocaine strangles the blood supply of the nasal tissues, causing serious damage over time.
As an addiction expert once said at a conference I attended, there is only so much dopamine and serotonin you can squeeze out of a neuron. Eventually, the drug user crashes hard.
The crash is sometimes softened by Xanax bars (“Xanibars”) provided by the drug dealer. Is Xanax an opioid? While many street drugs today are tainted with the toxic opioid, fentanyl, Xanax itself is a powerful sedative, but not an opioid.
Meth And Coke: Two Sides of the Same Coin.
Cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as a variety of other related stimulants, have similar effects. For people who have not tried these drugs, it is hard to imagine how it feels to get high on them.
You might imagine that the high is similar to the feeling of drinking too much coffee. While caffeine is a stimulant, drugs such as meth and coke are very different in their effects from legal stimulants, such as caffeine, or pseudoephedrine.
Legal stimulants tend to have effects on the body. You feel jittery in a somewhat unpleasant way if you drink too much coffee. While it can help you feel awake, you can still feel quite sleepy if you have not had enough sleep.
The big difference between the street stimulants and a cup of coffee at starbucks or the decongestant you take for a stuffy nose is that stimulants that get you high can cross the blood-brain barrier. This barrier prevents many drugs from entering and affecting the brain.
However, some drugs are structured in such a way that they cross the barrier easily, having significant effects on brain function. Methamphetamine and cocaine cross over easily and have the effect of causing incredible euphoria.
Methamphetamine is a synthetic, very long acting stimulant. Like regular amphetamine, it crosses into the brain, but even more easily. On the other hand, cocaine is derived from the coca plant. It acts on the brain for a much shorter time than meth, but the effects of intense euphoria are similar between the two drugs.
There are also a variety of other stimulants, similar to meth and coke.
There is cathinone, derived from the plant, catha edulis. Like the coca plant that grows on the mountainsides of Columbia, local people in regions where these plants grow sometimes chew on the leaves for energy.
There is methcathinone, which is related to cathinone and made in a lab, often sold in place of methamphetamine. In the Midwest, a popular powdery drug called “crank” is often methcathinone.
Crank gets its name from being transported in the crankcase of a motorcycle. Biker gangs have been known to be involved in the sale of this potent stimulant drug.
Bath salts, sold legally at one time, have also been manufactured with synthetic cathinones. This deadly stimulant has been known to drive users to engage in some scary and harmful activities.
Another well-known stimulant, MDMA, also known as Ecstacy, Extacy, or Mollies on the streets, is a different kind of stimulant because it works on multiple neurotransmitter systems in the brain. MDMA may actually be useful in treating conditions such as PTSD.
How do people use stimulant drugs?
Some drugs can be used by a variety of routes, so it is up to the drug user and the street culture where they have learned to use their drug of choice. If the people in a group prefer to shoot up their drug, new members will be more likely to learn how to prepare their drug for injection.
Of course, there are not necessarily well organized groups of drug users on the streets, but there are groups of friends, people of a particular neighborhood, or other clandestine social network where people tend to use certain drugs in certain ways. For example, there are street corners where everyone is buying, selling, and using crack cocaine. Other corners might be focused more on heroin and fentanyl.
Cocaine is a drug that is not very effective orally. People tend not to mix cocaine powder in a drink in order to swallow it. Hence, the typical routes of administration are snorting, injecting, and smoking.
Powder cocaine is nearly always insufflated, or snorted. Occasionally, it is injected for a faster onset of the intense cocaine high. Shooting up cocaine and heroin together is known as a “speedball.” Another way to get cocaine into the bloodstream quickly is to smoke it.
Smoking cocaine requires removing the hydrochloric acid molecule from cocaine HCL, converting it from a salt to a free base. In the past, this was done using a dangerous process involving ether. More recently, dealers and users are able to perform the procedure more safely using baking soda.
During the cooking process of making freebase cocaine using baking soda, there is a noticeable crackling sound. Because of this unique sound, the final product became known as “crack.”
Freebase cocaine can be smoked at a relatively low temperature. Street users smoke crack using a glass tube, or pipe, often stuffed with Chore Boy copper wool. The smoke is thick and white, often described as sweet, cinnamon smelling.
The famous comedian, Richard Pryor, nearly killed himself making freebase cocaine with ether. Because of the volatile nature of the chemical, he nearly burned himself to death.
How do people use meth?
Unlike cocaine, methamphetamine can be readily swallowed orally, snorted, smoked, or injected, usually without being altered in any way. Sometimes, the drug is sold as tablets. Or, it can be distributed as powder or crystals. In crystal form, it is referred to as “crystal meth.”
Meth is smoked sometimes in a unique fashion known as “chasing the dragon.” The user places the drug on a piece of aluminum foil and heats the bottom of the foil with a torch or lighter. Then, a wispy smoke, like a tiny dragon’s breath, wafts up slowly in swirling tendrils, to be inhaled through a piece of drinking straw by the user. The chasing of the smoke around with the straw is where the process gets its name.
It is also possible to smoke meth from a glass pipe. The process is slightly different from smoking crack, but the end result is similar. Sometimes, a small glass lightbulb might be turned into a meth pipe. The smell associated with meth smoke has been described as a machine smell, reminiscent of the scent of gasoline and motor oil in a combustion engine.
When meth, or crank, is sold as a powder, users often snort it through a piece of straw or rolled up paper, similar to powder cocaine. As you may have seen in movies, the user often organizes the drug into lines using a razor blade on a glass surface, such as a glass tabletop or mirror.
Since meth is not a topical anesthetic like cocaine is, the user will feel a burn every time they snort the drug. Cocaine, on the other hand, may burn the first time, but the nasal tissues are quickly numbed by the drug.
Methamphetamine and amphetamine can be swallowed in tablet form. In fact, there are legal prescription forms of these drugs, such as Desoxyn and Adderall. These drugs are FDA approved for treating obesity, attention deficit disorder, and narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a brain disorder where a person falls asleep uncontrollably. One of the most common of meth addiction symptoms is severe insomnia, where a person may not be able to sleep for days at a time.
What are some common symptoms of meth use?
Crystal meth abuse can cause a variety of symptoms that might be confused with serious mental illness. In addition to symptoms such as decreased appetite, dry mouth, and high blood pressure, there are also common behavioral symptoms that many meth abusers exhibit.
These symptoms are due to the chronic, ongoing stress on the central nervous system from repeated use of crystal methamphetamine or similar substance use and made worse in the case of a methamphetamine overdose. Meth abuse symptoms are unique compared to symtpoms of other forms of substance abuse.
What happens when meth abusers run out of their drug?
When a meth user is at the end of a run, when the money and drugs have run out, they are forced to go through a difficult meth detox. Methamphetamine withdrawal is unpleasant, involving depression, anxiety, and fatigue. You may discover that a loved one is using the drug either from meth addiction signs or from meth withdrawal symptoms. The behavioral signs can be dramatic and unusual, including everything from strange habits to excessive tooth decay.
What is it about stimulants that get people addicted?
Addiction is like a malignant bad habit. Bad habits cause us to do things that are not in our best interest because we have developed a behavior pattern around these unhealthy activities. Eating candy when stressed is a bad habit.
Smoking crack is also a bad habit. People who smoke crack know that it cannot go on forever. They often have a plan in mind for quitting soon, just like a person who eats too much candy.
The difference is that cocaine, especially crack, and amphetamines create a feeling of an intense rush of pleasure that far outpaces the sense of pleasure derived from eating candy. Besides being dangerous to a person’s health, the effects on the reward system of the brain result in fast and significant alterations that make quitting extremely difficult.
The behavior that results from stimulant addiction is similar, but far worse than a sugar addiction. A sugar addict might secretly buy a bag of sweets at the store and eat them in the car before getting home. On the other hand, a crack addict will spend all of their money, go into debt, sell their worldly possessions, and then possibly resort to prostitution or theft.
How is the meth high different from a crack high?
Smoking crack results in a very intense high that only lasts for a few minutes. The user then quickly feels the effects of the crack comedown, where the pleasure wears off and they start to fall into a cold, chemical depression. Another hit of crack resolves the issue for another few minutes.
Meth, on the other hand, may not deliver a high of the same speed and intensity of crack, but it lasts far longer. In fact, a meth high can last for many hours.
Additionally, meth is relatively cheap, so users do not tend to reach a state of degradation in the same way that many crack users do. While a single dose of crack may be as cheap as five dollars, you can imagine how many doses a person might buy when the high only lasts for a few minutes.
During the many hours of an amphetamine high, the user will notice other effects in addition to euphoria. They will also experience intense focus and wakefulness. College students who abuse meth or prescription amphetamines are able to focus on their work for hours and stay awake late into the night studying.
All stimulants have the side effect of anorexia. This means that the user feels little to no appetite while high. If you use crack or meth, you will probably not eat or sleep much. You will tend to lose weight quickly.
If you are trying to lose weight, do not think that these drugs are a good idea for weight loss. In addition to being dangerous and highly addicting, weight loss is always temporary. When you stop taking the drug, you quickly gain the weight back and usually a bit more on top of your original weight.
At some point, even with the repeated administration of crack or powder cocaine, or the long-lasting high of meth, the brain cannot continue to respond with pleasure and wakefulness. Eventually, even if you keep using the drug, you will crash. The crash involves intense fatigue and depression.
What is the best way to treat crystal meth addiction?
In the city where Dr. Miller practices, there is a significant meth addiction problem. He has dedicated his practice to the treatment of addiction and drug abuse, with a focus on stimulant addiction.
Over the past few years, he has methodically studied patients who struggle with meth addiction, learning about their underlying issues that have led them to abusing this dangerous drug. He has approached the problem from the point of view that people do not randomly become addicted to drugs, they almost always have an underlying mental health issue that must be identified and addressed.
How many types of mental health issues lead to meth or coke addiction? Many people try these drugs at some point, but only a certain percentage finds the effects compelling enough to continue to the point of becoming addicted.
When a person is addicted, they experience intense cravings for the drug, even weeks and months after quitting. Cravings are what make quitting stimulants so difficult.
It turns out that, according to Dr. Miller, meth addicts can be separated into two main categories. He states that there is little overlap or ambiguity. In fact, he describes the diagnosing of meth addicts into these categories as being like, “parting the Red Sea.”
In addition to identifying underlying common mental health issues, Dr. Miller has also refined effective treatments for these two groups. During years of research, he has tried various medications targeted at the conditions that he has identified, determining combinations of meds that work best in eliminating cravings and getting meth users back to a more functional and productive life without the need for ongoing drug use.
What are the two major categories of meth users?
Dr. Miller has determined that one category of meth user is a person who goes through life without adequate energy to complete tasks related to their activities of daily living. They found that self-treating their lack of energy with meth made it possible to get through the day. He identifies these patients using a line of questioning that proposes hypothetical situations that elicit a particular response.
When he described the process of diagnosis to me, I imagined the scenes from the original Blade Runner movie where Harrison Ford questions people in a very particular way to identify who might be a replicant. That fictional movie test was known as the “Voight-Kampff test.” Maybe Dr. Miller’s process will one day be known as “the Miller test.”
The other major category of meth user is the person who has attention deficit disorder. He describes these patients as being angry and short tempered, but often regretful and remorseful of their actions.
Clearly, since methamphetamine is an effective treatment for people who cannot focus their attention easily, these patients have been self-treating their underlying condition. A lack of focus is the defining symptom of this group.
Dr. Miller describes these patients as being “dual diagnosed.” The addiction is one diagnosis, and the underlying mental health issue is the other diagnosis. He complains that many addiction specialists only attempt to treat the addiction without giving proper attention to the condition that drives the addiction.
Incredibly, Dr. Miller claims a very high success rate in treating patients for meth addiction. He states that within a short period of time, cravings subside. The meth addict simply no longer needs meth to get through the day. His methods of meth addiction treatment are unique and highly effective.
How can I learn more about Dr. Miller’s methods?
Soon, I will be interviewing Dr. Miller on my podcast. When I publish the episode, I will update this article with a link to the audio and the transcript. In that episode, we will go into detail about how he evaluates patients and how he treats them using medication-assisted treatment to get them to a state of being meth free and coke free.
Learn how he identifies patients and selects the ideal treatment for each group. You will hear about how he is using medications such as Strattera, Tenex, Provigil, and Remeron to treat stimulant addicted patients.
If you are looking for a good methamphetamine addiction podcast or a cocaine addiction podcast, you have come to the right place. I look forward to bringing you this critical information that may change the way you view stimulant addiction.