As the prevalence of mental health issues and substance use disorder continue to rise in the United States, the search for new and innovative treatments has become more urgent. One potential therapy that is gaining popularity is psilocybin mushrooms. Psilocybin, the main active ingredient in magic mushrooms, has shown effectiveness in treating alcohol use disorders (AUD).

A clinical study published in Jama Psychiatry found that psilocybin could help people with alcohol use disorders reduce their drinking days. The study participants were given 12 weeks of manualized psychotherapy and were randomly selected to get psilocybin or diphenhydramine during 2-day-long medication sessions at weeks 4 and 8. The results showed that over 50% of the participants who were assigned psilocybin stopped drinking entirely for months or even years.

After 32 weeks of analyzing the 93 participants with alcohol use disorders, researchers discovered that the 48 participants who got psilocybin and psychotherapy had an 83% reduction in their drinking habits within 8 months of their first dose, while those assigned placeboes had 51%. While the exact mechanism of action is not known, it is thought that psilocybin helps to break the cycle of addiction by:

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The safety and efficacy of psilocybin mushrooms as a treatment for alcohol addiction are still being studied, but the preliminary evidence is promising. As a precaution, you should never consume psilocybin mushrooms without the supervision of a trained medical professional. Psilocybin may be riskier in an uncontrolled environment because your experiences may feel extreme. For example, you may feel severe anxiety while under the influence of the drug.

Other common side effects are nausea and vomiting, paranoia, and delusions. In rare cases, psilocybin mushrooms can cause psychotic episodes. Psilocybin mushrooms can also interact with other drugs and medications. For example, they can intensify the effects of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication.

It is always important to speak with a medical professional before consuming psilocybin mushrooms, especially if you are taking other medication.

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What are psilocybin mushrooms?

Psilocybin mushrooms are a type of mushroom that contains the psychoactive compound psilocybin. Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound that is found in over 200 species of mushrooms. When consumed, it can produce powerful hallucinations and an altered state of consciousness. Some people use psilocybin mushrooms for recreational purposes, while others use them for medicinal or spiritual purposes.

Psilocybin has been shown to be an effective treatment for various conditions, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. It is also being studied as a potential treatment for PTSD and OCD. Although psilocybin mushrooms are legal in some countries, they are illegal in most parts of the world. Possession and consumption of psilocybin mushrooms can lead to jail time and heavy fines.

 

What this means for alcohol addiction treatment

Alcohol addiction is a serious problem that can lead to various negative consequences, including health problems, relationship difficulties, and financial problems. In some cases, alcohol addiction can even lead to death.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol is a factor in about 95,000 deaths annually in the United States. These deaths are due to various causes, including alcohol-related accidents, liver diseases, and other health complications.

Treatment rates for alcohol use disorder are low (e.g., 7.6% in 2021), and the Food and Drug Administration has only approved 4 AUD evidence-based medications since 1947. 

While these medications can help people with alcohol addiction, they have been shown to be only partially effective. Psilocybin mushrooms have shown promise as a treatment for substance use disorders and could potentially help to reduce the number of deaths due to alcohol addiction.

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Further evidence on the effectiveness of psilocybin is needed

Although the study’s results are encouraging, it is important to note that it's a small study with a limited number of participants. More research is needed to confirm the findings and to determine the long-term efficacy of psilocybin mushrooms as a treatment for alcohol addiction. The study only analyzed 93 participants, and only 50 were given psilocybin as such research needs to be done in a bigger and more diverse population. 

Besides, the study used diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, as a placebo, which is not an ideal substitute for psilocybin. It was also observed that the participants didn’t have serious drinking problems as those who usually enrolled in clinical trials for alcohol use disorders. The clinical trial may have attracted participants who were already managing their condition. Most notably, the researchers didn't include participants with underlying mental disorders like depression so they could establish if psilocybin-assisted therapy treats AUD and not other co-occurring disorders. 

But patients with severe AUD can benefit from the therapy. This is especially true if the therapy can address other issues that underlie physical dependence and mental disorders. In this case, the treatment will simultaneously address both conditions.

Ketamine is also showing potential as a treatment for alcohol addiction. A group of researchers found that Ketamine disrupts memories to help heavy drinkers stop drinking or cut back. Ketamine blocks the NMDA receptors, disrupting the reconsolidation of memories associated with alcohol consumption. As a result, heavy drinkers who receive ketamine treatment may have fewer cravings for alcohol.

It has also been shown to be an effective treatment for various conditions, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

Psilocybin mushrooms and Ketamine have shown promise as potential treatments for alcohol addiction and some mental health issues. However, more research is needed to confirm the findings. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol addiction, many resources are available to help. Never try psilocybin mushrooms or Ketamine outside a clinical setting, as they can be dangerous.

Many people who use stimulants or MDMA report that they grind their teeth during periods of drug use. This phenomenon is known as bruxism and can cause several problems, including headaches, jaw pain, and damage to teeth.

While it's not clear why drugs cause bruxism, it is thought that bruxism occurs due to the effects of drugs on the body's central nervous system. Other theories suggest that it may result from anxiety or other psychological factors.

Regardless of the cause, bruxism can be a dangerous condition, and it is important to seek treatment if you think you may be affected. Your dentist can help identify the signs of bruxism and recommend appropriate treatments. You can keep your teeth healthy and avoid any long-term damage with proper care.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition characterized by the grinding or clenching of teeth. It can occur while a person is awake (awake bruxism) or asleep (sleep bruxism).

Left untreated, bruxism can lead to several serious problems, including jaw pain, headaches, and damage to the teeth. It can also cause sleep disorders like sleep apnea.

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The exact cause of bruxism is not fully understood, but it is thought to be linked to stress or anxiety and drug use.

Bruxism can be caused by medications that act on the nervous system, such as antidepressants, antihistamines, and bronchodilators. It can also be a side effect of stimulants, such as caffeine and amphetamines. In some cases, drug-induced bruxism may be caused by illicit drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

Persistent bruxism can lead to jaw muscles and tooth damage, headaches, jaw pain, and temporomandibular joint disorder. It can even affect a person's ability to eat and speak properly in severe cases. Beyond bruxism, drugs can also cause a host of other dental issues due to these reasons:

Drugs That Can Cause You to Grind Your Teeth:

Here are some drugs that can cause bruxism:

MDMA

MDMA is a synthetic drug that produces energizing, mood-lifting, and sometimes hallucinogenic effects. It is best known by its street names "ecstasy" or "molly." MDMA is structurally similar to both stimulants and hallucinogens, which may account for its ability to produce various effects.

MDMA causes an increase in the activity of three brain chemicals: dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Dopamine is involved in the "reward pathway," producing feelings of pleasure. Norepinephrine helps to maintain alertness and focus, while serotonin contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness.

These brain chemicals are also responsible for many of the side effects of MDMA use, including increases in heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision, and faintness. One less well-known side effect of MDMA use is bruxism, or teeth grinding.

Research suggests that this may be due to the drug's effects on serotonin levels. Serotonin plays a role in muscle contraction, and an increase in serotonin activity may lead to involuntary muscle spasms, such as teeth grinding. In some cases, bruxism may be severe enough to cause jaw pain or damage to teeth.

Methamphetamine (Meth) 

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is a powerful stimulant drug that can seriously affect the body. One of the most common side effects of meth abuse is bruxism, or teeth grinding. Meth users may grind their teeth involuntarily or consciously, and the condition can cause severe dental problems

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While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, it is believed that meth causes an increase in the release of dopamine, a brain chemical associated with pleasure and reward. The resulting spike in dopamine levels can lead to compulsive behaviors like teeth grinding. In addition, meth constricts blood vessels and reduces saliva production, further contributing to dental health problems. 

Heroin

Opioids, including heroin, are known to make you grind your teeth. This may be due to the drug's psychoactive effects, which can produce feelings of anxiety and paranoia. Historical evidence also suggests that bruxism was common among people who used opium in the 19th century.

Opioids work by binding to receptors in the brain, which can alter neurotransmission and lead to changes in muscle tone and behavior. Teeth grinding may be a side effect of this process. Opioids can also cause dry mouth, leading to tooth decay and other oral health problems.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant that has been shown to cause a wide range of physical and mental effects. One of the more commonly reported side effects of cocaine use is that it can make you grind your teeth.

While the exact mechanism is not fully understood, it is thought that the drug alters levels of neurotransmitters in the brain, increasing muscle activity. This can lead to involuntary clenching and grinding of the teeth, which can cause headaches, jaw pain, and dental damage. In some cases, bruxism may also be related to anxiety or psychosis, which are common side effects of cocaine use.

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Treatment Options for Bruxism

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common side effect of stimulant or MDMA use. The constant clenching and grinding can damage the teeth and cause gum inflammation. In severe cases, it can even result in tooth loss.

Luckily, a few things can be done to help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism.

  1. First, you'll need to stop using drugs that cause bruxism. If you are dealing with an MDMA, heroin, or meth addiction, it's best to seek addiction treatment to get off of the drugs.
  2. Stay hydrated and avoid foods that are high in acidity. This will help to protect your teeth from further damage.
  3. Adopt lifestyle changes - reduce stress, cut back on stimulant use, etc.
  4. It is also important to take breaks during extended periods of drug use and avoid using the drug when feeling stressed or anxious.
  5. If bruxism persists, several treatments can be used to reduce the symptoms, including Botox injections, night guards, pacifiers, and bite plates.
  6. Taking these steps makes it possible to minimize the impact of bruxism and protect your teeth and gums.

 

Treatment for Drug Abuse

If you are experiencing teeth grinding due to stimulant or MDMA use, it is important to seek treatment. Teeth grinding can be caused by many things and is often treatable. There are a variety of treatments available depending on the cause of your teeth grinding.

Treatment for drug abuse will also address any associated teeth grinding. If you are concerned about your teeth grinding, please talk to your doctor or addiction specialist. They can help you find the best course of treatment for you.

Hallucinogens are drugs that cause perceptual distortions in the user's environment. This can include seeing, hearing, and feeling things that aren't there. The distortions can be dangerous, especially if someone takes them regularly. There are many different types of hallucinogens, including LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and DMT. While each drug produces different effects, all of them have the potential to be addictive.

This blog post will discuss the different types of hallucinogens and the dangers of using them. We will also talk about how addiction to these drugs can happen and what treatment options are available for those who need help.

What are hallucinogens?

Hallucinogens are a diverse class of drugs that alter perception, mood, and cognition. They range from naturally occurring substances, like morning glory seeds, ayahuasca, and certain types of mushrooms, as well as synthetic drugs like LSD, MDMA, and ketamine.

Hallucinogens can be broadly grouped into psychedelics, dissociatives, and deliriants.

While the effects of LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs can vary depending on the substance and the dose, they typically cause users to see, feel, and hear things that are not real. Hallucinogens can also cause mood changes, making users feel happy, angry, or afraid. In some cases, users may have difficulty distinguishing between reality and fantasy.

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At higher doses, hallucinogens can cause users to experience frightening hallucinations, leading to anxiety and paranoia. Long-term effects of hallucinogen use include flashbacks, alterations in mood and perception, and difficulty thinking clearly.

When someone takes a hallucinogenic drug, it affects the brain by causing changes in brain chemistry. These changes can lead to an altered state of consciousness. In some cases, people may have a bad trip, which means they have a negative experience while on the drug. Hallucinogens can be dangerous because they can cause people to do things that they would not normally do, such as putting themselves in harm's way.

Dangers of Using Hallucinogens

Recently, there has been an increase in the use of hallucinogens in the United States. These drugs alter a person's perception of reality, often causing them to see or hear things that are not there. While some believe that these drugs can offer a spiritual experience, they come with a range of side effects that can be dangerous or even deadly. Hallucinogens can cause users to:

It is important to be aware of the risks associated with these drugs before using them.

Psilocybin Mushrooms Addiction

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Mushroom abuse has been on the rise in recent years, as people are becoming more aware of the type of mushroom known as psilocybin mushrooms. These mushrooms contain a chemical compound called psilocybin, which is structurally similar to the psychoactive compound found in LSD. While the effects of psilocybin are not as intense as those of LSD, they can still be very powerful and cause severe changes in perception and mood.

People who abuse psilocybin mushrooms often do so because they enjoy the hallucinations and altered state of consciousness that they produce. However, there is a risk of developing a psychological dependence on these mushrooms and a physical dependence if used frequently.

Can You Become Addicted to Hallucinogens?

Though typically not as addictive as other substances, it is still possible to develop an addiction to hallucinogens. Usually, this occurs after substance abuse, for example, taking high doses of the drug or taking it more frequently than intended. 

When someone regularly takes high doses of a substance, they become tolerant of it. This means they need to take increasingly larger amounts of the substance to feel the same desired effects. As tolerance builds, so does the risk of addiction.

In addition, substance abuse can quickly lead to changes in brain chemistry. These changes can be difficult to reverse and may cause lasting damage. Hallucinogens are particularly dangerous because they can cause both physical and psychological dependence.

How Addiction to Hallucinogens Happens

Though typically not as addictive as other substances, it is still possible to develop an addiction to hallucinogens. Usually, this occurs after substance abuse, for example, taking high doses of the drug or taking it more frequently than intended.

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As with other forms of drug addiction, addiction to hallucinogens can lead to financial problems, relationship difficulties, and health issues. In some cases, people may even experience hallucinations that are not pleasant. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to hallucinogens, it's important to seek professional help. It is possible to overcome substance abuse and live a healthy life with treatment.

Get Help for a Hallucinogen Addiction

Just like the treatment of alcoholism, addiction to hallucinogens can be a difficult addiction to overcome without professional help. There are many different types of hallucinogens, and each person reacts to them differently. Some people may only need outpatient treatment, while others may require inpatient treatment at a rehabilitation center.

The first step in addiction treatment is usually detoxification, which helps the person safely withdraw from the drug. After detox, the person may undergo counseling and therapy to help them understand and cope with their addiction. Medication may also be prescribed to help manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings in some cases.

Addiction treatment centers offer relapse prevention programs, which can help individuals stay on track in recovery. Many centers also offer alternative treatments, such as yoga and meditation, which can help to reduce stress and promote overall wellness.

StrugglingWithAddiction.com Can Help

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If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to hallucinogens, please seek professional help. Addiction treatment centers can provide the care and support necessary for a successful recovery. They will also offer ongoing support that makes it possible to overcome addiction and live a healthy, fulfilling life.

Unsure where to start? Let us match you with the best treatment facility to suit your needs. Check out our directory of reputable rehabilitation centers.

It is not easy to tell that a loved one is abusing drugs, especially in the early stages of addiction. You may notice changes in their moods or behaviors, but that could be anything. However, if your intuition tells you there’s a problem, it might be worth taking stock of your concern. A great place to start is to watch out for paraphernalia.

People who abuse drugs often use items like spoons, silicone bongs, glass bongs, beaker bongs, acrylic bongs, roach clips, etc., to produce, hide or administer drugs. So, if you find these items in their belongings, it could be a sign that they are abusing drugs. In which case, you may need to help them get the help they need to stop abusing drugs.

Abusing drugs doesn’t always translate to addiction, but it is a precursor to addiction. Early intervention is therefore critical to preventing addiction and accompanying problems.

What does drug paraphernalia look like?

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It can be challenging to identify drug paraphernalia because they look like legitimate items. Marijuana pipes and bongs for sale, for example, often have a disclaimer indicating they’re meant to be used only with tobacco products.

While drug paraphernalia varies from one manufacturer to another, more manufacturers are making them in bright, trendy colors with designs like dragons, wizards, devils, and skulls. They do this to glamorize drug use and make their product appealing to their target market.

Examples of drug paraphernalia

An essential part of understanding drug use is identifying the items that drug addicts use to hide, consume or produce drugs. You may find these items in your loved one’s backpack, car, or bedroom.

Note: If you come across any drug items in your loved one’s belongings, you might be tempted to check them out. But you should not touch these items as some drugs may be absorbed through the skin.

Roach clips

Roach clips are great for pinning the hair back. But drug users may use them to hold the blunt or joint to avoid burning their fingers when they become too short to hold. You can also watch out for small joints and blunts in the trash can.

Smoking devices

Smoking devices like hand pipes, bongs, dab rigs, DIY disposable devices, and hookahs are also very common among those who smoke marijuana.

Tin foil pipe

Tin foil scraps or pieces of aluminum foil are everyday household items and could be easy to ignore. But if you find them in your loved one’s belongings or the waste bin, it could be a sign they’re smoking heroin or inhaling meth fumes.

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People who smoke drugs chop the crystals with razors or ATM cards and place them onto a foil. They then hold it over a lighter or candle. When it smokes, they use a dollar bill, rolled-up foil straw, metal straw, or glass straw to inhale the smoke.

Burnt bottle caps or spoons

One of the first signs that your loved one is using drugs is missing spoons. Suddenly, you’ll notice your cutlery service for 12 is down to 8 spoons, etc.

Drug addicts use spoons for cooking powdered drugs. They place the drug in the spoon bowl, add some water, and heat it over the flame until it becomes liquid. But since they can’t return the burnt spoon, they’ll hide it for their next use.

Alternatively, they may use bottle caps and hold them with pliers. You may also find a burnt lighter as these go hand in hand.

Used needles

Needle tracks or “track marks” on your loved one’s body are apparent signs of cocaine, heroin, meth, or prescription painkiller abuse. But like other addicts, your loved one may do a great job hiding the track marks. So, if you find needles or syringes along with some belt or elastic bands in their rooms or backpacks, that might be a clear indication they’re using. Belts or bands are used to constrict the upper leg or arm to make the veins more prominent for injection.

Glass water pipe

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Glass water pipes or bongs indicate that someone is smoking cannabis, spice or other herbal substances like K2 or "spice". A bong is a portable filtration device with a bowl outside of a vertical tube and water at the bottom of the pipe for water filtration.

A glass water pipe is just one type of bong. Others include ceramic, plastic, metal, and bamboo. Bongs also come in different designs, including beakers, round base, percolators, straight tube, and multi-chamber. Multi-chamber pipes provide a smooth hit. They can also be incredibly small like a mini bong.

Plastic bags or small paper bags

These might be harmless. But when there’s suspicion about drug use, it’s best to pay attention to any plastic and small paper bags in their belongings. People who abuse drugs store and carry drugs in makeup bags and plastic baggies.

Pacifiers and lollipops

These two seem harmless but are often used by people who abuse drugs like meth or ecstasy. Usually, these drugs cause teeth grinding and jaw clenching. So, users use pacifiers or lollipops to prevent these side effects from happening while they’re intoxicated.

Signs of addiction

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At the end of the day, finding these items in your loved one’s belongings doesn’t guarantee that they’re struggling with drug addiction. It’s, therefore, crucial to watch out for other signs before taking the next step. Some indications of addiction may include:

 

Seeking help

If your loved one has drug paraphernalia and is exhibiting some of the signs shared above, it’s time to act fast. Start talking with professionals to determine treatment options suitable for your loved one. Remember, every addiction patient is different, so a one-size-fits-all approach may not apply in your case.

Like music, rave outfits have evolved over the years. Most rave outfits do not trend for too long. Partygoers ditch them to try something new that is trendy at the time.

Rave outfits are a significant part of the rave scene. They allow partygoers to express themselves without necessarily feeling the pressure to conform to societal and cultural norms. People don’t go to raves to impress anyone. They go to have a good time and do things they can’t do in their day-to-day lives. It is no wonder that those who don’t party find the outfits somewhat nonsensical.

Raves made a debut in the mid-’80s. At the time, the rave scene was all new, so the dress code wasn’t defined. Most people who attended the 80s raves were hippies and part of traveling communities. From them, it was all about peace, love, unity. They did not pay much attention to what they wore to raves. However, most of them wore lots of makeup, had big hair, and had extravagant outfits.

In the early 90s, people started paying more attention to their rave outfits, and a dress code developed. Most people wore similar outfits to fit in the rave scene. The dress code changed frequently as the years went by. Today, it is unlikely that you will see anyone showing off midriffs or donning phat pants that were go-to outfits in the early 90s. Instead, they wear more revealing outfits.

This article will discuss how festival fashion has changed with time. We will look at rave outfits in the early 90s, late 90s to early 2000s, mid 200s to late 2000s, and today’s rave outfits. Let’s dive in.

The early 90s 

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Raves started gaining popularity in the early 90s when rave music somehow found its way to mainstream music. Note that the rave scene was still disorganized during this time, and most parties were held outside.

Those going to raves wanted to seem friendly, fun, and happy. Therefore, they opted for brightly-colored clothes.

Most festival outfits in the early 90s were functional. Sometimes, the outfits included hydration packs. Other than comfortable outfits, everyone opted for comfortable shoes. It was not unusual to see people donning brightly colored tie dye t-shirts paired with comfortable pants heading to a rave festival.

Neon colors were also the go-to option at the time. Wearing revealing clothes was not an option since most music festivals were held in the open.

With time, raves became more organized. Ecstasy also became more popular when partygoers discovered the euphoric feeling it gives them. The ecstasy combined with sophisticated light and sound encouraged people to try psychedelic outfits like boiler suits.

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Boiler suits gained popularity when PA’s like Dye Witness and Altern-8  wore them during their sets. Their fans copied their style, and in no time, they wore them to every rave. Reportedly, the masks partygoers wore at the time were full of menthol substances that helped them enhance the effects of illegal drugs they took at the event, including MDMA, LSD, mushrooms or whippets.

The late 90s to early 2000s 

In the 2000s, most people shifted to wilder looks and outfits. Rave fashion featured string vests, fluffy boots, neon tank tops, hair bands, whistles, and Day-Glo paints. Like the early 90s, they preferred bright colors as opposed to dull ones.

Both boys and girls went to raves to be seen. The boys saw it as an opportunity to express themselves, and the girls wanted to look attractive.

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In the early 2000s, people also embraced cyber wear, which featured dummies (pacifiers and lollipops) and glow sticks. Dummies reportedly prevented people who had taken ecstasy from grinding their teeth, while glow sticks improved the rave experience.

The mid-2000s to late 200Os 

Generally, people toned down their outfits in the mid to late 2000s. The main reason for this is that raves happened more often, almost every weekend, and everyone wanted to be comfortable on the dance floor. Additionally, most festivals, including every EDM festival, were held in clubs instead of open fields.

Rave wear in the mid to late 2000s mainly was streetwear, which means people wore what they would typically wear on the streets. Jeans, hoodies, trainers, and tracksuits became common in the rave scene.

Streetwear became popular because partygoers were mainly from the new generation, and modern fashion styles and street styles greatly influenced them.

Today’s rave outfits

Today, people wear whatever they want when going to raves. It is unlikely that you’d see anyone wearing neon outfits, fluffy boots, tank tops, string vests, and other rave wear that people used to wear in the past.

Like the other years, people go to raves to have fun. Therefore, they try to express themselves with what they wear based on the music and artists they love.

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Hopefully, you'll remember to drink lots of water if you dress up like this!

You may also notice that the rave clothing people wear while going to clubs is different from what they wear while going to festivals. Most times, festivals are held outdoors during summer, so people don’t dress up much. For festival clothing during summer, girls prefer wearing bikini tops or a crop top paired with booty shorts and a pair of sneakers, while the boys wear shorts.

There are a few instances when people try to mimic old rave gear by wearing bright-colored outfits and accessories, especially during festivals when they want to express themselves. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they are re-embracing the old rave outfits.

Fashion trends in the EDM community

The EDM community has always had a unique fashion sense. Currently, kandi culture is trending.

A few years back, members of the EDM community mostly wore tulle and neon-colored outfits. Today, they have embraced earthy and pastel colors. The girls mostly wear micro shorts and micro skirts that have cutouts.

Festival wear in this community also comprises samba bras, plunge bras, pasties, sheer tops, and halters. The most common prints are psychedelic prints, aliens, holograms, and mermaids.

Conclusion

As discussed, rave outfits are constantly evolving. The only thing that remains constant is the ability of rave goers to express themselves and feel empowered by their outfits.

Trends change constantly, but the best thing about rave fashion is that you can wear whatever you want without feeling the pressure to fit in because you are free to express yourself in whatever way.

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You’ve probably heard that lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) stays in your body forever. A single LSD trip, usually taken on paper as a small square or liquid, the molecule will embed itself in your spinal fluid and stay there for a long time. There it remains seemingly forever, waiting for the unsuspecting moment when it will release itself and cause you to have a full-on psychedelic effect. In fact, you might even believe that this spinal fluid LSD is the reason for flashbacks. The flashbacks result from the drug leaking out of your spinal column, causing you to trip at the least expected moment.

And with the anti-drug messaging and stories supporting the idea, it makes sense to think so. But do psychedelics like LSD remain in the spinal fluid forever and come back without warning, causing one to hallucinate? Well, that’s what we’ll be discussing in this article. But first, let’s understand how hallucinogens work.

How do hallucinogens work?

Classic hallucinogens are thought to trigger perception-altering effects by stimulating the serotonin 2A receptor. Their effects mostly happen in the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for perception, cognition and mood, along with other brain parts involved in psychological responses to things like panic and stress.

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The effects of using hallucinogenic drugs include seeing images, feeling sensations, and hearing sounds that seem real but don’t exist. Short-term effects of LSD, peyote, and psilocybin include:

An LSD overdose can cause drug-induced psychosis and bad trips that include terrifying thoughts and intense feelings of despair and anxiety, including fears of insanity, losing control, or even death.

What is a flashback?

A drug-related flashback is a type of distorted sensory experience or disturbing perception that affects a person’s senses long after the drug's actual effects wear off. It is often associated with hallucinogenic drugs like magic mushrooms or LSD (acid). A flashback is different from memory because it feels like it’s happening all over again. It’s important to note that research doesn’t support flashbacks because they are not a real phenomenon. But don't just believe us... Here's Norm Macdonald's hilarious take on the subject.

RIP Norm...

LSD and flashback

It is often thought that LSD embeds in the body system for a lifetime and can cause sudden flashbacks from time to time. However, the truth is that there’s still a lot to learn about psychedelics and flashbacks because research on the subject is very limited.

Recently, two neuroscientists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology studied the link between lifetime psychedelic use and mental health. The investigators used the annual National Survey on Drug use and Health which gathers data on mental health and substance use from a random sample representative of the United States non-institutionalized population.

Over 13% of the 135,095 randomly selected participants said they had used psychedelics like LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin at least once in their life. The results showed that psychedelic use was not strongly connected to severe psychological distress, psychiatric symptoms, or needing or getting mental health treatment. The authors also discussed the flashback concept and concluded that hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder, where visual symptoms are connected to using psychedelics, was erroneous. However, other studies suggest that flashbacks long after taking the drug are rare, but possible nonetheless.

Some theories suggest that people who get continuous ill effects after an intense psychedelic experience could have possibly acquired post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mistake it for an LSD flashback. Others claim that psychedelics open a “door” that exposes one to another dimension of reality. This door doesn’t entirely shut for weeks or months of stopping to use the drugs. So, sometimes, all it takes is just one joint to creak the door open even a little and send one into full-on epiphany or realizations that they might have had similar to your acid trip.  

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One study determined that LSD flashbacks were triggered by selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) intake. Other studies suggest these aren’t LSD flashbacks but increased sensitivity to all psychoactive substances. What is real is something called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). After a psychedelic trip, LSD users can have lingering visuals that can distract them from their everyday lives. They can have tracers that last indefinitely after the trip. Or they can have some haze that goes over everything that they look at. This makes the vision not as clear as it used to be.

Understanding HPPD

People who use hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, magic mushrooms, or ecstasy can re-experience the visual disturbance days, weeks, months, or even years after using it. They may see weird, trippy symptoms like flashes of color, intensified colors, size confusion, tracers, images within images, geometric patterns, or even having difficulty reading. And since they’re aware of what’s happening, they may feel uneasy, uncomfortable, or even embarrassed.

According to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, an HPPD candidate must experience a spontaneous reappearance of the visual phenomena long after the hallucinogen use has stopped. The effects should cause significant distress and not be explainable by other medical conditions.

However, the connection between Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder and hallucinogen intoxication is still unclear. According to a review by psychiatrist John Halpern and co-authors, it’s hard to cancel other health conditions that might cause flashbacks. These conditions include anxiety disorders, malingering, neurological conditions, current intoxication with other drugs, hypochondriasis, or current psychotic or affective disorders.

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In another web-based survey, 60.6% of 2455 participants reported having experienced drug-free visual experiences similar to hallucinogen effects. The chances of experiencing constant or near-constant symptoms were predicted by greater past exposure to specific hallucinogens. While symptoms of HPPD were common, 4.2% of the participants found them impairing or disturbing enough to consider getting treatment.

Gauging from the studies, it is still unclear whether the flashbacks from drugs are a real thing. However, the reality is that these visual disturbances may be more common than previously thought. It’s is therefore worthy of conducting further studies to determine whether there’s a strong connection between the two or not.

Many drugs are available in the market today. When abused, they can have dangerous effects on the user’s health including heart attacks. This article will discuss various white powdered drugs, how they are used, and their effects on users. Let’s dive in.

Cocaine

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant drug. It is derived from leaves of the coca plant and sold in three forms; crack, cocaine hydrochloride, and freebase.  

Crack cocaine consists of white crystals with a yellow or pink hue. Most times, crack contains impurities. 

Cocaine hydrochloride is an ultra-fine white powder that has a tart, numbing flavor. Most times, vendors cut or mix cocaine powder with other substances, including talcum powder, sugar, or lidocaine, before selling it. 

Freebase is also a white powder, but unlike cocaine hydrochloride, it does not contain impurities.

Most addicts snort cocaine hydrochloride and smoke freebase or crack. Regardless of whether one snorts or smokes cocaine, it has various side effects, including:

If you use cocaine regularly, you can suffer long-term consequences, such as heart disease, lung disease, sexual dysfunction, kidney failure, hypertension, seizures, and lung conditions, among others.

If you want to stop using cocaine, it would be best to seek professional help, especially if you are dependent. Medical practitioners can help you deal with withdrawal symptoms that can sometimes be overwhelming.

Ketamine

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This is a dissociative drug. It affects specific brain chemicals to distort one’s auditory and visual, consequently detaching them from reality. Medical practitioners use doses of ketamine as a sedative. Unfortunately, some people illegally use it to get high.

Ketamine is sold as a white powder. It also goes by the names KitKat, horse trank, special K, and ket. Most people snort ketamine, but others smoke it with tobacco or cannabis. Ketamine can affect one’s senses or coordination for 24 hours.

Ketamine has several negative effects. Some effects of ketamine include:

If you become dependent on ketamine, you can suffer long-term effects like poor memory, poor kidney function, poor liver function, treatment-resistant depression, among others.

Ketamine addiction is a serious problem. If you notice that your dependence on ketamine addiction affects your health, relationships, school, work, or financial capability, you should seek professional help.

Heroin

Heroin is a highly addictive drug made from morphine. It is sold as a white or brown powder and is ‘cut’ with quinine, sugar, powdered milk, or starch.

There are three types of heroin; white heroin, brown heroin, and black tar heroin. 

Cheap heroin contains many impurities, so the more expensive it is, the fewer impurities it is likely to have.

Pure heroin is white. Most drug users smoke or snort pure heroin. The National Institute on Drug Abuse study revealed that snorting appeals to new users since they do not have to inject themselves with the drug. 

Impure heroin is usually dark in color due to the simple methods of processing. Normally, heroin users dilute it and inject it under their skin, in their muscles, or veins. 

Heroin has several effects on the body. The short term effects are:

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Long term effects  include:

When you use heroin, your tolerance may build up. Therefore, you may need frequent or higher doses to achieve the high you want. Heroin addiction is a major problem. It can affect one’s health, social interactions, school, work, and finances, among other things. 

If you decide to stop using heroin, you may have severe withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is best to seek help from professionals who will guide you through the process. They may prescribe behavioral therapy and medicine to help you in your journey.

Crushed OxyContin

OxyContin is a prescription drug. It contains oxycodone which is a very strong pain killer. Most people who abuse OxyContin start by taking the prescribed amount. With time, their bodies build tolerance, and they need to take more to feel relieved or get high. 

OxyContin tablets are round and can either be white or blue. Most 10mg pills are white, while the blue ones are 160 mg. You can buy the capsule form of OxyContin or the liquid form.

People suffering from terminal illnesses or battling terminal conditions are more likely to get addicted since most people market it as a painkiller that gives relief for over 12 hours. 

If you use OxyContin regularly, you are likely to become dependent because of its euphoric effects. People who struggle with OxyContin addiction crush OxyContin tablets to form a white powder. They then snort the powder to enhance OxyContin’s euphoric effect. 

Like other drugs, crushed OxyContin can have serious negative effects. Some of the potential effects of abusing OxyContin include:

Crushed Adderall

Adderall is a prescription drug usually prescribed to people who have ADHD. It simulates part of the brain and controls hyperactivity, enabling one to focus more and have more clarity on issues. 

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Some people illegally use Adderall for non-medicinal purposes, e.g., students when they are studying for exams. Since Adderall tablets are white, they crush it to form a white powder and snort it to enhance its effects.

 Unfortunately, Adderall is highly addictive, and its misuse can lead to a substance use disorder. Using crushed Adderall for non-medicinal purposes can have risk factors, including:

GHB

Gamma-hydroxybutyrate, commonly known as GHB, is a popular party drug used in clubs and house parties alike. GHB is sold in three forms; liquid, capsule, or powder. Powdered GHB is white.

GHB is a depressant for the nervous system. When you use it, it slows your heart rate and makes you feel drowsy. It can also make a user go into a coma.

Most addicts use GHB because of its euphoric effect. Some use it as a date rape drug. They slip the GHB into their victims’ drinks, and when it kicks in, they sexually assault them. Other common date rape drugs are flunitrazepam, alcohol, and ketamine.

Like other drugs, GHB has negative long-term effects. Some of them are:

Conclusion

If you struggle with addiction to any white powdered drug, you should seek medical help and treatment. The more you continue abusing drugs, the more adverse their effects will be.

A lesion refers to an abnormal change on a body tissue organ caused by an injury or disease. Lesions could be a result of using recreational drugs or some specific FDA-approved drugs.

Drug abuse affects most body organs, and unfortunately, the damage done may remain hidden for several years. For example, alcohol strains the liver, heroin damages the kidneys, and cocaine stresses the heart.

The skin is the largest body organ. Abusing alcohol or drugs for a long period can cause skin lesions. Skin lesions can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), basically skin cancer. They can manifest as sores, a variety of infections, and even rotting of the skin.

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Four factors contribute to lesions. They include:

Here is how different addictive substances affect the skin.

Heroin

The effect of heroin on the skin is more noticeable in users who prefer injecting the drug with needles, instead of snorting or smoking. Heroin users repeatedly penetrate their skin while seeking veins. This may lead to venous sclerosis, which refers to scarring of the veins. Venous sclerosis can result in skin infections, cellulitis, and abscesses.

Users who inject themselves with heroin through skin risk contracting necrotizing skin lesions due to skin popping. Skin popping allows bacteria to penetrate the skin and also leads to tissue trauma.

Most heroin users also complain about dry, itchy skin. Additionally, some users end up having an itchy hives-like rash.

Cocaine

Cocaine can directly affect the skin, and it can also affect internal organs, which in turn cause skin damage.

Here are some effects that cocaine has on the skin:

You should also know that a variety of substances are used to cut cocaine. Some of the substances can cause rotting of the skin and ulcerating skin lesions. Additionally, cocaine could cause a heart attack since its users have an increased heart rate.

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Alcohol

Most people are unaware of the fact that alcohol abuse can have noticeable effects on their skin. The most common effect of alcohol on the skin is spider angioma. Spider angioma manifests as red lacy patches on the neck, torso, hands, and face.

Alcohol abuse also causes Caput medusa, a skin condition that causes the addict’s veins to swell and distend. The veins usually appear across the abdomen. Alcohol abuse also causes Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT), a condition that causes scars on areas of the skin one exposes to the sun. Most people battling alcohol addiction have scars on their faces, hands, and feet.

Dermatologists also associate several dermatological conditions with alcohol abuse, including seborrheic dermatitis, rosacea, and eczema.

Methamphetamine

Most people who abuse methamphetamine (meth) end up having skin sores because they constantly pick their skin. Meth users pick at their skin because they, on several occasions, get the sensation of insects crawling even when they are not there. As a result, they easily develop sores. Some meth users also end up having dry skin.

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Meth users who inject themselves with the drug are also at risk of contracting skin infections.  Research has shown that 11% of drug users that use injections report skin infections every few months.

Marijuana

Research has shown that marijuana can negatively affect your skin. The smoke from marijuana contains hydrocarbons. When the hydrocarbons come into contact with your skin, they interfere with your skin’s collagen production.

Note that collagen protects your skin against inflammation and air pollution. If your skin does not produce enough collagen, your skin will age prematurely and become wrinkled since it loses its elasticity. Cannabis-induced arteritis, which is a direct result of marijuana use, also has effects on the skin.

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Desomorphine

The street name of desomorphine is "krokodil" because it turns the skin green and scaly. Eventually, the skin sloughs off.

Krokodil is a cheap form of heroin. It has been dubbed the deadliest drug globally because it rots the skin from the inside out. Consequently, it causes abscesses and gangrene.

How to deal with side effects of drugs and skin lesions

If you want to minimize the impact of drug abuse on your skin, the first thing you need to do is stop abusing drugs. Note that the more you abuse drugs, the more adverse effects they will have on your skin. Most people with addictions end up having very unhealthy skin.

If you are struggling with an addiction or substance use disorder, you should consider seeking medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment to beat the addiction. There are several treatment approaches to consider, so you should choose one that suits you best. If you have a supportive family, your family members will support you throughout your recovery journey, especially when dealing with withdrawal symptoms.

You may also have to undergo behavioral therapies to deal with unhealthy behaviors that destruct your skin or body organs in general.

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Various drugs affect the skin differently. However, once you deal with your drug use and addiction, some effects will fade naturally. If you want to speed up the process, you can consult a dermatologist. The dermatologist will prescribe medications and, in some cases, ask you to follow a consistent skincare regimen.

If you are in the United States and need drug information, especially when it comes to drug addiction, you can contact the American Society of Addiction Medicine or the National Institute on Drug Abuse for more information.

Conclusion

If you want to maintain healthy skin, do not abuse drugs. You should specifically stay away from drugs that contain fillers or compounds as they tend to have adverse effects on the skin. In addition, moisturize, wear sunscreen, and maintain good hygiene to keep your skin healthy.

 

I can bet that you have at least once in your life interacted with drug sniffing dogs, be it at the airport, while crossing national borders, traffic stops, public events, or even in public schools. These dogs diligently sniff for any illegal drugs. Some are even trained to detect other substances, including invasive insects and parts of wildlife like ivory and rhino horns. Recently, dogs have shown us their incredible power of smell can detect diseases and viruses, such as the COVID-19 virus and even cancer.

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Most dog owners I have interacted with usually question how drug-sniffing dogs are trained. The onus of training a drug-sniffing dog falls on dog handlers. The handlers are typically trained, and they also do practical testing before being accredited and registered. This includes different methods than you would use to teach your dog.

Drug sniffing dogs have been used as the preferred method of searching for illegal drugs since time immemorial for various reasons. For starters, it is a fast and effective method of searching for illegal substances. Sniffer dogs are also reliable and accurate.

Another advantage is that sniffer dogs can screen a large number of people or even large areas simultaneously. Therefore, they are ideal for public events, borders and boundaries, educational establishments, multi-occupancy premises, and open-plan event spaces.

Drug sniffing dog training

The typical way of training a sniffing dog is teaching it to associate the smell of its favorite toy or favorite treat with an illegal substance(s). By doing so, the dogs automatically link the scent of their favorite toy or treat to sourcing for drugs.

It is important to note that drug-sniffing dogs do not have an interest in the drugs. Their training program simply makes them associate the smell of drugs with a toy. All of the "urban legends" of police dogs being addicted to drugs, simply isn't true.

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Dogs have a strong sense of smell. Scientists say that their sense of smell is about 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute that of humans.

That’s because they have 50 times more receptors than humans do. They also have a strong hunting desire that drives them to look for what their trainers have trained them to find. To get a reward, the dogs make sure that they don’t give false signals.

During the early stages or training, trainers reward the dogs whenever they recognize the target scent and alert their handler. With time, the dog undergoes basic obedience training and only gets a reward when it responds to basic commands like stand, stay, sit, bark, etc.

It’s pretty much the same technique you use when training a puppy. I like to think that if you can teach your dog to obey basic commands in house training when still a puppy, you can try your luck in training drug-sniffing dogs or police dogs.

Dog trainers train drug-sniffing dogs to alert their handlers when drugs are present. There are two main ways the dogs alert their handlers, depending on the type of training they underwent.

The first way is the passive indication. When drug-sniffing dogs indicate drugs, they either stand or sit. The other way is the aggressive indication. This is where drug-sniffing dog alerts their handler by barking, pawing, or digging at the location where they have detected drugs.

Dog handlers and sniffer dogs undergo intensive training. The training lasts for several months. Once the training is complete, and the handler and dog can work as a team, they are certified. However, they still undergo retraining and testing throughout their careers.

Retraining and testing ensure that the dogs’ and handlers’ skills are up to standard and reliable. Usually, detection dogs remain attached to their handler throughout their career. They are tested and retrained together. Most dog handlers have a military or police background.

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Drug sniffing dogs come in handy in various operations, including; marine applications, airports, hospitals, media stations, mental health facilities, prisons, colleges, universities, businesses, events, and schools. Individuals that want tighter security measures in their homes can also use drug-sniffing dogs. I’ve heard of instances where parents hire drug-sniffing dogs for their private use.

These detection dogs can detect drugs within buildings, individuals, open areas, and vehicles stopped for a traffic violation. I have seen several law enforcement officers walking around with drug-sniffing dogs.

The Fourth Amendment

You probably already know that the Fourth Amendment right protects people from unreasonable searches. So what are your rights when it comes to drug-sniffing dogs?

It is notable that in law enforcement, one of the tools that can potentially violate the Fourth Amendment right is drug-sniffing dogs. Like I mentioned earlier in the article, American police officers commonly use dogs to sniff out illegal substances.

In emergencies, law enforcement officers can only use drug-sniffing dogs when they have probable cause to search someone’s belongings, including their house and vehicle. Suppose you are convinced that an officer violated your Fourth Amendment right with a drug-sniffing dog, you can file a motion to suppress any evidence that they discovered during the violation.

Drug sniffing dogs and cars

If a traffic cop stops you over a traffic violation, they need probable cause that you have committed a crime other than the traffic violation for them to search your car. If the officer does not have probable cause, he needs your permission to search your vehicle or let a drug-sniffing dog sniff the outside of your vehicle.

It is unconstitutional for police officers to conduct a drug sniff at traffic stops unless there is reasonable suspicion of a crime. Drug sniffs are categorized as searches in the Fourth Amendment.

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Drug sniffing dogs and houses

With the Fourth Amendment, courts have enhanced the protection of an individual’s home against unnecessary searches. For an officer to bring a drug-sniffing dog to your front porch, he or she needs to have probable cause since every person has a right to a reasonable expectation of privacy in their home. This right extends to the area around the house, including side gardens and porches. However, it is essential to note that once you permit the officers to search your home, you have waived your Fourth Amendment right.

Conclusion

Drug-sniffing dogs undergo extensive training before their handlers use them in day to day operations. They rarely give false alarm, thanks to the training and tests that they undergo throughout their career.

Let me know how your experience with sniffer dogs was in the comments below.

Heroin addiction is a global problem. According to the World Health Organization, 58 million people around the world used opioids in 2018. In the same year, 46,802 opioid-involved overdose deaths occurred in the US. This was followed by a significant rise in 2019 to 49,860 overdose deaths.

The problem with the opioid drug is that it is highly addictive. Even those who take prescription opioids have an increased risk of developing an addiction. And when they develop an addiction, a good number of them turn to heroin because it is cheaper and easier to access. Heroin is typically sold as a white or brown powder that’s cut with starch sugars, synthetic opioids, or even powdered milk.

Pure heroin is a white powder. People who use pure heroin often sniff or smoke it. Any dark powder or black powder may indicate impurities. The same applies to heroin that’s hard as coal or sticky as tar. The dark color in black tar heroin results from crude process methods that don’t eliminate impurities. Those who use impure heroin dilute and inject it into the muscle, veins, or under the skin with an intravenous needle. This leaves behind track marks that can visually give away their drug use problem.

What are track marks?

These are physical scarring that happen when one injects drugs repetitively. It’s common to spot profound track marks on people who are struggling with addiction because they are often injecting drugs, leading to scarring. Injecting the same place repeatedly disrupts the skin’s natural barriers and mutilates and bruises the veins in that area. So many drug users shift to other places like the ventrogluteal muscle to try to prevent or hide scarring. This makes it hard to discover their using habits.

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Injecting drugs

Many people who abuse heroin inject through the arms. In fact, it is the most common site of injection. That’s because the veins are visible, accessible, and easy to inject into. Unskilled or frequent injections in the arms leave track marks and may also cause infections. Heroin users will frequently switch injection sites to keep track marks and complications to a minimum. When they do, the legs and feet are often the next stop. Intramuscular injection is a bit challenging for many. So some users skip the leg and go for the feet because the veins are somewhat easy to inject into.

Where do addicts hide their track marks?

When someone keeps injecting drugs, they will develop scars, sores, or track marks that are easy to spot. That’s why many injecting drug users become adept at concealing these marks. They will wear large clothes, long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, and things that cover the marks. But since hiding track marks in the arm isn’t always practical, many people will shift to hidden body parts that are harder to be seen.

Let’s explore the top 5 places addicts hide their track marks.

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Neck

People who inject drugs are usually only concerned about getting the drugs into their system. As long as they can see a vein, they are good to go. Like arms and hands, the neck has veins and arteries that are close to the surface, making it an appealing option. But according to experts at the department of health, injecting in the neck is one of the riskiest drug-injecting behaviors. It increases the risk of damaging an artery or vein not directly visible at the injecting site. But since the neck is usually visible, most drug users will wear pull-necks, hoodies, or use shawls and scarves to cover up the track marks.

Hairline

People struggling with heroin addiction may inject the drug along their hairline to conceal their using behavior. The hair does a great job covering the track marks and makes it hard for anyone to notice. Besides, it’s not easy for anyone to check the hairline in case they suspect use. Most people only check the arms. Injecting drugs along the hairline is a dangerous undertaking with potentially life-threatening side effects. In addition to track marks, subcutaneous injections carry the risk of infections. One may also suffer from issues like receding hairline or hair loss.

Wrist

The wrist is closest to the arm, making it an obvious site for many people who use drugs. Track marks on the wrist are easier to hide. Besides wearing long-sleeved shirts and sweaters, one could cover the marks with a big bangle, watch, band, or cloth. And since these are everyday accessories, it can be hard for people to suspect drug use.

Armpit

Armpits are naturally hidden, which makes them a great spot for hiding track marks. People who inject in armpits will almost always wear t-shirts or clothes that conceal track marks, even when they stretch. Unless there’s paraphernalia or other signs that give them away, they might go on using for a long time, completely undetected by their friends and family.

Toes

Veins in the legs and feet are common injection sites, especially when those in the arms and hand collapse or get damaged. Those who want to hide their track marks will avoid the legs and feet. Instead, they will inject theirtoes. This way, no one would notice even when they don’t have pants or socks on. Track marks between the toes are hard to spot, thanks to the location of the toes. But they are even harder to notice because those who inject their toes are determined to hide them. They will wear socks, shoes, or even wrap the toes with a Band-Aid. They may also cover their legs with a blanket or throw whenever they’re relaxing at home.

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How to identify track marks

Heroin is not only highly addictive but also potentially life-threatening. With the rising cases of heroin overdose deaths, it’s always best to help your loved one get timely help. Remember, drug use is not a sign of weak morals. Many people who abuse drugs have underlying problems. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, substance abuse and mental health issues often co-occur. Addiction treatment can help address the underlying problems so that your loved one can go back to leading a healthy life.

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