Top 10 Street Drugs of 2019

As the opioid epidemic rages on, drug overdose deaths are at an all-time high. In fact, the rates of drug overdose death have reduced the national rate of life expectancy for the last three years in a row. Unfortunately, these trends may continue into the new year. Moreover, opioids are not the only threat to the nation’s overall health. Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) on emerging trends and patterns in the United States has revealed a list of street drugs with persistent trends. Based on that information, here are the top 10 most dangerous street drugs that could drive drug overdose trends in 2019.

kratom street drugs

1. Kratom

Kratom comes from a tropical deciduous tree native to Southeast Asia. The tree’s leaves contain a psychoactive opioid that can treat pain and boost mood. This may sound harmless, but this drug carries more risks than rewards. In February 2018, the FDA and CDC linked a multistate outbreak of salmonella infections back to products containing kratom. During the outbreak, a total of 28 people in 20 states contracted salmonella. Of them, 11 people needed hospital care. Thankfully, there were no casualties. Since then, many states have outlawed kratom. Still, that has not stopped users from finding ways to get it. Kratom use has been on the rise even after the salmonella outbreak. We may continue to see trends of it in 2019.

2. E-Cigarettes and Vapes

E-cigarettes and vapes have been growing in popularity over the last few years, especially among young adults and even teens. While casual smokers would argue that vaping is safe, the FDA argues otherwise. In fact, many vaping products contain nicotine and other addictive substances. Moreover, several reports show that teenagers who use e-cigarettes or vapes did not initially realize that they contain substances like nicotine. In April of 2018 alone, the FDA cited a total of forty e-cigarette retailers for violations regarding their marketing tactics. Although the FDA and other organizations are currently working to ensure that teens do not have access to potentially addictive and development-stinting chemicals through vaping, the e-cigarette trend is bound to continue into 2019. Read more about the emerging e-cigarette trend here.

street drugs pot and vapes

3. Synthetic Marijuana, or K2/Spice

Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made mind-altering chemicals that come in liquid form. These street drugs, especially K2/Spice, have two routes of administration. Some users spray the liquid drug on dried, shredded plant material and smoke it like a cigarette. Others vaporize it and smoke it through an e-cigarette or vape pen. Even though there have been several reports of synthetic cannabinoid-related overdoses since 2015, these products remain incredibly popular among smokers, especially among young adults and teenagers. And, since these drugs are widely accessible and easy to hide, it’s likely that trends of synthetic cannabinoid use will continue into the new year.

4. Anticoagulants, or Blood Thinners

Most forms of drug use have become riskier in light of a deadly trend: lacing. Over the past few years, drug labs and dealers have begun adding new, questionable ingredients to their batches. Some of the most potentially hazardous substances that dealers use in their products are anticoagulants, or “blood thinners.” Most people who abuse street drugs, like marijuana or synthetic marijuana, don’t even realize that they may also be consuming blood thinners. In fact, several Midwestern states experienced a massive outbreak of overdoses caused by street drugs laced with brodifacoum, an anticoagulant typically used in rat poison. This outbreak seems to have affected Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Maryland the most. Two people died as a result of overdosing on anticoagulant-laced synthetic opioids. Unfortunately, this trend of lacing street drugs with other chemicals is bound to continue into 2019.

pill street drugs

5. Fentanyl-Laced Fake Prescription Drugs

One substance that dealers use to lace their products that poses a large threat is fentanyl. This narcotic is the most potent painkiller on the market. Many doctors prescribe fentanyl to patients who suffer severe, around-the-clock pain. Other than that, doctors typically reserve fentanyl for those who have just had major surgery. However, in recent years, fentanyl has become a driving force behind the ongoing opioid crisis. In fact, the DEA reports that, throughout 2018, street drugs laced with fentanyl flooded the drug market. Among these drugs were fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription drugs. These pills, which traffickers have designed to look like legitimate prescription pain relievers, have caused a large number of overdoses in many parts of the country so far. Many fear that the trend will continue. Read the full DEA report here.

6. Fentanyl-Laced Heroin

Of all the illicit drugs available on the market today, heroin is the one that most dealers lace with fentanyl. Since fentanyl is already much stronger than heroin, this has led to a surge of heroin-related overdoses nationwide. In fact, since 2013, there has been a notable increase in fentanyl-related heroin overdose deaths. So far, this trend has heavily impacted cities like Baltimore and Detroit. Evidence from several investigative sources seems to indicate that heroin users are unknowingly consuming fentanyl in what they believe to be doses of pure heroin. Of course, large amounts of fentanyl can lead to overdose and even death. Since the lacing trend shows no signs of slowing down, we may face another surge of fentanyl-related heroin overdose deaths in 2019.

7. Fentanyl-Laced Cocaine

In the past, the presence of fentanyl had been more common in heroin-involved deaths. However, in more recent years, fentanyl has been linked to overdose deaths involving a wide variety of other illicit drugs. In fact, the number of cocaine overdoses involving fentanyl has been on the rise. The NYPD has already confirmed through laboratory testing that many of the cocaine products and other street drugs in circulation contain dangerous amounts of fentanyl. Moreover, the New York City Health Department released an advisory warning to cocaine users, detailing that the potent opioid has been linked to several cocaine overdose deaths already. The full advisory is available here. Unfortunately, this trend continued into 2018 and is projected to continue into 2019.

effects of street drugs

8. Counterfeit Oxycodone

Oxycodone, like fentanyl, is another medication that treats pain and requires a prescription. Most users who don’t have legal access to it get it on the street. However, since May of 2018, counterfeit oxycodone tablets have been circulating within the illicit drug market. This trend hit especially hard for the state of Mississippi. In fact, the Gulfport Narcotics Detectives have already seized several batches of counterfeit oxycodone tablets since the start of this new drug trend. Moreover, scientists in DEA labs have discovered that these counterfeit tablets do not contain any oxycodone at all. In fact, most oxycodone counterfeits only contain fentanyl, which can be fatal in large doses. After the DEA found that dealers were repackaging fentanyl as oxycodone, the Gulfport police department released this police notice to warn the public. Still, even today, anyone who illicitly purchases “oxycodone” tablets may instead get a fatal dose of fentanyl.

9. Carfentanil-Laced Heroin

Carfentanil is a powerful derivative of fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic that comes from morphine. While fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine, carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Its primary use is as a veterinary tranquilizer for elephants and other large animals. It is so potent that when veterinarians handle it, they have to use protective gear. So, naturally, a drug this powerful is not approved for human use. However, drug dealers have been lacing their heroin supplies with carfentanil since around 2016. Heroin alone is already a dangerous substance, but with so many carfentanil-laced batches in circulation within the illicit drug market, there’s no way to tell which ones contain the opioid. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) even issued a nationwide warning to the public and law enforcement about carfentanil-laced drugs like heroin.

10. Oxymorphone

Oxymorphone, also called Opana, is a former prescription drug that the FDA banned back in 2017. It was once a legal opioid tablet that treated pain. However, it also came in the form of an injection, and so it carried all the same risks that most injections do. In 2015, the southeastern area of Indiana suffered a massive outbreak in new HIV cases. Health officials traced the fast-spreading outbreak to the co-occurring trend of intravascular oxymorphone abuse. Users were sharing used injection equipment, which is one of the most common ways of transmitting the deadly virus. The HIV outbreak, coupled with the fact that oxymorphone was already highly addictive (and was likely a driving factor in the opioid crisis), pushed the FDA to ban entirely. Even so, its availability on the street shows that another surge of oxymorphone abuse is possible.

Get Help at Lumiere Healing Centers

Street drugs are more dangerous than ever. If you have any questions about addiction or need immediate help, call Lumiere Healing Centers at 513-909-2225.

What Is An Adderall High? The Latest Drug Trend

what is an adderall highIn 2018, a stimulant epidemic has begun to emerge. According to these drug forecasting experts, stimulant abuse is surging across the country as cheap prescriptions like Adderall and Ritalin are becoming more accessible. So far, many new users are chasing the Adderall high brought on by prescription abuse. Yet, this issue has not been receiving the attention that it should be. In fact, according to John Eadie of the National Emerging Threat Initiative: “No one is paying attention to this. We’re now facing a very significant stimulant epidemic.”



Guided Meditations for Rehab

guided meditation class

The practice of guided meditation has become quite popular with the rise of mental health awareness. It is not only soothing, but is also one of the most effective methods of decompressing from daily stresses like work, school, or strained relationships. In recent years, it has also become one of the best holistic coping techniques for those in addiction recovery. In fact, guided meditations for rehab patients are becoming more widely available in treatment facilities across the country.

What is Guided Meditation?

Guided meditation is a method of deep relaxation that allows you to clear your mind, invite positive vibes, and convert negative thoughts or feelings. Unlike other forms of meditation, however, guided meditation involves an instructor or narrator. During guided meditation, the instructor helps you relax through imagery-rich instructions, affirmations, or even storytelling.

Since the brain can build a personal experience through imagination, imagery is an essential component of guided meditation. In fact, the lack of distinction between real and imagined experiences is why we can remember vivid dreams or sometimes carry false memories. When instructors provide imagery, they offer a scene for your mind to explore. So, utilizing imagery through guided meditation allows you to shift your focus and create a positive new experience in a safe, imagined space.

The Basics of Guided Meditation

Each session is different; the imagery that the instructor provides will depend on what you want out of your meditative journey. For example, if you are using guided meditation to unwind after a stressful day, the narrator may invite you to imagine walking along a beach. Then, as you meditate, you may experience calming pseudo-sensations like sand beneath your feet or seafoam tickling your toes.

No matter what the imagery is, guided meditations typically follow this format:

  • The instructor asks you to sit comfortably or even lie down, depending on the meditative exercise.
  • You listen as the instructor guides you through a series of calming visualizations. If you’re listening to an audio session, there may even be soothing background sounds to match the scene.
  • Your mind relaxes, and your body releases your harbored stress.
  • The instructor continues to guide you through your meditative journey until the session is complete.

When you reach deep relaxation, your subconscious mind will be more open to and accepting of positivity. Your instructor will use this opportunity to shift your focus onto the aspects of your life that you’d like to improve or develop. These might include specific goals like practicing self-affirmation or building a stronger sense of personal empowerment (“I am…,” “I can…,” “I will…,” etc.). More abstract ideas like spiritual exploration, emotional balance, or general positive thinking can also be addressed through guided meditation.

guided meditation with headphones

Why Use Guided Meditations for Rehab?

Like many other holistic methods, guided meditation has been utilized in drug and alcohol addiction recovery for several years. In fact, research has shown that using holistic therapies in conjunction with traditional clinical practices yields higher chances of long-term sobriety for patients in recovery. One study from 2007 revealed that addiction recovery patients who included regular meditation in their treatment plans developed stronger coping skills than those who did not. Additionally, meditation helped them gain a better understanding of their personal triggers, allowing them to develop more effective relapse prevention plans.

Other studies have shown that guided meditation assists in the release of dopamine, the reward or “feel-good” hormone. These and other hormones, like oxytocin, bring about feelings of relaxation and tranquility— the very same feelings that many former users might have been chasing through substance use.

Other Benefits of Guided Meditations for Rehab and Recovery

Most guided meditations take place in a class with an instructor. However, there are also tapes and audio files widely available for those who want to practice from the comfort of home. Many individuals in recovery opt for the latter once treatment is complete. In fact, the stress reduction techniques used in guided meditation have made it very popular within the recovery community. Some other benefits of guided meditations for rehab patient health include:

  • reduced anxiety and fear
  • better stress management
  • increased sense of proactivity
  • improved sense of self-control
  • healthy behavior and thought patterns
  • fewer mood swings or bouts of depression

There are several physical benefits of guided meditation for rehab as well. These typically include:

  • improved pain management
  • strengthened immune system
  • fewer headaches or migraines
  • reduced insomnia and healthier sleep cycles
  • the natural release of dopamine and other “feel-good” hormones

Overall, guided meditations for rehab can help patients:

  • manage stress
  • establish their coping skills
  • improve all areas of their health
  • reinforce their relapse prevention plans
  • explore and strengthen their new, sober selves

guided meditation zen

Guided Meditations for Rehab at Lumiere Healing Centers

At Lumiere Healing Centers, our team of licensed professionals combines holistic methods and medical practices to ensure the best possible recovery experience for each patient. We strongly encourage using guided meditations for rehab and recommend it for any personalized recovery plan. If you have any questions about relapse prevention planning or stress management in recovery, please call us at (513) 909-2225. We are available 24/7 for all of your addiction recovery needs.