What Is Rock Bottom?

September 10, 2014 by  
Filed under General Topics, Treatment and Recovery News


TGDGsadgirlWhen you Google the words “rock bottom,” you will find a dictionary definition that classifies this term as a noun that means “the lowest possible level.” When it comes to addiction recovery, the words “rock bottom” can have hundreds of definitions. This is because not everyone’s “rock bottom” will be the same. If only rock bottom truly were that simple.

I know during my active addiction, I often found myself asking what my rock bottom actually was. Unfortunately, that question could not be answered by others. Every addict or alcoholic has a different rock bottom, and the variations can be dramatic. Some addicts may undergo very traumatic life experiences that signify to them that they have hit rock bottom. Some may lose their homes, while others may file bankruptcy or turn to prostitution to earn the income needed to pay for drugs. If you are at the point where you’re wondering if you’ve hit your “rock bottom,” here are three ways to find your answer.

1. Decide If You Have Had Enough

I think the number one question I found myself returning to again and again was if I’d had enough. For many of us, we continue to stretch the limits of how much pain and suffering we can sustain. For some of us, losing our homes or jobs is enough to make us realize how great a problem drugs and alcohol have become. For others, it can take losing the support of friends and family. For many, “enough” comes in the form of overdosing or selling your body for drugs. Deciding you have had enough is a matter of deciding whether you want to live or die, and what lengths you are willing to go to save yourself and get sober.

2. Make a Pros and Cons List

Weighing the pros and cons may seem like a silly way to examine the options of wanting to get clean and sober or not, but I believe you need to do whatever it takes. Some people need to visually see a list of all the consequences of their drug use before they can fully understand the pros of getting sober. A pros and cons list may not be the thing that motivates you to choose to get sober, but many times we can’t see the damage we’re causing until we make a list like this. We may be in the habit of rationalizing away the negative consequences of our addictions, instead of seeing our addiction as a major problem in our lives. The pros of using drugs may seem to be numerous in our heads, but on paper, they are few in number to non-existent.

3. Evaluate What Have You Gained

Addicts regularly encounter people who are incredibly belittling toward those caught in the treacherous cycle of addiction. These people may list all the reasons why using drugs is bad, but when you are active in your addiction, you don’t care. Many addicts are okay with being homeless or broke, since there are many alternative ways to get money, food or anything else we need–as long as we can get our drug of choice. One question I never asked myself as an addict was what I gained from my addiction? Did using drugs gain me friends? Did I gain wisdom and knowledge? Who was benefiting from my drug use? Who was I helping?

Even in our darkest days, we addicts know there are things we want in life aside from drugs or alcohol. Bring those things to light and see if you have accomplished any of them. I wanted to be a writer, but had I published any work? Your dreams and goals are still important, but you may have lost sight of those because you’ve been so focused on how to stay drunk or high.

Finding your own definition of “rock bottom” is a difficult task. Though it’s nearly impossible to define “rock bottom” before you get there, you sort of just know when you hit it. In a way, it almost brings you a feeling of relief to know that you’ve finally had enough. When I hit rock bottom, I was not only relieved but I was beyond grateful that I had found the willingness to quit before it was too late. People say you won’t quit until you’ve had enough and, as insincere as it sounds, it’s true. Search for answers inside yourself and you will find a solution, if you are willing to look at the big picture.


Cassandra Huerta is a freelance writer who lives in an extremely small Michigan town and lives life one day at a time. She enjoys regularly entertaining her six-month-old daughter and can thank her wonderful fiance and coffee for all of her work.

Designer Drugs: What Are They?

June 24, 2014 by  
Filed under General Topics, People and Culture


Designer Drugs Are Synthesized from Other Drugs

Designer Drugs Are Synthesized from Other Drugs

New drugs are routinely created from other known drugs to eliminate side effects or to enhance benefits recognized by their use over time. In the creation of a new drug formulation, scientific researchers identify a particular property of the original drug and enhance that property to improve treatment of a condition that may be difficult to treat with existing drugs.

When Drug Development Goes Beyond Health Care

This system of drug development can go awry when the new drug is created from an illegal drug or is created without regulation. Unfortunately, such drugs proliferate in today’s world. Take, for instance the popularity of hallucinogenic drugs used for recreational purposes over the course of the last 60 years. In the 1950s, experimentation with LSD showed that it had promise as a treatment for schizophrenia. As research and experimentation continued, it became known that LSD could be enjoyable beyond its application in the mental health arena. The drug became popular for use as a party drug, producing a mind-expanding experience that some people deemed an aid for higher-consciousness seeking and spiritual development not possible without the substance. LSD quickly grew in popularity and became widely used. This new market for LSD created new labs that produced the drug. A synthetic drug derived from LSD was created in 1973 by two men who developed ALD-52. This new drug, ALD-52, would be considered a “synthesis drug” or “designer drug,” though these terms were not in use at that time. The development of ALD-52 was the first case to be prosecuted for the creation of a new synthetic drug from the original formula for LSD.

The Birth of Designer Drugs

Since that time, literally hundreds of designer drugs have been created. They run the gamut of categories, from opioids to hallucinogens, stimulants to steroids. The term “designer drugs” was first used to describe these synthesis drugs in the 1980s when they began to appear so quickly that drug enforcement agencies had a difficult time tracking them. These drugs are created by synthesizing one or more active agents in the original drug, and their production is often unregulated. They are created as a new substance to buy and sell. In many cases, designer drugs are illegal or only quasi-legal and, unfortunately, a whole new generation of drug addicts are buying them.

When Designer Drugs or Synthesis Drugs Become Destructive

There are some instances where designer drugs have legal applications, as well as illegal ones. The difference lies in the the entities that are creating them. For example, amphetamines are produced legally, and are legally synthesized to create methamphetamine. However, methamphetamine is seldom used for legal (medical) purposes, due to its inherently addictive properties. The ease of the synthesizing process allowed for the creation of home-made meth, which became popular as a street drug that has done irreparable damage to millions of users.

Ongoing production of designer drugs or synthesis drugs like PCP, methamphetamine, MDMA (ecstasy), and bath salts is a dangerous process. Each time a new synthesis drug is made, the ingredients used are made illegal by governing agencies responsible for taking those chemicals off the open market. As this occurs, new formulations of synthesis drugs are created and new synthetics are developed. This is done for the sake of profit, not health. Marketed to addicts who are desperate and will use whatever new version of their drug becomes available, these synthesis drugs have killed untold numbers of people. Keeping up with this type of illicit drug production is seemingly impossible for reinforcement agencies.

The Marketing of Designer Drugs

The draw for those in the drug trafficking industry, is to create these ever-evolving synthesis drugs while they can legally obtain the necessary ingredients and market the drugs before new laws and regulations are passed. Chemists and lay persons search for ingredients that allow them to market products such as bath salts, synthesized marijuana (also called Spice), and some synthesized opioids that mimic their legal cousins (such as Acetyl Fentanyl). Even sexual performance-enhancing drugs are now being illegally synthesized, due to the demand for these drugs outside of legal parameters. The synthesized versions of these drugs are less expensive and easier to produce, due to the as yet unknown compounds that are used to make them. Unfortunately, the synthesized versions can be deadly, due to the change in formulations and substitution of unregulated compounds. And, as each new designer drug appears on the open market, there are heightened risks for unknown side effects.


Kelly McClanahan has an MSW in clinical social work and a CATC IV in addictions counseling. She teaches meditation and mindfulness, specializing in addiction and trauma. She also leads workshops and seminars on treatment of addictive disorders and stress reduction.

Need Help? View all Drug Treatment Centers and Drug Rehab Programs | Browse Top States: Arizona | California | Florida | New York | Texas
Alcohol And Marijuana Treatment Kick Club Drugs for Good Opiate and Prescription Abuse Recovery Top Crystal Meth Rehabs Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Kick Club Drugs for Good Opiate and Prescription Abuse Recovery Top Crystal Meth Rehabs Cocaine Addiction Treatment Alcohol And Marijuana Treatment
Opiate and Prescription Abuse Recovery Top Crystal Meth Rehabs Cocaine Addiction Treatment Alcohol And Marijuana Treatment Kick Club Drugs for Good
Want Help Beating an Addiction?