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Are Constricted Pupils Always a Sign of Drug Use?

opioids and pupils

Many people assume that constricted pupils are a sign of drug use. While constricted pupils drugs effects are common, there are other reasons someone might have constricted pupils. However, the most common reason for constricted pupils is drug use. Keep in mind that constricted pupils could come from someone using prescription drugs without abusing them as well. 

Pinpoint Pupils 

When someone’s pupils are normal, they will change size. They do this due to the light that is entering the eye. When it is dark, the pupils will become more significant or dilate to allow more light to enter the eye. When it is bright, the pupil will constrict or shrink to help protect the eye from excess light. 

However, when someone has certain medical issues or uses drugs, the pupils can shrink to what is known as pupils pinpoint. This means that the pupils are smaller and do not work as they should. This means that at night, the pupils will not expand, and in the light, they do not shrink. They are the same size all the time. We are going to talk about some of the reasons someone may have pinpoint pupils. 

Opioid or Narcotics 

Opioids and pupils are directly related. Someone who is prescribed opioids can experience pinpoint pupils just like someone who is abusing opioids. However, the severity of their pinpoint pupils can differ depending on how much they are using. If someone is using the drug as prescribed for a short period of time, their pupils will not be as subject to being pinpoint as someone who is abusing the drug for extended periods of time. 

Those who start with opioids could switch to heroin. Heroin is morphine. This is also an opioid. People who abuse prescription opioids will often turn to heroin after their prescription has run out, and they have grown used to the drug. Those who abuse opioid prescriptions are more likely to turn to heroin to receive a better or similar high to the drug they were using. 

Horner Syndrome 

This is just one example of a medical condition that could cause someone to have pinpoint pupils. This is a condition that is caused when someone has a stroke or has a tumor in the trunk of their brain. This is often known as the brainstem. It affects specific nerves that would control the pupils. 

Head Injury 

People who have injuries to their central nervous system could have pinpoint pupils. The most common injuries happen to the head in accidents involving vehicles. However, other head injuries can cause pinpoint pupils as well. When someone suffers a head injury and has pinpoint pupils, this could indicate to professionals that they have serious problems internally. Pinpoint pupils, in this case, could save the life of someone because they indicate underlying problems. Those who suffer from these injuries may not get their normal pupils back due to damage to the brain. 

Pinpoint pupils occur for many reasons. It isn’t just the abuse of drugs that people have pinpoint pupils. Eye conditions, injuries, and certain medications can cause someone to have this problem as well. 

How Do Hallucinogens Actually Behave in the Body

It’s crazy to think that I was doing things like acid and mushrooms so often in high school. That really was a big leap from drink ayahuasca tea, but at the time I didn’t see it as so different. It was easy to learn from a quick google search that hallucinogens weren’t addictive.

I felt like I didn’t have to worry about any long term effects or damage because they weren’t like other drugs, not like the ones that really hurt you and messed you up. Boy, was I wrong.

You’ve read my story, so you know all about my psychotic break and how I still ended up needing to go to rehab. Mental addiction to drugs really can happen, and it’s a part of what made my drug use escalate so quickly.

It turns out that there are a lot more dangers to using hallucinogens than just that, though. Like any other drug, they can harm your body over time and through repeated use. Long term effects can be pretty freaking dangerous, really.

Hallucinogens change how you see and how you feel, they alter reality. That is both the allure and the danger. Some common hallucinogens include:

–    DXM (Dextromethorphan)

–    Ketamine/Special K

–    LSD/Acid

–    MDMD/ecstasy/Molly

–    PCP

–    Peyote

–    Psilocybin/Mushrooms

If you use hallucinogens regularly for too long what happened to me can happen to you as well. Here are some common long term effects of hallucinogens:

–    Depression

–    Difficulty with speech and thought

–    Disorganized thinking

–    Impaired concentration

–    Increased panic

–    Memory loss

–    Mood disturbances

–    Paranoia

–    Substance use disorder or addiction

–    Violent behavior

–    Visual disturbances

–    Weight loss

You can even just have panic attacks from using them as well. Not everyone has good trips, like how my friend Zach said that the last time he used ayahuasca, he didn’t like it. Bad trips can be seriously mind-bending and scary experiences.

Flashbacks are common as well. So even if you haven’t used or anything you can still experience the feelings of being high. That can seem cool, or it can mean you sit zoned out of your mind in the bathroom at school all day like with what happened to me.

The LSD mechanism of action involves affecting the serotonin receptors in your brain, which make you feel pleasure from actions. This means you can feel happiness from using LSD even before enjoying all the side effects. It’s part of what can make it addictive to use for some people.

I often get asked the question does acid make your brain bleed. I’m not sure about like, producing actual blood, but the acid can actually eat physical holes into your brain, so it’s definitely not great to keep using. I’ve never had a brain scan, so I hope it never got that bad, but it can affect your cognitive function over time.

I am not a psycho!

This is the last post of my story. Thank you to anyone who has read along to this point. I hope it helps you or somebody you know.

In my last post, I told you how I was having hallucinations even when I wasn’t on drugs. I finally had a psychotic break and started attacking other students one day in class while I was hallucinating.

My school called the police and an ambulance. I was taken to the hospital and treated for a psychotic break and referred to the psych ward. I was to undergo mental health and addiction treatment, even though I protested that acid and mushrooms were not addictive drugs.

My parents were heartbroken. They knew I had changed but didn’t realize it was because I was doing drugs. I had done so much that, according to the doctors, I was having frequent flashbacks of my LSD use, causing the hallucinations.

I completed a 30-day in-patient rehabilitation program, where I learned that in a way, I was addicted to hallucinogens. I learned from therapy that I wasn’t chasing a high so much as running from reality. I learned to embrace reality instead without drugs. Just being away from LSD and bad influences for a month did wonder for me.

I took antipsychotics for a while to help stop the hallucinations; then switched to an antidepressant to help me with the negative feelings that had me exploring drugs to escape reality in the first place. I am still in therapy and consider it maintenance for my mental health. I think everybody should be in therapy, whether they have an addiction or mental health problems or not. We go to the doctor even when we aren’t sick for a checkup, why not see a therapist to check on our mental health?

The psychotic break happened in my senior year of high school, and I was too mortified to go back. I was able to get my GED and start college the following fall.

Now, just a few years later, I am almost done with my degree program. I am still on antidepressants, and they help me enormously. I have been sober since treatment, and am determined to dedicate my life to helping others struggling with mental illness and addiction.

I’ll leave you with this final bit of advice: don’t do drugs, no matter how safe you think they may be. If you do drugs and think you may have a problem, get help immediately before things get worse. If you have a loved one you think is suffering from mental health or substance abuse issues, talk to them about it.

No matter what happens, you can turn your life around. My negative experience with drugs and mental health helped set me on the path I am on today and gave me a mission in life. You can do it too.

Thanks for reading.

Your sober and happy Kim!

There is always someone who give you drug “just to try”

Hi, it’s Kim again! Thanks for continuing to read my story.

In my initial post, I promised to share with you my experiences with drug addiction, mental health, and treatment. During treatment, I realized the moment that was the catalyst for my drug use. I guess that is the best place to start by telling my story.

I want to start by saying I am in no way blaming my friend Zach for my actions at all. I am one hundred percent responsible for my own decisions and actions. Zach and I are still friends to this day, and he never struggled with the dependency issues I went through. He does suffer from anxiety and depression (like many people do), but he did not experience psychosis, like me. Every person’s chemical makeup is different and will react to drugs differently. I may well have gotten into hallucinogenic drugs without Zach, but who knows. Again, I’m not blaming him at all; I just want to start at the beginning of the story.

I was fifteen years old and a sophomore in high school. Zach was one of my closest friends. We ate lunch at the same table and sat next to each other in Spanish class. Zach and I often got together on weekends to hang out. We would mostly just drive around drinking iced coffee and window-shopping. There wasn’t much for teens to do in our small town.

Over winter break Zach and his family went to Mexico for vacation. When we came back to school, Zach seemed so different. It wasn’t necessarily a bad change. He was quieter and more thoughtful. He didn’t say anything negative or mean about anybody anymore. Sometimes he would just start crying tears of either sadness or joy out of nowhere. I asked what on earth had gotten into him and why he was acting so strange.

He told me how on his family vacation he had snuck away and joined a traditional ayahuasca ceremony. I had never heard of ayahuasca, but Zach described it as a natural tea drink that gives people hallucinations and visions that reveal the secrets of the universe. I was skeptical, but as Zach described his experience to me, I became curious to try it out myself.

Zach said it had been a profound and life-changing experience and that he would recommend it to anyone. He said he felt like he knew himself better than before and felt so connected with the world and everyone in it. He felt more compassionate and patient and wanted to spread light. He was said he was learning to embrace instead of suppressing his emotions, and that’s why he was openly crying all the time now.

I wanted the life-changing experience Zach promised, but the problem was ayahuasca is not legal in the United States. I would have to figure out a way to get my hands on it.

When The World Melted

We are getting near the end of my story. Thanks for keeping up with me so far.

In my last post, I described how I became obsessed with going to festivals and doing LSD and magic mushrooms. It was my favorite thing in life. Actually, it became the only thing I enjoyed in life. I loved detaching from reality and feeling the world melt around me.

Scientists are torn on whether or not hallucinogenic drugs are actually addictive, but the general consensus is that while the body may build up a tolerance, it will not crave mushrooms or LSD or anything like that the same way the body gets addicted to heroin or cocaine. But a person can develop an emotional or psychology dependency on hallucinogens, which is still an addiction.

Although I didn’t know it at the time, I was definitely psychologically dependent on LSD. And I didn’t realize how dangerous that could be.

I started to notice that even when I wasn’t at a festival or on drugs, I could still feel the effects sometimes. I would be in class staring at a wall when it would start to melt a little. Or I would be listening to music and could see the notes that were being played.

At first, I thought this was cool and didn’t mind it. I thought I could even control it a little. If I got bored in class, I would just fix my gaze at a point in the distance until my vision blurred and it started to feel trippy. It was like a superpower; I could get high at any time!

Then the hallucinations when I hadn’t even taken drugs became stronger and more frequent. Once I went to the bathroom at school and the next thing I knew the bell had rung for the end of the day. I had literally sat on the toilet with my pants around my ankles, staring at the stall door and hallucinating as people came and went from the stalls around me, for hours.

I was started to get scared, but it didn’t stop me from doing acid still.

Finally, I reached a point of a psychotic break.

I don’t remember what actually happened because I was hallucinating, but my parents told me later.

I was at school and had started to hallucinate again. This time I wasn’t sitting anywhere quietly, though. I was seeing visions of monsters and dragons that I had to fight off with a sword. It wasn’t entirely unpleasant; it just felt like a videogame. In reality, though, I had stood up in a classroom and started violently attacking other students.

Keep reading to learn what happened next.

..and then I came to LSD, of course

It’s Kim again! Thanks for coming along with me on my journey as I tell you about my experience with drugs, mental health, and recovery.

My last post was about how I progressed from ayahuasca to magic mushrooms. Soon I was going to music festivals whenever I could and had a new group of friends who were as obsessed with hallucinogenic drugs as I was.

I started changing my hair and clothes, and even how I talked. I was morphing into a different person. Instead of the jeans and hoodies, I always wore before, I was wearing long, flowing skirts and tie-dye shirts. I stopped brushing my hair in an attempt to get dreadlocks like so many people at the festivals had, but mostly it just turned into a tangled mess. My parents noticed I was acting different but thought it was just “a phase” I was going through.

My grades were slipping, and I was losing my friends at school, even Zach, who was worried about me. He said he didn’t know why I was messing with other drugs when they are so different from ayahuasca. He also said his last time with ayahuasca had frightened him and he wasn’t going to do it ever again.

I didn’t care, though, as long as I was still able to go to the shows and find more drugs.

I liked mushrooms, but my favorite was acid. I would say it was in between mushrooms and ayahuasca, but more similar to mushrooms. If I only took a little, the world melted, and I got to see the crazy colors and patterns. If I took more, I got to totally lose my mind and have an out of the body, out of this world experience. It still wasn’t like ayahuasca, but it was awesome.

There were times when I would wake up in a tent next to someone I didn’t know, or I would forget how long it had been since I’d eaten or gone to the bathroom. Losing touch with reality was fun, but came a cost and wasn’t exactly safe. I look back on it now and shudder at how foolish I was to go alone to those shows and do mind-altering substances without anyone to watch or take care of me. I’m lucky something worse didn’t happen.

Keep reading to find out what happened next.