Breaking it Down: Can You Get a Contact High?

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The use of drugs causes various effects for different people even if they’re not the one using them. In any form, illicit substances like marijuana, methamphetamines, and cocaine, can all have harmful side effects. It’s best to know what to expect from using these drugs, as well as if you can receive a contact high just by being in proximity of someone who is.

While you may not have the same, immediate effects of someone who is actually ingesting the drugs, secondhand effects can still be harmful to your health. The more you understand about the side effects and damage each drug is responsible for, the better you can begin to realize the long-term negative repercussions it can have on your physical and mental state.

Contact High from Marijuana

According to one more recent study, it shows that approximately 55 million Americans currently use marijuana. As a result, it’s likely you’ve encountered the smell of marijuana smoke, whether it’s been at a concert, on the street, or another public space. For most metropolitan areas, it’s not unusual to be exposed to secondhand smoke from marijuana, at least briefly, at some point in your life.

But the question is: can you get a contact high from marijuana smoke? Will it affect your health? Fortunately, it’s not likely you’ll get high by simply passing by someone who is using marijuana. However, some studies reveal that if you directly inhale large amounts of the smoke secondhand, there’s a possibility to feel some side effects.

Generally speaking, you don’t necessarily need to be worried about the contact high, but there may still be health effects that occur. Marijuana smoke, like tobacco, often contains harmful chemicals and can affect your lungs and respiratory system. Although you may not be under the influence by inhaling the smoke secondhand, it’s still best to avoid being around it at all.

Contact High from Methamphetamines

Meth, on the other hand, is highly toxic and the likelihood of getting a contact high is nearly absolute. Meth is made by combining several toxic chemicals. Those who make it must protect their faces and hands as to not receive damage to the skin or clothing. The fumes cling to all surfaces and can be dangerous when inhaled even secondhand.

As a result, anyone who comes into contact with meth lab materials is in danger of severe health effects as well. This is especially true for children who may be curious about the setup and not know what’s safe to touch or not touch. After throwing the chemicals away outside, the toxicity still lingers and can cause medical conditions like respiratory issues and neurological damage to ensue. In short, the setup and use of meth, in any form, is a toxic hazard.

Women who are pregnant and have been exposed to meth may experience premature delivery and their children may suffer from birth defects. Also, it’s not uncommon for babies to become addicted prior to birth due to the exposure of the effects of meth. If you’re anywhere near meth, whether you are using it or not, there is a chance for you to be exposed to it and have it be damaging to your health.

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Contact High from Cocaine

Finally, when it comes to getting a contact high from cocaine, it may not be possible to feel its effects secondhand. However, there is a chance that it could show up in a urine sample through drug testing. In a few, older studies, it’s been indicated that passive cocaine inhalation has led to traces of cocaine in the system. If you’re in company of someone who is smoking crack cocaine, it can still infiltrate your system, whether you realize it or not.

When it comes to actual drug use, the chances of receiving a contact high from cocaine are slim. Only in the case of making meth and being in close proximity to the materials, will you be directly affected by the toxins it’s created from. But if you currently use any of these drugs, you may be putting those around you in danger as well.

Side Effects of Drugs

Marijuana, meth, and cocaine all come with their own side effects. Of course, this is a limited list of the type of illicit substances that can cause serious health problems including drug addiction. In many cases, drug use can cause nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, increased heart rate, and anxiety. More serious side effects may include stroke, adverse heart conditions, overdose, and ultimately, death. The physical symptoms that occur are only one part of the damage drugs can do to the body. They are also harmful to your mental health and the effects are cumulative, wearing down your body more and more with time.

There are also side effects from drug withdrawal, if you are drug dependent or addicted, which often prevents people from seeking the treatment they need to become sober. While uncomfortable and at times, painful, withdrawal side effects are temporary. They indicate your body’s physiological reaction to the process of ridding your body of the drug’s toxins. Through this process, you can begin your first step toward sobriety and take back control of your health.

There are many things that can contribute to how drugs will affect you. Each person also metabolizes drugs differently and has his or her own unique experience with them. Varying factors include your height, weight, history with drug use, and in some cases, genetics. It can also include your history of other physical and mental illnesses.

Drug dependency and drug addiction are diseases that require treatment in order to overcome them. Left untreated, addiction only worsens and can be fatal to you. Fortunately, there are treatment centers and health professionals who want to help you reach and maintain your sobriety. If you are someone who has not had firsthand experience with drug use, but are in an environment or social circle where they are commonly around, you are still in a risky situation that could lead to dependency behavior in the future.

Peer pressure plays a significant role in drug use because the temptation is constantly around. If you are ready to seek treatment, it’s not recommended to go through the withdrawal and detox process alone. It can be all too easy to revert back to old habits. Instead, seek the care provided by a treatment facility.

Choose Your Type of Treatment

When it comes to treatment for drug addiction, there are two main categories: inpatient and outpatient care. Inpatient care is when you choose to temporarily live at a treatment facility to focus on following the steps necessary to reach sobriety. When you enter inpatient care, you dedicate a specific amount of time to the recovery process of getting sober and feeling healthy again. Inpatient care is a favorable option because you are taken out of your current environment and given a place that is calm and supportive to help you on your path.

The distractions of everyday life can be overwhelming while you go through recovery. By seeking help in a safe and secure place, you can focus your attention on yourself and what you need to do to get better. Through inpatient care, you will receive group counseling, in-person therapy, and other benefits, such as educational classes, to learn more about your addiction, at every step along the way.

Through inpatient care, you become truly immersed in the experience. Often, treatment centers are situated among beautiful backdrops near lakes or among mountains to create a healing atmosphere. In addition to your treatment schedule, there is also time for exercise, reflection, and extracurriculars where a peaceful environment is ideal. Typically, programs last for 60 days or more, but each one is customized for the individual and is based on what your health requires.

There are different stages to treatment, as with recovery from any other type of illness, and your advancement is contingent upon your own well-being. It’s not a competition or a comparison of how fast you can go through the different steps. It’s about the process; the ultimate goal is understand your addiction and work toward your sober future.

Outpatient treatment is an alternative option, if you’d prefer to stay in your home environment. Outpatient care also includes counseling, group sessions, and provides information about your addiction and how to to cope with it once your treatment is complete. You still reap the benefits of professional care in a safe and secure place. The main difference is that you do not reside at the place you’re receiving care. It requires a certain amount of accountability to show up each day for your appointments to gain the most from your treatment.

Consider both options and see which might be the better fit for you. If you are a loved one seeking options for someone who is struggling with drug addiction, consider the treatment location, health plans, and the pros and cons of each facility you research. Sometimes choosing a facility can be overwhelming. By taking that burden off of your friend or family member, you help make the decision to receive treatment a little bit easier.

Stages of Rehab and Pathway to Recovery

Once you’ve made the decision to seek help, you have taken a huge, positive step in the right direction. It’s important to remember as you go through the different stages that sobriety doesn’t happen overnight. A drug addiction takes time to build up to, so the reverse of it will also take time as well. The stages of recovery are important to follow in order, since they build upon each other.

You’ll start with the detoxification process, where you will safely withdraw from drugs under the supervision of a medical professional. It’s important to go through this stage in the care of others, so they can monitor your health as your body processes the change. It will also help you be accountable and stick through the detox portion in its entirety, which can be tough both mentally and physically.

The detox process typically lasts 7-10 days and is necessary before starting any other part of your rehabilitation. Your mind and body need to be in a healthy state before trying to rebuild your strength and enter the next stage of rehabilitation.

When you enter the rehab phase of your treatment program, you’ll begin to learn more about your addiction. How did it begin? What triggers your addiction? And just as important, how can you cope with it in the future? Once you start to learn what is responsible for your cravings or what the source of the problem might be, it can help you identify and prevent these things from happening down the road.

During any stage of the rehab process, there is a chance you may experience a relapse. This is not uncommon and while it’s a setback, you can still start again. If you want to help to prevent relapse from occurring, it’s best to receive treatment in the care of others. Consider inpatient care, since you will have others around to keep you accountable and focused on your sobriety.

Once you’ve gone through rehab, you are closer to returning back to your world. However, since it will look and feel a lot different than how you left it, there is education and information available to help you transition back to “real life.” If drug addiction has been part of your life for any length of time, this transition can be challenging. We are here to help provide the tools you need to feel confident about starting anew. It’s up to you to decide what kind of life you want to have and who and what is going to help get you there. Through treatment, you’ll learn how to cope with different situations and how to make healthy choices.

There is help for those who currently face drug addiction or for friends and family members concerned about their loved ones. Reach out to the support available to you to help further prevent the damaging cycle of drug abuse.

Find hope. Find recovery. Begin a commitment to lifelong recovery today – for yourself, your friend, or for your loved one.
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Centers of Disease Controls and Prevention. Secondhand Smoke (SHS) Facts. Revised Feb. 2017, Accessed Feb. 7, 2016.

Pot Guide. Secondhand Smoke and Cannabis: Breaking Down the Myths. Revised Sep. 2017, Accessed Feb. 7, 2016.

Refinery29. Can You Really Get A Secondhand High? June 2017, Accessed Feb. 7,2016.

Above It All. Can You Get A Contact High From Meth? Accessed Feb. 8,2018

WebMD. The Effects of Secondhand Smoke. Accessed Feb. 8, 2016.

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