Commonly Abused Drugs in Arizona

drugs in arizona

Arizona has been considered a “gateway” state for drugs into the United States, as drugs were often smuggled in over the border. After an alarming increase in opioid deaths in Arizona in 2016, Governor Doug Ducey declared the opioid epidemic in the state a public health emergency in 2017. This spurred action to prevent opioid addiction and reduce opioid deaths in Arizona that improved the situation in the state and in 2018 Governor Ducey ended the public health emergency and Arizona continues the fight against the opioid overdose epidemic. 


Commonly Abused Drugs in Arizona

Though opioids are a commonly abused drug in Arizona that has received a substantial amount of public attention, several other illicit drugs are also notably abused. At Soba Mesa, we want to inform our readers about the dangers of these commonly abused drugs. 



Methamphetamine, or meth, is readily available and is actually the most commonly abused in Arizona. Meth is a highly addictive drug that affects the central nervous system. Meth acts as a stimulant and causes a powerful rush and makes people feel awake and energetic. It is highly addictive because people build a tolerance to it and need to increase doses to feel the same high, and a higher dose comes with inherently higher risks. The process of making meth in labs is quite dangerous because the chemicals used are toxic and can cause explosions. Meth is made from pseudoephedrine, an ingredient found in decongestants like Sudafed. Meth in Arizona comes from in-state labs, but also labs out of state in California and Nevada, though most is smuggled in from Mexico. Meth addiction is a difficult substance addiction to treat, but it is possible with the help of professional drug treatment programs. 



Cocaine is another prominent drug in Arizona in both the form of powdered and crack cocaine. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant, native to South America, which is why a lot of the illicit drug is smuggled into Arizona from Mexico. Like meth, cocaine is a stimulant that is addictive as users become less sensitive to the effects of the drug and take increasingly large doses to obtain the same high. The high of cocaine happens almost instantaneously but tends not to be long lasting. Powdered cocaine is often snorted, rubbed into the gums, or injected, while crack cocaine is smoked. Dealers often mix cocaine with mundane substances like flour to increase profits, but sometimes cocaine is also mixed with amphetamines or synthetic opioids. These dangerous additives are especially insidious if the user is unaware of them. Though cocaine is addictive there are several methods of behavioral therapy that are effectively used to treat cocaine addiction.


Heroin and Other Opioids

Opioids including heroin are commonly abused drugs in Arizona, and the epidemic of opioid overdoses in recent years have drawn much attention to their prolific and dangerous presence in the state. Opioids are pain relievers but can be used to cause a powerful high. The majority of drug overdose deaths in the United States are caused by opioids. Several types of heroin predominant in the state originate from Mexico like black tar heroin. Heroin is an illegal semi-synthetic opioid made from morphine. However, opioid abuse can also originate from legal opioids used as prescription pain relievers. Legal opioids are safe when prescribed by a doctor and taken for a short time properly, but misuse or regular use even if they are prescribed by a doctor can lead to addiction. Though heroin use and prescription opioid deaths have actually begun to stabilize and even decrease slightly in the past several years, opioid overdose deaths caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl have been on the rise since 2016. Arizona’s efforts to curb opioid abuse and overdose death have been primarily aimed at regulating prescriptions filled by the state, but opioids remain a large problem. Whether a person suffering from addiction uses a drug that is legalized or not, there is help out there in the form of professional treatment. 


Tips on How to Get Help With Addiction

If you or a loved one is looking for help with their addiction there are several things you can do:

  • Educate yourself—The SAMHSA National Helpline is a free, confidential treatment referral and information services for those struggling or know someone struggling with substance abuse disorders.
  • Look for Support Groups—The first support groups that often come to mind for substance abuse are Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, but there are many alternative support groups like SMART Recovery, LifeRing or SOS
  • Seek Professional Treatment—Professional treatment for substance abuse works to break the cycle of addiction through medical detoxification, inpatient treatment, and aftercare in order to achieve long term recovery.


Finding Drug Centers in Arizona

Arizona has been putting in a substantial amount of work against drug abuse and there are many professional treatment centers in the state that offer a full-continuum of care. If you’re in Arizona struggling with any of the state’s commonly abused drugs, it may be difficult to break the cycle of addiction remaining in the same place. But you don’t need to travel out of state to seek great professional treatment. At Soba Mesa, we believe in compassionate, individualized care that focuses on the whole person. We are located east of Phoenix in Mesa, offering everything from the beginning phase of detox to aftercare to dedicate an extended amount of time and effort into treating addiction in order to prompt lasting recovery. If you want to learn more about how we can help you here in Arizona, please contact us today! 

Overcoming a Crystal Meth Addiction

Crystal Meth, which is short for methamphetamine, has the potential to do serious damage to your body. It’s incredibly addictive and provides a very intense high. Although it’s available as the prescription Desoxyn, the street version is made in underground ‘labs’ and widely abused across America. There are small scale illegal meth operations throughout the US but most of the meth consumed is trafficked into America from Mexico. If you or someone you know is addicted to Crystal Meth, don’t wait to reach out to Soba Mesa to find out how we can help you overcome your addiction.

What is Crystal Meth?

Crystal meth is an illicit drug that looks like chunks of crystals or blue rocks. While methamphetamine forms the foundation of certain prescription medications, including treatments for ADHD, crystal meth is molecularly different and not a controlled substance. This makes it more addictive and dangerous.

When someone takes crystal meth, their brain ends up getting flooded with a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Crystal meth also blocks dopamine from leaving the brain, trapping it in the brain’s neurons for longer periods of time. This leads to a pleasurable high. This is the reason why crystal meth is so addictive.

Eventually, with repeated use, the brain develops a tolerance to crystal meth. This means that people end up needing more meth to cause the same high. This is due to the depletion of dopamine levels in the brain over time. When the dopamine levels drop too low, this leads to intense meth cravings, causing someone to lose control. This is where the physical, mental, and psychological symptoms arise.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Meth Addiction?

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to crystal meth, there are a number of symptoms to look out for. The mental and emotional symptoms include: 

  • The inability to learn new skills or retain important information
  • A struggle to recall information and make inferences when presented with a set of facts
  • Problems with abstract thinking, problem-solving, and judgment
  • Problems reading, writing, and recognizing words
  • Feelings of paranoia or irritability


Physical symptoms of meth addiction include:

  • Weight loss
  • Skin irritation like excessive scratch marks
  • Meth mouth 
    • This is a serious oral hygiene issue that causes the mouth to rot and teeth fall out

Crystal meth can also cause you to become profoundly depressed when not using this substance. The depletion of dopamine in the brain drives this depression, leading to a number of symptoms. These might include a loss of interest in certain activities, trouble sleeping, unusual eating habits, and even suicidal ideation. 

How To Get Help

If you need help with a crystal meth addiction, seek professional help now. Soba Mesa offers various treatment programs and therapies which will help you to learn how to live life meth free.

Our first phase of treatment is detoxification. This is the process of safely removing crystal meth from your body. Withdrawal side effects can be mild to severe but we do our best to keep you as comfortable as possible during this time. We also have medical staff onsite to monitor your health 24/7. 

After detox is inpatient treatment. This is where you’ll work with therapists and counselors to identify the cause of your addiction and how to cope with your emotions in a healthy way. Some of the therapies we offer during treatment include: art therapy, anger management, relapse prevention, 12-step groups, meditation, and equine therapy. 

We also have aftercare treatment available for when you complete inpatient treatment. We’re dedicated to giving you all the tools you need to maintain sobriety once you finish residential inpatient treatment. 

Reach Out to Us

Don’t let meth ruin your life any longer. At Soba Mesa, we are a luxury detox & drug rehab program located in the beautiful, Southwestern region of Mesa, AZ We are one of the premier drug abuse and addiction treatment programs. We have a variety of resources that our professionals use to help individuals break the bonds of addiction and start the recovery process. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today! With the help of our addiction treatment specialists, we are confident that you can not only get sober but stay clean as well.

How To Quit Using Cocaine

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug whose addiction can be challenging to end on your own. It comes in different forms commonly as a white powder. To end the addiction, one has to have an understanding of the options available, the benefits of quitting and the various experiences of those who have tried to quit and succeeded.


Cocaine is a stimulant that causes the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to constrict, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, convulsions, seizures, and stroke. The usage of cocaine is one of the leading causes of cardiac arrest. The most important consequences of cocaine addiction are emotional, psychological and social. Cocaine addicts have strained relationships with family and friends.

Cocaine usage increases your level of alertness, energy, and attention. The short term effects of cocaine include,

  • Intense happiness
  • Anger or irritability
  • Paranoid feeling
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased sensitivity to sight and sound


Most withdrawal symptoms of cocaine are emotional and not physical. These include

  • anxiety
  • depression
  • moodiness
  • hallucinations
  • delusions
  • Cocaine addicts trying to fight the addiction on their own face the challenges of lack of support and proper programs to deal with the addiction. They equally have difficulty dealing with the withdrawal symptoms on their own.


Cocaine addiction treatment must be customized to fit into the needs of each individual. To first admit that one has an addiction problem is the first step to recovery. A personalized program will be made to address the underlying causes of addiction.

Programs will have a holistic approach to different therapies with professional and experienced staff in the field of treatable psychological disorders. This will ensure that they get long term care for drug addiction.


There are structured recovery programs that benefit addicts of cocaine through professional help or the experiences of others. Such settings include

  • Residential or inpatient rehab programs offer a supportive place to live in as you recover from the addiction. This program will consist of the initial detox, individual and group therapy, aftercare planning and medical monitoring.
  • Outpatient rehab facilities where one is not required to live in the facility but receives the same care received in a residential rehab program.
  • Individual therapy that gives access to medical professionals who assist in restructuring a program that will help in dealing with the inevitable issues emerging from the addiction treatment.
  • Group counseling provides support through the sharing of experiences and challenges while going through the treatment.


  • DETOXIFICATION – Medical detoxification is provided by a medical professional under the inpatient facility and is under 24 hours of supervision. To minimize risk and alleviate discomfort, medication is prescribed at the discretion of medical practitioners. Detox services are provided three to seven days, depending on each client’s needs. Patients can enjoy recreational activities, and home-cooked meals, acupuncture and group counseling.
  • SOBER LIVING – A structured multi-faceted program has been developed to assist in long term recovery.
  • SECONDARY CARE – This is the most crucial time for a patient recovery to either diminish or prosper. Secondary care assists a patient in getting the confidence to live outside the facility among sober people while getting outpatient care. Essential life skills are trained at this level to allow the patient to live a healthy life. This stage could take weeks or months depending on the needs of the patient, progress and treatment time frame. Necessary self-care skills are also emphasized on a daily basis as its easier to maintain a clear state of mind in a physically clean environment. Transportation is made available for regular meetings and appointments. Components of the sober living program are made to incorporate effective ways of reshaping addict lives while undergoing outpatient treatment. The treatment philosophy emphasizes the importance of an extended period on a structured treatment program.


There are three stages of relapse, emotional, mental and physical relapse. Emotional relapse is when a patient is not thinking about consuming the drugs, but his emotions and behavior are setting him up for a possible relapse. Signs of emotional relapse include anxiety, anger, isolation, defensiveness or not asking for help. Relapse, in this stage, can be prevented by not isolating yourself and asking for help. Self-care should also be emphasized by either observing proper sleeping patterns, eating a healthy diet or rewinding.

In mental relapse, a patient is thinking about consuming drugs. They will visit old friends who are drug addicts and plan on how to access the drugs. To avoid this, the patient needs to inform a friend or look for a useful distraction. Giving your urges time to pass is also an essential technique as they may not last long.

Physical relapse is when a patient gets drugs for consumption. It’s best that this is prevented earlier on in the stages of relapse.