Recovering from 2C drug addiction can be challenging, but it’s a worthwhile decision that can change your life in a very positive way. When you get professional help to stop using 2C drugs, it increases your chances of a life-long recovery. The first step in your recovery from the drug 2C is learning more about it.
What Is 2C?
The 2C drug family belongs to the phenethylamines class of drugs. There are different types belonging to this class of drugs including 2C-B, 2C-I, 2CT-7, 2C-E and others. The 2C drug comes in different names as well which include:
- Smiles — most common
- 7th Heaven
There are likely more names that you are familiar with for the drug, too. This synthetic street drug was first produced by Alexander Shulgin and is known and used recreationally for its stimulant, hallucinogenic, entactogenic and psychedelic effects.
It’s different from other drugs because it’s not just a hallucinogen or amphetamine, but it actually combines the two. Because of this, you could experience negative side effects of both amphetamines and hallucinogens. For instance, when taking 2C-1, you might feel like it’s impossible to overdose on it since typically there is no bodily harm from classic hallucinogens. But, it’s the stimulant properties in it that, when taken in large doses, can be as dangerous as cocaine and meth.
You would typically find 2C drugs in a capsule, tablet, liquid or powder form which you would inhale or ingest orally.
Historical and Medical Value of the Drug 2C
The medical research community has been studying illegal drugs like LSD, marijuana, MDMA and psilocybin since the 1990s. However, since it’s fairly new, the 2C family hasn’t been studied as much. Therefore, the lack of knowledge behind this drug family could have negative side effects that we don’t know about yet.
But, there have been a few studies of its pharmacological properties and its acute and chronic effects in humans. For instance, to evaluate the subjective, cardiovascular and emotional effects of one particular form of the drug, 2C-B, the Association for the Study of States of Consciousness (PHI) recruited 20 healthy volunteers who use the drug recreationally. In the study, there were 12 women and eight men who each self-administered 20 mg of the drug.
The results they found were primarily positive, and there was a decrease of anger while on the 2C-B. But, it did reduce the participants’ ability to observe expressions of happiness and increased their awareness to negative emotional stimuli.
Some participants liked that they had improved impressibility in speech. The drug induced well-being and euphoria, slight hallucinogenic states and changes in perception. No psychoactive substances were consumed by any of the participants during the 48 hours before the study began.
How 2C Interacts with Other Drugs
It’s best not to mix 2C with any other drugs since it can produce negative side effects. Typical 2C drug side effects could include cramps, diarrhea and gas, but there is always the chance of experiencing more severe side effects like anxiety, nausea and confusion.
You should never take this drug if you are currently taking MAOI antidepressants. Doing so can increase your risk of psychosis disorders like schizophrenia and depression. You could also experience psychotic syndromes, panic attacks, visual illusions and depersonalization. In some cases, it could bring on dormant psychological problems. Taking 2CB with ecstasy may bring about longer and stronger euphoric feelings.
Key Statistics About Abuse and Addiction to 2C
You may find these statistics regarding 2C addiction and abuse helpful:
- From the years 2006 through 2010, the United States State and local forensic laboratories received approximately 580 2C-phenethylamine reports, which they analyzed by 2011 in March
- Thirty-two states identified 2C-phenethylamines in 2010 with 39 percent of them being 2C-B, 33 percent being 2C-E and 23 percent being 2C-I. There were 83 reports of 2C-phenethylamines in the Southern region, 70 in the Midwest, 32 in the Northeast and 44 in the West.
- The Controlled Substances Act classified a couple 2C-phenethylamines as ‘controlled’ by the end of the 2011 year. Today, there are many states with laws that prevent the use, possession and sale of the emerging 2C drugs.
- The DEA considers the 2C drug family to be “drugs or chemicals of concern.” There have been a minimum of five deaths related to these drugs. The only types of 2C drugs that had the Schedule 1 controlled substance classification were the 2C-B, 2C-N, 2C-H, 2C-P and 2C-T4 drugs until 2012 during the summer months. Now 2C-C through 2C-E, 2C-I, 2C-P, 2C-T2 and 2C-T4 drugs have also been put on the restricted Schedule 1 list.
Who Is Abusing 2C?
Since 2C drugs are not traceable in blood tests and are simple to get, they are a popular drug for kids in high school and college — appealing to the younger demographic much like the drug’s ancestors, which include bath salts and K-2.
As of 2015, 2C drug use was becoming popular among those who serve in the military as well.
What Does 2C Do to the Brain, and How Does It Work?
2C works as a partial agonist chemical binding to your 5-HT2 receptors and activating your brain’s receptor that produces a biological response. This part of your brain’s receptors is mostly for excitation, but it can also be impulsive in areas of your brain that deal with perception.
You can equate 2C-P effects to those you get when you combine LSD and ecstasy, except the effects are more intense. Some smile drug effects you might experience include:
- Visual and auditory hallucinations
- Bad trips (feelings of panic and fear and terrifying hallucinations)
The drug 2C-B specifically has been equated to giving you the high you get from taking ecstasy, but also with a psychedelic effect as well. This is what makes this drug popular and is typically found at raves, dance parties and nightclubs.
How Addictive Is 2C?
The 2C drug isn’t thought to be physically addictive, but the more you use it, the more you build up a tolerance to it. The 2C class is considered designer drugs, and these have potential for abuse and negative health consequences, including overdose.
Because drugs like these are often adjusted to get around the government and drug laws, it makes them much more dangerous since research can’t keep up with negative side effects. You’re at a great risk of overdose without having the knowledge of applicable effects of the drugs and proper dosages.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of a 2C Drug Addiction?
Since the 2C family also contains stimulants, they are more powerful than other types of hallucinogens out there. The high you get from them can last all day long — sometimes longer — which can make the drug psychologically addictive. If you’re trying to see if your loved one is abusing the 2C drug, some signs and symptoms might include:
- Lying about abusing drugs. Your loved one might be embarrassed or ashamed of taking the drug or how much they are using. They may deny they need help.
- Obsessed with getting high. They may spend a lot of time planning to get high. They may use more of the drug to get the same high, and they might combine 2C with other drugs to get a more intense high
- Not performing normal responsibilities. If you notice your loved one’s performance in school, work or home is slacking or they don’t seem to have any motivation to perform their regular responsibilities, this could indicate a drug problem.
- Ignoring activities and friends. If your loved one seems like what they use to love doesn’t matter anymore, this could be a sign of a 2C addiction.
In addition to the signs of a 2C addiction, you should also look for symptoms such as:
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to speak
- Poor judgment
- Suicidal thoughts or attempts
- Chest pain
- Homicidal thoughts
- Heart attack
- Overheating — causing them to tear their clothes off
- Self-destructive behaviors — they bang their head against the wall, etc.
These symptoms can go on for hours and in some cases, days. A big sign of 2C addiction is if your loved one continues to use the drug, despite the negative consequences they experience.
What Is a 2C Drug Addiction Like?
Although people tend to continue abusing drugs because they form a physical addiction to them, there is still the strong component of psychological addiction. The psychology behind an addiction is a complicated behavior pattern that leads you to compulsive repetition of a particular behavior, even when you know it can harm you. There are generally both physical and psychological aspects of addiction, but a 2C drug addiction tends to be more on the psychological side of things.
Typically, psychological addiction starts off when you have out-of-control feelings. You may experience strong emotions like fear, rage, hopelessness or jealousy that make you feel helpless. Uncomfortable feelings like these can get overwhelming, and abusers will turn to drugs to suppress them.
If you have a loved one who overindulges occasionally, this is not always a sign they have a drug abuse problem. It can be hard to determine if your loved one needs treatment for addiction or not. What you should be looking for is repetitive negative behaviors that could indicate an addiction. If you find out your loved one is dealing with a 2C addiction, you can offer them gentle reassurance and guidance in making that first call to 12 Keys Rehab. An addiction is not a problem you can solve on your own.
How Do People Become Addicted to 2C?
Remember a time when something made you feel really good. This ‘good’ feeling was your limbic system doing its job. Since our survival relies on natural pleasures, the limbic system causes you to look for more pleasurable things. And the first time you use the 2C drug, you may experience some abnormally strong feelings of pleasure. This is your reward circuitry being activated and dopamine being the messenger.
However, this unnatural and overwhelming flow of neurotransmitters forces your brain to start changing. The changes your brain makes drives you to look for the smiles drug and use it compulsively regardless of the negative consequences you face like family issues, losing friends, stealing from loved ones or other mental or physical problems the drug brings on.
Although the smiles drug doesn’t have any physically-addictive properties, users crave the hallucinogenic effect and feelings of empathy it provides them.
Does a 2C Addiction Cause Any Permanent Damage?
This class of drugs is a big concern for health officials and law enforcement since any long-term health effects or permanent damage they may cause is virtually unknown. At this point until more research has been conducted on the drug, it can only be compared to drugs like LSD or Ecstasy.
Take for example the 2C-B drug. This drug produces varying effects depending on the dosage you take. Even if you increase the dose of this drug by only a few milligrams, what happens to your body can be extremely different.
The 2C-B drug is said to mimic serotonin, which is why it is often compared with ecstasy. Ecstasy’s long-term effects are fairly well-known, and since the 2C-B drug works in the same manner as ecstasy, it’s thought that it could produce similar side effects such as lowering serotonin transporter proteins, changing brain structure, decreasing memory function and causing depression.
The fact that the long-term effects of the 2C family of drugs isn’t known doesn’t mean there aren’t any, which is a huge problem each time a new drug is manufactured and brought out into the market.
You may think hallucinogens are harmless and many people believe so, but they could have effects that are unexpected. Since the 2C class of drugs falls into this category, their long-term effects could be similar. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that some of the long-term effects hallucinogens can have include:
- Persistent psychosis
- Disorganized thoughts
- Mood disorders
- Visual disturbances
- Learning disabilities
- Hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD)
- Inability to communicate feelings and thoughts
- Permanent hallucinations
- Brain tumor, stroke and other symptoms that can be mistaken for a neurological disorder
Overdosing on the 2C-I drug can lead to kidney failure, seizures and high blood pressure that leads to death.
How Long Does It Take to Withdraw From 2C?
Chronic users of 2C may go through withdrawal, just like with any other drugs. Your symptoms can range from:
- Muscle aches
to more intense symptoms such as:
- Intense sweating
Since there is limited information on 2C withdrawal, it’s important to get help through a treatment center like 12 Keys Rehab where you will be surrounded by committed professionals who have the expertise in dealing with 2C drug abuse and withdrawal.
You’ll be monitored closely during your initial detox, and then you’ll receive the appropriate treatment based on your individual needs. You’ll receive guidance and support, which helps you uncover and overcome inner problems that caused you to use so you can begin living a happy and healthy, clean life.
How Do You Safely Detox from This Drug?
Your initial step in 2C drug addiction treatment is detox, which is where our professionals will monitor you closely during a period of time when the drug is leaving your body slowly. Detox treatment helps your body eliminate the harmful drug toxins in a more relaxing way. This prepares you for the therapeutic stages of your treatment, which may include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Neurofeedback.
Our staff here at 12 Keys Rehab is experienced and qualified in addressing any co-occurring disorders that are often associated with addiction. We use various proven psychotherapies and evidence-based behavioral therapies, and we provide you with 12 Step care that enables you to come up with your own design for living that is spiritually satisfying.
What Types of Co-Occurring Disorders Exist with This Drug?
Since 2C is a type of hallucinogen, there is no telling if you can develop symptoms of depression and schizophrenia like other hallucinogens. Long-term users of psychedelics can often develop HPPD, which stands for Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. With HPPD, users can suffer from negative visual effects, sometimes permanent. Flashbacks are another risk, and since 2C includes stimulants, if you get these flashbacks, they are likely to be worse.
Since 2C gives you a sense of euphoria and giddiness, some people could be turning to it to lift their spirits, not realizing they are actually suffering with depression. Depression, either clinical depression or major depressive disorder, is common, but it’s a serious mood disorder. Its symptoms can affect how you think, feel and deal with everyday tasks like working, eating and sleeping.
Hallucinogens bring about changes that can last a very long time, to the point you may wonder if you will ever go back to feeling normal. Changes like this can be severe and persist long enough that you may become either physically or emotionally distressed. This is known as HPPD and you may notice things like:
- Flickering lights
- Static or snow in your vision
- Extremely bright colors
- Trails of light or color
Normally, people who take hallucinogens might experience flashbacks where they experience short recurrences of an experience they had while on the drug. In one instance, they feel normal. Then they feel altered. Then they feel normal again. For people with HPPD, however, the changes they feel while on the drug never seem to go away.
The Dangers of Quitting Your Addiction Without Assistance
You might think you can easily quit your 2C addiction at home without professional help or supervision. Perhaps you think you can’t afford it or don’t want to be away from your family or work for months. You might think that all you need is a little willpower to give up the drugs.
Quitting any addiction is hard work even when you have the help of professionals and counselors. When you attempt to quit your addiction alone, the odds of you recovering for life from your addiction are zero to none.
First, you should not attempt to quit 2C cold turkey without the help of professionals since you could experience debilitating withdrawal symptoms. Symptoms of withdrawal, which can range from vomiting to hallucinations to tremors, can last for hours, days and sometimes weeks. They should always be medically supervised by an experienced detox professional.
Trying to manage your withdrawal symptoms at home by yourself can be dangerous and most likely ineffective. The pain from your symptoms alone will likely have you using again. This is why it’s vital to get help from our trained professionals at 12 Keys Rehab to help you detox effectively and more comfortably.
Even after your body rids itself of drugs and you eliminate your dependence on them, the other aspects of the abuse will still be there. Family and work stress doesn’t go away, and you might face situations that will tempt you to use again.
How Can I Help My Loved One Recover from This Drug’s Addiction?
Staying clean is a lifelong process that’s easier to continue with support from family and friends. You can help your loved one recover by:
- Accepting them without judgment
- Creating a substance-free environment
- Actively listening
- Encouraging healthy habits
- Suggesting 12 Keys Rehab and support groups
Be patient with your loved one. Recovery is a complicated and long process, and mistakes are possible. Your loved one needs to know you’ll still be there for them if they mess up.
At 12 Keys Rehab, we don’t provide you with a one-size-fits all recovery treatment plan. There’s no cookie-cutter method here. We combine individualized treatment plans with the traditional 12-step process. We also involve your family as well since they are important to your recovery. We provide family therapy sessions for helping you rebuild broken relationships, share thoughts about your addiction honestly and communicate more effectively.
Our multidisciplinary team will provide you with a safe and enjoyable environment to rebuild your life that has been out of control. If you are ready to finally free yourself of 2C addiction and embrace your new, clean lifestyle, it’s time to start your treatment at our 12 Keys Rehab facility that combines spirit, science, body, family and more. Contact us today to begin your 2C addiction recovery journey.