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CamilleRN, Nurse (RN)
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Experience:  Experience: 20 yrs experience in ER, ICU, Neuro, OR, Chemo,Cardiology, Dermatology and MORE.
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recently at the gym and there was a white powder on the bench

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Hello i have a question. I was just recently at the gym and there was a white powder on the bench in the gym that i use. I immediately pushed my bag to the side so it would not get into this powder. I had a small idea that this powder was cocaine however i left the gym without a problem. However a few days later i discovered a white powder on the bottom of my gym bag and i thought to myself oh it was the cocaine powder at the gym that i saw that i tried to move away from, well apparently some got on the bottom of my bag. Now i washed the powder off but ever since i discovered this on my bag i am believing that i am getting cocaine in my system, for example, the gym bag was on my car seat so now its in my car air. I also put my gym bag on the rug in my living room before washing the powder off so i believe that it is in my rug and everytime i am in the living room near where i put the bag i am believing that i am getting cocaine into my system. It was especially vivid when i was sitting by where the bag is and i was leaning down to pet my dog and i started sneezing. I later kept believing that i had breathed some of the cocaine powder into my nose after sneezing and it was on my mind the whole night and i was so bothered by it. And then a few days later a stronger issue happened when i was taking my bag to the gym and i was believing that i had gotten cocaine into my system after picking the bag up off the floor. I was feeling like i was on a cocaine high even though i have never done it before. I was feeling like what i read online about a cocaine high, i was feeling euphoric and hyper and had a sense that i was the best. This started really bothering me and i was worried about a crash. Now i already have a mental illness already which is why this bothers me greatly, if i have any neurotoxins like this or any drug get into my system my mental illness will get worse and it will be worse then what i have now. My symptoms have actually gotten worse since this cocaine incident and it keeps bothering me on my mind.I keep believing that my symptoms are worse because of the cocaine in my system. I still also believe that cocaine is still getting into my system because i haven't cleaned my car out yet from where i put the bag, so it is in my car air. I need help because this is really bothering me on my mind especially since i don't purposely do drugs anymore because of my illness. I am annoyed because this has happened accidently. I believe i had and am accidently getting high and that this is making my illness worse.
Hi and thank you for your question. I am a verified Expert and I am happy to help you today. I am really sorry you are suffering like this. On a logical level ...please KNOW that even IF your bag was in cocaine powder.... you could never passively breathe in enough from the environment to affect you AT ALL. People have to shove that UP their nose deliberately. Also... on a logical level.. NO Drug addict or dealer would ever leave powder on a bench... they'd lick it off... or snort it off.... RIGHT? What's happening here are obsessive thoughts. Are you currently on medication?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Yes the suffering is great i can't get it out of my head. I feel like this was a huge bump in my recovery process. I also believe that i somehow got the powder into the inside of my bag so the clothes i put in the bag all have it all over them so then i wear the clothes and breathe it in. And even though people tell me you can't passively breathe enough in its hard for me to believe them. I also believe that i am not doing a full amount i believe i am getting trace amounts. But that those trace amounts are powerful enough to make my current mental illness worse. I also want to note that my mental illness, (Paranoia,mania, anger) has gotten worse since this incident started. and thats what hard drugs will do to you. I used to smoke marijuana heavily and that's why i have the illness i have now so i am very anti drug as you could tell why i am so upset about this. I am currently on seroquel 100mg and risperidone 1mg.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
wanted to chat more
Sorry... I was away (at work). Even if there were cocaine dust on your clothes... it wouldn't hurt you.. think of it this way... if people could get high by putting a little powder on their skin... wouldn't they save their nasal membranes fro ulceration and destruction....and do that?

Being acutely aware of your body and the most subtle changes, such as an increase in heart rate, can be a catalyst for anxiety...causing your body to shoot out adrenaline which can lead to some or all of these symptoms:

Chest pain , tightness or discomfort

Fear of dying

Fear of losing control

Dizziness or feeling like you might pass out



Hot flashes

Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face

Fast heart rate

Shortness of breath

Feeling like you are choking

Feeling detached or disconnected from reality
Feelings of impending doom

For example.. you bend over to pick something up…. Your heart rate goes up.. you become aware of it and become anxious …now starts the barrage of symptoms and a full blown panic attack. Your body is producing adrenaline and the symptoms keep on coming…

The single most important thing to remember is that THIS CAN NOT HARM YOU. It’s just the adrenaline ….. and it WILL pass.

The scary thing about Anxiety is that it can seem to come out of nowhere.. without a concrete cause that you can pinpoint. Anxiety can cause alterations in breathing patterns and it may be that you are holding your breath or breathing too rapidly which can cause fatigue and the symptoms you are experiencing. There is something you can do right now to stop it..... initiate proper breathing. You can help alleviate the feeling of throat tightness, panic and and shortness of breath by changing your breathing pattern to abdominal breathing. To abdominal breathe ( which is a much more effective breathing technique) place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest... watch to see which rises. It should be the abdomen, NOT the chest.Practice breathing using your abdominal muscles... (to breathe with chest muscles causes fatigue and more shortness of breath) by taking in a deep breath through your nose.. making sure only the hand on your abdomen moves, slowly.. and exhale slowly through the mouth.. your abdomen should flatten with exhalation. Do this three breaths at a time. Breathing correctly will immediately eliminate anxiety...., every time. If it comes back do it again. Here is an excellent link to read more about anxiety:


Consider taking extra hydration ( at least 8 glasses of water per day), this will help as well as de-stressing through the use of biofeedback and relaxation techniques ,

definitely plan to get adequate sleep. Sleeping is so important for over all well being.

Here is an interesting article and video:

This article explains why incorrect breathing causes anxiety symptoms:

Also look for EASY CALM by John Mercer video series on youtube.. John Mercer has some excellent techniques.

I hope this information helps you. If I can help further, please let me know.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok so your saying it's basically obsessions and anxiety. I have another question also do you think the belief that i have had cocaine in my system has made my paranoia symptoms worse like a placebo effect?
absolutely YES
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok... i had a thought of getting rid of the bag so i don't have these obsessions about the cocaine anymore and buying a new one do you recommend i do this considering this would be a compulsion.
It would not hurt at all to do this... yes, get rid of the bag. When you throw it away...tell yourself this is the last time you will permit any such obsession. Watch the videos.... if you can get t he whole set of the John Mercer videos.. do it.....and KNOW that you can learn to control anxiety and live a normal life.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok i hope it will all go away cause now i have to clean my car out and this will probably not be good enough cause ill believe that it is somewhere in the air still. I would also like to clarify that i have been having other fear of contamination from drug episodes. For example at the gym i will avoid certain people for fear that they have smoked weed or did some kind of drug and i will somehow breathe it in. At work i also wash my hands after touching things that my coworker who i know smokes marijuana has touched. I also hate being around coffeeso will go at great lengths to try to avoid rooms where coffee is being made. I also have a fear that my food will be inserted by drugs when there is food at work from my coworkers who use. My psychiatrist suggests i increase my seroquel from 100 mg to 200mg do you think i should follow
The good thing is that you KNOW on a rational level that what you are fearing is not possible... these is obsessive compulsions that can be treated with medications and Cognitive behavioral therapy. Yes, I do think an increase in seroquel is in order. Just so you know and be hopeful about the future, I have seen many many many people gain control over such obsessive thoughts and live normal lives... you can too.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok i have one more question, do you think the shorter daylight periods has something to do with this because my symptoms with this really started to increase in october and november and this month they have been the worst
Depression is known to be more prevalent in the winter months due to lack of sunshine... so it is possible, that this can affect over all mental health in some people. But do not allow yourself to fixate on that. Keep me posted on how you do, ok?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok no problem i will thanks
you are very welcome. Happy Holidays:-)
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Happy holiday's!!
Thank you:-))