Choosing Rehab For A Loved One

Rehab for a Loved One
Getting a Loved One into rehab is not an easy task. However, there are circumstances that the hard journey of intervention and admission should be travelled regardless of all the hardships.

It is not uncommon that your loved one does not see any need to reach out for help. In this case the family bears the obligation to step in and help the struggling addict get the life-saving treatment that is desperately needed.
By realizing their responsibility and addressing the situation earlier rather than later, the family can prevent life changing adverse events such as legal and physical incidents that can easily get out of control with irreversible consequences for the person abusing drugs or alcohol.

To start the journey to recovery for the addicted person, the most important thing to remember is that addiction is a disease and just like other diseases it can be treated. Note the word treated and not cured. We all have seen or heard of people who have successfully conquered their addiction and have remained cleaned. They all testify to the fact that there are days that staying clean is more difficult than others. Therefore it should be fully understood that by going into recovery a new chapter is being opened in the life of the addict and his or her family.
There starts a new normal in the life of the addicted person that includes staying away from situations that might trigger a relapse and away from friends who do not understand the struggles of the recovery.

Knowing facts of recovery allows the struggling person and his or her family to be prepared.
Armed with the knowledge of what to expect, the search for an inpatient rehab program starts. The ideal rehab facility is an inpatient or residential rehab center that allows the person in recovery to reside at the treatment facility for the duration of the treatment, which could last for any length of time from 30 to 90 days. A treatment addiction facility that is licensed, offers medical supervision and access to medical care and just as importantly, an environment in which people in similar struggle become source of support, share experience, and offer hope to each other.

It is worth mentioning that most arrange for the treatment in a facility away from the familiar people and places contributing to the continuation of addiction. This will remove the current temptations and allow for focusing on getting sober with as little distractions as possible.

Residential programs vary by rehab centers and may include a number of features ranging from specialized trauma therapy, nutritional counseling, recovery educational workshops, etc. The chosen licensed facility should offer medical detox on premises for those whose addiction requires detoxification before the start of the therapy. In this facility the following is expected:
• A safe recovery environment
• Supervised detox for clients who require detox
• Comprehensive program to treat the addiction and related co-occurring mental health issues, such as trauma, anxiety, depression and PTSD
• Support for clients at varying stages of recovery
• Supervised medical treatment on a case by case when needed
• Individual and group therapies
• Relapse Prevention
• Life skills Training
• Therapeutic activities, such as yoga, meditation, and exercise classes.
• Family Therapy
• Aftercare Programming and Discharge Planning

Once the therapy starts, the family can get periodic updates on the treatment progress of the loved one and they should make the proposed visitation sessions on the scheduled family days. These visitations are important in the progress and the psychological state of the person in recovery. Family therapy which consists of open conversation between the person in recovery and his or her family, allows for the healing to start, which is required to re-build the missing trust between the addict and the family. These family therapy sessions provide the information for a support system that makes the foundation of the recovery process for the struggling addict.

Our facility, Center for Addiction Recovery is a licensed Detox and Rehab Center providing residential rehab programs since 2002 for adults age 18 and over. Our drug and alcohol rehab center offers residential short-term rehab as well as long term rehab.
We hope to be one of the facilities that you trust with the treatment for your struggling loved one. For a confidential conversation about your options for addiction treatment and how we can help your loved one return to a healthy and happy life, please call 800-570-4562.

Is There Any Benefit In Addiction Counseling?

Counseling is more than just a way to spend an afternoon making friends. It’s an important part of addiction treatment.

drug-rehab-counseling

The most frequently-used form of counseling is called cognitive therapy. This means that you speak to a counselor about your life experiences, your problems, your challenges, and how all these things affect you as a person.

Counseling in addiction treatment is essential to a proper and complete assessment of an addiction-based illness, as well as gaining the tools that will help the addict redefine their behaviors from their very own understanding of it.

Counseling in addiction treatment helps people learn how to react to and control their cravings for drugs and alcohol. The cravings won’t stop just because you want them to; you have to learn how to manage them so they don’t consume your life and drive you crazy.

Counseling in addiction treatment gives people the opportunity to uncover the pains that may have brought them to a life of substance abuse. Often times, the events of one’s childhood are so painful, that the only means of relief or escape is through drugs or alcohol. Counseling will help you to learn how to process the pain and redirect the anger so you can stop being victimized over and over.

Learn More About Drug Addiction and Counseling

Does Drug And Alcohol Use Increase HIV Risk

hiv-and-drug-addictionThe Relationship between Drug and alcohol use and HIV

In our last blog we talked about hepatitis C and how drug use plays a role in the spread of Hep c.

Another viral infection that has a higher chance of being passed on with drug use is HIV or the AIDS virus. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV virus infects the body’s immune cells which are called CD4 cells or T cells. T cells fight infections in the body and are directly attacked by HIV virus in the immune system of an infected person. As T cells are destroyed and their numbers get lower, the body’s ability to fight off infections and disease decreases to the point that finally the affected person dies from a multitude of diseases.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of an HIV infection. When the body is unable to fend off disease and is suffering from one or more infections with a T cell count of less than 200, the patient is diagnosed with AIDS.

Therefore being infected with HIV doesn’t automatically mean that it will progress to AIDS.

Since HIV spreads through blood or body fluids, drug use and alcohol abuse increase the risk of getting AIDS. This happens in three ways. One way is through sharing needles or other drug equipment by drug users and the other way is through unprotected intimate contacts due to impaired judgement resulting from the drug or alcohol use.  It is proven that being drunk or high affects your ability to make safe choices and lowers your inhibitions, leading you to take risks that normally you are less likely to take when sober, such as having sex without a condom or sex with multiple partners.

Transactional sex (trading sex for drugs or money) is another reason for increased risk of getting HIV among drug users.

The third way that HIV virus spreads is through infected pregnant women who pass the virus to their child during pregnancy, or infected mothers who infect their infant through the breast milk.

However, injection drug use is the one of the primary causes of HIV spread in the United States, and it is responsible for approximately 10% of HIV cases annually.

The fact is that anyone who uses drugs is at a higher risk for HIV infection and that makes it imperative for that group to seek HIV testing. There are many resources that are offer help and resources to those concern with this virus and the disease of AIDS. The government site https://www.hiv.gov offers addresses of the nearest HIV testing centers to those interested in taking the HIV test, in addition to support and prevention tips to people who have HIV or are at a higher risk of getting the virus.

If you already have HIV, drinking alcohol or taking other drugs can affect your immune system and may speed up the progression of the disease. Drinking or taking drugs also can affect your HIV treatment adherence. Getting treatment can save your life as well as many other lives that come in contact with you. Please do the responsible thing and seek help for treatment.

Learn More About Drug Addiction and Increased Risks of Hep C and HIV

Source: www.drugabuse.gov

 

 

Hepatitis C and drug abuse

Hepatitis-C-and-Drug-AbuseHepatitis C is a blood borne disease that can spread from blood to blood contact, sexual intercourse, or from a mother to a child. Over time, Hepatitis C can cause scarring of the liver, liver cancer and can necessitate a liver transplant.

The connection between Hepatitis C and drugs users is the same that AIDS and other blood diseases have in the community. There are certain drugs which can be abused intravenously. This means that drug users use the drug by injecting it into a vein or an artery with a syringe. A couple of drugs that can be abused intravenously include crack, heroin and methamphetamine. With all hard drugs, the method of shooting the substance into the vein does produce the fastest and most intense high possible out of the several methods (snoring, eating, inhaling). This of course also leads to the drugs wearing off the fastest and also holding the most negative or harsh decline in mood.

All users who abuse drugs intravenously are at a high risk for catching and passing on hepatitis C among other terrible diseases such as HIV/AIDS. The risk becomes substantially higher once addiction is full blown and out of control. The more desperate an addict is to get the next quick fix, the more likely they are to share a dirty needle or make other poor decisions. As long as they get the drug they need into their system, often times, not much thought goes into safety measures.

It is projected that one drug addict who has hepatitis C will pass it on to at least 20 other people, and half of these will occur within the first two years of abuse. What’s worse is that many people generally do not regularly have blood work done; the rarities of regularly maintained doctor visits are incredibly common among drug users. It is very common however, for a drug user who opts for needles to start without any diseases and continues to deny the possibility that they may have caught something over the years. It is the same denial that convinces them that they do not have a drug abuse problem. This denial is often what spreads Hepatitis C the fastest. As people prefer to believe that they are doing nothing wrong, and are not suffering any negative health consequences, the chances of sharing needles with another person and transferring a blood disease becomes higher.

Hepatitis C is a dangerous and painful disease. Along with the many other blood related diseases that can be spread and potentially end a life, it is important to be wary of used needles. Many are of the belief that if a drug addict refuses to quit using drugs, it is of the utmost importance that he or she is provided access to clean, sterilized needles, or turn to another method of taking the drug. There is no question that the best approach is to seek professional help for treatment by entering drug rehab.

Learn More About Addiction and Treatment

Is Alcohol Addiction Treatable?

alcoholinfographic

Alcohol addiction is a chronic but treatable disease. This is why you see thousands of people who correctly say they are a recovering alcoholic and have been sober for x amount of time. Alcohol dependency does not mean dependent for life, it simply means dependent today and as long as not treated.

Alcohol abuse treatment is designed to help people stop alcohol use and remain sober. However once out of treatment it doesn’t mean cured, it means clean and ready for a lifelong process of being aware of the triggers which may bring back the drinking. It is more like a new way to manage one’s life and implementing a way of life that precludes drinking alcohol and avoiding situations that leads to drinking alcohol. This is why it is called a chronic disease.

The treatment for alcohol addiction or alcohol abuse is provided by team of professionals who are specially trained, certified or licensed in substance abuse treatment. Among this group are counselors, social workers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists. A great number of counselors are people who are in recovery themselves and are deeply knowledgeable about the challenges of addiction recovery. The very first step in seeking treatment is going through the initial clinical assessment provided by the treatment facility.

The complete assessment of an individual is the key to offering the type of treatment that best suits him or her. The assessment starts with the question about the type, amount and length of time of substance or alcohol abuse. A family member may even be invited to provide crucial information that will help in the treatment of addicted individual, such as background information on the progress of the problem, existing medical conditions or any emotional problem that has been observed throughout the years.

It is important that there be a full trust between the counselor and the person seeking treatment. This is the time to open up and fully disclose the issues that have perpetuated the alcohol abuse. Once the assessment is done, a treatment that best meets the individual’s need will be recommended.

Learn More About Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

Potential side effect of Buprenorphine, the drug used in the treatment of opioids addiction

With the opioids addiction and death from opioids abuse on the rise, the federal authorities have been focusing on various ways of containing the problem, hoping they can turn the tide and get a handle on the national addiction problem.

One of the tools used to combat the problem has been administration of methadone, the drug that curbs the craving for opioids in addicted individual. However, there is still the abuse problem with Methadone. As recent as 2002, Buprenorphine, a Schedulle III drug was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, that has lower abuse potential than methadone has  been used as an effective replacement for methadone in helping patients undergoing treatment for opioids abuse. This drug has been in use since 2002 to combat the ever increasing instances of opioids overdose and death in the most affected part of the country.

Places such as Appalachian region which according to Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal economic development agency, has more instances of opioids abuse and a higher rate of abuse problem than any part of the country, has been beneficiary of this drug.

For the first time since 2002, according to a study lead by, Ralph Lydic, Robert H. Cole Endowed Professor of Neuroscience in the UT Department of Psychology and the Department of Anesthesiology at UT Medical Center, Buprenorphine has shown potential negative side effect on normal breathing process in laboratory mice.

It has been well-known that the use of opioids created a greater risk for respiratory failure among obese female patients. This study shows that in both male and female mice,  Buprenorphine affects breathing variability which is a crucial factor in regulating oxygen flow to vital body organs when the level of activities vary, such as climbing or running.

Given the similarity between mice and human, this is a significant find that can provide clues to the negative effects of the drug that is in active use.

The research is continuing with the author of the experiment, Lydic and the team of scientist focusing next on the part of the brain and the neurotransmitters involved in creating the breathing impairment. They hope to be able to address the question of if and how much this problem affects male and female of human species.

Source: University of Tennessee at Knoxvillepainkiller-addiction-treatment

Indications that Are Clue to Opioid Abuse in Patients

Opioid Abuse and TreatmentAs the concerns are mounting in the society as well as the medical community as what to do about the alarming rate of opioid abuse, there are various studies and researches conducted to address the question of how to identify the beginning of abuse in patients that legitimately need to use them.
In one such study at University of Pittsburgh School of the Health Sciences, conducted by Jessica S. Merlin, M.D., the top behaviors commonly shown in those with possible abuse characteristics were pin pointed. These behaviors are the ones that warrant a closer look at and perhaps additional one on one conversation with patients displaying them.
Here are six common behaviors that may indicate opioid abuse
• Missing appointments
• Taking opioids for symptoms other than pain
• Using more opioid medication than prescribed
• Demanding or repeatedly asking for an increase in opioid dose
• Behaving aggressively toward provider or staff
• Using alcohol and other substances, including cocaine, methamphetamine, benzodiazepines and heroin

As previously mentioned, opioid abuse has become a national epidemic that is killing thousands of people from various ethnic, socio-economic and financial backgrounds. Every single day that passes without a meaningful solution to this problem is another day with lost dreams, families and lives.

Source: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Self-awareness and Addiction Recovery

alcohol-detox
I was reading an article from Tasha Eurich, PhD in psychology and a researcher about self-awareness and I thought this concept of self-awareness maybe one that is lost in many addicts or those who are somehow involved in self-destructive behaviors.

Let me explain. Addicts are in a circular destructive behavior of instant gratification and regret. They feel bad about what they did, many desire not repeating the drug use and later find themselves sorry and guilty for having done it again. This is today, and it happens again tomorrow, the day after tomorrow and the day after that and …….. you get the idea.
One can argue that the fact that they feel sorry means that they are aware of their behavior. My answer is that yes addicts are aware of the consequence of their behavior because of the hurt they are going through but that awareness is far from self-awareness.

As Dr. Eurich explained in the article there are two methods of self-awareness. One is the internal self-awareness which allows us to see our own values, passions, aspirations and reactions to others. The other is the external self-awareness which is the knowledge of how other people see our values, passions, aspirations and reactions to them. It is a general belief that we all want to be and to be seen as having values, being passionate, having aspirations in life and being trust worthy, which is one of the signs of being capable of having good interactions with others. This is true about anyone, including those addicted who feel slaved to a seemingly uncontrollable behavior and those who believe are in total control of their daily life.
So the question I like to put forward is whether the addiction will continue if a person becomes self-aware. Would he or she not work towards recovery, no matter how hard it would be. Would anyone argue with the fact that the very first step toward recovery from addiction is self-awareness?

The next point of discussion would be where you start on the journey of self-awareness. I would like to suggest start by being honest with oneself is a very good start for this journey. First examine your present life and boldly note every positive and negative in it. I know many agree that the negatives will overwhelmingly overshadow any positive you manage to find. Then ask yourself what is the price of continuing the present situation and on the other hand what is the price of change. This is the moment that will clearly light up your brain that there is no price too high to make the change. In fact any price, emotional, physical, psychological or financial will be by far less than what you will pay by continuing the statuesque and the present behavior.

In closing, a new year is upon us, so let us make the first step to recovery by examining our lives and start on the process of self-awareness. Then continue that process by starting on another journey on the road to sobriety.

Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy and successful year ahead.

Center for Addiction Recovery (CAR), a leading addiction treatment center in the US, provides supervised medical detox and rehab programs to treat alcoholism, drug addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders such as PTSD, depression and anxiety. Please make a call and take the first step to change your life. The phone call is free, consultation is free and confidential, and there is no obligation.

Call to talk to a Counselor Now at (800) 570-4562.

Is Smoking Marijuana Dangerous To Health

Marijuana AddictionWe always hear that Marijuana is not as dangerous as other drugs and do not cause addiction. There are people who would quit smoking weed if they were convinced about the serious side effects associated with Marijuana use. According to Dr Sharon Levy, the director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital, the belief that Marijuana is not an addictive drug is absolutely false. Additionally there are other potentially serious side effects that Marijuana users should know about that may change their mind about continuing to smoke or use Marijuana.

Addiction:
As mentioned above, Dr. Sharon Levy, the director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children’s Hospital told Boston Globe that even though the rate of addiction in young adults smoking weed is low, about 1 in 11 currently, this will certainly change in the coming years as the quality of the products improves and with it the potency of them.

Memory Loss:
Among those who used marijuana on a daily basis for 5 years or more the verbal memory deterioration in their middle age is more pronounced than those who didn’t smoke. A 2016 study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, examined 3,400 people’s habits over a 25-year period, with everyone taking a cognitive skills test at the end of the study period.

Slowed Reaction Time:
It is a fact that Marijuana will decrease response and reaction time in the users. This in fact has been the subject of many scenes in various movies. But it is interesting to know that the impaired reaction will last well beyond the time of the use.
In an interview with Philadelphia Magazine, Marina Goldman, an addiction expert from University of Pennsylvania’s Addiction Treatment Center, indicated that for up to 28 days after smoking Marijuana the impaired visual perception and reaction speed could potentially be a risk factor.
It is rather scary to know that for 28 days after smoking weed you could be driving under the influence.

Exposure to dangerous potencies:
Research and technology has made marijuana products much stronger these days.
In the case of edible Marijuana, you can expect a potency that is up to 10 times higher than that of a traditional joint, according to Steven Wright, a pain and addiction medicine specialist in Denver, in an interview with USA Today (4). Smoking a joint can produce the desired effect in just seconds, when the edible Marijuana is takes up to an hour to set in. This delay in gratification causes many to consume far more than they intended which in turn will amplify the harm.

Lung Irritation:
Marijuana use has been reported to create respiratory problems such as a prolonged cough and airway inflammation in those who are long time users. Smoking Marijuana results in 5 times more carbon monoxides and three times more tar in the respiratory track, than what cigarette smoking leaves. According to the University of Washington’s Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (1), the high concentration of the carbon monoxide and tar is due to the existence of the harmful chemicals in Marijuana smoke, which generally is deeply inhaled. It is important to mention that there has never been any instance of lung cancer associated with smoking Marijuana.

Schizophrenia
NBC (2) News recently reported on one serious side effect of Marijuana use, the mental illness. In that report the association of Marijuana use and increase in risk of developing schizophrenia was specifically highlighted. Delusions, hallucinations, and unclear thinking have been reported to be increased in Marijuana users as the length of use is increased. Increase in instances of depression and social anxiety, and in most serious cases the suicidal tendencies in long term users has also been reported.

Low Testosterone Levels:
It has been widely known in medical community that chronic marijuana use can lower testosterone. However, since Low levels of testosterone can also be the result of gynecomastia (3), which is a hormone imbalance between testosterone and estrogen levels in men, a complete conclusion has not been drawn.

Paranoia:

Paranoia is not what comes to mind about smoking a joint. However a study of 121-persons at the University of Oxford, showed a remarkable increase in episodes of paranoia in those ingesting THC, the active ingredient in cannabis than those who took a placebo.
According WebMD, professor Daniel Freeman the author of the study believes that the use of cannabis, specially by young adults, will put them at risk for later problems.
The risk of paranoia is drastically reduced in those with greater confidence

Bad Decision making:
Marijuana, similar to other substances that create temporary euphoria and good feelings by manipulating the reward system of the brain have a tendency to cause bad decision making in those who use them. It seems the common elements in substance abuse that causes the bad life decisions are the change in self-control and practice of self-responsibility.

1- http://adai.uw.edu/marijuana/factsheets/respiratoryeffects.htm
2- https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/report-marijuana-users-risk-schizophrenia-drug-helps-pain-n706196
3- http://www.cnn.com/2013/12/05/health/youn-pot-moobs/
4- https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/07/27/risks-of-marijuana/10386699/

Based on the article in CheatSheet.com – Dec. 19, 2017