How to Quit Heroin: Should You Go It Alone, or Seek Addiction Treatment?

how to quit heroin

If you have developed a heroin problem and are considering quitting, you deserve credit. Reaching this point means you have the wisdom to know that you have a problem- and that’s no small task. Maybe you have learned from the mistakes of others. Maybe you have hit rock bottom, or maybe someone in your life loves you enough to step in and say something. Whatever it is that’s brought you here, looking for answers- may this be the beginning of your journey to recovery.

How to Quit Heroin

To begin, it should be said that quitting heroin is never something that should be done alone. For those who have become physically dependent on the drug, quitting without help can be dangerous. If you are physically dependent on heroin, alcohol, or any opioid drug- professional medical detox services are often necessary to achieve a safe and effective recovery. That being said, there are ways to quit heroin- and you are not alone. Many people have faced the challenge of heroin addiction, and help is out there.

1. Quitting Cold Turkey

The importance of seeking professional detox services for those who are dependent on opiates cannot be overstated. However, if you are confident that you are healthy enough, and that your level of physical dependence is low enough- it is possible to go cold turkey– endure the withdrawals and successfully come off of the drug.

For some people, the challenge of overcoming withdrawals is appealing. For others, the pain barrier will simply be too much. Some degree of self-knowledge would be a great help here- otherwise, you risk enduring a day or two of painful withdrawals only to fail. This can lead to a sense of shame, which can deepen any addiction. In short- going cold turkey is not for everyone and there are significant risks.

2. Weaning off Slowly

Once again, we are talking about a method of quitting that is best suited to a certain personality type. Coming off slowly may be less painful, but the period of relapse risk is longer. With this method, it will be critical to obtain support and cut one’s self off from any use of triggers and drug connections.

During the weaning off period, you might consider going on vacation, staying away from social events- and binging on movies, television, video games, indulgent food, and so on. Research has shown that our capacity for resisting temptation is like a muscle. It can only perform so much work before it fails. So during a weaning off period, making heroin (and all harmful drugs) the only temptation you will avoid may be wise.

It will be important to set up rules for yourself that you intend to follow. Get others involved. Tell people you trust what you intend to do and ask them to check in on you periodically. Set a definite start date for yourself- after which you will begin using less.

Weaning one’s self off heroine comes with one major roadblock- if you do not have the supply you need at the start- you will have to obtain more during the weaning period which means not only breaking the law but also coming into contact with trigger people and scenarios. For these reasons, we cannot recommend weaning off of heroin outside of a professional replacement therapy regimen.

3. Abandon all Bridges to Drug Use

Regardless of the method, you use to quit, cutting all ties to use, both emotional and interpersonal, is critical. Much of the addiction process is psychological. That is not to say that there is not a physical reality to addiction- there is. But much of it has to do with emotional factors, perceptions, and habits. Bridges to use are not just drug connections- but people, events, places, music, or anything that triggers positive thoughts about using heroin.

Eliminating and avoiding any and all triggers must become a major part of any recovering addicts’ daily life.

4. Find a Safe and Secluded Place to Stay

Unless you intend to complete your recovery in a rehabilitation center, you will need a place to stay where former drug connections, friends-in-use, and other triggers are not a factor.

Your recovery location should have everything you need during your initial recovery. This includes food, entertainment, and ideally- the loving support of family or loved ones not connected to your addiction.

Seek Support & Professional Help

At the end of the day, beating a heroin addiction is not something anyone should try to do alone. Heroin is infamously addictive and dangerous.

If you or someone you love has developed an addiction to heroin, professional recovery services are the best prescription. At a detox and recovery center, recovering addicts can obtain distance from the people and locations that trigger use, access sympathetic support, and avail themselves of any necessary medical help.

 

How To Talk To Your Family About Your Addiction Problem

It is never easy to have a conversation where you are left feeling vulnerable, and few conversations are more difficult than discussing a personal drug or alcohol addiction with friends and family. For a variety of reasons, you may be afraid. You need to look past the fear if you want to maintain or rebuild an honest relationship with the people you love most.

To help combat your nerves before getting started, ask yourself a few basic questions and honestly assess your answers. These will help you determine if now is the right time to have a conversation or pursue addiction treatment.

Do I party or have an addiction?

Sometimes it is hard to admit you have an addiction, particularly when you associate your behaviors with a party or social lifestyle. If you are still trying to determine if your regular drinks after work are a problem, you may want to discuss addiction recovery with a third-party before talking to your family. Someone else who has battled their way forward from a drug or alcohol dependency or who is skilled in treatment can help you see how your drinking or use is impacting your life. This can help you develop the confidence needed to describe your battle to others.

Am I ready to get help?

After you have talked to someone about the possibility of treatment and recovery, you need to assess if you are ready to move forward with finding a treatment program. Your family can be of tremendous help here, but only when you can commit to a journey toward sobriety.

Can I take responsibility for my actions?

As you started drinking or using drugs, it is possible your habit started to impact your relationships with friends and family. If that is the case, you need to be prepared to admit this. Part of a long-term program will include working to repair fractured relationships you want to maintain. Discussing and acknowledging your behavior at the beginning is a big step forward.

And it is important to realize “damage” to a relationship does not have to be a dramatic fight or a full breakdown while high or drunk. It can be an extended period of not returning phone calls, failing to be there when you had a friend in need or skipping out on basic obligations.

There may also be hurt feelings you have caused or pain left in your wake you never noticed. Part of speaking to your family could include hearing about things you did you never knew would hurt those you loved. You need to be prepared to have these difficult conversations if your family starts a larger discussion. Sometimes, they may not share until your recovery journey unfolds further or not at all.

Will my family support me?

It is important to acknowledge you are responsible for your addiction recovery. This means not blaming others for your behavior. However, it is also important to recognize some family members or friends can act as triggers for you. Whether they goad you emotionally or tempt you with their own drinking or drug use, they are a toxic presence in your life.

When you feel your family is unlikely to support you on your treatment path or may even sabotage you, you should not feel compelled to involve them in the process. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell them in most circumstances. It does mean a phone call relaying you are entering a treatment program for XX amount of days is sufficient. As you become more confident in your sobriety, you may feel better about talking to a wider range of people, but there is no need to potentially sabotage your progress as you are getting started.

How can I start the conversation?

The best way to start a hard conversation is to lay the biggest truth on the table immediately. State that you are addicted and are starting a treatment program. If you are comfortable speaking more about the ins and outs of your addiction, your behavior and how you decided to seek treatment, do so. When your emotions are too raw, let your family ask you questions and answer them truthfully.

What are my next steps?

Before or after talking to your family, it is up to you to sign up for a drug or alcohol addiction treatment and recovery program like Newport Beach Recovery in Costa Mesa, CA. Discuss your treatment program with your family members and advise them on how they can help you with the recovery process. You are likely to find a much larger source of support than you realized, and this will be key for your long-term success in a program.

How To Quit Using Cocaine

If you’re looking for how to quit using cocaine, you’re in the right place. And, you’re not alone.

A 2014 study showed that over one and a half million people misused crack cocaine in the United States alone. Today, this epidemic affects teens, young adults, middle-aged and elderly people alike.

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to quitting this (and other) addictive drugs. The high from cocaine, in particular, is very strong and fast — dopamine rises, euphoria ensues, and afterward, the user craves that feeling even more.

Cocaine addiction can greatly harm a person over time; it’s very difficult to quit without the proper support system and guidelines in place since the drive to get high is often very strong. The first thing you should do when attempting to quit injecting, smoking, or snorting cocaine is to seek addiction treatment from trained professionals.

Here are several things you should know about quitting cocaine use.

How To Quit

As stated, the only way to quit cocaine is to quit. Everything that comes along with that — detox, withdrawal, rehab — makes this trying. Here is a quick guide on things that can help manage:

-Find a constructive hobby

Fill your time with other things. Revisit an old passion. Discover a new one. Go to the gym; take a painting class; volunteer; join a flag football league. If you find something else to invest in and hold you accountable, it can make recovery easier. Also, cravings can revolve around timing. If you fill your time, the craving will subside.

-Find a Group

It helps to find a strong, reliable group of people who can help you stay out of cocaine usage. This could be friends, family members, support groups, a counselor, or anyone who helps you stay on the right path.

-Find Motivation

Quitting cocaine is no easy task. Remind yourself why you’re getting clean: a parent, a child, your own health. Create a reward system for yourself when you don’t use — treat yourself to your favorite meal or something to keep you moving forward.

Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions surrounding addiction treatment. People may think they are too hooked, too poor, or too weak to quit drugs.

The reality is, with the right system in place and a dedicated team of professionals helping you, you can quit using cocaine. Getting clean ultimately requires a system and structure. There are options in place for people attempting to stop using and avoid falling victim to the harsh withdrawal effects.

Withdrawl

Withdrawal from cocaine is difficult, and often insights relapse. People experience mood swings, anger, depression, insomnia, anxiety, exhaustion and a host of other symptoms. The good news is that these are temporary. The bad news is these symptoms can feel unbearable. Additionally, avoiding any type of addictive substances is important to recovery.

Treatment

Addiction treatment can vary. Here are some options for treatment:

-A detox center can help monitor your withdrawal symptoms. Cocaine withdrawal is intense and often causes a relapse. This can be managed with something like a detox center, in which a medical team can help monitor your vitals and keep you on track when quitting.

-Sober Living Communities may be an option. These are places dedicated to helping people get clean. Addicts find these support communities therapeutic and helpful in the treatment process. They can be used at any stage.

-A one-on-one counselor can help you manage cocaine addiction, as well as other factors that may contribute to your addiction. There are many psychological and emotional stressors involved in cocaine withdrawal and usage in some cases. A counselor specialized in drug abuse can help you quit and stay sober.

-A rehab facility is the best way to stay clean after detox. Some people use rehab facilities for several months to encourage positive and sober behavior. Rehab facilities like Newport Beach Recovery can help build a support system and strong foundation for a post-cocaine life.

Summary

No matter your situation, quitting drugs is difficult to do alone. It’s important you have a dedicated and strong team by your side in this process.

If you or someone you love is attempting to quit cocaine, we can help. Newport Beach Recovery is a drug and alcohol rehab in Costa Mesa, CA. Learn more about us at newportbeachrecoverycenter.com

How Stress Impacts Addiction and What You Can Do about That Relationship

People can grow addicted to harmful substances for a variety of reasons.

According to the Mayo Clinic, factors that can significantly raise the likelihood of you developing some form of substance addiction include mental health disorders, your family history, and the current situations involving your friends and family.

The reality is that if you aren’t careful, it can become very easy to fall prey to the perceived allure of addictive substances.

Those are not the only factors that can place you at greater risk for developing an addiction, however. Stress can also play a large role in how willing you are to use addictive substances.

Stress Hormones May Be Causing People to Crave Addictive Substances

An article published earlier this year by Tufts Now shines a spotlight on experiments being conducted by neuroscientist Klaus Miczek and his colleague, research assistant professor Herb Covington. Thanks to the experiments they have performed, a clearer picture of how stress can lead people to become addicted is starting to develop.

Experiments conducted on various animals have revealed that exposure to social stress can cause behavioral changes that sustain for extended periods of time. The exposure doesn’t even have to last that long for the changes to take hold.

There’s an interesting chain of progression that goes from when stress is first experienced leading up to when an addictive substance is sought after.

It starts with exposure to the stressful situation as that will subsequently lead to stress hormones being released by the brain. Those hormones then trigger specific dopamine neurons. After those dopamine neurons have been triggered, the increased craving for addictive substances is increased.

Why We Turn to Addictive Substances to Deal with Stress

If stress hormones do cause certain changes in the brain that eventually result in us wanting to consume an addictive substance of some kind, there is another important question that emerges. That question: Why do we have a tendency to look for addictive substances when we are dealing with a stressful situation?

This is not some kind of new phenomenon after all. Drinking after work is a habit for many and from there, it can develop into something more harmful.

Part of the reason why many people lean on alcohol and other addictive substances when they are feeling stressed out could be because of how those items can affect the brain.

As noted by Healthline, alcohol in particular is a sedative. In that capacity, alcohol can work as a kind of stress reliever. You can feel better and become more relaxed as a result of you having a drink.

Going back to the risk factors mentioned earlier, it’s also possible that we lean on addictive substances while in the throes of a stressful situation because we’ve observed others in our lives doing so in the past and have adopted that habit as our own.

Combine the immediate effects that a substance can have on us with the at-times difficult to struggle against inertia of a way of life we’ve grown accustomed to and it becomes easier to understand why people become addicted.

The Different Sources of Stress

For the average person, stress is completely unavoidable. If you go to school or work, chances are you will feel pressure of some kind.

You can probably think back to some of your high school days and recall just how stressful it was getting prepared for big exams and presentations. For those who are now members of the workforce, deadlines for projects are frequent sources of stress.

Traumatic events that took place earlier in your life can also make you more prone to feeling stressed out later on. That early event may also serve as a constant source of stress that becomes very difficult to get away from.

Per Psychology Today, chronic stress can increase our motivation to use and abuse addictive substances. Unless you can find some way to reduce the amount of stress you experience on a regular basis, you may find it harder and harder to fight against addiction. That is why it is essential for people to seek out a form of addiction treatment that works for them and significantly lowers the number of stressful situations they have to be in.

 How to Cope with Stress and Addiction

One of the best ways for you to get rid of your tendency to use addictive substances is to remove yourself from overly stressful situations. Quitting your job or your studies may not be options, but you can at least address the other sources of chronic stress that may be plaguing you at the moment.

Another option is to check in to a rehab or addiction treatment facility. While at a rehab facility, you can focus more on yourself and leave behind the stressful situations that have grown to characterize your everyday life. Even a temporary stay may be able to work wonders and ease you off of your addiction.

Stress may be inescapable and addictive substances enticing, but you don’t have to give in to either of them.

Addiction Treatment and Recovery Options – When Do I Need Help?

According to a 2012 survey on addiction and health in the United States, conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as little as 10 percent of individuals who admit that they are struggling with substance dependence or abuse of some kind have actually received any kind of treatment. This is a terrifying and saddening statistic and is made all the more worrisome when one stops and thinks about the various types of substances people are addicted to.

Lack of Treatment Sought for Addictions

Many people choose to forego any kind of treatment for their addiction disorder because they believe things are not really all that bad and they don’t need any help or treatment yet. They have yet to hit rock bottom or they do not believe that their problem is bad enough to warrant any sort of treatment or intervention. The truth of the matter is: if you’re questioning whether or not you need help getting sober, you likely do. Whether your addiction is related to drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine, prescription medications like Oxycontin or phenylalanines,  or other substances like caffeine or alcohol, it is important that you get treatment for your addiction sooner rather than later!

Understanding Your Addiction and Its Severity

If you are beginning to have problems with your personal life, social interactions, relationships, work or school life, and any other areas of your life because of your substance use, then you probably have an addiction. Addiction is diagnosed on a spectrum and there is a range of various criteria that will be used to determine how bad your addiction is- mild, moderate, or severe. Medical and mental health professionals use eleven criteria to determine if someone is addicted to or abusing a substance:

  • Lack of control over when and where and how much the substance is consumed or used
  • The individual has a desire to quit but has been unable to do so under their own power
  • The individual is spending a lot of time, effort, money, and energy to get the substance
  • Cravings for the substance that begin to interfere with normal activities when not satisfied
  • Lack of responsibility in terms of how much the substance is used or while it’s being used
  • Problems with relationships in personal, romantic, social, work, or school environment
  • No interest in doing things that the individual normally enjoyed for the sake of the substance
  • Dangerous use of the substance repeatedly occurring and concerns and warnings not heeded
  • Worsening situations and a visible decline in health, hygiene, mental sharpness, etc
  • Tolerance develops which requires more of the substance to be consumed for desired effects
  • Withdrawal symptoms and cravings get severe when the substance is withheld

Your Addiction Can Get Worse

Because addiction severity is measured on a spectrum, a diagnosis of a mild addiction may be better than a severe addiction, but it is not a reason to be flippant about getting addiction treatment and help. It’s easy to take an it-could-be-worse approach but it is important to remember that addiction is a progressive disease. If it is not taken seriously and if you not get help sooner rather than later, it will get worse and it will get worse quickly in almost all cases. If you’re only a mild case right now, this is the time to act and seek help before the addiction grows and takes an even stronger hold. Think of it like you would a problem with your car- it might be minor now and not be affecting how the car runs or operates; however if left un-fixed the problem could eventually lead to a serious breakdown of the key part of the car and cause a major accident or render the car useless. Addictions can do the same to your mind and body when left untreated!

Get The Help You Need For Recovery

Addiction is not simply a lifestyle choice or a mistake. While most addictions originate from a poor choice or a bad decision that was made at one point and time, the underlying addiction itself is a chronic disease, and truly is no different than other disease people have to deal with their entire lives like asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cancer and so forth. Someone diagnosed with Stage 1 or 2 cancer would seek help to treat and control their disease.  Someone with diabetes and a blood sugar of 200 would work to take steps to control their disease. Someone with asthma would use their inhaler at the signs of a mild asthma attack rather than waiting for it to get worse. You don’t have to hit rock bottom and be out of all other options before you get help for your addiction. Get help before things get worse and take back your life. Call Newport Beach Recovery of Costa Mesa, CA. Learn more about rehab and how treatments can help you beat your addiction once and for all with the finest recovery program in the area!

How to Deal with Trauma in Sobriety

There is a very strong connection between trauma and addiction. One often leads to the other. People struggling to numb the effects of traumatic experiences in their lives will often self-medicate on drugs and alcohol. While this works as a quick-fix, continued abuse of these substances quickly leads to addiction, exposing the addict to additional trauma. On the other hand, trauma may be the result of a lifestyle of abusing drugs and alcohol.

Trauma and Addiction Co-occurrence

 

Trauma occurs as a result of experiences that are too disturbing that they overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope. This varies from person to person, depending on their resilience. For example, adults are generally more resilient in the face of traumatic experiences than children. Examples of traumatic events include sexual assault, child abuse, military combat, domestic violence, natural disasters, car accidents, battling life-threatening ailments and any other events that elicit fear, intense pain, and dreadful memories.

Unresolved trauma may lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which presents symptoms such as nightmares, anxiety, depression, irrational fear, and a predisposition to addiction. Alcohol and drugs offer trauma survivors temporary reprieve and escape from painful feelings giving them an illusion of control over their lives and the world around them. Unfortunately, substance abuse does more harm than good in the long run. It soon becomes a problem and instead of helping ease the pain causes more harm to the already suffering trauma survivor.

Another possible explanation for the addiction and trauma connection begins with substance abuse. The lifestyle of an addict exposes him/her to dangerous neighborhoods, unsavory acquaintances, and dangerous behavior. It is no surprise that most addicts are victims of crime, abuse, violence, accidents, and other traumatic events.
Treating trauma and addiction

Drug and alcohol abuse is a valid coping mechanism since it effectively dulls the emotional pain and suppresses the memory of trauma. Evidence of past trauma can be so well hid in some addicts that many treatment centers end up not noticing it. Non-trauma-focused, addiction treatments set up alcohol and substance abusers for relapses or other addictive behaviors such as gambling, overeating, and sexual promiscuity, among others.

Regardless of which comes first, trauma or addiction, both have to be treated if the sufferer is to lead a healthy life. One cannot maintain sobriety while still harboring unresolved trauma. It is recommended that addicts first detox before working on recovery from addiction and trauma in an integrative and comprehensive manner with clear minds and stronger bodies.
Fortunately, there are a number of effective treatment plans that help addicts kick their addictions and conquer their trauma. These include medication and comprehensive therapies that teach coping skills, mindfulness, problem-solving, and relapse-prevention skills that lead to lifelong sobriety and improved quality of life.

 

Dealing with Trauma in Sobriety

Getting over a traumatic experience is easier said than done. Most recovering addicts prefer not to face the pain and fail to realize how it is intertwined with their addictions until it is too late. They choose to bury and ignore past trauma with the hope that it will go away and as a result, are unable to maintain their sobriety.
After a successful detox and a commitment to stay sober with the help of coping tools and skills, the next step is to heal from your trauma. Dealing with trauma in sobriety can be a difficult task which does not happen overnight. With the right attitude, however, you can deal with and overcome your trauma while maintaining your sobriety.
Healing from trauma is a process
When you’ve numbed yourself for so long with drugs and alcohol, the feelings may flood back and overwhelm you during recovery. You must recognize this as progress. The healing process may be tough, but as long as you are moving from one stage to another, you are making progress.

 

Drugs and Alcohol Abuse Will Not Help

It is important to realize that using drugs and alcohol may numb the pain, but once the euphoric state of mind has passed, the symptoms of unresolved trauma will still be there and are likely to be more disruptive than ever. While there is a temptation to take a break from the pain caused by the traumatic event, you must realize that escapism by way of substance abuse will not help.

 

You Are Stronger Than You Know

If you have survived a traumatic event and addiction, you are strong enough to survive the recovery. You must stop seeking temporary safety and face your trauma with the knowledge that you are worthy of love and redemption.

 

Your Habit Makes Perfect Sense

Trauma survivors have every right to chase after feelings of safety, worth, control, and to numb their painful feelings. Trauma changes you, and it is only rational to turn to substance abuse even if it is for the illusion of normalcy. You must, therefore, realize that even though your habits are bad, your intentions are pure. You only need a new coping mechanism that is healthy.  To make meaningful and lasting life changes while recovering from addiction, one has to change their thoughts, behavior, relationships, environment, and face the trauma that fueled their addictions in the first place.

 

Signs It’s Time To Stage An Intervention

Dealing with drug addiction can be the hardest thing to do. That is because most of these addicts don’t realize that they are suffering. For a drug addict, all they care about is getting their high, and this can be risky. Firstly, they will spend all their money on drugs without thinking about their basic needs. As we all know, drug addiction is a condition that gets worse with time. If you meet a drug addict miserable in the streets, know that they were once ordinary people with healthy lives until the drugs ruined them.

What does it mean to stage an intervention?

When someone is new to using drugs, they will look normal for a while, not knowing that they are a time bomb. When real symptoms start showing, however, even the people close to them will realize that something is wrong. This should be the right time to stage an intervention because the signs of addiction are now too apparent. For those who don’t know stage an intervention is, note that it is a way of helping a drug addict entirely. However, it requires the people close to the addict to come together and plot a solution.

What happens in a stage intervention group?

Usually, the people close to the addict decide to come together so that under the leadership of one of the members. The group first meet to discuss the condition of the patient then begin strategizing on what needs to be done. This is very important because the group needs to work in an organized manner. Drug addicts can be cunning, and without a proper plan, they can play games with you when you are thinking that they are recovering.

After the group is done and ready, the next move is usually to confront the addict. This also should be done with a lot of caution because you don’t want the addict feeling as everyone is fed up with them. The best time to confront the addict is when they are sober at least and can have a conversation. What follows should be according to the plane, and the group needs to stay intact and active until the mission is done.

The good thing with staging an intervention is that the addict gets to be helped by the people who care about them the most. Realizing this will drive them to stick to their addiction treatment because even an addict cannot stand breaking the hearts of everyone around them.

How to know when to stage an intervention

One of the main signs that it is time to stage an intervention is when you notice strange behavior with an addict. These can include a change in their schedule when they started coming home late and exhausted, avoiding everyone, including food. A change in behavior can be considered as an advanced level of addiction. That is because the body system is getting comfortable with the substance and taking control.

Increased tolerance to drugs is also not a good sign. This happens when the addict always wants a little bit more of the drug every time. They will want to have more bottles of beer whenever he or she is out for a drink with friends. This can get to a point where the addict wants to have more bottles of beer even if there is no occasion. That is how someone ends up drinking every day.

Short-term memory loss, is also known as mental fogging is another clear sign that it is time to stop the drugs. At this point, the addict will forget things so fast, and at times, cannot remember what has happened a few seconds ago. Among the worse addiction symptoms, mental fogging is the worst because the addict will no longer be useful to the community.

You can quickly point out a drug addict from the way he or she looks. They usually don’t care about their looks, and in most cases, they are untidy. No one wants to be around a smelly person, and for someone to allow themselves to smell, they must have a mental problem. Drug addicts don’t mind wearing the same clothes for even a week as long as at the end of it all; they have their drug.

Magnified emotions are also a sign of drug addiction. Note that addict is generally rebellious and will not want anyone to come between them with their drugs. They will get emotional when you attempt to stop them from doing what they want and will always be in a bad mood.

Conclusion

Staging an intervention does not entirely mean that the group is responsible for helping the addict out of the problem. Part of the solution can be convincing the addict to go for rehab. However, the group is a vital part of the recovery process because a recovering drug addict needs all the support they can get. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact us for help! Addiction is a serious disease and needs to be treated as such. At Newport Beach Recovery Center, we provide everything you need to start on the path to recovery.

Tips To Help You Recover Your Loved One From Addiction

Addiction is one of the traps that are almost impossible to come out from. That is because it can have a permanent effect on the brain. The first step of addiction treatment is acceptance. The victim needs to admit that they have a problem and need help.

Next, he or she is examined to determine the level of addiction so that a suitable treatment can be administered. It is although essential to know that an addict that has recovered from addiction can quickly backslide and get back into their habit against their will. Relapse is the worst thing that can happen after spending so much money on rehab services. However, there are ways of keeping a recovering addict from relapsing, and they include;

Ensuring that they complete the treatment program

Completion of an addiction treatment program means that the patient is loaded with the right information about how to fight their urge. Addicts that drop out of the program midway show clear signs that they are not ready to change their ways. One of the leading relapse causes is the inability to resist the temptation. Without any guard, you will have no choice but to give in.

Supporting their interests

One of the main signs of drug addiction is isolation. A drug addict will want to avoid people as much as they can because they are embarrassed. This leads most of them to lose interest in many things since the substance has clouded their judgment about everything. During addiction recovery, patients are encouraged and guided into finding their way back to what they used to be passionate about. These can be anything from sports, music and even fashion.

To help them stay distracted from thinking about relapsing, you need to draw them deeper into their interests. For example, if the patient is passionate about playing soccer, buying those boots or a ball is a great way to start. You can organize for them to join a local team.

Change the environment

Relapse recovery can be interrupted by simple triggers like seeing someone using the drug can quickly bring up the urge. That is why it is suitable for recovering patients from changing locations after completing their treatment. This should reduce any chances of the patient accessing the drugs. Note that one of the main reasons for addiction is having access to the substance.

The friends to the recovering addict who is in most chances abusers as well are also living in the same area. We all understand how it’s hard being the black sheep when taking the patient to a new location, ensure that they cannot get access to the drugs. Also, ensure that the people around them are kind and caring. You don’t want your recovering patient to go back to abusing drugs because they did not feel accepted and loved.

Encourage patient to stick to meditation

Meditation after addiction treatment is a way of calming down an addict and suppress the urge to use drugs. A recovering addict goes through so much trouble, and without following the prescribed medication, they become anxious and vulnerable to relapse. One of the common problems that have led recovering addicts back to addiction is lack of sleep. These medications, however, are meant to make the patient comfortable and in control.

Maintaining therapy should also be considered as part of the medication process. That is because it plays a significant role in helping a recovering patient re-connect with the world once more. A therapist helps these patients to make rational decisions and holds their hand through the post-treatment period until the patient has fully recovered.

Propose other ways of dealing with stressful situations

Stress and other human problems are known to be one of the leading causes of drug addiction. When this habit gets out of hand, things can get worse because addicts are not stable. During the treatment period, such addicts have been taught how they need to approach problems and solve them quickly. Your work is to keep reminding such patient about how to carry out themselves and solve challenges like a normal human being.

You will also want to engage the patient through sporting activities. This will help them greatly with anxiety another emotional disorders that can make them become violent and cause significant damage.

Conclusion

Relapse prevention is vital for any recovering addict because anything can trigger back their addiction. According to experts, a drug addict can get back to addiction way faster than the time spent in the rehab. That is why most rehab centers spend more time preparing the patients for the outside world like how to get in touch with their loved ones again.

Support groups are also another great way of ensuring that an addict does not relapse. That is because, within these groups, patients are allowed to support each other and encourage them to go clean. The best thing with help groups is, participants are people who are going through the same thing and are self-motivated to overcome their addiction. Contact us today if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction. At Newport Recovery Center, we are here to help you get sober!

The power of Music in Recovery

Music is a cross-cultural experience. You don’t have to understand the words or be familiar with the genre to feel the effects of a superior composition. Music’s ability to change our moods, minds, and behavior is well documented in popular culture. However, the power of music during recovery from addiction is still a newer concept.

Music therapy is a comprehensive treatment system that combines listening, theory, and performance. Adding this therapy to an addiction treatment plan helps patients find relief through some of the most difficult points of their journey while also strengthening them for what lies beyond. How does musical therapy help those fighting through addiction treatment feel better, stay stronger, and recover more quickly?

The Physical Effects of Music

The effects of music aren’t just mental. The mental effects of music cascade throughout the body, producing physical results that can aid the addiction treatment process. These include:

  • Improve communication. Listening to and performing certain genres of music have been proven to increase vital mental skills. A study from the Institute of Music and Mind at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada found that those who use their musical skills frequently show increased activity in the auditory cortex of the brain. This area translates sounds into understandable words and phrases and is vitally connected with our communication skills. Playing instruments can make it easier for patients in treatment to communicate with those who are there to help them.
  • Improved memory and learning. The auditory cortex isn’t the only brain structure positively impacted by music. The prefrontal cortex, which is the seat of our sensory processing abilities, is also improved through performing and listening to music. Over time, patients are able to retain long and short term memories better, which helps them learn new ways of coping with life’s stresses without reaching for a substance.
  • Increased dopamine production. Dopamine is a vital neurotransmitter. Substance abuse damages the body’s ability to naturally produce this substance in useful amounts. Music naturally stimulates dopamine production, which helps even moods, relaxes the body, and calms the mind.

The Mental Effects of Music

Everyone knows how a good piece of music makes them feel. Crashing cymbals, twinkling keyboards, and artfully strummed guitars can lift spirits and stimulate a change of mind. During the recovery process, these effects can be used to the patient’s advantage in many ways.

  • During the detox stage, calming music can help patients cope with the physical and mental stress that comes with the experience. Once the acute stage is passed, playing calming music can help patients keep a level of mood throughout treatment.
  • When the urge to relapse pops up, music can inspire patients to stick with their program. In these cases, upbeat and meaningful tunes are the most effective. Many patients enjoy music with spiritual overtones that help them connect to their higher power for aid.
  • Music can connect support groups. Singing and performing together as a group helps members connect on a safe, emotional level. This facilitates group and private talk therapy sessions. When they’re alone, group members can turn to that piece of music to help them when they can’t reach their support system.

Techniques in Music Therapy

How is music therapy used in the recovery process?

  • Performance. Singing and playing instruments is a physical experience that helps patients work out stress in a healthy way. Keeping your hands and mind busy is a great way to fight the urge to relapse.
  • Meditation. Quietly listening to inspirational tunes while alone is another successful therapy tactic. The right selection can lower blood pressure, relax tense muscles, and help patients cope through difficult stages.
  • Exercise aid. Physical exercise is a well-known technique for resetting the body after detox. Add music to a workout to stay inspired, engaged, and joyfully active through the sweat session.

These techniques can be effective in group or private sessions. Music therapy is also easily adapted into a home practice to support the work outpatients do with their therapists.

Music is more than a pastime. When used consciously and purposefully, it can help those fighting addictions by providing a healthy outlet for many of the negative emotions that can come along with the healing process.  Talk to your addiction treatment specialist about adding music therapy to your program.

Depression and Substance Abuse: A Guide for Women

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women are twice more likely to suffer depression than men.  The National Institute on Drug Abuse also places the number of women above age 18 to have used drugs in their lifetime at 19.4 million.  With such compelling statistics, it is clear that depression and drug abuse are key issues among women in the country.

Below is a depression and substance abuse guide for women:

The relationship between depression and addiction

Research shows that there is a strong connection between major depression and substance abuse. This is mostly because the main factors that contribute to depression also play a part in substance abuse disorders. Similarly, the various effects of addiction can mask or worsen the symptoms of mental illness. If you notice that your loved one has co-occurring depression and substance abuse, you should consider discussing the problem with them affectionately and compassionately before seeking a structured intervention.

Facts about depression and substance abuse

To identify the most effective treatment program for depression and addiction, here are a few facts you should know about the two disorders.

  • Generally, women have various reasons for using drugs and will use these substances in a different way than men.
  • There are times when women will respond differently to substances. For instance, they could have more drug cravings, become more sensitive to the effects of drugs due to sex hormones, or experience significantly different brain changes.
  • The risk of dying from a drug overdose or the effects of certain substances is higher in women than in men.
  • Women who are addicted to certain substances can experience panic attacks, anxiety, or even depression.
  • Factors that can trigger substance abuse and depression in women include domestic violence, divorce, death of a partner, or loss of child custody.

Substance use during pregnancy can pose a serious health risk to mother and unborn baby, both in the short and long term.

Common causes of depression

While the exact causes of depression have not been identified, there are several theories about the roots of the condition.

  • Brain structure and chemistry – brains of individuals with depressive disorders have a different structure from those without. The areas responsible for cognition, mood, sleeping, and metabolic function will have a unique appearance. Depression has also been linked to imbalances in brain chemicals that regulate moods, appetite, and energy levels.
  • Environmental factors – a history of emotional, sexual or physical abuse and a disorderly home environment during childhood can contribute towards depression in adolescence or adulthood. The good news is that trauma therapy can help heal the wounds inflicted by these experiences. Some scientists have also linked depression to genetics, with people who have relatives suffering from the condition being at risk of developing the same condition.
  • Situational factors – some of the experiences and setbacks we face in life can also result in depression if the emotions surrounding the events are not resolved.

Signs and symptoms to look out for

It is important to identify depression and substance abuse in good time to seek the necessary interventions. Here are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for.

  • Mood swings, erratic behavior and shifts in personality
  • Substance abuse affecting school, work, family obligations and responsibilities
  • Problems with concentration and memory
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Withdrawing and loss of interest in hobbies and daily activities
  • Unintentional weight loss or gain, poor hygiene
  • Suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts
  • Inability to control the amount of time spent using drugs
  • Financial problems

Consequences of untreated depression and substance abuse

When ignored or left untreated, depression and substance abuse disorders can have serious consequences. Long-term health problems may include

  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory complications and diseases
  • Liver and kidney damage or disease
  • Skin infections
  •  Stroke
  • Brain damage
  • Overdose or death
  •  Cognitive defects

In case one abuses drugs during pregnancy, the baby may be born with several health problems. These include low birth weight, congenital disabilities, premature birth, small head size or sudden infant death syndrome.

Types of depressive disorders

Depression comes in many forms, making it important to know the different subtypes of the condition. The different forms are influenced by the cause of the symptoms, duration, and severity. Some common types of depressive disorders are major depressive disorder, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar, postpartum, seasonal affective disorder, and psychosis. All these types require attention and specialized treatment.

Treatment options and programs

Since depression and substance abuse affect women differently, treatment for the two conditions may be different than for men. Struggling with these conditions can bring feelings of isolation, loneliness, and worthlessness. Similarly, family members can feel frustrated and stressed. It is important, to be honest about the problem as you seek help.

In most cases, depression and substance abuse disorders will be treated using a combination of therapy and medications. Effective interventions and depression treatment will include antidepressant medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, trauma therapies, and family systems therapy.

There are different treatment options that you can choose from. These include outpatient services, intensive outpatient programs, partial hospitalization program, medical detox, residential treatment programs, and inpatient rehabilitation. It is important to choose the right treatment for the patient’s condition.

In conclusion, once a patient has received the necessary treatment, family and loved ones should offer the care and support they need to resume a normal life. There is always the possibility of relapse when it comes to depression and substance abuse. A strong support network will help the affected persons feel loved and valued, putting them firmly on the path to full recovery.