Why You Should Attend a Medical Detox

medical detox

The best way to get started on the road to recovery from drug addiction is to undergo detox at a professional treatment facility. Unfortunately, many individuals struggling with drug abuse attempt to undergo detox on their own and are unsuccessful at attaining sobriety. It can also be incredibly dangerous to detox on your own as certain withdrawal symptoms are very severe.

Sometimes addicts will attempt to detox themselves because of financial limitations, embarrassment, or they think it won’t be that hard.  Newport Beach Recovery Center is here to let you know you shouldn’t detox by yourself. You have a much better chance of getting and staying sober by going to a professional detox program. 

What Is Medical Detox

Detox treatment for drug and alcohol abuse consists of clearing toxins out of the body that have resulted from substance abuse. A major focus of detoxification treatment is overcoming withdrawal symptoms that occur when you stop using drugs or alcohol. While detox and withdrawal can be difficult, we do everything we can at Newport Beach Recovery Center to make you feel safe and comfortable.

Detox is generally considered to be the first step in overcoming drug or alcohol addiction. After our clients go through detox, they move on to our residential inpatient treatment program. 

How Medical Detox Works

Before you’re able to undergo detox, we collect and review your substance abuse and medical history. It’s important we’re fully aware of the substances you are currently addicted to, how long you’ve been using them, and how frequently. All of these factors will help determine how long your detox will be and what the process is. On average our detox process lasts about 4-7 days. During detox, we monitor your health very closely. Depending on what substances you use, withdrawals can be mild to severe. 

Common withdrawal symptoms experienced amongst all addicts are nausea, anxiety, depression, an overall feeling of being sick, fatigue, and insomnia. These are not out of the ordinary as your body is now adjusting to functioning without drugs or alcohol. 

Benefits of Medical Detox

One of, if not the biggest, benefit to medical detox is being under the care of medical professionals while you go through withdrawals. Some withdrawals can be fatal so you definitely shouldn’t detox on your own. Other benefits include: 

Medicine is prescribed to manage withdrawals. 

During detox, we prescribe certain medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms. If you try to detox on your own at home, you won’t have access to these kinds of medications. It’s also important to wean the body off drugs instead of stopping cold turkey because you can completely shock your system. The “comfort meds” we prescribe are given to you in a controlled setting so you won’t be able to take them whenever you want. 

Therapists and counselors are here to help. 

Our experienced staff is available to answer any questions you may have during detox. If you start to experience any anxiety or feelings of depression, our staff can help. We know it’s crucial for those detoxing to have mental health support as detoxing affects the body and mind. 

Support from like-minded people. 

Aside from the support of our medical staff, it’s important to have the support from other addicts as well during detox. Detoxing at home alone is solitary. Being alone can aggravate some common symptoms of withdrawal such as depression and anxiety. With medical detox, our clients can help encourage, motivate, and keep an eye on you, which creates a supportive environment.

Detox Medically With Us

Newport Beach Recovery Center can help you overcome your addiction. We offer comprehensive detoxification, residential treatment, and outpatient treatment options. Detoxing is the first step to take on the road of recovery and once you accomplish that, we can help you with the next step! Contact us today to learn more about our program. 

Signs of Drug Addiction in Women

Research relating to addiction is often focused on men, primarily because earlier researchers generally assumed that addiction was mostly a male problem or that women with drug addiction have the same experiences as men have. However, there are significant environmental and biological factors; an addiction in women is so significantly different that it affects the way their treatment is approached. Not only is the approach to addiction treatment different for women than in men, but the signs of addiction in women may also be different. Here are some of the signs of drug addiction in women.

Physical Signs of Drug Addiction in Women

It’s important to note that drug addiction can affect women from all walks of life. The first step to identifying if a female in your life has an addiction problem is though physical signs. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s essential that ask them straightforward questions, including “are you using drugs”? If you suspect a drug addiction, it’s important to encourage them to seek addiction treatment immediately. Physical signs of an addiction to drugs may include:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Dilated or pinpoint pupils
  • Sudden weight changes, either weight gain or weight loss
  • Difficulty walking, tremors and/or slurred speech
  • Overly energetic, increased alertness or hyperactivity
  • Lethargy
  • Change in sleep patterns
  • Marks on the skin
  • Frequent picking at or itching of the skin

Behavioral Signs of Drug Addiction in Women

If you haven’t witnessed the person in question using drugs or you have seen the physical signs of addiction, but you still suspect drug abuse, there are behavioral changes that may indicate addiction. It is important, however, to keep in mind that everyone’s behaviors often change for different reasons. For instance, the behaviors of a teenage girl may change as they transfer into adulthood. With that said, drug addiction can cause a wide range of behavioral changes in women, including:

  • Lack of motivation at work, school or home
  • Decrease in concern for personal hygiene and appearance
  • Increase in impulsive risks
  • Frequently borrowing money without an explanation
  • Changes and/or problems in relationships
  • Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Withdrawing from social circles, friends, and family
  • Unexplained accidents, isolation or secrecy
  • Avoiding conversations and hiding things

Psychological Signs of Drug Addiction in Women

Teenage girls are notorious for their moodiness and personality changes, but extreme changes in their demeanor is often a sign of drug or alcohol use, especially in adult females. Many of the psychological signs of drug addiction are short-term, but with ongoing use, it can lead to long-term emotional and mental effects in women. Some of the common psychological signs of addiction in women may include:

  • Hallucinations or delusions
  • Increased confusion
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Short-term memory is diminished
  • Increased aggressiveness, hostility and belligerence
  • Sudden symptoms of a co-occurring disorder, such as depression, anxiety or paranoia
  • Loss of control
  • Compulsive drug cravings
  • Inability to stop drug use due to psychological dependence

Studies have shown that women are more prone to developing a drug addiction through less use of the drug than men. Women also tend to experience more social consequences, and they have a more difficult time quitting as well as a higher risk of relapse. This is due in part to the way women respond to stress. Women are also more likely than men to relapse into drug use in response to stress triggers. Unfortunately, women are also less likely to seek addiction treatment. The reason for this is because there is much more stigma attached to women and substance abuse. There is addiction treatment available that is designed specifically for women, which treats both the addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders. If you know a female that is suffering with drug addiction, it is essential for their life to encourage them to seek treatment as soon as possible.

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 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.

 

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.

Sexual Trauma & Substance Abuse: How to Recover from Both

The troubling high rate of boys and girls who experience sexual trauma and abuse leads to a lifetime of challenges that include substance abuse. The signs are all there, and the findings from the  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services support the troubling realities. These traumatized kids turn into adults who struggle to come to terms with the emotional and psychological shrapnel of abuse. Survey results indicated that of those adolescents receiving treatment for substance abuse, some 70% had associated trauma.

In turn, the reports offer insight into some of the most prevalent tendencies and mental-health struggles associated with sexual trauma and abuse. Here’s a quick overview:

Depression

Sexual abuse often leads to feelings of isolation, loneliness, and self-deprecation, which also leads to clinical depression and often to substance abuse. It’s a vicious spiral, which also leads to severe difficulty in functioning on a daily basis in school, at work, or in your interpersonal relationships. It can just be something as simple as weight fluctuations, but there’s also the associated feeling of apathy. A depressed person may just not care what happens anymore, a self-loathing and self-destructive trend that can lead to falling even deeper into the abuse of alcohol and drugs. If the person doesn’t care anymore and simultaneously wants to forget the sexual trauma, substance abuse can be a dangerous avenue toward self-harm.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Any traumatic event can cause severe and long-lasting symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). You may be most familiar with associating PTSD with war and battle, but the effects can be felt when you’ve had a car accident, a surgery, or a vicious attack. The memory becomes linked with the physical and emotional repercussions, as nightmares and panic or anxiety attacks can lead to severe physical reactions: loss of breath, distress and increased heart rate related to sudden sounds, lights, smells, or anything related to the traumatic event.

Dissociation

Also, linked with traumatic encounters and abuse is the dissociation, which is also linked to PTSD. That’s the feeling of being separate or absent from one’s own body. It’s often associated with a feeling of being disconnected, an outsider. In trauma cases, dissociation is a coping mechanism to allow the person to survive and function. Long term, though, it can lead to more troubling effects like trouble focusing or concentrating. In more severe cases, dissociation can lead to a loss of the ability to function for periods of time. Depending on the severity of the dissociation symptoms, those affected by the disorder can also turn to alcohol or substance abuse to help or reinforce the numbing feeling that helps them cope with everyday life, and avoid memories of the past trauma.

How to recover

Even by itself, sexual trauma and abuse present difficult challenges coping with life and all of its challenges. Combined with the major depression, PTSD, and dissociation (as well as the potential for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other psychological illnesses and disorders), the obstacles may seem insurmountable.

Just as the studies track the troubling trends of trauma and substance abuse, though, they also offer hopeful moments. Recovery is possible, but awareness of the relationship between sexual trauma and substance abuse is key. If we don’t understand or grasp what is happening, we are not able to take the steps to prevent it from happening to other young trauma survivors, and we also will not be prepared to implement the appropriate treatment that’s so desperately needed (and lacking in many cases).

The process of recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s not an easy journey, but with the right help and continued support system in place, you can be on the road of recovery.  Contact us today to make the first step. Newport Beach Recovery has trained professionals to help you get through this.

A Guide to the 10 Most Dangerous Drugs

Any drug can be dangerous or even deadly depending on the dosage, oft-script use, or even based on an individual’s adverse reaction to the substance. While there are potentially harmful side effects for some prescription medications, it’s fairly easy to determine the most dangerous drugs. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) tracks the data every year and then releases a list of the drugs associated with overdose deaths.

Heroin

Heroin tops the list of most dangerous drugs. Although opioids and opium have existed since ancient history, Heroin first surfaced in 1874 and the substance was marketed as a “heroin” because of the “hero” or euphoric feeling. It was mistakenly prescribed as a remedy for colds, coughs, and congestion. Heroin is now an illegal drug that is highly addictive.

Cocaine

Chewing coca, a gift from the gods, was a common practice since ancient times. Tinctures from coca leaves were first used in 1850, and cocaine was extracted in 1855. Through the next few years, cocaine was manufactured and released in various forms, popularized, and recommended for use in improving athletic performance, as a local anesthetic, and as a treatment for substance abuse. Coca-Cola also famously released their soda containing cocaine and caffeine in 1886.  Medical literature reported on the damage caused by snorting cocaine in 1910, and the US banned cocaine in 1914.

Oxycodone

OxyContin was developed in 1916 to replace other addictive substances like codeine and morphine. The generic form, oxycodone, was first released in the US in 1939, and it quickly became the bestselling narcotic pain reliever. Drug abuse and addiction can lead to breathing problems, severe withdrawal symptoms, but also a higher likelihood of heroin use.

Alprazolam

Xanax is a popular trade name for alprazolam, used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. First patented in 1971, it was approved for US medical use in 1981. Alprazolam is one of the most prescribed drugs, but it can also be misused.  Negative side effects can include paranoia, impairment, and fatigue.

Fentanyl

While fentanyl is sometimes compared with morphine, it is 50-100 times more potent. It is prescribed as a shot, lozenge, or patch in instances where other forms of pain relief have been ineffective. Illegal forms are sold as an eye dropper, pills, or nasal sprays; but it is also frequently laced with other drugs like heroin. Drug abuse, then, can lead to death.

Morphine

Morphine is derived from the poppy straw of the opium flower. With a history of opium-based elixirs dating back to ancient times, Friedrich Sertürner discovered morphine (which he first called morphium, after the god of dreams) in 1804. Morphine use can lead to constipation or other side effects. Overdose or addictive use of this drug can lead to respiratory distress and even death.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug that is sometimes used to treat ADHD or obesity. Amphetamine was first synthesized in 1887. Then, Chemist Nagai Nagayoshi derived methamphetamine from ephedrine in 1893. The drug was released in pill-form by Temmler for use by German soldiers and pilots during World War II. With severe zombie-like exhaustion and violent-outbursts, the drug was discontinued. Methamphetamine is restricted or illegal in many areas.

Methadone

Max Bockmühl and Gustav Ehrhart at the IG Farben company first synthesized methadone in 1937 as an easier-to-use painkiller, with supposedly less chance of addiction. The FDA approved the drug for use in the US in 1947. Then, doctors began prescribing methadone in the 1960s to prevent addicts from using heroin. It’s called the Methadone Maintenance Treatment, and while it did help with the heroin use, methadone drug abuse became a problem.

Hydrocodone

Derived from a poppy, hydrocodone is a semi-synthetic drug, with a high likelihood of dependency and drug abuse.  Carl Mannich and Helene Löwenheim first synthesized the drug in 1920 and the FDA approved it for use in the US in 1943. It is one of the most frequently prescribed opioid, with millions of prescriptions filled every year. Severe side effects are the addiction, allergic reaction, slowed breathing, liver damage, and infection.

Diazepam

Diazepam is a benzodiazepine, most commonly known as Valium. It was approved in 1960 and released in 1963 for use in treating anxiety, vertigo, seizures, insomnia, and alcohol withdrawal with fewer negative side effects when compared with similar drugs. While considered “safer” in general, the drug can still be dangerous and deadly when combined with other sedatives, particularly as an overdose. It has been popularized as a way to “take the edge off” or elevate anxiety or stress, but diazepam use has also been linked with depression, dizziness, or impairment.

Most of the most dangerous and deadly drugs have existed in one form or another since ancient times, and many of them were initially conceived to relieve pain and suffering. With increasing regularity, substance abuse becomes dangerous and deadly. If you or a loved one are struggling with any drug at all, we urge you to reach out for treatment. Contact us today for more information.

What To Do When An Addicted Loved One Refuses Help

Helping a loved one suffering from addiction is not an easy path. From substance abuse to gambling and lack of self-worth, one typically loses control of their actions and mindset as to what is healthy and what is destructive. This often leads to loved ones feeling frustrated and without hope. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The initial decision to take drugs is voluntary for most people, but repeated drug use can lead to brain changes that challenge an addicted person’s self-control and interfere with their ability to resist intense urges to take drugs.” Because of this, those suffering may refuse help when offered. However, facilities like drug rehabs or an addiction treatment center can provide the necessary tools and assistance to get your loved one the help they need.

But what can you do if your loved one is refusing addiction treatment? For many, the future seems bleak and options are limited. This isn’t, however, the case. Hope still exists and there are concerned professionals who want to help. Not just your loved one, but you as well through the process of recovery.

Don’t Do It Alone

Denial is a powerful weapon for someone suffering from addiction. It fuels a fire within them which states nothing is wrong and they don’t need help. Gathering other family members and friends towards the goal of helping them, however, is a powerful tool.

In addition, according to the NIDA, “There are over 14,500 specialized substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States providing a variety of care options, including counseling, behavioral therapy, medication, case management, and other forms of care.” Seeking advice and help from professionals is also healthy, for you and your loved one. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it be from other family members or even co-workers. Many have faced similar struggles and are willing to stand by your side.

Research Addiction Treatment

Understanding an addiction leads to compassion and the ability to communicate while helping prevent things like enabling. It’s common for those who have never faced an addiction to perceive overcoming addiction as a mind over matter issue. Studies over the years, however, have shown how brain waves and pathways from substance abuse are changed over time. Sometimes recovery involves medicine, while other times it can be treated with experiential therapy. Learning about these various options available and the root causes of addiction will help guide you in the right direction towards getting your loved one in a drug rehab facility which is right for them.

Establish an Open-Line of Communication

Establishing a proper line of communication is imperative. A common reaction to dealing with an addict is to shut down or show tough love through silence. While someone suffering from addiction may not listen to what you have to say, knowing they can talk to someone is extremely important. This will also help with their recovery while in addiction treatment, and once out too.

Relapsing is a very real concept. According to NIDA, “The relapse rate for substance use disorders is estimated to be between 40% and 60%. This rate is similar to rates of relapse for other chronic diseases such as hypertension or asthma.” Being able to communicate, and be comfortable doing so, will help towards preventing a relapse from occurring.

Maintain Your Health

Much like the health of your loved one suffering from addiction is a top priority, so is your health as well. Living with or trying to help an addict can affect your own health through lack of sleep, poor eating habits, stress, and much more. Boundaries are essential.

Don’t be afraid to talk to a professional regarding where to draw the line regarding your own mental and physical health. As the line can often become blurry when dealing with someone who’s suffering from substance abuse.

Seek Help from Addiction Treatment and Drug Rehab Professionals

Modern medicine has come a long way in the last few decades. This is especially true regarding substance abuse recovery. Long gone are the days of forced labor and demeaning a person towards recovery. The 12-step program, along with treatment from a psychologist and psychiatrists has become proven methods.

But it’s also been shown that treatments like music therapy, Muay Thai training, salt water, and group therapies, in addition to these proven methods, create an environment conclusive towards a healthy recovery. Discover what addiction treatment options are available, and which ones will fit the needs of your loved one suffering from addiction. In working together, your loved one suffering from addiction can get the help they need and deserve. Contact us today!

The Link Between Female Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse

Eating disorders and substance abuse are a common phenomenon that co-exists and fuel each other.  The occurrence of these two issues is significant among young women in particular.  Several risk factors may predispose certain people to develop these two disorders and some of those risk factors are genetic. However, several variables must be considered that may cover everything from social issues, self-esteem and family history.

Risk Factors

Both substance abuse and eating disorders have shared risk factors that should be looked at.  Wide and varied factors play a role in the prevalence of this disorder. Research has linked both of these disorders to brain chemistry and family history. Other shared characteristics or risk factors include low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, and social pressures. These are all common experiences for young people and teens. These are also factors that may coincide with suicidal thoughts, compulsive behavior, and social isolation. The predisposition for these disorders is more prevalent among young women and girls.

The Mechanics and Co-occurrence of Both Disorders

As females enter puberty body image issues often emerge. These issues often cause young girls to do things to alter their body image in unhealthy ways. This often shows up in the form of either anorexia or bulimia. These are the two most common eating disorders that often coincide with substance abuse. The predisposition to developing these disorders is greatly increased based on family history and other issues like low-self-esteem. These disorders are often further compounded by a family history of struggle with these two disorders and social pressures that are part of growing up. In fact, most p[eople that struggle with eating disorders are fifty percent more likely to engage in substance abuse. Conversely, thirty-five percent of individuals that have substance abuse problems either struggle or have struggled with eating disorders.  Both of these statistics reveal that people who suffer from substance abuse issues and eating disorders have a much higher tendency towards these disorders than the general population.

The Symbiosis Between Anorexia and Bulimia and Substance Abuse

Anorexia and Bulimia are the two most common eating disorders linked to female substance abuse. An even more revealing look uncovers a link between these two disorders and the abuse of specific substances. it is not uncommon for an eating disorder to develop followed by a substance abuse problem. This is easily explained by noticing the prevalence of eating disorder followed by the abuse of substances like emetics, laxatives, and diuretics. The desire to control body image often leads a person to abuse these types of substances as a way of gaining greater control. However, there are circumstances where substance abuse and eating disorders may begin at the same time and the substance may have little to do with the eating disorder. Instead, the substance may be a coping mechanism used to drown out unpleasant feelings. In situations like these, people who struggle with both of these disorders often choose alcohol, amphetamines, heroin, and cocaine.

A Move Toward Treatment and Healing

As with any issue, early intervention is always preferred. Even though this doesn’t always happen, it’s still possible to overcome both of these disorders.  However, dealing with both of these issues does require treatment that will effectively address both at the same time. This is why Women Addiction treatment must include a plan that focuses on both disorders and the way these two disorders co-exist. This can be tricky because most treatment centers that deal with eating disorders have programs to help with OTC drug abuse but few adequately handle or address medical detoxification. Often this is a need for many patients as well. Fortunately, the link between these two disorders has gained a lot more awareness and many treatment centers are moving towards programs designed to adequately treat these two disorders.

Although many people of all ages struggle with both eating disorders and substance abuse issues, these two disorders are more prevalent among young women and girls. Addressing these issues in an effective way requires an in-depth understanding or all the risk factors and how they come together when both of these disorders are present. Effective treatment is dependent on a focus that doesn’t rest on one disorder but explores both independently and collectively. Contact us today for further help!