is alcohol a drug

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Is Alcohol a Drug?

Many people often ask the question: is alcohol a drug? Because this substance is seen as a socially acceptable form of recreation and is widely available throughout the vast majority of the United States, it can be easy to believe drinking is not akin to using drugs. But this lack of stigma or taboo status doesn’t take away from the fact that alcohol is still the third leading preventable cause of death in the country. Society’s relaxed views on the substance can contribute to a casual, almost indifferent attitude towards alcohol abuse. Because casual drinking is tolerated in society and isn’t frowned upon, it can be difficult to accept that drinking is more than just a harmless form of recreation and can have serious health consequences if one doesn’t moderate their usage.

What is a Drug?

In order to determine whether alcohol can be considered a drug, it’s important to define what a drug is. According to Merriam-Webster, a drug is defined as a substance that has a physiological effect on a person when ingested or introduced to the body. Under this broad definition, it can be easy to answer the question: is alcohol a drug? This is due to the fact that the ingestion of this substance has a direct impact on how a person’s body functions.

While much has been made of the recent opioid crisis, what is often lost in the mix is the fact that alcohol use and abuse constitutes a serious health emergency in the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 88,000 people each year die from alcohol-related causes, highlighting the severity of the problem. In fact, according to a 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 6.2% of adults in the US have an alcohol use disorder, an example of how common this drug is impacting the general population.

Alcohol abuse disorder and substance abuse disorder can be used interchangeably when discussing drinking or drug use, showcasing how similar these two conditions can be. Regardless of whether a person is addicted to drugs or alcohol, both substances can cause a person to lose sight of their priorities, creating a strain on their health and relationships with others. In both situations, a person will often ignore their most important responsibilities in favor of drinking or using another drug. Alcohol can be similarly self-destructive to that of using drugs, as it can create a distorted relationship with one’s self and the world they inhabit.

How Excessive Drinking Can Wreck a Person’s Health and Social Life

Alcohol consumption can have profound health implications for a person if they begin to regularly use this substance to excess. Side effects of consuming alcohol include damage to one’s heart, as heavy drinking can weaken the heart and negatively affect how oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your body’s vital organs. This can eventually lead to things such as high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. An individual’s overall health can be severely impacted by regular alcohol consumption, and other organs such as the liver, brain, kidneys, pancreas, and other areas of one’s body can also be affected.

In addition to clear-cut physical symptoms, there are also cognitive and mental health conditions that can manifest themselves when a person is using alcohol regularly to excess. Things such as lapses in memory and coordination, nerve damage, and mood dysregulation can all be the result of alcohol consumption. A person’s overall sense of self-esteem can be depleted through an alcohol abuse disorder, which can also exacerbate existing mental health conditions. An increase in things such as anxiety can also develop as the result of a person’s drinking.

Outside of the physical effects to one’s body, an addiction to alcohol can also result in serious negative consequences to one’s social life. Once a person begins to prioritize their substance abuse above the people most important in their life, their relationships will begin to suffer. Eventually, a person may feel as though the only people they can comfortably associate with are those who share a person’s level of substance abuse.

Addressing the Problem Proactively

If alcohol is your drug of choice and you find yourself struggling to maintain control, it’s critical to take the initiative to regain control of your direction in life. Often, this can require seeking professional outside help in order to facilitate and speed up one’s path to recovery. Treatment for alcohol use disorder can include a number of serious health interventions that can require medical supervision in certain cases where a physical detox is required. It can also involve a psychotherapeutic component as a way to not only quit alcohol but determine why the habit formed to begin with.

Attempting to overcome an addiction to drugs or alcohol can feel like an uphill battle, especially if you’re going it alone without any outside support. If you’re seeking support to make this important self-transformation a reality and are looking for an excellent addiction treatment center, contact Desert Cove Recovery today. Our trusted team will help guide you through the rehab process, working side-by-side with you to create a treatment plan that works and have you on the path to a new lease on life.

quit drinking for good

You Can Quit Drinking for Good

You Can Quit Drinking for Good

Many alcoholics may have trouble admitting they have a drinking problem because alcohol is socially accepted as opposed to other drugs that lead to addiction. But, statistics show that one in eight Americans is an alcoholic. That amounts to more than 12 percent of the U.S. population. Knowing that excessive drinking is a problem many people face can help someone get the help they need to quit drinking for good. Admitting there is a problem is the first step; one that can be the most difficult to face.

Why It Can Be Difficult to Quit Drinking for Good

Once you admit you have a drinking problem, the next step is to seek help. If you think you can do this alone, you may want to reconsider. Many people try it on their own and run into one or more of these issues that prevent them from quitting drinking.

Long-term alcohol use affects brain chemistry

When you decide you want to stop drinking, it’s not as easy as just making a conscious decision. When you use alcohol for a long period of time, your brain chemistry changes leaving you feeling as though you need alcohol to function. Professionals know how to safely handle withdrawal symptoms as you detox from alcohol.

You may experience severe withdrawal symptoms

When people try to quit drinking on their own, they may experience withdrawal symptoms they can’t handle on their own. These can include nausea, vomiting, trembling, anxiety, and much more. At an alcohol rehab program, professionals can determine how to help you detox from alcohol and deal with withdrawal symptoms in a safe way so that you’re not tempted to drink again.
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Alcohol is socially accepted

Unlike drugs, which are illegal, alcohol is legal and socially accepted. If you’re out with friends or at a party, you may be offered a drink or two by people who don’t realize you have an addiction. While they may be able to stop at that point, it’s different for you. If you are trying to quit on your own and are offered alcohol while you’re out, quitting can become increasingly difficult.

How Rehab Can Help for Long-Term Recovery

If you have realized you have an alcohol problem and are ready to seek the help you need to live a sober life, extended care rehab can help. Many people have the misconception that alcohol rehab programs solely consist of AA meetings. While meetings can be part of the recovery process, they are not the entire process. Since everyone’s addiction is treated differently, so is everyone’s recovery.

When you seek help, you will first be evaluated to see if detox is necessary. No other therapy can begin until your body is free from the substance you’ve become addicted to. Professionals at the rehab facility will assure that your detox is medically monitored and that any withdrawal symptoms are dealt with safely by a medical team.

From that point, the course of your treatment will be determined. Some people do well in shortened programs, depending on their level of addiction, while others need more time to sort through their issues and start living a sober life. Whichever category you fall into is perfectly fine. The important thing is that you are now seeking the help you need. Everything else will begin to fall into place as long as you are following the steps of your program and putting in the work that is necessary to succeed.

In order to help you recover, you will likely go through therapy sessions to help you determine what led to your addiction. This is an important part of the recovery process because you need to learn what triggers to avoid, or how to deal with those triggers should you not be able to completely avoid them, in order to get well.

Often times hearing other people’s stories through group sessions can help people recover because they realize they are truly not alone. Knowing that there are other people who are going through the same thing at the same time can be comforting. It can also help to build new friendships and bonds with people who have the same goals.

How Extended Care Rehab Can Help

For some people, short term programs are enough, but for others, extended care rehab is needed. This will be determined by your clinician. The benefits of extended care rehab are that you can work on physical and body issues to help with your recovery. These areas may not be entirely addressed during a regular rehab stay.

At Desert Cove Recovery extended care recovery programs are available to those who need it. During this program, you can expect individual therapy sessions where a therapist will address your issues one-on-one. There are also group therapy sessions available as well as a relapse prevention program that will focus specifically on how to maintain your sobriety.

The final part of the process relies on the transition process to help you succeed out in the world once you leave the program. Once you do leave, you may still attend meetings from time to time on an outpatient basis.

If you’re ready to start your path to recovery, contact Desert Cove Recovery today. One of our caring staff members will answer your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fill out an online form to get in contact with our team. They will help you to begin living a sober life.

Substance Abuse vs Addiction

Substance Abuse vs Addiction

Substance Abuse vs Addiction

All too often, the phrase “substance abuse” is used interchangeably with the word “addiction.” Abuse and addiction take similar physical, psychological, and social tolls for those who are suffering. However, it is important to understand the difference between substance abuse vs addiction. Learning about each will help you identify if an individual is casually abusing drugs or alcohol or in serious need of assistance to break an addiction.

Recognizing Substance Abuse

Substance abuse and addiction are not actually the same thing. On the surface, substance abuse may not look like extreme or dangerous behavior. In fact, it may not stand out as abnormal at all. If drinking or recreational drug use has become normalized in your social circle, you could even be abusing substances without knowing it. 

Substance abuse involves using a substance, whether it be alcohol, prescription drugs, or illicit “street” drugs, to a point that becomes a hazard to your health. This includes using medications in ways other than prescribed.

When Substance Use Starts to Affect Your LIfe

Substance abuse also includes using substances to a point where doing so starts to affect your ability to live your life as you had prior to using. This point can come far quicker than many people realize. As soon as you start using your substance of choice to cope with emotions, thoughts, stress, or living situations, you are abusing that particular substance. This is true even if you have not experienced any consequences yet as a result. 

For example, consider alcohol consumption. According to the USDA, a safe and moderate level of alcohol consumption is no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Someone who drinks more than this is abusing alcohol by definitions, even if their consumption does not appear excessive to others. It has been shown drinking past the recommended daily limit increases the risk alcohol will affect your health, put at risk for DUIs, and other undesirable outcomes. 

Most individuals who abuse substances but are not yet addicted, feel like they can stop whenever they want to. Some people abuse substances intermittently instead of regularly. This can mask the fact that there is a problem. Substance abuse is still a widespread issue causing problems in many people’s lives. The CDC notes that more than 10 percent of people over the age of 12 have used some type of illicit drug in the past month. While not everyone who abuses drugs will go on to develop an addiction, many will. 

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Substance Abuse vs Addiction

When Substance Abuse Becomes Addiction

Addiction is a more serious problem than substance abuse. While substance abuse can be situational, addiction is a pervasive problem affecting every aspect of a person’s life. Substance abuse is a negative behavior that a person chooses whereas addiction is a disease of the brain. Many people are able to stop abusing substances on their own, but recovering from addiction is a significantly more complex task usually requiring outside help. 

The main hallmark of addiction is physical dependency. After a person abuses drugs or alcohol for a long enough period, their brain starts to change physically, making it difficult for the person to feel normal without their substance of choice. Drug or alcohol use causes a rush of dopamine in the brain. Eventually, the brain acclimates to the euphoria and begins to demand more, building a tolerance and creating an addiction.

When an addicted person does not have drugs or alcohol in their system, the lack of dopamine beings to show ill effects. Addicted individuals will start to experience withdrawal symptoms like tremors, nausea, and hallucinations (withdrawal symptoms vary from substance to substance). Essentially the person loses their ability to function normally when not drunk or high. 

Is Addiction a Choice?

Substance abuse may be a choice, but addiction rarely is. One of the defining traits of addiction is the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol, despite the negative social or health consequences. To an addicted person, seeking out and using their substance of choice is the most important thing in life.

Addiction will cause users to lie, steal, and sneak around to use drugs or alcohol. It is not that they are inherently bad people. It is simply their illness has hijacked the decision-making parts of their brain, leading them to take actions unfathomable prior to developing an addiction. 

Addiction is widespread with more than 15 million adults in the United States addicted to alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Further, addictive behaviors cost the U.S. more than $740 billion every year in health care costs and lost productivity. The good news is addiction is treatable, although only about. Unfortunately, only about 10 percent of those addicted actually receive treatment. 

Are You Dealing With Substance Abuse or Addiction?

If you are wondering whether you or a loved has a problem with drugs or alcohol, the odds are likely that you may indeed have a problem. Whether or not the substance abuse has progressed to the level of addiction, it is important to seek help as soon as possible before the problem gets worse.

You or a loved one may be addicted to a substance if any of the following are true: 

  • You use drugs or alcohol alone.
  • You lie to friends or loved ones about your substance use.
  • You feel out of control and cannot stop drinking or using even when you want to.
  • You experience physical withdrawals when you cannot use your substance of choice.
  • Your drinking or drug use is affecting your relationships, job, or academic performance.

Seeking Help and Getting Sober

It is never too late to seek professional guidance when it comes to substance use. Substance abuse versus addiction is indeed an important question. However, most important is finding the help you or your loved needs.

If you or someone you know may be struggling with either substance abuse or addiction, let them know specially trained professionals are here to help, in addition to their friends, family, and the community they live in. Contact a professional at Desert Cove Recovery today for more information.

 

Genetic Test for Opioid Addiction Could Soon be a Reality

If you could order a genetic test that could tell you whether you were at risk for opioid abuse later in life, would you take it? The test would be something like the one available from companies currently offering health predisposition information along with DNA testing. Instead of indicating whether someone has a higher-than-average risk of developing heart disease, the proposed test would tell who is at risk for opioid addiction.

A New Jersey research institute is working with leaders in the medical community, scientists and academics to unravel the genetic code as it pertains to opioid dependency.

Team Investigates Factors Contributing to Opioid Abuse

The Coriell Institute for Medical Research, Rowan University’s Cooper Medical School and Cooper University Health Care have come together to launch the Camden Opioid Research Initiative (CORI). This team will investigate “genetic and biological factors that contribute to opioid abuse.”

One key part of the study will involve collecting and testing tissue samples from people who have lost their lives from an opioid overdose. The researchers will also be studying people currently in treatment for opioid addiction, along with patients who are receiving prescription opioids for chronic pain treatment but have not become addicted. The findings from the two groups will be compared.

Stefan Zajic, the principal scientist and scientific lead for CORI, explained that the dream for scientists would be to have access to a profile or algorithm that would provide doctors and patients with information about genetic factors that may influence their susceptibility to opioid addiction.

Genetic Test Could Influence Future Prescribing Habits

If a genetic test were available to indicate to healthcare providers which patients are at higher risk for opioid addiction, a doctor could take that factor into consideration when making decisions about which medications to prescribe. The doctor may choose to prescribe a non-opioid, adjust the dose if he or she decides to prescribe an opioid medication or prescribe a smaller number of pills so that the patient can be monitored more closely for follow-up.

The research team will work with the medical examiner’s office to establish a biobank of the tissue samples (with the respective families’ permission). Zajic believes it will be the first one of its kind in the country. The tissue samples will be made available to researchers in the field of opioid abuse going forward.

how addiction affects each generation

How Addiction Affects Each Generation

How Addiction Affects Each Generation

When it comes to an addiction, your age and the generation you are a part of can have a major impact on how you respond to this condition. The causes and factors surrounding addiction vary greatly according to how old a person is, as the reason for dependent behavior can be rooted in significant life events which revolve around a person’s age. How an addiction can affect a person differs based on many various factors, including socio-economic status, the presence of co-occurring disorders, and a history of trauma. But age is an often-forgotten element when it comes to putting together important parts of the picture.

The Role Age Plays in Addiction

The reasons why a person will end up developing a serious addiction can be significantly influenced by their particular age group. For instance, binge drinking is a significant problem for individuals aged 18-25, as peer pressure can play a role in convincing someone to drink. But for people aged 40-64, the same type of social pressure in regards to drinking will not as prevalent. However, this generation struggles more with prescription drug abuse, due to it being widely available and often prescribed for medical conditions which can impact an older population.

This fact can be illustrated by a recent statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) which detail the differences between specific age groups in relation to one’s age. The rate at which U.S. adolescents aged 12-17 developed a substance addiction was 5% in 2014, or approximately 1.3 million individuals. People aged 18-25 have the highest rate of substance abuse across the board, as this group is particular vulnerable to struggling with addiction.

Although painkillers and opioids are a big concern for an older generation in regards to becoming addicted, it is actually the millennial generation which struggles the most with a prescription drug addiction. Studies have shown how this particular section of the population is much more likely to abuse things such as Vicodin, Adderall, and OxyContin than they are marijuana. This differs from the drug of choice for baby boomers, as this group was more likely to use marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelics during their youth.

One of the reasons researchers speculate that millennials are struggling more with prescription drugs abuse than their parents is due to the fact that mental health issues have become more common. It is thought that the rise in ‘helicopter parenting’, where many millennials were overly protected from the world, is a factor in why this generation is finding itself more prone to become addicted to prescription drugs. The Good Men Project states that because these individuals have been stripped of their mental defenses, their ability to deal with life in a healthy way can be reduced, increasing the likelihood of resorting to negative coping skills.

However, older individuals also struggle with addiction, as this generation is prone to abuse things such as Fentanyl, opioids, and other prescription drugs. In fact, addiction has become one of the leading causes of death among people aged 40-64. Individuals who are 25-35 still have the highest rate of death as a result of an overdose, highlighting how drug addiction is impacting a younger generation more intensely than the older generation.

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how addiction affects each generation

How Treatment Differs According to One’s Age

The route a clinician will take in order to properly treat a patient’s addiction can be very different depending on how old the person is. A treatment plan for a married 50 year-old addicted to drugs or alcohol will look much different than a single person in their late teens. Financial pressure, health concerns, and life stress can be a major source of addiction for someone who is in their middle age.

The most effective approach to providing substance abuse treatment which works is to take a holistic approach to a person’s unique circumstances, including their age demographic group. Certain methods of intervention are specifically designed to work best with a targeted age group, making the selection of a particular treatment modality especially important. A skilled clinician will be able to efficiently navigate a person towards recovery by helping to address the underlying cause for their addiction.

For older adults, treatment may include an assessment of one’s finances, career, mental acuity, and family dynamics in order to gain insight into the causes of a person’s condition. It may include an approach which takes into account health and wellness concerns, conditions which may be specific to a person’s age. It may also include the importance of rediscovering meaning and purpose in life as a way to overcome a crippling addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction and needs to find a way forward that works, contact the caring professionals at Desert Cove Recovery. We treat all age groups and work directly with our clients to address their unique concerns and circumstances. Our trusted team will help guide you through the recovery process, working directly with you to create a treatment plan that will have you on the path to a new lease on life.

Young Adults at Risk for Addiction Show Variation in Key Brain Region

An international team led by researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered that young adults who are at risk for developing problems with addiction show distinct differences in an important region of the brain. The study adds more credence to the idea that a person’s biological makeup is an important factor in determining if they will develop an addiction during their lifetime.

The years during adolescence and young adulthood figure prominently in a person’s development. During these years, someone may start to demonstrate behaviors associated with addiction. These behaviors suggest that people in this age group may be at risk for substance abuse.

Impulsivity Associated with Addiction Risk

Impulsivity is one of the behaviors associated with the risk of addiction. There are times when a person needs to make decisions quickly, such as when there is a danger and they must take action to avoid an immediate threat. At other times, it’s a better idea to stop and think carefully before taking any action. Impulsivity is acting without considering the consequences of one’s actions.

Most people do act impulsively on occasion, and it’s not uncommon. However, people who are living with disorders such as substance abuse, behavioral addictions, anxiety, depression or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) experience higher levels of impulsivity.

99 Young People Participated in Study

In a study recently published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, researchers from Cambridge University’s Department of Psychiatry and Denmark’s Aarhus University found a “strong association” between increased impulsivity in young adults and certain abnormalities in nerve cells located in the putamen. This part of the brain has already been identified as a key region connected with addictive disorders.

Ninety-nine young people between the ages of 16-26 completed a computer-based measure of impulsivity as part of the study. The researchers scanned the participants’ brains with a sequence that can identify myelin content.

Myelin Levels Related to Impulsivity

Myelin is a protein-rich covering that coats a nerve cell. It works in the same manner as the plastic coating that is placed around electric wiring and is needed for rapid nerve conduction between the body and the brain.

The researchers found that people who demonstrated higher levels of impulsivity also had lower levels of myelin in the putamen. This conclusion builds on previous studies conducted with rodents at Cambridge University and at other locations.

Dr. Camilla Nord, of the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, the lead author of the study, said that people who show a heightened level of impulsivity are also more likely to experience a number of mental health issues, which include substance abuse, eating disorders, behavioral addictions and ADHD. Dr. Nord went on to explain that this suggests impulsivity is an endophenotype. This is defined as “ a set of behavioural and brain changes that increases people’s general risk for developing a group of psychiatric and neurological disorders.”

Long-acting Buprenorphine Injections Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment

A monthly injection of buprenorphine BUP-XR is more effective than placebo for treating opioid addiction, according to the results of a new study. This formulation is the extended release version.

A daily dose version of buprenorphine was approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) in 2002. It has been an effective treatment for opioid use disorder. Daily doses mean patients must commit to taking it each day; they may start to experience cravings for opioids once they get close to the end of the 24-hour cycle when they can take more medication.

Medication Assisted Therapy for Opioid Addiction

Buprenorphine and methadone are both used in MAT (Medication Assisted Therapy) to treat opioid addiction. These medications are used in combination with behavioral counseling as part of a “whole patient” approach. The medications are used to control cravings and clients work with a counselor to develop new ways of thinking and responding to life stresses.

Extended Release Buprenorphine Called Sublocade

The extended-release version of buprenorphine was approved by the FDA in November 2017, which is being marketed under the brand name Sublocade. Approval was based on positive results in a Phase III human subjects study. The study has been published in The Lancet to make it available to the wider scientific community.

Double Blind Study Conducted

Researchers divided 200 participants in the randomized, double-blind study into three groups. All of them had a mean duration of opioid use of between 11 and 12 years. Two of the groups were given different monthly doses of BUP-XR and one was given a placebo.

Both groups who were given BUP-XR reported “substantial portions of participants” abstaining from opioids. They also experienced relief from withdrawal symptoms and control from cravings for opioids without having to take medication on a daily basis.

tell my employer i'm going to rehab

Should I Tell my Employer I’m Going to Rehab?

Should I Tell my Employer I’m Going to Rehab?

You have taken the first steps toward recovery by looking into drug treatment centers in Arizona, but now you face some difficult questions. If you are stuck wondering “Should I tell my employer I’m going to rehab? And if so, how?” you are on a good path toward recovery already. In general, the answer is yes, you should be honest about your situation.

Remember that getting treatment is a good thing.

You are more likely to keep your job in the long term if you seek treatment by going to rehab than if you continue to struggle with addiction on your own. If your addiction has been affecting your work, for example with poor work performance, spotty attendance, or compromised decision-making skills, you will be far more likely to improve the quality of your work after receiving treatment than if you continue repeating the same mistakes. It may even be a relief for your boss to know any erratic behavior you’ve been exhibiting has a cause and that you are working on a solution.

How do I tell my employer I’m going to rehab?

Be honest. If your boss or coworkers already suspect something is up with you, it will be much less suspicious if you are up front about going to rehab rather than adding extra layers of lies and deceit to cover it up. Being honest also makes you come across as a responsible person taking initiative for your health.  Not to mention, if someone at work finds out you have lied and are actually at a drug treatment center in Arizona, that does not bode well for your future at the company.

If your boss allows it, schedule a one-on-one meeting so you don’t have to rush through the conversation at an inopportune time during the workday.  If privacy is important to you, emphasize that you need discretion. Make your needs clear, but be respectful of company time and your boss’s schedule.

Understand your rights as an employee.

Before taking any official action, check company policy to see if rehab is protected or addressed. It may fall under your legally-protected sick leave, which guarantees you will have a job to come back to. Some companies offer counseling or related help with finding an addiction treatment center. Even if your company’s policy does not address rehab specifically, an open and honest conversation with your boss or a human resources manager should help you understand your options. If you lie about where you are for the duration of your absence, your leave might not be legally protected, and that could put your job in jeopardy.

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Don’t be embarrassed.

Every employee struggles with something, but not everyone is capable of reaching out for help and seeking treatment. The fact that you are taking active steps to better yourself is a strong mark in your favor.

Understand that some people may react poorly to your announcement. That is okay. You can feel assured that you are making a healthy decision for yourself by choosing to get well, and that indirectly means you are making the best choice for your company as well. Stand your ground and do not let anyone pressure you into not seeking treatment. You are doing the right thing. 

Take some initiative to plan ahead.

Get as many important, time-sensitive projects finished as possible before you leave. Explain your job functions to a close colleague, so if the company has to bring on a temporary replacement while you are gone, you are helping to ensure a smooth transition. This extra effort and concern for the company’s time and money will cast you in a more favorable light than if you were to leave without much notice or preparation.

Do not feel pressured to explain everything.

You do not owe anyone, including your boss, a detailed explanation of your situation or your choices. You are not on trial; you are simply notifying your employer that you will be taking leave.

If you feel you are in a position where you simply cannot be honest and up front about where you will be going, that’s okay. Your health and recovery are more important.  Do what you need to do in order to attend rehab and get healthy, and worry about the rest later.

Many treatment facilities offer job assistance at the end of your stay, so you do not have to feel like your job is the only option in the world. If your current opportunity ends, you will find another when you are healthy.

What is a good drug treatment center in Arizona that can help me?

Desert Cove Recovery offers a helping hand through every step of your recovery journey, starting with detox and ending with extended care for long-term help. Whether your preference lies with the classic twelve step treatment or with more holistic methods, Desert Cove Recovery will make every effort to address your unique needs as an individual.

There is no need to fear being cooped up in a hospital room for weeks on end. Spending time in nature with the Outdoor Therapy program gives you time to take in the fresh air and the beautiful Arizona scenery while you get back on your feet.

How can I get started?

Contact a treatment professional at Desert Cove Recovery to get more information or inquiry about program availability. 

You can also contact your insurance or physician’s office if you need a referral, or for help deciding what the best course is for you moving forward.  

addicted to marijuana

Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?

Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?

When a person thinks about substance abuse and addiction, the idea of someone who addicted to marijuana is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. Substances such as heroin, alcohol, cocaine, and opioids are often what a person brings to mind when they hear the words “drug addiction”. However, despite the recent legalization and normalization of marijuana as a socially acceptable substance, it doesn’t take away from the fact that a person can still become addicted to marijuana.

What Does an Addiction to Marijuana Look Like?

The notion that someone can become seriously addicted to marijuana may seem silly to many individuals, as the substance is often viewed as a harmless substance in relation to harder drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. However, the fact that it’s practically impossible to experience a lethal overdose from marijuana doesn’t mean it’s impossible to develop a serious dependence which may require professional help.

Although marijuana has become a more mainstream substance that has lost much of its taboo status, it doesn’t take away from the fact that marijuana can still be a substance which people can become dependent upon. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 30 percent of marijuana users have some degree of marijuana use disorder. For those individuals who use the substance before the age of 18, the risk of developing a dependence disorder is four to seven times more likely. This fact highlights the risks for individuals who decide to use marijuana before they reach adulthood.

Someone who is addicted to marijuana is likely to experience some level of withdrawal symptoms when they are not under the influence of the drug. These symptoms can be things such as increased irritability, decreased appetite, difficulties with sleep, and other forms of physical discomfort as a result of not using marijuana. Dependence occurs when the brain begins to adapt to large amounts of marijuana being consumed, which reduces the amount the of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters produced in the body.

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How Would I Know I’m Addicted to Marijuana?

A person will know they are addicted to marijuana when they begin to rely on the substance in order to function on a day-to-day basis. If a person believes they are incapable of facing normal, everyday tasks without being under the influence of marijuana, it is a likely indication that they are dependent upon this substance. The number of people with some form of a marijuana use disorder has risen in recent years, perhaps in large part due to the increased availability and new legal status in many states. In 2015, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were approximately 4 million individuals in the United States with a marijuana use disorder.

The Similarities Between Marijuana Addiction and Other Forms of Substance Dependence

Many people tend to brush off the idea that being addicted to marijuana can be anywhere close to having a dependence to things such as opioids or heroin, but there are certainly a few similarities to become aware of. Much like how a person may be prescribed opioids for pain and become addicted to this substance, an individual may end up finding themselves addicted to marijuana after they began to use the drug for medicinal reasons. Individuals often begin using marijuana for its medicinal benefits, but may end up abusing the substance purely to get high.

Like many other forms of serious addiction, a dependence on marijuana can progress from a harmless and innocent attempt at treating a specific condition to becoming an unhealthy habit that is hard to avoid. A person may believe they are in control of their use and can stop at any time, but in reality they may be unable to stop without experiencing some level of withdrawal. A marijuana addiction can impact many facets of a person’s life and compound other difficult areas in one’s life. Without a doubt, an addiction to marijuana is an unfortunate reality which can become a serious problem if not properly addressed.

Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction or Dependence

Overcoming an addiction to marijuana can feel incredibly challenging, especially if you’re going it alone without any outside support. If you’re seeking support to make this important self-transformation a reality and are looking for an excellent addiction treatment center, contact Desert Cove Recovery today. Our trusted team will help guide you through the rehab process, working side-by-side with you to create a treatment plan that works. We can help you live a life free from addiction and empower you to become your best self.

 

ERs Missing Opportunity to Send OD Patients on to Addiction Treatment

In spite of the current opioid crisis that has been making headlines on a regular basis, Emergency Room (ER) doctors and staff have been missing opportunities to refer overdose patients to addiction treatment. The results of a recent study conducted on Medicaid claims in West Virginia indicate the health care system “doesn’t seem to be set up” for referring patients to further help.

Hospital Codes for Opioid Poisoning Examined During Study

The researchers examined insurance claims made for 301 people who overdosed in the years 2014 and 2015. By analyzing the hospital codes used for opioid poisoning, they were able to follow the treatment the patients received. The researchers were specifically looking to see whether the patients were billed in the months following their ER visit for health care services such as:

• Counseling or mental health care
• Opioid counseling visits
• Prescriptions for psychiatric drugs (anti-depressants, anxiety medications, etc.)
• Prescriptions for substance abuse medications

As a result of their work, the researchers found that less than 10 percent of the patients received (per month) substance abuse medications such as buprenorphine. Since methadone isn’t covered by West Virginia Medicaid, it wasn’t included in the study.

In the month the overdose occurred, about 15 percent of the patients received mental health counseling. In the 12 months after the overdose, that number had dropped to lower than 10 percent of patients per month.

Researchers Expected More Treatment for Overdose Patients

Neel Koyawala, a second-year medical student at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, the lead author of the study, said that the researchers “had expected more…especially given the national news about opioid abuse.”

Andrew Kolodny, the co-director of Opioid Policy Research at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, said that resources should be focused on getting patients who have experienced nonfatal overdoses into treatment.

He compared the situation to someone coming into the ER with a heart attack. Patients and their families take for granted that heart medication and a referral to a cardiologist will be provided when the patient is discharged. Kolodny wants to see patients who come to the ER with an overdose to get started on buprenorphine in the hospital and receive a referral to some type of addiction treatment when they leave.

Both Kolodny and Koyawala point to a combination of lack of training and understanding among health care professionals for what continues to happen to overdose patients after they are stabilized.

Dr. Matt Christiansen, an assistant professor at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine’s Department of Family & Community Health, stated that [a substance abuse patient’s] risk of overdose is the same the day after as it was on the day of an overdose.