Author Archives: Desert Cove

ways to practice self-care in recovery

Ways to Practice Self-Care in Recovery

Ways to Practice Self-Care in Recovery

Triumph on the journey of recovery always uses multiple paths. Long-term recovery success depends on examining, attending to, and maintaining the parts of one’s life that constitute who we are as individuals. Practicing self-care in recovery include four primary areas – the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual facets of an individual.

Physical Self-Care in Recovery

Individuals struggling with addiction have difficulties believing that they are worthy of certain things, such as love, respect, or to be treated with dignity. Sometimes it can be hard to envision someone wanting to date them, which leads to “letting themselves go.”

In other cases, individuals may work themselves to the point of exhaustion. They can ignore symptoms of poor health and keep right on working despite a cold, flu, or other illness. Those struggling with addiction must remind themselves regularly that they do indeed matter.

Fortunately, when it comes to physical care, a little bit can go a long way. For example, the following activities can be easy to integrate into daily life:

  • Practice Tai-Chi
  • Take daily bicycle rides
  • Walk for 30 minutes a day
  • Perform stretching exercises

Often it takes verbal reminders with themselves consistently, enforcing that it is not only okay to take care of their own physical needs, but a responsibility to themselves to do so. It must be acknowledged that it is acceptable to allow the world to move past them for however long they need to take care of themselves.

Most importantly, individuals in recovery who maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep to increase their long-term recovery success. With regular practice, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will become a good habit to keep the momentum going and further the potential of relapse.

Mental Care

Granted, everyone has bad days, but individuals recovering from addiction can sometimes beat themselves up unnecessarily for even the smallest infractions. This behavior can lead to a deluge of negative self-talk. Negativity in almost any form can quickly turn them down a dark path, potentially right back into their addiction if they are not careful.

Conversely, individuals also need to be careful about staying grounded when things go well. When individuals struggling with addiction begin to get their life back on an upward swing and life starts to go “right” for them, any kind of bump or hiccup can easily get blown out of proportion. Panic and fear can set in which, and if left unchecked, it can become the first step on an inevitable downward spiral.

Even if the recovery path is seemingly moving along without any hurdles, a premature feeling of having all issues under control may occur. When this happens, those in recovery may feel they no longer need support, guidance, or counseling. Therefore, it is important to keep mentally engaged, such as:

  • Have a good laugh
  • Commit acts of kindness
  • Regularly express gratitude
  • Strengthen social connections

To assist in managing both the ups and downs experienced during recovery, it is critical they surround themselves with people who can help them stay grounded, stable and help gain a better perspective when even the small molehill begins to look like a giant mountain.

Emotional Self-Care in Recovery

Mental and emotional care share a strong link, but each requires individual attention to maintain a long-term, successful recovery trajectory. Individuals in recovery often become flooded with a wide range of emotions they may have been repressing for years, if not decades. Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of recovery is learning how to deal with this sudden onslaught of highly chaotic emotions appropriately.

Caring for one’s emotional health requires a self-awareness beyond that needed for maintaining good physical or mental health. Positive emotional care involves one to:

  • Make time to rest, relax, and recharge
  • Accept responsibility for their actions
  • Take time to reflect and journal feelings
  • Be aware of your self-talk and inner critic

Individuals in recovery can also quickly ping-pong between almost violent emotional extremes.

Proper emotional self-care in recovery involves accepting this reality and learning to not act on the constant changing whirlwind of emotions. Instead, they should simply feel them, walk through them, and learn how to make better, more rational decisions when they are no longer in the grip of powerful and intense emotions.

Spiritual Care

Spiritual care can sometimes involve religious practices, but not always. In some cases, individuals struggling with addiction may even be dealing with some religious abuse that contributed to their addiction. In others, spiritual self-care may involve finding ways to reconnect with spiritual practices while simultaneously disconnecting them from religious or spiritually abusive practices.

Spiritual care may include:

  • Traveling
  • Meditation
  • Self-exploration
  • Religious practices

Every human being has their own unique beliefs regarding spiritual matters. Where we might have come from, where we might be going, and what our purpose is on earth are part of the human experience. For some, not having the answers or questioning currently held beliefs can trigger negative behaviors. Finding a safe place to investigate and explore one’s personal beliefs free from criticism or judgment needs to be a part of any recovery plan.

Care Support

If you or someone you love has struggled with addiction and is beginning the recovery journey, contact us to learn more about our post-care services. We customize recovery plans to help those in recovery grow and thrive as they re-enter a healthy life. 

When 30 Days Isn’t Enough: Extended Addiction Treatment

When 30 Days Isn’t Enough: Extended Addiction Treatment

When 30 Days Isn’t Enough: Extended Addiction Treatment

Popular opinion has us believe that 30 days of inpatient treatment for addiction is the standard approach. But further research into addiction and rehab shows that extended addiction treatment should be the norm.

The initial 30 days begins to address the physical addiction and can complete the detox process. But the actual person behind the addiction needs to be treated as well; this process can be far more drawn out and complicated.

What is Extended Addiction Treatment

An extended addiction treatment approach means that the plan goes beyond the common 30-day inpatient rehabilitation center. By extending the program, room is made for holistic treatment of the individual and ongoing support and restructuring that allows the individual to begin a whole new life and routine.

There are a variety of options for treatment beyond those initial thirty days. This includes outpatient treatment; talk therapy, group therapy, yoga classes, and basic wellness. The hard truth is that there is no magic bullet for treating addiction. To that end, no two people are the same, and there is no “one size fits all” treatment approach. 

Thirty Days: The First Step

When the public hears the phrase “rehab,” the most common connotation is the 30-day inpatient stay in a brick and mortar facility. Contact with friends and family is limited, and the emphasis is on the withdrawal from the drug and a successful, safe detox process.

The detox process, depending on the substance, generally takes 7-10 days.  The remaining few weeks in an inpatient facility can be used for additional therapy and a few coping tools on how to maintain sobriety.

Most people assume that the 30-day model is all that is needed to stop addictive behaviors.  But often, the addict needs more prolonged care. 

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Chance of Relapse

Once those in recovery complete the detox process and the remaining 30-day treatment program, they are not “cured” of the addiction. This is a massive lifestyle shift, and the need for a new structure and new routines, new friends, social activities, and habit changes is a lot to deal with alone. The upheaval caused by this process leaves many addicts open to relapse.

According to, 40-60% of those with substance abuse disorders will relapse. Sometimes, a relapse manifests as replacement addictions. This is why it’s helpful for rehabilitation options to exist on a continuum, so the addict is appropriately guided through all the bumps and bruises in starting a whole new life.  

Extended Treatment: Cost-Effective

In the grand scheme of things, extended addiction treatment can be less expensive for patients. 

According to, the average stay in a 30-day rehab facility can cost up to eight hundred dollars per day, or $24,000 total; some facilities run up to $30,000 total. The price will vary, depending on what type and how intense the rehab needs to be and what kind of health insurance the individual has. Extended residential care can run as high as $80,000 total.

Meanwhile, outpatient care can run for 30 days or up to three months and usually doesn’t cost more than $10,000 total. Payment programs are always an option as well, so you can expect continued care on a more manageable budget.

Extended Care: Higher Success

Long-term care yields better results when it comes to treating addictions.  The idea is to help the individual address underlying trauma and all residual facets of drug abuse so that both the physical addiction and the person underneath are equally treated. They are then able to successfully re-integrate back into society. This means navigating new jobs, new social circles, continued treatment, and any ancillary therapy needed.

Intensive outpatient treatment is an excellent start for anyone needing consistent guidance towards a life focused on maintained sobriety and overall health. If you or someone you know would like more information about outpatient options for addiction treatment, give us a call today.

treating emotional pain and trauma in addiction recovery

Treating Emotional Pain and Trauma in Addiction Recovery

Treating Emotional Pain and Trauma in Addiction Recovery

It might be easy to see someone struggling with addiction and just notice those destructive behaviors, but people are so much more than what they do. Often, there is underlying trauma and emotional pain that triggers this behavior. It can be invisible to the casual observer but deeply imprinted on the person suffering. Addiction is not a silent illness – it can manifest in many ways.

The emotional pain associated with addiction can cause addictions to be worse and can be a barrier for addiction recovery. Sometimes, you don’t even realize how much you are hurting until you’re already deep in a destructive cycle. It is important to understand the link between emotional pain and addictive behaviors so that you can put an end to the cycle and get the help you need for your trauma.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is deeply personal, unique, and pervasive in its influence on daily life. Examples of trauma include abuse, rape, trying financial situations, miscarriage, divorce, etc. Emotional trauma and addiction often go hand-in-hand as a coping mechanism for the suffering.

It is important to understand that any trauma you’ve experienced is not your fault – especially while suffering from addiction. It is important to seek treatment for the emotional, physical, and spiritual disruption that trauma can cause. 

For some, traumatic events can be clear-cut and singular. Other times, trauma is ongoing and subtle. It’s not until the mental and physical effects of the trauma start to manifest that the person even realizes trauma has occurred.

Counselors in addiction recovery are trained to recognize those behaviors that often result from trauma. Those behaviors can include guilt, shame, reclusiveness, paranoia, intrusive and recurring negative thoughts, and difficulty maintaining daily routines. 

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Treating Trauma and Addiction Together

The effects of trauma can be physical, mental, and emotional. These effects can manifest immediately after the trauma or years down the road. In particular, those who have experienced trauma can be more susceptible to self-harm. These thoughts and behaviors are very serious and common, so it’s important not to feel any shame or guilt about seeking healing from the traumatic events that were a catalyst for those destructive behaviors. Sometimes, self-harm comes in the form of addiction to harmful substances. Healing trauma during addiction recovery can be an imperative part of a person’s path to total recovery. 

The best path to recovery is the one that takes into account the underlying causes of the addiction and treats the person as a competent, active participant in their recovery. Therefore, when seeking treatment for your addiction, realize that the best counselors will also treat the underlying trauma in addiction recovery. Similarly, if you seek treatment for the emotional pain associated with trauma, then realize that it is best to treat the addictive and destructive habits resulting from that trauma with direct intervention. This way you can move on from your past towards a clean, trauma-free future.

Taking Time to Heal the Whole You

When you’re ready to heal the whole you, and take a deep, reflective path to a stronger, happier you, then it’s time to contact an addiction recovery counselor who specializes in holistic care. There are many facets to a person, their trauma, and their addiction. By addressing trauma in addiction recovery, you can begin to unlock trauma you didn’t even know about.

The staff at Desert Cove Recovery are leaders in the industry by using comprehensive, individualized approaches to create a recovery program that works for you. The counselors at Desert Cove Recovery are trained to treat the whole person and the root cause of the addiction using a state-of-the-art holistic approach to get you onto the path to recovery sooner. Reach out today to see how Desert Cove Recovery can help you start the rest of your life. 

Five Unexpected Benefits of Sobriety

5 Unexpected Benefits of Sobriety

Five Unexpected Benefits of Sobriety

When you struggle with addiction, your life is nowhere near how you imagined it ever would be. Somehow the life you’re living is not the one that you thought you would, and you’re not sure that you can ever get it back. The truth is that you can, indeed, reclaim your life and live the one you were meant to. When you decide to take steps to break the chains of addiction in your life, you might be surprised to find some unexpected benefits of sobriety that come along.

1. You’ll sleep better at night.

A report from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism detailed the effects of alcohol consumption and sleep disorders. Since alcohol consumption can disrupt REM sleep cycles, those who suffer from addiction disease also tend to suffer from poor sleep architecture and sleep disorders.

A 2007 study from the Society for Neuroscience and a study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep also confirmed similar effects on one’s sleep and sleep disturbances with the use of cocaine and opiates. Sleep is vital for healthy brain development, regeneration, and overall healthy wellbeing. With sobriety, restorative, and refreshing nights of sleep return!

2. You’ll be able to put your words into actions.

When you’re actively in using drugs or alcohol, you know that many of your actions are not those you’d make when you are sober. You feel poorly about those words and actions, but your dependence prevents you from putting your remorseful feelings into action. This brings additional guilt and shame into your life and often exacerbates your drive for one more drink or one more hit.

When you’re sober, you are empowered! You’ll no longer find yourself spouting empty words that tear down relationships; you’ll instead be strong enough to follow through with the good intentions you’ve always had.

3. You’ll find more money in your pockets.

Depending on the substance, those who suffer from addiction find they spend anywhere between $20-$1200 a day on their habit. It’s nothing for some in active addiction to spend over $100,000 on alcohol or drugs, and often at the risk of losing their consistent paychecks in the process. Additionally, financial decisions made when using a substance can be catastrophic to you and your family.

When you focus on your sobriety, you’ll find you’re making smarter financial decisions and spending your money more wisely because your judgment is not clouded with intoxicated decision processes.

4. You’ll have better long-term health and life-span.

Drugs and alcohol wreak havoc on your body. Abusing drugs and alcohol can do damage to your body physically in organs like your lungs and your liver, as well as in your brain, which is your body’s command center. Substance abuse impacts your health tremendously. When your body is suffering, so does the rest of you.

When you work on your sobriety, though, you’ll also be working on improving your overall health and longevity. When you are living in sobriety, drugs, or alcohol no longer change your brain’s chemistry and weaken your immune system. Instead, you’ll find you may come back to a healthy weight, and your body will crave things that continue to make it feel amazing, not drag it down.

5. You’ll become passionate about life again.

Yes, becoming sober has many physical and monetary advantages, not to mention benefits to repairing and restoring relationships with friends and family members. Most importantly, though, becoming sober helps you become the you that you were always meant to be. You’ll be able to focus your time, talent, and resources into activities and relationships you’re passionate about. In doing so, you’ll find that the healthy and natural highs you get from doing the things you love drive you to enjoy and be thankful for every day you have.

You’ll be reminded that you don’t need alcohol or drugs to enjoy this beautiful life and that you want to continue living substance-free for all the of the unexpected benefits of sobriety you’ve found.

Recovery is Possible

Though there are so many reasons to focus on your sobriety. The number one reason is that you deserve to live an enriching and fulfilling life.

If you’re struggling with substance abuse, the compassionate staff at Desert Cove Recovery will walk with you upon the path to your new sobriety.

We know that recovery and sobriety are hard-fought. We want to show you how to live a full and happy life substance-free. We’re ready to help you take those first steps and find the real you again. Contact us today and start living the life you were meant to live.

Share the image below if you have experienced any unexpected benefits of sobriety!

unexpected benefits of sobriety, drug rehab arizona

Opioid Prescriptions and Addiction in Teens

Opioid Prescriptions and Addiction in Teens

For the first time, opioid-producing pharmaceutical companies are being held accountable by state and federal courts for their role in the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. Opioid prescriptions and addiction have gripped the United States for decades.

Purdue Pharma paid a $270 million settlement with the state of Oklahoma in March of 2019. Although such a large sum was awarded, this may be just the tip of the iceberg. Purdue is also facing repercussions in five more states. Johnson & Johnson and Teva Pharmaceutical have also come under fire for misleading doctors and patients about the safety of their painkillers.

While big pharma is staring at lawsuits and public scrutiny, little has changed with the availability of prescription opioids both legally and through illicit means. Perhaps most affected by the prevalence of these highly addictive medications are teenagers and young adults.

An Increased Risk for Addiction in Teenagers

Despite most people understanding or being aware of the dangers of opioid pain medication, teens and young adults are still prescribed opioids at alarming rates. So much so that theirs is the demographic affected most by the opioid crisis.

Adolescents and college students are particularly prone to misusing prescription drugs in part because their brains are still developing. Other factors include:

  • Party atmosphere
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • Overwhelming course load
  • The pressure to succeed or fit in
  • Using ”study” drugs like Ritalin
  • Work and internship requirements
  • Taking opioids to manage other drug use

According to a study released in May of 2019, 15% of teens and young adults age 18-25 were prescribed opioid pain medication during an emergency room visit from 2005-2015.

Doctors in the emergency settings are prescribing strong opiates like hydrocodone and oxycodone for minor injuries, dental issues, and even sore throats, the study found. Effectively, this has resulted in the legal use of strong medications becoming gateways to teenage opioid addiction.

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opioid prescriptions and addiction in teens

The Short Jump to Addiction

As addiction specialist Dr. Deanna Wilson told NBC news, the “vast majority” of this age group using illicit opiates like heroin and fentanyl get started on prescribed opioids. Because prescription drugs appear to be considered safe in the eyes of young adults, those with early addictive symptoms seek out prescription medications from friends or family.

The problem is that opioids are so highly addictive on a biochemical level that patients become hooked in the time it takes for that emergency prescription to run out, and they’re left feeling opioid withdrawal symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Fever and chills
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Nausea and stomach cramps

It is at this point many young adults turn to pain management clinics or purchasing pills on the black market (often as simple as asking around campus). Eventually, however, the supply of prescription medications runs out or becomes too difficult, time-consuming, or expensive to obtain.

When prescription medications run dry or become too expensive, teens and young adults often turn away from pharmaceuticals altogether and begin using heroin. Heroin is extremely addictive and as a street drug, substance abusers rarely know what other chemicals their bodies may be taking in.

A Long Road to Recovery

NBC spoke to several other experts in the field of teen and adolescent addiction, one of whom said the problem is a lack of education among patients and medical professionals. Future public health initiatives, he said, should focus on reducing opioid prescriptions in emergency rooms and educating doctors and the public about alternatives.

Greater education is never a bad thing, but as the lawsuits currently making their way through American courts clearly show, corporate greed is also a major player. As long as doctors and pharmaceutical companies are making money off of their addictive products, kids will be at risk.

Both processes – education and litigation – could be years in coming. Dr. Deanne Wilson, professor at the University of Pittsburgh, may have summed up why teenagers and young adults are so susceptible to opioid addiction. Dr. Wilson asks to think of an automobile with a gas pedal, but with brakes that are not fully developed.

Seeking Help for Opioid Prescription Addiction

As educators race to train our medical personnel and legal experts seek to tighten restrictions on paid prescriptions, families must take it into their own hands to arm themselves with the right tools and resources. It is important for them to understand the signs of substance abuse to minimize their own and their loved ones’ exposure to these medications – before a visit to a local emergency room or outpatient clinic. If you or someone you love is struggling with opioid prescriptions and addiction, visit your local medical facility or contact Desert Cove Recovery today. Help is always just a phone call away.  


sober culture isn't boring

Sober Culture Isn’t Boring

Sober Culture Isn’t Boring

When you’re addicted to drugs or alcohol, your addiction is at the center of your world. For many people, their social lives revolve around it, which is one of the many reasons why they may find it difficult to get the help they need to get sober.

What will my life be like if I’m sober? The short answer is better. More and more people are choosing a life without drugs or alcohol, making a sober culture more of the norm rather than the exception.

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What Are the Benefits of Being Part of Sober Culture?

Anyone who has been on both sides of addiction will tell you that being sober is a much better way of life. There are countless celebrities who have chosen sobriety and have shared their stories in hopes to inspire others to do the same.

Florence Welch, of the band Florence + The Machine, is just one musician who is now living a sober life. She acknowledges that she used to drink excessively, causing her to not give 100% to her career. Once she decided to battle her addiction, Welch says everything changed and she began to get her life back.

Award-winning musician Keith Urban is another celebrity who has been open about his sobriety. Urban admits to using drugs and alcohol which he says took away the time he could have been using to create music.

Other celebrities like Bradley Cooper, Rob Lowe, and Tobey Maguire, are just a few of a handful who have openly talked about their addiction and recovery in hopes of encouraging others to embrace the sober culture.

Even people who are not celebrities often share their sobriety stories, in hopes of getting others to battle their addiction. This is done in a variety of ways including in group settings, online, and through social media. For many people, it is not only a way of helping others but is also cathartic as they learn to live a sober life.

If you’re still questioning why you should get sober, consider these benefits that everyone can relate to:

Being Sober Allows You to Remember ALL of Your Activities

Many individuals will admit that there are many parts of their lives that are blocked out because of their drug and alcohol use. When you choose to be sober, you are always present in your life and will have memories of what you’ve done.

Sobriety Makes You Healthier

Poor eating habits, minimal exercise, and damage to your body are just some of the negative aspects of addiction. Being sober means treating your body better and living a healthier life.

Real Friendships

Many individuals have relationships that are centered around their addiction. These friendships are not healthy. When you choose to be sober, you can start establishing relationships that can exist without an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

You can Focus on Work and Hobbies

Addiction steals you away from positive hobbies and from being productive at work. Being sober allows you to focus and excel in different areas of your life.

How Can I Begin to Live a Sober Life?

Living a sober life begins with the realization that you need help. When you choose to get help at Desert Cove Recovery, you will have the help of knowledgeable and caring staff who will take the time to get to know you and your addiction.

The staff at Desert Cove Recovery believes that everyone’s addiction story is unique. That’s why each program differs from person to person. Once your addiction is examined, you will find out if a detox program is needed. This helps to rid your body of the substance you’re addicted to under the supervision of medical staff.

From there, you will begin your treatment which may include a combination of the 12-step process as well as holistic treatment to care for the mind and body. Individual and group therapy are often recommended as well as behavioral therapy to look into the psychological problems that may be involved with addiction.

A big part of sobriety is learning how to live in the outside world minus the addiction. Desert Cove Recovery also takes relapse prevention very seriously and works with each patient to educate them and plan for the future.

If you’re ready to take the first step to live a sober life, call Desert Cove Recovery today to speak to one of our staff members or send us a message online. Let us help you discover the benefits of embracing a sober culture.


Effects of Marijuana Use in the Developing Brain

Effects of Marijuana Use in the Developing Brain

Effects of Marijuana Use in the Developing Brain

Did you know that the brain doesn’t stop developing until around age 25? So, the “adult” brain at 18 is not so adult after all. Recent neuroimaging shows the structure of the brain is still changing and growing even into a person’s mid- to late- 20s.   With the brain still developing, the effects of marijuana use by young adults are far-reaching.

Detrimental habits picked up in adolescence and early adulthood, such as a habit of marijuana usage, can have lifelong implications. Heavy marijuana usage in your teens can actually change the way your brain develops.

The prefrontal cortex is responsible for planning, judgment, decision making, and personality. It also happens to be the last area of the brain to mature. Some other areas most likely to keep growing well into the early 20s are the areas linked to cognitive ability, social thinking, higher order thinking, and perception.

Changes in the Brain

Decreased IQ

In 2012, a longitudinal study done by Duke University saw that people who smoked marijuana consistently over a 20 year period, with heavy usage in their formative years, had an average IQ drop of 6 points between ages 13 and 38. That is roughly the same decline as those with prolonged lead exposure.

Scientists believe that teens and young adults are particularly susceptible to increased negative side effects of heavy drug use because the brain is not fully developed. As usage increases, the body’s normal development is stunted by the effects of marijuana on the brain.

Deregulated Emotions & Increased Stress

In addition to decreased cognitive abilities, young adults who use marijuana are more likely to have deregulated emotions and increased stress response. As consistent marijuana users grow into adults, the stress response on a cellular level actually slows down. This makes it more difficult for adults to regulate themselves and respond to stress appropriately with marijuana to help them cope. This can make everything from buying a car to getting up for work on-time a struggle, potentially leading to social development problems as time goes on.

Physical Changes in the Brain

Various studies have shown that consistent marijuana use during the developmental years affects the brain’s growth and stability.  A scientific review of 43 studies by scientists at the University of Barcelona found consistent cannabis use to be linked to structural brain abnormalities and altered neural activity.  For those who consistently smoked (5 out of 7 days a week) or more than 2,500 times in their lifetime, MRI results showed decreased white matter and decreased the size of the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for making rational decisions. This stunted growth may be the reason marijuana can sometimes be a gateway drug – it desensitizes you to the danger of drug abuse which makes taking drugs an easier decision.

Increased Psychosomatic Symptoms

Addiction is a disease that takes a heavy toll. It can have many physical and emotional effects. Marijuana addiction has been linked to increased depression, anxiety, panic attacks, psychosis, and suicide, particularly in young adults. In the absence of marijuana as a coping mechanism, these symptoms become even more extreme.

Marijuana usage has seen an increase in potency and strength over the past few years, making it particularly damaging to the new generation of teens and young adults using it. The increased prevalence of stronger, more virulent marijuana makes the effects on the developing brain that much more potent and easier to underestimate.

Hormonal shifts in early adulthood tend to shift the person toward a more relaxed, even-keeled demeanor but the opposite becomes true in a heavy marijuana user who has had an altered mind state for an extended period of time. The effects of marijuana on a developing brain can be life-long and extend far past just the laziness that is often associated with frequent usage.

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Effects on Marijuana on the Developing Brain

When to Get Help

Heavy marijuana use in early adulthood has been linked with harder circumstances to overcome in life including poor school performance, higher dropout rates, increased welfare dependency, more unemployment, and overall lower life satisfaction. Don’t let that happen to you – get the help you need before it takes over your life!

If it’s time for you or a loved to receive treatment for marijuana addiction recovery, then Desert Cove Recovery in Scottsdale, AZ is the place for you. The counselors, psychologists, and nurses on staff are all highly qualified to create a treatment plan that utilizes the 12-step recovery system along with cutting-edge technology to help you live a healthy, drug-free life.

The combination of traditional treatment options and today’s technology provides a holistic approach to addiction recovery that offers solutions to those who are seeking help for the first time or those who struggle with chronic relapse. The effects of marijuana on the developing brain are scary, but with the help of Desert Cove Recovery, there can be a brighter future ahead.


Arizona Rehab Centers Make The Difference In Recovery Relapse

Arizona Rehab Centers Make The Difference In Recovery Relapse

Arizona Rehab Centers Make The Difference In Recovery Relapse

One of the most important but least remembered aspects of addiction recovery is that you are human, and relapse may be a part of your recovery process. It’s a real and valid concern. If you find yourself in relapse from recovery, contacting Arizona rehab centers is the best way to get you back on track, as soon as possible. Reaching out for help will help you maintain the progress and growth you worked hard to achieve.  

What To Do In The Event Of A Relapse

Too often, we feel like if we are in ‘recovery,’ we are on an upward-moving path and anything that takes us back is a failure. That’s simply not the case. Part of the recovery process Arizona rehab centers employ with their clients is the preparation for the possibility of relapse in recovery. The creation of a game plan is also discussed if it should happen.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it’s not uncommon for people who are in recovery to relapse, as learning to live without drugs or alcohol takes practice. Relapse can lead to damaging consequences, so if you should find yourself relapsing and falling into old habits and behaviors, it’s important to seek professional help quickly and purposefully.

What Causes Relapse In Recovery?

The answer to what causes relapse in recovery is as unique as the answer to the question, “What causes addiction?” Since the underlying reasons for addiction vary from person to person, the reasons for relapse will vary, as well.

That said, Arizona rehab centers have found that there are some commonalities in the reasons many people relapse. Often, facing stressful times or situations will propel a person in recovery toward their addictive substance as a way to cope with the stress.

Depression, negative emotions and feelings can also make one feel that returning to addictive habits may bring back happiness or clarity. Too often, those negative feelings can cloud the judgment of someone in recovery, and trick them into thinking life really was better before they entered the recovery process.

Additionally, when someone in recovery comes back in contact with people and places that are connected to the addictive habits, it’s tempting to want to fall back into those habits with those people as well. Seeing the people and paraphernalia, smelling the alcohol and remembering the ‘good times’ with those who were part of the addictive life can trigger the desire to relapse into those destructive behaviors.

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How Can Arizona Rehab Centers Help In Recovery?

When someone in recovery relapses, there is often guilt and shame that comes with relapse. These feelings can be even worse than what was associated with the addiction in the first place. You may feel as if you’ve not just failed in addiction, but you’ve failed in recovery.

You don’t have to believe that lie. Arizona rehab centers like Desert Cove Recovery are trained to help you immediately tackle the relapse, and to help you work through the guilt and shameful feelings you may have because you’ve relapsed.

The compassionate and professional staff at Desert Cove Recovery know that you are only human, and they’re ready to help you get your life back for good. They understand that there is nothing to be gained in beating yourself up, and will help you learn to realize that it’s not about what you’ve done—it’s about what your next move is. They want that to be a positive one, one that doesn’t deny that relapse may happen but instead realizes it may be part of the journey and needs to be dealt with in a caring and effective manner.

Desert Cove Recovery knows you greatly regret not only your addiction but your relapse, and they want to help so that you can minimize any of the potentially harmful effects of relapse in a caring and kind way.

You’ve already suffered enough in your addiction and you don’t need to endure this alone just because you’ve relapsed. Desert Cove Recovery wants to encourage you for not just taking the efforts to get help, but in understanding that relapse may be part of the journey and they’re there with you in every step of that as well.

You’ve worked hard in recovery; let Desert Cove Recovery stand by your side if you’ve relapsed. They’re there for you, so make the call.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Similar to withdrawal from prescription or street drugs, alcohol withdrawal comes with a lot of unpleasant symptoms. Though these alcohol withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, in most cases, they are not life-threatening. The physical and mental effects of alcohol withdrawal are mentally and physically taxing for someone attempting to overcome alcohol addiction.

Millions of Americans are dealing with an alcohol use disorder. In fact, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry stated that about 1 in 8 adults in the United States meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder. These statistics are alarming and according to the CDC, approximately 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes.

When it comes to alcohol withdrawal, it doesn’t matter if you or a loved one has been drinking for a few weeks or several decades, the results are likely the same. To successfully and safely withdraw from alcohol it’s important to understand the process.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?

Like any other controlled substance, alcohol produces intense symptoms once it’s discontinued. The question is: What causes alcohol withdrawal? In terms of physiology, alcohol dependency begins in the liver. Alcohol – like anything else we consume – is broken down by liver enzymes then is released from the body through urine. The problem with alcohol is, once a person drinks too much or too often, the liver cannot effectively break it down and the unmetabolized alcohol begins to affect other parts of the body.

The brain is most often affected by alcohol addiction, as alcohol causes extreme fluctuations in brain chemistry. This is also where psychological alcohol dependence starts. People who are addicted to alcohol feel happier and more relaxed when they drink and if a person is dealing with a lot of stress or trying to repress negative emotions, they will likely drink more to improve their mood. As consumption increases in amount and frequency, the body begins to crave alcohol and tolerance gets higher, meaning it takes more alcohol to produce the same happy effect.

If you or a loved one exhibits signs of alcohol dependence, it’s important to seek treatment. Signs that indicate alcohol dependence include:

  • Behavioral changes like increased aggression and self-destructive tendencies
  • The inability to limit alcohol consumption
  • Shunning social or professional obligations to drink instead
  • Mood changes including feelings of intense euphoria or apathy, loneliness, or guilt
  • Problems with coordination like slurred speech, disturbed gait, tremors, blackouts, and/or sweating

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

Alcohol withdrawal takes place in various stages and those embarking on it for the first time can better adjust if they know what will happen and when. Although the timeline of alcohol withdrawal is fairly linear, the withdrawal experience will vary from person to person. It’s important to remember that the withdrawal symptoms won’t necessarily happen at the same exact time but will occur in what are called stages.

The first stage of alcohol withdrawal begins several hours after a person drinks for the last time. With onset from 8 to 12 hours after the last drink, a person withdrawing from alcohol may begin to experience abdominal pain, headaches, nausea and vomiting, fever, and changes in blood pressure. As withdrawal progresses to the second stage, the symptoms become markedly more uncomfortable.

Second stage alcohol withdrawal typically begins between 12 and 24 hours after the last drink. Though second stage symptoms include both intense mental and physical symptoms, these symptoms are not life-threatening. Symptoms at this stage include, but are not limited to, heart palpitations, anxiety, tremors, hallucinations (auditory, tactile and visual), and confusion.

The third stage of alcohol withdrawal is the most critical and happens anywhere between 24 and 48 hours following a person’s last drink. At this stage, the person will experience intense symptoms that may be better managed in a controlled environment, such as a treatment facility. Even for someone who knows what to expect, stage three symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be pretty scary. Common stage three symptoms include hallucinations, tremors, and even seizures. In addition, delirium tremens (DTs) commonly develop in stage three alcohol withdrawal.

Exactly what is DTs? Delirium tremens is a potentially life-threatening occurrence that is marked by psychological symptoms such as powerful hallucinations and intense seizures. DTs is fatal in about 3-5 percent of people who develop it. Though not everyone who withdraws from alcohol will experience delirium tremens, the possibility of its development is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to attempt alcohol withdrawal on your own. By using medically assisted detox, people withdrawing from alcohol can do so in a controlled environment and decrease the likelihood of mortality caused by DTs.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

What to Expect Next?

Though it is still up for debate, some addiction treatment professionals believe there is, in fact, a fourth withdrawal stage. Following stage three, it’s common to experience purely psychological symptoms, including depression. Other common post-withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, weight gain due to metabolism changes, and lack of energy.

The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms will largely depend on how often a person drinks, how much they drink, as well as overall health. Those who have co-occurring disorders also may experience alcohol withdrawal differently.

Get Help with Safe Alcohol Withdrawal

Managing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal alone is not recommended. Aside from generally uncomfortable symptoms, there are some potentially life-threatening side effects that are best managed at an addiction treatment facility. By seeking professional help from qualified staff at a rehab facility specializing in alcohol dependency, those dealing with alcohol addiction can safely detox, learn and manage triggers, and prevent relapse.

At Desert Cove Recovery, our professional staff is there to help you or a loved one safely detox from alcohol. With a whole-person approach, we work to identify the underlying causes of alcohol dependence and give individuals the tools they need to prevent relapse. We specialize in both traditional 12-step programs as well as forward-thinking treatment approaches that include medically-supervised detox, holistic treatment, outdoor therapy, individual and group therapy, and comprehensive extended care services.

Treating Opioid Use Disorder with Opioid Addiction Treatment Arizona

Treating Opioid Use Disorder with Opioid Addiction Treatment Arizona

Treating Opioid Use Disorder with Opioid Addiction Treatment Arizona

The opioid epidemic is not showing any signs of slowing down. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) urged the enhancement of opioid use disorder treatment capabilities after reporting 3 in 5 overdose deaths were attributed to the pervasive drug. There is an urgent need for expanded opioid addiction treatment. Arizona, like most states, has seen an increase in use, addiction, and deaths from opioid use disorder.   

 Addressing the nationwide crisis requires a collaborative from both the healthcare community and law enforcement. Improving access to prescription drug monitoring programs, larger distribution of naloxone, and implementing harm reducing approaches are all part of the equation. But, it may be a friend or family member who recognizes a loved one’s opioid use disorder that may save that person’s life. 

 Signs of Opioid Use Disorder

Recognizing the signs of an individual’s addiction to opioids is the first step in helping those suffering seek out the assistance they need. There are certain external signs that may suggest someone may be suffering from an addiction, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Weight loss
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Poor coordination
  • Shallow breathing
  • Abandoning responsibilities

A physician may diagnose opioid use disorders. While many symptoms do not appear initially, over time each may appear more pronounced. As addiction continues, consistently visible signs may be an indication someone is in need of help.

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Treating Opioid Use Disorder

Symptoms of Opioid Use Disorder

Those suffering from an opioid disorder will also suffer from a number of symptoms. Unlike opioid addiction signs, symptoms occur internally and may not be outwardly visible. Symptoms of opioid addiction include:

  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Physical agitation
  • Feelings of euphoria
  • Poor decision making
  • Loss of consciousness

Even though symptoms may not be apparent to friends or family members, listening to how someone feels may help identify a potential opioid use problem. Together, someone known to show signs and express the feelings of opioid use disorder should seek medical help.

Medicinal Treatment Options

Sufferers of opioid addiction will often relapse when they only abstain from opioid use after detoxification. For some, the recovery process often includes relapse as a key component. Unfortunately, for those addicted to opioids, a relapse could be fatal.

One way to assist in abstaining from opioid use after detoxification is to begin a medicinal program. Medicines have been developed to reduce both cravings and negative withdrawal effects. The medicines have been successful in not creating the euphoric feelings produced by opioids, limiting their own addictiveness.

Methadone is one such drug created to eliminate cravings and withdrawal symptoms. A synthetic drug, Methadone acts on the very same opioid reactors in the brain by activating them slowly and reducing the desire to use. With more than 4 decades of successful use, the drug has become a staple in the long-term success of opioid treatment. However, Methadone prescriptions must be filled through specialized opioid treatment centers. 

In 2002, the FDA approved Buprenorphine. Similar to Methadone, Buprenorphine attaches to opioid receptors in the brain. By slowly activating the receptors, the patients craving for opioids becomes greatly diminished. Moreover, because of the FDA’s approval, certified physicians instead of specialized treatment facilities may prescribe Buprenorphine.

Behavioral Treatment Options for Opioid Addiction

In general, behavioral treatment begins by evaluating the history and reasons for a patient’s opioid addiction. Behavioral treatment starts immediately after a patient completes the detoxification process. The goal is to work quickly and change behavioral patterns that could lead to opioid use.

Not only must there be an effort to eliminate the intake of opioids, but also an approach to address the anxieties, concerns, and worries recovering individuals will face during opioid addiction treatment. Arizona inpatient facilities offer programs specifically designed to help rebuild an individual’s self-awareness and prepare them for returning to normal life. Mental, behavioral, and emotional rehabilitation is as important to the long-term sobriety success as the conquering the physical addiction to opioid drugs.

For example, a treatment center may offer individual counseling with trained and licensed staff. Confidential therapies are provided allowing patients to explore various topics. Without bias or judgment, patients learn the origins of their addiction and the path that led them there. By identifying the triggers of opioid use and the patient’s individual strengths, recovering opioid users learn ways to suppress triggers and remain sober.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Arizona

Finding the right treatment center in Arizona is an important first step on the road to recovery. When evaluating your options, consider expanding your search well beyond your local community. Facilities such as Desert Cove Recovery offer an opportunity to provide a private environment to support your recovery, ensuring a patient’s employment status or reputation remains intact.

Rehabs also need to be able to provide a wide range of treatment solutions. Establishments specializing only in detoxification will endure patients with a much higher relapse rate than centers such as Desert Cove Recovery who offer options from holistic care to outdoor therapy.

No matter where you live if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, give us a call today. Help is just a phone call away.