Category Archives: Addiction Treatment Program

Colorado Doctors Trying Medication to Respond to Meth Addiction Crisis

With the opioid crisis taking up so much space in popular media, it’s been easy to forget about other illicit drugs affecting people’s lives. In Colorado, methamphetamine (meth) use is widespread, due to its easy availability and inexpensive cost.

Heroin Users Switching to Meth

Some heroin users are switching to methamphetamine as their drug of choice, believing that they can’t overdose on meth or other stimulants. This is absolutely untrue, according to Lisa Raville, the executive director of the Denver’s Harm Reduction Center, which operates the city’s needle exchange program. She wants clients who come through her program to understand the risks associated with meth use.

Denver law enforcement has reported a total of 1,468 arrests on possession charges in 2018. This figure represents a 217 percent jump in similar charges since 2014. Jason Dunn, the state’s US. attorney, commented that while there has been some progress on the opioid front, “we’re still losing ground on the methamphetamine front.”

CO Doctors Using MAT for Meth Addiction

To combat this problem, Colorado doctors are turning to MAT (medication-assisted treatment). This approach uses a combination of specific drugs, such as Naltrexone, to help control a client’s cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, and talk therapy (individual and group) to treat the addiction.

MAT is a standard treatment for opioid addiction. Doctors are starting to use this method to treat those addicted to methamphetamines as well. Naltrexone and another medication, Vivitrol, haven’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat meth addiction yet, although a number of patients who have tried it report positive results.

Health Risks of Methamphetamine Use

Meth is a very powerful stimulant and even in small doses it can lead to decreased appetite as well as increased alertness and physical activity. It also affects the user’s cardiovascular system and may lead to a number of health issues, such as:

• Rapid heart rate
• Increased blood pressure
• Irregular heart rate

In an overdose, the person may experience elevated body temperature (hyperthermia) or convulsions. This is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment.

With long-term use, users need to take more of the drug, take it more often or change their method of use to get the sense of euphoria they are seeking. They may also have difficulty feeling pleasure unless they use meth, which may lead to even more drug use. Withdrawal symptoms occur when someone who is a chronic user of the drug stops taking it. These symptoms include fatigue, anxiety and depression, along with intense cravings for the drug.

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Gene Mutation that Contributes to Addiction Discovered

Researchers have known for some time that genetics are one of the risk factors for substance abuse. One of the big questions remaining is why are some people at higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse than others?

William R. Lovallo, Ph.D., a researcher at Oklahoma University College of Medicine, published a study that focused on how a person’s genes play a role in addiction. Dr. Lovallo’s research demonstrated that a minuscule genetic mutation can put some people at higher risk for drug or alcohol addiction. The results of his research have been published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the leading journal on the subject worldwide.

Nature, Nurture and Causes of Addiction

Many people wonder whether addiction risk is something that a person is born with (nature) or if it is the result of the family environment (nurture). The risk factors for addiction involve nature and nurture. Dr. Lovallo’s research looked at a particular gene and how it responded to a particular type of environment.

COMT is a gene that helps the body control dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate attention, movement, emotional responses and feeling pleasure. Dopamine is also released when someone drinks alcohol or uses drugs like amphetamines (“uppers”).

Link Between Genes and Childhood Adversity

Dr. Lovallo discovered the relationship between a person’s genes and childhood adversity. People who have the genetic mutation of the COMT gene have a baseline of being more vulnerable to the effects of stress early in life. This type of stress could include divorce, emotionally distant parents, etc. Children who have a heightened vulnerability to stress may turn to drugs or alcohol before their mid-teens, which is one of the most telling independent predictors of addiction.

He explained that experiencing adversity during one’s early life doesn’t always lead to drug addiction or alcoholism. The study does show that people who carry this genetic mutation are at higher risk for developing an addiction if they had a significant level of stress during childhood.

Since COMT helps to determine how well dopamine works in the brain, it helps to explain why some people are at higher risk than others. The gene mutation varies from person to person, affecting how dopamine works for each person differently. It would be oversimplifying matters to say that a specific “addiction gene” has been discovered. However, there are certain genes that respond to the environment in ways that can place some people at higher risk for developing an addiction.

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 drugabuse.gov, 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 drughelpline.org, 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.

Long-acting Buprenorphine Injections Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment

Long-acting Buprenorphine Injections Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment

A monthly injection of buprenorphine BUP-XR is more effective than a 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 and Treatment 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 opioid withdrawal symptoms and control from cravings for opioids without having to take medication on a daily basis.

er missing opportunity to send overdose patients to addiction treatment

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 Addiction 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.

signs it's time to go to rehab

10 Signs It’s Time to Go to Rehab

10 Signs It’s Time to Go to Rehab

Approximately 21.7 million people in the United States are in need of some type of treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, yet only a small fraction of individuals actually get the help they need. Many people decide to avoid entering rehab because they don’t believe they need it. Or perhaps they simply avoid seeking help because they are ashamed or uncertain if they are able to afford it. If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction, here are ten signs it’s time to go to rehab.

1. You have Physical Health Problems as a Result of Your Drug/Alcohol Use

Substance abuse can affect your health in a number of ways, but it may not be initially apparent to you, as it can take a period of time before you begin to notice the signs. If you have begun to notice physical changes to your body as a result of your drug/alcohol abuse, it’s critical to begin the process of looking into rehab. Your body is giving you clear warning signs of the severity of your condition.

2. Your Relationships with Friends and Family Have Become Strained

An addiction to drugs or alcohol can put a strain on your relationships over time, as addiction can create tension between you and those close to you. Repeated drug and alcohol use can begin to make an individual more irritable and prone to arguing. Individuals who are in the throes of a serious addiction often find themselves having an excessive amount of disagreements with loved ones, placing a strain on the relationship. If your drinking or drug use has reached the point of creating significant distance between you and your friends and family, it is a clear indication that your addiction requires professional assistance.

3.  You Begin to Rely on the Substance to Get You Through the Day

Many addictions start out as simply using a substance occasionally, as the user believes themselves to be in control of their use. As an addiction begins to progress, individuals can begin to rely more heavily on the substance in order to function throughout their day. When a person begins to feel as though they ‘need’ a substance in order to get them through their day, this is a strong signal that an addiction has become a serious condition.

4. You Begin to Value Your Addiction Over All Other Interests

A major indication that an addiction has reached a crisis point is when an individual begins to lose interest in the activities or people which used to provide the largest amount of satisfaction. An artist who was once an avid painter but is no longer interested in making art as a result of their addiction is an example of someone suffering with a serious dependence. If you have begun to prioritize using a particular substance or alcohol above everything else in your life, it’s probably time to seek help.

5. Your Work or Academic Life has Suffered

The start of an addiction is often difficult to notice, as you are able to incorporate using without much change to the rest of your life. However, as an addiction begins to develop into a serious problem, you will likely begin to suffer the effects in other areas of your life. If your work or academic life has been negatively affected as a result of your addiction, it’s a clear sign an intervention may be required.

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10 signs it's time to go to rehab arizona

6. You’ve Been Untruthful About Your Use

Perhaps you believe a friend or family member’s questions about your drug or alcohol use are none of their business, but lying about your use is a signal that you’ve begun to lose control. If you feel the need to be untruthful about your addiction, it’s a sign that you feel the need to hide your use from others. If it wasn’t an addiction, you likely wouldn’t feel ashamed of being honest about it.

7. You’ve Experienced Legal Trouble as a Result of Using

If you’ve had a run-in with the law as a result of your drinking or substance use, it’s a major indication that you have lost control of your behavior and are in need of professional intervention to correct the situation. A DUI, OWI, or public intoxication offense is something to be treated as a wake-up call instead of brushing it aside.

8. You’re Missing Important Events or Obligations

The belief that one’s addiction is only negatively impacting that individual is simply not true. An addictive behavior can have consequences for those close to you as well. Missing your son or daughter’s sporting event or school play in favor of getting high or drinking alcohol is a serious sign that you need help.

9. Quitting on Your Own Hasn’t Worked

Maybe you’ve taken the important step of attempting to quit drinking or using drugs, yet you simply haven’t been able to stick with it. Simply admitting you have a problem and attempting to abstain from a substance on your own is often not enough, as the allure of drugs and alcohol can be too tempting for a person to avoid. Having a supportive environment to detox in and relearn positive coping skills can be the thing a person struggling with addiction needs the most.

10. Family and Friends Let You Know You Need Help

If family or friends have spoken to you recently to let you know their concerns about your drug or alcohol abuse, it’s a clear indication that you have a problem. While it’s certainly not an easy thing to hear, as it can bring on intense feelings of shame and guilt, it’s often what can be needed to motivate a person to seek the help they need.

Sometimes, overcoming addiction on your own simply isn’t possible. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and are considering your options, contact the caring professionals at Desert Cove Recovery. We offer our clients reliable addiction solutions to get you on the path to recovery.

Fun in Sobriety

Learning to Have Fun in Sobriety

Learning to Have Fun in Sobriety

When you decide that you’ve had enough of your addiction and want to get sober, there are things you need to do in order to stay on track. One of those things is to learn how to have fun in sobriety and begin to disassociate having fun with being under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

At one point in your life, those two probably went hand in hand, leading you to believe that you can’t have fun without supporting your addiction. As you work towards your sobriety, you’ll learn that there are plenty of activities that can be done and lots of fun to be had without reverting back to your old habits.

Starting on the Path to Sobriety

Part of learning that you can have fun in sobriety is by choosing a rehab program to start the recovery process. When you enter a rehab program you will receive structure and support to handle your addiction. The support will help to keep you on the right track, while the structure of a rehab program will teach you how to cope with recovering from your addiction.

Through group and individual therapy sessions, you can begin to understand the motives that lead to your addiction as well as the behaviors and activities associated with them. As you learn to have fun in sobriety, this is important so that you can avoid those activities and prevent a relapse from happening.

Rehab programs also allow you to meet new people who can help to introduce you to new activities. Having someone to do an activity with you makes it that much more enjoyable. Plus, you’re building friendships with those who can understand what you’re going through because they’re going through the same thing.

As you go through a rehab program you will also gain the clarity and the energy to want to try new activities. When you’re under the influence of drugs and alcohol, all clarity is gone and you barely have the energy to get up in the morning. A rehab program will help to instill healthy habits that will revitalize your mind and body.

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Why it’s Important to Have Fun in Sobriety

Learning to have fun in sobriety is important because learning new activities can help keep your mind off your addiction. You can also associate yourself with a new group of people who don’t believe that you need to feed into your addiction to have fun.

Sobriety does not have to be boring. You can find enjoyment and feel good without being under the influence. Plus, you’ll actually be able to remember the fun you had. Chances are you may not have many memories of the activities you did when you were battling your addiction.

Fun Activities During Sobriety

As you continue on your road to sobriety you need to find activities that are fun for you. Sit down and think about your interests and what you like to do. Do you enjoy outdoor activities? Are you into the arts? Do you like pets? Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but never did? Answering these questions can help you find your new activities. If you’re still searching, here are some ideas to get you started.

Take an art or writing class

Many people in rehab programs find they can express themselves through art or writing. This artistic release gives them an outlet as they work to maintain a sober life.

Take a hike or new gym class

Exercise releases those feel-good endorphins that we all need. Whether it’s a hike in the great outdoors or a new gym class, being active is not only good for the body, but also for the soul. You may also want to try a yoga class to help connect your mind and body. The deep breaths yoga requires can help release your body of toxins and leave you feeling rejuvenated.

Volunteer

If you love pets, why not volunteer at an animal shelter? If not an animal shelter, there are many other places that are always seeking volunteers. This is not only helpful to the recipients but can also make you feel good that you are giving back to the community.

Explore new hobbies

Complete the following sentence, “I’ve also wanted to learn how to _____.” Whatever fills that blank can result in your new hobby. Check in your area to see where you can learn more about your new hobby. Do some research online to see if your activity is something that can be learned over the internet. Many times there are online classes and tutorials that can help.

If you’re ready to get started on your journey to sobriety and learn how to have fun in sobriety, Desert Cove Recovery is here. Call us today to speak to a highly trained member of our staff or fill out an online form. Help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.

Arizona Naloxone Laws, Arizona Overdose Deaths

How Arizona Naloxone Laws Can Help Reduce Arizona Overdose Deaths

How Arizona Naloxone Laws Can Help Reduce Arizona Overdose Deaths

In 2016, more Americans died from opioid use than from car crashes, gunshot wounds or breast cancer. There were close to 1,500 Arizona overdose deaths that year, and around half were attributed to opioids. That was a 74 percent increase over the previous four years. Hopefully, Arizona naloxone laws will save lives and convince opioid abusers to seek help.

What Are Opioids, and How Do Overdoses Occur?

Opioids are closely related to morphine, an organic substance found in opium poppy plants. This drug family includes heroin, fentanyl, methadone and a host of prescription painkillers.

Opioids ease pain, relax the body and provide a sense of well-being. That warm, fuzzy feeling appeals to people from all walks of life, and many find themselves hopelessly addicted long after their pain has subsided.

Drugs like heroin and oxycodone calm the body by slowing respiratory function. If opioid levels are too high, breathing might stop altogether. Fatal overdose is the result of respiratory failure.

What Is Naloxone?

Naloxone, branded as Narcan, is a non-addictive, emergency-response drug that reverses opioid overdose. The only side effects for someone who took opioids are severe withdrawal symptoms. There is no effect at all if there are no opioids present in the body.

Naloxone is delivered through an intramuscular injection or a nasal spray.

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arizona overdose, arizona naloxone laws

Arizona Naloxone Laws

In the past, only doctors or medical emergency personnel could administer naloxone. However, Arizona has recently embraced a concept known as harm reduction. The idea is to accept drug use as a part of our world and work to minimize its damage.

Participants in this movement encourage abstinence and try to get substance abusers into recovery. Meanwhile, though, they stress the importance of using clean needles, refraining from risky sexual behavior and avoiding overdose. If you can’t beat them, educate them.

In May 2016, Arizona legislators passed House Bill 2355. In a nutshell, the statute puts naloxone directly into the hands of opioid abusers, their friends, their family members or anyone in the community.

The training required to administer naloxone takes about an hour. Prescribing doctors and individuals who give the medication are protected from certain liabilities.

Naloxone kits range in price from $20 per dose for the generic version to around $70 per dose for Narcan. Kits are easily obtained from a doctor, and insurance covers the cost. Pharmacies can sell it over the counter, but insurance companies may not pay for it.

Many community organizations, such as Sonoran Prevention Works, are giving kits away. SPW furnished around 100,000 doses between January and September 2018.

Who Uses All Those Doses?

Ten thousand sounds like a lot until you think of naloxone as a form of first aid.

Someone who ingests a street drug that happens to be laced with fentanyl — which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine — may not make it to the hospital.

The painkillers lying around in ordinary households are a leading cause of accidental overdose, and it’s estimated that up to 95 percent of Arizonans keep them on hand. An elderly man in chronic pain may lose track of how many pills he’s taken. A housewife might try to enhance the effects of hydrocodone with a couple of glasses of wine. Someone fresh out of rehab or jail may feel safe taking just one Vicodin, but tolerance is at dangerously low levels. Sadly, painkillers sometimes fall into the hands of innocent toddlers and curious teenagers.

As they say, prevention is the best medicine. If you legitimately need pain medication, thoroughly discuss your physical and mental health history with your doctor. Avoid opioids if addiction runs in your family or if you struggle with depression, drug abuse or alcohol abuse. If you take opioids, follow the prescribed dosage to the letter. Never mix them with alcohol or benzodiazepine sleep aids like Ativan, Xanax or Valium.

It’s important to remember to lock up your meds and don’t offer them to friends or family members. Stop taking them when your pain subsides and return leftovers to the pharmacy for disposal.

Signs of Opioid Overdose

Overdose can occur immediately or up to three hours after the last dose. Never assume that you, a friend or a relative will sleep it off and pull through.

These telltale signs indicate a life-threatening emergency:

  • Unusual sleepiness
  • Slow breathing or failure to breathe
  • Failure to respond
  • Slow heart rate or low blood pressure
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Tiny pupils
  • Bluish nails and lips

If these are evident, administer naloxone and call 911. If you were mistaken about the overdose, the drug won’t do any harm.

A Better Solution for Opioid Overdoses and Opioid Addiction

No one argues that naloxone saves lives. The rate of Arizona overdose deaths is expected to decline dramatically because of it. As of June 2018, Arizona law enforcement officers had administered 549 doses of naloxone. All but nine of the people who had overdosed survived.

However, naloxone is hardly a solution to the opioid crisis. Having first aid for an emergency is fine, but that shouldn’t encourage anyone to keep using.

Addiction is a chronic brain disease that even the smartest drugs can’t cure. It ruins relationships, careers and reputations. It causes financial hardships and legal problems. It destroys families.

If you or someone you love is in the grip of addiction, caring professional help is the only solution. Call Desert Cove Recovery now to speak with an experienced counselor. We’re committed to helping you reclaim your life.

detox on your own, arizona detox

Why It’s Dangerous to Detox on Your Own; Arizona Detox Centers Provide Professional Assistance

Why It’s Dangerous to Detox on Your Own; Arizona Detox Centers Provide Professional Assistance

It is commendable to take the first steps towards overcoming an addiction. However, it can be very dangerous to detox on your own, which is why it’s important to use an Arizona detox provider that has medical professionals on hand to assist with the process.

Those who have become addicted have been experiencing dopamine hits to the brain provided a relief from the stresses of their lives. However, what ended up happening was so much worse than what they had been trying to avoid. Now, their primary concern is getting the brain and the body used to sober living again.

However, the process to get there involves reversing what occurred, pulling away from the effects that caused the addiction to take hold. This time is generally filled with quite a bit of anguish and discomfort. Of course, it is very much worth it in the end, but getting there is not easy, and it should not be done alone for comfort and, more importantly, safety reasons.

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So, Why Is It Dangerous to Detox on Your Own?

In many cases, not checking into an Arizona detox center during this part of the recovery process results in dangerous physical symptoms such as seizures without any professional help nearby to assist. It should also be noted that delirium tremens, which consist of a rapid heartbeat and a sense of confusion, occur in many who are recovering from alcohol addiction and in some cases results in death.

Physical Discomfort

Other possible withdrawal symptoms that provide physical discomfort include aches, constipation, diarrhea, fever, headaches, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, memory problems, nausea, panic attacks, seizures, tremors and vomiting. These vary depending on the substance that was being used but an individual will experience a variety of these symptoms.

The main reason why detox can be such a shock to the body is because, when alcohol or drugs were introduced to the brain, it started being flooded by certain chemicals, which caused the brain to produce more countering ones to balance it out. However, once the substance is removed, the brain is still sending all of those countering chemicals in high numbers, and the situation is out of balance again.

Mental Side Effects

The mental side effects of detoxing should not be discounted as experiencing those at home are much more apt to result in an end to the detox and a return to the substance that was being used. The desire to resume regular use is extremely high during this step of the recovery process, and it’s important to be able to push past this point, and assistance is often necessary for this to occur.

Specific withdrawal symptoms related to the mental side of the recovery process include agitation, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, insomnia, lack of interest in things that used to be viewed as important, mood changes, nightmares and oversleeping.

Lack of Support

It’s also of benefit to simply have others around during this trying time as detoxing at home often leaves that person completely alone during one of the most difficult times of their lives. This type of setting, detoxing at home, can exacerbate withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression.

Possible Overdose

It’s important to also point out that those who do relapse while detoxing at home are much more apt to experience an overdose, which can be deadly as the body is often not ready for the dosage that it’s being provided. This is due to the person returning to previous dosage amounts, which may be too much for the body to handle once the detox process has started. The odds of this situation occurring increase the longer the detox period has lasted, but it can still take place during the early stages of the process.

What Can Detox Centers Provide?

One of the most significant benefits of being in a professional environment during this challenging time is simply having medical professional nearby who can help should a dangerous situation develop suddenly and unexpectedly. This immediate medical intervention can and does save lives. For example, should a seizure occur, someone would be there to intervene and help, which would not be possible if detoxing at home.

Another reason why detoxing without the assistance of qualified Arizona detox professionals doesn’t lead to sustained recovery is the failure to address any underlying issues that caused the substance abuse to begin. Addiction is a complex disorder that requires not only a safe detox but also treatment options that will help set the individual up for success.

Desert Cove Recovery has trained medical professionals who are willing to walk you safely through detox. We will work to uncover the underlying issues through therapy sessions and other treatment options.

Probably one of the most important things to consider is that detoxing is not easy. If it was, there would be significantly fewer people addicted to drugs or alcohol, and detox centers would be few and far between. It’s difficult to jump over this significant hurdle of the recovery process, and it becomes so much more difficult and dangerous when attempting to do so on your own.

If you or a loved one is looking to take this important first step on the recovery path, contact Desert Cove Recovery today. We will provide a safe place and medical professionals on hand to ensure that the detox process is done safely and get you started on your road to recovery.

12 step rehab vs non 12 step rehab

12 Step vs Non-12-Step Rehab

12 Step vs Non-12-Step Rehab

For those suffering from addiction, it can seem like there is no hope for recovery. The prevalence of alcohol, prescription, and recreational drug abuse & addiction has continued to rise for years, making the illness affect more people than ever. As one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States, it’s clear that getting those in need the help they deserve is crucial to the well-being of the nation.

Fortunately, with the help of trustworthy and reliable rehabilitation facilities, there is hope. Rehabilitation programs are available that help sufferers to kick their addiction, recover from the damage it caused, and move on to a healthier drug-free life. However, rehab isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of treatment – you will have to find the right approach for your situation.

There are a wide array of addiction treatment centers nationwide, each with their own personal philosophy, procedure, and treatments. There are two main treatment methods – 12-step rehab programs or non-12-step rehab programs. While sorting through all the possible rehab centers is not easy, perhaps the best way to begin is to decide which methodology best suits you and your personal circumstances.

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12 step rehab arizona

How Do the 12-Steps Work?

Easily the most common approach to addiction treatment, the traditional 12-step program focuses on self-help and community-driven treatment through meetings, peer counseling, and other social forms of therapy. Depending on whether the program is being administered in a rehab center or through a public venue meetup, the specifics of the treatment will vary but most programs emphasize 3 things: acceptance, social responsibility, and commitment.

The 12-step program is not necessarily a scientific approach to treating addiction, but rather a spiritual or philosophical approach that focuses on accepting that you have a problem you cannot control alone, being willing to accept help from others, and committing to improving your situation through regular participation. They leverage social responsibility and emphasize the community as a whole as a motivator to help yourself to help those around you.

Many 12-step programs are often religious in nature and those who are religious themselves may more greatly benefit from the approach, but nonreligious users have had success as well.

What Does 12-Step Rehab Offer?

While traditional 12-step rehab follows a specific set of teachings, you’re more likely to find hybrid programs that are influenced by the 12 steps instead of following them exactly. Treatment centers like Desert Cove Recovery often employ an array of treatment options to supplement the 12 steps, including one-on-one therapy sessions with an addiction therapist, mental health treatment to address underlying causes of addiction, and other holistic approaches while helping you to find acceptance, peace, and love with the guidance of the 12 steps.

Desert Cove Recovery 12-step rehab program teaches patients that nobody is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Addiction can make the user feel powerless, but self-improvement and salvation are always possible with the courage & motivation to admit your faults and resign yourself to a higher power. Once you’ve achieved acceptance, you can proceed to make amends with those you have wronged and continue your healthy habits to lead a sober lifestyle, encouraging others to do the same by guiding & sponsoring others who are struggling.

What Are the Alternatives to 12-Step Rehab?

Many treatment programs move away from a social therapy focus and implement individualized evidence-based treatments along with group-based options to support them. They focus on the individual while sometimes incorporating the community, emphasizing personal responsibility for your actions and working to improve yourself as a whole. Some of these programs may be religious, while others are not. 

One of the primary examples of alternative treatment options is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on addressing what thoughts or feelings cause the need to abuse drugs or alcohol. Another is pharmacotherapy, which uses medication to curb the withdrawal effects of kicking an addiction to make the recovery process safer and easier. Both of these treatments are conducted by trained medical professionals, making them both safe.

Comparing Rehab Program Options

As stated previously, there are a variety of different treatment approaches available for treating addiction. Most facilities will have their own unique implementation of the 12 steps, incorporating their personal philosophies to offer more comprehensive care. 

Treatment Focus

The 12-step program is community-driven treatment that focuses on group therapy, building a community, and helping yourself through helping others. The program itself implements an overarching set of guidelines that can be applied to many cases of addiction in order to begin healing. Rather than addressing the cause of the addiction, users are encouraged to resign to their addiction, make amends for their wrongdoings, and start over by living a clean life. Some programs will include other therapies, as is the case at Desert Cove Recovery, however, some other 12-step based rehabs rely solely on the 12 steps as a basis of treatment. The focus upon community, acceptance and primary interaction with other people in a similar situation can be a great source of comfort and strength for many sufferers who feel that they cannot fight their illness alone.

Non-12-step program treatments usually focus on the individual, emphasizing self-care, addressing flaws, and improving on any shortcomings directly rather than starting over. Many programs may also take a holistic approach to treatment, treating the body, mind, and spirit of the individual based on their specific needs and situation. The focus upon the ‘root’ of a person’s is designed to find a way out of the addictive cycle by addressing the fundamental personal, mental and physical circumstances that lead to an individual’s illness. This can be a longer, less uniform approach to recovery that requires fundamental changes in a person’s life and relationships.

Level of Care

The standard 12-step program does not prioritize formal individualized therapy. Instead in many cases they will assign a sponsor or partner to each member, with their partner acting as their primary support system. These sponsors and partners are often recovering or have recovered themselves, and don’t necessarily have professional experience or qualifications. They do however often have an affinity and understanding of the trials and obstacles that must be faced and overcome in the journey from addiction to recovery. Many people in rehab find a great deal of solace and comfort in this relationship.

Non-12-step programs usually include heavy individualized therapy treatment, often with group therapy as a secondary point. Patients in these programs will likely meet with a therapist or psychiatrist to address their personal situation, address any triggers for the addiction, and build a personalized treatment plan.

Effectiveness

As they are not unique to the individual, 12-step programs have had their effectiveness questioned. Dr. Lance Dodes, a retired assistant clinical professor of psychiatry estimates that 12-step programs only have a 5-10 percent success rate (source). This is because programs like Alcoholics Anonymous – the most famous implementation of the 12-step process – are one-size-fits-all in their approach. Such programs do however have a large volume of participants across the US and have been helping people with addiction since the 1930s. Their positive impact upon individuals and communities is difficult to ignore.

Due to the wide variety in different non-12-step programs, it is hard to calculate the success rate of treatment. However, cognitive behavioral therapy – one of the most popular non-12-step forms of treating addiction, was shown to be 60% effective at keeping patients who abused cocaine clean over a 1-year period, according to a study by RA Rawson of the University of California. (source)

Cost & Availability

Traditional 12-step rehab programs like Alcoholics Anonymous are volunteer-run and open to the public, making them entirely free and relatively easily available. Hybrid 12-step rehab programs are often offered at addiction treatment facilities and need to be paid for, making them not free, but usually available depending on your location.

Non-12-step programs are often run by licensed professionals and individualized, primarily requiring an appointment or reservation to be seen or admitted. They can be costly depending on the specifics of the individual program, but many insurance plans cover treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy and others to a certain degree. The availability of these programs depends on the type of program you are seeking and your location, but they are usually available enough that you will likely be able to find treatment near you.

Choosing a Rehab That Offers the Best of Both Worlds

The key to addiction treatment is comprehensive and versatile care. Both 12-step and non-12 step methodologies provide routes to recovery. Recently there has been a growth in programs that combine the communal benefits of 12-step programs with targeted individual treatment methods such as CBT. Studies have shown that combining the 12-steps program with newer target methodologies such as CBT can lead to much higher recovery success rates.

At Desert Cove Recovery, we seek to utilize the benefits of both these processes. Our licensed treatment facility offers specialized treatment with a holistic approach that allows us to treat your body, mind, and spirit by integrating the 12-step program into our proven techniques and treatments. We’ve been helping people to beat their addictions and live happier, healthier lives drug-free. If you’re struggling with addiction but are ready to change your life for the better, we’d love to be your guides on the path to recovery. To learn more, give us a call.