Category Archives: Drug Addiction

meth addiction treatment

Meth Addiction Treatment: Why It’s Needed and What You Can Expect

Meth Addiction Treatment: Why It’s Needed and What You Can Expect

Throughout the U.S., people from all walks of life struggle with methamphetamine use. In a national survey from 2017, roughly 1.6 million people reported using meth in the past year, and the average age reported for first-time use was 23.3 years old. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the country who would benefit from meth addiction treatment.

The Addictiveness of Meth

Meth is a stimulant that exerts quick, powerful effects on the brain. These include a release of dopamine, which influences the reward centers of the brain and encourages repeated use.

Because the effects of feeling high don’t tend to last long with meth, people may dose themselves repeatedly in a relatively short amount of time to chase that strong and pleasurable feeling. The drug can be taken in multiple forms; people smoke it, snort it, inject it, or swallow it in pill form.

Addiction often develops rapidly. Over time, tolerance also builds, and people require larger doses to experience similar effects. Furthermore, the withdrawal process can be painful, dangerous, and lengthy. That’s why people who want to quit meth struggle to do so on their own. They would benefit from professional support.

The Importance of Quitting

Fighting an addiction to meth may be difficult, but it’s crucial for your physical and mental health.

Even the short-term effects of the drug can threaten health and quality of life. Meth causes a quick and irregular heartbeat and an increase in blood pressure. A decreased appetite and higher levels of wakefulness mean that people who use meth often neglect to eat nutritious food or get enough sleep; these lifestyle changes can take root right at the start of the drug use. The mental effects of the drug may encourage various high-risk behaviors. And there’s the risk of overdose, which is heightened when meth is laced with other substances, such as fentanyl. In recent years, the meth available in the U.S. has become more potent, more addictive, and more deadly.

As for long-term effects, they’re numerous and crushing. Psychological problems that stem from meth use include anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations, along with a stronger likelihood of violent outbursts. Memory problems are among the cognitive effects. Serious weight loss, severe tooth decay, and cardiovascular problems, including strokes and heart attacks, are some of the other damaging effects.

What Can You Expect During Withdrawal From Meth?

The effects of withdrawal and the changes in the brain caused by habitual use make the struggle to quit meth especially difficult. Withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings, powerful headaches, fatigue, pain in the joints and muscles, shaking, digestive problems, hyperventilation, and an irregular heartbeat.

What tends to last longer than the physical effects are psychological issues. During withdrawal, people who have used meth often plunge into depression, feeling hopeless about their lives or unable to experience pleasure from activities they may have once found enjoyable. They may also suffer from anxiety and paranoia.

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Meth addiction treatment

How Can Meth Addiction Treatment Help?

Professional treatment for addiction has two main purposes. One of them is to support people through the withdrawal stage. The other is to help them rebuild their lives and come up with long-term strategies for avoiding relapse.

Meth Detox

Reputable treatment centers, like Desert Cove Recovery, offer programs to people going through withdrawal from meth use. Trained professionals will keep track of their health and provide them with individualized medical care, psychological care, and support.

As their appetite returns, and as their body begins to regain some strength, individuals will be provided with a safe, quiet environment to eat, sleep, and cope with their withdrawal symptoms. Along with high-quality therapy, medications for depression and other psychological problems may become a part of the treatment.

The strength, duration, and variety of withdrawal symptoms, the types of care needed, and the strategies for dealing with cravings won’t be the same for everyone. Our highly-rated rehabilitation center recognizes this fact and takes a personalized approach.

Counseling and Therapy

To ease the effects of withdrawal and help prevent relapse, it’s critical to address each individual’s mental and spiritual health. One-on-one therapy and group sessions can help people cope with depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. They can also give people some of the tools and building blocks for a life filled with greater purpose, deeper and more loving relationships, and improved health.

Has your meth addiction masked some underlying problems that need to be healed? When you leave rehab, who will be a part of your support group, and what strategies will you use to avoid the drug and maintain a healthier life? These are critical questions that must be explored as part of your treatment.

No one should exit a treatment program without this kind of planning, healing, and support.

Receiving the Right Meth Addiction Treatment

Don’t hesitate to contact Desert Cove Recovery for compassionate and effective support. Many people struggle with the effects of meth and the addiction that drives continued use. By addressing your unique needs, our trusted staff will give you personalized assistance in a warm and safe environment.

My Partner is an Alcoholic

My Partner is an Alcoholic — What Does That Mean for Me?

My Partner is an Alcoholic — What Does That Mean for Me?

Sharing a home and a life with an alcoholic spouse means dealing with significant instability regularly. Many of those in this situation say that constant instability is the only predictable part of their daily lives. If your partner is an alcoholic, you undoubtedly already know the pain and frustration involved in never knowing what to expect from one day to the next. You may be struggling to find effective coping mechanisms.

Fortunately, there are strategies designed to help you cope in healthy ways. If you’re dealing with the difficulties of living with an alcoholic, keep reading for inspiration and information on how to navigate the unique challenges of this situation.

Let Go of the Guilt

Those in your position often blame themselves for their partner’s drinking. The blame is sometimes exacerbated by the fact that alcoholics are often master manipulators who know precisely how to push the guilt buttons of their intimate partners. Don’t buy into it — you’re not the reason for your partner’s addiction.

Like others who live with alcoholics, you may tell yourself that your partner would stop drinking if he or she loved you. However, addiction is extremely complex, and your partner may love you very much yet be under the total control of alcohol dependency. Also, alcoholism has a variety of root causes, and it’s highly likely that your partner’s addiction was part of the picture before you ever came along. Keep in mind that alcoholism is a progressive disease that often masks itself as casual social drinking for years before its characteristic downward spiral begins in earnest.

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Don’t Try to Control Your Partner’s Drinking

As tempting as it probably is to try to limit or otherwise control your partner’s alcohol intake, this is a losing game that only leads to increased emotional pain and frustration. It establishes you as an authoritarian figure for your partner and leads to evasion, dishonesty, and constant cat-and-mouse dynamic with the potential to erode even the most solid relationship.

However, when it comes to issues of personal safety, you should definitely exercise control. For instance, taking the car keys away from an intoxicated person who is intent on driving is the only right thing to do. Removing your children from the home if your partner becomes violent is another non-negotiable course of action.

It’s also essential to resist the urge to make ultimatums until and unless you’re prepared to lose the relationship entirely. Those who are in the throes of addiction generally aren’t capable of making rational decisions. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t establish solid personal boundaries and practice self-care — doing both of these things is essential to your well-being.

Don’t Cover Up for Your Spouse or Make Excuses

Covering up for your spouse or making excuses is a particularly insidious form of enabling because it makes you complicit in the lies and duplicity that almost always accompany addiction. For instance, many alcoholic spouses depend on their partners to tell their places of work that they’ve got the flu when they’re too sick with a hangover to go to work. Some spouses also cover up the extent of their partner’s drinking to friends and family members. Although you don’t have to broadcast your partner’s addiction issues to others blatantly, you also shouldn’t be expected to practice deception on your partner’s behalf.

However, the most important person to be honest with is yourself. If your partner is an alcoholic, you may have developed the habit of pretending to yourself that everything is normal. Although this is an understandable escape mechanism, it eventually backfires. Deep down, anyone with an alcoholic spouse realizes the truth.

Practice Self-Care

Practicing self-care means different things to different people. Those in your situation often find themselves giving up activities and even people that are important to them because of the complexities of living with an alcoholic partner. Staying centered is essential. So, don’t abandon those visits with a cherished friend, walks in the park by yourself, or luxurious bubble baths at the end of the day.

If Your Partner is an Alcoholic, Get Professional Support

The right kind of professional support is imperative when you’re navigating the complicated landscape of dealing with an alcoholic partner.

Support groups consisting of others in your situation are excellent resources, and individual counseling can also help develop healthy coping skills. Keep in mind that your wants and needs are necessary and that getting through this period may be one of the most challenging things you’ll have to do in your life.

Desert Cove Recovery can provide you with the tools to develop the courage and strength necessary to support your partner in a positive way that doesn’t drain your emotional reserves. Contact us today!

Sober vs Recovery: Can I Drink or Smoke Pot in Recovery?

Sober vs. Recovery: Can I Drink or Smoke Pot in Recovery?

The road to recovery is different for everyone who struggles with a substance abuse disorder. Whether the battle is with alcohol or drugs, one commonality is that working through recovery and maintaining sobriety isn’t easy. Throughout treatment and recovery, patients often weigh the consequences of being sober vs. recovery. For some, questioning if it’s ok to drink or smoke pot in recovery is a slippery slope.

Statistics show between 40 and 60 percent of people who receive treatment for alcohol addiction relapse within one year. Many people who complete treatment for alcoholism know that for them, “one glass of wine or a casual beer” doesn’t exist. For others along the recovery spectrum, the idea of occasionally sipping a cocktail or using medical marijuana as a tool to treat pain, anxiety, depression, or other illnesses, doesn’t incite a sense of panic. The very thought of falling back into the whirlwind of drug or alcohol use and the subsequent bad decisions is what keeps many substance abusers from taking one too many sips.

Another challenge to consider for so many who seek treatment for substance abuse is the complication of dual diagnosis. Many people seeking recovery for drugs or alcohol also battle with mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.2 million U.S. adults experienced both mental illness and a substance use disorder in 2018.

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How Dual Diagnosis Affects Sober vs. Recovery

Nearly one-third of people with major depression also suffer from alcohol use disorder. For those individuals, recovery comes in different forms. There’s a successful separation from alcohol abuse, as well as the phycological treatment needed to lessen the symptoms of depression. For these patients, the risk of smoking pot or having a drink will not only put their sobriety in jeopardy but could also cause a negative mental relapse. People who are depressed and drink too much have more frequent and severe episodes of depression. Dual diagnosis patients deal with a higher risk of destructive behavior if they risk sobriety for just one drink or an occasional marijuana high.

Another circumstance that makes it difficult for those battling a substance use disorder is relationships. Trying to keep relationships with friends made before completing recovery may entail social drinking or recreational use of marijuana. It may be difficult for patients in recovery to let go of those past relationships. However, when battling sober vs. recovery, success may mean cutting ties with those who leave you susceptible to destructive drinking or drug use.

Can I Drink Socially After or During Recovery?

The short answer to this question for many is maybe. For the majority in drug treatment or alcohol recovery, the risk of relapse isn’t worth an attempt at casual use. However, some patients find comfort in using medical marijuana for symptoms associated with pain, a severe illness, anxiety, or other health conditions. For others, having a few sips of wine throughout dinner or a party isn’t necessarily a one-way track to relapse.

People often turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism for an unresolved issue. Whether it’s stress at work, a failed relationship, financial problems, or another major hurdle, substance abuse becomes a crutch to mask the pain caused by life’s challenges. When patients are successful at dealing with these underlying issues and come to understand that drinking and drugs aren’t solutions, they’re more capable of having a drink or, on occasion, smoking pot without a relapse.

It’s important to note the difference between being sober and abstinent when it comes to substance use. Patients who aren’t tempted to drink or use to the point of drunkenness or insobriety may find they can sip alcohol or infrequently smoke marijuana without any complications to their sobriety. For those that know they cannot manage this, they need to maintain 100% abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

Recovery Treatment Center Scottsdale, AZ

The debate of whether it’s ok to sip or smoke during recovery is a controversial one and should involve a thorough discussion with a substance abuse expert. Recovery specialists can help you overcome the physical cravings for drugs and alcohol, but mental support will allow you to discover what makes you depend on these substances as a solution in the first place.

Before taking on the sober vs. recovery debate, decide to ensure your health and mental state are a priority. The opportunities for rehabilitation are plentiful at Desert Cove Recovery in Scottsdale, Arizona. Explore your options for a 12-step program, holistic treatment, extended care, and more. Each recovery program is customized to the patient, so you’re sure to embark on a treatment plan specifically tailored to your needs. Contact the experienced staff at Desert Cove Recovery to learn more about how your path to recovery can begin today.

 

Vaping and Alcohol are Legal -

Vaping and Alcohol are Legal – Both Kill

Vaping and Alcohol are Legal – and They Both Can Kill

Health authorities are still trying to untangle the sudden rise in the number of respiratory diseases. Public health officials from 33 states have associated many of these cases with e-cigarette vaping and alcohol abuse. Both marijuana and its CBD components are considered to play a significant role in the increase in severe lungs-related diseases. The health officials in the U.S. have reported 450 cases of breathing illnesses, including five deaths in Indiana, California, and other different states. According to the latest survey of the Arizona Department of Health Services, 51 percent of young people (9 to 18) tried E- vaping products in 2017 and are likely to develop smoking addiction. 

That is to say, vaping e-cigarettes and excessive alcohol drinking have become a health epidemic; especially for young teens. As per the research of the Food and Drug Administration, vaping liquids can be hazardous as they contain flavorings, nicotine, and vegetable glycerine. When these liquids are heated, they produce an aerosol that contains ultrafine toxic components, including chemicals, and heavy metals such as diacetyl. All of these chemicals are linked to some severe lung diseases, for example, popcorn lung.  A U.S. surgeon general report 2016  stated that the continuous use of vaping and alcohol might cause long-term health effects.  

What Is Lawmakers’ Take on Legal Substance Addiction?

Most of the cases associated with respiratory diseases or breathing illnesses are the result of legal alcohol and vapes that are yet to be ruled out completely. 

Considering this, anti-tobacco lawmakers are pushing authorities to have strict regulations against the use of vaping e-cigarettes and alcohol.  According to them, Mitch McConnell’s anti-smoking bill is not enough to stop individuals from purchasing e-cigarettes and alcohol before the age of 21, nor will it stop the thriving tobacco and vaping and alcohol industry. The Tobacco-free Youth Act by Mitch McConnell – a famous parliamentarian came out as a response to a massive spike in the number of e-cigarette and alcohol addiction by teens and school-children. 

How Are Legal Drugs in America Killing People?

As mentioned earlier, the effects of marijuana legalization are inevitable. While the reforms related to drug users are still part of the heated debates, substance abuse has killed many people in the U.S. The latest data of the National Institute on Drugs and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), demonstrated how opioid pain killer, excessive drinking and vaping have made many individuals victim of substance abuse. And the legal vapes and alcohol are responsible for several direct deaths in just one year.

The deadly substances claim 10,000 lives every year in DUIs (driving under the influence) to make the matter worse.  As per the average statistics of National Highway Traffic Safety, 30 people die in drunk-driving crashes per day in the United States. Also, the death and damages due to alcohol-related crashes contribute to a significant cost each year.

The rising rate of death is not the only way to evaluate the terrible effects that vaping and alcohol cause.  Some drugs may lead to dangerous mental disease and behavior, making addicted individuals more prone to committing crimes or getting violent.  

How Do Legal Drugs Affect Your Body?

Vaping and alcohol are some of the reasons for the increasing number of various health complications.

Let us find out how do affect your body and brain.

Vaping Effects

Vaping is all the rage and gradually becoming a part of many individuals’ lifestyles. According to addiction professionals, vaping is not safer or less harmful than other traditional cigarettes. This seemingly innocuous trend is becoming a status symbol.

The legalization of marijuana and cannabis-based products have added to the use of vaping and many opiate painkillers. It is important to remember that vaping liquid has potentially harmful chemicals, like cigarettes and other drugs do.

When an individual inhales nicotine vapors, the lungs absorb and bypass them to the digestive system. The molecules of vaping liquid are transported into the bloodstream and brain from the lungs, making the individual feel an intense high.

Alcohol Effects

According to the latest statistics from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), approximately 16 million American people (young adults) suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). The disorder causes a relapsing condition in which individuals become addicted to a debilitating and uncontrollable alcohol use.

NIAA further explained how excessive alcohol drinking affects body functions by interfering with the communication pathways of the brain. It changes and alters the way your brain functions. Excessive drinking disrupts the nervous system that affects behavior and mood. It may also cause long-term health complications by damaging different brain regions, including the cerebral cortex limbic system, and cerebellum.

Deadly Consequences of Legal Drugs

Legal drugs are linked to 89,000 deaths each year, which include alcohol-related deaths, such as poisonings, liver cirrhosis, and drunks-driving. The high rates have made legal drugs the third leading cause of death in America.

Unfortunately, vaping devices and heavy alcoholic substances are readily available to many teenagers and children, making them habitual. The rising numbers of e-cigarette vaping and alcohol is a clear indication that it does not reduce the use of traditional smoking. Instead of that, e-cigarette vaping and alcohol have become a gateway to conventional smoking.  

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Vaping & Alcohol are Legal - and Both Kill

Who Can Help Overcome Vaping and Alcohol?

Addictions are no doubt has become a bigger problem; especially for teens. And the vaping epidemic and heavy drinking continue to cause numerous health risks.  It typically hijacks the reward system of the brain and makes it addicted to the substance.

Despite the addictive nature of nicotine and alcohol, quitting them is possible.  Only trained addiction professionals in reputable rehabilitation centers such as Desert Cove Recovery can help addicted individuals get rid of it. You can join a behavioral health treatment program that is designed for the people struggling with addiction. Our addiction treatment programs are custom to the needs of individuals.

Moreover, addicted individuals can benefit from services like;

Our physicians at Desert Cove Recovery are trained, and they understand addiction and can treat alcohol dependencies drug addictions, and co-occurring disorders. They use personalized approaches and individualized plans to help addicted individuals get back their sobriety.

In short, consulting the professionals at Desert Cove Recovery and seeking help from them are the right ways to quit vaping and alcohol addiction.

 

Signs of Meth Use and Why Going to a Meth Addiction Treatment Center is Important

Signs of Meth Use and Why Going to a Meth Addiction Treatment Center is Important

Signs of Meth Use and Why Going to a Meth Addiction Treatment Center is Important

Methamphetamine, which is more commonly known as “meth,” is one of the most dangerous street drugs available. That is because of its extreme toxicity to the brain’s pleasure center, nerve terminals, and neurochemical synapses and the destruction that it does to the blood vessels and other organs of the body. It is also extremely addicting because of the way that it causes a large amount of dopamine to be released in a short amount of time. It is crucial that anyone who suspects that someone they know has a problem with this drug learns about the signs of meth use and encourage meth addiction treatment.

Insomnia

Methamphetamine can stay in the body for up to 24 hours. This is what separates it from other amphetamines that only cause a rush of energy for a few hours. So one of the first things that a person will notice about someone who is using it is that they barely sleep for several days at a time. And when they finally do, they will have an energy crash that makes them stay asleep for days. This most commonly occurs whenever they run out of the drug, though.

Extreme Energy

The next sign of methamphetamine use is a sudden increase in a person’s energy level. For example, a person who is usually lethargic will appear to be hyperactive and twitchy. And they won’t be able to sit still or complete any tasks that require concentration and focus.

Teeth Damage

Because of the way that methamphetamine is introduced into the body through the mouth, everyone who uses it experiences severe damage to their teeth. At first, the front teeth will look darker and stained. Then, they will finally break off, which will leave a large gap that can be seen whenever they smile or talk. If a person doesn’t get help at a meth addiction treatment center, in time, they may end up losing all of their teeth.

Heart Damage

After a person has used methamphetamine for a while, the effects of the drug won’t be as potent anymore. Their body will start to develop a tolerance to it. So they will begin to need a higher dose of it to feel the same as they did whenever they first started taking it. Unfortunately, this often leads to permanent damage to their heart because it induces tachycardia, chest pains, vascular damage, and high blood pressure.

Psychological Changes

A person’s mental health is severely impaired by methamphetamine use. Because of the way that it affects the neurochemicals in the brain, meth use can lead to hallucinations, aggression, depression, and extreme paranoia. These psychological changes are most often noticed by others whenever a person who uses it has been taking it for days, though. That is because they can become incredibly violent and dangerous during this time. It is not uncommon for them to be arrested for attacking others or causing property damage while they are high on it.

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signs of meth use, meth addiction treatment arizona

Job Loss and Family Problems

Methamphetamine use causes a person to lose interest in everything that they used to love because all that they can think about is how they can get more of the drug. Because of this, they will often lose their job and have constant arguments with their family members; especially if they have been stealing from them to buy more meth. Children of meth users typically suffer the most since often they are neglected. Child welfare agencies frequently receive calls from concerned neighbors regarding children who are living in filth or haven’t eaten for days because of their parent’s meth use.

Weight Loss

This drug speeds up a person’s heart rate and other metabolic responses, which leads to a high amount of calories burned while it is in the body. So it results in sudden weight loss. At first, this might seem like a positive effect, especially if someone has struggled with their weight for years. But as the meth use continues, they will become dangerously emaciated.

Finding Meth Addiction Treatment 

This is just a short list of some of the most common signs of methamphetamine use. Each person’s addiction problem is unique, though. If you suspect that one of your friends or family members has a meth addiction, it is crucial to contact a treatment center for more information on how to get them help. If someone who is using methamphetamine attempts to stop taking the drug while they are not in a treatment facility, they could become dangerously ill from it. A meth addiction treatment facility can help ensure that they detox safely while they are monitored by trained medical staff. Afterward, they can begin special individual and group counseling sessions to help them work towards sobriety.

Sources:

 https://americanaddictioncenters.org/meth-treatment/signs-symptoms

https://www.narconon.org/drug-abuse/signs-symptoms-meth-use.html

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.

Sources:

Addiction and Anxiety; Treatment For Dual Diagnosis Arizona is Crucial to Long-Term Recovery

Addiction and Anxiety; Treatment For Dual Diagnosis Arizona is Crucial to Long-Term Recovery

Addiction and Anxiety; Treatment For Dual Diagnosis Arizona is Crucial to Long-Term Recovery

For many individuals who suffer from a drug or alcohol addiction, there often is a secondary problem that can complicate the recovery process. One such condition is anxiety. Addiction and anxiety treatment through a dual diagnosis Arizona facility is integral to successful long-term recovery. Without treating both conditions, a person is more likely to relapse. 

Anxiety Explained

The term “anxiety” has become overused and is frequently misinterpreted in today’s digital landscape. Anxiety, in and of itself is, not a mental illness or psychological disorder. Anxiety is an adaptive response that helped ancient humans survive, and it can still be a positive motivator today.

Individuals who are anxious about taking a test study harder; someone who is anxious about a first date will put a little extra effort into their appearance and put their best foot forward. Anxiety is deeply rooted in our DNA as a mechanism to enhance our focus on an upcoming task.

Normal, everyday anxiety has identifiable triggers. Symptoms are uncomfortable, but they are usually not debilitating.

This is not the case for people whose anxiety is harder to manage and borders on a disorder.

The National Institutes of Mental Health recognizes five different types of anxiety disorders:

  • Panic Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)

Anxiety and Substance Abuse

Addiction and mental illness often go together. The existence of two mental health problems at the same time is called “comorbidity” and fall under dual diagnosis. Arizona rehabilitation centers, like Desert Cove Recovery, can treat both diagnosable conditions. Substance use disorder is frequently diagnosed with other mental health disorders such as major depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, or bipolar disorder.

Many mental illnesses share common risk factors. Research shows that some people are born more likely to develop an addiction; this is known as “genetic predisposition.” A person’s DNA can make up for 60 percent of their likelihood to become addicted to drugs or alcohol at some point in their lives.

Anxiety disorders also have strong genetic ties. The exact extent is unclear, but research shows that DNA does impact a person’s risk of developing an anxiety disorder and being raised by parents who suffer from anxiety may also increase the risk.

Wrestling with the symptoms of anxiety can make life almost unmanageable, which is why many people turn to substance abuse as a means of self-medicating.

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addiction and anxiety treatment, dual diagnosis arizona

How Anxiety Leads to Addiction

Although anxiety does not cause substance abuse, many people are initially drawn toward drugs and alcohol as a means of coping with their symptoms. From constantly feeling on-edge, a racing heart, and an unshakeable sense of dread, living with anxiety is like fighting an uphill battle.

Drugs and alcohol that suppress the body’s central nervous system (CNS) can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Being drunk or high can make someone feel balanced or normal, and they initially start to take substances as a means of controlling their anxiety.

Unfortunately, this leads to a physical dependency that can quickly spiral into addiction. When the effects of the substance wear off, a person’s anxiety may feel even stronger than before. This causes people to return to drugs or alcohol along with a fear of experiencing symptoms without any substances in their system.

Escapism or self-medication only goes so far, and ultimately, they only lead to more significant problems. Because of this, anxiety and addiction cannot be treated separately. People have to find a program that provides an inclusive treatment plan and helps them learn how to handle their anxiety without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Just treating substance abuse won’t get rid of anxiety, and those who go through rehab and fail to manage their anxiety are more likely to relapse. Without addressing the underlying cause, anxiety is bound to resurface sooner or later. Lacking the right understanding and coping strategies, people are likely to return to the only “treatment” that works – even if it costs them all the painful downfalls of addiction.

Treating Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety and addiction treatment allow people to gain a broader understanding of their emotions and how the brain is interconnected. Addiction is often a by-product of anxiety and vice-versa. Substance abuse perpetuates the same fear, worry, and panic that gave rise to it in the first place.

Through proper treatment, people can learn to tackle their anxiety and “rewire” their brains to respond to things less fearfully. It takes hard work, but recovery from both anxiety and addiction is possible. If you or someone you love is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, contact your local hospital or contact one of our professional counselors at Desert Cove Recovery.

 

holistic treatment as an alternative to addiction medication

Holistic Treatment as Alternative to Addiction Medication

Holistic Treatment as Alternative to Addiction Medication

Only 10 percent of the more than 21 million people in the U.S. who need substance use treatment will receive it. For the roughly 2 million people who do receive treatment at a specialty facility, it’s vital that the treatment plan is tailored to the patient’s needs and that the plan addresses long-term success, not just the immediate need to discontinue illicit drugs or prescription pain pill abuse. Addiction medication is used in a number of cases, but studies show medication alone does not create a pathway for long-term sobriety.

Arizona Addiction Crisis

Maricopa County, Arizona reported the highest number of overdoses in the state between June 15, 2017, through January 11, 2018. The state reports 3,114 people overdosed in a span of 210 days. That’s 14 people a day suffering drug overdoses in Maricopa County during the reported time span. While addiction specialists, the medical community, and holistic treatment centers Scottsdale are concentrated on helping substance users overcome their addiction, understanding how the problem grew to this magnitude can help prevent the same mistakes from recurring.

Some 75 percent of Arizona heroin users in treatment started with painkillers. Prescription drug painkillers are often misprescribed, overprescribed and misused. The state reports in an Arizona county with a population of 200,000 people, four doctors wrote more than 6 million opioid prescriptions in just one year. The overprescribing of these highly addictive pills is just the beginning of the problem. Patients who began a legitimate medical journey with a need for pain management, are now relying on heroin or illegally obtained painkillers to sustain their addiction.

When the individual is ready to seek help in becoming sober, recovery can present unexpected obstacles in the form of addiction medication.

What is Addiction Medication?

Methadone is used to help people reduce or stop their use of opiates, including heroin. The medicine is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). While methadone has been used for decades, its success in helping those addicted to opiates, including pain killers, to achieve long-term sobriety is questionable.

According to Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Publications, methadone can be reduced in preparation for withdrawal, or it can be used indefinitely. It’s estimated, according to Harvard’s research, that about 25 percent of patients eventually become sober, 25 percent continue to take the drug, and 50 percent go on and off methadone repeatedly. With a 1 in 4 success rate, methadone and the MAT option has left many with a substance abuse disorder seeking more than addiction medication.

Another popular addiction medication is suboxone, which must be prescribed by a physician with proper training. Suboxone is designed to block intoxication and prevent cravings for opiates. While suboxone can be taken at home, the patient must stop all opioids and show clear signs of withdrawal before starting the addiction medication. For many individuals dealing with substance use disorder, they need treatment before stopping drug use.

Many patients attempting to overcome a dependency through a drug treatment Scottsdale facility, are interested in a holistic approach to healing. Achieving and maintaining sobriety is about more than the physical effects a drug can take on the body. While methadone aims to lessen the body’s desire for opiates over time, it doesn’t address the stress, environmental cues, and social networks that patients must overcome outside of treatment.

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Holistic Treatment Center Scottsdale

As an outpatient recovery treatment facility in Scottsdale, Desert Cove Recovery understands the importance of providing treatment for the person, not the drug. Through a holistic treatment plan, our addiction specialists concentrate on teaching coping skills necessary to deal with life without the need for alcohol, pain killers or another substance. Our holistic treatment involves a three-part approach that addresses the physiological, emotional, and spiritual needs of each patient.

Unlike MAT, holistic methods teach coping mechanisms without addiction medication. Every patient receives a customized plan for their needs. Our skilled addiction specialists are available to answer your questions about holistic drug treatment and recovery. Contact our team today to learn more about overcoming substance use without addiction medication.

 

Oklahoma Judge Orders Johnson & Johnson to Pay $572M for Opioid Crisis

Pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million in damages to the state of Oklahoma after losing a lawsuit. The State claimed that the company had participated in a sales campaign that was described at trial as “false and dangerous” and that it was responsible for the opioid epidemic currently plaguing the US.

Lengthy Decision Blames Company for Drug Epidemic

Judge Thad Balkman wrote a 42-page decision in which he determined that the company was responsible for creating what has been described as “the worst drug epidemic in US history.” The judge said that the company was aggressive in its marketing practices, pushing false claims that narcotic pain medications weren’t addictive to physicians. It also used its own resources to provide funding for organizations and research that would actively promote narcotic use.

Johnson & Johnson to Pay for Treatment, Overdose Prevention Costs

The $572 million isn’t the entire amount of the judgment that Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay. In his decision, Judge Balkman made a provision for the $572 million as an initial payment. Other payments from the company to the state of Oklahoma will need to be negotiated to pay for the following:

• Treatment costs
• Overdose prevention
• Cost of combatting the Oklahoma epidemic in future years

The State has requested $17 billion in compensation from Johnson & Johnson. The company has announced it will appeal the judgment.

Opioid Manufacturers Face Hundreds of Lawsuits

This decision is a disappointment to other drug manufacturers, as well as medication distributors and pharmacies that have been named in over 2,000 legal actions by districts nationwide. They will find it much more difficult to argue that the blame for the opioid crisis, which has been responsible for more than 400,000 deaths in the past 20 years, solely on the physicians who prescribed the medications or the people who took them (whether they had a prescription or not).

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter also filed a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma, the company which produced OxyContin. This opioid pain medication is considered to have had a major role in starting the opioid epidemic in the 1990s. Purdue and Oklahoma reached a settlement for $270 million without having to go to trial; however, the company has to defend itself against several hundred other legal actions.

Addiction in the Retirement Community

Addiction In The Retirement Community

Addiction In The Retirement Community

While many may have a picture of alcohol misuse being primarily an issue with the young and (seemingly) carefree, problems with alcohol addiction in the retirement community are popping up all over the country as a somewhat silent epidemic. A study found that over a third of drinkers who were 60-years-old or older consumed alcohol amounts that were excessive and potentially harmful. Alcohol misuse is not exclusive to any specific age demographic. It’s important to understand the value of alcohol use disorder treatment for those considered to be the retirement generation.

Addiction Retirement Community Acceptance: What Are You Drinking?

Though it’s considered to be more socially acceptable (and even fashionable) to drink, alcohol is still a drug. Because seniors of the retirement community are often thought to be wiser and more mature with life’s experiences, in retirement, they may find themselves in different positions they’re not used to. They may turn to alcohol as a way to cope and may need to seek out alcohol use disorder treatment programs.

Those in retirement communities tend to have more free time and resources available to them than they did when they were part of the workforce. They often look for new relationships and activities in their communities so they can maintain friendships and quality of life. And, it’s crucial for this to happen so that the depression that can come with a new, sometimes isolating stage of life doesn’t occur.

But in efforts to appeal to retirees, planned communities often highlight their ‘youthful’ activity options, and specifically, their ‘social gathering,’ opportunities. More and more communities feature bars and restaurants for such social gatherings, and ‘getting together with neighbors’ and socially drinking is an accepted and almost expected practice to fit in and belong.

And that’s how addiction in the retirement community started to be more prevalent.

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Why The Retirement Community Is So Vulnerable to Addiction

The research is minimal but growing. As we recognize the vulnerability of the senior population when it comes to alcohol dependence, studies regularly show the increase of alcohol use in adults who are over the age of 50. Many surveyed self-report binge alcohol use and the number of those who suffer from alcohol use disorder have continued to increase significantly.

Policymakers believe these results indicate issues on several levels that need to be addressed. The most obvious issue is that retired adults are no longer typically part of any workforce, and that may bring with it depression and a need to fill their time with ‘something.’

Additionally, retired adults often find themselves in situations that tax their physical and mental well-being, and as they age, they find they can’t do the things they used to do. The challenges that come with growing older can lead them to turn to alcohol, which only exacerbates their problems.

Caroline Ridout Steward was a Clinical Instructor and Psychotherapist with the University of California San Diego Department of Psychiatry for over 20 years before she retired. She says addiction in the retirement community is an issue because retirees often suffer the loss of regular activity or ‘healthy distraction,’ in life. She adds that the loss of a core identity paired with that ‘healthy distraction’ of work/regular activities and social isolation often end up being the perfect storm for substance abuse in that population. And because the retired generation is used to ‘bucking up,’ and pulling through, they often don’t seek alcohol use disorder treatment because of the shame involved with admitting there is a problem.

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment Is Key

But there are serious repercussions that can come to the retired community. Because alcohol is a drug, alcohol use and misuse can lead to liver failure, dementia, and other mental health issues. Alcohol use disorder is potentially a fatal disorder, and because alcohol can affect seniors more strongly than it does younger people, it’s especially important one seeks alcohol use disorder treatment programs like Desert Cove Recovery offers. Too often in the retirement community, social acceptance can lead to problems that sometimes are overlooked because they exist co-morbidly with issues that occur as people get older. That’s where Desert Cove Recovery steps in and looks at an individual to customize an alcohol use disorder treatment program that meets their needs and retired lifestyle.

The experienced and compassionate staff of Desert Cove Recovery want you to regain control of your life. The first step is to become part of a holistic alcohol use disorder treatment program that’s tailored for you, and that gives you skills for sobriety and retirement that you always dreamed of. Make the call today.