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.
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.
The opioid epidemic has triggered a hardship that most people likely haven’t thought of: A higher number of donated organs are infected with the hepatitis C virus.
Dr. Winston Abara, a hepatitis researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explains that as the number of drug overdose deaths and acute hepatitis infections increases, young people are most affected. These are the people who are most likely to be eligible organ donors.
Opioid Users Considered Increased Risk Donors
In the years 2010-2017, the number of organs obtained for transplant obtained from “increased risk” donors (people at risk of hepatitis due to drug abuse) tripled, according to the results of a new study published in the January 25 edition of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
In 2010, approximately nine percent of donor organs came from people in this category. By 2017, that number had jumped to over 26 percent, according to Dr. Abara’s team.
The number of organs obtained from people who died as the result of “drug intoxication” tripled as well. They climbed from just over four percent in 2010 to over 13 percent by 2017, according to CDC researchers. Organ donor deaths linked to injected drugs like heroin increased fivefold during the same period.
This is concerning, since tainted needles are a prime source of infection with hepatitis C, which can lead to liver disease, a potentially fatal condition, over time. Due to advances in medical care, donor kidneys, along with livers and other organs can now be used for transplant and may save potentially save the lives of the thousands of people on waiting lists.
Medications Available to Treat Hep C in Transplant Recipients
Powerful new medications exist to rid the body of hepatitis C and render the transplant viable. The transplant recipient would be screened after receiving the donor organ. If a hepatitis C infection is diagnosed, the donor organ recipient is offered antiviral treatment.
Dr. David Bernstein, a liver specialist, stated that understanding whether an organ donor has a history of addiction is essential. He said that when that knowledge is available, organ recipients and their doctors can be notified and screened after transplant surgery.
It was the late 1990’s when big pharma was making promises to the medical community that addiction would not occur in patients prescribed opioid pain relievers. A few short decades later and the Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for the ensuing opioid crisis. Opioid withdrawal, abuse, and treatment have since become the focus of Arizona opioid rehab centers statewide.
A combination of factors has led to the explosion of opioid addiction. Many of the reasons lead back to the over prescribing of painkillers, ease of access to medication, and increased availability of street versions of opioid-based drugs. One factor not mentioned enough, however, is the impact opioid withdrawal symptoms have on a patient’s ability to break their addiction.
What are Opioids?
Opioids, also known as opiates, are a class of drugs made from the opium poppy plant. The opium is used to make medications which in turn are prescribed for treating pain. Examples of opioid medications include codeine, morphine, amphetamine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.
Heroin, an illegal opioid drug, is also derived from a natural substance found in the opium plant called morphine. Both prescription and illicit opioids are highly addictive and can easily cause dependency. The abuse of prescription and “street” opioids are largely responsible for the rise in the drug addiction statistics in the US.
How Common is Opioid Addiction?
Opioid addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of men and women in the US. The rise in abuse of both illicit and prescription opioids and the rate of overdose lead to the opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 66% of drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved opioids. Due to its addictive nature, comprehensive clinical treatment is usually required.
Opioid addiction treatment involves detoxification followed by therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as part of rehabilitation has proven effective in reducing the risk of relapse. However, overcoming opioid addiction can be one of the toughest parts of rehab because the process is accompanied by severe withdrawal symptoms.
Why is Opioid Withdrawal Challenging?
The National Institute on Drug Abuse refers to drug addiction as a complex disorder. The disorder affects brain functions making it very difficult for users to simply quit drug abuse. The brain is made up of natural opioid receptors that help in the release of dopamine and endorphins. These two hormones are responsible for feelings of pleasure.
Smoking, snorting, or injecting opioids frequently activates these receptors and make the brain want more and more of this euphoria. Over time, the receptors build a tolerance and require higher dosages of the drug. Eventually, sufferers begin to compulsively seek out the addictive substance despite of its effects on their health, relationships, or career.
Arizona Opioid Rehab and Detoxification
Opioid withdrawal starts with detoxification, or detox. Detox is a medically-assisted process of removing the drug and toxins from the body. During this time, the addicted individual will experience various physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms.
Some of them can be severe enough to make him or her want to quit rehab more than quitting their addiction. The severity of withdrawal symptoms has led many treatment centers to adopt a new approach involving the administration of one or more FDA-approved drugs to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
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Opioid Withdrawal Timeline
The length of time it takes to withdraw from opioid varies from person to person. The withdrawal timeline usually depends on the type of opioid abused, level of addiction, dosage, frequency of use, and the body’s response to detoxification. It can take about 2 weeks to several months before the client stabilizes. In general, the first 7 days of detox is the worst for the patient seeking treatment.
Various physical and psychological symptoms may be experienced during this time, some of which can be severe. Symptoms usually set in between 6 to 30 hours after the last dose taken. Symptoms that become very intense at the 72-hour mark are known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS).
The general withdrawal stages and time-frames are as follows:
Days 1-2: Restlessness, anxiety, runny nose, excess sweating, muscle aches, and trouble sleeping are symptoms that typically begin within the first 6 to 30 hours after the last dose. Patients may experience strong cravings and drug-seeking behaviors.
Days 3-5: Symptoms reach their peak and cravings can be overpowering. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may appear during this time-frame. Patients may experience body tremors, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, abdominal cramps, or high blood pressure. Some other symptoms include chills, diarrhea, dilated pupils, stomachache, or blurred vision.
Days 6-7: Physical symptoms begin to improve, but psychological symptoms such as depression, irritability, and insomnia begin to set in. However, cravings are not as powerful as before. At this point in the detox process, patients first begin to stabilize.
Day 8 and later: Patients usually become remorseful and emotional during this stage. They may think or act irrationally and may feel hopeless. With emotional and psychological support from a therapist or counselor, you can better cope and overcome this phase.
Seeking the Right Treatment
Opioid rehab in Arizona treatment centers have evolved to treat the physical, mental, and emotional hurdles sufferers face when detoxifying from opioid abuse. The comprehensive approach yields higher success rates than individuals who only receive treatment for the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, let them know friends and family are there to support them along with specially trained experts who can help them break the addiction. The first step toward recovery is only a phone call away.
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 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:
Slow breathing or failure to breathe
Failure to respond
Slow heart rate or low blood pressure
Cold, clammy skin
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.
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.
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.
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.
Approximately 20 percent of people who take Xanax, Valium and other benzodiazepines (benzos) are not using them as directed by their doctor, according to the results of a US survey. The results also show that adults are using this potentially-addictive medication more than twice as often as previously reported.
Nearly 13 percent of those surveyed said they had used benzos within the past 12 months.Studies conducted in 2013-14 estimated that four-six percent of adults were taking them.
What are Benzodiazepines?
Benzodiazepines are prescribed by doctors to treat anxiety and panic attacks, along with insomnia. Drugs in this class commonly produce a sedative effect in patients and can also cause weakness or unsteadiness.
Approximately 25.3 million adults stated they used benzodiazepines as prescribed by their doctor during the past year. The researchers said they were surprised to discover that middle-aged respondents (between ages 50-64) are taking benzodiazepines more often than any other age group. Just over 14 percent reported they had used this class of drugs during the previous year.
Another 5.3 million respondents said they had misused their medications. Misusing a prescription means using it in a way other than directed by a doctor, including taking a higher dose, taking it more often or longer than prescribed.
Benzodiazepine Misuse Common Among Young Adults
Lead researcher Dr. Donovan Maust commented that young adults in the 18-25 age group are most likely to misuse benzodiazepines. He is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan’s Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Maust said that misuse for this type of drug is “as common as prescription use,” which he described as being disturbing.
Overdose Deaths due to Benzos “Snowballed” in Last 10 Years
These survey results, which were published in the journal Psychiatric Services, are similar to reports released earlier in 2018 which warned that overdose deaths related to benzodiazepines have snowballed over the past decade. The overdose rate coincides with a steady increase in prescription rates for this class of drugs.
Benzodiazepine-related overdoses increased sevenfold in the years 1999-2015, jumping from 1,135 to 8,791 deaths. These figures originally appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine (February 2018).
Fentanyl in Other Drugs Leading to an Increase in Fentanyl Overdoses
If you’ve read any articles lately or turned on the news, chances are you’ve heard much discussion about fentanyl and fentanyl overdoses. Fentanyl overdoses becoming more and more of an issue. People are discovering fentanyl in other drugs, much to the surprise of the user, leading to tragic consequences. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of fentanyl-related deaths reached 30,000, the sharpest increase of all drug-related overdoses.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is described as a powerful synthetic drug that is 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin or cocaine. Fentanyl and its analogs are part of a class of drugs known as rapid-acting synthetic opioids. They can be used to treat severe pain or to help manage pain after surgery. Opioids create euphoria through the brain which is why fentanyl can become very addictive. Even those who are prescribed the drug for pain management can easily become dependent if they’re not careful.
In no way should fentanyl and any other opioids be used for anything else, but the truth is that people are getting their hands on the drug and adding it to other illegal substances with deadly consequences.
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How Fentanyl is Appearing in Other Drugs
Fentanyl can be manufactured into a white powder that is virtually impossible to distinguish between drugs like cocaine and heroin which is why many users can not even detect it. While heroin comes from the opium poppy plant, making the plant necessary to make the drug, fentanyl can be made in a lab, which may be a major reason why its use is becoming more and more rampant. Fentanyl can be lethal in doses as small as two milligrams.
Because of the way synthesized fentanyl can be made, it is becoming easier for drug cartels to produce and it and is why users are finding fentanyl in other drugs. This is leading to many people overdosing on fentanyl without even realizing they took it. Fentanyl can be diluted and also re-cut, allowing drug dealers to mix it with other drugs like heroin and cocaine. A user will not realize it until it may be too late. These facts are what are contributing to what is now being referred to as an opioid crisis in the United States.
The New York City Health Department notes that someone dies of a drug overdose every seven hours in the city. In 2017, opioids were involved in 80 percent of those deaths. While opioid and fentanyl overdoses have been seen in the past, they have never been seen in this type or quantity. This disturbing trend is what is contributing to the epidemic.
Fighting Fentanyl Overdoses
Fentanyl overdoses and the opioid crisis were recognized by the White House in 2017 as a Public Health Emergency. This directs federal agencies to provide more grant money to fight the epidemic.
Many first responders have also been armed with Narcan (brand name for the drug Naloxone) to help treat those who are experiencing an opioid overdose. The drug works quickly by binding to opioid receptors to reverse the effects of the drug. Typically its effects can be felt within five minutes of administering the drug. While naloxone can be given as an inhalant, it is usually given as an injectable by emergency responders. The goal is to get the patient breathing normally once again.
While naloxone can provide a quick fix and can help save the life of someone overdosing, in order to prevent future fentanyl overdoses and overcome addiction, rehab is needed. Drug addiction is often caused by deep-rooted problems that need to be addressed at their core.
In order for someone to fight their addiction, many times a detox program is first needed so that the patient can begin the rehab process. This is best done under the supervision of a trained medical team. At Desert Cove Recovery, patients are evaluated to see if detox is needed. If so, recommendations are made for detox with one of Desert Cove’s partners.
Other forms of rehab can include a 12-step process that lets each patient go through individual and group therapy to get them on the road to sobriety. Patients learn the skills they need to live a happy and healthy life without the use of drugs. Holistic treatment, outdoor therapy, and extended care are also provided at Desert Cove Recovery. Once you make the decision to get the help you need, the staff will recommend the best treatments for your addiction.
If you’re ready to get started on your journey to sobriety, contact Desert Cove Recovery today and 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.
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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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.
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.
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.
Cope Better with Holistic Heroin Addiction Treatment
Dealing with an addiction to alcohol, heroin or other drugs is never easy. Taking that first step and admitting that you need help is huge, but it’s just the beginning. Long after putting down a substance, the underlying causes of addiction often remain. Through effective addiction treatment, you can take the first steps toward regaining your life.
By considering holistic heroin addiction treatment, you can enjoy traditional treatments and therapies alongside alternative, holistic therapies that help to heal your entire person—not just the behavioral aspects of your addiction. Read on to learn more about it and how it may benefit you.
What is Holistic Addiction Treatment, Anyway?
The term “holistic” has become something of a buzzword these days; in fact, many treatment centers that advertise their holistic treatments don’t actually deliver. Therefore, it is important to look closely at programs and facilities that claim to offer holistic addiction treatment.
Put simply, holistic addiction treatment involves not only traditional treatments like counseling and medical detox, but alternative therapies like yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage. It follows the philosophy that you are far more than your addiction, and it addresses underlying causes that can lead to relapse. Continued after video:
What are the Benefits of Holistic Treatment?
Why would you choose to undergo holistic addiction treatment rather than traditional treatment? First, it’s important to understand that holistic addiction treatment isn’t a dramatic departure from regular treatment. Rather, it builds upon the proven methods and therapies of traditional addiction treatment by incorporating therapies that help to heal you as a whole person. To better understand why so many people are turning to holistic heroin addiction treatment, consider these benefits:
Improved Ability to Cope with Physical Symptoms
With holistic addiction treatment, you will be introduced to therapies like yoga, guided meditation and massage that are believed to help assuage the physical symptoms of withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. These techniques help you to improve your ability to be mindful, which can help you to understand that you are not your thoughts, feelings or emotions. In turn, you are less apt to “go down a rabbit hole” when negative thoughts and energies appear in your mind. This can translate into an improved ability to cope with the triggers.
Better Spiritual Grounding
Having faith in something bigger than yourself can help you to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. That doesn’t mean having to convert to a religion; it simply means having a spiritual grounding that you can fall back on when struggling with your addiction. Many find that through activities like yoga and meditation they are able to connect with a deeper spirituality that comes very much in handy in maintaining sobriety.
More Balanced Emotions
Many people with substance abuse disorders have preexisting emotional and mental imbalances that are often largely responsible for their behavior. Even if someone doesn’t have an underlying mental illness beforehand, they often emerge from addiction in a severely imbalanced emotional state. Holistic treatment arms you with tools that you can turn to again and again through your life to achieve calm and balance in your mind. You will learn to be able to find that place of calm and peace whenever you need it.
Since holistic addiction treatment strives to treat the whole person, nutrition plays a crucial role. In this type of treatment, you will be educated about how to achieve and maintain a healthy diet. Since people in addiction often have poor nutrition, they also often suffer from neurochemical imbalances that can make it even more difficult to maintain sobriety. While you can and certainly should treat yourself during the holidays, you will also know how to ensure that you get enough nutrients to remain healthy and balanced.
An Easier Transition Out of Treatment
Perhaps one of the most exciting things about holistic addiction treatment is that it arms you with tools that you can turn to again and again throughout your life. While traditional therapies like counseling and behavioral therapy are important parts of most addiction treatment programs, these aren’t things that you can turn to if you are in danger of being triggered into relapse. Things like yoga and meditation, on the other hand, can be practiced just about anywhere and just about any time—and they provide incredible comfort for people who are in the early stages of sobriety too.
Get Help Today
If you are ready to reclaim a sober life, Desert Cove Recovery’s holistic heroin addiction treatment center is here to help. Contact us today to learn more and to get the help that you need to avoid triggers and issues that can cause you to turn to unhealthy habits.
New research conducted by a team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore has identified a neural pathway that is linked to addiction and depression. Their findings, which were recently published in the journal Nature, found an increased intensity of signals passing between the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens.
Pleasure and Reward System Governed by the Brain
The pleasure and reward system is one of the most important systems that the brain regulates in humans. It gives us the “nudge” we need to eat, drink and be sexually active. All these activities are needed to ensure the continued survival of our species.
The way the reward system operates is also an important factor in many types of addictive behavior.
Professor Scott Thompson, Ph.D., the leader of the research team, stated that the two parts of the brain (the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens) are known to be important in processing rewarding experiences for humans. He went on to say that the communication between the two is stronger in a case of addiction, although the underlying mechanisms were unknown to the team.
Team Tests Depression Hypothesis
The research team tested a new hypothesis: whether the same signals became weaker in people living with depression. Since one symptom of depression is anhedonia (a loss of pleasure in usually pleasurable activities), the researchers wanted to discover whether weakening signals in the neural pathways could be the underlying cause of depressed patients.
Using mice, the team focused on brain circuitry that plays an important role in goal-oriented behavior. They wanted to see if they could change the animals’ activity. They added light-sensitive proteins into the neurons forming the brain’s circuitry. Once this step was completed, the researchers hoped to control the signals by blocking or boosting the levels between the hippocampus and the nucleus.
The researchers created a false reward memory in the mice that received the light-sensitive protein by exposing them to light during a four second period. This meant the mice learned to associate pleasure with the location where they felt light exposure.
After a day, the researchers took the mice back to the place where they had received the false memory of associating pleasure with light and exposed them to light again. The goal was to shut down the signal between the hippocampus and the nucleus accumbens this time, however.
They confirmed this pathway is critical to the way the brain is wired for reward association. Once the pathway is shut down, the mice stopped liking the location where they originally received the reward memory.
Next, the researchers looked at depression. They tried to boost brain activity in depressed mice but this part of the experiment wasn’t successful. The researchers had to administer antidepressants to the mice before they could imprint any artificial reward memories in the brain of depressed mice.
Dr. E. Albert Reece, the dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, said these are exciting results that will bring us closer to understanding what’s happening in the brains of clinically depressed patients.