Tag Archives: Addiction Recovery

Arizona Naloxone Laws, Arizona Overdose Deaths

How Arizona Naloxone Laws Can Help Reduce Arizona Overdose Deaths

How Arizona Naloxone Laws Can Help Reduce Arizona Overdose Deaths

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

What Are Opioids, and How Do Overdoses Occur?

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

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

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

What Is Naloxone?

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

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

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arizona overdose, arizona naloxone laws

Arizona Naloxone Laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who Uses All Those Doses?

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

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

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

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

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

Signs of Opioid Overdose

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

These telltale signs indicate a life-threatening emergency:

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

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

A Better Solution for Opioid Overdoses and Opioid Addiction

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

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

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

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

12 step rehab vs non 12 step rehab

12 Step vs Non-12-Step Rehab

12 Step vs Non-12-Step Rehab

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

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

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

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12 step rehab arizona

How Do the 12-Steps Work?

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

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

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

What Does 12-Step Rehab Offer?

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

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

What Are the Alternatives to 12-Step Rehab?

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

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

Comparing Rehab Program Options

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

Treatment Focus

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

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

Level of Care

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

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

Effectiveness

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

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

Cost & Availability

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

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

Choosing a Rehab That Offers the Best of Both Worlds

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

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

 

 

holistic heroin addiction treatment

Cope Better with Holistic Heroin Addiction Treatment

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.
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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.

Improved Nutrition

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.

high functioning addiction

Treatment for High Functioning Addiction

Treatment for High Functioning Addiction

Those who are suffering from high functioning addiction are often the most difficult to help. This is partly because they hide their addictions so well, even from themselves in many cases. However, it’s reasonably common as it’s estimated that a fifth of alcoholics have been defined as “functional.”

As the phrase implies, these individuals are high functioning members of society as that relates to their jobs, relationships and otherwise and have continued to be so while in the process of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs. In other words, they do not present the stereotypical image of someone who is suffering from an addiction. This is often problematic as it results in both the person suffering from the addiction and his or her family, friends and co-workers often denying that an addiction exists when it really does.

In many cases, those with this type of addiction work and experience success in high-profile positions in society and continue to do so while using a considerable amount of alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately, those in these situations are also less apt to get help for it. For example, some may believe that they are too valuable at work to take the time away from it that is necessary to get that help.

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Signs of High Functioning Addiction

One of the toughest things about addiction of this type is that those who care about the person are oftentimes hesitant to say anything when it appears that the addiction is not impacting the person’s life. But it is important to do so as this will, in most cases, only worsen as time passes.

What are some of the signs to look out for?

As far as alcohol goes, simply drinking a considerable amount on a regular basis is cause for concern even if the person appears to not be affected by it as far as family or work goes. For example, a man consuming at least 14 drinks a week or a woman having seven drinks in that time frame are both significant developments that should be disconcerting.

Acting defensive or joking about it when asked about how much is being consumed or hiding it should be noted as well.

Focusing on the substance instead of taking care of themselves in ways such as eating and personal hygiene is another warning sign to consider. Other ones include not socializing as much as had been the case before and accomplishing less at work, doing closer to the minimum expected and not going above and beyond if the latter had been the norm. A decreased interest in hobbies and other activities is another sign.

The Need for Rehab

Many who are in need of rehab do not take advantage of it because of fears of what spending one or more months in rehab might do to their place of employment as well as to themselves in relation to their jobs and reputations. However, if someone is addicted, that person needs to overcome that addiction now, before it worsens. The rehab experience may not be an enjoyable one, but it is one that is very much for the best in the long term.

It should also be considered that, in most cases, family is an especially important element. Oftentimes, someone who is addicted will only consider getting rehab if they realize that sacrificing their substance use is for the good of their family.

Perhaps the biggest warning sign that rehab is necessary occurs when someone defends to himself or herself the need to continue to work by saying that it is necessary in order to continue to receive access to alcohol or drugs. Alcohol/drugs should never be the focus.

If someone you care for is suffering from this, it will likely not be an easy conversation to have, discussing the importance of rehab, but it’s important to stress that need.

How Can Rehab Help?

There are two primary ways that those with a high functioning addiction will be helped by rehab. One is that the addiction is real even if it may not appear so by them or those around them. In other words, the impact on the brain has occurred, and this needs to be reversed for the health of the individual. The other is that somebody who is high functioning while suffering from an addiction today may be non functioning tomorrow. Even if everything appears to be going fine for someone who is high functioning, the possibility of the addiction worsening quickly and significantly is very much there.

If you or somebody you know is suffering from an addiction, whether that’s as a high functioning person or as a low functioning one, please contact Desert Cove Recovery, and we will ensure that help is provided so that short- and long-term recovery can start taking place.

opioid overdoses in az organ transplants

Increases in Opioid Overdoses in Arizona Lead to Spike in Organ Donations

Increases in Opioid Overdoses in Arizona Lead to Spike in Organ Donations

In recent years, drug and opioid overdoses in Arizona have steadily risen. Interestingly enough, so have organ donations. Seeking help from an opioid addiction treatment center today can help lower your risk of becoming another statistic.

So, What is the Connection?

It was once thought that harvesting organs from an individual who suffered from an opioid or drug addiction while they were alive, held too many risks for the patient who would receive said organs. However, researchers have confirmed through recent studies that prove organs from drug-addicted individuals have almost the same transplant success rates as organs from overall healthy individuals.

With the recent spike in opioid-related deaths, there has also been a spike in organ donations, creating a tragic but hopeful realization.  With the increase of overdose deaths, comes the increase of new life opportunities to patients waiting for new organs.

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opioid overdoses in arizona and organ transplants

If There is So Much Hope Found in These Studies, Why is This Seemingly Taboo?

First off, the opioid epidemic is a newer issue facing, not only in Arizona, but The United States as a whole. A recent study done by investigators at the University of Utah Health found that currently 110,000 people across the United States are lingering on organ transplant waiting lists. However, the increase in the opioid epidemic has paved the way for unexpected opportunities in increases of organ availability for donation.

The Annals of Medicine found that a major rise of organ donors who’s death occurred due to an overdose rose up to 13.4% in 2017, compared to the meager 1.1% that it was at in 2000. In Arizona alone, opioid-related deaths have seen a 74 percent increase in the last four years. These numbers suggests that with the rise in organ donations from drug-related overdoses, it could significantly improve our country’s organ shortage. Unfortunately, it also shows that there were a great many organs from opioid overdoses in Arizona that went unused before 2017, which could have saved numerous lives.

While these statistics are encouraging, there is a big question that remains.

Are These Organs Safe to Use For Transplants?

Up until recent years, it was not common practice for medical professionals to accept the use of organs from drug-induced deaths, as there were legitimate concerns for the success of the transplant and the patient who received it.

During an overdose, an individual can experience a drop in blood pressure, which reduces the supply of oxygen and holds the potential to affect the organs negatively. There have also been, and still are, potential risks of infection such as hepatitis C. Although there can be a slightly higher risk of those organs having hepatitis C, at only a 30% risk, it still scares off both medical professionals and patients. Recipients of these donors have shown through testing that patient and graft survival rates remain within the same percentage as those recipients who received organs from trauma or medical deaths.

Dr. Christine Durand from Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore has done numerous studies on this topic and states that; “While it is natural for patients to be concerned when they hear that an organ has an increased risk of infection, the tests for the disease are so effective that the risk is low — for HIV, it is around one in 10 000. For hepatitis C, there is a cure available to treat the recipient if an infection is passed on.”

While these studies were created to better understand the effects these specific types of transplants can have on the receiver, they also stand to offer more insight and knowledge for the patient. Even though having an organ transplant surgery is often necessary to continue having a quality of life, it can still be a daunting thing for any patient to consider. The topic can weigh even heavier when the fear of receiving an organ from a former drug user could mean. The United Network for Organ Sharing policy requires that patients be fully aware of any circumstances of potentially higher risk donations so they can best decide whether or not to accept it.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Can Help Prolong Your Life

While the spike in organ transplants is good news, the method to which they have become so readily available is not. An organ comes with a story unique and all its own. This new organ could hold the potential for a fresh start, a promise for a continued journey, and the hope of a healthy and happy life.

But, even before those organs are given to someone else, the person struggling with addiction has options available to them so that they don’t become another number in these staggering statistics.

If opioid addiction is prevalent in an individual’s life, they have ways to begin moving forward and beginning recovery today. There are numerous opioid addiction treatment centers within Arizona that offer a multitude of treatment options and programs. Don’t let the numbers and addiction dictate the journey. Make the decision for a chance at a new beginning today by calling Desert Cove Recovery.

staying sober during the holidays

8 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

8 Tips for Staying Sober During the Holidays

Although the holidays can be a fun time, recovering from substance abuse can put a damper on the festivities. It’s common for people to throw parties and serve alcohol or to have family gatherings that cause a great deal of stress. Staying on your path of addiction recovery at this time of year can be a real challenge as you navigate these situations. To get through this season successfully without relapsing, here are eight tips for staying sober during the holidays.

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  1. Surround Yourself with People Who Support Your Recovery

Support is crucial to a person in recovery at any time of the year. However, the holidays can be extra challenging. Surrounding yourself with family and friends who love you and who are wiling to help you remain sober will make things easier. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your close family and friends to help keep you accountable to your recovery. Most importantly, do not isolate yourself. This may only cause depression or relapse.

  1. Choose Holiday Parties Wisely

There are always a number of holiday parties you can attend during the holiday season, most of which will offer substances that you have worked hard at removing from your life. Even though you have started recovery from addiction, you do not have to decline all of the offers that you are given. However, it is smart to choose the ones where alcohol will not be the center of attention.

Avoiding gatherings that provide the greatest temptations will make things easier for you. Realizing that a few hours of partying are not worth ruining your sobriety is vital. Make sure to arrive with a plan so that you can leave when the urge to drink becomes too strong. You should come with a trusted friend who will agree not to drink as well. Make plans ahead of time not to rely on others for transportation. This will keep you from getting into uncomfortable situations.

  1. Keep Attending Meetings and Staying Sober During the Holidays

Although the holiday season is busy, it is not the time for you to take a vacation from your recovery process. Besides surrounding yourself with family and friends, it is important to keep attending regular sobriety meetings. Even if you are away from home for the holidays, it is possible to find and attend a local meeting in the area. Support groups contain people who are going through the same challenges. You can work together and help each other get through the holidays without relapsing.

  1. Give Back

Your recovery is like a rebirth. A way to make the most of this gift is to give back. Helping others during the holiday season is an effective way to remain sober as well. Your community is probably looking for volunteers to help serve a meal to the hungry or to decorate various parts of your town. These activities will give you purpose and will make you feel good about helping others. Lending a hand to other individuals is a way to show thanks for the people who have helped you along your sober journey.

  1. Be Honest with Yourself

Many recovering individuals are too confident in their abilities to remain sober at all times. However, even the strongest person can succumb to temptation. Do not think that it is possible to avoid relapsing when you are placing yourself in situations where alcohol is flowing. If you are at a party or event where most people are getting buzzed, you will likely fall victim to relapse. Although it is important to socialize during the holidays, it is vital not to make a habit of visiting bars or similar venues at this time of year. Being honest with yourself about your struggle with addiction is one of the best ways to fight against yourself.

  1. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is known to release endorphins in the brain. These endorphins make people feel happy and satisfied. This is why a person in recovery should establish a regular workout routine, especially during the holidays. Also, exercise can help you to clear your mind and to escape the chaos that the holidays may bring. Simply taking a walk to enjoy some Christmas lights can improve your mood and keep you away from triggers that can harm your recovery.

  1. Create New Traditions

If drugs or alcohol have haunted you for a long time and have prevented you from enjoying quality time with friends and family during the holidays, it may be nice to create new traditions. Now that you have decided to live a sober life, you will be able to spend memorable times with your loved ones. Host an alcohol-free decorating party or cookie exchange, plan a family game night, or go sleigh riding after you trim your tree. All of these activities can become a yearly tradition. They create positive feelings for everyone who is involved.

  1. Take One Day at a Time

Sometimes, people think too far into the future. As a recovering individual, it is essential to take one day at a time. Do not worry about the past or what is yet to happen. Live for the moment so that you enjoy a wonderful holiday season. Celebrate with family and friends without negative thoughts of relapse.

For more helpful tips to remain sober this holiday season, or to start your recovery journey, contact Desert Cove Recovery today.

decision to go to rehab arizona

What Happens When You Make the Decision to Go to Rehab Arizona

What Happens When You Make the Decision to Go to Rehab Arizona

It can be a scary situation to realize that going to rehab is the best decision for your life right now as you look to recover from an addiction that you’re suffering from. However, that is coupled with hop;, hope for a brighter future, one that includes feeling more in control of your life than is the case currently. One of the best things that you will learn when you go to rehab Arizona is that you’re not alone as you will see that others are struggling with the same types of things that you are.

How Life Can and Will Change When You Go to Rehab

One thing is certain: Your life will change as a result of entering rehab.

One significant difference that will come to your life is changing the focus of it from drugs to something else, something healthier. Up to this point, your mind has been clouded by its increasing focus on securing and taking drugs. It will take some time, but having your mind clear up and open up is going to have a tremendously positive impact on your life. And, as a result of this and the other impacts of rehab, you will very gradually develop a higher sense of self-esteem.

But perhaps the most important way that your life will change is from you being able to feel a much closer sense of what your true needs are and how to address them. This is often done through meditation or prayer. Fully experiencing emotions rather than trying to eliminate them through alcohol or drug use will also allow you to gain a much firmer handle on how to handle those emotions and what is the best for you and for others around you.

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How You’re Giving Yourself Another Chance

The feeling that you are not going to give up on yourself is a motivating experience, and that’s exactly what you’re doing when you head to rehab. It’s not going to be easy, but you’re giving yourself another chance to experience life as it should be lived, without alcohol or drugs controlling it.

One thing that is essential to keep in mind is that you really can change. The same as the person that you are while battling your addiction might have be unrecognizable as compared to who you used to be, the person who you can be in the future also has the potential to be quite a change from who you are now.

And make sure to keep in mind that it’s never too late for you to take advantage of another chance. While nothing can be done about the past, everything can be done about the future, and you should take advantage of the years that you have remaining. For example, Roy Kroc was 53 when he started getting involved with McDonald’s and ended up buying it at the age of 59.

How You’ll Deal With Your Fears When You Go To Rehab Arizona

Of course, you will likely experience a variety of fears connected with going to rehab. However, it’s important to remind yourself that this is normal and that there are ways to deal with those fears and push past them.

One of the most common reasons why those who enter rehab experience fear is thinking about what the detox and withdrawal experiences are going to be like. Although they will most likely be unpleasant, you can trust in those who are overseeing you, that they will be closely monitoring you so that you remain safe throughout that trying process.

Another common fear for those in these types of situations is a fear of failure, a fear of not succeeding with the recovery process. Fortunately, just walking through the doors are strong steps in the right direction. Once there, remind yourself that your odds of success have gone up tremendously now that you’re receiving treatment and taking an active role in the recovery process.

It’s important to note that some people even experience a fear of success, thinking that they aren’t worthy of beating this addiction. However, you are worthy of beating it and can.

Another common fear is the fear of admitting that you are suffering from an addiction. Oftentimes, emotions like embarrassment or denial can be felt in these situations, but it’s essential that you note that anything that you are doing to overcome this addiction is a positive and something that will end up in a lot more positive emotions being felt than those. Once this addiction is overcome, you’ll be feeling emotions that you want to be feeling such as pride instead.

When it’s time to start working on overcoming the addiction that you or a loved one is looking to overcome, give Desert Cove Recovery a call, and we can help.

changes in alcohol abuse

Physiological Changes in Alcohol Abuse

Physiological Changes in Alcohol Abuse

When it comes to all of the addictive substances available in the United States, alcohol is the one that is most commonly used. Statistics from the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence show that one in every 12 Americans suffer from alcohol abuse.

When someone is dealing with alcohol abuse, he or she is also dealing with the physiological changes in alcohol abuse. These can have devastating effects on different parts and functions of the body. Statistics show that 88,000 deaths a year are attributed to excessive alcohol abuse.

The effects alcohol can have on the body over time can impair everyday functions and impact vital organs. These include damage and functions involving the:

  • Liver
  • Pancreas
  • Brain
  • Heart

Let’s take a closer look at the physiological changes in alcohol abuse when it comes to these vital organs.

Changes in Alcohol Abuse & Your Liver

The liver helps to break down and remove harmful substances from the body. This includes alcohol. When someone abuses alcohol, the liver can become inflamed, leading to disease. This inflammation leads to scarring on the liver referred to as cirrhosis. This destroys the liver, making it more difficult for the body to rid itself of toxins. When toxins and waste build up in the body, the consequences can be life-threatening.

Changes in Alcohol Abuse & Your Pancreas

Alcohol abuse can also have damaging effects on the pancreas. The pancreas helps to regulate the body’s insulin levels and how it responds to glucose. When someone drinks too much alcohol, it can lead to an abnormal activation of digestive enzymes that the pancreas produces. This can cause an inflamed pancreas or a condition called pancreatitis.

When the pancreas isn’t working properly it can also prevent the body from making enough insulin to use sugar. This can cause extremes in blood sugar levels that range from levels either too high or too low. Either case harms the body and can lead to diabetes or other medical conditions.

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changes in alcohol abuse

Changes in Alcohol Abuse & Your Brain

Excessive drinking and alcohol abuse impair a person’s judgment and reasoning. But, the effects on the brain go much deeper. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to frontal lobe damage in the brain. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions, short-term memory, and judgment, among other things. When there is chronic alcohol abuse, there is also the risk of permanent brain damage.

Change in Alcohol Abuse & Your Heart

Alcohol abuse also puts life-threatening pressure on the heart. When a person drinks too much they put themselves at greater risk for:

  • Stroke
  • High-Blood Pressure
  • Irregular Heartbeats
  • Cardiomyopathy (stretching & drooping of the heart muscle)

Long-term alcohol abuse weakens and thins the heart muscle. This prohibits the body from pumping blood effectively, leading to the problems mentioned above which can be life-threatening.

Other Physiological Changes in Alcohol Abuse

Besides the impact alcohol can have on the organs, it can also lead to other health issues because excessive drinking lowers the immune system. This impacts your body’s ability to fight off disease and makes it more susceptible to illnesses like tuberculosis and pneumonia. Drinking excessively even just one time slows your body’s ability to fight disease, even 24 hours after being intoxicated.

The effects of alcohol abuse can also be seen in reproductive health. Alcohol abuse in men can lead to erectile dysfunction and a lowered libido. Women may experience irregular menstruation cycles or may stop menstruating altogether, leading to fertility problems.

Alcohol abuse can also increase the risk of developing certain types of cancers like:

  • Breast cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Oral cancer
  • Throat cancer

It can also take its toll on bones in the body, making bones even more fragile and at greater risk for fractures in the event of a fall. Muscle weakness, cramping, and even muscle atrophy can occur with long-term excessive drinking.

Seeking Help from Arizona Alcohol Treatment

For those who may be abusing alcohol, realizing the need for help may be most difficult.  Desert Cove Recovery, Arizona alcohol treatment facility, is here with a variety of treatment programs. For more information, contact us and one of our highly trained staff members will contact you. Let us help you get on the path to recovery and better overall health.

friends don't believe you are addicted

What to Do When Your Friends Don’t Believe You’re Addicted

What to Do When Your Friends Don’t Believe You’re Addicted

It can be easy to hide the truth from people we love the most. Perhaps you are partaking in drugs and your friends don’t believe you’re addicted. Many times, our closest friends want to offer support when no one else does. Other times, they offer insight and perspective that is needed the most. When you hide your addiction from those friends, you are creating a wedge in your relationship that can be hard to rebuild.

Your friends honestly care about your welfare and if they knew all the facts, they would encourage you to seek help. But people struggling with addiction are very adept at concealing their problems. They hide drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances from others. Or, if the conversation makes an uncomfortable turn, they are very skilled at redirecting things. If all else fails, those struggling with addiction will continue to deny any sign of dependence on a substance.

As a result, even close friends, spouses, or roommates may not know there is a problem at all. Or, they may not know how bad things are.

Even if your friends don’t believe you are addicted, no one knows you better than yourself.

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A Brief Self-Assessment: “Do I Need Rehab?”

Admitting you have an addiction is the first step in addiction recovery. You are in the driver’s seat, and no one else will be able to go to addiction rehab for you. So, even if friends don’t think you are addicted, you are in the best position to make this important decision.

Before starting this assessment, it is important to be honest with yourself. Many addicts have practiced denial so much before others that they are in denial themselves. No one else will know the outcome of this assessment, so there is every reason to be honest with yourself.

Driving While Under the Influence

Some people know they are not in full possession of their mental or physical abilities before they get behind the wheel. Perhaps they respond by taking the back-way home or driving well below the speed limit. Or, perhaps they drive home from bars, parties, or other places and do not remember the route they took.

If you have driven under the influence more than once or twice, regardless of whether you got caught or anyone got hurt, you may have a problem.

Substance-Related Health Issues

Alcohol use is a good example. After even a short period of abuse, many people begin experiencing liver problems, blackouts, and anemia.

Typically, addiction is the only cause for issues like these. There may be some element of genetic predisposition, but not very much of one. So, health problems are one of the clearest signs that you may need rehab regardless of what your friends say.

Legal Problems

Many legal issues may be directly related to substance abuse, such as DUI, drug possession, or public intoxication. You are the only one who can accurately say whether the issues was a one-time mistake or the sign of something more serious. These are the only two possible interpretations.

Other times, the relationship is indirect. Most people make very bad decisions when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substance-related legal problems are much harder for anyone, including your friends, to detect.

Harming Yourself or Another

Before you skip past this part of the rehab assessment, think it through. The harm does not have to be physical and does not have to put anyone in the hospital. Emotional outbursts hurt others, and hurt yourself, just as much as physical violence. Furthermore, even if the act did not cause visible injury, it is still a violent act.

Why You Use the Substance

Many people start using drugs to experiment or to get through a difficult patch of life, such as a relationship break-up. After you know how the substance affects you or long after your boyfriend left, are you still using alcohol or drugs?

On a related note, take stock of the amount you use. If it has increased significantly and you still have basically the same high, you might very well be an addict.

If the results of this assessment disturbed you in any way, even if your friends don’t think you’re addicted, you should reach out to a professional for guidance. The next step could be a low-key session with a nearby counselor, inpatient substance abuse rehab, or something in between. Whatever that next step is, we are here to help. The trusted staff at Desert Cove Recovery will work with you to start your recovery from addiction. You do not need to face this alone.

sharing addiction story, breaking anonymity

Breaking Anonymity and Sharing Your Addiction Story

Breaking Anonymity and Sharing Your Addiction Story

When life’s circumstances don’t go as we originally intended, it’s easy to feel guilty about choices we’ve made leading us to where we are today. Many people who file for divorce, declare bankruptcy, or have a substance abuse issues blame themselves for their problems. Harboring that guilt and embarrassment may make sharing your addiction story very difficult.

Very few worthwhile endeavors are also easy, and that includes telling others about your battle through addiction. Just remember that you are not the only person who has been down this road. Some twenty million Americans are addicted to a non-tobacco substance, and only about 10 percent of them seek treatment for their illness. If your story inspires one of these people to make the call, sharing your addiction story was more than worth it.

Talking about abuse is important to recovering addicts as well. Statistics vary widely, but there is no doubt that serious relapse is a problem. Once again, if your story keeps just one person in recovery, you should tell it.

Some Reasons Sharing Your Addiction Story is Important

Your recovery story is not just about a personal journey. Elements of your long, hard journey resonate with many other people in the recovery community. Understanding these facts makes it easier to overcome guilt, embarrassment, or whatever else is holding you back. If you need some specific reasons, here are just a few:

Making it Real

Your recovery story is not really a story until you share it with others. Once you open up and share it, the whole experience becomes more real to you and to them.

Organizing Your Thoughts

Funeral eulogies are not just for broadcasting nice things about the departed. Many people have multiple and confusing feelings about their lost friends and loved ones whom they lost to addiction. Only preparing and telling the story helps them make sense of everything.

Making a Contribution

These shared experiences help us find strength in times of great need. When you share your story, you are creating an atmosphere where others feel comfortable to tell theirs as well.

Strengthening Your Resolve

Sharing your story gives you more of a stake in your recovery. If we know people are watching, we tend to watch our steps a bit more closely. Furthermore, as mentioned, your story could well be the catalyst which drives someone to seek help.

Note that some of these reasons are about other people, and some of them are about you. Your story has the power to impact more people than just yourself.

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How to Share Your Addiction Story

For some people, speaking or writing in front of an audience is second nature. But for many others, such actions may be harder than rehab. Desert Cove Recovery staff is here to help you share your story.

Many people start with anonymous online comments on addiction-related blogs or news stories. Or perhaps, you can start by liking recovery stories online. By using social media, sharing your addiction story can be safe and anonymous. Such comments have a cathartic effect for you, and they may have an inspiring effect on others.

Posting a comment or blog on our Facebook page may be the next step. People who are interested in addiction and recovery issues will see the post. It is like preaching to the choir. These public comments in a non-threatening environment are a good way to not only help yourself and inspire others, but also help build community.

When you are ready, post on your own blog site, Facebook page, or other social media account. People outside the addiction/recovery community will hear what you have to say. There may be some negative feedback, because people are not always empathetic. But such posts enable you to connect with your circle of friends in a very meaningful way. And truthfully, some people post negative comments on anything they see! Try not to focus on the naysayers, and instead remember what you have accomplished by beginning your recovery.

If you need help finding your voice or getting the words right, reach out to us or find fellow recovering people in recovery for help. Remember, you are not the only one who has problems in this area.

Finally, consider an informal speaking engagement at a local support group. Sometimes, that just means speaking up when you have the chance. Other times, that could mean being a guest speaker for a group. These things can be very intimidating for many people, but you have already come this far. Taking this next step will complete this part of your recovery.

Recovery is not easy and is not limited to your activities at a treatment facility. Recovery is hard and requires lifelong effort. For both yourself and for others, recovery should include sharing your addiction story. If you are struggling with any aspect of a substance abuse problem, you can always count on Desert Cove Recovery for help.