Tag Archives: addiction treatment

treating emotional pain and trauma in addiction recovery

Treating Emotional Pain and Trauma in Addiction Recovery

Treating Emotional Pain and Trauma in Addiction Recovery

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

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

What is Trauma?

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

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

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

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

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Treating Trauma and Addiction Together

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

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

Taking Time to Heal the Whole You

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

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

Effects of Marijuana Use in the Developing Brain

Effects of Marijuana Use in the Developing Brain

Effects of Marijuana Use in the Developing Brain

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

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

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

Changes in the Brain

Decreased IQ

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

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

Deregulated Emotions & Increased Stress

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

Physical Changes in the Brain

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

Increased Psychosomatic Symptoms

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

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

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

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Effects on Marijuana on the Developing Brain

When to Get Help

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

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

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

 

ways to overcome stress in addiction recovery

Ways to Overcome Stress in Addiction Recovery

Ways to Overcome Stress in Addiction Recovery

The use of drugs or alcohol often begins as a way to self-medicate the symptoms of stress. Unfortunately, seemingly harmless habits can turn into addictions that require treatment. How those affected address stress in addiction recovery plays an important role in the rehabilitation process.

Fortunately, professional treatment centers have strategies to help you overcome stress during the recovery process including:

  • Keep a stress journal
  • Self-examination of coping skills
  • Laughing
  • Fitness regimes
  • Get better sleep
  • Socializing with friends

Applying one or more of these methods can help decrease stress levels, improve life balance, and reduce the chance of relapse.

Keep a Stress Journal

Starting a stress journal and making daily entries can provide insight into the stressors that affect you. Over time, you can use the journal to identify the actions you take that led to the exposure of stressors. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to track any mistakes you made in dealing with them, giving you a blueprint of how to avoid them in the future.

Maintaining a stress journal should be simple. Spend just a couple minutes a day collecting a few key pieces of information include the following:

  • Cause of the stress
  • Your reaction to the situation
  • How you alleviated the stress
  • Emotional reactions to the stressor

Combined, these details will paint a picture you can reflect on, opening up opportunities to avoid stressors and enhancing your recovery.

Examine Your Coping Skills

In the past, you may have turned to drugs or alcohol to deal with stress in your life. However, if you have been through treatment, you now recognize this is an unhealthy response. Similarly, excessive sleeping, cigarette smoking, binge watching TV programs, and procrastinating are also poor ways of dealing with stress. Using your journal, identify when you turn to one of these coping mechanisms.

The ways in which you cope with stress in addiction is the second part of developing a healthy approach to managing stress. The first, identifying what and where your stressors exist, is balanced by examining and changing poor coping skills.

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ways to overcome stress in addiction recovery

Get Your 30 Minutes of Exercise

While a keeping a stress journal and examining your coping methods can reduce stress by themselves, one of the most powerful ways is through exercise. Doctors recommend getting a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day. A moderate to high intensity workout can consist of any physical activity that engages and strengthens your different muscle groups.

In addition to the various physical health benefits that exercise provides, exercise reduces stress. As blood pumps faster and delivers more oxygen to the brain, the brain responds by releasing endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals that interact with pleasure receptors in the brain. The result is the creation of a natural “high” and positive emotion.

The joy you experience may very likely encourage you to exercise more often. More importantly, more exercise will continue to lower the level of stress hormones in your body.

Socialize with Friends

Socializing with friends you trust can help you in two ways. First, it provides a safe outlet for your negative feelings. Discussing your problems with friends can reduce the stress you feel about different situations. This is true even if they are not able to offer advice on resolving a particular issue.

Secondly, socializing and enjoying the time you spend with your friends is a positive escape from stress. Having fun with friends takes your mind off of stressful problems and gives your body a chance to reduce the stress you’re experiencing. Socializing is a return to normalcy, a feeling that is a positive reflection of your recovery progress.

Get a Better Quality of Sleep

While sleeping excessively to avoid problems is unhealthy, many people experience a sleep deficiency that can become equally problematic. If you are not getting seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night, you may be causing a boost in stress levels.

To counteract this imbalance of stress, look for ways to get a better quality of sleep each night. You may need to limit caffeine consumption to the morning hours, shut down electronic devices an hour before bed, or engage in relaxation techniques. Yoga, meditation, or reading books can help you relax before bed. As an added bonus, these practices are also great for reducing stress by themselves.

Laughter is Still the Best Medicine

When people are stressed, the body creates the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol, combined with a boosted release of adrenaline, causes a more intense feeling of stress. However, when we laugh, the brain releases endorphins that counteract the effects that stress hormones have on the body. You can initiate this biochemical reaction by watching a funny movie or TV show, searching for videos of stand-up comics, or going to a live comedy show. Any entertainment that will bring out your sense of humor can help you reduce stress in a natural and healthy way.

Successful Stress Management

The road to recovery can be long and hard. It is important to work with a treatment center who understands the complex rehabilitation journey. Sobriety is not only about breaking free from physical addiction through detoxification, but also about the mental fortitude required to remain drug and alcohol free.

Rehabilitation centers such as Desert Cove Recovery, have trained professionals specializing in treating the mental aspects of recovery. Much of the mental recovery process is indeed about managing stress and how to cope in the presence of stressors.

If you or a loved are may be struggling with substance abuse, addiction, or stress in addiction, know that there are specially trained professionals here to help. It is never too late to seek professional guidance when it comes to substance abuse. The most important step is finding the help you or your loved one needs. 

 

 

 

 

how addiction affects each generation

How Addiction Affects Each Generation

How Addiction Affects Each Generation

When it comes to an addiction, your age and the generation you are a part of can have a major impact on how you respond to this condition. The causes and factors surrounding addiction vary greatly according to how old a person is, as the reason for dependent behavior can be rooted in significant life events which revolve around a person’s age. How an addiction can affect a person differs based on many various factors, including socio-economic status, the presence of co-occurring disorders, and a history of trauma. But age is an often-forgotten element when it comes to putting together important parts of the picture.

The Role Age Plays in Addiction

The reasons why a person will end up developing a serious addiction can be significantly influenced by their particular age group. For instance, binge drinking is a significant problem for individuals aged 18-25, as peer pressure can play a role in convincing someone to drink. But for people aged 40-64, the same type of social pressure in regards to drinking will not as prevalent. However, this generation struggles more with prescription drug abuse, due to it being widely available and often prescribed for medical conditions which can impact an older population.

This fact can be illustrated by a recent statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) which detail the differences between specific age groups in relation to one’s age. The rate at which U.S. adolescents aged 12-17 developed a substance addiction was 5% in 2014, or approximately 1.3 million individuals. People aged 18-25 have the highest rate of substance abuse across the board, as this group is particular vulnerable to struggling with addiction.

Although painkillers and opioids are a big concern for an older generation in regards to becoming addicted, it is actually the millennial generation which struggles the most with a prescription drug addiction. Studies have shown how this particular section of the population is much more likely to abuse things such as Vicodin, Adderall, and OxyContin than they are marijuana. This differs from the drug of choice for baby boomers, as this group was more likely to use marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelics during their youth.

One of the reasons researchers speculate that millennials are struggling more with prescription drugs abuse than their parents is due to the fact that mental health issues have become more common. It is thought that the rise in ‘helicopter parenting’, where many millennials were overly protected from the world, is a factor in why this generation is finding itself more prone to become addicted to prescription drugs. The Good Men Project states that because these individuals have been stripped of their mental defenses, their ability to deal with life in a healthy way can be reduced, increasing the likelihood of resorting to negative coping skills.

However, older individuals also struggle with addiction, as this generation is prone to abuse things such as Fentanyl, opioids, and other prescription drugs. In fact, addiction has become one of the leading causes of death among people aged 40-64. Individuals who are 25-35 still have the highest rate of death as a result of an overdose, highlighting how drug addiction is impacting a younger generation more intensely than the older generation.

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how addiction affects each generation

How Treatment Differs According to One’s Age

The route a clinician will take in order to properly treat a patient’s addiction can be very different depending on how old the person is. A treatment plan for a married 50 year-old addicted to drugs or alcohol will look much different than a single person in their late teens. Financial pressure, health concerns, and life stress can be a major source of addiction for someone who is in their middle age.

The most effective approach to providing substance abuse treatment which works is to take a holistic approach to a person’s unique circumstances, including their age demographic group. Certain methods of intervention are specifically designed to work best with a targeted age group, making the selection of a particular treatment modality especially important. A skilled clinician will be able to efficiently navigate a person towards recovery by helping to address the underlying cause for their addiction.

For older adults, treatment may include an assessment of one’s finances, career, mental acuity, and family dynamics in order to gain insight into the causes of a person’s condition. It may include an approach which takes into account health and wellness concerns, conditions which may be specific to a person’s age. It may also include the importance of rediscovering meaning and purpose in life as a way to overcome a crippling addiction.

If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction and needs to find a way forward that works, contact the caring professionals at Desert Cove Recovery. We treat all age groups and work directly with our clients to address their unique concerns and circumstances. Our trusted team will help guide you through the recovery process, working directly with you to create a treatment plan that will have you on the path to a new lease on life.

Long-acting Buprenorphine Injections Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment

Long-acting Buprenorphine Injections Effective Opioid Addiction Treatment

A monthly injection of buprenorphine BUP-XR is more effective than a placebo for treating opioid addiction, according to the results of a new study. This formulation is the extended release version.

A daily dose version of buprenorphine was approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) in 2002. It has been an effective treatment for opioid use disorder. Daily doses mean patients must commit to taking it each day; they may start to experience cravings for opioids once they get close to the end of the 24-hour cycle when they can take more medication.

Medication Assisted Therapy and Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Buprenorphine and methadone are both used in MAT (Medication Assisted Therapy) to treat opioid addiction. These medications are used in combination with behavioral counseling as part of a “whole patient” approach. The medications are used to control cravings and clients work with a counselor to develop new ways of thinking and responding to life stresses.

Extended Release Buprenorphine Called Sublocade

The extended-release version of buprenorphine was approved by the FDA in November 2017, which is being marketed under the brand name Sublocade. Approval was based on positive results in a Phase III human subjects study. The study has been published in The Lancet to make it available to the wider scientific community.

Double-Blind Study Conducted

Researchers divided 200 participants in the randomized, double-blind study into three groups. All of them had a mean duration of opioid use of between 11 and 12 years. Two of the groups were given different monthly doses of BUP-XR and one was given a placebo.

Both groups who were given BUP-XR reported “substantial portions of participants” abstaining from opioids. They also experienced relief from opioid withdrawal symptoms and control from cravings for opioids without having to take medication on a daily basis.

tell my employer i'm going to rehab

Should I Tell my Employer I’m Going to Rehab?

Should I Tell my Employer I’m Going to Rehab?

You have taken the first steps toward recovery by looking into drug treatment centers in Arizona, but now you face some difficult questions. If you are stuck wondering “Should I tell my employer I’m going to rehab? And if so, how?” you are on a good path toward recovery already. In general, the answer is yes, you should be honest about your situation.

Remember that getting treatment is a good thing.

You are more likely to keep your job in the long term if you seek treatment by going to rehab than if you continue to struggle with addiction on your own. If your addiction has been affecting your work, for example with poor work performance, spotty attendance, or compromised decision-making skills, you will be far more likely to improve the quality of your work after receiving treatment than if you continue repeating the same mistakes. It may even be a relief for your boss to know any erratic behavior you’ve been exhibiting has a cause and that you are working on a solution.

How do I tell my employer I’m going to rehab?

Be honest. If your boss or coworkers already suspect something is up with you, it will be much less suspicious if you are up front about going to rehab rather than adding extra layers of lies and deceit to cover it up. Being honest also makes you come across as a responsible person taking initiative for your health.  Not to mention, if someone at work finds out you have lied and are actually at a drug treatment center in Arizona, that does not bode well for your future at the company.

If your boss allows it, schedule a one-on-one meeting so you don’t have to rush through the conversation at an inopportune time during the workday.  If privacy is important to you, emphasize that you need discretion. Make your needs clear, but be respectful of company time and your boss’s schedule.

Understand your rights as an employee.

Before taking any official action, check company policy to see if rehab is protected or addressed. It may fall under your legally-protected sick leave, which guarantees you will have a job to come back to. Some companies offer counseling or related help with finding an addiction treatment center. Even if your company’s policy does not address rehab specifically, an open and honest conversation with your boss or a human resources manager should help you understand your options. If you lie about where you are for the duration of your absence, your leave might not be legally protected, and that could put your job in jeopardy.

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Don’t be embarrassed.

Every employee struggles with something, but not everyone is capable of reaching out for help and seeking treatment. The fact that you are taking active steps to better yourself is a strong mark in your favor.

Understand that some people may react poorly to your announcement. That is okay. You can feel assured that you are making a healthy decision for yourself by choosing to get well, and that indirectly means you are making the best choice for your company as well. Stand your ground and do not let anyone pressure you into not seeking treatment. You are doing the right thing. 

Take some initiative to plan ahead.

Get as many important, time-sensitive projects finished as possible before you leave. Explain your job functions to a close colleague, so if the company has to bring on a temporary replacement while you are gone, you are helping to ensure a smooth transition. This extra effort and concern for the company’s time and money will cast you in a more favorable light than if you were to leave without much notice or preparation.

Do not feel pressured to explain everything.

You do not owe anyone, including your boss, a detailed explanation of your situation or your choices. You are not on trial; you are simply notifying your employer that you will be taking leave.

If you feel you are in a position where you simply cannot be honest and up front about where you will be going, that’s okay. Your health and recovery are more important.  Do what you need to do in order to attend rehab and get healthy, and worry about the rest later.

Many treatment facilities offer job assistance at the end of your stay, so you do not have to feel like your job is the only option in the world. If your current opportunity ends, you will find another when you are healthy.

What is a good drug treatment center in Arizona that can help me?

Desert Cove Recovery offers a helping hand through every step of your recovery journey, starting with detox and ending with extended care for long-term help. Whether your preference lies with the classic twelve step treatment or with more holistic methods, Desert Cove Recovery will make every effort to address your unique needs as an individual.

There is no need to fear being cooped up in a hospital room for weeks on end. Spending time in nature with the Outdoor Therapy program gives you time to take in the fresh air and the beautiful Arizona scenery while you get back on your feet.

How can I get started?

Contact a treatment professional at Desert Cove Recovery to get more information or inquiry about program availability. 

You can also contact your insurance or physician’s office if you need a referral, or for help deciding what the best course is for you moving forward.  

what sober living is like

Top 10 Myths of Sober Living and What Sober Living is Like

Top 10 Myths of Sober Living and What Sober Living is Like

The path to sobriety is rarely a straight one. Treatment options range from local support groups to inpatient treatment centers. In the middle are sober living homes, offering individuals a drug and alcohol free residence where they may focus weaning themselves from harmful substances. Unfortunately, the myths of sober living and what it is actually like are preventing patients from considering sober living homes.

Below is a list of the top 10 myths often associated with sober living homes. Although there is always the exception to every rule, or in this case myth, most sober living homes are helping individuals find their path to sobriety. A sober living home may be the most effective option for you or a loved one struggling with addiction.

1. Sober Living Homes Are Always In Bad Neighborhoods

Local non-profit organizations or government programs often supported the first sober living homes. With limited funding, homes were established where it was more cost-effective at the time. This meant homes were opened in less desirable neighborhoods where the property values were more affordable.

However, as the stigma of addiction shifted, overall funding increased, and the introduction of private treatment facilities grew, so too did the establishment of sober living homes in more comfortable areas. Today you will find sober living homes in nearly every type of neighborhood. From the inner cities to the posh suburbs, finding a sober living home in a neighborhood of your liking has never been easier.  

2. Poor Maintenance Plagues Sober Living Homes

When fixated on the myth that all sober homes are in bad neighborhoods, the likely vision most individuals will have is that of a dilapidated house in need of dire repair. Although some homes may indeed require attention, the privatization of sober living homes has meant companies need to attract new patients to survive.

The need to attract new patients has shifted sober living homes from having been treatment centers of last resort to now becoming the first choice patients seek to become sober. The more inviting a sober home is, the more likely to attract clients and the funding needing to keep the doors open.

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myths of sober living and what it's like

3. Sober Living Homes Are Not Regulated

While it may be true that sober living homes might not receive the same scrutiny as other medically related residences such as assisted living or nursing homes; they are far from being unregulated. Depending on local ordinances, governments consider most sober living homes either apartments or short-term living accommodations (like a hotel).

In either instance, the laws and regulations for such facilities are much more stringent than if the local government consider the location simply a single-family home. Further, if any medical services were provided by the sober home on premises, additional regulations would apply.

4. Drug Use is Common in Sober Living Homes

While every sober living home has their own set of rules, the ultimate goal of sober living is to provide a place removed from the temptations of the outside world. Many sober living homes subject residences to random drug tests.

How a particular sober living home resident responds to a positive drug test determines the perceived leniency toward drug use. Rules related to drug or alcohol use can range from soft to strict. For example, an individual caught using a banned substance may only be required to seek counseling. More strict locations may ask individuals to leave entirely.

5. Safety is Concern in Sober Living Homes

Sober homes exist to help suffering individuals from all walks of life. There are indeed facilities who will welcome former criminals as they work to transition back into society. Such homes are beacons of hope for those whose addiction may or may not be directly connected to their criminal activity.

While some sober homes accept all individuals regardless of history, others are more restrictive on who they accept. On the other hand, there are sober living homes that specialize in working specifically with individuals who have had run-ins with the law. Ultimately, it is the sober home’s responsibility to keep their residents safe. Consider the home’s safety record just as you would any other residence you might consider.  

6. Pets are Not Allowed

The decision whether to allow pets entirely rests with the sober home. Although it is true many locations will not allow pets of any kind, more homes are opening up allowing pets on-site. Caring for a pet can help promote responsible behaviors as well as providing a loving companion for someone in recovery. Researchers are exploring the benefits caring for a pet might have for those recovering from addiction.    

7. Most Sober Living Homes are Full

New sober living homes are opening all the time. The best run facilities are able to accept new residents almost immediately. If space is not immediately available, most sober living homes are a part of a larger network that can assist in placement very quickly. Treatment professionals understand recovery success is partially dependent on how fast an individual can be enrolled and begin treatment when they feel ready to start.  

8. Residents are Not Allowed to See Family or Friends

The support of family and friends is a critical aspect of addiction recovery. Nearly all sober living homes allow visitations from those who care about you. There may be, however, restrictions and rules governing when and how often residents may receive visitors. Often visitors must be approved by the sober living home’s manager while the resident has to meet certain progress milestones. In some circumstances, program rules may allow residents may be to leave the home overnight.   

9. It Is Free to Live in a Sober Living Home

Most sober living homes charge rent. A few homes may receive charitable assistance or government subsidies, but more homes are now privately owned and have developed a rent schedule based upon the services provided, number of residents, and length of stay.

There are sober living homes who do not charge their residents. However, most often these homes are for individuals who do not have any financial means to pay rent. Once residents begin to hold down a job, rent will be required of them.

10. All Sober Living Homes Are the Same

Sober living homes come in a variety of different program types. Individuals seeking recovery, along with their counselors, can select the best program to fit their needs including:

  • Sober houses
  • Halfway houses
  • Sober apartments
  • Sober dormitories
  • Transitional housing

For people who suffer from certain mental illnesses or come from a correctional facility, locked residences are also available. However, the differences between sober living homes go way beyond the type of residence. Residences can be very simple in style providing basic living facilities, to high-end luxury apartments.

Choosing a Sober Living Home

Separating the myths of sober living and what it is actually like is an important first step in continuing the journey to clean living. Sober living through Desert Cove Recovery teaches residents how to address the root causes of their addiction. Counseling and therapy are provided in a comfortable, substance-free environment, allowing residents to realize the meaning and purpose of their lives. We have inpatient services in our network ready to work with you or your loved one to receive the most effective treatment.

signs it's time to go to rehab

10 Signs It’s Time to Go to Rehab

10 Signs It’s Time to Go to Rehab

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

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

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

2. Your Relationships with Friends and Family Have Become Strained

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

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

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

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

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

5. Your Work or Academic Life has Suffered

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

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10 signs it's time to go to rehab arizona

6. You’ve Been Untruthful About Your Use

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

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

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

8. You’re Missing Important Events or Obligations

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

9. Quitting on Your Own Hasn’t Worked

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

10. Family and Friends Let You Know You Need Help

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

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

Fun in Sobriety

Learning to Have Fun in Sobriety

Learning to Have Fun in Sobriety

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

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

Starting on the Path to Sobriety

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

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

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

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

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Why it’s Important to Have Fun in Sobriety

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

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

Fun Activities During Sobriety

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

Take an art or writing class

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

Take a hike or new gym class

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

Volunteer

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

Explore new hobbies

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

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

Arizona Naloxone Laws, Arizona Overdose Deaths

How Arizona Naloxone Laws Can Help Reduce Arizona Overdose Deaths

How Arizona Naloxone Laws Can Help Reduce Arizona Overdose Deaths

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

What Are Opioids, and How Do Overdoses Occur?

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

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

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

What Is Naloxone?

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

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

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arizona overdose, arizona naloxone laws

Arizona Naloxone Laws

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who Uses All Those Doses?

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

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

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

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

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

Signs of Opioid Overdose

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

These telltale signs indicate a life-threatening emergency:

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

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

A Better Solution for Opioid Overdoses and Opioid Addiction

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

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

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

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