Tag Archives: arizona rehab

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

Similar to withdrawal from prescription or street drugs, alcohol withdrawal comes with a lot of unpleasant symptoms. Though these alcohol withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, in most cases, they are not life-threatening. The physical and mental effects of alcohol withdrawal are mentally and physically taxing for someone attempting to overcome alcohol addiction.

Millions of Americans are dealing with an alcohol use disorder. In fact, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry stated that about 1 in 8 adults in the United States meet the diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder. These statistics are alarming and according to the CDC, approximately 88,000 people die annually from alcohol-related causes.

When it comes to alcohol withdrawal, it doesn’t matter if you or a loved one has been drinking for a few weeks or several decades, the results are likely the same. To successfully and safely withdraw from alcohol it’s important to understand the process.

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?

Like any other controlled substance, alcohol produces intense symptoms once it’s discontinued. The question is: What causes alcohol withdrawal? In terms of physiology, alcohol dependency begins in the liver. Alcohol – like anything else we consume – is broken down by liver enzymes then is released from the body through urine. The problem with alcohol is, once a person drinks too much or too often, the liver cannot effectively break it down and the unmetabolized alcohol begins to affect other parts of the body.

The brain is most often affected by alcohol addiction, as alcohol causes extreme fluctuations in brain chemistry. This is also where psychological alcohol dependence starts. People who are addicted to alcohol feel happier and more relaxed when they drink and if a person is dealing with a lot of stress or trying to repress negative emotions, they will likely drink more to improve their mood. As consumption increases in amount and frequency, the body begins to crave alcohol and tolerance gets higher, meaning it takes more alcohol to produce the same happy effect.

If you or a loved one exhibits signs of alcohol dependence, it’s important to seek treatment. Signs that indicate alcohol dependence include:

  • Behavioral changes like increased aggression and self-destructive tendencies
  • The inability to limit alcohol consumption
  • Shunning social or professional obligations to drink instead
  • Mood changes including feelings of intense euphoria or apathy, loneliness, or guilt
  • Problems with coordination like slurred speech, disturbed gait, tremors, blackouts, and/or sweating

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms: What to Expect

Alcohol withdrawal takes place in various stages and those embarking on it for the first time can better adjust if they know what will happen and when. Although the timeline of alcohol withdrawal is fairly linear, the withdrawal experience will vary from person to person. It’s important to remember that the withdrawal symptoms won’t necessarily happen at the same exact time but will occur in what are called stages.

The first stage of alcohol withdrawal begins several hours after a person drinks for the last time. With onset from 8 to 12 hours after the last drink, a person withdrawing from alcohol may begin to experience abdominal pain, headaches, nausea and vomiting, fever, and changes in blood pressure. As withdrawal progresses to the second stage, the symptoms become markedly more uncomfortable.

Second stage alcohol withdrawal typically begins between 12 and 24 hours after the last drink. Though second stage symptoms include both intense mental and physical symptoms, these symptoms are not life-threatening. Symptoms at this stage include, but are not limited to, heart palpitations, anxiety, tremors, hallucinations (auditory, tactile and visual), and confusion.

The third stage of alcohol withdrawal is the most critical and happens anywhere between 24 and 48 hours following a person’s last drink. At this stage, the person will experience intense symptoms that may be better managed in a controlled environment, such as a treatment facility. Even for someone who knows what to expect, stage three symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be pretty scary. Common stage three symptoms include hallucinations, tremors, and even seizures. In addition, delirium tremens (DTs) commonly develop in stage three alcohol withdrawal.

Exactly what is DTs? Delirium tremens is a potentially life-threatening occurrence that is marked by psychological symptoms such as powerful hallucinations and intense seizures. DTs is fatal in about 3-5 percent of people who develop it. Though not everyone who withdraws from alcohol will experience delirium tremens, the possibility of its development is one of the reasons why it is not recommended to attempt alcohol withdrawal on your own. By using medically assisted detox, people withdrawing from alcohol can do so in a controlled environment and decrease the likelihood of mortality caused by DTs.

Continued after infographic:

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

What to Expect Next?

Though it is still up for debate, some addiction treatment professionals believe there is, in fact, a fourth withdrawal stage. Following stage three, it’s common to experience purely psychological symptoms, including depression. Other common post-withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, weight gain due to metabolism changes, and lack of energy.

The severity of alcohol withdrawal symptoms will largely depend on how often a person drinks, how much they drink, as well as overall health. Those who have co-occurring disorders also may experience alcohol withdrawal differently.

Get Help with Safe Alcohol Withdrawal

Managing the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal alone is not recommended. Aside from generally uncomfortable symptoms, there are some potentially life-threatening side effects that are best managed at an addiction treatment facility. By seeking professional help from qualified staff at a rehab facility specializing in alcohol dependency, those dealing with alcohol addiction can safely detox, learn and manage triggers, and prevent relapse.

At Desert Cove Recovery, our professional staff is there to help you or a loved one safely detox from alcohol. With a whole-person approach, we work to identify the underlying causes of alcohol dependence and give individuals the tools they need to prevent relapse. We specialize in both traditional 12-step programs as well as forward-thinking treatment approaches that include medically-supervised detox, holistic treatment, outdoor therapy, individual and group therapy, and comprehensive extended care services.

fulfilling life after addiction

Living a Fulfilling Life after Addiction

Living a Fulfilling Life after Addiction

Addiction is estimated to affect as many as 20 million people in the U.S. and nearly 7 percent of people across the industrialized world. Although the prevalence of this very serious chronic ailment remains high, a great deal of progress has been made over the last few decades in its treatment. In fact, we know far more about addiction now and how to effectively treat it than at any time in the past.

However, once many individuals exit rehab, they begin to realize the hard work is not behind them. The real challenge lies in staying the course and preventing addiction from reconquering one’s life. For many who have struggled with alcohol or other substance use disorders, the key in remaining free of addiction’s iron grasp lies in constructing a positive life after addiction.

The Real Key to Long-Term Success

Despite the fact that evidence-based treatment is now able to produce short-term recovery success rates of 90 percent or higher, the most important factor in long-term successful recovery remains the ability to reconstruct one’s life in ways that do not rely on the use of substances as a central girder. As one man who beat his addictions put it, “the decision to get off drugs was easy, but the decision to stay off drugs was always elusive.”

12-step programs have long required that their participants subscribe to a higher power as a means to displace substance abuse as life’s foundational pillar. But many who once struggled with addiction have successfully gotten their lives together without turning their free-will over to a deity. How do they do it?

Discover Your Deeper Passions

One of the most surefire ways to beat addiction over the long term is by realizing a simple truth: There are many things that are far more important and rewarding than using drugs or alcohol. In fact, aside from using substances in controlled moderation, abusing drugs and alcohol ends up consuming an individual to the point where they no longer care about anything else besides their next fix.

The truth is that drug abuse produces nothing of lasting value. Someone who replaces their drug habit with a hobby or other activity about which they are passionate may soon find that they are able to enjoy other endeavors they never would have had the time for beforehand. If someone who overuses alcohol spends 40 hours per week in an unproductive fog, quitting drinking and spending that time on something like learning the piano or becoming a computer programmer could easily turn them into an expert in a matter of years. And once that ball gets rolling, it tends to be self-reinforcing.

The simple fact is that people who are truly passionate about something — anything — simply don’t have time to abuse drugs or alcohol.

Continued after video:

Rekindle Relationships with Friends & Family

One of the oft-heard refrains from people who have managed to stay on the course to recovery is that they feel almost as if time has stopped: Their sober version is a close facsimile of the person that they were prior to starting heavy drug or alcohol abuse. This is because relationships are the benchmarks of our lives, helping to fill out the map of where we have been and where we may be heading. And so much of what makes up normal relationships with people, including a clear recollection of shared experiences, is sacrificed when drugs and alcohol are the primary focus of one’s life.

Forging new relationships or rekindling old ones with friends and family, especially those who do not abuse drugs and alcohol, is another one of the most effective ways to prevent a relapse. The simple truth is that people who have not centered their lives around drugs or alcohol tend to be a hugely positive influence on someone who is trying to live a fulfilling life after addiction. And those who one may have shut out or turned away as a result of their substance abuse may now be far more open to once again becoming a part of the life of someone who has demonstrated a genuine will to change and to stay sober.

 A Shift in Perspective

Contrarily, those who remain sober for extended periods are often shocked at how intolerable and uninviting the lifestyles of fellow substance abusers are when seen from the other side. Some people who have formerly suffered from addiction find continuing motivation in the realization of all the trouble that they left behind when they made the decision to give up their addictions. Many former addicts point to the deaths of close substance-abusing friends and acquaintances as one of the most sobering wakeup calls that they have received.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

One of the most well-attested findings in the addiction recovery literature is the fact that those with strong social support networks are able to successfully recover at rates that far exceed those who are alone in their efforts or who have only fellow addicts to turn to for social support. Friends, family and addiction support groups are all fine ways of maintaining that social support bulwark against relapse that is so critical in the first years of recovery.

Desert Cove Recovery is focused on helping people to achieve sobriety and live a fulfilling life after addiction. With our modern, evidence-based approach, we will work with those who choose sobriety to find approaches that are suitable to their individual needs.

Unlike many other programs, we focus strongly on helping our clients build and maintain adequate and lasting social support while discovering their unique purpose in life. We aim to help them to construct a meaningful existence that is driven by healthy passions and that is no longer an empty cell in which their fleeting impulses keep them confined.

For more information on our revolutionary and highly effective long-term approach to addiction recovery, call Desert Cove Recovery today.

dating while in recovery

Dating While in Recovery

Dating While in Recovery

When you’re in a recovery program for addiction, you should be focusing on yourself and ways you can live a sober life. A lot of time and energy goes into the recovery process which is why dating while in recovery is not always recommended.

How Dating May Hinder Recovery

While some may look at dating as no big deal, it can bring its own set of challenges and obstacles that may hinder recovery. This is not to say that a partner may not offer much-needed support, but if things start heading south, so could your recovery.

Since your focus is on getting and staying sober, much of your time may be dedicated to meetings and therapy sessions. This lack of time to spend with a significant other could compromise a relationship. Not everyone will understand why you can’t make it to dinner or why you may need to cancel at the last minute because you desperately need to go to a meeting.

Continued after video:

If you’re a recovering alcoholic and are having struggles with remaining sober, your date should respectfully abstain from drinking while you’re out together. If he or she doesn’t, this could pose an unwanted temptation that may be difficult to resist. This may be a red flag to end this relationship. You will also want to avoid people from your past who were linked to your addiction. This can be a major roadblock to your recovery.

Also, if the relationship doesn’t work out, it may lead you to relapse because you’re heartbroken. Heartbreak can lead to many unhealthy behaviors with drinking and drug use being at the top of the list for those in recovery.

There are many people who will substitute their substance addiction for an addiction to a relationship. This can also be dangerous and hinder a person’s recovery. An addictive relationship while dating is not healthy for anyone, especially someone who is in recovery.

How to Handle Dating While in Recovery

Although it can be tricky, there are many people who do date successfully while in recovery. If the relationship is new and began while you’re in recovery, there are some things you can do to make it healthier for you.

Be Honest

Be honest about your addiction and your past and current struggles. Honesty is a big component of any relationship. Be upfront about your addiction and recovery. Some people can’t handle this, so it’s better to know sooner rather than later.

Don’t compromise your recovery time for date time. Anyone you’re dating should understand the importance of therapy and other activities you need to make your recovery last. They shouldn’t encourage you to skip those activities for a date. They should understand that your sobriety comes first. It’s taken you a long time to get to where you are and the journey isn’t over yet.

Take Your Time

Don’t rush into anything. You shouldn’t put a relationship in fast forward mode while in recovery. Take it slow. You have a lot on your plate and don’t need a high-stress, high-maintenance relationship to cloud your goals. Anyone worth being with will be understanding and won’t force you to take your relationship any faster than you feel comfortable. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, much like your recovery.

It’s OK To Be “High Maintenance”

Choose date locations that support your recovery. While some people may look at that as being high maintenance, it’s not high maintenance to choose a location that will support your recovery. While a quiet dinner may be a great choice for a date, a bar or nightclub is not. Either one of those may lead to the temptation to drink or do other activities that don’t support your recovery. Another good date choice may be a movie or physical activity like a hike or run. Choosing the right location can make all the difference in your recovery. If your partner can’t understand this, then perhaps it’s time to move on.

Be Prepared for ALL of the Emotions

Channel emotions into positive activities if heartbreak happens. No matter how hard you try to make a relationship work, there are many times when things fail and you end up getting your heart broken. It’s important to channel any negative emotions and sadness that comes out of this into positive activities like exercising, volunteering, and maintaining a healthy diet. You may also want to try journaling to get all of your raw emotions down on paper. The important thing is to find an activity that does not involve revisiting your old patterns. You don’t want to risk your sobriety for a broken relationship.

Get Support

If you’re dating while in recovery or considering starting a relationship, the folks at Desert Cove Recovery can help to keep you on track. A variety of rehab and recovery programs are offered including 12-step programs, holistic treatment, and extended care programs.

We will help to find the right program for you and give you the support and encouragement you need in all aspects of your recovery, including dating while in recovery. Contact us today to get started on the path to a sober life.

 

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.

Continued after infographic:

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.

addicted to marijuana

Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?

Can You Get Addicted to Marijuana?

When a person thinks about substance abuse and addiction, the idea of someone who addicted to marijuana is usually not the first thing that comes to mind. Substances such as heroin, alcohol, cocaine, and opioids are often what a person brings to mind when they hear the words “drug addiction”. However, despite the recent legalization and normalization of marijuana as a socially acceptable substance, it doesn’t take away from the fact that a person can still become addicted to marijuana.

What Does an Addiction to Marijuana Look Like?

The notion that someone can become seriously addicted to marijuana may seem silly to many individuals, as the substance is often viewed as a harmless substance in relation to harder drugs, such as heroin or cocaine. However, the fact that it’s practically impossible to experience a lethal overdose from marijuana doesn’t mean it’s impossible to develop a serious dependence which may require professional help.

Although marijuana has become a more mainstream substance that has lost much of its taboo status, it doesn’t take away from the fact that marijuana can still be a substance which people can become dependent upon. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 30 percent of marijuana users have some degree of marijuana use disorder. For those individuals who use the substance before the age of 18, the risk of developing a dependence disorder is four to seven times more likely. This fact highlights the risks for individuals who decide to use marijuana before they reach adulthood.

Someone who is addicted to marijuana is likely to experience some level of withdrawal symptoms when they are not under the influence of the drug. These symptoms can be things such as increased irritability, decreased appetite, difficulties with sleep, and other forms of physical discomfort as a result of not using marijuana. Dependence occurs when the brain begins to adapt to large amounts of marijuana being consumed, which reduces the amount the of endocannabinoid neurotransmitters produced in the body.

Continued after video:

How Would I Know I’m Addicted to Marijuana?

A person will know they are addicted to marijuana when they begin to rely on the substance in order to function on a day-to-day basis. If a person believes they are incapable of facing normal, everyday tasks without being under the influence of marijuana, it is a likely indication that they are dependent upon this substance. The number of people with some form of a marijuana use disorder has risen in recent years, perhaps in large part due to the increased availability and new legal status in many states. In 2015, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there were approximately 4 million individuals in the United States with a marijuana use disorder.

The Similarities Between Marijuana Addiction and Other Forms of Substance Dependence

Many people tend to brush off the idea that being addicted to marijuana can be anywhere close to having a dependence to things such as opioids or heroin, but there are certainly a few similarities to become aware of. Much like how a person may be prescribed opioids for pain and become addicted to this substance, an individual may end up finding themselves addicted to marijuana after they began to use the drug for medicinal reasons. Individuals often begin using marijuana for its medicinal benefits, but may end up abusing the substance purely to get high.

Like many other forms of serious addiction, a dependence on marijuana can progress from a harmless and innocent attempt at treating a specific condition to becoming an unhealthy habit that is hard to avoid. A person may believe they are in control of their use and can stop at any time, but in reality they may be unable to stop without experiencing some level of withdrawal. A marijuana addiction can impact many facets of a person’s life and compound other difficult areas in one’s life. Without a doubt, an addiction to marijuana is an unfortunate reality which can become a serious problem if not properly addressed.

Getting Help for Marijuana Addiction or Dependence

Overcoming an addiction to marijuana can feel incredibly challenging, especially if you’re going it alone without any outside support. If you’re seeking support to make this important self-transformation a reality and are looking for an excellent addiction treatment center, contact Desert Cove Recovery today. Our trusted team will help guide you through the rehab process, working side-by-side with you to create a treatment plan that works. We can help you live a life free from addiction and empower you to become your best self.

 

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.

Continued after infographic:

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.

Continued after infographic: 

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.

what happens during opioid withdrawal

What Happens During Opioid Withdrawal?

What Happens During Opioid Withdrawal?

It was the late 1990’s when big pharma was making promises to the medical community that addiction would not occur in patients prescribed opioid pain relievers. A few short decades later and the Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency for the ensuing opioid crisis. Opioid withdrawal, abuse, and treatment have since become the focus of Arizona opioid rehab centers statewide.

A combination of factors has led to the explosion of opioid addiction. Many of the reasons lead back to the over prescribing of painkillers, ease of access to medication, and increased availability of street versions of opioid-based drugs. One factor not mentioned enough, however, is the impact opioid withdrawal symptoms have on a patient’s ability to break their addiction.

What are Opioids?

Opioids, also known as opiates, are a class of drugs made from the opium poppy plant. The opium is used to make medications which in turn are prescribed for treating pain. Examples of opioid medications include codeine, morphine, amphetamine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.

Heroin, an illegal opioid drug, is also derived from a natural substance found in the opium plant called morphine. Both prescription and illicit opioids are highly addictive and can easily cause dependency. The abuse of prescription and “street” opioids are largely responsible for the rise in the drug addiction statistics in the US.

How Common is Opioid Addiction?

Opioid addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of men and women in the US. The rise in abuse of both illicit and prescription opioids and the rate of overdose lead to the opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 66% of drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved opioids. Due to its addictive nature, comprehensive clinical treatment is usually required.

Opioid addiction treatment involves detoxification followed by therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as part of rehabilitation has proven effective in reducing the risk of relapse. However, overcoming opioid addiction can be one of the toughest parts of rehab because the process is accompanied by severe withdrawal symptoms.

Why is Opioid Withdrawal Challenging?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse refers to drug addiction as a complex disorder. The disorder affects brain functions making it very difficult for users to simply quit drug abuse. The brain is made up of natural opioid receptors that help in the release of dopamine and endorphins. These two hormones are responsible for feelings of pleasure.

Smoking, snorting, or injecting opioids frequently activates these receptors and make the brain want more and more of this euphoria. Over time, the receptors build a tolerance and require higher dosages of the drug. Eventually, sufferers begin to compulsively seek out the addictive substance despite of its effects on their health, relationships, or career.

Arizona Opioid Rehab and Detoxification

Opioid withdrawal starts with detoxification, or detox. Detox is a medically-assisted process of removing the drug and toxins from the body. During this time, the addicted individual will experience various physical, psychological, and emotional symptoms.

Some of them can be severe enough to make him or her want to quit rehab more than quitting their addiction. The severity of withdrawal symptoms has led many treatment centers to adopt a new approach involving the administration of one or more FDA-approved drugs to help reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

Continued after infographic:

what happens during opioid withdrawal

Opioid Withdrawal Timeline

The length of time it takes to withdraw from opioid varies from person to person. The withdrawal timeline usually depends on the type of opioid abused, level of addiction, dosage, frequency of use, and the body’s response to detoxification. It can take about 2 weeks to several months before the client stabilizes. In general, the first 7 days of detox is the worst for the patient seeking treatment.

Various physical and psychological symptoms may be experienced during this time, some of which can be severe. Symptoms usually set in between 6 to 30 hours after the last dose taken. Symptoms that become very intense at the 72-hour mark are known as post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS).

The general withdrawal stages and time-frames are as follows:

Days 1-2: Restlessness, anxiety, runny nose, excess sweating, muscle aches, and trouble sleeping are symptoms that typically begin within the first 6 to 30 hours after the last dose. Patients may experience strong cravings and drug-seeking behaviors.

Days 3-5: Symptoms reach their peak and cravings can be overpowering. Post-acute withdrawal symptoms may appear during this time-frame. Patients may experience body tremors, nausea, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, abdominal cramps, or high blood pressure. Some other symptoms include chills, diarrhea, dilated pupils, stomachache, or blurred vision.

Days 6-7: Physical symptoms begin to improve, but psychological symptoms such as depression, irritability, and insomnia begin to set in. However, cravings are not as powerful as before. At this point in the detox process, patients first begin to stabilize.

Day 8 and later: Patients usually become remorseful and emotional during this stage. They may think or act irrationally and may feel hopeless. With emotional and psychological support from a therapist or counselor, you can better cope and overcome this phase.

Seeking the Right Treatment

Opioid rehab in Arizona treatment centers have evolved to treat the physical, mental, and emotional hurdles sufferers face when detoxifying from opioid abuse. The comprehensive approach yields higher success rates than individuals who only receive treatment for the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, let them know friends and family are there to support them along with specially trained experts who can help them break the addiction. The first step toward recovery is only a phone call away.

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.

Continued after infographic:

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.

arizona safe injection sites

Safe Injection Sites in AZ

Safe Injection Sites in AZ

Safe injection sites, also known as supervised injection facilities or “fix rooms,” provide a medically-supervised facility where injectable drugs can be used safely and without legal repercussions.

These safe injection facilities are contentious. Critics and supporters alike have made arguments about their efficacy and usefulness. At present, are no safe injection sites in AZ or surrounding areas, but some states are considering implementing them as a harm-reduction strategy for battling the opioid crisis.

Locations of Safe Injection Sites

Worldwide, there are 66 cities with some form of medically supervised drug injection facility. The first North American location opened in Canada in 2004, and an experimental “underground” facility has been in operation at an undisclosed location in the U.S. since 2013. However, the legality of these facilities is still hotly debated, and only a few states have discussed implementing them.

At present, cities in New York and California are considering opening safe injection sites. Two facilities have been approved for opening in Seattle. If these facilities lead to positive outcomes, they may become more widespread. However, the controversy surrounding safe injection facilities continues to grow.

Continued after image…

safe injection sites in arizona

How Do Safe Injection Sites Work?

The idea behind a supervised injection facility is to reduce the risk of overdose and disease associated with injectable drugs. Opioid overdose kills tens of thousands of people each year and is a leading cause of death. Staff members at supervised injection facilities would have access to the overdose-reversal drug naloxone, reducing the risk of death.

Additionally, reusing and sharing needles can cause the spread of disease and infection. Providing drug users sterile, fresh needles and a way to safely dispose of them should reduce the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other similar diseases. In this way, these facilities are meant to protect public health as well as the health of individual users.

These facilities would also provide information and resources regarding drug rehabilitation and recovery programs. By providing a safe location for drug users to receive health and social services, a line of communication can be opened that may encourage more addicts to seek treatment.

Pros and Cons of Safe Injection Sites in AZ

It’s too early to tell whether supervised injection facilities might become the norm in the U.S. Despite some evidence that these facilities may reduce the overall numbers of drug-related deaths, many opponents simply are not comfortable with allowing illegal drug use to be condoned.

The current administration has tended to side with the “war on drugs,” and many people are in favor of stronger legal repercussions against the sale and use of drugs. Having a safe place to inject drugs without fear of legal punishment may encourage more people to begin using drugs. In other words, the fear of legal repercussions or safety concerns may be preventing some people from engaging in drug use. Removing these fears may actually make the opioid problem worse, not better.

Another concern about these facilities is that they currently illegal at the federal level. Although states can institute these policies themselves, federal law still rules against them. This means that government oversight over these facilities and the drug policy in general will weaken, and laws and regulations may vary between states and locations. This could cause confusion and potentially create safety concerns.

A Multi-Faceted Approach to a Complex Problem

The drug problem gripping the nation is complex, and no single solution will solve this epidemic. Addiction is complicated. It is affected by mental health, socioeconomic status, genetic predisposition and more. A variety of individual and systemic factors create and support drug abuse.

Only a holistic approach that considers the individual needs of drug users and the systems in place to offer support, recovery and intervention can truly provide long-term solutions. Harm reduction techniques may prove to be a temporary bandage for a bigger issue, but exploring the possibilities and analyzing their effectiveness can still help move us toward solving the drug crisis.

There is one thing that is certain: Drug users require resources and assistance to overcome their addictions. Whether or not safe injection sites and other harm-reduction strategies are implemented, drug rehabilitation facilities remain a cornerstone of helping individuals overcome their addictions and reclaiming their lives.

If you or a loved one currently suffers from addiction, contact us for more information about our addiction treatment programs and the work we do with the community in Arizona to aid recovery and prevent relapse.