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medically supervised detox

The Importance of Medically Supervised Detox

The Importance of Medically Supervised Detox

When an addiction sufferer realizes they have a drug or alcohol problem, the decision to stop using is a tremendous first step. However, for a number of reasons sufferers may choose to attempt the detoxification process by themselves.

Drug or alcohol addicts may be ashamed of their use, afraid to share their addiction, or simply may not know where to turn. Unfortunately going through detoxification alone may be more detrimental to the long-term health of the sufferer than not coming clean in the first place.

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importance medically supervised detox

Physical Withdrawal from Drugs or Alcohol

The sickness and physical pain caused by withdrawal symptoms often get the better of those attempting to self-detox. The body has become accustomed to functioning with the addictive substance. Organs and the brain have figured out ways to accommodate and flush toxic chemicals from the body.

But, once the addictive substance has been removed, the body doesn’t adjust as quickly. This results in unpleasant physical side effects including:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Stomach Pain
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Feeling lightheaded

In the most severe cases, seizures, heart palpitations, and other life-threatening conditions can occur. The possibility of withdrawal resulting in permanent health issues or even death should be reason enough to see medically supervised detox.

With medical supervision and intervention, physicians may be able to introduce medications which can assist in reducing physical symptoms. Fear of replacing one drug with another should be eased. Medically supervised detox can require daily or even weekly supervision. Thus reducing the unlikely development of a secondary addiction.

Mental Obstacles in Detox from Drugs

Patients seeking to detox should not only seek out medical solutions but, mental and therapeutic support. While the physical discomfort of withdrawal can be severe, in some instances the mental anguish associated with withdrawal can become too much to bear for some individuals.

During the detox process, suffers can experience mental symptoms including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Sleeplessness
  • Feeling of hopelessness
  • Intense desire to use again

Detoxifying can be a psychologically taking ordeal. Having access to the proper level of both medical and mental therapeutic support significantly increase the chances for success.

The Benefits of Medically Supervised Detox

The detox process is similar to other medical treatments. First, the addiction is identified and evaluated. Once understood, the proper treatment plan can be put in place. Finally, and perhaps most important, follow up treatment and assessments help ensure a successful recovery.

Medically supervised detox provides the same benefits as other treatments, such as physical therapy or surgery including:

  • Professional medical and therapeutic staff
  • Clean, safe, and supportive environments
  • Expert symptom relief

Physicians and nurses specially trained in addiction-related treatments can alleviate withdrawal symptoms. They also know when to intervene in an emergency or when to change course if outcomes are not meeting expectations.

Rehabilitation and recovery centers provide a safe environment for sufferers. Surrounded by knowledgeable staff at all levels, comfort and privacy are provided for even the most vulnerable moments of the detox process.

What to Expect During Detox

One of the first questions asked is how long an average detox program can last. There are several factors which determine how long addiction sufferers may spend in a program:

  • Frequency of use
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Use of single or multiple substances
  • How long drugs or alcohol have been abused

Typical stays last from a few days to a couple weeks. Keep in mind this is only the inpatient treatment portion of the program. Participants will be expected to make regular physician visits and are encouraged to commit to therapy sessions or support groups.

During the time at the rehabilitation center, expect to be surrounded by around the clock care from doctors, nurses, and therapists. Upon entering the center, physicians will establish a medical baseline of health and uncover any medical conditions you may have.

With around the clock monitoring, vitals are checked on a regular basis. As much rest as needed is provided. Each day medications are adjusted appropriately to assist in the detox process. Ultimately the goal is to get addicted suffers back to being themselves as soon as possible.

After Detox

In most instances, it is recommended clients seek continued monitoring. In addition to returning home with the support of friends and family, after detox treatment programs greatly reduce the chance of relapse.

As supportive as friends and family may be, trained professionals can help with unique physical and mental after-effects addiction sufferers may experience. The support in treatment programs provides a source of comfort while adjusting to sober living.

The importance of medical supervision during the detox process cannot be stressed enough. Medically supervised detox is the safest and best step anyone can take to rescue their life from addiction.  If you or someone you know requires detox, there are many organizations including Desert Cove Recovery who can provide the best possible detox options.

pay for the opioid crisis

Who’s Going to Pay for the Opioid Crisis?

Who’s Going to Pay for the Opioid Crisis?

If you were to ask most recovering heroin addicts about their past choices, they would probably say that they would have never touched the drug if they had known the way it would affect them over the long run. When the cravings are at their worst, people will do anything they can to get their next dose, turning to crime to pay for the habit. Addicts often sell drugs to others so that they won’t run out of money, and that is why the heroin crisis is spreading across the nation like a plague.

The cost on society is much higher than most people would suspect, totaling around $193 billion. The government has to pay to investigate, prosecute and incarcerate those who commit heroin-related crimes, but the public pays for treatment and rehabilitation for those who are on public assistance. Also, many people lose their jobs because of their heroin addiction and are required to sign up for welfare programs, which further strains local, state and federal funds.

With the problem getting worse each day, many are now asking who should pay for the harm heroin has done to the nation. Getting everyone to agree won’t be an easy task, but we need to review the facts and find a solution that will repair the damage and allow us to move forward.

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Pharmaceutical Companies’ Role in the Opioid Epidemic

If you follow the trail of addiction far enough, you will find that many addicts once took prescription painkillers. People would get injured, go to the doctor and receive a prescription for opioid medications to ease the pain. After a few weeks or months, doctors wean patients off the pain medications so that they will no longer need them. By the time their doctors stop writing new prescriptions, many people have already become addicted.

Without a legitimate source of opioids, former patients often look to the streets to satisfy their cravings and stop the withdrawal symptoms. Some evidence suggests that major pharmaceutical companies knew about the danger and still opted to push their drugs to the public. Many people think that the drug manufacturers and marketers should help pay for the damage. Those who disagree with the stance say addicts only have themselves to blame.

The Government

Since the people designed the government to protect and serve the citizens, some say that it should pay for the cost of the opioid crisis. Government-funded rehabilitation centers that focus on treatment instead of punishment could have a positive impact on the nation.

Addicts would not fear prosecution and would be much more willing to seek help. Although the government would face some upfront costs, a lot of advocates believe this method is much cheaper over the long run. Critics argue that the government should not use taxpayer dollars to save people from the trap into which they have fallen.

Nonprofit Organizations

When it comes to finding a solution to the opioid epidemic that has already harmed many lives, some people say that nonprofit organizations should cover the bill. A lot of nonprofits have many connections and deep pockets that would allow them to set up treatment centers and cover the cost of overdose medications. Even though some charities offer their support, involving a few more organizations would take their results to new heights. On the other hand, some believe that nonprofit organizations should focus on assisting people who have diseases over which they have no control.

Drug Users

Since heroin addicts are responsible for the situation in which they have found themselves, they should pay for the fallout, according to some people. The argument is that heroin users had chosen to use opioids and to allow their lives to spiral out of control. The ones who don’t agree with that stance state that most heroin users have lost their jobs and homes, making them unable to pay for the damage.

Families of Drug Users

A lot of individuals feel as though a drug addict’s family should pay for the damage the drug addict has caused to society. Since they believe family members should help and support each other, they conclude that they should also pay for medical treatment, overdose medication and other expenses related to the opioid crisis.

From their perspective, family members should have spotted the warning signs and helped the addict before it was too late to find an easy answer. Others maintain that people are responsible for their own choices, so we should not hold family members accountable for an addict’s behavior.

Getting Help for Opioid Addiction

If you or someone you love is battling a heroin addiction, getting help quickly is vital, and we are here to give you a hand. We take time to get to know each client so that we can craft a treatment plan that will provide the best possible odds of success. If you have concerns, questions or are ready to start, contact us at Desert Cove Recovery today.

12 step rehab

How 12 Step Rehab Works

Will 12 Step Rehab Work for Me?

The 12 step method is considered by many addiction experts to be the best help for long-term addiction recovery. However, it is not without controversy.

Keep reading to get a better understanding of this groundbreaking approach and find out why millions of people in recovery still trust it.

How the 12 Steps Started

Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Ohio in 1935 by Bill Wilson, a recovering alcoholic, and Dr. Robert Holbrook Smith. AA was based on this premise: When it comes to staying sober, there is strength in numbers. Alcoholics from all walks of life began meeting to share their struggles, celebrate their successes and lean on one another throughout the journey to recovery.

The 12 steps were established in 1946. Originally, the steps emphasized the importance of surrendering one’s addiction to a higher power for healing and restoration. AA also embraced the Serenity Prayer, which was penned by the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Throughout AA’s history, nonreligious people have objected to its heavy emphasis on spirituality. As a result, the language in many 12 step models has been amended to accommodate people from a myriad of belief systems. References to the presence of God are open to a wide variety of interpretations. Even atheists can use the basic principles for guidance.

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12 Step Sponsors

Sponsorship is also an important feature. Newcomers navigate the 12 steps alongside someone who has already worked through them and is successfully staying sober. Sponsors are typically available for questions, intervention or encouragement almost 24/7.

Another benefit is the ability to learn from others who are farther along on the journey. New members can pick up coping skills and tips for avoiding relapse from seasoned group members. There is also a compassionate atmosphere of accountability without judgment.

12 Step for Addiction Treatment

Over the years, the success of AA has spawned hundreds of other organizations for people with all kinds of addictions. Groups exist for those who struggle with drug abuse, gambling, overeating, hoarding and even addiction to using credit cards. The 12 basic steps are applicable to almost any struggle.

Nationwide, membership in groups that use the model is estimated in the millions. Many fellowships cater to specific demographic groups such as veterans, men or women only, gay people, clergy or seniors. You name it, and there’s probably a 12 step group for it somewhere.

If you talk to recovering alcoholics about the 12 step program, you may start to see a funny pattern. Many express mixed or negative feelings about going to meetings week after week or year after year. However, they grudgingly admit that attendance keeps them sober. When the choice is continued participation or relapse, many people choose to stay involved.

What Are the 12 Steps?

According to the website 12step.org, this is the most current version of the original 12 traditions:

  1. Admit powerlessness over addiction.
  2. Find hope through a higher power or higher goal.
  3. Turn the power to manage life over to the higher power.
  4. Analyze the self and behaviors objectively, described as taking a moral inventory.
  5. Share the results of the analysis with another person or the higher power.
  6. Prepare to allow the higher power to remove the negative aspects discovered in the analysis.
  7. Ask the higher power for these negative aspects to be removed.
  8. Make a list of wrongs done to others.
  9. Make amends for those wrongs as long as it is not harmful to the recipient to do so.
  10. Make self-analysis, removal of faults and amends regular practices.
  11. Meditate or pray for the continued ability to recover.
  12. Help others in need to go through the same process.

Each of the 12 steps expresses an essential value for healing. Working through them one by one empowers addicts to manage their disease and regain control of their lives.

Again, there are many alternative 12 step organizations for people who oppose the idea of God or a higher power.

12 Step Rehab

Around 75 percent of treatment programs incorporate the 12 step philosophy in some form. Most experts recommend the 12 step approach as an established, methodical process for understanding and managing addiction.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse endorses the 12 step premise that addiction cannot be cured and that preventing recurrences is a lifelong process. A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that the 12 step method perfectly complements therapies geared toward changing thought patterns and behavior.

Like many other treatments, 12 step is most effective as part of a comprehensive program that incorporates other proven methods. Here are just a few treatments that can be supported by the 12 step philosophy:

  • Detox
  • Cognitive behavior therapy
  • Motivational incentives
  • Holistic methods
  • Family counseling
  • Long-term aftercare

Most people who have an addiction also have at least one other mental disorder. This is called dual diagnosis. Treating both conditions at once is far more effective than treating them separately. A study of 12 step programs published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs found them beneficial in treating dual diagnosis.

If you need help deciding on the best treatment plan, call Desert Cove Recovery today to speak with an experienced counselor.

Adderall Abuse Among College Students

How Prevalent is Adderall Abuse Among College Students?

Adderall is the most commonly prescribed amphetamine. It is a strong central nervous system stimulant that is used primarily to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Even scientists aren’t sure how speed improves concentration or calms people who are prone to fidget.

Adderall’s effects are similar to those of cocaine, and it is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance because of its high potential for increased tolerance leading to addiction. To date, there is little research into its long-term effects.

Adderall abuse is widespread in the U.S. Young people between ages 18 and 25, particularly college students, are the worst offenders. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, full-time students abuse Adderall at twice the rate of their peers who don’t attend college. On college campuses, it’s the second-most common drug of abuse. Only marijuana is more popular.

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adderall abuse among College students

Where Do Students Obtain Adderall?

Around two-thirds of young adults get their Adderall supply from friends, roommates or relatives who have prescriptions. Many buy pills from dealers. Since there is no definitive clinical test for ADHD — doctors base diagnoses largely on symptoms and the observations of parents and teachers — faking symptoms to get a prescription is common.

Students may be surprised to learn that sharing their pills, borrowing someone else’s pills, selling, buying or stealing pills, faking symptoms and taking pills at the wrong dose all constitute prescription fraud which is a felony.

Even worse, becoming addicted to Adderall poses serious health risks. Between 2006 and 2011, Adderall-related emergency room visits spiked by more than 156 percent.

What’s the Attraction of Using Adderall?

At correctly prescribed doses in patients with ADHD, Adderall improves focus, sharpens mental acuity and provides a small energy boost for more productive study. Like many drugs, Adderall also increases levels of a natural brain chemical called dopamine. Dopamine enhances feelings of well-being, confidence and reward.

College students who face a long night of cramming for finals often bump up the dose or enhance it with a high-caffeine energy drink. In theory, they can stay awake all hours, absorb everything they study, have perfect recall of the material the next day and ace the test.

In reality, things seldom work out that way. For one thing, Adderall makes no difference whatsoever if you don’t have ADHD. Indeed, that’s one of the biggest factors in diagnosis: If you take Adderall and concentration doesn’t improve, ADHD is not the problem.

For recreational use, it’s cheaper than cocaine and provides many of the same perceived benefits. Someone who is shy or suffers from low self-esteem might take Adderall to have more fun at a party. Unfortunately, like cocaine’s effects, Adderall’s are short-lived at high doses. Coming down is disappointing and unpleasant, so higher doses are required for the same sense of confidence and euphoria. The life of the party eventually becomes annoying, overly talkative, excitable, irritable or downright impossible to be around.

Other attractions for college students are increased libido and sexual stamina. Adderall may work that way for a night or two, but it has the opposite effect as tolerance increase.

Snorting Adderall is even more dangerous than taking it orally. People looking for immediate, intense effects crush pills into a powder and snort it like cocaine.

That’s a good way to destroy your nasal and sinus cavities over just a few weeks. Snorting also exacerbates the negative side effects, such as irregular heartbeat, shown below. You can overdose on Adderall by just taking too many pills, but snorting exponentially increases risk.

At the very least, taking a little extra for nonmedical reasons makes you hyperactive, overly talkative and insomniac. Here are the more serious side effects of using long term at high doses:

  • Rapid or difficult breathing
  • Increased or irregular heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Hoarseness
  • Inability to sleep or sleep disturbances
  • Nausea, diarrhea or constipation
  • Shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Nervousness or paranoia
  • Excitability, aggression, anxiety or hostility
  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Numbness in the extremities
  • Rash, hives or blistering skin
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Stroke
  • Suicidal thoughts

Abusing Adderall is so dangerous that the Food and Drug Administration mandates a black-box warning on the label.

No one intends to become addicted to a legal drug that is prescribed by competent doctors every day. It’s the same with prescription painkillers. They’re a godsend for people who require surgery, are injured in an accident or live with chronic pain long term. Painkillers are largely safe when used as directed under the supervision of a doctor, but taking just one extra pill or combining it with another drug, such as alcohol, can have catastrophic, life-changing results.

You may be in danger of becoming addicted to Adderall if you’re taking more than your doctor prescribed, taking it by a non-approved method or taking it without a prescription. Other red flags include those below:

  • Trying repeatedly to stop without success
  • Feeling tired or mentally foggy when you’re not using
  • Lying about Adderall use
  • Watching your academic performance decline
  • Stealing pills or spending a lot of money buying them
  • Losing interest in friends and social activities

Our caring staff at Desert Cove Recovery is highly experienced with Adderall abuse. Call us today for sound advice on breaking free and reclaiming your life.

mental health and addiction

Dual Diagnosis: Why It’s Important to Pay Attention to Mental Health and Addiction

The Importance of a Dual Diagnosis in Addiction Treatment

Drug and alcohol addiction has become a problem for people across the nation, and taking every possible step to contain the threat is vital. Addicts often seek treatment but keep falling into the same trap once they complete the program and don’t know why. Rather than being simple or straightforward, addiction is a complex issue that requires a closer look when you want to give yourself or a loved one the best odds of escaping from the issue.

Mental health and addiction are very closely linked. For many people, learning about their mental health disorders is one of the most critical factors in their path to recovery. If you have depression, anxiety or other mental health diagnoses, our experts will get to the bottom of it and treat both conditions simultaneously. Doing so will give you the skills necessary to break free from your addiction and begin your recovery. 

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Why Diagnosing Other Mental Health Issues is Important

People who have mental health conditions and don’t know about them will sometimes turn to drugs and alcohol as a form of self-medication, but they won’t always understand why they keep using harmful substances. If a rehabilitation center only treats the addiction but fails to notice the contributing factors, the patient is more likely relapse within a few days or weeks after treatment.

When you go to a treatment center that understands the connection between mental health and addiction, you will make progress faster than you once thought possible. Treating the issue that caused or contributed to your addiction will make it much easier for you to stay on the path of sobriety.

Spotting the Red Flags of Mood Disorders

Learning about mental health and addiction so that you can discuss the red flags of a mood disorder will take you far when you want to defeat your addiction. If you felt sad a lot before you became addicted to drugs or alcohol, you might be suffering from depression. Suicidal thoughts are another indication that you should look deeper than the surface of your substance issue. Those who feel nervous and uneasy without reason likely have anxiety and will need to speak with a mental health professional. Extreme mood swings and feelings of heightened confidence could point to other problems that an expert will address.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Mental Health and Addiction

When people opt for our treatment programs at Desert Cove Recovery, our experts will assess the needs of each person so that they can decide the best treatment plan.  If we uncover other issues during the evaluation stage, we will treat the patient for addiction and the other mental health issue.

By customizing a program for each person, we can prepare our patients for life after the program in a way that will reduce their odds of repeating old habits. Handling other mental health problems has already improved the quality of life for many of our past patients, and we are confident that you will enjoy a similar outcome.

Our mission is to arm you with the tools that will allow you to reclaim your life and to break free from addiction and the other things that could hold you back from reaching your full potential. We care about our patients and will strive to help them achieve their short- and long-term goals. Even though recovery might seem far away, it’s closer than you think.

You Have Hope

Whether or not your addiction has another cause that you need to solve, our treatment centers are here to give you hope. Our team will work together to find an option that fits your lifestyle and needs, and you will know that you are in the right place. Likewise, if a person is not appropriate for our program or the therapies we offer, we will be up front on about this and discuss an alternate plan.

If you are like other addicts, you may be feeling lost and hopeless, but we promise that you can make it past your addiction if you allow us to guide you. Contact an admissions counselor today for help.

dual diagnosis treatment centers

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Are The Ideal Solution When Rehab Isn’t Enough

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers Are The Ideal Solution When Rehab Isn’t Enough

Many people who suffer from drug or alcohol addictions also suffer from some sort of mental illness. The two aren’t necessarily related, but one can often worsen the other. For example, a person may start drinking to deal with the symptoms of a particular mental issue. This drinking causes the symptoms of the mental condition to become even worse, which leads to more drinking. It’s a very destructive cycle and many people don’t even know that it’s happening.

Is There A Solution?

It might seem like going to rehab for a couple of months would solve the problem, but rehab alone often isn’t enough. This is especially true when the person drinks excessively or abuses drugs because of something related specifically to their mental issue. The only reliable solution is to treat the substance abuse and the mental illness at the same time. That is where dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona come into play.

What Is Dual Diagnosis In Arizona?

A dual diagnosis center is a facility that treats mental health and alcohol addictions (or drug addictions) at the same time. These two services have traditionally been split between different facilities. The problem with that approach is that the person might leave rehab and then begin abusing drugs again before their mental condition can be treated. Prior to the rise of dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona, it was nearly impossible for a patient to have their mental health and drugs addiction treated at the same time.

The Benefits Are Obvious.

A dual diagnosis center is an ideal solution if a patient suffers from a mental condition and a substance abuse problem. As a matter of fact, it may be the only way that the person can ever achieve a full and lasting recovery. The approach to recovery in these treatment centers is somewhat different than what you would expect from a traditional rehab center. There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than just the basic twelve steps. The patient’s mental and emotional needs are very carefully considered, addressed, and treated.

A Step Above The 12 Steps.

There’s no denying that the 12 steps have helped millions of people deal with their addictions. However, the steps were created in the 1930’s and there was very little understanding of complex psychological problems at the time. The underlying science behind addiction and how it related to mental conditions were not fully understood. Therefore, the 12 steps do little, if anything, to address the psychological issues that can result in a drug dependency. A dual diagnosis center can still implement the 12 steps or a variation of them, but it does so with the aid of psychological and pharmaceutical tools as well.

Custom Recovery Programs Benefit Patients.

Dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona work with patients in all states of mental health and alcohol addiction. They must create extremely personalized recovery programs for each and every patient. In a way, this makes a dual diagnosis program more ideal than a traditional rehab even for a patient without a mental condition. Because every patient who stays at a dual diagnosis center is receiving a treatment plan that was designed specifically for them.

The Follow Through Makes A Differences

It’s not uncommon for a rehab center to check a patient in and then have very little to do with them as they recover. Dual diagnosis in Arizona works very differently. Not only is the recovery program designed specifically for each individual patient, but the professionals who work at the recovery center spend a lot of time tracking the recovery and adjusting the program as needed. If something isn’t working, then they take notice and they make the necessary changes. 

Recovery Programs Built Around Proven Treatments.

The 12 steps aren’t the only way to treat the problems of an alcohol addict. There are multiple forms of therapy that have been tailored to address the underlying issues with addiction. One such line of therapy is known as cognitive behavioral therapy(CBT). This focuses on finding the habits that the addict associated with drinking and then rewiring how the brain thinks of those habits. It’s said that every addict has certain triggers that can lead to cravings. CBT can help identify these triggers and then return them to normal actions that are not associated with drugs or alcohol at all.

Helping Patients Understand Themselves.

Many patients who received a dual diagnosis had no idea they were suffering from a mental illness. That means that they likely have very little information regarding their specific condition, its symptoms, or how it can be influenced by drinking. Spending time at dual diagnosis treatment centers in Arizona serves as a learning experience for the patient. They learn about their specific condition and the various symptoms it has. For example, they may have suffered from anxiety or have serious panic attacks without actually knowing what was happening. After experiencing dual diagnosis in Arizona they have a full understanding of these symptoms and know how to react the next time they occur.

Getting The Right Medications.

Mental health and drugs do not work well together. When a patient who deals with both of these problems visits a traditional rehab they may be prescribed more medications to help overcome the addiction. Unfortunately, those medications may not work well with their mental condition. By visiting a dual diagnosis center they have the opportunity to receive the right medications. The doctors and therapists know more about the patient and can choose prescription drugs that are designed specifically for their conditions. That means the medications and the treatment are far more likely to succeed.

It’s The Ideal Solution.

If someone suffers from a mental condition and an addiction to drugs or alcohol, then dual diagnosis in Arizona is the ideal solution. It’s the only way they can receive the absolute best care possible. Dual diagnosis centers will implement a combination of recovery programs, therapy sessions, and medications that are all designed specifically for each individual patient.

If you, or someone you love has received addiction treatment that didn’t properly equip them in recovery, it’s possible that they need dual diagnosis treatment. For information or to speak with a counselor, please give us a call at Desert Cove Recovery today.

Female College Students Targeted Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drugs

journalcdrugA recent study proclaimed that about 15% of female college freshmen have been sexually assaulted while they were incapacitated by alcohol or drugs. This shocking statistic displays the recklessness and disregard displayed on many college campuses today, and the problem appears to be getting worse.

The results of the study were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Led by researcher Kate Carey, Ph.D., a professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University School of Public Health, in Providence, R.I., the sample included nearly 500 female students.

They also found that about 18% had been the victims of incapacitated rape before college, of which a higher percentage were found to be the victims again in their freshmen year (41%). The biggest risk factor is heavy drinking, which is an unfortunate behavioral trait for students across the country. The authors of the study made sure to emphasize that the alcohol intake of the young women in no way excuses the crimes committed against them. Instead, the they hope that the information is used as a warning sign for young women everywhere as part of a nationwide prevention program.

Although the statistics were sampled from one particular college in New York State, the behavior is echoed nationally among students, and it is estimated that the results would be similar elsewhere as well. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) claims that there are nearly 100,000 sexual assaults and date rapes each year among college students under the influence of heavy drinking.

In many cases, the drinking habits then escalate after the victimization, often putting these young women at risk of developing a more chronic alcohol use disorder. If you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol or any other drug, contact us today for more information on getting help.

DEA Reminds Us Not to Forget About Meth

methamphetamineHeroin and prescription drugs are certainly the hot topics when it comes to drug abuse in recent years, but recent comments from representatives of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) carry a warning that methamphetamine use is on the rise again in many areas. In fact, not only is it coming over the Southwest border still, but it is reaching the outer limits of the country in rapid fashion.

Methamphetamine is a man-made drug that gives the user an intense high and feeling of euphoria. The drug is comprised of chemicals that can be found in various household items like lye, battery acid, fertilizer, rubbing alcohol, brake cleaner and other hazardous chemicals. When ingested, users initially feel a rush of euphoria, followed by an intense burst of energy that usually ends in hallucinations and paranoia. The drug is so addictive that users will go to great lengths to obtain the drug and remain high.

Methamphetamine is not new to the country of course, but the production process has changed throughout the years. In the past, it was most common for small groups to manufacture the drug and distribute it throughout their area. Sometimes addicts would make their own supply, using easy to find ingredients. In more recent years, however, the production has shifted to superlabs south of the border. Drug cartels in Mexico are now supplying methamphetamine in huge quantities right along with the heroin that has become so pervasive.

In fact, many heroin users report that meth is their next drug of choice. “Methamphetamine is a dark horse riding side by side with heroin,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Doug James.

So, while drug prevention efforts need to remain on heroin and prescription drugs, it is important that methamphetamine stay on the forefront as well. The insidious way that methamphetamine has of consuming a person is amplified if prevention efforts don’t remain focused there as well.

Federal Government Pushing for More Inmates to Complete Rehabilitation Programs

inmateAlthough the penal system in the United States is far from perfect, there are signs that reform may be possible. For example, recent report indicated that the Department of Justice is proposing rule changes that will enable more inmates to attend residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs while incarcerated.

The change in the regulations will take a more clinical perspective on whether or not inmates are ready to complete their treatment, as well as offer an incentive of possibly getting paroled up to a year earlier. They assert that studies show inmates who complete drug treatment are roughly 15 percent less likely to get arrested again.

One of the most criticized elements of the American criminal justice system is that it is primarily set up for punishment and failure rather than rehabilitation. Not only are recidivism rates very high, but inmate populations are mistreated and billions of dollars are paid to private corrections companies in lucrative contracts to build and house offenders.

In other words, the more people get arrested and become repeat offenders, the more money they make. People who do become rehabilitated are few compared to those who become lifetime criminals as a result.

At least this latest move by the Department of Justice shows that there is some acknowledgement of the fact that real rehabilitation, for substance abuse as well as criminal behavior, is much more beneficial for the inmates and society as a whole.

Relapse a Reoccurring Problem with Many Addicts

For those that are not addicted to drugs and/or alcohol it can be a wonder that some addicts continuously go back and forth between being sober and abusing drugs. Sometimes this rollercoaster can go on for years,. While this may seem strange to some people, it is quite a normal phenomenon to others.

Experts agree that oftentimes the addict needs to be ready and willing to handle his or her addiction before any real progress can be made, but that doesn‘t rule out an intervention. In fact, it is quite the opposite. A successful intervention results in a better family dynamic as well as the individual willing to get better. This milestone can prove to be quite challenging to arrive at without the right help, especially because addicts spend most of their life shutting everyone and everything out with the help of their drug of choice.

Avoidance of people and problems allows addicts to continue on their path to destruction. The drugs help them to not care what loved ones and family members think and feel. “When you’re addicted, you’re in love with drugs, alcohol or both and the rest of the world be damned. So it’s very self-centered,” explained Candace Hodgkins, CEO of a treatment center.

Drugs are often used as a blocker – the addict may initially seek out prescription painkillers to block pain, but eventually the pills become useful to the addict because they also block guilt, mental anguish, fears and stress. This mechanism is the same for all drugs and alcohol, yet the very substances that they feel are helping them are continuing to make everything worse.

Relapse occurs when the addict has been clean for a certain amount of time and then goes back to the same drug pattern that was present prior to treatment. The good news is that there are warning signs that relapse is on the horizon, and most successful treatment centers offer relapse prevention tools to both patients and family members.

Generally, when someone comes out of a treatment center they are given a strict calendar of continuing therapy of some type. This may include outpatient treatment, regularly attending AA or NA meetings, individual counseling or even getting and maintaining a job. If the addict stops doing these things then that is typically a sign that they are flirting with a relapse. Responsibility has a lot to do with maintaining sobriety. Additionally, the cessation of communication, angry outbursts and unexplained disappearances are signs that a relapse may have already occurred.

If you would like more information about successful rehabilitation options and tips on preventing relapse after treatment, contact us any time.