prevent a drug overdose

How to Prevent a Drug Overdose

Drug abuse always carries a risk of severe and potentially life-threatening side effects, including alcohol, and whether you are abusing alcohol, prescription medication, or an illegal drug like cocaine, addiction and overdose are always a concern. If you know someone who is abusing drugs, and you believe they may be at risk for a drug overdose, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at our toll-free number to discuss the available treatment options with a professional addiction recovery counselor.

What Causes a Drug Overdose?

A drug overdose occurs when a person takes too much of a substance, and the body is unable to detoxify the drug fast enough to avoid catastrophic side effects. The abuse of any substance can result in an overdose.  But certain factors can increase a person’s drug overdose risk:

  • abusing drugs in combination with other substances (including alcohol)
  • prior overdoses
  • taking large amounts of the drug at once
  • engaging in intravenous drug use, and resuming drug use after a period of abstinence.

An overdose can be intentional, by someone who wishes to commit suicide, or accidental, by someone who unknowingly takes more of a prescription medication than instructed, or who uses too much of an illegal drug in an attempt to achieve a better high.

Drug Overdose Symptoms

Using drugs can affect the entire body, and in general terms, during an overdose, the effects of a drug may be a heightened level of the therapeutic effects seen with regular use. The drug side effects may also become more pronounced, and other adverse effects can take place, which would typically not occur with normal use. Drug overdose symptoms can vary depending on the type of drug taken, whether the drug was taken in combination with other substances, and the physical and medical history of the person taking the drug, and in some cases, even first-time drug use can result in a lethal overdose. Some common symptoms of a drug overdose include the following:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unsteady walking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Agitation
  • Violent or aggressive behavior
  • Disorientation or confusion
  • Abnormally high body temperature
  • Seizures
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death

How to Prevent a Drug Overdose

The only surefire way to prevent a drug overdose is not to use drugs in the first place. However, there are ways someone who is already struggling with an addiction problem can reduce their risk of overdosing. The following are steps you or a loved one can take to prevent a drug overdose:

  • Educate yourself on the warning signs and symptoms of drug overdose
  • Start with a small dose if you haven’t used the drug in a while
  • Avoid using multiple substances at once, including alcohol
  • Know the drug and the dose of the medicine you are taking
  • Use in the presence of another person, in case of an overdose
  • Consider substance abuse treatment if you think you have an addiction problem

Contact the Addiction Recovery Experts at BRS Rehab

Drug addiction is a serious condition that can have fatal consequences, and, according to a recent report from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the total number of deaths from drug overdose more than doubled between 2002 and 2015, signaling a growing problem in the United States, one that has reached epidemic status. If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, and you think a drug overdose is a real concern, don’t hesitate to call for help. The substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services understand the various factors that play a role in addiction and can help you prevent an overdose from occurring.

Why Family Counseling Shouldn’t End After Rehab

One of the most important things for a recovering addict to have in place after rehab is a strong support system, and family members who care about you and are willing to participate in family therapy are the best kind of support system you can have post-treatment. After completing substance abuse treatment at a rehab facility, it’s a good idea to continue family counseling to ensure the addict stays on the path to recovery, with the help of his family members. For more information about the benefits of continuing family therapy after rehab, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530 to speak to a certified substance abuse counselor.

What is Family Counseling?

Addiction is a powerful condition that takes a significant physical and psychological toll not only on the addict himself, but on his loved ones as well. Fortunately, long-term recovery from addiction is possible, with a strong support system and the right treatment program, and a vital component of substance abuse treatment is family counseling, which involves using the family’s strengths and resources to help the addict learn to live without drugs or alcohol. Even after treatment has finished, continued family counseling can help reduce the risk of relapse and improve the addict’s chances of long-term sobriety.

Behavioral Health Issues and Addiction

Addiction doesn’t happen in a vacuum; there are typically environmental influences and behavioral health issues that contribute to an individual’s addiction, and by broaching these topics and discussing them in family therapy, the addict and his loved ones can begin to understand and address the various factors that led to the substance abuse. For example, addicts struggling with behavioral health disorders like depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety may have a more difficult time recovering from substance abuse, and while it may be difficult for the addict himself to see the negative impact of underlying mental health issues or past trauma, loved ones can offer valuable insight into what may be driving the addiction. Being that some mental health disorders are genetic, family members may also have more compassion for their loved one if they witness certain behavioral issues that they have experienced themselves.

A Family Member’s Role in Addiction

The love and support of family members is critical to long-term sobriety, but loved ones can also act as stumbling blocks on the road to recovery. It is painful and heartbreaking to see someone you love struggle with addiction, and in a misguided effort to help, many family members unintentionally enable addicted loved ones by making excuses for their behavior and shielding them from the full consequences of their actions. For example, a family member who cleans clothes belonging to the addict that are soiled with alcohol or bodily fluids, or pays the addict’s bills when he is too drunk or high to notice or care, is only enabling the destructive behavior and allowing it to continue without consequence. There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect your loved one, but through family counseling, you can learn healthier ways you can help, without enabling the addict. A family counselor is trained to recognize these harmful patterns of behavior, and can teach the addict’s loved ones how to respond in a more productive way.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

Counseling is an integral part of the recovery process because it helps addicted individuals identify and address the patterns and influences in their lives that may be contributing to their alcoholism or drug abuse, and through family therapy counseling, the loved ones of recovering addicts can learn helpful strategies to move past their pain and anger and aid in the addict’s recovery. To learn more about the importance of continuing family counseling after rehab, contact the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services by calling (877) 926-5530 today.

How Alcoholics in Recovery Can Benefit from Quitting Cigarettes

For many people, alcohol and cigarettes go hand in hand, but research on the link between drinking and smoking is relatively limited, which makes it difficult to know how smoking during or after treatment for alcoholism may affect the recovery process. However, in one recent study of the relationship between cigarette smoking and the risk of substance use relapse, researchers found that quitting smoking can have a significant positive impact on alcohol recovery, improving a recovering alcoholic’s chances of achieving and maintaining long-term sobriety. To learn more about the link between smoking and recovery for alcoholics, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530.

Smoking and Alcohol Recovery

It makes sense that cigarettes would inhibit recovery from alcoholism, as nicotine is an addictive substance and smoking is considered a type of addiction. Published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, this latest study on smoking and drinking followed more than 30,000 adults with a past alcohol use disorder (AUD) enrolled in the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. The study participants were assessed at two points in time, three years apart, for substance use, substance use disorders, and related physical and mental disorders. According to their findings, daily smokers and nondaily smokers had approximately double the rate of relapse back to alcohol dependence when compared with nonsmokers.

Long-Term Recovery from Alcohol Abuse

It’s no secret that drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes isn’t good for your health, but this new study suggests that smoking cigarettes while recovering from alcoholism may also have a negative impact on an addict’s chances of long-term recovery from substance abuse. “Quitting smoking will improve anyone’s health,” says study author Renee Goodwin, an associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. “But our study shows that giving up cigarettes is even more important for adults in recovery from alcohol since it will help them stay sober.” The researchers also noted that “Concurrent treatment of cigarette smoking when treating AUDs may help improve long-term alcohol outcomes and reduce the negative consequences of both substances.”

Drinking, Smoking and Depression

Alcohol and cigarettes are the two most widely used addictive substances in the United States, and not only are people who smoke more likely to drink, and vice versa, people who smoke and drink also have an unusual tendency to suffer from major depression. In a 2014 study examining the interactions between cigarette use, alcohol use and depression, researchers found that a person who drinks alcohol and smokes cigarettes faces a higher risk of negative health outcomes than a person who only drinks alcohol or only smokes cigarettes. By quitting smoking, alcoholics in recovery can reduce their risk of major depression, lower their risk of death, and improve their overall physical and mental health, among other significant improvements. Although smoking cessation is often seen as a low priority in a society where drug addiction has become a national epidemic, research shows that offering anti-smoking therapies during recovery for alcoholics could actually save lives.

Contact the Experts at BRS Rehab

These study findings are important, because they support the hypothesis that smoking cigarettes contributes to alcohol addiction, which is something that many people don’t realize. All too often, people continue smoking throughout the course of treatment and after they have completed their rehab program, relying on cigarettes to fill the void that alcohol once filled, not knowing that continuing smoking could actually be inhibiting their recovery. For more information about the impact of smoking on recovery from alcoholism, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 926-5530 to speak to an experienced substance abuse recovery counselor about your options.

drug relapse happens

What is a Relapse and What to Do if it Happens

Addiction recovery is not a straight line to sobriety. It is an ongoing process that, for many, involves successes tempered by significant challenges, including the risk of relapse. If you or someone you love has suffered a relapse while recovering from alcoholism or drug abuse, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at our toll-free number to discuss with a certified substance abuse counselor how you can get your recovery back on track.

Relapse Meaning

Much like a cancer survivor may suffer a recurrence of the disease after a period of remission, known as a relapse, a recovering addict may also relapse, or fall back into old substance abuse patterns after a period of improvement. While some addicts can maintain their sobriety following substance abuse treatment at a rehab facility, others may suffer some significant setbacks before their recovery sticks. It’s important to understand that addiction relapse is common, and it’s not necessarily a sign of failure. In fact, most addicts relapse at least once, and many do so multiple times during the recovery process. Over time, relapses should happen less frequently, until the user no longer experiences such powerful cravings to use.

Relapse Prevention

Although relapse is a normal part of the addiction recovery process, it is important to identify what factors, or triggers, lead to a relapse so you can do everything in your power to avoid or minimize them. For some addicts, their substance abuse is triggered by fear, stress, depression or anxiety, and because using alcohol or drugs acts as a coping mechanism, experiencing these emotions can lead to a relapse. To minimize the impact of these emotions and prevent a relapse, it helps to be aware of these stressors and learn a new way to cope that doesn’t involve substance abuse. For other addicts, just being around certain people and places that remind them of past substance abuse can trigger a relapse.  This trigger usually happens during the beginning stages of recovery, and it may become necessary for them to avoid old friends with whom they used to drink or use drugs.

Moving on After a Relapse

Relapse happens, and it may happen more than once. Rather than viewing a relapse as a total failure and the end of the recovery process, it helps to see it as an opportunity to update and reinforce treatment, to reconsider your recovery strategies and set attainable goals for the future. You may decide to return to inpatient treatment for more counseling and relapse prevention education if you feel you may benefit from additional care and guidance, or you may choose to participate in aftercare treatment, which typically involves attending outpatient counseling sessions a couple of times a week. You may only decide to join a support group where you can share your experiences and concerns with other members of the recovery community.

As a friend or family member of a recovering addict, a relapse does not constitute a betrayal of your trust. In order for your loved one to continue on the path to lifelong recovery, he will need all the love, support, and understanding he can get, no matter how many times he may stumble along the way.

Contact BRS Rehab Today

Research shows that most addicts relapse during the first 90 days in recovery, while the brain is attempting to reverse the rewiring that comes with prolonged substance abuse. Whatever the circumstances of your recovery though, relapse is much easier to prevent when you know what your triggers are and can, therefore, see it coming. For help overcoming a chronic substance abuse disorder, or for more information about relapse and how to prevent it, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today.

Suboxone Abuse

Knowing the Signs of Suboxone Abuse

Suboxone reverses the effects of heroin addiction, but can you fix an addiction with another drug? It was considered a safer alternative to methadone during the opioid abuse epidemic. However, this drug has its dark side that people don’t talk about as much. Suboxone abuse is real and has even caused an epidemic that needs to be remedied. Addiction to Suboxone is a true problem in the United States today.

Suboxone is a combination of two drugs: buprenorphine, which provides a way for someone to get off a previous, stronger opioid gradually, and naloxone. Since buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, its “highs” are lower compared to the highs of heroin, a full agonist. For this reason, Suboxone seems like a good treatment option for heroin and opioid abuse. Naloxone’s job is to shut off opioid receptors, which reverses the effects of opioid drugs in the patient’s system. However, doing this can cause the body to start showing withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • agitation
  • irritability
  • wild mood swings
  • insomnia
  • nausea and vomiting
  • muscle cramping

Naloxone is risky and should not be given by itself, which is why it is combined with buprenorphine to provide patients with an easy way to get off stronger opioids.

Knowing the Signs of Suboxone Abuse

While Suboxone can wean someone off of a more potent opioid, Suboxone addiction can happen. Some physical and psychological effects can be an indication that the person is abusing Suboxone. The signs to be aware of include:

  • Nausea
  • Unpredictable mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches

By knowing these signs, you will be more able to easily spot if a friend or loved one is abusing Suboxone.

Starting an Intervention for Suboxone Abuse

If you detect and confirm that a friend or family member is struggling with Suboxone abuse, the next step you should take is to have a discussion with them. The goal of an intervention is to get the addict to admit it is time to seek help. It is common for addicts to be in denial about their addiction and not realize that they have a problem. However, having family members and friends show that they care and are concerned for their well-being can help the addict understand their need for treatment and make them willing to enter rehab.

Treating Suboxone Abuse and Addiction

Most cases of opioid abuse require detoxification as the first step of therapy, and Suboxone addiction is no different. A controlled and supervised environment is the best way to withdraw from Suboxone safely. Suboxone withdrawal triggers the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is vital he or she enters a drug rehabilitation facility and be under professional care. Attempting to detox and withdraw on your own can result in a relapse into harder drugs when the withdrawal symptoms become too much to handle. A doctor will administer medication, if necessary,  to make the withdrawal process easier. The withdrawal symptoms of the detox go away within 1 – 4 weeks.

Supporting the Addict After Rehab

Rehab is the first and major step in recovery, but it is not the final step. When an addict returns home, he or she will use the skills learned in rehab to continue living a clean and sober life. Therapy is a necessary step for supporting the addict after rehab. It’s where the user can discuss their struggles and challenges, and receive advice and help from their peers. It’s in therapy where they know they aren’t alone in their recovery journey.

Finding Treatment for Suboxone Addiction

When your friend or loved one has agreed to enter treatment, the next step is to locate the rehab facility. This move is significant because not every rehab center is the same. At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we adapt our rehabilitation program to each client’s needs and wants. We not only deliver what our patients need, but we also provide them with what they want for their stay to be as pleasant as possible. Furthermore, our facility provides a very comfortable and secure environment, which is far away from the stress of everyday life. Our clients can relax and let go of the troubles of the world while they just focus on their sobriety and long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one are struggling with Suboxone addiction, we encourage you to contact us today to speak confidentially with one of our treatment advisors to see how we can help you.

cocaine side effects

The Dangerous Effects of Cocaine Use

One of the most widely-used and abused illegal substances in the United States, cocaine is a potent, addictive substance. It enhances the activity of the central and peripheral nervous systems, resulting in increased energy and alertness in users. As a recreational drug, cocaine produces an intense feeling of euphoria that can last from a few minutes to a few hours. When a cocaine user becomes dependent on the pleasurable feelings caused by the stimulant drug, his or her body will experience an adverse reaction to periods without it. If you recognize signs of cocaine abuse or addiction in yourself or a loved one, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to learn about the benefits of participating in a cocaine addiction recovery program.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive substance that you can find in many forms, including a white powder, paste, or a solidified, rock-like substance known as “crack cocaine.” Depending on the way you use the drug, snort, smoke or inject, cocaine can deliver a rapid-onset, rewarding high that accompanies some pleasurable effects, including an increase in energy, feelings of euphoria, elevation in mood, and an inflated sense of self-esteem. Since cocaine temporarily suppresses appetite and decreases the need for sleep, some people also use the drug to lose weight, remain alert, improve their concentration, or accomplish a demanding task.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

While cocaine can deliver a range of pleasurable effects for users, the stimulant drug also renders a host of unwanted short-term consequences. Some common adverse short-term effects of cocaine use include:

  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal symptoms

Adverse Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Whether it’s occasionally used for a short duration, or for extended periods of time, any use of cocaine can have negative consequences on the health of users. Some possible lasting health effects of cocaine include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Constricted blood vessels
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Nosebleeds (from snorting cocaine)
  • Unrelenting headaches
  • Abdominal pain
  • Seizures
  • Addiction
  • Overdose
  • Death

Signs of Cocaine Abuse and Addiction

Regular cocaine users may develop a tolerance for the drug which means their body has built up a resistance to cocaine, and they will need increasingly larger amounts of the stimulant to get the same effect from it. Repeated cocaine use may result in dependence, which can lead to a cocaine addiction, occurring when the user feels compelled to keep using the drug, despite adverse personal and professional consequences associated with the substance abuse. Unfortunately, cocaine is a highly addictive drug and users who become dependent on it may exhibit telltale signs of addiction, like:

  • Neglecting or abandoning what were once life priorities
  • Getting in trouble with the law
  • Exhibiting uncharacteristically risky behavior
  • Continuing to use cocaine despite significant negative consequences
  • Experiencing troubled personal, professional, and social relationships

How to Address a Cocaine Addiction

Recovering from an addiction to cocaine can be extremely difficult, and the cravings that accompany cocaine withdrawal can be intense, but with the proper care and support via an outpatient or residential rehab program, cocaine abusers can overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives. If you are a frequent cocaine user, and you think you may be addicted to the stimulant drug, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to find out how one of BRS Rehab’s proven substance abuse programs can help.

painkiller addiction

The Warning Signs of a Prescription Painkiller Addiction

One of the three main categories of medications that present a significant risk of abuse is prescription opioids. Physicians are prescribing and distributing opioids at dramatically increased rates in recent years. This is drastically increasing the incidence of painkiller addiction in the United States. Opioid painkillers produce a short-lived euphoric feeling. Long-term use of these drugs can lead to physical dependence. When a person continues taking drugs to avoid withdrawal symptoms, they are just one step away from a painkiller addiction. If you or someone you love are struggling with painkiller addiction, contact the addiction recovery counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

How to Spot a Prescription Painkiller Addiction

Doctors frequently prescribe opioid painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone to individuals experiencing chronic pain, as a more powerful alternative to over-the-counter pain relievers. These medications are highly addictive, and can easily lead to an opioid addiction. Even individuals who have never abused drugs or become dependent on painkillers in the past can easily develop an addiction. Unfortunately, symptoms of an opioid addiction can be difficult to spot. Some users may carry on with their everyday tasks as if everything is fine, and not exhibit any obvious signs. That being said, there are some warning signs to look out for that may signal a painkiller addiction, including the following:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Drowsiness
  • A change in sleep habits
  • A lack of hygiene
  • Frequent flu-like symptoms
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Changes in energy level or exercise habits
  • Loss of relationships
  • Overspending
  • Theft
  • Changes in work habits

As with other types of addiction, the longer a person is struggling with an addiction to painkillers like oxycodone or hydrocodone, the more signs and symptoms they are likely to exhibit. If you recognize one or more of these red flags in a friend, family member or co-worker, it’s possible the issue may be a painkiller addiction.

Risk of Opioid Overdose

The most important reason to identify and address a painkiller addiction as early as possible is to avoid an overdose. An overdose occurs when a person takes more than the amount of medication the prescription is for, at once or over time. When a doctor prescribes an opioid painkiller to relieve chronic pain, a person may take a higher amount of the medication. They may take it more frequently than the instructions require. If they develop a tolerance, they will require more of the medication to achieve the same pain-relieving effects. This is the hallmark of a painkiller addiction and can lead to the abuse of other drugs, like heroin. This can happen among individuals who don’t necessarily fit the description of what you might consider a “typical” addict.

The Addiction Recovery Experts at BRS Rehab Can Help

Opioid addiction can happen to anyone, even someone with no history of drug abuse. As with any type of addiction, the consequences of a painkiller addiction can be devastating, or even fatal. According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, between 26.4 million and 36 million people around the world abuse opioids like morphine, heroin and prescription painkillers. There are an estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffering from substance abuse disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers. If someone you love is exhibiting warning signs of a painkiller addiction, don’t hesitate to get them the help they need. Call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to learn about the available treatment options for an addiction to painkillers.

Drug abuse among professional athletes

Drug Abuse Among Professional Athletes: Is it a Growing Problem?

Some people are of the opinion that professional athletes have it easy. They think this because of their hefty paychecks, fancy cars, and glamorous lifestyles. The truth is that athletes are under an immense amount of pressure. They are pressured to succeed in ways that people in other professions rarely experience. It’s because of this, and the fact that they have the disposable income to finance a drug habit, that athletes are so vulnerable to substance abuse. They are in a constant struggle to succeed in an incredibly competitive arena. If you know a professional athlete who is abusing drugs, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor. Drug abuse among professional athletes is a major problem in the US today.

Drug Abuse Among Professional Athletes

According to the Journal of Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation, drug abuse is a problem that occurs in all sports and at most levels of competition. This problem persists for some individuals even after retirement. In addition to drugs that enhance performance, drug abuse among professional athletes originates with drugs to relieve pain. They may even use drugs to conceal career-ending injuries. Athletes use drugs to increase muscle mass and body weight. Professional athletes also use drugs to self-treat otherwise untreated mental illness. They also use drugs to deal with the emotional stress that comes with a professional career. Due to recent responses to using performance-enhancing drugs, many athletic organizations are banning “doping.” When catching athletes using such drugs, there are strict consequences.

Athletes and Drug Addiction

One of the main reasons for drug abuse among professional athletes is simply to combat fatigue and exhaustion. This is sadly a part of the professional athlete package. Whatever the reason for the abuse, abusing drugs in a high-risk, high-pressure environment is dangerous. The world of professional sports presents a significant risk of athletes developing a drug addiction. Drug addiction can lead to serious adverse health consequences or death. Even so, despite the significant risk of side effects, a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2002 found that one in three general practitioners is likely to encounter a patient who uses drugs to improve his or her athletic performance. This fact further proves the concern that drug abuse and addiction is “deeply entrenched” in the sporting world.

Using Drugs to Help Performance

So widespread is the issue of drug abuse among professional athletes, that the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry ranked second in past month for illicit drug use. Furthermore, they ranked third in past year substance use disorder rates from 2008 to 2012, according to SAMHSA.

“What is really worrying is that people who use drugs in sports are taking potentially life-threatening drugs and think it’s worth it,” says Dr. Vivienne Nathanson. Dr. Nathanson is the British Medical Association’s head of ethics and science. “Surely no accolade is worth your health or indeed life.” It’s hard to believe that professional athletes who appear to have it all would risk their careers, and their lives, by abusing drugs. However, you have to consider the fact that they base their success on how well they perform physically and mentally on a daily basis. It makes sense that they might look to chemical substances for help.

Treating Drug Addiction in Athletes

As far as a professional athlete seeking treatment for drug addiction, the Substance Abuse, and Rehabilitation study advises that “drug abuse in athletes should be addressed with preventative measures, education, motivational interviewing, and, when indicated, pharmacologic interventions.” If you or someone you know is abusing a performance-enhancing drug or another controlled substance, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services for help.

signs of alcoholism

Signs of Alcoholism: Has Your Drinking Crossed the Line?

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism are serious problems that can cause significant disruptions in the lives of users and their loved ones, resulting in devastating physical, emotional, financial, and social consequences that can take years to repair, if they can be repaired at all. Unfortunately, because drinking alcohol is socially acceptable, and because the effects of drinking vary widely from person to person, it’s not always easy to recognize the signs of alcoholism, even for yourself or someone you spend lots of time with. If your drinking is causing problems in your life, or in the lives of your loved ones, contact the substance abuse recovery counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss your possible treatment options.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Substance abuse experts note a significant difference between alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Unlike alcoholics, alcohol abusers are still able to set some limits on their drinking. However, among alcoholics and alcohol abusers alike, their use of alcohol presents a danger to themselves and others. Still, it’s not always easy to recognize the warning signs of alcoholism in others or acknowledge when your drinking crosses that line between moderate and social use to problem drinking. There are clear signs of alcoholism that you can watch out for though, in yourself and others. You may be abusing alcohol if you:

  • Consume alcohol to cope with stress or to avoid feeling bad
  • Feel guilty or ashamed about your drinking
  • Need to drink to relax
  • Repeatedly neglect your responsibilities at home, school or work because of your drinking
  • Experience repeated legal problems because of your drinking
  • Regularly drink more than you intend to
  • “Blackout” or forget what you did while drinking
  • Lie to others to hide your drinking habits
  • Have friends or loved ones who are worried about your drinking

Adverse Effects of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism is the most severe form of problem drinking, and it is characterized by a physical dependence on alcohol, which means the person relies on alcohol to function or feels physically compelled to drink. Alcoholics may experience a variety of problems related to their drinking, including serious health consequences, financial instability, strained relationships and emotional trauma. Drinking too much, on a single occasion or over time, can take a significant toll on your health in particular, especially if you lose control over the amount of alcohol you consume. People who abuse alcohol make drinking their top priority, displacing healthy activities and relationships, and ultimately putting their health and well-being at risk. Among the adverse physical effects of alcoholism are:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Pancreatitis
  • Changes in mood and behavior

Call BRS Rehab for Help

Progressive increases in the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption may be a warning sign of alcohol abuse, a problem that can lead to more severe physical, emotional, financial, and social signs of alcoholism if the drinking continues. Not all alcohol abusers become alcoholics, but abusing alcohol is a major risk factor for addiction, which can develop suddenly in response to a significant stressor, like a breakup, retirement or a tragic loss. If you recognize the warning signs of alcoholism in yourself or someone else, and you are unable to stop the problem drinking, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services at our toll-free number to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor.

relapse after rehab

Relapse After Rehab – What Happens Next

The path to lifelong sobriety is sometimes a rocky one, and even for the most diligent recovering addicts, relapse, or a return to drug use after a period of recovery, is a common occurrence. If you know someone who has experienced a drug relapse after rehab, and you want to know how you can help, call the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services at (888) 982-0865 to find out more about substance abuse treatment and what happens after a relapse.

What is a Drug Relapse?

Understanding what a drug relapse is and why it occurs can help reduce the chances of a relapse occurring. Unfortunately, research shows that most addicts relapse at least once, and many do so multiple times. And while relapse may seem like an utter failure to a recovering addict and his loved ones, it doesn’t have to mean the end of recovery. Research suggests that 70 to 90 percent of all users who try to get sober experience at least one mild to moderate slip, while approximately half return to heavy use. In other words, it is extremely uncommon for an addict to walk into a rehab facility, determined to get sober, and never use drugs or alcohol again. The trick to moving past a relapse is recognizing the drug-related cues that triggered the relapse and learning how to avoid these cues in the future.

What Causes a Relapse?

To a recovering addict, a relapse “trigger” is anything that the addict associated with previous drug use and therefore generates a sudden desire to use when experienced. A trigger can be any type of drug-related cue, such as a song, a person or a place that reminds the addict of past drug use and prompts a craving. For some addicts, seeing drug paraphernalia or visiting places where they’ve scored drugs in the past triggers a powerful desire to use, which is why treatment programs typically advise recovering addicts from staying away from people, places, and things from their past drug use to avoid falling back into old habits. During the early stages of treatment, it is imperative that addicts learn to recognize their triggers so they can avoid them and prevent a relapse, thereby improving their chances of long-term sobriety.

So, what causes a relapse, then? According to the findings of one study, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2010, drug use actually alters the connections between the reward center and memory hubs of the brain. This means that the brain becomes hardwired to react to certain drug-related cues, or triggers, which can make achieving lasting sobriety incredibly challenging. According to lead researcher and senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Joanna Fowler, Ph.D., the addicts involved in the 2010 study “all had a blunted dopamine response. This reinforces the idea that drug abusers experience diminished feelings of pleasure, which drives their continual drug use.”

Contact BRS Rehab Today for Help

Research has shown that the greatest percentage of relapses occur during the first 90 days of recovery, as the recovering addict attempts to overcome the impact drug use has had on their brain and body. In addiction recovery, being aware of potential relapse triggers and learning to avoid them long enough for the brain to repair or overcome the rewiring that drug abuse causes, is the key to lifelong sobriety. If you or a loved one has experienced a relapse after rehab, contact the experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (888) 982-0865 to speak with a certified addiction recovery counselor about your options.

mdma abuse

The Dangerous Effects of MDMA Abuse

One of the most popular drugs used at dance parties, raves, and nightclubs, MDMA, or ecstasy, is known as a “club drug.” MDMA is a psychoactive drug abused by teens and young adults seeking the pleasurable high for which ecstasy is known. Because of its widespread use among adolescents and young adults in the United States, many people don’t realize that MDMA causes a host of adverse health effects. Two dangerous effects of MDMA abuse are overheating and dehydration. These two conditions can lead to muscle tissue injury, kidney failure, high blood pressure, heart failure, and death. If you or someone you know are struggling with an addiction to MDMA, consult the substance abuse counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today.

What is MDMA?

MDMA is a synthetic drug that acts as both a stimulant and a psychedelic, producing in users an energetic effect, as well as enhanced enjoyment from tactile experiences and distortions in time and perception. As a recreational drug, MDMA is typically taken orally as a tablet or capsule. Its effects can last between three and six hours. The effects depend on the individual taking it, the dose and purity, and their environment. Once taken, MDMA absorbs rapidly into the bloodstream, where it exerts its primary effects in the brain by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that allow nerve cells to communicate with one another. By doing so, MDMA produces a “high,” or rewarding stimulant effects that keep users coming back for more.

Warning Signs of MDMA Abuse

MDMA has become a popular drug among adolescents and young adults in the nightclub scene. Some of its popularity is because it produces pleasurable feelings of emotional warmth, decreased anxiety, mental stimulation, and self-confidence. Other effects of MDMA abuse are empathy towards others and a general sense of well-being which can occur within an hour or so after taking a single dose. However, there are also adverse psychological effects associated with the use of ecstasy similar to those experienced by amphetamine and cocaine users. Some common symptoms of MDMA abuse include:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of appetite
  • Impulsiveness
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Muscle cramping
  • Restlessness
  • Involuntary teeth clenching
  • Sweating
  • Blurred vision
  • Sadness
  • Significant reductions in mental abilities
  • Reduced interest in and pleasure from sex

Long-Term Consequences of MDMA Abuse

Because of its stimulant properties and the types of situations in which people take this drug, MDMA is associated with vigorous physical activity for extended periods of time. Such an amount of activity can lead to one of its most significant adverse effects, a noticeable rise in body temperature called hyperthermia. Hyperthermia can lead to muscle breakdown, kidney failure, and heart failure. Some other adverse long-term MDMA effects may include:

  • Lasting brain damage affecting thought and memory
  • Psychosis
  • Convulsions
  • Damage to parts of the brain that regulate emotion, sleep, and learning
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Addiction
  • Death

Overall, the adverse effects of ecstasy are modest and are not associated with severe medical conditions in normal users. However, in some cases, the use of ecstasy can lead to an overdose. An overdose can happen, especially when a user combines it with alcohol or other drugs. Mixing substances is common considering much of the ecstasy and MDMA sold on the street contains a variety of additives, including methamphetamine, cocaine, ketamine, caffeine, ephedrine, and over-the-counter cough medicines and pain relievers. Symptoms of an ecstasy overdose may include seizures, panic attacks, loss of consciousness, high blood pressure, and faintness.

Contact the Substance Abuse Experts at BRS Rehab

MDMA is considered to be one of the most widely used club drugs in the world. While ecstasy is not as addictive as other illicit drugs, like methamphetamine and heroin, it still poses a significant health risk to those who take it illegally. Despite this risk, ecstasy use remains prevalent in the United States. In 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that an estimated 695,000 Americans aged 12 or older were current MDMA users. Current means they had used an ecstasy-type drug during the previous month. If you believe a loved one is abusing MDMA, contact the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to find out how you can help.

Americans Drinking Alcohol at Dangerously High Levels: Are You One of Them?

The opioid epidemic has garnered a great deal of public attention in recent years, with the number of overdose deaths rising rapidly throughout the 2000s. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2014 more people died from alcohol-induced causes than from overdoses of prescription painkillers and heroin combined. Americans are drinking alcohol at higher levels than ever before.

Philip J. Cook, a Duke University professor who studies alcohol consumption patterns and their effects, notes that per-capita alcohol consumption has been increasing since the late 1990s. According to a research report posted by Science Daily, nearly 32 million American adults surveyed reported consuming more than double the number of drinks defined as “binge drinking” at least once in the past year. A report of the findings is online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Using alcohol does not necessarily equate to alcohol abuse, but it is easy to transition from a moderate drinker to a heavy one, and from there it’s a slippery slope downward.

Binge Drinking Defined

According to the CDC, excessive drinking includes binge drinking, heavy drinking, and any drinking by pregnant women or people younger than age 21. Binge drinking, the most common form of excessive drinking, is defined as four or more drinks during a single occasion for women, five or more for men. Heavy drinking is defined as consuming 8 or more drinks per week for women, 15 or more for men. Most people who are excessively drinking alcohol are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent. However, there are significant risks to sustained alcohol use.

Drinking Alcohol at Higher Levels

The National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) is a series of the major epidemiologic surveys that examine alcohol use and its co-occurrence with drug use and related psychiatric conditions. The researchers reported an increasing number of survey respondents were binge drinking more frequently and at higher levels. Side effects of alcohol abuse are deadly on their own, but extreme binge drinking is especially common among study participants who used other drugs.

“Drinking at such high levels can suppress areas of the brain that control basic life-support functions such as breathing and heart rate, thereby increasing one’s risk of death,” said senior author, Aaron White, Ph.D., Senior Scientific Advisor to the NIAAA Director. “The risk increases further if other sedative drugs, particularly opioids or benzodiazepines, are added to the mix.”

Long-Term Health Risks of Drinking Alcohol

Long-term alcohol abuse can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems
  • Cancer of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon
  • Learning and Memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance
  • Mental health concerns, including depression and anxiety
  • Social problems, including lost productivity, family problems, and unemployment
  • Alcohol dependence, or alcoholism

Ending Abuse

For many, it’s a challenge to recognize excessive drinking. There is a problem if it causes one’s relationships, school or work, or social activities to suffer. Specific warning signs include:

  • lying about or hiding your drinking
  • drinking to relax or feel better
  • “blacking out” regularly
  • being unable to stop once you start
  • drinking in dangerous situations
  • neglecting your responsibilities
  • having trouble in your relationships
  • being able to drink more than you used to
  • experiencing withdrawal
  • trying to quit but being unable to

According to Per Wickstrom, the successful founder of Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, “The ongoing battle against drug and alcohol abuse is a fight that will not be won in treatment centers alone. If we wish to make a difference indeed, we must attack addiction where it begins.”

Increasing awareness is the first step to that goal.

methamphetamine use

Some Important Facts About Methamphetamine Use

Methamphetamine use in the United States seems to increase every year. Methamphetamine was developed in the early 20th century from its parent drug, amphetamine. Oddly, it was originally intended for medical use in bronchial inhalers and nasal decongestants. Today, methamphetamine takes the form of a white, crystalline powder that users can easily dissolve in water or alcohol. It delivers a potent high resulting in increased activity and a pleasurable sense of well-being or euphoria.

Unfortunately, as a stimulant, methamphetamine is highly addictive. Furthermore, its long-lasting effect on the central nervous system makes it a drug with a high potential for widespread abuse. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to methamphetamine or another illicit stimulant drug, contact the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to discuss your possible treatment options.

What is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine, also known by street names like chalk, crystal, crank, ice, speed, and meth, is a powerful, highly addictive, synthetic stimulant drug. Users inhale, snort, swallow or inject it for a high that can last anywhere from six to 24 hours. Methamphetamine highs start and diminish quickly. Therefore, users sometimes participate in what is called a “binge and crash” pattern. Some people use methamphetamine in the form of bingeing called a “run.” They give up sleep and food and continue taking the drug every few hours for up to several days.

How Meth Works

Methamphetamine works by increasing the amount of dopamine in the brain, a natural chemical that affects motivation, pleasure, body movement, and reward, or pleasure. By releasing high levels of dopamine rapidly in reward areas of the brain – essentially flooding the brain with the chemical – meth produces a “rush,” or a feeling of euphoria that users will often try to replicate. Smoking or injecting methamphetamine puts the drug very quickly into the bloodstream and brain, causing an intense rush that lasts only a few minutes. Snorting or orally ingesting meth produces a pleasurable high, but not an intense rush, within three to five minutes, and 15 to 20 minutes, respectively. The pleasurable effects of meth typically fade before the levels of the drug in the bloodstream even fall significantly. As a result of this, meth users often try to maintain the high by taking more of the drug.

Side Effects of Methamphetamine Use

Taking even small amounts of methamphetamine can cause many of the same health effects as those associated with the use of cocaine and other illicit stimulant drugs. Some short-term effects include faster breathing, rapid heartbeat, increased alertness, decreased appetite, and increased blood pressure and body temperature. The adverse long-term health effects of methamphetamine use include:

  • Severe dental problems
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Intense itching
  • Sores
  • Sleeping problems
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations
  • Violent behavior
  • Anxiety

In addition, prolonged methamphetamine use damages the brain, causing lasting changes in the dopamine system that can lead to impaired verbal learning, reduced coordination and problems with emotion and cognition. Furthermore, a methamphetamine overdose can occur if a person uses too much of the drug. An overdose can lead to potentially life-threatening health consequences, like heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and death.

Methamphetamine Facts

Despite the initial purpose of meth, people now use it predominantly as a recreational drug of abuse. Even more alarming, the nationwide spread of methamphetamine abuse over the past several decades up until today is now a national epidemic. According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), approximately 1.2 million Americans (0.4% of the population) admit using methamphetamine in the previous year, and 440,000 (0.2%) report using the drug in the past month.

All in all, meth’s illicit use as a stimulant greatly surpasses the consumption for which it was originally intended. Despite the serious health risks associated with meth, its use remains prevalent in the United States. Given these points, if you know someone who is abusing meth, don’t hesitate to get them the help they need. Call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to speak with a certified drug abuse counselor.

smart recovery

What is SMART Recovery – Self-Management and Recovery Training

SMART RECOVERY is a nontraditional approach to addiction recovery that emphasizes the importance of identifying and addressing the underlying thoughts and feelings that contribute to addiction, while also learning how to manage cravings and urges to use. The cornerstone of SMART Recovery is self-reliance. Clients who join a SMART recovery program are encouraged to take charge of their lives. They are taught to make meaningful changes in their behavior so they no longer feel tempted to use drugs. If you are facing a destructive substance abuse disorder and think that you need help, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today. Furthermore, if you have tried a 12-Step recovery program and found it ineffective, call  to learn about the benefits of SMART recovery.

SMART Recovery Explained

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a support program designed to help people with addictions and behavioral disorders learn how to control their addictive behavior. They do this by focusing on the underlying thoughts and feelings that are contributing to their addiction. In SMART Recovery, clients learn the skills and tools they need to effectively manage their cravings and urges for the long term. This improves their chances of maintaining long-term sobriety. SMART also helps clients overcome any mental health problems that occur in conjunction with their addiction disorder, such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder.

One key difference between SMART recovery and other recovery programs is that clients involved in SMART recovery can “graduate” and begin a healthy new life. While SMART recovery acknowledges and accepts that relapse can happen, the program doesn’t consider relapse a necessary part of the recovery process, nor does it see recovery as a lifelong process.

How Does SMART Work?

SMART recovery has some similarities to traditional 12-Step addiction recovery. However, unlike 12-Step programs that require clients to submit to a higher power and admit that they are powerless over their substance abuse disorder, SMART Recovery is a self-empowering program that teaches clients the importance of self-reliance in addiction recovery. This program uses proven techniques from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) to teach clients to accept and overcome their resistance to change or treatment, in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns. SMART utilizes a four-point program, which clients can complete in any order, depending on their needs.

⦁ Building and maintaining motivation. An important component of long-lasting recovery is the ability to fight cravings, and the willingness to stay sober. This point encourages clients to make a list of their priorities, and then weigh the costs and benefits of using versus being sober.

⦁ Coping with urges. Clients learn how to suppress urges to drink or use drugs through methods such as distraction techniques. BRS encourages clients to identify and overcome irrational thoughts about their urges to use.

⦁ Managing thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. This point teaches clients how to prevent relapse by examining the thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that lead down the path to substance abuse. They learn self-acceptance and how to manage feelings that can seem all-consuming, such as depression.

⦁ Living a balanced life. Overcoming an addiction and choosing to stay sober is a dramatic lifestyle change. The key to a successful recovery is learning how to live a sober life. This point asks clients to consider what is important to them. It teaches them how to set realistic goals and plan for their future.

Benefits of SMART Recovery

The SMART Recovery program is continuously updating to reflect emerging scientific evidence in the field of addiction recovery. This program also wants to ensure that rehab facilities offering this technique implement the strategies that researchers have found most effective. SMART Recovery is the leading self-empowering substance abuse support group. The American Academy of Family Physicians and the National Institute on Drug Abuse recognize SMART recovery as an effective approach for overcoming addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, and you believe SMART may be the right approach to recovery, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to speak to a certified counselor about your options.

How to Stop Enabling an Addict

How to Stop Enabling an Addict and Making Excuses for Them

Being part of a family means surrounding yourself with people who love you. A family is willing to help you shoulder any burdens with which you may be struggling. Of course, it’s natural for family members to support, protect, and insulate one another. However, when a loved one has an addiction, that love, support, and protection can sometimes transform into enabling an addict. Despite the family’s intentions, enabling an addict may make their problem easier to maintain. If someone you love is struggling with an addiction, and you fear you may be an enabler, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services. You can discuss with a trained addiction counselor how you and your family can break the enabling cycle.

What Does Enabling Mean?

Family members are expected to help one another through difficult times, but to enable an addict is something entirely different. In a healthy relationship, for example, one partner might offer to take over all the laundry or cleaning duties during a week in which the other partner is exceptionally busy at work. They do this to take some of the pressure off of an already stressed loved one. In an enabling relationship, one partner may take over the laundry duties out of necessity. They clean the soiled clothes belonging to the other partner. In this case, the one partner may be worried that the other can’t handle the chore alone. They feel that they must shoulder the task to ensure that the laundry is clean.

How to Stop Enabling an Addict

When enabling an addict, the loved ones become efficient at taking over their chores and tasks. They are primarily covering for the addict making his life easier. Therefore, because there are no negative consequences, the user finds it simpler to maintain his addiction. Enabling is a habit, a harmful and destructive one, and like any habit, you can break it. Following are some steps families can take to break the cycle of enabling:

⦁ Get help from a peer support group. It can help a great deal to surround yourself with other people who know about the challenges addicts and their loved ones face. Even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your own story, it can be helpful to listen and see that you aren’t alone.

⦁ Have an open and honest conversation with the addict. The best way to make meaningful changes in an enabling relationship is to be open and honest with the user. Point out specific behaviors you would like to modify and share the reasons these changes need to take place.

⦁ Stop making excuses to cover up the addict’s behavior. If you want to stop enabling an addict, it’s imperative that you make sure the user sees the consequences of his addiction. Stop covering for him at work and home, and force him to face the impact on his own.

⦁ Work with a counselor. Often, family members focus so much on taking care of the addict, that they fail to recognize the adverse effects the addiction has on their health. It’s not unusual for an addict’s loved ones to develop headaches, backaches, depression, anxiety or digestive problems due to stress. Talking to a counselor can help family members work through the emotional and physical issues the addiction is causing.

BRS Rehab Can Help

It is entirely natural to want to help a loved one who is struggling, so they aren’t dealing with their addiction alone. However, being an enabler is a surefire way to ensure that an addict continues down the same path of destructive substance abuse. If a member of your family is abusing drugs or alcohol, and you want to know how you can avoid being an enabler, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to find out more about how to stop enabling an addict.

executive drug addiction

Signs of Executive Drug Addiction

Executive drug addiction is becoming a major concern in the United States today. There are many reasons managers are turning to alcohol and drugs for relaxation. With the prestige of an executive position often comes the stress of working long hours, the responsibility of courting new clients, and the pressure to make time for friends and family still. Many executives feel like people are pulling them in a thousand different directions. They have significant obligations at home and at work, yet fail to live up to everyone’s expectations.

As such, it’s no wonder so many business executives turn to drugs or alcohol to take the edge off or decompress after a long day. All too often though, the occasional indulgence results in addiction. Before the exec knows it, he is structuring his life around ensuring access to his drug of choice. If you or someone you know struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call to speak to the professional substance abuse counselors at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today.

Job-Related Stress Leading to Executive Drug Addiction

One of the most common reasons business executives turn to drugs is to cope with job-related stress. For execs attempting to live up to the exceedingly high expectations of their jobs on a day-to-day basis, stress is in abundance. According to one study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences journal in 2008, there is “accumulating evidence from preclinical, clinical, and population studies that highly stressful situations and chronic stress increase addiction vulnerability, that is, both risk of developing addiction and risk of relapse.” In fact, research has shown that at least 40% of Americans treated for depression, substance abuse, and other mental health issues cite work-related stress as a major contributing factor. Stress in the workplace is the main reason why executive drug use is so prevalent in the United States.

Warning Signs of Drug Abuse

Following are some common signs of executive drug addiction:

  • The executive’s work begins to suffer
  • He is neglectful or abusive towards his family
  • He is unable to honor commitments at work or at home
  • His temperament begins to change
  • He experiences mood swings
  • His co-workers find themselves covering for him
  • He disappears from home or work with no explanation
  • His appearance or grooming begins to deteriorate
  • He calls in sick to work more often or doesn’t show up
  • He seems to have financial or legal problems

Recovering from Executive Drug Addiction

There has always been a stigma associated with drug addiction, but we as a society have made great strides recently in accepting the fact that addiction is not a moral problem. People today realize that people struggling with addiction need treatment, not judgment. In the past, admitting to a drug problem and seeking treatment at a rehab facility was the equivalent of professional suicide for a business executive. Fortunately, going to rehab for drug addiction is no longer the end of the line for execs.

Now, more than ever before, companies are retaining invaluable employees and protecting their investment. They are helping executives with addiction get the help they need.  By doing this, they can return to work as healthy and productive members of the company. Executive rehab facilities like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, design programs specifically for the unique recovery needs of business executives.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

Executive drug addiction is a serious problem in the United States. Yet, it is common in the workplace today. Sadly, substance abuse among business execs has become commonplace in this country. As a result, few executives struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction seek treatment for their substance abuse. If you know a business executive engaging in problematic drug abuse, don’t hesitate to ensure he gets the help he needs. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to talk to a knowledgeable addiction recovery counselor about the available treatment options.

executive burnout

Executive Burnout: What is It and How do Execs Handle It?

You’ve probably heard someone at some point say they were feeling “burned out,” meaning they’d worn themselves too thin. Furthermore, you may have even said it yourself. Burnout is a real concern for executives who are at risk for mental exhaustion from the stress they experience. Unfortunately, many managers who experience burnout begin to self-medicate. They rely on drugs or alcohol to calm their anxiety, improve their alertness, or enhance their performance at work. Self-medicating can put them at risk for dependence and addiction. If you or someone you know is experiencing executive burnout and self-medicating just to get through the day, call and speak to the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Common Signs of Workplace Stress

The demanding and challenging environment that most business executives work in makes them more prone to work-related stress. While stress affects people in different ways, some tell-tale red flags may signal executive burnout. There are healthy ways administrators can deal with workplace stress. Some of these ways include exercising regularly, getting a good night’s sleep or taking up an enjoyable hobby. However, all too often, stressed execs turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pressure they are under to perform well at work. The following are some of the most common signs of executive burnout due to workplace stress:

  • Irritability and impatience at work
  • Depression or anxiety in the business environment
  • Lack of energy at work
  • Insomnia
  • Low self-esteem
  • Overeating or undereating
  • Frequent illness
  • Reliance on drugs or alcohol to make it through the day

Self-Medicating to Deal with Executive Burnout

Whether it’s cocaine to increase energy and mental alertness at work, alcohol to relax and unwind after a long day, or benzodiazepines to relieve anxiety, relying on substances to deal with work-related stress is a slippery slope. While cocaine, for example, may have short-term benefits regarding a temporary burst of energy and alertness, it is a highly addictive drug, and chronic use can lead to long-term health consequences, like decreased concentration, impaired memory, and diminished judgment and decision-making abilities. Business executives who deal with workplace stress by drinking alcohol may become reliant on increasing amounts of alcohol to deal with business problems and social situations, putting them at risk for alcoholism.

The Experts at BRS Rehab Can Help

The most dangerous thing about executive burnout and self-medicating with drugs or alcohol is that it can happen gradually, beginning with occasional indulgence and progressing to dependence, until drinking or doing drugs becomes the executive’s primary means of dealing with workplace stress. And it’s not just the executive who suffers the effects of executive burnout and the resulting alcohol or drug abuse. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Employees who drink heavily or who abuse or are dependent on alcohol can undermine a workforce’s overall health and productivity,” resulting in problems like “impaired performance of job-related tasks, accidents or injuries, poor attendance, high employee turnover, and increased healthcare costs.” If an executive at your workplace appears to be suffering from burnout or addiction, call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services to find out how you can help.

faith-based rehab

How Faith-Based Rehab Centers Work

Many people who are suffering from drug abuse and addiction turn to a higher power for support and reliance. That is why faith-based drug rehab centers are effective for individuals who are trying to achieve long-term sobriety.

Faith-Based Rehab Centers

Faith-based rehab centers work to combat addiction from a spiritual perspective. Patients are taught how to use a higher being to overcome their substance abuse problem. Faith-based rehab centers work to provide their patients with a strong foundation of spirituality so they can handle life’s difficult circumstances with ease.

Drug addictions and abuse usually form by individuals using substances to fill their emptiness. By replacing substances with spirituality, their void is filled in a healthy way for their mind and body. Spirituality gives the person something positive to give their attention to while also teaching them a variety of other things about life.

Do You Need to Have a Certain Belief System?

Faith-based rehab programs vary in the spirituality they teach. For instance, Christian rehab centers approach addiction treatment from the Christian belief system and there are plenty of others that you can choose from that are compatible with your views.

For those who do not know what they believe, programs that practice a more generic approach to spirituality may be a good fit for them. This gives individuals who are unsure of their religion a chance to explore the different spiritual connections out there.

Are Faith-Based Rehab Centers Right for You

Faith-based rehab centers are a great way to connect yourself to your spirituality. By believing in a higher power, individuals will learn how to:

  • Seek clarity in overwhelming situations
  • Make peace with their pasts
  • Deal with anxiety and depression
  • Become more aware of the bigger picture
  • Improve their mood and emotional well-being
  • Discourage selfishness and promote selflessness
  • Cope with stressful situations
  • Rely on God
  • Be a part of something bigger than oneself
  • Create a sense of calmness
  • Learn what are healthy and unhealthy ways of living
  • Practice mindfulness, relaxation, and simplicity
  • Use spirituality instead of substances to fill the void in their life!

Faith-based rehab centers allow people to become healthier, mentally and physically. Patients will be surrounded by like-minded individuals to aid in their treatment and rehabilitative process. The support they receive from their peer’s stems from practicing spirituality and all patients work towards a common objective together: free from drug abuse and addiction.

What Should I Look for in a Faith-Based Rehab Center?

All drug rehab centers should focus on giving their patients a holistic approach to recovery, meaning they want to improve the person’s entire well-being (mind, body, and spirit). By remembering that a person’s mind and spirit are also a crucial part of the addiction recovery process and not just focusing on taking the body off of the substances, there will be less of a chance for a relapse to occur. Individuals need to learn how to cope with difficult situations so that they don’t turn to drugs in the future, and this goes hand-in-hand with looking towards a higher power.

Founder and CEO of Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, Per Wickstrom, believes that this holistic approach to recovery is vital for an individual to achieve long-term sobriety. He made sure that his rehabilitation center works to enhance the entire well-being of each patient.

When looking for a drug rehabilitation center, faith-based rehab centers are one to consider. These rehab programs are an effective and successful way to combat a person’s addiction. By believing in a higher power, a person can handle life’s obstacles in a more positive and healthy way.

high-functioning alcoholics

5 Facts About High-Functioning Alcoholics

Most of us when we hear the word “alcoholic” think of a drunk person slurring words. He embarrasses himself in public, can’t hold down a job, and his life is falling apart as a result. Not all alcoholics fit into this particular mold though. In fact, there is such a thing as high-functioning alcoholics. High-functioning alcoholics are people who abuse alcohol on a regular basis. However, they manage to live relatively healthy lives, are successful at work, and have families who love them. If you recognize the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic in yourself or a loved one, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Do You Know a High-Functioning Alcoholic?

If you have a friend or family member who seems to plan their day around drinking, they may be a functioning alcoholic. In accordance, if they have multiple drinks to your one drink, they may be a high-functioning alcoholic. Unfortunately, high-functioning alcoholics (HFA’s) are experts at concealing their drinking from others. They are often well-liked individuals with good jobs and a tight-knit social circle. It is very easy for others to overlook the problem.

How to Recognize the Signs of High-Functioning Alcoholics

The following are five facts about high-functioning alcoholics you should be aware of:

  1. High-functioning alcoholics can be well-educated individuals with loving friends and family members. The number one myth about high-functioning alcoholics is that they can’t hold down a job or be successful. People think that they can’t maintain close personal relationships because of their problem drinking. On the contrary, HFA’s are often socially active individuals with good jobs and families who love them. In fact, one study conducted by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in 2007, found that 19.5% of alcoholics in the United States fall into the subtype of “functional” alcoholics. Functioning alcoholics are, as a rule, well-educated, middle-aged individuals with stable jobs and families.
  1. HFA’s do show signs of alcoholism. It’s true that high-functioning alcoholics may seem like they have it all together. However, if you look a little closer, you’ll begin to notice some of the warning signs of alcoholism. Some of these red flags might include drinking alone or needing to drink to feel confident or relaxed. It might also include hiding the evidence of their drinking from others. 
  1. High-functioning alcoholics are not in control. High-functioning alcoholics are often well-educated, intelligent, successful people. They are masters at hiding their problem drinking from others. A high-functioning alcoholic might be able to convince himself and others that he has his drinking under control. For alcoholics, the issue is that the alcohol controls them, not the other way around. 
  1. High-functioning alcoholics have a problem. Just because a high-functioning alcoholic may somehow manage to maintain obligations at home, work or school, that doesn’t mean that drinking is not an issue. He experiences cravings, just like a “typical” alcoholic. He goes through withdrawal and faces the tolerance that comes with a dependence on alcohol. 
  1. HFA’s can benefit from substance abuse treatment. The very definition of a high-functioning alcoholic is an alcoholic. For the most part, he manages to function effectively in his personal, professional, and social life. As such, an HFA can easily convince himself that he doesn’t fit the traditional stereotype of an alcoholic, and therefore, doesn’t need help. The truth is that an HFA, like any alcoholic, can benefit from an intensive substance abuse treatment program like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

High-functioning alcoholics face the same potential consequences of their problem drinking as “traditional” alcoholics. In fact, they are typically the last ones to seek treatment.  High-functioning alcoholics convince themselves that they are in control while they hide their drinking from the people around them. Being aware of the signs of a high-functioning alcoholic, and recognizing the fact that HFA’s face the same problems “typical” alcoholics do, you can help your loved one get the help he or she needs. Call the substance abuse experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to discuss the available treatment options for high-functioning alcoholics.

strengthen the bond in Addiction Recovery

How to Strengthen the Bond with Your Spouse During Addiction Recovery

Overcoming a substance abuse disorder is one of the most difficult things an addict will have to do in their life. For those whose marriage has been affected by addiction, another extremely difficult task involves strengthening the bond between themselves and their spouse. They have to rebuild the trust they lost by abusing drugs or alcohol in the first place. If you and your spouse are attempting to repair your relationship during or following substance abuse treatment, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services and speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor.

The Impact of Addiction on a Family

Alcoholism and drug addiction can have a devastating impact on a marriage. In addition to causing financial difficulties and physical trauma for the addict himself, a substance abuse disorder can cause lasting harm to the family as a whole. In some cases, the spouse of an addict may experience feelings of inadequacy or powerlessness in the face of the substance abuse. These feelings can lead to resentment and marital discord. However, it’s important that the couple understands that this is a problem that can be addressed with the right tools.

Ways to Strengthen the Bond During Addiction Recovery

The following are some ways in which an addict can strengthen the bond with their spouse during addiction recovery:

  • Own up to your problems.  The first step in the process of addiction recovery involves taking ownership of your problem. By being accountable for your actions, you can show your spouse that you are committing yourself fully to repairing your marriage.
  • Make the effort to get help. Achieving and maintaining lasting recovery following addiction treatment requires the assistance of a trained addiction recovery counselor. Actively seeking help from a rehab facility or support group can help couples rebuild trust in their relationship.
  • Practice abstinence. The difference between abstinence and moderation is huge in the recovery process. Research has shown that abstinence, or the practice of avoiding past harmful behaviors completely, is the safest and surest way to achieve long-term recovery.
  • Let your actions speak louder than your words. You can tell your spouse a thousand times that you’re going to get help. However, it’s not until you actually take that step that the healing process can truly begin.
  • Set your family as your first priority.  For an addict, drinking or using drugs becomes their top priority. Making the effort to put your family first is an important part of the recovery process. Make time for them and show them that their well-being is your first priority.
  • Practice mindfulness. It’s easy to lose yourself in addiction. However, you must make the decision to seek treatment. It is imperative that you show your spouse that the “real you” is back. You can do this by being present in the moment and enjoying the time you spend with them.
  • Work on being trustworthy. Rebuilding trust during addiction recovery is no easy task, but honesty is key. Try being more open about where you’re going and what you’re doing. By doing this, your spouse will naturally begin to trust you again over time.

The Addiction Recovery Experts at BRS Can Help

The most important thing to remember during treatment is that recovery is an ongoing process. Rebuilding the trust you lost, and strengthening the bond with your spouse and family members cannot be done overnight. Family dynamics in addiction can be complicated, especially for addicts who have kept their loved ones in the dark in regards to their substance abuse. A person can lose trust in a moment and take a long time to rebuild that trust. However, with these tips, recovering addicts can show their loved ones that they are serious about staying sober. They will gradually begin to strengthen the bonds that were torn apart by addiction. If someone you love is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, speak to the recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today.