lawyers and addiction

Lawyers and Addiction: An Exploration of Drug Abuse in the Industry

The legal profession is characterized by risky business ventures, big paychecks and long hours at the office, and with that lavish lifestyle and competitive work environment comes a greater risk of substance abuse and addiction, which appears to be prevalent among successful lawyers and other high-powered executives. In one tragic story of a successful Silicon Valley lawyer and drug addict who died from a systemic bacterial infection common among intravenous drug users, his ex-wife, who looked back at the months leading up to his death, remarked, “The further I probed, the more apparent it became that drug abuse among America’s lawyers is on the rise and deeply hidden.” Unfortunately, this leaves the issue of substance abuse among lawyers unaddressed, and the functional alcoholics in the legal profession without the help they need. If you think someone you know may be a high-functioning alcoholic or drug addict, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 479-7580 for help.

What is a Functional Alcoholic?

The issue of addiction among high-powered executives has been explored to some extent, but research on the prevalence of substance abuse and drug addiction among lawyers, in particular, is limited, and many in the legal profession seem content to leave it that way. One study, published last year in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, involved 12,825 licensed, practicing attorneys, and found that 19% struggled with anxiety, 21% qualified as problem drinkers, and 28% experienced mild or more serious depression. Only 3,419 of the lawyers responded to questions about drug use, a fact that Patrick Krill, the study’s lead author, and a lawyer himself, found telling. “It’s left to speculation what motivated 75% of attorneys to skip over the section on drug use as if it wasn’t there.” Of those that did answer, 5.6% used opioids, 5.6% used cocaine, crack and stimulant drugs, 10.2% used marijuana and hash, and nearly 16% used sedatives.

In the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health report on substance abuse by industry, released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), professional services, including the legal profession, ranked ninth out of 19 industries in terms of illicit drug use. In the 2014 Comprehensive Survey of Lawyer Assistance Programs, the American Bar Association named alcohol the number one substance abuse-related problem among lawyers, with prescription drugs being the second. Sadly, in spite of this research highlighting the issue of drinking and drug use among lawyers, the problem persists. “There are a lot of theories about what is going on in the legal profession,” says J. Kim Wright, author of Lawyers as Peacemakers: Practicing Holistic, Problem-Solving Law and Lawyers as Changemakers: The Global Integrative Law Movement, and a lawyer herself. “Something is broken. Lawyers often believe they are the broken piece of the system, rather than the culture is dysfunctional, the entire legal system is broken. Other lawyers think – or even say – ‘I’m doing fine, and if you aren’t doing fine, it is your fault.’ We’re left to our own devices to find a way to fix ourselves.”

Causes of Substance Abuse Among Lawyers

Work-related stress is a major contributing factor to the trend of drug abuse among high-powered executives, especially lawyers, who face immense pressure on a daily basis to meet certain professional expectations and stay a step ahead of everyone else in a fiercely competitive industry, where, as Wil Miller, a family law attorney in Washington state, puts it, “you are financially rewarded for being hostile.” Depression, too, plays a role. In a 1990 Johns Hopkins University study of more than 100 professions, researchers found that lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression, compared with other professions, and a 2014 survey of Yale Law School students reported that 70% of students struggled with mental health issues during their time in law school. In fact, lawyers being particularly vulnerable to alcoholism, depression, and addiction is an effect that appears to be initiated in law school, an environment that, as Dr. Link Christin, adjunct professor of law at William Mitchell College of Law in Minnesota, puts it, “is very confidential, secretive, competitive, and adversarial. It tends to be very intellectual rather than feeling, [and] it encourages you to isolate and not share because you don’t want to be seen as weak and vulnerable.”

What is a Functional Alcoholic

A common misconception about alcoholism is that an alcoholic is someone who drinks too much too often and whose life is falling apart because of their drinking, but not all problem drinking fits into that neat little mold. Some alcoholics manage to keep their problem drinking from interfering with their personal, professional and social relationships and may be in denial about their alcoholism. These people are called high-functioning alcoholics or functional alcoholics, and they are able to cover up the external signs of their alcoholism, making their problem drinking more difficult for others to spot. It’s important to remember that a person can still be an alcoholic even though he appears to have a great personal and professional life, with a loving family, a job that pays well and a large circle of friends.

For lawyers struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, their problem drinking or drug use is easier to hide from friends and loved ones because, on the outside, they appear to be successful, happy and well-liked. They also work long hours at the office, during which they can use, and are expected to nab prospective clients, which may involve drinking or drug use, and perform well in a highly-competitive industry, which may prompt the abuse of stimulants like Adderall, cocaine or amphetamine, or painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin to stay on top of their game. Unfortunately, it’s a short jump from opioid painkillers to heroin, which is typically cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription drugs. Says Dr. Indra Cidambi, medical director at an ambulatory detox facility in New Jersey, “These aren’t the majority of lawyers. But there are quite a number abusing drugs, and once they get to heroin, it’s very hard to break it.”

How to Tell if Someone is a Functioning Alcoholic

For all the ways we expect alcoholics and drug addicts to act, it’s not always easy to tell if someone is a functional alcoholic, especially when they make an effort to hide their problem drinking from friends, family members, and co-workers, and that is the nature of a high-functioning alcoholic. They somehow manage to keep up appearances while relying on alcohol to function on a daily basis. Some functional alcoholic signs to watch out for include a person:

  • Planning their day around drinking
  • Having three drinks to everyone else’s one drink
  • Exhibiting physical signs of overindulgence (shakiness in the morning, insomnia, stomach problems)
  • Binging or getting so drunk they black out
  • Going through periods of abstinence where they make it a point not to drink, and then going back to drinking often and heavily

Treating Drug Addiction in the Legal Profession

Despite the growing trend of drug abuse and addiction in the legal profession, law-firm leadership is still slow to discuss substance abuse with their lawyers, often because they don’t know what signs to look for, and are simply too busy themselves to notice when these signs arise. So deeply rooted is the culture of privacy in the legal profession, and so devoted to clocking billable hours are law firms, that many lawyers who are functioning alcoholics don’t feel as though they can ask for help, or simply don’t have the time to. It’s this so-called “dysfunctional culture” that makes lawyers so susceptible to the effects of drug abuse and addiction. If someone you know is struggling with an addiction and doesn’t have the ability to ask for help, call (877) 479-7580 today to speak to the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.


Can You Get Compassion Exhaustion from Enabling an Addicted Loved One

As drug and alcohol addiction continues to plague our country, the family members and loved ones of addicts get hurt more and more. Addiction is a growing problem, with more people getting addicted each year than those who beat addiction. Not only that, but the addictions themselves are getting worse with each passing year. This is such that the problem of “drug addiction” and “alcohol addiction” are actually a lot more lethal than they used to be. All we have to do is look at the CDC’s death report on substance abuse to know that substance abuse claims more lives than it used to. And it’s not just because there are more addicts either. Statistically speaking the substances that are abused in 2017 are riskier than the substances abused in 1997.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, there are more than twenty-three million people hooked on drugs and alcohol in this country. With twenty-three million people addicted, it does not take a genius to know that there are a lot of people connected to those twenty-three million. Even if each addict only has about five or six family members, loved ones, friends, or business associates to whom they are very close, that is still over one-hundred million people being constantly, adversely affected by someone’s substance abuse. As much as we as a country need to come together and address those who are addicted, we also need to address those who are affected by another person’s addiction.

Losing Compassion

To an outsider looking in, a family member or loved one’s addiction can often feel like a never-ending cycle of viciousness and misery. In a lot of ways it is. If you spend too much time helping your addicted loved one, you could begin to experience compassion exhaustion or compassion fatigue. You might actually start losing compassion for your addicted loved one.

Nicole Urdang, a medical doctor and specialist on holistic medicine, had this to say about addressing compassion fatigue:

“It might manifest as insomnia, overeating, skipping meals, addictive behavior, isolating oneself, depression, anxiety, or anger. We might find ourselves fighting with partners or children, having no patience, feeling exhausted, noticing a lowered libido, unmotivated, and, paradoxically, being less interested in what our clients have to say,” she said. “Believe it or not, these are all helpful, as they quickly alert us to our depleted state. If we are paying attention and are committed to radical self-care, we can act on this awareness by rebalancing our life. If that is not possible, simply taking short breaks throughout the day to close your eyes, focus on your breath, or put your hands on your heart and send yourself some compassion can all make a big difference.”

Her words speak to the importance of taking care of oneself while also caring for others. Losing compassion for a loved one is not what you want to have happen. Rather, a tough love approach that still holds on to compassion for a loved one (while absolutely not enabling them) is key. It is better to have tough love than enablement, better to have compassion than sympathy, and better to have empathy for them than to enable them.

When one is truly able to step away from enabling their loved ones, they can regain their own stable ground and footing. They can present rehabilitation as an effective solution for their loved one and the only solution that they are willing to give. For help in accomplishing this, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at 1(877) 479-7580.

executive addicts

Executive Addicts: How their Children Respond to their Addictions

Seeing anyone you love fall into the grips of addiction is a confusing and terrifying experience, but when it’s a child watching a parent that they look up to and rely on to feel safe and secure exhibiting the physical and psychological effects of addiction, the emotional effect on the child can be long-lasting. Executives are susceptible to addiction too, possibly even more so than other people because of the stress they face at work on a daily basis, and understanding the importance of family and addiction treatment for executives can mean the difference between tearing your family apart and keeping it together. For more information about family dynamics in addiction, or to find out what executive addiction recovery program is best suited to your situation, call (877) 474-7113 to speak to an experienced substance abuse counselor today.

Family Dynamics in Addiction

Living with an addicted parent is traumatizing for children, and, true to the destructive cycle of addiction, the trauma and neglect that accompanies addiction can increase a child’s risk of suffering from his or her own substance use disorder later in life. It becomes easier for a child to numb his or her feelings or disconnect from them than it is to experience the anger, hurt, confusion and guilt that comes with having an addict as a parent. It is often only after an addict parent recognizes the adverse effect addiction has had on his family that he finally agrees to seek treatment. In some cases, it takes the addict’s loved ones staging an intervention to finally put an end to the substance abuse. After all, family members are often the ones who bear the brunt of abuse during the years of addiction, including lying, theft, medical problems, financial problems and job loss, and by seeking treatment at a rehab facility, the addict can start on the path to healing these open wounds.

Roles of Family Members in Addiction

Even when there is another, sober parent in the house, it’s easy for a child to become caught between trying to “cure” the addicted parent and trying to comfort the sober parent, which is more than any child should have to deal with. Many children faced with the reality of addiction in a parent try to do anything they can to help, either by reassuring the other parent, taking on household chores that are falling to the wayside, or caring for younger siblings whose physical and emotional needs aren’t being met by their parents. Younger children may cling to the belief that if they are “good” enough or “helpful” enough, everything will be fine. However, there is a fine line between helping and enabling, in which a family member allows an addict’s behavior to continue by smoothing over family upsets and covering for the addict with other family members. It’s easy for the roles of family members in addiction to become blurred, but in the wake of an addiction disorder, it’s important to remember that, as a parent, it’s your duty to care for your children and keep them safe. Exposing them to the destructive world of addiction is only preparing them for a future life of addiction.

Call Best Rehabilitation Services Today for Help

If you are an executive struggling with a debilitating addiction problem, don’t underestimate the havoc your addiction can wreak on your household, and the lasting negative effect it can have on your children. Call Best Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 474-7113, to speak to a qualified addiction recovery counselor about your substance abuse treatment options.

Functioning Drug Addicts

Do Functioning Drug Addicts Struggle with Addiction?

What do you think of when you hear the term “drug addict?”  Perhaps someone who looks sickly, someone who has neglected his or her health in pursuit of the next high?  Maybe too thin from skipping too many meals?  If you think of an alcoholic, do you picture a stumbling drunk?  While these images are not necessarily wrong, they fail to capture the many people who struggle with addiction while maintaining the facade of a healthy, happy life: functioning drug addicts.  A functioning addict might put on a shirt and tie every morning and head off to work, but his struggle with substance abuse is just as real as that of a junkie on the street.  But exactly, “What is a functional addict?”

Functioning Drug Addicts

Functioning drug addicts are people who struggle with substance abuse but continue to “function” as healthy individuals.  They continue to hold a job, pay their bills, participate in the family, and maintain a social life, while at the same time keeping up a drug or alcohol habit.  In many ways, these addicts are leading a double life–the life of a responsible, healthy adult, and the life of an addict.  Colleagues at work, friends, and family members typically are unaware of their struggle with addiction, or if they do know about it, fail to realize the extent of the substance abuse.  How can you tell if someone you care about has a private substance abuse problem?

Functioning Addict Symptoms

Functioning drug or alcohol addicts work hard to keep their abuse a secret.  When confronted, they will most likely deny that they have a problem, and they are probably in denial about it themselves as well.  But there are some signs that a person is hiding an addiction:

  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Changes in appearance, such as bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, heavy eyelids, or glassy eyes
  • Detectable odor of alcohol,  strong mouthwash, or mints
  • Secretive behavior
  • Frequent absence or lateness
  • Inappropriate or unusual clothing, such as long sleeves in summertime to hide track marks
  • Changes in mood
  • Erratic behavior
  • Overreacting or acting overly emotional
  • Making excuses for appearance, action, or attitude

Substance Abuse and Failure at Work

While functioning addicts can maintain a facade of a healthy, happy life for a time, eventually, that facade will break, and the substance abuse will come out.  Addiction impacts the user’s health and behavior, and at some point will cause a problem that reveals the abuse.  This reveal may come about at home, perhaps by missing too many family events or by dramatically inappropriate behavior such as fighting or being abusive.  This may take place in the form of a work failure: chronic absenteeism, missed deadlines, or excessive lateness can lead to a work reprimand or firing.  While upsetting or embarrassing at first, this failure may be just what the addict needs to confront his or her addiction.  Such a striking failure reveals the extent of the problem to the user and his family, forcing him to admit he has a problem.  It can also force the family to acknowledge the addiction; they may be willing to tolerate some level of substance abuse at home as long as it does not impact the user’s employment. Recognizing the substance abuse allows the user and those who care about him to take an honest look at his life, identify the cause of the failure, create a solution, and make out a plan of action.  

Call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services

If you suspect that someone you love is secretly struggling with addiction, help is available.  Call our substance abuse counselors today to find the right treatment approach.

addiction and career

What to Do if Your Career Success is Leading to Addiction

We’ve all heard the story of the successful business executive turning to drugs, either to celebrate a milestone at work or to stay ahead in a competitive field, only to become addicted and fall from grace. It’s a tale as old as time, and it’s one that still rings true today, despite the fact that we, as a society, rarely picture smart, successful businessmen and women when we think of addiction. Unfortunately, addiction is a problem that knows no boundaries – it strikes people young and old, regardless of their income, work success or social standing. In fact, some would say that executives are more prone to addiction than other people, given their disposable income, the character traits that helped them become successful, and the stress they are under to perform well at work. For more information about executives and addiction, call Best Rehabilitation Services today at (877) 474-7113 today.

Business Executives and Addiction

Research has shown that high-powered business executives who are successful at work, and who have higher IQs, are equally – if not more – likely to struggle with drug addiction and alcoholism than their less-educated, blue-collar counterparts. There are many reasons why successful business executives may fall victim to substance abuse, including the following:

  • Drinking alcohol or doing drugs is considered the norm in some professions, typically to celebrate closing a big deal or as a strategy for courting prospective clients.
  • Remaining successful in a competitive work environment results in a great deal of stress, and business executives may be tempted to turn to alcohol or drugs to handle this stress.
  • Some believe that the same character traits that help people become successful also make up an addiction-prone personality.
  • Just because an executive appears happy and successful on the outside doesn’t mean he isn’t facing an internal struggle.
  • Some executives self-medicate with drugs or alcohol to treat a mental health problem, such as depression or anxiety.
  • Some executives do drugs to improve their performance at work or to enhance their creativity.
  • Successful executives often feel like they are invincible, including when it comes to doing drugs or drinking alcohol.

Why Are Some People Prone to Addiction?

Addiction may appear to be more about opportunity than anything else, but research has shown that genetics play an important role in developing substance use disorders, and it has also been suggested that successful people share many of the characteristics of an addictive personality, including:

  • The urge to rebel or refuse to conform
  • A desire for attention
  • A high tolerance for deviant behavior
  • A willingness to take huge risks
  • A history of impulsive behavior
  • Feeling alienated from other people
  • Having low self-esteem
  • The inability to delay gratification

Executives as High-Functioning Addicts

Successful people who abuse drugs or alcohol make it a priority to hide their problems from their friends, family members, and co-workers, in an effort to keep up appearances, and for business executives, their work success becomes a sort of camouflage. As long as they continue to perform well at work and maintain the image of a successful executive, they can fend off concerns about their drinking or drug use, and it’s not uncommon for the people closest to a business executive to have no idea that they have a substance use disorder. This is where the stereotypical image of an addict comes in – a successful executive doesn’t fit into the mold of what we believe an addict to be, so any potential concerns are swiftly dismissed as impossible.

Getting Help for an Addiction Disorder

Addiction is a serious problem, and for business executives, it’s one that can spell disaster in the long run. If you believe your success at work is leading to addiction, don’t hesitate to get the help you need. Call (877) 474-7113 today to speak to a certified addiction recovery counselor at Best Rehabilitation Services.

addiction help

Asking for Addiction Help: Why It Can Be a Difficult Process for Addicts

Our country is constantly faced with all kinds of difficulties and problems of one kind or the other. That is just a part of life. One of the problems that have been becoming significantly more difficult has been the problem of alcohol addiction.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the problem that is alcohol addiction has been growing at a rapidly increasing rate in this country and has been causing lots of problems of its own. Case in point, alcohol now statistically speaking has more people addicted to it then all of the drug addicts in this country combined. This is to say that alcohol abuse and consumption is a sincerely concerning and constantly growing problem, one of which creates a lot of risk and difficulty for the rest of us.

For the actual numbers on it from the NIAAA, there are about 10 million Americans who are addicted to alcohol this country, and about 60,000 who die from alcohol every year. Compare that to 8 million drug addicts, and about 40,000 drug deaths annually. What this all shows us is that alcohol addiction has grown significantly in this country since the turn of the century, and a lot of that is because of the whole opinion and attitude towards alcoholism has become far more accepting of it as a problem, unfortunately.

Beating Alcohol Addiction

It does take a lot of work and a lot of effort to successfully accomplish beating alcohol addiction. The grim truth of the matter here is that this is a very dangerous and risky problem that causes all kinds of worries and hardships for people, and which need to be more effectively addressed. What we have on our hands truly is a full-on nightmare when it comes to alcohol addiction, and the best way to address this is with professional detox and rehab programs like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Don’t Fear Asking for Professional Addiction Help

When people who are battling alcohol addiction ask how to overcome alcohol, there is a simple answer. Rehab. But what if a person does not know how to get help or does not know how to ask? The first thing a person must do is just to come to the understanding and the realization that they need to get help for their alcohol addiction or it will be the end of them. That has to be the first approach here by far. There is no doubt that getting off of alcohol takes a lot of work and a lot of effort, to say the least, and the person has to want it and they have to be willing to reach out and go for it.

When they are ready to get help, they need to start talking to family members and loved ones and people who will help them, and they need to do this quickly too. They also need to start talking to rehab centers as well, as all of these programs will make a big difference for the person in getting them the help that they ultimately need to beat addiction once and for all and for good. Asking for addiction help can be tough, but it is necessary.

Treatment at Behavioral Rehabilitation

Behavioral Rehabilitation Services can offer extensive and very helpful recovery services for people. For more information, reach out to Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at our toll-free number to take the first step towards a better future and a better life that is totally free and clear of alcohol abuse and addiction.

addiction relapse

How to Endure Workplace Judgment Following an Addiction Relapse

It would seem that the lifestyle and the life of a recovering individual, in general, is definitely something that is difficult and hard, to say the least, and that getting free and clear from addiction once and for all and for good really does seem to take a lot of work and a lot of effort to do effectively.

Once one is finally able to get clean with the help of rehab, even then it would seem as though they are not exactly “free” from addiction by any means at all, and rather they are still suffering from habits and problems that are truly concerning, because they always carry with them the history of having been addicted. This can create problems with them in all different areas of life and livingness and can cause hardship and all kinds of struggles for people to say the least. At work, at home, in one’s activities, in one’s relationships, this history of addiction practically always haunts people very much so and should be watched out for.

What Does a Relapse Mean

What does it mean when someone relapses? More importantly, what is relapse? First of all, to “relapse” as one can probably imagine is to revisit or to return to old habits or old ways of substance abuse. To relapse is basically to have been an addict or a substance abuser at one point in a person’s life, to then get free and clear of that addiction for a period of time, and to then, after being clean and sober for a period of time, to then fall back into substance abuse again. This is what a relapse is.

Now, a lot of people think that when a person relapses then that is it for them and that they blew their chances at recovery and that they are now just going to be addicts and that is just the way it is. Yet this could not be further from the truth. A lot of people believe that to relapse means that recovery did not work for the person and that they did not get the tools that they needed to get to go free from addiction for life, and that they are going into a position of sincere and serious difficulty.  But this is not necessarily the case, or at least it does not have to be.

In fact, a relapse does not have to be the end of recovery. When a person relapses, though they might get judged and ridiculed and scorned for it, they need to remember that this is just a part of the hardship of having suffered from addiction. They need to buck up so to speak, and they need to dive right back into their recovery again and go back to rehab to get the help that they need to ensure that they can live a relapse-free lifestyle and habit. That is really the most important thing here to remember.

What to Do When the Ridicule Sets In

The best thing that one can do when they start to get heavily ridiculed for having experienced a relapse is they can go back into rehab again. Obviously, some trigger or some underlying issue was missed when they went to rehab the first time, and it needs to be addressed again more effectively and more precisely this time, to ensure that a relapse does not happen again. This will be the best way possible to address ridicule from the workplace.

For more information on how to get started, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at 1-(877)-474-7113.

business executives and addiction

The Common Characteristics Shared by Drug Addicts and CEOs

We have studied addiction now more so than before as the problem has gotten worse. As it stands, we do know a lot more about addiction now than we did before. For example, one very interesting thing that was found was that drug addicts and CEOs of businesses share a lot of common characteristics.

Executive Recovery

It is necessary for business executives who suffer from an addiction to take part in executive recovery. Executive drug rehab and executive recovery are sometimes required and needed because when people suffer from addiction they put themselves in a position and a situation where they will absolutely need to get help by going to a treatment center. This happens to executives a lot, because true enough, executives and CEOs possess a lot of the same traits and characteristics that are present in addicts.

A recent study done by neuroscience professor David Linden compared a lot of the personality traits of CEOs and executives and addicts, both drug addicts and alcoholics. CEOs and executives are hard working, dedicated, diligent, impassioned, motivated, and ethical big dreamers who accomplish amazing feats within their own lives to ensure their success and the better survival of those around them.  Unfortunately, this drive and sense of purpose can lead some of them to turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with the immense stress and demands.

On the other hand, many addicts are the at the bottom rung of society. Some addicts lie, steal, cheat, manipulate, and hurt others in an effort to get their substances. Also, many addicts are coercive, sneaky, they break the law.  They physically hurt people, endanger the lives of themselves and others around them, and cause a lot of harm to people every day.

On the outside, it looks like CEOs and addicts are two totally different types of people, but there is still an underlying similarity here.

Handling Business Executives and Addiction

Both CEOs and drug abusers and alcoholics have an addiction. Studies show that CEOs are addicts just as drug abusers are, the only difference is that CEOs and execs are addicted to something positive whereas drug users and alcoholics are addicted to something very negative. As it stands,  substance abusers are addicted to just about the worst thing possible.

This would not normally catch much attention, except for the fact that many CEOs and business execs have an addictive personality, and this makes them more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol if they experience a huge loss or a difficult situation in their lives. Should this happen, they find themselves in a troublesome area that is risky and problematic. As it stands, getting off of drugs and alcohol needs to then be the priority for them.

When CEOs and executives experience hardship or difficulty in their lives that put them in a position where they cannot move forward, they often succumb to an addiction. When this happens, they will need to get free from the addiction, and the best way to do that is by going to an executive drug rehab like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services. For more information, reach out to us at our toll-free number today.


Addicted and Codependent: Can Your Marriage be Saved

An addiction to drugs and alcohol is a truly unfortunate and upsetting thing. Substance abuse and addiction, in general, is actually incredibly life-threatening and can cause a sincere and significant amount of damage to a person. Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, in general, is thought to be one of the single most harsh and life-threatening habits out there and the proof of this is in the pudding of how many people die because of substance abuse annually and the lives that are destroyed because of it as well.

Addiction by itself is bad enough. It is a harsh and debilitating crisis that has absolutely no benefit whatsoever. When people suffer from addiction, a lot of other problems often come up too. One of the most common of them all is the problem of codependence. Codependency is when one of the individuals in a relationship becomes very dependent upon another individual in that relationship. All too often, people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol end up also becoming codependent upon their spouse or significant other. This then creates a difficult situation for both individuals present.

Codependency is very simple to define. It is just a manifestation and factor of a person relying on someone else to some degree, usually a very large degree. Codependency is one of those things that can crop up essentially anywhere and essentially with anyone, but it does have a particular proclivity to occur in the lives of people who abuse drugs and alcohol. Studies and surveys actually do show that codependency is a very serious problem and happens very often for addicts. This is why it’s so important for such individuals to get help a soon as they can.

Overcoming Codependency

Codependency is dangerous for both the substance abuser and their spouse or significant other. Overcoming codependency is needed here because this is not a good situation for anyone. Codependency has a tendency to create a very difficult and unhealthy relationship, one that can often end up in a serious disaster for both members of that relationship. This is why people who are codependent need to get this addressed.

The bottom line with getting over codependency is that the addiction is really the main problem. If it wasn’t for the person’s addiction, then the codependency would never even be there, and even if it did, it would be a lot easier to address. This is why addiction treatment is so key and crucial for everyone who is affected by drug and alcohol addiction.

How to Break Codependent Habits

Thankfully, Behavioral Rehabilitation Services offers not just drug and alcohol addiction treatment, but a wide plethora of other services too. Behavioral Rehabilitation Services can also address codependency. It is just another part of the many services that they offer. If a client comes to treatment with the codependency problem of any kind or severity, Behavioral Rehabilitation Services is able to address this along with the substance abuse problem.

For more information about the problem that is codependency and how Behavioral Rehabilitation Services can help address it, call us today at 1 (877) 474-7112. No one should have to suffer from addiction unnecessarily. Substance abuse is a cruel and unpleasant habit that affects all of us.

There are more than 23 million people in this country who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and another 100 million people who are negatively affected by those 23 million. Call today to take the first step towards a better life for yourself and your significant other and to make an effective and lasting change for the better.

cocaine numb

Numbing Emotional Pain: How Addicts Can Cope and Stay Sober

When people become addicted to drugs and alcohol, this is never something that, “just happens.” When people get into a position where they abuse drugs and alcohol, there is always a back story, there is always a problem, there is always a crisis, and there is always something they are trying to solve or something they are trying to cope with. It is never as simple as it sounds, and it is never as straightforward or direct as just “I thought it would be neat to try.”

Often times, people abuse drugs and alcohol because of a problem they have that they cannot solve so they try to use substances to solve it.  This is probably the most common of them all. They use and abuse substances because they are trying to fix a problem, or more realistically because they are trying to avoid having to confront a real and legitimate problem that they are having in life.

When this happens, and when a person finds themselves in a situation where they are suddenly addicted to cocaine or some other drug for the purpose of numbing emotional pain, they need to do the right thing. They need to admit that they have a problem and enter into an inpatient addiction treatment center and recovery program.

Cocaine Numb

The “Cocaine Numb” is a phenomenon where people consume and abuse a cocaine substance for the purpose of numbing whatever emotion they happen to be feeling at that time that they do not want to be feeling. The problem is, what can cocaine do to the body?  Cocaine side effects can be things like heart problems, respiratory problems, damage to internal organs, organ failure, cardiac arrest, central nervous problems, and countless other issues and difficulties that are very unpleasant and very unwanted.

One of the biggest and most worrisome problems that we have on our hands right now is young people getting addicted to cocaine. In fact, young people are getting addicted to all kinds of substances, and young people between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five are now the most at risk demographic out there for substance abuse. Truly, youth addiction to drugs and alcohol is on the rise and will need to be addressed if any actual progress in the future of this country will be accomplished.

Addiction and Young Adults

Drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and cocaine addiction are all becoming more common for young people, making rehab a huge necessity. For example:

  • Different types of addiction issues have started to come up in this country in recent years that never really were a problem before. For example, one of the biggest issues we see now is the fact that young people, adolescents, teens, and young adults are becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol at alarmingly increasing rates.
  • Studies show that young people are being put on prescription drugs that are very addictive like never before. This creates a pretty grim and brutal situation because young people are even harder to rehabilitate than adults are as their bodies simply cannot handle it most of the time.
  • Studies show that young people are the second largest demographic for prescription drug abuse next to grown adults. What is truly upsetting about this too is that most of the young people never intended to get addicted to these drugs and substances in the first place, but that is the cruelty of prescription drugging.

Behavioral Rehabilitation Services is here to help in any way they can, and with any addiction problem too. For more information, reach out to Behavioral Rehabilitation today at 1 (877) 474-7112.

finances and addiction

How to Rebuild Your Finances After Drug Addiction

Addiction to drugs and alcohol takes a toll on many aspects of a person’s life. Personal relationships often suffer. The user’s health can be impacted both in the short-term and the long term. Hobbies and pleasant pastimes may be replaced with substance abuse. Over time, the user puts aside personal interests and healthy strategies for coping with stress. When people enter recovery, they expect that their bodies will have to physically recover, that they will have to rebuild damaged relationships, and that they will have to learn how to handle stress without using drugs or alcohol. But what may come as a surprise is that the effects of addiction extend into their financial lives. Many times, substances abusers find that their finances are in shambles and that during recovery they will have to learn how to manage money and financial stress.

Addiction and Finances

One of the many ways how addiction affects your life is about how you have earned and spent your money. It has the twofold negative impact of reducing your income while increasing your expenses.

  • Job productivity suffers because the user may be frequently late or absent to work, resulting in a smaller paycheck. Most likely, the user’s job performance suffers even when he or she makes it to work. Eventually, the user’s coworkers and employer may become frustrated and the user will lose his or her job. With no income, and with the poor job prospects that come with a  spotty employment record, the user will have a hard time finding a new source of income.
  • Expenses increase because drugs and alcohol cost a lot of money. A 2014 report prepared for the White House indicates that drug addicts spent a total of about $100 billion annually on illegal drugs. The nature of the disease that is addiction will cause people to choose to spend their money on drugs or alcohol, even when it is money they cannot really afford to spend.
  • Debt piles up as users neglect their financial obligations in favor of spending money on drugs and alcohol. They may wrack up credit card debt as they pay for their daily household expenses with credit cards or take cash advances for drug money. They may be late or default on mortgage payments when they have no more money. They may take out personal loans from family and friends as they become truly desperate.

As a result, by the time addicts end up in treatment, they often find themselves without a job and surrounded by debt obligations that they cannot meet.

Financial Training After Addiction

Recovery is a time of transition and can be very stressful as the addict learns how to navigate life without the crutch of substance abuse. Financial distress is just another stressor during this difficult time, making concrete financial training an important part of recovery. At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we help addicts in recovery by teaching them how to achieve financial stability through responsible financial management. The skills we teach include:

  • How to remain gainfully employed
  • How to live comfortably within your budget
  • How to honor your financial obligations
  • How bank accounts work and how to manage your own
  • How credit cards work and how to manage your own
  • Why it is important to save money and how to do so
  • How your financial stability impacts your personal relationships
  • How your financial stability impacts your sobriety

These skills help the user in recovery so that financial stress does not lead to a relapse. Financial training is just one of many critical areas of support we offer at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services. Contact us today if you or someone you love struggles with addiction.

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.

Family Members of Addicts Need Help Also

Family Members of Addicts: Why They Need Help and Support Too

Addiction is a terrible, life-altering disorder that has claimed millions of victims in the United States, and these victims aren’t just the addicts themselves, but their loved ones too. Substance abuse can tear apart families and cause a crisis in every aspect of the addict and his loved ones’ lives, inflicting lasting physical, emotional, and psychological damage that often requires professional treatment to reverse or repair. More so than insisting on abstinence from alcohol and drugs, helping a family member with addiction in a meaningful way involves learning new behaviors and activities, understanding triggers for abuse and knowing when your family as a whole is in need of guidance and support. If you or someone you love is battling a substance use disorder, call the addiction recovery experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to get the help you really need.

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

The victims of substance abuse and addiction typically extend far beyond the person using, and often include close friends and family members, who may be unaware of the drug or alcohol use initially, and then hopeless to help as it progresses beyond their control. Family members with addicted loved ones may notice telltale signs of substance abuse, including sudden changes in attitude, personality, or work or school attendance, a loss of interest in what were once favorite activities and hobbies, and an increase in drinking or partying activities. Some of the most common red flags of drug abuse and addiction include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden nervousness or aggression
  • Becoming increasingly secretive
  • Deterioration in physical appearance
  • Inappropriate clothing choices, such as wearing long sleeves in summer
  • Memory impairment
  • Loss of coordination
  • Unusual borrowing of money from friends or family
  • Stealing small items from home, work or school

How to Help an Addicted Loved One

If you recognize signs of substance abuse in a loved one, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible, to prevent the addiction from progressing further, as early intervention is key to long-term recovery. There is an important difference though, between helping a family member with addiction problems and enabling an addict. To enable an addict is to implicitly accept the substance abuse and allow it to continue with few or no consequences. An enabler, for example, may give the addict money that they then use to buy drugs, cover for them at school or at work when they fail to show up, bail them out of jail, or take care of their responsibilities at home. They may think they are helping, when in reality, they are making it easy for the addict to continue on the same path, without suffering any negative consequences. Offering meaningful help means contacting a professional rehab facility and getting your loved one into treatment.

How to Support an Addict in a Healthy Way

According to statistics, nearly 21.5 million American adults battled a substance use disorder in 2014, and more and more people fall victim to addiction every day, as the epidemic of drug and alcohol abuse in the United States grows. What many people don’t realize though, is that just as much as addicts and those in recovery need continued support, so too do their loved ones. All too often, family members think they are helping the addict by lending them money or taking over their daily chores, when in reality, they are being used, in more ways than one. A habitual drug user will take your money, your time, your energy and your charity, leaving you drained and feeling hopeless. For more information about how to help an addicted loved one in a meaningful way, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today at 1(877) 476-8320.

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.

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.

signs of addiction

Why Families are Missing Signs of Addiction Among Loved Ones

Addiction is a chronic condition characterized by the reckless and impulsive desire to acquire and use substances like drugs or alcohol, which takes priority over other activities and values and causes the addict to engage in behavior that is increasingly dangerous or risky to themselves and others. Unfortunately, there are some instances where the signs of addiction are subtle and easy for friends and family members to miss, which may allow the problem to progress without intervention. If you believe your loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t hesitate to get him the help he needs. Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to speak to a certified substance abuse counselor about your options.

Common Signs of Addiction

Most of us think of an addict as someone who is drunk, stumbling around all the time, or homeless, shooting up drugs on the street, but the truth is that, for some people, their addiction lives below the surface, where no one can see it. And because most of us trust the people close to us and don’t go looking for signs of deception or betrayal, an addiction problem may be easy to miss. In many cases, it’s not until after the fact that family members realize their loved one was exhibiting signs of addiction that they just didn’t recognize as such. It’s helpful to know what the early signs of substance abuse look like, so, should a loved one fall into the grips of addiction, you can intervene early on and get help from a professional rehab facility. The following are some common physical and behavioral signs of addiction to watch for in a loved one:

  • Red, watery eyes
  • Nausea
  • Hacking cough
  • Dilated pupils
  • Needle or track marks
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Unexplained need for money
  • Marked withdrawal from family and friends
  • Trouble with the law
  • General lack of responsibility
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

What is a Functioning Drug Addict?

One of the most significant dangers of addiction is that some people who engage in substance abuse are functioning drug addicts, meaning they perform at a sufficient level while addicted to one or more drugs, which makes it extremely difficult for loved ones to recognize the fact that there is a problem. A high functioning addict may appear happy and successful, act and speak normally, and perform their usual duties at work and home, but this is just the side they show to their friends and family members, all the while abusing drugs behind closed doors so that they can function. Some recognizable traits of a drug addict who is considered “high-functioning” include:

  • Secretive behavior
  • Habitual tardiness and absences
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain
  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in appearance
  • Making excuses for behavior, attitude or appearance

Call Behavioral Rehabilitation Services for Help

Drug addiction is a serious problem, but it’s one that often goes untreated, sometimes because family members are unaware of the signs of addiction and fail to recognize them in a loved one. Unfortunately, this means that many people beat themselves up because they were unable to see a substance abuse problem in a loved one sooner. But the truth is that addiction is not as easy to spot as you might think. If you believe you may be missing signs of addiction in a friend or family member, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to speak to an experienced substance abuse counselor about your suspicions. With an addiction recovery professional on your side, you can learn what it means to be a functioning drug addict and find out how you can offer the most meaningful help to your loved one.

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.

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.