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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.

recovering addicts risk becoming workaholics

Why Recovering Executives are at Risk for Becoming Workaholics

Anyone who has a close friend or family member who can be classified as a “workaholic” knows that becoming workaholics is a sort of addiction. Workaholics leave for work early in the morning, work long hours, and get home late at night, only to do it all over again the following day, and this cycle continues until it begins to wear on the individual himself and his loved ones. Workaholics miss out on planned family events, they forget important milestones, and their work schedule may even begin to have an adverse effect on their personal relationships. These are the hallmarks of addiction, and for a recovering executive who returns to work after treatment, becoming a workaholic is something they have to avoid.

Becoming Workaholics Post-Treatment

Returning to work after seeking treatment for alcoholism or drug abuse is never easy, and business executives who once commanded respect and admiration for the way they were able to bring in clients or close multimillion-dollar deals may find themselves working extra hard to stay busy and to avoid succumbing to harmful thoughts, or falling back into old patterns. Getting back into the groove of things after treatment is a step in the right direction, but a recovering addict throwing himself into work while recovering from addiction only increases his risk of becoming a workaholic, or devoting so much time to work that other aspect of his life begin to suffer, which can also result in a relapse.

Working Too Much Can Lead to Burnout

Re-entering the workforce is a major component of the recovery process post-treatment, and getting back to work can help recovering addicts feel normal again and assist them to feel like they are finally taking steps towards rebuilding their lives. However, while keeping yourself always busy with work may make it seem like you are a diligent employee only making up for lost time, overworking yourself can easily lead to burnout, a reason many addicts cite for turning to drugs in the first place. Business executives tend to work long hours and carry an immense amount of work-related stress on their shoulders, and becoming a workaholic is only a few steps removed from falling back into addiction all over again.

How Being a Workaholic Can Affect Your Life

Not only can working too must post-treatment lead to burnout, but it can also prevent you from devoting enough attention to other parts of your life, the parts that suffered when you became an addict. It’s important that, when returning to work after rehab, you also find time to spend with your friends and loved ones, and begin to participate again in the things that you once enjoyed. Far too often, individuals who fall victim to addiction lose interest in the activities they once looked forward to, like fishing, reading, or playing baseball with their kids, shunning these once-loved rituals for getting drunk or high.

Contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services Today

Anyone who has re-entered the workforce after treatment is at risk of becoming workaholics and knows that it takes effort, focus and an incredible amount of patience. You may stumble a few times, you may even relapse, but every step you take in the right direction is a step towards sobriety. Just like with anything else, though, moderation is key, and when returning to work after undergoing treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction, it’s best to do so gradually, with the knowledge that becoming a workaholic is not the answer. For more information about substance abuse treatment, or to speak to a professional addiction counselor about what steps to take after treatment, contact the experts at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today.

family in addiction treatment is beneficial to recovering addicts

The Importance of Family in Addiction Treatment

Recovering addicts can benefit from the support of a loving family in addiction treatment.  Addiction is a complex disease that affects millions of people in the United States each year. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that 23.9 million Americans over the age of 12 used illegal drugs in 2012, about 9.2 percent of the population. In addition, alcohol abuse affected 17 million adults over the age of 18 in 2012. The need for addiction treatment to restore the lives of these individuals to full function and productivity grows each year. Family support plays a critical role both in the process of treatment and the post-treatment recovery period for these individuals.

Getting Addiction Treatment

The addict’s family is often the motivating factor in convincing the individual to enter a treatment program. The patient may have undergone years of alcohol or drug use, with a variety of negative consequences over that period. In many cases, only the family knows how severe the addiction has become. The family may have been through a number of crises with the patient that have made the need for treatment evident. They may also have conducted an intervention to convince the addict to enter a program to recover their sobriety and their lives.

The Role of Family in Addiction Treatment

All families have roles that each member plays within the family unit. Addiction often complicates these roles and changes them into unhealthy behaviors that affect both the addict and other family members. Some members of the family may find they become “co-dependent” to the addiction, helping to smooth family upsets to the extent that they help to continue the addiction. Other family members may become hostile and angry at the disruption in the family that the addiction has caused.

Treatment for the addict must also investigate the role of each member in the family and how the addiction has affected each individual. In this way, each member of the family learns to change his or her reactions and deal with ingrained behaviors that affect the addict’s substance abuse. These changes throughout the family structure can make a significant difference to the addict’s ability to manage their cravings and negative behavior.

Family Dynamics Become Stronger

During treatment, the family serves a number of functions for the patient. Family members are important connections to the outside world, helping to remind the patient of the goals of regaining his or her former life. Family members may also be involved in therapy sessions, to help the patient understand past behaviors and find new ways to deal with common stresses and problems. The family may find they have to deal with a number of internal issues that exacerbate the addiction problem. During the process of therapy and treatment, they can also learn healthier methods of interaction that help not only the addict but also the family dynamic as a whole.

Healing Family Wounds

During the years of addiction, it is a common problem that families endure a number of negative behaviors at the hands of the addict. Lying, theft, loss of job, financial problems, medical problems and legal issues may have created an atmosphere of tension and crisis in the family dynamic. Involvement of family in addiction treatment can help the members of the family air these grievances in the safe and constructive atmosphere of the inpatient facility. The family can confront the addict with the consequences of their actions. The addict can begin the process of repairing his or her relationships, which can help them learn to maintain other interactions in life.

Family Role After Treatment

After the treatment program is over, the family must take on a new role of importance for the patient. Knowing the depth of the addiction problem and the patient’s struggles during treatment mean that the family has a profound inside knowledge of his or her unique problems. Recovery is an ongoing process that does not end when inpatient treatment ends. The patient must often rely on family members’ encouragement and observations to provide important feedback on dealing with their integration back into normal life. They can be helpful in ensuring that the addict attends aftercare sessions to ensure that their recovery continues successfully.

If you or a loved one need help with an addiction problem, contact an inpatient treatment facility immediately. The road to recovery can start immediately to bring relief and sanity to addicts and their family in addiction treatment.