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Relapse While in Recovery

What Happens if I Relapse While in Recovery from Addiction?

When anyone is in recovery from addiction, relapse is possible. However, you cannot view a relapse while in recovery as a failure. No person is always successful on their first attempt at anything. It is the same for recovery from addiction. You need to view a relapse while in recovery as a part of the process through which you are going. Recovering from addiction is a hard venture for everyone who attempts to live in sobriety after being addicted to any substance for a period.

Cigarette smoking is an excellent example of a relapse while in recovery. Hardly any individual recovers from being addicted to cigarettes the first time they try to quit. So, what do they do? They try again and again until they go for more extended periods without smoking and eventually, one day they realize they have stopped for good. It’s the same way with any substance of addiction. You can’t give up and look at yourself as a failure because you experience a relapse.

What Can Cause a Relapse While in Recovery?

There are many issues or events which can cause a relapse while in recovery. There is always the possibility of losing a loved one due to tragedy or chronic illness. The loss of a loved one is always hard for individuals to endure and deal with the pain. If you are recently starting your recovery, a loss such as this could easily cause you to turn back to your substance of abuse. You may not feel that you can handle this situation without drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain.

Another reason for a relapse while in recovery is being overly confident. You may feel that you have your substance abuse under control and can handle any situation without relapsing. Being overconfident can give you a false feeling that you can return to your old hangouts, such as bars or other places where drugs may be used without feeling the urge to use again.

You also may think that you can still hang out with the same friends who abuse drugs or alcohol without having cravings; you may feel that you can have one beer or drink when you are out with friends, or maybe partake in smoking only one joint. Recovery doesn’t work this way though. You have to abstain from drugs and alcohol, or you will be in a full relapse before you know it.

Focus on Building Your New Life Without Drugs or Alcohol

Many different things can cause a relapse while in recovery. The main thing for you to focus on though is not merely trying to avoid a relapse while in recovery, but building a new life for yourself while in recovery. Concentrate on your new life without drugs or alcohol. You can start exercising and eating healthy foods. Working on your physical health is a wonderful way to feel better about yourself.

If you lost relationships with loved ones such as family and close friends, you could work on reconnecting with them and form a new bond by showing them that you are back to your old self (the person you were before substance abuse ruined your relationships). You can experience such a feeling of accomplishment by rekindling these family ties and friendships.

Continue going to group meetings with others who are in recovery from addiction. You can form new friendships with others who are recovering from addiction. You can enjoy activities together that don’t include drugs or alcohol. Learn a new hobby that you can enjoy with a friend. Take some courses that might help you in a new career that interests you. There are so many activities in which you can participate that don’t involve abusing substances.

If You Do Experience a Relapse While in Recovery

If you do experience a relapse, remember that you have not failed at recovery and you are not a failure and doomed to a life of addiction. The old saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” can pertain to many different occasions and circumstances. Recovery wasn’t accomplished in a day, and it wasn’t lost in a day.

If you experience a relapse while in recovery, you merely look at it as what it is, a setback. You start over just like the cigarette smoker who starts again. Failure is not an option! You can do this, keep persevering. Go through another treatment program or start attending more group meetings. You may want to find a sponsor who you can call in your weak moments. There are many ways you can continue through the process known as “recovery.”

Opiate Overdose Deaths

How Many Overdose Deaths are Attributed to Opiates Yearly in the United States?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been more than 200,000 prescribed opiate overdose deaths between the years of 1999 to 2016 on a national scale. From these statistics, about 64,000 of the people who died were U.S. citizens.  According to newer statistics, about 46 opiate overdose deaths occur daily in the United States.

Sometimes, even more than 46 people die per day, making these numbers only an approximate representation. However, this means that about 16,790 people in the United States overdose with deaths attributed to opiates yearly. With these heartbreaking statistics, it is important to take action with the intent of reducing these numbers, but first, it is important to understand opiates and the reasons why opiate overdose deaths occur in the first place.

Some of the most common opiates that contribute to opiate overdose deaths include:

  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone

About These Common Drugs that Contribute to Opiate Overdose Deaths

Methadone – Those who take this prescribed drug are utilizing it to help prevent severe pain. However, this drug alone contributes to about one-third of all U.S. overdoses. Because of methadone’s ability to remain within the system for a prolonged amount of time, this drug has a tendency to have a negative effect on heart rates as well as breathing patterns.

Oxycodone – This drug is commonly prescribed in hopes of treating severe to moderate pain. However, with a drug overdose by oxycodone, it is usually quite unexpected due to its gradual build up within the body’s system. This, in turn, creates a tolerance to the drug that is sometimes overlooked when it is prescribed at a higher dosage. Oxycodone is also highly addictive, even furthering complications and increasing the chances of overdosing.

Hydrocodone – This narcotic is also a drug that is used to help ease and prevent severe pain. This drug can be countered by Narcan which is usually administered when the first signs of a Hydrocodone overdose are apparent. However, this drug also comes with its own list of negative effects to the body.

Why Overdosing Occurs

  • Those who are addicted to opiates are more likely to overdose.
  • Wrong amounts of the opiates are prescribed or taken by the patient.
  • Alcohol is oftentimes seen as the contributor to an overdose.

The Affected United States

40% of the affected United States has opiate prescriptions, but still, end up overdosing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the states contributing to the highest number of opiate overdose deaths include West Virginia, Maryland, Maine, and Utah.

In 2016, the affected numbers of Non-Hispanic Whites, Alaskan Natives, and American Indians were higher than those affected that were Non-Hispanic Blacks or Hispanics.

The number of men affected is much higher than women.

Signs of an Opiate Overdose

  • Slowed heart rate
  • Slowed or no breathing
  • Unresponsive
  • Cold skin
  • Blue/gray skin or lips

If you know someone who is experiencing these symptoms, it is extremely important to get help right away. It is very likely that the person will recover if attended to on time by a healthcare professional.

What to Do in the Event of an Overdose

With the Good Samaritan Law in mind, it is important to react accordingly.

  • Call 911.
  • Turn the affected onto their side to help clear their lungs of anything preventing them from their natural breathing rhythm.
  • Start administering CPR if the person still is not breathing and you are able to do so.

Preventing Future Opiate Overdose Deaths

Staying drug-free is the best way to prevent an overdose; however, these prescribed drugs can’t always be avoided. Because of this, you should:

  • Always consult your physician about any adverse side-effects.
  • Give your physician an accurate list of all drugs being taken to prevent any negative reactions.
  • Never drink alcohol when taking opiates.
  • Never chew on the prescribed pill; chewing on the pill can release the ingredients of the pill too quickly, sending your body into shock or an immediate overdose.
  • Only take the prescribed drugs as directed.

It is important to remember that overdosing can occur to anyone. It can even happen to those who are following the proper procedures in taking these prescribed drugs due to building a tolerance to the drugs. Therefore, it is important to always have someone who can be with the person taking medicine so that they can react accordingly in the event of an opiate overdose.

Disposing of Unused Rx Drugs

Why It’s Important to Properly Dispose of Unused Rx Drugs

Studies show that the majority of misused prescription drugs are obtained from friends or family.  Government agencies such as the DEA and FDA are seeking ways to solve this crisis.  One method they have initiated is known as Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.  This is a semi-annual event that provides an opportunity for people to dispose of unused opioids and other prescription drugs that might fall into the wrong hands.   Properly disposing of unused Rx drugs is an excellent way to protect young people, and adults,  from the harmful effects of these substances.

Options for Disposing of Unused Rx Drugs

In the past, people were advised to dispose of unused prescription drugs by flushing them down the toilet.  Environmentalists are not in favor of this option because they fear that the drugs’ residue can have an adverse impact on the environment and human health.

The FDA conducted a study on the potential risks of flushing by using 15 different medicines.  They determined that the potential risks to humans and the environment is small compared to the potential dangers of the drugs being ingested directly.  Flushing the drugs gets them out of the reach of people and pets.  However, this option should only be considered if a take-back program is not available at the time.

Disposing of unused Rx drugs in the trash can be a bad idea.  Desperate abusers or addicts have no problems with going through the trash to get what they want.  If using this method of drug disposal, you should mix the substance with something undesirable such as cat litter or coffee grounds.   The mixture should then be sealed in a bag or container to prevent leaks.

What is the Best Way of Disposing of Unused Rx Drugs?

The best method for disposing of unused Rx drugs is through a Drug Take-Back program.  These programs are closely monitored to ensure that the drugs are not diverted. More information can be found at the DEA website here.

Another option for getting rid of unused medicine is to take them to a DEA registered collector.  These authorized permanent collection sites can be found in pharmacies, hospitals, or law enforcement facilities.  Also, local law enforcement agencies may sponsor a drug take-back event in local communities.

Some medications come with a disposal instruction sheet.  These instructions should be followed carefully.  A list of medicines that are approved for disposal by flushing can be found on the FDA’s website.

Are the Take-Back Methods Effective?

The take-back days are usually in October and April.  During the last take-back day, more than 456 tons of prescriptions pills were collected.  More than 5,300 sites participated across the U.S.

It’s also interesting to note that more than 6.4 million people abuse prescription drugs, and most of the drugs were obtained from family or friends’ medicine cabinets.

The goal of the Take-Back program is to keep these unused drugs from getting into the hands of someone who has the intent to abuse them.  After President Trump declared opioid abuse as a public health emergency, the DEA facilitated the 14th Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in 2017.  The events are held twice a year in communities nationwide.

If you need to dispose of your unused medications, please check your local agencies to find out when the next take-back day occurs.

You can also contact us at our toll-free number if you need more information about this topic or if you want information about drug addiction treatment programs.

Before Going to Rehab

5 Things You Need to Ask Before Going to Rehab

Going to rehab once is hard enough.  You don’t want to have to repeat the process because the program didn’t work for you.  Also, being an addict once is more than enough. You don’t want to go through rehab and then relapse and become an addict again.  So, when you’re ready to choose a rehab, you’ll want to ask five specific questions before going to rehab that will help you make an informed choice to get the right program that will work the first time.

What You Need to Know Before Going to Rehab

How do you know you’re choosing the right program that will provide the tools you need to remain drug-free for good?  The best way to choose a rehab is to do some research before making a decision. Knowing what to expect can help you understand your role in the recovery process and will make the experience more productive.

The Internet has an abundance of information about rehab, and you’ll feel overwhelmed by all the options. Hundreds of facilities are all claiming to be the best.  But, don’t be tempted to settle for the first one at the top of the list. Take a deep breath and use this list to help you sort through the choices before going to rehab.

Five of the most important questions to ask about rehab include:

  1. How many licensed, full-time employees do they have?
  2. What is their stance on medication-assisted recovery?
  3. How many people attend a group therapy session?
  4. How often will you meet with a therapist alone?
  5. Do they offer private rooms or will you have to bunk with others?

The answers to these questions will give you an idea of whether you’re going to feel like you’re lost in the crowd.

Your Needs and Preferences are Important

Going to rehab today is a much better experience than ever before.  The programs are structured in a way to allow for individualized plans that are suited specifically to each patient.  You can choose from traditional programs, faith-based, holistic, and many more.

Also, options such as residential, intensive outpatient (IOP), and partial hospitalization (PHP) are available.  The severity of your addiction and the substance involved will play a role in determining which type of treatment is best for you.

Some other things you’ll want to know about a facility:

  • Do they offer a specialized program or do they claim to be experts at everything?  If they claim to be experts at everything, they probably aren’t great at anything.
  • Are they a for-profit or non-profit facility?  For-profit facilities often offer extra types of therapies and amenities.  But, non-profit facilities also offer good options and they’re not likely to be concerned with seeking money.
  • Does everything sound too good to be true?  Trust your instincts on this.  Many facilities make claims that are often completely false.
  • What is the length of the program?  Is it open-ended or will you be forced to leave in 30 days whether or not you feel ready to be on your own yet?  Remember, you don’t want a quick-fix. You want a program that allows you time to heal emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
  • Do they offer detox on-site?  On-site detox is ideal because you won’t be tempted to leave detox and just go back home.  Detox isn’t a cure for your addiction. It just the first step in the overall treatment process that includes rehabilitation and aftercare.

You’ll also need to decide whether you want a facility that is close to home or further away.  The good thing about choosing one close to home is that your family will be able to visit. Also, if it’s close by, you can actually visit the facility before making your choice.

If you need more information before going to rehab and what to expect, please contact us today.

Vitamins and Nutrition in Recovery

Rehab Programs Helping Addicts Replenish Vitamin Deficiencies in Recovery

Drug and alcohol abuse is prevalent in America today and contributes to a host of problems. Addiction costs the country more than $740 billion annually due to losses in productivity, health care costs, and crime. Addiction takes a toll on the personal lives of addicts and their families, causing personal pain, damaged relationships, and broken families. And addiction certainly exacts a cost on the health of the user: addiction can lead to death, infectious disease, or chronic health problems, even after recovery. One less commonly noted impact of addiction on health is a vitamin deficiency.  Read more to learn about the importance of vitamins and nutrition in recovery from addiction.

Addiction-Related Vitamin Deficiency

Malnutrition is fairly common among people suffering from addiction; one study shows that 70% of addicts suffer from vitamin D deficiency and low levels of vitamin C, and another study shows that 50% of addicts in detox are deficient in either iron or vitamins, especially vitamins A, C, and E. These deficiencies stem from two causes: primary and secondary malnutrition. In primary malnutrition, addicts fail to eat a nourishing diet, choosing to abuse drugs or alcohol instead of eating. They consume too few calories overall, and the foods that they choose to eat may fail to provide proper nutrition. This can be because some drugs specifically impact appetite; for example, stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine, can suppress appetite and disrupt hormonal regulation, interfering with calorie consumption and nutrient processing. With secondary malnutrition, the addict consumes sufficient calories but the substance abuse causes improper nutrient metabolism, absorption, utilization, or excretion.

Importance of Vitamins and Nutrition in Recovery

Whether the cause is an overall lack of calories or failure to properly digest and absorb calories, the fact is that many addicts enter addiction treatment in a malnourished state that can interfere with recovery. Poor nutrition causes low levels of neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that pass messages from one part of the brain to another. Low neurotransmitter levels can cause depression, agitation, and dysregulation during the early phases of recovery. Specifically, low levels of serotonin cause sleep problems, irritability, and depression. Low dopamine levels can cause aggression and drug cravings.

How can nutrition help during recovery? Are there specific drug detox vitamins? The answer is yes. By supplementing the addict in recovery with the building blocks of these neurotransmitters, they can rebuild their neurotransmitter levels to help overcome mental health problems during recovery. Vitamins and supplements that can help include:

  • Amino acids: critical for the building of neurotransmitters
  • Folic acid and Vitamins B6 and B12 for serotonin production
  • Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to improve neurotransmitter function and help with depression
  • Iron to help with fatigue, depression, and attention
  • Vitamin D to improve immune function

As addicts transition to life in recovery, they often experience drug cravings, irritability, anxiety, and depression. Addressing the vitamin deficiencies can help to ease those symptoms.

If we look at methamphetamine use, in particular, there are specific health concerns for people recovering from meth addiction. Methamphetamine users often struggle with dental problems, including dental disease and missing teeth. These dental problems can impact what recovering meth addicts can eat, and these dietary constraints must be taken into consideration during recovery. It may be useful to consult a nutritionist for help in finding foods of the right consistency that will still provide sufficient vitamins and nutrition in recovery.

A Healthy Approach to Recovery

Addressing the nutritional needs of the recovering addict is part of a healthy approach to recovery, viewing the addict as a whole person instead of looking only at the drug addiction.  In fact, studies show that a healthy body fosters and healthy mind.  When the mind and body are in optimal health, the person is less likely to experiment with addictive substances.  This is why vitamins and nutrition in recovery are essential to restoring a person to an improved state of health and vitality.

If you or someone you love is looking for drug treatment, we can help. Call our toll-free number today.

Nature Walks in Addiction Recovery

Benefits of Nature Walks in Addiction Recovery

Walking can provide ‘low-impact’ exercise for those who enjoy leisure and need physical activity. Any exercise can help increase the production of endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine in the brain. Nature walks in addiction recovery can help to provide pleasure and a sense of well-being for those who are starting new lives without substance abuse. Any natural way that your body can produce those chemicals without the introduction of outside substances can help your brain to re-learn the appropriate ways to ‘experience’ joy or pleasure, which can ease the symptoms of withdrawal for someone overcoming an addiction. The BRS website has more information on rehabilitation, and a great facility if you are seeking recovery for yourself or a loved one.

Some of the Benefits of Nature Walks in Addiction Recovery

Aside from the direct benefits of exercise, being in nature can be very therapeutic as well. When in nature, a person tends to experience stress relief and relaxation. Furthermore, someone who gets outside often may have less risk for depression, or an easier time dealing with an existing problem with depression. The outdoors also gives the mind plenty to think about while enjoying overall stillness or serenity. It is not often that the brain is still for an addict. For this reason, the individual may experience a sense of boredom when he or she decides to seek help and stop using. Nature walks in addiction recovery can combat that boredom with the inherent stillness associated with being outside while also giving the mind ‘space’ to think and beautiful things to look at which can promote healthy mental patterns.

Another significant benefit that being in nature provides for someone in recovery is the sense of humility or ‘smallness,’ and the aloneness required for healthy introspection and reflection. A lot of addicts tend to seek a feeling of control or power when using. The truth is, not a single person has total control over his or her own life. To realize this can be a very freeing experience. Yes, we must make choices and undergo the consequences attached to them; however, nature can be a good reminder that the world is much bigger than ‘self.’  In these moments during which someone can see further than his or her problems, having space and quietness to think is essential. These moments help, also, to repattern the brain into more selfless thought. To spend excessive amounts of time thinking about yourself or your own problems can be exhausting and counterproductive to treatment and recovery. Most people who walk in nature on a routine basis also experience an increased attention span because they are forced to pay attention to the many small aspects of the world around them. Lower blood pressure, fewer worries, and reduction of stress are also all attributed to walking in nature.

Nature Reminds Us of More to Life Than ‘Self’

There is also something to be said about becoming aware that life is all around you. Reminders of this may be trees and plants or the many animals that share the outdoors with us. To see other life being played out innocently around us can be a reminder of the positivity associated with life in general. The seasons and their changing may also provide perspective. To see that with or without us, the world will change incessantly. Knowing this can be another freeing experience for those in recovery.

Any time that can be filled with positivity or health is essential in that it can help to replace time that would, otherwise, have been spent indulging in unhealthy practices. Any replacement for using, or for the unhealthy lifestyle associated with addiction is time well spent. Sometimes all that an individual may need is a sense of belonging or activity that is new, and resides outside of the patterns that were habitually repeated through addiction. It is imperative to ‘throw away’ any patterns or habits that were prevalent during the active drug use that could be associated with the drug or alcohol of choice. This can leave someone with a lot of spare time with which to deal.

Health and Mental Benefits of Being Outside

Health benefits of exercise and being outside, especially in combination with the mental benefits of nature, can be one of the most gratifying ‘time replacement’ schemes. Spirituality can also be visited while in nature. It is very easy to reflect on core beliefs or even to contemplate (maybe for the first time) what you believe when you are out in nature. Spirituality can be a great mental exercise and can provide a sense of connectedness.

It is, of course, essential to consider any limitations posed by your body before you venture out. If walking is difficult for you, or if you have special requirements, maybe choose a pathway or sidewalk that can accommodate your needs. Lastly, occasionally, it might be beneficial to bring a healthy friend or family member with you. After all, we are all here to invest in one another. Whatever your pace, whatever your style, nature walks in addiction recovery provide valuable space from the negativity, and can give a glimpse into success and the beauty that surrounds us.

Enabling an Addicted Loved One

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.  Are you enabling an addicted loved one? If so, you can get something called compassion exhaustion; you have to learn to take care of yourself.

Enabling an Addicted Loved One

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. Enabling an addicted loved one can hurt them more than helping them in the long run.

Losing Compassion While Enabling an Addicted Loved One

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 enabling an 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 to therapists and healthcare workers:

“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 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 enabling an addicted loved one, 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 our toll-free number.

Cope and Stay Sober

How Recovering Addicts Can Cope and Stay Sober

There are many reasons that people turn to drugs, the most prevalent being a reach for some way to numb or quiet emotional pain or emptiness. Sometimes this involves the ‘dampening’ or suppression of past pain or trauma. According to statistics, cocaine is the second most widely used drug in the United States. Cocaine is also notorious for the ‘numbing’ effect of its high. It is known to give those who use it a sense of control and a boost of (perceived) strength or energy. This ‘cocaine numb’ is similar to effects produced by other stimulants; however, cocaine is fairly common and widely available. As well as the inherent danger of cocaine’s side effects, there is considerable danger in taking any drug to mask or suppress emotional pain or to cope with stressful situations or feelings. There are ways, however, for recovering addicts to cope and stay sober.

You Can Learn to Cope and Stay Sober

Whatever has proven to be difficult for the user to overcome, when neglected, will never become better. Those emotions or pains will be there just the same at the end of the high or distraction provided by the drug. The only thing gained may be an addiction to a drug. This is the compounded chaos which is all too common for an addict. It is imperative for an addict, or someone with an addictive personality, to learn to cope and stay sober. A recovering addict can cope without the use of drugs or foreign substances. Yes, this can be very difficult if other substances have already been introduced or leaned upon for emotional relief in the past.

It may be beneficial, if you or someone you know struggles with addiction, to enroll in a 12-step program or another program. It is often helpful to surround yourself with others who are going through similar situations. This can provide a sense of community and even accountability. This kind of network of support may prove to be invaluable.

Another aspect of health associated with the ability to remain sober or clean is confidence and a sense of identity. If there are areas of your life or personality that may be underdeveloped due to past addictions, maybe it is an excellent time to do some self-exploration. For instance, if you or your loved one have not had a hobby or preferred activity, it may help to develop one.

Behavioral Therapy can be Beneficial

Positivity can be extremely powerful. Behavioral therapy refocuses negative thoughts or patterns by replacing them with positive counterparts. This can be done, to some extent, on your own. An example of this would be if you find yourself upset about long work hours, try instead, to think of the blessing of having a job to provide money and an outlet or purpose.

It is also recommended that beliefs and foundational identifiers such as spirituality and family values be followed intensely. This sense of self and purpose can give a person something to hold on to when purpose may have, otherwise, been hard to find. Whether it be a higher-power or parents, siblings, or children, something outside of ourselves can help by bringing the focus and pressure off of the ‘self.’

Don’t Let Yourself Become Overwhelmed

Lastly, life can be overwhelming. This is especially true when the future is looked upon all at once. It is often within the addictive personality to look at the big picture (health, work, children, global issues, etc.) and become overwhelmed. At this point, the ‘big picture’ is replaced with whatever substance is typically abused to cope. It is important not to dwell on the big scary stuff and focus on accomplishing the task at hand or the ‘next right thing.’ If you keep moving forward with that in mind, you can cope and stay sober. Then all of a sudden, the stuff that seems overwhelming may be well on the way to becoming that which has become overcome or accomplished. Life is too short to spend time worrying or struggling, and too long to spend looking at the end.

Asking for Addiction Help

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

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. The best way to address this is by asking for addiction help with professional detox and rehab programs like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services.

Beating Alcohol Addiction

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.

Don’t Fear Asking for Addiction Help

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.

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.

Treatment at Behavioral Rehabilitation

Behavioral Rehabilitation Services can offer extensive and very helpful recovery services for people. If you or a loved one are asking for addiction help, or need more information on treatment programs, 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.

Finances After Drug Addiction

How You Can 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 recover physically, 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, substance abusers find that their finances are in shambles and that during recovery they will have to know how to rebuild their finances after drug addiction. At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we offer training to help clients with this issue.

Addiction and Finances After Drug Addiction

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

  • Job productivity suffers because the user may frequently be 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 into work.  Eventually, the user’s co-workers and their employer may become frustrated, and the user will lose their 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 afford to pay.
  • 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 real financial training an essential part of recovery. You can learn to manage your finances after drug addiction.  At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, we help addicts in recovery by teaching them how to achieve financial stability through responsible economic 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 handle your own
  • Why it is essential to save money and how to do so
  • How your financial stability impacts your 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.

You Can Manage Your Finances After Drug Addiction

Financial training is just one of many critical areas of support we offer at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services. You can regain your life and become the responsible person you were before drug addiction. Contact us today if you or someone you love struggles with addiction or rebuilding finances after drug addiction.

Breathwork and Yoga in Recovery

Breathwork and Yoga: How They Promote a Stronger Addiction Recovery

Just breathe.” It’s the advice you’ve probably been given hundreds of times in your life, either because you were stressed out about school or work, upset about problems at home, or you just felt like nothing was going right. Breathing is central to life, as we all know, but what many people don’t know is that learning simple breathing exercises and yoga stretches can be a helpful tool in regaining clarity and improving mood, and may even aid in the addiction recovery process. For more information about breathwork and yoga in recovery, contact Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today to speak to an experienced substance abuse recovery counselor about your treatment options.

Benefits of Breathwork and Yoga in Recovery

Breathing is connected to a number of essential functions in the body, and the way in which you breathe has a significant impact on those functions. The natural metabolic processes performed by cells and organs in the body produce waste, like carbon dioxide, which is removed from the body during exhalation. When your breath is quick and shallow, as opposed to slow and deep, the body is unable to keep up with its job of expelling toxins through exhalation, which means there is more strain on other parts of the body to get rid of the waste products. Breathing also spurs the lymphatic system to more quickly remove other forms of waste from the body’s cells, which aids in detoxification and keeps the body and brain functioning optimally.

Because physical and mental well-being are inextricably linked and because breath affects brain chemistry, feeling healthier physically will automatically improve your psychological health. Research shows that implementing breathing exercises such as those learned in yoga practice affects the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain tied to thoughts, emotions, and mood, which produce more of the feel-good chemicals in the brain that makes you happier and healthier. The following are some essential health benefits of breathwork and yoga in recovery:

  • Natural pain relief
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Increased oxygen to the cells
  • Detoxification
  • Lower blood pressure
  • More feel-good chemicals in the brain

Yoga for Addiction Rehab

Recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is never easy, but there are ways you can make the process easier on your body and mind, one of which involves regular deep breathing exercises. An important part of addiction recovery consists of removing harmful substances from your system and replacing them with natural chemicals that help your body and brain function more effectively and efficiently, and breathing exercises in yoga can aid in this process. Yoga is all about healing the body and mind, reconnecting with your inner self, and regaining control over the way you feel, and these benefits are entirely imperative for lasting recovery. One of the most important benefits of breathing and yoga for addiction rehab is relaxation. Chronic stress is a huge risk factor for substance abuse and relapse in recovery, and by merely breathing more deeply and slowly when under pressure, you can improve oxygen flow throughout the body, reduce muscle constriction and immediately feel calmer and more in-control, thereby reducing your vulnerability to addiction and relapse. Therefore, breathwork and yoga in recovery are imperative for your well-being.

Call BRS Rehab for Help

Recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is an ongoing process, one that comes with plenty of successes and challenges, and yoga for rehabilitation is one way recovering addicts can improve their physical and mental health and increase their chances of long-term sobriety. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, and you think rehab may be a good option for recovery; call to discuss your treatment options with a knowledgeable addiction recovery counselor.

Enabling an Addict

How to Stop Enabling an Addict and Making Excuses for Them

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

What Does Enabling Mean?

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

How to Stop Enabling an Addict

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

  • Get help from a peer support group. It can help a great deal to surround yourself with other people who know about the challenges addicts and their loved ones face. Even if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your own story, it can be helpful to listen and see that you aren’t alone.
  • Have an open and honest conversation with the addict. The best way to make meaningful changes in an enabling relationship is to be open and honest with the user. Point out specific behaviors you would like to modify and share the reasons these changes need to take place.
  • Stop making excuses to cover up the addict’s behavior. If you want to stop enabling an addict, it’s imperative that you make sure the user sees the consequences of his addiction. Stop covering for him at work and home, and force him to face the impact on his own.
  • Work with a counselor. Often, family members focus so much on taking care of the addict, that they fail to recognize the adverse effects the addiction has on their health. It’s not unusual for an addict’s loved ones to develop headaches, backaches, depression, anxiety or digestive problems due to stress. Talking to a counselor can help family members work through the emotional and physical issues the addiction is causing.

BRS Rehab Can Help

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

Addiction Recovery Counselor

How to Strengthen the Bond with Your Spouse During Addiction Recovery

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

The Impact of Addiction on a Family

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

Ways to Strengthen the Bond During Addiction Recovery

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

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

An Addiction Recovery Counselor at BRS Can Help

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

Financial Training in Rehab

Clients Can Benefit from Financial Training in Rehab

In today’s world, financial training in rehab is crucial to helping recovering addicts succeed in rebuilding their lives after treatment.  If someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, chances are, he or she is also facing financial instability or distress, a common consequence of, or precursor to, prolonged substance abuse.

For some people, their continuous use of drugs and alcohol lands them in a difficult financial situation, as they struggle to pay for their basic living necessities while also bankrolling their drug habit, but for others, they turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with financial failure. Whatever the circumstances surrounding their particular situation, many alcoholics and drug addicts who enter into a substance abuse treatment program lack the skills and responsibility to handle their finances.  Without professional help, these individuals will continue to face financial problems once they have completed treatment and are back in the real world, which can land them right back in the same dangerous situation.

Warning Signs of Financial Distress

Financial instability in and of itself can be tough for a recovering addict to deal with, but it can also lead to a relapse, for recovering addicts who are unable to cope with the embarrassment or complications of financial losses or failure. Unfortunately, this vicious cycle is what keeps many users returning to their old habits and abusing drugs or alcohol, even after successfully completing treatment at a rehab facility. The most common ways that financial instability or distress manifests itself in substance abusers include the following:

  • Struggling to pay bills on time
  • Living paycheck to paycheck
  • Borrowing or stealing money from others
  • Becoming buried in credit card debt
  • Taking out loans and being unable to pay them back
  • Being unable to pay for necessities like food, clothes or rent
  • Working a second or third job, but still never having enough money
  • Facing problems with illegal lending organizations

Benefits of Financial Training in Rehab

One way to avoid financial instability or distress following treatment at a rehab facility is to participate in financial training during rehab. The primary goal of financial training in rehab is to help recovering addicts develop the skills and tools they need to successfully gain control over their finances, to improve their chances of maintaining sobriety once they have completed treatment. Teaching an addict how to achieve financial stability for himself and his loved ones involve a variety of skills, including the following:

  • Making smart buying decisions
  • How to stay gainfully employed
  • Ways to save money, and why it is important to do so
  • To successfully manage credit cards
  • Efficiently  manage a bank account
  • Take care of financial obligations
  • Live within the individual’s means
  • Understanding the adverse consequences of excess spending
  • Understanding how financial stability directly corresponds with maintaining sobriety

Financial Training Services at BRS

Substance abuse programs at professional rehabilitation facilities are meant to treat all aspects of an individual’s addiction and not to address such a significant issue as financial instability would be the equivalent of failure. Fortunately for those recovering addicts who are struggling with financial distress, some top-tier rehab facilities in the United States, like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, offer financial training services specifically geared towards helping clients learn how to make confident financial decisions for themselves and their loved ones after completing their treatment program. Behavioral Rehabilitation Services offers some financial training in rehab courses designed to provide clients with the knowledge and skills they need to finally take control of their finances, feel financially independent and secure, and successfully handle any financial difficulties in the future, without turning to drugs or alcohol.

Promote Stronger Recovery

5 Social Rehab Activities to Promote Stronger Recovery

When it comes to seeking treatment at an addiction recovery facility, social rehab activities like those at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services are carefully designed in all aspects of the treatment program to promote stronger recovery.  At Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, the various recovery programs available at the rehab facility were designed with the client in mind, and are the result of years upon years of research into the benefits of proven treatment approaches, like SMART Recovery and faith-based treatment. In order to promote a stronger recovery and lasting sobriety in its clients, BRS promotes the following five treatment principles.

Five Main Treatment Principles at BRS to Promote Stronger Recovery

  1. Treatment should be comfortable. Modern addiction treatment programs have eschewed the demeaning and overly rigorous treatment programs that reigned supreme in the past, favoring instead, programs that recognize the importance of clients being comfortable throughout the treatment process. Treatment is still extremely challenging – clients are up early and work hard throughout the day – but BRS believes that addiction recovery should be an overall positive experience, one that encourages clients to remain sober even after they have completed treatment and reentered society.
  2. The rehab facility should be pleasant and relaxing. Behavioral Rehabilitation Services prides itself on being a modern, clean, well-appointed facility where clients can feel a sense of calmness and relaxation while dealing with a problem that has brought them nothing but chaos in the past. According to a survey of addicts in recovery, those who attended an updated, luxurious facility had better experiences and maintained their sobriety longer than those who attended a dirty, outdated or unpleasant rehab facility.
  3. Treatment should be held in an isolated environment. As great as it would be for addicted individuals to seek treatment in a familiar environment where they can feel close to home during recovery, statistics show that rehab facilities located in an isolated environment actually promote stronger recovery than those in urban areas or in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Recovering addicts need room to breathe and to navigate the complexities of their new identity as a sober individual, and doing so in an isolated environment where they feel safe and secure is the first step to lasting recovery.
  4. Clients should have access to enjoyable amenities. Recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol is hard work, and even the most luxurious rehab facilities are far from a cakewalk for addicted individuals. Still, there is much to be said for providing clients with access to enjoyable amenities that offer a therapeutic break from the intensity of an eight- to ten-hour day of individual counseling sessions, group therapy and other aspects of recovery.
  5. Treatment should be individualized. Perhaps the most important aspect of an addiction recovery program is individualized treatment or treatment that is custom-tailored to the individual recovery needs of each client. Recovering addicts at a rehab facility are different in every sense of the word; they have different backgrounds and respond differently treatment, and for that reason alone, addiction treatment should never be a “one size fits all” approach. At BRS, clients are encouraged to take part in their treatment planning, to ensure that their recovery program is best suited to their unique needs.

Get Help from Behavioral Rehabilitation Services

Getting help for a substance abuse problem is never easy, but rehab facilities that understand the importance of individualized treatment that takes place in a comfortable, isolated environment where clients can feel safe and secure, are the most helpful programs to promote stronger recovery. Contact the professionals at Behavioral Rehabilitation Services today, if you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol or if you would like more information about social rehab activities offered in our program.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine on Business Execs

The long-term effects of cocaine on business executives are often downplayed.  It may seem to the general public that most business executives lead a charmed life; they have plenty of money, they are successful in their jobs; they have the world at their fingertips. What many people don’t know is that “the image of a drug-fueled Wall Street,” as the New York Times puts it, isn’t just a “stereotype from the 1980s, when cocaine and heroin were prevalent as after-hours entertainment and even sweeteners for business deals.” Today, drug abuse remains a widespread problem on Wall Street and among other business executives, with whom the fast-paced world of courting clients and handling multimillion-dollar business dealings has finally caught up.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine and the Wolf of Wall Street

For those of you who have seen the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, recall Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jordan Belfort, an entry-level-stockbroker-turned-high-profile-business-exec who builds an “empire of excess” fueled by prostitutes and drugs. It’s easy to write off this drug-fueled stockbroker culture as fiction, or as the immorality and depravity of a bygone era, and maybe the movie was dramatized for maximum audience enjoyment, but hard data can’t be ignored, and statistics show that 60% of all people know business executives who have used drugs in the workplace.

Whether they use cocaine to remain vigilant while working long hours, to deal with work-related stress, to treat a mental health issue, or to stay on top of their game in a dog-eat-dog world, business executives are prone to drug abuse and addiction, and cocaine is typically their drug of choice. What many of these business execs don’t know is that cocaine, while perhaps giving them an edge in a competitive industry, can have serious adverse effects on their health and well-being. The following are some of the physical effects cocaine addiction can have on business execs and other addicts.

Short-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Cocaine has become a popular drug among business executives because it causes a brief, intense high that powers them through whatever business dealing they are facing, but that temporary high is typically followed by a severe depression and edginess, as well as a craving for more of the drug. People who use cocaine don’t eat or sleep properly, they may experience physical symptoms like increased heart rate and muscle spasms, and they may even suffer from convulsions. Some people who use cocaine feel angry, hostile, paranoid and anxious, even when they aren’t using the drug.

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Because cocaine causes a short-lived high, users coming down off of a cocaine high often find themselves craving more of the drug to shake off the resulting depression. Unfortunately, with continued cocaine use, a person’s tolerance increases, and it takes more and more of the drug to result in the same high. Prolonged use of cocaine over an extended period of time can cause long-term physical symptoms like sleep deprivation, hallucinations, disorientation, severe depression, weight loss and high blood pressure. Cocaine can interfere with the way the brain functions, causing side effects like delirium or psychosis, mood disturbances, sexual problems, and increased frequency of risky behavior. People who use cocaine may also suffer permanent damage to their liver, kidneys, and lungs, as well as to the blood vessels of the heart or brain, increasing their risk of heart attack, stroke or death.  Clearly, the long-term effects of cocaine are something to be concerned about.

Getting Help for an Addiction to Cocaine

People who begin using cocaine regularly typically get the feeling that they are invincible, that nothing can happen to them, but cocaine, like other illicit substances, is an addictive drug, and long-term effects of cocaine can result in a drug dependence or addiction. If you or a loved one has become addicted to cocaine, your best course of action is to consult a professional rehabilitation facility to discuss the possibility of entering an addiction treatment program. With the help of a proven drug recovery program, you can develop the tools and skills you need to manage your addiction, and learn how to live a productive, drug-free life.

Turn to Drugs

Why Did My Loved One Turn to Drugs?

Why did your loved one turn to drugs?  Two things you should do after finding out a loved one is addicted are: try to understand why he turned to drugs, and learn what you can do to help him manage his addiction. There are many different reasons addicted individuals give for turning to addictive substances, and, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most common motives for drug use are: to feel better (self-medicate), or to feel good (get high). In a general sense, many people who use drugs for the first time believe they will solve their problems, or will at least make them forget that their problems exist. Obviously, this isn’t a healthy way to deal with difficulties in life, and by seeking assistance from a professional drug rehab facility like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services, loved ones of the addicted person can get them the help they so desperately need.

Common Reasons Why Someone Will Turn to Drugs

There are many different factors that may contribute to a person’s drug use. Perhaps they are facing a challenging time in their life, and they feel only drugs can make it better, or maybe they are suffering from chronic pain and became addicted to their painkiller, only to find out that their prescription has run out and can’t be refilled. The following are some of the most common reasons addicts give for using or abusing substances:

Self-Medication

In some cases, a person may begin using an illicit substance or abusing a prescription drug to self-medicate or treat an underlying problem or condition. Whether the person is uncomfortable seeking medical assistance, doesn’t have health insurance, or doesn’t believe a trained medical professional can help, he may begin using drugs in an attempt relieve physical symptoms, like chronic pain, or to address mental health issues, like depression, anxiety, or some type of emotional trauma. Unfortunately, self-medicating may only exacerbate the problem the drug is supposed to treat and can result in a lifelong addiction.

To Get High

Perhaps the most obvious reason to turn to drugs is simply to get high, but there is often an underlying problem here, one that explains or at least shines some light on the drug use. Depending on what kind of drug it is,  it typically makes the user feel different in some way; they can give you energy, boost your confidence, relieve pain or offer perspective. Unfortunately, individuals seeking one or more of these feelings rarely think about the downside of drug use, which is often devastating, for the addict himself and his family and friends as well.

Easy Access

In this day and age, drugs are relatively easy to get your hands on, whether they are prescription painkillers, heroin, cocaine or marijuana, and it’s this easy access that results in some people using drugs in the first place. In many cases, the user doesn’t understand the consequences of taking these substances and feels like he has nothing to lose by using, or only wants to rebel against someone or something. Unfortunately, if the easy access to drugs doesn’t change, the attitude of “they are there, why not try them?” can quickly lead to drug dependence or addiction.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is something that affects people of all ages. At age five, peer pressure comes in the form of kids daring a boy to kiss a girl. In middle school, peer pressure evolves into skipping school or playing a prank on the principal. In high school and later years, peer pressure often leads to individuals wanting to turn to drugs, to fit in with other people their age. If a person surrounds himself with people who frequently use drugs, it won’t be long before that starts to feel like the norm, even for individuals who rarely even considered doing drugs in the past, and that is a slippery slope.

Athletes with Addictions

How Long Does it Take Athletes with Addictions to Recover?

Athletes with addictions face the challenge of a lifetime. Overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol is a difficult task for anyone, but for athletes, in particular, breaking free from the grips of alcoholism or drug addiction can seem like an impossible challenge. In fact, experts say that alcoholism and drug addiction cannot ever be overcome; addicts must simply learn to manage their cravings. For many people, managing an addiction to drugs or alcohol is easier said than done. Fortunately, there is hope for athletes with addictions who want to free themselves from the grips of addiction and learn the skills necessary to live a happy and productive life free from drugs and alcohol. Addiction recovery programs like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services are designed for exactly that and offer addicts an opportunity to break the cycle of addiction and get a fresh start in life.

Why Athletes with Addictions Begin Drug Abuse

Many people don’t understand the incredible amount of pressure famous athletes are under to perform well on a daily basis, and it is common for some athletes trying to live up to the expectations of their coaches, parents, friends and fans to turn to alcohol or illicit substances to take the edge off, while others may turn to stimulant drugs, like cocaine or amphetamines, to stay alert, reduce feelings of fatigue, or maintain focus. As the use of these drugs becomes more and more frequent, so does the level of tolerance, resulting in a dependence on the drug, and eventually, addiction. It’s not just the athletes we watch on television who are at risk for addiction though. According to a recent article published by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), highlighting the rising rates of prescription drug abuse among high school athletes, athletes use illicit substances more often than non-athletes, and the proportion of these young people using painkillers is higher than usual for teens. There are more teen athletes with addictions than most people would ever imagine.

Athletes and Pain Management

For some, it’s the pressure to perform, but for other athletes, it’s a chronic injury that leads them down the path to addiction. Rather than playing in pain, or not playing at all, athletes may turn to prescription painkillers like OxyContin or Vicodin to ease their pain and make it possible to play. Far too often though, the prescription for the painkiller lapses, while the athlete’s fondness for the high does not. Sadly, an addiction to painkillers and other prescription drugs is just one step away from an addiction to heroin, which is cheaper than a prescription opioid, is relatively easy to get in this day and age, and offers users a more potent high. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Nearly half of young people who inject heroin surveyed in three recent studies reported abusing prescription opioids before starting to use heroin.

Treatment for Athletes with Addictions

Whatever the cause of an addiction to drugs or alcohol, recovering from the addiction can be a long and arduous process, one that takes hard work and an incredible amount of support from friends and loved ones. The amount of time it takes for an athlete or any other addict to recover from alcoholism or drug addiction depends on several factors, including the individual himself, his support system, how long he has been addicted, and any environmental influences he may be facing in the real world. There are many different types of addiction recovery programs out there, but the most effective way to break free from addiction and learn how to live life without drugs or alcohol is to undergo inpatient treatment at a facility that offers individual counseling, group therapy, and other proven treatment services. In all, the most important thing to understand about athletes with addictions is that the recovery process is ongoing and that each individual recovers in his own way and in his own time.

Relapse Affects Your Recovery

How a Relapse Affects Your Recovery Process

Recovery from addiction requires an understanding of how relapse affects your recovery process.  Drug addiction and alcoholism are serious issues, and once an addict or his loved ones recognize the fact that what was once occasional use has turned into a regular habit, the addict’s first course of action may be to attend a treatment program that specializes in substance abuse recovery.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2009 alone, 23.5 million people aged 12 and up required treatment for an addiction to alcohol or illicit drugs, attending rehab facilities like Behavioral Rehabilitation Services. Unfortunately, for many recovering addicts, once they complete treatment at a rehab facility and reenter society, the risk of a relapse remains high.

Learning How Relapse Affects Your Recovery

There are a number options available when it comes to seeking treatment for alcoholism or drug abuse, the ideal option being an inpatient facility that offers a wide variety of substance abuse services, like individual counseling, group therapy, a mentorship program, nutritional counseling, and restorative exercise. The goal of these substance abuse programs is to help addicts overcome their addiction and develop the tools and skills they need to live happy and healthy lives as productive members of society, without the use of illicit drugs or alcohol.

Once the addict has successfully completed treatment and has established a pattern of sobriety, he is typically released from the rehabilitation facility and encouraged to reenter society, making positive changes in his life in order to maintain sobriety. In some cases though, the old triggers remain, and recovering addicts may suffer a setback that causes them to relapse, or fall back into their old ways. Once a relapse occurs, it doesn’t necessarily mean that achieving lasting sobriety is impossible, but it does mean that the recovering addict must begin again on his road to recovery.

Relapse Prevention and Warning Signs

When it comes down to it, recovery from alcoholism or illicit drug abuse is an ongoing process, one that takes hard work and an immense amount of support from friends and loved ones, and relapse is a normal part of that process for some people. In many cases, a recovering addict who suffers a relapse may return to inpatient treatment for more intensive counseling, therapy and support, or may choose to participate in an outpatient recovery program, where he can attend individual and group therapy sessions a few days a week, while maintaining a normal schedule at work or school.

While relapse is a common occurrence in the world of substance abuse recovery, one that can happen several times on the road to sobriety, there are steps a recovering addict and his support system can take to decrease the chances of a relapse, including recognizing the warning signs of relapse and understanding how relapse affects your recovery. If you find yourself experiencing destructive thoughts or mood swings, isolating yourself from groups and activities, neglecting healthy habits or coping skills, or returning to unhealthy behaviors or environments, you may be at risk for a relapse, and may want to reconnect with a counselor or mentor from your inpatient treatment program, in order to prevent a relapse.

What it Means to Relapse

Relapse may look and feel like a serious setback in your recovery process – it may even seem like the biggest of failures for a recovering addict – but it’s a challenge that many addicts must contend with at some point in their lives, and it doesn’t mean your chances of long-term recovery are over. It’s important to remember that recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction is a lifelong commitment, one that takes strength, discipline and the help of a professional rehabilitation program to fight off cravings and maintain abstinence, using the tools that you learned during inpatient treatment.  Learn the facts about how relapse affects your recovery, and gain strength from that knowledge.

Overdose Awareness

Drug Overdose Awareness for Families

Families should all stay current with overdose awareness facts today. Drug abuse is a scary topic, one that all too often is glossed over or ignored altogether, only because many people don’t understand it or know how to react to it. Unfortunately, drug overdose is something that happens every day to people all over the country, and since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses in the United States has increased a whopping 137 percent. For those with friends and loved ones who use drugs, it’s important to stay abreast of drug overdose awareness facts such as what happens during an overdose, what kinds of drugs can cause an overdose, and how to respond to a situation in which a person overdoses.

Overdose Awareness Fact: What Happens During an Overdose?

Important overdose awareness information families need to know is what happens during an overdose. A drug overdose occurs when a person takes more of a drug or combination of drugs than the body can handle, causing the central nervous system to lose control of basic life functions. As a result, the person may lose consciousness, stop breathing, or experience seizures, heart failure, or another potentially life-threatening event. What happens to the body during an overdose relies heavily on what kind of drug the individual takes.

Depressants, like heroin, opium, and methadone, slow down the body’s processes, and someone who overdoses on a depressant may become unresponsive or unconscious, have difficulty breathing, or vomit. Stimulants, on the other hand, speed up the body’s processes, and an overdose on stimulants may cause seizures, heart attack or stroke. The most common cause of death associated with a drug overdose occurs when the individual is unable to breathe properly, which means oxygen isn’t reaching the brain. There is information available on drug overdose awareness facts that families can access.

What Types of Drugs Can Cause an Overdose?

There are many types of drugs that people take to get high or escape from problems that rarely, if ever, cause an overdose, like cannabis, LSD, and benzodiazepines. However, depressant and stimulant drugs that are injected, like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine, can cause fatal overdose, and this risk increases when someone takes multiple drugs together. Still, the potential for overdose depends on a number of factors, including the drug potency, the means of administration, the speed of use, and the individual’s weight, health and tolerance for a drug at a given time. Unfortunately, there is no exact formula for determining how much of a drug, or combination of drugs, a person’s body can handle, and the amount of a drug that causes a person to overdose can fluctuate.

How to Respond to a Drug Overdose

If someone you know is using drugs, it’s important to be able to recognize the warning signs of overdose, so that you can prevent or minimize its impact. Most drug overdoses set in over the course of hours, not minutes, as the body slowly begins to shut down and breathing becomes labored, in the case of an opioid overdose, or the heart beats so fast it gives out, in the event of a stimulant overdose. In either situation, it’s important to closely monitor the person and watch out for symptoms that indicate an overdose is happening or is likely to occur. The most common symptoms of an overdose on depressants, for example, are slow heartbeat and pulse; slow, raspy breathing; pale face; limp body; choking sounds and passing out. For stimulants, overdose symptoms may include shaking or seizure, suddenly collapsing, passing out, heart attack, or stroke.

The most dangerous kinds of overdose usually involve either an opioid or stimulant drug, and for someone experiencing an opioid overdose, your response should be to provide rescue breathing, call for help, administer naloxone (an opioid overdose antidote) if available, and monitor the situation until the person is stable. For someone who overdoses on a stimulant and suffers a seizure, heart attack or stroke, the appropriate response remains the same, except a naloxone injection, which has no effect on stimulant drugs. You should always call for an ambulance if someone has a seizure, heart attack or stroke, and if the heart stops beating, the American Heart Association recommends performing “hands-only CPR,” or chest compressions without rescue breathing.

By staying current with overdose awareness facts,  families who have a loved one suffering from drug addiction may be able to prevent an overdose which could be fatal or at least to know what to do if your loved one does overdose on drugs. Don’t  let your loved one turn into a drug statistic. Staying mindful of overdose awareness facts can save lives.