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addiction help

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

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

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

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

Beating Alcohol Addiction

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

Don’t Fear Asking for Professional Addiction Help

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

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

Treatment at Behavioral Rehabilitation

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

Your 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

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.

How to Stop Enabling an Addict

How to Stop Enabling an Addict and Making Excuses for Them

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

What Does Enabling Mean?

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

How to Stop Enabling an Addict

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

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

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

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

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

BRS Rehab Can Help

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

strengthen the bond in Addiction Recovery

How to Strengthen the Bond with Your Spouse During Addiction Recovery

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

The Impact of Addiction on a Family

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

Ways to Strengthen the Bond During Addiction Recovery

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

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

The Addiction Recovery Experts at BRS Can Help

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

man and woman discussing 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 through social activities

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. Amenities at a rehab facility may include social rehab activities such as walking or hiking the grounds or participating in a group sport, or wellness activities like massage or yoga and offer clients an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on their recovery process.
  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.

executive thinking about 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.

why did your loved one 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 for turning 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 playing baseball

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 for famillies

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.

group of women discussing drug intervention tips

Drug Intervention Tips for Helping a Loved One in Need

Watching a loved one destroy their life with a crippling addiction is one of the hardest experiences any person can go through. Not only does the addict suffer from his/her addiction, but everyone else that is close to them also feels the ripple effects. Interventions are often used to bring light to the dangerous situation and persuade the victim to make a change in his/her ways. With this guide, you can get helpful drug intervention tips for carrying one out yourself, and what needs to happen afterward.

What is a Drug Intervention?

According to DrugAbuse.com, a drug intervention is a collaborative effort by close family, friends, and colleagues to meet with a drug addict in an attempt to persuade them to get help for their addiction. A professional is present to navigate the process and offer drug intervention tips. The intervention usually begins with each loved one expressing their concerns for the addict and how they’ve been affected by the situation. In some cases, letters are written beforehand and read at the intervention to keep thoughts organized and on task.

Each loved one also expresses the consequences that the addict will face if he/she doesn’t make the active choice to change their life after the intervention. For example, the parents of the addict might warn that they will no longer provide a place to live or financial support if treatment is not accepted. Once the intervention completes, and if it is successful, arrangements are almost immediately made to admit the addict to treatment so that they can begin the recovery process.

Effective Drug Intervention Tips

InterventionSupport.com lists several very helpful drug intervention tips to guide you through the process. The odds of the intervention being a success weigh heavily on how you execute it and how much preparation a group of people puts into it beforehand. An intervention is not something you can enter into without being properly prepared.

Choosing the Team Who Will Conduct the Intervention

The intervention team must be chosen as carefully as possible beforehand. Any person that has a meaningful relationship with the addict is encouraged to be there for the intervention, while anyone who either doesn’t have a significant tie to the user or those that could potentially cause things to turn sour should stay out of it. An intervention is an emotional and grave matter; it is no time for mocking, belittling, or bickering. Examples of people that should be present, if possible, for the intervention are:

  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Children
  • Significant Others
  • Close Friends
  • Close Colleagues

Go with an Unfamiliar, Yet Private Setting

If your team has already begun to think about places to hold the drug intervention, it’s likely that you or someone else has thought about volunteering your home for a location. While this would seem like a comfortable and practical solution, this type of setting could cause problems. The problem is that this kind of environment is not only convenient for you, but it is also going to be comfortable for the addict likely which means he/she might feel comfortable with being more combative than if it were in an unfamiliar, formal location, such as a public conference room.

Go with a Strategic Order

When you’re trying to decide what order each person will speak in, it’s a good idea to leave the more significant relationships for the end. If the addict has any children, it might be better to save their comments for the moments just before the user is asked to make a decision. The idea is to get the addict as emotionally vulnerable as possible before they are asked to make this type of life-changing decision. In many cases, a user’s children have the most sway in helping the victim make the right choice.

Rehearse and Stick to the Key Points

Lastly, make sure the intervention is repeated as many times as possible before the big day arrives remembering all of the drug intervention tips you have on hand. To rehearse effectively, gather into your meeting space as if the event is taking place and progress through a mock intervention.

Additionally, it’s wise to ensure that everyone knows what they are going to say and knows it well. The last thing you want is for team members to forget major points that they were originally going to make or for the intervention to derail off topic. Rehearse the information to a point where everyone is sure of what they’re going to say and isn’t going to forget it.

After the Intervention

In the majority of cases, drug addicts choose to accept treatment once the meeting completes due to the harsh consequences that are to come if he/she decides to decline. It is crucial to get the addict into inpatient treatment as soon as possible after the intervention has ended. The more time that is allowed to take place between the drug intervention and the beginning of therapy, the more likely the addict is to change their mind.

Inpatient treatment is a fantastic option for users that are ready to change their lives and give up their addictions for good. Inpatient treatment provides several benefits including personalized programs to help each in their particular situations, group support, safe detoxification, a safe environment free of triggers, and much more.

If you know someone that is in need of drug addiction treatment, consider staging an intervention and arranging inpatient treatment options as soon as possible.

man with handful of pills is abusing painkillers

Common Signs that Someone is Abusing Painkillers

Abusing painkillers is a growing epidemic in the United States and other areas of the world. The number of people taking prescription medications without a medical need has increased over 75 percent from 2002 to the present. Additionally, over 4.6 million people have admitted to using these pills with no medical need for a period of over 30 days. Over 956,000 Americans have used painkillers for longer than 200 days straight with no medical reason. These statistics show that painkillers are highly addictive and that people have a tendency to use them for recreational purposes rather than medicinal purposes. The epidemic becomes worse because many doctors are refilling prescriptions for profit, knowing that the patients are addicted.

The best way to reduce the number of people addicted to painkillers is for friends and family members to get involved when they see signs of abuse. Intervening can possibly save lives. The following shows a list of five common signs that someone is abusing painkillers.

Abusing Painkillers: Refilling Prescriptions after Injury Subsides

The most common sign that someone is abusing painkillers is the refilling of prescriptions with no cause. The individual may have initially gotten the prescription to ease the pain of a medical procedure, tooth extraction, or some other temporary situation. If a person is continuing to see the same doctor to obtain painkillers and he or she is not showing any signs of discomfort from the original cause, then this person is most likely abusing painkillers. It might be a good idea to question the person as to why the doctor continues to refill the prescriptions.

Constantly Borrowing Money

Someone who is abusing painkillers may have to purchase them on the street if the doctor is not refilling the prescriptions. Painkillers can cost from $5 to $20 a pill on the street. Depending on the strength the individual is taking, money can disappear very quickly. Anyone who tears through his or her paycheck in less than a day and constantly asks family and friends for loans is probably abusing painkillers.

Neglecting Responsibilities

Neglecting responsibilities such as work, school, children, and hygiene are telltale signs that a person is abusing painkillers. Someone who has this problem will be distant and isolate himself or herself from friends or family members. He or she may completely ignore a romantic relationship because of the constant pursuit of painkillers. Work may become the last item on the priority list after payday. Additionally, hygiene may not be up to par because of the preoccupation with getting high.

Strange Sleeping Habits

Someone who is abusing painkillers may have strange sleeping habits depending on how the drugs affect his or her body. Sometimes painkillers give users too much energy and they stay up until the wee hours of the morning and sleep during the day. Anyone who knows someone who has suddenly changed sleeping patterns and is exhibiting some of the other symptoms may assume that person is abusing painkillers.

Irritability

A person who is abusing painkillers may be in denial in regards to the usage. He or she may get angry if a friend or family member asks about the abuse. The individual may also become irritated as a sign or symptom of withdrawal.

The Best Approach

There are many more symptoms that a person abusing painkillers may exhibit. The best way to approach the suspected party is with love and friendly advice. The onlooker will want to let the person know that he or she is loved and accepted. If the person is responsive to help offerings, then the family member or friend can take steps to get that person assistance.

sad woman at christmas using mood altering drugs

Coping With the Holidays Without Using Mood-Altering Drugs

Far too many people turn to mood-altering drugs during the holidays.  All too often, the holidays are the most challenging season of the year due to time that is centered around family and friends with the added stress that comes with such a busy season. Approximately 350 million people suffer from anxiety and depression throughout the world, which can make it difficult for many people to attend holiday parties or participate in various festivities that are planned. Although it can be tempting to cope with the holiday season by taking mood-altering drugs, there are a few ways to stay confident by practicing other methods that are often healthier alternatives.

How to Avoid Mood-Altering Drugs During Holidays

Get Plenty of Sunlight

With a lack of sunlight outdoors during the winter season, it can contribute to the holiday blues and feel down for several months if too much time is spent in a dim environment. Opt for spending time outdoors when the sun does come out, which will reduce the effects of a Seasonal Affective Disorder. You can also consider using a lamp that gives off artificial sunlight in the morning at home, which can reset the body’s internal clock with frequent use and help improve moods.

Receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It’s important to receive mental health counseling with cognitive-behavioral therapy by speaking with a mental health professional. By enrolling in cognitive behavioral therapy sessions during the season, you can find methods and treatment options available for managing your moods and staying positive. For millions of people, the therapy helps to manage mental health symptoms and treat it without the use of mood-altering medications. Those who suffer from sleep disorders, personality disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, and phobias can benefit. The therapy can also help the patient understand their moods and depression while working towards specific goals that can improve their lifestyle. Cognitive behavioral therapy is also considered to offer the most immediate results due to its instructive nature with homework that is assigned during the treatment.

Exercise

With holiday treats and cold weather outside, it can be difficult to find the motivation to stay active and healthy during the winter months. However, exercising is crucial to staying positive and combatting the effects of depression without the use of mood-altering drugs. Individuals should exercise three to five days a week to release endorphins, which will immediately stimulate the brain and make it easier to reduce the risk of stress or anxiety. Other benefits include improved sleep and better self-esteem for a natural and healthy way to cope with the holidays in a way that will impact both your body and mind.

Recognize Triggers

With both anxiety and depression, there are often common triggers that can cause individuals to feel the effects of the disorders. It’s important to realize what often causes the stress or depression, which can often be related to financial stress, social interaction, and work pressures. Those that work with a mental professional can better identify the triggers and learn effective methods for coping during the season instead of harboring the pain and discomfort internally. It’s also important to practice positive thinking and reverse negative thoughts that can quickly become overwhelming and trigger the moods.

Manage Your Schedule

One of the most common reasons that adults suffer from depression during the holidays is due to the added stress that comes with spending more money, traveling long distances, and having a busier schedule. It’s important to manage your schedule throughout the months and avoid overcommitting to events or activities that are not always necessary to attend. Create a realistic plan that you can handle a month before the season to prevent feeling overwhelmed and to stay positive with each event. Consider the holiday season as a marathon that you need to pace yourself with, which will help to prevent feeling burnt out with the holiday parties or get-togethers each week.

Avoid Alcohol

Many people enjoy indulging in alcohol at holiday parties to celebrate the season, but the beverage should be avoided for those who can suffer from depression or anxiety. Alcohol is a depressant that can heighten your mood and can increase the symptoms of feeling the winter blues.

Stay Thankful

One of the most shared and effective methods to maintaining a healthy mindset is by remaining grateful during the holiday season. Although it may be stressful to deal with holiday traffic or to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for some people, you can stay positive by listing what you’re thankful for. Take a few moments each day to reflect, which can work to improve your mood and prevent having pity on yourself. Stay thankful for particular people in your life who make you happy and help shape who you are as an individual.

Getting Help for Mood-Altering Drug Problems

If you need more information about mood-altering drugs, call our toll-free number today.