telehealth addiction services

ATS has partnered with Phoenix Behavioral Health

Addiction Treatment Services has partnered with Phoenix Behavioral Health to offer telehealth addiction services

JUNE 01, 2020

Telehealth Addiction Services

People facing alcohol and drug addiction often have trouble finding the right treatment for their needs and situation. The recent COVID-19 outbreak is making it harder than ever to get the help they want and need, but a new partnership is promising to change that. 

Addiction Treatment Services is partnering with Phoenix to offer patients telehealth services. The service aims to provide counseling and support during this stressful time so that patients can get back on the road to recovery. Both companies keep their patients’ needs in mind from start to finish to give them the best odds of reaching their short- and long-term recovery goals, and the partnership paves the way toward the future.

Is It Safe to Mix Benadryl and Alcohol?

Allergies are a real bummer. They make your nose drip, your eyes itch, and your throat tickle with that nagging cough that is sometimes enough to drive you crazy. In your desperation for relief, you might turn to Benadryl, the most famous (and the most effective) drug for combating allergies. As you sit and wait for the medication to take its effect, you might be tempted to pour yourself a glass of wine. Maybe, the Benadryl makes you feel better, and you decide to go to that party you were invited to and have a couple of drinks. Think twice before you make this mistake. You are personally responsible for what you put into your body, and you need to pay attention to the ways different substances interact. Is it safe to mix Benadryl and alcohol? No, it is not, and you should not do it under any circumstances. 

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl, the brand name of a drug called diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine, meaning it helps control the functioning of the compound histamine in the body. Histamine causes your body to react to allergies with standard systems like coughing and a runny nose. By voiding the histamine’s activation of these symptoms, the antihistamine makes the body more comfortable while fighting off an allergy. 

Benadryl is an over the counter drug, meaning you can buy it at the pharmacy or a supermarket without a prescription. This ease of access makes it a lot more convenient to fight off seasonal allergies, but it also suggests that Benadryl is relatively harmless. It is a powerful drug with harsh, dangerous side effects, especially if its use is combined with alcohol consumption. 

Why is Mixing Benadryl and Alcohol Unsafe?

Both Benadryl and alcohol are depressants, meaning that they slow down the functioning of your central nervous system (which consists of your brain and your spinal cord). With Benadryl, this comes as no surprise, since drowsiness is a common side effect. However, in the case of alcohol, people often mistakenly believe it is a stimulant because of the euphoric sensations and lively behavior it seems to cause. It is essential always to remember that alcohol is, in fact, a depressant, and treat it as such. 

Taking Benadryl and consuming alcohol simultaneously works as a double whammy on your central nervous system. Simultaneously stricken with two different depressants, the central nervous system becomes overwhelmed. Some studies even suggest that alcohol serves to enhance the effects of Benadryl. The result is extreme drowsiness and fatigue. The brain becomes incapable of easy tasks, and motor ability is significantly reduced. 

This excessive drowsiness can make ordinary tasks of everyday life dangerous. Driving under such conditions, for example, is extremely hazardous and comes with a severe risk of accidents. Other seemingly simple tasks, from preparing yourself dinner to taking a bath, also become dangerous when your brain is so significantly impaired. 

Driving: Especially Risky

It is important to note that driving is a terrible idea for anyone who has ingested both alcohol and Benadryl. You might think it is okay to have taken Benadryl for your allergies and then stop for just a single beer at a local bar on your drive home from work. While this might not appear to be especially extreme behavior, in reality, it is hazardous. 

Benadryl itself is already enough of a risk behind the wheel, with some studies suggesting that it is more dangerous than alcohol even on its own. Once you add a little alcohol to your system, you are setting off a chain reaction in your body that will significantly increase the danger.

Additional Risks for Seniors

Seniors seem to be especially susceptible to the effects of Benadryl. This means that drinking on Benadryl is even more dangerous for older adults. A lack of motor ability and dizziness is also a riskier proposition for the elderly because it increases the chance of falling. A poor decision to mix alcohol and Benadryl can be the first mistake in a series of misadventures that results in a serious (or even deadly) accident. 

Awareness of Alcohol in Unsuspected Substances

So now you know not to drink alcoholic beverages while you’re taking Benadryl for your allergies. But even that is not enough awareness to keep you entirely in the clear. It is also essential to recognize what substances contain alcohol besides alcoholic drinks. Some medications, including laxatives and cough syrup, contain alcohol. There are some drugs for which alcohol even makes up ten percent of their total mass. Taking these medications, along with Benadryl, can be as dangerous as washing your allergy medicine down with a bottle of wine. If you are going to be taking other medications along with the Benadryl, read the labels carefully to make sure they don’t contain alcohol. If you have any doubts about whether a drug can be taken simultaneously with Benadryl, contact your doctor. This is a situation where it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Potential for Polysubstance Abuse

Some individuals may take Benadryl and use alcohol simultaneously intentionally, hoping to experience the doubling of depressants as a sort of high. This is highly dangerous, not just because of the drowsiness such behavior causes, but also because both substances are potentially addictive. Once an addiction to this dangerous mixture is developed, it might be impossible to overcome it without rehab. In extreme cases, individuals may even up their dosage until overdose and death become real possibilities. Such a pattern of behavior should be strenuously avoided. 

Overcoming Addiction

If you are addicted to Benadryl and alcohol, you should reach out for help before it is too late. A rehabilitation program can get you sober and on the path toward recovery. From hospitalization to outpatient care, there are plenty of options that can help overcome this nasty addiction. Addiction is devastating, but there is always a way out. 

Conclusion

Benadryl is a useful drug, helping millions of people overcome the obnoxious symptoms of seasonal allergies every year. As helpful and popular as it is, its ubiquity should not be mistaken for benignity. Benadryl is highly potent, with severe effects on the central nervous system. When mixed with alcohol, the dangers of Benadryl are even more pronounced. 

Feel free to use Benadryl to fight your allergies, but do it with caution and a healthy respect for the drug’s destructive potential. Never mix Benadryl and alcohol, especially in an intentional search for pleasure. If you are anyone you know suffers from addiction to this deadly cocktail of substances, seek help immediately. Benadryl might be sold over the counter, but it’s far from perfectly safe.

When to Go to Rehab

Is My Addiction Bad Enough? When to Go to Rehab

When Is My Drug or Alcohol Addiction Bad Enough To Go To Rehab?

People struggling with alcohol or drug addiction often find it extremely difficult to admit that they have a real problem. If your life and your relationships are being affected in an unfortunate way due to your drug or alcohol addiction, then maybe it is time to face the reality of your addiction head-on. Once you finally admit that you have an addiction to yourself and your loved ones, you will be on the right path to a successful recovery. Now all you need to do is decide on how you want to get sober. 

It is quite unfortunate that only about ten percent of people who struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction end up going to rehab and getting the help that they need. Of course, there are hundreds of different reasons that people believe they do not require treatment, but the most common reasons are that they haven’t realized the severity of their addiction or they just haven’t hit rock bottom yet. The worst thing is that most addicts will continue to use it until they hit rock bottom or end up dying from an overdose. You are already in a dangerous spot if you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction. And if you are questioning whether or not you need to get help from a rehabilitation facility, then you probably do. If you wait, you are at risk of losing everything and everyone you love, possibly even your life.

Understanding The Severity Of Your Drug or Alcohol Addiction?

Many people make the mistake of thinking that they only have a severe addiction if their substance abuse has caused them to lose their home, job, marriage, and even individual relationships within your family. However, that is not the case. You may have just been lucky so far, but luck does not last forever. Even if your addiction is still in its early stages, you should always seek treatment for your addiction as soon as you possibly can.

Addictions are diagnosed on a spectrum, and there are many different criteria for addiction that can help determine whether your level of addiction is mild, moderate, or severe. Here are a few various examples:

  • Withdrawals
  • Unable to quit, even if you wanted to
  • Relationship issues
  • Loss of interest in things that you used to love
  • Unable to control yourself
  • Increasing Tolerance
  • Spending a vast majority of your free time trying to obtain the substance

The higher the number of criteria that you meet, the more severe that your addiction is. However, even if your addiction is mild, getting help as soon as you can help save your life before it is too late. Remember that you are risking your life anytime you use drugs or alcohol, and if you drive under the influence, you are endangering everyone else’s lives. And every single year, thousands of people die from alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses.

What Should You Do If Your Friends Fail to Recognize The Severity Of Your Addiction?

You are questioning whether you have an addiction, but your friends continue to tell you otherwise, or you are just overreacting. If this happens to you and you’re unsure of what to do, consider asking yourself these three questions.

  1. If The Table Was Turned, Would You Feel Comfortable Confronting Them About Their Addiction? It all depends on whether or not your friendship is durable enough for that extreme level of honesty. Your friend(s) could be questioning this as well. They could be too scared to address your addiction and risk their friendship with you, especially if it has been rough in the past.?
  2. Are Your Friends In The Same Position As You? If your friend(s) also happen to struggle with a drug or alcohol addiction, then they may be saying whatever they possibly can to avoid losing their party buddy, especially if they are too afraid to admit that they have an addiction. However, if they’re truly a real friend, they will stand by your decision to get sober no matter what.
  3. Are You Guilty of Hiding Your Addiction From Them? If you have hidden this side of you from your friends, then they may be utterly shocked once they are told. They are most likely in denial of how it could even be possible or wondering how they failed to notice this all this time. Use this as an opportunity to be completely honest and open up to them about your substance abuse issues. After all, you will want them by your side while you recover.

Your Addiction Can And Will Only Get Worse As Time Passes

 A mild diagnosis may not be as critical as a severe diagnosis, but it’s just as important because your life is still at risk. Addiction is a progressive disease meaning that it will only get worse over time. The diagnosis of your addiction could be mild one week and then moderate or severe the next. Please don’t wait until you hit rock bottom or die from an overdose; it’s time to go and get the help that you need. 

Reach Out To A Good Rehabilitation Facility & Grasp At Your Best Chance at Getting Sober

To beat any level of addiction to alcohol or drugs, you must get rid of the physical dependence and address any behavior or psychological problems because of your addiction. Eliminating the physical dependence of any substance will require a full detox to get the drugs or alcohol out of your body. Getting your detox done by medical professionals is much safer than doing it yourself at home. If you quit cold turkey, it will not affect the psychological aspect of any drug or alcohol addiction. If you want to recover from your addiction, you must change the way you act, think, and feel. Without getting help from experienced medical professionals at a rehabilitation facility, addressing the psychological aspect of any drug or alcohol addiction. These medical professionals not only care about your well-being, but they are also there to assist you with any issues or withdrawal symptoms.

Struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction doesn’t mean that you are a terrible person, or even a weak person, it just means that you have a substance abuse problem and it’s time to get the help that you need. Your addiction is only going to get worse as time goes by, so get help sooner rather than later because your life is in danger. If you are unable to stop but want to, then it is time to check into a rehabilitation facility today! Going to a rehabilitation facility will allow you to gain a reliable support system and set you up with a set of skills to beat your disease for many more years to come. Without seeking help from these medical professionals, your drug or alcohol addiction could last your entire life. Go out and save your life today!

Encouraging Words For Someone in Rehab

Words of Encouragement: For Someone in Rehab

Did you know on average, 44,000 people die every year from a drug overdose, and it has become the number one injury-related death in the United States? The use of alcohol and drugs can be very detrimental for someone’s life as they leave their loved ones behind, and many people who go through rehab or therapy sometimes relapse or do not finish the program. Finding the words to say to someone who is seeking help and needs encouragement to complete the program and be free from their addiction can be tough, but it is not impossible. Here are a few questions and words of support you can say to someone who is going through rehab.

Encouraging Words For Someone in Rehab

How Are You Doing?

This question may seem like one of the most obvious questions or things to say to someone who is going through therapy, but it can be overlooked at times. When you do not know what to say, start by asking about their well-being, and let them know you are not looking for the primary responses everyone gives. I’m ok, or I’m doing good. Let them know you want to know exactly how they are feeling, and if anything is bothering them, you are there to listen.

How Can I Support You?

Asking someone going through therapy how they are doing may open up a hard conversation. They may tell you things are tough for them, or perhaps they are wanting or thinking about giving up. It is essential to let them know they have your full support, so if you do not have a solution on how you can support them, do not be afraid to ask how you can help them. They may enjoy your presence or your company. It can allow them to feel at home. You may be able to do outside things that are stressing them out; they may need you to do something such as giving a message to a loved one or checking on their home while they go through therapy. It is never a bad thing to ask someone directly how you can support them.

I Am Proud of You

Hearing the words, I am proud of you can give someone great strength and encouragement. Even if they mess up, or if this is their third or fifth time going through therapy, letting them know that you are proud of them can mean so much to them. Let them know the reasons you are proud of them. This will help them to see their strength. They may not have done it right the first time, or maybe they relapsed, but they had enough power to go back and try again. It takes a lot of courage and strength to try something again after failing the first time. It takes a lot of courage and strength to admit you need help, so no matter if it is their first time or their second or third time, they had enough courage to walk through that door and say, ?I need help,? and that is worth something to be proud of.

Just Take Things One Day at a Time

Sometimes people may feel overwhelmed with all the things they have to do to recover. They have to go through withdrawal, etc. They may even start to feel anxious about getting through the program, but you tell them not to focus on what they have to do tomorrow but to focus on what they are doing today. Tell them to take things one day at a time, and over time they will see all the hard work they put into getting better. Worry about today’s troubles because tomorrow will have their own.

I Am Here For You

Sometimes people may feel like they are alone while they are going through recovery, but you let them know they are not alone and that you are there for whatever they need. Even if you cannot be there physically, let them know they are in your thoughts. However, you can contact them, do so, and cheer them on. This will help build them up and give them the strength to continue.

What Have You Been Learning

Asking your loved one what they have been learning allows them to see you care about what they are getting out of their recovery. This will let the two of you discuss their growth. You will also be able to learn something about them as well. You two may be able to come up with a plan to help them improve their living situation when released from therapy.

It Always Seems Impossible Until One Day It Isn’t

Many people think things are easier said than done, but sometimes it is the opposite. Sometimes things are easier done than said. When we say things, we think about what we have to do instead of just doing it. This can lead to overthinking and psyching ourselves out of doing something, but once we do it, we realize it was impossible, and we are a lot stronger than we anticipated. Encourage your loved one to keep going because one day, they will understand how strong they are, and they will be able to see they can live a sober life.

What Are Some of Your Goals and Desires in Life?

Having goals and good desires can help encourage your loved one to finish their program, and saying yes to a new adventure can give someone hope. Let your loved one know that this is their opportunity to gain a new fresh start. This is their opportunity to learn new things about themselves and to find new healthy habits to help them cope. Help them to build up the excitement. Your loved one has the rest of their lives to live free from their addiction. The possibilities of who they can be and what they can do are limitless. Remind them of who they wanted to be and what they wanted to do before their addiction started. They can still be that person.

I Believe in You

Sometimes it takes someone else to believe in a person before they begin to believe in themselves, and sometimes it is the belief that someone has in that person that will motivate them to believe in themselves. They will start to desire to see what you see in them, so even if they do not believe in themselves, let them know you believe in them even if no one else does. This may give them the extra push they need.

What Has Been Hard for You

Asking your loved one has been hard lets them know you genuinely care and want to support them through the good and the bad. If they tell you something hard and can encourage them, then do so, but if it is something you do not have an answer for, do not be afraid to help them to open up to someone in the rehab facility to support them. For example, if they tell you it has been tough being away from home and they miss everyone, you can encourage them by reminding them this is a temporary situation. This, too, shall pass. They will not be in that situation forever and remind them of all the hard work they are putting in to get them through rehab, but if they tell you something more complex, encourage them to speak with someone who can help them find a solution.

Having a hard one go through rehab can even be hard on you, so as you continue to encourage your loved one, remember it is ok for you to seek encouragement and support yourself. We hope these words of encouragement will help you and your loved one as they go through rehab.

Best Essential Oils for Addiction

Best Essential Oils for Symptoms of Addiction and Withdrawal

People who have undergone substance or alcohol addiction treatment acknowledge that the experience can be an ordeal that most people struggle to forget. When you are trying to quit your addiction, you will find yourself experiencing many cravings, especially as withdrawal starts. This will make it hard for you to give up your addiction. When addiction is severe, withdrawal symptoms and desires will also be critical. If not handled professionally, they could lead to a relapse. It is estimated that more than 20 million people in the country are experiencing a form of drug or alcohol addiction: more than 5 million of these are admitted to drug rehabs due to drug overdose. Moreover, only a small fraction of those who are exposed to drug addiction treatment centers attain a full recovery since many of them give up and go back to substance use.

8 Best Essential Oils for Symptoms of Addiction and Withdrawal

As more drug rehabilitation centers adopt a holistic approach to drug addiction rehabilitation, many of them have resorted to the use of essential oils when managing withdrawal symptoms in their clients. Some of the essential oils used in substance addiction treatment are:

1. Geranium Oil

This essential oil enhances love and trust. It helps patients recovering from drug addiction to release their grief and pain, something that helps them manage the emotions that they experience during substance withdrawal. The oil also promotes trust and love between the patient and those close to them, while increasing their confidence in the recovery process. This results in healthy relationships, which many recovering patients find challenging to build.

2. Grapefruit Oil

People who are undergoing substance addiction treatment often experience reduced metabolism and low serotonin levels. Essential oils from grapefruits are used in enhancing a human body’s capacity to regulate metabolism and maintain the required levels of serotonin in the body for proper body nourishment. Serotonin is a chemical often nicknamed ‘happy chemical,’ which means an increase in the levels of serotonin would accelerate addiction treatment recovery for patients. This oil, therefore, is an excellent mood enhancer for individuals undergoing substance addiction rehabilitation.

3. Lemon Oil

Lemon oil is one of the most used essential oils because of its numerous health benefits. It is recommended that patients undergoing addiction treatment since it helps them manage fatigue and eliminates any form of confusion in their minds. The lemon oil achieves this by targeting the liver and cleansing it to enhance its functionality. Lemon is a natural invigorator and refresher. As such, this oil comes in handy for people who are experiencing fatigue as they recover from substance or alcohol addiction. This is because it can boost their energy levels significantly.

4. Peppermint Oil

Nausea is a common physical symptom for people who are undergoing addiction treatment. It always leads to vomiting, which is a common sign and manifestation in the withdrawal stage of drug rehabilitation. Peppermint essential oil is used by specialists to treat nausea and vomiting. Other health benefits of peppermint include aiding in pain relief. It is can also eliminate headaches, thus making it a vital essential oil for anyone undergoing addiction treatment. A few drops of this essential oil offer a soothing and cooling effect and relieves numerous pains from the body. Apart from its physical benefits, this essential oil also has emotional effects, which means that it can significantly enhance the mood of patients, promote mental clarity, and bring buoyancy and joyfulness. It is a must-have when you want a client to develop a positive and stable mindset as he or she undergoes substance addiction treatment.

5. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is also referred to as Melaleuca oil. It is known for its antiseptic properties, which makes it ideal for patients who have wounds. Other benefits of tree oil include clearing dark energies from a patient’s body that block paths in the body and lead to a feeling of exhaustion. Moreover, the oil helps reset the functioning of the patient’s bodies.

6. Lavender Oil

This essential oil is famous for its relaxation properties. It helps a person undergoing substance addiction treatment achieve a sense of calmness, increases their ability to communicate appropriately, and allows them to speak their truth. It is also essential during bedtime due to its relaxation properties that help enhance restfulness and peace.

7. Roman chamomile oil

When individuals are undergoing drug addiction treatment, they experience withdrawal symptoms that can be stressful. Roman chamomile oil helps relieve withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety. It will also boost the client’s mood due to its mild sedative properties. What’s more, the oil enhances the body’s ability to eliminate toxins when one is undergoing detoxification. This makes it a vital component in the journey towards full drug addiction recovery.

8. Ginger Oil

Ginger oil is known for its high antioxidant properties that can help the body eliminate toxins from the body. During the drug withdrawal, this oil helps suppress cravings and help individuals manage their withdrawal symptoms. Other benefits of ginger oil include enhancing the immune system, promoting the functioning of the digestive system, and helping them manage anxiety, stress, and depression.

How Essential Oils are used

There are different ways through which one can use essential oils and benefit from their numerous characteristics. Some of the ways to use essential oils include:

Inhale the Essential Oils

The preferred method of using essential oil is through their inhalation. This method is easy and enhances the well-being of people undergoing addiction treatment. What is needed is to use a diffuser, oil, and a carrier to diffuse your room with the aroma and then breathe it. There are specific oil carriers that one can use. Alternatively, you can use water as a carrier. Another method of inhaling essential oils is placing it in a tissue or towel and inhaling it.

Topical Application

The topical application involves applying the essential oil directly to your skin to allow it to absorb it. This method can be efficient, although it is not recommended for highly concentrated oils that would have side effects. For highly concentrated oils, one can dilute them with water before applying it to the skin. Essential oils can be used for massage skins when one is experiencing withdrawal symptoms to enjoy their soothing effects. The result will be a reduction in muscle cramps and body aches. This is because it offers instant relief.

Essential Oil Baths

If you want a more soothing effect from the essential oils and the other benefits that come with it when undergoing detox, consider taking an oil bath. To enjoy an oil bath, you will need to mix the oils with Epsom salt. The mixture is then added to the bathing water when taking a bath. Avoid mixing your oils with other chemicals if you want to enjoy the benefits of the essential oils that you choose to use for your shower.

coronavirus drug rehab

Protecting patients in Addiction Treatment

How are Addiction Treatment Centers maintaining services yet protecting patients amid the coronavirus pandemic? 

Many nations around the world have been crippled by drug and substance abuse. Amid the new coronavirus pandemic (also known as COVID-19), medical experts have discovered that the most vulnerable people are children, the elderly, the sick, and people with weak immune systems such as drug users. This said people with addiction problems must be provided with professional attention, especially from addiction treatment centers in the face of this novel pandemic. But first, we should understand what coronavirus is and how it affects the human body.

COVID-19 belongs to a broader family of coronavirus diseases, which include the 2003 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). Researchers have reported a variety of coronavirus symptoms, which include fever, running nose, coughs, difficulty in breathing, common cold, and severe respiratory infections, among others. The first case to be reported was in December last year; however, Chinese authorities reported recently that a few people were infected in November. The virus was traced back to an animal market, and scientists say it originated from a bat and somehow hopped to a pangolin. Since then, the rapid virus has spread to several countries in the world.

The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIH) has reported that communities with substance use disorders (SUH) are vulnerable to coronavirus. This is mainly because the virus infects the lungs. This could cause severe threats for people who vape or smoke tobacco, smoke marijuana, and consume other drugs. The institution reported that it could also hit the opioid and methamphetamine using the population hard, mainly because of the effects of the drugs on both pulmonary and respiratory health. Another reason is that most drug users are likely to evade self-quarantine than those in the general population. This situation exposes them to the virus, causing COVID-19. The NIH has asked the general public to be vigilant in active surveillance as medical experts work to eliminate the emerging threat. Substance users must seek addiction treatment services in drug rehabs.

People around the world have been asked to take standard precautions as everyone has an equal responsibility for reducing the spread of coronavirus as much as possible. Tests that were done recently at the NIH, Princeton University, and UCLA by United States scientists have confirmed that the coronavirus can stay in the air for up to three hours and on some surfaces like plastic and stainless steel for up to three days. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has asked the public to be concerned about both their physical wellness as well as mental health. Everyone should ensure they stay calm and, most importantly, in a comfortable and safe place. The following are tips for avoiding panic and maintaining good mental health:

  • Choose a trusted source of information, preferably a national or international source like the CDC
  • Reduce the amount of time spent every day reading coronavirus updates
  • Learn to feel comfortable with the unknown or limiting yourself to little information
  • Avoid social media updates on the current state. Most are misleading
  • Pay attention to your basic needs
  • Seek professional support especially for the ill and opioid users

The CDC has asked everyone to take the following precautions to reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Distance yourself from people especially those who look sick ( at least two yards)
  • Practice personal hygiene
  • Avoid touching your face especially the nose, eyes, and mouth

With most of the country worried about the coronavirus pandemic, most addiction patients may be thinking of postponing or canceling their rehab appointment until things get better. However, the truth is that many addiction treatment centers have put measures in place to protect their patients and, at the same time, maintaining their services. Several drug rehab and other addiction treatment services have taken the initiative to offer addiction services to help patients in the prevention of coronavirus. Many institutions have implemented extra precautions such as disinfecting surfaces, the use of larger rooms to facilitate social distancing, testing patients & staff during admission, and implementing the CDC regulations. There have also been reports of drug rehabs hiring specialists just in case quarantine is needed for patients who show any viral symptoms.

On the other hand, the CDC and other medical institutions are doing a great job in managing the spread of the disease and looking for solutions. The risks of drug and alcohol abuse to human health are very critical, especially at a time like this. The risk of contracting coronavirus is lesser under managed institutions. A CDC report says that the opioid crisis in the United States has grown significantly, with about 100 deaths recorded every day. Substance abuse remains one of the most critical problems in the country.

coronavirus infographic

The connection between coronavirus and drug abuse

Medical professionals have discovered that the most vulnerable people to coronavirus are people with weak immune systems or those whose immunities have been compromised. Drug users, especially those with nicotine addiction, are likely to be affected since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease. Chinese doctors have examined the affected populations and discovered that more than 50 percent of the cases were men. The reason for using gender in conducting the study is because Chinese men are more likely to smoke cigarettes than women. This lowers their immune system and causes secondary illnesses such as respiratory difficulties, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases. Vaping also has the same effects since it releases aerosols that harm lung cells. Since the novel virus affects the respiratory system, smoking and vaping is more likely to cause more complications when treating COVID-19.

Doctors have also reported that marijuana smoke can also weaken the respiratory organs, which in turn increases the risk of contracting coronavirus. As discussed earlier, social media misleads many people since the information from the platform is not factual or backed by research. Recently several posts made rounds claiming that Cannabidiol (CBD), which is found in cannabis, has medical elements that can cure COVID-19. Though scientists have proven the use of cannabidiol in treating anxiety and pain, no research has surfaced, showing the use of CBD in treating the virus. The fact remains that every hot smoke that is inhaled affects proper lung functions. It would be best if users avoided sharing pipes, bongs, joints, or any other paraphernalia since they contain saliva and are likely to spread the disease-causing virus.

The NIH has reported that people with opioid use disorders have separate challenges to those that consume high doses medically. Slow breathing, which is caused by the drugs in the bloodstream, puts users at risk of fatal overdose and hypoxemia, which is an abnormally low level of oxygen in the blood. Low oxygen levels pose a massive threat to brain health as well as respiratory health. Many deaths have been recorded by overdosed users caused by chronic respiratory illnesses. Likewise, COVID-19 endangers the lives of opioid users.

Methamphetamine, on the other hand, also puts its users at risk. The drug narrows capillaries, veins, and arteries, which in turn has been known to cause pulmonary hypertension to most of its users. Since its users are rapidly increasing in the country, the drug could have an adverse effect on treating the victims of COVID-19. Other drugs like cocaine and meth could put its users at risk of being a victim to the virus. All these drugs alter the normal state of the immune system. Other social habits connected with drug abuse, including unprotected sex and sharing of needles, exposes drug users to pathogens.

Coronavirus has negatively affected the economies of every country. Currently, there are drug shortages in the US as a result of factories being shut down. Close to 90 percent of drug ingredients in the country come from Asia. The FDA is still monitoring the situation between the two countries, especially since more than 20 drugs, including blood pressure medications and antibiotics, are primarily imported from China.

Several addiction patients rely solely on prescription medication for their recovery, during detoxification, and when managing withdrawal symptoms. It is recommended for people who need medication for recovery to purchase vast amounts of medical supplies. However, several patients may not have the willpower to recover, hence relapsing. In some cases, patients may fear going outside. This can affect patients who are going through withdrawal symptoms and other complications such as heart disease. It can also affect the mental health of patients who need immediate attention.

If you are currently struggling with addiction, you need immediate attention. Overcoming addiction is a big step towards living a healthy and long life. It is one of the factors that determine life and death. There is no evidence that drug rehabs are more vulnerable to coronavirus than any other place. The truth is recovery institutions are safer than our neighborhoods. You need to contact an addiction treatment service or a drug rehab center to start your journey to recovery.

parenting in recovery

Tips for Parenting in Recovery

In recovery, there is hope. Parenting in recovery gives you the opportunity to build a healthy, happy home environment and raise resilient, joyful children. 

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 25 percent of kids in the United States under the age of 18 experience alcohol abuse or dependence in their families. And many more grow up in homes where parents abuse drugs. The impact can be devastating.

But how exactly do you create a healthy home and what are the tricks to parenting in recovery successfully, you ask?

No one said it would be easy. Parenting is tough for everyone. But love and willingness go a long way and make it possible to guide and positively impact your children’s lives. 

Here are some of our favorite tips for parenting in recovery. Keep reading to see which ones resonate and empower you and then dive in.

Put on Your Oxygen Mask First

You can’t give what you don’t have. And if you don’t take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to take care of your kids.

It’s like when you’re on the tarmac ready to take off in an airplane, and you’re reminded to put on your oxygen mask first. It’s logical. And it’s a great metaphor to keep in your back pocket as you parent. 

Your first reaction might be to overcompensate for addictive behavior before you got sober. You might feel guilty or feel shame. It’s okay. It’s normal to have these feelings, but you don’t need to act on them.

Your kids need you to be parenting from a solid, healthy place. Because from that place, you can make sound choices. 

So keep your recovery going and take care of your basic needs, and you’ll find that you have more energy. Time for your kids will just fall into place. 

Focus on the Diamonds

By diamonds, we mean positive things. The spotlight probably has been on you and your addiction and recovery. You don’t have to think about it at home with your kids anymore. You can do that in your recovery program that you’re so valiantly using like an oxygen mask.

At home, focus on the now. Focus on what you’re doing right and what your kids are doing right. Don’t just focus on the chores and homework and the “perfect” right. Instead, focus on the things that you’re all working hard at and also enjoying.

Think little things. Think about playing hard at a sport or about learning something new and interesting at school. Think about playing a board game together, going to the movies together, or watching a weekly show.

Think about reading together at bedtime or enjoying a meal together, either home cooked or from a fun, favorite take-out spot.

Encouraging your kids in areas where they shine and are happy builds self-esteem. Do this for yourself too. And praise your whole family when you play and work hard together. 

Let Your Kids Have Feelings

This is a two-part tip. First, acknowledge feelings and accept them without spinning out. This is easy with positive emotions, but it’s important with the negative ones too, especially if emotions are directed at you. If kids are angry, they’re angry. Don ‘t try to fix it or tell them that they’re not angry. The same holds true for sad feelings.

Just sit with them and give them a hug so they know you’re solid and there to support them as they move through the emotion. This teaches them that it will pass and they have a solid support system.

If you have older kids and they’re hunkering down behind a closed door, just let them know that you’re there. Then when they’ve cooled down, you can talk about it. 

If a big emotion triggers you, stay solid around your kids and then go let loose with a sponsor or someone in your recovery or parenting circles. 

Let Them Know They’re Not Responsible for Your Feelings

Part two is to let your kids know that they aren’t responsible for you and can’t fix you or your feelings. In families with alcoholism and addiction, often the kids feel responsible for their parents or think the problem is their fault. It just all feels so out of control that taking responsibility is a solution in a kid’s eyes. But it’s not healthy.

Simply let them know you’re in charge of yourself. Acknowledge your own feelings and tell them it will pass. “I’m feeling sad right now, and it will pass. It’s nothing to do with you. I’ve got this.” 

Talk Openly

Your kids probably know more than you think about what you have been through. It’s a good idea to acknowledge what has happened. Let them know that you were “sick” or “not feeling well.” Apologize and assure them that you are recovering. Let them know you are taking care of yourself so that you get better/stay healthy and that you have people helping you.

With younger kids, you can throw the “I’m sorry I couldn’t pick you up from school” in during your everyday activities. With older kids, make it more formal. Let them know you have something important to talk about. Keep it direct.

Explain what alcoholism/addiction is. Explain what recovery is. Explain what that will look like for you and the family. For example, you can describe how many meetings a week you will go to. You can tell them whom you will call if you need help and how you will be of service/help to others. This will show your kids that hope and community are there for the whole family.

Lean In

Lean into the sobriety community or other community that supports you. Let your kids know how they can be a part of the community too. Explore Alanon family groups for help or Alateen for teens of alcoholics and addicts.

Do Fun Stuff Together

Your kids need to play and laugh. And so do you. Laughter, play, love, and joy keep us all coming back for more. Without it, what’s the point? 

Having fun motivates us to stay healthy and sober. In fact, fun and hobbies can help our recovery. And seeing our kids having fun too is the icing on the cake. Playing together builds strong family bonds, heals relationships, and creates a solid foundation for your kids. It will help build confidence for everyone.

Get something fun on the schedule every day. Even if it’s small, like reading together or next to each other every night for ten minutes. Play a quick daily game or eat ice cream or watch your favorite show. 

The key here is to get play on the schedule and make it part of your routine. It gives everyone something to look forward to. And when your kids see you showing up for them and yourself repeatedly, it rebuilds trust. 

Parenting in Recovery Is so Rewarding

Parenting in recovery may seem like the biggest mountain you ever will have to climb. But it’s doable and amazingly rewarding.

Even if your kids take a while to warm back up and trust you, stick with it. And when in doubt, simply love and hug or wait out a bad spell in the next room. Just showing up and staying will go a long way. And remember: You got this!

Also, remember that you are not alone, and when it gets tough, there is hope. Contact us today for any questions about parenting in recovery or recovery, detox, and treatment itself. We have ongoing support and guidance through sobriety. We have your back.

dating during recovery

Is Dating During Recovery a Good Idea?

Recovery is a process, a long one in many cases. It’s a relinquishing of an addiction to drugs and alcohol and a rebuilding of a new life. In recovery, addicts can find good health, self-awareness, and peace. 

It can be tempting to jump into a new relationship during this time of discovery, but is dating during recovery a good idea? We’ll explore the issue in this article and look at why it might be a good idea to delay dating for a while.

What Is Recovery?

Recovery can mean different things, but generally, it involves more than just abstaining from drugs and alcohol. Yes, part of the recovery process will involve detoxing from those substances, but long-term change requires more than simply not using.

In fact, the term “dry drunk” refers to an addict who is not drinking but is still plagued with emotional and psychological issues. He quit drinking but hasn’t yet tackled the underlying problems that may have contributed to his addiction.

Addiction is a disease that often fuels a dangerous and destructive lifestyle. Lasting change occurs when the addict faces his deepest issues, issues that either drove his need to seek comfort in substances or that developed as a result of his addiction.

In recovery, the addict learns to rebuild her emotional stability. She may enter rehab and recovery overwhelmed with feelings of regret, low self-esteem, sadness, and guilt. Recovery is a chance to start over, to dig out all those painful emotions and face them. It’s an opportunity to build a new foundation with the tools learned during the recovery process.

A big part of a successful recovery is learning to regain control over your life and your choices. You’re not that dry drunk, hanging on by your fingernails and fighting the urge to use again. That kind of addictive, compulsive behavior prevents you from making good choices that come from deep within you. When an area of your life is out of control, it’s next to impossible to live a sober, happy life.

That’s why many addiction specialists encourage people in recovery to wait a year before they begin dating.

Dating During Recovery

When an addict begins the recovery process, she’s finding out who she is and what she believes in.  It sounds simple, but those concepts have often been buried beneath years of drug abuse, trauma, and emotional damage. 

Recovery often means working a 12 step program through organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. The 12 step processaddresses every aspectof addiction- physical, spiritual, mental and emotional.

Most recovering addicts have a history of dysfunctional and destructive relationships.  They were either using throughout the relationship, or their use of drugs and alcohol caused them to engage with people they wouldn’t have chosen in sobriety.

Addicts in recovery learn about healthy relationships, often for the first time in their lives. They discover ways to overcome their feelings of anger, isolation, and fear. They gradually begin to trust themselves to share their hopes, fears, and dreams with others.

It is an extremely vulnerable and often uncomfortable place for a newly-sober addict. She has to break the habit of hiding from uncomfortable feelings by using drugs and alcohol. In some cases, the sober alcoholic might try to soothe herself instead with a new relationship.

Addiction Transfer

Addiction specialists often refer to this as a transfer of addictions. If the alcoholic can’t escape in a bottle, she may try to do so in a relationship. 12 step programs refer to spiritual guidance as a “higher power”. The danger of dating during recovery is that the new love interest can become the addict’s higher power.

In fact, the same brain chemical that makes an addict feel good when she uses drugs gives her the same high in response to sexual stimulation.

Addicts in recovery eventually learn they can’t use the same thinking in sobriety than they used in their drug abuse. But early in the process, an addict might still be using distorted or defensive thinking patterns, poor planning skills, reduced memory, and impaired cognitive functions. Her choice of a dating partner won’t likely be a good one.

Another problem that can occur is the danger of relapse if the relationship doesn’t work out. The addict is still developing healthy coping skills but may not be secure enough in them to deal with a broken relationship in healthy ways. 

What to Do Instead

The focus of recovery is, and should be, on helping the addict learn new ways of thinking, new ways of relating to people and new ways of coping with life’s stresses. The addict learns to like herself again, by facing her past and making amends for her old behaviors.

Exercise, good nutrition, and mindfulness all play a role in developing a healthy, happy lifestyle. Recovery is a wonderful time for newly-sober addicts to discover hobbies and activities to replace the time they used to spend in bars and hanging out with other addicts. 

12 step programs also play an important role. In recovery, the addict can focus on working the steps and attending meetings, rather than on finding a new boyfriend or girlfriend. She begins to rebuild her self-esteem through the development of new life skills, new friendships, and meaningful work.

Her sobriety and recovery are the priority and must come first. We all tend to choose dating relationships with people who are at roughly the same maturity level as we are. It stands to reason then, as the addict progresses through recovery, she will begin to seek out different people than she might have chosen in her early days of sobriety.

Final Thoughts

Dating during recovery can also pose a problem if two addicts begin dating, in or out of rehab. Everyone progresses through recovery at a different speed, and it can be problematic if one person isn’t taking his recovery as seriously as his new relationship is.

Most addiction specialists recommend people in recovery wait a year before they start dating again, so they can focus on their health and their future.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, we can help. Please reach out to us at any time.