teen drug use

Signs of Drug Use in Teens

When it comes to drug abuse, there may be more to a teenager than meets the eye. As weird as it sounds, there are plenty of young people who struggle with addiction. If the question of whether or not your child is abusing drugs even exists, it is highly likely that they are indeed wrestling with substance abuse. 

Often, it is difficult for people to admit that they’re struggling with substance abuse. There’s a negative stigma attached to addiction and for a good reason. However, it is imperative to always approach these individuals with love and care; addiction in teenagers is a unique topic, and as so, it requires a unique approach. 

How Did it Happen?

There are several factors that could lead to a young person’s addiction. Some of them include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress (from family or friend groups)
  • Peer pressure
  • Coping with trauma

It could be hard to say for sure whether or not a teen is addicted, as there could be any number of reasons a young person starts using drugs. However, as far as brain chemistry is concerned, the signals in the brain are distorted when drugs are used. Because of this, thoughts, actions, and emotions adapt. The part of the brain where this happens is often referred to as the pleasure center.

If its name is any indication, the pleasure center’s function is to communicate overall satisfaction when consuming food, feeling loved, or enjoying entertainment. When a high occurs, dopamine rushes to the brain. It is at this moment that the pleasure center is activated. 

As a result of their first high, drug users often feel as though they need more every time they partake to satisfy their cravings truly; there is no high stronger than the first. The more someone does drugs, the higher volume they have to use to reach the same high, making it more challenging to achieve the desired result. This leads to withdrawal and gives birth to drug dependency.

Teen Addiction Symptoms

Symptoms of addiction in teenagers include the following:

  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in friend groups
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Lack of interest in school/extracurriculars
  • Lack of interest in friend groups
  • Lack of self-care/grooming
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Restlessness 
  • Extreme secrecy 

More than anything, teenagers want to belong; they don’t want to be social outcasts. Because of this, their drug history could begin at a young age. Often times this serves as a catalyst for dangerous, long-term addiction and substance abuse. This is why it is imperative to be familiar with the warning signs.

It is normal for the parent of an addicted teen to feel as though they’ve failed. However, it is not their fault that this happens. Because of this, positivity is of the utmost vitality. Negative thoughts or actions will only set someone’s recovery back, worsening their circumstances. The best way to approach anybody who is struggling with addiction, especially a teenager, is with grace and understanding. This is due in large part to the fact that more times than not, teenagers want to be understood.

Asking for Help

Asking for help exposes people – it leaves them feeling vulnerable. Addiction is difficult to handle, even without the pressure of seeking assistance. In all honesty, it takes bravery and determination to ask for it. This is why it’s so important to make an effort to understand them.

Fear has a way of controlling people’s decisions – it’s paralyzing. Often times, this is a large part of the reason why some teens don’t want to reach out. Teenagers often hold the thoughts and opinions of others more highly than they ought to. This could be because they fear the potential isolation they may feel from friend groups or disappointment they may feel from a family member. That being said, it’s important to know just how to approach them on a personal level. The answer is quite simple, but it is so difficult to execute. The answer lies in validation.

When someone cares for another person, they may have a difficult time seeing them walk through a rough patch. Because of this, the urge to fix things for them is quite natural. Chances are, however, that they don’t need fixing more than they need to be heard. Validating their fear is necessary to recovery; it is not optional. Refuting one’s fear could shut them off from ever speaking to you again. 

Teenagers struggling with substance abuse may also be experiencing denial. This is another reason it’s so difficult to ask for help; they don’t think they need it. Choosing to ignore a problem exists is detrimental to potential solutions. For the loved ones in their life, this could be extremely difficult due to the obvious nature of abuse.

Along with fear and denial, depression is also a factor when it comes to neglecting help. Depression is one of the most misunderstood illnesses in the world. Often, people believe that depression is exclusive to sadness, but this is not the case. There are many other symptoms of depression, one of which is a lack of motivation. 

A severe lack of motivation makes even the simplest of tasks difficult to complete. Some people have a hard time just getting out of bed when they’re depressed. Because asking for help makes people vulnerable, it intensifies the difficulty of the process. Whether this was prevalent before addiction or because of addiction makes no difference; depression is a large barrier in seeking help.

Does My Teen Need Rehab?

Rehab for drug addiction is tough when someone isn’t familiar with the tools at their disposal. Addiction Treatment Services provide teens with the tools necessary to pursue a life of recovery and stability.

No teenager wants to feel isolated, especially in a stage of life where they’re most vulnerable. Providing them with the support system they need is imperative to their recovery journey. Addiction Treatment Services can give that to you. Once your teenager feels supported and empowered, the sky’s the limit for their recovery journey.

Where to Go from Here

Some Addiction Treatment Service information we provide include the following:

The treatment options mentioned above have proven safe and successful by Addiction Treatment Services. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment method. We want to assess which treatment is best for each patient that walks through our doors.

Addiction Treatment Services Can Help

Drug addiction is difficult to walk through, especially for a teenager. They already have a hard time finding a sense of belonging, and addiction can make them feel isolated. At Addiction Treatment Services, we want them to feel that they are in good company, and we aim to carry their burden with them. If you believe your teenager may be struggling with drug addiction, you can contact us here.

sobriety toolbox

Creating a Sobriety Toolbox

Approximately 22 million Americans are currently in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction.

Are you part of this group? If so, then you know that getting sober is only the first step in the recovery process.

Every day, you have to make a choice to stay sober and continue progressing. As you probably know, that’s not always easy to do. This is where a sobriety toolbox can come in very handy.

Read on to learn more about the benefits of creating a sobriety toolbox and what you should put in yours.

What Is a Sobriety Toolbox?

A sobriety toolbox contains all of the tools you turn to when you’re feeling triggered or having a difficult time maintaining your sobriety.

It takes a lot of work to stay sober, especially when your time in a recovery program is over and you’re transitioning back to “real” life.

Having a variety of tools handy will help you respond to triggers and stressors in a healthy and appropriate way.

Types of Sobriety Toolboxes

There are a few different types of sobriety toolboxes you can use. The right type of sobriety toolbox for you will vary depending on your personality, the resources you have access to, and the specific situations that tend to trigger you.

The following are some options you might want to consider: 

Online Toolbox

An online toolbox is an online document or spreadsheet that you can use to brainstorm tools that will help you with your sobriety.

It might include links to fun videos or websites that contain uplifting or motivational content.

The great thing about an online toolbox is that you can access it from anywhere using your smartphone. This makes it a highly convenient option.

Paper List 

Some people prefer the old-fashioned approach and just write down a list of go-to tools that they keep in their purse or wallet.

This list might contain reminders to take deep breaths or take a walk around the block. It could also contain phone numbers of people you can call to talk about why you’re feeling triggered.

If you take this approach, it’s a good idea to keep the list relatively short. That way, you won’t have too many options to sort through when you’re struggling and need some support.

Physical Toolbox

Finally, you might also want to create a physical sobriety toolbox.

This could be a box, a bag, or any other kind of tangible receptacle that holds items that provide you with comfort and help you stay focused on your goals.

It might contain relaxing teas, essential oils, your favorite book, a motivational letter you’ve written to yourself, or any other objects that have meaning for you. 

What to Put in a Sobriety Toolbox

Whether you decide to take the digital approach, the paper approach, or the tangible box approach, there are lots of different items that you might want to include in your sobriety toolbox. Here are some ideas to help you get started:

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises can help you to calm down and feel more grounded when you’re dealing with stress or temptation. You can use meditation apps to learn new exercises or simply close your eyes and take ten deep breaths.

Soothing Teas

There are many different teas out there that contain calming, soothing ingredients. Kava tea is a great option, as is chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and any tea that contains lavender. 

Yoga Videos

Bookmark links to some yoga YouTube videos. That way, you have something to turn to when you need to relax and put yourself at ease.

Sobriety Calculator

A sobriety calculator is a great tool that helps you stay focused on your goal. When you use one, you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come and how much progress you’ve made.

Prayer

Sometimes, the best thing to do when you’re feeling triggered is to say a prayer. There are lots of pre-written prayers that you can recite (including the Serenity Prayer), or you can simply speak from the heart and ask for support.

Exercise

Exercising is a great tool for anyone who wants to feel their best and stay healthy while they’re in recovery.

Maybe you can include a reminder to go for a walk or do some strength training in your toolbox. Or, you could include exercise equipment, such as a jump rope. 

Calming or Uplifting Music

Listening to calming or uplifting music can also work wonders when you’re feeling stressed out or tempted to give up. Include links to favorite songs in your sobriety toolbox or create a playlist that you can turn to whenever you need a boost.

A Favorite Treat

It’s important to prioritize your health in recovery. Sometimes, though, you just need a treat. Keep your favorite candy bar or snack in your toolbox so you have something to give you a little extra comfort when you’re having a hard day.

Phone Numbers

You need to have a strong support system when you’re in recovery. In your toolbox, you should have the phone numbers of people who can give you some encouragement and keep you motivated on days when you’re struggling.

Reading

Finally, consider keeping a favorite book or poem in your recovery toolbox, too. Reading can be a great distraction and can help you to unwind after a difficult day. If reading is not your thing, consider audiobooks or podcasts instead.

Start Working Toward Sobriety Today

Whether you’re brand new to recovery or have been sober for months or even years, a sobriety toolbox can help you maintain your sobriety and avoid a relapse.

Even if you’re not sober yet but are thinking about it, you can benefit from putting together a sobriety toolbox for yourself.

If you need help beginning your recovery journey and putting that toolbox to use, we’re here for you at Addiction Treatment Services.

Contact us today to get information on recovery programs in your area.

We have admissions specialists available at all times to answer your questions and get you on the right path toward sobriety.

bath salts

Not for Human Consumption: The Dangers of Bath Salts

The bath salt abuse trend seems to have come out of nowhere. It caused 23,000 emergency visits in 2011! Even today, bath salts have a widespread effect— especially on younger people.

Don’t underestimate the dangers of bath salt abuse. Read on to learn more about the basics of bath salts, the dangerous side effects they carry, and how to find help if you’re struggling with addiction.

What Are Bath Salts?

Synthetic cathinones, or “bath salts,” come in a crystallized powder that resembles Epsom salt, hence the name.

Bath salts are a “designer drug,” or a synthetic version of a controlled substance. These particular drugs produce short-lived but extreme highs due to their highly concentrated ingredients.

The lab-grown nature of these drugs is also cause for concern. Not only are synthetic cathinones highly addictive, but factors like ingredient impurity, lack of lab sanitation, and the addition of other chemicals like detergent pose a threat to users.

Ingredients in Bath Salts

The main ingredient of this drug comes from the khat plant, an herb native to parts of Arabia and Africa. The plant contains cathinone, a natural amphetamine stimulant.

Alone, khat plants and cathinone can pose a number of health risks due to the presence of methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). However, lab-generated cathinone is far more powerful. In fact, synthetic cathinone shares a similar chemical makeup to methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA. Some people even call it “fake cocaine.”

Street Names for Bath Salts

All things considered, these drugs are relatively new to the United States. But since their introduction, they’ve garnered a lot of (mostly negative) attention.

The U.S. government even signed an emergency federal ban on the drug within a few months of its stateside appearance.

However, as a result of the ban, the drug gained a number of additional street names, including:

  • Bliss
  • Sextasy
  • Plant food
  • Meow meow
  • Phone screen cleaner

Of course, “bath salts” is still the most popular street name for synthetic cathinones.

Bath Salts Side Effects

The use of this drug can bring about a number of dangerous side effects. The results can land users in the hospital, cause permanent damage, or even prove fatal.

Here are a few of the more common side effects:

Euphoria

The most common effect of this drug is the extreme and sudden sense of euphoria, not unlike that experienced with similar drugs like cocaine.

But the high itself isn’t the greatest cause for concern. Rather, it’s the sudden start followed by an almost spontaneous crash three to four hours later. This can put an enormous strain on the body.

Confusion or Memory Loss

Many bath salts users reported feeling a sense of confusion, almost like amnesia. They forgot who they were, where they were, and why they were there. Although this side effect tends to lessen over time, it is possible for a user to never fully recover.

Increased Heart Rate and Blood Pressure

Many people who use bath salts report a massive surge in energy after ingesting the drug. This exhilaration is partially due to an increase in blood flow to the heart.

This may seem harmless, but make no mistake: increased heart rate can be one of the most dangerous side effects of drug use.

In one case, a 27-year-old man was hospitalized after ingesting the drug. Doctors noted that although the man was healthy by all accounts, he now exhibited signs of cardiomyopathy and cardiogenic shock.

Increased heart rate isn’t the only cardiovascular risk of bath salt abuse. Elevated blood pressure is also a major threat. A sudden spike in blood pressure increases a person’s chance of succumbing to a stroke or heart attack.

Liver Damage

Our bodies are not designed for filtering toxins like the ones found in bath salts. As a result, a user may experience extreme liver damage, not unlike an alcoholic.

Seizures

Up to 9% of all epileptic episodes are caused by drug abuse. A single seizure is dangerous enough, but prolonged bath salt abuse can cause repeat incidents, leading to permanent brain damage.

Extreme Mood Swings

One of the most well-known symptoms of bath salt use is the erratic mood swings that make for unpredictable behavior. Other symptoms include extreme paranoia and anxiety that can last for days after ingestion.

Powerful Hallucinations

Bath salts are psychoactive substances. The intense chemical reactions they cause in the brain can result in any number of auditory or visual hallucinations. This side effect can be particularly dangerous when combined with mood swings.

The most infamous case of bath salt abuse involving this particular side effect took place in Florida. A homeless man high on bath salts attacked and began cannibalizing another homeless man. He was subsequently shot and killed by police officers. The victim lost 75 percent of his face, but survived.

Treatment Options for Bath Salts Addiction

It’s important to note that, like methamphetamine and cocaine, bath salts are extremely addictive. In fact, studies show that they may actually be more addictive. It doesn’t take much for a user to become addicted.

Bath salts addiction is a scary, eye-opening experience. It comes with a wide array of physical and mental consequences, all of which require professional help.

With that said, if you or a loved one are dealing with bath salts addiction, the battle is far from over. Detoxification, residential treatment, and outpatient treatment are all quality, affordable forms of addiction care. They work even better together.

Enrolling in rehab will give you or your loved one the opportunity to address the addiction as well as learn life-changing coping skills through various intensive therapies.

Contact Us Today for More Information

Bath salts are dangerous substances with frightening side effects and medical consequences. Using these drugs even once can put you at great risk.

Please remember that help is out there.

Reach out today to discover rehab centers in your area that can help you get your life back.

adult children of alcoholics

4 Common Personality Traits in Adult Children of Alcoholics

Screaming, yelling, and fighting.

Imagine waking up in the morning to the sound of your parents fighting. Not just arguing, but screaming, shouting, and maybe even throwing things.

Not sure what’s going on, you stumble downstairs to find out what’s wrong. Peering over the staircase, you can barely make out what your parents are saying. But you know whatever is going on must be serious. Afraid you might be in trouble yourself, you decide to skip breakfast and hide out in your room.

Being the Child of an Alcoholic

Children of alcoholics live in a strange reality. One minute everything is calm and serene. Then suddenly, without warning, a crisis erupts in their living room. The endless cycle of drama and pseudo-resolution may even continue into adulthood.

If you or a loved one is the child of an alcoholic, you’re not alone. Almost 28 million children in the U.S. are currently living with an alcoholic parent.

While we can’t change the past, learning from it can help us reshape our future. Read on to learn more about the personality traits that are common among children from alcoholic households.

Tips for Children of Alcoholics

Before you start reviewing the ways alcoholism impacts children, you’ll want to prepare yourself for what you might be feeling.

It’s normal for survivors of alcoholism to want to defend their parents, especially given the ways that alcoholism has shaped their lives. It’s also natural to feel anger, sadness, and even guilt.

We suggest that you write down any negative judgments that arise, whether they are against yourself or another individual, as you learn about the damage alcohol can cause. Research shows that writing down how you feel helps you process your feelings. You don’t have to read them, just write them down to get them out of your head.

Once you’re in the right headspace, you’re ready to begin looking at some of the darkest parts of alcoholism and the way you or another child might react to them.

1. Children of Alcoholics Expect Excitement

Constant crises and daily dramas can cause children of alcoholics to expect life to be tense. This is because their experience has shown them that anything can go wrong, at any time. As they grow familiar with feelings of panic or fear, they start to expect them all the time.

Usually, when we think of something as exciting, we think of it as fun. However, this type of excitement refers to a more scary feeling stemming from fear.

Rather than feeling joyfully excited, children of alcoholics often feel fearfully excited.

Then, once they become adults, their minds stay stuck in crisis mode. This chaotic outlook on life usually continues in their own lives until they unlearn it.

2. Children of Alcoholics Often Experience Insecure Attachment

During early childhood, it’s important for kids to feel secure. It’s during this time of their life that the groundwork is being laid for how they will function as adults.

Insecure attachment is one consequence of an unstable, alcoholic household. It is often characterized by the need for things to be surprising or different. However, things don’t necessarily have to be exciting (scary or adrenaline-fueled) for an insecure attachment to form in children of alcoholics.

Children of alcoholics may feel that a crisis must always be present in their lives because it is all they have ever known to be true. For instance, adult children of alcoholics might seek out unstable relationships, jobs, and financial situations.

This is because people who struggle with an unhealthy attachment to instability are also prone to behaviors like self-sabotage. As fear and doubt creep in about their future, they’ll feel a familiar sense of panic.

Of course, insecure attachment is subliminal behavior. In their own minds, adult children of alcoholics are doing everything possible to be happy. It just so happens that being unhappy is more comfortable and familiar.

3. Children of Alcoholics Are Susceptible to Addiction

Another problem that adult children of alcoholics face is the potential for substance abuse and addiction. The combination of genetics and experiences cause these individuals to have a higher probability of struggling with addiction than the average person.

Studies show that when a parent abuses alcohol before conception, their child is more likely to also have addiction problems. In fact, genetics can increase the risk of having addiction by 40 to 60 percent— or more, in some cases.

4. Children of Alcoholics Are Overwhelmed by Emotions

Alcoholic parents aren’t as emotionally available to their children as they should be. Moreover, children may witness their alcoholic parents behaving wildly during active addiction.

While they may think, “I will never act that way,” they are unconsciously learning from their addicted parents. Many adult children experience feelings of disgust when they notice any extreme similarities between their and their addicted parents’ behavior.

Unregulated emotions and feelings of self-hatred can lead to the development of serious mental health issues, like depression. They can also cause high levels of anxiety, anger, and other negative emotions.

Dealing with Adulthood as the Child of an Alcoholic

Children of alcoholics tend to also struggle with small setbacks in their plans. This makes personal relationships and self-discipline especially challenging to maintain.

They may find themselves yelling at their partner for being a few minutes late to a date. They may overly criticize themselves for not being able to complete a personal goal. For these individuals, even being stuck in traffic can feel like a reason to hate themselves— or others.

The Addiction Treatment Services blog provides reliable information to help families recover from addiction. Knowledge and communication are the keys to healing, and being whole again.

Do you know someone who might be struggling with alcoholism? There are things you can do to help without putting yourself at risk. Check out our latest article about how to hold an alcohol intervention.

For any additional information about alcohol detox and treatment options, contact us here or call us at (877) 455-0055.

How to Deal with Difficult People

How to Deal with Difficult People When Recovering from Addiction

Are you in the process of recovery?

Whether you’re recovering from drugs or alcohol, you know firsthand just how challenging the entire process can be. On top of the common challenges that accompany recovery, it can be easy to isolate yourself and feel alone in your struggles.

However, studies have found that more Americans than you might initially think have experienced recovery. In fact, 1 in 10 American adults has been in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction at one point in their lives.

Of these adults, the large majority have struggled with how to deal with difficult people during their recovery. If you find yourself nodding your head, you’re going to want to read this.

We’re uncovering seven proven methods for dealing with the difficult people that may present themselves during your recovery. Not only are these positive tips for life in general, but they’re also bound to help your overall recovery.

1. Modify Your Behavior

In dealing with difficult people, it’s important to remember that you cannot always modify someone else’s behavior.

Even if you feel strongly that their behavior is generally wrong, this doesn’t always translate to them understanding this notion. As a result, it’s likely that their patterns of bad behavior will continue and are unlikely to change.

Rather than focusing on how you can alter their behavior, try shifting your focus to how you can respond to their behavior. This is going to help give you control of the situation and minimize the negative effect that their behavior has on you.

2. Attempt to Understand Their Actions

When this person is showcasing their utmost difficulty, remember that you may be unaware of the current demons they’re facing. These struggles and hardships more than likely have a significant influence on their actions and presence.

It may also be helpful to remind yourself that you, too, may have been difficult at one point throughout your addiction. Before overcoming an addiction, it’s only natural for an addict to experience a range of emotions that lead to difficulty.

Do your best to understand why they may be acting out and appearing difficult. When you put yourself into their shoes, you’ll more than likely gain an appreciation for why they’re projecting themselves in such a poor manner.

3. Have Honest Conversations

When all else fails, why not be upfront and open with this person about how you’re feeling?

Allowing yourself to be honest with this person will provide them with valuable insight as to your thoughts and feelings. From their perspective, it may be surprising to them that you’re struggling with their actions. With this, it’s always possible that they may alter their behavior for the better.

Remember, difficult people, are not always aware as to how their actions impact others. While they may be experiencing struggle on the inside, they’re not always aware that this is being reflected on the outside.

4. Create Boundaries

It may be time to create a physical boundary between yourself and the difficult people in your life.

While this may be a difficult choice, it’s important to remember that boundaries can be very healthy for both parties. If you truly feel that the person nor their actions cannot be corrected, it may be time to slowly distance yourself from that person.

Remember, boundaries don’t have to be lifelong and can instead be temporary. So, this doesn’t mean that your relationship has to come to an official end. Rather, this means that you are taking a break from having this person in your life during the recovery process.

5. Remove Yourself from Toxic Relationships

Of course, not all relationships with difficult people are salvageable or worth saving. Before making any rash decisions, it’s essential to differentiate which relationships are too negative and unhealthy to continue.

If you truly feel that the difficult people in your life are toxic, it might be time to officially cut your ties to this person. While relationships in life are arguably one of the most rewarding and important facets of life, this isn’t the case for each and every relationship.

6. Reach out for Support

There comes a time and place where not all relationships can be saved nor abandoned. For many addicts in recovery, this will come in terms of dealing with a difficult family member such as a parent or a sibling.

While this relationship may feel toxic, it may also feel impossible to remove yourself from such a relationship. This is where it becomes crucial to enlist the help of others in dealing with this person.

This may come in terms of speaking to mutual connections as well as speaking with a therapist or your sponsor. Having honest conversations and allowing for the perspective of others can provide you with the tools necessary for tolerating this person.

7. Give Second Chances

Last but not least, it’s important to remind yourself that some people deserve to be given a second chance.

Remember that the majority of addicts are given a second chance at both life and in their relationships during recovery. Think back to the forgiveness that friends and family paid to you when you were suffering from your addiction.

When you extend your forgiveness to a difficult person in your life, it can help to foster an entirely new relationship. This new relationship can be a second chance at developing a more healthy and positive relationship with that person.

How to Deal with Difficult People During Recovery

Today, nearly 21 million American adults suffer from some form of substance addiction. In an attempt to lead a sober lifestyle, many of these adults will find themselves facing the bumpy road of recovery at some point.

While you may control your own actions in recovery, you may not always control the actions of those around you. When this takes place, you may find yourself wondering how to deal with difficult people that are present throughout your recovery.

Fortunately, these tips will help to provide guidance on how to overcome these difficulties and focus on your recovery. This may be anything from modifying your own behavior and attempting to understand the behavior of others to removing yourself from toxic relationships and establishing boundaries.

If you feel that yourself or a loved one may be facing addiction issues, be sure to contact us today. With a simple phone call, we can discuss the many options that are available to help today.

References

Chan, A. L. (2012, March 07). The Shocking Number Of Americans Who’ve Recovered From Substance Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/07/addiction-recovery-america-drugs-alcohol_n_1327344.html

Hafner, J. (2016, November 17). Surgeon general: 1 in 7 in USA will face substance addiction. Retrieved from https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/11/17/surgeon-general-1-7-us-face-substance-addiction/93993474/

Addiction Cravings

Tips for Coping with Addiction Cravings

Have you ever woken up with an intense craving for drugs or alcohol? Do you consider yourself an addict, even if you won’t admit it to anyone else?

From 2000 to 2010, Americans spent more than $1 trillion on illegal drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription opioids. That’s about $100 billion per year. Since then, illegal drug purchases have ballooned to a whopping $400 billion per year.

Answering those addiction cravings can lead to lost wages, hospitalization, and loss of property including cars and homes. So how can you resist the urge to use drugs and continue on the path to sobriety?

If you need to know how to stay sober, this article’s for you. We’ll introduce you to a few coping mechanisms and help you find long-term relapse prevention options.

Acknowledge the Urge

You may have heard people say, “What you resist, persists.” This is doubly true when you’re dealing with an addiction. If you fight the urge to use, it will grow stronger.

If you need to know how to deal with cravings, the first step is learning to put a space in between wanting to use and using. Being able to take a few minutes and think rationally will cut down on the likelihood that you’ll relapse.

When a craving comes up, make a mental note of where you are. Are there certain triggers that are making you want to use?

Do you want to use when you see certain people? Acknowledging that you have a craving is the first step toward dealing with it.

Leave the Situation

One of the best coping skills for addiction is to imagine yourself with wheels on your feet. When you feel caught in a situation that makes you want to use, just roll on out of there.

Leaving situations that give you unpleasant memories or addiction cravings is a vital skill for staying sober. Once you accept your cravings, you also have to accept that there are certain “people, places, and things” that make you want to relapse.

Nobody wants to have to leave their friends behind, but you need to focus on your own recovery.

Accept Your Addiction

The next step in how to fight drug cravings is to accept your addiction. We already said that accepting your cravings is key, but accepting your addiction is a little bit different.

If you accept your addiction, you might want to get treated in an outpatient or inpatient rehab facility. You might share the truth about your addiction with some close friends or family.

Don’t be surprised if your friends say they didn’t realize how bad your addiction had become. Alcohol and drug addiction tend to be isolating conditions, pursued in secret.

If your family has organized an intervention, it might be the perfect time to get started with rehab. They care for you and have noticed that your addiction has gotten way out of control.

Most insurance plans pay for rehab, and there are a wide variety of treatment options.

Attack Your Cravings

The great thing about rehab is that it can teach you how to deal with alcohol cravings. You may need to take some medication to get past your withdrawal symptoms, but that’s something you can talk to your doctor about.

Another way to attack your cravings is to attend local support groups. They offer a non-judgmental place to share your pain of addiction and your hope of a better life.

If your town doesn’t have any drug and alcohol support groups, you can access them online.

You have to be able to tell yourself that your cravings are irrational. You have to take the energy you used to spend on getting high and apply that to your recovery.

Attack your cravings by examining your thought process and orienting yourself toward weekly and monthly sobriety goals.

Find a Fulfilling Activity

When you’re in the midst of a craving, your entire mind is focused on using drugs or alcohol. Wouldn’t it be great if you could replace your cravings with a fun hobby or outdoor activity?

Giving yourself something to do besides drugs and alcohol allows you to dive right into a sober lifestyle. Is there an instrument you’ve always wanted to play?

Would you like to take a trip somewhere? After you give up spending on alcohol and drugs, you may be surprised at how much money you have left over.

If you drink seven beers five days per week and pay $5 for each one, you’re spending $700 per month or $8,400 per year.

Check out this online calculator to get the precise amount you’re spending on alcohol every month.

When you’re contemplating a relapse, think about what you’d like to do with your money.

Prevent a Relapse

Recovery can seem like a long and lonely road, but there are ways to avoid relapsing.

First, you may have to find other ways to deal with physical pain. You could try going to physical therapy, meditating, or taking non-opioid pain medication.

Next, you may need to change your diet. Long-term alcohol or drug abuse can make it more difficult to tell when you’re hungry.

Switching to a diet that is high in fiber and protein can help you put on some muscle and give you the energy to attack each day.

Finally, you might want to participate in ongoing outpatient programs at your local rehab facility. They can treat your depression or other mental health conditions.

Can Rehab Help with Addiction Cravings?

Rehab facilities are specially designed to help you with your addiction cravings. They have a team of highly-trained professionals who are ready to get you past the withdrawal phase and into long-term recovery.

We treat people with a range of addictions, including alcohol, opiates, stimulants, and sleeping pills. Our four locations offer inpatient and outpatient options, mental health treatment, and medication-assisted detox. If our locations are not convenient for you, we can make referrals for rehab facilities in other states.

If you’ve ever considered getting treatment for an addiction, talk to us and let’s hold your hand as you being this journey.

References

drug-use-in-america

Drug Use in America: 10 of America’s Most Frequent Drug Addictions

Drug addiction is becoming an epidemic, with over 70,000 people in the US dying from drug addiction each year.

Its effects are devastating. Drug addiction affects the workings of the brain and body making the user feel numb and eventually losing self-control.

Drug addiction and its harmful effects on the body can sometimes prove fatal. Initially, you may take a drug because you like it and you feel good.

With time you begin to lose control and succumb to its frequent use.

Drug use in America has led to many problems and deaths due to gang crime and overdoses.

Is Drug Abuse Treatable?

Drug abuse is defined as when you use legal or illegal substances in unnecessary amounts. Mostly, people use drugs to avoid reality or to live in denial.

It changes your mental and physical health throwing you in a dark pit. However, with strong will power and medical treatment, you can overcome the addiction.

This article will provide a list of common addictions and their symptoms that can help you recognize drug abuse easily.

Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Understanding the epidemic is important otherwise drug overuse death would continue to increase. In the U.S it has increased to an alarming level.

It is essential to know about the symptoms and behavioral patterns.

Following are some of the symptoms and behavioral patterns of drug addiction:

  • The need to use drugs daily or several times a day.
  • Having a strong urge to use the drug.
  • Taking large amounts of drugs.
  • Spending a large sum of money on drugs even though you are facing financial issues.
  • Unable to socialize or perform better at a job due to drug addiction.
  • Continuing the use of drugs despite the fact that it harms your body.
  • Making unsuccessful attempts to stop using it.
  • Having a neglected appearance is also one of the symptoms.
  • Seclusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Tremors
  • Muscle cramping
  • Sweating

These are some of the symptoms that a frequent drug user shows. Intervention can be helpful in some cases.

However, you need to know about 8 elements of a successful intervention before you can hold one.

10 of America’s Most Frequent Drug Addictions

Drug use in America has increased in the past years. There are many popular drugs in America that have resulted in the unnecessary deaths of individuals.

The situation is worrying and each day the number of people falling prey to drug addiction is alarming.

Here are the most frequent drug addictions.

1. Nicotine

Having easy access to this drug has become the reason for its frequent use. Many people despite the knowledge of harmful effects continue smoking.

The use of tobacco is harmful to health as it affects the lungs leading to the development of fatal diseases. Over 40 million people in America are addicted to nicotine.

2. Alcohol

It is sometimes hard to find a person who is addicted to alcohol. It has become more of a social ritual and has engulfed the U.S. There are many negative effects of this abuse.

Apart from affecting mental and physical health, many people drive under the influence that results in death or injury.

3. Cocaine

A powerful stimulant drug, Cocaine increases the levels of dopamine in the brain that leads to various health effects like extreme mental alertness, increased levels of happiness and energy, paranoia and irritability.

Intake of large amounts of cocaine can lead to violent behavior. Its frequent and binge use can damage the heart, nervous, digestive and respiratory systems severely.

4. Marijuana

A highly potent drug and its legalization in some states have led to its frequent use. It has become one of the most popular drugs in the U.S.

5. Painkillers

Painkiller addiction is another rising epidemic that can be lethal in some extreme cases. Drugs like Oxycontin, Codeine, and Vicodin are considered common painkillers.

They are often prescribed but this does not mean that they are not addictive. Patients who become addicted to such painkillers do not realize how much they have become dependent on it.

6. Heroin

Known for its euphoric effects, this drug is used for recreation purpose. In the United States, the drug is becoming popular among women.

It is also spreading diseases like HIV and AIDS. Its treatment is not easy and users often have to undergo a twelve step program along with some medication.

7. Hallucinogens

This type of drug causes hallucinations and is often used for religious rituals. Its effects vary from person to person due to different levels of chemicals found in the body.

8. Benzodiazepines

This drug group is known to regulate moods and help in managing stress and anxiety. Many people who use this drug are unaware of this addiction until they have to function without using it.

Forced withdrawal is dangerous, it can lead to death.

9. Ketamine

This type of drug causes hallucinations or disassociation. Other effects include sedation, pain relief, memory loss, trouble thinking, agitation, increase in blood pressure and heart and depression.

Its overdose can be dangerous.

10. 4-MTA AKA “Ecstasy”

It is sold as tablets and makes users feel peaceful. In some cases, it can lead to insomnia. Some negative effects are sweating, confusion, dizziness, intoxication and memory loss.

These are some of the popular drugs in America. The impact of drug addiction to mental health is severe and should be treated immediately.

Drug Use in America: An Epidemic

Drug use in America has become an epidemic and drastic measures should be taken in order to treat the addiction.

There are many rehabilitation centers built to help people recover. You need to know the symptoms in order to discover the drug addiction. Learn about the various levels of addiction treatment and help your loved ones today.

A little effort and concern can help you in saving a precious life.

Contact us today for more help or information on drug addiction recovery.

References

prescription abuse

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Painkiller Addiction

It is no secret that painkillers have played a large role in the addiction rates in the U.S.

In fact, there are currently 58 opioid prescriptions every year for every 100 Americans.

If these are prescribed medications, what kind of damage can they do, and what can I do to help?

Let’s talk about prescription painkillers, their risks, and everything you need to know about them.

What Are Prescribed Painkillers?

Prescribed painkillers are drugs that are prescribed by a doctor for the sole purpose of relieving pain.

These drugs are not meant to treat or cure any disease or illness, but simply to mask pain. They can be prescribed for a wide variety of conditions, from a broken hand to alleviating pain after an operation.

These drugs involve the use of opium, which is a highly addictive compound that can impair judgment and motor functions.

These often lead to a very short-lived euphoria, and many people enjoy the feeling and feel a need to continue to relive it.

There are many risks involved with these types of medications, particularly with substance abuse, leading to other complications. Let’s talk about that.

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Painkiller Addiction

Painkiller addictions are a serious problem and should be treated that way. You have likely heard stories of addictions from the media or from loved ones.

Painkillers can lead to serious health risks, especially when taken consistently or with high doses. Here are some of the facts.

1. Painkillers Can Lead To Other Addictions

This may sound obvious, but it is to a much higher extent than you would believe. People who are prescribed opioids are 19 times more likely to start using drugs like heroin.

In fact, urban injection drug users interviewed in 2008 and 2009 found that 86% had used pain relievers either medically or nonmedically prior to their heroin addiction.

2. Withdrawal Symptoms Are No Joke

After you use these medications for a while, the body can become dependant on it. Once the body has adapted to the presence of the substance, a higher dose may be needed to create the same effects.

After a while, once the body is fully dependant on the substance, quitting can cause some serious effects. Including insomnia, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and involuntary muscle spasms.

3. Side Effects Can Be Lethal

Overdoses are all too common in the US, and 68% of them involve the use of opioids.

One of the most serious risks with painkillers is the possibility of respiratory depression. High doses can cause breathing to slow down to the point that users die.

Some of the side effects you may encounter with these drugs include constipation, nausea, drowsiness, dizziness, and decreased cognitive abilities.

While those are not fatal, they can certainly inhibit one’s ability to perform essential duties for their health. That can lead to malnourishment and other potentially fatal complications.

Not only that, day-to-day operations can be incredibly lethal while using these medications, like driving or operating machinery. If you are using these drugs, driving after use can put many people’s lives at risk.

Another serious risk of death with these medications is when they are mixed with other substances, including alcohol. Taking these medications for medical use should be used exclusively, and in the prescribed dosage, to avoid complications.

4. Symptoms Can Be Spotted

Visiting multiple doctors to get prescriptions for painkillers, social withdrawal, slurring speech, lying about whereabouts and activities, or stealing medication that has been prescribed to someone else.

These are all common indicators of painkiller addiction. If you know somebody who exhibits these behaviors, or if you exhibit them yourself, these are key signs of addiction.

If you are looking for physical symptoms, they will likely include dilated pupils, impaired coordination, and heavy perspiration.

If those symptoms fit the bill, then that person needs treatment. Find out how to do an intervention the right way to help a loved one.

5. These Prescriptions Are On The Rise

Since the year 2000, the number of opioid prescriptions in the US has increased by over 400%.

That is a troubling amount considering the rising addiction rates. If you are able to get through the pain with over-the-counter medicine like acetaminophen, it may be a wise choice to choose that alternative.

6. Other Factors Can Influence Addiction

There are many co-occurring illnesses that often pair with substance abuse. People can be more susceptible to addiction when they are facing other mental health issues.

People suffering from depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder are far more likely to be a victim of substance abuse. People will look for non-medical ways to help ease their suffering.

Be transparent with your doctors about these pre-existing conditions before accepting addictive medications.

However, there is dual diagnosis treatment available for people struggling with addiction and mental illness.

7. Treatment Is Not The End

Unfortunately, many people who receive treatment will relapse, as addiction is very powerful. Between 40% and 60% of patients will abuse the drug again.

That shouldn’t stop you from trying. Yes, many do go back to substance abuse. However, that is only because treatment is not a cure.

Recovery is a lifelong process. The three main steps are seeking treatment, starting recovery, and maintaining abstinence. The latter is the longest and most difficult.

If a loved one has received treatment, do what you can to support them, as they will need a helping hand.

If you are maintaining your abstinence, seek out any support you can get and continue the progress you’ve made.

Next Steps

It is clear that the risks of these medications are incredibly serious, and should be treated with care.

If you have been prescribed a painkiller, make sure that you take the proper steps to avoid addiction.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction to painkillers, please check out our admissions page and get the help that is needed today!

References: