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.

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.

friendship and recovery

Friendship and Recovery: Parting Ways With Addicts

Once you’ve gotten sober, you’ll need to cut out the negative influences in your life. Friendship and recovery can be quite complicated.

One of the hardest things about getting sober is the complete shift in lifestyle that you have to make. You’ll need to seek out new hobbies and activities to keep your mind off of using substances. You’ll also need to say goodbye to some of your old acquaintances.

It doesn’t have to be forever, but it’s integral to surround yourself with the right people when you’ve made the decision to stop using. Some of your friends, of course, may still be addicts. So, how do you tell them you need some time away?

In this post, we’ll be giving you some tips on how to part ways with the negative influences in your life. You’ll learn more about prioritizing your recovery, living a sober lifestyle, and moving forward with the positive things in life without worrying about what you’re leaving behind. 

Friendship and Recovery: How to Get Rid of Bad Influences

It’s important to note that when you get sober, there’s going to be a considerable change in how you live your life. With help from your family and doctors, you’ll have higher chances of success. However, if you’re going to make sobriety work, then you need to know that there will be some temptation during your recovery.

Being able to see who has your best interest in mind and who has their own best interest in mind is critical for a successful recovery. You have to figure out who supports your recovery and who doesn’t.

You Need Support

People that struggle with addiction can recover with help from good support systems. In fact, many addicts come from healthy families and have healthy relationships. However, there’s almost always an undercurrent of bad influences as well.

When you decide to get sober, you’re taking responsibility for the part you played in becoming an addict. Admitting that you’ve got a problem is a huge step in the right direction. But it’s only the first part of a long process.

To get and stay sober, you’re going to need the help of supportive parents, friends, family members, partners, and even ex-partners. It’s impossible to go through recovery alone. So, the sooner you realize the importance of keeping good influences around you, the better this process will go.

The same goes for keeping bad influences away. There are people in your life that will actively prevent you from achieving your goal of getting and staying sober. It doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re trying to sabotage you or your life. There could be a lot of reasons why someone close to you doesn’t want you to give up substance use. Even so, you’ll need to keep these people at arm’s length while you go through your recovery.

Signs of a Negative Influence

Cutting ties with anyone is hard, and not all of the people from your old life will interfere with your recovery process. Still, some of them will make it hard to resist the urge to return to substance abuse. It’s unfortunate, but you need to get away from these kinds of people— at least while you’re still in the process of getting sober.

Being objective about who to cut ties with can be tough, so here are some of the telltale signs of a negative influence. You should put some distance between yourself and friends that:

  • criticize your decision to get sober
  • frequently cause you emotional distress
  • accuse you of being “no fun” or “boring now”
  • have a pattern of influencing your decisions in a negative manner
  • are ignorant of their own addiction or unwilling to seek treatment 

These aren’t all of the signs, but they’re some of the more obvious ones.

If you’re particularly close with someone that acts in any of the ways listed above, then you will have to make the difficult but critical decision to cut ties with them. It will be especially hard if you see the person every day or if the two of you live together.

It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later

The truth of the matter is that if someone really cares about you and has your best interests in mind, then that person will see why you have to have some time apart. If anyone in your life is resistant to you temporarily cutting ties with them, that’s an even greater sign that you’re making the right decision.

Again, it’s almost never out of maliciousness. It can be hard for people in the middle of substance abuse problems to be happy for those that decide to stop. For reasons of jealousy or insecurity with their own inability to get clean, they’ll appear to be trying to pull you back into the addiction.

The best way to approach these types of conversations is to recognize that you played a part in this unhealthy relationship. Taking ownership of your own problems will show them that you’re not blaming them for what’s transpired or passing judgment on them for not seeking help.

The conversation could go any number of ways.

There will likely be a negative reaction. No one wants to hear that they’re part of a toxic relationship. If you feel that someone isn’t taking you or your health seriously, then you should cut ties entirely and focus on your recovery.

The important thing is that you find the best treatment possible to get and stay sober.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

The good influences in your life will make themselves apparent right away. Having a network of supportive and loving people is just as important as the treatment that you receive. You’ll meet supportive doctors, nurses, and peers during treatment that you’ll be able to rely on for years to come.

Eventually, you may see some of your old friends again. It’s important to remember that people can change and that addiction changes people. Maybe some of them have even decided to get sober, too. If that ever happens, you can decide whether or not you want to be for them what they weren’t for you: a friend.

Help from Addiction Treatment Services

For help finding addiction treatment, visit Addiction Treatment Services.

Be sure to also check out our blog for more informative and inspirational articles about getting sober, finding friendship and recovery, and starting a new life.

anger management and recovery

Anger Management and Rehabilitation: How Controlling Anger Can Improve Recovery

Anger and anger management are serious problems for many Americans. Sixteen million people throughout the country suffer from a condition known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (or IED). This condition is characterized by sudden feelings of anger that are disproportionate to the situation.

Moreover, most people don’t realize that anger issues and substance abuse often go hand in hand.

In fact, people who struggle with anger management problems may be more prone to substance abuse. They may turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope with their problems. However, they may also find that drugs or alcohol make their anger problems worse.

The connection between addiction and anger makes anger management courses an excellent benefit for people in recovery. Read on to learn more about the vital role that anger management can play in addiction recovery.

Anger and Addiction

Everyone gets angry from time to time. Addicts, though, might find that they get angry more often than other people. There are many links between anger and addiction, and it’s not always clear which one leads to the other.

Some of the most well-known connections between the two are explained below:

Self-Medicating to Manage Emotions

The act of self-medicating is pervasive among individuals who struggle with addiction.

Some people who know that they have trouble managing their anger may turn to drugs or alcohol because they think that using will help them cope.

For example, people with anger issues may use depressants like alcohol or opioids to stay calm and slow their reflexes. They may even use sedatives to try to keep their anger under control.

Drugs and Alcohol Triggering Anger

On the other hand, drugs and alcohol can also trigger anger in some people.

Substance use can reduce impulse control and make it harder for some people to control their temper. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, a minor annoyance can become a major issue and cause someone to act irrationally.

For example, alcohol impairs cognitive abilities. So, alcohol misuse can cause people not to think through things as clearly as they might usually. They might also care less about the consequences of their actions when they’re under the influence of a particular substance.

Drugs, Alcohol, and Domestic Abuse

It’s also important to note that there is a striking correlation between the rates of substance use and domestic abuse. There is also a particularly strong link between alcoholism and intimate partner violence.

One study, which involved 67 participants, even showed that alcohol increased the likelihood of physical aggression in men who already had anger problems and difficulty managing their emotions.

This study revealed that sexual aggression was higher after consuming alcohol. These findings were accurate even among men who did not have anger problems and were able to manage their anger well when sober.

Benefits of Anger Management in Recovery

There are some significant connections between anger management issues and substance abuse.

For many people, getting sober can be very beneficial in helping them to better control their anger. However, getting to the root of the issue is also important. If you struggle with anger management issues, you need to figure out why and how you can cope with them.

Participating in anger management while in recovery can bring about many benefits, including the following:

Learn to Recognize Triggers

When anger management is part of your addiction recovery plan, you’ll have an easier time figuring out what kinds of situations trigger your anger.

Once you can recognize these triggers, you’ll be able to cope with them or avoid them altogether.

If you find that you’re more prone to anger after consuming drugs or alcohol, you may feel even more motivated to give them up for good.

Learn to Cope with Triggers

Recognizing triggers is the first step. Avoiding them is great when you can, but you’re not always able to do that.

While in anger management, you’ll learn how to cope with your triggers in healthy ways that don’t involve alcohol, drugs, or other destructive behaviors.

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

A big part of anger management involves learning to take responsibility for your actions. Generally, this is a big part of recovery, too.

By participating in anger management as part of your recovery, you’ll have a much easier time accepting what’s happened in your life so far and finding the motivation to make positive changes going forward.

Repair Your Relationships

When you learn to take responsibility for your actions and control your anger, you can also start to repair your relationships with your family, friends, and others who have been affected by your anger issues.

Participating in anger management also shows your loved ones that you’re prioritizing both your mental and emotional health in your recovery.

What to Expect from Anger Management

If you are feeling hesitant about doing anger management training during your addiction recovery, remember that there are plenty of good reasons to participate and lots to take away from it.

Every anger management program is different, but some experiences among them are similar. During your participation, you can likely expect to:

  • talk about your past experiences
  • work on identifying your personal triggers
  • learn mindful, healthy ways to respond to your triggers
  • share your feelings in either a one-on-one or group setting
  • learn problem-solving skills and tips to handle things in a more productive way
  • cover other communication techniques and effective ways of addressing your anger

After anger management, you’ll find that you’re more patient and have an easier time dealing with frustrating situations. It’s a long road, and you’ll have to practice, but you will see improvements if you focus on the program.

Get Help Today

Anger management can be very beneficial to individuals struggling with addiction.

If you struggle with anger issues and also need help getting sober, finding a recovery program that includes anger management is crucial.

Do you need help finding a recovery program near you that fits your needs? If so, contact Addiction Treatment Services today.

We have compassionate, caring admissions specialists available at all times to help you take the steps you need to move forward toward recovery.

References

Advanced Solutions International, Inc. (n.d.). Anger in the Families. Retrieved from https://www.aamft.org/Consumer_Updates/Effect_of_Anger_on_Families.aspx

Graham, J. (2017, July 19). Why is everyone so angry, and how can we change that? Retrieved from https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865685019/Why-is-everyone-so-angry-and-how-can-we-change-that.html

Shorey, R. C., McNulty, J. K., Moore, T. M., & Stuart, G. L. (2017, March). Trait Anger and Partner-Specific Anger Management Moderate the Temporal Association Between Alcohol Use and Dating Violence. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28317513

successful intervention

8 Elements of a Successful Intervention for an Addict with Depression

One in three people who suffer from depression will use alcohol as a way to cope. Although it’s a depressant, it can have a euphoric effect on people in smaller doses. But, at higher doses they start to lose coordination.

It’s only when their use gets out of control that someone is able to start noticing the pattern of addictive behavior in their life. As more problems develop, it may become clear that it’s time for them to have an intervention.

If you’re the loved one of someone who is suffering from addiction and depression, you’re not alone. There are steps you can take to get them help. Learn how to host a successful intervention here.

1. Understand How Depression Works

People who have to fight depression are dealing with an uphill battle every day. It’s difficult to have the energy to get basic tasks done. They may start to give up their social activities and hobbies as the illness takes them deeper and deeper into sorrow.

If someone has been treating their depression with alcohol or drugs, overcoming addiction is the only way to restore their mind to health. Otherwise, their energy is being drained from them by the booze before they have a chance to use it.

2. Include Loved Ones and Friends

The intervention team that you put together will have a major impact on the outcome. You usually want to try to find four to six people that the addict loves and respects to share their feelings about their use. 

It’s important not to ask anyone to the intervention that the addict dislikes or that will not be able to hold themselves back from saying everything they are feeling. You don’t want someone there who is going to sabotage your efforts.

3. Make a Plan for the Intervention

Every intervention should have a plan for what the arguments are, what the solution will be, and what steps the group will take to get there. Make sure you get everyone together for a preintervention so you can all get on the same page.

4. Keep the Conversation Focused on Solutions

At this intervention, you will need to work hard to stay focused on the solutions that you are offering to your loved one. You will notice that they give you a lot of push back and want things their way. They might say things that are designed to push your buttons. 

Just make sure that you keep your attention on the problem at hand. Don’t respond if someone tries to make you mad.

5. Anticipate Their Objections

Your loved one will most likely challenge the idea that they need any form of serious treatment for their substance abuse. They may mention that they have other commitments like children or work that they need to take care of. 

Make sure that you have a prepared and rational response for each of their concerns before you host the intervention. You need to be able to give them the support they need to engage in treatment.

That might mean arranging someone to watch their child, speaking to their coworkers about who can cover their shift, and volunteering to help your loved one get to their treatment program if it’s not inpatient.

6. Ask For an Immediate Commitment

Many people who are faced with an intervention want to run away and take some time to use before they go to treatment. But you shouldn’t give them this time if you want them to be successful.

The more your loved one delays treatment, the longer they will continue to have a problem. When it comes to using drugs, you never know when someone’s last day is coming. So make sure they get into treatment right away.

7. Let Them Know They’re Not Alone

Your number one goal in this intervention is to make your loved one feel like you are there to support them without enabling them to continue to hurt themselves.

Make sure you lay down your line but also make it clear that if they respond, you are there to take this journey with them. Many addicts feel like it is too late for them to get forgiveness and make the right choice, but it’s never too late for anyone.

8. Don’t Give In

An intervention isn’t over until the addict says yes. Unfortunately, not everyone responds well to their first intervention meeting. They could become angry or defensive and may even be resentful about being accused of having an addiction.

They may also lash out and call you a hypocrite or feel like you have betrayed them. It’s important that you are ready for all of these potential responses while still acting out of a place of hope. Even if your intervention doesn’t seem to be working in the moment, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Where to Go for Help

Many people will experience emotional highs and lows at various points throughout their lifetime. But clinical depression is a lasting depressed mood state that can interfere with someone’s ability to work, provide for themselves and maintain a good lifestyle.

When you struggle with depression for years, it can feel like there will be no end in sight and many people choose to turn to substances to get rid of the emotional pain. But the more you use, the more dependent you become.

It’s easy to slip to the point where you need an intervention. But hearing the truth from a loved one is incredibly difficult on a fragile depressed mind. It’s important to take care to find a quality treatment center to help. Learn more about treatment options here.

References:

Macklemore drug addiction

Here’s What Macklemore Has to Say About Drug Addiction, Rehab, and Gratitude

For every tragic and less-than-positive story in the news today, there is an uplifting story about love overcoming all obstacles. A prime example of this is the November 2013 story of Macklemore’s surprise for his mother-in-law, Diana Davis. After helping Macklemore through drug addiction and rehab, Diana received a surprise home renovation from her son-in-law as gratitude for her support.

Macklemore Surprises His Mother-in-Law With a Home Makeover!

Ben Haggerty, better recognized as Macklemore, is an award-winning musical artist and rap sensation. And, unfortunately, he is one of many celebrities that struggle with drug addiction.

Macklemore’s drug addiction history has cycled through use, withdrawal rehab, and relapse. Even so, his family— and particularly his mother-in-law— have been by his side every step of the recovery journey.

To show his gratitude, Macklemore funded a massive home makeover for his mother-in-law. He even went so far as to pay off her mortgage.

According to Macklemore, this gift was to thank his mother-in-law for standing by his side while he battled painkiller and alcohol addiction. Naturally, this thoughtful and life-changing deed made headlines everywhere in 2013.

Like Many, Macklemore Struggles with Drug Addiction

Like many of his fellow celebrities, Macklemore has entered rehab on multiple occasions. However, with help from his loved ones, he has managed to stay sober for close to a decade. In fact, his love for his family has a substantial influence on his desire to stay sober.

“If I stop prioritizing the daily recovery program that I do to maintain sobriety… I will lose it all.”

—Macklemore: Fear Of Losing My Family Keeps Me Sober, The Fix

It’s important to note that drug addiction is not limited to Hollywood or the Red Carpet. In fact, nearly 40 percent of Americans struggle with an addiction to illicit drugs. Moreover, almost 75 percent of those who struggle with substance abuse also struggle with alcoholism.

While these figures are unsettling, the good news is that the issues surrounding substance abuse, addiction, and rehab are steadily gaining more public awareness.

Macklemore Advocates for Rehab and Sobriety

Stigma and denial are the most significant inhibitors of drug addiction prevention and treatment. The fact of the matter is that people are often too scared to admit they have a problem, and so they don’t seek help.

However, high-profile celebrities like Macklemore are making an effort to fight the stigma and improve treatment prospects for addiction sufferers everywhere.

In 2018, he even headlined the first-ever Recovery Fest, an annual concert that raises awareness for all things addiction and recovery.

Stories like Macklemore’s are doing an excellent service to those who need help to find the right treatment and resources.

An Important Message from Macklemore on Drug Addiction

The most crucial takeaway from Macklemore’s story is that one person has the power to make a difference in the life of a loved one.

Macklemore didn’t renovate Diana’s home or pay off her mortgage on a whim. He did it to show gratitude because she, much like his wife Tricia Davis, stuck by him even at his lowest points.

Anyone in the world, from friends to coworkers and family members to strangers, can reach out to others with one simple question:

“Are you alright?”

This question and the conversations that follow can inspire a lifetime of recovery and sobriety. After all, it did for Macklemore.

Inciting Change for Those Struggling with Drug Addiction

With more people offering to help and more substance users realizing that there’s nothing wrong with seeking help, substance abuse is on the decline. With continued effort and work, the hardship that is addiction will become an occurrence of the past.

Combating substance abuse starts with the individual. Music or no music, audience or no audience, the achievements of anyone who beat addiction are inspiring. A little bit of compassion and understanding today could help the Macklemores of tomorrow gain the control and stability they need to not only survive but thrive.

Learn More About Drug Addiction Treatment Options

It’s never too late to help or seek help and get a new lease on life. If you or a loved one have any questions about drug addiction or rehab, please contact us here or call us at (877) 455-0055.

heroin addiction

Rehab 911: 7 Signs of Heroin Use You Can’t Ignore

Your family is going through a rough time, and it’s hard to explain the issues away as simply life stress. It’s terrifying to think that your loved one might be abusing heroin, but if you do believe that is the case, you don’t have time to waste.

Heroin abuse is on the rise in multiple states, and it’s more than doubled among young adults in the past decade. What’s even scarier is that fatal overdoses are also on the rise.

If you think your loved one may be addicted, keep reading for the nine common signs of heroin use.

1. Behavioral Changes

One of the first signs of heroin addiction to watch out for is behavioral changes.

Among the most obvious is a sudden, inexplicable need for secrecy. This may be accompanied by increased aggression. You may notice this the most when asking your loved one about something that seems inconsequential to you, only to be met with an unexpected outburst.

These signs aren’t unique to heroin use.

What is somewhat unique to heroin use is mood swings, an apparent lack of emotional regulation, and depression. Heroin highs cause feelings of euphoria, which is part of why the drug is so addictive.

What makes it worse is that a heroin addict’s brain starts to rely on heroin to experience any feelings of joy or happiness. While off the drug, this can result in depression or sudden mood swings, especially if the individual is using drugs to self-medicate for an underlying mental illness.

Often, these highs and lows are taken out on the people around them, especially loved ones trying to express concern.

If your loved one is lashing out at you, try to keep your anger or frustration in check and look for patterns in their behavioral shifts.

2. Physical Changes

More obvious than the behavioral changes are the physical changes your loved one will exhibit after prolonged heroin abuse.

Heroin is taken by injection, which creates track marks, or puncture wounds resulting from injecting drugs and bruises that appear around the injection site. Many heroin users inject on their arms for ease of access and prominent veins.

On one hand, this is a good thing, because if track marks are in obvious places, they’re easy to spot. Because of this, chronic users will wear long sleeves or long pants to hide the marks.

You’ll likely also notice a decline in personal hygiene, especially if your loved one has been abusing for some time. Disorientation and drowsiness from heroin abuse may often lead your loved one to lose interest in (or forget to) take care of themselves.

Other physical symptoms immediately following heroin consumption include:

  • Constricted (small) pupils
  • Droopy appearance, as though it takes too much effort to support their limbs
  • Dry mouth
  • Shortness of breath

Another clear sign is suddenly losing a significant amount of weight. One of the side effects of heroin is a decreased appetite, which means that if your loved one is consistently high, they won’t have any desire to eat.

In women, this may also result in a sudden loss of her period as her body struggles to conserve resources.

3. Personality Changes

On the more frightening end of the spectrum are the personality changes resulting from heroin abuse.

When someone has a heroin problem, it becomes the focus of their life. It’s their reason for getting up in the morning and the sole motivator behind their actions. Anyone else’s needs become irrelevant, especially if they conflict with the person’s ability to get high.

If you notice that your once kind, generous loved one has become closed off, uncaring, and even selfish to the point of cruelty, this is a major red flag. Even the sweetest person can turn callous, reckless, and mean when looking for their next hit.

This also coincides with disengagement from family and friends. While an addict may be able to maintain appearances for a while, they inevitably turn further and further inward as their addiction worsens. Usually, this shows up in the form of excuses, missed commitments, and lacking interest in the wellbeing of others.

4. Lying and Manipulating

There are two big commonalities across addictions: lying and manipulative behavior.

If you’ve known and trusted someone for many years, it can be hard to set that trust aside when they start lying to you. A particularly skilled liar can fool their closest friends and family members for years on end.

But the sad truth is that addicts lie constantly, whether the lie is big or small. They lie about where they were when they were actually buying or using drugs. They lie about why they were late or why they missed a commitment. They lie about the thousands of dollars they spend on drugs.

If a person’s behavior changes and their explanations don’t add up, you have to hold onto your common sense. When an explanation doesn’t make sense, there’s usually a good reason.

Sometimes, you can investigate the explanation and catch your loved one in a lie. A lot of the time, though, there’s no way to call your loved one out for lying to you without voicing your real suspicions.

Manipulative behavior isn’t as obvious, especially if your loved one is good at it.

Sometimes it’s a subtle redirection of the conversation when your loved one is avoiding an explanation of where they were. Sometimes it’s more insidious, like guilt-baiting, the silent treatment, passive-aggressiveness, or conditional acceptance.

Sometimes, it’s obvious–promising to go to treatment, or to quit using, or any number of promises to lull you into believing them.

Don’t let yourself fall for it in the hopes that the problem will go away if you believe them. You can’t afford to wait for them to hit rock bottom.

5. Shifting Blame

Another common tactic among addicts is shifting blame, also expressed as playing the victim.

Your loved one may have been a responsible person before. Heroin takes that away. Remember–when someone is addicted, the only thing that really matters is the next high.

Addicted individuals quickly become masters of lying to themselves in order to deflect their internal feelings of guilt and blame, which makes it easy, as time goes on, to deflect blame onto others.

For example, if your loved one loses their job, they’ll say they were unfairly targeted by their boss.

Anytime you attempt to bring up problems with your loved one, they’ll find a way to shift the blame onto you or others. Don’t get angry, don’t rise to the bait, and don’t let yourself be misdirected. You know what the problem is, and you can’t let your loved one off the hook.

6. Ongoing Health Problems

Along with the physical symptoms of heroin abuse, your loved one will also experience ongoing health problems as a result of long-term abuse.

One of the most common signs is a runny nose that cannot be explained by an illness, allergies, the weather, or any other medical condition.

Since heroin is taken via injection, problems with the blood and veins are unique to heroin abuse. Repeated abuse can lead to collapsed veins, which can, in turn, create blood clots and abscesses.

If your loved one is careless with their needles, there’s also a high risk of blood-borne diseases and STDs, particularly HIV. Even if they don’t contract illnesses from other users, there’s still a significant risk of blood infections.

This may result in sepsis or septicemia, a condition in which the immune system is fighting overtime to resist a blood-borne infection.

In severe cases, this can lead to septic shock (a dangerous drop in blood pressure) which can quickly cause multiple organ failure–the kidneys, lungs, and liver are at especially high risk.

In addition, because your loved one isn’t eating (or isn’t eating normally), and because they’re neglecting personal hygiene, their immune system is operating at a disadvantage. This leaves them more susceptible to common illnesses and poorly equipped to fight off infection.

7. Change in Relationship Dynamics

Another thing you’ll notice in your loved one, especially as their addiction progresses, is a shift in relationship dynamics.

This will come in two parts. First, you will notice a declining interest in spending time with their family or friends. Second, you will see them spending more time with new friends who don’t seem to have any organic tie to them.

To be clear, making new friends on its own isn’t cause for concern. People make new friends all the time. It’s concerning if your loved one’s excuses for their time often crop up when these friends are involved, or if these friends exhibit many of the same troubling signs as your loved one.

And while a missed commitment here and there is rude, it’s not the end of the world. It’s cause for concern when it becomes a pattern of neglected family or work obligations followed by a litany of lame excuses, dismissiveness, or outright hostility.

Tragically, some addicts do become outright abusive to their loved ones, especially a spouse. If this happens, don’t let fear control you, and don’t feel like you owe it to your loved one to tolerate it.

There is no excuse for abuse of any kind, and there’s a difference between wanting to help your loved one and enabling their behavior. If a loved one is physically harmful or emotionally toxic, don’t neglect your own wellbeing in order to tend to theirs.

8. Financial Problems

If you notice your loved one is experiencing money problems that cannot be explained away, it could be a dangerous sign when paired with other red flags for heroin abuse.

Heroin is an expensive habit to maintain and it gets more expensive as time goes on. If items go missing in your home, bills are missed, or groceries are neglected, you should wonder where that money is going.

If you have any shared accounts that show withdrawals that cannot be explained, the same thing applies.

Someone with access to cash may also embezzle funds from their workplace or steal valuable items. They may also shoplift or commit credit fraud.

It’s also concerning if your loved one keeps asking you for money without any real explanation for their financial problems or why they seem to use up the money you give without any apparent improvement to the situation.

9. Loss of Concentration or Interest

Finally, you may also notice a loss of concentration or interest.

For example, a teenager who previously had good grades and performed well in school may start having academic problems or neglecting activities they once enjoyed. A spouse may neglect date night, happy hour, work functions, or dinners with friends.

A shift in priorities due to a job or a move is one thing. A sudden lack of interest in beloved activities is something else entirely.

This also ties into a lack of communication with friends and family. As your loved one sinks deeper into addiction, it becomes easier for them to cover their addiction if they limit interaction with friends and family.

If You See the Signs of Heroin Use

If you see the signs of heroin use in your loved one, you can’t afford to wait. Heroin addiction is incredibly dangerous and can have a catastrophic effect on your loved one’s life.

The good news is that you don’t have to fight it alone.

We help you get in touch with recovery professionals specializing in heroin addiction. Click here to check out our available resources. Or, if you’re ready to get your loved one started on the road to recovery, get in touch with us today.

Why it is Important to Receive Treatment for Crack and Cocaine Addiction - ATS

Families Must Get Loved Ones into Rehab for Crack Addiction Immediately

Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs we know of. It has a euphoric effect and acts as a stimulant, which can be appealing for users. Unfortunately, cocaine is also extremely addictive – even upon the first use.

Although cocaine is less common than heroin, it still presents a problem to the safety of our youth, as almost 4 percent of 12th graders report trying cocaine sometime in their lifetime.

One of the most available forms of cocaine is called crack cocaine, or simply crack. In this form, the substance has been processed with additives, such as baking soda, and formed into crystals. The drug variant gets its name from the cracking sound it makes when applied to heat.

Help for Crack Addiction

Quick and effective treatment for cocaine addiction is essential to combat the drug’s negative effects. Over time, crack or cocaine addiction can lead to malnourishment, certain movement disorders and neurological problems.

Overdose on crack can lead to:

  • Heart attacks
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Death

Speedy intervention could be the key to saving your loved one’s life. Fortunately, there are reliable alcohol and drug rehab resources that can help you find your loved one the care he or she needs.

How to Stage an Intervention for Drug Addiction

People who struggle with crack cocaine addiction often find it difficult to admit they need help. For this reason, an intervention is an essential step in getting your loved one into treatment.

Stated simply, an intervention occurs when friends and family gather together to convince someone struggling with addiction that it presents an imminent danger to their health, and that they can’t conquer the illness alone. An addiction interventionist can coach you through the process and help begin the road to recovery.

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Therapy

Intervention Help For Crack Cocaine Addiction - ATS

There are two main types of crack cocaine rehabilitation: outpatient and inpatient. Since cocaine is so addictive, victims often struggle to stop using on their own.

In order for outpatient therapy to be successful, the person struggling with addiction must be able to avoid the substance in between sessions.

Since the addiction is physiological as well as psychological, inpatient treatment is usually the best solution. This works by denying access to cocaine in a controlled environment, which assures your loved one’s safety.

Generally speaking, the longer your loved one has been using crack cocaine, the more significant the need for inpatient therapy.

Although many people fear reprisal and stigma from entering treatment, it’s important to remember that addiction therapy is a medical treatment. As such, it is completely private and confidential. The professionals at a rehabilitation facility cannot release your loved one’s records without his or her permission.

How Long Does Rehabilitation Take?

Rehabilitation program lengths will vary by the individual needs of the person. Crack cocaine addiction treatment programs generally last from one to three months, with additional outpatient therapy almost always needed afterward.

What to Expect in Crack Cocaine Rehab

Crack cocaine rehabilitation follows a standard procedure that starts with an intake evaluation. In this introductory period, patients get to know the facility and go through a medical physical.

Next, they begin medically supervised detox, which allows them to break their physiological addiction to the drug in a safe environment. Then, each patient receives a tailored set of addiction therapies that help them address the underlying causes of their addiction. This is also where the patient might receive treatment for any co-occurring mental health conditions.

Paying for Treatment

One of the main reasons that people avoid seeking help for crack addiction is because they fear they can’t afford it. However, the Affordable Care Act establishes addiction treatment as an essential service. This means that insurance companies are required to pay at least a portion of the out-of-pocket costs.

The amount that your insurance company pays will depend on your level of coverage. Insurance plans may pay for:

  • Inpatient programs
  • Medically assisted detox
  • Partial hospital programs
  • Outpatient programs
  • 12-step programs
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • And more

At Addiction Treatment Services, we understand that navigating the insurance process can be overwhelming. That’s why we handle the process for you. We work with your insurance company to sort out all the authorizations and “red tape,” so you can focus on getting your loved one into safe and effective treatment for addiction.

Immediate intervention for crack cocaine is essential for allowing a struggling loved one to live the best life possible. Addiction Treatment Services connects families to professional, experienced interventionists person to maximize their loved one’s chances of maintaining recovery. We invite you to contact us to schedule a confidential consultation.

Learn More About the Crack Treatment Process