Painkiller Addiction in Student Athlete

The Painkiller High School Problem: How Injuries Aren’t the Only Risk in Athletics

High school is one of the most important times in our lives. It is a time of learning, growth, and opportunity, and shapes us for the rest of our lives. There are few things shape us as much as school sports, which teach high school students to work in teams and build relationships.

While the benefits of playing high school sports are many, there are also risks involved. The main risk is being injured, which may lead to an even more deadly risk: addiction to painkillers. In this article, we’ll walk you through what painkillers are, why high school athletes chase the painkiller high, and how young athletes can avoid addiction.

Painkillers: What Are They?

Painkillers are a class of prescription medication called opiates. Opiates come from the opium plant and work by mimicking the pain-reducing chemicals in your brain called endorphins. Endorphins reduce stress and pain and create a feeling of well-being.

Opiates act like endorphins because connect to the same places in your brain and create a sense of euphoria, energy, or well-being. Opiates are powerful because they cause a strong intoxicating effect and are addictive.

Common painkiller drugs include morphine, codeine, and Oxycontin. These drugs are for patients who have suffered an injury and are suffering from intense pain.

The Painkiller High: Dangers for Student-Athletes

So why are painkillers so dangerous for high school athletes? The first reason that painkillers are so dangerous for student-athletes is the potency of these drugs. Painkillers are very easy to overdose on based on their high potency.

Over 68% of overdoses in the United States are from painkillers and with over 130 Americans dying from opiate overdoses per day, the threat is real.

Student-athletes are more likely to use painkillers than others. High school athletes are already more likely to use illegal drugs than students who don’t play sports, which may be due to the stress of performing.

But high school athletes are even more likely to sustain an injury at some point in their sports career. These injuries can be serious, like a broken leg or torn ligament, and need more time to heal and pain management techniques.

Student-athletes are often given a prescription for these painkillers when they suffer an injury. While the painkillers reduce pain in the short term, some students start using the pills to get high or get addicted while managing their pain.

Consequences of Painkiller Abuse

The first and most obvious consequence of abusing painkillers is an overdose. Painkiller overdoses are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Drug users who don’t die from an opiate overdose may suffer from brain damage or organ damage due to lack of oxygen, which may last for a lifetime.

Painkiller abuse can also affect the digestive system of users. Painkillers make the bowels slow down, which leads to constipation, nausea, and vomiting.

The most dangerous consequences of painkiller abuse are an increase in use and using more dangerous drugs. Because painkillers are so addictive and powerful, they lead to addiction and an increased tolerance for the drug. This is dangerous because it causes the user to take more pills to get the same high, which leads to overdoses, serious financial issues, and crime.

Heroin Abuse

When addicts either can’t afford more painkillers or their prescription runs out, they turn to a cheaper drug that is easier to get: heroin. Heroin is an illegal opiate that is usually sold as a powder or resin, which is then smoked, snorted, or injected into the body. It is cheap, easy to get, and very strong,

Heroin is dangerous because the potency isn’t consistent and different things are added to it to make it stronger. Fentanyl is one of the strongest prescription painkillers on the planet and is added to heroin to increase the potency. This has lead to a sharp increase in overdose deaths from opiates.

Avoiding Painkiller Addiction in Student-Athletes

There’s not much you can do to prevent student-athletes from getting injured. But there are many steps you can take to make sure that young athletes don’t become addicted to painkillers.

The first step you can take is to make sure that your student-athlete isn’t prescribed painkillers in the first place. Painkillers help manage pain but there are other ways to reduce pain.


Over-the-counter medications like Ibuprofen and aspirin reduce inflammation and pain. They are hard to overdose on, aren’t addictive, and are easy to find.


R.I.C.E stands for the four steps of recovery: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Resting the injured body part, icing the injury, compressing the injury with wraps, and elevating the injury above your heart reduces pain and increases recovery.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy can help reduce the pain from longterm or recurring injuries. It also prevents injuries in the future by strengthening joints and the muscles surrounding them.


Making sure to supervise your young athlete’s painkiller prescription is also important. If your student-athlete has a painkiller prescription, make sure that they take the right amount and don’t have access to the pills.

You can also make sure that the prescription is appropriate for their injury. If the pain won’t last more than a couple of days, then that is how long the prescription should last for. If the pain takes longer to go away, make sure that the doctor has a plan to reduce the use of painkillers over the course of recovery.

Protect Student-Athletes from Addiction

Now that you know a little more about the use of painkillers in high school sports, you can educate student-athletes about why a painkiller high is so dangerous. The only way to stop addiction is by educating people, and that starts with spreading the word.

If you have any questions about opiate addiction, treatment, and recovery, please visit our blog.



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.


How We Got Here: A Brief History of the Opioid Epidemic

America lost 58 thousand soldiers in the Vietnam War according to the National Archives, and 620,000 deaths in the Civil War.

In 2016, there were more than 60,000 deaths caused by drug overdoses in 2016 alone, and in 2017, 200 Americans died per day in the opioid epidemic.

The opioid epidemic that is rocking the nation is now exceeding the cost of lives to America by that of more than two of America’s greatest wars of all time combined. Let’s trace this crisis back to its roots to find out how this crisis began, and then we’ll discuss how you can avoid becoming a statistic in the history of the opioid epidemic.

It started with the overprescription of opioids.

Today, two million Americans abuse opioids.

Nobody is dying alone in the opioid epidemic, even when their addiction has led them to the point of complete isolation from the world they once knew.

First Step on the History of the Opioid Epidemic

Although history shows that opioid use for pain relief has been in place since the Civil War, the real opioid crisis dates back to the 1990’s. They say it is a three-wave problem over the opioid epidemic timeline. For the first time since 1999, the life expectancy for Americans has decreased because of this crisis.

The crisis is due to the overprescription of opioids, but the use of illegal opioids has also increased and contributed to the crisis.

Prescription opioids include substances that include either morphine or codeine. Synthetic forms of opioids are now on the market, however, and include methadone, tramadol, and fentanyl.

Opioid abuse has been in play since the beginning of the last century. Veterans were given morphine, a derivative of the poppy plant, during and after the Civil War.

By the late 1800’s, pharmaceutical companies started to create synthetic versions, and this is when heroin was born.

It was no secret at this time that heroin or other synthetic forms of opium were addictive. By 1912, the United States joined other nations in forming the International Opium Convention. This convention would work to control the opioid market.

In 1924 came the Heroin Act, bringing more regulations to the heroin market. By the time both World Wars were over, heroin abuse was becoming a problem.

The 1924 Heroin Act was a revision of the 1909 Smoking Opium Exclusion Act that authorized poppy plant imports for medical purposes. Even in 1909 American citizens were using a pipe or “vaping” to consume heroin.

By 1924, it was illegal to import or possess heroin.

In 1970, this drug was developed into synthetic drugs of hydrocodone and oxycodone for pain relief and to treat cancer pain. As years went on, an overprescription of these drugs for various diagnoses has led to the opioid epidemic that we face today.

The United States Leads the World

Today, drug abuse is costing America over $442 billion dollars a year in both health care and criminal justice costs. The opioid epidemic comprises $78 billion of that number.

The United States leads the world in opioid use, consuming over 80 percent of the world’s opioid production.

Opioid abuse is America’s leading cause of death for those under the age of 50. More are dying from an opioid overdose in America than the flu or kidney problems, pneumonia, car accidents, or firearm deaths.

The Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy M.D. M.B.A. says that opioid use is more common in America than diabetes and all cancers combined.

10 percent of those who are addicted to opioids are dying because they just don’t get the help they need. They often don’t seek help because they fear the costs or stigma associated with going to rehab.

The stigma of drug addiction is a leading cause of overdose deaths as well. Many users today just don’t want to admit they have a problem that could be criminal. They also may not be able to afford care.

But today, more and more insurance companies are saving lives by covering addiction treatment services. Additionally, addiction treatment services today are working to get rid of the stigma associated with addiction by just focusing on saving lives.

The Science of the Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic is all rooted in the science of opioids. Many national agencies refer to the history of the opioid epidemic like a plague.

The science of opioids is all about how they impact the brain. When opioids cross the blood-brain barrier, they hit the pleasure centers in the brain in such a way that the user describes it as a euphoric high.

Chasing the high is the center of every addiction. Opioids bind to receptors in the brain that block pain. When this happens, a chemical addiction occurs.

The addiction is not just chemical. The patient feels good psychologically and wants to keep feeling this good, so they continue to abuse the substance.

But not only is the addiction chemical and psychological, but the body also becomes chemically addicted or dependent on this euphoric feeling.

New research shows that scientists are getting closer to untangling the neural pathways that lead from opioid use to dopamine triggers. Dopamine is the substance in the brain that is released from the pleasure centers that makes the person feel good.

These scientists say that addiction occurs when the effects of consuming a drug provide a beneficial outcome to the human body. A dopamine release is one of those pleasurable outcomes that keep people going back to opioids for more after their first use.

This dopamine release contributes to the dependency on opioids. This even serves as a gateway to abusing more dangerous drugs such as heroin, according to these scientists. Heroin is a drug that many doctors today will say can become addictive upon first use.

But opioids are also dangerous upon first use. While there are thousands of examples world-wide, one harrowing story is the story of a 15-year-old named Sam. He consumed heroin once and went into a coma for two months.

Sam is now in a wheelchair unable to read, write, or live with the quality of life of a typical 15-year-old boy.

The opioid epidemic timeline started over 30 years ago and continues today.

Prescription medication withdrawal and detox led to symptoms so uncomfortable that people began turning to heroin to recover from opioid withdrawal.

How Did We Get Here?

Pharmaceutical companies and the doctors prescribing meds are the roots of this epidemic.

In the 1990’s, drug companies were reassuring the medical community that opioid meds were not addictive. But they were and still are today.

This notion led to a widespread use of the medication and ultimately an abuse and misuse of prescribed meds. By 2015, tens of thousands of Americans were dying from this crisis.

It is estimated that 21 to 29 people prescribed opioid medications will abuse them, and that 8 to 12 percent will develop an addiction. It is also believed that 4 to 6 opioid addicts will transition to heroin addiction once medications like oxycodone and hydrocodone become less readily available.

Due to regulations and more awareness of the opioid crisis, fewer doctors are prescribing them today. This is leading to more dangerous drugs entering the crisis, such as methamphetamines and fentanyl.

Awareness is not to be underestimated, however. Information is power. Many don’t know or understand the gentle and kind support available in many different levels of detox today. This support saves lives.

Wave One – 1991 Opioid Deaths

The opioid crisis is widely considered a three-wave problem. The three waves are defined as the wave where the first rash of deaths first started, followed by an increase in heroin deaths. The final wave is the one the nation is facing now.

Experts consider today’s crisis as first starting in 1991 when opioid-related deaths began after an increase in prescription medication use.

At this time, Big Pharma was reportedly teaching the medical community that it was okay to prescribe opioids as they weren’t addictive. Initially, these medications were only prescribed for chronic or severe pain, such as for cancer or trauma victims.

But those guidelines began to decline once Big Pharma assured doctors that the drugs weren’t addictive. Even today, morphine may be the first drug administered by an EMT or emergency doctor when a patient presents with severe pain.

In this first wave, by 1999, 86 percent of people using opioid medication were using them for non-cancer related pain management.

Wave Two – 2010: Heroin Deaths Increase

The second wave of the opioid epidemic began in 2010 when heroin abuse deaths began rising dramatically. Prescription medications became harder to obtain, and addicts began turning to the streets for their high.

With that, heroin became a popular choice because it was easily available and more affordable than most other medications. By 2013, heroin-related deaths increased by 286 percent.

Because heroin is often injected, use also contributes to illnesses and deaths caused by improper use of intravenous equipment. Along with the rise of heroin-related deaths is the rise of HIV/AIDS, blood problems, infections, and hepatitis B and C.

The increase of these problems is also leading to an increase of the multi-billion-dollar health care burden. There are many costs to the country as a result of this crisis.

Wave Three – 2013: the Arrival of Fentanyl

By 2013, the arrival of fentanyl led to the spike in opioid-related deaths in epidemic proportions. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is used in hospitals in minute doses for extreme pain. Today, it is becoming manufactured illegally and not safely.

The smallest dose of fentanyl can still kill someone when not administered properly. But this drug is becoming easier to obtain that oxycodone or even heroin.

In England alone, fentanyl-related deaths have increased by 27 percent in this third wave of the opioid epidemic.

The overprescription of medications is a leading cause of this crisis. But so too is the affordability of heroin on the streets.

National agencies for health are urging the medical community to follow guidelines for prescribing these medications for pain management.

The Opioid Crisis – What’s Happening Now

Many agencies refer to overprescription in the history of the opioid epidemic as a leading cause. This is a problem that is caused at the level of the doctor’s office but also at the level of the pharmaceutical companies.

Regulations and laws have been passed and continue to be passed to monitor and regulate these industries.

The United States Senate is regulating the ties between lobbyists and drug developers.

But the United States Department of Health and Human Services is still looking to work in the medical community to stop the epidemic. But to many, it feels like they are still just barely holding back a flood of problems.

The National Institute of Health is looking to find safer ways to manage severe and chronic pain.

They are also working to develop new medications that will be non-addictive.

At the same time, the medical community is becoming more supportive in the treatment of addictions. There are many different treatments and support options for drug addiction.

Avoid Becoming a Statistic

The American Journal of Public Health noted author William Cole who wrote a book about cancer pain in 1960. Here he wrote that severe pain such as cancer pain was demoralizing and debilitating, and opioid medications were critical to the quality of life.

But he also said, we must be “loathe” to overprescribe those because the addiction itself “may become a hideous spectacle.”
The history of the opioid epidemic confirms this statement.

And here we are today, in the middle of a crisis that is killing more Americans than the Vietnam War and the Civil War combined. Nobody is alone in this crisis no matter how isolated or alone you may feel.

Find out what resources are available in your state and let us help you or a member of your family start recovery today.

early warning signs of addiction

Top 5 Most Abused Substances in the U.S.

Different Drug Different Symptoms: What are the Signs of Addiction?

Addiction is a more common problem than most people realize. In recent years, substance abuse has slowly started developing in Americans earlier in life. Most studies now collect observational data from Americans ages 12 and up to base their findings on.

Over 20 million Americans are currently suffering from an addiction, excluding tobacco users, and over 300 people die daily from overdoses – a number that has tripled in the last 20 years. Nearly 7 million addicts are also suffering from at least one mental illness.

Addiction is no small matter. It can come in many different shapes and sizes, but there are some substances more commonly abused than others.

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1. Alcohol

Alcohol is the most commonly used substance in the United States by a substantial margin. Roughly 1 in 8 Americans consider themselves “drinkers” (casual to frequent alcohol users). Alcohol addiction can often hide in plain sight since alcohol is legal but also considered part of social culture in many settings. No one thinks twice about going out and having a few drinks, which is fine when people are drinking responsibly, but rarely is there a lot of uproar surrounding that one friend who binges often or who only drinks when they’re extremely upset. These habits can often encourage the development of an addiction, as can frequent drinking.

Almost 17 million Americans suffer from Alcoholism in some way. Of those, about 2.6 million were also addicted to an illicit substance of some kind. It’s also estimated that over 90% of people with some degree of alcoholism don’t believe they’re in need of treatment.

Alcoholism Signs and Symptoms

It can be difficult to spot milder cases of alcoholism, especially if it hasn’t started to impact your life on a level that can’t be ignored or denied, or if you’ve grown used to a loved one’s habits. Some key signs to look out for when trying to determine whether alcoholism has developed in your life or a loved one’s include:

  • Increased time spent drinking
  • Giving up hobbies and other activities in order to spend more time drinking
  • Had experiences where you ended up drinking more than you intended or for longer than you intended
  • Had more than one failed attempt to cut down your drinking or stop entirely
  • Increased the quantity of alcohol consumed to have the same feelings or experiences when you drink
  • Have noticed increased tension or problems with your friends and family
  • Have started feeling more depressed or anxious, even if you drink to lessen those feelings

All of these and more can be signs of a growing alcohol addiction.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The first step towards alcohol addiction recovery in most programs is detoxification. Detox is the process where the addict stops using their substance(s) of choice and allows their body to overcome a physical and biological dependency. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe depending on a variety of factors such as the duration of an individual’s drinking problem and the volume of alcohol they consume when they drink.

The most common alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Trembling/Shaking hands
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Mood changes
  • Irritability
  • Delirium tremens (severe hallucinations, delusions, and physical symptoms)

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2. Tobacco

It’s estimated that tobacco causes roughly 6 million deaths a year, which makes it the leading cause of preventable death. In the U.S. alone, tobacco causes over $190 billion of costs due to health care costs, loss of productivity, emergencies, accidents, etc. Tobacco also causes more deaths each year than all the other substances combined. Plus, tobacco users are generally more likely to branch out into abusing other drugs and alcohol, primarily the latter.

Nicotine is the main component of tobacco and causes a rush of adrenaline and dopamine (the pleasure chemical) when inhaled via cigarette smoke or otherwise absorbed into the bloodstream. Since dopamine is a major component of the brain’s pleasure and reward processing system, it’s no surprise that tobacco can be a difficult drug to quit.

Tobacco Addiction Symptoms

Like alcohol, tobacco is legal, which also means it can be a difficult addiction to hide. It’s also very difficult to quit since its relatively easy to obtain and can be consumed in public. Signs that a tobacco addiction may be present in yourself or a loved one include:

  • Must smoke or chew after meals or after long periods without using (i.e. seeing a movie, meeting, etc.)
  • Needs tobacco to feel “normal” during intense emotional situations or periods of high stress
  • Avoids or discontinues activities where smoking or tobacco use are not allowed
  • Can’t stop smoking or using other tobacco products despite failed attempts to quit
  • Suffers withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit
  • Smokes in spite of health problems that are caused or worsened by the use of tobacco

Tobacco Withdrawal Symptoms

The first step in most addiction recovery treatment plans is often detoxification. Detox is when the addict stops using their substance(s) of choice and allows their body to overcome a physical and biological dependency. Tobacco withdrawal symptoms can be difficult to manage even after cravings have subsided.

Some common tobacco detox withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Intense cravings for nicotine/tobacco
  • Cold and Flu-like symptoms
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Weight gain and increased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased heart rate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Gastrointestinal issues (constipation, gas, etc.)
  • Insomnia or fatigue
  • Lack of focus
  • Irritability

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3. Marijuana

marijuana use in america

Marijuana is arguably the number one gateway drug in the states, tied with alcohol. It’s increasingly becoming the most common “first drug” for many as well, with roughly 7,000 people a day using marijuana for the first time. More than half of those individuals were minors. It also has some of the highest rates of dependence among illicit substances.

Marijuana Addiction Signs

Marijuana is commonly mistaken as being a drug that is milder than medical professionals claim. As a major gateway drug, marijuana addiction is just as dangerous and potentially life threatening as any other substance abuse problem. In fact, the general acceptance and downplaying of marijuana as an illicit substance makes it much harder for people to realize they have a problem in the first place, since it seems like such a “weak” recreational substance.

Some signs and symptoms that may indicate a marijuana addiction in you or your loved one include:

  • High tolerance for increased amounts of marijuana
  • Withdrawal symptoms after periods of disuse or attempting to quit
  • Unsuccessful attempts to cut down or quit using marijuana
  • Increased time spent getting high
  • Using marijuana to cope with or escape periods of intense emotion or extreme stress
  • Choosing activities and relationships based on whether or not you’ll be able to get high
  • Decreased daily functioning (at work, at home, at school, mentally, etc.)

Marijuana Withdrawal Symptoms

Even though marijuana is generally considered a less severe drug to abuse, addiction is an equal-opportunity health concern. Anyone addicted to marijuana or with heavy usage habits will likely suffer some very uncomfortable withdrawal side effects if they don’t detox safely, preferably under the watch of a healthcare professional.

Marijuana detox can be painful, since there are physical symptoms as well as psychological effects caused by detoxing from the drug.

Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Headaches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Chills
  • Shakiness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Stomach pains
  • Other aches and pains

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4. Prescription Painkillers

In recent years, the number of individuals suffering from prescription painkiller addiction. While narcotics are highly addictive, painkiller addictions are also often misunderstood due to the nature of the drugs. These misunderstandings can negatively impact those taking these medications as part of a pain treatment regime prescribed by their doctor, adding unnecessary stress to their existing medical concerns. For example, building up a tolerance to painkiller doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve developed an addiction. It just means that your body has gotten used to the presence of certain substances and requires more of them to get the same effect. This biological reaction occurs with medications that aren’t generally addictive. There’s a difference between increased tolerance and physical dependence, as well as a difference between physical dependence and addiction.

That doesn’t mean prescription drug abuse isn’t a major problem in the United States. According to a 2016 study, nearly 30 million Americans over the age of 12 have used illicit drugs during the month prior to the study. This equates to about 1 in every 10 Americans struggling with some level of substance use or abuse issues, including narcotics. Painkillers are also the most commonly abused prescription medication. The U.S., which makes up roughly 5% of the world population, is responsible for about 80% of the world’s prescription opioid consumption. And opioid overdoses contribute 40% of overall overdose deaths in the country.

Prescription Painkiller Addiction Signs

The opioid crisis is no small matter and it’s important to stay aware of the dangers of prescription painkiller addiction. Some important signs and symptoms to look out for concerning yourself or your loved one’s painkiller usage include:

  • Obsessing over your medication
  • You start looking for more than one doctor to get the same prescription (to boost your supply)
  • You start seeking other ways to get access to painkillers (drug dealers, internet, stealing from friends or family, etc.)
  • You take more than what was prescribed
  • You get defensive about your medication

Prescription Painkiller Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Despite being a significantly difficult class of drugs to stop using, opiates and opioid detox typically takes around 5 to 10 days. Detox symptoms can be tough for any addiction, but especially when attempting to detox from a substance that’s very physically and psychologically impactful. Symptoms can take as little as a few hours to show up, since opioids and opiates tend to get into and out of the bloodstream rather quickly compared to other substances.

Painkiller Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Restlessness
  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Lacrimation (eyes tearing up)
  • Cold/Flu-like symptoms
  • Excessive yawning
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps and discomfort
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps or Chills
  • Dilated pupils and blurry vision
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure

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5. Benzodiazepines (Benzos)

Benzodiazepines (Benzos) are a class of prescription sedatives typically prescribed to treat anxiety and are better known by the brand names Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. Benzos are extremely addictive, even though they serve an important purpose when used correctly, but it can be easy to fall into a pattern of overusing that leads to addiction. It’s important to take your benzo prescription as instructed to avoid this scenario as best as possible.

It’s extremely easy to get addicted to benzos, in part because of the high dopamine reaction the drugs cause. Benzos are considered similarly powerful to opioids in addictive power. Plus, on average, it only takes 6 months to start building up a tolerance to the drugs and physical dependence can manifest sooner depending on your usage habits. Roughly 44% of benzo users eventually develop a dependency or addiction.

Signs of a Benzodiazepine Addiction

Benzos can cause many physical and psychological symptoms, especially when addiction is present. Some signs to look out for trying to evaluate your or your loved one’s health include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Drowsiness and fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Decreased cognitive function (thinking, assessing risk, judgment)
  • Asking others for their benzodiazepines, if they have any
  • Risky behaviors (driving while impaired, etc.)
  • Combining benzos with alcohol or other drugs
  • Doctor shopping (to increase available quantity and access)
  • Withdrawal from social engagements or previously enjoyed activities
  • Uncharacteristic behavior and habit changes

Benzodiazepine Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Like prescription painkillers, can have very a difficult detox process when starting detox treatment. Benzo detox symptoms usually take less than a day from the last “high” to start, but they typically won’t peak until around the 2 week mark. After that point, they generally start to subside.

Some signs and symptoms to look out for include:

  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Poor concentration
  • Nausea
  • Agitation and irritability
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Panic
  • Aches and pains
  • Delirium tremens
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

There’s also the potential for patients to develop post-acute withdrawal symptoms (symptoms that onset after the initial phases of detox), which can last for several months or longer in some cases. These generally include chronic anxiety, depression, and sleep difficulties.

Addiction Treatment Services Can Help You Find the Treatment You Need

When you give us a call, Addiction Treatment Services will review your insurance information and help you find the rehab treatment you need while staying in your network. Our friendly customer service specialists are available 24/7 to help you whenever you decide to seek help.

Call us today for your complimentary insurance review and get started on your path towards addiction recovery with Addiction Treatment Services.

We Can Help – Call Now (877) 455-0055

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Top Addiction Recovery Centers in the US

What Types of Addiction Recovery Facilities are there?

Addiction recovery isn’t easy, but it can be easier if you have a solid support system and receive treatment from a good rehab center. When you go through rehab, you’ll meet other people trying to overcome their addictions and form strong bonds since everyone can relate to the challenges you’re facing.

Friends, family, and loved ones are also important parts of your support system throughout recovery and rehab treatment.

We Can Help – Call Now (877) 455-0055

Before you start looking for an addiction treatment center, it’s important to know what your options are. Most treatment centers and treatment programs are classified into a few general categories, but specialized rehab treatment centers do exist within those constraints.

Knowing your options can help you narrow down what types of treatment may work best for your situation. That said, there are three main goals when approaching any type of addiction treatment:

  1. Combating addiction and achieving sobriety
  2. Increasing coping and life skills
  3. Trying to reduce, prevent, and decrease the intensity of any relapse episodes

Addiction Facilities: Things to Consider

It’s important to remember that everyone is different. There is no “one size fits all” rehab program. There are people who will get through treatment very quickly and successfully. There are people who will have to go through treatment multiple times to get sober again. Some people have better or closer-knit support groups made up of family and friends that can help them stay on track both during and after rehab treatment.

Most studies point favorably towards long term inpatient rehab treatment, but this isn’t always an option for treatment seekers. Everyone’s lives are different. Whether it’s familial obligations or a high profile career, different people have different situations that can limit their treatment options from the start, not even including personal preferences or insurance coverage into the mix.

For example, some patients prefer a luxury rehab facility that provides familiar comforts. Even though there is evidence to suggest that luxury rehab programs work better for higher profile/lifestyle patient, this may be a result of preference, not need.

addiction treatment centers for drugs and alcohol

Rehab Treatment Options

The two major overreaching categories for rehab treatment are generally inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. Within these subsets are additional types of rehab centers and treatment programs.

Long Term Inpatient Rehab Treatment Facilities

Typically referring to programs that are 60 days or longer, long term rehab programs are generally considered the most effective addiction recovery option in regards to inpatient treatment. There’s a wealth of evidence (studies, statistics) that suggests long term treatment offers better results. In most cases, long term treatment involves inpatient or residential rehab that allows the patient to live on campus and receive around the clock care. This also encourages patients to focus on their recovery with minimal outside sources and distractions or triggers. Long term inpatient rehab is comprehensive, uninterrupted care that typically can’t be achieved through other rehab options.

We Can Help – Call Now (877) 455-0055

Short Term Inpatient Rehab Treatment Centers

Short term rehab is very similar to long term rehab, only on a tighter schedule, typically 28 to 30 days. Short term rehab is great for lower-intensity substance abuse issues, but it isn’t always enough to fully set patients up for long term recovery. Still, these programs are primarily inpatient and residential, providing that same temporary seclusion so patients can focus on their health. Statistically speaking, success rates are lower, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work amazingly for some people.

Luxury and Executive Inpatient Rehab Treatment

Luxury and Executive rehab treatment centers are designed to mimic higher standards of living and cater to high-profile clients like business executives and celebrities. These rehab centers give their patients a familiar, peaceful environment while still catering to their high-end lifestyle. For example, business executives (CEOs, Presidents, Vice Presidents, etc.) can continue to have an active presence in their company while receiving treatment and won’t have to choose between their health and the demands of their career.

Additionally, since executive and luxury rehab facilities mainly service high profile clients, patients will be interacting and forming bonds with others who can relate more closely to the demands of their daily lives.

Private Inpatient Rehab Treatment

Similar to luxury and executive rehab treatment options, private rehab centers provide more benefits and often have access to newer treatment methods than less specialized rehab centers. Treatment at one of these centers is more expensive, meaning patients will have to rely either on their insurance or pay out of pocket, but the added expenses result in benefits like smaller waiting lists and higher staff-to-patient ratios.

Outpatient Day Programs for Post Recovery

Day programs provided the highest levels of care and structure available outside of inpatient treatment. Instead of being a resident all day every day for the duration of their treatment, day program patients typically visit their outpatient facility 5-7 days a week for a few hours a day. While on campus, they’ll participate in or continue therapy (if they’ve already completed an inpatient program), group counseling, biofeedback, and any available additional therapies like art or music therapy.

Patients do not stay overnight, however. They return home or to their sober living home after each session. Day programs require a significant commitment of the patient’s time each week and can limit or prevent them from going back to or staying in work or school for the duration of their treatment program.

We Can Help – Call Now (877) 455-0055

Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs are designed to establish a treatment plan with set milestones to help patients measure their progress. As their milestones are met and their treatment progresses, the amount of time they need to commit to the on-site aspects of their treatment lessens. This can allow them to ease back into work and school if they’ve been away at an inpatient program prior to intensive outpatient treatment.

IOPs are a great option for anyone trying to overcome their addiction who has prior responsibilities like work, school, and family, because it allows the patient to tend to those responsibilities while overcoming their addiction. These programs can consist of a few multi-hour long sessions each week, group therapy sessions, a recovery support group (i.e. 12 steps or Alcoholics Anonymous), and relapse prevention education.

Additional Outpatient After Rehab Treatment Options

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two examples of ongoing addiction recovery support groups. They’re typically coordinated by a licensed therapist and meet weekly. There are many different types of support groups available, however. Finding one that works for you near your area can help you focus on specific aspects of your recovery and even help you stay motivated.

Find an Addiction Rehab Center Today

Many options exist for those in need of help, but which option a person needs varies from individual to individual. Choosing the right path can be confusing, but Addiction Treatment Services can help provide the information needed to make an informed decision. Take your first step on the road to recovery. Contact us for a consultation.

We Can Help – Call Now (877) 455-0055

Why Children of Alcoholics Are More Likely to Face Prison - ATS

Study: Children of Mothers Who Misuse Alcohol Are More Likely to Face Prison

Study Children Of Alcohol Misuse Likely To Face Prison - Addiction Treatment ServicesThe Research Society on Alcoholism recently conducted a study of the link between mothers who misused alcohol and their children’s likelihood of engaging in criminal activity later in life.

Most people are aware of the ways alcohol abuse contributes to crime rates, including DUI accidents, interpersonal violence and domestic abuse. However, parents with alcohol-related disorders can have many more negative influences on their children, including propelling them into early contact with the criminal justice system.

The study of nearly 60,000 mothers concluded that children of mothers with alcohol-related disorders were nearly twice as likely to face the justice system as children of mothers with no alcohol-related disorders. At Addiction Treatment Services, we want everyone to realize that seeking treatment for yourself or your struggling loved one sooner rather than later can help prevent contributing to this trend.

How Alcohol Abuse Affects Kids

Children of parents with alcohol-related disorders often suffer in numerous ways due to their parents’ behavior. This can include direct abuse from parents, neglect, financial ruin, trauma and psychological disorders later in life.

Children caught in these situations often don’t have much choice in the matter, nor do they typically have the capacity to seek help on their own behalf. The various possibilities all trend toward these children growing up with a higher likelihood of giving in to risky behavior.

Here are a few of the ways parental alcoholism contributes to this crisis:

Domestic Abuse

Children often suffer physical abuse from alcoholic parents. Alcohol significantly impairs judgment and increases emotional volatility. Advanced alcohol-related disorders can cause parents to lose touch with reality.

Physical abuse early in life often causes children to develop unhealthy attachments to, or interpretations of, violence. Children with abusive parents often grow up to have difficulties in other relationships as well.

Neglect and Financial Ruin

Parents with advanced alcohol-related disorders regularly fail to complete daily household tasks or other mundane but essential actions, such as cleaning clothes and preparing food. In some cases, parents neglect obligations such as getting to work and paying bills on time, leaving their children with little choice but to endure the consequences.

In these situations, children may go extended periods without clean clothes, utilities, decent food or other necessities. Over time, financial burdens can lead to homelessness, disease and other negative health effects.

How Kids Interpret Their World

Children of parents with alcohol-related disorders often consider their surroundings normal, because they don’t understand the severity of the situation. Kids in these situations aren’t likely to seek help because they simply grow accustomed to their environment.

Not only are they unlikely to seek help for their parents’ alcohol-related issues, but the abuse and neglect they endure becomes normalized. Children who grow up in these conditions are more likely to develop antisocial tendencies and engage in risky behavior.

Seek Treatment with Addiction Treatment Services’ Help

If you or someone close to you is struggling with alcohol abuse, it’s imperative to seek treatment as soon as possible. If children are involved, the need is even greater. Kids who grow up exposed to substance abuse are more likely to engage in it themselves, and this is just one possible avenue of exposure to the justice system.

At Addiction Treatment Services, we understand the dramatic effects alcohol-related issues have on families, especially children. Your children are more than statistics. Help prevent your kids from making dangerous choices by seeking professional guidance in your search for alcohol treatment now.

When Addiction Occurs in the Family, Children Face the Risk of Becoming Addicted Too

When Addiction Is Passed Down Among Generations

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 2017

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 2017

May is Mental Health Awareness Month 2017In years past, mental health problems were treated with an “out of sight, out of mind” approach. People with mental health issues were often isolated from the world simply because others did not understand their conditions. Doctors at the time also lacked the necessary technology or resources to properly treat them.

As a result, mental health patients suffered years neglect and misdiagnosis. Thankfully, public perceptions of these issues have changed, and more people now hold compassionate attitudes toward those individuals struggling with mental illness. Much of that positive change has been led by awareness initiatives like Mental Health Awareness Month.

A Month for Advocacy

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout the month, mental health providers, researchers and advocacy groups encourage greater public awareness about mental illnesses and the people suffering from them. National Mental Health Awareness Month was first established in 1949. The public’s perception of mental health issues has since seen several drastic yet positive shifts. Mental Health America is the main sponsoring organization for Mental Health Awareness Month, and operates various events across the country each year in May.

Each week of May encourages the public to explore various aspects of mental health and learn how they can make a positive impact at the local and national level. Consider the following dates and think of ways you can contribute to Mental Health Awareness Month.

Mental Health Week – May 8 to 14

This week aims to drive awareness about individuals dealing with a mental health condition or disorder. It’s vital to show the public how people with mental health issues cope on a daily basis. Doing so helps to break down the lingering stigma surrounding mental illness.

One of the key takeaways from Mental Health Week is the difference between surviving and thriving. When we bolster awareness and show compassion for the people struggling with mental health complications, we help those individuals thrive in their personal lives. This compassionate approach also encourages these individuals to seek treatment and support.

Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week – May 7 to 13

Many mental health conditions manifest early in life. Children lack the communication skills and emotional maturity of an adult, and often these limitations prevent kids from recognizing their own mental illness. Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week is a great time to encourage parents to examine their kids’ behavior from new perspectives. After all, failure to diagnose problems early on leads to more serious issues developing later in life.

National Prevention Week – May 14 to 20

The scientific and medical communities have recognized the link between mental health and substance abuse for years. National Prevention Week aims to help individuals with mental illnesses seek out healthy treatments and coping strategies instead of self-medicating with drugs and alcohol.

Substance abuse recovery is a long, arduous road. A mental illness can make it even more grueling and difficult. National Prevention Week also encourages community involvement, the sharing of educational resources and taking time to discussing the risks of substance abuse with friends and family.

3 Ways to Work on Your Welness in Addiction Recovery

“Risky Business” in 2017

Each year, Mental Health America devises a theme for Mental Health Awareness Month. For May of 2017, the theme is “Risky Business.” This year, Mental Health America encourages others to learn about and identify high-risk behaviors common among those with mental health issues. If left untreated, these symptoms can easily lead to harmful coping strategies, such as substance abuse, and a host of other issues.

If you’re interested in hosting an event or participating in another way, Mental Health America offers a comprehensive toolkit for you to explore. Take a look at the ideas included for Mental Health Awareness Month events, and think about hosting one. It is also important to consider the ways that you can encourage the people in your area with mental health problems to seek healthy treatments.

Senate Bill Passes To Fight Against Painkiller Abuse & Heroin Addiction

Senate BuildingPainkiller Abuse & Heroin Addiction Bill Passed By The Senate

With the growing epidemic of opioid addiction, the U.S. Senate recently passed bipartisan legislation to support actions to combat the problem. Known as the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), the legislation passed on March 10th was specifically written to help control addiction to prescription opioid painkillers and heroin.

Just What Are Opioids?

Opioids are a specific class of drugs that include prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and fentanyl, as well as the illicit drug heroin. Opioids interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system to produce pleasurable feelings and to relieve pain.

How Big Is The Opioid Addiction Problem?

Heroin addiction was once thought of as anStreets inner-city problem that only affected down and out individuals who lived on the street. Today, nearly two million Americans 12 or older are addicted to prescription painkillers, and over 580,000 have a substance abuse problem involving heroin. There were more than 18,000 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers in 2014, and over 10,000 overdose deaths linked to heroin. The overdose rate has more than quadrupled in the last 15 years. Yes, the problem is serious and growing rapidly!

How The Legislation Will Help

CARA is a big shift from previous governmental efforts to control opioid addiction. Rather than placing some drug offenders into the criminal justice system, they may gain access to evidence-based, rehab treatment for painkiller addiction treatment if this bill gets passed by Congress.Individuals currently in prison for drug offenses may also receive greater access to treatment. CARA could also provide funds for medication-assisted treatment programs that use methadone and other opioid medications to wean patients from heroin and other opioid drugs.

The bill has now shifted to the House of Representatives. However, it’s unclear if and when it will be signed into law, particularly since there is a similar bill that is currently pending that is focused on funding for treatment for heroin addiction.

Do You Or A Loved One Need Help For Opioid Addiction?

While there may be more treatment resources available soon if CARA or other legislation is passed, there is help now. Don’t wait for an opioid addiction to get worse. Call now to speak with an addiction specialist.

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