Life has been quite different for all of us these last few weeks, as social distancing and stay-at-home orders have become the new normal. But as we work and shelter at home, many of us are understandably feeling isolated and disconnected from our friends, family and support systems. This, in turn, has left more recovering addicts vulnerable to relapse. And health officials are seeing just that, as more people are reported as having urges and cravings to use drugs and alcohol. Triggers Caused by the Coronavirus We, as human beings, thrive on interaction and connection with others, and not being able to have contact with other people has real consequences on our mental health. Under normal circumstances, those recovering from addiction rely heavily on their community and routine for support. But now, since large gatherings and support groups meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), have been cancelled and put on
Because of the intensely personal qualities of addiction, no two people will follow the same path during the recovery process. Some will rely on a 12-step program, some will use sheer grit and determination and some will go to a drug rehabilitation facility to get sober. Drug rehabilitation, or “rehab,” is a general term for intensive, supervised programs designed to help people with drug and/or alcohol addiction. What is Inpatient Rehab? Inpatient recovery, or residential treatment, is a type of program that is designed to deliver intense and specialized treatment for short periods of time. Individuals are required to live 24 hours a day within a residential facility and can only leave that facility in special situations or circumstances. This type of rehab is recommended in certain situations, such as when an individual is currently struggling with significant withdrawal symptoms, when he or she is living in an environment not
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a comprehensive form of treatment for mental health disorders and substance use disorders. It is a higher level of care than individual counseling. Such programs may be specific to treating addictions, mental illness, or a combination of both. Substance abuse IOPs are very helpful for treating alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder refers to problem drinking that becomes severe and leads to negative consequences. It is characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not drinking. About 15 million people in the United States have alcohol use disorder. A diagnosis of this condition can only be met when you meet the criteria as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). According to the 2018 NSDUH study, 86.3 percent of people ages 18 or older reported drinking at some point in their
Yes, alcohol is considered a drug and has a variety of short-term and long-term adverse effects. It enters your bloodstream as soon as it is consumed. As you drink, you increase your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, which is the amount of alcohol present in your bloodstream. The higher your BAC, the more impaired you become by alcohol’s effects. Is Alcohol a Stimulant or Depressant? Alcohol is classified as a depressant, meaning that it slows down brain functioning and neural activity – resulting in slurred speech, unsteady movement, disturbed perceptions and an inability to react quickly. It also reduces the functioning of various vital functions in the body. This is due to the increased production of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA. However, although alcohol is classified as a depressant, the amount consumed can drastically impact whether the user experiences depressant or stimulant effects. In small quantities, alcohol is
Emotions, feelings, beliefs, and sensations can sometimes be overwhelming, tiresome, or downright annoying. Sometimes, we may think we would be better off turning them off, maybe we even have learned to break away from them, or even stuff them down and not deal with them. The problem with this, as research suggests, is that if we persistently ignore or suppress our emotions they often come back much stronger or, for many, manifest into mental/physical illness or even addiction. For example, as many that have experienced intense rage before know, ignoring and bottling up our anger for a long time eventually causes many people to explode sometimes without warning just like a coke bottle that has been shaken up until the lid comes off.
The cost of treatment is an important consideration for a person struggling with addiction and, often times, it can be a deterrent to seeking help. But the good news is, rehab doesn’t have to be financially out of reach, and there are several alternatives one can turn to in order to get the help he or she needs.
Group therapy is a great option for those struggling with addiction, as it can be beneficial in so many ways. Being in a group setting allows individuals to develop insight into their own core issues and gain greater self-awareness by listening to others who have similar problems. It can also enable individuals to improve their communication skills, bond with group members through their shared experiences and receive honest feedback and outside perspective from others in the group.
Outpatient drug therapy is a form of treatment where a person attends treatment sessions at a facility or center, but then returns back to their home afterward. It typically requires one to spend about 10 to 12 hours a week, which allows that individual to continue working, remain close to family and friends, and otherwise, maintain their normal daily routine.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, approximately 40 to 60 percent of people relapse after getting treatment. This is a daunting statistic, but, really, should come as no surprise. After all, there are many reasons for why people revert back to their addiction after seeking help. For some, it may be due to their ambivalence to get sober – as in, they were never truly committed to put down the drug or drink in the first place. But for others, it may be because they didn’t adequately prepare for the difficult transition from rehab to home life. Moving from a protected, structured environment to one where all temptations are suddenly within reach can be a huge challenge for anybody. Hence, having appropriate aftercare lined up after completing a treatment program is essential.
Every evening you get home from work, you pour yourself a glass of wine. It has become a daily ritual, one that you spend the whole day looking forward to. But as you swallow that first sip, you suddenly realize that you’ve drank every day for as long as you can remember. A little voice in your head might be wondering: am I an alcoholic?
Do you suspect that someone you know is on drugs? Here are 10 drug addict behavior signs and what to do about it. Drug use has a very real, very frightening dark side. Between 2002 and 2017, illicit substance overdoses caused over 70,000 deaths. And with an ongoing opioid crisis, things may soon grow worse. Because of this ever-present threat, it’s important to know what to look for if you suspect a loved one may be using and abusing drugs. Knowing how to spot addict behavior may even save their life.
When I got out of prison after serving time for a DUI Serious Bodily Injury conviction, day-to- day life was overwhelming, to say the least. For four years, I’d never had to make a decision for myself, and I found I’d forgotten how to cope with life’s unpredictability due to being away from society for so long. But, even though I was already struggling to adjust, things managed to get worse: my long-time boyfriend broke up with me, the kitten I’d just adopted from a local shelter died from a rare virus and I couldn’t get hired anywhere due to my “felon” label. Life as a free woman was nothing like I expected it to be, and all I wanted to do was give up and check myself back into the gated community.
You did it – you took that first step by becoming sober. But now that drugs and alcohol are out of the picture, you’re probably wondering if it’s possible to ever have fun again without using. This is a common concern for those in early sobriety, but one that is entirely possible to overcome.
ou’re thinking about getting sober, chances are you’ve heard about the dreaded withdrawal symptoms that occur not long after quitting drugs and alcohol. But did you know there’s a second stage of withdrawal that’s not as well-known? Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, or PAWS, is a series of ongoing withdrawal symptoms – largely psychological and mood-related – that occur after the initial acute withdrawal symptoms have gone away.