When is Outpatient Drug Treatment the Best Option?

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. 

Inpatient recovery, or residential treatment, is another popular type of program – one 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.  Outpatient treatment, on the other hand, allows those individuals to come and go as they please – offering far more freedom and flexibility.    

While inpatient and outpatient treatment programs offer many of the same types of therapy, outpatient therapy is often the preferred choice for those who need to maintain their daily work activities and community and family obligations.  As with inpatient treatment, most outpatient facilities offer psychotherapy in individual and group sessions, an orientation to 12-step programs, relapse prevention classes, various support groups and family counseling.  Addiction education, life skills and coping techniques are also a focus. 

Overall, outpatient treatment can be a good stand-alone option for someone with a mild addiction, or it can be part of a long-term treatment program.  Nevertheless, this type of program can address an individual’s many needs and result in a much lesser expense than residential treatment. 

However, there are certain situations where this form of treatment may not be preferable.  These include:

When Significant Withdrawal Symptoms Are Present

For some, the early phases of recovery may mean suffering through a number of withdrawal symptoms, like migraines, nausea and vomiting.  For those extreme cases, these symptoms can pose a danger to health.  In these circumstances, an inpatient treatment program would be the preferred option since the individual can be monitored around the clock and given immediate attention, if necessary.  Once their systems have stabilized and the symptoms have passed, these individuals are typically released into an outpatient program.

When Individuals Live in an Environment Not Conducive to Recovery

This type of environment could include an abusive relationship, when others in the home are actively using, or when significant triggers exist.  Basically, any place that will interfere with an individual’s success during recovery should be avoided.  Because a person is extremely vulnerable in the early stages of recovery, it is often recommended to begin treatment in a residential program until the person can demonstrate that they are stable enough on their own to deal with issues outside the treatment program. 

When Individuals Have Severe Mental Health Disorders

Those who are struggling with a severe mental health disorder, such as depression, should initially be placed in a residential facility.  This is because inpatient programs are better equipped to serve these individuals and can offer the necessary professional resources to help stabilize their situations. 

Ultimately, however, outpatient programs are a great treatment option (other than in the situations mentioned above) as they teach recovering individuals how to stay sober in a real-life setting and equip them with tools to help sustain recovery.    

At Arise Recovery Centers, our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) allows clients to receive the treatment they need locally in a comfortable confidential setting.  We pride ourselves in providing a unique and truly personalized IOP experience – one that involves various evidence-based treatment methods, facilitated group sessions and weekly therapist one-on-ones.  For more information on our Intensive Outpatient Therapy, please call us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or contact us by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com

10 Drug Addiction Behavior Signs and Traits You Should Know About

Drug Addict laying on the floor in agony

10 Drug Addict Behavior Signs and Traits You Should Know About

Do you suspect that someone you know is on drugs? Here are 10 drug addict behavior signs and what to do about it.

Keyword(s): addict behavior

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.

Though there is hope, you’ll first need to know how to spot a problem in the first place. Here are 10 signs of addict behavior you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

1. Irritability

Everyone feels frustrated or angry sometimes. In fact, a little frustration is even healthy in some cases.

But if a loved one seems to be acting angry all the time, or it takes nothing more than a minor inconvenience to set them off, they may be using.

Stimulants like cocaine, methamphetamine, or synthetic marijuana can cause users to switch moods in a matter of seconds, turning a lovely, meek person into an erratic stranger.

In many cases, this new sense of anger is caused by the user’s guilt. They know what they’re doing is wrong — and may even want to stop. But they’re too ashamed to reach out and ask for help.

Of course, this isn’t an excuse. If a loved one becomes physically or verbally abusive, remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible and alert the authorities if necessary.

2. Isolation

The saddest thing about watching a person sink deeper and deeper into substance abuse is seeing their personality change in real time.

Drugs have the ability to take a normal, healthy, social person and turn them into an introvert who refuses to even leave their home at times.

Note that isolation isn’t always a sign of drug abuse. In some instances, a loved one may be dealing with a bout of anxiety or agoraphobia which require addressing as well, albeit in a very different way.

But if you note a sudden and long-lasting change in a person’s social habits alongside any of the other drug addiction signs, it may be time to approach them about seeking treatment.

3. Impulsive Behavior

Addiction changes a person on a chemical basis. The very way they think can often change after using for only a few short weeks.

Chief among these behavioral changes is an increased desire to engage in risky behavior. An addict may be willing to do anything and everything necessary to get their next hit.

Frequent risky behaviors include:

  • Unprotected sex.
  • Shared needle use.
  • Theft.
  • Selling one’s self or physical goods online.

What’s the reason behind these risky behaviors? Drug use directly impacts the basal ganglia, the area of the brain responsible for feelings of motivation and pleasure that you often feel when sober.

Once the brain starts to acclimate the higher levels of dopamine, the basal ganglia become overactive.

4. Sudden Lying

It starts off innocently enough. Your loved one comes home a little later than usual or brushes off a question in a way that makes you think twice.

Next thing you know, you can’t be sure if anything they’re telling you is the truth.

Lying is perhaps the sign of addiction that hurts the most. This is a person that you love and trust. You’ve likely spent years with this person developing a friendship or relationship.

But trust your gut. If you suspect you’re being lied to, follow up. Track their stories, and if the story seems to change, confront them about it or make a note.

5. Lack of Sleep

Because drug use affects the brain in such a monumental way, aspects of a person’s life, such as their sleep habits, will often change.

A person may stay up for days on end. And make no mistake, this affects more than just how sleepy they are.

A lack of sleep can cause an array of physical symptoms like higher blood pressure while also affecting the areas of the brain responsible for decision making. They may hurt themselves or someone else as a result.

6. Physical Tics

Physical tics are among the most common signs someone is using drugs. The classic example is cocaine.

Visible signs of cocaine use like sniffing, snorting, or nasal twitching are all common examples of how it’s more than just brain chemistry that drug abuse can impact.

7. Deteriorating Physical Appearance

If used long enough, substances can even change the way a person looks. In fact, if you were to picture a drug addict right now, chances are you’d envision someone with a sunken in face.

The stereotypical drug addict face exists for a reason.

From rashes and bumps to open sores and sunken in eyes, substance abuse can fundamentally change even the strongest genetic makeup.

8. Sudden Weight Loss or Gain

That goes for more than facial features. Many addicts experience rapidly fluctuating weight gain and loss.

This is caused by an overly-stimulated hypothalamus, which also controls hunger. A user may not feel hungry for days or may become so high that they forget to eat entirely. After a while, the pounds seem to fall off.

9. Financial Problems

One day a friend comes up to you and asks for $30 for some gas and food, claiming that their paycheck was lower than usual. You love them, so you say yes.

Two weeks later, the same things happen. You start to notice a pattern. This behavior often goes hand-in-hand with lying and can become quite destructive to a person’s long-term financial health.

A drug habit can make even the most financially stable person bankrupt.

10. Paranoia

In many cases, addicts feel as if they’re being watched. Or like their friends and family are out to get them.

This increased sense of anxiety and paranoia can cause them to act in rash, destructive ways that they’ll often blame others for.

Learn How to Spot Addict Behavior Before It’s Too Late

If your loved one is struggling with addiction, or you yourself are battling substance abuse, you’ll want to keep an eye on these addict behavior signs. Spotting them early on and confronting them can be the difference between an overdose and a happy, healthy life.

If you’d like more advice on how to spot signs of drug abuse or wish to learn more about Arise Recovery Center’s rehabilitation services, get in touch today for a free consultation.

The Lesser Known Stage of Withdrawal: PAWS

If you’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.

These symptoms are individual to the drug that was used, but typically include:

  • severe mood swings;
  • anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug);
  • insomnia;
  • extreme drug craving and obsession;
  • hostility or aggression;
  • anxiety and panic attacks;
  • depression;
  • and general cognitive impairment

The onset of PAWS usually occurs around four to eight weeks after getting sober, with each withdrawal episode usually lasting for a few days.

So, why does this even have to happen?  Isn’t the first stage of withdrawal symptoms enough? The damage done to a person’s brain pathways after years of drug abuse doesn’t go away overnight, and it takes time for the brain to recover.  The healing process varies from individual to individual, but some have reported post-acute withdrawal symptoms to last as long as two years.  However, don’t get discouraged – it’s important to remember that these episodes come and go and can lift as quickly as they started.

So, what can you do to help stay strong when experiencing PAWS?

First, be patient and take it easy on yourself.  Though these symptoms can be frustrating, all you can do is take your recovery one day at a time and focus on the positive changes you’re making by being sober.  Experiencing these uncomfortable side effects is actually a sign you’re moving in the right direction.

Next, practice good self-care.  How you will treat yourself in recovery will be the opposite of how you treated yourself in addiction.  Getting enough sleep, exercising and eating right will help give you strength during these post-acute withdrawal episodes and help you heal more quickly afterward.

Finally, be prepared.  If you’re caught off-guard, PAWS and the symptoms associated with it can trigger you to relapse.  But educating yourself about this syndrome and the lingering effects of substance abuse can go a long way towards maintaining your sobriety.

At Arise Recovery Centers, we have many resources available to those struggling with PAWS. With four Texas locations open to the public – Fort Worth, Dallas, McKinney and Southlake – we provide intensive outpatient and aftercare treatment to individuals battling addiction.  For more information on our individually tailored drug and alcohol treatment programs, contact us at 1-888-DFW-ARISE (1-888-339-2747) or by email at info@AriseRecoveryCenters.com.