Keys to Successful Recovery from Addiction
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When seeking addiction treatment for substance abuse or any other addiction, an addict may find a 12-step program the most effective means of detox. Learn more about this road to recovery.
Transcript: In order to recover from an addiction, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors must change. An addict will need...
In order to recover from an addiction, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors must change. An addict will need to learn how to live again, in a way that does not support alcohol or drug use. Recovery is a lifelong process that will take constant vigilance. One will need to work on repairing existing relationships and building new, healthy ones. Most importantly, it means healing from within. Learning how to really love oneself and deal with the difficult emotions and situations that impelled the substance or activity abuse. The first step: admitting that there is a problem in the first place. Without relinquishing the denial, recovery cannot begin. Getting sober and going through treatment doesn't end when your time in rehab is over. If anything, that's when the real challenge begins. When you leave a supervised program, it's up to the individual to remain sober. But that doesn't mean that one needs to do this alone. In fact, if it can be helped, one should never do it alone. Find support from friends, family members, recovering addicts, counselors, or people in your church or community. Building a strong support system is essential to remaining in recovery. Peer support programs and self-help groups are an invaluable way to find comfort, stability, guidance and encouragement. Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, is one of the most widely established and well-known self-help groups for alcoholics and addicts. Though people with any addiction can attend AA meetings, one may feel more comfortable with a 12-step program that caters to the specific addiction. These include narcotics anonymous, cocaine anonymous, marijuana anonymous, crystal meth anonymous, gamblers anonymous, overeaters anonymous and sexaholics anonymous. With over 30 programs modeled after the 12-step traditions of AA, one should be able to find a program for the specific addiction. One of the keys to working a successful 12-step program involves getting a sponsor, a former addict in the program, who can share his or her experiences about getting sober.12-step programs aren't just about going to meetings they also require one to take a personal inventory and dig deep within oneself to figure out why one started using in the first place. Accepting one's flaws and learning how to live with them without turning to alcohol, drugs or abusive activities is the aim of recovery. If you are trying to recover from an addiction, and feel the urge to drink or use, your sponsor is the first person you call. This teaches you to reach out instead of trying to handle your cravings or personal struggles alone. Group support programs also allow you to meet a lot of new people striving for sobriety. In the beginning especially, you will find recovery easier if you have other sober friends that you can hang out with. This is your opportunity to make new friends, find new interests and hobbies and surround yourself with positive people. By doing these things, you give yourself the greatest chance at lifelong recovery and happiness.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-22 | Tags »
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The idea of treating addiction -- especially drug addiction -- with medication may seem strange, but the fact is that drugs can make the rehabilitation process easier. Watch this video to learn more about drug and alcohol addiction treatment.
Transcript: Sometimes medication is used to help treat addiction. It may sound oxymoronic, treating a substance problem...
Sometimes medication is used to help treat addiction. It may sound oxymoronic, treating a substance problem by introducing another, but it's not that simple. Addiction is not a matter of having little willpower; it's a complex disease that makes a person compulsively crave a substance or activity. Addiction actually causes changes in the brain, that often prevent an addict from being able to stop using, even when they want to. These changes to the brain can last long after an addict stops using, which means the cravings are still there, even after they've become sober. That's why it is so easy for addicts to relapse and why relapse rates are so high. Some drug treatment programs use prescription drugs to help treat cravings. It buys time for behavioral and cognitive therapies to begin working. Other times, drugs are used to help patients through the detoxification process. Symptoms of drug or alcohol withdrawal can be dangerous, frightening, or life threatening. Using medications to help someone detox without a lot of pain or suffering can increase an addict's chances of recovery. This helps prevent symptoms of withdrawal and keeps the patient's brain stabilized long enough to complete the detox process. Naltrexone, also known as Revia, Trexan or Vivitrol, is taken as a pill or injection to help treat alcohol or opiate addiction. By blocking the release of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, naltrexone turns off the pleasurable effects of alcohol and opiates, thus helping to reduce cravings. Research shows that naltrexone works best when used with counseling and other treatment programs. Disulfiram, also known as Antabuse, is also used to treat alcoholism. It changes the way your body responds to alcohol, so that if one drinks after taking this medication, severe nausea, vomiting and headache will occur for up to two hours. 5-10 minutes after drinking alcohol, the patient will experience these unpleasant symptoms. Methadone and LAAM, or Levo-alpha-acetylmethadol, are both medication therapies used to treat people who are addicted to opiates, such as heroin, morphine or vicodin. These drugs prevent withdrawal symptoms, block the effects of opiates, and even help reduce cravings. It's key to note that methadone is a narcotic drug that people can become addicted to. Acamprosate, also known as Campral, helps people recover from alcohol addiction. It's believed that acamprosate helps restore the brain's natural chemical balance, but it doesn't prevent symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Buprenorphine is used alone or in combination with naloxone to reduce cravings, prevent withdrawal symptoms and block the effects of opiod drugs, including heroin and narcotic painkillers. It has milder withdrawal effects than methadone. Bupropion, a common antidepressant known as "Zyban" or "Wellbutrin", can help people quit smoking, sometimes doubling success rates, by reducing cravings for nicotine and lessening withdrawal symptoms. If you're suffering from an addiction, talk to your doctor about your options, and find out if one of these medications is right for you.More »
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If you're an addict, you might be concerned about what would happen if you suddenly decided to quit. Watch this video to learn more about detox and withdrawal for addictions.
Transcript: When you have an addiction, the first step in getting sober is detox, or detoxification, which eliminates...
When you have an addiction, the first step in getting sober is detox, or detoxification, which eliminates the drug or substance from your body. Going "cold turkey" can be frightening because one don't know how the body is going to react. If someone has been using a significant amount of drugs or alcohol for a long time, it can EVEN be dangerous. Withdrawal is the term used to describe the body's reaction to not getting the substances that it is dependent on. It takes time for the body to adjust, so how do you know if it's medically safe for you to detox on your own? It depends on what substance a person is addicted to. Drugs that can cause severe, and even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms include: Barbiturates, such as Amytal, Luminal, Nembutal and Seconal; Benzodiazepines, like Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Librium and Klonopin; And alcohol! Symptoms of withdrawal for barbiturates include nausea, increased heart rate, restlessness, muscle pain, insomnia, hallucinations, convulsions, delirium, and death. Withdrawing from alcohol can lead to symptoms including sweating, anxiety, seizures, tremors, restlessness, mood swings, vomiting, fluctuations in blood pressure and heart rate, and delirium tremens or, the "DTs" a life-threatening state of extreme agitation, confusion, hallucinations, hyperactivity, and delirium. The DTs occur in about 5 percent of people going through withdrawal. Symptoms usually begin with mild tremors 6 to 12 hours after the last drink and get progressively worse, lasting up to 7 to 10 days. People who are addicted to benzodiazepines may experience sensitivity to light, sound, taste, and smell; muscle twitches; ringing in the ears; tingling; numbness; and insomnia; hallucinations and delirium. If you or someone you love has a dependence on one of these substances, consult your doctor about the best way to withdraw from them. Withdrawing from opiates, such as heroin, codeine and oxycontin, can be extremely uncomfortable, but they are not generally life-threatening. A person withdrawing from opiod drugs may experience anxiety, insomnia, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin 12 hours after an addict's last heroin usage and 30 hours after taking methadone. Cocaine withdrawal generally has none of the physical symptoms that accompany other drug withdrawals. In fact, for a long time, the medical community underestimated just how addictive cocaine actually is. Symptoms of cocaine withdrawal begin quickly: as soon as the binge is over, it's followed by an emotional crash, and a strong craving for more cocaine. Other symptoms include fatigue, depressed mood, agitation, restlessness, anxiety, irritability, sleepiness, malaise, and sometimes extreme suspicion. Cravings and depression can last for several months. Even if the symptoms of withdrawal sound scary, they are much less dangerous than continuing on a destructive path of drug or alcohol abuse. If you choose to do it on your own, taper off slowly and make sure a responsible and sober individual is nearby to monitor your progress. If you or someone you love is trying to get sober, the best thing is to talk to your physician about the best way to wean yourself off a substance.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-17 | Tags »
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If you've decided to confront a drinking problem, whether you join a support group or go into rehab depends heavily on your circumstances. But seeking help for alcoholism is a necessity. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: Does the idea of an alcohol support group conjure up images of sad, over-caffeinated people sharing intimate...
Does the idea of an alcohol support group conjure up images of sad, over-caffeinated people sharing intimate details of their lives. If so, this video will help you learn the real deal about seeking support.Support groups for alcoholics come in many forms, but they all have one goal in common: helping the addict to get well and to stop or greatly reduce their drinking. Perhaps the most well-known sobriety group is Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA. AA is an international foundation that believes alcoholism is a disease. To beat the illness, the group recommends that alcoholics abstain from all alcohol for the rest of their lives. Alcoholics Anonymous uses twelve steps to help users quit their addiction and make amends with those they have hurt by drinking. AA incorporates prayer and references to a "higher power"as part of its healing process. Due to these religious undertones, a 1996 court order ruled it illegal for parole officers or other authorities to require AA attendance. If you're uncomfortable with spiritual references, Alcoholics Anonymous is not the only support group available to you! Some alcoholics prefer a group like SMART Recovery, an acronym for Self-Management And Recovery Training, which does not believe that alcoholism is a disease, and which keeps religion out of the healing process. Instead, SMART Recovery approaches alcohol abuse as a mental issue, and seeks to change a person's mindset about drinking. There are some recovery programs which are not designed for alcoholics, but rather, for people who have abused alcohol in the past - and who are now ready to commit to reducing their drinking. Moderation Management, or MM, is an example of this type of program, and has been helpful for many college aged people. The rundown of the different alcohol support groups could continue for many videos, which means there is bound to be a program out there that will work for you. Because there are many different types of alcohol support groups, you are certain to find one that will work for you. To find your best support, talk to your college's health center, or search "Self Help Group Locator" on the internet.More »
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How can you know if a friend or loved one has an unhealthy addiction? There are some obvious and some not so obvious indications. Watch this video to learn about addiction symptoms.
Transcript: So you think that someone you know is suffering from addiction, but how can you know for sure? Find out...
So you think that someone you know is suffering from addiction, but how can you know for sure? Find out how doctors diagnose addiction, and learn more about what you can do if you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction. Addiction is a compulsive dependence on a substance, like drugs, or on a behavior, like purging. The path to addiction begins with experimental or recreational use. Maybe you tried cocaine because your friends were doing it. Or perhaps you started gambling during a weekend trip to Atlantic City. You never know when, or if, addiction is going to take hold. That's part of what makes experimenting so risky. Some people can engage in addictive behaviors and never become dependent. Other people can become addicted the first time they try something. Having a family member who is an addict or alcoholic greatly increases YOUR risk of developing an addiction. Many people with an addiction problem do NOT know they have one. No matter what warning signs are present, addicts tend to be blind to their own disease, often finding excuses for their behavior when pressed. People with an addiction might say that all of their friends drink, smoke, do drugs or gamble as much as they do. Or, they might say that they can stop ANY time, but just have no DESIRE to quit. If you think you might have a problem, or know someone who does, here are some of the most common warning signs of addiction. People who are addicts have a compulsive need to use alcohol, drugs or engage in the problem behavior. Hallmarks of addiction, or increasing dependence can include: preoccupation with the substance or activity, the person planning their whole day around said substance or activity, and using more of the substance or participating more frequently in the activity than before. Addicts have a difficult time controlling their use, even though they often have a desire to cut back. They may try to stop, or make deals with themselves that they're ONLY going to drink so much-and then fail. People with a substance or behavior addiction will continue to use even when doing so leads to negative consequences, like losing a job or hurting a family member. Often, they spend a significant amount of time trying to cover up their activities. For instance, if a person has an alcohol problem, they may hide their liquor, avoid phone calls because they're hung over, or downplay how many drinks they've had. The signs for addiction are the same, whether one has a problem with alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, or behaviors like binging, purging, spending, gambling or sex. If you think that you, or someone you care about has an addiction problem, talk to someone whom you trust, who can help you find an addiction program in your area.More »
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Anyone can become addicted to drugs, alcohol or even sex -- it crosses all nationalities and socieconomic groups. But some people are more predisposed to addictions than others. Watch this video to learn more about genetics and addiction.
Transcript: No matter how old you are, how much money you make, or what color your skin is, you can develop an addiction....
No matter how old you are, how much money you make, or what color your skin is, you can develop an addiction. Everyone, from low-income single moms to middle-class straight-A students. from rock stars like Amy Winehouse, to media personalities like Rush Limbaugh can succumb to addiction. Millions of American will become addicted to a substance or behavior in their lifetime. And while we're all technically at risk, there are certain factors that make some of us more susceptible to addiction than others. Consider it a product of nature and nurture. Genes and environment both play a role in deciding who will develop an addiction-and who will not. Let's start with genetics. If a close family relative, like your mom, dad, sister or grandparent, has a problem with addiction, you are at greater risk, too. But how much greater? Scientists estimate that genes are a critical component of a person's vulnerability to addiction. But that means that there is also a key component of withstanding the potential of addiction that lies within a person's own hands. So even if you have so-called "addiction genes" in your family, you are not destined to become an addict. But you do have to be more careful when it comes to using and abusing substances. A few things that have been shown to help safeguard against future addictive behaviors include: A stable family life and close relationship with one's parents, sit-down family meals, and adequate parental involvement and supervision, can all help to keep kids off the path of addiction. Of course, we can't blame our parents for everything. It's probably no surprise that whom we hang out with can greatly determine whether we'll begin using addictive substances. If our friends get into drugs, alcohol, dangerous dieting or sex, chances are, we will too. Junior high and high school are times of sometimes intense peer pressure; it can feel much easier to go along with the crowd rather than find new friends. Perhaps that's why adolescents are at greater risk of addiction. Another high-risk group are those with psychological conditions like: depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and ADHD, who often turn to drugs, alcohol or other mood-altering activities in order to escape their feelings. Identifying and treating symptoms of these and other psychological conditions early on can help prevent people from self-medicating with illegal substances. Even if none of these risk factors apply, that doesn't mean one is immune to addiction. Certain substances and behaviors, like cocaine and heroin, are more addictive than others. Remember that the only way you can avoid addiction for sure is by not abusing substances or behaviors in the first place.More »
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Living with an addict is not easy. In fact it can be a lot more frustrating for you than for the addict you are caring for. Watch this video to find out more.
Transcript: Living with, or caring for, someone with a substance or behavioral addiction, can be stressful and traumatizing....
Living with, or caring for, someone with a substance or behavioral addiction, can be stressful and traumatizing. Just because you recognize a family member has a problem doesn't mean he or she is willing to change. If you find yourself coping with the addiction of a family member, the most important thing you can do is to take care of yourself. Here's how: First, address the situation. Covering up your family member's addiction, or pretending it doesn't exist, allows the behavior to progress and worsen. Know that your loved one will most likely deny any problems, but it's okay to let them know you're concerned about their health. Second: find someone you can talk to. Living with addiction is extraordinarily stressful, and you shouldn't have to go through it alone. Opening up to a psychologist, clergy person, or support group can help you take stock of the situation and gain perspective. Consider joining Al-Anon or a similar peer support program, where other people dealing with a loved one's addiction can share their stories. Having a network of people who have been through similar experiences can help you to navigate day-to-day issues. Third, don't forget about yourself. It's easy to neglect your own needs when you're living with an addict. You might be so caught up in the worry for the other person that you don't take care of your most basic needs. Make sure you're getting enough rest, eating a balanced diet; and exercising. It may sound like an odd recommendation, but regular physical activity helps relieve your stress and anxiety, and builds self-esteem-all of which can help you cope with your loved one's addiction. Next, don't blame yourself. You can offer to help your loved one find treatment programs and encourage them to get better, but you can't make them change. An addict will get and remain sober only when he or she is ready. Remind yourself daily that it is not your fault. You did not cause them to get sick and you cannot make them get better. Finally, don't take on their problems. It's hard to watch someone you love slip into a spiral of bad decisions and consequences. And it's natural to want to help. But covering up for them, or straightening up their messy situations, isn't going to help them or you. Protecting them from their own actions may, however, keep them from realizing how bad their problem is. If they have to hit bottom in order to seek out treatment, you have to allow that to happen. Recovery is a process that can take a long time. The addiction didn't happen overnight, and getting sober won't either. As hard as it may be, try not to judge their addiction. Addiction is a disease that requires lifelong vigilance. Figure out what your own personal limits are as well. Just because you love someone doesn't mean you have to put up with their addiction. You just have to decide what's right for you.More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-22 | Tags »
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Teenage alcohol and drug abuse should be cause for concern among parents. While sampling drugs and alcohol may seem harmless, using them could turn into a lifelong addiction. Watch this video to learn more.
Transcript: The teen years are a time of newfound independence, as kids begin to become adults, venturing out into...
The teen years are a time of newfound independence, as kids begin to become adults, venturing out into the world, making their own decisions. It's also a time many will experiment with drugs and alcohol. Experimenting with drugs and alcohol is nothing new for teens. Consider these statistics: by the age of 14, 41 percent of kids will have had at least one drink. The average American boy will take his fist sip of alcohol when he's 11, while American girls try it a little later, by age of 13. The average teen begins drinking regularly just before turning 16, around the time they get their learner's permit and driver's license. Drinking or using drugs before the age of 15 triples their risk of becoming addict. Consider this sobering stat: right now, three million teenagers in the U.S. are alcoholics. And that's just one substance. Teens today have greater access to a lot more drugs than ever before. And many of them can be found right inside your house. High school and college students have been known to abuse ADHD drugs like Ritalin to help them study or control their appetite. They might try steroids to help them bulk up. Or they snag their parents' prescription painkillers from the medicine cabinet because they've heard you can get high off of them. Teens' brains are not yet fully developed. Pot, alcohol and other drugs can impair brain development and lead to permanent changes in the teenaged brain. Taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction. But teenagers are at even greater risk. The younger you are when you start using drugs, the greater your chances of developing a dependency. Parents need to stay involved in their kids' lives, and let them know early on about the dangers of drug use. Providing your teen with a stable home environment and a close, loving relationship is the best thing you can do to prevent alcohol and drug abuse. Establishing rules and boundaries is a key part of that. Even if they don't like it, kids need to know what's expected of them and what is acceptable behavior. Peer pressure can also play a big role in substance abuse. Whether a teenager is a misfit or runs with the popular crowd, having a low self-esteem and feeling like they don't fit in can make them try things in order to look cool. If all of their friends are doing it, there's a good chance that they will do it, too. That's why it is imperative for parents to keep the lines of communication open. Common signs of alcohol or drug abuse in teens include: withdrawing from family and friends, doing poorly in school, discipline problems, anger, and hostility. If you suspect that your teen is using any illegal substances, even if he or she is just experimenting, talk to them immediately. If their behavior continues or worsens, seek professional help. Remember the sooner you can get them help, the better their chances of kicking an addiction.More »
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Drug abuse and mental illness are related. Watch this video to learn the association between drugs, addiction and mental illness.
Transcript: A certain percentage of people who try drugs or alcohol stand a chance of becoming addicted, but for...
A certain percentage of people who try drugs or alcohol stand a chance of becoming addicted, but for those with psychological disorders, like depression, anxiety or schizophrenia, that number can climb to as high as eighty percent. Addiction and mental illness often go hand in hand, in fact, fifty percent of the people who seek treatment for addiction ALSO have a mental disorder. Addiction is a complex brain disease that involves compulsive and often uncontrollable cravings for a substance or behavior. People who are addicted will do almost anything to satisfy that craving, even if it results in tragic consequences. What accounts for such destructive behavior? Addiction changes the brain's structure and the way it functions. It deteriorates the SAME areas of the brain that malfunction in many mental illnesses. While scientists are STILL trying to understand the connection, we do know that people with psychological conditions are at greater risk for developing an addiction. Here's how the numbers stack up: 20 to 50 percent of people with depression or anxiety ALSO have an addiction. For people with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or antisocial personality, addiction affects between 40 to 80 percent. The question here is: Does drug abuse LEAD to mental illness, or are people with mental illnesses MORE SUSCEPTIBLE to addiction? Some research shows that people with schizophrenia, for instance, are more sensitive to the effects of drugs, and that they may become addicted more quickly. Other studies show that people with a particular gene are more likely to develop schizophrenia if they smoke marijuana regularly. If you have schizophrenia in your family tree, you MIGHT want to warn your family members about the possible connection. People who have a mental illness may also try to treat their symptoms by taking mood-altering substances. For example, take depression: people who are clinically depressed have a hard time getting pleasure out of things that most people find enjoyable. That's because their brain's so-called reward system isn't functioning properly. Mood-altering drugs can temporarily stimulate that area of the brain, allowing depressed people to feel better -at least momentarily. Because they feel so bad normally, depressed people might be more likely than people without mental illnesses to chase after that feeling. Chronic drug use can also WORSEN the symptoms of mental illness. Alcohol is a well-known depressant. Abusing it can lead to major depression. Methamphetamine abuse can cause anxiety, paranoia and psychosis. Overusing marijuana is sometimes associated with anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and in some cases, schizophrenia. People who suffer from mental illness AND addiction stand the best chance of getting sober if they treat both conditions simultaneously. Learning how to deal with the difficult emotions of mood disorders is paramount to staying sober. When looking for a substance abuse program or counselor, make SURE they are licensed in treating emotional disorders as well. The failure to treat a disorder can SIGNIFICANTLY jeopardize a patient's chances of success, so if you, or someone you love may be suffering from addiction and/or a mental condition, please seek help immediately!More »
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Treating drug and alcohol addiction is not as simple as one might think. Check out this video to learn more about the different ways to treat drug and alcohol addcition.
Transcript: When it comes to addiction treatment, there is NO one-size-fits-all program. What works for one person...
When it comes to addiction treatment, there is NO one-size-fits-all program. What works for one person might not work for another, and it can often take more than one stint in a recovery program to make sobriety stick. Addiction is a complex disease that makes a person compulsively crave a substance or activity. Changes in the brain often prevent an addict from being able to stop using. Even if at some point an addict wants to stop using, it can be difficult. If not impossible, for them to stop on their own. That's where treatment comes in. The ultimate goal of addiction treatment involves getting a person to stop using their substance of choice and helping them to achieve a substance-free lifestyle. A good treatment plan gives patients the necessary tools to help take control of their lives. That means learning to cope with the situations or emotions that drove them to abuse drugs, alcohol or behaviors to begin with. Throwing oneself into drugs or alcohol can be a way to escape unpleasant feelings. If addiction patients don't learn how to manage stressful or difficult times, they could relapse as soon as life becomes challenging or too overwhelming. Addiction patients often require long-term or repeated episodes of care to reach a place of lifelong abstinence and recovery. In addition, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, treatment can: reduce drug use by 40 to 60 percent; decrease criminal activity; and improve an addict's employment potential by up to 40 percent. There are several types of drug addiction treatments. Most involve medication, behavioral therapy or both. Some people may need in-patient programs, where they are monitored 24 hours a day. Others may be able to get sober through an outpatient 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous. Some programs begin with drug or alcohol detox. This can last for three to ten days, depending on the amount and length of time that substances had been taken. Detoxification is not meant as a long-term solution. It is only the FIRST stage of treatment. It is used to help minimize the effects of withdrawal, which can occur when an addict abruptly discontinues use. Even after detox, addicts can still experience intense cravings. Sometimes drug treatment facilities will put patients on medication, like methadone, to help reduce cravings. Many times, people with addiction problems also have underlying mental illness as well. If this is the case, the patient needs to work within a program that treats the mental disorder as well. Many substance abuse programs have long waiting lists. Others take insurance while others do not. It's important to find a program that you can afford to stay in for as long as you need. Research shows that most people need at least 3 months in treatment to reduce or stop their drug use. The longer the treatment, the better the outcome. If you think you, or someone you love, may have a problem with addiction, there is hope. You can find local treatment options by using the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator at http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.More »
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Addiction rehabilitation centers have served as a lifeline for many but picking the right one can be tricky. Watch thos video to for tips on choosing the right rehabilitation center for you.
Transcript: There are many things that you should consider when choosing where to go for addiction treatment. Here's...
There are many things that you should consider when choosing where to go for addiction treatment. Here's more on picking the right addiction treatment center for you! Getting sober is not a one size fits all proposition. There are a number of key questions to ask, in order to assess what the best approach, for that individual, might be. For a person attempting to recover without constant supervision may opt for an out-patient program, which requires meeting with them once a week to devise a recovery plan, or they may require daily, eight hour educational and therapy sessions, in addition to AA or NA meetings. Budget is also a consideration. How much money does the program cost, and how much can you realistically afford? In-patient programs can typically run about $7,000 per month. The longer a person remains in a treatment facility, the greater his or her chances are of remaining sober. People who stay in treatment for three months or more will have the greatest success. Find out what your health insurance covers for in-patient and outpatient programs. In general, health insurance companies pay for 30 days of treatment at an in-network treatment center. Out of network treatment options are covered at a lower rate, and must usually be paid for out of pocket first. Also remember that not all facilities take insurance, so make that one of your first questions. Sometimes there are long wait lists to get in to a particular program. Make sure that there is a spot available when you need it. A key question to ask: Is the program licensed and state certified? And what is the program's treatment philosophy? According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, "No single treatment is appropriate for all individuals." There are a lot of theories about what causes addiction, and what kinds of intervention will help prevent people from relapsing. Most programs rely to some degree on 12-step programs, along with various methods of counseling and therapy. Because there is no one solution that works best for everyone, it's important that you find a program that speaks to you. Consider visiting the treatment facility before you commit to it. Ask a family member or friend to go with you, and be prepared to interview the staff about its program. Here are a few questions that may help you decide whether the program is right for you: 1. How long is the typical stay? 2. Do you offer detox services? 3. Do you have a program for family members and loved ones? 4. How much contact will I have with friends and family? 5. What kinds of services and activities will I be participating in? 6. What is your success rate? 7. What kind of counseling and therapy sessions do you offer? 8. Are there staff members who have experience dealing with my specific addiction? 9. Do you provide follow-up care after I'm discharged and, if so, for how long? Choosing a drug treatment program may seem daunting and stressful, but every treatment center, regardless of its philosophies, has one goal: to help you get and stay sober.More »
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Using a drug for recreation or pleasure is a big mistake. Watch this video to know about the most commonly abused drugs in America.
Transcript: People have been using drugs for pleasure or recreation for as far back as we can remember. In fact,...
People have been using drugs for pleasure or recreation for as far back as we can remember. In fact, records suggest that ancient Sumerians in Mesopotamia used opium in 5000 B.C., while alcohol dates back to 3500 B.C. Today, in the U.S.A, about 12.8 million people over the age of 12 use illegal drugs on a regular basis. Though it's down 50 percent from the all-time high of 25 million in 1979, drug abuse is still a big problem. Today's most commonly abused drugs are alcohol, nicotine, marijuana and prescription painkillers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin. 90 percent of all people who have used illegal drugs have used marijuana or hashish. While marijuana does not usually lead to physical dependence, it can be psychologically addictive. Nicotine is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and is, by far, the most heavily used addictive drug in the country. Nicotine can be absorbed into the bloodstream from chewing, inhaling or smoking a tobacco product. Quitting can be difficult. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, headaches, irritability, depressed mood, hunger and an intense craving for cigarettes. Approximately 8 percent of Americans abuse alcohol or are alcoholics. People who abuse alcohol might not be physically dependent on the substance, but could be on their way to addiction. Alcohol abuse is most rampant among young adults and teenagers. In fact, one in three 12th graders report having five or more drinks on at least one occasion within the past two weeks. Teens who drink are more likely to engage in sexual activity, have unprotected sex, or have sex with a stranger. Drinking excessively may also lead to the use of other drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin. Statistics show that 20 percent of people in the U.S. have used prescription medication, like painkillers, sedatives and stimulants, for non-medical reasons. And 15 percent of high school seniors abuse them. For teens, they are the second most popular drugs behind marijuana. Some experts believe that prescription drugs are edging out cocaine, LSD and other so-called party drugs because they are much easier for teenagers to come by. If parents have leftover pills sitting in the medicine cabinet, they might not suspect that their kids could want to try them. And kids don't realize JUST how addictive these prescriptions can be. The most common prescription drugs used for recreation are codeine, or hydrocodone-based painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin. People using them recreationally may crush them up and snort them to get a high. And because their street prices are so steep, for instance oxycontin can go for $80 a pill, some people turn to cheaper drugs, like heroin. Because these drugs can be so prevalent, many people make the mistake of thinking that they are not dangerous or addictive. If you, or someone you know, may have a problem with one of these substances, or are having a difficult time trying to quit; talk to a medical professional, who can help you find the help you need.More »
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Painkiller dependency and addiction are not not quite the same things. Watch this video to learn more about the difference.
Transcript: Many prescription painkillers can be addictive, especially those that belong to the opioid family, like...
Many prescription painkillers can be addictive, especially those that belong to the opioid family, like codeine, morphine, oxycontin, demerol and vicodin. While useful as pain medication, these drugs have also come to be recreationally used and abused. Understandably, many patients who take prescription painkillers worry about their risk of addiction. If one has to be on a pain medication prescription for an extended period of time, like a few months or years, he or she may notice a development of tolerance to the drug. But tolerance is not the same thing as addiction. When one is exposed to substances like prescription painkillers on a regular basis, your body adjusts to them. The liver learns how to process the medication more efficiently. And the brain requires a greater amount of the drug in order to achieve the same pain-relieving results. But just because one needs a higher dose of pain medication does not mean that one is addicted. Having said that, some people are at a greater risk of addiction and medication abuse. That includes: people who have a history of substance abuse; people who have family members with addiction problems; and people with a history of mental illness. You should let your doctor know immediately if you fall into one of these high-risk groups. He or she may try to find a less-addicting alternative medication that works for you. Patients who take opioids for long periods of time will likely develop a tolerance to the drug, and may even develop a physical dependence. What that means is, your body is used to getting a certain amount of drugs, and depends on it for its day-to-day functioning. Abruptly stopping your medication could lead to physical symptoms of withdrawal, like anxiety, insomnia, flu-like symptoms and irritability. While it might sound scary, it's nothing to be alarmed by, so long as you are working with your physician and taking your medication exactly as prescribed. People who take prescribed narcotics are generally under close medical supervision, for good reason. Should you and your doctor decide to discontinue your medication, your physician will help you develop a tapering-off plan, to minimize any uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. If you have developed a tolerance or dependency to your prescription, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Let your doctor know immediately, and don't increase your dosage without consulting your physician. It is extremely important to keep your doctor in the loop on any and all physical or emotional signs of dependence or addiction.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-21 | Tags »
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