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Addiction Treatment Programs: Essential for Lasting Recovery

After the person completes detox, the recovering person must be prepared to navigate the various challenges of life in the real world. Those who are the most prepared are far less likely to relapse when triggered. Alcohol and drug addiction treatment programs are essential in helping people get their lives back on track.

Potential Dangers of Detox with Addiction Treatment Programs

Detox is far more complex than simply cutting down on the drug of choice. The process is serious and could even be potentially fatal depending on the approach and the person’s specific health needs. As a person completes detox, they could experience hallucinations, convulsions or seizures. The brain changes and tries to resume its normal functioning.

  • Alcohol detox:  Seizures, heart failure and delusions are all experiences recovering addicts experience when detoxing. During the addiction treatment programs process, the person can also become nutritionally deficient, which can make it difficult for the person to resume their normal activities.
  • Methamphetamine detox:  Methamphetamine addicts can experience a series of highs and lows that could put a person at risk of using again. Aggression symptoms can be harmful to others, and suicidal thoughts endanger the patients.
  • Heroin and unsupervised detox:  Heroin detox symptoms include vomiting, insomnia and anxiety, which can really be uncomfortable for those who aren’t closely supervised. The nervous system is also compromised as the body must quickly adjust to getting off of the dangerous substance. This puts patients at risk for self-harm.
  • Cocaine detox:  People can expect to encounter restlessness, anxiety and depression as they detox. The depression symptoms are potentially harmful to the recovering patient. Undiagnosed mental health problems may also interfere with the person’s ability to manage their addiction long-term without self-medication.
  • Opiate detox:  Detoxing from opiates is a unique process as well. Tough bouts of abdominal pain and gastrointestinal issues may be harder to manage independently. If the person stops taking opium briefly and cannot get a firm handle on the discomfort and symptoms, she runs the risks of relapsing and overdosing.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse addiction detox:  The person can endanger themselves because the addiction is complete. It is very difficult for the average patient to stop using both alcohol and drugs at the same time with minimal risks. In completing such a complex detox process independently, the individual faces elevated risks.

Clearly, the potential dangers involved in detoxing from certain substances are serious enough to not take this process lightly.

Why Professional Addiction Treatment Programs Are Recommended

The number one advantage of completing addiction treatment programs is safety. The patient is in a carefully controlled environment, which means that the patient’s chances of doing self-harm are minimal. Patients who may exhibit signs of aggression are also far less likely to endanger others. Patients also have access to medical attention as well. Some patients may also have underlying medical conditions that need to be carefully managed as well. Patients benefit from having a supervised medical environment when undergoing the detoxification process.

What is Expected of the Typical Treatment Program?

The typical addiction treatment programs process is considered to be the active phase of treatment. The person is educated on the various triggers that can lead to further abuse, learns the coping skills and methods to help one abstain from drug abuse, and can learn how to build a network to keep them accountable as they continue to grow in sobriety. Education on the importance of 12-step group meetings is also provided in a residential treatment program.

Therapy sessions may involve exploring the various emotional issues that can exacerbate addiction problems. Depending on the patient’s specific needs, a treatment plan may consist of cognitive behavioral therapy, somatic therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy are different types of therapies that may be recommended to the patient. Techniques on how to balance the mental state to counter cravings empowers the patient to maintain their sobriety during stressful life challenges.

Common components of a treatment program include:

  •  Residential and outpatient treatment
  •  Transitional housing support
  •  Individualized counseling
  •  Group therapy sessions
  •  Sobriety maintenance
  •  Nutritional counseling
  •  Support and encouragement
  •  Periodic drug testing

Many programs offer aftercare services and family involvement programs.  These two options are valuable to the recovering addict, especially during their transition back into the real world.

Benefits of Addiction Treatment

There are numerous benefits to residential treatment for people battling substance abuse. Approximately, 700,000 Americans get treatment each year for alcohol and drug addiction. When drug treatment is provided to a patient battling addiction, the success rate is nearly 50 percent. When an individual completes detox alone, they are still at risk of relapse because the coping skills and tools aren’t available. The person may still be forced to contend with a reality where they are surrounded by triggers and a lack of a positive support network that could really improve the person’s chances of achieving long-term sobriety.

Many people aren’t able to cope with their environment without adequate preparation and education. If a person is taught about the addiction and learns how to manage their addiction with the right coping skills, the chances of achieving success long-term are far greater. When people integrate the detoxification process with formal treatment, they are in a position to achieve and maintain their sobriety. Residential addiction treatment programs focus on detox, sobriety maintenance and transitioning.

Misconceptions Concerning Marijuana Use

Marijuana is one of the most used and abused drugs in the world. At least seven million people have admitted to marijuana use weekly or on a regular basis in the United States alone. Estimates go as high as 300 million users, when all users throughout the world are considered.

Marijuana Use Affects Behavior, Memory and Perception

Many people are under a misconception that marijuana is somehow safer than other drugs or alcohol. There is an ongoing debate about whether it is addictive or whether it should be classified as a gateway drug.  As with any other drug, a person’s memory, behavior, and perception are altered during use.  Some of the most common effects of marijuana use include:

  • Short term memory impairment
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Impaired judgement
  • Slower reaction times to danger or to obstacles in the road
  • Peripheral vision is affected adversely
  • Difficulty concentrating on tasks

There are also cardiovascular physical effects of marijuana use that include rapid heartbeat, feelings of panic or phobia like reactions and heightened blood pressure. As far as the neurobiology effects of marijuana, studies have shown that marijuana stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain that are stimulated by other drugs like alcohol, cocaine and heroin.

Long-Term And Chronic Affects From Marijuana Use

Some studies have concluded that using marijuana use on a daily basis exposes one to a risk of lung cancer equal to that experienced by a person who smokes five times the number of cigarettes. The carcinogenic ingredient of marijuana is the chemical called benzopyrene.

In fact, it’s been determined that one marijuana cigarette has almost 50 percent more benzopyrene than a regular tobacco cigarette. Benzopyrene has the effect on a person’s body of suppressing growth of cells. This genetic effect can cause a person to be more susceptible to the development of and growth of cancer in the body. Damaging these genes the way benzopyrene does is the main thing that leaves a person open to higher cancer risk.

Those who smoke marijuana also experience higher rates of chronic bronchial and lung inflammation, chronic bronchitis and injury to their airways. The effects are very similar to the effects experienced by cigarette smokers. Just like cigarette smokers, marijuana users are also more susceptible to respiratory infections.

Can Also Affect the Immune System and Endocrine Systems

Hormonal effects are also important to consider, since the endocrine system is affected by marijuana use. In males, puberty can happen later than normal when marijuana is used heavily. In young women, constant marijuana use can hinder the body from producing and releasing eggs normally, affecting fertility. Since females are sometimes not included in studies of the adverse effects of marijuana use, knowledge of its full effects on women is more limited than the knowledge of the effects on males.

Dr. Guy Cabral, a Professor from the Medical College of Virginia, spoke at a national (NIDA) conference on marijuana research and prevention of marijuana use. He said in his speech that the immune systems of heavy users of marijuana are compromised and that heavy use of marijuana puts the immune system in a weaker state. This leaves a person more open to harmful infections, viruses, fungi and bacteria. It may also cause a decrease in anti-tumor activity of cells of the body, leaving a person more open to the chances of developing tumors.

Marijuana Is Believed to be Psychologically Addictive

While marijuana does cause some symptoms of physical addiction, the most troubling effects are those of psychological addiction. There are short-term psychological effects from marijuana use that include things like a heightened euphoric feeling, random or a magical type of thinking, a sense of time that becomes distorted and losing some of one’s short-term memory. Normally these effects wear off over time, but in heavy marijuana users the effects can last longer, impairing the user’s ability to handle life’s stresses.

Researchers concerned with the levels of marijuana use have also pondered whether the use of marijuana eventually leads to the use of other drugs. Users who wish to continue their altered state of feeling euphoric may turn to other ways to continue that feeling, including trying other, more highly addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.

Chemicals in marijuana, especially the main chemical responsible for the euphoric feeling, known as THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), normally is broken down over time by the body. About half of it is out of the body within 24 hours. The rest, however, along with trace metabolites, can be detected through tests for as long as 45 to 60 days. Tests used to find traces of marijuana include blood tests, urine and saliva tests.

Treatment Is Most Effective in an Inpatient Facility

Treatment for marijuana use is best when it takes place in an inpatient treatment center. It is best for users to be out of the surroundings they were accustomed to when they were using marijuana. They need to learn different ways of coping with life’s challenges and need to learn that going back to the use of marijuana is not an option.

There may not be a lot of physical withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, but there are some, including:

  • Feelings of depression
  • Lessened appetite
  • Increased feelings of anxiety
  • An increase in aggressive tendencies

The more harmful and serious effects of withdrawing from marijuana seem to be more psychological than physical. For that reason, stopping the use of marijuana can be very challenging. Professionals trained in helping users to become free from their marijuana addiction, whether the withdrawal symptoms they experience are physical or psychological, can be very helpful to clients who want to become free from the urges to use marijuana.

Long term recovery from an addiction or dependence on marijuana takes time and patience. Professional inpatient treatment has the benefits of teaching clients new ways to cope with struggles in life. Clients can also interact with others who are going through the same challenges to end their dependence on marijuana.

Substance Abuse Treatment for Lasting Results

Substance abuse can be classified as many types pertaining to an overuse and dependence on an addicting substance. Examples can be any kind of methamphetamine, crack, LSD, heroin, ecstasy, PCP, cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs such as vicodin, oxycontin, xanax, valium, ativan, narco, and morphine. The list goes on from here, and is endless. No matter what the addiction is it affects the person, their spouse, plus family and friends and society. Addiction affects children to the point that it can affect their behavior and success throughout life, which may be a beginning sign for the need of substance abuse treatment.

Substance Abuse Treatment Programs Get to the Core of the Problem

Addiction is a complex disorder that affects brain function and behaviors, such as depression, bipolar, and anxiety issues involved. Inpatient programs will allow the addicted person to concentrate on themselves with no outside interference to distract or tempt them. They are also unable to make contact with other users. Inpatient substance abuse treatment programs will address not only the addiction, but, relationships, stressors, health issues such as HIV and job or career.

Inpatient professions will tell the addicted person that withdrawal or detox from substance abuse is not enough to just be rid of the toxins in the body. Entering a substance abuse program will only assure the person for life long success with no set backs. The patient needs to take a closer look at why they are addicted in the first place, and what they think or feel brought them to this point. They can only do this through an unbiased individual professional counselor.

Results-Oriented Substance Abuse Treatment Therapy

Inpatient substance abuse treatment programs do vary. While some offer many of the same elements some are different so to ensure the person’s success they, along with their family must find the right inpatient program that will work for them. All programs for inpatient services have their mental health treatment overseen by an MD on the premises. Many offer, proven success through group therapy sessions, and individual professional counseling as mentioned earlier, but in addition, look for programs that offer other therapies such as art therapy, music therapy, message therapy, family group sessions, faith-based therapy, thi chi, and recreational activities to name a few.

Holistic Treatment for a Natural Healing

There are inpatient programs that treat the addiction without drugs. Some of these techniques have been mentioned earlier such as mediation, and yoga. Exercise programs such as running, and walking will relieve stress and give one the feeling of well-being. Getting outside in the fresh air, whether it is winter or summer will give one’s spirit a lift. Pets often times relieve stress. Pets are very therapeutic in nature. Mediation and yoga are important exercises that will give stress an outlet. A wonderful scented candle and relaxing music is a stress beater. A massage, a warm bath, a cup of coffee or better yet herbal tea is a relaxing technique. If the patient wishes to go a non drug route towards beating their addiction some inpatient programs use these techniques only, and have found success with them. The healthier way to beat substance abuse and addiction is the natural and holistic way.

Understanding Why Drug Rehab Works

It was President Nixon who started the war on drugs back in 1971. He designated $105 million to go for treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts. Unfortunately much of the debate surrounding drug addiction is whether or not drug rehab works. However, studies have shown that treatment over incarceration actually works and saves money, too. The question of why drug rehabilitation works really depends on the addict. While it is a successful program for many, there are addicts who simply relapse no matter what kind of treatment that they receive. For those who do find success through drug rehab, they usually have benefited from one or more of these treatments while there.

Detox and Stabilization: The Basis of How Drug Rehab Works

Inpatient treatment centers are known for putting their patients through detox as the first step to being taken into a facility. The detox lasts for 24 to 72 hours, and it basically allows the addict to go through withdrawals in a safe environment while also removing all drugs from the system. Without the drugs in the system, it’s still a long road to recovery, but for many, it is also the first stable day. After detox, patients enter the facility, which is detached from triggers, social circles and bad environments that may lead back to addiction. The whole point is to stabilize and treat addicts.

Group Therapy

Others believe that it is the ability to talk about addiction with other addicts and therapists that make the burdens of addiction and recovery easier to bear, but it is also important to understand exactly how drug rehab works. They are able to talk to strangers about their experiences and relate to one another. By talking about the different triggers, effects, people, problems and issues related to addiction, patients are able to see from other point of views while also being able to look at themselves. With guided group therapy, a therapist may also bring in exercises to calm and soothe the mind while also guiding those in recovery how to deal with triggers.

Drug Rehab Works with Supportive Atmospheres

Many addicts try to go through outpatient therapy, which basically allows them to continue to work, go to school and live in the same environment. This is often the problem that causes a relapse. The atmosphere isn’t supportive of a drug-free lifestyle. When addicts into inpatient care, they are enveloped into a place that is built to support those in drug recovery. They provide therapy, activities, cognitive behavioral therapy and education resources in addition to a clean place to sleep.

Activities and Education

Part of rehabilitation is to help addicts learn about addiction and to also recognize what is happening when they feel like they need a certain drug. There are triggers, and there is also familiarity. By going through rehabilitation, the education resources and therapists will help you learn more about what it means to be addicted and re-train the mind to look for positive sources that aren’t drug-related. That leads to activities. Most rehabilitation centers have an activity center that may include arts, crafts, writing, computer lab, horseback riding, hiking, bicycling, swimming or other activities.

Helping Hand

Probably the most beneficial part of treatment is that there are others helping you get through a difficult period in your life. It’s a very supportive environment, and inpatient treatment is voluntary. This means that while you don’t have to stay if you don’t want to, you’re more than welcome to visit with family and friends while there. There are many programs. Some may last two weeks and others three months. It all depends on the type of support that you need and how effective therapy has been for you.

It’s Necessary

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 23.5 million people who are 12 years of age or older needed treatment for drug or alcohol addictions, but only 2.6 million actually received treatment. As more states look to legalize marijuana, it’s clear that there are some lenient policies towards drug offenders these days, but there has been very little movement in some states towards rehabilitation rather than incarceration.

Last year some changes went into effect for first time juvenile offenders whose charges would be dropped if they completed a treatment program monitored by the courts. The overwhelming evidence shows that rehabilitation is the preferred treatment rather than prison time. However there hasn’t been any legislation to change the overall war on drug laws that have filled prisons with almost 100,000 drug offenders for federal jurisdiction and 225,000 for state jurisdiction.

It’s clear that the war on drugs has changed the way that people look at drug addicts in America. Until more legislation designates rehabilitation as the right treatment for drug offenders, it may continue to wage without an end in sight. As more rehabilitation centers pop up across the country, those looking for treatment should stick to reputable inpatient treatment centers with highly reviewed staff and successful ratings.

The Most Commonly Abused Painkillers

There is no doubt about the destruction caused by prescription painkillers. It’s true that painkillers can be used legitimately, but unfortunately, once they start taking them, many individuals become addicted. In America, the use of street drugs is slightly declining; however, the use of prescription painkillers is on the rise.

In 2007 alone, nearly three million Americans abused some type of prescription painkiller. There are more individuals abusing painkillers for the first time than marijuana. Statistics show that painkillers are abused by teenagers almost as much as marijuana.

Many experts wonder why so many individuals are abusing painkillers. Recent surveys show that 50 percent of teens who abuse painkillers think that illegal street drugs are more dangerous to use than painkillers.

However, many adults and teenagers simply don’t realize just how risky it is to abuse painkillers. In many situations, people don’t realize the dangers of painkiller abuse until it’s simply too late. Although there are many types of painkillers, some are abused much more commonly than others.

What Makes Painkillers So Addictive?

Painkillers are designed to produce a euphoric state in order to help a person deal with chronic pain.  The chemicals are responsible for changing the way the brain perceives pain, and these changes can become permanent with prolonged or abusive usage.

Some of the more commonly used drugs in this category include:

Pure Opium

Virtually all painkillers are made from opium, and the opium is extracted from a plant, which is known as the opium poppy. Historically, opium has always been used as a medicinal drug. However, the use of opium as a painkiller started to cause problems.

People started to develop a serious addiction to opium, so a variety of painkillers were created, which were supposed to be less addictive and replace opium. Many modern painkillers are derived directly from opium, but there are also many synthetic opioids, which are basically man-made types of opium.

However, many addicts still abuse straight opium, which is ingested or smoked. Hop, gum, block, black stuff, big O and paregoric are common street names for pure opium.


Made from opium, morphine is a powerful painkiller. People who like to abuse morphine might smoke, ingest or inject it. As a narcotic painkiller, morphine is available in the brand names Duramorph and Roxanol. Some street names for morphine are white stuff, monkey, M and miss Emma.

Morphine is classified as a narcotic analgesic. Put simply, morphine alters the brain and changes how the body experiences and responds to pain. It’s common for morphine to be given to patients both before and after surgery.

The regions of the brain that are associated with pleasure are affected by morphine. After morphine enters the body, it usually produces euphoria. The short-term effects of morphine are depressed breathing, constipation and drowsiness.

Many people make the mistake of taking a single, large dose of morphine, which can cause coma severe breathing depression or death. The long-term effects of morphine are dependence, addiction and tolerance.


Another commonly-abused painkiller is codeine; it’s a painkiller that is created from opium, and it can be ingested or injected. There are several types of medicine that contain codeine. Many people who abuse codeine use solutions that also contain Tylenol and Robitussin.

Some of codeine’s street names are loads, doors and fours, schoolboy, Cody and Captain Cody. As with any type of opiate, codeine comes with a variety of short-term and long-term side effects. Some short-term side effects of codeine are shallow breathing, agitation, delirium, irregular thoughts, poor night vision, sleepiness and lightheadedness.

Long-term effects of codeine are both physical and psychological and can include insomnia, disorientation, depression and difficulty concentrating. Long-term physical effects caused by codeine are tremors, seizures, chronic constipation and sexual dysfunction.


A commonly-abused painkiller is hydrophone, which is a synthetic opioid. In most cases, hydrophone is combined with Tylenol. This painkiller goes by the brand names Lorcet, Lortab and Vicodin. In the US, hydrocodone accounts for 60 percent of drug total drug addictions.

When taken, hydrocodone produces opiate-like effects, which is why it’s so addictive. When abused, hydrocodone can cause severe long-term effects. The main reason why so many individuals are addicted to hydrocodone is because it has a high potential for abuse.


Like hydrocodone, fentanyl is an opioid that is synthetic, and it’s commonly sold under brand names like Duragesic and Actiq. When abused, fentanyl can be snorted, smoked or injected. TNT, jackpot, dance fever, china white, chine girl and apache are some common street names for fentanyl.

One of the reasons why so many individuals die from fentanyl abuse is because it can be up to 50 times stronger than heroin. As with most opiates, the long-term effects of fentanyl are dependence, tolerance and addiction.


Another commonly-abused painkiller is oxycodone, which is a synthetic opioid. It’s very common for drug users to crush and snort oxycodone. The brand names for oxycodone are Percocet, Percodan, OxyContin and Tylox.

Common street names for oxycodone are percs, hillbilly heroin, oxycet and oxycotton. As with virtually all other opiates, the long-term effects of abusing oxycodone are very dangerous.

Inpatient Treatment for Painkillers

Anyone who is addicted to painkillers should seek inpatient treatment. When compared with other forms of treatment, inpatient treatment offers several advantages.

Inpatient treatment is preferred because it offers constant support, structure, positive influences, supervision, great therapy and tools needed for recovery. Many other forms of treatment fail because they lack these benefits.

A Deadly New Trend: Fentanyl-Laced Heroin

Opiate use is on the rise throughout the United States, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In May 2014, the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control learned that between 26 and 36 million people abuse opioids, including heroin, fentanyl-laced heroin and prescription painkillers throughout the world. In addition, statistics show that deaths from opiate overdose has quadrupled since 1999. One alarming trend among heroin abusers is the use of heroin laced with fentanyl or fentanyl sold as heroin. This has led to a number of deaths in several states as well as many fentanyl-induced seizures in the United States and Canada.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that is similar to morphine, but considerably more powerful. It is used to treat patients in severe pain or to manage pain after they have undergone surgery. When prescribed by a physician, fentanyl is administered by a transdermal patch, lozenge or injection. However, the fentanyl that caused recent overdoses is not a pure form of the drug, having been created in illegal laboratories. When mixed with street-sold heroin or cocaine, fentanyl amplifies their potency as well as the dangers of taking the drugs. The effects include:

  • Euphoria
  • Drowsiness
  • Respiratory depression
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Sedation
  • Unconsciousness

The drug can lead to respiratory arrest, coma, tolerance to the drug and addiction.

Deadly Combination: Fentanyl-Laced Heroin

The combination of fentanyl and heroin is a deadly one. Hundreds of people have died of heroin overdoses over the past year throughout the country and statistics indicate that many of these deaths were due to the presence of fentanyl. Because fentanyl is so powerful, it can prove deadly to heroin users who have used the drug for years. Many investigators are calling the combination of heroin and fentanyl a time bomb, stating that the first time someone uses fentanyl-laced heroin could be their last.

Dangers of Fentanyl-Laced Heroin

The dangers of fentanyl-laced heroin go beyond the fact that fentanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine. The biggest issue is that the drug is being made in unregulated laboratories, many of them in Mexico. There is no way of knowing how powerful the fentanyl is and, when it is cut into heroin, there is no regard for dosage. Officials say that because heroin users are unaware of the dangers of fentanyl, many times addicts are drawn to what dealers call a “new, more potent” form of the drug as they have built a tolerance to normal levels. Because they are unaware the heroin is potent due to the fentanyl addition, the addict then uses the drug and stops breathing because they are unaware of how strong the mixture is. The fentanyl-laced heroin is stronger, cheaper and has more demand on the street because addicts hear that there is a new, super strong heroin available.

Overdose Treatment

When a patient is brought into the emergency room as a suspected overdose, emergency room doctors often order Narcan (naloxone hydrochloride) an anti-overdose medication that blocks opioid receptors in the brain. This ends the euphoric feeling, sending the patient into an immediate and severe withdrawal. If a patient is revived using Narcan, emergency room personnel know that their drug of choice was an opiate, but there is no way to test whether it was simply heroin or fentanyl-laced heroin, since both are part of the opiate family. Since many addicts are unaware that they used fentanyl-laced heroin, this makes it more difficult to track how many people are overdosing on the product. Routine toxicology tests will not detect fentanyl.


Withdrawal from heroin alone is difficult as the drug not only causes a mental addiction, but a physical addiction as well. The symptoms of withdrawal are very severe, including:

  • Craving of the drug
  • Restlessness
  • Muscle and bone pain
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold and hot flashes
  • Kicking movements
  • Night sweats
  • Chills
  • Rapid breathing
  • Confusion and altered reality
  • Irritability

Withdrawal symptoms begin between 6 and 36 hours after stopping the drug although the use of Narcan will cause symptoms of withdrawal to begin much more quickly. There are many medical complications that can develop during withdrawal from heroin and fentanyl, which is why no one should withdraw from the drug unless they are under medical supervision. Symptoms begin to subside after the first one or two days after discontinuing the drugs.

Inpatient Treatment

Anyone who is addicted to heroin or fentanyl should enter an inpatient rehabilitation program in order to break free of their addiction. Trained counselors and medical staff are available to assist the addict with the discomfort of withdrawal which can be severe. An inpatient treatment center will provide the addict with the tools necessary to get clean and stay clean even after they return home.

If you or a loved one are suffering from a heroin addiction, it is important to know that the new fentanyl-laced heroin trend is deadly. Hundreds of people have died over the past few years after using the combined drug, some the first time they ever used it and others who had used heroin many times before.

What if I Think My Loved One is Crossing the Line From Casual Drinking to Alcoholism?

Many people can drink alcohol casually and not develop alcoholism. However, casual drinkers sometimes become alcoholics. If you think that your loved one has crossed the line from casual drinking to becoming an alcoholic, then there are several things that you can do to help. Below are some helpful tips:

Educate Yourself About Alcoholism

Before you talk to your loved one about alcoholism, you should consider taking some time to educate yourself about it. There is a lot of information about alcoholism, but you will need to get the information from a reputable source. Additionally, you can join a support group for people who have a family member or friend with alcoholism.

Rehearse What You Are Going To Say

It is a good idea to spend some time rehearsing what you are going to stay before you attempt to talk to someone who has an alcohol problem. You want to be positive and supportive. If you come across as being judgmental, then your loved one likely will not listen to anything that you have to say.

You also do not want to make accusatory statements. You should let your friend or family member know that you are concerned and you love him or her. You should also tell your loved one that the alcoholism is affecting you in a negative way. Many people are unaware of the fact that their loved ones are being hurt by an alcohol problem.

It is important to note that your loved one’s response may not be positive. They may get very angry. This is why you should mentally prepare yourself for negative responses.

Pick The Right Time And Place To Talk

Timing is everything when it comes to talking to a loved one about an alcohol problem. You should discuss alcoholism with your loved one when he or she is sober. You will also need to talk to a person about the alcohol problem when you are not upset or preoccupied with other issues.

Talk to the person in a place where you know that you can have some privacy and quiet time. You do not want to shame your loved one. You also do not want anyone to come in and interrupt.

Get Other People To Help

You may not be able to convince your loved one that he or she needs to get help. However, if many other people express their concerns to your loved one, then he or she may feel compelled to change. That is why you should ask other people for help.

Encourage Inpatient Rehab

Once your loved one commits to change, you should encourage him or her to attend inpatient rehab. Inpatient rehab takes a person away from negative influences and people. It also makes it easier for a person to focus on recovering.

How Marijuana Abuse Alters Decision-Making

When people start smoking marijuana, they often do because they are told that it is a drug with no side effects. Marijuana’s primary purpose is to slow the brain, making it feel more relaxed. This doesn’t make it harder to think temporarily, using marijuana on a regular basis, or marijuana abuse, can make the effects more permanent. This is because marijuana can stay in the system for a long period of time, slowly giving users the effect of the drug.

Common Decisions by Marijuana Abuse

Marijuana AbuseMarijuana abuse alters the senses and can make users make very poor decisions. One of the most common is purchasing the drug itself. When a person is feeling laid back, they don’t always understand the risks they are taking when they smoke. It’s not that they just need their next fix, its that they don’t see potential dangers because the smoking has affected the way the think.

Pot smokers may also find themselves more paranoid as a result of marijuana abuse. This can lead to decisions like skipping work or staying indoors, rather than going out with friends. This can lead to a number of different consequences in one’s personal life.

Decisions about how to spend money can also change when someone smokes marijuana. This isn’t because marijuana costs money, it is because some users want instant gratification. Because their relaxed state of mind cannot properly weigh the pros and cons of a situation, people who are high tend to spend their money more freely. This can cause financial problems later on.

Recent studies have shown that when compared to people who don’t smoke, heavy marijuana users are unable to perform several functions. When trying to complete simple tasks or solve problems, the brain needs to work at full capacity. Continued use keeps the brain working hard, which can in turn lead to the user thinking illogically.

Marijuana Abuse Related Health Problems

Unlike other drugs that have more physical side effects, marijuana affects the brain. This can cause a number of behavioral problems and can alter the mental state of an otherwise healthy person. Memory loss and slightly distorted perceptions are common side effects of the drug.

How to Avoid Damage from Marijuana

If you or someone you know is struggling with marijuana usage, there are a number of treatment options available to help. Cannabis is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States, and there are many experts that know the kinds of havoc it can have on the brain. This can give those trying to quit a great support network.

While some users will tell you that marijuana is non-addictive, many users need to turn to inpatient treatments in order to get their lives back on track. Inpatient treatments can help give users a safe place to cleanse their bodies so that they can start thinking clearly. The treatment center can also show users how to avoid situations where there may be marijuana and how to stand up to peer pressure. By giving the user the skills they need to cope with their addiction, the user can start clearing their mind and getting back to normal.

Ways To Cope With The Guilt And Shame Of Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is an extremely common problem. In fact, it is estimated that there are 23 million people in America who are battling an addiction. Despite the fact that addiction is rampant in today’s society, many people feel guilty about it. Fortunately, there are several things that can be done to cope with the guilt and shame of addiction. Below are some tips that will help you:

Acknowledge The Drug Addiction Shame

The first thing that you will need to do is acknowledge the shame and all of the feelings that come along with it. This is a very difficult step, but it is very important. Make sure that you avoid judging yourself. Harsh self-condemnation will only make things worse. You have to accept the fact that you are imperfect. You also have to take responsibility for your own actions.

Accept That You Are Not Defined By Your Drug Addiction

Drug AddictionEverybody has their strengths and weaknesses. Drug addiction is one of your weaknesses, but it does not define you. You are not a bad person just because of your addiction. You should also spend more time focusing on your strengths. When you focus on your strengths, your weaknesses will not seem that bad. Furthermore, weakness is something that you can always overcome.

Ask For Forgiveness

You may be feeling guilty about your drug addiction because you know that it has had a negative impact on the people you love most. That is why you should ask your family members and friends for forgiveness. Try to put yourself in your loved ones’ shoes. If you look at your addiction from their perspective, then it will be a lot easier for you to make a genuine apology.

Forgive Yourself

While it may sometimes be easy for our loved ones to forgive us, we often have difficulty forgiving ourselves. Even if your family members and friends forgive you, the hurt and shame will continue if you do not forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself will complete the healing process.

Make A Commitment To Staying Sober

Staying sober is one of the best things that you can do to repair the damage that was caused by addiction. Actions really do speak louder than words. Tell your family members and friends that you are serious about staying sober and ask them to help you on your journey. You should also avoid putting yourself in a situation where you will be tempted to use drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, you can keep your commitment to remaining sober by staying busy with positive activities.

Seeking Inpatient Rehab

Addiction is something that the vast majority of people will not be able to overcome without professional help. That is why people who have a drug addiction are encouraged to seek residential treatment. Inpatient rehab is the best choice for people who are battling an addiction. People who choose inpatient rehab will get quality, comprehensive care 24 hours a day. An inpatient program will also provide people with structure and keep them away from negative influences.

Why Do People Begin Using Meth?

When most people think of meth, what comes to mind isn’t pretty. It is made from such appetizing products as crushed Sudafed, Drano, and cleaning solvents. It can make a 25-year-old look 45. And even most Breaking Bad devotees have the sense to know that in real life, meth is almost never produced in fancy labs by trained chemists, but in dirty trailer parks and hotel rooms by people who are addicted themselves.

Despite these ugly truths, meth remains as popular as ever as a recreational drug, gaining new users — many of whom go on to become addicts — every day. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, over a half-million Americans use meth each week.

Given that the laundry list of reasons to avoid this drug is long and sordid, why do people begin using meth? The most common reasons are as follows.

The Meth High

Like most drugs, the number one reason people begin using meth is to get high. Meth stimulates the central nervous system in a similar manner to cocaine, and its high comes with many of the same feelings, such as euphoria, increased alertness, feelings of extreme strength and confidence, and heightened sexual desire. As with cocaine, a single use of meth can bring on this high for as long as six to eight hours. Given that meth is much less expensive than cocaine, it is popular among drug users with limited means. It has even been dubbed by many as the “poor man’s cocaine.”

Increased Energy with Meth

MethMany meth users pick up the habit to keep them awake and alert during long periods of physically or mentally demanding work. The 1990s teen drama Beverly Hills, 90210 at one point featured a subplot involving a character who was persuaded to try the drug to help him pull long hours moonlighting as a disc jockey while also going to school full time. He became an addict. Users who begin for this reason view meth as an inexpensive and easy way to obtain a longer-lasting and much more powerful energy boost than legal stimulants such as coffee or Red Bull can provide.

Weight Loss

Like anorexia and bulimia, this drug is another dangerous tactic many people resort to in an effort to lose weight. Meth is not only a powerful appetite suppressant, but it also provides energy which people on starvation diets generally lack. Ironically, a methamphetamine user is more likely to lose body weight in the form of muscle and bone density rather than body fat. Unfortunately, most do not take this into consideration, as they are simply concerned with the number on the scale and view the drug as an effective short cut to weight loss requiring much less effort than exercising or following a balanced diet.

Sexual Effects

Central nervous system stimulants such as meth can increase activity in the brain of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine has been termed the brain’s “pleasure center” and one effect of having elevated levels is the heightening of sexual feelings. Everything related to sex becomes more visceral and intense, including desire, physical sensations, and orgasms. As a result, meth has become popular among young people in the party scene, just like cocaine has been popular for decades for the same reason.

Typically, when people use a drug for the first time, they do so impulsively, thinking only of the short-term pleasure or perceived benefit they will receive and paying little attention to potential long-term consequences. They don’t determine what the pros and cons are and use this information to make a rational and logical decision. If they did, there would be a lot fewer users out there. Few first-time meth users picture themselves two years down the road in an emaciated mug shot, appearing ten years older than their actual age, when they are taking that first hit. That is why anti-drug education is so vital for our youth.

For anyone who has succumbed to using this dangerous drug, no matter the reason, help is available. Inpatient treatment programs can help you rid yourself of this addiction before it takes over your life. If you’re wondering when you should check into one of these programs, the answer is now. As in today. The longer you wait to get help, the longer and harder the road to recovery will be.

Call Today for 24/7 Addiction Help: 1 (269) 704-7243