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Category contains 2 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

Posted by on in Drug Addiction

      I am often asked,  "HOW will I know what God's will for me is???." The "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous says, "...that it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas.  Nevertheless, we find that as time passes our thinking will be more and more on the plane of inspiration  We come to rely on it."  Inspiration is defined as, "the thoughts of God implanted in the mind and soul of man."  Once the thoughts of God hit our souls we do not need to run it by our intellect to know it is indeed the Truth.

 

          Although we are not yet capable of turning our will and our life over to the care of God in Step Three,  we are capable of making a decision - a final choice - to do so.  Deciding from this day forward we are willing to overturn our thought processes that are propelled by our human instincts in order that they may be ruled only by the will of God - which is received through inspiration. 

 

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Originally Posted @ http://www.newbridgerecovery.com/1267-2/ 

In active alcoholism and drug addiction, it is easy to feel like you’re losing your mind. Indeed, some of the things we do under the influence of drugs are insane and may appear to other people as a sign of a deeper problem. Drug abuse, including alcohol, have mental side-effects that can range from paranoia, hallucinations, insomnia, aggression, and more. It is clear that drugs have a large impact on our mental well-being, but can they really cause mental illnesses to develop?

The short answer is yes, but not in the way you are probably thinking about. Perhaps you have heard the claim that taking LSD over seven times classifies someone as legally insane. Heard about how bath salts can turn you into a flesh-eating zombie? What about the multiple reports of people smoking synthetic spice and jumping to their death? While these stories are extreme and by no means common, they highlight the truth that drugs often make people do crazy things. Even alcohol changes a person’s mood and behavior, for example imagine a shy person getting drunk and starts dancing on tables or singing karaoke in front of hundreds of people. There is no denying that under the influence of drugs we can lose our inner judgment and sanity, leading to negative consequences and situations.

But can drugs actually cause permanent mental illness to manifest?

In the addiction treatment profession researchers have seen a dramatic rise in the number of ‘dual-diagnosis’ patients. These types are described as having both substance abuse issues along with a severe mental illness. In fact, the number of people admitted into rehabs with a mental illness has risen 34 % in the last 6 years (CDC). However, this does not prove that drugs cause mental illness rather it proves a connection. A recent study found that adults who are addicted to illicit drugs are twice as likely to have a serious mental illness (SAMSHA).

1-Mental-IllnessWith addiction and mental illness, it is often a case of determining what came first, ‘the chicken or the egg’. Many people with mental illness claim to use drugs to combat their symptoms. War veterans who return home with PTSD are highly susceptible to developing alcoholism or drug addiction. This seems to be their way of dealing with the trauma and ‘flashbacks’ common in PTSD. Another example is when a person having panic attacks and anxiety begins abusing sedatives or depressants in order to quell their symptoms. In these cases, it appears that the drug addiction or alcoholism came about as a response to the mental illness.

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Around the addiction treatment profession there are statistics floating around like “only 2% of people who go to rehab stay sober” or “90% of people who leave rehab will end up in another rehab”. These statistics tend to make it seem like addiction treatment has a low success rate. In my opinion, there are only a few reasons for these statistics.

Reason A) Rehab and Treatment Don’t Work

Reason B) Addiction Can’t Be Fixed, It’s Impossible to Stay Sober

Reason C) The Patient Doesn’t Give Their Best Effort or Follow Suggestions

We know from experience and research that the first two reasons can occur, but they are not the contributing factor as to why rehab fails. Rehab has been proven to be successful for addiction, and people with addiction can heal and stay sober. It is true that staying sober is not a simple or easy feat, and rehab does not work for everyone or every time. Thus logic and evidence would point to Reason C as the main factor in why rehab programs fail to work. Read about my Top 8 reasons why rehabs fail….

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Treatment or ‘Rehab’ can cost anywhere between $200 to upwards of $200,00. In my experience, finances and the cost of treatment is perhaps the biggest obstacle in getting the addict the help they need. Let’s face it, generally drug and alcohol treatment is expensive, and without insurance it can be difficult to finance. The treatment centers that you see on T.V, the beach-side resorts showing people getting massages and acupuncture, can run upwards of $50,000 per month. There is a whole range of treatment centers, all with different pricing options and insurance plans. So the question of ‘how much does drug and alcohol treatment cost?’ does not have a simple answer. To fully understand the cost of treatment, we must look at the different types and quality of treatment centers available.

High Cost: Inpatient, Residential, and Luxury Treatment

The more expensive types of treatment are the programs that require a person to eat, sleep, and live at their facility during treatment. These programs are more extensive and generally restrict the person from working, having a phone, and from leaving the treatment center property. Residential treatment centers, as they are called, generally require a length of stay between 60-90 days. Between residential treatment centers there is a wide range of quality and costs. The cheapest treatment centers usually run around $7,500 per month and the most expensive treatment centers can exceed $50,00 per month. Different treatment centers accept different types of insurance. Most treatment centers do not accept Medicare or Medicaid, although a few will. With insurance, residential treatment centers can end up costing a few thousand dollars, which is often still too expensive for many people with drug and alcohol problems. With these high costs for treatment, many people look for cheaper options to get help for their addiction or alcoholism. Many people find outpatient treatment a way to treat their issues at a lower cost, without compromising quality of treatment.

Lower Cost: Intensive Outpatient, Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment centers do not require the individual to sleep or stay at their treatment facility. Instead, the person lives at home, can continue working, going to school, and interact with the family. Outpatient treatment generally includes 10 hours of group and individual therapy each week, but this number can vary. The types of services offered at outpatient treatment centers are similar to those offered at residential treatment centers. Success rates are shown to be similar between people attending inpatient treatment and those attending outpatient treatment. The biggest difference between the two treatment options is the cost. Outpatient treatment can cost anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000. With insurance, outpatient can end up costing the patient less than a thousand dollars. This is a huge difference from the cost of residential treatment! 

Bottom-Line

Each person seeking treatment for drug and alcohol addiction has a unique set of needs and circumstances. For someone with a severe addiction and debilitating substance abuse, residential or inpatient treatment may be necessary to achieve sobriety. If a person has the money and can take a few months off to go to a residential facility, I urge them to do it. However often the person has work, a family to support, and can't afford the cost of such a treatment center. Outpatient treatment is a great and cheaper alternative. When followed correctly and completed successfully, clients of outpatient programs has just as good of a chance of staying sober as do clients of inpatient programs/

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction
What is the Addiction Cycle?

 In psychological literature and in the field of professional addiction treatment, there has emerged a term called the ‘addiction cycle’. This cycle can mean different things to various people, and there is no official addiction cycle to serve as a standard. However, all forms of the addiction cycle generally have a few things in common. They involve a stage of abstinence, followed by some emotional or physical trigger, leading to a craving and eventually to addictive alcohol or drug usage. The addicted person may go through this cycle multiple times a day and it is hard to get out of. The viscous cycle of addiction is different for everyone, but one thing is for certain; once the cycle has started, it may take determined action to break free.

The Addiction Cycle Illustrated

 Let me describe the story of Dan and his addiction to anxiety medications. Dan remembers living with mild anxiety since childhood. His anxiety was always a hindrance to his social and romantic life, but never was debilitating. He has a brief history of alcohol abuse and recreational drug use, but has never been chemically addicted. A few years ago Dan saw a doctor who began prescribing sedatives for his anxiety. Dan quickly became both mentally and physically addicted to his medication, believing that without his sedatives he would suffer inexorable panic attacks. His increased tolerance to the pills led to obtaining higher doses of sedatives and getting prescriptions from multiple doctors. Finding himself becoming a slave to the medication, he decides he wants to get off them. He goes a day without the pills and then anxiety begins to creep in. Dan starts to feel tense and uncomfortable and recalls the feeling of ease that the sedatives provide. Eventually he experiences the physical withdrawal creep in from separation from his medication and his body and mind enters a process called craving. These ‘triggers’ cause Dan to take the sedatives to find emotional and physical comfort. After the pills wear off he becomes remorseful and feels guilty about his lack of control. He vows to stay off the medication and the cycle begins again, when the feelings of anxiety reoccur. Dan’s cycle looks something like this:

addictioncycle

Without professional help or some dedicated program to abusing the medications, Dan could stay in this cycle indefinitely. While Dan honestly wants to stop the cycle, the sedatives have him in a seductive hold. The anxiety that initially caused him to seek relief in sedatives has multiplied because of his growing addiction to the medication. Without the pills his anxiety becomes unrelenting and intense, the only perceived relief is in taking the sedatives.

Ending the Addiction Cycle

 The danger and power of the addiction cycle lies in the fact that each action in the cycle leads directly to the next action. Each step leads to the next step and offers no easy way to break out. Detox is often the first step in ending the addictive cycle. A good detox center will ease the person off of the substances to remove the physical craving to return to the addiction cycle. Once this part of the cycle has been broken, the cycle loses its hold over the person. Some helpful detox centers will even help the person begin dealing with their emotional triggers, in this case it would be Dan’s anxiety. Perhaps they teach Dan some natural or non-addictive means to control his anxiety without sedatives, therefore weakening another part of the cycle. However, many people require more intensive work to prevent a return to the addiction cycle. This may include identifying emotional triggers, cravings, creating a support system, and developing a relapse prevention plan. Detox, which usually last between 3-7 days, does not allow enough time to truly begin working on these important recovery tools.

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