Alcohol and Drug Addiction Detox

11 Oct

Alcohol and drug addiction are already dangerous separately. If the two happen concurrently, then it is only a matter of time before the addicted person destroys himself or herself. A wide variety of serious complications can result from drug addiction and alcohol addiction, including acute health dangers, long term health risks, and the necessity of a very intense and uncomfortable detox. Worse, the difficulty of treating one addiction is multiplied if the patient suffers from another form of addiction.

An addiction to pain pills and alcohol concurrently presents with some significant problems, and as with any addiction, the earlier it’s dealt with the better the prognosis and the easier the detox. Fortunately, there are now more drug and alcohol treatment centers that can provide treatment modified to suit the needs of each patient. These treatment centers may cater, for example, to the GLBT community or focus treating the abuse of a particular drug, such as crystal meth treatment.

 

Health risks of concurrent drug and alcohol addiction

The health risks of a combined addiction to alcohol and pills also exceed that of an addiction to either substance alone. Acutely, alcohol and pills can combine together to increase the respiratory slowing effects of the opiate type pill, and in overdose reactions, respiration stoppage and death is a scary possibility. Pills also increase the risks of acute and chronic liver damage from drinking.

Vicodin, the most commonly abused pain killer with its acetaminophen content is particularly problematic, and addicts abusing Vicodin alone are at risk for liver damage, and when alcohol is also abused, the potential for damage increases greatly. With the risks of overdose and death and long term health deficits, as well as all of the social and familial problems that a concurrent addiction can create, it’s important to tackle any addiction to pills and alcohol without delay

 

Problems with detoxing from alcohol and pills

Prescription drug detox alone can be very arduous, and is much like heroin in duration and intensity. The detox off of alcohol, although not as uncomfortable, is actually more dangerous, and the symptoms of detox can be so severe as to be lethal. The combination when taken together presents with a detox of particular challenge, and risks to health.

Clinical research has shown that the detox off of alcohol and the influence of the hyperactive neurotransmitter GABA during this alcohol detox, actually has the effect of intensifying and prolonging the difficulty of detoxing from certain drugs, such as opiate and marijuana addiction. Because the dual detox can be dangerous, and is almost certainly very uncomfortable, most people are unable to detox on their own, and need medical supervision for safety, and for success.

Additionally because of the extreme discomfort of a concurrent detox, and the severe cravings typical of the days of withdrawal, very few people can maintain a resolve to stay off of drugs that they know will take all the pains away. A sequestered dmg detox away from access to drugs and alcohol offers a far better likelihood of success.

 

Getting help for drug and alcohol treatment

Detoxing from drugs and alcohol will be a very challenging time. It will be extremely painful and may even be horrifying, depending on the degree of the patient’s addiction. This is why drug addiction treatment and detox centers are ran by medical professionals who can help alleviate the pain from addiction and make sure that the patient detoxes safely. A medically supervised alcohol and drug addiction will not be comfortable, but the medical staff can make the pain much more tolerable for the patient. It will always be difficult, but it is necessary to undergo detox before finding permanent treatment and recovery.

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Ecstasy Use among Teens

10 Oct

Ecstasy, commonly called “E” or “X”, is a type of drug more commonly taken by teenagers and young people on dance clubs and rave music parties. Many users of ecstasy believe that the drug is harmless, although it can in fact cause various negative side effects and may even be fatal. Worse, most users of the drug do not know the proper ecstasy treatment should any adverse physical effects occur.

Alarmingly, more young people continue to use ecstasy and remain oblivious to ecstasy treatment. A study conducted in 2003 by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America discovered that one in every 12 twelfth graders has tried ecstasy. The study also found that parents are more reluctant to discuss with their children about ecstasy than about other type of drugs.

 

What is ecstasy?

The medical name for ecstasy is methylene-dioxymethyl amphetamine (MDMA). It is a synthetic hallucinogenic stimulant, which usually comes in pill form. Ecstasy affects the central nervous system and is a stimulant related to amphetamines. It is seen by some people as an antisocial personality disorder treatment or alcohol detox. Ecstasy can be addictive and many that have tried it have had to find treatment at a rehab center.

 

What are the dangers of ecstasy?

Research on the effect of ecstasy is not as wide as that of other drugs, but its immediate effects is largely known due to the drug being originally made and have been tested in medical laboratories. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse ecstasy damages nerve endings related to critical thought and memory. It is also psychologically addictive as users associate good feelings with the drug. A serious addiction treatment is sometimes required for long-time ecstasy users.

Symptoms of ecstasy use include teeth grinding (ecstasy causes the jaw to tense), slurred speech, poor short-term memory, inability to focus, heightened alertness, increased heart rate and blood pressure, mood swings (persons taking the drug usually feel depressed after the initial effect has worn off), dry mouth, sweating and hypothermia, decreased cognitive functions, and agitation. Ecstasy treatment for long-time users usually doesn’t require intensive outpatient treatment, but may require the user to be heavily supervised for a long period of time.

 

One added danger of ecstasy is that users don’t know exactly how much of the drug they are taking since pills can vary in potency. They might also be mixed with other harmful drugs, including methamphetaphines and heroine. Ecstasy is often slipped into drinks at clubs causing the unaware user to become a victim of sexual assault. “Stacking” or taking multiple doses can lead to severe effects and, if ecstasy treatment is not readily provided, can even be fatal.

 

Recognizing Crystal Meth Addiction

10 Oct

Crystal meth is a potent drug that is highly addictive, and it one of the most common substance of choice in many residential rehab treatment centers. It is an illicit drug, derived from methamphetamine, a psychoactive drug that is used for medical purposes. Crystal meth is also known as “ice”, “tweak”, “crystal”, “g”, “glass”, “shards”, and simply “meth”. Individuals who use meth are in great risk of getting addicted. The following are steps on how people can detect and stop other people’s addiction before they reach the point where only a residential rehab treatment can cure them.

Step 1: Listen to the person you think has a problem with crystal meth, or to the stories of people who have been in a prescription drug addiction treatment center. Oftentimes the words they say do not match up with their actions and they sound illogical. This is likely addiction fueled and not necessarily about overt lying. Listen for contradictions. One of the most common statements made by addicts in denial who are still trying to prove their control is a simple statement, “I don’t let it control me.”

Step 2: Another clue that a person is addicted to crystal meth is that he or she begins to compare himself or herself to other users and trying to reason that he or she is better than them. The person can do this by thinking that unless he shoots meth straight up, he or she still has things “under control” – although, ultimately, the way meth is consumed is irrelevant to the addiction. A person who has tried to stop and failed in relapse prevention is likely already highly addicted.

Step 3: Observing a person’s behavior is a good way to confirm whether he or she is using crystal meth. Meth users have very unusual sleeping and eating patterns. They also often appear fidgety, grind their teeth, and forget about personal grooming. Sometimes, they may go on for days without sleeping. Addicts may not even realize that they are acting oddly, which is why it is a good idea to record their behavior so that it can be presented to them as proof. If the addiction progresses, they will require holistic addiction treatment.

Step 4: Track the frequency of the denial, comparison, and inconsistent behavior. If you are trying to find out whether a parent, friend, wife, husband, coworker, child or someone else is using crystal meth and denying it then keeping a journal or notebook of some of the above is helpful, especially if you decide to talk to him or her about the problem. This can be a lot more difficult if the abuse is suffering from a mental illness (a case of dual diagnosis).

Step 5: Find drug abuse related situations. Look at the people that a suspected abuser associates with. This is not about passing judgment but to determine whether or a person is around trustworthy people. For many people, meth leads to crime. If the person is around people that are committing robbery, breaking into cars, mailboxing, or cooking dope then there is a level of desperation to maintain an addiction – addicts do this in order to maintain being high.

Step 6: Ask the person to face up to the issue and remain strong. People who try to intervene in another person’s addiction will suffer emotionally as the abuser may try to hurt him or her in order to protect the addiction. When this is the case, it might be best to ask the assistance of professionals and bring the addict to a residential rehab for proper treatment. Residential rehab treatment centers are fully capable of guiding a crystal meth addict starting from intervention, through detox, inpatient treatment, therapies and 12 step program after being released.

Consequences of Drug Abuse

7 Oct

Long term drug rehab programs usually consists, at least partially, on inpatient drug treatment. Since so much of your, or a loved ones, time will be spent in long term treatment, no one wants to waste time on rehab that is not effective. The consequences of drug abuse treatment that is ineffective is the patient just relapsing once he gets back to the outside world and for him to have a harder time to commit to another treatment.

Choosing an inpatient drug rehab is not easy. All the available inpatient drug treatment programs claim to be able to fix the consequences of drug abuse, but how do you really know which one will work? Some long term drug rehab programs are proud of their success rate – they might have sites with drug abuse pictures success stories and may even let visitors interact with recovered addicts. While no program has a 100% success rate, the higher the success rate, the more likely you or your loved one will also be successful in beating addiction.

The reason that long term drug rehab programs are more successful than short term programs is that they have time to treat the underlying causes of addiction. Additionally, long term programs can better address different types of addiction, such as crack addiction, heroin addiction or methadone addiction. Look for programs that offer more than just addiction treatment. If the causes of addiction are not treated, how will the addict cope with life once the inpatient drug rehab is complete.

Next, look at the staff of the inpatient drug rehab programs being considered. At least some of the staff should have personal experience with addiction. Learning how an addict feels, he cravings, these cannot be taught in any college. Next, consider the location of the facility. Is it relaxing? The location should be slightly isolated, so the addict will not be tempted to walk to a street corner to buy drugs. Follow up programs should be available to help the addict re-enter normal living situations and avoid any further consequences of drug abuse.

It is not easy choosing a long term drug rehab for yourself or a loved one. Once you have found facilities within your price range or insurance coverage, it is time to narrow down the choices. The right drug rehab can treat all the psychological and emotional consequences of drug abuse, but the willingness and commitment to change still have to come from the recovering addict. Chose carefully, but chose quickly. The sooner the addiction treatment is started the better.

Drug Addiction Help and Treatment

5 Oct

A person can be said to be in need of drug addiction help if he or she has developed a dependence on drugs, meaning that drugs have altered their normal functioning. Drug withdrawal symptoms occur when the substance is stopped. Most patients who seek treatment for drug addiction also have some degree of physical dependence. The need for drug addiction help is increasingly rising. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that more than 5.2 million Americans misused a prescription painkiller in 2008 for non-medical reasons. Approximately 1 million people in the U.S. are addicted to heroin today.

 

Symptoms of drug withdrawal

Drug withdrawal can occur in both the addicted patient and the patient who has drug dependence but is not experiencing total drug addiction. During inpatient drug rehab, consumption of drug is stopped or the dose is suddenly reduced, both types of patients experience withdrawal symptoms – sweating, chills, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and insomnia. Goosebumps, which commonly occur during drug withdrawal, give rise to the term “cold turkey”. Fear of these unpleasant and painful drug withdrawal symptoms makes it difficult for the addict to stop using and begin the recovery process.

 

Dependency risk factors

Although the specific causes vary from person to person, scientists believe that our heredity (our DNA) is the major factor in an individual’s susceptibility to the development of the disease of addiction. We also know that psychological factors (feeling stressed, anxious or depressed) and the lack of drug addiction support also play important roles in the development of drug addiction. The unpleasant effects of drug withdrawal lead many users to continue abusing prescription or illegal drugs, leading to prolonged dependence.

 

How addiction affects the mind

Drug addiction is a disease of the brain. Repeated use of an drug leading to drug dependence causes long-term changes in both the structure (the architecture of the brain) and the way the brain functions (the biochemistry of the brain). According to drug addiction news research, a person with drug dependence who is prone to drug addiction, the excessive stimulation of the reward pathway by an drug ‘tricks’ the brain into believing that an drug is as necessary for survival as food and water. The effect of such a powerful reward motivates people to repeat that behavior again and again, even when it is clearly harmful to do so. This is why drug abuse is something the person prone to drug addiction can learn to do very, very well.

 

Addiction as a disease

Yes, drug dependence can lead to drug addiction, which is a chronic and progressive disease if untreated – just like heart disease, asthma and diabetes. These diseases have a lot in common with addiction – they are seen more frequently in those with a family history of the disease, they cause changes in the structure and function of a major organ system, they improve with behavior modification, they can be treated with medication, and they all require daily management. This is the main reason for the need for substance abuse treatment centers.

 

Stopping drug addiction

Drug dependence is a behavior disorder that is potentially fatal. Sudden drug withdrawal is an unpleasant experience, and many individuals continue to use drugs to avoid the negative physical effects. People abusing drugs need drug addiction help immediately as patients with drug dependence die at a much higher rate than non-users from a number of medical complications. About 2% of those who are drug-dependent die each year because they don’t seek treatment from a drug addiction counselor for their condition. The message here is that there is a good explanation for why we don’t see a lot of old drug addicts walking around – because they didn’t find drug addiction help when they needed it most.

Do Drug Addiction Rehab Centers Really Work?

4 Oct

This is the question that many families ask themselves when faced with the dilemma of sending a loved one into one of these programs. It is also a hard question to answer, because there are so many factors involved. One of these is time spent in a program. Any addict can go through a withdraw clinic and come out wanting to use again right away. All these facilities are is a quick fix and are not designed to actually help a person stay away from their addictions, only to really detoxify their bodies.

There has been many a tall tale about rock stars back in the day that went to these so called drug addiction intervention places to clean the drugs out of their systems so they could pass a drug test. Of course after the concert tour was over or even while performing, they still were doing drugs. Do you think any of them learned how not to be an addict?

The true test of whether a drug addiction intervention program will work is how long the addict stays there. A short term detoxification program where a patient is in and out in a few days is probably the least effective method. The patient returns to their old life and old ways almost immediately, and relapse just as quickly. The longer a patient is in treatment, the more of a chance that they will recover.

But it isn’t just time alone that is needed. An addict must learn a whole new way of thinking now that they are clean. How to manage stress and anger, changing old habits, and learning to commit to staying clean are just a few of the many obstacles an addict has to overcome. While drug addiction intervention facilities are about intervention, it shouldn’t just stop there. Intervention has to be combined with counseling, learning programs, and whatever else it takes to help keep someone clean.

As far as if any of them really work? Some websites suggest that even though there is insufficient research done evaluating these programs, some of what evidence that has be gathers suggests that addict rarely get clean without any relapse of some kind. They also mention that if any facilities claim that they have a high recovery rate, it’s because they want the addict or family to turn to them for solutions.

If an addict has gone through a well-staffed, professionally-monitored system, they could do pretty well. Many factors contribute to relapse, friends, other family members; stresses at work are just a few of the many. The more time a patient has spent learning the new skills it take to live in the outside world, the more self-confident they will be about just saying no. It also has to do with the choices a person makes as well.

No matter how rough it may be, a person has their own free will to use again or to contact someone for help. A drug addiction intervention program should also be able to put you in touch with outpatient contacts.

Drug Abuse in the LGBT Community

4 Oct

Drug abuse in the LGBT community is a serious issue that affects thousands of Americans each year. In fact, the true prevalence of substance abuse among this group is unknown, as many people would not admit to drug use for fear of persecution or other repercussions. This feeling is exacerbated being that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual group is already often persecuted and harassed.

The problem with this is that a group that is naturally persecuted is under more stress than most groups and therefore much more likely to use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, this adds to a negative stereotyping of the LGBT community that only proper education about the issue will resolve. Regardless of what group you belong to, higher stress levels make you more susceptible to drug addiction or alcoholism. In many parts of the United States lesbians and gay people are still harassed, beaten and even killed because of their sexual preference.

They are not permitted to marry in most cases and in general are subjected to a social disparity that has not been seen in the US since the Civil Rights Movement began. Whether you agree with these issues or not, this causes a severe level of constant stress that will cause some to seek solace in drugs or alcohol. Once this occurs the person exposes themselves to even more because of the rigorous persecution of drug users.

Some experts believe that there is a high rate of substance abuse among LGBT people because this same rate can be applied to nearly anyone who lives an unconventional lifestyle. Karen M. Jordan addressed this issue in a report for the University of Illinois at Chicago: “One prominent theory of substance abuse postulates that adolescents who engage in one problem behavior are more likely to engage in conduct problems, aggression, delinquency, and sexual activity – with the thread being an underlying construct of unconventionality.”

Whether this is because the social pressures of being gay or lesbian lead to substance abuse or because those who are unconventional are simply more likely to do unconventional things is not known. What is known is that the rates are high enough to indicate there is a serious problem with drugs or alcohol among this group. The United States Office of Applied Studies estimates that of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual group, approximately 20-40% have a drug or alcohol problem. But while there are those who dispute these exact figures, the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Addiction Professionals indicate that there is indeed a problem, stating that there is a higher rate or substance abuse in this group and an associated increased likelihood of heavy drinking much later in life than the general population.

Fortunately, most addiction and alcoholism professionals know that you don’t treat people according to their sexuality. Addiction is a human disease – not a preference or a choice, and it can and does affect all different types of people from all social backgrounds. Therefore, it’s imperative to treat the addiction first, and then address underlying issues that may have caused it such as stress, peer pressure, domestic violence, bipolar disorder, PTSD or other conditions.