9 Tips to Identify Drug Abuse in Your Workplace: How You Can Help Employees Who Are Struggling With Addiction

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As the United States continues to experience the worst drug overdose epidemic in history, employers will often find themselves at the frontlines of an employees’ substance abuse problem. While the opioid epidemic has been prominent in the headlines of the past couple of years, almost every single person in America has come into contact with someone who is struggling with addiction. For many, it is a coworker, a neighbor, a close friend or a family member who has been fighting addiction publicly, or privately. We all tend to know someone who has been affected by this ongoing tragedy. As a human resources professional, identifying drug abuse in your workplace is increasingly likely and you are in a great position to offer much needed help.

 

Drug abuse tends to be a sensitive topic at the workplace. Most people feel like they need to hide their problems with drugs or alcohol due to the negative stigma surrounding their substance abuse. The problem with the stigma is that many who know they need help simply won’t ask for it. They fear losing their family, job, social status or freedom because they feel people would stop seeing them as a person. Many people continue to negatively judge others for their addictions. That stigma greatly contributes to the problem, as many ultimately lose their lives when their substance abuse goes without the treatment options and resources they so desperately need.

 

More than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) (1)

 

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Employers can be on the front lines of addressing a substance abuse problem with one of their employees. While many will hide their drug use, some are simply afraid to ask for help.

 

As employers, we can identify potential drug abuse problems in the workplace and help our employees get access to the health care they need.

 

Once a substance use disorder is identified, an employer is at an integral position in the recovery effort. Employees are arguably the most valuable assets for your organization, so it makes sense as an HR professional to help your personnel attain a lifetime of sobriety through healthy choices. Two of the greatest tools available to a company are random drug testing, and knowing how to spot the different types of erratic behavior that is often associated with drug abuse. Frequent absenteeism is one common sign that someone who works for you could be struggling with a substance use disorder.

 

Illegal and prescription drugs are commonly abused in the United States. It is estimated that for every 50 people you employ, 3 to 4 are currently experiencing a problem with drugs and/or alcohol. (2) Have your department supervisors been trained in how to identify a potential problem? Do you feel that the safety of employees at your company could be compromised by a person’s alcohol or drug abuse? Regardless of your answers to those questions, it is always a good idea to understand the warning signs of a potential addiction occurring within your workplace.

 

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Many times, another co-worker might know something you don’t know. Learn the signs to spot workplace substance abuse, before it’s too late.

 

If you suspect an individual has a drug or alcohol problem and it’s affecting their work productivity or the safety of others, you should act immediately.

Here are some common signs of substance abuse you can look for to help you identify a potential alcohol or drug problem with one of your employees:

 

1. Missing work or frequent instances of being late:

Many who struggle with a substance abuse disorder miss more days of work than the average employee. They are also late more frequently than your average worker. In 2016, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that a worker with a prescription pain medication addiction missed an average of 29 days of work per year. (3) Compare that with the 10.5 average number of days missed by most other employees. Frequent absences occurring after holidays, weekends and paydays are normal for a drug addict. These are all common signs that may stand out to you or your department supervisors. While missing a lot of work doesn’t necessarily mean a drug abuse problem, it should be worth taking notice.

 

2. Noticeably lower productivity in job performance:

When an employee shows up to work but somehow doesn’t seem to get the job done, this may be a sign of a chemical dependence issue. This is costing the American economy a lot of money, roughly $504 billion dollars per year (4), according to the White House Council of Economic Advisors. As you try to identify drug abuse in the workplace, take note of employees who were once productive, but now seem to produce less in an average workday.

 

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Using drugs, or alcohol can have dramatic impacts on an employee’s productivity.

 

3. Higher health care expenses, worker’s compensation and disability claims:

It is estimated that employees who abuse illegal drugs have health care costs that are 3 times higher than the average worker. Factor this in with the increased likelihood of an on the job accident and you can see where the costs could exponentially grow.

 

4. Changes in outward physical appearance:

It could be an employee who has suddenly lost a lot of weight, or someone who comes into work looking disheveled, with dirty, wrinkled clothes. Personal hygiene is often neglected with a severe addiction, so look for these signs as well. These can be symptoms of an underlying problem with drug or alcohol abuse.

 

5. Major shifts in mood (abruptly or over time)

Behavior that is typical of a person addicted to drugs can be very subtle or depending on the types of drugs they are abusing, over the top. Simply withdrawing from other employees, or sudden quiet shyness could be a warning sign of an addiction or another mental health issue, such as anxiety or depression. Paranoid behavior can be more pronounced; the person may develop a temper that can be easily set off. Sometimes this results in violent, aggressive behavior that should not be tolerated at a place of work.

 

6. Physical symptoms that are visibly noticeable:

Look for these signs in your employees and you just may find someone who needs help with their addiction: Bloodshot eyes, shaking, body tremors, dilated pupils, bad breath or constant use of gum or breath mints. Constant sweating, clammy hands, a runny nose or constant touching of their nose could also be signs of someone who is getting high while on the job.

 

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If an employee is suddenly acting out of character, they may just be having a bad day. If the problem persists, it could be a sign of something much worse.

 

7. Avoiding people after breaks from work:

If an employee seems to act strange after personal time, such as a lunch break or a simple trip to the bathroom, there may be a reason. They may be attempting to hide the smell or other physical sign of the drug they were using. It may be out of the paranoia which is often associated with abuse of various illicit or prescription drugs.

8. Employees caught sleeping on the job:

If one of your workers has fallen asleep at the job, this is could very well be a sign of drug abuse. In an office setting this may not be a major safety concern. Everyone experiences drowsiness every now and then. In an industrial or intensive production environment however, falling asleep on the job could become a deadly mistake. Either way, sleeping on the job is a detriment to the overall health and safety of your workplace, and if it happens often with a particular employee, they may be exhibiting signs of a substance use disorder.

 

9. Concerns brought up by coworkers and other employees:

Listening to your employees as a valuable resource is highly recommended here. Most often, employees who work closely with the individual will know more than you do about the situation. If you have a drug-free workplace agreement in use, other employees will be aware of the dangers that come with drug use at your company. Make sure you investigate the situation, talk to their supervisors and other coworkers to get concrete answers and make a swift judgment of the situation.

 

 

A drug-free workplace plan should be implemented to address any concerns or suspicions regarding potential drug abuse issues.

 

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Offering help to your employees is a great way to help address the substance abuse problems in the United States as a whole. Many times, employers are the first to identify the problem.

 

Perhaps it is time to consider a comprehensive workplace alcohol and drug abuse program for your employees. Team training initiatives can greatly increase awareness to the threats associated with drug abuse on the job. Many human resource departments cover all of this but if you are unsure of your company’s policies you should talk to your HR department for more information.

 

According to a recent National Safety Council study (5), less than one fifth of employers in America feel “extremely prepared” to address drug abuse at their company. 76% of employers do not offer any training on how to spot on the job drug abuse.

 

Once alcohol or drug abuse is identified, an evidence-based rehabilitation program should be instigated as soon as possible.

 

In America, a large portion of the over 20 million people who struggle with addiction do not receive the treatment they need. An employer is uniquely positioned to help their people here. This help may ultimately save someone’s life. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) are a popular form of assistance that can help you keep your most valuable assets living healthy, productive lives. Your employees are the backbone of your corporation. Your EAP could be a confidential service to help them deal with a substance abuse problem or another physical or mental health issue. These programs typically reduce harm associated with drug use, such as injuries, lowered productivity and theft. EAP’s are also are helpful in boosting overall job performance and employee morale.

 

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A successful recovery from addiction is a long, continuous process, but a worthwhile one. Find out how you can help your employees today!

 

Through most employer insurance plans, we can help guide our employees find the treatment and resources they so desperately need. Is your company currently ready to meet the challenges facing your employees? Wouldn’t it feel good to know you might have a hand in saving someone’s life?

 

 


The Bottom Line:

Employer supported and monitored treatment yields better sustained recovery rates than treatment initiated at the request of friends and family members. (5)

-(2009) Substance use, symptoms, and employment outcomes of persons with a workplace mandate for chemical dependency treatment. Psychiatric Services, 60(5), 646-654.


 

 

With the help of our compassionate, professional, evidence-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, 10 Acre Ranch can help you to better serve your employees. We will show you exactly where and when you can offer them support. Through our combined efforts we will help you foster productivity and a safe environment for your employees and everyone who comes into contact with your organization or business.

 

Want to schedule an on-site training? Give us a call so we can help you right away:

 

(877) 228-4679

 

 

 

(1): https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm

(2): https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends

(3): https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/opioids/data.html

(4):https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/TheUnderestimatedCostoftheOpioidCrisis.pdf

(5): https://www.nsc.org/Portals/0/Documents/NewsDocuments/2017/Media-Briefing-National-Employer-Drug-Survey-Results.pdf

 

 

 

What is the Social Model of Recovery and How Can it Help Addicts?

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In today’s fast-paced world where drugs seem to be increasingly more available as markets for illicit drugs persist even after years of policing, it is no surprise that people suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol have also increased in numbers. With the coronavirus pandemic keeping everyone at home, away from family and friends, alcohol and drug abuse has seen a sharp increase in just the last six months. Drug overdose deaths have also increased substantially. The social model of recovery is an important component of most addiction treatment programs. With the lack of social interaction, how are people who are currently struggling or, inactive recovery able to find crucial peer support networks and resources? The problem is staggering, especially as alcohol and drug abuse only continue to rise.

Statistics on Alcohol & Drug Abuse:

 

The United States alone is estimated to have 21 million people who suffer from substance abuse problems every day.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5.1 million young adults ranging in age from 18-25 suffered from a substance abuse disorder of some kind in the year of 2017– that’s nearly 15% of the population in that entire age group. For adults over the age of 26, that number grew to 13.6 million people, while only accounting for 5% of the population within that age group. Even more interestingly so, was that for the elderly population, meaning anyone above the age of 65, the number of people who suffered from an addiction to drugs or alcohol rose to a number just over one million.

With numbers like that it would come as no surprise that someone may have either experienced their own substance abuse problems or knew someone that had. Even with those odds, many people also know that there is a chance for recovery. Programs like Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are testaments that sobriety can be achieved given the right tools and knowledge. Many have been down that same path of destruction, caused by using drugs or alcohol, and there are those who have recovered, although many not without help. While addiction itself has been around for some time, it wasn’t just until recently that we began to understand how it all works.

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Isolation from others can do great harm to your mental health. Many who are struggling in isolation turn to drugs, or alcohol to cope with feelings of loneliness and depression.

Understanding the Root Causes of Addiction has Helped Shape Treatment Initiatives

What was first misunderstood as a problem with people having low morals, or a lack of self-control, we now know that is not the case at all. Addiction is a brain disease that is caused by chemical changes to the structure and the function of the brain. These changes can have a lasting effect, depending on the severity of use. This is one reason why many people who suffer from a substance abuse disorder are unable to stop using drugs or alcohol on their own, especially without getting help. As science got a better understanding of just how addiction worked, new therapies were being developed in order to help people who may be suffering. Today, the social model of recovery is one of the most widely practiced recovery techniques.

How The Social Model of Recovery Works in Addiction Treatment Programs

Using a social model of recovery can be defined in a number of ways. This technique takes a peer-oriented approach to relearn responses to challenges, stresses, and anxieties by experiencing the situation in a new way by observing a role-model. These types of programs also place a strong emphasis on things like peer-support, building strong connections, and holding each other accountable. All too often, an addict is also suffering from a lack of social support. A social model of recovery aims to build a strong community of support that encourages and promotes good changes in behavior, while also giving that person a sense of connection.

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Finding a connection to others can be an important aspect of addiction recovery. Peer support groups can help people actively engage with others.

These types of programs became popular in California, especially as a lower cost option to the more clinical rehabilitation setting that some addicts often find uncomfortable. As with every individual who suffers from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, their recovery program needs to be just as unique. For many who have struggled with addiction, the social model of recovery has been the option that saved them. Scientists and addiction specialists all seem to agree that the more social connection an addict has, (outside of their life that revolves around drugs), the better chance they have at achieving a lasting sobriety.

Humans have evolved as social creatures, and we begin learning from a very young age by watching what other people around us do. This makes sense, as there was strength in numbers and we had to learn to get along to form a working society. Unfortunately, “monkey see monkey do” may be one of the biggest reasons as to why there was an addiction in the first place. Many of us grew up watching our parents or siblings, not only that, but research suggests that genetics make up for anywhere between 40-60% of the likelihood that someone will develop an addiction. Needless to say, it could be very easy to understand how it would be a more successful approach to recovery, by learning how to live a life of sobriety through watching what other people in recovery are also doing.

How the Social Model of Recovery Helps Addicts

There are many reasons why the social model of recovery can be helpful to recovering addicts. These programs give them a chance to learn how to adapt to stresses or challenges in life without needing drugs or alcohol. These programs also allow the chance for a strong social support group to be built, one that will hold each other accountable and offer advice for dealing with whatever life may throw at them, all while staying sober. There are those who say that the opposite of addiction is connection, and for many that is true.

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Having a network of peers who actively encourage your recovery from addiction is an important component of a successful rehabilitation program. Call us to find out more.

As mentioned earlier, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is perhaps the most widely-known example of the social model of recovery. But sometimes, attendance to these programs just aren’t enough, especially very early on in recovery. That is why there are also many residential and inpatient rehabilitation programs for drugs and alcohol, regardless of your age.

Here at 10 Acre Ranch, we understand what it takes to lead a life that is successful in sobriety. We know that addiction is never one size fits all, and we offer many individualized programs that are tailored to fit the specific needs of any person who needs it. We even have programs for employers who want to help their employees who are struggling with the deadly disease of addiction. We believe in the power of social interaction and the benefit of learning from your peers, many who have been in recovery would say that they couldn’t do it without the help of the people in their recovery support group.

Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call, we will be here to help!

(877)-228-4679

What Are Some Popular Drug Slang Words in 2020

The word slang is often used to describe language whose meaning is very informal and is commonly understood only by a certain group of people within a given context. Some popular slang terms that are used today include words like “salty” and “extra”. The word “salty” usually means a person is unnecessarily annoyed, upset, or bitter while “extra” means someone is displaying behavior that is considered to be over-the-top or dramatic. Historically, other generations have had their own set of popular slang terms, things like “rad”, “totally tubular”, or “far out” were other common terms that were only understood by a certain group of people in the past.

While slang language is used by a large variety of the population, it is also widely practiced among teens and other members of the drug community. The reason why they use slang words for drugs is to help conceal their actual meaning from their parents, or other people who might suspect they have a problem, when they are talking about drugs or alcohol. Unfortunately, there are slang words for just about every popular drug that is out there. If you are a parent of a teen and you suspect they might be abusing alcohol or other illicit substances, and are using slang terms to conceal it, or if you suspect another loved one or a friend, then here is a common list of some popular drugs and the slang terms that are associated with them.

Marijuana

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Although legal in some form in many states, marijuana still poses some clear health risks.

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug made from the cannabis plant. It is often smoked in things like “blunts”, “bowls”, “swishers”, “bongs”, or “doobies”. It can also be eaten in “edibles”, “space cake”, or “hash cookies”. Marijuana became popular in the 70’s and is still a widely used substance among teens and other drug users. Some other names for marijuana include:

  • 420
  • Hash
  • Dojo
  • Mary Jane
  • Herb
  • Pot
  • Reefer
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DXM is found in various over-the-counter cough remedies. If taken in excess, it can cause psychoactive reactions in users.

Dextromethorphan (DXM)

DXM is found in numerous over-the-counter medications, most commonly in cough medications. It is abused by many teens and young adults as it’s readily available for purchase at almost any market or grocery store. Dextromethorphan has hallucinogenic and psychoactive effects when taken in abundance, it can also have very severe side effects. Common names for DXM include:

  • Robo
  • Red Devils
  • Triple C
  • Velvet
  • Juice
  • Tussin
  • Gel

MDMA

MDMA, or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is a dangerous psychoactive, synthetic drug that is popular among youth at places like dance parties, raves, or nightclubs. The drug is known to create a “euphoric” high along with other things like increased energy, but it has been known to cause some serious side effects such as addiction and even death, especially when combined with other substances such as alcohol. Common drug slang words for MDMA include:

  • Ecstasy
  • XTC or X
  • Molly
  • E or E-Bomb
  • Love Drug
  • Disco Biscuits or Dancing Shoes
  • Beans
  • Candy or Skittles
  • Thizz
  • Vitamin E, Vitamin X, or Malcom X
  • Rolls

Cocaine

Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of a coca plant and is normally seen in the form of a white powder. It can be snorted, smoked, or injected. It is a powerful and dangerous nervous system stimulant that can have many adverse effects. It has been known to last anywhere between 15 minutes to an hour, making it highly addictive with an increased risk of overdose. Some slang terms that are often associated with cocaine include:

  • Coke
  • Blow
  • Powder
  • Dust
  • Nose Candy
  • White
  • Devil’s Dandruff
  • Ice
  • Charlie
  • Bump
  • Yale

 

Methamphetamines

Methamphetamines are a powerful class of stimulants that affect the central nervous system. Meth is usually seen in the form of a crystal like powdery substance that comes in rock-like chunks, sometimes being compared to “shards” of glass. Crystal meth is highly addictive and extremely dangerous. It is one of the most widely abused substances. It is also reported to have the highest relapse rate among users. Some other common names for methamphetamines are:

  • Crank
  • Chalk
  • Crystal
  • Glass
  • Shards
  • Gak
  • Fire
  • Speed
  • Ice
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Smoking meth is addictive and highly dangerous form of substance abuse in CA.

Heroin

Heroin is a high strength opioid made from a powerful drug known as morphine, which is derived from a naturally occurring substance produced from various poppy plants that are grown in places like Asia, Mexico, and Columbia. It is also very highly addictive and has caused a widespread pandemic that has swept across the country. It can be injected, snorted, or smoked. Heroin is commonly mixed with things like cocaine or meth, a deadly mixture known as a “speedball”. Other words associated with heroin include:

  • Black Tar
  • Smack
  • Dope
  • Black
  • Tootsie Roll
  • Brown Sugar
  • Junk
  • Anti-freeze
  • Dragon

 

LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, is a popular hallucinogenic drug that is common among teens and young adults. LSD is usually seen in liquid form, it can be “dropped” on pieces of candy, paper, or even sugar cubes. It can also be seen as gel tabs or in the form of capsules. It is a highly dangerous and mind-altering drug that often leads to lack of inhibitions and is associated with serious adverse side effects. Other drug slang words for LSD are:

  • Cid, Acid, or Battery Acid
  • Lucy or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  • California Sunshine, Hawaiian Sunshine, or Yellow Sunshine
  • Dots
  • Doses
  • Looney Tunes
  • Tab or Tabs
  • Hippie
  • Blotter
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LSD, or acid has become popular again, especially in the rave and live concert scenes.

Ketamine

Ketamine is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. It induces a trance-like state that helps to pain relief and sedation. It is a clear liquid or off-white powder. While it is sometimes used for medicinal purposes in both the human and veterinary fields, it is also highly abused by adolescents and members of the drug community. Ketamine has been known to have hallucinogenic effects and can cause respiratory distress and overdose when taken consumed for illicit purposes. Ketamine is commonly referred to different drug slang words on the street, such as:

  • K or Special K
  • K2, Super K, or Vitamin K
  • Cat Valium
  • Purple
  • Jet
  • Lady K
  • Kit Kat
  • Special Coke
  • Super Acid

 

These are just a few of the terms associated with the most commonly abused drugs. It is important to keep an eye, or an ear, out for anything that seems out of the ordinary or where the meaning is unclear. Any phrases or words that seem to be used out of context or repeatedly are other clues that it may be a slang term, trying to conceal drug or alcohol abuse. If you have concerns about a loved one who might be struggling with an addiction, please call us. We are available 24/7.

 

877-228-4679

 

 

Does God Hate Drug Users?

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Being raised in the Christian faith allows the followers of Our Lord and Jesus Christ to learn important values that show us how to lead a moral way of life. While it is always our intention to never stray from the righteous path of Christianity, sometimes decisions in life can lead us astray and down a winding path of destruction. In the Bible, there are many sins that have befallen mankind; adultery, envy, greed, thievery, etc. Through Christ, our Savior, all of these sins are forgivable, as long as the sinner repents for their mistakes and for being tempted by the devil. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). As long as we confess to all of our wrongdoings, God is just and merciful.

Is developing an addiction to drugs, or alcohol a sin?

One sin that has become more of a problem in our society is an addiction to drugs or alcohol. An addiction is a chronic disease that is often characterized by the users inability to stop using drugs or alcohol even though they most likely have experienced some severe and negative consequences, such as ending up homeless or losing their job. When a person of Christian faith wanders from the path of righteousness, they are often concerned that God may now hate them or that they will never be forgiven. This is simply not true.

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God loves all of his children. Some people struggle with the demons of addiction and desperately need help.

Take into account the reason why Jesus was even sent to humankind in the first place. Along with spreading the holy word and teaching others how to live a moral life, he was sent here to deliver us from our sins, “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32). To say that God hates drug users would be like saying he hates every other person with or without Christian faith. It is the sinners that he cares most deeply about, as he wishes to offer each and every son and daughter a place in his eternal glory. He wishes to offer eternal life to those who believe in his power and mercy.

God’s intention is pure love.

While the problem of addiction may be relatively new compared to the teachings of the bible, it is both Our Lord and his son Jesus Christ’s intention to deliver us from evil. If you are a member of the Christian faith and have struggled with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, just remember that you are never alone. Christianity is the most practiced religion in all of the world. It is known to include many other denominations, such as Catholicism, Anglicanism, Lutheran, Protestant, and many others. Just like religion, addiction does not discriminate. It touches many different races, ages, classes, and genders. Today, in our country, more than 21 million people struggle with addiction.

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Finding God’s true love is a great way to help solidify your recovery from addiction.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). This is to say that, even though you may have strayed from the correct path, God will always be there to save you. It is his teachings that will provide the way out.

How to find Christian, faith-based drug and alcohol treatment.

It is no secret that the only true way out of an addiction, or any immoral way of living, is through the teachings of Our Lord and Jesus Christ. This is the reason why the majority of drug and alcohol addiction treatment is based on the Christian faith and having to believe in a higher power. It is because of our Savior and the Lord that we are able to be forgiven for our sins and be restored to the proper way of life.

If you or a loved one happen to be struggling with an addiction and are wanting to restore or establish your faith and relationship with God, then there are many Christian faith based programs out there. Christian drug and alcohol rehab facilities provide standard drug treatment and have a much stronger emphasis on the Bible. The majority of Christian drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs include;

  • Bible study sessions and scripture readings
  • Faith based 12-step programs
  • Sermons that discuss addiction in the terms of Christian faith
  • Daily prayer and reflection sessions
  • Attendance of regular church sessions
  • Ministerial and pastoral counseling
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Recovery is entirely possible. Some people need professional help. 10 Acre Ranch offers a faith-based treatment program for addiction to drugs or alcohol.

Do not worry, there is always hope for recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol!

God is merciful and he will lift you up from the depths of addiction, as he has done to many others before you. We are all sinners, in one way or another, yet we are all still his children. It is through Christ our Lord that we are able to be forgiven.

“I will exalt you, Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit” (Psalms 30:1-3). The road to recovery does not have to be walked alone. He will always welcome those who have strayed back with open arms, safe into salvation. For he loves all of us sinners, each and every one the same.

He does not wish to see us suffer, and has provided a way for us to have eternal life and salvation, in this world and up in Heaven. For those who follow His teachings, we know that the Bible and the Christian faith show us the true way of living. It is never too late to make amends and confess our sins to the Lord. He will always welcome us back with open arms, as it was his purpose to save sinners from evil. Rejoice in his mercy and his love!

 

(877) 228-4679

Who is to Blame for the Drug Crisis?

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If there’s one thing Americans of all backgrounds, religions and political affiliations agree on, it’s that the United States is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic, one that is fueled, largely by opioids. While virtually everyone agrees that losing over 70,000 lives a year to the drug epidemic is a travesty, many people are looking to place blame where blame is due. Complicating things further it is no one person, place or thing that created the opioid epidemic. Many historical, socioeconomic and individual factors play a role in the crisis.

One reason people look to assign blame is they believe (sometimes rightfully so), that finding the one thing to blame is the first step to solving the problem. This may be partially true, but for an honest, successful solution to the drug overdose crisis, we need to look at every possible factor that plays a role in the growing problem. Being honest with the findings is the best way to address the multitude of issues that contributed to the crisis.

Illicit drug dealers and pharmaceutical companies are who most people automatically blame for the drug crisis.

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“Big Pharma” drug manufacturers most certainly played a role in the drug crisis, by overselling the benefits of opioids and downplaying the risks. Yet there are various other factors that contributed to the opioid epidemic in the United States.

Of course the first place people look to when placing blame for the opioid epidemic is the drug dealers and manufacturers. Since President Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” in 1971, our strategy for dealing with the problems drugs cause in society was to go after the supply chain. In the nearly 50 years since this war on drugs was declared, we are nowhere close to solving the problems drugs have created in our society.

Certainly, drug dealers and big pharma have played a major role in creating the drug crisis in the United States. Many companies (including, most notably Purdue Pharma), have been found in court to have lied about the safety and efficacy of their prescription drug products. In the late 1990’s, Purdue aggressively marketed Oxycontin to doctors, claiming the extended-release of opioids would prevent misuse of the drug. This formula allowed the giant pharmaceutical company to receive FDA approval to put more opioids in each pill and we all know how that turned out.

The reality of Oxycontin was that it is much more prone to be abused or misused. People who developed a dependency to opiates found that the extended release formula could be bypassed by crushing up the pills and either snorting the powder or injecting the drug directly into their veins with intravenous needles. Because the oxycodone pills are so powerful, an addiction to opioids could develop very fast. Once the prescription ran-out, the addicted patients were forced to move on to street drugs like heroin, just to avoid the excruciatingly painful opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Even when someone successfully quit using opioids, they are highly prone to experience a relapse. A 2016 study found that people who are in recovery from opioid addiction experienced at least a 30% to 70% relapse rate within the first 6 months of their recovery. Fortunately, as a response to this contributing factor, the same pharmaceutical companies developed medications to help treat opioid addiction. Medication assisted treatment (MAT) can greatly help ease painful withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction and they can greatly lower the rate of further relapses into substance use.

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Are doctors, physicians and other medical professionals to blame for the drug crisis? While some doctors ignored the warnings others may have been intentionally misled.

Doctors who overprescribed opioids and other painkillers are also rightfully to blame for the drug crisis in the United States.

While it is certainly easy to blame drug dealers and multi-billion dollar corporations for the opioid epidemic, the problem equally rests in the interpersonal and professional relationships of patients and doctors in their local communities. A 2016 survey found that about as many Americans blame doctors for overprescribing opioids (34%) as they do the patients who abuse prescription painkillers themselves (37%).

Illicit drug dealers market street drugs like heroin, counterfeit versions of prescription opioids and various forms of fentanyl. However, according to SAMHSA data, fewer than 10% of prescription opioids are obtained from drug dealers or other strangers. Over 50% of the misused or abused pills come from family members or close friends, while only 25% are obtained with a prescription from a doctor or physician. While the problem of patients receiving multiple prescriptions from different doctors, this only represents 3.1% of the opioids obtained for non-medical use, whereas over 22% receive prescription opioids from only one doctor.

Our overall approach to pain management drastically changed in the 1970’s when pain became the “fifth vital sign”.

Before the 1970’s, the medical profession virtually ignored the importance of pain management in a patient’s medical care. The inclusion of the question: “was your pain adequately treated” on patient surveys brought about a sort of preoccupation within the medical community on how to provide adequate pain management. Pain became the “fifth vital sign” along with body temperature, blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate.

As a doctor, you certainly don’t want to see your patients suffer with pain symptoms. With a newfound focus on pain management, physicians and hospital administrators began aggressively treating pain symptoms, which led to a massive increase in opioid prescriptions.

We have to admit that opioids do serve as effective pain relievers and, when used appropriately, they can benefit the overall quality of health care services available in our society. Opioids do serve to benefit people who have recently undergone surgery, experienced a major bone fracture, cancer patients and other severely painful medical events. We cannot simply prohibit doctors from prescribing them appropriately.

Various forms of alternative pain management techniques are available, yet many doctors aren’t taught them in medical schools. The pharmaceutical industry provides massive funding to most of the medical schools in the US. This problem is compounded by the health insurance companies’ reimbursement policies. These policies make prescription opioids a much cheaper option for patients than other, alternative approaches to pain management, such as acupuncture, physical therapy or chiropractic techniques.

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Opioid manufactures, over-prescribing doctors, insurance policies and patients themselves have all played major roles in the drug overdose epidemic. Now that we know, it’s time to start fixing the problem.

While it is easy for people to simply blame “big pharma” as the culprits of the drug overdose crisis in America, we think that is simply just the tip of the iceberg. Of course the Sackler family from Purdue Pharma, along with other pharmaceutical giants like Johnson & Johnson seriously downplayed the risks associated with their products.

Currently, over 2,000 court cases against opioid manufactures are pending in the US. These cases rightfully assert that “big pharma” may have intentionally misled doctors into prescribing more opioids, which most certainly played a role in the creation of the opioid epidemic. Yet opioid misuse is a much more complicated issue than that.

Drug abuse typically coincides with strong feelings of hopelessness, depression and despair. The states that are the worst-hit by the opioid epidemic also suffer from the highest rates of joblessness and economic turmoil. Until we address all of the underlying causes of the current drug crisis in America, we are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Overcoming an addiction is never easy, yet there are people who do it every day. 10 Acre Ranch offers a full medical detox and recovery program that can help you, every step of the way.

Please call us today to speak with one of our addiction specialists and we can get you, your family member or loved one the help they need right away. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. Call now:

 

877-228-4679

 

 

The Importance of Peer Support Systems in Addiction Recovery

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When someone enters our residential addiction treatment facility in Riverside, California, we strongly emphasize a ‘social model’ of recovery. Our treatment program is unique, in that we strive to help our patients get ready for life outside of a professional addiction treatment program. Our residential, inpatient alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs immerse the individual in a community of fellow people who have just began their road to recovery. This experience with peers in a supportive, compassionate environment helps our patients learn new skills to cope with emotional and social stress. The reactions to these situations are guided in a social atmosphere and are crucial to help our clients avoid potential relapse triggers that may occur later in their journey towards sobriety.

12 step programs and support groups still play a major role in modern addiction treatment.

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Men’s drug rehab in Riverside, California.

In recovery from substance abuse, 12 step programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous or Narcotic’s Anonymous help create relationships, most importantly the relationship with a sponsor. This relationship will allow for a continuation of care and community support following a formal drug rehab program. These types of support structures help welcome newcomers and guide them through the early, sometimes turbulent stages of recovery.

Beginning 12-Step participation while in treatment, especially at group meetings held at the treatment program, and 12-Step attendance at the same time that one is enrolled in specialty treatment, are associated with better outcomes.”- NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Consistent participation is the key when it comes to any attempt at alcohol or drug rehabilitation. Addiction is a disease and just like any other disease, addiction can be treated with both psychological and medical treatment methods. While evidence based medical approaches to care have advanced the addiction treatment industry into the 21st century, a strong foundation of interpersonal support is still a critical component in helping people abstain from further substance use. Ongoing, consistent social support is essential to a successful recovery.

Peer support and 12 step groups are most effective in helping people recover from addiction when coupled with behavioral therapy and applicable medical treatments as determined by a medical doctor. Long-term sobriety should be the ultimate goal of any reputable treatment program. While some people’s lives have been saved through the tenants of 12-step programs, it doesn’t always work for everyone, in every situation. A custom, personalized treatment plan should be developed on an individual basis to ensure the best results. Most often, these plans of action will incorporate a variety of treatment methods to address the unique needs of each of our patients.

Peer support is available, outside of traditional 12-step program environments.

In many ways, recovery is a very personal experience that is different for each individual. Upon entering a drug rehabilitation program, you begin to notice your inward reasons for using drugs and alcohol, while finding ways to rebuild your life into the one you want from sobriety. Although much of your recovery is dependent on your personal willingness to change, the benefits of outside social support should not be underestimated.

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Support groups will help you continue your recovery from addiction outside of a treatment center.

Your family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors can be helpful in your recovery, but it is important to sever ties with those who may have had a negative influence on your life. This can often be the most difficult part of recovery for many people. Finding supportive, understanding, compassionate peers and family members to help you through your recovery is important. Many proclaim this as one of the primary benefits of 12 step programs. Surrounding yourself with positive peer influences can greatly help you navigate through early relapse triggers and develop appropriate responses to challenging situations. 12 step programs are a valuable resource that can help you find positive social contacts who understand your situation.

While unhealthy people and situations contributed to and helped enable your substance abuse, positive, healthy relationships can help create a sort of positive peer pressure to help you overcome your addiction. It is very likely in a support group to find others who have been where you are and they may be able to offer advice on your journey to stay clean.

Addiction can be an isolating experience. Know that you are not alone in your recovery. 

Talking about your life, your choices and experiences with like-minded individuals can greatly help you overcome the underlying reasons you developed an addiction in the first place. Cognitive behavioral therapy, relapse prevention and other types of individual and group therapy sessions will allow you to talk through your problem and find solutions in a typical drug rehab setting. It is important to continue this work for a long period after you leave the care of an addiction treatment center. Research has shown a significant decrease in the risk of relapse among people who participate in peer support programs.

Facility in Riverside

Holding yourself accountable is another very important aspect of healing that will greatly lend to your sobriety. A support network can also help hold you accountable to your goals in recovery. These connections can be incredibly helpful through the everyday challenges you will face while attempting to maintain your sobriety. It should be very easy for you to be open and honest with your sponsor and other peers from a 12 step program. They will not approach your situations and challenges with judgment, so you can usually trust them. Even in the event of a relapse, your support group won’t give up on you. Relapse does not mean that you have failed at recovery. Addiction and mental health specialists now consider relapse to be a completely normal part of recovery from an addiction. We employ the social model of recovery to help you maintain your sobriety long after you leave our immediate care.

Finding professional help is a great first step towards a new life. Call us today to discuss your options and begin your journey. We are open 24/7 to take your call:

(877) 228-4679

Are There Any Rehab Facilities For Teens?

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Many parents and teens face this problem, so please know that you are not alone. Addiction is a disease, and just like any other disease, addiction is a treatable one. Finding the best rehab facilities for teens is a great first step to take when your child’s health and safety is your primary concern.
This condition will only get worse, the longer the problem goes without treatment. Early detection is crucial to helping your child leave behind the destructive lifestyle that is commonly associated with substance abuse.

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Can I Tell if Someone is on Benzos or Xanax?

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Just like many other types of addictions, an addiction to Xanax will affect nearly every aspect of the person’s life. A typical addict will let their personal relationships deteriorate, while often isolating themselves socially. Job loss, financial hardship and legal troubles are common with those who are addicted to benzos. Developing a chemical dependence on Xanax can lead to many dangerous situations. Since benzodiazepines are sedatives, it is generally unsafe to operate an automobile, even when on a prescribed dose from a doctor.

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Sobriety. It Takes a Village.

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We like to think that we are self-sufficient. Self-reliant. Self-supporting. While none of these are bad things, remember: Sobriety takes a village, so it’s time to kick those self-words to the curb for a while.

Community and Addiction Recovery

Drug addiction and alcoholism are isolating. It puts people in a precarious place where they begin:

  • Focusing solely on themselves and their needs.
  • Fixating on their chemical dependency to get through each day.
  • Withdrawing to protect others from the destruction of their addiction.
  • Hiding their addiction to continue drug use.
  • Feeling unworthy of healthy relationships.

To achieve and sustain sobriety, it’s important to surrender self-pride and begin to accept help from clinicians, therapists, peers, and family. Group support is critical during drug and alcohol rehab and will continue to be important throughout your sobriety journey… for several reasons.

  • You need a sounding board. When grief, self-doubt, and fear creep into your recovery experience, one healthy way to deal with these emotions is to share them with others. Sometimes, a trusted therapist plays the role of sounding board. Other times, you may need to share your frustrations with like-minded individuals who’ve been where you are.
  • You need accountability. Sobriety is a daily struggle, and will be for the rest of your life. When you complete active rehab, you must have an accountability partner, a roommate, or a well-meaning friend who can speak truth into your life and discourage you from falling back into old patterns.
  • You need a friend. Not the old friends you used to hit the bar with, but new friends who have your best interests in mind. Sober friends are people you can have fun with, share interests with, and rely on when your sobriety journey threatens to go off-road.
  • You need a mentor. This may be a sponsor, sober peer, or a recovery coach—but it should be someone intimately familiar with your addiction history and recovery journey. This role model will help you recognize and avoid addiction triggers and maintain your commitment to a chemical-free lifestyle.

Social Treatment for Drug & Alcohol Addiction

10 Acre Ranch is a residential men’s addiction center that utilizes a social treatment model. Through therapeutic group meetings, sports and recreation, and life skills workshops, residents learn to connect with and support one another during throughout addiction treatment and beyond. We emphasize the importance of living and thriving in community, and our success rates prove that this strategy works. To learn more about our recovery community or speak with an intake specialist about our affordable payment options, call 877.228.4679 today.

Cause and Effect: Binge Drinking and Diabetes

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Think the binge drinking you did in college was just good old-fashioned fun? Think again. New research is showing that binge drinking, common among partying college students for decades, may play a big role in the development of Type-2 diabetes.

More than Harmless Fun

For thousands of college students, the weekend is a time to get drunk and blow off steam. And to accomplish this as quickly as possible, many of them practice what has become known as binge drinking: for men, consuming five or more drinks in a two-hour period. Although this type of drinking has always been found on college campuses, it is also becoming common in the general population. In fact, an estimated 69 percent of binge drinking occurs in those over the age of 26. Once thought of as harmless fun with friends, we now know that binge drinking at least once a week over a period of time may cause changes in the brain that have far-reaching health implications.

New Insight from Studies with Rats

Scientists have long recognized a connection between the use of alcohol and the incidence of diabetes. Heavy drinking can lead to pancreatitis, and diabetes is a common side effect of this condition. In addition, alcohol is high in calories and may contribute to obesity which is a direct cause of Type-2 diabetes.

Now, researchers at Mt. Sinai Medical Center have discovered alcohol-induced changes in the brain which provide a direct link between binge drinking and diabetes. When rats were given alcohol in amounts equivalent to binge drinking in humans, inflammation occurred in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain that controls metabolic functions. This, in turn, disrupted the brain signals which trigger insulin receptors to utilize glucose in the blood. In humans, this “insulin resistance” leads to chronically high amounts of glucose in the bloodstream and is a primary indicator of Type-2 diabetes.

Complications of Unchecked Diabetes

Why should you worry about diabetes? Left untreated, this condition can seriously affect your health, longevity, and quality of life. Just a few of the complications include:

  • Blindness
  • Poor circulation often resulting in amputation
  • Kidney disease leading to dialysis
  • Neuropathy or loss of feeling in hands and feet
  • Coronary disease and stroke

The good news is that with early detection, treatment of Type-2 diabetes, and treatment for binge drinking addiction, most of these complications can be successfully avoided!

Are you struggling with binge drinking or alcohol and drug dependency? It’s not too late to make a change for better health. 10 Acre Ranch is a California treatment center for men 18 and older. Call 877-228-4679 to learn about our social model program and lifestyle activities. Get started on your healthier life today!