Are Drugs Drying Up During Quarantine?

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All across the globe, people are feeling the effects of Covid-19. Also commonly known as the Coronavirus, Covid-19 has caused widespread panic as the rates of infection continue to grow increasingly higher. This pandemic has caused major disruptions to everyone’s daily way of living, even for drug addicts. As we witness this unprecedented time in history, even the manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs has been affected. Many items, including drugs are drying up during the quarantine.

Many of us have never seen a time in our lives where shelves in grocery stores remain nearly empty as masses of people panic buy items for safekeeping. This virus has also caused economic shut downs, calling for the forced closure of any business deemed non-essential. While the world has slowly tried to return back to normal we are still reminded that this is not over yet. Along with the shutdown of businesses, and the laying off of millions people, has come the restrictions on travel.

Covid-19 has severely impacted day-to-day living.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has not just affected our physical health. Many struggle with mental health issues due to social distancing and fear of these uncertain times.

The coronavirus has caused a number of ramifications on daily life, that are more than surface deep. One issue at the forefront of discussion, at least for some, is the impact it has had on the substance abuse community. Early records indicate that there has been an increased rate of relapse among those in sobriety, this is in part due to unemployment and stimulus money. Seeing as how we are now a few months into this pandemic one may begin to wonder what effect that has had on the drug community in terms of access to their substance of choice?

Drug use has increased, even as the supply of drugs are drying up during the quarantine.

 

While data shows that there has been an increase of drug trade activity, primarily in England, on the dark web, an area of the internet that requires certain knowledge or software in order to access, the majority of the drug trade in the United States has all but dried up. Of course, that is not to say that there is no way to continue getting drugs, because most addicts will find a way. But, for several reasons, the illegal drug trading market has also taken a nose-dive during this time of quarantine and self-isolation.

A major reason why drug dealing has taken a hit is because of a rather obvious reason– the lockdowns that were being enforced across the country. With less and less people going out, drug dealers and buyers who were used to meeting face-to-face somewhere like in the supermarket parking lot would likely be putting themselves more at risk of getting caught as they could easily be seen as most people were at home or otherwise practicing social distancing. Social distancing has also led to a sharp decline in club drugs, such as ecstasy, as people were no longer able to gather together and use drugs to party. This has also led to an increase in pricing, which in turn has also caused some people to stop buying certain drugs on such a frequent basis.

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People often turn to drug use during stressful or unstable times. This has increased dramatically during the coronavirus global pandemic.

The closing of stores also seems to have had a major impact as addicts who made their money by criminal activity, such as pawing stealing items or shoplifting, were now left without a way to make money and support their habit. Without many options to “hustle” or make money to buy these drugs that are being steeply priced, this left many addicts without another option.

As the supply of drugs is drying up, drug street prices have increased.

A major increase in prices across the globe has also become a major concern for those in the illegal drug trade or black market. Many suppliers are being faced with shipment difficulties, causing them to hike up their prices as uncertain availability seems  to loom somewhere in the near distant future. There has been a huge spike in prices for many drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, and spice (synthetic marijuana). Additionally, a large number of suppliers in the illegal drug trade operate their business out of China, a known source of the coronavirus outbreak.

Another explanation for why the drug supply in America is drying up is the increased restrictions on United States borders. Due to this, many Mexican drug cartels are suffering as the transportation of illegal drugs across different countries has become more and more difficult. Many dealers became worried about a border shut down and retreated back to their hometowns in Mexico, leaving a huge hole in the local drug trade of many cities.

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As the government cracks down on the illegal drug trade, availability of certain street drugs is decreasing in American cities.

While the drug trade drying up may sound like a good thing to some, and surely it is, but, what many people may not be aware of are the further implications that this has caused on the drug abusing population. As addicts are now having to look for new sources they are also having to adjust to different products whose strength to them is highly unknown. Unfortunately, has led to an increase of drug-related overdoses even though many drugs are not as readily available.

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People with an addiction are finding other, sometimes more dangerous ways to maintain their drug habit.

Another factor to consider in all of this is what happens when an addict is cut off from their drug of choice? Many of them are unable to stop using drugs on their own, and will turn to other substances, such as heroin or alcohol, in order to continue getting high. This can have major ramifications as people are not used to dealing with that certain substance, this issue has also led to an increased number of unwanted overdoses.

There still remains a huge gap in data as far as how exactly the illegal drug trade has suffered, and just how deep it goes exactly, due to the coronavirus. But many addiction specialists and law enforcement agencies agree that, for the most part, there has been a significant decrease in drug availability. Although that seems to be true, there has also been an increase in overdoses, largely related to opioids, along with increased rates of relapse, as this epidemic continues.

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Isolation can be incredibly difficult for an addict, or someone who is in recovery. Reach out for help. It’s never too late to turn your life around!

If you, or someone you know, may be suffering from a substance abuse disorder, especially during these trying times, then we are here to help. We have many trained addiction specialists who are able and ready to help get you back on track to a healthy and fulfilling life of sobriety, even during quarantine.

Do not hesitate to call, we are here 24/7.

(877)-228-4679

What Are the Behaviors of Current Addicts?

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If anyone has ever known a person who has struggled with a substance abuse disorder, they may know just how disruptive an addiction can be in a person’s life. Normally, a person who suffers from an addiction is unable to maintain normal things in life that we often take for granted, like healthy relationships, stable jobs, regular access to food, water, and shelter, the list goes on and on. This is because their addiction to drugs or alcohol has literally taken over nearly every aspect of their life. So what are some common behaviors of current addicts?

Addiction is characterized as a brain disease that is manifested through a compulsive desire to seek out and use drugs or alcohol, even if they experience negative consequences because of their drug or alcohol abuse. One reason for that is an addiction to drugs or alcohol chemically alters the brain. This happens in several ways. One of them being that drugs and alcohol trick the brain into believing that it literally needs these substances in order to survive, ultimately leading to an inability to stop using drugs or alcohol. Most of the time, especially after repeated use of drugs or alcohol, an addict is unable to stop to stop on their own.

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If you have ever known an addict, it may have come as a surprise, at least initially. You may have only put the clues together after having found out the truth.  Some addicts have grown so accustomed to hiding it after years of abuse that it may have been difficult to otherwise, there was always an excuse for the unexplained or out of the ordinary behavior. For others, it may have been more obvious, as there are usually some tell-tale signs that someone may be abusing harmful substances. If you are wondering now whether or not someone you know may be hiding an addiction, then here are some common behaviors of current addicts.

Abrupt Changes in Mood

One of the most common behavioral traits seen in addicts is an abrupt change in mood. This is due to chemical imbalances that occur in the brain due to drug and alcohol abuse. Feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and joy that seem to come out of nowhere may be a sign that your loved one has a substance abuse problem.

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People who are in active addiction can exhibit wild mood swings, from anger to depression, very rapidly.

They Lie

One thing that all addicts have in common is that they lie. They lie to support their addiction, they lie to hide their addiction, they lie to avoid feelings of shame and guilt. It is possible that a skilled addict has been able to pull the veil over someone’s eyes for years, but eventually the truth always comes out. They may always have an excuse about where all their money went or why they were gone for 5 hours when they just went to the grocery store for milk.

Sudden Lack of Interest in a Former Hobby

Another common sign that someone may be struggling with an addiction is a sudden loss of interest in an activity that was previously enjoyable for them. When a person becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol, it consumes their lives and becomes the main focus. This leaves little to no time for things that they enjoyed before, like hobbies, sports or creating art. If someone you know suddenly lost interest in a hobby, sport, or activity that was previously very important to them, it may be a sign that they are struggling with an addiction.

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Suddenly losing interest in a hobby that once brought joy, is a tell-tale sign of an addict.

Emotional Blackmail

An addict may use emotional blackmail in order to get someone to do things they don’t want to do. They typically start by asking for small favors that allow the other party to feel like they are doing something good, eventually they will ask for something bigger and use emotional blackmail in order to get what they want. They may say things like, “You don’t love me enough” or “If you really loved me”. This is an attempt to use your love for them against you.

They Manipulate

All addicts are expert manipulators of one form or another. This is one of the ways that they are able to continue their behavior. The majority of addicts will say or do anything in order to continue using drugs or alcohol. They may make promises to change when caught in a bad situation, or deny the problem entirely, even trying to switch the blame on you. They use guilt in order to make you believe them, and oftentimes we so desperately want to. Drug addicts can manipulate sometimes for years without ever changing their behavior.

Criminal Behavior

While not all addicts get in trouble with the law, a large portion of them do. Many addicts will do things like steal, forge prescriptions, or even write fake checks all in an attempt to continue getting high. This may also include things like violence and driving under the influence. Many drugs, like heroin or cocaine, can change the personality of the person who is under its influence, causing them to do things they most likely wouldn’t do while sober. Job loss and other legal problems are common with people who become addicted to drugs or alcohol.

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Drug abuse and addiction typically lead one of 2 places: Being arrested, or dying from a drug overdose. There is a 3rd option: addiction treatment and a lifetime of sobriety!

Verbally, Mentally, or Physically Abusive

Many addicts will become verbally, mentally, or physically abusive, especially when confronted with their addiction. This can be an additional mechanism to shift the blame away from their substance abuse disorder. They may act aggressive or irrational when told no. They may threaten to hurt you, or even themselves in order to get what they want. This type of manipulation is likely just another attempt to continue their addictive lifestyle.

These are just a few of the common behavioral signs that someone may be struggling with an addiction. While these are good indicators that someone is suffering from substance abuse, there could always be another underlying reason like other mental health issues. If you are unsure whether or not a loved one may be struggling with an addiction, please call us today! We have many trained addiction specialists who will be able to help address some of your concerns and figure out a treatment plan if that is what your loved one needs in order to begin living a happy, healthy life once again.

Call Us 24/7 (877)-228-4679

Sleep and Addiction: Is Sleeping Too Much Okay?

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Anyone who has ever gone through an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or anyone who has ever watched a loved one struggle with one, knows firsthand just how difficult that journey to sobriety can be. An addiction, or substance use disorder, can wreak havoc on all areas of a person’s life. It can cause financial hardship, deterioration in health, loss of one’s job, homelessness, death, etc. Addiction can also have a devastating effect on a person’s sleep. Some people end up sleeping too much, which can result in other problems for your ultimate recovery from your addiction.

Addiction is often defined as “a brain disease brought on by chronic drug use that interferes with and makes changes to brain circuitry and chemistry, and these changes lead to compulsive drug using behaviors.” These changes in the brain are also what lead to both long-term and short-term sleep difficulties. The connection between drug use and sleep often goes both ways; substance abuse can hinder a person’s ability to sleep, and subsequently, difficulty with one’s sleep can also lead to an addiction or substance abuse problem as people turn to them in order to help them fall asleep.

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Sometimes, withdrawal symptoms from an addiction can cause problems with your sleep schedule, which can result in over-sleeping.

Unfortunately, once someone achieves sobriety, this problem doesn’t just go away. During the first week of sobriety, most people experience some level of withdrawal symptoms, some more severe than others. While the withdrawal symptoms that are experienced can differ depending on things like that type of drugs that were used, the amount of drugs that were used, and how long the person has been using those drugs or alcohol, problems with sleep remain the most common withdrawal symptom regardless of what substances were being used.

Tips for Getting Good Sleep in Sobriety

If you are like millions of other Americans who are new to recovery, then here are a few tips to help you get restful sleep while still maintaining your sobriety.

  • Stick to a Schedule- If you used drugs or alcohol shortly before bed, then it can be even more difficult to fall asleep once you get sober as your brain is no longer sure when it is time to go to bed. Creating a new, and healthy, sleep schedule is essential to getting good sleep while sober. Going to bed at the same time every night will help let your brain know when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Have a Nightly Routine- While this may be difficult for those who work odd hours or those who don’t have a set schedule, doing the same thing each and every night before you go to bed will help ensure you fall asleep faster. Try doing a light exercise 30 minutes before you go to sleep, or read your favorite book for an hour. This will also help train your brain when it is time to go to sleep.
  • Eliminate Screen Time- Research has shown that electronic devices, such as computers, phones, or TVs, can have a negative impact on the quality of one’s sleep. Cutting back on the amount of screen time you have, at least one hour before bed, can greatly reduce the chance of disrupting the quality of sleep.
  • Create a Space for Sleeping- Limit the amount of extracurricular activities you do while in bed, such as checking your phone, watching TV, or stressful conversations with your partner. This will help train your brain that the bed is where you sleep, not for everything else.

These are just a few tips you can implement to help increase the quality of your sleep, especially early on in recovery.

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Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to help you maintain sobriety, early in your recovery from an addiction.

Effects of Oversleeping

While sleep is essential early on recovery, there is still a chance that you could be sleeping too much. There is a difference between getting the right amount of sleep needed to recover and simply just getting too much sleep to begin with. It may sound absurd at first because whoever thought you could get too much sleep, but it is possible. The amount of sleep needed can vary depending on the individual, but most experts agree that anything above 10 hours for an adult is considered to be too much.

Oversleeping can be a sign of many underlying issues, such as depression and heart disease. The effects of oversleeping are much like the effects of not getting enough sleep to begin with. Getting enough sleep especially while undergoing withdrawal from drugs or alcohol is essential as the brain and body need this time to repair itself. However, a person can sleep too much. Here are a few side effects associated with getting too much sleep;

  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Higher risk of diabetes
  • Higher risk of heart disease
  • Depression
  • Increased pain
  • Impaired fertility
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Depression
  • Higher risk of overall mortality (death)
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Sleeping too much can become a problem in addiction recovery.

The importance of a healthy sleeping schedule in addiction recovery

Just like with anything in life, having a proper sleep schedule requires a good amount of balance. While it is important to get enough sleep to ensure a successful sobriety, it is also important to remember that there is such a thing as too much. We know that this can be a struggle for many Americans, as nearly 70 million people in the United States all suffer from a sleep disorder of some kind. There has long been a connection between sleep problems and substance abuse disorders, that is because many drugs and alcohol disrupt that natural circuit in the brain. Not only that, but there is also a link between poor sleep and the rate of relapse. For those in recovery, and anyone else who might be curious, we hope that this information was useful to you!

If you, or a loved one, are new to recovery and are having a difficult time with getting the right amount of sleep, then please reach out to an addiction specialist today. There is no shame in asking for help, especially when you need it! We know what a huge struggle trying to get enough sleep can be, especially early in the road to recovery, that is why we are here and we are always ready to help! We wish you the best!

 

(877) 228-4679

 

10 Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder & Drug Addiction

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This time of year can be very difficult, especially for those who suffer from addiction, as holidays and moments of celebration are often considered to be triggers for those in recovery because of the social aspects of casual drinking or drug use during the winter months. What can make it even more difficult to remain sober during this time is when a recovering addict also suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or seasonal depression.

Addiction is characterized as a brain disorder and can often be coupled with other mental health diagnoses or mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). For people who live with both a mental health disorder and struggle with addiction, just know that you are not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 20 percent of people who are diagnosed with a mood disorder, such as SAD, also suffer from a substance abuse problem.

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People who suffer from mental health issues, are more likely to use substances, like drugs or alcohol to self-medicate.

Symptoms of SAD

If you are unsure whether or not you may be suffering from seasonal depression you can always speak with a mental health professional. Common symptoms of SAD include those of major depression along with several others. People who are suffering from seasonal depression may experience all or some of the following;

  • Depressed mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Loss of pleasure in certain activities
  • Social withdrawal
  • Cravings for carbohydrates (unique to SAD)
  • Excessive daytime sleeping (unique to SAD)
  • Heaviness in arms and legs (unique to SAD)

Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Researchers and doctors are still unsure about the exact cause for seasonal affective disorder but some factors that attribute to this condition include;

  • Biological Clock (Circadian rhythm)- As the days grow shorter around the fall or autumn season, we begin to lose sunlight, which can disrupt your body’s internal clock, causing feelings of depression.
  • Serotonin Levels- The reduced sunlight can lead to a drop in the brain’s chemical that affects mood, the neurotransmitter serotonin.
  • Melatonin Levels- The seasonal change can disrupt the body’s natural production of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and moods.
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Changes in the weather can affect your mental health in very prominent ways.

10 Ways to Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

            If you are one of many suffering from the symptoms of seasonal depression and are wondering how to treat SAD, then do not worry, there are many treatment options available that can help alleviate some of the symptoms.

  1. Know the signs and symptoms- Knowing what is happening with you and your body can help greatly in managing the symptoms. If you begin feeling sad during the autumn months, being aware of your seasonal depression can help keep you from spiraling down a hole that seems impossible to get out of, simply just by understanding what is going on.
  2. Try light from a box- Light therapy is reported to be one of the most effective treatments for the “winter blues”. There are specialty light boxes or lamps designed to produce effects similar to natural light, helping to restore your body’s natural circadian rhythm and production of melatonin. Research suggests that sitting in front of a light box first thing in the morning, everyday, during the fall and winter months for at least 30 minutes can greatly reduce the symptoms of SAD.
  3. Get outside as much as you can- Nature is a form of therapy for almost any mental health disorder. So, try to make it a point to go on a at least a 10 minute nature walk every day, or as often as possible, regardless of the weather. Studies have shown that even short walks increase mood, along with other mental and physical health benefits. Not to mention, the sunlight you get from being outside is much more beneficial than that from a window, helping to promote natural production of serotonin and melatonin. Going outside around noon when the sun is brightest can help reap the most benefits in a short amount of time.
  4. Exercise regularly- Aside from talking a daily break in nature , trying to exercise regularly is especially important for people suffering from SAD. Exercise is a proven treatment for many forms of depression. Try combining your daily exercise with going outside to help decrease the symptoms of seasonal depression.
  5. Take vitamin D- Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to SAD in at least one study, so doctors have begun urging patients to up their vitamin D intake, especially during the winter months.
  6. Caring for plants- Research has shown that gardening can help reduce feelings of depression. By caring for something small during the winter months, it can help alleviate some of the symptoms of seasonal depression.
  7. Stay Connected- Avoid the sometimes overwhelming feeling to remain reclusive during the cold months. Stay connected with your family and remain active in your support groups, such as AA, even when you feel like hibernating. Staying connected with your support group can help combat feelings of depression by getting you out of the house and by allowing you the opportunity to express out loud how you are feeling.
  8. Paint walls in lighter colors- Studies suggest that people who suffer from seasonal depression feel better when they are surrounded by lighter colors. Aside from the mood lifting ambiance, sometimes just doing the activity of painting alone can be a soothing process for someone with a depressive disorder.
  9. Keep a journal- Sometimes we have thoughts or feelings we are uncomfortable sharing with others, by writing them down we can begin to understand our emotions better. Writing down our negative thoughts or emotions gives us the opportunity to cope with them and feel as though we have gotten them off our chest, allowing ourselves the chance to fully process them. Plan on writing for at least 20 minutes a day, and try doing it before bed so that you can express the last 24 hours in as much detail as possible.
  10. Try aromatherapy- Essential oils can activate the same part of the brain that is responsible for controlling moods and our internal clock. Purchase an oil diffuser for your home or workspace, or try adding a couple drops in your bath.
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Understanding yourself and your mental health can greatly help you overcome the “winter blues”. Seek help before you become overwhelmed!

 

While all of these tips are useful, knowing when to get contact a professional for help is the most important. If you are having extreme thoughts of suicide or are having a difficult time with coping during the winter months, or in general, then there is nothing wrong with getting help. Speak with your doctor, who can potentially prescribe medications, or contact a counselor or therapist who can help you cope with the emotions of depression. If you are a recovering addict and find that you are struggling to stay sober, we are always here to help! Reach out to us today to begin specialized treatment.

 

(877) 228-4679

Mental Health: Anxiety and Depression’s Toll

Photo of a Pretty Depressed Young Woman, Looking Down by a Window, Worried or Sad.

Taking time off from work to address your mental health is of the utmost importance. If people typically don’t go to work with the flu, then should they go to work when experiencing a depressive episode? They shouldn’t, but more times than not they do because they fear repercussions from their employer. A trend that affects both individuals and society; hopefully, employers will start encouraging their staff to put their own needs first.

Society looks at mental illness as being something that the afflicted can control. If people changed their perspective, they would feel better. As if people choose to be depressed, anxious, and manic; why would anyone want that type of existence? The truth is, they wouldn’t.

Mental health disorders are real, treatable, and recovery is possible. More people would recover with encouragement from society via empathy. Everyone benefits when people who need help are empowered to seek it, but far too often such people are not. Individuals with mental health conditions feel as though they must hide their symptoms. They fear what might happen if their peers found out, or worse, their boss. In many cases, people forgo treatment because of that fear.

Mental health in the Workplace

On this blog, our primary focus is use disorders, a mental illness that affects millions of Americans. Without treatment, people with substance use disorder typically have three outcomes: jails, institutions, and death. The same can be said for other forms of mental health conditions, as well. It’s also worth reminding readers that mental illness often comes in pairs, a dual-diagnosis. When a person meets the criteria for substance use disorder and another condition like depression, they have a co-occurring disorder.

People around the world who have been touched by mental illness (first or second-hand) observed World Mental Health Day on Tuesday. The World Health Organization (WHO) chose the theme of mental health in the workplace in an attempt to encourage employers to show more significant compassion. WHO provided data to show how prevalent mental illness is around the world, allowing people to understand the gravity of the situation.

More than 300 million people battle depression each year, and more than 260 million have anxiety disorders. Employers might be wondering why these figures matter. The answer: Depression and anxiety disorders together cost the global economy US$ 1 trillion/per year in lost productivity. If people with these conditions were empowered to get the help they need, then everyone wins. WHO writes:

“Employers and managers who put in place workplace initiatives to promote mental health and to support employees who have mental disorders see gains not only in the health of their employees but also in their productivity at work. A negative working environment, on the other hand, may lead to physical and mental health problems, harmful use of substances or alcohol, absenteeism and lost productivity.”

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

At 10 Acre Ranch, we hope that employers around the world will pay heed to the stark statistics provided by WHO. Doing so could lead to millions of people finding recovery. If you are struggling with a co-occurring disorder, please contact us to discuss your treatment options. We can help you get on the road to long-term addiction and mental health recovery.

Mental Illness In Young Adults

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If you are a young adult, there is a good chance you are getting ready to start or have just started the fall semester. You may even be a freshman, heading away from home for the first time in your life. Unchaperoned! This is an important time in a person’s life, one that should be cherished — in between studying and class. For most people who pursue higher education, the time literally flies by. Before you know it, graduation has come and gone and off you go to the workforce.

College days are also a time when you will come to find out who you are, in good ways and bad. Your strengths and weaknesses will come to the surface quickly without the aid of mom and dad nearby. Hopefully, you are heading off to school having a relatively healthy relationship with alcohol. It’s a substance that can hardly be avoided during this time in one’s life. Certainly, you saw some partying in high school, but there was always some parental oversight. And, the risk of getting caught, as well as the fear of punishment, keeps most teens in line.

Without fail, some heading off to college for the first time have already developed unhealthy ties to substances. Whether it be alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or all three. It could mean that you had a healthy appetite for socialization. Or, it could mean that the seeds of addiction were planted at a young age. Just that the problems of addiction have not borne fruit yet. Hopefully, it’s the former scenario. Being away from home can give one’s addiction room to grow exponentially, creating a host of problems. Issues that will need to be addressed sooner, or later. What’s more, addiction is not the only mental illness that can appear up during the college years.

Mental Illness Away From Home

A significant number of college students struggle with untreated mental illness, in one form or another. In some cases, students battle addiction and a co-occurring mental health disorder. Such a reality presents many obstacles to one’s chance of success in college. More times than not, mental illness is cited as the cause for dropping out. Fortunately, mental illness does not need to spell the end of one’s education. There are resources available on campus that can help students, with mental health disorders, keep their symptoms in check. In turn, avoiding tragedy and strengthening the chances of making it to graduation.

While the stigma of mental illness is still a very real thing, there are many more options for students today. College campuses have resources available and people students can talk to, mitigating the risks of self-harm and self-medication. It is quite common for students to develop addiction due to untreated mental health disorders.

In fact, right here in Southern California UCLA is taking mental illness seriously. The university is offering free mental health screening to all incoming freshman and transfer students, CNN reports. Such services can make all the difference in increasing a student’s chance for success. Potentially keeping them from turning to an unhealthy means of coping with the stress of college.

“To our knowledge, no other university has ever attempted screening of this nature and scale,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Students who choose to participate will be screened for depression and related traits — anxiety, mania and suicidal tendencies. And we will offer help to those who need it.”

Mental Illness Treatment

If you are a young man reading this, there is a good chance you are not attending UCLA. However, colleges across the country are placing greater emphasis on mental illness. If you are not feeling stable or are struggling with substances to cope with how you are feeling, talk to someone. Letting it go unchecked can eventually have grave consequences.

Perhaps you are getting ready to head off to school and you know that you have a condition that needs treatment. Drinking and drugging on regular basis, in conjunction with the symptoms of depression can be dangerous. Please contact 10 Acre Ranch to discuss your treatment options. We are fully equipped to help you recover from co-occurring mental health disorders.

Self-Medicating Toward Addiction

beautiful lady self-medicating toward addiction

Regarding mental illness, when it rains it pours. At least that is often the reality in the field of addiction medicine. To be clear, addiction is a form of mental illness with many symptoms, one of which is the misuse of drugs and/or alcohol. It’s a disease of the mind that has no known cure to date, but there are effective methods of treatment. Upon completing treatment, those who redouble their recovery efforts via a program like the 12-Steps often have positive outcomes.

Again, drug and alcohol use is but a symptom. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. Work which will mitigate the risk of relapse and spiraling back into active use. But, for a significant number of addicts and alcoholics, addiction is not the only mental health disorder on the table. It is extremely common for people meeting the criteria for addiction to have co-occurring mental health disorders. Often referred to as having a dual diagnosis.

Anyone working in the field knows firsthand the consequences of not treating both addiction and the dual diagnosis, together. This makes sense. Addiction is often precipitated by another form of mental illness, such as depression. The symptoms of untreated depression lead to the dangerous practice of self-medication. Which does the opposite of help, in any respect.

Self-Medicating Toward Dependence and Addiction

People whose anxiety, bipolar disorder or depression is left untreated, are essentially left to their own devices. Functioning under the cloud of depressive or manic symptoms is rarely tenable. In an attempt to quiet one’s troubled mind, drugs and alcohol often become the preferred method of treatment (escape, actually). The continued practice of using mind-altering substances to cope is a slippery slope to dependence, and ultimately addiction. People who engage in this practice actually convince themselves that the substances are helping. When, in fact, they are not.

Research has shown that illicit substance use makes the symptoms of one’s mental health disorder worse. Having the unintended effect of exacerbating the symptoms one is trying to keep at bay. The longer the act of using drugs to cope with mental illness continues, the more severe and often episodes occur. People living with a co-occurring mental health disorder are at great risk of harm. Every year, a significant number of people who meet the criteria for a co-occurring disorder take their own life. Therefore, it is so vital that people living with a mental health disorder are encouraged to talk about their condition. And by doing so, they become empowered to seek treatment.

So, just how common is mental illness in America? A new government report showed almost 1 in 5 American adults struggles with mental illness or addiction each year. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s (SAMHSA) report indicates nearly 44 million American adults living with mental illness, HealthDay reports.

“The presence of [any mental illness] in every state reinforces that mental illness is a major public health concern in the United States,” the report noted. “Overall treatment levels remain low, and addressing the mental health of U.S. adults remains a concern for state and national public health officials.”

Treatment Is The Answer, It Works

While treatment rates are low, they are effective for most people who seek assistance. At 10 Acre Ranch, we have helped many men, from young adults to seniors, recover from co-occurring mental health disorders. If you are battling regular episodes of depression, et al., and are dependent on substances, please contact us today. We can help you break the cycle of addiction, while simultaneously addressing the co-occurring mental illness.

MDMA, Trauma and Addiction Recovery

MDMA Ecstasy

There is a common theme among addicts and alcoholics, most of us have experienced some type of trauma in our lives. That is not to say that trauma caused the addiction, but rather that addressing trauma could help treat the disease. However, there is a wide variety of opinions on how to treat such trauma to ensure the best outcomes.

It is no secret that some people living with addiction have a hard time working a program of recovery. There could be a number of reasons for this, but one of the more common factors involves an untreated co-occurring disorder. Conditions which can include: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Research supports the belief that people attempting to recover from addiction fare best when co-occurring disorders are treated simultaneously. Addiction treatment centers that focus on the whole patient typically have the best track-records. But, there are cases when clients do not respond well to practices that work well for others. In turn, researchers are constantly on the lookout for novel approaches.

Alcohol and MDMA

Around the world, people abuse alcohol more than any other mind-altering substance. It makes sense. Think about it, alcohol is legal for adult consumption in the western world. The substance is pervasive and can be found with little effort and be purchased on the cheap. More people die from alcohol-related illnesses than any other drug. The longer one imbibes in unhealthy ways, the greater the risk of health complications. Increasing the effectiveness of accepted treatment methods can go a long way. And addressing trauma may be the answer.

A new clinical study is about to kick off in the United Kingdom involving heavy alcohol users and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, The Guardian reports. The latter of which you may know as MDMA, the main ingredient in the club drug ecstasy. All the study participants have not responded well to the more common form of addiction treatment, being chronic relapsers. The patients will be given nearly pure MDMA in conjunction with psychotherapy.

“We know that MDMA works really well in helping people who have suffered trauma and it helps to build empathy, said Ben Sessa, a clinical psychiatrist on the trial and senior research fellow at Imperial College London. “Many of my patients who are alcoholics have suffered some sort of trauma in their past and this plays a role in their addiction.” Sessa adds: “After 100 years of modern psychiatry our treatments are really poor. The chances of relapse for these patients are really high—90% at three years. No one has ever given MDMA to treat alcoholism before.”

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

We will continue to follow this important story and the outcomes of the clinical study. There is much that is not understood about drugs with hallucinogenic properties. It’s possible that this study will shed some light on the subject.

At this juncture, however, the best opportunity of achieving long-term addiction recovery is go to a treatment facility that focuses on dual-diagnosis. Treating co-occurring disorders is possible. At 10 Acre Ranch, we are fully equipped to address your addiction and other mental health disorders. Please contact us today.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Doing Your Homework

10-Acre's-Ranch-About-Us-Photo-of-a-group-during-a-therapy-session

The only thing that is certain in life – is the uncertainty of life. That’s why you need to be prepared to handle the good surprises (seeing an old friend out of the blue) – with the bad (getting passed over for that big promotion).

While everyone experiences challenging circumstances from time to time, painful experiences like the loss of a loved one, can make it hard to bounce back and increase your risk of depression.

If you are diagnosed with depression, you should know that it is highly treatable – even as part of a co-occurring disorder such as addiction. While there are many therapeutic options available, many addiction recovery specialists recommend that clients participate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help clients challenge the patterns of negative thinking and destructive behaviors.

For those on a path to recovery, you can use some of the basic techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy to help shift your mindset and react more positively to life.

3 CBT Techniques That You Can Use

(1) Get practical about solutions. When you’re faced with a difficult situation, don’t just dwell on the problem at hand. Focusing on the negative will most likely just make you feel hopeless and powerless. Instead, think about the situation from a more rational perspective and write down five practical solutions you might consider to confront the issue.

(2) Set realistic goals. The next time you start to experience negative self-talk, consider if you are simply setting unrealistic goals for your personal and professional life and replace those with more attainable objectives.

(3) Challenge negative thoughts. One of the most powerful skills you can use to counteract negative thought patterns is to become more aware of negative thoughts and how you are framing up the situation. Are you thinking about the situation objectively “The traffic today was a little slower than most days” or in a distorted manner “No one in the town can drive!”

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at 10 Acre Ranch

CBT is a very popular treatment approach for both substance abuse disorder and mental illness. Let us help you or someone you love change those negative and unproductive thoughts and behaviors that can lead to addictive tendencies. To learn more, contact us at (877) 228-4679 to speak with a treatment specialist today.