Substance Abuse in the Workplace: How an Effective HR Policy Can Help Employees who are Struggling With Addiction.

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An effective Human Resources strategy on drug and alcohol abuse must confront the fact that one in ten Americans are currently struggling with addiction. As such, the odds are that one in ten of your employees could be struggling with one form of substance abuse or another co-occurring mental health issue. Substance abuse in the workplace is common today and many organizations are working hard to reduce the negative stigma surrounding alcohol and drug abuse. This stigma, where people tend to see a person as ‘just an addict’ instead of seeing them as another human being is causing a great harm to our society. This negative stigma often discourages people from seeking help with their addiction or substance abuse problem, endangering themselves, coworkers, family members and their loved ones.

 

As an employer, you are in a unique position to help address the drug crisis in America.

 

With the drug overdose epidemic reaching record proportions in the United States, employers can find themselves in a pivotal role to help address the epidemic at a key stage in an addicts’ recovery journey.

 

“An estimated 23.5 million Americans are currently addicted to alcohol and/ or other drugs and need treatment and other supportive services. Unfortunately, only one in 10 of them (2.6 million) receives the treatment they need.”

 Open Society Foundations

 

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Helping an employee who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol could save their life.

 

With only 10 percent of Americans receiving treatment through a drug rehab program, the remaining 90 percent of our nation’s addicts go without treatment. This faces them with an increased potential for a drug overdose and, in some cases, their untimely death.

 

Addiction and substance abuse in the workplace costs American businesses billions of dollars each year.

 

The current opioid epidemic alone is estimated to have cost American business $504 billion dollars in 2015, according to the White House Council of Economic Advisors.  Workers who are struggling with addiction are also noted to miss an average of 29 days of work, compared with the overall national average of 10.5 days of work missed per year. A huge impact could be made by employers in the current drug abuse crisis, with the implementation of a few valuable, actionable substance use disorder treatment programs.

 

Any employer should already have a drug-free workplace program on the books, as well as a written substance abuse policy. These policies are a good start, but as an employer there is so much more that can be done. Reducing the likelihood of your employee’s substance use will help your company save money on health care costs and insurance premiums, improve worker productivity and lower the frequency of workplace injuries.

 

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An effective HR policy, addressing workplace substance abuse can help you save lives, while maintaining safety and productivity at your workplace.

 

Addiction is a treatable disease.

 

Many beneficial and practical solutions to these problems exist and they begin with an understanding that addiction is a treatable disease. Much like diabetes or asthma, addiction is a chronic disease that can be managed, with the right access to treatment and drug rehab programs. Identifying the problem early is also crucial in the success of treatment for a substance use disorder.

 

Identifying substance abuse through a workplace drug testing program is an easy way to find out if some of your personnel are experiencing problems with addiction. From there, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can administer help in resolving the drug or alcohol abuse problem. These programs can help focus attention on employees who need help with a drug or alcohol problem. They can offer your employees drug and alcohol detox, intensive outpatient treatment, residential addiction treatment and a host of aftercare services.

 

An educational program about substance misuse problems can also benefit employees who need help with their addictions. Many people do not seek help for their alcohol, prescription drug or illicit drug problem because they think they will be perceived negatively, especially by their employer.

 

Employees are more likely to seek help when it is approached as part of an existing employee health and wellness plan. This resource can be recommended to them by their immediate supervisor, or through the company’s human resources department.  Fear of losing their job, or being reprimanded for their substance abuse should not be a barrier for anyone seeking help with their addiction. Treating your employee as a person with a treatable, medical illness is the best way an employer can help with the recovery process.

 

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Evidence suggests that someone who enters an employer-sanctioned alcohol or drug rehabilitation program is more likely to succeed at sobriety.

 

A team of addiction specialists from 10 Acre Ranch can come to your work in the greater Los Angles area to help train your HR staff, and give you the resources necessary to help your employees succeed in recovery.

 

10 Acre Ranch is located in Riverside, California and we are industry leaders in scientific, evidence-based alcohol and drug abuse treatment. 10 Acre Ranch’s Workplace Substance Abuse Program can help train your supervisors and human resources staff to detect the warning signs of an alcohol, prescription or illicit drug abuse problem in your workplace. We can also help provide tools and resources to help your employees who are in desperate need of help.

 

Our programs emphasize long-term treatment on a continual basis, that will address the immediate problems of substance use, addiction and mental health. Many people self-medicate their problems and mental health issues with drugs or alcohol. Sometimes the root of the problem lies within an underlying mental health issue, such as childhood trauma, PTSD or other behavioral disorders. The thorough addiction treatment programs at 10 Acre Ranch address these issues, as we feel it is the best way to help an individual achieve a long-lasting sobriety.

 

Ignoring the potentially life-threatening illness of substance abuse and addiction will only further perpetuate the problems in their lives. This could someday lead to a serious workplace injury or even someone’s unfortunate death. It is in the interest of the safety of all of your employees to address these problems as they arise. Acting expediently when suspicious behavior is noticed could help your employees seek the treatment they need. This is help that could ultimately save their lives.

 

 

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You can put a stop to substance abuse in the workplace. Give your employees the chance to ask for much needed help. Reach out to us today.

 

Don’t let one person’s substance abuse affect the safety of your workplace.

Please call 10 Acre Ranch today. We will help you plan an appropriate, beneficial and cost-effective response to the growing problem of substance abuse in the workplace.

(877) 228-4679

 

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

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

Can Brain Imaging Help Beat Drug Addiction?

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The word addiction itself comes from the latin phrase meaning “enslaved to” or “bound by”. Addiction is a disease of the brain that is characterized by the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol despite the user having experienced severe negative consequences throughout their everyday lives, such as job loss, relationship problems, or extreme poverty. People who suffer from this disease experience compulsive behavior related to using drugs and alcohol, they are unable to stop doing them even though they know it will cause further problems in life or keep them from bettering their situation entirely.

People with substance abuse problems have distorted thinking, behavior, and bodily functions. However, not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol will become addicted, there are many factors that can lead to someone developing an addiction, such as genetic predisposition, environmental factors like peer pressure, and dynamics in the family and home. When someone begins using drugs or alcohol, a surge of chemicals, mainly dopamine, are released inside the brain. Dopamine is often referred to as the brain’s reward and pleasure centers, this chemical is released naturally in the brain when we experience pleasurable moments like eating a delicious meal or participating in your favorite activity. When a person continuously uses drugs or alcohol, our brains begin to rely on this surge of chemicals and it needs them in order to function properly.

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Disease is any condition that changes the way an organ functions, much like how heart disease permanently damages the heart. With prolonged and repeated use of drugs and alcohol, the brain begins to change over time, creating new pathways for these chemicals to go back and forth between neurons. This ultimately causes changes to the brain’s structure and the way the brain functions, some of these changes are even permanent. Drugs and alcohol change the brain in many ways but there are 3 areas that are most heavily affected.

Areas of the Brain Affected by Drugs and Alcohol

  • Basal Ganglia- This area of the brain plays an important role in positive forms of motivation and our habit forming principles. This area of the brain allows us to feel pleasure and when it becomes inundated by drugs and alcohol it becomes less sensitive to the natural reward system, making it difficult to feel pleasure without the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Extended Amygdala- The extended amygdala plays an important role in producing feelings such as anxiety, irritability, and overall uneasiness, which are typically synonymous with feelings of withdrawal. With repeated use of drugs and alcohol, this area of the brain becomes more sensitive, causing the user to seek drugs and alcohol again to avoid these negative feelings.
  • Prefrontal Cortex- Perhaps the most crucial of all, this area of the brain plays an important role in the ability to think, plan, solve problems, make decisions, and exert self control over impulses. This is also the last part of the brain to mature, making teens more susceptible to becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol. When drugs and alcohol are repeatedly used, it shifts the circuits from stress, to reward, to lack of impulse control, ultimately creating a situation where drugs and alcohol have taken over.

How Brain Imaging Can Help Fight Addiction

With the evolution of science, this has changed the model of addiction. What was once seen as lacking moral fortitude or the ability to control one’s actions, scientists and doctors now understand that it requires more than good intentions to fight this disease. Now widely recognized as a brain disease and cataloged as a mental health disorder, doctors and scientists have been conducting brain imaging studies in order to better understand how to effectively treat and manage this chronic disease.

Since addiction causes changes to the brain, there are differences when comparing brain image scans of a non addict to an addict. Areas like the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for decision making, show major differences that can be attributed to the lack of self control in addicts and their inability to stop using drugs and alcohol. Using brain scans to help treat addiction has shown significant promise to recovering addicts and their families. Aside from the medical standpoint, brain scans help in many ways when it comes to recovery.

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How Brain Scans Help Recovering Addicts

  • Brain Scans Don’t Lie- Brain scans clearly show toxic damage and exposure that is caused by drugs or alcohol. These illegal substances negatively impact areas of the brain that play an important role in being able to control one’s emotions and critical thinking abilities, brain scans show the damage left by drugs and alcohol.
  • Brain Scans Reveal Effects of Drugs- Seeing as how brain scans don’t lie, it is much easier to understand the correlation between drug and alcohol use and the visible damage caused by them. Substances like marijuana and nicotine cause significant changes in brain function and even everyday things like sugar can impact the way our brains operate on a daily basis.
  • Brain Imaging Shows That There is More Than One Addiction- Through brain imaging, we have been able to gain a deeper understanding into addiction. Now, addiction can be broken down into different categories.
    • Compulsive Addicts
    • Impulsive Addicts
    • Impulsive-Compulsive Addicts
    • Sad or Emotional Addicts
    • Anxious Addicts
    • Temporal Lobe Addicts

Researchers have gained valuable insight into how to effectively treat and manage multiple types of addiction, instead of grouping them all together.

  • Brain Imaging Helps to Break the Stigma and Shame- For years, decades even, addiction was treated as a lack of will power and moral discipline. With the advancement of technology, brain scans prove that drugs and alcohol alter the structure of the brain. An addict who is suffering may also feel as though it is all their fault, brain imaging helps show that addiction is a disorder of the brain.
  • Brain Scans Help Remove Denial- Many people with addictions are in denial that they even have a problem. When an addict is confronted with a brain scan image that shows visible damage from drugs and alcohol, it is difficult to deny that there is an underlying issue.
  • Brain Images Help Families Understand- Much like when an addict is shown their brain on drugs, when a family member is shown the scans of loved one it can help remove any blame they place on each other knowing that addiction is a result of chemical and structural changes to the brain, not something they did personally.
  • Brain Scans Can Reveal Co-occurring Disorders- Another benefit when using brain imaging as an additional tool to combat addiction is that it can also reveal co-occurring disorders, such as traumatic brain injuries, depression, or ADHD. In order to heal from addiction, these issues also need to be addressed.
  • Brain Scans Give Hope- Being able to see that your brain is toxic can be a great motivator. Brain scans also make it easy to track the progress of an individual throughout their treatment plan and their sobriety. Using before and after pictures can help someone stay motivated by being able to actually see the healing of their brain.

With a deeper understanding of addiction, we hope to remove the stigma surrounding it. There is no shame in asking for help, if you or someone you know are addicted to drugs, reach out to us for help today! We have many treatment programs available designed to fit your needs.

 

(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

What Happens to Me When I Use Meth?

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When someone who has used meth for a long period of time suddenly stops, very intense painful withdrawal symptoms are likely. While withdrawal from stimulants is relatively harmless, many people who quit using meth can have severe drowsiness, violent mood swings, anxiety and depression. The emotional effects of meth withdrawal can put people at a high risk for self-harm and even suicide.

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