Opioid Addiction and Feeling Better

An article by the NIH states that one reason people start using drugs is to feel good.

One of the scariest things about opioids is that your doctor might prescribe them for a legitimate reason.

Maybe you have chronic pain.

Maybe you had an accident.

Whatever it is, there are legitimate reasons to have an opioid prescription.

In this case, you are in enough pain to where opioids can help you feel ok.

 

Opioid Addiction Pathfinders - Silhouette of a woman taking a painkiller. Opioid addiction is an easy trap to slip into.The issue is when the prescription does not fit the injury or cause.

Sometimes people are given prescriptions when they do not need them.

They receive prescriptions that are too high a dose or not the right amount.

For example, maybe you are given a 30-day prescription when you only need a 3-day prescription.

The NIH lists ways that people can abuse opioids:

  • Taking someone else’s prescription medicine
  • Taking medicine for the effect, it causes (to get high)
  • Taking medicine in a way or dose other than prescribed

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How Opioid Addiction Sneaks Up on You

I remember when I had my wisdom teeth removed in high school, and I received Vicodin for 30 days. I do not think I took any of the pills and ended up selling them to people at school. Sadly, a lot of people might have these stories.

There are other ways that addiction can start. People in your household can contribute to starting an addiction. A friend I knew got addicted because his sister started giving him pills.

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He had an opioid addiction, and he was in sixth grade. In his 30s and after a track record of getting in trouble, he finally found a way to function, but not without suboxone.

People with chronic pain or that undergo painful surgeries are especially susceptible to opioids. Opioids can be just as helpful as harmful in some cases. My uncle had to amputate his leg due to blood clotting. He was a lifelong smoker, and after the surgery, they prescribed him opioids. Once those ran out, he started to use alcohol after a lifetime of being sober to deal with his pain.

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Opioid Addiction Pathfinders - During group therapy a man discusses his opioid addiction and his triggers as the rest of the group listens and offers support.

The Dangers of Opioid Addiction

There is a real danger to people in these situations if there is no proper support. Or proper meds. Too much is dangerous, and so is not enough. People will find a way to self-medicate if they do not get what they need for pain. Some people become addicted to opioids with a prescription, and when they lose access, they turn to heroin. With the stronger crackdown on opioids, there was a rise in street heroin.

The point in sharing these stories is that people do not grow up wanting to be an opioid addict. It is not a dream, nor is it planned. It sneaks up on you. It is confusing that a doctor would prescribe opioids that could ultimately harm you and ruin your life. It is baffling that the same thing you take for unbearable pain can cause you unbearable pain.

It is confusing that someone you trust might suggest that you do something you know to be harmful. Sometimes you cannot prevent the things that happen to you. You can find ways to avoid them. If you find yourself in a situation where you are going down a bad road, there are plenty of ways to get help. Speaking with a professional would be a good start and expressing concern to loved ones.

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Ask Your Doctor About Opioids and Addiction

It is important to take the time to ask your physician about the effects of the medication they prescribe to you. You need to ask yourself if I need these powerful painkillers or can I use something less powerful. Just because a doctor wants to give you an opioid painkiller does not mean you need it.

Ask about the alternatives. Dig deeper into the side effects of the drug prescribed. Do not just take something without researching the drug prescribed to you.

Feel empowered to ask if the benefits outweigh the risks.

Opioid Rehab At Pathfinders

At Pathfinders, we understand opioid addiction. We also know that no two addictions are the same.

We will talk to you about your addiction. Determine your goals and set a plan for you.

Our addiction treatment specialists can help you at every step of your recovery.

To get started, call and let us complete a free insurance verification for you. We will know exactly what your insurance will cover and what treatment will work best for you.

We will develop a plan with you from the very first day of rehab through every step and into aftercare when you are ready.

Do not wait another day call now to get started.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction

In 2015, over 15 million American adults had a problem with alcohol, including many celebrities.

This number is not a surprise, as alcohol is the most abused substance in the United States.

Alcohol is everywhere in the United States, which makes it incredibly easy to be abused.

Because many people deal with addiction in the United States, the fact celebrities and alcohol addiction is so common is no surprise.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction Pathfinders - A man sits with his head down on a bar top. In front of him is a glass of alcohol. Celebrities and alcohol addiction is common. Big names such as Ben Affleck, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Phelps, and Kat Von D have struggled with alcoholism and some have attended rehab.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Ben Affleck

One of the celebrities ruined by alcohol, also known as an alcoholic star, attended rehab two times before fully entering alcohol treatment.

He ended up going to a 40-day program and then went on to an outpatient rehab later.

Outpatient rehab is where you go to rehab to attend your sessions and return home at night.

You then return to your home to sleep at the end of the day.

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Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Daniel Radcliffe

Another celebrity ruined by alcohol said that he turned to alcohol to deal with his stress. After making Harry Potter films, he became one of the celebrities who suffer from alcoholism. He was getting so much negative press that it was difficult to handle as a young person. He credited his recovery from alcoholism to having good friends that helped him.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Kat Von D

Tattoo artist Kat Von D was almost one of the celebrities ruined by alcohol, but she saved herself. She has been sober since 2007. Kat Von D stated that she “hopes that someone out there in need of a way out from addiction might see this and realize that you’re not alone.” She was able to get sober through treatment.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction: Michael Phelps

Although he has 18 gold medals, Michael Phelps almost became one of the celebrities ruined by alcohol. Michael Phelps chose to go to six-week inpatient rehab. Inpatient is the type of rehab where you sleep at the facility and stay 24/7. He decided he had an addiction because he had been drinking and driving. He is also someone who has a co-occurring mental disorder.

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Why Are Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction so Common?

Many studies show that the different personality traits found in celebrities equate to the possibility of alcohol abuse. These traits include:

  • Being a risk-taker
  • Having a strong drive for success
  • Obsessive
  • Dedicated
  • Novelty-seeking

Additionally, many celebrities have a strong work ethic and a high drive for success. These qualities are typically also seen in individuals who have a substance abuse disorder. A substance abuse disorder affects the reward and pleasure center in the brain. When celebrities mix societal pressures and unhealthy relationships, it can lead to addiction.

Which Celebrities Are Struggling with Alcoholism?

Celebrities struggling with alcoholism might include actors, athletes, politicians, musicians, inventors, or even CEOs. If celebrities with alcohol addiction are in the public spotlight, the public criticize them for everything. Criticisms might focus on their appearance, weight, dress, opinions, and general life operation.

Peer pressure can often influence drinking habits. Not only can this lead to alcoholism, but also to eating disorders, mental health disorders, and other substance abuse disorders. Because celebrities struggle with many things, increased wealth and exercise can activate the dopamine reward system in their brains. This system leads to a similar feeling that drugs or alcohol can give them once those feelings fade.

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Mental Illness and How it Leads to Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction

Often celebrities have issues with alcohol because of pressure. Often because of the large amounts of pressure and public scrutiny, they can suffer from mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. These, in turn, lead to alcohol abuse for coping.

Anxiety

Anxiety is an intense, excessive, and persistent worry or fear about everyday situations. Different symptoms of anxiety can include fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and feeling tired. It can be normal to have anxiety in stressful situations such as public speaking or taking a test.

Despite this, anxiety is an indicator of underlying disease when feelings become excessive, all-consuming, and interfere with daily living. It is very common for celebrities to have anxiety and cope with that anxiety through alcohol usage.

Depression

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by a persistently sad or down mood. It can also include a loss of interest in activities, causing significant trouble in your daily life. The reasons for depression are not entirely understood, but possible causes include biological, psychological, and social factors. Additionally, certain activities can change brain functions, including the altered activity of certain neural circuits in the brain.

Characterized by a range of behavioral and physical symptoms, depression is life-threatening and often leads to alcoholism, especially in celebrities. These symptoms typically include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behavior, or self-esteem. It is also associated with thoughts of suicide.

Celebrities and Alcohol Addiction Pathfinders - A man sits in his couch and has drink after drink to deal with his anxiety.

Dual Diagnosis

Although anxiety or depression can be the catalyst for alcoholism, anxiety does not need to exist before alcohol use begins. It can develop outside of addiction. It may not even be a symptom of drug use or withdrawal but can occur separately, known as dual diagnosis.

Essentially, dual diagnosis is when you have an addiction occurring with a mental health disorder. Meaning you have two co-occurring disorders, such as a substance use disorder and an anxiety disorder. This dual diagnosis requires treatment that targets both issues at once. If you leave one disorder untreated, then they will both most likely reappear in the future.

Treating a dual diagnosis is complex. Despite this, there are many different treatment options. The first step in treating a dual diagnosis is an assessment by a professional. Then you can work with your therapist or counselor to create a plan. Many different treatment methods can benefit different people. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is one method that treats individuals with a dual diagnosis.

Treatment for Celebrities  with Alcoholism

There are many different treatment options available for alcoholism. Often celebrities will go to expensive inpatient treatment facilities that are far away from the average person. Despite this, there are amazing inpatient treatment facilities for even those who are not celebrities. These treatment facilities, such as those you will find at Pathfinders, are great for those who truly struggle to get sober.

Alternatively, if you do not struggle with a very intense addiction, you can choose to go to an outpatient treatment program. These facilities require three visits per week, with two to three hours each visit.

Finally, there are also support groups and aftercare programs that will allow you to have support through your sobriety. Some of these programs, such as AA or alcoholics anonymous, are known for helping individuals get through their addictions.

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Do You Have an Alcohol Addiction?

If you are worried that you or someone you love has a problem with alcohol, you may consider alcohol detox and treatment.

Contact us at Pathfinders for more information on our free insurance verification for treatment.

We are here to help you get healthy today.

Heroin Addiction What to Watch For

When someone you love has a heroin addiction, it can be hard to tell if they are on heroin.

If you are aware of heroin abuse symptoms, then you may be able to save someone’s life.

Although heroin is one of the most addictive drugs available, and no one intends on becoming addicted, people find themselves easily addicted.

Once you become addicted, you may not feel normal without it.

Heroin Addiction What to Watch For Pathfinders - A woman stares at a needle with heroin in it. If you think a loved one is addicted to heroin you need to how to tell if someone is on heroin by looking for the signs here.

How to Tell if Someone is on Heroin: Signs

Although you might think that you would know if someone is using heroin, it may not be true.

So how can you tell if someone is on heroin?

There are a few signs of Heroin addiction to look for:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Small pupils
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Secretive behavior
  • Dramatic changes in appearance
  • Lack of motivation
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Financial problems
  • Borrowing money
  • Track marks

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Dangers of Heroin Addiction: How to Tell if Someone is High on Heroin

Heroin has addictive potential, and there are long-term and short-term effects of using this drug. There are also indirect risks that can be life-threatening.
In general, intravenous heroin users have a higher risk of being infected with viruses. These viruses might include HIV or hepatitis. Other blood-borne illnesses are a risk for those addicted to heroin because heroin users usually share needles. Additionally, risky sexual behavior can lead to high virus rates in heroin users.
Other ways to tell if someone is on heroin include:

  • Depression
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Paranoia
  • Shortness of breath
  • Collapsed veins
  • Severe itchiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea and vomiting

It is important to note that the side effects of heroin get worse over time. The longer someone uses heroin, the more the drug ruins the immune system and internal organs. Communicable and non-communicable diseases are common among heroin users, and long-term use may lead to heart, lung, and liver disease.
There is also the chance of a fatal overdose with heroin because it suppresses breathing and heart rates. Even a nonfatal overdose can cause permanent brain damage or coma.

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How to Tell if Someone is on Heroin: Recognizing Heroin Addiction

Due to it being physically and psychologically addictive, heroin can quickly lead to addiction. Stop addiction before it starts. Eleven signs indicate heroin addiction:

  1. Taking heroin in larger amounts or over a long period.
  2. Having the desire to cut down on heroin use or stop use and not being able to stop.
  3. Spending your time on activities associated with heroin: finding the drug, using it, or recovering from its effects.
  4. Craving heroin or having a strong desire to use.
  5. Consistent use that interferes with obligations, these obligations might be at work, school, or home.
  6. Continued use regardless of how it affects your social life.
  7. Giving up important activities to use heroin.
  8. Dangerous situations occur, repeatedly, because of heroin use.
  9. There is heroin use despite the danger and repercussions on both your physical and mental health.
  10. Tolerance has grown in two ways. You need more amounts to achieve the desired effect, or there are diminished drug effects when using the same amount.
  11. There is withdrawal after not using heroin for a short amount of time.

How to Tell if Someone is on Heroin With a Mental Illness

How to tell if someone is high on heroin? They have an increased risk of committing suicide because they have a mental condition, such as bipolar disorder or depression. These mental conditions can exacerbate addiction symptoms and also increase the risk of suicide.
Often there is depression that comes along with withdrawal as well. These feelings might trigger a suicide attempt, and it is important to try to help a heroin addict before this happens.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

When trying to decide how to tell if someone is on heroin, you need to see if they have a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis is when you have a mental health problem at the same time as a substance use disorder. When this occurs, it is crucial to treat the mental illness and substance use disorder. If you only treat one of your diagnoses, you will not obtain sobriety long term.

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How to Tell if Someone is on Heroin and How to Get Them Into Treatment

There are a few ways that you can attempt to get someone you love into treatment.

  • Choose a time and place that your loved one feels comfortable. Doing this in front of many people or before they run off to work is not the best time. Try to select a time that gives privacy, enough time to talk and physical comfort to the addicted person.
  • Make sure you will be able to remain as calm as possible. Do not try to make the situation seem carefree or pretend that it is not a big deal. Do try to keep an even tone and stay on the topic of addiction.
  • Be honest about how their addiction has made you feel, and make sure they understand how it has impacted your life. Often addicts feel that they are only hurting themselves with their addiction.
  • Always remember that addiction is a disease.
  • Listen to them and see if they are willing to speak about their addiction. If so, this is a good sign. How you decide to react will affect the entire tone of the meeting.
  • If possible, find a time when they are sober. But how to tell if someone is on heroin? Look for all the warning signs listed above. If they are sober, it may allow them to process the situation in a more rational headspace.
  • If you have attempted to speak to them already, you may want to hold a professional intervention.

Intervention

Because people addicted to heroin are often reluctant to go to treatment, holding an intervention can help. Even if someone is in the early stages of their addiction, an intervention may be helpful. Despite this, they may not see their use as a problem needing treatment. If they have attempted to quit previously without success, an intervention may be the only way to convince them to get help.

Heroin Addiction What to Watch For Pathfinders - Several people sit in group therapy at heroin rehab and console one of the members of the group as she talks about the bad choices she made when she was addicted. Knowing to how to tell if someone is on heroin is the first step to helping someone.

Withdrawal

The best way to tell if someone is on heroin is to see if they show withdrawal symptoms. Heroin addiction has a physical dependence. This dependence develops with abuse and can also include a psychological dependency. Physical dependence includes withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness, muscle and bone pain, insomnia, diarrhea, and vomiting.

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Learn How to Tell if Someone is on Heroin and Get Help Today

If you or someone you love needs help, contact us to learn about our free insurance verification for treatment.

At Pathfinders, we help you in any heroin addiction stage and help you understand how to tell if someone is on heroin.

Reach out today.

The 4 Most Commonly Abused Drugs on College Campuses

If you are going away to college, it is often the first time you will be living away from home.

You will need to steer clear of college drugs.

Because you want to fit in, you might attempt to prove yourself when other peers are experimenting with drugs.

Often college campuses offer a higher frequency of partying and illegal drugs.

You need to be careful because college drugs are prevalent, and drugs on college campuses are no joke.

There are four main college drugs commonly abused: alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, and OTC or over-the-counter medications.

Also, ecstasy and cocaine are common.

4 Most Commonly Abused Drugs on College Campuses Pathfinders - 2 women and 2 men play beer pong during a study break in college. Alcohol is the most abused college drug.

College Drugs: Alcohol

The most abused of all the college drugs is alcohol.

Although alcohol is legal for students 21 and up, it is not safe nor legal for anyone under 18.

College students also tend to binge drink when they drink on campus.

Binge drinking is the act of consuming more than three or four drinks in one sitting.
Alcohol is one of the easy college drugs to abuse because it is relatively inexpensive and very accessible.

Many college students are over the age of 21.

Reasons that college students drink alcohol include:

  • Relaxation
  • Attempt to fit in
  • Peer pressure
  • Party and have fun
  • Stress reliever
  • To be more social
  • Reduce anxiety or depression

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How College Students View Alcohol

People glorify alcohol in movies, music, and television. Most college students do not consider it to be a drug or see it as dangerous. Drinking alcohol looks fun, and young people have less impulse control than adults. College is also known as a time for being social by attending parties, which only increases alcohol use. Further, alcohol companies target young people with fruity or sugary alcoholic drinks. These make it easy to enjoy drinking alcohol without the bitter taste.

Dangers of Binge Drinking

  • Injuries
  • Sexual assault
  • Health problems
  • Drunk driving
  • Police involvement
  • Death

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College Drugs: Marijuana

The second most popular of all college drugs is marijuana. Marijuana is known as reefer, weed, pot, or “Mary Jane,” and around 47% of college students use marijuana. Due to its legalities in many states, marijuana is popular in the media and present in pop culture.
Although marijuana is not typically addictive, nine percent of users become addicted.

How College Students View Marijuana

Marijuana is easy to come by and much less expensive than other drugs. An 18-year-old can obtain a medical marijuana card in many states, while 21-year-olds can purchase it for recreational use in some states.
People commonly smoke marijuana, but college students often enjoy brownies containing marijuana. College students use marijuana to calm nerves, stop anxiety, fit in, or relax.
Dangers of Marijuana

  •  Loss of coordination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Lowered immune system
  • Traffic accidents under the influence
  • Police involvement
  • Poor memory
  • Slowed reaction times
  • Breathing problems
  • Lack of motivation

College Drugs: Prescription Drugs

There is an epidemic with drugs across college campuses in the form of prescription drug abuse. Often these medications are easily obtained through your prescription or that of a friend. Sixty-two percent of students with a valid prescription for ADHD medication, such as Adderall, give it to other students without prescriptions.
This use of college drugs is not only illegal but also very dangerous. Every day 100 people die in the United States from a drug overdose; many of these deaths are prescription drug-related. Additionally, in 2016, 10% of college students admittedly used Adderall.
But why do college students abuse prescription drugs? Because there is so much pressure to perform in college, one of the college drugs abused is Adderall. These help to improve focus and can act almost like a brain boost.

Narcotics and Benzodiazepines

Prescription drugs abused by students also include narcotics and central nervous system depressants. Central nervous system depressants are known as tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, and sleep aids. Valium and Xanax are benzodiazepines that are tranquilizers. These drugs help relieve the anxiety that many students find in college, but they are also highly addictive.

College Drugs: OTC Medications

Another class of college drugs often found on college campuses are over-the-counter medications, known as OTC medications. These are typically cough medicines available for purchase at any store. They contain dextromethorphan or DXM, such as Nyquil. Other than Nyquil, there are also hundreds of other options. Not only are these easy to obtain, but they are completely legal to be bought by anyone over the age of 18.

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How Are OTC Medications Abused?

College students will find ways to abuse drugs. Students might drink an entire bottle of cough medicine or take a whole box of pills at once. This amount can cause an out-of-body experience but can be extremely dangerous.
The most dangerous aspect is that college students do not understand the dangers associated with these college drugs. OTC medications can cause dizziness, nausea, and motor control loss, but severe side-effects and death are possible when combined with other drugs.

Mental Illness and College Drugs

If you are in college and dealing with an undiagnosed mental illness, you may look to college drugs to self-medicate. Self-medicating is not smart because you may misuse these drugs and cause more harm than good.

Drug Abuse Warning Signs for College Students

  • Poor academic performance or change in performance
  • Changes in weight: gain or loss
  • Isolation
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities
  • Unidentified pill bottles
  • Troubles with the law
  • Traffic accidents
  • Sudden outbursts
  • Skipping classes
  • Agitation
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Decreased focus
  • Lack of motivation
  • Depression

4 Most Commonly Abused Drugs on College Campuses Pathfinders - Several college students meet at evening IOP rehab to discuss triggers. They became addiction to 1 of the 4 most abused college drugs from parting too hard in school.

Treatment for Addiction to College Drugs

If you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction in college, there are many treatments. Inpatient treatment is the most common and essential for severe addictions. Outpatient treatment is less intense and will allow you to go about your daily life. Otherwise, there are forms of treatment such as peer meetings and sober living that require weekly therapy sessions, accountability check-ins, and meetings.

Outpatient Treatment

If you cannot disrupt your college classes and want to go to treatment while attending school, you can do outpatient treatment. Outpatient is the best course of action for students with a moderate addiction. Rather than spend 30-90 days at a facility, you visit the treatment center three times weekly for two to three hours each. Outpatient will allow you to continue your life while still going to treatment and maintaining accountability.

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Free Yourself from College Drugs

If you are struggling with an addiction to alcohol or any drug, we can help.

At Pathfinders, we offer a variety of treatment programs to help you get sober and stay sober.

Free yourself from college drugs and get healthy again.

Contact us today to learn about our programs and how you can utilize our free insurance verification for treatment.

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment

Many people struggle with fighting addiction, but it can be easier to fight your addiction through faith-based addiction treatment.

If you are religious, there are unique aspects of recovery that you do not realize.

Abusing drugs and alcohol can affect your faith and religion.

Because 76.5% of Americans identified as religious in 2015, faith-based addiction treatment is a suitable option.

Whether or not you are religious, drug addiction often feels like a moral or ethical failing.

By going to faith-based addiction treatment, you can connect with your high power to overcome addiction.

Faith-based addiction treatment and rehab will allow your religious beliefs to grow during treatment, making you a stronger person.

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Pathfinders - Photo showing the laps of 3 people who are in a faith based addiction treatment program as they read from their bibles.

What is Faith-Based Addiction Treatment?

Faith-based addiction treatment addresses your medical and spiritual needs.

Even though the spiritual aspect is a large focus, treatment still needs to contain standard drug rehab techniques.

These techniques might include medically-assisted detox and behavioral therapy.

Healing the soul and managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings are equally important.

Standard addiction treatments in faith-based rehab might include:

  • Drug detox
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Prescribed medication for withdrawal symptoms
  • Life skills and emotional coping training

In faith-based addiction treatment, certified spiritual advisors are present for all counseling.

They offer guidance during your treatment, along with individual and group sessions.

These counselors help you find peace by way of faith.

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Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous

You may have heard of the support groups NA and AA. These acronyms stand for narcotics anonymous and alcoholics anonymous. These support groups are faith-based addiction treatment, as they incorporate faith into their aftercare programs.

Often after you have completed rehab, you join either AA or NA. The emotional support that you find during group meetings is beneficial to staying sober once you are in the world again. Speaking with peers who have been through the same situation will help in avoiding relapse.

 

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Faith-Based Addiction Treatment vs. Standard Treatment

The difference between faith-based addiction treatment and standard treatment is the addition of faith and faith-based activities.

In faith-based addiction treatment, you will see that worship is a part of your recovery plan. Spaces for prayer are available on-site, and there are typically religious services. Often scripture readings, discussions, and meditations occur daily.

In one study, for people interested in religion, a faith-based activity could be helpful in treatment. Combining a supervised detox and mental health counseling with faith-based addiction treatment can be extremely effective. Not only are the physical and medical aspects being taken care of, but the mental and spiritual aspects are too.

More than 800 faith-based community programs receive SAMHSA grants to help those of faith beat their addictions.

Who is a Candidate for Faith-Based Addiction Treatment?

You are a good candidate for faith-based addiction treatment if you have a specific faith and want to incorporate faith in treatment.

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Examples of Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Curriculum

  • The Struggle of Sin: In this, you will understand sin and view your addiction as such. You gain a better understanding of your disease.
  • The Grace of God: If your faith involves God, then you will be able to use scripture to understand God’s grace. It will also allow you to learn how to free yourself from addiction.
  • Empowerment of Faith: This can be a special subject. When you read scripture, you articulate what faith means to you and how it empowers you.
  • The Importance of Honesty: The first step in recovery is honesty with yourself. You will need to admit to yourself that you have an addiction. Understand your addiction and apply biblical teachings.
  • Prayer and meditation: Because these are both essential to spirituality, you will learn how to pray and meditate to aid your recovery process.

Faith-Based Addiction Treatment Pathfinders - The hands of a group of people who are in prayer during their faith based addiction treatment.

Signs You Have an Addiction

There are many different signs of addiction. Although it may be hard to admit it to yourself, this is the first step in the recovery process. Here are signs that you have an addiction:

  • You keep taking prescription drugs after you no longer need them.
  • You have developed a tolerance to the drug and need more to get the same effect.
  • You feel bad when you no longer have the drug in your system. You may feel depressed or nauseous, get headaches, or sweat excessively. Often these symptoms can lead to seizures if not controlled.
  • When you cannot stop yourself from using the drug, even though you want to, you may have quit many times but are still using.
  • Addiction is affecting your social relationships, as well as your mental or physical health.
  • You think about how to get more of the drug. You feel bad after taking the drug.
  • You struggle with limiting how much you take of the drug. You may say that you will only use it so often, but you are using it more than planned.
  • You have lost interest in things you once loved to do, such as spending time with family or friends.
  • You are no longer able to perform daily tasks that were previously in your routine.
  • You drive or operate machinery while intoxicated.
  • You have needed to borrow or steal money to pay for your addiction.
  • You do not let others know about your drug use, and you feel embarrassed by your use.
  • You are having trouble getting along with your family, friends, or coworkers. The people in your life are complaining that you act differently or have changed due to your use.
  • You are encountering insomnia or oversleeping disorders. Your sleeping and eating habits have changed.
  • You have specific friends with who you typically use drugs or drink alcohol. You go to different places than normal to use or drink.
  • You have gone “doctor shopping” to obtain prescriptions for the same drug from different doctors.
  • Often look in your friend’s or family’s medicine cabinets to find drugs.
  • You take prescribed medication with alcohol or other drugs to increase their effects.

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Is It Time for You to Get Help for Your Addiction?

If you are someone of faith and want help with your addiction, consider faith-based addiction treatment.

At Pathfinders, we offer inpatient and outpatient faith-based treatment programs.

Regardless of your religion, you can find a program that shares your faith and meets your spiritual needs.

We also offer free insurance verification for treatment to help you in finding the right program.

Contact us today for more information.

Xanax Abuse is On the Rise

Xanax Abuse is a Growing Problem

Xanax abuse is something to be concerned about, even though Xanax is a prescription medication.

The truth is that Xanax is one of the most commonly-prescribed drugs in its class, according to the authors of a study in the Journal of Addiction Medicine.

While Xanax does belong to a class of medications called benzodiazepines, which have legitimate medical uses for the treatment of anxiety and panic, Xanax abuse is an unfortunate reality.

Experts warn that Xanax is incredibly addictive and should not be used for long periods of time.

Over time, Xanax abuse can lead to addiction and the need for drug rehab.

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Rates of Xanax Abuse

Research from the National Institute on Drug Abuse or NIDA shows just how common Xanax abuse has become.

According to a 2018 report from this organization, 30.5 million American adults use benzodiazepine drugs like Xanax.

Among benzodiazepine users, 17.1% of people misuse these drugs, which means that we can expect the rates of Xanax abuse to be considerably high.

Among those who abuse Xanax and other benzodiazepines, a little under 2% will develop a benzodiazepine use disorder.

This is the clinical term for an addiction to drugs like Xanax.

If Xanax abuse leads to a clinical addiction, drug rehab will likely be necessary.

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Reasons for Xanax Abuse

Some people take Xanax as prescribed by a doctor for an anxiety or panic disorder, but others engage in Xanax abuse. This can involve taking Xanax for reasons other than its intended uses or taking larger doses of Xanax than a doctor prescribes.

When prescribed Xanax, people should use caution and take the medication exactly as the doctor prescribes. Xanax abuse occurs when people do not follow a doctor’s directions.

There are various reasons for Xanax abuse. According to a research report from NIDA, almost half of people who abuse benzodiazepines such as Xanax misuse the drug to relax or relieve tension. Nearly 25% of people who abuse Xanax are trying to treat sleep problems.

Furthermore, slightly over 10% of people report Xanax abuse is a method to get high, and an additional 10% abuse Xanax helps them cope with their emotions. Finally, some people report that their Xanax abuse is a method of experimentation.

Regardless of the reasons for Xanax abuse, misusing this drug can lead to an addiction or substance use disorder.
Xanax Abuse is On the Rise Pathfinders - As one of the most widely prescribed drugs Xanax abuse is on the rise. It is easy to fall into addiction and need drug rehab for help.

Signs of a Substance Use Disorder

If Xanax abuse leads to addiction, it will be classified as a substance use disorder. NIDA has reported that symptoms include using larger amounts of Xanax than intended, being unable to cut back on Xanax use, or using Xanax when dangerous, such as while driving a vehicle.

Other signs that Xanax abuse has led to addiction include the following: spending a great deal of time using Xanax, giving up other activities in favor of Xanax abuse, or continuing to use the drug despite serious consequences, such as worsening physical or mental health, difficulty in relationships, or being unable to fulfill duties at work or home.

Once someone has developed a substance use disorder, Xanax rehab is needed to recover.

Xanax Abuse and Withdrawal

Another consequence of ongoing Xanax abuse is experiencing withdrawal. Xanax withdrawal occurs because, with regular use of the drug, the body will become physically dependent upon it. This means that when a person reduces Xanax abuse or tries to stop using the drug, the body will go through withdrawal symptoms as it adjusts to the absence of the drug.

Because Xanax abuse can lead to withdrawal, it is often necessary to seek the help of a professional detox program to stop using Xanax. In fact, Xanax withdrawal can be extremely risky, as it can lead to serious complications like seizures, according to experts.

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Treatment for Xanax Abuse

If you have been struggling with Xanax abuse, it is important that you seek help from a professional if you want to stop using the drug. As previously stated, Xanax withdrawal can be serious, so it is important to have the help of a professional while you are detoxing from this drug.

Staff in a Xanax rehab can provide you with a detox program, where you will receive medical care, support, and supervision to keep you as safe and as comfortable as possible as your body rids itself of Xanax. After you complete detox, it is important that you receive ongoing behavioral care to help you address the underlying issues that led to Xanax abuse.

Xanax Abuse is On the Rise Pathfinders - A group of people who are in Xanax rehab discuss their triggers that led to Xanax abuse.Takeaways on Telling Your Family You Need Help for Drugs

Telling your family, you need help for drugs and need to go to drug rehab can be challenging. Given the stigma and shame surrounding having a drug addict in the family, your loved ones may have a negative opinion of addiction treatment.

Some of the stigma surrounding drug abuse can be corrected by developing an understanding of addiction, such as learning that addiction is a legitimate medical condition that causes lasting changes in the brain.

Explaining that addiction is a lasting brain condition, informing your family of the benefits of treatment, and asking for their support as you go to drug rehab can make a difference. Letting them know the reasons you need help for drugs and telling them what to expect will increase the chances that your family will support you.

Xanax Abuse and Mental Illness

As the research indicates, Xanax treats anxiety and panic disorder, so many people who use this medication have a mental health condition. Furthermore, a significant portion of people engages in Xanax abuse to help them cope with tension or uncomfortable emotions.

It is not unusual for someone to have both a Xanax addiction and a co-occurring mental illness, such as anxiety, panic disorder, or depression. If you are struggling with Xanax abuse and mental illness, it is important that you seek treatment at a dual diagnosis rehab center.

A Xanax rehab specializing in dual diagnosis can provide treatment for both addiction and mental illness so that all of your needs are met. If you treat only the Xanax abuse but not the underlying mental health condition, you may return to Xanax abuse in order to self-medicate issues like stress or anxiety.

Xanax Rehab in Colorado and Arizona

Suppose you are living with Xanax addiction and are seeking a rehab center. In that case, Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in both Colorado and Arizona, and we are happy to provide services to those in surrounding states as well.

We can offer both Colorado and Arizona Xanax rehab, and we are qualified to treat a dual diagnosis, to address Xanax abuse and mental illness together. We promise to provide research-backed treatment in our upscale facilities, and we employ a leadership team with upwards of 25 years of experience.

We are also accredited by the Joint Commission, and we offer a range of rehab services, including inpatient, outpatient, detox, and partial hospitalization.

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Paying for Colorado and Arizona Xanax Rehab

You may be worried about covering the costs of rehab.

If this is the case, the Pathfinders Recovery Center can ease some of your concerns with our free insurance verification program.

Visit our website and fill out a quick form, and one of our team members will be in touch with you as soon as possible to inform you of how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for Xanax rehab.

Even if you are without insurance, our team will work with you to develop a cash payment plan to make rehab affordable for you.

Regardless of your financial situation, we are here to help.

Reach out to us today to begin your journey toward a life that is free from the grips of Xanax abuse.

How to Tell Your Family You Need Help for Drugs

Admitting You Need Help for Drugs Can Be Challenging

If you have been struggling with drug abuse, admitting you need help can be difficult, especially when approaching people you love, including your family.

The shame and stigma surrounding drug abuse and addiction can make you fearful of reaching out or admitting to your family that you have become a “drug addict.”

While it is normal to be anxious about telling others you need help for drugs, it is important to have open conversations with family, so they can be a source of support as you seek rehab.

Hopefully, through an honest, heartfelt conversation, your family will understand that treatment can help you recover from drug abuse and lead a happier, healthier life.

How to ask for help with drugs Pathfinders - Photo of a mans hands as he holds a lighter under a spoon with white powder in it as he sucks the smoke through a straw.Doing Your Research Allows You to Explain Why You Need Help for Drugs

The first step in explaining to your family that you need help with drugs is researching what addiction means.

This can help you have an educated discussion with your family, so they know you are serious about seeking treatment.

For example, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a mental illness and a chronic brain disease.

Over time, drug use causes lasting changes in the brain, leading people to seek drugs compulsively .

Therefore, it can be extremely difficult to stop using on your own.

When you approach your family to tell them you need help with drugs, it is helps to explain that addiction is a disease.

Just like any other medical condition, treatment is required to recover or get better.

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Explain the Science of Why You Need Help for Drugs

If you have been living with addiction, there is a chance that your family is upset with you. Perhaps you have lashed out at them in anger during the worst phases of your addiction, or perhaps you have stolen money from them to support your habit. Whatever the case, your family may see you as a “hopeless drug addict.”

There is a chance that your family is fed up with your drug abuse and are convinced that drug rehab will not work. If you suspect your family might feel this way, explain to them that your behavior results from a chronic brain condition. For example, as the National Institute on Drug Abuse explains, while the initial choice to use drugs is voluntary, over time, drug abuse damages areas of the brain responsible for judgment and decision-making.

This means that addiction can make it difficult for you to control your behavior or make reasonable decisions. During the conversation with your family, it is beneficial to explain this fact.  Apologize for the decisions you made while addicted, and make it clear that you need help with drugs to make better choices in the future.

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Other Talking Points When You Need Help for Drugs

Beyond explaining to your family that addiction is a legitimate medical condition that requires treatment because of its negative effects on the brain, it is helpful to educate your family about the prevalence of addiction and the effectiveness of addiction rehab.

A 2017 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that about 20.2 million adults have an addiction in any given year. Pointing this fact out can help your family understand that addiction is a common condition and that seeking drug rehab is a relatively acceptable thing. It may also be helpful to explain that treatment works and can help you to change your life.

Explain the Dangers of Not Seeking Treatment When You Need Help for Drugs

If your family is still hesitant about drug rehab, they may become more open to the idea when you explain the dangers of not seeking treatment. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the drug overdose death rate has tripled since 1999.

Avoiding going to treatment when you need help for drugs can increase your risk of death from an overdose. Not seeking treatment also puts you at risk of a multitude of health problems, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and mental health problems.

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Explaining What Treatment Will Involve

Beyond understanding the science and consequences of drug abuse, it will be important for your family to know what to expect from drug rehab. They can understand whether you are going to inpatient rehab or attending drug rehab on an outpatient basis.
Additionally, your family should understand that they are an important part of your recovery journey. They may be upset about your addiction or unsure that you need help for drugs, but asking them to support you in your recovery is an important step.

How to ask for help with drugs Pathfinders - A young man stands up with his family around him and tells them about his drug addiction and asks for help getting into drug rehab.Takeaways on Telling Your Family You Need Help for Drugs

Telling your family, you need help for drugs and need to go to drug rehab can be challenging. Given the stigma and shame surrounding having a drug addict in the family, your loved ones may have a negative opinion of addiction treatment.
Some of the stigma surrounding drug abuse can be corrected by developing an understanding of addiction, such as learning that addiction is a legitimate medical condition that causes lasting changes in the brain.

Explaining that addiction is a lasting brain condition, informing your family of the benefits of treatment, and asking for their support as you go to drug rehab can make a difference. Letting them know the reasons you need help for drugs and telling them what to expect will increase the chances that your family will support you.

Drug Abuse Treatment in Colorado and Arizona

If you are ready to seek treatment for drug abuse, Pathfinders Recovery Center has locations in both Colorado and Arizona. We are a luxury treatment center, and we offer a range of services, including residential treatment, outpatient rehab, detox, and partial hospitalization.

Pathfinders Recovery Center employs a leadership team with over 25 years of experience in the field, and we use evidence-based approaches for drug rehab. We are also considered a dual diagnosis center, meaning we are qualified to treat both addiction and mental illness.

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Paying for Drug Rehab

After telling your family you need help with drugs, your next concern may be determining how to pay for drug rehab.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we make the process easier by offering a free insurance verification program.

Simply fill out a form on our website, and a member of our team will be in touch with you to inform you what you can expect to pay out-of-pocket for rehab.

If you do not have insurance, our team will also work with you to create a cash payment plan.

Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you recover from drug abuse.

The 5 Types of Alcoholics

Not All Alcoholics Are the Same

When we think of the term “alcoholics,” we think of individuals addicted to drinking alcohol.

For this reason, it is easy to lump everyone who is affected by alcohol addiction into a single group.

However, this kind of catch-all approach does not reflect the reality of alcohol addiction.

Current research shows there are five subgroups of people dealing with alcoholism.

No matter which of these groups you belong to, you will likely need help to recover your sobriety.

Additionally, it’s important to know that not everyone with serious drinking problems faces the same situation.

This kind of awareness gives doctors the ability to tailor treatment plans surrounding their specific needs and situation.

The 5 Types of Alcoholics Pathfinders - A man sits with an addiction therapist as part of an initial assessment for rehab to discuss the different types of alcoholics and which type he falls under to determine the right treatment plan to get him on the path to recovery and long-term sobriety.

How Is Alcoholism Defined?

Before breaking down the sub-types of alcoholism, it helps to clarify what alcoholism itself means. Today, experts view alcoholism as part of an illness called alcohol use disorder (AUD).

Symptoms that point to an alcohol addiction include:

  • Regularly consuming more alcohol than you initially planned
  • Repeated lack of success when you try multiple times to stop drinking
  • Making drinking and drinking-related activities the focus of your day
  • Needing more and more alcohol to feel like its effects on you
  • Not quitting drinking after seeing its negative impact on your health
  • Feeling a strong pull toward drinking when not consuming alcohol
  • Experiencing withdrawal if you take a break from drinking or try to quit

You can be diagnosed with AUD if you have experienced two of these symptoms. You can also be diagnosed if you have just one symptom of alcoholism and one symptom of non-addicted alcohol abuse. The most severely affected drinkers typically experience six to 11 alcohol-related symptoms.

 

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The Five Types of Alcoholics

Being addicted to alcohol is just the baseline definition of alcoholism. To understand alcoholism better, researchers have studied the condition in greater detail.

There are a couple of reasons why this is significant. First, this additional information makes it possible for doctors to better understand their patients struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction. Moreover, it allows people affected by the illness to understand themselves better.

With all of this in mind, here are five subgroups of people affected by alcohol addiction.

Drinkers Who Are Young Adults

Young adults are people between the ages of 18 and 25. People in this age range make up a large percentage of all alcohol consumers in the U.S. They also make up a significant percentage of binge drinkers and heavy drinkers.

Roughly one-third of all Americans addicted to alcohol are young adults. People in this category are not as likely to have additional problems often found in heavy drinkers.

These problems include a family history of alcoholism. They also include the presence of other mental health issues, including additional substance addiction. If you belong to this subgroup of drinkers, chances are low that you have sought help for your problems.

Young People With Antisocial Tendencies

 

People who behave in antisocial ways do things that violate the norms of everyday behavior.

Some of these actions include stealing, invading other people’s personal space, and committing violent or aggressive acts. In some cases, these individuals may have an antisocial personality disorder.

About a fifth of all Americans addicted to alcohol are young adults in their 20s with antisocial tendencies. If you belong to this subgroup, you may also have:

  • An anxiety disorder
  • A bipolar illness
  • Major depression

It is not uncommon for those affected to have an additional addiction to opioids or cocaine. There is also a very good chance that these individuals use marijuana or smoke cigarettes. Interestingly, antisocial problem drinkers often seek treatment. Over 33% of people in this category do so.

“Functional” Alcoholics

Functional alcoholics are addicted to alcohol and manage to maintain much of their daily competence.

For this reason, they may slip through the cracks when it comes to detecting an alcohol-related problem. Roughly one in five problem drinkers fit into this subgroup. These people tend to be in their 40s or 50s. They also tend to have a high level of education and meet their responsibilities at work and home. Many people in this category have parents or grandparents with alcohol problems. Cases of major depression are also relatively common. The same holds true for cigarette use.

Intermediate Familial Drinkers

People in this subgroup are middle-aged adults. About 50% have some diagnosable depression, and about 20% have bipolar disorder. The same holds true for marijuana and cocaine abuse. Close to 20% of all people with alcoholism belong to the intermediate familial subgroup. Unfortunately, one in four of these people are likely to seek treatment for their drinking.

Long-Term, Severe Drinkers

9% of those that struggle with alcoholism belong to this subgroup of long-term, severe drinkers. This group includes those most heavily affected by alcohol use disorder. It also consists of those most heavily affected by other mental health issues, including antisocial personality disorder, bipolar disorders, and major depression.

The vast majority of long-term severe drinkers come from families with alcohol problems. People in this category also frequently suffer from addictions to substances such as:

  • Opioids
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana

It is common for severe alcoholics to seek treatment. This is the only subgroup where more than 50% of those affected seek help.

 

 

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Not Enough Alcoholics Enter Treatment

One glaring statistic holds true for most problem drinkers: They do not seek help for their alcohol use disorder. This is a truly unfortunate situation. Why? In the 21st century, there are multiple proven treatments for people affected by AUD.

Those treatments options include medication and supportive care that makes it possible to stop drinking. They also include medication and behavioral therapy to help you remain alcohol-free. This does not mean the road to sobriety is easy. Setbacks are common, and you will almost certainly have bad days while in alcohol rehab. Still, lasting sobriety is possible, and rehab programs help people make progress toward their recovery goals each and every day.

 

 

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Regardless of Your Sub-Type, Seek Help

Today, it is common for health insurance to cover the cost of an alcohol rehab program. Even if your insurance does not cover your treatment, you have a good chance of finding programs that provide alternative flexible payment options. This means that people in all kinds of financial situations can get the assistance they need.

The understanding that you belong to a subgroup of alcoholics does not need to be a negative realization. On the contrary, you can use this knowledge to learn more about your situation. You can also use it to focus on treatments known to have helped many people in similar circumstances. Experienced professionals in your program will help identify these treatments.

The 5 Types of Alcoholics Pathfinders - A group of individuals suffering from alcoholism are in a group therapy session as part of their treatment plan to discuss their stories and experiences as alcoholics, learn healthy coping strategies, and build a strong, sober support system.

For information on how to get the help you need, contact Pathfinders today. Our addiction specialists will answer all of your questions about the available treatments. We also offer treatment services that benefit all types of problem drinkers.

 

 

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Methamphetamine: How Bad Is It?

How Bad Is Methamphetamine?

Methamphetamine is a stimulant drug with a widespread reputation for causing serious harm.

But does the drug deserve this reputation? Is it as bad as people say?

The simple answer to this question is yes.

Methamphetamine (also known as meth, crystal, glass, ice, and speed) can damage your health in many different ways.

One of its most well-known risks is addiction.

People who use the drug often can easily end up in an addictive cycle that is difficult to break.

But even if you do not get addicted, abuse of the drug can damage your mental and physical well-being. In a worst-case scenario, it can also kill you.

But rest assured, you are not doomed to suffer these kinds of tragic outcomes.

If you are abusing meth or addicted to the drug, you can break free with help from trained professionals.

No matter how hopeless you feel today, effective meth rehab will help you turn things around.

Methamphetamine: How Bad Is It? Pathfinders - A young man is sitting with an addiction specialist for an initial assessment to determine the appropriate, customized treatment plan for his methamphetamine addiction.

Methamphetamine Abuse

In the U.S., some people use a legally prescribed form of methamphetamine. However, the majority of users consume an illegal form of the drug. Any recreational form of drug use automatically qualifies as substance abuse. You can also abuse legal meth if you:

  • Take it without having a prescription
  • Consume it more often or in larger amounts than your doctor prescribed

Mental Impact of Abuse

Even without considering addiction, abuse of the drug can lead to serious mental health consequences. The worst of these consequences tend to affect long-term users. They include such things as:

  • Unusual outbursts of aggression or violence
  • Memory problems
  • Unpredictable mood changes
  • A reduced ability to focus attention
  • Problems thinking logically

But these are not the only potential effects. Some people also develop psychosis, a problem generally associated with serious illnesses like schizophrenia. Not all examples of psychosis are the same. However, its most typical symptoms include:

  • Paranoid and/or delusional thoughts
  • Sensory hallucinations
  • Involuntary, repeated muscle movements

 

It would be bad enough if you only experienced psychosis during active periods of drug use. However, for some people, the situation is far worse. Even after they quit taking methamphetamine, they still go through psychotic episodes. These episodes can continue to appear for years in some cases.

Physical Impact of Abuse

Over time, the drug can also seriously impact your physical health. For example, meth can change the structure of your brain. This fact helps explain at least some of the mental problems linked to the drug. In some cases, meth-related brain damage is permanent. Long-term users may also experience serious or permanent damage to their:

  • Hearts
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys
  • Liver

Another potential impact is extremely high blood pressure. In turn, this problem can lead to fatal strokes or heart attacks.

Even with all of this, there are more physical problems linked to the drug. One of these problems is advanced dental damage, often known as “meth mouth.” Common symptoms of meth mouth include:

  • Decaying teeth
  • Stained or discolored teeth
  • Diseased gums
  • Pain in your jaw’s joints and muscles

Because of changes in their diet, many long-term users are malnourished and lose lots of weight. You may also develop itchy skin, and some people scratch with enough force to cause significant skin damage.

 

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Methamphetamine Addiction

Methamphetamine shares a major danger with the stimulants cocaine and amphetamine. Namely, it can serve as a powerful source of drug addiction. Addiction happens when your brain comes to depend on the drug, and you feel compelled to seek it out.

When you started using crystal, you almost certainly had no interest in getting addicted. Instead, you turned to the drug because you wanted, in your way, to feel better. Nevertheless, every time you get high, your chances of addiction go up.

In fact, compared to amphetamine and cocaine, meth may pose an even greater risk. This is true, in part, because the drug produces stronger feelings of pleasure. In addition, its effects do not last for long. Together, these two facts increase the odds you will try to get high repeatedly, even in short spans of time. This is a custom-made recipe for the rapid production of drug addiction.

 

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Mental Illness

On its own, meth addiction is a form of a mental illness called stimulant use disorder. However, people who abuse methamphetamine also have higher risks for other kinds of mental illness. In addition to schizophrenia, the list of potential conditions includes:

  • Bipolar disorders
  • BPD or borderline personality disorder
  • Major depression and other depressive illnesses
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Anxiety-related conditions, like generalized anxiety disorder

This does not necessarily mean that your drug problems led to your other mental health problems. This may be true for some people. However, there are many possible explanations for your situation. For example, you may have developed a mental illness before you got involved in substance abuse. Still, the overall danger is clear. People who abuse drugs or alcohol are affected by mental illness at an unusually high rate.

 

Methamphetamine Overdose

Like a wide range of other substances, crystal and other forms of meth can trigger an overdose. Why? Because they have the potential to overwhelm your system and stop it from working as it should. The drug causes about 15% of all fatal overdoses in the U.S. Some people die as a result of a stroke. Others die from heart attacks. You are especially at risk if you also abuse an opioid drug or medication.

 

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Meaningful Treatment is Available

Given all of these dangers, it is easy to see methamphetamine is as bad as experts say. However, this does not mean that problems related to the drug are untreatable. There are effective ways to recover from addiction and make a substantial return to health. This fact holds true regardless of how long you have abused meth or been addicted.

The best possible way to stop abusing the drug is to enter a supervised detox program. Detox will give you the tools to halt your substance use and cope with meth-related withdrawal. These tools include forms of care, such as:

  • Making sure you get enough fluids
  • Taking steps to improve your nutritional health
  • Tracking your heart rate and other vital signs

Once you get the drug out of your system, you can start active rehab. Drug rehab for methamphetamine is based on the use of behavioral therapy. That is the name for therapy that helps you make major changes in your everyday behavior. Such changes include:

  • Understanding why you get drug cravings
  • Recognizing the signals of an increase in your desire to get high
  • Coping with your urges and remaining drug-abstinent

Methamphetamine: How Bad Is It? Pathfinders - A group of individuals attending a residential rehab for methamphetamine addiction is engaging in a group therapy session, where they are showing their support for new group members that have recently entered treatment for meth abuse.

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Seek Methamphetamine Treatment Today

Meth can leave you feeling so damaged that recovery seems almost impossible.

But no matter how convinced you are, the facts do not support this point of view.

Every day, people are affected by the drug enter treatment programs.

And once in treatment, they take the steps needed to make a return to sobriety more than just a dream.

Without a doubt, it can be challenging to overcome a methamphetamine problem.

But you do have options for moving forward.

Need help getting started? Just contact the professionals at Pathfinders.

We specialize in supporting the recovery needs of people just like you.

With our assistance, sobriety is within reach.

Alcohol and the Liver – How Alcohol Damages the Liver

What is the Connection Between Alcohol and Liver Health?

Alcohol is America’s most popular addictive substance. But, alcohol and liver issues are quite common among heavy drinkers.

However, if you drink too much, you not only run the risk of developing an addiction, you also expose your liver to potentially catastrophic damage.

This is true because alcohol has a direct impact on how the liver functions.

Liver damage does not happen to heavy drinkers all at once.

Instead, it develops gradually over time.

If you seek help for your alcohol abuse as soon as possible, you can avoid the worst kinds of damage.

You can also limit the other severe consequences of this common form of addiction.

If you are a drinker, it is essential to understand the connection between alcohol and liver health.

Why? Drinking can have a harmful effect on this vital organ, even if you do not meet the definition of alcoholism.

If you drink heavily as a habit, you increase your chances of developing a severe, or even fatal, liver-related disease.

Alcohol and the Liver: How Alcohol Damages the Liver Pathfinders - A young woman has a virtual individual counseling session with a medical professional to discuss alcohol and the liver and how alcohol can damage this important organ overtime, while going over potential treatment options to help the young woman break free from her addiction to alcohol.

Alcohol and the Liver – The Basics

Why does alcohol affect how your liver works? First, alcohol is toxic to your body. If too much of it builds up in your system, you can die from alcohol poisoning. This means that your body must find some way to get rid of the alcoholic toxins. If this elimination process did not occur, you would not be able to drink any amount of an alcoholic substance without running into problems.

How does your body eliminate alcohol from your system? It relies on the liver. When you drink beer, wine, or liquor, your body starts to digest it. The toxic parts of alcohol eventually make it to your liver. There, they undergo a gradual breakdown.

However, your liver’s ability to break down alcohol is limited. If your consumption is higher than this organ can handle, you will overwhelm its capacity. When this happens, the toxins in alcohol will build up in your system — resulting in your liver having to overwork to rid the body of the toxins.

If you keep taxing your liver long enough over a period of time, it will start to lose its normal function. This is true whether or not you have diagnosable alcohol problems. However, the real danger begins when you take part in a long-term pattern of heavy drinking. This kind of ongoing, excessive consumption leaves you vulnerable to the worst possible forms of liver damage.

 

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Alcohol-Related Damage is Progressive

Heavy drinking has a progressive impact on the health of your liver. This means that damage to the organ gets worse over time. Doctors and public health experts have a name for this progressive process known as alcoholic liver disease. There are three stages to this disease, including fatty liver or hepatic steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Each of these conditions affects you in different ways.

Fatty Liver of Hepatic Steatosis

Fatty liver gets its name because the condition produces an abnormal buildup of fat inside your liver. This buildup makes your liver grow larger than usual. Some people with fatty liver experience no apparent symptoms. However, others experience things such as:

  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Uncomfortable feelings in the upper right abdomen

The majority of heavy drinkers will eventually develop a fatty liver if they do not stop using alcohol. If you are affected by this condition, it may go away if you halt your drinking and lose weight.

Alcoholic Hepatitis

Hepatitis is the name for any significant inflammation within your liver tissue. In people with alcoholic hepatitis, this liver inflammation is widespread. Other symptoms of the condition include:

  • Fatty liver
  • Liver cell death, also known as necrosis

In addition, some affected people have symptoms of cirrhosis. Roughly 10% to 35% of all long-term heavy drinkers will develop alcoholic hepatitis.

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is the most harmful form of alcoholic liver disease. It occurs when continued heavy drinking leads to scarring inside your liver. This scarring permanently reduces the organ’s ability to function. If cirrhosis advances far enough, it can cause your liver to fail altogether. This is a dire health emergency. Additionally, some people with cirrhosis also develop liver cancer. Between one and two out of every 10 heavy drinkers will go on to develop cirrhosis.

 

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Alcohol and Liver Damage – How Much Do You Have to Drink?

You are probably wondering how much alcohol you need to drink to damage your liver. Your liver can eliminate 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol in a standard drink in about an hour. This is the equivalent of:

  • One 12-ounce serving of beer
  • Eight or nine ounces of malt liquor
  • One five-ounce glass of wine
  • A 1.5-ounce shot of hard liquor

Problems begin when you make a habit of exceeding this level of consumption by large amounts. Signs of liver disease may start to appear after a decade or more of drinking the following:

  • Two to eight beers a day
  • Three to six servings of wine a day
  • Three to six servings of hard liquor a day

If you consume alcohol in even heavier amounts, you run a higher risk of developing cirrhosis. Cirrhosis risks rise along with your level of consumption and duration of hard-drinking. For example, if you drink for 20 years or more, you have roughly a 50% chance of developing cirrhosis if you drink more than:

  • Roughly 36 beers a day
  • About 18 glasses of wine a day
  • Approximately 18 shots of hard liquor a day

These might seem like incredibly high amounts. But unfortunately, some heavy drinkers consume at least this much alcohol on a regular basis.

 

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Limit the Harm with Alcohol Rehab

Not everyone who drinks heavily is addicted to alcohol. This does not mean that non-addicted people cannot be problem drinkers. In fact, you can receive a diagnosis for alcohol problems even if you are not considered an alcoholic. This happens when your non-addicted alcohol abuse seriously damages your day-to-day life.

If you are caught up in a cycle of alcohol abuse, you have many reasons for getting help. Those reasons include avoidance or preventing the long-term effects of abuse/addiction itself. They also include avoidance of progressive liver damage.

For anyone affected by alcoholism, alcohol rehab typically begins with enrollment in a detox program. Detox helps you stop drinking. It also provides medication and support that allows you to cope with symptoms of alcohol withdrawal.

Once your time in detox is done, you are ready for the main phase of rehab, which is active treatment. The assistance you receive during active treatment will reinforce your short-term ability to stop drinking. It will also help you learn how to make lasting changes in your life that support long-term sobriety.

Alcohol and the Liver: How Alcohol Damages the Liver Pathfinders - A group of individuals in recovery for alcoholism are attending a group therapy session as part of treatment to discuss important topics, such as the connection and potential dangers between alcohol and the liver.

Learn More About Alcohol and Liver Damage

If you have been drinking heavily for a long time, you are at risk of damaging your liver. In its early stages, alcohol-related liver disease can sometimes be reversed. However, over time, you may develop irreversible damage in this vital organ. No one wants to face these kinds of severe, avoidable health complications.

Before alcohol can affect you in such drastic ways, seek help in an alcohol recovery program. An effective program makes it possible for you to abandon heavy drinking and get sober. It also makes it possible for you to make sobriety an ongoing priority of your daily routine.

If you already suffer from liver damage, rehab is still the best way to limit the harm to your body. Along with providing the right kind of medical treatment, your recovery program will help stabilize your health. It will also help and protect you from even greater physical and mental harm.

For more information on alcohol and liver damage, contact Pathfinders today. We are also your source for trusted information on alcohol abuse and addiction. In addition, we provide top-quality services for all kinds of alcohol use problems.

 

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