Coke Jaw: Myths and Realities

Coke Jaw

Most people are familiar with the psychological effects of cocaine, like intense euphoria and an increase in energy. These eventually lead to mood swings, dependence, and addiction, which devastate the life of the user. But there are also the less recognized physiological effects. One of these is coke jaw, an issue that can affect more than 5.2 million people who’ve used cocaine in the US in recent years.

So, what is coke jaw? Are there ways this can be avoided or treated? Pathfinders Recovery Center has shared a guide that dives deeper into coke jaw, its symptoms, and some common misconceptions about the issue. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Coke Jaw?

Coke jaw is a slang term that’s used to describe the uncontrollable jaw movements of a cocaine user. This can include clenching and erratic side-to-side movements. Since the mouth is not designed to endure these constant mechanical movements, coke jaw often causes many other issues.

How does it happen?

Why does drug abuse cause unusual behavior in the first place? Keep in mind that cocaine directly affects the central nervous system or CNS. Coke is a powerful CNS stimulant taken that speeds up activity in the brain as well as exciting physical reactions.

This results in sporadic and uncontrolled movements that are commonly associated with cocaine abuse and coke jaw.

When is it not coke jaw?

Not all erratic or involuntary movements of the jaw are caused by substance abuse. Some of them are the effects of certain neurological disorders like cranial dystonia and Tourette syndrome.

So, if you see a loved one with uncontrolled jaw movements, it’s best not to jump to conclusions yet. If there aren’t any other signs of cocaine addiction or cocaine use, then it might be something else altogether. Be sure to look over our other resources on signs of addiction in a loved one before beginning a conversation with someone you think might be experiencing jaw issues caused by cocaine.

The Effects of Coke Jaw

Constant jaw movement will often result in other problems. Here are other signs and symptoms of coke jaw that can eventually ruin a person’s quality of life:

Temporomandibular Disorders

Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is an umbrella term for various issues associated with the jaw and the joint connecting it to the skull. These are usually problems of the bone and not soft tissues, so they are harder to treat and take longer to heal. TMDs are some of the most common issues among cocaine users.

TMDs often result in limited use of the mouth, which makes eating difficult. This further aggravates the weight loss that many experience. In addition, temporomandibular conditions can cause chronic and severe headaches, tender facial muscles, and joint pain.

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

Teeth Grinding Disorder or Bruxism

Excessive teeth grinding, or bruxism, is another symptom of coke jaw. It’s one of the oral motor parafunctions heightened by cocaine use; those who already have bruxism might feel their symptoms worsen. Over time bruxism can cause severe damage if left untreated.

While most people wouldn’t see an issue here, teeth grinding actually deteriorates the enamel if left unchecked. That can lead to issues like:

  • Cavities: The exposed enamel makes it easier for bacteria and acidic substances to create dental caries, or tooth decay.
  • Brittle or Broken Teeth: Excessive teeth grinding also weakens the enamel and makes it more susceptible to cracks and chips.
  • Dental Attrition: This happens when the teeth wear out because of constant friction. Because of this, teeth have a flat and uniform appearance that looks unnatural.

Jaw Pain

Constant movement on the jaw will put stress on the bone and joints. Clenching is also a concern since a person can do this subconsciously while under the effects of cocaine. This is tied to the anxiety that people experience because of the overwhelming energy they get from the drug.

When we’re anxious, we clench our jaw. It’s one of the most common bodily mechanisms associated with this feeling. Of course, prolonged clenching will only put undue pressure on the jaw. This results in jaw pain, which can last even after cocaine leaves your system.

Constant pressure on the jaw can also lead to the possibility of fractures and dislocation, a painful condition that can require surgery to effectively correct.

Coke Jaw vs Coke Mouth

While often lumped together, coke mouth and coke jaw are two different things. Coke mouth is a more encompassing slang term for all oral issues associated with coke addiction. This also applies to the throat, teeth, and gums. Here are some of the common issues associated with coke mouth:

Gum Disease or Periodontal Disease

Rubbing cocaine on the gums is one of the most common ways to ingest the substance. Because of this method, many cocaine users experience problems with their periodontal tissue or gums. They can experience rapid gingival recession or receding gums, which eventually result in tooth loss. There’s nothing left to hold the molars in place.

Habitual cocaine use can also have necrotizing effects on the gums. In other words, the tissue starts to decay and causes a host of other problems like infections and bad breath.

Dental Erosion/Tooth Decay

Dental Erosion

We’ve already mentioned how tooth decay can result because of coke jaw. But cocaine itself is a highly acidic substance that erodes the teeth’s enamel. Not to mention that coke is often cut with powerful solvents such as acetone.

The chemicals in cocaine adulterants can magnify the damaging effects of the drug itself , which makes users more susceptible to tooth decay and missing teeth. In severe cases, a person may lose all their teeth.

Other substances that may be added to cocaine can also contain bacteria and unknown agents that further exacerbate the physical effects on the hard tissue in your mouth and jawline.

Palatal Perforation

One of the most concerning long-term effects of taking cocaine orally is oral palate perforation. This is when the upper palate of someone’s mouth starts deteriorating, resulting in ulcerations or holes. These openings can increase the risk of infections and make eating, speaking, and swallowing extremely painful and difficult.

Heavy drug use often results in these oral problems, but it’s not too late to recover from it. There is a ray of hope for families and individuals who suffer from substance abuse.

Is Coke Jaw Caused by Cocaine Abuse Treatable?

Yes! There are plenty of ways to treat coke jaw, but the most effective method is to correct the root cause of the problem: cocaine use. Preventing people from accessing and taking the drug is the surest way to treat coke jaw, gum disease, dental erosion, and other problems that all stem from cocaine use.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is one of the treatments we offer at Pathfinders Recovery Centers. It’s a two-step process that helps clients remove all traces of cocaine in their system and deal with withdrawal comfortably.

Our team is equipped with the knowledge and tools to help stabilize your condition and get ready for primary treatment.

Inpatient Rehabilitation

An inpatient rehabilitation program is a form of cocaine addiction treatment that helps clients completely recover from substance abuse. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, you or your loved one can enroll and receive the treatment, counseling, and support they need.

Support Groups

Cocaine Abuse Treatment - Support Group

Joining support groups is one way to share your struggles and process your experience. Such groups foster a risk-free and safe environment where people can talk about their stories and coping strategies, whether it’s for their oral health or for preventing a relapse.

Cocaine Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Coke jaw is only a small part of a bigger problem. So, if you’re starting to feel this symptom as well as other indicators of oral health deterioration, make the right choice and attend a recovery center. Recognizing that you need help is the first step.

If your loved one is showing signs of coke jaw and other indicators of cocaine use, it will be difficult at first to convince them to get the help they need. Bringing up the idea of rehabilitation may be difficult, but you’ll need to have an honest conversation with them and allow them to consider the idea of treatment.

Interventions shouldn’t be antagonistic. Instead, show them that you care and that you want them to feel better. If you need help with speaking to a loved one about their drug use, reach out today to Pathfinders and we can help get the dialogue started and address any concerns they (r you) might have regarding treatment.

Contact Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you or a loved one is battling cocaine addiction and would like to get the help they need, talk to us. We’re an established treatment center with facilities in Colorado and Arizona. With our team of expert counselors and compassionate medical professionals, we’ll be able to provide what our clients need the most.

Contact us today for a confidential call and get started on the path to recovery now!

Rehab for First Responders

Rehab for First Responders

First responders, including law enforcement officers, search and rescue teams, firefighters, and emergency medical services teams (dispatchers and ambulance workers), are some of the first to step on the scene of disaster, accident, or emergency. These scenes present some of the most dangerous and emotionally demanding situations possible.

As a first responder, you often interact with victims needing immediate care, life support, or urgent medical help. As a first responder, your duty further involves giving emotional support to disaster survivors. In the face of these emotionally draining situations, first responders’ training requires them to maintain composure despite these demands.

A 2018 report on the mental health of responders claims that emergency medical personnel, firefighters, and police officers carry a 70%  higher mortality risk compared to workers who are non-first responders. Due to frequent exposure to work-related traumatic events, first responders are likely to develop mental health issues. Generally, the prevalence of sleep disorders, behavioral health issues, anxiety, and PTSD among first responders is greater than among the general populace.

As a first responder, or with a loved one serving in the role, you may already be familiar with these facts. Now keep reading to find out why Pathfinders should form the front line of your efforts to get lasting relief from alcohol and/or drugs!

Identifying Mental Health Issues in First Responders

Law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders are often people with high-level self-esteem and are performance-driven. A first responder’s motivation is to do well and get the desirable results.

Some first responders may start to interpret issues with feelings of anxiety, isolation, or flashback as signs of weakness and may feel embarrassed to share these feelings with family or friends. In many cases, they may opt to internalize these feelings, eventually resulting in behavioral health issues. If this goes unchecked, it may lead to increased feelings of depression, leading to burnout on the job.

Here are common mental health issues among first responders:

Depression in Emergency Response Teams

Depression in Emergency Response Teams

Depression is a commonly reported mental illness issue in first responders’ professions. A case-controlled study on medical team workers who responded to the 2011 Japan earthquake indicated that 21.4% of the team suffered clinical depression.

First responders battling depression may experience feelings of sadness. They may find little or no pleasure in jobs they used to enjoy. These emotions can negatively affect their energy levels and overall well-being. Some common signs of depression may include:

1. Extreme fatigue

First responders work long shifts, but extreme fatigue may signify depression. If you’re having trouble remaining awake even after a night of good sleep, it could be depression. The key here is to identify if there’s a pattern linked to this behavior.

2. An overwhelming feeling of hopelessness or sadness

One of the most difficult things to accept as a first responder is a reality that you won’t be able to save everyone. While most first responders come to terms with this reality, those battling depression may have increased feelings of hopelessness or sadness.

3. Loss of Enthusiasm

First responders look forward to making a difference every day. However, depression can turn this enthusiasm into dread. When you find yourself starting to take unplanned off days, enthusiasm may be fading away.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Changes of appetite
  • Unexplained body aches or fatigue
  • Having difficulty making choices or focusing
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Behavioral concerns

 

People that are battling depression experience difficulty controlling negative, repetitive thoughts. The good news is that; depression can be treated. If you or your loved one is struggling with this mental health issue, it’s essential to seek help.

Substance Abuse in First Responder Professions

There’s sadly a close connection between drug and alcohol addiction and the life of first responders. Exposure to traumatic scenes while on duty can lead to the development of behavioral disorders. One such behavioral disorder is alcohol use disorder.

Its reported alcohol abuse among first responders is greater than that of the general population. First responders use alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism.

First responders who develop substance abuse might show abrupt changes in their behavior, and these negative changes can impact their self-esteem and motivation.

What are the Warning Signs of Substance Abuse?

Warning Signs of Substance Abuse

Some of the warning signs include:

  • Unexplained absence from work
  • Inability to focus or forgetfulness
  • Hyperactivity or extreme lethargy
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Challenges with physical co-ordination

 

Many first responders suffering from alcohol use disorder experience social stigma. In most cases, they fear being judged if discovered. With the right care and support, sustained recovery is entirely possible.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in First Responders

Considering the severity and frequency of traumatic scenes, it’s not shocking that first responders face a significant risk of suffering PTSD.

Occupational-specific risk factors that contribute to PTSD among first responders include:

  • Hostile occupational environments including risk for physical injury and exposure to excessive smoke, heat, or fire.
  • Traumatic events encountered on the line of duty
  • Types of traumatic events
  • Routine occupational stress
  • Lack of adequate workplace social support
  • Irregular sleep patterns may compromise resilience in the face of a traumatic experience.

 

PTSD is a severe mental health condition that can impact every aspect of a first responder’s life. A Journal of Emergency Medical Services report claims that PTSD is heavily unreported among the first responders’ community because it’s regarded as a weakness.

Common signs of PTSD among first responders include:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Lack of interest at work
  • Intrusive dreams, flashbacks, or memories of a specific incident
  • Distancing from family and friends
  • Overwhelming fear
  • A feeling of guilt or self-esteem
  • Inability to focus
  • Increased substance abuse
  • Self-destructive or dangerous behavior

Is Rehab Important for First Responders?

Getting specialized treatment for first responders is essential for recovery. A responder addiction treatment program helps those who have suffered work-related traumatic events quickly get the help they need. The program addresses underlying mental health issues and shapes the path to sustained recovery.

Pathfinders Recovery Centers use an integrated addiction treatment approach that combines licensed professionals from different backgrounds to treat a first responder. These specialists form a multidisciplinary team that meets to discuss patients’ treatment targets and progress and then meets separately with the patient to discuss specific issues during admission process.

The multidisciplinary team can include therapists, counselors, physicians, and other specialists who combine their expertise to offer best treatment for first responders. The drug and alcohol addiction treatment process starts with an overall assessment by trained professionals such as psychologists to evaluate you at all levels, effectively diagnose underlying issues, and develop a holistic addiction treatment for you.

Mental health condition treatment is a long-term commitment, and it’s overall in nature since it addresses your social, psychological, and physical needs. This means that addiction treatment for first responders will often include medications, therapy, family support, and other necessary interventions. For patients with co-occurring PTSD and behavioral health disorders, the first treatment steps would most likely involve using a medical detox program followed by an intensive outpatient or inpatient program.

Using medications for addiction treatment can help the patient get through chronic pain, reduce cravings and manage symptoms like anxiety. However, medications don’t address the underlying causes of first responders’ co-occurring disorders and can’t prepare them for behavior adjustments.

Specific Treatment Goals for First Responders

Treatment Goals for First Responders

  • Helping first responders express their needs in a way that doesn’t make them feel inadequate or exposed
  • The development of interests and hobbies outside of work to help first responders deal with work-related traumatic events
  • The development of a reliable social support system that can assist first responders
  • Continued support after the program enables first responders to identify signs of substance use disorders and traumatic stress.

 

Responders with co-occurring PTSD and alcohol use disorder need to remain in the responders addiction treatment program long enough to attain the necessary skills to avoid relapse. For sustained recovery, it’s essential to identify situations that can increase the possibility of relapse and recognize the signs of relapse.

How Can You Support a Loved One Struggling with a Mental Health Issue?

If your loved one is struggling with one of these first responder mental health issues, you can help them by being there for them.

Here are some tips:

#Tip 1- Listen to Them

Sometimes, your loved ones don’t know if they need help. It’s difficult for most first responders to accept that they have a mental health problem. If your loved one is having a hard time, sit down and listen to them.

#Tip 2 Seek Help

Don’t be ashamed to seek professional help. It’s okay to be uncomfortable when you shift position from a person giving help to one receiving it. If you join our first responders’ addiction treatment center program, you can view it as another professional network designed to help you exceed in your position even more than you currently do.

Start Your Healing Journey Today at Pathfinders

If you or your loved one needs help, Pathfinders Recovery Centers (AZ &CO) is here for you. Our top-notch mental health and addiction treatment center is the right place to start your healing journey. Enjoy a stress-free first responder addiction treatment program as you receive a personalized responders addiction treatment plan.

Contact us today if you’re ready to break free from a dangerous chain of substance abuse. We look forward to welcoming you.

Rehab for College Students

Rehab for College Students

Transitioning into college is a significant life milestone. A student’s life in college or university helps shape the person they become in the future. Going to college usually means separation from home and independence. But living in a new social environment can challenge a person’s values and beliefs.

University and college students in the U.S. face immense pressure to succeed and build a career. Most students get concerned about their academics and experience the stress of meeting new people and trying new things. Striking a balance between all the new events can be difficult, and some students turn to drinking or drug use as a coping mechanism.

Keep reading to find about the reasons why students turn to unhealthy drinking and drug use, and the most effective ways of getting help!

Get Help with Drinking and Drugs on Campus

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), over a third of all American full-time college students between 18 and 22 binge drink regularly. The unique circumstances of college students make it necessary for customized addiction treatment programs tailored to meet their needs.

Substance use is among the most severe public health issues for the young American population, causing adverse health and socio-economic impacts for adolescents and their families.

Read on for more info about rehab for college students, and to get help if you are struggling while in college, or have a loved one that might be!

Drug and Alcohol Abuse in College Students

Although some college students abstain from use, most are of legal drinking age and have more independence on campus. This increases the need to set personal goals and boundaries. You might want to unwind from the school week with a pint with your pals to help you relax in social situations. But for many students, the burden of expectations from their families, educators, peers, society, and even themselves only grows heavier during their time at university.

Over 6 million young adults have substance use disorders (SUD). Under competing pressures, college students must learn to live a new lifestyle around factors that can predispose them to college drug abuse. Alcoholic beverages are readily available on college campuses, and students sometimes use drugs to relieve stress or enhance performance. Prolonged drug use may cause the students to develop substance use disorders or alcohol addiction.

One in every five American adults experiences mental health disorders annually. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 75% of mental health illnesses develop by 24 years. Students may experience symptoms of conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, or PTSD for the first time in college. Survivors of traumatic events like sexual assault are at a high risk of a mental illness diagnosis. Students with mental illness may turn to alcohol and drug use to cope with the symptoms.

Commonly Abused Drugs in College

Commonly Abused Drugs in College

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) explains that drinking alcohol is a ritual that students consider an essential part of college or university life. Although alcohol is the most commonly abused drug by young adults, most students also use:

 

  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy, LSD, and other psychedelics
  • Study drugs and stimulants such as Adderall
  • Cocaine
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Opioids
  • Prescription or opiate painkiller abuse can cause injury, overdose, and death

Marijuana

Also called marijuana or weed, cannabis is among the most popular drugs on U.S. college campuses. Most marijuana users smoke it, while others incorporate the drug into edibles, like baked products and confectionery. Marijuana’s psychoactive and hallucinogenic effects vary by strain.

Nearly half the college student population reported using marijuana in 2018. Marijuana may not be as harmful as other illicit drugs, but occasional use might become problematic and aggravate a student’s anxiety. Addiction can develop with prolonged usage of this substance. If you suffer from a marijuana use disorder, call us at +1 (855) 728-4363 for confidential advice on getting help.

Cocaine

Despite cocaine’s popularity as a party drug on many universities and campuses, its stimulating effects are not worth the risks involved in using the drug. To feel more energized or productive, some young adults may opt to snort, inject, or inhale the white powdery substance. Others smoke it as crack cocaine.

Cocaine is lethal on its own, but when combined with other drugs commonly found on college campuses, such as Adderall or marijuana, it becomes exceedingly dangerous. Using cocaine has severe effects on mental and physical health. Given these potential long-term effects, helping someone addicted to cocaine could save their life.

“Study Drugs” and Prescription Stimulants

College students often use prescription stimulants like amphetamines to improve focus. Doctors prescribe drugs like Adderall and Ritalin to treat hyperactive issues, major depressive episodes, and irregular sleeping patterns. Some students use these drugs without a prescription as study aids, even though doing so is illegal and dangerous.

College students widely use stimulant tablets because of their ability to increase wakefulness and attentiveness momentarily. Examples of other study drugs include Modafinil and Concerta. Stimulant use disorders that involve study drugs require professional addiction treatment. Call Pathfinders for more information on study drug misuse.

Benzodiazepines

Also known as “benzos,” benzodiazepines are prescription drugs commonly used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, and seizures. Addiction professionals also prescribe these drugs to relax muscles and promote sleep. They are among the most often prescribed medications in the United States, and college students frequently abuse them for their sedative properties. Examples of benzodiazepines are:

 

  • Xanax
  • Valium
  • Ativan
  • Klonopin

 

Benzodiazepines like Xanax are highly addictive and have some of the most dangerous and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms of any form of drug.

The Effects of Drug Abuse on College Students

Substance misuse can have severe implications for college students that extend beyond their academic careers. The following are some of the short- and long-term consequences of drug and alcohol use disorder in college students:

  1. Poor academic performance: Substance misuse can result in reduced study time, missing class, and a lower GPA. Drug use can also lead to falling behind on assignments, dropping out, or being expelled.
  2. Risky behaviors: Drug abuse also leads to risky behaviors like driving under the influence, being involved in an alcohol-related sexual assault, getting into fights, indulging in dangerous sexual practices, and date rape.
  3. Health issues: Substance abuse can cause many physical health problems, including hangovers, sickness, and effects on your immune system.
  4. Social ramifications: Substance abuse can cause losing friends and vital relationships. You may become socially isolated if you spend a lot of time drinking or using drugs.

What are the Warning Signs of Substance Abuse?

Substance Abuse

Signs and symptoms of drug abuse among college students may include the following:

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • A decline in grades and absenteeism  from school
  • Needing drugs or alcohol to unwind or enjoy oneself
  • Avoiding social interactions
  • Mood changes
  • People stop engaging in activities they used to enjoy
  • Falsely denying the usage of drugs or alcohol
  • Spending a lot of time using and recovering from the effects of drugs
  • Physical and mental illness
  • Withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and cravings
  • Using drugs or alcohol while knowing the risks
  • Legal issues like arrests
  • Substance abuse in potentially dangerous settings like while driving
  • Engaging in potentially harmful activities while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

 

Talking about a drug abuse problem might be a difficult conversation to have with someone who doesn’t believe they do. This conversation is more beneficial in the presence of someone trustworthy, like a professor or counselor.

When talking to a friend or loved one, let them know you’re worried about their health, happiness, and academic progress. If they are unwilling to listen, don’t criticize or blame them; instead, back off and try again later.

It is best to keep the conversation specific and inform them of scenarios you deem detrimental to their health. You don’t have to say everything all at once, but you might want to offer them a list of valuable resources and then follow up with them periodically.

Rehab treatment can help prevent the adverse effects of substance use on your health, academic career, and overall well-being, and there are various ways to get help. These include consulting with the campus health center, speaking with a counselor at your campus counseling center, or checking into a hospital or rehab center.

Treating Addiction in College Students

Some young adults in higher education refuse treatment for substance abuse because they don’t believe they have a problem. Students often avoid discussing therapy because of the stigma associated with drug abuse.

Accepting to get addiction treatment shows that you care about your health and your future. According to research, the sooner someone seeks addiction treatment, the more likely they will recover fully. Most rehabilitation centers cater to the needs of students without interfering with their studies.

Detoxification

Detoxification is often the first step in the rehabilitation process after assessment. During detox, substances like alcohol and narcotics are eliminated from the body. In this period, many addicts suffer from unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Many of these symptoms are avoidable through medical detox.

Since quitting cold turkey can be fatal, medically supervised detox is essential when detoxing from benzodiazepines or alcohol. The average withdrawal periods for various drugs include:

  • Cannabis        – 2 weeks or more
  • Alcohol           – 5 to 7 days
  • Tobacco          – 2 days to 2 weeks
  • Cocaine          – 2 to3 days
  • Opioids           – 1 to 4 weeks
  • Benzos            – 10 to 14 days

 

Detox from opioid use disorders varies widely depending on the length of use and method of delivery. Opioid detox patients experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia. But they lose tolerance to opioids within days of abstinence.

Overdosing is a potential risk during relapse, which is, unfortunately, rather often. Relapse is avoidable with the help of medication in a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. Those with severe opioid addiction may benefit from starting on MAT for an extended time before attempting to wean themselves off the drugs.

Some recovering addicts think that withdrawal is the most challenging aspect of the process, while others say overcoming cravings after detox is the most difficult.

Behavioral Treatment

Mental health therapy and counseling help treat psychological and behavioral challenges that may have contributed to addiction. Counselors can assist college students in learning how to cope with drug urges and the challenges that might lead to drug usage.

Anxiety

Many college students have a co-occurring disorder that has led to drug use. Treating underlying mental health issues is critical to a successful addiction recovery process.

Common co-occurring disorders that students confront include:

  • Depressive disorders.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Anxiety.
  • Bipolar disorder.

 

Most higher learning institutions have on-campus mental health counselors. These counselors assist pupils in coping while keeping confidentiality. At Pathfinders, our comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment programs handle co-occurring mental health problems.

Outpatient Rehab vs. Inpatient Rehab

College students who are addicted to drugs usually require the assistance of a drug rehab facility to recover. Many inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers can help college students achieve sobriety without interfering with their studies.

Inpatient treatment centers provide a distraction-free environment away from campus temptations. College students in rehabilitation improve their grades and overall health. Many inpatient rehab facilities also cater to college students by being close enough to campus for residents to attend class during the day.

For a college student with milder addiction, outpatient rehab is a suitable treatment option. These outpatient centers offer withdrawal medication and counseling while not interfering with the student’s daily routine. Mental health counselors and support groups can help break down addictions psychologically.

How Long Does Rehab Take?

The length and intensity of rehabilitation can change depending on whether you choose inpatient or outpatient care. If you are worried about attending rehab for college students because you don’t want your grades to suffer or you don’t want to fall behind in your education program, consider what will happen if you don’t get help.

If you have to leave school for substance abuse treatment, various mental health resources can help you during and after the process. They include counseling programs, medical leaves of absence, or transition plans that involve modified programs of study. It takes courage to get help for a substance use disorder before your life completely unravels, but it’s admirable that you’re ready to do so.

The average time spent in inpatient treatment is between three weeks and ninety days, while some programs may need a longer commitment. If you choose outpatient care, you may be able to keep up with your daytime classes while receiving therapy in the evenings. Look for a rehab center, such as our programs at Pathfinders, that will work with you to identify the best treatment alternatives for your specific situation.

Rehab can seem daunting or intimidating, but if you don’t want your family or friends to know, no one has to. Taking charge of your life can set you up for a more peaceful, prosperous, and successful tomorrow.

Maintaining Sobriety as an Undergraduate

Rehab for College Students

The next step after finishing addiction treatment is to remain sober while pursuing higher education. Some college rehab programs include sobriety and behavioral contracts to encourage sobriety. The students have to agree to things like going to 12-step meetings, staying away from drugs and alcohol, not engaging in risky behavior, and keeping up with their schoolwork.

Some educational institutions even provide rehabilitation housing for students who are experiencing substance abuse issues. Students in recovery from addiction may benefit from additional peer support from campus-sponsored events.

After finishing a college student rehabilitation program, the next step is to receive aftercare support. This is of utmost importance for those in recovery while attending college. Most universities provide their students access to outpatient treatment and recovery support groups. Getting sober takes effort, but it’s feasible to maintain that effort for the rest of your life.

Get Help Now and Keep Pursuing Your Degree

Pathfinders Recovery Centers are addiction and dual diagnosis treatment centers that offer cutting-edge drug addiction treatment services. If you are battling substance use, connect with us for a solid foundation for starting the journey to recovery.

Reach out now to our Admissions team and discuss the process of Admission and how we can best help you to get sober and get to the podium to celebrate your graduation!

Al-Anon 12 steps

Al-anon 12 steps

Al-Anon is a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics that was established in 1951. Sixteen years after her husband created Alcoholics Anonymous, Lois Wilson (often known as Lois W.) created Al-Anon. She founded the group after experiencing firsthand the challenges faced by those who care for a family member or friend with an alcohol use disorder.

Support for Al-Anon comes solely from member contributions. Even if the addict in your life hasn’t yet found sobriety, you may still find support and learn how to best assist them by attending a meeting. Al-Anon’s goal is to help its members feel less alone by showing them they aren’t facing their problems alone.

Keep reading to find out more about the steps involved in Al-Anon and what you can do to help both yourself and a loved one who is struggling with alcohol and/or drug use.

Addiction and Alcoholism as a Family Disease

Because of the devastating effects, alcoholism can have on both the alcoholic and their loved ones, Al-Anon approaches the problem as one that affects the entire family. Recuperating successfully requires a strong network of loved ones and friends.

Some loved ones may place the blame for their alcoholic relative’s drinking on themselves, or they may not comprehend why their relative isn’t making recovery a top priority. These topics are discussed at meetings, along with the concept of alcoholism as a genetic disease and its effects on family members.

While technically Al-Anon is centered only around those whose loved ones have issues with drinking and does not encompass drug use, in reality there is not a clear distinction for most Anon groups.

If your loved one tends more toward drug use, and your area has Nar-Anon meetings, these can be another helpful resource for support, while still firmly based on the twelve step philosophy.

What Happens at a Meeting?

Anyone who another person’s drinking or drug use has harmed is welcome to attend Al-Anon sessions. Al-Anon is there to support you if you are concerned about an alcoholic or an alcoholic’s lifestyle affecting you.

Due to uncertainty about the nature of the initial gathering, some potential attendees may be unwilling to show up. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re thinking about going to a meeting:

  • Firstly, Al-Anon is a completely confidential organization.
  • Every individual attending an Anon meeting has been directly or indirectly impacted by drinking or drug use by a loved one/
  • It is recommended, but not needed that everyone stands out and shares their struggles.
  • Various kinds of gatherings exist. It’s possible that some will be more useful to you than others.
  • The fellowship as a whole, known as Al-Anon, has no religious affiliations. However, the basis is on a type of spiritual awakening or acceptance of a higher power being in control. There is certainly a primary spiritual aim regarding the 12-Step Program.
  • The meetings are based on Al-Anon’s twelve steps.

Participants in Al-Anon sessions are encouraged to “take what you want and leave the rest.” Instead of lecturing attendees on what they should do, meetings become opportunities to reflect and commiserate on how best to remain healthy while dealing with a loved one’s drinking.

What Are the 12-Steps?

What Are the 12-Steps

These are the steps, word-for-word, from the original and official 12-Steps of Al-Anon:

  1. “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” —You must learn that alcohol abuse is a disease that ran your life.
  2. “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” —Participants drive themselves to the breaking point trying to change something in a loved one’s personality. When you admit you’re powerless, your higher power will bring you back to sanity.
  3. “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” —You must learn to let go and accept in order to heal.
  4. “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” —You must make a list of things you’ve done to harm family and friends. This is done through a deeply personal self-assessment.
  5. “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” —Each member must dive into their memory bank and analyze every act of wrongdoing.
  6. “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” —This step is very important, as it is the full acceptance of the recovery process supported by a Higher Power.
  7. “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.” —This part of the 12 Steps helps members understand how they may have been controlling or judgmental toward an addict and how that is counterproductive.
  8. “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.” —Oftentimes, making amends starts with yourself. Many people blame themselves for their loved one’s addiction. They must be willing to forgive themselves and make amends. In the future, when wrong, promptly admitted mistakes and slipups lead to less damage.
  9. “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.” —After you are willing to make amends, the next step is to take action.
  10. “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.” —Going through the 12 Steps is a process that takes time. Although members have already made an inventory, slipping up is normal. Step 10 recognizes this is an ongoing process.
  11. “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” —This is a personal, spiritual step that encompasses acceptance and comfort amid the stress of recovery.
  12. “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” —The last step is a realization that the member’s journey is not over. Members are then encouraged to support other members with what they’ve learned by passing their knowledge on during future alcoholics anonymous meetings.

Other Al Anon Groups

Additional Al Anon Groups exist that practice Al Anon’s twelve steps or focus on addiction treatment. Through these al anon meetings, family members and other individuals, such as the children of those going through alcohol abuse, may participate and maintain personal anonymity.

Meetings are also crafted for adolescents, known as Al-A-Teen, are al anon meetings for teenagers and young people to take personal inventory of where they stand in addiction treatment and gauge the exact nature of their alcohol abuse challenges. These additional al anon entities are a part of a broader family known as Al Anon Family Groups.

What can you expect from an al anon meeting? In the section below, you’ll find example topics of discussion during a normal al anon meeting.

All Our Affairs: Topics of Al Anon Meetings

Topics of Al Anon Meetings

Topic discussions are the norm in Al-Anon Family Group and standard Al-Anon sessions. This implies the meeting’s chairman will select a subject matter linked to their own personal experience coping with an alcoholic loved one. It is not uncommon for the chairman to solicit ideas for topics from the audience.

Participants in the meeting can then share their knowledge, courage, and optimism about the chosen topic.

The Reasons For and Causes of Alcoholism

Realizing that alcoholism is a disease helps shed light on the alcoholic’s repeated attempts to kick the habit, only to relapse a few days later. Learn more about it.

Dealing With Anger at an Alcoholic

You and your family members may receive conflicting messages on handling rage. Do certain family members get to let off steam, while you’re admonished to keep your cool? At Al-Anon, you learn that anger is a natural and normal emotion. It’s fine to feel rage; the important thing is to figure out how to channel it constructively.

Altering Perspectives on Alcohol

In the Al-Anon meeting’s opening statement, “So much depends on our own attitudes, and as we learn to set our issue in its real perspective, we discover it loses its ability to dominate our thoughts and lives.” Which mindset is ruling your daily activities?

Enabling Alcoholic Behaviors

It’s possible that your well-intentioned attempts to aid the alcoholic instead encourage the person to keep up their destructive patterns.

Confronting Uncertainty

The ideas discussed and practiced in Al-Anon Family Groups can be useful for adapting to the inevitable and, at times, dramatic shifts that occur in everyone’s lives. You may not be able to change the conditions much, but you can change your attitude about the problem.

Detachment with Compassion

It might be challenging to master the art of detachment. Do you want to be the one to step in and rescue the day when a person with alcohol use disorder has a crisis? This could be the last thing you should do if you want that individual to finally ask for assistance.

Unrealistic Expectations and Managing Them

When dealing with a loved one with an alcohol use issue, are your expectations too high? If you don’t learn to adapt your expectations to be more aligned with reality, you may end up feeling disappointed and frustrated.

Powerlessness Over Alcohol

Powerlessness Over Alcohol

You may have joined Al-Anon believing the entire time that there was something you could do to make the alcoholic realize there was a problem and seek help. The first step is realizing you can’t control your drinking.

Mind Your Own Business

In Al-Anon, members are reminded that they are not responsible for the drinking habits of their loved ones. Embarrassment and humiliation are not yours; they are theirs to bear because of their actions. It is not a reflection on your worth as a parent, friend, husband, or sponsor if they make “poor” decisions.

They should be allowed to learn from their own errors. You can only contribute effectively by speaking up and sharing your wisdom, fortitude, and optimism when the time is right.

Day by Day: The Only Way to Live

The tagline “one day at a time” may sound like just another overused adage, yet it has a lot of insight in its reminder to focus on the now rather than dwelling on the past or imagining the future.

Find Lasting Addiction Recovery at Pathfinders

If you are looking for a treatment center that can support your loved one in addition to getting help from a 12-Step Al Anon program, look no further than Pathfinders Recovery Centers in Colorado and Arizona.

Pathfinders takes a different approach to healing and believes that alcohol and other substance abuse issues are best treated through evidence-based avenues, the treatment of underlying mental health disorders, and a holistic healing environment.

Contact a member of our warm and welcoming Admissions team today to learn more about how we can help your loved one begin a lasting recovery journey of their own!

 

Friends of Bill W

Friends of Bill W

In the early stages of your sobriety journey, you may decide to enroll in a 12-step fellowship, such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. There is a whole new way of thinking and making decisions that come with recovery, and there is also what may seem like a whole new language to learn: “AA jargon,” like the term ‘friends of Bill W.’

William Griffith Wilson, also known as Bill Wilson, or “Bill W.,” and co-founder Bob Smith, or “Bob,” are the originators of several AA terminologies, sayings, and expressions. Since the group’s inception, several idioms have emerged, including the association with Bill W that has become synonymous with membership, especially as shorthand on cruise lines and ships.

Keep reading for our guide to what 12-step programs offer as well as a helpful resource for the AA jargon often used by members.

What Is AA Language?

Many expressions and idioms associated with sobriety may be found in AA and NA literature. They might be used by other 12-step groups that follow the AA paradigm. The AA jargon originated for several causes.

Phrases like “it works when you work it” is meant to serve as reminders of basic ideas for the group. Following the AA Traditions, the organization chooses to use phrases like “Friends of Bill W.” to ensure that its members’ anonymity is maintained.

You may learn the language of the organization and its members by looking at some real-life instances of the most popular AA jargon, and you may even be familiar with some sayings like, “One Day at A Time.’

Taking the Next Right Action

Participating and working the 12 Steps and regularly attending AA groups is known as the “Right Action.” More specifically, attending an AA meeting and participating with the help of a sponsor is considered the right action. At any given meeting, you’ll find many participants attending with their sponsors, who are in recovery themselves.

“Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Over a Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism” is the basic text of AA and is usually referred to as “The Big Book.” There are many inspiring accounts of AA members’ journeys to sobriety outlined within its pages.

Actions that are “correct” for AA members are those that are accomplished via working the steps. Following the Steps is meant to help one develop a more positive outlook on life, other people, and the recovery process as a whole. In an effort to alter a substance-abusing lifestyle, a shift in outlook and approach is essential.

Friends of Bill W. and Cruise Ships

Friends of Bill W. and Cruise Ships

The term “a friend of Bill W.” used in AA does not relate to anyone you may know in real life. Instead, it is a code term used to conceal the identities of the group’s participants. Why do individuals in recovery value anonymity so highly, and what does it entail exactly?

The anonymity of its members is one of AA’s core tenets. In a word, anonymity in AA meetings implies that everyone there will respect your privacy and keep whatever you say to themselves.

You may be asked if you know Bill W if you are seen loitering around the meeting place and peering through doors or windows.

The person asking you this code word is trying to determine whether you are truly seeking the AA meeting in a method that keeps your identity secret.

Originally, the term “friends of Bill W.” was used as a cruise compass to find meetings onboard cruise ships where members wanted to stay completely anonymous on vacation but still sneak in a meeting or two. Signage that indicates a meeting for ‘friends of Bill W’ can still be seen on cruise lines around the world, though the term is used somewhat less as many people proudly acknowledge their recovery and membership, even in otherwise Anonymous 12-step programs.

The Importance of Anniversaries and Birthdays in Sobriety

All recovery steps are celebrated as successes in AA and other 12-step programs. When a member of AA or NA reaches certain sobriety milestones, such as 30 days, 90 days, six months, etc., they get a “chip” as a physical reminder of their accomplishment.

The passage of another year signifies the occurrence of a “birthday.” The moderator of a meeting may inquire if someone is honoring one of these dates. At an alcoholics anonymous meeting, a “10th yearly birthday” is the anniversary of a person’s sobriety rather than their actual birth date. Thus, it’s understood that the individual has been sober for 10 years.

Importance of Anniversaries and Birthdays in Sobriety

In the Eastern part of the United States, anniversaries are more common than birthdays, so you might not hear much about a person’s “anniversary” instead of their “birthday.” Biological anniversaries are sometimes referred to as “belly button birthdays” to avoid confusion.

Old-Timers and The Traditions of the 12 Steps

The phrase “old-timer” is commonly used among AA group members, but you might be startled to learn that the person being referred to as such is actually rather young. That’s because the only factor that matters for determining whether or not someone is an old-timer in AA is how long they’ve been attending meetings and maintaining continuous sobriety.

A long-term AA member is a veteran of the program. These people may take up roles as meeting facilitators, sponsors, or event volunteers within the organization. Some long-time members can even recite large chunks of The Big Book verbatim.

Of course, there will always be some “old-timers” who have “been around the block,” so to speak, when it comes to AA recovery, so you might encounter an “old-timer” who is actually older. In such an instance, “a seasoned AA member” could be the most accurate description.

A Dry Drunk and the Importance of Active Participation

Addiction recovery communities outside of AA may find the phrase “dry drunk” unpleasant because it is not a clinical word. This word describes a person who has abstained from substance use but has taken no further measures toward recovery.

In an AA context, this might signify that the individual has ceased working the 12 Steps and attending meetings.

A “dry drunk” is someone who has stopped drinking or doing drugs but hasn’t changed their outlook on life or the way they think about things. When someone is in this mental state, they may have feelings of nostalgia, fixation, and a desire to reexperience the euphoric benefits of drug or alcohol usage.

Clinical research has confirmed that this is a real phenomenon that can occur during either the emotional or mental relapse stages. According to the research, when alcoholics relapse, it is a slow process that typically begins with thoughts and feelings of obsession with drugs or alcohol.

It Works If You Work It

Setting up chairs for AA Meeting

The “work” of AA revolves around the 12 Steps, a set of recovery principles. Using the AA fellowship, going through the 12 Steps, and living by the 12 Traditions of AA are all examples of “working it,” and the statement “it works if you work it” describes this process well. The “work” of AA includes not just meeting with other members but also performing acts of service to the community. Examples of this service include the following:

  • Community service (e.g., setting up chairs, making beverages, or other tasks required for a meeting)
  • Reaching out to fellow 12-steppers to aid a struggling newbie.
  • Meeting leadership
  • Accepting and supporting newcomers via sponsorship
  • Putting in a request to share your AA success story as a speaker

Step 13: A Step Better Left Alone

If you’re lucky enough to avoid having to go through Step 13 during your time in recovery, the expression simply refers to a sexual relationship between a seasoned AA member and a newcomer to the fellowship who has just discovered meetings.

Suffice to say, when you’re first becoming sober, it’s not a good idea to jump into a new romantic relationship.

Friends of Bill W. and Methods of Celebrating Fellowship

Whether it’s friends of Bill W. or another type of lingo used at get-togethers, if there’s one thing this “secret code” does besides maintain anonymity, it also promotes a higher level of support by creating a camaraderie. This gives people who join a new type of hope and a sense of accountability, as there’s a distinct feeling that they’re a part of something unique and special.

At Pathfinders Recovery, we use a similar mindset, organizing get-togethers in the form of a 12-Step Meeting, giving clients a chance to bond with peers, in addition to taking part in some type of spiritual or holistic experience.

Not only does this give clients a chance to bond with peers, but there’s additional expert advice available via group meetings you wouldn’t otherwise have access to with counselor meetings.

We would love to get you on board with our groundbreaking treatment program! To find out how we can help you on your path to recovery and lay a strong spiritual foundation, contact a member of our admissions team today.

 

PPO Insurance Rehab

PPO insurance rehab

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) forms of insurance is widely recognized as a superior alternative to health maintenance organization (HMO) and exclusive provider organization (EPO) plans.

In most cases, a referral from your primary care physician is not necessary when using a PPO health insurance plan to see a specialist. In other words, if you have PPO insurance, you can go to whatever doctor or “PPO insurance rehab” you like as long as they accept your plan.

Read on to learn why it’s important to take advantage of your PPO policy’s coverage for addiction treatment and how to do it in a way that protects your privacy and your health.

Will PPO Insurance Cover Substance Abuse Treatment?

PPO insurance plans, like those from most other carriers, often include coverage for a variety of drug and alcohol rehab centers. The reason for this is the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2006.

As a result of this legislation, mental health and substance abuse services are required to be included in health insurance plans. In most cases, your health insurance will cover a wide range of alcohol and drug rehab programs and levels of care. This includes medically-assisted detox, inpatient residential treatment, outpatient treatment programs, and partial hospitalization programs.

Although PPO plans may not provide complete coverage for an extensive rehabilitation stay, they can still help you save money and provide you more flexibility in choosing your healthcare providers and the course of treatment you want to follow.

Why Is PPO Coverage So Efficient for Substance Abuse Coverage?

Substance Abuse

People with substance abuse problems benefit greatly from the 24-hour supervision and rigorous program structure offered by inpatient and residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers.

By entering inpatient treatment, patients are shielded from the stresses and temptations of the outside world, which may otherwise threaten their sobriety. They will have a much lower chance of relapsing and will have an easier time recovering if this choice is made.

This level of drug and alcohol treatment will likely also include different behavioral treatments and holistic recovery services for people battling an underlying mental health challenge, as well as give a holistic approach to therapy for clients who wish to participate in a more natural option.

Many insurance companies, including a Preferred Provider Organization that yields PPO plans, will provide less coverage for inpatient treatment in light of these supplementary benefits. This implies that if you want to rehabilitate in a residential treatment center, you may have to pay more money out of pocket.

Does PPO Cover Outpatient Treatment?

A lot of people who are trying to overcome their addiction prefer to do it through outpatient programs. While less intensive and organized than inpatient treatments, PPO coverage expands with outpatient care, reducing the client’s out-of-pocket costs.

In addition, as you won’t have to relocate to attend treatment, you’ll be able to keep up with your obligations at home, work, and school while still getting the help you need for your substance abuse issue.

Group therapy, recovery support groups, and skill-building programs are common components of outpatient treatment plans. Care at this level may still need some out-of-pocket expenses, but it will be far more cost-effective than hospitalization.

How Long of a Stay Do PPO Plans Cover During Rehab?

PPO Plans

How long someone stays in rehab for substance abuse depends on several variables. Possible factors that may impede a person’s ability to recover from addiction include the severity of their condition, the nature of the treatment program, and any barriers they face on a personal level.

Many people lack the resources (both time and money) to get the help they need for their drug use disorder, which places them in a position where they cannot recover fully from their addiction. This might discourage people from getting help from professionals to solve their substance misuse problems.

Inpatient care typically lasts between 30 and 105 days, whereas outpatient programs often last around 120 days. Some patients, in their search for the most appropriate degree of care, go to both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation centers.

If the healthcare practitioner providing the therapy is not part of the insurance company’s network, the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses will likely exceed the maximum amount that the insurance company would pay. Insurance companies that operate on a PPO model may be more accommodating when it comes to covering addiction treatment.

In some cases, PPO insurance carriers will pay for detox, inpatient, and outpatient services from non-network treatment facilities, even if the patient’s private insurance company would not.

The client may be responsible for paying any additional fees that aren’t covered by insurance. Still, this will be far less expensive than providing healthcare with less adaptable insurance or no healthcare financing at all.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Coverage with a PPO Plan

Dual diagnosis therapy, or the combination of several behavioral and holistic treatments, is a crucial part of addiction treatment, as stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA).

This paves the way for healthcare practitioners to adopt a holistic view of their drug and alcohol addiction therapy, treating not just the addiction but also the factors that led to it.

Essential health benefits, such as dual diagnosis services and access to select deluxe treatments, may be included with these suppliers under a PPO insurance plan. These facilities will, of course, charge more than average for rehabilitation services.

This is because they will provide extra luxuries that may not be available through other treatment programs, such as diverse sporting services and facilities, equestrian therapy, art therapy, aromatherapy, and spa services.

While obviously more tempting and pleasant than other treatment centers may seem, luxury rehab facilities are not a necessary level of care for addiction recovery. Those without the financial means to pay for these luxuries can get by just fine with the basic levels of care.

Paying for Services Not Covered by PPO Insurance

Services Not Covered by PPO Insurance

Sadly, many alcoholics and addicts won’t get assistance because they can’t afford it. For this reason, a solid health insurance plan might be crucial to a person’s chances of beating their addiction for good.

However, it’s possible that some people won’t ever be able to afford dependable insurance. Fortunately, there are a number of options for covering the cost of professional substance misuse treatment that do not involve insurance or supplement what insurance does not cover.

Installment arrangements are by far the most common. These allow those in recovery to spread out the cost of their therapy over time, rather than having to come up with the full amount at once. This may be a huge relief to many people’s wallets as they attempt to pay for rehabilitation.

Another option is to ask close friends, relatives, or other loved ones to help out financially. A tight network of people who care about the individual’s well-being can lessen the financial burden of necessary medical care.

Having confidence in your ability to afford expert help to overcome drug and alcohol dependence by knowing what kinds of addiction treatment services are covered by your PPO insurance plan and how much coverage you will actually be able to obtain is crucial.

Getting Started With Insurance Coverage for Rehab

While each insurance provider has its own set of rules that must be met before they can issue a policy, there are certain things you can do to increase your chances of being accepted.

If you do not yet have a PPO policy, the Affordable Care Act and the ACA Marketplace can be a good starting place for your search. When searching, remember that PPO insurance coverage is generally the best option for both in-network rehab options as well as an out of network provider.

Consult Your Physician

You can avoid unnecessary bother with your insurance provider by requesting a reference from your primary care physician to the institution of your choice.

Check Your Insurance

Although most rehabilitation centers take all major PPO plans, you should double-check that the facility you’re considering is indeed an in-network provider with your insurance company to avoid any unwanted out-of-network charges.

Even if rehab is not in your insurance network, you may still be eligible for some financial assistance. Your out-of-pocket costs can be determined with the aid of customer support.

Contact the Help Desk

Reviewing your documents alone may not always help you understand what is and is not covered. In this situation, feel free to call your insurance provider and ask any questions you may have, and remind them you would like to attend Pathfinders and find out any associated costs.

Our Admissions team is also always happy to assist with questions about your PPO insurance coverage and can let you know out-of-pocket costs within minutes.

Important PPO Insurance Coverage Terms to Remember

You should be able to grasp the language used by insurance companies in order to understand how to use your insurance to assist pay for rehabilitation treatments.

To help you better understand discussions regarding insurance, we’ve included definitions of several often used phrases below.

Deductible

You will have to pay this amount out of pocket before your insurance company begins paying anything. Payment of this amount is required in addition to your regular premium; your regular premium will not be deducted from this total.

In most plans, once you’ve met your yearly deductible, your insurance will begin paying a certain percentage of covered expenses.

Premium

This is the regular payment you make to keep your insurance in force. No, it won’t affect your deductible at all, as we’ve already established, but a PPO plan premium can tend to be a bit higher than other sorts of coverage.

Copay

A copayment, or “copay,” is a modest, predetermined sum of money that is due at the time of service. Depending on your insurance and the service you’ve requested for your visit, the fee might be anywhere from $5 to $75.

As with your premium, this contribution will not be applied to your yearly deductible.

Co-insurance

After your deductible is met, your insurance company will reimburse this amount. While some plans cover all of a patient’s expenses, others may only pay for a certain percentage, leaving the patient to foot the bill for the rest.

In-network

PPO Insurance Coverage Terms to Remember

Providers who are “in-network” with your insurance plan have bargained for lower fees on your behalf. In most cases, you may save the most money on medical treatment by sticking with providers that are part of your insurance network.

Out-of-pocket

You will frequently hear this as either “out-of-pocket expenses” or “out-of-pocket maximum.”

The term “out-of-pocket expenditures” describes the amount of money you will have to spend out of cash for medical treatment.

The greatest amount you’ll have to spend out of cash for medical care is known as the “out-of-pocket maximum.” After this limit is met, your PPO will pay 100% of the covered expenses.

An Addiction Treatment Center Made for Your Lasting Recovery

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, our program is covered by most major PPO providers. In addition, we also take a large range of different insurance plans, so we’re likely to cover the cost of your treatment.

For more information regarding coverage of your stay or to speak with our admissions team, contact Pathfinders Recovery today!

 

Cocaine Comedown

Cocaine Comedown

The Impact of Cocaine’s After-Effects on Your Addiction Risks

The stimulant street drug cocaine affects your system in a variety of ways. Most of the people who use the drug are seeking its euphoric, stimulant effects. However, those effects fade quite rapidly. This is true because cocaine does not stay in your system for long. When the drug has left your body, you will likely experience a number of unpleasant sensations. Together, these sensations are known as a cocaine crash or cocaine comedown. Another term, cocaine hangover, describes essentially the same phenomenon.

A cocaine comedown is not a trivial thing. Instead, it can play a significant role in the eventual onset of cocaine addiction. Why? Many people seek to avoid the effects of a comedown by using more of the drug. When repeated again and again, this cycle of excessive use can speed up the pace of a developing addiction. As a result, it can also hasten your need for an effective cocaine treatment program.

What Are the Effects of Cocaine

The effects of cocaine are similar to those of other stimulant drugs. All drugs in this category increase the baseline level of activity in your central nervous system. They also typically produce the extremely pleasurable feeling known as euphoria.

Cocaine also has a range of other short-term effects. The list of those effects includes mental and physical changes such as:

  • Narrowing of your blood vessels
  • An increase in your normal blood pressure
  • Spikes in your heart rate and body temperature
  • Pupil dilation

 

If you consume heavy amounts of cocaine, the drug may produce some additional, unpleasant mental effects. Potential examples of these psychological alterations include:

  • Violent outbursts
  • Bouts of panic
  • Behavior that is erratic or out of character
  • Paranoid behavior
  • Anxiousness, irritability and/or restlessness

 

Heavy cocaine use may also lead to physical health issues such as vertigo and trembling or twitching muscles.

 

What Are the Signs of a Cocaine Comedown

Cocaine Comedown

A cocaine comedown or crash has an impact that is mostly psychological. Possible signs or symptoms of a comedown include:

  • An inability to feel pleasure
  • Feelings of irritability and anxiousness
  • Powerful urges to use more cocaine
  • A drop in your normal energy levels
  • Unusual sleepiness

 

While coming down from the drug, you may also feel paranoid or agitated.

What Is the Cocaine Comedown Timeline

Not everyone who crashes after using cocaine goes through the exact same experiences. However, there is a typical cocaine comedown timeline. If you nasally inhale the drug, it will produce its characteristic euphoria for roughly 15 minutes to half an hour. If you smoke the drug, its high lasts for just a few minutes. A comedown can begin shortly after the drug leaves your system. You may continue to feel its effects for a number of hours.

If you are addicted to cocaine, the comedown period may be followed by symptoms of withdrawal. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of a crash. Others differ substantially. All told, common indicators of cocaine withdrawal include such things as:

  • Depression
  • Malaise, i.e., a general feeling of unease
  • Nightmares
  • Continued cravings for more of the drug
  • Loss of energy
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • A slowdown in your normal rate of physical and mental activity

 

Most of the symptoms of withdrawal fade in a matter of days. However, if you have a long history of heavy cocaine use, you may continue to feel depressed for months. Your cravings for the drug may also linger for a similar amount of time.

Who Suffers From a Cocaine Comedown

Who Suffers From a Cocaine Comedown

No one who uses cocaine is immune to a crash or comedown. It can happen to you the first time you use the drug. It can also happen at any other time thereafter. The more you use cocaine, the worse your comedown symptoms may become. They may also grow worse if you use the drug heavily.

Cocaine Jaw and Bruxism in Cocaine Users

If you use cocaine, you can develop a condition called bruxism. People affected by this condition clench and/or grind their teeth without realizing it. Potential symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Wearing away of the surfaces of your affected teeth
  • Tension in the muscles of your jaw and face
  • Headache
  • A locked jaw
  • Cracking or chipping of your teeth
  • Pain in your jaw area
  • A dislocated jaw
  • Cuts or sores on the side of your mouth

 

When bruxism is the result of cocaine use, it is sometimes known as cocaine jaw.

Cocaine Comedown, Cocaine Binging and Addiction Risks

Some people who use cocaine end up binging on the drug. This behavior is typically characterized by doing several things in a short span of time. These things include:

  • Using heavy amounts of the drug
  • Not taking any breaks while using the drug
  • Only stopping when there is no cocaine left or you are physically forced to quit

 

There are several possible motives for going on a cocaine binge. In many cases, the motive is a desire to avoid coming down from the drug.

If you binge on cocaine, you can easily increase your risks for addiction. Why is this the case? Regular, heavy use is a known factor in the development of physical drug dependence. If you keep using cocaine, you may also become emotionally dependent on it. In addition, you may feel an involuntary need to find and take more of the drug. Physical dependence, emotional dependence and involuntary drug-seeking combine to create cocaine addiction.

Recovering From a Cocaine Comedown

A cocaine crash can be profoundly unpleasant. In response to the experience, it is tempting to try to minimize its effects so you can keep using the drug. However, the point is not finding tips to recover from too much cocaine the night before. The only way to completely avoid a cocaine comedown is to stop using the drug.

Using a Cocaine Crash and Cocaine Hangover to Get Sober

Recurring exposure to cocaine crashes is often a compelling motivation for getting sober. That can be especially true if your crashes are followed by cocaine withdrawal. Whatever your reason for wanting to get sober, it is crucial that you follow up on this intention. That is the only way to avoid getting addicted. And if you are already addicted, it is the only way to restore your sobriety and well-being.

How Can Cocaine Binges Be Treated Effectively

Cocaine Addiction Treatment

If you regularly binge on cocaine, there is a good chance that you meet the criteria for stimulant use disorder. All people with this disorder have life-disrupting problems related to stimulant use. These problems may lead to a diagnosis of addiction. They may also result in a diagnosis of damaging, non-addicted stimulant abuse. In addition, you may have a mixture of diagnosable addiction and abuse symptoms.

Whichever of these scenarios apply to you, you need the specialized help provided by professional cocaine treatment. If you are addicted to cocaine, the first task is usually completing a stimulant detox program. In detox, you will receive support that helps you weather the effects of cocaine withdrawal. When the process is complete, the drug will be out of your system.

Detox alone is not sufficient treatment for cocaine addiction. It serves a crucial purpose by helping you reach initial sobriety. But as a rule, that sobriety is extremely difficult to maintain unless you receive further recovery support.

This support is provided in primary cocaine treatment. Behavioral psychotherapy forms the core of modern treatment programs for stimulant problems. Three forms of this therapy are especially helpful for people in cocaine programs:

 

Contingency management and community reinforcement use reward systems to help you stay motivated during treatment. CBT teaches you to recognize thoughts, emotions and behaviors that sustain your cocaine use. It also teaches you to cultivate different thoughts, emotions and behaviors that help prevent cocaine use. You may also benefit from 12-step facilitation. This therapy helps you add a support group to your treatment plan.

Seek Help For Cocaine Problems at Pathfinders

A comedown, hangover or crash can happen to anyone who uses cocaine. All of these terms refer to a group of symptoms likely to appear when the drug leaves your system. Comedown symptoms can be extremely unpleasant. To avoid them, some people go on binges of heavy cocaine use. Binging can make your eventual comedown symptoms worse. Recurring binges also increase your chances of developing the symptoms of cocaine addiction.

You can escape the cycle of binging and addiction by seeking help for your cocaine problems. Detox is a common starting point for an effective recovery. Successful completion of detox forms a basis for primary cocaine treatment. Behavioral therapy is the modern standard for cocaine rehab programs. Several forms of this therapy may play a role in an effective treatment plan.

At Pathfinders, we offer extensive resources for cocaine recovery. Those resources include targeted stimulant detox. They also include both inpatient and outpatient options for a follow-up treatment program. In addition, Pathfinders provides specialized help for addiction that occurs alongside other mental health issues. To find out more about our options for cocaine treatment, contact us today.

Am I An Addict?

Am i an Addict?

Am I An Addict? The Importance Of Honesty.

A lot of people experiment with drugs and don’t become addicts. This is not true for most of us. When I began experimenting with opiates in high school, I thought it was all fun and games. How could this go downhill? You feel great and your mood is greatly increased. It’s fun to party with. How could it get to a point of not being fun?

When I arrived at Pathfinders Recovery Center, I had become completely addicted and my life was in shambles. My existence seemed hopeless. My opiate addiction was no fun whatsoever at this point. I was living on the street, crashing on people’s couches, and committing petty crimes so that I could feed my habit.

What is an addict?

An addict is somebody that has formed an addiction to a particular substance. You become an addict when your entire life and routine revolves around your drug of choice. Your top priority is either getting high or looking to get high. All of your other obligations become unimportant. These are the top signs of drug addiction.

There is nothing like the power of honesty. When you enter into the world of addiction, there are a lot of lies you tell yourself and others. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people say they are clean. A lot of times, these people are not being honest.

I lied to myself as well as a lot of other people during my addiction. I told people I didn’t have a problem. I told myself the same thing. When I was finally willing to admit to my family that I had a drug addiction, the truth truly did set me free. I finally felt okay opening up about it and getting it off my chest.

Dependence Vs. Addiction

Sometimes the lines blur between drug dependence and addiction, but there is a difference. Everyone’s experience with drug abuse is different on some level, and the drugs all affect us differently. The term dependence refers to those who have begun to develop a physical dependence on a drug.

Addiction is defined as a change in behavior and brain chemistry as a result of drug dependence. I didn’t know an awful lot about how we use these terms until I entered recovery. I didn’t have a lot of education on drugs at all even though I was an addict. Pathfinders did a great job of educating me on the power and pull that addiction has on us mentally and physically.

When you decide to go to rehab, you are obviously at a very low point. The great thing about going to rehab is that oftentimes, you have finally hit a wall and made a conscious decision to try and get better.

A lot of addicts don’t ever even have this moment. Once you decide you want to fix the problem and get better, you’ve already done a lot more than other people can say. There are a lot of things to consider when you want to get clean. How much does rehab cost? What are the levels of care in addiction treatment? These are all things that you will come to learn the more you focus on recovery.

The Top Signs Of Drug Addiction

When you finally make the decision to get clean, you begin to understand what got you there in the first place. When you are finally ready to work out your issues, you learn a lot about yourself and how you got here in the first place. It’s easy to see the signs in other addicts.

The number one sign is lying. As I mentioned above, most of the people in your life are lying to you in some way when you are deep into your addiction. You avoid the people in your life that might encourage you to get clean. You don’t want your family to see what is being done to you. You tell them everything is fine when it isn’t.

Denial is a big part of the process. You get really good at hiding things when you are an addict. You become a master of concealing the parts of your life that you don’t want people to see. But even the best liars slip up. This can create a lot of problems in your relationships. No one wants to be lied to. It can create a lot of resentment and anger. A good relationship is based on trust.

Changes in mood are also a sign of addiction. You can go from being in a happy, uplifting high to a very low period of depression. Your brain is constantly fluctuating between the highs and lows, and it really messes with you. These are things that are impossible to hide after a while. You can only hide your mood for so long before it becomes obvious that you are struggling.

Paranoia and anxiety are other clear signs of addiction. Living in a constant cycle of trying to get high and make sure you have what you need puts you in a very rough state emotionally. Just getting through the periods between each high can be exhausting. If you don’t know where your next high is coming from, it can throw you into a tailspin of emotions.

I Am An Addict: Next Steps To Take

When you admit you have a problem, you have made the first step. It’s a giant step and should not be underestimated. You’ve done something commendable when you reach out for help and admit there is something wrong. When you are ready to be totally honest and upfront about it, you can get help a lot easier.

There are a lot of self-assessment tools and questions that you must consider. Going through the NIDA guidelines can help you figure out what level of addiction you are at, and what kind of help you might need. The national institute on drug abuse has a standard test that can help you better understand your level of addiction. They also offer many other further resources for addiction information.

The CAGE and MAST self-test tools are other ways you can assess and identify where you are at in your addiction. On top of these assessments, there is the question of how to choose a reputable rehab facility. One place might be better for one addict, while another might suit a different addict. You can never really tell unless you give it a shot.

Effective Treatment Types For Drug Addiction

Effective Treatment Types For Drug Addiction

Finding the right form of treatment is key to your addiction recovery. Depending on your level of addiction, medication-assisted treatment for addiction might be the best option. When I was in recovery, it sounded a bit strange to combat my addiction to medication with other medication, but it helped tremendously during my withdrawal period. If you’re anywhere near where I was, a medically assisted detox is really the only way to do it.

When is residential addiction treatment needed? This is one of the things that the NIDA, CAGE, and MAST tests can help you determine, but it can also be pretty obvious if you have a very serious physical addiction. If you have a long-term addiction the withdrawal symptoms can be a lot to overcome without some kind of medical assistance.

A lot of us struggling with addiction aren’t exactly in great shape financially, either. Worrying about how to pay for addiction treatment can make a lot of people not even consider it. Fortunately, there is a lot more emphasis on getting people into treatment no matter what their income is.

There are ways you can get into a program either for cheap or free depending on your situation. It will take some research on your part, but if you are really willing to get clean you must be ready to put in some work. Fighting addiction is a personal thing, but you will need a lot of help along the way. As you begin your journey into sobriety, you should embrace the process and ask for help if need be.

Escape Addiction With Pathfinders Recovery Centers.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without the knowledgeable and passionate people that helped me during my stay. I was an emotional and physical wreck when I first got to treatment. I was afraid that I would be judged and not helped. It was the exact opposite of that, and I have a lot of people to thank for being instrumental in my recovery.

When you open up and begin to trust people who really want to help, it restores your faith in humanity and the overall process of addiction recovery. For the longest time, I didn’t think treatment would do anything for me. It would just be a big waste of time. How could I have known that if I never even gave it a chance?

When I finally did give it a chance, it was the total opposite experience of what I had imagined. I didn’t know you could come back from such a low place. I assumed because I was where I was at, there was no coming back. I learned that recovery is possible for anyone. Anybody that wants to give it a chance, it can work wonders. If you really want it, it’s there for you.

Is DMT Addictive?

What Is DMT

When an argument ensues regarding drugs with the potential for addiction, there are staples that surface during any conversation on this topic. Heroin, fentanyl, meth, cocaine – these are all drugs you expect to be associated with the word “addictive.”

However, we’d bet a fair amount that most people wouldn’t include the drug DMT in these conversations. That’s assuming that both parties in the conversation are even aware of DMT’s existence.

In the world of chemical substances and illegal narcotics, DMT is not known for being one of the more widely recognized drugs in the book. Aside from a core base of electronic music and jam band fans chasing the remainder of what was once known as the Grateful Dead, not a lot of people are on a first-name basis with the drug.

Those who have, however, place their experience with DMT on the same level as a face-to-face meeting with God. DMT is rumored to have connections with the third eye and astral plane, having earned the nickname the “spirit molecule” for the psychedelic pilgrimage users take while under the influence of the drug.

What is this unique substance, and why is it so obscure? In this article, you’ll find out about DMT and whether this hallucinogenic is addictive.

What Is DMT?

What is DMT? DMT, or N, N-dimethyltryptamine in medical talk, is a hallucinogenic tryptamine drug found naturally in the human body and plants. This psychedelic substance falls under the Schedule 1 category, meaning it’s illegal across the board (possession, selling, manufacturing, etc.). A couple of cities in Oregon and Colorado have decriminalized it, but other than that, the federal government doesn’t look favorably upon any DMT activity.

DMT is the primary ingredient in ayahuasca, created from a combination of the Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis plants. The second contains MAOI, which stops your body from experiencing the effects of DMT – thus, the need for both when producing the final product.

Chemists can also synthesize DMT in a lab without using plants, creating a product similar to the plant-based variety. In its final state, DMT is a crystalline substance, ranging in various colors.

Traditionally, DMT is smoked, but users may also consume it in tea. Regardless of the means of consumption, DMT produces a highly potent effect, unlike any other substance.

What Effects Does DMT Have?

Effects of DMT

DMT has some insanely strong effects for users who smoke it. It only takes about three seconds to kick in, and while the high only lasts a few short minutes, it can feel like a lifetime to some users. After the user inhales a hit of DMT, they usually hold the smoke in for about five seconds.

Before they can exhale, they’re sent on a trip unlike any other they’ve ever experienced. Users report a wide variety of effects after consuming the drug, including:

  • Out-of-body experiences
  • Auditory and full visual hallucinations
  • Encounters with tiny “elves” (known as DMT elves)
  • The ability to “see” and “feel” other peoples’ energy. Many users report the ability to view people at a cellular or energy level or viewing them only by their body systems (circulatory, etc.)
  • Paranoia
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

IS DMT Dangerous?

One of the main concerns with DMT is the fact that each experience is incredibly unpredictable. In addition, it’s hazardous for a user to consume the drug on their own.

It’s not uncommon for users to exhale a DMT hit and collapse or lose control of their bodies. Most of the time, the user drops the glass pipe used to smoke the DMT, coming out of their trip without knowing what happened before they entered it.

DMT is dangerous for several reasons. Number one, the risk of engaging in use alone could lead to severe injury or death. It’s not uncommon for DMT users to fall and crack their heads open after losing control of their motor functions.

Second, it’s an extremely intense mental high. DMT is considered one of the most potent hallucinogenic drugs in existence. Substances like DMT can easily cause psychosis or trigger other underlying mental conditions, leading to permanent behavioral or cognitive damage.

Is DMT Addictive?

Is DMT addictive? Upon first hearing this question, most individuals would say no – even people who personally abuse the substance themselves. However, after considering the facts surrounding its abuse, we’re not so sure if we agree.

To answer the question, it helps to look at the definition of addiction. Addiction is the compulsive, chronic, or psychological need for any particular substance despite the awareness that using it could negatively affect at least one area of your life.

Let’s take a look at the elements in play here:

Is DMT dangerous to use?

Is DMT dangerous to use

Yes, it’s widely considered an unsafe drug. Whether the user agrees with this is irrelevant. The drug still poses dangers whether the user agrees with them or not. They’re at least acutely aware of the fact that other people consider the drug dangerous. At the minimum, they’re aware of its illegality, which poses a threat just as significant as the physical and mental dangers.

Are there veteran users of DMT who perpetually consume the drug despite knowing these things?

Yes. It might not be physically addictive, but it is habit-forming, and users may be required to ingest more to achieve the same effects they experienced earlier in their interactions with the drug.

Signs of DMT Addiction

It could be challenging to spot DMT addiction, especially considering most social circles’ minimal knowledge regarding the drug. However, certain behaviors and activities could tip you off to the potential existence of a problem.

  • Individuals spend a significant amount of time-consuming DMT, especially on their own with no supervision.
  • Users may lie about how often they consume DMT
  • Users appear to be disconnected from reality
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Rambling about things other people can’t see or understand

Can You Overdose on DMT?

Technically, no medical state describes someone as “overdosing” on DMT. However, it’s possible to overdo the consumption of DMT grossly.

Ingesting too much at once via smoking or drinking it in a tea can produce hazardous and unwanted effects. Dangerous, extended, and highly intense psychedelic trips are known to send people off into a high they never return from.

Overusing any psychedelic is typically what manifests underlying or new mental health disorders that weren’t noticed before. Usually, these situations pass, but they can stick around for extended periods.

The Risk of Serotonin Syndrome

When users ingest DMT, the brain releases a large burst of serotonin. This is common in most chemical substances and leads to the high’s euphoria or “feel good” portion.

However, releasing too much serotonin in one sitting, over and over again, can lead to a condition known as serotonin syndrome. This is the body reaching the serotonin toxicity level and could technically be considered an overdose of serotonin.

Severe cases lead to seizures, respiratory arrest, and other severe side effects. However, most patients rarely require hospitalization and pass without much incident.

Does DMT Addiction Cause Withdrawals?

DMT addiction doesn’t directly cause withdrawals in terms of what most people consider withdrawal symptoms. However, it can hurt the user who has decided to quit.

Mental issues, vertigo, paranoia, difficulty concentrating, and anxiety are expected during the DMT detox period. Certain medications can help these side effects until the detox period is over.

Can I Get Help for DMT Abuse?

DMT treatment options

Regardless of what anyone says, any substance could warrant the need for rehab at any given time. Who’s to say that one person doesn’t have an issue with a substance that requires professional help?

If you’ve experienced DMT abuse, it’s possible you could require heavy mental health treatment, including dual-diagnosis therapy or cognitive-behavioral therapy. Other effective DMT treatment includes:

  • Art therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Ocean therapy
  • Journaling
  • A variety of holistic solutions

Long-Term Recovery from DMT Is Possible

Long-term recovery from DMT is possible with the right treatment team, armed with the proper knowledge and passion for witnessing you succeed. At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we’ve helped thousands of clients just like you overcome challenges with DMT and other hallucinogenic substances.

We understand how delicate the situation can be when dealing with chemicals that alter the fragile balance of the brain. We’re here to provide support and various therapy options to help align your mind, body, and spirit in the healthiest way possible.

If you have questions, we encourage you to contact a member of our admissions team today. We’re standing by to take your calls!

IOP Programs Denver

Intensive outpatient programs

Attending a Denver Intensive Outpatient Program

Intensive outpatient programs or IOPs are a way for mental health treatment centers to bridge the gap between inpatient and outpatient facilities. An inpatient facility allows patients to stay there for an extended period to deal with their problems. These facilities limit the number of external stimuli that a patient has to deal with, so they can focus on their recovery. Because of this focused recovery approach, inpatient treatment tends to have more success and less chance of a relapse. Inpatient treatment isn’t for everyone, unfortunately. The type of treatment usually requires a person to leave their job or take an extended leave of absence.

The other side of the treatment scale is outpatient treatment. This type of treatment offers more freedom to the patient than inpatient treatment. With outpatient treatment, the patient must show up at a scheduled time to receive counseling and attend group therapy sessions. They don’t stay at the facility, and the onus is on them to make it to their scheduled counseling. Outpatient counseling has the downside that a person still has to deal with their environment and other influences that could lead them to relapse. IOP programs seek to find a middle ground between these two treatment options.

What Is an Intensive Outpatient Program Or IOP?

Intensive outpatient treatment is a treatment program for substance use disorder. It’s a step-down treatment after detox and inpatient treatment. Typically, it lasts for weeks, with visits scheduled for a few days out of the week. IOP can serve as either the primary treatment after detox or a continuing treatment method after a person has completed residential treatment. IOPs are built to be flexible and offer patients the best option for visiting a treatment center within their schedule. Most patients are trying to cope with re-entering the world and holding down a job. An IOP gives them the support they need through therapy while not infringing on their lives.

IOP sessions vary in length, but typically they last between two and four hours long. Most facilities that offer IOPs try to limit them to at least three days a week. More intensive programs might provide additional time, but three days are standard. One of the core focuses of IOP treatment is preventing relapse from external stimuli. Much of the discussion might be around managing the triggers that could lead to relapse and how to cope with those forces. Interpersonal relationships might need to be re-examined to give the person a better chance at staying away from those that might encourage unacceptable behavior.

What Does an IOP Treat?

While IOPs can be used for treating addiction, they can also be applied to an extensive range of mental health conditions. Among the typical cases in that IOP may be used are:

Typical Features of a Quality Intensive Outpatient Program

Not all IOP programs are the same. Some are far better at dealing with disorders than others through their flexibility and how they approach the issue of addiction or mental health disorders. The ideal IOP should feature:

Education Services

Recovering from any disorder requires understanding it fundamentally. A top-class IOP should incorporate education into its regimen. Part of the treatment should discuss how drug and alcohol addiction affects the body and the mind. Relapse prevention starts with recognizing the effects of cravings and how they change a person’s behavior. Intensive outpatient sessions should address practical ways of avoiding relapse.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy - IOP Programs Denver

Psychotherapy is one of the accepted methods of treating substance use disorder and mental health over the long term. A good IOP will incorporate family, group, and individual therapy to help recovering people deal with their conditions. Sharing experiences with others, opening up to family, or addressing the direct effects of a person’s mental health issue positively affects their ability to maintain their recovery.

Support Services

Typically, a person is in pretty rough shape financially, legally, and in employment when they enter rehab. The best IOP programs have advisors who can help people recover their financial and social standing while motivating them to continue their treatment. Finding solutions to these problems can help people focus more on improving themselves.

Who Can Benefit from a Denver IOP Program?

Anyone who has had a mental disorder or is dealing with long-term recovery from substance use disorder can benefit from joining an IOP. The IOP is an alternative to inpatient treatment while offering many benefits to outpatient therapy. IOPs do have an ideal candidate for success. A person who wants to undertake IOP needs to fit these criteria:

  • The patient must have completed inpatient treatment or have a mild enough substance use disorder that they don’t need acute treatment.
  • The patient must have a moderate substance abuse disorder.
  • They must not be dependent on drugs or alcohol.
  • They must have a means of support outside of the treatment center since they don’t live there.
  • The patient must be able to get to and from the facility independently.
  • They should be able to commit a significant amount of time to their recovery.

A recovery center would look at a patient’s history and determine whether they fit the ideal patient model before suggesting that they start IOP. Not all patients will match the perfect model of a patient. Since recovery depends on the individual, each person will have their own road to recovery. IOP can help some patients that don’t meet the ideal criteria but are willing to work towards their recovery.

Are IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance?

IOP Programs in Denver Covered by Insurance

Insurance companies are required to cover treatment for mental health disorders. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that all public, private, and group plans offer coverage for mental health treatment. IOP is another type of treatment that can help individuals who suffer from mental health disorders.

Therefore, IOP programs in Denver are covered by health insurance to a particular degree. Consulting with the facility will help you better understand whether your insurance will cover your IOP and to what amount. You may be responsible for meeting some part of the financial responsibility for your treatment, even with insurance.

Medication-Assisted Treatment and IOP Participation

Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT uses medication alongside therapy to gain results in treating substance use disorder and mental health issues. Evidence from many studies suggests that this might be a viable way of helping some individuals cope with their mental health or substance use problems.

Results have shown that individuals who might otherwise be struggling with recovery have a much better outcome when incorporating MAT into their treatment. The use of MAT has historically been part of many inpatient and residential treatment programs. Introducing it to IOP requires adapting the existing methodology to the intensive program.

IOPs that incorporate MAT offer significant benefits over IOPs that use standard therapy as their go-to approach for treatment. Generally, patients who don’t have acute issues with substance usage are the best candidates for MAT. These patients benefit from being treated in their home environments for their disorders, allowing them a better chance of recovery. MAT raises that chance further by providing them with a way to manage their cravings through medication. Combining therapy with group support through IOP gives a recovering person the social support they need to recover from their disorder completely.

What Are the Features Of Top IOP Programs In Denver?

IOPs are quickly becoming popular because they combine the best of good treatment models. However, not all IOPs are helpful to every individual. The top IOPs in Denver share some similarities, however. Among the traits they display are:

  • Mental Health Disorder Assessment: Determine what mental health disorders the patients are dealing with.
  • Therapy Sessions: Group, individual, and family therapy should all form part of the treatment regimen.
  • Behavioral Health Assessment: How does this mental health disorder affect the person’s behavior?
  • Life Education Skills and Training: A recovering person will have to relearn many basic life skills a person needs when living independently.
  • Teaching Focus Development: Yoga and meditation help balance a patient and get them focused on their recovery.

If you are looking at an IOP and aren’t sure whether it’s right for you, you should objectively examine what it offers. You should be able to get to the location relatively quickly, so you don’t miss appointments. The staff should be welcoming and understanding about your goals. It should also offer you an individual solution to your problem, not a generic fix.

Find Lasting Sober Success with Pathfinders Recovery Centers Now

Pathfinders Recovery provides treatment to our patients with a view to long-term recovery. Our two decades of service have prepared us to deal with all types of mental and substance use disorders. Our staff is trained in helping recovering persons come to terms with their disorders and overcome them. Let us help you deal with your condition. Call us today, and we’ll guide you towards leaving your disorder behind and living your life anew!