AA Meeting Topics

AA meeting topics

A Quick Summary of Alcoholics Anonymous

AA or Alcoholics Anonymous is more than what you see in the movies. Alcoholics Anonymous is an inclusive and welcoming support group. Since its humble start in 1935, AA has grown to the largest support group model in the world.

With free and open-to-all meetings across the globe, there are over two million Alcoholics Anonymous members. The only requirement for entry into an Alcoholics Anonymous group is the desire to stop drinking.

The Typical AA Meeting Format

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, outlined in The Big Book, starting with admitting the control alcohol has over us and ending with the spiritual practice of AA principles, are guidelines for overcoming addiction to alcohol.

If you’ve never attended an AA or 12-step meeting, you may be wondering what to expect. The typical AA meeting format has a few different components. First, expect to take a seat in a semi-circle surrounding the meeting chairperson who sits in the middle.

To start, the chairperson will read the AA Preamble, which outlines the AA mission and values and lead the group in the nondenominational Serenity Prayer. After, members will read aloud sections of The Big Book before newcomers are given the chance to introduce themselves.

Don’t worry if you’re not ready for this step, introductions are optional. While the preamble, prayer, and introductions are generally part of every meeting, what happens next may change depending on the type of AA meeting you are attending.

Different Types of AA Meetings

There are four major types of AA meetings, including:

  • Discussion meetings.
  • Speaker meetings.
  • Beginner meetings.
  • Study meetings.

In a discussion meeting, a member of the group acts as the leader, opening the meeting and selecting a discussion topic. In a speaker meeting, one individual or multiple will share their story, focusing on their journey with alcohol abuse and recovery goals.

Beginner meetings are led by AA members who are further along in their recovery journey. These meetings typically follow a question-and-answer format to help newcomers get a feel for what happens in AA.

Rather than diving too deep and risking overwhelming newcomers, leaders of beginner meetings often focus on the first three or the twelve steps. This brings us to the last type of AA meeting, a study meeting.

These are sometimes also called step meetings, tradition meetings, or Big Book meetings. By any name, study meetings focus on an in-depth look at one of the AA steps or traditions. And no matter the type, most AA meetings end with the Serenity Prayer or a moment of silence.

Open vs. Closed Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings

AA Meeting Topics

Sometimes, bringing a friend or family member to a meeting makes it easier to open up and share with the group. In an open AA meeting, any community member is welcome, and you can bring someone with you if they agree to respect the members’ anonymity.

Most open meetings are speaker meetings. Closed meetings, on the other hand, are usually more informal. Attending a closed meeting is limited to existing AA members and new participants who want to stop drinking.

This is an ideal setting for discussing vulnerable topics with other group members who understand them. But both open and closed AA meetings can provide members with support and valuable learning opportunities.

Choosing AA Meeting Topics

If you are leading a discussion meeting, you will get the chance to open the meeting and choose the topic for discussion. Choosing AA meeting topics can be a daunting task for some. But remember that participating can help you gain more from your time here.

The member acting as the meeting’s chairperson may choose a topic and lead the discussion. And there are endless potential AA meeting topics to choose from.

Potential AA Meeting Topics: A Short Listing

Potential AA meeting topics can range from those listed in The Big Book to the current emotional state of the chairperson. The 12 steps and the 12 traditions are two of the most common topics of discussion, but they are far from the only ones.

Some groups discuss one Big Book chapter each week, while others read from the book each week and discuss the chapters as they move through them. But while these are common courses of discussion, AA literature provides dozens of other suggestions.

A shortlist of potential AA meeting topics:

  • Acceptance
  • Forgiveness
  • Freedom through sobriety
  • Hope
  • Inventory
  • Making amends
  • Patience and tolerance
  • Participation and action
  • Sponsorship
  • Willingness
  • Working with others

Click here to read the full list of suggested topics for AA discussion meetings.

What to Bring to an AA Meeting

If you’re not gathering AA meeting topics to lead the discussion in your meeting, you may be wondering what else you need to bring. As we mentioned before, Alcoholics Anonymous is free, and membership is less formal than many other groups.

All you need to bring to an AA meeting is an open mind and a desire to stop drinking. There are no forms, applications, fees, or other formal requirements. Members are free to come and go and participate or observe as they wish.

Getting the Most Out of a 12-Step Meeting

AA Meeting Topics

Sharing your story with others who are on the same journey is a great way to make connections for lasting sobriety. Having a sober social circle or support group you can turn to at any moment provides the social support necessary for true recovery.

Social support helps you better relate to your environment, understand those around you, strengthen your place in the community, and develop healthy communication skills. Social support groups like AA allow you to connect with others with shared goals.

They promote feelings of belonging and shared purpose, while on an individual level boosting our self-esteem and confidence. There are many benefits to attending 12-step and other social support meetings during and after recovery.

And getting the most out of your meetings depends on what you are willing to put into them. If you’re wondering where to start, we recommend that you start by paying attention to the length and frequency of your meeting attendance, combining AA meetings with other treatments, and finding a sponsor.

Alcoholics Anonymous vs. Treatment for Alcoholism

While AA and other support meetings are crucial tools in recovery, they are rarely sufficient as the sole treatment methods for alcoholism. Depending on the severity of your addiction, we can recommend several different treatment types and settings, including:

  • Inpatient care (starting with medical detox)
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program

This list starts with the most high-level program and works down to the most flexible. In an inpatient program, you temporarily relocate and work toward sobriety from the comfort and safety of one of our facilities.

With 24-hour access to medical support and recovery guidance, inpatient programs offer the highest level of care. This makes them ideal for those with moderate to severe addictions and withdrawal symptoms, a history of relapse, or a stressful home life.

In a partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient program, you live at home while attending weekly counseling sessions, support group meetings, and other recovery treatments at our facility. Partial hospitalization is common for those battling both addiction and mental illness.

These programs feature an average of 20 hours per week spent with us. Stepping down another level of care, intensive outpatient programs typically require nine to 19 hours of attendance per week. These are best for people with intermediate-level substance abuse problems.

It bears mentioning that while this is a step down in time requirements, it is not a step down in treatment or effectiveness. And it is also worth mentioning that we do not expect you to know which program will best suit your needs.

If you are unsure of where to start, call our 24-hour line for guidance.

Forging Your Path at Pathfinders Recovery Center

If you’re looking to start your journey with Alcoholics Anonymous, we can help you find a local meeting to aid the other treatments in your recovery plan. Addiction treatments work best when they are well-rounded and holistic.

We can help you build a treatment plan that addresses your emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery needs. The road to recovery starts right here at Pathfinders Recovery Center. Call us today at 866-263-1820.

Staying Sober Through the Holidays

Staying sober through the holidays

Staying Sober Through the Holidays

While many things seem to have an extra touch of magic around the holidays, those in recovery may also find that this is a time when temptations and triggers multiply. If you’ve been working hard to protect your sobriety and reach your recovery goals, this time can be challenging.

Staying sober through the holidays comes down to understanding and protecting yourself through a season when alcohol and emotions flow more readily than they normally do. We’re here to help you recognize the challenge and find ways to overcome it.

Most Common Seasonal Relapse Triggers

Celebrating holidays without drinking and drugs can be hard when you feel like everyone around you is experiencing the season without a care. But what others are doing is not what matters. What matters is that you continue to take care of your body, mind, and soul.

Taking pride in your recovery and accomplishments rather than comparing yourself to others can help you overcome one of the biggest seasonal relapse triggers: exposure. Staying sober through the holidays may mean making some sacrifices.

You can limit your exposure to drugs and alcohol by strategically choosing who you spend your time with and where. If you choose to attend events where it will be easy for you to slip up, we have some suggestions for that, too.

Concrete Planning and Tips for Sober Celebrations

Staying Sober Through the Holidays

There are many strategies for staying sober through holiday stress and other temptations and triggers. The trick is finding the one or ones that work best for you. Here are some suggestions:

  • Avoid known risks to your sobriety by attending activities within your sober social circle.
  • Bring a sober friend to a regular party (traveling with a sober companion will make it easier for you to say no, avoid temptation, arrive early, and leave early.)
  • Know your limits when it comes to situations, locations, or people who trigger you.
  • Keep in regular contact with your sponsor throughout the season.
  • Practice self-care through yoga, meditation, exercise, or massage to treat yourself before and after social gatherings.
  • Attend 12-step or other support group meetings throughout the season (if you’re traveling out of the city or state you live in, you can still attend phone meetings or virtual sessions.)

Another tip that many in recovery have found helpful around the holidays is to carry a drink around every party you attend. When you arrive, fill a cup with water, soda, or another non-alcoholic drink and keep it in your hand for the duration of the event.

This way, you won’t have to refuse drinks all night, and you likely won’t have to explain to anyone why you’re not drinking unless you choose to. Attending holiday events with sober supports is another great way to stay on track.

Staying Sober Through the Holidays by Starting New Traditions

Staying sober through the holidays is easier when you take time to celebrate your most meaningful connections and relationships. One easy and exciting way to do this is by starting new traditions that do not center around drinking or drug use.

If you’ve been in recovery for a while, you may have already started building relationships with sober peers you can spend time with this holiday season. And if you have pre-existing friend groups that you’d like to spend time with, there is nothing wrong with asking them ahead of time to respect your sobriety and leave the substances at home.

Whether you’re planning a gathering with a support group or old friends, this holiday season is a great time to host a festive sober gathering. There are plenty of ways to have fun without being under the influence.

Ideas for New Traditions and Solo Activities

Staying Sober Through the Holidays

Whether you’re eager to be around friends or find positive ways to spend time alone, there are endless options for sober activities. Here are a few activity suggestions:

  • Host a board game night.
  • Invite friends for a craft or paint night.
  • Write in a journal or have a creative writing contest.
  • Take a long walk, go to the gym, or attend a fitness class.
  • Try yoga or meditation.
  • Craft a hand-written letter to a friend.
  • Adopt a pet.

Creative activities reduce stress and depression, two negative emotions that are frequently linked to relapse. Additionally, research shows that people who exercise regularly are less likely to use illicit drugs.

And having pets has been shown to boost our overall moods, reduce feelings of loneliness, and give us a sense of purpose. But your options are not limited to the activities on this list. Try these or find other ways to improve your mental and physical health.

Creativity, togetherness, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can help us through many obstacles during recovery. And managing negative emotions or finding ways to replace them with positive ones can make it easier to maintain your sobriety even when challenges arise.

Acronyms to Remember: Halt and Others

H.A.L.T is an Alcoholics Anonymous acronym for some of the most common relapse triggers. These are not holiday-specific, but that does not mean that they will take the season off. These are additional, year-round triggers you should watch out for:

  • Hungry.
  • Angry.
  • Lonely.
  • Tired.

To combat these emotional relapse triggers, practice anger management techniques and spend time with supportive friends and loved ones. Also, try to get the recommended eight hours of sleep each night and eat a balanced diet.

It may sound like an overly simplified solution, but how much we sleep and what we eat can impact everything from our moods to our immune systems. And while we are talking about the importance of making good choices for ourselves, we want to talk about saying no.

If you are feeling emotionally vulnerable, it is perfectly reasonable to decline attending events or spending time with certain individuals. Protecting yourself and your sobriety is your priority, not saying yes just to please someone else.

This leads us to another important AA acronym, which is C.H.A.N.G.E. In recovery, change stands for “choosing honesty allows new growth every day.” Being honest with and true to yourself is an important part of recovery.

Seeking Inpatient Care During the Holidays

If you have recently relapsed or are worried that you will, another option that you may want to consider is an inpatient rehab program. Our inpatient program offers 24-hour access to the care, support, and guidance of our professional team in a safe and comfortable facility.

In a setting like this, temptations and triggers feel farther away because they are. A change of scenery can work wonders for those who are struggling to maintain their sobriety and lack adequate social support at home.

During an inpatient stay, your days will include healthy meals, creative activities, counseling sessions, support group meetings, and more. We all have to start somewhere. Call us today at 866-263-1820 to see if inpatient care is right for you.

We also offer several other programs for those who prefer to continue living at home and attend weekly sessions and meetings for support. Staying sober through the holidays can be challenging. But it is not a challenge you have to face alone.

The Sober Movement

The Sober Movement

What Is the Sober Movement?

The sober community has come a long way in recent years. There are many reasons for this. The rise of the opiate epidemic is a big one, but there is also so much more information out there these days regarding substance abuse.

When I was growing up, I had no idea of the dangers of certain drugs. There were afterschool specials and a few random TV ads about drugs being bad, but they never really told you why. “Just Say No” became a popular term back in the 80s, but what is the reason for just saying no?

I didn’t get it until I became a full-blown alcoholic and drug addict. I dabbled in a lot of different drugs and ended up wasting a lot of my life. I lost multiple jobs and could barely hold down a place to live.

When I entered Pathfinders for treatment, I didn’t know too much about the sober movement or the term ‘sober curious’. The definition of sober curious is a bit different from being actually sober.

Sober curious refers to the option you have to not drink or use drugs. When someone is sober curious, they are more interested in sobriety for health and wellness reasons. Anyone can be sober curious. You don’t necessarily have to have an addiction to be sober curious.

The origins of the term can be traced back to the author Ruby Warrington. Her book “Sober Curious” was published in 2018 and has become a must-read for those interested in the sober movement.

This book has been a big eye-opener for a lot of people, myself included. The sober lifestyle has historically been seen as made up of only former addicts. There are so many people out there who are not addicts that have just decided to not drink or do drugs.

When you meet someone who has never drunk alcohol or done drugs in their life, it’s rare. But these people are out there, and they have just as much wisdom as anybody else.

You don’t have to have a drug or alcohol history to have insight into the world of substance abuse. Obviously, recovering addicts may have more personal experience on the matter, but the information is out there if you choose to educate yourself.

It doesn’t take a drug addict to know that doing opiates can kill you. It doesn’t take you being an alcoholic to know that alcohol can seriously hurt your body and your mind.

Do I have to be an alcoholic to get sober? The answer is absolutely not. The sober movement is made up of all kinds of people. Perhaps you’ve had people in your life who are addicted, and it scared you enough to never want to try drugs or alcohol.

I have met many people in the sober community who were the children of alcoholics. They made the decision early on to never drink, knowing full well that it probably wouldn’t go so well. If you have a family history of substance abuse, chances are you won’t be one of those people who can just drink socially.

Changing The Sobriety Stigma

Changing The Sobriety Stigma

Another question sober curious people may ask themselves is why am I expected to drink to have a good time? There is so much peer pressure in our society and an emphasis on drinking to have fun.

Why is this the case? When you really try to wrap your head around this issue, it makes you question a lot of things. We’ve seen what drugs and alcohol can do to people, yet drugs and alcohol are so closely associated with having a good time.

Sober people are often looked at as boring and uninteresting. Since I got sober, I can’t count how many fun and interesting sober people I’ve met. This is one of the great tricks that society plays on us.

Just like there is a stigma with drug addicts, there is also a stigma around sober people. Some people think we are miserable because we can’t get high or drunk anymore.

There are people that are sometimes referred to as ‘dry drunks’. This is defined as a recovering alcoholic who still exhibits the behavior and attitude of an active alcoholic. You may meet these people, but in my experience, most of the people I’ve come across in the sober community are full of life and couldn’t be happier to not be addicted.

The trend vs. lifestyle of the sober movement is also something to consider. Sure, some people may consider themselves sober curious because they see it as the cool thing to do. Some people may be trying to impress others by bragging about their sobriety.

In my experience, no matter what community you are part of, there are going to be people who aren’t all in. Some people just want to feel like they are part of something bigger. Sometimes people just want to try it out and see for themselves.

No matter what, I treat everyone I meet in the sober community the same. If they no longer want sobriety, it isn’t my place to judge. If one of my peer’s relapses and doesn’t come back from it, it’s sad, but there isn’t a lot I can do for them personally other than offer my insight.

I look at achieving recovery from drinking as a way of life. This is who I am, and it plays a big role in every aspect of my life. When you become sober after being addicted, it’s something you need to put a lot of work into. It doesn’t come easy, but the rewards are very much worth it.

There is a lot to be said regarding social media and the sober movement. Social media is a huge part of our daily lives today, and a lot of influencers online have taken to the sober movement.

There are a lot of celebrities involved in the sober movement, which can be encouraging to younger people. I never want to be influenced in any way by something just because of what a celebrity says, but it really does have an impact on a lot of people.

All the great actors of the golden age of Hollywood were known for their drinking habits and exploits. These days, you will find just as many sober entertainers as you will ones that engage in substance abuse.

Forms of Treatment for Assistance In Sobriety

Forms of Treatment for Assistance In Sobriety

Your approach to sobriety very much determines how well you will do. If you are all in, and you truly want it for yourself, you have a great chance of succeeding. While you do have to do a lot of the work on your own, you are going to need help along the way.

I know that for me personally I really needed all the peer support that I’ve gotten over the years. It plays a big part in me staying on the sober path. I’ve met a lot of other problem drinkers like myself who made the decision to get sober before it was too later.

The definition of problem drinking is someone who abuses alcohol but is not yet chronically addicted. Luckily for me, I managed to get help before becoming physically addicted. Unfortunately, some people don’t seek help until they are late-term alcoholics.

There are a lot of different and unique ways to enjoy sobriety. I used to really enjoy cocktails, and luckily for me, there are a wide variety of non-alcoholic drinks that are commonly referred to as mocktails.

Mocktails and other sober movement drinks allow you to continue to have fun and indulge a little bit. When I first got sober, I switched to non-alcoholic beer. It was a great bridge drink for me. I always enjoyed beer and all the different varieties of beer. Being able to have my NA beer after I got sober was a good way for me to ease into my sobriety without completely dropping the drinks I used to enjoy.

The rise of the sober movement and sober curious people have been very fun for me to witness. The word is out on drugs and alcohol. They ruin lives, families, and careers. People don’t usually ruin their lives simply because they are sober.

With drugs and alcohol, no matter where you are in life, you are going to experience turmoil. Some addicts are violent and their behavior changes when they are under the influence. Some addicts are non-confrontational, and their addiction doesn’t affect their personality. Even though that is the case, they are still doing a great amount of damage to their bodies.

I was never a violent or angry drunk. I was what you’d call a happy drunk. I was nice to everyone, and I never engaged in any lewd or illegal behavior. Everything seemed fine until I realized the internal damage that it was doing.

The negative physical effects of substance abuse can really creep up on you. My uncle was a happy drunk too. Everything seemed fine with him until he died of a heart attack. The heart attack was brought on by his unhealthy lifestyle. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t get the chance to realize what he was doing to himself.

The alcohol was waging a silent war against him. Seeing that taught me a lot. The best lesson it taught me is that nobody ever died from achieving sobriety. That is a great thought that I continue to hold on to.

Am I An Alcoholic?

Am I An Alcoholic

What Is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism is an addiction to alcohol. While this explanation sounds simple enough, it can still cause a lot of confusion.

There are different types, levels, and experiences that alcoholics experience. 

It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re not an alcoholic if you haven’t experienced financial or relationship troubles, lost your license, or been in an accident while intoxicated.

Alcoholism isn’t always this straightforward. 

So, how do you know if you have a problem if it doesn’t look like our overgeneralized idea of what alcoholism is?

We’ll break down the answer to this question throughout the rest of this article. 

Am I An Alcoholic?

At some point, many binge drinkers ask themselves: do I have a drinking problem?

Generally, when your drinking reaches the point that you have to ask yourself this, the answer is likely yes.

But we will help you further evaluate and understand this complex concern. 

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

Addictions to alcohol are exceedingly unique for a few different reasons.

First, alcohol is an entirely legal substance, and therefore, generally goes unregulated for those over 21. Second, it is normalized enough to be a staple in most gatherings and celebrations. 

When was the last time you attended an office party, holiday gathering, or birthday party where no one had even one drink?

Third, it can be confusing and upsetting to try to understand why some people become addicted and others do not. 

So, how do we distinguish normal, healthy alcohol use from abuse, dependence, and alcoholism?

Nearly 18 million American adults have an alcohol use disorder. Every one of these disorders is unique.

They range from mild to severe and are never one-size-fits-all. 

But what separates normal use from abuse is the frequency.

What separates abuse from dependence is compulsive use.

Dependence is a key factor in alcoholism, as well. As your body builds a tolerance and dependence, you crave alcohol more. 

And you experience additional withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop drinking, too. Withdrawal symptoms are some of the most common red flags. 

Alcoholic Stereotypes: What If I Don’t Fit the Mold?

For many years, the media has perpetuated alcoholic stereotypes that aren’t always entirely accurate.

On TV shows and in movies, they all tend to resemble each other.

They’re down on their luck, broke or alone, got fired from their job, or changed course after an accident. 

While these situations surely exist, alcoholics come in many other forms that we don’t always acknowledge the way we should.

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects our brain chemistry.

Depending on our medical histories, mental health, and other individual factors, it can affect us in different ways. 

High-functioning alcoholics tend to break all the rules associated with alcoholic stereotypes.

Rather than appearing to be at rock bottom, high functioning alcoholics often live relatively normal lives.

They work, often in high-paying jobs, they’re educated, they have families and spouses, and balance daily responsibilities alongside their drinking. 

Signs of Alcohol Dependence

So, since alcohol use disorders come in different forms and levels, how do you know if you’re an alcoholic?

There are mild, moderate, and severe alcohol use disorders, alcoholism, and binge drinkers.

At the different stages, many of the signs and symptoms may overlap. 

This can cause some confusion. But there are red flags to look for in those with alcohol dependence.

What makes someone an alcoholic is the inability to stop drinking without experiencing cravings and other withdrawal symptoms.

In the next section, we will go over common risk factors for alcohol use disorders. 

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

Addiction develops from several different pathways. Mental health disorders, genetics, and environment are three of the most significant pathways.

Understanding the risk factors for developing alcoholism can help us avoid or overcome it. 

Some of the most common risk factors for alcohol use disorders include: 

  • Having more than 15 drinks per week if you’re male
  • Having more than 12 drinks per week if you’re female 
  • Having one or more parents with an alcohol use disorder 
  • Having pre-existing mental health disorder(s), most commonly depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia 
  • Having a stressful school, work, or home life 
  • Having low self-esteem 
  • Having a social circle that prioritizes drinking over all else or pressures others into participation even if they prefer not to drink 

Getting Answers and Understanding Your Addiction

It is not always easy to determine if we have a problem or not. The list above offers guidance into how alcohol use disorders develop.

But what do the symptoms look like once it has already developed? One of the first signs is personality changes. 

This might mean drinking alone or avoiding daily activities or responsibilities to drink more.

It might mean avoiding gatherings or activities where alcohol is not served, sneaking drinks there or in other inappropriate situations, or hiding your drinking from your loved ones.  

Needing more alcohol to get drunk because your body has built a higher tolerance is another sign of trouble.

Another sign is someone lying or becoming defensive, angry, or violent when their drinking is questioned. 

Lastly, drinking even after problems arise in your work-life, finances, relationships, or health is another sign of trouble.

If you are looking for additional signs or have unanswered questions, you can take a self-assessment quiz.  

Self-Assessment Quizzes

There are three free and confidential online screening tests you can take to better understand your drinking habits: 

The CAGE quiz is a good first step in determining whether your habits have become a cause for concern.

Developed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, this four-question quiz is an easy starting point. 

The MAST test is 22 questions with a simple scoring system at the end.

A score of six or higher indicates hazardous drinking habits or alcohol dependence.

The experts who created the test at the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence recommend calling a healthcare professional if you score above a six. 

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a simple, effective alcohol consumption screening.

This is the most widely used, as it is based on data from a multinational World Health Organization (WHO) study. 

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

In the same way that there are different types and levels of alcoholism, there are also different types and levels of treatment for it.

What works for one person may not work for another.

That’s why we personalize our treatment programs based on the needs of the individual rather than the needs of the majority. 

Pathfinders: A Full Continuum of Care Options

Someone with severe dependence or withdrawal symptoms, little support at home, and a history of relapse might be better suited for an inpatient or residential program.

This gives you 24-hour access to the care, guidance, and support of our expert teams. 

In the comfort and safety of our luxury-level facilities, you will work toward your goals through a variety of proven treatment methods.

A few of the most common treatment methods include behavioral therapies, support groups, and holistic remedies. 

Someone with a milder addiction, support at home, or full-time work and family obligations that prevent a full-time stay might be better suited for an intensive outpatient program or another option.

But we do not expect our clients to have all the answers before they come to us. 

We will work with you to determine which course of action will best fit your addiction and needs.

Because one-size-fits-all solutions are ineffective. We treat each of our clients on an individual basis.

That is the Pathfinders difference. Call us today at (866) 263-1820 to learn more.

Can You Die from Alcohol Withdrawal?

Can You Die from Alcohol Withdrawal

When your body becomes dependent on alcohol, cravings and other withdrawal symptoms appear after you stop drinking or significantly reduce your intake. In many cases, alcohol withdrawal can be mild. 

But in others, it can be more severe, even life-threatening. Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, its side effects are achieved by slowing down the brain.

As your body and brain get used to this effect, changes in your drinking patterns throw you off balance. 

Your central nervous system becomes overexcited as it tries to restore balance.

This imbalance shows through in the form of withdrawal symptoms ranging from mild to severe.

Alcohol withdrawal deaths are usually attributable to a condition called delirium tremens. 

Death may occur in up to 5% of delirium tremens patients.

But the risk of death is reduced for those who receive adequate medical support and medication. 

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome?

 

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is what we call the wide range of symptoms that appear when alcohol-dependent individuals stop drinking.

Those with alcohol withdrawal syndrome will experience a combination of emotional and physical symptoms. 

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome symptoms range from minor, like insomnia and tremors, to severe, like withdrawal seizures and the condition we mentioned before, delirium tremens.

No two people experience addiction or withdrawals the same way. 

But we can give you an idea of what to expect by evaluating the most common side effects of alcohol withdrawal, outlining the detox stages, and detailing your treatment options. 

Common Side Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

Common Side Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

If you have tried to stop drinking and found that overwhelming cravings or other uncomfortable physical or emotional symptoms brought you right back to the bottle, you may already be more familiar with withdrawals than you realize.  

Some of the most common side effects of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Restlessness 
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors or shakes, particularly in the hands
  • Headaches

Troubling Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal: Seizures

The most common symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are not the most concerning ones.

Seizures, high blood pressure, high fevers, and confusion are some of the more troubling symptoms of alcohol withdrawals. 

While these may not be the most common symptoms, they can be the most detrimental when they occur.

Dangerous withdrawal symptoms are not a risk you have to take. Choose a better way with a supervised detox. 

Other Dangerous Physical Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

Seizures and delirium tremens are two of the most dangerous complications of alcohol withdrawals.

These physical symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Delirium tremens can cause vivid delusions and hallucinations. 

It can also cause confusion, shaking, fever, and high blood pressure.

The sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes associated with delirium tremens can be fatal.

But it doesn’t have to be. Delirium tremens is treatable by a medical professional. 

The average onset is approximately three days into withdrawals. If you or someone you love needs to detox from alcohol, we recommend doing so in the comfort and safety of a certified addiction treatment facility. 

During a supervised detox, you will benefit from the 24-hour care, support, and guidance of a dedicated medical team.

They will ensure that you stay properly hydrated, monitor your progress, and guide you through the appropriate next steps. 

Alcohol Detox Stages

 

Alcohol detox symptoms vary depending on the stage you are in, how long you have been drinking, how often and how much you drink, and other individual factors.

The average alcohol detox lasts between three and seven days. 

The length and severity of your detox can vary based on the details of your addiction and mental health.

But one thing that is true for everyone is that remaining patient and accepting the help available to you is crucial. 

Recovery is possible for anyone. And recovery from alcohol dependence occurs in three distinct stages.

When you attend a detox program like the ones we offer at our Pathfinders Recovery Centers, these stages become significantly safer and easier to manage.  

Stages One, Two, and Three

Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal After Detoxification

Stage one is often characterized by mild withdrawal symptoms that appear within eight hours after you stop drinking.

These stage one symptoms can be mild enough to feel like a hangover.

Nausea, sweats, insomnia, and anxiety are some of the most common symptoms in this stage.

Stage two starts around 12 to 24 hours after your last drink and typically involves moderate symptoms, like high blood pressure, fever, confusion, and irritability.

Finally, stage three usually involves the most severe symptoms you will experience. 

This stage starts between 48 and 72 hours after your last drink.

High fevers, seizures, confusion and agitation, and hallucinations can occur during stage three of withdrawals.

Delirium tremens can also occur during this stage. 

This condition is the one we are the most concerned with. Roughly 3-5% of alcohol-dependent patients experience this condition during detox.

This is one reason why many experts deem supervised, professional detoxes crucial rather than recommended.  

Medical Detox for Severe Alcohol Withdrawal

Severe addictions and withdrawals may warrant medical detox rather than a traditional one.

Medical detoxes offer a higher level of support. During medical detox, an experienced professional will safely prescribe or administer medication to ease your withdrawal symptoms. 

There are several different medications they may choose.

These medications may help you get through the crucial stage of early sobriety in several different ways.

For example, one of the most common of these medications reduces alcohol and drug cravings. 

In a traditional or social detox, there are many of the same benefits, including a safe and comfortable space where you can focus on your sobriety and access to a dedicated medical team.

The biggest difference is the medication. Not every case will need it. 

But we will work with you to determine which path will be better for you.

And both social and medical detoxes are significantly safer than quitting cold turkey and withdrawing alone at home.

After your detox, we have a range of continued care programs available. 

Treatment After Detoxification

Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal After Detoxification

 

Alcohol is one of the hardest addictions to recover from. But people do it every day.

Experts recommend attending treatments for a minimum of three months.

While these treatments can take place in different forms and settings, the timeline is what is more important in this regard. 

Longer treatment programs and plans are associated with better results.

That’s why we make it easy to get the help you need – where, when, and how you need it.

From full-time residential programs to part-time intensive outpatient programs, we offer every opportunity you need to change your life. 

Whether full-time or part-time, our personalized treatment programs feature many of the same proven, research-based, and holistic treatments.

Behavioral therapies, support groups, and exercise classes are some of the most common.  

Getting Help for Alcohol Addiction at Pathfinders

Building a better, happier, healthier life starts here. With luxury-level facilities in Colorado and Arizona, help is always right around the corner.

Our addiction specialists are on call to answer your questions, guide you through the next steps, and verify your insurance. 

You do not have to face your recovery alone.

Call them today, day or night, at (866) 263-1820 to get started. From detox through aftercare, help is waiting for you here at Pathfinders.

Drug Addiction and Hair Loss

Drug Addiction and Hair Loss

Is There a Link Between Drug Addiction and Hair Loss?

Hair loss is a natural part of life. We lose hair as we age, from genetic conditions, and under high levels of stress. But not all causes of hair loss are natural ones. Alcoholism and drug addiction, for example, are two conditions that few people know may also cause hair loss. 

How Does Drug Abuse Cause Hair Loss?

How Does Drug Abuse Cause Hair Loss

For many years, experts have examined the link between drug addiction and hair loss. While there aren’t many studies that prove a direct link, there are studies that show a connection. The connection lies with drug use and the body’s production of adrenaline. 

Adrenaline, in turn, affects the hair growth cycle. This is proof that drug addiction does not just impact one aspect of your life or another. It impacts all of them. Your mental health, physical health, relationships, career, and even criminal record can all be impaired by drug addiction. 

What to Know About Drug-Related Hair Loss

It is far more common to talk about the health impairments of drug abuse. Conditions like lung disease, liver damage, and problems with our mental health take priority, as they should. Our health should always be more important than our looks. 

But that does not mean that cosmetic issues are easy to ignore. Drug-related hair loss can damage your self-esteem and confidence. It can also be triggering for individuals who have or are prone to depression or anxiety. 

In turn, these negative feelings can lead you to continue abusing drugs to cope. It is the same with drinking to ease anxiety. Sometimes, we drink to feel better or boost our moods. But over time, drinking often does the opposite. 

So, we drink more to improve our moods. And as the alcohol impairs our moods rather than improving them, we come back around for another drink. On paper, these cycles are illogical. But they are much harder to identify and avoid when you are in them. 

We create these detrimental cycles for ourselves. And the longer we allow them to continue, the harder they become to break out of. From top to bottom, drug addiction can change you. But once you choose to live a better way, we can help you find it. 

Ways Addiction and Hair Loss Are Linked

We mentioned earlier that hair loss is triggered by an increase in adrenaline. Additionally, drug users regularly add harmful toxins to their bodies that may prevent them from getting the nutrients they need to stay healthy. 

And when they do get the nutrients they need, the drug use may interfere with the way the body uses them. Whether the lack of nutrients is from a poor diet or the inability to properly absorb and use those nutrients, drug abuse can damage your appearance, including your hair.

Addiction can cause hair loss or other changes in its growth. In long-term use, drugs can interrupt the hair’s growth cycle, causing them to pause temporarily or stop growing permanently. 

Drugs may enter hair from multiple sites through multiple mechanisms and at different times throughout the hair growth cycle. Strands of hair grow at different rates, and there is no way to tell where on the head or how much hair will be lost due to drug use. Everyone is different.  

How Bad Will Drug-Related Hair Loss Get?

The type and severity of hair loss that you experience can vary depending on many individual factors. Some of these factors include: 

  • The type of drug used. 
  • The frequency and dosages of the drug used.
  • Family history of hair loss. 
  • Other health conditions. 
  • Stress levels and age. 

Family history, certain health conditions, and high stress levels can make it more likely for you to lose your hair prematurely. And age is a factor that affects each of us when it comes to hair loss. 

While there is little we can do about aging or our family history, we can take steps to improve the other areas. Living an overall healthy life starts with ceasing drug abuse, eating nutritious foods, and learning how to cope with stress and other negative emotions. 

We can help you achieve each of these goals in any of our drug addiction treatment programs. We offer full-time and part-time programs, as well as support meetings, to ensure that you have access to the help you need when and where you need it.  

What Drugs Cause Hair Loss

A large number of drugs may interfere with the hair cycle and produce hair loss. Two of the most common and illicit drugs that cause hair loss are cocaine and LSD. One study tested hair samples from users of cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and LSD under electron microscopes. 

In this study, the drug-free hair shafts from the control group were intact, regular, and undamaged. However, when it came time to examine the hair from the cocaine users, the keratinized structures were damaged in 97.2% of the samples. 

And the outer layer of the hair was damaged in 95.8% of the samples, as well. They found that hair shafts from cocaine abusers are very thin and fragile. Meanwhile, the hair samples tested from the heroin and cannabis abusers were intact and regular. 

The LSD samples told a different story. In nearly all the tested samples (97.9%), the cuticle layer was destroyed, and cuticle cells were lifted from the hair shaft. In 95.8% of the samples, the hair was fragile, broken, and detached. 

The hair fibers from the LSD users were very weak and fragile, similar to the results of the tests on the hair from the cocaine users. The researchers who performed these studies maintain that further research and a more comprehensive analysis of hair samples from different illicit drug abusers is necessary to gain more information. 

How Do the Drugs Get to Your Hair?

Illicit drugs, through any method, accumulate in the hair in a few different ways. They may build up there by entering the bloodstream, absorbing through the sweat, or attaching to the strands from smoke vapors. However they get there, it is clear that certain illicit drugs can cause hair loss, no matter what method you use to ingest them. 

Treating Your Addiction to Prevent Hair Loss

Treating Your Addiction to Prevent Hair Loss

Addiction programs like the ones that we offer can help you address and overcome a wide variety of issues. Cosmetic concerns, like hair loss and weight changes, often improve as you work on building an overall healthier lifestyle. 

From there, there are several different options for treatment for hair loss if it is still needed. But one of the best ways to reverse the damage done and prevent further damage is to stop abusing drugs first. As you detox, you flush toxins from your body. 

Your body learns how to find its balance, regulate itself, and return to normal. The effects of building a healthy, sober life will be felt from top to bottom. 

Getting Started at Pathfinders Recovery Center

At Pathfinders, we offer a unique variety of personalized addiction care programs to help you meet your goals and improve your quality of life. With a helping hand, recovery is possible. And a new life is just a phone call away. 

With centers in Arizona and Colorado, we make it easy to get the help you need where and when you need it. Our addiction counselors are available now to answer your questions, perform your intake, or verify your insurance. Call them at 866-576-4892 to get started.

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Why Does Drug Abuse Affect Our Skin?

We talk a lot about how drug and alcohol abuse can wreak havoc on our physical and mental health. The major health concerns, including things like depression and anxiety, different cancers, and heart and lung problems are well-known. What about the effects of addiction on the skin?

We don’t often acknowledge the effects of drug addiction on our skin. The skin is our body’s largest organ. It is not immune to the effects of drugs any more than our livers or kidneys are. The impairments caused by drug abuse affect the body, mind, and spirit. 

Why Do Drugs Cause Skin Problems?

Drug abuse causes skin problems through many different methods. It can cause dry or flaky skin through dehydration, encourage infections and scarring through skin picking, or promote acne breakouts and inflammation. 

Depending on the drug, the level and length of abuse, and your medical history, among other individual factors, your skin problems can vary. They may be mild, moderate, or severe. 

Common Effects of Addiction on the Skin

Common Skin Problems Caused by Drugs

If you’re looking for signs that drug abuse is affecting your skin, that is a sign in itself. Some of the most common effects of drug abuse on the skin include rashes and: 

  • Hyperpigmentation or color changes. 
  • Oral concerns, including swollen, inflamed, dry, or cracked lips and gums. In more severe cases and long-term use, this extends to include tooth decay and possible loss. 
  • Inflammation, redness, itching, dryness, irritation, and rashes. 
  • Worsened acne breakouts or new ones. 
  • Open sores and scarring. 
  • Skin and soft tissue infections. 

Drug-Related Skin Problems Ranked

On the milder side of drug-related skin problems, you may experience temporary inflammation, redness, or dryness. Mild rashes would be included on this list, as well. Mild skin problems may go away in between drug binges or get better when you moisturize. 

Acne breakouts, often caused by the urge to touch your face while on drugs, would land somewhere in the middle. Alterations to your skin tone would land in the moderate territory, too. On the more severe side, scarring, sores, and infections related to drug abuse could prove problematic. 

How Drug Abuse Affects Your Lips and Gums

Oral problems, including dry and cracked lips and gums, and tooth decay, are common skin concerns among meth users. Many people refer to these side effects as meth mouth. 

An examination of 571 meth users revealed that 96% had cavities, 58% had untreated tooth decay, and 31% had six or more missing teeth. This happens for several reasons. Primarily, these oral health impairments are related to psychological and physiological changes that cause dry mouth and poor oral hygiene. 

Methamphetamine is acidic, which can damage the teeth. It also makes you crave sugar, clench or grind your teeth, and experience bouts of semi-consciousness or unconsciousness. Each of these side effects can worsen your oral hygiene and routine. 

Drug Addiction and Acne

If you are already prone to acne, abusing drugs or alcohol may make it worse. But it may also prompt extreme acne breakouts in those who have never had acne in the past. The primary reason for this is that drug abuse often makes you more likely to repeatedly touch your face. 

Throughout the day, dirt, oils, bacteria, and other unwanted particles gather on our hands. We can avoid acne breakouts by washing our hands clean before touching our faces. But when you are under the influence of drugs, you are far less likely to follow through on that extra step. 

Scarring and Sores from Drug Use

Certain drugs and extreme amounts of alcohol can lead to hallucinations. The feeling that something is crawling under your skin is a common sensation among drug abusers. This can lead you to claw or pick at your skin to alleviate the creepy, crawling, itchy feeling. 

But when you claw or pick at the skin on your body or face and your hands are unclean, open sores and scarring become more likely. And when you continue to pick at your skin and neglect to clean the cuts and sores, they can scar or become infected. 

Skin Infections from Drug Use

Drug abuse weakens the immune system, making it harder for you and your body to fight off infections. Infections related to drug use often get worse over time and can take a while to heal because your body is not at its peak health. 

Infections at the site of injection are common, but infections can also come from picking, scratching, or clawing at your skin. And while skin picking is more commonly associated with meth use, it also applies to cocaine, heroin, and prescription stimulant users. 

Outside of skin picking, skin infections can also be sparked by allergic reactions to certain drugs. Prescription stimulants, including Adderall and Ritalin, can cause fluid-filled bumps that worsen over time. These bumps can swell, burst and scab, blister, or peel. 

Rapid Aging from Drug Addiction

Powerful illicit drugs, including heroin, can decrease the amount of oxygen that travels to the skin. This is one of the most common reasons for drug-related dry, itchy, flaky, and otherwise irritated skin. 

Along with oral health impairments, rashes, blemishes, sores, and bloodshot eyes, these skin symptoms can rapidly change your physical appearance. Wrinkles are also common among drug users and can make you look much older than you are. 

The first step in minimizing or ending these side effects is to stop abusing drugs. The longer the drug abuse continues, the more damage it will do to your skin, as well as your physical and mental health. And the longer it goes on, the harder it will be to reverse the damage, too. 

Moisturizing, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face can help reduce the risk. But real change involves treating the root of the problem. And that starts with a personalized and holistic addiction treatment program. Thankfully, this is exactly what we offer. 

Reversing Addiction’s Effect on Your Skin

Drugs can affect your skin in many different ways. Some of these side effects will naturally fade after you stop abusing drugs. From there, a healthy and consistent skincare routine can help further improve the appearance of your skin. 

Moisturizers, proper hydration, healthy meals, and a regular exercise routine can also help improve your skin’s appearance and reverse certain signs of aging. When you are good to your body, your body will be good to you. 

And for those particularly pesky skin concerns, a dermatologist may be able to recommend either over the counter or prescription medications for more significant cosmetic changes. The sooner you begin to improve your overall health, the sooner your skin will improve, too. 

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Getting Addiction Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

No one likes to look in the mirror and see that they are aging faster than they should be. No matter the skin concerns you are facing, drug abuse isn’t helping. It’s time to improve your health, build your confidence, and restore your physical appearance. And we can help. 

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we put together personalized programs that match your unique addiction, recovery goals, time constraints, budget, and other needs. In full-time and part-time settings, we offer the care, guidance, and support you need to recover. 

Our addiction counselors are available 24/7 to ensure that you get the help you need when you need it. Call 866-576-4892 today to get started.

Cocaine and Bad Breath

Cocaine and Bad Breath

Does Cocaine Use Cause Bad Breath?

The phrase cocaine abuse often conjures up images of powder trails, dollar bill straws, mirrors, and credit cards. We think of the 1980s when cocaine abuse was common and unquestioned. But many don’t realize that this illicit stimulant is staging a comeback. 

From 1999 to 2019, fatal overdoses involving cocaine rose from 3,822 to 15,883. Cocaine is a powerful and addictive drug that can impair every aspect of life. From mental and physical health complications to financial and relationship troubles, its impacts know no bounds. 

But it’s not just the major, life-changing events that cocaine abusers have to worry about. There are also everyday annoyances like hyperactivity and difficulty sleeping, and other side effects that land somewhere in between. One of those side effects is something called coke mouth. 

Does Cocaine Use Cause Bad Breath

Cocaine and Bad Breath

On top of its many other potentially uncomfortable, unpleasant, painful, or even fatal side effects, cocaine causes a troubling oral condition. For users who rub the substance over their teeth, cocaine and bad breath are intrinsically linked. 

But bad breath is not the only oral concern when it comes to cocaine use. This bad breath is a symptom of a deeper and more concerning problem: dental decay. From bad breath to the loss of teeth, dental decay comes in varying stages and can cause many different problems. 

Cocaine Effects on the Mouth

Users can snort, inject, smoke, or rub the substance over their teeth. The side effects that you experience can vary depending on the method you use, the dose, how often, and for how long. Coke mouth is a side effect that is unique to users who ingest cocaine orally. 

Many users do this to produce a faster high. The short-term side effects of cocaine include euphoric feelings and increased energy and focus. But these side effects never last for long. And what comes next is not worth the tradeoff. 

Cocaine’s effects on the mouth include:

  • Bad breath 
  • Sores in and around the mouth 
  • Tooth decay (either from tooth and gum erosion due to rubbing cocaine there or from neglected hygiene due to cocaine use through other methods) 
  • Gingivitis and other oral diseases 
  • Wear to the teeth and jaw from grinding and clenching 
  • Tooth loss 

Snorting cocaine can also interfere with your oral and nasal health. It can cause you to lose your sense of smell, promote nosebleeds, make it harder to swallow and cause regular hoarseness. It can also cause an overall irritation of your sinuses, which often results in chronic runny noses. 

Other Symptoms of Cocaine Use

Different methods of cocaine use can cause different symptoms. Not all of them will be related to the mouth or sinuses. Other side effects of cocaine use include: 

  • Irritability 
  • Paranoia 
  • Hypersensitivity to touch, sound, and sight 
  • Bizarre or unpredictable behaviors 
  • Increased feelings of anger that may escalate to violence
  • Constricted blood vessels and dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Fast or otherwise irregular heartbeats 
  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature 
  • Muscle twitches and tremors 
  • General feelings of restlessness 

Smoking cocaine can cause asthma, respiratory distress, and a higher risk of infections. Injecting cocaine puts you at a higher risk of contracting hepatitis C, HIV, and other diseases, as well as infections, scarring, and collapsed veins. 

Over time, left untreated, the side effects of cocaine use only get more severe. It also becomes more likely to suffer life-threatening health impairments and a fatal or non-fatal overdose. 

How Addictive is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a Schedule II drug, which means that it has a high risk for abuse and addiction. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) maintains that using cocaine has the potential to lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Schedule II drugs are considered dangerous. 

Other drugs in the Schedule II class include: 

  • Vicodin 
  • Methamphetamine 
  • Methadone 
  • Hydromorphone or Dilaudid 
  • Demerol 
  • Oxycodone or OxyContin 
  • Fentanyl 
  • Dexedrine
  • Adderall 
  • Ritalin 

As the drug class numbers get lower, they get more dangerous. This means that there is only one class of drugs considered more dangerous or with a higher potential for abuse and addiction. 

Schedule I drugs have no currently accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse. These drug classifications are there to shed light on the potential dangers of different drugs. Certain Schedule II drugs may have accepted medical uses in the appropriate doses, but they are still considered addictive and dangerous. 

And cocaine is not one that has approved medical purposes in the United States today. Illicit drugs have been more carefully regulated since the drug trade boom of the 80s, but it is still difficult to regulate them fully. 

How to Prevent Bad Breath from Cocaine

The best way to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and other oral health problems is to stop using cocaine. For many people, this may be easier said than done. But we are here to help. It can be hard to change your life, but it is always worth the effort. A happier, healthier, sober life is a recovery program away. 

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Treatment for cocaine addiction starts with a detox. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we offer personalized detox programs to suit your unique addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and needs. There are three stages to every personalized detox: 

  • Evaluating your situation
  • Stabilizing your condition 
  • Getting you ready for primary treatment 

A personalized and professional drug detox is an excellent first step in the recovery process. Drugs that are as powerful and addictive as cocaine often come with troubling and overwhelming withdrawal symptoms. 

We can help you manage and overcome these symptoms so that you can stay strong and focused through the vital stage of early sobriety. 

What Happens After the Detox?

What Happens After the Detox

Cocaine detox takes an average of one week. This timeframe and the severity of your withdrawals can vary depending on how long you were using cocaine, how frequently, and how much each time. 

We will guide you through your detox to ensure that you stay safe, strong, comfortable, and hydrated. After your detox, we will help you evaluate your options and decide if you are better suited for one of our personalized inpatient or outpatient programs

Inpatient programs are generally best for patients with moderate to severe addictions and overwhelming or otherwise concerning withdrawal symptoms. Those who are surrounded by drug triggers and temptations could also benefit from a change of pace. 

Those with milder addictions, more manageable withdrawal symptoms, support at home, or work or family obligations that prevent a full-time stay are better suited for outpatient programs. But it is not always easy to tell which program will work best for you. 

We do not expect you to have the answers already or face your recovery on your own. Our team of addiction experts will guide you through making this decision. 

Pathfinders Recovery Center

Today is a great day to make a change. When you choose Pathfinders Recovery Center, you never have to walk the road to recovery alone. Our compassionate and knowledgeable teams, comfortable facilities, and personalized programs have helped thousands change their lives. 

Now, it is your turn. Call our addiction counselors today at 866-576-4892 to get started. They are on call to answer your questions, verify your insurance, and start your intake.

What is the Meaning of Rock Bottom?

What is the Meaning of Rock Bottom

What is Rock Bottom?

We hear the phrase rock bottom a lot when the topic of drug abuse or addiction arises. But what is it? What is the actual  Meaning of Rock Bottom? And why do so many people use it to carry such a negative connotation? Although it is often riddled with warning signs, the journey to rock bottom can happen quietly and subtly. 

It is not always easy to recognize in yourself or a loved one that you are losing control. Drug addiction occurs when you cross the line between casual drinking or drug use and alcohol or drug dependence. Rock bottom can sneak up on you before you realize it. 

But that does not mean that hope is lost or help is unavailable. Rock bottom is not the end. It is not a finish line or a reason to stop trying. It is simply a turning point and an opportunity to take a different approach. 

What People Think Rock Bottom Is 

What People Think Rock Bottom Is 

The media portrays rock bottom as something disastrous. In movies or TV series, we see recovering addicts drowning in guilt over irreparably damaged relationships, accidents, and other life-altering experiences. 

While this is certainly a possibility for someone who is abusing or addicted to alcohol or drugs, rock bottom is not a one-size-fits-all situation. It is not always defined by an accident, death, or divorce. Sometimes, rock bottom is less obvious than that. 

The Real Meaning of Rock Bottom

For many people who abuse alcohol or drugs, rock bottom may be marked by an eye-opening event. But how do you identify the reality of rock bottom when everyone’s rock bottom is different? Just like addiction, rock bottom is unique to the person facing it. 

Rock bottom in addiction is the point where you feel like you are at your lowest. It can mean mild life changes, or it can mean life-altering consequences. For some, rock bottom can be a dramatic drop in your daily quality of life. For others, it can be milder negative consequences. 

We have mentioned a few of the more concerning events that might be considered rock bottom, like a divorce, a fatal or non-fatal accident, or a job loss. But what about some of the less permanent life changes associated with rock bottom? 

Signs That You’ve Hit Rock Bottom from Addiction

Rock bottom looks different for everyone. But there are certain life events that people frequently cite when they talk about the day that they realized that they had a drug or alcohol problem. Some of these more common and less permanent rock bottom events include: 

  • A job loss or work suspension. 
  • Mild to severe financial strain. 
  • Losing your home. 
  • Getting arrested for driving under the influence, stealing, or participating in another illegal activity. 
  • Suffering from a non-fatal overdose, injury, or accident under the influence. 
  • Leaving or being asked to leave school. 
  • A breakup directly due to your alcohol or drug abuse. 
  • An uncharacteristically angry or violent outburst. 
  • An impairment to your ability to function in day-to-day life

The Levels of Rock Bottom

Some “rock bottom” life events are less severe, like a suspension at work or falling a bit short in your finances. Others are more severe, like becoming homeless, getting arrested, getting hurt, or hurting someone else. The most severe, as we mentioned earlier, would be fatal accidents, health conditions, or overdoses. 

As some of the milder life changes suggest, rock bottom does not always mean that your life has spiraled out of control. Your rock bottom may simply be when you notice that your alcohol or drug use has begun to negatively affect your life. 

No matter what rock bottom looks like to you, one thing is common across the board. People who feel that they have hit rock bottom from addiction know that they want it to stop. They know that unchecked addiction only gets worse over time. Thankfully, help is available. 

How to Help Someone Who Has Hit Rock Bottom

If someone you know or love has hit rock bottom from addiction, they need your support more than ever before. Blaming, shaming, or getting angry at someone who is experiencing rock bottom will only make matters worse. 

Addiction is a chronic illness, similar to others like type 2 diabetes, that can be managed but not yet cured. Overcoming it requires a delicate approach. Whether you approach them alone, with other family members or friends, or with the guidance of a professional during an established intervention, addicts are vulnerable. 

A calm, compassionate, and understanding conversation will always be more effective than one that features shouting, bickering, or finger-pointing. It can be hard to stay calm in such emotional situations.

But doing so can ensure that your loved one feels supported rather than attacked. And when they are at their worst, that is precisely what they need. Additionally, someone who feels supported is more likely to listen, while someone who feels attacked is more likely to shut down or tune out of the conversation. 

Getting Out of Rock Bottom

Getting out of rock bottom starts with accepting the help that is available to you. While it may feel like you are at your lowest point now, rock bottom is not an entirely negative event. Some good does come out of it. 

Often, reaching rock bottom is the point when the denial stops. Until now, you may have convinced yourself that your drinking or drug use was under control. But when you hit rock bottom, the truth of your substance abuse becomes clearer. 

In this sense, rock bottom may be a turning point for you. Many people avoid getting help until they feel like there is nothing else left. When you recognize that getting help is the best option in front of you, you are on your way to a happier, healthier life. 

You can live a life that is free from the grip of alcohol and drugs. You are capable and worthy of a better way to live. And our expert teams are here to help you build it. 

Seeking Treatment Before Hitting Rock Bottom

Seeking Treatment Before Hitting Rock Bottom

Sometimes, you may see rock bottom coming before it finds you. If you recognize the signs, do not wait for it to get any worse. Over time, untreated drug or alcohol abuse does not get better. And eventually, you may find yourself in a hole that feels too deep to pull yourself out of. 

Before or after you reach those depths, we can help. With a variety of inpatient, outpatient, and supplemental treatment programs, we offer options for all different types and levels of addiction. And we customize each of these treatment programs based on your unique needs. 

Get Help at Pathfinders Recovery Center

Today is a good day to leave rock bottom behind you. Let us help you move from rock bottom to a new beginning. There are no one-size-fits-all treatment methods that work. When you choose Pathfinders Recovery Center, you choose customized and holistic addiction treatments

From behavioral therapies to family sessions, support groups to individual meetings, and creative therapies to exercise classes, our well-rounded approach helps improve your body, mind, and soul. That is what makes Pathfinders different.  

To learn more about our unique approach to addiction, various programs, treatment options, or payment methods, including insurance verification, call our addiction counselors at 866-263-1808. They are available 24 hours per day, seven days per week to ensure that our clients get the help that they need when they need it.

The Benefits of Stopping Drinking

Why You Might Need Help to Stop Drinking

One of the hardest things for many people to admit is if they need help to stop drinking.

Alcohol plays a big part in most people’s lives, with many people drinking when socializing with friends or family.

Some people drink for other reasons, including as a way to deal with stress or to deal with mental health issues.

Alcohol does not help these issues and can, in fact, make them worse.

The best way to get help to stop drinking is to attend an alcohol abuse treatment program.

What Are The Benefits of Stopping Drinking? - Pathfinders - A man sits with a bottle of liquor on his coffee table as he pours another glass of hard liquor, as he contemplates the benefits of stopping drinking.

Understanding Alcohol Abuse Treatment

When someone has a problem with drinking too much alcohol, it can affect many different parts of their lives.

These effects can range from negative physical and mental health effects to problems at work and with relationships.

Alcohol abuse treatment helps people with a drinking problem in a few different ways.

These programs typically combine both medical and behavioral treatments.

With these two things, alcohol rehabs help their clients learn what led to their alcohol abuse, as well as ways to avoid drinking in the future.

Immediate Placement in Alcohol Rehab – Get Help Now

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How Alcohol Abuse Can Affect Your Health

One of the most important things we discuss at alcohol abuse treatment is how alcohol can negatively affect your health.

This is a major reason why people need to seek help to stop drinking.

Alcohol causes damage to your heart. This can lead to an irregular heartbeat, damage to your heart muscle, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Many people who attend alcohol abuse treatment also have problems with their liver.

Alcohol abuse can cause problems including a fatty liver, cirrhosis, fibrosis, and something called alcoholic hepatitis.

This serious inflammation of the liver can cause damage to the cells in your liver, and even cell death.

Alcoholic hepatitis can cause death if it is very serious.

Another major health risk of alcohol abuse is cancer.

People who abuse alcohol are more likely to develop certain kinds of cancer, including throat, liver, breast, and colon cancers.

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Mental Illness and Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Another issue we often discuss at our alcohol abuse treatment center is the ways that alcohol abuse can affect your mental health.

Even if you did not have mental health issues before you needed help to stop drinking, you can still experience mental health symptoms.

This is because people who abuse alcohol are much more likely to have problems with anxiety, depression, and handling stress.

Alcoholism is a chronic disease because of the way that alcohol abuse changes how your brain transmits chemicals.

Because alcohol is a depressant, this means that it makes you feel relaxed by slowing down your nervous system.

In the short term, this can make mental health problems go away.

In the long term, your brain forgets how to regulate itself when you are not drinking.

When someone who needs help to stop drinking is sober, they often feel increased levels of depression and anxiety.

This leads to them continuing to abuse alcohol in order to try and feel better.

This is another reason why there are benefits in stopping drinking.

What Are The Benefits of Stopping Drinking? - Pathfinders - A depressed man is holding his hands to his head as he sits across from his addiction therapist to understand the benefits of stopping drinking.

How Stopping Drinking can Benefit You

Getting back to a place where you feel healthy again is one of the main reasons to go to alcohol abuse treatment.

There are many ways that getting help to stop drinking can benefit your overall health. The benefits of stopping drinking vary from person-to-person, but overall, there are various benefits that will help you live an addiction-free life.

These can include:

  • Healthier Skin – Many people who need help to stop drinking have problems with their skin. This is because alcohol can cause issues such as chronic dehydration, jaundice, broken capillaries, and reduced collagen levels. All of these can make your skin look red, dull, or aged. When you stop drinking, your skin will gradually improve as these issues clear up.
  • Better Sleep – Many people may think that alcohol makes them sleep better, but the opposite is true for people who abuse alcohol. Alcohol interferes with your sleep cycles, making it harder to get a restful night’s sleep. Getting sober will help you to relearn better sleeping habits.
  • A Healthier Weight – Alcohol has no nutritional value, and yet is full of calories. This makes weight gain very common for people who need help to stop drinking. When you stop drinking, you will be consuming fewer calories which can help you lose weight.
  • Better Mental Health – Stopping drinking will not on its own cure a mental health problem. But it can help make the symptoms much more manageable. This is because your brain will relearn how to regulate chemicals like it is supposed to, helping you have more even emotions and fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • A Stronger Immune System – Another side effect of alcoholism is a weakened immune system. This means that you are more likely to get sick with colds, the flu, and even pneumonia when you abuse alcohol. As soon as you stop drinking your immune system will improve, and you will likely experience fewer illnesses.
  • A Lower Risk of Cancer, Heart, and Liver Problems – It is best that you get help to stop drinking before it causes any major health problems. But even if you are having symptoms of some issues, there are still reasons to quit drinking. As soon as you stop drinking alcohol, your body can repair some types of alcohol-related damage. What is more important is that you will not inflict any further damage on your organs, and your risk of getting alcohol-related cancers will drop as well.

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How can you get Help to Stop Drinking?

No matter what led you to need alcohol abuse treatment, getting help is the answer to stop drinking.

There are many treatment options available at our alcohol treatment center that help you stop drinking.

We offer both medical and behavioral treatment programs.

Medical programs involve using medicines that are approved to help alcoholics to stop drinking.

There are three different options: disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate.

Each of these drugs works by either making drinking uncomfortable, making you unable to get drunk, or helping to reduce cravings for alcohol.

Behavioral treatment programs are the most important part of alcohol abuse treatment.

They help you to see the thoughts and behaviors that were leading to your alcohol abuse.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we encourage clients to try both individual and group therapy sessions to fully understand the benefits of stopping drinking.

We also believe that clients with families should consider family therapy as well.

Having a strong family bond helps you to have a better support system when your alcohol abuse treatment program is completed.

Family therapy will help by working to repair any damage that your alcohol abuse caused within the family unit and lower your chances of experiencing a relapse.

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Get the Help You Need at Alcohol Rehab

There are many reasons that led our clients to need alcohol abuse treatment.

That is why we offer a range of treatment options to suit every client and every situation.

At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we know exactly what it takes to get your life back to normal after addiction.

Our premier addiction treatment centers are located in upscale areas throughout the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

Our luxury locations provide you with a comfortable and home-like atmosphere so that our clients feel safe and secure throughout their treatment program.

We help ensure your success by using only scientifically researched, cutting edge, and effective drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

We have over 25 years of experience in helping people with addictions and co-occurring disorders to overcome their addictions.

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to help cover their treatment.

That is why we accept most major insurances through our free insurance verification.

Simply give us a call and one of our addiction specialists can check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you begin treatment.

You can trust us to communicate with your insurance provider to ensure that you receive every benefit that you are entitled to.

Do not let alcohol continue controlling your life and negatively impacting your health.

Let us use our years of experience to help you get on the path to a meaningful and lasting recovery by understanding the benefits of stopping drinking.

Contact us today and see the difference getting our rehab programs can make to ensure that you are around to practice law for years to come.