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!

Can You Overdose on Meth?

What are Methamphetamines

Meth is a substance that many people are familiar with. It has been used recreationally for a long time. It’s among the most affordable and accessible drugs on the market. But this accessibility has the unspoken side effect of making it easy to take as much as you want. Meth overdoses are shockingly uncommon, and they have spiked recently. Methamphetamine deaths due to overdose more than tripled between 2015 and 2019.

Read on to learn more about protecting yourself from meth overdose, and how to find effective forms of treatment that can help you put aside crystal for good!

What are Methamphetamines?

Methamphetamines, also known as crystal meth or “meth” for short, is a powerful stimulant that can be harmful to the user and those around them. Methamphetamine is a Schedule II stimulant or controlled substance. This means it has a high potential for abuse and may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

Methamphetamine has no accepted medical use in the United States. It affects the central nervous system and increases energy and alertness. Other effects include irregular heartbeat and blood pressure, fast breathing, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, irritability, and mood issues.

Meth and Substance Abuse: Proven Risks

Methamphetamine can cause serious health consequences and even death. It is highly addictive and can cause permanent brain damage, cardiac arrest, liver failure, increased blood pressure, difficulty sleeping, kidney failure, memory loss, anxiety, and depression. In addition, meth users are at high risk for other serious consequences such as hepatitis B or C, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and dental problems like gum disease or tooth decay (this is also colloquially known as “meth mouth”).

Methamphetamine and other drugs like it also change how the body makes serotonin – a chemical that regulates moods – which can lead to violent behavior and hallucinations. Methamphetamine users who use it as a recreational drug will often become paranoid and aggressive when they use the drug because their bodies do not produce enough natural serotonin anymore. This may make them behave violently toward others or themselves (e.g., suicide attempts).

The truth is that drug abuse in and of itself is commonly viewed as a public health problem. The health risks and mental degradation that often accompanies long-term drug use often can be life-threatening and result in permanent damage.

Without the intervention of treatment and professional medical attention, these dangerous chemicals can be fatal to persons who find themselves unable to halt their usage.

Who is At Risk of Meth Addiction?

Methamphetamine is an incredibly dangerous illicit drug that can lead to addiction very quickly. Abuse of this stimulant drug causes mental and physical changes that make it difficult for users to stop meth use without help.

What are the risk factors for meth addiction? Knowing them may allow for early intervention when it comes to meth use and being able to spot people most at risk of falling victim to this illicit substance.

Genetic History – A family history of meth use, or even other stimulants, can make a person further down the genetic line predisposed to addiction. This is one of the most statistically trackable risk factors. Much the same way that a person with a family history of heart failure is genetically more at risk for that condition, a family history of crystal meth can render generations down the road at risk.

Co-Existing Conditions – Persons with co-existing mental health conditions are often at risk of falling into drug abuse. People with chronic anxiety and depression are chief in that category. This comes from a desire and an aim to try to self-medicate.

Often these people are simply trying to address the pain of their existence at the moment and are not thinking of the other health effects that accompany the drug use. Neurodivergent persons may fall into this category. However, it must be stated that, specifically with regard to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, there is a false belief and stigma associated with medication subscribed for ADHD.

The typical stimulant which is medically associated with that condition, methylphenidate, is commonly associated with being equivalent to methamphetamines. It is not. This stigma, ironically enough, can result in neurodivergent persons seeking to medicate appropriately and safely running into logistical or societal blockades.

Environmental Factors – This can be anything from the physical environment, to stress factors, to isolation. Factors in one’s life and environment can push persons towards seeking, in extreme cases, intense forms of escapism in the form of a drug habit. From a socioeconomic point of view, it is important to keep in mind that research has shown that regions with lower-income, poverty, and economic/environmental hardships also correlate with increased drug consumption.

What are The Signs of Meth Addiction?

Signs of Meth Addiction

Meth causes the brain to release abnormally high levels of dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter that plays a role in motivation, pleasure, and reward. When this happens, users experience feelings of euphoria and energy.

At first, meth tends to make people feel more alert, energetic and sociable. But it also makes them anxious and paranoid. After a while, they may develop sleeping problems or lose interest in eating or having sex. They may have trouble keeping up with their responsibilities at work or school and begin to neglect family members or friends.

Meth Addiction Symptoms at a Glance

Some of the signs of meth addiction, at a glance, are:

  • Psychotic symptoms, in the form of violent episodes, including threatening people and breaking things in the home
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of interest in appearance or hygiene
  • Irritability, restlessness, and anxiety or panic attacks
  • Insomnia (sleeping too much) or hypersomnia (sleeping too little)
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite) or bulimia (binge eating followed by purging)

Methamphetamine Overdose: The Facts

A meth overdose occurs when someone uses too much of the drug and has life-threatening symptoms that are severe enough to risk or cause death. Drug overdose is one of the leading causes of accidental death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdose deaths have increased every year since 2002.

Meth Overdose by the Numbers

In 2016 alone, more than 63,600 Americans died from drug overdoses — up from 52,400 in 2015. These numbers include both prescription painkillers and illegal drugs like heroin. Methamphetamine use and, subsequently, methamphetamine overdose has been rising in recent years, partially because it’s easy to find and cheap compared to other drugs like cocaine or heroin. The possibility of meth overdose depends on many factors, including the person’s approximate age and amount of the drug taken.

Methamphetamine is also dangerous because too much meth can cause an increase in body temperature and heart rate, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. In fact, according to a study published by the CDC in 2018:

  • People who use meth are over three times more likely than non-users to die prematurely from any cause other than injury or homicide
  • The odds of premature death by meth overdose are even higher when you look only at deaths due to cardiovascular disease
  • Meth users are twice as likely as people who don’t use meth to die from cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure or heart attack

 

What are the warning signs of meth overdose, then? How can you notice when this might be about to happen, to take action? Meth overdose symptoms may include:

  • Tremors or twitching
  • Rapid or Irregular heartbeat
  • Acute memory loss
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Agitation or aggression
  • Seizures

 

If you believe you’re witnessing a meth overdose or are about to witness one, the first step would be to call the emergency services and get urgent medical help. Stay with the overdose victim and keep them calm to prevent injury until emergency care arrives.

The Benefits of Getting Addiction Treatment for Meth

Addiction Treatment for Meth

Meth overdose is an acute risk of the substance, but that aside, the havoc the habit can wreck on a person’s life, as well as other health consequences associated with it, are enough to justify aggressive medical treatment for the habit. Addiction treatment is perhaps the most important thing that can be done to avoid the risk of meth overdose for someone struggling with the habit.

The treatment process can help with a myriad of health issues. More importantly, overdose is not something to take lightly. If not handled correctly, an experience like that can be final, fatal, and tragic, with no way to walk away from it.

The Treatment Options for Meth Abuse

The addiction treatment process is critical, not just for those at risk of a chronic methamphetamine overdose but anyone suffering from the habit. Treatment starts with detox to rid the body of the dependency on the substance, thus dramatically cutting the risk of overdose to virtually zero. From there, treatment includes therapy to deal with the underlying issues that led to the addiction in the first place.

Much of the drug dependency can be down to feelings of isolation which is why support groups are often heavily utilized in addiction treatment. These support groups can erode much of the stigma persons struggling with drug habits may feel.

Seek treatment for meth addiction today!

If you or a loved one are struggling with a meth or substance abuse habit, contact Pathfinders Recovery Centers! The risk of meth overdose is not something to take lightly.

Reach out to our Admissions staff today, our professional team is standing by and ready to help you take that first step away from addiction and the risk of overdose. Give yourself the break you deserve and reach out now!

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.

 

Meth Comedown

Meth Comedown

The intense effects of methamphetamine have made it a popular drug of abuse. But the high from the drug does wear off eventually and is followed by what is called a “crash” or “comedown.”

What happens during a meth comedown and withdrawal, how long it lasts, and whether or not the unpleasant and sometimes hazardous symptoms may be lessened are all covered here.

Keep reading to find out how to best manage the crash after meth use, and find out more about effective forms of treatment as well!

What Is the Meth Comedown?

When the effects of a methamphetamine high wear off, those who are dependent on the substance may experience severe withdrawal, commonly known as a “comedown,” characterized by strong dysphoria, anxiety, and agitation.

“Binging,” or obsessively consuming meth repeatedly every several hours for 3-15 days at a time, is one way that many meth users try to prolong their high and delay the onset of their comedown. High-dose, frequent users have developed a high tolerance and may have switched to an administration method that produces an effect more quickly (i.e., smoking or injecting).

Extreme crystal meth use may lead to suffering from more severe withdrawal symptoms that persist for weeks. A person who has formed a dependency on meth will experience significant feelings of withdrawal when they ultimately quit usage, making the inevitable “crash” considerably worse than with infrequent or intermittent use.

After a binge lasting two or three days, the person will likely feel weary, dejected, and sleep for forty-eight hours. There may then be a time of chronic anhedonia or dysphoria, as well as a period of hunger and drug seeking. In addition, paranoia and irritability might occur at times.

What Are Crystal Meth Comedown Symptoms?

Crystal Meth Comedown Symptoms

Meth addiction has a very prolonged withdrawal process. Meth comedown symptoms and intense cravings follow periods of extended substance abuse. In many cases, meth addiction treatment is required for users experiencing worst-case scenarios.

The meth withdrawal phase typically lasts between two and three days. Anxiety, despair, weariness, and a general state of restlessness that may remind one of a hangover are all possible comedown symptoms for someone who has recently stopped using meth.

Meth addiction is notoriously difficult to break without medical assistance. Because of the brain’s chemistry changes to depend on the drug for dopamine, the comedown is mentally taxing.

Meth withdrawal has two distinct phases: the crash phase, which lasts just 1-3 days, and the acute phase, which lasts 7-10 days. When you stop using meth, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as extreme cravings for meth, changes in appetite, aches, pains, weariness, lethargy, disorientation, irritability, mood swings, sleeplessness, nightmares, anxiety, melancholy, and paranoia.

Meth Addiction: A Cycle of Binging and Crashing

After the effects of the first high wear off, users will often continue to take meth every few hours in an effort to recapture that original sensation of euphoria. Someone who uses meth on a regular basis may do so anywhere from once per day to six times per day.

This substance gets so addictive because, with each usage, there becomes less and less of a rush until soon there will be no rush at all. The binge stage of meth usage can last up to 15 days, and during that time, many users do not eat or sleep.

Meth usage progresses through a series of stages, the final one being the crash before the user enters the withdrawal phase. During this time, the person will experience tremendous fatigue and may need up to three days of sleep.

The Meth Addiction Withdrawal Timeline

Meth withdrawal has a chemical impact on the brain and body. Repeated usage over time can cause permanent changes in the brain’s biology, ultimately leading to physical dependence on the drug.

However, meth users can develop both physical AND psychological dependence on the drug. In other words, people may come to believe that they need to consume meth to maintain a healthy body or a level head.

If you’ve developed a physical tolerance to meth, you may have kept using it to avoid uncomfortable emotions. However, if you’re ready to kick your meth habit for good, you’ll need to quit ingesting the substance and seek addiction treatment services such as those at Pathfinders Recovery Centers.

Substance abuse and meth addiction treatment centers help users treat the factors behind abuse issues, finding the driving factors are often mental health disorders.

Immediately After Stopping Meth Use

This will initiate a period of physical and mental adjustment as your body adjusts to life without meth. The physical and emotional symptoms of this change can be terrifying. However, if you truly want to rid your life of meth, this is a crucial step.

The effects of meth can be felt for up to 12 hours after use. After 12 hours, your body will likely start experiencing withdrawal symptoms from meth. There are several stages to a meth comedown that can last anywhere from a few days to a week as your body readjusts to life without meth. What follows is a brief overview of the typical stages of the crystal meth withdrawal timeline:

24-Hours After Last Use

Your energy levels will be low, and you’ll feel fatigued and listless. You’ll probably sense a shift in mood, maybe bordering on irritation or agitation.

Second and Third Days

The worst of the withdrawal symptoms from meth typically occur during these days. Despite no longer being exhausted, your irritation level is certainly rising. Since your body is not used to functioning without the substance, huge chemical changes are going on within the body and mind.

You may have trouble focusing, have emotional ups and downs, and experience cognitive dissonance. While experiencing the worst effects of a meth comedown, people have trouble concentrating and remembering new information.

Days 4-7

In most cases, a week is all it takes to recover from a meth high. Physical withdrawal symptoms should ease, but psychological desires may linger for a while. People will still feel physically less anxious, but they will be more exhausted mentally due to sleep and appetite difficulties.

Post Acute Meth Withdrawal: After One Week

Meth Withdrawal Timeline

Meth withdrawal and recovery are extremely challenging for a number of reasons. After a week of comedown, most people experience a “crash.” This implies they are not just tired, but also devoid of any positive emotions.

Depression and anxiety can be particularly intense during this post-comedown period, and people may have to fight off intense urges to use the substance they know would help them feel better.

It’s not uncommon for meth users to have unpleasant dreams during the comedown. However, how long someone has been using meth, how often they use, and how much they use all contribute to the severity of the comedown.

Long-term users will have the most difficult comedowns since their bodies will go through severe withdrawal symptoms when they suddenly stop using the substance.

Luckily, certain evidence-based practices and remedies exist to help you recover and make it safely through the comedown process. Whether at Pathfinders Recovery Centers or another facility, make sure you take guard against relapse after detoxing from meth by using these measures as effectively and completely as possible.

Tips for Managing the Meth Comedown Period

Stay clean and off meth if you want to avoid the agony of withdrawal and comedown after meth usage. But desires and cravings for meth can be strenuous and demanding, especially in the initials days and weeks of stopping use.

However, with the correct support, such as that offered at Pathfinders, you should be able to get through the initial stages of withdrawal and remain drug-free, ultimately achieving full recovery.

Here are the most effective methods we know of to help you recover from meth abuse disorder and handle withdrawal and the meth comedown.

Get Professional Help

Effective Drug Treatment

Meth withdrawal symptoms are severe. Consult an addiction expert or a doctor if you have any doubts about your capacity to do it and succeed on your own.

With the guidance of a professional, someone going through meth withdrawal can learn to cope with the powerful and unpleasant sensations that arise during this time.

Be Sure to Eat and Stay Hydrated

One of the most crucial aspects of preparing for a meth comedown is maintaining a proper diet and hydration. Because meth can reduce appetite, long-term users may be malnourished and underweight.

Eat a healthy, balanced meal rich in calories, essential nutrients, and water to keep yourself healthy and hydrated.

Dehydration is a common symptom of meth comedown since meth is a diuretic, and staying hydrated can help mitigate other comedown symptoms, including headaches, exhaustion, and lethargy.

Regular Sleep Patterns

It is common knowledge that meth disrupts people’s sleeping patterns by its very nature as a powerful stimulant drug. Many people use it explicitly to remain up all night and to feel energized without the need for sleep. Restoring regular rest habits should be a priority as you begin the process of quitting drugs. Create a routine for your bedtime and commit to following it.

The ability to think clearly and actively engage in life increases with enough rest. Getting adequate sleep during meth comedown will help you resist the temptation to give in to cravings or relapse since well-rested people have superior impulse control.

Remain Occupied with Tasks and Activities

No matter what you do, the withdrawal symptoms from meth will be unpleasant. After the worst of the withdrawal symptoms have passed, keeping yourself occupied helps ease the remaining discomfort.

Making arrangements to see loved ones or work associates will help you forget about the pain you’re in temporarily. In contrast, allowing yourself to feel bored may trigger a need, so keeping your mind active with other people or activities will help you avoid thinking about, desiring, or returning to use.

Effects of Long-Term Crystal Meth Use

Effects of Long-Term Crystal Meth Use

Meth use can be attributed to a wide range of causes. Many people find that it helps them stay alert and concentrate better. Some people like the high it gives them since it’s enjoyable and euphoric. Some users enjoy the drug’s euphoric effects, while others appreciate how it reduces anxiety and opens them up to trying new, sometimes dangerous activities.

Meth may have various devastating effects on the body and the brain, but many individuals continue to use it despite this knowledge. Meth addicts often exhibit risky conduct. Those who use it may act violently or become enraged. Long-term addicts may also suffer paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, and severe depression due to the drug’s effects on the brain.

Meth-induced psychosis is one of the worst mental side effects of long-term abuse. Individuals experience severe hallucinations and delusions. These may be auditory and visual in nature.

Physical dangers of long-term abuse include heart-related issues, stroke, blood pressure issues, and challenges related to blood vessel weakening. However, with the right treatment program, most of these symptoms may be reversed.

Long-Term Meth Recovery Is Possible at Pathfinders

With the right treatment team and a driven attitude towards sobriety, long-term recovery from meth comedown is possible. The final element in this equation is a strong support system, which can be achieved through support groups and the assistance of family post-treatment.

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we provide users with the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery from meth abuse disorder. Through a combination of treatment solutions and preparation for post-rehabilitation, our clients are well-prepared to battle the triggers that normally cause relapse and possess the proper knowledge and awareness to recognize the mental health disorders and symptoms that manifest and lead to potential failure.

With the help of our treatment team and their support system, most of our client’s successfully complete treatment and experience extended recovery. To learn more about our programs, contact a member of our admissions staff 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.

Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

Cocaine overdose

The Risks and Consequences of Cocaine in America

Cocaine remains one of the deadliest drugs in circulation in the US. Not only does it lead to untold losses of human life and societal harm, but the fallout of the war on drugs has impacted every corner of modern society. Cocaine overdoses have become prevalent, especially in certain areas. When a person takes cocaine, it speeds up their heartbeat, which is a typical body response to a stimulant.

However, cocaine also creates a rush of dopamine, bringing a feeling of euphoria. This feeling of joy leads many people to use cocaine to such an extent that they endanger their lives. Cocaine can also be found on the streets in a cheaper and more addictive form known as crack. These substances can lead to overdose if taken individually or alongside other drugs.

The Basics of Cocaine and Crack

Cocaine is a white powder derived from a South American plant known as “coca.” Native populations have used the coca plant for centuries to deal with altitude sickness and give a burst of energy and focus. By breaking down these leaves and extracting the active ingredient, drug traffickers create a near-perfect concentration of the stimulant powder. However, the cost of cocaine is prohibitively expensive anywhere outside of South America, making it hard for average drug users to obtain. unfortunately, aspiring drug dealers in the early 90s overcame this limitation by creating a version of the drug known simply as “crack.”

Crack cocaine still contains a significant volume of cocaine, but it is mixed with other substances. Drug dealers combine pure cocaine with water and baking soda to make crack. They mix these and create rocks out of them, which they can then sell for a much lower price than the same weight of cocaine. This drug version was introduced to the US in the late 90s and today makes up the source of most cocaine addictions in low-income neighborhoods. The name derives from the cracking sound the rocks make when the user is smoking them.

Can You Overdose on Crack?

Crack has garnered a reputation for being even more potent and addictive than pure cocaine. Overdoses tend to occur from crack use more often than from cocaine use. Typically, when a person consumes cocaine, their brain speeds up, and their heart rate increases significantly. This rush of blood and the euphoric feeling that the user gets makes them feel invincible for a short amount of time. The euphoria fades quickly, however, and a user wants to chase that feeling again, so they take the drug once more.

Crack overdoses occur because this euphoric feeling doesn’t last as long as the user wants it to. It also requires more crack each time to get the same feeling, leading the user to take larger and larger doses of the drug. Each individual has a different limit that they can handle when it comes to crack cocaine. This limit varies depending on several factors, including body weight and how long the person has been using the drug. However, once the drug reaches a critical point within the body, it will lead to an overdose.

Now, Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

Crack and cocaine share a lot of commonalities, and you can overdose on cocaine just as quickly. Cocaine overdoses usually happen for a similar reason to crack overdoses – the user consumes the drug, gets high, and comes down but wants to recover that original feeling. Cocaine is a typical example of an addictive drug.

When a person takes such a drug initially, a flood of chemicals makes its way into the brain and drives them to the highs of euphoria. The brain adjusts its chemistry to deal with this increased chemical activity, permanently changing its functionality. The person will then have to take more of the drug to get the same euphoric feeling. This adaptation is known as tolerance. The higher tolerance a person has for the drug, the harder it is for them to get high on small volumes. As a result, they take more of the substance and eventually overdose because they crave that feeling of euphoria.

How Much Cocaine Does It Take to Overdose?

How Much Cocaine Does It Take to Overdose

As mentioned before, there’s no standard amount needed for an overdose with crack. Different factors will affect whether a person overdoses on a particular drug concentration compared to other people. In some cases, a few hundred milligrams might be enough to drive a person to arrhythmia and cardiac collapse.

It might be as much as a whole gram (or more) to cause the same response in other cases. People’s metabolism, their body’s ability to deal with toxic substances, and the size and weight of a person all have a part to play in whether they will overdose on a lower concentration of the drug. Older people tend to have a lower tolerance for overdosing, and it requires less of the drug to cause this outcome.

What Are the Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose?

Cocaine overdose can lead to death in the most extreme cases. Luckily, a person can spot the symptoms of cocaine overdose early on and attempt to deal with it before it becomes unmanageable. Cocaine toxicity progresses in three stages:

Stage 1

Stage 1 demonstrates several problematic physical effects of consuming the drug. Among the symptoms that characterize Stage 1 of cocaine toxicity are:

  • Paranoia and Confusion
  • Pseudo hallucination (or visual aberrations)
  • Rapid and erratic breathing
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • The sensation of spinning or falling
  • Twitching
  • Nausea

Stage 2

The second stage of cocaine toxicity leads to the progression of these symptoms and the presentation of a few others. Some of the common symptoms seen in this stage are:

  • Seizures
  • Brain Damage
  • Irregular breathing or cessation of breathing completely
  • Hyperthermia
  • Loss of bladder control

Stage 3

If a person gets to stage three of a cocaine overdose, their prognosis for recovery is slim. The symptoms that a person is likely to encounter at this stage are:

  • Coma
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Respiratory failure
  • Loss of vital functions

The most severe of these symptoms usually lead to unconsciousness and eventually death.

What To Do During a Suspected Overdose?

It’s vital to remember that time is of the essence in treating a cocaine overdose. The longer a person goes through the symptoms of an overdose, the less likely it is for them to recover. The damage done to a person’s body increases over time, but you can quickly reverse the symptoms and help the person if you catch an early overdose.

In the event of an overdose, the first thing you should do is call 911. Emergency response should be swift, allowing them to save the person’s life. While waiting for the emergency response personnel, keeping the victim calm is essential. Talk to them and engage them but avoid giving them object that they could harm themselves with. The massive rise in body temperature that comes with increased metabolic activity can be managed with a cold compress. If the person manages to survive their ordeal of overdosing, the most vital thing their friends and loved ones can do is arrange for them to enter rehab.

Are There Long-Term Side Effects of Cocaine Use?

The long-term effects of cocaine use are well-documented. As mentioned before, tolerance develops over time when someone uses the drug repeatedly. Alongside tolerance, a change in the person’s behavior is noticeable. They may become erratic and lash out violently at others without warning.

When they are not on the drug, they may experience increased anxiety and convulsions. Occasionally people who take cocaine go on binges, where they consume the drug regularly and in ever-increasing dosages. The result is a potential for overdose and several other symptoms, including restlessness or paranoia. Occasionally, they may even experience full-blown psychosis.

How a person consumes cocaine can also have detrimental effects on their body. Continued consumption of cocaine through snorting can lead to the destruction of nasal cartilage. It also leads to nosebleeds and a reduced sense of smell. Using needles can also damage skin and leave needle tracks that are a telltale sign of cocaine usage. Cocaine is a stimulant, and its usage does lead to a lack of sleep, which translates into a paler complexion and circles under the eyes. As people become addicted to cocaine, they avoid personal hygiene habits, leading to an unkempt appearance.

What are Treatment Options for Cocaine Overdose?

What are Treatment Options for Cocaine Overdose

When someone overdoses from cocaine, the first thing to do is call emergency medical services at 911. However, that’s not the end of the preparation. After calling emergency services, collect all the relevant information they may need to treat the patient.

This information includes drug allergies, pre-existing conditions, and the amount of cocaine the person has taken. If the person’s body starts overheating, use cold compresses to keep their body temperature regular. This approach helps to reduce the long-term damage that such a situation could lead to within the body.

Cocaine overdoses can also lead to a person vomiting. It’s best to lay them on their side while waiting for the emergency medical response. If they vomit in this position, their air passages will remain clear. This position may also help them with their breathing.

Ideally, the patient should be kept in an environment with less chance of harming themselves. Someone should always be with the patient until medical help arrives to ensure that no complications occur. A cocaine overdose needs to be dealt with quickly since the longer it persists, the more chance there is for the person’s body to shut down.

Finding Long-Term Cocaine Treatment Programs

A cocaine overdose occurs when a person has a high tolerance to the drug and has been taking it for some time. Dependency and addiction play a part in overdoses since they lead to a person consuming more of the substance over time. To avoid any issues with overdoses, the best approach would be to find a treatment center to help deal with addiction.

Long-term cocaine treatment starts with detox, then progresses to either inpatient or outpatient care. However, finding a suitable facility to deal with cocaine addiction can be difficult. There are many places a person could go to recover from cocaine addiction. However, not all facilities are the same. It’s essential to look at their quality of care, the cost of their programs, and whether they accept insurance for patients.

Find Lasting Recovery from Cocaine with Pathfinders

Pathfinders Recovery is dedicated to providing quality care to each individual to come to our recovery center. Our professional staff is trained in handling long-term addiction. We’ve dealt with complicated cases, too, including dual-diagnosis. Out detoxification, inpatient, and outpatient programs are adaptable and look at each case individually, requiring a unique approach. If you’re looking for a recovery center that aims to offer a long-term solution to addiction, give us a call today. We’ll walk right beside you throughout your recovery journey.

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!

Men’s Only Rehab

Mens Only Rehab

Alcohol And Drug Rehab Basics

For persons struggling with alcohol or substance abuse and dependency, a rehab facility can be essential in their journey to sobriety and recovery. Rehabilitation facilities can be thought of as safe spaces with trained medical and psychological staff that offer services to persons trying to overcome addiction. At Pathfinders Recovery in Arizona, we offer a men’s only rehab that allows men to focus on their recovery in an environment specifically designed for success.

These services are all focused on navigating the process of withdrawal from the substance in as safe a way and environment as possible and treating the psychological conditions that may have led to the addiction in the first place.

Substance Use and Abuse Statistics Among Men

Substance abuse affects all genders, but there are genuine distinctions regarding the divide. According to the NIDA, Men and boys over the age of 12 are 11.5% more likely to fall prey to substance abuse than women and girls over the age of 12, who experience this issue at a rate of 6.4%.

When it comes to Alcohol Use Disorder, it is estimated that up to 20% of men struggle with it, versus around 7-12% of women. What does this tell us? There is a not insignificant divide between how “at-risk” men are to substance abuse compared to women. This is not said to diminish the suffering of women or to remove attention from that issue but rather to highlight those men are empirically more at-risk in certain regards, and the problem must be tackled at the root cause.

What are the Risk Factors for Addiction for Men?

Many factors can result in substance use and abuse. There is a misconception that falling prey to substance abuse is a moral failing or a character flaw. It is not. Some of the more common factors that put one at risk of falling into a substance abuse habit are:

Genetics

The literal DNA that makes up your body. Suppose you have a history of substance abuse in your family. In that case, there is a statistically higher probability that you may fall into a habit of substance abuse to some degree or another.

Environment

The surroundings you live within, what you are exposed to, the trauma inflicted upon you in adolescence or at any time really, the coercive influence that may or may not exist upon you. These things make up your environmental experience and can put you at risk for addiction.

Dual Diagnoses

Certain psychological conditions lead to substance abuse as the patient tries to “self-medicate.” Conditions like depression and anxiety are good examples of this particular phenomenon. Dual Diagnosis can also apply to neurodivergent persons. Persons with innate dopamine deficiencies and deficits caused by ADHD are at risk for substance abuse.

Why Choose an All-Male Rehab Center?

Why Choose an All-Male Rehab Center

All-male rehab centers are simply what they sound like – drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities that cater exclusively to helping men. You might be asking yourself, “Why choose a men’s-only rehab?” We are going to examine some of the benefits of single-gender rehab settings.

  • There is an inherent expectation for men to be “tough” or “resilient” in everyday life. This is rooted in toxic masculinity and is one of the core reasons men are more at risk for certain types of addiction than women. Difficulty in being vulnerable and expressing emotions are two of the core things that make addiction rampant among men. Men-only rehab facilities foster an environment that allows men to be vulnerable and, thus, work through their trauma.
  • Staff at these facilities are specifically trained to manage how men experience addiction and, therefore, rehabilitation. Because men tend to be more goal-oriented and motivated, treatment plans and communication may be tuned more in line to take advantage of this inherent quality to help ensure the success of the treatment.
  • Because the way men specifically experience the world and society is a huge factor involved in their psychological trauma, the methods and practices utilized when delivering therapy would be specifically aware of how difficult emotional vulnerability is for men. Therapists may conduct sessions while walking, for instance, to both burn calories and allow the client to avoid eye contact while expressing emotions and dealing with painful trauma, a thing that, for many men, the world has not prepared them to be able to do.
  • Without the presence of women, you erase the potential of romantic distraction (for heterosexual males seeking treatment in the facility). Aside from this, the company of women may prevent men from being genuinely vulnerable, a critical component for treatment. Reframing emotional vulnerability and therapy as an act of strength and not a sign of weakness can be more difficult if women are around. This might make it more inherently tricky for some men to put down their guard.
  • All-male rehab centers tend to focus on a results-oriented approach. These facilities can help a man open up about himself and become comfortable with others of their gender. It allows them to head in a unique and necessary way that other approaches cannot manage.

These are just a tiny sample of the techniques and considerations that are a part of men-only rehab facilities that specifically cater to treating men going through addiction. The male experience of the world is inherently unique and requires targeted treatment that keeps that unique experience in mind.

What are the Types of Programs Offered at Men’s Rehabs?

At Pathfinders in Scottsdale, our men’s rehab facilities offers a range of services; Addiction is not a one-size-fits-all ailment, so the treatment would not be either. We will detail the various options, but here are some factors to consider. Firstly, there are evidence-based/medical-focused treatments AND what could be holistic treatments. Secondly, treatments or sessions may be individual OR group-based.

Thirdly, as we said earlier, each person and their needs are unique. Finally, treatment can be inpatient for persons who need the round-the-clock observation and support, especially in the early stages of withdrawal, and outpatient, where people don’t stay at the facility but come in regularly for the sessions. Because of this, treatment almost always involves some combination of all of these things.

Evidence-Based Treatments

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

How clients develop and allow negative thinking and poor self-image to dictate their actions inevitably, cognitive-behavioral therapy moves away from harmful thinking toward positive thinking. By doing this, clients typically feel empowered to make more healthy decisions moving forward in their life.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

This is very similar to CBT. These techniques examine how a client’s actions can be changed for the better through talk therapy.

Experimental Therapy

Talk therapy is sometimes not enough to address the needs of some clients. Experiential therapy can be helpful in these cases; clients may engage actively outdoors with others, building their team skills, interpersonal dynamics, and problem-solving.

Motivational Interviewing

Clients struggling to overcome indecision and uncertainty can sometimes be helped by these methods. It can significantly aid in being motivated to take action by establishing and accomplishing positive goals.

Trauma Therapy

Psychological trauma is one of the significant contributors to men using and abusing substances to escape mental and emotional pain. A key component of proper recovery is learning healthy ways to process and identify the trauma’s effects on their lives. By working with compassionate counselors and therapists, clients can learn to identify triggers and deploy healthy coping mechanisms.

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is the basis of nearly all talk therapy. With this method, clients work one-on-one with a counselor or therapist to discover the underlying issues that have impacted the client and led to their fall into abuse and addiction, to begin with. Substance use disorder is often a symptom of deeper psychological issues that have yet to be addressed. These issues are consciously or unconsciously being ignored or self-medicated in an attempt to deal with them and cope. In a comfortable and safe setting, clients can develop a personal relationship with their therapist and work through the issues to overcome substance abuse and improve their overall mental health.

Holistic Treatments

Yoga Therapy

As a practice, yoga offers many unique therapeutic advantages. The techniques help clients engage in the yoga therapy that teaches them how to control their bodies and be capable of expelling stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions when they are confronted by them.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Meditation focuses the client’s attention on being as present as possible at the moment. By enhancing one’s awareness of themselves as an intimate part of the world around them, clients can better understand their motivations and actions and those of others. As a practice, meditation teaches clients to limit dwelling negatively on the past or becoming too obsessed with the future.

Art and Music Therapy

Art and music therapy allows clients to explore their creativity and experience the healing aspects of these practices. Metaphor is a highly effective tool for working through issues. Journaling is a well-noted practice with many benefits. Learning new hobbies and skills is inherently fulfilling for humans. Simply consuming and appreciating works of art can allow clients to develop positive psychological perspectives of themselves and their issues.

Massage Therapy

Massage Therapy

Touch therapy can be beneficial in managing overall health and wellness. As the body’s soft tissue is manipulated, many clients find that there is a release of tensions in their body and that this goes quite a long way towards aiding in reducing stress and anxiety. Thus, they are in a better position to explore and progress through the work of treatment.

Privacy And Confidentiality at Men’s Treatment Programs

For anyone struggling with substance abuse, one of the worst aspects is the shame, stigma, and judgment attached to both being an addict and, paradoxically, seeking treatment. Patients may be concerned about whether or not the fact that they are being treated would be in danger of being publicly disclosed.

Fortunately, HIPAA laws exist and are enforced to protect citizens’ information. Rehab centers must comply strictly with this standard. All staff at men-only rehabs must follow the same rules and regulations as any family doctor. No one on the team is allowed to share information about your case unless your express consent is given or unless the situation necessitates the release of information, such as in a medical emergency where providers need certain information to treat you.

Does Insurance Cover Men’s-Only Rehab Treatment?

Rehabilitation can be an expensive process. If the client needs complete inpatient care, the out-of-pocket costs can skyrocket even higher. However, many clinics accept insurance to completely or significantly cover treatment costs. Medicaid and Medicare are two national options that many facilities do accept. Keep in mind, though, that this is a thing that differs from center to center, and it is essential to check with the individual facility to ensure that the insurance you (or a loved one) are interested in using is accepted.

Searching for ‘Men-Only Addiction Treatment Near Me’

The internet has changed how people discover resources. One of the top Google searches around the particular topic of getting help for substance addiction is “finding men-only treatment near me in Arizona.” This tells us that many people are trying to find help AND that the internet is an incredible tool for delivering that information. A quick search will give you many options to explore for treatment. It is a matter of finding facilities with high success rates where their reputation precedes them, such as the programs for men at our facility in Arizona.

Find Lasting Addiction Recovery for Men at Pathfinder’s Arizona

At Pathfinders Recovery Center in Scottsdale, AZ, we have over two decades of experience treating and rehabilitating persons struggling with substance abuse and addiction. Our expert medical team works with you to help you navigate the entire process of detoxing through to healing from the psychological trauma that led to the addiction in the first place.

A truly sober, happy, and fulfilling life is the ultimate goal for every client that comes to us for help, and our results speak for themselves. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse issues, please know that there is hope. Contact us today for more information or a consultation.

Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

What is Chronic Relapse

The Cycle of Addiction and Relapse

For many individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorder, the rehabs they enter can end up becoming revolving doors. The constant cycle of recovery and relapse cycles over and over in a seemingly never-ending battle for sobriety.

What makes the situation more frustrating is the inability to pin down why the relapse keeps happening. The motivation to recover is present, and the effort is put in each time – it’s difficult to remain in recovery after a few weeks or months after graduation.

This would just be attributed to a lack of discipline or motivation in the past. However, many experts believe it points to an underlying mental health condition or a specific set of symptoms that manifest this behavior.

It’s known as chronic relapse, and it’s actually a very common occurrence in many present-day rehab participants.

What Is Chronic Relapse?

In order to understand chronic relapse, first, consider temporary relapse. Temporary relapse occurs when addicts experience a setback related to their recovery process — losing housing, getting fired from a job, or having an argument with loved ones.

After experiencing a period of stress or difficulty, most people bounce back into their normal routines of substance abuse. They temporarily lose their motivation to stay clean or quit drinking.

However, if the crisis persists, then it becomes a chronic relapse. A person suffering from chronic relapse experiences regular periods of craving, increased tolerance, negative mood swings, compulsive behavior, poor performance at school or work, and/or legal troubles.

Short Term Addiction Treatment and Relapse

Those who successfully complete detoxification and enter residential rehab programs tend to remain sober longer than others. On average, recovering heroin users spend less than six months living in halfway houses before returning home.

Yet many individuals who suffer from chronic relapse will fall off the wagon just a short time after returning home. This could be because the initial time in inpatient treatment wasn’t enough for them.

Once patients leave rehabilitation, they must rely solely upon themselves to deal with triggers and temptations. If adequate education and treatment wasn’t received during their stay in rehab, they’re left unprepared for entering the real world again. If left untreated, chronic relapse can lead to further deterioration.

What is the difference between a chronic relapse treatment center and a traditional rehab facility?

What Is a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center?

 

For individuals who frequently suffer from challenges associated with relapse, regular rehabilitation facilities that offer the typical 30-day program clearly aren’t enough. The resources available at a normal treatment center and a facility that specializes in this issue can be more accommodating.

By definition, a chronic relapse treatment center is a facility that provides care 24 hours a day in a non-hospital environment. The planned length of stay in these facilities is typically anywhere from six to 12 months.

Chronic relapse treatment centers normally include the following elements as part of their treatment plans:

  • Helping clients stay active and healthy through participation in exercise or sports
  • Preparing balanced, healthy diets high in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and minimally processed foods
  • Various stress management techniques like yoga or mediation
  • They offer substance abuse and mental health resources to break the constant cycle of relapse

Personalized Treatment to Combat Chronic Relapse

What Is a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

There is also a distinct outline for treatment offered to clients in chronic relapse treatment centers. Personalized treatment plans contain elements of each of the following:

  • Evidence-based treatment that’s proven to work long-term in an inpatient setting
  • Various options for customized care plans that include dual-diagnosis treatment
  • Continued support and sober living home options for structured rehab during aftercare
  • Continued resources for group recovery meetings during post-care treatment

Facilities that specialize in chronic relapse often include a softer, more accommodating touch that provides more of a home-like environment. Many people consider these facilities as “upscale” or “extravagant.” However, there is just more attention put into the need for the client’s appropriate environment.

Different people require different elements and environments to promote long-term sobriety. Research has shown that individuals who suffer from chronic relapse often require a more intimate, personal environment.

In order to identify the presence of chronic relapse, you must understand the signs and symptoms of this condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Relapse

There are specific signs and symptoms that identify the presence of chronic relapse. These symptoms include the following:

  • They are glamorizing the use of their drug of choice. This may include the individual sharing fond memories of past substance abuse.
  • The individual believes they can use again without any negative consequences
  • They may become increasingly isolated
  • They may stop participating in their 12-step recovery meetings
  • They stop pursuing interests that were a part of their recovery plan
  • They may begin to doubt how effective their initial treatment plan is/was

Identifying these signs could make it possible to prevent relapse before it happens. Do you know the differences between emotional, mental, and physical relapses?

Emotional, Mental, and Physical Relapse

Emotional, Mental, and Physical Relapse

To understand chronic relapse, you must understand how normal relapse takes place. It doesn’t happen overnight – in fact; it happens in three distinct phases.

Emotional Stage

The emotional stage includes the individual experiencing anger, stress, sadness, depression, or any wide range of intense feelings. Initially, the user may not think about using. However, when these feelings aren’t dealt with and processed in a healthy manner, individuals will progress to the next stage.

Mental/Craving Stage

This is the mental warning sign of an impending relapse. Users may find it difficult to stop thinking about using at this point and continuously play the process of using it repeatedly in their minds.

Physical/Engagement Stage

At this point, the user physically engages and enters relapse. The user put themselves at high risk of addiction once again by continuing to relapse. The urge to use again will be quite intense with each subsequent relapse, and it’s easy to fall back into habitual use.

Now, what about the stages of chronic relapse?

What Are the Stages of Chronic Relapse?

The stages of chronic relapse aren’t dissimilar to normal relapse. However, they take place over an extended period and include several more mental steps and contemplation. Below is an example of the stages of chronic relapse.

Precontemplation

During this stage, individuals aren’t necessarily contemplating using drugs or drinking alcohol. However, thoughts of past use may circle around in their heads. They may dream about using drugs or give too much thought to reliving their past or remembering what drug use felt like.

Contemplation

During this stage, individuals are actively contemplating using drugs. They may go back and forth in their head, arguing with themselves or trying to rationalize why it would be okay to use drugs at this point.

Rationalization

After making the decision to move forward with using, individuals will attempt to rationalize their decision to themselves. They’ll use excuses like, “well, I’ve been sober for a while, so I won’t become addicted again.” Another famous excuse is, “I’m only going to use this one time, and I won’t get high after this.”

Relapse

During this stage, the user actively engages in relapse. They will obtain their drug of choice and proceed to get high. The results after this stage vary but often include the same sentiment among all users.

Remorse

The remorse stage includes the individual expressing guilt about using. This will include a period of depression and withdrawal from society, family, and friends. It’s often these feelings of guilt and negative emotions that trigger subsequent use. Individuals are unable to properly handle or process these emotions, so they turn to further drug use to avoid dealing with them.

After this stage, uses go one of two ways. They either choose to seek help immediately or fall back into regular use.

Regardless, once the user comes back to terms with the fact that they need more help, they enter the acceptance phase and must go through the detox, withdrawal, and treatment process all over again.

Individuals who suffer from chronic relapse end up wasting large chunks of their lives on this condition. Each time they cycle through relapse, treatment, recovery, and back into relapse, you’re looking at anywhere from six to nine months of hard work and progress erased each time.

Why Do People Relapse Frequently?

Most people think relapse involves going right back to exactly the same way of thinking, and doing that got them hooked in the first place. But research tells us otherwise.

Even though a person may engage in harmful activities, he or she won’t develop true addiction unless certain personality traits come into play. Addiction researchers used to refer to these characteristics as vulnerability factors but now call them risk markers.

Risk markers occur early in development and indicate susceptibility to developing addictive tendencies later in life. People whose genetic makeup includes specific variations in dopamine genes, for instance, are believed to be predisposed to alcoholism and substance abuse issues. Researchers have identified dozens of similar risk markers.

Risk markers vary from individual to individual, but the following are typical warning signs that someone could develop issues with chronic relapse:

  • Lack of strong bonds with parents
  • Unstable childhood
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poorly developed conscience
  • History of trauma or neglect
  • Psychological instability
  • Impulsivity
  • Hanging out with the wrong groups of people
  • Lack of education regarding triggers and relapse, or substance abuse in general.

Some experts suggest that anyone exhibiting four or more of these qualities identify the chance for chronic relapse.

Who Benefits from Chronic Relapse Treatment Plans?

Although chronic relapse can happen to anyone, certain segments of society exist that may have a higher risk of developing this condition. Individuals with any of the following situations benefit the most from relapse treatment plans:

  • Anyone with stressful events going on in their lives (health problems, unemployment, rocky relationships, etc.)
  • Underlying mental health conditions
  • Any victims of childhood sexual, mental, or physical abuse
  • Genetic history of substance abuse or alcoholism
  • A lower amount of dopamine receptors compared to the average number
  • Anyone who displays the traits of having an impulsive or addictive personality
  • You have fewer dopamine receptors compared to the general population

When individuals aren’t educated on any of the issues listed above, their chances of chronic relapse increase significantly. It’s important to seek treatment and craft a chronic relapse prevention plan.

Crafting a Chronic Relapse Prevention Plan

When people relapse chronically, it’s harder to pull themselves out of the cycle of unhealthy choices. Finding effective ways to cope with stressful circumstances helps reduce the likelihood of falling back into old habits. To break a pattern of relapse, clients must implement the following strategies into their relapse prevention plan:

Identify Triggers

Identifying triggers can help pinpoint moments when urges arise. Triggers can range from environmental stimuli to emotional states. Common triggers include boredom, anxiety, depression, loneliness, anger, frustration, and impatience. Learning to manage these triggers effectively can significantly decrease the chances of relapse.

Learn Skills That Promote Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to the ability to focus attention internally instead of dwelling on external distractions. Practicing meditation and breathing exercises can increase awareness and lower stress levels.

Set Goals

Setting realistic goals that coincide with your values can boost self-confidence and motivate you to stick to your plans. Create actionable steps toward achieving your objectives and write your own success story!

Hold Yourself Accountable

Admit when you made a mistake and act immediately to correct it. Don’t blame others, and don’t dwell on regret. Take accountability for your actions.

Long Term Treatment and Long-Term Recovery

Long-term treatment leads to long-term recovery. Individuals who suffer from chronic relapse commonly need much longer stays at the inpatient facility of their choice.

The more education and counseling a client receives, especially in the right environment, the chances of avoiding relapse during the long-term increase significantly.

Lasting Recovery with a Chronic Relapse Treatment Center

At Pathfinders Recovery Centers, we’ve helped many clients achieve recovery from chronic relapse challenges. Our state-of-the-art facilities are comfortable and conducive to long-term comfort, which clients need for long-term residence for chronic relapse.

To find out about our specialized treatment plans for chronic relapse, contact a member of our admissions team today!