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!

Vitamins For Recovering Drug Addicts

Vitamins-to-Recovering-from-Drug-Addicts

Does Addiction Cause Vitamin Deficiencies?

It’s no secret that addiction can and will ravage your body and mind. I was on the brink of death when I showed up at Pathfinders. It couldn’t get any worse for me. I was very weak both physically and mentally. I didn’t think it would work. I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself.

The damage done to my mind and body made things more difficult. I was not in my right mind or in the right physical shape to be able to do much. Prolonged drug abuse does a lot of damage that we don’t see until it becomes obvious on the outside. These are things addicts don’t usually think about until they are in really bad shape. When using drugs and alcohol on a regular basis, your body does not absorb the nutrients we require to function properly.

Does Alcoholism Affect Vitamin Absorption?

I barely had to ask that question when I got to recovery. My alcoholism had done a lot of damage to my body. My vitamin deficiency was through the roof. The signs of malnutrition were all there. I was tired all the time. My skin looked pasty and white. My teeth and gums were severely damaged. My hair was thinning. I was a textbook example of malnutrition.

How do you address vitamin deficiency during addiction? There are so many other hurdles to overcome. Your vitamin intake is probably not going to be the top thing on your mind. Luckily for me, the folks at Pathfinders Recovery Centers put a big emphasis on nutrition therapy while I was going through recovery. They knew exactly how to address vitamin deficiency during addiction.

I always remembered being annoyed when my mother would tell me to take my vitamins as a kid. I would often forget, and I never thought it mattered whether I took them or not. Truth is, if I had the right diet I wouldn’t have needed to take vitamins. If you have a healthy diet you should be getting all the vitamins your body requires. Most people in this country don’t eat in a healthy way.

This is just one reason why there are so many types of vitamins out there. We are all looking for something to make us feel better. The vitamin industry has become noticeably larger over the years, and there are even stores solely focused on selling vitamins.

There are many types of vitamin deficiencies from drugs. If you are addicted to stimulants like cocaine or Adderall, you have a decreased appetite. Most addicts aren’t concerned about their physical appearance or their health. They will eat junk food because it is quicker and cheaper, and don’t care about nutrition therapy.

The only thing that matters in addiction is the next fix. Obviously, if you have a decreased appetite and all you eat is sugar and processed food, you are going to be vitamin deficient. It doesn’t take a doctor to realize that.

Give Your Recovery A Boost with Nutrition!

The-importance-of-Vitamins-For-Recovering-Drug-Addicts

Boosting recovery through nutrition will get you in the right mindset that you need to be in. We aren’t good for much if we don’t have our heads on straight. People underestimate how much nutrition affects our brains and our thought patterns.

If you are eating healthy and getting the right vitamins, you will make better decisions and process things easier. You will achieve long-term health and success with the right vitamins. When it comes to recovery, there are specific vitamins and their effects are different.

Vitamin C and Vitamin D are a couple of the important ones you will want to get a lot of. A good dose of Vitamin D has been proven to be a big mood booster. We get vitamin D naturally from the sun. It’s a good idea if you live in a colder, darker part of the country to supplement your vitamin D during the winter.

Nutrient deficiency in addicts is one of the first things that a recovery center will notice and try to address. If you’re going to be set up for success in your recovery, it’s going to take every angle. The nutrition angle is probably more important than any.

Recommendations for Diet in Recovery

There are a lot of different recommendations for nutrition in recovery. As mentioned before, a healthy diet will help a lot. Physical activity is another natural way to help your mood and give your body a boost. There are many different supplements for recovery. Vitamin B and Thiamin are two of the big ones you’ll hear a lot about.

Foods like fish, pork, and grains are high in Vitamin B. Zinc and Magnesium are other vitamins that will typically be lacking in the body of an addict. Magnesium helps with muscle and nerve function while Zinc helps with your immune system. Typically most addicts have a ravaged immune system. Nothing like a little Zinc to get you back on track!

Issues with Diet for Recovering Addicts

There can be side effects of diet on recovery. Typically a dual diagnosis approach works best, which entails tackling all of your underlying issues at once. Your physical, mental and emotional issues all play a big part in why you are addicted.

We all know it’s hard to change your diet, so changing your diet in the middle of drug rehab can be very difficult.

This can unfortunately lead you to setbacks. When we change our diet and try to eat healthier, it can make us a little irritable at first. This irritability can play a part in the recovery process being halted altogether. It’s important to keep in mind that no part of this process is going to be easy. The entire recovery process is a fight you will have to put all your effort towards.

There is a direct relation to diet and mental health. If you eat better, you will eventually feel better. If your mind is firing on all cylinders, you will be better equipped to make good decisions.

This is what recovery is all about. You need to retrain your brain to make these better decisions when the time arises. The initial recovery process is basically a training process for how to deal with life’s later challenges without going back to substance abuse.

Join Others in Making Health a Priority

Vitamins-For-Drug-Addicts

Every time I tell my story, it reminds me of how far I’ve come. I never tell my story without mentioning the people who have helped me along the way. My peers, my sponsors, the friends I’ve made, all of these people are just as important to my success as I am.

This gives me an opportunity to be thankful for what I’ve been blessed with. I also hope to instill in others the ability to think about the people who helped them. Addiction is not a solitary process all the way through. You get through it by hearing the stories of other people. These people and these stories will be what shapes your future in recovery.

It gives me more faith in people to know that there are so many kind souls out there who want to help others. It makes me want to help, and it makes me want to flip the switch on others that will make them want to do the same. We all have the power to heal ourselves and each other. It is my goal to be a bright spot in someone else’s darkness.

No matter how dark it gets, there is always light somewhere that can be shared. We all need a helping hand during such a sensitive process. We are all weak and realize that we need help. Some of us are in denial. Some of us go into rehab multiple times. Some of us recognize that it could be our last shot. There is so much to process during recovery, and it can all be very overwhelming.

Sharing is Caring When it Comes to Addiction

I talk about my addiction as if it’s a normal thing everyone else talks about. Like the way, people talk about the weather or their job. I just let it flow and try not to make a big deal out of it. I find that that approach puts people at ease. When you’re speaking to people with similar experiences, it’s easier to get them to open up.

The more people that we get to open up, the less uncomfortable the process becomes. And the more that we talk about it, the more we break the stigma of addiction.

Everyone’s process is different and is to be respected. You aren’t going to force your help on someone else. I make it a point to tell my story without telling anyone else’s. That’s a very important aspect that I feel is overlooked. You are only responsible for your recovery. I know I’m not going to help everyone. If I can help one person, then this entire process was well worth it.

Having the right people around to set you up for success is key. With the staff at Pathfinders Recovery Centers as your foundation for recovery, you will have a team of dedicated, experienced professionals on your side. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today, to start the foundation of a new life in recovery, healthy and happy in ways that you could never even dream of before.

Pink Cloud Syndrome

Pink Cloud Syndrome

What Is the Pink Cloud?

When you are newly sober, you go through a wide range of emotions. When I completed treatment at Pathfinders, I felt like I could take on the world. I had gone from being a hopeless alcoholic to being full of energy and ready to take on any challenge.

For newly sober people, this is referred to as the pink cloud syndrome. The signs and symptoms of pink cloud syndrome include feeling overly confident and elated. There are positive elements of a pink cloud, but it can also lead you to slip up if you are not careful.

It’s important to feel accomplished once you’ve become sober. It’s a huge achievement. A lot of addicts never get to experience what it’s like to overcome your addiction. There are many positive elements of a pink cloud, but you have to be careful.

There is a big risk of relapse in pink cloud thinking. While it feels great to be newly sober, it can be scary as well. Your emotions can flip from moment to moment. It’s very important to recognize that when you are newly sober, you are vulnerable.

You did not expect to feel the feelings that you are experiencing. I expected my recovery to be a bigger struggle. Not to make it sound like it wasn’t, but I didn’t anticipate the pink cloud.

I struggled with feelings of guilt as well. It was almost like a survivor’s guilt of some kind. Why was I able to get sober yet so many other people can’t? First of all, you should never feel guilty because you got clean and someone else didn’t.

If you manage to overcome your addiction, you deserve all the happiness that you can get. It’s difficult to achieve and you don’t understand that until you’ve experienced it. You should expect the unexpected. Not only will getting sober be a tough challenge, but it’s also a very unique one. There is going to be vulnerability no matter what.

This vulnerability can make you think a lot of things. There is a chemical understanding of the pink cloud that you must have. Because your brain is still recovering from the damage done during your addiction, you have good days and bad days.

On your good days, you think you’ll never get high or drunk again. On your bad days, it takes every last ounce of effort for you to not relapse. The pink cloud can be very deceiving.

The roller coaster of emotions can be very difficult to deal with, and it may make you want to give in and throw away your progress. This is where aftercare planning becomes very crucial. If you don’t have a plan in place, you can be in danger of relapse.

Long-term sobriety takes a lot of work. The longer you are sober, the more likely you are to remain sober. This is not always the case for everybody. I’ve met plenty of people who have been sober for decades and one slip up makes them go right back to their old ways.

Sobriety is tricky, and it really is a day-by-day process. On your bad days, it can take everything in you to not use again. There are pitfalls of pink cloud thinking. The pink cloud can go away as quickly as it begins. How long can a pink cloud last? It’s different for everyone. Everybody’s sobriety journey looks a little bit different even if there are similarities.

When I first got sober, everything seemed easy. I thought it was too good to be true, and it was. When I left Pathfinders, the last thing I wanted to do was drink. The idea of drinking made me nauseous.

I could taste the alcohol on my lips and it made me sick to my stomach. I felt energized for the first time in years. I started to allow myself to think that I had totally defeated my addiction. It was over and done with.

I was never going to drink again. Then, after one bad day, I got the urge. It was very disappointing for me to go through that and realize that I had been thrown off the pink cloud. I didn’t relapse, but I came very close.

Paint It Pink: Long Term Sobriety

Paint It Pink Long Term Sobriety

No matter how well you are doing in your recovery, achieving long-term sobriety is a full-time job. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, it will be hard to stay on the right track.

Because of aftercare services and therapy, I have learned some good tips for managing pink cloud syndrome. First and foremost, you have to live moment to moment. When you start thinking too far ahead, it can really mess you up.

Each day, your goal should be to not drink or get high on that specific day. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will come and you will have the opportunity to deal with it when that time comes.

It’s important to have a balance in your life. Avoid extreme emotions. When you are using drugs or alcohol, you are living on both extremes. You have high highs and low lows.

If you can find a way to manage your emotions and the way you react, you will teach yourself the power of rational thinking. Cultivating a healthy lifestyle will help you achieve this.

Developing healthy eating habits and engaging in physical activity is great not just for your body, but your overall mental health as well. If your mental health is in a good place, you have a great advantage.

Leaving behind the pink cloud and settling into your new lifestyle may be difficult, but it is a natural process. You’re not going to feel like Superman forever.

Eventually, sobriety just becomes another aspect of your life. It’s not the new thing in your life that’s bright and shiny. You have to remember that life ebbs and flows, and you are going to have challenges in the future. Taking on these challenges with a clear mind and a positive attitude is all part of living a sober lifestyle.

The 12 steps are a great outlet for you to learn about the pink cloud warnings. Anyone familiar with the 12 steps has heard about the pink cloud. If you are over-confident in your sobriety, it can give you a cocky attitude.

You don’t think you have a problem anymore. What meetings will help you realize is that you are not above your addiction, even if you have those fleeting moments where you feel that you are.

Meetings and therapy are a great way to keep you in check and bring down your ego a notch or two. I constantly have to remind myself that I am powerless against my addiction. The triggers for the pink cloud syndrome can affect anyone in recovery.

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

Leaving Behind The Pink Cloud

For all of us in recovery, there are plenty of occasions when we need to pick each other up. The pink cloud may make you feel all-powerful, but your peers in recovery will help you understand that these feelings will not last forever.

The ups and downs of sobriety vary from person to person, and there is no real handbook to follow. When you are newly sober, it’s a rollercoaster. Once my pink cloud went away, I was hanging on by a thread. It took everything in me not to get high.

When I think back on those days, I have a better understanding of how to help those who have just begun their journey. I know how I feel when I’m having an off day. It’s a very vulnerable position to be in.

Knowing that there are people in your corner who will help you through it can give you just enough of a boost to come out on the other end. However long you last on your pink cloud, you will still require the tools needed to maintain your sobriety once you jump off of it.

We all need affirmation from time to time. We need to be reminded by the people we respect that we are on the right track. The addiction peer support that I’ve received has given me an opportunity to maintain a righteous path.

The addiction support my family has received has only made things easier for all of us. They know when I am in need of help. They can see the signs. When I’m in a dark headspace, they know how to help lift me out of it.

Rehab romance and pink cloud thinking are very real. You have to understand and respect the process in order to keep moving forward. I take every experience I’ve had and every story I hear very seriously.

The moments of weakness are just as important to the process as the moments of strength. It’s been a wild ride for me, but I wouldn’t change a thing. We all need to keep our heroes close. You never know when you might need them.

Never Drinking Again

Never Drinking Again

Making The Decision Not To Drink

Making the decision to abstain from alcohol is extremely difficult. If you’ve gotten to that point, good for you. Keep in mind that a lot of alcoholics and problem drinkers never get to that point.

If you actually make the decision to stop drinking, that alone is a huge feat. If you slip up and go back to it, at least you know you can stop again because you’ve done it before. The reasons why people swear off alcohol may vary. Some people do it for their health and their overall well-being.

Some do it because it’s ruining their personal life. Regardless of how you’ve come to this conclusion, you’ve recognized that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. That is the first step.

Sometimes drinking is the symptom and not the problem. There’s a reason why a lot of addicts get as bad as they do. There is typically some sort of past trauma or tragic event that triggered you to use drugs or alcohol.

This isn’t the case with every single addict, but it’s a common thing they all have in common. A bad childhood. Mental health issues. Stress and anxiety. The list goes on and on. Whatever it is that led you to substance abuse, it needs to be taken care of as you begin your journey into sobriety.

There is something powerful to be said about dual diagnosis and drinking cessation. There are all sorts of therapy methods for alcohol abstinence, but dual diagnosis is an increasingly popular one.

Dual diagnosis refers to the process of tackling your addiction and your mental and/or emotional health issues at the same time. It may seem like a lot, but it worked wonders for me.

I had a lot of very serious emotional problems that I would cover up through drinking. When I got to Pathfinders for treatment, they offered a great dual diagnosis program that helped me work on all of my issues simultaneously.

It’s going to take a while to fix everything that you’ve been avoiding because of your addiction. When they say one day at a time, they mean it. You don’t have to worry about the next day or the next week.

The only thing that matters is how you are doing today, and what you are actively doing to work on yourself. There is a lot of rebuilding that needs to be done before you achieve long-term sobriety. If you’re up to the challenge, you can make it work.

Why is it so hard to stop drinking alcohol on your own? Because it is an all-powerful addiction. Recognizing that you are powerless to alcohol will help you through your initial period of recovery.

Some addicts try to convince themselves that they can have a couple of drinks and be ok. Some think they can figure out a way to keep their drinking under control. This usually doesn’t work out so well.

Even if you can control your drinking for a little while, it’s an addiction that’s designed to get worse and worse. Moderation and making drinking changes might work for non-addicts, but if you’re a true addict, you will know it sooner or later.

Self Knowledge And Drinking

Self Knowledge And Drinking

There is a lot of soul-searching to be done when you enter recovery. You learn a lot about yourself and what triggers you. You learn a lot about why you react the way you do in certain situations.

Even if you learn to cope with the triggers that may affect you, they can still overwhelm you at times. No one is perfect. When you attend meetings and therapy groups, you will meet a wide range of people from all different backgrounds, yet you all got there the same way. You couldn’t control it.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that they are never drinking again. It’s one thing to be confident in yourself, but it’s very hard for any addict to say this definitively and make it actually happen.

Plenty of people in recovery never do end up drinking again. But coping with never drinking again is a lifelong battle. You have to be strong every day. You have to recognize the triggers and how to avoid them. It’s a huge responsibility to put on yourself, but it will reward you greatly if you keep at it.

When you make the decision to quit drinking, picking the right place for recovery is key. Treatment centers are incredibly helpful for you to build a sober foundation. I was extremely pleased with my time at Pathfinders. I couldn’t have picked a more compassionate place.

Luckily, there are so many different forms of therapy and so many different recovery centers. What works for one person may not work for another. If you find the right treatment center, you will know it. Does alcohol detox work for casual drinkers? It may, but there may be alternative methods as well.

There is a lot that can be said about quitting cold turkey vs. home detox. Alcohol can be a very dangerous substance to detox from. It’s one of the few drugs where detox can be fatal if not done correctly. If you choose to do an at-home detox, you should make sure that you are doing it the right way.

Going through detox under medical supervision is the best way to do it, but if you’re going to home detox you need to recognize and be aware of the dangers and look into natural detox remedies. I strongly do not recommend quitting cold turkey if you are a late-term alcoholic.

It’s shocking that alcohol is legal, yet it can do more damage to us mentally and physically than most illegal drugs. I’m not here to argue that drugs should be legal, but it’s a strange reality.

You are allowed to legally drink yourself to death, but not to snort yourself to death. Alcohol is probably the most abused substance in the country because of its acceptance and availability. People make jokes about alcoholism and drinking to excess.

We think it’s funny until it hits us too close to home. When someone you know dies of alcoholism, it makes you think a lot more about how you view it. We often view drinking as a way to have fun and relax. That isn’t the case for a lot of addicts.

Milestones And Commitments To Stop Drinking

Milestones And Commitments To Stop Drinking

You have every reason to celebrate when you hit a milestone. When I was sober for one year, it was a surreal feeling. I was a bit worried though. I didn’t want to make a huge deal out of it, because I didn’t want to feel the external pressure to keep it up.

I still have off days and I still have times where I feel triggered to drink. Again, it’s a personal decision. If you feel like celebrating your milestones is a positive thing for you then by all means celebrate as much as possible!

You’ve done something worth celebrating. I like to spend some time on my sober anniversaries to reflect on how far I’ve come, and what I need to do to continue being sober.

There are several different schools of thought when it comes to recovery. There are some programs that claim they can cure you of your addiction and you will never go back. In my experience, that is not always the case for a lot of addicts.

When we talk about AA vs. other methods of sobriety, there are some differences but a lot of similarities. The AA approach is that you are powerless to your addiction, and seeking a higher power will help you achieve sobriety. Some people aren’t into the whole higher power thing, and that’s totally fine.

I try to keep in mind that I didn’t get here all by myself. I know there were a lot of people that helped me along the way. I try to celebrate those people as much as I celebrate my own progress. When I know someone has reached a milestone, I tell them how proud I am of them.

I don’t put any pressure on them, I just let them know they’ve done something commendable. The peer support I’ve received has helped keep me sober, so I try to lend a helping hand and give encouragement whenever possible.

Denial is a big part of the addiction process. We have to let people make the decision on their own to get help. You can only help someone so much. If you can’t help yourself, no one else is going to get through to you.

You can offer someone all the encouragement in the world, but if they don’t really want sobriety they won’t be able to attain it. I remind myself of this as well.

I can only do so much for other people, but I can do a lot for myself. Almost all of the days I’ve strung together are because of the decision that I made. That gives me a lot of faith in myself that I can keep it going.

What Happens When You Mix Adderall and Weed

What Happens When You Mix Adderall and Weed

You may know Adderall as a medication that’s used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While it is used by adults, Adderall is most frequently used to treat ADHD in children. Children usually present the first symptoms of ADHD around the age of seven. What Happens When You Mix Adderall and Weed?

Sometimes the disorder goes away but up to 60 percent of children continue to experience symptoms in adulthood. Therefore, some adults have prescriptions for this drug.

Adderall is also used to help people with narcolepsy to stay awake. However, like many other prescription drugs, it’s also used recreationally by people who don’t have prescriptions.

Often, it’s combined with weed in an attempt to negate some of the negative side effects. Even people who have prescriptions may mix Adderall and weed.

In this article, we’ll look at the effects of mixing these two drugs. If you or someone you love is engaging in this practice, you need to talk to a medical professional.

The Effects of Adderall and Cannabis

The Effects of Adderall and Cannabis

Before we get into what happens when these two substances are combined, we first need to understand the side effects of each drug when taken separately. This sets the stage for understanding how they may interact.

Adderall is a central nervous system stimulant that’s made up of four amphetamine salts:

  • Dextroamphetamine saccharate
  • Amphetamine aspartate
  • Dextroamphetamine sulfate
  • Amphetamine sulfate

Adderall increases the levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. It helps to improve attention, focus, listening skills, and organizational skills while also controlling behavioral challenges.

While this drug is intended to make people with ADHD more focused, some people who don’t have this condition use it for pleasure or to improve their performance. Many of these individuals are college or high school students who want to stay awake for long periods while they cram for exams or work on large projects.

However, professionals who want to improve their job performance and athletes who want to do better on the field may also use it.

Like other stimulants, Adderall can cause cardiovascular and psychological distress. Some of the side effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Depression when coming down
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea

Cannabis

Weed or cannabis is a psychoactive drug that is often smoked or consumed in an edible form. Many people see it as a harmless and even highly therapeutic drug.

However, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content today is a lot higher than it was in the 1970s and this makes it more dangerous than some people realize. THC is the main psychoactive component in cannabis and it creates the high for which cannabis is typically known.

Some individuals who have ADHD use marijuana as a way of self-medicating. There are people who advocate for the use of weed as an ADHD treatment.

They say that it helps individuals to manage severe symptoms like irritability, agitation, and lack of restraint while causing fewer side effects than the usual prescription medicines.

While many people find cannabis beneficial, it can have serious side effects for some individuals. These side effects vary depending on how strong the weed is and how high the individual’s tolerance is.

 

Effects can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Hallucinations 
  • Brain fog
  • Increased appetite
  • Blood pressure spikes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Laziness and inactivity

Chronic use of marijuana can also lead to long-term issues such as:

  • Problems breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A decline in IQ if started as a teenager
  • A decline in verbal ability and general knowledge
  • Decreased life satisfaction
  • Problems with fetal development in pregnant women

People often believe that weed can’t be addictive. However, between 9 and 30 percent of people who use marijuana will go on to develop a substance use disorder. Individuals who start using when they’re under the age of 18 are more likely to become addicted

Marijuana can also be harmful for people with mental health conditions. For example, individuals who have schizophrenia are more likely to develop psychosis. Smoking marijuana can also make respiratory conditions worse.

What People Who Combine Adderall and Weed Experience

While Adderall and cannabis have benefits when used separately, mixing them is a cause for concern. It can be difficult to answer the question “what does mixing Adderall with weed feel like?” since marijuana can have such varying effects.

We know that Adderall is a stimulant but marijuana can be a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogen depending on the strain used. Therefore, weed can either enhance the effects of Adderall or balance them out.

Some people who have ADHD say weed reduces the agitation and distress that Adderall often causes.

Meanwhile, some people who use marijuana say Adderall helps to relieve side effects such as fatigue and reduced cognitive function. This may seem like the ideal combination for people who use either drug for therapeutic purposes. However, not everyone will have the same experience.

Dangers of Adderall Abuse

Dangers of Adderall Abuse

The long-term abuse of Adderall can lead to irregular heart rhythms, increased blood pressure, and even addiction. People are most likely to become addicted to Adderall when they take more than the prescribed dose, take doses more frequently than prescribed or use the drug for longer than prescribed

Adderall can become more addictive when taken with other substances and people who struggle with substance abuse disorders are among those at the highest risk.

Students, people with stressful jobs, athletes, and individuals who struggle with bulimia or anorexia are also more likely to become addicted to Adderall. Even after individuals quit using Adderall, they may continue to face irreversible health issues.

Dangers of Combining Both Drugs

Depression is one of the possible outcomes when people use both Adderall and weed. Long-term Adderall use can make it difficult for the brain to release dopamine and serotonin on its own. The brain comes to rely on Adderall to produce these chemicals.

As a result, the user may experience depression and anhedonia, which is an inability to feel pleasure without using drugs. Heavy marijuana use can also cause the brain to release less dopamine so combining Adderall and weed over a long period can lead to depression.

Another danger of combining Adderall and weed is that the risk of abuse increases. Some people experience an even more desirable high when they take both drugs. This euphoria can drive them to use these substances again. This can lead to addiction.

People who abuse Adderall and weed regularly may need to undergo a medical detox process to get the drugs out of their bodies. Taking combinations of drugs that haven’t been prescribed is often dangerous. If you’re mixing substances and you’re finding it hard to stop, seek professional help.

How Long Do Weed and Adderall Stay in the Body?

Adderall has a half-life of about ten hours. This means it takes about ten hours  for half the dosage to leave the body. Generally, it’ll take around two days for the drug to leave your system.

Meanwhile, the effects of marijuana peak around ten minutes after use and last for one to three hours in most cases.

However, the effects can last for up to eight or ten hours. A lot depends on:

  • The individual’s tolerance
  • The individual’s body weight and metabolism
  • How much weed they took
  • How much THC the weed contained
  • Whether they ate beforehand 

Can You Overdose on Adderall?

The simple answer is yes. While people often associate overdoses with opioids and other depressants, stimulant overdoses can and do occur. They are different in that they result from an overstimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Therefore, symptoms of an Adderall overdose include:

  • Heart attack
  • Aggression
  • Panic
  • Hallucinations
  • Tremors
  • Fever 

It takes a lot of Adderall to cause a fatal overdose. A lethal dose is somewhere between 20 and 25 milligrams per kilogram of body weight and it’s not likely that a person would take that much.

However, using weed can mitigate some of the side effects of Adderall. This may lead the person to use even more Adderall, thereby increasing the risk of a dangerous overdose. If you think you or someone else is experiencing an

Adderall overdose, call the emergency services and let them assess the situation. 

How to Tell If You’re Addicted to Adderall or Weed

Addiction is complicated and people who struggle with their drug use often aren’t sure about if they’re addicted or not. Given that it’s relatively easy to legally source both weed and Adderall, the lines may be even more blurred.

However, it’s important to note that any substance can be abused and even if you have a prescription for Adderall, you may be misusing the drug. If you’re worried about your drug use or your loved ones have raised concerns, you should talk to an addictions professional. 

Signs of drug addiction include:

  • Difficulty stopping or reducing your drug use
  • Needing more and more of a drug to get the effects you once did
  • Experiencing strong cravings for the substance
  • Thinking about ways to acquire more of the drug
  • Prioritizing the substance over hobbies and other things you enjoyed
  • Developing increased tolerance
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking the drug
  • Repeatedly using the substance in dangerous situations
  • Continuing to use the substance even though it is negatively affecting your health
  • Continuing to use the substance even though it is negatively affecting people you love
  • Neglecting your responsibilities in favor of drug use

How Treatment Can Help

How Treatment Can Help

Misusing Adderall and weed is considered polydrug abuse. If you’re abusing two or more substances, treatment will need to address all of them along with any co-occurring disorders like anxiety or depression.

Any kind of substance abuse can have life-altering effects and your health can suffer in both the long and the short term. While mixing Adderall and weed may not be as dangerous and combining Adderall and alcohol, it is still unsafe.

The sooner you seek help, the better it will be for you. You may be able to reverse some of the damage caused by your drug use and prevent additional problems from occurring in the future.

By enrolling in a recovery program, you can detox from the substances in your body and learn how you can achieve long-term sobriety. It is highly recommended that you undergo medical detox.

You’ll have 24/7 medical supervision and you’ll be provided with medications to help you manage nausea, vomiting, and depression that may accompany withdrawal.

Making it through the detoxification process is the start of recovery. Getting the drugs out of your body is essential but you also need to take care of your mental and emotional needs.

It’s important that you identify what caused you to abuse drugs in the first place and then learn how to handle those triggers.

Treatments vary from one facility to another but people struggling with substance abuse problems typically benefit from one or more of the following interventions:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Motivational interviewing
  • Stress management
  • Relapse prevention planning

Get Addiction Treatment from Pathfinders Recovery Center

Now that you’re aware of the dangers of mixing Adderall and weed, you may think that you have a drug problem. Given the long and short-term dangers of substance abuse, you need to make it a priority to find a reputable rehab facility. At Pathfinders Recovery Center, we provide individuals with the tools they need to live a life free of addiction. We don’t only focus on detox. We offer a variety of customized evidence-based treatments that cater to the mind, body, and spirit. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey, call us to discuss the available treatment options. We offer fast insurance verification.

 

What is Medication Assisted Treatment?

What is Medication Assisted Treatment

Traditional addiction treatment options typically do not involve the use of medication.

Instead, the traditional recovery route usually includes a monitored drug or alcohol detox and rehab.

These are the traditional methods for a reason. They’ve been proven effective over many years. 

But sometimes, we need something more. A moderate to severe addiction, overwhelming withdrawal symptoms, or a history of relapse could require an even more dedicated approach.

Medication-assisted treatment or MAT may be recommended in these cases. 

What is the Purpose of Medication-Assisted Treatment?

What is the Purpose of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Recovering from a mild addiction and withdrawal symptoms may mean suffering through a week or so of flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and mood changes.

But for many individuals in recovery, withdrawing isn’t so simple. 

Many of the most common mental and physical withdrawal symptoms are severe enough to lead to relapse, cause short or long-term health concerns, or even become life-threatening.

Overwhelming withdrawal symptoms are one of the most common relapse triggers. 

The purpose of medication-assisted treatment is to make it easier to maintain your sobriety when your addiction becomes too severe to manage on your own. 

Types of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment can be helpful during more than one stage of recovery.

A MAT program might mean a medically assisted detox or a medically assisted treatment program.

This can be a full-time, residential program or a part-time, outpatient program. 

Depending on the type and severity of your addiction, we may recommend detox and/or maintenance using medication-assisted treatment.

During detox, these medications may ease withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, making it easier to stay sober and feel more comfortable. 

After detox, MAT can be helpful in maintaining sobriety throughout your treatment program.

Medication-assisted treatment is considered the most effective intervention for treating opioid use disorders and others. 

How Does MAT Work?

MAT is often more effective than either medications alone or behavioral interventions alone because it provides the ideal balance of both.

Medication-assisted treatment integrates FDA-approved medications, social support methods, and behavioral therapies. 

This three-pronged approach provides a holistic, effective, and sustainable treatment method.

Our addictions do not form overnight. We cannot expect them to be solved that way, either.

An effective recovery requires addressing both the behavioral and biological components of addiction. MAT is an excellent way to achieve this goal. 

How MAT Promotes Sustained Sobriety and Reduces Relapse Rates

To demonstrate how useful medication-assisted treatment can be, let’s focus for a moment on one of its most common uses: opioid addiction treatments.

Prescription and illicit opioids alike come with a high risk of abuse and addiction. 

That is one reason why it is one of the most common addictions in the country. Many of these addictions start innocently enough.

One study revealed that up to 80% of heroin users had used prescription opioids first. 

Two of the most common were the prescription painkillers Vicodin and OxyContin.

Unfortunately, even when they come with a prescription, these medications can be dangerous, and dependence can develop quickly. 

Once dependence develops, many will graduate to something stronger to achieve the effects they felt when they started using opioids.

This is where things become more problematic.

Heroin, fentanyl, and other high-level opioids tend to come with overwhelming withdrawal symptoms that make it harder to quit, even when your urge to quit is strong. 

Medications like methadone and buprenorphine can help.

These carefully administered medications help satisfy drug cravings and reduce or eliminate other common withdrawal symptoms to promote sustained sobriety and reduce relapse rates. 

Drugs Used for Medication Assisted Treatment

Drugs Used for Medication Assisted Treatment

Methadone and buprenorphine are two of the most common opioid use disorder medications.

It may seem strange to treat opioid addiction with another opioid, but these medications have proven effective in the appropriate dosages and monitored medical settings. 

The amounts of these medications that we prescribe are too low to produce euphoric highs but substantial enough to promote several positive effects during recovery.

They are not meant to be used as substitutes but rather short-term aids during treatment. 

When used in appropriate dosages and under the supervision of a professional, they will not promote new addictions.

Instead, they will ease cravings and withdrawals, reducing your risk of relapse and clearing the path to sustained sobriety. 

Other Uses for Medication-Assisted Treatment

While it tends to be the most common in opioid disorder treatments, MAT is useful in treating other addictions, too. Medications are also common in alcohol treatments.

There are three approved substances for this purpose, including naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate. 

The right approach is often the key to addiction recovery, which is why we offer a wide variety of customized treatment programs and methods to help everyone we meet find their way.

Many different addictions may warrant medication-assisted treatment. 

We can help you determine which treatment path will best fit your unique addiction and needs. 

Therapy and Medication-Assisted Treatment

We mentioned earlier that the most effective way to treat many addictions is to combine medication and behavioral therapies.

We need them both because they help us achieve different goals. 

While medications like the ones we provide will help ease cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapies help us gain a better understanding of how and why we got here.

This typically involves identifying root causes, improving the symptoms of common co-existing mental health disorders, and learning how to cope with feelings of stress or anger in healthier ways. 

Building healthier habits and coping mechanisms can help us reroute our natural responses to life’s inevitable challenges.

With our proven treatment methods, we help our clients break free from the things that are holding them back. 

It’s time to leave your addiction behind you and create a happier, healthier life that you can be proud of and excited about. 

Pathfinders Programs, A Path to Recovery

Our dedicated addiction teams are prepared to help with a wide range of addictions, withdrawal symptoms, mental health symptoms, and other needs.

To ensure that we can help our clients at any stage of the recovery process, we offer: 

  • Detox programs
  • Residential programs
  • Partial hospitalization programs 
  • Intensive outpatient programs 
  • Long-term rehab options 

A Breakdown of Our Addiction Treatment Programs

A Breakdown of Our Addiction Treatment Programs

Residential and long-term rehab programs are the only two that give you 24-hour access to the care, support, and guidance of our dedicated teams.

These programs are ideal for those with moderate to severe addictions and withdrawal symptoms or a history of relapse, among others. 

And they typically start with a personalized detox. But not everyone will need or be capable of committing to a full-time program.

That’s where our other programs come in. Partial hospitalization averages around 20 hours per week. 

Partial hospitalization programs are one of the most common treatment options for those affected by both mental illness and addiction.

The final option is an intensive outpatient program. An intensive outpatient program ranges from 9 to 19 hours per week. 

During each type of treatment program, many of the treatment methods remain the same.

Behavioral therapies are common across the board because they are some of the most effective addiction treatment methods. 

Different programs are better for different people and addictions. We can help you choose the path that will help you the most. 

MAT at Pathfinders Recovery Center

In Colorado and Arizona, we operate conveniently located and luxury-style recovery facilities.

In a safe and comfortable facility like ours, it becomes easier to maintain your focus, boost your confidence, and build a better life.

Call (866) 263-1820 for more information now!

Am I An Alcoholic?

Am I An Alcoholic

What Is Alcoholism?

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

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

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

Alcoholism isn’t always this straightforward. 

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

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

Am I An Alcoholic?

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

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

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

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

Use, Abuse, Dependence, and Alcoholism

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But what separates normal use from abuse is the frequency.

What separates abuse from dependence is compulsive use.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects our brain chemistry.

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

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

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

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

Signs of Alcohol Dependence

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

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

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

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

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

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

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

Causes and Risk Factors for Alcoholism and other Alcohol Use Disorders

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

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

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

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

Getting Answers and Understanding Your Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Self-Assessment Quizzes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

Choosing the Right Treatment for Alcoholism

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

What works for one person may not work for another.

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

Pathfinders: A Full Continuum of Care Options

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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