What is a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program?

A Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program Can Be Essential

Many people with substance problems need a dual diagnosis treatment program to complete their recovery.

That’s true because they also suffer from other serious mental health issues.

If you are affected by these additional issues, you may wonder if it’s even possible to get better.

But with the effective treatments available today, this is indeed a realistic, achievable goal.

Recovery from dual diagnosis is not easy.

In fact, you may find yourself facing more difficult problems than people only affected by addiction or mental illness.

However, with time, effort and expert care, you can turn things around.

There is always hope, even for people severely affected by dual diagnosis symptoms.

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Basics of Dual Diagnosis

Until recently, dual diagnosis was widely known by another name: co-occurring disorders.

All people diagnosed with this issue are simultaneously affected by two significant problems:

  • A substance use disorder, or SUD
  • A separate mental illness

Some people with a SUD are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

However, some are not. Instead, they have serious, substance abuse-related problems even though they are not addicted.

You can also suffer from symptoms of addiction and non-addicted abuse at the same time.

There are many types of mental illness.

The list of these conditions includes such things as:

  • Major depressive disorder and other depressive disorders
  • Bipolar I disorder and other bipolar disorders
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Anorexia and other eating disorders
  • Schizophrenia and other schizophrenia-related disorders
  • Borderline personality disorder and other personality disorders

There is a strong, two-way connection between mental illness and SUDs.

If you have a mental illness, there’s a roughly 50/50 chance that you will also have a SUD.

There is also a 50/50 chance that people with SUDs will have a separate mental illness.

That figure includes people affected by all kinds of mental illness.

A smaller number of people with dual diagnoses, roughly 3.6 million, suffer from serious or severe mental illness symptoms.

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Substance-Induced Disorders

Sometimes, substance use itself directly leads to significant mental health problems. When that occurs, you do not actually have a separate mental illness. Instead, you have a substance-induced mental disorder.

All major addictive substances can trigger this type of disorder. Specific problems you may experience include:

  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Serious anxiety
  • Extreme disorientation, also known as delirium

When diagnosing you, your doctor will look for these kinds of issues. If they are directly caused by your substance use, you do not have dual diagnosis. However, it is possible to be affected by dual diagnosis and substance-induced problems at the same time.

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Typical Rehab Vs. a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

If you have dual diagnosis, you cannot recover your health just by treating your substance problems. Instead, you must get help for your mental illness, as well. Why? Untreated mental illness creates a major roadblock for your ability to quit drugs or alcohol. The connection also works the other way. An untreated SUD creates a serious drain on your odds of recovering from mental illness.

Since the two issues affect each other, they must be treated together. This is the big difference between a typical rehab and a dual diagnosis treatment program. Standard substance rehab just helps you recover from an SUD. In contrast, treatment for dual diagnosis also helps you cope with additional mental health problems.

Not all addiction specialists offer dual diagnosis treatment. This means that you must take the time to find a program that meets your specific needs. You may find help in a facility that also offers standard substance rehab. However, some dual diagnosis treatment centers operate independently.

What Are Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs? - Pathfinders Recovery - A woman is sitting across from her addiction therapist to discuss dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Features of a Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program

Assessment of Your Condition and Situation

What happens in a dual diagnosis treatment program? When you first enter this kind of program, you should receive a thorough assessment of your condition. This assessment helps your treatment team uncover a range of crucial details. That includes such things as:

  • The exact nature of your substance problems
  • The type or types of mental illness affecting you
  • Whether or not you actually have a dual diagnosis
  • How badly you’re affected by your SUD and mental illness symptoms
  • What kind of care you’ll need to make your recovery
  • How much care you’ll need
  • The strength of your personal support network
  • Any important details of your personal background
  • Potential problems that could make your recovery process harder

Substance Detox

If you’re being treated for a dual diagnosis, you must stop your drug use and/or drinking. For this reason, dual diagnosis treatment programs place a heavy emphasis on detox or detoxification. That’s the name for a supervised process where you halt your substance use and go through withdrawal.

People who only have a SUD can sometimes go through detox on an outpatient basis. However, as a rule, you need inpatient detox if you have a dual diagnosis. That’s the only way to protect you from any unforeseen problems while withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.

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Active Substance and Mental Illness Treatment

Inpatient care is also often necessary for dual diagnosis patients once they finish detox. Why? You may need this kind of 24/7, live-in program to protect your health and well-being during treatment. However, some people may be eligible for outpatient treatment, instead.

Integrated intervention is recognized as the most effective option for dual diagnosis care. What does this term mean? From the very beginning, your dual diagnosis treatment program will address both your SUD and your mental illness. That way, you will never have to worry about continuing to suffer from untreated symptoms.

To treat your SUD, your program may rely on medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. The specific approach depends largely on the substance that triggered your problems. One type of psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy or DBT, is becoming increasingly common in dual diagnosis treatment. Evidence shows that this therapy makes it easier for people with mental illness to stop their substance use.

You may also receive medication specifically targeted at your mental illness symptoms. There are many different options available. Your dual diagnosis treatment program will ensure that the medication you receive meets your unique needs.

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Find Out More About Dual Diagnosis Treatment Programs

On its own, a SUD is enough to throw your everyday life far off track.

The situation is even direr if you also suffer from additional mental illness.

That’s why dual diagnosis receives special attention from addiction specialists.

It is also you need this kind of expert care if you are affected.

Without it, you have little chance of recovering from your combined substance and mental health problems.

The good news is that effective help is now available.

At a dual diagnosis treatment center, you receive focused care that addresses all aspects of your health.

This care can make all the difference between a successful recovery and months or years of fruitless struggle.

Need more information on dual diagnosis treatment programs?

Contact the specialists at Pathfinders today.

Our knowledgeable staff will answer any question you may have about these modern facilities.

We also feature first-class dual diagnosis care that meets the highest standards.

No matter how badly you are affected, we have the expertise needed to help restore your total well-being.

Ah – St. Patrick’s Day — How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery?

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Celebrate Differently

When I entered recovery at Pathfinders, my idea of celebration, especially for St. Patrick’s Day, changed drastically.

Each holiday that comes up on the calendar seemed like an occasion to relapse, especially for well-known drinking holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day.

When I was newly sober I looked at each holiday as a battle.

I had to prepare myself accordingly and put in extra effort to keep myself in check.

The alcohol treatment program at Pathfinders gave me a lot of tools, yet I still felt anxiety.

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A green background with a wet four leaf clover lying on it to symbolize the celebration of St. Patrick's Day.

Thanksgiving and Christmas were especially tough for me during my first year. Even with my family going out of their way to not trigger me, I was still terrified of relapsing.

When I got through those particular holidays unscathed, I thought I could breathe a sigh of relief.

Then I remembered St. Patrick’s Day.

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I feel like St. Patrick’s Day is probably the one holiday all of us in recovery have to be careful of. Preventing a relapse on St. Patrick’s Day is almost like winning the lottery. When you see many people wandering through the streets intoxicated, it can be a massive trigger. I remember when the months switched from February to March, I became increasingly nervous.

All I could think about was my behavior the year before. I made a complete jerk out of myself, and it was one of the driving factors toward me getting sober a few months later. I did what everyone else does that day. I went from bar to bar consuming green beer in between shots of whiskey.

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One thing I should mention is that I tended to be a mean drunk. I was one of those guys that you had to walk on eggshells around. I could be a lot of fun to drink with, but it didn’t take much for me to turn. I remember waking up the next day to text messages from two separate friends who were offended by my behavior.

I had made inappropriate comments about their significant others and had no memory of it. I thought they were being unreasonable. It wasn’t until months later that I started to take what people were telling me seriously. They all came up with the same conclusion. “Dude, you’re a horrible drunk.”

 

Ah - St. Patrick's Day -- How Can You Still Enjoy the Festivities While in Recovery Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals in recovery meets with an addiction therapist and their support group to offer advice to one another on how to celebrate St. Patrick's Day without risking their sobriety.

Talk it Out

So that next St. Patrick’s Day was scary for me. I stressed so much about what I was capable of doing. All I could think about was what could end up happening. Should I just lock myself in my house that day and not even go out? Should I check myself in somewhere? It was freaking me out. It got so bad that I considered relapsing weeks before St. Patrick’s Day just so I could get it out of the way and start all over.

I forgot all about the wonderful people around me who were there to help. One of the big things about recovery is talking things out. You have to talk about your feelings and let your temptations be known. Getting sober is in a lot of ways very much a group effort. Sometimes you are the one picking others up out of their despair, and sometimes you are the one that needs to be picked up.

The program at Pathfinders taught me that meetings are invaluable. The folks at Pathfinders have always been there to give me a hand. Sometimes I fail to recognize this. Even when you have a great team around you, you can still be pulled back into your previous thinking.

This year, I’ve tried hard to remind myself of what I have around me. I think about the people I would be letting down if I slip back into my old ways. I think about being a beacon for others. I don’t want to be a reason someone else has a relapse. I want to be the person you call. I try very hard to be positive for others, but I also understand I am fighting my own battle. You can be there for others, but you must always be there for yourself first.

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Finding the Right People

Pathfinders have done a wonderful job of setting me up with the right outlets. There are a lot of St. Patrick’s Day events that are specifically targeted at people in recovery, and they are not hard to find. First of all, the hotlines are your friend. A lot of sober hotlines now are 24/7, so you can reach out to someone whenever you feel the need. Not only do these hotlines provide a way for you to talk out your feelings, but they also provide you with resources and sober events local to you. These events are a great way to get out and socialize with like-minded people.

The more people I meet in recovery, the less alone I feel in the process. It almost always helps me to meet a new person going through this process. It reinforces to me that I’m a part of something bigger than myself. I plan on attending a couple of different sober parties on St. Patrick’s Day, and I have the same amount of enthusiasm for them as I used to have for the bars. I understand now that the sober version of me is so much more likable and approachable than the drunk version of me. It makes me feel a tremendous amount of confidence to be the best version of myself when I meet people. I also know that when I go to these sober events, I am meeting the new and improved versions of a lot of my peers.

It’s never a bad idea to be of service to other people. If you are comfortable being a designated driver for your friends who do drink, it can be a great help. Not only are you doing them a solid favor, but you are also preventing someone from getting behind the wheel drunk. You could be drastically altering the course of a lot of people’s evenings. I usually offer to be the DD whenever I know my friends may need it.

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Sometimes I don’t feel like doing it, but I always feel better about myself after the fact.

Whatever you decide to do on this holiday, keep in mind that being a help to others is an invaluable practice.

Being considerate goes a long way on the road to recovery.

What are Some Common Signs of a Drug Addict?

The Signs of a Drug Addict

Information regarding the signs of a drug addict is critical due to its prevalence in America.

Addiction to drugs is an epidemic that kills thousands of people every year.

Drug addiction transforms and hurts people’s lives.

If you think someone you know is susceptible to drug use or addiction, you should learn more about the signs, symptoms, and treatments for drug addiction.

Though addiction to drugs is hurtful and demanding to maintain, recovery is not an easy path either.

Drug addiction changes the brain’s pathways, causing a dependency in the body and compulsive use of the substance.

Even when addiction is hurting them and those they love, someone struggling with an addiction to drugs feels like they have no choice but to continue to use.

Learning and memorizing the signs of an addict or the signs of an addictive personality is essential for prevention and recovery.

Having this knowledge allows you to keep an eye out for those you love who may be vulnerable to drug addiction.

MedlinePlus lists the following as signs of a drug addict:

  • Changes in appetite
  • Loss of interest in favorite things
  • Spending a lot of time alone
  • Not practicing self-care
  • Quick changes in mood
  • Being very tired and sad
  • Changing friends more than usual
  • Having a lot of energy, chattering
  • Having issues in work or school
  • Having issues with family or friends

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Understanding the Signs of a Drug Addict

Knowledge of the signs of an addict is constructive, but it is crucial to know the next steps and how addiction occurs if you believe someone you love may suffer from addiction.

Drug addiction can develop quickly over a short period or slowly and invisibly. When a person begins using drugs, the effects on the body are intense and euphoric. Over time, if a person continues usage, the body needs more and more of the substance to produce a high.

Addiction forms when the body is dependent on the substance and usage is no longer voluntary. Drug use turns compulsive, and addicts feel as if they need the substance to survive. If that person discontinues the use of the drug, the body experiences intense withdrawal symptoms.

Certain people are more susceptible to drug addictions.

This information helps prevent drug use and addiction because concerned family members can implement positive drug-avoidance strategies.

MedlinePlus lists the following as risks for drug addiction:

  • Individual biology: some people are only less likely to enjoy drug use. If someone tries drugs once and hates them, they are much less likely to form an addiction. Addiction is more common in people who enjoy drug use.
  • Mental health issues.
  • Trouble at home: children, adults, and teens who have a difficult home life are more likely to develop a drug addiction.
  • Trouble with school, work or making friends.
  • Spending time with people who use drugs.
  • Starting drug use at a young age.

If you noticed these symptoms in a friend or a family member, speak to someone responsible and knowledgeable about these concerns.

Preventative measures or early interventions help stop addiction from forming.

After addiction forms, it is incredibly challenging to recover from.

If you believe you may help someone prevent addiction, acting sooner rather than later could save a life.

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Effects and Abuse of Drugs

Though it is best to prevent addiction early on, this is not always a possibility. Sometimes, the forming of habit is not an easy thing to see. By the time family members or friends spot the signs of an addict, addiction is already present.

Addiction causes both short and long-term effects on the body and mind. Familiarizing yourself with these effects allows you to help secure treatment for the person you think may struggle with addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) lists the long and short-term risks of drug addiction as follows:

Short-term risks:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Overdose
  • Changes in sleep patterns, mood, heart rate, and appetite

Long-term increased risks:

  • Heart or lung disease
  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis
  • Mental illness

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Mental Illness and Drug Abuse

Drug abuse and mental illness commonly occur together in the same patient. Drug addiction often leads to mental illness and vice-versa. They are sometimes direct causes of one another, or they can develop together. They may occur together because they affect the same parts of the brain, according to the NIDA. It is also possible for people to turn to drugs because their mental disorder has made them feel upset, anxious, or distracted. Because of these factors, mental illnesses are sometimes signs of an addictive personality.

If mental illness and drug addiction occur together, patients must receive treatment for both issues. The presence of mental illness makes a recovery from drug addiction more difficult if not adequately addressed and treated. It is possible to overcome both mental health issues and drug addiction through treatment.

Common mental health issues to watch out for include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Bipolar disorder

What are Some Common Signs of a Drug Addict? Pathfinders Recovery Center - A young man is sitting with an addiction specialist for an initial consultation to determine if he has the signs of a drug addict and if he requires treatment.

Treatment for the Signs of a Drug Addict

People who display the signs of an addict receive treatment from the expert staff at hospitals or rehabilitation centers. Treating drug addictions is in no way simple; relapse is common, and the body’s compulsive need for the drug makes maintenance of recovery extremely challenging. Though relapse often occurs and makes recovery much more challenging, it does not mean that treatment has not helped and recovery is impossible.

In fact, recovery is still possible even after multiple relapses.

According to the NIDA, there are three main goals of addiction treatment:

  1. Stopping drug use
  2. Maintaining a drug-free life
  3. Becoming or continuing to be a productive member of society.

Treatment is adjusted to fit what works best for each patient, so it involves trial and error.

Common treatments for the signs of a drug addict include medication, participation in support groups, counseling to diagnose mental health issues, and therapy.

In therapy, patients focus on understanding the reasons they became addicted to drugs in the first place. Therapy also teaches patients how to remain drug-free and avoid relapse. Support groups provide patients with an essential sense of camaraderie. Being surrounded by understanding people who have experienced similar things has excellent healing potential.

Recovery can last a lifetime, so long-term care is sometimes needed to prevent relapse.

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Payment for Treatment

We know that it is not easy to afford treatment.

Because drug addiction rehabilitation can be expensive, we provide free insurance verification for every client. Our insurance verification allows you to find out immediately whether your insurance company covers rehab so that you can figure out financing.

Though it is demanding, recovery is possible with the right resources and support networks. Our dedication is to our patients and their recovery.

Though we cannot guarantee that every patient will recover, our focus always rests on providing the patients with knowledge, care, and compassion to ensure the best recovery chance.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you think you or someone you love displays signs of a drug addict or signs of an addictive personality.

We are here to help.

The Amazing Benefits of Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are on the rise in America.

According to the ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), 40 million people struggle with an anxiety disorder, and 16.1 million experience major depressive disorder every year.

They’re also common in dual diagnosis.

These are scary numbers.

Anyone with the misfortune of having one of these conditions knows how debilitating they can be.

The negative physical, social and emotional impacts of substance abuse and mental health disorders can be severe and long-lasting.

Thankfully, both can be treated effectively.

However, traditional approaches, like medication and psychotherapy, are far from foolproof.

For instance, medication (if it works in the first place) can lead to all manner of side effects. And therapy can last a long time, costing a lot of money in the process.

As a result, alternative approaches are in high demand.

One such alternative treatment that’s becoming increasingly popular is yoga.

13 million people practice yoga in the U.S. every year, and 58% of them practice it to support their health and well-being.

Keep reading to discover the many amazing benefits of yoga for depression and anxiety.

What Actually Is Yoga?

Some describe yoga as a literal union between yourself and your unconscious. But in practice, it’s a form of physical exercise that combines stretching, breathing, and different body poses.

There are different types of yoga, too.

There’s Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, and Bikram – among others.

While there are similarities between them all, each offers slight variations in intensity, approach, focus, and speed.

For thousands of years, yoga has been used to enhance spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.

However, only recently has research looked into its specific effects on depression and anxiety.

Of all the different forms, Hatha yoga has been studied the most in relation to its impact on these mental illnesses.

Hatha yoga helps you enter deep states of relaxation by focusing on slow, gentle movements and breathing exercises.

It’s ideal for beginners and could be an excellent place to start if you’re new to the practice.

The Amazing Benefits of Yoga for Depression and Anxiety Pathfinders - A group of individuals in recovery are taking part in a yoga class as yoga for depression and anxiety has been found to be beneficial in terms of healthy coping mechanisms to avoid relapse.

The Benefits of Yoga for Depression and Anxiety

Scientific studies have begun to prove the benefits of yoga for depression and anxiety.

Below are some of the ways it’s been shown to help:

Yoga Equals Exercise

Yoga can be a tough physical exercise, especially when you first start.

You’ll be twisting, contorting, using small muscle groups, and generally building strength in many different areas of your body.

Potential pain and discomfort aside, research has shown how this can help the way you feel. For instance, a study by Duke University in 2000 showed an inverse relationship between exercise and depression.

The more we exercise, the less depressed we feel.

Exercise was shown to be as effective as medication at reducing symptoms of depression. Participants who exercised throughout the study experienced a greater reduction in symptoms compared to people who took medication.

Building exercise (such as yoga) into your routine is beneficial to naturally improve periods of depression and anxiety.

Yoga Equals Meditation

Mindful meditation is a practice of non-judgmental awareness in the present moment.

It’s also a recognized clinical treatment for anxiety and depression.

Yoga involves deep, controlled breathing and a focus on the present moment.

Together, these act to produce a mindful state.

How does it help? Well, things often feel overwhelming when you’re anxious and depressed. Your thoughts and emotions may feel out of control, or you may feel nothing at all. Yoga helps by giving you something to focus on.

Whether it’s a mantra, your breathing, or body posture, it grounds you in the present moment and pulls your thoughts back under control. It also makes you more self-aware in the process.

Yoga enables you to see and experience the way you feel.

Over time, you become more self-aware in general, even outside of your yoga practice. Being self-aware like this helps you spot potential problems and find ways to prevent relapse from occurring.

Yoga Impacts Your Brain

Yoga impacts brain chemistry too.

We’ve seen how exercise is great for depression and anxiety.

It works because it’s a natural way of producing chemicals called serotonin and endorphins in our brain. Low serotonin levels play a big role in depression and anxiety.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are common medication types that help raise the amounts of serotonin in our system. This decreases the symptoms of anxiety and depression as a result.

Yoga helps to modulate the levels of these chemicals in precisely the same way.

Yoga Lowers Stress Levels

Stress is a big component of depression and anxiety.

It’s hard to feel positive emotions when you’re stressed.

Thankfully, yoga helps to reduce stress levels, as well.

One way it does so is by increasing the production of Galanin, which is a neurochemical that reduces the brain/body response to stress.

Interestingly, studies also suggest a link between yoga, stress, and pain. Essentially, the more susceptible you are to stress, the less tolerant you are of pain.

This Harvard article discusses research where yoga teachers had the highest tolerance to pain and the lowest activity in areas of the brain that respond to stress.

If yoga develops our tolerance to stress and pain, then it may also build resilience against depression and anxiety.

Yoga and Physiology

The emotional aspect of depression and anxiety is often linked with a physiological reaction, too.

For instance, anxiety tends to involve an increased heart rate and sweaty palms. Yoga helps decrease this physiological arousal. Your heart rate goes down, your blood pressure lowers, and your breathing slows.

It is also said to increase our heart rate variability (HRV).

HRV is the time difference between our heartbeats. It’s thought that a higher HRV makes it easier to self-monitor and adapt to stressful situations. The higher your HRV, the more emotionally resilient you’re meant to be.

Yoga and Sleep

Some types of yoga positions, such as the ‘corpse pose’, are also known to help with sleep issues.

Sleep problems are often linked with various mental health disorders, including depression and anxiety.

It’s a vicious circle.

The more tired you are, the more susceptible you are to depression and anxiety. And the more depressed and/or anxious you are, the harder it is to sleep.

Yoga and Community

A final benefit of yoga for depression and anxiety is the community aspect that can come with it.

This is an indirect bonus of yoga, but important nonetheless. After all, these mental health disorders can make you feel exceptionally lonely.

Though yoga can be done alone, group yoga is also popular and provides social interaction that’s beneficial in improving one’s mental well-being.

Yoga helps foster a sense of belonging by coming together as a group, doing the same thing, struggling over the same poses, and bonding via a shared attempt to become physically and mentally healthier.

The Amazing Benefits of Yoga for Depression and Anxiety Pathfinders - A group of individuals in recovery are practicing yoga for depression and anxiety, as well as meditation techniques from a professional yoga instructor to help with implementing healthy coping mechanisms, avoid relapse, and build a support system with the individuals in the yoga class.

The Best Yoga Poses for Anxiety and Depression

The below yoga poses are some of the poses that are meant to alleviate anxiety and depression:

The Corpse

We already know that this one helps with sleep. It also lowers your blood pressure, gets rid of headaches, and reduces fatigue.

Simply lay on your back, play dead, and breathe deeply.

Child’s Pose

Here’s another nice and easy one that has many of the same effects.

Get into the same position on your hands and knees, like a child about to start crawling. Next, sit on your heels and drop your stomach between your knees, with your hands extending far out in front of you.

Legs Up the Wall

Lay on your back, place your bum against the wall, and extend your legs upwards.

Lie there with your palms up and on the floor, to your side, for 30 seconds or so.

It’s surprisingly relaxing and helps calm your breathing and lower your blood pressure.

Important Considerations for Yoga, Depression, and Anxiety

As we’ve seen, yoga can have fantastic benefits for depression and anxiety.

However, there are certain things to consider.

For instance, it might be less suited for people with lower levels of flexibility.

It is likely to be more challenging as a beginner, and the poses can sometimes be uncomfortable initially. There’s also a risk of injury, too.

Equally, taking classes can get expensive. It might be harder for people with less expendable income to engage with.

Check with your local group or health center to see how much classes would cost.

Finally, people receiving support for depression and/or anxiety shouldn’t just drop their medication or therapeutic support.

Yoga is only recommended as a complementary approach to current treatments.

Always consult with a medical professional before changing your treatment program.

Time to Wrap Up

Anxiety and depression are debilitating mental illnesses.

Thankfully, they can be effectively treated.

Yoga treatment is one particular alternative treatment that can have significant positive effects on the way you feel.

As we’ve seen, there are many benefits of yoga for depression and anxiety.

The exercises help stimulate chemicals that improve our moods.

Its meditative nature focuses us in the present moment, enhances our self-awareness, reduces physical arousal, and helps us sleep.

It supports our response to stress and provides a sense of community that allows us to interact with others.

We hope you experience the immense benefits that yoga can bring if you decide to give it a go.

For more information on alternative treatment options, contact one of our addiction specialists today.

 

The Behavior and Common Patterns of an Addict

The Behavior and Common Patterns of an Addict Pathfinders Recovery Center - A young addict is laying in a street corner as he begins to experience withdrawal symptoms from his substance abuse.

What is an Addict?

While you may have heard about rising addiction rates, you might not fully understand what an addict actually is.

An addict is someone who has an addiction to a drug or to alcohol.

These addictions can form in various ways — from prescription drug misuse or recreational substance use.

No matter what led to a person becoming an addict, there are many different ways addiction can affect their lives and the people around them.

These effects have serious long-term negative physical and mental effects.

This is what makes having access to quality addiction treatment centers so important.

The Behavior and Common Patterns of an Addict Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of those in recovery for being an addict and residing in residential treatment to learn healthy coping mechanisms to avoid substance abuse.

Understanding Addiction

Addiction is a serious, chronic disease because of the way substance abuse changes the brain. An addict’s brain makes them constantly crave, seek, and use substances, even when it is negatively affecting their health.

This is because alcohol and most drugs change the way that your brain releases the chemicals that make you feel happy and relaxed. Your brain learns to rely on a substance to release these chemicals, which makes it difficult for you to feel good from things you used to enjoy doing. Over time, you will need more of the substance to feel the effects.

This is what makes overdose such a major concern for addicts.

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Common Patterns within Addicts

No matter what substance an addict uses, they tend to have similar patterns in their behaviors. These behaviors can act as red flags to addicts and their friends and family members.

There are various signs you can look for to try and figure out if you or someone you know is an addict.

These signs include:

  • Having new friends frequently
  • Spending a lot of time alone
  • Stopping activities or hobbies you used to enjoy
  • Not taking care of your physical appearance
  • Having problems being tired or sad all of the time
  • Losing or gaining a significant amount of weight
  • Having too much energy
  • Talking fast or saying things that do not make sense
  • Often being angry, or having violent outbursts
  • Frequently changing between feeling bad and feeling good
  • Having a strange or unreliable sleep schedule
  • Having problems fulfilling your obligations at work or at school
  • Frequent strife within your personal relationships

Just one of these signs may not mean that someone is an addict. If you or someone you know is showing two or more of them, there is a chance an addiction is to blame.

Once you realize that you or someone you know is an addict, it is essential to start seeking out a drug rehab or alcohol rehab program.

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The Physical Effects of an Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction can have many negative effects on an addict’s body. This is because our systems are not meant to process large amounts of drugs and alcohol on a regular basis.

This can lead to issues with many of an addict’s body processes and organs. The effects an addict experiences can vary depending on what they are abusing, how often they are using it, and how much they are taking.

Some common negative effects include:

  • Problems with the nose and lungs for people who snort drugs
  • Damage to the liver, kidneys, or heart
  • Damage to the lungs, which leads to breathing problems
  • A higher chance of cancer, including liver, throat, esophageal, breast, and kidney cancers
  • Short- or long-term problems with your brain
  • A higher chance of being infected with HIV or hepatitis from sharing needles or having unsafe sex
  • Needle marks, collapsed veins, and an increased chance of getting a serious skin, muscle, or blood infection from frequent injection or from using a dirty needle for those who inject drugs

While some effects of addiction are short-term and can be successfully treated by a doctor, others cannot. That is why it is critical for an addict to find help from a reputable rehab like Pathfinders Recovery Center.

 

The Behavior and Common Patterns of an Addict Pathfinders Recovery Center - An older man talks with an addiction specialist regarding his past as an addict and the need for addiction aftercare services.

Mental Illness and Alcohol Rehab

An addict’s substance abuse does not just pose a risk to their physical health. It can also have many different negative effects on their brain and mental health. These effects can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Problems dealing with stress
  • Angry or violent outbursts
  • A harder time learning new things
  • Short and long term memory loss
  • Poor judgment
  • Poor decision-making skills

These negative effects happen because of how drug abuse changes the way that your brain works. These effects can last for weeks or even months after an addict stops abusing drugs or alcohol.

For addicts who had an existing mental health issue before they became an addict, substance abuse can make their symptoms worse. Addicts often deal with serious depression and anxiety due to substance-related chemicals that imbalance their brains.

The only way these people feel better is by using drugs or alcohol. Once the effects wear off, they only feel worse. This leads addicts with mental health problems to use more and more drugs in order to try and treat their symptoms.

Going to rehab is the only way for addicts to finally get help for both their addiction and their mental health problems, known as a dual diagnosis treatment.

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Drug and Alcohol Rehab Treatment Options

There are many individuals struggling with addiction that tend to worry their addiction is too severe to be treated by a drug rehab or alcohol rehab program.

However, no matter how severe your addiction is, it is possible to get help and successfully overcome addiction.

Drug rehab treatment helps addicts get clean by avoiding the use of drugs and learning healthy ways to cope with stress and other triggers to avoid relapsing, and even potential overdoses.

There are many different drug rehab and alcohol rehab treatments available.

Some common rehab center treatments include:

  • Medical detox to assist in easing withdrawal symptoms
  • Behavioral therapies
  • Medications to lessen cravings or long-term withdrawal symptoms
  • Treatment for mental health issues
  • Tools and resources for long-term care to prevent relapse

For an addiction rehab program to be successful, it must be customized to suit the individual needs of every client. This is something that Pathfinders Recovery Center takes very seriously.

Each and every client that comes to us for help to overcome addiction gets the individualized attention they need by receiving a customized treatment plan based on a multitude of factors.

 

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Getting the Help You Need for Your Addiction

When someone is dealing with an addiction, it can be challenging for them to see how their addiction is affecting their health. It may also be hard for them to see that they can get help to lead a normal, sober life.

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

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

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

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

Many of our clients wonder whether or not they will be able to take advantage of their health insurance benefits to assist in covering their treatment. Simply give us a call, and one of our addiction specialists can perform a free insurance verification check to see how much of your treatment program will be covered by your insurance before you actually enter treatment.

No matter what addiction you may be struggling with, you do not have to keep dealing with the negative effects of this alone.

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

Contact us today, and see the difference our rehab programs can make in getting your life back on track.

Expectations Can Be Dangerous in Recovery

We all enjoy rewarding ourselves from time to time, but it’s important to remember that expectations can be dangerous when entering recovery.

When I was newly sober, the thought of rewarding myself seemed pretty risky.

I can even admit that I had moments where I thought of rewarding myself with a drink.

The disease of addiction is always there, and it rears its ugly head from time to time. This is why it is vital to understand that expectations can be dangerous if not set properly.

If you aren’t careful, you can find yourself slipping up pretty easily.

So how do you celebrate your recovery safely?

Is there a way to let your hair down and have a good time without it ending up in relapse?

Why Can Expectations Be Dangerous? - Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals in a residential rehab facility is engaging in a group therapy session and discussing why expectations can be dangerous when it comes to recovery.

When I was newly sober after my program at Pathfinders Recovery Center, I found myself getting overly enthusiastic about each milestone I reached.

I would plan out everything in my head.

I remember I planned a big party on my one-year anniversary.

I had everything all mapped out in my mind and played the party out over and over in my head.

I made a big mistake by doing this. Having too many expectations. I didn’t realize this until after the party. It didn’t go exactly as I had planned.

It wasn’t as big as I thought it would be, and there were some people who I really wanted to be there who did not show up.

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I remember feeling bummed out. It didn’t go the way I wanted it to. My expectations were not met. I remember thinking “What’s the point?” I came very close to relapsing. It wasn’t until I went to a meeting the next day that I realized I had set myself up for disaster. I was not living in the moment. It was something I heard over and over again at Pathfinders.

Staying in the moment is a very important element to remaining clean. The staff that helped me stay sane at Pathfinders said to take it one day at a time, and as true as that is, for some of us, it’s one moment at a time. Things don’t go exactly the way you want them to. This is true for almost any situation in life.

Addiction Recovery Gifts

There are a lot of different ways you can remind yourself of your progress. Getting yourself a gift is a fun and rewarding way to do so. It’s important to recognize your process and keep it front and center in your mind. I got myself a journal the day after I left Pathfinders. The program there had taught me to channel my feelings in writing. I would track my thoughts and feelings from one day to the next.

I still go back and look through these entries once in a while to keep myself on track. It’s a constant reminder of the ebbs and flows. Some days are great, and I truly believe that I will never use them again. Then there are those days when I am less sure of that. Keeping a journal has helped me realize that not every day will be flawless, but I do have the ability to get through each one.

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The great thing about keeping a journal is you can be brutally honest with yourself. We all have thought and feelings we sometimes don’t feel like sharing with others. A journal allows you to let those thoughts and feelings out. I used to feel embarrassed looking through some of my older journal entries.

We have the ability to embarrass ourselves in a way that others can’t. It’s ok — The one thing you need to keep in mind is you are living out your process. There are going to be times when the truth is uncomfortable, but it’s always better to be truthful with yourself and own those feelings.

The recovery gifts that you get yourself can also be great gifts for others. Since I enjoy journaling so much, that is my go-to gift for my other friends in recovery.

If I’ve already gotten one of my friends a journal, my next go-to is books. Books have a remarkable way of expanding our minds and changing us. It doesn’t always have to be a book on sobriety either. I usually try and figure out which types of books my peers enjoy, and gift them accordingly. By the way, starting a book club is a wonderful activity for you and your sober friends. This is a great way to realize that expectations can be dangerous while in recovery.

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Vacation

When I was about a year into sobriety, I planned a two-week trip to the Bahamas for several friends and me. Sure we all had a little bit of apprehension, specifically the ones of us who never traveled much. This helps with managing why expectations can be dangerous in recovery.

Luckily for us, the program at Pathfinders offered us a remarkable number of resources in terms of planning a vacation. They gave me the tools I needed to feel confident about planning a sober trip.

Why Can Expectations Be Dangerous? - Pathfinders Recovery Center - An addiction counselor is meeting with two individuals in recovery to help them plan a sober vacation to reward themselves for understanding that expectations can be dangerous in recovery, and it's important to take it one day at a time.

One of the stressful things about traveling is making plans. You don’t want to get somewhere and not know what to do. We had a lot of help. We planned out or day, but also kept it somewhat flexible. If we wanted to go out with a guide and sightsee, that option was available. If we wanted to hit up the spa or relax by the pool, we could do that whenever we wanted. We were set up in a place where alcohol wasn’t out in the open.

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So yes, it is possible to avoid temptation and have an enjoyable trip.

Much like anything you do in recovery, accountability should always be at the top of your list.

We all made it a point to check in on each other.

We had our meetings.

We talked about where we were at mentally.

Having recovery meetings on vacation didn’t sound like the most fun idea to me, but they were very necessary.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to have your meeting next to a pool and hot tub. Just remember, expectations can be dangerous in recovery, so be sure to set realistic goals with the dedicated staff available.

What Are Psychological Addictions?

What Are Psychological Addictions? Pathfinders Recovery Center - A young man is meeting with an addiction counselor to go over what psychological addictions are.

About Psychological Addictions

When people think of addictions, what usually comes to mind are addictive substances that predominantly affect the human body.

While most habits primarily affect the body, psychological addictions occur in the brain.

Psychological dependence involves becoming mentally fixated upon a substance or activity.

Such addictions can overrule your life and cause you to behave in a way that is not recognized by your loved ones.

It causes strong feelings or compulsions in the mind, making the addict feel as if they cannot go without the substance when, in reality, their body does not need it.

Dependency affects thought processes, making it difficult for people who are addicted to thinking about anything else.

Psychological addictions are sometimes more challenging to diagnose and address than physical addictions because they are not obvious.

While physical addictions cause outwardly visible symptoms of withdrawal, psychological addictions happen almost entirely within the mind.

There is less research and knowledge of psychological addictions because they are not as obvious.

What Are Psychological Addictions? Pathfinders Recovery Center - A group of individuals is attending a group therapy session led by an addiction specialist to go over what psychological addictions are.

Understanding Psychological Addictions

While the term “psychological addiction” is common, psychological dependencies are not strictly addictions. The traditional definition of the word “addiction” involves substance abuse that affects the body. However, the term has widened to include other compulsive behaviors such as gambling and non-physically addictive substances.

There is debate over some forms of psychological addictions, such as those caused by drugs not traditionally seen as addictive. Some scientists perceive marijuana addiction as psychological, while others argue it is a physical addiction.

Most users reporting addiction to marijuana, according to Indiana University, report a psychological dependency. Another drug that can cause psychological dependence is LSD, commonly referred to as “acid.” Though different from physical addictions caused by other substances like opioids and alcohol, psychological habits are still harmful.

Behavioral addictions are another type of psychological dependency. Addictions are often known as only involving substances, but they can and do affect various behaviors.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), many behavioral scientists believe that anything capable of stimulating someone also has addictive capabilities.

Addiction develops when a former habit becomes a compulsion. Activities susceptible to forming behavioral addictions include surfing the internet, gambling, playing video games, and watching videos or television. Psychological addictions occur behaviorally as well as with substance abuse.

It is crucial to remember that while psychological and physical addictions are two different things, changed mental processes occur both. The psychology of addictions is complex and still being studied.

Both physical and psychological dependence affect some brain processes, making addicts feel they cannot go without the drug. In physical addictions, the body experiences symptoms as well as the mind.

Physical and psychological addiction can occur together. When physical addiction occurs, it is very likely for the patient to have formed some mental dependency. Even if you no longer enjoy the substance, both your brain and body compulsively desire it.

While mental addiction sometimes occurs without physical addiction, it is less common for someone to be physically but not mentally addicted. When physical and psychological addiction occurs together, recovery becomes even more challenging to achieve.

Patients should receive treatment from both doctors and therapists in this case. Combining therapy, support groups, and medication is a common and effective treatment method for combined psychological and physical addictions.

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Effects and Abuse of Psychologically Addictive Substances

Continual use of psychologically addictive substances is harmful to the life of the addict. The body does not experience changes physically, but changes in behavior make life difficult. Physical symptoms in the body do not occur during a psychological dependency, but behavioral symptoms do. They include:

  • Compulsively feeling as though the person needs the drug or activity
  • Lack of interest in activities the person formerly enjoyed
  • Changed behavior toward work, school, family, or friends
  • Changes in mood

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Mental Illness and Psychological Addictions

If a mental illness is present in a person, addictions are much more likely to form. The term ‘dual diagnosis’ by MedlinePlus plays a role in the causation of substance abuse and mental health issues.

Psychological addiction is sometimes categorized as a form of mental health issue as it deals with compulsions and a perceived need for the substance or activity. If mental illness and psychological addiction are present, treatment is necessary for both conditions.

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Treatment of Psychological Addictions

Treatment for psychological addiction is sometimes similar to the treatment of physical addiction. Counseling offered focuses on overcoming compulsions caused by mental dependency. Patients learn behavioral therapy and coping mechanisms such as CBT and how to deal with compulsions.

Psychologists often treat mental dependence by focusing on what caused the addiction in the first place. Sometimes, childhood trauma or repeated patterns can be a conversational aspect of the process. When patients can understand why they turned to the substance or behavior in the first place, recovery becomes much more attainable. This process allows patients to work on the deep-rooted issues causing their dependency.

Therapists and doctors at our recommended rehabilitation centers are knowledgeable, compassionate, and present with their patients. The psychology of addictions is a complicated and changing field still studied, but our staff is up-to-date and dedicated to helping you recover.

Though we wish we could guarantee recovery completely, this is never possible. Relapse is undoubtedly a common and prevalent issue, but it is imperative to know that it is sometimes part of the process. Relapse in a mental dependency does not mean you have failed. It merely means you need continued work on the mental issue.

What Are Psychological Addictions? Pathfinders Recovery Center - A young man is meeting with an addiction counselor to go over what psychological addictions are.

 

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Payment for Treatment

Treatment for psychological dependencies sometimes falls under insurance coverage, but this is not a guarantee.

We offer free insurance verification to help you find out quickly about payment for treatment.

We understand that figuring out how to pay for therapy or counseling is burdensome and difficult.

Both behavioral and substance addictions cost significant amounts of money to maintain.

Gambling and drugs are examples of incredibly addictive behaviors that create a financial burden.

Addictions often cause difficulty in paying for the rehabilitation or therapy that you desperately need.

Our greatest goal always remains to supply you with the assets you need for recovery.

Please do not fear to reach out to us to discuss insurance verification or payment for rehabilitation services.

Psychological addictions differ from physical addictions in that no physical symptoms occur.

Though the body is not affected by mental dependencies, they are still capable of causing emotional and behavioral difficulties.

Thousands of Americans suffer from psychological dependence on a substance or behavior.

It is important to remember that you are not alone, and that recovery from your addiction is possible.

Emotional distress caused by a mental dependency is real and has the capability of disrupting your life.

Recovery is a long and challenging journey.

We know that obstacles like relapse and financial difficulty cause recovery to feel distant and sometimes even impossible.

These are real risks associated with rehabilitation, but the only way of knowing whether recovery is possible is to try.

Your addiction does not have to continue.

You are capable of the work needed to achieve a peaceful and addiction-free life.

Contact us to learn more about psychological addiction and to begin your recovery today. We are here for you.

What Causes Addiction?

What Is Addiction?

Across the U.S., millions of people struggle with some form of substance addiction.

If you or your loved one are affected by drug or alcohol problems, having accurate information is vitally important. This includes information on the underlying causes of serious substance problems.

Experts define addiction as a type of brain disease.

Unlike some kinds of illnesses, this disease is chronic. That means that addicted people do not have short-term problems that disappear after a brief period of time.

Instead, they have long-term problems that must be dealt with over extended periods.

Here is a closer look at the underlying reasons for addiction’s chronic nature.

What Causes Addiction Pathfinders Recovery Center - A man pours himself another glass of liquor as he continues to struggle with his addiction issues.

Reasons for Drinking or Taking Drugs

Understanding how addiction happens helps to understand why the average person starts drinking or taking drugs.

The truth is, there is no one answer to this question.

On the contrary, adults and younger individuals may have multiple reasons for becoming substance users.

Things that may motivate you or someone you know to start abusing drugs or alcohol include:

  • Pressure from a friend, someone else you know, or society in general
  • An urge to feel better
  • A desire to avoid feeling bad
  • An interest in what it feels like to be drunk or high
  • A belief that substance use will improve your performance at work
  • A belief that your substance use will help you do better in class
  • The wish to enhance athletic performance

Some people start abusing drugs or alcohol because someone else makes them. However, this is usually not the case.

Instead, most people act of their own free will. Why would they do such a thing? It is most likely because they underestimate the possibility of getting addicted or experiencing other kinds of substance abuse problems.

Peer pressure is an especially significant influence on teenagers. This makes sense for several reasons.

First, adolescence is a time of newfound freedom for most teens. That includes the freedom to start making their own decisions.

At the same time, teenagers have not fully developed their ability to think in logical terms. They also have not developed full control over their impulses.

Together, these factors help make peer influence a potent source of social pressure for teens.

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How Does Addiction Develop?

When you drink or take drugs, you change the amounts of chemicals produced inside your brain.

One of the most important changes involves a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine plays a significant role in your health. One of its biggest jobs is making it possible for you to feel pleasure. The greater the amount of this chemical in your brain, the more pleasure you feel.

Your brain can cope with changes in its dopamine levels up to a certain point.

For example, that is what happens when you eat your favorite foods. Your brain produces a bit more dopamine, then returns to normal when levels of the chemical drop back down.

However, compared to everyday activities, drugs and alcohol trigger massive increases in your dopamine levels.

If you do not use a substance repeatedly, your brain has time to process these increases.

The situation changes if you keep drinking or taking drugs. If you do this, your brain will start to treat high dopamine levels as a normal situation.

This shift in your brain’s expectations is the gateway between voluntary and involuntary substance use.

When this shift happens, you can no longer drink or get high just because you want to. Instead, you will feel a pressing need to do so.

Part of this need is physical. However, if you are affected by alcohol or drug addiction, you also have a psychological need for substance use.

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Do Specific Ingredients Make Drugs and Alcohol Addictive?

How do drugs and alcohol boost your dopamine levels and trigger addiction?

Do specific ingredients or chemicals in these substances cause the problem?

No, there is no single chemical responsible for addiction-related issues.

On a chemical level, alcohol and drugs are very different and do not share all of their ingredients.

The most important thing is what drugs and alcohol do, not how they do it.

No matter how these substances reach your brain, they all have the same basic effect on dopamine output.

Every year, researchers learn more and more about the details of how addictive substances work.

The main point is that involvement in drug or alcohol abuse can lead to major, lasting problems.

Are You At-Risk for Substance Use Problems?

Research shows that not everyone has the same chance of becoming addicted.

A range of known factors can increase your risks. These factors include:

  • The presence of depression or other mental illnesses
  • An unstable environment at home
  • Starting to use drugs or alcohol when you are a child or adolescent
  • Having a family history of serious substance problems
  • Difficulties at work or in the classroom
  • Growing up in places heavily affected by poverty
  • Living in places where drug or alcohol use is widely accepted
  • A lack of parental oversight while growing up
  • Poor socialization skills
  • Being friends with people who accept substance use as the norm
  • The method you use to take a drug (i.e., injecting a drug rather than snorting it)

The single most significant factor is your family background. In fact, more than half of your risk can come from genetic influences.

It is important to note that having risks for substance problems does not mean you will get addicted. However, it does mean that your odds of experiencing problems are generally higher.

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Substance Use Problems and Mental Illness

Addiction and mental illness are closely linked to health issues.

Research clearly shows that large numbers of people with substance problems have a mental illness.

It also shows that the same connection works in reverse. In other words, if you have a mental illness, you have higher chances of developing a substance use disorder.

When they affect you at the same time, addiction and mental illness are known as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.

Dual diagnosis is a serious concern for a couple of reasons. The condition can intensify your drug or alcohol problems. Its presence can also heighten your mental health problems.

What Causes Addiction Pathfinders Recovery Center - A woman is engaging in an individual therapy session to determine any underlying mental health disorders that have contributed in one way or another to her addiction problems.

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Treating the Causes of Addiction

As we have seen, substance problems are a major issue in America.

Fortunately, you can get treatment for these problems.

Modern substance rehab is not based on guessing or wishful thinking. Instead, all quality addiction treatment relies on proven techniques backed by solid evidence.

For one reason or another, a large percentage of people with serious substance problems never seek professional help. This means they never take full advantage of the resources available to them.

Just by actively searching for a treatment program, you put yourself on the road to abstinence and a substance-free lifestyle.

Today, there are treatments for every form of addiction.

Whether you are struggling with alcohol or drugs, you have options that will help you recover.

You also have workable options for recovering from dual diagnosis.

Common treatments for these problems include a variety of medications. They also have numerous types of behavioral psychotherapy.

When you seek out treatment, your doctor will devise a plan suited to your specific needs.

Depending on your situation, your plan may include medication, psychotherapy, or both of these options.

Your circumstances will also determine whether you enroll in an outpatient or inpatient program. Both types of programs produce positive results for many people who enter them.

Need more information on the causes and treatment of alcohol and drug addiction? Just contact the professionals at Pathfinders.

Our in-house specialists will answer any questions you may have.

We will also direct you to substance treatment programs that fit your short- and long-term recovery requirements.

Addiction Aftercare

What is Addiction Aftercare?

Addiction aftercare is an important part of ensuring long-term sobriety.

Sobriety does not always begin and end in an addiction treatment program.

Long-term sobriety requires a long-term commitment.

This is where addiction aftercare comes in. When you complete an addiction treatment program, you may be anxious about what happens next.

When you choose Pathfinders’ luxury treatment center, we will help you find guidance and support long after your program is complete.

Choosing Pathfinders means choosing long-term sobriety and incredible peace of mind.

Addiction Aftercare Pathfinders - A group of individuals that has completed treatment is taking part in a group therapy session at a reputable rehab center for addiction aftercare to ensure they stay on the path of sobriety

Addiction Treatment and Addiction Aftercare

There are many options available to you when it comes to addiction treatment programs and addiction aftercare programs, .

Whether you have completed a residential inpatient program, outpatient program, or a supplemental treatment that landed somewhere in between, you may not feel ready yet to face your sobriety alone.

During your addiction treatment, you learned how to build healthy support systems, habits, and coping mechanisms. You learned how to manage your addiction and avoid relapse.

But, what happens when you feel unprepared to face these tasks alone? You choose not to.

Professionals in addiction health care have long sworn that remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.

Research in this area shows us that most people will need at least three months in treatment to reduce or stop their drug use significantly.

They take it a step further to ensure that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.

Whether your addiction treatment program lasted 30 days or one year, the support and guidance you receive only stop there if you let them.

Addiction aftercare is ideal for those who need help enforcing their sobriety, building effective support systems, and participating in recovery groups that will help keep you on track.

 

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Why is Addiction Aftercare is Often Necessary?

As you likely know by now, addiction is a chronic illness. This is not something to hide or be ashamed of.

Addiction is chronic the same way diabetes is.

Removing the stigma from your addiction will help you reevaluate your need for continued care.

Addiction, whether it is drugs or alcohol, is lifelong.

There is no quick fix or cure.

The good thing is that addiction can be effectively managed and treated with comprehensive care and long-term support.

There is no shame in admitting that you are not ready to face your sobriety alone.

This is the reason why addiction aftercare was created.

We want you to have access to medical, physical, and emotional support, guidance, and ongoing maintenance for as long as you need it.

We will help you manage your disorder so you can maintain your sobriety and good health.

Maintaining your sobriety and health can also improve all other aspects of your life.

As you progress through addiction aftercare, you may notice that you have naturally developed better communication skills, relationships, and financial habits.

 

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Addiction Aftercare vs. Other Addiction Treatment Programs

During your initial addiction treatment program, you have gone through the detox, withdrawals, and the early learning stage.

You have developed a deeper understanding of your addiction and the underlying factors that contribute to it.

You have used therapeutic and holistic techniques to improve your mental and physical health.

Achieving sobriety in your addiction treatment program is a major accomplishment to be celebrated.

But, it is not one that should later bring you fear.

Once your program ends, you should not feel like you have to move forward alone from here.

Addiction Aftercare Settings

Addiction aftercare is simply the next logical step after you achieve initial sobriety.

It can be done in an inpatient setting, intensive outpatient, or traditional outpatient setting.

12-step programs are some of the most common addiction aftercare services.

In any setting, addiction aftercare can help you find support in a safe and comfortable environment, and make it easier to avoid relapse.

It comes as no surprise that patients who participate in addiction aftercare programs often experience lower relapse rates than patients who do not.

You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to get the care you need.

We will tailor your addiction aftercare program to best meet your unique needs and circumstances.

Addiction Aftercare Pathfinders - A man who has completed his initial addiction treatment is now participating in addiction aftercare by virtually holding a one-on-one counseling session with an experienced rehab facilitator to help him stay free from addiction

 

Recovery Groups

When you are working toward long-term sobriety and a healthy, fulfilled life, seeking addiction aftercare in recovery groups can help in various ways.

Participating in addiction management in group settings helps you hold yourself accountable. You will also be able to swap stories with others on the same journey and learn from their experiences.

This may feel strange or uncomfortable for addicts starting their original addiction treatment program.

But, you are likely used to group settings by now. In recovery groups, you can benefit from a supportive environment, receive encouragement and advice, and maintain anonymity if you choose.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two of the most common examples of these groups. They provide social and complementary support to other addiction treatments.

In these types of settings, you can continue to develop effective strategies for dealing with stress and managing your condition.

Common Problems After Addiction Treatment

The same way that your original addiction treatment program did not rely on a singular technique; your addiction aftercare program will not, either.

Addictions often come with ongoing, systemic issues.

Maintaining your sobriety will include overcoming barriers and hurdles after your program ends.

You may have trouble finding a job or home. You may face distressing legal troubles, as well.

The stress and worry that stem from complications like these can be significant triggers for substance abuse.

Avoiding relapse will require a dedicated, long-term approach.

Addiction aftercare can help.

 

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Treatment Methods Used in Addiction Aftercare

Depending on your needs, you may have access to many of the following:

  • Career guidance and support
  • Legal guidance and support
  • Support through life transitions like relocations, job changes, and family problems
  • Ongoing case and addiction management
  • Substance monitoring
  • Life coaching and effective goal setting
  • Relationship and support group building
  • Academic support for those furthering their education
  • Support and guidance with budgeting and general financial planning

Addiction aftercare focuses on providing help, encouragement, guidance, and advice on maintaining sobriety and building the life you want.

Many people who have struggled with addiction do not have these same types of support systems at home.

We are here to fill in the gaps.

You have everything you need within you to build the life you choose.

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Paying for Addiction Aftercare

Most major insurance providers help in covering the cost of addiction treatments.

At Pathfinders, we accept most major insurance providers to make it easier for our patients to get the care they need and deserve.

If you are unsure of your coverage, call our addiction counselor to get an insurance verification.

They are always available to help.

If you do not have insurance, they will be happy to discuss each of your treatment and payment options to work out what is best for you.

 

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Pathfinders’ Addiction Aftercare

Pathfinders Recovery Center offers luxury addiction treatments that meet a variety of needs.

We have received the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission and are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers.

We are proud to have committed ourselves to provide comprehensive care throughout each stage of the recovery process.

Whether you completed your initial program here or elsewhere, our addiction aftercare is open to you.

We are here to help you achieve a sober life so you can reach each of your long-term goals.

8 of the Most Addictive Drugs to Stay Away From and Ignore

Learn the Most Addictive Drugs

A government report showed that about 64,000 people died due to drug overdoses in 2016.

Drug abuse has led to several adverse implications among young and older adults.

Other than death, addiction to drugs can alter your brain chemistry and cause financial, legal, and health issues.

The side effects of drug abuse are not new to users. In fact, many have tried to ditch drug abuse to no avail.

Most of the abused drugs lead to addiction, making it harder for users to survive without them.

The extent of addiction to drugs varies. Here’s a comprehensive list of seven of the most addictive drugs that you need to know.

Most Addictive Drugs - Photo looking down on a table with an assortment of the most addictive drugs including Pills, Heroin, Cocaine and Alcohol.
alcohol, drugs, pills on a wooden background

1. Heroin

If you didn’t know what the most addictive drug in the world is, there you have it.

Heroin ranks as the most addictive substance, scoring 3 out of the maximum, three. Heroin is derived from opium poppy extracts.

Heroin is an opiate, mostly sold as a brownish or whitish powder. Users commonly smoke, swallow, or inject heroin into the veins.

The drug increases dopamine levels when taken. The activated opioids receptors produce a good-feeling sensation, relaxation, and blocks pain.

Users get into a dreamy state when heroin’s euphoric effects subside.

Heroin has extreme withdrawal symptoms, which make users continue using the drug.

Some of the withdrawal symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, cold flashes, severe bone and muscle pain, uncontrollable movements, and restlessness.

Despite ranking as the most addictive, heroin is reported to be the second most dangerous drug due to the damage it has on society and the individual.

If you’re recovering from heroin addiction, you need to know how to stay away from common relapse triggers. Once you identify these relapse triggers, remaining sober won’t be such a struggle.

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2. Cocaine

When listing the most addictive drugs, cocaine is almost in the same category as heroin. Up to 14,000 Americans succumbed to cocaine overdose in 2017.

This was a 34% increase from the previous year. Clearly, cocaine’s popularity has been increasing in recent years.

Cocaine is a white crystal powder. Users inject, smoke, or rub the powder on their gums.

Crack cocaine has slight differences from the regular cocaine; it has a high potent nature, making one feel the effect more quickly than the typical variant.

Using cocaine gives users an intense euphoric feeling. The drug triggers the brain to produce dopamine, which makes one feel high.

With constant use, the body becomes tolerant of cocaine, and one has to increase the dose to achieve the desired excitement, happiness, and high energy.

As the drug continues to wear off, users experience anxiety, anger, and depression.

As a resultant, users become dependent on the drug. Continued snorting of cocaine can lead to a constant runny nose, swallowing difficulties, nosebleeds, and loss of smell.

3. Nicotine

The use of tobacco involves chewing, sniffing, and smoking products that have nicotine. Tobacco products that contain nicotine include cigars, cigarettes, bidis, and hookah products.

A significant number of teenagers and adults smoke these products.

Administering nicotine in the body leads to the release of endorphins.

While the surge is incomparable to other drugs, increased use raises dopamine levels in the user’s body. Long-term exposure to nicotine prompts the brain to seek more of this drug.

Nicotine is amongst the addictive drugs that kill. It narrows the arteries and hardens the arterial walls, which can lead to a heart attack.

Besides the cardiovascular effects, nicotine increases the risk of gastrointestinal and respiratory conditions.

When one tries to quit smoking, withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, and anxiety can be a hindrance.

The symptoms are severe, and users often relapse. Besides, nicotine products are easily accessible, which makes their addiction common.

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4. Alcohol

Global alcohol consumption per capita is projected to increase by 17% within the next decade.

Despite the rising cases of alcohol-related disorders, more adults are taking alcohol without flinching. Alcohol is in the category of the most addictive drugs, not only in the US but also globally.

The use of alcohol in a social setting makes it seem less harmful as compared to other hard drugs.

Yet, it increases the risk of liver diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disorders. Alcohol alters one’s judgment, which prompts users to engage in risky behaviors such as explicit sex and drunk driving.

Consumption of alcohol increases dopamine levels, which gets users excited. However, continued use ultimately leads to dependence.

The extreme withdrawal systems such as severe headaches make alcoholics to fall back.

If you’ve been experiencing withdrawal symptoms or can’t go a day without alcohol, it’s probably time to go to rehab.

The willpower to check into rehab isn’t always present. But if you have several troubling signs, going to rehab will give you better control of your life.

Most Addictive Drugs - Photo of several alcoholic drinks in glasses of all sizes and types. Alcohol is one of the most addictive drugs.
Photo of several alcoholic drinks in glasses of all sizes and types.

5. Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine is one of the highly addictive psycho-stimulant drugs. Despite being illegal, thousands of people use it for the euphoric effects. Meth raises the levels of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain.

Meth users inject, ingest, snort, or smoke this illegal drug. The intense rush and euphoric high can last up to 24 hours. The effects of meth last more than cocaine.

Methamphetamine can be made using available ingredients, which means it’s cheaper. Some of the street names for this drug include crystal, chalk, ice, speed, and rank.

Meth has high neuro-toxicity, which can have damaging effects on the serotonin and dopamine neurons in a user’s brain.

This toxicity further increases when a person combines the drug with opiates, cocaine, and alcohol. Regular use of methamphetamine might lead to irreversible functional and structural changes in the body.

When you follow the steps to overcome addiction, you can be free from this highly addictive drug. However, it is essential to acknowledge that meth addiction is one of the most difficult drug addictions to treat.

Support from family and friends can go a long way in the process of recovery.

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6. Barbiturates

Barbiturates are in a category of drugs referred to as sedative-hypnotics. While the drug is typically in the form of a pill, users inject it in its liquid form.

These drugs were initially used to decrease anxiety and induce sleep in the 1960s.

However, an incorrect dosage can be dangerous. In extreme cases, overdosing on barbiturates can cause death or coma.

When used minimally, the drug can cause euphoria. Barbiturates are highly addictive.

Fortunately, these drugs are rare, unlike in the past. Doctors have replaced the prescriptions with benzodiazepines, which play the same sedative-hypnotic role. The latter is safer than barbiturates.

Continued use of barbiturates can cause tolerance development. Abuse of this drug might lead to an overdose. A coma, dilated pupils, shallow breathing, and clammy skin are some of the overdose signs you need to observe.

Discontinuing barbiturates exposes a person to a myriad of side effects.

Some of the notable withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, dizziness, psychosis, and seizures. If untreated, barbiturates lead to circulatory failure, hypothermia, and death.

7. Methadone

Methadone is under the category of opioids. When analyzing some of the most addictive drugs, opiates rank first in this category.

This drug has been highly effective in treating extreme pain.

Besides, some doctors use it to treat heroin addiction. You can take methadone as a liquid, powder, or tablet.

While doctors prescribe this methadone in some cases, people still take it illegally by injection.

Constant use of this drug can cause addiction. Some of the side effects of methadone include hallucinations, light headedness, breathing difficulties, and chest pains.

Your body might adapt to the calming effects of methadone. When you get to the drug tolerance stage, addiction might be imminent.

It is advisable to seek medical help if you find yourself taking more methadone than what’s recommended.

8. Cannabis

Cannabis, also known as weed or marijuana, is another common addictive drug.

This drug is a mixture of dried stems, leaves, and flowers of the Cannabis Sativa plant. People using cannabis smoke it via a pipe or as a cigarette.

Weed induces the central nervous system, leading to the production of sensations such as mild euphoria, wrong perception of time and space, relaxation, and increased appetite. Cannabis is addictive. Yet, eleven states have legalized its recreational use.

One of the behavioral symptoms of cannabis includes losing interest in activities that you previously enjoyed. Withdrawal from friends and secrecy are other signs of cannabis addiction.

Declining performance at work and school can also result from consistent use of weed.

Cannabis addiction leads to physical symptoms such as dry mouth, bloodshot eyes, poor coordination, fatigue, and lack of attention.

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Most Addictive Drugs Have Several Withdrawal Symptoms

Drug users trying to reform often face extreme withdrawal symptoms.

With such relapses, doing away with most addictive drugs isn’t usually easy.

If you have a friend or family member who’s deep in addiction, supporting them can help a great deal.

It would be best to walk with such people through rehab so that they can transform.

Some of the long term implications of these drugs are fatal. Rehabilitation can save a soul.

Do you need an addiction counselor?

Contact us today.

Our team of qualified medical staff will walk with you or your loved one until you recover.