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Ranch Creek Recovery provides an addiction blog to provide articles and news on the latest topics and trends in addiction treatment and recovery.Through therapeutic and holistic methods we strive to help our clients regain self empowerment, improve their physical and emotional health, and implement positive changes in their lives.
Take a moment and think about who you think uses heroin. What sort of people come to mind? Did you picture rock stars and celebrities like Steven Tyler and Philip Seymour Hoffman? Or maybe you thought of the disheveled junkies portrayed in movies and television shows. While the news loves to cover celebrity drug addictions, the reality is those who use heroin the most are regular people we interact with every single day.
Let’s take a closer look at heroin addiction and the types of people who actually use heroin.
The Doorway to Heroin Addiction
The United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic. By 2015, an estimated 2 million people in the U.S. suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and today, 21-29% of patients prescribed opioids misuse them.
You may be thinking, “Okay, but what do pain killers have to do with heroin addiction?”
And the answer is, opioid drugs like OxyContin® open the door to heroin use. In fact, research shows that nearly 80% of Americans who use heroin reported using prescription pain killers first. Once users build up a tolerance to pain killers, they quickly transition to stronger drugs like heroin. While heroin addiction has been around since the drug was first invented in 1874, one of the scariest parts about it today is how many users never see it coming.
The New Face of Heroin Addiction
Picture a young college athlete who gets prescribed a pain killer to manage the pain after ankle surgery. Or a man in his 50’s who gets prescribed OxyContin® for chronic back pain. Under regular circumstances, these two individuals would stop taking the prescription once they no longer needed it.
The problem is when the addiction kicks in without them or their doctor noticing. When their current doctor no longer provides a prescription, they’ll bounce from one physician to the next to get more opioids. Eventually, this tactic will run its course, and they’ll have no choice but to turn to the streets to acquire illicit opiates like heroin.
If their addiction is left unchecked, they could build a tolerance to heroin and seek synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil where the potential for overdose is significantly higher.
How to Help a Heroin Addict
Does this sound like your son, daughter, spouse or another loved one? Maybe you’ve noticed sudden changes in mood and behavior, missing valuables or money and “track marks” on their body that can be traced back to around the time they started using prescription pain killers. If so, there’s a way to help your loved one overcome their addiction.
At Ranch Creek Recovery, we offer a safe place where your loved one can receive one-on-one care for their heroin addiction and recover at their own pace. Contact us today to learn more about our heroin detox and rehab programs.
You know your loved one’s drug or alcohol use is more than recreational and they need help. As you start researching rehab centers, your goal is to find the right place where your loved one will be in good hands. After all, the more caring and supportive the rehab center’s staff is, the more likely your loved one will conquer their addiction.
But how do you find just the right drug addiction treatment center to support your loved one? When researching treatment centers and their staff, here are four factors to consider:
One of the first places you should check out on a treatment center’s website is the staff bios page, if available. In many facilities you come across, you’ll get a mix of staff members who were once drug addicts themselves, and others who studied addiction to help those suffering from this chronic disease and other mental health disorders. Either way, the staff at your chosen rehab facility should be accredited and have a significant amount of experience and success working with people like your loved one. This expertise will ensure that your loved one is properly taken care of during their recovery.
Don’t Forget the Administrative Staff
Doctors, therapists and psychiatrists are just one side of the coin for alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers. When researching treatment for your loved one, don’t forget to consider the people who keep the day-to-day operations running smoothly: the administrative staff. Are the facilities kept clean and tidy for residents? Are the directors, residence managers and housekeepers organized and friendly? It’s the job of the administrative staff to keep the business operations running smoothly, so your loved one can focus on a relaxed recovery surrounded by people who want to see them succeed.
Staff to Client Ratio
From the moment your loved one walks through the door, they should be provided with the undivided support and attention they need. This can’t happen if a rehab center’s staff is stretched too thin. When researching alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers, it’s important to consider the staff to client ratio. How many staff members does the facility have? How many clients does the treatment center accept at a time? Does the treatment center offer individualized treatment plans custom made for your loved one? When it comes to overcoming addiction, the more personalized support your loved one gets, the more successful treatment will be.
Other Support Staff
Besides the usual doctors, therapists and administrative staff, rehab centers often have other personnel available to support your loved one during recovery. For example, Ranch Creek Recovery provides an alternative to the standard 12-Step rehab programs, offering experiential and holistic therapy. This means we provide our clients with equine therapists, gongmasters, yoga instructors and fitness experts who all help to heal the entire person, from mind to body to spirit.
The type of support your loved one receives during addiction treatment is a significant indicator of how their recovery will go. At Ranch Creek Recovery, we never have more than six clients at a time, so our staff can provide your loved one with the compassionate and undivided attention they deserve. Contact us today if you’re ready to learn more about how we would care for your loved one during their addiction recovery.
For people in recovery from addiction who have successfully passed through the holidays without relapse, there is much to feel positive about. For those who have succumbed to cravings only to recognize their mistake and adjust their behavior in the midst of the festivities, again, there is much to be hopeful for.
One of the most important aspects of successful recovery is identifying and recognizing progress or setbacks as and when they take place because it ensures recovering addicts keep the momentum going on their journey back to full health.
Holiday Pressures Affect Everyone
The holidays are a particularly challenging time of year for most people over the age of 10. The stress can result from the financial strain of paying for the gift-giving season or from family discord caused by disagreements over who hosts who on what days; for people attending a recovery treatment center, there is the additional stress of how to get through the holidays without relapse.
It is not surprising that once the holidays are done and dusted, many people feel deflated after having expended so much energy on a few short days of celebration. This usually leads to an anti-climactic period before the start of the New Year, which is when a lot of people choose to evaluate their lives and consider what changes they need to make for a more positive future.
This sense of renewal at New Year is something that is very beneficial for people in alcohol or drug addiction treatment as it provides them with the perfect opportunity to redefine and refine their personal goals for the year ahead, keeping them moving forwards towards sobriety.
That said, knowing how to keep the momentum going in recovery can be a challenge and so this article takes a closer look at some practical ways to create the forward motion required to sustain life in sobriety after alcohol and drug rehab.
Planning for a Sober New Year: Using Milestones for Goal-Setting
Milestones are really important in recovery as they serve to record progress towards achieving particular goals such as one month without a drink. These are major moments for people who have completed treatment for drug addiction and so they should also be times of celebration. In recovery, it’s important to take each day at a time and also to appreciate each moment and so when something has been achieved – even if it could be considered by others as trivial – it is crucial to acknowledge and celebrate it.
Milestones provide defining moments in recovery.
The most typical milestones used in recovery are 30 days, 90 days and a full year of sobriety. Some people might want to include other milestones such as staying sober through alcohol-related celebrations such as family birthdays, anniversaries, Thanksgiving, the Holidays and New Year.
For many people in recovery treatment centers, there are other aspects of their lives that they may have been unable to cope with in the past without using drugs or alcohol, such as attending a job interview or taking important exams. Everyone is different and each recovery journey has its own twists and turns, so it’s useful to record the defining moments through setting and achieving progress milestones.
Addiction is something that affects a person’s mind, body and spirit and the very definition of the word ‘holistic’ implies that these are intimately interconnected and explicable only by referencing the whole. This has become a popular belief in alcohol rehab centers and drug detox programs in recent years and now holistic medicine – also known as alternative or complementary therapy – is increasingly offered in alcoholism treatment programs with considerable success.
According to the Center for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, luxury detox centers that incorporate holistic therapies with conventional approaches are proven to be more effective, particularly over the long term in recovery. It is now widely believed by medical professionals that holistic approaches are very helpful when used as adjuncts to evidence-based alcoholism treatment programs.
What Is Holistic Addiction Treatment?
Holistic therapies focus on treating the mind, body, and spirit, whereas conventional medicine concentrates entirely on physical illness. Holistic therapies are considered to be so effective because they provide a ‘bridge’ between the treatment of a patient’s physical condition and their emotional and psychological healing.
There are several holistic therapies that are particularly useful in alcohol addiction treatment centers when paired with traditional approaches including:
Yoga is a mindfulness practice that also increases physical fitness and flexibility, making it highly effective as a coping mechanism in recovery from addiction. Many people become addicted when they are searching for ways to cope with anxiety, stress or mental illness and so yoga is the perfect way for people in alcohol rehab facilities to learn more positive coping skills that also provide invaluable support in recovery.
Yoga Heals the Mind
Scientific research undertaken by Stanford University into the biological impact of yoga on drug abuse has shown that yoga serves to inhibit the dopamine surge that addicts usually get from using and also restrict cravings. At the same time, the study showed that the deep breathing element of yoga releases pleasure-giving endorphins, which means that it is possible to use the practice to replace or suppress addictive behaviors in recovery.
For many people in drug detox centers, addictive behavior and cravings can be triggered by stressful situations known as stressors. In fact, many people leaving a treatment center after completing a program find it difficult to adjust to living in sobriety. Because yoga is a mindfulness practice that teaches how to control breathing to reduce stress levels, it allows recovering addicts to regain control of their bodies and overcome temptation.
One of the aspects of yoga that makes it such a popular practice in luxury detox centers is that it provides a spiritual environment that is very tranquil and serene. No matter what a person’s religious beliefs, we all need to achieve a state of quiet in which we can learn how to be more mindful and accepting in our daily lives. This is particularly true in luxury drug treatment centers and patients benefit greatly by regularly taking time to focus on recovery and a healthy lifestyle.
When people learn yoga in luxury rehab centers, they are introduced to a new community dedicated to staying healthy which is an enormous benefit in recovery. Yoga arms patients with the tools they need to reduce stress levels and more importantly, teaches them how to connect with their own inner strengths. Yoga is also much more physically demanding than it looks and improving fitness levels is important for someone whose body has suffered the ravages of addiction.
Meditation is a mindfulness practice – but what exactly does that mean? Derived from Buddhism, which has embraced mindfulness for more than 2000 years, it is defined as being consciously aware of your thoughts, feelings and sensory experience. According to science, the structural and functional changes in the brain – known as neuroplasticity – are caused by experience and are directly affected by meditation practice.
Basically, what that means is that by taking time out to meditate regularly, we become capable of creating the right kind of experience (or feeling) to support more positive behaviors.
Meditation at a luxury drug rehab center works on the principle that every time we connect with the moment we are in and completely empty the mind of dialogue, our capacity to enjoy more positive thoughts and feelings grows.
The Benefits of Meditation
There is a considerable amount of willpower and discipline required to meditate, which is extremely beneficial in a luxury rehab center. Meditation requires the ability to concentrate one’s attention on the present moment although as an observer rather than a participant. This means there can be no internal dialogue and it can take some practice to achieve a state where one’s mind is completely silent.
The main objective of meditation is to learn how to be mindful of thoughts and emotions in order to promote self-acceptance. We are influenced by our thoughts much more than we realize although most are formed in response to things that happen in our daily lives or something we’re reading or watching. Meditation provides the space to clear the mind of all conversation and helps people understand that we are much more than our thoughts.
The advantages of meditation at a luxury drug treatment center include:
Improved attention, concentration, and focus
The ability to discover character strengths
Cultivates resilience to stressors and cravings
Increases someone’s basal happiness levels for a more fulfilling life
Reduces stress and eases symptoms of mental illness
Since the beginning of time, humans have possessed a kinship with nature. Enjoying the great outdoors fills us with feelings of peace and tranquility, which is why garden therapy has become popular in addiction treatment. Several scientific studies have shown that gardening heightens our feelings of appreciation and serenity and ultimately improves overall health and wellbeing.
Also known as Horticultural Therapy, Garden Therapy uses gardening activities, plants and the natural world as vehicles for specialist rehab programs. Patients in opiate detox centers benefit from not only the physical exertion of gardening but also the relaxation, enjoyment, skill development, creative expression, and emotional wellbeing.
Gardening nurtures new life from seed to maturity and patients can learn how to take care of and be responsible for a living thing by taking care of its daily needs.
Garden Therapy is also useful as a way of introducing patients to a new community of people sharing similar interests. Gardeners are invariably enthusiasts who have a passion for their hobby and recovering addicts can benefit significantly from the opportunities for social interaction an interest in gardening offers.
It is not completely understood how acupuncture works although it has been established that the practice affects dopamine production in the brain, which is the reason it is considered beneficial by luxury rehab centers. The brain’s dopaminergic system is behind the creation of feelings of euphoria and pleasure, which are also the induced when someone uses drugs. Acupuncture works by increasing both negative and positive reinforcement of drug use which ultimately leads to the elimination of cravings.
Acupuncture reinforces the properties of drugs in the following ways:
Dopamine production is restricted when drugs are used and effectively diminishes their effects
Withdrawal symptoms are reduced in severity by inhibiting gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA neurons and increasing the release of dopamine
There are five pressure points in the ear that are used in acupuncture at drug and alcohol rehab centers and each targets a specific area as follows:
Shen Men point: Also known as ‘heaven’s gate’, Shen Men is the point on the ear that produces feelings of euphoria when stimulated. It is located towards the top of the ear or in medical terms, the apex of the triangular fossa. This point in acupuncture is acknowledged for healing physical pain or conditions of the central nervous system.
Sympathetic Autonomic point: This point of the ear affects certain aspects of brain activity, feelings of determination (willpower) and also hormone levels. When stimulated this point allows patients more clarity in their thought processes and also restores feelings of optimism which is highly beneficial for people in drug detox centers.
Kidney point: Many acupuncture practitioners believe that the kidney point is the center of yin and yang in the human body. By stimulating this point of the ear, it is possible to restore balance to the body’s main systems including the digestive, immune and respiratory so that they are more effective in contributing to the healing process.
Liver point: The consequence of prolonged addiction can be significant damage to the liver although it is the only one of the body’s organs to be capable of regeneration. That said, the right conditions have to be present for the liver to be able to regenerate which is where acupuncture is very useful. When this part of the ear is stimulated, the liver’s healing process is assisted as it deals with eliminating toxins and repairing cells.
Lung point: This point of the ear deals with circulation and stimulating the area improves this while oxygenating the body to life feelings of depression, anxiety or grief. Many people in drug and alcohol detox centers also suffer from a mental health condition and acupuncture is very effective in the treatment of these dual-diagnosis cases.
What Are the Unique Benefits of Holistic Recovery?
Patients attending treatment programs that incorporate holistic therapies with conventional medicine receive some unique benefits. One of the most important is that a combined holistic and traditional approach to addiction treatment is more likely to result in long-term sobriety and less likelihood of relapse.
It is now widely recognized that drug and alcohol detox centers offering holistic treatment have the following benefits:
Complements and Improves Traditional Medicine
The main benefit of holistic therapy in addiction treatment is that it provides a bridge between physical healing and the rehabilitation of mind and spirit for an overall approach. For some people who may be overly anxious about the prospect of detox, a holistic recovery program at an opiate detox center can provide them with a route to sobriety that they might not otherwise have pursued. These people may be more comfortable in a rehab environment where there are holistic and experiential treatments being offered alongside more traditional approaches.
Opportunities for Participants to Develop New Skills
Holistic therapies generally equip patients with the tools to enable them to cope with recovery. Encouraging patients to occupy themselves in a new hobby and acquire new skills is a positive contribution to long-term sobriety.
Prepares Patients for a Change in Lifestyle
A significant advantage of holistic recovery is that patients develop the skills they need to protect themselves against relapse. Mindfulness practices such as meditation and yoga can be used for many years after someone has left rehab.
Studies Support Holistic Recovery Programs
There are now numerous scientific studies and research reports that have established holistic remedies as being effective in helping people overcome addiction, particularly as an adjunct to traditional approaches.
Examples of some of the very diverse studies include the following:
2002 – The American Public Health Association reported that holistic therapies are particularly effective for individuals with a history of multiple relapses.
2013 – The Complementary Therapies in Medicine publication concluded that holistic practices such as yoga and meditation reduced the risk of relapse in later life.
2014 – The Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment pointed at considerable evidence that holistic medicine significantly enhances addiction counseling and therapy.
2015 – In a report by the Australian Journal of Primary Health, mental and physical health were found to be intimately interconnected and the general principles of holistic medicine were supported.
How Can Holistic Medicine Help Recovery and Does It Work?
In summary, holistic therapies can help in addiction treatment in the following ways:
Helps patients manage cravings and even eliminate them completely
Reduces the severity of withdrawal for a more manageable detox experience
Lowers stress levels and reduces tension
Eases insomnia, anxiety, and depression
Improves eating habits and leads to healthier behavior
Places the focus on wellbeing, making it a priority in recovery
Builds a solid foundation for better spiritual health
Everyone has their own unique set of requirements and preferences when it comes to drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Holistic therapies can be useful in providing effective alternatives that are more appealing to patients than a program based purely on conventional approaches.
For many people with addiction issues, the prospect of entering into treatment can be daunting. There are still many widely held misconceptions about detox and rehab that can deter the people most in need of treatment from reaching out for help.
Choosing the right kind of facility for addiction treatment is intensely personal, as is the journey to recovery itself. When someone’s health is on the line, there can be no compromise on the quality of care provided to them which is why luxury drug treatment centers are becoming increasingly popular in the US.
Contrary to popular belief, luxury rehab is not just for the rich and famous and it is now more accessible to more people than ever before. Luxury rehab is more than just a name – and there are some significant benefits people with addiction can gain from attending a specialist facility that is equipped with the latest technology and staffed by the best-qualified health professionals. There is also the added advantage of luxurious surroundings which are more than just a ‘softener’ for the challenges of treatment but serve to underpin therapy with a high quality of care.
What Are the Standout Differences With Luxury Rehab
Individualized Care Provision
Because every individual entering rehab is different, it is especially important to conduct a thorough assessment of each client in order to establish the most appropriate course of treatment for their specific needs. Having a team of medical professionals assigned to individuals in rehab brings a personalized, tailor-made approach to their care that is often more effective in the long term. Any form of addiction treatment involves an individual making a personal commitment to the program and luxury facilities provide the extra incentive of high-end surroundings to better engage them in their journey to recovery.
Comfortable and Tranquil Surroundings
One of the most noticeable aspects of luxury rehab centers is that no expense is spared. This includes everything from the thread count of the linen to breathtaking locations, more similar to vacation resorts than addiction treatment facilities. Patients also get the benefit of first-class culinary advisors designing meals that are nutritionally balanced to support medical treatment and improve their physical condition. Luxury rehab centers endeavor to provide an environment that is a departure from the more clinical surroundings associated with rehab. Patients do not feel as though they are in a hospital environment at all and that makes them comfortable enough to be more receptive to treatment.
Patient to Staff Ratio
A significant benefit of luxury drug rehab centers is that there is a big staff to patient ratio, meaning that staff outnumbers patients. This allows for a more hands-on approach to treatment where patients have access to medical or therapeutic assistance throughout their stay, whenever they need it.
The Best Treatments and Therapies Available
Completely in line with the big price tag of luxury facilities is the fact that they generally offer the widest range of therapies and treatments. Complementary and alternative therapies such as yoga, dialectic behavioral therapy, equine-assisted therapy, and acupuncture can be incorporated into personal treatment programs for a more holistic approach to a patient’s care. These kind of experiential and holistic treatments are less widely available in standard rehab centers.
A Completely Client-Centric Program
Luxury drug rehab centers like Ranch Creek Recovery place each patient (or client) at the center of their treatment program, with their addiction in the context of their daily lives in primary focus. Because it is widely recognized that addiction is a family affair, it is important to involve them in the process when a loved one is receiving treatment. Luxury facilities are in a position to offer intensive healing for addicts and their families with regular family therapy sessions guided by highly-skilled professionals. The objective of luxury facilities is not only to treat each patient and rid them of the substances they have become addicted to but also to lay a solid foundation for their return to their daily lives. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for and when it comes to matters of health, the price is never too high.
Adderall is a prescription drug that is mainly used for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD along with other conditions that cause severe lack of alertness such as narcolepsy. Because Adderall contains amphetamine and dextroamphetamine, it not only increases attention and focus but also has the propensity to be highly-addictive that has resulted in negative fallout surrounding the drug.
Many people who are prescribed Adderall for ADHD or narcolepsy find it very difficult to stop taking the drug, particularly because of its positive benefits in treating their symptoms. However, over time, prescription drug addiction can cause damage to the brain which requires medical detox paired with therapy to treat for there to be a good chance of complete recovery.
Adderall works by binding to norepinephrine and dopamine receptors at a neurological level and at the same time stimulates epinephrine receptors in the adrenal gland. The resulting feeling of euphoria is created by the increased volume of pleasure-inducing chemicals in the brain, which also improves attention and focus. However, it is this ‘feel-good factor’ that makes Adderall very quickly addictive and the reason why the drug is a Schedule II controlled substance under the Controlled Substance Act.
To set Adderall in the context of more illicit street drugs, other substances in the same category include opium, cocaine, and methamphetamine.
Prescription drug abuse has become a significant problem in America and Adderall is a big factor behind the rising practice of adapting legal medications for illicit purposes. Prescription drugs fall into three categories: sedatives, pain relievers and stimulants like Adderall.
Since 2000, the number of people being prescribed the drug has surged by around 3,000% and now there are more than 20 million prescriptions for Adderall in circulation.
For people who are prescribed Adderall, its potential to produce euphoric effects may not be very obvious but for someone who doesn’t need the drug to treat any specific symptoms, it can produce a high that very quickly leads to abusing it. It is this aspect of the prescription drug that makes it attractive for illicit sales.
However, because the Adderall tablet or capsule dose ranges 5 to 30mg, it is too low to produce a significant high and so people who are abusing the drug tend to crush and snort the stimulant or even add water and inject it with a syringe.
Unfortunately, Adderall has become known as enhancing academic performance despite there being no research to support this myth. This means that the drug has become popular among high school and college students eager to raise their grades. Although Adderall has been proven to improve the academic performance and cognitive functioning of sufferers of ADHD, it does not produce the same results in people who have no medical need for the drug.
According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), students who have abused Adderall or any other prescription stimulants get lower grades than those who do not abuse drugs.
What Are the Warning Signs of Adderall Abuse?
As with any kind of substance addiction, identifying abuse in the early stages can be difficult, particularly as abusers become very skilled at masking their behavior. Nevertheless, addiction is usually a family affair and it is usually another member of the family or a close friend who is first to urge someone who is abusing drugs to seek out prescription drug addiction recovery. Although most people don’t have the medical training to enable them to diagnose Adderall addiction, there are some distinct warning signs to look out for that can determine if it is occurring in a family member including the following:
Pain in the upper abdomen
Nausea and vomiting
Mood swings and aggression
Convulsions and seizures
Depression or panic attacks
Delusions and hallucinations
Aggressive and extreme mood swings
When someone starts to use Adderall illicitly, it is referred to as going ‘off-label’ because the original tablets or capsules are crushed to produce greater doses. Once someone has gone ‘off-label’, they are at much higher risk of overdose.
The following is a list of the signs and symptoms of Adderall overdose:
Confusion and disorientation
Slurred speech an vagueness
Panic and anxiety attacks
Extreme fatigue or restlessness
Heart palpitations and tremors
As with other drugs, when someone stops taking Adderall or even reduce the dose they are used to, it can trigger withdrawal symptoms. Even when taking Adderall in exactly the way as prescribed and sticking religiously to doctor’s orders, the drug can result in physical dependence. As soon as the body has become used to having Adderall in the system, more and more of the drug will be needed over time to achieve the desired effects. Whether Adderall is prescribed or acquired illegally, this pattern of behavior almost inevitably results in full-blown addiction, requiring intensive treatment at a dual diagnosis treatment center.
The withdrawal itself acts as a component of physical dependence in that people often use to eliminate the uncomfortable symptoms. It is important to note that there is a difference between someone who is physically dependent on drugs and someone who is addicted.
Someone who is addicted will expend a disproportionate amount of time, money and energy getting hold of and taking Adderall, usually letting their work, school or family obligations fall by the wayside in the process. Someone who is dependent will start to feel unpleasant or uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal when they are due a dose of Adderall although they are usually capable of meeting their responsibilities.
Although showing signs of withdrawal doesn’t indicate someone is abusing Adderall, it is always helpful to know what they are.
Symptoms of withdrawal from Adderall include:
Cravings to use
Suicidal thoughts and irrational fears
Difficult sleeping despite extreme fatigue
Mood swings including panic and anxiety attacks
Depression and phobia-type fears
Inability to lighten their mood
Although everyone is different and will suffer their own unique effects from Adderall abuse, the drug represents a significant threat to physical health and mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, Adderall is fairly accessible which means that the door is open for a person to self-escalate from treatment to abuse unless they seek a dual diagnosis treatment program at a meth treatment center.
Although there is adequate medical understanding and coverage of the harmful effects of Adderall abuse, there are still some misconceptions and dangerous myths about the drug and each year more users are sucked into addiction. The only way Adderall addiction can be reduced is by improving consumer awareness of the drug’s dangers, particularly among the nation’s student population.
Facts about Adderall
The number of people who have been diagnosed with ADHD has risen which has had an impact on the rate of Adderall abuse. Here are some sobering facts about the drug and its dangers when used illicitly or off-label:
Between 2005 and 2011, emergency room visits for people between the ages of 18 and 34 seeking help for stimulant use (including Adderall) TRIPLED.
The FDA has issued citations to all ADHD pharmaceutical firms including the makers of Adderall on the grounds of false and misleading advertising since 2000.
A study of undergraduate college students found that just 2% considered Adderall to be ‘very dangerous’.
In 2017 there were around 5.6 million prescriptions each month for ADHD for sufferers between the ages of 20 and 39. By 2012, this number had tripled to almost 16 million.
Possibly as a result of the widely held misconceptions about Adderall, it is the student demographic that appears to be at highest risk. This is partly as a result of Adderall being in the college environment where it becomes more accessible to others and partly because of the perception that the drug is somehow ‘safe’ because it is prescribed by a doctor.
Because Adderall is a prescription drug, some people who have developed addiction may have two co-occurring conditions to treat at the same time, known as dual-diagnosis. When there is a condition like ADHD and addiction present at the same time, treatment needs to be undertaken at a dual diagnosis rehab center as it is important to treat both conditions separately but simultaneously. Dual diagnosis rehab provides a specialist approach to the treatment of two conditions for a better chance of a successful life in recovery.
There are two main approaches to treating someone with Adderall addiction is through medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and psychotherapy. However, before treatment can commence it is necessary to detox from the influence of the drug in just the same way as in meth addiction rehab or cocaine addiction treatment. Some people prefer to keep detox in the same center that they will undergo rehab for meth addiction; some prefer an inpatient program and others outpatient. Ultimately, everyone has their own unique set of preferences and requirements and should seek treatment that’s most appropriate for them at a prescription drug rehab center.
Detoxing from Adderall
It is never recommended to abruptly stop taking drugs and that includes Adderall. According to research by Mental Health Daily, when people stop taking stimulants suddenly, the resulting ‘crash’ can be very severe and in some cases, life-threatening. People who have been using or abusing Adderall for some time, the symptoms of withdrawal are likely to be more extreme although in all cases, supervised medical detox at a prescription drug rehab center is required.
People who have developed an addiction to Adderall are often unable to determine the extent of their physical dependence on the drug. This can make it impossible to know what to expect from withdrawal and so it is always best to have qualified medical professionals on-hand in the right environment for Adderall or heroin addiction treatment to deal with any distressing symptoms that may present during detox.
Once detox has been completed, the abstinence maintenance phase begins, where a patient:
Goes through intake and assessment in order to formalize a unique and personalized Adderall or heroin addiction treatment program
Participate in individual and group therapy sessions under the guidance of licensed therapists
Learn coping strategies and tools for recovery through cognitive behavior therapy or CBT
The next step is to devise a strategy to implement post-treatment by:
Entering a drug-free residential establishment
Continue Adderall and cocaine treatment on an outpatient basis
Participate in self-help groups
Take part in individual and group therapy sessions
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for the Treatment of Adderall Abuse
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT has been used in the treatment of alcohol abuse or rehab for meth addiction for many years although it was later adapted for the treatment of cocaine addiction. Cocaine is another stimulant that operates in the same way as Adderall and for that reason; CBT can play a pivotal role in both Adderall and cocaine treatment. CBT is effective in discovering why someone was motivated to use Adderall and then subsequently abuse it, whether they were prescribed the drug or not. CBT can either be used in individual or group psychotherapy to assist patients in developing new coping strategies and life skills they can learn to rely on to prevent relapse in recovery.
CBT is all about understanding as to why someone abuses drugs and provides insights on to how they can adopt behaviors for a more positive and healthy future. The therapy sets out to discover exactly what drives someone’s need to use and then puts strategies in place to prevent relapse in the future. Relearning behavior is an integral part of the effectiveness of CBT as it allows patients to replace negative patterns with positive practices for a happier life in sobriety.
Is Adderall the New Gateway Drug?
It is a shocking fact that Adderall is abused mostly by young adults and college students, with between 20-30% of the demographic now regularly abusing the drug. Consisting of almost 100% ‘speed’, Adderall has already picked up a range of street names including Beans, Black Beauties, Double Trouble and Christmas Trees and is becoming alarmingly commonplace among our younger generation. The myths surrounding Adderall including that it enhances academic performance, serve to make the drug somehow more acceptable, particularly in college environments and it is now a problem that has spiraled out of control.
For many years, marijuana was considered to be the most dangerous gateway drug, with the potential to act as a stepping stone to addiction.
These days, Adderall is known to be an even more dangerous gateway drug than marijuana not just because it is much more potent but also because its legitimate use as a prescription medication affords it some kind of acceptance.
Not only is Adderall much more powerful than marijuana, it is also much easier to obtain and even easier to conceal and this is a big factor behind the increasing numbers of young adults using and abusing it.
Although Adderall has its medical uses and is highly effective in the treatment of ADHD, the risk of developing addiction after prolonged use is very real. For this reason, it’s worth considering what other treatments options are available for young people with ADHD that don’t present the same risks of substance abuse and possible addiction. Seeking treatment at a specialist rehab center is recommended where there are any concerns that a loved one may be developing dependence on Adderall.
When someone is living with alcohol addiction, successful completion of a program at an alcohol treatment center does not guarantee a life of sobriety. An important part of an alcoholism treatment program is to prepare patients for their return to daily lives, which includes how to deal with the triggers and stressors they will face without relapsing into using alcohol.
Untreated alcoholism forms negative cycles in a person’s behavior that include the following stages:
Heavy drinking while in the addiction phase
Withdrawal when a decision is taken to refrain from drinking
Relapse when something triggers old negative behaviors
The main reason people who have not received specialist treatment at an alcohol rehab center invariably relapse is because once they have decided to refrain from drinking, it becomes the focus of all their thoughts. A preoccupation with alcohol can lead to a particular vulnerability to stressors and a rapid response of reverting to using it when faced with an uncomfortable situation.
There are several key elements at play when it comes to the propensity someone has for relapse including:
A compulsion to find and use alcohol
An inability to limit or restrict use and manage cravings
Feelings of depression and anxiety can often lead to self-medicating with alcohol
The severity of psychological and physical symptoms during withdrawal
What Exactly Is a Relapse?
Relapse is incorrectly viewed as being an isolated event outside of recovery. However, single events like this are not classed as relapse because relapse is a process that has a direct connection with recovery from alcoholism.
There are three ways relapse can be triggered, as follows:
Relapse through thoughts: “I’ve not had a drink for a while and I feel in control of my addiction. I deserve to ‘treat’ myself with a drink – just the one”.
Relapse through behavior: “I don’t feel as though I have control of my thoughts and feelings without alcohol and it’s impacting my relationships with others”.
Relapse through ‘controlled’ use: “I think that if I control the amount of alcohol I drink that I can cope better with everyday problems, without any risk of hitting bottom again.”
In essence, triggers are situations, circumstances or events that start a train of thought, where reasons and justifications are made by a person to ‘allow’ them to use again. However, this is just another form of denial that can lead to a very high risk of relapse.
What Are the Types of Triggers of Relapse?
Everyone is different and has their personal challenges to face when seeking to overcome alcoholism. The benefit of specialist alcohol treatment centers is that clinicians are able to make a thorough evaluation of each patient’s case history and create the most appropriate and effective course of treatment for their specific needs.
An important part of alcohol rehab is learning new techniques and skills that can act as coping mechanisms after treatment. Mindfulness practices and therapy arm patients with the best tools to protect them from cravings and prevent negative responses to any triggers they may experience when they have left the treatment facility.
Environmental triggers: peer pressure from people still using, parties where drink is available.
Ways to Manage Cravings and Triggers After Alcohol Rehab
While in rehab, patients get the opportunity to build a solid support network that includes their own friends and family as well as medical professionals and others in recovery. A well-rounded group of contacts allows someone to feel more confident in sobriety; having someone on the other end of the phone can provide significant peace of mind in difficult situations.
Regularly attending meetings and support groups allow people in recovery a platform from which they can gain a better understanding of how to manage triggers. Discussing issues with people who have been through exactly the same situations and circumstances is hugely beneficial for those in recovery from alcoholism.
Frequent exercise acts as a good distraction and prevents people from obsessing about alcohol when they are trying to live without it. Physical exercise also instills a sense of discipline in people and is very beneficial in increasing confidence and self-esteem.
Using some of the techniques and practices taught during alcohol rehab like yoga, for example, can give patients a positive process to put in place when they are confronted with stressful situations or triggers for relapse.
Heroin is a highly addictive substance that gains control mentally in a way not many other drugs do. For that reason, people struggling with heroin addiction need to seek specialized treatment for drug addiction if they are to overcome it. The reason heroin addiction is more complex to treat than other substances is that it not only takes control mentally but physically also. It is the combination of mental and physical dependence that cause the distressing withdrawal symptoms associated with detoxing from the drug and also increase the likelihood of relapse.
The whole issue of heroin detox has been clouded by how it’s represented in movies and mainstream media. The images of someone in deep physical pain and distress alone in a dank, dark room is something that deters many people suffering from addiction issues from taking the crucial first step towards recovery that detox represents. Nevertheless, prolonged heroin abuse can cause some serious health complications, some of which can be life-threatening and so early intervention with drug rehab is always going to yield a faster and more effective recovery.
The facts are quite different from the perception and in an attempt to dispel some myths about heroin detox; we are going to take a closer look at exactly what’s involved.
Withdrawal takes place in the immediate hours after abstinence and the symptoms presented can range in severity. Unaided heroin detox is never recommended as it is impossible to say how any individual will respond to suddenly not using. There should be some kind of medical assistance close at hand to treat symptoms as they present during the detox process.
The symptoms of heroin withdrawal include:
Intense cravings for the substance that can become an obsession due to the two layers of addiction associated with heroin.
Profuse sweating that is not explained by physical activity or environment, with periods of chills and feeling very cold. These extreme changes in body temperature are caused by physical dependency and it is the body’s craving for heroin that creates this feverish condition.
Deep and sometimes intense muscle and bone pain with varying degrees of intensity. Some patients report a feeling of becoming really heavy and sluggish both mentally and physically.
Nausea, vomiting, fever, runny nose and watery eyes.
Cramping in the legs and arms and occasionally the lower back. The physical sensation is a constant need to stretch to relieve the cramping sensations, which can be so severe that patients can lash and kick out during this phase of withdrawal.
Becoming emotionally overwhelmed is a withdrawal symptom of heroin which is entirely normal when the body is being cleansed of the drug.
Perhaps one of the most distressing withdrawal symptoms from heroin are the thoughts that can go through a patient’s mind while in detox. Irrational fears and paranoia may surface together with feelings of guilt and shame. Negative thought processes may become so extreme as to make the patient feel as though they are no longer able to cope. Mood swings become more extreme and frequent and sometimes this can trigger other underlying mental health conditions such as personality disorder or schizophrenia.
There is no doubt about the fact that withdrawing from a substance as addictive as heroin is extremely challenging and this is where personalized drug addiction treatment can be very beneficial.
Heroin addiction is lonely for patients; they often are unable to see a clear path to recovery. The knowledge that detox is a challenging process can make people very reluctant to take that step, although programs at qualified drug rehabs are the best environments to ensure discomfort is minimized. Having someone on-hand who is qualified and trained to deal with the sometimes severe symptoms of withdrawal provides huge support to a patient seeking drug addiction treatment.
In addition, formalized and supervised detox and drug rehab treatment centers provide personalized detox plans so that individual needs and requirements are met, with active therapies like CBT and counseling underpinning the progress made during and after detoxification. Although it is more difficult to treat heroin addiction than it may be other substances, this does not mean it is impossible. A comprehensive treatment program that addresses both the physical and mental aspects of heroin addiction is the most direct path towards a healthy life in recovery.
There is no one simple solution when it comes to addiction treatment and effective drug rehab requires a complete understanding of the complexities surrounding an individual’s need to use. Individualized drug addiction treatment is essential for the demanding challenges a person faces when they enter into a program as everyone responds to the tough mental and physical challenges and demands of rehab differently.
Why Individualized Programs Are the Most Effective
People struggling with addiction issues have their own unique set of circumstances to deal with and each case will have a unique history surrounding their use, habits, and perceptions. Even if people are addicted to the same substances, they can both display very different responses to their situation. This is why the most important step in the initial stage of drug rehab is assessment and evaluation.
Specialists need to fully understand the substances involved, the severity of the addiction and its duration, related physical health concerns, what triggers and stressors are involved and any underlying mental health concerns for each and every patient entering drug rehab in order to design the most appropriate program of treatment. This process requires complete honesty from each patient in order to get effective treatment and is often the first time someone with addiction problems will have been able to open up to another about their issues.
Evaluation and assessment are important in addiction treatment, allowing clinicians to create a personalized approach that will ultimately be more successful. For example, some patients may need dialectical behavior therapyto help them manage the symptoms of underlying mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, whereas another may do just as well within group and individual therapy. Successful treatment is based on the specific physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each patient entering a drug rehab center.
What Is Involved in an Assessment?
Accurate assessment is possibly one of the most crucial aspects of addiction treatment and is typically used to gauge addiction and determine the level of care required. The areas that will be evaluated and assessed include:
The level of intoxication and dangers attached to withdrawal, which serves to gauge someone’s experiences with substance abuse and how they are likely to respond to detox.
Physical health and any family history of complications that may have contributed to addiction.
Emotional and behavioral conditions and any related complications.
The willingness of the patient to quit using substances and make the changes needed to recover.
Dangers of relapse once treatment is completed or evaluation of any past relapse history.
This kind of assessment allows therapists and addiction specialists to create a picture of addiction in each individual patient and an understanding of the challenges they are likely to face in treatment. For example, someone who is suffering from depression at the same time as addiction is likely to need a different treatment approach than someone who has a concurrent personality disorder.
Benefits of Individualized Approaches
Entering into addiction treatment having made the decision to seek help in an enormously challenging process for many, making it hard for many to commit to a program. The benefits of an individualized approach are that patients become more aware of their specific relationship with substances and together with specialist staff, are able to define a clear path towards their personal recovery.
The specific benefits of individualized addiction treatment include:
Individual physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health concerns are more effectively managed in actionable ways.
Multiple therapy options can be created to treat patients holistically with their specific needs in mind.
Tests and treats any physical or mental health problems that are underlying a patient’s addiction.
Allows patients to build a strong social recovery network to bridge the gap between alienation and socialization that is so often seen in addiction.
Attending a program at a drug addiction treatment center is an intensely personal experience that is different for each patient. Understanding the issues building up to developing addiction and their context in the daily lives of patients is crucial in devising the most effective strategies for recovery.
As we have become better informed about the area of addiction, more therapy options have become available to patients seeking heroin addiction treatment. Some of these therapies are known as experiential, which are a range of interventions designed to focus patients on actual involvement, engagement, and interaction with different types of experiences as part of addiction treatment. One of these experiential therapies is known as equine-assisted and involves working with horses in a therapeutic setting.
What Is Equine Therapy?
Equine therapy is enormously valuable in promoting emotional growth because horses are incredibly intuitive, instinctive creatures capable of detecting a person’s mood. Not only do they sense what someone is thinking and feeling but they respond accordingly. This is extremely beneficial to people with addiction as they may have lost touch with their own emotions. Horses promote patients’ self-awareness to such a degree that they learn to better understand how to control the way they feel.
The benefits of equine-assisted therapy cannot be underestimated as for many patients undergoing this form of experiential treatment; it proves to be life-changing. Working with horses is usually incorporated into a wider, more holistic treatment program and has proven to be particularly effective with people who have had difficulty in sticking to a heroin rehab program. Because heroin is so highly addictive, many people who have abused the drug for prolonged periods of time can be particularly resistant to treatment.
Equine therapy allows them another route that is less challenging for them to engage with.
How Does Equine Therapy Work?
Every heroin addiction treatment program should be devised on a patient-by-patient basis because everyone has individual needs and requirements. Because heroin addiction develops on both a physical and mental level, there are two ‘layers’ to the symptoms experienced. This can make detox and rehab particularly challenging, especially if there is a history of long-term heroin abuse and often, patients drop out of programs feeling unable to meet the challenges ahead of them.
Equine therapy provides an alternative that is not a standalone solution but can add significantly to the efficacy of a treatment program overall. The way working with horses helps people with heroin addiction is that they are encouraged to develop a relationship with the animal while taking care of its basic needs. Horses are herd animals with complex social structures and so they can be territorial. Although in dogs this can sometimes result in aggression, a horse has a more intuitive response to external stimuli and can quickly sense what the intentions are of someone approaching them.
For example, in the wild horses roam together in packs led by alpha males. When another horse is introduced to the pack, the alpha male will immediately sense if they are a threat or if they are submissive and respond accordingly.
However, in a similar way to dogs, horses can develop deep attachments with the people who care for them and this is one of the important takeaways for people in equine-therapy. In the initial days of engaging with a horse, patients learn how to approach the animal based on what response they want to elicit from the horse. They will have learned through trial and error that feeling fear or tensing up can be sensed quickly by the horse and they can respond by being jittery and nervous because they are uncertain as to what will happen next. This teaches patients how to modify their behavior in order to get a different response and ultimately, this is a skill that becomes invaluable in recovery.
Why Is Equine-Assisted Therapy So Effective?
In a rehab setting, working with horses gives people with addiction issues a new focus and also the opportunity to care for and nurture another living creature. Placing someone else before themselves is something that many addicts have lost the ability to do and so they can relearn how to transfer their focus from themselves to others by caring for the daily needs of a horse. Because they are big animals, they require considerable care and so there’s a big element of discipline and hard work involved but the rewards are enormous. The feeling of being appreciated by an animal as majestic as a horse can be an enormous boost to someone’s feelings of achievement and self-worth.