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Scientists continue to make advancements on the how and why of addiction in humans but the process can be lengthy and arduous. In addition to governmental red tape, federal funding changes and restraints, as well as public perception about substance abuse and the way we treat it could use a helping hand. After years of clinical studies, the opportunity of a lifetime for those struggling with alcoholism is coming to light. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism “NIAAA” just opened a research study based on a new drug and they are looking for volunteers to participate in the program. What will finally be put to the test is the validity of findings from years earlier and if ghrelin, the appetite hormone, causes alcohol cravings and the efficacy of a new drug geared to block it.

Alcohol Is Like Chocolate, in Theory

For generations, the medical community has been trying to wrap its head around addiction and why some people are more prone to its development than others. Instead of focus on alcohol addiction itself, studies began some 10 to 15 years ago with primary interest in our physiological makeup and what role that plays in the disease.

The levels of hormones and appetite regulating peptides in people with alcoholism differ than that in others. Leptin, known as the master hormone, targets the hypothalamus in the brain, to tell us when our appetite is satisfied or when we are in an energy-deficit and need to eat. Leptin works in counter-balance to another hormone, ghrelin.

Ghrelin is the hunger hormone sending messages to the brain leading the desire to eat. Science indicates a connection between how these two hormones act/interact and whether obesity is linked to a condition known as leptin-resistance. Hormone imbalance (cortisol) can cause an increase in belly fat. Why then, couldn’t it be possible that inadequate levels of ghrelin cause an increase in craving for whatever a person prefers: milk chocolate, French fries or vodka?

Appetite Hormones Differed in Controlled Groups

After the initial consideration as to whether appetite hormones play a part in alcohol use disorder, many studies took place. One such study, results published in April 2015 in pubmed.gov, measured the appetite-related hormones adiponectin (regulates glucose/sugar levels), ghrelin and resistin against alcohol cravings.

In total, 190 men participated in the study; 107 patients consumed alcohol and the remaining 83 did not. The study followed the hormone levels of participants for a seven-day period.

This research study took blood samples measuring alcoholic patients’:

  • Level of appetite hormones
  • Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) score
  • Penn Alcohol Craving Scale (PACS) score

These scores were compared to the 83 healthy participants. Their findings? On day seven, the study aligned cravings for alcohol with increased levels of adiponectin and ghrelin.

Ghrelin Levels Linked to Stress

Research has also looked at the way hormones foster psychiatric disorders to include anxiety and depression.  Because we know how stress can wreak havoc with our fight-or-flight response, hormones and how they respond to moments of stress could create a cause-and-effect of addiction; if, a person experiencing stress has an increase in ghrelin and responds by craving or seeking comfort through food, alcohol or other preferred substance use or behaviors. You’ve probably heard of someone referring to themselves as a stress eater. This may define the process.

Ghrelin Engages Drinking Alcohol

Dr. Lorenzo Leggio and his associates formulated another study recently, solely addressing the link between the desire or need to drink alcohol and the presence of ghrelin. Participants were comprised of women and men, all of whom had an alcohol use disorder though had not sought treatment for the disease.

The 45 patients were randomly split into three separate groups, each receiving ghrelin by injection. One group received the highest level of ghrelin, another group received a lesser amount of ghrelin and the final grouping received the placebo or no presence of ghrelin. After the injection, participants were given an activity-response test, meant to engage a craving for either alcohol or juice. The results from all three groups showed a direct correlation between patients who received ghrelin and their responses to the tests, desiring alcohol intake. Participants in all groups showed no differing interest in the juice.

If You Could Stop Drinking with the Use of a Drug, Would You?

Should research and subsequent positive results continue in the use of a new drug to block the way ghrelin promotes alcohol cravings, science may have found a way to diminish a person’s physiological pathway to drink. But there are the behavioral factors in the desire to drink. Peer pressures, a sense of belonging, the need to numb pain (emotional and physical) will remain and invariably drive some people to use other substances as a transference of the behaviors associated with alcoholism.

The body’s hormonal imbalances may be put into a more favorable range with a ghrelin-blocker but personal intent is a force that doesn’t shift with the wind. What you elect to do with your life, how you allow alcohol or drug addiction to control your destiny, is still the deciding factor.

Alcohol Use Disorder Might Control You Now, But It Doesn’t Define Your Tomorrow

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Appetite Hormone Causes Alcohol Cravings? appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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Valentine’s Day has come and gone. If you’re still brooding over your singleness, maybe it’s time to rethink not just who you’re dating but how you’re doing it. Not interested in getting into a relationship with someone who has a drug or alcohol problem? Then why do you jump at the chance to go to the next happy hour, just because the guy or gal asking is hot? Ever hear of mixed messaging?

I’m not pointing my finger at you (unless you take it that way), I’m guilty of this too. So, what’s the secret to better dating? It’s all in the approach. No, no offerings of clever one-liners here just some eye-rolling truth. It starts with saying what you mean and meaning what you say and nothing spells it out like date night. Let’s walk through the hypocrisies and have some fun with it. Once read, it’s a no-brainer (pun intended) as to why singles should date sober to meet the right guy (or gal).

February Is the Best Month to Give Sober Dating a Try

Now that Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and every other excuse out there has passed, many people take this time of year to get clean or sober up. It may not be a full-blown abstinence crusade but it’s generally a time to take the overindulgence down a few notches. That’s a good thing.

Whether you’ve met someone online or have been eyeing that cutie in the office next door, the dating process isn’t about showing up as the person who want to be or should be – it’s about being your authentic self. Alcohol or drug intake wouldn’t do anything but put a dark veil over that.

Sure, you might think you’re more fun and gregarious after a couple of cocktails. Maybe your friends have told you that. Likely an accurate perception as they are just as liquored up. Ask a sober person what it’s like to be around over-the-top shi*-faced peeps and no doubt you’ll get a different story. Inhibitions go by the way side. Once the buzz kicks in, you’ll say things you shouldn’t say, do things you wouldn’t normally do and make decisions that you will regret later, that is if you remember them. You won’t. But a sober person will.

Would You Have Slept with Those People Had You Been Sober?

Think back on everyone you’ve had sex with. Now… think back on how many of those interludes were wrapped around alcohol or drugs? One more question… is it the only way you have sex… when you’re loaded? If so, you don’t really know who you’re having sex with and they certainly don’t really know who you are. If neither of you care then your actions define hook up. If all you want is a baby daddy or baby momma then continue on. However, if you want to find a more emotionally meaningful relationship, let sobriety lead the adventure.

There’s a Difference Between Numb and Feeling

When searching for a partner in life, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for because if you don’t know, it makes the needle-in-the-haystack of dating even more of a crap shoot than it already is.

If you want to boost your chances of success in finding the right one, then you have to get right with yourself. It isn’t lurking at the corner pub during happy hour or hiding under the table at the club in Scottsdale with the best bottle service in town. The best chance you’ll ever have at finding someone who you’re compatible with is to be compatible. It happens, more often, when you’re sober.

Dating Sober Can Be Scary

Many of us get the pre-date jitters. Anxiety can creep in just thinking about meeting a stranger (that’s what it is in the beginning). We worry about how we look, what we say, where we should go and how long to stay there. Will we be liked? Is this a waste of time? Maybe I should have just one glass of wine to take the edge off…. Stop! All the fears that pop up about dating have to do with feelings. Embrace them. They are your built-in tools to figure out whether this one’s a keeper or it’s on to the next.

How we feel plays an important part in how we assess ourselves and potential partners. The moment you add a glass of wine, a pint of beer or a hit of weed, you become numb to real feeling. In a sense, there is a block on the natural chemistry between you two. With it, this first social encounter is starting off with a falsehood and a pretense that it’s all good. It isn’t. All that’s happened is a delay in the truth.

Buzzed Dating Sets the Stage for Long-term Expectations

Ever tried to stop partying with your boyfriend or girlfriend after there’s an established pattern of drinking or lighting up? Yeah, it usually doesn’t go over very well. The request for a shift in what was acceptable behavior before can put a damper on the relationship. Let me reclarify this.

During your first date and some subsequent dates with the same person, alcohol or drug use may have been part of the fun experienced together. Never was there a time when you voiced concern or ambivalence about it, until now. Without alcohol or drug use, you will be different. As such, the relationship will be different.

Serial Daters Are Artful at Living a Double Life

Unless you’re being set up by a friend, family member or coworkers (and there’s still no guarantee), dating has some serious risks. Not everyone is as well-intended as you. Serial daters and con artists use the dating platform to lure lonely hearts in through manipulation and deception. They tell you what you want to hear. They become the person they believe you desire. For what? Money, a place to stay, another option in a string of other options (married already)? When you spend time with people you don’t know, it’s imperative for your safety that you keep your wits about you. Otherwise, you’ll never notice the red flags flying displaying “Run, Faster, Now!

Avoid the Headache (And Hangover) Just Date Sober from the Start

Sober dating is a makeshift opportunity to figure out who you are and what you’re made of. It helps you learn to set healthy boundaries and appreciate the good in yourself and others. And as you go through the maze of love life suitors, try not to stress about the ones that didn’t work out. It’s a process, like sobriety, where you’ll be better for it.

Get Started on a Sober Relationship

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Why Singles Should Date Sober to Meet the Right Guy appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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It’s a loaded question (pun intended): Does having a drug use disorder increase risk for cancer? To be clear, for this article, “drug use” includes alcohol intake. This is a hard-hitting question and thought it was worth the search for deeper insights, based on the increasing rates of addiction and incidences of cancer in the United States. If there is a distinguishing link between the two, it strengthens the argument for personal advocacy and accountability of our own health care.

Long-term Drug Use Is Toxic to the Body

An element to consider when assessing the risks of drug use in relation to cancer is time. It isn’t just about the frequency of use but the longevity of time using. There are increased risks of developing serious medical issues from early and excessive intake of alcohol or marijuana; I will address this in more detail further in this article. But time, or how long we make regular alcohol or drug intake a habit, can lead to drug toxicity – even if you don’t increase the level or potency of use. That’s scary and another reason why you don’t control drugs, they control you.

Drug Toxicity Happens to the Unsuspecting

Be wary from the moment you turn 35 years old. It doesn’t matter how healthy you think you are…. age-related kidney inefficiency begins. Through the aging process, normal kidney function and the liver’s filtration abilities digress decade-to-decade. At first, you might be thinking, “Well, yeah, no big deal.” But here’s why it matters.

If you are on medication, legal or elicit, and your dosage has not changed from the time you started taking it, because the kidneys and liver cannot process the drug as quickly or effectively, the body and the mind will become more sensitive to it. Over time, the excess drug will remain in your systems building up toxicity. This is something to consider, each time you pick up a refill on a prescription or wonder why you’re feeling those three glasses of wine on Friday night more than before.

Substance Abuse Induces Stress to Internal Systems

It has been long known that tobacco use, cannabis, other drugs can compromise health and increase the risk for morbidity as a result. (Now I can hear the cries of opposition). No doubt about the effects of tobacco and alcohol though on the subject of marijuana and opioids – there are conflicting facts on science-based evidence and their roles with respect to cancer.

Numerous studies led by oncologists are ongoing as the need to understand how drug use aggravates cancer cells is of concern. Findings show a link between aggressive testicular cancer and patients’ regular use of marijuana as adolescents. However, there are indications that certain strains of cannabis carry biological, anticancer activities providing a mechanism for therapeutic relief from pain associated with cancer. The same has been said from medical experts about the monitored use of prescription pills to minimize pain, and now we’re dealing with an opioid epidemic. Moreover, prescription pain pills are viewed as having oncogenic factors, genes that can predispose healthy cells toward cancerous cell mutation.

Cancer Treatment Degraded by Drug Abuse

On the flip side of oncology research and drug use is how substances can reduce the efficacy of cancer treatment. According to a recent study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Substance abuse reduces treatment compliance, worsens cancer prognosis and seems to be a negative factor for the quality of life.” While a cancer patient can easily find temporary comfort in the regular use of drugs, the same risks of dependency and addiction apply. Recommendations by oncologists in nutrition, medical treatments and therapies are often ignored by patients as rational thought and sound judgement can be offset by drug need.

Light Alcohol Intake Is a Precursor to Cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) studied adults in the United States and their perspectives on alcohol intake and cancer risk. More than 4,000 participants were included in the 2017 survey, with just 38 percent of them being mindful of their alcohol consumption as the means to reduce cancer risk.

Did you ever think about cancer when you chugged a beer or threw down a shot of tequila? Here are some statistics that may have you thinking that cancer risk should be top of mind before hitting a happy hour or contemplating addiction relapse…

6% of new cancer diagnoses and deaths are due to alcohol. ~ ASCO
                                                                                                               

The medical association also emphatically called out alcohol as a direct link to increased risk for developing the following cancers:

  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Throat cancer

In addition, ASCO points to heavier alcohol consumption and extended time of consumption (years) magnifying cancer risk.

Drug and Alcohol Manufacturers Reluctant to Spell Out the Truth

Assuming beverage manufacturers are in the business of making product that makes them money, warning labels affixed to their alcoholic offerings are subject to a raised eyebrow or two. Now that you know some of the current information out there about the connection between drug and alcohol intake and cancer risk, why is it so difficult for their manufacturers to acknowledge the truth and put a label on it?

Here’s what the current requirements are for alcoholic beverage labels:

“GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon General, women should not drink alcoholic beverages during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, and may cause health problems

Pretty ambiguous. Opioid prescription drug makers were required to follow new guidelines in warning labels, as of December 2016, noting the risks for overuse, addiction, overdose and death. Better late than never? Tell that to the millions of people who are actively addicted to prescription opioids and heroin.

Be an Advocate for Your Own Care

The American Cancer Society released its forecast for reported new cancer cases and cancer deaths for 2017 in the United States.

1,688,780 new cancer cases
600,920 cancer deaths

If you are currently on a health regimen that includes consistent use of medications, keep a journal noting any changes in how you feel or how you look. With aging, hormonal changes, unexpected life stressors, weight loss or weight gain, and addition or subtraction of medications can affect how your body and mind react to them, including over the counter drugs. It’s worth an extra conversation with your health practitioner just to be sure you’re where you need to be.

Ready to Take Control of Excessive Alcohol Intake or Drug Use?

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Does Drug Use Disorder Increase Risk for Cancer? appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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Sports fans can readily recite their list of professional, collegiate or hometown favorites in a heartbeat because we wear our allegiance to athletes close to the vest. Corporations bank on it with ballplayer endorsements. Universities rely on it to increase enrollments and NCAA rankings. Parents justify it as support for their sons and daughters, perhaps as the means to live through them and their victories, vicariously. The pressure is high. The risks, higher.

Drug abuse amongst athletes isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around since 300 B.C. in Greece during the Olympics. Using substances to enhance performance presents a culture of hypocrisy that feeds ticket purchases and advertising package deals. Nothing spells success like being on the front of a cereal box of Wheaties or 15 seconds of extra fame on a Nike or Gatorade commercial. As we turn on our multiple screens to catch every moment of the NFL Superbowl LII and the 2018 Winter Olympics, consider what’s going on behind the glory and defeat because it’s the humanness in athletes that resonates most. Opioids and depression in athletes is common.

Risk of Loss to an Athlete Is Part of the Game

The agony of defeat is not a welcome journey to an athlete, a true athlete. In the competitive sports world, there are no awards for trying – it’s about winning. With that kind of pressure, measures have been taken to help people perform beyond what was humanly possible. These achievement markers extend and exceed year to year. While there’s science behind nutrition and sports training that give merit to how they help athletes excel, supplementing through man-made substances appears to be a necessary evil.

An Adrenaline Junkie Is Born

Having an innate talent in physicality can come with a tremendous sense of burden. Like other natural gifts, athleticism is meant to be cherished, fine-tuned and pushed to define and redefine potential. The sports industry demands it. The fan base expects it. But neither puts the pressure on the athlete more than the athlete.

With the eyes of the world on them, every time trial, every play and replay recounts the highlights and the low moments. And with social media – they live on forever. Similar to Hollywood celebrities, athletes are only as good as their last season. Though there is an important difference: If their career is based on the ability to perform well physically, when injury happens it all comes tumbling down.

This is where the self-judgement and self-doubt begins. To keep the negative self-talk away, ball players, runners, weight-lifters and others go to a variety of drugs to achieve the desired effect. To boost performance, to minimize pain, to increase energy, to reduce apprehension, to increase lean muscle mass, to enhance focus, the list of reasons for doping is long. The side-effects are longer.

The drugs of choice include:

  • Methamphetamines
  • Androgens
  • Anti-depressants
  • Anti-anxiety meds
  • Opioids
Athletes Could Be Predisposed to Addiction

The body reacts to exercise in the same way it responds to drug or alcohol intake. During cardiovascular activity, for example, the brain sends a message to the pituitary gland releasing endorphins, a natural response, providing feelings of pleasure or to help relieve pain. You may have heard the term “runner’s high” – endorphin release is how it happens.

Over time, athletes crave that feel good release and they get it when they train, perform and continue to compete. But there are mental health issues tied to this process. Imagine working towards a sports scholarship, only to be awarded a red shirt. Envision training for years, since early childhood, to be a member of the U.S. Olympic ski team only to be cut due to a career-ending injury on the final downhill time-trial run.

Depression. Anxiety. Pain. The sensations are understandable but here’s the bigger picture. In the above scenarios, the physical rewards have stopped or not been met; therefore, the endorphin high that the bodies have grown accustomed to are not being fulfilled. This is when an athlete has a heightened risk for addiction.

Drilling It Down to Simple

If you’re a parent of a child who plays sport, I wanted to provide an anecdotal story to illustrate how the same endorphin process affects younger, budding athletes. I recall when my son was about 10 years old, he struggled in school – but put him on a basketball court and he was gold. On one Friday, just after report cards came out, his father and I learned of his lackluster grades. As we contemplated consequences, taking basketball participation away until the grades were raised was discussed. Our son’s response seemed a little dramatic at the time but based on my understanding of the physiology and psychology of athletes, it makes perfect sense. “Please don’t take basketball away… if I don’t play… I’ll die,” he said, tears running down his face. I now realize that based on his endorphin intake, his fear was justified.

When Competitive Edge Has Gone Too Far

Drug use has a ying and yang effect, somewhat magnified in athletes. What goes in must have a correlating response to achieve balance. The more speed is taken, the body will then want something to calm it back down and in turn, will yearn for speed again… you get the idea. This process is extremely taxing on the body and the mind, more so for athletes addicted to substances as the rigors of training, competition and obligations to sports management add to the pressure.

The reasons athletes are driven to drugs can change over their lifetime. The repercussions of use can be life-altering.

  • Loss of desire
  • Increase in pain
  • Development of mental health disorders
  • End of career
  • End of industry support
  • End of public approval
  • Loss of financial status
  • Loss of life
Transparency Has Led to More Shame

Professional sports has been more vocal about the instances of drug use amongst its participants, though only when the signs are obvious – an arrest, injury or death.  More awareness within the athletic community will help but it isn’t enough. The same shame and stigma that follows many addicts can pale in comparison to what an athlete, with an addiction revealed, will endure. Public scrutiny and unfavorable press coverage are a given, which can further feed depression, anxiety and a high risk for relapse.

Professional treatment and recovery are crucial to any athlete suffering with opioid addiction, alcoholism or ongoing use of Adderall, Ritalin or cocaine. Scottsdale Recovery Center provides compassion through accredited experts who consistently exceed industry standards. Our residential facilities blend upscale comforts of home with 24-hour medical attention, with physical activities and holistic therapies to help athletes restore and get back to enjoying their celebrity status.

Find Out How Professional Athletes Can Find Balance Again

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Performance Anxiety, Opioids and Depression in Athletes appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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There are breakthroughs in education, research and awareness about the damage that substance abuse can cause to communities across the United States. But based on the growing numbers of active drug addiction, rates of relapse and overdoses, optimism is hard to find. Until you meet Jean Krisle and 10,000 Beds. She has her own story about addiction but it is her resiliency and response to the national epidemic that gives her credence and some well-deserved attention. Scottsdale Recovery Center is proud to partner with this philanthropic force. Our only hope is that once you learn more about Krisle and her quest to provide recovery treatment for free, you’ll feel compelled to share it.

The Long, Winding Road of Addiction Treatment Recovery Stops Here

One of the biggest challenges that addicts face, when they’re ready for drug or alcohol detox and recovery, is to find a facility that will help. Many people don’t have the financial resources to pay for treatment. Even those who had gainful employment may have lost their health insurance, jobs or assets (including savings, personal property and homes) due to the trickle-down effect of addition and the loss of livelihood in themselves and their family members. Krisle sees this on her travels from state to state.

“Our mission is to help as many people as we can who have reached out for help, but have no resources of their own,“ said Krisle, adding “The saturation of addiction in our society. It’s everywhere – active or in recovery – you can’t speak to anyone or go anywhere it hasn’t affected.” This is part of what drives her and the 10,000 Beds non-profit from coast to coast, literally.

10,000 Beds brings a message of transparency, courage and faith to people across the country who know the horrors of the drug epidemic well. Krisle’s program is boots-on-the-ground, as she takes the 10,000 Beds’ Big Blue RV to neighborhoods, community centers, special events and health-based organizations providing stronger awareness about addiction and what needs to be done to get a handle on it and rise above.

Jean Krisle, Founder & CEO, 10,000 Beds

Connecting addicts seeking treatment to the facilities that can offer help was an idea rooted in personal pain. “After dealing with my son’s addiction for years, I volunteered in treatment centers. I would hear calls come in from people who needed help but had no money or insurance. So most of the time, the treatment program couldn’t help them.” Krisle knew that with nowhere to go, these people would wind up on the streets, using and continuing the ugly cycle of addiction until their journey ended with incarceration or death. For her, it’s inhumane. Something needed to be done.

“I would also tour treatment programs and see empty beds that were going to waste. With so many people needing treatment, to me, the solution was obvious. From that need, I created 10,000 Beds,” Krisle stated, currently immersed in one of her On the Road 4 Recovery trips. I’m looking forward to meeting her and the program face-to-face at the Scottsdale Recovery Center (SRC) this year.

More than Empty Beds, It’s About Quality Treatment Programs

When we first spoke with Krisle, she explained the process in being given the opportunity to partner with 10,000 Beds. SRC wanted to provide two treatment and recovery scholarships through her program. But Krisle doesn’t take just any rehab facility on board. She carefully vets the owners, reviews their accreditations and rehab service offerings, further protecting consumers and the addiction community. Because placing people in the wrong treatment doesn’t help anyone and instigates drug and alcohol relapse.

What does it take to be part of the 10,000 Beds affiliation? “Positive environment, dual diagnosis, structured program, caring staff and a clean facility”, Krisle lists. She does know what proper treatment and recovery entails as dual diagnosis (addiction with a mental illness) is common with drug or alcohol abuse.

The Catharsis of Sharing Stories and Grief

Jean Krisle touches many hands. It may have been unintended but her outreach is also a voice for addiction and recovery, for patients and the industry as a whole. I asked her about the road tours, and the impressions they continue to make on her as a person and as an advocate for better treatment and care of addicts.

“We most often speak with families of addicts – either addicts in active addiction, recovered addicts, or addicts we lost – and all stories are similar. Families feel guilty, wonder what THEY did wrong, and wish they could help others. And all express gratitude for a program like ours, and wish we had been around when they were looking for help,” Krisle adds, her heartfelt appreciation is obvious.

Acknowledge the Outrage – Take Part in the Outreach

10,000 Beds is gaining a lot of traction on a global scale. This year, it was invited to be part of the Choice Humanitarian Gala, presented by Choice Humanitarian, celebrating the people who make a difference through philanthropic efforts. Krisle has been involved with the organization for 30 years. In addition, she is also featured in the January 2018 cover story of Speaker Magazine.

Emotions run high in people affected by addiction. Jean Krisle and 10,000 Beds “have no plans to stop” their mission. She and the highly-reputable professionals at SRC want to know we have your support. Contact us for information on when 10,000 Beds will be at our rehab facility for a special event, or view our 10,000 Beds partnership page.

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post 10,000 Beds Connects Addicts with Recovery Treatment for Free appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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You may have been hearing some rumblings about a new drug trend that is making waves across the country. If not yet, you will. Some news agencies are reporting a wasp hotshot as a new to the illegal drug market but it’s been in existence for years, and its origin has an interesting twist.

What Is a Hotshot and Where Does It Come From?

Hotshot refers to any narcotic injected into the bloodstream for an intensely quick rush. The high may not last very long but the damage can prove long lasting on many levels. The term hotshot was used decades ago. Underground members of society or convicted felons in prison would set up a deliberate murder through the use of a hotshot – a heavy, lethal dose of heroin. There are even references to its use in multiple fiction books. But this is very real and very disturbing.

What Is a Wasp Hotshot

Various incidents across the United States account for hotshot concoctions created with methamphetamines (speed) mixed with chemical bug spray, hence the name, wasp hotshot. Imagine, purchasing a can of wasp spray and some screen wire at your local Home Depot. You get home and spray the screen with the wasp spray. You then connect the screen to a battery charger and once it heats up, the wasp spray crystallizes and melts. Now the solution is ready to be injected into a vein.

Law Enforcement Says This Injectable Causes Psychotic Behavior and More

Sheriff Cecil Cantrell of Monroe County Mississippi, recalls his own experiences in dealing with those under the influence of wasp hotshots. “They’re ruined. Ruined for life… a person will stand at a jail cell door, slobber like a mad dog, wanting to fight. Everything is wrong, nothing is right for one minute, then calm down and then go right back into a rage.”

It’s hard to envision this. I did some research and found a video that shows the reality of what it’s like after infusing a wasp hotshot into your body. It took three police officers to restrain this poor man. Caution: it’s painful to watch. You can see he is out of his mind and wants to jump out of his body, if he only could.

Source: Qronos16 YouTube Channel

Hotshots Engage Violence in the Addict, Putting Others in Harm’s Way

Just last month, Danny Hollis II broke into a home after smoking wasp made of bug spray and meth. He wreaked havoc inside of the home, making his way to the family’s dinner table while a mother and her four children were eating. There he tried to slash his own throat. Police gave chase before the family endured additional trauma. By the time the police caught up with Hollis, he had climbed a tree and stripped himself naked. However, when he was put into jail, he said he couldn’t remember anything that happened.

What Drives a Person to do Wasp Hotshots?

An ounce of irrationality. A measure of curiosity. For the good grace of the universe I have no idea why anyone would want to try this. Although it most likely stems from the same reasoning that a person begins drug use in the first place.

  • A dare
  • An escape
  • A quick fix
  • A way to numb pain
  • A need to mask existing mental illness

Wasp, whether ingested through smoke or needle, is easy to configure. One quick google search and the how-to is all laid out. When crystal meth first came onto the market, the ingredients needed to make the drug were readily accessible as many were household items. In turn, tougher restrictions existed at convenience stores, pharmacies and supermarkets such as locked cabinets or the ingredients were kept behind the counter where store personnel were there to intervene a potential purchase.

Now we’re talking about bug spray. Will Ace Hardware, Home Depot, Lowe’s and many other retailers need to be proactive about this potential craze in America’s drug epidemic?

Mental Health Weighs Heavy After Meth Use

Drug addicts seek substance use for many reasons that can have everything to do with a desired feeling and nothing to do with the horrible after effects. Unfortunately, methamphetamine and crystal meth addictions come with substantive detriment to physical and mental wellness. Because these drugs are extremely addicting, it can take months to adequately detox from them.

More than 20% of meth addicts in recovery (for at least 6 months) develop a form of
psychosis like schizophrenia that does not respond to treatment.

WebMD, Meth 101

The longer the meth addict avoids treatment and continues use, the damage is life-altering and can lead to death.

Meth addiction can lead to:

  • Psychotic disorder with
    • Delusions
    • Hallucinations
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders

I had a friend and coworker who got caught up in crystal meth. She lost her marriage, custody of her children, her successful career, her passion and her common sense. She spent time in prison. She’s pulled herself together to the best of her abilities but she’s a mere shadow of who she was. She remains on medication to keep the nervous ticks to a minimum and receives disability to survive. Absolutely heartbreaking.

What Parents Can Do to Protect their Family

As parents, we need to be extra vigilant when it comes to our children’s welfare. It’s okay to be that hovering mother or father (when you can do it without their knowing, that works too). Get acquainted with their friends. Talk to their teachers. Track their whereabouts; if they are under 18, as their legal guardian – you’re allowed and encouraged to do so. Never leave a stone unturned. Lock up your insect spray. Show them this article. Make sure they understand that the sting of a wasp hotshot isn’t worth the head trip.

Don’t Wait to Reach Out Until It’s Too Late

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Why This Wasp Hotshot Injection Stings to Death appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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The following is a hypothetical situation that probably happens often in a corporate setting, in a sales or marketing division after they’ve hit their revenue numbers. Management is thrilled. Workabees are ecstatic. Time to celebrate and tie one on. Then there’s that awkward pause. Coworkers eye one another. “Who’s it gonna be? Who’s our DD”?

The designated driver (DD) is the person in a group of people who either readily volunteers or is selected by others as the person who will be the ‘safe mode of transport’. If there isn’t a sober one in the bunch, there might be a problem. Moreover, if each person has a different idea about what a true “DD” is, the varied opinions could compromise everyone.

Designated Driver in Theory Is Well Intended

Originating in Scandinavia in the 1970s as a program for Canadian Club Whiskey, DD received mixed reviews. While the philosophy behind it was sound, the mechanics of it in practice often fell on deaf ears.

Optimal use is when a designated driver is assigned before the drinking starts. But it doesn’t always work out that way. On the flip side, when the designation happens isn’t the worst scenario. Should the designated driver not really want to stay sober or if the DD believes that drinking less than their normal is good enough to provide safe travel compared to everyone else’s intake, this is where the problems begin. The point of having a designated driver is that one person remains of sound mind and body to help make decision-making for the group.

Uber and Lyft Joined the Party and Made MADD, Happy

Once the concept of a DD caught on across the United States, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) took it and ran, somewhat claiming it as their own. Taking the DD process one step further to mirror urbanite behaviors, they partnered with rideshare companies Uber and Lyft to raise money for their nonprofit. Through $1.00 donations per ride, during specific holidays and prime time alcohol consumption hours, designated driving took on a new twist to help an oversaturated problem.

One Fatal Flaw of Designated Drivers Perpetuates Addictive Behavior

Even when there is a designated driver who abides by the intention of the title and maintains sobriety throughout the social engagement until each person in the group arrives to their end destination safely, the DD does not hamper the alcohol intake of everyone else. While many who live with substance abuse find comfort in socializing with like-minded individuals, some seek out sober partners. But don’t mistake that as a cry for help. The attraction is purely strategic.

Designated Drivers Are Very Attractive to Addicts

If you’re the local do-gooder or want to get personal accolades from your wild bunch of friends or fearless, successful coworkers, being the go-to DD might seem like a good idea. It is – if it’s once in a while.

On a personal note, I’ve been sought after by a couple of different men, both alcoholics. We were friends and I didn’t think our way of life was a good match. Strangely enough, each of these men had similar conversations with me. They’d offer up a fun idea for an evening, heading out to a great restaurant or over-the-top social gathering with one caveat: I was to be the designated driver. When I laughed and asked, “Why do you think we’d be good together… we’re couldn’t be more polar opposites?” the response was the same. “Exactly. I can drink. You can drive. It’s perfect!”

Yeah, those relationships went nowhere. (smile) But I know of people who were manipulated into those scenarios over and over. If their friend or spouse had a problem, the DD would accompany them to their favorite bar or to the party and either idling sit by and watch them use. When it was time to leave, the drive home was stressful for the DD, not so much for the one who passed out. Each time this happens, it’s a missed opportunity for the designated driver to say “No” and stop the cycle of abuse.

The presence of a designated driver does little to stop the overconsumption in others. A lengthy study conducted in Australia measured the perception of participants who planned on drinking and if there was any difference in the amount they consumed once knowing a DD would be there.

The difference between you as a DD and a driver from Uber, Lyft or the closest limousine company is that you provide the service for free. And there’s nothing loving about getting a text at 1:23 a.m. by your better half wanting you to pick them up from wherever they wandered off to, now in a drunken stupor. It’s like getting a booty call without the temporary benefit. Crude, but true.

If you’re the designated drivers often enable alcoholics or drug addiction in those they care about. The best approach to take for all involved is to respectfully and gracefully decline the request.

Know When to Say No to Being the DD

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Designated Drivers Help Some but Enable Addiction in Others appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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Are bar owners to blame? A man and a woman go into a bar in Scottsdale, Arizona. It’s 11:42 p.m. on Friday. The music’s loud. The crowd is even louder. The acoustics don’t help as the noise level is by design to create a desired atmosphere. As a patron, you might believe there isn’t anywhere else you’d want to be and by leaving, there’s that FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) effect. This man and woman buy into the whole concept. They stand, impatiently waiting behind two people seated at the bar.

The bartender, Frank, eyes them and nods. Though he cannot hear their requests, his longstanding experience in the industry makes him invaluable as he can read their lips. Within two minutes, he concocts their cocktails and moves on to the next thirsty customer. Here’s where it all turns south.

Moral Responsibility Vs. Criminal Prevention

What Frank didn’t know will hurt him, the bar owners, and the five teenagers that happened to be in a car on the road just .75 miles away from where his patrons are enjoying themselves right now.  This couple had stumbled into the bar, using the crowd as a buffer to stay steady on their feet and get to the bar counter without falling. But Frank was focused on serving customers, to make them happy and keep them happy, which makes the bar owners money which, makes them happy as well. With the heightened noise level inside, Frank wouldn’t have heard their slurred speech anyway. If he did, would the evening have ended any differently? Does a bartender have the right to limit or stop a patron’s alcohol consumption?

The couple went on to drink until the bar closed. They meandered down the two blocks of sidewalk to get into their car. They drove, weaving the roadway for about three minutes until they hit a car head on. That vehicle had a group of teenagers inside who were merely waiting for the traffic light on Goldwater Avenue to turn green.

As a bartender, bar host, manager or establishment owner, where does the hammer of liability strike when customers drink beyond the legal limit, causing harm to themselves or someone else?

What is Dram Shop Law

The story about the couple and the teenagers noted above is fiction. The possibility of a story occurring just like it and the issues surrounding it are very real. If you live in Scottsdale or plan on visiting and happen to go to our local eateries and entertainment venues, alcohol consumption is a choice that falls on the consumer – no matter what. However, there is a little-known law that came about in the 1980s created to protect victims of DUI (driving while under the influence). Known as the dram shop law, it sheds light on the recklessness and negligence of barkeepers, owners and any staff responsible for serving alcohol.

While the dram shop law exists in many of the States, details on the law and how it is interpreted may differ.

Dram Shop Law in Arizona

According to the Arizona Revised Statutes, dram shop law is based on the bartender’s (owners/management) knowledge of the customer at the time the alcohol was served at their establishment.

  • Liquor was sold to a person blatantly impaired
  • Liquor was consumed by a person obviously impaired
  • Liquor consumption was cause of injury or damage

If the customer had no obvious physical signs of impairment when a request for alcohol took place, and the customer did not say that operating a vehicle after drinking was part of the plan, then no negligence was involved.

Further, even if the customer was served alcohol and impairment was obvious, the State of Arizona would have to prove that the injury or damage was caused as a direct result of the alcohol being served, which is not that easy to do. But there’s a bigger question at hand.

Obvious Drunk Surpasses Legal Guidelines

The legal limit of alcohol, based on Arizona law, converts to a blood alcohol level of “0.08”. This is not subject to a person’s weight, height or metabolism. In addition, many people are too impaired to drive long before their blood alcohol level reaches the legal limit. And others, reach the legal limit – long before there are visible signs of impairment. So how would a bartender, even the most experienced, be able to tell if someone’s had too much?

Knowing Your Limit Has Little to Do with the Law

Just as each person handles alcohol differently, each person has a specific limit before impairment is reached, irrespective of Arizona law. If you have a poor sense of judgement or inability to control your intake, plan social outings with trusted friends who can act on your behalf and tell you when enough is enough.

Sobriety and Restaurant Profits Don’t Mix

Any venue that holds a liquor license is required to serve alcohol in a responsible manner. However, this does not include making individual assessments on customers and their ability to control their intake. In the city of Scottsdale, where much of the revenue is dependent on seasonal visitors, college students, young professionals and the draw from special events, finding the next big party is not just an expectation but the rule. As such, bar owners and restauranteurs commit to that end, ensuring the happiness and safety of their clientele while in their establishment.

I asked a former bar owner from Scottsdale, who lives with alcoholism, how he handled regular customers who obviously overconsumed during his shift. (He had chosen to remain anonymous).

“Hey… people go out to have a good time… or forget their problems. I’m not going to stand in their way. If they start mouthing off or swinging fists, that’s a different story. Yeah… sometimes, I’d order them a ride. But the minute they exit the door, they’re on their own,” he said without reservation.

What a bartender won’t do is step up and act like your AA sponsor. Part of a customer’s unspoken tenet is to drink responsibly. For those with untreated alcoholism, this is an impossibility as excessive behavior is their norm.

Abstinence Is the Best Letter of Ethical Law

Legal restraints don’t always align with moral code. While dram shop law was long overdue, according to some, it still stands short on consistency. At what point does “entitlement to drink” stop and personal accountability begin? Should an individual’s rights supersede the health and safety of others?

Perhaps actor Marlon Brando said it best: “If we are not our brother’s keeper, at least let us not be his executioner.”

If You Have Trouble Saying When, Now Is the Time to Get Help

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Are Bar Owners to Blame for Your Alcohol Problem? appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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There may be a misunderstanding amongst the masses about the importance of spirituality to addiction recovery. Addiction itself can rip the soul of spirituality, changing our emotions and perspectives toward negativity, creating dangerous, self-fulfilling prophecies. The process of detox and recovery must include the reintegration of spirituality into one’s life. But don’t get confused, spirituality does not require religious belief but something that already resides deep within.

Personal Defense Mechanisms Can Hide Our Core Truth

Human beings are innately spiritual – we feel. It isn’t just the process of feeling that sets us apart from other mammals. We take our feelings and dissect them into how the feelings came about, why they came about, and what to do with them next.

Spirit is active not passive. But with drug or alcohol addiction, our spirit loses the ability to intellectualize our feelings. Instead, those amidst substance abuse are often reactive. The abundance of chemicals inside the body and brain have numbed the senses, to include the ability to draw from our spiritual sense. What exactly is that?

Spiritual Sense Assists Empathetic Connection

When life confronts us with circumstances beyond our control, personal choices present themselves. We can choose to do the following with the situation:

  • avoid it
  • react to it
  • accept it
  • embrace it

Unforeseen life events, good and bad, can tap into our natural response system known as “fight-or-flight”. This can happen, even when we are pleasantly surprised. Think of your best friend giving you a surprise party. At first, you get that physical rush of adrenaline. Your body reacts while the mind is quickly trying to process and this is when you can decide to respond negatively, start screaming or bail out the front door and leave your own surprise party behind. Chances are that you’ll do neither (but those choices will run through you for a moment). Instead, you will accept the overwhelming gesture of friendship and happily greet your guests. Once you get comfortable with the element of surprise, you’ll embrace the entire event. But the above process isn’t so easy with traumatic events.

Trauma, Triggers and Honesty

Unless you’ve lived in a bubble or under a rock, trauma, on some level, has been a part of your lifetime. Looking back, before addiction took hold and became normal, there was undoubtedly a life event that scarred you emotionally. To avoid opening the scar and delving into the heartache, the mind can shelter those recurring thoughts with defense mechanisms. These are newly acquired coping skills that become a person’s go-to over time. Often, the addiction itself is the coping mechanism used to avoid the resurgence of pain.

Each time there is a direct or indirect reminder of the initial traumatic event (conscious or subconscious) the natural response kicks in. The cycle goes to fight-or-flight but doesn’t go beyond that. These reminders are known as triggers. Trauma and triggers, unaddressed, can block our internal spiritual sense.

Part of the recovery process during addiction treatment is to have the wherewithal to be honest. It takes inner strength, courage, and acceptance of imperfections. This is where learning how to love oneself starts. Spirituality is the essence of true self.

It Hurts to Feel

Ask an opioid addict why they have a compulsive need to take prescription pills or inject heroin and there may be a myriad of reasons given but the bottom line is pretty much rooted in the same phrase. “It hurts to feel anymore.”

Cycle of Pain

I hurt.
Then I do drugs or drink alcohol and then
I hurt.
Then I do drugs or drink alcohol and then….

Once a person, whether amidst addiction recovery or not, discovers their personal spirituality, positive life-change happens instantaneously.

Science Behind Spirituality

Various studies have been conducted measuring aspects of the addiction recovery process and the affect that 12-Step programs and associated beliefs related to life’s meaning plays on patients. Results indicate a beneficial connection between spiritual affiliation (belief in something greater than oneself) and better quality of life. According to an article published in the U.S. National Library of Public Health from the National Institute of Health, examining spirituality amongst chronic illness and addiction, “Life meaning is an inherent part of the spiritual pursuit.” Lower levels of quality of life were evident in participants who were not spiritual, compared to those who practiced a form of spiritual belief.

Beyond 12 Steps, Spirituality Is Who We Are

Long are the praises for 12-Step programs that provide a guideline for sobriety to millions of those in addiction recovery. Many have heard the references to the bible, teachings of Christ, and a seemingly direct alignment with belief in God. But what about those who have no defined belief in a deity?

Spirituality, like addiction recovery, is a practice. To learn ideologies and immerse them into one’s lifestyle takes time and commitment. Many of the covenants of the 12 steps are based on common sense philosophies and ethics that have been passed down through centuries, from various cultures, that bear no religious correlation.

If you believe that most people are born intrinsically good but that bad things happen, then understanding how to find one’s spirituality isn’t difficult but merely the journey to a personal road once forgotten. It’s always been there. It’s just a matter of finding your way.

Addiction Is Personal, So Is Spirit

There is no judgement in spirituality. It exists in the present, whenever one calls upon its power, it is. Spirituality is comfort and kindness, love and inner light. It shines within each of us and, when shared, grows human consciousness.

Get in Touch with Your Life Purpose by Leaving Drug or Alcohol Addiction Behind

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post How Spirituality Affects Addiction Recovery appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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If you’ve gotten to the point where you’re sick and tired (literally) of this drug- or alcohol-dependent existence, life is already looking up. Because you’re one step closer to sobriety, though it’s hard to know you’ve finally arrived at “this place”. Wrought with conflicting thoughts and drowning in the numbness you’ve grown to accept, a decision to enter addiction rehab is genuinely a leap of…. Faith. Some may tell you it’s easy. Others may say it’s hell. Anyone else’s rehab experience is irrelevant. The right treatment and recovery program should be all about you. Period. Getting started sooner than later is your best bet.  Getting it completed faster isn’t. In fact, sugar coated addiction rehab might sound sweet but it won’t get you sober.

Here’s what it could do. You’ll,

  • Believe the hard work is done, in 30 days or less
  • Receive a short-term fix instead of a long-term solution
  • Enjoy a taste of sobriety but fall back into old habits
  • Experience relapse sooner than later
  • Undergo PAWS*, without knowing
The Lap of Luxury has Nothing to do with Recovery

There’s no such thing as a rehab shortcut. None. While many would-be clients are bent on finding a treatment program that caters to their personal whims, and looks more like a vacation retreat than a recovery facility, consider the statistical outcome.

In one study, monitoring participants during heroin treatment, there was a 91 percent rate of relapse – with 59 percent of this group relapsing within the first week after their treatment was completed. Not continuing their recovery protocol with an aftercare program was also cited as reasons for the relapse rate.

If you’re looking for the Club Med of rehab, there are plenty of facilities for Malibu drug rehab or detoxing in The Hamptons that will placate a bevy of narcissistic tendencies at a price. No one is saying that the process of recovery must be hardcore. However, the way to effectively move forward through a program and increase your odds for sustained sobriety are to choose a treatment program that includes the following:

  1. Personalized assessment of your addiction
  2. Personalized assessment of your physical, emotional and spiritual health
  3. Personalized assessment of your available support systems
  4. Personalized assessment of your insurance/financial resources
  5. Personalized plan for successful detox, recovery, sober living and aftercare

If your drug or alcohol addiction rehab doesn’t include the five steps noted above, consider another program.

Treatment for the Disease of Addiction Is Work in Progress

The initial phase of addiction recovery entails detox, ridding the body of the chemical compounds from drugs or alcohol. The process of withdrawal ensues, with symptoms that can vary in strength and duration depending on the type of substances used and how long the addiction has been in effect. But this is just the beginning.

As the body may come ‘clean’, the mind bears memory to the addiction itself, the life circumstances that may have led to the addiction, and the potential presence of co-occurring disorders (bi-polar, anxiety, depression) that still need to be identified and treated. Now let’s reflect on the obvious, can all of this possibly be accomplished in a three-to-seven day program? Doubtful.

What Short-Term Rehabs Might Not Tell You

As you prepare yourself or someone else, to enter into drug or alcohol rehabilitation, you’ve done your searches online or talked to others who have gone through it before in hopes of getting a solid idea of what to expect. Withdrawals are part of the process. Here’s what you may not know because many other people, just like you, don’t know this either.

Withdrawals don’t always stop when the detoxing phase of addiction treatment is over.

*Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptom (PAWS) Happens

During the first two years of addiction recovery, the body and the brain continue to work towards maintaining a level of healthy balance. Continuous counseling, healthy diet, exercise and practicing mindfulness are integral in a sober living lifestyle. There are instances when PAWS comes into the picture.

PAWS Is a Temporary Disruptor

Just as the withdrawals during detox come and go, PAWS isn’t permanent but remnants of what’s left to heal. The syndrome shows up as psychological or social dysfunction with varied levels of severity. Addiction to benzodiazepines (Valium, Xanax) often presents PAWS to those in recovery, engaging panic attacks or anxiety disorders. Depression or psychosis is often associated with recovery from methamphetamine or cocaine. The treatment and recovery process for most substances, including opioids and alcohol, can include PAWS.

PAWS can manifest as:

  • Lack of focus
  • Negative thoughts (guilt, shame)
  • Apathy
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Sleeplessness or sleepiness
  • Oversensitivity to pain, physical or emotional
  • Indifference
  • Memory issues
  • Cravings
  • And more

This information isn’t meant to scare you but to share the realities of addiction treatment and recovery. Long-term abuse of drugs and alcohol compromise brain functionality. Through time and sobriety, collectively, the central nervous system can slowly reverse the damage done.

Why Strong Aftercare and Support Systems Are Crucial

Researchers and medical practitioners in behavioral health continue to study the realm of addiction: the development of the disease, the precursors of development, the process of recovery and the markers for relapse. One overwhelming consistency in the findings points to the importance of ongoing personal development through support groups, acquired and honed coping skills, and abstinence from addictive substances.

In a 2015 article published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, Dr. Steven M. Melemis reveals the rudimentary elements of addiction recovery, relapse prevention and the Five Rules of Recovery. Read through his work. Keep a copy, and refer to it as you continue the selection process for addiction treatment and recovery and use as a guideline throughout your sobriety journey. It will shed some light on your inner strength and remind you just how far you’ve come in your personal journey towards success.

But it all starts and ends with you. Before you can experience 12 steps, it takes a leap of faith first.

Let’s Talk About Recovery, Let Us Help You with PAWS

Talk to Someone Who’s Been There. Talk to Someone Who Can Help. Scottsdale Recovery Center holds the highest accreditation (Joint Commission) and is Arizona’s premier rehab facility since 2007.  Call  1-888-NODRUGS

Authored by Melanie Stern, Content Director for Scottsdale Recovery Center, Arizona Addiction Recovery Centers and Cohn Media, LLC. Writer and broadcaster covering the following industries: addiction rehab, health care, entertainment, technology and advocate of clear communication, positivity and humanity at its best.

The post Sugar Coated Scottsdale Addiction Rehab Is Sweet but Won’t Get You Sober appeared first on Scottsdale Recovery Center.

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