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George was recently diagnosed with a dual diagnosis. He checked himself into a treatment center for alcoholics and was surprised when the therapist told him that he has a dual diagnosis of alcohol abuse and anxiety. At first, George was confused, but as he talked more to his therapist, he started to see the pattern.

After years of trying to cope with the undiagnosed anxiety, George turned to alcohol to relax so he could sleep. That then turned into a drink after a rough work day so he could manage his stress. As his anxiety increased over the loss of his dad, George started drinking throughout the day to deal with the pressures of funeral costs, work, and finding adequate care for his now-widowed mother.

If this sounds like you or someone you know, dual diagnosis may be something to discuss with your therapist. What is dual diagnosis? How can you create a recovery roadmap to break the cycle of addiction? Here at Beachside Rehab, we want to help you answer those questions. Read on for more information and how you can get the help you or your loved one need.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), dual diagnosis, also known as co-occurring disorders (COD), “is a term for when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously.” Either one can occur first and often lends itself to the other disorder.

For instance, a patient with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder may turn to alcohol to cope with the stress of work and inability to sleep because of their anxiousness. A single drink used to help the patient sleep can snowball into a dependency to get through the day. The substance abuse then further exaggerates the anxiety, creating a circle of dependency.

However, sometimes a mental disorder is present due to the substance abuse. “In early sobriety, it is challenging to differentiate between what is an authentic mental health diagnosis and how much of a patient’s mental health diagnosis is presenting due to their substance use,” says Beachside Rehab’s Clinical Director, Tabitha Grant. “Using drugs and alcohol can mask and even mimic the symptoms of mental health.”

Often, a clinician will provide a preliminary dual diagnosis treatment plan and wait until the patient is sober for a period. If the mental health disorder is still presenting itself after sobriety treatment, the clinician will then officially diagnose the patient.

Why Dual Diagnosis?

Patients diagnosed with COD often have a complicated case, causing the need for more intensive treatment. “With a substance abuse disorder, it’s imperative to treat the co-occurring disorder simultaneously, because they are happening simultaneously,” says Grant. “The disorders also overlap so much that you could be missing an element into a patient’s addiction if you did not also treat their co-occurring diagnosis.”

Dual diagnosis also has the benefit of allowing the patient to get treated for both the substance use disorder and the mental health disorder without disrupting their family or work life for too long. Patients who undergo treatment for dual diagnosis also have a higher chance of sustained sobriety and overall recovery.

How is Dual Diagnosis Treated?

Treatment will largely depend on individual needs. Every patient is given a pre-assessment at intake, which is developed to determine a patient’s situation. “I read every assessment, along with all of the communication the patient has had with the admission staff, and any family reports,” says Grant. “I then meet each patient face-to-face and provide a preliminary diagnosis.”

Grant and the primary therapist develop a treatment plan based on the initial diagnosis. The patient will then be seen by a Beachside Rehab psychiatrist, in which the diagnosis may change or have an additional diagnosis added.

The treatment plan will then be developed and will largely depend on the COD diagnoses. For example, one of the most common dual diagnosis is opiate use disorder combined with anxiety disorder. The objective of this dual diagnosis would be to decrease anxiety while abstaining from substances.

A timeline may be created to determine the start of opiate abuse with the anxiety symptoms. Seeing when the opiate use overlapped with decreased anxiety allows for the patient to move forward in addressing underlying issues.

We recommend evidence-based therapy for all substance abuse treatments. Cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing are two of the most common therapy treatments for substance abuse. By combining the two therapies, the patient can address their shame and guilt, while working to resolve any false perceptions of the world.

Patients with dual diagnosis should stay in treatment as long as possible. Beachside recommends two to three months to progress through the detox and levels of care in inpatient treatment due to the complicated nature of COD. The patient can then step down into outpatient therapy for the next several months, with treatment decreasing from up to five sessions a week to once a month.

How to Get Help

Beachside Rehab provides not only a holistic luxury rehab but also a full Medical Detox Facility. This means that you can detox and then transition into treatment for rehabilitation of your co-occurring disorders. If you or a loved one are ready to get help, contact us today.

The post Dual Diagnosis – Everything You Need to Know appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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Many of us know that trauma can dramatically affect the people’s lives. Phrases like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and “fight-or-flight” have become destigmatized and more common in our everyday language.

In many ways, it can be easy to forget the full spectrum of issues that trauma can cause. Indeed, it can be a catalyst or even an underlying cause for a litany of problems—ranging from high levels of cortisol (the hormone associated with stress) and adverse physical health issues to violent behaviors.

Childhood vs. Adult Trauma

The link between trauma and these issues has been known for quite some time. The Center for Disease Control and Kaiser Permanente conducted a study in 1998 that found nearly two-thirds of the participants had at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). As the numbers of ACEs went up, so did the risk for disease, mental health issues, substance abuse, and even early death.

The link between substance abuse and trauma is not just attributed to childhood traumatic events, however. Crises in adulthood, like rape or battlefield trauma, can prevent normal functioning and lead to barriers in life. Ultimately, this can lead to chronic health problems caused by toxic stress, which can trigger an individual’s desire to find sources of relief, like drugs or alcohol.

“People can have a predisposition to substance abuse, but may not have experienced a traumatic event in childhood they wish to escape from,” says Beachside Rehab Counselor, Chelsea Moulton. “Once they experience a traumatic event in adulthood, however, they are more likely than most to seek out substances for escape.”

Toxic Stress and the Brain

Toxic stress is a term that describes the kinds of experiences that modify brain architecture, typically because of trauma. Toxic stress occurs when the stress hormone, cortisol, is continually released to the point that the body reconfigures itself to adapt.

Eventually, toxic stress will cause the neuroreceptors in the brain to completely transform to deal with the release of extra hormones. In effect, this changes the brain’s chemistry and how it behaves towards adverse situations.

Once toxic stress has become the norm within the brain’s chemistry, an individual will then react to stress with an acute stress response, also known as “fight-or-flight.” These symptoms may have physical manifestations, such as sweaty palms or heart palpitations, or through outward maladaptive strategies, like violent outbursts or drug use.

Flight Response: Substance Abuse

One of the most common examples of the “flight” response is substance abuse. Substances like drugs or alcohol can act as a replacement for the deficient neuroreceptors that give the body the ability to cope with stress. After drugs or alcohol have been introduced into the body, they can quickly become a maladaptive strategy to grapple with the trauma. This is especially true if the individual lacks the resources to help manage the emotions related to flashbacks or stressors.

What might have been a one-time-use to deal with a stressful moment or to “escape” from reality, can quickly spiral into an addiction. Once addiction has set in, the need to be in “flight mode” regularly becomes a cycle in which the individual cannot live without the moments of reprieve.

“The limbic system, also known as the pleasure center of the brain, is what relates our habits to our need to survive,” says Moulton. “For instance, the limbic system causes us to drink water when we are thirsty because it has related water to the relief of thirst. The minute we use substances, our brain goes, ‘Oh that is important because I need relief from this painful memory.’ Once that happens, it becomes a habit. When we use substances, it becomes a priority, and we use it to survive.”

Addiction can then lead to other stressful and traumatic events, like job loss, healthcare problems, and loss of income. Aggravators like these complicate toxic stress as retraumatization becomes more likely, which can subsequently lead to further physical and mental health problems. In fact, reducing retraumatization can be a critical step in diminishing substance abuse. Thus, it becomes imperative that the initial trauma(s) are alleviated along with the substance abuse.

Getting Help

As trauma changes one’s response to adverse situations, substance abuse can be one of many issues that individuals face. Here at Beachside, we recognize that there can be a full spectrum of therapy needed to treat the trauma, not just the coping mechanisms.

Our process of treating trauma and substance abuse starts at intake, where we ask targeted questions to assess the history of trauma and its potential links to addiction. “If trauma is something you are self-medicating, we believe it is important to address it from the beginning,” says Moulton.

After intake, our clinicians at Beachside complete a trauma assessment at the beginning of therapy. Once we have completed the initial assessment, our team will then recommend a treatment plan to help you stabilize and move towards complete healing.

One type of therapy that is typically recommended for severe traumas is EDMR therapy, which stands for Eye Movement, Desensitization, and Reprocessing. Beachside has EMDR therapists onsite who are available to assist with processing severe trauma more rationally to start the healing process and reduce the risk of relapse.

However, we also recognize that trauma has no timeline for healing. Aftercare is one of the most important parts of the Beachside program. We evaluate needs and assist in making sure healing continues after treatment, whether that is through an extension of care, community programs for specific traumas, or group therapy sessions.

If you or a loved one have experienced trauma and need help with your alcohol or drug addiction, Beachside Rehab can help. Contact us at 866-349-1770 to get help today.

The post Traumatic Experiences and How They Can Lead to Substance Abuse appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 7.4 million Americans suffered from drug addiction in 2016. Among those surveyed, the most abused substances were marijuana, opioids, prescription pain relievers, and heroin respectively.

Addiction is defined as the physical or psychological need to continue using a substance, despite its harmful or dangerous effects. Recurrent drug use can change the way your brain communicates, overstimulating the reward center of the brain and creating a false sense of happiness or pleasure.

If you suspect a loved one could be addicted to drugs, there are some warning signs to look out for. If they exhibit some or all the following signs and symptoms, it’s worth having a conversation and getting to the root of the problem as soon as possible. However, it’s important to note that these signs do not appear in every substance abuse or drug addiction.

Drug Addiction Warning Signs

Drug addiction affects the body both physically and mentally and can trigger negative behavioral changes. These behavioral changes are normally a combination of symptoms, but if you know what to look for, you can typically pick up on them right away.  Here are some of the most common behavioral and physical changes to look for:

  • A tendency to withdraw or be isolated from others
  • Depression, anxiousness or lethargy
  • Changes in sleeping patterns, such as being up during the night and sleeping during day
  • Changes in eating habits, such as a loss of appetite or an increase in appetite
  • Changes in weight, such as excessive weight loss
  • A decline in personal grooming
  • Financial struggles due to spending money on drugs rather than bills or other necessities

“These sudden changes in a person’s behavior can also include missing school, work, or not following through on social obligations,” primary therapist at Beachside Rehab, Tim Price says. “Other common behaviors include losing interest in hobbies, activities, or sports they previously enjoyed.” While these behavioral signs of drug abuse are some of the initial warnings to look for, behaviors can become more volatile as the drug addiction worsens.

What To Do if You Suspect a Loved One is Abusing Drugs

Open communication is key when approaching a loved one you suspect is abusing drugs. Price explains, “How you communicate with them depends on their personality, sometimes they will listen and sometimes they won’t. The best case scenario is that they will be open to treatment because they understand they have a problem.”

If you have a support group of friends and family, an intervention may be the best approach. Some interventions can be productive if planned correctly. “Whoever confronts them, make sure it’s somebody they trust and respect and has a degree of authority,” Price says. “The main goal is that you must make the loved one understand that you love them and care for their well-being.”

If the intervention approach fails, some people need to be put into treatment rather than electively going. Spouses or concerned parents often use ultimatums to get their loved ones into treatment. If your loved one is refusing to get help, this may be a necessary option for convincing them to seek treatment.

What Not To Do:

If you suspect a loved one is battling drug addiction, it’s important not to ignore the problem. By ignoring the warning signs, you increase the likelihood of them endangering themselves or others. Don’t expect that the problem will go away on its own. Addiction is a disorder and most often cannot be overcome without professional therapy and treatment.

Oftentimes, your loved one may know they have a problem and know what they’re doing is destructive to their life. For this reason, it’s important to not make your loved one feel attacked. This may cause them to become defensive and isolate themselves even further. Showing support and a willingness to help are key.

What Treatment Options Work Best?

While individual treatment plans are unique, generally a rehab program is the most effective treatment option. Price says, “The best option is for someone to be in a rehab facility for a minimum of 30 days. By removing them from their using environment, it’s a lot easier to treat them and keep them under supervision.”

At Beachside Rehab, each patient receives a treatment program designed specifically for their needs and medical requirements. All patients are assigned an individual therapy plan and a long-term plan that combines group therapy sessions, family counseling, education, drug addiction therapy, EDMR therapy, and relapse prevention. Patients also participate in therapeutic recreational activities designed to remind them that life can be lived to the fullest without turning to drugs.

At Beachside Rehab, we treat addiction as a chronic disease and can provide treatments and therapies to those in need. If you or a loved one are seeking help for alcohol or drug addiction, please call us today at  888-979-7724.

The post How To Tell If a Family Member Is Addicted to Drugs appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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The social life of the average American student, especially those between the ages of 18-24, is often riddled with exposure to addictive behavior. There are many opportunities to partake in binge drinking, ecstasy, hallucinating on mushrooms or LSD, smoking marijuana and use opiates such as Percodan and Oxycodone on campus. In order to keep up with course loads, part-time employment, and their social life, they may also overstimulate themselves on Adderall, Ritalin and other amphetamines.

Alcohol and drug abuse on college campuses is rampant, and there are many reasons why a student may turn to drugs and become at risk for addiction.

  • The need to relieve social anxiety, fit in with peers, and drop social inhibitions may have students turning to alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy.
  • The need to escape an overwhelming workload and deal with the anxiety of meeting so many deadlines might have them turning to mood-altering, sedating drugs such as alcohol, marijuana, and opiates like heroin and Oxycodone.
  • The need to stay alert during class or complete an essay while being very tired from working or partying may have them turning to addictive stimulants like dextroamphetamine, methamphetamine, and Adderall.
  • The need to feel thin and beautiful may have some students, especially female students, turning to cocaine, dextroamphetamine, and methamphetamine in order to lose weight.

The fact is that excessive alcohol and drug abuse on campus is normalized, putting students at much more risk for addiction, especially if they are between the ages of 18 and 24.

How Can Drug Counseling Help Students

It is important to remember that most students that become addicted to drugs or alcohol never made that a life goal. Addiction is something that is the result of prolonged substance abuse, and often the person who is addicted has a life that has become unmanageable. Usually, the student may even recognize that they need to quit the substance, but are unable to because the symptoms of withdrawal would disrupt everything in their lives.

To simply put it, drug or alcohol rehab is required for the student whose addictive behavior has resulted in an inability to work, maintain relationships or take care of one’s self. The need to use becomes the main priority in life, and nothing else matters. Attending classes, completing essays, and self-care, in general, are the least of the addict’s concerns. Furthermore, the student who is succumbing to addiction may feel ashamed and powerless to change things, thus creating a vicious cycle where they do not feel psychologically or physically well unless they are using. Unfortunately, it is the drugs or alcohol that is causing these feelings in the first place.

Drug treatment can help students by:
  • Taking them through the process of detoxification and withdrawal in a medically supervised environment.
  • Helping them understand why they use substances, so they are not triggered to use again by memories, events or peer pressure.
  • Teaching the psychological skills needed to maintain sobriety.
  • Teaching them socialization skills so that they do not have to use in to order to feel comfortable meeting other people.
  • Teaching them time management skills so that they can manage their heavy course loads.
  • Reminding them of how to take care of themselves physically and psychologically, so they do not have to use drugs to stay alert, sleep or lose weight.

Top treatment centers will tailor the program to the needs of the individual student, with an eye to offering solutions for those with a dual diagnosis such as addiction combined with anxiety, bipolar disorder, or eating disorders.

Alcohol Treatment for College Students

Alcohol treatment for college students can include many different approaches, but the main four are:

  1. Detoxification followed by a Twelve-Step program is the traditional process, in which individuals admit that their life has become unmanageable due to their addiction and that they must follow certain steps to stay sober.
  2. SMART recovery, based on purely scientific methods of recovering from addiction, without a spiritual component.
  3. Dual diagnosis recovery is for students who may be using alcohol to self-medicate another condition such as anxiety, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, which may require the prescription of lifestyle changes and medications.
  4. Holistic recovery, which relies on non-prescription remedies, holistic treatment, adjustments, and diet and lifestyle changes.

Alcohol treatment for college students might include aftercare in which individual counseling and group therapy meetings might be suggested along with music therapy, equine therapy or art therapy.

Drug Counseling for College Students

It is time for drug rehab when the student is going to extreme measures to obtain the drug, engaging in a careless behavior, failing at school, concealing the drug use, and maybe even experiencing legal troubles as a result of drug dependency. These are sure signs that the addiction has affected the brain and that it may be time or inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Drugs work by rewiring the brain’s pleasure centers, often causing the brain to produce dopamine, which creates a sense of wellbeing. Drugs also affect the parts of the brain that control mood, motivation, emotion, judgment, movement, reaction time, memory, alertness, and sleep. The more the brain becomes reliant on a substance, the more the addict must search it out and use it to feel functional and well.

Drug treatment for college students is similar to alcohol counseling for college students except the detoxification process might be a bit more medically complicated. This is especially true if the student was addicted to a couple of drugs at once, such as amphetamines to stay awake and opiates to go to sleep. If the student has been using heroin or cocaine, medications such as methadone and suboxone might be used to lessen some of the severe withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fever, insomnia, and trembling.

Students recovering from drug addiction also benefit from many types of therapy including expressive art therapy, educational therapy, individual therapy and family counseling as well as participation in ongoing relapse prevention groups and activities.

Ultimately drug and alcohol counseling for college students can help them get back on track with their studies and prevent them from squandering tuition, opportunities, and time that they have already invested in their future. Call us today at 888-984-3284 to learn more.

The post Drug Use On Campus: How Can Rehab Help Students? appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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One of the most heartbreaking things a person can witness is a friend or loved one slowly losing themselves to a substance addiction, whether it is alcohol or drugs. It is both frightening and upsetting to see someone you care about and thought you knew begin to change into someone unrecognizable, who’s only motivation seems to wait for the next opportunity to consume the substance of choice. Often, the people around the addict can see what’s happening and will want to do something to help.

Fortunately, there is something you can do. It’s called an “Intervention,” and we’ve got five basic things to keep in mind about how properly conduct this activity. But first, let’s go over the basics.

What Is an Intervention?

An intervention is a controlled confrontation between an addict and the addict’s friends and loved ones. It is where the people closest to an addict band together and help to convince the addict that it is time to quit the substance and get rehabilitation. During an intervention, the people involved talk about how the addiction has changed things for the worse, provide a plan for rehabilitation, and—not as a threat, but as a promise—talk about the repercussions there will be if the addict refuses to seek treatment and continues to give in to the addiction.

There are some very important considerations to account for if you decide to have an intervention. Following these tips can help to make a difficult situation more manageable.

1 – Plan & Research

It’s not enough to simply confront an addict. You need a plan of action. You must look at how to conduct an intervention, and, if you have access, get the advice of an expert, such as a psychologist, a social worker, or even an interventionist that specializes in these activities. An intervention isn’t something where you can just “wing it” and improvise, hoping for good results.

You should also look at what your options are should the intervention succeed. Do not confront an addict, tell them to get help, and have them agree, only to not have any clear idea of where or how to get that help. All of this needs to be planned and researched in advance, so when the intervention happens, you have the answers.

2 – Assemble a Team

In the same way that you should plan for the specifics of an intervention, the same applies to the people attending it. This is not going to be a party with people dropping in and out while casual conversation occurs. This is a focused confrontation, with the people most invested and/or most effective at reaching out to the addict and enacting real change. This team should consist of a mix of family and friends. Everyone should agree to a place and a time.

3 – Don’t Make Idle Threats

One of the biggest components of an effective intervention is where the people involved making very clear points to the addict about what will happen should the intervention be refused, and the addict continues to take drugs or drink alcohol.

It is absolutely imperative that these conditions be real, and not threats, or ultimatums, idle or otherwise. There must be real consequences for an addict choosing the addiction over recovery, and you have to make sure these are real consequences that you can live with. If you want to move out, or have the addict move out if the intervention is ignored, for example, you must be willing to follow through. Everyone involved must make a similar level of commitment. “I’ll be very cross with you for a week” is not going to cut it in a situation like this.

4 – Make Notes and Know What You Want To Say

During an intervention, you will be making specific points and arguments, so make sure you know what these will be in advance. You need to point out to addict ways in which this addiction has been affecting their lives, and you will need specific examples that you can cite, not just vague descriptions of “It’s not good.”

Everyone needs to have a say in this. If someone doesn’t want to speak out, that person should not be present for the intervention. Remember that what you say should be helpful and concerned, not accusatory or angry. You are here to help the addict, not punish them or drive them away. It is also important to stick to the facts. Do not make the arguments more emotional than necessary. Addicts will usually miss appointments, run into financial problems, or other issues. Point these out, as they cannot be denied in the same way an emotional appeal can.

5 – Get Professional Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the seriousness of an intervention and wish that someone with experience could guide you through the experience, you can get that. There are psychological and counseling professionals, and even specialists known as interventionists that can help.

If you don’t feel confident about being able to conduct an intervention without a professional present, there’s no need to do without. Seek out and secure the guidance of a professional, and make sure that all the arrangements are made with both the professional and whatever rehabilitation program you think is most appropriate for the person the intervention is for.

An Important First Step

An intervention is a crucial moment when you can pivot someone at risk from substance addiction to a new direction and recovery. This is likely to be an intense and even grueling experience for everyone involved, but it is necessary to get an addict to understand that people are concerned and that they want to help. However, the addict must make that critical decision to want to recover, and it is up to the people involved in the intervention to facilitate making that decision. If things don’t go as planned, Here’s what to do if an intervention fails. 

When the decision has been made, checking into a rehabilitation program begins the actual process of recovery. There may be a period of physical withdrawal, depending on the substance of addiction, but it’s all part of the process and eventually leads to better things. Contact us for help with your intervention.

The post 5 Steps To Organizing A Successful Intervention appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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A couple of months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to public health departments, health professionals, and others over the increased use of fentanyl and fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths across the United States. This is the same drug that claimed Prince’s life.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid that was first developed in the 1960s. Being a strong painkiller, fentanyl is used for breakthrough pain that doesn’t respond to conventional painkillers. It’s also used to treat severe chronic pain.

Fentanyl works by mimicking the body’s natural endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that block pain receptors to the brain. Fentanyl is fifty times more potent than heroin and a hundred times stronger than morphine.

A study conducted by the CDC discovered that fentanyl is a driving force behind a drug epidemic where more than 47,000 people died in 2014.

Fentanyl has been illegally manufactured in China and Mexico, where it’s used in place of heroin without the buyer’s’ knowledge. Also, Fentanyl is available in the form of pills, nasal sprays, and gel tabs designed to look like common medication such as OxyContin and Xanax.

People are abusing fentanyl without knowing as fake OxyContin pills; others are abusing heroin laced with fentanyl, while a huge percentage is abusing fentanyl knowing of its lethal consequences.

What Does Fentanyl Do To The Brain?

Fentanyl crosses the blood- brain barrier and binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. This leads to euphoria and analgesia. Unlike morphine, which takes a while to bind with the receptors, fentanyl rapidly binds with the receptors thus creating the euphoric feeling in minutes.

Fentanyl also has great potency compared to other opioids. This means that it has fatal consequences even at lower doses.

How is Fentanyl Used Legally?

A physician can prescribe fentanyl via injection, as lozenges, or through a transdermal patch. Being a central nervous system depressant, fentanyl relaxes the body and brain. Fentanyl is prescribed to cancer patients and those in extreme pain after surgery.

Where Does Fentanyl Come From?

All traces of fentanyl from 2005 have been traced to a single lab in Mexico. Other cases of fentanyl have been traced to China where it’s then shipped to the U.S. and Canada in different forms. The lab in Mexico was shut down and this led to a decline in production. However, the number of illegal manufacturers has since increased.

The decision to redesign OxyContin to make it hard to abuse has also led to a rise in the use of fentanyl. Fentanyl can fast become an epidemic drug if not stopped soon. The government has introduced diplomatic and legal measures to prevent the spread of fentanyl.

Short-Term Effects of Fentanyl

Fentanyl has similar side effects as heroin. Some of the short-term effects of fentanyl use include:

  • Relaxation
  • Euphoria
  • Reduced pain

Individuals looking to reduce pain and relax will abuse fentanyl by taking it without prescription, mixing it with other drugs, or using high doses. All these can be fatal.

Other Side Effects of Fentanyl
  • Constipation.
  • Hallucination.
  • Weakness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Slow breathing rate.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Sweating.
  • Confusion.
Symptoms of Fentanyl Overdose

Taking fentanyl can cause a life-threatening overdose. The reason fentanyl leads to overdose is because it’s incredibly potent. Fentanyl was made to help individuals who’ve become tolerant to other painkillers such as OxyContin.

Tolerance is a problem in people struggling with narcotic addiction. Over time, the brain and body gets used to the drug. Failing to take the drug regularly leads to withdrawal symptoms. In turn, this makes them increase the amount of fentanyl they take to reduce these withdrawal symptoms.

Taking another dose of fentanyl means the person takes much more than what was prescribed. This can lead to an overdose and in some cases, death.

Some of the symptoms and signs to watch out for include:

  • Fainting and dizziness.
  • Cardiac arrest.
  • Difficult, shallow breathing.
  • Intense Fatigue.
  • Severe Confusion
  • Unresponsiveness to painful stimuli
  • Trouble swallowing.
Long-Term Effects of Fentanyl

When one has abused fentanyl, he/she may suffer from long-term psychosocial effects. You’ll notice that this person will exhibit signs of poor judgment both in their personal and career life.

Some of the long-term effects of this opioid painkiller are:

  • Harm to relationships and personal life.
  • Worse mental conditions such as frequent mood changes and depression.
  • Increased risk of death.
  • Increased risk of anoxic injury.
  • Reducing Fentanyl Dependency

Using any drug for an extended period makes the body tolerant, and for one to achieve the same high, a higher dose of the drug is required. It is, therefore, important to combat this by avoiding abuse of fentanyl for recreational use. It’s also essential to strictly follow the instructions given if fentanyl has been prescribed for your pre-existing condition.

It’s important to note that some people may become addicted to fentanyl without ever abusing it. This means that they only follow the instructions provided by the physician. However, they can become addicted to the drug on a physical level.

In such a case, the doctor can help the person wean off the drug without further treatment. For a person who uses fentanyl to escape from life, this type of addiction has both psychological and physical effects. Such a person requires drug rehabilitation to recover.

Getting Help for Fentanyl Addiction

People struggling with fentanyl addiction need to seek help to detox and overcome their addiction from a professional treatment facility. The emergence of the illicit market puts people dependent on fentanyl at great risk of overdose and death. Going to an addiction treatment program helps the person understand the psychological, biological, and environmental causes of their addiction. With proper rehabilitative care, an individual can develop coping mechanisms for stress and cravings.

Fentanyl abuse and addiction is deadly. It’s critical to reach out for help immediately if you or someone close to you is struggling with this addiction. If you’re stuck and need professional help, the compassionate and experienced staff at Beachside Rehab will help you get treatment comfortably and safely. Learn more about our treatment options. 

The post What is Fentanyl and Why Is It So Dangerous? appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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You may be wondering why your loved one doesn’t just stop with the substance abuse. The problem with this type of conversation is that the speaker lacks an understanding of the very nature of the situation. Drug addicts need professional help to successfully defeat their substance abuse problem; they can’t just stop.

If you’ve never suffered from addiction, you may not understand what it is like to experience real withdrawal and how to cope with physical addiction. This is why most people try to treat their substance abuse problem without professional help.

However, an attempt to undertake the task of rehabilitation alone means starting out with the deck stacked against you. For you to successfully recover, you need the help of trusted professionals to manage the process and provide the right guidance and treatment program.

Here are some risks you may encounter while trying to treat your substance abuse problem without the help of a professional.

Failing to Identify Possible Underlying Issues

Addressing your own addiction problems could help you save time, and in some cases, money. However, you may not be able to address possible underlying issues such as co-addictions, anxiety, depression, health problems, and even family dysfunction. Professional therapy also evaluates anything else that may not have been considered during active use.

Lack of Self-Awareness

A lot of people fear to go to rehabilitative care because of all the positive talk and reinforcement. Nevertheless, this becomes a motivator to abstain from substance abuse. Although you may find it uncomfortable at first, with time, all the effort from skilled professionals will pay off.

Lack of Knowledge About Stress Management

In some cases, you may experience stress. Lack of effective stress management could resort to substance use. When working with a professional, you can learn how to manage stressful conditions. Show examples of stressful situations

You Are Not Your Own Best Counsel

If you have an addiction, whether your substance is illicit drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs or a compulsive behavior such as shopping or gambling, you are not equipped to give yourself advice. You don’t have the right training or enough information on how to overcome these hurdles. Moreover, you aren’t able to teach yourself how to cope, analyze your thoughts, or adhere to appropriate schedules. This is the reason why many people who want to get clean go into treatment. Professional help is the best chance to get your life back in order.

Time is Not Always on Your Side

Recovery and treatment takes time and dedication. The more time and dedication you devote to getting better, the higher your chances of not going into a relapse. You may think trying to solve a substance abuse problem by yourself could help you save time. Nonetheless, you may soon realize that with the pressures of everyday life, you do not have the time to allocate to recovery.

With professional help, you’re given a certain time frame for treatment and therapy, which aids in recovery. Furthermore, your chances of relapsing are minimal.

The Treatment Is Not Thorough Enough

Although self-help treatment could help with overcoming your substance abuse problem, in the vast majority of cases, you’ll be heading down a dangerous path. This treatment could further worsen your addiction. Some treatments are not effective at detoxification, which could leave traces of drugs in your system, thus resulting in withdrawal symptoms.

Broken Relationships

As an addict, you’ve likely negatively impacted personal relationships with your family and friends. Rebuilding trust takes time, and you may not be able to do this if you’re on your own treatment. An experienced therapist can help act as a mediator with either your family or friends if necessary.

Getting Into Depression

Staying in the same environment could prove lonely as you may be trying to hide your addiction from friends and family. Lack of people to talk to and interact with can lead to depression. The right environment helps to replace negative socialization that surrounds substance abuse.

Risk of Losing a Job

Most people with substance use disorders are of the idea that they can quit on their own or they are simply okay and do not have a problem. If an employer finds out that you’re an addict and you’re not seeking professional help, they are likely to suspend you from duties. Getting counseling and treatment from experienced rehabilitation therapists gives you a better chance of going back to work once you’re fully recovered. Some employers fully support employees with addiction problems.

Peer Pressure

Self-help treatments sometimes work, but you run the risk of getting back to your addiction if you don’t get counseling. Also, if you spend most of your time with friends who continue to use drugs, you’re likely to relapse.

Treatment Plans May Have Changed

Unless you’re working with a qualified therapist, it’s difficult to know when treatment plans have been altered. Sticking to the same treatment could prove ineffective after a while. Working with a professional ensures that you get the right treatment during the rehab process.

Exposure to an Unsafe Environment

For treatment to work, there’s need to ensure that the environment is secure. Being a delicate process, treatment is susceptible to various influences, which can jeopardize its success. In a safe environment, prohibited substances are kept away as well as other emotional or social influences to ensure the success of the treatment.

The effects of substance abuse on your life and treat of your friends and family can be huge. Freedom from substance abuse is possible with the right sound plan for treatment; Addiction of any kind is serious and should be treated as such.

The good news is that you can counter these effects with professional help. Self-treatment may only work for a while but getting help from experienced therapists quickens your recovery process and leaves you empowered to abstain from substance use. Beachside Rehab can help you find the help you need, call us today at 866-349-1770.

The post Risks of Trying to Treat Substance Abuse On Your Own appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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You’ve successfully gone through the detox process and you’ve completed your alcohol rehab treatment. Congratulations! You’re now on the road to a lasting recovery.

You should be aware, however, that obstacles and temptations will show up along the way on the road. You have to be prepared to face them and equip yourself with tools and strategies that will help you to avoid a relapse.

Summertime and Drinking

Along with the holidays, summer is the season that is most fraught with dangers for the recovering alcoholic. From outdoor barbecues and ball games to summer vacations and camping trips, so many of our summertime activities are linked in one way or another with the consumption of alcohol.

Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid alcohol cravings this summer and reduce your risk of relapse.

Keep Away from Dangerous Situations

By now, you’re probably aware of some of the environments and individuals that were triggers in your drinking. It’s especially important to learn ways to avoid and say no to alcohol early on in your recovery. Steering clear of those people and places that bring back memories of when you drank may be wise in the first weeks and months following your exit from rehab.

You may have the urge to want to prove yourself by seeking out and placing yourself in tempting situations that include surrounding yourself with people who are drinking and revisiting people and places from your past that you have associated with the consumption of alcohol. Doing this early on in your recovery carries great inherent risks. If you avoid such situations, you’ll be making things a lot easier for yourself when you understand the benefits of avoiding alcohol.

Avoid Negativity

It won’t be easy to stay positive all the time, but you should take steps to prevent getting stuck in your own negative thoughts. When you find yourself becoming susceptible to negative thinking, call your therapist or sponsor.

Should you find yourself feeling restless and alone, seek out the company of positive and supportive friends and family members. For many people, just knowing that they have that kind of emotional support standing by is enough to help keep them in a positive frame of mind.

Keep Up with Your Aftercare Program

The return to your normal life without alcohol can be difficult at times. Emotional issues may creep up occasionally and you may find it challenging to face them without the consumption of alcohol. Resuming your relationships with family members and friends after rehab may be difficult and conflicts may arise.

Through regular weekly follow-up appointments with your therapist or group, you can continue to get the assistance and support that will help you with your healing and give you tools that will help you to cope.

Be Patient and Present in the Now

Recovery requires a great deal of patience. Insomnia is common and emotions run high, which can leave you feeling as though there is no end in sight. Nevertheless, be patient and understand that recovery takes time. Eventually, things will get easier. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the rush of emotions you’re feeling. Be kind to yourself and understand that what you are feeling is perfectly normal.

It’s also important to stay vigilant and present in the moment. It’s very difficult to remain focused on maintaining your sobriety if you are simultaneously romanticizing your past. Take stock in what you have achieved so far but avoid the kind of overconfidence that may lead you to rationalize that you can handle a drink or two.

Exercise Your Willpower

Eventually, you will be confronted by a tempting situation and come out of it unscathed. With each temptation resisted, you’ll gain the self-assurance that you will be able to handle the next one. Every time you don’t give in to temptation, you’ll be reinforcing those neural pathways so that subsequent temptations will hold less and less sway over you.

Understand that your reserve of willpower is only limited to the extent that you believe it to be. Your successful use of willpower will give you the evidence you need to realize that your capacity for willpower will never be depleted.

Develop a Healthier Lifestyle

The importance of having healthy habits can’t be underestimated in its ability to help you along with your recovery.

Nutrition and Better Eating Habits

Most people who abuse alcohol tend not to eat very well. They often develop vitamin deficiencies as a result. On the other hand, good nutrition can help to boost energy levels and improve your mood. After rehab, avoid the temptation to return to eating junk food on a regular basis. Instead, consider making a meal plan for yourself on a weekly basis to help ensure you’re always eating right. Be sure that your grocery list always includes lots of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.


Vigorous physical activity is a great way to reduce stress and to boost the endorphins that make you feel good. Regular exercise will also serve to give you more confidence and feel better about yourself. Look for an exercise regime that you will enjoy so that you will not give up on it. It’s often helpful to find a friend to workout exercise with to help keep you motivated.

Get Lots Of Sleep

Sleep is another incredibly crucial component of achieving good health. The restorative benefits of having good sleeping patterns are innumerable. This can be particularly challenging for recovering alcoholics because alcohol abuse can tamper with the brain’s chemistry making it lose the ability to easily fall asleep and achieve a deep restorative slumber.

The brain has the ability to regulate its chemicals during REM and deep sleep. You’ll be able to reap those benefits as you train yourself to have regular sleep patterns.

By following these tips, you’ll go a long way towards knowing how to avoid alcohol and have the tools necessary to prevent a possible relapse.

Our job while you are with us in inpatient rehab is to teach you the life skills and coping tools necessary to live sober in the community—and to enjoy life! 

Read more about our aftercare services.

The post Useful Coping Tips To Help You Avoid Alcohol appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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All too frequently, drug and alcohol treatment facilities overlook the importance of diet and exercise in the overall treatment of addiction. This is often the case because the duration of a typical stay in rehab doesn’t always afford the time to prioritize these aspects. Despite this fact, there’s no denying that proper nutrition and healthy exercise can be critical to a successful recovery and to restoring patients to good health.

It’s very common for individuals with addictions to be less than vigilant about their self-care. They frequently exhibit very poor eating habits and don’t engage in physical exercise.

Addiction and Nutrition

Addicts are often malnourished, partly because of their poor eating habit habits. It can also be because of the way the substances that they have been abusing can rob the body of its ability to properly absorb nutrients.

The form of nutritional deficiency that addicts exhibit depends mostly upon the kind of substance they have abused. For example, cocaine addicts tend to be lacking in omega-3 fatty acids and opiate addicts are deficient in vitamins B6, D, iron, and calcium. Comparatively, alcoholism is associated with a wider range of deficiencies because alcohol tends to cause the body to eliminate beneficial nutrients without absorbing them.

The symptoms of malnutrition due to addiction include anxiety, insomnia, weakness, wounds that are slow to heal, and early signs of osteoporosis in younger women due to calcium loss.

Dietary Recommendations to Improve Recovery

Some basic changes in the diet of recovering addicts can make a great deal of difference. Although consulting a dietician is a good idea to get a nutritional plan that will work best for you, here are a few common suggestions:

Increase protein: proteins are high in amino acids, the basic building blocks of neurotransmitters, which have been frequently damaged through addiction.

Eat more healthy fats: consuming more healthy fats, such as flaxseed oil, olive oil, and omega-3 from nuts and fatty fish will assist the body in the absorption of certain vitamins.

More fruits and veggies: increasing your intake of fibers found in fruits and vegetables will help the gastrointestinal system to heal.

Avoid caffeine: insomnia and anxiety are common symptoms in a person who is recovering from addiction, especially in the early stages of sobriety. Caffeine is known to promote these symptoms; therefore, your consumption of items that contain it should be restricted.

Reduce your sugar intake: you can limit the amount of sugar you eat by steering clear of foods that contain added sugar. This will help to reduce symptoms like depression, anxiety and mood swings by keeping your blood sugar levels stable.

Speaking of stabilizing blood sugar, this can also be regulated by training yourself to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Doing this will mean that you’ll never feel either very hungry or very full.

Addiction and Exercise

It’s a well-known fact that prolonged drug and alcohol abuse can damage brain tissue resulting in a slew of problems. Substance abuse has a similar effect on the brain as aging: it promotes the deterioration of white matter in the brain. That’s the tissue that relays information and signals to and from the various parts of the brain. This deterioration leads to greater difficulties in learning, diminished memory and impeded cognitive function. In extreme cases, substance abuse can even lead to dementia.

Science has long understood that exercise has improved mental performance in the elderly. It seems logical, then, to assume that physical activity would have a similar effect on the brain of a recovering addict. Although it’s unclear if exercise only helps to prevent further damage or if it can actually repair past damage, it remains evident that a good exercise program is beneficial for brain function.

Those aren’t the only benefits that exercise can have for the recovering addict. A regular exercise regime can help boost energy levels and reduce the amount of stress you’re feeling. It can improve a person’s sense of well being and confidence also.

Rigorous exercise also releases dopamine and other chemicals that produce a feeling of happiness. Typically, drug and alcohol abuse disrupts the production of these chemicals, however, some studies have suggested that physical activity and regular exercise can restore dopamine to the kinds of levels found in people without addiction.

Recommended Forms of Physical Exercise for Recovering Addicts

Each individual should find a kind of exercise that they enjoy doing in order to help them stay on track with it. While just about any form of exercise can be beneficial, here are a few suggestions that have been known to be very useful.

Hiking: research has shown that taking a brisk walk can be a very effective way to combat cravings when they come up. Taking in the beauty of nature and the outdoors has been shown to boost the production of dopamine and a good walk promotes improved brain function and supports new cell growth in the brain.

Yoga: due to its philosophy of linking mind, body, and spirit, yoga is a very popular form of exercise in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. Restorative yoga encourages meditation and helps to reduce anxiety and stress that is often associated with relapse, while power yoga strengthens the body and increases the production of dopamine.

Team sports: a good game of basketball, football, or baseball is a great way to get a good workout while also helping to develop friendships that aren’t based on the consumption of alcohol or drugs. The social aspect of team sports make it a great option for many recovering addicts.

Weight training: a strenuous session of weight training can also help to produce dopamine and enhance your sense of well being. For those struggling with insomnia, weight training has the added benefit of helping restore your sleep cycle.

The Importance of a Treatment Center that Offers a Holistic Approach

As you can see, nutrition and exercise can play a significant role in achieving a successful recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. That’s why it’s very important to find a treatment center like Beachside Rehab that provides a holistic approach that extends beyond traditional therapies to also include training and education in the value of adopting a healthier lifestyle.

The post How Nutrition and Exercise Can Help Repair Damage Done By Substance Abuse appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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Perhaps you’ve always enjoyed drinking alcohol, but lately, it seems to be more about escaping from stress, alone, than sipping vodka tonics with friends on a Friday night. If you think that you may be addicted to alcohol, or that it is assuming a larger presence in your life than you’d like, why not use this quick reference guide to determine if your casual drinking has become a problem?

8 questions to answer to determine if you have a drinking problem: 1. Do you have some risk factors for developing a drinking problem?

Let’s review some of the risk factors associated with problem drinking:

If you have one or more of these risk factors, you should be aware that you have a higher risk of becoming addicted to alcohol than those who do not.

2. Has your drinking been affecting your life in negative ways?

Have you canceled plans with friends because you are hungover, or perhaps because you wanted to drink alone? Have you skipped work or other obligations because you were feeling unwell as a result of drinking? You may have driven a car while being intoxicated, or have opened your eyes as the morning sun streams in through your bedroom window to see that you have burned a hole in your carpet with a cigarette?

The unfortunate truth is that problematic drinking inevitably causes problems in your life, and if you are acting in reckless ways because of drinking alcohol, it is likely that you have an addiction to alcohol.

3. Did I finish that bottle of wine already?

Alcoholics and others who have problems around drinking tend to, over time, require more alcohol to bring the same result of temporary euphoria, the same lessening of natural inhibitions.

Have you slowly but steadily been drinking more and more? If so, you should consider this as a sign that your drinking is becoming problematic.

4. I cannot believe that I …

Your cousin threw your sister a birthday party, and you had a good time! But then you talk to your sister, the morning after, and she asks if you are OK and mentions that you seemed to be very combative when speaking to your cousin. A familiar sense of guilt and dread flows through your veins as you chastise yourself for drinking too much at the party.

If you feel guilty or ashamed about drinking, it may be because you are drinking too much, and acting in a way that makes you uncomfortable. It is common for alcoholics or people who drink in a problematic way to experience these feelings.

5. What happens when you stop drinking?

If you stop drinking for a while, do you experience withdrawal symptoms, like depression, physical shaking, sweating, nausea, fatigue, irritability, and headaches? If so, your body is telling you that it craves more alcohol; that it is responding to your break from drinking by making you feel temporarily miserable.

6. What? I told Mark that I love him?

Do you sometimes blackout after drinking, completely forgetting parts of the evening, only to be told by your friends what went on? If so, you are drinking an unhealthy amount of alcohol.

7. Gee, maybe you shouldn’t drink so much

If your friends or family members have told you that you drink too much, or that perhaps that you seem angry when you drink alcohol, or that they’d rather not drink with you anymore, you should take heed, and thank them for being concerned about your health.

8. I had two or three drinks.

Really? Try to be honest with yourself about how much you drink. If you find that you tell your friends that you drank less than you actually did, you may be trying to avoid a discussion about your drinking problem.

9. I’ll stop by for a quick one.

Do you plan to join friends for a quick drink and then end up pouring yourself into a taxi four hours later? If this sounds familiar, you should know that if you were addicted to alcohol, you would find it extremely difficult to stick to well-laid plans.

10. Do all of your hobbies involve alcohol?

Do you golf, and then drink at the club? Or play darts while nursing craft beer all night? Or go clubbing, but only when drinking? Or invite your friends over to watch The Walking Dead and drink tequila?

If your drinking is not problematic, you would probably have hobbies and interests that do not involve alcohol – do you?

If reading through this list of questions has made you realize that you likely do have a problem with alcohol, be kind to yourself. Addiction to alcohol is a complex condition and it is only through alcohol addiction treatment that you will begin to understand how your addiction developed and how you can live a healthy, full life of passion without drinking alcohol.

If you are curious to learn more about your drinking habits, and how they might indicate a health problem, it is the age of the Internet, and you can take an online quiz: Rehabs.com offers this assessment tool.

One more thing

As you are reading this article and thinking about whether you have a drinking problem, you should know that you are not alone. Many human beings develop an addiction to alcohol, reach out for help and then begin the process of healing. You can too, call us today at 866-349-1770.

The post Has Your Casual Drinking Become an Alcohol Addiction Problem? appeared first on Beachside Rehab.

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