quitting alcohol

Pay Attention to Your Gut If You Think You Have a Drinking Problem

How easy it is to be in a state of denial. Your instincts tell you that you are drinking too much, but your brain refuses to accept it. Instead, you continue drinking more than you should, and even lying about it to loved ones.

It could be that you are able to function quite well, even though you drink a lot. This is called being a high functioning alcoholic. It is a problem, though, as it means your body tolerates alcohol well. You may not feel the effects that others would when they drink the same amount.

But the piper will need to be paid at some point. Alcohol seeps into the fabric of your life, and can even take over your life in time. It is a sneaky, stealthy disease, alcoholism. If you believe you are on the road to an alcohol use disorder (AUD), quit drinking now while you are ahead.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

How do you know if you have a growing problem with your drinking habits? What are the warning signs that you should look out for? While alcohol affects each person in a unique way due to body chemistry, there are some common red flags. Certain changes in behavior can signal a problem with a substance. Signs of an AUD include:

  • You obsess over when you can drink next and how to obtain the alcohol.
  • You try to quit drinking and cannot.
  • You have blackouts.
  • You lie about how much you drink.
  • You withdraw from friends and family.
  • Loss of interest in the activities once enjoyed.
  • Drinking more and more alcohol as tolerance increases.
  • Mood swings.
  • Losing interest in personal appearance and hygiene.
  • You drink in response to stress or sadness.
  • Irritability
  • Concentration problems.
  • Sleep disturbances.
  • You get drunk several days in a row.
  • You keep drinking even though it is causing hardship and problems.
  • Alcohol cravings.
  • When attempting to quit drinking, alcohol withdrawal symptoms emerge, like hand tremors or nausea.

These signs should not be ignored, even if you might want to. The longer the problem drinking goes on, the harder it becomes to beat the disease down. If you are seeing yourself in this list of signs and symptoms, it is time to think about quitting alcohol before it becomes a bigger problem.

Common Barriers To Treatment

Even when you know you have a problem with alcohol, there may be roadblocks ahead. Quitting alcohol isn’t always as easy as you hope it will be. Drinking becomes a daily habit that is hard to break. Also, there may be other factors that keep you from walking away from alcohol. Chances are that you already have an AUD. That would mean getting treatment, which can be very hard for some to embrace. Barriers to treatment include:

  • Facing detox. Let’s face it, the thought of going through detox can be scary. Keep the bigger picture in mind. Know that no matter how grim detox is it will be over in a matter of days.
  • Finding time. Carving time out of your life to go to rehab is really hard. There are job constraints and childcare issues that make this hard. Maybe an outpatient program is the way to go.
  • Facing stigma. The social stigma that exists around substance abuse is real. Don’t let that keep you from getting the help you need and deserve.
  • Paying for treatment. The cost of rehab is a concern for many. Always check first with your insurance plan to see what it will cover. There also are payment plans offered that can spread out the costs over many months.

What to Expect in Rehab

Once you have made up your mind to walk away from drinking you will need to enroll in a treatment program. Detox will be completed under the close watch of the medical detox team. This is the safest way to go about beating an AUD, going through supervised detox and then expert treatment. The treatment program will involve the following actions:

  • Detox. The detox team will closely monitor the withdrawal symptoms and provide meds to help reduce discomforts.
  • Psychotherapy. CBT and DBT are therapies that help you make positive changes in thought and behavior patterns. This can help to break the habits that kept you in the drinking cycle.
  • Group therapy. Small group sessions provide peer support with others in rehab.
  • Education. Classes help you learn about how alcohol affects the brain and also how to avoid a relapse.
  • Holistic therapy. Learning how to relax through yoga, meditation, and other holistic actions that help reduce stress are tools you can use in recovery.
  • 12-step program. Recovery meetings provide are a great source of social support.

Live Your Best Life

Now that you have finished rehab it is time to embark on a healthy new lifestyle. With each passing day you can work to restore health and wellness. Some things to focus on include:

  • Starting a fitness regimen.
  • Changing your diet.
  • Getting better sleep.
  • Connecting with others in recovery.
  • Staying productive and busy.
  • Nurture your spiritual side.

Getting sober truly does give you a new lease on life. Embrace your new sober life with gusto. You deserve to live your best life.

Ken Seeley Communities Alcohol Rehab Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities offers expert help and support for alcohol use disorder. Don’t live another day with a drinking problem. Break free from the grip of alcohol today at Ken Seeley Communities. With the top addiction treatment and a team of caring people it is possible to overcome the early stage of alcohol addiction. Don’t let the problem take hold. Call Ken Seeley today for any questions you have about the program. Call the intake team at (877) 744-0502.


alcohol poisoning next day

Understanding the Dangers of Binge Drinking

Alcohol poisoning can happen when someone consumes a large amount of alcohol over a short period of time. The college campus has been the scene of many tragic deaths that occurred due to binge drinking. While we may first think of young adults when we hear about binge drinking, they are not the only ones doing the dangerous drinking. Anyone at any age who drinks a large amount in a short time can potentially be poisoned by alcohol.

It is important to recognize alcohol poisoning next day effects, and long-term effects. Alcohol has the potential to do great damage to your life. Alcohol abuse leads to substantial health problems, mental health issues, and more. To avoid the dangers of excess alcohol intake it helps to have a healthy respect for the risks of drinking.

About Alcohol Poisoning

The human body is only able to manage a certain amount of alcohol. The liver can process about one ounce of liquor per hour. Drinking more than that amount will result in toxic levels of alcohol building up in the blood. When too much alcohol overwhelms the liver, bloodstream, and body tissues it will lead to poisoning.

The guidelines published by the NIAAA help us to know what safe drinking looks like. They state that women should drink no more than three drinks in a given day or seven drinks per week. Men should not exceed 4 drinks in a given day or 14 drinks per week. Blood alcohol concentration can reach the legal limit of .08 g/dl quickly. For a woman it means drinking 4 drinks in a two-hour period. For a man, 5 drinks in that same time span.

What Happens With Alcohol Poisoning?

When toxic alcohol levels occur it means the body is not able to metabolize it. This can result in very serious health risks. The person will express these symptoms:

  • Low body temperature
  • Irregular breathing
  • Pale, clammy skin
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Seizure
  • Incoherent
  • Coma

In the event of alcohol poisoning, mild alcohol poisoning,  you must call for help right away. While waiting for help to arrive, keep the person in an upright position and keep them awake. Do not leave them alone. Once at the hospital, he or she will be treated based on how severe the event is. They will likely need I.V. fluids and glucose. They may require a breathing tube until normal breathing is restored. In some cases, the stomach may need to be pumped to quickly remove the alcohol contents from their system.

Death can occur when the person vomits and cannot expel it, leading to choking on the vomit. Some of the after effects might include brain damage, hypothermia, or low blood sugar. Alcohol poisoning can impact the liver, pancreas, and stomach, causing inflammation. Alcohol poisoning symptoms next day may involve a severe hangover as the body attempts to become more stable.

Getting Help for an Alcohol Use Disorder

It is never a good idea to ignore an alcohol problem. Alcohol abuse can lead to alcoholism, a chronic, progressive, relapsing brain disease. If the problem is ignored the problem will only get worse with time. To delay getting treatment is asking for a much bigger problem later.

It is still not fully known what causes someone to become an alcoholic. Science has not yet learned why one heavy drinker becomes an addict and another who drinks the same does not. Our genes, family history, personality traits, biology, and life events can all play a part in an alcohol use disorder. When someone has gone through alcohol poisoning they will get some help. For the best outcomes someone should seek help as soon as the

unhealthy drinking patterns become evident.

Medically Supervised Detox

Before going to rehab for treatment you must first complete the detox process. Alcohol detox can turn serious without warning. Trained detox specialists are able to quickly respond if symptoms become erratic. In most cases, the alcohol detox will take about a week to complete.

During detox, the brain and central nervous system will respond to the absence of alcohol by becoming destabilized. Withdrawals emerge as the body attempts to become stable. Symptoms will vary from mild to severe based on a few factors. These include how long the heavy drinking has been going on and the health and age of the person. Also, the detox can be impacted if the person has a coexisting mental health problem.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Sweating.
  • Shakiness.
  • Hand tremors.
  • Chills.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Anxiety.
  • Irritability.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Insomnia.
  • Seizure.
  • Hallucinations.

To help manage the symptoms, the detox team will provide benzos and other medications.

Comprehensive Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

To treat an alcohol use disorder there are two types of rehabs to choose from, outpatient and residential. The outpatient option is less intensive but costs less and is and more flexible. But outpatient rehab is only best for mild to moderate alcohol use disorders. The residential rehab option provides a long stay at a treatment center. During the day there will be a wide array of therapies and activities. These include therapy sessions, group therapy, addiction classes, and the 12-step program.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Early Intervention Services and Rehab for Alcoholism in Palm Springs, CA

Ken Seeley Communities is here to help people that find themselves abusing alcohol. If you or a loved one is engaging in binge drinking, consider contacting Ken Seeley Communities. Ken Seeley Communities provides all aspects of alcohol addiction treatment, covering the spectrum of services like detox, rehab, and aftercare. For questions about our intervention services and recovery programs, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

heroin eyes

Know the Signs of Heroin Addiction

The eyes tell the story. Just by looking at someone’s eyes you can spot the signs of opiate use. Of all the telltale signs, the eyes reveal the most. The eyes of a heroin addict are quite unique.

Someone who uses heroin will present with pinpoint pupils. In addition to the small pupil size, the pinned eyes will also be bloodshot and even droopy. The eyes of a heroin addict can be haunting even. They seem lifeless and lack focus. Meanwhile, the color of the iris, the colored section of the eye, will be intense.

About 8 hours after using the drug the eyes will water and become teary. They then become dull and hollow. Sometimes the eyes may have dark circles under them.

Other drugs of abuse can also affect the eyes. But opiates are unique in causing the pupils to constrict. In fact, most other drugs will cause the pupils to dilate, or enlarge. When heroin is used the pupil constricts as the drug latches on to the receptors in the brain. The drug then alters the central nervous system. When the pupils constrict, it means that the drug has affected the nervous system functions.

About Heroin

Heroin is derived from morphine. Morphine is a product of poppy plants in certain regions of the world. Opium is made with the fluid that seeps out of the poppy seedpod. The fluid is then dried into a resin product.

This drug is highly addictive. Soon the drug begins to lose its effect. This results in increased usage in an effort to get the high once felt. Heroin use causes a strong reaction in the brain. It affects the pain and pleasure centers of the brain. A flood of dopamine leads to the “rush” that is felt when using heroin.

Heroin will greatly alter the brain. Without the drug, the user will not be able to feel pleasure at all. This leads to ever higher dosing. When someone becomes an addict any attempt to stop taking the drug results in flu-like symptoms. This is called “dope sick.” The addict would then need to take the drug to avoid feeling sick.

Signs of Heroin Addiction

When it comes to knowing the signs of a heroin addict, there are plenty of other signs besides the eyes. More than the eyes give the addict away. There are signs, symptoms, and effects caused by the drug, such as:

  • Warm flush of the skin.
  • Nausea.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Itchy skin.
  • Pinpoint pupils.
  • Intense fatigue.
  • Heavy limbs.
  • Cloudy thinking.
  • Slurred speech.
  • Slowed heart rate.
  • Nodding out.

Some other signs that a person might be using heroin include:

  • Syringe, burnt spoons or tin foil, small bags, pipes, balloons, straws, rubber tubing, and hollowed out pens.
  • Needle marks on forearms, legs, and feet.
  • Bruising, scabs, unhealed track marks.
  • Sudden weight loss.
  • Runny nose.
  • Chronic constipation.
  • Grayish skin pallor.
  • Money missing.
  • Mood swings.
  • Neglects personal hygiene.
  • Lethargy.
  • Social withdrawal.
  • Secret behaviors.
  • Dope sick symptoms.

What are the Long-term Effects?

Heroin abuse causes severe damage to the body. As the disease grows, the person’s health will decline. They may wind up with very bad health issues. These long-term health effects include:

  • Skin infections.
  • Sex problems in men.
  • Heart problems, including heart valve issues.
  • Chronic lung disease.
  • Mood disorders.
  • Liver disease.
  • Arthritis.
  • Blood clots, skin tissue death, collapsed veins.
  • Hep B or C, HIV.
  • Seizures.
  • Coma.

Heroin Detox and Withdrawal

Do not attempt to do detox alone at home. You will need support. Without this help the harsh symptoms will not be controlled. This causes the person to quickly relapse back to using again. All they will want is to stop the pain.

A trained detox team provides help and support. They will check the vital signs and manage the pain and cravings with meds. The detox team also offers psych support to help the person complete the detox process. Detox will take about one week to complete.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms include:

  • Fever and chills.
  • Shaking and trembling.
  • Nausea.
  • Sweating.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Joint and bone pain.
  • Agitation.
  • Depression.
  • Intense cravings.

Getting Treatment

When the time is right, a long-term program is the best level of support for treating someone hooked on heroin. Yes, outpatient rehabs are an option. But for best results the person should enroll in a 90-day inpatient program.

Treatment includes:

Therapy sessions. Therapy plays a central role in treating someone who is a heroin addict. Certain types of therapy are shown to help. These CBT, DBT, MET, and CM.

Groups. People tend to bond in small groups where they share about their own struggles. Group members also gain useful insights from peers and the person who leads the support groups. Family groups are also a key part of the rehab process.

Meetings. Many rehab programs include 12- step meetings into the weekly routine. These include A.A. or N.A.

Coping skills. A large part of learning how to remain sober over the long term relies on coping skills. People in rehab will acquire new skills and coping techniques that will become useful to them after rehab. Planning how to avoid relapse is a key goal as well.

Ken Seeley Addiction Rehab Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities provides treatment for heroin addiction. Ken Seeley sees recovery as on a something that evolves over time. Each phase of the process leads to the next phase. We offer detox, rehab, and sober living for all. For more details about the programs, please contact Ken Seeley today at (877) 744-0502.


dual diagnosis treatment

Many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from different kinds of mental health disorders. Based on research, over half of the total population of individuals with addiction has a diagnosable mental health concern.

In most cases, no one knows which of the two comes first. But, they are strongly linked to each other.

One great example of this is the individuals who are suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of them tend to self-medicate, which places them at risk for addiction. Likewise, taking drugs and other substances worsens the underlying mental health concern. Hence, it is unclear which of the two causes the other.

What is Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Now, people who are diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and addiction are referred to as “dual diagnosis.” It is not rare and it comes in different forms. While it is unclear which one of the two starts the other, those who are suffering from a mental health concern are more prone to addiction.

Dual diagnosis is treatable. There are available treatments today that are effective and reliable. But, despite being common, not to mention the availability of the treatment, not all facilities and rehab centers can address the issues of dual diagnosis.

As noted, it is a very complicated issue. Only those facilities that target dual diagnosis and have effective psychiatric staff are the ones that can offer treatments and may lead patients to a new and sober life.

5 Things You Need to Know About It

As mentioned, dual diagnosis is not rare. But, there are tons of misconceptions and speculations about it. So, here are the top five things you need to understand about it:

  • This Treatment Takes More Time to Complete

Addiction alone is difficult to treat and overcome, even when done in long-term, inpatient alcohol rehab or inpatient drug rehab centers. Experts attest that it is a lifelong journey. The same is also true for mental illness.

Considering that dual diagnosis involves both addiction and mental health issues, it takes much more effort, resources, and time to treat the condition. While it is possible for rehab centers to treat and tackle the issue for months, the recovery itself may take years.

Keep in mind that there is no quick and easy fix for this matter. Hence, patience is a must for all parties involved.

  • It’s Difficult to Treat

Dual diagnosis is very challenging and difficult to treat. Aside from the fact that it is a very complicated issue, experts find it hard to determine the root cause, which makes the whole thing much more daunting.

This is why treatments toward it are customized. Keep in mind that two issues are being targeted in this matter, and both of them are equally complex.

For instance, an individual is suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. There is no exact way to determine what causes the compulsion. Is it the drugs or the mental illness itself? The question stands, which is why experts and staff take more time to properly address all the issues.

  • Meditation and Counseling Are The Most Important

In treating dual diagnosis, medications are part of the program in all rehab centers that provide dual diagnosis treatment. But, another important factor that will help speed up recovery includes meditation and counseling.

Meditation has, time again, proven its effectiveness and reliability when it comes to treating mental health concerns. Likewise, it also offers great benefits to addiction. Considering that meditation makes one very mindful of the reality of the situation, further awareness allows the individual to focus on what’s more important.

Alongside meditation, counseling is also a great aspect of the treatment. Guidance from experts is essential as they know the specific needs of each case. This is why treatment programs today now widely offer meditation practices and guidance counseling.

  • There is a High Risk for Suicide

Dual diagnosis is a very complicated matter. Alongside this, treatments take time. Unfortunately, these are only some of the factors why patients face more personal issues, particularly with themselves. This is why many end up deciding to ultimately end their suffering by committing suicide.

Based on official data, people who suffer from mental health condition face 20 times more risk of committing suicide, and taking addiction into the overall equation, it makes the whole thing much worse. It is worth noting, though, that not all individuals who suffer from mental illness or addiction have tendencies to take their own lives. It is just that they are at more risk of committing suicide, according to studies.

  • Dual Diagnosis Comes in Many Forms

Dual diagnosis comes in many forms. Any individual who has a mental illness diagnosis and confirmed addiction suffers from dual diagnosis.

Any combination of the two may qualify for this condition. As the reports said, the possibilities are almost endless as any combination of mental health concern and addiction type falls under this category.

Mental health illnesses may include anxiety disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and panic disorder. As for addiction, it may include all types of substance dependency and behavioral-related addictions.

Among all, the most common dual diagnosis conditions include the following:

  • Alcohol addiction with panic disorder
  • Cocaine addiction with major depression
  • Poly-drug and alcohol addiction with schizophrenia-
  • Episodic poly-drug abuse with a borderline personality disorder

Final Thoughts

All in all, dual diagnosis is a daunting and challenging condition. But, despite all the difficulties, especially when it comes to overcoming it, it is a very doable action. With the help of the right people and exhaustion of the right treatment programs, people who are suffering from dual diagnosis will certainly recover and start anew after.

na meetings

Attempting to battle drug addiction without treatment and support is like marching up the down escalator. Eventually you will tire of your futile efforts and be carried back down into the addiction. Without professional help and social support there is no way to conquer the demon.

To succeed in recovery takes a two-pronged approach. The first prong is addiction treatment—the starting place. Through a treatment program you will gain the therapy and medical support needed to make the basic changes necessary.

This will mean a shift in thoughts and behavior patterns through talk therapy, as well as medications that reduce cravings. The second prong involves social support networks, such as Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.). N.A. meetings provide the much needed peer fellowship piece of recovery.

Signs it is Time for Residential Treatment

When a loved one begins to show the classic signs of drug addiction it can catch you off guard. In many instances, prescription drugs meant for managing pain may have led to an unexpected dependence or addiction.

Addiction to opioids and other drugs can happen quickly, even in as little as two weeks time. Being aware of the warning signs can help you or a loved one get the treatment they need. These might include:

  • Obsessing over acquiring the drug, having enough on hand, looking forward to next dose
  • Increased tolerance that led to higher dosing
  • Doctor shopping when primary doctor does not approve refills
  • Buying drugs from strangers or online
  • Withdrawing from friends and family
  • Trying to quit but can’t
  • Stealing pills from others
  • Nodding off, drowsiness
  • Chronic constipation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sneaky behavior
  • Decline in work or school performance
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Agitation
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when attempting to quit or cut back

If you or a loved one are showing these signs of addiction it is highly likely that treatment is needed.

What to Expect in Rehab

When someone decides to go to rehab for a substance use problem they will begin the process of treatment by completing detox and withdrawal. The detox step is hard. There can be major discomfort, with the symptoms being different based on the substance. So, for example, withdrawal symptoms for opiate detox will be different from cocaine detox.

Treatment involves many different therapies and activities that all work together to help the person break free from the substance problem. In general, this is what to expect in rehab:

DETOX: On average detox takes about a week to complete, although some substances take longer. Medications will be provided to help ease the symptoms and reduce discomfort.

PSYCHOTHERAPY: Therapy centers on helping the person to change the way they respond to triggers that have led to substance abuse in the past. There are many types of therapy used in rehab, with the most popular being CBT.

ADDICTION EDUCATION: Classes teach about how drugs lead to brain changes and addiction. People will create a relapse prevention strategy as well and learn new coping skills.

GROUP SESSIONS: Group therapy helps people learn from others and form bonds during treatment.

TWELVE STEP PROGRAM: Recovery meetings, such as N.A., help provide extra peer support while in rehab.

HOLISTIC: Learning ways to relax can be helpful during treatment, and after. These include meditation, massage, yoga, and keeping a journal.

Unwinding the brain’s dependence on opiates takes time, requiring patience and an abundance of personal commitment. But with a positive attitude along with an effective opioid addiction recovery program to guide you through, you can once again enjoy a life filled with hope and promise.

About N.A.

N.A. evolved out of the Alcoholics Anonymous recovery program in 1953. It was felt that people who struggle with drug addiction had unique challenges that differed from alcoholism.

N.A. serves individuals struggling with addiction to heroin, prescription opioids, cocaine, meth, benzodiazepines, or any mind-altering substance, including alcohol.

N.A. groups are available nationwide and are always free of charge. Anyone is accepted in N.A. as its doors are open to all, regardless of race, religion, gender, or socioeconomic status.

The only requirement for attending N.A. is that the person be open to attaining recovery from drug and alcohol use. N.A.’s main purpose is to support members in a safe, nonjudgmental space, and for recovering addicts to find fellowship.

Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous

The official N.A. website lists these twelve steps of the program:

  1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. We humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

N.A. as Part of Continuing Care After Rehab

N.A. meetings are a core element in helping to maintain sobriety in recovery. The N.A. setting allows people in recovery to share their own stories and feelings with others who can relate. Through the meetings members begin to form friendships that can help foster a sober social lifestyle.

N.A. also provides chances to help others in the program, such as supporting and encouraging newcomers. This social support piece of aftercare, once rehab is completed, has been found to be protective against relapse.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Residential Treatment and N.A. Meetings

Ken Seeley Communities is a Palm Springs substance use recovery center. The program covers all phases of addiction recovery, including detox, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, and sober living housing. To learn more, please contact the team at (877) 744-0502.


Ritalin Withdrawal

Ritalin is a prescription medication used to treat people diagnosed with ADHD or narcolepsy. While it can be highly effective in helping individuals manage the symptoms of these disorders, the drug also has a high potential for abuse. Ritalin, like its cousin Adderall, is a stimulant, and both of these drugs have been significantly misused over the past decade or so.

Ritalin abuse often impacts the college age demographic. The prescription stimulants have become popularized as “study drugs” for their capacity to keep students alert and productive well into the wee hours. Unfortunately, attempting to stop taking Ritalin after an extended period of abusing the drug will result in Ritalin withdrawal symptoms. Ritalin withdrawal is highly uncomfortable, as the rebound effects—the very symptoms the student was hoping to avoid—begin to emerge.

It is possible to safely manage Ritalin detox and withdrawal in a medically supervised environment. Detox experts will slowly taper the individual off of the drug, which allows for a safer detox process. After the detox and withdrawal phase is completed, the individual can transition, if needed, to an addiction recovery program. Rehabs for Ritalin addiction are available in either an outpatient or residential setting, and will equip individuals with the new coping skills needed to break free from the drug.

What is Ritalin?

Ritalin is the brand name of methylphenidate, a prescription central nervous system stimulant produced by Novartis. It works by affecting the areas of the brain and central nervous system that regulate impulsivity and hyperactivity. Other brand names for the drug include Concerta, Metadate, and Methylin.

Ritalin is a Schedule II controlled substance, as the drug has been identified as having a high potential for abuse. It is important to note that both cocaine and methamphetamine also hold a Schedule II classification. Ritalin can be diverted and sold through illicit channels for recreational use or for weight loss purposes. Ritalin comes in instant release, sustained release, and long-acting release formulations.

While Ritalin and Adderall are prescribed for the same medical conditions, Ritalin is more commonly issued to children ages 6-17. Approximately 6.1 million children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with ADHD according to the CDC.

Ritalin Addiction and Abuse

Even though it is a stimulant, for individuals diagnosed with ADHD Ritalin works to help slow down their hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. However, in those with no such condition, Ritalin has a true stimulant effect that causes it to be a popular drug of abuse. Some of the reasons why Ritalin is misused include:

  • Sharpens cognitive abilities
  • Increases concentration
  • Reduces the need for sleep
  • Decreases appetite that results in weight loss
  • Improves ability to take on heavy workload
  • Has stimulant effects that produce a high
  • Is used recreationally along with alcohol

Ritalin can be taken orally in tablet form, or it can be crushed and liquefied for injection. Slang terms for Ritalin include vitamin R, R-ball, rids, kiddie cocaine, diet coke, and skittles.

People who somehow gain access to the drug without a legitimate prescription and begin to abuse the Ritalin will quickly develop a drug tolerance. This means that it takes more of the drug to experience the desired effects. With extended Ritalin abuse the brain becomes dependent on the substance. Ritalin has the potential to cause both a physical and psychological addiction.

What are the Signs of Ritalin Addiction?

As with other stimulant use disorders, the signs of addiction to Ritalin involve behavioral, psychological, and physical symptoms:

Behavioral symptoms of Ritalin addiction include:

  • Unable to curtail Ritalin use even when desired to cut back
  • Doctor shopping to find new sources for the drug
  • Purchasing the Ritalin online or on the street
  • Continuing to use Ritalin even with increasing negative consequences
  • No longer spending time with friends and family
  • Moodiness
  • Decline in school or work performance
  • Neglect responsibilities

Psychological symptoms of Ritalin addiction include:

  • Agitation
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Irritability, agitation
  • Dizziness
  • Incomplete thoughts
  • Ritalin cravings
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

Physical symptoms of Ritalin addiction include:

  • Weight loss
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms

Adverse Ritalin Effects Caused by Addiction

When someone continues to abuse Ritalin they will be more susceptible to more serious health effects from the drug. These are indicative of a significant drug addiction:

  • Anxiety
  • Mania
  • Blurred vision
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoia
  • Chest pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Rapid pulse (tachycardia)
  • Stroke
  • Mental confusion
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Overdose

What to Expect During Ritalin Withdrawal

Treatment for Ritalin addiction is likely to start with the detox and withdrawal process. Ritalin withdrawal symptoms will begin to surface when the individual stops taking the drug. The ideal method of detoxing from Ritalin is within a medically monitored environment where there is careful observation of withdrawal symptoms. A supervised detox can help prevent a possible relapse when the withdrawal symptoms peak, as the appropriate medical interventions will be provided to help minimize discomfort.

The severity of withdrawal symptoms and length of the detox will depend on the severity of the stimulant use disorder. The timeline ranges from a few days to several weeks, and withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe. In some cases, a gradual tapering schedule will be assigned to individuals with a more serious Ritalin dependency to help modulate the withdrawal symptoms.

Ritalin withdrawal symptoms usually emerge mildly within 12 hours of the last dose. The symptoms intensify on days 2-4, and then begin to wane over the next days and weeks.

Withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • Intense drug cravings
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Cravings
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Extreme fatigue or exhaustion
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mental confusion
  • Nightmares
  • Suicidal thoughts

During the medical detox the goal is to safely guide the individual through the withdrawal symptoms to completion of the detox process. Key to this success is providing the medical and psychological support that will help reduce physical and emotional discomfort. In some cases, antidepressants are prescribed to assist with some of the symptoms. Also, modafinil and benzodiazepines may offer some relief as well.

Because individuals who complete the detox may continue to experience cravings and psychological symptoms, such as depression or anxiety, it is always recommended that he or she follow up the detox with an outpatient or residential rehab program.

Getting Help for Ritalin Addiction

Following a successful Ritalin withdrawal, the individual will begin the process of recovery. This step involves a multifold approach to overcome the ingrained addictive behaviors. Therapy helps individuals learn to change the disordered thoughts and behavior patterns that lead to stimulant abuse, and an assortment of other treatment elements further support these new recovery strategies.

Treatment for Ritalin addiction or dependence includes:

  • Individual therapy. These one-on-one psychotherapy sessions allow the individual to explore the underlying reasons for succumbing to Ritalin addiction with a licensed therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a popular type of psychotherapy used for addiction recovery. Using CBT the therapist guides the person toward identifying thought distortions that had resulted in Ritalin misuse, such as “No way can I keep up with all this work without the Ritalin.” The therapist helps the individual foster more positive self-talk and constructive actions.
  • Group sessions. These small group therapy sessions include participants and a therapist who will lead the group in discussion. Group therapy offers a safe space where people can connect with each other and offer support. The sessions allow participants to share their struggles with Ritalin while encouraging each other along in recovery.
  • 12-step groups. A.A.’s 12-step programming is a staple at many rehabs. The recovery meetings provide a supportive setting where individuals in recovery can enjoy fellowship. A structured, incremental program of the 12 steps guides this program. Some rehabs offer alternative recovery programs to A.A., so it just comes down to personal preference as to which type of program resonates.
  • Recovery tools. The main goal of a rehab program is to equip the person with the tools they will need to sustain their recovery. This can include learning how to better manage emotions, time management skills, and how to manage stress more effectively through the use of relaxation techniques. These techniques, such as practicing mindfulness, taking yoga classes, learning deep breathing techniques, or using guided meditation apps, can be extremely useful in recovery.
  • Relapse prevention plan. The reality of addiction recovery is that certain triggers can lead to a relapse back into Ritalin misuse. Making a detailed list of the potential triggers, and then identifying proactive steps to take when encountering triggers, can improve recovery success.
  • Follow up. Many rehabs offer alumni services where former clients can stay in touch with each other in recovery through alumni events and forums. Outpatient therapy is another helpful continuing care strategy for reinforcing sobriety from Ritalin, as these sessions with the therapist can help individuals maneuver obstacles that might threaten recovery.

While going through the discomfort of Ritalin withdrawal is certainly nothing to look forward to, it is the first important step toward reclaiming your freedom from the grip of addiction…and so worth it.

Ken Seeley Communities Can Help You with Ritalin Withdrawal

Ken Seeley Communities is a recovery complex located in Palm Springs, CA. Both Ritalin and Adderall addiction is widespread, and the team of addiction recovery experts at Ken Seeley Communities is trained to help individuals who have developed a problem with prescription stimulants. Ken Seeley Communities offers all levels of the treatment on the recovery continuum, including medical detox, outpatient and residential treatment, and sober living housing. Reach out to us today if you or a loved one is concerned about Ritalin withdrawal so the team can answer your questions. Call (877) 744-0502.


where do i get help for alcohol abuse

Problem drinking can creep up slowly. In fact, what might have started off as a timely intervention for managing stress, say with a cocktail after work, can surprise you when you suddenly realize that your single cocktail has slowly multiplied into several. This can happen as the body becomes more tolerant of the presence of alcohol, which causes a reduction in the initial relaxing effects of the substance. To keep those effects going, you may find yourself increasing consumption.

At some point along the way, it has become clear that you are in need of some help. This realization may appear due to experiencing severe hangovers or even blackouts. As you face the reality that you have developed an alcohol problem, you find yourself wondering, “Where do I get help for alcohol abuse?” This question might have even greater merit during the pandemic when it is unclear which recovery support services are even available now.

Fortunately, many treatment centers have continued to operate during the Covid-19 health event, as addiction treatment is considered an essential service. While outpatient programs have largely shifted online to telehealth therapeutic support, residential rehabs have revamped their facilities to create safe living environments that adhere to CDC guidelines.

With the added stress of the coronavirus pandemic adding additional triggers that lead to alcohol abuse, individuals now more than ever are encouraged to seek professional guidance. Through the interventions of a comprehensive treatment program, alcohol abuse can be thwarted before an alcohol use disorder becomes entrenched into a more serious alcohol dependency. If you are asking yourself, “Where do I get help for alcohol abuse” it is a sign that you recognize the problem and know that you are losing control over the drinking. Listen to your gut.

How Does an Alcohol Use Disorder Happen Anyway?

It is still a mystery as to why some individuals seem to be able to abuse alcohol regularly and never develop an alcohol use disorder (AUD), while others may acquire the disorder in short order. This is a scientific quandary that has not yet been answered through research.

There are, however, some recognized factors that might contribute to the risk of developing an AUD. Understanding these risk factors is helpful in proactively avoiding the possibility of alcoholism from occurring. Again, these are only risk factors, not causes, which only provide some guidance in decision-making regarding alcohol use:

  • Beginning to consume alcohol at a young age, as in under age 15
  • Family history of alcoholism
  • Genetics, specific biology differences that effect how alcohol is processed
  • Culture and ethnicity, with AUD more prevalent in Europe and the US
  • Personality traits, such as being prone to impulsive and high-risk behaviors
  • Having a mental health disorder increases the chances of self-medicating

Alcoholism can affect each person differently, so without any way to test someone in order to predict their chances of developing the disease all we have to go one currently is acknowledging known risk factors and moderating alcohol intake accordingly.

What Are the Signs of an Alcohol Use Disorder?

Someone who has a drinking problem could begin to fall into certain behavior patterns, as well as display the telltale signs of an AUD. These might include the following:

  • Attempts to limit or quit alcohol consumption fail
  • Drinking more alcohol over a longer period than intended
  • Needing to consumer ever-higher amounts of alcohol to experience the initial positive effects or ward off withdrawal symptoms
  • Spending a great deal of time drinking or recovering from effects of drinking
  • Neglecting family or work obligations
  • Increasingly relying on alcohol for perceived needs, such as getting to sleep or prior to a stressful situation
  • Bloating of the face and/or gut
  • Hand tremors
  • Glassy eyes

The adverse effects caused by alcohol abuse are many. According to an article published in the Alcohol Research and Health journal, alcohol abuse causes a litany of serious medical and psychiatric conditions including:

  • Certain cancers
  • Liver disease
  • Infectious disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pancreas disease
  • Unintentional and intentional injury, such as accidents, homicides, and suicides
  • Unsafe sexual practices resulting in STDs, unplanned pregnancy

An interesting finding in the study is that among those who abuse alcohol, women are at a higher risk of being impacted by chronic disease compared to men.

I am Afraid of Detox So What Can I Expect?

If you are a bit nervous about the detox and withdrawal process you are in good company. The alcohol detox phase of recovery is a necessary step that is just not a pleasant experience. Regardless, by keeping the eye on the prize—sobriety—it is possible to safely navigate this phase of your recovery with the help of a trained medical detox team.

During a supervised medical detox, vital signs are monitored continually and the detox professional will provide medical interventions to help manage the withdrawal symptoms as they emerge. A trained detox staff can guide the individual through the process from start to finish, as they help them segue into a treatment program.

Depending on the length of time and severity of the AUD, plus other factors such as coexisting health or mental health conditions and age, the alcohol detox withdrawal symptoms may include:

Mild Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Hand tremors
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sweating
  • Agitation, irritability

Moderate Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Disorientation
  • Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Mild seizures
  • Mental confusion

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

On average, alcohol detox and withdrawal lasts anywhere from 5-7 days, depending on the severity of the alcohol addiction.

What Types of Alcohol Addiction Treatment Are Available Now?

When seeking treatment for an AUD it is common to wonder, “Where do I get help for alcohol abuse?” It is important to recognize the different types of rehabs available that offer varying levels of care. Generally, an outpatient program is appropriate for a mild or recent AUD, but for a moderate to severe alcohol addiction it is best to seek help through a residential treatment setting. Where the individual is free to remain at home throughout the outpatient program, a residential program requires they reside in provided housing. There are pros and cons of each to consider, so it helps to do some research before deciding on which treatment format is the best fit for you.

During the pandemic, it is essential to locate a treatment provider who is set up for telehealth therapy sessions and support. These platforms have proven invaluable during the aftermath of the coronavirus epidemic here in the US. Outpatient services, including basic outpatient therapy, intensive outpatient, or partial hospitalization programs are provided through the telehealth video conferencing systems.

Treating alcohol dependency or addiction relies on a multidisciplinary approach that addresses all aspects of the disease. Once the individual has completed detox they will begin engaging in various therapeutic treatment elements at the rehab. Participating in psychotherapy is key to achieving a sustained recovery.

Behavioral treatments aim to help the individual make lasting changes in their formerly dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns. CBT is a short-term evidence-based therapy that helps people recognize how their irrational thoughts are triggering addictive and self-destructive behaviors. Through CBT the individual learns to replace those disordered patterns with new, healthy, constructive responses.

Other treatment interventions include:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy. DBT provides life skills that help the individual focus on four specific areas that are particularly helpful in addiction recovery. These include mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation
  • Group therapy.  Group sessions are led by a clinician that encourages participation discussing various recovery-related topics
  • Family therapy. Family-centered group sessions provides a safe space for family members to participate in their loved one’s recovery efforts
  • Education and relapse prevention planning. Psychosocial education equips the individual with the new coping tools and recovery skills to help navigate their world following rehab
  • Complementary activities. These activities include such things as art therapy, recreational activities, yoga, mindfulness, massage, nutritional counseling, and DBT skills practice

After Treatment, Then What?

Recovery does not end with the discharge papers from the rehab program, however. On the contrary, the real work of recovery begins the day you complete the program and need to navigate the real world once again. For this reason, aftercare is an essential component in alcoholism care planning.

Following a 30, 60, or 90-day residential treatment program, the individual should have a plan in place to continue to reinforce the newly acquired coping tools and sober lifestyle.

Aftercare, or continuing care, is simply the means by which sobriety is maintained outside of rehab. Three important aspects of aftercare include:

  1. Sober living housing. Planning for a few months residing in sober living provides an excellent opportunity to slowly transition back to normal daily life while still learning recovery techniques.  Sober living offers a great opportunity to reestablish healthy living habits through keeping a regular schedule, adhering to the house rules and responsibilities, and being accountable to the other housemates.
  2. Outpatient therapy sessions. Ongoing outpatient counseling is also an essential part of aftercare, especially helpful in relapse prevention.
  3. Recovery meetings. Participation in a 12-step or similar recovery community provides peer support and is a good resource for acquiring new sober friendships while receiving ongoing support in recovery.

Careful planning for beginning your recovery from an alcohol addiction will yield the most successful long-term results.

Ken Seeley Communities Addiction Treatment Serves Coachella Valley

Ken Seeley Communities offers the complete spectrum of alcohol abuse and addiction treatment, a rare entry in the industry. From providing professional intervention services to telehealth-based outpatient programs (an adjustment made during the pandemic) to residential rehabilitation to sober living house and continuing care services, Ken Seeley Communities covers all aspects of treatment and healing in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. If you are wondering ‘where do I get help for alcohol abuse,’ please contact the team today at (877) 744-0502.

soma withdrawal

It’s the same old story. Soma is yet another prescription medication that was said to be safe and non-habit forming…until it was discovered that it is indeed prone to abuse and addiction. Soma is a popular muscle relaxant that is prescribed for relieving pain associated with muscle injuries, such as sprains or strains, and is, unfortunately, often misused.

The problem with Soma is, as with other pharmaceuticals, that tolerance to its effects increases with time and more of the drug is needed to produce the positive effects. As dosage escalates the individual can become addicted. Soma abuse has similar effects to benzodiazepine abuse, including the very unpleasant soma addiction withdrawal symptoms. As with detoxing from benzos, Soma detox must be done according to a tapering plan to ease the individual through the detox process, and to avoid any serious withdrawal effects.

A medical detox program is the best setting for detoxing from Soma. Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms can include psychosis and other worrisome effects, which can be best monitored in a supervised setting.

About Soma 

Soma, the brand name for carisoprodol, is a popular muscle relaxant often prescribed in tandem with Xanax (to reduce anxiety) and Vicodin (to reduce pain). This trio of prescription drugs produces just the right effect that the patient may be resistant to giving them up, even after their skeletal muscle injury has healed. These three drugs together are commonly abused recreationally, as each drug enhances the effects of the others.

The normal daily dosage of Soma is 750-1050 milligrams, and the drug is available in tablet form. Because of its high propensity for misuse, Soma is typically prescribed for a short term, such as 2-3 weeks.

Soma acts on the central nervous system, acting as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Because of its effects alongside other prescription drugs, those who use Soma recreationally may develop an addiction.

Soma Short Term and Long Term Effects

In addition to the pain relief that Soma can provide, there are other effects of this drug that should be noted. Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Changes in vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Lightheadedness, fainting
  • Extreme weakness
  • Giddiness, euphoria
  • Numbness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Depression

Long-term Soma abuse can lead to health risks as well. These include damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain. One very serious condition is called transient quadriplegia, which involves a temporary weakness of arms and legs.

An unintentional overdose of Soma can result in permanent brain damage or death. A Soma overdose is a medical emergency requiring immediate intervention. The signs of Soma overdose include:

  • Vomiting
  • Heart palpitations
  • Respiratory distress
  • Stupor
  • Extreme sedation
  • Fever, chills
  • Shock
  • Coma

Soma Addiction

There is a good reason for the guidance to only prescribe Soma for a short period of time. Soma is very habit forming, as the giddy, euphoric effects are attractive for some who may want to continue experiencing this sensation. Other people simply procure this drug on the street, known as Da, Dance, and Las Vegas Cocktail (when used with Vicodin). Individuals with an opiate addiction may use Soma as an alternative drug. Soma impacts the GABA receptors in the brain, which triggers a flood of dopamine and a reward response in the brain.

Because tolerance to this drug escalates rapidly, the need to use increasing amounts of it can quickly evolve into addiction. Signs of Soma addiction include:

  • Obsessed with obtaining and using Soma
  • Mood swings
  • Doctor shopping
  • Obtaining the drug illicitly
  • Continue to abuse Soma regardless of the consequences
  • Lie to others about how much Soma is being taken
  • Declining performance at work
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Low energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Attempts to stop taking Soma fail
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • When unavailable Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms emerge

Becoming addicted to Soma, or multiple drugs including Soma, will cause a steady decline in quality of life. If an addiction has developed, it is necessary to get help from an addiction recovery professional. The first step in recovery is the detox and withdrawal phase.

Soma Detox and Withdrawal

When someone has decided they are ready to tackle a Soma addiction and break free from its grip, they will have to first undergo the detox and withdrawal phase before beginning treatment. Soma detox is similar to benzodiazepine detox, meaning that it is necessary to slowly taper off of the drug rather than stop Soma cold turkey.

A medically supervised detox is the safest setting for detoxing from Soma. These detox programs offer personnel who are specifically trained to assist individuals through the withdrawal symptoms by providing medical and psychological support. Additionally, these detox specialists are prepared in the event of a medical emergency. With regard to Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms, serious reactions to absence of the drug might involve seizures or heart distress.

The first withdrawal symptoms emerge after 12-24 hours from the last dose of Soma. Severity of the symptoms will be dependent on the length of Soma abuse history, the amount of consumption, whether there is polydrug abuse, the age of the person, and their general health status.

Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms might include:

  • Muscle twitching
  • Ataxia
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Seizures

Throughout the detox process the medical detox team will continue to monitor vital signs and offer medications to help relief discomfort and pain. Emotional counseling is provided as needed to help the individual successfully endure the detox and transition into treatment.

Soma Addiction Treatment

Even though the detox process will rid the body of the drug that is simply not enough. The engrained addiction behaviors that keep the individual reaching for the Soma must be conquered and changed for there to be lasting recovery. Addiction treatment is the program that guides individuals through the process of making fundamental changes in the way they think and behave, which can then alter their need or desire for drugs.

For an addiction treatment program to be successful it must contain various treatment elements that are designed to work in tandem. Some individuals will respond better to group therapy, some will benefit from holistic therapies, and others may find that addiction education helps them finally understand. Because each person is wired differently, a quality treatment program will include a menu of different interventions that will hopefully resonate with various individuals in recovery.

A comprehensive Soma addiction treatment program includes:

  • Evidence-based psychotherapy. An evidence-based approach to therapy means that the methods have been clinically studied and research has indicated that they are indeed effective for treating a particular disorder, such as addiction. For Soma addiction, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective of these proven methods. CBT works well for substance use disorders because it guides the individual toward replacing dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns with healthy ones, becoming an effective coping tool in recovery.
  • Group therapy. Some individuals are more comfortable opening up in a small group of peers than in a one-on-one therapy session. A clinician who provides topics related to sobriety and overcoming addictive behaviors, guides the group sessions. These meetings enable participants to bond, providing the peer support so important in treatment.
  • Family therapy. Many times, a Soma addiction has impacted not only the individual but the whole family. In family-focused groups, loved ones are guided toward better communication skills, setting healthy boundaries, and having realistic expectations for their loved one in recovery.
  • Dual diagnosis. Addiction often is accompanied by a mental wellness disorder, which is referred to as a dual diagnosis. If so, the individual will need a program that is proficient in treating both disorders simultaneously for optimal recovery outcomes.
  • 12-step programming. Recovery communities, such as AA or NA, can provide an extra layer of social support, as well as accountability. Attending these meetings has been shown to contribute to higher rates of sustained sobriety.
  • Nutrition and exercise. Addiction can take a toll on the body and the mind, so engaging in restorative activities is key in recovery. A quality rehab will place importance on clients getting regular exercise, as well as consuming a nutritious diet.
  • Holistic elements. To help bridge the mind-body connection in recovery, holistic activities have been shown to be useful. These activities help individuals learn how to quiet the mind and decompress, which can help reduce the risk of relapse. Holistic activities might include yoga, massage, and meditation.
  • Aftercare services. One sign of a high quality rehab program is the attention they pay to aftercare. The first several months following completion of a program is critical to long-term success, so accessing these services is key. These include alumni meetings, outpatient group therapy, individual therapy when needed, participation in ongoing recovery community meetings, and even sober living housing.

With commitment and patience, a Soma addiction can be overcome and one’s quality of life restored.

Ken Seeley Communities Treats Soma Addiction in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities provides top-level addiction recovery services including medical detox for Soma addiction withdrawal symptoms. Ken Seeley became known through his appearances on A&E’s Intervention series as a professional interventionist. He then founded Ken Seeley Communities, which is an addiction treatment complex located in beautiful Palm Springs, California.

Ken Seeley Communities offers all aspects of addiction recovery, including professional intervention services, medical detox, outpatient rehab, residential treatment, and sober living housing. Ken Seeley Communities sees addiction recovery on a continuum, with each phase of the process leading organically to the next. Alumni are provided with excellent continuing care options to help reinforce recovery for a sustained and successful outcome. For more information about the various programs, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

laced heroin

Heroin use began to surge about a decade ago, creeping into just about every nook and cranny of society. Then around 2014 there was a sudden surge in overdose deaths, initially attributed to heroin. Eventually, it became known that this spike in overdoses was due to the effects of fentanyl-laced heroin. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50-100 times more potent than morphine, and which is usually used by physicians to help manage pain in terminal cancer patients. Fentanyl and its analogs, or clones, are being manufactured illicitly in China and Mexico, then widely distributed on the streets of our country in the form of as fentanyl-laced heroin.

In 2016 alone, more than 19,000 opioid-related deaths were attributed primarily to fentanyl, according to statistics provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, showing a six-fold increase since 2010. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that overdose deaths caused by fentanyl doubled in a six-month period between the end of 2016 and the summer of 2017. According to the CDC, “The number of deaths involving heroin in combination with synthetic narcotics has been increasing steadily since 2014 and shows that the increase in deaths involving heroin is driven by the use of fentanyl.”

The CDC had issued a health advisory in 2015 regarding the dangers of fentanyl, but this was upgraded to an alert in early 2018 as deaths continued to mount. The alert included information that the powerful drug was showing up in heroin, methamphetamine, ketamine, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and counterfeit opioid pills on the street, and encouraged wide availability of the opioid antidote, naloxone, to help reverse the effects of the drug in individuals still alive. While a heroin overdose can be overturned with 1 mg of naloxone, for the individual who has overdosed on fentanyl laced heroin, a dosage of 8-10 mg of naloxone is needed, although most individuals will not survive.

Why is Fentanyl So Deadly?

Fentanyl is a powerful narcotic analgesic manufactured under such brand names as Duragesic, Abstral, Fentora, Actiq, and Subsys, and is used by physicians to control pain in patients with serious or terminal illness. The fentanyl compound is easy to be replicated and reproduced in a lab, being widely distributed as street drugs or through online websites.

The drug is so potent that it is measured in micrograms, not milligrams. Law enforcement and first responders fear having any contact with the substance, as just a few granules can produce fatal respiratory effects. Many of the overdose deaths occurring in recent years occurred in individuals who were unaware that they were ingesting fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that was first introduced in the 1960s for use as an anesthesia during surgeries. Later, fentanyl was approved for its analgesic properties for use as a prescription pain medication. Although fentanyl is in the news in recent years, it is not new. News reports from 1991 were informing the public of a spate of fentanyl laced heroin overdose deaths in Pennsylvania. Later, in 2005-2006, this deadly mixture was at the center of another outbreak of overdose deaths in various regions.

Deaths occur because the fentanyl, an opioid agonist, impacts the opioid receptors in the brain associated with controlling the respiratory system. A high dose of fentanyl can reduce the breathing rate dramatically, possibly causing breathing to stop altogether, leading to death.

The Danger of Heroin and Fentanyl Together

In many cases, it is the opioid epidemic of this past decade that has led to a significant increase in heroin addiction. This happens when the opioids become increasingly difficult to obtain, or if the cost of the prescription opioids becomes prohibitive. To avoid withdrawals, some will switch to heroin as a cheap, easily procured substitute for the opioid.

Since most heroin addicts obtain the drug from dealers on the street, they may be unaware that the heroin they purchased is cut with fentanyl—or may even be pure fentanyl. In most cases it is impossible to detect the presence of fentanyl, especially when it is cut into counterfeit opioids or cocaine, as these are also white substances. However, because heroin has a yellowish tint, if a large amount of fentanyl has been cut into the heroin it might be detected. Understanding the dangers of heroin and fentanyl can help raise awareness through the education of our youth from as early as adolescence.

Symptoms of Fentanyl Overdose

Because fentanyl impacts the central nervous system like any other opiate, the respiratory system is significantly affected. The drug is so potent that a tiny amount carries the risk of a drug overdose. The effects of fentanyl-laced heroin can lead to an overdose, which is a serious medical emergency that allows very little time for successful intervention. Signs of fentanyl overdose include:

  • Extreme grogginess, sleepiness, or fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing, slowed respiratory function
  • Contracted pupils
  • Inability to walk, loss of coordination
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Coma

A fentanyl-related overdose is a medical emergency. Death can occur rapidly, so if these symptoms are present it is necessary to obtain immediate medical help. Most first responders now carry naloxone to help reverse the effects of opiate overdoses.

Getting Help For Heroin Addiction

Individuals who are addicted to heroin or opioids must seek professional help to be able to get off these highly addictive drugs so they can avoid the accidental effects of fentanyl-laced heroin. Overcoming an opiate addiction requires specialized treatment. Without a formal addiction treatment program, the individual will not succeed long-term.

Opioid addiction recovery is possible but it is dependent on the individual completing a treatment program that uses evidence-based, or proven, treatment methods, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), as well as complementary therapies and aftercare services.

Those who decide to get treatment for a heroin addiction will progress through four steps in recovery:

  1. Intake. When the individual approaches treatment they will first be involved in an assessment and intake process. After the clinician has considered all the information, including the length of history of heroin abuse, the daily dosing, the general health status of the individual, and whether there is a coexisting mental wellness disorder present, they will design an individualized treatment plan. This tailored approach is important, as each person will have unique recovery needs.
  2. Detox and Withdrawal. Detoxification is the first necessary step in getting free of a heroin or opioid addiction. Without clearing the body of the drug and stabilizing, the individual would be unable to fully participate in treatment with a clear mind. The detox and withdrawal process is difficult and highly unpleasant, and not to be undertaken on one’s own. People who attempt to go it alone are not able to endure the withdrawals and will swiftly relapse back to drug use.

A medically monitored detox will provide continuous oversight while providing medical interventions that help ease the withdrawal symptoms. Psychological support is also provided, helping the client emotionally throughout the detoxification process. Medications, such as buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone, can be initiated once the drug has been eliminated from the system, and can help reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and also reduce cravings. This medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help the individual become stable in recovery by reducing the risk of relapse. MAT requires the individual to continue engaging in outpatient therapy following rehab, and the medications are strictly monitored to help prevent abuse.

  1. Active Treatment. Active treatment begins immediately following detox and involves a variety of treatment elements. Rehabs programs include individual psychotherapy, group therapy, recovery group meetings, family therapy, addiction education, relapse prevention planning, and medication management. Together these interventions can help the individual change habitual addiction-associated patterns and behaviors, while also addressing underlying factors that may be contributing to the drug abuse. In addition, the individual is coached to establish healthy lifestyle habits, such as diet and exercise, and taught relaxation techniques to help manage stress.
  2. Aftercare Therapy. Once the treatment program has been completed, it is essential to continue to participate regular outpatient counseling, both individual therapy and support groups. Attending a weekly or twice weekly therapy session can help clients over the rough spots during the first year of recovery when they are the most vulnerable to relapse. Sober living is another good aftercare option, providing a living environment that is drug and alcohol-free and where the client can learn healthy new daily routines and habits, and practice recovery skills before heading back to their regular life. Additionally, engaging in a 12-step or similar recovery group can provide an additional layer of peer support and accountability.

Although overcoming heroin dependence requires time, patience, and perseverance, it is something that can be done. A heroin addiction cannot be wished away, it must be muscled away through sheer will and a steely commitment to embrace a clean and sober lifestyle.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Ken Seeley Communities is an integrated addiction recovery program in beautiful Palm Springs, California. Through an immersive approach to recovery, the expert team at Ken Seeley Communities will guide individuals through each step of the process—intake, medical detox, treatment, and aftercare. Ken Seeley is a renowned interventionist who provides these professional services for families to help persuade someone to enter treatment. In addition to the evidence-based treatment approach, the emphasis on nutrition and fitness helps reinforce recovery efforts. Embrace sobriety with the support of this comprehensive and highly effective program. For more information about the program, or about the effects of fentanyl-laced heroin, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

is alcohol a depressant

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. When alcohol is consumed it has a sedating effect on the body, causing a sense of calm and relaxation. Some of the initial effects of minimal alcohol ingestion are quite pleasant, such as feeling less inhibited or stressed in a social situation. However, as alcohol consumption increases, the sedating effects intensify, leading to slurred speech, cognitive disturbance, unsteady movements, and slowed response time.

Some might ask, “Is alcohol a depressant?” because they are confused about the use of the term depressant, thinking it refers to a mental state of depression. In other words, they mistakenly apply the word depressant incorrectly when referring to alcohol. Alcohol has depressant properties affecting neural activity and brain function, but drinking a glass of wine will not make you feel sad.

That said, someone who develops an alcohol dependency or addiction may indeed become psychologically depressed due to the negative consequences the disease of alcoholism has on his or her life. In fact, alcoholism and depression are very common comorbidities. However, it isn’t the alcohol itself that made the individual feel sad or hopeless, instead it is the effects of the disease that can lead to depression.

Is Alcohol a Depressant?

Is alcohol a depressant? Absolutely. Ethyl alcohol has a powerful effect on the central nervous system and the brain. Alcohol binds to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors, which induces the feelings of sedation, and also inhibits glutamate, a neurotransmitter that stimulates the central nervous system. Alcohol also causes the neurotransmitter dopamine to be released, producing that well-known “feel good” response that then becomes established in the brain’s reward system as a positive memory.

Alcohol can also cause stimulatory effects. Upon consuming alcohol, some individuals may become euphoric. Some may experience increased heart rate, while others may exhibit aggressive behaviors. It is believed that individuals who have a high tolerance to the sedating effects of alcohol will likely consume higher quantities to achieve sedation, and are therefore at a higher risk for developing an alcohol use disorder.

Effects of Alcohol Intoxication

So why do people drink? What is the allure of the substance? While the majority of people only indulge in drinking alcohol occasionally, usually while participating at a social event or on a special occasion, some individuals misuse alcohol. Some examples of why people abuse alcohol might include:

  • They begin to rely on the sedating effects to relieve stress
  • They self-medicate the symptoms of a mood disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or an anxiety disorder
  • The use alcohol to increase their feelings of confidence

The effects of drinking alcohol may include the following:

  • Slurred speech
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Sleepiness
  • Unconsciousness
  • Uninhibited behavior
  • Impaired motor skills, clumsiness
  • Depressed breathing
  • Mental confusion, fuzzy thinking
  • Impaired judgment, poor decision making
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Euphoria
  • Cognitive and memory impairment

The Danger of Alcohol Poisoning

When wondering “Is alcohol a depressant?” look no further than alcohol toxicity for the answer. The depressant effects of alcohol can become lethal if the individual consumes more than the body can process. Excessive consumption causes depress the central nervous system to the point of respiratory failure can cause death. Alcohol poisoning occurs when an individual has ingested five or more drinks in a time span of two hours or less, overwhelming the body’s ability to process it. The higher the blood alcohol concentration is, the more impaired the individual becomes.

Signs of alcohol poisoning include:

  • Shallow breathing
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Confusion
  • Clammy or pale skin
  • Low body temperature
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

It is imperative to call for emergency medical intervention in the event of alcohol poisoning.

What Constitutes an Alcohol Use Disorder?

When an alcohol problem becomes evident, usually after experiencing repeated episodes of inebriation, blackouts, severe hangovers, and withdrawal symptoms, it is likely the individual has acquired an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol misuse over a protracted period of time leads to increased tolerance and higher consumption. All the while, the brain’s chemical structure and neural pathways are continually adapting to the presence of alcohol, which eventually leads to alcohol dependency. In fact, the American Medical Association defines substance dependence as a chronic brain disease.

Signs of an alcohol use disorder include:

  • Cannot stop drinking even though you want to
  • Drinking becomes the center of life, with much attention devoted to buying alcohol, drinking, and recovering
  • Experiencing cravings
  • Try to cut back on alcohol consumption but are unable to
  • Avoiding social situations and giving up usual pastimes in favor of drinking
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home and work
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors, such as driving under the influence
  • Experience increased tolerance and subsequently increased consumption
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when alcohol is withheld

An alcohol use disorder is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the number of diagnostic criteria that are present. In addition to the diagnostic criteria, the medical or mental health professional will also order a physical exam and blood tests to help determine the level of severity as it can reveal any number of related health conditions.

How is Alcoholism Treated?

The level of care required to treat alcoholism will be determined by the severity of the disorder. There are distinct differences between alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcohol addiction, each with a treatment route designed to help the individual restore health and functioning.

Detox. If indicated by the length of history and level of alcohol misuse, the individual may need to first complete the medical detox process. Detox and withdrawal refers to the phase of treatment when the individual abstains from alcohol and allows the body to stabilize over a period of days. The withdrawal symptoms begin to emerge 6-12 hours following the last drink, and will peak on days 2 or 3. Symptoms might include:

  • Sweating
  • Shaking
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hand tremors
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures

During the detox process, the addiction specialists will prescribe medical interventions to help ease symptoms as much as possible. In the majority of cases, alcohol detox lasts 5-7 days.

Rehabilitation. Treatment for alcohol use disorder revolves around learning ways to remain abstinent. Rehab programs are available in outpatient or residential formats, with outpatient treatment best suited for mild to moderate alcohol use disorders. Residential rehab programs provide a much higher level of care and monitoring for individuals with moderate to severe disease. A comprehensive approach to treatment will combine the following:

  • Psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a central theme in alcohol recovery, allowing the individual to process underlying emotional issues or past traumas that may be contributory. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) provides a blueprint for making fundamental changes in thoughts and action patterns that have kept the individual trapped in the addiction cycle.
  • Group therapy. Meeting with peers in recovery, or engaging in family-focused sessions, provides an opportunity to discuss topics related to recovery with others. New communication skills and conflict resolution techniques are taught in the group setting.
  • Education. Learning about the impact of alcohol on brain chemistry and structure can act as a deterrent to relapse. In addition, the classes guide individuals to form relapse prevention strategies.
  • Naltrexone. Some individuals with more severe AUD may benefit from medication-assisted treatment. Naltrexone is a non-narcotic medication that can assist in reducing alcohol cravings and relapse, helping to sustain sobriety.
  • 12-step or similar programming. Recovery meetings provide important social support and the opportunity to establish new sober friendships.
  • Adjunctive activities. Rounding out rehabilitation are several activities that augment the evidence-based therapies, including learning how to practice mindfulness, yoga class, art therapy, and outdoor recreational therapy.

Dual diagnosis treatment. A large percentage of individuals with alcohol addiction also struggle with a mood disorder. A recent study noted that individuals with an alcohol use disorder are at increased risk for developing major depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, antisocial and borderline personality disorders. Data supports utilizing an integrated treatment approach for dual diagnosis to ensure that both the alcohol use disorder and the mental health disorder are both treated at the same time.

How to Sustain Sobriety

A prime focus of rehab is to provide individuals with the tools they will need to access in recovery that will help them overcome cravings and other triggers, therefore avoiding relapse. An effective treatment program will equip the individual with new coping skills, teach them relaxation techniques, encourage new healthy lifestyle habits, and guide them in creating their own individualized relapse prevention plan.

In recovery, actions to help avoid a relapse include:

  • Have a confidante. This can be a sponsor, a close friend, a sibling, or a spouse, someone you maintain honest, open communication with in recovery
  • Continue doing the work of recovery. Go to meetings, work the steps, be of service
  • Establish a regular sleep routine and get at least 7 hours of quality sleep nightly
  • Avoid people or situations where drinking or heavy partying is happening
  • Leave destructive friendships behind and begin making friends in the sober community
  • Begin seeking enjoyable sober activities and shift completely to a sober lifestyle
  • Keep stress under control with yoga, prayer, meditation, deep breathing work, or massage
  • Continue outpatient psychotherapy

Ken Seeley Communities Addiction Recovery Complex in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities is a leading addiction recovery treatment center serving the Coachella Valley. Founder Ken Seeley is a renowned professional interventionist who was a staple on the A&E series, Intervention. His recovery complex serves individuals in need of addiction treatment, including providing intervention services, medical detox, outpatient rehab programming, residential rehab programming, and sober living housing. If you wonder if alcohol is a depressant or have any other questions about alcohol use disorder, please reach out to our team today at (877) 744-0502.