effects of coming off alcohol

Managing the Effects of Coming Off Alcohol with Medical Detox

If only there was a way to magically bypass the detox and withdrawal phase of recovery. But until some brilliant inventor creates a magic pill that can allow a person to leapfrog over the suffering of detox, there is the medically supervised detox, an absolute necessity when alcohol is the substance involved.

It is widely understood that people with an alcohol dependency who want to enter recovery should undergo a medically supervised detox. There is good reason for this guidance, as the effects of coming off alcohol can produce highly unpredictable, even dangerous, symptoms. Trained detox specialists are prepared to intervene should such symptoms arise and result in a medical emergency.

About Alcoholism

Alcoholism continues to lead the rehab admissions in America. While the opioid crisis has captured the national headlines, in reality alcohol addiction represents 80% of the individuals suffering from a substance use disorder, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Alliance.

There is a strong genetic component to the disease, with over 50% of Americans having a family history of alcoholism. In addition to genetics, neuroscience research is beginning to identify the chemical effects of alcohol on the brain structures. Using MRI and PET imaging, scientists are able to literally see the impact of alcoholism on the human brain.  According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a method called event-related potentials (ERP) has allowed researchers to identify markers that appear in the brains of alcoholics and their children, becoming a useful tool for identifying individuals at risk for alcoholism.

Other potential risk factors for developing an alcohol use disorder include alcohol being introduced at an early age, psychological factors, such as a co-occurring mental health disorder, poorly formed coping skills or a lack of resilience, or stressful life events.

Importance of a Medical Detox

All too often, someone wrestling with an alcohol dependency may hit a low point and impulsively decide to stop drinking on his or her own. Attempting to undergo alcohol detox alone is a serious mistake, as sudden, unpredictable acute withdrawal symptoms can emerge, requiring immediate medical attention. Medical detox specialists possess the training to quickly intervene should severe withdrawal symptoms suddenly occur.

During a medical detox, a specially trained detox team will have the client’s intake data available that can prepare them for any potential problem. This information helps to alert the detox team if there is a health condition or a history of acute withdrawal syndrome. Throughout the detox process the team will monitor the client’s vital signs so they can identify any serious symptoms.

The delirium tremens (DTs) is a very serious development that constitutes a medical emergency. While the DTs only affect a small percentage of individuals going through alcohol detox, the mortality rate for those who do is about 5%-15%, the need for medical attention should it emerge is essential. Symptoms of the DTs include severe mental confusion, tremors, fever, high blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures.

During medical detox, specialists will administer medications as needed to dramatically reduce many of the common alcohol withdrawal symptoms, as well as provide emotional support. The goal of a medical detox is to use medical interventions to guide the client safely through the withdrawals with the least amount of discomfort, while preparing the individual to transition into the treatment phase of recovery.

Factors that Influence Withdrawal Severity

Certain factors can determine the level of severity of the withdrawal symptoms, which can range from mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms to severe. These factors include:

  • Length of history of the alcohol use disorder
  • The level of alcohol consumed daily
  • Having a history of alcohol withdrawal syndrome (AWS)
  • Age of individual
  • A coexisting mental health disorder
  • General health status of individual

Withdrawal Symptoms and Detox Timeline

Alcohol detox needs to be viewed as a necessary step in achieving freedom from alcohol addiction. It is the gatekeeper to recovery, so it must be endured before one can proceed into addiction treatment. Detox is the most unpleasant part of recovery, where the body attempts to adjust to the sudden absence of alcohol, something that results in unpleasant physical withdrawal symptoms that begin within 6-12 hours. Again, alcohol detox should only be attempted under the care and supervision of a trained medical detox team.

In most cases, withdrawal symptoms will be unpleasant, but not life threatening. However, for someone with a long history of excessive alcohol consumption or other risk factors, serious complications can arise. Withdrawal symptoms generally fall into one of two categories based on the severity of the alcohol addiction or dependency.

Common Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Sweating
  • Tremors of the hands
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Depression
  • Insomnia

Severe Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Body shakes
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe mental confusion
  • Seizures
  • Death

Alcohol detox occurs in three stages—the emergent stage, the peak stage, and the subsiding stage—and is typically completed within 7 days.

Managing the Effects of Coming Off Alcohol

While the unavoidable effects of coming off alcohol is an unpleasant one, here are some methods that can help to minimize the discomfort:

  • Hydrate. While the body is detoxing electrolyte levels can benefit from drinking fluids, which helps combat nausea and dehydration.
  • Distract. Depending on the severity of the withdrawal symptoms, it may help if you can take a walk, take a brisk shower, listen to music or a podcast, or watch TV.
  • Eat healthy. Increase the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables to help balance blood sugar levels.
  • Holistic. Try deep breathing techniques, aromatherapy using oils that reduce cravings and help with detoxification, a YouTube yoga class, or a meditation app.

Riding out the detox process is just that, so brace yourself for waves of cravings that will soon dissipate, remind yourself of the reasons you seek sobriety, and know that the detox process is a very short-lived inconvenience.

Medically Assisted Treatment for Alcoholism

The medication naltrexone, under the brand names Vivitrol or ReVia, can be very helpful to individuals with a more severe alcohol use disorder. Naltrexone works as an opiate antagonist in the brain, which has been found to help recovering alcoholics remain sober when prescribed along with therapy and other protective measures. After the individual has completed alcohol detox, they are prescribed a 3-12 month regimen of naltrexone to help the individual stabilize in early recovery. Over time alcohol cravings will diminish and relapse risk can be significantly mitigated. Naltrexone is not intended as a permanent medication, and should be closely monitored through continued engagement in recovery efforts.

Treatment for Alcoholism

After detox is completed, a structured addiction treatment program will guide individuals through the process of changing disordered addiction-related behaviors and habits. Recovering from alcoholism requires an extended period of treatment to replace those self-destructive patterns and acquire new behaviors and recovery skills that help support sobriety. Rehab is available in an outpatient format, which is appropriate for mild to moderate alcohol use disorder, or a residential format, which is appropriate for moderate to severe alcoholism.

While in treatment the individual will participate in a variety of treatment activities and therapies that approach all angles of recovery, including:

  • Psychotherapy. Individual therapy, using various evidence-based psychotherapies, helps the individual work through any underlying emotional issues or past traumas that may be a factor in the alcoholism.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT guides individuals toward adopting new thought and behavior patterns that replace the disordered patterns that have culminated in alcohol abuse through addict behaviors.
  • Group therapy. Group sessions offer peers in recovery opportunities to share about their personal experiences and challenges, fostering an essential source of mutual peer support.
  • Family-based therapy. Family-focused therapy helps family members process their frustrations, mend hurt feelings, and discuss the fears around the disease of alcoholism and how it has impacted the family.
  • MAT. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using naltrexone can support recovery and help sustain sobriety by managing cravings.
  • Relapse prevention planning. Each individual will examine his or her unique triggers or stressors that could potentially disrupt recovery and lead to a relapse.
  • Meetings. 12-step meetings, or some form of alternative programming, can provide additional social support, as well as opportunities for establishing new sober friendships.
  • Holistic therapies. There are complementary therapies, such as yoga classes, massage therapy, acupuncture, mindfulness training, and art therapy that can help the individual in recovery regulate stress.
  • Nutritional counseling and exercise.  Establishing new lifestyle habits that are focused on wellness are incorporated into the program to help promote physical and psychological healing.

Life in Recovery

Taking that first step is momentous, putting you on the path to reclaiming your life and fulfilling the dreams that had been lost in the fog of addiction. Life will begin to improve in a multitude of ways, especially following that first year of recovery. But even in that first year of adjusting to a sober lifestyle, improvements in sleep quality, your physical appearance, energy, cognitive and memory functions, and overall mood will spur you to stick tight to the plan. Stay in outpatient therapy, participate in a recovery community, and try sober living if the home environment is not supportive to your recovery goals. Do whatever it takes because life is so worth the effort.

Ken Seeley Communities Alcohol Recovery Program in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities is a leader in the field of addiction recovery. Founder Ken Seeley is a renowned professional interventionist who was a staple on the A&E series, Intervention. His recovery complex includes all facets of the recovery continuum, including intervention services, medical detox, outpatient rehab programming, residential rehab programming, and sober living housing. If you are ready to tackle the effects of coming off alcohol in a safe, supportive environment, please reach out to our team at (877) 744-0502.

 

how long does heroin withdrawal last

How Long Does Heroin Withdrawal Last?

Wrenching yourself free from the grip of a heroin addiction can seem impossible. Having experienced the suffering of withdrawal symptoms on a regular basis, it may seem like going through the detox process would be unbearable. In fact, anticipating the difficult withdrawal phase of recovery actually deters many from ever seeking help, keeping them stuck tight in their addiction. So how long does heroin withdrawal last anyway? In most cases, the heroin detox timeline involves approximately 5-7 days. Although the physical and emotional effects that accompany the heroin withdrawal process are daunting, it must be looked at as a very short-term issue that will soon pass.

Some addiction treatment centers rely on medication, such as Suboxone, to assist with the highly unpleasant side effects associated with heroin withdrawal. Suboxone is itself an opioid that can help block the effects of opiates from ever attaching to the brain receptors, so euphoria is not experienced. Over time this helps reduce cravings, and subsequently the desire to use again declines.

There is another option available to help with heroin withdrawal, and that is to go the holistic route.  The holistic approach to heroin detox and withdrawal means that drug-free interventions are made to help assist the recovering addict through the uncomfortable side effects of heroin withdrawal.

It’s totally understandable why someone about to begin a heroin detox might ask, “How long does heroin withdrawal last?” Going through detox and withdrawal from heroin or opioids is a hurdle to clear, versus a welcome event. Detox and withdrawal will vary from one individual to another, based on a number of factors that help determine the timeline. But knowing approximately how long does heroin withdrawal last, and what to expect in a medical detox, can help one prepare mentally for what lies ahead, and to gear up for it.

About Heroin Dependency

Heroin is in the opiate family of drugs, derived from morphine, a natural byproduct of certain poppy plants in regions like Afghanistan, Colombia, and Burma. Opium is produced through the fluid that seeps out of the poppy seedpod and dried into a resin product.

Heroin is a highly addictive drug that leads to rapidly increased tolerance to the drug, resulting in increased dosage and usage in an effort to relive the initial euphoric high.  Heroin use causes a powerful reaction in the brain’s chemistry, attaching to opioid receptors in the pain and pleasure centers. A flood of dopamine leads to the “rush” that is felt upon injecting, snorting or smoking heroin.

This powerful drug makes lasting changes in brain cells, causing the brain to eventually cease producing its own dopamine. Without the drug, the user will become unable to experience pleasure at all, only leading to higher dosing. When chemical dependence takes hold, any attempt to stop taking heroin results in highly uncomfortable flu-like withdrawal symptoms. At this point the addict needs to take the drug to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms and feeling very sick (“dope sick”).

The Centers for Disease Control recently released data from 2017 citing alarming statistics regarding heroin and other opioids. According to this report, deaths from heroin increased sevenfold from 1,960 in 1999 to 15,482 in 2017. A sense of urgency exists today regarding the staggering increases of heroin and opioid abuse and addiction, and the related fatalities.

What to Expect During Heroin Detox and Withdrawal

It is natural for someone to wonder how long does heroin withdrawal last.  In general, the heroin detox process follows a fairly predictable pattern. The first withdrawal symptoms appear between 6-12 hours after the last dose of heroin. The length of the detox period, as well as the severity of symptoms, will be dependent on factors such as:

  • The duration of the heroin habit
  • Heroin consumption level
  • If the individual has a co-occurring mental health disorder
  • General state of the individual’s health.

All these factors will play a part in the detox experience, as far as how intense the withdrawal symptoms will be and how long withdrawal will last. Generally, symptoms will peak between 24-48 hours and then gradually subside. Most heroin detoxes are completed in 5-7 days, however long-lasting effects can linger, known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Teary eyes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Restlessness
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

While some may they might die from experiencing heroin withdrawal symptoms, the fact is that, while extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable, it is highly unlikely that heroin detox would be fatal. Detox medical providers will provide comfort through the use of medications that can significantly reduce the withdrawal symptoms, and will closely monitor the individual throughout the detox process.

Throughout a medical detox the individual will be supported with medications as symptoms emerge. The detox team will access various over-the-counter medications that can alleviate the muscle aches, fever, headache, chills, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea symptoms. The individual will also receive psychological support to offer encouragement and help guide through the detox process, and then into the treatment program.

Medically Assisted Detox (MAT) for Heroin Withdrawal

Increasingly, heroin and opioid detox and treatment involves medication-assisted treatment (MAT), using certain opioid antagonists and agonists to help control craving and slowly reduce the desire for the drug. These medications may include methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, and are prescribed for the purpose of stabilizing the individual in recovery while reducing the risk of relapse. In most cases, the drugs are prescribed for a limited time, such as 3-12 months, before beginning a tapering schedule. However, in some cases long-term use of these drugs is warranted.

MAT is always closely monitored, as these drugs themselves are prone to abuse. Some individuals use them illicitly, often crushing the drug and snorting it or liquefying the drug and injecting it. Methadone is the most strictly controlled drug of the MAT medications. The drugs are always prescribed as one part of an aftercare strategy that includes outpatient services, like therapy and group counseling.

What to Expect in Heroin Rehab

It is important to understand that overcoming a heroin addiction is a long-term effort that is undertaken at an inpatient treatment facility. Detox alone is not sufficient to achieve lasting sobriety. Without follow up addiction treatment the individual is bound to relapse right away. This is because the deeply entrenched thought-behavior patterns that define the daily life of an addict do not just go away. These reflexive habits must be identified, addressed, and changed to have any kind of success in recovery.

Heroin addiction treatment is a two-pronged method that typically involves both pharmacological treatment (MAT) and evidence-based behavioral therapies such as contingency management and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). During rehab the individual will be immersed in a variety of therapeutic activities that are designed to be an integrated approach to overcoming addiction. These treatment elements include:

  • Psychotherapy: The role of psychotherapy in treating a heroin addiction is a core treatment element in addiction recovery. The therapist will access a number of evidence-based therapies to effectively guide the person toward embracing new healthy thought patterns and introduce coping skills to assist them in recovery. In addition, the therapist can help the individual explore their emotional state and work through any lingering or unresolved issues.
  • Group therapy: Addiction and depression can leave someone feeling very isolated and alone in their disease. Bringing together small groups of peers who can discuss their points of view and personal experiences with each other can give each participant a feeling of belonging. This shared experience, the recovery journey, can bond the participants and even foster new friendships that will endure after rehab is completed.
  • Non 12-step or 12-step participation: The recovery communities that may be integrated into the overall rehab program provide an excellent introduction into the power of fellowship. Recovery meetings offer opportunities to learn from each other and become inspired by those who have achieved a sustained recovery, and who benefited from the particular program, be it A.A., N.A., Smart Recovery or others.
  • Addiction education: Information can be a powerful tool in recovery. By learning about how chemical dependence develops it can give individuals a new perspective about what a danger drug like heroin does to the brain and the body. Along with learning about how addition happens, clients are also taught methods to help avoid relapsing. They will be coached in developing their own specific relapse prevention plan, and will be equipped with the necessary recovery tools to sustain recovery.
  • Adjunct therapies to promote stress reduction and relaxation: These therapies include yoga, meditation, equine therapy, art therapy, and other holistic practices
  • Aftercare services: The rehab should encourage individuals to develop an aftercare plan for post-rehab recovery. These activities or services can help solidify early recovery while helping to avoid relapse. These actions might include continuing on with outpatient therapy, continued participation in a recovery community, or spending a few months in sober living.

Ken Seeley Communities Offers Heroin Medical Detox and Addiction Recovery Services

Ken Seeley Communities is a Palm Springs-based addiction recovery complex that offers the full spectrum of necessary treatment components. These include professional intervention services, residential rehab, various intensities of outpatient programs, and sober living housing that all work together on the recovery continuum. For more information about how long does heroin withdrawal last, and additional details about our recovery resources, please contact our team today at (877) 773-8515.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Suboxone

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Suboxone?

Suboxone can be a lifesaver for individuals recovering from an opioid addiction or dependency. This medication helps to block the effects of opioids, allowing for a gradual reduction in cravings to return to the drug. Meanwhile, the individual has more time to adjust to a life of sobriety and solidify recovery.

For some who access medication-assisted treatment (MAT), however, there is the potential for the drug one has been taking to reduce the risk of relapse has managed to crossed over and become its own new addiction. In many cases, Suboxone works very well as a short, or sometimes long-term, medication to prevent opioid or opiate relapse.  For some, however, Suboxone can be and prone to abuse and addiction itself.

Because Suboxone is itself a mild opioid, the dangers of dependency can emerge with long-term use. These long-term effects were not foreseen back in 2002 when the FDA approved it for MAT. Because of a long 37-hour half-life, Suboxone is subject to building up in the system, contributing to the risk of potential chemical dependency.

Not all Suboxone addictions develop as a result of being prescribed the medication for recovery assistance. Some individuals access the drug illicitly and use it as a substance of abuse. Whether the Suboxone was legitimately provided or used as a recreational drug, the result of addiction or dependency will require a medical detox and treatment to overcome. This prompts the important question, “What are the withdrawal symptoms of Suboxone” as someone anticipates the detox and withdrawal process.

How Suboxone Addiction or Dependency Develops

Suboxone is comprised of four parts buprenorphine (“bupe”) and one part naloxone. The buprenorphine acts by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain, and the naloxone acts to revers the effects of opioids. Suboxone promised to be a safer, more easily prescribed alternative to methadone, which is still commonly used for individuals in recovery from heroin.

As with any other mind-altering substance, Suboxone can be abused. Indeed, addiction behaviors do die hard. When someone is being treated for an opioid dependency with Suboxone they may become tempted to begin abusing this medication. Some may choose to inject the drug, or snort it, in an effort to experience a high. Over time, the compulsive abuse of Suboxone can develop into a new addiction. When the individual uses Suboxone for an extended period of time, their brain adapts to the regular influx of the drug to the point where it is unable to function normally without Suboxone.

Symptoms of Suboxone Addiction

When someone is struggling with an addiction to Suboxone they will begin to exhibit the classic signs of drug addiction. Suboxone is an opioid, so there are the telltale sights of opioid abuse such as:

  • Escalating tolerance to the drug’s effects, leading to higher consumption of the drug
  • Doctor shopping to obtain additional prescriptions
  • Purchasing the Suboxone off the street or the Internet
  • Paraphernalia related to injecting the drug, such as needles, syringes, a white powdery substance, ropes or tubing to constrict blood flow
  • Loss of interest in recovery efforts once made. Not attending meetings as much or at all, hanging out with old pre-rehab friends, keeping odd hours
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies once enjoyed
  • Financial struggles due to missing work, spending excessive amounts of money on the drug, legal problems. They may steal money from their loved ones or ask friends for money
  • Loss of weight. Suboxone addiction can lead to loss of appetite, neglecting nutrition, skipping meals and subsequent weight loss

There are also physical signs of Suboxone abuse. These include nausea and vomiting, dilated pupils, tearing of the eyes, impaired speech, fainting, sweating, muscle aches, sleep problems, and drowsiness.

What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms of Suboxone?

Once chemically dependent, if the individual attempts to cease taking the drug, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, which means that trying to stop it will trigger the same types of withdrawal symptoms of most other opiates.  The withdrawal symptoms will vary from mild to severe based on the length of history using Suboxone, the level of dosing, and the mode used to administer the drug.

Suboxone detox and withdrawal is said to last longer than other opioids because it is chemically designed to block cravings for an extended period of time, meaning that it remains in bodily tissues longer. So, what are the withdrawal symptoms of Suboxone?

Withdrawal symptoms begin approximately 6-12 hours after the last Suboxone dose and include:

  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Insomnia
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Mood swings

Many of these withdrawal symptoms, such as the gastrointestinal distress, fever, headache, and muscle ache, can be managed using simple over-the-counter medications by the detox team.

Why a Medical Detox is Important for Suboxone

Medical monitoring is important during a Suboxone detox. No one should attempt to just quit the Suboxone. Instead, professional oversight where a doctor can prescribe a tapering program can help minimize withdrawal severity and successfully complete the detox. This, however, means that a Suboxone detox may last up to a month for the most severe addictions. Patience is required in order to safely progress through the detox phase to completion. Individuals who attempt to stop cold turkey are likely to quickly relapse back to Suboxone use as the highly unpleasant symptoms would be difficult to endure.

Depression and cravings may persist for a month or more, which makes the individual at risk for relapse and suicidal ideation. The medical detox team will provide relief for the physical symptoms, as well as offer psychological aid to help manage feelings of depression and anxiety.

Holistic Therapies that Aid Suboxone Detox and Withdrawal

Natural therapies can aid in restoring health while promoting stress reduction during a Suboxone detox. There is much evidence that experiential and holistic therapies can help reduce the discomforts of withdrawing from opioids, and are very useful in ongoing aftercare and relapse prevention following treatment. Some of the holistic therapies used for a Suboxone detox acupuncture, yoga, and meditation. These activities can enhance recovery by regulating stress, as well as provide avenues to self-discovery that might be useful in subsequent addiction recovery.

Using MAT is still considered controversial for purists who prefer total abstinence from opiates as the goal. They argue that substituting one opiate for another has a high likelihood of creating yet another dependency. When this occurs it is necessary to form a new recovery plan that excludes any addictive medications.

Addiction Recovery Treatment for Suboxone Dependency

After the Suboxone detox and withdrawal process is completed, the individual will segue into an addiction treatment program. This is an integral component needed for moving beyond addictive behaviors and into healthy, productive ones that will help sustain recovery from opioids.

Treatment for a Suboxone addiction may be provided in an outpatient setting or a residential setting. The outpatient programs will offer several levels of intensity. In most cases of opioid addiction if outpatient treatment is desired the most intensive level is appropriate. This is the partial hospitalization program (PHP), also referred to as a day program, which requires daily participation in various therapeutic sessions throughout the week. The PHP involves 25-30 hours per week of participation in the therapy and education elements, but provides the flexibility to reside at home during the program. This allows someone who is not able to take an extended leave from family obligations to still obtain the treatment they need following detox.

The residential program involves a long-term commitment of 1-9 months. During the residential program, the individual will reside at the treatment center and participate in a wide variety of treatment elements daily. These programs provide structure and constant support, while allowing the individual to remove themselves from their usual home environment to be able to focus completely on recovery.

What to Expect in Suboxone Recovery Treatment

Most addiction recovery programs, whether it is an outpatient or residential format, will provide fundamental treatment elements to aid the individual in overcoming a Suboxone addiction. These treatment elements include:

  • Psychotherapy sessions. These therapy sessions are conducted one-on-one with a licensed psychotherapist who will assist the individual in identifying key addictive behaviors and patterns. Once these are noted, the therapist will use evidence-based therapies to guide the individual toward adopting more positive and productive thought and behavior patterns in recovery.
  • Peer group sessions. Group therapy involves a small collection of peers who can discuss openly topics related to overcoming addiction. The therapist will provide the topics and facilitate discussions so they are productive and supportive.
  • Education. Addiction education is key to the overall success of the treatment program. In these classes, individuals learn about how opioid addiction develops, and then are taught recovery tools that can help them avoid relapse.
  • Other activities. In a residential program there will be a focus on nutrition and fitness, both important to restoring health and wellness in recovery.
  • Continuing care. Once the treatment program is completed, continuing care services should be accessed for the best chance at obtaining a lasting recovery. These include outpatient counseling, sober living housing, and attending recovery meetings.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Suboxone Detox Services

Ken Seeley Communities is a integrated addiction recovery program located in Palm Springs, California. At Ken Seeley Communities, our philosophy for recovery from addiction or chemical dependency to Suboxone is centered on a transformational spectrum of treatment elements. This involves the initial medical detoxification process, participation in addiction recovery therapies, and continuing care services such as sober living and outpatient programming to help reinforce sobriety. When wondering what are the withdrawal symptoms of Subonxone, please contact our team for a thorough explanation of the detox and withdrawal process at (877) 744-0502.

 

alcohol and social anxiety

The Link Between Alcohol and Social Anxiety

When considering what may drive someone to use alcohol as a soothing panacea for managing mental health disorders it is helpful to gain a deeper understanding of the connection between social anxiety and alcohol abuse. It isn’t difficult to identify the causal nature of this link, considering the effects of social anxiety on a person. For individuals who suffer from social anxiety, the intense level of discomfort in social situations can lead to an array of physical symptoms. These include a racing heart, spiked cortisol and adrenaline production, palpitations, sweating, shaking, and nausea. Alcohol can behave as a very quick antidote to these symptoms, producing a calming, relaxing effect in moments.

But as with all substances that produce chemical changes in the brain, alcohol can create a whole host of additional problems on top of the social anxiety it is supposed to be helping. The partnership between alcohol and social anxiety becomes symbiotic, that is the effects of one enhance the effects of the other, as a vicious cycle. Alcohol abuse can enhance the anxiety symptoms, as well as contribute to depression and many negative consequences in one’s life.

Why Do Those With Social Anxiety Use Alcohol?

Someone with social anxiety disorder typically has an intense fear of social events and interactions. This can include fearing simple activities like eating a meal in public or something associated with an extreme fear of being judged, such as public speaking. It has been found that 20% of those who suffer from social anxiety disorder also present with a comorbid alcohol use disorder, according to the article by Book and Randall, “Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Use.” Alcohol can help these individuals relax in social settings, reducing the anxiety symptoms associated with the social phobia.

For those who dread the prospect of being scrutinized or criticized publically, turning to alcohol can be the last thing they do before leaving the house. Self-medicating fears away is only going to provide a temporary Band-Aid as more and more of the substance will inevitably be needed to relax.

Signs of Alcohol Dependency

Alcohol dependency comes in stealthily, like a thief in the night attempting to rob one of everything they hold dear. While the alcohol started out as a crutch for managing social anxiety, over time increased tolerance resulted in higher levels of alcohol consumption. There are some specific signs that alcohol abuse has evolved into a disorder. These signs include:

  • Being unable to control the levels of alcohol consumption. No shut-off capability
  • Turn to alcohol first thing in the morning
  • Hiding alcohol in the house or at work, or lying about alcohol use
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Excessive absences from work or classes
  • Decline in work or academic performance
  • Obsess about getting alcohol, having enough on hand, anticipating drinking
  • Try to quit alcohol but cannot stop
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when try to quit

Treatment for Social Anxiety

Treating social anxiety will involved a combination of targeted psychotherapy and the use of medication. The psychotherapy best suited for treating social anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). In addition, exposure therapies are also helpful in assisting individuals in overcoming their fear of social situations.

Antidepressants such as Paxil or Zoloft may be effective in managing the symptoms of social anxiety disorder. In addition, other types of antidepressants, such as the SNRI venlafaxine (Effexor XR) has been shown to be effective for this anxiety disorder. Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax or Valium may also help reduce feelings of anxiety in a stressful situation, however these drugs have a high propensity for abuse and addiction.

Treatment for an Alcohol Use Disorder

When seeking help for an alcohol use disorder the first step in the process of recovery will be the detoxification process. Alcohol detox should always be conducted in the safe and supportive medical detox environment. Alcohol detox can suddenly introduce serious health risks, such as seizures or the delirium tremens, so detox should never be done without appropriate supervision.

Once the detox is completed, it is time to transition to treatment for the alcohol and social anxiety disorders. Both disorders should be treated simultaneously using psychotherapy, such as CBT and motivational enhancement therapy, medication, 12-step programming, and adjunctive activities that can enhance the conventional treatments. These might include recreational therapy, mindfulness, EMDR therapy, yoga, and hypnotherapy.

Ken Seeley Communities Treats Dual Diagnosis in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities is an integrated alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment center serving Coachella Valley in California. At Ken Seeley Communities, great lengths are taken to match the needs of each individual client based on their particular substance of abuse or co-occurring mental health condition. For alcohol and social anxiety, a comprehensive approach to treating the co-occurring disorders would involve evidence-based therapies that are targeted toward social anxiety disorder. These include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, and exposure-based therapies. The alcohol use disorder should be treated simultaneously for the best recovery outcome. For more information about our recovery services, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

ativan withdrawal

Detox Timeline For Ativan Withdrawal

Ativan (lorazepam) is a benzodiazepine drug that is prescribed primarily for treating anxiety and insomnia. This fast-acting sedative quickly induces a state of calm and deep relaxation by increasing GABA in the brain. Ativan is very effective and well tolerated with few adverse effects, making it a drug that is prone to abuse.

As with all benzodiazepines, Ativan is intended for short to intermediate term use, usually no more than four months. This is because the body will build up tolerance to it, causing the individual to increase their dosing to achieve the earlier effects. This can lead to someone becoming both psychologically and physically dependent on the drug.

When the refills are no longer approved the individual will know they are addicted because highly unpleasant Ativan withdrawal symptoms ensue in the absence of the drug. Benzodiazepines can cause serious, even life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, so any attempt to discontinue them after long-term use should be done under medical supervision.

What Are the Signs of Ativan Addiction?

There are some signs and symptoms that indicate that Ativan use or misuse is evolving into an addiction. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite, anorexia
  • Tremors
  • Memory problems
  • Mental confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Over-sleeping
  • Using increasing amounts of Ativan, using Ativan as a crutch
  • Withdrawing from social activities
  • Loss of interest in usual hobbies
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Increased anxiety
  • Poor coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Blurred vision
  • Breathing problems
  • Mood swings
  • Doctor shopping to obtain more Ativan
  • Experience withdrawal symptoms when Ativan is unavailable

Safest Way to Approach Ativan Withdrawal

Due to the possibility of dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it is never advisable to attempt Ativan detox cold turkey or alone without support. A medically monitored detox program will manage the psychological and physical withdrawal symptom, regularly checking vital signs. The detox doctor will put the individual on a tapering schedule to minimize the health risks, allowing the detox process to be completed safely. Withdrawal symptoms will ensure within 6 hours of the last dose of Ativan, and may include:

  • Severe nervousness
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Profuse sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Tremors
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches
  • Mood swings
  • Confusion
  • Cravings
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Hallucinations
  • Coma
  • Seizures

Round the clock supervision in a medical detox allows detox specialists to provide medications and psychological support to safely guide the individual through the detox and withdrawal process.

Detox Timeline for Ativan Withdrawal

The detox timeline and severity of withdrawal symptoms will depend on the length of time Ativan was abused, the usual daily dosage, if additional substances were abused, the general health of the individual, and whether there are any co-occurring mental health disorders present. A tapering program will help diffuse much of the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms.

The early withdrawal stage of detoxification involves increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, insomnia, and pronounced anxiety symptoms. The acute withdrawal stage starts around day 2-3 and may involve symptoms that last for up to two weeks. Symptoms might include tremors, cravings, muscle aches, irritability, nausea, confusion, sweating, and panic attacks. To date there is no drug to help mitigate withdrawal symptoms for an Ativan addiction.

Next Steps After Detox and Withdrawal

Once the medical detox is safely completed, the next phase of Ativan addiction recovery involves the active treatment phase. Without learning how to manage stress, triggers, and change habits, it is impossible to sustain recovery.

A rehab program can be obtained in an outpatient format or a residential format. Outpatient treatment offers three different intensities based on the history of the Ativan misuse and other factors. Outpatient programs provide more flexibility and they usually cost less than the residential programs.

However, sometimes the outpatient program does not provide enough structure, which can result in relapse. Some individuals do better in a residential program where there is 24-hour support. Whichever type of rehab format is selected, the fundamental treatment elements will be similar. These include:

  • Psychotherapy. Individual sessions allow for delving into past emotional pain, traumas, mental health conditions, current stressors, and help to process and heal these using evidence-based therapies. Clients learn how to reshape thought patterns so that new productive behavior patterns will replace the dependency on Ativan.
  • Group sessions. Group counseling and family counseling sessions are excellent opportunities to share your experiences with others who have similar challenges. This helps to foment peer support, which is helpful while going through addiction treatment as it makes participants feel they are not alone.
  • Addiction recovery tools. Rehab programs will equip the individual with the tools needed to avert any temptation to return to Ativan use. Relapse prevention planning and strategizing is a high priority in rehab.
  • 12-step programs. A.A.’s 12-step program is incorporated into many rehab programs to one degree or another. Meetings can be helpful to those in early recovery, offering a safe place to share and learn from each other.

Lifestyle Changes to Promote Relaxation

One of the most important goals of overcoming an addiction to Ativan or any benzo is to learn more healthy ways to calm the mind and settle down. Replacing the drug with stress-reducing activities, regular exercise, and healthy diets can help individuals in recovery refrain from needing the sedatives. These lifestyle changes might include:

  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Gardening therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Equine therapy
  • Journaling
  • Regular exercise
  • Guided meditation

All of these activities will promote relaxation while reducing stress, helping individuals manage anxiety without Ativan or any benzodiazepine.

Ken Seeley Communities Treats Ativan Addiction and Dependency

Ken Seeley Communities is a Palm Springs-based drug and alcohol recovery center. Our medical detox program helps clients achieve a safely guided detoxification process. These trained detox professionals assist clients by tapering them off the Ativan incrementally, significantly reducing the discomforts and dangers of Ativan withdrawal symptoms. Once detox is safely completed, the client will transition to the active treatment phase of recovery. Ken Seeley Communities provides the most current, evidence-based therapies and a highly attentive staff to guide the client into a solid, sustained recovery. For more information, please connect with our staff at Ken Seeley Communities by calling (877) 744-0502.

 

how to stop taking codeine

How to Stop Taking Codeine Safely

Who would ever suspect that an innocent bottle of cough syrup could be problematic? But the reality is that contained in that prescription cough medication is an opioid called codeine. Codeine misuse may start through the legitimate clinical use of the cough suppressant, or it could result from recreation use known on the street as Lean, Purple Drank, Sizzurp, and Texas Tea.

Regardless of the origin of the codeine abuse it can lead to increased tolerance, escalation of dosing, and ultimately addiction. Once someone has decided they are ready to stop using codeine there is a knee-jerk impulse to abruptly stop using it. However, just as with all opioid dependency, it is important to understand how to stop taking codeine safely.

About Codeine Addiction

Codeine is derived from the poppy plant and has been used for medical treatment for 200 years. Although codeine is available as a stand-alone prescription analgesic in pill form, it is often combined with other ingredients. These medications may include other pain relievers such as Tylenol or promethazine and is available in pill, capsule, or liquid forms. Codeine-containing medications are used to treat a variety of symptoms, including cough, diarrhea, and low-level pain. Codeine is a Schedule II substance, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, which could result in addiction or dependence. In combination medications containing 90 milligrams or less of codeine, the classification is Schedule III, designating a slightly lower risk of abuse.

Codeine abuse tends to be most prominent among young, urban males. Rappers have added to the allure of the concoctions created using codeine, only increasing the popularity of codeine abuse. The drug acts by blocking pain signals to the brain, acting much the same way as morphine does. In fact, a portion of the codeine is converted by the body into morphine in approximately 70% of those who use the drug.

Effects of Codeine Abuse

As with other opioids, the body will become more tolerant to the drug’s effects, prompting the individual to begin using heavier doses. Over time, the drug may be combined with other substances, such as benzos or alcohol, to achieve the desired high, and in some cases switching to more potent opioids.

While the initial effect of the drug is relaxation, pain relief, and mild euphoria, prolonged use will begin to cause side effects. These might include:

  • Itching or rash
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Shallow breathing
  • Mental confusion
  • Problems urinating
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Delirium and hallucination
  • Seizures

When codeine abuse escalates it can depress the central nervous system, dangerously slowing the respiratory rate. Risk of overdose death is increased if the codeine is used with alcohol, which could cause respiratory failure.

Different Forms of Recreational Codeine

Detoxing From Codeine

Knowing how to stop taking codeine in a safe manner is essential when deciding to get clean and sober. There is a risk of experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms if the drug is abruptly stopped, so detoxification should only be accomplished through a medically monitored detox program. These medical detox programs will create a tapering schedule that will ease the person off the codeine safely, allowing the body to adjust.

While withdrawal symptoms can be somewhat regulated through tapering, some unpleasant symptoms are unavoidable. These symptoms will be managed through medications and treatments that will help minimize discomfort.

Codeine withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Extreme irritability
  • Agitation
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue, malaise

Treatment For Codeine Abuse

The fact is that, over time, certain addictive behaviors became habit. The mind is a powerful instrument in relaying thoughts that would lead the individual to reach for the codeine. To overcome the codeine addiction or dependency, it is critical to make changes in thought/behavior patterns. Without making these core shifts in thinking and reacting, cravings for the drug, or ingrained addictive thought processes, would simply drive the person right back into using codeine.

After detox is completed, a rehab program will help the person accomplish these fundamental changes using cognitive behavioral therapy as an essential tool. Therapy will be offered in one-on-one settings as well as group settings, and combined with other treatment elements, such as Suboxone treatment, 12-step meetings, and relapse prevention planning.

Ken Seeley Communities Treats Codeine Abuse and Addiction

Ken Seeley Communities offers detox, rehab, and sober living services for treating codeine addiction in Palm Springs, California. Because codeine addiction follows the same trajectory as any other opioid addiction, it is helpful to understand how to stop taking codeine through a tapering schedule. This allows the detoxification process to go smoother, increasing the chances of successfully completing detox and then transitioning into treatment. Treatment can be received through either an outpatient or residential program, depending on the severity of the codeine addiction. Ken Seeley Communities offers compassionate support at every juncture of the recovery process. For more details about the program, please reach out to Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

Prescription Opioid to Heroin Use

Prescription Opioid to Heroin Use

The past twenty years has revealed a disturbing trend that the pharmaceutical companies in concert with the medical field were complicit in promoting. Over-prescribing prescription opioids, such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, and Opana, has led to a national drug epidemic resulting in millions of people developing an addiction to these drugs. While doctors were initially misinformed about the drugs’ potential for addiction by the manufacturers, financial compensation lured them into unscrupulous prescribing practices that have had devastating consequences.

A pattern emerged about a decade ago, when it was noticed that heroin use had dramatically increased. This was strange because for decades heroin had been relegated to the fringe among recreational drug users. Suddenly, heroin addiction was on the rise in segments of the population where it had not formerly been common, such as in upscale suburban communities. Eventually, a connection between prescription opioid to heroin use was revealed, explaining the spike in heroin addiction.

Why People Shift From Prescription Opioid to Heroin Use

Prescription opioids are extremely addicting, even in as little as two weeks of prescribed use a patient can become addicted. When the prescription runs out, the individual will begin to feel sick, therefore asking for a refill. When the doctor finally refuses to refill the prescription, the now addicted patient becomes desperate. They may search for the opioids on the Internet or purchase the pills on the street. They may begin doctor shopping, hoping to score a new prescription. But when all avenues eventually dry up, the individual may shift from prescription opioid to heroin use.

Heroin is also an opioid, created from morphine, which is derived from the opium poppy plant. Prescription opioids have a similar effect to heroin, so gravitating to heroin when the synthetic opioids are no longer available or affordable is a natural step for the addict to take. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 80% of heroin users report first misusing prescription opioids. Heroin offers these individuals a more potent high at a fraction of the cost.

Overcoming a Heroin Addiction

It is a very difficult decision to seek out treatment for a heroin addiction no matter what devastation it has done to one’s life. The prospect of being “dope sick,” and then going through the painful process of detox and withdrawal can be a significant barrier to treatment. While this fear is understandable, it is important for loved ones to help the heroin addict to focus on the longer view. In some cases, accessing the services of a professional interventionist is the most effective and expedient way to get a loved one to the point of accepting help.

Once the individual has agreed to enter treatment, they will embark on an extended stay at a residential rehab where they will be guided through the early phases of the recovery journey. These phases include:

  • Medical detox. The individual will undergo detox and withdrawal under the supervision of a medically trained detox team that will provide medical interventions to ease withdrawal symptoms.
  • Therapy. Psychotherapy will be scheduled throughout the week, alternating between individual therapy sessions with a licensed psychotherapist, group sessions that are led by a therapist or clinician, and family-focused sessions where family members are invited to participate.
  • Medication-assisted treatment. In many instances, medications such as Suboxone, methadone, or Vivitrol are used as a replacement for the heroin in early recovery in conjunction with psychotherapy.
  • Classes. Addiction education helps individuals gain a better understanding of the effects of opioids on the brain and how the drug alters brain chemistry and function. The classes also focus on planning relapse prevention strategies, and equip the individual with essential recovery skills.
  • Holistic activities. Learning how to manage emotions, stress, and difficult life events in recovery is an essential asset. Utilizing activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress will help the individual stay on track. These include deep breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, massage therapy, and mindfulness.

Continuing Care After Rehab

Once the rehab program has been successfully completed, the individual will need to access continuing care services to reinforce their newfound freedom from drug addiction. These include ongoing weekly outpatient therapy and classes, sober living housing, and active participation in a recovery community such as A.A.’s 12-step meetings or SMART Recovery meetings. Heroin addiction is treatable. Why not break free from the grip of addiction and begin your journey back to happiness today.

Ken Seeley Communities Offers Opioid Addiction Treatment in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities is a comprehensive addiction recovery program offering intervention, medical detox, rehabilitation, sober living, and aftercare services. At Ken Seeley Communities, the expert clinical staff is highly experienced in treating individuals who have segued from prescription opioid to heroin use. Providing the latest in proven, evidence-based addiction treatment protocols, Ken Seeley Communities will guide each client through the phases of opioid recovery with respect and compassion. For more information about Ken Seeley Communities, please contact us at (877) 744-0502.

alcohol symptoms next day

Alcohol Poisoning Symptoms Next Day and Beyond

Alcohol poisoning is a potentially fatal event that occurs when an individual consumes a high level of alcohol over a short period of time. The result of binge drinking on college campuses has been well document, with many tragic deaths occurring as a result of the dangerous drinking behavior. Alcohol poisoning doesn’t have to be related to partying college kids, however. There is the potential for anyone to drink to excess, either intentionally or accidentally, through chronic over drinking, which could result in a devastating outcome.

It is important to recognize alcohol poisoning symptoms, next day effects, and long-term alcohol abuse consequences. Alcohol has the potential to upend one’s life, leading to substantial negative health effects and serious ramifications generally. Avoiding the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption requires knowledge of, and a healthy respect for, the risks of drinking.

About Alcohol Poisoning

The human body is only capable of metabolizing a certain amount of alcohol. The liver is able to process about one ounce of liquor per hour, meaning that drinking in excess of that amount will result in the non-metabolized alcohol accumulating in the blood. When the liver, bloodstream, and body tissues become overwhelmed by excessive alcohol consumption, the alcohol causes toxicity.

The guidelines established by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction 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 after a woman drinks 4 drinks in a two hour period, or a man drinks 5 drinks in that same time span.

When alcohol toxicity occurs the body’s ability to metabolize it has been overridden, leading to very serious potential health risks. The individual will experience the following signs:

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

In the event of alcohol poisoning, it is considered a life- threatening emergency. While waiting for the first responders to arrive, keep the individual in an upright position and attempt to keep them awake. Do not leave the individual alone. Once at the hospital, the individual will be treated based on severity. The individual will likely need intravenous hydration and glucose. They may require a breathing tube until normal breathing is restored. In some instances, the stomach will need to be pumped to quickly eliminate the remaining alcohol contents in the system.

Untreated alcohol poisoning can result in asphyxiation due to the individual vomiting and not being able to expel it. Other serious after affects include possible brain damage, hypothermia, or hypoglycemia. Alcohol poisoning will have impacted the liver, pancreas, and stomach, causing inflammation. The alcohol poisoning symptoms next day may resemble a severe hangover as the body attempts to stabilize.

Prevention of Alcohol Use Disorders

Anyone who has experienced binge drinking, even without reaching a state of alcohol poisoning, can see how extreme the after affects are. The obvious short-term affects include nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, stomach distress, increased risk of accidents, DUI, or unsafe sex. In addition, alcohol abuse at a young age is a risk factor for eventually developing an alcohol use disorder later on.

Practicing safe drinking practices from early adulthood is key to avoiding the potential of addiction. Being cognizant of the temptations to party in college and setting self-boundaries for participating in social drinking is important in establishing self-moderation and control with regard to drinking and the affects of alcohol abuse.

If there is a mental health issue present, it is important to address it and get some therapy. Anxiety and depression are highly prevalent mental health conditions that can drive alcohol abuse. In an attempt to minimize psychological suffering, alcohol can be used as a crutch, which can develop into an alcohol use disorder over time.

The Importance of Getting Help for an Alcohol Use Disorder

Ignoring an alcohol use disorder is never advisable. Alcoholism is a chronic, progressive, relapsing brain disease that is relentless in its trajectory. Ignoring the burgeoning problem will only allow the alcohol issue to continue to worsen, so delaying treatment or counseling is not productive.

The reasons why someone becomes alcoholic is still not fully understood. Science has not yet determined why one heavy drinker becomes addicted or dependent on alcohol and another does not. Genetic predisposition, family history, personality traits, individual biology, and life events can all play a part in the development of an alcohol use disorder. When an individual has experienced enough alcohol poisoning symptoms, next day and beyond, they will hopefully elect to get help. For the best recovery outcomes it is best to seek professional help when an unhealthy pattern of alcohol consumption becomes evident.

Medically Supervised Detox

Before entering a rehab for alcoholism it is first necessary to complete a medically supervised detox. Alcohol detox can turn potentially dangerous, necessitating trained detox specialists who are able to quickly respond if withdrawal symptoms become erratic. In most cases, the alcohol detoxification segment of the recovery process 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. As the body attempts to normalize the individual will go through withdrawals, the unpleasant symptoms that will vary in severity depending on how long a history the individual has with heavy drinking, the general health and age of the person, and whether there is a coexisting mental health disorder.

Withdrawal symptoms may include:

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

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

Comprehensive Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

To treat an alcohol use disorder there are two types of rehabs available, outpatient and inpatient, or residential. The outpatient option is less intensive, lower cost, and more flexible, but it is only appropriate for mild to moderate alcohol use disorders. The residential option provides an extended stay at a treatment center where a broad schedule of therapeutic activities will consume much of the day. This includes psychotherapy, group therapy, medication management where appropriate, addiction education, and 12-step programming.

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

Ken Seeley Communities wants to make a difference in the prevalence of binge drinking and alcohol abuse by providing services to help individuals get help earlier rather than later. If your loved one is engaging in dangerous binge drinking behaviors, consider contacting Ken Seeley Communities for our expert and renowned intervention services. Ken Seeley was featured on the hit A&E series, Intervention, as well as being interviewed by major networks about his effective intervention techniques.

Ken Seeley Communities provides all aspects of alcohol addiction treatment, covering the spectrum of services including interventions, outpatient rehab, residential rehab, dual diagnosis treatment, sober living housing, and continuing care services. Our focus is on early intervention and comprehensive treatment, all within the context of a compassionate and respectful treatment environment. For more details about our intervention services and recovery programs, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

Dual Diagnosis Alcohol and Depression

Dual Diagnosis Alcohol and Depression

A dual diagnosis occurs when an individual is struggling with both a substance use disorder and a coexisting mental health disorder. Dual diagnosis is a complex and prevalent condition that impacts about 25% of those with a drug or alcohol addiction, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Of those, the most common is the dual diagnosis alcohol and depression combination.

There are two ways the dual diagnosis alcohol and depression can develop. In some cases, the individual is experience a major depressive episode and may turn to alcohol as a means of self-medicating their emotional pain away. Over time, the tolerance to alcohol increases, resulting in more excessive drinking and potentially alcohol addiction. This is a situation where depression was a precursor to alcoholism. In others, the individual develops alcoholism first. As the consequences that result from the alcohol addiction mount, depression can set in, indicating that alcoholism can trigger a depressive disorder. In both scenarios, the dual diagnosis alcohol and depression is the outcome.

This particular dual diagnosis is a particularly dangerous one. Because alcohol is a depressant, and can cause major devastation in all aspects of one’s life, when co-occurring with depression there is a higher risk of suicide. In fact, suicide rates among alcoholics are exorbitantly high. According to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, among alcoholics, the lifetime risk of suicide is 10%-15%, and that, in fact, depression and alcoholism were comorbid in 85% of 100 cases of completed suicide.

Treatment for individuals who present with this dual diagnosis of alcohol and depression will need to be provided through a specialized dual diagnosis provider where both disorders will be treated simultaneously for the best recovery outcome. These programs include psychiatric expertise on staff that are trained to respond to the issues that may emerge during detoxification and rehab.

Signs of the Dual Diagnosis Alcohol and Depression Co-Occurrence

The symptoms of both disorders, depressive disorder and alcohol dependency, will be evident in individuals who have developed this dual diagnosis. These symptoms include:

Depression

  • Sadness, despair, hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of desire to participate in usual activities
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Slowed motor and cognitive functioning
  • Inappropriate feelings of shame or guilt
  • Trouble concentrating or making decisions
  • Suicidal thoughts

Alcoholism

  • Tolerance increases causing increased alcohol consumption
  • Experiences blackouts
  • Increasing time spent thinking about, obtaining alcohol, and recovering from drinking
  • Continue to drink despite negative consequences
  • Secretive behavior, hiding alcohol, lying about how much is being consumed
  • Efforts to quit or cut back are ineffective
  • Physical signs include bloating, glassy eyes, ruddy complexion
  • Withdrawal signs commence when alcohol is not available

Characteristics of Alcoholism and Coexisting Depression

The fallout for this dual diagnosis can be exceptional. Struggling with both depression and alcohol dependency can result in a slew of negative consequences. This can be due to the increased impulsivity of the alcoholic, an increase in risk-taking behaviors, and neglecting obligations, among other causes.

Consequences of the dual diagnosis of alcoholism and depression might include:

  • Loss of job
  • Divorce or interpersonal relationship issues
  • Loss of custody
  • Financial consequences due to job loss
  • Legal problems, such as getting a DUI
  • Health problems, such as pancreatitis, liver disease, heart disease, cancer
  • Accidents that result in injury to self or others, or damaged property

Individuals with a dual diagnosis of alcoholism and depression should not ignore the need for professional help. Loved ones who recognize these signs and symptoms are encouraged to seek out treatment for the individual.

Suicide Prevention

One of the more devastating consequences of alcoholism/depression co-occurring disorders is the dramatically increased risk of suicide. Primary care providers are being trained to assess for risk of suicide among patients who are alcohol dependent, hopefully increasing referrals to addiction treatment programs. These patients should be questioned about possible presence of depression symptoms as a way of identifying suicide risk in this group.

Suicide awareness includes recognizing symptoms such as:

  • Prolonged and persistent sadness, signs of hopelessness
  • The individual conveys the opinion that his or her loved ones are better off without them
  • Isolating behaviors
  • Loneliness
  • Successive setbacks that occur, such as relationship problems, loss of employment, financial difficulties
  • Appear to be giving away prized possessions
  • Making end of life arrangements
  • Saying goodbye to loved ones and friends
  • Acquiring the means to commit suicide, such as a firearm, rope, pills

If there is a present danger of suicide, immediately contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.

Comprehensive Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

Treatment for the dual diagnosis will involve a full spectrum of therapeutic interventions that work together in an integrated approach to recovery. These treatment elements include:

Medically supervised detox and withdrawal: Alcohol detox should always be medically supervised, as potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms can suddenly emerge. Detoxification is treated using benzodiazepines and other medications to ease symptoms.

Individual psychotherapy: Therapy is an essential core element for treating both disorders. The therapist will guide the individual to examine sources of emotional pain and help them resolve these. In addition, cognitive behavioral therapy helps shift addiction responses toward positive, productive behavioral responses, as well as teaching coping skills.

Group counseling. Group therapy supports peer interaction and is a source for sharing and accountability.

Medication management. Medications for the mental health disorder and/or the alcoholism may include antidepressants and naltrexone.

Relapse Prevention: Individuals create a detailed relapse prevention strategy by identifying specific triggers or situations that could lead to relapse, and response strategies as well.

Continuing care services: Following completion of the program, sober living housing, 12-step group participation, and outpatient counseling are strongly encouraged.

Ken Seeley Communities Provides Expert Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Ken Seeley Communities is a Palm Springs-based addiction and dual diagnosis recovery program. The expert dual diagnosis clinical staff is trained to treat both disorders, alcoholism and depression, concurrently, providing detox, rehab, and sober living transitional housing. Ken Seeley Communities features a unique approach to guiding individuals into recovery, including intervention services and a subsequent continuum of care throughout the recovery process. For more detail about the program, please contact Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.

 

10 relapse triggers

10 Relapse Triggers

Like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky pipe before it blows, the onset of a relapse begins with small, nearly undetectable, signs. As anyone in recovery will tell you, the threat of relapse is ever present as the “monster” just lies in wait. As it is often referred to, addiction is a wily foe. It is stealthy and omnipresent, and seeks opportunities should you let your guard down.

While in treatment there is an important emphasis on relapse prevention planning. Clients are encouraged to give this assignment careful attention, and to do a thorough and introspective review of potential triggers. Many triggers are obvious, such as hanging out with people who use or drink or becoming over confident to the point of deluding yourself. But with so many possible triggers that can trip up the newly sober individual it bears reviewing here the most common 10 relapse triggers.

That Are the Most Common 10 Relapse Triggers?

Early recovery requires constant vigilance on behalf of the newly sober individual. The addict brain is cunning and will continue to try to convince you to return to using. Being aware of the traps is intrinsic to overcoming the lure when the wrong path beckons. The 10 relapse triggers that most often befall the recovering addict or alcoholic include the following:

  1. Boredom. Too much down time can allow the mind to conjure up ideas and thoughts about using drugs or alcohol in order to relieve boredom. Just being still and alone with oneself if sometimes very difficult in early recovery, tempting some to return to the substance.
  2. Loneliness. Cutting old friends loose in recovery can result in feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is a very powerful emotion that can quickly lead to romancing the substance again, using it as substitution for a human relationship.
  3. Stress. In many cases, abusing drugs or alcohol was initially used as a coping tool for managing stress, so navigating stress in recovery without the crutch can be challenging. Work and family stress can overpower someone in recovery, leading to a relapse.
  4. Mental health disorder. An untreated or undiagnosed mental health condition, such as depression or anxiety, can be very triggering. Many with a mood disorder or anxiety used alcohol or drugs to self-medicate, or mask the difficult symptoms.
  5. Glamorizing addiction. After a certain period of sobriety it is common for those in recovery to begin playing head games with themselves, romancing their time as an addict and pining away for those freewheeling days.
  6. Social connections. Continuing to hang out with friends or acquaintances that party and do not support your recovery will eventually trigger a relapse.
  7. Dating. A.A. recommends that someone in early recovery wait a year before initiating a new relationship. Romantic strife or a breakup can trigger deep emotions that may trigger a relapse.
  8. Overconfidence. Many a recovering addict has fallen victim to overconfidence. After a year or so it may seem entirely reasonable that you can handle having just one drink at an event, resulting in a weeklong bender that ends with a readmit to rehab.
  9. Stop working the program. Recovery is hard work. It requires your constant attention and a lot of self-discipline. Some may grow weary from this and begin to skip meetings or continue nurturing sober friendships and connections, and that can leave the person vulnerable to relapse.
  10. Guilt and shame. In recovery, many may feel the full effect of the damage done and harm caused while in active addiction. The feelings of guilt and low self-esteem around these realizations can lead the person to believe there is no point in remaining sober.

Addiction is a complex disease. The triggers that could send one person careening toward relapse may not affect another at all. Knowing your own particular weaknesses and vulnerabilities and humbly seeking support when it becomes clear that the “pipe is springing leaks” and is about to burst. Call someone. Go to a meeting. Distract yourself with a project. Do not let the wily one win.

Ken Seeley Communities is a Full Service Addiction Program in Palm Springs

Ken Seeley Communities provides a wide range of addiction treatment services, including intervention services, medical detox, outpatient programming, residential rehab, and sober living housing. Our continuing care services can help the newly sober client confront the 10 relapse triggers mentioned above and reinforce relapse prevention. Ken Seeley has a long career in the field of addiction recovery, and is well known for his appearances on A&E’s Intervention series.

Nestled in a beautiful and serene desert setting in Palm Springs, California, Ken Seeley Communities offers an effective blend of evidence-based psychotherapies, complimentary holistic therapies, and a sense of community that helps foster a new healthy life in recovery. For more information about our spectrum of services, please reach out to Ken Seeley Communities today at (877) 744-0502.