Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Learning to walk leaving a drug alcohol rehab center

I just read a blog elsewhere dealing with returning from a 6-month stay in a drug alcohol rehab center. The blog was well-written, but there were things left unsaid that I will address here.

The big question is: "Who is coming home?"

When the addict is left behind, the person is the one coming home. After 3, 6 or 9 months in a rehab center, the person is virtually reborn. A good rehab center will teach the person:
How to avoid the next high, or buzz.
How to handle the trauma of the past.
How to make ammends with the past, present and future.
How to deal with the same situation that prompted the addiction, without succumbing to the addiction.
How to move on with their life.

There is only one person who goes into recovery. The addict is the one who becomes a person. The people in the life of the person usually remain the same. So this blog is directed to those people. You know who you are. You're the majority of the entire population.

If you understand that the addict has been suppressed and you're dealing with someone who is (and may forever be) in recovery, you will attain a higher degree of sensitivity. For example, you will be more patient and caring to the new person. You will not offer them any substance that caused them a problem in the past. You will praise and encourage them. You will love them and support them.
You must understand, emotionally, the new person may be like a 10-year old. As I told one guy who started doing cocaine when he was 13, emotionally, he is still 13 even though he's nearing 50.
Another thing to consider is that the addict may have no morals, values or sensitivity regarding many issues. For example, they just may not realize that stealing is wrong. Or that lying and/or cheating is wrong. These are things they need to learn and internalize.
A lot of what the former addict does will be to reconstruct order in their life. This includes re-establishing values that they may never have had.

Another important thing to understand. The new person may be willing and even eager to correct the mistakes of their past. Let them do this and support them. Not everyone will understand this and some people lack the sensitivity to "let things go".

Do not associate the addict with the new person. They are not the same.

Coming home for the first time can be very difficult. How will people react? What will they say? Are they still angry? What do they expect of me?
Do not forget: The addict is the one who gets counseling. The cause of the addiction does not.

We at Addiction Referral guide you through this whole process from beginning to end. As we always say, "You are Never Alone". There is a lot more that I didn't say; that I can't say in this blog. If you need us, we're only a phone call away.
Addiction Referral
1-(855) 291-2439

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Handling a Drug or Alcohol Addiction Properly

I doubt my high school was too different from many others. And we certainly had students who were dealing with drug and alcohol addictions. If I wanted access to pot or alcohol, it was not a problem in the slightest. I could place my order at lunch and receive it either after school, or well before dinner.
Hash, cocaine, meth, pot, ecstasy... they were so easy to get, there was no challenge. And that was 16 years ago. Now the situation is much more grim. Much more difficult.

Dealing with the sales and use of illegal drugs has become an unsolvable problem. From my personal experience, teaching kids about the negative consequences of drugs doesn't really work either. The power of peer pressure continues to grow almost daily. It's hard to see the harm in something you only plan on using for just one party.

As the statistics show, millions of people are getting addicted to different types of drugs, which has in-turn caused an increase in the number of addiction treatment programs that are available. Of course, with this increase in treatment options has come a whole new assortment of drugs to abuse. These include cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, amphetamine, marijuana, painkillers and now, especially we have painkillers. The side-effects are just about killer and many painkillers and prescription drugs are highly, dangerously addictive.

Surprisingly, a lot of people understand that addiction can be fatal, but they don't understand what the other problems are. We're talking about other complications including heart, liver and lung problems. On top of that, there are terrible mental effects including memory loss, attention disorders and much more.

So what's the first step for handling an addiction?

First off, deal with a professional! (That's where we come in.) The process will look something like this.

In order for a person to get into a drug rehab center, they will need to go through some sort of detoxification. In fact, this is a requirement for any center that doesn't have a detox component.
Detoxification is when a person has all the harmful chemicals and toxins removed from their system using different methods. Depending on how severe the addiction is, the withdrawal symptoms will vary. Symptoms may include seizures, "the shakes", vomiting and nausea, the need to drink a lot of water and much more.
Technically, after the detox process, the addict can return home. That's not a smart idea though if you want the person to remain clean. The next step is rehab.

Rehabilitation treatment:

This can encompass many different things, as there are so many places offering treatment. In fact, there are over 12,000 places just in the United States alone.
Treatment methods include 12-step, cognitive behavior modification, bio-feedback, hypnosis, religious methods and much more.

With 12,000 options, it's insanity for someone to think they can just pick a center. There are too many factors involved in the decision process. That's why you need a professional guide to find the center that is right for you.

For example...

Do you know how important the look of a place is? If you send someone to a place that looks like a prison, they may try to leave within days of arriving. If you send someone to a place that looks like a ranch, they may not take it seriously.

You need to work with the addict to determine which center will work best. And, to determine how long the stay should be. We're talking stays between 2 weeks and 120 days. And various other factors.

I hope the point is clear. Without professional guidance, your chances of success are very low. Not impossible, just low.

We're here to help and our guidance is free. If you need an intervention, we can help you there as well with our team of professional interventionists.

http://www.addictionreferral.org - We're here to help you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adderall is on the rise for a reason.

I would like to do something different and discuss a specific medication that has been a major problem for people for quite some time now. Adderall is sold by prescription only and is prescribed to help treat disorders that affect the central nervous system. As with most drugs, there are side-effects that people need to be careful of. No surprise there!

So let's delve deeper into this drug that many don't realize is made up of amphetamine/dextroamphetamine.

In this generation where ADHD rates are shooting through the roof, the drug allows children and students to increase their focus. A nice side-effect is that is may also provide more energy to the user. This is a drug that when used right can really benefit the user.
So how is it taken? Well, there are two variations. One is taken in multiple intervals throughout the day while the other is slow-release in the body and is only required once a day. The main risk is an Adderall overdose, but through careful monitoring by a pharmacist, the drug can be properly used.

A major risk regarding Adderall is if someone has used some other medications or drugs within two weeks of beginning Adderall:
Marpian
Parnate
Nardil
Azilect
Eldepryl
Emsam
Why is there a problem? For that matter, why am I telling you all of this? Because Adderall has amphetamine components. Therefore, it's a stimulant and has addictive properties!

I'll just mention some of the side-effects of Adderall, just to be complete here. It can and most likely will cause on to feel hot, confused, thirsty and can even cause fainting. More, it can cause kidney and liver damage! If the drug is used for too long (without supervision), it can lead to unhealthy weight loss, loss of appetite and children may experience stunted growth. Finally, the risk of an overdose is so high, the intake must be very carefully monitored or the effects can even lead to death.


So what's the problem with Adderall? As I said, it's addictive. Children and those who use it appreciate the level of focus and concentration it provides them. As with alcohol and cigarettes, used in light moderation, the effects can be pleasing. But once there's a "good quality", it can be exploited and overused.

If you suspect that someone has become addicted to Adderall, don't hesitate to call us. As it is, we've had a few contacts recently about this dangerous drug, hence the blog post. Adderall, when abused, can lead to strokes, various other illnesses and more severely, death.

Feel free to contact us at:
http://www.addictionreferral.org
Toll-Free: 1-855-291-2439

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leave that addiction intervention to a professional

What constitutes an education?

Here's a story I heard that I'll give over. The point will be clear:

Jim went to the doctor to see about a complication in his lungs. It turned out that he would require a very complicated surgery in order to "fix the problem". He sat in the doctor's office as a group of doctors had a discussion about how they would conduct the surgery. After 30 intense minutes of discussion and debating, they made their conclusion. Jim was told that he would go under the knife at 9:00 the next morning.
"No. I don't think that will work." Jim said, disagreeing with the decision.
Confused, the doctor asked Jim to clarify.
"I don't think you've suggested the right plan for the surgery. You should do it a different way."
Just then, a fly came into the room, hovering near the fluorescent lights.
"Maybe we should ask the fly what it thinks." The doctor suggested
"That's aburd!" Jim answered. "What does a fly know about surgery? It's not like it went to medical school."
"And you did?" The doctor asked, conscealing a smile.

Oftentimes, the following scenario comes up:

Gwen is upset because her husband's mother is an alcoholic who lives in their basement. She wants her mother-in-law out, having confronted her on the drinking numerous times. Her husband doesn't want to kick her out and wants to help her get better. Gwen has seen the intervention shows on television, so she knows how to deal with addicts. She's an expert in the matter, according to her. If only her husband would just listen to her.

What if Jim said to the doctor, "I may not be a surgeon, but I saw a tv show about it, so I know what I'm talking about."

We would say that Jim is an absolute idiot. We wouldn't even give him the time of day. We might even kick him out and tell him to fix the problem himself. So why do we allow people to think they know how to deal with addictions when their experience comes from what they've seen on television? Not to say that addiction is more complicated than surgery, but it certainly is a difficult problem to deal with.

We live in a society of people who think they can cure themselves through herbal remedies, by reading a self-help book, by looking up a problem on the internet... It's a quick serve world. I'll take my recovery happy meal to go. Nothing is that easy. You can't deal with an addiction quickly, or without professional help. Recovery requires a solid foundation, steady work and a focus on "today".

If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction, turn to a professional. Do not make the mistake of thinking you can deal with it. Believe it or not, dealing directly with an addiction does not make you an expert. A cancer patient doesn't know how to cure cancer because he/she has it.

We're here to help. With integrity. Confidentiality. With love.

http://www.addictionreferral.org/

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Addictions are a great source of revenue

I just spent a good hour looking up the cost of America's war on drugs, plus various reports on how "successful" this campaign has been. The general consensus is that the war has brought larger quantities of drugs to larger segments of the population. Kids are able to access more drugs, for cheaper and faster than they could before. And billions of dollars are floating around from pocket to pocket.

The whole industry is a money making scheme and it sickens me.

I've experienced rehab centers that come together for the sole purpose of making money. If they're very fortunate, they have one or two employees who actually want to help people get into recovery.
Look, if you're paying $20,000 - $50,000 per month for a stay in a rehab center, you know someone is making money. You just wouldn't believe how much.

What always gets my blood boiling is when I visit a rehab center, detox or other related location. There is always an LCBO, Beer Store and/or bar located within a short walking distance. Always. Because if people didn't have addictions, the economy would take a dive.

I feel bad for the man/woman who genuinely wants help out of their addiction. Where do you go? Who do you speak to? Who's making money off your call? Who thinks of you as a person in need of help and who thinks of you as an expensive night out on the town?

Somebody is making money off your addiction? The question is, when you go for help, will you get it, or will you just be giving away more money?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mommy, where do addictions come from?

I used to laugh when I would see new science reports from leading scientists explaining the new breakthroughs in determining what causes an addiction to a deadly substance or behavior.

Why?

Spend a few minutes speaking with an addict and the answers often-times become clear.
Let's see. (Using fake names to conceal real identities.)

Patrick tried LSD when he was 13 and he liked it. That led to a 34 year adventure with crack cocaine and booze that's still going on. And his father was abusive to him.

Gwen discovered that alcohol is great for helping you to forget things. It leaves a pleasant numb feeling that helps her cope. Every day. All day. Her brother molested her for years when she was a child.
Judy liked to party really hard. Coke. Booze. Hash. Heroin. It was all good. It make her feel good (sometimes) and she made a lot of friends who helped her have 3 abortions, severe beatings and enough rape to make that next party feel that much better. She was abandoned as a child when she was 3 months old.
Tyler rode with a gang and knew how to share pain with others. A broken bone here. A dead body there. And don't you know, the "chicks" love the feeling of a motorcycle... A six-pack in the shower each morning was a good pick-me-up that helped get him through each morning at work. He was only raped by that pastor until he was 12.

I'm not saying this is the cause of all addictions. But I deal with so many cases where the cause is the need to dull the pain of a trauma from the past.

I just get so sick of seeing these stupid reports that try to justify behaviors that are the cause of a tangible, specific event.

If you tell someone it's because of a chemical imbalance, they lose sight of what the real cause is. They attribute the blame instead of focusing on what the problem is.

Monday, August 29, 2011

In my world everything is just fine.

It's truly amazing what alcohol can do.

We spoke to a guy recently in what was truly a bizarre discussion. His ex-wife called to see about getting him some help. She was concerned because he was looking very unwell. His flesh was turning yellow and he was missing a lot of work.

We began by asking him how he felt. He claimed to be feeling great. No problems.
"Really?" we asked. "How's the drinking?"
"What drinking?" he asked, in a slurred tone.
"Alcohol. Do you think maybe you drink a little too much?"
"No. Not at all."
We then asked him a great question, after learning more about what his situation is.
"Has your drinking caused you to lose anything?"
"No. I don't have a drinking problem."
"Really? You haven't lost anything important? A job? A loved one? Nothing?"
"That's right. I don't have a drinking problem."
"Oh, so you could stop at any time then."
"Sure."
"Okay. Let's try this. I think you've got a drinking problem. Why don't you prove me wrong. Can you go 2 weeks without a drink?"
"Sure. Easy."
"Really. Okay. If you can go 2 weeks without a drink, I'll leave you alone. If you do drink, we're getting you some help."
"I don't need help. My drinking's not a problem."

And so it goes.

Of course, his drinking did cost him a few things. He lost his wife and daughter. He lost his home and his job. He's even losing his health.

He hasn't accepted help yet. Not yet. But it's a work in progress.

You need to understand that ending an addiction takes time and effort. It won't happen overnight and usually not without a tremendous amount of pain.

If you or someone you know needs help with an addiction, call us now. The sooner we get to work, the sooner that person will be on the road to recovery.