5 Signs of a Cocaine Overdose

cocaine overdose is incredibly dangerous

The Social Consequences of Cocaine Overdose

Drug overdose deaths skyrocketed in 2020. Cocaine overdose deaths have risen in a short time. Over a period of 5 years (2013 – 2018), cocaine overdoses tripled. Cocaine overdose deaths continue to increase across all age groups. In 2020, 4.1% of 12th graders said they had used cocaine at some point during their lives. 2.9% of that group admitted to consuming cocaine within the last month.

 

Cocaine overdose brings consequences both to society and to the individual. As members of that society, we must equip ourselves. We owe ourselves such preparation. And we likewise owe it to those around us.

 

In this article, Recovery By The Sea examines the following:

 

  • What exactly is cocaine and where does it come from?
  • How does cocaine effect the body?
  • What are the signs of a cocaine overdose?
  • How can long-term cocaine use effect one’s life?
  • What if I want help for cocaine use?

 

What Exactly Is Cocaine And Where Does It Come From?

We can trace cocaine’s historical origins to the Incan people of South America. These ancient peoples chewed the leaves of the coca plant. Cocaine as we know it came about in 1860. German chemist Albert Niemann gave us the synthetic form in use today. After Niemann, scientists continued to experiment with cocaine. Eventually, they introduced it into the field of medicine.

 

One form of cocaine looks like a white powder. Consumers of this form will inhale or snort it. Or, they might rub it into their gums. Another form of cocaine, referred to as “crack,” gets heated and then smoked. Crack purports to be even more potent than powder cocaine.

 

How Does Cocaine Effect The Mind?

We classify cocaine as a stimulant. This means that it acts on the processes of the brain. Cocaine makes these processes run faster. Our brains create a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Dopamine helps us feel good when we get something we want. Our bodies may make it when we eat, when we achieve a goal, or when someone praises us. Cocaine causes us to retain too much dopamine in our brains at one time.

 

A cocaine high makes a person more awake and aware. They may feel a surge of confidence. Alternatively, they may also experience heightened senses of fear and hypervigilance. Cocaine increases anxiety.

 

How Does Cocaine Effect the Body?

In addition to the mind, cocaine also wreaks havoc on the body. It causes the blood pressure to rise. Cocaine also raises the body temperature and heart rate. For these reasons, cocaine can cause lasting damage to the heart and lungs. It can even induce a heart attack.

 

What Are the Signs of A Cocaine Overdose?

Most cocaine overdose symptoms will likely originate in the heart. Cocaine interferes with proper oxygen flow in the heart and lungs. It also disrupts proper blood circulation. Someone experiencing an overdose may complain of tightness or pain in the chest. Their breathing may appear shallow, quick, and ragged. Likewise, look for dizziness, vomiting, and tremors.

 

In extreme cases, someone overdosing may experience a condition called cocaine-induced agitated delirium. This phenomenon remains rare, but it happens very quickly. Cocaine-induced agitated delirium causes the heart to beat erratically (or not at all). An extremely high fever, called hyperthermia, can become fatal if not addressed properly.

 

What Should I Do If I Believe Someone Has Overdosed On Cocaine?

If you believe that someone near you has overdosed on cocaine, remain calm. First and foremost, you must steady yourself. Call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Make sure you know the address of your location. If not, provide the 911 dispatcher with the nearest intersection.

 

If the overdosing person remains conscious, do your best to keep them calm. An overdosing person may panic. Do not attempt to restrain them. Doing so may put you in harm’s way. When paramedics arrive, recount everything you saw the person do prior to the overdose.

 

How Can Long-Term Cocaine Use Effect One’s Life?

Cocaine interrupts how our brains experience stress. When faced with stress, long-term consumers tend to retreat to it. Long-term use of cocaine also short-circuits our prefrontal cortex. This part of our brain governs our decisions and our ability to change our behavior. Consumers of cocaine experience severe anxiety. Cardiovascular problems tend to develop as use continues.

 

Prolonged cocaine use damages the mouth and nose. Nosebleeds become common. The inner tissue of the nasal passages deteriorates over time. Long-term consumers of cocaine may have trouble tasting or smelling.

 

What If I Want Help For Cocaine Use?

As we have observed, cocaine can have debilitating effects on the body and the mind. Together, we can prevent cocaine overdoses and deaths. Recovery By The Sea exists to see people liberated from addiction.

 

If you or someone that you love struggles with cocaine addiction, act now. Pick up the phone and call us. Or, send us a quick email.

 

Cocaine Addiction Treatment in FL

cocaine addiction treatment

The Best Cocaine Addiction Treatment In FL

You arrived here for a reason. You have been looking for cocaine addiction treatment in FL. Perhaps you seek treatment for yourself. Or, you have had an up-close-and-personal look at someone else suffering from cocaine addiction. You have had enough. Decided that the time has come for something to change. Welcome to next step in your journey.

 

Recovery By The Sea will give you some of the answers you look for. Here, we will consider these items:

 

  • Where did cocaine come from?
  • Short-term effects of cocaine use.
  • Long-term effects of cocaine use.
  • What is cocaine addiction treatment like?
  • More information about cocaine addiction treatment.

 

Where Did Cocaine Come From?

Ancient civilizations chewed the leaves of the coca plant (Erythroxylon coca). Beginning in the 1860s, chemists isolated cocaine from the coca plant. The following decades saw cocaine introduced into the medical industry. Slowly but surely, it gained acceptance among physicians. Sigmund Freud, an important figure in the development of psychology, battled cocaine addiction himself.

 

How Do People Use Cocaine?

As a powder, people typically inhale or snort cocaine. Or, they might rub it into their gums. Cocaine also comes in a crystal variety. We refer to this form as “crack.” Consumers of crack will melt it and then smoke it. Crack cocaine tends to have greater strength than powder cocaine. On the street, people may refer to cocaine as:

 

  • Snow
  • Flake
  • Icing
  • Pearl
  • Coke

What Does Cocaine Do To The Mind?

Researchers designate cocaine as a stimulant. This means that it causes all the body’s processes. Under the influence of cocaine, anything the brain does will speed up. For this reason, people tend to become more alert and on edge. They may experience sensory date more quickly or more intense than when sober. Cocaine works by manipulating the absorption of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

 

What Are The Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?

Dopamine rewards us when we get something good. It makes us feel pleasure when we meet a goal. If you eat your favorite meal, your brain makes dopamine. When you speak to a loved one, your brain churns out dopamine. Cocaine causes dopamine to remain in the brain for too long. People on cocaine can become irritable and angry. They may exhibit fear, anxiety, or paranoia.

 

What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use?

If a person continues to consume cocaine, they risk cocaine use disorder (CUD). Cocaine use disorder represents a particular substance use disorder. If a person compulsively consumes cocaine, particularly when stressed, they may have cocaine use disorder. Currently, no medications exist to specifically treat CUD.

 

Long-term cocaine use can devastate the body. Cocaine wears away the skin of the nose and mouth. Consequently, consumers of cocaine can lose their senses of smell and taste. Further prolonged use can wear away these tissues. Nosebleeds afflict both short-term and long-term consumers. If left without medical attention, this can lead to “coke nose.” Smoking crack can destroy the lungs. Long-term consumers of cocaine also risk exposure to HIV and hepatitis.

 

Cocaine And The Cardiovascular System

Cocaine increases the heart rate. It also raises the temperature and blood pressure. This can lead to conditions like hyperthermia. Hyperthermia involves a remarkably high fever that becomes difficult to control. Conditions like these put cocaine consumers at risk for decreased blood and oxygen flow. As a result, long-term consumers expose themselves to heart attacks.

Cocaine Overdoses

Between 2013 and 2018, cocaine overdoses tripled. Cocaine overdoses also increased in 2020. Because of its effects on the cardiovascular system, cocaine brings the dilemma of overdose. An overdose occurs when a person consumes too much of a substance. Their bodies cannot adequately deal with the stress the substance causes. Overdoses can stop the breath, and cause loss of consciousness.

What Is Cocaine Addiction Treatment Like?

As mentioned earlier, no prescriptions exist to treat cocaine use disorder. However, research into effective cocaine treatment continues. Cocaine does not just influence dopamine. It also acts on other neurotransmitters like:

 

  • Norepinephrine: motivates the brain and body to act
  • Serotonin: influences how we feel, learn, and remember
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid: slows our brains down
  • Glutamate: tells nerve cells to communicate with other nerve cells

 

Scientists have begun studying medications that act on these neurotransmitters. Some of them may help reduce relapse in those suffering from cocaine use disorder.

What If I Want More Information About Cocaine Addiction Treatment?

Recovery By The Sea offers evidence-based, research-backed treatment for cocaine addiction in FL. Remember that hope exists. If you struggle, you do now struggle alone. If you know someone who struggles, do not allow them to feel isolated.

 

We feel grateful you read this far. Do not let this be the end of your efforts. Contact Recovery By The Sea today for more information.

 

 

The Pros and Cons of PHP Treatment

The Advantages and Disadvantages of PHP

If you’re seeking a way to treat drug and alcohol addiction, you might be considering a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP). Before you decide, it’s vital to know the pros and cons of PHP treatment. While these type of treatment programs can be helpful, PHP isn’t right for everyone. Those with very serious addictions might require a higher level of care in residential treatment. They might also need full detox before entering any kind of treatment. Those who have less serious addictions might not need the structure of PHP. They might be better off with something less intensive. By understanding PHP, you’ll be better equipped to choose the right program.

What is PHP?

Partial Hospitalization is a level of care for treating Substance Use Disorder (SUD). In most PHP settings the patients receive care during the day at a facility and then return to a sober living environment in the evening. PHP is even higher in intensity than Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP), but not quite as high as the full Rehab or Residential levels where a patient remains at the treatment facility 24 hours a day.

While at the facility they receive various types of treatment to manage their SUD. One of the advantages of the PHP level of care is that it allows patients to get a full day of treatment including individual therapy and groups similar to what they’d have in a residential program. Many patients appreciate the ability to stay in a sober living environment overnight rather than sleeping at the facility itself.

Who is PHP For?

Typically, PHP is used by people who have either completed a residential treatment program or whom don’t require that level of 24 hour medical care. Residential programs are those wherein the patient stays at a facility overnight. This level of care is necessary for some patients, however it can be more costly per day. Many patients find they are able to get a longer overall length of stay in the PHP level of care. Another goal of PHP is to provide support for those who are still at a high risk for relapse. Programs of this type include a great deal of emphasis on relapse prevention. The aim is to help people transition into a sober life.

PHP is often used by those who do not require residential treatment, but want an advanced level of care to treat their addiction. Generally, these are people who don’t need 24/7 medical supervision in residential care, but still want a full day of treatment and the security and structure that sober living homes deliver.

Most people with SUD benefit greatly from following this basic recovery plan:

  1. Detox (and sometimes Residential)
  2. PHP
  3. IOP
  4. OP
  5. Aftercare

People who have been to treatment before and want to make sure they get a longer length of stay often find PHP helpful.

What is Involved in PHP

During partial hospitalization, a person will undergo a variety of treatments to help them. In quality partial hospitalization programs, evidence-based therapies are used. These therapies have shown to have the greatest success with treating SUD. The types of treatments most beneficial in a PHP are:

  • Specialized care for specific addictions, such as:
    • Alcohol dependency.
    • Opioid treatment programs.
    • Heroin specific treatment.
    • Methamphetamine addiction.
    • Crack and cocaine programs.
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
  • Behavioral therapies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Contingency Management Interventions/Motivational Incentives, or others.
  • Group therapy supervised by a qualified therapist.
  • Family therapy.
  • Individual therapy.
  • Support groups.

This is by no means a total list. Every facility will provide different services. However, seeking PHP treatment that includes as many of the above as possible improve the chance of success.

The Pros and Cons of PHP Treatment

Here’s a quick breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks of PHP treatment:

PHP Pros

  • Provides a strong structure in order to help a person new to sobriety learn the tools necessary to live sober.
  • Can lead to a longer overall length of stay and the patient getting more help.
  • Reduces the sense of being “institutionalized” because the patient leaves the facility at the end of the day for a home-like environment.
  • Offers a full day of treatment very similar to residential treatment without the need to stay at the facility 24/7.
  • Less expensive than residential care and insurance may cover more time.

PHP Cons

Here are some drawbacks of PHP treatment:

  • May not be enough care for someone with a very serious addiction who also has medical or psychiatric problems that require more observation..
  • Requires more of a time commitment than Intensive Outpatient or Outpatient.
  • May interfere with work, school, family and other responsibilities.
  • Sometimes asks for a commitment from family members who may not be willing to sacrifice their time.

If You’re Ready to Begin PHP

Hopefully this has clarified how PHP treatment can be beneficial, as well as the potential downsides. If you feel that PHP is right for you, or are looking for alternatives, please contact us. Our staff is available to answer any questions you might have. They are also equipped to help begin the intake process if you’re looking to get into treatment as soon as possible. Our programs are built around our patients so that every person receives exactly the type of care they require. Reach out today and let us help you build a treatment program to fit your life. You can do it, and Recovery by the Sea is here to help.

Are You an Alcoholic?

How to Tell if  You’re an Alcoholic

Are you an alcoholic? For some, this question is easily answered. Though, for many others, it can be nearly impossible. The reason that it can be difficult to identify whether or not you have Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) – known as alcoholism – is because alcohol use is very common. Because so many people consume alcohol, knowing when you’ve crossed the line can be unclear. You may have AUD and yet drink less than others. However, if you are even asking yourself if you’re an alcoholic, odds are good that your drinking has become a problem.

Signs You Might be an Alcoholic

Alcohol Use Disorder has some clear symptoms. These are used by doctors and therapists to diagnose someone with AUD. These symptoms are:

  • Excessive alcohol use.
  • Lack of control over drinking amount.
  • Alcohol cravings.
  • Preoccupation with alcohol.
  • Failure to meet responsibilities due to alcohol use.
  • Continued drinking in spite of problems surrounding alcohol.
  • Using alcohol in risky situations.
  • Increased alcohol tolerance.
  • Withdrawal when stopping alcohol use.

Having any of these could be the signs that you struggle with AUD. Having all of them almost certainly means you’re an alcoholic. We’ll explain each one in detail so you can decide if you might have AUD.

How do I Know if I’m an Alcoholic?

There’s a risk factor for alcoholism that isn’t always part of the diagnosis. That is having alcoholism in your family. Merely because someone in your family is an alcoholic doesn’t mean you are. However, it does increase the chances that you could develop AUD. This risk is greater if they are part of your immediate family. If your parents or siblings have AUD, you’re at much greater danger of developing it yourself. But it is only by looking at your relationship with alcohol that you can answer “Are you an alcoholic?” Here’s how to tell:

Excessive Alcohol Use and Lack of Control Over Drinking

These are the first two signs you might be an alcoholic. Using a lot of alcohol doesn’t automatically tell you that you are an alcoholic. It only becomes a problem when you drink more often than you wish. It can also mean that you drink more alcohol than you intend to when you do drink. For example, if you decide to drink a beer or two, then find yourself drinking six, you’re using more than you intended. If you decide you’re going to stop drinking for a week, and yet find yourself creating reasons to drink, that is what is meant by excessive alcohol use.

Alcohol Cravings

People who don’t have AUD rarely crave alcohol. That is to say, they don’t feel like they “need” it. They may want it, but are able to stay sober if they decide to. This isn’t the case with people who have AUD. Alcoholics actually have a different brain than non-alcoholics. What happens with AUD is the brain gets hijacked by the disease. This causes the person to feel like they need alcohol. These cravings lead to a lack of control over their drinking. Thus, it is a good sign your brain is wired like an alcoholic if you have cravings.

Preoccupation with Alcohol

Along with cravings, people who struggle with AUD are obsessed with alcohol. This is another sign that their brain has been taken over by the disease. They are obsessed with alcohol. They think about drinking when they aren’t. Often, they will feel better merely by having alcohol in the house. Being close to alcohol makes them feel like they can satisfy their cravings at any time. This provides a sense of peace. Anyone who finds themselves thinking about alcohol on a regular basis could have AUD.

Failure to Meet Responsibilities

When someone is preoccupied with alcohol, they often drink at inappropriate times. This causes them to fail to meet responsibilities. These responsibilities include:

  • Missing work or school in order to drink or recover from alcohol use.
  • Failing to go to social gatherings, or leaving gatherings early in order to drink.
  • An inability to attend family functions – such as children’s activities or family obligations – in order to drink or recover from drinking.
  • Losing a job or source of income because of drinking.
  • Missing doctor appointments due to drinking.

Anytime drinking interferes with the necessary functions of life, it’s a sign that alcohol has become a problem.

Continued Drinking in Spite of Problems

Missing work once in a while due to a hangover can’t tell you “Are you an alcoholic?” However, when you consistently miss work or fail to meet other responsibilities, and then continue to drink, it’s a sign your brain has AUD. This is especially true of alcohol is causing major problems in your life. Some problems surrounding alcohol include:

  • Loss of a job or dropping out of school due to alcohol use.
  • Overspending on alcohol while failing to pay rent, utilities or other important bills.
  • Legal problems surrounding alcohol such as being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
  • Engaging in fights or arguments while drinking.
  • Losing a marriage or partner due to your alcohol use.
  • Health problems associated with alcohol, including high blood pressure, cirrhosis, kidney disease or other alcohol-related illnesses.

This is not a complete list of the problems that can come from alcohol. Anytime alcohol has created problems in your life, it is a bad sign. If you continue to drink in spite of these problems, it means alcohol is taking control.

Using Alcohol in Risky Situations

There’s many times in life where drinking is inappropriate. There’s others where it is downright dangerous. If you are drinking while driving or operating machinery, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk. If you are drinking at work, you’re likely risking your job. Should you be unable to stay sober while caring for children, the elderly or the sick, you’re probably drinking too much. If you’re putting your life at risk by drinking while engaging in physical activity – such as swimming – then you likely have a troublesome relationship with alcohol.

Increased Alcohol Tolerance

If you find that it takes more alcohol to get intoxicated, you’ve developed a tolerance. This means you’ve drank so much that your body is getting used to the alcohol. Therefore, you constantly need more. If you need to drink to feel “normal” it’s likely because you are dependent on alcohol.

Withdrawal

With the increase in alcohol use comes withdrawal. Withdrawal means that you feel sick when you stop using alcohol. Here’s some of the symptoms common with alcohol withdrawal:

  • Shaking
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

When stopping alcohol makes you feel any or all of these, your body is craving alcohol. If you’ve crossed the line to where you feel sicker sober than you do drunk, it’s a safe bet you’re drinking too much.

Are You an Alcoholic? Is it Time to Get Help?

Are you an alcoholic? Hopefully you now have an answer to this question. If you found that you had any or all of the symptoms listed, it might be time to get help. Battling AUD is a difficult process. Your own brain is going to work against you. That’s why coping with AUD requires aid.

Our staff is adept at treating AUD. We develop treatment plans to help you cope with life sober. We work with every patient to find the best way to combat their alcoholism. From treating the disorder itself to treating other mental health issues, our recovery program is comprehensive. We can help you detox safely to limit withdrawal symptoms, and create a structure to make it easy for you to live sober. Don’t suffer with alcoholism any longer. Reach out now and take back your life!

 

Recovery and the Psychology of Addiction

How Psychology Applies to Recovery

Knowing the psychology of addiction can be life-saving information. This is true for anyone with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), also known as addiction. But it can also be good for anyone who has an addict in their life. By learning what happens in the mind of someone with SUD, it’s easier to know how to fix it. The truth is that people with SUD think differently. This is because their brains have a totally different wiring. If you have SUD, or know someone who does, this will help clarify the special madness that comes with this disorder.

What is Addiction?

In order to comprehend the psychology of SUD, it helps to know what it is. The psychological definition of addiction/SUD is: “A chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.” In simple terms, addiction is when someone cannot stop using drugs even when it hurts them. Understanding why this happens requires looking at both the biology and the psychology of addiction.

Biology and Addiction

Before we leap into the psychology of addiction, it’s good to know the biology. Research has shown that SUD is a complicated disease of the brain. When someone has SUD, they literally have a different brain than someone without it. To anyone without SUD, it seems like the addict is making a choice to abuse substances. In fact, they aren’t. Their brain has been overtaken by the disorder.
SUD does this by altering parts of the brain used for survival. Other parts can be fully destroyed by SUD. What this means is a person with SUD might not behave in ways that benefit them. They might also do things that are actively destructive. The reason behind this is the disease has either ruined or hijacked the very pieces of the brain meant to keep someone alive.

Fear and Survival with SUD

Here’s an example of how the brain of someone with SUD is different: A person without SUD gets nervous when they do dangerous things. They are anxious when something threatens their life. This is a natural survival mechanism. In order to stay alive, someone needs to be afraid of danger. Otherwise, they’ll risk their life needlessly until it kills them. However, this doesn’t work the same way when someone has SUD.
When someone has SUD, the same part of the brain that feels anxious or afraid gets triggered when the person doesn’t have drugs. They literally feel like their life is in danger when they don’t use. This terror leads them to use more. Over time, they need more drugs in order to get this fear to go away. While they know, logically, that they won’t die without drugs, that doesn’t change the feeling. Anyone who feels afraid for their life would do anything they could to make that dread stop. Which is part of why an addict uses.

Pleasure and Addiction

Besides feeling afraid for their lives, people with SUD have other changes in their brain. One of these is feelings of happiness. Our brains feel happy when they have dopamine and serotonin. These two chemicals make us feel good. They are part of the reward pathway of the brain. In someone without SUD, happiness comes from common activities. These include:
• Exercise
• Social Acceptance
• Accomplishment
• Eating
• Spending time with loved ones
However, when someone has SUD, these things don’t give enough dopamine and serotonin to make them feel happy. They only feel satisfied when they are using. They feel very little joy from socially acceptable activities because the disease has taken over their reward pathway.
In short, a person with SUD uses because they only feel good when they are using, and are so miserable that they feel like they’re going to die if they don’t.

Psychology of Addiction

So, a person with SUD feels terrified and miserable when they don’t use drugs. They also have trouble feeling good without drugs. While these feelings start from a biological place, they end up moving into a psychological one. This is because psychology is an effective tool for managing problems with biology. The biological part of the problem is the pain and fear that come from not using. There’s also the lack of pleasure from not using. The psychological piece is how the person thinks about these things.

Thoughts Shape Reality

Our thoughts shape our reality. While the chemistry of our brain can tell us one thing, our thoughts can tell us another. Our thoughts can also reinforce what the chemistry in our brain is saying. Here’s an example:
A person with SUD has decided to stop using. However, they now feel the fear that comes from being without drugs. They also have trouble feeling happy. Now, if the person spends all their time thinking about how miserable they are, they’re more likely to use again. If they think about how the pain will never end, they’re more likely to use. In this case, their psychology is working with their disease. Their thoughts are making the pain worse by telling them stories about how bad things are and how the pain won’t stop.
On the other hand, if the person thinks about how much better their life will be without drugs, or they tell themselves that the pain will soon pass and their brain will heal, then their psychology works against the biology.
By changing a person’s thinking, they can ease much of their suffering. They might not be able to change their biology – at least not right away – but if they avoid using drugs, eventually the SUD gets better. After a time without drugs, the brain stops creating feelings of pain and panic. It also begins to receive dopamine and serotonin from activities other than using drugs.

Psychology and Addiction Recovery

There’s a few methods that have been found to help a person with addiction. These use a psychological approach to aid in recovery. Often, these are paired with Medication-Assisted Treatments (MATs). The medication helps with the biology, while the therapy handles the psychology. Anyone seeking to recover from addiction should try all of these psychological methods:
• Behavioral Therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
• Talk therapy with a trained therapist, preferably one licensed in addiction recovery.
• Support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, SMART, Rational Recovery, Refuge Recovery, or another peer support group.
• Therapy groups run by a licensed therapist.
Consult with a therapist or recovery center for even more suggestions if you’re seeking more addiction recovery options.

Get Help with Addiction

Understanding the psychology of addiction is useful. However, it’s very difficult to put into practice.
Because people are social animals, having help with SUD is very important. That’s where we come in. Our job is to help people with SUD to learn how to use psychology to battle their addiction. We have staff specially trained in teaching useful tools for coping with the damage that SUD has caused. They use various evidence-based therapy methods to give people a fighting chance against their disease. We also treat the biological part of the problem. Through medication we can ease the suffering that comes from addiction while we help arm the person psychologically for the lifelong fight for recovery.
If you or someone you know is battling SUD, don’t wait. Reach out to us. The sooner we can help repair their mind and body, the sooner they can recover from this cruel illness.

Emotional Sobriety

emotional-sobriety

Emotional Sobriety: A New Perspective

The term “Emotional Sobriety” refers to managing difficult feelings. It is commonly used in
addiction recovery. It is different from physical sobriety. Physical sobriety refers to not using
alcohol or other drugs. Emotional sobriety is more complicated. A person can be free from
drugs and alcohol, but still not be emotionally sober. This is because dealing with emotions is
one of the most difficult parts of quitting substance use. Painful emotions are also what often
drive people back to using. Here we’ll cover ways to keep your emotional health.

What is Emotional Sobriety?

It would be nice to feel good all the time. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. Stress and
unhappiness occur in everyone’s life. Being emotionally sober means learning to cope with
uncomfortable feelings. To do this, you must find ways to manage tough times. Sometimes it
also means learning to deal with happiness and contentment.

When a person is emotionally sober, they don’t usually have extreme mood swings. They find
a balance between the highs and lows of life. They do this by learning to regulate their mind
and body. By managing themselves, they no longer need substances. This lets them stay
physically sober. As a result, they are happier overall. Because they are no longer being
manipulated by their feelings, they are free to live as they choose.

Why Emotional Sobriety is Important

Most people with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) have trouble with their emotions. That is
what leads them to use substances. They use because they want to feel better. When
someone’s emotions are constantly causing them problems, they do everything they can to
control them. Sometimes this means using substances to feel good. It can also mean using
substances to maintain a natural good feeling.
If someone cannot attain emotional sobriety, then they are at a higher risk of using. Therefore,
they must learn to deal with their emotions so that they don’t feel the need to use.

Signs of Poor Emotional Sobriety

There are many signs that a person’s emotional sobriety is poor. These include:

  • Depression.
  • Anxiety.
  • Anger.
  • Feelings of worthlessness.
  • Extreme mood swings.
  • Eating too much or too little to help control emotions.
  • Sleeping too much or not enough,
  • Thoughts of hurting themselves or others.
  • Unsatisfying relationships with other people.
  • Lack of feeling fulfillment or satisfaction.

These are only a few major symptoms. A person may experience all of these, or only a few.
They may also have other signs. These are unique to each person. In short, a general sense
of being out of control is a good signal that their emotional sobriety is not good.
When someone’s emotional sobriety is suffering, they can often have an emotional upheaval.
This is often called a “dry drunk.”

What is a Dry Drunk

A dry drunk is when someone is being controlled by their feelings. When this happens, they
aren’t able to behave in a healthy way. This can occur in people who use any substance. It is
not only for people who abuse alcohol. Even when someone doesn’t have SUD, they can
experience a dry drunk. Dry drunks occur whenever someone has a severe response to
their emotions. Some marks of a dry drunk are:

  • Heavy focus on themselves.
  • An inability to control impulses.
  • Anger at others.
  • Holding on to resentment toward other people.
  • Social isolation.
  • Thoughts of using.
  • Behavior that causes problems with other people or problems with authority figures.
  • Jealousy of other people, especially those who struggle with substance abuse.
  • Resenting the process of recovery.

Anytime someone is reacting strongly to their emotions, they could be having a dry drunk.
During a dry drunk, they will frequently lash out at those closest to them. This is because they
are in pain. That pain causes them to behave in hurtful ways. They may damage other
people. They can also damage property. It is common for them to hurt themselves. They may
do this physically. It is also possible they will harm their life through dangerous actions. They
may break the law. They may quit their job. It’s possible they’ll spend money on things to
comfort themselves. The reason they behave this way is because they cannot deal with what
is going on inside of them.

To avoid dry drunks and the pain that goes along with them, it is important to work at
emotional sobriety.

How to Be Emotionally Sober

Being emotionally sober requires effort. Usually some effort must be done everyday.
Fortunately, there are many tools which can assist someone in controlling their feelings.
Some of these are:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and/or other types of therapy.
  • Staying in contact with a helpful, healthy support system.
  • Journaling.
  • Exercise.
  • Having a healthy diet.
  • Sleeping enough.
  • Meditation.
  • Challenging negative thoughts and looking for reasons to remain positive.
  • Helping others.
  • Doing satisfying work.

Any healthy activity that provides positive feelings without doing damage can help maintain
emotional sobriety. Since each person is different, they must find what works for them. They
must also look for new ways to improve their mood. This is because sometimes a system will
stop working. When that happens, they must seek out different ways to stay emotionally
healthy.

Finding healthy coping habits can be difficult. That's why it's important to get information from
others. A few good resources are:

  • A therapist or mental health professional.
  • The family doctor.
  • Self-help books, videos or audio recordings.
  • Support groups.

If You Need Help with Emotional Sobriety

Whenever someone is struggling with their emotional sobriety, they aren't thinking clearly.
Once this happens, it is important to remember you are not the only one suffering. Everyone
has difficulty with their emotions at times. Just know that during difficult periods, adding
substances will not solve the problem. Often, using substances will make your emotions
worse. When you use you’ll likely feel shame and guilt. You’ll also need to recover from the
harmful effects of the substance.

Emotional sobriety is difficult. If you try to maintain it alone, you’re likely to fail. Even if you
succeed, the process will be harder than if you have assistance. We are here to help. If you or
someone you know is having trouble managing their emotions, it is important to reach out. We
can suggest resources to assist you. Contact us and we can help get you on the right track.

Trauma Theory and The Addicted Mind

hands holding a old lightbulb

Trauma Therapy And The Addicted Mind

Trauma therapy examines causes of addiction. Addiction can have different elements. Things that occur alongside it. Like mental illness. Researchers call this comorbidity. Memories of trauma can also occur comorbidly with SUDs.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What is trauma?
  • How is trauma one of the causes of addiction?
  • What is trauma therapy?
  • How can trauma therapy help me?
  • How can I learn more about trauma therapy?

What Is Trauma?

Nailing down a single definition of trauma seems complicated. It entails the ways we respond to extremely stressful events. Trauma can lead to a sensation of freezing. Like a person is stuck inside the trauma. As such, traumatic memories complicate the present. Trauma sufferers cannot live in the present. Because their bodies believe they still live in the past.

Symptoms Of Trauma

You’ve likely heard of PTSD. It stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent discovery also includes complex PTSD or CPTSD. But a person needn’t have an official diagnosis with one of these disorders. Trauma affects people differently. Absence of a diagnosis doesn’t mean an absence of trauma symptoms.

Recent research draws a relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and trauma. Symptoms of trauma include:

  • Traumatic memories disrupting your thoughts
  • Evading specific things, places, or people
  • Persistent unpleasant emotions
  • Reacting above and beyond a given problem or situation

How Is Trauma One Of The Causes Of Addiction? 

Dr. Gabor Maté’s work provides help here. In his book In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts, Dr. Maté defines addiction as, “any repeated behavior, substance-related or not, in which a person feels compelled to persist, regardless of its negative impact on his life and the lives of others.” The book explores the relationship between trauma and childhood brain development. Dr. Maté also indicates that adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) shape how people deal with stress later in life.

Trauma can lead to maladaptive patterns of coping with stress. For example, a person feels stressed out. They’re having a hard time at work. So they begin drinking to relieve the stress. They feel a combination of anxiety and despair. Sobriety might help this person. So might an antidepressant. But these tools would just make symptoms go away. They would do little to address the person’s underlying trauma.

A few key things to remember about trauma and addiction:

  • Trauma (and its symptoms) cause stress
  • Trauma can lead to unhealthy means of coping
  • Trauma can contribute to the onset of mental illnesses
  • Trauma can likewise lead to struggles with substance use disorder (SUD)
  • Sobriety and abstinence, while helpful, do not represent the final goals of trauma therapy

What Is Trauma Therapy? 

Recovery can present a long journey. We’d all like it to be a gradual, though steady, climb. But it involves different challenges. Different obstacles for different people. Instead, recovery journeys involve sidetracks and rabbit trails.

Therefore, trauma survivors need therapy specific to their needs. It’s good to get sober. It’s wise to address mental health problems. However, trauma therapy focuses directly on what’s beneath the substance use disorder.

Find some examples of trauma therapy below.

Examples Of Trauma-Focused Therapy 

Sobriety makes for a worthwhile goal. Balancing one’s mental health is another. For some people, these might serve as endgame goals. But those coping with trauma require deeper measures. Examples of trauma-specific therapy exist. These treatment models help address trauma as one of the causes of addiction.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy 

Prolonged exposure therapy (PE) entails slowly wearing away traumatic feelings. It usually lasts for 9-12 90-minute sessions. With the aid of a therapist, clients will imagine traumatic scenarios. Over time, clients become strong enough to confront imagined trauma. From there, PE brings the client into confronting trauma outside of therapy.

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Trauma often results in inaccurate or false beliefs. We tell ourselves untrue stories about true events Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) teaches the client to ask questions. Doing so helps them uncover unhelpful beliefs about the trauma.

Eye Movement Desensitization And Reprocessing (EMDR) 

During an EMDR session, the client recalls a traumatic memory. With the eyes, the client tracks with the clinician’s hand. The client moves the memory forward in their mind. Usually, with little input from the clinician, the client forms a new relationship with the memory.

Examples Of Non-Trauma Focused Therapy

Focusing directly on trauma can disorient some people. Not everybody feels ready to make that leap. Not even in a therapeutic environment. To that end, therapists have developed non-trauma focused therapies. Let us look at a few examples.

Relaxation

Techniques like mindfulness and meditation can provide relief from trauma. They can help offset painful automatic thoughts. Breathing techniques, like holotropic breathing, can improve feelings of self-acceptance. Yoga can also aid in trauma therapy.

Stress Inoculation Training (SIT) 

Donald Meichenbaum first developed stress inoculation training in the 1970s. It offers limited exposure to minor stressors. This way, it treats stress like a disease. You get a small, controlled dose. Once you become accustomed to this dose, your body can defend against greater doses.

Interpersonal Therapy 

Interpersonal therapy attempts to help clients recognize emotional triggers. Once they notice a trigger, they can examine the underlying emotion. In understanding themselves better, they can articulate their experience better. IPT thus helps improve the client’s relationship with others.

How Can Trauma Therapy Help Me?

Sobriety can level out your body. Proper mental health care can straighten out your thinking. But for some people, those are just the first steps. Trauma therapy tries to uproot a painful memory. To detach you from it. To offer you freedom from a cycle of suffering. Wholeness is the goal. Healing, health, and completion.

How Can I Learn More About Trauma Therapy?

Recovery By The Sea offers numerous trauma therapy options. We offer trauma-specific therapy and non-trauma-focused therapy. No matter what you’re looking for, know that hope is real. Recovery is possible. If you or someone you love is suffering from trauma, call Recovery By The Sea now at 877-207-5033.

Addiction vs Habit: What’s the Difference?

man writing a list

Addiction vs. habit. Believe it or not, they are something like cousins. A lot in common, but with one key caveat.

Humans need order. We thrive more in order than in chaos. Habits can help give us order. Habits are neither good nor bad. It depends on what the habit is. And what it’s used for. Habits begin in the brain and extend outward.

Habits build from small changes over a period of time. We can form habits for nearly any action or behavior. Some habits we form on purpose. We say, “I’m going to go to bed at _____.” Or, “I’m working out on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.” But sometimes, we feel like we just “wake up” to a habit.

Whether a good habit, or a bad one, the brain works the same way. Processes like feedback loops allow the brain to form patterns around our behavior. Doing so helps the brain automate our behavior. This allows the brain to use less conscious effort to perform the action in the future.

With that in mind, let’s examine addiction vs. habit.

● What is a habit?
● What is an addiction?
● How are they similar? How are they different?

What Is A Habit?

A basic definition of habit has 2 components. A habit is:

● Any behavior or action performed repeatedly
● With little to no conscious thought

There are dozens of things you do every day. And many of them require no thought on your part. Things like turning light switched on and off. Cooking and eating your favorite breakfast. Getting dressed and putting on your shoes.

Most things we do involve a series of steps. Think of a simple act, like getting out of bed. First, you open your eyes. Maybe you check a nearby device for the time. You sit up. Throw your legs over the side of the bed. You move your hips forward, shifting your weight onto your feet. That’s a series of 5 steps. None of which required you to think.

How Do Habits Form?

In his book Atomic Habits, James Clear identifies 4 stages of habit formation:

● Cue – sometimes called a “trigger,” this is what drives or provokes you to act or do something
● Craving – your motivation, your muse, your reason for doing
● Response – something you think or act out physically
● Reward – a good feeling of pleasure, happiness, or contentment

Charles Duhigg, author of The Power Of Habit, noted that the area of the brain most involved in habit formation is the basal ganglia. The basal ganglia serves as the epicenter for the cue, craving, response, reward process. Carried out over time, this process becomes automatic. The brain no longer thinks about it.

Why Are Habits Important?

Habits make life easier for us. They allow us to do things without having to think about them. Parents teach children basic life skills. Things like eating with silverware, or using the bathroom. Bathing ourselves. When we repeat these behaviors over a period of time, we don’t rehearse and analyze each step of these processes.

Can you imagine how hard life would be without habits? Think about adults having to put conscious effort into tying their shoes. We’d never get anything done! Not a very efficient way to live.

Can a “Good” Habit Become an Addiction?

Yes, even so-called “good” habits can resemble addictions. Behavioral addiction, or process addiction, involves a natural reward. This is a feeling of pleasure similar (though not exactly the same) as the euphoria experienced in substance use. Natural rewards impact the neuroplasticity of the brain. That is, the ability of the brain to change itself to better help us get what we want.

Behavioral addiction, or process addiction, can include otherwise harmless (even healthy) activities. Some research extends behavioral addiction into things like dieting, shopping, and working out. Technology brings with it its own share of challenges. Internet addiction, social media addiction, and video game addiction all represent new phenomena in the addiction treatment space.

What Is An Addiction?

Like habits, addictions are behaviors we repeat. Sometimes nailing down a single definition of addiction becomes difficult. A fundamental factor to keep in mind: addictions necessarily cause harm. They damage physical health. They interrupt a person’s daily life. Addictions have negative effects. To the point, you might say that an addiction is:

● Any behavior or action performed repeatedly
● With little to no conscious thought, AND
● That causes harm

How Do Addictions Form?

Addictions manifest in the brain. We do something, eat something, have something that makes us feel good. Various regions of the brain participate in the formation of addiction. As we expose ourselves to something, we feel pleasure or relief. In effect, this teaches the brain. The brain seeks ways to optimize. To make our lives easier.

Addiction Vs. Habit: Similarities And Differences

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s fluid ability to change itself. Neuroplasticity serves as a faculty behind both habits and addictions. The brain does not discriminate between them. The brain’s role is to acclimate to the data we present to it. And to change accordingly.

We experience a trigger. We feel a craving. Then, we nourish the craving. For satisfying the craving, we get a reward. For both habits and addictions, the process works the same way. Indeed, they have more similarities than differences.

With some conscious effort and willpower, most people could likely stop most habits. But addictions work differently. Addictions, especially substance use disorders, require more tools at one’s disposal. The chief difference between habit and addiction is the harm that addictions cause. Furthermore, a person suffering from an addiction does not stop the behavior even though it causes harm.

What To Do For Addiction (Behavioral Or Otherwise)

Habits help us orient ourselves in the world. They help us bring some sense and order to our lives. But sometimes the processes that help us can also hurt us.

If you’re feeling trapped by a habit or addiction, you’re not alone. Your life is not irreparable. Hope is possible and help is available. Call Recovery By The Sea now.

Is it OK to use CBD in Recovery?

cbd oil bottle on abstract background

What Is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol. It is made directly from the hemp plant. Cannabidiol is the second most common ingredient in marijuana. According to the World Health Organization, consuming CBD by itself will not produce the same effects as marijuana. CBD is currently legal in all 50 states. Project CBD includes research that attributes CBD to reductions in inflammation, pain, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and more. Thus far, the only FDA-approved CBD medication is Epidiolex. Epidiolex shows efficacy in treating seizures. National Geographic’s documentary Cannabis For Kids shows medical administrations of Epidiolex to children while they are having seizures.

What’s The Big Deal?

It seemed like CBD took the world by storm. It became the latest health and wellness fad. Everybody was talking about it; everyone had an opinion. Some touted CBD as a miracle. They said it helped reduce depression and anxiety. It made you sleep better. It reduced your appetite, which made you lose weight. It’s supposed to improve your concentration and memory. Sounds good, right? Surely there mustn’t be anything wrong with using it. There’s no THC in it, so you can’t get addicted to it. Can you?

Is CBD Safe?

Much misunderstanding surrounds whether or not CBD contains THC. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the ingredient in marijuana that produces the “high.” Some manufacturers of CBD do not label their products correctly. This means that a consumer could be ingesting trace amounts of THC without their knowledge. The FDA requires that CBD products contain less than 0.3% of THC. While the FDA supports sound scientific investigations into CBD and its benefits, they have also sanctioned manufacturers who make false medical claims when advertising their products. Using CBD oneself requires proper research into exactly what a certain CBD product contains. Know what you’re buying.

Isolate V. Full-Spectrum

Consumers can usually find CBD in 2 varieties: isolate and full-spectrum. CBD isolate contains cannabidiol only. By contrast, full-spectrum CBD also has terpenes and flavonoids. By virtue of these additional components, full-spectrum CBD may help ease anxiety, inflammation, pain, and more. Unfortunately, full-spectrum CBD products are more likely to produce a positive result on a drug test. A person looking for the benefits of a CBD product without this risk could look into CBD isolate. Knowing this helps clear up a common misconception. Drug tests don’t measure for cannabidiol. They measure for THC. The isolate does not contain THC, but the full-spectrum does. Even a minuscule amount (less than 0.3%) can show up in a drug test.

Should A Person In Recovery Use CBD?

As with most questions in life, the answer is: it depends. CBD does seem to show promise in reducing pain, stress, insomnia, and inflammation. A study in The American Journal of Psychiatry indicated that the CBD-derived Epidiolex may help reduce drug cravings among those struggling with opioid addiction. In the future, addiction recovery and treatment programs might indeed employ CBD. But that doesn’t matter. To a person in recovery, what matters most is what happens right now. Your life is not a study. It’s a life. Each action has a personal consequence that affects you. Each action likewise impacts the people around you.

Speak With Your Doctor

In recovery, you want the best for yourself. You want to have all the tools in your toolbox. Deprive yourself of nothing that might help you press forward. That said, make certain you assemble a trusted team of advisors. In recovery, you’re battling for your life. But you shouldn’t battle alone. Get counsel from wise people in your path. If you think a CBD product would help your recovery, ask your doctor. CBD might not mix well with some medications. Your doctor will be able to advise you of that. If your doctor does recommend CBD for your recovery, make sure you stick with the CBD isolate. Your doctor might have some particular brands to recommend. They might provide some product lines that they trust.

What If I Want To Use Full-Spectrum CBD?

You’re a thoughtful, thorough person. You’ve done your homework. You know your own mind and what’s good for you. The research indicates that full-spectrum THC helps relieve some of your mental health symptoms. You can quote studies that say so. But what’s your intention? Are you consuming full-spectrum CBD every time you feel stressed? “It’s better than drinking, smoking, or injecting,” you may think. Perhaps it is. But if that’s your reasoning, then you aren’t recovering. You’ve just substituted one substance for another. You’re still leaning on a crutch. You aren’t growing. You aren’t getting better. Whether or not CBD does what it purports isn’t the point. What matters most is what you are doing and why you are doing it. The purpose of recovery isn’t ceasing a certain behavior or exchanging it for another. Recovery involves newness and wholeness. It’s about changing your identity and your choices to make a better life. Therefore, if you’re asking whether or not something is “ok” for recovery, you’re thinking too small. If you must ask, the answer is “no.”

What If I Just Keep It To Myself?

You have an absolute right to privacy. Nobody should infringe on that. But what are you using your privacy for? In recovery, what is the purpose of your right to privacy? If you decide to use CBD, shouldn’t that just be your business? Perhaps the best way to answer these questions is with another question. If something is legitimately helping you recover from substance addiction, why should you conceal it? This is similar to substituting CBD for a different substance. Concealment, evading, secrecy – these tactics indicate that you’re still in bondage to addiction. Cloak-and-dagger behaviors like these prevent you from dealing with the problems beneath addiction.

What’s The Verdict?

In a word, if you’re in recovery then it’s best to avoid CBD. It’s in close proximity to other substances that alter your mood and mind. If you’re genuinely curious about it, speak with your treatment provider. If they opt to include it in your treatment plan, then use it as they direct you. No more, no less. If you need help relaxing, look for substance-free ways to do so. This approach will strengthen your mind, as well as your resolve. It will make you transparent and vulnerable. And that is where authentic wholeness and healing begin.

What to Look for When Seeking Addiction Treatment

man searching on laptop for addiction treatment

It Feels Like You’re Drowning

You took the first step. Then another, and another. A single choice led to more. Which gave way to a pattern. Then, before you knew it, you were well on your way. You’ve been on this path for a while now. This wasn’t what you wanted your life to be. You didn’t wake up one day and decide it. You found yourself swept away. In a current. You did your best to tread water. To keep yourself from going under. Seemed like everything you did just made it harder. Striving made you tired. Trying made you weak. Almost like it would be easier to just give up.

One Foot At A Time

Getting treatment requires you to leap. You’ll have to live in a new way. You’ll have to get familiar with what’s unknown. That can be terrifying. You’re unsure whether you can do it or not. That’s ok. Take a breath. It’s ok to be afraid of something you don’t know. You can’t be brave if you’re not afraid first. You’re putting things in order. Paving a new path. You may have taken the road into addiction step-by-step. You can take the road out the same way. One foot in front of the other.

Accreditation

Your decision to seek treatment deserves respect. Perhaps it feels like one of the hardest choices you’ve ever made. Rest assured, it’s ok to feel that way too. Your recovery deserves respect as well. You’re building a new life for yourself. Relying on total strangers with some of your life’s biggest problems requires a great deal of trust. You deserve to know that these strangers are who they say they are. How do you know that they are legitimate healthcare professionals? The Joint Commission (TJC) sets the standards for healthcare accreditation. That means they give doctors, therapists, nurses, counselors, and other healthcare providers the authority to help you. Double-checking helps protect you from those who don’t have your best interests in mind.

Addiction and Mental Health

Why do you use? To feel good. Or, at least, to feel “less bad.” People use substances because they want to feel better than they do right now. If a person is inclined toward melancholy, sadness, and depression, they might look to amphetamines to lift them out of that state. A person battling anxiety might want something to help them slow down, or chill out. This is where opiates and benzodiazepines appear attractive. But the addiction works like a fog, or a diversion. It masks the person’s genuine struggle. Just like the body, the mind can be wounded. It can get sick. It can even be injured. Addiction postpones our ability to heal the mind. More often than not, our addiction makes our existing mental illness worse. Take note: mental illness and addiction can trap you in a cycle. Your mental health suffers, so you use in order to feel better. But when the high wears off, you’re still suffering. So you use again. A proper treatment plan helps you get off this wretched cycle.

Dual Diagnosis

Addictions have underlying causes and contributing factors. Homelife, genetics, quality of relationships, trauma, you name it. A quality treatment plan not only addresses addiction, but also considers these variables. The point of treatment isn’t to be drug-free. Treatment doesn’t stop with sobriety. Rather, good treatment considers comprehensive health. It treats the person, not the addiction. To that end, look for a treatment program that caters to mental health. Those who struggle with substance use disorders likewise often suffer from mental illnesses. Mental illness and substance use influence one another. This is called a dual diagnosis, or a co-occurring disorder. You ought to look for a treatment plan that covers both problems. In this way, you’re recovering from multiple angles. Getting this kind of clarity early on provides an advantage on your recovery journey.

Benefits of Sober Living

Having a dual diagnosis moves your emotional set point. That means that the “normal” way you feel changes. Think of it this way. If you broke both of your legs, you wouldn’t want to put a cast on just one. You’d want both legs to heal together. As quickly as possible. A dual diagnosis works the same way. With both of your “legs” (mental health and sobriety) underneath you, you’ll be in a better place. Once there, you’ll be able to think more clearly. Your memory and concentration will improve. Using what you learn in your therapy sessions, you can strategize about your life. Reevaluate your relationships. Examine which ones will help your sobriety and which ones hurt it. Design a daily routine that will continue your success. You’ll be able to organize a life that will allow you to keep getting better.

Treatment Options

Different people live in different circumstances. Treatment needs and experiences may differ from person to person. When looking into recovery, you’ll hear terms like partial hospitalization (PHP), inpatient program (IP), outpatient program (OP), and intensive outpatient program (IOP). No treatment option is better or worse than any other. Each treatment option offers a variable amount of personal freedom. Inpatient treatment is residential, which means you would essentially live at the treatment center. PHP is a step down; where those treated remain under care for a few hours a day 3-5 days a week. If your home life supports your recovery, then an IOP may suit you. IOP requires attendance to a few hours of therapy each week. OP and aftercare are further steps down, and provide the least oversight of your life and daily activities. Check with your insurance company to compare prices. More intensive treatment options tend to cost more.

Be an Advocate for Yourself. Ask Questions!

Be curious about your recovery and treatment. You have a right to know all the specifics of a recovery facility. You deserve to know who they are, what their credentials are, and how they can help you. If you’re unsure about something, then ask for an explanation. Ask “why” and “how” they do the things that they do. Any treatment center worth its salt will be completely transparent with you. If they aren’t, consider that a red flag.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, call Recovery By The Sea now at 877-207-5033.

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