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Helping an Addict Post Rehab

Helping an Addict Post Rehab

If you’ve lived with an addict who was actively using, you know only too well that their habit affects not only them but the entire family. When your loved one comes home from a treatment facility, they’re not cured of their addiction, nor will it have gone into remission. It still exists, and your loved one has to deal with it on a daily basis. Their recovery is a lifelong journey, not a destination that they reach where they can relax and say that they don’t have to be concerned about it anymore. Recovering Addict Defined What do we mean by “recovering addict”? Someone is in recovery once they’ve gone through a drug and alcohol treatment program and they display the following characteristics: Have developed personal boundaries and understand the difference between their problems and someone else’s Deals with their own problems without using chemicals (drugs and alcohol) Takes time out to restore themselves physically and emotionally when they feel fatigued Have at least one person in their life that they can be honest with How to Help a Loved One Coming Home From Rehab The transition to coming home after spending time at a treatment facility is going to take some adjustment for everyone in the family. No one can pretend that you are welcoming someone home who has been away on vacation or working out of town for a time, and it would be a mistake to try to pretend that nothing of significance happened. Both the person arriving home and the family members awaiting their arrival will likely be experiencing a variety of emotions. Each wants... Read more
What to Do If a Family Member Has an Addiction Problem

What to Do If a Family Member Has an Addiction Problem

Family presents an interesting dynamic for most people. These are the people in your life you love the most, but because you know them so well, conflict is not unusual among family members. Most of us spend a lifetime working on family relationships to make them better and keep them close. Addiction can interfere with healthy family relationships in a way that is unlike any other turbulence you could experience. Addiction can creep into a person’s life, changing their behavior before they know what is happening. Often family members are the first to recognize the problem. Like any serious problem, addiction can be difficult to talk about. No one wants to admit they have a problem, and no one wants to accuse someone they love of having an addiction. This is not a problem that will go away on its own, however. Having that uncomfortable conversation could actually mean the difference between life and death. Does My Family Member Have an Addiction? If there is a disturbance in your family dynamics related to drugs or alcohol, it is a good idea to consider addiction as a cause. If you can rule it out, then you can move forward with addressing the disturbance in the usual ways. If there is an addiction, however, at the root of the disturbance, you’ll need a different tactic. If a loved one has shown signs they are using drugs or alcohol frequently, investigate a possible addiction before making any accusations. Although 9.4 percent of Americans used illicit drugs in 2013, up from 8.3 percent in 2002, addiction has a terrible stigma in our society.... Read more
Understanding Detox

Understanding Detox

It is undeniable — America’s addiction epidemic is worsening. The cost of substance abuse to society as a whole is substantial. Between healthcare costs, crime and overall lost productivity, illicit drug and alcohol abuse data estimates that costs relating to crime stemming from illicit drug and alcohol abuse costs the United States an estimated $700 billion each year. Additionally, 80% of people in our prison systems abuse drugs or alcohol, while almost 50% of that population is considered to be clinically addicted. Perhaps one of the saddest things is a report to Congress from the Department of Health and Human Services that estimated somewhere between one-third and two-thirds of all child abuse cases are affected by substance abuse issues to some degree. Substance Abuse by the Numbers Alcohol abuse in the US is extremely pervasive due to the social nature of drinking. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) the number of adults who self-report either past or present alcohol consumption is approaching 90%. Of this nearly 90%, 71% report consuming some amount of alcohol within the previous year. Almost 57% report consuming it during the past month. As if those numbers weren’t staggering enough, consider this: About 25% of US adults report having an episode of binge drinking within the past month. With those statistics, it should come as no surprise that 33% of all visits to the emergency room are related to alcohol consumption. There is a common misconception that alcohol isn’t a dangerous substance because it isn’t illegal. Due to its pervasive and public use, it’s important that everyone knows the major... Read more
Difference Between Abuse, Addiction and Dependence

Difference Between Abuse, Addiction and Dependence

Abuse, addiction and dependence are words people tend to use interchangeably when they are trying to describe someone they care for who has a problem with drugs or alcohol. These words may also be bandied about when discussing the subject in general, as though all three words refer to the same thing or, at the very least, different levels of severity of the same illness. In truth, these ideas all describe completely separate things. It’s important to understand the difference between these three terms so we can be specific in our language around addiction. It can be a challenging thing to talk about, with professionals and within our own families, and we need to make sure all of us are on the same page so that we can understand each other clearly.  Definition of Dependence A dependence on a drug, including alcohol, occurs after exposure to it over time. The body adapts to its presence and needs more in order to achieve the same effects experienced when the drug was first used. If the drug use is suddenly stopped, the user will experience withdrawal symptoms. Physical Dependence on a Drug This doesn’t necessarily mean you or your loved one is addicted to something or has developed an addiction. It’s possible to develop a physical dependence on a prescription drug you have been taking for a long period of time and following the doctor’s instructions exactly. Some medications cannot be stopped all at once. Instead, people need to be weaned off them by lowering their dosage over a period of time in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. For example, antidepressants... Read more
Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

Is Marijuana a Gateway Drug?

Pick up a newspaper or scan a news site on any day, and you are likely to come across an article on the legalization of the marijuana. Many people are in favor of making marijuana more accessible and legal because they think it’s a harmless drug. It’s easy to get at any age and in most social circles. So, is marijuana that bad? Is it dangerous? Is it addictive? The fact is that millions of Americans every year abuse or become dependent on marijuana. Hundreds of thousands of people admit that marijuana is interfering with their daily lives and their productivity, leading them to get treatment for their addiction in order to get healthy and stay healthy. Seeking treatment is not something that you want to put off. Nipping this problem in the bud can’t prevent future addictions. Taking preventative action now may be able to stop long-term damage to the brain. If you are worried about yourself or someone you love because you suspect marijuana addiction, read on to learn more about the real dangers of marijuana. Is Marijuana Addictive? Many people believe that marijuana is not an addictive drug in the same way that drugs like cocaine or heroin are. Marijuana might not be as addictive as harder drugs but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t addictive. It might surprise you to learn that marijuana is, in fact, an addictive substance according to many research studies and anecdotal evidence. How addicting is marijuana? Studies have shown that people under the age of 18 who are frequent users of marijuana, are 4 to 7 times more likely to... Read more