“I've been through 15 treatment centers, psych hospitals and institutions. I learned so much from Seasons about myself that wasn't addressed at other facilities. Issues that needed to be dealt with on a one on one level. Thank you Seasons for helping me and my family.”
Carl B, New York

Ultimate Goal of Recovery From Addiction is to Rebuild Relationships


Drug Addiction -
October 31st, 2014 No Comments

Far more then simply getting to a stage where you’ve stopped using an addictive substance, the process of recovery is about learning to regain a healthy balance in all areas of life that have been affected by addiction.  This is a process that will not happen overnight, because the learned patterns of addiction we are trying to undo did not happen overnight either.  Although the initial use of a drug may have been voluntary, habitual drug use alters the brain in a way that stunts its ability to make voluntary decisions, and the addiction just “takes over,” and people behave in ways they wouldn’t otherwise think possible. 

One of the central tolls of an addiction is on relationships.  The cycle of being influenced by a substance and then becoming obsessed with finding that substance causes an addict to become a totally different person, one unable to empathize with others, communicate clearly with someone else, or be trustworthy.  The elements of a good relationship are broken, and recovery means healing those relationships, and learning how to form new ones.  No human being is meant to be totally isolated from people, and so forming and repairing relationships with others is both a final goal of recovery, and one of the main things that makes recovery possible.

forgiveness

Work to restore trust

Sometimes, people in the beginning stages of recovery may be disappointed that what seems like a radical change in their own lives is not accepted right away from the people they know. The hurt may go down too deeply for them to forgive and trust you right away.  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you try to make things better with people who were hurt by the actions you did as an addict:

Apologize for the hurt you caused, and give the other person space to fully express how he or she feels.

Actions speak louder then words, so putting effort into concrete acts of compassion and consideration are going to be seen as the main proof that you’ve changed.  

Work at being as honest as possible, and as open as possible, as much as possible.  People have gotten used to you not keeping your word, so it might take several times for them to realize you are now able to keep your commitments and tell the truth about your behavior.

Recognize that some relationships might not heal, or might take a lot of time

Forgiveness is often a very hard process that first requires that a hurt be fully explored and expressed.  Recognize that people do not have the duty to forgive, and sometimes it may take time for them to feel resolved.  You are the only person responsible for your own behavior, and cannot control anyone else. Thus, your job is simply to work to make restitution and amends as much as you can on your end, and realizing it may take more time for all the wounds to fully heal. If someone else doesn’t feel like you’ve “earned” his or her forgiveness, it is best to respect that decision, and move on. 

Also, there are probably going to be other people who are going to continue to love and even forgive you, but may have difficulty trusting you.  Even in the throws of addiction, many people never stopped loving you, reaching out to you, and trying as hard as they could to get you to change. However, trust, a belief that you will keep your word, may take a period of displaying your honesty and commitment to change to build back up. 

Your own process of recovery is proof that, with patience and hard work, change is possible.  If the two of you are both committed to reestablishing trust, communication, and honesty in your relationship, then this full recovery is possible, even if it takes time.

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Harder to Abuse Naloxone Hydrocloride is Approved


Drug Addiction -
October 29th, 2014 No Comments

Prescription drug abuse is the inappropriate use of prescribed medication in a way or dosage not intended by a doctor.  Instead of taking a carefully limited amount for pain, the person abusing drugs may ground up pills, smoking or injecting them for a powerful, and very dangerous “high.” Some people may believe that, because they are legal and available from a doctor, that opioid painkillers provide a safer alternative to street drugs like heroin, but once a drug is not being taken as directed under medical supervision, it can be extremely risky. 

According to a study by the Center for Disease Control, overdose of prescription drugs is the leading cause of injury death, surpassing automobile accidents in 2011.  This extremely dangerous form of recreational drug use is distressingly common. A survey of teenagers by Columbia University’s Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) revealed that 46% of teens said painkillers like Vicodin and OxyCotten were the most commonly misused drugs among their peers, and that they were easier to get ahold of then alcohol.   

drugs-

While many people urgently need these painkillers to help continue to function and further along a healthful recovery after surgery or in the midst of chronic pain, there is a lot of work that needs to be done to prevent these drugs from being misused.  The drug companies themselves have recently gotten into the act themselves, trying to create medications with less potential for abuse, and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has recently approved one of them: Targiniq ER (naloxone hydrochloride). 

How Targiniq ER is different

Developed by Perdue Pharama L.P., Targiniq is a an extended release, long acting opioid analgestic, which treats severe, continual pain unable to be relieved by milder painkillers.  This is the category of drugs, like OxyCotten and morphine that is among the most likely drugs to be misused.   What makes Targiniq stand out is the addition of naloxone, which reverses and blocks the effects of opioid overdose.

This means that Targiniq will block many of the nonmedical, euphoric and morphine-like effects of other opioids. This means it will have virtually no effect on the user when snorted, injected, or smoked.  A testing of 601 people with lower back pain, and monitoring of 3,000 users showed that Targiniq continues to be effective at its intended purpose of relieving strong pain, but substantially deters abuse. 

Another form of naloxone hydrochloride, Evizo has also been approved as a single-use injection, to be used in home by trained family members or caregivers, that can be used to deal with an opioid overdoes in emergency situations.  Both of these drugs are part of the FDA’s Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, an effort to educate doctors and patients about how to deal with and prevent prescription drug abuse.

A word of caution

Targiniq significantly deters, but does not totally prevent misuse, since it can still be taken orally in higher amounts, or by people to whom it was not prescribed. Even when used under medical supervision, Tarniq, like all opioid painkillers, a user can develop dependence on Tarniq, like all opioid painkillers, and overdoses can cause death. It should be used only by prescription, and prescribed only when milder alternatives have proven ineffective in managing pain.

This means using it only to treat chronic and continuous pain, not simply on an as-needed basis. The FDA is still unsure about the drug’s long-term effects, and will continue testing.  However, for now, the drug does appear that it can be part of an effective and innovative solution to a rising problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction.

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Why the FDA’s Prescription Drug Abuse Plan is Not Helpful to Addicts


Drug Addiction -
October 27th, 2014 No Comments

drug abuseAbuse of prescription drugs is a growing problem that affects millions of people in the U.S.  According to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 2.4 million people in the U.S. have used prescription drugs for a non-medical purpose for the first time every year. Because these drugs are given out by a doctor, many people may falsely believe they provide a “safer high” then illegal street drugs. 

However, the truth is that, outside of the bounds of strictly regulated doses under careful medical supervision, opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs can be very dangerous. There is urgent need for greater education about the dangers of misusing prescription drugs.  Aware of these issues the Federal Drug Administration (F.D.A.), a government agency that regulates drugs and approves their use has created a new series of guidelines to attempt to reduce the risks of abuse.

The details of the REMS plan

This new FDA program, designed to reduce prescription drug misuse is called the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy, or REMS.  The program affects extended release and long acting opioids that are among the most commonly misused drugs, including OxyContin, Avinza, and Dolophine.  While these drugs were normally prescribed only for extremely chronic and terminal pain, their use as proliferated in less serious conditions, despite the danger that dependence can develop.

The REMS plan centered around education, especially giving doctors more information about pain management, screening for addiction, and helping patients have the information they need to use these drugs safely.  REMS also provides increased funding for prescription monitoring programs, and take back programs so people can safely get rid of pills they don’t need any more.  It is requiring the manufactures of drugs to help fund these programs, so they can be made available to doctors at low cost.

The problem -the new REMS plan doesn’t go far enough to truly prevent addiction

Although this new plan is definitely a step in the right direction, there is some concern that it does not go far enough, given how many people are affected by prescription drug addiction.  Education of both doctors and patients can do a lot of good in helping people better understand the dangers of these drugs and the guidelines by which they can be used responsibly. The biggest problem with these new programs is that they are optional for doctors. The American Medical Association, the largest group of doctors, went against the recommendations of the 2010 FDA panel and got the law changed, arguing it would be overly burdensome and may prevent doctors from being able to treat pain patients.

There are 320,000 prescribers in the U.S., and this new program does nothing to force a change in their behavior, it only makes education available that can easily be ignored. The truth is that drug addiction is, by definition an activity surrounded by secrecy and denial.  Addicts are already expert at hiding their true intentions and deceiving doctors into getting more pills.  This program is designed to better control the use of these drugs by people taking them under medical supervision, but does not really address those who are already knowingly using the drugs outside recommended guidelines.

Furthermore, it focuses attention on a limited selection of substances, opioid painkillers, not directly addressing other drugs with potential for abuse, like stimulants and sedatives.  But it is hoped that this law can be an encouraging beginning, and led at least some doctors to think about using opioids more carefully. It is a step in the right direction, but more and different work needs to be done to truly deal with the problems of abuse and addiction.

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Recovery and Surgery: The Balance of Taking Prescriptions as Suggested


Treatment Programs -
October 24th, 2014 No Comments

recovery and surgery

The fact that certain types of strong painkillers can be dangerous if taken inappropriately and can create dependence and addiction does not take away from the usefulness these drugs can provide if used as recommended under careful medical supervision. Particularly during the severe pain caused by surgery, it may be necessary to use these substances as part of a pain management program that can be an important way to recover from surgery.  If controlled, medication can speed healing and prevent complications, as well as limiting the extent your post-surgery experience will interfere with your life.  In order to both make the pain medication effective, and avoid the side effects and dangers, it is absolutely essential that your use of the drug be according to the instructions of a health care provider.  

Communicate with doctors pre surgery

The time to begin thinking about a responsible and effective pain management program is before the surgery makes it necessary.  This means expressing to your doctor your previous experiences with pain, and how you have handled it in the past. Everyone has a different level of pain tolerance and sensitivity to feeling, so different people may feel the same procedures differently.  Helping your health care provider be aware of your experiences can help him or her pick out which medication is right for you. 

Other factors that can affect what pain relief program will work for you include other medications you are taking, and any struggles with addiction.  Some drugs may interact negatively with each other if taken in combination, and some painkillers have fewer risks of addiction then others.  Help your physician understanding all these different factors

Careful use and continued communication post-surgery

After the surgery, it’s important to continue to communicate with your doctor about any pain you are feeling, and your experiences with medications.  The Joint Commission has created a standardized scale from 1-10 to measure the level severity of felt pain. This can be a helpful way to let your health care provider know how much pain you are feeling, and whether or not the current medication is effective at relieving it.  

One very important thing to avoid is self-medicating, or independently choosing to increase conception of a medication.  Rather, talk to your doctor if you are still feeling pain, so the two of you can work out an effective plan. An addictive mindset is focused on always trying to get as much of a drug as possible, in spite of the tremendous risk. By contrast, with responsible pain management, the key is balance.  There are both benefits and risks to pain medication, strong enough to help you perform the activities you need to recover, while avoiding the unpleasant side effects from taking too much.

One tool that can be used to encourage responsible use of powerful opioid painkillers is a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), that allows you to give yourself a carefully measured out dosage when needed.  Because it takes time for a medication to enter into your system, it will only honor the first request within a set period. Too much will make you too drowsy to press the button. In this way, overdoes are prevented.  For this reason, it’s very important that the person in need of the medication be the one to press the button, not other friends and family.

Pain gets in the way of your healing process, so the aftermath of serious surgery is not the time to try to ignore and endure pain. Rather, it’s a time to carefully listen to your body’s real needs, and communicate with a health care professional to find a responsible way of dealing with that pain.  Within those boundaries, medication can be an important part of recovery.

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5 Reasons Everybody’s Bottom is Different in Recovery


Treatment Programs -
October 22nd, 2014 No Comments

What it means to reach the bottom

The pull of an addiction may be so strong that efforts to convince him or her of the need for recovery will be very difficult. Ultimately, the decision to pursue recovery must come from the individual alone, and they must decide when they are ready.  In order to become ready, it is often necessary to “hit bottom,” or be in a situation of pain that jolts the addicted person out of a sense of compliancy.

Heavy users will invariably reach a point when life feels dangerous, out of control, or fundamentally unsatisfying. It is at this point that the myth that your addiction is not a big deal or under control comes crashing down, and you feel forced to admit a need for help. The phrase “hitting rock bottom” may bring up dramatic images of homelessness, prison, or a near-death situation, but the truth is many people’s bottoms may be less dramatic, internal pain that simply creates a moment where you “wake up” and realize that you don’t want to continue living this way. 

Each person struggling with substance abuse is going to have different experiences, and different things to get them to the point of “waking up.”  Here are a few of the factors that can affect what someone’s bottom will look like.

bottom line in recovery

1) Supportive relationships with others

One factor that can make a huge difference in what a bottom looks like is whether or not an addict is surrounded by support from friends and family.  People struggling with addiction may behave in hurtful ways to the people around them, as the craving or effects of a substance takes over. 

Enabling an addict, or reducing the consequences of their behavior can reinforce behaviors of denial, but abandoning someone to their addiction can also further reinforce feelings of hopelessness. Instead, friends and family can lovingly confront addictive behavior, brining them to a point of realizing the dangers of their behavior. 

2) Socio-economic factors and structuralized racism

Addiction affects people from every walk of life and ethnicity, but social context can affect the perceived consequences or outside pressures to achieve sobriety.  Police activity against illegal drug use is highly concentered in lower-income urban areas, leading to huge disparities in the enforcement of drug laws. 

Poorer people of color are more likely to get “caught” and face jail time for their drug use then wealthy white users, and users with disposable income may be less aware of how much their addiction is costing. This made lead to more denial and a false sense of security among wealthier and privileged users, thinking their addiction is less of a problem since they face fewer social consequences.

3) Personal awareness of behavior, and self-honesty

“Hitting the bottom” works as a motivation to seeking recovery because it helps the person struggling with addiction to see reality.  Two false ways of seeing reality that create a barrier to seeking recovery are hopelessness and denial.  Hopelessness, or exaggerating the badness of a situation and failing to see how theirs a way out, makes recovery seem impossible. 

Denial, failing to see the negative consequences at all, makes recovery seem unnecessary.  Practices of careful self-examination will reveal two truths – that you need recovery in order to live a fulfilled life, and that it is possible to work through and obtain. Both of these truths need to be grasped in order to escape from your rock bottom. 

4) Honest look at the future

The ability to look into the future and see how small issues could become bigger if untreated is one of the primary things that can help stop after a “high bottom” (in which a realization of the need for recovery is reached without serious loss), rather then a low bottom. 

Denial can get caught up in “yets,” making you believe that your addiction isn’t a problem “yet,” causing you to postpone treatment. Missing one day of work because of an addiction may not seem like a big deal, but it can be a warning sign that going further down that path could lead to loosing your job. 

5) Honoring self-dialogue 

Denial can silence the thoughts you have of yourself.  Very light consequences of substance abuse, such as feeling sick during withdraw, may cause small thoughts of changing behavior to creep up.  

On the other hand, in the throws of addiction, multiple arrests, loss of jobs or relationships, or threats of death may not be enough of a “bottom” to make you want to seek treatment.  Self-awareness can be a very important tool in helping you avoid getting at the lowest bottom possible.

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What are the Physiological Effects of Wet Brain?


Alcohol Addiction -
October 20th, 2014 No Comments

wet brain

Alcoholics have a tendency to suffer from a deficiency in thiamine or vitamin B1 which helps brain cells produce energy from sugar. The lack of this important nutrient can lead to serious health problems and if levels fall too low it can cause a condition known as Wernick-Korsakoff syndrome or more commonly, wet brain. Korsakoff syndrome is a problem that is most often caused by alcohol abuse but there are cases where other conditions lead to the disorder such as AIDS, chronic infections or poor nutrition.

Alcohol addiction negatively affects the brain and can lead to cognitive decline in a number of ways but wet brain is one of the most severe neurological disorders associated with alcoholism. People diagnosed with wet brain will struggle to function normally and exhibit a number of different physiological problems that can interfere with their daily life.

Alcoholism and Early Stages of Wet Brain

People who drink alcohol excessively on a regular basis often lack adequate levels of thiamine for a number of different reasons. Alcoholics tend to have poor eating habits and often vomit when binge drinking. They can also have trouble absorbing vitamins from food because alcohol damages the lining of the stomach and the liver which processes thiamine. Without enough thiamine brain cells cannot generate energy to function properly and a severe lack of thiamine can cause an acute brain reaction leading to Wernicke’s encephalopathy, an early stage of wet brain.

Wernicke’s encephalopathy can develop suddenly and cause a medical emergency with symptoms such as life-threatening brain disruption, confusion, staggering and stumbling, lack of coordination and abnormal involuntary eye movements. A person developing this problem will also exhibit signs of malnutrition and mild memory loss and if they are not treated soon enough then they can start to develop Korsakoff syndrome.

The Onset of Korsakoff Syndrome

After experiencing Wernicke’s encephalopathy, an individual will gradually develop some of the symptoms of Korsakoff syndrome. Damage will occur in small areas within the brain resulting in short term memory loss. As the symptoms of wet brain continue to develop they will show problems with learning new information and struggle to remember recent events while also experiencing some long-term memory gaps as well.

They may still have the same ability to use other types of thinking and social skills but have severe memory problems. Patients with this syndrome may be fully capable of having a coherent conversation but be unable remember having the conversation minutes later. Some people with this disorder may have trouble learning new skills because they cannot acquire any new information and recall what they have been taught. This condition can also cause changes in personality such as a patient becoming suddenly apathetic and unemotional or extremely talkative with repetitive behavior. People with Korsakoff syndrome may have little insight into their condition and believe their memory is functioning normally while even inventing memories of events that never happened.

Treating Wet Brain Symptoms

When a person with an alcohol problem is diagnosed with Korsakoff syndrome, the first step to start seeing improvements in their memory is to abstain from alcohol and go into recovery. Continuing to abuse alcohol will only worsen the condition and can put them in more danger. In addition to sobriety, a patient with wet brain will need to be given high doses of thiamine and must adopt a healthier diet with nutrient-rich foods.

People with Korsakoff syndrome can begin to see improvement if they make these changes within two years of treatment. Some patients can make a very good recovery while others may show little progress and need long-term residential care.

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Understanding the New Benzo Flubromazepam


Treatment Programs -
October 16th, 2014 No Comments

Benzodiazepines are a type of tranquilizing medication often prescribed for pain or anxiety such as Valium or Xanax. Benzos, as they are commonly called, have great potential for abuse and addiction as recreational drug users seek them out for their sedating effects. While benzos can be prescribed for legitimate medical reasons such as insomnia, seizure control, alcohol withdrawal, muscle relaxation or anxiety they are frequently obtained without prescription through friends or people on the street.

The most common types of benzodiazepines come in the form of medications like Versed, Halcion, and Librium. There is a new type of benzo, however, known as flubromazepam that has attracted attention by appearing in internet shops selling designer medications and research chemicals. This new drug could create a lot more potential for abuse as it is not normally obtained through a prescription.

Benzodiazepines

What is Flubromazepam?

Flubromazepam is a benzodiazepine derivative that has been in existence since 1960 when it was first made. It was never marketed as a medication and was forgotten until it re-emerged in 2012 when it began to be sold as a research chemical. It is very similar to the drug phenazepam, another designer benzo that has been marketed by pharmaceutical companies in some countries with flubromazepam only having one single alteration to the formula.

Flubromazepam is still being studied for its effects and the usefulness of the drug as a sedative or painkiller such as Valium or Xanax. Because it is a benzodiazepine derivative it has a similar effect to that type of drug including sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxant and antiepileptic effects.

Users state that the drug has a strong anxiolytic or anxiety inhibiting effect as well as some muscle relaxation and a mood-lifting effect. People taking flubromazepam do not experience as much brain fog as some other similar type of benzo medications.

Effects of the Drug and other Benzos

Although flubromazepam is now sold on the internet as a research chemical, it can be easily obtained for recreational purposes and has plenty of potential for abuse. It has similar effects to prescription benzos like Bromazepam which is used to treat panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety but it is not yet available through prescription. It is intended for use in pharmaceutical research and clinical trials but recreational users are already experimenting with drug to see how it compares with other types of benzos.

Flubromazepam is likely much stronger than regular pharmaceutical benzos because it is still being studied and developed for prescription use. Recreational users might not be aware of the strength of the medication and end up taking too much without realizing. The drug can also take time to reach its full effect which could potentially lead to overdose if users become impatient and start taking more of the drug.

Flubromazepam also has a long half-life and the effects of the drug can last almost the entire day making it the type of medication that the brain gets adjusted to. When this happens it can potentially lead to a serious addiction because the brain gets used to functioning with the effect of benzodiazepine all the time.

Without it the body and mind could go through intense withdrawal symptoms. Even a single use of this drug can lead to a type of withdrawal effect or “comedown” where the user feels depressed the next day. As with any type of benzo, Flubromazepam can be abused for the purpose of achieving a state of relaxation and euphoria.

The drug, however, can become very addictive and lead to tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and potentially an overdose.  A research chemical like Flubromazepam could become problematic the more it is used recreationally.

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5 Physical Coping Skills You Need in Early Sobriety


Treatment Programs -
October 14th, 2014 No Comments

The first few months of sobriety are often the most difficult especially for addicts that have engaged in substance abuse for much of their life. Detoxing can be physically very painful and mentally stressful in a way that can make addicts truly suffer if they do not have any coping strategies to help get through the process.

meditation

The early phases of sobriety involve a lot of withdrawal symptoms that make it hard to focus on the journey of recovery. With the right coping skills it is possible for an addict to get through the most difficult moments of detox and withdrawal without giving in to their urges to use again. These are some helpful skills in coping with early sobriety.

1. Distracting Activities

 Hobbies and activities are necessary tools to have when dealing with the type of withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings that accompany the early stages of sobriety. You need to have a list of distracting activities that you enjoy that will effectively keep your mind off of any urges or cravings to use drugs or alcohol.

When your mind becomes absorbed in something else most of the thoughts about substance abuse tend to fade away. Hobbies should be something positive that you are passionate about and an activity that you know will help you forget about your cravings.

2. Exercise and Focus on Health

Physical health is something that can deteriorate as an addiction progresses. People in recovery might also be dealing with health problems in addition to their emotional issues after years of abuse. Focusing on healthy eating and exercising can be a positive way to reduce cravings and stabilize your mood.

Regular exercise helps release tension from the body so that you experience less physical pain and anxiety while boosting your mood. Healthy eating can also improve any physical ailments associated with withdrawal and keep emotions more balanced in order to lessen cravings. 

3. Meditation and Relaxation

Withdrawal symptoms and cravings can create a lot of stress and tension that can make an addict’s situation worse. It is important to develop a habit of using relaxation tools on a regular basis to prevent stress from building up to a dangerous level.

Meditation can be a useful tool in creating a clear mind and a sense of being calm, peaceful and relaxed both mentally and physically. Mindful meditation can help you become more aware of how often your thoughts turn to certain patterns and you can learn to redirect your mind to the present moment instead of being lost in negative thoughts.

4. Confront Urges

While finding distracting activities can be one method of fighting cravings, another strategy can involve facing the urge to drink or use head on. This is sometimes called “urge surfing” as a craving can be seen as a kind of wave that builds and then dissipates.

An addict can go with the force of the craving without actually giving in to it and wait for it to pass. It is another way to be completely aware and mindful as the feeling occurs without acting on it.

5. Working and Volunteering

A good physical coping skill in recovery is to stay busy and active in more than just hobbies but also meaningful work. Focusing on a new job or becoming involved in volunteer work can help you feel productive and give you a sense of contributing to something bigger than yourself.

You will be less likely to experience cravings or physical pain and stress when you are busy and involved in something that provides you with a sense of personal growth.

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The Mental Battle of Overcoming Physical Dependence


Drug Rehab -
October 10th, 2014 No Comments

While recovery from addiction can involve a lot of focus on improving behavior, a significant part of the struggle is also dealing with symptoms of physical dependence. Even though there is an emotional and psychological connection to drugs for an addict, there is no denying that their body has grown so physically accustomed to abuse that it becomes difficult to function without it.

The initial phases of recovery can be a time when addicts must battle their symptoms of physical dependence as they go through the stages of withdrawal and detoxify their body. Withdrawal symptoms can be painful and often lead to relapse but an addict can overcome their physical dependence if they are following the advice and guidance of their rehab program.

mental battle

The Body’s Reaction to Physical Dependence

As someone’s drug use develops from a recreational habit into full time abuse their body changes and adapts to the chemicals they are putting into it. The more an addict begins to drink or use drugs the more their body will shift and respond to the substance abuse.

One of the characteristics of addiction is tolerance or an increasing need for larger amounts of a drug to get the same effects. Whenever an addict experiences tolerance it means they are becoming physically dependent on a drug and their body begins to require the drug in order to function normally.

As a result of tolerance, addicts may eventually be using excessive amounts of drugs right before they quit. The sudden withdrawal from this amount of drug use can lead to serious withdrawal symptoms as the body is attempting to adjust to functioning without the drug.

The body’s physical response to the lack of drug use can be difficult for addicts to handle and they may find themselves dealing with many thoughts of using again.

Strategies for Overcoming Dependence

During the period of detox and withdrawal, a patient in rehab is likely to experience intense cravings and a desire to use drugs again that is hard to ignore. It is this mental battle with physical dependence that can lead addicts to relapse even in the very earliest phases of recovery. It is important for addicts to have strategies in place that will help them overcome their physical dependence and prevent them from giving in to cravings as they go through withdrawal.

One of the first things to establish while in recovery is to create a support network of people to talk to when experiencing cravings and thoughts of drug use. A support system is there to talk you out of making a mistake and to listen when you are worried you will not make it through recovery. It is a good idea for an addict to have a mentor who has already been through each step of the process and can offer useful advice and empathy in the most difficult times.

Creating and establishing a support system early on in rehab will make the journey easier and more successful in the end.

The hardest part of overcoming physical dependence is in knowing what to do when cravings become particularly hard to ignore. In this phase of recovery, addicts must develop a system of distractions and hobbies that take their mind off of drug use.

When thoughts turn to using again they can read a book, watch a movie, listen to music, exercise, play a sport or do anything that will keep them focused on something other than their cravings. These kinds of hobbies can be helpful in dealing with stress which is another problem that can lead to relapse. Eventually the symptoms of physical dependence will subside and it will be time for the next phase of recovery.

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Drug Court Showing Addicts Can Learn from their Mistakes without Serving Jail Time


Drug Addiction -
October 6th, 2014 No Comments

drug addict

For those charged with crimes related to drug possession and intoxication, drug court programs offer a helpful alternative that not only prevent them from serving time in prison but can also change their lives for the better. Instead of being sent to prison for their crimes, addicts are often given the opportunity to have a second chance if the judge offers them a drug court program.

When people suffer from serious drug addictions and are eligible for drug court they can receive treatment and necessary services so that they can become clean and sober. Addicts must prove to the judge that they can change their behavior, abstain from drug use and hold down a job.

After meeting the guidelines for drug court, people with addictions can avoid a prison sentence while also resolving their issues with drugs.

Rehabilitation through Drug Court

There have been many drug court success stories around the country for people who never believed they would ever recover from their addiction. While addicts may initially see the program simply as an opportunity to avoid a jail sentence, it eventually becomes a life-changing experience as they go through the steps of recovery and learn important tools in intensive treatment.

Participants who are facing non-violent drug charges and are eligible for drug court will be given a treatment regimen and must follow guidelines to prove that they are adhering to the program. Those in drug court are given random drug tests to ensure they remain sober, are also paid house visits and must be involved in a steady job as well as community service.

Addicts are given these requirements so that they can regain their accountability and become more responsible members of society while proving to the judge that they deserve to have their charges dropped. Once the participant has completed their program, judges often find that they are completely different people who have truly turned their lives around.

Effective Treatment and Recovery

Most of the participants in drug court programs are people who were arrested for driving under the influence or possessing illegal drugs. They may often accept the terms of the program without a real understanding of the changes they will have to make to meet all the requirements.

Offenders can enter drug court before their case goes to trial and can then have their charges dismissed once they have completed the program. Some participants can attend outpatient treatment programs so that they are still able to live at home while receiving help but others may be put into residential programs where they will undergo intensive treatment full time in a facility.

Many of these types of programs have shown great success especially and preventing any offenders from recommitting the same drug-related crimes. Those involved in the program must be honest about their drug use and confess if they relapse while undergoing treatment.

They might be punished for their mistakes but some can continue completing the program.

Drug court programs have been a part of the legal system for almost 25 years because they have proven to be an effective way to reduce the population of over-crowded prisons and make a difference in the lives of people with addictions. Studies show that the use of social service and rehabilitation leads to lower rates of reoffenders.

Most participants continue to remain sober, work steady jobs and lead meaningful lives after completing their treatment and drug court program. The positive response of participants in drug court has shown that addicts can be rehabilitated and do not always need to be sent to prison for their crimes. 

 photo credit: MattysFlicks via photopin cc

Seasons In Malibu drug rehab offers world class addiction treatment in Malibu, CA. Call us now (866) 780-8539!
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