Category Archives: Addiction

Men, Alcohol and Abuse

Often, in articles and posts about men and alcohol, you see numbers, such as how many drinks per day are “safe” for a man (which varies according to what source you use.) The amount for a woman is usually listed as well. Or, you might find information on the effect of alcohol on a man’s fertility, for example. But this post is comes after the start of the #MeToo movement, so it’s about the violence that occurs when certain men drink, especially those in positions of power. It’s a topic that has been in the news lately. It’s also relevant in a blog on addiction since high-level executives are occasionally in the news for alcohol use disorder.

Note: It’s well-established that women, as well, can be violent when they drink. This is not to excuse them or say that only men are violent when they drink. And couples can become violent with each other when they drink to excess. But again, this post is informed by the #MeToo movement.

Powerful Men Drinking

One noted journalist who recently wrote an article called “First the Drinks, Then the Hitting,” in the hard copy of The New York Times (online copy may have a different headline), began by mentioning “educated, affluent” women and “a certain cultural panic” that exists around the amount of their drinking (and is often written or talked about in the media). “There is no corollary for men from a similar demographic position,” she says. Indeed, Eric Schneiderman’s “fall from grace” – he was the New York attorney general before he resigned– brought to the forefront the problem of affluent and powerful men drinking and becoming physically abusive toward several women. One of his accusers noted that he was a heavy drinker—having two bottles of wine and then taking a bottle of Scotch into the bedroom and getting “plastered,” which happened five nights a week according to her. (Why the girlfriends stayed with him is head-scratching, but that’s a subject for another time.)

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Programs

Alcohol Intervention

There’s an unspoken supposition in magazines and other media today, according to the article. Women are depicted as worried about going too far when they drink, as a result of the pressures of work and parenthood, while men’s magazines “still pay reverence to the cocktail culture [for men].” The underlying assumption is that men who have succeeded know something about self-regulation, but apparently many don’t. Schneiderman is not the only powerful man to be accused of physically abusing girlfriends or wives; there’s also former White House aide Rob Porter and Silicon Valley entrepreneur Abhishek Gattani, but the others weren’t described as being inebriated when the abuse allegedly happened.

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Schneiderman has tried to say that he was engaged in consensual relationships involving role playing or rough sex. But in an article on bondage, dominance, sadism and masochism, practitioners say that his sexual encounters and those of former Governor Eric Greitens of Missouri “bear little resemblance to consensual B.D.S.M. encounters.” Not only that, B.D.S.M practitioners warn against “partaking in violent sexual activity while drinking alcohol or taking drugs.” You can cause serious damage if you don’t have your faculties about you. The World Health Organization calls this type of abuse Intimate Partner Violence and says that alcohol consumption, especially at harmful and hazardous levels, is a major contributor. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says, “Individuals with alcohol problems attack more frequently, are more likely to inflict serious injury, are more likely to commit sexual assaults, and are more likely to be violent outside of the home than are batterers without a substance abuse history.” More people need to get the message and know that they’ll be prosecuted when victims comes forward. For more information on our drug and alcohol rehab programs please call (866) 569-9391.

Marijuana and Opioids—What’s the Link?

The Marijuana and Opioids Relationship

What’s the relationship between pot and opioids? According to a May article in the Poughkeepsie Journal in New York, part of the USA Today Network, smoking marijuana has the ability to decrease the use of opioids. Specifically, some states that allow the use of medical marijuana and recreational pot have seen declines in opioid prescribing. Medicaid patients are getting fewer prescriptions filled, and in the states where recreational pot is legal, the declines are even greater. The implication, of course, is that if you smoke pot, you don’t need pain relief at the level that opioids provide and don’t seek it.  

The author of the report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government that cited these numbers called marijuana “a potential tool for addressing the opioid crisis.” Additional studies in this area, such as an upcoming one by the National Institute of Health, are on the horizon.

 

Marijuana and Chronic Pain

This latest one will test “whether medical marijuana reduces opioid use among adults with chronic pain, including those with HIV.”

There have also been negative reports about using marijuana for medical reasons, however, such as one in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicating that pot use “increases the risk of an opioid-use disorder.”

The Poughkeepsie Journal article raised also asked about the general harm, or potential risks, in smoking marijuana, and then attempted to answer it. For example, the National Academy of Sciences published a report in 2017 which found that for people who smoke while driving, the odds of being in a motor vehicle accident rose by 20 to 30 percent. (But you already knew about this; you read something similar in this blog about driving and smoking in a May post.)

Outpatient Addiction Treatment

Marijuana and Mental Health

Heavy marijuana use also increases the risk of being diagnosed with a psychosis, and there’s a small risk of developing bipolar disorder. However, the author notes that it’s “hard to establish causality.” He asks, “Are people who smoke pot more likely to develop mental health problems or are people with mental health problems more likely to smoke pot?”

The author summed up by saying that the findings are of questionable significance because almost all risks cited are relative, and overall, the risks are quite low. We need more research, he said, and we may then find more harms. For now, he’s in the camp that points out (believes?) pot’s effects are less harmful than those associated with tobacco or alcohol.

With the legalization of medical marijuana, doctors have another option in providing pain relief besides opioids OR medical marijuana: prescribing a combination of the two. A 2015 article in Forbes reported that “using medical marijuana along with prescribed opioids does not increase the likelihood of a patient abusing alcohol or other drugs.” However, “subjects did report higher rates of alcohol and other drug use than the general population.”

 

Outpatient Addiction Treatment Center

Not many addiction counselors seem to speak publicly about their personal feelings about marijuana for treating pain and other conditions, or about recreational marijuana, for that matter. Yet I’ve heard of one counselor who told the parents of a young man addicted to heroin that he didn’t have a problem with the man smoking pot if it helped him stay off heroin. You wonder if this view is widely held among addiction professionals when a number of them say that pot is still a drug, and it’s possible to become addicted to it. For example, a noted golfer once went to rehab because he couldn’t stop smoking. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see results of a poll that questioned addiction professionals about their personal feelings? For more information contact our outpatient addiction treatment center at (866) 569-9391

 

CA, NY, and Safe Injection Sites

Substance Abuse and Treatment

There is a lot that’s controversial about substance abuse and treatment, such as various issues related to marijuana and whether medication-assisted treatment is the best way to go. For example, one of the more polarizing questions is whether or not people suffering from opioid addiction should be offered safe injection sites, where they would find clean needles and be supervised. These sites are not a new idea; CNN reports that in addition to Canada, Australia and some European countries already have them. In 2017, a California bill proposing safe injection sites in eight counties and certain cities such as Los Angeles failed to pass the state Senate. Had it passed, the state would have been the first in the nation to have them. San Francisco was hoping to start one modeled after the one in Vancouver. One senator said they’d be “shooting galleries for street heroin,” yet another implied they centers would be a heck of a lot better in helping people “get off drugs and lead healthy, successful lives” than what’s happening now.

 Supervised Consumption Facilities 

Yet this year it looks as if cities are taking matters into their own hands, according to the CNN article. In February, The San Francisco Department of Public Health “unanimously endorsed a task force’s recommendation” to open a center. About 22,000 people have overdosed in the city, and in 2017, 100 people died of an overdose there. The mayor said that the sites aren’t ideal, but they’re a necessity with the current opioid epidemic. Two are scheduled to open in San Francisco in July. For people wanting statistics on the likelihood of these centers’ “success,” the article has this: “More than 100 peer-reviewed studies on safe injection sites — otherwise known as supervised consumption facilities — have consistently shown them to be effective at reducing overdose deaths, preventing transmission of HIV and viral hepatitis, reducing street-based drug use and linking people to drug treatment and other services.They can also save cities money, which is not to say they’re a good solution to an overwhelming problem.

 top rehab center in California

Injection Sites 

The video accompanying the CNN article showed an overdose victim being revived with Narcan. It was rewarding to see her “come to,” but on the other hand, it was quite upsetting to see her so out of it initially. The video also explained (and showed) what happens to your body during an overdose, which makes a viewer wish that those hooked on opioids would watch it and consider rehab. New York is having its own its own problems trying to get injection sites, as this headline indicates: De Blasio’s Plan for Safe Drug Injection Sites Faces Substantial Hurdles. The mayor would like four initially, but according to the articles, the federal government may determine that the plan “violate(s) the nation’s drug laws.” A spokesperson pointed to what happened in Vermont, where the U.S. Attorney for the state cautioned officials who want the centers about legal repercussions  (see below).

Rehab Centers in California 

Besides New York, other cities such as Seattle and Baltimore, are moving toward opening sites. Philadelphia has publicly announced that they’d like private companies to set up shop in their city. The Vermont federal prosecutor decreed that using illicit narcotics and managing and maintaining sites on which drugs are used and distributed, is illegal, and would expose workers and drug users to criminal charges. Not only that, but the properties where the centers were located could also be forfeited. De Blasio practically pleaded for the centers, saying they would save lives (and prevent up to 130 overdoses a year). (Last year, the city had over 1,400 overdose deaths.) Around the same time as he appeared on TV, a woman reported that she got clean with the help of a safe injection site but didn’t go into detail. It’s difficult to fully understand the politics, or the weight different government bodies hold in the dispute. How could California try to pass a bill in favor of the sites, when the federal government would likely swoop in as it did in Vermont? And how are cities inviting the centers in when they likely would be stomping on federal law, too? You wonder, as the opioid epidemic rages on, what will happen. For more information contact our top rehab center in California at  (866) 569-9391.

Ecstacy and Ketamine for Addiction Treatment?

Ecstacy and Veterans

There are certain substances that are seen as bad but paradoxically can be used for good. For example, botox is a toxin, but it’s also well-known as a wrinkle treatment. As WebMD cites, it can also be used to treat crossed eyes, uncontrolled blinking, and muscle spasms or movement disorders. It’s helpful for people who experience frequent migraines, too. Now, Ecstacy, also known as Molly, has been found to show promise as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder to help veterans suffering from the condition. Ecstacy alters mood and perception, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal explained that when 26 combat veterans were given two sessions of therapy along with the party drug MDMA, a majority of them benefitted. In fact, there were dramatic improvements in symptoms. They also slept better and “became more conscientious.” Sixteen, or 62 percent, no longer could be said to have PTSD.

PTSD Treatment

This study bears out the results of smaller studies done in previous years. The next step is Phase 3 trials, which will replicate safety and efficacy results, and if all goes well, the FDA could approve the drug by 2021. That doesn’t mean the treatment will be loosey-goosey, however. Indeed, the original headline, “A Drug From the Dance Floor May Soon Help Ease Veterans’ PTSD” was worded differently in the digital version: “Now Ecstasy as a Remedy for PTSD? You Probably Have Some Questions.” There is a protocol. First there are three therapy sessions. In a fourth session, a licensed therapist administers the drug in pill form. Then the patient lies down amid candles and flowers and listens to music. A male and a female therapist sit with the patient as a guide. The drug floods the brain with hormones and neurotransmitters and users report feelings of trust and well-being. Following this session, users “process” emotions in a follow-up session, and take MDMA “two or three times, each a month apart, interspersed with psychotherapy.” Larger clinical trials will validate whether or not the technique really works, and unfortunately, there are side effects, such as headache, fatigue, muscle tension, and insomnia. (Puzzling, since most people reported sleeping better.) What has excited a few experts is that there is a lack of treatments for PTSD, so they’re hopeful. Sadly, as word has spread, some people are self-medicating with MDMA, and as a street drug, it may be found to be mixed with other drugs. Also, frequent use can damage the brain and an overdose can be fatal.

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Ketamine and Veterans

Ketamine, also known as K, Special K, or cat Valium, is one of the club drugs listed on the National Institute on Drug Abuse website along with Methamphetamine, MDMA, LSD, GHB, and Rohypnol. These are frequently used by teens and young adults at parties, nightclubs and the like. Ketamine is also used as an anesthetic for humans and animals, and in addition to GHP and Rohypnol, it’s a date rape drug. Ketamine is known as a dissociative drug because it makes users feel out of control and disconnected from their body and environment. They may hallucinate, have psychotic-like episodes that can linger, and experience respiratory depression, heart rate abnormalities, and withdrawal. A doctor at a veteran’s hospital in Mufreesboro, Tenn., is using the drug to treat opioid addiction, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is supporting him. The doctor, an anesthesiologist, claims a 74% success rate, and said it “resets excited pain receptors” so that patients feel pain “in a normal, manageable way.” The article mentions a veteran who was on opioids after being shot in the hip years earlier. Eventually, he developed an addiction and couldn’t wean himself off. The implication was that ketamine helped. For more information please contact our drug addiction treatment center at (866) 569-9391

Autism, Asperger’s and Addiction in the High-Tech Industry

 Illustration with word cloud on disease AutismIllustration with word cloud on disease AutismA February post postulated that substance abuse may be more prevalent in the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley than is generally known. Anecdotal evidence from Silicon Valley addiction experts who treat a number of clients from the industry suggested that this is true. Why? The stress involved in working in such a competitive environment — trying to be the first to launch a product.

Those with normal and above-average intelligence are said to have high-functioning autism. Asperger’s syndrome is closely related.” The Autism Society explains that people with Asperger’s exhibit “less severe symptoms and the absence of language delays [in childhood]”. WebMD also holds that high-functioning autistic people as well as people with Asperger’s are “good fits for technically demanding jobs. Not only does the internet downplay autistic social deficits, but the language of computers also allows some people with autism to give full expression to their exceptional abilities.”

Perhaps you’ve known or seen someone on the spectrum who seems intensely interested in how things work. One of the experts WebMD quoted said that these people’s brains are wired differently. They “pick out patterns in information and to discern the logical rules that govern systems. That means people with Asperger’s and high-functioning autism often have great talents for creating and analyzing mechanical systems, such as engines, or abstract systems, like mathematics and computer programs.” Gawker reported that “cases of Asperger’s and autism … exploded in Silicon Valley over the past 20 years, according to state-funded outreach workers — an assertion that will come as no shock to users familiar with pedantic, apathetic, tight-lipped and self-serving tech companies.”

To be fair, Silicon Valley isn’t the only area cited as having a high incidence of these conditions. There’s Redmond, Washington, where Microsoft is located, and the northwest Rochester, where IBM is located, is also mentioned as a possibility. Gawker also noted that there are no statistics surrounding the number of programmers and engineers, for example, that are on the spectrum, but “popular belief holds that places like NASA and Silicon Valley are havens for them.” Even Computerworld, one of the industry bibles, has weighed in, with an article titled “Asperger’s: the IT industry’s dark secret,” in which several techies on the spectrum commented. Temple Grandin, who has Asperger’s, says we wouldn’t even have computers without techies with Asperger’s. So where does substance abuse and recovery come in, you might ask. Do people on the spectrum have substance abuse problems like others?

Maia Szalivitz, a “neuroscience journalist” who often writes about addiction, details her thoughts in an article in The Atlantic (which originally appeared in a publication called Spectrum). It opens with the story of a man addicted to heroin who finally got clean. Afterward he was diagnosed with autism, although the signs were there all along. Szalivitz says that for years, the commonly held belief was that addiction among people with autism is rare, since they follow rules and are usually isolated from their peers, for example. But a study in Sweden found the opposite to be true — people on the higher end of the spectrum are “more than twice as likely to become addicted,” and it’s worse if they also have ADHA. Experts in the article say that people on the spectrum find that alcohol eases social anxiety, and they may become addicted. The same holds true of marijuana. Impulsive behaviors in this population are also a problem and can lead to gambling or internet shopping addiction. An article about autism and addiction in Psychology Today by a person who runs a California treatment center included research from the Washington University School of Medicine, where experts studied Australian twins. The findings were that “people with autistic traits were no more likely to drink or use marijuana than people without these traits, but that people with autistic traits who drank or smoked pot were more likely to become addicted to or otherwise abuse these substances.” The writer noted the difference between a person exhibiting autistic symptoms and actually having a diagnosis, however. He posits that “a diagnosis is likely to accompany a more extreme form of the disorder. And it seems from this research as if a more extreme form of the disorder may keep autistic people from even experimenting with substances.” A psychiatrist he interviewed said “it could be that some traits related to autism are protective, while others elevate the risk for alcohol and substance-abuse problems.” If anything, the information in these articles shows a need for more study between autism and addiction.

Let’s Talk about Drinking

With the opioid crisis still going strong, there’s a danger of problem drinking getting short shrift. If you’re the one who’s desperately trying to stay sober, or if you’re the one in four who has been personally touched by alcohol use disorder in your family, you know that we need to keep it in the public eye. It’s that important. To give people hope for recovery, and for funding for treatment and for research, and to educate people, to name a few reasons. Time Goes By is one of the many personal blogs that touches on drinking to excess. In one post, on Elders and Alcohol, the writer recalls growing up in the fifties when alcohol was such a big part of many people’s lives, and a more accepted part. The woman’s father had taught her to make all the popular drinks by the time she was 10, which would be unheard of today. In later years, she realized that her mother was a functional alcoholic who kept it in check at her day job, but made up for it evenings and weekends. She didn’t inherit the gene, the writer says, and doesn’t have a problem with alcohol.

Alcohol Addiction

A number of people felt the need to comment on the post. One believed there’s a similar emphasis on drinking today, as if it has never dissipated, from the media touting the latest craft beer to “paint and drink parties,” to people posting pictures of their drinks on social media. Others felt the need to testify about their personal experience, from abstaining to social drinking, to bringing one’s own beverages to events because the person was finally able to quit drinking and didn’t want to go back. The blog writer includes several excerpts from Medical News Today, a U.K. news site, about how moderate drinking is beneficial. She obviously hadn’t read the article that appeared before her post did—Federal Agency Courted Alcohol Industry to Fund Study on Benefits of Moderate Drinking. It concerns exactly what was spelled out in the headline. Not to cast aspersions on anyone or any study, but we need to research who is funding studies. The article revealed that some people involved “already believed that moderate alcohol is a good thing,” which is also not a good thing.  Luckily, another article, which followed that one, reported that the N.I.H would be investigating outreach to alcohol companies, or examining whether health officials violated government policy by soliciting donations to fund the study of moderate drinking. And following that, another, international study, found that adults should average no more than one drink a day—that many countries’ guidelines are too lenient. Yet according to that blog writer quoting Medical News Today, various studies indicated that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption may lower the risk of stroke in women, and regular, moderate wine drinking might reduce the risk of developing depression, and moderate wine and beer consumption reduces the risk of cardiovascular events.

Summit Estate's alcohol recovery centers

Alcohol Recovery Center

With all the reports about alcohol, it can be hard to determine what’s true regarding the claims. However, no one can argue that if a person doesn’t stop drinking, alcohol use disorder is extremely dangerous. People in recovery occasionally mention not knowing what to say when people ask why they’re not drinking. A person who wrote into a social etiquette column said that one co-worker said he missed drinking with the person, and asked if he wouldn’t have just one drink with him. The writer said that his recovery group suggested he didn’t owe anyone any answers. The columnist responded in line with the group—the writer had no duty to explain himself, especially if he were new in recovery. His message was to focus on himself and not waste energy fending off pals. But the columnist suggested that as time goes on, saying something like “Drinking didn’t agree with me” to acquaintances is good, but to family and close friends, it’s OK to share more of his struggle, which might even give him more allies than just his support group. For more information on alcohol addiction or Summit Estate’s alcohol recovery centers please contact  (866) 569-9391.

Opioid Protests, and an Imodium High? Who Would Believe It?

 Opioid dissent

 Americans have a long history of protesting when they don’t like something. It hasn’t been that long since Occupy Wall Street, the Parkland, Florida students, and the #MeToo campaigns, to name just three uprisings. But who would have thought there would be an actual protest against OxyContin? A lot has been written against Purdue Pharma, the drug’s manufacturer, but to actually take to the street over it? Well, it’s happened. Last month, Nan Goldin, a well-known photographer who was addicted to opioids herself once, led a demonstration at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in a wing named for two Sackler brothers whose family owns the company. The group had a symbolic “die-in” there, marched through the halls and also gathered outside. Their goal was to get buy-in from cultural institutions not to accept money from the family, and to fund addiction treatment. They unfurled banners and scattered pill bottles labeled with the drug’s name and the Sackler name into a reflecting pool. MOMA is not the only museum the family has given money to, either.

 Opioid Protest

Previously, a small protest took place in November outside a VA medical center in Florida when six veterans marched outside to protest opioid deaths and show support for medical marijuana. They carried a casket draped in an American flag and then poured “hundreds of empty pill bottles inside the casket.” Most either had a personal story about opioids or knew someone who became addicted. One vet’s young daughter had died from a seizure and he believed she would had lived if she had access to marijuana for her genetic condition. Can you imagine if families that have lost loved ones due to opioids, or who have loved ones that have become addicted decided to them march en masse in major cities? And if those who became addicted themselves joined them and identified and put pressure on perpetrators to provide funding for treatment? That would be something to see. Some people think progress is being made in the fight against the opioid epidemic because a partnership has been established between the NIH and pharmaceutical companies to develop nonaddictive painkillers. But abuse-deterrent doesn’t mean less addictive at all, it simply means pills are harder to crush or do otherwise with for snorting or injecting them.

a drug treatment program

 Imodium

 Also in the category of “Will wonders never cease?”, it seems that Loperamide—Imodium A-D, the diarrhea stopper, has potential for abuse. If you’ve heard of Joe and Teresa Graedon, you may know they’re syndicated columnists with a health column (The People’s Pharmacy) in which they answer readers’ questions and comment on people’s concerns.  In their March column in The Seattle Times, a reader wrote in to say he or she has been taking Imodium for Irritable Bowel Syndrome for years, one pill a day, and it has been extremely helpful. The person doesn’t have to be near a bathroom shortly after eating. He or she was concerned because the FDA wants to limit the allowable amount to be sold over the counter to packs of eight pills, an amount good for two days. The writer is afraid that the price will go up and it will be difficult to get the amount he or she needs. (Sound familiar? Like the complaints from people who take opioids for legitimate pain and don’t abuse them, and are fearful that more stringent measures may mean they won’t be able to get what they need? Appears so.) The Graedons explain: “Some people have been using high doses….to ease opioid withdrawal symptoms; others have abused the drug in order to get high.” One problem with the latter behavior is that it may result in irregular heart rhythms or cardiac arrest. Who knew an IBS medicine could be used for other than stopping diarrhea?

For more information contact Summit Estate, a drug treatment program, at (866) 569-9391.  

Meth Is Back

Opioid Epidemic

Another consequence of the devastating opioid epidemic in this country is that other substance abuse problems have been overlooked. Not to detract from the opioid overdoses and deaths, but alcohol continues to be a huge problem for many people, for example, and now, it seems that meth is surging back, and it’s cheaper and deadlier than before. The town that is the center of one article is Portland, which has been in the news before for drug use problems. (For that matter, what major city hasn’t?) “Crystal meth…has been all but forgotten,” the writer says, “but it has returned with a vengeance.” And in Oregon, more people are dying from it than are dying from heroin. In 2006, the state passed a law requiring a person to have a doctor’s prescription to buy pseudoephedrine, one of the ingredients used to make the drug, but it hasn’t helped stop the problem. That was after Congress had already taken action in 2005 to: 1) require that products with pseudoephedrine be kept behind the counter at pharmacies, 2) limit the amount of them that customers could buy, and 3) require pharmacies to track sales of products containing pseudoephedrine.

Meth Addiction

It seems that just as people who become addicted to oxycodone switch to heroin because it’s cheaper, the price of the meth on the market now, coupled with the purity, is making meth attractive again. There is a big difference between the two drugs, however, as noted by a Portland sheriff quoted in the article: “Heroin is a depressant. It shuts you down and you’re not capable of doing a whole lot.” [Meth is a stimulant.] “Tweakers are jacked up. They have lowered inhibitions and are awake 24/7, running around at night, so burglaries become easier.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse has more information on its meth page, including a photo of “meth mouth.” It’s usually used as a white pill or powder, which is bitter. Crystal meth looks like shiny blue-white rocks, or glass fragments. (Remember the blue meth in Breaking Bad?) One thing people may not know about meth use is that it puts you at greater risk “of contracting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B and C, …[which] are transmitted through contact with blood or other bodily fluids.” Also, it can “alter judgment and decision-making leading to risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex, which also increases risk for infection.”

a drug addiction treatment center

Drug Addiction Treatment Center

The Narconon website describes meth use in frightening terms: “In its manufacture, methamphetamine is processed using harsh, caustic chemicals. As a result, heavy use of this drug is very hard on the user. Additionally, the lifestyle of a methamphetamine user usually creates further damage. All in all, it is one of the most damaging drugs on the illicit market. Repeated use can show up in an irregular heartbeat, rapid heartbeat, mood disturbances, violent, aggressive, paranoid behavior, confusion and insomnia. There may be a rapid deterioration of the person’s behavior or appearance if he or she is a heavy user.” The website also has a Family Guide to Stopping Meth Abuse page that contains a lot of common sense. For example, rehab is key, and not a 28-day program, either (which is true in most cases, no?). An addiction expert interviewed for the meth article at the beginning of this post said that 80 or 90 percent of heroin users use meth as well, so meth needs more attention. “We need to think about substance abuse more broadly,” he advised. Montana, Oklahoma, and Hawaii have also experienced an increase in meth use, and the cartels are now looking to expand to the East Coast because their profit is so low on meth due to its lowered price. In fact, one of the tragedies related to this drug is a story that comes out of South Carolina, where a 20-year-old woman high on meth gouged her eyes out last month. She now wants to try and keep other people off drugs.

For more information on a drug addiction treatment center & rehab programs contact Summit Estate at (866) 569-9391.

White Collar Professionals and Addiction

Often, the stereotype of someone suffering from alcohol or other substance use disorder is that they’re down and out, barely functioning most of the time, and always looking for the next drink or fix. Yet if you’re at all knowledgeable about addiction, you know that addiction affects people at all socioeconomic levels, including executives in the corner office and other white collar professionals.

 

These employees often work in highly stressful jobs, such as in high-tech companies, where much is expected of them. They also fall prey to the stigma of addiction, so the fear of losing their job is strong.

 

Denial is strong at this level, and the excuses are many.  Perhaps the most common is that they don’t have a problem. Some people say they deserve to drink or take drugs because of all they’re dealing with, or even that they can do their job better with drugs. (I interviewed one woman addicted to oxycodone who said she took a handful of pills every day just to feel normal.) Others say they could never take time from work for treatment.Tyler Fitzgerald, Clinical Director of Summit Estate, says his experience has been that most companies are incredibly supportive of people getting help, especially in Silicon Valley. “What they won’t put up with is the absenteeism, the hangovers, and the outbursts,” adds Jon Heller, Summit Estate’s Admissions Director.

 

You may have done some research and learned that effective treatment facilities group people with similar needs for the best results. A teenage boy does not have the same rehabilitation needs as a high-level executive, for example. Summit Estate caters to white collar professionals with stressful jobs. “We’re the non-luxury luxury treatment center,” says Fitzgerald. “This is not the kind of place where people come and are pampered and get to sleep until noon and have breakfast brought to them. We don’t emphasize the things that aren’t necessary. We focus on real treatment for real people.”

 

Similarly, he explains, the reintegration program is an intensive daily program that can be built around people’s work schedules, if need be. “People continue working with their therapist and their treatment team while being reintegrated into the community and learn how to deal with the everyday stresses of work.” 

 

Even during the program, people who absolutely need to keep in touch with work can be accommodated. “What we do is take away excuses not to come,” says Fitzgerald.

 

On Psych Central, Dr. David Sack explains that addicts may think they’re “getting away with” their addition quite awhile before taking action:  “High-functioning addicts are masters of disguise whose struggles with drugs and alcohol may go unnoticed for years, often with increasingly severe consequences. A … position of power at work … may cushion them from the consequences of their drug use, while a sense of self-importance or belief that they can resolve their own problems may prevent them from seeking treatment.

 

 

Fitzgerald offers the perfect conclusion for this post with an apt observation about treatment: “Our clients could be at their bottom. They could have been called in at work and spoken to about their performance, or perhaps other people have noticed they’ve been intoxicated or are increasingly missing deadlines or work. Everyone’s bottom is the same — you’re up against a wall, and the rug’s about to be pulled out from under you and you’re going to be exposed. Our clients often come to us in a state of panic that they’re going to lose their job; this is the time to save it.” 

Overcoming Abuse with a Drug Rehab Program

Drug addiction is a very serious condition that is very hard to overcome. When you abuse of any type of narcotics, it’s highly likely that you have changed the natural chemical balance in your brain. In this case, attending a drug rehab program is essential to find a successful solution.

Chemical imbalance can increase dependence on drugs, and cause you to need larger and larger doses to reach the same high as you continue using. On the other hand, when your body is deprived of the drug for an extended period of time, you may suffer a wide range of negative side effects, which can include but not limited to cold sweats, headaches and shaking.

Overcoming drug abuse and addiction is a difficult and intricate process since drug abuse affects your body both physically and mentally. When overcome by drug abuse, you are unable to think and reason properly which can result in thinking that your drug use is not a problem. Once you have accepted that drug abuse is a problem, it’s extremely difficult to cope and deal with the withdrawal symptoms.

Basic Steps to Recovery

There are a few steps required to start the journey in overcoming drug abuse:

  1. Recognize the problem

This very first step in overcoming a problem is always recognizing that you have a problem and accepting that your actions or behavior is problematic.

This can be a very difficult thing to do, especially after a long time of qualifying the behavior as a choice that you can stop at any time you choose. It takes a great amount of strength to accept the reality of your problem and do something about it.

  1. A want for change

Once you accept that you have a problem, the next step is wanting to change your destructive behavior. Without making excuses, you need to take a good look at your life from an outsider perspective.

Look at the costs involved in your addiction, which are not limited to finances, but also include your health and relationships. Think about the advice you would give yourself if you were an outsider looking in at your life. 

Overcoming Abuse with a Drug Rehab Program

  1. Get help

As if it’s not difficult enough to recognize that you have a problem, approaching someone else to ask for help is just as difficult, especially admitting that you can’t handle the problem on your own. There is a huge misconception that asking for help is a sign of weakness.

In fact, asking for help is a sign of great strength and that you have the willpower to get overcome the abuse and become even stronger. The next step would be to find the best drug addiction treatment center available for you.

  1. Find professional help

The only way to successfully overcome drug abuse is to seek professional help. Once you have the support of friends and family, consulting with a professional will give you the facilities and tools to help with addiction. Professionals are well-equipped with the right tools and knowledge to help you detox your body from the drugs to eventually overcome addiction. Once you have dealt with the previous steps, you will be able to start removing drugs from your system and learn how to cope with a new drug-free lifestyle.

Find the proper Drug Rehab Program

At Summit Estate, we have a team of professionals dedicated to problems like the one you’re going through now. Give us a call at (866) 569-9391 to know more about how we can help you change your life for good.