Category Archives: Addiction

Soccer Moms And Their Secret Addictions

The Secret Addictions Of Soccer Moms-Summit Estate Recovery

The popular term “soccer mom” brings to mind a certain type of individual – a devoted suburban mother who spends a significant amount of time driving her children around town from one sporting event to another in her late model minivan or SUV. Soccer moms are polite, volunteer at school, believe in fair play, put their kids’ lives ahead of their own and rarely say the wrong thing.

The term was popularized during the 1996 presidential election when at the time, political strategists believed soccer moms were mostly undecided swing voters who would influence the outcome of the election. This propelled them to tailor their message to a segment of voters who had never existed before. And, that’s how the parable of the soccer mom was born.

Perfection Comes At A Price

The truth is, the proverbial soccer mom is often an overburdened, stressed out working mother who is burning the candle at both ends. With single income households largely a thing of the past, many moms find themselves pulling double duty, working full time jobs while performing a full daily schedule of motherly duties. It’s not easy living the perfect life, maintaining a spotless household and being the ideal mom. No matter what anyone says, the majority of kids rely on their moms first and foremost. It’s an exhausting, never-ending, emotionally satisfying but draining job.

For some soccer moms, perfection comes at a heavy cost. Relief from unrelenting stress can be found in a glass of wine or a bottle of prescription pills.

The most common mood-altering substances of choice are pain pills, stimulants and alcohol.

Each has its own particular reason for becoming a go-to drug. You won’t find too many soccer moms writing “score drugs/become an addict” on their daily “to-do” list. Unfortunately, many well-meaning moms casually descend into addiction without ever intending to, and sadly, many times without realizing what they’ve done until it’s too late.

In 1966, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones wrote a hit song with “Mother’s Little Helper.” The lyrics describe a spread-thin mom who requires a pick me up to get her through her day. Fifty years later, the story hasn’t changed much.

Personal Addiction Stories Of Two Typical Moms

Here’s two prototypical moms and their stories of how they became addicted.

Busy Carol Needs A Lift

Carol is a programmer with a high paying job, two kids in grade school, a husband who works 55-60 hours a week at a law firm and a jam-packed schedule that keeps her on the go from six in the morning until eleven at night. Just when she thought she couldn’t possibly handle one more thing, her mother broke her hip in a car accident which required Carol to drive over to her mother’s house each night to check on her.

It seemed that everywhere she turned, someone was demanding something of her. She wasn’t able to keep up the pace. Her level of exhaustion was making it hard for her to concentrate at work.

One day, on a routine visit for physical therapy for her mother, Carol asked the doctor if he could prescribe something for her exhaustion.

Rather than face the truth about her ridiculously overscheduled life and make the hard choices required, Carol opted to not rock the boat and maintain her supermom “A” rating. The doctor was only too happy to help and started her off with a Silicon Valley favorite, Adderall. The drug gave her a lift, made it easier for her to concentrate and it also seemed to lighten her mood considerably.

Unfortunately, Carol discovered she could purchase Adderall on the Internet and save herself a trip to the doctor’s office. It wasn’t long before her Adderall experiment turned into Adderall dependence.

Active Lisa Needed Pain Relief

Lisa is a soccer mom who loves her kids and enjoys playing tennis and jogging. Her husband makes a good living running a successful family insurance agency started by his father. Lisa works part-time at the office about 10 hours per week. This allows her plenty of time in the afternoons for the kid’s activities and her own fitness pursuits. One thing about Lisa is she never does anything half way. When it comes to fitness, she pushes herself hard. She’s the top women’s tennis player at her club and she religiously jogs 15 miles a week to stay in shape.

One afternoon, on a typical three mile run through the park, Lisa misjudged the trail and landed awkwardly on a slippery rock. She hyperextended her right foot and heard something go pop. The pain was excruciating. Her doctor prescribed Vicodin for the throbbing in her foot. Lisa had never experienced inactivity before and it really annoyed her.

She started to focus on the pain and nothing else. Lisa found she couldn’t wait for the next pill.

She quickly fell into the habit of taking more Vicodin than recommended. Before long, she was seeing multiple doctors for pain management and doubling up on her prescriptions and spiraling into addiction.

Millions Of Stories Of Addiction

Like Carol and Lisa, there are countless stories of mothers who have slipped into addiction and are afraid they’ll lose it all if they share their problem with a loved one. The reality is addiction can happen to anyone, and the first step in recovery is asking for help. If you or someone you love is struggling with alcoholism or drug addiction, don’t wait another day. Call Summit Estate now to speak with an addiction specialist.

Read About Addiction In Silicon Valley

Born Addicted: Baby Recovers
From Mother’s Heroin Addiction

Mom & Newborn Holding Hands-Baby,Mother’s Heroin AddictionCould anything be more heartbreaking than a newborn entering the world dependent on drugs? A recent article chronicled the crucial first eight weeks of life for a baby born suffering from withdrawal due to her mother’s heroin addiction.

Weaning addicted infants off drugs is a difficult, intensive, multi-step process. Babies suffer withdrawal symptoms similar to adults, such as fever, aching muscles, tremors, diarrhea and sleeplessness, and to make matters worse, they have difficulty eating. Nurses give around-the-clock special care to these infants in recovery, holding them, speaking to them softly, playing music and doing whatever needs to be done to ease their pain.

The Heroin Epidemic

The recent dramatic increase in heroin use has had an unfortunate ripple effect that is being felt throughout the United States. Hospitals report deaths due to heroin have nearly tripled in the last three years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Often initiated by abuse of opioid prescription painkillers, heroin use is impacting all demographics, including even pregnant women and their babies.

It’s a sad reality that some pregnant women suffer from addiction and continue to abuse prescription painkillers or illicit drugs like heroin throughout their pregnancy. The impact of the drug use can be significant and long-term. With the use of prescription opioids during the first trimester of pregnancy, there can be substantial heart problems, and fetal heroin exposure has been linked to a variety of serious complications, including preterm labor and even death. There are also painful withdrawal effects after birth and other serious health consequences for the newborn baby.

Addicted Baby Recovers From Heroin Addiction

As TheWashingtonPost.com reported, in Baltimore, MD, a newborn struggled through weeks of difficult withdrawal and the aforementioned symptoms after being born with heroin addiction. Her 31 year old mother has fought with being addicted to heroin for over 10 years. The hospital where the newborn fought for life, weaned her off of the toxic substance through constant and intensive care.

Find out how the baby and mother are doing now by reading the full story:

Read The Full Washington Post Article Here

Getting Help For Opiate Addiction During Pregnancy

Walking Through Flowers-Opiate Addiction Treatment

Do you know someone who is pregnant and struggling with addiction to heroin or opioid prescription pain medications? This is not a problem that is going to go away on its own. Help is available. The first step is reaching out for local treatment through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A directory of local treatment programs is available on their website and is categorized by state with phone numbers you can call to obtain immediate help.

Opiate Addiction Treatment After Birth

Being a new mother is difficult enough without also struggling with addiction. If you or a loved one needs help with overcoming an addiction, call Summit Estate now to speak with an addiction specialist. Our caring and professional team will guide you or your loved one to a new life filled with hope and freedom from addiction!

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The Addicted Brain: The Dopamine Effect

The Addicted Brain-Dopamine EffectSubstance Abuse’s Effect On Dopamine

Every drug that leads to dependence has been shown to affect the brain’s dopamine system. With some drugs, such as stimulants like amphetamines and cocaine, there is a direct effect on dopamine production while others appear to affect it indirectly.

In the case of alcohol, it does not increase dopamine levels directly. However, there is an indirect link. In fact, everything that provides pleasure has the ability to perpetuate a release of dopamine in the reward pathway of the brain along with triggering an endorphin release.

Research has shown that dopamine produces feelings of “wanting” and “reward,” but this is not the same thing as “liking” or “valuation.” In other words, the dopamine produced from something pleasurable can make you crave more of it and will reinforce habitual use of it whether this is drugs, alcohol, gambling, shopping, sex, or other pleasurable activity.

The Link Between Addiction And Mental Illness

While anyone can gain the dopamine effect of drugs or alcohol, it is much more complex when it comes to someone who is also struggling with a mental illness like anxiety or depression. For these individuals, addictive substances are used to not only gain the benefits of increased dopamine, they are also used to medicate the often painful symptoms of mental illness. This makes both diagnosis and treatment more challenging. This is why it’s so important to choose an addiction treatment provider that has experience and expertise in treating co-occurring disorders.

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Understanding The Numbers Of Addiction

No one begins taking drugs or alcohol with the intention of becoming addicted. Yet, a substantial percentage get caught into the trap of drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. A few statistics to consider:

  • Nearly one in 10 Americans are addicted to alcohol or drugs.
  • It’s estimated that over 95% of individuals who need treatment for alcohol addiction do not really believe they need treatment.
  • The top five most addicting drugs are heroin, cocaine, meth, opioid prescription pain relievers and alcohol.

Do You Have A Drug Or Alcohol Addiction?

Are you concerned that you or a loved one has an addiction to drugs or alcohol? The answer can sometimes seem unclear. Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Do you or your loved one use more of the substance or engage in the behavior more often than in the past?
  • Do you or your loved one experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using the substance?
  • Have you or your loved one ever lied to anyone about your use of the substance?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, addiction is a very real possibility.

It’s Not Easy Admitting That You Need HelpReaching Out-Help For Addiction

Although much more is known now about addiction than in decades past, there is still a stigma and shame associated with it. It can be difficult to admit that you have a problem and that you need help. However, the first step in getting help is reaching out to get it. Call a staff member at Summit Estate today. We will treat you with the respect and care that you need.

We will be with you every step of the way. Call now.

Like What You’ve Read? Check Out More In: The Neurological Science Behind Substance Abuse Addiction

The Neurological Science Behind Substance Abuse Addiction

Substance use and abuse starts when an individual likes the way a particular substance makes them feel. For some of us, it’s possible to enjoy a drink or use a drug and never become hooked. Others cross a distinct threshold and transition into addiction.

A growing amount of research has shown that during this transitional phase into addiction, there are distinct changes that happen in the brain. Because of this evidence that clearly shows addiction is far more than just a character flaw, the science community now widely accepts that addiction should be categorized as a brain disease.

Dopamine And Addiction

Neurological Brain-Dopamine And AddictionThe human brain has evolved in such a way that we learn to survive based on a reward system. When we do things that support our survival, such as eat or exercise, our brain rewards this behavior by releasing a “feel good” chemical called dopamine. Because we enjoy the feeling when this chemical is released, we repeat these behaviors.

Along with the necessities of survival, there are also a variety of substances that affect the “reward center” of our brains. These include drugs and alcohol which release high levels of dopamine. In fact, the release of the chemical can be two to 10 times greater than what is normally released, producing a “high.” Users of these substances can develop a habit to sustain that positive feeling when dopamine is released. This can quickly turn into addiction.

This cycle is further propelled as the brain struggles to regain balance after the effect of a substance wears off. This struggle can produce symptoms of a hangover or withdrawal which can cause physical, mental and emotional pain. For the individual, the substance that is perpetuating the destructive cycle is many times used to combat this pain, further strengthening the addiction.

The Link Between Drug And Alcohol Abuse And Mental Illness

Of course, not everyone who drinks a glass of wine or takes a prescription painkiller will become an addict. Some individuals are more prone to developing an addiction than others. This further shows a connection between the brain and addiction. In those who have a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression, the chance of developing an addiction is significantly higher. Often, drugs or alcohol are used to help numb the symptoms of mental illness.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately 50 percent of individuals with severe mental disorders are also affected by substance abuse. And, 37 percent of alcohol abusers and 53 percent of drug abusers also have at least one serious mental illness. The link between addiction and mental illness is strong, and many who enter treatment discover they require treatment for both addiction and an underlying mental illness. This is why it’s so important to choose a recovery center that has expertise in dual diagnosis addiction treatment.

Are You Struggling With Addiction And Mental Illness?

Women Overlooking Lake-Struggling With Addiction And Mental Illness

You’re not alone. In fact, many people who have a mental illness also abuse alcohol and/or drugs. Don’t take chances with getting the help you need. At Summit Estate, we specialize in treating individuals who have dual diagnosis by treating both the addiction and the mental illness with a personalized treatment plan. Call us to speak with an addiction specialist now.

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Binge Drinking In College: What You Need To Know

College LectureAlthough studies suggest underage drinking, including binge drinking, is on the decline, the fight to curb alcohol consumption among college students is far from finished. The same data that shows that underage binge drinking is down cannot confirm that the situation has gotten significantly better for college-aged Americans.

In general, heavy alcohol consumption among college students impacts a wide variety of people beyond the ones doing the drinking. Those who can be affected negatively include, but are not limited to:

  • Parents of those students
  • Deans and other university officials
  • Campus and local police
  • Residents and property owners near the campus

College drinking typically takes place at the following locations: fraternity parties, residence halls, athletic events (tailgating, most likely), off-campus housing areas, bars and restaurants near campus, and in or nearby concert venues. The farther the drinking location is from campus, the higher probability a student will drive drunk or ride with somebody who’s intoxicated as they make their way back toward the school.

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How Can Prescription Drug Abuse Easily Turn Into Heroin Abuse?

People often assume that prescription pain relievers are safer than illicit drugs because they are legal and prescribed by a doctor. What they don’t realize is that these medications can be just as dangerous as illicit drugs. That’s why it’s important to recognize the dangers associated with prescription pain relievers and why you should always follow the doctor’s recommendations when taking them.

How Prescription Painkillers Escalate Into Heroin

Addiction does not discriminate. Anyone can become addicted to drugs, even if they don’t fit the stereotypical mold society has created.

Let’s take a look at an all-too-common scenario that treatment centers are seeing today:

How Prescription Drug Abuse Can Easily Turn Into Heroin AbuseKristen is a college student and runs track. She’s an excellent sprinter but ends up getting injured in her junior year. She sees a doctor to help manage the pain, and the doctor prescribes painkillers. Kristen has no problem taking them because they are prescribed by someone she trusts. She takes the pills, which work for a while, but then the pain slowly returns.

With final exams and work, Kristen can’t be uncomfortable, so she doubles up on the pills and finally gets some relief. It isn’t long before she builds up a tolerance. Even though Kristen’s pain is getting better, she sees her doctor to get more medication. He refuses. She now has a craving to fill, and she becomes fixated on getting something else. Heroin becomes the next step because it’s cheap, easy to get and has a similar effect as painkillers.

Although Kristen could have never imagined having an addiction to prescription drugs which turned into abusing and becoming addicted to heroin, a prescription drug rehab program in the Bay Area, it’s now her reality.

How Can I Prevent Becoming Addicted To Painkillers?

While prescription pain relievers have a bad rap, the reality is that they do have a purpose. Many people need them at one point or another to provide relief following an injury, accident or operation. It’s possible that you will need them, too, one day. Just because you take prescription pain pills does not mean you will become addicted. There are steps you can take to prevent dependency.

  • Don’t take more than the recommended dosage.
  • If you notice that you are becoming tolerant to the drug, tell your doctor immediately.
  • Take the medication for the shortest amount of time. If you can get by without it, do so.
  • Find other ways to manage your pain such as massage therapy, yoga, meditation or magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) baths.
  • Properly dispose of unused medicine.

Being aware of the dangers of prescription opioids helps prevent addiction. If you know that what you are taking can be addictive, you’ll be more likely to follow the doctor’s recommendations and only use the medicine as necessary.

Summit Estate Recovery Center has a team of caring, compassionate staff that is happy to start you on the journey to sobriety. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug abuse, we can help. Call us today to learn more.

5 Ways A Drug Intervention Specialist Can Help Your Loved One

5 Ways A Drug Intervention Specialist Can HelpOften, the hardest step for someone who suffers from alcohol or drug addiction is to admit he or she has a problem. You may be wondering how to approach the subject with your loved one without causing anger or resentment, and you may feel you lack the proper tools to adequately address the issue.

If you and your family feel this way or you’ve attempted to talk to your loved one with no avail, and they can’t see that their actions are destructive, it may be time to seek the knowledge and services of a professional interventionist.

Find out five ways a drug intervention specialist can help your loved one and your family.

Five Ways Interventionists Help


1. They Are Prepared For Anything The Loved One May Do Or Say

Interventionist Can Prepare for Anything Your Loved One Might Say or Do

An intervention can be an extremely tense event. Both the loved one and his or her family and friends present at the intervention can often experience heated emotions. An intervention specialist is prepared for any type of situation and is trained to respond appropriately and effectively. They are also trained to keep communication healthy and non-confrontational.

2. They Help The Whole Family

Hands-Interventionist Can Help The Whole Family

When someone needs help for drug and alcohol abuse, sometimes family structures need to change as well. An interventionist can help the family know what their roles should be in both supporting the person suffering from addiction and in changing any unhelpful behavior.

3. They Keep An Emotional Distance

Interventionist Can Be Non-Biased With Your Addicted Loved One

Since the interventionist doesn’t know your loved one personally, he or she can remain objective during the intervention. This neutral position can help him or her keep a clear head and address things in an appropriate manner. This often helps your loved one feel less “accused” or “attacked” and more likely to accept help for their addiction.

4. They Often Gain The Loved One’s Trust

Gaining Trust From Loved One

It can be difficult for family members and friends to really understand what their loved one is going through, unless they have suffered from addition themselves. Your loved one has a higher likelihood of trusting the specialist and even of telling the specialist more information than he or she would likely tell the family.

Interventionists often pursue their occupations due to a personal connection with drug and alcohol recovery. Their knowledge and non-biased relationship can help put your loved one at ease.

5. They Give Your Loved One Tools For Success

Giving to Tools to Obtain Success in Recovery

Even though the loved one’s time with the drug intervention specialist may be brief, he or she can help them understand the importance of treatment even before it begins. When your loved one is clear about why he or she is going, and has reached a place of acceptance and true willingness to change, they have a much greater chance of making true progress during recovery and continuing after the program.

Requesting An Intervention For Your Loved One

For drug intervention in Saratoga and the surrounding areas, call Summit Estate Recovery Center. We are here to help your loved one get proper care, tailored to his or her unique needs and situation. Our qualified staff is available to answer any questions or concerns at any time of the day or night.

Take that first step and call us now!

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Are You Drinking Too Much?

Are You Drinking Too Much-Help For Alcohol AddictionAre you worried that you may have a problem with alcohol? Has your loved one’s partying progressed past the point of social drinking into the danger zone? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIHAA), approximately seven percent of all men and women 18 years and older are considered to have an alcohol use disorder.

Alcoholism Can Sneak Up On Anyone

Alcoholism by its very nature is a condition that sneaks up on individuals and can overtake their lives. Before there is full realization of the problem by the person or their loved ones, the damage can already be significant. It’s not uncommon for an alcoholic to suffer serious setbacks such as losing a job, the breakup of a relationship, or severe health consequences, before the first conversation about treatment happens.

Signs You Are Drinking Too Much

Alcoholism is not something to sweep under the rug or to avoid discussing. It’s a progressive disease that only gets worse over time. Because of this, if there are indicators that alcohol is becoming an issue, now is the time to get help.

How can you tell if alcohol is becoming a problem? The following are top 10 signs you may need to visit a rehab center:

  • Daily drinking
  • Increased consumption and tolerance
  • Drinking alone
  • Alcohol is used for stress-relief
  • DUI
  • Lying about or hiding usage
  • Defensiveness
  • Problems with or missing work or school
  • Frequent hangovers
  • Blackouts

Getting Help For Alcohol Addiction

If these signs or others are present, the next step is getting help. Yet, this isn’t always easy because denial of the condition is a hallmark of someone who suffers from alcohol addiction. Because of this, it’s wise to seek outside opinions and professional help.

For many, the best source of help can be found at a personalized treatment recovery center like Summit Estate. For some, this may mean outpatient treatment. For others, the road to recovery may include intensive detoxification and residential treatment.

At Summit Estate, we use proven methods to treat alcoholism in a private, comfortable environment. With a high staff-to-client ratio, we are able to provide a personalized treatment plan for those starting on their journey of recovery.

If you are seeking alcohol addiction treatment in CA, call us now. We will be with you every step of the way.

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How Prescription Drug Addiction Can Sneak Up On Anyone

Prescription drug addiction is a problem that affects people of all ages and from all walks of life. Prescription painkillers, tranquilizers and amphetamines are being abused by individuals who never intended to become addicted.

Who Is Abusing Prescription Drugs And Why?

Prescription Drug Addiction Can Sneak Up On Anyone-SummitEstateOften, the problem begins when an individual is prescribed a medication for an injury or condition. When a doctor says to take a medication “as needed,” it can quickly open up the door for abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 80 percent of heroin users first became addicted to a prescription opioid. The shift to heroin typically happens when it becomes harder to obtain the prescription. Heroin is a readily available, cheaper alternative to prescription opioids.

Teens are also particularly susceptible to prescription drug addiction because the drugs are relatively easy to obtain. Nearly two million teens have abused painkillers, steroids, stimulants and other prescription drugs. The vast majority of teens abusing prescription drugs are getting them from the medicine cabinets of their parents and friends. Drugs are also often stolen or purchased on the Internet and sold by classmates. Teens who are prescribed painkillers for sports injuries are also prone to becoming addicted.

The Slippery Slope Of Prescription Drug Addiction

Some common prescription drugs, such as OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin and Adderall, are highly addictive. Experimentation can quickly lead to abuse and addiction, which can be incredibly difficult to overcome.

Often, an addiction takes hold before loved ones realize there’s something wrong. Once it has been identified, overlooking the problem or taking a wait-and-see approach only leads to a strengthening of the addiction. Anyone who is struggling with a prescription drug addiction requires immediate professional treatment.

Preventing Addiction Before It Starts

Physicians are in a unique position to help identify and prevent prescription drug addiction. By watching out for rapid increases in the amount of medication needed or unscheduled refill requests, they can help prevent the escalation of an addiction. Pharmacists can also help by being watchful of prescription falsifications and alterations.

Individuals need to be made aware of the dangers of these drugs and the chance of becoming addicted to them. If an individual notices that he or she needs more of the drug to get the same relief or is taking the prescription more often, it’s time to seek alternative, healthier options. Tell your doctor of your valid concerns and seek holistic therapies or other alternatives that actually benefit and strengthen your body.

Compassionate Help Is Available

If you are seeking prescription drug addiction treatment in the Bay Area, call Summit Estate Recovery Center now. With an experienced medical staff and substance abuse counselors, we are highly experienced in helping individuals overcome addictions to prescription drugs.

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Is My Partner An Addict? What Can I Do?

It can be painfully difficult to witness anyone going through addiction. However, when it’s under your roof and it’s your partner who is addicted, the situation can be scary, stressful, and very uncertain.

In the early stages of the addiction, there may be confusion in the household. The non-addicted partner begins to see behavioral changes and other uncharacteristic symptoms. Interestingly, it’s often the ones who are closest to the addict who are the least likely to notice the changes because the behaviors are often gradual and subtle.

Is My Partner an Addict-What Can I Do-SummitEstateRehab

Common Behavioral Changes In Addicts

However, over time, there are telltale behavioral changes that indicate that addition is a very real possibility. Some of the most common behaviors displayed by addicts include:

  • anger
  • flying off the handle
  • paranoia
  • anxiety
  • difficulty at work
  • lack of interest in personal hygiene

Is It Time To Address The Problem?

It’s never easy confronting a loved one who may be struggling with addiction. A good place to start is to consult with an addiction expert or a physician for clinical signs to look for. From there, the next step can be to encourage the individual to see their physician or to get a medical opinion. However, if there are very noticeable signs of an addiction that appear to be getting worse, such as a stash of empty bottles, bags of pills, or containers with drugs, it may be time to conduct an intervention.

Before doing this, it’s wise to obtain the help and advice of either a professional interventionist or a family support group for addicts. It’s also a good idea to find a professional addiction treatment center or detox facility that is ready to provide the appropriate care.

Time Is Of The Essence

Addiction can destroy relationships and families. Addicts often exhibit behaviors and actions that can affect everyone around them. They are also at risk of accidents, injuries and serious illnesses. Addiction is not something to put off for another day or to sweep under the proverbial rug. It’s a very real disease that requires immediate attention.

Is your partner falling further into the grip of addiction? Call Summit Estate for help today. We are here to guide you in the process of getting your loved one the help they need and deserve.

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