Tag Archives: Prevent Relapse

Dopesick the Book

Opiod Crisis

By now you have likely heard of the new book Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America by Beth Macy. Reviews are everywhere, and Macy appeared on radio station NPR and a PBS episode on TV this month. A reviewer at the Roanoke Times, where Macy once worked, says the book “humanizes the opioid epidemic.” And here’s the reason why it’s making news: he says “It is difficult to imagine a deeper and more heartbreaking examination of America’s opioid crisis than this new book by investigative reporter Beth Macy of Roanoke.”

Dope Sick

A reviewer in the San Francisco Chronicle says: “Macy reports on the human carnage with respect and quiet compassion, but it is gut-check reading.” Dope Sick, for the uninitiated, “is the slang term for being in withdrawal from opiates such as narcotic painkillers (oxycodone, hydrocodone, [morphine, fentanyl, or prescription opioids]) and heroin and refers to the symptoms you experience after stopping or drastically reducing opiate drugs after heavy and prolonged use (i.e., several weeks or more),” according to this website. It’s one of the things about addiction that has users going back to drugs, to avoid the horrible symptoms: nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, diarrhea, leg cramps restlessness, cold sweets, loss of appetite, lack of energy, lethargy, dilerium and …other signs…,” according to the Urban Dictionary. So it’s an apt term to use in the title of a book about the opioid epidemic. And what’s so horrendous, Macy says in the PBS interview, is that epidemiologists say we haven’t even hit the peak of the scourge yet; that’s not due until after 2020. Macy traces the history of the problem, and if you think to yourself, here we go again, you’re in for a surprise.

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Center

Addiction Treatment

What she says is really interesting. She points out that middle class Americans were able to hide what was happening longer. Parents didn’t want to tell their neighbors what was going on in their house, so the trouble was allowed “to fester and grow.” If you haven’t heard about some of the early heroes, she mentions a doctor named Art Van Zee who saw what was happening in Appalachia as more people got addicted and tried to get the attention of those in power. They didn’t listen. Macy also discusses the controversy over medication-assisted treatment (M.A.T.), and the TV viewer immediately understands how the “national divide” is not helping in fighting the problem. The PBS program stops in at an M.A.T program run by a former heroin addict to help make her point. Here’s how Macy explained the divide in a 2016 article: “Among public health officials, the effectiveness of M.A.T. has become an article of faith; after all, treatment with buprenorphine and methadone has been found to cut opioid overdose deaths in half when compared to behavioral therapy alone, and it’s hard to argue with that. An addict treating his opioid disorder with Suboxone, many argue, is no different from a diabetic taking insulin.

Addicts & Their Families 

But increasingly, law enforcement officials — and many former addicts and their families — are lining up on the other side, arguing that Suboxone only continues the cycle of dependence and has created a black market that fuels crime.” Here is a more recent article Macy wrote about part of her book. She starts with a call she got from a mother whose addicted daughter was found murdered. Macy had been following the daughter’s story for a couple of years. The woman was taking Suboxone again and was supposedly on her way home to Roanoke from Las Vegas, but was found dead in a dumpster after she didn’t arrive. As the mother had said on the PBS program, it’s hard to know when to offer help to an addicted child and when to push away, for your own good and for the good of others. There’s always a story about a mother and a child in this epidemic, and it never gets any easier. At the end of the program, Macy says that she’d like to mobilize people to care. There have been a number of books written about the opioid epidemic, but if you read just one book about it this year, make it this one.

To receive help or for more information please contact Summit Estate, an alcohol and drug addiction treatment center, at (866) 569-9391. 

How Certain Ways Of Thinking Can Be A Trigger For Relapse

When it comes to sustaining long-term recovery after addiction treatment, it’s important to avoid those triggers that put you at greater risk of returning to drugs or alcohol. Much of the treatment process is about learning how to identify and avoid these people, places and things that can set off an urge to use. While, it’s obvious to avoid the bar that used to be your favorite haunt or stay away from those people who first turned you on to drugs, it’s not always easy to turn off thought processes that can trigger a relapse.

The Power Of Thoughts

In 12 step meetings, there’s a common saying that sums up the power of thinking in terms of addiction. “Your head is a dangerous neighborhood; try not to go there alone.”

You may have already caught yourself heading down a dangerous path with your thoughts. Often, they can start with romanticizing using drugs or alcohol. You may think about the “good times” you had without clearly considering the reality of your addiction and the impact it has had on your life. This is referred to as euphoric recall, and it is dangerous thinking, indeed! Simply thinking of drinking or using drugs can start this process and enable thoughts to turn to cravings.

Fortunately, we all have the power to take control of our thoughts to avoid “thinking triggers” to turn into a relapse.

Ways To Manage Your Thoughts To Prevent RelapseSmall Changes, Big Difference-Ways To Prevent Relapse

The following simple, yet powerful tips can help you manage your thoughts and can serve as an important component of relapse prevention.

Follow The Thought Through The Logical Conclusion

One of the most powerful tips to avoid relapse is to take a trigger-promoting thought through its conclusion. In other words, consider the honest, real outcome of returning to using or drinking. Sure, it may seem like having a glass of wine is not a big deal and can help you unwind. However, one glass of wine could turn into two and easily into an entire bottle, a hangover the next day and disappointment in yourself and from loved ones who have been supportive of your recovery. It’s not wise to only consider the benefit of that glass of wine. In fact, it’s a trap. Work through the realistic path of what happens to allow your brain to realize that drinking or using is not a good idea.

Proactively Tell Your Mind To Stop

This is a technique that cognitive therapists often recommend to patients who are struggling with negative thinking. Yes, it is as simple as telling your mind to stop the thoughts. It may even be necessary to visualize a stop sign or other symbol of halting something. Then, move on to a way to distract yourself. This can be by reading a book, watching a movie, exercising, walking/playing fetch with your dog or talking with a friend.

Share Your Thoughts

Like the saying goes about the bad neighborhood, don’t go there alone. In other words, rely on your support system when you begin having negative thoughts. Talk them out with others in recovery. Go to a meeting. The key is not to ruminate on your thoughts alone which only causes them to grow. Disable your thoughts by sharing them with others!

Get Help Now!

Are you struggling with addiction and need treatment? Have you relapsed and want help returning to recovery? Don’t go it alone! Call Summit Estate now to speak with an addiction specialist. We’re here to help you live a life free from the grip of addiction.

Summit Estate’s Neuroscience Advisor, Dr. Blum: Pioneers Important Advancement To Treat Reward Deficiency Syndrome To Prevent Relapse

For millions of people in recovery, relapse is a frightening word. Though there are many reasons that individuals suffer relapse, one of the more interesting discoveries is that certain people are prewired genetically to have insufficient numbers of D2 receptors in their brains, which can lead to a lack of dopamine, a chemical in the brain, which in turn can increase the chance of addiction.

Summit Estate’s Dr. Kenneth Blum’s Advancement To Treat Reward Deficiency Syndrome

Dr. Kenneth Blum

Dr. Kenneth Blum, Chief Neuroscience Advisor

Summit Estate’s very own neuroscience advisor and pioneer in Reward Deficiency Syndrome, Dr. Kenneth Blum, PhD, has published an article on preventing relapse to reward deficiency behaviors titled “Hypothesizing Balancing Endorphinergic and Glutaminergic Systems to Treat and Prevent Relapse to Reward Deficiency Behaviors: Coupling D-Phenylalanine and N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC) as a Novel Therapeutic Modality.” In the article, Dr. Blum hypothesizes that a novel combination of D-Phenylalanine (DPA), an inhibitor of the enzyme known to breakdown endorphins, and N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), an amino acid-derived compound, will have synergistic attributes to induce dopamine release, as well as dopamine stabilization at the brain reward circuitry via different mechanisms. The hypothesis is that this combination will provide a safe and effective natural way to induce stable and relatively constant levels of dopamine for the millions of sufferers of Reward Deficiency Syndrome (RDS). Read Dr. Blum’s Full Article Here

The Importance Of Dr. Blum’s Hypothesis In Preventing Relapse

A relapse after recovery treatment can occur because addiction is a chronic disorder. There is no complete cure that eliminates the chance of a relapse. Rather, addiction must be managed. The rate of relapse depends on the addictive substance. For example, opiate addiction has a greater than 80 percent rate of relapse. Alcohol relapse can range from 30 to 70 percent. The chance of a relapse can also depend on certain factors and varies from person to person. Those who have RDS have a higher rate of relapse. As well, this is the case for individuals who suffer from mental conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. External psychological and social stressors can also contribute to a relapse. Even happy occasions such as holidays, weddings and celebrations can put someone at risk.

Summit Estate Is A Leader In Relapse Prevention

Watch our Relapse Prevention Counseling Training with Roland Williams: https://youtu.be/g8Qv4t3zzZ8

Get Help Today

If you or a loved one is tempted to drink or use drugs again, time is of the essence. Treatment is required now to help better manage triggers and emotions that can lead to a relapse. Don’t wait for a relapse to happen or get worse. Obtain help and guidance from an addiction treatment specialist by calling us now. Summit Estate specializes in relapse prevention as well as dual diagnosis treatment for those suffering from both mental illness and addiction. Our relapse prevention counseling and real-world tools can help your or a loved one today. Call us now to learn more.

Exposure To Triggers And How To Avoid Them

On the long journey of recovery, there will be many twists and turns. The challenges of life that affect all of us can be more difficult to navigate when you’re in recovery. In fact, they can sometimes lead to relapses that can result in a return to an addiction.

Tough Times Never Last-How To Avoid Triggers-SummitEstate.comMost addiction experts will tell you that symptoms of post-acute withdrawal can last two years or longer. During this time, those in recovery are more likely to re-embrace unhealthy, dysfunctional behaviors that led to addiction. The possibility of relapse is very real.

Yet, the process of working through the early stages of recovery are necessary to reach the state where long-term recovery truly becomes a journey that will last forever. The key is being able to work through life’s unexpected situations and identify the triggers that they can create.

By understanding these triggers and learning how to stop the stages of relapse before they start, recovery becomes easier to sustain.

Common Triggers And What To Do To Combat Them

The following are some common triggers that can threaten recovery. Anyone who is focused on staying sober should be on guard for any of these warning signs of a possible relapse.

Self-Pity – Not taking ownership for choices and feeling like a victim.
Dishonesty – Telling small lies to family, friends or employers can be a slippery slope that can lead to being untruthful about working your program or remaining sober.
Depression ­– Feelings of despair can often happen in cycles. These need to be addressed and treated.
Frustration – Not everything is going to go your way in recovery. Coping skills are required to successfully sustain recovery.
Fatigue – It’s important to avoid becoming over tired. Recovery is largely rooted in embracing good self-care behaviors such as adequate rest, balanced nutrition, and regular exercise.
Impatience – When you’re taking life day-by-day or even minute-by-minute, recovery can seem excruciatingly drawn-out. Instead of focusing on how it’s not going fast enough, it’s important to stay in the moment.
Complacency – Letting up on the vigilance and discipline required for recovery can quickly lead to a relapse. Being committed to taking a daily inventory, 12-step meetings, therapy, meditation and other positive activities can help minimize triggers and the chance of a relapse.

You’re Not Alone – We Will Be With You On Your Journey

Have you or a loved one had a relapse? You’re not alone, and help is available. Don’t try and tackle this problem alone. Our caring and professional staff will treat you with the respect and dignity that you deserve. We will also create a personalized treatment program made just for you.

Call Us Now To See How We Can Help You Break The Cycle Of Addiction!