Help for Heroin Addiction

With the recent death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, the topic of heroin use has increased significantly. Heroin is actually one of the most common addictions in America among adults with many loved ones of addicts not recognizing the symptoms of addiction.
Signs of heroin addiction
If someone is high on heroin, they may be extremely calm, but when the high begins to wear off, they become anxious or even sick. Sometimes the only way to be able to tell if someone is struggling with heroin addiction is if you notice their withdrawal symptoms or needle injection marks.
Withdrawal signs
If you or your loved would like to stop using heroin, it will be helpful to enter a detox program so that the withdrawal symptoms can be monitored and you can be in a safe atmosphere. Substance abuse professionals will offer you support while you detox and oftentimes be able to provide you with certain medications that decrease the amount of withdrawal symptoms. During your detox period, your body will be rid of the chemical toxins and you’ll return to a drug-free state. Detox is just the first step in treatment, as after care treatment such as an inpatient or outpatient rehab is recommended to continue with education and heroin addiction treatment.

Withdrawal symptoms are rarely fatal, but they can be intense. You will find that the symptoms peak usually within 2 to 4 days and disappear altogether after a week to 10 days. The withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on how much heroin has been used and for how long. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

Feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, irritability
Body ache, particularly in the legs and back
Sweating, runny nose, teary eyes
Diarrhea, stomach pain
Nausea, vomiting
Fever
Restlessness, insomnia

The withdrawal symptoms will subside in […]

How to Create a Relapse Prevention Plan

Even though you may receive addiction counseling and/or work a program of substance abuse recovery, chances are you will encounter unexpected cravings when it comes to the drug of your choice. Addictions have a tendency to cause occasional cravings- especially when you face some common triggers. The best way to contend with such is to create an Addiction Relapse Prevention Plan that will help you to know what you can do when those cravings occur.

You can create your own Relapse Prevention Plan or you can ask someone for some assistance. Oftentimes a counselor, sponsor, or someone familiar with addictions will help you to create one that works for you. Here are some things to consider as you create yours:

Identify your addiction triggers.

A trigger is a person, place, or thing that causes you to want to use your drug of choice. For example, if you see a commercial on television for alcohol, it could cause you to crave a drink. Or if you drive by the dope man’s house, you could be tempted to turn into the driveway. Identifying your triggers and doing whatever you can to avoid them is helpful in staying clean. This is especially important in the beginning stages of recovery, as cravings can become pretty intense and relapses are more common among newcomers to recovery. You might think you have a lot of will-power, but sometimes will-power is not enough when it comes to addiction, so a plan is necessary.

Make a list of those you can call.

When you encounter a trigger or an intense craving, have a list handy of those you can call for support and encouragement. This will come in handy as you unexpectedly run into an urge or […]

Major Causes of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Among The Youth

There are numerous reasons why young people use drugs. Past studies in the field of substance abuse consistently show that young people use drugs as a way of “having fun”. Recent studies, however, have shown that many teens take drugs to solve problems. This is imperative for parents to understand because they often underestimate the impact of stress on their loved ones. By appreciating and understanding what motivates them, you can possibly step in and help them find effective ways to deal with their problems.
Top causes of substance abuse
Low self-esteem
A 2007 PATS Teens study reported that 65 percent of young people use drugs to “feel cool”. It is a well-documented fact that young people’s self-worth depends, almost entirely, on the approval of their peers. Desire for social acceptance can also drive teens to do things that may harm their lives, including abusing drugs. The same study also revealed that teens use drugs to “feel better about themselves”. Other studies have also shown that teens with low self-esteem are likely to seek acceptance from the wrong groups, including those that abuse drugs.
Stress
Partnership for a Drug-Free America, in their recent study, reported that the number one reason why teens use drugs is to deal with problems, pressures, and stress of school. Surprisingly, only 7 percent of American parents believe that teens can use drugs to solve problems. The truth is that more than 70 percent of young people who use drugs use them to escape reality. Maybe they are not doing well in school or maybe they feel that they are not appreciated by their teachers.
Misinformation
Studies have shown again and again that teens are widely misinformed about the dangers of substance […]

Sober Is One Thing But Recovery Is Another

For the alcoholic, putting down the drink is one thing and it’s a great thing, but it’s not all there is to recovering from alcoholism. Once you stop drinking, the work on yourself begins and self-reflection is not always an easy task. Alcoholism affects so many men and women and much of the time when they are ready to surrender to the fact that they have a problem, they are pretty far down emotionally. They may also be experiencing financial or relationship problems.

Various modes of alcohol addition treatments are available, from detox and rehab centers, to intensive outpatient counseling, and 12 Step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous. Each of these methods of treatment treat addiction, but also help a recovering addict to contend and get through the negative emotions and behaviors they bring into recovery. One of the first things that recovering addicts learn is that just putting down the drink or drug does not mean you are recovering. You might be clean, but recovery is much more.
It’s a lifelong journey
Recovery from addiction is a lifelong journey. If you’re involved in a 12 Step recovery group, you probably run into a few recovering addicts who seem to have their lives together. Perhaps they’ve been in recovery for many years and have worked on themselves consistently. You might look at them and wonder why you aren’t feeling the same way they are. The answer is that they’ve been on their journey to self-discovery and growth much longer than you.

Sober is one thing, but recovery is another. What investment are you putting into your recovery? Are you attending counseling? Are you going to 12 Step meetings? Do you have a sponsor? […]

Three Stages of Oxycontin Recovery

The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that over one million people in the United States struggle with the addiction of Oxycontin. This is quite alarming since there are plenty of side effects and the potential of overdose that come along with using the prescription pain medicine.
If you are struggling with Oxycontin addiction, you’re not alone. Good news is that there is plenty of help available for you when it comes to getting free from such an addiction. The first step is to recognize that you are dependent upon Oxycontin and are having a difficult time coming off the drug by yourself. Once you’ve admitted that, reach out for help via a detox or rehab center, a therapist, and a 12 step recovery program. As you embark on your journey to becoming free, understand that you will experience withdrawal symptoms when coming off of Oxycontin. Knowing what these stages are ahead of time should decrease your anxiety.
Stage 1: Withdrawal
Once you stop taking Oxycontin, you will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms for a period of time. The severity of this stage will depend on how long you’ve been using Oxycontin and how much you’ve been using. Most experts recommend you go to a detox center to get through the withdrawal symptoms, as there you have access to support and IV detox therapy that will make the withdrawal process more comfortable. The IV therapy essentially helps flush the toxins from your body and can quicken the detox process. Common withdrawal symptoms include:

Muscle aches
Shaking
Sweating
Uncontrollable shaking of the legs
Sleep problems
Diarrhea
Hallucinations

Stage 2: Happy
Once you’ve gotten through your withdrawal symptoms, you’ll most likely enter a stage of happiness about your recovery. For the first time in probably a while, you’ll […]

Drug and Alcohol Abuse: Counseling

As discussed in previous postings, there are many different effective methods for approaching drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation. One of the most highly revered and useful approaches is that of counseling. Counseling offers the individual a resource to open up to about their journey in and out of addiction and aids in releasing emotional stresses associated with rehabilitation. In this article we will discuss counseling in it’s entirety and how it relates to drug and alcohol abuse.
The Importance of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselors
In the drug rehab center setting, counselors play a very vital and crucial role. Trained and skilled counselors help treat and guide the addicted individual on different therapies and physical and emotional exercises that help train the brain to drop the addiction need and move past the withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, drug and alcohol abuse counselors help to change the patient’s daily routine by offering different methods and ideas to keep the person busy and moving toward his or her goals.

Counselors and nurses are different in the rehab center because they both play different roles, however they are still supporting the addict. As in the case of the counselor, he or she is primarily there to guide and direct the patient in a psychological sense, rather than a medicated or detoxing sense. The counselor is there for the patient to talk to, confide in and work through emotional stresses and issues.
The Different Types of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counseling/Therapy
Group Therapy
One of the most seemingly and proven to be effective therapies and counseling is that of group therapy. The goal of group therapy is to meet with other like-minded people who have underwent the same issues as the addict. These people are […]