Nearly everyone is exposed to drugs at some point in their life, whether it be at school, work, with friends, or something you seek out on your own.
One hot topic of debate has been whether we can predict who potential drug addicts are before they become addicted.
Society seems to be focusing more and more on instant gratification; however, a quick fix tends to come with long term consequences.
With the stresses of life weighing down on people, some tend to turn to drugs - not understanding the long-term mental effects that come with them.
This article will help to shed some light on drugs that can lead to a permanently disturbed mental state, and more specifically, how schizophrenia can become a real long-term risk.
A relapse into abusing drugs and alcohol is a very normal part of most people’s recovery from their substance use disorder. If you have completed a successful addiction treatment program, experienced a period of sobriety, and then fell into a full-blown relapse, please be aware that you are not alone. Experiencing a relapse is not uncommon. Most psychiatric doctors and other professionals in the field of addiction treatment will tell you that relapsing is a normal part of most patient’s recovery efforts. If your cravings and thought patterns turn into using drugs or alcohol again, it does not mean that you have failed at recovery. It is essential for you to maintain hope, as there are many resources available to help you. It is your reaction to the event of a relapse that is critical to your end goal of long-term sobriety. Express forgiveness to yourself or your loved one who may have recently relapsed. Learning from your mistakes is the best way to ultimately heal, as the path to sobriety is a long and difficult one. We know because we’ve been there.
“Treatment of chronic diseases involves changing deeply rooted behaviors, and relapse doesn’t mean treatment has failed.”
–National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
How common is a relapse for people who go through a drug rehab program?
It is estimated that 40-60 percent of people who maintain sobriety through rehab, treatment, and recovery will relapse into heavy use, while 70-90 percent will relapse and use again at least once. In the medical field, a relapse used to be treated as an uncommon thing, but this has largely changed due to the advances in behavioral science and addiction therapy. Sadly, many addicts are stigmatized by society as hopeless drug fiends or treated with the perception that they are a bad person for their substance use. Many of us here in the addiction treatment industry are advocating a different perspective. With addiction being a curable disease, you could compare it to the relapse rates of people with other medical problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or asthma. The rate of relapse into these common medical diseases is close to the same as for people with a substance abuse disorder. Treating this as a medical condition will help erase the stigma associated with drug and alcohol abuse.
As we have seen the overdose epidemic explode in the United States, it is important for us to begin treating this as a serious medical condition, not a criminal activity reserved only for the ‘bad people’ in society. As you are reading this now, most of us know someone dearly who has struggled with some form of substance abuse. While we look to help those closest to us, deep down inside we know there is still a good person underneath the surface of their drug or alcohol addiction.
It is estimated that nearly 72,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in 2017. That’s nearly 200 people who die, each and every day. – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Warning: your drug tolerance levels will change. Relapsing is an extremely dangerous situation.
It is extremely important to note here that many who relapse will overdose their first time because they think they can do as much of the drug as they had been doing before they went through detox and a period of sobriety. Simply put, your body cannot handle as large an amount of the drug, even though they had built up a tolerance over their period of substance abuse. Your tolerance has changed through recovery and you might not be able to handle the “usual dose” as you have in the past and you could immediately die. We cannot stress this enough, so please keep this in mind throughout your post-recovery stage as most people do not plan to have a relapse.
Learn more about relapse prevention and the specific relapse triggers to avoid from Riverside, California drug rehab: https://10acreranch.org/why-do-i-keep-relapsing-5-ways-to-become-stronger/
Addiction and mental health issues are deeply connected to the human brain. Roughly one in five adults in the United States was living with some form of mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. According to NIMH estimates in 2017, there were 46.6 million Americans living with at least one type of mental health problem. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate their inner feelings from clinical depression, PTSD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, or other types of mental illness. Sadly, these people will go on living their lives, without a proper diagnosis from a doctor. Many of these patients will turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism for their internal mental or emotional struggles.
Behavioral therapy, support groups, and other mental health services used to treat a dual diagnosis.
In the field of addiction treatment, when someone has a substance use disorder, coupled with another form of mental health issue, we call this a co-occurring disorder or a dual diagnosis. Sometimes addiction treatment alone is not enough. Many people who struggle with addiction also have a co-occurring mental health disorder that adds to their substance abuse problem. In a dual diagnosis treatment program, your treatment plan will be customized to meet your specific individual needs. A personalized addiction treatment plan is the best chance for a successful recovery in the case of dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder.
Treatment for co-occurring disorders at a drug rehabilitation facility will commonly include a variety of physical, mental, and behavioral therapies. These are designed to work together on an individual basis, to help the patient with their mental health and to overcome their addiction. These will typically be conducted through a combination of individual and group therapy sessions.
Your treatment providers will work with you during your stay at rehab to formulate an aftercare plan that will help you stay focused on your recovery after you leave their direct care. Outpatient treatment programs, 12-step support groups and relapse prevention strategies will help you during this crucial, early phase of your recovery.
Detox from drugs or alcohol is the first step in diagnosing an underlying mental health issue.
Cognitive impairment from long term drug and alcohol abuse can often interfere with the proper diagnosis of mental illness. Once a patient undergoes a full medical detox, cleansing the chemicals from the body and mind, clinicians can start to assess the patient’s underlying mental health. This is a crucial part of addiction recovery, as many patients might not even realize they have been living with a mental health disorder. Some people have been using drugs or alcohol on a daily basis, filling up most of their daily life with intoxication. This can go on for years and years, without them ever realizing they have an underlying struggle with mental health.
When a patient finally experiences sobriety for the first time in a long while, the emotional stress can be very difficult to overcome. Stress, anxiety, sadness, and guilt are all commonly experienced when someone first enters addiction recovery services. This is why it is important for someone who struggles with drugs or alcohol to seek rehab from a professional treatment facility. These facilities should offer detox and recovery services for addiction treatment while a dual diagnosis drug rehab will offer help with emotional recovery, medication management, stress reduction, and other crucial mental health services. With the support of the right program, it is entirely possible to transform your life and rebuild yourself from the ground up.
To learn more about addiction treatment for people with underlying mental health issues, please visit Houston, Texas area drug recovery here: https://morethanrehab.com/2019/05/04/mental-health-and-addiction-treatment/
If you or a loved one is currently struggling with addiction, please understand that you are not alone. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there are over 21.7 million people in the United States who currently need treatment for an issue concerning addiction or substance abuse. Many people who experience a problem with drugs or alcohol will not realize the importance of a healthy diet and regular exercise. Living and eating healthy should play an important role in their recovery from addiction. Typically, when someone has abused drugs or alcohol over a long period of time, substance abuse has taken its toll on their physical and mental health. Through recovery from an addiction, a lot of emotional and mental growth is necessary to rewire the brain, helping to cure the symptoms of the addiction. The patient’s physical health should be a major concern as well. Developing healthy eating habits can help ease some of the early withdrawal symptoms. This will also provide a basis for total body, mind, and spiritual health.
For most people who have struggled with alcoholism or drug abuse, the disease of addiction has created other habits, besides just substance abuse. They will have likely developed some severe nutritional deficiencies as a result of their addiction. For someone who has abused alcohol, the client has usually replaced the calorie intake of food with calories from alcoholic beverages. Some who have developed an addiction to stimulants like cocaine or methamphetamine may have skipped entire days of eating food altogether.
Focusing on eating healthy, nutritious foods early on in the initial detox phase of the recovery process is important not only to the physical well-being of the patient but also to the mental health of the individual as well. Replacing the use of illicit drugs or other substances with eating healthy meals, on a regular schedule, will help the person in recovery to develop new habits. This is the beginning of a whole new life, as these habits will play a major role in their successful recovery from addiction.
Food has a profound influence on the way the brain functions. As someone who has studied nutrition, we can assure you that eating unhealthy foods can cause a multitude of health problems. Some chemicals found in fast food can actually have addictive properties in themselves. It is fairly common for us to discover that many people who enter a drug rehabilitation program, sadly cannot remember the last home-cooked meal they ate. Most of these patients will admit that they would simply eat McDonald’s or Taco Bell every single day, that is if they even ate food at all. This is essentially malnutrition and it can have a profound, lasting effect on the mind and on the body.
What healthy foods should I eat while in an addiction treatment program?
A healthy diet in recovery will take into account the levels of serotonin and try to balance them through eating nutritious foods. Serotonin is a hormone produced in the brain that regulates mood and helps the body relax. There are many types of foods to consider as part of a healthy diet for recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. A healthy diet for someone in recovery should include the following:
To read the entire list of healthy foods that can aid drug recovery, please visit Costa Mesa, California addiction treatment at: https://healingpathrecovery.com/addiction-blog/how-good-healthy-food-can-aid-drug-recovery
PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder is a mental health issue associated with past trauma and is a major factor affecting most people’s addictions. Often, the individual will self-medicate for their PTSD, or other mental health issue with drugs or alcohol, whether or not they even realize that’s why they’re doing it. The connection between stress, anxiety or past trauma and addiction has been thoroughly researched in the scientific community. New discoveries about mental health and diseases like addiction are coming out all the time. EMDR therapy or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is a very helpful and successful treatment method for people who are struggling with addiction. EMDR has been shown to help patients address and overcome their past traumatic experiences, in a constructive and lasting way. Addiction treatment centers who utilize EMDR therapy can directly target the underlying causes of a patient’s addiction.
EMDR is an effective treatment for PTSD, epilepsy, anxiety, and a wide range of other physical and mental health issues. This includes addiction along with any underlying mental health issues or dual diagnosis. EMDR processes any past experiences that are causing pain and their relationship to current situations that contribute to the person wanting to compulsively use drugs or alcohol. This greatly helps the client incorporate changes into their lives to fit their individual needs and make healthier choices in the future.
For people in a drug rehabilitation program, EMDR treatment shows exceptional results in helping them attain long-term sobriety.
From 2004-2009, the Thurston County Drug Court Program in Washington state performed a study of 220 non-violent, felony drug offenders. In the study, participants were offered an “Integrated Trauma Treatment Program” (ITTP), which combined 2 empirically supported treatment methods, EMDR therapy, and Seeking Safety groups. The preliminary research found that individuals who voluntarily completed the ITTP, graduated from drug court at a rate of 91%. This was far higher than for those who did not complete the program, who graduated at a significantly lower rate of just 57%. This, along with many other follow-up studies have given credence to EMDR therapy as an effective substance abuse treatment method.
Numerous other studies have shown lower rates of recidivism and relapse for participants who received EMDR therapy. For participants that received EMDR therapy, the recidivism rate was 12%, while people who declined EMDR had a much higher recidivism rate of 33%. One of the major reasons people who struggle with addiction continue to relapse (or re-enter the court system) is partially due to their co-occurring mental health issues going untreated. Detox and some cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, or legal threats from authorities can only do so much in helping a person quit using drugs or alcohol.
Addiction is a complex disease. Drugs and alcohol can easily become a coping mechanism for people to deal with past traumatic experiences.
In the addiction treatment industry, co-occurring disorders are the rule, rather than the exception for people who suffer from a substance use disorder. Comprehensive treatment options can offer the best outcomes for a patient’s ultimate recovery, which includes complete abstinence from substance abuse. When a person exhibits a substance use disorder, their brains commonly have inhibited responses in adaptive information processing (AIP). This term refers to the theory in the psychological community, that all instances of trauma are stored in the brain’s neural network, causing the brain to behave irrationally at times. As your brain encounters new experiences, the information that is processed gets installed into a network of pre-existing neural pathways. Once there, your mental responses can be distorted by past or current emotionally-traumatic experiences. These integrated memories are stored with your emotional responses, which inherently guide your future actions and decisions.
To read more about EMDR Therapy as a treatment for addiction, check out Huntington Beach, California drug recovery at: https://healingpathrecovery.com/addiction-blog/emdr-therapy-addiction-treatment