Misunderstood Facts About Drug Rehab

10 Commonly Misunderstood Facts About Drug Rehab

In the United States today, more than 23 million people are struggling with substance use disorders.  The sad thing is that only about 10 percent of these individuals receive the treatment they so desperately need.  Is there a reason why so many people don’t enter addiction treatment programs? It’s possible that some of the commonly misunderstood facts about drug rehab are part of the problem.  Let’s take a look at some of these misconceptions and provide the facts to debunk them.

Misinformation About Drug Rehab Can Generate Fear

It’s surprising in today’s world to find that so many individuals don’t know the truth about drug rehab.  With an abundance of information at their fingertips, there is no reason for people to base their opinions about rehab on hearsay and false information.  Their lack of knowledge about rehab has caused a significant number of people to fear rehab and avoid treatment for their addictions.

The best way for a person to overcome their fear of rehab is to learn the facts.  Of course, rehab isn’t easy for anyone.  However, going into it with the right expectations and attitude can make all the difference in a person’s successful recovery.

10 of the Most Commonly Misunderstood Facts About Drug Rehab

To help a person overcome their fear of rehab, we have chosen ten of the most commonly misunderstood facts about drug rehab to debunk.  Hopefully, the right information will lead someone to take action and begin treatment right away.

1. Only hardcore addicts need rehab.

This misbelief has caused many people to avoid treatment until overdose or death occurs.  It is never too early to enter a rehab program, regardless of the substance involved. In fact, the sooner a person begins treatment, the easier the process will be. Also, long-lasting damages to the person’s health are diminished if they enter rehab early in the addiction.

2. Only mentally ill addicts need rehab.

Most people don’t realize that many addicts suffer from mental and emotional issues along with their addiction.  It is impossible to recover from addiction without also treating these mental problems. In a drug rehab facility, detox addresses the physical aspects of addiction.  A combination of counseling, education, and skills training helps addicts understand what caused their addiction and how to avoid the triggers that can cause a relapse.

3. Rehabs force religion on you.

A person seeking addiction treatment today has many options when it comes to the type of program they need.  While many of the programs are faith-based, there are non-religious programs available.

4. Rehab doesn’t work.

When a person goes through rehab and then relapse shortly after, it’s easy to assume that the program didn’t work.  But, relapse is often the result of leaving the program too soon, choosing the wrong treatment plan, failure to take advantage of an aftercare program after rehab.

5. Being in rehab is like being in prison.

Although a rehab program has strict rules, the environment is far from oppressive.  Patients can leave anytime they want, however, they jeopardize their ability to stay sober.  Most rehabs offer daily activities that help patients relax and have a little fun while working on recovery.

6. Detox is all I need.

This is one of the most common misconceptions about drug rehab.  Detox is only the first step in recovery, not the cure-all. When a person goes through the detox process, they are addressing the physical part of their dependence on a substance. The next step after detox is to learn how to effectively cope with life’s challenges without resorting to drugs or alcohol. A rehab program offers a comprehensive assortment of options to help recovering addicts learn how to avoid the behaviors and environment that contributed to their addiction.

7. I’ll lose my job if I go to rehab.

The fact is, you can go to rehab and still keep your job.  The Americans with Disabilities Act protects persons who work in government jobs or private companies that have 15 or more employees.  Also, if a company gets federal funding, the Rehabilitation Act protects individuals who need to enter rehab.

8. All rehabs are the same.

Not true.  There are hundreds of programs that offer a variety of amenities and approaches to treatment.  Today’s treatment providers realize that each addict has their own unique needs.  Their programs provide a personalized approach to treatment.

9. Rehab gets you hooked on other drugs.

Depending on the drug involved, your addiction can be treated without using other addictive substances.  You have the option of choosing a different approach to treatment that doesn’t involve drugs. Keep in mind that with some substances such as heroin, the withdrawals can be intense or dangerous, and medicated detox is often the best option.

10. Relapse means rehab failed and I failed.

As discussed above, relapse is not an indication that anyone failed.  It simply means you need to reenter treatment or make some changes in the environment you must occupy.  It’s also important that you join an aftercare program following rehab to benefit from the continued support and guidance they offer.

Learn the Truth About Drug Rehab at Awakenings

If you would like more information about the most misunderstood facts about drug rehab, contact us today.  We will be happy to tell you about our program and we can help you succeed in beating drug addiction for good.


drugabuse.govTreatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

ada.govInformation and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act

Substance Abuse and HIV

Is There a Connection Between Substance Abuse and HIV?

The HIV/AIDS epidemic and substance abuse go hand-in-hand in many cases. Earlier, it was mainly related to intravenous drug use. However, today it is a factor in widespread substance abuse. The connection between substance abuse and HIV is the fact that the abuse of many substances, including alcohol, increases the chance of high-risk sexual activity.

High-risk sexual activity includes having sex with multiple partners. You might be having sex with various partners, some of which have the HIV/AIDS virus. Some individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol knowingly have sex with other people in exchange for drugs or money to obtain drugs.

How do Individuals Contract HIV/AIDS?

Many myths persist to this day about how you contract HIV. There are only a few ways to transmit HIV.  It can be transferred from one person to another who are sharing needles for injections, commonly injecting illegal substances. HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors.

People can also transmit this disease through sexual behaviors. Having unprotected sex is very risky for individuals. Many people who abuse drugs or alcohol are more prone to have unprotected sex when under the influence of these substances. The effects of drugs as well as alcohol can have intoxicating effects, lowering inhibitions as well as judgment.

Other ways HIV/AIDS are contracted include:

  • From mother to child before or during birth or while breastfeeding
  • Infections from blood transfusions or accidents in healthcare
  • Sexual contact through semen, vaginal fluids, or blood
  • Through other materials used in making or injecting drugs

Transmitting HIV is not possible through these bodily fluids:

  • Sweat
  • Saliva
  • Tears
  • Urine
  • Feces

You cannot get HIV/AIDS from any blood-sucking insect. Also, many individuals wonder if you can contract HIV from shaking hands, hugging someone who is HIV positive, or sharing toilets. You cannot contract HIV in any of these manners.

The Connection Between Substance Abuse and HIV

As with most diseases, HIV patients have a strict regimen of taking different medications. If a patient is using alcohol, they will not take their prescribed drugs in the way necessary to prevent full-blown AIDSHIV is a human immunodeficiency virus. Alcohol abuse weakens the body’s immune system. A person whose immune system is already compromised can quickly develop AIDS if not taking their medication as required for their disease.

Another connection between substance abuse and HIV is the impact both of these diseases have on the liver. HIV medications affect liver function. Alcohol adversely affects the liver. HIV or AIDS patients may also suffer from hepatitis C which also affects the liver.

Seek Help for Addiction to any Substance

As you can see, the connection between substance abuse and HIV is real. Misuse of any substance can have a dangerous and fatal outcome. If you are struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol, don’t continue on your path of destruction.

Seek help from a licensed and reputable inpatient addiction treatment facility such as Awakenings Rehabilitation. There are many benefits to attending inpatient treatment. Contact one of our informed representatives today to learn more about the treatment programs we offer. We can help you design a program that will be successful for your individual needs and preferences. Our representatives can also answer any questions you may have about our facility.

Don’t take a chance with your health by taking part in high-risk behavior because of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Get the treatment that you so deserve to get back to a healthy way of living without using drugs or alcohol. Don’t gamble with your life. Contact us today!


drugabuse.govHow Does Drug Abuse Affect the HIV Epidemic?

hiv.govHow is HIV Transmitted?

Addictive Personality

How Can You Tell if You Have an Addictive Personality?

Have you ever wondered, “Do I have an addictive personality?” Do you have the personality traits that predispose you to addiction? While this subject is constantly debated in the medical field, some professionals believe that certain personality traits can make you lean more towards addiction.

More Than an Addictive Personality, Certain Factors Exist

While we can’t say that certain individual personalities cause addiction, there are certain factors that do contribute to an individual becoming addicted to a substance.

Some of these factors can include:

  • Inability to cope with stress
  • History of compulsive behavior
  • Lack of social support
  • History of abuse or neglect
  • Drug use among peers
  • Socioeconomic status

While no one personality trait or risk factor can cause a person to become addicted to a substance or behavior, some of them can make an individual more prone to becoming addicted if using drugs or alcohol.

Some Addicts Share Common Addictive Personalities

While each person is a unique individual, there are some traits that are shared by different addicts. Different substances satisfy different needs for individuals. Some of the addictive personality traits do exist in people with different types of addictions.

These traits can include:

  • Compulsive behavior
  • Depression
  • Substituting vices
  • Low distress tolerance
  • Antisocial personality
  • Difficulty delaying gratification
  • Insecurity

Individuals with compulsive behavior issues are either “all in” or not at all interested. They either do something perfectly or are disinterested or a complete failure. They have a problem doing anything in moderation. A person with an addictive personality such as compulsive behavior is prone to develop an addiction.

People who struggle with depression or any other form of anxiety may be more prone to develop addictions. They tend to use substances such as drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their problems. These individuals use substances as escape mechanisms. In the same way, a person who has a history of childhood abuse or trauma is more likely to develop an addiction as a way to keep from facing reality.

Another Addictive Personality Trait – Substituting Vices

Are you the type of person who substitutes vices? You may stop drinking alcohol, only to pick up another unhealthy addiction. If you have an addictive personality, chances are that if you stop one addiction, you will start another. For example, you may stop doing drugs but start overspending money on a daily basis as another vice to satisfy your addictive personality. You may stop drugs and start gambling every day as a result. This is a problem you need to find a healthy way to deal with.

Another personality trait that is common with addiction is insecurity. Individuals who feel insecure in relationships such as trusting someone else or who can’t make a commitment may abuse alcohol or drugs as a way to gain self-confidence.

Healthy Ways to Handle an Addictive Personality

There are healthy ways to control your compulsive behaviors and unhealthy vices. Start to focus on eating healthy foods and exercising.  Once you do these two things, you will feel better and have the energy to do other fun activities.

When you feel depressed or isolated from the world, find an activity to do to take your mind off of your issues. Instead of drinking alcohol or using drugs, go for a walk, read a book, find a crossword puzzle to work – anything other than unhealthy ways to deal with it. After you do these activities for a while, they will come as normal ways to deal with other issues in your life.

If You are Struggling With an Addiction

If you are struggling with addiction to alcohol or drugs, find a reputable licensed inpatient addiction treatment facility and get the help you need.  Our treatment center has a compassionate staff that will make you feel at home as you go through your treatment programs and addiction counseling.

Don’t let an addictive personality control your future. You are not doomed to a life of addiction just because you have a few personality traits that could point you in that direction. If you have started abusing a substance, you can overcome the addiction and return to a healthy and happy life. You will learn coping skills in a rehab facility to help you handle any situation without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Contact one of our representatives at Awakenings to learn more about the many treatment programs we offer. They can answer any questions you may have about our facility. Don’t wait another day; call now!


drugabuse.govDrug Misuse and Addiction

Overdose Deaths Among Women

Skyrocketing Overdose Death Rates Among Women

One thing that doesn’t change when it comes to drug addiction is the fact that it doesn’t discriminate.  Anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, financial status, or gender can succumb to the effects of an addictive substance.  However, since the turn of the century, the number of overdose deaths among women has skyrocketed.

Although overdose deaths continue to rise among both genders, the overall drug overdose death rates associated with synthetic opioid abuse among women climbed 830 percent from 1999 to 2017.

Let’s look at a few more statistics provided by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) to get a better idea of the scope of the problem among women in these age groups:

  • 30 to 64 –  A 260% increase from 6.7 deaths in 1999 to 24.3 in 2017.
  • 55 to 64 –  Since 1999, a 500% increase in drug mortality.
  • 30 to 34/50 to 54 – An increase of 350% in drug-related deaths.
  • 43 to 48 – The average age at death caused by overdose between 1999 and 2017.
  • 55 to 64 –  Deaths from prescription opioids rose more than 1,000% between 1999 and 2017.

The CDC report also shows that overall, some drugs that are used together that contributed to the death rates.  For instance, the intentional or unintentional use of fentanyl in combination with heroin, cocaine, or opiates is not uncommon.

What is Being Done to Reduce Opioid Misuse and Overdose Deaths Among Women?

In recent years, public health efforts to reduce opioid abuse or misuse among women have increased.  The CDC calls for a multifaceted approach to curb overdose deaths among women.

Research shows that each woman experiences changes throughout life that affect the effectiveness of a substance used or abused for treating pain.  For that reason, physicians who treat women for depression, anxiety, or pain must consider gender-responsive treatment.

Women are also cautioned about the dangers of opioid use during pregnancy which can result in neonatal abstinence syndrome.  According to SAMHSA, about 5.4 percent of pregnant women aged 18 to 44 used alcohol during their first trimester of pregnancy.  Also, about 4.8 percent used alcohol in their second trimester, and 2.4 percent in the last trimester.

Are Women More Likely to Become Addicts Than Men?

Research shows that men are more likely than women to use illicit drugs and have higher rates of abuse or dependence on illicit substances than women.  However, women may be more likely than men to experience cravings and relapse.

Studies also show that women who use drugs may have contributing factors that put them at higher risk for drug abuse or addiction.

  • Issues related to the menstrual cycle, hormones, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause are unique reasons why a woman uses or abuses drugs.
  • The hormonal fluctuations can cause women to be more sensitive to the effects of some drugs.
  • Women who use drugs experience different brain changes than men who use the same drug.
  • Women are more likely to need treatment for an overdose on certain substances.
  • Females are more likely to experience anxiety, panic attacks, or depression with certain substances.
  • Women’s substance use progresses more quickly from first use to addiction.
  • Withdrawal symptoms may be more intense for women.

Because of the above issues, the NIH and other agencies are pushing for clinical researchers to include women in the studies.  In the past, the studies were based on male subjects only. This can cause significant health risks for women. For instance, the dosage amount for Ambien has been cut in half for women due to the number of females who developed addictions or overdoses while taking this drug.

Should Rehabs Offer Treatment Programs Specifically Designed for Women?

Many women find it difficult to seek help for addiction during pregnancy, while others find it hard to find childcare so they can attend treatment.  Also, what works for men in an addiction treatment program may not be effective for women. Experts agree that treatment should include considerations for the specific needs of women in treating substance abuse or gender-specific treatment.

Overdose deaths among women have skyrocketed, but that trend can be stopped, and lives can be saved with the right treatment approach. Learn more about addiction treatment for women by calling our toll-free number today.


cdc.govOpioid Overdose

samhsa.gov18 Percent of Pregnant Women Drink Alcohol During Early Pregnancy

drugabuse.govSex and Gender Differences in Substance Use

Most Deadly Drugs

Recap: The Most Deadly Drugs in the US in 2018

According to the CDC’s National Vital Statistics Report, an average of 50,000 people die from drug overdoses each year.  Many of those deaths are attributed to Fentanyl that has been mixed with opioids or cocaine. Fentanyl is now considered the deadliest drug of all time, causing more overdose deaths than any other drug on the streets today.  But, Fentanyl and its derivatives are not the only culprits in this path of misery and death raging across our country. Let’s take a look at the most deadly drugs in the US this year.

Death Certificates Reveal a Shocking Truth About the Most Deadly Drugs

In recent years, cocaine and heroin mixed with Fentanyl have become more common.  This may account for the combinations of drugs shown on death certificates.

Some of the other most deadly drugs most often listed on death certificates of persons who overdosed were as follows:

Through the years, different drugs took the number one spot for overdose deaths.  For instance, in 2012, oxycodone ranked first out of the most deadly drugs. Between 2012 and 2015, heroin took the spot. In 2016, Fentanyl became the number one killer. However, during the entire span of years, cocaine consistently ranked second or third place as the most deadly drug in the US.

It’s also interesting to note that between 2011 and 2016, the overdose death rate involving heroin and methamphetamine more than tripled.  Furthermore, between 2013 and 2016, the overdose rate attributed to Fentanyl doubled each year. In New York City alone, during the first quarter of 2018, about 360 people died from drug overdoses.  That’s about one death every six hours. Fentanyl was involved in over 80% of those deaths. Sadly, more New Yorkers die of drug overdoses than suicides, homicides, and vehicle accidents combined.

Most Deadly Drugs Used in Suicides

Overdose deaths are mostly associated with illegal drugs. However, a surprising number of overdoses and suicides are attributed to legal prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines.

Suicides are often committed using a combination of drugs like OxyContin and Valium, or OxyContin and Xanax.  The drugs most frequently listed on death certificates of individuals who committed suicide are Benadryl, OxyContin, Xanax, and Vicodin.

Impact of Drug Overdoses on Society

As drug overdose deaths continue to rise, the impact on society is staggering.  The problem has escalated to the point of having a negative effect on life expectancy rates in the United States.  This is something that has not happened since World War II. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death for individuals younger than 55 years of age.  Life expectancy has decreased by nearly four months due to the drug crisis.

It’s difficult to accept that such a prosperous developed country as the United States should suffer a declining life expectancy. But, the numbers don’t lie. Hundreds of people are dying from a drug overdose at this very moment across the nation.

Costs to Society by the Numbers

Society as a whole also suffers from the impact of drug overdoses in lost productivity in the workplace, youth who will not grow up to be contributing members of society, and financial repercussions associated with addressing drug-related crime, treatment, prevention research, and deaths.

Overall, the cost of drug abuse in the US is about $820 billion a year. Here’s how it breaks down:

Impacts of drug abuse on the healthcare system include about $161 million for ED visits and $5.5 million for hospitalizations due to overdoses.

Drug abuse accounts for $49 billion in reduced work days, $48 billion for incarceration, and about $4 billion for premature deaths.

The costs to society are not only measured in dollars.  Other factors that create problems stemming from drug-related issues include:

  • Crime, unemployment, homelessness, divorce, domestic abuse.
  • Spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.
  • Adverse health effects on unborn children.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Deaths from an overdose.

Many addicts mistakenly believe they are hurting no one but themselves. But, the above numbers tell a different story altogether.

Treating the Most Dangerous Drugs in the US

At Awakenings Rehabilitation, we help bring down the number of deaths due to drug-related causes. If you or a loved one needs treatment for addiction, please contact us today. We have helped hundreds of people eliminate drugs from their lives and become contributing members of society once again.  Our experts know how to treat addictions to the most deadly drugs in the US, and we want to help you.

  • cdc.govNational Vital Statistics Report
  • – The Numbers Are So Staggering. Overdose Deaths Set a Record Last Year
  • – Unintentional Drug Poisoning (Overdose) Deaths Quarter 1, 2018, New York City
  • – 25 Most Dangerous Drugs
  • – Trends & Statistics
Drug Overdose Facts

Drug Overdose: Is It Accidental or Deliberate?

A drug overdose is just one of the many serious side effects of substance abuse. And, whether it is alcohol, illegal drugs or prescription medication, addiction will always be a concern. Getting treatment that will help overcome the mental or behavioral issues that led to drug abuse is critical in avoiding the shockingly high probability of an eventual drug overdose.  Read more to learn the drug overdose facts that might surprise you.

Drug Overdose Facts and Statistics

A drug overdose can be either accidental or intentional. Unintentional drug overdoses tend to happen when people take more of a prescription medication than initially intended to achieve a specific result or when an addict uses too much of an illegal substance to get a better high. Intentional overdoses are usually the result of someone trying to commit suicide. Regardless of the intent, any drug overdose can have severe and lasting consequences.

Drug overdose facts provided by different organizations:

  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there were over 64,000 deaths in the United States due to a drug overdose in 2016 – nearly double what it was just ten years prior. Almost 18,000 overdose deaths involved prescription opioid pain relievers in 2015 according to the same report.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sale of prescription opioids in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2014, but the amount of pain Americans report has not seen an overall change.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that 3 million American teens between the ages of 12-17, 9 million between 18-25, 26 million between 26-50 and 13 million age 50 and older had used prescription medication of non-intended/non-medical use.
  • Drug overdose facts from a local Delaware publication state 11 people died due to a drug overdose during the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend bringing the overdose-related death total to 215 for the year.

Signs and Symptoms of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse is one of the most poorly recognized types of chemical dependency. Prescription drugs work by either suppressing or promoting chemical reactions in the brain.

The three different classes of prescriptions that are most susceptible to abuse are:

  1. Stimulants: most commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  2. Opiates: most often prescribed to treat severe or chronic pain
  3. Tranquilizers/sedatives: frequently prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or sleep disorders

Drug-seeking behaviors are the primary warning signs of prescription drug abuse. These behaviors include:

  • Frequent requests for refills from physicians
  • Losing prescriptions and requesting replacements regularly
  • Crushing or breaking pills
  • Stealing or borrowing prescription medications from family members, friends, or co-workers
  • Consuming prescriptions much faster than indicated
  • Visiting multiple doctors for similar conditions
  • Inconsistent answers to questions about prescription usage
  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Consumption of over-the-counter drugs for the same conditions that a doctor has prescribed other medication
  • Ordering prescription medications over the internet
  • Several other behavior patterns often accompany prescription drug addiction such as:
  • Noticeable mood swings corresponding to availability or absence of prescription drugs
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Increasing irritability, especially when prescriptions are unavailable
  • More frequent alcohol consumption

Causes of Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drugs are more controlled than over-the-counter medications. Only a licensed medical doctor, dentist, optometrist, or veterinarian may write the prescription. Registered nurses, medical assistants, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives, emergency medical technicians, psychologists, and social workers as examples, do not have the authority to prescribe drugs.

An alarming number of people are predisposed to becoming addicted when they start to abuse prescription drugs even after a legitimate prescription was written for them by their doctor. According to the drug overdose facts provided by NIDA, prescription drug abuse is increasing. The availability of drugs is likely one reason. Doctors are prescribing more drugs for more health problems, and the growing number of online pharmacies can make it easier to get prescription drugs without a prescription.

Most individuals don’t begin taking prescription drugs with the intention of abusing them. Over time, tolerance for the medication increases and they have to use more to receive the same effect. Many prescription drugs have the potential to become physically or psychologically addictive. To abruptly discontinue prescription medications could result in serious medical complications, like seizures or convulsions.

Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse

When prescription drugs are taken for emotional problems without having been prescribed by a medical professional, or when they are used more than the prescription, addiction and chemical dependency and easily form. Although the abuser may not experience their depression for a period or they may be temporarily able to stop obsessing about a specific problem, in most cases, the problem is just made worse as they are not learning how to efficiently cope with the particular feelings and issues that lead to drug use.  This is one of the most perplexing drug overdose facts so far.

The abuse of prescription drugs often results in adverse effects on personal relationships, employment difficulties and job loss, financial difficulties, legal issues, and psychological problems. Prescription drug abuse and addiction are severe medical conditions that require professional treatment. Reducing the use of specific prescriptions can cause serious medical complications.

A True Account of Prescription Drug Abuse

Wendy started taking Vicodin after having a painful cyst removed from her knee at age 17. She was never told she could become addicted. The first pill made her slightly nauseous, but it also dulled the pain. She took the next medication six hours later – as prescribed. It made her feel warm and tingly.

The physical pain disappeared. It made her feel light as if she were floating.  In culinary school, Wendy heard about an appetite suppressant called Fen-Phen and got a prescription from her doctor. It made her less hungry and gave her energy. She continued taking Fen-Phen well after getting a job as an assistant manager at a restaurant after college. Soon, the pills weren’t enough. A doctor prescribed a muscle relaxant to take the pain away. Combined with Fen-Phen, she felt energized yet numb. The pills usually kept her in a good mood, but every now and again they had the opposite effect.

When Wendy was 29, she had surgery to fix two ruptured disks in her spine and was prescribed Vicodin. Just as when she was 17, the lighter-than-air feeling returned. Before long, she was taking one pill every two hours instead of every four to six. The Vicodin became less and less useful over the next few months. Wendy began to “doctor-shop” looking for anyone who would give her more pills. She was even visiting 24-hour urgent care clinics on the weekends saying she had run out or was going on a trip and didn’t want to run out.

A Steady Descent Into Drug Abuse Danger

After moving and getting a new job as an office manager for an upscale restaurant, Wendy learned about Adderall – a stimulant often prescribed for ADHD. It was popular with some restaurant workers because of the energy boost it provided. One pill made her feel more focused than ever before.  This is one of the drug overdose facts that people often overlook.  When a person gradually increases their dosages, the put themselves in danger of overdose or death.

Shortly after, a pain specialist discovered three more collapsed vertebrae in her neck and recommended surgery. The doctor prescribed OxyContin. The first pill made her feel as if everything in her life was easy and delightful. Finally, when her doctor cut her off two months later, she was taking OxyContin, Vicodin, and Adderall.

Paying the Ultimate Price

Wendy’s doctor read off the other offices she had visited and other prescriptions she had been given over the past few weeks. She started stealing prescription drugs from friends and neighbors. Of course, no one suspected her. She was a manager for her company. People trusted and respected her.

Three years, four cities and a divorce later, Wendy knew she was in trouble.  On her 40th birthday, Wendy visited a friend. They hugged hello, and the friend noticed Wendy was burning up with what seemed like a high fever. Later, Wendy awoke drenched in sweat and thought she had overdosed. She woke her friend and told them she had a pill problem. By that time, Wendy was taking three Adderall, four OxyContin, and twelve Vicodin every day.

Fortunately, Wendy went to rehab in Southern California. After detox, inpatient treatment, a transitional house, and a sober-living house, she took a job as an intake counselor at a recovery treatment center.

Getting Help for Prescription Drug Abuse

Wendy’s story is becoming increasingly commonplace. Millions of Americans have reported using prescription drugs for non-medical purposes. It can be difficult to detect if you or a loved one have a problem. Since prescription drugs can vary widely in their uses and side effects, there are no clear-cut signs that prove addiction. Someone who is continuously sleepy or who appears intoxicated could be under the influence of a depressant, such as Valium or Xanax, while hyperactivity could be a sign of dependency on a stimulant such as Ritalin or Adderall.

If you or someone you know is addicted to prescription drugs, the best thing you can do is reach out to a professional treatment center and seek help.  Heed the drug overdose facts listed above, and get into rehab immediately.

Alcohol Addiction Facts

Alcohol Addiction Facts and Treatment Options

In this contemporary era, alcohol addiction is a profound problem that adversely affects the lives of millions of people. If you are an alcohol addict who wants to turn your life around and embrace a healthier, happier future, it’s essential that you gain as much information as possible regarding addiction and treatment options. To get started, review the alcohol addiction facts found below.

It’s no secret that many American citizens struggle with alcohol addiction. According to statistics, more than 16.6 million people aged 18 and up have an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).

Adverse Effects of Excessive Alcohol

As many alcohol addiction experts know, abuse of the substance can have a profoundly negative impact on an individual’s life.

Some of the adverse effects that come from abusing alcohol include:

  • Alienation from friends and family members
  • Poor work performance
  • Poor grades in school
  • Perpetual money problems
  • Legal troubles
  • Compromised immune function
  • Mood disorders

In addition to the above, excessive alcohol consumption can produce a long list of health complications.  Some of those problems include high blood pressure, kidney and liver damage, heart disease, memory loss, certain cancers, and more.  Other alcohol addiction facts you should know include signs of alcoholism and treatment options available.

Signs of Alcohol Addiction

A wide range of symptoms can indicate that an individual has an alcohol addiction. Some of them include:

  • Repeatedly neglecting your responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drinking.
  • Using alcohol in dangerous situations, such as while driving or operating machinery.
  • Experiencing ongoing legal troubles because of your drinking.
  • Continuing your abuse of alcohol even though it strains your personal and professional relationships.
  • Drinking to alleviate stress.

Another sign of alcoholism is experiencing withdrawal symptoms after temporarily ceasing use of the substance. Some withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Trembling or shakiness
  • Jumpiness or anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Appetite loss

When a person feels that he or she must consume alcohol to feel “normal,” it is time to seek treatment.  Many of these individuals believe that because they continue going to work each day and keeping the bills paid, they aren’t an alcoholic.  The truth is, these individuals are known as “functional alcoholics,” and they need professional treatment before they begin losing everything they love in life due to their drinking.

Is There a Solution to Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol addiction can have a variety of adverse effects on your life, but finding the right solutions can help you live in a more productive, positive way. As many addiction experts know, the single most effective solution for alcohol addiction is enrollment in an inpatient alcohol treatment facility. These facilities provide addicts with a variety of services that help them overcome the pain and power of addiction.

Some of the services offered in an alcohol treatment facility include:

  • One-on-one counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Nutritional classes
  • Life skills training
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Restorative exercise
  • Transition planning
  • Aftercare

Many facilities offer a choice in faith-based, traditional, 12-step, or others.  The best programs are those that allow patients to choose a plan that addresses their specific needs and preferences.

Learn More About Alcohol Addiction Facts

If you or a loved one are currently addicted to alcohol, it’s important to know that attaining professional treatment services can be the key to turning your life around. Enrolling in a professional facility enables you to benefit from the personalized, detail-oriented services necessary to facilitate long-term recovery. By carefully reviewing the alcohol addiction facts provided for you above, you can make an informed decision regarding whether enrollment in an alcohol treatment facility would be appropriate and ideal for you.

Choosing the right program for alcohol addiction treatment can be a challenge.  The number of choices and facilities can be overwhelming.  If you are in the process of choosing a rehab, contact us at Awakenings Rehabilitation to learn how we can help.

National Recovery Month

Celebrating With Those Who Overcame Addiction:  National Recovery Month

Every year, the month of September brings a sense of change.  We say goodbye to hot summer days and look forward to the upcoming cooler days of fall.  But, the month of September is significant for another reason. It is the time for National Recovery Month celebrations across the U.S.  During this time, recovering addicts are given a venue for sharing and celebrating their successes.  Also, thousands of organizations and individuals step up to spread awareness about the dangers of drug abuse and the benefits of addiction treatment.

This national event, which is sponsored by SAMHSA, also spotlights the efforts of many dedicated individuals in the addiction treatment industry.  Without their expertise and compassion, many struggling addicts would not be celebrating recovery today. Recovery Month also seeks to help people understand substance abuse and the mental health disorders that often accompany addiction.

A New Message of Hope Each Year

Recovery Month is now in its 29th year of spreading hope to those who struggle with addiction.  This year’s theme is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in Health, Home, Purpose, and Community.”   With this message, we hope to demonstrate how a strong community, integrated care, a sense of purpose, and leadership all work together.

SAMHSA provides a variety of resources for individuals or organizations who want to participate in any of the many events.  A Recovery Month toolkit is available that makes it easy to get involved. It includes templates, logos, banners, flyers, brochures, information, tips for event planning, and many other helpful items.  If you are interested in participating in National Recovery Month events, the toolkit information is here.

Who are the Recovery Month Planning Partners?

With support from SAMHSA and CSAT, the Recovery Month planning partners are responsible for planning the month-long events.  The partners include more than 300 federal, local, and state government entities. Other partners include nonprofit organizations, treatment providers, and more.

You can help involve the national or local chapters in your state by asking them to collaborate on Recovery Month planning.

Celebrating Recovery Every Day at Awakenings

At Awakenings Rehabilitation, we celebrate recovery each time one of our clients graduates from the program. As they move forward to reclaim their lives, we are proud to have been a part of their success.  We have helped hundreds of people overcome their addictions and enjoy fulfilling, drug-free lives, and we look forward to helping even more.

At Awakenings, we understand that an effective program requires a variety of approaches and tools to accomplish the goal of lasting recovery. For that reason, our program includes methodologies that target the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual aspects of the addiction. With a combination of compassionate staff, education, skills training, and behavioral modification, our clients are ensured of the highest level of treatment available.

Depending on the substance involved and the duration and severity of their addiction, clients can choose from a variety of programs.  For instance, we offer detoxification, residential programs, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs. Our goal is to make recovery possible for everyone.

Find Out More About Awakenings Rehabilitation Today

If you or a loved one needs help for addiction, Awakenings is here to help.  Our program has earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Behavioral Health Care Accreditation.  This gold seal demonstrates that we provide continuous compliance with their high standards for safe and effective care.

Awakenings offers programs that are individualized for each client’s’ needs.  No one is forced to adhere to a treatment routine that they are not comfortable with.  We believe that when a person has trust in the program and the staff, they are more likely to remain in treatment for the duration.

Call Awakenings today to learn more about how we can help you overcome addiction.  We will also be happy to provide any information about National Recovery Month that you request.

Dangers of Tianeptine

Opioid Addicts Turning to Dangerous New Fixes

Opioid addicts are creative when it comes to getting their next fix.  Their latest trend involves a dangerous new drug known as Tianeptine.  This drug is not approved in the U.S., according to the CDC. But, it is sold in European, Latin American, and Asian countries for treating anxiety and depression. It is available in capsule, tablet, and powder form and is easily obtained from online commercial sources.  As the drug becomes more widely used in the US, the dangers of Tianeptine will be more obvious.

What Makes this Drug Attractive to Opioid Addicts?

Tianeptine is popular among opioid addicts because it produces effects that are similar to the effects of opioids.  According to the CDC, the number of calls related to Tianeptine abuse increased exponential between 2014 and 2017.  About one-third of the calls were located in the South and the average age of the persons involved was 35 years.  Also, about 80% of the calls were about men who had abused the drug.

One reason opioid addicts use Tianeptine has to do with the fact that it may not show up on opioid drug screenings.  Furthermore, in the United States, higher prices on opiate prescriptions and stricter controls are forcing addicts to seek alternatives such as heroin and Tianeptine.

Side Effects and Dangers of Tianeptine

Tianeptine is available online under the names Coaxil or Stablon.  In fact, it is marketed as a smart drug or “nootropic” dietary supplement which boosts mood and cognition.  Addicts combine this drug with benzodiazepines, opioids, and other anti-anxiety medications.  Unfortunately, they mistakenly assume that the “smart drug” label means it is safer and legal.  Also, danger comes from advice given on blogs that suggest using very high doses to achieve the euphoria desired.

Currently, most U.S. emergency rooms do not routinely check patients for the presence of Tianeptine since it is not legally prescribed or available here.  Unfortunately, this can lead to the individual not receiving the most effective treatment needed.

Other Side Effects and Dangers of Tianeptine Include

People abusing Tianeptine can become addicted to the drug and suffer withdrawal symptoms when the drug is unavailable.  With high doses, the dangers of Tianeptine are similar to opioids.

These are some of the side effects to expect:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea, vomiting, constipation
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion, excitability
  • Depression
  • Dizziness, headaches
  • Sleep problems
  • Kidney failure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Coma
  • Death

Overall, the withdrawal symptoms of Tianeptine abuse mimic those of opioids.  This happens because the drug targets the same receptors in the brain that opioids affect.  As with other prescription medications, when taken as directed, Tianeptine is not likely to cause dependence or addiction.  However, those who choose to abuse the drug usually ingest high doses, and this is when addictions occur.

Potential for Increased Tianeptine Abuse in the U.S.

Purchasing drugs online is getting easier, despite efforts by the government to control the activity.  This may result in increased Tianeptine addictions in our country in the next few years.  Of course, education and awareness about the potential for increased Tianeptine traffic and addictions is one step in helping prevent overdoses or deaths.

Treatment for Tianeptine addiction will include the same approaches used for opioid addiction.    With group and individual counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based therapies, addicts can identify these contributing factors and learn to control their behaviors.

If you would like more information about our program or about the dangers of Tianeptine, please contact Awakenings Rehabilitation today at the toll-free number provided.

Prescription Drug Addiction

The Great Plague of the 21st Century:  Prescription Drug Addiction

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a plague as “a disastrous evil or affliction; an epidemic disease causing a high rate of mortality.”  If we look at the statistics and consequences of prescription drug addiction in the United States today, it seems that the term plague is a fitting description of what is happening.

Of course, our nation is also plagued by illicit drug problems, and the combined numbers of addictions, overdoses, and deaths from these legal and illegal substances are frightening.

Prescription Drug Addiction by the Numbers

Humans are notorious for wanting an easy fix for their discomforts or illnesses. That’s why the prescription opioid industry is one of the most lucrative businesses in our nation today.  In fact, in 2017, the opioid prescribing rate was 58.7 prescriptions per 100 people, or more than 255 million prescriptions, according to the CDC.

To get an idea of the enormity of the drug problem today, let’s take a look at some of the most frequently abused substances.

Painkillers and Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction caused more than 200,000 overdose deaths in the US from 1999 to 2016. Also, the number of overdose deaths related to prescription opioids was five times higher in 2016, than in 1999.  If the rate of increase continues at that pace, the number of deaths in the next ten years will be unimaginable.

Some of the most frequently prescribed opioid painkillers include:

  • Oxycodone
  • Hydrocodone
  • Methadone
  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Fentanyl
  • Vicodin
  • Lortab
  • Dilaudid
  • Demerol

It’s important to note that more than 40% of all opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid, according to the CDC.  They estimate that more than 46 people die each day from opioid-related overdoses.

Psychiatric Drugs

The use of mental health drugs is out of control.  This classification includes antidepressants, ADHD meds, and anti-anxiety meds. More than one in five adults are on at least one psychiatric medication.  Also, more than 5.4 million children are diagnosed as having ADHD and are currently on medications for the condition.

Some of the well-known drugs in this group are:

  • Antidepressants:  Celexa, Cymbalta, Elavil, Prozac, and more
  • Antipsychotics:  Abilify, Haldol, Risperdal, Zyprexa, and more
  • Mood stabilizers:  Depakote, Lithium, Tegretol, and more
  • Sleeping pills, Tranquilizers, and Anti-anxiety drugs:  Ambien, Ativan, Circadin, Diazepam, Librium, Lyrica, Nytol, Xanax, and more
  • Stimulants:  Adderall, Ritalin, Amphetamine, Desoxyn

One of the most distressing facts about psychiatric drugs has to do with the effects of antidepressants on children.  Approximately three percent of children today are on antidepressant medications that are known to increase the risk of suicide.

What is Being Done to Reduce the Numbers?

The Centers for Disease Control is working with healthcare providers to address the over-prescribing of opioid painkillers.  In 2016, the CDC published the Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain as a tool for improving prescribing practices and ensure that patients receive alternative methods for pain management.

Nationwide, individuals and groups are working together to combat the prescription drug addiction problems we face today.

Some of the things they are doing include:

  • Community and school-based prevention programs to help all school-aged children and adolescents resist social pressures, manage stress, and strengthen self-esteem.
  • Family-based prevention programs that help parents learn more effective communication skills, appropriate disciplinary measures, and rule enforcement.
  • National programs such as Red Ribbon Week, National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA); the Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT), and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) to name a few.  More information about these and other programs can be found here.

In addition to these organizations, there are other groups such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education); NOPE (Narcotics Overdose Prevention & Education), and hundreds more.

Learn More About Prescription Drug Addiction and Treatment

Almost everyone in the United States knows someone who has a drug problem.  Shocking as it may seem, it is the reality we face today. The number of lives destroyed or radically changed by addiction rises with each passing day.

If you know someone who needs help for prescription drug addiction or illicit drug abuse, please contact Awakenings today. We can help your friend or loved one get the help he or she needs.

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