Screen Addiction and Substance Abuse

screen addiction

screen addiction

 

Screen addiction and substance abuse are two things that are growing increasingly prevalent independently of one another. Sometimes, they also develop together, or one might come before the other. Many of the underlying factors that contribute to screen addiction also play a role in substance abuse.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in both screen addiction cases and substance abuse as well, highlighting the importance of discussing both right now.

 

What is Screen Addiction?

Screen addiction isn’t an addiction to the screen itself. Instead, it’s usually an addiction to social media, certain apps, video games, or mobile device dependence. Younger people, including children, are especially susceptible to screen addiction, which research shows can lead to changes in the structure of their brains. Screen addiction can impact long term neural development, which is one risk factor for a screen dependency disorder.

Some of the signs of screen addiction, especially in kids and teens, can include:

  • There’s no control over screen use. You may notice this in your child, your partner, or even yourself. You or your child or loved one might try to stop using a device and find that they’re not able to stop for an extended period.
  • With a screen addiction, there may be a loss of interest in other activities. For example, someone could stop spending time with friends to use their device instead or play a game.
  • Thoughts are preoccupied with a game, social media, or a smartphone, even when it’s not being used.
  • Screen use contributes to problems in relationships and conflict.

 

How Does Screen Time Change the Brain?

There was a study done by the National Institutes of Health in 2018 that found that children younger than 11 who spent more than two hours a day on screen activities scored lower on thinking and language tests. Children who had more than seven hours of time in front of a screen day had thinning in the frontal cortex of their brain. This is the part of the brain related to reasoning and critical thinking.

While more research needs to be done, this could show that the effects of screen time can change the brain in pretty profound ways by narrowing the focus.

Children can develop tunnel vision rather than experiencing a varied environment and different experiences, which impedes their development. Children who spend a lot of time on screens may have slow social and language development, and they may develop problems with attention and focus.

 

Understanding Behavioral Addictions

Screen addiction can fall into the larger category of behavioral addictions. Behavioral addiction is also called process addiction.

  • A process addiction can include video games and screen time, sex, exercise, eating, gambling or shopping.

  • There is debate as to whether or not “process addiction” should be classified in the same way as substance addiction, although we are increasingly finding similarities.
  • With both process and substance addictions, a person continues to engage in harmful or damaging activities, even with the negative consequences they create.
  • Studies have shown changes in the neural pathway of the reward system in the brain that are similar to behavioral and substance addictions. For example, if someone is addicted to social media and gets likes or comments, they might have a rush of dopamine that is the same as what someone addicted to drugs gets.
  • When the behavior becomes an addiction, the person is entirely focused on getting that dopamine rush again and again by doing the same activities. Once something reaches this point, it’s often destructive to relationships and every area of the person’s life.

Researchers have looked specifically at social media. For example, a study by Harvard University found that self-disclosure on social media platforms can light up the same parts of the brain that are affected by taking an addictive substance.

When you get a dopamine rush because of social media, your brain starts to be rewired due to positive reinforcement. You’re getting attention for very minimal work on your part.

Researchers have also found that our brain reward centers are most active when we talk about ourselves. When you’re on social media, and you’re sharing something about yourself or posting a picture of yourself, then your brain is again stimulated to release dopamine.

 

 

Does Screen Addiction Affect Substance Abuse?

There can be direct and indirect relationships between screen addiction and substance abuse.

For example, if the brain is wired to want easy dopamine spikes from screens, then that could make you more susceptible to chase the same high from substances. It could also be that the changes in your brain that occur because of screens make you more likely to develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Someone who’s absorbed with screens may have impaired relationships with other people, leading them to rely on substances because of loneliness.

Another possible link between screen addiction and substance abuse is that if someone is regularly overstimulated, they might want to keep up that high level of stimulation throughout their life. That can then contribute to a substance use disorder. There are a lot of ways screen addiction and substance use can interact with one another.

 

Getting Substance Abuse Treatment Without Screens

Interestingly, if someone is going for substance abuse treatment in an inpatient facility, they are often not allowed to use their phone and usually any other device. While all centers have their own rules, the idea is that cell phones and devices can distract people from their recovery during substance abuse treatment.

There’s also the fact that having screens and devices while you’re in substance abuse treatment can bring stress into your life so that you cannot fully put all of your attention into your recovery. Treatment centers for so long have been mainly against bringing devices to rehab. It may be that they were onto something, now that we see the negative ramifications of screen addiction. It’s also possible that some people dealing with their screen addiction could become part of their substance abuse treatment. 

Addiction and Employment: Get Help, Don’t Get Fired

addiction and employment

It’s common to feel that addiction and employment do not mix very well and is a severe problem. The American Addiction Centers estimates that there are 14.8 million Americans who use illegal drugs, including thousands of working professionals. It’s good to know that when it comes to addiction and employment, there are resources that can help you overcome your struggles without having to sacrifice your career. Read on to find out more about some of these programs. 

Getting into a rehab program during employment is possibly the world’s most pervasive and damaging vice. The treatment programs address the substance abuse problem and manage any co-occurring disorders among the addicts.

 

How does Addiction Affect your Employment? 

The answer lies in the effect that addiction has on one’s job security. One significant impact is that those struggling with addiction are more likely to be fired from their jobs, often because they struggle with attendance and job performance. Addiction harms not only the individual employee but also the family and employers of the individual as well.

There are two types of workplace problems common to people struggling with an addiction: substance abuse and absenteeism. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; funding comes from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) classifies substance abuse into functioning categories, including no or low impairment, moderate impairment, and high impairment. A person with a dependent or abusive problem is considered to have a high level of impairment if he or she has lost or been dismissed from a job where s/he used to be productive.

girl with her hands on her face

 

How to Handle an Alcoholic Employee?

An alcoholic employee is someone who abuses alcohol to the point it affects their work. This can take place at any time of day and not just during work hours. Despite the prevalence of drug use in the U.S., both before and during the current recession, many employers are uninformed about how to handle a worker who struggles with an addiction problem.

It’s essential to know the signs that an employee may be drinking as an alcoholic to handle the situation appropriately.

 

Analyze the effect of employee’s addiction problem at the workplace

Each case is unique, so have a clear sense of the threat your employee’s drug or alcohol use poses to your company. Is your employee creating a direct physical danger in the workplace? 

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), one-fifth of workers and managers report that a coworker’s alcohol problems have jeopardized their safety and productivity. The action of someone who is intoxicated in the workplace can place other employees and property at risk. If an employee’s substance abuse has caused injury to you, your coworkers, or your employer’s property, that’s grounds for termination.

 

Consult the company’s Human Resources policy

If an employee shows up drunk and disorderly at the office, what is the proper reaction? Having an HR (Human Resource) policy with clear guidelines in place will help you act swiftly and appropriately. While the specifics of each policy may vary across businesses and industries, all procedures should have a zero-tolerance approach to drugs or alcohol in the workplace. 

Distribute a company manual to everyone hired at a new location. The manual should outline company policies, procedures, and practices, including any drug or alcohol policy that may legally prohibit the possession or consumption of an illegal substance by employees. 

 

Evaluate how substance abuse is affecting the employee’s job performance

If you suspect that one or more of your employees are using drugs, it’s essential to investigate, and possibly perform a drug test. Before you take disciplinary action against an employee, it is good to evaluate the reason for their job performance. Ask yourself if their job performance is due to substance abuse; what can you do about it? 

If drug abuse affects the individual’s job performance, it is in your best interest to terminate employment. Reducing turnover and absenteeism and increasing productivity can add up to considerable long-term savings for you.

 

Assess employee’s level of substance abuse problem ownership and motivation to change

If your employee uses drugs or alcohol on the job, you can help them without violating their rights or exposing yourself to legal risk. The Employee Motivation to Address Substance Abuse Questionnaire (EMASAQ), in conjunction with the Personal Inventory Questionnaire (PIQ), offers an effective way for you to measure your employee’s ownership of their alcohol abuse problem. By assessing their level of ownership and motivation to change, you can craft an action plan that will have the greatest chance of success.

 

Job Protections Under Federal Law for employees during drug addiction treatment

If you are dealing with the disease of addiction to drugs or alcohol, or if you have a family member or friend who is, you should know that job protections under federal law are available if you’re considering different treatment options. 

girl drinking beer

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Family Medical Leave Act protect an employee’s rights to maintain their job while overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction. These laws outline what protections you are guaranteed, how to speak with your employer regarding your situation, and how the law may act in your favor if you are being discriminated against due to your drug use.

Additionally, in 2003, the Board of Nursing created RAMP (Recovery and Monitoring Program) as an alternative to the Discipline program. RAMP offers confidential, voluntary support to health care nurses recovering from alcohol or drug dependency. Nurses work with employers and close colleagues while at treatment facilities; here they can receive the appropriate treatment for their recovery and rapid reinstatement.

Addiction affects every aspect of your major life activities negatively, but it doesn’t have to end your employment dream. Contact us at Anchored Tides Recovery Center. A gender-specific rehab center and a place for women to heal will help you fulfill the emptiness and free yourself from the addiction that has hurt you and those around you. Understanding the illness and having a strategy are keys to staying employed while battling addiction. 

Getting into a drug addiction treatment center program during employment can be challenging, and we want to make sure that you get the help you need. Get informed on addiction and employment issues today, and call us to learn more about our therapy sessions and support groups to achieve sobriety.

 

How The Covid 19 Lockdown Changed Addiction and Treatment

covid 19 lockdown

covid 19 lockdown

 

The long-term side effects of COVID-19 have become more apparent as the pandemic has continued for over a year. That doesn’t just mean the long-term health effects of the virus itself, but also the societal consequences. Children have missed the social interaction of school and activities. There’s been isolation and loneliness, and routines interrupted. People had to cancel milestones in their life, and while some could work from home, others lost their jobs altogether.

This “perfect storm” of factors has been wreaking havoc on mental health and addiction. The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to affect the addiction crisis for a long time in America. The world refers to the situation as both “the COVID-19 epidemic” and “the addiction epidemic”; the impacts on mental health and addiction and addiction treatment could be long-term side effects of COVID-19 that we feel for years or even decades.

 

Covid-19 and Substance Abuse

Many addiction specialists were warning that there could be severe repercussions for those with substance use disorders from the early days of the pandemic. Nearly every element of the COVID-19 pandemic is a relapse and addiction risk factor.

  • With the covid 19 lockdown and social distancing came isolation. Many people no longer had in-person access to those social support networks that were a lifeline for them in their addiction recovery.
  • When you can’t see your loved ones and friends in person, it takes a tremendous toll on you mentally, even if you don’t have a substance use disorder.

pills in divider

  • There wasn’t just social damage—there’s also been staggering economic damage. Businesses had to close their doors entirely, meaning that people were left unemployed. The government offers unemployment benefit enhancements, but not everyone qualifies, and this doesn’t do much to alleviate the uncertainty of losing your job.
  • For business owners, there has been stress as well. They feel the pressure of not serving customers and the personal financial impacts that it has, and its results on their employees who depend on them.
  •  Along with the stay-at-home order and economic instability, many people have experienced tremendous worries about their health and the health of their loved ones. The news has created a constant barrage of negative imagery reflecting the severity of the COVID 19 lockdown in the U.S. and worldwide. This imagery is likely to continue to haunt many people and create more long-term side effects of COVID-19 that affect their mental health.
  • More than half a million people have died in the U.S. alone. The grim nature of the situation we are in makes everything feel like more of a struggle.

 

Vulnerable Populations

The pandemic impacts on addiction in the United States have been even more profound on vulnerable populations, such as the homeless. They haven’t had access to many of the resources they depended on before the pandemic. Communities have struggled with providing these needed resources for vulnerable populations but have faced challenges in doing so.

Other vulnerable populations that the effects of COVID-19 have most impacted include those who live in multi-family homes, individuals with limited health care access, and disenfranchised communities.

 

Overdose Deaths

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 81,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. in the 12-month period that ended in May 2020.

That was the highest number of overdose deaths recorded in one year ever.

The number of overdose deaths was already increasing in 2019, but those accelerated when COVID-`19 struck. The former CDC director, Robert Redfield, spoke out and said that as we were fighting the pandemic, it was important not to overlook the unintended consequences of the pandemic and how those were affecting people with substance use disorders.

 

Effects on Young People

One demographic most affected by the long-term side effects of COVID 19 lockdown are likely to be younger people. Research shows us that social interaction and involving yourself in community activities are protective factors for substance use among youth.

Unfortunately, for more than a year, many young people haven’t been able to attend in-person school, see their friends, or do their everyday activities. Parents have to be mindful that these effects might not just be short-term. Mental health facilities and experts are linking trauma in childhood to future substance abuse issues.close up of woman in a mask

 

Mental Illness During COVID-19

It isn’t just people with substance use disorders who will likely impact the long-term side effects of COVID-19.

Research conducted has found a significantly higher level of anxiety, stress, irritability, and depression among the general population during the pandemic. Studies have shown that people are increasingly relying on negative coping strategies during this time, including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, junk food, and excessive sleep. People have been getting less physical activity and consuming more news and social media content. Much like a natural disaster, it’s possible that the pandemic, a public health crisis, will have a lasting effect on people. In general, mental health care treatment facilities link traumatic experiences to higher levels of depression, PTSD, and substance use. Now, more than ever, mental health services are high in demand.

 

Lack of Access to Care

When people needed it most, the pandemic halted the lifelines of people with substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Mental health treatment was difficult to find, and the state governments weren’t doing much to help. You may be able to find a physically distanced peer-led support group while wearing masks occasionally, but that came with the anxiety of testing positive after.

There wasn’t really a good substitute for the mental health services that care facilities offer. For example, many treatment centers couldn’t provide traditional services because of social distancing guidelines. Health care centers were pushing off other types of treatment to ensure they had the space and resources for COVID-19 patients. The facilities didn’t provide non-essential care at all. Many addiction resources, such as 12-step meetings, couldn’t happen in person either.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs often require that someone visit a clinic daily to receive their treatment. Again, facilities may have limited access to those programs if they were available at all. All of this compounds the effects on mental health during COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effect of COVID-19.

 

The Positive Effects of COVID on Addiction Treatment

While the sad reality is that many of the effects on mental health during the COVID 19 lockdown and the long-term side effects of COVID-19 are devastating, some positive things may come from this situation. Beyond that, addiction treatment centers and providers have taken great strides in reaching their patients and how they help people. The pandemic forced the world of telemedicine and virtual care to grow at a rapid rate during the pandemic. People became comfortable communicating in new ways. For example, Zoom meetings became a daily occurrence in the work world and for 12-step meetings. Therapists and health care providers are now offering more remote services, and addiction treatment specialists can check in with their patients in new ways.

That doesn’t mean that the in-person interactions that are so valuable in addiction treatment and recovery will end, but what it instead means is that more options and opportunities might be available. These changes could reduce some treatment barriers and accessibility issues that have been a long-standing issue in addiction treatment. There is no doubt that the world will feel the long-term side effects of COVID-19 well into the future, and some of those adverse effects could take years even to become apparent. With that in mind, it’s so crucial for people to recognize red flags in themselves and their loved ones and reach out for support when they need it.

 

Help is out there

Anchored Tides Recovery Center is here for you as we navigate our way through the pandemic and find our way back to life as we knew it. Work with us and we will help you be a better person by the time this is over. Call us today to talk more about your situation.

How A Strong Independent Woman Takes a Stand Against Social Discourses

strong independent woman

strong independent woman

 

While some progress has undoubtedly been made in gender equality, there is still such a reluctance to embrace the concept of a strong independent woman in the workplace, in relationships, and in society as a whole.

Women and shame also continue to be a pervasive issue across every area of life. Speaking out in various ways is something women also tend to struggle with because of the fear of backlash or a negative response.

Because of these fears and the sense of shame that women are often made to feel, they tend to experience mental health symptoms.

Women internalize shame, and that can even trigger substance use disorders. It’s so important to start to recognize these issues in our own lives and other places to begin to speak out and combat these systemic problems.

Men also play an important role as allies in recognizing strong women and encouraging their voices to be heard.

 

Why Is There a Fear of Strong Independent Women?

While this certainly doesn’t hold true across the board, the reality is that some people remain intimidated or even fearful of strong, independent women. Even when a woman is confident in her power, she tends to find herself facing obstacles in a world that remains male-dominated.

Whether it’s at work or in relationships, strength and independence tend to lead men to question their value and role. We live in a society dominated by the idea of men as providers. Despite how much things have changed significantly in the most recent decades, some men still have lingering insecurities about not being perceived in a certain way.  

It’s challenging to let go of things ingrained in your thoughts, reactions, and general behavior.

It’s not just men who are intimidated by strong women. Many times other women may feel off-put by this or intimidated. That may be due to their feelings about what it means to be a woman as well.

For example, a woman may believe that other women should be quieter and fade into the background, and when they see someone who isn’t following that, they could feel like their beliefs are being challenged.

 

Why Don’t Women Speak Up?

While some women do speak up consistently at work and in relationships, there is a fear factor that prevents them from doing it for other women. Why is that? There are often shared concerns among women who don’t want to speak up.

  • There’s a fear of being seen as “crazy” if you speak up or speak out. As women, you may subconsciously see women who share their thoughts or ideas as overly aggressive or emotional, so you could remain silent to avoid being labeled that way
    .
  • Sometimes women grow up learning that they should be sweet and pleasant, and if you speak out on anything, you’re going against that.
  • Unfortunately, the reality is that sometimes when women speak out on different topics, they become the victim of smear campaigns. We saw that during the #MeToo movement.
  • Women may be afraid they’ll say something wrong and be criticized more so than men. A lot of times, females are quiet because they want to protect themselves.
  • Research from the University of Cambridge found women are two-and-a-half times less likely to ask questions during an academic seminar than men.  Researchers looked at hundreds of workshops in 10 countries.

When women aren’t participating in conversations, asking questions, and sharing their perspectives, then they aren’t being represented. For example, there are fewer female junior scholars in many academic institutions.

 

Women and Shame

A lot of what’s discussed above can tie back into the concept of shame. Women often feel shame over things that a man would be made to feel proud about, whether that’s accomplishments at work, sexuality, or being a strong, independent person.

We can even make ourselves feel shame when we go against a social norm we believe in, even if we don’t realize we hold that belief.

woman lying on the bed facing the camera

When women feel shame, it then becomes something internalized that can cause them to cast their entire being in a negative light. Shame can lead to depression and low self-esteem, among other mental health conditions.

There was a study carried out by researchers from the University of Toronto and Queens University in Ontario. It included volunteers between the ages of 11 and 16. Those participants who were more likely to experience shame were also more likely to have symptoms of depression.

There’s also a link between being prone to shame and anxiety disorders.

There’s the separate but similar concept of guilt that can be part of what holds you back from portraying yourself as a strong, independent woman.

The big difference between shame and guilt is that guilt stems from viewing a specific action negatively.

For example, you may feel like you’ve done something to another negative person and affected them poorly. You internalize this and begin to feel like you’re an inadequate or unworthy person.

 

Addiction in Women

When you don’t view yourself as a strong independent woman, you may be more likely to deal with mental health problems and substance misuse. The way women experience addiction can be different in many ways than men’s experiences, and treatment has to address these differences.

Some of the factors that play a role in women’s addiction include:

  • Relationship problems—for example, women are more likely to experience a relapse when going through issues in their marriage or when they have child custody issues.
  • Food and body concerns—eating disorders are frequently linked to substance use disorders.
  • Self-esteem—many young girls who begin using drugs or alcohol early on in their lives do so to increase their confidence.
  • Sexuality—many women realize that their substance use is tied to their sexuality. For example, they might feel shame about the sexual abuse they were a victim of, and that then leads them to use substances to overcome those feelings of shame.

 

Reaching Out, Speaking Truths, and Building Connections

So what does all this mean for women right now? First, to become a strong, independent woman, you need to take steps to get healthy in terms of your mental health. If you’re dealing with a substance use disorder, treatment is an important step. Don’t let shame hold you back from the care you need and deserve.

You can not only work toward having a healthier relationship with yourself and freeing yourself from shame, but you can also learn how to speak openly and honestly and build connections with other women.

Even if you aren’t dealing with a substance use disorder, it’s important to work toward having a healthy relationship with yourself that will allow you to be more comfortable speaking out in every area of your life.

When you share your own experiences with others, it also helps shine a light on pervasive problems. Women need to have their voices heard.

You can also support other women. Rather than viewing a strong, independent woman as bossy or domineering, start to reframe your perspective. Think about how you feel if a man were to behave in the same way. It might be that if that were the case, you would see him as someone in authority and deserving of respect.

Shift how you view yourself and other women and encourage others to do the same.

Find your strength and support with us and see how powerful we can be when women lift each other up. Anchored Tides Recovery has an all-woman staff and an all-women client base to create a safe environment for women to grow. 

Alcoholism: Gender and the Rate of Addiction in Women

addiction in women

addiction in women

 

Until the late 1990s, almost all clinical studies on drug addiction in the United States were only done on men; no consideration was given to the differences between gender or how drugs may affect each differently. Advanced research in recent years shows that addiction in women has different, and often far worse, effects than in men. These consequences are much more exaggerated for women who are pregnant and the developing child. 

Science didn’t discover most of the gender-based differences in addiction’s impacts on the body until recent decades. Advanced research shows that addiction affects women differently and often far worse than men. These consequences are much more significant for women who are pregnant and the effects on the developing child.

 

Addiction in Women

Addiction to substances such as heroin and alcohol affects women differently than men. Men and women respond differently to addiction and drug abuse. The differences between addiction in women suffering from addiction arise from biological and sociological differences. Many researchers now explain gender differences between the two due to society’s impact (such as child care responsibilities, addiction stigma, relationship dynamics, etc.).

There are also biological differences between men and women, revolving primarily around testosterone and estrogen production and average body size and composition, which cause substances to affect the body adversely.

 

Does Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently?

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Addiction, “Women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol-related organ damage and trauma, and tend to develop alcohol addiction in much less time.”

In today’s age of stress and anxiety, people often tend to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol for their mental disorders to find an escape from reality. Research shows that women’s addiction is often related to controlling emotional pain. Feeling stressed and fed up with the grind of daily life grind, some women resort to binge drinking to forget about their worries for a period of time. 

 

girl holding a bottle of alcohol

 

Consequences of Alcohol Addiction in Women

Women report unique reasons for using drugs, including controlling weight, battling fatigue, coping with pain, and attempts to self-treat mental health problems. Scientists who study substance abuse have found that women may experience issues related to hormones, menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. 

At every stage of life, women quickly become dependent on Alcohol and drugs and suffer the consequences, including mental issues, damage to the brain and other organs, and fatal accidents. What’s most dangerous is the severe attack of alcohol addiction on pregnant women. The fetus suffers the tension created by Alcohol in the woman’s body and may permanently damage or have limited growth.  

Women are more prone to the physical and emotional damages caused by addiction. Women addicts are more likely than men to develop liver infection and get addiction-related brain changes. Women addicts are also likely to get heart disease and strokes more than men. Besides, women are more likely than men to develop addictive hepatitis and to die from cirrhosis.

 

What is the Effective Treatment Strategies for Women?

With so many differences between how men and women experience and deal with addiction, it’s a wonder that so many treatment facilities aren’t gender-specific. Yet, it only makes sense that treating a disease that is so different for men and women that the treatment options aren’t different. 

Unfortunately, people may feel ashamed of having an addiction because they have been told that it’s just something you need to get over, so they see themselves as unique and less than human when they can’t. This isn’t true. 

Just as is the case with any other mental health issue, it takes much more than lectures, willpower, and other platitudes to conquer an addiction. When it comes to addiction in women, proper health care takes a professional treatment program and support groups of other women who can empathize with your experience. 

 

girl standing in the wind with a mask on

 

Substance Abuse Treatment

If you have substance use disorders that affect your daily life, short or long term, consult one of our care coordinators.  

Anchored Tides Recovery is a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced Huntington Beach rehab program explicitly designed to treat addiction in women. Contact us today, and we can help you recover from alcohol addiction if you’re ready. 

Creating Your Success Story: Opting for Alcohol or Drug Treatment

drug treatment

drug treatment

 

Opting for Drug Treatment

What is a success story, and how is it even created? Do you make one for yourself, or is your story written for you? A good story always involves a protagonist overcoming a struggle and persevering over the antagonist. Does the antagonist have to be a person, though? Some of the best stories involve the struggle being drug treatment and the antagonist is addiction. 

This blog will help you take control of your narrative and create your own success story.

 

Baby Steps

So, how do you even make your success story?

The answer is always baby steps. Losing hope and giving up is easy. Taking baby steps and setting short yet attainable goals will help prevent you from losing hope, and keep up your motivation to keep moving forward. Dreaming big and setting long-term goals is good, but long-term goals take time, and a lot can happen in that time. We live in a time where everyone is used to instant gratification, and if you don’t have short-term goals to bridge the gap between now and your long-term goals, it could easily lead to disappointment. Patience is a virtue. 

Trial and Error

Recovery is a process, and as with any process, failure is a possibility. In your process, you will try many different options, some that work for you and some that don’t. Do not be discouraged by failure, because failure provides an opportunity to grow. Having the strength to not give up is something to be proud of. A success story is only a success story because of the resilience and patience it took to create that story.

 

Accept Help: Seeking Alcohol or Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a disease, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) both describe not being in control of how much or how often you use these drugs. Everybody’s brain is wired differently, and as such the level of control we have over our own actions is not the same. Some people require much more willpower to be in control, and for those people, there is no shame in seeking outside help. 

drug treatment

 

 

There are many drug addiction treatment centers that take insurance coverage and offer specific treatment options that are scientifically proven to help with overcoming addiction. Sometimes the options you have can feel overwhelming, but stick with your baby steps and you will keep with the progression of your story. Sometimes making progress is as easy as googling “rehab near me.” 

 

Alcohol Addiction Treatment

Alcohol is a dangerous drug, and if you suddenly stop drinking and try to quit cold turkey you could be making a fatal mistake. Alcohol is a drug that creates a physical dependence, and when your body is physically dependent on a substance the consequences are life-threatening if you don’t approach quitting properly. 

The first step to getting treatment for alcohol addiction is to do a medically assisted detoxification. Medical detox is a form of health care that uses calculated doses of antidotes to mitigate the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. A rehab program that specializes in treating alcohol addiction will often offer residential inpatient services as well, this is where you live at the facility for an extended period, to minimize the opportunity for relapse while attending counseling sessions regularly. 

People getting treatment for AUD may also find it helpful to utilize aftercare support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). 

 

Drug Addiction Treatment

Drug treatment programs at an addiction center are designed to provide addicts with the mental tools needed to continue in sobriety. Treatment is a long-term procedure for many and requires dropping down through many different levels of care. Many people consider addiction to be a lifetime sentence and believe they will never overcome it, even if they haven’t used drugs in years. 

Drug treatment may include behavioral therapy or a combination of medications. Depending on the patient’s specific needs and the types of drugs they are addicted to, the actual treatment methods can differ.

Many recovery services use both individual and group therapy.  Support groups can help develop communication skills, friendships, and an empowered mindset. Behavioral therapies can help with maintaining sobriety, provide methods to cope with drug cravings, and prevent relapse.

Behavioral therapies offer psychological strengthening and help to enforce behavioral contingencies that facilitate abstinence and a lifestyle that is not drug-using. Some of the more advanced therapies, such as contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy, are now being modified for community environments to work on different aspects of addiction. 

drug treatment

Even though a first-time rehab experience can be intimidating, it is ultimately the best choice towards putting your life back on track while easing the tension and the unknowing fear of what’s going to happen. It always helps to read and research the rehab facility you are interested in and its offers.

Are you Someone who is looking to help your daughter, mother, sister, or friend? 

Are you looking for excellent inpatient rehab, especially for women? 

Join Anchored Tides Recovery. Please contact us today at 1-866-524-6014 and get on the road to recovery.

Opioid Overdose: Causes, Signs, and Precautions

opioid-overdose

opioid-overdose

 

Opioid Overdose

About .5 million deaths are attributable to drug use worldwide; more than 70% of these deaths are related to opioids, with more than 30% of those deaths caused by overdose. According to The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, approximately 115 000 people died of opioid overdose in 2017. What are opioids, and why is opioid misuse so common when there are so much evidence points to a drug overdose? Here is everything you need to know about the epidemic of life-threatening opioid overdose, its causes, signs, and precautions. 

 

What are Opioids?

Opiates, or opioids, are narcotic painkillers that bind to neural opioid receptors in the brain. Once attached to your opioid receptors, the substance depresses your central nervous system, creating a “downer” effect, and suppresses pain while simultaneously producing a euphoric effect. In a medical setting, opiates are prescribed for pain management, which is how many people get hooked. Opiates are highly addictive and currently are the most abused substances in America. 

Opioid use and misuse can result in addiction, overdose, withdrawal, and death.

 

Can a Narcotic Painkiller Become My Drug of Choice?

The United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic; according to the latest statistics from National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), approximately 11.4 million people in the United States and around 36 million people worldwide abuse opioids every year. 

Narcotic pain relievers include:

  • Codeine
  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Methadone
  • Meperidine (Demerol)
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone (Percocet or Oxycontin)
  • Fentanyl (Synthetic Opioid)
  • Tramadol

The regular use of opioids, prolonged use, abuse, and use without medical supervision can lead to opioid dependence and other health problems, such as overdose. 

 

Signs of Opioid Overdose

You can identify an opioid overdose by a combination of three signs and symptoms:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Unconsciousness 
  • Breathing difficulties

Prescription opioid use can even lead to opioid overdose death due to the pharmacological effects on the part of the brain that regulates breathing.

 

Prevention of Opioid Overdose

There are specific measures that can be taken to prevent an opioid overdose at an early stage:

  • Increase the availability of opioid dependence treatment
  • Reduce irrational or inappropriate opioid prescriptions
  • Carefully monitor opioid prescribing and dispensing
  • Limit inappropriate under-the-table sales of opioids
  • Find alternative pain management methods

Opiate prescriptions have been increasing since 2010, despite the data showing opiate overdose death rates increasing as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), In 2017, there were almost 58 opioid prescriptions written per every 100 Americans.

There is a massive gap between recommendations and practices. Only half of the countries provide access to effective treatment options for opioid dependence. Less than 10% of people worldwide, who are genuinely in need of such treatment, are receiving it.

 

What to Do if you Witness an Opioid Overdose?

If you witness someone, or you yourself feel you are, on the verge of collapsing due to an opioid overdose, calling 911 for an emergency response protocol may save a life. Opioid overdose death can be prevented if the person receives a timely administration of the drug Naloxone, an antidote that rapidly reverses the effects of an opioid overdose if administered to the patient in time

There is limited availability of naloxone in many countries, and access to naloxone is generally limited to health professionals and not available over the counter. On the contrary, some countries have already made naloxone available in pharmacies without a prescription. 

People with substance abuse are generally aware of the risks and dangers that come along with opiate addiction. If one were to decide they wanted to overcome their addiction to opiates before things got worse they may likely be facing Opiate withdrawal and a detoxification process. 

 

Opioid Withdrawal 

When you’ve become addicted to opiates you will become emotionally and physically dependent on the presence of the substance. With time, your body becomes desensitized to the drug, and you’ll need more of it to feel its effects. After heavy use, once you stop taking these drugs you will likely experience several symptoms of withdrawal. 

Opioid withdrawal can be categorized as mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe. Your healthcare provider can determine this by evaluating your opioid use history and symptoms.

Opiate withdrawal occurs in two phases. The first phase includes several symptoms, such as:

  • muscle aches
  • restlessness
  • anxiety and depression
  • teary eyes/ runny nose
  • excessive sweating
  • Insomnia
  • agitation

 

The second phase is marked by:

  • diarrhea
  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea and vomiting
  • increased heart rate and blood pressure

opioid-overdose

These initial phases can last anywhere from a week to a month and can be followed by long-term withdrawal symptoms that may involve emotional or behavioral issues.

 

Medical detox from Opiates

It takes time to recover from opiate addiction. Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Opiate detox from home is strongly not recommended, it is dangerous and statistically ineffective. 

Recovery centers are best suited for medical detoxification from opiates; will improve your overall health and reduce your risk of complications related to opioid dependence and help prevent relapse. In some cases, withdrawal from opiates could be deadly. A recovery center with medically assisted detoxification services will have a team that can monitor your vitals, keep you safe, and use medications to mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal (making the process as comfortable as possible.)

Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about addiction treatment programs. Once you successfully get through detox, you will feel an overall improvement in your physical and mental health.

 

Aftercare

Detox is generally the first step in the recovery process, but detox alone is not a treatment. After detox, your counselor will curate a plan for you to follow that will have you stepping down levels of care. You may be recommended to complete residential inpatient care, followed by outpatient therapy services, followed by sober maintenance through treatment options such as support groups. The process may seem long, but it has been proven to help save countless lives and provide hope for those who feel lost. 

If you want to learn more, visit our website or call us at 1-866-753-5865 and talk to our health professionals to enroll in an effective women-only treatment center and live a drug-free life. 

The Benefits of a Female Only Treatment Facility for Addiction

Benefits-of-a-Female-Only-Treatment-Facility-for-Addiction

Finding the right addiction treatment for you can be overwhelming. A simple google search can present you with what feels like an endless amount of treatment options. Treatment should be a safe place where you can get honest with yourself and others, be vulnerable, and develop relationships with other sober people.

Addiction manifests in many forms and affects people differently. Addiction can also impact men and women differently. If you’re a woman and looking to get sober, a female-only treatment facility could be a great option for you. At Anchored Tides Recovery, located in Orange County, CA, we’re a female ran and female-only treatment center. It’s safe to say we totally understand women and recovery. 

What is a Women-Only Addiction Treatment Facility?

A women’s only addiction treatment facility is exactly what it sounds like. This is a facility that has been designed specifically to help women who suffer from addiction. During the 1970s and 80s, it came to light that addiction research was historically done on men, therefore the foundation of treatment was ill-equipped for women. As a response to this, research began on the differences between men and women when it comes to addiction. Studies show that:

  • Addiction progresses faster and can be more severe in women
  • Problems related to addiction interfere with functioning in more areas of life than men’s do
  • Are more likely to encounter health-related issues from addiction

After information on how addiction affects genders differently became available, women-only treatment started to form and flourish.

Benefits of a Women-Only Facility

There are numerous benefits to attending a women-only treatment center for addiction.

It’s Easier to Open Up

One of the most important aspects of addiction treatment is opening up to others. People need to be able to share their experiences regarding how addiction has impacted them while also learning from the experiences of others. Women might feel hesitant to open up regarding how addiction has impacted them with other men in the room. In many cases, drug abuse and addiction are going to impact other aspects of someone’s life, including their sexual health. It’s not uncommon for women to have negative sexual experiences during their addiction. It’s important for women to share these experiences in order to cope. 

Find Common Ground

When women enter a treatment facility that is designed for both genders, they might feel like they don’t have a lot in common with the other people in the facility. This can make it hard for someone to come to terms with addiction and rehab. If the treatment center focuses on women, the clients are going to be able to learn from the similarities of others. They are going to feel like they aren’t alone during treatment. Women’s only treatment also sets the foundation for creating a strong sober network. As a woman, it’s important to have support from other women, during and after treatment. 

All Women Staff

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we have an all-female staff. We feel the best way to run a female treatment center is to have females running it. We pride ourselves on creating a welcoming, safe space for women to start their recovery journey. Our female staff understands what you’ve been through while battling addiction and is dedicated to giving you all the tools you need to overcome this horrible disease. We will help you with your addiction and any comorbid conditions such as anxiety, depression, trauma caused by negative sexual experiences or domestic violence, PTSD, and more. 

We Support Women

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a comprehensive, dual-diagnosis enhanced program designed specifically for women, by women. Our program offers numerous levels of outpatient services including a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), a traditional Outpatient Program (OP), and long-term recovery monitoring. We are here to help women overcome addiction and mental health disorders. If you would like to learn more about how our program can help you and your family members recover from addiction, please contact us today!

How Are Women Impacted Differently by Addiction?

How-Are-Women-Impacted-Differently-by-Addiction?

Addiction is a disease. It does not discriminate against anyone based on gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or occupation. It has the potential to impact anyone at any time. For the longest time, the vast majority of research was focused solely on drug abuse and alcohol addiction in men. This was because the trend was to use only men in medical studies. This exclusionary bias that women faced started to emerge in the 1990s. Many organizations in the United States noticed that women were also impacted by addiction, yet they were not receiving the same level of attention and treatment as their male counterparts. This led to a push to study addiction in women to a greater degree with the hope that medical professionals would be able to reach them more effectively during treatment sessions.

The Impact of Addiction in Women

As a whole, men are more likely than women to suffer from drug abuse and addiction. Between 11 and 12 percent of men over the age of 12 suffer from some form of substance abuse disorder. Just over 6 percent of women over the age of 12 suffer from a substance abuse disorder. Although the number of women suffering from addiction is lower than men, women are more likely to suffer fatal consequences from a substance abuse disorder. Women are more likely to end up in the emergency room or overdose due to substance abuse. For this reason, we want to raise awareness and spread information on the importance of getting the correct treatment. 

How are Women More Susceptible to the Dangers of Addiction?

Two ways in which men and women are impacted differently by addiction are biological and sociological.  Society expects different things from men and women and these sociological pressures impact how both genders respond to addiction. Differences in body size, composition, and hormone levels also impact how men and women respond to addiction.

Women are far more likely to transition from substance to substance when they suffer from addiction than their male counterparts. This means that women may use alcohol, then opioids, then stimulants. Even though men are more likely to become addicts as a whole, women are more likely to engage in self-medication with certain substances. 

Women are more likely to suffer end-organ damage from the effects of substance abuse and overdoses. This includes damage to the liver and kidneys depending on the type of drug. 

Finally, women are also more likely to experience cravings during the recovery process. This means that women are also more likely to relapse while they are in addiction treatment programs. 

How to Find Treatment for Addiction

When seeking treatment, people have the option to choose from an array of programs. There are mixed gender treatment centers, gender-specific, adolescent focused treatment, etc. While it’s great to have options, it’s important to seek the right kind of treatment. For instance, some women will feel particularly vulnerable when going to treatment and feel safe around other women. If this sounds like you, then an all women’s treatment center is the right choice. 

All treatment centers have the same end goal in mind, the only difference between mixed gender and gender-specific is the gender aspect. Often, people start the treatment process by trying to break free from addiction on their own. Sadly, this is not effective. People are bound to relapse. Therefore, it is important for everyone to reach out to professionals for assistance.

There are plenty of programs out there for individuals who are looking to treat addiction effectively. For example, many people start in an inpatient program so they can get through withdrawal and detox under the supervision of trained professionals. From there, individuals often transition to an outpatient program. This might include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). There are programs out there for everyone. People simply need to know where to turn for help.

Let Us Help You!

At Anchored Tides Recovery, we are a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced program that has been created by women to help other women recover addiction. We offer various levels of outpatient services including Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), Outpatient Program (OP), and long-term rehab and recovery monitoring. If you would like to learn more about our addiction treatment options, then please contact us today! We would be honored to help you and your family with the recovery process.