Everything you need to know.

According to results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder (SUD).

People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol display signs of addiction in all aspects of life. Objectively evaluating your behaviors is difficult, but a trusted friend or family member may be able to provide honest feedback to help you identify some of the following addictive behaviors in your own life.

  1. Neglecting important obligations: You consistently prioritize your substance use instead of focusing on work, school, or family obligations.
  2. Intense cravings: Your thoughts are consumed by your urge to drink alcohol or use drugs and you always feel the need for more.
  3. Need to continue using: You feel like you can’t get through the day without using. The substance allows you to maintain a sense of normalcy.
  4. Lack of control: You are physically unable to stop using the substance.
  5. Withdrawal: You start experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating, shakiness, or insomnia when you stop using the substance.
  6. Riffs in relationships: Your substance use has caused serious problems with your spouse, other family members, coworkers, and friends.
  7. Financial problems: You consistently overspend just to make sure you always have a supply of the substance, even if that means foregoing food, rent, and other necessary bills.
  8. Risky behaviors: You’ve operated a vehicle, had unprotected sex or risked the wellbeing of others while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  9. Unsuccessful attempts to get sober: You want to get sober and you’ve tried on your own before, but you have not been successful.

During rehab, you’ll work with a team of doctors, addiction specialists, and therapists to complete your recovery program. The components of drug and alcohol rehab will include several components that work together to help you shed your old unhealthy lifestyle as you learn how to live a new fulfilling and sober life. They include:

  • Education: Educational lectures are designed to enhance each client’s knowledge of addiction, substance abuse, and the physical and mental changes that occur as a result. This can help people better understand how their behavior correlates with their addiction and lasting sobriety is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Educational lectures also elaborate on the lasting consequences of substance abuse, which can help people break through denial and commit to sobriety.
  • Individual and group counseling: During rehab, you will attend one-on-one therapy regularly and attend group sessions daily. Individual counseling sessions are facilitated by a licensed professional counselor and may utilize behavioral therapy techniques to teach you the skills and tools you need to sustain a sober lifestyle. Group counseling sessions are designed to help you recognize the value of peer support in recovery. They may take the form of 12-Step meetings at some drug rehab centers.
  • Family meetings: Research supports the idea that including family members in the addiction treatment process greatly improves outcomes. Not surprisingly, many drug and alcohol rehab programs include family meetings as a regular part of treatment. In these meetings, your loved ones will learn about the nature of addiction, identify resources and tools to help you in your recovery, discuss how they have been affected by your substance abuse, learn about enabling behaviors, and get help for themselves through Al-Anon meetings or other resources.
  • Aftercare: Drug and alcohol rehab programs can last from 28 or 30 days to 90 days or longer. Many successful rehab programs offer long-term treatment (90 days or more) and provide very strong aftercare programs that allow for a gradual decline in structure and support after rehab is over. Aftercare may include IOP (intensive outpatient program), sober living programs, or certified peer monitoring programs. These aftercare services will help you adjust to the increase in responsibilities as you reintegrate back into society as a sober person.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration, addiction treatment for an individual in recovery should also consist of the following:

  • Health – Effective treatment and management for all physical and psychological issues should be provided.
  • Home – The individual should have a safe, comfortable place to live.
  • Purpose – Self-efficacy and worth should be promoted with meaningful daily activities.
  • Community – The individual should have supportive, caring friendships and mentorships both throughout and after rehab.

These treatment components will all be provided at a high-quality drug and alcohol rehab facility.

If your life and relationships are negatively affected by drug or alcohol use, you may be addicted and you likely need help to overcome it. It can be easy to believe that you can quit on your own (and some people do) or that you don’t need help in the first place, but addiction can quickly derail your personal life and career if it is left untreated.

The American Psychological Association defines addiction as “a chronic disorder with biological, psychological, social and environmental factors influencing its development and maintenance.” In short, drug addiction is a disease of the brain and results in changes to its structure and functions. That means it changes the way your brain works, greatly impacting your thoughts and behavior and making it extremely difficult to stop using drugs or alcohol without medical and clinical assistance.

Repeated drug abuse severely reduces your self-control, affects your decision-making, and creates intense, uncontrollable urges to continue using the substance. For this reason, many people cannot overcome drug and alcohol addiction on their own.

Addiction can be classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on the following criteria:

  • Experiencing withdrawal
  • Developing a tolerance
  • Lacking control
  • Having strong cravings
  • Experiencing problems in relationships
  • Wanting to quit but being unable
  • Losing interest in daily activities and hobbies
  • Spending a large amount of time using or trying to get the substance
  • Using even when it’s physically dangerous for oneself or others
  • Experiencing negative side effects and consequences due to use but continuing to use anyway

The severity of a substance use disorder is classified by how many of the above criteria you meet. If two or three of the criteria listed above apply to you, your addiction is mild, but it’s still very important to seek help. Addiction is a progressive disease, so although you may think that you don’t need treatment now if you continue with the same habits, your substance use disorder is likely to get much worse.

Many factors influence who can become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Biological factors such as ethnicity, gender, and mental health issues play a large role. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, genes play a large role in the likelihood of someone developing an addiction, as they affect the way the body processes addictive substances and the extent of reward and pleasure that is experienced.

Scientists have discovered that genetic factors account for about 40 to 60 percent of a person’s vulnerability to drug addiction. However, that does not mean that one single gene is responsible for the development of a person’s gene. Instead, researchers say addiction is a very complex disease, with many different genes each contributing a little bit.

A person’s living environment and exposure to substance abuse can also lead to a lifestyle of addiction. Things like socioeconomic status, parental roles, early drug use, sexual abuse, and severe stress all influence the development of a substance abuse problem. Additionally, if a person has friends or family members who abuse drugs or alcohol, the individual is much more likely to do so themselves.

Even still, it is well known and accepted that everyone who tries drugs will not become addicted. Some people are more vulnerable to substance use disorders due to the individual differences listed above, among many others.

It can be hard to recognize the signs of drug use in the people we care about. It can especially be difficult to see the difference between normal teenage behavior and signs of drug use. Some possible signs that might indicate your loved one is using drugs include:

  • Changes in behavior: Have you noticed extreme changes in behavior or in relationships with family and friends? Does your loved one take extreme steps to keep you from entering a room; hide things or to keep where they’re going with friends secret?
  • Physical Health changes or issues: Have you noticed that your loved one’s appearance has changed? Have they stopped grooming or caring about how they look? Has there been a change in their energy and motivation, weight loss or gain or are their eyes red?
  • Problems at school, work or with friends: Have you noticed that your loved one is frequently missing school or work? Are they less interested in school or work? Have you noticed a drop in their grades or work performance?
  • Money concerns: Has your loved one been requesting money without reasonable explanations? Have you discovered that money is missing or has been stolen? Have you discovered that items are missing from your home (that could have been sold to support drug use)?

Going through detox for any drug is a monumental task, especially when someone’s life is falling apart around them. It is not rare for people who suffer from a substance use disorder to recover and fail to repeat the cycle. Chronic relapse is so common because recovery usually means experiencing the pain of withdrawal symptoms.

Drug withdrawal symptoms and their severity depend on which substances you are dependent on and how long the dependency has lasted. Some drugs, like alcohol and opioids, can have deadly withdrawal symptoms. If you or a loved one is trying to be free of a substance use disorder, you need help.

You should know what to expect when you begin a detox program, even if you will be medically supervised. Some of the more common withdrawal symptoms that occur across many types of drugs include:

  • Headaches and feelings of general physical illness
  • Sweating and shakiness
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Mood swings that may include anxiety, depression, and irritability
  • The re-emergence of pre-existing mental health disorders like bipolar and schizophrenia

People who are suffering from alcohol or opioid withdrawal symptoms may face more serious and life-threatening symptoms like:

  • Rapid pulse and the feeling of your heart beating out of your chest
  • Chest pains which can signify possible blood pressure or heart problems
  • Hallucinations
  • Major, life-threatening seizures
  • Delirium tremens (DTs)

No one should feel bad about committing to recovery and not succeeding. Some people go through drug detox with the help of close friends and family once they have admitted to a substance use disorder and faced the consequences with open eyes. But many people need more.

A manual called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is the standard used by professionals to diagnose mental illness. The current edition of this manual, known as DSM-5, contains listings of mental illnesses, their observed symptoms, and other attributes that doctors and psychiatrists can use to reach a diagnosis.

Using the information from this manual, questionnaires and interviews with the person who is being diagnosed, and experienced observations of the person’s behavior, attitudes, and demeanor, the professional can then make an informed diagnosis of mental illness if it is present.

Thanks to recent legislation, the entire realm of insurance coverage has been significantly changed for the better. Under the new Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, treatment for substance abuse must receive parity in treatment. In other words, there can be no difference in coverage for substance abuse treatment than for any medical or surgical conditions. This enables many more people to leverage their insurance coverage and benefits to help break free from the grip of drug and alcohol addiction and transform the dream of addiction free living into reality. Sunshine Care Centers will work diligently with your insurance company to secure the maximum amount of insurance coverage possible for your drug and alcohol rehab treatment.

Our admissions team will manage and coordinate every detail for you, including:

  • Determining your precise insurance coverage and eligibility
  • Billing your insurance company
  • Calculating any out of pocket expenses such as co-pays or deductibles (though in many cases, insurance will cover 100% of the cost of drug and alcohol rehab treatment)

If you are struggling due to a traumatic experience, or injury, it can lead to serious problems with your daily life. Some trauma triggers include loss, natural disasters, invasive surgeries, or being a victim of violence. It can take years to recover from events like these, and trauma can rewire your brain to cause anxiety, depression, and other serious mental health issues. However, one innovative treatment option is helping people reclaim their lives from post-traumatic stress disorder by applying simple eye movements. Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing or EMDR is a cutting-edge therapeutic tool that has the potential to help to change your life.

EMDR therapy engages your body to help heal your mind. It is a psychotherapy tool that has been proven to provide many mental health benefits. EMDR has been proven to be not just effective for PTSD and trauma-related treatments, but it is often a preferred method of treating these conditions. During a session, a professional mental health clinician will use a device, or their fingers to simulate a motion that is associated with deep sleep. Sometimes this part of the session is accompanied by tapping sounds, or music, as well. Deep sleep is associated with important renewal processes for the mind and can help you heal from trauma.

Once you are engaged in this movement, the therapist will ask you to recall a disturbing event. Each session will help you process the event’s details in a comforting and open session in which you begin to guide your thoughts to positivity. This can lessen the impact of the original traumatic event.

When you develop PTSD from a traumatic event, you may no longer feel safe in your world. You may avoid certain memories that cause fearful feelings. Unfortunately, this means that it can be harder to process these traumatic events. However, these feelings do not disappear. You may become overwhelmed in other places of your life. The images you try to outrun may show up in dreams, in familiar and friendly relationships, in flashbacks that happen in places where you should feel comfortable. These constant reminders can increase fear, depression, shame, and exhaustion.

EMDR therapy for trauma helps bolster mental health by helping you not only face these terrifying memories but by guiding you to a place of comfort within these associations. The traumatic event then becomes an unpleasant part of your past instead of a looming daily danger.