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How to Prevent Relapse | Okeechobee

Drug Relapse: Ways on Preventing It

Relapse is one of the common challenges people who want to stop their drug addiction habit. Wanting to stop drug addiction takes time, patience, and practice. Often than not, people who have undergone drug rehabilitation slide back and go back to their drug addiction. Relapse though does not mean that the rehabilitation failed or that their stint did not work. Relapse is sure to happen when the same triggers of addiction re-appear.

Relapse does not happen automatically and people who want to stop addiction should understand that prior to relapse, they undergo several stages. There are three (3) stages of drug relapse, namely:

  •    Emotional
  •    Mental
  •    Physical

The hardest struggle in terms of relapse is the emotional stage or state. Here are symptoms and signs of a possible emotional relapse.

  •    Anxiety
  •    Intolerance
  •    Anger
  •    Defensiveness
  •    mood swings
  •    isolation
  •    not asking for help
  •    not going to meetings
  •    poor eating habits
  •    poor sleeping habits

The practice of self-care is one of the best ways of avoiding the symptoms of an emotional relapse. You should bear in mind that you resorted to drugs to escape, relax, or reward yourself and thus, not taking care of yourself may lead you to go back into such addiction. When you have, poor sleeping habits or poor eating habits, chances of you feeling exhausted would be greater and once you feel exhausted, you might feel the urge of going back into drug use again because you would turn to the mentality that using drugs allows you to escape from exhaustion.

When you continue to hold on to your resentments and fears, these will start to build to a point where you feel uncomfortable, and when you continue to allow these emotions to grow, you start to isolate yourself. You start to have that feeling of being uncomfortable and that you would again try to find a way to release yourself from this feeling.

Changing your friends would also help you avoid going into a relapse. If after your rehabilitation, you would keep on hanging with the same people that influenced you to try and use drugs, then it would just be a vicious cycle and you would end up going back to the addiction. It often helps being in the company of people who live active lives, engages into sports, and other activities in order to shun away from stress, and other emotional factors that may lead you to relapse.

Have an active life and try to engage yourself in different sports activities. What people often don’t know is that having an active life and engaging into sports are ways for one to get the stress out of their body. Having an exercise routine, and going to the gym are also very effective ways of removing stress or de-stressing yourself, removing the anger that you feel and venting it out, and thus, one of the ways to avoid any possible relapse.

Mental stage of relapse is also something that we need to watch out for. When you think of wanting to use and go back into the use of drugs, you simply should remember the reasons that led you to the use and to your addiction to drugs. Once you are aware of the reasons, try to find a way on how you can program your mind not to be lead into that same scenario. Always remember that having the mentality that no one would find out that you’ve relapsed is a bad mentality and it is something that you should not tell yourself or even make yourself believe in. Once you go back to using drugs, and once you get addicted to it again, there will always be signs and symptoms that would allow others determine that you have gone to a relapse.

Seeking the help of an expert would also be handy and useful for you to be properly guided and avoid going into a relapse. If an expert would not be readily available, you can talk to your friend who would always ensure that you would not go into a relapse. They say that sharing how and what you feel is one of the best ways to prevent a relapse from happening. Having someone to talk to would alleviate that feeling that you’re alone and that no one is there to listen to your problems, frustrations, and disappointments.

Take things one day at a time. You don’t need to be worried about abstaining from the use of drugs or be overwhelmed by the negative thought that you might fall into a relapse. These are some thoughts that may creep into your mind when you’re idle and alone. These are thoughts that you can avoid if you have someone that you can talk to and relate to regarding what you’re going through in life.

We should always remember that once you’ve gone out from the rehabilitation center; there will always be the possibility for you to go on relapse. Nobody is perfect and the only way for one to avoid going into a relapse is by being aware of ourselves. Knowing ourselves gives us an edge above all and being a step ahead by means of prevention, being more active in our lives, having a different set of friends, and ensuring that we don’t fall back into the same trap is the only key to be totally cured from our addiction to drugs.

Avoid drug relapse. Seek help from this area.

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How Long Methamphetamine Stay in your System

Methamphetamine or popularly known as meth is a powerful synthetic central nervous system stimulant. It can generate short but rapid euphoric high, causing the user to seek more because of the sudden crash.

The drug contains extreme addictive properties and deadly effects on the body. For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration classified meth as Schedule II substance under the US regulations for drugs. Possessing and selling of the drug makes it highly illegal in the country.

How users take Meth

Users usually smoke meth in a small glass pipe or prepare it for intravenous injection. Even though the two methods are different from each other, it can both reach the brain very quickly. Compare to smoking meth, injecting it directly into the bloodstream is the fastest way to get high, as it reaches the brain more rapidly.

When the drug rushes to the brain quickly it immediately causes euphoria. Along with this intense ecstasy sensation, users will often show signs of active energy. Some of the health effects of Meth abuse are as follows:

  •    Feelings of euphoria
  •    Excessive talking
  •    Increased energy
  •    Mood changes
  •    Disordered thought
  •    Sweating
  •    Loss of appetite
  •    Teeth grinding or bruxism
  •    Itching.
  •    Dry mouth often accompanied with bad breath
  •    Nausea
  •    Vomiting
  •    Diarrhea

Long-term abuse of meth can cause:

  •    Heart disease
  •    Communicable diseases
  •    Probable neurotoxicity
  •    Cognitive problems (like poor memory, impede processing of thoughts, and motor incoordination problems)
  •    Methamphetamine-induce psychosis   (such as hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions)
  •    Psychomotor retardation and anhedonia (unable to feel pleasure)

However, when long time users suddenly stopped or decreased their meth intake, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. This can lead to intense cravings, where users need to take more of the drug, suffer ‘crash’ and do the cycle again. Sign and symptoms of withdrawal include:

  •    Aggression
  •    Irritability
  •    Fatigue
  •    Increased appetite
  •    Anxiety
  •    Depression
  •    Unable to feel pleasure (anhedonia)
  •    Anger
  •    Lethargy
  •    Dizziness
  •    Inability to concentrate
  •    Paranoia
  •    Muscle weakness
  •    Sweating
  •    Headaches
  •    Fever
  •    Delusions
  •    Psychosis
  •    Suicidal thoughts

Factors that affect the Length of Time for Detecting Meth

There are several factors that play a vital role in detecting meth in the system. Usually, it takes about 2-10 days for the body to excrete all traces of the drug. However, these several factors can determine how fast the body can flushed meth or how long the meth stays in the system.

  •    How often you use methamphetamine
  •    The dosage you usually take
  •    How healthy your kidneys and liver functions
  •    The type of test used to detect meth

How the body Metabolize Meth

One of the most important factors for detecting meth is how the body metabolizes the drug. When users take meth, the body immediately starts to metabolize the drug. Here are the stages on how the body metabolizes meth:

  •    The time meth reaches the bloodstream, the body makes it first initial process converting some of the drugs into amphetamine.
  •    After a few hours from the last dose, the body starts to process the amphetamine and the remaining methamphetamine circulating in the system.
  •    These substances passed through the liver and the kidneys. Users will then excrete the drugs in the urine shortly after.
  •    However, 50% of a meth can flush out from the body exactly as it came in. Meaning, the body does not metabolize or processed the drug. Users did not experience any stimulating effects from that specific fraction of meth.

Meth and Various Drug Tests

Meth, a fast-acting stimulant does not linger in the system for very long. Depending on the dosage of the drug, it can last for about 8-24 hours. The user’s body chemistry can also affect the duration of meth in the system. The drug has a plasma half-life of 12-34 hours. This means that it usually takes 12-34 hours for the body to process meth by half in the user’s blood.

Urine Test

Urine test typically detects meth up to 72 hours from the last drug intake. But for heavy, long-term meth users can still linger in the system and the test can detect the drug up to a week. When users ingest the drug, the liver and kidney can immediately process it. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, up to 54% of the drug passes out of the body unchanged.

Saliva Test

A saliva swab can detect meth from 1 to 4 days after the user’s last dose.

Hair Test

Synthetic drugs including meth can stay in the user’s hair for a longer period of time. The test can turn out positive for meth up to 90 days from the last use.

In summary, drug tests can detect meth in different ways which include:

  •    Blood Test = 12-34 hours
  •    Saliva Test = 1 to 4 days
  •    Hair Test = 90 days from the last use
  •    Urine Test = up to 72 hours
  •    Time to leave the body = 2-10 days but chronic heavy use makes it longer to leave the body
  •    Effects of meth use = 8-24 hours

Experts consider methamphetamine as one of the most dangerous recreational drugs. Any suspected addiction of your loved one to this drug should be treated immediately. Recovering from meth addiction is not an easy journey, but still possible.

 

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How does Addiction Affect the Brain

It is a known fact that the brain serves as the most dynamic and complex organ in the body. Weighing about three pounds, the brain consists of gray and white matter that oversees all bodily function.  The proper functioning of the brain ensures our very survival.

In summary, the proper functioning of the brain ensures our very survival. It interprets and responds to everything that we experience, it shapes our emotions, thoughts and even behavior.  When our brains function well, we are constantly adapting to our environment. Ironically, the adaptive ability of the brain contributed to the development of addiction.

Addiction can cause four fundamental modifications to the brain. This includes:

  1. Addiction changes the brain’s natural balance.
  2. Addiction changes the brain’s chemistry.
  3. Addiction changes the brain’s communication pathways.
  4. Addiction Changes the structures in the brain

# 1 Addiction changes the brain’s natural balance.

Addictive behavior hampers in the biological process of the brain called homeostasis. Scientists and experts consider the human body as a biological system. For them, all biological systems attempt to maintain a normal balance as part of its functioning.

The brain functions as the main overseer of this balance.  It makes countless adjustments to maintain a balanced, well-functioning, biological system. The brain individually determined each person’s normal balance. Drug abuse and addictive behavior can lead to changes in this so called normal balance.

Addiction can over stimulate and interferes with the balance of the brain. The brain makes a quick adjustment to maintain the balance, creating a new balance set-point. The creation of the new balance referred to as “allostasis”.

The brain’s adaptive behavior triggers changes in the brain’s normal function. These changes account for many behaviors associated with addiction such as:

  • Intense cravings to get drugs.
  • Persistent behavior to seek the drug despite its negative effects.
  • Difficulty or unsuccessful trials quitting the addiction.
  • The obsessive nature of addictions that see little else in life matters.

The new behavior causes the brain’s balance to accommodate the addiction. Once changed, the brain adapts the addictive behavior to maintain the new homeostatic balance.

#2 Addiction Changes The Brain’s Chemistry

Good communication is absolutely important, functioning as the major key to coordinate with family members or people from work. Our bodies are no different. Neuron systems deliver messages back and forth within the structures of the spinal cord, nerves and the brain. These complex networks regulate and interpret everything that we feel, see, think and do.

To understand the effect of addiction on the brain system, one must understand how communication works. Communication systems consist of five senses, namely:

  • sight
  • sound
  • taste
  • touch
  • smell

These five senses collect and analyze information around us; the brain processes all these.

As a complex organ, the brain receives a massive amount of information. It may sound complex but the brain works on a simple electrochemical process.

The communication system works allowing the brain to interact with the other body parts. Billions of neurons passed the information to the brain. Human brains contain billions of these neurons connections. The massive network builds an electrochemical communication system.

Some neurotransmitters can affect other neurons (excitatory). They can affect other neurons and produce reactions. Here are some of the neurons found in the brain.

  •    Inhibitory neurons – prevents the next neuron from sending another reaction.
  •    Glutamate – the most common excitatory neurotransmitter found in the brain.
  •    Gamma-aminobutyric acid or GABA – the most common inhibitory. This plays an important role in addiction.

Neuropeptides that are relevant to addiction are:

  •    natural opiates  present in the brain (called endorphins)
  •    stress hormones
  •    peptides (associated with feeding and anxiety)

These molecules have their own specific types of receptors.  Some neurotransmitters react to specific drugs. All drugs can affect this system to varying degrees more so in the dopamine system.

Here are some of the illicit substance and its effect on the system.

Drugs and  its affected brain system

Cocaine and Methamphetamine – Alters the dopamine system

Opiates (heroin, codeine, Oxycontin®, Vicodin®, and hydrocodone) – Cause changes in the dopamine, opiate (endorphin), and GABA systems.

Alcohol- Changes the dopamine, glutamate, and GABA systems

Marijuana- activates dopamine and in the brain’s own cannabinoid system.

Nicotine found in cigarettes- Changes in the acetylcholine system

Ecstasy- Affects both dopamine and serotonin systems.

# 3 Addiction Changes The Brain’s Communication Pathways

New neural pathways are formed as an addiction develops. This is because addiction chemically altered the brain’s communication system. When you take that drug away, the brain must again form new neural pathways. Just as when we had to forge a new trail in the woods. The experience is initially uncomfortable.  Successful recovery cases can press on through this brief, uncomfortable period.

Remember, it was difficult and uncomfortable to forge a new pathway around a fallen tree. The same is true for the initial period of recovery. It can be difficult and uncomfortable while these new neural pathways are forming.

It is important for the recovering person to persevere and does not give up. Particularly in this initial stage of discomfort, new neural pathways will form for recovery. These new pathways will become more established and better developed over time. As they do, recovery becomes easier and more comfortable.

Unfortunately, because the brain can adapt easily, it also serves as the root of addiction. The brain adapts to the strong effects of addictive drugs and activities.

Changes that occur in the brain regions associated with the following:

  • reward
  • memory and emotion
  • decision-making
  • stress regulation

These changes to our brain make the repeated use of addictive substances or activities very compelling. Luckily, the neuroplasticity of the brain permits the person to these changes.

Therefore, although addiction leads to structural changes in the brain, we are capable of learning new coping skills. The brain’s plasticity allows these new coping skills to be imprinted.

# 4 Addiction Changes the structures in the brain

The brain is composed of many different regions and structures. The communication of the brain system allows these different regions to manage their activities. Each of these different structures has its own purposes.

Addictions can alter these regions and structures and how the brain functions. It affects some regions and structures of the brain, such as:

  • Decision-making
  • Drug-seeking behavior and craving
  • Withdrawal effects, and relapse triggers
  • Stress regulation and withdrawal.

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Helping Someone with Drug Addiction and Depression | West Palm Beach

One of the common fears that people and loved ones of a drug addict face are the questions. How do I help them avoid addiction and depression?

Depression is a common scenario for all human beings. At one point or the other, we find certain events of our lives depressing, either because things did not turn out how we wanted it to be, expectations were not met. Any traumatic event in our lives can trigger our depression and lead to addiction. We find drugs as a means of escape and there are several drugs that have been introduced to allow one to have a temporal escape from their reality.

Your loved one may turn to drugs for comfort, but depression could strike anyway. There is always that danger that a person may not get the chance to process, understand or cope up with the traumatic event in their life which was the root cause of why they opted to turn to drugs in the first place.

It is normal for us to empathize with a loved one who is suffering depression and living with them may even be more challenging. Helping someone with drug addiction and depression needs one to be able to support that person which can be done in several ways, such as:

Listening and learning

Lending an ear is one of the idiomatic expressions that would completely describe and explain this. Listening to a person suffering from depression is very hard because sometimes the stories and tales are just the same.

Set boundaries.

If your loved one is living under the same roof, you should set rules and regulations that would help them recover from their addiction. This means that if you do not feel comfortable with drugs or alcohol in your house, you establish that rule and stick to it. It also might involve financial and other household boundaries.

Organize an intervention.

Having a third-party intervention would also be trying to seek the help of professional. A trained psychologist or psychiatrist can handle sensitive situations better. You can turn to professional interventionist not because you refuse to help your loved ones. But rather you want to provide the best possible help you can provide. Sometimes, having an intervention can be proved a powerful factor to change the person.

Be supportive and encouraging.

Provide all support that you can give to your loved one with an addiction. This means that you support them in their decision to change. When your loved one suffering from addiction decided to change, half of the battle has been won. Their decision to change serves as one of the key factors to help a person recover from addiction and depression.

But bear in mind that that the person involved with addiction and depression is still in charge of their own recovery. No matter hoe supportive or how much encouragement you provide, they are the ones making the decision.

It’s important to show continued to support and to have an open heart. Let them know that your concern comes from a place of love. Make them feel the best encouragement and support you can give the person.

You should understand that depression and drug addiction acts similarly. As mentioned earlier, a depressed person would have a bigger chance of turning into drug use since one of the misconceptions and believe in taking drugs is that it alleviates you and makes you forget your problem or whatever is causing your depression. Knowing this should give us the edge in conquering and fighting the huge problem of drug addiction.

If your loved one approaches you and asks for your help regarding his drug addiction problem, the first thing that you must do is to convince them to get an evaluation from a doctor. Having themselves evaluated by a physician or doctor would allow you to determine how deep their addiction problem is. You may also try to convince them to seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist who would walk them through their journey and help them conquer the roadblocks in the life that led them to their addiction in the first place.

There are a lot of organizations and clinics that offer treatment for drug addiction and depression but you should remember that each treatment program is tailored to the person or patient’s need. Therefore, you would need to encourage your friend or loved one to seek professional help. If they are afraid of what others would think of them, just sell to them the good points of having a drug-free life. It takes a lot of courage to seek help from a drug problem and if your friend or a loved one has trusted you with this problem, we must do all our best to understand, and extend a hand to them.

There are several drug rehabilitation centers that provide medication to the patient which helps alleviate their depression. It is expected though that every person who has been using drugs and is heavily addicted to it will exhibit withdrawal symptoms within a few days or sometimes, even longer. Along with the drugs that they take to alleviate their depression, they are also being given a nutritional diet, and exercise that would eliminate all traces of drugs in the patient’s body. Aside from medicines, a nutritional diet, and exercise, patients are also provided with mental assistance or therapy.

Once a person becomes aware that the cause of their drug addiction is depression and other traumatic experiences in their life, they would soon realize that addiction is something that can be stopped and the only thing that would hinder them from stopping is themselves.

Detox of South Florida works to provide educational articles to help those who are suffering with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

Find help from this area and overcome drug addiction.

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Good Alcoholic Drinks: A Big NO! For Recovering Alcoholics, Ever

If you think that quitting on alcohol is like a sprint, it is not; it is like a marathon. After a long time of sobriety, it could appear as if you can begin drinking alcohol socially once more. It may not seem like a problem to have a beer or a couple more with your friends; however, if you have been an alcoholic before, a single drink can be equivalent to losing all the years of progress you have been making to maintain a sober life.

Should an alcoholic be drinking again after they have gained sobriety?

NO, regardless of whether it is good alcoholic drinks or not. Remember that it took you a very long time to recover from alcoholism and it is only wise to completely avoid alcohol.

Studies show that a single drink may lead you back to the path of more and more drinking, once again.

It could be quite tempting to drink alcohol as you see others successfully able to drink alcohol in moderation. Then you think to yourself that since you have proven that you can quit drinking, then a single drink cannot possibly do you any harm, right? Unfortunately, those who have a history of alcoholism cannot and should not have the liberty to drink, even in moderation.

When can recovering alcoholics drink after getting treatment?

A lot of recovering alcoholics often think about, why are medical professionals advising them to avoid alcohol completely? It is not that gulping a single drink with alcohol can hurt you, but that a single drink more often than not leads to a second, then a third. Before you know it, you have already fallen into the alcoholism trap once more. It will be easier to drink once again; however, this is completely opposite of what you have been trying to work hard for – your sobriety – so, it is not worth taking the risk at all.

Research also reveals that abstinence from alcohol may be the best thing to do to avoid falling into a relapse. Although you should not be ashamed if you relapse as it happens to a lot of individuals, you should do best to avoid that from happening to you. The chances of you suffering a relapse are close to zero if you do not indulge at all.

Should a recovering alcoholic be allowed to drink once more?

Some people oppose the idea of not permitting recovering alcoholics to drink again. They believe that the approach to abstinence is not realistic; instead, it becomes a punishment to those suffering from the disease. Such people claim that abstinence can create a stigma on the recovering alcoholic as most will stand out at social events. There is a certain truth in the claim as it could be very difficult to explain your situation to others and why you are not drinking; however, when you think of your sobriety being at stake, you will be able to overcome those challenges.

You can relapse to problem drinking any time you take in one or two drinks socially that’s likely to become 8 or 9. When you finally realize that you really can’t moderate your drinking, your old habits may have sunk in already. Again your social, work and personal relationships suffer and you experience the negative impact of alcohol on your health. Once more, you will have to restart your path to recovery.

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Famous People who have Overcome Drug Addiction | Miami FL

Drug addiction can affect anybody, and almost everyone knows that Hollywood celebrities tend to do drugs. While some succumbed into the deadly habit, most recovered it all and gone to better days. Here are some of the Celebrities who battled addiction and successfully overcome it.

Drew Barrymore

Growing up in the Hollywood spotlight as a child actor exposes her to the same path that most child actors went through. She also had to deal with family problems while growing up. At a very young age, she was exposed to nightclubs, drug use, cigarettes, and alcohol. By the time she was 14 years old; Drew changed her lifestyle and remained sober to this day.

Britney Spears

One of the most popular and sensationalized addiction problems that the country saw was Britney Spears. She went into a total meltdown because of her drug and alcohol addiction. When she had enough, Britney check herself into a rehab facility and battled her addiction. Presently, she fully regains her celebrity status and continues to build her career in the music industry.

Robert Downey Jr.

Before he was cast as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., suffered from addiction. It was the most publicized and at the same time the most inspiring addiction recovery cases in Hollywood. Robert suffering from different kinds of addiction like heroin, cocaine and other illegal substance there is lost his career as an actor. During his addiction, Hollywood deliberately outcast the actor and lost many acting roles. He just simply had enough of his struggles and check into a rehab center. When he got off from the treatment program he was able to live a sober life. Robert Downey Jr. became one of the highest Hollywood A-list actors today.

Matt Damon

The movie industry knew Matt Damon as a longtime chain smoker, but it all changed when he saw a particular picture. Matt saw himself smoking and realized how terrible he looked. He then began his healthy living which resulted to quit his habit. He was so sure that quitting is the right choice that he even convinced his best friend, Ben Affleck to quit smoking as well.

Ben Affleck

Beating addiction actually skyrocketed his career even more. Ben’s problems with gambling and alcoholism almost ended his Hollywood career. In 2001, realizing that it is his addiction is causing damage to his health and career, he voluntarily went into rehab. After the program, he turned to some of his friends for support and was drug-free ever since.  Ben reportedly visited Lindsey Lohan when the Hollywood actress also went to rehab. He hoped that he can help the young actress in maintaining sobriety after the rehab program.

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie, the daughter of the famous singer, Lionel Richie also fell into the addiction trap. She was addicted to pills, marijuana, and heroin. In 20017, authorities arrested Nicole for illegal possession of heroin and for being under the influence of marijuana and Vicodin. After rehab therapy, Nicole gained her vitality and is now married with two kids.

Steven Tyler

The lead singer of the well-renowned rock band, Aerosmith battled addiction ever since he was in high school. In one of his interview, Steven admitted that his addiction led to poor relationships and difficulty following lessons in class. His band mates intervene with Steve’s addiction and finally convinced the singer to check into rehab in 1986.

Eminem

Eminem publicly admitted that he once used drugs and other painkillers. His friends intervene with his addiction problem and he was convinced to go to rehab. During his treatment, Elton John befriended the rapper and convinced him to seek additional treatment to maintain a sober life.

Demi Lovato

Demi’s career was at its peak when the actress suffered alcohol and drug addiction. In 2010, she entered a rehab facility to get treatment. Until now the singer and actress maintain a drug-free lifestyle as well as building her successful career in the industry.

Catherine Zeta-Jones

Catherine never denied that she used to smoke as a teenager. However, she continued to light cigarettes until her adulthood. But one momentous event changed everything for her.  Paparazzi took a picture of her smoking while pregnant. The image disgusted the actress that she decided to end the habit for good. Also, not wanting her children to grow up smoking, she quit the habit for good.

Daniel Radcliffe

Not many people knew that behind the success of the Harry Potter series, Daniel suffered alcoholism privately. He was addicted to alcohol during the filming of the popular wizard movie series. He then realized that his behavior was causing him his life and his successful career. The young actor went through alcohol treatment and has lived a sober life ever since.

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah serves as one of the inspiration all over the globe. She was a role model for children who wants to be successful in life despite all challenges. However, she also battled one difficult ordeal of crack cocaine addiction during the 80s. Nobody knows exactly how long she suffered from addiction. Oprah gave up the habit ages ago and is now trying to help people overcome the same battle she won.

Kelly Osborne

Kelly Osborne journey to recovery was not an easy one. The daughter of Ozzy Osborne battled with addiction and numerous relapses along the way. In 2009, she went to rehab four times because of drugs and painkillers before learning the way of sobriety.

Fergie

The Black Eyes Peas singer also suffered from drug abuse during her career. The addiction was so worse that it caused her to leave the group and get help from a rehab facility. After the treatment, she created several songs about the addiction and it was a hit. She was now married to Josh Duhamel.

Detox of South Florida is committed to providing educational articles to help those who are struggling with addiction, to make the change to living an addiction free life.

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What Causes Drug Addiction? | Orlando

Most medical practitioners would agree that addiction does not have one solitary cause. Addiction is a complex disorder that starts because of several factors.

Mental health problems are one of the main factors for addiction. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 50% of drug addicts suffer from one or more mental health disorders. Users turn to abuse drugs to help with the symptoms. When they take it regularly, addiction can develop.

Drug and alcohol addiction includes abuse to substances such as:

  • Alcohol
  • Methamphetamines
  • Opioids, including pain medication prescriptions
  • Stimulants
  • Tobacco

Habits are often mistaken for addiction. But there is a big difference, people take control of their habits and chooses their habits. Giving up their habit takes time but does not have any connection with the same neurological and psychological changes which controls addiction.

 

The Physical Nature of Addiction

Substances that cause addiction can physically alter the parts of the brain which are associated with memory, motivation, and reward. Repetitive use behavior of these substances can develop into addiction.

Alcohol and drug addiction can affect these brain areas:

  • Amygdala
  • Anterior Cingulate Cortex
  • Basal Forebrain
  • Nucleus Accumbens

Almost most forms of addiction interfere with the interaction of neurotransmitters and the function of the brain chemical. This is especially true in the memory areas and reward system of the brain. Because of the physical nature of drug addiction, it takes time and continuing efforts to overcome the disorder. Discontinuing the use of the addictive substances can lead to intense withdrawal symptoms which include headaches, nausea, and vomiting.  

 

How addiction affect the brain

Addiction can also cause changes in several nerve cells in the brain like neurons. These neurons use natural chemicals referred to as neurotransmitters to communicate. Unfortunately, these changed in the brain can stay even after the users cease using the drug.

The most common factors that can trigger addiction include:

  • Growing up in a household with substance abuse history
  • Elevated Stress Levels
  • Severe Trauma and/or Injury
  • Mental health conditions, particularly as mood disorders like chronic anxiety and depression
  • Psychological trauma, especially after loss of  a loved one or extreme loneliness

Like most mental health illnesses, there are several factors that can contribute to the development of drug addiction. Two of the main factors are environment and genetics.

 

Environmental factors

The environmental factors include the behavior, attitudes, and belief of the one’s family. When parents do not educate their children about drug addiction, their children will think addiction is acceptable. This attitude often results in a higher risk of substance abuse.

Peer pressure also plays an important role for drug use. This is especially true for teenagers. They will hang out with friends and will do anything to fit in. If some of the people in the group take drugs or drink alcohol, it is very probable that someone will fall into the habit. Also, peer pressure holds a very strong force to coerce someone to experiment things they would not do on their own.

 

Genetics

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, genetics make up 50% of the development of addiction. Biological make-up of a person may delay or speed up the progression of the disorder. However, a person who has a family history of addiction does not ensure them of the same disorder.

 

There are also underlying causes of addiction:

 

  • Mental disorders

Users who suffer from bipolar disorder, depression anxiety, and other mental disorder may turn to substance abuse to relieve their problems. Alcohol and other illicit drugs can temporary make them feel ‘normal’. It is difficult for users to go to a professional and seek help, more so if they confess their emotions to their loved ones. They turn to addiction as a way to solve forget and ‘solve’ their problem on their own.

 

  • People turn to substance abuse to ‘get rid’ of stress

People think an occasional drink after a day’s hard work just to relax. However, over time this behavior can lead to tolerance, this means users need to drink more alcohol get the same ‘relaxing’ feeling. A seemingly innocent one glass of wine can easily balloon to one bottle of wine per serving. This condition will soon lead to dependency then turn into an addiction.

 

  • People turn to drugs to escape from hurtful memories

Numerous people had experienced very traumatic events in their life like an abusive partner or a sexual assault experience. They turn to drugs to escape or temporarily forget these unpleasant memories.  Children are very susceptible to physical and emotional trauma. These horrible experiences can disturb them into their adulthood. Instead of going to a psychologist, they misuse addictive substance to go through their ‘normal’ life.

 

  • Boredom often leads people into trying drugs

Boredom sometimes pushes people to try using drugs or drinking alcohol to get the feeling of ‘excitement’. However, their behavior will do more harm than good, as it can easily develop into addiction. Teens and young adults usually fall under this reason, since they do not carry responsibilities of paying bills, jobs and other daily stressors. They see substance abuse as a way to escape their world and enter their altered reality.

 

  • People think that a legitimate prescription is acceptable to use

Most people think that a prescription from a medical practitioner is safe to use. When they know someone who suffers ‘similar’ symptoms of their sickness, they often use the same drug. This is a very dangerous mentality as they can experience the adverse effect of the drug, or they might accidentally combine it with another drug. The latter can result in drug dependency or worst to a drug overdose.

 

  • Prescription drug can generate drug dependency and lead to addiction

People who suffer from moderate to severe pain often see a doctor to get a prescription from the pain. These people may have pre-existing injuries while others get injured. Unfortunately, painkiller drugs can produce drug dependency. Over time, people need to get more of the drug to function normally. Most of the time, users take more of the drug get the same effect or continue to take the drug long after the prescription is over.

 

  • People seek out the feelings of euphoria

Users get hooked on drugs and other illicit substances because of the ‘high’ feelings it generates. They continue to seek the experience and will create a continuous cycle. One of the challenges to treating addiction is because of this reason. Prolonged heavy use of addictive substances often requires a long period of medical treatment.

It may seem difficult to break addiction but with proper treatment and support from loved ones it remains possible. As detox is one of the effective ways out there, it is best to have the best source of information and Detox of South Florida is committed to offer help.

Check out this Orlando Detox playlist

 

Tackling the Debate about Drug Addiction | Miami

Over the years, many people debate about drug addiction being a disease. People think that those who suffer drug addiction usually lack the strong motivation to quit or users lack moral principles.

Understanding drug addiction takes more than someone else’s’ opinion.

The medical community considered drug addiction as a complex disease. Kicking the habit takes more than willpower. Over time these drugs alter the brain which makes it difficult for users to quit, even if they want to. Medical treatments for addiction are widely available. Many users recover from addiction to live a healthy and happy life.

What happens when someone falls into the trap of addiction? To understand addiction, it is important to know what addiction is all about.

 

Drug Addiction

The American Medical Association defines drug addiction as a disease. Environmental, biological, and behavioral factors can cause drug addiction. A condition similar to diseases like cancer, heart disease, and hypertension. Also, genetic contributes a lot in addiction.

Addiction alters the physical characteristic of the body and the brain. It creates changes in the normal function of the brain. Drug addictions trigger these changes or users already have pre-existing medical conditions.

The end result of drug addiction can cause further damage to the physical and mental health. Such conditions need serious and expensive medical care. Long term addiction will develop into a severe disorder. Users may end up with life-threatening health conditions.

 

How Drugs Abuse Changes the Brain Function

Most drugs interrupt the normal function of the brain’s reward system. This reward system controls the pleasure activity in the brain, the same region where it motivates a person.

These addictive substances can cause the brain to produce excessive dopamine levels.

Also, these drugs flood the central nervous system with dopamine, a chemical messenger. Overstimulation of the reward system can cause a rush of intense ‘high’. This feeling triggers the person for repetitive behavior.

When users continue to use illicit drugs, the brain adapt to the dopamine excess. Over time the build tolerance for the drug. This means that the brain will start reducing the natural dopamine production. It can also cut off the cell’s ability in the reward system to respond to pleasure. Users may need to take more of the drug or take higher doses to get the same effect.

Furthermore, because of the reduction in the natural dopamine production, users may feel less motivated. They have decreased pleasure from activities or hobbies they once enjoyed in the past. Long term heavy drug abuse can cause other changes in the brain chemical systems. These functions may include:

  • Behavior
  • Decision-making
  • Learning
  • Judgment
  • Stress
  • Memory

Even if the users stop consuming the drugs, the changes in the brain can still linger for a period of time. These changes can also make the users vulnerable to the physical and environmental factors that caused them to turn into drugs. Once users restart the addiction, it is medically known as a relapse.

 

Can people blame users for their addictive actions?

People should not blame users for suffering from addiction. Even though all people make choices whether to use substances, they do not choose how their body will respond to it. Each individual has unique physical characteristics and produces different reactions to drugs and alcohol. Some users may control their use while other cannot.

Each person has the capability to stop using addictive substances. Users may find it more difficult to quit than those who do not have the disorder. Nevertheless, users cannot walk away without accountability.

The only action users carry is the responsibility to seek treatment. They are responsible for maintaining a sober life. Most often they need help and support from loved ones and close friends. Having a strong support system increases the chance for effective recovery from addiction.

 

More than willpower

Drug addiction usually starts with a decision and a conscious choice of the user. But, as time goes by, addiction changes the normal function of the brain and will power becomes damaged.

The most significant symptoms of addiction are the uncontrollable behavior to consume the addictive substance.

 

Is drug addiction a disease?

A disease is health conditions that can are manageable. Approximately 25 to 50% of people with substance abuse disorder also have a co-existing severe or chronic disorder. For users, addiction is a progressive disease which needs continuous treatments. Aftercare and strong support group are also important for users to regain their vitality.

Fortunately, even is most severe cases of addiction, the disorder can still be treated and remains as reversible.

 

Drug Addiction a Disease or not

Many people do not consider drug addiction as a disease based on the initial stages factor which is the user’s choice to use addictive substances. It may start a decision but over time, these substances alter the brain and body and users lose all control of their actions.

Also, choices do not determine the end result such as the kind of disease it can trigger. Some forms of cancer and heart disease all result from poor diet and lack of exercise. A disease is something that happens as a result of those initial choices.

Meanwhile, some people argue about drug addiction should not be considered as a disease because some people do get better without seeking medical help. Users with mild substance disorder can effectively recovery even without undergoing treatment.

On the other hand, people with severe addiction commonly need treatment and sustained aftercare for life. This is to ensure abstinence and to take control of their lives without relapses.

Visit the nearest detox and rehab center in Miami.

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Devastating Side Effects of Drug in the Brain | West Palm Beach

The Human Brain

The human brain weighs about three pounds made of gray and white matter. It is the most complex organ which controls all activity in the body. The brain helps in regulating all the basic functions of the body. It is also in charge to control all involuntary body motion like breathing, and the senses. Furthermore, it controls emotions, thoughts, and behavior of an individual.

Structure of the human brain

The brain’s structure composes of several parts that function as a tea. Each section of the brain is responsible for performing and managing specific function. However, the introduction of the drug into the brain can alter these areas. Also, drugs affect the life-sustaining function of the brain. These drugs can alter the important function of the brain, these areas include:

The cerebral cortex

This part of the brain is divided into sections that process vital information for the body. The frontal cortex or the forebrain serves as the thinking region of the brain. This section regulates the solving problems ability of the individual. It also manages the decision-making abilities like the ability to plan and to think. The brain also processes information which enables the individual to see, feel, hear, and taste.

Brain Stem

This area of the brain controls the critical function of the body. These include the breathing and sleeping functions of the individual. Also, this area regulates the heart rate.

The Limbic system

This part holds the reward system of the brain. It connects brain cells and neurotransmitter. These cells regulate the gratification system of the brain. Also, the limbic system is in charge of the positive and negative sensations.

Healthy lifestyle like exercising and socializing sustained the function of the limbic system. Similarly, drugs can also affect the limbic system, the same way as a healthy lifestyle does. Since the limbic system controls emotions, it justifies the mood-altering side effects of several drugs.

 

The effect of addiction in the brain

The chemical compositions of drugs interfere with the brain communication system. It disrupts the normal connection of neurons in receiving, sending and processing information. Some specific type of drugs like heroin and marijuana can imitate a natural transmitter. In this way, the drugs can activate neurons in sending ‘altered’ information.

Also, another type of drugs can ‘fool’ brain receptors and in which drugs can also activate neurons. Even though these drugs can imitate the chemicals in the brain, they do not activate neurons naturally. They contain chemicals different from a neurotransmitter. This can lead to unusual messages in the brain system. Drugs like cocaine and amphetamine can result to excessive neurotransmitters in the brain.  These drugs prevent the normal function of the chemicals in the system.

How drugs produces feeling of euphoria

Several drugs can cause excessive dopamine production in the brain’s reward system. Dopamine is a chemical that exists within the brain system that controls emotions, movement, motivation and most importantly, feelings of pleasure.  

In a normal condition, it provides a feeling of satisfaction in a natural stimulus. However, overstimulation the system with dopamine can produce a rapid intense feeling of euphoria. This exact sensation reinforces the user to take the drugs. Over time, it becomes a compulsive behavior to use drugs because of this effect.

Other unnatural changes in the brain

Long-term consumption of drugs interferes with the brain function that controls emotions and rational thinking related to drug use. Continued drug abuse can lead to tolerance, a major side effect of the disorder. Once users build tolerance for the drug, they need to take higher doses to get the same effect. Also, this can trigger the user to seek and consume the drugs spontaneously. Tolerance may lead to drug overdose because the user is negligent of the doses they take.

Also, prolonged exposure to drugs abuse disrupts the normal reward system of the brain. Drugs can cause overproduction of dopamine. Users may feel less enthusiastic and reduced feeling of pleasure. This happens because the brain adjusts with the presence of dopamine in the system. It can either reduced the production of dopamine or lessen the number of brain receptors to receive messages.

This result to the lower sensation to experience pleasure and users will feel depressed, and lifeless. They find it more difficult to find pleasure from activities or hobbies they previously enjoyed. To get the sensation back they take more drugs to get a large amount dopamine in their brain system. This creates a cycle of addictive behavior.

The brain continuously adapt to the drugs present in the system. Over time, the brain may become impaired with decision-making, learning, and memory. Drugs can alter the connections between neurons which can form more connections. When these changes take place, users will seek their choice of drug and becomes an addict.

The cognitive function of the brain

Drugs abuse can affect another neurotransmitter in the brain known as glutamate. This neurotransmitter can influence the reward system and the ability to learn. When drugs altered a specific amount of glutamate, it can cause cognitive problems. The brain will then adapt to these changes. Users may find it difficult to think and to learn some life-sustaining activities. A long period of abuse can lead to changes in the unconscious memory function of the brain.

Even when users stopped taking drugs, the brain will not immediately return to its normal function. Some drugs have a devastating effect which killed neurons. Unfortunately, the body cannot replace most of these cells.  On the other hand, some changes are not permanent but could take months even years before the body can reverse the effect of the drugs.

Severe brain alteration can make it difficult for the user to abstained drug use. They often experience intense cravings which to relapses. A cycle difficult to break without a proper medical treatment.

Be saved while it’s not yet too late. Get help from West Palm Beach

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How To Overcome Drug Addiction

Is addiction curable at home? Generally, addicted individuals have a difficulty dealing with life that they have chosen. In the process of recovery, emotional pain can be evident. The newly sober person can feel fears and anxieties that can actually cause them to revert to addictive behaviors. This is all part of the withdrawal process. Being in a safe supportive medically supervised environment is what will give you the best chance of lasting through the detox and rehab process. Now that you know “how drugs affects the brain” you should be motivated to beat your addiction.

Two frogs are sitting on a lily pad. One decides to jump off. How many frogs are left on the lily pad? Right, just because you decide to do something doesnt mean you too ACTION. That frog decided to do something but didnt actually jump. Don’t be like the frog. Take action and live your life free from addiction.

Below are some suggestions on how to overcome anxieties, fears, and depression. According to experts, overcoming them is the first step to becoming sober. The ultimate goal is to let go of all feelings that hold them back from stepping outside the “darkness.”

Don’t let stress beat you.

We sometimes let stress get the best of us especially when everything happens at once. Taking deep breaths can help you stay focused as well as changing your activity for a few minutes just to get your mind off the problem at hand. You can try to get some fresh air, listen to music, or exercise. These will allow you to have a fresh perspective on things.

Learn the art of distraction.

Depression can be your enemy when you are in the process of recovery. Dragging yourself out of bed in the morning may just be difficult at times. However, do not dwell on the negative feelings and move on to other worthwhile activities, especially healthy ones like having a hearty breakfast or going out for a run. It will get your mind off the cravings and allow you to regain self-confidence to enjoy things once more.

Visualize YOUR success.

We can become depressed over something we have not done. However, we can also visualize ourselves doing great in accomplishing the tasks at hand. For example, if your team will be playing in the championship volleyball game in front of a very large audience in a couple of days, you can imagine yourself winning over the other team so you can boost your confidence into making it a reality. At work, you can imagine how you’ll go about with your presentation to your boss and colleagues. Self-visualization is seen as an effective tool in reducing fear and stress.

Write a journal.

The journal will be an extremely helpful technique in allowing you to express yourself. You can also take down positive statements that will make you feel good about your progress. When you come across a statement of affirmation, write it down in a small notebook you carry all of the time. When you feel depressed or just frustrated, you can reaffirm yourself by reading the positive statements

Most importantly, seek professional help. It is to your advantage to seek help from the long list of options available to you. If it is possible, consult a professional who can help you in managing your anxieties and depression. These people are trained to provide you with advice on how you can best deal with your current situation.

Talking to a skilled professional can help you, most importantly, by enabling you to deal with your problems more effectively in the future. Ready to check into detox? Click here to get started to living a life free from addiction. Detox of South Florida is here to help you take ACTION.

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