How did I Become a Heroin Addict?

Many people probably ask themselves this question, “How did I become a heroin addict?” No one chooses to become addicted to heroin. It happens for different reasons. Sure, some individuals choose to experiment with heroin due to peer pressure or simple curiosity. However, many people end up addicted to heroin because of an addiction to prescription painkillers.

A Heroin Addict and Their Thoughts

A heroin addict may wonder how they got to this point in their life? They may have begun with a legitimate sports injury or an injury at work, an automobile accident, or many other scenarios. Now, they are not using heroin to get high, they are using it to keep from having withdrawal symptoms which are excruciating to the user. But how did all this start?

Many of these individuals did not grow up in a drug or alcohol use environment. They simply went to their physician with chronic pain from an injury. Many of these physicians instead of trying alternative methods of pain relief, prescribe opioid painkillers. It doesn’t take long for the patient to develop a tolerance to these drugs. 

Tolerance to Opioid Prescription Painkillers

It is not uncommon for patients to develop a tolerance to their pain medication. Tolerance means that it takes more of the medication to produce the same results. If the patient takes more of the medication or takes it more often than prescribed, they will develop a dependence on the drug. 

Once the patient develops a dependence, they will have withdrawal symptoms if they do not take the drug. The body has to have the drug to keep from becoming ill from not having it. Physicians today are becoming more aware of opioid addiction and are not prescribing these drugs as freely. 

Once the doctors stop prescribing the opioid painkillers is the point when many individuals turn to heroin because it produces the same effects. Heroin is easier to obtain and in fact, is much cheaper than prescription painkillers on the streets.

What is Heroin and Why is it So Dangerous?

Heroin is the class of drugs known as opioids. It is, however, an illicit drug. It is sold on the streets and is readily available in almost every area of the United States today. Heroin reduces pain as well as producing a feeling of euphoria and relaxation. However, this drug is extremely addictive. It can be smoked, snorted, or injected into veins, under the skin, or into muscles.

The biggest danger associated with heroin is that it is sold on the streets by dealers who “cut” the drug with other substances such as powdered milk or sugar, among many other substances. Therefore, the user has no idea how much actual heroin they are receiving when buying this drug. 

Today, there has become a very dangerous and deadly practice of dealers “cutting” heroin with fentanyl. Many heroin overdose deaths are attributed to heroin laced with fentanyl. A heroin addict can never be sure of what substance they are receiving and using.

Seek Help for Heroin Addiction

Most heroin addicts do not seek help from a reputable addiction treatment center because of the withdrawal symptoms. Once they do not have the drug, withdrawal symptoms start. These symptoms are more than uncomfortable. A heroin addict can think that these symptoms are unbearable. This is why when these symptoms start, they do anything they can to get another “fix.” After all, this is much easier than asking for help. 

If you have become addicted to heroin for whatever reason, reach out for help. A reputable inpatient addiction treatment center can help you get through the withdrawal symptoms and detoxification as comfortably as possible. You will be safe during detox and will be treated with the utmost respect and compassion.

Our representatives at New Beginnings Rehab can help you choose a treatment program that will suit your individual needs. They can explain the entire process of detoxification after which you will receive a treatment program which will educate you about ways to stay sober and live a new life in recovery from addiction.

Don’t continue on the road to disaster. Seek help today. One of our representatives can answer any questions you may have about the right facility and treatment program for your needs. Make that call today.

 

 

 

Resources:

drugabuse.gov/ – What is Heroin and How is it Used?

Drugabuse.gov – What is Fentanyl?

 

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Alcohol Use Disorder

What is Alcohol Use Disorder and Who does it Affect?

Alcohol is one of our country’s most preventable causes of death today. It is estimated that about 15 million people in the United States are affected by an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The term “alcohol use disorder” is used to describe alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. AUD is put into classifications, mild, moderate, or severe.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

 

Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD.  AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.”

What are the Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder?

When a person’s drinking causes harm or distress, physicians usually diagnose it as an alcohol use disorder.  Sometimes individuals see mild signs that they don’t really describe as problem drinking. However, this can be the beginning of the AUD.

Some of the common signs of alcohol abuse include:

  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Choosing to drink over other activities or responsibilities
  • Making excuses for drinking
  • Becoming isolated from family and friends
  • Having blackouts or temporary memory loss while drinking
  • Drinking in secrecy

There are many other signs of alcohol use disorder. So, the main thing to consider is if the person’s lifestyle has changed. Do they not enjoy or participate in activities that they once did because they don’t involve drinking? This is a sign of a big problem with alcohol. 

Other major problems of alcohol abuse include taking chances while drinking such as driving while intoxicated or participating in other dangerous activities while drinking. If a person starts showing signs of withdrawal when not drinking, this is another red flag. Having to have a drink first thing in the morning to get over a hangover from drinking is another sign of major problem drinking.

Is Alcohol Use Disorder the Same as Alcoholism?

As mentioned before, physicians categorize alcohol use disorder as mild, moderate, or severe. The medical profession does not use the term alcoholism today. You might hear other people call someone an alcoholic or say that they are struggling with alcoholism. If a person shows severe consequences from drinking alcohol, they are said to have a severe alcohol use disorder. 

Do You Think You are Dependent on Alcohol?

If you are wondering if you have a problem with drinking alcohol, there are some questions you can ask yourself such as do you crave alcohol when not drinking. Are you not able to concentrate on other things because of thinking about drinking? Do you have problems holding down a job because of drinking? Do you have relationship problems because of your drinking? The list goes on and on.

Other problems which we have not discussed here are physical problems. Does drinking alcohol cause you physical problems?  Some of the physical signs of alcohol use disorder are insomnia, headaches, and stomach problems. Many individuals experience physical problems from falls while intoxicated such as broken bones, cuts, or severe bruising. After years of abusing alcohol people will develop cirrhosis of the liver, pancreatic cancer, and many other cancers all caused by alcohol abuse.

Seek Help for Alcohol Use Disorder

If you are struggling with problems caused by abusing alcohol, seek help from a reputable addiction treatment facility. The representatives at New Beginnings can help you develop a treatment plan that will fit your individual needs. Contact one of our representatives today. They can answer any questions you may have about a treatment program for your needs.

 

 

Resource:

Niaaa.nih.govAlcohol Use Disorder

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Ways to Avoid a Relapse When Living in Addiction Recovery

Avoid a RelapseLiving in addiction recovery is never easy. However, there are ways to avoid a relapse and remain sober for the rest of your life. Yes, it’s hard, but it is worth all of the hard work. Think about all the hard work you put into getting sober and overcoming addiction. The first (and maybe the hardest) thing you will have to do is get rid of your substance-abusing friends.

Avoid a Relapse by Doing These Things

As mentioned above, you have to find friends who do not abuse drugs or alcohol. Thinking you can avoid a relapse while hanging around with the same old crowd is only setting yourself up for failure. You may be able to not participate in drinking or using drugs at first but chances are that you will eventually break down and use again.

You have to avoid places where alcohol is being served or drug use is prevalent, especially when you first get sober. In recovery, you will still have cravings and temptations. There is no need to put yourself through this at the beginning of your recovery. Even if it means missing a special celebratory event, don’t take a chance. You can extend your congratulations in other ways.

Continue Counseling and Support Groups

The one mistake many people make when completing their treatment programs for addiction is thinking that they don’t need any further counseling or treatment. This is far from true! You need the continuing support of others. What better way to get this is there than attending support groups with others who are walking the same path as you.

 

Attending meetings with other recovering addicts is the best way to remain sober. You all can offer encouragement and compassion to one another. You all will be stepping into a new phase of your lives and can help each other along the way. Family and friends are needed for support, but only others who have been in your situation really know what you are going through. Take advantage of their support in helping you to avoid a relapse.

Take Care of Yourself to Avoid a Relapse

You must take care of yourself when living in recovery. Eat a proper diet and get plenty of exercise. As you see how much better you feel, it will get easier to remain sober. By doing these two things, you will reduce cravings. Exercising will also keep you from becoming bored and tempted to use just because of that. In addition, exercise helps to clear your head as it increases dopamine which puts you in a good mood. You will feel better mentally as well as physically.

Get the proper amount of rest and sleep. Don’t let yourself get worn down by not sleeping as you should. Try to set a regular bedtime and wind down before that time to ensure a good night’s sleep. Fatigue can also cause cravings and temptations to pop up in your daily life.

Relapse Does Not Equal Failure

By no means does relapse mean that you have failed in your recovery effort. It simply means that you start again in the process. Recovery is a process and for some individuals, relapse is part of that process.

Today, there is much more information available about ways to avoid a relapse. Hopefully, these tips can help you. If, however, you do relapse, maybe you need a little more treatment or counseling. There is no reason to be embarrassed or ashamed of the fact. Be the strong person that you are, and seek more treatment to help you back onto your path of sobriety and recovery. You too can have a healthy and happy life after addiction. 

 

Resource:

drugabuse.gov/publicationsDrugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction/Treatment and Recovery

 

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Accepting a Loved One's Addiction

Are You Having Trouble Accepting a Loved One’s Addiction to Drugs?

Whether we want to accept it or not, drug addiction is very common in our world today. Many individuals would rather be in denial about it, but it affects more people than we want to think about. Accepting a loved one’s addiction to drugs is not easy, and we would rather not have to face it. But otherwise, how can we help them?

Educate Yourself About Drug Addiction

We have always heard the saying, “Knowledge is power.” The same is true when it comes to accepting a loved one’s addiction to drugs. The first step is to learn everything we can about the addiction. To which type of drug is your loved one addicted? Once you know this, you can watch for signs of their abuse of the drugs.

Some of the signs you may notice when your loved one is abusing drugs are:

  • Sleeping more or appearing lethargic or unwell
  • Having problems at school or at their job
  • Showing problems with memory and cognition
  • Appearing to be high or intoxicated more often
  • Becoming angry or lashing out if questioned about drug abuse
  • Neglecting personal appearance and hygiene
  • Showing withdrawal signs if not using the drugs
  • Losing or gaining weight
  • Lying about substance abuse and stealing to obtain drugs

There are other signs that you may notice in your loved one. Most likely, they will try to make you feel guilty when you doubt what they are telling you, or even if you question them at all about anything. They become very secretive and defensive. Accepting a loved one’s addiction to drugs is not something we ever want to do. However, we cannot turn our heads in another direction and pretend that it is not happening. Too many people try this only to complicate the problem.

Are You Becoming Codependent?

Accepting a loved one’s addiction to drugs can benefit them as well as help you. However, you must be very careful that you do not become codependent in the meantime which is very easy to do when you love someone.

Are you showing any of these signs of codependency?

  • Putting your loved one’s feelings first
  • Having trouble expressing your own feelings
  • Not having the ability to say “no” to your loved one
  • Taking responsibility for your loved one’s actions
  • Centering your life completely around the addict and their needs
  • Being overprotective of your addicted loved one

The biggest problem with codependency is self-neglect. Your world centers around your loved one and their needs. There is no time left for you and what you need. Codependency causes you to feel responsible for every action your loved one takes. If they steal something from someone, you feel as if you need to pay restitution. You apologize for them and then try to talk to them about the issue only to be treated badly. However, you march on in your crusade. When they ask you for something, knowing that your answer should be “no,” you always give in to their wants.

Accepting a Loved One’s Addiction to Drugs in Order to Help Them

Yes, accepting a loved one’s addiction to drugs is hard. But once you have accepted this very real fact, maybe you can help them reach out for help from a professional addiction treatment facility. Try talking to your loved one about the seriousness of their addiction. Let them know that you are not being judgmental but are sincerely concerned about their well-being. Show compassion and assure them that you will be here to support them throughout the entire process of becoming clean and sober.

Unless your loved one truly wants to stop using drugs, there is nothing you can do. However, if you convince them to seek help, start researching inpatient addiction treatment centers that will provide the type of treatment that will benefit them. Contact New Beginnings Rehab Center and talk with a representative who can give you all of the information needed to make a decision on a treatment plan that will fit your loved one’s individual needs and preferences. Your loved one can complete a program and return to a life of health, productivity, and happiness.

 

 

 

Resource:

verywellmind.com/how-to-help-addicts-22238 – How to Help an Addicted Friend or Relative

 

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Stigma of Addiction

Living with the Stigma of Addiction

The last thing a person who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction needs is to be labeled an addict, a junkie, a crackhead, or any other term putting them down. What they do need is compassion and support from others. They need encouragement and not shaming. Living with the stigma of addiction can be almost as bad as living with the addiction itself.

How the Stigma of Addiction Affects Families

We all need to remember that drug or alcohol addiction can happen to any person in any family. You never know when you may learn of a loved one who is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Do you want others to look down on your loved one as if they are a criminal? Do you want others to judge you for the fact that you could not prevent or stop this addiction? I don’t think so!

Many families try to hide the fact that a loved one is struggling with addiction for this very reason. They are ashamed that a member of their family has a problem with drugs or alcohol. This is not the way to help someone with an addiction. You can’t deny the fact and shouldn’t treat your loved one as if you are ashamed of them. Don’t worry about what others might say about your family. Worry about taking care of your family.

The Stigma of Addiction Prevents Treatment

Many addicts do not seek treatment for their addiction because of the ways they have been stigmatized. They feel that others blame them for their problems and don’t feel that they deserve help to overcome their addictions. They are afraid that they will be judged when entering an addiction treatment facility. Many addicts feel, and rightfully so, that they will always carry the stigma of addiction throughout their life. 

Addicts often feel that no matter what they do to overcome their addiction and move on to a healthy and productive lifestyle, people will always look at them the same. Many individuals look at them like, “Once an addict, always an addict.” However, this is far from the truth. The people that feel this way are uneducated if they truly believe this. Don’t let the stigma of addiction prevent you from seeking help for addiction.

Addicts and Recovering Addicts are Not Bad People

People are not their addictions. There is a lot more to every individual than their addiction. They are someone’s daughter, son, mother, father, etc. In other words, they are someone’s loved one.

They were loving and caring people before addiction took over their lives. Don’t look at them in disgust. Look at them with empathy, caring, and compassion. Encourage them to get back to the people they were and can become again. Too many lives are lost because addicts feel that they can never change or do better. We have to let them know that we believe in them and encourage them to seek treatment.

Inpatient Addiction Treatment Centers

If you or a loved one needs help with drug or alcohol addiction, don’t let the stigma of addiction keep you from seeking professional treatment. Your life is worth more than worrying about what someone else might think or say about you or your family. Seek treatment and break the chains that are binding you to your addiction.

At New Beginnings Rehab Center, we have a compassionate and caring staff who is non-judgmental. We can attend to your needs and help you on your way to a life of sobriety and productivity. Our counselors can design a treatment program to fit your individual needs and preferences. Make 2020 your year to overcome addiction and live a life in recovery.

Contact one of our representatives to learn more about treatment programs that will fit your needs. They can answer any questions that you may have about a program designed especially for you. Contact us now!

 

 

Resource:

drugabuse.gov – Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction – Treatment and Recovery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recognizing a Drug Addict

Can You Recognize a Drug Addict When You See One?

Many of us think of drug addicts as unkempt, scraggly-looking people. However, today the picture of a drug addict can be very deceiving. Many addicts today are very good at hiding their addiction from family and friends. Some families have a family member who is in full-blown addiction before they have any idea they are even using drugs. Therefore, recognizing a drug addict is imperative if we want to help a family member before they are too far into an addiction.

How does Drug Addiction Start?

Not all drug addiction starts the same. Many individuals start using drugs recreationally or simply experimenting with different types of drugs. Most of these drugs are alcohol, marijuana, amphetamines, and prescription drugs. Then there are others who have an accident or chronic physical problem which requires the use of prescription pain pills or opioids. An addiction to opioids can develop rather quickly. The patient may abuse the drugs by taking more or more often than prescribed. 

Recognizing a drug addict can be easily done if the person is on opioids and starts withdrawing from the drugs. However, when the abuse first starts, an outsider may not be able to pick up on the signs at the beginning. Some of the signs of opioid abuse or addiction include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Weight loss
  • Inability to control opioid use
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Uncontrollable cravings
  • Frequent flu-like symptoms
  • Financial problems
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Changes in exercise habits
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Stealing from family, friends, or the workplace

Recognizing a drug addict can be difficult, but if you watch carefully, you will gradually see these symptoms develop.

Recognizing a Drug Addict by Behavioral Signs

Drug addiction (Substance Use Disorder) is a disease that affects the brain and behavior.” There are many behavioral signs that you may recognize in an addict, or if you are addicted to a drug, there are signs that you will recognize in yourself. One of these signs is being obsessed with making sure that you have a supply of the drug. In fact, you may find yourself panicking if you think that you are going to run out of your drug of choice. At this point, you may find yourself doing things you would never normally do, such as stealing, to get your drugs.

You may also find yourself not meeting family or work responsibilities and obligations. You might stop attending family activities or recreational activities with friends in order to use your substance of abuse. When family and friends notice you showing these behavioral signs and withdrawing from others, they will suspect drug use. You will, of course, deny it, but the suspicion is already in their minds.

Recognizing the Signs of Addiction in a Loved One

If you are recognizing the signs of addiction in a loved one, confront them but let them know that you care about them and are only concerned about their wellbeing. If, in fact, they are having a problem with substance abuse or addiction, help them to realize that there is help out there for them. 

Possibly your loved one can get treatment through an outpatient addiction treatment clinic. With outpatient treatment, you can visit the clinic and receive counseling and treatment while continuing to attend school or work. You will receive one-on-one counseling as well as group therapy sessions.

However, if your loved one wants to get away from their physical surroundings and receive addiction treatment, they might opt for an inpatient addiction treatment facility. With inpatient treatment, your loved one will remain at the facility while they receive treatment and counseling. By doing this, they will remove themself from temptations and triggers that may make them want to use their drug of choice.

Contact New Beginnings Rehab Center

To learn more about addiction treatment in an inpatient addiction treatment facility or an outpatient clinic, contact one of our representatives and New Beginnings. They can answer any questions you may have about many different treatment plans. One will be sure to fit your loved one’s needs and preferences.

 

Resource:

Mayoclinic.orgDrug addiction (substance use disorder)

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Sober Living Transitional Home

What is a Sober Living Transitional Home?

A sober living transitional home can be very beneficial to those who are new to recovery. If your inpatient addiction treatment program is complete or if you are receiving addiction treatment in an outpatient clinic, you may want to look at a sober living facility. These homes are very popular today as a way for individuals to transition back into a sober way of living their daily lives. A sober living transitional home is a group home for individuals who are recovering from addiction.

Why live in a Sober Living Transitional Home?

Adjusting back into a daily routine after addiction treatment is not always an easy undertaking. While in an inpatient addiction treatment facility you are only with sober individuals. You are with your counselors and the staff members of the facility as well as others who are undergoing treatment for addiction. You don’t have to worry about being tempted to use alcohol or drugs.

However, after leaving the inpatient facility, you are thrust back into a life where drugs and alcohol are all around you. Now you have to have the strength to resist the cravings and temptations that will certainly confront you. Your life has been a completely structured life for weeks or even months now without temptation. You may have problems resisting the temptation when it first happens to you. A sober living transitional home can help you build your confidence before stepping back into the “reality” of everyday living.

What are the Benefits of a Sober Living Home?

A sober living transitional home is an excellent answer for individuals who do not yet have the self-confidence to return to their community of living before addiction treatment. A sober living home gives individuals a structured type of living with others who are also new to recovery. They have time to transition from addiction treatment to a new sober style of living. Living in a sober living home gives you a chance to make a new life while you remain away from friends with whom you did drugs or drank alcohol.

Sober living homes have rules and everyone living in the sober living home must obey all of the rules. Otherwise, you may have to leave the residence and make other living arrangements. Some of the rules which may apply are:

  • All residents must remain sober (Absolutely no alcohol or drugs allowed).
  • Everyone has to agree to random drug tests.
  • Each person must share the household responsibilities
  • Curfew times each night
  • Required to look for employment or attend school
  • No violence among residents of the home
  • Residents must attend house meetings
  • Everyone must have continued counseling and attend support group meetings

All of these rules are for the benefit of each resident of the sober living home. Each rule teaches them responsibility and helps them to become productive members of society.

Reduce Your Chance of Relapse

A sober living transitional home will help reduce your chances of relapse. When first leaving an inpatient addiction treatment facility, individuals are vulnerable and may be easily swayed by old friends to use drugs or drink alcohol again. It can be hard to resist the temptation when first leaving treatment.

Taking the time that you need to restructure your lifestyle after rehab may be the smartest thing for you to do. Before jumping right back into the environment from which you came when using substances, take the time to become the new you —- sober you with a new attitude towards life and others in your life. 

Take the time to make sure that you are confident in your ability to say no to the temptation to abuse substances. Make sure you can handle your cravings by having new sober friends that you can call when they hit. Check on a sober living home to reside in after your addiction treatment program is complete.

 

Resource:

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – What Did We Learn from Our Study on Sober Living Houses and Where Do We Go from Here?

 

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College Without Drugs or Alcohol

How to Make it in College Without Drugs or Alcohol

So, you are beginning a new year in college. Many of you are moving in for the first semester of college while others are returning for another year. You are excited and yes, a bit nervous at the same time. It can make you a little anxious, not knowing what the year holds in store for you and your friends. The thoughts of meeting new people and making new friends may have you thinking about how you will do it. Another question you may have is how are you going to make it through college without drugs or alcohol since it is so rampant on college campuses today?

College without Drugs or Alcohol is Possible

First of all, don’t feel like you have to participate in drinking alcohol or doing drugs to fit in with others. There will be plenty of kids you will meet who do not want to party all the time and abuse substances but want to get a good education and enjoy learning. There will be many fun sober activities you can take part in and enjoy with friends. 

Starting a new college year and worrying about studies and dealing with new friends can seem a bit overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can easily have fun and mix in with others without saying “yes” to drugs or alcohol. Don’t let the stresses of your new college life cause you to start taking any drugs either. You don’t need them!

Individuals have Their Own Likes and Dislikes

You may not object to others drinking alcohol if that is what they desire to do, but you don’t like it for yourself. Maybe you don’t like the taste of it, or the way it makes you feel while drinking it, or the following day. Whatever your reasons, they are your reasons. You don’t have to explain to anyone why you don’t want to drink alcohol at parties.

If you want, you could take a bottle of water or a soft drink to parties you are attending. When someone asks if  you want a drink, tell them that you are “good,” or you are “fine.” This way, they probably won’t keep bugging you and trying to pressure you into drinking something else. Life in college without drugs or alcohol is very possible today.

Peer Pressure in College

When you are in college, it can be hard to avoid peer pressure. However, there are ways to get around it. For instance, if you are in a situation where you are being pressured to do something that you don’t want to do or that you know is wrong, tell the person pressuring you that you are not interested. If they continue to pressure, give them a firm “No.” Then move on to people who like you for yourself. There are plenty of people in college who are just like you and not into drugs and alcohol. There are even students in college today that are in recovery from substance abuse. These students are finding a way to make it through college without drugs or alcohol.

Peer pressure can also be used against you in other situations as well. Just remember, you are the one responsible for the decisions that you make. If these so-called friends are pressuring you to do things and get in situations where you are not comfortable, they are not really your friends. Your college campus is full of other students who want to go through college without drugs or alcohol.

Tips for Resisting Peer Pressure in College

Listed below are a few tips you can use to resist peer pressure when you need them. You can:

  • Say that you have to study for a test or have an assignment that is due.
  • Offer to be the designated driver for the occasion.
  • Say you are staying healthy.
  • Find something to do, like talking to someone or dancing.

If all else fails, simply leave and go home. You are not going to enjoy a party where you are continually being pressured to use drugs or drink alcohol. Don’t let peer pressure change you from the person that you are with the goals that you have set for yourself.

Seek Help for Substance Use Disorder

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use disorder, contact a licensed inpatient addiction treatment facility to receive the help that you need. Don’t wait for your problem to get worse. At New Beginnings, we have informed representatives who can answer any questions that you may have about a treatment program that will fit your individual needs and preferences. Contact us today!   Have a great and fulfilling year in college.

 

Resource:

teens.drugabuse.gov – Tips for Resisting Peer Pressure to Use Drugs and Alcohol

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Effects of Binge Drinking

What are the Effects of Binge Drinking?

The effects of binge drinking are both physical and mental. Likewise, the effects of binge drinking are both short-term and long-term. In other words, when binge drinking, you have more to worry about than that hangover you are going to have the next day!

Binge drinking is when males drink five drinks or more in two hours, and females drink at least four drinks in two hours. Binge drinking puts your health and safety at risk. The liver can only break down about one drink in an hour. Therefore, binge drinking can be very dangerous and affect your body in extremely negative ways.

Short-Term Effects of Binge Drinking

Since the liver can only process about one drink per hour, any more than that will go straight into the blood system. When your blood alcohol content (BAC) increases, so will the effects on your body and brain. Many other factors also play a part in your blood alcohol content. How quickly you drink the alcoholic drinks and whether you have eaten affects your BAC. In fact, how much you have eaten during the day also has a bearing on the blood alcohol content.

Other short-term side effects of binge drinking may include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blackouts
  • Falls and other injuries
  • Arrests and charges from driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unwanted pregnancies
  • Sexual assault

Even worse, binge drinking can also render fatal consequences such as alcohol poisoning, fatal car crashes, drownings, or criminal behaviors. Any number of things can go wrong in your life from only one night of binge drinking.

What are the Long-Term Effects of Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking as a regular habit can be a sign of alcohol use disorder (AUD). According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIH), Problem drinking that becomes severe is given the medical diagnosis of “alcohol use disorder” or AUD.” Alcohol use disorder is indicated when a person has a compulsive alcohol use along with a loss of control over how much they drink.

Long-term effects of binge drinking may include:

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Suppressed immune system
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Dementia
  • Anemia

If your binge drinking has developed into alcohol use disorder, you may give up typically enjoyed activities to drink instead or experience cravings when not drinking. Furthermore, you may have lost a job because of drinking alcohol. If binge drinking is now a pattern in your life, you more than likely are struggling with alcohol use disorder.

Help for Alcohol Use Disorder

If you have an alcohol use disorder or if you suspect that a loved one may be struggling with this, seek help at an inpatient addiction treatment facility.  Inpatient treatment will take you away from the temptation to use alcohol during your treatment because these facilities are alcohol-free and drug-free. You can focus on your counseling and treatment program without thinking about ways to obtain some alcohol.

At New Beginnings Rehab Center, if you need detoxification to remove the toxins from your body, you will have supervision around the clock as you go through the process. You will always have a staff member available should any medical issues arise. After detox, you will be ready to start your treatment program that we will design to fit your individual needs and preferences.

Contact one of our informed representatives at New Beginnings Rehab Center to learn more about our facility and the many treatment programs that we offer. They can answer any questions you may have. Contact us now!

 

Sources:

Niaaa.nih.gov – Alcohol Use Disorder

 

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Warning Signs of Overdose

Do You Know the Warning Signs of a Drug Overdose?

You may not think you’d ever be in a position to have to save someone from dying of a drug overdose.  But think about this. Last year, more than 70,230 people died from drug overdoses in the United States.  It’s possible that many of these deaths could have been prevented if someone had been familiar with the warning signs of overdose and knew how to react.  

Unfortunately, many overdoses occur when the individual is alone.  Or, it happens when others around the person are also high on drugs and unable to recognize the warning signs. With the overdose death rate increasing by more than 15% each year, it’s vital for us to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a drug overdose.  

Warning Signs of Overdose by Drug Type

Would you know if someone needs medical attention after taking too many drugs or drinking too much alcohol?  Is the person in danger, or do they need to sleep it off? How would you make that determination? First of all, it’s important to remember that everyone responds to substances differently.  Also, the warning signs of overdose may vary depending on the substance involved.  Here’s a breakdown of what to look for

Stimulants 

(Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Vyvanse, Dexedrine)

  • Profuse sweating
  • Agitation
  • Elevated temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions

CNS Depressants 

(Barbiturates, Opioids, Benzodiazepines)

  • Clammy or blue-tinged skin
  • Weak pulse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dilated pupils
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

Narcotics 

(Oxycodone, Codeine, Vicodin, Methadone, Lortab, Percocet, Dilaudid)

  • Cold, clammy, or blue-tinged skin
  • Lethargy, sleepiness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Hallucinations
  • Convulsions
  • Coma

Hallucinogens

(LSD, DMT, PCP, Mescaline)

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Delusions
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Inhalants

(Spray paint, glue, cleaning fluid, gasoline, paint thinner, nitrous oxide, etc.)

  • Agitation
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Choking
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble breathing
  • Unconsciousness
  • Coma

Alcohol Poisoning or Overdose

  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Irregular breathing
  • Low body temperature
  • Blue-tinged skin
  • Vomiting
  • Stupor
  • Unconsciousness

This list gives you have an idea of what to look for. So, what do you need to do if you suspect someone has overdosed?

What Should You Do if Someone Has Overdosed?

As we mentioned above, don’t assume that the person will be okay if he or she could just sleep it off.  Also, it’s crucial that you don’t give them something to sober them up, such as coffee or other stimulants. Don’t induce vomiting or put them in a cold shower.  

The first thing you should do if you believe someone has overdosed is to call 911.  Stay with the person until medical help arrives. You should lie the person on their side and keep them warm.  Also, pay close attention to any symptoms that the medical team will need to know about.  

Fortunately, not all drug overdoses are deadly.  But, it’s always best to let professionals examine the person to be on the safe side.  

Prevent Overdose by Seeking Addiction Treatment

Another effective way to prevent overdose deaths is to convince the individual to get addiction treatment.  Far too many lives are lost each year due to drug-related causes. Take a look at these figures to see just how severe the problem has become.

From 1999 to 2017, the following drugs were involved in thousands of overdose deaths:

  • Opioids – 64,629 deaths
  • Heroin –  15,482 deaths
  • Psychostimulants – 10,333 deaths
  • Cocaine – 13,942 deaths
  • Benzodiazepines – 11,537 deaths
  • Antidepressants – 5,269

Alcohol is involved in more than 88,000 deaths every year.  Also, we haven’t included the number of overdose deaths from other drugs of abuse such as street drugs, club drugs, over-the-counter drugs.  The totals are almost too high to comprehend.

If you would like more information about the warning signs of overdose, or if you know someone who needs help for substance abuse, contact us now at our toll-free number.

Resources:
ncapda.org/education – Drug Overdose

cdc.gov – National Vital Statistics Report

nsc.org – International Drug Overdose Awareness Day

 

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