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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