Advanced Recovery Systems Drug and Alcohol Treatment Chapel Hill Medical Detox Centers Rehabilitation Centers Addiction Group Addiction Resource Alcohol Help Alcohol Rehab Help American Addiction Centers Recovery Village DRUG REHAB
TRAUMA, ABUSE, ADDICTION RECOVERY
Advanced Recovery Systems puts behavioral health front and center, providing assistance to people with substance abuse issues, addictions, eating disorders, and mental health concerns. Every facility in the Advanced Recovery Systems network strives to provide the highest quality of care, using evidence-based therapeutic models that really work.
Recognizing the signs of addiction is the first step to getting help for yourself or guiding someone you care about to rehab.
Recognize the causes, symptoms, and consequences of an alcohol use disorder and learn about the treatment and recovery from alcoholism and life after rehab.
Learn about the most popular illicit drugs, common trends, the effects of drugs, and how to find help for drug abuse.
Since eating disorder recovery and ongoing addiction are so closely related, experts often recommend co-occurring therapies.
While process addictions like this can look a lot like substance addictions, they aren’t always separate-but-equal entities.
This guide is for parents of teens struggling with substance abuse. Learn how to talk to your adolescent child and find help for drug or alcohol addiction.
More than 20 percent of veterans with PTSD also abuse drugs or alcohol to cope with their symptoms. But treatment is available and recovery is possible.
DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT
Whether the client requires treatment for alcohol abuse, opiate dependency, prescription drug abuse, or an eating disorder, our core mission is to empower and aid
ARS detox programs utilize the latest evidence-based resources to make the detoxification process as safe, comfortable, and effective as possible.
For individuals trying to overcome substance abuse or an eating disorder, residential treatment offers a respite from the stress and chaos of everyday life.
In outpatient treatment, patients can attend therapy sessions, appointments, classes, meetings, or other recovery activities during daytime hours, while living in a private residence or a transitional housing environment.
Treatment for co-occurring disorders must begin with a complete neuropsychological evaluation to determine the patient’s needs, identify his or her personal strengths, and find potential barriers to recovery.
There are seven methods of intervention that are widely used and condoned as the most professional ways of managing addicted patients.
Addiction is a chronic disease that inflicts sufferers with a compulsion to continue using a substance despite the behavior causing serious distress and complications in their lives.
The Affordable Care Act — the ACA, for short — was signed into legislation under President Obama’s administration as a means to improve access to health care and affordable medical insurance
The search for a quality facility to treat your addiction with reliable procedures that are backed by research and tended to by skilled professionals isn’t one that should be taken lightly
Chapel Hill Detox – The First Step on the Road to Recovery
Chapel Hill Detox provides men and women of all ages and walks of life with the clinical care they need in order to begin their own personal journeys of healing. If you have a friend who has been suffering at the hands of a substance abuse disorder and you feel as if you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, we are available to help. Simply give us a call and we will gladly give you a list of resources while doing everything we can to help point you in the right direction.
5 Common Relapse Triggers
We have compiled a list of common relapse triggers. It is best to be prepared when it comes to avoiding relapse. Of course, your personal relapse triggers will vary significantly based on your history and past experiences. However, the following triggers are liable to be experienced at least once. It is wise to avoid the following situations entirely, but if you can’t do so, then it is wise to have a set of healthy coping mechanisms in place that can help you through even the most emotionally uncomfortable experiences.
- Hanging out with old friends – friends that still drink and/or use drugs. When you get sober you will develop an entirely new circle of friends – even if you were not planning on doing so! These friends will support you through the tough times and be there to celebrate your recovery triumphs with you. If you start gravitating towards your old friends, there is a good chance that you will eventually return to drinking and drugging – even if they say that they are supportive of your sobriety. It can be difficult to stay sober when everyone around you is actively using.
- Spending time in places that are not conducive to recovery. This could include nightclubs, bars, or holiday celebrations or parties that revolve almost exclusively around drinking excessively. The old saying goes, “If you keep showing up to the barber shop, eventually you are going to get a haircut.” It will be difficult to change these behavioral patterns at first. If you are used to going to the same bar every Friday night with the same circle of close friends, it will be difficult to repeatedly turn down the invitation. But eventually you will find a new groove and settle into a new – healthier – way of life!
- Break-ups. It is advised that men and women who are new to recovery do not make any major changes within the first year. This includes entering into a new relationship. This can be tricky, seeing as many individuals who are new to recovery will seek external validation from relationships, and use sex and romance to fill a void created by an absence of chemical substances. Unfortunately, going through a break-up brings up a wide range of severely uncomfortable emotions – sadness, rejection, a lack of self-worth, the list goes on. It is better to avoid these emotions all together if at all possible! Allow yourself time to get to know yourself before you spend time getting to know anyone else.
- Stress. If you can, try to avoid putting yourself into high-stress situations. This might mean refusing to take a promotion at work if you know it will cause significantly more stress in your life, or waiting to file for divorce until you have been sober for an extended period of time (at least a couple of years). Stress cannot always be avoided, but it can always be managed. While in medical detox, inpatient treatment and aftercare you will learn to manage your stress in healthy and effective ways. If you are ever facing a situation you are not sure to handle, you will have extensive resources available to you to help you through the tough times.
- Being overconfident in your recovery. Believe it or not, confidence is not always a good thing. If you start to get overconfident in your ability to stay sober, you might end up tripping over your own feet and relapsing in the long run. It is important to note that there is a major distinction between self-confidence and overconfidence. When you are self-confident it is likely because you are proud of yourself and the progress you have made in your recovery thus far. You feel good about where you are at and confident that if you stay on the right track you will continue making significant strides. This is a good thing – you want to feel proud and capable! However, moving into overconfidence means you will think things like, “I’ve got this.” Or “I can skip a meeting or two here or there because my recovery is so strong and I’m not at risk of relapse.” It is important to stay humble while working a program of recovery and understanding that addiction is far more cunning, baffling and powerful than you are – and it can take hold again at any point in time if your guard and defenses are down. Be sure you stay on top of your personal recovery program and stay as humble as possible! CALL 844-526-0032
The experience of quitting alcohol is very unpleasant and is characterized by a variety of uncomfortable or dangerous physical effects and negative mental states. These symptoms can vary from person to person, but the common thread is that it is an objectively bad time. The physical symptoms will often require hospitalization and medical care since they can present real risks to someone’s health and even their life. The psychological symptoms, while not directly dangerous, are very unpleasant and can often lead someone back to drinking for some sense of relief.
Some of the effects include:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Intense Sweating
- Severe Shaking and Tremors
- Fluctuations in Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
- Rapid Changes in Blood Sugar Levels
The psychological symptoms often persist much longer than the physical symptoms and include:
- Anxiety and Panic Attacks
While most of these symptoms will resolve given the proper treatment and enough time, the effects of alcohol withdrawal are oftentimes a nightmare. The physical effects can worsen and amplify the psychological effects, and vice versa, causing a snowball effect of increasing discomfort. Let’s take a look at some of these specific effects as well as their causes and manifestations.
What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking?
The physical effects of alcohol withdrawal are by far the most dangerous since the systems most greatly affected include the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system. The inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA is much less potent during withdrawal, while the effects of the excitatory neurotransmitters norepinephrine and glutamate are greatly amplified. This results in a neurochemical triple threat of the nervous system operating at an increased speed and intensity with a reduced ability to slow down through the braking function normally provided by GABA.
The affected system which poses the greatest risk is certainly the cardiovascular system. This is mainly due to the increased intensity of norepinephrine function, but glutamate may also contribute to some degree. One of the functions of norepinephrine is to manage the levels of adrenaline in the blood. Due to norepinephrines increased impact during alcohol withdrawal, adrenaline levels are greatly increased. Adrenaline is a key component of the fight-or-flight response and acts to speed up cardiovascular function in anticipation of fighting or fleeing from a predator. In the context of alcohol withdrawal, the levels of adrenaline are elevated for much longer than the normal increases which result from fight-or-flight.
These increased levels of adrenaline result in an greatly increased heart rate and elevated blood pressure. This not only is bad for the heart and veins, but adrenaline also causes blood sugar levels to spike by telling muscles and fats to release stored glucose. If someone were diabetic, they could suffer severe consequences from these effects such as diabetic ketoacidosis, stroke, or heart attack. Additionally, if someone were to have a heart condition or blood pressure issues, they would be at an increased risk of complications from these issues as well. This increase in heart rate and blood pressure can also contribute to the psychological symptoms as well by amplifying anxiety and restlessness.
Motor Function Effects
The effects of alcohol withdrawal on someone’s motor control are commonly the most visible and obvious sign of alcohol withdrawal. These effects stem mainly from the increased presence and influence of glutamate, and to a lesser degree norepinephrine. A lack of B vitamins (particularly thiamine) can also contribute to these motor problems, as the cerebellum is extremely sensitive to thiamine deficiencies and is a major center for muscle coordination and motor control. Glutamate is a signal amplifier in the brain which is normally balanced out by GABA. Due to the neurotransmitter imbalances produced by alcohol withdrawal in addition to the deficiencies in B vitamins which is extremely common in alcoholics, it can become nearly impossible to reliably control one’s body during alcohol withdrawal.This may be as subtle as being unable to write properly, to as extreme as being unable to walk due to the intense tremors produced from alcohol withdrawal.
Additionally, alcohol withdrawal seizures are fairly common and these typically manifest as a generalized tonic-clonic, or grand mal, seizure. These are also caused by increased glutamate levels and decreased GABA levels. These will cause someone to lose consciousness and then begin convulsing, sometimes quite violently for several minutes. These seizures usually self terminate after 2 minutes or less, but they may sometimes progress to potentially brain damaging or fatal seizure conditions known as status epilepticus. These are seizures which last longer than 5 minutes, or multiple seizures with no return of consciousness in between episodes. Status epilepticus is potentially fatal, and is considered a medical emergency that requires immediate medical attention.
This guide explains the process of choosing the right rehab center for your loved one. With a list of factors to consider, questions to ask facilities and more, this guide will prepare you for making this major decision.
Although drug rehab facilities are state-regulated entities, they are also private enterprises, and services can vary widely.
Nice amenities and beautiful grounds are two options programs can use in order to attract teens and help them to stay engaged in care.
Treatment facilities have an executive and administrative staff that runs the day-to-day operations while the professional staff members provide the rehab services.
At Advanced Recovery Services (ARS), we draw from a wide range of advanced treatments that cover a full continuum of care, from detox to residential treatment, outpatient services, aftercare, and sober living homes.
ALCOHOL MISUSE, ABUSE, ADDICTION & TREATMENT
Most Common Addictions
Addiction Group is an informational web guide created for people struggling with substance use disorders (SUD), alcohol use disorders (AUD), and co-occurring mental health disorders. Our team of journalists, researchers, doctors, and medical professionals helps people find the right treatment for their individual needs and unique situations.
How Can You Prevent Alcohol Abuse?
Alcohol prevention is one of the most effective ways to reduce alcohol-related costs and harm. Alcohol abuse is responsible for claiming the lives of tens of thousands of lives every year and causing painful health risks like liver damage, threats to one’s well being, withdrawal symptoms, and dysfunctional relationships. For younger individuals, alcohol prevention can reduce the likelihood of developing substance use disorders as they age.
Currently, alcohol abuse is responsible for costing Americans hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Although alcohol use cannot be completely stopped, there are several ways to temper alcohol use. For example, increased taxes are preset to discourage excessive alcohol use.
Alcohol prevention can function to prevent generational alcoholism, prevent developmental problems in newborn babies, and save billions of dollars annually. Perhaps most importantly, it could save lives of family members.
Alcohol prevention has many other benefits. For example, alcohol prevention:
- Reduces risk of personal and societal harm.
- Reduces risk of premature death and disability.
- Reduces lost or reduced productivity in the workforce.
- Reduces risk of individuals abusing alcohol or developing an alcohol use disorder.
- Reduces the risk of a number of diseases, mental and behavioral disorders, and a range of injuries that are contributed to heavy alcohol use.
- Reduces the overall amount of costs of alcohol related problems by the United States government.
There are interventions used for alcohol prevention, especially in the school systems. Engaging communities to prevent underage drinking is also key in alcohol prevention. It is suggested to research the many evidence-based approaches for preventing harmful alcohol use. Prevention efforts are especially important for young people, a group at particular high risk for the consequences of alcohol use.
Assessing Your Drinking Levels
One basic methods for assessing whether or not you need to take steps to prevent alcoholism is to examine your alcohol use. Know the difference between social drinking and alcohol abuse, such as binge drinking and heavy drinking. Social drinking is when someone drinks small amounts occasionally in social settings. Binge drinking occurs when women drink 4 or more drinks within 2 hours and when men drink 5 or more drinks per 2 hours. Heavy drinking occurs when a woman drinks 7 or more drinks in a week or when a man drinks 14 or more drinks in a week.
Both binge drinking and heavy drinking greatly increase the drinker’s risk of developing an alcohol use disorder and many other mental and medical health problems. If you or a loved one are engaging in either high risk behavior, preventative measures should be taken.
Harm Reduction Programs and Alcohol Prevention
Harm reduction are programs that discourage acts of self-harm, harmful practices, and harmful consequences associated with substance abuse. Harm reduction programs can help at-risk individuals or those more vulnerable to substance abuse to minimize or discontinue drug or alcohol use. Furthermore, harm reduction programs create a quality of community life and non-judgmental services for connection. Those impacted by substance abuse have a space to feel heard and find the tools needed for a healthy lifestyle.
Interventions are helpful if someone abuses alcohol or other drugs and needs help understanding the impact of their actions. The goal of an intervention is to help the person with a drinking problem recognize they need help and to help them agree to enter treatment. Interventions are often successful because of the reinforcement of trusted people who truly want to see their loved ones recover from alcohol abuse.
Family members can facilitate interventions by having a professional present. This professional can be a counselor or medical professional. Relatives are present and may have specific concerns they address in the intervention. At this point, the individual struggling with the alcohol use disorder can listen, take accountability for their mistakes, admit they have a problem with alcohol, and agree to seek treatment.
The only way for interventions to be successful is if they are based in love, honesty and support. They should never involve coercion, shame, or anger, nor should they ever take the form of an ambush. A successful intervention requires extensive planning and, ideally, rehearsals and professional advice.
Professional Intervention Programs
Some businesses offer workplace intervention programs. Additionally, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) offers screening guides for interventions, and the organizations Legitscript and the Association of Intervention Specialists both provide educational materials and evidence-based strategies for interactions at their websites.
Treatment as a Prevention Plan
Abstaining from alcohol is the best way to eliminate problematic alcohol use. It is understandable if people drink—alcohol use disorders can occur for complex reasons. Getting treatment can stop someone from continuing alcohol abuse. Contact a treatment professional to discover how Alcohol Help treatment can serve you. Individuals access supportive groups and dietary and nutritional programs to encourage well being. Medications are available to suppress withdrawal symptoms.
Struggling with an addiction to drugs and alcohol is a worldwide disease. Every country in the world feels the grip of addiction on its citizens. A decade ago, it was estimated that 35 million people in the world smoked methamphetamine, and that number grows each year.
In 2018, nearly two million people in the US abused methamphetamine, over six million abused cocaine or crack cocaine, and some 43 million people used marijuana. Statistics showed that over 60 percent of people over the age of twelve (nearly 197 million) were abusing illegal drugs, alcohol, or tobacco that same year. Over 20 million people and their families, and more people are diagnosed every day. As recent as 2017, addiction cost the country over $735 billion dollars in medical costs, efficiency in the workplace, and crime.
Addiction is pervasive and disastrous. It affects all aspects of a person’s life. Unfortunately, the solution is complicated and rarely easy. There are so many considerations; Where to go? What kind of program to choose? Who will pay the bills while I’m away at treatment? and, Is attending rehab going to get me fired?
When it comes to employment, there are protections in place for individuals in need of a leave of absence for medical reasons, commonly called The Family Medical Leave Act. Addiction is a recurring disease and qualifies as a medical issue.
Addiction Treatment Disparities
In the United States, only about one in ten people in need of rehab actually receive treatment.
There are a multitude of reasons that people who struggle with addiction do not get the help they need, such as:
- “I can’t afford it”
- “I don’t have time to go to rehab”
- “Who will take care of my house?”
- “I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills”
- “Who will care for my children/pets/responsibilities?”
- “I don’t want everyone knowing my problems”
- “I don’t need treatment, I don’t have a problem”
- “I don’t know where to start looking for rehab”
- “I tried rehab before, it doesn’t work on me”
- “I will lose my job if I go to rehab”
While some of these concerns may be reasonable, they do not have to stop a person from seeking substance abuse treatment, especially when a program can guide them into recovery.
The FMLA offers employment protection to employees who meet the criteria. This means that an employer cannot terminate your employment simply because you need to take some time off to attend a substance abuse treatment program.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Defined
In 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act was put in place to offer eligible employees up to twelve weeks per year of unpaid, protected leave from work in specific medical or family situations.
Some FMLA approved circumstances for these twelve weeks include:
- Caring for a child from birth up to one year of age (twelve weeks to be taken within 12 months of birth)
- Adopting or foster care child being placed in your care, up to one year of initial placement
- To care for an immediate family member who has a serious medical issue
- Military caregiver leave
- If you have a serious medical condition that affects your ability to do your job
Addiction is a serious medical issue and is therefore covered by FMLA.
How Do I Know If I Am FMLA eligible?
Whether or not you qualify to participate in the FMLA depends on a few eligibility criteria. FMLA requires that you have been an employee of your current employer for the previous 12-month period, and accumulate a specific number of work hours.
The employment does not need to be twelve consecutive months, and the hours do not need to be accumulated consecutively.
FMLA also requires that the company you work for employs at least 50 people in a 75-mile radius.
Employees are encouraged to give employers as much notice as possible when they are attempting to use FMLA and to supply enough information to the employers to determine if the situation meets the criteria for an FMLA qualified leave of absence.
Will I Get Paid While On FMLA Leave?
It is not mandatory for an employer to offer paid leave if someone is taking a leave of absence under FMLA. In some cases, employers offer a paid leave of absences, but that is usually outlined during the initial hiring process.
The FMLA is intended only to protect employees from being terminated for needing to take a leave up absence for up to twelve weeks. The employer is required to hold a person’s position or offer them a comparable position with equal pay.
How Do I Notify My Employer Of My Leave?
Employees should give employers as much advance notice as possible, and provide documentation to support the FMLA request. While not mandatory, the U.S. Department of Labor webpage for the FMLA has a number of FMLA documents that will help employees document the proof needed for an FMLA request.
Find the right treatment program today.
Call to be connected with a treatment specialist. 100% Free and Confidential. CALL 840-640-0175
Alcohol Use Disorder (Alcoholism, Alcohol Addiction)
Alcohol use disorder (AUD), previously called alcoholism or alcohol addiction, occurs when a person drinks a lot of alcohol regularly and cannot control their alcohol consumption.
When it comes to alcohol use disorder (addiction), every person’s situation is different. There isn’t just one cause of alcohol addiction, but possible causes fall into three categories:
Many young people under 21 years of age look at alcohol as a rite of passage. At this age, people are looking for ways to assert their independence, engage in new experiences, and take risks. As a result, many of them turn to alcohol and other substances. The dangers of underage drinking can be severe, and even life-threatening, if taken too far.
Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder (Addiction)
Changes in behavior are usually what cause people to recognize that their loved one has an alcohol addiction. These symptoms include binge drinking, replacing normal activities with drinking, the inability to stop drinking, and loss of interest in hobbies, among others.
Alcohol abuse and addiction can affect anyone at any age. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent alcohol use disorder (AUD), especially in underage drinkers. Prevention tips include talking with children about the dangers of alcohol, monitoring alcoholism behaviors at home, and teaching valuable coping mechanisms, among others.
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) can affect anyone at any age. There are five different types of alcoholics, including:
- Young adult alcoholics
- Young antisocial alcoholics
- Intermediate familial alcoholics
- Functional alcoholics
- Chronic severe alcoholics
Effects of Alcohol Abuse & Addiction
Hangovers are the result of the body’s attempt to recover from heavy alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking leads to frequent urination, which commonly results in dehydration, dry mouth, thirstiness, dizziness, and an electrolyte imbalance, among other symptoms.
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal vary. For some people, they are mild and uncomfortable. In more severe cases, the symptoms of withdrawal can be life-threatening. Symptoms usually peak between 24 to 72 hours and usually settle within a week.
Long-term, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to heart disease. More specifically, alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a type of alcohol-induced heart disease that severely damages the heart muscle. The main cause of alcohol cardiomyopathy is linked to chronic alcohol addiction.
Drinking any amount of alcohol increases a person’s risk of developing certain cancers. However, heavy alcohol consumption and those with a long-term alcohol use disorder (AUD) are most at risk.
Mental Health Effects of Alcohol
Alcohol abuse can negatively impact your mental health. In many cases, those addicted to alcohol are also diagnosed with a mental health disorder (dual diagnosis).
Anxiety disorders are mental health disorders that cause constant fear and worry. They can range from mild to severe, depending on the person. For many, alcohol provides temporary relief of anxiety symptoms and is a way to self-medicate. However, this cycle can lead to problems later on, such as a dual diagnosis (when a person has both an alcohol use disorder and a mental health disorder).
Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the U.S., affecting over 16 million American adults. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is common in people with depression. Many turn to alcohol in order to escape feelings of sadness.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health disorder that causes extreme mood swings. Those with bipolar disorder often turn to alcohol to self-medicate and reduce unpleasant symptoms. However, doing so can lead to serious problems later on, such as alcohol addiction.
What kinds of questions do you need to ask to
find the right drug rehab for you?
In this country, both the use and abuse of substances are widespread. In a study of addiction habits worldwide, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, the United States took the top spot out of 17 countries in the use of legal and illegal drugs like cocaine.1
Perhaps unsurprisingly, amidst a backdrop of such widespread substance abuse, there are thousands of drug and alcohol rehab centers people can seek help from when their use develops into an addiction. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that there are more than 14,500 specialized drug rehab centers in the United States.2 There are many other providers in private practice that offer help to people with addictions. Twelve-step fellowships and other support groups are also available to assist people who do not want to get formal professional help.
If you are searching for a drug rehab center for yourself or for someone you love, this is all good news. It is clear that you have reahb options for drug substance abuse available, and there is bound to be a provider out there that can assist you or your family with the addiction problems you face. But how to choose a rehab? And more importantly, how can you be sure that the option you do choose is the right one?
This rehab guide can help. Here, we will detail the rehabilitation options open to you, along with important questions you can ask before you settle on a specific provider.
How to Find a Good Rehab Center?
When people think about the word rehab, they often think about drug abuse treatment services provided within a specialty rehab facility. That might account for the popularity of this particular type of care. In 2017 in the United States, for example, about 2.5 million people age 12 and older received care for addiction in a specialty facility, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 3
When people need rehab help, they often look for a specific type of facility. However, rehab facilities can do a number of different things. Some facilities tackle just one part of the recovery process, such as detoxification, without specializing in longer-term care or being equipped to address every aspect of care a person with an addiction might need (e.g., dual diagnosis treatment, concurrent management of medical issues).
So if you’re looking for help with an addiction from a specialized drug rehab center, you may benefit from doing a little more research. Specifically, find out what kind of care the facility offers and what format is available. Below are a few of the drug rehab varieties available to your family.
The overall staff at Advanced Recovery Systems, which is the umbrella over The Palmer Lake Recovery Village, believes that addictions aren’t just chemical problems. They’re also spiritual and emotional. They involve the way people think.
The Correlation Between Trauma And Substance Abuse
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding substance abuse is, “what causes addiction?” While there’s no clear answer, there are several risk factors that affect the likelihood that a person will experience addiction during their lifetime.
A family history of addiction, having a mental health disorder, peer pressure, lack of family involvement, and a genetic predisposition are all common risk factors associated with substance abuse and addiction. But another risk factor, one that’s often overlooked, is trauma—especially trauma that occurs during childhood.
Emotional abuse, rape, sexual assault, the death of a loved one, being the victim of a crime or accident, and catastrophic natural disasters are all examples of traumatic events that may have an impact on substance abuse and addiction.
But how much do these events impact the likelihood of developing an addiction? And is there a way to prevent substance abuse later in life after an individual has experienced trauma?
How trauma affects the brain
Biology and genetics play a critical role in brain development, but the human brain also has the ability to respond and adapt to environmental stimulation. As the brain grows and matures during childhood, it creates, strengthens, and occasionally discards neural connections. Every experience a child has, whether positive or negative, affects the brain in some way.
While most experiences cause the brain to develop in a way that’s beneficial, negative experiences can impede the brain’s development. Specifically, negative experiences during childhood, such as trauma, are believed to cause certain anomalies in brain structure that can result in cognitive, behavioral, and social impairments.
Is there a correlation between trauma and substance abuse?
Although experiencing trauma doesn’t mean a person will develop an addiction, research suggests there’s a significant, undeniable link between trauma and substance abuse.
Researchers at the University of Texas studied 32 teenagers, 19 of whom had been maltreated during childhood but had not been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. The other participants served as the control group and had no history of any major childhood trauma or psychiatric problems.
All of the teens were followed up every six months for approximately three and a half years. The researchers found that nearly half of the children who experienced trauma developed depression, an addiction, or both during the study. The comparison between the two groups showed that the rate of developing an addiction or mental health disorder in the maltreated teens was three times higher than in the control group.
But it’s not just childhood trauma that has an impact on addiction. A report issued by the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and The Department of Veteran Affairs showed a strong correlation between trauma and addiction in adults as well. Some of the significant findings of the report include:
- Sources estimate that between 25 to 75% of people who survive abuse and/or a violent trauma develop issues related to substance abuse.
- 10 to 33% of survivors of accidents, illnesses or natural disasters report having a substance use disorder.
- A diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases the risk of developing a substance use disorder.
- Male and female sexual abuse survivors experience a higher rate of drug and alcohol use disorders compared to those who have not survived such abuse.
Can addiction be prevented after abuse?
Not every person who experiences a traumatic event will develop an addiction to drugs or alcohol, which makes it difficult for experts to say whether it can truly be prevented. However, people who don’t seek help when dealing with traumatic experiences are more likely to turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism, which can lead to a substance use disorder over time.
Perhaps the best way to prevent substance abuse after a traumatic event is to ensure that the individual seeks some form of treatment, such as therapy with a licensed professional. Addressing the underlying trauma and the feelings associated with that trauma can help prevent a person from turning to drugs or alcohol in the future to cope with their emotions.
Help is available
You didn’t wake up one morning and decide to become addicted to drugs or alcohol. If you’ve experienced a traumatic event at one point in your life, there’s a chance you’re using drugs or alcohol to cope with those feelings and experiences, even if you don’t realize it. You don’t need to feel embarrassed, upset, or frustrated with yourself forever. Help is available, and by accepting treatment, you can begin to deal with your trauma, overcome your addiction, and live a happy, fulfilled life in recovery.
At the Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, we offer a variety of treatment programs, including those designed to treat co-occurring disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, contact us today.
SUSTAINING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Learning how to build and sustain healthy relationships is a critical part of clinical treatment because they help those in recovery find the motivation and support necessary to remain sober.
The Value of Healthy Relationships to Recovery
Healthy relationships are valuable in daily life and allow for connections to be made. Relationships can be familial, platonic, social, professional, or romantic and are all highly beneficial for personal growth and maintaining sobriety.
Both healthy and unhealthy relationships can impact people in and out of recovery in varying ways. A supportive friend who genuinely cares for someone who is recovering from substance abuse will offer compassion and maintain respect for their journey. Someone who is a toxic person in an unhealthy relationship may instead criticize or mock the person for having had an addiction. Such responses can deeply affect the person attempting to transition into sobriety. It’s important to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy relationships to compare how they influence addiction.
Defining Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships provide people enduring or recovering from addiction an opportunity for peace and growth. These relationships encourage the safety and growth and development of each individual. Traits of healthy relationships include:
|·Caring for the other’s well-being
Healthy relationships benefit us by providing security, joy, and partnership in our lives. Healthy relationships bring out the best in people, remind people to be responsible for their own happiness, and emphasize self-care. People in healthy relationships may experience less stress and achieve a balance of self-care and caring for others. Healthy friendships can offer us support and a sense of belonging, which are basic essentials for happiness.
Unhealthy relationships have highly toxic impacts which can unfold in various ways. Unhealthy relationships that include lying, cheating, or are highly unstable create a lack of peace and well-being in the lives of those involved. Traits of an unhealthy relationship include:
|· Passive-aggressive behavior
|· Physical, emotional, mental, or sexual abuse
|· Withholding emotion or affection
|· Power Struggles
|· Sarcasm/put downs
|· Cutting remarks
Toxic relationships, relationships that leave someone feeling drained and hopeless, can lead to disturbances in peace and increases in depression and anxiety.
Unhealthy Relationships and Addiction
Patterns of attachment and ideas about relationships begin in childhood. Most often, childhood relationships determine the types of relationships we form and maintain as we age. Depending on how our parents responded to our needs, we can form unhealthy relationships or become attached to people who mimic our caretakers. If we were traumatized as children, this trauma can reveal itself in the types of people who we love or choose to be loved by in adulthood.
Unhealthy relationships can lead to emotional distress, such as anxiety or depression, which can lead to substance abuse. For example, studies reveal that many people who binge drink have endured childhood trauma and use alcohol to self-medicate. Unhealthy relationships in worst case scenarios can create voids, dependencies, and destructive tendencies like self-harm and addiction in some people.
Becoming aware of personal influences and maintaining self-care and self-esteem are positive ways to identify the possible dangers of negative, toxic relationships. If you or someone you know is trapped in an unhealthy relationship and is abusing substances for relief, contact a treatment professional today.
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