is baclofen addictive

Is Baclofen Addictive? What is it Used For?

What is Baclofen?

Baclofen is a prescription drug that individuals can use to treat muscle spasms. These spasms may be caused by medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis (MS), as well as spinal cord diseases or injuries. Baclofen may also be known by other brand names such as Lioresal and Kemstro. 

This medication works to relieve pain and it operates as muscle relaxers. Baclofen also helps to improve the overall movement of muscles as it combats spasms. But, addiction treatment professionals are finding a use for this drug on the rehab scene as well.

However, those who are considering medication-assisted treatment of any kind for addiction recovery may wonder about the possibility of further addiction. After all, some individuals know all too well how unfortunately easy it is to become develop prescription drug addictions. 

So, some may wonder, “is baclofen addictive?” This is a valid question and a concern that recovery centers should certainly address. It’s important for those who are suffering from addiction to find hope at addiction treatment centers that have their best interest in mind. So, here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, our mission is to help inform you of your treatment options and address any concerns you may have.

The History of Baclofen

Originally, baclofen was meant for treating epilepsy. But, this treatment did not prove to be overwhelmingly successful. Medical professionals did find, however, that baclofen was helpful in minimizing spasticity.  

In the early 2000s, an individual by the name of Oliver Ameisen provided details about his recovery from alcoholism with the help of baclofen. As a cardiologist, Ameisen’s memoir about this process was certainly one that captured many people’s attention. 

The experimental use of baclofen is swiftly catching on and becoming more and more of a topic of discussion. So, it only seems fitting that, since using this medication for addiction treatment is still in the experimental stage, people would wonder about its qualities and characteristics. Learning about whether or not baclofen is addictive and gaining more information about baclofen withdrawal can be helpful for those who are wondering about this treatment method.

Information About Baclofen Dosage

In regards to baclofen dosage, those who use it typically experience varying doses. Sometimes, medical professionals may increase or decrease a person’s dosage depending on the individual’s needs and how the body responds to the medication.

It is not recommended to use more than 100 mg of baclofen per day. In many cases, the recommendation will be to use smaller and frequent doses of this medication as opposed to large, single doses.

When it comes to the side effects baclofen use may produce, it is important for individuals to be aware of the ways in which this drug may affect them. Baclofen may cause people to feel dizzy or drowsy. It may also cause confusion, physical weakness, or discomfort in the stomach. In severe cases, baclofen use can lead to seizures or breathing problems.

It’s important to note, however, that the more severe side effects of baclofen are not as likely to occur as the moderate symptoms. Still, individuals should also consult medical professional advice when it comes to using any sort of medication, including baclofen. This will ensure that people are using it safely and effectively without danger of severe and serious effects.

Also, the effects of baclofen can vary depending on the following:

  • Age
  • Underlying or co-occurring physical health conditions 
  • Underlying or co-occurring mental health disorders

Again, it is critical to speak with your doctor about using baclofen as the effects may be different for you than they are for others. This is especially necessary if you have specific mental or physical health concerns or conditions.

About Baclofen Withdrawal Symptoms

When a person uses baclofen for a while, the individual’s body will learn to depend on this substance. So, suddenly ending baclofen use may lead to withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may include confusion or anxiety. Some individuals may experience symptoms of psychosis. Convulsions may also occur in some instances.

This is why it is best to avoid abruptly ending baclofen use. Instead, individuals should consult a medical professional and decrease the dosage for a week or two. Eventually, they will likely be able to stop using the drug altogether.

Is Baclofen Addictive?

As the study on baclofen and its use in addiction treatment continues, many cannot help but wonder, “Is baclofen addictive?” After all, individuals often find themselves wondering if MAT, in general, is effective as it uses prescription drugs to help people end substance dependence. Some wonder if this approach to alcohol and drug use treatment is the same as “trading one addiction for another”. 

Those who wonder about this should not be concerned; medication-assisted treatment involves expert supervision and guidance. However, the question about the addictiveness of baclofen remains viable.

In truth, individuals who use baclofen for a while may develop a tolerance for it. Their bodies may begin to depend on it. Baclofen causes a pleasurable calming effect, which many may grow to desire often. Some individuals may begin to use baclofen outside of the recommended use. This can lead to addiction.

Should this occur in a person’s life, it is absolutely necessary to seek assistance from addiction treatment specialists. Through professional treatment programs, those who suffer from addiction can break free from substance use disorders.

Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

Those who suffer from substance use disorders should never attempt to end substance use without help. It’s both important and even necessary for individuals to seek assistance from others. This certainly remains true in cases of baclofen dependence and addiction.

Individuals who are suffering from baclofen dependence can find hope and healing here at Sana Lake Recovery Center. Through our services and programs, those who are struggling will have access to professional treatment and resources that can help guide the way to recovery.

If you are currently dealing with the impact of addiction and you’re not sure how to overcome these challenges, you may benefit from our addiction treatment services. You may need to consider enrolling in an inpatient or residential program. In this type of treatment program, you will be able to live in a drug- and alcohol-free environment, away from any negative influences that may exist at home.

Or, you may benefit from an outpatient program. This may include a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP). While these programs are not as intensive as residential treatment, they offer individuals the tools and resources they need in order to work toward a life that is free from substance use disorders.

Treatment for addiction typically involves various types of therapy. Some individuals may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Another helpful therapeutic approach is dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT. Other types of therapy and resources for substance use disorders include the following:

Therapy for Recovery

Those in recovery can take advantage of the benefits of group therapy and individual therapy. Both of these methods can help people as they seek liberty from substance dependence. While in an individual therapy session, a person can discuss his or her needs, feelings, emotions, experiences, challenges, and more with a therapist. This one-on-one setting allows people to freely express themselves without fear of judgment. It also enables people to receive individualized and personalized care and guidance.

Group therapy sessions are helpful for many reasons. Firstly, being in a group setting can help to make individuals aware of the fact that they are far from alone. Physically being around others can help give individuals the emotional support they need. Also, group therapy enables people to freely talk about their experiences with people who truly understand and relate to them. Group therapy also gives recovering individuals an atmosphere in which they can develop healthy and supportive interpersonal relationships.

Finally, family therapy can also be beneficial and helpful during the recovery journey. Unfortunately, substance use disorders affect individuals and their families alike. Since this is the case, it is important for families to seek support and guidance as they navigate through the challenges that occur as a family member works through recovery. Family therapy helps to equip family units with the education and understanding they need throughout this time.

Let Sana Lake Help You: Seek Help And Guidance Today!

Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we understand the importance of helping people find freedom from substance use disorders. Our team offers compassionate and comprehensive care to those who are working to end drug and alcohol use. So, whether you are suffering from addiction or you are struggling to maintain freedom from this disorder, we’re here to help.

Our facility is in Dittmer, Missouri and its serene surroundings offer individuals a peaceful and safe environment. With our treatment programs, comfortable atmosphere, and understanding staff, Sana Lake offers people hope and healing. 

If you’ve been looking for addiction treatment resources and services, allow us to help you. At Sana Lake, you can find what you have been searching for and gain the skills you need to overcome substance use disorder in your life. 

Today is the day to begin anew. Contact us now to start a new path, one that leads away from addiction and toward health and happiness. Recovery is a lifelong journey that can certainly present many challenges. But, it also provides many opportunities for growth and development. We are committed to walking beside you on this journey. So, reach out to our representatives today!

ptsd awareness day

PTSD Awareness Day

PTSD is a mental health disorder than many find themselves being vaguely familiar with, and it is more common than some are led to believe. However, that is not to say that everyone is aware of it. Most people aren’t even certain of what PTSD is when it comes to the specifics. 

June 27th 2020 is National PTSD Awareness Day. Due to this spotlight on PTSD, lets learn more about this mental illness and how it affects many Americans.  

What is PTSD?

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Usually, when people think of PTSD, they assume it means the development of poor mental health as a result of some sort of trauma. On the surface, they are correct, but there’s much more to it than being defined as an anxiety disorder. This has all to do with the weight of the conflict that has influenced the behavioral change. 

PTSD occurs as a result of a traumatic or life-threatening experience. Some of these experiences commonly include war, sexual assault/use, physical assault/use, accidents, and natural disasters. This is due in large part to the impact of stress on the autonomic nervous system, which pertains to internal organs. 

These include the following:

  • Blood vessels
  • Stomach
  • Intestines
  • Liver
  • Kidneys
  • Bladder
  • Genitals
  • Lungs
  • Pupils
  • Heart
  • Sweat glands
  • Salivary glands
  • Digestive glands

Stress also affects the endocrine system (which regulates metabolism, mood, sex drive, sleep, and other hormones) and the immune system (biological defense system protecting against disease). The autonomic nervous, endocrine, and immune systems are all dependent on one another; because stress has a massive impact on each of these, the way we perceive and process trauma is distorted. 

Symptoms of PTSD

Some symptoms of PTSD may include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Tiredness
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Trouble digesting food

Due to the fact that our body’s reaction to stress is largely dependent on our perception of it, it is imperative to understand why and under which circumstances we become stressed. When our bodies are responding to stressful situations, there are large amounts of inflammatory hormones that make their way into our bodies. This makes it possible for even the memory of a traumatic event to have a catastrophic impact on our emotions and regular functions.

The Dangers of PTSD on the Brain

There have been extensive amounts of research done to highlight the impact that PTSD has on the human brain. Some studies have shown that the region of the brain referred to as the amygdala processes both fear and other emotions. When PTSD strikes, the amygdala shrinks as a result. When the amygdala shrinks, it becomes more difficult to process fear and other emotions. 

PTSD by the Numbers

The first time PTSD was ever regarded was during the Civil War. Additionally, it was given attention in World War I, but until the 1980s, it was not officially acknowledged as a legitimate mental health disorder, at least by the American Psychiatric Association. Fast forward a few years later, and not only is it understood better, but it’s also taken much more seriously. There are massive amounts of research being done to help combat PTSD. 

The National Center for PTSD suggests that 5% of men and 10% of women in the US will develop PTSD in their lifetime. To put these numbers into perspective, it represents somewhere between the 6 and 7 million adults that are suffering from this mental illness today. It is imperative to remember, however, that adults aren’t the only ones that will develop PTSD. Children as just as much at risk as adults are.

If you think that’s a lot, you may want to brace yourself; that number is going to increase exponentially. This is largely due to all of the terrible things happening in the world at the current moment. PTSD tends to show up right after a traumatic experience. PTSD has no respect for time; in short, it can manifest itself years after trauma has been experienced. 

In addition to all of this, one of the most common groups people associate PTSD with is the military, and it makes sense. However, it’s only getting worse. 30% of men and women in active warzones develop PTSD sooner or later in their lives. 

These rates vary on many factors, some of which include the following:

  • The branch of the military in which they served
  • Participation in active combat
  • Whether they were enlisted or an officer
  • Experiencing sexual assault

How Common is PTSD?

PTSD is vastly present in the United States. 1 in every 13 people will develop PTSD in their lives. This is a scary thought to consider. Some or all of these individuals account for the nearly three-quarters of American adults to have experienced a traumatic event in their lives at least once. Of this number, half are women, and more than half are men (50% women, 60% men). This all accounts for 8 million people in total.

In addition to all of this, there are more stats that reflect the severity of PTSD in the US:

  • More than 13 million people in the US have PTSD at any given time
  • 3.6% of adults in the US suffer from PTSD every year
  • 10% of women will develop PTSD in their lifetime as opposed to 4% of men
  • Women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD
  • Nearly half of all rape victims will develop PTSD
  • 32% of severe physical assault victims develop PTSD
  • Nearly 17% of people who experience a serious car accident develop PTSD
  • 15% of shooting or stabbing victims develop PTSD
  • Those who suffer from the sudden death of a loved one can develop PTSD
  • Parents whose children suffer from a life-threatening disease may suffer from PTSD
  • 7.3% of those who witness a murder experience PTSD
  • Close to 4% of those who suffer from a natural disaster develop PTSD

PTSD and Substance Use Disorder

Those who are at risk of developing PTSD or any other sort of mental illness usually cling closely to certain coping mechanisms. Some of these coping mechanisms include drug or alcohol misuse. When people start doing this, their problems become much more serious. Alcohol has the capability to worsen depression, anxiety, and any other sort of mental illness due in large part to the fact that alcohol is a central nervous system depressant.  

Oftentimes, substance use disorder is connected to PTSD, and this isn’t at all unusual. PTSD and other mental health disorders are extremely difficult to go through. Sometimes, it’s easiest to look towards unhealthy coping mechanisms like drug or alcohol use. This all eventually leads to co-occurring disorders.

Dual Diagnosis

Those looking for PTSD treatment are 14 times more likely to also be diagnosed with a substance use disorder. This is an example of a dual diagnosis. Dual diagnosis is when someone is suffering from a mental health disorder and substance use disorder at the same time. 

This does not mean that because someone is suffering from substance use disorder, they have to also suffer from PTSD, nor does it mean that anyone suffering from PTSD will definitely suffer from substance use disorder as a result. Dual diagnosis should be understood as the co-occurrence of two behavioral disorders. 

When individuals are suffering from a mental health disorder, it is natural to feel lonely or isolated. This is perhaps one of the worst parts about mental illness. Not many people understand it. There are many who try to fix individuals without first hearing them and seeking to understand them. Because of this, those individuals feel isolated and sad, frustrated, or aggravated, and they tend to cope using methods like alcohol or drug use

Self-medicating could be one reason that people who suffer from PTSD are also suffering from substance use disorder. When dealing with a mental illness that’s as severe as PTSD, it can be difficult to manage the pain. Sometimes, it’s scary to seek professional help and much easier to try solving the problem yourself. As a result, people become dependent on a substance to numb their pain, and then addiction becomes a problem. 

Those who suffer from PTSD and substance use disorder are more likely to use alcohol than any other substance. Not only that, but studies have shown that those who have served in the military who have a tendency to drink heavily are more likely to suffer from mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Some of these individuals who are diagnosed with PTSD suffer from binge drinking, a form of substance use disorder. 

Sana Lake is Here to Help

Here at Sana Lake Recovery, our goal is to meet each individual where they are rather than trying to fit them in a mold. There’s not a method of treatment that works for every single person successfully. This is why we put a huge emphasis on individualized care. 

PTSD is not an easy road to walk down. There are many who aren’t aware of its destructive nature, nor do they care to understand. Here at Sana Lake, however, we are here to listen and meet your needs. If you or a loved one are suffering from PTSD or any other mental illness and would like to find out more, contact us here

LGBTQ and substance abuse

How Substance Use Disorder Affects the LGBTQ Community

Sadly, no community has been left untouched by the effects of substance dependence. Many people all over the world and from varying backgrounds are currently experiencing the impact of addiction and the challenges that this disorder brings. So, unfortunately, members of the LGBTQ community are also subject to the difficulties that occur with the development of alcoholism and drug misuse. 

However, by bringing more awareness to this issue, individuals can find hope and healing through recovery. Thankfully, here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we work to offer treatment to everyone who comes to us for help, regardless of sexual orientation or gender. We believe part of providing hope and help to those who need it is to begin raising awareness and sharing information about the prevalence and effects of addiction within the LGBTQ community.

Addiction Defined: What Is It and How Does It Affect Those Who Suffer From It?

A substance use disorder (SUD), commonly referred to as “addiction”, is a disorder that causes individuals to depend on alcohol or drugs. Those who suffer from SUDs may be physically dependent on drugs or alcohol. They may also become physiologically pr psychologically dependent on these substances.

Substance use disorders develop after individuals use alcohol or drugs for an extended period of time. For instance, if a person uses alcohol for a while, he or she may build a tolerance for the substance. This means that the individual’s body becomes so accustomed to the effects of alcohol that it requires more of the substance in order to elicit the same physical and emotional responses within the body.

Sometimes, those who have a substance dependence may not even realize the presence of the disorder. But, it is important to note the signs and symptoms of addiction in order to speedily get help and treatment.

Types of Addiction

There are many types of substance use disorders. Some of the substances people may use and become dependent on may include the following:

Using these substances can lead to the development of an addiction. So, those who regularly use drugs or alcohol may find themselves struggling with substance dependence and its effects. When this occurs, it is absolutely necessary for individuals to seek professional help immediately.

The Prevalence of Substance Use in the LGBTQ Community

Substance use and dependence have certainly made their presence known in the lives of many LGBTQ individuals. Professionals estimate that between 20-30% of those within the LGBTQ community suffer from substance misuse. This is in comparison to about 9% of the general population.

One study found that students who are transgender are 2.5 times more likely than others to use cocaine or meth. Also, transgender students are also 2 times as likely to misuse prescription drugs (including prescription opioids or benzodiazepines).

When it comes to alcohol use, studies say that 20-25% of the LGBTQ community have an alcohol dependency, both moderate and severe. In regards to heroin use, members of the LGBTQ community are 9.5 times more likely heterosexual individuals to use heroin.

According to data from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, adults in the LGBTQ community were more than two times as likely as heterosexual adults to have used any illicit drug in the past year. This equates to 39.1% of LGBTQ adults as opposed to 17.1% of heterosexual adults.

LGBTQ individuals are 12.2 times more likely than others to use amphetamines. Nearly one-third of sexual minority adults used marijuana in the past year. This equates to about 30.7% compared to 12.9%of heterosexual adults.

About 1 in 10 (10.4%) of individuals in the LGBTQ community misused prescription pain relievers in comparison to 4.5% of heterosexual adults.

Causes of Addiction Amongst LGBTQ Members

Addiction develops for different reasons. Each individual who suffers from substance dependence has unique life experiences and genetic factors that could contribute to the development of addiction. However, some of the reasons why people suffer from substance misuse and dependence may include general factors such as:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Peer pressure
  • Environmental factors
  • Co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Physical health complications (i.e. chronic pain)

When it comes to members of the LGBTQ community who suffer from drug and alcohol dependence, the causes of addiction may be very specifically related to the challenges many individuals face on a regular basis.

For instance, unfortunately, countless LGBTQ individuals know the pain of loneliness and rejection all too well. As a result of these negative emotions, many people enter a low mental state, possibly developing depression or turning to substance use for relief. 

Also, the sad truth is that many individuals within the LGBTQ community have experienced sexual trauma. The effects of these horrifying experiences can certainly lead to drug or alcohol misuse and dependence.

Another possible cause of substance use and dependence could be related to self-image. Sadly, people within the LGBTQ community often struggle with feelings of low self-esteem and even self-hatred. These harmful ways of thinking can lead individuals to feel overwhelmed and alone. These emotions, in turn, can result in excessive alcohol or drug use as a coping method.

Addressing Specific Needs in Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

Mental health disorders often co-occur with substance use disorders among those in the LGBTQ community. Individuals within the community often struggle with mental health disorders such as stress, depression, and anxiety. Many of them also show signs of suicidal ideation or even suicide attempts. Self-harm also commonly occurs among LGBTQ individuals.

Due to the challenges many LGBTQ individuals encounter on a regular basis, the effects of addiction can become even more difficult to manage. However, despite the evident difficulties, many people do not seek professional assistance in overcoming addiction. 

This happens for varying reasons. Firstly, a person who is suffering from addiction may not feel as though their needs will be addressed. Some may not feel comfortable with the idea of going through a residential or inpatient treatment program. On the other hand, some people may not feel extremely comfortable with the idea of going through an outpatient program.

Also, some individuals who are looking for addiction treatment may wish to find gender-specific programs. They may also be interested in getting treatment that is age-specific and age-geared, whether for seniors or young adults.

Finding the Right Addiction Treatment Center for Your Needs

While searching for a treatment center for substance use disorder, it is essential to find a facility that best suits your needs. To do that, it is important to first identify your needs and determine the best ways to meet those requirements.

If you are suffering from a mental health disorder in addition to substance dependence, it is best to seek help from a dual diagnosis program. A dual diagnosis treatment program works to identify and address co-occurring disorders simultaneously. This is important because addressing only one disorder without treating the other can lead to relapse. Or, at the very least, this approach could prevent the individual from overcoming the unaddressed disorder.

You may also want to consider whether or not a treatment center offers inpatient and outpatient programs. Some individuals require around-the-clock care as they begin their journeys to freedom from addiction. So, having access to a comprehensive residential program can prove to be absolutely essential.

On the other hand, some individuals may need to tend to other responsibilities outside of treatment. These may include duties at home, school, work, or other obligations. In these cases, outpatient services may be best suited for individuals who wish to end substance dependence. 

Distance is one more component you may need to consider when looking for a facility. It’s important to determine whether or not you would like to travel to treatment or attend a local recovery center.

Contact Sana Lake Recovery Center Today!

If you or someone you know is suffering from a substance use disorder, please know that there is hope. Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, our mission is to provide individuals with the resources and services they need in order to overcome the impact of substance dependence. 

Whether you are struggling with alcohol use disorder or drug dependence, we are here to help you. Our goal is to equip our members with the tools they need as they begin walking on the path to lifelong recovery and freedom from addiction. We understand that this journey is full of many challenges and hurdles.

Our team also understands that these challenges are often only intensified by the presence of other unrelated difficulties that may arise in a person’s life. As mentioned before, we understand that many members of the LGBTQ community face challenges that may not be comparable to any of those that other individuals may encounter. But, we strive to make the recovery process accessible and successful for every individual who comes to our facility.

The road to recovery is never simple or easy. Many complications and challenges occur on this journey. But, throughout your time in our treatment programs here at Sana Lake, you can be sure that you will receive encouragement and guidance from our professional and understanding team members.

Unfortunately, many addiction treatment facilities fail to understand the needs of individuals within the LGBTQ community in regards to recovery. But we work tirelessly to make sure each of our members has exactly what is necessary to ensure a successful recovery. So, if you need help ending substance use in your life, please contact us today. Allow us to assist you as you shift your focus to a life that is addiction-free!

delirium tremens

The Association of Delirium Tremens with Alcohol Withdrawal

An individual who suffers from alcoholism has a chemical dependency on alcohol. This means that the person’s body depends on alcohol and has become tolerant of this substance. Generally, alcoholism or alcohol use disorder develops over time, after an individual uses alcohol in unhealthy amounts over an extended period of time. Due to this physical and psychological dependence, ending alcohol use can be very difficult. Withdrawal symptoms can be serious.

Truthfully, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal are far from comfortable. Some people may experience alcohol withdrawal dreams, alcohol withdrawal night terrors, or other types of sleep disturbances. Some might suffer from severe withdrawal symptoms that could even be life-threatening in some instances.

So, individuals who desire to end alcohol use should learn more about the withdrawal process and what to expect. It is also important for struggling individuals to reach out for professional assistance. With the help of clinical professionals and therapists, those who suffer from alcohol use disorder can overcome this challenge. 

A Brief Overview of Alcohol Use Disorder

Again, alcoholism (also known as alcohol use disorder) is a condition in which a person’s brain and body depend on alcohol. In simpler terms, those who suffer from alcoholism feel as though they cannot function without alcohol. This is because consistent, excessive alcohol use can physically change the structure of an individual’s brain.

After a while, those who use alcohol excessively will begin to suffer from withdrawal symptoms between periods of drinking. In an attempt to end the discomfort that comes with withdrawal, individuals who suffer from alcoholism may drink more alcohol

Delirium Tremens During Alcohol Withdrawal

Some of the commonly occurring alcohol withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. But, some individuals may experience more severe withdrawal symptoms, such as hallucinations, frightening alcohol withdrawal dreams or alcohol withdrawal night terrors, tremors, and delirium tremens.

Delirium tremens, sometimes referred to as DTs, is a type of alcohol withdrawal that is quite severe. In fact, it can be life-threatening if the individual does not get treatment for it in a timely manner. 

How Common is Delirium Tremens?

According to data provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, about 3% to 5% of people experience the symptoms of delirium tremens. While this number may seem small, it is in no way insignificant.

After all, those who suffer from delirium tremens endure very serious and severe symptoms and effects. So, spreading knowledge and information about DTs can prove to be helpful and effective in helping people to both understand and address symptoms of this form of alcohol withdrawal. 

How Long Do the Symptoms of DTs Last?

Although delirium tremens can last up to 8 days, the average time period is between 48 and 36 hours. The onset of this delirium tremens occurs around 48 hours following an individual’s last drink. The most intense effects and symptoms of DTs usually occur between 4 and 5 days post use.

Identifying the Symptoms of Delirium Tremens

Some of the symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Convulsions
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Hallucinations
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep difficulties
  • High blood pressure
  • Increase in heart rate
  • Rapid mood changes
  • Hyperactivity and bursts of energy

Also, delirium tremens may result in changes in a person’s mental and cognitive functions. Individuals may also experience nervousness and become extremely angry. 

Delirium tremens can also result in unconsciousness or deep sleep. Some individuals who are withdrawing from alcohol use may encounter other serious effects including breathing problems. In some cases, those who suffer from delirium tremens may experience grand mal seizures.

Due to the seriousness of delirium tremens, medical attention and treatment are absolutely critical. Those who desire to overcome alcohol use disorder should seek professional help immediately.

Getting Treatment for Delirium Tremens

Individuals who experience the effects of delirium tremens must receive medical help immediately in order to prevent fatal results. Typically, those suffering from this form of withdrawal are hospitalized. This enables medical professionals to monitor the effects of DTs and administer the proper medications.

While in the hospital, patients suffering from delirium tremens may receive injections of thiamine or various vitamins. They may also receive sedative medications in order to keep them calm. This may also help to prevent seizures.

Treating Substance Use: Detox for Alcoholism

One of the first steps in the addiction treatment process is detoxification. Also known as detox, the detoxification process is meant to help those who are dealing with drug and alcohol misuse. Often, detox programs use a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) approach. This detox approach uses medications that can help to curve substance cravings or block some of the effects of withdrawal. This means individuals can work through the withdrawal period in a safe and more comfortable way. 

Detox is an extremely important part of the treatment process. This is mainly due to the fact that addiction has a physical dependence aspect which is not specifically addressed in any other phase of treatment. When a person goes through detoxification, he or she gains the ability to live without substance use. This is certainly important, as substance use must end before emotional and psychological dependencies can be addressed. 

Addiction is a complex disorder that truly affects every area of life. Those who suffer from it typically feel its impact in areas such as family life, financial status, work, school, social life, and more. So, it is best to go through each of the necessary steps in order to obtain true freedom from the bondage and negative effects of substance use disorder. By getting help from the proper resources and treatment levels of care, individuals can find their way to a life without addiction!

Addiction Treatment After Detox

Once an individual completes the alcohol detox process, he or she should continue to the next phase of treatment. This may be residential treatment, which is an intensive program in which individuals live at a treatment facility. While in a residential or inpatient program, those in recovery can attend various therapy sessions. They can also have access to medical and professional care 24/7.

Some individuals may go through an outpatient program if they are able to continue living at home while getting treatment. Or, individuals may enter outpatient treatment following a residential program. While in outpatient care, those in recovery can continue to receive help and support through therapy. Since this is a less intensive treatment approach, individuals may be able to work, tend to responsibilities at home, or attend school while still getting treatment.

There are multiple types of outpatient addiction treatment. One form of outpatient care is the partial hospitalization program. Commonly known as a PHP, a partial hospitalization program offers recovering individuals the opportunity to receive treatment for a minimum of 40 hours per week. Those who are suffering from co-occurring mental health disorders and substance use disorders can benefit from this program. 

Another type of outpatient care is the intensive outpatient program. Professionals may refer to this program as an IOP and it is often a part of the addiction treatment process. Individuals may attend treatment and therapy for 12 hours every week. But, the treatment center staff will be able to develop the best plan and amount of hours for treatment.

Contact Us at Sana Lake Recovery Center

If you have been suffering from substance use disorder, you may be unsure about what to do in order to end substance use in your life. It can be difficult to overcome addiction, especially if you have been dealing with the effects of substance use for a while. If you feel alone in your struggle or you are uncertain about where to start when it comes to recovery, there is hope for you. 

Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we are dedicated to helping struggling individuals to find peace, healing, and freedom. So, we offer resources and treatment services that address the needs of those who wish to begin the recovery journey.

Some of the therapies, services, and programs offered here at Sana Lake include:

Our mission is to encourage and support those who are working toward a life that is free from addiction. We strive to provide the very best of care in the highest quality to those who come to our facility for help. Each member of our program has access to the most comprehensive approach to addiction treatment. Each member is treated with compassion and concern, provided by our wonderful staff here at Sana Lake.

If you have been wondering where to begin in terms of substance use treatment, allow us to guide you! We want to walk beside you as you pursue a new life and a healthier future. You do not have to do this alone. Please let the team here at Sana Lake Recovery Center assist you throughout this new journey. Reach out to us today and begin moving forward in your life! 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482134/

5 common relapse triggers

5 Common Relapse Triggers: How to Avoid Them

More than 85 percent of individuals in recovery relapse in the first year after receiving treatment

It’s important to understand how relapse happens before knowing about the most common addiction triggers. Thoughts in our mind, as well as people and places in our environment, are all factors that can contribute to relapse. First, we’ll break down how relapse works, then we’ll talk about what to do when you come across them.

The Three Stages of Relapse

Contrary to popular belief, relapse doesn’t just happen in one moment. Relapse is a gradual process that ends in the physical act of using drugs or drinking. Before you know the five most common addiction triggers, you must educate yourself on the three stages of relapse so that you understand it and know what to expect.

Emotional Relapse

Emotional relapse, which is the first stage of relapse, consists of troubling or confusing feelings. You might not be actively thinking about using, but you’re remembering what it used to feel like when you did. You’re also in denial about the possibility of relapse.

Typical signs of emotional relapse include:

  • Bottling up your feelings
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Not regularly attending recovery meetings
  • Poor hygiene
  • Isolating yourself from family and friends
  • Going to recovery meetings but not participating

Mental Relapse

During a mental relapse, your thoughts are drifting toward using again, even if part of you doesn’t want to go back to that part of your life. This can be a tough stage to come back from, so you’ll have to do some relapse prevention planning and get a family member or trusted friend involved. 

Typical signs of mental relapse include:

  • Glorifying past drug/alcohol use
  • Craving drugs or alcohol
  • Thinking about people with whom you used drugs
  • Planning for the next time you’ll use drugs
  • Thinking how to better control your drug use
  • Lying to your loved ones

Physical Relapse

Physical relapse is the official act of using drugs and alcohol again. Once you’ve physically relapsed, it can be hard to realize that you need help.

The 5 Most Common Addiction Triggers

By knowing the typical addiction triggers that can spur you to use drugs and alcohol again, you can prevent relapse from ever happening. Keep in mind that you don’t need to beat yourself up for giving in these triggers. Recovery can be extremely difficult, but knowing what your triggers are in advance can help you stay drug-free in the long run.

Environment

People who and places that you associate with past drug use are common addiction triggers. When you start hanging out with old drinking buddies, even if they no longer drink, you’re more likely to reminisce about using and feel tempted to drink again. 

When you’re recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction, you must have a response to these people if you end up encountering them and they ask you to have a drink. Think of healthier ways to spend your time, like having dinner with your partner or seeing a movie.

Stress

Stress is one of the most predominant addiction triggers. Troubles at work or home can drive a person to turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their feelings. If in the past you constantly turned to harmful substances to deal with your problems, then you’re at an even higher risk of relapsing.

Try to evaluate the stress you’re going through. If there is a certain situation that consistently stresses you out, like a financial situation or an abusive relationship, try to avoid or get out of it. Listing the people, places, and things that stress you out can also help prevent relapse.

If you’re feeling stressed by conditions in your everyday life, try practicing healthier coping mechanisms like mindfulness. Meditation, exercise like yoga, eating healthy, can all help you find peace within yourself and give you feelings of achievement.

One of the most important things you can do in recovery is learning which scenarios stress you out and finding healthy ways of dealing with them. Your therapist or mental health counselor can help you do this as well. By eliminating stressful situations and people from your life, you can make positive changes and strides that will lead you to long-term abstinence from drugs and alcohol. 

Negative Emotions

Feeling sad, angry, or ashamed are precursors to relapse. Learning how to healthily deal with these emotions is key to avoiding relapse. When you use drugs and alcohol to cope with these feelings, they only provide temporary relief. Once the effects wear off, these challenging and negative emotions will still be there to bother you. 

When these feelings come on, you need to realize that everyone feels upset or angry sometimes. Don’t view these feelings as setbacks. Rather, use them as opportunities to grow and understand yourself better. In the same way that you deal with stress, you need to also deal with these emotions. Release your feelings through writing, painting, or drawing. Negative emotions can usually lend wonderfully to creativity.

Celebrations

As big a part as unhappy events can trigger a relapse, celebrations can play similar roles. During weddings and birthdays, you might get overconfident and feel that you can handle one drink, but this can be a risky action. People who are addicted to drugs and alcohol have trouble controlling how much they can consume, and you might find yourself relapsing at a special event. When friends and family are around, this can be incredibly embarrassing.

Figure out what to do before a celebration happens. Tell yourself that you need to stay humble and know that you could lose control even if you have just a small drink. 

Objects

Seeing someone take a drag of a cigarette or smoke marijuana, as well as looking at people drinking at a bar can immediately bring back memories of drug use. When you encounter these objects, think about how drug use negatively impacted your life. Concentrate on all the good that being sober has brought you.

Besides the above five addiction triggers, others include H.A.L.T. (feeling Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired), having an untreated mental health disorder and boredom.

How Can I Prevent Relapse?

Some addiction triggers are unavoidable. When you feel a craving coming on, don’t try to cover up the feeling; accept it, and let it pass. You’ll usually feel it for about 15 to 30 minutes before it fades. 

Regularly attending recovery meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or SMART Recovery will help to keep you accountable for your actions and keep you humble. There is a saying in AA, “Just for today,” which means that you need to take your recovery one day at a time. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are also trying to permanently abstain from drugs and alcohol will be good motivation for you.

Keep yourself busy with hobbies you enjoy that don’t revolve around drinking or using drugs, like riding your bicycle, exercising, crafting, journaling, cooking or playing board games with friends. It’s possible to enjoy life without harmful substances taking over.

It’s extremely helpful to develop a relapse prevention plan, which is one of the many services we offer at Sana Lake Recovery Center. Even by doing all this, it’s still possible for you to relapse.

What If I Do Relapse?

If you do relapse, the first step is to ask for help. There is no shame in seeking assistance from your friends, loved ones, or sponsor. It’s not unheard of for drug-dependent persons to relapse in their first year of recovery, so don’t be discouraged if you do. Recovery is a lifelong journey that takes plenty of willpower and dedication to maintain.

Sana Lake offers a wide range of addiction treatment programs as well as multiple types of therapy and sober living programs. Whether you have a severe addiction that requires inpatient treatment or a mild one that only requires some outpatient sessions, we have a treatment plan that will meet your needs.

Addiction Recovery Programs

Addiction recovery programs are proven to help millions of users all over the world with addiction triggers and drug and alcohol cravings. They provide a supportive community of people who have been where you are and have managed to maintain recovery throughout their life. Below are a few examples of addiction recovery programs that you can find all over the U.S.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Arguably the most popular and well-known recovery group, Alcoholics Anonymous follows a 12-step approach that acknowledges a higher power and forces people to admit they are powerless over addiction. In AA, you are assigned a sponsor who will help you through your addiction recovery and be there for you when you encounter an addiction trigger.

Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

NA follows the same model as AA, except it focuses more on addiction to illegal and prescription drugs like alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), heroin, oxycodone and fentanyl. NA also has sponsors who will help keep you accountable.

SMART Recovery

If you don’t believe in a higher power and want a more scientific approach to recovery, SMART (Self-Management And Recovery Training) Recovery might be the perfect group for you. SMART Recovery emphasizes methods for helping drug-dependent persons improve their lives and develop healthier lifestyles. SMART Recovery also uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which focuses on changing negative behaviors and thoughts into positive ones so that you can make productive lifestyle changes.

Relapse Prevention at Sana Lake Recovery Center

At Sana Lake, we can help you devise a relapse prevention plan so that you can be aware of your addiction triggers at all times. Once you complete medical detox in which harmful substances are flushed from your body, the real work of recovery begins. In addition to therapy and other aftercare activities, relapse prevention is a crucial part of the recovery process. 

Our licensed therapists can help you identify your triggers and help you take steps to avoid these. If you can’t always avoid them, your therapist will teach you coping skills for when you come across these situations.

Whatever your addiction, our certified professionals at Sana Lake can help you achieve your recovery goals and kick drugs and alcohol for good.

Identify Your Addiction Triggers and Prevent Relapse Now

See how the clinical staff at Sana Lake Recovery Center can help you reach your recovery goals. Contact us today to speak with one of our representatives who can talk you through our various treatment processes. You don’t have to struggle with your addiction by yourself. Call us today!

References:

https://www.verywellmind.com/why-did-i-relapse-21900

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/heartache-hope/201202/6-common-relapse-triggers-0

https://drugabuse.com/drug-relapse/

chronic pain and addiction

What’s the Relationship Between Chronic Pain and Addiction?

Chronic pain affects up to 50 million people in the U.S., even though it’s hard to control and often misunderstood. For people who experience chronic pain, opioids are usually the go-to choice for relief. As effective as these are, though, they also carry multiple side effects and are prone to addiction. Doctors wrote opioid prescriptions for about 260 million people, and 2 million of those people ended up developing an opioid addiction. 

Learn how painkiller addiction can stem from chronic pain. We at Sana Lake Recovery can give you the best program for pain management and addiction treatment.  

Acute vs. Chronic Pain: What’s the Difference?

Acute pain is the normal pain you feel when you injure yourself, while chronic pain is more severe. Acute pain doesn’t last long and it happens suddenly, like when you burn your finger on a stove, hit your thumb with a hammer, or break your arm. Once an acute injury has healed, the pain will stop. Acute pain is considered by doctors to be “good” pain since it lets you know that you have an injury.

When pain becomes chronic, however, it’s a disease. Chronic pain is typically diagnosed after three to six months of consistent pain, and it can even last years. 

What Causes Chronic Pain?

It’s not always clear what causes chronic pain, but it can happen when a disease or medical condition alters the nervous system. As a result, the body can then feel more sensitive to pain, and certain sensations can last longer or feel more severe than normal. Chronic pain can also result from a serious injury or infection, or even a surgical incision. 

Here are a few examples of medical conditions that cause chronic pain:

  • Migraines: While headaches can be an occasional nuisance, migraines are recurring headaches that can last anywhere from a few hours to three days. Migraines affect about 15% of people all over the world.
  • Lower back pain (LBP): There isn’t always a cause for lower back pain, but in many cases it’s caused by long-term joint or muscle strain. Although 40 to 90% of people with LBP have no pain after six weeks, chronic LBP lasts more than 12 weeks. 
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints. Symptoms include swelling, redness and low range of motion. Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are the two most common forms of the condition.
  • Cancer: Since cancer can be extremely painful, opioids are often chosen to help relieve severe symptoms.
  • Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia involves musculoskeletal pain throughout the body and tends to heighten painful sensations. People with fibromyalgia experience chronic pain and are more likely to get the condition from child abuse. 
  • Shingles: Shingles is a viral infection that causes painful rashes and itchy blisters. Shingles comes from the same virus as chickenpox, and you’re more likely to get it if you’re under a great deal of stress or you’ve had a critical injury.

You should talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing pain that lasts longer than expected. He or she needs to treat it as soon as possible so that the pain doesn’t get worse.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain can take many forms and feel anywhere from mild to extremely painful. Signs and symptoms of chronic pain include:

  • Sinus pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Neck pain or backaches
  • Pain after an injury
  • Headaches
  • Shoulder pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weakened immune system
  • Nausea
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Mood swings, anxiety and depression
  • Inability to participate in many activities

The Psychological Effects of Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain doesn’t only cause physical strain; it can also cause plenty of mental anguish. Dealing with constant painful sensations can be debilitating and limit the way you live your life. It’s not uncommon for people with chronic pain to become depressed or get anxious about the next time symptoms will flare up.

When someone with chronic pain gets anxious or depressed, neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin decrease, and this can lead to an increase in severe pain symptoms. 

These neurotransmitters are the body’s natural painkillers, so when they decrease it can mean more trouble for the person suffering. At this point, people with chronic pain can start taking their pain management to a dangerous level by misusing painkillers. 

Commonly Misused Pain Medications

Although medication treatment for pain management can be helpful, certain prescriptions can become addicting, especially opioids. Here is a shortlist of the most commonly misused prescription meds for pain management: 

  • Opioids 
    • Oxycodone (OxyContin), oxycodone/acetaminophen (Percocet), hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Vicodin), oxymorphone (Opana), hydromorphone (Dilaudid)
  • Diazepam (Valium) – This is a benzodiazepine (sedative) that’s usually prescribed for anxiety disorders, but it’s also used for several other medical reasons.
  • Pentobarbital sodium (Nembutal) – This is a barbiturate used before surgical procedures and to manage insomnia.

Why Are Opioids Used for Pain Management?

Opioids have long been doctors’ first choice for managing both acute and chronic pain. Opioids block pain receptors by interacting with the brain’s chemical makeup and the central nervous system. These drugs increase levels of dopamine in the brain and release feelings of relaxation and happiness, while also slowing down heart rate, blood pressure and breathing. 

Even though painkilling prescription drugs are often provided by doctors, only 58% of people with chronic pain feel relief from them. There are many synthetic opioids available on the market, but the following are the ones most prescribed for pain. 

Codeine

Codeine is used to treat mild to moderate pain. It’s usually found in cough syrups and can also treat diarrhea. Some side effects of codeine include constipation, lightheadedness, 

Morphine

Morphine is prescribed for both acute and chronic pain. It can be used to alleviate labor pains and pain from a heart attack. 

Methadone

Methadone clinics provide people with this medication so they can recover from opioid addiction. It’s also used to treat moderate to severe pain. 

Oxycodone

Oxycodone (OxyContin) is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Oxycodone is also available with acetaminophen (Percocet), aspirin, ibuprofen and naloxone, which also helps stop heroin overdoses.

Hydrocodone

Hydrocodone is a fairly potent opioid used to treat both acute and chronic pain, and it can be used as a cough suppressant as well. It’s also combined with acetaminophen to make Vicodin. 

Fentanyl

Fentanyl is the most widely used synthetic opioid in medicine as of 2017, and it’s also one of the strongest opioids. It’s used to treat chronic pain like cancer pain. Fentanyl is one of the most potent opioids on the market.

Side Effects of Opioids

Some side effects of taking opioids for pain management include:

  • Impaired coordination and thinking
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

The most dangerous side effect of opioids is that they are highly addictive. 

The Problem with Pain Management and Addiction

Opioids can be highly addictive, and people dealing with chronic pain can become addicted to painkillers. People who take opioids for pain management don’t intend on developing an addiction. Unfortunately, this ends up happening with a lot of users. Doctors will usually only prescribe opioids on a short-term basis so that addiction isn’t a possibility, but these medications are still powerful.

When drug dependent persons take opioids, they usually work at first. The user starts to feel better because of the pain medication and they begin to have a new lease on life. However, they can eventually build a tolerance and require more and more to achieve the same effect. Oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl and oxycodone/acetaminophen (Percocet) are some of the most commonly misused opioids for pain management.

Alternative Treatments for Pain Management

Although opioids are usually the first choice for managing chronic pain, you shouldn’t use them if you’re addicted to them or at risk for developing a dependence. Fortunately, there are other options. However, some of the alternatives listed below might not be effective for your specific severe pain. Chronic pain must be managed carefully and comprehensively since it can affect how you function daily. Talk to your doctor to see what might be the best medication option for you.

Prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs have long been used to manage acute pain, but it usually takes prescription-strength NSAIDs to take care of chronic pain. NSAIDs are usually taken in pill form, but they also come in topical forms like creams and gels.

Common NSAIDs include:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)

NSAIDs are also often combined with opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone to relieve pain, but as opioids can be addictive, use them with caution.

Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs)

SNRIs treat chronic fibromyalgia and musculoskeletal pain, as well as depression. SNRIs include venlafaxine (Effexor) and duloxetine (Cymbalta).

Anticonvulsants

Anticonvulsants like gabapentin, pregabalin and phenytoin are used to treat epilepsy. It’s believed that anticonvulsants change how pain signals flow throughout the body.

Holistic medicine

Some practitioners feel that holistic or alternative medicine is a better option for treating chronic pain than traditional medication. Tai chi is believed to relieve stiffness and low back pain, and it’s also known to improve the quality of life in people with bone conditions like osteoporosis.

Other forms of holistic medicine thought to improve chronic pain include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Yoga

Pain Management and Addiction Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery Center

For so many people suffering from chronic pain, pain management and addiction treatment unfortunately go hand in hand. Sana Lake Recovery Center understands this, and our clinical staff can help you get rid of your pain medication addiction for good.

When you enter our center and are evaluated by our staff, you’ll first undergo medical detox. This will cleanse your body of harmful toxins from the pain addiction medication you’ve taken. Medical detox is a safe way for people to stop using drugs since it’s under the constant supervision of medical professionals. 

Once detox is complete, there is still work to be done. Therapy and aftercare programs are key to mitigating your psychological drug dependency and helping you find ways to healthily deal with your chronic pain.

  • Individual therapy: Here, you can have one-on-one time with your counselor, who will help you discover why you developed an addiction to painkillers. He or she will also show you how to best cope with your chronic pain when it’s at its worst.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy will place you with other people who have chronic pain and deal with addiction. A counselor will lead your sessions and give each member a chance to discuss how chronic pain has affected their lives.
  • Holistic medicine: As mentioned earlier, holistic or alternative medicine can be a good solution for pain management. The point of holistic medicine is to achieve balance of the spirit, body and mind. 
    • Mindfulness
    • Journaling
    • Yoga
    • Nutritional therapy

Dealing with Chronic Pain in Recovery

Recovering from a painkiller addiction doesn’t necessarily mean that your chronic pain will go away. If you are still dealing with chronic pain while in recovery, here are a few tips:

  • Regularly attend counseling sessions. Therapy will teach you new life skills and ways for coping with your chronic pain, as well as how to balance your emotions.
  • Work on your problem-solving skills. Look at dealing with your chronic pain as a way of growing. How can you solve your problems effectively?
  • Eat balanced meals. Nutritious food can do wonders for your physical and mental well being. Aim for foods that are low in saturated fats and refined sugars, high in protein, and rich in nutrients. 
  • Find a support group. Narcotics Anonymous and other support groups can bring you to like-minded people who have also suffered from painkiller addiction. 

Get Quality Pain Addiction Treatment Today

Are you addicted to prescription medication as the result of a medical condition or accident? Don’t worry. Although addiction is a tough disease to fight, it’s not impossible to beat. Sana Lake Recovery Center has the tools you need to escape the cycle of addiction and get you on the right path to long-term recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/causes-pain#1

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/types-pain#1

common causes of alcoholism

The 10 Most Common Causes of Alcoholism

Since there isn’t one exact cause of alcoholism, experts instead identify “risk factors” as potentials for development. Professionals believe that these factors may play a role in the development of alcohol use disorders as they have been evident in the lives of many individuals who suffer from alcohol dependence and addiction.

Risk factors can be environmental, biological, and psychological. While the presence of these factors does not guarantee that a person will develop an alcohol use disorder, it’s important to be aware of the circumstances and components that can lead alcoholism in some cases.

1. Family History

Family history plays a large part in what causes alcoholism. You’re more likely to develop an addiction if a parent or relative has dealt with alcohol use disorder. Although there isn’t one true gene that causes alcoholism, many scientists believe that several genes are responsible for about half the risk of developing it. People with these genes are also more likely to misuse alcohol if they also deal with social and psychological influences related to addiction.

A history of alcoholism among your relatives is both a biological and genetic factor, but it can also be environmental. Alcoholism doesn’t necessarily have to run in your family for you to become addicted. Simply being around family members who drink frequently can cause you to start doing the same. They can glamorize heavy drinking and make it seem acceptable, so you’ll feel better about doing it as well.

2. Drinking from an Early Age

The earlier you start to drink, the more likely you are to develop a dependence on alcohol, especially if you’re under 15 years old. You might become used to drinking when you start young. 

This rings true for young adults who binge drink in high school and college. The general period of alcohol use begins in the late teens, then peaks in the 20s and finally slows down in the early 30s. Drinking from an early age can cause long-term problems that can even go into your 40s and 50s.

While you can begin misusing alcohol no matter how old you are, starting to drink at a young age will increase your chances of developing alcoholism. 

To prevent alcoholism from beginning at an early age, parents should encourage alcohol prevention at this time. They need to teach their children about the dangers of heavy drinking at a young age so they can avoid developing bad habits in the future.

3. Mental Health Disorders

Having schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder can be frustrating and difficult. People with mental health disorders tend to drink to mitigate their symptoms and feel better. Even if alcohol temporarily eases symptoms of depression and anxiety, drinking frequently can lead to a high tolerance and, eventually, alcoholism. On top of that, alcohol can actually make mental health symptoms worse at times. 

People with mental health disorders may also feel too ashamed to seek help. They might feel that turning to alcohol is easier since they fear others may judge them for their mental illness. 

About one-third of people with a mental health disorder are also struggling with alcoholism. People with both a mental health disorder and alcoholism end up having what’s known as co-occurring disorders. These have serious side effects that can inflict long-term physical and psychological damage on your body. To effectively treat both of them, licensed clinicians must look at each disorder simultaneously.

4. Stressful Environments

Stress at work or at home can drive people to drink. People who work long hours and have high-demand careers like doctors, nurses, lawyers and construction workers are more likely to develop alcoholism as they drink to keep stress at bay. Studies show that stressed men are 1.5 more likely to binge drink than women. Those recovering from alcoholism might also find stress to be an emotional trigger and end up relapsing. 

Drinking away stress is part of what causes alcoholism. Finding a healthier way to manage your stress is key to avoiding dependence. 

5. Taking Alcohol with Medication

Mixing prescription drugs with alcohol is a common practice among individuals struggling with substance use disorder. Alcohol can mess with medication and people can become addicted to the pleasurable effects caused by drinking and prescription drugs. 

Unfortunately, mixing prescription drugs and alcohol can lead to a variety of health problems, including:

  • Blood pressure change
  • Heart damage
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Changes in behaviors, emotions or mental state

It can also lead to loss of coordination, which leads to accidents. There is also a high risk of overdose when combining alcohol with prescription drugs. Make sure to call 911 if you ever witness this happening to someone.

6. Peer Pressure

Kids in high school and college feel the need to be “cool,” accepted and like they’re in on the fun. Heavy drinking has long been considered an acceptable practice among teens and young adults ages 18 to 34, and keeping that drinking going past this age is a factor in what causes alcoholism.  

Peer pressure doesn’t just happen at a young age, either. Drinking has been a socially acceptable practice all over the world for many years, and adults can feel pressure to be part of this. Media also glorifies drinking among people of all ages. 

7. Frequent Alcohol Consumption Over Time

What causes alcoholism can be as simple as drinking too much over time. Building up a tolerance to alcohol requires you to drink more and more to get the same feeling. When you start drinking too much over time, you’re at a higher risk of developing alcoholism. This can start with binge drinking as a teenager or young adult. 

8. Trauma

Childhood abuse and domestic or sexual abuse are likely to mentally scar anyone, and these are high-risk factors for alcohol use disorder. When you don’t properly address past abuse in therapy, you might turn to heavy drinking to temporarily feel better about your situation. This is a dangerous practice, as it turns into a destructive cycle. 

To better deal with trauma and move past it, talk to a therapist. He or she will talk to you about how these incidents have affected you long-term, and you’ll learn how to cope with trauma without turning to alcohol.

9. Self-Medicating: Drinking to Cope

If you’ve lost a loved one, gotten divorced or got fired from your job, you’re likely dealing with grief, pain and loss. These are all emotions that can cause people to drink. For the time being, alcohol might make you feel joyful and carefree, but if you develop alcoholism, your grief and pain will get worse. 

People tend to self-medicate because it’s convenient and less expensive than going to a doctor or psychologist. In addition, the internet has become a widely available resource for information. People visit websites like WebMD to research their symptoms, but this is not how they should go about a self-diagnosis. 

Self-medicating also happens when people are too scared to confront their feelings and talk to someone about them. This is part of what causes alcoholism.

10. Lack of Family Supervision

Someone who didn’t have present parents in their childhood or had a poor family foundation is a prime candidate for alcoholism. A lack of support can lead to abandonment issues in children, and they may turn to alcohol for comfort. 

Preventing Alcoholism

When thinking about what causes alcoholism, you have to observe how people feel before they drink. People will try to drink away their problems and negative feelings, but this will only temporarily ease their pain. If you find that you’re feeling down, take a healthier route to feel better. Try meditating, talking to a friend, watching a movie, going for a walk or journaling.

If you have a mental health disorder, it’s also tempting to use alcohol to mask your symptoms. The proper course of treatment is to speak with a therapist and determine if medication will help you tackle life’s daily challenges. Therapy can also help you sort out your feelings and assist you in steering your life in a positive direction. It can help you address what causes alcoholism in your life.

Do you still want to hang out with your friends who drink, but don’t want to partake? Offer to be the designated driver the next time you’re at a party.

There are some negative situations in life that you can’t prevent, like having a dysfunctional family, being emotionally or sexually abused by a family member, or growing up with a relative who had alcoholism. However, you can control how you react to these situations, and there is help if you seek it. 

Find Treatment for Alcoholism at Sana Lake Recovery Center

You don’t have to struggle with your alcoholism by yourself. Sana Lake Recovery Center is filled with people who know exactly what you’re going through. We’ll help you figure out what caused your alcoholism and get you back on track to a healthier life. Contact Sana Lake today for a free consultation, and learn how we can help you.

alcohol rehab for seniors

Alcohol Treatment for Seniors: A Growing Problem of Alcoholism in Senior Citizens

Alcoholism is no stranger to our world. Most countries have encountered cases of alcohol dependence. Most communities are currently seeing the negative effects this substance has on some people’s lives. And most families have been impacted by alcohol use disorder. Many younger individuals have struggled with alcohol misuse. But, while it’s certainly important to make sure these individuals have helpful resources can be detrimental as there are many seniors who also suffer from alcoholism. This means alcohol rehab for seniors is absolutely necessary for our communities.

What is Alcoholism?

Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, is a condition in which a person excessively and uncontrollably uses alcohol. Those who suffer from alcohol use disorder depend on alcohol and feel unable to function properly without this substance. Often, individuals who struggle with alcoholism drink far more often and in larger doses than others. 

Although alcohol is a legal substance and many people tend to enjoy a drink from time to time, some individuals struggle to limit themselves. This could be an indication that alcoholism is developing.

Some of the common signs of alcohol dependence, alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Memory loss
  • Recklessness
  • Inability to stop or limit drinking
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Drinking first thing in the morning
  • Secrecy (i.e. drinking in private or alone)
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Prioritizing drinking alcohol over responsibilities
  • Defensiveness when approached about drinking habits
  • Drinking in dangerous situations (i.e. before driving, along with medications, etc.)

Individuals who experience some or all of these signs and symptoms are likely suffering from alcohol dependence or misuse. If you have noticed any of these signs in the life of an older adult that you know, it may be time to intervene and help the individual to enroll in an alcohol rehab program for seniors.

Alcoholism in Seniors: Statistics and Effects of Senior Alcoholism

It’s easy to assume that alcoholism and other substance use disorders are mainly prevalent in the lives of younger individuals. According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 11.0 million adults aged 26 or older had suffered from an alcohol use disorder within the past year. But, many of those adults who suffer from alcoholism are over the age of 65. 

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) states that “one-third of older alcoholic persons develop a problem with alcohol in later life”. Research states that alcohol is the most commonly used substance in the older population. The AAFP also states that approximately 6% of aging adults can be classified as heavy alcohol users.

Why Does Senior Alcohol Dependence Develop?

Alcohol use disorder occurs as a result of many different factors. Each individual is different and has varying experiences. So, the causes of substance dependence will be different from case to case. However, when it comes to older individuals, several factors may contribute to the development of an alcohol use disorder. 

Grief/Loss

Many seniors who suffer from alcoholism have experienced great loss. They may have lost a spouse to illness. Or, their long-time friends may pass away. Many older individuals may lose adult children due to illnesses, violence, or other causes of death. In some cases, even the loss of a dear pet could be very difficult for older individuals. Any other type of companion or caregiver who passes away could also cause a very serious and overwhelming sense of grief to occur in the lives of senior men and women.

Loneliness

The loss of a loved one can leave older individuals alone. This is especially the case in cases where a close companion or caregiver dies. Also, as adult children get older and begin to move away from home, their older parents may feel lonely or empty. Even those who live in facilities or communities that are specially designed to accommodate the needs of older adults may begin to feel severely lonely. 

Retirement/Inactivity/Boredom

Many older individuals are simply unsure about what to do as life changes. Retiring from the workforce can lead to inactivity and, frankly, boredom. It can be hard for people to find a new “normal”, especially after having worked or been extremely active in previous years. Transitioning into a life of retirement can cause older people to feel unsettled or leave them feeling empty.

Depression

Loneliness, uncertainty, and grief can all lead to the development of depression. Physical health conditions can also be another contributing factor. Many older individuals suffer from depression. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians reports that approximately 5 million Americans who are 65 years or older have clinical depression. According to the same report, about 1 million adults in this age range have major depression.

The same report says that depression has been seen in 17%-37% of older patients who received treatment in primary care settings. About 30% of these individuals have been diagnosed with major depression.

Depression can worsen, its symptoms becoming more and more severe. This can lead to many challenges and effects, including:

  • Worry
  • Self-harm
  • Restlessness
  • Helplessness
  • Hopelessness
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Overwhelming dissatisfaction
  • A lack of interest in interpersonal activities
  • An overall loss of motivation or inspiration

These symptoms and effects of depression can become overwhelming and decrease the quality of a person’s life. It can become even more challenging for older individuals to cope with these symptoms if they are also faced with physical illness, loneliness, or grief.

Stress/Anxiety/Fear

Unfortunately, many elderly individuals suffer from immense fear and worry. Anxiety and severe concerns may plague the hearts and minds of older people. Sometimes, this fear can come to older individuals who live alone. Or, elderly men and women may be overcome by concern or worry for their family members or for their own safety. Financial concerns might also become overwhelming for senior citizens as they are no longer working. 

Turning to Alcohol for Help

Sadly, countless older adults are unsure about where to turn for help. They may not know how to get the support or companionship that they need as they suffer from the challenges we mentioned earlier. As a result, many individuals turn to substance use in order to cope with these difficulties. Alcohol is often to “solution” in many people’s lives. Unfortunately, this can cause damaging and life-altering effects to occur.

Alcohol often seems to provide relief and rescue from the negative emotions and obstacles that life presents. It’s not uncommon for people to drink alcohol in order to relax or feel more at ease. But, the truth is that this behavior can lead to alcohol dependence and cause people to develop alcohol use disorders. 

When a person becomes dependent on alcohol, he or she may not feel able to cope with or manage the difficult situations that may arise. This might just lead to even more harmful habits and behaviors, including prescription drug misuse or illicit drug dependence. 

Health Complications Due To Alcohol Use in Seniors

Many older individuals who suffer from alcohol misuse develop very serious health complications as a result of excessive alcohol use. Alcohol use disorder can contribute to, cause, or worsen the following health problems:

  • Stroke
  • Ulcers
  • Diabetes
  • Confusion
  • Osteoporosis
  • Forgetfulness
  • Memory problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver diseases (i.e. cirrhosis)
  • Depression and other mood disorders

Some older individuals who misuse alcohol may engage in risky or harmful activities. This might include driving or trying to manage machinery or equipment while under the influence of alcohol. Also, some elderly individuals may develop very serious problems if they mix alcohol with medications. Many individuals do not intentionally use alcohol along with prescriptions. For example, a person may forget that he or she took medication and may drink alcohol. This could lead to adverse and severe effects, some of which could be deadly. 

Since the effects of alcoholism and excessive alcohol use can be so harmful, those who suffer from alcohol use disorder should seek help immediately.

Alcohol Rehab for Seniors

It is highly important for seniors who suffer from the effects of alcohol misuse to have access to treatment services. Again, alcohol dependence can have a very major negative effect on the lives of older individuals. So, finding the right resources can help to prevent further physical damage and end substance dependence altogether. Here are some of the treatment services that may be a part of alcohol rehab for seniors:

Detox

The detoxification process usually involves a medication-assisted treatment process. A professional detox program can help to cleanse the body from the toxic and harmful properties of drugs and alcohol. Throughout this process, individuals can work through the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal in a safe environment. These symptoms can be very difficult to deal with and may even lead people to relapse in order to avoid them. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms might involve:

  • Fevers
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Moodiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Inability to think clearly

It’s best for those in recovery to go through a detox process as they work through withdrawal. This will ensure that recovering individuals have access to professional and medical assistance should withdrawal become overwhelming or even dangerous. Also, the medication involved in MAT can help to block or lessen the effects of withdrawal symptoms. This may make the process more comfortable for those who are working to recover from alcohol misuse.

Residential Treatment

Often, those who are working to end addiction can benefit quite a bit from inpatient treatment, Also known as residential care, this approach to addiction treatment offers people the option to live at their addiction recovery facility.

Doing so can allow people to have access to 24/7, around-the-clock care. It also helps to create a healthy distance between individuals and any outside factors that could lead to a relapse. This enables people to develop relapse prevention skills and the other experiences they will need in order to remain free from substance dependence after treatment. 

Residential treatment involves therapy programs, such as individual therapy and group therapy. These approaches can help people to work through the effects of addiction and find healing.

Intensive Outpatient Program

Also known as an IOP, an intensive outpatient program can be considered as a step down from residential treatment. Although individuals do not live at their treatment center, they still have access to care and treatment on an intensive level. Individuals may receive treatment between 9 and 12 hours every week. 

Those in an IOP may continue living at home while getting treatment. This might allow them to go to work or enjoy life with family while they are not in treatment. Intensive outpatient programs usually involve therapeutic services, like those offered in residential care.

Outpatient Treatment Program

Just as is the case with intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient care does not require people to live at a treatment center. Instead, individuals may continue living at home while getting treatment several hours per week. 

Outpatient treatment enables people to hold jobs, tend to various responsibilities, or comfortably live at home while still benefitting from addiction treatment services. However, this approach is not usually recommended for those who have what might be considered “severe” cases of addiction. Instead, people may enter outpatient programs after going through detox and residential care.

Therapy is also involved in this type of treatment. Individuals can continue to benefit from individual therapy, group therapy, and even family counseling. Individuals in an outpatient addiction treatment program can continue to receive care and even transition through a sober living program. 

How to Help an Older Loved One Who Is Struggling

If you’ve noticed signs of alcoholism in the life of an older loved one, you may be unsure about how to help. It can be difficult to know how and when to intervene. But, there are several things you can keep in mind in order to make the best choices as far as this matter is concerned.

It’s important to take special note of negative or unhelpful terminology when it comes to substance dependence. It is imperative that you and your family avoid referring to your struggling loved one as an alcoholic. Also, be sure that you learn more about addiction and how it affects those who suffer from it. The idea that substance dependence is a choice rather than a disease or a disorder can be extremely harmful. It can also prevent you from being able to truly help your family member.

Continue to respect your elderly loved one. Those who suffer from substance use disorders often experience quite a few physical and emotional changes. But, if you continue to offer love and respect to your older family member throughout his or her transitions, you will find that it tremendously helps your loved one to feel supported.

Be honest with your family member about your concerns. If you’re concerned about his or her safety, it’s best to say so. Inform the individual of the effects his or her alcoholism is having on your family. Bear in mind, though, that the person may not be aware of these issues. So hearing about them may cause the individual to feel guilty, ashamed, or even upset by these conversations. Be prepared to offer support and reassurance. But, also, be prepared to offer solutions. 

One of the main and most helpful solutions to addiction is professional treatment. Be sure to present this option.

Finding the Support and Guidance You Need

If you have an older loved one who is suffering from alcohol use disorder, there is no time like the present to help him or her to find hope. Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we are committed to offering individuals the resources they need in order to end substance use and dependence. 

Programs that offer alcohol rehab for seniors can be extremely helpful and even necessary for elderly individuals. Alcohol use disorder affects seniors differently than it affects younger individuals. So, it’s important for older adults to get treatment from a program that takes their individual and unique needs into account. 

At Sana Lake, our goal is to assist our members in finding support and guidance that will address their physical and emotional needs throughout recovery. So, whether your aging loved one needs detoxification services, residential treatment, outpatient treatment, or an intensive outpatient program, we can help! 

To learn more about our services or how we can assist you and your family, just contact us today. Our trained and knowledgeable staff is here and ready to help bring hope and healing to the situation your loved one is facing. Now is the time to bring a positive change to your family member’s life. We are dedicated to helping throughout this process!

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5439499/

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/cbhsq-reports/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018/NSDUHNationalFindingsReport2018.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4146436/

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/0515/p2375.html#afp20040515p2375-b4

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0315/p1710.html

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/harmful-interactions-mixing-alcohol-with-medicines

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5439499/

alcohol and obesity

Craving Alcohol: The Link Between Alcohol Use Disorder and Obesity

Alcohol use disorder and obesity can both be linked to cravings. Craving alcohol can lead to continuous drinking, and it can also lead to obesity in yourself or loved ones. Eating high-calorie foods and drinking are both linked to reward centers in your brain, and people like feeling good, so they’ll usually indulge these cravings. However, suffering from both alcohol use disorder and obesity can greatly harm your body and well being.

Alcohol use disorder and obesity are linked, and we’ll break the connections and how you can be free of both conditions at Sana Lake Recovery Center.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder occurs when you can no longer control your drinking and experience withdrawal symptoms when not drinking. About 15 million people in the U.S. have alcohol use disorder, and alcohol is one of the most misused substances out there. This is due to the fact that it’s cheap and widely available in bars, restaurants, and supermarkets.

Craving alcohol can lead to alcohol use disorder. Binge drinking often can also lead to this, and unfortunately, this practice is common in the U.S., especially among young people. Binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women in two hours.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Continuing to drink even though it impairs your relationships and interferes with work
  • Experiencing frequent memory loss or blackouts
  • Making excuses to drink to feel normal
  • Drinking alone
  • Isolating yourself from family and friends
  • Feeling irritable

Craving alcohol, while initially harmless, could also be a warning sign for alcohol use disorder. 

If alcoholics don’t have a drink for a few days, they go through withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms of alcohol use disorder include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Delirium tremens (DTs), which involves shaking, fever, hallucinations, and high blood pressure

Delirium tremens is rare, but it can happen in serious alcoholics.

Risk Factors for Alcohol Use Disorder

There are a few factors that may make you predisposed to developing alcoholism.

  • Family history of alcoholism
  • Having a mental disorder such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder
  • Having low self-esteem
  • Experiencing peer pressure as a young adult

Why Do We Crave Alcohol?

We often crave alcohol when we are stressed and when we’re feeling strong emotions. Alcohol releases endorphins, which make us happy and give us feelings of pleasure. Low blood sugar can be another cause of alcohol cravings, and in other situations, alcohol cravings occur after not eating for a long time. On the whole, people mostly crave alcohol because it makes them feel good. 

The more alcohol you drink, the happier you feel. This leads you to feel intoxicated, and it also dulls your senses.

Alcohol is common and parties and weddings because they are times of celebration and joy. Drinking is also common after the death of a loved one or after a long week of hard work. Some people are able to drink in moderation even when craving alcohol, and some others who crave alcohol end up binge drinking. If you can seem to control your drinking after having one or two beverages, you may be dealing with a form of alcoholism.

How Craving Alcohol Can Lead to Alcoholism

It’s common to crave alcohol after a long, hard day at work or after a stressful day. Alcohol dulls our senses and releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that produces feelings of happiness and satisfaction. However, these feelings are temporary, as alcohol is ultimately a depressant. The more you give in to alcohol cravings, the more toll they can have on your physical health.

Giving in to alcohol cravings can also lead to tolerance, which requires you to drink more and more to achieve the same feeling. Drinking more can then make you dependent on alcohol, leading you to develop alcohol use disorder.

How to Cope with Craving Alcohol

There are going to be times when you have a craving for alcohol. The good thing about cravings, though, is that they are temporary. If you learn how to ride these out, you can control them and keep on living a life of sobriety.

  • Recognize your triggers: There are two types of triggers: external and internal. External triggers are people, places, and things that may remind you of drinking, while internal triggers are emotions and thoughts that may set off alcohol cravings.
  • Avoid risky situations: Don’t keep alcohol in your house. This will keep you from drinking whenever you feel an urge to. You should steer clear of activities with friends that involve drinking. Once your cravings subside, you can begin to hang out with your friends again and suggest alternate party activities.
  • Deal with unavoidable triggers: There are some triggers that you have no control over. Here’s how you can cope with them:
    • Do a short-term activity. Call or text someone, listen to music, go to the gym, or meditate to clear your head.
    • Talk it out with someone you trust. Talk to your sponsor or a trusted friend who you can call on the phone.
    • Ride out the trigger. Accept the feeling you get from the trigger as normal and temporary instead of trying to fight it. The feeling will go away eventually.

What is Obesity?

Obesity is the state in which someone has so much body fat that their health is in danger. People who are obese have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 30. Being overweight is not the same as being obese. If you are overweight, you’ll usually have a BMI between 25 and 30.

With the rise of fast-food restaurants and processed foods, obesity has rapidly increased over the years. From 2011 to 2014, more than one-third of adults aged 20 and older were obese. 

Dangers of Obesity

Obesity can cause you to develop many harmful health conditions.

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Certain cancers, including liver, kidney, and esophageal

Causes of Obesity

A major cause of obesity is consuming more calories than you burn through exercise and regular physical activity. Other common causes include: 

  • Eating high-calorie foods often
  • Not exercising
  • Having certain medical conditions like hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Eating when you’re sad or depressed
  • Slow metabolism
  • Excessive drinking
  • Family history of obesity

Women who have gained weight during pregnancy may also be more susceptible to obesity. This weight can be difficult to lose after you’ve had the baby.

The Connections Between Alcohol Use Disorder and Obesity

We already know that having a family history of alcoholism can make you more likely to develop the same disease. Obesity rates are now higher than ever, and this has also been shown to be linked to alcoholism. If you abuse alcohol, you could cause a loved one to become obese without meaning to do so.

If someone sees a family member misusing alcohol, they may avoid drinking. However, rather than craving alcohol, they may turn to other substances to make them happy. In many cases, these are high-calorie foods, which taste good and are a cheaper, more accessible option for dealing with their problems. 

In some cases, alcoholics are almost malnourished since they depend more on drinking than eating. Alcoholic drinks, especially mixed ones with juices, usually have a lot of calories. For example, a pina colada packs about 650 calories, and a gin and tonic has up to 300 calories. Since alcoholic drinks don’t satisfy hunger, people will end up eating more on top of the drinks to feel full. As a result, they’re probably consuming much more calories than they should.

Finding Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Sadly, less than 10 percent of people with alcohol use disorder get treatment for it. Before finding treatment for alcoholism, you need to realize that you have a drinking problem. This may come after an intervention or a bad experience that you had with alcohol. Once you find the right treatment program, you can begin your journey to sobriety. 

Medical detox will be the first step for your alcohol use disorder treatment. Detox is crucial because it rids your body of alcohol and helps lessen your withdrawal symptoms. Licensed clinicians at Sana Lake Recovery Center monitor these symptoms and keep close watch over you as you recover. Once detox is complete after 30 days, you will begin the process of rebuilding your life without alcohol dependence. Although you may still be craving alcohol at this point, these cravings will be managed under our care.

Holistic treatment is effective in treating both alcohol use disorder and obesity. With holistic treatment, you can not only overcome substance use disorder, but you can also exercise, practice mindfulness and conquer your food cravings. Individual and group therapy can also help change the way you think about craving alcohol. 

Below are some examples of holistic treatment that we offer at Sana Lake.

  • Yoga: Yoga enhances your fitness and mental well being. This ancient Indian practice provides a well-rounded mix of breathing techniques, poses, and meditation. 
  • Guided meditation/mindfulness: Meditation is known to calm the mind and “rewire” the brain. It can relieve anxiety and put difficult emotions at ease.
  • Journaling: Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be therapeutic for people suffering from alcohol use disorder and obesity.

Besides practicing mindfulness, the best way to fight obesity is to eat right and exercise. 

Cure Your Alcohol Use Disorder at Sana Lake Recovery Center

Why wait to change your life for the better? Let the licensed medical staff at Sana Lake Recovery Center treat your alcohol cravings and get you back to your old self. We know how hard it is to take that first step, but once you do, you’ll know you made the right choice. Contact us today to learn more about our programs.

References:

https://www.livescience.com/10371-craving-alcohol-linked-obesity.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/basics#risk-factors

https://www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov/tools/Interactive-worksheets-and-more/Stay-in-control/Coping-With-Urges-To-drink.aspx

alcohol myths

10 Common Alcohol Myths: Breaking the Myths About Alcoholism

There are many alcohol myths as alcohol is a substance that people often and commonly consume. It’s legal and fairly easy to access as restaurants and grocery stores all sell it. While most people tend to use alcohol without excess, some people have trouble limiting their alcohol intake. This is due to a disease called alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. It’s an uncontrollable dependence on alcohol that many people suffer from.

But, when it comes to alcohol use disorder, individuals are often unsure of what it means to suffer from it. This leads people to believe in myths about alcoholism. But, whether you think you or someone you know suffers from alcohol use disorder, it’s important to know the truth about alcoholism. It’s time to debunk the alcohol myths you may have heard.

Myth 1: “Alcohol dependence is a choice.”

It’s very unlikely that anyone who has a tolerance for alcohol or is dependent on it ever meant to be in that position. When an individual becomes dependent on alcohol, it means that his or her body struggles to function without alcohol. People who struggle with alcohol dependence are unable to control the amount of alcohol they consume. This is due to changes in the brain’s chemical composition.

Alcohol can negatively affect neurotransmitters within a person’s brain and body. This substance can also prevent the brain’s chemical symptoms from sending and receiving signals from each other. (This is what usually causes people to have slurred speech or impaired judgment when they drink.) 

When an individual drinks alcohol, he or she may eventually build a tolerance for the substance. This is not at all uncommon. But, what happens after that tolerance occurs is important as tolerance can lead to addiction. The simple explanation of tolerance is as follows:

A person has a tolerance for alcohol if he or she needs to drink more alcohol in order to achieve the same effect that a smaller amount of alcohol used to produce. In other words, to be tolerant of alcohol is similar to being used to its effects. So, individuals who build a tolerance for alcohol stop feeling the effects of it. In order to experience the desired effects again, they need to consume larger amounts of the substance.

It’s important to understand that many people don’t realize that tolerance is developing. So, eventually, tolerance may give way to dependence as people may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when they’re not drinking. These symptoms can prevent people from feeling “normal”, as though they can’t function without alcohol. This means that they suffer from alcohol dependence or alcoholism.

Myth 2: “You can overcome alcoholism if you try hard enough.”

This is a fairly common yet harmful myth. Again, people who suffer from alcoholism do not choose to do so. While willpower and self-motivation are certainly important in recovery, individuals who struggle with substance dependence also need help from other sources. In the end, self-control and willpower are not exactly what will end or prevent substance dependence. 

As mentioned before, alcohol dependence is a matter of the brain; people who suffer from alcoholism have a physiological dependence on alcohol. So, simply choosing to stop drinking isn’t enough. Often, people who want to overcome substance abuse can only do so with the help of a professional treatment program. In these cases, individuals may need more than “willpower” to end substance dependence.

Myth 3: “People who suffer from alcohol use disorder have ‘hit rock bottom’.”

There’s a common misconception about the “appearance” of a person who struggles with alcohol use disorder. People tend to believe that it’s easy to identify alcoholism. It’s easy to assume that the only people who suffer from this issue are those who may have lost their jobs, homes, and money. But, alcohol use disorder doesn’t look the same for everyone who suffers from it. 

Some people continue to hold jobs throughout their struggle with alcohol use disorder. Some continue to take care of their families and homes despite their battle with addiction. So, it’s important to avoid only looking for “rock bottom” signs, such as home loss or unemployment. Instead, it’s best to seek signs such as:

  • Memory lapses
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to focus
  • Changes in weight
  • Excuses regarding alcohol use
  • Isolation and social withdrawal
  • Alcohol use to cope with stress
  • Inconsistent or irregular emotions
  • Defensiveness about drinking habits
  • Inability to stick to alcohol use limitations
  • Plans that seem to revolve around alcohol
  • Increased tolerance (i.e. ability to “handle more” than usual)
  • Withdrawal symptoms (headaches, appetite loss, anxiety, etc.)

If you’ve noticed any of these signs in your life, it may be time to seek help for alcohol use disorder. Also, if you have ever thought that you might have an alcohol dependency, it’s possible that you are dealing with addiction. 

Myth 4: “If I drink a little too much, I can just drink coffee and I’ll feel better in no time.”

People often shrug off the intoxicating effects of alcohol by saying that they can simply drink coffee or “sleep it off”. But, alcohol can remain in your system for hours. So, no matter what a person does in order to eliminate the effects of alcohol on their body, the impact of this substance will remain.

Myth 5: “The type of alcohol determines the severity of the addiction.”

Often, individuals think that drinking beer (as opposed to hard liquor) is not likely to lead to alcohol dependence. Some may even feel that it’s not harmful to drink wine excessively. But, there are many people who currently suffer from the effects of alcoholism after developing a dependence on wine. Alcohol in any type of beverage can be addictive.

Also, many people assume that alcoholism isn’t as “serious” as, say, heroin dependence. Or, perhaps dependency on legal substances such as prescription drugs isn’t as “severe” as dependency on cocaine. But, this ideology is both untrue and harmful. It can lead people to misuse “less harmful” substances and, eventually, develop substance dependencies. It might also lead people to minimize the effects of risky alcohol use or prescription misuse. 

When it comes to addiction, it’s important to avoid using a “level” system. Alcohol use disorders are serious, regardless of the type of substance people may use. So, whether a person is suffering from risky alcohol use, prescription drug misuse, or cocaine dependence, seeking help is absolutely necessary.

Myth 6: “Once a person develops substance dependency, he or she will always struggle with it.”

While it’s certainly true that recovery is a lifelong process, individuals who overcome addiction do not have to live with the fear of relapse forever. Those who suffer from a substance use disorder may need to be intentional about avoiding triggers and any other situations that could encourage relapse. However, the idea that a person will continuously suffer from alcohol misuse even after treatment simply isn’t true.

Myth 7: “Addiction only affects people of certain age groups.”

Many people believe that older individuals can’t develop substance use disorders. They may also believe that substance dependence doesn’t really affect young users. But, this isn’t true. Addiction can impact the lives of people of all ages, including seniors and young adults

When it comes to substance dependence, it is important to understand that this disorder can affect anyone who drinks in any capacity. So, having the mentality that addiction won’t become a reality in your life is dangerous. 

Myth 8: “I can still drink alcohol to help me sleep or relieve stress.”

In many cases, people develop alcohol dependence as a result of self-medication. In other words, people who turn to alcohol use in order to cope with issues such as insomnia, stress, or depression. 

When an individual goes through treatment for alcohol misuse, it’s highly probable, even inevitable, that stress and sleep disturbances will continue to occur. People who are in recovery may be tempted to use alcohol in order to deal with these issues. After all, they may believe that this method of self-medication worked before. They may feel as though they can still drink alcohol for these purposes as long as they “limit consumption”.

But, those who are in recovery from alcohol use disorder may struggle to place or stand by a limit on the amount of alcohol they consume. The brain and body may respond to alcohol in a negative way, desiring more and more of the substance and leading to physical relapse.

Myth 9: “Alcohol use disorder only affects the individuals who suffer from it.”

This is one alcohol myth that is completely untrue. Many people think addiction only impacts the lives of those who struggle with it. Substance dependence has a way of causing behavioral changes to occur in the lives of those who suffer from this disease. These changes can cause people to act differently toward their family members and friends. Behavioral changes may also prevent people from being able to connect with their loved ones. 

Sometimes, addiction can cause people to become irritable, angry, and even violent. Their family members and friends may suffer because of these occurrences. Previously healthy relationships may begin to fall apart. Spouses may drift away from the partners who struggle with substance dependence. Children may not feel comfortable around their struggling parents. Addiction can cause separation to occur within even the closest family units.

It can be beyond difficult to see someone you love suffer from the effects of alcohol dependence. So, if your family is currently struggling with a family member’s addiction, it’s important to seek support and guidance. While counseling and treatment will certainly be helpful for your loved one, your family can also benefit from these things. Family therapy is one of the best ways for families to find healing as individuals recover from substance dependence.

Myth 10: “I can just quit alcohol misuse without getting help.”

The “cold-turkey” approach is no stranger in the world of substance dependence recovery. It’s quite common for people to try to quit using alcohol abruptly without getting help from professionals. This is often thought of as the cheapest way to overcome substance dependence. However, this is often the least safe way to end alcohol use.

It’s important for people to seek professional help in order to overcome alcoholism. There are several reasons for this, including the following:

  • Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be intense and, in some cases, harmful. So, people who want to end alcohol use may not be able to do it “cold turkey”. Instead, professional detox and treatment programs may be necessary in order to help with the process.
  • Support will be absolutely necessary throughout the recovery process. Individuals can get the support and guidance they need through a treatment program.
  • It’s likely that those who have a substance use disorder have specific underlying causes. These underlying reasons for addiction will only remain in place if a person chooses to end substance use without professional guidance. So, it’s important to identify and address these underlying causes in order to help individuals to remain free from alcohol use disorder.
  • Some people may have dual diagnoses (mental health disorders and substance dependence). Co-occurring disorders exist, it’s possible that the disorders affect each other. For example, a person may use alcohol to self-medicate the symptoms of major depressive disorder. In this case, his or her depression will still remain, even if alcohol isn’t in the mix anymore. This could lead the individual to relapse or use another substance in order to cope with depression. Professional treatment can help to address dual diagnosis cases.

Needless to say, professional treatment may be best for those who want to end alcoholism in their lives.

Defying the Myths of Alcoholism: Overcome Alcohol Use Disorder Today

Maybe you have heard many of these alcohol myths before. Perhaps, some of them have prevented you from seeking help for alcohol dependence. If so, know that you are not alone; many others have struggled to get past these thinking processes and determine the best course of action for their recovery. But, help is available for everyone who needs it. So, if you’re unsure about how to end substance misuse in your life or you’re simply not sure whether or not you need help, we’re here for you.

At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we understand the many challenges people face when dealing with substance dependence. Alcohol use disorder is serious and can cause major issues in the lives of those who suffer from it. So, if you have been dealing with the effects of alcoholism, now is the time to reach out for help. 

Contact us here at Sana Lake to speak with professionals who can both understand your struggle and work to provide solutions. Take a step toward a healthier, addiction-free future today!

References:

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000856.htm

https://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/specialfeatures/alcoholmyths.aspx