covid heroes

Forgotten Heroes of the COVID Pandemic Story

Parenting can be challenging at the best of times. The COVID pandemic has added a whole other dimension to being good parents and role models to our children.

Mention the coronavirus in any situation and you never know what kind of reaction you’ll get. Attitudes, beliefs, and tempers have run rampant in media, in public, and in personal relationships. Should we wear masks, or not? It is a hoax, or not?

Amongst all the uncertainty and angst, we have been hearing more lately about the real heroes of this story, the heroes that may be going unnoticed: our children.

They hear us. They listen to the news, even from the other room. They may not know or understand exactly what’s happening as a result of the onset of COVID-19, but they sense it. They know something’s not right. And they’re scared.

We at Sana Lake want to acknowledge and honor these heroes. The young ones, the parents, relatives, caregivers, and all who have a hand in raising and caring for our little people. With school starting or just around the corner, how do you make the best decisions for you and your family, and help your kids weather the stress?

There’s no right answer. 

The decisions are hard ones, no matter how we look at it. We honor your courage.

To the teachers who would like nothing more than to offer reassurance to your students, you are unsung heroes, too. We can imagine how frustrating it must be to hear and see the heartbreaking stories of kids trying to learn in less than ideal conditions. Children trying to learn in abusive homes, surrounded by substance users acting out their addictions, or with screaming babies in the background. Children who want connection but don’t have internet access nor a computer, or have challenges keeping up in an online world.

The stories have touched us deeply. We extend our utmost respect and support to all the children in our communities, their families, relatives, friends, and professional support networks through this COVID pandemic.

You all are our heroes.

stress and addiction

What are 5 Emotional Signs of Stress?

The saying is, “there is nothing guaranteed in life except death and taxes.” Well, stress should be on the list. Whether it is work, children, or bills, life is full of stress.  Learn what the 5 emotional signs of stress are and tips to help you de-stress

What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s way of responding to a threat or demand. Even if the danger is not real, your body will react rapidly. The body’s defense is a “fight-or-flight” reaction or the “stress response.”

Stress is not always a bad thing, and is your body’s way of protecting you. The stress response helps you stay alert, focused, and energetic. In an emergency, stress can save your life. Stress can give you the strength to defend yourself or help you avoid a car accident. 

Stress also helps you rise to challenges. During a presentation at work, stress keeps you on your toes. It enables you to focus during a test or in a game of chess. At some point, stress can start to affect your health, mood, and relationships.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by stress, then it is crucial to stop. Stop whatever you are doing and bring your nervous system back in balance. You can improve your thoughts and feelings by knowing the signs and symptoms of chronic stress. 

What are the Negative Effects of Chronic Stress?

Your nervous system does not know the difference between emotional and physical threats. Stress over an argument, bills, and work deadlines can cause your body to react the same as a life or death situation. The more your body stays in the “fight or flight” mode, the harder it is to find a healthy balance. 

If you are easily stressed and spend most of the day stressed out, it can lead to serious health problems. Chronic stress affects every system in the body. It suppresses your immune system, upsets the digestive system, and can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Chronic stress changes your brain and can lead to depression, anxiety, or more serious mental health issues. 

The Effects of Stress on Your Health

Stress can lead to a variety of health issues. It can also worsen existing health issues. These health issues can include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Sleep issues
  • Skin conditions
  • Digestive problems
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Heart disease
  • Cognitive issues
  • Reproductive issues

Stress not only affects physical health but mental health as well. But what are the 5 emotional signs of stress? Learn the signs that stress is taking its toll.

What Are 5 Emotional Signs of Stress?

When you stress out for long periods, you start exhibiting the emotional signs of stress. The feelings of stress can feed off each other, making you feel worse. When you know what 5 emotional signs of stress are, you can stop and find balance again. 


An estimated 40 million Americans are suffering from anxiety. Adding stress to already existing anxiety increases a person’s anxiety. It is common for those under chronic stress to develop anxiety from the pressure. 


Frustration comes from the feelings of a stressful situation. Not all stress leads to frustration, but chronic stress can. Not being able to control a situation or fix something can become overwhelming. And when it becomes too much, then frustration kicks in. And frustration leads to negative behaviors.


Anger can be an emotional sign of stress and can lead to high blood pressure and heart attacks. It can also lead to relationship issues. Some people react in anger without thinking. But the intensity of the anger will be based on how a person views what is happening. 


Sadness is a severe emotional sign of stress. A person can be so stressed out that all they can feel is sad. Sad that life isn’t going as planned. A sadness that they let everyone down. It is vital to seek treatment before the sadness turns to depression.


Many people become fearful when stress is high. We all know that fear is a product of being in danger. But, it can also be fearing messing up at work and being fearful of losing your job. Being afraid of losing your spouse due to the stress of a sick parent can also be scary. Fear can be life-altering unless you stop, relax, and find balance again. 

What Happens When Stress Is to Overwhelming?

Stress is dangerous because it sneaks up on you. You may not even notice how much it is affecting you. A little work stress, a little stress at home, is not a big deal. But, every day, a bit more stress gets added. And before you know it, the stress has become overwhelming. The physical and emotional effects of stress can cause serious health issues. 

Warning Signs That Stress Has Become Overwhelming

As stated, the effects of stress can harm the entire body. And the results can be long-lasting and require medical attention. Be aware of all the signs that stress has become overwhelming. 

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Constant worry
  • Anxious thoughts
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Poor judgment
  • Memory problems
  • Inability to focus

Emotional Symptoms

  • Isolation or loneliness
  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Moody
  • Overwhelmed
  • Other mental health issues

Physical Symptoms

  • Body aches and pains
  • Stomach issues
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Chest pain
  • Low sex drive
  • Frequent colds

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Change in eating patterns
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Ignoring responsibilities
  • Nervous habits
  • Angry outbursts
  • Use of drugs or alcohol

Stress at work is recognized worldwide as a major issue. If you have a high-stress job, it is vital to watch for the above signs of stress overload. 

First Responder and the Effects of Stress

According to a 2017 report by CareerCast, firefighters have the second most stressful job in America. And police officers have the fourth most stressful job. The chronic stress of first responders is the leading cause of death. The pressure can lead to heart disease, cancer, stroke, or depression. 

First responders not only run into fires, but they also respond to every accident. If the paramedics are on the scene, so are the firefighters. A study by the National Center for Biotechnology Institute (NCBI) shows that accident scenes are more stressful than fighting fires. 

First responders love their job. They make lifetime friends and save people’s lives. But, they are always on duty. Their brains replay accident scenes and fires that didn’t end well. And they live with the fear that something can go wrong. 

5 Stressors First Responders Don’t Talk About

  1. The weight of responsibility is crushing. On the outside, a first responder looks calm and collected. But on the inside, the burden can be crushing them mentally. 
  2. They are not born knowing how to be a first responder. A person may love the thought of saving lives. But, it takes training to know how. Training never stops. There is always new technology to learn.
  3. The fear of failure is the biggest fear of first responders. They respond to emergencies with confidence. So the public views them as invincible. But, in the quiet moments, first responders fear the what if’s. Failure is their biggest fear.
  4. They know the risk of cancer is high. When things burn, they emit toxins. The toxins are present even after the fire is out. Firefighters are exposed to cancer-causing toxins daily. 
  5. First responders see the worse things imaginable. They prepare themself to see death, disfigurement, and sights the general public can’t imagine. The images begin to destroy them mentally. PTSD is high in first responders because of what they see. 

Even though it’s evident that first responders have high-stress jobs, it doesn’t diminish the stress level of another career. Many jobs and careers are stressful. How you handle stress is the biggest concern. Many people turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with it. Drugs and alcohol do not help. They only add stress and lead to addiction.

Stress and Addiction

Addiction is a chronic brain disease. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports in 2014, one in every 12 American adults suffered from addiction. Stress is a big reason people use substances like drugs and alcohol. But, they are a temporary relief and lead to substance use disorder and addiction. 

Stress is a leading cause of addiction. Stress and addiction feed off each other. And can cause problems at work and in relationships. Stress and addiction can also lead to other co-occurring mental and physical health problems. 

Co-occurring Stress and Addiction

Co-occurring mental disorders are common in addiction. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports, a third to half of the individuals with mental health issues battle addiction and vice versa. Self-medicating to cope with stress or other psychiatric disorders is risky. 

In 2018 9.2 million American adults suffered a co-occurring mental health disorder and addiction. It is so common therapists screen each individual for all co-occurring diseases and addiction.

Stats on Stress and Addiction

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) studied the effects of stress and addiction. In humans and animals, stress leads the brain to release a peptide. The increase of peptide causes a pattern of responses. Individuals with chronic stress are prone to using substances and addiction. 

  • Exposure to stress increases the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • People with opiate addiction and high levels of stress will continue to use it. 
  • Chronic stress can lead to using substances even if a person has never used it before.
  • Chronic stress can impair memory and cognitive function.
  • Stress can increase cravings for cocaine and alcohol. 
  • The lack of coping skills increases the chance of relapse. 

You need to have excellent coping skills for stress and addiction. Treatment for both stress and addiction is a great way to build healthy coping skills. But, there are things you can do outside of therapy to help cope with stress without turning to drugs and alcohol.

Tips for Coping With Stress

Get up and moving

Regular exercise can ease stress. It can stop negative thoughts and worries. Make it fun. Involve friends and family and play a game of touch football. Sweat the stress away.

Connect with others.

Suppose you are feeling overwhelmed by stress talk to someone. Talking about it takes away it’s power. Talking to a friend and seeing a smile, calms the nervous system. 

Engage your senses.

A fast way to relieve stress is by alerting another one of your senses. Maybe it is a happy song or the smell of fresh coffee. Everyone responds differently, so experiment to find what works. 


Stress is going to happen. But you can control how it affects you. Yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques activate relaxation responses. Learning to relax can reduce how you respond to stress.

Eat a healthy diet

Your mood is affected by the food you eat. When you are in a bad mood, stress is difficult to handle. A diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and protein can help cope with stress.

Get lots of rest.

A good night’s sleep is crucial to thinking and coping with the day. But, chronic stress can interfere with sleep. Using a combination of the above tips can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Treatment of Stress and Addiction

Stress has a strong role in addiction, so it essential for treatment to address stress management and addiction. Many therapy programs already involve stress management. Behavioral therapies focus on the treatment of both stress and addiction.

Behavioral therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you recognize behavior patterns and your response to situations. By understanding these patterns, you can make changes to correct the behaviors and responses. Changing behaviors is crucial for handling stress and avoiding the use of drugs and alcohol

Support groups and 12-step groups are great for helping fight addiction. These groups hold you accountable for your actions and behaviors. At the same time, these groups decrease stress levels with human contact and fun activities. 

Stress and Addiction Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery Center

Has overwhelming stress in your life led you to use drugs and alcohol to cope? If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, we can help. Contact us today and get started on your path to a better life. 


is drug addiction a disability

Is Drug Addiction a Disability?

Unfortunately, disabilities have long been at the root of financial hardships and all-around discomfort. Many places of employment have, sadly, discriminated against people with disabilities, leading to laws and regulations that prohibit such actions. But, there are also those who are unsure about what classifies as a disability. Namely, a question that might arise often in this regard might be, “Is drug addiction a disability?” 

Truly, this question is one that many people pose. This might especially be a concern when it comes to insurance coverage for addiction treatment. It may also be a question that comes to mind for employers and other people who may feel the impact of an individual’s addiction.

This is why it’s important to address the questions individuals may have on the subject of substance use disorders. It is also necessary to discuss the right and more favorable ways to speak to people who suffer from addiction. These methods include using person-first language and having an attitude of genuine understanding.

An Overview of Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders

First, it is critical to understand what it means to have an alcohol or drug use disorder. When a person suffers from a substance use disorder, it means he or she has a substance dependency. This dependence on alcohol or drugs prevents the individual from being able to function normally. Instead, those who suffer from addiction rely on the influence of these substances.

Substance use disorders can affect people of any age group. It occurs and develops as a result of various unique causes and circumstances. With that being said, it’s important to recognize the fact that addiction requires customized care. Professionals who offer treatment for alcoholism and drug misuse must have an in-depth understanding of these disorders. It also helps for family members, friends, and employers of struggling individuals to have a working knowledge of addiction.

Alcohol Use Disorder

A person who suffers from alcohol use disorder (or alcoholism) uses alcohol more often than experts consider to be healthy. Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol can be harmful and even life-threatening. However, despite the risks and dangers that present themselves, those who suffer from alcoholism cannot control their alcohol use. 

This is due to the effect alcohol has on the brain and body. Those who develop a dependence on alcohol feel as though they cannot function without it. Their bodies struggle to perform “normally” without alcohol. This is a result of increased tolerance and alcohol use. 

Drug Use Disorder

Individuals who suffer from drug use disorders depend on drugs. Excessive drug use alters the brain structure, causing various chemical imbalances and functionality changes. As a result of these changes within the brain, individuals often become unable to control their substance use. 

This inability to control or end drug use leads to mental, emotional, and physical health problems. Many people who suffer from drug dependence experience serious and life-altering effects. These include financial stress, medical emergencies, legal issues, relationship problems, and more.

What is a Disability?

By definition, disabilities are impairments on a person’s physical body, emotions, and/or mind. Individuals can suffer from disabilities that relate to their mental and cognitive abilities. For example, learning disabilities sometimes affect children in school. Also, people who experience injuries may develop physical disabilities. Some may be born with physical or emotional disabilities.

Is Drug Addiction a Disability?

According to the Department of Health & Human Services, “Section 504 of the Rehabilitation

Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act” answers the question, “is drug addiction a disability?”

These Acts state that drug addiction is considered to be a disability in cases where the addiction is causing major limitations in an individual’s life. Certain and specific elements must be present for a drug use disorder to qualify as a disability. Individuals who meet these criteria can have access to and protection through disability laws.

Firstly, individuals who have completed treatment for addiction and are not actively using drugs can receive protection through federal laws regarding disabilities. Also, those who are currently working through a treatment program for addiction and are not using illegal drugs may qualify. Or, individuals who are may mistakenly be regarded as involved in drug use, but are not actually using drugs may qualify. 

With protection under federal disability rights laws, individuals receive protection from discrimination. In other words, individuals cannot be excluded from services or denied certain benefits due to their disabilities.

Understanding the Exceptions

There are certainly exceptions and circumstances that may alter one’s ability to qualify for disability benefits. The Department of Health & Human Services gives information on this, as well. In cases where individuals are actively using illicit drugs, they are not exactly considered to have a disability. This results in an exclusion when a covered entity takes “adverse action” due to current use. Still, however, health services or addiction treatment-related services cannot be denied. 

Also, individuals who are receiving medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be able to have protection under disability acts and laws. But, this is mainly based on the specifics of each case. In other words, protection and rights will vary from case to case.

Addiction Treatment and Insurance

Experts recognize addiction as a disease. Since this is the case, insurance companies must provide coverage for those who suffer from substance use disorders. Individuals who struggle with the effects of drug or alcohol use disorders can seek help from professional treatment centers with help from insurance companies. (However, it is important to note that coverage options will vary. It is also critical to find out more about in-network and out-of-network options when seeking treatment.)

Those who suffer from co-occurring disorders can also find the hope and help they need through treatment. Many insurance plans cover treatment for mental health treatment in addition to substance use disorders.

How to Properly Address Addiction

Once an individual realizes the need for addiction treatment, it is necessary for the person to seek help. Unfortunately, however, many individuals find that recovery centers are ill-equipped or unprepared to truly help them. One of the main ways in which facilities can best prepare to treat struggling individuals is to gain more information about how to approach these individuals. Likewise, family members and friends of sufferers should learn more about this matter as they seek to help.

Substance dependence is a very serious matter. Those who suffer from it are often met with stigma and misunderstanding. But, the truth of the matter is that addiction is a disease. People who struggle with alcoholism or drug dependence do not choose to suffer in this way. So it’s important for families, friends, and treatment specialists to understand the right way to approach those who are suffering. 

One of the most important elements of helping individuals who are struggling with addiction is through communication. The way in which a person speaks to a suffering individual is more effective than many realize. This is why it is vital to understand the importance of “person-first language”.

What is “Person-First Language”?

Person-first language, as the name implies, is language that places the person first. It is an approach to addiction that places the individual before the condition. For example, calling an individual an “addict” does not place the person before the disease. Instead, it prevents them from being a separate entity from their condition. Another harmful way of verbally addressing suffering or struggling individuals is to say “disabled person”. 

Person-first language would instead recognize that an individual is not his or her addiction. It would place the individual before the substance use disorder. An example of a person-first language approach would be as follows: “a person who suffers from substance dependence”. Also, it is better to refer to individuals who have disabilities such as addiction or other physical disabilities as having a disability rather than being disabled.

When approaching an individual who is suffering from a substance use disorder, it is critical to come with understanding. Part of addressing addiction is knowing how to discuss it and how to approach those who suffer from it. 

Treatment specialists and families alike can be more helpful just by adjusting the way they verbally approach addiction. Person-first language is one of the most effective ways to appropriately address cases involving substance use.

Why is Person-First Language Important?

Placing the person ahead of the substance use disorder prevents causing individuals to feel inseparable from their addiction. If people feel as though they are no more than what they suffer from, they will eventually begin to feel that recovery is impossible. The point of addiction treatment is to prevent this mentality from developing.

The truth of the matter is that person-first language isn’t about making a person feel better. It is not about sounding more professional or creating an illusion of understanding or political correctness. It is simply a sign of an accurate understanding of addiction and other disabilities. Those who truly understand the effects of addiction will know that this disorder can cause major challenges in a person’s life.

When approaching those who have substance use disorders, specialists must be able to do so properly. Otherwise, mutual trust will never be established. Individuals in treatment will not be able to learn from misunderstanding professionals. Thus, recovery may never truly take place.

Find Help, Hope, and Healing at Sana Lake

Here at Sana Lake Recovery Center, we do more than simply treat addiction. We strive to address and bring healing to every area of our members’ lives. Those who come to us can expect to find a team that understands the importance of treating the whole person. Members of our treatment facility are more than the addictions they are facing. We seek to recognize the potential in each one who comes to our center.

If you have been suffering from substance dependence, you know all too well how this disorder affects one’s life. Perhaps you are experiencing changes in your family or within your relationships. Maybe you are dealing with major difficulties at your job or struggling to stay afloat with your studies at school. You may even be facing problems in your physical or mental health. Sadly, many people who suffer from addiction experience these issues.

However, the good news is that you don’t have to struggle any longer! At Sana Lake, we are here to equip you with the tools you need as you seek recovery. Our team of compassionate and skilled addiction treatment specialists and therapists offers the best of care to our members.

Today is the day to begin experiencing a change. Now is the time to move forward, leaving substance use in the past. Please contact us here at Sana Lake Recovery Center today. We will work with you to overcome addiction and begin a new life. Allow us to help you through our comprehensive and individualized treatment and therapy approaches. Reach out to us now and begin your new journey to freedom!


clonidine for opiate withdrawals

Clonidine for Opiate Withdrawals

What is Clonidine?

Clonidine is part of a class of drugs called centrally acting alpha-agonists or antihypertensives. It works in the part of the brain that helps regulate behavior, attention, and how we express emotions.

Doctors commonly prescribe clonidine to lower blood pressure, and it does that by lowering the levels of certain chemicals in your blood. And when the chemicals are lowered, it allows your blood vessels to relax and your heart to beat more slowly and easily. 

Because of the calming effect it has on the body; clonidine is also used to treat ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Clonidine is not a controlled substance, so it doesn’t have a DEA drug rating. But each state has its laws prohibiting the possession of a prescription drug without a prescription. Depending on the state, possessing clonidine without a valid prescription can bring a charge of a misdemeanor or a felony. Penalties range from fines and probation to time in jail or prison.

Clonidine for Opioid Detoxification

Medically supervised opioid withdrawal is also known as a medically assisted detoxification. It involves giving medication to patients to relieve the severity of withdrawal symptoms. 

Medications used in the treatment of withdrawal symptoms include opioid agonists such as buprenorphine and methadone (types of opioids). This form of detox also utilizes alpha-agonists like lofexidine and clonidine (non-opiate).

For many years, the main plan for detox involved suppressing the withdrawal symptoms with methadone and then gradually reducing the methadone dose. Using methadone this way has been limited by government restrictions on the prescribing of methadone and the dislike of the drawn-out feature of methadone withdrawal.

The use of clonidine in detoxification from opiates has proven that it can quickly suppress the signs and symptoms related to opiate withdrawal. Recent studies also indicate that clonidine is useful for withdrawal from methadone maintenance. It can help detoxify the patient in less than 14 days instead of the usual 3 to 6 months on methadone. There is a high rate of success in achieving a zero dosage. 

Treatment of Choice

According to the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP), studies have shown that clonidine weakens the opiate withdrawal syndrome considerably. Inpatient and outpatient clinical studies show clonidine to be reasonably safe, specific, and effective for detoxifying opiate addicts. It is the “go-to” medication prescribed by most physicians for the treatment of opioid withdrawal.

ACCP also states that clonidine seems best suited as a transition from opiate dependence to a maintenance drug such as naltrexone. They consider it to be an important treatment option for certain selected opiate addicts. It may be the “treatment of choice” when detoxification using methadone is not appropriate, not available, or unsuccessful.

Why Clonidine?

Clonidine is an extremely powerful medication for easing opiate withdrawal symptoms. It is the most prescribed medication because it works. Clonidine doesn’t eliminate all the symptoms, but, when used correctly, it can ease many opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Opioid Withdrawal Symptoms

Clonidine provides relief to many of the physical symptoms of opioid withdrawal, including:

  • Sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps 
  • Chills
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Slows down a racing heartbeat
  • Helps you fall asleep and stay asleep

The main reason for supervised withdrawal is to successfully and safely ease the patient into medically-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Withdrawal alone does not usually result in continued abstinence. 

Likewise, it doesn’t focus on the reasons the patient became addicted in the first place or the damage done to mental health, physical health, relationships, employment, and finances. 

Detox is just the beginning of the treatment of an opioid use disorder (OUD). A continuing program of therapy, peer support, and tapering off medications is necessary for long-term abstinence.

Clonidine Side Effects

Using clonidine for opiate withdrawal can lead to side effects.

Emergency side effects 

You should get emergency medical help if you show signs of an allergic reaction such as:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat

When to call a doctor

Call your doctor if you have:

  • Severe chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heartbeats
  • Very slow heart rate
  • Severe headache, blurred vision, pounding in your neck or ears
  • Nosebleeds
  • Anxiety or confusion
  • A light-headed feeling like you might pass out

Common side effects

  • Drowsiness, dizziness
  • Irritability or fatigue
  • Dry mouth, loss of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Dry eyes
  • Sleep problems, insomnia, nightmares

Is Clonidine Addictive?

Clonidine has mild sedative effects, and that’s how it works to relax the blood vessels and make it easier for the heart to pump blood in people with high blood pressure. 

However, some people take clonidine to enhance the effects of methadone and other substances. Its sedative properties make it attractive to people who just want to experience a sense of relaxation and happiness. 

Long-term use of clonidine can produce serious consequences, including low blood pressure and slow heart rate. The American College of Medical Toxicology warns that stopping clonidine suddenly can cause dangerous spikes in blood pressure, agitation, and tremors.

It has been determined by studies conducted by Professor David Nutt et al. that clonidine and other sedatives have the potential to become addictive. In fact, they have a higher addictive potential than LSD and ecstasy, which are usually considered more dangerous.

Signs of Clonidine Addiction

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, some of the signs of addiction are:

  • Taking more frequent or larger amounts of the drug than originally intended.
  • Unsuccessfully attempting to cut down or stop.
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get, use, and recover from the effects.
  • Experiencing cravings for the drug.
  • Inability to fulfill school, work, and home obligations due to drug use.
  • Continuing to use the drug despite social or relationship problems.
  • Taking the drug when it’s unsafe to do so. (driving, operating machinery, etc.)
  • Continuing to use the drug knowing that you have a physical or psychological problem due to the use.
  • Tolerance (you need more of the drug to achieve initial results).
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not using.

Is There a Risk of Overdose on Clonidine?

Clonidine and other sedatives have been suspected in thousands of overdose deaths. 

Public health officials are particularly concerned about the use of sedatives with synthetic opioids. Data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2016 showed that almost 80% of overdose deaths involving a synthetic opioid also involved alcohol or another drug.

In most cases, the other drug was the sedative, benzodiazepine. Combining sedatives such as clonidine, with an opioid, causes lethality.

However, overdoses mainly seem to occur because of unintentional ingestion by children, prescription errors, and intentional overdoses in adolescents and adults. In a study of overdoses in adults, consistent bradycardia (slow heartbeat) and a depressed central nervous system were found. 

An overdose causes deep sedation and affects the ability to breathe normally. But the poisonous effect of the drug was not life-threatening.  

What’s the Difference Between Opioids and Opiates?

The term “opiate” refers to any drug that is naturally occurring in the opium poppy plant. Opium, codeine, and morphine are opiates. 

The term “opioid” refers to any drug synthesized or partly synthesized from an opiate and causes a similar effect. An opioid is any substance, either natural, synthetic, or partly synthetic, that attaches to receptors in the brain and causes opiate-like effects.  

Examples of opioid drugs include heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methadone.

This means that all opiates are opioids, but not all opioids are opiates. Many organizations have stopped using the term “opiate” and are now using “opioid” to refer to all the opioid and opiate drugs. 

It’s important to point out that although opiates are made from naturally occurring substances, they are not safer than synthetic or semi-synthetic opioids.

Types of Opioid Drugs

The three main types of opioid drugs are:

  • Opiates
  • Semi-synthetic opioids—created in labs from naturally occurring opiates.
  • Synthetic opioids—created entirely in a lab.

Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder


After an initial assessment by your doctor or another medical professional, you will probably need detoxification. This is the process of ridding your body of toxins. Withdrawal from opioid dependence is extremely uncomfortable and often causes people to give up. That’s why a medically supervised detox is so important. 

Medical professionals can prescribe medications such as clonidine to help ease the way through the symptoms.


After detox, you may still need medication for a period to address your cravings for opioids, depending on the severity of your addiction. Treatment involves therapy and combinations of therapies specifically for your situation. Counseling for opioid addiction can help you:

  • Change your behaviors related to drug use.
  • Learn and build healthy life skills.
  • Stick with your other forms of treatment, such as maintenance medications.

Treatment Programs Available

Depending on your home situation and other considerations, you may choose from different treatment programs such as:

  • Residential—where you will live at the treatment center.
  • Partial hospitalization—which is designed for people with a mental health or co-occurring condition. You may live onsite or not as needed.
  • Intensive outpatient—where you will live at home but attend intense counseling sessions each day at the treatment center.
  • Outpatient—is for people who have support at home, are stepping down from a more intense program, or do not have a severe addiction problem.
  • Sober living—for after you complete your initial program, but before you go home to face day-to-day stresses on your own. You live in a residence with other people in recovery.

Making It All Work for You

If you or someone close to you has an opioid addiction, you know first hand how debilitating and controlling it is. It doesn’t have to be that way. At Sana Lake Recovery Center, we have medically proven methods and evidence-based therapies to help effect a long-term and lasting recovery.

Our staff of professionals will be with you from entry to completion with one concern—helping you achieve your best life. There is no reason to wait. Contact us. Discover our programs and therapies, and you will understand why we are the best treatment facility in the Midwest.


boderline personality in teens

Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens

Personality disorders come in all shapes and sizes. They affect how we interact with people every day and our entire lives as a result. About 1.6% of adults in the U.S. suffer from borderline personality disorder. As much as they can take a toll on adults, they can affect teens as well. 

Although it can be common for teens to feel moody, have angry outbursts, and withdraw from social activities, persistent happenings could mean that your child has borderline personality disorder. Sana Lake Recovery Center clinicians can help you treat this mental health disorder and help both teens and adults manage their symptoms. 

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) affects the way you feel and think about yourself and others. This can negatively impact how you function every day. People with BPD often have trouble maintaining relationships and have a poor self-image. 

This mental disorder can have a significant effect on many areas of your life, not just relationships. If you have BPD, you’ll most likely have difficulty holding down a job or completing school. You’re also likely to easily get into fights or have sudden surges of anger, and you might even have psychotic episodes in which you hear voices. 

Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens 

If a teen has borderline personality disorder, it can affect their relationships, emotion regulation, and identity. This can lead them to suffer in school and their social lives. It’s already tough being a teenager in today’s society. Having a mental health disorder on top of that would be even more difficult to deal with. This is why treatment for borderline personality disorder in teens is crucial.

Studies show that rates of borderline personality disorder in teens are higher than in adults. This could be because of the fact that teens can display signs of BPD when they’re stressed. However, they usually recover from these situations.

A BPD diagnosis can happen in early adulthood when it will be at its worst. Fortunately, it can improve as you get older. Knowing the signs and symptoms of borderline personality disorder and detecting them early can help your condition. People who receive treatment early enough can eventually lead satisfying and fulfilling lives. 

Signs and Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

The symptoms and signs of borderline personality disorder can vary in teens and adults. The four main signs of any personality disorder in teens are as follows:

  • Problematic emotional responses
  • Difficulty interacting socially in relationships
  • Trouble controlling impulses
  • Distorted perception and thinking

Signs of borderline personality disorder include:

  • Extreme mood swings
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Intense and inappropriate feelings of anger (having physical fights, losing your temper)
  • Rapid changes in self-image (shifting values and goals)

Symptoms of borderline personality disorder include:

  • Impulsive behavior
  • Trouble maintaining relationships
  • Believing that change means failure
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies
  • Fear of being alone
  • Unstable sense of self

Borderline Personality Disorders and Addiction in Teens

Having borderline personality disorder as a teenager is bad enough. Combine that with substances like drugs and alcohol, and you could have a more serious situation on your hands. Teens with BPD who are feeling upset or the urge to isolate themselves might turn to substances for comfort. Although this can provide temporary relief, it won’t make your symptoms go away for good.

Co-occurring disorders, or dual diagnosis, requires a specific type of treatment in which both disorders are managed at the same time. Sana Lake offers dual diagnosis treatment for our members with an addiction and a mental health disorder. 

Risk Factors of Borderline Personality Disorder in Teens

Although it’s unclear what exactly causes borderline personality disorder in teens and adults, it can develop due to a few risk factors. Be on the lookout for any of these in your teens so that you can get them help as soon as possible. 

  • Family history. If one of your parents or siblings has BPD, you’re at risk for developing it as well.
  • Childhood trauma. People with BPD say they were physically or sexually abused as children, or they had parents who weren’t around physically or mentally. They tend to have unstable family relationships as well. 
  • Abnormalities in the brain. Those with aggression and impulsivity can have abnormalities in their brains that cause BPD to develop. Other chemicals like serotonin, which helps regulate mood, might not work properly in the brains of people with BPD. 
  • Genetics. Studies have shown that people with borderline personality disorder have family members with other types of mental health disorders.  

Can Personality Disorders Be Diagnosed Before Age 18?

Experts have debated this question for many years. The general consensus is that these disorders shouldn’t be diagnosed in teens before they’re 18 because their personalities aren’t fully formed yet. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states that they can be diagnosed before 18, provided that teens meet certain criteria.

Symptoms of personality disorder must be present for more than a year, and they must be “pervasive, persistent and unlikely to be limited to a particular developmental stage.” The frontal lobe becomes fully mature at age 25, so some doctors feel that signs of BPD will disappear at that point. 

Treatment for Personality Disorders in Teens

There are several beneficial treatments for borderline personality disorder in teens at Sana Lake. Our trained and licensed therapists can give your child comfort and teach them new skills for improving their relationships. 

Below are just a few treatments available for our members with borderline personality disorder. Talk to our licensed professionals to see which one is best for your child.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dr. Marsha M. Linehan developed dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy that focuses on improving your relationships, as this is a common deficiency of BPD. When you enroll in DBT, you learn how to communicate better and control your emotions by using these four techniques:

  • Emotional regulation: Learning to regulate, change, and identify your feelings
  • Core mindfulness: Accepting your life as it is right now, and learning how to live in the moment
  • Interpersonal effectiveness: Helping you become more assertive in your relationships
  • Distress tolerance: Trusting your current situation and learning how to healthily handle stressful situations

DBT consists of individual and group sessions as well as phone coaching, and it can also treat many other personality disorders and even addiction. After completing DBT, you will be better able to accept and change behaviors. 

Dialectical behavior therapy is one of the most effective treatments for borderline personality disorder, and it’s used at many rehab centers. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This method of talk therapy is popular for treating mental disorders, including BPD. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that could have contributed to your borderline personality disorder. 

CBT therapists believe that your actions can be attributed to the thoughts and feelings that you have in the moment. Through skill-building exercises and role-playing, you’ll learn more positive behaviors that you can use to control your borderline personality disorder.

Family Therapy

When your teen is diagnosed with BPD, it might be difficult and frustrating to understand it. Attending family therapy will provide you with a better comprehension of this disorder, and it will help your child learn how to effectively communicate with you. 

Mentalization-Based Therapy

This type of therapy emphasizes the belief that you should think before you react. helps you identify your feelings and thoughts at any moment, and it will also help you create a different perspective on your current situation. 

Transference-Focused Psychotherapy (TFP)

TFP, also known as psychodynamic psychotherapy helps you understand interpersonal difficulties as well as your emotions. Once you’ve learned how to do this with your therapist, you can apply this to your current situations.


There aren’t any medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration that treat borderline personality disorder, but there are other depression medications you can take. Other medications can help with aggression, anxiety, and anxiety. 

No matter what treatment you pursue for borderline personality disorder in teens, any one of these will help you on your road to recovery. Learning how to manage your behaviors and accept change will take time and work. You’ll likely encounter some obstacles along the way, but with time, your life will improve drastically. 

For more severe cases of borderline personality disorder in teens, we offer different levels of treatment at our Behavioral Wellness Center: 

We also offer young adult rehab for our teens with borderline personality disorder.

Get Help for Borderline Personality Disorder Today

Our staff at Sana Lake Recovery Center is experienced in treating borderline personality disorder in teens. We can provide your child with the tools and skills they need to overcome this mental disorder and start living the life they deserve. 

If you or someone you know has borderline personality disorder, contact us today to see what we can do for you and your family. You have the power to overcome your mental illness. Reach out today and get started!


adderall and alcohol

The Dangers of Mixing Alcohol with ADHD Medications

There are a number of different negative effects that mixing alcohol and Adderall (or any other ADHD medication) can have on the body. It is recommended on every single prescription drug on the market that medications should never be combined with alcohol under any circumstance.

The Food and Drug Administration has made multiple public warnings to deter the combining of medication and alcohol. This is because of the dangerous effects it can have on the user regarding physical and mental stressors when combined. 

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic mental health disorder that is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsive behavior. 

Typically, ADHD is diagnosed at an early age but can continue through adulthood. It is also possible to be diagnosed in adults later on as well. Some of the common symptoms of ADHD in adults are:

  • Frequent impulsiveness
  • Difficulty focusing and follow through with things
  • Disorganization
  • Restlessness
  • Poor time management and planning 
  • Mood swings

Common ADHD Medications

One of the most commonly prescribed medications for ADHD is stimulant drugs. Stimulant drugs have been used for decades to treat ADHD in children and adults. They usually last for 4 to 12 hours and come in the form of a pill, capsule, liquid, or skin patch. 

The main goal of these medications is to help the individual focus more and perform better in school and work for a better quality of life down the line. Like most prescription drugs, these medications have some side effects such as headache, stomachache, decreased appetite, and other symptoms. 

Some of the more common stimulant drugs for ADHD include the following:

  • Adderall
  • Ritalin
  • Concentra
  • Daytrana
  • Metadate
  • Dexedrine
  • Focalin
  • Vyvanse

There are also some non-stimulant drugs that are occasionally prescribed as alternatives to traditional stimulant drugs such as Strattera and Intuniv. 

Mixing Adderall and Alcohol

As a primary drug for ADHD, Adderall is a highly intense stimulant that works well when taken in the correct doses, unfortunately, when abused, Adderall can be extremely dangerous for the user. 

As a schedule II controlled substance, Adderall is the highest schedule that a physician can prescribe to a patient. This truly puts into perspective the dangers of addiction and dependency when Adderall is used non-medically.

On the other side of the spectrum, Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant that has a completely different effect than that of a stimulant. Alcohol is commonly abused and causes many physical and mental issues on its own. Combining alcohol with a stimulant drug like Adderall can cause a wide range of dangerous effects, some even leading to death – this applies to not only Adderall but all ADHD drugs. 

Reasons for ADHD Drugs and Alcohol Abuse

Why do individuals mix ADHD medication like Adderall with alcohol? The answer to this question varies, but there are a few trends that can be used to answer it. 

Research shows that Adderall is very common on college campuses, and while most of these are prescribed for ADHD medication, there are a few in the minority that seem to gain access to the drug and thus misuse it by combining it with alcohol. They usually get it through a friend or relative, some even stealing or buying Adderall illegally without a proper prescription.

One of the major reasons individuals abuse drugs together is to deter some of the side effects that come with stimulant drugs with alcohol. Many college students use Adderall to improve their concentration and focus on studying. Large amounts of Adderall can cause hyperactivity and jitteriness, which can lead to the use of alcohol to undermine these effects. 

On the contrary, some use Adderall to counteract the depressant effects of alcohol (usually used to ‘party’ for longer periods of time). 

The Risks of Mixing Alcohol and ADHD Drugs

Mixing alcohol and medication tends to reduce the overall effectiveness of the medication. When you mix the two together the individual perceives the effects of both to be less noticeable instead of when using them alone.

This perception can lead to dangerous outcomes since the medication contents are unaltered even though the user isn’t feeling the true effects of the drug. This can lead to overdose on either the stimulant or the alcohol when mixed together. 

There is a number of unpredictable effects that can occur when combing a drug like adderall and alcohol. These events that wouldn’t have occurred if either was consumed alone. Potentially dangerous side effects like seizures can occur. 

If continuously large amounts of adderall and alcohol are combined, the user can begin to experience extremely problematic disorders. These include polysubstance abuse and co-occurring behavioral disorders. 

Short Term Risks

There are many intense short-term risks that come with combining ADHD medications like adderall and alcohol, some of which can be fatal to the user in time. Some of the more common short-term risks include:

  • Impaired judgment and rational thinking when under the influence of both medications and alcohol 
  • High likelihood of overdose from alcohol (or alcohol poisoning) because of the stimulant negating the effects of alcohol intoxication, which can be fatal. 
  • The enhancement of negative side effects from both drugs when combined such as dehydration, cardiovascular problems, aggressiveness, nausea, and vomiting.  
  • Intense stress on the cardiovascular system, which can lead to symptoms such as hypertension, and long-term cardiovascular diseases that can lead to strokes.
  • Extremely impaired vision, reaction time, and motor functions when under the effects of both stimulants and alcohol.
  • Significantly increased chance of suffering neurological effects, more specifically seizures. 

Long Term Risks

If a person continues to combine and abuse stimulants and alcohol together, they will inevitably experience potentially fatal long-term effects. The negative long-term effects of both alcohol and ADHD medication is severely heightened because of the negating and intense effects of both of them. 

Long-term abuse can include severe cognitive issues and damage to the central nervous system. These problems can reside with issues of attention, concentration, learning, and memory. 

Emotional effects on the central nervous system are also common. This is especially true when the individual combines the two drugs for a long period of time. This can include long-standing problems with depression, loss of motivation, potential psychosis, and apathy. 

As mentioned before, many individuals in college who mix Adderall (or other stimulants) and alcohol do so to help with concentration and cognitive function while studying. However, research shows that these individuals end up doing worse. They achieve lower academic success than those who don’t abuse the drugs. 

Mixing Other ADHD Medications and Alcohol

While Adderall is one of the more common ADHD medications, there are others that can be just as deadly if mixed with alcohol. Under no circumstance should you ever mix any kind of medication with alcohol.  


Ritalin is a stimulant that works similarly to Adderall and can have very dangerous effects if mixed with alcohol. Some symptoms may include, dangerously increased heartbeat, high blood pressure, problems with mood, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. 

Individuals may attempt to combine Ritalin and alcohol to counteract some of the side effects of the drug. This can lead to potentially fatal circumstances like alcohol poisoning and other health complications. 


Concerta is a form of methylphenidate that’s usually used to treat ADHD. When mixing this stimulant with alcohol the individual will experience a severe decrease in attentional abilities, decreased impulse control, poor judgment, and possible blackouts. 

As with all ADHD medications, many people combine the two to negate the side effects of both the alcohol and the drug which can lead to overdose and death. 

In addition to some of the short-term effects come the long-term dangers of mixing Concerta and alcohol. Mixing the two can potentially cause organ damage, liver damage, cardiovascular issues, the burden on the immune system, and high risk for potential cancers. 


Focalin is a mild stimulant to the central nervous system that affects chemicals in the brain that interact with hyperactivity and impulse control. Combining Focalin with alcohol can cause significant cardiovascular impairment, hypertension, serious arrhythmias, coronary disease, and other issues. 


Vyvanse is a common stimulant medication used to treat some cases of ADHD. As a schedule II medication, there is a high potential for harmful use and development with Vyvanse.

Combining Vyvanse and alcohol can be extremely dangerous and can have a lot of short-term and long-term risks. Vyvanse is a time-release medication that’s meant to be taken once a day. When abused it can cause changes in blood pressure, chest pains, hyperactivity and aggression. In some cases, heart attacks or seizures will occur. 


Daytrana is another common drug taken for ADHD. When combined with alcohol it can cause increased nervous system side effects like drowsiness, anxiety, seizures, and depression. 

When To Seek Help 

Under no circumstance should an individual ever mix ADHD medications (or any kind of medication) with alcohol. The consequences could be fatal in the long run. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from co-misuse of alcohol and stimulant medications, Sana Lake Recovery Center may be able to help. Contact us for more information or give us a call.

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!