Behavioral Modification Techniques

What is Behavior Modification Therapy?

Behavioral Modification Therapy focuses on helping a recovering addict achieve positive and better outcomes in their life. Behavioral modification therapy is closely tied to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is another widely used form of therapy for addiction.

However, behavioral modification therapy is different from other psychotherapies because it focuses on things that others don’t. Behavioral modification techniques are used during the process to help reduce negative behaviors and outcomes. 

During addiction treatment, a person’s behaviors and thought processes play a huge part in the recovery process. While going through the motions of detox and medication assistance are necessary, therapy is needed for long-term sobriety. When an addiction develops in a person, their way of thinking and acting is rewired negatively. This is where behavior modification therapy comes in. 

Like other types of therapy for addiction, behavior modification therapy is best used with other addiction treatment methods. While the road to recovery may seem rough, with the proper help and supportive team, a person can overcome their addiction. Centers like Sana Lake Recovery are here to help you break bad habits and focus on what matters in life. 

A Closer Look at Behavior Modification Therapy for Addiction

Start the Journey at Sana Lake

As the name suggests, behavior modification therapy means altering or changing how a person behaves. Behavioral modification therapy uses a theory called operant conditioning – this means finding and understanding what makes a person behave the way they do. This therapy notes down the consequences of these behaviors and teaches a person behavior modification techniques in the process. 

Behavior modification therapy doesn’t focus strictly on a person’s thoughts or feelings but rather on the consequences that occur when the behavior happens. When someone has an addiction, they may continue using a drug even if it causes them pain and trouble in the long run. Behavior modification therapy looks at this closely and tries to reinforce a change in behavior through consequence. 

This type of therapy uses behavior modification techniques to reinforce positive/negative behavioral reinforcement. The goal is to effectively and slowly replace negative behaviors with positive ones – which creates room for more positive outcomes and behaviors. Behavioral modification therapy is a great addition to other treatment options and can help a person change their behavior and manage better consequences. 

Positive vs Negative Reinforcement in Behavioral Modification Therapy

One of the primary ideas behind behavior modification therapy is positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. While these terms are usually used to describe parental or teaching techniques, it means something entirely different for behavior modification therapy. This therapy option focuses on trading in behaviors for more positive outcomes in a person’s daily life. This is done by focusing on the reasons why a person uses substances or alcohol, to begin with. 

While understanding and coming to terms with these negative actions can be difficult, it is crucial to overcoming addiction and encountering positive and healthy outcomes. Therapists and physicians work with the person to understand the triggers that cause these negative behaviors and outcomes.  When it comes to behavioral modification techniques and therapy, what is the difference between positive and negative reinforcement? 

Positive Reinforcement 

When it comes to behavioral modification therapy, positive reinforcement can mean several different things. Positive can be recognition, praise, or even a physical or tangible ‘reward’ of some kind. This positive reinforcement comes about after a person alters their behavior for the better and overcomes their triggers. This can be a great way to reinforce and encourage a person to make better choices in regards to their addiction recovery

In the case of addiction treatment, positive behaviors are mostly focused on staying sober and away from drugs. Using positive reinforcement and finding the truth behind a person’s addiction has been proven to be very effective during treatment. Offering a reward or even a compliment can make a big difference in someone’s journey. Positive reinforcement also has its natural rewards like a better and healthier life, free of drugs and alcohol. 

Negative Reinforcement

On the other hand, negative reinforcement is also used during the process of behavioral modification therapy. Many people may confuse negative reinforcement with punishment reinforcement (which involves decreasing a behavior for the desired effect).  In therapy, negative reinforcement comes in the form of removing a specific behavior to get the desired outcome. Simply put, negative reinforcement is focusing on changing behaviors to avoid a negative outcome. 

Ignore Negative Behavior

There is a third category when it comes to behavioral modification therapy and that is ignoring negative behavior. This is usually conducted with a group of people and focuses on completely ignoring behaviors that lead to negative consequences. The idea is that as long as a person ignores this negative behavior/the consequence, their desire to continue this behavior will fade away. Over time, this ends up causing more positive and desired effects for the individual. 

Behavioral Modification Techniques

behavior modification therapy

Each person’s case is different and thus there are several different techniques and methods available to overcome addiction with behavioral modification therapy. However, with this in mind, the main goal of this type of therapy is to identify and change a person’s behavior to achieve positive outcomes. A few behavioral modification techniques include the following.


As the name suggests, cueing is a reminder to perform a task/action at a specific time. Cues can also be negative in some cases (triggers to use again). Triggers and social cues can be especially tricky for those in recovery but with cueing a person can reduce these cravings. Cueing in behavioral modification therapy involves forcing these relapse triggers on purpose. Over time as a person continues to come across these cues, these cravings will begin to be less powerful and taunting. 


Modeling is a simple technique that involves learning and seeing how others cope with the same situation you’re in. This gives a person a different look at how others have succeeded in sobriety and recovery. Imitating others and learning new processes can be very beneficial in recovering from drug addiction. 

Fear Reduction and Avoidance

Fear reduction is especially useful in cases where a person is struggling with a phobia. Sometimes these phobias can end up being the cause of addiction. Whether it be social situations or other phobias, fear reduction exposes a person to what they fear. Doing this carefully and deliberately can help make these negative stimuli less impactful.

Avoidance on the other hand focuses on avoiding unpleasant and negative situations. With this in mind, avoidance may not be possible with all forms of addiction. Sometimes avoidance can be as simple as avoiding a stressful situation or location. 

Systematic Desensitization 

What is Behavior Modification Therapy?

Similar to fear reduction, systematic desensitization also works to combat a person’s phobias and fears. Systematic desensitization works by replacing an anxious response with a relaxation response. This is done in different phases, these include:

  • The first step is to relax one’s body, this is done through breathing and deep muscle techniques. Mediation is often used during the process to control breathing. Since phobias cause stress and tension, breathing exercises can help a person remain relaxed and in control.
  • The next step involves a type of fear hierarchy. Since there are different levels of stimuli (what the person fears), these phobias are slowly incorporated into the stages. As time progresses, more and more of the stimuli are utilized until a person is eventually shown what they fear most.
  • The third phase is the result after using this technique continuously for a period of time. In the case that a person feels the third phase is too much they always have the option to go down lower on the fear hierarchy list. 

When it comes to behavioral modification therapy for addiction, systematic desensitization helps address the fear that may have led to substance use in the beginning. Behavioral modification therapy can be a great option for those drinking due to social anxiety or other social fears. Controlling these fears and the person’s emotions can make it much easier to stay away from drugs and alcohol use.


Satiation is a behavioral modification technique that helps a person grow tired of undesired behavior. While this works for many cases, it is not the best option for addiction treatment because there are a lot of other factors to keep in mind during recovery. 

Behavioral Modification Therapy With Other Treatment Methods

Behavioral modification therapy is best when used with other treatment methods. This technique is often used with other behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and others. Behavioral modification techniques can be a great way to focus on consequences while using other behavioral therapies to improve your thoughts, behavior, and outlook. 

Start the Journey at Sana Lake

At Sana Lake, we offer many effective and evidence-based treatment options for you and your family. Our team uses several personalized therapy methods (including behavioral modification therapy) to ensure that you overcome addiction and stay sober for years to come. Don’t wait for things to get worse, give us a call today and get started on your journey towards a better, brighter life. 

quit drinking

18 Reasons to Quit Drinking Alcohol

Do you often ask yourself, “why should I stop drinking? I enjoy it.” The voice of alcohol will tell you otherwise, but there are so many reasons to quit drinking. Let’s take a look at the top 18 reasons.

The Reasons to Quit Drinking Now

When you quit drinking, you will feel some of the results immediately. So before we look at the reasons to quit drinking, here are 5 immediate benefits when you quit drinking.

  • No more hangovers
  • You save money
  • Mental clarity
  • Reduces risky behavior
  • Improves relationships

Why Should I Give Up Alcohol?

There are so many reasons to quit drinking. And, if the instant results don’t have you thinking twice about picking up that drink, then hopefully, the 18 reasons to quit drinking will change your relationship with alcohol. So, let’s take a deeper look at why you should stop drinking.

1. You Save Money

Have you ever calculated how much money you spend a week on alcohol? Now, multiply that by 52. Are you shocked? 

The Reasons to Quit Drinking Now

When you are drinking, you lose all inhibitions. As a result, you may drink more than planned. This can add up real fast. It cuts into rent and monthly bills leading to financial stress. Unfortunately, financial stress can lead to more drinking.

But, financially, the reasons to quit drinking are endless. You can pay your bills and start the savings account you want. If you are a heavy drinker, the savings can be quite large. As a result, you could reward yourself with a vacation or a new car.  

2. You Feel Better

People often forget that alcohol is not healthy for you. Yes, research proves that one or two drinks can prevent certain diseases such as coronary heart disease. However, binge drinking and chronic alcohol use disorder are extremely dangerous.

When you drink in excess, your body has to work harder to process the drug. To metabolize the alcohol, your liver has to work harder. And, your brain goes into overdrive trying to keep the body in balance. 

But, when you quit drinking, your body starts to repair itself. As a result, you start feeling better. Because the body isn’t affected by the toxins in alcohol, you have more energy to focus on other things. Above all, your brain and body can function the way it’s supposed to. 

3. No More Hangovers

Let’s be honest; no one likes a hangover. You have a headache, you’re nauseous, and you feel drained. You may even wonder why you drank the whole bottle of wine. 

Of all the reasons to quit drinking, this is felt immediately. Imagine waking up feeling refreshed and having a productive day. If it has been a long time since you have felt this way, then put down the drink and enjoy waking up tomorrow. 

4. No More Guilt Over Your Drinking

Do loved ones express concern over your drinking? Do your little kids look at you and ask you to stop? If so, then it is natural to feel guilty when you drink. You know you should stop. And being free from alcohol can be very liberating and powerful. If you struggle to stop on your own, seeking treatment can help.

5. No More Apologizing

How many times did you get drunk and do something stupid? Falling into people, yelling, calling people names, and being overall annoying. Having to apologize for these behaviors can be avoided if you quit drinking. 

Reasons to Quit Drinking Alcohol

6. Gain Self-Confidence

Quitting alcohol is not easy. So, when you quit, you develop a new-found sense of self-confidence. You realize you are in control and not alcohol, and that is a powerful feeling. 

7. Gain Optimism

When you stop drinking and gain self-confidence and self-worth, you also gain optimism. Without alcohol clouding your judgment, you realize life can be a positive experience. Life will bring happier experiences, and that alone is an excellent reason to quit drinking.

8. Your Brain Heals

Because of chronic alcohol use, your brain is overworked. Your brain not only controls every body function, but it is also responsible for how you respond to stimuli. When you quit drinking, the brain doesn’t have to work so hard to keep your body in balance. Additionally, alcohol consumption damages areas of the brain. But, when you stop drinking, the brain begins to heal. 

9. Your Liver Can Rest

Your liver is responsible for breaking down alcohol. Binge drinking and chronic alcohol use put added stress on your liver. As a result, you can have further serious health issues such as cirrhosis of the liver. But, one of the many reasons to quit drinking includes letting your liver rest and heal. 

10. Your Skin Clears Up

One of the top reasons to quit drinking, for women especially, is it clears up your skin. When you drink, your body becomes dehydrated and is deprived of certain nutrients. This includes your skin. Alcohol also throws off your blood sugar which affects your hormones, and eventually, you develop acne. But, your skin will show positive signs of clearing once you stop drinking. 

Adverse effects of alcohol on your skin include:

  • Broken capillaries on the face and nose
  • Inflammation
  • Dehydration
  • Jaundice
  • Loose or saggy skin

11. Regain Mental Clarity

Of all the reasons to quit drinking, mental clarity is a big one. Not only does your brain start healing when you stop drinking, but you begin thinking clearly, too. Being clear-headed at work, in your relationships, and in daily decisions are all reasons to quit drinking.

12. Improves Mental Illness

Why Should I Give Up Alcohol?

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2018, over 9 million American adults struggled with substance use disorder and mental illness. Common co-occurring mental illnesses include depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. 

Many times, people drink to cope with mental illness. However, chronic alcohol use can cause mental illness to develop. But, once you stop drinking alcohol, your thinking and decision-making skills will return. 

13. Improve Heart Health

Alcohol is hard on your heart. After a night of drinking, you can feel these effects when you lay down. For example, you may feel like your heart is going to beat out of your chest. 

Chronic heavy drinkers are particularly susceptible to heart issues. For instance, if you drink more than 14 drinks a week, you are twice as likely to experience heart disease. So quitting now before any issues arise is very beneficial for your heart health.

14. Lower Your Risk of Cancer

Besides the effects alcohol has on your heart, it also increases your risk of developing cancer. Although it is common knowledge that alcohol can cause liver cancer, it can also lead to developing cancer in the:

  • Breast
  • Colon
  • Esophagus
  • Mouth
  • Rectum
  • Throat
  • Voicebox

To reduce your risk of developing cancer, it is crucial to quit drinking today. 

15. Losing Weight

Gaining weight is uncomfortable. It can also lead to health problems, especially if the weight gain is from alcohol use. Weight gain is typical when you drink. Furthermore, it makes losing weight even more challenging. When you cut out the empty calories of alcohol, you will start to see the pounds disappear. 

16. Get Better Sleep

Is your excuse for drinking at night is it helps you sleep? While it may help you fall asleep faster, your quality of sleep suffers. Alcohol actually blocks REM or restorative sleep. Furthermore, it can interfere with breathing and make you need more bathroom trips. Just think of how well you will sleep when you quit drinking. 

17. Improves Mood Stability

Even if you are not struggling with mental illness, alcohol typically causes mood swings. For example, you may be more agreeable and open-minded after a glass of wine. However, heavy drinking can cause negative mood changes. It is common for binge drinkers and heavy drinkers to become:

  • Easily angered
  • Violent outbursts
  • Dangerously impulsive
  • Demanding or threatening

Because your mood can change when you consume alcohol, people you love may start distancing themselves. However, repairing relationships and controlling your mood are significant reasons to quit drinking. 

18. Builds New Coping Skills

Once you take to heart the reasons to quit drinking, you will notice dramatic life changes. Depending on how often and how much you drink, it can be scary to quit. But, the long-term changes once you quit are worth it. 

When you struggle with alcohol use disorder, you develop unhealthy coping skills. But, once you quit drinking and learn healthy coping skills, you will see immediate results. 

Common coping skills learned in recovery include:

  • Being honest with yourself and others
  • Ask for support
  • Establish healthy boundaries
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness
  • Keep a daily journal
  • Join support groups
  • Exercise regularly

Reasons to Quit Drinking and Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery

Now that you understand the reasons to quit drinking and how it will benefit your life, it’s time to learn more about the types of treatment at Sana Lake Recovery. Contact us today and learn about our different treatment options. 


self care in recovery

Why You Should Prioritize Self-Care in Recovery

Self-care is extremely important to your mental, physical, and behavioral health. But, self-care in recovery takes on new importance. While you are actively using drugs or alcohol, often, basic self-care is not a priority. As a result, your mental health and self-worth further decline. So, an important aspect of treatment is defining what self-care means to you.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is any experience that recharges your mind, body, and spirit. It can include taking a long shower, exercising, and spending time with loved ones. Attending therapy is crucial self-care, specifically in recovery. Self-care in recovery means reprioritizing what brings you joy, connection, and peace of mind. 

As important as it is to understand what self-care is, it’s crucial to understand what it isn’t. Self-care is not putting other’s needs before yours, overextending yourself, or having poor boundaries in relationships. Above all, self-care is not overlooking what makes you happy. 

Some people think self-care is selfish or indulgent. But, it is the total opposite. By practicing self-care and learning to love yourself, you can be fully present for those you love. At the same time, self-care in recovery can help center you and encourage Recovery for Life. 

Self-Care in Recovery

Building a routine of self-care in recovery is vital in maintaining your recovery. Because with recovery, come back the people and activities that your addiction chased away. Although these are incredible blessings, they can make you focus less on your self-care. As a result, cravings and thoughts of substance use start creeping in, and you risk the recurrence of use.

In recovery, there is an expression, ‘ anything you put in front of your recovery, you stand to lose.’ Now that you are getting back what substance use disorder took away, you don’t want to lose it again. It is crucial to remember your self-care in recovery and practicing things that maintain mental, physical, and spiritual health.

Self-care in recovery is not a concept; it is an action. You must put into action the practices of self-care in order to make it a daily habit. Today’s culture says self-care means luxury vacations, spa days, and 5-star dinners. And while those are nice, they are occasional experiences. And the idea behind self-care in recovery is finding daily things that make you happy. 

6 Elements of Self-Care in Recovery

Self-care includes taking care of your whole being. This means living a balanced lifestyle – being mindful of nutrition, exercise, and sleep. It also includes setting healthy boundaries, practicing self-acceptance, and becoming aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. 

There are 6 elements to self-care in recovery that will nourish your entire well-being. While they are beneficial in recovery, everyone should practice self-care. 


Caring for your body inside and out is physical self-care. It means getting eight hours of sleep every night, taking a long walk, and cooking wholesome meals. When you prioritize your physical self-care, you have more energy for yourself and others. 


Emotional self-care is vital for your overall well-being. Whether it is friends, loved ones, or your therapist, you need someone to help process your feelings. Additionally, using art, music, and dancing is a great way to release negative emotions. 

Self-care in recovery helps you avoid people and situations that can be stressful and cause cravings. But setting boundaries and recognizing your thoughts and feelings are all part of self-care. Above all, self-care in recovery helps you work through your past experiences by releasing your emotions. 


Trying new activities that mentally challenge and stimulate you are great ways to practice mental self-care. Read a new book or put a puzzle together. At the same time, a meaningful and inspiring conversation with a friend is also self-care. Trying new activities can prevent you from getting into a stagnant mind frame, leading to thoughts of substance use. 


Your spiritual self-care in recovery is often kick-started in holistic therapy programs. These programs incorporate yoga, meditation, and mindfulness into your treatment plan. Maybe you find spiritual happiness in books, or perhaps you find spiritual peace walking through the forest. Your spirituality is personal and makes you feel connected to a higher power. While also lessening the feelings of isolation and loneliness. 


Social self-care is important because having close relationships in life is crucial. So, taking time to nurture these relationships is an essential element in self-care. But, social self-care also means being aware of the relationships that are not beneficial to your recovery. Joining 12-step groups and volunteering are great ways to build healthy new friendships. 


Practical self-care involves the aspects needed to sustain life. For example, buying groceries, doing housework, and budgeting. Some people think of these as chores. But, in recovery, it makes you feel responsible and accomplished. 

Practical self-care may mean decluttering your home and designing a calm living space. Handling finances can be a burden, but setting up a routine can make it easier. If you struggle with mental and emotional issues in recovery, controlling the practical areas in your life can be very rewarding. 

Daily Practices of Self-Care in Recovery

People in recovery may be out of practice when it comes to self-care, and it can be challenging to get started. However, there are many simple things you can do daily to incorporate self-care in your life. 

Stay Connected

When you feel connected, your recovery thrives. For this to happen, you must be part of a supportive community that knows what you are going through. They can offer you advice, love, and support in your recovery journey. Staying connected to others often means joining groups that prioritize spiritual wellness. 

Practice Mindfulness

Being mindful means being fully present in both the good and bad aspects of life. Being mindful in everyday life reduces the chance of losing sight of your overall wellbeing and recovery. For example, yoga and meditation are two practices of sitting peacefully and compassionately with yourself. 

Practicing mindfulness doesn’t take much time. To begin with, 15 minutes of meditation or yoga can make you feel refreshed and ready to tackle any challenges. Making these practices part of your daily morning or evening routine is an easy habit to promote your recovery.

Be Creative

When you were younger, were you creative? Did you like to paint or dance? Unfortunately, substance use quickly makes those activities unimportant in your life. Maybe your childhood was difficult, and you never discovered your creative side. Addiction treatment is the perfect time to explore this side of yourself. 

Recovery offers the chance to find your passion, such as photography, making jewelry, or drawing. Find a hobby that brings you joy and enriches your mind and spirit. Everyone is creative in their own way, so if you find drawing boring, then dancing may bring you joy instead. 

Self-Care and Maintaining an Attitude of Gratitude

An important aspect of self-care in recovery is having an attitude of gratitude. Many people struggle with the concept of gratitude. However, it is simply valuing the good things that happen to you and taking time to acknowledge and be thankful for them. In recovery, this is an extremely valuable part of self-care. 

Take Stock Of Things You’re Grateful For

Whether you have a lot of good in your life or don’t, you can always find one thing to be grateful for. For instance, in recovery, you can be grateful for making it this far. Or, you might be grateful for the people who helped you when you couldn’t help yourself. 

Recognizing all the reasons you are blessed, what has gone wrong, and how your life is better is crucial in self-care in recovery. You may want to use a gratitude journal to track your recovery progress. Doing this is a great way to look back and be grateful for how far you have come. 

Pay Attention to the Little Things

Although there are many things to be grateful for, too many people spend time looking for big things to be thankful for. However, things don’t need to have significance to be grateful. Maybe someone wished you a great day, or your favorite plant bloomed; there are endless reasons to be grateful. 

What makes you happy on a daily basis? Is it the taste of fresh coffee in the morning or learning something new? Whether it is a favorite tv show, a good book, cleaning your house, or sitting under the stars, it is worth recognizing if it brings you joy. 

Helping Others Brings Joy

Typically, people are happier when they help others. It doesn’t matter whether you volunteer at a community shelter or help your friends or loved ones; it triggers the brain’s reward system in the brain. This leaves you feeling overall happier. Helping others is another facet of self-care. 

Forgive Others and Yourself

The biggest threat to being happy is thinking you have to be perfect. Self-care in recovery is not comparing yourself to others. You struggle with a disease known as substance use disorder, so you shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed

Although you made mistakes, you are now in recovery and trying to do better. So recognize that because forgiving yourself is crucial self-care in recovery. At the same time, you need to forgive those who may have said or done things to make your life harder. Forgiveness gives a new perspective and more things to be grateful for. 

Discover Self-Care in Recovery at Sana Lake

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we can help. Our holistic therapies are beneficial in building positive self-care in recovery. Contact us today to find out more. 

and the Immune System

How Does Alcohol Affect the Immune System?

According to research gathered by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), 85.6% of American adults have drunk alcohol at some point. In other words, the overwhelming majority of Americans drink. NIAAA reports that about 70% of American adults consumed alcohol in the year surveyed. Most don’t think about how alcohol affects the immune system when they choose to drink. 

Scientists have explored alcohol’s effect on the immune system for decades. It certainly affects it, but how? We’ll explore how it does for better or worse below to bash common myths

What Is Alcohol?

Alcohol is officially known as ethanol or ethyl alcohol. It becomes an alcoholic beverage when the yeast and sugar break down. Without oxygen, it ferments. Although legal, alcohol is classified as a drug. Specifically, it’s in the class of drugs known as depressants. Unlike stimulants, they slow down the body’s systems. Yet, some literature makes the point that a certain amount can have a stimulant effect. 

The Foundation For a Drug-Free World notes the usual alcohol content for popular forms of alcoholic beverages:

  • Beer – 2-6% 
  • Liqueurs – 15-60% 
  • Ciders – 4-8% 
  • Tequila – 40% 
  • Brandy – 40% 
  • Rum – 40% 
  • Whiskey – Up to 50% 
  • Gin – Up to 47% 
  • Vodka – Up to 50% 
  • Wine – Up to 20% 

Depressants can make a person feel loose and relaxed. This is because they affect the central nervous system primarily. It slows down exchanges between the body and brain. Alcohol is no different. This can result in both desirable and undesirable effects. 

Common short-term and long-term effects include: 

  • Decreased motor function 
  • Heightened mood 
  • Confusion 
  • Blurred vision 
  • Memory loss 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Headaches 
  • Erectile dysfunction and decreased libido 

Over time, alcohol can impact the immune system severely. People often combine alcohol with other substances, which can take a serious toll on the body. The Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF) says that a combination of caffeine, benzos, or even energy drinks can cause violent symptoms. For instance, these range from panic and paranoia to overdosing. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) writes that an average of 6 people dies of alcohol poisoning each day. There is no time to think of how does alcohol affect the immune system if they are dead. Alcohol poisoning is completely preventable, but thousands of Americans die from it every year. Alcohol’s effect on the immune system in a way leads to this. 

Immune System

How Does Alcohol Affect the Immune System Negatively

In short, alcohol has a negative effect on the immune system. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) describes the immune system as a system of cells that keep the body healthy throughout the body. They prevent disease and work hard to limit infection. Every immune cell is birthed in the bone marrow but appears in many other parts of the body. 

Immune cells come in different forms that act as first responders to infection: 

  • Neutrophils 
  • Eosinophils 
  • Basophils 
  • Mast cells 
  • Macrophages 
  • Dendritic cells 
  • Monocytes 

A peer-reviewed piece called, “Alcohol and the Immune System,” writes that excessive alcohol consumption can cause immune-related problems. It notes that initial studies didn’t understand the full scope of how alcohol affects the immune system. After decades of research, various scientists prove that it leads to a slew of medical issues. 

Some of the ways alcohol affects the immune system negatively include: 

  • Pneumonia 
  • Acute respiratory stress syndromes (ARDS) 
  • Sepsis 
  • Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) 
  • Certain cancers 
  • Complications after operation 
  • Slower/incomplete healing time in general
  • Greater risk of HIV
  • Hepatitis 

To surmise, research shows that alcohol interrupts immune pathways. Why this happens is complex and seems contrary at times. When immune pathways are disrupted, it makes it tough for the body to fight off infection. This is especially so because it can damage the organs. 

Chronic drinkers have a weakened immune system and usually inflammation. In summary, alcohol is consumed via the gastrointestinal tract. Constant drinking burns away healthy microbes in the gut aka the intestinal immune system. 

Then, the damage leads to an unhealthy bacterial gut leak into other bodily systems. For example, the liver detoxifies the body. With excessive alcohol consumption, bacteria leaks into the immune system within the liver. This upsets the liver, sometimes beyond repair, in the form of ALD. 

Alcohol's Affect on the Immune System

Myths On How Alcohol Affect the Immune System Positively  

Furthermore, it would be lovely if alcohol was good for you. In fact, a common popular myth says that some types of alcohol are good for the immune system. Many popular sites from Healthline to Mayo Clinic perpetuate the myth that red wine can be good for your health. On the contrary, no long-term study has ever come to this conclusion. 

According to Harvard’s health blog, the myth started from an observation. It’s that French people drink lots of wine and have low heart disease rates. This phenomenon, the French Paradox, spurred a theory that the grape skins in red wine contain enough polyphenols to boost the immune system. Polyphenols are naturally found in many fruits and vegetables. They are known as micronutrients aka antioxidants. Moreover, antioxidants might improve the immune system. 

However, the levels of polyphenols in wine aren’t enough to jumpstart an immune system. It’s particularly the case when it’s a known fact that alcohol affects the immune system negatively.  Other highlights from Harvard’s blog about alcohol are: 

  • Lifestyle and diet most likely play into fewer health issues 
  • The study that backed the French Paradox was done on mice and couldn’t be replicated on humans 
  • Men over 65 should avoid drinking more than a glass of wine 
  • Resveratol, the polyphenol in wine, has no proven benefit even as a supplement 

It’s much easier for people to go along with the lie than admit the truth. The cons of drinking outweigh the pros. Though, research also indicates that red wine in moderation leads to no ill effect on the immune system. Moderation is key when it comes to drinking. So, plug the cork into the wine bottle after a glass, however tempting it might be.

How Does Alcohol Affect the Immune System With a Substance Use Disorder?

When a person has a substance use disorder, it affects their immune system as a whole. Hauling chemical production into overdrive or slowing it down takes a toll on the body. Add in alcohol, and it can lead to even more issues. As aforementioned, alcohol on its own disrupts immune function. Putting more pressure on the immune system can lead to infections and diseases quicker. 

With this, health issues are likely to come about more aggressively and take longer to go away. More than that, research shows that mixing alcohol with other substances can lead to an untimely death. The bacterial gut leak from excessive alcohol consumption hurts the liver. 

It’s tough for a person’s liver to detoxify the body from excessive alcohol use and from other substances at the same time. A detox program at an alcohol use disorder treatment center can help get the body back to its natural state. It might never be the same without it. 

How Does Alcohol Affect the Immune System During COVID-19? 

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has created quite a storm within the medical community. Despite clashing opinions in some areas, doctors agree that people should hold off on drinking. As said before, alcohol acts as a depressant and it hurts the immune system through excessive use. Put these two together and it results in an increased risk of catching COVID-19. 

Moreover, this period in history is stressful, to put it lightly. Family members have perished. Funerals are postponed to avoid spreading the virus further. Turning to alcohol might seem like a good option. But, it’s not. Yes, alcoholic beverages may take off the edge in the short-term as a depressant. Though, stressors don’t go away when it wears off. Stress and a compromised immune system make it hard to ward off diseases and infections. It’s never been a better time to stop drinking alcohol. 

When To Worry About How Does Alcohol Affect the Immune System 

Finally, it’s time for one to worry about how alcohol affects the immune system when she can’t live without it. Generally speaking, alcohol is alright in moderation. People should drink no more than four to five standard drinks in a day. Also, they shouldn’t be drinking every day. Alcohol can be a detriment to the immune system when: 

  • Someone blacks out from drinking frequently
  • A person can’t stop drinking no matter how hard they try 
  • An individual avoids situations where they’re unable to drink 
  • They’ve begun to develop health issues as a result of drinking 

These are just a few examples. It’s time to check into a reputable alcohol use disorder when any of these red flags arise. A medical intervention can turn back the clock on immune system damage. This is applicable even in the worst scenarios. Starting today means a better, quicker chance of living life as it should be.

Sana Lake Knows How Does Alcohol Affect the Immune System 

Sana Lake specializes in showing recovering individuals the right path to a happy and healthy life. It’s not easy. How does alcohol affect the immune system plays into overcoming an alcohol use disorder. If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, contact us now. We can beat this uphill battle together.  


Energy Drinks and Alcohol

Energy Drinks and Alcohol

American adolescents show that energy drinks and alcohol are popular in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that over 10% of students as young as 12 consumed energy drinks and alcohol in 2017. 

Alcohol and energy drinks are cocktails that can induce a world of hurt and legal trouble. The clashing nature of stimulants and depressants makes it so. There are a number of reasons why everyone should avoid mixing energy drinks and alcohol. 

Dangers of Combining Energy Drinks and Alcohol 

Energy drinks and alcohol is a centuries-old combination. For example, Italians back in the day combined brandy with coffee to concoct cafe correcto. Yet, modern scientific research shows that this combination can be deadly. 

Ultimately, it’s the fact that stimulants and depressants are a match made in hell. Despite this, bars and your local gas station popularize just this. A depressant is a class of drug that slows down the body’s systems. On the other hand, stimulant drugs speed up the body’s systems. 

Depressants tend to affect individuals in this way: 

  • Euphoric 
  • Confident 
  • Relaxed 
  • Friendly 
  • Trusting 
  • Nauseous 
  • Sleepy
  • Heightened mood (whatever it may be)

Stimulants have a similar effect in some ways, but act differently as a whole: 

  • Excited 
  • Euphoric 
  • Charismatic 
  • Friendly 
  • Paranoid 
  • Restless 
  • Irritable 
  • Energized 

Hence, energy drinks with alcohol may seem like a great thing. One cancels out the negative side effects of the other. Actually, this is what makes it so dangerous. Most energy drinks contain the stimulant drug, caffeine. This element is found in coffee, tea, and even dark chocolate. Caffeine makes a person feel awake and energized, contrary to what alcohol does as a depressant. For this reason, consumers aren’t able to tell how drunk they are. 

The Relationship Between Binge Drinking and Alcoholic Energy Drinks

Energy Drinks

Therefore, this deadly duo can easily lead to high levels of binge drinking. The CDC classifies high-level binge drinking as consuming six or more standard drinks within an episode. Though, binge drinking as a whole is typically five or more drinks in a day for men and four for women. 

With this in mind, younger individuals are four times more likely to engage in high-level binge drinking with an energy drink and alcohol. Drinkers who do this report more injuries, unprotected sex, and driving drunk or with a driver who is drunk. 

How Energy Drinks and Alcohol Affect Young Americans

One might think that alcoholic beverages mixed with energy drinks only does harm to American adults. On the contrary, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports differently. According to NIAAA, underage drinking is a problem in the United States. For example, around 25% of 14 to 15-year-olds had at least one full drink in 2019. In the same year, Americans 12-20 drank beyond a couple of sips of alcohol in one sitting. 

Adding to this, the CDC writes about how mixing an energy drink with alcohol is particularly dangerous for American youth. A study focused on high schoolers in Michigan saw that they were engaging in underage drinking. Students who reported binge drinking were two times more likely to mix energy drinks with alcohol. Students who illegally drank alcohol without binge drinking were 18.2% likely to engage in this behavior. The statistic for binge drinking high schoolers was 49%. 

Drinking alcohol is more dangerous for young Americans than it is for adults. Research indicates that someone is more likely to develop an alcohol use disorder if they start drinking before the age of 15. Besides this, underage drinking can: 

  • Interfere with brain development 
  • Lead to school-related issues 
  • Lead to issues with law enforcement 
  • Increases chances of physical and sexual assault 
  • Causes hospitalizations 
  • May lead to death in the worst-case scenario 

Young Americans are more likely to binge drink when they combine alcohol and energy drinks. Thus, this combination is more dangerous than alcohol on its own. The majority of underage students who mixed caffeinated drinks with alcohol in the Michigan study consumed liquor. What makes this worse is that liquor often has a higher alcohol content than something like wine and beer. 

Worst-case scenarios can develop quickly in situations like this, leading to fatal drunk driving accidents. 

The Deceptive Marketing Behind Energy Drinks and Alcohol 

Furthermore, it’s more than speculation that alcohol and energy drinks are deceptive. Particularly, beverages that are marketed as alcohol and energy drinks. Four Loko is an energy drink and alcohol in a tall, colorful can. Their marketing team uses popular rappers, like Riff Raff, along with sexy images to convince consumers it’s fun and hip. What the true intention behind it is to attract a younger audience. 

In fact, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said on record that the design and marketing of this product appeal to younger customers. And he’s right. For instance, multiple colleges banned students from drinking Four Loko after several arrests and hospitalizations. Also, states began to ban Four Loko because of the dangers of alcohol and energy drinks. ABC News wrote a piece on how the state of Washington banned the malt beverage after the hospitalization of dozens of college students. 

Additionally, both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cracked down on alcoholic energy drinks. In late 2010, these governmental institutions sent out warning letters to the following companies: 

  • United Brands Co. – Joose and Max 
  • Charge Beverages Corporation – Core High Gravity, El Jefe, and Core Spiked 
  • Phusion Products LLC – Four Loko and Four Maxed 
  • New Century Brewing Company – Moonshot 

In these letters, they wrote that the combination of caffeine and alcohol was deceptively safe. Although quite unsafe, they were widely sold across the United States at that time. On top of this, they urged them to take action to protect consumers who lacked an understanding of how alcoholic energy drinks can mask feelings of intoxication. 

Phusion Products (aka Four Loko) responded by removing caffeine, guarana, and taurine from the formula. In doing so, it made its products safer for the public. Though, they’re still equivalent to five beers. 

Energy Drinks and Alcohol Combinations to Avoid

In short, people should avoid any combination of alcoholic drinks and stimulants. Though, some energy drinks in tandem with alcoholic beverages can leave one worse off than others. For instance, an alcoholic drink with a high level of alcohol will do a lot more damage than one with a lower level. The same can be said about energy drinks that contain high amounts of caffeine and other additives. 

Energy Drinks

So, the lesser of two evils would be a drink that has low levels of alcohol and caffeine. Something like green tea wine might be better than a strong alcoholic energy drink. Though, any drink that has alcohol and caffeine is dangerous. In the meantime, make sure to measure out each glass. The danger of drinks like Four Loko is that they come in a huge can. Consumers drink the entirety of it without realizing they’ve downed the equivalent of five beers or more. 

Here are examples of popular mixed drinks to stay away from: 

  • Spyke
  • Irish Coffee
  • Vodka and Red Bull 
  • Jäegerbombs 
  • White Russian 

All of these contain high levels of both caffeine and alcohol. On top of that, the sugar in these kinds of drinks can cover up the taste of alcohol. It’s a lot easier to drink beverages that don’t have any bite. If a person feels like they’re drinking soda or juice, they’re probably going to drink a lot more of it. 

At the end of the day, the best advice about drinking beverages like this is to stay hydrated. Drink one glass of water per standard drink. That way, it’s easier to stay hydrated and less drunk. Water helps rid the body of toxins. While it’s best to avoid drinking altogether, this can dilute the substances entering the body’s systems to some extent. 

Alternatives to Energy Drinks and Alcohol 

It’s no surprise that America has a drinking culture. Every movie, song, and show that glorifies American drinking further cements that Americans love alcohol. It’s easy to be a part of the herd and consume drinks like red bull and vodka. A person may rationalize the decision with low calories and an energy boost. Though, societal pressure to drink is the true culprit. 

While many opt for a drink with alcohol and energy drinks, try to go with a tasty mocktail instead. A mocktail is a drink that looks and tastes like a cocktail but isn’t. Think virgin piña coladas and virgin daiquiris. There are actually many mocktails out there that can convince the most experienced drinker that you’re imbibing at the bar. 

These drinks can boost energy and taste like a cocktail all at the same time: 

  • Mint Mojito Iced Coffee Mocktail 
  • Cold Brew Mai Tai Mocktail 
  • Red Bull and Sparkling Lime Water 
  • Caffeinated Tea Mocktail 

Otherwise, there is a wealth of mocktails without caffeine a bartender will be happy to mix up. A Shirley Temple tastes exactly like a cocktail devoid of the attached danger. Arguably the worst part of going out without drinking is getting asked about it. Although abstaining from drinking is something to be proud of, we’re well aware of societal pressure. 

Sana Lake Shows Members the Benefits of Ditching Energy Drinks and Alcohol 

There is so much more to life than drinking. Though, it’s tough to see that when you have an alcohol use disorder. Don’t be a part of the millions who have lost their lives to consumption. Contact us now to see the beauty in life without the impairment of alcohol. 


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? How Can You Beat it?

The American Family Physician writes that up to 6% of people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD). But, up to 20% of people have a mild form of it. SAD, or winter depression, can make a person who is normally content with their life spiral out of control. Thus, a person with a substance use disorder can be more at risk for a psychiatric disorder with the threat of SAD. 

What is seasonal affective disorder is imperative to know to mitigate the effects of winter depression. Knowing what it is can help those suffering from a substance use disorder know how to beat season affect disorder. Sana Lake Acute Detox can help.  

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder ?

You might be wondering what is seasonal affective disorder and can it affect me? SAD is a form of depression that occurs on a seasonal basis. It’s known as winter depression because it typically happens when it gets darker out quicker. Daylight hours shorten during fall and winter. That’s why SAD is commonly referred to as winter depression. 

On the other hand, some people experience it during summer months. This type of SAD is aptly referred to as summer-pattern SAD or summer depression. According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), SAD is identified as a Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Basics behind what is seasonal affective disorder: 

  • Occurs primarily in January and February in the United States 
  • Happens to around 5% of American adults 
  • It lasts around 40% of the year 
  • It’s linked to a biochemical imbalance 
  • Not every person suffering from SAD experiences symptoms every year 
  • It’s more common in people with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder 

Although the symptoms are similar to major depressive disorder, the treatment is different because of where it stems from. The APA writes that SAD partially stems from the fact that humans work on a biological clock, known as a circadian rhythm. The change in seasons and lack of sunlight can stress out their circadian rhythm. 

On the other hand, major depressive disorder doesn’t have a single cause. It can happen due to stressful events in life, a brain injury, or a chemical imbalance. People react to stress differently, just as SAD doesn’t affect all people. Though, both forms of depression look similar to each other. Being sad is a normal part of life, but it shouldn’t last for months, unhinge a person’s life, and come about seasonally like clockwork. Knowing the symptoms of SAD can help get diagnosed quicker. 

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder in Terms of Symptoms? 

When wondering about what is seasonal affective disorder in terms of symptoms, it’s similar to those of major depressive disorder. As mentioned before, the difference is that it lasts around four to five months out of the year. A person will be diagnosed with SAD if it occurs for over two years. Yet, it’s tough to pin down signs and symptoms of SAD because it doesn’t happen every year for some people. 

NIMH writes that the symptoms of summer-pattern SAD and winter-pattern SAD differ. They also write that the signs of this disorder are different per individual. Hence, it can be difficult for doctors to diagnose a patient with SAD. A report by NIMH writes that depression is often misdiagnosed. Around 70.6% of participants received the wrong diagnosis. 

There are tell-tale signs of SAD despite this: 

  • Hypersomnia (oversleeping) 
  • Craving carbs 
  • Overeating 
  • Weight gain 
  • Weight loss (more typical for summer depression)
  • Becoming excessively introverted 
  • Insomnia 
  • Anxiety 
  • Restlessness 
  • Increased agitation 

These symptoms can separate other mood disorders from SAD. Though, there is some overlap. The biggest indicator is when the mood change happens. Scientists believe that stressors that can lead to major depressive disorder may increase chances of SAD. This may be why there is a large overlap between the two. 

Symptoms of major depression and SAD include: 

  • Feeling sad almost all the time 
  • Lost interest in hobbies 
  • Wanting too overeat or to not eat at all 
  • Irregular sleep patterns 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Difficulty maintaining concentration 
  • Wanting to be dead 

It’s easy to downplay the danger of SAD. But suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in the United States in 2018. It takes the lead over homicides (48,344 deaths versus 18,830) and claimed 48,000 lives in 2018 alone. Undiagnosed SAD can lead to suicidal ideation, especially with a substance dependency. 

What Causes SAD Symptoms?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), scientists don’t understand what causes seasonal affective disorder in full. Scientists think that symptoms of this disorder come about because of low levels of the chemical, serotonin. Regular levels of sunlight supposedly regulate this brain chemical which makes people feel relaxed and content. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Another factor that leads to symptoms of SAD is too much melatonin. Melatonin is another brain chemical that tells the brain and body to relax. Though, its main role is letting the body know it’s time to go to bed. Human’s circadian rhythm revolves around the light-dark circle. The pineal gland produces melatonin when it’s dark out, which makes a person feel tired. 

Scientists also think a vitamin D deficiency can lead to SAD symptoms. NIMH states that serotonin regulation has to do with normal levels of vitamin D. The sun is a major source of this vitamin. A healthy diet and supplements provide it as well. 

Certain Areas Should Know What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder 

People should be aware of SAD if they live in a country farther away from the equator. For example, a person living in Alaska should worry more about SAD than a person living in Florida. The further north a person lives in Alaska, the darker it gets on a daily basis. A town in Alaska, called Barrow, experiences 67 days of straight darkness throughout the year. 

The Washington Post broke down 30 years of sunlight data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unsurprisingly, states closer to the equator like southern California, Arizona, and New Mexico had the most sunlight per day. on the other hand, northern states experienced less sunshine. 

People in these states should be more concerned about SAD than others: 

  • Maine 
  • Vermont 
  • New York 
  • New Hampshire 
  • Minnesota 
  • Michigan 
  • Wisconsin 
  • Pennsylvania 

Honorable mentions for lack of sunshine go to: 

  • Washington 
  • Idaho 
  • Montana 
  • North Dakota 
  • Ohio 

That said, SAD can affect anyone even if they live in a sunny state. A state’s landscape has to do with how much daylight it receives, too.  Areas where mountains overcast cities are at a disadvantage. The article notes that citizens on the coast will see more daylight than others. A vacation to a sunnier place, like Key West, isn’t a remedy for SAD. But it certainly couldn’t hurt. 

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder for Men Versus Women  

More women than men suffer from SAD. The journal, Archives of Women’s Mental Health, writes that women experience SAD differently. They were more likely to have a thyroid issue and suffer from mood swings. Also, they reported overeating more than men. Though, they also report that the symptoms were not too different in regards to either gender. 

How To Beat Season Affect Disorder

It can be tough to figure out how to beat season affect disorder alone. Unfortunately, a substance use disorder and SAD can make treatment more difficult. Luckily, most detox and treatment centers are well-versed in dealing with a dual diagnosis. A dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorder, is when a person suffers from a mental illness and substance use disorder simultaneously. 


Treating SAD without treating a substance use disorder can hinder recovery. That’s why detox is an important part of recovery. A person with this kind of dual diagnosis must go through a detox program before anything. Trained clinicians will help members purge the body of toxins from substance use. Then, they can look into treatment options. 

The Four Main Methods to Relieve SAD Symptoms 

  1. Talk therapy – This is also known as psychotherapy. There is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) specifically for SAD. NIMH writes that it, ” …is typically conducted in two weekly group sessions for 6 weeks and focuses on replacing negative thoughts related to the winter season (e.g., about the darkness of winter) with more positive thoughts.” CBT may be more effective in the long-term. 
  2. Antidepressants – Another name for antidepressants is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). They can help regulate an individual’s serotonin levels.
  3. Vitamin D – Using vitamin D for SAD has a checkered history. Yet, nutritional supplements may aid recovery. 
  4. Light therapy – This is a main form of treatment. Traditionally, people will use a light box, which is 20 times brighter than the sun. They will sit in front of it everyday for 30 to 45 minutes during fall to spring. Research indicates its best to do this first thing in the morning.  

A person with SAD might try one on its own or in tandem. People with a substance use disorder and SAD may find. combination of talk therapy and antidepressants to be helpful. They might even combine all four. Seeking a professional opinion is essential to recovery. They will be able to figure out the best method for long-lasting recovery. 

Sana Lake Shows Patients How To Beat Season Affect Disorder 

Sana Lake can help people with SAD and a substance use disorder in Missouri. We answer all the important questions like, what is seasonal affective disorder and how to beat season affect disorder with a substance use disorder. We use evidence-based programs in a scenic setting to provide the best care possible in the area. Contact us now to take the first step on the road to recovery. 


Blood Pressure

How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

High blood pressure can result from a variety of factors. But, does alcohol increase blood pressure? Yes, the more you drink, the higher your risk of developing high blood pressure. But how does alcohol increase blood pressure? 

In the U.S., high blood pressure is a common health problem. In fact, almost 75 million adults have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, it can lead to severe medical conditions such as heart failure, stroke, and heart attack. 

What is Blood Pressure?

Each heartbeat pumps blood into the arteries. Blood pressure is the force of this blood pushing against arterial walls. Blood pressure is at it’s highest when your heartbeats. This pressure is known as your systolic pressure and is the first recorded number. Your blood pressure is at it’s lowest in between beats and is the diastolic number. 

Factors of High Blood Pressure

Some critical blood pressure thresholds include:

  • Normal – Less than 120/80 mmHg
  • Prehypertension – Between 120/80 and 129/89 mmHg
  • Stage 1 Hypertension – Between 130/80 and 139/89 mmHg
  • Stage 2 Hypertension – 140/90 mmHg and higher
  • Hypertension crisis – over 180/120 mmHg

High blood pressure is when your blood pressure stays elevated longer than usual. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure makes the heart beat harder. Over time, this can lead to kidney disease, stroke, and heart attack.

Causes of High Blood Pressure: Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Family history and genetics increase your risk of hypertension. But your lifestyle and behaviors can also increase your risk. However, high blood pressure is a silent killer because of the lack of symptoms.

Lifestyle factors that increase your risk may include:

  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Being overweight
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Diabetes
  • Smoking
  • Substance Use Disorder (SUD), particularly Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)

Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Anyone can develop high blood pressure. But, certain factors can increase your risk, such as drinking alcohol. Just one alcoholic drink can increase blood pressure, although it typically corrects itself in 2 hours. 

Factors of High Blood Pressure: How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure? 

Blood pressure is also indirectly affected by alcohol. This effect is because alcohol affects the entire body, which affects blood pressure. These effects include:

  • Nervous system – Although little is known about the effects of alcohol on the nervous system, alcohol can affect nerves throughout the body. And, the nervous system helps control blood pressure.
  • Change in pressure receptors – Baroreceptors sense blood pressure and make adjustments when needed. Alcohol affects these receptors and increases blood pressure. 
  • Increases cortisol – Cortisol, a stress hormone, can raise blood pressure. Alcohol increases cortisol production, therefore increasing blood pressure. 
  • Increases calcium levels – Alcohol increases calcium amounts in the muscles that line arteries. As a result, the arteries become constricted, which elevates blood pressure.
  • Weight – Blood pressure increases if you are overweight. Alcohol is empty calories that, over time, cause weight gain and increases blood pressure. 

One factor alone does not cause high blood pressure. Instead, it is a combination of factors that together leads to high blood pressure.

High Blood Pressure: Does Beer Raise Blood Pressure?

Heavy and regular consumption of alcohol can increase blood pressure. For this reason, it’s crucial to drink in moderation. Furthermore, it can lead to irregular heartbeats, stroke, and heart failure. 

Drinking in moderation means two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A standard drink is:

  • 12 oz beer
  • 4 oz glass of wine
  • 1.5 oz of 80-proof liquor
  • 1 oz of 100-proof liquor

Binge Drinking: Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

Does alcohol increase blood pressure? Yes. In addition, drinking over several days, binge drinking, and long-term heavy drinking can cause chronic hypertension, which is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. 

Furthermore, binge drinking can lead to atherosclerosis. This condition is the narrowing and hardening of arteries, which increases blood pressure. Between the increase in sugar from binge drinking and the constant rise in blood pressure, it puts people in danger of a stroke or heart attack.

Explaining the Phases of Alcoholism and How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

There are five phases to explain alcoholism and high blood pressure. They include:

  • Phase 1: Alcohol does lead to an increase in blood pressure. The effects of alcohol on blood pressure are independent of age, race, and sex.
  • Phase 2: Abstaining from alcohol will reduce both systolic and diastolic numbers.
  • Phase 3: Resuming the consumption of alcohol increases blood pressure again.
  • Phase 4: The continuous rise in blood pressure can lead to liver damage.
  • Phase 5: The onset of end-stage liver disease is when blood pressure is typically it’s highest.

Should You Drink With High Blood Pressure?

If you have high blood pressure, you should avoid drinking alcohol. Doctors often recommend exercise and a healthy diet for those with high blood pressure. And part of a healthy diet is avoiding alcohol. 

What is Blood Pressure

Although alcohol does contribute to high blood pressure, the American Heart Association (AHA) says those with hypertension should drink in moderation. However, the less you drink, the better it is. Furthermore, The AHA recommendations may not work for everyone, so it’s crucial to talk to your doctor.

Low Blood Pressure and Drinking Alcohol

If you have low blood pressure, does alcohol increase blood pressure? You should never use alcohol to treat low blood pressure. In fact, people with low blood pressure can still raise blood pressure when drinking alcohol.

Can Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder Reverse High Blood Pressure?

Alcohol use disorder is treatable but is it possible to reverse alcohol-induced high blood pressure?

Although there are multiple ways to treat alcohol-related high blood pressure, the most effective is to quit drinking. But, this lifestyle change isn’t easy. Above all, you are not alone. Our therapists at Sana Lake walk with you through our comprehensive, holistic addiction treatment.

It’s More than Just Treating Alcohol Use Disorder

Although treatment for alcohol use disorder will help normalize blood pressure, it takes more than just addiction treatment. A healthy lifestyle is required for normal blood pressure. So, regular exercise and physical activity can go a long way to healing your body.

Instead of sitting in front of the tv with a beer, take a walk, a bike ride, or play sports with friends. A healthy diet goes hand-in-hand with exercise. Throw out the junk food and replace it with fruits and vegetables. 

The healthier you become, the higher your motivation to maintain Recovery for Life. 

How Does Stress and How Does Alcohol Increase Blood Pressure?

A huge part of a healthy lifestyle is managing stress. Stress especially plays a role in high blood pressure. When stress and alcohol use disorder are combined, you are at a greater risk of high blood pressure.

In treatment for alcohol use disorder, you will learn coping skills to manage stress. Stress management not only lowers blood pressure but also encourages lasting recovery. 

What to Expect in Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Misusing alcohol is a serious problem that affects your health and quality of life. We have focused on how alcohol increases blood pressure, but there is more. Alcohol also causes other adverse effects, such as work and relationship problems. 

High Blood Pressure

Depending on the severity of your alcohol use disorder and other factors, inpatient treatment is highly recommended. Even though blood pressure typically returns to normal when you stop drinking, it can sometimes increase. 

For this reason, medical detox and inpatient treatment provide 24-hour supervision. In detox, this supervision can manage withdrawal symptoms as they begin. At the same time, inpatient addiction programs offer safety and supervision to prevent the recurrence of use. 

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of alcohol use disorder can prevent you from having to ask, “Does alcohol increase blood pressure?”

  • Drinking more than intended
  • Unable to stop drinking
  • Drinking to cope with mental and physical issues
  • Blacking out from drinking
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Relationship issues
  • Job loss because of alcohol use
  • Legal troubles such as a DUI

Inpatient Treatment at Sana Lake

Besides inpatient treatment providing a safe environment free from drugs and alcohol, it also eliminates distractions and fears that interfere with recovery. Furthermore, it can be challenging to find support in recovery. Maybe you pushed away your family and healthy friends when they didn’t accept your addiction. But, group therapy proves you are not alone in recovery. 

Inpatient treatment gives members the chance to receive and provide support and guidance to motivate and encourage Recovery for Life. Our inpatient program offers individualized treatment plans that include individual and group traditional and holistic therapies. Our therapies focus on ensuring members feel heard and understood as well as recover from past traumas. 

Improve Your Life and Health at Sana Lake Recovery

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol use disorder, there is hope. You deserve to be happy and healthy while living your best life. Contact us today, and start your recovery journey.


Is Legalized Drugs a Good Thing?

Legalized Drugs: How Will Legal Mushrooms and Marijuana Affect Addiction Rates?

The 2020 election proved voters wanted to ease restrictions on recreational and medicinal drug use. With many people asking, is marijuana going to be legalized? Well, on November 3rd, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota answered this question. They made legal weed news joining 11 other states passing legalized drugs. 

Voters in Oregon also approved two landmark measures – one allowing legal mushrooms and another decriminalizes small amounts of illicit drugs. Measure 109 allows the use of psilocybin or magic mushrooms in therapeutic settings. While Measure 110 makes small amounts of certain drugs a civil violation with a $100 fine. 

Is Legalized Drugs a Good Thing?

Just as many people ask, is marijuana going to be legalized, many people ask why have legalized drugs. Both sides of the issue continue making legal weed news with good arguments—for example, the effect of legalized drugs on addiction and incarceration rates. However, the money states can make off legalized drugs is a great selling point. 

Arguments Against Is Marijuana Going to be Legalized

The anti-side of legalized drugs argues that using marijuana or cannabis regularly can lead to addiction. Drug addiction is a major problem in America. And many people worry legalizing marijuana will worsen addiction rates. 

Arguments against legalizing recreational marijuana include:

  • Marijuana is addictive and changes the natural chemical makeup of the brain. These changes affect the body’s physiological functions. 
  • When more people use marijuana, the higher the rates of cannabis use disorder. 
  • Although not as physically dangerous as other drugs, marijuana can cause a decrease cognitive skills and motivation. These effects can interfere with memory, opportunities, and performance. 
  • Making marijuana as socially acceptable as alcohol and tobacco can lead to unpredictable consequences.
  • Legalizing marijuana can cause the youth to view it as harmless. 
  • Psychiatric issues can be challenging to diagnose in those who use cannabis. 

Legal Weed News Argues For, Is Marijuana Going to be Legalized

In 2012, Colorado and Washington legalized recreational marijuana. Since legalization, Colorado has collected over $1.2 billion in taxes and fees. Last year alone, legalized drugs brought in over $302 million. However, Washington blew them out of the water collecting $395.5 million last year. 

When the answer is yes when asking is marijuana going to be legalized, a boom in local economies happens. More people will open independent dispensaries and grow shops increasing jobs. This increase in jobs benefits everyone – individuals, businesses, and governments.

Legalized Drugs and Teen Addiction Rates

Arguments for legalizing recreational marijuana include:

  • Marijuana is physically less harmful than alcohol.
  • Most individuals incarcerated for cannabis are otherwise law-abiding citizens.
  • Attempts at controlling the supply of marijuana with incarceration have failed.
  • Just as with tobacco use, universal access to education and treatment can decrease the demand.
  • Marijuana is not a gateway drug – marijuana use doesn’t typically lead to using other drugs.
  • Tax money from cannabis can fund prevention programs.
  • Government regulation of legalized drugs offers a safer and purer substance, unlike buying illicit drugs.

Legalized Drugs and Addiction Rates

Some people believe that legalized drugs will lead to higher addiction rates. But, the statistics don’t support this belief. Furthermore, as people understand addiction more, the opinion is changing. For example, addiction is seen as a mental health disorder and not a criminal one. 

In 2001 the world was watching as Portugal made legal weed news and legalized drugs. And now, over a decade later, drug use has not gone up. However, arrests, incarceration, and overdose rates have all gone down. 

For example:

  • Portugal’s drug use rates are far below European and U.S. rates
  • From 1998 to 2011, people in addiction treatment increased by over 60 percent
  • Overdoses dropped from 80 in 2001 to only 16 in 2012.

Legalized Drugs and Teen Addiction Rates

In Colorado, one benefit of legalized drugs is their impact on teen marijuana use. A federal survey shows since legalizing recreational marijuana, teen marijuana use has dropped. 

The number of high school students who used marijuana between 2011 and 2017 dropped 11 percent. At the same time, teens who tried marijuana also dropped 11 percent. One reason may be legalized drugs, and their restrictions make it difficult for teens to obtain marijuana. 

Legal Weed News and Opioid Use

Between 2000 and 2016, 4027 people in Colorado suffered fatal opioid overdoses, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. However, their study in 2017 found opioid-related deaths fell more than 6 percent. So, these stats show that legalized drugs have positive impacts on opioid use rates. 

Legal Weed News, Legalized Drugs, and Incarceration

The term “decriminalization” is thrown around a lot lately when discussing legalized drugs, specifically cannabis. However, decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Simply put, decriminalization of marijuana simply reduces the consequences of breaking some marijuana laws. 

Legalized Drugs

Most states which have decriminalized marijuana, for example, don’t press criminal charges for small amounts of legalized drugs. For example, getting caught with typically less than an ounce will not result in jail time or a criminal record. However, like an open container violation, a fine may be issued.

Legal Weed News: Colorado Crime Rates After Legalized Drugs

It’s been 8 years since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use. And, as you would expect, marijuana arrests plummeted. For example, between 2012 and 2017, marijuana arrests dropped 56 percent. 

However, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations’ latest annual report, all forms of violent crimes have been steadily rising over 5 years. But, Gov. Hickenlooper isn’t ready to blame legalized drugs just yet. Some people believe the rise in crime is because of an increase in the transient population.

Medical Cannabis and Legalized Drugs

The medical benefits of cannabis have been studied and debated for decades. THC, the main component of cannabis, does have medical benefits. In fact, there are FDA-approved drugs that contain THC, such as Marinol and Cesamet. 

Although there are arguments against medical cannabis, there are so many personal stories of how medical cannabis helped physically and mentally. But, above all, it has helped some people recover from prescription drug addictions. 

Legal Mushrooms and Mental Health

The main ingredient in several types of psychoactive mushrooms is psilocybin. It is commonly homegrown or found in the wild while being sold dried or fresh. Scientists and mental health professionals consider psilocybin a promising treatment in a variety of psychiatric diagnoses. 

Like other psychedelics, legal mushrooms cause profound consciousness and perception changes. The effects of legal mushrooms typically last 4 to 6 hours. But, the peak effects of legal mushrooms occurs 2 to 3 hours after ingestion. 

The effects of legal mushrooms include:

  • Sensory enhancement
  • Seeing objects that appear to be floating or moving
  • Unusual thoughts and speech
  • Personal insight and reflection
  • An excited mood

However, legal mushrooms can overwhelming or mentally jarring. But, taken in a therapeutic setting can lead to deeply meaningful and positive life-changing experiences. Dozens of studies are showing significant benefits in treating the following disorders with legal mushrooms. 

  • Cluster headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

Are Legal Mushrooms Addictive?

Legal mushrooms are not considered addictive nor cause compulsive use. Because the experience is so intense, most people limit their use of legal mushrooms. Besides, the body quickly builds a tolerance to psilocybin. 

This tolerance leads to needing more for the same effect. But, using legal mushrooms repeatedly for a few days actually takes away any effects from legal mushrooms. Cross-tolerance occurs specifically with legal mushrooms and LSD. Cross-tolerance means if you take LSD one day and legal mushrooms the next, the legal mushrooms will have no effect. 

Treatment Centers Respond to Legalized Drugs

Although legalized drugs like marijuana are considered organic, harmless, and safe, they can be addictive.  The NIDA suggests around 9 percent of those who misuse marijuana will develop a marijuana addiction. But, if you start using as a teen, that rate goes up to 17 percent. 

Although marijuana isn’t physically addictive like heroin or alcohol, it can be psychologically addictive. Because most people favor legalized drugs, there is a misconception about addiction and the need for marijuana addiction treatment. 

Legalized Drugs and Treatment at Sana Lake Recovery Center

At Sana Lake, we understand that the availability of legalized drugs can lead to addiction. So, if you find yourself struggling with a marijuana use disorder, we have a personalized program to help. Our comprehensive recovery approach sets our members up to achieve Recovery for Life. 

From traditional to holistic therapies, treatment may include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Co-occurring disorder treatment
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Holistic therapies – yoga, meditation, mindfulness, nutrition, journaling

Your Recovery for Life Starts Today!

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction or mental health disorders, it’s time to get help. From medical detox through our aftercare programs, our doctors and therapists are with you each step. Contact us today to find out more. 


What is the Link Between Sexual Abuse and Addiction?

What is the Link Between Sexual Abuse and Addiction?

In the United States, one in five women and one in thirty-eight men have been sexually abused. Furthermore, before the age of 18, one in four girls will be sexually abused. The emotional pain often leads to the co-occurrence of sexual abuse and addiction. But, seeking sexual abuse treatment can prevent the added struggles of addiction.

Sexual abuse is a very traumatic experience. In fact, many survivors of sexual abuse also have PTSD. But, many people try to hide their struggles, afraid of what others might think. Instead of getting sexual abuse treatment, they turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. 

Without sexual abuse treatment, the trauma of the abuse can be impossible to handle. As a result, people self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to cope with their feelings. However, occasional use can quickly turn to everyday use and, eventually, addiction. 

What is the Link Between Sexual Abuse and Addiction?

If you are struggling with sexual abuse and addiction, your sexual abuse treatment should co-occur with addiction treatment. If you only seek addiction treatment, then the real source of your addiction is not being treated. 

A comprehensive dual-diagnosis treatment center, such as Sana Lake, treats your struggles with sexual abuse and addiction simultaneously. 

How is the Trauma of Sexual Abuse and Addiction Linked?

Traditional substance use disorder treatment isn’t always effective with trauma survivors. But, to understand why it’s not, you must understand the link between sexual abuse and addiction. 

Both sexual abuse and addiction can have vague starting and stopping points. Unfortunately, children are at high risk for physical and sexual abuse, especially if they have parents struggling with addiction. 

Drugs and alcohol impair judgment, which interferes with the daily care and support of children. Even if the parent isn’t abusing the child, the lack of supervision due to addiction can leave them vulnerable to other adults. 

Sexual abuse doesn’t mean that a child will turn to drugs and alcohol right away. And they may never use drugs and alcohol. But, the trauma of sexual abuse doesn’t go away. So a person may turn to drugs years later when the emotional pain becomes too much. 

Children who watch their parents use drugs and alcohol may also use drugs and alcohol later. For some, this use can turn into an addiction. Why? Because using drugs and alcohol changes the chemical makeup in the brain and body, leading to dependency and addiction.

Why Do Survivors of Sexual Abuse Turn to Drugs and Alcohol?

Survivors of sexual abuse often feel a great deal of guilt and shame. And many times, they don’t have anyone to talk to. Some survivors feel guilty or responsible for their experience. These thoughts and feelings can be challenging to cope with. 

The shame of sexual abuse often leads to addiction.

Sexual abuse survivors want to escape their painful memories. They don’t want to think about the pain and fear of the trauma. So, they self-medicate. Drugs or alcohol give them temporary relief from traumatic thoughts and feelings. 

However, self-medicating can have negative consequences, including addiction. Often, a person doesn’t even realize they are becoming dependent on the substance. 

In many cases, using drugs or alcohol is the only way to make them feel good about themselves. In other cases, however, survivors use drugs and alcohol as a form of self-harm and punishment. 

Sexual abuse and addiction often co-occur for the following reasons.

  • To reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • To cope and escape from the traumatic memories. 
  • To improve self-esteem.
  • To engage in the form of controlled self-harm.
  • To self-medicate instead of seeking sexual abuse treatment. 

Women, Sexual Abuse and Addiction

Ninety-one percent of sexual assault survivors are female. Before the age of 18, one in 4 girls will be survivors of sexual abuse. As a result, women are at a higher risk of addiction in response to the trauma. 

The long-term effects of sexual abuse on women include:

  • 94% of women experience PTSD in the two weeks following the abuse
  • 30% of women still have PTSD 9 months later
  • 33% of women consider suicide
  • 13% of women attempt suicide

Women who experience sexual abuse and addiction are:

  • Three times more likely to use marijuana.
  • Six times more likely to use cocaine.
  • Ten times more likely to use other drugs.

Men, Sexual Abuse and Addiction

While sexual abuse most commonly happens to females, it does also happen to males. However, males are less likely to report acts of sexual abuse. 

Beyond the challenges females face, additional challenges stop males from reporting the abuse. For instance, there are certain attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity. 

Some men who have been survivors of sexual abuse believe they should have been able to prevent the assault. And like women, men may also feel guilty or feel like they asked for it. 

Although the rate of sexual abuse and addiction is higher in women, male survivors also struggle with co-occurring sexual abuse and addiction. Therefore, seeking sexual abuse treatment can minimize the risk of addiction and help you heal from the trauma of sexual abuse. 

Teen Abused Sex: Sexual Abuse and Addiction

While both males and females struggle with teen abused sex, it is more common in females. The trauma of teen abused sex can lead to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. The use of substances is a way to escape the memory of teen abused sex temporarily. 

Adults who faced teen abused sex are 1.5 times more likely to misuse substances such as drugs and alcohol. Studies by the NIH also indicate drug use is more common than alcohol use in victims of teen abused sex. 

Sexual abuse leaves not only physical scars but also emotional ones. But, self-medicating only creates more problems. If you know a teen who struggles with sexual abuse and addiction, it’s important to urge them to seek sexual abuse treatment. 

What to Do If You Suspect Sexual Abuse

While addiction is typically linked to past sexual abuse, it’s important to emphasize this: if you think someone is being abused in any form, it’s crucial to urge them to seek help. You can help your loved ones by giving them options. Encourage them to call the police or go to the hospital. You can even provide them with the number to the National Sexual Assault Hotline. 

It’s never okay to turn a blind eye to someone being abused. It can be awkward to interfere, but the alternative is much worse. If you don’t know how to help, there are also resources to help you help them. If the situation involves a child, getting child protective services involved is best. 

How Can You Talk to a Loved One Struggling with Sexual Abuse and Addiction

It can be difficult knowing how to talk to a survivor of sexual abuse, whether it’s been ten months or ten years. Besides encouraging them to seek sexual abuse treatment, being an ear for them to talk to and a shoulder to lean on can be valuable. 

There are three primary ways to help a loved one whose been a victim of traumatic abuse. 

Know the available resources. 

Whether you have the number for a sexual abuse hotline or talking with treatment professionals, it’s vital to do your research. Although you may not share all your research with the survivor, it’s essential to understand what they’re going through. The research can help you walk them through the recovery process. 

Remember, recovery is a process. 

Working through the trauma of sexual abuse and addiction is a process. Furthermore, survivors will not be healed overnight. The traumatic memories won’t disappear, nor will the urges to self-medicate. Remind them recovery and healing is a personal journey and doesn’t have a timeline.

Make regular check-ins.

Regular check-ins will be different for everyone. For some, it may be a daily call of encouragement. While for others, it might be a weekly visit. Whatever your check-ins look like, make sure your loved one knows you love and support them. 

However, if your loved one is in sexual abuse treatment, their communication may be limited. Be sure to ask about the center’s guidelines, so you don’t interfere with treatment and recovery.

Phrases to Support Loved Ones Struggling with Sexual Abuse and Addiction

I’m sorry this happened. By acknowledging the trauma of sexual abuse, it shows empathy. It also shows you’re glad the loved one trusts you. 

It’s not your fault. Survivors of sexual abuse often blame themselves. For this reason, it’s comforting to remind them it’s not their fault, and they did nothing wrong.

You are not alone. Being there for your loved ones can encourage them to work through their memories. When survivors have a trusted person to talk to can be valuable in healing. However, you should also encourage them to speak to a professional. 

I believe you. When your loved one shares their story with you, don’t question your loved ones’ memories or press for more details. These actions show you believe them and make them feel comfortable and safe. 

Mental Health Issues from Sexual Abuse and Addiction

After sexual abuse, survivors may feel like their body isn’t their own. They often feel shame, guilt, and terror. They may also blame themselves for the abuse. 

Due to the trauma and emotions of sexual abuse, survivors often struggle with mental health issues and addiction. Sexual abuse and addiction may lead to the following mental health issues. 

  • Depression: Sexual abuse is often brutal to cope with. It can create feelings of hopelessness or despair. It may also lower one’s sense of self-worth. The symptoms of depression may be mild, or they can be intense and long-lasting.
  • Anxiety: Sexual abuse can also cause severe anxiety and panic attacks. Survivors may fear the sexual abuse could happen again. They may also develop agoraphobia and become frightened to leave their homes. 
  • Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD): Survivors of sexual abuse may have intense memories of the abuse. In some cases, flashbacks may be so disruptive they cause a survivor to lose track of surroundings. 

When a person struggles with co-occurring trauma and addiction, it’s crucial to treat both conditions simultaneously. If you only treat the addiction and not heal from sexual abuse, the chances of using again are high. Both seeking sexual abuse treatment that also treats addiction can increase Recovery for Life.

Sexual Abuse Treatment at Sana Lake

At Sana Lake Recovery Center, our goal is to treat your addiction and heal past traumas that lead to addiction. Survivors of sexual abuse have a tough road to recovery. Our caring and compassionate therapists use holistic and trauma-based therapies to heal at your own pace. 

If you or a loved one struggles with sexual abuse and addiction, it’s time to get help. To find out more about sexual abuse treatment, contact us today.


Can I Get an Implant for Opiate Addiction?

Can I Get an Implant for Opiate Addiction?

In 2018,  there were 67,367 fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. Nearly 70 percent of the fatalities involved opiates. But, advances in the fight against addiction may provide you with an implant for opiate addiction. 

If you struggle with substance use disorder (SUD), you know the lure of prescription opiates and heroin. Opiates reduce pain and have effects similar to morphine. Examples of prescription opiates include Vicodin. Percocet and OxyContin. 

Even though opiates can make you feel good, they also can be the biggest struggle of your life. Opiates and other drugs destroy relationships and careers. And even with all the personal devastation it causes, opioids can be challenging to stop using. An implant for drug addiction may be the answer to Recovery for Life. 

How Did the Opioid Epidemic Start?

Opioid Epidemic

The opioid crisis in America has devastating effects on families. In 2019 there were 130 opioid-related deaths every day. Prescription opioids hit the market in the 1990s. And doctors started prescribing them without knowledge of their effects. 

Soon after, many Americans were struggling with opioid use disorder. The struggle is still a real problem today with people addicted to heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids. For instance, in 2017, opioids contributed to 1.7 million people struggling with addiction. 

Is There an Implant for Addiction?

Although medications such as Naltrexone treat opiate addiction, they require you to take medicine every day. This can be difficult for many people struggling with substance use disorder. 

But, in 2016, the FDA approved a subdermal implant for opiate addiction. Probuphine is metal rods implanted under the upper arm’s skin that delivers low dose buprenorphine over six months. 

Most recently, the FDA approved trials of a brain implant for drug addiction. Using Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS), a battery-powered chip emits electrical impulses to fight drug cravings. But, just how safe and effective is an implant for opiate addiction?

What is a Naltrexone Implant for Opiate Addiction?

Probuphine is the first FDA approved implant for opiate addiction. This temporary implant for addiction eases the worries of losing your medication, having it stolen, and forgetting to take it. 

Can I Get an Implant for Opiate Addiction?

However, this implant for drug addiction is not for those new to recovery. The Naltrexone implant for opiate addiction is for those who are clinically stable on low-to-moderate doses in a medication-assisted program (MAT). 

The implant for opiate addiction is four small rods inserted under the skin of the arm. Each rod is about the size of a matchstick and releases medication at a steady rate. A significant benefit of this implant for drug addiction is it lasts up to six months. 

The implant for opiate addiction can be prescribed twice, once in each arm. After the second round of the implant for addiction, the pre-implant doses of Naltrexone can resume.

Insertion and Removal of Naltrexone Implant for Opiate Addiction

Because Probuphine is an implant for addiction, it has to be inserted under the skin via a minor surgical procedure. Trained professionals do the procedure in a sterile environment. 

Providers, including medical staff and healthcare personnel, attend live training on insertion and removal of the implant for addiction. The FDA utilizes a step-by-step guide for the procedure. After inserting the implant for drug addiction, it’s crucial to follow all doctor directions to prevent infection.

Side Effects of Naltrexone Implant for Drug Addiction

The Naltrexone implant for drug addiction is typically well-tolerated. However, some side effects have been reported.

Common side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Implant site pain or itching
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Back pain
  • Tooth pain
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Depression

Uncommon but serious side effects include:

  • Opioid withdrawal
  • Allergic reaction
  • Infection
  • Liver injury
  • Low blood pressure

Cost of the Naltrexone Implant for Drug Addiction

The four rods of the implant for drug addiction contain 74.2 mg of medication. Each one of the four rods costs almost $1500. As a result, the typically 6-month course of the Naltrexone implant for drug addiction costs about $6000.

Deep Brain Stimulation: Implant for Opiate Addiction

Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) involves implanting electrodes in the brain. These electrodes provide continuous electrical stimulation to specific areas of the brain. This stimulation allows for the altering of brain activity. 

Could an implant for opiate addiction be the answer to fighting addiction?

DBS is very successful in treating many disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, OCD, and chronic pain. It can change the level of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a huge factor in addiction. As a result, DBS can curb opiate cravings encouraging Recovery for Life. 

Pros of a Brain Implant for Drug Addiction

  • With an implant for drug addiction, there is no worry about daily pills or injections. You can’t forget to take it. Nor is there a risk of having your medication stolen or lost. 
  • Because of the constant release, an implant for addiction is effective in managing withdrawal symptoms. It also lowers the risk of recurrence of use. 
  • The use of Probuphine lowers the chance of selling your meds on the street. 
  • An implant for addiction lowers the risk of children or pets getting into your medication.
  • The implant removes the daily choice between taking buprenorphine or using opiates. 
  • This implant could be an excellent option for people in prison.

Cons of a Brain Implant for Drug Addiction

  • As with most medications and procedures, the implant for addiction includes health risks. These risks can include damage to nerves or blood vessels and, specifically, an embolism.
  • Medical and addiction professionals show concern that using an implant for addiction will neglect therapy and check-ups. Although they have a 6-month “cure” for addiction in their arm, therapy is still vital to recovery.
  • Medical professionals must be specialty training to insert the implant for addiction. However, if the trained doctor prefers a surgeon to do the implant, both doctor and surgeon must be present. Will insurance cover both professionals? On top of that, the procedure must be done twice – once for insertion and once for removal.

First U.S. Trials of Brain Implants for Drug Addiction

The first U.S. trial of the brain implant for drug addiction began in November 2019. Gerod Buckhalter, 33, has struggled with addiction for over a decade. With multiple overdoses and recurrences of use, he was ready for the chance of Recovery for Life. 

In short, DBS starts with a series of brain scans. Then surgeons make a small hole in the skull. They insert a 1 mm electrode in the area of the brain that regulates self-control and addiction. After, the patient is monitored for two years. 

Although this is the first brain implant for drug addiction, DBS is used for multiple conditions. In fact, over 180,000 people have brain implants. 

Does an Implant for Opiate Addiction Work?

Published human experiences with the implant for addiction is limited to promising case studies that weren’t controlled. But, most animal studies have shown promising results. Most animal studies typically focus on brain stimulation during active addiction. For this reason, more data is needed on the effects of withdrawal symptoms in humans.

The Opioid Crisis in Missouri: The Need for an Implant for Addiction

Deaths from opioid overdoses are steadily increasing in Missouri. The devastating misuse of opiates places a huge burden on families, communities, and healthcare systems. In 2018, 1 in 56 deaths in Missouri were due to an opioid overdose. That means 1,132 people died in 2018, which is up from 951 deaths in 2017. 

So, when will people struggling with opioid addiction have access to the implant for addiction? It may still be years before the implant for opioid addiction is available for treatment. It is still in the trial phase here in the U.S. 

In addition, the cost of DBS to insert the implant for addiction can cost up to $100,000. The high-tech nature of an implant for opiate addiction is a disadvantage. But, for many who have tried everything to beat their addiction, it can be worth it. 

Comprehensive Treatment Options for Opioid Addiction

The implant for opiate addiction can help maintain Recovery for Life. However, it isn’t a cure and should be used with a comprehensive treatment program. A combination of comprehensive treatment and an implant for opiate addiction offers a greater chance of beating your addiction.

Treatment programs at Sana Lake include:

  • Medical detox
  • Inpatient treatment
  • Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)
  • Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
  • Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
  • Transitional housing

What many people don’t realize is addiction is also a mental health disorder. For this reason, individual and group therapies can be beneficial. Therapies help change your behaviors and attitude surrounding addiction, which increases the chances of Recovery for Life. 

Therapies offered at Sana Lake include:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Get the Help You Deserve at Sana Lake Recovery

If you or a loved one struggles with substance use disorder, we can help you overcome the physical and mental issues of addiction. You may feel like you deserve to struggle with addiction, but we believe you deserve to enjoy a life free from addiction and full of happiness. Contact us to find out more.