psychological dependence

What is the Difference Between Physical Dependence and Psychological Dependence

The difference between physical dependence versus psychological dependence is physical dependence affects your body and psychological dependence affects your behavior.

Depending on the addiction, it was previously thought to be either one or the other. In actuality, addiction is both physical and psychological. Here at Sana Lake, we have a great detox program that will help you and your body recover physically and psychologically.

Yes, there is a difference between physical dependence versus psychological dependence.  Physical dependence is considered tolerance and withdrawal. Psychological dependence is the dependence on the drugs or the substance of choice.

Physical Dependence

Physical addiction dependence versus psychological addiction dependence has some clear distinctions.  Physical addiction manifests itself in a physical way affecting the body. Physical addiction dependency is chemical level changes in the brain that are changed by the addictive chemicals in the drugs.  In time, drugs change the chemistry of the brain.

Physical addictive dependence can include withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Lack of sleep
  • Gastro-Abdominal issues
  • Trembling
  • Seizures


Depression is a symptom of withdrawal.  Depression or a doubtful attitude can be problematic when trying to go to recovery to get help.  Having a moody disposition is also a symptom of withdrawal. This is a physical common addictive dependency versus a psychological dependency.


Angry outbursts are another symptom of a physical addictive dependency versus psychological addictive dependency. Angry outbursts can be caused by frustration when the person is feeling helpless and they feel the substance they are on is too strong to overcome. The user would need to get professional help to deal with sobriety and help with the angry outbursts.

Lack of sleep

Insomnia or lack of sleep is another physical addictive dependency attribute versus the psychological dependency attribute. Insomnia can lead to other health problems. Sleep is important to maintain a healthy life.

Gastro-abdominal issues

In physical dependence, gastro-abdominal issues can occur. Constipation and diarrhea are two effects that physically manifest themselves. Having diarrhea can cause dehydration which can lead to other health problems.


When being asked, the difference between physical dependence versus psychological dependence, trembling might come up as a symptom of physical dependence.  Trembling is uncontrolled shaking. One cause of trembling is substance abuse. This is a physical addictive dependence attribute.  


Seizures are a physical dependence withdrawal symptom.  If you or a loved one are having seizures, seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Seizures are sudden and uncontrolled actions disturbing the brain wave pattern.

Even less problematic discomforts, such as sweating and teary eyes, are both attributes of physical addictive dependence versus psychological addictive dependence.

It was once imagined in the community that substances like marijuana or nicotine were not physically addictive. That thought process was because there were no withdrawal symptoms. This is just not the case. Symptoms like lethargy, gloominess, fits of anger, trouble sleeping and difficulty eating patterns are all real symptoms. They are all symptoms of withdrawal and associated with these substances.  

Psychological Dependence

Psychological dependence versus physical dependence is the way one behaves.  Some psychological dependencies are:

  • Not capable of stopping drug usage
  • Abusing drugs even when health problems arise
  • Using narcotics to deal with life’s problems
  • Obsession
  • Taking a gamble
  • Taking larger doses

Not Capable of Stopping Drug Usage

Not being able to stop drug usage is a common symptom of psychological dependency versus physical dependency. This is a behavior that is symptomatic of psychological dependency. You and your body are dependent on that substance.

Abusing Drugs Even When Health Problems Arise

The inability to stop using drugs even after health problems arise is another symptom of psychological dependency versus physical dependency. Here at Sana Lake, we offer several programs that can help each patient individually. One such program is our Partial Hospitalization program.

Using Narcotics to Cope With Life’s Problems

When someone uses narcotics to cope with life’s problems, it is a symptom of psychological dependence rather than physical dependence. When someone is using narcotics to deal with life’s general ups and downs there is a dependency on that drug. This proves to be an unhealthy relationship between the substance and the person.  


Obsession is a form of psychological dependency.  Obsession is when someone is infatuated with the substance they are using.  In this situation, the only thing that matters is getting the substance and using the substance.  This can lead a person to do things they would not normally do.

Taking a Gamble

Drug use can make you take a gamble in life’s decisions. This is a symptom of psychological dependency versus physical dependency. Taking a gamble means doing things that you would not normally do. These risks can include trading sexual favors for the substance and even stealing to get your substance.  

Taking Larger Doses

Taking larger doses of a drug or substance is an effect of psychological dependence, not physical dependence. Once your brain is used to the effects of the substance of choice, it requires the person to take larger and larger doses to get the same initial effect.  This causes intensified withdrawal symptoms.

There is also an overlapping of symptoms of psychological effects and physical effects.  An example of one of these effects of overlapping symptoms is to redirect your food budget to buy the substance in question, which is a psychological effect.  However, by doing this, you are unable to consume enough nutrients which in turn is a physical effect.

Social Symptoms

Addiction can cause various adverse social symptoms.  Some of these social symptoms are:

  • Forfeiting activities
  • Discarding hobbies
  • Solitude
  • Denial
  • Excessive consumption
  • Having stashes
  • Legal issues
  • Financial difficulties

Forfeiting Activities

When you forfeit activities that were usually enjoyed before drug use, it is an implication of the social symptoms of an addict. These activities or events, that previously brought joy, are now looked sourly upon due to the substance not being available.

Discarding Hobbies

When hobbies like boating, fishing or crafting no longer have a place in your life as it did before, it is a sign of dependence on substance abuse. When drugs take over and they are more important than hobbies previously enjoyed this is a social implication of dependency.


The desire to be alone is another social symptom of addiction.  The reason for wanting to be alone can be because of shame or just the substance taking over one’s life.  To combat addiction, it would be helpful to have loved ones help you overcome and be a part of your recovery life.   


Refusing to believe there is an addiction problem is another social addict symptom. Believing the person can relinquish the substance at any time is another social symptom of an addict. This may cause a reluctance to get help.

Excessive Consumption and Having Private Stashes

Consuming the drug or alcohol at an excessive level is a social symptom of an addict.  This can lead to hiding private stashes for later use. This is a dependency on a substance that is being abused.  

Legal Issues

Incarceration and legal issues are signs of the social effect of an addict. When analyzing whether or not legal issues caused by substance abuse is a psychological dependency versus a physical dependency, evidence suggests it is a symptom of psychological dependency. They need to do something illegal to get the substance of choice is a psychological dependence of that substance.  

Financial Issues

When drugs and alcohol take over and you need more and more of the substance, this will cause financial difficulties. This can happen when drugs are more important than other things in your life. You need to buy more and more drugs, leaving you with less and less money for life’s essentials.

Combating Symptoms of Withdrawals

Whether you are facing a physical dependence or psychological dependence, self-soothing is a great way to help combat withdrawals. A great way to self-soothe is by exercising. Exercising is a great way to get your mind off narcotics and it helps release endorphins throughout your body. Talking to a professional or even a friend is another way to help combat withdrawals. 

Talking and expressing oneself is a great way to help ease pain both physically and psychologically. Taking either a cold or warm bath is another way to ease the pain of withdrawal symptoms by soothing the discomforts of sweating or chills.

Sleeping is another way to ease the pain. Sleep deprivation is another symptom of substance abuse. Getting the rest your body needs can help heal and recuperate your body.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one are going through any of these conditions, do not go through it alone.  Feel free to contact us at Sana Lake Recovery Center for all your recovery needs.

alcohol detox

What to Expect When You Are Going Through Alcohol Detox

Chronic or frequent use of alcohol can lead to dependence that makes it difficult to stop. What may have started as a social activity or a way to ease the stresses of the day can eventually spiral into a full-blown addiction. As the addiction intensifies, physical symptoms of withdrawal will be experienced during the times that the individual is not consuming alcohol. 

Withdrawal symptoms are more than just uncomfortable, they have the potential to cause permanent damage or even death. Sana Lake Recovery Center has trained professionals who are experienced at guiding and monitoring those going through the withdrawal stage. Our detox program ensures a safe and thorough detox to give our clients a strong foundation for their recovery. 

What Causes Alcohol Withdrawal?

The process of detoxification refers to the body filtering out harmful substances and toxins. Alcohol detox is the initial period of time where the body stops consuming alcohol and experiences the symptoms associated with withdrawal. Since the human body becomes physically dependent on alcohol,  detox is crucial for allowing the body to learn how to function without it. 

Alcohol is a depressant and has a slowing and sedating effect on bodily functions. The brains of those who have been drinking intensity over long periods of time have adjusted to the continual exposure to alcohol and its effects. The human brain is smart and always tries to re-balance itself. In the case of alcohol, the brain adjusts its own chemistry by highly stimulating chemicals like serotonin or norepinephrine in high quantities. 

When the individual stops drinking, these chemicals are still being produced. This sends the brain and body into overdrive and causes severe confusion for the body’s organ systems. 

What are the Symptoms of Withdrawal?

The symptoms and intensity of withdrawal will look different for everyone depending on how long and how heavily they have been drinking. Some of the more common symptoms that should be expected include:

  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or intense nightmares.
  • Severe nausea and/or vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Tremors.
  • Profound sweating.
  • Rapid heart rate.
  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Fever.
  • Irritability.
  • Agitation

These symptoms can be alarming and uncomfortable, but don’t typically result in life-threatening conditions. There are however some more serious side effects that can cause permanent damage or even death, and these should be closely monitored. Some of these include:


Tremors usually present themselves within a few hours after the last alcoholic drink and are most intense after 24 to 48 hours. Trembling is often accompanied by a spike in blood pressure and difficulty regulating heartbeat and temperature. 


This symptom can be quite alarming and usually begins within 12 to 24 hours after your last drink. Hallucinations can last up to three days into detox. Hallucinating can be seeing objects, movement, colors, lights, or even people that are not really there. Other versions of hallucinations that are experienced are feelings on bugs or moving sensations on the skin. alcohol withdrawal hallucination can be an extremely vivid imaginative vision.

Alcohol withdrawal seizures 

Seizures tend to occur 24 hours after the last drink and can range from moderate to severe. If not monitored, seizures can create 

Delirium tremens 

This condition describes a severe and drastic change in one’s breathing, oxygen levels, circulation and temperature control. These changes all affect the central nervous system resulting in confusion, disorientation, irrational beliefs, sweats, sleep disturbances, and hallucinations. This is one of the most serious side effects of alcohol detox and can cause permanent damage or even lead to death. Professional monitoring and care will allow for preventive measures if delirium tremens are suspected. 

How Long Will Withdrawal Symptoms Last?

Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal on average last 5 days. They can prolong into a week or more for some, but detox programs typically cap at  7 days. The severity and duration of alcohol withdrawal symptoms will depend on how long the individual drank, how heavily they drank, and their personal medical history. Co-occurring health conditions could also cause withdrawal symptoms to prolong. 

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)

This potential phase commonly referred to as PAWS refers to the experience of withdrawal even after detox is completed. Typically, once alcohol is out of the system, withdrawals will subside even if emotional cravings persist. In the even of Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, individuals experience intense physical cravings and symptoms for extended lengths of time. Although rare, it can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year.

Symptoms of PAWS include:

  • Mood Swings 
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Memory problems
  • Dizziness
  • Increased accident proneness
  • Delayed reflexes
  • Intense cravings
  • Severe Fatigue

Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal 

Detox will allow the individual to successfully rid their body of any alcohol so they can start their rehabilitation program on a clean slate. It will also give them access to medical professionals who will ensure their safety and care throughout the entire process. Detox can be more strenuous than one would expect, and a lot of difficult physical and emotional challenges will present themselves. 

Sana lake provides a space with employees who know what they’re doing and take pride and passion in their efforts to help those struggling with alcohol addiction. We offer a variety of services to help our clients get through detox as smoothly as possible. Some of the services we offer include:


During the initial evaluation, licensed professionals will check your current health status, go over personal and family health history, and address any co-occurring mental health conditions. The evaluation allows the staff to have a solid understanding of your needs so they can offer the best possible services for the detoxification phase. 

Medicated Assistance

Since Alcohol detox is so physically and emotionally demanding, oftentimes medication is needed to help subside the side effects such as headaches, fevers, nausea, seizures or tremors. Some medications used include:  

  • Antipsychotics – these will help with the emotional side effects as well as addressing any co-occurring mental health conditions
  • Benzodiazepines – This class of drug is FDA approved to treat alcohol withdrawal
  • Barbiturates -These are used when individuals are resistant to Benzodiazepines
  • Beta-blockers- Beta-blockers help alleviate the nervous system effects of alcohol withdrawal  
  • Anticonvulsants – This class of medication helps aid in reducing seizure and tremor symptoms 


Both individuals and group therapy are offered in detox programs to provide a space to verbally work through the challenges of addiction recovery. Licensed therapists will be able to help patients learn new methods of looking at their struggles, and help build healthy coping mechanisms that will be useful throughout the entire length of rehabilitation. 

Counseling sessions with a psychiatrist or therapist will help address both mental illness and alcohol addiction and aid in discovering the root causes of their development. Unresolved childhood trauma, insecurities, genetics, and effects from past experiences can be a major factor in alcoholism and if left untreated, sobriety will be harder to maintain. 

Talking with a professional will enable you to learn how to accept and let go of whatever experiences are triggering your anxiety and addiction.  

What Happens After Detox?

Detox may be a crucial step in alcohol recovery, but the work doesn’t stop there. Clients will move on to a long term rehabilitation program to ensure they are both physically and mentally. Alcohol Recovery programs can last anywhere from 30-90 or more days. These are more intense and focus on staying sober long term. 

Depending on personal circumstances, there are options for both inpatient and outpatient rehab. Additionally, most clients find that attending regular talk therapy aids them in staying sober and working through triggers. Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to address every aspect of alcohol addiction and learn to work through it so you can carry healthy coping skills throughout the rest of your life. 

Get Help Now 

At Sana Lake Recovery Center in Dittmer, Missouri, our trained professionals are passionate and ready to give you the smoothest possible alcohol detox experience. We understand the physical and emotional challenges you face when you decide to stop drinking, and we believe everyone is capable of a successful recovery. 

We take our pride in our ability to personalize treatments for every one of our client’s individual needs and give them the tools to succeed under our care and after reintegration. While it starts with you, we will be here every step of the way. Contact us to find out more information or enroll in our detox program! 




court-ordered alcohol evaluation

Court-Ordered Alcohol Evaluation

Alcohol addiction makes life very messy. It’s worth mentioning that it not only affects those who are struggling with addiction but their loved ones as well. Alcohol abuse has a way of completely devouring everything in its path, whether it be a user’s job, family/loved ones, or finances. 

The longer someone abuses alcohol, they risk being in imminent danger to themselves and others. Seeking help is always the best game-plan. In circumstances like these, court-ordered substance abuse assessments may render themselves useful.

Why Alcohol Assessment?

Court-ordered alcohol assessments address the following areas of substance abuse:

  • Determining the range of one’s abuse
  • Evaluating the impact of addiction in their own lives and the lives of those surrounding them
  • Addressing as to whether or not dual diagnosis is necessary
  • Allowing the court to outline the treatment plan necessary for the individual’s recovery

A court-ordered alcohol assessment is necessary in order for somebody to start receiving quality care for their addiction. Streamlining the process for recovery never hurts, and it helps those who are dependant on alcohol get better quicker.

Those who participate in court-ordered alcohol assessments have seen a vast improvement in the areas of family conflict, finances, employment, and education. With that in mind, those who end up taking a court-ordered assessment experience much more success than those who do not.

Am I or a Loved One Suffering from SUD?

Those who suffer from alcoholism experience the following symptoms:

  • Lack of self-control with alcohol
  • Lack of interest in any activity
  • Consistently inebriated 
  • Consistently lying
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Those suffering from alcoholism have one priority that trumps everything: drinking. Alcohol abuse not only has a disastrous effect on the individual, but also on those who care about them the most. Addicts may neglect their families and either hurt them emotionally or physically. Financial stressors are also a direct result of alcoholism. All of this has the potential to destroy even the strongest of families. 

What are Alcohol Assessments for Court?

In a nutshell, alcohol assessments for court are a sort of test that is ultimately used to determine the extent of someone’s substance abuse or addiction. Evaluating the range of a person’s alcohol abuse is imperative to receiving the best treatment. Not only do these assessments determine the vastness of the abuse, but it can also be used to discern what exactly is best for the individual as far as treatment is concerned. 

Figuring out which treatment is best for those with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is pivotal to a person’s recovery process. There are no one-size-fits-all methods when it comes to SUD treatment; everybody is different, and so are their needs. Alcohol assessments for court are a huge help when it comes to discerning which treatment option is best for the individual. 

Anybody from employers to family members can use this test to analyze their loved one’s substance abuse. When suspicion arouses a family member or loved one, every option must be considered when discerning what the course of action should be. Alcohol assessments for court are a full-proof route to take.

Additional Alcohol Assessment Information

Court ordered alcohol assessment can be used for the following circumstances:

  • Reinstating a driver’s license
  • Probation
  • Court appearance

This assessment uses diagnostic screening and interviews to put together the biological, psychological, and social history of each case. Sequentially, the information that was gathered is then analyzed to determine which treatment option is best. 

Whether someone has run into trouble with the law or a loved one is looking out for someone they care for, alcohol assessment can help expedite the recovery process. This is a much better option than starting from scratch. The tests speak for themselves. They’re completely objective, not subject to the opinion of anybody else, and completely unbiased. 

Court-ordered alcohol assessments take less than two hours to finish. Upon completing these tests, a licensed clinician will analyze the test results to evaluate the context of alcohol use. This helps people who don’t suffer from substance abuse; sometimes, these people have misused a substance once and it happened to result in arrest or some other legal issue.

Following the assessment, the clinician makes a recommendation for treatment, and the court will make a decision as well. Some of these decisions include the following:

Occasionally the court will order that somebody use these resources before a substance abuse assessment is required. If this is the case, they should take the offer. This could show the court that the person wants to address their problems and take responsibility for them.

Court Recommendations for Treatment Options

Starting treatment immediately upon completing a court-ordered alcohol assessment is the best route to take. Treatment is scary, but some options have proven themselves successful.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is used for more serious cases of substance abuse. These patients receive 24/7 access to medical personnel if the need arises, and also live in the care of a treatment facility. This could last anywhere from 28 days to six months. 

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient treatment is an option that is intended for milder cases of substance abuse. This method gives patients access to professional therapists and psychiatrists anywhere from 10-12 hours weekly. In terms of timeline, this could last anywhere from three months to over a year depending on the individual. Outpatient care renders itself useful for those who suffer from mild substance abuse. Those who need to stay at home to support their family’s loved ones, or themselves can do so.


Alcohol detox could include the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures 
  • Nausea 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

When dealing with substance abuse treatment, cutting somebody off of alcohol can lead to serious withdrawal. It is difficult to manage sobriety and good health in general after making drinking the top priority; it’s so easy to slip up. Alcohol detox should be treated with extreme care. Medically assisted treatment (MAT) uses medicine to help a patient come off of their substance dependence comfortably.

Counseling Sessions

Counseling assists patients in examining their past with substance abuse. Establishing a broad range of coping mechanisms is imperative to the recovery journey. It also plays a significant role in shaping the attitudes of those individuals in a more positive direction. 

Circumstances for Court Ordered Assessment

Some of the most common offenses that require assessment include the following:

  • Public intoxication
  • Fake ID

The cause for any disease, let alone alcohol addiction is crucial to the improvement and of somebody’s life. Treating the symptoms should never take top priority; it is also just as crucial to the court process. A court-ordered assessment determines the best course of action in the fairest and balanced way.  

Sana Lake Wants to Help You Today

Our top priority at Sana Lake is to be sure that you are cared for and recover to the best of your ability. It can be scary initially to even think about substance abuse treatment, but nothing is as imperative as determining the best course of action. 

Destructive tendencies will not help anybody in these situations, especially those addicted to or suffering from alcohol abuse. The best way to handle these situations may be to sit with them and just listen.

This may be difficult to accept, but the reality is that there are so many people who struggle with substance abuse. However, users are not the only ones who suffer; their families and loved ones do as well. It is just as imperative that they receive help. Finding the right kind of care is crucial to the recovery journey. 

Sana Lake believes in walking with and assisting those who suffer from alcohol abuse. Their family and loved ones are not exempt. Our goal is to lead them towards a life of stability so that they can flourish. The first step in this process may be a court-ordered alcohol assessment. 

Due to the unique needs of each individual, finding the right kind of treatment may be difficult. This is why a court-ordered alcohol assessment is vital to the recovery process; it determines what kind of care fits a person’s recovery needs.

Our philosophy is to bring those that wrestle with alcohol addiction to a more stable place. We do this successfully by assessing the needs of each person so that they can receive the best care available to recover as quickly as possible. 

Our passion lies with all of our patients’ pursuit of well-being. If you or a loved one wants to take an alcohol assessment, you can contact us here. 


court-ordered drug evaluation

Court-Ordered Drug Evaluation

Substance abuse and drug addiction have the potential to mess up somebody’s life. Whether it be their family, finances, or even their employment, drug abuse has a way of completely ruining everything in its path of destruction. 

What’s worse is that the longer someone is abusing drugs or alcohol, the more likely it is that they pose a danger to themselves and others. Seeking help is necessary. In circumstances like these, court-ordered substance abuse assessments may find themselves necessary.

Why Drug Assessment?

Court-ordered substance abuse assessments may be necessary to address the following:

  • Determining the extent of one’s addiction
  • Evaluating the impact of one’s substance abuse
  • Addressing the range of one’s substance abuse disorder
  • Revealing whether or not dual diagnosis is necessary
  • Allows the court to outline a treatment plan unique to the individual

For somebody to start receiving quality care for their drug addiction, a court-ordered drug assessment is a significant step to take. It will streamline the process for recovery so that those with substance abuse disorders can get better quicker.

It is worth mentioning that those who participate in court-ordered drug assessments reported a great amount of improvement in the area of family conflict. These people have also required little assistance in areas such as employment, education, and finances. It is safe to say that those struggling with substance abuse who end up taking a court-ordered drug assessment have a much smoother road to recovery than those who do not.

What are Drug Assessments for Court?

In short, drug assessments for the court are tests that are ultimately used to determine the range of someone’s substance abuse or addiction. Evaluating the extent of someone’s substance abuse is significant in receiving the best treatment. Not only do the assessments evaluate the vastness of the abuse, but it can also be used to determine exactly what kind of treatment is necessary for the individual. 

Determining exactly which treatment is best for those with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is essential to a person’s rehab. There is no cookie-cutter SUD treatment method; each individual is unique, and so are their needs. Drug assessments for court are a huge help when it comes to discerning as to which treatment option is best for the individual. 

When substance abuse arouses suspicion for a family member or loved one, it is imperative that not a stone is left unturned when discerning what the course of action should be. Drug assessments for court are a full-proof route to take. Anybody from employers to family members can use this test.

Additional Drug Assessment Information

Court-ordered drug assessment can be used for the following circumstances:

  • Reinstating a driver’s license
  • Probation
  • Court appearance

This particular assessment uses diagnostic screening and interviews to put together the biological, psychological, and social history of each case. After this is done, the information gathered is then analyzed to help determine which treatment is best for the individual. 

Whether someone has been arrested for drug use, or a loved one is seeking assistance for someone they care about, drug assessment can help streamline the recovery process in a more thorough way than starting from scratch. In a way, the tests speak for themselves. They’re completely objective, not subject to the opinion of anybody else, and completely unbiased. 

These court-ordered drug assessments take less than two hours two finish. Upon completion, a licensed professional clinician will examine the test to evaluate the history and context of drug use. This is helpful because sometimes people don’t suffer from substance abuse disorder; sometimes, these people have merely misused a substance once and it happened to result in arrest.

After this takes place, the clinician will make a recommendation and the court will decide on treatment and/or conviction. Some of these decisions include the following:

Sometimes the court will order that somebody take these measures before a substance abuse assessment is required. If this is the case, it’s in the person’s best interest to take the court’s offer. This should be done because ultimately, it shows the court that the person wants to take responsibility for their actions and address their problems, which would expedite the whole process.

Court Recommendations for Treatment Options

Upon learning which treatment option is right for the person that took the assessment, it is best to start immediately. Rehab treatment can be scary, but the available options have proven themselves to be quite successful.

Inpatient Treatment

Inpatient treatment is used when somebody is suffering from a more serious case of substance abuse. With 24/7 access to medical personnel, if the need arises, patients live in the care of a treatment facility. This specific treatment method lasts anywhere from 28 days to six months. 

Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient care is a treatment option that is designed to treat milder cases of substance abuse. Outpatient treatment gives patients access to licensed therapists and psychiatrists anywhere from 10-12 hours weekly. Lasting anywhere from three months to over an entire year, this treatment option renders itself useful for those who suffer from mild substance abuse and need to stay at home to support their families, loved ones, or themselves.


Drug detox could include the following symptoms:

  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Hallucinations
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures 
  • Nausea 

Cutting somebody off of drugs, especially somebody struggling from substance abuse can lead to serious withdrawal. Drug cravings are difficult to manage and should be treated with the utmost care. Medically assisted treatment (MAT) uses medicine to help a patient come off of a drug comfortably.

Counseling Sessions

Counseling aids patients in evaluating their past with substance abuse. It also plays a significant role in molding their attitudes towards recovery in a more positive direction. Improving and establishing coping mechanisms for those who suffer from substance abuse is imperative to their recovery. 

Circumstances for Court Ordered Assessment

Some of the most common offenses that require assessment include the following:

  • Drug trafficking
  • Drug possession
  • Manufacturing illegal substances
  • Selling or distributing illegal substances
  • Public intoxication
  • Fake ID

Determining the cause for any disease, let alone substance abuse is crucial to the improvement and overall well being of somebody’s life. However, apart from that, it’s also significant to the process of drug court. A court-ordered assessment helps determine the best course of action fairly and without bias. 

Sana Lake Wants to Help You Today

At Sana Lake, our top priority is making sure that you’ve cared for and recover to the best of your ability. Fear may be at the forefront of your mind at the moment. The need for quick action is important but not as valuable as evaluating the best course of action. 

Acting destructively will not help anybody in these situations, especially those suffering from SUD. The best course of action in this situation may be sitting down and listening to them, and then contacting Sana Lake to help you with what comes next.

This may be excruciatingly difficult, but the reality is somebody is struggling with substance abuse. These people need help as soon as possible so that their next problem doesn’t overcomplicate what is already going on. Not only that, but families and loved ones suffer too. It is just as important that they receive help; theirs may come when they provide their loved one with the assistance they need to recover.

Sana Lake believes in coming alongside and assisting those who suffer from drug abuse, as well as their family and loved ones. Our goal is to lead them towards a life of sobriety and stability. The first step in this process may be a court-ordered drug assessment. 

Treating each patient is complex due to their individual needs. This is why a court-ordered drug assessment is so vital to the recovery process; it helps in determining what individualized care a person needs. 

Our philosophy is to bring people who struggle with drug addiction to a more stable sense of well-being. To do so, we assess the needs of the individual so that there are preparations in place to help fight their drug addiction and that someday they may end up living a more healthy lifestyle. Ultimately, we want to set them up for success.

We are incredibly passionate concerning all of our patients’ state of well-being. If you or a loved one wants to take the next step and take a drug assessment, you can contact us here.



Polysubstance Abuse: What Happens When You Mix Ambien With Alcohol?

Drugs and alcohol are often taken together, which has been proven to produce negative effects, sometimes lethal if not careful. If you have poor sleeping patterns or are feeling unrested after receiving many hours of sleep, then you may have a sleep disorder. Taking Ambien or other sleep aids should only be done under medical supervision. 

To cope with not being able to fall asleep, or having bad sleep habits, people often resort to having a drink before bed or taking sleeping pills such as Ambien to help them fall asleep easier and faster. Truth is, using any kind of sleep aid such as alcohol, Ambien, or both can lead to dependency and addiction called polysubstance abuse. 

Are you one of these people who has a hard time falling asleep at night? Well, you are not alone, as many as 50-70 million people have some type of sleep disorder, such as insomnia and sleep apnea. reports that the amount of sleep recommended for people to sleep at night is an average of seven to eight hours. After all, sleep is a science, and the amount you do get is important, as it contributes to your overall health and wellbeing. In addition to the amount of sleep, quality is also essential.

What is Polysubstance Abuse?

In the realm of addiction “poly” meaning many, refers to the abuse of more than one substance simultaneously. Within the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), polysubstance abuse is classified as a substance disorder, where a person becomes reliant on a group of three various types of substances. The most commonly affected by polydrug abuse are usually young adults between the ages of 18-24. 

Various studies behind polysubstance abuse have proven that the excessive use of one drug almost always leads to the increased probability of eventually becoming dependant on more than one substance at a time. Almost always, the drug or two is commonly mixed with alcohol. 

Combining drugs is a dangerous game with potentially lethal results. When substances are taken together, the resulting reaction may be unpredictable and potentially hazardous, and, increases the dangers and risk of a polysubstance overdose. 

Types of Polysubstance Abuse 

People commonly abuse the following combinations of drugs such as: 

  • Alcohol and cocaine
  • Alcohol and opioids
  • Alcohol and ecstasy 
  • Cocaine and heroin
  • Heroin and methamphetamine
  • Benzodiazepines and opioids

When an individual abuses more than one drug one on a regular basis, especially combined with alcohol, it can dramatically worsen a person’s reaction and effect the drug has on one’s system.

One of the most common causes of polysubstance abuse is the use of Ambien and alcohol combined. The truth is the dangers and risks of abusing a combination of Ambien and alcohol especially, are greater than people think. 

Not only does alcohol cause severe liver damage, but the use of other drugs in conjunction can also prove to be fatal because the liver cannot seem to break them down properly. As well, alcohol also impairs judgment, which can lead to overdose. 

What Happens When You Mix Ambien With Alcohol? 

Mixing the combination of Ambien and alcohol together has its dangers and risks, particularly of how it affects the body. If you have been prescribed Ambien for a sleep disorder or are taking it to help you go to sleep, it is important to understand what could happen if it is taken while drinking alcohol. 

Evidence-based research has shown, that since Ambien’s development, doctors have seen a notable decline in the abuse of the prescribed pharmaceuticals traditionally used to treat insomnia. Although this may be the case, the rate of people suffering from polysubstance abuse is very much on the rise, specifically the consumption of alcohol and Ambien.   

According to research conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Zolpidem acts similar to benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, a drug used to treat anxiety. Made with a different molecular structure, its main purpose is to decrease the chances for anyone to develop a physical dependence or addiction to Ambien. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), states that there is a low dependency, but only when people used it properly as prescribed. This is where the problem lies. 

Polysubstance abuse is extremely common, and even though its Zolpidem’s job is to reduce the chance of addiction, the negative effects and increase in the number of overdose-related incidences and even deaths due to mixing Ambien and alcohol together remain supreme. 

In other words, addiction to Ambien has not decreased, and the usage of the drug mixed with alcohol has increased tenfold. When mixed together with alcohol, the effect that it has on the body can be diabolical. 

Double Trouble: Ambien and Alcohol’s Effect on the Body

Alcohol is a depressant and Ambien is a sedative, both of which are made to slow down the body’s central nervous system. Adding Alcohol to Ambien will amplify its effects and vice versa. Sedatives are addictive on their own and regular use of both substances together will lead to psychological and physical dependence. Also, it will have a profound impact on a range of different bodily systems and major organs. 

Ambien, known as a sleeping pill, is classified as a sedative prescribed for people who struggle severely to fall asleep. The drug called Zolpidem, a depressant is the active ingredient within  Ambien, which works by slowing down a person’s central nervous system (CNS) and brain activity. 

Ambien is manufactured in two forms: extended-release, which means when it absorbs into the body it does so slowly over a period of time. The other type of Ambien is called immediate-release, which as it sounds, means the drug absorbs into the body right away. 

People are aware that drug labels and physicians warn against mixing drugs with alcohol. Although, what they don’t warn people about it how many people still abuse substances without concern.    

Signs of Polysubstance Abuse: Identifying the Risk Factors 

When a person abuses more than one drug on a semi-regular basis, the individual is prone to developing issues with polysubstance abuse. In other cases, those who abuse more than one drug chronically will become addicted to one drug or more. Identifying drug addiction risk factors is important. 

The National Institutes of Health has reported that having as little as two drinks on an evening after having had Ambien can result in residual effects on the body. Those who regularly drink in addition to taking Ambien are not only likely to start developing a dependence on Zolpidem, but also tolerance to it. 

As mentioned before, there is a real risk of having an overdose when combining these two substances. Therefore it is very important to become aware of the risk factors and what to do when addiction becomes a reality. 

The risk factors that occur when Ambien is mixed with alcohol include: 

  • Slurred speech
  • Unusual behavior
  • Liver damage
  • Respiratory failure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils 

If left untreated, polysubstance abuse can lead to a coma or worse death. If you believe you or someone you care about is abusing  Ambien and Alcohol or experiencing an overdose, immediately seek help. The addiction specialists at Sana Lake Recovery Center can help. 

What Is The Difference Between Polysubstance Use And Addiction?

The difference between addiction and polysubstance abuse is a matter to what degree. If a person is abusing alcohol, but have not yet developed a dependence on it, it is possible to still experience some withdrawal symptoms, but not as severe as people who actually have a polysubstance abuse problem. 

It is important to note, that there is a difference between addiction and dependence. The main difference between addiction is that someone who is addicted is unable to stop using despite the negative consequences that may occur. 

When someone uses a substance that doesn’t mean that they are abusing it or are necessarily addicted to it. However, with Ambien and alcohol, there is a high probability that it could lead to addiction. Those with polysubstance abuse are likely to abuse more than one drug and likely to mix it with alcohol. To avoid the chance of addiction, help is available. 

Prevent Addiction With Our Help

At Sana Lake Recovery Center our addiction specialists are committed to helping people suffering from polysubstance abuse. We know that asking for help is extremely difficult. The use of multiple substances can further complicate diagnosis and treatment.

Therefore our comprehensive treatment plans entail providing the best resources and high-quality continuum of patient care within all of our processes to ensure our patients know that there is hope for them and that they are in good hands during and after recovery. While it starts with you, we will be here every step of the way. 

Besides helping our patient’s on the road to recovery and long-term sobriety, we most importantly, strive to provide a combination of high-quality resources, such as prevention tips, education, enforcement, and treatment, which will effectively help to raise awareness about the risks and signs of Ambien and alcohol misuse. This will play a critical role in not only helping people to recover but also empowering one to make safer choices, and in return, prevent the chance of relapse, overdose, and death. 

Contact us today by calling our addiction specialists in Dittmer, Missouri.



What Occurs During Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

Benzodiazepine And How They Work

Benzodiazepine, or “benzo”, is a psychoactive drug and falls under the category of tranquilizers. They are sold under many different brand names, some of the most popular ones being Valium and Xanax

More specifically, they are nervous system depressants, meaning they help people “calm down”, “slow down”, or “relax”. It is used as a sedative for the body, and as a depressant for the nerves in the central nervous system.

Benzos are used to treat multiple conditions, like anxiety, panic disorders, insomnia, seizures, muscle spasms, and even alcohol withdrawal. Most of these disorders are caused by excessive nervous activity in the brain. In more technical terms, it stimulates a neurotransmitter, called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA helps nerves “send messages” to one another, and it is responsible for reducing the activity of the nerves.

Addiction to Benzodiazepine

Benzos are a prescription medication, and therefore, can be used safely – but things might take a turn for the worse. Some people might not realize they are prone to addiction. While others might have red flags to look out for, like family history, some might have no idea. Continued use of benzodiazepine, even when prescribed, can cause dependence in as little as 3 to 4 weeks.

While the opioid crisis has been afflicting the country, benzodiazepine has been increasingly causing concern among professionals but getting little to no attention. For benzos, lethal overdoses have increased sevenfold from 1999 to 2015. In fact, in 2015, 23% of people killed by opioids also had trace amounts of benzodiazepine in their bodies.

Not all cases are lethal, but the numbers are still worrisome. In just ten years, from 1998 to 2008, the number of admissions for benzo withdrawal treatment almost tripled. Although it’s been considered a crisis, the number of prescriptions for benzodiazepine has not gone down. From 1996 to 2013,  they increased by 67%, hitting 13.5 million. While other drugs, like opioids, have had a decrease in prescriptions due to the crisis, the same has not happened to benzos.

Risk groups vary, but the age group that is most often linked to the misuse of benzodiazepine are people from ages 18 to 29. It is a popular club drug, being often abused along with other drugs, such as opioids. Even outside of this group, benzodiazepine misuse has been commonly associated with opioid abuse. Gender-wise, while females seem to be more often prescribed benzos, males tend to misuse it more often.

Addiction x Dependence 

When it comes to benzodiazepine, there is a difference between dependency and addiction. Most people that take benzos become dependent, but that doesn’t mean they are addicted. When the brain is exposed to benzodiazepine for weeks, it becomes adapted to its presence. It is considered a dependence because the brain needs it to function normally.

With time, the brain becomes more tolerant of the substance. This means that someone would need a higher dose to get the same effect. Dependency can get to the point where, if a person stops taking benzo suddenly, they will experience withdrawal symptoms. 

The safest way to stop taking benzodiazepine is to lower the dosage gradually, little by little. And this where dependence differs from addiction. A person who is addicted to benzos will not be able to slowly quit the drug. 

Addiction is characterized by a general loss of control in life. Considered a substance use disorder, it can cause chemical and neurological imbalances. Addiction can affect judgment, decision-making, and behavior. This is what can make someone more prone to risky choices to get more drugs.

One of the main reasons why benzos can become addictive is because of dopamine release. The neurotransmitter is responsible for mediating pleasure in the brain. As it is with many drugs, dopamine becomes a strong factor in addiction development. The feeling of pleasure triggered by it might become stronger than the one caused by any other experience.

Symptoms During Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

If a person decides to quit benzodiazepine, they might experience withdrawal symptoms even before benzo withdrawal treatment. The intensity of the symptoms will depend on the level of the addiction, the person’s history with addiction, and/or genetic aspects.

Somewhere between 20% and 50% of people who stop taking benzos to experience some kind of withdrawal symptoms. The most common ones tend to be anxiety, insomnia, and/or behavioral changes, all usually mild. However, these usually only last for a few days, and a person might not require benzo withdrawal treatment for them.

Should the person stop taking benzodiazepine suddenly or need benzo withdrawal treatment for their addiction, symptoms might be more severe. They can experience the following:


  • Mood changes such as irritability, agitation, anxiety, depression, and/or panic attacks
  • Headaches
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • Poor-quality sleep (insomnia, nightmares)
  • Tremors and sweating
  • Lack of appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Muscle aches, pains, and/or spasms
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, and/or blurred/double vision
  • Tingling sensations
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Hypersensitivity to light, sound, taste, and touch
  • Seizures

These symptoms can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months. They are more often manifested on those that take higher doses of benzo. However, any of them can be experienced at any dose, even during benzo withdrawal treatment.

There have been few cases reported of psychotic behavior as well. Psychiatric, severe symptoms might include delirium, hallucinations, depersonalization, and disorientation.

But the risks during withdrawal go beyond the side effects or withdrawal symptoms of benzodiazepine. If someone abruptly decides to quit benzos, or quit cold turkey, doing so might be dangerous, and even deadly. That is why, even when prescribed, a patient has to gradually lower their dosage. The sudden change in the nervous system can cause seizures, and eventually, death.

That is why, if a person is addicted to benzodiazepine, it is highly recommended that they go through medically-assisted benzo withdrawal treatment. 

What You Need To Know About Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

As it is with any program, benzo withdrawal treatment starts with the detoxing stage. Usually, the patient should do so gradually, but when it comes to addiction, it is very hard for someone to do so on their own. In some cases, a doctor might first switch the benzodiazepine being taken before detox starts. They might prescribe longer-acting benzo in order to lessen symptoms or make them less intense. 

The symptoms experienced and the time it might take to detox will depend on a number of factors. First, there’s the benzodiazepine itself – the shorter-acting ones will trigger symptoms much quicker, for instance. Next, there’s the dosage and the duration of use, which in turn, affect the level of dependence and/or addiction to benzodiazepine. Intense symptoms will most likely require hospitalization and residential treatment.

Not only is it safer to go through inpatient benzo withdrawal treatment, but it can be less painful, too. In this case, doctors can help manage symptoms with other medication that won’t make addiction worse. This will help reduce discomfort and the chance of experiencing serious symptoms, like seizures, that might cause more complications.

Once detox is done, the patient can go through the next stage of benzo withdrawal treatment. They will need to go through a program with medical and psychiatric help for their condition. The type of program they might need to start on will depend on their needs. For some, it is best to continue on an inpatient service setting. This is especially the case if their symptoms were too severe, or if they are a danger to themselves and others.

However, moderate to mild cases could be addressed through an outpatient program. These do not require hospitalization, and the patient only needs to come back to the clinic for assessments, therapy sessions, and medical follow-ups. 

Benzo withdrawal treatment and recovery are not usually linear. Even though there is a constant improvement, there can be a few ups and downs throughout the program, and that is part of the process. Additionally, people who might have used high doses for long periods of time might experience what is called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). This can make the patient have recurrent episodes of withdrawal symptoms for months after quitting.

Getting Benzo Withdrawal Treatment

Addiction to benzodiazepine is a serious issue and can be hard to get rid of on your own. But no matter how you got to where you are, we at Sana Lake Recovery Center can help you. Benzo withdrawal treatment can be made easier if you have the right team behind you.

You can go through all of the stages of the process with us. We offer services from detox to residential or outpatient treatment, where you can get the full help you need. Besides the medical and psychiatric parts of the program, we also provide holistic, naturotherapy, and wellness services. We believe in healing, not just the body, and in aligning it with the mind and the soul. Because recovery has to be done from the inside out.

If you or a loved one need help for benzo withdrawal treatment, or any other recovery help, visit our website and contact us today. You can learn about all the options we have, take an assessment, and find out what the next steps are. While getting sober might not be easy, it can be permanent with the right help and mindset. So give us a call, ask everything you need, and make the decision that can turn your life around


holistic alternative to opioids

Holistic Opioid Alternatives for Chronic Pain

Opioids work directly on the parts of the brain that perceive pain. They are derived from the opium poppy and are the main ingredient to many painkillers. Once they are taken, they act on what are called opioid receptors, present in the brain, spinal cord, and even the digestive tract. Then, they block pain signals and generate morphine-like symptoms on the body.

These receptors are also the ones that allow people to feel pleasure. So while they also lower perception of pain, they also make a person feel relaxed. That is why the chemical and neurological effects of opioids can often lead to addiction

As a legal drug, opioids, or opiates, are used for pain management for moderate to severe pain. They require prescription and monitoring, and in most cases, they should be used for short periods of time. However, some conditions might require some form of pain management for long. Cases of chronic pain or even cancer require long-term use of painkillers.

In this case, a doctor will tell a person the best way and dosage to consume, and for how long. It is crucial that the doctor’s orders are followed, because of the high risk of addiction, and other side effects.

The Opioid Crisis

It is not rare for people to become dependent or addicted to opioids, especially after using it for too long. While they are controlled substances, their effects can only be predicted if used correctly. And even then, there is still a risk. In fact, as of now, the U.S. is going through what is considered an opioid crisis.

Studies have shown that this opioid crisis started in 1999. The year marks the rise of prescription opioid overdose deaths. That was the “first wave” of the said crisis. Next, around 2010, is when the second wave started. The main culprit for deaths was heroin. Not long after, the third and current wave began. It was in 2013, and the drugs that have been causing alarming reports of deaths since are synthetic opioids.

Missouri has not been immune to this wave, either. From 2015 to 2017, the number of synthetic opioid-related deaths almost tripled. However, the number of deaths reported involving prescription opioids hasn’t improved much, either. Since 2010, an average of 250 people has died every year, with yearly numbers reported staying between 200 and 300.

The Dangers of Opioids

As stated, one of the possible outcomes of opioid use is dependence. In the case of prolonged use, one might become tolerant and require higher and higher doses. As for addiction, a person with a tendency for dependence might develop a substance use disorder after treatment.

There are many side effects and symptoms that come from the constant use of opiates. Some of them are: 

  • Sedation (excessive in higher doses)
  • Dizziness, drowsiness
  • Nausea and/or vomiting 
  • Constipation 
  • Physical dependence and/or tolerance
  • Respiratory depression
  • Muscle rigidity and/or spasm
  • Immunologic dysfunction
  • Hormonal dysfunction
  • Increased sensitivity to pain

Although every drug has its side effects, opioids can have some of the most dangerous ones. Its use needs to be closely followed by a doctor, and their instructions need to be followed. For some, however, holistic opioid alternatives might be the only way to go.

Holistic Opioid Alternatives For Treatment

For many, using opioids for pain management is not an option. Family history of addiction or previous experiences with dependency are factors that might discourage someone from taking them. These might actually be reasons why a doctor won’t prescribe opioids, even. These factors put the person at a risk group for addiction to opioids.

But whatever the reason might be, there are healthy, holistic opioid alternatives. Now, the right choice for you would depend on the health condition you are dealing with. But there are options for many different purposes.

Chronic, Physical Pain Holistic Opioid Alternatives

Persistent, physical pain might not have a cure depending on the condition. But even in these cases, there are multiple ways to lessen the pain without using meds. Some of the effects of physical stimuli and stressors can be dealt with through holistic treatment or therapy.

Acupuncture – One of the most popular holistic opioid alternatives for pain management. The technique is comprised of light needle punctures on specific parts of the body. The goal is to place them in a way where the pain signals are cut. Some practitioners might also add in electrical stimulation, a version of the technique which is called electroacupuncture. Generally, a person is supposed to feel numbness, distension, or even tingling in the areas the needles go. 

Massages – There are many different techniques to choose from, so you can experiment until you find what works for you. Shiatsu, Swedish, cross-fiber – there are many to pick from. A professional might be able to recommend the right type of massage for you. Each is meant to mix friction and pressure techniques for different purposes and ends

Physical Therapy – a mix of exercises, kinesiology (the study of body movement), and shockwave/electrotherapy, physical therapy is the complete package. It is often used even to treat veterans, and others who have had strenuous exercise and severe wear of muscles, cartilage, and/or bones. Probably the most effective, albeit intense, holistic opioid alternative for physical pain.

Cupping – While not a new technique, it has recently become more commonly used among practitioners. Cupping is done by applying local suction on the skin with round utensils. This is meant to help blood flow and avoid blood stagnation or energy. People might get it for pain, inflammation, relaxation, and even as a deep-tissue massage. It is not rare for people to pair cupping with other holistic opioid alternatives for pain, as well

Chiropractic Care – Described as treatment through manipulation of the spine, there are literally more than 200 chiropractic techniques. The reason for focusing on the spine is because it is the center of the nervous system. In layman’s terms, chiropractors use techniques that help “crack” the spine and readjust the positioning of posture. It is a common holistic opioid alternative for pain management, with many professionals easily found almost everywhere.

Alternative Medication 

For those going through major, severe complications, not all of the previous options are possible. People who need holistic opioid alternatives while battling cancer, for instance, might have limited choices. In this case, there are some medications and less intense remedies that can help with the pain.

Acetaminophen – Mostly recommended for cases of mild to moderate pain. It is known by other popular brand names, such as Tylenol, or as paracetamol. It is also used for treatment for severe pain for cancer patients or post-surgery recovery. However, they are only safe if the patient takes the recommended dosages. 

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) – In many cases, inflammation is the main culprit for chronic pain. In these cases, an NSAID might be the safest opioid alternative. As they reduce swelling, this might help reduce or stop the pain altogether. However, they should be taken cautiously, since they can cause cardiovascular and/or gastrointestinal problems. 

Non-opioid Prescription Drugs – There are other controlled, prescription drugs that can be used for pain management. Tricyclic antidepressants, for instance, are often used for nerve, muscular, or skeletal pain. Anticonvulsants/anti-seizure medication can also be an alternative to opioids. These, however, are not taken only when needed and need to be taken on a daily basis, with or without pain. Otherwise, they might not be effective, either.

While holistic opioid alternatives might have some side effects, they are more predictable than most opiates. Some of these solutions might only be adequate for short periods of time. Prolonged use of some of those drugs could cause ulcers, blood clotting issues, liver and/or kidney problems, and the list goes on. 

Self-medication, however, is never the best answer. Any medication you might take should be done so through the recommendation of a doctor. Only a professional can tell you how to best treat your pain, especially in the long term. Some drugs can cause a bad, maybe even lethal reaction if combined with others. So always consult with a doctor before taking anything.

Getting Treatment 

If you become addicted to opioids either through treatment or use of illicit drugs, you are not alone. Right now, you are one of many, many more who deal with the struggle of opioid addiction. But it doesn’t have to be like this for long. Opioid addiction can be managed, and there is treatment available for those in need. And we at Sana Lake Recovery Center want to help you get through it.

Along with our many options, we offer a holistic approach to recovery. We believe that treatment can be even more than chemistry and meds. It is also about the mind, the body, and the spirit as well. While we provide psychiatric and medical aid, we also offer neuropathic, holistic, and wellness programming. 

So if this sounds like what you or a loved one might need, visit our website and contact us today. You can learn about all the options we have for you and the tools we can give you to get better. Our team will be glad to guide you through this journey not just into sobriety, but into a healthier, happier life.


Opioid Epidemic in Missouri

The Opioid Epidemic in Missouri

According to The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, approximately 134 people in the United States die every day from an overdose as a result of prescription painkillers known as opioids. That is about one person every ten minutes! Let those numbers sink in. The number of opioids prescribed has dramatically increased and has continued to be on the rise, becoming an epidemic, not only in the United States alone but worldwide.

Since 1999, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the sales of prescription opioids and the number of opioids occurring, as a result, have quadrupled. This is why the addiction specialists at Sana Lake Recovery Center in Dittmer, MO, have made it their mission to encourage people to learn as much as possible about how to better protect themselves and their loved ones from opioid use and addiction. 

The Resurgence of Opioids 

Since the early 1990s, a prescription medication for chronic pain and post-surgery and injury relief has been the center of the treatment protocol within the medical industry. These prescription painkillers are known as opiates. 

The abuse of opioids became an epidemic around 1991 when pharmaceutical companies began to promote the drug for patients with non-cancer related pain, disregarding the risks and beneficial information, despite there being a lack of research and data. The power of these drugs was well documented. By 1999, 86 percent of patients with access to opioids were using them. 

The places where opioids were easily accessible, such as the state of Missouri, were the first states to experience this increase in opioid use and abuse, whether they were prescribed or not. This resurgence of opioid use demonstrated that there was an increase in the number of deaths involving these prescription medications. 

However, these deaths were said to be influenced by people being treated for chronic pain, and not the fact that pharmacies were allowing opioids to be sold and prescribed to people willy-nilly because they claimed that these medications did not have strong addictive tendencies, and the risk of addiction was very low. Well, as we know, the medical community was wrong back then, because today, opioids are extremely addictive, and the opioid epidemic is still in full effect. 

What Are Opioids? 

Opioids are made up of natural or synthetic chemicals that interact with opioid receptors on the nerve cells in the body and the brain to reduce feelings of pain. These drugs are in the class of prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®) hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, in addition to the illegal street drug known as heroin. 

Opioids are mainly prescribed to treat acute and chronic pain. They are given to people popularly after recovery from surgery or an injury. While many people rely on these prescription painkillers to help manage their conditions under the care of a physician, individuals tend to underestimate their highly addictive nature. 

Due to the high success rate of relieving pain, opioids are known to produce high levels of euphoria in the reward system of the brain. Therefore, people tend to want to take them more and more, and before you know it, they become dependent on them. Research shows, that using opioids for more than a month can make you dependent on them. After dependency comes tolerance, which means the body becomes used the drug being in one’s system. As a result, individuals continue to use despite the consequences. 

We all know someone who has struggled with drug and substance abuse or has heard countless stories, and it is a hard pill to swallow. Drug use is a serious topic that affects the lives of many involved. Pain pills being taken to once help relieve chronic pain has now turned into a dangerous widespread epidemic. Here are some facts about opioids to put things into perspective: 

  • Opioids have continued to become a public health issue, and since 2010, prescription painkillers have continued to kill more people than car crashes. 
  • Today, the opioid epidemic causes more deaths than those with HIV did at its peak in 1995.   
  • Research shows, that approximately 4,000 people each day misuse prescription pills, whether it is theirs, or they got it from someone else. 
  • Emergency rooms in the United States treat people for not properly using prescription opioids as directed by a licensed physician. 

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD): The Hard Truth About Prescription Drugs

Opioid Use Disorders are on the rise, as the Centers for Disease Control reported that in 2017, 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses. Out of those people, prescription drugs resulted in 15,000 deaths alone. 

Both genetic and environmental factors play into opioid disorders, especially with the ease of their access, which ups the risk even more. This access to prescription opioids has contributed to the current opioid epidemic.  

Opioid Epidemic infographic

Similar to other substance use disorders (SUD), an opioid use disorder has its unique characteristics. As mentioned before, opioids can lead to dependency within a very short time, specifically in as little as four to eight weeks. This is what leads to addiction, and can be severely dangerous.

Those who use these potent medications regularly, stopping use results in severe withdrawal symptoms, such as intense cravings, pain, muscle weakness, chills, cramps, diarrhea, nausea,  anxiety, insomnia, vomiting, etc. Since these withdrawal symptoms are severe it can create a significant motivation to continue using opioids to prevent withdrawal. 

In other words, when someone takes an opioid, the reward center of the brain receives high levels of reinforcement, and feelings of euphoria due to the amount of dopamine being released. With serious potential consequences, including relapse, overdose, and death, addiction to opioids requires professional help and treatment to recover. 

Drug Abuse in Missouri

Drug abuse affects people of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic level, so it is important to understand how to identify drug abuse and help people struggling with addiction. The statistics relating to drug abuse in the state of Missouri are startling. Since 1999, overdose deaths in the United States, have quadrupled, according to the CDC. 

In fact, in a study looking at drug use and addiction, The Show-Me State is ranked as one of the highest places with extreme drug use, third to be exact. Missouri has seen more drug arrests than any other place in the country. In other words, drug abuse in Missouri has been on the rise, as well as, the number of people seeking treatment. 

History of the Missouri Opioid Epidemic

Oftentimes, Americans think about major drug issues affecting other states and countries but never do we ever think that the real problem lies in our place of residence. Truth is drug addiction, specifically the opioid crisis is occurring in your very own backyard, and not metaphorically, but in reality.

As mentioned before, overdose and deaths due to opioid use continue to, unfortunately, be on the rise. To put things into perspective, the state of Missouri is still in the midst of an opioid epidemic, where the number of incidences has increased by 137 percent in the past decade. Take a look at the following statistics:

  • Currently, for every 100 people in Missouri, there are 80 prescriptions for opioid painkillers. 
  • A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows that in July 2017, the rural areas of Missouri were hit the hardest by this opioid epidemic, particularly the northern parts and southeast corner of the state by Springfield, MO. Experts say rural areas were so affected because these areas tend to have older populations of people, more physically demanding jobs, and don’t have as many treatment options for pain relief, such as physical therapy (PT). 
  • In 2015, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation proved that approximately over 38,000 people overdosed on prescription drugs (opioids) in the United States. Nearly 800  of those occurred in the state of Missouri. 

Confronting the Missouri Opioid Crisis

To address this crisis, 49 other states except Missouri have implemented a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), which helps to identify people who obtain excess prescriptions for addictive painkillers such as opioids, in addition to identifying physicians who overprescribe them. 

In other words, a PDMP plays a vital role in fighting the opioid crisis. These programs help identify suspicious patterns of opioid overprescribing and combat prescription drug abuse by collecting significant data from pharmacies dispensing these controlled substance prescriptions such as opioids and making it only accessible for authorized users via a secure, electronic database. 

After repeatedly refusing to set up a system to combat this opioid epidemic, Missouri is no longer the only state without a PDMP. In 2017, St. Louis County finally joined the other states, and finally voted yes to implementing a prescription drug monitoring program to help lower the rates of death and overdose due to opioid use. 

Today, doctors and pharmacists have access to a database to check a patient’s prescription history. This program covers 80 percent of Missouri’s population, however, some counties still do not participate in the efforts to combat the state’s drug abuse problem. 

Not only does this program check a patient’s prescription history, but it will also flag suspicious patterns of overprescribing, and tries to prevent doctor-shopping, which means visiting multiple doctors, as a means to get access to various prescriptions of these pain killers, for use or illegal selling. 

The PDMP aims to deny patients if any suspicious behavior is detected, which can ultimately help to save a life. It is important to note, that a program like this is not a form of treatment, and rehab facility for opioid addiction is the ideal solution for recovery and long-term sobriety. 

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

While the opioid epidemic, especially in Missouri, is just starting to get the recognition it needs from the health community, it is important to know, that there is hope. Treatment and rehab facilities are available in locations throughout Missouri, including Sana Lake Recovery Center in Dittmer, MO.

The treatment of opioid addiction is serious and does require professional help. Trying to self-detox from these prescription medications is not only dangerous but will result in severe withdrawal symptoms, and even death. 

Our addiction specialists will perform an assessment, detox, and afterward, tailor a specific treatment plan consisting of therapies and other services to treat our patient’s individual needs. Everyone is different, and therefore, treatment methods will vary. Finding the right treatment facility for your needs may be just as difficult as asking for help, but know that there is hope. 

Opioid Addiction Signs and Prevention  

Besides helping our patient’s on the road to recovery and long-term sobriety, we most importantly, strive to provide a combination of high-quality resources, such as prevention tips, education, enforcement, and treatment, which will effectively help to raise awareness about the risks and signs of opioid misuse. This will play a critical role in not only helping people to recover but also empowering one to make safer choices, and in return, prevent the chance of relapse, and deaths due to overdose. 

So, when it comes to the opioid epidemic, we can all have a positive impact.  The following steps can help you fight your addiction:

  • Realize the signs: If you or a person you know is exhibiting weird signs or behavior, and is looking for a way to consistently get more prescription medication, this may be a sign of opioid use disorder (OUD). Asking for help is not easy, but, to effectively recover from opioid addiction and withdrawal, no one can do it on their own. 
  • Talk to your doctor: Yes, while your doctor is the one prescribing these painkillers, they can be your biggest ally, even if you’re trying to quit a drug he or she prescribed. While doctors are sometimes the root of the problem, they are also there to help you and save your life.
  • Rely on support: They say support is the most important factor in a person’s recovery outcome being successful. During treatment, group therapy and other tools and resourced are given to help support you during recovery and after. Support from therapists in addition to your friends and family will give you the motivation to not give up and see it all the way through. 

There is Hope at Sana Lake Recovery Center 

At Sana Lake Recovery Center in Dittmer, Missouri, our addiction specialists are trained to help those with drug addictions, specifically to opiates. We know that asking for help is extremely difficult. 

Therefore, we pride ourselves in providing the best resources and high-quality continuum of care processes to ensure our patients know that there is hope for them and that they are in good hands during and after recovery. While it starts with you, we will be here every step of the way. 


vaping epidemic

The Vaping Crisis: A Look at the Latest Epidemic

Crisis Situation

An alarming 2.5 percent of high school students are using electronic cigarettes today.  That is a 135% increase over the past two years. At the same time, more than 1,600 people have suffered from a vaping related lung injury, and several dozens have died. The United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams has issued an advisory regarding the dangers of e-cigarette use stating, “I am officially declaring e-cigarette use among youth an epidemic in the United States.”

Nicotine is a dangerously addictive substance that harms adolescent brain development.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the brain develops until age 25, and nicotine exposure harms the part of the brain that controls attention, learning, mood and impulse control.  It also increases the likelihood of future addiction to other drugs.

Even Congress has been investigating the youth vaping epidemic and how it happened.  They found that more than 81% of people 12 to 17 who start smoking a tobacco product start with a flavor.  While we now know that the flavors of the e-cigs hooks kids, it is the nicotine that reels them in. 

In the midst of the CDC investigation into the vaping-related health crisis which has claimed 23 lives as of October 11, and 1,100 cases of vaping-related illness have been reported nationwide.  Patients in more than two dozen states have been presenting at hospitals throughout the country with symptoms such as:

  •         Coughing
  •         Chest pain
  •         Shortness of breath
  •         Nausea and vomiting
  •         Fever 

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said that the epidemic shows few signs of slowing down and is “continuing at a brisk pace.”

It is difficult for state health departments to collect and test all of the relevant samples, or even collect them due to misdiagnosis when the patient first presented.  But the larger issue is that this is a complex and multi-pronged public issue.

“Safer” or “Safe”

While there is evidence to suggest that using e-cigarettes is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes, there is a difference between “safer” and “safe.”  E-cigarettes arrived in the U.S. market in 2007 and have been investigated by addiction researchers as a method to help adults quit smoking regular cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain fewer chemicals than regular cigarettes and were presented as a safer alternative. However, Yale health researchers who study the health effects of vaping have found that vape devices have not been proven to help adult smokers quit smoking.

A study of 70,000 users found that vaping nicotine still doubles the risk of a heart attack.  Most people who vape are not even trying to stop smoking at all. They are vaping in places where smoking of regular cigarettes is not permitted and continuing to smoke traditional cigarettes where allowed. Those who both vape and smoke multiply their chance of a heart attack by five.

The American Lung Association has issued a definitive statement. “E-cigarettes are not safe and can cause irreversible lung damage and lung disease.  No one should use e-cigarettes or any other tobacco product.”

Because of this information, the FDA issued a statement strongly urging people to stop using all vaping products containing THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana),  particularly those purchased off the black market. However, the CDC has pointed out that not all of the cases reported have involved THC. Lung injuries have been reported in patients that used nicotine vaping products exclusively.  This led to the CDC recommends that you not use any vaping products, particularly pregnant women and teens.

Key Facts about Use of E-cigarettes

  •   Electronic cigarettes—or e-cigarettes are also called vapes, e-hookahs, vape pens, and electronic delivery systems (ENDS) among others.
  •  Using an e-cigarette product is commonly called vaping.
  •   E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid to produce an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.
  •   The liquid can contain nicotine, THC, and cannabinoid  (CBD) oils, and other substances and additives.

What Is Causing the Crisis?

With respect to the recent reports of acute vaping-related lung injuries—there are a few theories.  Lung ailments are being caused by the ingredients present in cartridges containing THC. Most of these were purchased off the black market.

The CDC reported that 78% of the 514 cases it has analyzed so far involved patients using products containing THC. A separate study reported that 66% of patients had specifically used “Dank Vapes,” a black-market manufacturer of uncertain origin that claims to contain 90% THC.

A lot of focus is centered on vitamin E acetate, a compound that has traditionally been used in skin creams and supplements but is increasingly being used by black-market producers as a thickening agent.  Vitamin E acetate is harmless if ingested or used topically but can be toxic if inhaled.

 According to Dr. Melodi Pirzada, chief of pediatric pulmonology at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Long Island, the inhalation of vitamin E acetate in oil can cause lipoid pneumonitis.  Lipid pneumonitis is a rare condition that results from fat particles being inhaled into the lungs. Symptoms are similar to those presented by the vaping lung injury patients, including chest pain and shortness of breath.

Many of the vaping ingredients are not listed on the products.  Some “e-juice,” a common name for the vaping liquid used in the e-cigarettes, contains diacetyl.  Diacetyl is a food additive that was used to make popcorn taste buttery without butter. A condition is known as “popcorn lung” was diagnosed first in the workers of a popcorn factory that used diacetyl.  It is used in vape cigarettes to enhance the flavors. 

Most high-end vape producers don’t use diacetyl, but in 2015, more than half the mass-marketed e-cigarettes were found to contain the chemical.  Since it is found primarily in flavored liquids, it is more appealing to teenagers. The more appealing it is, the more they use and the more exposure to the chemicals and a growing addiction.

Mayo Clinic researchers conducted a biopsy review of 17 subjects with vaping related lung injury.  They found that though the majority of samples (71%) came from patients who had used THC cartridges, the damage appeared to have not been caused by oil inhalation, but by “direct toxicity or tissue damage from noxious chemical fumes.”

Recently, a Juul employee sued the vaping company, claiming it fired him in retaliation for blowing the whistle on the marketing of at least a million contaminated mint-flavored e-cigarette cartridges.  Juul is the most popular among high schoolers due to a marketing strategy that targets teens with sleek vaping pens and different flavors.

However, the CDC has pointed out that not all of the cases reported have involved THC.  Lung injuries have been reported in patients that used nicotine vaping products exclusively.  This led to the CDC recommends that you not use any vaping products, particularly pregnant women and teens.

Long-term effects

Ultimately, there’s very little known about what happens to the chemicals in e-cigarettes when you heat and inhale them.  In a briefing, Anne Schuchat said that the CDC is conducting studies to try to analyze both the product and potentially the vapor or aerosol released by the heating of such chemicals. Due to this being a relatively new crisis it’s still a question as to what the long-term health effects may be.

We all know nicotine is not good for you.  Many e-cig products contain higher levels of nicotine than advertised.  We also know that e-cigarettes contain chemicals like propylene glycol and glycerine which can release volatile organic compounds that may be harmful when inhaled.

 A mouse study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that the inhalation of such chemicals, even without nicotine or THC, led to the mice’s lungs developing lipid-laden immune cells, an effect mimicking that of lipoid pneumonitis. With smoking-related diseases, you don’t know the effects until 20 years or more. So it’s possible we won’t know the long-term effects of e-cigarettes for 20 years or more. 

The vaping industry is moving so quickly that by the time studies come out, they might not be applicable to what’s popular now which makes long-term effects really difficult to judge.

Short-term Effects

Short-term risks of vaping—particularly vaping related illness—are very real.  John Carl, MD, a pulmonologist at the Cleveland Clinic said, “We know a lot of the short-term effects [on the lungs],” explaining that vaping increases inflammation in the lungs.  It paralyzes the cilia, the hair-like projections in the airways that remove microbes and debris. 

When those cilia become paralyzed, they are unable to do their job protecting the lungs, which increases your risk of infection, like pneumonia.  Both lipoid pneumonia, a lung infection caused by lipids or fats in the lungs; and chemical pneumonia, a lung infection caused by inhalation of chemicals, have been linked to vaping.

The cardiovascular effects of smoking are well known.  Nicotine causes high blood pressure and cholesterol abnormalities. Research published in 2017 in Nature Reviews Cardiology explains that “to date, most of the cardiovascular effects of [electronic cigarettes] demonstrated in humans are consistent with the known effects of nicotine.”

The Youth Vaping Crisis

Before the first cases of lung injuries were reported, kids vaping was a big health concern across the country.  Last year’s data showed a spike in youth vaping with 3.6 million young people have used e-cigarettes. Preliminary numbers show a similar rise in the 2019 data.  And the dangers are heightened by unsafe black market vaping devices and THC cartridges.

Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among American youth.  In fact, more high school students use “vapes” than adults. Use among middle and high school students increased by 900% from 2011-2015.

 So why are 1 in 3 high schoolers vaping?

  •         They are unaware or don’t care about the dangers.
  •         Manufacturers are targeting youth with clever marketing campaigns and sweet flavors.
  •         It is more acceptable in public places.
  •         It can be used as a coping mechanism to deal with uncomfortable feelings like depression or loneliness.

 The Surgeon General specifically mentioned Juul e-cigarette products. The Juul e-cigarettes contain a high level of nicotine. One cartridge contains the same nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes. Juul uses nicotine salts in its products, which gives a more pleasant feeling than freebase nicotine and helps account for its popularity.

 Young people who tried products with high concentrations of nicotine were more likely to keep smoking and vaping later. A 2015 study showed that for 2000 adults who stopped smoking by using e-cigarettes, over 160,000 teens and young adults made the transition in the opposite direction.

Physicians across the country are treating patients with mysterious life-threatening illnesses.  Otherwise healthy patients in their late teens and 20s are showing up with severe shortness of breath.  Some wind up in intensive care or on a ventilator for weeks.

The latest data from the CDC says that among 1,364 patients, the median age is 24 years old.  Forty percent of the patients were 18 to 24 years old.

What Can Be Done?

The delay in implementing comprehensive regulations for e-cigarettes has contributed to a growing crisis of vaping related illnesses and deaths across the U.S. and is a particular risk to young adults.

Bans on Vaping

Americans strongly support making vaping companies list all ingredients and health risks on product labels and barring teens from buying them.  But 59% surveyed agree a ban on vaping will drive more consumers to the unregulated black market.

Vaping is being regulated across the U.S.  Some state and regional governments have extended their indoor smoking bans to include e-cigarettes.

The federal administration announced that only tobacco flavored e-cigarettes will be allowed on the market.  The FDA specifically plans to crack down on the sale of vaping products in flavors like fruit, candy, and mint.

When the state of Massachusetts announced a 4-month ban on vaping products, vapers across the state reported a jittery alarm and anger at being cut off from their preferred source of nicotine, while tobacco cigarettes remained legal.  Vaping stores saw a last-minute rush of buying from panicky vapers. Others planned quick trips to vape shops in more lenient neighboring states.

Officials at K-12 schools where e-cigarette and vaping have soared are struggling with how to balance discipline for using tobacco products on school property with treatment and counseling. In Fort Myers, Florida, the Lee County School District saw tobacco and drug offenses increase almost five-fold while drug offenses more than doubled. Much of that was due to kids being caught vaping at school. 

In August, the district opened a new center where students suspended for such offenses are set for 20 days. At the center, the students complete their studies online, under the supervision of staff, for the four weeks, but they also receive mentoring and drug-treatment counseling. Very similar to an outpatient program.

 What if My Child is Vaping? 

Whether it’s nicotine, THC oil, or both, teens need to quit.  But that is easier said than done. Deepa Camenga, MD, a pediatrician board certified in addiction medicine says it’s never too early to begin talking about e-cigarettes in age-appropriate language.

But what do you do when your teenager or any loved one is already addicted to e-cigarettes? You could cross your fingers and hope it stops. Or you could talk in a non-confrontational manner about the dangers of vaping.  Ask about why he/she feels the need to use it. Often, young people use vaping and other drugs as a method to cope with an underlying problem. Parents need to remain calm and supportive and avoid punishing what has oftentimes become an addictive behavior. Nicotine replacement therapy or prescription drugs, counseling, and other support is what is needed.

Sana Lake Recovery Center has treatment programs for addictions of varying degrees. We have addiction specialists ready to guide you and your loved one on a path to recovery. Our specialists are available around the clock to answer any of your questions.


intensive outpatient treatment

Intensive Outpatient Treatment (IOP) in Missouri

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

IOP stands for Intensive Outpatient Program. IOPs and IOTs (Intensive Outpatient Treatment program) are the same thing and offer the same course of care. The only difference is the name. There are many IOPs around the country but one of the top ones is Sana Lake Recovery Center in Dittmer, Missouri. IOPs allow patients to live at home while receiving top-notch care and therapy for their substance abuse problems. 

What Do I Expect in an IOP?

You learn many critical skills in an IOP. While IOPs are not 24 hour/7 days a week programs they do offer intensive therapy and critical information. Some things you will learn in your IOP is:

  • How to socialize without drugs or alcohol
  • Drug education 
  • Coping strategies when confronted with psychological problems or being offered drugs and/or alcohol
  • Relapse prevention techniques
  • Stress management strategies
  • Assertiveness training

What Activities do IOPs Offer?

Many of the same activities used in residential therapy and a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) are used in an IOP. These activities are: 

  • Psychotherapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Drug education
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Why do People go to IOPs Instead of Residential Treatment Programs?

While residential treatment programs and PHPs are very important steps for some people if someone has only abused drugs and/or alcohol for a short period of time and has only abused certain drugs they might only need an IOP. IOPs allow you to live at home in your own community. This is very beneficial to people who:

  • Have young children at home
  • Work in certain businesses
  • Are the sole caretaker of elderly parents or other family members
  • They have other responsibilities in their community or family that other people are not able to or available to take on

Who is Not a Good Candidate for an Intensive Outpatient Program?

Sometimes people cannot go through an IOP alone and be successful. Most people do have responsibilities but if you have an addiction you probably already have a hard time dealing with your responsibilities or you might be failing to keep up with them. Some people need residential treatment and the 24 hour/7 days week care that comes with it if:

  • They have been abusing certain substances
  • The substance abuse has gone on for a long period of time 
  • They have certain co-occurring disorders 
  • They have gone through clinical addiction recovery programs before and relapsed
  • The person does not have a stable and/or safe environment to go to between treatments 
  • They lack a support network in their community

Co-occurring disorders are a combination of an addiction disorder and another mental disorder that occur together in the same person. You cannot be successful on your road to recovery if all of your mental disorders are not being treated properly. 

Dual Diagnosis and IOP

Mental disorders like depression can cause severe suffering. When an individual is suffering from a mental disorder and addiction simultaneously, this is called dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. People with mental health issues tend to mask their symptoms by drinking or taking drugs, while research shows that oftentimes people with substance abuse issues have an underlying mental health disorder in conjunction. Some common mental health disorders that trigger and reinforce an addiction disorder are:

  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Trauma including psychological and physical trauma

Can Trauma Cause Addiction?

Trauma, including abuse, can be a major trigger for the start and continuation of addiction. We at Sana Lake Recovery Center offer intensive trauma recovery treatments. We realize that it can be hard to talk about your experiences and you will never be forced to start talking about them. We prove to you that you can trust us and we gently help you talk about what happened to you. 

What are Some Trauma Recovery Treatments?

We use Reprocessing Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization (EMDR) to help you start recovering. We also help place you with a therapist in your area who specializes in trauma and addiction and with whom you feel comfortable with. We understand that therapy is different from other medical processes. You might not like your heart doctor but that won’t affect your level of treatment. If you do not like or feel comfortable around your therapist it will be harder for you to make progress. 

How Long do IOPs Last?

The standard length of an IOP is 90 days with at least 9 hours of therapy three to five times a week. An IOP is not as time-consuming as a residential treatment program or the PHP that comes after it, but addiction is a very serious disorder. 

Can You Ever Recover From Addiction?

There is no way to just suddenly stop being addicted. Addiction recovery is a lifelong journey, but once you complete a drug rehab program you have the chance to start a new chapter in your life and return to health and normalcy. 

What do I need to do to Complete an IOP?

Many IOPs require that their patients stay sober for at least 30 days before discharging them to an aftercare program. 30 days may seem like a lot to ask in such a short period of time, but your IOP can be lengthened if you need it. You will not be asked to leave just because you have a slip. 

Who is a part of the IOP Recovery Team?

There are many people who help you during your IOP and beyond into the aftercare program. Some of the people who will take the responsibility of helping you are:

  • Therapists
  • Caseworkers/social workers
  • Nurses
  • Outside agencies that work with social workers and case managers to provide additional support to you after your discharge

What do Case Managers do?

In an IOP case, managers are the professionals who deal with the non-medical treatment of the patient’s clinical recovery process. Routinely case managers provide drug and alcohol testing.  Drug and alcohol testing is very important during the first phase of your recovery journey. It helps hold you accountable and it provides information to the medical personnel in case you relapse, which is, unfortunately, a very common occurrence. In addition, case managers do the following: 

  • Help you find recreational facilities and meeting places

Finding places where you can go to participate in healthy activities like taking up a new hobby or playing a sport with other people can be very beneficial to your health. These activities can help calm your mind and help you to continue to develop as a person.

  • Give you an additional person to confide in and someone who will provide you with knowledgeable advice if you want a second opinion on day to day activities like how to eat healthier.

Sometimes people feel like some problems are not important enough to bring up in therapy. Please remember that all your problems are valid and worthy of attention. 

  • Provide you with HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and other STI testing and information 

Often your recovery clinic will provide you with these tests but sometimes it can feel intimidating to ask. A case manager is an additional person who is also very easy to approach.

How Do I Get the Stuff I Need After Drug Rehab?

Some more life intensive services that a case manager can help with are:

  • Finding a food bank
  • Obtaining clothes that are suitable for a job interview
  • Job and/or vocational training
  • Helping you find cost-effective transportation services  
  • Providing you with the information needed to find someone to give you legal advice or other legal help if you need it

What are the End Goals of an IOP?

One of the main goals of an IOP is to put you in a mental and physical condition where you do not take drugs or drink alcohol for at least 30 days. Staying sober is a requirement throughout the aftercare program as well. If someone slips or relapses during their IOP they will receive continued counseling in the IOP and they often have to continue the program until they meet the 30-day criteria

  • Complete program goals

You will have your own personalized goals when you enter your IOP program. Your goals are often a combination of professional requirements and things that you want to achieve before leaving the program. 

  • Being competent in your assertive skills to get out of situations that might cause you to relapse because of peer and/or family pressure

Some people have to trigger people or situations that make them want to abuse substances. During your IOP you will learn you have the strength to leave these situations and/or break off the connection with people who trigger your addiction. 

It might sound easy but if one of your triggers people is a long-time friend or even a family member it can be very difficult. Trigger places might be places that make you want to abuse substances while you are at them. 

Trauma is a big stressor that often causes people to turn to drugs and/or alcohol for comfort. Being in a place that reminds someone of their trauma might cause them to slip or relapse. 

  • 12 step-program

Your caseworker will help you find a local 12 step program like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). 12 step programs like these can help you stay sober and continue your treatment in combination with a therapist if you have a dual diagnosis or you feel the need for one. 

Do I Need Therapy after Drug Rehab?

Your aftercare program might offer continued therapy, but once it is over you will begin therapy outside your clinic’s network. A case manager can help you find a local therapist that suits your needs. 

How Do I Find an IOP?

Sana Lake Recovery Center is located in Missouri. Our dedicated team of professionals offers everything you need to start your new life on your road to recovery. When you have made the decision to start your new life please contact us