Things to Look Out for Before Signing a Recovery Contract

Drug rehab centers can do wonders for addicts. However, once the addiction program is over and the person comes home, the rest of the family has to support and help in preventing the addict from a relapse. This is where a recovery contract can prove to be extremely beneficial.

What’s a Recovery-Contract?
It is an agreement that clearly states what you expect from your loved one and what he should expect from you. All expectations and penalties for not meeting those expectations are while the recovering addict is living with you. Such a contract can keep your loved one and you on track and aids in complete de-addiction process.

Things to Keep an Eye Out For
Before you and your loved one actually sign a recovery contract, there are a few things that you need to look out for. These are the things that will ensure lasting sobriety in your loved one and ensure the work done by drug rehab centers is a success.

  • Have an open talk with your loved one about why you are putting a contract in place
  • Make the contract simple and don’t push the person into a corner with your expectations. You know your loved one well and hence, you know what is possible and what is not
  • Make sure you let the person know what you expect of them clearly. Leave no room for misunderstandings and ambiguities
  • Be clear on the number of relapses your loved one is allowed
  • Listen and not just hear what your loved one has to say
  • Address his doubts and be supportive
  • Incorporate your loved one’s suggestions in the contract, if possible
  • Make him realize the value of the recovery contract, otherwise all the work done by the rehab center will go in vain

The Queer Linkages Between Social Media and Addiction

You probably know a guy who is obsessive about checking his Facebook account. And we all know the stereo-typed woman who can’t stop texting. The way people interact with social media actually shows some vital clues about potential problems. Initial studies indicate that some social media users may need help in the same way that those who abuse substances require drug rehab.

How Social Media Promotes Certain Problems
Things like Facebook and Twitter have made it incredibly easy to stay in touch with people. This comes with some inherent problems because people can easily form some really unhealthy habits. Based on the results of a new study, the behaviors exhibited by those addicted to social media are related to behaviors of those who abuse substances. The study appeared in the December 2014 issue of Addiction.

The study included over 250 undergraduates attending New York’s University of Albany. The researchers took a questionnaire that was used to help determine if someone was alcoholic and changed all occurrences of alcohol with Facebook. An example question was “How good does alcohol make you feel?” With the slight change to Facebook, it was found that many of the largest social media outlets actually have addictive properties.

The final results included some interesting facts about social media users.

  • On average, those who participated in the study spent a third of their Internet time on Facebook alone.
  • Two-thirds of those in the study had set up notifications so that their phone would let them know when someone had either sent them a message or changed their status.
  • Roughly 10% of the 253 students had identifiable disordered social media use, which means that they displayed an actual addiction to using Facebook.
  • The 10% who displayed an addiction to Facebook were also likely to have drinking problems.

While the study was of a small sample of a specific population in a single area, it does suggest that there may be a wider application.

Source of the Addiction
It is believed that the addiction to Facebook is in part caused by poor emotional regulation skills. Those who are addicted to Facebook feel the need to be validated by others and to always know what is going on. The inability to properly manage emotions is also one of the primary reasons why people turn to drinking.

There are several other research studies that have had similar findings. In February, Michigan State University conducted a study that determined the pressures some people felt because Facebook had driven those people to drink. Those who participated in the research at Michigan State University said they felt more inclined to drink alcohol after looking at social media pages, particularly pages that were alcohol related. Other activities that increased the likelihood of drinking include posting messages to alcohol-related pages, adding comments, or liking a page. What was alarming was that this held true even when the participants were looking at an alcohol-related status update at the same time as an anti-drinking message. It is unlikely that a drug rehab message would have proven any more effective.

How the Brain Processes Self Awareness and Addiction
Both of these studies suggest that the nucleus accumbens (the small part of your brain) is activated whenever you openly share personal information. The nucleus accumbens is actually the same part of the brain that drug addiction triggers. A drug rehab uses this awareness to help people be more aware of their actions and habits.

However, accessing the same part of the brain as other activates does not necessarily mean a direct correlation. Researchers were unwilling to say that obsessing over social media use was an actual addiction, the way that substance abuse is. In part, this is because addiction is generally defined as taking something into the body, such as a drug.

Given time and more research, it is likely that social media may be recognized as an addiction at some point, the same way that excessive gambling has been. Based on a definition that is broader than the original, addiction could be said to be as much about being rewarded as ingesting something. In this case, it is easy to see how something like Facebook or Twitter could quickly overstep the bounds between an annoying habit and an addiction. It is far too early to tell what kind of intervention would be required to help those who are addicted, although something similar to drug rehab would likely be a good start.

Quit Addiction: The Best Way to Honor Your Mother Who Inspires

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. This year instead of giving your mom something with monetary value, give her something that she’ll cherish forever: quitting your addiction. Regardless of the nature of your addiction, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to start taking steps toward quitting.

The first step toward quitting an addiction is admitting that you have a problem. Facing this reality can be really tough, but it’s essential for making a change. You have to acknowledge the issue and then commit to breaking the addiction to improve your life. For example, maybe you’re drinking to treat anxiety and depression. It’s time to seek healthy solutions to these problems.

Once you’ve admitted your addiction, most likely you’ll have to make some lifestyle changes. One of the toughest parts about quitting an addiction is altering your lifestyle to avoid old habits. For example, if all of your friends are serious drinkers who party hard most nights of the week, you may be reinventing your social life to steer clear of the temptation to drink. Seek positive activities that will help you develop new routines, such as joining a gym or signing up for a photography workshop.

Finally, consider adopting some coping skills to get you through low moments. During those times when all you want is a drink or a cigarette, you can turn to a technique like deep breathing or meditation.

New Horizon Recovery is a well-established drug and alcohol rehab and treatment center. If you or your loved one is suffering from addiction, get in touch with the New Horizon Recovery to learn about our 30, 60, and 90 Day programs. Fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 760-805-4015.

New Research Reveals Unbelievable Cause of Addiction

The war on drugs saw a lot of propaganda, based on a very narrow experiment that did not take into account many important variables. What seemed like the logical conclusion, that drugs created a physical dependency, an addiction that would require serious drug treatment therapy to overcome, if you ever overcame it.

The Original Experiment
The well-known experiment used a single rat in a drag cage by itself. It was given two water sources, one that was just water and the other containing a hard drug, such as cocaine. Over time the rat would only drink the water with the hard drug until it eventually died, apparently from addiction.

Questioning the Experiment
Bruce Alexander, a Canadian Psychology professor in Vancouver, made a few changes to the experiment to see if changes in the rats’ environment made a difference. Rats did not live by themselves, but had several other rats with them.

The environment was called a Rat Park, and it contained toys, tunnels, and better food. Initially, the rats drank from both sources that were provided, but over time all of the rats in the environment shunned the drugged water.

Other Studies and Conclusion
Further connections were made to similar situations for humans. About 95% of Vietnam soldiers who used heroin like “chewing gum” while in Vietnam during the war did not continue their use once they returned home.

Likewise, patients in hospitals who use a legal form of heroin do not continue to need the drug once they are discharged from the hospital.

Based on Alexander’s experiments and the attention given to real-world scenarios, addiction is more about environment than physical addiction.

The best drug treatment therapy is reconnecting those who are addicted to a world in a more positive environment.

The Sober Truth: 5 Reasons Why to Rethink Rehab

A lot of people in the United States suffer from a drug problem at one point in their life, and most need help to get the problem under control. After all, it’s just not something that most people can do on their own.

That’s where drug rehabilitation facilities come into play for most people. However, if you’re running a drug rehabilitation facility, chances are you know you may need to improve it from to time. New research can give you some new options, so use this guide to improve the state of your drug rehabilitation facility so you can do the best for your patients.

Treat Addiction Properly
Addiction to a substance is a chronic illness – not a one-time problem. New research shows that people who learn to think of addiction like a problem that doesn’t go away, even when they’re sober, will do better staying clean over time. Teach your patients to treat addiction that way and you’ll see fewer return visitors over time.

Avoid Stigma
Patients who feel shamed or stigmatized tend to make less progress in rehab. Avoid shaming anyone in your facility, even in a passing way.

Stay Positive
Positive benefits of sobriety and how life will be better are more impactful focusing on the negatives. Stay positive to help patients realize they’ll be better off without alcohol.

Provide Education
Getting people clean is one thing – teaching them about their illness is another. Teach them about addiction and they’ll better understand why and how they can and need to stay sober once they leave your facility.

Stay Up to Date
Research is important, and it’s your job to stay up on it. Read the journals and talk to others in your business. You’ll do right by your patients.

The Horrifying Consequences of Opiate Addiction

The National Summit Survey revealed new and horrifying information on prescription drugs. For example, there has been a high death total linked to opiate overdoses over the last 30 years, a very alarming stat. Despite that stat, there is a small myth and incorrect information about these drugs. Here are some facts about opiates and being addicted. Please consider these facts if you are going to opiates rehab.

Long Release Pills Cause a High Overdose Risk
Large pills often result in an accidental overdose such as the FDA approved Zohydro, an opiate pain medication. While it would seem that you could take a big pill to ease the pain for several hours, actually Zohydro increases the chance of an accidental overdose. The half-lives of drugs stay in the system longer than what addicts are used to. The person may not recognize how much is truly left in their system, which will cause them to use another opiate, which will cause them to use another opiate, which in turn raises the risk of an overdose.

Dependence is Multifaceted
Dependence affects many aspects of a person. The physiological or biological components of the disease drive addictive behavior. After a lot of opiate use, you need more to keep your body normal. Withdrawal happens when the drug is no longer needed for the new normal. The user will then rapidly seek the drug in order to avoid the withdrawal.

Prescription Drugs Are Responsible for More Deaths than Cocaine
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that accidental overdose deaths due to drugs are higher than both Cocaine and even Heroin. Perhaps drug users don’t respect them as they would a drug with a more deadly reputation. Prescriptions Drugs are incorrectly assumed to be completely safe.

Consider these factors before going into opiates rehab.

Heroin Addiction Reaches Alarming Levels in America

Everybody knows how dangerous the drug heroin is – at least everybody who is in their teens or older. However, what you may not realize is that heroin is a drug that is still prevalent in the United States. In fact, it’s actually growing in popularity, and heroin addiction is reaching alarming levels in the country.

While you might be familiar with the fact that heroin is an addictive drug, most people don’t really understand how the drug works or why people become so addicted to. Most people don’t even know that it doesn’t take more than using the drug once or twice, especially if you do it in a short period of time, to become physically addicted.

When it comes to heroin, the United States is experiencing a major epidemic. But why? It’s a question a lot of people are wondering in the United States – if they’re even aware of the problem.

Why Is Heroin Popular Again?

Heroin is not a new drug, not by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, older adults likely remember the first heroin craze that took place in the 1960s and then again in the 1990s. However, just because heroin isn’t a new drug doesn’t mean that it isn’t cause for alarm when more and more young people are using it.

The truth is that the reason heroin is so popular again isn’t quite as simple as you might think it is. When it comes down to the facts, people actually use heroin for a variety of different reasons, and they aren’t really all that similar.

Stopping Enablement of Your Addicted Loved One: A Reflection

There is no doubt that many people all over the world enable loved ones who have drug or alcohol addiction issues in a number of different ways. This is a cycle that has to stop! For you to get your addicted loved one help with treatment and recovery, the first step is to give them a much-needed dose of tough love coupled with drug treatment therapy.

Here are 5 effective strategies to use to stop enabling your loved one’s addiction:

    • Learn about addiction: It is important that you educate yourself about substance abuse and addiction. It will give you an insight of what the person is going through and how to handle the difficult situations that arise and help them with drug treatment therapy.

  • Stop the handouts: You have to stop providing money when they ask for it. They will find different ways to gain sympathy, but remember that you need to be tough and say ‘no’!

  • Do not listen to threats: Addicts are manipulative and will threaten you when they do not get what they want. Do not concede to them. Let them rave and rant, but do not give in at any time!

  • Let them take responsibility: Repaying debts, making excuses for their behavior, etc. enable addicts. You need to let them take responsibility for their actions and let the cards fall where they may. It is the only way they will learn about the consequences of their actions.

  • Live your life: Do not get sucked into their self-destructive world. Live your own life and get counseling if you need to. Be there to support addicted loved ones only if you are 100% sure that they want to change their life.

How Early Intervention in Young Women Stops Addiction

Young Women Addiction InterventionTeenagers and young women are being exposed to drugs and alcohol almost every day, and at alarming rates. Studies show, that about 30 percent of high school girls admit to knowing that drug use, and the selling of drugs takes place in their school. Also, many of these young women admit to trying drugs (both prescriptions and over the counter) because they were readily available on school property.

Peak Periods of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Studies over the years have proven the peak periods of drug and alcohol abuse is primarily between the ages of 19 and 22. Although, the first instance of experimentation with drugs begins as early as the ages of 13 to 15.

The key to preventing long term drug abuse is to offer drug and alcohol rehab opportunities to teenagers and young women at the earliest point of drug abuse.

Preventing addiction involves breaking the cycle of use as well as teaching young women the dangers of drugs and clearing their common misconceptions about drug use.

Methods of Prevention
Early intervention and the use of alcohol and drug abuse awareness classes are effective when they are given at the right time. Today, several methods of prevention are being used in the alcohol and
drug rehab programs, these include:

  • Offering alcohol and drug rehab classes at the earliest point of use
  • Including parents and family members in the program
  • Activities and classes that dispel common misconceptions
  • Early intervention tactics that involve many different methods and techniques

By employing a multi-dimensional approach, and allowing the parents or family members to be involved as part of a solid support group, young women are less likely to increase their level of drugs use, if they are provided with effective rehab opportunities.

FDA Announces Safety Measures for Narcotic Painkillers

As of September 2013, the United States Food and Drug Administration is implementing a mandate for all long-term, extended-release narcotic painkillers to include reworked warning labels. The FDA is putting these measures in place to heighten appropriate, safe use of narcotic painkillers.

The FDA is very concerned about the fact that inappropriate opioid use has reached staggering numbers in the United States. While the majority of this use is illegal, taking prescribed doses can still result in overdose, addiction, and even death. The new labeling is intended to make it clear that abuse, addiction, and misuse as well as overdose and death are all potential risks for people even when they take the medications at the prescribed doses.

There is a warning that confines the use of these painkillers to people who require daily, long-term pain care who have not responded to non-narcotic drugs. Another warning makes pregnant women aware of the effect of narcotic withdrawal syndrome for newborn babies. It is important to keep in mind that the warnings will continue to stress that benefits of the drugs outweigh the risks.

In 2010, there were about 16,600 people who died due to misuse and abuse of opioid drugs. During the past decade, there has been an increase exceeding 300 percent. For each of these deaths, there are another 32 emergency department visits and 10 treatment admissions that occur due to misuse or abuse as well as 825 non-medical drug users.

Common medications that fall into this class of drugs include oxycontin, palladone, opana ER, MS contin, and embeda, all of which contain narcotics, such as morphine or oxycodine. The FDA is working to achieve a balance between making these painkillers readily available to patients who have legitimate needs for them and decreasing the amount of abuse and misuse that takes place.