6 Ways Addiction Takes a Toll on You Financially

Drug and alcohol addiction are serious problems that affect millions of people each year in the United States and all over the world. While most people think of addiction as a social problem and one that will negatively impact a person’s relationships with friends and family, addiction can also take a major toll on your pocketbook.

In fact, drug and alcohol addicts who suffer for years often end up going completely broke. We’ve all heard horror stories about individuals with addiction problems borrowing money and never paying it back or simply stealing from the people they love or their employer to support their habit.

Keep reading to learn more about how addiction impacts you financially, and how the best rehab facilities are prepared to help. Only with help from one of the best rehab facilities will you be able to overcome a serious addiction.

  1. Drugs and alcohol are expensive. Over time, you’ll spend thousands or even more on addictive substances. That means less money for essentials and practically no savings for most people.
  2. Your habit will get worse. As your addiction grows you’ll have to spend more to get the impact your addict mind and body wants.
  3. Not paying bills on time. When you can’t or forget to pay on time you’ll get hit with high late fees that negatively impact your finances.
  4. Taking out loans. Many people rely on loans to get by, but those loan interest rates can be a real killer if you don’t pay on time.
  5. Spending money on legal fees. Whether you get arrested for drug possession or DUI, you’ll spend thousands just to get out of jail and back into the world.
  6. Job loss. Spells of unemployment are common among addicts who find it difficult to hold jobs.

New Drug Test for Cocaine Uses Fingerprint Technology

Drug testing for cocaine use in the future may replace hair, blood and urine sampling with fingerprint analysis. In the past similar tests have been used by law enforcement, but officials could only determine if a suspect handled cocaine, not if they ingested it. European scientists, however, have now developed a way to instantly tell if someone has consumed the drug. This test will be useful for officials who investigate pushers of the drug and rehab patients who are unable to kick this dangerous addiction.

Why Old Testing Methods Don’t Work
Testing a suspect’s urine is not always practical, as it does not always produce definitive results. Researchers of the drug and rehab officials have suggested that cocaine affects each individual differently without generating clear conclusions while taxpayers end up paying for this expense. May times it requires expert analysts at high costs to make accurate determinations. In terms of urine testing, biological hazards can occur when researchers handle bodily fluids.

As drug testing started to become widespread, particularly among employers in the 1990s, drug users found ways to beat these tests. They would first give themselves preliminary tests after using a detoxification product. While there were four main tests that became common (urine, hair, saliva, blood), urine tests were the most popular due to being the cheapest. Yet, urine tests were the easiest to beat. Users simply would abstain for 48 hours.

Factors that affected cocaine detection included frequency of use, metabolic rate, body mass, physical activity, age and health. Hair tests were the hardest to beat because traces of the drug could be identified in the hair over a 90 day time frame. Drug and rehab experts sometimes were misled with false positive cocaine tests if the subject had ingested certain substances such as coca leaves, coca oil, coca tea or tonic water.

Invasive Issues
Many people, even those who never use illegal narcotics, feel that traditional drug testing methods are invasive and violate a person’s right to privacy. Asking for hair, urine and saliva samples can be embarrassing for certain people, especially those wrongly accused of drug abuse. The concept of fingerprint testing is not as invasive as only a minimal area of the fingers are used for testing.

New Technology
A team of scientists from five institutions recently discovered more reliable methods to test for cocaine use. Those institutions include:

  • University of Surrey
  • Netherlands Forensic Institute
  • National Physical Laboratory in the UK
  • King’s College London
  • Sheffield Hallam University

According to study leader Dr. Melanie Bailey from the University of Surrey, scientists are only bound by the size of this technology. She expects researchers to miniaturize the technology to make it portable. She believes it will help protect the public while providing a safer test for subjects, eliminating the need for blood tests.

Mass Spectrometry
Law enforcement officers can now test individuals for cocaine use in a non-evasive way through a process called mass spectrometry. This new drug testing method involves an analysis of chemical compounds in the suspect’s fingertips. Officials look for two unique compounds found in fingertips when someone has consumed cocaine: benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine. The former is a compound that results from the body metabolizing cocaine while the latter is a cocoa plant byproduct.

Electrospray Ionization
The technique of determining whether benzoylecgonine and methylecgonine are present in a suspect’s fingertips is called electrospray ionization. It involves spraying a special solvent on a slide consisting of the person’s fingerprints. This technique has been used in the past for forensic investigations, but only recently has it become used by law enforcement for drug testing.

Why Fingerprint Method is Useful

  • safer than handling bodily fluids
  • cheaper than traditional drug testing
  • electrospray eliminates storage and disposal costs
  • the test cannot be faked
  • results immediately reveal if a suspect has used cocaine
  • at the same it verifies an individual’s identity

Future Availability
Fingerprint drug testing is not yet available for organizations to use to test individuals for drug abuse. Researchers believe, however, this new drug testing technology may be unleashed to the public within the next ten years. Some drug and rehab experts are already preparing for this new technology by researching how to develop cost effective portable kits.

7 Great Summertime Activities for Fun with Sobriety

Summer is a great time to relax, socialize, and do a number of exciting outdoor activities. As you get used to life after drug and alcohol treatment, your idea of fun may change to a degree. For that reason, summertime may present some challenges. However, there are still plenty of fun things to do after you finish drug and alcohol treatment.

  1. Camping
    Camping gives you an opportunity to embrace nature. Hike some trails and enjoy wonderful vistas. Regardless of if you are roughing it or glamping it, camping can be a therapeutic release for you and a fun adventure.

  2. Travel
    Look to visit some destinations that you have always been interested in. Pack up and go have fun. Traveling is often a very rewarding experience.

  3. Sports
    Consider joining a sports league, it is a fun way to exercise and stay in shape while also enjoying competition that is both rewarding and challenging. The majority of sports leagues are organized by many local communities with different levels of competition.

  4. Volunteering
    Look for opportunities in your newspaper, for example. From animal care to community gardens, you should be assured of finding a cause that interests you. Through donating your time, you will likely meet new friends.

  5. Try Something New
    Find a new activity. Maybe you would like to learn how to fish, or surf, or perhaps learn to climb up some mountains.

  6. Become Creative
    Regardless of whether you would like to learn a new instrument or just attend a workshop, the summer presents a great opportunity to learn a new skill.

  7. Coordinate
    Check out the local recovery groups in your area to see if they hold any special summertime events, such as cookouts. This could be a great season for interacting and meeting new people.

5 Reasons You Need Family Therapy to Cure Addiction

Addiction affects family bonding and in worst cases could lead to instances of theft, violence, and depression. A family dealing with addiction needs special therapy to sort out these issues.

There is a growing trust among people for family treatment programs and they seek therapists for an effective solution. An estimate states that 808,798 children consult family therapists each year in the United States.

Why Family Therapy?
A therapist ensures the well-being of the entire family. There is a need to consult a family therapist owing to various reasons.

  1. Addicted people could return to addiction. People who return from a recovery center are left to themselves to remain sober. However, the family has the same environment that had started the addiction. Family therapy serves to modify family behavior.

  2. People don’t know what’s going on. A family learns to deal with the stress the best way they know how, but that could often make the situation worse and nobody has a clear picture of what is going on. The family therapist helps to see each person objectively and gives a different perspective.

  3. The family learns to identify the triggers. The family learns to cope with the trigger-inducing pattern that contributes to the addiction in the beginning. They will also learn ways to forgive and heal and communicate to solve issues together.

  4. People learn to balance attitudes. One family member may feel that giving the addict less responsibility is the answer while another may advocate stricter rules. The therapist helps the family balance different ideas to create a secure environment for all members.

  5. Each family needs a specific approach. Counselors utilize varying methods in regards to family therapy. In some cases, they see the family only as a unit; others seek one-on-one counseling with each member and in still others, allowing both family and individual counseling time.

7 Low-Cost Mental Health Resources for Dual Therapy

Even though the cost of mental health care has reached record levels in recent years, there are still plenty of free and low cost resources to turn to for help. Here are seven useful apps and contacts that can point you toward dual therapy treatment.

  1. Breathe2Relax
    One of the best ways to deal with stress is to relax, which avoids the high costs of complex medication. This free app for iOS and Android was created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. It is designed to teach users how to breathe from their diaphragm.

  2. Mindshift
    This free app for iOS helps you see through stress by rethinking scenarios through prompts. It teaches you how to manage stress by reading body signals.

  3. QuitPro
    Designed to kick habits like smoking, this free app for iOS and Android helps you track events that trigger addictive behavior. The program provides self-help steps with cloud features that help beat addiction.

  4. MentalHealth.gov
    This government resource can help you learn about various different types of mental health disorders. The site can direct you where to get help for you and your community.

  5. National Institute of Mental Health
    This site educates people on mental illness and insurance coverage. The site features updates on innovations in mental health treatments.

  6. Disaster Distress Hotline
    When you or someone you know is depressed or needs help out of a bad situation, the Disaster Distress Hotline can provide help at 1-800-985-5990. This number can connect you with relief and dual therapy treatment related to natural disasters or violent crimes.

  7. National Organization for Victim Assistance
    If you have been a victim or witness in a crime scene, you can call NOVA’s hotline at 1-800-879-6682. They can connect you with mental health counseling based on your needs.

Kim Richards Back in Rehab Post Daughter’s Wedlock

Kim Richard’s recent arrest and re-entry into an alcohol and drug rehab center is proof of how easy it is to relapse if you put yourself in an environment where alcohol and drugs are readily available. While you are in a facility, your environment is controlled and your exposure to unhealthy elements is limited. Once you leave, you are left to your own devices. Choosing to expose yourself to situations where the access to drugs and alcohol is unlimited dramatically increases your chances of a relapse.

Rehab facilities are designed to provide a safe environment for their clients. Classes and counseling is available that will provide you with the tools you need to face addiction and overcome the temptation of taking that first drink or accepting what someone offers you. It is your willingness to move past the addiction that will allow you to use those tools and remain sober.

When you leave the rehab facility, there are several things you can do to prevent a relapse. They include:

  • Surround yourself with positive influences – Friends and family who are willing to support your efforts to remain sober will be your biggest asset.

  • Avoid environments where you know drugs and alcohol will be present – Limiting your exposure to drugs and alcohol will greatly reduce your risk of a relapse.

  • Make new friends – Many times, it’s your old acquaintances that expose you to the things you are trying to avoid.

Taking the first step towards sobriety means admitting you have a problem. The next step is finding the help you need to succeed. The right rehab facility can help get you back on track. With the right mindset and the willingness to make the appropriate changes, facing addiction and beating it will become a lifestyle instead of a challenge.

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.

Physical, Mental Illness Coexists in A Third of U.S. Teens

Substance abuse is seen as a major issue among teens in the United States. However, there is another issue that is just as alarming. A new study shows that 33 percent of teens between 13 and 18 years old suffer from both physical and mental illness. The study was conducted at the University of Basel. Some of these disorders were linked with specific medical conditions. For example, eating disorders were most likely associated with seizure and anxiety disorders, heart disease, and arthritis. Depression for example, occurs more often with digestive disorders. These are other factors to consider before you or someone you know thinks about attending substance abuse rehab.

The correct term for having both illnesses is called co-occurrence, which simply means having two conditions at the same time. The National Alliance on Mental Illness suggests that half of people with severe mental disorders also have substance abuse issues. In regards to the total number of people diagnosed with a mental condition, almost 30% are using drugs or alcohol. These are issues to consider before heading to substance abuse rehab. The data suggests that mental disorders and physical diseases often co-occur in childhood.

These disorders are a tough challenge for global health care systems and as such, are gaining focus worldwide by government health authorities. Doctors recommend that the treatment of the physical and mental conditions should take into account the other. This would help treat the children better during their stay in substance abuse rehab. This would greatly impact the health care system as well.

How to Master Decision Making While Addiction Recovery

Entering drug rehab treatment is the first of many decisions that a person recovering from addiction has to make. The fact that they need such a program indicates there has been at least one period of bad decision-making in the past and it might be the perfect time to master a more effective decision-making model for the future. The following steps will help you to do just that. You can use the process as it concerns seeking drug rehab treatment and then see how this decision can help you not only maintain sobriety but also make decisions in many other areas of life.

  • Decide to be open and honest about the issue. By being honest about drugs, alcohol and your own relationship to them, you make clear where things stand in your process.

  • Ask yourself why you started down the road that led to your addiction. What did you like about your drug of choice that made you want to continue?

  • Look at whether or not your use of the drugs or alcohol caused any harm. If so, is there chance of more problems down the road? If no problems can be identified, ask if you can see possible harm in the future.

  • Examine who is ultimately responsible for your problems. Know which problems you are responsible for creating and which ones were created by someone else.

  • What path are you on now and where do you want your path to end up? Be honest with yourself as to whether the path you are now on is going to help you get to your wanted destination.

  • Examine what choosing to continue using drugs or alcohol will do to you and your life. Make this determination by reviewing your previous insights. Being in drug rehab treatment can make you see things clearer.

  • Follow through on the decision you make. If something seems to be not working, go back and work through the steps again.

Challenges Abound

When you are active on the road to recovery, there are many challenges that you find yourself facing. There are encounters with old drinking/drug partners, dealing with the mistrust that may have been caused while you were actively addicted and then the situations that you chose to avoid by turning to drugs or alcohol in the first place. There may be moments when you wonder if becoming drug-free is worth it. By learning to incorporate the above seven steps to any challenges that arise, you give yourself a much greater chance of making more appropriate choices in the future.

For each challenge, be honest about what you are facing and how it is impacting you. Examine how you responded to the challenge in the past and then ask yourself if that response caused you or anyone else harm. Remind yourself of who has ultimate control over your decision. In most cases, it will be you. Ask yourself how your decision will impact where you want to go in life and then ask if choosing to respond as you did in the past will help or hinder you on that path. Finally, use the answers to make a decision.

Will following this process guarantee that you will always make an appropriate decision? No. Whenever choice is involved, there is always a chance of making a wrong decision. That is part of being human. What following this process will do is help you make more correct choices; the choices that will help you succeed rather than cause even more problems. As you become more familiar with it, the process will become easier and will see you making more good choices than poor ones.

Keep Trying

Don’t allow a poor choice to cause you to feel like you should give up trying. Making correct decisions consistently is a process that gets better with practice. You have had many years of making poor decisions. Acknowledge that the choice wasn’t the best and give it another try. Going through drug rehab treatment is the first step on a path to a future of good choices. The first step is always the most difficult.

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.