Signs That You’re Facing Alcoholism

Some people are able to consume alcohol without any problems. However, others find it difficult to stop drinking alcohol. Habitual alcohol abuse can easily lead to alcoholism. It is important for alcoholism to be treated as soon as possible. One of the keys to getting the proper treatment for alcoholism is to recognize the signs. 

You Have a High Tolerance 

People who drink frequently and in excess have a tendency to develop a tolerance. The higher your tolerance is, the more alcohol you will have to drink to get the same effects. Many people have to drink 12 beers just to get a buzz. 

You Experience Withdrawal Symptoms 

If you have an alcohol addiction, then your body is dependent on alcohol to function. You will likely experience withdrawal symptoms if you attempt to stop drinking. These withdrawal symptoms can be intense and may include things such as tremors, fatigue, nausea and withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal can also cause blackouts. 

You Cannot Control How Much You Drink 

If you find yourself setting drinking limits and unable to stay within those limits, then you may have an alcohol addiction. You may also find that attempts to cut down on drinking are futile. The reason that it is difficult to control your drinking is because alcoholism is a disease. 

Your Priorities are out of Order 

Alcoholism can cause problems in your personal life. You may start to overlook your priorities as the result of alcoholism. You may find that you are spending more money than you can afford. You may also find that you are neglecting responsibilities at work and school. 

Your Relationships are Negatively Impacted 

Because alcoholism can cause you to neglect your friends, spouse and children, your relationships with them may suffer. You may also find yourself being more irritable and argumentative. This can also have a negative impact on the relationships that you have with other people. 

You Try to Hide Your Drinking 

If you find yourself lying about how much you drink, then this may be a sign of alcohlism. People who are able to control their drinking typically do not feel the need to lie about it. You may lie to protect the ones that you love. However, if your family members find out that you are lying, then this can have a negative impact on the relationships that you have with them. 

Your Appearance Has Changed 

It is common for people with alcoholism to neglect their appearance. Poor hygiene, bloated face and dull hair are some of the physical signs of an alcohol problem. Alcohol can also deplete the vitamins and minerals in your body, which can cause you to develop a shoddy experience. 

You Keep Drinking Despite the Consequences 

You may be fully aware of the consequences of drinking. You may see the way that alcohol has started to impact your life. You may even feel guilty about your drinking. However, you may keep drinking despite all of the consequences. 

Alcoholism does not have to ruin your life. You can attend Broward County drug rehab and get your life and health back in order. Contact us today.

Drug Use In Teens And What Parents Can Do To Prevent It

The teenage years are a vulnerable time for adolescents. Studies have shown that the brain does not completely develop until the age of 25. That is one of the reasons teens often use drugs. Studies have shown that teens who start using drugs are more likely to develop an addiction later in life. 

Negative Effects of Teen Drug Use 

Drug use has to be taken seriously because there are a number of negative consequences that can result. While some teens are able to overcome drug use, others have to deal with serious consequences. The following is a list of possible consequences. 

  • Anxiety, depression and other mental health problems
  • Strained relationships with friends and family
  • Physical health problems
  • Academic problems and suspensions
  • Juvenile delinquency

Teens Who are at Risk 

Anybody can end up with a drug problem. However, there are some people who are at a greater risk for it than others. Identifying people who may be at risk is one of the keys to preventing drug abuse. 

People who are in Transition 

Teens who go to a new school are often introduced to new pressures. They want to fit in with everyone. They may be introduced to social circles that are using drugs. 

People Who Suffer From Mental Illness 

Depression and anxiety can develop early in life. People who have mental problems are more likely to develop an addiction. 

No Positive Influences 

Teens who come from an abusive or broken home are more likely to develop an addiction. They may not even understand the consequences of their addiction. Furthermore, teens who have a family member who uses drugs are more likely to have a drug problem. 

What Parents can Do 

Monitor Your Teens 

You will need to be aware of what your child is doing and who they are hanging out with. You can do the following to monitor your child. 

  • Come home earlier than expected.
  • Check in with them regularly.
  • Have your neighbors watch your home when you are away.
  • Monitor the prescription drugs in your home.
  • Look for changes in your child’s behavior.

Talk to Your Teen About Drug Use 

Many teens do things without thinking about the consequences of their actions. That is why it is important to talk to them about the consequences of being a drug user. The more you talk to your child about the risks, the less likely they are to use drugs. 

Keep the Lines of Communication Open 

Teens who have a good relationship with their parents are less likely to use drugs. Many teens feel like they cannot talk to their parents about issues. That is why you will need to let your teen know that they can talk to you about what is bothering them. Teens will be more likely to talk to you if they know that they can be honest with you. Communication is one of the keys to prevention. 

If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, then you can contact our Pompano drug rehab center. We can help people break their addiction.

The Benefits of Residential Detox Facilities

Facing and overcoming an addiction is a major feat for millions of individuals worldwide each year. With severe addictions to alcohol, drugs, and prescription medications, eliminating substances can become potentially harmful or deadly when not done properly. Choosing a residential detox treatment facility is one way to minimize the risk of quitting any addiction cold turkey while providing advantages that are not available with traditional outpatient services. 

What is a Residential Detox Treatment Center? 

Detoxing facilities that provide inpatient rehabilitation and detoxing ensure the safety and security of all individuals who are currently enrolled in a program. Inpatient detox centers are staffed with medically-trained professionals, doctors, and therapists who recognize the importance of medically-monitored detoxing. When an individual has a severe addiction to substances such as alcohol, heroin, or other opioids, they have a much greater risk of experiencing adverse effects on the body when quitting the substances cold turkey and without proper care and intervention. Stopping an addiction without warning can lead to seizures, heart troubles, coma, and even death in patients who have had addictions for years or even decades. A residential inpatient center with medically-monitored detoxing is essential to minimize and prevent health risks. 

Individual Counseling and Therapy 

With an inpatient rehab facility, meet with counselors and therapists individually to determine the root cause of your addiction while learning new methods to abstain and overcome both the physical and mental aspects of addiction itself. One-on-one counseling provides a safe and welcoming environment that allows you to openly express yourself without feelings of judgment, shame, or guilt. Work with a therapist to learn more about your addiction along with methods of steering clear from using drugs or alcohol again in the future. 

Group Sessions 

Attend group sessions with other individuals who are also enrolled in an inpatient program at the facility you choose. Connect with others who have similar struggles to avoid feeling alone, alienated, and isolated throughout your journey to sobriety. Create new friendships while working together with others to rebuild your circle of friends once you have completed your inpatient rehab program. Obtain a sponsor to avoid the temptation of falling into the trap of your addiction again. 

Zero-Tolerance Environment 

Inpatient treatment centers have a zero-tolerance policy in effect, preventing individuals from drinking, smoking or using any form of drug while they are completing a program. A zero-tolerance environment is extremely beneficial and healthy for those who have struggled with addiction for years or have experienced relapses in the past. When you are not at risk of spending time with others who are using drugs and alcohol it is much easier to stick to any goals you have set for yourself while detoxing and rebuilding your life without the use of substances. Zero-tolerance environments help facilitate the process of getting clean and eliminating the urge to give into temptation. 

If you are seeking a residential detox facility for you or someone you know in South Florida (Pompano), get in touch with us by calling (866) 319-6126 or by visiting our website at FirstStepBH.com today.

4 Crucial Tips To Help Your Loved One Through Addiction Rehab

For a drug addict, asking for help is just the first step on their journey towards recovery. It’s more than one person’s burden to get well; they also need the support of friends and loved ones to successfully navigate this important experience. Whether inpatient or outpatient, there are some simple tips that anyone can follow while supporting a person undergoing rehab. 

1.Keep Communicating 

Some people make the mistake of cutting off addicts in their life. No matter the reason, it can be more damaging than helpful to end those lines of communication. If someone is undergoing inpatient South Florida Drug Rehab, keep visiting them; make sure the phone lines are always open for their call. When a person is undergoing outpatient treatment, make sure to schedule time for visits-try to plan excursions out to safe locations or public venues. 

2.Be Patient 

It’s easy to get mad or irritated with someone who is dealing with the pains of drug addiction. Stay calm at all times in this delicate process. Raised voices, screaming, acting visibly annoyed only stokes the fires in a patient. They need complete support at all times; not judgment. When it all feels like its going to be too much, step away or go out for a walk. Let everything cool down and give those involved a chance to catch their breath when the situation feels out of control. 

3.Actively Corroborate With Doctors And Professionals 

Treatment is more than a solitary experience, it takes everyone to make it work. Working as a team is key to ensuring the process actually reaches its goals along the way. At the onset, meet with the doctors and professionals that will be handling the program. If possible, try to get an entire group of close friends and family to attend the meeting. It’s the best way to ensure everyone is ready for what lies ahead and on the same page in terms of treatment benchmarks. When or if professionals change as treatment progresses, repeat these steps or at least schedule a quick discussion to ensure there are no important differences to the plan. 

4.Don’t Get Discouraged 

There will be times along the way when something doesn’t go as planned or the patient fails in some way. Don’t give up when these hiccups along the way occur. Instead, dig in deeper to see what can be done to fix or change whatever is causing a problem. Be sure to ask the person themself about the obstacles in their way. 

No one should be alone as they go through the process of addiction recovery. Being there for someone as they deal with the ups and downs of treatment can make the difference. Take these tips to heart as someone deals with their addiction rehab; they’re some of the best options a person has as their friend or loved one bravely faces this difficult, but rewarding experience.

Contact us today to learn more about drug addiction treatment and rehab services.

Strange Addiction Treatment May Be the Future

Recently, the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston embarked on an experimental treatment process for people addicted to cocaine and crack. Their approach, in an effort find ways to reduce relapse during the treatment process, was to assess whether changing memories would lead to fewer ‘environmental’ and ‘emotional’ triggers, which cause psychological cravings, even after the user has been successfully detoxed.

The process of treatment is very important during the first year as this will be when a user is most likely to have a relapse. A relapse is when a patient who has completed the treatment process for their addiction uses the drug again. These instances are fueled by many factors; depression, anxiety, nostalgia and other feelings may induce a person to have ‘just one more go’ with their drug of choice. The researchers in Charleston think this might be a process which can be manipulated through the use of memory-altering drugs.

While this idea may seem counterintuitive and possibly science fiction along the lines of “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “The X-Files”, the researchers, according to Mike Saladin who lead the study, hope to deactivate the power of memories that cause specific behaviors and habits. His ultimate goal with the research, which has had around ten human test subjects so far over the last 10 years, is to ‘turn down the volume of cues that excite drug use’ within someone’s memories.

When addiction is fully in control, it spawns new habits that benefit the addiction itself. For some people who have a tradition of taking a shower every morning, a drug user may, instead, start their day with using their drug of choice. For others, it may be linked to seeing certain places, seeing certain people or remembering specific events. Those involved with this angle of addiction research warn that there’s more to it than simply ‘erasing memories’ by reducing crave-inducing environmental cues.

“We can’t treat addiction just by using extinction, in which someone is repeatedly exposed to drug-related cues until the cues cease to induce craving because extinction doesn’t generalize outside the environment where it occurs,” said David Epsten of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The treatments are partially inspired by similar treatments which have had some success in reducing panic attack in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers. The behaviors tied to memories have a link that is slowly severed so that modern memories overwrite the older ones, leading to reduction in anxiety spikes in patients. The same effect is what researchers hope to achieve with regards to reducing relapsing of patients who break the chemical and physical elements of addiction to remain in control of their actions.

Currently, though, treatment still requires specialists and counselors like those at 1st Step Behavioral Health, a south Florida drug rehab center which offers drug rehab and detox to Broward County, including Ft. Lauderdale and Pompano Beach among many other places. Call (866) 319-6126 if you or someone you know suffers from the illness of addiction.

Even Forbes Has Concerns About Addiction

The reach of the negative effects of drug addiction know almost know bounds. All too common are stories about health deterioration up to and including death, the estranged families and friends who become unable to handle the addict’s behaviors, not to mention the psychological trauma that an addict endures even as a side effect of the drug itself at times.

But drugs addictions cost money and a recent study by True Link pointed out that financial issues plague addicts who’s behavior becomes more irrational the further they priority spending on their next fix. Only 18% of the 149 families related to addicts reported that the illness didn’t get to the point where their finances were negatively affected. Of the remaining 82% who’s money situation did fall into troubles, a whopping 65% of the study’s respondents said that their affected family member had asked for money to help their situation. Just under half of the addicts had emptied their savings and a tad over ten percent had even filed for bankruptcy as a result of their drug use.

Not always was the cost of the drug itself the primary reason for these devastating numbers. As the article in Forbes pointed out, the use of the drug itself can lead to loss of work days, demotion and unemployment, leaving a user to have lowered or no income to support their habit. In the researcher’s estimation, a person can spend over $10,000 a year to support a cocaine or heroin habit, which is the cost of a one bedroom apartment for a year in some smaller cities in America.

There’s also a hidden cost pointed out in the report which can get as high as $30,000 a month depending on circumstances and that’s the rehab that addicts will have to seek treatment in. Not only that, while in recovery, patients may find spending money on frivolous things instead of drugs to fill an emotional void can unconsciously lead to even more debt, and ultimately creating a depressive state which could end up leading to a relapse and more treatment costs incurred. It certainly seems like it can be a vicious  cycle in a world where it’s impossible to exist without some way to pay for things like food and shelter.

The very fact that many addicts get into so much trouble that their family ends up paying from their pockets to handle the damage as well contributes to estrangement. Parents put into this situation often don’t know whether they are hurting or helping their relative when providing financial support for food or bills after they have exhausted their income on substance abuse.

Regardless of specifics, it’s clear that addiction can have a long lasting financial effect and the further into addiction a person falls, the more it costs on not only their own, but their friends and family’s ability to financially take care of themselves.

Recovery can be expensive but south Florida rehab centers like 1st Step Behavioral Health accept insurance which can easy the financial pressure. Rather than risk possibly going into debt over addiction and then get treatment, you or someone you know who might be suffering from addiction can break the cycle today by calling (866) 319-6126 to talk to specialists about treatment options like residential detox. 1st Step also offers south Florida alcohol treatment for alcoholics as well.

Don’t Wait For A Warm Handoff

There are many times when we put things off until the last minute; leaving for work, paying a bill, telling your friend to look where they’re going before they run into sign post, etc. A lot of that leads to negative effects. Sometimes, though, that delay in action can lead to positive results. Artists and engineers have historically had a sizable percentage that swear that their best work is done during ‘crunch time’, when a deadline to complete a project inches closer like slasher movie villain. When it comes to addiction, that slasher movie villain in the form of a life-threatening overdose has been seen as a positive influence on addicts seeking and succeeding at being treated and rehabilitated.

Several centers across the country are cooperating with hospitals to execute a process they  are calling a ‘warm handoff’. The idea is that a patient who may end up in the emergency room doesn’t leave the hospital until they have a plan for getting treatment for their addiction that landed them there in the first place. The hope is that it will have an overall positive effect at reducing repeat emergency room visits by addicts who who’s illness is highly self-destructive and leaves them in serious condition.

The obvious problem with this approach is that surviving an overdose is a gamble where the risk of death is the required ante to play the game. What engineers and artists will not tell you is that they are not always able to make a deadline at ‘crunch’ which provide them with that creative push that they seek to harness. Waiting until that one time where the dosage is too much for a person’s body to deal with could land them in a cemetery, unlike the creatives who simply have to, at worst, deal with getting fired but still live to fight another day.

This idea becomes even more risky when contending with the fentanyl potency finding its way into drugs that aren’t even in the same category as opioids. Recently, cocaine was killing people due to contamination of the powder with crushed fentanyl because of negligence on suppliers handling both narcotics. Even opioid addicts are frequently found dead with a needle still in their arm due to the speed with which fentanyl can shut their entire body down, meaning they won’t even make it to the emergency room in the first place.

Indeed, any increase in possibility of successful treatment should be considered, but addicts are highly recommended to not take the riskier route to that success. Even if treatment before that point of a near-death experience may have a higher relapse rate, it’s far more desirable for those who wish for their addiction to not end their life to seek treatment as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know could be suffering substance use disorder, 1st Step Behavioral Health offers south Florida detox, south Florida drug rehab and offers a wide range of treatment options for those seeking substance abuse treatment in Florida. Call (866) 319-6126 to talk to a counselor about your addiction treatment today.

Addiction Leashes In Development

As our computer and communication technology continue to become more portable and more powerful in offering solutions to various human conditions, they’ll be applied to all manners of issues people face. One of the newest uses of new mobile technology is in preventing severe permanent health problems or death as a result of a drug overdose. Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh has developed what they call the ‘HopeBand’, a wristwatch-like device which monitors a patient’s physiology and alerts medics when it’s wearer’s condition changes past a set threshold due to a substance.

One of the reasons a person uses a drug is for the effect it has on their body. This effect can be monitored directly and is the first role of the wrist monitor. It achieves this by observing oxygen levels present in the person which, according to Soham Donwalkar, is the most reliable indicator of an overdose. When the levels detected indicate a possible overdose, an alarm and flashing light are triggered as blood oxygen levels drop. The watch also sends a text message to medics in the area alerting them of the condition and location for paramedics and first response units to handle dispatch. Drugs like fentanyl are so potent, they can send someone unconscious so fast they die with a needle still poking out of their arm. Cases such as these are one of the more serious situations that the HopeBand developers hope can they can prevent, getting overdose victims help even when they are unable to seek it themselves and have no one near them that can call 911.

The team also hopes to set a price point of the band as cheap as $18 per unit when it is finally completed. The device still requires further trials before it can apply for an FDA approval, however.

It is only one approach of using technology to monitor addiction. Several states have begun using artificial intelligence to monitor doctors prescribing drugs with the hopes of catching addiction of drugs like oxycodone before the dependence graduates into harder substances like heroin. The programs monitor patterns of patients as well as those of doctors and their frequency of prescribing pills. The goal of the software is to keep aware doctors of their own prescription habits in order to make decisions which could curb the fostering of addiction to oxycodone and other addictive drugs. Many times, addicts will ‘shop for doctors’, with many unaware that they are being taken advantage of for the sake of the addict’s cravings, another monitoring point that some AI’s track.

If you or someone you know might be suffering from addiction calling 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 can help find a path back to sobriety. We offer several treatment options such as residential detox and oxycodone treatment.

Right Before Your Eyes

Society tends to only ‘see’ addiction rather than thinking about it. Our culture has internalized a specific view of what addiction and addicts look like that prevents us, many times, from seeing it where it actually is. Chances are if you were to just think about addicts you may have seen within the past couple of days, you’ll think of a homeless guy at the corner of a street begging for change presumably to get another bottle of liquor or another rock. You’ll think of that guy you saw stumbling out of a bar with a torn shirt, spouting expletives at the bouncer who asked him to leave and smells like he might not have showered in days. You’ll think of the obvious and ignore those who aren’t fitting of those images we are fed by media about what it is supposed to look like. You won’t think of a doctor with a stethoscope and a degree. You won’t think about a multi-millionaire real-estate mogul. You won’t think about your neighbor whom you greet in the morning on their way to work.

The truth is, addicts don’t have a specific look. They don’t have a specific culture. They don’t have a specific income. They don’t have a specific anything. Just like any other illness, it can afflict anyone you know. A large reason for which it goes untreated is because of the stigma surrounding it. People who are addicted who aren’t homeless, who aren’t already shunned for one reason or another by society, will do everything in their power to hide it. Sometimes, they will be addicts without even realizing they are, or anyone else they know picking up on it.

Addiction itself is still being studied. It’s not a completely understood illness and new discoveries about how it takes hold of regular people and slowly destroys their body, mind, friends and families are being made all the time. From psychological research to genetics, the depth of knowledge about how it can transform someone from a rational human being to an irrational one continues to increase making it one of the most complicated ailments any person will ever deal with. If we, as part of society, continue to frame the problems as a cartoony stereotypical look of a guy sleeping on a bench with a bottle and stained trench coat, we will continue to see it spread and take the lives of more people we know and love. No one asks to break their leg in a car wreck, yet everyday that happens. If we continue to treat people who we would otherwise see as ‘us’ with ridicule and harsh judgement as a society, then we might as well say that as a society we are okay with it being a continued epidemic as it is today.

Addiction can be devastating if untreated. If you or someone you know is need of residential detox, oxycodone treatment or general south Florida drug rehab, 1st Step Behavioral Health offers treatment administered by professional counselors. Call (866) 319-6126 to take the first step towards recovery today.

How CBT Methods Are Aiding Patients in Recovering from Heroin Addiction

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used psychological treatment approach first developed by Dr. Aaron T. Beck in the 1960’s. CBT was initially developed in order to treat depression, but clinicians have found it useful in the treatment of various anxiety and substance use disorders as well. Since both individual and group sessions of CBT have proven to be successful in the treatment of substance abuse, many rehabilitation facilities are now incorporating it into their treatment methods. When you are looking into heroin drug treatment Broward, seeing that a facility is certified in proven CBT methods gives a higher guarantee that their approach is historically effective. 

The three subsidiary CBT approaches that are typically practiced in rehabilitation programs are: motivational interventions (MI), contingency management (CM), and relapse prevention (RP). The MI component allows the individual to explore what barriers are getting in the way of them developing the motivation to recover. Once these barriers are properly identified, the clinical worker can help them find ways to overcome these hurdles and find alternative means of motivation for recovery. MI has shown to be mild to moderately successful in those suffering from alcoholism, but it has shown moderate levels of success in treating other substance use disorders such as heroin addiction. 

The next branch of CBT that shows promise in recovery is contingency management. CM works by rewarding good behaviors as they come forward during the patient’s recovery. For instance, giving reinforces for negative urine cultures can help motivate the individual to continue on this path for future reinforcement. This has shown to be very impactful in those who are specifically suffering from opioid and cocaine addictions. 

Relapse prevention (RP) is the third CBT method that is included in the treatment of substance us disorders. RP analyzes the triggers that act as cues for using, and then helps the patient find substitutions in dealing with these triggers as opposed to engaging in active addiction. The RP module also requires those in recovery to identify high-risk situations and find ways to avoid them in the future for additional security in their sobriety. 

The utilization of CBT in the treatment of substance use disorders also may include overlooking the ties between relationship functioning and how it correlates to the person’s substance abuse. Relationships often become troubled as a result of the patient’s addiction, which ends up leading to them using more. The end result is a viscous cycle that seems to never end. Teaching the patient and their family ways to cope with these emotions through psychoeducation can help them find more suitable ways to deal with these relationship woes without the involvement of self-medicating behaviors. 

With the presence of CBT in your recovery program, the potential of long-term sobriety dramatically increases. These approaches are proven to be highly effective, and almost every facility that offers heroin drug treatment in Broward is now incorporating CBT into their regimen. The additional recovery components that CBT can offer you have the ability of restoring your identity, interpersonal relationships, and ultimately, your freedom from addiction. Contact us today to learn more.