sexual trauma and addiction

Sexual Trauma and Addiction

There’s no question that substance abuse is difficult on its own without the complications of external factors. When sexual abuse is thrown in the mix, things get a lot more complicated. Countless problems have been caused by instances of sexual abuse in the lives of many. The physical and psychological damage it serves is second to none. It is imperative to understand that sexual trauma and addiction are more interconnected than some people are led to believe. 

What is Sexual Abuse?

Sexual abuse is any action that takes advantage of someone sexually when they do not want to be taken advantage of. Circumstances like these cause victims to experience trauma, and each one feels as though they are not in control of their own lives.

Are Sexual Abuse and Addiction Related? How?

Sexual abuse and addiction are indeed related in many cases. In fact, some reports suggest that two-thirds of those involved in addiction treatment have experienced sexual trauma, physical abuse, or emotional abuse in their life prior to their drug use. There are other reports that also suggest that women who are sexually abused as children are at an increased risk of drug abuse as an adult. 

Contrary to popular assumption, however, women are not the only ones abused sexually. There more sexual abuse victims than some may realize. Millions of men and boys in the United States have been victims of rape. Some studies suggest that 1 in every 10 rape victims are male. Some data has been gathered and suggests that 2.7 million men in the United States have been victims of attempted or completed rape. One more alarming statistic states that college student males ages 18-24 are five times more likely to become rape victims than male non-students.has

The most alarming thing about sexual assault is that there are many more victims than most people may assume. There are an average of close to 320,000 victims of sexual assault yearly in the United States. There are other studies which suggest that those who have suffered from sexual abuse are 3 times more likely to develop depression, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol. 

Why Do People Cope Using Drugs or Alcohol?

Everybody copes with trauma and tragedy in their own ways. Some throw themselves into their work or extracurriculars, others isolate themselves, and others turn to substance abuse. There is a certain stigma of shame when it comes to sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is one of the most isolating circumstances that leaves many feeling vulnerable and violated. 

Sometimes, people who have fallen victim to sexual abuse can feel guilty because they felt as if they could have done something about it. The amount of remorse these people feel is immeasurable. In these circumstances, however, it is imperative to remember that if something could have been done, it would have been done. 

The people who have been treated so poorly often grasp at the most effortless ways to cope. Some resort to abusing substances to help them forget the pain that they felt. This is sometimes referred to as self-medication. The subconscious goal is to feel temporary safety and relief. 

Self-medication is dangerous and should never be glorified beyond understanding why someone would do so. Sexual abuse, or abuse of any kind, is very difficult to forget about; someone’s privacy and sense of control have been compromised. The feeling of vulnerability and susceptibility in this regard is a difficult reality to face. Responding to the abuse with excessive drug or alcohol use can end up leading to dependence. 

Dependence on Drugs and Alcohol

When someone is experiencing a difficult circumstance such as sexual abuse, coping methods that involve drugs and alcohol can often seem like the most accessible choice. Because of this, actions done with the intention of coping end up repeating themselves and becoming habitual. This is due to the brain’s chemical reaction to the use of drugs or alcohol. 

When someone uses drugs or alcohol, no matter what the reason, the pleasure center of the brain is triggered. Once this happens, the chemical signals sent to the brain communicate a good feeling to the user. Oftentimes, these feelings supersede any sort of pleasure the user has ever felt. It is then that the user desires more. Upon consuming more of a substance, sober judgment begins to wither, throwing self-control out the window. Once a user consumes more of a substance over a certain period of time, a dependence develops.

People who suffer traumatic events such as sexual abuse most often want to do whatever they can to forget about what happened. The more they use drugs and alcohol, the more that ability to forget becomes possible. The more that becomes possible, the more they’ll eventually need to achieve the desired result. Then, the more they consume to achieve that desired result, the more they need the substance. The more they need the substance, the more they can’t function properly without it. This is referred to as withdrawal. 

Detox: Treating Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal

Being dependent on a substance is difficult, especially for those who want to quit using. There are treatment options available to help move past dependency without experiencing withdrawal symptoms. This method is referred to as detox.

Detox, often known in professional levels of care as medically assisted treatment (MAT), is a method of rehab that provides a user with medicine in order to combat the symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal makes recovery very difficult if one is dependent on a substance in order to function, but medically assisted treatment can help. This recovery option has proven itself successful in providing patients with treatment that allows them to move past their addiction with comfort. 

Other Treatment Options for Substance abuse

There are many different recovery options when it comes to combating substance abuse. Apart from detox (as mentioned in the section above) some of them include the following:

  • Inpatient Treatment
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Therapy

Inpatient Residential Treatment 

Inpatient residential treatment is a recovery method in which patients stay in the care of a treatment facility overnight. Those who participate in inpatient treatment programs have 24/7 access to professional medical personnel. Not only that, but they are also provided with access to professional therapists and psychiatrists throughout the week. As far as the length of the program is concerned, this could last anywhere from 28 days to 6 months. 

Outpatient Treatment 

Used to treat milder cases of addiction, outpatient treatment is a great option for those who don’t require the intensive nature of an inpatient residential program. Patients are able to attend treatment while residing in the comfort of their own homes, which makes this option more convenient than others. Throughout the week those who participated are given 10-12 hours of weekly access to professional therapists and psychiatrists. This program could last anywhere from 3 months to over a year depending on the individual. 

Therapy for Victims of Sexual Abuse

For victims of sexual abuse, it is difficult to move past their trauma. Thankfully, at 1st Step, we have therapy approaches that will seek to fit their specific needs. Therapy, in general, is a method of care that attempts to help patients process their emotions and past experiences. This method, over many years, has proven itself successful, whether in group or individual settings. For us, it’s all about meeting the individual where they are; there is no one-size-fits-all method to addiction treatment. Our philosophy and the way we take care of our patients reflects that.

What Will Others Think of Me?

It is immensely difficult in times of trauma to feel confident in oneself. Oftentimes those who suffer from sexual abuse will think to themselves, “What will others think about this?”, or simply be ashamed of what has happened to them. The whole world can feel as though it’s crashing down around them. 

Unfortunately, lots of people have their minds made up about addicts and sexual abuse victims. This is a sad reality to have to face, but there is hope. Just as there are many who have their minds made up concerning addiction and sexual abuse in a negative way, there are also those who seek to understand and validate the pain you’re experiencing. There are many who want to stand in your corner ready to fight for you.

1st Step is There for You

Victims of sexual abuse and addiction deserve the best treatment available. The family here at 1st Step Behavioral Health is understanding and compassionate. We are prepared to provide our patients with the best treatment in order to fulfill their recovery needs. There is a link between sexual abuse and addiction, and we owe it to the victims to sit with them in their sorrow, helping them get to a place of emotional stability and sobriety. If you or a loved one suffers from addiction and/or has been a victim of sexual abuse, contact us here

Fighting Addiction: Worse Than Pulling Teeth

If you are considering entering a Pompano drug rehab program or know someone who could benefit from substance abuse treatment in Florida, you are probably all too aware that it can sometimes feel like pulling teeth to convince them they should seek help. If you’re the one making a decision for yourself, you probably have tons of concerns and fears about how others will look at you and treat you but also the fear of what will happen if you try to go it alone and fail in curbing your substance use. If you’re seeing someone you love go down the road of substance abuse, no doubt you’ve already had a talk or ten about trying to get them to seek treatment for their condition and issues and no matter how much you urge them, they seem to not want to go in.

It’s worse than one of the things that has been found as a contributing factor to increased opioid addiction: pull wisdom teeth.

One of the standardized part of the wisdom tooth pulling process is prescribe painkillers for a couple of days for the patient to use while the effects of the oral surgery heal. For a vast majority of people, non-habit forming ibuprofen works just fine. However, a study revealed that fifteen percent of all opioid-based painkiller prescriptions are coming from dentists whose expertise isn’t in medicines but in, of course, dental hygiene. This includes prescribing them to teenagers, who are just as susceptible to forming an addiction to drugs like Vicodin as Oxycodone as anyone else.

A lot of parents (nor dentists) aren’t even aware that the drugs, which come under many brand names, are potentially habit-forming or even part of the ‘opioid crisis’ they’ve likely heard about. They also have a high likelihood of having internalized false beliefs about the nature of drug addiction being something that only happens to ‘bad people making bad choices’, making this blind spot a easily passable barrier an addiction can find their child.

It’s important to research all drugs your doctor prescribes from the point of view on what’s known about its ability to become addictive. If your family has a history of addiction or trauma, it’s worth being extra cautious and ask for alternatives for medications that could be addictive. As noted earlier, it’s often times more effective to use ibuprofen for wisdom tooth removal aftercare than the go-to painkillers which are often responsible for being a ‘gateway drug’ to illegal substances like heroin and methamphetamine (crystal meth).  What typically happens for severe addictions to prescription pills is that once the access runs out, the only solution becomes heroin and likely the person has already bought illegal prescription pills and can probably find someone with heroin and be taught how to use it. The methamphetamines are often taken with heroin as a ‘pick me up’.

Either way, being an informed consumer will help keep you safe until the multitude of class action lawsuits happening all over the country as a result of these kinds of prescriptions not coming with full disclosure of their dangers.

If you or someone you know has had oxycodone withdrawal symptoms, they may have an addiction and need professional services of specialists like those at First Step Behavioral Health. Call (866) 319-6126 to find out more.

Trauma and Addiction: Why It’s Vital to Consider Both At Broward County Drug Rehab

Human trauma is everywhere and at some point in their lives most people suffer from some form. Everyone from the poor, the rich, male, female, gender non-conforming persons, people on all levels of the sexuality spectrum, throughout different cultures and races around the world, those persons well known and those whose lives go on without the notice of the wide world, whose lives go on everyday outside of the spotlight. No matter what kind of person or what type of life they choose to live, everyone is effected at some point by a difficult event that personally hurts or damages them personally, if not them specifically they will most likely witness another person suffer great loss or pain.  The Center for Anxiety Disorders says the following about trauma:

“In general, trauma can be defined as a psychological, emotional response to an event or an experience that is deeply distressing or disturbing. When loosely applied, this trauma definition can refer to something upsetting, such as being involved in an accident, having an illness or injury, losing a loved one, or going through a divorce. However, it can also encompass the far extreme and include experiences that are severely damaging, such as rape or torture. Because events are viewed subjectively, this broad trauma definition is more of a guideline. Everyone processes a traumatic event differently because we all face them through the lens of prior experiences in our lives. For example: one person might be upset and fearful after going through a hurricane, but someone else might have lost family and barely escaped from a flooded home during Hurricane Katrina. In this case, a minor Category One hurricane may bring up traumatic flashbacks of their terrifying experience.” 

The point they are making at the Center for Anxiety Disorders is that the way in which trauma affects a person is directly related to their own lives or their previous life experiences leading up to the traumatic event. It doesn’t matter what a person is experiencing they always come to a new situation with all of their previous ideas and memories present in their minds as a way to see and understand the new experience.


Common Types of Trauma

  • The death of someone close to you
  • Going through divorce as either one of the people espoused to one another, or as a child of parents divorcing
  • Childhood sexual abuse
  • Rape
  • Domestic abuse as a child or an adult
  • Chronic pain
  • Neglect
  • Homelessness
  • Emotional abuse in the workplace
  • Emotional abuse by a partner or parent
  • Natural disaster
  • Witnessing a violent act against someone else


Trauma Facts

For a bit of a more simple definition, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or the SAMHSA defines trauma as “an event, series of events, or set of circumstances that is experienced by an individual as physically or emotionally harmful or life threatening and that has lasting adverse effects on the individual’s functioning and mental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.”


Facts from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration About Trauma:

  • Between 15% to 25% of women experience a lifetime history of sexual abuse be it in childhood or adulthood, or tragically throughout both stages in life.  
  • Within the different definitions and forms of domestic abuse, domestic violence among women in the United States ranges from 9% to 44%. At this point it is pretty clear that non-male persons are at a higher risk for sexual trauma than men are. Though men can and do experience sexual abuse and many other devastating forms of trauma.
  • When RAND Corporation did a study in 2008, they discovered that almost 19% of veterans who returned from their tour of duty in the military reported that they suffered from some of the signs and symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Almost 19% of the men in the United States, and more than 15% of women in the United States report having experienced a natural disaster at some point in their lives.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration informs the public that the cost to the public of trauma such as domestic abuse, or intimate partner violence ends up adding up to 8.3 billion dollars in 2003. The price tag includes treatment for any medical care and treatment or needs of the victim such as treatment for mental health rehabilitation for the traumatized victims as well as the lost productivity of the persons who experienced the trauma. Billions of dollars being spent on this sort of trauma is something that is hard to ignore. Perhaps humanity would be well to consider why it takes billions of dollars funneling out of our pockets to notice the suffering of the traumatized.


This expense clearly shows through the calling out of loss of productivity and other community expenses incurred because of  trauma, that it devastates the lives of more than just the person who experiences the trauma to begin with. Indeed, the trauma extends to the community at large, both in social and economic ways trauma instills a sense of terror or danger in the community, and consequently robs the people of a voice and the sense safety that is most helpful in raising movers and shakers, leaders to fight for the community. None the less there are those have been traumatized who are able to move forward in the efforts to fight for their communities and the underprivileged and torn down. This sort of persistence requires a singular person and communities should not have to wait for someone to come forward. In fact there should be treatment available for those who need it.


Trauma and Addiction by their very natures are linked to one each other. Someone who goes through trauma may be struggling for any scrap of peace, something, anything to ease the pain of flashbacks, shame, the desperation and deep anxiety that often comes with trauma.  


Addicts and Abuse: How Untreated Trauma Is Linked To Addiction

It is virtually impossible to argue with the numbers. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network shows that trauma and addiction are basically inseparable in their white paper: Making the Connection: Trauma and Substance AbuseA person with a history of childhood trauma is five times more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol and almost fifty percent more likely to develop an addiction to drugs. Studies show that up to 76% of adolescents struggling with drug or alcohol addiction developed their chemical dependency after they have experienced some sort of trauma. Many of those who have experienced trauma also develop some kind of mental health disorder, often post traumatic stress disorder.

They may also end up developing any variety of other disorders such as anxiety and depression based mental health mood disorders. The same studies state that trauma may make it virtually impossible for an adolescent to cease using the addictive substance because post traumatic stress disorder, when combined with substance abuse is a dual diagnosis.

Dual diagnosis must be treated simultaneously with addiction if there is any hope that the treatment will actually be effective. Post traumatic stress, and any other types of mental health disorders present, and the drug or alcohol addiction help the other disorder thrive as they bolster each others symptoms, plaguing the victim with what may feel like impossible pain to work through.


Sober Living in Florida is Possible for Trauma Victims Struggling with Drug or Alcohol Addiction

Dr. J Douglas Bremner says that “Traumatic stressors such as early trauma can lead to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which affects about 8% of Americans at some time in their lives, as well as depression, substance abuse, dissociation, personality disorders, and health problems For many trauma victims, PTSD can be a lifelong problem. The President’s New Freedom Commission Report highlights the Importance of providing services for mental disorders related to early trauma.” 


According to J. Douglas Bremner, MD, in Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, traumatic stress can change someone’s brain chemistry. “Brain areas implicated in the stress response include the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Traumatic stress can be associated with lasting changes in these brain areas. Traumatic stress is associated with increased cortisol and norepinephrine responses to subsequent stressors.” Bremner goes on to say that trauma can shrink different regions of the brain, it can increase various hormones and some chemicals within the body, and even change the way memory function. Trauma is a serious medical emergency and should be taken as such instead of ignored or shoved aside.


1st Step Behavioral Health offers addiction and trauma treatment at their South Florida rehab centers that can work to treat both addiction as well as mental health disorders at the same time. We believe that it is important to treat the patients individually because we know that it is the experiencing the trauma of addiction and any other trauma the patient comes to us with is impossible to heal from without help. Our licensed medical professionals qualified therapists will be there with you to support you throughout your journey at our rehab centers and detox. Broward County detox and rehab at 1st Step can help you on your way to sobriety as well as piece of mind. Contact us today to get started

What To Do Now That You’re Back From Rehab

You’ve just come back from being in a detox program. Maybe you went through some serious Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms and then went to rehab treatment. You probably felt emotions you didn’t know could be so intense. You probably have never worked so hard in your life. And now you’re back at work. How do you act around these people who knew you before you left? How do you walk up to them as the person you are now when all they know is who you were before? Here are a couple tips to help you out.


  1. Be open and honest but keep your healthy boundaries. People are going to ask you how you are doing. Be open. Share as much as you feel comfortable sharing. But keep in mind, not everyone will understand the complicated experience you’ve been having. Some people may approach the subject like you’ve been on holiday. But most people will be happy to see you and will wish you all of the best.
  2. Give yourself time to acclimate to being back. You’ve been gone. It’s okay to be a bit rusty. Let yourself be slower, less accurate, more tired. Coming back to the everyday stressors of life, and more particularly your job can be scary and overwhelming. The biggest tip I can give you is to have patience with yourself. You know when a basketball player misses that free throw?  And they hang their head and pout for a second but then get back in the game? Be that baller. Give yourself the room to screw up, but make sure you learn from your mistakes. Let yourself stretch and grow. Remember, you can’t succeed if you are spending all of your energy being angry at yourself. Give yourself the grace you would give any coworker.


Rehab is a lot of work and acclimatizing is hard. Be honest with those around you but make sure your boundaries are in place and that they are well thought out and intentionally placed. Be gentle with yourself when you mess up at work or are working slower than you expect.


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction in the Florida area, it’s time to seek out help for drug abuse and alcohol addiction. Call us today at (866) 319-6126 to get started. At our Pompano Beach rehab center, you can work through your trauma and addiction and you’ll come out the other side ready to do finally lead a successful and sober life.


List of Opioids with Addictive Qualities

Sometimes it starts innocently enough. You have an injury, maybe due to no fault of your own. You go to the doctor for help and are prescribed medication. Later, you find yourself addicted.

Addictive Opioids

One of the biggest problems with addictive medicine is that we are responsible for our health, but we don’t have the skills and knowledge that doctors do. It is important to discuss our fears and experiences with our doctors. This way,  the doctor is informed enough about your background to make the best decisions, and we can make the best choices for ourselves. If you are concerned about opioids and potential addiction, it is good to go in to that consultation with the doctor armed with knowledge.


Here are a few of the most commonly abused addictive opioids:

  • Oxycodone – sold under brand names such as OxyContin
  • Codeine – commonly found in cough syrup
  • Fentanyl – 50-100 times stronger than morphine; According to the CDC it’s responsible for over half of the opioid overdose deaths in 10 states
  • Meperidine – sold under brand names such as Demerol
  • Vicodin
  • Oxymorphone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Levorphanol
  • Morphine
  • Tapentadol
  • Hydrocodone
  • Norco
  • Percocet
  • Percodan
  • Demerol
  • Pethidine
  • Tramadol
  • Lavdanum

Signs of Addiction

Addiction comes in many forms but here are some of the most common signs of addiction and misuse of opioids:

  • Euphoria
  • Feeling drowsy or lethargic
  • Feeling confused or dizzy
  • Changes in vision, personality, or behavior
  • Constipation and/or vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Headaches
  • And seizures

If You Find Yourself Addicted

Addiction happens, and could happen to any of us. Talk with your doctor about pros and cons with regards to prescription medication and learn what you can about alternatives. Do your homework and make an informed decision. And if you do find yourself addicted, treat yourself with compassion and seek treatment as soon as possible.


Contact us today for more information about opioid addiction recovery and substance abuse rehab


The Benefits of Inpatient Treatment for Addiction

Depending on what you need rehab for, there are a few options available for your treatment program. However, the most effective type of rehab in South Florida is inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment is when the patient stays at the rehab center while he or she receives care for the substance abuse. Today, we will discuss some of the strongest benefits for going through inpatient treatment in South Florida.


No Way to Get Alcohol or Drugs

Unlike outpatient rehab where you leave the site whenever you don’t have a scheduled meeting or appointment, inpatient treatment blocks much of the risk of relapse by simply keeping drugs and alcohol out of the facility. And to make sure you’re not sneaking in substances, you and a staff member will go through your belongings when you first check in for inpatient care.


Around-the-Clock Access to Professional Help

If you wake up in the middle of the night craving the substance(s) you’re addicted to, you’ll be able to talk about it and receive care from the facility’s staff of trained addiction professionals no matter what time it might be.


Supervision When You Need it Most

Especially important for people going through drug or alcohol addiction detox, the on-site staff will be there to help you with the multitude of withdrawal symptoms that many substances are notorious for.


Time Away from Triggers for Drug Use

No matter what might be the reasons you started using drugs or the things that made you keep abusing them, going through inpatient rehab in South Florida will keep you away from all of those situations, places, and people while you get better.


Meet New People Dealing with a Similar Situation

During inpatient rehab, you will meet all sorts of people who are themselves working on ending their own  addiction to drugs or alcohol. Interacting with them will help your own efforts as you learn from their mistakes and get emotional support from people who truly understand what you’re going through.


Alcoholic Dementia

Unfortunately, alcohol addiction causes countless health problems, just one of which is dementia. Alcoholic dementia may be the result of excess consumption or vitamin deficiencies from heavy, chronic drinking. This form of dementia affects people of all ages, and the more you drink, the more risks increase. Learn to recognize it by identifying the signs and symptoms of the condition.

Problems With Memory

Memory loss is the main method for identifying alcoholic dementia. People with alcoholic dementia don’t solely black out while using. Overall, they’ll often struggle with memory lapse when sober, no matter how infrequent this is.

Additionally, alcoholic dementia leads to false memories. It convinces people that certain events took place when there’s overwhelming proof they didn’t. It’s also difficult for individuals to create new memories or remember faces, names, and details. This can be a terrifying experience, as any form of identity loss often is.

Issues With Balance and Coordination

The difficulty with diagnosing alcoholic dementia is that it’s similar to alcoholism. For example, a lack of balance and coordination is a common side effect of alcohol addiction.

However, this symptom is present no matter how much alcohol is in the system. If a drunk person stumbles, recent alcohol consumption is likely to blame. But, If a person stumbles before drinking, alcoholic dementia could be the culprit.

Inability to Learn New Things

Additionally, alcoholic dementia may lead to an inability to learn new things. If memory lapse is a common side effect, this shouldn’t be surprising. It’s difficult to understand instructions or follow directions with any form of dementia. It’s also challenging to understand new information, use common sense, or plan ahead with this condition.

Involuntary or Unusual Eye Movements

If you’re trying to recognize an alcohol addiction and potential dementia, assessing eye health may lead to some answers. Alcoholic dementia causes unequal pupil size and involuntary eye movement. It may also be difficult to see anything outside of your direct line of vision.

Avoiding Alcoholic Dementia With Addiction Treatment

The only effective way to avoid alcohol-induced dementia is to stop drinking. For those who are already experiencing early symptoms, reaching sobriety is crucial. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, you’ll learn to fight back against alcohol addiction. Our diverse Treatment methods include:

  • Physical and nutritional support
  • Individual talk therapy
  • Pharmacological assistance
  • Dual diagnosis therapy
  • Holistic remedies and therapies

To avoid alcoholic dementia, seek help for addiction today. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you’ll have access to the necessary resources for reaching lifelong recovery. Call (866) 319-6126 and begin fighting for your health and happiness today.

Morphine Withdrawal Symptoms and Timeline

When someone has an addiction to morphine, trying to cut back or quit entirely can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, it’s possible to overcome a morphine dependence. One of the first steps is to complete a morphine withdrawal. Learn more about the withdrawal process, the timeline and what comes next once individuals complete detox.

Average Morphine Withdrawal Timeline

The average morphine withdrawal process takes less than a week. Although every client is unique, most individuals follow roughly the same timeline. It starts with the appearance of symptoms, builds to a peak of symptoms and then tapers off until the end of the withdrawal.

The first stage of withdrawal begins roughly 10 hours after the last dose of morphine. These initial withdrawal symptoms are mild, but they are often accompanied by cravings. By this stage, individuals should be under medical supervision. This way, they’re more likely to continue with their plan to complete the full withdrawal.

The second stage is when withdrawal symptoms gradually build in intensity. At the peak of withdrawal, symptoms are at their most uncomfortable. This happens around 48 to 72 hours after the last dose of morphine. Fortunately, medical professionals can relieve a lot of pain or discomfort that people experience at this stage of the detox.

After the peak of symptoms, the taper stage begins. Every hour, patients begin to feel better. Symptoms gradually weaken and lessen in intensity until they’re gone altogether.

Since every patient has a unique history of morphine use, health and addiction, no two people will ever follow the exact same timeline. However, this guide illustrates the most common path through withdrawal.

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the most common withdrawal symptoms are physical. These appear because your body wants to continue the drug addiction, thanks to the chemical dependence. Some of the most common physical withdrawal symptoms include sweating, chills, a runny nose, increased blood pressure, a rapid heart rate, muscle pain and stomach pain.

Psychological Withdrawal Symptoms

Some of the worst symptoms of a withdrawal from morphine are psychological, not physical. This is especially true for any patients who suffer from co-occurring disorders. During withdrawal, patients might experience any or all of the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Suicidal thoughts

After Withdrawal: The Treatment That Comes Next

Withdrawal is just the very first step in overcoming morphine addiction. Once detox addresses the immediate risk of substance abuse, patients can start to make real progress against addiction. This might mean uncovering the factors that caused the addiction, and it will almost certainly mean developing coping mechanisms to avoid relapse.

At 1st Step Behavioral Health, there are several treatment methods that target addiction. Just a handful of the most effective are:

With the right help, you can overcome your addiction. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you’ll access the tools and programs you need to stop using morphine. Take the next step by contacting us at (866) 319-6126.

profile of a woman suffering side effects of heroin

Side Effects of Heroin Abuse

Heroin is highly addictive and dangerous drug. Heroin abuse can cause a number of physical as well as psychological side effects. Explore the side effects of heroin to see just how devastating this drug can truly be.

Drowsiness and Nodding

One of the most immediate side effects of heroin use is drowsiness. Just minutes after taking heroin, users feel groggy and tired. They often struggle with nodding, or alternating periods of being awake and being asleep.

Essentially, heroin users are under sedation. It’s normal to feel chronic lethargy while using the drug, and any kind of energy or motivation is incredibly rare.

Nausea and Vomiting

Heroin can also cause several gastrointestinal side effects. Nausea and vomiting are among the most common. Many users experience one or both of these symptoms every time they use the drug.

Since heroin is an opiate, it also causes chronic constipation. In addition to being uncomfortable, this can become severe. It can lead to weight loss, malnutrition and even a perforated bowel in extreme cases.

Depression of the Body’s Vital Systems

Substance abuse often has a negative impact on the body. Heroin is a depressant, meaning that it slows down a lot of the body’s vital functions.

When you use heroin, it can slow down your heart rate. It might also slow down your rate of breathing, and reduce your body temperature.

This can become a severe issue, quickly. Breathing may be difficult, with individuals struggling to take each breath. The heart can stop, and circulation in the body can slow down, causing the skin to turn blue from lack of oxygen.

Dental Health Problems

An unexpected side effect of heroin abuse is dental decay. To start, many heroin users abandon dental hygiene routines once addiction is a factor. Plus, the drug itself can cause the gums to swell. Since this makes brushing painful, heroin users often skip it, leading to rapid decay.

Damaged Immune System

One of the worst effects of heroin use is rapid damage to the immune system. Without a fully functioning immune system, you’ll have a difficult time fighting off disease. Heroin users are more susceptible to everything from the flu to cancer. Liver and kidney problems are also more common for heroin users.

Addressing the Side Effects of Heroin Abuse

Individuals can resolve heroin addiction or abuse effectively through professional addiction treatment. At 1st Step Behavioral Health, patients will have access to the resources, therapies and treatments they need to overcome drug addiction for good. Several recovery programs are available, including inpatient and outpatient options.

Whatever program a person chooses, he or she will be able to target addiction through all the following:

  • Dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Individual talk therapy
  • Group therapyRelapse prevention and life skills training

The only way to end heroin use is through heroin addiction treatment. At 1st Step Behavioral Health in Pompano Beach, Florida, you’ll be able to end your addiction for good. Call (866) 319-6126 to start planning your route to recovery today.

Stop Drinking Alcohol Today

There are a number of reasons why you might want to stop drinking alcohol. Alcohol addiction can lead to health problems and financial concerns, and it can alienate you from your loved ones. Use this as your guide to quit drinking alcohol once and for all.

Recognize the Addiction

As cliche as it may sound, the very first step in recovery is acknowledging that there’s a problem. Millions of people justify their alcohol consumption. They might say that they can stop whenever they want to, that they only drink because of stress or that they’ll cut back tomorrow.

If you’re serious about making a change, you have to identify the problem. Alcoholism symptoms include the following:

  • Inability to stop drinking
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you quit or cut back for a day
  • Ignoring life’s responsibilities
  • Changes to behavior, sleep or personality

If you recognize any of these symptoms, then you’re dealing with an alcohol addiction. Accepting that fact can be helpful as you take the next steps to lifelong recovery.

Decide to Stop Drinking Alcohol Now

Once you’ve acknowledged that you’re an alcoholic, it’s time to think about what comes next. One of the biggest dangers is deciding to get help tomorrow. It’s easy to postpone addiction treatment, but every day that you keep drinking is a risk.

Tonight could be the night that you’re in an accident or drink just one too many. Rather than risking your health or your safety for one more day, it’s time to draw a line in the sand. The sooner you take action, the better.

Enroll in an Alcohol Detox Program

Although it’s possible to overcome substance abuse on your own, it’s much easier to do if you have professional support and resources available. A high-quality detox is the place to start. During detox, you’ll have 24/7 monitoring and medical care as you work through withdrawal.

During withdrawal, it’s normal to experience some symptoms. Fortunately, these symptoms won’t last long. A typical alcohol withdrawal is over in less than one week. Plus, detox staff will be there to ease symptoms, monitor your health and do everything possible to boost comfort.

Commit to Lifelong Recovery

Detox is critical, because it’s what can bring you sobriety. Once you’re sober, however, you still need to work to maintain it.

Some patients struggle with co-occurring disorders, which is a combination of addiction and mental illness. Dual diagnosis treatment can help with that. Therapy and treatment can address issues like trauma, a lack of self-confidence or family issues.

Lifelong recovery often involves a strong support system. This could be friends and family members, or it could be a 12-step program. Either way, the accountability and support can help you stay on track for a lifetime.

If you’re ready to stop drinking alcohol, do it today. 1st Step Behavioral Health can put you on the path to a life of happiness and sobriety. Take control over your future by calling (866) 319-6126 today.