False Memories And Their Role In Addiction

For decades, if not centuries, addiction has generally been viewed as some type of moral failure or a general lack of personal discipline. In truth, addiction is a form of pain management. The problem is that while medical science can generally determine the cause of most types of physical pain or discomfort, that is not the only type of pain that humans endure. Psychological and emotional damage can create a pain that is every bit a real as a broken arm or a bullet wound, but there are few, if any, tests to discover that type of damage. This often leads people to believe their wounds simply aren’t real, when in fact they are. 

Memories are the internal record we keep of things that have happened to us. The tricky part about memories, however, is that they are not always an accurate representation of what actually happened. Two people can experience the exact same thing and yet later have a completely different memory of it. Memories are actually a compilation of not only events that occurred but also how we interpreted those events. When we misinterpret events it creates something psychologists often refer to as false memories. False memories are often one of the many root causes of drug abuse. Having a false memory doesn’t necessarily mean the event the individual is remembering didn’t happen, it simply means they may have misinterpreted the event as being something it wasn’t. 

Sometimes, creating false memories is a coping mechanism to deal with trauma. For instance, if a child was sexually abused, they may create a memory of always having a lovely time fishing with their father, while conveniently forgetting the part where their father abused them in the fishing cabin. Other false memory examples can include things an individual may have been told that never actually happened. They may “remember” them as memories because they have been told them so many times, but they don’t actually have a legitimate memory of something happening. For instance, if a child is told often that they are bad, they may have memories of themselves being bad, when in fact they never were. They may blow small instances up in their head to be much larger than they were to fit in with the narrative they were told about themselves. It was a narrative which they believed, which became a false memory. 

What causes false memories is generally some type of trauma. In some cases, false memories are the result of negative messages we were given about ourselves and in other cases creating false memories is an attempt to protect ourselves from painful truths. One way or the other, however, the only way to heal is to dig down deep to unearth these false memories and correct them with truth. This is one of the many aims and goals of most addiction treatments. 

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction in or around Pompano Beach, we can help. Give us a call today and let us help you get started on a path to freedom. 

Quitting Drugs Without Rehab: Can I Do It?

Millions of people are battling addiction all over the world every day. They are trying to do their best to get themselves out of the grip of addiction. People try to quit drugs cold turkey without rehab, but fear of the pain of withdrawals can keep them from following through. For people who have tried and failed to do it cold turkey, rehab may be the best option.

Rehabilitation is the process in which an individual enrolls in a personalized treatment program to become sober and/or address mental health concerns. It is essential to understand that whether you enroll in treatment or not, getting better is in your hands. Some patients successfully recover at a center, and others can quit cold turkey on their own.

Depending on the severity of the addiction, rehab can make the difference between life or death. Quitting alcohol or drugs cold-turkey results in withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can have fatal consequences if not monitored and treated correctly. 

Rehab programs also offer a variety of benefits for those who choose to partake in a treatment program. Rehab sets you up for future success by teaching you the tools you’ll need to avoid relapsing

Why Do People Relapse?

A significant part of recovery is setting yourself for long-lasting sobriety after the treatment program is over. We want to give you the confidence to continue recovery on your own. The most common reasons why people relapse is:

  • Not enough motivation 
  • Not enough changes to environment or habits
  • Intense PAWS symptoms (physical addiction still at play)
  • Other contributing factors such as trauma, mental illness, etc. haven’t been adequately addressed and treated

Signs that it’s Time to Seek Help at a Rehab Center

Seeking help is a sign of strength. Be honest with yourself and the addiction at hand. Understanding the warning signs allows you to take the first step in recovery sooner rather than later. 

1. Drug Use Has Become Your Main Priority

If substance abuse has been the main focus of your life, it’s time to pause. Ask yourself, “Are the choices I’m making benefiting or hurting me?” You may be addicted if drug use is consuming the majority of your thoughts and time. 

Quitting drugs without rehab may be difficult if drug use has taken over your life. Rehab can help you set your priorities straight in a distraction-free environment. 

2. Your Physical and Mental Health Is In Danger

Changes to physical appearance a common side effect of drug use. Significant changes in weight, marks from picking at skin, tired/drained look, and many more can be a tell-tale sign of drug addiction. 

Aside from physical appearance, there are many consequences to one’s health. This includes, but is not limited to: depression, anxiety, liver disease, seizures, and many more depending on the drug used. Frequency of use is another major factor in how a drug affects your body.

Without rehab, quitting drugs may be quite uncomfortable when experiencing severe physical or mental health symptoms. 

One major benefit of going into a structured rehab program is that you will receive physical and mental health assistance. This allows you to focus on getting and staying clean, knowing you will be safe in the hands of qualified professionals.

3. You Take Excessive Amounts to Get High

When you first take a drug, there is no tolerance present. This is why the first high is often described as the “best.” Over time, the body adapts to the chemical changes, which is called tolerance. As tolerance increases, the body needs the drug more frequently or in higher amounts to produce the same effects.

As you take more of a substance to increase the desired effects or the “high,” you put yourself at an increased risk of overdose. Overdosing is often fatal. We urge you not to risk quitting drugs without a proper treatment plan – get the help you need today. 

4. You Have a Mental Illness

According to SAMHSA, in 2014: Nearly 44 million people in the US had a mental illness. More than 20 million people had a substance use disorder. To make matters worse, almost 8 million people had both a mental illness and a substance use disorder.

This means that there is a 40% chance that you have a mental illness if you have a substance use disorder.

Addressing mental health concerns and underlying roots to addiction is crucial. Addiction is a disease that affects the individual inside, out. Quitting drugs without rehab makes it harder to address these mental health concerns. At our facility, we treat co-occurring disorders through a dual-diagnosis centered treatment. 

5. You’ve Attempted To Quit On Your Own With No Success

Addiction is a severe illness that is identified by periods of relapse and recovery. You may have tried to quit multiple times, only to return to the substance.

Quitting drugs without rehab is undoubtedly possible. Quitting drugs is dependent upon your will and motivation. However, rehab can make a huge difference. Especially when one is experiencing intense physical effects with underlying mental health issues. 

Benefits of Choosing Rehab

Recovering alone can be a lonely process. Rehab not only gives you the tools for long-lasting sobriety, but it also provides a supportive environment. In addition to conquering addiction, you’ll be able to give and get support within an encouraging community

Other significant benefits include:

Multiple Therapies and Treatments

Addiction is a mental, physical, and psychological disease. Therapy is crucial in treating addiction. Our dedicated counselors will help you address all mental health concerns.

For example, you may have started to depend on alcohol after developing depression. Or perhaps, using opioids led to anxiety and other issues you didn’t previously have.

The goal of therapy is to help patients change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors concerning substance abuse. Therapy also helps in providing the right tools for long-lasting sobriety. 

Some of the evidence-based addiction treatment therapies that are typically offered include:

  • Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Contingency Management
  • Community Reinforcement and Family Training (CRAFT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)
  • Integrative Approach
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Multidimensional Family Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

24/7 Medical Care

One benefit that is specific to inpatient rehab (or residential treatment) is that there is 24/7 medical and clinical supervision. You’ll have access to this care seven days a week during your entire stay at our center. This can be especially helpful for preventing relapse in those with severe addictions. During the recovery process, people will likely experience unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms.

Your body forms a dependency on whatever it’s exposed to for long periods. When it comes to drugs, your body’s chemical makeup also alters. Even after the initial withdrawal symptoms have passed, the stress on the body and mind can aggravate other physical and mental illnesses. 

Quitting drugs in a safe and controlled environment can alleviate pain caused by withdrawal symptoms. 

Setting Goals and Forming New Habits

Many people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse tend to have problems with discipline. Healthy habits create a healthy life. Even small changes build up over time. A critical part of self-care for a person in recovery is setting and accomplishing goals.

While in rehab, you will begin setting short and long term goals. These goals will target all areas of your life, from physical health to relationships to your career. Quitting drugs allows you to focus on yourself and happiness again.

Focusing on Health

An additional benefit of attending rehab is the focus that treatment programs place on health and nutrition. Regular consumption of drugs and alcohol deprives the body of key nutrients. This has negative effects such as headaches, sleep problems, and low energy levels, which are all factors that can get in the way of recovery.

We’ll help you develop healthy lifestyle habits.

Ongoing Support

The goal of rehabilitation is to give our patients the tools to help them continue long-term sobriety after treatment. Our facility offers a wealth of support groups. These support groups aim to provide support during and after recovery. 

Overcome Addiction With the Help of Rehab

It has been shown that people who get professional help to kick their addiction are more likely to stay off drugs than those who do it cold turkey. 

There are numerous reasons that people should seek some form of professional help so they can get themselves clean and sober.

  • Therapy is a part of the process that can help. It can help the person to understand why they were using in the first place. Therapy can help them work through the emotional trauma that may have contributed to the addiction.
  • Professional drug rehab can also give the person the tools they need to cope with the stresses of life. During an addiction, people use their drug of choice, no matter what it is, to cope with life. For drug rehab to be successful, people need to learn how to cope with life in healthy ways.

The most important part about getting sober is never to give up. People may be scared to go through the withdrawals again or afraid of the things that they are going to go through without the crutch of their drug, but never giving up is the key. They have to know where they want to be and do whatever it takes for them to get there.

Call Us Today

If you or someone you love is ready to quit drugs, 1st Step Behavioral Health is prepared to help you get there. Rehab makes long-lasting sobriety is possible. Call 1st Step Behavioral Health at (866) 319-6126 or contact us here for more information about available programs.

References

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf

 

What to Expect from Inpatient Rehab?

Many people are hesitant to enter into alcohol or drug rehab in Broward County for a variety of reasons. Often there is such shame surrounding the substance abuse that the addict is worried about others finding out. But there isn’t need to worry, there are strict confidentiality policies surrounding drug rehabilitation and the information will not be shared with anyone other than you without your consent. Many people worry that rehabilitation will be too hard, too scary, or too long, but there are a variety of treatment options to meet your needs. Fear of the symptoms associated with withdrawal can also be hindering, but know that the skilled professionals can offer support and assistance during this difficult time.

 

Intake

The first step in drug rehabilitation is intake. There will be forms and questionnaires to fill out. Be as honest and forthcoming as possible, as these will help the staff find the right and most effective treatment for you. There may be some screenings and diagnostic health tests done as well to ensure your safety. These all require your consent.

 

Detox

This is the stage where the drugs or alcohol leave your body and withdrawal symptoms may occur. The length and severity of the process depends on the drug, extensitiviy of use, and your metabolic rate. You will be monitored closely during this time and may have symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, nausea, excessive sweating, insomnia, and diarrhea. It is important to work closely with your healthcare professionals during this time as some substance withdrawal symptoms can be more severe and include heart attack, seizures, and stroke.

 

Rehab/Recovery

During rehab and recovery it is likely that you will participate in group therapy, individual therapy, complete work books, and attend classes. Many treatment options also include family counseling, which can help to repair the damaged relationship caused by the addiction. These treatment options will provide you with the tools you need to stay sober and safe.  

 

To get yourself or a loved one started on a path of recovery from a drug or alcohol use disorder, contact us immediately. It’s never to early to seek treatment.

Prescription Medicines You Can Get Addicted To

The Hawaiʻian islands once had a major rat problem. To combat it, sugar cane plantation farmers imported mongooses to kill the rats. Unfortunately it did not work and now Hawaiʻi also has a mongoose problem. Similarly, a person who starts taking a prescription medication for a legitimate health concern may become addicted.

 

Understanding the Danger

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), “Prescription drugs are the third most commonly abused category of drugs, behind alcohol and marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.”

Nearly twenty percent of the US population has abused prescription drugs. Some of the common reasons include:

  • Misunderstanding them to be safer than what’s found on the street
  • For relaxation or appetite suppression
  • Falsely thinking it’s a legal way to drugs

 

Types of Medication to Be Careful With

NCADD provides a list of frequently abused medication including street name variants, intoxicating effects, and health consequences here. The most commonly abused abused categories include pain relievers, tranquilizers and sedatives, and stimulants.

Pain relievers include such opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin. These drugs may cause drowsiness and euphoria. They are also highly addictive, can slow breathing to dangerous levels, can be overdosed, and are dangerous when combined with alcohol.

 

Tranquilizers and sedatives are depressants. A few common examples are Xanax and Valium. They are often used to treat common issues such as anxiety or sleep problems. They can also cause drowsiness and a relaxed feeling. Negative consequences of abuse include dangerous slowing of one’s breath and heartbeat and major withdrawals such as seizures.

 

A few examples of stimulants include Ritalin and Adderall. They are designed to increase alertness and can also provide a sense of euphoria. However, they are addictive, can overheat the body of a person who abuses them, and can result in a seizure.

Think you or a loved one might have a problem with prescription medication? Call us at (866) 319-6126 right away.

Quitting Meth in Pompano Beach

People in Pompano Beach who are looking to quit using meth (aka crystal meth, methamphetamines, ice, etc) are at an advantage as they have access to some of the best drug rehab center programs available in the country.

 

Drug Rehab Programs for Crystal Meth Addiction

At First Step Behavioral Health, there are a number of paths that meth addicts can take to help get clean from this drug. Some of them are as follows:

 

Inpatient Drug Rehab – This is the type of rehab that most people assume any drug treatment is like. The patient comes to and stays at our rehab center for a week or more to detox from meth and go through classes to rediscover how to live without using crystal meth. This type of rehab is also referred to as “residential rehab”.

 

Outpatient Drug Rehab – Designed for those who don’t need to or can’t take the time to spend away from their home or office, outpatient rehab provides most of the services and care that patients receive when going through an inpatient rehab program. This kind of rehab is an excellent option for people who have responsibilities that can’t be left without attention for an amount of time.

 

Support Groups – No matter if someone has only just quit using crystal meth or if they haven’t touched the stuff for years, these support groups give people an outlet to discuss their fears, triumphs, defeats, and anything else that they are willing to share with a group of people who are going through similar experiences. Most people in drug rehab programs are encouraged to join support groups as well because they are so effective.

 

Therapies – There are a handful of types of therapies that work especially well for treating any substance addiction. The two most common types are cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy. The goal in cognitive behavioral therapy is to help change an addict’s thinking process to help avoid choosing to take meth again. Family therapy is conducted to help rebuild relationships with loved ones and is helpful to both the addict and their family.

 

To learn more about quitting crystal meth in Pompano Beach, contact us online or give us a call at (866) 319-6126.

 

How to Start Down a Path of Addiction Recovery

Addiction is one of the greatest and most powerful traps the human mind can fall in to. While a person can be intelligent and rational, the brain the human resides in is a complex organ, controlled via electricity and chemical changes. It’s easy for this device to fall into patterns and habits, and addiction is basically a supercharged compulsion. Whether you live in Hong Kong or Southeast Florida, addiction reaches people in all walks of life. So then, if you want to escape that kind of life, where’s the first place to start?

 

Self Realization

What is especially important when starting down a path to lifelong sobriety is that you believe and understand that, yes, you can recover from your addiction and that you can stay away from the drugs or alcohol that you are currently addicted to. Just like how millions of people become addicted to things, millions of people have successfully broken free of their addictions. The only real necessity is to gather the will to change your position in life and make the change needed to reclaim your life.

 

Rehab to Beat Addiction

Rehab is the first place to start if you’re serious about taking on your addiction. Home care can work, but it’s harder and not as safe as having medical staff on hand during the worst of the detox. The effects on both the body and mind can be taxing, and having people trained to help on hand is very helpful to the success of detox and rehab.

 

After-care

After the chemicals are out of the body, that’s not the only help a rehab clinic can provide. Once they’re gone, the mind is still weak against relapse and finding new addictions to fill the gap. With that in mind, clinical aftercare can make sure that every patient leaves with a support system in place.

 

If you know someone in the South Florida are who needs help with recovering from an addiction, or someone who just needs help getting back on their feet from an addiction, contact us at (866) 319-6126.