Relapse- this can be the scariest word to the loved one or family member of an individual with substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder. But unfortunately, relapse is an all too common part of the journey towards sobriety. While the right Philadelphia interventionist or sober escort in Virginia can give your loved one the best shot at long-term recovery, addiction education is no guarantee that they won’t experience a relapse. However, it’s certainly still worth pursuing an interventionist in South Jersey, an interventionist in Richmond, Virginia or sober coaching in Manhattan. Recovery care monitoring and recovery care management are two incredibly helpful tools in helping your loved one, friend or family member start a sober life they can feel proud of. However, in the case that they have relapsed, an Atlanta interventionist will tell you that there is certain protocol to follow- and also certain things to avoid. Without further ado, here are a few tips to remember when an addict in your life has relapsed.
Remember That This Is Not Your Battle to Fight
If you can understand that the battle with addiction and subsequent relapse is an addict’s to fight, this will help you cope with your situation. A major premise of the philosophy behind Al-Anon and Nar-Anon is that you can only control what you can control- and this does not include your addict or their ability to stay sober. Not only will understanding this help you, but it will help to foster a sense of autonomy in your addict that often aids recovery.
Hold Your Ground
Ray Isackila, assistant clinical and administrative director of addiction recovery services at University Hospitals in Cleveland, says it is important to stay firm when a loved one struggling with substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder has relapsed. “Hold addicts accountable for their recovery from the relapse, just as it was important to hold them accountable for their addiction in the first place.”
Helpful things you can do when a loved one has relapsed include encouraging them to talk to a counselor or sponsor, to go to an addiction support group meeting, and generally to redirect them to their original addiction treatment plan. Often times, Sober escorts in Virginia, Washington D.C. sober coaching and New York sober companions can be helpful additions to your attempts to encourage your addict back towards recovery and sobriety.
What Not to Do-
Perhaps the most important thing not to do is to dismiss the problem. “You don’t make excuses for the addict. It’s also crucial that you don’t try to take on your loved one’s problems,” says Isackila. Furthermore, don’t try to take away any guilt about the relapse, as this can often actually be a helpful tool to get addicts back into sobriety.
If your loved one has relapsed, it can often be an upsetting, emotional time. This highlights the importance of listening to the above advice, as well as enlisting help. If you’re looking for a Virginia interventionist, a Connecticut sober coach, or a Manhattan sober escort, look no further than Recovery Care Partner. Recovery Care Partner will help you and your addict garner the tools necessary for long-term sobriety.Learn More
Recently pop singer Demi Lovato revealed in a song that she was no longer sober. The lyrics she sang spoke of the shame, guilt and embarrassment she felt surrounding her relapse. And Demi isn’t alone in this- almost everyone who has struggled with a substance use disorder or an alcohol use disorder has felt the same way. Yet for those struggling with addiction, intervention specialists and addiction professionals can be hard to come by. Sober companions, sober coaching and other recovery care monitoring services are very useful, but unfortunately, not all have access.
How Stigma Affects Those With Substance Abuse Disorders
So what exactly is stigma? Well, stigma can be defined as a negative belief or set of beliefs that one has regarding a group of individuals. But stigma often transcends thought and influences the way people behave around and treat certain individuals. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stigma is a major cause of discrimination and exclusion and it contributes to the abuse of human rights.
Stigmatization Leads To Lack of Support
And it seems that stigmatization of those struggling with addiction gives way to a serious lack of support. The 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 21.5 Americans age 12 and older had a substance use disorder in the previous year; however, only 2.5 million received the specialized treatment they needed. But the disparity doesn’t end there: The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) concluded that of the 2.3 million individuals jailed in the United States, more than 65% of them met the criteria for a substance abuse disorder, yet only 11% of those individuals received treatment.
How To Help Stop Stigmatization of Substance Abuse
In response to the overwhelming stigmatization of substance abuse, it is important to remember that anyone can become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Painting those that are suffering as “bad,” “immoral,” or “wrong” only leads to the feelings that start use (and addiction) in the first place. With this said, there are some helpful ways that you can help to remove stigmatization and embrace love in your dealings with substance abuse disorders and alcohol use disorders. It is important to offer your love and support, to display kindness especially to those in precarious situations, to avoid pejorative labels like “crackhead,” “junkie,” “alcoholic” and more, to see someone for who they are not just what drugs they are using and to replace negative response or feelings with evidence-based facts. Another key to combating the insidiousness of stigmatization is to share personal stories of stigma- this connection will allow something an addict desperately needs- to be understood and not judged. The acts of love and acceptance do far more to aid an addict than judgment, harsh words or stigmatization.
If you are seeking sober coaches or sober escorts in the Virginia area that understand the disease of addiction, Recovery Care Partners has the best addiction consulting, pre-treatment consulting and post-treatment consulting.Learn More
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, you have probably thought about hiring an interventionist. Whether you are looking for an Interventionist in Philadelphia, an Interventionist in South Jersey, an Interventionist in Richmond, or literally anywhere else, the right intervention should have the same key setup and components. So how does an intervention? What are the key components? Well, it’ll help to understand the steps.
1: Formulate The Plan
If you or a family member propose an intervention you will first want to form a planning group. This is often aided by meeting with an Interventionist that knows the ins and outs of the family intervention process. It’s important to have an Intervention Professional there, as they can help diffuse things when/if things get tense or heated, as they often do in a Drug or Alcohol Use Intervention. During this step, you will also want to decide upon who will be on the intervention team. These individuals should all be ready to demonstrate a concise and clear message, often including the consequences, your loved one will face if they continue their behavior.
2: Collect Information
The next thing you’ll want to do is find out about the extent of the substance use disorder your loved one has. This can help figure out which treatment is best for the addict in your life. Before the family intervention even begins, you should make arrangements so that your loved one can go to a Drug or Alcohol Addiction Treatment Center right after the Drug Intervention process.
3: Decide What To Communicate
Next, you’ll want to decide on the message of the family intervention and what exactly you as a loved one want to say. Often, each intervention team member will address specific incidents or concerns they have about the loved one’s behaviors. It is important to use “I” statements during this time. Your emotional response to a loved one’s substance use disorder or alcohol use disorder is valuable.
4: Hold The Family Intervention
Now it’s time to hold the intervention meeting and invite your loved one. You should not disclose the nature of the meeting prior to them coming. Then, as the intervention team practiced, you will all list your concerns and feelings surrounding the substance abuse. Then, each team member will list the consequences that will ensue if the loved one doesn’t accept the plan for drug addiction treatment. Make sure you are ready to follow through on these consequences and changes. However, the changes shouldn’t just involve your addict. Loved ones need to begin their recovery.
If you are seeking an interventionist in Atlanta, a Virginia Interventionist or a Connecticut Interventionist, Recovery Care Partner is the best choice. Recovery Care Partner offers a depth of understanding in terms of family interventions that can’t be found elsewhere.Learn More
As the war with opioids and addiction rages on in America, people often want to look for reasons why addiction afflicts some and not others. Many stereotypes have evolved in the wake of this fear to suggest that addicts have a lot in common. However, with more studies, research and stories being published, we can now understand that addicts come from every race, creed, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status and more. However, we can say with some confidence that there is a genetic element to the disease of addiction, a quite strong one.
So what is the commonality to addiction besides the genetic component? Are there any personality traits that can perhaps predict addiction? Well, studies are starting to say yes. The trait that is most often associated with addiction is impulsivity. Perhaps this is not surprising as one could fathom that more impulsive people tend to drink and do drugs more frequently and at greater levels than those who are not. However, impulsivity can show up in a number of ways.
One such is that people of a more impulsive nature tend to choose the small, quick reward in comparison to one that is delayed, but larger. This represents the hardship that is experienced when addicts try to overcome the delay of not getting what they want. However, it also represents the importance of overcoming this barrier and rewiring your brain to less need momentary gratification and rewards.
So do other people besides addicts experience impulsivity? Absolutely. Impulsivity is just quick, momentary reactions to internal or external stimuli, often with consequences that are unplanned. Certainly this is a behavior everyone can empathize with, even if doesn’t apply directly to drugs or alcohol. Everyone has things they find themselves doing that they perhaps did not plan. Eating an extra doughnut, buying something we can’t afford, etc. The impulsivity manifested in any of these behaviors represents the cruz of addiction.
So if we know a factor that generates addiction do we know the solution? Well, we may have a place to start. We can now identify resisting impulse as a barrier that addicts must face in order to have long-term recovery. However, this pattern is often hard to break, especially for those who prefer short-term, in comparison to long-term, gains.
However, it is also a factor that at different times in our life we experience impulsivity waning and waxing. Namely, people are more impulsive in their youth and less so in their older years.
With this information in mind, it can be determined that impulsivity is often a prerequisite to addictive behavior and could be quite definitely used as both a screening mechanism and a barrier to cross in terms of future addiction treatment. If you or someone you know is in need of researched, compassionate treatment, look no further than Recovery Care Partner.
You may have heard of heroin or other opiates, but have you heard of fentanyl? This lesser known drug is having a serious impact. The newest drug to hit the streets has completely reignited the opioid crisis and is more deadly than any drug cops have ever seen. It is a driving force behind overdoses all over the world, and country.
So where did fentanyl get its start? Well, fentanyl began its reign in British Columbia. In 2016, British Columbia declared a public health emergency due to the rampant overdoses experienced in the region. They also started a website called fentanylsafety.com. However, this unfortunately did not stop the drug from growing in popularity and spreading to other parts of the country.
So what is fentanyl composed of? Well, it’s a pain reliever so it is an opioid similar to morphine or heroin. Except it’s a lot, lot stronger. In legal settings, it is administered in a patch for really bad, chronic pain, such as in the case of cancer patients. But the fentanyl that is coming from overseas bears almost no resemblance to the legal, medical form. It is about 50 to 100 times stronger than medical fentanyl.
It is the strength and insidious nature of fentanyl that leads it to claim so many lives. People began to learn of the danger of fentanyl several years ago. Around the time it was gaining popularity in British Columbia, a photo by the New Hampshire State Police Forensic Laboratory was released. It show two vials, one with a lethal dose of heroin and one with a lethal dose of fentanyl. The dose of heroin clocked in at 30 milligrams, while the lethal dose of fentanyl was only 3 milligrams. Basically, the tiniest scoop can kill you. The picture served to represent just how dangerous and insidious fentanyl can be.
Fentanyl is changing the lives of everyone involved with it. Obviously, addicts and their families are completely ravaged by the fentanyl, but the police and first responders are even having to change their practices in response to the drug. There have been several incidents in which officers have been injured due to contact with fentanyl. In 2016, a police officer in Jersey had to go to the hospital simply because he breathed a small portion of the fentanyl. Because of this and other incidents, police officers are currently using protective gear like Tyvek suits and respirators. This is because fentanyl is so dangerous and so strong that even touching or breathing it in could result in overdose or death. Naloxone, or narcan, as its often known is also a big part of first responders’ jobs in the current opioid crisis. Naloxone works to reverse the effects of overdose.
If you or someone you know is addicted to fentanyl or another drug, the time for help is now. If you are looking to have an intervention in New York or the DMV area, Recovery Care Partner is the best place to go.Learn More
If you have any experience with addicts, you’ll know that they vary greatly in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, background, socioeconomic status and more. But did you know that certain populations are prone to addiction more than others? This has nothing to do with stereotypes (trust us, plenty exist about addiction). There are certain groups of people that are proven to have higher predispositions to alcohol or substance abuse. So what people do these groups include and what characteristics make them more susceptible to addiction?
One group of people that are more likely to abuse drugs is young, white men. Young people in general (18-34) are more likely to fall vulnerable to addiction. If you think about it, this makes sense, due to the environmental factors germane to that age range and period. However, young men are particularly prone, also arguably due to social pressures and factors. Furthermore, race plays a part in addiction. Research has shown that white people are more likely to be addicts than those of an african-american nature. Also, studies have shown that native american youths have the highest likelihood to abuse drugs, followed by whites, african-americans and then asian-americans. The likeliest explanation for this disparity regarding who addiction affects is that race, especially in this country, is not only a demographic but also an experience. It dictates, to some extent, factors and possibilities that could influence personality characteristics and also drug habits.
Another group of people that are disproportionately prone to be addicts are children of addicts. This is probably a fairly unsurprising demographic, as most people are aware of the genetic component behind addiction. But the statistics on predispositions for children of drug abusers truly are staggering. According to the National Institute of Health, children of those who abused drugs are 45 to 79 percent more likely to have a problem with drugs or alcohol themselves than in comparison to the rest of the general population. Not only are children of drug addicts impacted by the genetics they receive, they are also often influenced by the accompanying home and family background.
Another population adversely exposed to drug and alcohol addiction are those that suffer from mental illnesses. This is why the phenomenon of dual diagnosis (when addicts are treated for outside issues, not just their substance abuse problems) has risen in past years. Studies have shown that individuals with mental illness issues attempt to medicate with drugs and alcohol attempt to medicate the symptoms of their mental illness. This is especially prevalent in those with bipolar disorder, a mental disorder characterized by dramatic mood swings and borderline personality disorder, a personality disorder characterized by loss of self, feelings of emptiness, compulsive behavior, mood swings and more. Furthermore, those with the widely common mental illnesses of anxiety and depression are also more at risk for addiction.
There are other groups that are prone to substance abuse, including those with higher IQ’s, members of the LGBT community and those described as sensitive, but we hope our blog gave you an inside look on those left more vulnerable to addiction. Here at Recovery Care Partner, we care especially about those predisposed to addiction, and care deeply about all those who addiction affects. If you or a loved one is suffering with addiction, contact Recovery Care Partner today.Learn More
When one part of the population experiences such a different reaction to drugs and alcohol than the everyone else, it’s natural to wonder what is behind it. In this blog post,we’ll attempt to explain variations in addicts from neurological, biological, environmental and genetic levels. Regarding the genetic explanation for what creates an addict, the answer is pretty straightforward and generally understood. Genetics play a big role in if one is predisposed to addiction. Those with addicts or alcoholics in their family are more likely to become them themselves. However, a little bit harder to explain are the biological, neurological and environmental factors to addiction.
The neurological factors to addiction entail the brain’s experience while addiction is happening. There are three primary stages to addiction- first is preoccupation, second is binge and third is withdrawal. The stages have complex, intertwining relationships with one another and grow worse and worse with the use. However, what is profound about these stages is that the way one’s brain chemically responds to the stages is a major factor in addiction. The chemical response put out by one’s brain during the three stages changes very quickly and this alters brain chemistry; the functioning of a brain’s circuitry decreases a lot in users, giving them sensations of desperation and more. The change in brain chemistry can transform a normal brain into that of an addict, depending on how one reacts to the drugs/alcohol they are ingesting.
There are also a lot of biological factors behind addiction. These factors draw from both neurological and genetic counterparts. A user’s response to a drug or other stimuli is based primarily on their brain makeup. Brain makeup is what comprises the biological factor. Brain makeup is based on inherited genes as well as brain circuitry functions and chemical patterns that comprise neurological factors. Brain makeup may sound complex, but just understand it entails one’s thought process. Anyone that has any experience with an addict knows that their thought processes vary greatly from those without the disease. A big trademark of addicts is lack of ability to resist impulse. This thought process, or lack thereof, helps to exemplify the biological reasons for addiction.
Lastly, and probably the most complex, environmental factors have a lot to do with determining addiction. In a nutshell, the environmental factors for addiction entail the fact that substance abuse can pop up as a poor coping mechanism or response to some kind of tragedy or trauma. How you interpret things growing up and what specific things happened to you while growing up combine to the environmental factors behind addiction. Those that are easily distraught, easily swayed or upset, those that have a hard time working or making friendships, or those that are persecuted have a higher likelihood of substance abuse. The concept of persecution or isolation is especially relevant. In those that have experienced derision, rates of substance abuse are higher. For example,it has been stated that 20 to 30 percent of LGBTQ people battle addiction, whereas the rate is only 9 percent for the rest of the population.
Whatever factors are behind the substance abuse of you our a loved one, you are going to need help. Rely on the help and support of Recovery Care Partner to change lives this new year.Learn More
If you practice any kind of addiction therapy or medicine, or if you simply want to know more about addiction and related topics, check out the Elevate Your Practice event, hosted by Ashley Addiction Treatment. The event will be held in Ellicott City, Maryland and will be co-sponsored by Columbia Addictions Center, as well as the folks here at Recovery Partner. The event begins February 9th so make sure you sign up soon!
Have you ever experienced an emotional hangover? Scientific evidence shows that the same area of the brain that is triggered from substances is also triggered by three early recovery challenges: romances, finances and resentments. Due to the fact that recovery is a lifelong process with challenges across the way, we will explore the emotional roller coaster of these three frequent offenders in early recovery and the subtle changes in thinking and behavior that make us vulnerable for relapse.
“How did my days go? Well, I’d wake up each morning, that is if I even got sleep the night before, which was doubtful unless I had as much heroin as I needed, which never seemed to happen. I tried to never have less than two bundles (each bundle has approximately 1-1.5 grams of heroin in it, a collection of 10 bags, varying some state to state) on me at all times, but that was pretty unsuccessful. I’d spend all night blowing up my dealer’s phone. Then the misery, sickness and insanity of withdrawal would set in. Then I’d drive the 1.5 hours round-trip distance from Morristown to Paterson (both cities in New Jersey) to buy a brick (5 bundles, or 50 bags), which would only last me two days max.”
Mike says all of this in the way you’d talk about someone you didn’t know well whose dad had died: with resignation, sympathy and detachment.
Mike is one of 2.6 million Americans who suffers from Opioid Use Disorder. The criterion for an individual to be diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder (as stated in the current DSM-5), includes manifestation of at least two of the following in a 12 month period: opiates are taken in larger quantities than intended, consistent desire to cut down use (to no avail), large quantities of time spent to obtain, use and recover from opiates, use resulting in failure to fulfill obligations at school, work or home, using despite social/interpersonal problems caused by use, social, occupational and recreational activities given up to pursue opiates, use of opiates in situations which it is physically dangerous, continued use despite sustaining a physical/psychological issue due to the substance, increased tolerance to opiates and lastly, withdrawal, by which the user has withdrawal symptoms that match with those listed in the DSM or they use opiates to relieve or avoid withdrawal.
Mike says his use encompassed all 12 of the criterion. Surely, the habit and schedule he mentions had to arouse some attention from his loved ones.
“I would have to turn the GPS off my phone when I was making those trips to Paterson. My parents could see where I was with the Find My iPhone App and if they saw that I was in Paterson, they’d know that I was buying heroin and there’d be trouble. So on the way back from buying heroin, I’d pull off to the side of route 80 in the shoulder and shoot 7 bags right there to stop withdrawing, then I’d race back home while nodding out on the highway, frequently waking up while I was driving, which was incredibly scary.”
But after all the anticipation, all the build-up, all the lies for proper execution, all the danger he put himself in, it still wasn’t enough for Mike.
“When I got home, I’d do another 3-5 bags, smoke cigarettes, watching netflix alone in my room all day. I was incredibly sad and lonely and my life was going nowhere. I felt close to no one, I’d steal from my parents- not even when I needed money, just in anticipation that I would need it soon. I also sold heroin to get mine for free. Everything I did was for or in pursuit of heroin. I only left my room to sell or buy drugs.”
Like the criterion for Opioid Use Disorder mentioned, Mike’s use drastically cut into all facets of his life.
“I had a horrible job in the fast food industry, horrible hygiene, horrible relationships with my family and horrible mental health- I had a really bad temper and abysmal self-esteem.”
But there is hope, Mike now has 9 months sober after getting clean in a long-term treatment center, followed by living in a halfway house and filling his life with sober supports and AA.
“I came from the lowest point a human can be- sickness, mental illness, criminality, despair, to having a love for life, for my family and friends, for myself and for God- all with the help of treatment, AA and those around me. I truly think that if I was able to overcome my affliction, there is hope for anyone.”Learn More