The American opioid epidemic did not stem from one single factor; over the past three decades, a number of reasons contributed to the HHS declaring a public health emergency in 2017; the HHS, or The Department of Health and Human Services, released a 5-point strategy after declaring this emergency to combat this growing threat to the American public. The five main points included:
-Safer prescribing for opioid medications in the use of pain management
-More support for research-based solutions towards pain management and addiction
-Increased public health surveillance
-Promotion of the education and use of life-saving drugs that can help reverse an overdose
-Better access to recovery and treatment services for the American public
The Trump administration also stated that they would target criminal drug-trafficking organizations based on the lethality of the drugs they peddle; fentanyl and carfentanil are strong enough to kill a person with one hit; carfentanil is estimated to be 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, and 100 times stronger than fentanyl (fentanyl being much stronger than morphine or heroin). A hit smaller than the size of a penny can lead to a fatal overdose.
Reasons for the Opioid Epidemic
Back in the mid-to-late 1990’s, enormous drug companies heavily promoted the use of opioid pain medication to healthcare professionals and the American public. This made the pharmaceutical companies responsible for the mass production of painkillers obscenely rich. These companies convinced healthcare professionals that these medications were indeed non-addictive and safe for the treatment of pain conditions that did not necessarily require opioid medication therapy. This led to the widespread use and misuse of pain management medication across the country.
Today, nearly 140 people – in America alone – die every day from opioid-induced overdoses. It is estimated that more than 2 million people have an opioid use disorder, with over 2 million people misusing pain medication for the first time each year. Since 2013 to 2017, fentanyl overdoses have climbed steadily (from 3,000 a year to 28,000 a year), with more than 220,000 people dying from prescription opioid overdoses from 1999 to 2018. The numbers are startling and especially scary if you know a loved one that suffers from opioid addiction.
Another reason why the use of street drugs such as fentanyl and heroin are on the rise is due to the past over-prescription of opioid painkillers. The majority of current heroin users first started on prescription opioids: when their prescription ran out, they turned to the black market for their fix. The reassurance from the opioid manufacturers that these drugs were non-addictive (which is the furthest thing from the truth) has resulted in a resurgence of heroin users, addicts, and criminal organizations looking to cash in.
Rochester Drug Co-Operative Former CEO Arrested
Speaking of criminality, the former CEO of Rochester Drug has recently been indicted on two counts of conspiracy and drug-trafficking; this prosecution is the first of its kind, as no major opioid manufacturer has been held responsible for the opioid epidemic that is currently ravaging America. According to the prosecution, from 2012 to 2016, Laurence Doud III directed his employees to purposefully turn a blind eye towards suspicious orders of their opioid medications. Doud is charged with unlawfully distributing the powerful opioid medications fentanyl and oxycodone, both of which are comparable or stronger than heroin. The internal compliance office or Rochester Drug flagged 8,300 orders that were deemed as suspicious during 2012-2016, yet only 4 were reported to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Treatment for Opioid Addiction
America is finally starting to come to terms with the staggering amount of damage that opioids are capable of, and the powers that be are finally taking notice. The Rochester case will not be the last, as more than 1,600 lawsuits are currently in litigation against major drug manufacturers Purdue Pharma and others. Recently, federal prosecutors charged 60 licensed healthcare professionals across multiple states for illegally distributing (“prescribing”) more than 32 million opioid painkillers.
At Recovery Care Partner, our mission is to help Americans recover from substance abuse. Living a healthy and stable life is possible if an individual gets the right medical attention and care. We work with addicts throughout the recovery process, from intervention to post-rehab coaching and care. If you or a loved one has been affected by the opioid epidemic, visit our contact page or call Recovery Care Partner at (855) 727-2887 today.
Many people in early recovery feel out of their comfort zone; drugs and alcohol feel like a warm, comfortable blanket. Once you remove the solution to your issues, the problems you’ve been avoiding can feel like a very chilly wind, to say the least. The first few months of early sobriety can be a real roller-coaster. It is a bumpy enough ride that the majority of persons in early recovery do not make it past the first year; while relapse is sometimes a part of the process, it isn’t a necessary step in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Many people pick up a white chip and never look back. Here are a few helpful tips for early recovery.
Alcoholism and drug addiction will wreck your body. If you were addicted for a number of years, the body probably isn’t functioning at its highest capability. Exercise is a fantastic tool for self-growth and empowerment. Improvement at the gym will invariably seep into other aspects of your life; hitting a new lift number, a new weight goal, or a new 5-K time will bring you joy due to the sense of achievement. From those achievements, a new sense of pride will develop within yourself. Be kind to you and get your workout on!
People get sober after they have hit a bottom. If your bottom was particularly bad, take comfort in the fact that it can only get better (as long as you stay sober). If you’ve wronged somebody in the past, take the time to reflect on your past misdeeds and try and make the situation right when you are ready.
Get Proper Sleep and Nutrition
Most people in early recovery do not boast the healthiest lifestyle or health markers. “Recovery” doesn’t just mean a recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, it also means recovering the health and wealth of your body, mind, and spirit. A Ferrari needs premium gas, so make sure you are getting 8 hours of sleep a night (at least!) and eating the proper foods. That means ditching the soda and sugary snacks, and eating lots of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, legumes, and whole grains. Feeling great and looking great go hand in hand (your body will thank you as well).
Remind yourself of all the good things in your life. Life is something to be loved, not something to be hated or despised. Thank your legs for carrying your body, the sun for shining, the wind for blowing, and thank god for the pain as well. Pain is one of the greatest motivators in life and there is great beauty on the other side of your darkest moment.
Go to Meetings
We can’t stress this enough. People in early recovery who go to at least 5 meetings a week, have a sponsor, attend a home group, and work with a sponsor rarely – if ever – relapse. Working a spiritual program of recovery isn’t difficult in and of itself; the steps and solutions are laid out for you every step of the way. All you have to do is be honest and take suggestions.
Addiction Recovery Services
Recovery Care Partner proudly offers addiction recovery services in the following areas:
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- South Jersey
- Richmond, Virginia
- Atlanta, Georgia
- Greenwich, Connecticut
- The Greater Washington, DC/ Baltimore region
Call us at (855) 727-2887 if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.Visit our contact page for more information about our services.Learn More
Allowing yourself to experience a greater sense of gratitude in life makes day-to-day routines seem like a blessing, rather than a chore; for people in early recovery, gratitude can make a huge difference in the overall quality of their life and their recovery. Gratitude allows you to experience happiness, can open the door to new relationships and friendships, and will improve your physical and psychological health, while also enhancing empathy and reducing aggression. Let’s take a look at some research-backed evidence and helpful tips concerning this all-important trait.
Evidence-Based Research on Gratitude
First, let’s start off with a simple definition.
Gratitude: noun. “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.” Gratitude is a key component of the 12-step way of thinking in Alcoholics Anonymous; many sponsors instruct their sponsees to write gratitude lists and practice gratefulness daily. Gratitude can ease the pain of disappointment and the stresses of life before they become an issue. Gratitude allows people to see things as they are, without the coloring of individual perception.
Gratitude Increases Mental Fortitude
A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy researched the levels of post-traumatic stress (PTSD) in Vietnam War veterans. Veterans with higher levels of self-reported gratitude experienced dramatically lower rates of PTSD and stress-related illnesses. Gratitude can transition your object of mental fixation from a negative event towards a more optimistic and bright outlook. It’s hard to be bogged down by negative past events when you are experiencing the beauty of the moment or the optimism of the future.
Gratitude Increases Sleep Quality
In 2011, a study was published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. The study found that subjects who spent 15 minutes journaling a few grateful sentiments before bed slept longer and deeper than the control subjects. The bottom line? Gratitude journaling can improve your overall quality of sleep.
More Gratitude = Improved Self-Esteem and Physical Health
Gratitude has been shown to reduce social and economic comparison amongst people; rather than resent themselves or others because someone may have more money or a better job, grateful individuals are able to appreciate other people for their accomplishments without wallowing in negative comparison. Gratitude has the ability to remove toxic emotions; jealousy, regret, envy, frustration, anger, and self-pity are all very difficult to experience when you are filled with gratitude. According to a leading gratitude researcher, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., numerous studies show a direct link between the practice of gratitude and reduced rates of depression. Emmons’ research also confirms that gratitude is linked to increased levels of happiness and life/job satisfaction.
Another benefit? Gratitude was shown to increase athlete’s level of optimal performance, according to a study published in 2014 in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology. Grateful people have been shown to take better care of their health, exercise more, and visit the doctor’s office more frequently. Grateful individuals also experience fewer injuries, aches, and pains, according to a 2012 study conducted in Personality and Individual Differences.
Tips On Gratitude
Gratitude is a wonder-drug. Better sleep, more self-esteem, improved physical and mental health, and an increase in empathy? Sure sounds like a good deal. People in early recovery can use all the tools they can get their hands on; count gratitudes instead of resentments, and we can guarantee that your perception towards life will begin to change.
Live in the Moment
Are you missing the forest because you are focused on the trees? It is easy to lose mindfulness and go through the routine of life. Whatever you are experiencing in the moment, truly experience it. If you are washing the dishes, experience the suds on your hands. If you are having dinner with a friend, put your phone away and be absorbed in the other person and the conversation. If you are working out, then work out! Feel your muscles contract and your pores sweat.
Immerse Yourself in Motivational Quotes
Feelings of gratitude can manifest emotions and situations that you never thought possible. Appreciate more, live more, and be more content with your current situation, no matter what it is. Many influential individuals have found great solace in gratitude.
In Summation, two quotes from Captain Jack Sparrow:
- “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?”
- “Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate.”
Be Careful with Your Words
Do you find yourself saying negative things about yourself or other people in your own head? Words are incredibly powerful and they have the power to shape your entire reality. Saying things like “I’m so depressed, I can’t get over this”, “I’m too tired to do that…”, or “I can’t”, can shape your reality in ways you can’t imagine.
Control your thoughts! If you find yourself feeling more entitled, resentful, or you keep repeating negative self-talk…. Stop! Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool when you begin to take accountability for your thoughts and actions. Any time you begin to experience negativity or rumination, think to yourself, “thought!” Stop the process of rumination and move on. What you feed, will grow.
Live in an Abundance Mindset
The world is full of opportunities. Life has just begun. There is so much out there to see, to do, to touch, to experience! The glass if always half-full. Be content with what you currently have! Anything else that you receive from this point onwards is a gift. Every day is a gift.
That sure sounds better than “I can’t”, doesn’t it?
Move on from the Past
Acknowledge your past failures but do not wallow in them. As the Big Book in Alcoholics Anonymous says: “We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it”. The past is simply a learning experience; previous failures, heart brakes, frustrations, mistakes, and misgivings are stepping stones. By learning who you are not, you will begin to learn who you are. Use the past as a road towards your own self-actualization.
Be grateful of the pain in your life. Be grateful of the pleasure in your life. Be grateful that you have the capacity to experience everything that life has to offer.
Closing Thoughts on Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the most effective tools for people, both in and out of recovery. You don’t need to be a recovering addict or alcoholic to experience the beauty that gratitude has to offer; you just need to be a willing person. Often times, humans will create their own problems when presented with the absence of real issues. Take it upon yourself to create joy.
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured”. – Mark TwainLearn More
A healthier lifestyle should be a necessary component to anyone that is recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. Recovery is an ongoing process that needs to include multiple avenues of treatment. This may include 12-step meetings, working with a therapist, talking with sober supports and friends, hiring a sober escort or companion, staying active, and eating healthy. Support for your mental wellness should be just as important as support for your physical well-being. A strong mind and a strong body will help ease the transition from addiction to a sober lifestyle.
Post-Treatment Addiction Consulting
While Recovery Care Partner offers post-treatment support such as sober escorts, sober companions, and sober transport, a certain degree of personal responsibility needs to come from the addict themselves. Maintenance of a healthy lifestyle can be achieved through outdoor activities, group activities, exercise, proper nutrition, and mindfulness meditation and exercises. 12-step meetings don’t hurt either!
Exercise in Early Recovery
Exercise has been scientifically proven to boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These two “feel-good” hormones can contribute to better sleep, better mood, and an overall improved sense of well-being. It’s a smart idea to adopt a new exercise program or regime to help bolster yourself in early recovery.
Many people benefit from group fitness classes such as CrossFit, Yoga, Pilates, Spinning classes, and group weightlifting exercises. Finding other sober people that enjoy the same physical activities as you can not only motivate you to achieve better physical health; it can also help build new sober friendships and relationships.
Having sober friends can make all the difference in early sobriety, as it gives you a chance to connect with people who have gone through similar things. Many people do not understand just how devastating and debilitating addiction can really be. This is why having people that can relate to your experiences can make all the difference; they are also people that you can attend meetings with. Many former addicts in recovery state that the friends they made in early recovery have been friends for years.
Try activities such as rock climbing, camping, hiking, martial arts, kayaking, paddle boarding, and going to the beach! Group sports such as volleyball, basketball, and flag football are also great ways to build friendships and comradery.
Nutrition for a Recovering Body
Fueling your body with the right food is absolutely necessary! Early recovery is tough and many people choose to make it even more difficult by not giving their body the proper nutrition it requires. A body weakened by drug and alcohol addiction needs time to recover, so make sure you are eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and legumes. Try to avoid foods that can cause mood crashes, such as processed foods, sugary drinks, soda, and processed sugar. While pizza is fine once in a while, try not to make it a daily occurrence!
Drinking enough water will help keep you hydrated and feeling healthy, so make sure not to neglect drinking this vital substance. Here are just a few examples of healthy food to help get you started:
- Fruits: apples, bananas, berries, peaches, plums, mangos, and avocados.
- Lean Meats: turkey, sirloin steak, chicken, ham, and turkey.
- Fish: salmon, trout, halibut, swordfish, tuna, mackerel, herring, haddock, mahi mahi, and catfish.
- Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, onion, asparagus, beets, carrots, peas, corn, sweet potatoes, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, chard, and red cabbage.
- Legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, and navy beans.
- Whole grains: brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, pasta and crackers, millet, bulgur, and buckwheat.
Mindfulness Exercises for a Calm Brain
Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool, especially when used with other therapies. Mindfulness meditation means quieting your brain and becoming an observer to your thoughts; it means not emotionally reacting to negative feelings and deliberations. Zen can be thought of as the moment before a thought, and many people practice for a lifetime to try and reach this state. No one is perfect with their practice; trying your best is all that you should ask of yourself and others.
Mindfulness meditation groups can often be found within yoga groups and classes or through certain therapists. Ask around! You’ll never know what you may find through this powerful practice.
Addiction Counseling and Intervention Specialists
You can only help a person as much as they want to help themselves; this is why it is so important for an addict to take personal responsibility and care for their mental and physical well-being.
Recovery Care Partner offers people that are currently facing addiction – as well as recovering addicts – the chance to help them land on their feet. Everyone, at some point in their lives, is going to need a little help from others.
This is where Recovery Care Partner shines. Our sober companions and sober transition coaching offers people in early recovery the tools to help succeed in life; life skills augmentation, proper nutrition, mindfulness exercises, exercise regiments, resume writing, and skill building are all facets that our sober companions and addiction coaches love to teach.
If your loved one is struggling with addiction, or you need some additional support yourself while going through early recovery, do not hesitate to call Recovery Care Partner at (855) 727-2887. You can also reach us via our contact page by clicking here.
Respect your body. It’s the only one you get.Learn More
An adverse impact of a drug-filled life can result in the loss of friendship and families, the loss of joy in activities that used to bring you happiness, and a complete sense of disassociation. Sometimes knowing that you are not alone in your struggles can help you realize that someone has been through exactly what you are going through. There are quite a few books written on recovery, and reading about others’ experiences with addiction can help you relate and make you feel not-so-alone.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
The gold standard of alcoholism recovery literature, the Big Book is one of the best-selling books of all time, having sold 30 million copies worldwide. In this tome, it describes the process of how thousands of men and women have recovered from alcoholism and shares many personal stories describing such. This book is used in multiple 12-step programs to help people recovery from eating disorders, drug addiction, love addiction, gambling addiction and other disorders. Time magazine placed this book amongst the top 100 most influential books written in English since 1923. In 2012, it was designated as one of the 88 “Books that shaped America” by the Library of Congress.
Gun, Needle, Spoon
Written by Patrick O’Neil, this book details O’Neil’s massive consequences associated with his drug abuse. To support his heroin habit, O’Neil would commit armed robberies to fuel his addiction. After being busted for several armed robberies, he was incarcerated for quite a few years. This incarceration led him to a life of recovery and rehabilitation, one which he writes extensively about in this novel.
How to Grow Up
A memoir written by Michelle Tea, this book details the harsh realities that often come with alcoholism: several broken relationships, empty bottles around the house and the sink, cigarette butts on the floor, and maggots in the fridge were just a few of the consequences associated with her disease. This book is a how-to manual describing how to get what we really want out of life: a child, a good job, and a spouse are all attainable if an addict decides to stop drinking for good.
Clean: Overcoming Addiction
This is a great book on what addiction is and why it can happen to anybody. Why does it happen to so many Americans and what are the socio-economic factors? It touches on the latest research and discoveries and explores the futility of the war on drugs. This book is a great foundation to build upon as addicts discover why addiction entered their lives in the first place.
Addiction Consulting Services
Recovery Care Partner is your go-to resource for addiction recovery in Washington, DC and many other states. We offer options ranging from intervention and post-treatment support to sober companions and sober transport. Visit our contact page or call us at (855) 727-2887 to learn more about our services.
Many people are under the assumption that marijuana causes no signs or symptoms of addiction. This may be due to a comparison of marijuana and other drugs: cannabis is simply not as harmful as harder drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or morphine. There may also be more of a lax attitude towards this drug due to the sweeping reform that is currently running through the policies in America. Marijuana is the most commonly used and abused illegal drug in the United States and its use is only surpassed by nicotine and alcohol.
Experiences with marijuana are by no means universal; some users experience feelings of happiness and joy while others experience intense anxiety, delusions, distrust, and panic.
Long-Term Effects of Marijuana
Some brain scans suggest reduced volume of specific brain regions involved in executive functioning such as memory, learning, and impulse control compared to individuals that do not use the drug. Other studies suggest altered connectivity in certain areas of the brain. The most impactful aspect of marijuana is usually the negative effects on short-term memory and cognitive functioning, as well as altered states of REM sleep.
What Does Marijuana Detox Look Like?
While the physical symptoms of marijuana withdrawal are minor compared to harder drugs, the psychological addiction is no joke. If you or a loved one has been using for an extended period of time (months or years) it may be difficult to quit on your own. Many people that have gone through marijuana withdrawal report the following symptoms:
- Strange dreams
- Stomach pains
- Sleeping difficulty
- Nervousness and/or anxiety
- Increased anger, aggression, and irritation
- Depressed mood
- Drug cravings
- Decreased appetite
Headaches were reported in almost 30% of individuals that chose to detox from marijuana.
Many users report serious signs of depression after stopping the use of this drug. Whether the cessation of the marijuana caused the depression or whether the depression was simply masked by the high is up for debate and varies widely depending on the individual. We recommend a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (Advil, Aspirin) to deal with the side effects. There has also been a startling number of people that
Detox varies based on a few factors:
- An individual’s metabolism
- The amount and frequency of use
- Your age, gender, weight, and level of health
- How long an individual has been using the substance
Marijuana Addiction Services in Philadelphia
At Recovery Care Partner, we specialize in pre and post treatment services for alcoholism and drug addiction. We provide services such as interventionists, pre-treatment consultation, sober companions and escort, recovery care monitoring, and transition coaching in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, South Jersey, Richmond, Virginia, Atlanta, Georgia, Greenwich, Connecticut, and The Greater Washington, DC/Baltimore region.
If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, give Recovery Care Partner a call at (855)-727-2887 to learn more about our services and get help.Learn More
According to the DEA, “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 80-100 times stronger than morphine. Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin.” This new opioid is wreaking havoc across areas of Canada and the U.S., resulting in thousands of overdoses per year. Fentanyl’s potency is unheard of and the epidemic is reaching critical proportions.
It acts quicker than heroin and is much more potent; the majority of fentanyl production takes place in clandestine labs in Mexico and overseas labs, so quality control is out of the question with non-pharmaceutical grade fentanyl. The problem arises from the lack of knowledge users have with the milligram dosage in unknown powders. It is also sometimes mixed with heroin – without the drug users’ knowledge – to give the illusion of very high-grade heroin.
The Opioid Epidemic
Fentanyl is being mixed into heroin, cocaine, and other drugs – either knowingly or unknowingly to customers – due to how cheap and powerful the synthetic drug is. For example, about 40% of people listed as dying of a cocaine overdose also had fentanyl in their system. In 2011, only 4% of overdoses were contributed to Fentanyl. By 2016, 29% of drug overdoses were caused by fentanyl, either by itself or mixed with other drugs.
A drug dealer isn’t someone you can trust, yet people of all ages and walks of life will put their lives in the hands of a plastic baggy. Even the dealers may not know that their heroin or cocaine has been adulterated with Fentanyl. There were 18,335 overdose deaths involving fentanyl in the USA in 2016, followed closely by heroin with a death count of 15,961. To put it in perspective, fentanyl deaths have risen from 1,300 in 2013 to 18,335 in 2016.
What to do About Fentanyl
There isn’t one easy answer or solution to the opioid epidemic, which has reached almost every corner of North America. The best thing that you can do for yourself – or a loved one suffering from addiction to other drugs – is to get clean immediately. There is another analog of fentanyl called ‘carfentanil’, which is a tranquilizer that is used to sedate or kill large animals, such as elephants. Carfentanil is 100 times stronger than fentanyl and 10,000 times stronger than morphine. 10mg can put an elephant to sleep or kill one, with the average elephant weighing 75 times that of a 200lb human male. The results of even 1mg in a human body can be deadly.
We urge anyone suffering from addiction to substances like cocaine or heroin to get help immediately. Dealers and users are not always aware of the substances they are buying and may unknowingly overdose because of it.
Your Recovery Resource for Fentanyl Addiction
Someone dies every day due to the accidental ingestion of fentanyl, as overdoses are being reported in casual and recreational users, not just people who are severely addicted. If you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction, immediate intervention is necessary. Contact us at (855) 727-2887 for our services, which include intervention, post-treatment support, coaching, sober companions, and sober transport.Learn More
Intervention is the catalyst that can propel an individual to a new, happier life. Days become very dark in the life of an addicted person; consequently, they may not see – or care – that they have a problem. It’s one of those powerful tools that families can use to urge a person to seek help and enter treatment. Generally, an intervention is necessary when someone’s addiction begins to destroy their personal relationships, work obligations, hobbies, and the happiness of their family. When a loved one continues to abuse drugs, despite negative consequences, intervention and treatment may be the only option.
To Intervene or Not to Intervene?
There are a few warning signs and factors that may send a person into an addiction. Co-occurring mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, and fear may exacerbate drug addiction. Social isolation, erratic behavior, financial issues, problems at work or school, and un-needed stress in personal relationships can be the result.
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of drug abuse is necessary if you wish to help your loved one. An intervention will force uncomfortable, emotional conversations; the individual in question may not be very responsive to the intervention at first. However, drug addiction tends to spiral out of control, with the National Institute on Drug Abuse considering addiction a progressive, chronic disease.
Signs that someone needs an intervention
- Drunk driving and other activities that endanger others
- Amnesia, or the inability to remember behaviors – especially negative ones – that affect family members and people close to them
- Legal issues or pending legal issues, especially those with drug charges
- Multiple failed attempts to reduce quantity and frequency of use
- Increased conflict with family, friends, and coworkers
- Shunning of basic responsibilities, such as house chores and going to work
- Intense mood swings
- Degradation of physical appearance, sleep cycles, and eating habits
- High levels of drug tolerance
- Large amounts of mysterious debt
- Worsening mental health problems
Stepping in before things get worse can help save your loved one’s life. This is especially important if your loved one is abusing hard drugs, as one bad batch can result in overdose.
Interventionist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
An intervention should be highly structured and controlled to decrease the chance of the intervention going off the rails. If your loved one has a history of suicidal ideations, violence, mental illness, and/or rationalization, professional help may be necessary to avoid a compromising situation.
Addiction is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Effective treatment requires a solution, which requires professional support. At Recovery Care Partner, we intervene in such as a way that the addict/alcoholic will likely be more receptive to the intervention and will be more likely to attend treatment. If you are in need of an intervention in Atlanta, Richmond, Philadelphia or South Jersey, contact us today!Learn More
As a newly recovering addict begins to take steps down a new path in life, they may find themselves emotionally and psychologically vulnerable after years of numbing their emotions with drugs and alcohol. Even with all the addiction education and recovery care management resources available, emotions can be overwhelming and difficult to process in early recovery. One of the greatest and most overlooked assets to a recovering addict, or anyone in this world, is gratitude. Maintaining a positive outlook, even in the most difficult of conditions, can mean the difference between having a good day that runs smoothly or feeling like the world is crashing down around you. Here are some basic strategies you or a recovering addict can implement into your weekly routine.
Wake up grateful! When you rise you greet the day, take some time out to pray or meditate and think about someone or something in life that you are grateful for. This really helps shift your perspective and starts to frame everything you see in a more positive way. It isn’t always apparent immediately, but the positive mindset produced by starting your day off right will seep into all aspects of your life. You will start to find yourself more relaxed, resilient, optimistic, productive, social, and even see an improvement in your health and well-being.
Make a Gratitude List
Cleaning up the wreckage of our past can be extremely difficult. Building a new life from the bottom up often means we aren’t left with much to work with, but you can always find something to be grateful for. Most pieces of addiction education literature will tell you to consider writing a gratitude list. Items could include something as simple as the cup of coffee you have to help jump-start your day, or as personal as the loved one who hasn’t given up on you through all the hard times.
Look at What You Have, Instead of What You Don’t
There are billionaires who have everything one could ever imagine in life but still can’t seem to find happiness. There are also people who are just scraping by that have a sense of peace and joy that seems unattainable to those watching from the outside. It’s easy to get caught up in “keeping up with the Jones’”, and after hitting rock bottom it can seem like an almost impossible climb back up out of the hole you dug yourself in. Often, we find we had taken everything we held dear for granted in our illness anyway, and material things never seemed to bring the happiness we thought they would. Though it may feel like all is lost, we find a new strength within ourselves in recovery we never knew previously existed. We can find new qualities within ourselves and new things to be grateful for every day. Take inventory of all the blessings life has bestowed upon you. Stop and smell the flowers a little, take time to notice the little things we take for granted every day. Sometimes you will find something beautiful that used to be overlooked.
In my time in the rooms of AA, I’ve heard it said plenty of times that “a grateful addict/alcoholic will never relapse”. Time after time again I’ve seen this to be true. Gratitude is an essential part of recovery. If you’re currently in recovery and struggling with negative thoughts and emotions, take some time out to count your blessings and find something you are grateful for. Reach out and help your fellow man to get out of yourself and take the focus off of your own struggles. Read addiction education literature to help find ways to deal with a specific problem, and consult your recovery care management team if you have any problems and wish to seek extra counseling.
Recovery Services in Atlanta, Georgia
If you or a loved one are currently struggling with drugs or alcohol, there is a way out. We offer intervention services to help facilitate your gateway to a new life free of the shackles of substance abuse. Contact us anytime here, our staff is available 24/7 to find you help.Learn More
Although the opioid epidemic is still unfortunately rampant, another drug has recently popped up on college campuses and popular culture as a whole. That drug is Xanax, a derivative of the housewife drug Valium, first prescribed in the 1960’s. Valium and other similar drugs, belonging to the classification benzodiazepines, have been silently popular since their inception, but have witnessed a sharp increase in popularity quite recently. Benzodiazepines are sedative, anti-anxiety drugs that include Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), Klonopin (clonazepam) and Ativan (lorazepam), of which Xanax is irrevocably the most popular. They are used to treat anxiety, muscle spasms and seizures. While those are the intended purposes, many users also take the drugs for their soothing and numbing effects on both brain and body; they are also utilized by many millennials as a way to “come down,” after being on psychedelics or uppers.
The Problem With Benzos
Benzodiazepines (also called benzos) are so insidious because of their ubiquity in popular culture and also a benign connotation because of their legality. While many young adults are buying Xanax illegally from friends or drug dealers, the origins of these pills are primarily legal (i.e. people are selling prescriptions they obtained with reported problems as simplistic and widespread as generalized anxiety). There are many pills being sold on the dark web as well, with manufacturers often pressing alprazolam (or other benzodiazepine) powder into casing typical for “bars” (the street name for 2mg Xanax pills popular for their rectangular shape and powerful effects). This is especially terrifying because it is incredibly easy to press more than 2mg into a bar (or to press the bar with laced materials, such as fentanyl), which is an already high dose.
Effects of Xanax
When a large amount of Xanax is consumed, it robs the user of basic mental abilities and motor skills. If you are concerned your loved one is using Xanax, look for vacant eyes, sleepiness, slurred speech, impaired motor skills and vision, reduced inhibition (people high on Xanax will often do or say things entirely out of character, because even normal, appropriate anxiety is taken away when given enough of the drug) and increased hostility or bluntness. These effects are exacerbated when the pill is taken with alcohol, as it is often consumed, especially on college campuses. It is also not uncommon for Xanax to be used as a date rape drug, put into individual drinks or the “jungle juice” buckets and coolers that litter American universities.
Xanax in Popular Culture
So what put it in millennials’ heads to take Xanax in the first place? Besides its incredible prevalence (often, teenagers have to look no further than their parents’ medicine cabinet to try the drug), Xanax has become incredibly popular in television, movie and especially, music culture. Rappers, primarily, glorify use of the drug in songs like “56 Nights,” in which rapper Future claims to have taken “56 bars all in one month.” Rap culture has an undeniable effect on which drugs are used and how often. A spike in codeine, molly and marijuana usage have been witnessed over the past years in which rappers (and their lyrics) have become increasingly centered on said drugs.
Some Celebrities Bashing Benzos
But some rappers, and other public figures, are beginning to publicly decry the drug and and debunk its harmless status. Chance the Rapper has publicly claimed Xanax to be the new heroin and has spoken to the havoc it wreaked in his own life in several songs. Former member of Fleetwood Mac Stevie Nicks is also unabashed in bashing benzos, citing her addiction to Klonopin as the worst time in her life and the reason why she never married or had children and likening her condition while under the influence of Klonopin to be akin to that of a “zombie.” The backlash from these two stars is a humble beginning in battling the drug and its addictive propensities, but it’s a necessary start. Of the 22,000 deaths that resulted from prescription drug overdoses last year, 31 percent of those were benzo-related. Additionally horrifying, is the fact that benzodiazepines are incredibly hard to withdraw from, with effects as severe as psychosis, seizures and death. With that said, if you or a loved one is suffering from benzo addiction, find help immediately and do not try to wean yourself off cold turkey as that may result in severe, acute withdrawal.