5 Signs It’s Time To Intervene

Addiction will not only affect the life of an addict, but also those around them. Alcohol and drug addiction can break families, leaving lives in wrecks.

You might be having someone battling drug or alcohol addiction, and you don’t know how to help. In most cases, talking to the victim might not provide excellent results. That is because the majority of people suffering from addiction are still in denial about their addiction state. In that case, doing an intervention for a person strolling with drug or alcohol abuse is the best solution. It will help the victim to transition into the treatment procedure safely and swiftly. Before you stage the intervention, make sure you invite a doctor to help you through the process. Also, have non-attacking letters to your loved ones, and have a treatment plan in case the victim refuses to get help.

Importance of intervention

  • Assists the victim to realize that alcohol and drugs have become a life-threatening threat
  • Identifies addition or abuse as a medical disorder
  • Offers an alternative for instant treatment
  • Determines what will be affected in a relationship, at work, at home if the victim refuses to be helped

Timing

Addiction can be a life-threatening event to the individual battling with alcohol or drug dependence and the family as well. But, what is the perfect time to perform an intervention to increase the chances of getting the required results?

The ideal time to stage an intervention is determined by:

  • The capability of the participants to come together for the intervention
  • When the victim is sober and available
  • When it’s evident that the victim’s life is in danger
  • Let’s look at the signs; it’s time for an intervention.
  • The victim’s destructive behavior subjects his or her family at risk

People struggling with addiction encounter challenges related to taking care of their families. In most cases, they engage in vicious habits, like passing out and overdosing. They might also endanger other family members by driving under the influence or using drugs in the presence of kids.

Once you start to see an increased incidence of failure to make informed decisions about their health or your own, it’s the right time for an intervention. In most cases, drug or alcohol abuse will escalate before getting better.

Failure to tell the truth

Where they spend their free time is a secret to you, and you don’t know the substance they are using. Once you realize that your loved one is trying to dodge the truth, ensure you understand why. Addiction tends to create a physical and chemical dependency that makes it hard to make the right decisions. However, your loved one realizes they are doing something wrong by using the substance. Drug or alcohol abuse triggers lies that build upon each other and worsens over time.

The use of substance becomes uncontrollable

The consumption of drugs or alcohol will increase as the abuse of these substances worsens. You might various signs of a controlled level of consumption like:

  • Making stopover to get a drink on when going home from work and coming home late
  • Using the drugs in the morning
  • The urge to look for more drugs since what they have is not enough

Typically, those with addiction find themselves creating tolerance faster. That means they want drugs with more intense effects to get a similar feeling.

They act or look sick

Those with addiction problems strive to make it a secret. While some might think they are successful, they will feel horrible most of the time and look sick. You might realize they don’t wear clean or wrinkle-free clothes anymore. They will also look pale and appear to have lost a lot of weight.

Remember that you might notice mental health changes like being east to anger or avoiding other family members.  That withdrawn personality is a symptom of addiction, indicating that they need help.

The financial hardship is worsening

Maintaining a substance abuse condition is a costly affair. You might be struggling to balance your cost and finding it hard to make ends meet. The victim might go to work, and your revenue might be the same, but his or her bank account is always dry. You might also realize that your loved one is finding it hard to maintain a job. This will result in financial hardships like having their assets repossessed. Your loved one might also be lending money frequently and promising to pay back, but defaulting later on.

Final word

Before you decide to stage an intervention meeting, make sure you have a plan. You need to understand what issues you need to address and rehearse saying them without any anger. Being accusatory and raising your voice towards the addiction treatment victim will push them away. You can invite an interventionist in the event the situation worsens. Make sure there is a treatment plan such that the victim will be admitted right after the intervention.

 

The Benefits of Inpatient Rehab

An inpatient, residential treatment program has significant benefits that cannot be matched by an outpatient approach when it comes to addiction, no matter how well-constructed the outpatient approach might be. This is because there are no gaps between treatment phases with inpatient rehab, the environment is controlled, and the patient doesn’t have much in the way of practical ability to fall back to the addiction. This, in turn, allows for a smooth move from detox to recovery therapy as a result.

Patients who are assigned or choose the inpatient approach are going to find that the structure works in their favor. The potential for peers bringing them temptation is reduced to almost none, and they have the ability to finally focus on getting past withdrawals. Further, there is constant monitoring and medical support, unlike at home when the detox phase gets really bad before it starts to improve. For those who have been addicted for a lengthy period of time, the inpatient approach is absolutely a must for a successful break of the addiction. Time and again, long term recovery happens more often and with greater permanency when inpatient treatment is applied.

The benefits of inpatient treatment are threefold:

  • Physical
  • Psychological
  • Emotional

The Physical Improvement

There’s no question, the first break in the addiction cycle is to get past the physical demand for the addiction that keeps a patient in a downward spiral. Fundamentally, the addiction break is ultimately made mentally, but the body has to be released from its addiction hold first. That generally happens best in a medical environment where the patient can be kept separate from addiction material, but he or she can also be cared for if the withdrawal process itself creates a medical hazard (which happens sometimes with certain addictions such as opioids for example). Each addiction is tracked and prepared for so that the patient receives the right care needed during the detox phase.

The other big aspect of physical benefits is the literal separation from what the patient is addicted to. There is no guarantee this can competently occur with an outpatient drug rehab approach. With an inpatient process, however, the harshness of the withdrawals can be addressed with immediate medical help, allowing the patient to relax and get through the cravings. This won’t happen at home or in an outpatient scenario; the patient either has to make it through to the next office day or go to the local emergency room. Neither usually happens in a lot of cases. In extreme withdrawals reactions, a licensed medical professional can guide the treatment hands-on with inpatient cases, resolving the reaction before it gets bad.

The Mental Improvement

The fundamental presence of addiction involves a mental capitulation to the addiction. So, the patient has to be convinced that it can be broken and recovery is possible for recovery to stick. However, everyone is different, so a cookie-cutter approach doesn’t necessarily work. Inpatient programs can align the right psychological treatment to the patient. This is critical because many times other conditions tend to go hand-in-hand with addiction. Depression, nervousness, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, bipolar disorder and even schizophrenia can be coupled with addiction. Again, an outpatient approach won’t necessarily spot these issues or even provide treatment at all. An inpatient treatment, on the other hand, can accurately identify parallel issues present in a given patient and couple psychological treatment with the physical medical help during detox and recovery phases. This approach can also put the patient on the right long-term track of psychological treatment as well.

The Emotional Passage

Detox and recovery can be scary. And what makes us human involves our emotions. Fear, stress, anger, sadness, and disillusionment all find their root in emotions. But so do hope, happiness, joy, passion, and confidence. Inpatient treatment helps patients move from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. And when patients achieve the most important step, building up confidence that their recovery is possible, then the addiction break sets in. The patient realizes he or she is not alone, support is right nearby, and they are not lost. The downward spiral can be reversed. And it’s possible to think about tomorrow again.

A Center That Combines All 3 Benefits

Located in Lancaster, CA, Quest 2 Recovery involves a holistic approach to breaking the addiction and providing recovery treatment. With a focus on healing the body, mind, and spirit at the same time, the program provides an effective inpatient approach that can be customized to each individual addiction case. The goal is to break the internal personal lock of addiction, not just the physical craving. By identifying the real causes and providing a complete treatment, Quest 2 Recovery provides a far more successful approach for addiction recovery than many other options. When you or a loved one needs a completed substance abuse program, it’s time to call Quest 2 Recovery for help.

Treatment Programs Specific to Alcohol Abuse

Alcoholism and alcohol use disorder is often described as a downward spiral. The alcoholism leaves a person miserable, who then seeks more alcohol to feel better, only getting worse instead. The vicious circle destroys health, careers, relationships, friendships and ultimately family bonds. No surprise, many patients literally feel like they can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel anymore. Fortunately, even the worst of alcohol addictions can be helped. A number of treatment approaches are available, and patients can get back to a healthy, normal life again.

Factors Contributing to Addiction

Many times, alcoholism and alcohol abuse don’t occur on their own. Multiple factors and elements can put a person in a vulnerable position to develop a drinking addiction. These include medical conditions, psychological factors, family issues, personal history, career pressures, stress, social issues and more. As a result, an effective alcohol addiction treatment program needs to approach patient treatment as a multi-factored approach versus just trying to treat the physical addiction alone.

The Difference in Professional Treatment

A professional approach to treatment will involve a well-trained medical specialist team that works best out of a rehabilitation program and facility. Even if the treatment will be outpatient, medical specialists are essential to identify the nature, scope, and extent of addiction and how to customize the treatment for the specific needs of the individual. And, when one commits to an inpatient program, the support provided by such a team is 24/7, day and night, through the detox phase and smoothly into the recovery and sustaining phase.

Real Recovery is Rooted in the Mind

However, even with the best help, people have to remember that recovery from alcoholism and alcohol abuse is very much a process, not a simple treatment reaction such as taking a pill for pain relief. Under half of the number of folks who try to achieve sobriety and recovery tend to relapse within a year of starting. Those who do succeed are able to do so because they engaged in ongoing counseling and group therapy for ongoing support.

Like any addiction, ultimately the recovery starts when the person realizes he or she needs to stop the condition and try to heal. This mental switch is essential for any physical recovery to begin as well as to continue. The recognition can happen in a number of ways. It can be self-induced. It can happen through family or friend intervention. Or many times it occurs through social response such as getting in trouble with the law or suffering negative career impacts due to alcoholism. Whichever the case, when the person begins to accept help is needed, the detox and recovery phases can begin.

Getting Treatment and Types

There is no bad time to start trying to get treatment. Ideally, as soon as an addiction is identified, treatment should be sought. However, many times folks have been addicted for a long time before it became a serious problem. And such conditions come with complicated relational problems such as financial problems, family disorder, marriage dissolution, legal problems, career problems and more.  This can make a person feel like treatment needs to wait until the other problem is solved, but in reality, the treatment should come first. And that starts by reaching out to medical experts for help.

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple ways treatment can be applied. These include:

  • Alcoholism Detoxification – Probably the most recognizable treatment, this phase involves the separation of the individual from the physical effects of alcohol so the patient can break from the physical cravings. It involves separation, withdrawals, medical treatment for symptoms, and re-establishment of physical health. Many times patients suffer physical reactions to the detox process, which is why the close monitoring of medical experts is essential for success. Otherwise, patients frequently seek out their addiction for quick relief.
  • Inpatient Rehabilitation – This type of treatment involves a combination of detox, medical treatment and recovery help all in one. The patient is contained in a medical facility with expert medical staff on hand, and he or she goes through a full process that can take weeks or even months before an initial recovery condition is reached. The benefit is that the care provided is 24/7 and doesn’t allow the patient to quickly seek relief through the addiction again. It tends to be the most successful method of physical “drying out” for patients.
  • Alcoholism Counseling – Because the mental condition ultimately drives or loses recovery, alcohol counseling is a long-term followup treatment approach that keeps providing support for individuals to stay away from the physical sources of their addiction. To work out the problems that drove them to alcohol abuse, and to provide peer support. A therapist guides the counseling and group sessions often give patients a peer outlet for emotional and mental release. This, in turn, builds resilience and the confidence to stay away from relapse.

Quest 2 Recovery in Lancaster CA provides a Southern California comprehensive approach to alcohol abuse addiction treatment. It is designed as a holistic treatment that insures both short-term and long-term treatment are applied specific to the individual needs of the patient versus cookie-cutter recipe. When you or a loved one realize it’s time for help, Quest 2 Recovery is ready to help. Contact them today for more information.

Why You Should Build A Support Group In Early Sobriety

Whether we realize it or not we all have support groups of many kinds. We surround ourselves with people that validate us, and who help us in various ways.

When you get on the road to sobriety, one of the first things you are told to do is to cut ties with those people who are a bad influence. These are people that enable your addiction, validate your behavior, and encourage you to make bad decisions.

Once you begin treatment for addiction, you may rid yourself of bad influences, but then you will find a hole, or something missing. That something missing is a support group that can help you on the road to recovery.

Why You Need A Support Group

It is true that the journey to sobriety, and staying sober, is an individual journey you must take for yourself. Even so, that does not diminish the importance of having a support group. We need other people no matter what we are doing.

We all need a support group. Many of these are formed unconcsiously as we select a group of friends to associate with. This group will influence you for the good or bad. When on the road to sobriety, you can choose the support group you need intentionally. Choosing new friends is just one part of the road to recovery.

A support group gives us a sense of community. It is a social network where you can get support, friendship and hope that you will indeed overcome. Seeing other people struggle and overcome can inspire us to keep trying when the road gets rough. We can also be helped as we help others with their struggles. It is easier to fight against an enemy when you feel like you have allies in the struggle. Being alone, or feeling alone, is one of the things that makes addiction hard to beat, and makes sobriety hard to achieve.

The Benefits

People

One of the main benefits of a support group is sharing with each other. As you listen to other people’s stories, and as they listen to yours, you can become inspired to keep going. Part of the problem of addiction is seeing yourself as alone, which makes the addiction worse. Having that group around you helps you realize you are not alone. You may also learn something from the stories of other people, which also helps with recovery.

When you were under the control of addiction, you had friends that shared a similar interest and maybe even the same addiction. You may not have been aware of it, but they were influencing you to make bad choices. With a positive support group, you can have other kinds of friends, the ones that support you and encourage you to make good choices.

The friends are there every day, and you need that support. There are also times when the going gets rough and you need more than a casual friend. In those times you can get the encouragement you need through your support group or network. They are there to help you when you are struggling most. Another benefit is mutual support which gives motivation. You can help motivate others in your support group, and they can help you. By talking about issues you help and encourage each other.

Accountability

Accountability is another aspect of having a support group. Encouragement and validation that friends provide is great, but there is another side. You need to have someone in your life who will question you when you start slipping into old ways that could lead you back to addiction. The group supports you and encourages you, and it also holds you accountable and points it out when you do not do well. You will be doing the same for other members of the group. There is then, both a benefit and a responsibility in a support group.

Being part of a group gives you a chance to be around individuals who are struggling just like you are. it also gives you a chance to be around people who are recovering and they will be a great inspiration. It is easier to relate to people who are either in or have been in, the same situation you are in. It is easier to relate to each other on many levels.

Connection

The group also gives you someone to talk to who can understand your struggles. it is very discouraging to try to talk to someone about your struggles if they are judging you or giving you simplistic answers, which is what you do not need. The more you talk about your addiction, the better you will be able to control the addiction. Secrecy is part of what makes it so strong, so talking about it defeats that before it has a chance to grow.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, don’t be afraid to reach out. At Quest 2 Recovery, we want to be there to help you on the right path of sobriety. Contact us today.

What To Expect With the Oxycodone Withdrawal Process

As the country continues digesting the factors that led to the opioid epidemic, new light is shone on this particular class of drugs. Once sold to the public as non-addictive analgesics, drugs such as oxycodone, sold under the brand names, OxyContin or Percocet, swept through the population as doctors enthusiastically prescribed the pain reliever like candy. Ultimately, the reality of the opioid’s highly addictive potential became apparent, as tens of thousands of Americans annually became dependent, many of who eventually lost to overdose deaths.

The nation now must be supportive of individuals who are committed to breaking free from oxycodone, and provide not only encouragement but also the important information about detoxification and rehabilitation process.

Detox is step one in recovery. Understanding the basics about the oxycodone withdrawal process will help prepare those interested in seeking help for an opioid addiction. Withdrawal symptoms can be highly unpleasant, but equally true is the fact that medical detox providers can alleviate much of the discomfort through a variety of interventions.

About Oxycodone Detoxification

Oxycodone misuse, whether a result of legitimate pain relief efforts or recreational abuse, has a powerful impact on brain chemistry. Addiction to oxycodone can happen in a very short period, even less than one week of regular use. Oxycodone addiction is both psychological and physical, only making it that much more difficult to break away from. Anyone who has experienced the withdrawal symptoms that begin to creep in between OxyContin dosing is understandably reticent about going through detox, the necessary first phase of recovery from opioid addiction or dependence.

But once someone has decided to get treatment for an opioid addiction, detox and withdrawal must be the first step of the recovery process. The detoxification from the oxycodone will take about one week to complete, although this will vary depending on:

  • The length of time misusing the oxycodone
  • The usual daily dosing of Oxy
  • The presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder
  • The general health of the person

Detox proceeds along a fairly predictable course involving three stages of withdrawal symptoms—early stage, peak stage, and subsiding stage. Withdrawal from the extended version of the oxycodone will take longer than the short-acting varieties.

Oxycodone Withdrawal Symptoms

Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms are so unpleasant that many who attempt to detox on their own will fail to ever complete the detox, meaning they remain in active addiction. To overcome the discomforts of detox, it is always recommended that the individual seeking recovery begin with a medical detox. During the medically monitored detox process, the detox team will provide necessary medical interventions and psychological support to help safely transition the person from detox and withdrawal into active rehabilitation.

Early stage of detox: Oxycodone withdrawal symptoms may begin as early as 6 hours after the last dose of the drug. The emerging symptoms include:

  • Runny nose
  • Tearing eyes
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Yawning
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

Peak stage of detox: Days 2-5 will feature an escalation of the withdrawal symptoms. These peak symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vominting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Blurred vision
  • Goosebumps
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure

Subsiding stage of detox: Around day 5 the individual will notice symptoms beginning to subside. This final stage may last 1-5 days and features these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Digestion problems
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures (for more severe addictions)

Medication-Assisted Detox (MAT)

Several drugs are FDA approved for helping someone with an opioid addiction succeed in their recovery efforts. The drugs work in different ways, so a doctor who specializes in addiction recovery determines the best MAT course of action. These drugs act to block opioid receptors in the brain and can block any high that the person would normally experience from opioids. Some of these drugs can be prescribed during detox to help diminish the discomforts of withdrawal. The MAT drugs include:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Suboxone
  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone

The drugs are all regulated and monitored, as these, too, can become drugs of abuse.

Comprehensive Treatment for Oxycodone Addiction or Dependence

It is a serious mistake to believe that once the body has been detoxified the person is good to go. Opioid addiction involves a lifelong effort to remain clean and sober. Without acquiring the tools needed to make fundamental changes in behaviors, there is no hope of overcoming the addiction. This is why an extended rehab program is needed if there is to be recovery success.

Rehab services for oxycodone recovery will vary to some extent depending on the underlying philosophy of the treatment program. However, in most rehabs a core menu of treatment interventions will define the program, including:

Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy remains the standard-bearer for addiction recovery as it serves two important functions—1) to examine and heal underlying emotional pain or trauma and 2) to identify disordered thoughts that have led to the self-destructive drug-seeking behaviors and then make fundamental changes in these thought/behavior patterns.

Group therapy: Meeting in small groups, facilitated by a therapist, allows a safe, supportive environment fostering peer support. In the group sessions individuals are encouraged to share their own experiences, frustrations, challenges, and hopes with others.

Addiction education: Learning about how drugs impact brain chemistry and how addiction develops helps individuals understand how dependency evolves. The classes teach recovery skills, such as coping skills, communication skills, conflict resolution skills, as well as prepare for post-rehab by developing a relapse prevention plan.

It is absolutely possible to break free from an oxycodone addiction and to reclaim a happy, fulfilling life.

Quest 2 Recovery Leading Los Angeles Rehab Provider for Oxycodone Recovery

Quest 2 Recovery is a private rehabilitation program located in North Lost Angeles County. Individuals desiring to overcome an addiction to oxycodone will find Quest 2 Recovery to be a comfortable, family-like program where they will receive abundant support and attention throughout the recovery process.

Offering a respite from the city, Quest 2 Recovery leverages the surrounding quiet serenity in creating a warm, inviting program where individuals heal and thrive in recovery. Using an integrated approach that combines core evidence-based therapies with holistic therapies, Quest 2 Recovery treats the whole person, not just the diagnosis. For more information about our program, or for specific questions about oxycodone withdrawal, please reach out to Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Detox Protocol for Opiate Withdrawal

Facing off the opiate detox process is a formidable barrier for many to overcome, regardless of how much they desire to break free from opioids or heroin. While admittedly unpleasant, the detoxification phase of recovery is a necessary first step that will allow the individual to transition safely to the treatment phase, which is where the real work of recovery is encountered. But to get there one has to first complete the detox and withdrawal process.

It often helps reduce the anxiety around anticipating detox to have a basic understanding of the detox protocol for opiate withdrawal. Just knowing that this is a fairly predictable process made manageable with proven interventions can relieve stress and help the individual move closer to initiating this important step.

Understanding Opiate Addiction

According to the government’s Health and Human Services (HHS) website, more than 2 million Americans had an opiate use disorder in 2016, and over 130 people died from opiate-related deaths in 2017. In late 2017 HHS issued a public health alert to increase public awareness and guide individuals toward appropriate treatment. Clearly, the U.S. is in the midst of an opiate crisis that has been slowly building for the past decade.

Opiate addiction directly impacts the opioid receptors in the brain, blocking the feelings of pain, and producing a euphoric, deeply relaxing state. The brain registers this pleasant state as a positive experience and one to be repeated, and thus the neural pathways and brain chemistry begins to become altered. Over time, increased tolerance to the drug leads to higher, more frequent dosing, and the brain stops producing dopamine as a result.

Synthetic prescription opioids were initially said to be non-habit forming by the medical community and the pharmaceutical companies who manufactured the drugs. This has, obviously, turned out to be patently false, as millions have found themselves psychologically and/or physically dependent on these medications. In many instances, once they are unable to secure the opioids legally, individuals may turn to heroin or illicit sources for the opioids, increasing their exposure to fentanyl, which has been seeping into the drug market in recent years. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than morphine and deadly when the user is unaware that the drug they purchased contains the drug.

What is the Detox Protocol for Opiate Withdrawal?

When it is time to enter rehab, the first step will be securing a medical detox. The trained detox team will provide the detox protocol for opiate withdrawal by the use of medications, such as methadone or buprenorphine, which help step the addict down to a less potent opioid that also helps block cravings for the drug of abuse.

These medications work by attaching to the brain’s opioid receptors and tricking the brain into thinking it has received the drug of abuse. The drugs are strictly regulated and monitored and may be prescribed for at least one year following detox. This helps the individual transition into recovery with a reduced risk of relapse. After a period of time, some can shift over to naltrexone, which is non-narcotic and also helps reduce cravings and relapse.

The Benefits of a Medically Supervised Detox

It is never advised that an individual seeking to become clean and sober attempt to detox without medical supervision. This is due to the highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that, when left untreated, can derail the detox and send the individual right back to using. A medical detox program is able to provide the medical interventions that will dramatically reduce the suffering and help safely guide the individual through the detox process.

In addition to medical interventions, the medical detox staff is also trained to provide psychological support as needed. Many of the withdrawal symptoms are psychological in nature, and can be just as unpleasant. By providing this emotional support, the individual is more apt to stay on course and complete the detoxification successfully.

Transitioning to Opiate Addiction Treatment

Detox alone is not sufficient for achieving a sustained recovery. This is because, while the body may have been detoxified the reflexive addictive behaviors are still hard-wired into the brain. To truly achieve long-term sobriety it is necessary to make fundamental shifts in thinking and subsequent behaviors. This is accomplished via an extended stay at a residential addiction recovery program.

Rehab will involve an integrated program of therapeutic activities and therapies that compliment each other as a comprehensive approach to treating opiate addiction. These treatment elements might include:

  • Psychotherapy. Modalities may include cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivation enhancement therapy, solutions focused therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and contingency management.
  • Groups. A therapist leads discussion topics that allow the participants to share their personal stories, challenges, and successes as they travel the recovery journey together.
  • Classes. Learning about how addiction works and how the opiates impact brain functioning can help deter future drug use. The classes also provide opportunities to create carefully considered relapse prevention planning, as well as to acquire recovery skills such as conflict resolution, communication and interpersonal relating skills, anger management, and stress reduction.
  • Holistic therapies. These experiential activities foster relaxation, introspection, and self-empowerment. Holistic activities might include mindfulness training, meditation, yoga, equine therapy, art therapy, massage therapy, and gardening therapy.
  • Aftercare. Rounding out a comprehensive rehab program are aftercare services. These might include 12-step meetings like N.A. or SMART Recovery, sober living housing, and ongoing outpatient therapy.

Quest 2 Recovery Adheres to Detox Protocol For Opiate Withdrawal

Quest 2 Recovery is a Los Angeles-based private recovery program that offers comprehensive medical detox, treatment, and continuing care services for helping individuals overcome opiate addiction. Our intimate and serene treatment environment provides a sense of comfort and security while clients transition through the phases of early recovery. By creating an integrated program that includes traditional evidence-based therapies, medication assisted therapy, and holistic therapies, all facets of the individual are addressed and treated. For more information about our family-like program, please reach out to Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Understanding the Heroin Detox Stages

One of the most looming barriers to getting treatment for a heroin addiction is the anticipation and fear around the detox and withdrawal process. Most addicts will have already experienced a taste of the highly uncomfortable symptoms if the drug was unavailable at some point. Once the body has become chemically dependent on heroin it can be a painful experience trying to break free of it. In the absence of the drug the body will, within hours, begin to exhibit the signs of distress as it attempts to stabilize.

Without medical detox support, most individuals would simply give up and return to the drug as the withdrawal symptoms mount and intensify, never making it into treatment. While detox and withdrawal are difficult regardless, through medical monitoring various interventions can be provided to minimize the suffering and usher the individual through the process safely.

By understanding the heroin detox stages it can help prepare the individual for how the process will unfold and what medical interventions will be offered to assist them. Detox is never a pleasant experience, but with medical oversight by trained detox professionals both the physical and emotional discomfort can be managed. This support allows the individual to enter the detox phase of recovery feeling prepared, confident, and reassured.

About Heroin Withdrawal

When someone enters into detox and withdrawal as the initial step of recovery from a heroin addiction they will first meet with clinical staff to share with them their history of heroin use, how long, how much of the drug is consumed on a daily basis, if there is a history of rehab and relapse, if there is a co-occurring mental health disorder, and physical health status. From this information the clinician can determine the best course of treatment, and approximate how long the detoxification phase will take.

The severity of the detox and withdrawal process will vary between individuals based on these details. The heroin detox stages can be longer or the symptoms harsher for individuals with a long history of extensive heroin use. Also, post-acute withdrawal symptoms can linger for a month or two afterward in many cases. Once this is understood as something to be expected it can help the individual gear up and accept the effects of the heroin detox stages. Generally, heroin detox lasts anywhere from 5-10 days.

What Are the Heroin Detox Stages?

Heroin detoxification processes predictably through three distinct stages. A professional detox team will usher the client through the difficult middle stage using a variety of medical interventions that help mitigate many of the uncomfortable symptoms.

Stage One: Early phase

Withdrawal symptoms begin to appear within 12 hours of the last heroin dosing and may include the following:

  • Sweating
  • Chills and fever
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Agitation
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Drug cravings
  • Excessive yawning
  • Tearing eyes
  • Increased heart rate
  • Elevated blood pressure

Stage Two: Peak phase

Withdrawal symptoms peak on the third day and may include:

  • Goosebumps, shivering
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Muscle spasms
  • Low mood
  • Restlessness
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Impaired respiration
  • Tremors
  • Intense drug cravings
  • Suicide ideation

Stage Three: Subsiding phase

During the final few days of detox symptoms begin to dramatically subside, although psychological symptoms may persist for some time.

Medication Support for Heroin Recovery

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is available to assist with early recovery. These FDA- approved drugs are also opioids, but are classified as partial opioid agonists. These longer acting opioids, such as Suboxone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone, replace the heroin while also reducing cravings for the drug. In many cases, the drugs can begin to be dispensed at a specified stage of detox, which helps ease withdrawal symptoms as well.

MAT is carefully monitored and is provided in tandem with a rehab program, not as a substitute for addiction treatment. The drugs themselves have the capacity to be abused, which is why clients using MAT should be monitored closely with a timeline for tapering at some point in the first year of recovery. MAT can be very effective in helping to prevent relapse and sustain recovery.

Heroin Addiction Treatment

After successful completion of a medical detox the client is ready to being treatment for overcoming the heroin dependency. This process requires commitment and patience, as heroin addiction is a challenging disease to manage. The best outcomes are experienced through residential rehab programs where the client will reside for a few months. That is the length of time it takes for brain chemistry to normalize, for health and wellness to be restored, and for new recovery skills to be reinforced before returning to one’s home community. It also allows client to remove themselves from unhealthy environments and relationships that would undermine their recovery efforts.

Treatment will involve a multi-faceted integrated approach, with treatment elements selected specifically for the individual client. This customization is important if the treatment will be relevant to the client and effective in the long run. Core treatment elements include:

  • Individual psychotherapy. During these one-on-one sessions a clinical psychotherapist will work with the client to explore life issues or past traumas that may be contributing factors to the addiction.
  • Group therapy. Clients benefit from meeting in small groups and discussing their personal stories or challenges under the direction of a clinician.
  • Acquiring recovery skills. During treatment a great deal of attention is directed toward providing clients various recovery tools. These include coping skills, interpersonal skills, stress-reduction techniques, and life skills.
  • 12-step programming. The Alcoholics Anonymous method of incrementally reaching benchmarks in recovery also includes recovery group meetings.
  • Relapse prevention planning. Clients will be educated about how addiction develops, the dangers of relapse, and to strategize about preventing relapse.
  • Holistic activities. To compliment the traditional psychotherapy, certain experiential activities or therapies are utilized. These include yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture, journaling, art therapy, and mindfulness meditation.

Quest 2 Recovery Leading Provider of Heroin Addiction Treatment

Quest 2 Recovery is a Los Angeles-based residential treatment program that offers medical detoxification and fully individualized heroin treatment plans. Set in a comfortable, serene home setting, Quest 2 Recovery helps clients quiet their minds and restore health and vitality. For more information about the program, please contact us today at (888) 453-9396.

Self Medicating Depression With Opiates

People are depressed in this day and age. The prevalence of depressive disorder in the United States hovers around 16 million, or about 6.7% of the adult population according to the National Association of Mental Illness. Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from depression, and young adults have the highest rates of all the age groups, with 11% affected by depressive disorder.

Sadly, a large percentage, about 37%, of individuals who battle depression, do so without getting professional help from a doctor. Barriers to treatment might include feelings of shame or stigma associated with mental health disorders, a sense that it would signify weakness in character to ask for help, and cost constraints for individuals without adequate insurance coverage.

Among those who chose to tough it out, a tendency to self-medicate the debilitating symptoms of depression with drugs or alcohol is common. By using a substance, the individual hopes to numb the difficult feelings that accompany a depressive disorder, such as feelings of despair, sadness, shame, and guilt. Self medicating depression with opiates is one such solution, while others may favor alcohol or another drug.

When it comes to self medicating depression with opiates, or any drug, it can be a two way street. Some individuals may have become addicted to opiates, such as OxyContin or Vicodin, following an injury or surgery where these prescription pain medications were used long enough to create a dependence on them. In other cases, the individual may have become addicted to an illicit type of opiates, such as heroin. Addiction to opiates can lead to depression, especially for individuals who use opiates for chronic pain for a certain duration of time. In fact, a study published in the Annals of Family Medicine reported that about 12% of patients who used opioid pain medications for 30 days or more developed depression. As for heroin use, the life-altering consequences of the drug can result in major depression.

Effects of Self Medicating Depression With Opiates

For those who have existing depression but seek the use of a substance to help hide the highly unpleasant symptoms of depression, they may lean on opiates. The reason for choosing an opiate, either a synthetic opioid or heroin, is due to the deep relaxation and sense of euphoria that the opiate provides. The individual virtually escapes from reality, meaning they escape from their depression symptoms.

Sadly, the effects of self medicating depression with opiates are short-lived. As the individual develops a higher tolerance to the drug, their need for more of it increases. Over time, opiate addiction can develop, creating long-term effects that are much worse than the initial struggle with depression alone.

Signs of Opiate Addiction

When someone begins self medicating depression with opiates they may initially enjoy the effects of the drug on their mental health. Opiates can alleviate pain, anxiety, and enhance relaxation in addition to masking the depression. However, once the brain’s neurotransmitters are impacted, and brain chemistry shifts to accommodate the influx of the drug’s dopamine response, the individual will begin to experience negative symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of opiate addiction include:

  • Needing to take higher or more frequent doses
  • Constipation
  • Impaired vision
  • Slowed thinking, cognitive issues
  • Ignoring obligations and responsibilities
  • Insomnia
  • Drug cravings
  • Memory impairment
  • Anoxia
  • Dry mouth
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Doctor shopping
  • Obtaining the opiates off the street or Internet
  • When attempting to quit using the opiate withdrawal symptoms commence

These symptoms of the opiate abuse or addiction only compound the distress caused by the depression, creating a complex dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Depression and Opiate Addiction

When someone has been self-medicating depression by using opiates, or any substance, that has resulted in a substance addiction, they will need expert dual diagnosis treatment. Successfully treating someone with co-occurring disorders requires a specialized program with both psychiatric and addiction professionals available to treat both disorders simultaneously.

Depression treatment follows a conventional protocol of combining antidepressants with psychotherapy. The antidepressants aim to regulate brain chemistry, namely serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, but the effects take about a month to be noticeable. Many times, the initial prescription, selected from about 25 types of antidepressants, may need to be adjusted or switched to another antidepressant if the individual doesn’t experience relief by the 6-week point.

Psychotherapy is useful in treating both the depression and the addiction. Psychotherapy is a core treatment element for both disorders, helping individuals communicate their underlying emotional issues, past traumas, or difficult life circumstances with an objective therapist. In addition to assisting the client in processing these sources of pain, a psychotherapist can also point out a client’s distorted thought patterns—“I can’t function without Oxy, I can’t handle life without it—that lead to a reflexive behavioral response to reach for the drug. Using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) the therapist can suggest replacement thoughts—“I am feeling sad today so I will take a brisk walk and feel better”—leading to positive and more constructive behavioral results.

To further treat the addiction piece of the dual diagnosis, there are various additional treatment elements provided in a dual diagnosis program. These might include:

  • Addiction education. Classes that teach clients how addiction develops in the first place can be effective in deterring future use of drugs, as well as assisting in relapse prevention planning.
  • Experiential activities. Because a dual diagnosis impacts all aspects of one’s being it is helpful to augment therapy with holistic therapies such as mindfulness meditation, journaling, art therapy, music therapy, equine therapy, yoga, and acupuncture.
  • Medication-assisted treatment. Some individuals may benefit from a drug that is designed to reduce cravings and improve recovery outcomes. For opiate recovery, this might include buprenorphine, Suboxone, or methadone.

Individuals struggling with both depression and opiate addiction can greatly benefit from dual diagnosis treatment, going on to enjoy a fulfilling and productive life.

Quest 2 Recovery Offers Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Los Angeles

Quest 2 Recovery is unique among addiction treatment providers. At Quest 2 Recovery, we have created a comfortable, intimate home setting for individuals struggling with depression and a co-occurring substance use disorder, including opiate addiction. Our dual diagnosis program is holistic in scope, treating all aspects of the client—mind, body, and spirit. Situated in a serene location, Quest 2 Recovery offers new hope to those who need a quiet respite from the stressors of daily life in which to heal and restore overall wellness. For more information about the program, please contact Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Struggling With Addiction and Depression

When someone is struggling with persistent feelings of sadness and despair, it isn’t surprising that they may initially attempt to lift their mood or soften the pain of depression using drugs or alcohol. Recognizing the prevalence of self-medicating depression symptoms by using a substance, it could be said that depression is a gateway for substance abuse or addiction.

Unfortunately, using drugs or alcohol to mitigate symptoms of depression sets up a vicious cycle, as the use of the substance can exacerbate the symptoms. Over time, as tolerance builds and the drug use or drinking escalates, the risk of addiction becomes real. A dual diagnosis, or the co-occurring substance use disorder with a mental health disorder, can create a steeper treatment hurdle to clear.

For some individuals, however, the depression arrives as a consequence of drug or alcohol addiction, not the cause of it. As problems mount due to the consequences of addiction, depression can result. Maybe a relationship failed or a job was lost due to the drug or alcohol addiction, which could spark a major depressive episode. Whichever order it occurred, struggling with addiction and depression is extremely difficult.

Signs of Depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a complex mental health disorder that impacts more than 16 million adults each year in the U.S., according to statistics provided by the National Institute of Mental Health. There are many known factors that can cause depression, but even so, depression remains a mysterious and difficult mental health disorder with much still to be learned. Some of the known factors that contribute to MDD might include a genetic component, if there is a strong family history of depression, brain chemistry, temperament or personality traits, trauma, grief, and stressful life events.

Signs and symptoms of MDD include:

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair
  • Fatigue, slowed motor skills
  • Changes in eating habits, weight gain or loss
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities usually enjoyed
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

When someone has five or more of the above symptoms that last for at least two weeks, he or she should be seen by a doctor.

Signs of Addiction

It may come as a surprise when the substance someone is leaning on to help them manage the symptoms of depression becomes a secondary problem that only enhances their suffering. Addiction can sneak up slowly, depending on the substance of choice, as tolerance to the effects begin to increase leading to ramped up use of the drug or alcohol.

Signs that an addiction is developing include both behavioral and physical symptoms:

Behavioral

  • Needing increasingly higher dosing to achieve desired result
  • Obsessing about drinking or using drugs, keeping an ample supply on hand
  • Lying about the drug use or alcohol consumption levels, in denial about encroaching signs of addiction
  • Being isolating from family and friends, or hanging out with new friends associated with the drug use
  • Impulsive actions, poor judgment, risky behaviors
  • Continue to use alcohol or drugs regardless of mounting consequences
  • Cannot stop using the substance, even if it is desired to do so
  • Withdrawal symptoms emerge if the substance is not available

Physical—these will differ depending to the substance, but some symptoms include:

  • Insomnia
  • Constricted or dilated pupils
  • Sudden weight loss or gain
  • Slurred speech
  • Lack of interest in personal hygiene
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Bloated face or abdomen
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Constant sniffing
  • Nodding off

Effects of Struggling with Addiction and Depression

When both addiction and depression are present it can make daily life very difficult. As tolerance builds and drug or alcohol use escalates, the individual will only feel physically worse on top of the depression. The consequences related to this dual diagnosis can upend an individual’s life, such as getting a DUI, enduring the breakup of a relationship or marriage, losing a job, experiencing financial hardship, or mounting legal problems. As the consequences compound, depression only worsens, and the addiction becomes entrenched.

How to Treat a Dual Diagnosis

It has been demonstrated that a dual diagnosis should involve both disorders being treated simultaneously once detoxification is completed. This will require a treatment program that specializes in dual diagnosis programming, which includes psychiatric expertise on the premises. Someone recovering from alcoholism who also battled depression will be attempting to now live without the crutch of alcohol, which can be a challenging process.

Managing the recovery of someone with a dual diagnosis takes special training, as unpredictable issues may arise during treatment.

In rehab the depression piece of the diagnosis will likely be treated with antidepressants. Antidepressant drug therapy takes 4-6 weeks for noticeable changes to emerge, so it requires patience. Meanwhile, the psychotherapy sessions will allow the therapist to guide the individual toward examining and processing any underlying emotional issues that might be contributing to both the depression and the addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy is helpful in changing the distorted thought patterns and reflexive self-destructive behaviors that have fueled the addiction and/or the depression.

Dual diagnosis programs that incorporate holistic and experiential treatment elements compliment the psychotherapy by encouraging self-exploration, stress reduction, and relaxation. These types of activities might include mindfulness meditation, yoga, art therapy, or journaling. With professional dual diagnosis intervention, it is absolutely possible to overcome addiction and depression.

Quest 2 Recovery Treats Co-Occurring Addiction and Depression

Quest 2 Recovery is an integrated dual diagnosis addiction recovery program serving greater Los Angeles, California. Being well aware of the difficulties associated with co-occurring disorders, Quest 2 Recovery has strived to create a soothing, tranquil setting where our clients can heal and reclaim their lives. By offering an intimate home setting with a family-like therapeutic approach, clients struggling with addiction and depression will feel comfortable and cared for. At Quest 2 Recovery, we combine important evidence-based therapies with complimentary holistic and experiential activities to help clients explore the underlying causes of their emotional pain, and process it. Only then can recovery from addiction and depression take place. For more information about the program, please contact Quest 2 Recovery today at (888) 453-9396.

Treating Heroin Addict’s Behaviors and Addiction

A sense of urgency about treating heroin addiction has been recently fueled due to the spike in deaths attributed to heroin cut with fentanyl for sale on the street. The synthetic fentanyl, usually manufactured in clandestine labs in China, is enormously potent and deadly, and is responsible for the recent spate of overdose deaths in the U.S. The problem is that, once addicted to heroin, individuals desperate for their next fix are often not careful in sourcing their drug, and can unwittingly purchase fentanyl-laced heroin.

Recognizing the behavioral changes due to heroin addiction is key to an early intervention in treating the disease. Individuals who have developed a heroin addiction change in significant ways, in their behaviors, appearance, physical health, and their mental state. A heroin addiction is a horrific existence where everything you once valued is abandoned or destroyed through the addiction. Understanding what a heroin addict’s behaviors look like is imperative to identifying addiction in your loved one and getting them timely help.

What Are a Heroin Addict’s Behaviors?

In most cases, noticeable changes in behaviors become evident fairly early in the addiction process. The behaviors will vary in severity based upon how advanced the disease of addiction has become, as a singular focus—the next fix—becomes obsessive. A heroin addict’s behaviors may include:

  • General malaise and apathy, loss of interest activities once enjoyed
  • Mood swings
  • Decline in academic or work performance
  • Lying
  • Stealing
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Avoiding physical contact
  • Withdrawal and isolation
  • Secretive behaviors
  • Hanging out with sketchy people
  • Slurred speech
  • Nodding off
  • Jittery movements
  • Deceptive or illegal acts
  • Appears disoriented
  • Hostile mood

The loved ones of the addict are hurt deeply by the lying and deception, and the theft of money and possessions, which the addict engages in as a means of finding resources to buy more heroin. The need to acquire and use the drug becomes compulsive.

Other Signs of Heroin Addiction

In addition to the behavioral signs of heroin addiction, there are other telltale red flags:

Physical changes

The physical changes of the addict may include:

  • Loss of interest in hygiene or general appearance
  • Loss of weight
  • Grayish, pale complexion
  • Sunken eyes
  • Raspy voice
  • Marks on arms, wearing long-sleeves in attempt to hide them
  • Constricted pupils
  • Constant sniffing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Runny nose, sniffing
  • Burns on mouth or fingers

Other indicators of possible heroin addiction

  • Missing painkiller prescriptions
  • Missing shoelaces
  • Missing spoons
  • Finding paraphernalia such as foil, rubber bands, wax paper, small baggies, bottle caps, straws, razor blades, half-empty water bottles, rolled up pieces of paper or dollar bills

Treatment for a Heroin Addiction

Rejoice if you have managed to convince your loved one that they need help. Many addicts remain ambiguous about getting clean, not yet ready to give up their drug. If your loved one has agreed to get help, this is the typical three-pronged recovery process:

Detoxification

Initially, it is imperative that all the residual drug toxins and chemicals are purged from the body through the detox process. A medical detox provides supervision throughout the detox and withdrawal, which usually lasts about a week. During the detox, a detox team will provide medical interventions to assist with the withdrawal symptoms in order to provide the highest level of comfort possible. In some cases, Suboxone or methadone may be utilized in detox and early recovery.

Active treatment

The treatment phase of recovery involves a coordinated and customized treatment plan that includes psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication management, addiction education classes, recovery group meetings, inspiring guest speakers, relapse prevention planning, and adjunctive therapies such as yoga, mindfulness exercises, art therapy, and other complimentary therapies. Residential programs allow for an extended treatment period of one month to a year.

Continuing care

Continuing care is the important after care component of recovery, which includes sober living housing, ongoing outpatient therapy sessions, and medication management.

Heroin addiction can be successfully overcome, and a fulfilling life is truly possible. Do not hesitate to begin treatment as early as possible for the best recovery outcome.

Quest 2 Recovery Offers Comprehensive Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Quest 2 Recovery is a residential drug and alcohol treatment center located in north Los Angeles county in the quiet, peaceful community of Lancaster, California. Our effective program offers an intimate, family-like setting that is very conducive to healing and recovery. Once you have recognized the heroin addict’s behaviors and desire to help them, finding a responsive, tailored approach like Quest 2 Recovery is key. At Quest 2 Recovery our treatment team is highly qualified and trained in helping someone navigate through the recovery process and acquire new, healthy behaviors and routines.

It takes time and patience to overcome a heroin addiction, but professional clinical treatment is the only way to succeed. It is not overstating to say that no one can recover from a heroin addiction without professional guidance and support. For more information about our customized treatment program, please contact Quest 2 Recovery today and begin your personal quest to a full recovery. Call us at (888) 453-9396.