Seven Ways to Support a Loved One with Addiction

Suppose you have a friend or relative who is struggling with a substance use disorder. Whether it is alcohol, recreational drugs, or illicit drugs, it can be one of the most challenging situations to witness. Addiction can be crumbling, and when you are sitting in the backseat, watching it unfold with your loved one, it is a normal reaction to want to help. But how can you help? Many individuals are afraid to help, may not know how to help, or may cause more harm than good when trying to help. While each situation is unique, and everyone is fighting their own battle, below are some general tips on how to support a loved one who is struggling with an addiction.

Establish trust

The relationship between you and your loved one can be severed if trust is not at the foundation. Therefore it is essential to take action to build and strengthen trust in the relationship. Trust requires honesty, compassion, empathy, boundaries, and being able to communicate regardless of having different opinions or perspectives. Avoid negative interactions such as nagging, name-calling, criticizing, and judging, and instead, focus on the positive ways to help your loved one seek treatment.

Do not enable

An enabler is defined as “an individual who encourages negative or self-destructive behaviors.” 

Unfortunately, many family members and friends act as enablers to their loved ones who struggle with a substance use disorder. We often are scared or upset for our loved ones and want to support them, but instead of being honest with them, we try to rescue them from their addictive behaviors. We often will lend them money, bail them out of jail, make excuses, and hold their hand when they are in trouble. Even if we are doing these things out of compassion and empathy, this is more hurtful than helpful and can lead to worsening behaviors. Instead of enabling our loved ones, we should hold them accountable, allow them to experience the consequences associated with their addiction, and try our best to help them seek professional help.

Educate yourself

Mental health and substance use disorders are not simple. They are complicated disorders with painful consequences that can potentially wreak havoc. However, with the right education and treatment, there is hope for a full recovery and a successful future. As a family member or friend, it is essential to educate yourself about the addiction process so you can better understand your loved one’s disorder and journey to recovery.

Practice compassion and empathy

Addiction is difficult. The path to recovery is challenging, and sometimes relapse can be devastating. Nobody is to blame, but we often find ourselves pointing fingers, arguing, and destroying relationships because of the underlying addiction. During these times, it is crucial to take a step back, be kind, offer help, listen, and practice compassion and empathy towards your loved one.

Encourage treatment

Every substance use and mental health disorder will require professional treatment, at some point in the course of the disease. Seeking treatment earlier rather than later can reduce harmful consequences and can potentially lead to faster recovery. It is essential to encourage your loved one to seek treatment and find a treatment center that best fits their needs and personality. The relationship between the treatment team and your loved one is one of the most critical factors associated with recovery.

Set boundaries

In the chaos of addiction, boundaries are essential for your well-being. When individuals are deep in the perils of their addiction, they often portray harmful behaviors. They can cross boundaries that can potentially affect your own mental well-being and personal life. Whether it is prohibiting unethical behaviors such as lying, stealing, and cheating or not allowing them to use alcohol or drugs in your home, setting boundaries is beneficial to both you and your loved one.

Practice self-care

Helping and supporting your loved one during this time can take a toll on your physical and mental health. You may find yourself feeling sad, exhausted, and overwhelmed. As a result, this can affect both your personal and professional life. It is essential to take time for yourself to re-focus and re-center. Remember to spend quality time with your family, practice healthy sleep and dietary habits, and engage in activities that bring you joy. If you want to be a reliable support system for your loved one, you must first take care of yourself.

Someone once told me, ‘I heard you finally got rid of your addiction.’ I smiled and said, ‘No, addiction doesn’t work like that. Once you have it, you will always have it. I just choose not to feed it.”

– Anonymous

Seeking help at Quest 2 Recovery

Our philosophy at Quest 2 Recovery is simple: heal the mind, body, and spirit in a family-like environment. We believe in a holistic approach to treatment, one that caters to each individual’s distinct needs. As a trauma-based treatment program, we believe in resolving the underlying issues that brought the onset of substance use. Our team of clinicians helps each client identify the faulty belief systems stemming from childhood, then psych-educate clients on the symptoms of addiction and mental health disorders to understand and alleviate the power of certain triggers”. 

Being an Advocate for the Minority Community

Minority mental health matters

“July was first declared as National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month in 2008. Since then, July has been a time to acknowledge and explore issues concerning mental health, substance use disorders, and minority communities, and to destigmatize mental illness and enhance public awareness of mental illness among affected minority groups across the U.S. Studies suggest that racial minority groups and sexual minority groups show higher levels of anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health disorders. Unfortunately, in most of the cases, society’s deep-rooted prejudice towards such stigmatized minority groups is a major cause of feelings of rejection, estrangement, and harassment. Moreover, immigration status, economic conditions, education levels, and access to public health benefits are just a few differences that can adversely impact the experiences of various ethnic groups in the U.S.”

 

This year has been one of the most challenging years thus far, especially for people of color. We are only halfway through 2020. It has the potential to be especially traumatic for those in minority communities, with racial inequities at the forefront in our nation, coupled with a pandemic that disproportionally affects people of color. Although we as humans may discriminate against others based on the color of their skin, mental health disorders do not discriminate against race. Anyone can experience the challenges associated with mental health disorders, regardless of their background or identity; however, background and identity are important factors when it comes time to accessing mental health treatment and care. Minorities are faced with less access to care, cultural stigma, and lower quality of care when it comes to addiction and mental health.

 

If resources are not sufficient for the general population, how do underserved groups address their psychiatric needs?

 

More than half of uninsured U.S. residents are people of color, and unfortunately, individuals with limited resources also experience logistical barriers to mental healthcare. These individuals may struggle to take time off work, find reliable transportation to appointments, and secure affordable childcare. Linguistic and cultural communications can result in a breakdown in communication and make many minority groups less likely to seek mental health treatment. Minority groups who do choose to seek treatment and who have the means to access mental health and addiction resources often receive inferior care because of the lack of diversity among mental health providers and decreased understanding of the different needs across minority groups. When a Caucasian individual meets with a Caucasian provider, it is easier to relate since ethnic backgrounds and language barriers are not at the forefront of the visit. But when a person of color meets with a Caucasian provider, the client can often feel inadequate and unable to relate. One of the core key components to successful mental health and addiction treatment is the relationship between the provider and the client.

 

Numbers don’t lie

A new study published in the International Journal of Health Services only further corroborates this fact. Researchers found that black and Hispanic young people were less able to get mental health services than white children and young adults. This happens even though rates of mental illness are generally consistent across all ethnicities, Kaiser Health News reported.

 

  • African American adults are 20% more likely to experience mental health issues than the rest of the population
  • Native Americans have the highest rate of young adult suicide of any ethnicity.
  • 60% percent of non-Hispanic black individuals with depression had a major depressive episode in 2012.
  • 25% of African Americans seek treatment for a mental health issue, compared to 40 percent of white individuals. The reasons for this drop off include misdiagnosis by doctors, socioeconomic factors, and a lack of African American mental health professionals.

 

Understanding the reasons behind limited access to mental health

There are many reasons why minorities aren’t getting proper care. Here are some of them:

  • A lack of availability
  • Transportation issues, difficulty finding childcare/taking time off work
  • The belief that mental health treatment “doesn’t work”
  • The high level of mental health stigma in minority populations
  • A mental health system weighted heavily towards non-minority values and cultural norms
  • Racism, bias, and discrimination in treatment settings
  • Language barriers and an insufficient number of providers who speak languages other than English
  • A lack of adequate health insurance coverage (and even for people with insurance, high deductibles, and co-pays make it difficult to afford)

 

Making an impact for change

The mental healthcare system is flawed. We all know that, and many of us have experienced it personally. But all mental health advocates should band together in improving the status quo for those who are most vulnerable to the systemic disparities of getting help. Together, we need to raise the bar for better mental health care for everyone, especially minorities. You can get started by doing the following:

Encourage mental health organizations to include minorities on staff or boards of directors.

  • Write, call, or talk to legislators—both local and federal—to support efforts to improve access to and the quality of mental health services in your area.
  • Be a spokesperson when there is an opportunity to speak out on behalf of minority mental health.
  • Share the information you’ve learned about accessing quality care to others.
  • Try to be more open and understanding of what minority communities might be experiencing that you might not.

Whether you have personally experienced the challenges associated with minority mental health or advocating for a better mental health system, anyone can help make a difference. Opening the doors to quality mental health care for minorities is challenging, but we can all do our part in making the right keys for easier access and quality care.

 

Seeking help

Our philosophy at Quest 2 Recovery is simple: heal the mind, body, and spirit in a family-like environment. We believe in a holistic approach to treatment, one that caters to each individual’s distinct needs. As a trauma-based treatment program, we believe in resolving the underlying issues that brought the onset of substance use. Our team of clinicians helps each client identify the faulty belief systems stemming from childhood, then psych-educate clients on the symptoms of PTSD to understand and alleviate the power of certain triggers”.

Addiction: Progress Not a Cure

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goals requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

-Martin Luther King

Addictive behavior is a symptom of deep underlying emotional processes. This destructive symptom often turns into habitual behavior. We don’t plan to become addicted to food, alcohol, or drugs, but when we are unable to work through emotional trauma or toxic stress, we often turn to these vices to cope with our overwhelming feelings and emotions. As a result, we cannot “cure” the addiction since addiction is merely a symptom of an underlying cause. Recovery is focused on treating the underlying cause to make progress on the road to recovery.

There is no magical cure

Recovery from addiction is a life-long process. There is no magical cure, and results do not appear overnight. As a result, recovery treatment is a stepwise approach that involves pattern recognition, adopting new coping skills, understanding the underlying triggers, and learning new behaviors. Even when individuals “successfully” complete their treatment program, meaning that they are not readmitted because of relapse, they are still not “cured”. The term “cure” infers that the addiction is gone, and it cannot reappear. Unfortunately, since addiction is a symptom of an underlying emotional process, it can make a comeback when the underlying triggers become unbearable. Often when individuals are unable to cope with negative emotions or stressors, they relapse, returning to their addictive behaviors as an emotional crutch.

Defining progress

If we look at addiction treatment as a form of progress, we can look at the bigger picture and celebrate the small victories, regardless of whether we have reached the “end goal” of sobriety. For example, progress can be measured by an individual’s mood, attendance at group meetings, the ability to open up in therapy, admitting you struggle with addiction, making strides towards healthier relationships, and adopting healthy habits and hobbies. One of the beautiful things about progress is that it is not black and white, and it cannot be measured in numbers. It is relative, individualized, and every step towards a positive attitude, outcome, or behavior is considered positive progress.

Finding progress after relapse

Relapse in recovery may seem devastating, but relapse should be treated as a learning lesson. No one can advance in life without adversity. When we make bad choices or if a treatment has failed us, we are in a position to ask why.

Why did this go wrong for us? Answering this question allows us to understand ourselves and our addiction better. It will enable us to make progress.

Understanding what has not worked out and why it has not worked is very important for an individual’s progress. Being able to turn failures into something productive signifies that they have a healthy approach to their recovery.

Finding progress in recovery

  • Discovering your purpose: We all have a higher purpose in life, and once we discover that purpose, most of the pieces of our life puzzle start to come together. Whether our mission is being a parent, a writer, a coach, a teacher, or a good friend to others, finding our purpose and following it through can be a monumental positive step towards progress in recovery.
  • Adopting new hobbies: Addiction is a symptom of underlying negative triggers that usually take up a lot of emotion, time, and space. Working towards progress in recovery often means there is more free time that can be utilized to adopt healthy new hobbies that can replace old habits and triggers.
  • Working through the pain: Addiction is closely tied to trauma, which is both tied to pain. Deep wounds may open during recovery, and it is essential to sit with the pain, feel it, and allow it to pass. Overcoming the emotional pain associated with addiction and recovery is one of the most challenging forms of progress.
  • Living in the present: It is so easy to focus on the past or dream about the future, but it is essential to sit with the present. Living fully in the present can allow us to heal from the past and be prepared for what our future holds.
  • Forgiving others: Addiction often comes with broken relationships, which may or may not be repairable. It is essential to make peace with yourself and forgive others. Forgiveness allows you to let go of any hurt that has been tied to the past.
  • Celebrating the small moments: Small victorious moments are progress, and regardless of how small or big these moments are, we must take time to recognize and celebrate them.

Men’s Health Month: Masculinity and Mental Health

According to research, men are less likely to seek mental health services compared to their female counterparts. One of the factors that contribute to this underuse of seeking professional help is masculinity norms.

June is Men’s Health Month; a month dedicated to raising awareness of preventable health problems and encourages early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. It is well understood that men are less likely to focus on their physical and mental health due to toxic masculinity that has been ingrained in society for hundreds of years. As a result, men often suffer from depression and anxiety in silence and turn to illicit drugs and alcohol as negative coping mechanisms and ways to numb their pain.

The silent health crisis

  • There is a silent health crisis happening among men in the United States.
  • The Men’s Health Network reports that men die at higher rates than women due to these top 10 causes of death: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, accidents, pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, suicide, kidney disease, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.
  • Men are less likely than women to see a physician
  • Men are more likely to be uninsured compared to women
  • Approximately 30,0000 men in the United States die from prostate cancer each year
  • Prostate cancer and skin cancers are the most common types of cancer in men.
  • Sexual dysfunction is a common health problem in men that can lead to an array of psychological setbacks such as low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.
  • Sexual dysfunction is usually caused by atherosclerosis, the same process that causes heart attacks and strokes.
  • Men also die at a younger age compared to women.
  • In 1920, women outlived men only by one year. Today, CDC figures show the life expectancy gap has widened: Today, on average, women survive men by over five years.
  • Many men believe that as long as they are working and feel good, there is no need to see a doctor.

Men’s mental health matters

Mental health is a major component of a man’s well-being, and unfortunately, men’s mental health is often silenced in society. There is a catastrophic intersection of low rates of diagnosed depression and high rates of suicide and substance abuse among the U.S. male population. Men are more likely to use substances, at greater quantities, and are two to five times more likely than women to develop a substance use disorder (SAMSHA). Heavy drinking and binge drinking are more prevalent in men (National Institute on Drug Abuse). Men chronically use nonmedical opioids at twice the rate of women (even though women are prescribed them more often), and more men die of prescription drug overdoses than women (CDC). Men are more likely to use external methods to cope with the inward turmoil and pain caused by depression. Men often deal with depression by over-working. They also self-medicate by turning to substances such as drugs and alcohol as a way to avoid dealing with depression and anxiety.

The connection between toxic masculinity and substance abuse

Toxic masculinity refers to actions that discourage displays of emotion, other than anger, in men while also encouraging behavior that will deem the male “dominant” in a given situation. Even as children, young boys who express feelings are compared to girls in a negative context. Common responses to young males who become emotional include:

  • Boys don’t cry!
  • Man up!
  • Don’t be such a baby!
  • Don’t cry like a girl!
  • Be a man, get over it!
  • You throw like a girl!

Displaying traits of toxic masculinity can lead to numerous negative outcomes and adherence to rigid masculine norms may lead to:

  • Problems with dating and interpersonal intimacy
  • Greater depression and anxiety
  • Abuse of substances
  • Problems with interpersonal violence (sexual assault, spousal abuse)
  • Greater health risk (high blood pressure)
  • Greater overall psychological distress

Recovering from toxic masculinity

All recovery is a lifelong process, whether you are recovering from drugs, alcohol, codependency, or toxic masculinity. In fact, beyond these specific issues, every human life is truly one long recovery process. Born into a world that conditions fear and separation, we emerge as adults who are disconnected from our power, from our goodness, from each other. Once we recognize that there is a truer way of being, beneath what we were taught, every day is a chance to restore a bit more of our perspective from fear to love. Every moment is a chance to remember the truth of who we are: Whole, sacred beings who inherently deserve love and care.

Breaking the stigma

As treatment professionals, it is our job to reach out to men who are struggling internally and who are using illicit substances and alcohol to number their pain. Men want to be respected, men want to provide for their family, men want to work hard, men want to stay healthy, and men want to be loyal to their friends. If you are a male and are struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, we want to help you. We at Quest2Recovery, want to treat you, the individual, and not just your disorder. We want to break the mold, set the standard, and be role models for the rest of the addiction treatment industry. We want to invite you to seek help in a compassionate, non-judgmental environment.

LGBTQ Pride Month

Stigma, Addiction, and Mental Health within the LGBTQ Community

“Like racism and all forms of prejudice, bigotry against LGBTQ people is a deadly carcinogen. We are pitted against each other in order to keep us from seeing each other as allies. Genuine bonds of solidarity can be forged between people who respect each other’s differences and are willing to fight their enemy together. We are the class that does the work of the world, and can revolutionize it. We can win true liberation.”

-Leslie Feinberg

 

Individuals who identify as LGBTQ are more at risk for substance use and mental health disorders compared to the heterosexual cis community. As we dive deep into LGBTQ Pride Month, it is important to honor this minority community and gain a deeper understanding of why these individuals are at a higher risk for addiction and mental health concerns. We want to eliminate the stigma associated with addiction and mental health in this special community, and we want to break down the barriers to entering treatment.

 

LGBTQ Pride Month is celebrated every June in honor of the 1969 Stonewall riots. The Stonewall riots took place in New York after the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village. This raid sparked a six-day violent protest between the community and law enforcement and catalyzed gay rights across the globe. As with many minorities, the LGBTQ community is marginalized and stigmatized and often discriminated against, causing this community stress and anxiety. In recent years, we have made giant steps forward in terms of equal rights for the LGBTQ population, but there is still enormous progress to be made as we move forward and eliminate the stigma.

 

Taking a look at the statistics

  • Among all U.S. adults aged 18 and over, 96.6% identify as straight, 1.6% as gay or lesbian, 0.7% as bisexual, and the remaining 1.1% as “something else.”
  • 38-65% of transgender individuals experience suicidal ideation.
  • An estimated 20-30% of LGBT individuals abuse substances, compared to about 9% of the general population. 25% of LGBT individuals abuse alcohol, compared to 5-10% of the general population.
  • Approximately 8 percent of LGBT individuals and nearly 27 percent of transgender individuals report being denied needed health care outright.
  • More than 1 in 5 LGBT individuals reported withholding information about their sexual practices from their doctor or another health care professional.
  • LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide, experience suicidal thoughts, and engage in self-harm than straight youths.
  • LGBTQ individuals are almost three times more likely than others to experience a mental health condition such as major depression or generalized anxiety disorder.
  • The LGBTQ community is at a higher risk for suicide because they lack peer support and face harassment, mental health conditions, and substance abuse.
  • Compared with heterosexual men, gay and bisexual men had a significantly higher prevalence of lifetime full syndrome bulimia, subclinical bulimia, and any subclinical eating disorder.
  • 25% of LGBT people abuse alcohol, compared to 5-10% of the general population.
  • An estimated 20-30% of LGBTQ people abuse substances, compared to about 9% of the general population.
  • The LGBT community is at a higher risk of bullying and has even been the center points for violent attacks.

 

Why are substance abuse and mental health disorders so much higher in the LGBTQ population?

 

  • Stress: The LGBTQ community and other minority communities are under constant stress and tension. Our society does not view them as equal, and as a result, they are continuously enduring social prejudice. Whether it is in public, in the workplace, in relationships, in their family, or within the political system, the LGBTQ community struggles with being seen and heard. Often, their family members and close friends will disown them because of their sexual orientation. This community is at risk of loneliness, stress, and discrimination, and as a result, they are more likely to use alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with their feelings. Drowning out rejection, sorrow, and depression with alcohol or heroin can be a temporary unhealthy Band-Aid to relieve their internal pain. With increasing use, this can turn into a habit, which can quickly snowball into an addiction.
  • Stigma: The stigma associated with identifying, as LGBTQ, is unfortunately still very real and powerful. This community is often brutalized, isolated, and harmed simply because of how they choose to identify with their sexuality. The stigma associated with addiction and mental illness is still prominent today. When a member of the LGBTQ community is struggling with depression or an opioid use disorder, the stigma rises exponentially, putting this community at risk of even more rejection, isolation, low self-esteem, and physical threats of violence.
  • Limited access to treatment: Unfortunately, many therapists and treatment centers are not aware of the specific issues that the LGBTQ community faces. Nor can they relate to this community for the following reasons: their cultural norms conflict with this community, they do not recognize this community is a high risk, and fail to look past the client’s gender and sexual orientation. As a result, members of the LGBTQ community are less likely to seek out treatment for their substance use and mental health disorders out of fear that they will experience discrimination, worsening stigma, and lack of being understood by their providers.

 

Resources for the LGBTQ community 

 

Breaking the mold

As treatment providers and mental health specialists, we can do better. We can educate ourselves about the LGBTQ community and try to understand their views, opinions, and internal struggles. We can learn the proper vocabulary and erase the hateful jargon that is often used to stigmatize this population. We can create LGBTQ, specialized treatment programs that are inclusive, empowering, and educational for this population.

 

If you are part of the LGBTQ community and are struggling with a mental health or substance use disorder, we want to help you. We at Quest2Recovery, want to treat you, the individual, and not just your disorder. We want to break the mold, set the standard, and be role models for the rest of the addiction treatment industry. We want to invite you to seek help in a compassionate, non-judgmental environment.

A Day in the Life of a First Responder in Addiction Treatment

Addiction is one of the most pressing issues facing the public health system today. Some people are at a greater risk of developing addiction and mental health disorders than others, such as individuals who are exposed to traumatic events. This includes first responders; the first people to show up at the scene of a natural disaster, terrorist attack, or serious crime. 

Most people cannot fathom what first responders see on a daily basis, therefore it’s common for first responders to not know where to turn for help. As a result, they end up coping in unhealthy ways. This is one of the biggest reasons why first responders end up developing mental health and substance abuse disorders at a higher rate than the average population. For this reason, there are specific addiction treatment centers that focus on the treatment of first responders.

What Does Addiction Treatment Look Like for First Responders?

If someone has been enrolled in addiction treatment for a first responder, the day is going to follow a typical framework. At a residential inpatient facility, the morning will involve a healthy breakfast which can include a mix of meat, grains, and fruit. Then early meetings are going to take place. Meditation, yoga, or other wellness activities are common during this time. After, group meetings are going to take place where first responders can learn from the experiences of others. There will usually be a counselor or therapist leading the group. They help someone learn about the treatment process, addiction, and recovery. 

After lunch, there are usually one on one therapy sessions. These sessions are going to be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. For example, someone will participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, an effective method used in the treatment of addiction. This treatment therapy focuses on identifying people’s individual responses to triggers. This will also help prevent relapses from taking place. 

Others may participate in specialized sessions. These can be tailored to help someone deal with grief or stress management. More group therapy is also offered at this time of the day or family therapy, helping someone rebuild his or her relationships.

During free time, first responders have the option to enroll in alternative types of therapy. Art therapy, music therapy, dance therapy, exercise therapies, and equine therapy, are all great options for first responders.

Dealing with Mental Health Issues

One of the major issues that accompanies addiction in first responders is the development of mental health disorders. Two of the most common mental health disorders that first responders develop are:

PTSD: Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is one of the most common mental health disorders that develops among first responders. Symptoms include flashbacks, emotional lability, crying fits, trouble sleeping, and anger issues. People suffering from PTSD encounter triggers that transport them back to the scene of the event. PTSD is best addressed by trained professionals who know how to handle these delicate issues.

Depression: Depression is another mental health disorder that develops among first responders. People with depression often have trouble sleeping, feel guilty about past events, experience changes in appetite, and have issues finding enjoyment in activities that previously put a smile on their faces. Depression can be addressed by a well-rounded treatment approach that involves counseling, therapy, and medication. Of course, it’s up to the discretion of trained professionals about what medicine and therapy should be prescribed. 

How To Find Addiction Treatment for First Responders

It’s critical for anyone who is suffering from mental health or addiction disorders to find treatment. There are a number of ways first responders can find treatment. First, it’s always a good idea to talk to friends and family members. They may know people who have sought out treatment in the past. The internet is also a great tool to research different facilities. The best way to see if a treatment center is right for you is by researching and calling the facility to ask questions.

We Can Help You!

At Quest 2 Recovery, we’re a substance abuse and addiction treatment center that provides specialized treatment for first responders. We are located in the beautiful area of Lancaster, CA. We blend proven therapies with an innovative approach. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, please contact us today. We would be honored to help you with your healthcare needs and we’d like to thank you for your service. 

How to Find Substance Abuse Treatment as a First Responder

Battling addiction is always tough. It can be even more difficult if you are a first responder and your reputation and livelihood are on the line due to substance abuse. That’s why Quest 2 Recovery in Lancaster, CA, has devoted an entire program for first responders to heal along with peers going through the same issues.

Statistics indicate that first responders, such as firefighters and police officers, often turn to alcohol and drugs to self-medicate from PTSD and stress related to their jobs. According to a recent SAMHSA report, for example, heavy or binge drinking occurred among half male firefighters surveyed in the previous month. Of these, 9% admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Who Are First Responders?

You may imagine that first responders consist of ambulance drivers and ER medical professionals combined with police officers, FEMA workers, and firefighters. However, there are many other careers that involve people to respond to emergency situations. If you or a loved one works as an air marshall, campus security officer, animal control officer, DEA agent, park rangers, Red Cross worker or serve in the military, then this label fits your job title.

First responders arrive first when a crisis occurs. This includes terror attacks, crimes, accidents, and natural disasters. They have the tough job of preventing the loss of life and harm to pets and property as fire rage, rivers flood and buildings crumble around them. Due to the extreme nature of the job, these workers suffer more trauma than most people do during the course of their workday. Therapists and others used to think that these people were resilient and able to leave the stress and strain at the doorstep when they got home. That turns out to be untrue.

Researchers are still struggling to understand how the constant stress of being a first responder impacts substance abuse disorders and alcohol addiction. Mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD play their own roles and have to be addressed as part of any robust first responder treatment program. At Quest 2 Recovery, we provide a place for first responders to meet and discuss their addiction in a safe space. Participants learn to confront their addiction and pick up valuable coping skills that help them avoid a relapse.

First Responder Group Therapy

Clients who participate in first responder group therapy can open up and help their peers process their experiences. Everyone in the circle understands the stress that comes with knowing someone else’s life may depend on your actions. Some of the people you meet in group therapy sessions may include correctional officers, emergency medical professionals, law enforcement, firefighters and military veterans. Many people who attend this exclusive group therapy session gain confidence in their ability to discuss and face their challenges.

This is a critical component of your recovery, and it’s much easier to share your thoughts and feelings when you are with a group of people who are going through a similar experience. Within a group of peers, there’s no fear of judgment. This has been a barrier for first responders attending group sessions with others recovering from substance abuse. Group sessions are overseen a licensed therapist and conducted in a private setting.

First First Responder Addiction Treatment in Lancaster, CA

At Quest 2 Recovery, our substance abuse recovery program is open to first responders in the Lancaster, CA, area and beyond. Contact us today to take the first step in a life free of drugs and alcohol. We know that you face more stress and trauma than most people face in a lifetime, but there’s hope for a brighter future among a community of your peers. We have a residential detox and residential inpatient treatment options for substance abuse recovery.

Why You Should Seek Out Addiction Treatment That Uses Neurotherapy

Quest 2 Recovery offers addiction treatment for drug and alcohol addiction by using a comprehensive detox program followed by different therapies to treat other disorders.  We have neuropathy treatment used to treat addiction, psychological disorders, anxiety, PTSD, and movement disorders. Neurofeedback has been successful in preventing relapse in drug and alcohol addiction. It is a form of biofeedback that is called EEG biofeedback a non-invasive technique that uses technology to collect information from the brain. They use electronic monitoring equipment, sensors, and software that analyzes the client’s brain waves.

The doctor understands the brain waves and understands how to help the client control and improve them. The test finds electrical abnormalities in the brain. They can shift abnormal brain wave patterns to become normal. They can train the person to control their thought thus creating slower brain waves or activity. Slowing theta waves in the front lobe of the brain help people improve their concentration. It often requires more than one session and is often administered after detox to help the client avoid relapses.

The Basis of Neurotherapy Treatment

Neurotherapy treatment is based on the theory that different disorders are caused by specific patterns of brain activity. They diagnose disorders from patterns of brain activity. Testing for this treatment at the Quest 2 Recovery includes psychological testing, medical test, cooperation from family and friends, and a brainwave test.  Individual treatment is based on the diagnosis and assessment made. This helps clients control brain wave patterns based on EEG techniques.

Methods used will vary depending on the client and their specific condition. Some will listen to music with subliminal messages hooked up to monitors and sensors. The client will learn to concentrate on certain thoughts and monitor breathing. They may learn specific breathing techniques to help with controlling thoughts. It is used here in addition to conventional treatments for substance abuse and other disorders.

This therapy is very effective in helping individuals learn stress management techniques. The therapy includes learning muscle relaxation, breathing techniques, and guided imagery. It helps with concentration and helps those in treatment learn other techniques more easily. It is most effective when used as a complementary or additional treatment for substance abuse or psychiatric disorders.

Neurofeedback Treatments

In the session, a therapist will attach electrodes to the client’s scalp and it is connected to a software program on a computer that can read brain waves. They often stimulate their brain waves by interacting with a video game. The performance is measured by the ability of the client to control his brain waves. The will sense their way through the game learning how to control thoughts and learn new techniques. Some doctors believe that psychological disorders need physiological treatment and psychiatric treatment together. This therapy trains the brain in a way talk therapy alone cannot.

A UCLA study showed that Neurotherapy improved those with drug and alcohol addiction improving their tendency to relapses and start using again. Many people think that the brain waves cause addiction and this therapy helps improve the chance of treatment success. The study showed in the early stages of treatment the brain in unstable and that 40-60 percent of clients relapse. Clients that combine this with traditional treatments improved their rates at the one-year mark.

Often it is once a week for about 20 sessions. It is used for autism, behavior disorders, brain injuries, depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and sleep disorders. It is considered a way of managing thought waves in the brain, not a cure. Licensed neurofeedback professionals are trained to use the equipment and administer therapy. It is considered a method of biofeedback.

Other Therapies Used With Neurofeedback

We have many therapies to treat addiction and dual disorders that can be used in conjunction with Neurotherapy. We have traditional therapy for clients and group therapy that lets them interact and learn a new way to cope with others. We provide prescription medications to help with detox and other mood disorders. Medication often helps with the side effect of detox work. We have the 12-step program that works with groups and individuals with the 12-step process. We give clients responsibility for cleaning their room and keeping it organized.

Quest 2 Recovery has exercise programs and teaches clients ways to relax with yoga, meditation, and other activities. On the ground, we have a swimming pool, ping pong table, barbecue area, and grounds to walk on. We have personal time and recreational therapy that helps clients develop new interests and skills We serve a healthy, breakfast,  lunch and dinner daily. We provide aftercare when your stay is over. You will receive outpatient therapy and support groups to attend. We try to find sober living housing for those with addictions with family or outside housing for clients. We help with job skills and connecting to the community.

Contact Us

Contact Quest 2 Recovery to learn about our addiction treatment and neuropathy. Call 1-855-783-7888 today or fill out the online form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

How To Choose The Right Treatment Program For You

Being an addict is at best challenging. Taking the time to find the rehabilitation center that is going to work best for you is a must and is the fastest way to begin your recovery journey. There are plenty of factors to keep in mind when looking for the right treatment center for your particular needs and for your own addiction story. Taking these factors into consideration can help you to find treatment that is going to work for you and that is going to truly make a difference in your life.

Rehab Goals

The first thing you want to keep in mind are your specific goals for rehabilitation. Do you have a time frame in which you want to begin recovery, do you have a specific place that you want to go to for recovery, or do you have any specifics in mind? You want to determine what your goals are for your rehabilitation or any sort of goal you want to set for yourself as this is going to help you choose a facility that can actually help you to accomplish these goals.

Some rehabs, for instance, do not have therapy, some do not handle detox, others do not have inpatient care, and so on. Knowing what you want from your rehab is going to help you to find the right care and the right facility that checks all the boxes on your wish list for recovery. This also means determining what substances you need to recover from and any other deciding factors like depression that you may be dealing with as well. You can also determine your time frame for sobriety and healing as well.

Treatment Professionals

Another step is to take the time to talk with a professional about what type of treatment they feel is going to work best for your particular addiction. An addiction and treatment professionals can help you to determine what sort of treatment is going to work best and what treatment is not really going to have much of an effect. They can also answer questions that you might have about different treatment options and specific treatment facilities you may be interested in.

Inpatient Versus Outpatient

For some types of addiction, the residency level does have a big impact on the overall success of treatment. For some, it may not be enough to report during the day for treatment then go home, for more serious addictions inpatient or residential treatment may be best. When you are looking for a treatment facility and you want to find a treatment that is going to work, you do need to decide if you need inpatient or outpatient treatment.

Specialty

Another factor to keep in mind is the specialty of the facility. A good way to look at it is with an example. If you are addicted to heroin, for example, an alcohol treatment facility is not going to be much help and may actually be detrimental to your treatment. That is if they even let you into the facility. Similarly, someone seeking help for alcohol addiction would not need to go to a treatment facility that handles only opiates. Your addiction is unique and you need a facility that handles that specialty.

Treatments and Amenities

Still another factor to consider are the types of treatment that are offered. Say you want a treatment facility that offers faith-based healing or faith-based treatment. Some treatment centers take a more medical approach to treatment and do not take faith into the process at all. Also, if you want a treatment center that offers detox, that offers therapy, that offers group sessions and more, you should take the time to make sure the facility you ultimately choose has the treatment types and therapies that you want when it comes to treatment. You also want to keep amenities in mind. Do they have a gym, a chapel, a pool, cafeteria, separate rooms and more?

Location and Program Length

The last factor you want to think about is where the treatment facility is located and how long the program is. If you want to stay close to home, if you want a short program, etc, these are all going to be deciding factors. Quest 2 Recovery is located in the Lancaster, CA area offering a range of treatment options, including inpatient treatment and aftercare, for various addictions and more. We offer a fantastic staff that is on hand to make sure you are well cared for and that you are aided in each step toward recovery to be the person you have always dreamed of.

If you are looking for help from addiction, the right addiction treatment center can surely make a big difference and can change how you recover. Contact us today!

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.