Category Archives: Addiction

Can I force my loved one into rehab for their addiction? 

After 10 years of working in the field of addiction treatment I have seen and learned a lot. Every day I receive phone calls from all types of people including many who have a loved one who is spiraling out of control, caught in the cycle of an addiction. An addiction to alcohol, prescription medications, heroin, methamphetamines and other drugs including marijuana. Although now legal in CA and some other states marijuana these days is stronger than ever and the number of reported cases where an individual is delusional, paranoid and hallucinating is skyrocketing. Most people minimize marijuana but let me tell you, the weed these days is no joke. At the end of the day, the substance isn’t really the most important factor. If an individual is using any type of substance and causing damage to their bodies, their families, their work life, the bottom line is that they need professional help. But what do you do if you try talking to this person and desperately try to beg and plead with them to get help but they just wont?

The simple truth is that the individual with the addiction is unlikely to change until they feel some serious pain from their own consequences.

Addicts and any of us for that matter usually don’t want to change until they themselves are faced with the harsh reality that their behavior and choices are beginning to cause them to lose any and all of the relationships, income, possessions, , their job, food and any other resources of value in their life. Most often times the loved ones in their lives can see clearly what is happening and take on all the negative emotions and consequences that the addict should be dealing with themselves.

The only way an addiction treatment center can help someone change is if an individual truly wants to change. They don’t always need to be fully excited about going into treatment, I mean who really dreams about going to rehab but you can help a loved one find their willingness to change and accept help for their drug and alcohol addiction. When a loved one rescues their addict out of the consequences of their addiction the addict really hasn’t felt the full magnitude of their own choices and behavior. You see an addict addict has an impaired brain and their frontal cortex has been damaged. That’s the part of our brain that provides us with the ability to have good judgement. When this is impaired they lose the ability to clearly understand how their addiction is not only ruining their lives but also greatly affecting their loved ones. So where most people can see that getting a DUI and getting arrested will cost substantial time and money and hardship which will likely cause them to make a different choice the next time they are faced with choosing to drink and drive or call an Uber the next time, the addict may minimize the incident if mom or dad is taking out loans to bail their son out of jail and pay for an attorney to help him reduce the penalties associated with the DUI. Consequences and clear boundaries are what make all the difference in the world when it comes to an addict finding their willingness to receive help.

For about the last year I have received a phone call every few months from the same woman with a son who is in his 40’s. She calls frantically looking for help for her son usually after something bad has just happened. She is often exhausted and overwhelmed and has  usually been bringing him food to his house and in pure emotionally agony begging her son to go to a treatment center for help.  He has now been charged with 4 DUI’s and is facing prison and she is beside herself with worry and fear. Yet her son has never called us once to do the over the phone assessment we need to do. The willingness to even talk to a counselor about how he can begin to change is not there. It looks like prison is the likely path for him. The best thing she can do is seek support and help for herself because the worry is literally killing her. This is so so sad because she is suffering so much but she could learn how to step back and focus on taking care of herself instead of putting so much energy into someone who is unwilling to change. This would likely help her son wake up and call us or another treatment center and ask for help. She could simply hand him the number and say I hope you get help and leave the number with him. He is capable of dialing the number. We will answer and all he has to do is say I need help. Some people just won’t ever seek help but that doesn’t mean that 2 people or a whole family have to suffer because 1 person is unwilling to change. Many years ago when I was caught In the codependency cycle myself and my own life was sinking because I was so focused on my significant other who had a raging alcohol addiction that I thought I could change, someone helped me by shining a light on my situation and gave me this analogy. They said, “He’s the Titanic and you are holding on to a sinking ship and he is taking you down with him. You can’t control it. “ At that moment, it clicked for me because at that time I was completely exhausted, emotionally, physically, my work was suffering, my health was suffering and I was completely obsessed to the point of totally neglecting myself in every way. I was going down too and I had to stop or I was going to end up worse off than he was. My happiness was my own responsibility but I was giving all my power away to someone else and not taking responsibility for my own life.

Addicts will take out everyone and everything in their path as long as they are allowed to. So here is where things can change…..

What about having an intervention? Will this work?

Many times per week I also receive phone calls from people who call up saying, “I have a son and our family is going to have an intervention tomorrow, we want to know if you have a bed in your facility?” This is where I want to say “WAIT! STOP RIGHT THERE, Is there a professional leading the intervention?"

Addiction is a highly complicated brain disorder that causes the brain of an addict to become hijacked. Which in turn causes the individual with the addiction to lie cheat steal and focus solely on one thing, getting more of their drug of choice and to stop at nothing until they do. Dealing with an addict requires highly skilled professionals who know that the hell they are doing. It requires a great deal of education and understanding. An intervention done by the family without a professional usually ends in a worse disaster. If you are reading this and considering doing your own intervention….. PLEASE do not do it. Stop and get some professional guidance. What is most likely to happen is a huge family argument and lots of emotions being spilled out all over the place, threats, physical fights and in the end? The addict runs off faster and harder to their first love, their drug of choice to numb the pain and sink deeper into their addiction and isolate themselves from their loved ones ever more than before. Basically a home made intervention done with inexperienced individuals will almost always cause a greater disaster than where you began. This will push your addict deeper into their addiction.

What a trained interventionist provides is a great deal of education and leadership on how to most effectively change the direction of the entire family dynamics and to help the loved ones learn what is enabling the addiction to continue and how to set proper boundaries with the addict . An interventionist will educate and walk you through the process and be there for you every step of the way. An interventionist also provides an emotionally detached person who cannot be manipulated by the addict when it comes times for the actual intervention. They are your quarterback. Don’t do it alone.

When 3 or 4 people who are close to the addict all get on the same page and simultaneously begin to get clear on what is helping and what is harming and start to say no I will no longer help you until you get some help for your addiction, then the addict loses the power to be able to manipulate their loved ones and the addict will begin to become more concerned with human survival than scoring more heroin or running off to the liquor store.

When you let a loved one move into your house and provide them food and money to keep their cell phone working, insurance covered, car payment covered, you are enabling their addiction to survive and thrive. This is harming them. It is not helping them at all.

Most people do not by any means intentionally try to bring harm to their loved one. They usually are providing for their addicts basic human needs while worrying themselves sick, secretly hoping they can control or coerce their loved one into getting help.

All the begging, pleading, criticizing, arguing and tell their loved one how much they need to get help and how hard all of this is and how they are spending all their money on trying to help them. Trying to guilt and shame them into getting help almost never works.

So how do you help a loved one find their willingness to seek help for their addiction? Clear boundaries and follow through works almost every time

Here is a simple statement that you can use for guidance.

I love you and it’s become clear that I cannot help you get past this addiction. You need help from experts who know about your illness. I can no longer provide any help to you financially, emotionally or in any way until you are willing to seek help for your addiction. I am willing to help support you financially and/or emotionally until you decide to seek help. Until then I will no longer provide any help financially and or emotionally and I will no longer allow you to live in my home, buy you food, pay for anything at all for you because it is not helping you and the stress is causing harm to me.

Now, the most important part of speaking these type of words is making 100% sure that you can and will follow through on what you speak. NEVER set a boundary and then allow anyone and especially the person who is addicted to violate the boundary. If you speak it and then don’t follow through you render yourself powerless and the addiction will gain more power over you and your loved one.

Most loved ones need help and support to actually be able to do this. It’s not easy for a parent to actually cut off any type of support and contact with their adult child who is actively destroying their life. It is natural for us all to attach to those we love and it can be excruciatingly difficult to have your adult kid begging for food or money. Excruciatingly painful to kick them out of the house and know that they are living outside in harsh conditions and not feel extreme anxiety and worry about them. These emotions are difficult and you need support from qualified people to get through this. However if you provide your loved one with the choice to either choose help or choose addiction then the choice has become theirs. It is necessary and healthy to give your loved one a choice. Choose to become healthy or choose to stay in addiction. By stepping out of the chaos and taking care of yourself by seeking support and guidance through this extremely complicated time you are helping your loved one find the survival skills within them to fight for their own life. Addiction is no joke and it takes lives every day. The drugs these days are harder and stronger than ever and if you want to help your loved one you need to seek help and put on your own oxygen mask for yourself first. Hand the consequences back to your loved one and let them deal with their life themselves. By helping them pay their bills, provide them food, provide them shelter, hire them an attorney to minimize consequences you are helping them avoid the very crisis they need to wake up and accept help.

Understanding Detox And Recovery From Suboxone

Understanding Detox And Recovery From SuboxoneWhen most people think of drug addiction, they think of marijuana, cocaine or heroin. However, prescription drug addictions are more common than ever. Addiction to one prescription drug often leads to other forms of addiction, particularly if your doctor has prescribed a substance to treat your original addiction.

Suboxone is one example of a drug that feeds off other addictions. Doctors prescribe Suboxone for patients already addicted to opioids such as OxyContin or heroin. However, patients can develop dependencies to this medication as well. If you are addicted to Suboxone, treatment for this substance and your original drug addiction is crucial.

Understanding What Suboxone Is

Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, and naloxone blocks its narcotic effects. This way, a patient can take buprenorphine for chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia and other conditions without getting the “high” people often experience with opioids.

In theory, this should prevent opioid abuse. However, many patients overuse Suboxone for reasons other than highs. For example, they might use it in search of a better night’s sleep, or because their pain might be very severe.

Suboxone comes as a tablet and in a film or strip that dissolves under the tongue. Patients should never inject or crush Suboxone and mix it into liquid. Those who take this drug need to be tested frequently to ensure proper liver function. They must also wear medical alert tags or bracelets in case of an emergency, such as accidental overdose.

Complications From Suboxone Interaction

As with many other drugs, patients should never mix Suboxone with other prescriptions or alcohol. To avoid dependency, patients should not keep leftover Suboxone tablets or films, and they should endeavor to take Suboxone exactly as prescribed. Patients should consult doctors about missed doses: It’s often OK to let a missing dose go, but not always.

Suboxone and its variant, Subutex, are potentially dangerous prescription drugs. They underwent only 16 weeks of FDA testing before going on the market to treat addiction. Additionally, they remain somewhat obscure, receiving less research than similar drugs.

Suboxone Side Effects

What Are Suboxone Side EffectsSuboxone has a long list of side effects. Some are common and found with most prescription drugs. However, others are potentially dangerous. For example, Suboxone can make you extremely drowsy. This often leads to weakness and shallow breathing, which can cause severe respiratory distress and other life-threatening conditions, especially if the user has taken other drugs that slow the heart and breathing functions.

Nausea and vomiting are also common. Sometimes these side effects mimic withdrawal symptoms, even if you are taking regular Suboxone doses. Many people experience constipation, diarrhea and clay-colored stools, along with other gastrointestinal issues. Such issues may lead to malnutrition and overall debilitation. Contact your doctor immediately if you are struggling to eat and drink regularly while taking Suboxone.

Other Suboxone side effects also mimic other aspects of withdrawal. These include shaking, sweating and muscle pain or cramps. Patients who use the sublingual film may experience tongue pain or swelling. Numbness or redness inside the mouth is common as well. Arm and leg swelling also occurs, in many cases.

How Do I Know If I’m Addicted To Suboxone?

Due to its laundry list of side effects, it isn’t always easy to identify addiction to Suboxone or Subutex. Many patients do not seek addiction treatment until they experience overdose symptoms.

Early overdose symptoms include:

  • Clammy skin
  • Muscle flaccidity
  • Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
  • Circulatory or respiratory issues

If you suspect you are overdosing, contact your doctor immediately. He or she will treat the overdose and give you a full physical exam. The exam’s results will help clinicians tailor your treatment plan when you begin detox.

What To Expect During Detox And Recovery From Suboxone

Suboxone detoxification may feel harder than other detox regimens because it requires getting off a drug that was supposed to end a different addiction. During detox, you will probably deal with severe original symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia and panicking. This is why it is so vital to detox in an addiction treatment facility with professionals nearby to help.

Additionally, withdrawal from Suboxone or Subutex looks a bit different from most withdrawal processes. Many addicts mistake initial endorphin drops for withdrawal. However, true withdrawal does not begin until addicts start tapering off dosages. True withdrawal can take as long as 72 hours to begin, and the full process can last up to a month.

Many Suboxone withdrawal symptoms mimic those of other drugs, especially opioids. You will experience the worst physical and psychological symptoms within the first 72 hours after initial withdrawal. Symptoms include headaches, fever or chills, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Psychologically, you may experience resurgent original symptoms such as anxiety, agitation and insomnia. Some addicts get violent at this stage, but clinicians will help you avoid harming yourself and others.

During the first week of withdrawal, your physical symptoms will decrease, but you may still experience anxiety and mood swings. Within two weeks, the worst physical and psychological symptoms will decrease dramatically. However, you will probably experience cravings and depression. Inpatient treatment can help tremendously during this stage.

Suboxone Addiction Therapy

Addiction therapies will vary depending on your facility. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a must: Your therapist may use psychodrama or role-playing as part of it. Other facilities offer equine, art, music and recreational therapy, including group fitness classes, personal yoga, tai chi or qigong sessions.

Some facilities supplement detox with electroencephalogram (EEG) biofeedback, also called neurofeedback. Biofeedback helps you retrain your brain to respond to stress without opioids or Suboxone. Acupuncture may be a therapeutic option, and your health care provider may offer you vitamins and other supplements to reinstate proper nutrition.

Seeking Help For Suboxone Addiction

If you or a loved is suffering from Suboxone or Subutex addiction, contact Pathways Recovery right away. We will work with you, your physician and your family to determine a treatment plan that covers Suboxone and original opioid addictions.

Immersive Opioid Detox Program in Sacramento Area

Pathways Recovery is a prestigious detox treatment center that services the greater area of Sacramento. Here at Pathways Recovery, we know how hard it is to start the road to recovery from drug addiction and alcohol addiction while having compassion and patience for those recovering. We have many services to cater to each individual in regards to their lifestyle and budget. Our detox treatment center is made to make everyone feel safe and at home with many of our services, including opiate detox treatment

Contact us today for further information over our services and see which one fits for you or a loved one. Don't think you are lone; we are here to help you on your road to recovery.

Sacramento California Alcohol And Drug Abuse Rates And Statistics

Sacramento California Alcohol And Drug Abuse Rates And StatisticsSubstance abuse has become prevalent across the country. Heavily populated and urban areas, such as Sacramento, have seen a marked increase in usage rates in the past decade. In 2007, 29.7 percent of adults in California participated in binge drinking. Sacramento, meanwhile, showed a rate of 30.2 percent.

Fortunately, these numbers are beginning to fall for the first time. Sacramento has seen 29 percent fewer drug- and alcohol-related hospital admissions since 2012. This may be seen as a sign that prevention and treatment methods are working, but it does not mean that the danger in Sacramento has passed.

Indicators Of Sacramento California Alcohol And Drug Abuse Issues

There are two ways that information is gathered about drug and alcohol use. The first is through admission rates from treatment centers and hospitals. Additional statistics typically come from surveys conducted through medical facilities, schools, employers and other sources.

There are five major indicators that are used to gauge substance abuse:

  • Admissions to treatment facilities
  • Arrests in drug- and alcohol-related crimes
  • Motor vehicle accidents that happen under the influence
  • Hospitalization
  • Deaths

Admission Rates To Alcohol And Drug Treatment Centers

Admission rates are a reliable source of information, but they may not show the whole picture. According to estimates from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, only a fraction of addicts seek help. In 2009, 2.6 million individuals across the country received treatment at a specialized facility. This is out of 23.5 million people who reportedly needed treatment for substance abuse – meaning that only 11 percent were finding help.

A Growing Trend Of Addiction Treatment

sacramento-california-alcohol-and-drug-abuse-rates-and-statistics

The number of individuals seeking treatment has been climbing for many years, and experts attribute the lower overall usage rates to the fact that more users are finding help. After all, it can be difficult or even impossible to overcome addiction without professional assistance and support.

In 2000, only 5,708 people in Sacramento were admitted to treatment facilities for substance abuse. More than half of those patients, or 3,092, were female. By 2008, that overall number had grown to 8,756 and treatment was more prevalent among men. In fact, men have consistently been admitted more frequently to treatment programs since 2002.

Methamphetamine abuse was the most common reason for seeking treatment in Sacramento for several years, but in 2012, marijuana overtook the No.1 spot. Both of these are slightly surprising considering alcohol is the most prevalent cause in the rest of the country.

Back in 2000, 26.2 percent of total admissions in Sacramento were related to methamphetamine. The rest were:

  • 6% heroin
  • 2% alcohol
  • 4% cocaine
  • 1% marijuana
  • 5% other drugs

Substance Abuse Patterns In Age And Race

Substance abuse does not discriminate: Anyone can be drawn into the use of drugs and alcohol. That said, Caucasian patients make up most of the recorded cases at 45.6 percent. African Americans and Hispanics comprise 24.3 and 21.5 percent, respectively. All other racial groups comprise the remaining 8.6 percent.

Nearly half of the admissions (45.2 percent) came from adults aged 25 to 44 years in 2008. The second largest group is 17 and younger, with the smallest number of admissions coming from seniors 65 years and older.

Arrests Related To Drugs And Alcohol

sacramento-arrests-related-to-drugs-and-alcoholThe initial harm from substance abuse is to the user and his immediate family. The rest of the population begins to feel the effects when addiction results in crime – most notably, violent crime. An effective way to track drug-related crime is to examine the number of corresponding arrests.

The number of arrests in Sacramento has actually dropped since 2000 (when it was 9,720), although it peaked in 2006 at 10,931. These numbers include both felonies and misdemeanors. Drug-related crime rates in Sacramento are comparable to the rest of California, but remain slightly lower.

A majority of the arrests involve male culprits. From 2000 to 2008, an average of 76 percent of these arrests involved boys and men, ages 10 to 69. However, only 68 percent of treatment admissions were male, hinting that women may be more likely to seek help.

Motor Vehicle Accidents Involving Alcohol And Drugs

Another way to measure the impact of substance use is by examining the number of related motor vehicle accidents. Intoxicated drivers are involved in more than 57 percent of all motor vehicle crashes in California. More than 3,700 individuals were killed in single-vehicle incidents in 2004 alone.

There were more than 180,000 arrests for DUI in the same year, equaling 1 in every 121 licensed drivers throughout the United States. Thousands of people were killed in traffic crashes, and another 2,000 pedestrians and cyclists were struck by an impaired driver.

fatal-accidents-involving-drugs-and-alcohol-in-sacramento-californiaMost of these cases involve alcohol rather than other drugs. There also is a noticeable pattern of convicted individuals. Almost 75 percent of these offenders are regular heavy drinkers or full-fledged alcoholics, which leads many experts to believe that these people regularly drive while intoxicated.

The number of fatalities caused by DUI motor vehicle accidents has been steadily declining. There are two reasons attributed to this trend: newer vehicles have better safety engineering, and fewer people are drinking and driving. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (or IIHS) has been awarding crash-test ratings for many years, and new technologies have emerged that help compartmentalize the vehicle, provide increased support for the heads of occupants and more effectively restrain bodies during a crash.

Fewer people are involved in accidents involving impaired driving. From 1988 to 1998, the number of fatalities dropped an impressive 57.3 percent and has continued to steadily fall. In 1988, there were 18,503 deadly crashes involving alcohol. By 2014, there were only 9,967. The number is still too high, but the improvement is encouraging.

Hospitalization As A Result Of Substance Abuse

Sacramento HospitalizationThe Sacramento area also shows a lower rate of hospitalizations due to drugs and alcohol. In 2007, there were 205 cases for every 100,000 people statewide. Sacramento County, though, showed just 169 per 100,000. This equated to approximately 2,300 instances. The statistics include overdoses, but also take other accidents into account, such as falls or infections (as long as they were linked to substance abuse).

In 25 percent of hospitalizations, the gender was unspecified on the report, but the known cases show little difference between men and women: 38 percent were male and 36 were female, while the rest were unspecified.

Alcohol And Drug-Related Deaths

Death, of course, is the most serious potential danger of substance abuse. Cause of death reports are a sobering yet reliable way to gather information about those affected. Sacramento County showed fewer hospitalizations than the state average, but it has consistently seen a higher mortality rate. In 2002, there were 25.4 deaths per 100,000 people in the county, as compared to 20.1 per 100,000 in the state. By 2005, those numbers were 31.8 and 21.4, respectively.

There has been a noticeable decrease in deaths in the county since then. The state number was unchanged in 2007, yet Sacramento County saw its rate fall to 27.05. Of these deaths, 64 percent were male.

The Biggest Killers

Accidental drug poisoning is the most common cause of drug- and alcohol-related death. Out of 387 cases in Sacramento, 157 of them were related to overdoses. Alcoholic liver disease is a close second with 126 confirmed cases. Psychosis, dependence, myopathy, intentional overdoses and alcohol poisoning are some of the remaining causes.

Hope For The Future

Despite the growing national numbers, Sacramento County appears to be on the path to decreasing drug- and alcohol-related tragedies. Increased access to information and treatment centers likely contributed to the favorable statistics, but only time will tell how far they’ll drop and if such tactics can be deployed across the nation.

At Pathways Recovery, We Are Striving to Help the Sacramento Community Deal with the Problem of Substance Abuse in a Positive Manner, through Outreach and Therapeutic Treatment.

Contact Pathways Recovery

Here at Pathways Recovery, we pride ourselves on the services we provide for those seeking to heal from any drug and alcohol addiction. Weather yourself or a loved one, we provide the best treatment for any drug and alcohol addiction one might be experiencing. Our services include, but not limited to, drug and alcohol addiction treatment, outpatient treatment, and holistic services depending on each special individual’s needs. Our medical staff are well versed in the world of drug and alcohol addiction and have years of experience with helping many people through addiction. Here at Pathways Recovery, we are equipped to help with the difficulties of addiction and want to be part of your journey to a better you.

Call us, to speak with one of our well-informed associates to see how we can help you today on the journey of recovery.

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day Is Coming: What You Should Know

National Methamphetamine Awareness Day - Pathways Recovery CaliforniaNovember 30, 2016 is National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. Pathways Recovery is dedicated to eradicating all addiction, whether involving drugs or alcohol. We think it’s important, however, to know all you can about the various drugs out there. The more you know, the better you are able to avoid addiction.

Methamphetamine is highly dangerous and negatively affects hundreds of thousands of people every year. Yet, the recognition of National Methamphetamine Awareness Day is somewhat recent. It was first recognized in 2006, making November 30 one of the "younger" drug awareness days in America. As we learn more about methamphetamine and raise awareness of it, we can work to prevent more people from using this drug.

Why National Methamphetamine Awareness Day Is Important

Since 2012, there has been a rise in methamphetamine usage. In 2012, an estimated 1.2 million people reported using the drug in the past year. In a 2013 survey, an estimated 595,000 people in the United States used methamphetamine in the last month, as compared to 353,000 total users in 2010. In 2012, 19.4 percent of drug offenses involved methamphetamine. Many offenders were convicted for meth trafficking. Offenders were found in possession of 3.3 to 11 pounds of methamphetamine.

Surprisingly, sentencing for methamphetamine possession, trafficking and personal use has become less harsh since 2012. Although 98.9 percent of methamphetamine offenders were sent to prison, only 34.1 percent of offenders received the recommended minimum sentence or longer.

In the years between 2008 and 2012, 40 percent of methamphetamine offenders received a sentence outside applicable guideline ranges. In many cases, this was because the state or federal government encouraged a below-range sentence. While the average minimum sentence guidelines for methamphetamine use remains the same, average sentences have decreased.

Is There An 'Average Methamphetamine Offender'?

Most methamphetamine traffickers convicted in 2012 were male (about 80 percent). Just over half of these individuals had no prior criminal history, and 68 percent were United States citizens. In 2012, most methamphetamine traffickers were white or Hispanic (47.6 and 45.4 percent, respectively). Only 2.5 percent of traffickers were black, and 4.5 percent were of other races.

Methamphetamine users are often young. In 2012, the average age of someone sentenced for methamphetamine use or trafficking was 35 years old. About 23.5 percent of reported users were minors or participated minimally in the offense, which decreased their sentences. These statistics indicate the average methamphetamine user or trafficker is a young white male. However, anyone can use methamphetamine and become addicted, and they could face serious negative consequences.

Types Of Methamphetamine

When most people think of methamphetamine, they think of crystal meth. While this is a popular and dangerous drug, there are several other forms of methamphetamine.

Most users take methamphetamine in one of three ways: The first is crystalline, which comes in an ice or crystal form. The second is powder (also known as “speed”). Third, some people take the methamphetamine base.

Methamphetamine derivatives are also popular. One derivative is ecstasy, which is commonly sold as a tablet. Methamphetamine derivatives are sometimes used as ingredients in herbal or vitamin supplements because they increase the user’s energy.

The Effects Of Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine users swallow, snort, smoke or inject the drug. Many users choose methamphetamine because it provides short-term bursts of high energy and alertness. As with many other drugs, methamphetamine cause a sense of euphoria, which often leaves users addicted to the emotional high.

The high energy associated with meth can cause:

  • Increased talkativeness
  • Shaking hands
  • Teeth grinding
  • Profuse sweating
  • Jaw clenching
  • Dry mouth
  • Nervousness
  • Paranoia
  • Frequent meth usage often causes nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite, libido changes and aggression or hostility.

    The Dangers Of Methamphetamine

    Long-term methamphetamine users experience a range of severe physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Extreme weight loss as well as deterioration of the mouth, teeth and skin are all common. In some cases, meth users experience brain damage and memory loss, which can permanently affect cognition.

    Many meth users sustain organ problems, such as:

    • Weakened heart
    • Kidney damage
    • Liver damage

    If the methamphetamine was snorted or smoked, the user may suffer from respiratory diseases and damage to his or her nose, sinuses and lungs.

    The psychological symptoms associated with methamphetamine use are often debilitating, too. Meth users may experience mood swings or depression. Some engage in violent behavior. In some cases, long-term methamphetamine usage leads to psychosis, strokes and brain damage similar to Alzheimer’s disease.

    Awareness Brings Solutions

    If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of addiction, not just methamphetamine (crystal meth), please call us today and speak to one of our specialists, no matter what the drug or alcohol addiction you face. We have the solution!

    Here at Pathways Recovery, we pride ourselves on the services we provide for those seeking to heal from any drug and alcohol addiction. Weather yourself or a loved one, we provide the best treatment for any drug and alcohol addiction one might be experiencing. Our services include, but not limited to, methadone detox, drug and alcohol rehab, and holistic services depending on each special individual’s needs. Our medical staff are well versed in the world of methadone addiction and have years of experience with helping many people heal. Here at Pathways Recovery, we are equipped to help with the difficulties of addiction and want to be part of your journey to a better you.

    Call us, to speak with one of our well-informed associates to see how we can help you today on the journey of recovery.

    5 Surprising Myths About Addiction

    5 Surprising Myths About AddictionWhen it comes to those suffering from addiction, there are many misconceptions. Unfortunately, these fallacies can lead to assumptions and preconceptions that prevent individuals from getting the help they need.

    It’s important for addicts as well as their loved ones or anyone who has been affected by addiction to understand more about it, including the truths and myths surrounding addiction.

    Five Myths About Addiction

    So, what are the most common myths when it comes to addiction and individuals struggling with substance abuse? Here are five to consider:

    Myth #1: Addiction Is A Choice

    Addiction Is A ChoiceNo one chooses to be at the mercy of drugs or alcohol. Addiction is a disorder that alters brain chemistry and makes it increasingly difficult to stop using. Genetics and environmental factors also play a part in the risk of addiction.

    Myth #2: Addicts Are Bad People Who Need To Be Punished

    There is a common perception that all individuals suffering from addiction are corrupt, lazy, and misguided. Although addiction can perpetuate bad behaviors in some people, even good people, professional and appropriate treatment is the answer and not punishment or jail time.

    Myth #3: Addicts Usually Only Have One Substance Of Choice

    While there are plenty of alcoholics who have never touched another substance, and likewise, drug addicts who have only one drug of choice, the reality is many people mix drugs to increase their high or to come down from another. Teens and young adults are most likely to experiment with multiple substances. Unfortunately, mixing substances is riskier and harder to treat.

    Myth #4: People Abusing Legal Prescription Drugs Are Not Really Addicts

    People Abusing Legal Prescription DrugsInterestingly, many people believe that those who have an addiction to prescription drugs are different than others suffering from street drug or alcohol addiction. Yet, the reality is that prescription drugs have the same addictive properties as illegal substances. Abusing Vicodin, Xanax, Adderall or other prescription drugs can possess the same level of addiction as drugs on the street.

    Myth #5: You Need To Shame Addicts Into Change

    You Need To Shame Addicts Into ChangeUnlike individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes or epilepsy, those suffering from the disease of addiction are often not given the level of treatment or care they need for long-term recovery. Some treatment centers use shame as a tool to initiate change in their patients, yet this approach often backfires and results in a quick relapse.

    Get The Help For You Need For Drug Or Alcohol Abuse

    If you or a loved one is struggling with the bondage of substance abuse, the first step in getting the help you need is by calling the caring and professional staff at Pathways Recovery. We offer customized detox and treatment programs along with family education and much more. Call us today!

    Debunking Myths About Substance Abuse

    Pathways -- Debunking Myths About Substance Abuse -- 08-23-16Common Myths About Substance Abuse and Addiction

    Ever since Richard Nixon's "war on drugs" started over 40 years ago and Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign began in the 1980's, addiction treatment professionals have been fighting an uphill battle against myths and stereotypes related to substance abuse and addiction treatment.  Considering that substance abuse and addiction treatment cost this country about $600 billion per year in medical, criminal, social, and economic costs, it is high time (no pun intended) to debunk some of these myths and stereotypes.  This article attempts to do so by providing a brief summary of some of the myths and stereotypes and talking about the realities of substance abuse and addiction treatment.

    Myth #1:  It's impossible to prevent substance abuse.  People who are going to use drugs are going to use drugs.

    This myth is supported by the scare tactics, fear, and hyperbole surrounding substance abuse.  Instead of looking into the reasons that people decide to abuse drugs, the "war on drugs" has turned substance abuse into a criminal and moral issue where people requiring addiction treatment have weak character or bad morals.  The reality is that several risk factors are very good indicators of an individual's likelihood to abuse drugs.  These include environmental factors like growing up in poverty or in a dangerous neighborhood, living in an alcoholic household while growing up, losing parents at an early age either through death or divorce, and mental and emotional factors like learning disabilities and mental disorders.  When we begin to address these risk factors,  then we will begin to prevent substance abuse and leave the "Just Say No" mythology behind.

    Myth #2: Addiction is a voluntary behavior.

    While it may be true that many people start out as recreational drug users or social drinkers, the progressive nature of addiction eventually leads addicts to a point where choice is no longer an option.  Over time continued drug abuse and heavy drinking will change the addict's or alcoholic's brain in such a manner that compulsive and uncontrollable substance abuse becomes their reality.  No matter how much will power they may have, their physical and psychological dependence on drugs and alcohol makes get clean and sober almost impossible without some form of addiction treatment program where a workable solution for staying off of drugs and alcohol is attainable.

    Myth #3: Marijuana is not addictive and it's not a gateway drug.

    While many people who use marijuana recreationally have no major consequences, other people do develop dependence on the drug and you would be hard pressed to find a hardcore drug user who didn't have some amount of marijuana use in their drug use history.  Certainly the same thing can be said about alcohol which is legal.  So this is not an argument one way or the other for the legalization of marijuana.  Rather this is a statement that addiction is a personal issue and any form of mind altering substance can contribute to the progression of the disease of addiction.  So, for anyone who has addiction as part of their make-up marijuana should be avoided.

    Myth #4: Someone has to want to pursue addiction treatment for it to be effective.

    Many people enter into addiction treatment programs against their will by either a court order or through family pressure.  This does not mean that the treatment for their addiction that they receive while they are in the program will be ineffective.  In fact, many studies have shown that people who enter into addiction treatment programs unwillingly do better than average in their addiction treatment efforts.

    Myth #5: Substance abuse treatment should be a one shot deal.

    addiction treatmentLike many chronic diseases addiction may require more than one treatment.  Certainly it is common for people with diabetes to undergo continuous treatment to keep it under control, and it is not uncommon for people with diseases like cancer to undergo more than one treatment when their disease returns.  Certainly many people with substance abuse problems have quit "cold turkey", but the majority of people requiring addiction treatment will require longer term treatment or in many cases repeated stays at addiction treatment facilities.

     Myth #6 Addiction treatment doesn't work.

    With the growing acceptance that addiction is a disease, substance abuse programs have changed their treatment methodologies accordingly with the understanding that there is no "magic bullet" for addiction treatment.  The reasons why people become addicted to drugs and alcohol vary.  So it is important to provide a variety of addiction treatment methods which can address the needs of the individual addict.  By improving the way addiction treatment is applied and working on the reasons why people got involved with substance abuse in the first place, the success rate for addiction treatment has shown drastic improvements.  Recent studies have shown that addiction treatment reduced drug use by 40 to 60 percent.  There are also side benefits demonstrated by effective addiction treatment including a reduction in crime and HIV infection and improvements in addict's ability to become gainfully employed after treatment.

    This is certainly not a complete list of the myths and stereotypes surrounding addiction treatment and substance abuse.  The bottom line is that knowledge is the most important asset one can have when seeking help for themselves or a loved one.  The road of recovery from substance abuse is usually a long one, but the destination is worth the effort.  Especially when you consider the consequences of untreated addiction.  Addiction is a disease, and diseases kill people.  Or at a minimum they make their quality of life so poor that life just isn't worth living anymore.

    If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and is seeking answers about addiction treatment, contact a professional in the field of addiction treatment.  Unless your family doctor is a specialist in addiction medicine don't trust their advice without doing research on your own.  The knowledge you acquire through doing the work yourself may be the difference between life and death.

    Related Blogs

    Addiction In The Elderly

    Addiction in the ElderlyProblems with addiction can affect people of all ages. Unfortunately, senior citizens face an increased risk of complications and mortality as the result of substance abuse. Learning more about elderly substance abuse can help those senior citizens affected find help, hope, and a better quality of life during the late stages of life.

    According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc., 2.5 million seniors have a problem with drugs or alcohol. Almost half of all nursing home residents have alcohol abuse problems, and physicians hand out around 17 million prescriptions for potentially addictive sedatives and painkillers. Benzodiazepines top the list for prescription substance abuse across all ages.

    Why Senior Citizens Abuse Substances

    Senior citizens who abused substances at an earlier age may continue to engage in self-abusive behaviors later in life. These individuals are long-term drug abusers who now fall into the category of elder substance abusers.

    Like substance abuse in younger people and adults, late-onset elderly substance abuse begins with unhappiness, loneliness, boredom, or a desire to change. Instead of seeking support and help from others, many seniors turn to alcohol or prescription drugs.

    Some senior citizens may develop a substance abuse problem unintentionally. They may forget when they took their last pills or accidentally take the wrong dose. Physicians can also prescribe potentially addictive pain relief substances without asking about or being told about other prescriptions. Seniors may avoid telling physicians about one prescription or another, and within a period of months, they experience the signs of addiction.

    The Importance Of Substance Abuse Recovery In Elderly Individuals

    Addiction is unhealthy at any age, but it presents particular risks for elders. Senior citizens don’t have the same metabolisms as younger people, and their brains may react more easily to certain substances and to lower dosages.

    Over time, physicians may diagnose side effects as other health complications, including diabetes and depression. An addicted person’s health will continue to decline due to overmedication and a failure to address the root cause. Without treatment, addicted seniors can face an increased risk for heart attacks, stroke, fractures, and other potentially serious health conditions. At any age, substance abuse contributes to an increased risk of death.

    With substance abuse help, seniors can take steps to overcome withdrawal and regain a previous quality of life. Those who recover may experience improved energy levels, better mood stability, and more meaningful connections with loved ones.

    Signs Of Addiction In The Elderly

    Loved ones often play an important role in substance abuse identification and recovery. Family members and close friends can watch out for the following symptoms as red flags of a potentially harmful situation:

    • Memory problems not associated with a diagnosed medical condition
    • Unexplained bruises or broken bones
    • Complaints of chronic pain
    • A desire to spend an inordinate amount of time alone
    • Failing to maintain basic hygiene
    • Loss of interest in life or relationships
    • Loss of interest in activities that once brought an elderly person joy
    • Overeating or not eating enough

    Many of these symptoms are also warning signs for other medical conditions or even elder abuse, making substance abuse somewhat difficult to spot. Someone close to an elderly individual who understands the person’s lifestyle, habits, preexisting health conditions, and medication regimen may have a better opportunity to recognize potential warning signs of substance abuse.

    What To Do If You Suspect Substance Abuse

    If you notice any symptoms of substance abuse, consider checking prescriptions for appropriate dosing. For alcohol abuse, you may find evidence of consumption in hidden areas around the home or in the trash. Take the time to discuss a possible problem with alcohol or prescription medications.

    Avoid using an accusatory tone or language. Instead, you can offer to help. Seniors who abuse substances will likely need help from a qualified recovery support center. Talk with possible recovery programs about the intervention and recovery process. Elderly individuals often need specialized care to detox and recover from substance abuse without experiencing serious health complications.

    Awareness can improve response to substance abuse in seniors. Instead of ignoring the situation, family members and loved ones must take an active role in understanding, preventing, and addressing elder substance abuse.

    New Discoveries In The Science Of Addiction

    New Discoveries In The Science Of AddictionOpioid addiction is a serious problem across the country. An estimated 2.1 million people in the United States are dealing with an addiction to prescription opioid pain relievers. Another 500,000 suffer from a dependency on heroin. The consequences of these numbers are devastating, and unfortunately, the number of cases is rising.

    Overdose deaths are soaring; they have more than quadrupled since 1999. Of course, this isn’t news—media outlets have been covering the many occurrences of heroin-related overdoses and fatalities throughout the country, in both rural and urban areas. Most overdoses are fatal. Sometimes this is from using alone, but it’s often from fear of arrest. Users are reluctant to call 911 and report using illegal drugs, and those who are using with the person in danger may be equally afraid of the police.

    Treating Opioid Addiction

    Finding viable treatment options is vital for saving lives across the nation. Scientists have been creating new technology to help people live more normal lives while recovering from drug dependency. In many cases, the symptoms of withdrawal are too severe for individuals to cope, and so they return to taking the drug. Because of this, quitting alone is rarely effective—and in some cases, it can be dangerous.

    Medication-assisted therapy, or MAT, is the most effective way to treat opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is the gold standard drug for treatment. It’s a partial opioid agonist, working similarly as other opioids, but more safely. This helps provide relief from withdrawal symptoms with greatly reduced risks. Buprenorphine can allow for:

    • Less euphoria and lower risk of dependence
    • Less potential for misuse
    • Relatively mild withdrawal issues
    • Blocked effects from other opioids
    • Support during treatment
    • Suppressed opioid withdrawal symptoms
    • Suppressed opioid cravings
    • Reduced opioid use

    These benefits have helped the drug become a popular answer for addiction problems across the nation. The most effective MAT treatments available take advantage of the medication.

    Atrigel® From Indivior

    One of the methods pending FDA approval is RBP-6000. It’s made possible by the Atrigel® system, which is a delivery complex placed subcutaneously on the addict. It works the same way as a nicotine patch: it’s stored on the body and diffused over time.

    The main difference between it and a nicotine patch is that it’s injected into the skin instead of being applied on top of it. RBP-6000 is stored in a polymer matrix that’s completely biodegradable. Another compound (n-methyl pyrrolidone) ensures that the buprenorphine is controlled and released over a period of about a month. This type of steady, dependable application helps further reduce the risks of withdrawal symptoms and other opioid cravings.

    Because of the opioid abuse epidemic that we’re facing, the FDA has granted RBP-6000 fast-track designation. The sooner it’s released on the market, the sooner people can begin battling their addictions. The pharmaceutical company, Indivior, hopes to apply for approval in early 2017.

    Probuphine From Titan Pharmaceuticals

    Another alternative to dissolvable tablets (the method originally developed for buprenorphine), is Probuphine. It was developed with the ProNeura platform, and like RBP-6000, it’s placed beneath the skin. That’s where the similarities end, however.

    A physician places four small “rods” within the patient’s arm. These sections are each no bigger than a matchstick. They sit comfortably within the skin and release a constant, low dose of medicine for an astounding six months—which means much more consistency for the patient and less roller coaster–like withdrawal symptoms. The FDA has already approved the treatment.

    Many clinics are learning how to properly administer these implants. Because they require no maintenance for such a long period of time, it’s easier for individuals to focus on therapy and quitting other opioids.

    Whether it’s subcutaneous gel or small implants, treatment options for opioid addiction are increasing. New discoveries are leading to dependable and effective solutions that help patients find a more natural rhythm in their lives.

    Your Guide To Substance Abuse Interventions

    Substance Abuse InterventionsAddiction can change a person’s life. Substance abuse can alter priorities, motivations, and personalities. When a person doesn’t want to face a personal drug abuse problem, someone else must step in and offer assistance. Interventions are designed to help an individual realize and accept the need for treatment.

    What Is A Formal Intervention?

    Most interventions involve education, preparation, and some form of meeting. Since many substance abusers experience extreme denial regarding the substance abuse, interventions are designed to help addicts understand how behaviors impact themselves and others.

    An intervention should never feel like an accusation, punishment, or forced communication. Instead, it should serve as a supportive and eye-opening experience for the person suffering from addiction and those wanting to contribute to the recovery process.

    When Is An Intervention Needed?

    Not all substance abusers require an intervention. Some recognize the problem with little or no input from loved ones or communities. Others, however, can’t see how addictive behaviors can negatively affect others. The addict may not realize or may deny a substance abuse problem. Anyone who needs motivation to seek rehabilitation, therapy, or outside support can benefit from an intervention.

    Types Of Interventions

    Intervention methods aren’t one-size-fits-all. Depending on the level of denial and an individual’s relationship with a support network, some types of intervention prove more effective than others. Some of the most common types of interventions include:

    • CRAFT (Community Reinforcement Approach and Family Training Model). Instead of sitting down with someone who suffers from addiction, this approach values a more indirect approach. In this method, loved ones use encouraging strategies to help the addict arrive at the conclusion of recovery. CRAFT works because it focuses on indirect motivation instead of a direct confrontation.
    • Johnson Intervention Model. The stereotypical intervention model, this approach relies on the success of a surprise meeting and confrontation. During this type of intervention, loved ones may share the effects of addiction and pledge their support to the recovery process. This approach can put a substance abuser on the defensive and can move the person farther away from successful treatment.
    • Invitational Model. Like the Johnson Intervention Model, this approach requires an in-person meeting. Instead of a surprise, however, the substance abuser is provided details of what will take place and must make a personal choice to attend the intervention.

    Recovery specialists also use other intervention models that blend the approaches of these three basic models. These intervention approaches all serve the ultimate goal of bringing awareness of the problem into the substance abuser’s life.

    How To Stage An Intervention For A Loved One

    Investing in an intervention typically indicates a substance abuser crossed an invisible line. The addiction is causing noticeable harm to the addict and to the surrounding community. Realizing the possibility of a DUI accident, seeing a loved one’s personality slip away, or recognizing poor performance in daily activities all serve as impetuses for staging an intervention. Consider these tips for creating a successful encounter:

    • Formalize the plan. Do consider asking for help from a qualified recovery specialist. Someone who understands addiction can guide friends and family in the right direction and reduce the risk of negative consequences.
    • Research. Try to discover how much alcohol or drugs affect a loved one’s life. Understand the recovery process for certain substances, and explore possible treatment programs available to the individual. Many substance abusers must check into an inpatient facility to detox and begin the road to recovery.
    • Commit to consequences. Consequences can serve as a powerful motivator. If the individual doesn’t agree to the terms of the intervention, consequences—such as avoiding enabling activities—can serve as more of an eye-opening experience.
    • Stay in touch. Someone needs to follow up after an intervention to ensure the loved one stays in treatment, feels supported, or has access to recovery at any point.

    Addiction is a powerful enemy. People who suffer from substance abuse need support, guidance, and tough love to recover fully and permanently. Consider partnering with a team of professionals and loved ones who can commit to helping someone overcome substance abuse.

    The Growing Problem With A New “O”

     Pathways -- The Growing Problem With A New O -- 08-23-16

    As the abuse of Oxycontin has declined in the Sacramento region and throughout the nation due to a change in manufacturing methods, a new form of opiate with twice the strength of Oxycontin has begun to take its place.  The new pill is called Opana, or oxymorphone hydrochloride, and it can be crushed and chewed, snorted, and even injected.  As a result, admissions for Opana addiction treatment are on the rise while addiction treatment for Oxycontin abuse is declining.

    Street Names for Opana

    Street names for Opana include O’s, Blue Heaven, Blues, Mrs. O, New Blues, Octagons, Oranges, Orgasna IR, OM, Pink, Pink Heaven, Pink Lady, Pink O, Stop Signs, and The O Bomb.  The color references in these slang terms refer to the strength of the Opana pill.  For the older, round Opana pills 5 mg pills are blue and 10 mg pills are pink.  The newer, extended relief versions of Opana are octagonal in shape like a stop sign and come in a variety of colors and higher strengths including the following:

    • Pink octagonal Opana pills are 5mg
    • Orange octagonal Opana pills are 10mg
    • White octagonal Opana pills are 15mg
    • Green octagonal Opana pills are 20mg
    • Red octagonal Opana pills are 30mg
    • Yellow octagonal Opana pills are 40mg

    With the higher doses available for the extended relief versions, Opana addiction treatment admissions have accelerated recently within the Sacramento treatment community and elsewhere.

    Opana Abuse and Addiction

    Similar to Oxycontin, Opana addiction can happen quickly especially when the person has been abusing Oxycontin or other opiates like heroin, Norco, or Vicodin.  Even if the Opana has been legitimately prescribed by a doctor for pain, however, those using Opana can inadvertently become addicted very quickly as well, resulting in the need for Opana addiction treatment for people with no history of drug abuse.

    Addiction Treatment For Opana Abuse

    Opana addiction treatment is similar to drug treatment for other forms of opiates.  A proper Opana addiction treatment will begin with a detox in either a residential detox treatment facility or possibly a hospital setting.  The withdrawal symptoms during the detox stage of the Opana addiction treatment are very similar to other opiate withdrawals.  Opana withdrawal symptoms include muscle cramping, bone pain, nausea and vomiting, and emotional distress.  Because of the difficulties associated with the detox stage of the Opana addiction treatment, it is important for the addict to undergo the detox process in a controlled environment where addiction treatment professionals will help them through the hardest parts of the withdrawal process.

    Medical Detox and Treatment for Opana

    As with other forms of addiction treatment for opiate abuse, rapid Opana addiction treatment under the supervision of a doctor in a hospital setting is available as well, however, this form of Opana addiction treatment is very costly and the benefits of rapid Opana addiction treatment when compared to other less costly forms of Opana addiction treatment has not been documented.

    After the detox process is complete, it is almost guaranteed that further Opana addiction treatment will be required, especially for those individuals with a history of opiate addiction or other forms of substance abuse.  After detox, Opana addiction treatment could include a longer term stay in a residential treatment facility (AKA rehab), intensive outpatient counseling, or pychosocial activities like attendance at 12 step meetings.

    Whatever method of Opana addiction treatment is pursued, it is important to note that long term abuse and addiction to Opana and other forms of opiates will lead to damage to internal organs like the heart and liver, as well as other cardiopulmonary diseases like pneumonia.  Ultimately, the longer a person abuses Opana and other opiates the more likely they will begin to ignore personal hygiene, alienate themselves from friends and family, and drastically shorten their life expectancy.

    Don't let this new form of opiate tear apart your family or someone you love.  Contact Pathways Recovery to talk to a counselor about your options for Opana addiction treatment.