Tag Archives: Recovery

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 are faced with the harsh reality that their behavior and choices are beginning to cause the loss of  any or all of the relationships, income, possessions, their job, food and any other items 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 has an impaired brain and their brain and ability to make good decisions has been damaged. The pre-frontal cortex, the part of our brain that provides us with the ability to have good judgement is being damaged. When this is impaired humans 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 been 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. She has spent a great deal of energy and money hiring attorneys to try and help him out of his situation including calling many different treatment centers to try and get him into a facility. 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 what 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 while begging, pleading, criticizing, arguing and telling 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 not 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 worried 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.

It’s National Recovery Month: Here’s What You Need To Know

It’s National Recovery Month - Here’s What You Need To KnowSeptember is National Recovery Month. For addicts and their loved ones, it’s a time to increase awareness and celebrate sobriety. Each year, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors the month in an effort to promote the understanding of substance abuse and mental disorders.

What Is National Recovery Month?

National Recovery Month is a nationwide observance to educate Americans about how mental health and recovery services help addicts live enriching, healthy lives. It’s also a celebration of those who recover, just as we celebrate those who overcome heart disease and cancer.

The Importance Of Behavioral Health

National Recovery Month reinforces the message that our behavioral health is just as important as our physical health. Just as breast cancer awareness focuses on the importance of mammograms, substance abuse awareness emphasizes that treatment programs can and do work. The evidence is all around us, and September marks a time for public to see it.

Transforming Lives

Each year, thousands of prevention, recovery, and treatment programs participate in sharing success stories. Often unnoticed by the population at large, recovery services have transformed the lives of millions of addicts and their loved ones. Through a series of coordinated events, mental health workers help spread awareness about this process while destigmatizing addiction and substance abuse disorders.

History And Conception

National Recovery Month began in 1989 as Treatment Works! Month. Originally, it was a celebration of all those in the field who made sobriety possible. A decade later, the celebration became National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month to include those who successfully overcame a substance abuse disorder. In 2011, it was renamed again and now is called National Recovery Month to celebrate everyone involved in the process while emphasizing the importance of behavioral health. This is the celebration’s 27th year.

Organizations That Make It Possible

Recovery Month is a coordinated effort of more than 200 federal, state, and local government organizations, as well as nonprofit groups and associations that are committed to the prevention and treatment of substance and mental abuse disorders. Supporting groups help develop and disseminate teaching materials, awareness initiatives, and event promotion. The planning partners also come up with a theme for each year’s celebration.

Join The Voices for Recovery: Our Families, Our Stories, Our Recovery!

This year, Recovery Month focuses on the holistic effort that drives patient recovery. Substance abuse disorders affect more than just the patient; effects spread to families and loved ones. A success story is often a coordinated effort of a patient, the patient’s families, and their support professionals. This year is a celebration of that systemic effort.

This National Recovery Month, take a few moments to learn about the recovery process through the stories of patients and their families. Celebrate every victory, and realize each new milestone is a step in the lifelong journey of recovery. Click the button below for help on your recovery path.

Recovery Resources

At Pathways Recovery, we pride ourselves on the services we offer to those who are ready to take the next step to heal. Our services include, but not limited to, drug and alcohol treatment, outpatient rehab treatment, and family education. At Pathways Recovery, we also offer a holistic treatment plan for those who might need a little more assistance in our comfortable and safe drug and alcohol detox center located in a quite and friendly residential area.Contact us today for any questions or to speak with a highly trained member of our staff. The first step starts with a call today for a better tomorrow.

Keeping Up With Addiction Recovery: 5 Rules of Recovery

one day at a time

Living in the present is a difficult task for many people. Anxieties about the future and regrets about the past can haunt us and make it seem as though living for today is out of the question. While trying to focus on the present can be difficult, it’s the best way to embrace the limited time you have each day and take on challenges one day at a time.

We can’t know the future, and we can’t change the past. The only solution is to move forward little by little and focus on what we can handle and do today.

Difficulties of Living in the Present with Substance Use Disorder

addiction recoveryLiving in the present can be particularly challenging for people struggling with a substance use disorder. Substance use often serves as a manner of escape from reality. During active use, an individual relying on substances for relief from reality will often find themselves in a place of denial. Denial is a phase that only serves to further separate the individual from reality and makes it increasingly difficult to focus on present problems and situations.

There are multiple reasons why an individual would want to seek an escape from reality. In some cases, a traumatic experience might have served to breed distrust of any future connections and relationships with others. Humans are social creatures by nature. Dependable, trustworthy, and intimate relationships are valued connections.

When a traumatic experience like betrayal or dishonesty occurs, an individual becomes wary of other relationships. When trust is broken, it takes a while to rebuild. In some cases, individuals begin to distance themselves from others and turn to substance use in an attempt to fill unmet emotional needs.

Substance use skews an individual’s perspective and creates an illusionary world separate from reality. This is why many individuals reach a critical stage in their substance use or “rock bottom” before entering into an addiction treatment program.

Why Is Living in the Present Important?

When you enter into a treatment program, you have a chance to reassess your situation and take back control of your life. In recovery, it’s important to understand and come to terms with the reality of the way things are now.

RecoveryYou can’t change the past. You can’t see into the future. But in the present, your whole life is taking place in the moment. You have control over your actions in the present moment and can live on your own terms. Being aware of your surroundings and circumstances can help you let go of some anxieties about the future or past regrets. Focusing on your current reality can promote gratitude and peace of mind.

By focusing on the here and now, you can worry less about the uncontrollable variables and start living your life to the fullest.

You have the ability to make decisions now that will build up your legacy and stabilize your future. Remember that living in the present means that you take it one day at a time. Big changes don’t happen overnight, whether that’s in the recovery space or anywhere else. But over time, each day that you make it through is another stepping stone and great accomplishment.

The Five Rules of Recovery

To keep up with your recovery journey, it can be helpful to know what makes up the right track and the expectations that go along with it. There are five common rules of recovery in the addiction treatment world. These five rules cover the majority of what you need to do in recovery and can also serve as indicators of relapse. When relapse occurs, it is usually because one of the five rules has been broken.

With these five rules, you can see that recovery is not beyond your control. These simple to remember guidelines will be a handy tool to help you navigate your recovery.

Rule #1: Change Your Life

Recovery doesn’t happen because you stop using. Recovery begins with the commitment and decision to change your lifestyle to one where it is easier to not use. Without creating new, healthy habits, it’s easy for old ways to catch up and relapse.

The wishful thinking of wanting an old lifestyle back without the addiction isn’t very realistic. This change should not be seen as negative. Instead, the need for change is an important opportunity. Indeed, recovery prompts this self-reflection and reevaluation of a lifestyle based around addiction and allows an opening for great change to happen.

Now before the idea of change becomes too overwhelming, you should know that change doesn’t mean every single thing in your life will be turned upside down. Instead, there are only certain parts of your life that need to be changed.

Successful change includes changing negative thought patterns, avoiding people, places, and things associated with using and avoiding high-risk situations.

Negative Thought Patterns:

Negative thinking is often a risk factor and indicator for developing an addiction or relapsing. This kind of thinking is characterized by negative self-labeling and an all-or-nothing attitude.

  • I am too far gone to ever be happy or have a chance at recovery.
  • I’ll never be able to resist cravings, so I shouldn’t try.
  • People wouldn’t like me if they knew who I really was.
  • My life won’t be as fun without using and I’ll be more boring.
  • Recovery is too much work and not worth it.

One of the most common fears is that you won’t be able to recover. There’s an incorrect image of people who recovered as having amazing strength and willpower that you could never possess. This is completely inaccurate. Regular people who also have weaknesses and struggles manage to recover.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been proven to be an effective method for correcting negative thinking, along with mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Negative thinking is something you have to learn. Therefore, you can unlearn it and replace it with more positive thoughts and a healthier attitude.

People, Places, and Things

addictionFor a more successful recovery, it’s important to pay attention to the kind of environment you surround yourself with. People, places, and things related to using can all serve as triggers for addiction and relapse. Be aware of where and with whom you spend your time.

  • People: any people who you used with or encouraged you to use
  • Places: anywhere you went to use or obtained substances
  • Things: any substance-related paraphernalia

High-Risk Situations

Some of the most common high-risk situations in which relapse will occur are referred to as HALT.

  • Hungry
  • Angry
  • Lonely
  • Tired

Strong cravings often occur at the end of the day. Usually, after work or a day of tasks, people are more likely to feel hungry, frustrated because of work, lonely, and tired after doing so many things. These factors all contribute to why strong cravings occur at the end of the day.

Keep track of your high-risk situations so you can hold yourself accountable and be aware of when you’re nearing a high-risk situation or are in the middle of one. While it may not seem monumental, these small changes are what will help your recovery in the long run.

Rule #2: Ask for Help

Trying to go through recovery by yourself is difficult. Some individuals try to do this to show others that they are strong enough to do it, and they have more control over the addiction than people think. However, going it alone is not necessarily the most effective route.

It’s been observed that joining a self-help group can lead to a higher chance of long-term recovery. The chances get even better when a self-help group and a substance use treatment program are combined.

There are a variety of self-help groups to choose from. Many are 12-step groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Marijuana Anonymous (MA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA).

There are also options for non-12-step groups like Women for Sobriety, Secular Organizations for Sobriety, and Smart Recovery.

RehabAddiction is also a condition that often results in isolation. Part of a healthy recovery involves taking the first step to reach out to others and get the help and support you need. In this case, forming a recovery circle can be beneficial.

Some people may not have a good understanding of addiction or be supportive. That’s OK. There are people who want to help you. Don’t let ignorance stop you from building a supportive community around you. Try including people, such as family members, friends, health professionals, and counselors.

Rule #3: Be Honest

Addiction is often full of lies. Individuals will lie about getting a drug or using, deny any consequences, and plan the next relapse. After all the lies build up, it becomes easy for an individual to lie to themselves, causing identity problems and further removing them from reality.

Individuals are encouraged to be completely honest within their recovery circles and self-help groups. From that point, they can choose to extend their circle as they feel comfortable. Complete honesty doesn’t mean pointing out the wrongs of other people. A better way to think of the correct kind of honesty is thinking of it as “self-honesty.” You should feel almost “uncomfortably honest” when speaking within your recovery circle. Focus on yourself and not on others during this time.

At the beginning, it will be difficult to be honest. This is natural if you’ve become accustomed to lying. If you find yourself twisting the truth, stop yourself, take a breather, and start over. Over time, you will improve in this area. It won’t happen overnight, and it will take a lot of practice, but you’ll eventually get there.

Rule #4: Practice Self-Care

Some of the most common reasons people use drugs or alcohol are to reward themselves, escape, or relax. These are widely considered some of the benefits of substance use. Understanding these benefits and what people receive from them is important in order to find healthy alternatives.

RecoverRecovery doesn’t mean that you have to give up rewarding yourself or relaxation. Instead, the goal is to find better alternatives to substance use that will achieve the same benefits.

Self-care is very beneficial to mental health. If you don’t give proper time to caring for your mental health, substance use can sneak back into its former place. Self-care can include finding new hobbies and spending time doing them, eating right, getting enough sleep, and making time for relaxation.

Rule #5: Don’t Negotiate Recovery

There’s no getting around it: recovery is hard. Some days may be better than others, and some days you might feel like things aren’t improving and never will. Even for people who enjoy change, it can be difficult, even when it’s beneficial.

Recovery means that a lot of little things in your life are going to change, and the puzzle pieces are going to fit a little differently than before. This addiction journey may be tumultuous, but you can also view it as an opportunity to grow and change. You have this opportunity to build the future you deserve. Recovery is life changing.

Relapses that occur after five years of abstinence are rare. We encourage you to view addiction as an opportunity to embrace the change that comes with recovery and see the future that awaits you.

Making the choice to start changing your life is a difficult and courageous decision. At Pathways Recovery, we’re here to help support you in your journey towards rebuilding a better future. Call us at 916-735-8377 to take your first step.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 6 stages of recovery?

Depending on the source, there are either five or six recognized stages of recovery. The six that are recognized are:

  • Pre-contemplation: An individual is aware of the consequences of substance use but justifies or minimizes the impact. At this stage, there is no desire to enter treatment, as the perceived benefits of addiction are seen as greater than the cost
  • Contemplation: The consequences of addiction are understood as more severe than previously anticipated. The individual is more and more aware of the negative consequences but still holds some hesitation as to whether negative consequences outweigh the enjoyment of use. An individual may also accept that they have a substance use disorder.
  • Preparation: An individual comes to realize that the negatives outweigh any perceived benefits of use. There is an acceptance of the need for treatment
  • Action: The individual is enrolled in a treatment program, support group, or alternative kind of rehabilitation program. This stage moves beyond the goal of simply getting sober and is committed to making long-term lifestyle changes.
  • Maintenance: An individual completes a treatment program and becomes responsible for maintaining the sobriety achieved in the action stage. Recovery must be actively practiced in this stage to be effective. Most relapses occur during this stage.
  • Termination: Sobriety is a lifelong journey, but most individuals in this stage are confident in their ability to maintain sobriety, hold a good, and create healthy relationships. Most individuals express no desire to return to active addiction and are generally relieved of the burdens that addiction brought.

What are the five stages of recovery?

Depending on the source, there are either five or six recognized stages of recovery. Some institutions will group the maintenance and termination stages of recovery together, totaling five stages. The termination stage is also sometimes referred to as recovery. If an institution describes five stages of recovery, it will include:

  • Pre-contemplation
  • Contemplation
  • Preparation
  • Action
  • Maintenance/Termination (Recovery)

What is the success rate for recovering alcoholics?

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reported that a little over 1/3 of all U.S. adults who had an alcohol dependency are in full recovery.

Success rates are usually better if an individual becomes involved in a treatment program or other kind of rehabilitation program.

How do you stay away from drugs?

To stay away from drugs and maintain sobriety, it’s best to evaluate your surroundings and environment for triggers that will lead to addiction or relapse. Do your best to avoid the following triggers and instead surround yourself with people who support your recovery and will hold you accountable for your sobriety.

  • People: any people who you used with or encouraged you to use
  • Places: anywhere you went to use or obtained substances
  • Things: any substance-related paraphernalia

Find Yourself With Pathways Recovery

In the throes of addiction, everything can seem dark…but remember, once you are lost, you can be found. Find your true self, free from addiction with Pathways Recovery.

Our caring and knowledgeable staff is waiting for your call. Contact us today to begin your new life of recovery and healing. We will be with you every step of the way...Call now.Find Yourself With Pathways Recovery.

Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Comes West

Pathways-- Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic Comes West -- 08-23-16

Prescription Drug Abuse Finds Western States Unprepared

The epidemic of prescription drug abuse that had struck many regions in the eastern and southern U.S. has now struck with a vengeance in several western states where law enforcement and drug treatment professionals have been unprepared.  In fact the rates of prescription drug abuse has exceeded the levels of prescription drug abuse in some eastern regions where the epidemic first began.

SAMHSA Reports The Highest Prescription Drug Abuse Rates Are Now In The Western United States

According to a recent survey completed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) the highest prescription drug abuse rates in the country are now found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado.  As an example, in Kentucky where the prescription drug abuse epidemic had its roots 4.5% of people over the age of 12 reportedly abuse prescription drugs, but in Oregon the same segment of the population that reports prescription drug abuse is 6.5%.  Public health official, including drug treatment professionals, and law enforcement officials in some western states have no plan or policy in force to handle the prescription drug epidemic that has now come to their cities and towns.

The rates of prescription drug abuse in southern and eastern states has gone down recently, while the rates of prescription drug abuse has spiked in western states like Washington, Colorado, and Oregon.  According to reports, government officials in these states were unprepared for the spike in prescription drug abuse.  Idaho's drug policy administrator is quoted as saying "We're just now in the beginning stages of grasping the full magnitude" of the prescription drug abuse issue.

Prescription Drug Abuse Problem Starts In Southern California

The increase across the western United States has been mostly fueled by drug dealers who obtain large supplies of drugs from "pill mills" in Southern California and then transport them to other states in the west.  Much like the problem of the early to mid 2000's where addicts and dealers obtained large supplies of prescription drugs in Florida and then transported them to other parts of the East Coast, Southern California is providing the supply to meet the demand in other regions of the west.  While just getting their arms around the methamphetamine problem in their areas, the prescription drug abuse problem crept unnoticed into their cities and towns catching law enforcement officials in the western United States unprepared.

Some Prescription Drug Abuse Policies Are Beginning To Work Out West

Taking a page from their counterparts back east, many western states are beginning to adopt policies that were developed several years ago in states like Kentucky, West Virginia, and Florida.  A crackdown on "pill mills" in Florida has resulted in drastic reduction of prescription drugs on the black market, and education programs across the East and South have resulted in reductions in prescription drug abuse and reductions in overdose deaths attributed to prescription drug abuse.  In Florida, the number of deaths related to prescription drug overdoses has gone down by 17% over the past couple of years.  In West Virginia, the rate of prescription drug abuse in people 12 and over has gone down from 5.9% to 4.8% over the past two years.

Prescription drug abuse continues to be an epidemic in the United States, but education and public awareness campaigns have shown success in the East and in the South.  By adopting many of the policies put in place back east, western states should be able to attack prescription drug abuse in their states.

The Importance Of Good Nutrition During Detox and Recovery From Addiction

Pathways-- The Importance Of Good Nutrition During Detox and Recovery From Addiction -- 08-23-16Proper Nutrition During Drug And Alcohol Detox

The majority of people entering into a drug and alcohol detox program are suffering from poor nutrition which unless corrected will make their drug and alcohol detox harder than it needs to be, and the difficult side effects of withdrawals during drug and alcohol detox are one of the primary causes that people decide to quit their drug and alcohol detox program early and go back to using or drinking.  In fact it is becoming apparent that proper nutrition during drug and alcohol detox can drastically reduce the withdrawal symptoms and therefore allow for a better likelihood that the person undergoing drug and alcohol detox will complete their addiction treatment and continue to pursue a clean and sober lifestyle.

Alcoholic Vitamin Deficiency

Alcoholics, for instance, are typically low on thiamine (Vitamin B1) in their system as a result of their drinking, and if this deficiency is left untreated it can lead to wet brain syndrome.  This lack of thiamine is usually due to a poor diet, damage to the digestive system from drinking, and the fact that alcohol prevents the absorption of thiamine in the brain.  Therefore, it has been shown that providing large doses of thiamine during drug and alcohol detox can prevent the onset of wet brain syndrome, or at least shorten the time that the person needs to suffer the symptoms of wet brain syndrome during their drug and alcohol detox.

Opiate Addiction Nutritional Deficiencies

Opiate users, on the other hand, are known to suffer from a wide variety of nutritional deficiencies due to poor eating habits during their addiction as well as the physical side effects of heavy opiate abuse, and providing vitamins and supplements during drug and alcohol detox has been shown to lessen the withdrawal symptoms during opiate detox.  This is especially true for methadone addicts.  Methadone is one of the harshest forms of drug and alcohol detox and providing a well-balanced diet as wells as nutritional supplements during the drug and alcohol detox has been shown to shorten the duration of the side effects associated with methadone detox and therefore improve the odds that the person will complete their drug and alcohol detox and pursue further addiction treatment to remain clean and sober.

A Holistic Approach to Treating Addiction Through Nutrition

Addiction is a mind, body, and spiritual disease.  If we can reduce the anxiety and stress during drug and alcohol detox through the use of proper nutrition as well as nutritional supplements, then the person’s mind will be in a better place to cope with the behavioral changes that will be necessary for pursuing a clean and sober lifestyle after their drug and alcohol detox.  Of course, we also need to bring the body along for the ride during drug and alcohol detox or we are setting ourselves up for failure.  By providing proper nutrition as well as nutritional supplements during drug and alcohol detox, we can restore the proper balance to someone’s body chemistry which will reduce many of the physical symptoms associated with drug and alcohol detox and therefore improve someone’s overall feeling of well-being.

As for the spiritual side, it is critical that proper counseling be provided during drug and alcohol detox otherwise treating the mind and the body with proper nutrition will be useless.  Low self-esteem, for instance, is a common factor amongst addicts and alcoholics and it is important to start to identify the issues behind this during drug and alcohol detox.  If the spiritual side is not treated during drug and alcohol detox, then treating the mind and the body with proper nutrition will be fruitless.

At Pathways, we believe in an holistic approach to addiction recovery, and stress the importance of nutritional rehabilitation in the process.

Naltrexone Alcohol Drug Rehab Assisted Recovery in the Midwest

Pathways-- Naltrexone Alcohol Drug Rehab Assisted Recovery in the Midwest -- 08-23-16One of the latest tools in the fight against opiate dependence and addiction, Naltrexone is being used more and more throughout the Midwest to curb the problem of opiate abuse and dependence that is expanding nationally, and is now reaching the Western United States. This video is a great introduction to Naltrexone and the possibilities that it offers.

Naltrexone breaks the cycle of addiction and gives new hope for alcohol and opiate dependence.

Produced by ARCAmidwest.