You can send an email to our Clinical Director Victoria Berman at [email protected] She can also be reached at 800-544-5976 ext. 4. Our parent company is 800RecoveryHub. You can find us just about anywhere on social media by using 800RecoveryHub
What are the facts about Drug Treatment?
Most people who are addicted can't stop using drugs just because they want to. They won't feel OK until their bodies and brains stop feeling a need for the drug. Sometimes medicines can make it easier to stop taking the drug, without feeling sick.
But getting the drug out of a person's system is just the first stage of treatment.
People with addictions also need to change how they do things so they can live healthy lives again without drugs.
Often they became so focused on getting and using drugs that:
- They did not care for their family, their work, or their community. People with addictions often are in a lot of trouble for breaking rules and not keeping their promises.
- They did not look after their health. People with addictions might not be eating or sleeping well, cleaning their teeth, or getting treated for infections. Their drug use might have caused health problems.
- Things they used to enjoy no longer make them feel good. Drugs have made them stop caring about hobbies, interests, and friends.
- Talking with doctors or counselors (people trained to listen and help you solve personal problems) or other people in treatment can help.
Does Drug Treatment Work?
Yes. People who get treatment and stick with it can stop using drugs. They can change their lives so they don't go back to taking drugs. But they have to try hard and for a long time.
A person can make mistakes, feel bad, and start using drugs again. This is called a relapse. If that happens, the person should get back into treatment as quickly as possible. Relapse happens to a lot of people recovering from drug addiction.
Stopping drug abuse is like trying to diet and lose weight. It's hard to learn to do things differently, like eat less, exercise more, and avoid some favorite foods. It's easy to slip up, eat too much, and gain back the weight. But then you have to try again.
It's the same with quitting drugs. People with addictions might get treatment, slip up, and then go back to treatment many times before it works. It's important to get treatment for as long as you need it.
What Is a Relapse?
Sometimes people quit their drug use for a while but start using again no matter how hard they try. This return to drug use is called a relapse. People recovering from addiction often have one or more relapses along the way.
Drug addiction is a chronic (long-lasting) disease. That means it stays with the person for a long time, sometimes for life. It doesn't go away like a cold. A person with an addiction can get treatment and stop using drugs. But if he started using again, he would:
- Feel a strong need to keep taking the drug.
- Want to take more and more of it.
- Need to get back into treatment as soon as possible.
- He could be just as hooked on the drug and out of control as before.
Recovery from addiction means you have to stop using drugs AND learn new ways of thinking, feeling, and dealing with problems. Drug addiction makes it hard to function in daily life. It affects how you act with your family, at work, and in the community. It is hard to change so many things at once and not fall back into old habits.
Recovery from addiction is a lifelong effort.
Why Is It So Hard to Quit Drugs?
Healing from addiction takes time. Making up your mind to stop using drugs is a big step. Being addicted makes you afraid of what will happen if you don't keep taking the drug. People often won't try quitting until they're forced to because it seems too hard.
When you stop using the drug, it upsets your body and brain. You might feel very sick for a while and feel a very strong need to take the drug. It can be really hard to refuse to use the drug when you feel that bad.
But you don't have to do it alone. Support groups, treatment programs, and sometimes medicines can help. You'll meet people who understand what you're going through, who can give you advice and cheer you on. Counselors can help you find medicines that make you feel less sick and reduce your cravings to use the drug. They can also teach you how to cope with problems without using drugs.
After you've stopped using the drug, you still have a lot to do:
- You have to relearn how to live without using drugs.
- You have to work on the problems your drug abuse caused with your family, your job, your friends, and your money.
- You have to stay away from people you used drugs with, and places where you used.
- You have to learn what makes you want to take drugs again, so you can avoid or work on those things.
- You may also need treatment for problems that led to your drug use, such as depression, anxiety or other mental health problems.
What is a Trigger?
A trigger is anything that makes a person feel the urge to go back to using drugs. It can be a place, person, thing, smell, feeling, or memory that reminds the person of taking a drug and getting high. A trigger can be something stressful that you want to escape from. It can even be something that makes you feel happy. People fighting addiction need to stay away from the triggers that can make them start using drugs again. Just like people with breathing problems need to avoid smoke and dust.
How Does Drug Abuse Become Addiction?
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes addicted. Each person's body and brain are different. So people react to drugs differently. Your relationships, surroundings, and stress can also make you more or less likely to become addicted. After you take a drug for a while, the feel-good parts of your brain get used to it. Soon, your brain and body must have the drug to just feel normal.
But how does taking drugs become an addiction?
Our brains want us to repeat things that we need or enjoy—like eating a good meal. That's why you want to eat more dessert than you know you should. That's why a little child often shouts "again!" when you do something to make her laugh.
All drugs of abuse excite the parts of the brain that make you feel good. But, after you take a drug for a while, the feel-good parts of your brain get used to it. Then you need to take more of the drug to get the same good feeling. Soon, your brain and body must have the drug to just feel normal. You feel sick and awful without the drug. You no longer have the good feelings that you had when you first used the drug.
Facts about Alcohol
Drinks like beer, malt liquor, wine, and hard liquor contain alcohol. Alcohol is the ingredient that gets you drunk.
Hard liquor—such as whiskey, rum, or gin—has more alcohol in it than beer, malt liquor, or wine.
These drink sizes have about the same amount of alcohol in them:
• 1 ½ ounces of hard liquor
• 5 ounces of wine
• 8 ounces of malt liquor
• 12 ounces of beer
Being drunk can make a person feel very silly, angry, or sad for no reason. It can make it hard to walk in a straight line, talk clearly, or drive.
Some slang names for alcohol are:
Signs of Alcohol Abuse and Addiction
People drunk on alcohol often:
• Laugh and talk loudly
• Feel dizzy
• Have blurry vision
• Have trouble staying on their feet and sway when they walk
• Slur words when they talk
• Feel sleepy and relaxed
• Pass out
• Throw up
• Fight and even get violent
Getting drunk can lead you to do or say things that you regret later on. It also makes you more likely to have an accident and get hurt. After drinking a lot, people get a headache and feel sick. This is called a hangover.
People who are addicted to alcohol start having to drink more and more to get drunk. They might have a drink in the morning to calm down or stop a hangover. They might drink alone, and they might keep it a secret.
They might forget things that happened when they were drunk. This is called a blackout.
People who are trying to quit drinking might:
• Feel nervous and sad
• Have trouble sleeping
They will feel a very strong need to drink alcohol.
Effects of Alcohol on Bodies and Brains
These are just some of the problems alcohol can cause:
- Alcohol Poisoning
- You can die from drinking a lot of alcohol at one time.
- Heavy drinking over the years can raise your risk for stroke (brain injury from a blood clot), cancer, liver disease, and other illnesses.
- People can forget to use condoms when they're drunk, have unsafe sex, and get HIV/AIDS and hepatitis (a liver disease).
- If a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, it can cause intellectual disability and other health problems in the baby.
- You Can Get Hurt or Killed
Being drunk makes you more likely to get hurt or killed. Alcohol is involved in:
• 60% of fatal burns, drownings, and murders
• 50% of severe injuries and sexual attacks
• 40% of fatal driving crashes, falls, and suicides
Long-term alcohol abuse can permanently hurt your brain cells. This can make it hard to walk, remember, or learn new things.
You can get addicted to alcohol just like other drugs. Fortunately, there are medicines and other treatments that can help someone recover from alcohol addiction.
Challenges of Recovery
Recovery from drug addiction means overcoming obstacles:
1. Finding and paying for the right treatment—for as long as it is needed.
3. Avoiding triggers by staying away from drug users or parties with drugs, or other situations that might lead to drug cravings.
Addiction is a long-term condition and avoiding relapse is an ongoing challenge, even after many years in recovery. The sooner treatment is started, or restarted after relapse, the faster someone can get healthy.
Interview with Blog Site - Life Lived not Wasted
LLNW: Please share a little about yourself and your organization. What do you do? How did you get started?
Victoria: I am the clinical director of 800RecoveryHub and our sister company No Cost Rehab. We started our company because treatment programs are specialized. The problem is that the clinics cannot look at a case as objectively as we can. For example, if a person comes to a clinic with a co-addiction like alcoholism and bipolar disorder, but that rehab facility specializes in a different addiction, then (even if that clinic wants to provide help) that may not be the ideal place for the patient's care. Also, there have been a lot of changes in the healthcare laws since the Affordable Care Act was passed and it is unreasonable to expect people to understand what their insurance will cover. We can help with that.
Have you had any experience with addiction yourself?
Yes, I drank abnormally the first time I tried alcohol. By the time I was 25, I was drinking all day, every day. It got very bad at the end and I hit bottom at 19 years ago at age 26.
What information should someone have available before calling to find help?
Any insurance information they have, their full name, address, and a list of substances they use. They can call us at our 800 number use our chat service, or fill out a quick form and we will call them after receiving it. We are also very active and able to communicate through social media.
What questions should a person ask themselves before calling to seek help?
We talk to people in various stages of addiction. Sometimes they are court-ordered to enroll in treatment and in other cases they are desperate to save their life. The thing I find most interesting is that a person doesn’t have to want help to get better. We get patients that simply don’t want to get sober, but are going to rehab to save their job or marriage.
My assumption has always been that they will relapse after the program ends. However, this is not always true. Once people start feeling better, they like the way they feel, and when we like the way we feel, we want more of that feeling. I guess that is why many of us start using drugs and alcohol in the first place.
Will your representatives be able to help guide a person toward the right treatment option?
Yes, that is what we specialize in. We are also very good at helping people obtain the right insurance policy if they don’t already have one.
What if the person does NOT have insurance? Is any help available?
If you live in the United States, you must have insurance by law. Having said that, we get a lot of requests for help from uninsured people, and we are able to provide them with options. No one is going away empty-handed.
What method of treatment is most commonly sought by alcoholics?
This has changed a lot over the years. The 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous used to be the model for most treatment centers. Now there are a lot of different options. The most common is a combination approach — a mix of therapy, group counseling, medication (short and long term), and traditional 12-step support.
If a person gets a recommendation for a treatment program, do they HAVE to seek that treatment?
No, they can’t be forced to go. Once we had a person flee while on the way to the treatment center. His dad stopped for gas, and the guy just ran. Many times, they end up calling us back.
Will people be forced into any kind of treatment?
Sometimes treatment is court ordered or mandated by an employer. But, the person can still leave. Rehab centers are not set up like prisons.
What would you say to someone who is nervous about starting the process of finding help?
Jump in because you have nothing to lose. Right now, the Affordable Care Act mandates that insurance companies cover drug and alcohol treatment. That could easily end. Take the opportunity while it is there. There is a saying that, “We will gladly give you back your miserable life if you don’t like the treatment.”
Why SHOULD someone call to start looking for help?
People don’t think about calling a treatment center by accident. If someone is questioning their drug or alcohol use, they have a problem. Normal people don’t ponder this concept.
How do you find the right treatment center?
With our free help!
I did not know where to go when I needed help for my drug and alcohol problems. I had medical insurance but it was too confusing to figure out if addiction treatment was covered. Feeling all alone, I decided to quit on my own, and I almost died. I don’t want anyone to go through what I did. That is why I created 800 Recovery Hub.