How Do I Know When I Have A Drug Problem?

It can be difficult to know when you have a drug problem. Many people mistakenly believe that if they're not using drugs every day, they must not have a problem. But drug abuse is about how much you're using, not how often. If your drug use is causing problems in your life - like missing work or school, damaging relationships, or putting your health at risk - you likely have a drug addiction. 

Drug abuse is a global problem. In fact, statistics show that 53 million people in the United States have used illegal drugs or misused prescription medicines within the last year. According to the National Institutes of Health, the risk factors for drug abuse are poverty, substance abuse, lack of parental supervision, and drug availability. But it’s possible to still abuse drugs when all these factors are absent.

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If you’re unsure about whether you have a drug problem or not, it might be best to talk to a professional. They can help you assess the severity of your addiction and recommend the best course of action. In most cases, they will recommend a drug rehab program as part of your treatment for drug addiction. 

With that in mind, let’s explore the warning signs that may indicate you or someone else has a substance use disorder, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:

Isolating yourself from loved ones

Isolating yourself from people who care about you is one of the first signs that something is wrong. In many cases, this isolation results from shame or embarrassment about your addiction and feeling like you are a burden. You may also start to lie and manipulate those around you to access drugs. These actions can lead to feelings of guilt and isolation that will put you at a higher risk.

You hang out with other drug users

A change in social circles can be a major red flag for addiction, as it often leads to further drug use and isolation from loved ones. This is usually because you want to continue using drugs or feel like you no longer fit in with non-drug users. You may begin to spend more time with other drug users, which can further isolate you from family and friends.

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Intense cravings

An evident sign of addiction is if you experience intense cravings for alcohol or drug, causing you to continue using even when it is harmful to you or others. Drug addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive drug-seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.

Life seems to have no meaning

Another huge sign that you have a drug problem is when you feel like your life has no meaning. Usually, drug addiction can lead to mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. When you suffer from depression, you may feel like there is no point in your life, so you turn to drugs to escape the feelings of emptiness and despair. Unfortunately, this only leads to a cycle of addiction and mental disorders.

Have financial problems and debts

Financial problems and debts often result from spending money on drugs instead of other essentials, such as food or rent. In some cases, you may also resort to criminal activity to get money for drugs. As a result, you may find yourself in a spiral of debt that is difficult to escape from.

Life begins to revolve around finding and using drugs

Your drug use starts being a problem when all you think about is drugs and how to find them. You may start lying, stealing, or engaging in other risky behaviors to get the drugs. You may neglect your work, home, and school responsibilities and even stop hanging out with friends and family members.

Increased tolerance

Another sign is finding that you need more and more of the drug to get the same effect. Whether it’s prescription drugs or illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin, you’ll notice you’re taking larger and larger doses because the smaller doses have little to no effect on your brain.

Take dangerous risks

You'll know you have a drug problem when you take dangerous risks, such as driving while under the influence of drugs. This is because addiction can lead to impaired judgment and decision-making and changes in mood and behavior. DUI puts you and other road users at risk and can land you into legal issues.

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Hiding or downplaying your drug use

When you're hooked on drugs, you'll often try to hide your use from family and friends. You may make excuses for why you need to take the drug or downplay the amount you're taking. This can signify that you're trying to hide your addiction from others.

Feelings of distress and loneliness when not taking the drug

If you feel like you can't function without drug use, it's a warning sign that you have a substance use disorder. This means that your body has become so dependent on the drug that you feel distressed and lonely if you don't take it.

Withdrawal symptoms with any attempt to quit

Withdrawal symptoms like nausea, sweating, and shaking are warning signs that you may have a drug problem. Your body will react negatively when it’s used to drugs, and you suddenly stop using it. You may experience a range of symptoms, from mild to severe, including headaches, nausea, sweating, and anxiety. In some cases, withdrawal can even be life-threatening.

Using more substances than you intend to

Using more of a substance than intended is often a sign that someone is struggling to control the use of the substance and that they may be at an increased risk of developing an addiction. This could be using more alcohol than intended or taking more pills than prescribed. It may also mean using a substance differently than intended, such as snorting pills instead of taking them orally.

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Unable to control your substance use

You may feel unable to control how you use the substance, even when you are aware of the negative consequences it is causing in your life. You may continue to use the substance even when it interferes with work, school, or relationships.

Self-blame and have low self-esteem, especially after trying unsuccessfully to quit.

Self-blaming and low self-esteem, especially after unsuccessfully trying to quit, are common among those with drug abuse problems. This can be extremely damaging to mental health and wellbeing. When you're constantly blaming yourself, you're more likely to develop mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Additionally, low self-esteem can lead to social isolation and further mental health decline.

Get help in the best addiction rehab center

If you’re worried that you or someone you know may have a drug addiction, it’s important to seek help. Many treatment programs exist to help you regain control of your life. Rehab centers offer comprehensive care and support so that you can get back on track. Don’t wait any longer – reach out for help today

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Drugs & Food: When Do Addicts Overeat & Undereat?

When it comes to drugs and food, there are many different things that can happen. Some people may overeat when they are taking certain drugs, while others may undereat. It all depends on the drug and how it affects the person's hunger or food habits. In this article, we will discuss how drugs can affect someone's eating habits. We will also explore the reasons why people may overeat or undereat when they are taking drugs.

The Effect of Drugs on Hunger or Food Habits

One of the most widely held assumptions is that drugs only affect the mind. However, drugs can also have a profound effect on hunger and food habits. Many people who struggle with addiction find that their appetites change dramatically.

Some may lose their appetite altogether, while others may develop compulsive cravings for certain foods. These changes can lead to drastic weight loss or gain, further impacting physical and mental health. In addition, drugs can cause nutrient deficiencies that can weaken the immune system and contribute to other health problems.

For these reasons, it is essential to seek addiction treatment that includes nutrition counseling and care. By addressing both the mental and physical aspects of addiction, treatment providers can help you regain control of your life and body.

With that in mind, let's explore how different drugs affect hunger or food habits:

Marijuana Munchies

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Marijuana is well-known for increasing appetite, a phenomenon colloquially known as "the munchies." While the exact mechanisms are not yet fully understood, marijuana is known to increase the production of ghrelin, a hormone that signals the body to eat. Ghrelin levels are usually highest before meals, but they are also increased by stress and lack of sleep.

Marijuana also affects the brain's cannabinoid receptors, which play a role in regulating food intake. These receptors are located in the hypothalamus, a brain region that controls hunger and satiety.

When THC binds to these receptors, it mimics the effects of endocannabinoids, natural compounds that increase appetite. THC also increases orexigenic neurons' activity, which promotes hunger, and reduces the activity of anorexigenic neurons, which signal the body to stop eating.

As a result, eating or smoking weed can make one feel hungry and eat more than they would otherwise. In fact, medicinal marijuana has been prescribed as part of treatment for those who lose weight due to not eating or other health issues. But it's worth noting that not everyone experiences the munchies to the same degree. Some people may find that smoking weed decreases their appetite instead.

The Skinny on Cocaine

Cocaine addiction can lead to weight loss for a variety of reasons. For one, cocaine use leads to a decrease in appetite. This causes the body to release a hormone called cortisol, which suppresses hunger.

In addition, cocaine causes the body to burn more calories and decreases fat absorption from food. Its use can result in dehydration and gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and nausea, contributing to weight loss. This explains why cocaine-dependent people lose a lot of weight.

Some people deliberately use cocaine to try to shed some weight. But it is not a healthy way to lose weight and can have serious consequences. Cocaine interferes with the brain's ability to process hunger signals. So those abusing the drug may not feel hungry - or they may binge eat and then purge. The changes in food habits can cause malnutrition and other health problems.

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The Skinny on Amphetamines

Amphetamines are central nervous system stimulants that increase alertness and produce feelings of well-being. They are also appetite suppressants, so some people use them for weight loss. However, long-term use of amphetamines can cause profound metabolic alterations, exposing one to serious health problems.

People who abuse amphetamines often experience a decrease in appetite, leading to weight loss, anorexia, malnourishment, or other eating disorders. Amphetamines can cause a dramatic metabolic increase, leading to excessive weight loss and muscle wasting. They can also interfere with the body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels and put one at risk for diabetes.

Hallucinogens and the Senses

When someone takes a hallucinogen, they usually experience a change in their sense of taste. Foods they normally enjoy may taste strange or unpleasant, and they may lose their appetite altogether. There are several reasons for this.

First of all, hallucinogens alter how the brain processes information from the senses. This can cause people to see, hear, and smell things that aren't there, which can make eating seem unappealing.

Additionally, many hallucinogens produce feelings of nausea and vomiting, which can also discourage someone from eating. Besides, the intense emotions and sensations that are common on a trip can make it hard to focus on anything else, including food.

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Heroin and Your Appetite

Heroin use can have a significant impact on appetite and diet. Many users often have a decreased interest in food and sometimes even a complete loss of appetite. This can lead to weight loss and malnutrition. 

In addition, heroin can cause nausea and vomiting, making it difficult for addicts to keep food down. In fact, their bodies reject all kinds of foods, including fatty foods. As a result, many heroin addicts are significantly underweight and may suffer from health problems due to their poor diet. Heroin use can interfere with the body's ability to absorb nutrients, further exacerbating the problem of malnutrition.

However, some people struggling with heroin addiction also overeat compulsively. This is because the drug can increase levels of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for stimulating appetite. For these addicts, maintaining a healthy weight can be a constant struggle.

Addiction and Food Habits

Substance abuse is a complex disease that affects the brain in many ways. One of the most insidious effects is how it can alter the brain's circuitry for regulating mood and impulse control. This can lead to changes in eating habits that can be either overeating or undereating.

Unfortunately, these changes can further compound the problems associated with addiction, creating a vicious cycle that is difficult to break free from. Overeating can lead to obesity and associated health problems, while undereating can lead to malnutrition and extreme weight loss. In either case, these changes in eating habits can make it even harder for addicts to recover from their disease.

If you are struggling with addiction and its effects on your eating habits, it is important to seek professional help. Many addiction treatment centers exist to help you overcome addiction and establish healthy eating habits.

We can help. Give us a call today. We are open 24/7. You'll be glad you did.

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My Roommate is an Addict, How Do I Help Them?

It can be tough to deal with a roommate with drug abuse problems. You may feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells and may not know what to do or how to help. This guide will give you some tips on how to support your roommate and help them get the treatment they need.

Challenges of sharing a room with an addict

It's hard to live with a roommate who struggles with drug abuse for several reasons:

1. It can be dangerous. If your roommate is using drugs, there's a risk that they could overdose or have an accident.

2. It can be disruptive. You might not have a good night's sleep if your roommate is up all night using drugs or attempts to stop using and end up with signs and symptoms of withdrawal. 

3. It can be expensive. If your roommate is constantly buying drugs, they may not have enough money to pay their share of the rent.

4. Addiction can also lead to erratic behavior, making it difficult to predict what might happen next. And if there are children in the home, they may be exposed to things that no child should have to see.

5. Finally, it can be emotionally draining. It's hard watching someone you care about spiral out of control, and there's always the worry that they could relapse.

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What to do when your roommate is an addict

Living with a person who has a physical dependence on drugs or alcohol can be difficult. However, it is possible to make it work if both parties are committed to making it happen. Here are some things you can do to make it work.

Have an Honest Discussion

First, try to honest discussion with your roommate about the situation. It can be difficult to bring up the topic, but remember that you're doing this because you care about the person and their wellbeing. Explain how their addiction affects you and see if there is anything they are willing to do to change the situation. Here are some tips for how to approach the conversation:

If your roommate is unwilling to change, you may need to consider finding a new place to live. However, if they are willing to seek help for their addiction, you can support them in ways we'll discuss in this article.

Set expectations and boundaries

Setting expectations and boundaries with your addicted roommate is key to maintaining a healthy relationship and living environment. It is important to be upfront about your expectations, such as cleanliness, guests, noise levels, etc. This will help to avoid conflict later on.

It is also important to set boundaries, such as not allowing your roommate to borrow money or use your belongings without permission. Addicts can be manipulative, and it is important to protect yourself. Also, don't be afraid to seek help from a professional if you feel like you are struggling to cope with your roommate's addiction. Addiction is a serious disease, and it is important to get help if you feel overwhelmed.

Build trust

People with substance use disorders often have a hard time trusting those around them, making it hard to provide the support they need. However, building trust is essential if you want to be able to help an addict through recovery. Showing that you are there for them, listening to them, and respecting their boundaries will go a long way towards building trust. Once you have established trust, you will be better positioned to provide the support and assistance that addicts need to recover.

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Communicate honestly

Remember that your roommate is not a bad person, and they are likely struggling with a lot of pain and confusion. Try to communicate honestly with them. Let them know that you are concerned about their health and wellbeing, and offer to help them get the resources they need to get better.

Be prepared to listen to them, and try to understand their point of view. Remember that this is a difficult situation for both of you, but honest communication can help to resolve it.

Reach out for help

Trying to help a friend or family member struggling with addiction can be challenging, emotional, and exhausting. It's important to remember that you can't do it alone.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is a chronic disease, and professional help is essential for recovery. Reaching out for support from friends, family, and mental health professionals can give you the strength and guidance you need to weather this difficult journey.

Additionally, there are many resources available to help you better understand addiction and how to best support your loved one. Don't be afraid to ask for help – it could make all the difference in the world.

Convince your roommate to seek treatment

The hardest part of dealing with someone struggling with substance abuse is getting them to admit to using. This is because most of them are in denial about their addiction. Once that is out of their way, it's easier to convince them to seek treatment by letting them know that there are people who care about them and want to help them recover.

Explain that while treatment can be difficult, it is going to be worth it. You should also offer your support and tell them that you will be there for them every step of the way. With patience and understanding, you can convince a drug addict to seek treatment and begin the journey to recovery.

Understand the treatment process

Addiction is a serious medical condition that requires professional treatment. By understanding the treatment process, you can be a valuable source of support for your roommate as they begin their journey to recovery. Addiction treatment typically includes:

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As your roommate goes through treatment, it's important to be understanding and supportive. Remember that addiction is a disease affecting over 23 million people in the United States. But recovery is possible with time and effort.

Addiction treatment works

Addiction is a serious disease that can profoundly affect every aspect of a person's life. If your roommate is abusing alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription drugs, it's important to know that there are treatment options available. Recovery is possible, but it often takes time and effort.

There are many different treatment programs, and the best option for each individual will vary depending on the severity of the addiction and other factors. Common treatment options include inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient therapy, behavioral therapy, 12-step programs, and medication-assisted treatment. No matter what type of treatment is right for you, the most important thing is to reach out for help. With the support of professionals and loved ones, you can begin the journey to recovery.

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Does Alcohol Addiction Lead To Dangerous Sleepwalking?

Alcohol addiction can lead to many health problems, including liver diseases, heart disease, and pancreatitis. It can also increase the risk of accidents and injuries and contribute to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. One less well-known effect of alcohol dependence is sleepwalking.

While there is no direct experimental evidence that alcohol predisposes one to sleepwalk, some literature indicates that it can trigger sleepwalking or increase its risk by increasing the quantity of slow-wave sleep (SWS). Alcohol also alters total sleep time and affects the time required to fall asleep.

Although researchers still don't have a grasp of all the complex processes that occur during sleep, what's known is that lack of sleep could predispose one to depressive disorders and sleep disorders. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, people who drink before sleeping often experience insomnia symptoms and feel sleepy the next day.

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What is a Normal Sleep Pattern?

A normal sleep pattern consists of two types of sleep: slow-wave sleep (SWS) and rapid-eye-movement sleep (REM).

Most people cycle through both types of sleep several times during the night. A typical sleep cycle lasts 90 minutes and consists of four or five periods of REM followed by a period of SWS.

However, the exact duration and timing of sleep cycles vary from person to person. Some people may have longer or shorter cycles, and some may spend more time in REM than SWS.

How the Brain Controls Sleep

Sleep is a complex and fascinating process that scientists are still working to understand. However, we do know that the brain controls sleep. The brain stem, responsible for basic functions like heart rate and breathing, also regulates sleep.

When we are awake, the brain stem sends signals to the rest of the brain that keeps us alert and active. And when we sleep, it signals the brain to slow down and relax. This process is known as sleep initiation.

Scientists believe that sleep is important for restoring energy levels, lowering stress levels, and improving moods. It is also thought to play a role in memory formation and learning.

The Relationship between Alcohol and Sleep

Although moderate alcohol consumption before bedtime may help you fall asleep, it significantly affects sleep continuity and quality. Normally, sleep is divided into three non-REM stages and a REM stage.

During the first two non-REM stages, your heartbeat and breathing slow, and your body temperature decreases. You progress from light sleep in stage 1 to deep sleep in stage 2. In the third stage of non-REM sleep, delta waves (slow brainwaves) begin to appear. This is the deepest and most restorative stage of sleep.

Finally, during REM sleep, your heartbeat quickens, your breathing becomes shallow and irregular, your eyes dart back and forth under closed eyelids, and your arm and leg muscles are temporarily paralyzed.

Alcohol consumption before bedtime can adversely affect all four stages of sleep. Although alcohol may help you fall asleep initially, it disrupts subsequent REM sleep. As a result, you may wake up feeling groggy and unrefreshed. Moderate to heavy drinkers are more likely to experience these effects than light drinkers.

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According to a survey published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse, Alcohol affects sleep initiation and sleep maintenance during the 1st and 2nd half of the nighttime sleeping period.

Furthermore, alcohol withdrawal can also lead to insomnia. If you regularly drink alcohol to excess and then experience insomnia when you suddenly stop drinking, you may be experiencing alcohol withdrawal. Insomnia is one of the most common withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol and Sleep Disorders

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, and it can cause a range of sleep disorders, including:

Insomnia

The most common sleep disorder caused by alcohol use is insomnia, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep. When you are addicted to alcohol, you are more likely to experience periods of binge drinking followed by periods of abstinence. This can lead to a condition called rebound insomnia, which can, in turn, lead to sleepwalking.

Sleep Apnea

Alcohol can also cause disruptions in the normal sleep cycle, leading to problems such as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition in which people stop breathing repeatedly during the night. It can cause fatigue during the day and increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

Night Terrors

Alcohol use can increase the risk of developing night terrors. Sleep terrors usually occur during the first few hours of sleep when alcohol inhibits REM sleep, which is when most dreams occur. This increased dreaming can lead to night terrors, characterized by suddenly waking up in a state of panic.

Sleepwalking

Sleepwalking is a type of parasomnia, defined as an unwanted behavior or event that occurs during sleep. It is most likely to occur after several hours of deep sleep. Alcohol decreases the level of glucose in the brain, which can lead to micro-awakenings that disrupt deep sleep and increase the likelihood of sleepwalking.

Alcohol-Induced Sleepwalking

No research has established a direct connection between alcohol consumption and sleepwalking. What we know is that alcohol can interfere with sleep patterns and can trigger sleep conditions like sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can increase sleepwalking risk, especially when enhanced with alcohol use. Alcohol relaxes the upper airways, causing the same effects to sleep apnea when someone stops breathing when sleeping. When this happens, the body may wake someone up from sleep, but there may be confusion in the consciousness level that could raise the chances of alcohol-induced sleepwalking.

How to Prevent Sleepwalking and Stay Safe

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Sleepwalking occurs when you are in a state of semi-consciousness, and you walk or perform other activities while you are asleep. Although sleepwalking episodes are usually brief and harmless, they can sometimes be dangerous. In rare cases, sleepwalkers have been known to injure themselves or others.

Sleepwalking is most common in children, including those with fetal alcohol syndrome. But it can also occur in adults. The condition is usually triggered by fatigue, stress, sleep deprivation, or alcohol use and may expose one to risks.

During sleepwalking episodes, people are often unaware of their surroundings and may put themselves in danger by walking into traffic or falling downstairs. It gets even worse as sleepwalkers may attempt to drive or operate machinery while sleepwalking and end up hurting themselves and others.

If you are addicted to alcohol, it is important to get treatment to avoid the risks associated with sleepwalking. You can also do the following to help with sleepwalking:

  1. First, stop drinking alcohol or avoid it before bed as it can disrupt your sleep cycle and lead to parasomnias.
  2. Second, make sure you get enough rest by following a regular sleep schedule and creating a calm environment in your bedroom.
  3. Finally, if you have a history of sleepwalking, your doctor may prescribe sleep medicine to help prevent future episodes.

Alcohol addiction can lead to some dangerous sleepwalking behavior. If you or a loved one is struggling with an alcohol addiction, it's important to seek treatment to address the alcohol use issue. There are also many resources available online from the Department of Health and Human Services that you can check out.

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Why Distancing Yourself From Old Friends Can Help You Avoid Relapse

When in recovery, it is important to distance yourself from any friends or associates who may be triggers for your substance abuse. Relapse is always a risk, but by avoiding temptations, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of falling back into old patterns of abuse.

It's not easy to distance yourself from old friends, especially if you have known them for a long time. However, if you are trying to avoid relapse, it is often necessary to take this step.

The reason is that old friends can be a stumbling block in your recovery process. They may remind you of past use, making you feel tempted to start using again. In addition, they may not support your sobriety, making it more difficult to stay on track.

This blog post will highlight the dangers of hanging out with old friends and how to communicate with them without becoming sucked into risky behaviors and addiction.

Understanding Addiction, Peer Influence, and Relapse

Many people who overcome addiction fall back into old habits when around others who still abuse substances. This is often referred to as "relapse." According to the National Institute on Drugs Abuse, relapse is a normal part of recovery, happening about 40-60% of the time.

There are many risk factors for relapse, including:

  1. Co-occurring medical or mental health conditions
  2. The severity and consequences of addiction 
  3. The individual motivation, coping skills, and support system
  4. Insomnia and other withdrawal symptoms
  5. Boredom 
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Negative peer pressure is also a risk factor for relapse among those recovering from substance use disorders. Peer influence can encourage use or trigger feelings of loneliness and social isolation. On the other hand, positive peer pressure can steer you in the right direction of recovery. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the role that people within your circles can play in causing relapse and take steps to protect yourself from the negative influence of peer groups.

What are the Dangers of Hanging Out With Old Friends?

Relapse is a very real danger for anyone in recovery from addiction. While it may be tempting to spend time with old friends who still use drugs or alcohol, it is important to remember that these relationships can be toxic and trigger a relapse.

National Institutes studies have shown that individuals in recovery are more likely to relapse if they spend time with people who are still using. Sometimes, all it takes for relapse is the sight of drugs or people that trigger memories of how it all felt. Another reason is one may feel pressure to use, to fit in. This is why it’s important to avoid old friends and forge new relations that will serve as a positive influence.

How to handle meeting an old friend while in addiction recovery

It's not easy to know what to say when you run into an old friend while in recovery. You may be worried about how they will react or think of you. However, it is important to remember that your addiction does not define you.

Recovery is a process, and it is okay to take things one day at a time. Here are a few tips for how to handle meeting old friends while in recovery:

Be honest about your current situation

If you feel comfortable, let them know that you are in recovery and doing your best to stay on track. It is okay if you don't want to share the details of your recovery journey, but be sure to communicate that you are not currently using any illegal drug or alcohol.

Practice what you'll say ahead of time

If you are worried about what you will say, it can help have a plan in mind. You might want to rehearse conversation starters or have an idea of how you will respond to questions about your addiction and recovery.

Be prepared for any reaction

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Some of your old friends may be supportive and understanding, while others may not know how to respond. Be prepared for either outcome and remember that everyone is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all response to this situation.

If your old friend is supportive, that is great. If they are not, that is okay too. Remember that you are not alone in this journey and that there are people who care about you and want to see you succeed.

Don't be hostile or judgmental

When you meet an old friend, you should stay calm and non-judgmental. If your friend is still using drugs or alcohol, try not to be hostile or aggressive. Instead, reiterate your commitment to sobriety and let them know that you're there for them if they need help. By taking the high road, you can set a positive example for your friend and pave the way for a healthy, supportive relationship.

Life after treatment involves forging new relationships

When you are trying to break the connection with old friends, you need to find new ones who will support your sobriety. Here’s how to go about it: 

  1. Reach out to your close family and friends and let them know what you are going through. Most of them will be happy to support you and even connect you to their network of better friends. 
  2. Join a sober community or group to find others going through the same thing as you who can offer support and advice. Many support groups and communities in the United States - including Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. You can also ask your addiction treatment center to recommend groups or communities near you.
  3. Finally, stay active and involved in your recovery. This will help you stay focused on your goals and give you something positive to focus on. 
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Conclusion

Distancing yourself from friends and acquaintances who still use drugs or alcohol is one of the most effective relapse prevention plans. While difficult, it’s an important part of staying sober. A strong support network of recovery-minded friends can make the process easier.

If you’re having difficulty controlling the urge to use, you can get help. Treatment programs exist to help people on the verge of relapsing regain control of their lives.

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Can Creativity Be Harmed By Drugs?

The idea that drugs and alcohol are necessary for the creative process is popular, but it is also controversial. On the one hand, many notable figures in history were heavy drinkers or drug users and produced great works of art while under the influence. Also, there is no real evidence to suggest that drugs and alcohol improve creativity. 

Many people find that they are less creative when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. So while it may be true that some great artists have used drugs or alcohol, it is also true that many great artists have not. 

There is no clear answer to whether drugs and alcohol are necessary for the creative process. However, what is certain is that drug and alcohol abuse can harm creativity and prevent you from reaching your full potential as an artist.

This article will explore the myth about creativity and drug use and show that you don't need to use drugs to be creative.

Are Drugs and Alcohol Necessary for Creativity?

To explore this topic, let's look at some of history's most famous creative minds. Did they use drugs to get their great ideas?

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Take, for example, the writer Oscar Wilde. He was known for his heavy use of absinthe. But was it absinthe that helped him create his masterpieces? Or did it simply provide him with an escape from the banality of everyday life? We may never know for sure. 

Another notable figure is the painter Vincent van Gogh. Many have speculated about whether he may have used drugs to enhance his creativity or not. Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer, as van Gogh's letters offer conflicting accounts. In some instances, he appears to be quite critical of those who use drugs, while in others, he seems to experiment with them himself. 

While some cases might be unclear, the reality is that drugs and alcohol do little or nothing to boost creativity. In fact, they can have a negative impact as they make it hard to focus or may lead to impulsive decisions that can ruin a work of art. Drugs can also cause mood swings that make it hard to maintain the consistency necessary for a successful creative project. 

Scientists have been able to objectively assess the effects of drugs on measures of creativity, and here are some results.

LSD

Researchers from Okinawa Institute used functional neuroimaging methods to assess the effects of LSD on creativity. The findings revealed that LSD: 

·     Reduces the capability to appreciate cause and effect  

·     Induces decreased restraint in the brain

·     Inhibits the ability to categorize, organize and tell apart the components of conscious experience

According to the findings, brain activity may trigger novel perceptions, but the capacity to apply these perceptions to come up with new concepts is impaired.

Cannabis

Researchers from Leiden University assessed the effects of cannabis on creativity. They administered 22mg of THC to participants and tested creativity by applying convergent (Remote Associate Task) and divergent (Alternate Uses Task) tests to the volunteers. They noted that the placebo and lower dose groups didn't experience any effect on their divergent thinking or creativity. On the other hand, the high-dose groups experienced a decrease in divergent thinking.

Alcohol

study in Sweden found that the consumption of alcohol lowered the fluency of idea generation when matched to that of a control group. Another study indicated that creative writers had less idea flexibility but increased the number of non-obvious original ideas. Yet another study showed that alcohol had no clear effect on divergent thinking. However, the study participants said their performance was more creative when they believed they had received alcohol.

Why do Creatives Resort to Drugs and Alcohol?

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The constant pressure to churn out new ideas can place high stress on artists and lead to burnout. There's an ever-growing need for fresh content, and creative minds are working extra hard to keep up with the demand. 

In most cases, they feel overwhelmed and turn to drugs to improve their creative output. They do so to try to curb symptoms of burnout like:

·       Fatigue

·       Bad mood

·       Physical and mental exhaustion 

·       Losing interest in creative work

·       Confusion and overwhelm

·       Mind fog

The problem is that drugs can hurt creativity. Long-term use can lead to health complications too. For example, one may develop a tolerance, drug dependence, or even substance use disorders. Attempts to quit may end with withdrawal symptoms, etc. Higher doses may also cause life-threatening symptoms or even death. 

How Drugs Can Harm Creativity - Research Findings

Drugs and alcohol can have a profound effect on your creativity. Substance abuse can:

·       Cause mental health problems like anxiety and depression, which can, in turn, make it difficult to be creative. In some cases, mental health issues can drive creatives to abuse substances.

·       Hamper creativity by impairing cognitive function and disrupting normal brain activity. They affect the parts of the brain that are responsible for creativity, making it more difficult to come up with new ideas. 

·       Make it difficult to focus and concentrate, both of which are essential for being creative. 

·       Cause tolerance and dependence, which can lead to life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

·       Lead to addiction, which can destroy relationships, damage careers, and lead to financial ruin. 

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Drug abuse is a dangerous habit that can have devastating consequences for creative people. So if you're looking to tap into your creative side, it's important to be mindful of how drugs and alcohol might be affecting you.

How to Maintain Your Creativity without Resorting To Drugs

To maintain your creativity without resorting to drugs, you need to find a healthy outlet for your ideas and impulses. 

1.    A good place to start is by journaling. Taking the time to write down your thoughts can help you sort through them and figure out which ones are worth pursuing. 

2.    You can also try brainstorming with friends or colleagues. Brainstorming can help you get feedback on your ideas, and it can also give you a chance to explore new ideas. 

3.    Additionally, it's important to make time for creative activities that you enjoy, such as painting, photography, or writing. Doing things that you love will help to keep your creative juices flowing. 

4.    Finally, don't be afraid to take risks with your ideas. Trying new things can take your imagination to a whole new level.

While it might be true that drugs and alcohol temporarily boost creativity, the long-term effects are often disastrous. In fact, many studies have shown that drug abuse harms creativity more than it helps. If you're struggling with drug addiction and want to maintain your creative output, please reach out for help. MoreThanRehab can plug you into the right addiction treatment so you can get the care you need and start rebuilding your life.

Healthy Foods to Help With Drug Cravings

Proper nutrition is essential for everyone, but it plays an especially important role in recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. The physical and mental stress of addiction can take a toll on the body, depleting nutrients and damaging cells. The resulting deficiencies can contribute to mental illness and issues like fatigue, anxiety, and depression. This is where healthy foods come in.

Eating a nutritious diet helps replenish the lost nutrients during addiction and provides the energy needed to participate in treatment and rebuild a sober life. It can also help to restore the body's natural rhythms, improve mood, and reduce cravings. As a result, an individualized nutrition plan is an essential part of comprehensive treatment programs.

The specific nutrients that a patient needs will vary depending on the type of addiction, the severity, and the individual's unique physiology. However, the foods that help with addiction and substance use disorders have one thing in common: they focus on whole, unprocessed foods. They often include plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains. A detox diet can speed up the detoxification process and promote healing from the damaging effects of substance abuse.

Why Diet Matters During and After a Drug Detox

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Substance use disorders often promote poor eating choices. Besides, many drugs limit the uptake of nutrients from foods. This is why detox with diet is critical to full recovery. However, detoxing from drugs or alcohol can be difficult and dangerous, especially when considering issues like drug or alcohol withdrawal.

You'll need a combination of diet and medication-assisted detox programs to overcome addiction and gain long-term sobriety. These programs provide medical supervision and support throughout the detox process, helping to ensure that you're safe and comfortable.

Inpatient detox programs can also be very helpful for those who have tried to quit cold turkey but have been unsuccessful. It can also help manage withdrawal symptoms. By providing a structured and supportive environment, these programs can increase the chances of success for those seeking to overcome addiction.

Unhealthy Eating Trap after Addiction Treatment

When people think about addiction, they often imagine someone hooked on drugs or alcohol. However, it's important to remember that addiction can take many different forms. The unhealthy eating trap after addiction treatment can be just as difficult to overcome for some people.

It's not uncommon for people to switch their dependence from drugs or alcohol to food after treatment. This is because the same areas of the brain affected by substance abuse are also involved in regulating eating habits. As a result, people who are struggling with addiction may turn to food to cope with their feelings of anxiety and stress.

Unfortunately, this can quickly lead to unhealthy eating habits and even full-blown food addiction. But the good news is there are healthy foods that can help prevent cravings and potential eating disorders.

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Nutrition to Help Your With Drug Cravings

Cravings for foods can be just as intense as drugs or alcohol. Some foods can help you combat cravings that could lead to addiction on your journey to recovery. Here are some examples to get you started:

Eat Plenty of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are a good place to start. These foods are nutritious and can also help regulate blood sugar levels. Stabilizing blood sugar can help reduce cravings, mood swings, and irritability, which are often triggers for relapse. In addition, fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber, which helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

By including these fruits and vegetables in your diet, you will be helping your body to heal and recover from addiction.

Eat Healthy Foods to Help your Body Feel Good

Addiction recovery can be a challenging time. It is important to eat foods that will support your body and help you feel your best during this period. Foods like tofu, fish, poultry, and yogurt are all excellent sources of protein and nutrients, which can help to boost energy levels and promote healing.

In addition, all of these foods are low in sugar and unhealthy fats, making them a good choice for people trying to avoid addiction triggers. By including these healthy foods in your diet, you can help to set yourself up for success in recovery.

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Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking lots of water can help to flush impurities from the body and reduce inflammation. As a result, it keeps you healthy and hydrated, which can help reduce cravings. Water also helps curb appetite and can be used as a distraction from cravings.

Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks

Part of recovering from addiction is learning to make healthy choices regarding food. Eating processed foods and sugary drinks can contribute to cravings and trigger a relapse, so it's important to avoid them when healing from addiction.

Instead, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods rich in nutrients. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains are good options. In addition, staying hydrated is important for recovery, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Once you've completed substance abuse treatment, it's important to do everything you can to prevent relapse. Most rehab centers offer ongoing support, but you might benefit more by joining support groups.

Let More Than Rehab Help You Deal With Drug Cravings

If you're struggling to overcome addiction, it may be helpful to consider making some changes to your diet and getting regular exercise. Eating healthy foods can help reduce cravings for drugs and other unhealthy substances.

There are plenty of resources to help you get started on a healthy diet, so don't hesitate to reach out for support. We are available 24/7. With time and effort, you can overcome addiction and create healthier habits that will benefit you physically and mentally.

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Overdoses Are at an All-Time High: 100,000 Deaths Last Year

Drug overdose deaths have reached epidemic proportions in the United States. In fact, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdoses killed more than 100,000 people in just one year. This is the first time drug overdose deaths have surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in America. Most of these overdose deaths were caused by opioids, including prescription painkillers and synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

The State of Drug Abuse in the US

The drug crisis in America is showing no signs of slowing down, and states all over the country are feeling the effects. While some states have been hit harder than others, there seems to be a general trend of rising overdose deaths in almost every state. West Virginia, for instance, had a 52.8% overdose death rate in 2019 and 81.4% in 2020. Ohio had 38.4% in 2019 and 47.2% in 2020.

The states that have been most affected by the drug crisis have been hit hardest by the opioid epidemic. In addition to West Virginia and Ohio, which had a significant rise in overdose deaths cases, other states like Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania also had high death rates in 2020.

And while these numbers are alarming enough on their own, they only tell part of the story. Because illicit drugs are becoming more potent and more available than ever before, the drug crisis is only getting worse. To combat this growing problem, we need to invest in education and drug treatment programs that can help people get off of drugs.

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What's Driving Drug Overdoses in the US?

There are many reasons why drug overdoses have become so common. One of the biggest factors is the availability of drugs. With the rise of the internet, it's easier than ever to get your hands on illegal drugs.

Another factor is the potency of these drugs. Drug dealers are constantly trying to one-up each other by selling more potent drugs. This means that even first-time users are at risk of overdosing.

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl are largely to blame for this increase in fatalities

Illegal drug users are at an increased risk of overdose because of the rise in synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that is much more potent than other opioids, such as heroin. This increased potency makes fentanyl more dangerous and likely to cause overdose fatalities.

It can also be easily laced into other illegal drugs without the user's knowledge. As a result, drug users may unwittingly take a lethal dose, increasing drug-related fatalities. 

In addition, synthetic opioids are often cheaper and more readily available than traditional drugs, making them more attractive to illegal drug users. The increase in the availability of these drugs is likely to continue to fuel the current epidemic of drug overdoses.

In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in deaths caused by synthetic opioids like fentanyl. New data shows that opioid-related deaths increased from 56,064 in April 2020 to 75,673 in April 2021. Most of these deaths were accidental overdoses, which highlights the dangers of using illegal drugs like fentanyl.

Addiction to prescription painkillers after receiving them from a doctor for a legitimate injury or illness

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Overdose deaths in the United States are at an all-time high, and prescription painkillers are a major contributor to this trend. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 16,416 people died from drug overdoses in 2020. Painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and codeine are highly addictive, and it is easy for users to develop a tolerance and require ever-increasing doses to achieve the same effect.

As users become increasingly dependent on these drugs, they are more likely to turn to illegal narcotics like heroin when their prescriptions run out. This is a dangerous cycle that often leads to overdose and death. In addition, many users accidentally overdose on prescription painkillers because they are not aware of how powerful these drugs can be. As the opioid epidemic continues to claim lives, it is clear that something needs to be done to address this problem.

It's important to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid overdoses and how they can ruin lives

It's no secret that opioids are a serious problem in the United States. Each year, overdose deaths involving opioids claim the lives of tens of thousands of Americans. In addition to the human toll, the economic cost of the opioid epidemic is estimated to be over $500 billion. Despite these alarming statistics, many people remain unaware of the dangers of opioids and how easily they can ruin lives.

This lack of awareness is one of the biggest challenges in addressing the opioid epidemic. Raising awareness about the dangers of opioids is essential to saving lives and reducing the economic cost of this devastating problem. Only by increasing public understanding of the risks can we hope to make progress in tackling this pressing issue.

Get Help for Your Addiction

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Overdose deaths are at an all-time high in the United States. Every day, more than 130 people die from opioid overdose. If you're struggling with addiction, it's important to reach out for help. There are many effective treatments available, including rehab and medication-assisted treatment programs.

These programs can help you overcome addiction and achieve long-term sobriety. If you're unsure where to start, you can reach out to your doctor or a local addiction treatment center. They can connect you with the resources you need to get started on the road to recovery.

Contact More Than Rehab

When it comes to addiction, getting timely help could help save lives. MoreThanRehab provides information and resources on addiction treatment and a safe space for those who are struggling with addiction.

We also offer a range of treatment options, including detox, rehabilitation and therapies to those struggling with addiction who don’t know where to turn. If you or a loved one needs help, call us immediately. Don't hesitate.

888-249-2191

Tremors & DIMD (Drug-Induced Movement Disorders)

Drug use harms the health of drug users. One common symptom reported or seen in drug addicts is tremors, also called Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD). The tremors may or may not be apparent to the drug users. The severity generally depends on the extent of addiction.

Drug abuse is currently at an all-time high. According to National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, 12.9 million Americans aged 12 years and above have abused illicit drugs at some point in their lives. A report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse revealed that in 2020, approximately 92,000 U.S citizens died from a drug-related overdose of both illegal drugs and prescription opioids.

There is a bidirectional relationship between substance abuse and movement disorders. Some movement disorders develop due to acute use of alcohol or drugs, while others result from withdrawal from drugs.

Common illegal drugs that cause Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD) are cocaine, opioids, amphetamine, and heroin.

Symptoms of drug-induced tremors interfere with the performance of day-to-day motor tasks, interpersonal communication, and social functioning. Additionally, Drug-Induced Movement Disorders will interfere with your quality of life.

 

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Movement Disorders

There are two broad categories of movement disorders:

Hyperkinetic disorders are characterized by excess movement. They include dystonia, tremor, myoclonus, akathisia, tics, and chorea. Hyperkinetic disorders interfere with your day-to-day activities, and you may find it challenging to perform easy tasks. In addition, drug use can result in hyperkinetic disorders.

On the other hand, hypokinetic disorders are characterized by lack or absence of movement due to weakness.

Most movement disorders will develop due to neurological disorders. Some instances of these can manifest in people addicted to drugs or those who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop using drugs. A drug-induced movement disorder is a substance use disorder.

 

Drugs That Cause Tremors Or DMID

As mentioned above, drugs can cause tremors or DIMD. The drugs that tend to cause tremors or Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD) after acute use or during withdrawal are:

Here is how the various drugs will affect you.

Cocaine

Cocaine abuse has numerous adverse side effects on the body, such as involuntary tremors.

Cocaine blocks the dopamine transporter. Consequently, it prevents the reuptake of dopamine, increasing extracellular dopamine levels.

Your body’s dopaminergic system affects various processes, including movement control and cognition. Therefore, when cocaine increases your extracellular dopamine levels, your dopamine levels significantly decrease, affecting your motor function.

The involuntary movements in cocaine addicts or recovering addicts are due to locomotor sensitization. This can occur when you repeatedly, or even intermittently abuse cocaine.

The most visually dramatic movement disorder caused by cocaine is transient chorea, also called crack dancing and buccolingual dyskinesias.

Crack dancing is characterized by involuntary limb movements that last for several days at a time. If you are an addict, the spontaneous movements may not seem apparent to you.

Cocaine abuse may also cause subtle parkinsonian symptoms like tremors at rest. The said symptoms may persist during withdrawal.

 

Opioids

Like most commonly abused drugs, opioids raise dopamine levels by blocking the inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Dopamine abuse may result in restless leg syndrome (RLS) and tremors.

Opioid abuse may also cause quick, involuntary muscle jerks, also known as myoclonus. Again, it would be best to seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms.

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Alcohol

Alcohol abuse may result in alcohol shakes, also called jitters or tremors. Often, the tremors occur when a person dependent on alcohol stops taking alcohol.

Alcohol tremors primarily affect the hands, but they affect the legs and arms in some circumstances. The tremors manifest approximately 8 hours after you stop drinking and peak about 30 hours after your last drink.

When you abstain from alcohol, you may experience a tremor similar to an essential tremor. However, alcohol tremors have a higher frequency, mainly involving the hands. 

These tremors can effectively be treated with propranolol.

Alcohol abuse may also cause bilateral flapping tremors, characterized by arrhythmic interruptions of sustained voluntary muscle contraction.

Unfortunately, the tremors may also indicate a more serious underlying issue. Alcohol tremors are a symptom of  Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a medical condition that can easily result in death.

Tremors may also result in other symptoms like depression and anxiety, which may have severe consequences.

There are different treatment options for alcohol tremors. It is crucial to seek professional help to settle for a treatment plan that best suits your needs. Common medications used to treat alcohol tremors are Thiamine, Benzodiazepines, and Propranolol.

 

 

Amphetamine

Amphetamines bind and reverse the dopamine transporter (DAT) function. Consequently, they inhibit reuptake, releasing dopamine at the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic nerve terminals. This stimulation may cause tremors, ataxia, and agitation. In extreme cases, it may also induce intracranial hemorrhages, comas, or seizures.

Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), better known as ecstasy, is also known to cause movement disorders in addicts.

 

Heroin

Heroin is an addictive opioid that causes severe withdrawal symptoms. One of the most common symptoms in heroin addicts is tremors.

Luckily, heroin addiction is treatable. Several treatment options are available for those struggling with heroin addiction, including pharmacological treatment and behavioral therapy. You may have to undergo both pharmacological treatment and behavioral therapy to make a full recovery. The treatments clear the tremors with time.

 

Get Your Life Back On Track

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Tremors or Drug-Induced Movement Disorders (DIMD) may harm your quality of life and general well-being. You may find it challenging to perform easy tasks, which may, in turn, affect your social functioning and interpersonal communication. You may also lose your independence as you’d need help performing easy tasks.

If you believe you or your loved one’s movement disorder results from drug use, it is best to seek professional help. A professional drug rehabilitation program will help by offering advice, diagnosis, or discussing treatment options.  

More Than Rehab offers high-quality, individualized treatment to anyone struggling with addiction. Additionally, we treat any co-occurring disorders to improve your quality of life.

We have both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs, so you are free to select a program that suits you best.

Our experts will offer support and walk you through the challenging recovery process. Contact us anytime, during the day or night, to talk to us and start your recovery journey. Our friendly staff is always ready and willing to listen to you and answer any questions you may have.

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Why Do I Keep Relapsing On Drugs?

If you wonder why you or your loved one keeps relapsing on drugs, you are not alone. Relapse is common among people seeking recovery. Statistics show that approximately 85% of recovering addicts relapse within a year following treatment. For this reason, there is a need for a long-term drug relapse prevention plan.

Although society deems recovering addicts who relapse as not having enough willpower, you mustn’t lose hope. The National Institute on Drug Abuse acknowledges that addiction treatment involves altering deeply rooted behaviors. Therefore, relapse on drugs or alcohol does not mean that the treatment failed. 

The first thing you should do after relapse is to forgive yourself or your loved one. This way, you will have a more positive attitude that will, in turn, help you in your addiction recovery journey. The next step would be to get treatment for the substance abuse. After that, start a drug relapse prevention program. 

Most treatment programs offer relapse prevention programs to address the issue of relapse by teaching you techniques to prevent and manage its reoccurrence. This way, you can successfully achieve long-term sobriety.

Common Reasons Why Addicts Relapse

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Addiction recovery differs from individual to individual. When you’re addicted to illegal drugs, they take control of your life. Consequently, you may not make healthy and logical choices.

Addiction treatment requires time and effort. Being in a treatment program doesn’t mean you will no longer crave drugs. However, you will actively find ways to avoid substance use and address underlying issues. You will also receive treatment for health problems you acquire when addicted to drugs.

Although the causes of relapse differ from person to person, there are a few commonalities. Here are some common reasons why addicts relapse:

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Signs That You Are On The Verge of Relapse

Below are signs that you are on the verge of experiencing a relapse:

  1. You stop making an effort to maintain sobriety. Recovery is an ongoing journey. For this reason, you need to go out of your way to ensure you stay sober. If you no longer do, you are likely to relapse.
  2. You romanticize your addiction days. If you think of your substance abuse days as good days, you may relapse soon.
  3. You try to reconnect with friends from your addiction days. Reconnecting with friends from your substance abuse days will likely lead to relapse.
  4. You now consider drugs or alcohol harmless. This is a dangerous sign of relapse.
  5. You become selfish and moody. Behavior changes are a substantial danger sign of relapse.
  6. You embrace an unhealthy self-righteous attitude.

Dangers of Relapse

Most recovering addicts assume they can quickly achieve abstinence after relapse. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The more you relapse, the harder it will become for you to get sober.

Often, your relapse lasts longer than your recovery. Relapse may also become permanent.

Relapse is dangerous for several reasons. Here are a few of them:

 

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What To Do During Recovery To Prevent Relapse

To prevent relapse during recovery, you should:

 

Get Help Today

If you feel yourself slipping into a relapse, you should seek professional help. Relapse shouldn’t make you give up on your journey to recovery.

If you feel close to relapsing on drugs or need someone to talk to, contact More Than Rehab for help. We have highly qualified experts that will do all it takes to get you back on track and in control of your life.

You can live a happy, healthy, drug-free life with the proper support and treatment.

888-249-2191