How Can Relapse Be a Part of Drug Recovery?

There’s a lot to feel good about when your loved one goes through an arduous recovery journey and then comes out clean and sober. Sadly, even after rehab though, your loved one may relapse at some point. Relapse doesn’t happen to everyone in recovery, but it does happen to many people. That’s why newer schools of thought on addiction feel that the painful occurrence of relapse is actually a very important part of the sobriety journey. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 40-60% of those recovering from substance use disorders will relapse during their path to recovery. This should help put the struggle of your loved one doing illegal drugs into perspective, that they aren’t alone.

Addiction is a chronic disease or mental illness whose nature is a barrier to sobriety. Your loved one, like other patients, faces a consistently high risk of relapse because addiction alters the brain’s function and structure. Alcohol and drug use trigger dopamine production in the brain’s reward pathway. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain’s pleasure and reward centers and emotional responses. These changes influence the way the brain prioritizes what’s important.

The brain of a patient who has developed an addiction recognizes substance use as important – even more than survival. That’s partly why those struggling with addiction take risks to continue abusing substances. Addiction also affects the prefrontal cortex – a part of the brain that identifies issues and plans solutions. So when a person relapses, it’s not because they are weak or lack morals, but because of something that’s way beyond their control. And even after treatment, some of these changes might persist.

What is relapse? 

Relapse is when someone goes back to using drugs or alcohol after a period of sobriety. The person may “slip up” and have a drink (or use a drug) and then stop again. Slips are hardly seen as relapses, but they can trigger stronger cravings for harder drug use or more alcohol. On the other hand, full relapse is when the person in recovery intentionally seeks drugs or alcohol and no longer cares for their treatment.

Is addiction an incurable disease?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse in the United States indicates that people in addiction recovery have a 40 to 60% chance of relapse. This puts addiction relapse at the same level as other chronic conditions like hypertension and asthma, which have a 50 to 70% relapse rate.

According to NIDA, addiction has no cure. But it can be managed successfully. Like other chronic illnesses, there’s medication to address the problem. However, the patient may need to go through lifestyle changes, routine maintenance, and checkups to prevent relapse. They also have to learn new ways of thinking. All in all, relapse is not failure. It only shows that it’s time to reinstate, adjust or try out a new treatment.

Relapse as part of the recovery process

Addiction is a chronic brain disease with biological, behavioral, emotional, physical, and social aspects. It is characterized by an inability to control drug or alcohol use. The chronic nature of addiction makes relapse part of the healing process as opposed to failure. As mentioned earlier, drug addiction disrupts brain circuitry and causes dependency. At this point, one is bound to experience side effects like drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they stop using. Unless they use their substance of choice, they may not feel “normal.” Relapse may seem like an excellent way to get back to “normalcy,” combat intense cravings, and relieve withdrawal symptoms. That’s why relapse can be a form of self-medication.

Drug relapse is a common part of the recovery process. When it happens and is handled correctly, it can strengthen one’s commitment to long-term sobriety. Recovery is the journey of maintaining long-term sobriety, reaching new goals, and facing life with new, healthier strategies. A hitch on the road doesn’t mean that all is lost. Yes, it might feel overwhelming – but with the right help, your loved one can get back on the right track.

Strategies to avoid relapse or mitigate its effects

More than half of the people in recovery relapse. But the fact that it is common doesn’t mean that you should not try to prevent it. An addiction relapse not only undoes the hard work, but it’s also potentially life-threatening. Relapsing can result in binging that can even lead to overdose. Here are some strategies to help prevent relapse or mitigate its effects.

Reaching out for help

People in recovery often feel humiliated and devastated when they slip or relapse. So, the last thing you want to do is reprimand them or come out as judgmental. You also don’t want to leave them to their own fate. Instead, try to encourage them to go back to their support network or treatment. It doesn’t matter how many times one relapses. In fact, experts agree that one is likely to have a successful long-term addiction recovery when there is more repetition of positive reinforcing habits.

Attending long-term treatment programs

Recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is not a quick fix. A single medication or a month of therapy may not guarantee a clean life. Often, one may need to engage in intensive long-term treatment, accompanied by continual support for a better outcome. A study with 1000+ addiction patients discovered that relapse rates reduced for every nine weeks a person spent in treatment. Sustained recovery also increased in the study for participants who had ongoing treatment with aftercare.

Identifying and managing triggers

Treatment programs integrate therapies that teach patients how to cope with internal and external stressors that may trigger a relapse. Mental health issues like anxiety, stress, depression, and mood changes tend to co-occur with substance abuse. When someone in recovery gets anxious or stressed, they may crave, think about, and eventually use substances. Triggers can be specific – like certain places or people, or very general – like hanging around people who are using. Evidence-based therapies help those in recovery recognize their personal relapse triggers and even train them to cope.

Lifestyle changes

Managing triggers is a great relapse prevention strategy. But you also want to encourage your loved one to make positive changes over the long term to build a healthier life. They can learn and use healthy coping mechanisms for negative emotions: recognize and manage mental issues: and develop positive activities like meditation, exercise, or art.

More Than Rehab is here to help. We have decades of experience in treating addiction, from the root-causes, to the after effects people experience once they become sober. If you, or a loved one needs help with their addiction, please don’t hesitate to call us! We are available 24/7.

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How Alcoholism Can Make Your Blood Pressure Worse

Scientists are still learning how alcoholism affects heart health and blood pressure. According to a few John Hopkins University studies, moderate alcohol drinking may lead to a lower risk of dying from heart disease. Also, modest amounts of alcohol might help to slightly raise the levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol as per some studies. Does that mean, however, that alcohol consumption is a great habit and has no repercussions on your health? Not at all. Let us look at the ways alcoholism can make your blood pressure worse.

The association between moderate alcohol drinking and heart health is still debatable, with both supporters and naysayers offering evidence; the focus keyword, however, remains “moderate”. Excessive alcohol drinking, on the other hand, has no positive side to it.

Too Much of a Good Thing

While short-term repetitive drinking can lead to temporary spikes in blood pressure and heart rate, long-term alcohol abuse and alcoholism may lead to chronic hypertension/high blood pressure and even cause heart disease. Addiction to alcohol is a very serious problem.

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How Alcohol Affects My Blood Pressure?

Although the impact of alcohol consumption on the body depends a lot on age and risk factors, excessive drinking is never recommended for anyone. This is because alcohol abuse can lead to a myriad of direct and indirect impacts on the body and mind, which are detrimental not just to the individual but also to those who surround them.

Direct effects

Alcohol abuse and alcoholism can have pronounced direct effects in the short- and long-term, chief among them being a temporary increase in blood pressure, which may turn into long-term excess due to repetitiveness.

Indirect effects

There are several ways in which alcohol is known to affect blood pressure indirectly. Alcohol is known to affect the nervous system, which controls blood pressure. Also, it causes changes in pressure receptors that sense blood pressure levels, making blood pressure higher. Alcohol consumption increases cortisol levels – the stress hormone that increases blood pressure – and the level of calcium that lines arteries, making them more constricted, elevating blood pressure.

Scientists have also found that alcoholism affects the number of other vasoconstrictor hormones (artery-constricting hormones), impacts the retention of fluids filtered in the kidneys and leads to weight gain in the long-term, all of which contribute to increases blood pressure numbers.

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How Much Is Too Much with Alcohol?

The American Heart Association has outlined the definitions of excessive drinking, which one can revise to keep their consumption in check:

According to AHA, one drink is equivalent to 12 oz of beer, 4 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of 80-proof alcohol and 1 oz of 100-proof alcohol. At the end of the day, however, it does not matter what is the beverage you pick – what matters is the amount.

Why is High Blood Pressure Bad for You?

There are two kinds of blood pressure numbers we are familiar with. The higher number denotes high blood pressure, which occurs when the heart is contracting and forcing blood into the arteries. The lower number stands for low blood pressure which occurs when the heart is in the relaxed phase.

Consistent and abnormally high blood pressure or hypertension is detrimental to our body because it damages the lining of arteries, causing them to harden (arteriosclerosis), ultimately leading to arterial blocking. The blockage of arteries subsequently leads to a blocked flow of blood to the heart (causing heart attack), brain (causing stroke) as well as other essential organs, leading to multiple-organ failure.

On the other hand, low blood pressure is not a long-term condition, though it also leads to poor health outcomes such as dizziness and pale skin. However, low blood pressure is easier to reverse and quicker to recover from.

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Alcoholism and Serious Diseases

Heavy drinking is directly associated with several poor bodily outcomes, including heart conditions such as cardiomyopathy which affects the heart’s muscles. Excessive alcoholism may even lead to heart failure and stroke, apart from the most common complication - heart attack. The long list of problems associated with alcohol abuse also includes liver diseases, obesity and poor mental health.

Compared with people who did not binge drink, people who drank alcohol at twice the gender-specific binge drinking thresholds were 70 times more likely to have an alcohol-related emergency department (ED) visit, and those who consumed alcohol at 3 times the gender-specific binge thresholds were 93 times more likely to have an alcohol-related ED visit, says the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Alcohol intake can also specifically affect those who are on blood pressure medications. These medications usually come with side effects associated with low pressure – dizziness, loss of balance control and so on. Excessive alcoholism also impairs our sense of balance, which is why this combination can prove detrimental. Alpha- and Beta-blockers as well as Nitrates can interact dangerously with alcohol and should be avoided.

Reversing the Ill-Effects of Alcohol on Heart Health and Blood Pressure

The good news is that the ill-effects of alcohol abuse can be reversed if you take action at the right time. Studies show heavy drinkers who reduce their consumption to moderate can lower the upper blood pressure readings or systolic blood pressure by about 5.5 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg) and their lower readings or diastolic blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg.

That being said, one rule does not fit everyone when it comes to getting rid of alcoholism. Recovering from alcohol is as much a personal process as it is a medical one. It can lead to withdrawal symptoms, impact your mental health and cause visible changes to your body. However, with the combination of the right approach and evidence-based treatments from specialists, one can stop drinking and de-addict themselves effectively and holistically.

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How Does More Than Rehab Help?

At More Than Rehab, we aim to provide quality care to those in need of all-inclusive and therapeutic modalities, helping individuals identify what is best for their recovery. Our team of a skilled and compassionate team of counsellors, psychiatric specialists and physicians who coordinate a comprehensive and individualistic plan for the recovery of individuals in need. Coupling our approach with cognitive behavioural therapy, More Than Rehab caters to the full spectrum of a person’s addiction.

Alcoholism is one of the leading mental and physical issues affecting the United States today. However, it can be gotten rid of, and its impacts treated or reversed. It is upon you to make the best out of the opportunity to, for you might get only a chance at it. You can start your life afresh – we are just a click away.

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Do Drug Implants Like Naltrexone Really Work?

Drug and alcohol addiction has been around for centuries and it has increasingly become a major issue in the United States. At first, people who suffered from substance abuse problems were considered degenerates and were often blamed for not having enough self-control to get sober and stop abusing drugs or alcohol. Today, thanks to medical science and research, our understanding of substance abuse problems and drug addiction is much farther advanced. We have developed evidence based treatments for addiction such as drug implants, like Naltrexone and others that greatly increase the chances of a successful recovery.

The majority of respected health professionals agree that addiction is a disease that is often characterized by the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol despite having suffered negative consequences in the past. To those who do not know, there is more to addiction than originally meets the eye.

Addiction is a treatable disease

For decades, there are those who have understood that addiction is a disease. Eventually, this understanding is what led to the creation of 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). As more and more people gained knowledge about the disease of addiction, other more intense forms of treatment such as inpatient drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs began to develop.

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While drug addiction and substance abuse problems have been around for quite some time now, there is a growing concern for the treatment of the current opioid epidemic in our country. For many diseases, there is no one-size fits all treatment, the same can be said with drug and alcohol addiction. What works for some, may not work for others. That is why they continue to develop new methods of treatment for this life-changing disease.

How drug implants like Naltrexone help people recover from addiction

It is estimated that nearly 128 people die each day from an opioid addiction and nearly 15 million adults suffer from alcoholism in the United States alone. For many, the chance to recover is slim. One example of how researchers and medical professionals are trying to provide more effective treatment for the addiction to opioid drugs such as morphine and heroin, as well as for the use of alcohol, are drug implants like the commonly used Naltrexone implant. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids and alcohol at the receptor level, which helps to prevent abuse, curb relapse, and sustain recovery from an opioid addiction and alcoholism.

Over time, repeated use of addictive substances will change the structure and function of the brain. Most drugs target an area of the brain known as the reward center, releasing chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters that illicit a feel-good response. This is to help ensure that desired actions, usually necessary for survival, get repeated again, such as eating good food or having sex. After each use, the brain adapts. Eventually, the brain needs more and more of the substance in order to feel the same effects. Not only will they begin to need more and more of the same drug, but the excess release of these chemical messengers will essentially trick the brain into believing that it needs this substance in order to survive. It will also associate people, places, or things with this action that it believes is necessary for survival, which can trigger cravings for the drug, even months or years after they have gotten sober. All of these reasons combined is why it is extremely difficult for some people to get and stay sober.

For opioid related drugs specifically, they target and bind to pain receptors, blocking any sensation someone might feel from pain. Opioid antagonists, as mentioned earlier, block the effects of opioids at the receptor level. The effects of alcohol are also blocked at the opioid receptor sites, helping to reduce the liking and craving of both substances. There are several other treatment methods that are predecessors to Naltrexone implants. Those are drugs such as oral Naltrexone, or methadone, both of which are effective for the treatment of opioid addiction and alcoholism. However, part of the problem with oral opioid antagonists is maintaining consistency among users who need to take it every day, or as prescribed.

In 1984, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drugs like Naltrexone for the treatment of opioid addiction and later in 1994 for alcoholism. While proven to be extremely effective, for patients who are recovering from opioid addiction or alcoholism, taking their daily medication, medication adherence or compliance, is a real struggle and can be a huge setback to recovery. To help solve this problem, scientists and medical professionals have begun using and developing drug implants. For instance, there are several widely regarded studies that show the effectiveness of Naltrexone implants and thousands of treatment facilities have begun utilizing it as a treatment method.

What are Naltrexone implants? How do they work?

Naltrexone implants are typically small medication pellets that get planted beneath the skin, slowly releasing medication usually lasting anywhere between 2-6 months. Thus, eliminating the need to take a daily medication. This has significantly increased the effectiveness of daily medication treatment methods for opioid addiction and

alcoholism.  For instance, one study found that Naltrexone implants reduced the risk of opioid related death by nearly 50%. Additionally, when Naltrexone implant treatment is combined with other modes of treatment such as psychotherapy, it has been shown to be far more effective than just one mode of treatment alone.

The Naltrexone implant may be right for you if you have struggled with cravings, have had relapses in the past, or have had any difficulty with taking medication every day. Naltrexone has been proven to be an effective treatment for opioid addiction and alcoholism for many years, and the implant helps eliminate the need to take medication daily. This has saved many patients from having to remember to take their medication every day, or from having to find the time to get to the clinic every day in order to receive treatment.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to opioids or alcohol, let our family of staff at More Than Rehab help you get treatment today! We understand what it’s like to suffer from an addiction and we wish nothing more than to help show you the tools to lead a healthy and sober life! Please, reach out to us today.

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I am Addicted: 10 Steps to Take to Get Away From Drugs

Struggling with an addiction can oftentimes be a very overwhelming and emotional situation where the user may feel as though they are trapped by their drug addiction, with little to no chance of ever getting help and escaping the deadly grip of drugs or alcohol. So, why even bother trying? This feeling is what can ultimately lead them to continuing their destructive way of living without ever getting the help they so desperately need. For those of you who know, overcoming a substance abuse problem can prove to be very difficult, especially when someone is unwilling to admit they have a problem or is afraid to seek help.

How Do I Get Away From Drugs and Alcohol?

The first step in any recovery plan is admitting that you are powerless over drugs and alcohol. So, if you are here because you are addicted to drugs and alcohol and are seeing what it takes to begin the recovery process, then congratulations! You have already completed the very first step in recovery. At this moment, you are already on the right track to leading a healthy and fulfilling life, but it will take a few more steps to get there. As any expert will tell you, recovery is a process and it will look different for everyone, but here are a few steps you can take that will help to get you away from drugs and alcohol.

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Help For Your Addiction is Available in Many Forms.

Always remember that there is hope for recovery and that someone who cares is never more than a phone call away. You are not alone and getting help for addiction recovery is never a reason to feel any shame. Beginning a life of sobriety is very important for your physical and mental health. We really hope this list of steps will help to lead you in the right direction toward a lifelong journey of sobriety. The sooner you get help, the easier it will be to overcome this addiction! Don't hesitate to call us right away:

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What Drugs Produce the Worst Withdrawal Symptoms?

Addiction is a disease of the brain marked by the inability to stop using drugs or alcohol despite the user having experienced severe negative consequences throughout their lives. Many addicts who are still struggling with an active addiction will stop at nothing to continue getting high and consequences like losing their job, problems with relationships, homelessness or extreme poverty are directly related to their substance abuse disorders. There are many reasons why addiction is considered a disease, one of them being that the habitual use of drugs and alcohol chemically alters the structure of the brain. Drugs and alcohol can change the way people handle stressful situations and it can impact the decision making process of a person suffering from this affliction.

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Drugs and alcohol work on the same part of the brain known as the reward center, causing an increase in the release of chemicals like dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasurable feelings that can occur after naturally rewarding experiences like eating a good meal or having sex. Drugs and alcohol can induce these same pleasurable feelings but without the use of a natural reward. The repeated use of drugs and alcohol begins to create new pathways in the brain, causing the user to associate the response as a pleasurable experience, making the brain depend on the extra release of these chemicals. Once the addiction has taken hold, the users tolerance starts to increase as the body forms a chemical dependency, needing more and more of the same substance in order to achieve the same feeling.

When an addict is unable to maintain the same level of usage or tries to quit using drugs or alcohol altogether, they may begin to suffer from what are known as withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms occur when a person who routinely abuses drugs or alcohol suddenly stops. Since drugs and alcohol suppress some of the chemicals naturally produced in the brain while increasing the release of others, there is often a surge of emotions and physical symptoms when the body is no longer receiving the chemical that has now altered its structure. The first stage of withdrawal is known as the acute stage where most of the physical symptoms occur, usually lasting around a few weeks. The second stage of withdrawal is known as post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), since the brain's structure is slowly returning to normal, this is where most of the emotional and psychological dependence symptoms occur.

Due to the dependency on these chemicals, withdrawal symptoms can become very severe, and a medical detox is often required. Most drugs have some withdrawal symptoms associated with them once the user has become addicted but some are more dangerous than others.

Alcohol

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Alcohol can cause severe withdrawal symptoms for both men and women.

Alcohol has a depressive effect on the system, slowing down brain function and changing the way nerves send messages back and forth. When a body becomes adjusted to having alcohol in its system, it has to fight even harder in order to maintain a wakened state. When the user stops drinking alcohol,  the body remains in this heightened state, therefore creating the withdrawal symptoms. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can include;

Delirium tremens (DT) are more severe withdrawal symptoms that will affect about 5% of people when withdrawing from alcohol, these include delusions and hallucinations. The worst of these symptoms will occur around 12 hours after taking the last drink while seizures can last for around 2 days. Some of these medical conditions can even cause death while attempting to detox from alcohol.

Heroin

Heroin is a highly addictive opiod that is converted to morphine in the body when used. Heroin, or other opioids like fentanyl or oxycodone, are difficult drugs to quit as the withdrawal symptoms often cause the user to become violently ill, most addicts continue getting high in order to avoid getting sick. Some of the symptoms associated with heroin withdrawal include;

Symptoms from heroin withdrawal can begin anywhere from 6-12 hours of quitting and can last for about a week. Death has been known to occur during detox from heroin or other opioids when other medical issues are present.

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Methamphetamines

Methamphetamines, meth, or crystal meth is a drug with powerful stimulating effects. The effects of meth wear off quickly, causing the user to need more in order to stay high. With increased tolerance, comes withdrawal symptoms, as the body begins to depend on these substances. Symptoms of withdrawal from meth can include;

When a person stops using meth, there is often a “crash” associated with coming down. This can begin around 1-2 days after the person has stopped using and typically reaches its peak around 5 days. Depression is also a trademark of methamphetamine withdrawal.

Quitting “cold turkey” (quitting drugs or alcohol suddenly with no medical or professional help) can be very dangerous. The addiction to drugs or alcohol has chemically altered the way the brain operates and can have very serious side effects when a person suddenly stops using them. Since addiction is a disease with many symptoms, affecting each person in a unique way, it is always suggested that anyone who has formed a chemical dependency to drugs or alcohol seek professional help in order to determine whether a medical detox is necessary.

An addiction treatment center with a medical detox program will allow the user to safely manage and alleviate the heavy detox symptoms that may be experienced when first quitting drugs or alcohol. Many who have tried quitting “cold turkey” on their own have had little to no success as they are improperly managing their symptoms. The purpose of a medical detox is to get the person safely through the acute withdrawal stage, where most of the physical symptoms occur. Maintaining sobriety long term in the post-acute withdrawal stage will require ongoing effort as the psychological symptoms, like depression and learning how to cope without the use of drugs or alcohol, begin to surface. Many inpatient and outpatient drug rehabilitation programs offer the essential tools and education needed in order to lead a life of sobriety.

If you or someone you know are struggling with managing their drug cravings and the withdrawal symptoms associated with the addiction, we are here for you. Even if  you or your loved one are just looking for a place to start, then we are here to help steer you down the right path! Give us a call anytime. We are here for you 24/7:

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Crystal Meth is Making a Worrisome Comeback in Texas

While the news headlines are dominated by the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States, crystal meth is making a relatively silent, but deadly return. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the rate of overdose deaths for methamphetamine more than tripled from 2011 to 2016 and that number keeps growing to this day. This is partly due to the increase of cheap, highly potent methamphetamine coming over the US/Mexico border. With the national attention and focus on opioids by public health officials, politicians and government agencies, meth has quietly made a comeback in the US. This likely will not change course, without the proper resources and greater public awareness of the nation’s problems associated with crystal meth.

When drug overdoses began to take more American lives each year than gun violence or car accidents, the attention (and funding) from federal, state and local governments was largely focused on prescription and illicit opioids. The good news is that these efforts may actually be working.

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New provisional CDC data shows that drug overdose deaths fell significantly in 2018. This is the first decrease in decades. From the data, it appears that government efforts to prevent doctors from over-prescribing, while making it easier for first-responders to carry naloxone (a life-saving opioid-antagonist) undoubtedly have helped make a real difference in the fight to curb drug overdose deaths.

With prescription painkiller abuse on the decline, drug overdose deaths from crystal meth and fentanyl are the new problem in the United States.

Unlike illicit and prescription opiates, methamphetamine addiction does not have any FDA-approved medications to assist in treatment and rehabilitation efforts. Drugs like buprenorphine, or Suboxone are available to help ease the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. These evidence-based, medication-assisted treatments (MAT) can also help reduce the likelihood for relapse later in recovery. By blocking opioid receptors in the brain, MATs are valuable tools for addiction treatment programs. These medications have shown a verifiable success rate in patients who are struggling with an addiction to opiates.

Meth on the other hand, can cause equally painful and severe withdrawal symptoms. Currently there are no medications available to ease the withdrawal symptoms associated with a physical or psychological chemical dependency to methamphetamine. Detox and treatment for an addiction to methamphetamine can therefore be quite difficult for most patients.

Another problem with the relative lack of effective treatment options for people who become addicted to meth, the ease of access to meth is currently at an all time high. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s we witnessed a major crackdown on illegal meth labs operating within the United States. Meth labs were quite prevalent in Texas, especially in the Houston and San Antonio areas. These ranged from very small operations in an RV in the desert or in someone’s garage, to giant meth super labs in warehouses. Once the Federal Government began imposing stricter regulations on the sale and availability of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), meth manufacturing labs pretty much became extinct in the US.

These days, the major Mexican drug cartels supply most of the crystal meth that is found in American cities and rural areas. This meth is much cheaper and more potent than ever before. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reports that the current price of meth is the lowest they’ve seen in years. The Mexican drug cartels, with new manufacturing techniques are also producing meth that’s more than 90 percent pure. This highly-potent crystal meth is creating an entirely new generation of addicts across the nation, at a level of epidemic proportions.

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For comparison, in 2017, 813 people died from an overdose on crystal meth, while 591 died from a heroin overdose in Texas.

One of the major complications with a substance use disorder is that the patient can be using multiple substances at any given time. Emergency responders have a difficult time with drug overdoses, because while the patient may be unconscious they have no idea how to treat the overdose. Many people who use crystal meth, are also using other substances as well. Some end up using methamphetamine in the morning and opioids at night, while trying to balance a ‘normal’ lifestyle through the use of various different drugs.

Many of the fatal overdose deaths involving methamphetamine can also be partially blamed on opioids. The extremely dangerous synthetic opiate, fentanyl has been frequently found in different batches of methamphetamine all over the country. This contamination may be intentional, or it may be the result of drug labs that produce and package different substances, where cross-contamination of different drugs may be entirely by accident.

What are the different drug rehab options for someone who is addicted to crystal meth?

The addiction treatment specialists at More Than Rehab have helped people all types of people, many of whom are struggling with an addiction to multiple substances. Our comprehensive drug rehabilitation program can help people with any type of addiction, while we can even address the underlying causes of substance abuse. We see the addiction is often just a symptom of another deeply-rooted mental health issue. This is called a dual-diagnosis and our staff is well-equipped to help people who exhibit both a substance use disorder, along with an underlying mental health issue.

Our approach to meth addiction treatment focuses on making the whole person healthy, mentally, physically and spiritually. Often an addiction is merely a symptom of unresolved trauma that has led the patient to self-medicate, while they attempt to drown-out their sorrows. Since no medication assisted treatment exists specifically to treat a meth addiction, our facility uses a robust combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), group therapy, contingency management and relapse prevention. A variety of other treatment techniques could be used in conjunction with these, depending on the patient’s own unique, individual needs.

If you, a family member, friend or loved one are struggling with any type of drug addiction, please give us a call as soon as possible. The longer you wait to get substance abuse treatment, the harder it can be to quit. Most people who die as a result of complications from meth abuse are from a brain hemorrhage, seizure, or a heart attack. This is especially true for older addicts, as their bodies are no longer equipped to handle a long-term episode of substance abuse.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been using, or how much you have used in the past. More Than Rehab can help addiction at any level of severity. If this has been a wake-up call for either yourself, or your family, or friends, please talk to someone about the problem as soon as possible. Addiction won’t go away by itself. When you’re ready to change your life for the better, give us a call. We are available 24/7 to help you when you need it.

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Can You Afford Drug Rehabilitation?

If there were two primary obstacles to attending addiction treatment, they would most likely be a fear of asking for help and the doubt that they could even afford drug rehabilitation. Addiction treatment can be prohibitively expensive for many people who struggle with addiction, so how can you find out if you’re eligible to receive help when you’re ready for it? Millions of Americans still cannot afford health insurance, even with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare”. While the well-intentioned government mandate that all health insurance plans available on the open exchange must cover mental health (including addiction treatment), there are still a lot of people who can’t afford health insurance to begin with.

Most people who have a substance use disorder may not even realize that addiction treatment might be covered by a health insurance plan they currently hold. This leaves the average person truly unaware of the costs associated with addiction treatment and drug rehab in Texas, and across the nation. Addiction treatment costs widely vary too, depending on the type of substance you’re addicted to, the level of addiction and the types of treatment you need to receive.

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Scientific, evidence-based approaches to drug rehabilitation are likely the most cost-effective versions of care, as they offer a proven success rate, regardless of age, gender and other demographics. These methods of rehabilitation can literally be life-saving so it is difficult to put an accurate price tag on rehabilitation. A lot of this comes from the perspective of the money you’ll be saving, taken for granted that the rehab works.

Addiction to drugs can be very expensive, let alone costing you your life...  

Say you have a major cocaine addiction, the typical addict can spend anywhere from $200-$1,000 a day on the drug during a heavy binge. This equates anywhere from $6,000, up to $30,000 a month for the simple maintenance of your coke habit. If rehabilitation works, just think of the money you could actually save in the long run. This is just one extreme example, but the bottom line is your livelihood and the chance to spend the rest of your life doing things with your family and close friends, versus chasing a high from a drug that will ultimately only ruin your life.

The different types of drug rehab and their associated average cost in Texas.

There are many different types of drug rehabilitation and different levels of care with each option and for each individual’s unique needs. Let’s break down the options below.

Detox: a full-medical detox is commonly the first step of a longer, more in-depth alcohol or drug rehabilitation. Some patients will only receive the detox part of rehab, because they think that’s all they’ll need. Detox will help you get off of the drugs or alcohol in a safe, medically monitored way. Some addictions have severe withdrawal symptoms that in some cases can be deadly. In the case of opiates, alcohol and benzodiazepines, quitting cold-turkey can have deadly consequences. Seizures, heart palpitations and delirium tremens could all possibly result in death. Again, the cost will vary depending on the severity of the chemical dependency and the type of substance you are detoxing from. Typically a medical detox at an outpatient clinic will run anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 dollars.

Inpatient drug rehab: Most inpatient drug rehabilitation centers will require a minimum 30 day stay. Some require longer stays with a 90 day program. Depending on the area, and types of services provided the typical cost of inpatient drug rehab will range anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000 or more per month. Some rehab centers are quite luxurious, offering amenities that go far beyond what is required to quit using drugs or alcohol. These “destination rehabs” can go well beyond $20,000 per month and are typically reserved for movie stars and highly-paid CEO’s.

Outpatient addiction treatment: An outpatient treatment program can be much less expensive than a stay at an inpatient facility. Outpatient drug rehab programs usually comprise of support groups and individual therapy sessions, completed daily and you can typically attend these programs around your busy school or work schedules. Outpatient programs can be good enough for a mild addiction, but it could end up taking much longer than a stay at an inpatient facility. Outpatient drug rehab programs typically run around $5,000 for a three-month program.

A note about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and evidence-based drug rehab.

An evidence-based approach to addiction treatment typically offers the highest success rates of any type of drug rehabilitation. For a patient who is addicted to alcohol or opiates like painkillers or heroin, medication may be beneficial to help you quit using. These medications, like buprenorphine, Suboxone or methadone are beneficial to help ease the painful, early withdrawal symptoms.

Evidence based methods of treatment show greater success rates when combined with individual and group therapy sessions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, 12 step program integration and other supporting treatment options. Some medications will be taken for up to 12 months and the yearly cost of these medications will be around $5,000 per year.

How do I pay for addiction treatment? How Can We Afford Drug Rehabilitation? 

Most people will pay for a drug rehabilitation program with their insurance coverage. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as “Obamacare” health insurance plans on the exchange will pay anywhere from 60-90% of the cost of drug rehabilitation program. This has been an important step to fighting the nations current drug overdose and opioid epidemic. Now more people have access to life-saving drug rehab services than ever before. If you are struggling with addiction and need treatment, you should consider looking into your health insurance coverage options.

If you cannot afford drug rehabilitation, some people will take out personal loans to pay for their addiction treatment. Attaining sobriety and giving yourself the amount of care you deserve is worth the money. You can think of rehab as an investment into making a better life for yourself, your family and your friends. Think of the alternative without attending rehab, typically you can either A) end up in jail, or B) continue your substance abuse and possibly die from a drug overdose. Sobriety is worth it and while it may seem difficult, sobriety is very much an attainable goal.

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With so many different options for you to get help, it is possible for almost everyone to get the addiction treatment they need. If for some reason, none of these options are a possibility for you or your loved one, there are many state-funded programs available to you. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has a searchable database of low-cost rehab programs on their website: https://dshs.texas.gov/sa-search/. But do keep in mind that many of these government run programs will have long waiting lists, with robust eligibility requirements.

If you need help right away please don’t hesitate to give us a call at More Than Rehab. We strive to offer the best quality addiction treatment programs in the Houston, Texas area, at a low cost to our clients. We never want cost to prohibit you from getting the help you need. In many cases, we can find a way to offer care at little to no cost for you out of pocket. Please call us anytime, we are available 24/7 to take your call:

888-249-2191

When is the Time For Drug Rehab?

Maybe you’ve just come to realize that things have gotten bad, but are things really bad enough to check yourself into rehab? It is important to be aware that you are not alone. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that an estimated 22.7 million Americans need treatment for a problem with drugs or alcohol. But how do you know when is the time for drug rehab for yourself, or even for a loved one? Having a substance abuse problem does not always mean the person is addicted to drugs.  Often times it will get to the point of addiction, before a person decides they want to stop.

It is important for you to know that a substance abuse disorder, or developing an addiction to drugs or alcohol does not mean that you are a bad person. Becoming dependent on alcohol or drugs is not a moral failing. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA) “addiction is a health issue, not a moral issue”. Many people fear judgment they may receive because of the negative stigma that has been associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Please realize that there are millions of others just like you. You just need to know when it is the right time to ask someone for help. Addiction is a disease and much like any other disease, addiction is a treatable one.

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Addiction or dependence on substances can be both mental and physical:

You don’t have to develop a dependence, or be addicted to drugs or alcohol to attend rehab. If your substance abuse is causing any negative impacts on your life, it is never too early to ask someone for help. Sometimes it’s easier to see the changes in your life from the outside. Confiding in your close friends or family members is an important indicator to take into consideration when making the decision to attend a rehabilitation facility. If your family and friends are concerned about you, then you probably should be too.

A lot of people who struggle with an addiction to drugs or alcohol will try to quit on their own, without the help of a structured substance abuse treatment program. In most all cases, it is very difficult to break free from substance abuse on your own, especially once a physical or mental dependence on the drug has developed. Getting help from a structured drug rehabilitation program is the most likely way for someone to achieve sobriety.

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Denial can become a huge factor and coping mechanism for someone who is struggling with substance abuse. A lot of people who become addicted deny the facts surrounding them, in order to further justify using alcohol and drugs. You may have yourself convinced that you have things under control, or that you can stop at anytime. If your substance use becomes more important than other areas of your life, you likely have a problem. If you find yourself using more and more often or justifying the financial losses, turmoil in your personal relationships or if you’re facing legal troubles, it is likely a good time to consider checking yourself into a drug rehab facility.

Making the decision to seek professional help from a drug rehabilitation center:

It is usually not one earth-shattering, destructive event that may have pushed you to seek rehabilitation from drug or alcohol abuse. For most people who struggle with an addiction, it’s just the day-to-day routine of being constantly under the influence, struggling to find the money to get your next fix, all while trying to hide your problem from your friends and family.  Your routine of getting high becomes so exhausting that you finally begin to understand the fact that you need some professional help.

Many will feel trapped by their addiction.  They want to change, but don’t know how or they’re too afraid to ask for help. Perhaps they fear that they would become a burden to others, or they’re simply afraid to admit that things have gotten out of control. Most people do not want to admit their weaknesses to others. That is an essential part of our innate human nature. We constantly strive to appear strong, being able to take care of ourselves, even when, deep-down we know we can’t. It’s understandable and honestly, committing to go to a drug rehab is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Many people who are struggling with addiction fear the painful withdrawal symptoms.

If you are experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop using, this is a sign you’ve developed a dependence to alcohol or drugs. Perhaps you experience nausea, headaches, insomnia, paranoia or a multitude of other ills when you stop using. This is how addiction holds on to you with a tremendous amount of power and control. A lot of addicts who want to stop using, simply don’t because the withdrawal symptoms can be too painful. These symptoms will only get worse with continued use.

A full medical detox is the first step of the most effective alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs. This can be intimidating and even scary for someone who is a struggling addict. A variety of evidence based, medication assisted treatments are available to help people who struggle with certain types of substance abuse. These medications can assist by easing the withdrawal symptoms during the early stages of a patient’s recovery. Some withdrawal symptoms can turn deadly, especially for people who become addicted to opiates like heroin, prescription drugs like Oxycontin or other opioids. A professional, medical environment is strongly recommended for the initial detox phase.

The best time for drug rehab is right now.

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Getting help with substance abuse is never easy for someone to admit, but the problems will only get worse over time. Addiction is a progressive disease, the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to finally quit. Addiction can lead you to some dark places in life. Countless people do things they would have never even imagined before they started using. A continued addiction can also bear deadly consequences. In 2017, more than 72,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States. Your family members and loved ones would be devastated if you left this planet because of your addiction. Get help today, pick up the phone and call our treatment center. We are available 24/7, and we want to help you right away.

888-249-2191

What is Suboxone?

Suboxone® is an evidence-based, prescription treatment for opioid addiction and heroin addiction. It is a prescription medication that combines buprenorphine and naloxone and has been shown in numerous studies to ease opiate withdrawal symptoms in patients who are beginning their recovery from addiction. These studies also highlight that the medication is beneficial in helping reduce the likelihood of relapse in some patients. Suboxone is known as a medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is used in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy and other “whole-patient” approaches to treatment.

Suboxone can be an incredibly helpful part of drug rehab, as the United States faces an overwhelming drug overdose crisis.

In 2017 over 70,000 Americans died from a drug overdose according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most of these overdose deaths were fueled by an ongoing opioid epidemic that appears to only be getting worse as time goes on. Opioids were linked to 47,600 of these deaths (67.8% of all drug overdose deaths). With the United States battling this epidemic, the need for effective treatment is at an all time high.

The History of Suboxone and buprenorphine.

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Suboxone® to treat opioid dependence issues in patients in 2002. Because Suboxone is itself an opioid drug, it should only be taken with a prescription from a doctor, under close medical care and supervision at a treatment facility like we provide at More Than Rehab, a Houston, Texas area drug rehab facility.

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How does Suboxone work?

Helping to suppress cravings and often painful withdrawal symptoms, Suboxone has the potential to make the process of detox and recovery from opioid addiction much more manageable. Suboxone and buprenorphine have some distinct advantages over other medication assisted treatments like naltrexone or methadone. Suboxone contains both buprenorphine (an opioid partial-antagonist) and naloxone (an opioid antagonist). The buprenorphine will allow the brain to think it is receiving opioids, while the naloxone component blocks the euphoric “high” associated with opioids. These components, in combination will last for about 24 hours. Success rates, as measured by retention in treatment and one-year sobriety have been reported as high as 40-60% in some studies.

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At More Than Rehab, we have found this form of treatment to be successful, helping our patients in the Houston, Texas area avoid the painful process of detox and withdrawal from an opioid or heroin addiction.

Since Suboxone contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid antagonist, it will have less of an effect when it attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. This does not produce the same high effects of full opioid antagonists like Oxycontin, hydrocodone, morphine or heroin. For patients taking Suboxone, they may experience a mildly pleasant sensation. However, for someone who had developed a dependence on opioids, most patients describe that they feel ‘normal’ after taking Suboxone. If the patient had been experiencing pain symptoms they may experience mild pain relief. When taken properly, Suboxone or buprenorphine will not get a euphoric high like they would when they took oxycodone or heroin.  

Since the effects of the buprenorphine lasts a full 24 hours, if a patient who was using this medication-assisted treatment took a problem opioid like heroin or Oxycontin they would not get their usual high. Buprenorphine sticks to opioid receptors so the other opioids could not get in. This is a major benefit of medication-assisted treatments and will ultimately help prevent relapsing while on the medication.

Since Suboxone is only a partial opioid antagonist, taking more of the drug than was prescribed will not allow the patient to get high, unlike other step-down treatments like methadone. This is called the “ceiling effect”. If Suboxone or buprenorphine was taken in the event of an opioid overdose it would help lower the effect of suppression of breathing from the full opioid.

Suboxone contains Naloxone, which helps to discourage misuse and abuse.

Naloxone is the life-saving drug that can be used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. By blocking opioid receptors in the brain, it can be used to prevent suppression of breathing, which in the event of an overdose, can be life-saving. The nasal spray version, Narcan® is available as an over-the-counter medication in 46 states.  Since the opioid receptors in the brain have a higher affinity for naloxone, they will take the place of any other opioid present in the central nervous system, which can block any further negative effects.

Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The presence of naloxone prevents the Suboxone from being crushed or injected and abused like any other opioid. Suboxone is administered sublingually as a film or strip that dissolves under the tongue. If it is used any other way, the naloxone will block the effects of the buprenorphine so the user cannot get high. It was designed this way to prevent misuse or further substance abuse. Only when used as directed will the Suboxone work as intended.

How long should Suboxone treatment last?

The length of use for medication assisted treatment varies greatly and depends on the individual situation. Treatment usually lasts between 1 and 6 months, though in some cases it can be recommended for use over 12 months or longer. As the patient stabilizes, the doctor will decide to taper-off dosage, slowly over time. During this maintenance phase of recovery, you should be monitored closely by a medical addiction treatment professional, as results will vary.

Suboxone and buprenorphine treatment will work best in conjunction with other recovery techniques, like individual and group therapy sessions. To begin a lifetime of sobriety, a comprehensive treatment program is recommended. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction to opioids or heroin, please call us today. At More Than Rehab, we want to help make the world a better place, one client at a time. We listen to you, your needs and we will formulate an individualized treatment plan to help you achieve your goal of sobriety. We are available 24/7 and can get the process started, all you have to do is call.

888-249-2191