Understanding Alcoholism and Drug Abuse

458892257Small lapses of judgment can snowball into life-altering problems. Alcoholism and drug addiction are perfect examples of this stealth dynamic in action, and the subtle nature of the decline they precipitate makes it hard for people with substance abuse disorders to accurately perceive what is happening.

Choosing to drink or take drugs will not automatically lead to addiction. But addiction almost always leads to denial and rationalization, and that is as much a part of this disease as the physical dependency that defines it.

Your willingness to consider the possibility you might have a substance abuse disorder is a positive sign. But unless you understand how addiction distorts your perception you may never be able to face the truth about your plight.

The natural tendency of drug addicts and alcoholics who reflect on their substance abuse is to avoid a full and honest self-appraisal, leading them to underestimate how far down the rabbit hole of dependency they’ve actually fallen.

The best way to ensure your process of self-analysis stays on track is to educate yourself about the symptoms of alcoholism and drug addiction. Not just the physical symptoms but the emotional and psychological mind tricks substance abuse problems play, which can make it difficult to detect addiction from a first-person perspective.

Here are some common warning signs that might indicate your drug or alcohol habit has gotten out of control:

  • You need to drink more or take larger quantities of drugs to get the same effects.
  • You drink or take drugs every day, or always return to alcohol or drugs again after brief periods of sobriety.
  • You’ve started telling “little white lies” to the people you love, most of which revolve around your drinking or drugging.
  • Guilt and shame have become your constant companions, even though you’re not always sure what you’re feeling guilty or ashamed about.
  • In conversations about your behavior you frequently find yourself on the defensive (even in instances where your substance abuse isn’t brought up during the discussion).
  • You’ve gotten into the habit of using drugs or alcohol for mood alteration or enhancement (you can’t relax, have fun or feel comfortable in social situations without it, to give some examples).
  • You’re experiencing more of the troubling mood swings that helped push you toward drugs or alcohol in the first place.
  • Your physical health has started to decline.
  • Your family and friends are worried and they’ve been telling you about it.
  • The real-life consequences of your drinking and drug use have become impossible to ignore (financial troubles, relationship problems, declining performance on the job, etc.).
  • Your internal dialogues are loaded with rationalizations, as you’ve begun making just as many excuses to yourself as you’ve been making to others.

Generally speaking, the more of these symptoms you manifest the worse your substance abuse problem is likely to be.

With Eyes Wide Open, There is Hope

Alcoholism and drug abuse affect the mind, body and spirit. They sneak up on you and catch you by surprise, changing your entire life day-by-day until their ravages are undeniable. You have to notice what drugs or alcohol are doing to your life before you can do anything about them, and that means learning to recognize the warning signs of addiction while there is still time to make a change.

Follow our blog at A Calming Tide for more valuable information about substance abuse and strategies to overcome it.

Understanding The Effetcs/Dangers Of Xanax Overdoses

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Xanax basically works through suppressing the human central nervous system. It causes a sleepy and relaxed state among the user. Based on this, Xanax has been used to deal with a number of anxiety issues. The biggest challenge with using Xanax is basically related to its addictive nature. Generally, a prescription of Xanax should not last for more than eight weeks. Longer prescriptions can lead to addiction which at some point may cause Xanax overdose.

The dangers of Xanax Overdose

Overdosing on Xanax can have a number of dire health effects. It is important to note that overdosing on the drug can lead to a full collapse of the nervous system leading to a diversity of conditions. The following are some of the known effects of Xanax overdose:

  • Heart attack
  • Regular seizures
  • Coma
  • Death
  • Brain damage

How Can Xanax Overdose Be Avoided?

Avoiding an overdose of Xanax can only be achieved if there is an intervention right before the drug is prescribed. Doctors have a bigger role to play in reducing any cases of Xanax addiction and overdose. The following are some precautions that must be taken in order to prevent overdosing on Xanax:

  • The Patient Medical History Must Be Clearly Established: Before Xanax is administered, doctors should first of all check the patient’s medical history in a bid to establish if there are any previous health and psychological conditions that might interfere or amplify the effects of the drug.
  • Any Prescription Drugs Must Be Established: The history of previous prescription drugs is also a necessity. Some drugs may have stayed within the patient body and these left overs may interfere with Xanax. Sometimes the interference of Xanax by other medications within the patient’s body can cause symptoms that are similar to those of an overdose.

Xanax has a number of positive uses but extra care must be taken to avoid addiction and also overdose. The best thing to do is to make sure that you get your prescriptions from a doctor. Additionally, if you are not sure about anything, make sure you ask a professional to help you out.

Addiction to Sleeping Pills is a Serious Problem

Addiction to Sleeping PillsIt’s easy for people to develop an addiction to sleeping pills. People often develop this addiction unintentionally. Most people who take sleeping pills start out taking them because they want to get a good night’s sleep. Over time, they develop a dependence on these drugs that can turn into a dangerous addiction.

Even if people follow their doctor’s instructions to the letter, they can still become dependent on benzodiazepines. If you’ve been taking something like Ativan or Valium for more than a few months, you can experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them.

Many doctors give out prescriptions to tranquilizers like Xanax with good intentions. In the beginning, they work well. People get the sleep and relaxation that they need. Both the patient and the doctor are pleased with the results, and the patient continues to take the drug and enjoy the benefits.

Prescribed Addiction

However, after extended use, the body becomes more and more dependent on these drugs. When people try to stop taking it, they are hit with severe side effects. This causes them to start taking the drug again immediately. Once you start taking benzodiazepines, it can be incredibly difficult to stop.

If you think you have an addiction to sleeping pills, it’s important that you stop taking the drug in a healthy way. When you suddenly stop taking a drug like this, it can be dangerous for your body. The symptoms can also be very hard to manage, which makes it hard not to turn back to the pills.

If you think you’re addicted to benzodiazepines, talk to your doctor about a withdrawal plan. It won’t be easy, but it can be done. Many people have overcome their addiction to drugs like Xanax and Ativan. You can do the same.

Addiction To Valium And Xanax – How To Get Help

180413253There are certain types of drugs that are able to work on your central nervous system in order to provide you with some form of relief. It could be that you are not able to sleep, you are constantly feeling panicked, or your anxiety level is through the roof. Instead of prescribing barbiturates, which was a standard practice for many years, people are turning to benzodiazepines as an alternative which seems to work much better.

These drugs include Ativan,Valium, and Xanax to name a few, and are often prescribed to help people sleep. However, you can build up an addiction to these substances, and then you will need to find a rehabilitation center in your area to get off of them.

What Do Benzodiazepines Do?

These drugs are able to affect GABA receptors in the brain which can provide hypnotic or sleep inducing states. When taken regularly, they can also reduce anxiety that people are experiencing. They work short-term, which means you will have to continually take them every couple hours to maintain the effect.

There are natural remedies that actually emulate the same results including lemon balm extract. It really depends on how much anxiety or depression you are experiencing, or how badly you cannot sleep. In the end, you don’t want to take these everyday because you can build up a dependency.

Getting Treatment For Benzodiazepine Addictions

If you feel that you need to have your Xanax every day in order to function, or you have to have your Ativan in order to sleep, it is possible that you have developed an addiction to these drugs and the way that they stimulate your GABA receptors. In order to alleviate this, you need to go to a clinic or rehabilitation center that can help you get off of these drugs. Then you should use something natural that can also stimulate your GABA receptors which are not addicting at all.

Methylphenidate Substance Abuse

452990501Often referred to the street names of Vitamin R, MPH or R-Ball, Methylphenidate is a drug that is normally prescribed as a stimulant of the central nervous system that works to treat the symptoms of ADHD. In some cases, it can also be used to help treat patients who are dealing with a sleep disorder that is known as narcolepsy. There are actually quite a few teenagers, however that are now abusing this and other prescription medications when they start taking it to help them suppress their appetite or try to focus on studying for exams and more.

Believe it or not, there are even a lot of adults that have been known to take or abuse Methylphenidate that has been prescribed to their children to treat whatever their condition may be. Whether it is ADD or ADHD, any parent or person who abuses such a stimulant can start to develop any number of side effects. The addiction, while it is still not talked about as openly as it should be, is real and should be treated with the help of a professional that is trained in substance abuse.

Methylphenidate, or Ritalin, is a stimulant that is actually quite a bit stronger than caffeine, however it is not as strong as most amphetamines. Some of the side effects that have been noted can include irritability, blurry vision, tics, drowsiness, blood pressure abnormalities, psychosis and loss of appetite. Extremely high doses can even lead to potentially lethal seizures or cardiovascular failure.

If you know someone who has developed an addition to Vitamin R, it is important that you get them the help that they need so that they can stop abusing this prescription drug. With the right level of treatment, anyone can get the help to kick this substance abuse habit.

Addiction To Benzodiazepine Sleeping Pills

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Benzodiazepines, also known as tranquilizers, include Ativan, Xanax and Valium, and are depressant drugs that slow down the central nervous system’s activity and the messages travelling between the brain and the body.  Doctors sometimes prescribe sleeping pills for the relief of anxiety and excessive stress to help people sleep.  However, the long term use of benzodiazepines is causing increasing concern in the medical profession as to the health risks they could cause.  Benzodiazepine abuse occurs when people use the drug illegally to help induce “come down” effects from stimulants such a amphetamines, or to become intoxicated.

There are three types of benzodiazepines:  short, intermediate and long-acting.  Short-acting tranquilizers have stronger withdrawal symptoms and are more addictive than intermediate or long-acting benzodiazepines. For example, Valium is long-acting and Xanax is short-acting.

Benzodiazepines are also known as benzos, sleepers, pills, tranx, downers, serras, moggies, normies and xannies.  They are usually swallowed in tablet form bur an also be injected.  Some more common brand names include Ativan, Xanax and Valium.

Effects of Benzodiazepine Abuse
Each person will be affected differently by benzodiazepines and can include:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired thinking
  • Feelings of euphoria of isolation
  • Slurred speech and stuttering
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Constipation or diahrrea
  • Fatigue, drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Tremors
  • Impaired coordination
  • Tremors

The consumption of larger amounts will result in the following effects:

  • Sleep from over-sedation
  • Excitability and jitteriness
  • Agression
  • Mood swings
  • Shallow, slow breathing
  • Coma or unconsciousness
  • Death (particularly when taken with other drugs and alcohol)

Injecting may cause vein damage, scarring, infection (including HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C), blood clots and deep vein thrombosis leading to the possible loss of limbs, organ damage stroke and death.  Repeated injections and sharing injection equipment will increase the above mentioned risks.

Treatment for Addiction To Benzodiazepine Sleeping Pills

Giving up the use of benzodiazepines after a long period of using the drug can be challenging and it is strongly recommended to consult a health professional.  Withdrawal symptoms can be severe but differ from person to person and the type of benzodiazepine used.  Symptoms can last anything from a few weeks to almost a year and it is advisable to seek professional help and even to enter a drug abuse facility to help overcome the most severe symptoms.

A Guide To Painkillers And An Addiction To Pain Medication

sb10069456i-001The majority of people often underestimate the addictive power of painkillers.  Due to the ease of availability and inexpensive purchase amount, painkiller medication is one of the most dangerous drugs on the market.  Unfortunately, despite the detrimental effects it is impossible to ban the medication as they are prescribed by doctors and used as legitimate treatment for pain relief.

While the majority of pain medication contains acetaminophen as the active ingredient, many others utilize morphine.  These options are far more potent and have a greater addictive quality.  If an individual is addicted to pain medication they will show symptoms within the first few days as he/she will have engaged in severe overdosing.  Symptoms include physical attributes such as blood-shot eyes, slurred speech and breathing problems.  The individual also demonstrates negative psychological effects such as poor concentration and mood swings.

If the addiction is not treated in a certain period of time, the individual will develop an immunity or physical tolerance to the pain medication.  This tolerance causes a need for greater doses of the painkiller within a more frequent time frame in order to gain the ‘fix’.  An increase in pain medication can also lead to convulsions, irreversible liver damage and irregular heart complications which may result in death.

There are different types of treatment available for individuals who are addicted to pain medication, and each design is available on different levels.  The addicted person will be required to undergo counseling when removing themselves from painkiller addiction and this should be conducted by a specialist counselor exclusively.  Recovering addicts must also be encouraged to join support groups where they are exposed to behavioral therapies to assist with lifestyle rehabilitation.

As one can see, addiction to pain medication is dangerous for individuals; but there is treatment available for the individual who wishes to recover.

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment:

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Addiction To Pain Meds Is A Hidden Problem For Most People

450745517Discovering that someone in the family has an addiction to pain meds can devastating. More often than not, all the signs have been there, but until it is pointed out by someone, the family usually do not join all of the dots. This is especially the case when it comes to painkillers. Although people who suffer from alcoholism try to hide their problem, they are often unsuccessful, and so everyone around them is usually aware of what is going on. When it comes to a drug such as Hydrocodone, the problem can become very hard to spot.

The usual symptoms are lethargy, dizziness, sleeping more than usual, and losing weight. However, these symptoms can come on over a period of time, and so those who are closest to them rarely notice. It is only when the addicted person meets someone that they may not have seen in months that the health effects of the addiction are obvious. As usual with an addiction, when these problems are pointed out, they will likely blame it on something else. When this happens, it is best for all of those who are close, to sit down and talk things through.

The problem with this kind of addiction is that it is not just people who are purchasing the painkillers illegally that make up the majority of sufferers. More often than not, it is people who start taking them to control the pain for a health problem that they have, and before they know it, they want more, and then can’t stop taking them. The treatment for such addiction is the same as that for any drug, and success rates are high. As usual, taking the first step in order to get the treatment is the hardest part, but once that is done, things get much easier.

Addiction To Oxycodone HCL

156292188She didn’t think it could happen to her, matter of fact, no one thinks that it can happen to them. Drug addictions is something that most of us believe happens to someone else. We think that it belongs to the characters living on the streets or the imagery the media shows us of poor meth addicts. This imagery is so far replaced from us that we only associate drug addiction with people at the bottom of society. We do not see it as an issue that the average middle class nobody or upper class Whole Foods set has. We are so wrong to think this and we need better education on the fact that anyone can become addicted to almost any drug.

When it comes to drugs such as ocycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone or meperdine, these drugs are so commonly prescribed that the average drug addict in our country isn’t someone using heroin, crack, cocaine or meth; the average drug user is someone addicted to a prescription drug. This is a far cry from what we think a drug addict looks like or from what part of society they stem from. Look around your neighborhood and you will see the face of drug addiction.

The Solution

The solution is get professional treatment from someone who knows what they are doing. Realize that you need treatment, realize that it is the best and in many cases the only way to get better and do not waste time fighting the fact that you are in need of help. The sooner you face the reality of the situation, you will be on the path to getting better in life.

Prescription Drug and Painkiller Addiction and Substance Abuse Treatment in an Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program:

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Addiction to Benzodiazepines

186065423Addiction to prescription drugs is a common problem in the country. There are a great many things that leave people feeling stressed out and unable to rest without some form of medication. While these can be useful for the short term, if other therapies are not also implemented, the patient may find themselves addicted to sleeping pills like Ativan and Valium.

Sometimes these drugs are also prescribed to help relieve anxiety. If the underlying causes of the anxiety are not addressed, the patient will build a tolerance and require more of the drugs just to stay calm. Both situations lead to addiction.

Benzodiazepines are a powerful class of drug that should only be used for a short period of time under the care of a competent physician. Those who are addicted may find themselves going to multiple practitioners in order to obtain enough drugs to stay high. Others will turn to the underground market in search of additional pills.

The habit becomes expensive and jeopardizes the health of the individual. It can slow heart and respiration rates, sometimes leading to death. Addicts have been known to fall asleep behind the wheel of a vehicle and harmed themselves or others.

Addiction to sleeping pills is not something that should be taken lightly. Fortunately, there is hope for anyone addicted to drugs. Treatment centers are designed to help addicts kick the habit for good. They begin with a detoxification program and follow up with addiction education. Patients have the opportunity to learn about their triggers and formulate a relapse prevention plan.

If you are addicted to sleeping pills, there is no need to feel ashamed. Reach out to a treatment center near you and seek help today. You deserve to live a life free from the grips of addictive drugs.