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substance abuse treatment and family therapy

The 5 Most Serious Effects of Substance Abuse on Family Members

Substance abuse is a problem that affects millions of Americans throughout the country and around the world, but these individuals are not the only ones suffering from the effects of substance abuse. Family members are also heavily impacted by the addiction of a loved one. 

Substance abuse undoubtedly influences families of all structures, but there are treatments and family therapy to help recover and move forward with healthy relationships. The mental, physical, and economic burdens of addiction can have ripple effects throughout an individual’s family. Let’s take a look at how substance abuse affects the family in five different ways. 

1. Damaging to Family Relationships

The symptoms of substance abuse and addiction can have severe effects on an individual’s relationships. If a person is dealing with substance abuse, they may be manipulative, deceitful, abusive, and exhibit other unhealthy traits. Individuals with addiction are dealing with a complex chronic disorder that isn’t necessarily cured once they progress through treatment. Recovering addicts need a strong support system and individuals who relapse cause their family more pain and frustration, but relapse can be a part of the disorder. 

All stages of an addiction, including relapse, can have an impact on family relationships, but the effects may vary depending on the family structure. If an individual is dealing with substance abuse, their parents will most likely give them more attention in an attempt to help or even hide the substance abuse. In these cases, siblings can become victims of feelings of neglect, loneliness, resentment, and anger. Siblings of substance abusers are sometimes referred to as “invisible victims” due to the challenges they face, often silently. 

The damage done to family relationships through substance abuse certainly does not exclude parental relationships. As expected, parental relationships undergo extreme stress, tension, and potentially abuse with a child being affected by substance abuse. Parents may feel a multitude of emotions and thoughts toward their child dealing with an addiction. This can cause enabling their loved one’s actions in some cases, but remaining open and supportive is an incredibly high priority. 

Addiction is a chronic disease and if a parent is embarrassed, negative, and unsupportive then relapse is all the more probable. So, although parents are heavily affected, sometimes even manipulated, they can also have an incredibly positive effect in return. Intrepid Detox has more information about how to get help for a loved one suffering from addiction and other resources. 

2. Abuse Within the Family

Damaging to Family RelationshipsUnfortunately, abuse within families of individuals suffering from addiction is not uncommon. Like previously mentioned, addicts may become manipulative, deceitful, and abusive in order to facilitate their addiction. This can result in an entire family living in a confrontational environment and eventually lead to violence. Abuse within a family is obviously damaging to relationships but depending on the family structure there can be different long-lasting effects for family members. A child of an addict may try to enable, or shift blame from their parent, which could cause them to act out. Additionally, a child may develop social issues that follow them into adulthood. 

Abuse does not only come from the individual dealing with addiction because sometimes the addict can be the victim of abuse. The effects of substance abuse on family can be stressful and painful. Oftentimes family members become frustrated and may physically or emotionally abuse the individual who needs help. Being supportive while also feeling manipulated can be incredibly frustrating, but one of the best things for a loved one suffering from substance abuse is to be there for them. 

3. Effects on Children 

Effects on ChildrenAs previously mentioned, children are heavily affected by having to witness and be around substance abuse in a family. The effects can be long-lasting and according to a study, 1 in 5 children grow up in a home where a parent abuses drugs and or alcohol. Children who have to witness a parent suffering the effects and symptoms of addiction are also more likely to develop substance abuse problems later in their lives. These same children are also more likely to be neglected, along with being physically and sexually abused. Growing up and maturing in an environment affected by substance abuse can hinder a child’s learning and development, but also foster long-term mental and emotional disorders. 

A family environment being affected by substance abuse could be violent, neglectful, emotionally abusive, and exhibit more unhealthy characteristics. A child growing up in this kind of environment is likely to be exposed to aggressive behavior, so they may become troubled and even unstable. The emotional and mental toll of being raised in a dysfunctional environment can cause children to feel extreme guilt, unsafe, unworthiness, and loneliness. In extreme cases, children can be taken from their families and placed in foster care. Children are a great example of why getting treatment for substance abuse is important to more people than just the individual directly receiving care. 

4. Financial Troubles

Substance abuse and addiction come with a number of serious problems and financial troubles are one of the most serious. An addict is responsible for their substance abuse, but they may hurt more than themselves trying to fund their addiction. Not only do most substance abusers lose their job at one point or another, due to issues with performance or attendance, but they typically turn to savings and other valuables to provide for their addiction. If this is the case, a family may have trouble paying for basic needs like rent, food, and utilities. 

In addition to potentially losing a job, individuals dealing with an addiction usually find themselves in trouble with the law. For example, if an individual is arrested for driving under the influence and caught with drugs, they could lose their license. They could also lose their job and the associated cost will cause another series of financial problems. Sometimes an enabler in the family may even supply money or drugs to the individual suffering from addiction, which will only increase the financial problems and prolong the addiction symptoms. 

5. High Stress 

Family members living or dealing with a loved one who suffers from addiction know how it can be incredibly stressful. A spouse may try to protect and hide the addiction from their children, family, and friends, which could enable the substance abuser. This level of responsibility and stress, while also assuming parenting duties can strain relationships and lead to abuse, neglect, and an unhealthy family environment. The added responsibility of caretaking can also induce a lot of stress, as individuals suffering from addiction are usually taken care of by family or another loved one. 

Bills, major decisions, personal hygiene, daily chores, parenting, and more are all things that an individual dealing with substance abuse likely pushes onto their partner. The effects of substance abuse on family members can be stressful and demanding. Parents, siblings, children, and a partner will all be more prone to elevated stress. High levels of stress can result in symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure 
  • Anxiety 
  • Insomnia 
  • Chest pain and more

How Substance Abuse Affects the Family

how substance abuse affects the familyDifferent family structures react to substance abuse differently, but all families are affected. There can be common emotions running throughout the family such as blame, loneliness, fear, and plenty more. Despite all these emotions, actions, and hardships, families still need to communicate and remain open and sympathetic with each other. When considering how substance abuse affects the family, it can be important for the entire family to undergo therapy. This will help them all work through their problems and learn to build trust again. These are some common side effects of substance abuse that can directly influence a family:

  • Withdrawal 
  • Financial troubles
  • Exposure to drugs
  • Poor school performance 
  • Reckless or irrational behavior inside the home
  • Stealing money from a parent(s) and or sibling(s) to support an addiction 
  • Running away from the home 

The relationship between family and drug addiction can be deep and the chronic disease never truly goes away. Due to the hardships that come with treating and recovering from substance abuse, individuals need a strong support group. This is vital to helping them avoid relapse and returning to their addiction later. An individual is still responsible for their own actions, whether the substance abuser is a parent or their child. However, it’s never too late to get help and move forward with a fulfilling and healthy life. 

Intrepid Detox Can Help You and Your Family

Substance abuse and addiction are problems that affect more than just the user. Family, friends, and other loved ones will all be affected in one way or another. These effects are symptoms of treatable and fixable issues. Addiction can ruin an individual’s life, but through substance abuse treatment and family therapy, recovery is possible. 

Social and economic troubles as a result of addiction should never be taken lightly, but mental and physical problems are just as dangerous. As this list shows, the effects of substance abuse on family members can be intense. Don’t wait. Contact Intrepid Detox for more information on how to find recovery for yourself or a loved one today. 

References:

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline: What Should I Expect?

Understanding what an opiate withdrawal timeline will look like is important for addicts and their loved ones. It is too common for users to reject even trying to become sober out of fear of opiate withdrawal. After all, opiate withdrawal is very painful and could even be fatal. However, professional detox with medical supervision could minimize the painful effects of opioid withdrawal. 

An opiate addict will fabricate justifications for not getting sober – fear of withdrawal is a popular one. By familiarizing oneself with an opiate withdrawal timeline and understanding how a medically supervised opiate withdrawal transpires, an addict and their loved ones can feel confident about sobriety.   

What are Opiates?

To understand how a body reacts during opiate withdrawal, one must understand how opiate usage affects the body. Opioids are a large class of drugs, including heroin, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, and many more. 

Opioids are effective pain relievers because, when consumed, they attach to proteins on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the body. Essentially, opioids tell your brain that you are not in pain by blocking the pain messages sent from an injury through the spinal cord to the brain. 

Statistics about the opioid crisis are simply terrifying. 1.27 million Americans are currently receiving medication-assisted treatment for opioid withdrawal. In 2016, 297 people out of every 100,000 suffered opioid-related hospitalizations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, synthetic opioids are the most common cause of overdoses. In 2019, over 70% of the 70,630 overdoses involved an opioid. In the 20 years between 1999 and 2019, about 500,000 people died from opioid usage.

How Do People Become Addicted to Opioids?

Opioids release endorphins into the body, which are the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. When people start taking opioids, the euphoria created is a result of an excess of brain chemicals. Gradually, the brain stops producing its own feel-good neurotransmitters because the consumed opioids are getting the job done. As a result, a person will need the opioids to return to their regular physical and emotional well-being.

Since opioids are so effective at blocking pain and making users feel good. Every day, countless people suffer injuries and are prescribed opioids. In the few days of taking the prescription to numb the pain, the person has become addicted. Addiction is blind to sex, race, intelligence, or wealth status – anyone can become an opioid addict.

When the opioid effect wears off, the body will want to consume it again. Frequent usage will rewire the body so that the pain is magnified when the user stops taking the drug. As a result, the user will continue taking the opioid, making the addiction more ingrained each time.

Opiate Withdrawal Can be Fatal

Depending on how severe a user’s opiate addiction is, their withdrawal can be fatal once they stop taking the drug. Opiate withdrawal will not directly kill someone. However, the anatomical reactions of opiate withdrawal can. Nausea and diarrhea are common symptoms of opioid withdrawal and can cause dehydration. If the user fails to replace these fluids, they can die. 

Opiate users who get arrested are at risk of dying from an overdose due to a lack of supervision in their cells. As long as jails follow the right protocols to take care of inmates suffering opiate withdrawal, there should not be any deaths. In addition, any addict who experiences withdrawal by themselves is at risk of dying. Besides increasing the chances of death, people who try to detox themselves from opiates have a good risk of resorting to more opiates to relieve withdrawal symptoms.

The Opiate Withdrawal Timeline Will Look Different for Different Users

Opiate Withdrawal TimelineBetween eight and thirty hours after an opiates addict’s last fix, withdrawal symptoms will begin to materialize. The half-life of a drug can accurately predict when cravings will start. The half-life of a drug refers to the time a body requires to expunge half a dose of the drug.

Typically, opioids have a half-life of a few hours. Oxycodone’s half-life is three to five hours. Methadone’s half life is eight to 60 hours. Substances with shorter half-lives will have more intense withdrawal symptoms. 

While these withdrawal symptoms will usually be painful, they should begin to decrease within a few days, and within a week, there will be an apparent improvement in acute symptoms. 

Opiate withdrawal symptoms will range in pain and intensity from mild to severe and can last from a few days to a month. 

Opiate Withdrawal Timeline

As with most good things in life, we need to trudge through the storm to get to the clearing. This can not be more true when it comes to opiate withdrawal. Anyone suffering from opiate withdrawal symptoms should understand that their symptoms will progressively lessen. Time simmers all physical dependency. Most drug users just need to lock themselves in a room for a week, and the addiction will be reduced. However, because opiate withdrawal symptoms can be so painful, opiate withdrawal must transpire with medical supervision.

Anyone considering giving up opiates needs to familiarize themselves with the opiate withdrawal timeline. Opiate withdrawal symptoms are different for different users, but generally, they can be forecasted, making this painful and imperative experience easier for the addict and their loved ones.

Day 1: Opiate Withdrawal

Day one of opiate withdrawal will start bad and end worse. During that first day, individuals may experience cravings, headaches, anxiety, muscle aches, insomnia, eyes tearing, excessive sweating, aggression, and appetite loss. Day one of opiate withdrawal symptoms usually correlates with fears of the withdrawal process. The recovering addict understands that his cravings and anxiety are about to get a lot worse. As a result, day one of opiate withdrawal is plagued with anxiety and drug-seeking behavior.

Day 2: Opiate Withdrawal

Day two of opiate withdrawal symptoms will include all the symptoms from day one and more. Individuals can experience body tremors, panic attacks, muscle spasms, and increased blood pressure. On day two of opiate withdrawal, individuals will see an increase in anxiety and restlessness. Individuals may become nauseous, they might start vomiting, and they might suffer from stomach aches. The worse that the symptoms become, the more cravings and drug-seeking behavior will endure.

Day 3: Opiate Withdrawal

Depending on the sort of opiate the user has been taking, the peak of symptoms will occur during the third day of opiate withdrawal. Individuals going through this vicious stage should drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food. It is important to keep the body hydrated and healthy. On this day, there is a good chance that the detoxing individual may not have an appetite. In that case, they should eat whatever they can, including soups and mashed potatoes, anything that is easy on the stomach and does not require much chewing. Cravings and urges will be strongest on this day.

Day 4: Opiate Withdrawal

Day four of opiate withdrawal will see a continuation of all previous symptoms. Individuals could see their peak of withdrawal symptoms on day four. Additional symptoms may include shivering and enlarged pupils. 

Day 5: Opiate Withdrawal

Some users experience a tapering off of physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms on this day. Individuals may start to feel better on this day. However, withdrawal symptoms may last weeks or even months for some users. Until all opiates have left the body, people will continue to feel increased anxiety, trouble sleeping and lingering drug cravings. 

Day 6 and After: Opiate Withdrawal 

During this stage, the physical withdrawal may be gone, but individuals will continue to be affected by lingering symptoms. Mood swings, drug dreams, poor concentration, depression, and insomnia are just some of the afflictions that may affect an individual. In addition, environmental triggers that may lure someone into relapse are potential hazards.

How Does Medical Detox Help Minimize Symptoms and Cravings?

opiate withdrawal timelineA detox can take place three ways; alone, with friends or family, or medically. The first two scenarios are dangerous. Even under the supervision of friends or family, something can go wrong. If someone does something wrong or doesn’t know what to do, serious consequences could unfold, including death.

Medical detox is the most effective way to minimize both the painful symptoms and the length of time of withdrawal. For starters, medical detox is medically supervised. In addition, individuals undergoing a medical detox receive specific medications that help to reduce the severity of withdrawal.

During medical detox, the supervising team will use certain medicine that has been proven to assist those going through opiate withdrawal. The following medication is often used during a medically supervised detox:

Clonidine

Clonidine is prescribed mainly to reduce blood pressure and suppress withdrawal symptoms, such as anxiety and stress. The extended-release tablet is taken once or twice a day. It could also come in the form of a wearable patch. Clonidine does not provide the euphoric sensations that come with opioid painkillers. As a result, Clonidine will not become habit-forming.  

Methadone

Once upon a time, methadone was the most widely used medication in detox situations. It has since been replaced with buprenorphine. Methadone is effective in weaning patients off of their addictions. However, the reason that methadone has been largely replaced is that it is a long-acting opioid. Most of the medical community does not approve of replacing one opioid with another.

Buprenorphine

Frequently used in treatment for alcoholism, buprenorphine is also very effective in treating opiate withdrawal. The drug decreases withdrawal symptoms. The drug can be injected, placed under the tongue, as a skin patch, an implant, or placed in the cheek.

How to Perform a Detox Quickly

The purpose of rapid detox is to make the detox process as quick as possible. Detox is a harrowing experience, so the faster the process, the less painful and the more likely an effective outcome will transpire. There are two methods of speeding up the detox process:

Rapid Detox

In a rapid detox, the patient is given different medications that have been proven to speed up detox.

Ultra-Rapid Detox

In an ultra-rapid detox, general anesthesia is used. While the patient is sedated, an opioid blocker is given, causing the body to commence the detox process. When the patient awakes, the most unpleasant symptoms have passed.

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. According to the American Addictions website, the rapid detox process is not considered safe. The rapid detox could cause a heart attack, paranoia, infections, relapses, and other afflictions.

Continued Treatment After Detox is the Best Way to Ensure Sobriety

When the patient finally walks out of detox, he or she is certainly on the road to recovery. However, they have just begun their voyage; a few oceans and a few mountains still must be traversed. Some people may be in treatment for the rest of their lives. After all, detox is just to expunge substances from the body. In terms of changing an addict’s addictive habits, a detox does nothing.

According to the Principles of Effective Treatment by the NIDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse, number five is “Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical.” This statement is supported by extensive research illustrating that most addicts need AT LEAST three months of drug treatment to reduce or stop drug use.

When a patient leaves their rehab program early, not all the blame should lie with the patient. Clinics and programs need to develop strategies that keep their patients in treatment. 

Number eight on the same NIDA document, Principles of Effective Treatment, is that “An individual’s treatment and services plan must be assessed continually and modified as necessary to ensure that it meets his or her changing needs.”

A recovering addict will see a lot of ups and downs. The most effective way to ensure sobriety is to modify the intensity of the patient’s therapy to match their changing needs and lifestyles. A team of experienced medical professionals is required to accomplish such a task. 

What Sort of Treatment is Available Post-Detox?

Opiate Withdrawal TimelineThe best way to achieve sobriety after detox is to follow a mapped-out journey. After detox, depending on the severity of their addiction, a person will go to inpatient or outpatient rehab. The most significant difference between these two forms of rehab is that patients go back home for the night in outpatient rehab. They both provide counseling and introduce patients to many others going through similar lifestyle changes. As a result, these rehab centers provide overwhelming support.

After rehab, patients need to continue their rehabilitation with counseling and therapy. Nowadays, a session with a therapist can be conducted on a computer in someone’s living room. As a result, excuses for discontinuing therapy are hard to come up with.

Contact Intrepid Detox Residential Today

Deciding to get a detox is the first step of a very long road. However, that first step is the hardest and most important. Acknowledging a problem is evidence that a person is determined to defeat it. As this article has illustrated, the road to recovery has many different paths. One wrong turn could easily lead to a relapse. 

Speak with an operator at Intrepid Detox Residential to find out what we can offer you. One of the most respected detox facilities in South Florida, Intrepid Detox has been helping people gain sobriety for decades. We have earned the highest level of accreditation in healthcare. Call now to get the best possible results!

References:

Effects of alcohol withdrawal

Does Hypnosis Work to Stop Drinking?

Using hypnosis to stop drinking is an uncommon but potentially impactful practice. Alcohol addiction is a habit that requires support, discipline, and often professional help to break. Alcohol dependency is a continuously growing issue in the United States. Since each person needs a unique route to recovery, hypnosis to stop drinking may help you or your loved one. 

What is Hypnosis?

Hypnosis, or hypnotherapy, is a tool used in a range of fields of scientific study. Hypnosis is essentially a method used to put someone in a relaxed state of mind. The hypnotic state can be compared to a meditative state. This state can be beneficial to turn the subject’s attention internally, bringing mindfulness benefits. 

The primary goal of hypnosis is to relax the conscious mind, letting the subconscious move more into focus. By doing so, the likelihood of the person gaining psychological insight is increased. Studies show hypnosis has been effective in helping people stop smoking. The studies in-depth explain that hypnotherapy can help curb bad habits and influence healthy changes in individuals. 

Many researchers believe hypnosis can be effective for other addictions aside from tobacco. This includes hypnosis to stop drinking and using other substances. However, hypnotherapy is used to treat several conditions, including:

  • Pre-surgery anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Menopausal symptoms
  • Hot flashes in breast cancer survivors 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Chronic pain 

Does Hypnosis Work to Stop Drinking?

Those looking for assistance for severe addictions should speak with an addiction specialist. Hypnotherapy is currently used in treating addiction, substance abuse, and alcohol dependency. Successful hypnotherapy may help an individual address problem drinking, binge drinking, or simply stop drinking altogether. 

Only qualified individuals should perform hypnosis for healthcare. Qualified individuals may include physicians, nurses, psychologists, or licensed therapists. Trained hypnotherapists should not be confused with stage hypnotists. Hypnotherapy is a medical treatment and should be conducted by a medical or clinical professional. 

How Does Hypnosis Work to Stop Drinking?

does hypnosis work to stop drinkingHypnotherapists generally make sure their patient is entirely calm and comfortable before beginning the process. During the session, the patient can expect to discuss their goals and problems. When ready, the hypnotherapist will guide the patient into a relaxation state. This process may include the patient closing their eyes or focusing on a specific visual stimulant. 

The state of relaxation may turn into a hypnotic state or trance. When the hypnotherapist recognizes this state, they may then ask their patient to visualize specific situations.  The therapist may give a patient encouragement to make positive changes in their behavior. The patient may even relive through uncomfortable symptoms. 

Once the therapist is done conducting their exercises, they will gradually guide their patient out of the hypnotic state. The fundamental goal of these sessions is to encourage the patient’s unconscious mind to integrate healthy behavior suggestions from the therapist. In some cases, this is enough for someone to change their habits or stop drinking altogether. 

Benefits of Hypnosis for Alcoholism

Potential benefits of using hypnosis to stop drinking includes:

  • Increased relaxation, short-term and long-term
  • Relief of depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Stronger immune system
  • Long-term substance abuse recovery

It is more likely for people to experience benefits than adverse effects when it comes to hypnosis. In some uncommon cases, short-term adverse effects are possible.

Adverse Effects of Hypnosis for Alcoholism

does hypnosis work to stop drinkingPotential short-term adverse effects or negative consequences include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety or distress
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Unsuccessful addiction treatment

Individuals that experience psychotic symptoms, such as delusions or other forms of hallucinations, should avoid hypnotherapy. Risks for individuals with severe mental health disorders may include:

  • Stupor 
  • Seizure
  • Dissociation 
  • Worsened mental illness
  • Stress from previous trauma 

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction

Drinking alcohol regularly causes the brain to learn to have a high supply of glutamine. After long-term use, people develop a high tolerance for alcohol, leading to the brain needing to adapt. When someone is dependent on alcohol, issues can arise when they take a break from drinking. This is referred to as alcohol dependence in a physical and psychological sense. 

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous and even deadly in severe addiction situations. Therefore, it is essential to work with a professional and detox in a controlled environment. Addiction is a cycle, and once tolerance develops into dependency, severe withdrawal symptoms may occur. 

Research shows high levels of glutamine worsen withdrawal symptoms. Many facilities utilize hypnosis to not only help people stop drinking but also to manage symptoms.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Excess Glutamine

The primary role hypnosis plays in alcohol addiction is to deter the person from ingesting alcohol. GABA is a neurotransmitter in the brain that allows different parts of the body’s system to communicate. GABA’s central role is to regulate the body’s nervous system.

Successful GABA function means the neurotransmitter helps decrease anxiety and other mental health symptoms. Unfortunately, GABA and alcohol do not mix well. Alcohol consumption can lead to GABA withdrawal, which may be expressed in persistent worrying, intrusive thoughts, and other mental health issues. Excess glutamine builds up in the body through the cycle of addiction and is a significant factor regarding withdrawal symptoms. 

Effects of alcohol withdrawal may include: 

  • Nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling and bloating – specifically in the arms, legs, feet, and hands 
  • Constipation or diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues
  • Tremors
  • Hallucinations
  • Headache, dizziness, or confusion
  • Dry throat and mouth
  • Flu-like symptoms, increased perspiration, and elevated temperature 
  • Joint pain often in the shoulders or back
  • Muscle spasms
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

does hypnosis work to stop drinkingHypnosis to stop drinking is one element of the journey of sobriety. At Intrepid Detox, we offer several programs. These programs are designed to cater to many different circumstances. Some may have success using hypnosis to stop drinking, while others may require a combination of treatment for alcoholism.

Multi-Phased Methods

Intrepid cultivated a multi-phased treatment method over time that has proven successful to be for our clients. The method is meant to help gradually introduce our clients to a healthy, sober lifestyle. 

The continuum of care starts with the foundation of recovery:

  1. Medical Detox
  2. Residential Treatment
  3. Partial Hospitalization or Intensive Outpatient Treatment
  4. Outpatient Treatment, Sober Living, and Aftercare

Medical Detox for Alcoholism

At Intrepid Detox, our first step towards recovery is detox. Our medical detox program includes a clinical and medical assessment, addiction education, and physical stabilization. During medical detox, each client rids their body of toxins left over from substance use. This ensures each person in treatment will have a sober body and mind. The length of a medical detox depends on the patient. Some patients work through this step faster than others, but the principle goals remain the same:

  • Healthy coping tools
  • Relief from mental compulsion
  • Physical stabilization 
  • Essential life skills 

Residential Treatment 

Residential, or inpatient treatment is a more intensive level of treatment. Residential treatment is early on the continuum of care but is a core pillar of substance use recovery. Residents will live in our South Florida facility with access to our amenities and countless programs. During treatment, our clients can expect to build a vast knowledge of the 12-step program. We offer alternative forms of treatment as well, helping residents learn about spiritual connection and healing the whole self. 

Residential care includes many comprehensive treatments at Intrepid Detox. When fighting addiction, it is vital to develop tools for physical, mental, and emotional battles you will face during recovery. The following approaches may be used alongside hypnosis to stop drinking:

  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Family or couples counseling
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Skill-building opportunities
  • Alone time
  • Meditation therapy
  • Holistic therapy

Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are an alternative to residential treatment. We recommend clients with a more severe substance addiction join our residential program since it offers a higher level of care and 24/7 support. IOPs work well for our clients with less severe substance addiction. IOPs offer similar programs, like 12-step. But in an IOP, clients live off of the facility in sober living homes. Clients in an IOP can expect to attend daily treatment sessions and other therapeutic programs. 

Aftercare

Aftercare programs are often personally customized to fit the needs of the individual. The journey of recovery does not stop after the completion of treatment. At Intrepid Detox, we will work with you to develop a plan going forward. We often help our clients find stable employment, plan to return to school, or find other opportunities. Aftercare is essential in minimizing the risk of relapse and a continued support system. 

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Many individuals that join treatment have co-occurring disorders, also known as dual diagnoses. Dual diagnosis refers to a combination of mental health issues a person experiences. Most commonly, someone with co-occurring disorders suffers from addiction and another mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder, or schizophrenia.

Many addiction issues begin as a coping mechanism for another aspect of life. Unfortunately, when dealing with complex mental disorders, substances may seem to help cope with the disorder’s symptoms. The coping is short-lived and creates an easy path for addiction to sneak into every aspect of the struggling person’s life. 

We offer specialized treatment for patients with a dual diagnosis. Treatment methods for co-occurring disorders help the individual cope with mental illness while beating addiction. Co-occurring disorders are a battle no one should fight alone. 

Get Help Today at Intrepid Detox

Whether you are looking for hypnosis to stop drinking or other treatment methods, Intrepid Detox can help. We base our programs around relapse prevention and help you or your loved one break down the unhealthy habits that lead to addiction and substance use. Each person deserves a chance to fight their addiction, and it does not need to be done alone. Please call us today for more information.

alcohol myths

11 Common Myths About Alcoholism

Although we know more about the effects of alcohol than we did in the past, there are still some popular myths about alcoholism and drinking problems. Learning the truth as opposed to the myths can help you make healthy decisions.

1. If you can “hold your liquor,” you have a lower risk of alcoholism.

This is one of the long-standing myths about alcoholism. Truth: Having a few drinks without feeling any effects sounds like a good thing. However, if you need to drink increasing amounts of alcohol to feel an effect, this is called tolerance. This could be a sign that you have a problem with alcohol.

2. You won’t become an alcoholic if you only drink on weekends.

Truth: You don’t need to be a daily drinker to have a problem with alcohol. Heavy drinking is defined by how much you drink in a day or in a week. 

You may be at risk if you:

  • Are a man and have more than four drinks in a day or more than 14 drinks a week
  • Are a woman and have more than three drinks a day or more than seven drinks in a week

Drinking this amount or more is considered heavy drinking, even if you only drink on the weekends. Heavy drinking can also put you at risk for health problems such as heart disease, stroke, liver disease, sleep disturbances, and some types of cancer.

3. The risk of having an alcohol use disorder (AUD) decreases as you get older.

Truth: In case you thought that alcoholism has to start early in life, the fact is that some people develop alcohol problems at a later age.

People become more sensitive to alcohol as they get older. Some people take medicines that make the effects of alcohol stronger. Sadly, some older adults may start to drink more because they are bored or feel lonely or depressed.

Even people who never drank much when young can have problems with drinking as they get older. A healthy range of drinking for men and women over 65 is:

  • No more than three drinks in a single day
  • No more than a total of seven drinks in a week

Adults aged 65 and older tend to drink less than they used to, but 40% of them still drink. Because of the way the body breaks down alcohol with age, they often feel the effects quicker. Signs of alcohol dependence particular to older adults include:

  • depression and anxiety,
  • loss of appetite,
  • mysterious bruises, and
  • poor hygiene or cleanliness.

Alcoholism Myths4. If you only drink wine or beer, you don’t have a problem.

Truth: Problem drinking isn’t about what you drink. It’s about how it affects your life. If you can answer “yes” to two of the following statements, you have an alcohol problem:

  • Sometimes you drink more or longer than you planned to.
  • You haven’t been able to stop or cut down on your drinking on your own, even though you have tried to or you want to.
  • You spend a lot of time drinking, being sick from drinking, or getting over the effects of drinking.
  • Sometimes your urge to drink is so strong, you can’t think about anything else.
  • Because of your drinking, you take care of your responsibilities at school, work, or at home. Maybe you keep getting sick because of drinking.
  • You continue to drink even though it’s causing problems with relationships.
  • You have cut back or quit taking part in activities that you used to enjoy. Now you use that time to drink.
  • Drinking has led to situations that could lead to you or someone else getting injured, such as driving while drunk or unsafe sex.
  • Drinking makes you feel anxious, depressed, and forgetful or causes other health problems, but you continue to drink.
  • You need to drink more than you used to to get the same effect from alcohol. 
  • When the alcohol wears off you have symptoms of withdrawal. These could include tremors, sweating, nausea, insomnia, seizures, and hallucinations.

5. Drinking is a good way to take the edge off chronic pain.

Truth: Pain relievers and alcohol are a bad mix. Drinking while taking painkillers may increase your risk of liver problems, stomach bleeding, and other issues. Additionally, drinking to relieve pain increases your risk for alcoholism. Most people need to drink more than a moderate amount to relieve pain.

Also, as you increase your tolerance for alcohol, you will need to drink more to get the same pain relief. Drinking at that level increases your risk for alcohol dependence and addiction. Ironically, long-term alcohol use can actually increase pain. If you have withdrawal symptoms from alcohol, you may become more sensitive to pain. Heavy drinking over a long time can also cause a certain type of nerve pain.

6. If you drink too much, coffee will sober you up.

Truth: If you are drunk, only the passage of time can sober you up. Your body needs time to break down the alcohol in your system. The caffeine in coffee will help you stay awake but it won’t help your coordination or decision-making skills. These can be affected for several hours after you stop drinking. This is why it is never safe to drive after you’ve been drinking, whether you’ve had coffee or not.

7. One drink equals whatever I pour in my glass.

Truth: A drink is defined as:

  • 12 fluid ounces of beer
  • 5 fluid ounces of wine
  • 1½ fluid ounces of liquor

Many American glasses and mixed drinks hold much more than one serving. For example, some cocktails count as three or more standard drinks.

8. Drinking makes you more social.

Truth: An alcoholic drink may cause you to lose some of your inhibitions. However, overdoing it can actually hurt your social life. You might say and do things you really shouldn’t. Over time, heavy drinking can harm healthy relationships and cause problems when you fail at your responsibilities at home, school, or work.

9. Kids can safely drink some alcohol.

Truth: Even before birth, drinking can harm children. If mothers use alcohol while pregnant, it increases the risk of learning and behavior problems for their children. Also, young people who begin drinking before age 15 have five times the risk of alcohol problems when they become adults.

10. Alcohol doesn’t cause as much harm as other drugs.

Truth: Drinking can create many health dangers. In the short term, excessive alcohol use can increase your risk of accidents, injuries, and violence.

In the long-term, chronic drinking increases your risk of :

  • liver damage,
  • high blood pressure,
  • irregular heartbeats,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • memory loss, and
  • some types of cancer.

For people with mood disorders or osteoporosis, the risk is even greater.

11. It’s okay to drive as long as you don’t feel drunk.

Truth: Alcohol almost immediately impairs the coordination you need to drive safely, even if you aren’t slurring your speech or stumbling. And you’re still not safe after you stop drinking. The alcohol in your stomach and intestines continues to enter your bloodstream for hours. 

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Although it is a serious disease, there is treatment for alcohol use disorder. Unfortunately, only about 15-20% of people with alcoholism get help from doctors or treatment programs. A lot of people don’t get help until they are forced to by a court, family member, or employer. 

Still, studies show that 66-75% of problem drinkers are able to make positive changes. Recovery for AUD follows a continuum. Each step flows into the next with the goal being long-term sobriety. Steps along the continuum include:

Detox

The first important step for people with AUD is detox. The point of detoxification is to give your body time to clear out the alcohol and return to a normal balance. Withdrawal symptoms typically begin within six to 24 hours after the last drink. The symptoms can begin even while there is still alcohol in the bloodstream. Most people require a medically supervised detox in a treatment center to help deal with these withdrawal symptoms:

  • Tremors (mainly in the hands)
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Unstable heart rate and blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Delirium tremens (DTs): A life-threatening symptom that can make a person restless, confused, and cause seizures, fever, and hallucinations

Individuals in a medically monitored detox receive 24-hour supervision with clinicians available to give medications if necessary. The main goal of detox is to stabilize the patient and prepare them for a formal treatment program.

Residential Treatment Program

The highest level of patient care is offered by a residential (or inpatient) program. In this type of program, the individual lives at the treatment center for a duration of time that meets their needs. This typically ranges from a month to a year. 

Residential treatment provides the patient a secure, safe, and structured environment in which to recover. This allows the addict a safe space free of any triggers or reminders of alcohol use. The focus each day is on them, their recovery, and how to prevent a relapse.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Also sometimes called partial hospitalization programs, IOPs offer a second level of care. Depending on the severity of the patient’s AUD and their support network at home, this may be a good alternative to a residential program. 

In an IOP, patients are able to live at home and attend therapy and group sessions during the day. It is usually three to five times per week for several hours a day. Because the individual will be living at home, IOPs are frequently used after residential programs as a step along the continuum of care. This is meant to ease the patient back to an unsupervised life while maintaining sobriety.

Outpatient Program (OP)

An OP could be considered the next level of care. These programs are similar to the IOPs but require fewer days at the treatment facility, for fewer hours. Once again, another stop along the continuum of care meant to ease the transition into normal life.

Aftercare or Sober Living Program

If, after completing the formal treatment programs, an individual is still not feeling confident in their sobriety, they may want to enter an aftercare program or sober living residence. Recovering alcoholics find valuable support through continuing therapy, participation in 12-step groups, or sober living homes. Studies show that people who continue in some type of aftercare have a better chance at long-term abstinence and recovery.

How To Help an Alcoholic

Maybe you have a friend or other loved one who is an alcoholic. Now that you know the myths about alcoholism, here are some ways to help.

  • Stop hiding the problem. When everyone knows about it, it can be dealt with.
  • Get support. Make a plan to talk to the alcoholic person with whoever they respect most.
  • Do not attempt to talk to the person when they have been drinking or are stressed.
  • Form a non-accusing team to confront the person with the damage they are doing to themself, their job, and their community. Be specific.
  • If this is the first confrontation, you may want to give them another chance to quit on their own. If they are a long-term drinker, it probably isn’t the first confrontation.
  • If the person has had second chances and failed, they will have plenty of excuses. This is the time to discuss rehab.
  • If they refuse to talk about rehab, family, and friends will need to agree on consequences.
  • If these steps fail, find someone that the individual holds in high regard, or as an authority. Sometimes that person can convince them.
  • Finally, you may reach the point where you need to contact a professional interventionist. Bring in the interventionist and give them all the help they need to get your friend or loved one into treatment.

Getting Treatment at Intrepid Detox

You can get this type of comprehensive treatment for alcoholism at Intrepid Detox. Whether it is for yourself or your loved one, you can be assured that we have the expertise and experience in handling this condition. 

Our clinicians are certified professionals whose only goal is to help you succeed. Plus, many members of our staff were former clients. They understand exactly where you are and what you’re going through. And they are able to relate to family and friends at the same time. Do not hesitate. This issue is too serious to let it go and hope for the best. Contact us now.

Need to Go to Detox

Do I Need to Go to Detox?

Most effective drug treatment programs have several distinct phases. The first phase is almost always medically monitored detox, where men and women are closely monitored as they undergo withdrawal. Individuals who have been abusing drugs or alcohol for any length of time are at risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop using chemical substances abruptly.

While most of the time these symptoms are not life-threatening (depending on the type of substance being abused and the severity of abuse), they are usually uncomfortable enough to lead to relapse when attempted in an at-home setting.

Some people mistakenly believe that because their substance abuse disorder was not that severe, they can skip detox and go straight to inpatient or outpatient treatment. It is recommended that those who are serious about maintaining sobriety enter into a medical detox program for at least two to three days. Once they are medically cleared, they can transfer directly into a higher level of clinical care.

If you have attempted to detox on your own and been unsuccessful, entering into a medical detox program is a great idea. However, it is important to know that there can be several roadblocks when it comes to entering into such a program. We have made a list of these potential roadblocks and included effective ways that you can overcome them.

Roadblocks To Medical Detox

1. The age-old problem of “not enough beds.” Most state-run detox facilities fill up fast – so does the detox portion of most hospitals. If you have tried to enter into a state-run detox program beforehand, you might have been turned away and told, “Sorry, we don’t have any more beds.” One great way to avoid this roadblock is by finding a detox program that is privately owned and operated.

Not only will this allow you instant access to quality clinical care, but you will be provided with more services than you would find otherwise. These services often include rehab placement, which can be extremely beneficial if you are looking to enter into the next appropriate level of clinical care once you have completed detox.

2. Financial capability. Most people let the price of medical detox drive them away. It is important to consider the fact that active addiction is not only financially draining, but it robs you of the opportunity to thrive in any area of life. While it is true that medical detox is not always cheap, undergoing treatment pays for itself inevitably.

It is also important to note that many reputable treatment centers and medical detox centers accept regional and national health insurance. At Intrepid Detox Residential we work with most major providers, making medical detox even more accessible. In some instances, we also offer financial assistance – simply reach out to us today for more detailed information.

3. Fear of undergoing withdrawal. Sadly, many men and women who desperately need addiction treatment let the fear of undergoing withdrawal prevent them from entering into a medical detox program. However, the benefit of medical detox is providing a pain-free withdrawal and offering 24-hour access to professional medical care.

While the prospect of experiencing a wide range of physical and psychological symptoms can be scary, it is also important to understand that the longer you go without seeking treatment, the worse the withdrawal symptoms will be when you finally do.

4. Failure to admit that a problem even exists. One of the most difficult parts of the addiction recovery process is admitting to yourself and your loved ones that treatment is necessary. Addiction is a disease of denial, and we very often convince ourselves that nothing is wrong and that we can still stop at any point in time – even when this clearly isn’t the case.

In order to overcome a substance abuse disorder, you will need to acknowledge the fact that your substance use has become a problem. Keep in mind that you don’t need to do this right away – all you really need to do is accept that the withdrawal process will be easier with a little bit of assistance.

5. Personal obligations and responsibilities. Some people are the primary caretakers of one or more dependents, or they have high powered careers that they cannot easily step away from for days at a time. Sometimes personal obligations like these prevent people from seeking the help they need.

If you give us a call, we will gladly help you develop a plan of action that takes these considerations into mind. At Intrepid Detox Residential we offer a flexible program of clinical care that can be modified to fit your personal needs.

If you have been struggling with a substance abuse disorder of any severity, medical detox is always necessary. You might feel as if you can successfully detox on your own, but serious and dangerous complications can occur even when the symptoms of withdrawal are not too severe.

Men and women who attempt to detox in an at-home setting have a very low chance of maintaining sobriety for longer than several days. If you are serious about overcoming a substance abuse disorder long-term and finally going on to lead the life you deserve, Intrepid Detox Residential is available to help.

What To Expect From Medical Detox

What will the detox experience be like? Will you be situated in a luxury facility, wearing a fluffy white bathrobe and sipping on herbal tea? Will you be stuck on a hard cot in a prison-like room, shaking and sweating as doctors pass by the window with clipboards? Most medically monitored detox centers were carefully designed with client comfort in mind. At Intrepid Detox Residential, we provide our clients with an extremely comfortable luxury-style facility, which was decorated to facilitate healing.

We offer a wide range of amenities and services, including private and semi-private bedrooms, around-the-clock access to an incredible (and fully stocked) kitchen, chef-prepared meals and expansive common areas where clients can relax and mingle. There’s really nothing to be scared of or apprehensive about. Reputable detox centers focus on providing a completely pain-free withdrawal experience.

You might not be feeling your best, but we do everything in our power to ensure that you are not feeling your worst. Most of the time, the symptoms of withdrawal are not as severe as people might think. They generally subside within a few days, and they can mostly be treated with a combination of non-narcotic pain relievers and a great amount of rest.

How Long Will Medical Detox Last?

The length of your stay in medical detox depends heavily on what type of substance or substances you were actively abusing, how long your active addiction lasted and whether or not there are any underlying issues present (physical or psychological in nature). Most detox experiences last for between three and five days. However, if chemical substances like alcohol or benzodiazepines were being abused, detox might last for between one and two weeks. You will be released from the detox program and admitted to the next appropriate level of care once withdrawal symptoms have predominantly subsided.

Intrepid Detox Residential – Begin Your Personal Recovery Journey

Don’t let a fear of the unknown prevent you from living the life you deserve. Men and women who struggle with drug addiction or alcoholism often lose sight of how “normal” life can be. Their day-to-day lives are completely consumed by substance use, and normalcy flies out the window completely – out of sight, out of mind. In order to regain the sense of normalcy, you must simply take the first step – reach out for help and admit yourself to a medical detox program. For more information on our program of recovery or to begin your personal journey of healing, reach out to us today.

Taking Suggestions

Why Taking Suggestions is So Important

Living a life of recovery is not always easy – this is especially true when you first start out on your personal recovery journey. They say that the first year tends to be the hardest, and many individuals who have made it through the first year unscathed can vouch for this fact. This is around the time when you are attempting to find your footing; navigating an entirely new way of life and learning how to sit with yourself without the assistance of chemical substances. It can be uncomfortable. It can even be quite brutal. But as time goes on and you continuously stay sober, you learn more about yourself and what makes you tick. You embark on a beautiful journey of self-discovery, and by the time the second year of your recovery rolls around you feel a little more confident in who you are and what you are capable of – and things only get better from there.

But here’s the tricky part. Many of us enter into addiction recovery truly believing that we already have it all figured out (despite the fact that our best thinking landed us in rehab). I remember when I first got sober and I heard all of the crusty old suggestions the AA “old timers” were slinging in my direction. Some examples of these suggestions included:

  • Make at least on 12 step meeting every single day
  • Get a Big Book and read through that thing
  • Begin working through the steps with a sponsor as soon as possible
  • Develop a structured, recovery-friendly schedule
  • Stay out of romantic relationships during your first year of sobriety
  • Men stick with the men, women stick with the women
  • If you feel triggered or unstable in your sobriety, call a sober support
  • Pray and meditate on a daily basis
  • Prioritize your recovery above literally everything else

Some of those suggestions were acceptable by my standards. I could probably make a 12 step meeting every day – unless I had something significantly more important to do, of course. I could probably shoot someone a text if I was feeling off of my game (actually calling someone seemed a little bit extra). I could meditate on a daily basis if I found the time, but praying every morning and every night? That was a little excessive for someone of my agnostic persuasion. Women with the women? I was going to pass on that one. Stay out of romantic relationships for a full year? No thanks. After all – these were only suggestions, right? They certainly weren’t rules, so I could pick and choose what sounded appealing. Not so much. After countless returns to drinking, I finally decided to listen to what others had to say. Once I succumbed to taking suggestions, I was actually (finally) able to stay sober.

Why Taking Suggestions is Important

Why are they called suggestions if they’re so important to take? Shouldn’t they be called something else, like “The AA Guidelines” or “The Sober Dogma?” Well, here’s a little secret – you don’t HAVE to take any of these suggestions in order to stay sober long-term. All you really HAVE to do is remain completely abstinent. However, taking these suggestions makes doing that a whole heck of a lot easier. There are people who get romantically involved within the first six months of their sobriety but successfully prioritize recovery and still make a 12 step meeting every day. There are people who befriend a member of the opposite sex who serves as a good role model, and there are people who have a difficult time remembering to meditate every day but still manage to make it beyond their first year. Everything is relative. These suggestions have been developed over time because they generally make staying sober easier, and because that’s the whole goal. Remember that if someone who has decades of sobriety offers you a suggestion, they are not trying to put you in a corner or dictate the way you live your life. They are simply encouraging you to make choices that are conducive to your overall quality of life.

Is taking suggestions important? Yes, it’s very important. What happens if you fail to take suggestions? Well, you sure as heck won’t wake up drunk (not unless you decidedly picked up a drink, that is). But you might make the road to recovery far more difficult than it needs to be.

What it Means to Turn Over Your Will

Turning over your will might seem like a super involved, complicated and terrifying process. But really, all you need to do in order to turn over your will is admit to yourself that help has become necessary, and that your life has become unmanageable as a result of your substance use. Simply saying, “Okay, I can’t do this without help” is enough to get started. There is this whole thing in AA (somewhere around Step 3) that goes something like, “Turn over our will and our lives to the care of God as we understand Him.” The religious component of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous scares many people away. Just try to remember that the book itself was written in the 1930s, and that most things are open to some level of interpretation. A higher power of your understanding means just that – it could be the ocean, it could be your homegroup, it could be – as they say – a doorknob. Just so long as you believe that you are not the end all be all, you’re in good shape. Turning over your will doesn’t have to involve some big sacrificial ceremony, complete with linen robes, ancient chants and goats. Turning over your will is just saying, “I’m addicted to drugs and I can’t recover without help.” It really isn’t all that scary.

Once you turn over your will (and stop being so gosh darn stubborn), you open yourself up to take suggestions. You start listening to and heeding the advice of others – men and women who have stayed sober long-term and who generally know what’s up.

Intrepid Detox Residential – Begin Your Journey of Healing

At Intrepid Detox Residential we understand just how tough getting started on your personal recovery journey can be. Not only is addiction a disease of denial, but it is a disease of completely skewed thinking. Most of us believe that we can handle things on our own – that help isn’t necessary, and that with a little dedication we can get and stay sober all on our own. Of course, we eventually come to understand that this is far from the case, and that we need other people – and their suggestions. If you or someone you love has been suffering at the hands of a substance abuse disorder of any severity, we are available to help. Simply give our dedicated team of professionals a call and they will set to work developing a thorough intake plan – which includes transportation whenever necessary. The first suggestion you will need to take – and one of the most important suggestions of them all – is admitting to yourself and to others that you cannot overcome substance abuse without help. It can be a scary and extremely difficult thing to admit, but we are available to help every single step of the way. You can do this.

Marijuana Withdrawal

Is Marijuana Withdrawal Really a Thing?

Marijuana – The Lesser of All Evils?

When most people think about casual, recreational drug use, they think about passing around a joint at a low-key party or taking a massive bong rip after a riveting game of beer pong. Marijuana is almost as much a part of American culture as alcohol consumption – and it’s essentially been socially acceptable since the ’70s. Because of how much the specific drug is normalized, many people fail to perceive it as dangerous or addictive – they see marijuana as a harmless pastime, one that can cause no serious issues even among those with addictive tendencies or personal histories of substance abuse. In fact, the idea of “marijuana maintenance” has been circulating throughout recovery communities for quite some time. Those who subscribe to this idea believe that smoking marijuana is a much safer alternative to using their drug of choice, and as long as they don’t experience a range of personal consequences as a result of their habit, using cannabis occasionally is passable. Of course, this notion is extremely controversial. Most subscribe to the idea that marijuana is still a mood and mind altering chemical substance, and that if you are in recovery you certainly can’t be smoking it.

In any case, the point is this – marijuana is still a drug, and even though it is socially acceptable and widely used it can still cause physical and psychological dependence. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, roughly 30 percent of all individuals who use marijuana will end up developing a marijuana use disorder. men and women who begin smoking marijuana before the age of 18 are between four and seven times more likely to become physically or psychologically addicted as adults. Just like any other chemical substance, marijuana is associated with dependence – essentially meaning that people who have been taking the drug for an extended period of time begin to experience withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped abruptly. NIDA also reported that roughly 4 million men and women throughout the United States met the criteria for a diagnosable marijuana use disorder in the year 2015 alone. Of these 4 million, only 138,000 sought any level of professional treatment during the same year. Unfortunately, professional treatment is rarely sought because marijuana dependence is so widely stigmatized. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that as many as one out of every 10 American adults who uses marijuana will eventually become addicted. This number increases to one out of every six Americans for those who began using the drug before the age of 18. If you have been suffering at the hands of a marijuana dependence, know that you are far from alone.

Marijuana Withdrawal – Signs and Symptoms

Yes, marijuana addiction is actually a thing, and so is marijuana withdrawal. No, the symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal are not going to kill you – but they can be extremely uncomfortable, and individuals who are experiencing those symptoms have a very time getting sober on their own accord. Some of the more common symptoms associated with marijuana withdrawal include:

A loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss
Mood swings, usually marked by irritability and agitation
Sleep related issues, including insomnia and major changes to sleep patterns
Persistent headaches
An inability to focus and a lack of attention paid to important subjects
Experiencing intense psychological cravings for marijuana
Profuse sweating, including cold sweats and night sweats
Feelings of depression which can, in extreme cases, lead to suicidal ideation
Feelings of extreme nervousness and anxiety, which can lead to panic attacks
Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – or chronic constipation
These symptoms will vary in severity depending on how much marijuana was being used and how long the substance abuse disorder persisted. For example, someone who has been using marijuana everyday from morning until night for the past five years will likely experience extreme symptoms of withdrawal, while someone who smokes in the evenings four or five days a week will typically experience less severe symptoms. Many men and women who use marijuana recreationally use it in conjunction with another chemical substance, such as alcohol or opioid narcotics. Of course, polydrug abuse only works to intensify symptoms associated with withdrawal.

Is Detox Necessary?

If you have been consistently using marijuana for an extended period of time, then detox probably is necessary. Unfortunately, many men and women who could seriously benefit from medically monitored detox avoid it entirely, either because they believe that their withdrawal symptoms are not going to be severe or because of the stigma surrounding marijuana dependence. if you have tried to quit smoking and you have been unable to do so for any extended period of time, it is never a bad idea to check yourself into a short-term treatment program – which typically begins with two to three days at a medical detox facility. At Intrepid Detox Residential we have extensive experience working with men and women of all ages who have struggled with marijuana use disorders. We understand just how uncomfortable the withdrawal process can be, and we also understand how difficult it can be to seek help for a disorder that most people believe doesn’t exist in the first place. If you still are unsure as to whether or not medical detox is truly necessary, feel free to give us a call at any point in time. We are more than happy to conduct a brief pre-assessment over the phone, which will help you determine whether or not treatment is necessary.

What is the Next Step After Detox?

Okay, so say you do come to terms with the fact that you might have developed a marijuana dependence over time. You have tried to quit on your own multiple times but you have been repeatedly unsuccessful. So you decide to go to medical detox in order to take an extended break and undergo a safe and completely pain-free withdrawal. But… then what? What steps do you take once the medical detox process is complete? Do you actually need to go to a rehab for 30 full days, or can you just flush your weed down the toilet and hope for the best? If you were only abusing marijuana, and you were not taking any other chemical substances at the same time, there is a very good chance that outpatient treatment will be sufficient as a stand-alone option. Most outpatient treatment programs offer intensive therapeutic care, but provide their clients with a much higher level of flexibility and personal freedom than they would find in a drug or alcohol rehab.

Intrepid Detox Residential – Quality Clinical Care

At Intrepid Detox Residential we are dedicated to consistently delivering the highest level of clinical care available. If you are someone close to you has been suffering at the hands of a marijuana use disorder, know that it is far less uncommon than you might think – and that recovery is completely possible. If you would like to learn more about our medically monitored detox program, or if you would like to undergo a brief pre-assessment to determine whether or not treatment is actually necessary, reach out to us today. We look forward to speaking with you soon and helping in any way we can.

Common Relapse Triggers

Common Relapse Triggers

So, the main point of getting sober is… you guessed it – staying sober. There’s no point to committing to a long-term program of addiction recovery (including medical detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and aftercare) if you just plan on drinking or using again at some point down the line. Coming to terms with “never again” can be extremely difficult, which is why it is recommended that those who are new to sobriety take things one day at a time. Taking things in stride helps ease the sense of panic that might be aroused by thinking, “Well, that’s it, then. I guess I’m going to be completely sober for the remainder of my sad, boring life.” Over time, of course, you will start to recognize that sobriety is actually a heck of a lot better than using ever was. You gain authentic friends, you start to learn what it is you love to do, you are actually able to hold down a career and your family is finally proud of you (and maybe they even trust you enough to invite you over for dinner without worrying that you’ll raid the medicine cabinets).

When it comes to maintaining long-term sobriety, relapse prevention training is absolutely essential. Most medical detox centers and inpatient rehab facilities put a strong emphasis on relapse prevention, helping clients identify and successfully work through their personal relapse triggers. If you have completed treatment already you likely have a nice range of tools and coping mechanisms under your belt already. Of course, when you come face-to-face with one of your personal triggers, it can be pretty difficult to drop everything and engage in some deep breathing exercises, or take a walk around the block and ground yourself. So how do you effectively handle common relapse triggers when stuff actually hits the fan? We’ve compiled a list of several useful tips. If you need additional support, remember that you can reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential at any point in time.

Common Relapse Triggers

Below we have listed some common relapse triggers. Remember that this list is far from all-inclusive, and that personal triggers vary on a person-to-person basis.

Returning to an environment in which you used to drink or use drugs. If you get sober and then continuously hang out at your favorite dive bar, you’re obviously playing with fire. If you get sober and then immediately go to all of the same music festivals where you used to get super high on all kinds of drugs, you are playing with fire. This is not to say that you can never return to that old dive bar (why would you want to, though) or that you can never return to those same music festivals again. This is simply to say that while you are still finding your footing and working through the steps, precarious environments are best avoided.
Spending time with people that you used to drink or use drugs with. Same concept. It is important that you spend time with people who are completely supportive of your recovery, and who are not actively using drugs or drinking.
Experiencing chronic pain (or another pain-related issue). If you have dealt with chronic pain, you know how triggering physical discomfort can be. The good news is that most treatment centers focus on physical therapy, massage therapy and other non-invasive methods of pain management. For more information, reach out today.
Undergoing extreme stress. Stress is triggering, whether it be work-related stress, school-related stress or the stressors that go hand-in-hand with daily life. Stress management is an important skill to learn for this very reason.
An undiagnosed or untreated mental health disorder, like anxiety or depression. If you are struggling with the symptoms of a mental health condition, get in touch with a licensed psychiatrist or seek the care of a dual diagnosis treatment program.
Experiencing a significant personal loss. This could be the loss of a loved one, the loss of a career (unemployment) or the end of a long-term romantic relationship. Loss leads to emptiness, and we are inclined to fill that emptiness with drugs and booze – learning to fill it with other (more productive) things is a process, one that takes time and patience.
Guilt or shame. These feelings (or any uncomfortable emotions, really) can put you in a bad spot. This is why you will need to learn how to effectively work through your discomfort – remember, everything is temporary!
Self-pity. You might have heard the saying, “Poor me, poor me, pour me a drink.” Sitting in a place is self-pity is absolutely not conducive to the maintenance of sobriety. However, it is also not uncommon for recovering addicts and alcoholics to feel exceptionally sorry for themselves.
A lack of sober support. Surrounding yourself with a solid group of like-minded, sober individuals often means the difference between relapse and recovery.
Straying away from your personal aftercare program. Stick to it! Commit!

How to Actually Avoid Relapse

You have probably learned a few healthy coping mechanisms already, but how likely is it that when faced with a serious trigger you will calmly excuse yourself from the current situation and meditate for 20 minutes. “Oh, hello emotionally (and maybe physically) abusive ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, it’s great to see you in this supermarket. So nice to run into you. Your presence makes me extremely uncomfortable and kind of makes me want to slam some dope, so please excuse me while I inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 7 seconds.” That’s not super realistic. It’s good to know how to self-soothe and calm yourself down, but when you feel that lump climb into your throat and you want to do nothing more than crawl out of your own skin and Alex Mack into the nearest storm drain, what techniques will actually work?

Here are some tips on how to realistically avoid relapse when you’re feeling extremely triggered and you need to chill out fast:

Leave. Book it. Bolt. If you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, head for the door, and remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation.
Call someone you trust immediately. Preferably a sober support, like your sponsor or someone else you know from the rooms. But seriously, just get on the phone with anyone. It could be your mom, it could be your grandma, it could be your best friend – just pick up the phone and explain your situation. Be honest about the way you’re feeling, and if you need physical company, ask for it. Say, “Hey, I need you to come over.” Or, “Hey, listen, I’m feeling really crappy right now, I could use some coffee and conversation.”
Hold yourself accountable in a group setting. Ideally, this would mean getting your booty to an AA meeting and sharing about what just happened and how it made you feel. But this could also mean sending out a group text to some of the people in your sponsorship family. “Hey guys, I just ran into my ex who I used to shoot dope with, and it seriously triggered me.” Get the word out there. Be vulnerable.
Play the tape through. This is a pretty cliche relapse prevention technique, but that is because it works. Playing the tape through means quickly weighing out all of the potential consequences, and being honest with yourself about what will actually happen if you decide to pick up. Maybe you feel better for 10-15 seconds. Then you feel worse. You feel an overwhelming sense of guilt and shame, you need to fess up to your sponsor, your friends and your family members, you need to pick up a white chip again, you might even need to go back to detox. Sure, using might sound rational in the moment – but how rational is it REALLY?

Intrepid Detox Residential – Begin Your Journey of Addiction Recovery Today

If you have been struggling to stay sober or if you have been abusing chemical substances for an extended period of time and you are ready to begin living the life you deserve, give Intrepid Detox Residential a call. Our addiction treatment center is located in Riviera Beach, Florida, and it has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the most reputable and effective treatment centers in the area. We believe in a multi-phased approach to recovery – one that begins with medical detox, progresses to inpatient rehab and concludes with a long-term aftercare program. For more information on our individualized recovery program or to begin your own personal journey of healing, call us now.

Stay Sober In Any situation

How to Stay Sober in Any Situation

If you are currently in recovery or a substance abuse disorder, you understand firsthand just how tumultuous the road to long-term sobriety can be. If you are currently struggling with substance abuse and wondering how in the world you are ever going to get and stay sober, you also know just how difficult the process can be. There are many factors at play when it comes to the hurdles involved in seeking help. People put-off seeking professional treatment for a number of reasons, including:

  • Financial concerns. People who are under-insured or entirely uninsured might not be able to afford to cover the cost of treatment out-of-pocket. What they fail to realize is that there are innumerable resources available to help those in need receive the quality clinical care they deserve. There are scholarships available to qualifying men and women, some rehab centers offer sliding scale coverage or payment plans – the list goes on. For more information on these resources, reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential today.
  • Denial. Addiction is a disease of denial. If you are currently in the throes of active addiction, you have probably repeatedly convinced yourself that “everything is just fine” and that you can “quit without help if things get bad enough.” It is important to understand that addiction is a chronic, relapsing and progressively worsening brain disease. The longer you put off treatment, the more severe the consequences of your action will become.
  • Not knowing where to start. Do you try to get a bed at a state-run detox facility? Do you check yourself into the emergency room at your local hospital? Do you call a hotline and say, “Hey it’s me, I’m ready to get clean now?” Where do you start?! A good rule of thumb is calling a licensed addiction counselor and explaining your situation or calling up a rehab facility in your immediate area and asking some questions. The progression of addiction treatment typically goes like so – medical detox, residential rehab, intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient treatment and aftercare. However, recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process, and some people might benefit from a lower or higher level of clinical care than others.

Don’t let anything stand in the way of having you finally receive the clinical care you both need and deserve. Reach out to Intrepid Detox Residential to learn more about getting sober.

Staying Sober Through Anything

Okay, now, time for Step Two – once you successfully obtain sobriety, what steps can you take to stay sober long-term while effectively avoiding relapse? Below we have written out several steps to follow, but remember – recovery is an individualized process, and you will undeniably learn what works for you as you get deeper and deeper into your personal recovery journey.

  1. Identify your personal relapse triggers and relapse warning signs. It isn’t like one day you’ll wake up drunk or suddenly find yourself knee-deep in a bottle of Percocet without knowing what happened. There will always be something triggering you, and there will always be warning signs. Are you showing up at the local bar “just to play pool?” Are you feeling angrier and more irritable than normal, and lashing out at your loved ones? Learn what to look for and figure out how to make necessary changes.
  2. Avoid people, places and things that make you feel as if you’re “missing out.” FOMO is real. If hanging out with your old friends in a hot-boxed basement makes you feel like smoking weed might be fun and appropriate, get the heck out of dodge. If spending happy hours at the local Applebee’s makes you miss $4 margaritas something awful, find a new chain restaurant with great deals on greasy appetizers (there are plenty). Protect yourself and your sobriety at all costs.
  3. Build out a solid system of sober support. The process of recovery is communal. Regardless of what you think, you will not be able to do it on your own. There are many ways to develop and maintain a support system, but the best way is by entering into a 12-step program (like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) and sticking around after the meeting to talk to people. Raise your hand and share during the meeting, even though doing so might make you a little bit uncomfortable at first. The more people you have in your corner, the better chance you will have of staying sober. You can also meet like-minded men and women in an outpatient treatment program – give us a call for additional resources, or to learn more about our outpatient program.
  4. Stick to a solid routine, characterized by healthy life choices and sobriety-friendly activities. There’s an old saying that goes, “If you keep showing up to the barber shop, you are eventually going to get a haircut.” The same goes for any place you spend your time. If you keep showing up to the bar, you’re eventually going to take a drink. If you keep showing up to your old drug dealer’s house, you’re eventually going to buy some drugs. Change your routine completely when you get out of rehab. Wake up early, make a healthy breakfast, reach an excerpt from a daily Reflections book, meditate for 20 minutes and take a nice long shower before you head to work. If you stay busy (and stay busy doing things that will bolster your recovery) you are going to be in good shape.
  5. Take things one day at a time. As soon as you get sober, you might want to rush through all of your amends and let everyone know how good you’re doing, or deal with addiction-related consequences all in the same day. Try not to bite off more than you can chew – you will get overwhelmed, and you might consider returning to old behaviors in order to deal with the stress. Map out each day as soon as you wake up, and only tackle what you feel comfortable tackling. You got this.

Intrepid Detox Residential and Relapse Prevention Training

At Intrepid Detox Residential we work hard to ensure that each and every one of our clients is instilled with the coping mechanisms and life skills he or she needs in order to maintain sobriety for years to come. Relapse Prevention Training is an important part of our multi-phased recovery process, and clients explore ways to prevent relapse in individual and group therapy sessions. In some instances, they have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in real-life situations and discuss their experiences with their peers the following day. Relapse Prevention Training focuses on helping clients identify and work through their personal relapse triggers. Some examples of potential triggers include:

  • High-stress situations
  • Experiencing uncomfortable emotions like sadness or anger
  • Intense psychological cravings
  • Being around people who are drinking or using drugs.
  • Being around family members (if the family is dysfunctional)
  • Experiencing loss, like the loss of a loved one or long-time career
  • Going through problems in a romantic relationship
  • Experiencing immense stress or pressure at work or at school
  • Financial or legal issues

It is important to remember that personal problems are always exacerbated and worsened by a return to substance use – picking up a drink or a drug will NEVER make things easier, especially if you already have some sobriety under your belt. For more tips on how to stay sober, or if you are ready to begin an entirely new way of life and commit to a program of addiction recovery, reach out to us today. We look forward to speaking with you and answering any additional questions you might have for us.

Stay Sober on New Years

How To Stay Sober on New Year’s Eve

This New Year’s Eve is going to be one for the books – there’s no doubt about that. This year has been a crazy hectic whirlwind for all of us, from a monumental and quite emotionally devastating election to a global pandemic and nationwide quarantine mandates. We have all been forced to navigate quite a lot, and there’s no doubt that some of us (if not all of us) are eagerly anticipating the arrival of 2021. It’s not like the clock will strike midnight and suddenly all of our issues will be resolved, but most of us are holding on for hope that this coming year will be a little bit brighter than the last.

With this added pressure, and with the pre-existing expectations that go hand-in-hand with New Year’s Eve, those of us in addiction recovery might find it a little bit more difficult to hold on than normal. New Year’s Eve is another one of those holidays that essentially revolves around excessive alcohol consumption – after a year like we’ve had, this will probably be more true than ever before. We’ll be facing a heck of a lot of triggers, from the classic champagne toast at midnight to the triggers that go along with spending holidays alone (as many of us have grown accustomed to doing in light of social distancing requirements). Either will be spending the holiday with friends and family members, or spend it alone wishing that things would hurry up and get back to normal. Fortunately there are several ways that you can effectively combat triggers this New Year’s Eve, and welcome 2021 with a big sober smile.

Overcoming Triggers on New Year’s Eve

The first tip we have is this – go easy on yourself! The holiday season is always especially hard to navigate – even for men and women who are not in addiction recovery. Remember that you are and have been doing the very best you can, and that the resolution to continue on on your journey of sobriety is more than good enough.

Below are six more tips that we have gathered, geared towards helping you stay clean and sober this New Year’s Eve. Feel free to add your own, and reach out to us for more information on getting and staying sober.

  1. Keep yourself accountable. There are numerous ways to keep yourself accountable, but some good ideas are by letting people know where you will be and making sure the people you are with know that you aren’t drinking. For example, if you’re going to a New Year’s Eve party (which you honestly shouldn’t be unless you’ll be wearing a mask the whole time) let a few people in your sober circle know the address, how late you’ll be staying, and that you might be giving them a call at some point during the night. Let the host of the party know that you won’t be drinking, and if someone offers you a drink at any point during the night let them know that you are planning on staying completely sober. You don’t have to tell them you are in recovery, and you don’t have to tell them your life story and all the people you slept with when you were drunk, but the more people you tell that you aren’t drinking, the less drinks you will be offered.
  2. Walk around with a champagne flute full of Martinelli’s. A really good rule of thumb is to always have a drink in your hand. When you’re holding a drink, especially one that looks like it could pass for an alcoholic beverage, people will leave you alone and they won’t offer to bring you another. Even if you’re holding a can of Coca-Cola, there is a good chance that people will just let you be without trying to booze you up. But holding something that could pass for booze is always a good idea (if you feel comfortable doing so, of course).
  3. If you start to feel triggered, get the heck out of there. Remember that the only person you owe anything to is yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable in a situation, just bounce. The truth is, people are too wrapped up in their own New Year’s kisses and failing resolutions to care about whether or not you stay for the toast. Remember that you can always leave – your sobriety is your number one priority.
  4. Stay on top of your meeting schedule. it’s easy to get a little too relaxed around the holidays. Make sure that you’re sticking to a strict schedule, and that you are making at least one 12-step meeting every day. In this day and age, it is far more likely that you will be attending virtual meetings than in-person meetings – which leaves you with even less of an excuse to miss them. Map out a list of seven meetings in advance, and let some of the meeting members know that you might need a little bit of additional support around the holidays. Just because it’s a virtual meeting doesn’t mean you can’t stay afterwards and collect phone numbers.
  5. Make a new New Year’s Eve tradition – one that doesn’t involve alcohol (duh). Find a movie that you and your sober friend like, and stay up until midnight eating popcorn and relaxing. Make a list of all of the things you hated about 2020, rip it up and throw it in the fire. Find a new recipe online, pick up the ingredients and cook yourself an extravagant meal. You got the idea. By coming up with the new tradition, you will take your mind off of the classic, booze-fueled New Year’s Eve parties.
  6. Bring a buddy. if there is an event that you really want to go to but you aren’t sure how triggered you are going to be, just bring a friend – a sober friend. Most parties accept a plus one. But again – avoid large social gatherings! What an incredible excuse to stay home and veg out in front of the television.

A Little Something On Resolutions

The same rules apply when you are planning out this year’s resolutions – go easy on yourself. After last year, many of us are expecting the bare minimum, and we aren’t setting expectations for ourselves or for others very high – just to be on the safe side. but if you do decide to ride out a list of New Year’s resolutions, make sure that you are focusing on achievable goals and that you are considering the fact that the beginning of the year still won’t look exactly the same as you’re used to. Gyms will probably still be closed, it can be hard to eat healthy when you’re unemployed and living off of ramen and cold cereal, and saving up enough money to buy your dream car isn’t easy with such an intense lack of job security and the next round of stimulus checks still up in the air. Be realistic, and give yourself a giant hug for making it through such a mess of a year.

Taking Additional Steps to Stay Sober

If you feel like you need even more support, there is no shame in seeking it. Many men and women who are in recovery choose to up the ante when it comes to one-on-one therapy sessions, for example. do what you need to do to stay sober, because after you’re like we’ve had there is no sense in staggering into 2021 with an adult beverage of defeat in your hand. If you have not yet gotten sober and you are still considering doing so, there is truly no better time. Call Intrepid Detox Residential today for more information and to begin your own personal journey of addiction recovery. Give yourselves the healthy and sober start to the new year that you deserve.