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Monthly Archives: April 2020

Why Addiction Treatment Is Important Even While We Are Battling a Pandemic

Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a chronic relapsing medical condition1 and requires ongoing treatment just like heart disease and diabetes. A complex brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use in addition to its harmful consequence SUD often present other medical conditions, known as comorbidities.

In 2018, more than 20 million people ages 12 and older had a SUD involving illicit or prescription drugs or alcohol. Today, drug overdose deaths continue to impact communities in the United States. From 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people died from a drug overdose. In 2017 alone, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. These numbers are a real and significant public health concern, especially during these uncertain times when many individuals struggling with addiction, are also experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety due to related Covid-19 shelter in place order.

Amid the new coronavirus pandemic (known as COVID-19), addiction treatment experts believe that many are postponing treatment. As the above statistic shows, extreme caution should be exercised when deciding to postpone drug or alcohol treatment. Individuals struggling with SUDs still need and must be provided with professional care even in the face of this novel coronavirus pandemic. Addiction treatment centers that remain open have put measures in place to protect their patients and their health care providers against Covid-19 as recommended by the health authorities. Many drug rehabs and addiction treatment services, like the Florida Center for Recovery, have taken the initiative to continue offering addiction treatment services by implementing extra precautions to keep their staff and patients safe. They are following recommended guidelines such as disinfecting surfaces, the use of larger rooms to facilitate social distancing, testing patients & staff as recommended, and fully implementing the CDC regulations and recommendations.

As difficult as it may be, addiction treatment should not be deferred because the fact is; addiction and this current pandemic are both dangerous and potentially life-threatening. For those struggling with addiction, immediate treatment is needed, as the battle between life and death is as equally present in case of an overdose as it is with contracting the virus. For those who are concerned about the safety against contracting the virus; there is no evidence that alcohol and drug rehab facilities are more vulnerable to the virus than any other place. In fact, the strict health protocols in place provide individuals struggling with SUD’s a safe environment to get the care, the support and the individualized treatment they need to reestablish their health and start a new life in recovery.

And keep in mind, this storm we are all in right now will pass. All storms do.

Should you have any questions regarding our COVID-19 protocols and addiction treatment, please call our facility at (800) 851-3291. All calls are confidential.

To learn more about our addiction treatment program and therapies visit us at:

https://www.floridacenterforrecovery.com/treatment-programs/

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002

 

References:
National Institute on Drug Abuse, “The Science of Drug Use and Addiction: The Basics,” accessed Aug. 28, 2019, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-use-addiction-basics.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results From the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health” (2019).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Understanding the Epidemic,” Dec. 19, 2018, https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/epidemic/index.html.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Concerns When Transitioning to Civilian Life

Serving in the military is not like any other job. It’s a unique way of life that puts its members under a huge amount of stress — especially those who have been deployed to combat zones where they have not only experienced the horrors of war but they were also exposed to environmental stressors. These factors combined many times create difficulties for veterans to transition and adjust to civilian life. And, in a culture that has strict rules about drug use with attitudes and stigmas surrounding mental health, coming forward to seek help for any related issues can prove to be a challenge on its own.

Veterans who have difficulties reintegrating into civilian life often report having mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These disorders are all strongly linked to substance abuse among military veterans as often self-medication by using alcohol and other drugs to control symptoms are the reason. In fact, research says that military veterans with a substance abuse problem are between three and four times more likely to also be living with depression or PTSD. These co-occurring mental health problems have also been reported among active duty service members, and although they are common, it is important to understand they should not go untreated.

Unfortunately, approximately half of the military personnel report that they feel seeking help for a mental health issue would be damaging to their careers. Lack of confidentiality around these personal issues is another cause for concern, but although these disorders are often common among military members they must be addressed and treated. Masking the symptoms to remain functional is not the answer and it will only make matters worse.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use disorder and related mental health conditions treatment is available.  Florida Center for Recovery provides specialized addiction treatment for our nation’s Military Members in Fort Pierce offering an all-inclusive detox and inpatient program.

Upon admission, each individual is given a thorough medical exam, a psychiatric evaluation and further comprehensive assessments. For those diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) our program offers specialized trauma therapy through Rapid Resolution Therapy® (RRT) — one of the nation’s most successful therapy programs for healing trauma to date.

We understand the unique challenges faced by military members when returning to civilian life. We provide safe, professional, and confidential services to our clients at our residential rehab facility in Florida giving our clients the time and space they need to focus on specific issues, including past traumas.

To learn more about our addiction treatment program and therapies visit us at:

https://www.floridacenterforrecovery.com/treatment-programs/

or call us at (800) 851-3291. All calls are confidential.

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002

Lean Addiction Treatment

What is Lean?

Lean is a highly addictive drug that some people drink to get high. Also known as purple drank, sizzurp, barre, and Texas tea, among other names, this drug is a concoction of prescription cough syrup containing the opioid codeine and antihistamine promethazine.

To make this drink, the cough syrup is mixed with soda, or sometimes alcohol. Some people also add hard candies like Jolly Ranchers to the mix, while others use over-the-counter (OTC) cough syrup containing dextromethorphan (DXM) instead. Since OTC cough syrups no longer contain alcohol, people usually add their own alcohol to the OTC version of Lean. Another variation of purple drank involves a combination of codeine tablets added to cough syrup and soda. The amount of each ingredient varies, but to get the desired effects a lot more than the recommended for the safe dosage of the medication is used.

It is thought that lean is the drug frequently used in the celebrity hip hop scene, partly because of the way some celebrities display their own use of it. Rapper Lil Wayne idolizes lean in his song “Me and My Drank.” But studies show that different demographic groups have either tried or struggled with addiction to lean before.

Many individuals become addicted to this substance and oftentimes use it as a coping medication for emotional pain, trauma, and undiagnosed or untreated mental illnesses.

It is true that Lean’s sedating effect dulls the senses and perhaps “quiets” the mind. However, using lean or other drugs and alcohol combinations to avoid addressing mental health concerns is a major sign of addiction. For this reason and others, dual-diagnosis treatment for both substance abuse and mental health is imperative for a successful recovery.

Lean Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with addiction to Lean or addiction-related mental health issues, treatment is available. We at Florida Center for Recovery offer a calm, and relaxed setting for individuals on their path to recovery. Our specialized drug rehab programs are designed to provide our clients with the skills they need to recover by finding their path to hope, meaning, purpose, and a value-driven life.

Please reach out to us at (800) 851-3291 or fill out our confidential online form to learn about how you can recover from the pain of addiction and regain your mental health.

Florida Center for Recovery
Clinical Excellence & Compassionate Care in a Healing Environment
Providing Addiction & Mental Health Treatment Since 2002

Dangers of Switching from MDMA (Ecstasy) to Mephedrone

Mephedrone and ecstasy are often thought to be very similar, if not the same. However, they do have significant differences. Those who use MDMA or ecstasy regularly and attempt to switch to mephedrone should know that mephedrone use poses more dangers and a higher risk of abuse.

According to Professor Richard Green, “Although users report that mephedrone produces psychoactive effects similar to MDMA, these two drugs produce different changes in the brain and the adverse effects they produce, particularly when ingested with other drugs, are different.”

Medical researchers believe that there exist two major effects on users of MDMA that are not found when using mephedrone. These effects are the production of monoamine neurotoxicity in the brain and the hyperthermia.

Users of mephedrone often take the drug in short periods of time, which generally leads to tolerance building and dependency. But why is mephedrone more rewarding to the users than MDMA? The following is thought to be the answer. Mephedrone has a quicker effect on the user and a psychostimulant effect that is considerably more present in mephedrone use than in MDMA use. For these reasons mephedrone, with its intensely addictive high, is categorized as a high abuse liability drug.

“One of the key messages for medics and drug users is that even though psychostimulant drugs may initially seem similar, the differences in the way they work can be critical.”

It is important to realize that abuse of any drug is dangerous, and the excess can lead to health risks. Switching from one drug to another to get the same effects, such as going from MDMA to mephedrone or vice versa, is an act that may lead to a serious addiction problem and a higher risk of developing multiple addictions to several drugs.

how to deal with any stress and anxiety you might be feeling over the next little while

Hello Recovery Community!

We just want to make sure everyone is staying safe and healthy right now. We understand that this is a trying time for everyone, not only people with pre-existing anxiety.

Here are a few quick tips on how to deal with any stress and anxiety you might be feeling over the next little while.

KEEP A ROUTINE! Any routine but make sure you and your family keep doing it

  1.  Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress. It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress
  2. Several supplements promote stress and anxiety reduction. Here are a few that can help:
    NOTE: * Please consult your physician before taking any supplements*

    Omega-3 fatty acids: One study showed that medical students who received omega-3 supplements experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms

    Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and anxiety. Several studies suggest that it’s effective

    Green tea: Green tea contains many polyphenol antioxidants that provide health benefits. It may lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels

  3. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. High doses can increase anxiety. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back
  4. One way to handle stress is to write things down. While recording what you’re stressed about is one approach, another is jotting down what you’re grateful for. Gratitude may help relieve stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts on what’s positive in your life.
  5. Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment. It can help combat the anxiety-inducing effects of negative thinking. There are several methods for increasing mindfulness, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga and meditation.

Overuse of alcohol can negatively affect your body’s immune response to infectious diseases

It is well known that stressors of all kinds can increase the likelihood of relapse for those with an alcohol use disorder and an escalation in drinking for people in general. This has people in the addiction field concerned because as social distancing sets in with the COVID-19 shelter-in-place policies, loneliness and depression might increase raising the use of alcohol, overdoses and relapse.

According to numerous studies the consumption of alcohol, especially hard liquor, suppresses the body’s immune responses to fight off infectious diseases.  “Clinicians have long observed an association between excessive alcohol consumption and adverse immune-related effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia,” noted a 2015 article, Alcohol and The Immune System, published in Alcohol Research: Current Reviews. “Alcohol disrupts immune pathways in complex and seemingly paradoxical ways.”

According to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, various studies indicate that alcohol use can deliver a body blow: It messes with humans’ gastrointestinal system, altering the function of healthy gut microbes linked to immunity. Alcohol can also impair key immune cells in the lungs and damage epithelial cells that line the lungs’ surface (where COVID-19 can also attack). ”Often, the alcohol-provoked lung damage goes undetected until a second insult, such as a respiratory infection, leads to more severe lung diseases,” the article noted. “Alcohol consumption does not have to be chronic to have negative health consequences. In fact, research shows that acute binge drinking also affects the immune system.”

While COVID-19 mortality rates are highest among the elderly, younger people are at risk of complications, too: Nearly 40% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US were of ages 20 to 54, and more than half in that range fell between ages 20 and 44, preliminary CDC data show (echoing similar earlier findings in China).

If you or your loved one is in recovery, especially if in early recovery, we know that in these times of turmoil, isolation can bring many of it’s challenges that make life hard. Stay calm and stay vigilant. We encourage recovering individuals to maintain the schedules they had in place before this all started, when possible. If not possible consider replacing activities that require socialization with others that can bring the same result and enjoyment. For instance, gym workouts can be replaced by working out at home.

Let’s stay positive and safe by exercising prudent behaviors that allow us to continue our path to recovery.

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