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Monthly Archives: December 2020

how do drugs affect the brain

How Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Brain?

When you feel that rush, that high that comes from drinking alcohol or using a drug, you just know it’s affecting your brain. And you want that effect or you wouldn’t do it. But have you ever wondered how that happens? How do drugs affect the brain? You might be surprised that it’s not that complicated. However, it may cause complications in the future.

It should be no shock to learn that your brain is the most complex organ in your body. That 3-pound mass of gray and white matter is in control of all of your activities. It is necessary to drive a car, to create art, to enjoy a meal, and to breathe, along with all of your body’s basic functions. So what is your brain? It’s you. It’s everything that you think and feel. It’s everything that you are.

How Does Your Brain Work?

You can compare your brain to a very complex computer. But the brain uses billions of cells called neurons instead of circuits on silicon chips. The neurons in the brain are organized into circuits and networks and each neuron acts as a switch that controls the flow of information. If a neuron gets enough signals from other neurons on the circuit, it sends off its own signal to the other neurons.

Neurotransmitters: Chemical Messengers

To send a message, this is the pattern:

  1. A neuron releases a neurotransmitter into the gap between it and the next cell.
  2. The neurotransmitter crosses the gap and attaches to the receptors on the next neuron, similar to a key into a lock.
  3. This “unlocking” causes changes in the receiving cell.
  4. Then, other molecules called transporters recycle the neurotransmitters by bringing them back to the neuron that sent them.
  5. This shuts off the signal between the neurons.

How This Works in Your Brain

How do drugs affect the brain? Well, When you use drugs or alcohol, it interferes with the way your brain’s neurons send, receive, and process the signals from the neurotransmitters. Thus, the pleasure of high-produced drugs likely involves surges of chemical signaling compounds (including the body’s natural opioids) and other neurotransmitters in parts of the reward circuit.

When a person uses certain drugs, the substances cause surges of these neurotransmitters. The surges are far greater than the smaller bursts that are naturally produced in response to healthy rewards like eating, sex, playing music, or social interaction.

Dopamine: The Reward Messenger

Scientists used to think that the surge of dopamine produced by the drugs caused the euphoria directly. But now, they believe that dopamine has more to do with influencing us to repeat pleasurable activities than by causing the pleasure directly. The sensation of pleasure is how a healthy brain recognizes and reinforces helpful behaviors such as eating, socializing, and sex.

Your brain is wired to increase the chances that you will repeat pleasant actions. The neurotransmitter dopamine is key to this. When the reward circuit is activated by a healthy, pleasurable experience, a rush of dopamine signals to your brain that something needs to be remembered. The signal causes changes in your neural connections that make it easier to repeat the activity over and over without thinking about it. Thus, the formation of habits.

The same way drugs produce excessive euphoria, they also produce large surges of dopamine. This strongly reinforces the connection between using the drug, the pleasure that results, and all the outside prompts (or triggers) associated with the experience. Therefore, large surges of dopamine teach the brain to choose drugs at the expense of other healthier activities.

Cues to Use

Cues in your normal daily routine or surroundings can become linked with drug use because of the changes to the reward circuit. These triggers can cause uncontrollable cravings even if the drug is not available or if you haven’t used drugs in years. A drug-free person can experience cravings when returning to a place where they used to use drugs many years before.

Why Drugs are More Addictive Than Natural Rewards

To your brain, the difference between normal rewards and drug-induced rewards is like the difference between a rainstorm and a hurricane. Similar to turning down the volume on a radio that is too loud, the brain of someone on drugs adjusts to the volume by producing fewer neurotransmitters in the reward circuit which reduces the number of receptors that can receive the reward message. As a result, the ability to feel pleasure from naturally rewarding activities is reduced.

Eventually, a person who misuses drugs will feel this cycle:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Lifelessness and/or depression
  • Inability to enjoy things that used to be pleasurable.
  • Desire to keep taking drugs to experience even a normal feeling of pleasure.

Ultimately, this individual will typically need to use larger amounts of the drug to end up with the usual pleasant sensations. He has built a tolerance to the drug. Tolerance leads to dependence which leads to addiction.

Endorphins, Heroin, and Your Brain

As soon as heroin enters the brain, it is changed into morphine and quickly attaches to the opioid receptors of the brain. Opioid receptors are neurons in the pain circuit of the brain. (Remember the circuits?) The sensation of pleasure, the rush, is caused by the amount of drug is taken and how fast it attaches to the receptors.

Morphine has a chemical structure similar to endorphins, another neurotransmitter that is naturally present in the brain. Although they are both neurotransmitters, endorphins are different from dopamine. Generally speaking, dopamine creates happiness after an individual has accomplished something. On the other hand, endorphins act to relieve pain which could also play a part in motivation and a feeling of pleasure. Therefore serving as a reward.

Heroin can activate neurons because their chemical makeup can imitate that of a natural neurotransmitter in the body. This is how the drug attaches to and activates the neurons. However, they aren’t able to activate the neurons the same way as the natural neurotransmitter and they cause abnormal messages to be sent through the network.

Long-Term Effects

Over time, the use of heroin and other opioids changes the physical structure and normal functions of the brain. It creates unevenness in neuron and hormone systems that aren’t easy to reverse. Studies have shown deterioration of the brain’s white matter which may affect:

  • The ability to control behavior
  • The ability to control reactions to stressful situations
  • Increased tolerance:
    • The need for more of the drug to produce the same results
    • Increase in physical dependence
    • Withdrawal symptoms if use is reduced or stopped suddenly

In some cases, the addict loses the euphoric effect. Heroin is then used simply as a way to relieve the uncomfortable and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms.

Alcohol

Although alcohol is absorbed throughout your whole body, it takes a particular toll on your brain. Once again, we see a substance interfering with the brain’s communication pathways and affecting how your brain process information.

Effects of Alcohol Consumption by Stages

  • Euphoria. When you first take a drink of alcohol, it increases the release of your favorite reward, dopamine. You feel relaxed with pleasant sensations and maybe some minor impairment of reasoning and memory.
  • Depression, memory loss, and confusion. After the blood alcohol level reaches past 0.0r blood alcohol content (BAC), your blood and body tissue absorbs the extra alcohol and your euphoria turns to depression.
  • Excitement. At this point, with a BAC from about 0.09 to 0.25 you are legally intoxicated. Several affected areas in your brain are responsible for blurred vision, slurred speech, and hearing, and lack of control of motor skills, and slower reaction time.
  • Confusion. At a BAC of 0.18 to 0.3 you are experiencing daze and disorientation. Coordination is affected. Blackouts, or the loss of consciousness or memory, are also likely. This is due to the area of the brain responsible for making new memories not functioning properly.

Poisoning

  • Stupor. If you get to a BAC of 0.25 to 0.40, alcohol poisoning may occur. At this time all physical, mental, and sensory capabilities are seriously defective.
  • Coma. A BAC of 0.35 carries the possibility of going into a coma because of weakened respiration and circulation, motor responses, and reflexes.
  • Death. A BAC over 0.45 may result in death from alcohol poisoning or a failure in the brain to control all of the body’s essential physical functions.

Lasting Damage

Continuous abuse of alcohol can cause lasting damage to your brain. It can lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) can also lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome which features amnesia, extreme confusion, and visual disturbances.

Drinking alcohol can result in direct damage to the body’s tissues and indirect stress on your body. Fortunately, most mental impairment can be reversed or improved within a year of abstinence.

Cocaine and Amphetamines

Cocaine and amphetamines also increase the levels of our natural reward messenger, dopamine. As explained earlier, dopamine would normally recycle back to the cell that released it, shutting off the signal between the neurons. Using cocaine and other stimulants prevents the recycling event.

As a result, large amounts build up in the space between the nerve cells (neurons) blocking their normal communication. The abundance of dopamine in the reward circuit greatly reinforces drug-using behavior because the reward circuit eventually adjusts to the excess dopamine and becomes less sensitive to it. This begins the cycle of using stronger and/or more frequent doses known as tolerance. Which leads to dependence and then to addiction.

Long-term effects

  • Paranoia
  • Malnutrition
  • Irritability and restlessness
  • Movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease
  • Auditory hallucinations—hearing sounds that aren’t real

Marijuana

There is evidence from several studies that marijuana exposure during development can cause long-term or even permanent injury to the brain. This is especially possible when use starts in adolescence and continues to constant use in adulthood. Animal studies showed unusually high levels in the cannabinoid receptors in an animal brain.

THC, the active ingredient in marijuana is mildly hallucinogenic and probably interacts with several chemical pathways. Furthermore, memory damage from marijuana use happens because THC changes how the hippocampus (the area in the brain responsible for memory formation) processes information.

ABCD Study

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to make definite conclusions about the long-term effects of marijuana use on the human brain because the study participants tended to use multiple substances. Likewise, there is often little information about the participants’ health or mental functions before the study. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study This ABCD study will follow a large number of young Americans from late childhood (before drug use) to early adulthood.

Real Rewards Through Treatment

Ultimately, how do drugs affect the brain? The general answer is in numerous different ways. Thus, you can no doubt now see why addiction is considered a brain disease. It is a chronic disease like diabetes or hypertension and it can be treated. If you or someone close to you is struggling with an addiction, we can get you on the way to recovery at Florida Center for Recovery. Our experienced, professional staff has one job. Their duty is only to care for you or your loved one and help you through detox, therapy, and ongoing treatment. Contact us now. These issues are too serious to wait, or worse, ignore.

References:

www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science

www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin

inpatient vs outpatient rehab

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment: What’s the Difference and Which is Best for Me ?

There are several different options to choose from when looking for drug and alcohol treatment. It’s important to know the different features and treatment types so you can choose what’s right for you. When it comes to addiction treatment, there are typically two main categories – Inpatient rehab and outpatient rehab. When comparing inpatient vs. outpatient rehab, both are focused on helping you recover. Still, each has different pros and cons when it comes to its structures.

When it comes to inpatient vs outpatient rehab, there are many different factors to consider. These include convenience, cost, and level of treatment. While there’s no right or wrong choice when making decisions based on these factors, it’s crucial to understand each of these before jumping into treatment. Inpatient treatment is typically more intensive and involves living in a rehab center. Outpatient treatment is much more relaxed and is best for mild to moderate cases of addiction.

Whichever treatment option works best for you, the most important thing is that you’re taking the first step towards recovery. Sometimes, people don’t realize the detrimental effects addiction can have on their lives until it’s too late. Taking the first step may be difficult, but it’s necessary for living a healthy and sober life. At Florida Center for Recovery, we make sure all your needs are taken care of. Don’t wait to get help, start your journey towards recovery today.

What is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment for substance abuse (or alcohol abuse) involves a person checking into a supervised and controlled environment and living there for a while as they receive addiction treatment. This enables a person to get help without distractions and the possibility of using the drug again. Inpatient treatment is also referred to as residential treatment. People who choose inpatient treatment will live in a safe facility with 24/7 surveillance and support.

One of the great benefits of inpatient vs outpatient rehab is the constant availability of help and support that inpatient rehab provides. Recovery can be a very stressful and sometimes even dangerous journey. This is why it’s essential to have addiction treatment professionals at your side to keep you safe and treated. Throughout the entire addiction recovery journey, you’re always guided by those who are willing to help you.

How to Prepare for Inpatient Rehab

Since you will be moving into a rehab center for a period of time while in inpatient rehab, it’s important to be informed and prepared. There is no set-in-stone time needed to prepare for treatment. However, it’s crucial to set some kind of entry date for rehab so you’re prepared when the time comes. Here are a couple of things you might need to take care of before you start your inpatient rehab journey:

  • Take care of living arrangements for your children or spouse
  • Speak with your employer beforehand
  • Make a plan on how you’ll get to and from the center
  • Take inventory of what you’ll need and what isn’t allowed at the rehab center

Family support is extremely important during the recovery process. During treatment, a person can contact loved ones and family members for support. Depending on the rehab center a person attends, there may be a specific policy on when or how often you can contact loved ones though. Even if you’re far from your loved ones while in addiction treatment, they’re not completely out of reach during your recovery journey.

What Does Daily Life look like During Inpatient Rehab?

Inpatient treatment for substance abuse is distraction-free and recovery-focused. During your stay, you will have a set schedule that will be specialized just for you. Over the course of your addiction treatment, you’ll meet with psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, in individual or group settings. Inpatient rehab can last anywhere from 28 days to six months.

Before inpatient treatment (or outpatient treatment) a person will undergo medically assisted detox. This is a process that purges the body of all substances and alcohol. Detox is vital for addiction recovery. Thus, it’s always the first step in recovery.

Inpatient detox is highly monitored for safety (and to ensure the detox is effective). After inpatient detox ends, a person can choose which treatment option works best for them.

While in inpatient treatment for substance abuse, recovering addicts will follow their schedule closely as they meet with several therapists for specific sessions. The good thing about inpatient treatment is the overwhelming support you get there at all times. This can create a safety net for any unforeseen feelings or events during the recovery process. By sticking true to a regiment and a set schedule, recovering addicts can slowly begin to cope and overcome their addictions.

What is Outpatient Treatment?

Outpatient treatment is a much more flexible and convenient approach to addiction treatment. Outpatient treatment typically only requires 10-12 hours of visits per week. You’ll not be staying at a rehab center while in outpatient addiction treatment. Instead, you’ll be attending weekly sessions while you continue to live your home and work life. This can be an especially good option for those who have other responsibilities (school, work, children, or other obligations).

The weekly outpatient sessions you attend will be primarily focused on individual/group counseling, drug abuse education, and other counseling measures. This is an effective standalone addiction treatment option if you have mild to moderate addiction.

Outpatient treatment can also be a part of your long-term treatment program as well. This form of treatment typically lasts between 3-6 months but can last up to a year. Outpatient treatment is not recommended for more severe cases of addiction. Inpatient treatment is better in those cases.

How to Detox During Outpatient Treatment

In some instances, a person can use outpatient detoxification as an alternative to inpatient detox. Outpatient detox can be just as safe/effective as inpatient detox (it also takes less time). However, this should be used in much milder cases of addiction treatment. During the outpatient detox process, there are physical and mental check-ups (sometimes done in another facility) to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Outpatient Treatment Support and Cost

One of the good things about outpatient rehab is that it allows you to stay at home throughout the day (apart from the weekly sessions). This allows you to continue working while staying close to your family and friends. Additionally, the sessions occur at night or in the morning, which allows you to maintain your schedule at school or work.

Additionally, support groups (12-step groups) can be used during outpatient treatment. These include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), among others. These support groups can help you stay sober for the coming years ahead.

In some cases, you can use the outpatient treatment after your inpatient treatment has ended. This can be a very good transition back into life, all while staying sober and clean in the process.

Outpatient treatment also costs much less than inpatient treatment because you’re not living at the rehab facility. Typically, the support and psychotherapy available to patients raise the costs during inpatient treatment. However, price should not dictate which form of addiction treatment works better for you.

It’s important to be honest to yourself about what your addiction treatment needs are and which form of rehab would best suit those needs. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to addiction treatment. What matters is you taking the first steps towards sobriety.

A Look at Some of the Therapies Available During Inpatient and Outpatient Treatment

Psychotherapy is usually an integral part of addiction treatment. Addiction affects not only the body, but the mind as well. It’s important to learn how to cope with triggers and life’s stresses to avoid relapses and dangerous habits. When it comes to inpatient vs outpatient rehab, both use several individual and group therapies during the process. Some of the most common forms of therapy/treatment include the following:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic treatment
  • 12-step programs (AA, NA)
  • Motivational interviewing (MI)

Many of these are used to teach coping techniques while simultaneously trying to unravel the deep thoughts associated with your addiction. While some of these forms of therapy/treatment programs may not apply to all addiction cases, these are benchmarks of every addiction treatment case. Forming close bonds with your therapists and those around you is also part of the treatment process (especially during inpatient treatment).

Start Your Journey at Florida Center for Recovery

Whether you choose inpatient treatment for substance abuse or outpatient treatment, it’s important to choose a rehab center that will work for you. At Florida Center for Recovery, we make sure to guide you through the process. Our passionate staff is ready to help you live the best life possible. Take control of your addiction today before it’s too late. Contact us today to learn more about Florida Center for Recovery and our addiction resources.

drinking culture

Drinking Culture in the USA

A National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported in 2019 that 85.6 percent of American adults drank alcohol at least once in their lives. Drinking culture in the United States means that it’s a societal norm. Alcohol is a drug, despite its stronghold on American culture.

Since drinking is legal, not everyone realizes its danger. Nor do they realize how easy it is to go from the occasional drink to being an alcoholic. In order to understand the dangers of drinking, explore the USA’s complicated relationship with alcohol.

A Brief History Of Drinking Culture in the United States

First off, alcohol is a substance that follows humanity throughout history. Where man is, alcohol isn’t too far behind. The same can be said about the drinking culture in the USA. Centuries of American history prove alcohol has always played a major role in American society in one way or another.

Drinking Culture in Pre-Colonial America

Before the USA was even the USA, there was alcohol. A common myth is that early American settlers introduced Native Americans to alcohol. On the contrary, American Indians created their own alcoholic beverages through native fruits, vegetables and plants.

For example, in southeastern America, certain tribes would make alcohol out of fermented corn. Apaches in particular had a robust drinking culture. These fermented beverages were used in their spiritual ceremonies, social events, and much more.

Research indicates that the alcohol the Apaches drank was much weaker than the alcohol that was later introduced into American society. In fact, distilled spirits wrecked Native Americans, caused them to create the earliest version of sobriety circles.

Drinking Culture in Colonial America

It’s evident that colonial Americans liked to drink. Bars in Philadelphia currently attract visitors with beer recipes crafted by the founding fathers. In the 18th century, drinking culture was prominent. According to Journal Storage (JSTOR), the Sons of Liberty even met in a drinking tavern to plan how to overthrow the British government.

The digital library’s blog post also mentions that Americans during colonial times would drink double the rate of modern citizens. In other words, they drank around three and a half gallons of alcohol annually.

Adults and toddlers alike would drink rum and hard cider during this time period. Some with every meal. This led to rampant alcoholism, which gave way to a stricter governmental policy (aka the Temperance Movement).

Twentieth Century USA and Drinking Culture

Every American high schooler is familiar with The Great Gatsby. It’s a fictional tale of a very real period of time in the United States: Prohibition. This era of strict governmental crackdown against alcohol lasted from around 1920 to 1933. It happened because of the increasing awareness surrounding the dangers of alcohol.

Yet, it also happened in part to put pain on German-American brewers and conserve grain supposedly needed for the war. The government saw those who drank as a disposable population. For instance, the Coolidge administration would encourage manufacturers of industrial/commercial alcohol to poison it so drinkers would die. This didn’t last with America’s WW2 win, and hence, a gradual amnesia of the serious concerns surrounding drinking.

Drinking Culture in Modern America

Alcohol is such a staple in American culture that many citizens may not realize the USA has a bustling drinking culture. An aisle of alcohol sits parallel to the frozen food section. An entire liquor store is built into the local grocery at times. Americans have a choice between ladies’ nights, happy hours, and bottomless brunches.

Alcoholic beverages have subtly slipped their way into every aspect of American culture. There are currently 57,625 bars and nightclubs in the USA. This doesn’t include all of the restaurants and facilities that serve alcohol.

Times when drinking culture has made an appearance in top songs

  •  “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” – T-Pain and Yung Joc
  • “Shots” – LMFAO featuring Lil Jon
  • “Rehab” – Amy Winehouse
  • “Tik Tok” – Ke$ha
  • “Swimming Pools (Drank)” – Kendrick Lamar
  • “Red Solo Cup” – Toby Keith
  • “Have a Drink on Me” – AC/DC
  • “Party For Me” – Jhené Aiko featuring Ty Dolla $ign

Songs, books, and movies feature alcohol in a mainstream way today. Countless forms of media not only feature alcohol but romanticize and glorify it too. Movies like The Hangover and Project X play off the dangers of drinking in a comical sense.

The worst that can happen when the people in these films are abusing alcohol is a good laugh. This only perpetuates drinking culture without making people aware of the statistics behind alcohol abuse.

When adults say they don’t drink nowadays they’re bombarded with a questionnaire. It’s considered a social faux pas to not drink in today’s culture. It’s almost as if people wonder to themselves, where would people meet up to have fun if not parties and bars?

Drinking culture has snatched the lives of many without society batting an eye. COVID-19 has changed the landscape of drinking culture, but it remains in a different form.

How Has COVID-19 Impacted Drinking Culture?

Americans were slow to react to the dangers of the 2020 pandemic. Since January, there have been 16,756,581 million cases of the novel virus and 306,427 deaths.

Thousands are dying every day, yet many clubs and bars remain open throughout the United States. Of course, the thought of a painful, lonely death has stopped many Americans from going out. Hence, America’s drinking culture has shifted, but not disappeared.

Happy hours and trivia nights are now hosted online. Booze/food delivery apps were popular before but are now increasingly popular.

Some of the most popular booze/food delivery apps today include:

  • Drizly
  • Minibar
  • Thirstie
  • Saucey
  • Uber Eats (in certain areas)
  • Instacart
  • DoorDash

Due to such booze/food delivery apps and the current pandemic, many bars and clubs have closed their doors permanently. Yet, the real victims of COVID-19 are people that struggle with an alcohol use disorder (AUD). The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) recently hosted a webinar about how COVID-19 impacts alcohol use. In it, they state that those suffering from AUD face a whole new set of problems.

Addiction treatment centers close their doors to those who are infected with COVID-19. The addiction treatment centers whose doors are open during the pandemic have safety protocols and limited capability.

Another factor in the way people are drinking in America today is the countless people that are left at home depressed with nothing to do due to losing their jobs. In fact, 20.6 million Americans have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. How can these people afford to seek treatment at an addiction recovery facility with financial strain? This in tandem with the USA’s already out of control drinking culture has made it especially difficult for people with AUD.

How Drinking Culture Affects American Youth

Moving on, it should come as no shock that young Americans suffer from alcoholism. Drinking culture shows the fun side of drinking in every form of media without truly showing its pitfalls. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), there were around 10 million underage Americans who drank alcohol. From this group, 2 million were heavy drinkers, while 6.5 million were binge drinkers.

Excessive drinking is dangerous on its own. Yet, when a child, teenager, or adolescent drinks, it can damage their brain permanently. As an example, the Department of Health in Western Australia notes that a child’s brain continues to develop until their early twenties. Since alcohol is a depressant, drinking before then can negatively impact cognitive abilities.

SAMHSA cites other ways that drinking culture affects American youth:

  • Underage binge drinkers are more likely to use drugs
  • Young adults that drink underage are known to get bad grades
  • Thousands of homicides and 949,400 crimes were because of underage drinking
  • Underage drinkers are more at risk to have unprotected sex
  • Underage drinking increases the youth’s chances of acquiring mood and anxiety disorders
  • Lowered inhibition causes underaged drinkers to make risky decisions in general

Underage drinking needs to be more than the punchline of a joke. America’s youth suffers while the media profits from drinking culture. More so, underage drinking affects every American youth no matter their race or ethnicity. Education about underage drinking helps but doesn’t eliminate the risk from lurking in the background.

Drinking Culture Hurts Americans Overall

Young Americans aren’t the only ones who suffer from the USA’s romance with alcohol. The entire population of America faces the risk of an AUD. Over a quarter of the American adult population reported binge drinking in the month the NSDUH went out. According to the CDC, binge drinking is when a man has about five drinks in two hours. For women, it’s when they drink around four drinks or more in the same time frame.

Binge drinking is preventable but normalized in society. Unfortunately, it makes drinkers more susceptible to death. In fact, around 95,000 Americans die from an alcohol-related cause every single year. That means that almost a hundred thousand Americans died preventable deaths in part due to drinking culture.

It’s apparent that change needs to happen for people to understand the dangers of alcohol. Of course, a return to prohibition and the temperance movement is unlikely. Alcohol isn’t inherently dangerous, but a lack of education behind it causes people to drink dangerously.

Florida Center for Recovery Cuts Addicts Off From Drinking Culture

It’s tough to stop drinking when it’s everywhere. It appears in YouTube ads, blogs, and even when you’re just browsing UberEats. Don’t blame yourself for not kicking an alcohol addiction. Blame America’s drinking culture.

Florida Center for Recovery can’t solve the USA’s drinking problem, but we can cure yours. We offer personalized alcohol use disorder treatment in Fort Pierce, Florida. At our rehab facility, you’re cut off from negative influences and external factors that make an alcohol addiction worse. Contact us now if you or a loved one wants to find peace through sobriety by attending addiction treatment at Florida Center for Recovery.

References:

mental health

COVID-19: Mental Health During the Holidays

COVID-19 has completely changed the way that we live and interact with each other. The global pandemic has unfortunately brought much stress and problems to many people. A mix of unemployment, isolation, and mental health problems have been the cause of much pain and trouble throughout the course of the pandemic. Sadly, as a result, some people will turn to alcohol or other drugs to cope with their problems.

As the holiday season comes around, it is important to practice a healthy state of mind. While this holiday season may be lonelier and a lot more isolated, it’s still important to stay mentally healthy. Thus, there are practices and frames of mind you can use to stay more positive and aware of your problems. Even though things may be different and not what we wanted, it’s how we deal with these adversities that matters in the long run.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a mental health or drug addiction, Florida Center for Recovery is here to help. Our rehab follows all the guidelines necessary for safe and effective treatment during the pandemic. Just because the world has changed doesn’t mean you can’t get the help that you need. Don’t wait any longer, let us help you today.

How COVID-19 has Affected the Holidays

With COVID-19 in our midst, the 2020 holidays are very different from any previous holiday season. Instead of being able to gather around the dinner table in person, we’re forced to speak with our loved ones virtually.

More than that, people are struggling to even put food on the table or presents under the tree due to businesses closing down and people losing their jobs. This unfortunate series of events has caused distress in the lives of many families and loved ones. As a result, many people must adapt to an isolated and safer holiday.

Isolation is a hard thing for many people to do. As a result, COVID-19 has taken a toll on many people’s mental health.

To make matters worse, many families have lost family members to the virus. Many others have loved ones who are sick.

All of these problems have caused much stress and pain. As we look forward to a better 2021, it’s important to practice healthy habits for the mind and body.

Preparing for the Holidays (During the Coronavirus)

Those with preexisting mental illnesses may have an especially tough time during this holiday season. Uncertainty and isolation can also add fuel to the fire if you are struggling with a mental disorder during the holidays.

Many people might feel a loss of control due to the current pandemic and the shift of the season that it causes. In fact, change in itself can be extremely tough for some people. This difficulty of dealing with pain is only heightened when dealing with a mental disorder during a pandemic.

Still, it’s important to look at some of the positive ways that you can prepare for the holidays. While it may feel like you have lost control this holiday season, it’s important to remember that you always have control.

You can still find enjoyment and joy during the holidays this year. By practicing awareness and coping with your personal harsh feelings, you can find a silver lining to going through the holidays during a pandemic.

Understand What You’ve Lost

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has taken away jobs, family members, and access to millions of people. While the holidays are usually about looking back at the good times or being thankful, this holiday season, take time to honor the loved ones you aren’t able to see or those you’ve lost.

You can also look at other things you’ve lost such as a job, school changes, or other challenges. If you haven’t lost much this year, take a moment to acknowledge the changes that you’ve had to go through.

Identify How You Are Feeling

Honestly, thinking and pinpointing exactly what you are feeling can make things a lot more manageable during the holidays. In fact, during these times, it seems as though there are a lot of different thoughts and emotions roaming through our heads.

It’s important to depack these thoughts and help understand them. When doing so, you may reailize that it is more than just the fact that it’s the holidays that is causing stress.

Overall, this year has been difficult. Thus, it’s natural to be feeling sad or negative. Journaling, talking with someone, or quietly unpacking your thoughts can be great for managing your mental health. Whatever technique you choose, truly understanding your inner thoughts this holiday season can go a long way.

Make the Best out of Your Situation

Many things in your life that cause stress or pain are usually things you can’t control. However, this doesn’t mean you have to cancel your holidays altogether. You can make the best of the situation and still enjoy your own holiday.

Send gifts to your family, make a meal, carve a pumpkin, or celebrate in your own way by doing something that you enjoy. There are a few things that you can do to spice things up without completely canceling your holidays. Host a family zoom call or plan a little outdoor gathering if possible.

If loneliness is what is affecting your mental health, think about video calls or phone calls. Try to stay connected with others this holiday season. It may not be the same, but it’s worth doing for the sake of connection.

Be Thankful/Grateful

While this year has been extremely tough for many, there is always something to be thankful for. No matter how bad things get or how your mental health may be affected, think about what you have. Try to think of all the things you are thankful for this year.

Be thankful for staying physically healthy, or perhaps zone in on something more specific like you’re favorite TV show being on. If you are lucky to be around loved ones, be grateful that they are safe and together with you. Even if you are alone, there is so much to be grateful for, big snd small.

While it can be pretty tough to see the silver lining in the situation, it is possible and can be a positive change. Many of us don’t like change, but change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Find time to be thankful despite the change, and let your loved ones or friends know. Making an effort regardless of your mental health state can be useful in the short and long-term. Thus, practice being grateful for the small things.

Be Realistic About Cancelled Holiday Plans

It can be easy to throw in the towel and focus on what once was when it comes to the holidays. What we fail to realize though is that there are a lot of stressful factors that we don’t have to deal with this season.

It is not healthy to dwindle on the plans we once had in place. It’s important to be realistic and think about the long to-do lists, long days of travel, and other things you no longer have to worry about. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be joyful about the situation but embrace the change, try something new this year!

Practice the 4 A’s of Stress Relief

One of the ways you can adapt and handle stress is by practicing the 4 A’s: Avoid, alter, accept, adapt. These are proven ways to deal with your stress in a healthy and deliberate manner. Your mental health may be affected due to the pandemic but that doesn’t mean you can’t adapt and manage your stress in a healthy way. Let’s take a closer look at each of these:

    • Avoid – Avoiding a stressor altogether is a great way to relieve stress. This involves taking control of your surroundings and avoiding people/things that bother you.
    • Alter – An attempt to change the source that is bringing you stress. Communicate openly and honestly with those around you. Set boundaries and manage your time as well.
    • Accept – This is essential for times where you have no control over the situation. Learn from mistakes, talk to people around you, and learn from forgiveness.

Adapt – Adapting to your surrounding is key to managing stress in your life. Adjusting your standards, reframing your issues, and looking at the bigger picture can be very beneficial. Adapting a mantra and being positive with yourself can go a long way.

Get Professional Help Today

If you or a loved one is suffering from a severe mental health disorder or illness, consider getting professional help. Just because a pandemic is going on doesn’t mean the child has to suffer alone.

At Florida Center for Recovery, we want to help you during this holiday season. With comprehensive care, we can help you towards a better 2021 and a smooth recovery. We also follow all COVID-19 guidelines for safe treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options and how we can help you today.

rapid resolution therapy

Rapid Resolution Therapy | Florida Center for Recovery

According to John Hopkins Medicine, around 26% of American adults have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Yet, many of them may choose not to seek treatment because it’s difficult to find a therapist and it’s costly. This was the case until Dr. Jon Connelly developed Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT).

 

Through the power of multi-level communication, addiction treatment centers can cure drug dependency through the RRT form of trauma resolution therapy. While RRT is new, it’s extremely cutting-edge and has a promising success rate. Healing with RRT can happen quickly with the right therapist and facility.

What Is Rapid Resolution Therapy?

Rapid Resolution Therapy (RRT) is a newer form of therapy that uses a combination of hypnosis, powerful imagery, carefully-selected spoken word, and auditory techniques. This form of psychotherapy uses methodical communication from the moment a therapist begins speaking to a patient. In doing so, rapid resolution therapy facilitates the healing process. Maladaptive behaviors and thoughts related to trauma  particularly clear up as a result of RRT.

Key points of RRT: 

  • Fear and anger are perceived
  • A reaction is different than the event that caused it
  • It’s the therapist’s job to relieve the patient of the trauma
  • Patients shouldn’t have to relive trauma during therapy
  • Spoken word alone can heal a patient

Rapid Resolution Therapy Analogies

When performing rapid resolution therapy, an RRT therapist may use an analogy to engage with and treat a patient. For example, an RRT therapist may make a patient think about being in the Serengeti of Africa. While making the patient visualize being in the Serengeti of Africa, the RRT therapist might then start speaking about lions and zebras. When speaking about lions and zebras, the RRT therapist will emphasize that when the zebra sees the lion, the zebra is fearful and perceives the threat of the lion. Yet, when the zebra is safely out of the lion’s sight, the zebra is not afraid anymore.

So, is the zebra still afraid of the lion when there is no danger in the unforeseeable future? The answer is no. It would be a problem if the zebra still felt terror even when not being in the presence of a lion.

Once the RRT therapist finishes describing this analogy/story to the patient, the therapist will ask the patient to think of themselves as the zebra in this situation. By using the analogy of the patient as a zebra and the patient’s trauma as the lion, the RRT therapist will highlight to the patient how, like the zebra, the patient shouldn’t allow things that serve no real or current threat in his or her life at the moment to make him or her feel anxious, angry, or afraid.

What Is The Origin of Rapid Resolution Therapy?

The history of rapid resolution therapy began with Dr. John Connelly. Connelly desired to end the suffering from trauma because of sexual violence. In his attempt to do so, Connelly created a non-profit group called the Institute for Survivors of Sexual Violence. In further trying to find ways to help victims of sexual trauma, Connelly created rapid resolution therapy (RRT). Connelly then tried out rapid resolution therapy on multiple patients.

Connelly also documented the success of RRT in his book, Life Changing Conversations: A Single Conversation Can Be A Life-Changing Event. This book details dialogues of around 20 patients with Dr. John Connelly. In his book, Connelly shows readers how every sentence that leaves his mouth is crafted for instant healing.

Rapid Resolution Therapy Versus Popular Therapies

While rapid resolution therapy is a form of psychotherapy, it’s vastly different from other psychotherapies. This may partly be because of how new rapid resolution therapy is. Just because RRT is a newer form of therapy though, doesn’t mean that it’s less effective than the older forms of therapy.

Two more well-known and popular modes of trauma resolution therapy are dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Each of these forms of trauma resolution therapy makes patients face their trauma head-on. Beware when using these more direct forms of trauma resolution therapy though, as they can hurt someone who suffers from trauma more than it helps.

Trauma, itself, is the mental and sometimes physical reaction to a distressing event. Memories of a traumatic event can be so painful that the body and mind shut down. Stress from trauma is also often so intense that it causes severe physical problems. Examples of these physical problems include seizures or breathing issues.

Events That Can Cause Trauma

Trauma can develop in a person for a number of reasons. The following are examples of events that could cause severe trauma:

Some direct forms of trauma resolution therapy, like CBT and DBT, make patients relieve these painful experiences. They do this by asking patients to recount the traumatic events that they’ve gone through. Sometimes, CBT or DBT therapists will even have patients recount past traumatic experiences multiple times.

When a patient struggles to recount a past trauma in therapy, that patient is often labeled resistant. Receiving such a label does nothing but discourage the patient from receiving therapy for trauma again.

RRT is much different than this. Firstly, a good RRT therapist will only ask for enough details about a patient’s past trauma to understand what he or she needs to do to help the patient. Thus, RRT therapists usually don’t go through the details of a patient’s past trauma.

Another reason why some forms of trauma resolution therapy like CBT and DBT aren’t the best forms of therapy to use when treating patients that have gone through intense trauma is that they put the focus on the patient’s ability to heal themselves through discipline and time.

RRT differs in the way that it treats trauma in this aspect as well. This is evident in the fact that RRT takes the pressure to heal trauma off of the patient. Instead, RRT puts the responsibiltiy of healing a patient’s past trauma on the therapist.

Who Should Consider Rapid Resolution Therapy?

To be clear, anyone who suffers from trauma can benefit from any kind of trauma resolution therapy. This is especially true for those who have already tried different forms of therapy to no avail. Trauma therapy can also be beneficial to those who are on a budget. When using the trauma resolution therapy known as RRT, patients only need one to three therapy sessions on average to heal themselves of past trauma.

RRT is particularly a great form a trauma resolution therapy because it is fluid. In other words, an RRT therapist can tweak the imagery and allusions that he or she uses to better resonate with a patient. More popular forms of therapy like CBT and DBT are rigid in comparison.

RRT is also a better form of therapy to use when treating trauma because it is highly effective when treating just about any mental illness or type of trauma. CBT and DBT on the other hand, are primarily effective when treating only certain types of mental illnesses and trauma.

The fact that RRT is a form of trauma resolution therapy that is new in the timeline of psychoanalysis only makes it more appealing to use when treating severe trauma. That’s because the list of people who can benefit from it is constantly growing.

Mental Health Conditions and Traumas That Would Benefit from Rapid Resolution Therapy

As we mentioned earlier, rapid resolution therapy can help treat a wide variety of conditions. Below are just some mental health conditions and traumas that could benefit from rapid resolution therapy: 

  • PTSD
  • Mood disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Phobias
  • Trauma from infidelity
  • Victims of rape
  • Chronic pain
  • Serious medical conditions
  • OCD
  • ADHD
  • Victims of abuse
  • Repressed trauma

The list grows longer as research develops. Some skeptcis say that the lack of research behind RRT makes it not a viable form of therapy even though aspects of it come from tried and true methods.

How Much Does Rapid Resolution Therapy Typically Cost?

Rapid resolution therapy is affordable in comparison to other therapies. An RRT session without insurance costs, on average $125. This is for a one hour session. Other RRT therapy session prices may vary depending upon the medical professional, though.

Ultimately though, patients will likely have to spend very little to experience the full benefits of trauma resolution therapy. In fact, three RRT sessions is still much less expensive than a lifetime of therapy. Or a dozen at that.

According to the US Census from 2019, 8% of the US population didn’t have health insurance. While this number may seem low, in reality, it’s 26.1 million people. What’s more alarming is the fact that 17% of Americans that suffer from a mental illness are uninsured. This means that millions of people that don’t have insurance to help pay for treatment desperately need psychotherapy to cope with insufferable trauma.

RRT is inexpensive enough. Thus, many people without insurance can pay for RRT treatment and receive the dental care that they need.

Rapid Resolution Therapy Success Stories

Dr. Jon Connelly has had the pleasure of working with many patients from different backgrounds. The speedy healing process of these patients proves the power of RRT.

 

Through Dr. Connelly’s success, people who have had trauma for decades feel relief after a single RRT therapy session. The following stories show the life-changing power of a single conversation.

Kristen Used Trauma Resolution Therapy To Heal Grief

When Kristen was younger she led a normal life. She was studious, beautiful, and bright. However, when her older sister passed away in a drunk driving accident, it threw her into an extreme bout of grief. Her trauma became so bad that she had multiple seizures and blackouts daily.

 

In an effort to stop the physical symptoms of grief, Kiersten was accepted to the Mayo Clinic. There, they diagnosed her with a slew of disorders and told her she only had a 20% chance of recovery.

 

After receiving such poor news, Kiersten’s father found Dr. Jon Connelly and set up a therapy session with Dr. Conelly and Kiersten. In this one RRT therapy session, Kristen recovered almost completely. She even went on to host a TEDx talk on her experience with RRT.

Sarah Found Solace From Child Molestation Through Trauma Resolution Therapy

Sarah was a young girl when her step-father started molesting her. The sexual abuse went on for quite some time before it was put to an end. Yet, even when it was put to an end, Sarah harbored deep trauma from the experience. It wasn’t until she met Dr. Jon Connelly that she could move on from the hurt.

 

Sarah states on Dr. Connelly’s YouTube channel that she recovered completely after one RRT session. Due to this recovery, Sarah didn’t need the help of any medication. Thus, while many people who suffer from trauma need cocktails of antidepressants and anxiety medications to feel relief, Sarah was able to heal through the power of words instead.

Florida Center For Recovery Offers Rapid Resolution Therapy in Fort Pierce

It’s a myth that everyone needs expensive therapy and medication to heal from trauma. In reality, the opposite is true. Rapid resolution therapy can heal a lifetime of trauma through a single session.

 

Florida Center for Recovery offers rapid resolution therapy in Fort Pierce, FL to help victims of drug dependency. As a bonus, creator of RRT, Dr. Jon Connelly, personally hosts therapy at our treatment center. Thus, if you or a loved one wants to heal the trauma of addiction with the best person to conduct RRT, contact us now.

 

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