3 Addictions

Helping You To Recover From Addiction

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Anxiety Lead To Drug Use

Does Anxiety Lead To Drug Use?

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions in the United States. Data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) shows that 40 million American adults (aged 18 and older) suffer from anxiety disorders every year. That’s about 18 percent of the US population.

The good news is that anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Despite this, less than 40 percent of those with these conditions receive proper treatment. In some cases, individuals with anxiety disorders resort to substance use to try and relieve their symptoms.

Because of this, the ADAA estimates that around 20 percent of people with anxiety disorders are also afflicted with substance use disorders.

Why does anxiety lead to drug use? Are anxiety treatments also able to address associated substance use disorders? Let’s find out.

Why anxiety may lead to drug abuse

Anxiety and Drug UseWhen you are experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, like trembling, nervousness, difficulty speaking, irritability, and the like, you would want yourself to calm down. Drinking alcohol is a popular way to do this. After a drink, you may begin to feel more relaxed and confident.

While the occasional drink does no harm to your body, you may get used to the relaxing effects of alcohol over time. Eventually, you will no longer feel these effects after just a few drinks. Your body will need more alcohol to feel the same effects. This is called tolerance, and it can build up over time. It may then lead to heavy drinking, which in turn can become an alcohol addiction.

The same holds true if you use other addictive substances, like marijuana, to deal with anxiety symptoms. At first, you may feel yourself improving. But as you keep taking those substances over time, you will eventually develop a substance use disorder.

At the end of it, you will have been suffering from two conditions instead of just one.

How to avoid drugs when you have an anxiety disorder

AnxietyIf you often experience symptoms of anxiety, the best thing to do is to consult a mental health professional. They can help you figure out if you actually have an anxiety disorder. When you have anxiety symptoms, it doesn’t always follow that you have an anxiety disorder. You need to fulfill specific criteria first before being diagnosed with one.

If the mental health professional concludes that you do not have an anxiety disorder, he will teach you techniques to manage your anxiety. These include mindfulness, breathing exercises, and calming statements you can tell yourself each time you feel anxious. These prove helpful in relieving common symptoms of anxiety and help you calm down and think more realistically about the things around you.

On the other hand, if you do have an anxiety disorder, treatments are in order.

What kind of anxiety treatments are available?

Basically, there are two types of anxiety treatments: medications and psychotherapy. The former are prescription drugs used to relieve anxiety symptoms in some patients. Not everyone with anxiety disorders need medications, though. This would depend on the severity of your case.

Psychotherapy, on the other hand, are treatments that deal with your mind and emotions. Some mental health practitioners call them talk therapy because of the conversational nature of the treatments.

There is a wide range of talk therapies used in addressing anxiety disorders, but by far the most effective is called cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT. At its core, CBT aims to correct negative patterns of thoughts and behaviors that lead to anxiety.

Anxiety Lead To Drug UseDuring CBT, your therapist will train you to identify erroneous thoughts that are not grounded in reality, which in turn trigger anxiety. He will then ask you to consider more realistic and positive alternatives then have you weigh the evidence for both the negative and positive thoughts. Once you realize the positive thoughts have more basis in reality, then your patterns of thinking about anxiety-inducing situations will change.

Once you get the hang of thinking more positively about the things that cause you anxiety, you will feel less and less anxious when in those situations. Eventually, you’ll be able to approach those situations with confidence.

In addition to being highly effective, CBT also does not take long to produce results. Many patients have reported significant improvements in their anxiety symptoms after eight to ten sessions of CBT.

What if I have both an anxiety disorder and a substance use disorder?

If you have two mental health problems occurring at once, this is called a dual diagnosis. It requires special attention since both conditions must be treated side by side. If each one is treated separately, your recovery outcomes are not as good.

Dual diagnosis cases are best treated with residential rehab programs, also known as inpatient rehab. In residential rehab, you need to live inside a rehab facility for anywhere between one to three months, depending on the program you’re enrolled in.

Inside the rehab facility, you will be fully focused on your journey to recovery. You will learn to adopt a new, healthy lifestyle that does not involve addictive substances. Each day, you will attend a number of therapy sessions to help you work through the substance use disorder. Also, you can get into new hobbies in rehab if they offer recreational amenities like sports areas. If you get into a sport, for example, you will learn an entirely new way of coping with stress. Not only is it drug-free, but it keeps your body fit and healthy as well.

Dealing with both anxiety and substance abuse is tough. But when supervised by trained professionals in a residential rehab facility, your chances of recovery are much higher. It may take some time and effort, but at the end of it, you will be able to take control of your life again and live sober.

Alcohol Effects

Alcohol Effects on Testosterone

Drinking alcohol is a popular social activity for many people. However, it does have a lot of negative health effects. Alcohol can affect your liver, heart, kidneys, muscles, and even your testosterone levels.

Read on to find out more of alcohol’s effects on testosterone in detail.

What is testosterone?

Testosterone is a hormone produced in the testicles. It’s a predominantly male hormone, though women also produce small amounts of it in their ovaries. Testosterone is mainly responsible for regulating sex drive and sperm production. Other effects include influencing bone and muscle mass, fat storage, and red blood cell production. It can also affect mood.

Low levels of testosterone in men can cause the following:

  • Alcohol EffectsInfertility
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Low libido
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of body hair or facial hair
  • Development of breasts
  • Loss of bone mass
  • Poor concentration
  • Hot flashes

In women, low testosterone can cause:

  • Low sex drive
  • Brittle bones

This hormone requires three glands to be made. These are the hypothalamus, the anterior pituitary gland, and the testes. Here is the process:

  1. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is produced by the hypothalamus.
  2. GnRH stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
  3. FSH and LH stimulate the testes (or ovaries in women) to produce testosterone.

Alcohol disrupts the function of all these glands, inhibiting the production of testosterone.

What are the short-term alcohol effects on testosterone?

AlcoholismWhen you drink, alcohol affects your pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Without GnRH, FSH, and LH, the testes cannot produce testosterone. Based on research, testosterone levels drop as quickly as 30 minutes after drinking.

In another study, healthy men were made to drink one pint of whiskey every day for 30 days. Their testosterone levels were then compared to those of men suffering from alcohol use disorder. After 30 days, the testosterone levels of the healthy men were nearly identical to those of the men with alcohol use disorder.

What are the long-term alcohol effects on testosterone?

If you drink heavily for a long time, you are more likely to have poor testicular function than people who drink moderately. In turn, your testosterone levels will be lower than theirs. Also, you will be more likely to be afflicted with erectile dysfunction and low libido.

Aside from interfering with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland, alcohol can also damage the Leydig cells of the testes. These cells are responsible for producing testosterone. The damage is more pronounced when it’s a product of long-term drinking.

But if you drink only moderately, it should have no long term effects on your testosterone levels.

Does alcohol affect sperm production?

Alcohol disrupts the function of certain cells in your testes called Sertoli cells. These play a big role in sperm production, particularly in helping sperm mature. With the Sertoli cells affected, sperm cannot develop properly.

Also, testosterone and FSH have roles in sperm development. Alcohol decreases the levels of both these hormones, thus it negatively affects the growth of sperm. It may even lead to spermatogenic arrest, which is interrupted development of sperm. In turn, there will be a low concentration of sperm in the semen.

According to studies, about 50 percent of men who drink heavily were affected with spermatogenic arrest. Only 20 percent of men without alcohol problems had this issue. The studies additionally found that men who drank heavily had smaller testicles than other men.

Other studies have found out that heavy drinking may even turn the precursor molecules of testosterone into estrogen, increasing the levels of estrogen in men. Normally, this hormone is higher in females as it is responsible for maintaining the female reproductive system and controlling the menstrual cycle. If estrogen is high in men, it will affect sperm production, leading to smaller concentrations of sperm in the semen.

Additionally, high estrogen levels in men may cause these conditions.


This condition is marked by unusually large fat tissues in the breasts of men. In turn, their breasts enlarge and appear like the female counterparts.

Erectile dysfunction

Maintaining an erection requires a balance of hormones in the male body. If estrogen levels are high, this balance is disrupted, making it harder to stay erect. This condition is made worse when combined with low testosterone levels.

Stunted growth

Adolescent boys who drink alcohol are more likely to not grow tall. Increased levels of estrogen would stop them from growing in height. Also, high estrogen concentrations will cause the epiphyseal plates in their bones to close early, permanently stunting their growth.

How do I prevent these conditions when drinking alcohol?

Most studies show that moderate consumption of alcohol does not negatively affect testosterone production. That means you need to limit your alcohol intake to two drinks per day (for men) or one drink a day (for women).

Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, one standard drink is defined as:

  • Alcoholism Effects12 ounces of beer (normally at 5% alcohol)
  • 5 ounces of wine (normally at 12% alcohol)
  • 5 ounces (or one shot) of vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, or other distilled spirits (normally at 40% alcohol)

Any more than one or two of those drinks is considered heavy drinking, which raises your risk of developing testosterone-related problems.

The more you can limit your drinking, the better it will be not just for your testosterone levels, but for your overall health as well.

If you have alcohol use disorder and cannot stop drinking, get professional help right away. Talk to your primary care doctor or an alcohol addiction specialist, who will help you create a treatment plan that’s just right for your needs.

You may have to enroll in a rehab program, and if your condition is serious, you may need to live inside a rehab facility for one to three months. Recovery takes a while, but if you’re focused and committed to it, the outcomes are good. After rehab, you will be able to live a sober life once again.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Is Drug Addiction Treatment Effective?

The main aim of drug addiction treatment is to help people suffering from addiction to stop abusing drugs. When they achieve this goal, the treatment progresses into helping these people stay sober by following the necessary measures to keep from relapsing. People with substance use disorders usually experience specific challenges. Since addiction is classified as a chronic illness, this means there is no cure for it. However, drug addiction treatment has proven to be quite effective in helping these individuals conquer their addictions.

There are various treatment programs and rehab facilities that are beneficial for people who want to recover from substance addiction. The effectiveness of drug addiction treatment programs is dependent on the program and the patient, including other contributing factors.

How Is Drug Addiction Treatment Measured?

Drug Addiction TreatmentSome treatment facilities assess their effectiveness through the number of patients that successfully go through their rehab programs. Others will look at patients’ continued sobriety during the following years or months to measure their success with the programs. The criteria defining the success of a drug addiction treatment program are flexible. Some programs will use varying types of treatment, while others handle relapse in patients.

Additionally, drug rehab is not always successful for anyone who steps into the program. Some of these facilities blame the patient for their addiction, thus setting them up for failure. Most rehabilitation programs also do not check up on their patients after they complete the treatment and base their success rates only on those who stay on for the entire period.

Monitoring one’s addiction and assessing their progress involves asking them about their thoughts and feelings. There are no known standards to gauge the effectiveness of a rehabilitation program, and different facilities will use their own criteria to define their results. For example, an individual might have stopped abusing their substance of choice but still exhibited specific thought patterns and damaging behaviors after the treatment. However, the program may still classify the case as a success.

It is advisable to look for a trusted and dependable program that focuses on treating the individual as a whole and not just the addiction.

What are Criteria Used to Assess The Effectiveness of a Drug Treatment Program?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines three specific goals for an effective drug treatment program aside from stopping drug use and maintaining sobriety in individuals:

  • The person should engage with society as a whole positively
  • The individual should also contribute in the workplace
  • The person should be a productive family member

Even though each rehab facility will define success differently, other measures overview what an effective treatment should achieve.

The patient being treated for addiction should exhibit these characteristics:

  • Improved safety, i.e., fewer injuries or accidents
  • An improvement in their legal status, i.e., committing fewer crimes or abiding by probation
  • Stronger connections and relationships with loved ones, friends, and family
  • Better mental health through improved behaviors, personality traits, and moods
  • Enhanced physical health, i.e., reduced medical visits
  • An improvement in their education or employment status
  • Longer gaps between relapses and decreased frequency and amount of substance use

Most drug rehab treatment programs monitor their patients’ growth as they continue with the treatment, determining any issues and obstacles that need to be addressed. An effective program also offers alumni groups and recovery meetings even after patients complete the program.

Thus, when assessing the effectiveness of a drug treatment program, abstinence from addictive substances is not the only thing to consider. As mentioned above, we also need to consider the individual’s improved ability to function in the community, at work, at school, and home. These improvements are made possible when the individual reduces their drug use. Therefore, we need to observe the individual’s general quality of life.

Does Relapse Mean Drug Addiction Treatment Was Ineffective?

Drug AddictionThe National Institute on Drug Abuse specifies that 40%-60% of patients undergoing drug addiction treatment usually relapse. As a chronic disease, addiction symptoms can reappear even after treatment, so continuous care is necessary. Relapse back to drug use does not mean the treatment was unsuccessful. Some people need more time to improve and heal fully. They might sometimes relapse but go back to sobriety themselves due to skills learned during rehabilitation.

Drug addiction recovery is a continuous process, and patients usually need several treatment rounds. Most people also typically require aftercare once they complete their addiction treatment programs. Aftercare typically comprises support groups or substance abuse counseling to help the person stay connected with other affected individuals struggling with drug addiction.

Types of Treatment Programs and Their Effectiveness

Drug Addiction Treatment EfficacyAn individual’s success in a drug treatment program will depend on their specific circumstances and the type of program selected. Other factors also influence positive treatment results.

Good drug rehab programs are usually managed by skilled professionals who have been trained in addiction treatment. They also have clinical staff on the site to handle the patients’ physical and mental needs. Rehab programs with high success rates usually provide long-term care and personalized treatment plans with evidence-based methods.

Addiction treatment is an ongoing process that takes time. Programs that go for longer than three months are usually the most efficient. Long-term rehabilitation treatment enables the recovering patient to deal with any hidden issues connected to their drug abuse problem. It also helps them modify their way of life by learning beneficial new habits and breaking old destructive ones.

Personalized addiction treatment offers care to each individual depending on their addiction experience and circumstances. Considering different people and their individual addiction experiences helps to customize the treatment to meet their recovery needs and thus provides them with a greater chance for success.

Evidence-based methods for addiction treatment such as behavioral therapy have been studied and shown to be effective in helping individuals beat their addiction. These approaches are often conducted in family, group, or individual settings. Medication-assisted therapy is another evidence-based method used concurrently with counseling and therapy for people suffering from alcohol or opioid addiction.

The most important thing to keep in mind when considering the success of a drug addiction treatment program is that it meets the individual’s overall needs to increase the chances of maintaining lasting sobriety.


Can The Brain Heal Itself From Alcohol?

Most people experiencing alcohol dependence have experienced slowed thinking and memory problems associated with drinking. As these people continue drinking, they may find it harder to remember new information such as people’s names or recall memories. They can also experience blackouts whereby they cannot recall entire events or conversations that happened when they were drinking. We know that heavy drinking can gradually lead to severe long-term brain damage.

AlcoholismAlcohol abuse has significant effects on the body and the brain, depending on how long one has been using, but it is not easy to undo the damage that has been caused to your body. The brain can start healing itself from the harmful effects of alcohol use in time and recover what it has lost. However, heavy drinking can still affect a person’s memory, attention, and cognitive abilities, which are weakened even when there is alcohol in the bloodstream. Impaired function leads to reduced focus and concentration, as well as decreased reaction times. Alcohol can cause dehydration in anyone who does not take sufficient water to compensate for this, resulting in kidney damage.

The brain does not go back to its original condition for a long time after one stops drinking. Reaction time, memory, and attention span will normalize but will not be entirely regular for some time. For example, a hangover can have severe effects on one’s work performance. Heavy drinking seriously affects people’s work and relationships because when the brain is not functioning correctly, it can affect one’s entire life.

Within 14 days of detoxification during alcoholism treatment, the brain recovers most of its lost volume while the cerebellum, responsible for motor skills and movement, responds fastest. The brain can recover partially with sustained abstinence. Different brain areas also heal at varying rates; the part of the brain responsible for thinking will need more time to recover.

Effects of Alcohol On Your Brain

Alcohol EffectsAlcohol significantly affects the brain’s complex structures. It also cuts off the chemical signals transmitted between neurons or brain cells, resulting in the typical symptoms of drunkenness such as slowed reflexes, poor memory, slurred speech, and impulsive behavior. If a person continues drinking heavily for a long time, the brain adjusts to the obstructed signals by reacting more dramatically to brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters. Once the alcohol has left your system, the brain keeps overstimulating these neurotransmitters, leading to painful and possibly dangerous withdrawal symptoms which can harm the brain cells. The damage is worsened by sudden withdrawal and binge-drinking periods.

The brain damage caused by alcohol can happen in several ways; first, through neurotoxicity, which occurs when the brain cells are exposed to neurotransmitters for too long, causing the neurons to burn out gradually. Neurons usually form the pathways between various brain regions, so when they start burning out, this can slow down these pathways’ reactions. Aside from pathway damage, heavy alcohol use can also damage brain matter. People suffering from alcohol dependence usually have “brain shrinkage,” which means the volume of the white matter (cell pathways) and gray matter (cell bodies) will decrease over time. Even though the differences are subtle between brain damage in women and men, the amount of alcohol consumed still causes loss of brain matter regardless of gender.

Since alcohol affects a significant area of the brain, heavy drinking can cause many types of cognitive impairment. Examples include problems with impulsivity, spatial processing, problem-solving, attention, working memory, processing speed, verbal learning, and fluency. The regions of the brain associated with memory and higher functions such as impulse control and problem-solving are more vulnerable to damage than other regions of the brain. Thus, any problems in these areas of the brain are typically worse than others. Adolescents are at a higher risk of reduced performance or permanent damage, as their most affected brain regions are still developing.

Getting Back Brain Function through Recovery

Alcohol Abuse Effects on BrainEven though alcohol abuse can be detrimental to some brain functions, sobriety can restore significant healing to the brain for most people. If you abstain from alcohol early enough, you can be able to reverse most of the physical damage resulting from heavy drinking. After the first week of quitting drinking, communication between the cerebellum and other higher-functioning regions of the brain demonstrates increased performance. This is also experienced well into the recovery period during alcoholism treatment. In the same way brain damage results in cognitive impairment, repaired brain tissue can also improve cognitive functioning. Aside from improvements caused by healed brain tissue, there can also be some cognitive improvement as the brain adjusts to the damage and develops new pathways to replace those damaged by alcohol abuse. The most significant changes in cognitive functioning will be evident after a year of quitting drinking, even though a more extended abstinence period can offer better improvements.

Anyone in recovery can be optimistic that their brains will start to process things faster and better if they quit taking alcohol. Their brains will also be better able to control their motor functioning. Alcohol use can cause significant damage to one’s cognitive performance and brain functioning, but abstinence can undo most of the damage caused if the treatment is done in time. Repaired brain functionality is essential to feel like the recovery process is worth it, especially for people who have been abusing alcohol for a long time. Recovery brings about a sense of healing and feeling like you are on a path towards something better than the place you were before.  Regardless of complicated circumstances or specific stressors, it is possible to heal your body and brain from alcohol addiction and rebuild your life.

Drug Rehab

All You Need To Know About the Benefits of A Drug Rehab

Drug rehab is meant to give people with drug abuse problems the right resources to win their fight against substance abuse. Overcoming an addiction is not easy, and it requires the to change their environment and mindset; they have to rewire their brains and habits. This will help them build resistance when exposed to their everyday environment. Rehab offers several programs that address the physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being of the addict.

These programs are meant to address issues that act as triggers for the addict. The main benefit of drug rehab is to help the overcome their substance abuse urges, but there are many other benefits of enrolling in a drug rehab centre. This read will guide you to understand what you will gain from registering and completing a drug rehab program.

Benefits Of a Drug Rehab Program

  1. Drug RehabOvercoming substance addiction – Drug rehab equips loved ones with alcohol use disorder with personalized resources to help them overcome their addiction once they get back to their everyday life routine. It offers the person with drug abuse problems a safe, accepting, and supportive environment that allows them to be vulnerable enough to recognize that they have a problem. This vulnerability helps them address their issues and makes it easier to open about their struggles. A normal drug rehab routine incorporates therapy and treatments that help the understand why they keep turning to substance abuse as a form of escape. It makes the sobriety journey easier and makes the look forward to a life that is not a slave to substance abuse.
  2. Constant support – Most drug rehab facilities offer continuous care both during and after the patient leaves the facility. Aftercare support takes the form of group meetings and counselling sessions with local counsellors. This constant support helps them know that they are not alone in their substance abuse struggle. The patient is constantly reminded that they are fighting to get their life back and end the cycle of substance abuse. Aftercare reduces the possibility of relapse that mainly occurs after most people in addiction recovery leave the drug rehab facility. It also offers the person with substance abuse problems a safe space to communicate and address their triggers instead of abusing substances as an escape plan.

It is worth noting that aftercare helps with Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) that have been known to last up to 18 months after detox. PAWS include poor concentration, irritability, anxiety, poor appetite, depression, mood swings, and lack of sleep/insomnia. PAWS is one of the leading causes of relapse in recovering patients since they cannot cope. Support also involves spending time with peers who have fought through their substance abuse issues. Spending time with people who are sober/” clean” increases the chances of sobriety and early recovery.

  1. Drug RehabHealth focus – Drug rehab centres its programs and treatment around restoring health and nutrition for the addict. Most people struggling with addiction are malnourished because they constantly pump their system with drug substances. Poor diet is the leading cause of poor energy levels, sleep issues, and headaches, which prevent faster recovery. In most drug rehab facilities, the meals are balanced and of good quantity, making it easier for the patient to have high energy levels that help their recovery. During recovery, patients require a diet that boosts their dopamine levels and has less glycaemic content. A good diet boosts the patient’s mood and overall health, reducing their cravings and preventing relapse.

Additionally, the treatment plan incorporates exercise and physical activities such as swimming, playing tennis, and yoga. Physical activity strengthens the body and helps the patient in the aftermath of addiction. It acts as a form of release for their stress and makes them feel good about themselves, thus eliminating the need for substance abuse as an escape. Using physical activity and nutrition to boost the health of their body and mind renews their faith and replaces their self-destructive habits.

  1. Building habits and setting new goals – Addiction makes a person lack self-care habits and discipline. Self-care involves setting up goals and loving yourself enough to achieve them. Setting goals is not as easy as it sounds. Many people fail to focus on their goals because of their mindset. This cycle of setting up goals and not achieving them makes the lose hope and fall back to their negative habits. Drug rehab offers treatment programs that teach people struggling with addiction to set both short and long term goals. It also helps them achieve their goals by allowing them to embrace a healthier mindset. The habits and coping mechanisms that you will learn in drug rehab will reduce your chances of relapsing.
  2. Constant medical support – This benefit is specific to inpatient drug rehab. The patient receives ongoing medical care and support. They are monitored during their stay in the facility. The detox stage is the toughest because it strains the body, making it difficult to maintain sobriety. The detox stage is characterized by dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms that make the patient vulnerable to health complications such as stroke and heart attack. Even after the detox stage has passed, the body is still undergoing a lot of strain as it struggles to readjust to life not dependent on substance abuse. It creates a lot of stress on the mental and physical well-being of the patient. People prone to relapse benefit from this because they manage their withdrawal symptoms and PAWS, making it easier to cope and stay sober. Since they are living within the drug rehab facility, they can immediately address their discomfort and health complications.
  3. Drug RehabTreatment and therapies – Therapy is part of the drug rehab programs because it addresses the emotional triggers of the addict. Addressing this makes it easier for them to identify their triggers and replace them with positive and healthy coping mechanisms. The individuals suffering from substance abuse will be able to identify the flaws in their thought process that lead them to make bad decisions. This is a stepping stone to getting a healthy mindset. Some of the therapies include:
  4. Motivational interviewing
  5. Integrative approach
  6. Behavioural therapy
  7. Family therapy
  8. Dialectical behavioural therapy
  9. Cognitive-behavioural therapy.


Alcohol Rehab

What Happens After Alcohol Rehab?

If you have an addiction to alcohol, or Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), you will need to go to alcohol rehab to regain a sober lifestyle. Depending on how severe your AUD is, rehab can take up to several months. During this time, you will learn to live without alcohol, developing healthy habits and coping strategies for stress. At the end of every alcohol rehab program, the hope is that patients can live normal lives once again, away from the influence of alcohol.

But life after rehab isn’t always easy. You may still encounter a lot of temptations to drink, which may lead to relapse. In fact, only 20 percent of patients after rehab stay sober for an entire year after treatment. To reduce your chances of relapse, you need follow-up therapies after you’re done with rehab. These are also known as aftercare.

What kind of support will you receive during aftercare? Read on to find out more.

Will my life return to normal right away after alcohol rehab?

After you have completed your rehab program, it takes some time and effort to adjust to normal life. It helps to have a list of things to prepare for before your rehab is over, such as:

  • Alcohol RehabWhere to live
  • The people you will live with
  • Making a daily schedule
  • Staying away from temptations and triggers
  • Meeting up with sober friends and family
  • Finding support groups near you
  • When to ask for help
  • What responsibilities to take on

Make sure not to overwhelm yourself with too many things to do immediately after rehab. Take your new life slowly, one step at a time. Having too much on your plate will only overwhelm you. In turn, you will get stressed, and this is a potential trigger for drinking.

With appropriate aftercare, you can stay alcohol-free for a longer time. The risk of relapse also drops the more years you stay clean.

It’s crucial to know that recovering from AUD takes a lifetime. It takes effort and discipline on your part, even after alcohol rehab.

What are my options for aftercare?

Alcohol RehabOften, patients would go home after they’re done with alcohol rehab. This is a good choice if your home environment is supportive, healthy, and relaxing. If not, you may have to move into a sober living home.

In a sober living home, you would live inside a peaceful, safe, alcohol-free place. Staff would also encourage you to get help from local counselors and AUD support groups.

The effectiveness of sober living homes is also backed by evidence. Based on research, people who live in them are more likely to abstain from alcohol, less likely to commit crimes, and have better chances of finding jobs after rehab. Going home to a safe and healthy environment has these benefits.

You may also meet regularly with an alcohol counselor. He will help you deal with the emotions you got from your AUD, as well as any mental health issues that might have popped up. Talking with your counselor is also a big help in getting back into the rhythm of fulfilling responsibilities.

At first, you may need to meet with your counselor several times a week. You can tell him of any struggles, temptations, or challenges you’re going through. He will help you find ways to stay sober.

Later on, you and your counselor will not have to meet as often. But you still need to meet to evaluate your recovery goals and results. If you still experience triggers, reach out to your counselor right away for advice on how to deal with them.

It would help a lot if you go through family therapy. It’s common to have strained family relationships as a result of your AUD. Family members may feel threatened, betrayed, manipulated, or even abused because of your alcohol-related behaviors. Even after alcohol rehab, your relationships with your family will not be the same as before the addiction.

With the help of a family therapist, you will learn how to rebuild those broken relationships. The therapist will teach you and your family how best to communicate with each other. In most cases, he will meet with each family member individually at first. Later, he will ask everyone to gather and resolve issues together in a healthy way.

Family therapy helps you and your family to be less hostile towards each other. As a result, feelings of resentment, anger, and any negative emotions will be reduced. The more you live at peace with your family, the better it will be for your recovery. This is especially true if you are living with them after alcohol rehab.

Joining a support group is another option. When you’re in the company of people who are also committed to long-term recovery, your chances of staying sober are much higher. These people also understand your struggles, so you can easily relate with each other. They can help you, and you can help them too.

A popular support group for people recovering from AUD is Alcoholics Anonymous. A similar group called Al-Anon is for their families. These groups are free of charge to join, and there are a lot of these groups all around the US. Ask your therapist or rehab center to find a group near you.

What can I do to stay sober for longer?

Alcohol RehabOne very helpful thing is to do physical activities regularly. Include exercise in your daily routine, as it helps you clear your mind and improve your health. Choose an activity you enjoy for best results. For example, if you enjoy sports like tennis, make it a habit to play several times a week. You can even join a local tennis club.

Think about your professional goals as well. Consult with a career counselor for assistance in developing these goals. It’s never too late to chase your career aspirations again. It pays to talk to a financial advisor as well to set financial goals. Saving, investing, and knowing where to put your money go a long way.

Most importantly, have a person you can talk to at any time should you face any challenges to sobriety. It could be a trusted friend, or better yet, a therapist you know well.

Drug Rehab

How Much Does Drug Rehab Cost?

It is hard to determine the exact cost of drug rehab. You may have outpatient programs where you only need to see your physician a few times a week. At the same time, other people may opt for luxurious rehab centers with homeopathic treatment options, alternative therapies, pools, and saunas. When choosing a drug rehabilitation center, the cost is usually a significant concern aside from other factors, including the duration of your stay, the location, and the type of treatment you select. The cost of drug rehab is also based on the person’s requirements, but there are economical treatment options suited to people of various economic backgrounds.

The average cost of drug rehab depends on the facility, with some programs costing relatively more and others costing very little. Insurance is typically used to cater to rehab expenses. The amount covered by the person’s insurance depends on their insurance provider and what the rehab facility accepts. The insurance costs for substance abuse treatment can be covered by certain insurance providers, including:

  • Drug Rehab CostState-funded insurance
  • Military-offered insurance
  • Private insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare

Keep in mind that insurance still has to take a comprehensive biopsychosocial evaluation of the client to get a diagnosis, assess the level of care, and determine the client’s needs. The assessment also helps to develop a personalized treatment plan for the patient.

Not all people have insurance, so they have to look for other ways to pay for their drug rehabilitation treatment. However, even without insurance, there are still alternatives available to help individuals get the treatment they need. All drug rehab programs provide essential services, but amenities and supplementary therapies generally raise treatment costs.

Types and Costs of Drug Rehab Treatments

Inpatient rehabilitation for a 30-day duration may cost up to $25,000, and a 90-day program can cost up to $60,000.


Drug Rehab CostA detox may cost between $300 to $800 a day, with outpatient detox ranging between $1000 to $1500 overall. Detox is the process of eliminating any addictive substances such as alcohol or drugs from the body. When it is medically managed in a safe environment, the patient can get the necessary care and attention to address the painful and possibly fatal withdrawal symptoms. The price of detox may vary based on the associated risks, the prescribed pseudo-medications, and the amount of care provided, to name a few. It is the first step of drug rehabilitation, but it does not deal with the hidden problems that lead to substance abuse. The price of detox typically excludes that of the follow-up treatment programs. The costs of detox usually accumulate daily and can go beyond $1000 a day. Medication assisted-detox can cost more if the treatment center charges the client for the use of drugs like Buprenorphine, Methadone, or Benzodiazepines. If one is going into an inpatient program, the price of detox might be covered by the overall cost of the rehabilitation program.

Inpatient Drug Rehab

30-day inpatient programs may cost between $2000-$25,000. Residential treatment can be incredibly costly for people suffering from a more severe substance abuse problem and even those with co-occurring disorders. Inpatient rehab usually costs more than outpatient programs because of housing and food costs and receiving medical supervision in an appropriate setting. Anyone looking to go for a 60 or 90-day program should expect to pay anywhere between $12,000 and $60,000. Some luxury rehabilitation programs can even go beyond $100,000 for 30 to 90-day durations.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient programs may be longer than inpatient programs, but the cost may be less for people with mild to moderate addictions. Patients suffering from less severe addictions typically need a less intensive approach. Outpatient drug rehab typically costs between $5000- $8000 for a 90-day duration. There are free outpatient rehab facilities that are publicly run but only accessible to those who qualify. The rates may depend on the number of visits to the facility as required and the duration of the treatment.


The type of medications and treatment required by the patient will affect the cost of the rehabilitation program. Certain individuals do not require medication for their substance abuse disorders. These medications usually treat opioid and alcohol addiction and can cost up to several thousand dollars annually. Methadone treatment for people suffering from heroin addiction can cost $4700 for an entire year.

Support Groups and Aftercare

Drug RehabAftercare for patients who have left drug rehab is usually free. Most national support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous are free and offer patients a place to be accountable for their recovery. Other recovering individuals also opt for counseling which varies in cost based on the type of therapy. Most sessions range from $75 to $150 per session. Some people also look for sober living housing, a community living set-up aimed at helping one stay clean. Like any other place of residence, these sober living environments can also vary in cost based on the type of housing.

Factors to Consider In Addiction Treatment Costs

Certain factors affect the price of drug rehab, and they include:

  • Amenities

The amenities provided in rehab centers cost money. They may include tennis courts, swimming pools, acupuncture, or massages. Luxury rehabs attended by wealthy people are more costly because of these services. Luxury facilities may go for tens of thousands of dollars monthly, while the rate may be much lower for most rehab facilities.

  • Treatments Provided

Individuals with severe addictions need more intensive treatment, and they may need to stay in the program, costing them more for treatment. Some users may not require detox due to the nature of their substance use and the extent of their withdrawals, minimizing the cost of treatment.

  • Type of Facility

Inpatient and outpatient programs differ significantly in price. Inpatient programs cost more due to the extra charges for intensive care and housing. The program duration and the location of the facility will also determine the price of the drug rehabilitation. If the facility is also in a state with a higher cost of living, then the treatment may be more expensive.

Considering these factors can help you decide which drug rehab program works best for you regarding treatment needs and costs.

What Is EMDR

What Is EMDR And How Does It Work?

In 1987, Francine Shapiro, a psychologist, developed a different psychotherapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR therapy. It has recently become a standard treatment alternative for people primarily suffering from trauma, PTSD, panic, or anxiety. Francine developed EMDR therapy initially for relieving Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Still, medical practitioners now use it to treat different situations such as pain management, test anxiety, and phobias.

EMDR therapy helps people recover from the emotional distress and symptoms that are caused by upsetting life experiences. It is an organized type of therapy that stimulates the patient to focus on the traumatic memory briefly while undergoing bilateral stimulation (usually eye movements) simultaneously. EMDR does not use any medications or talk therapy but instead uses the patient’s rhythmic, rapid eye movements to diminish the strength of any emotional memories of any previous traumatic occurrences.

Studies indicate that people who use EMDR therapy can get the same benefits as those of psychotherapy. Most people presume that it takes very long for one to recover from emotional pain that is severe. However, is a clear indication that the mind can heal from emotional stress the same way the body can recover from physical injuries through EMDR therapy

How EMDR Works

EMDR TherapyEMDR helps individuals process traumatic information safely until it does not disrupt their lives psychologically. It has eight stages of treatments concentrating on the future, the present, and the past. EMDR is made to split any connections the individual has with specific symptoms and situations. Every phase aims to help the patient work through any trauma and emotional distress while equipping them with the skills to deal with stress.

Phase 1

In the first phase of EMDR, the clinician plans the patient’s treatment and gets a detailed client history. This history may include past experiences, events, painful memories, and current stresses. The therapist and the client then work out a treatment plan targeting specific incidents or memories. Initially, the work may be focused on the patient’s childhood. If the client has a particular condition, such as a panic disorder, they could be asked specific details regarding their panic attacks.

Phase 2

This EMDR phase is known as preparation, and it involves the client and the therapists developing a therapeutic relationship. The therapist helps the patient establish reasonable expectations with the treatment and train the client on various self-control methods to assist in dealing with anxiety and stress. The therapist will also explain the client’s symptoms and help them understand how to process their trauma actively.

Phase 3 to 6

During these phases of EMDR, the client and a therapist use EMDR therapy methods to identify target memories and process them. The client identifies the three following things:

  • An intense visual image associated with the target memory
  • A negative self-belief
  • Any bodily sensations or emotions related to the target memory

EMDR TherapyThe therapist also helps the client identify and rate a positive belief and the intensity of any negative emotions. Afterward, the client is asked to concentrate on the body sensations, the negative thought, and the image while experiencing EMDR processing simultaneously using bilateral stimulation. Sets of bilateral stimulation may comprise tones, taps, and eye movements. The length and type of these sets will vary based on each client, and he or she will be asked to pay attention to whatever happens immediately.

After each simulation set, the therapist asks the client to clear his/her mind and to take note of any sensation, memory, image, feeling, or thought that comes through. Based on the client’s report, the therapist will determine the next course of action. The repeated simulation sets are coupled with focused attention multiple times all through the session. The therapist will follow the necessary procedures to help get the patient back on the path if they have a problem advancing or become distressed.

Suppose the client does not have any feelings of distress associated with the target memory. In that case, they are asked to think of any favorable positive beliefs they identified at the start of the session. The client can modify this positive belief if need be and fixate on it next time they experience any distressing events.

Phase 7

This EMDR phase is all about closure. The therapist talks with the client about the positive steps self-control methods taken and how to continue using them daily to keep the client balanced. The therapist also explains what the client should expect between EMDR sessions and maintains a log of any disturbances that may come up after sessions to use them as targets in future sessions.

Phase 8

During the Reevaluation phase of EMDR therapy, the client and the therapist will discuss progress and check if they met their treatment goals. During this stage, the client also identifies a need to go over any other targets determined during the initial stages. There is also a discussion on the best ways to deal with future and current stress.

Effectiveness of EMDR Therapy

EMDR TherapyClients who have done EMDR therapy report sleeping differently and having more vivid dreams. They may also be more sensitive to external stimuli and personal interactions with others. There is also evidence that EMDR can help to improve non-traumatic symptoms of mood disorders and can be used as a supplementary treatment for individuals suffering from chronic pain.

EMDR therapy is not the only treatment method that works best for individuals experiencing trauma, panic, PTSD, or anxiety. Clinicians can combine it with other appropriate kinds of therapy simultaneously. It would help if you talked to your therapist about combining various effective therapeutic techniques. The most common types of therapy that can be combined with EMDR include Rational Emotional Behavioral Therapy (REBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It can be distressing to think about past traumatic events, especially at the beginning of EMDR therapy, so you need to speak to your therapist to determine how to deal with these feelings as you progress with the treatment.


How Long Does It Take For Oxycodone To Kick In?

Oxycodone is an opioid used in the treatment of severe pain. Some of the situations that could prompt a prescription for Oxycodone include pain from surgery, cancer, or severe injury. The drug is also used for treating chronic pain in patients who don’t respond to weaker painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen.

Other terms used to describe Oxycodone include Oxycontin and Oxynorm.

Various Forms of Oxycodone

Oxycodone is available in multiple forms:

  1. OxycodoneCapsules. The capsules are available in quantities of 10mg, 5mg, and 20mg. The milligrams denote the amount of Oxycodone found in the pills.
  2. Tablets. These are slow releasing medicines and can contain 20mg, 5 mg, 20mg, 15mg,40 mg, 60mg, 120mg or 80mg of oxycodone.
  3. Liquid. The liquid form of Oxycodone is available in 5mg, 10mg, 5ml, and 1ml of liquid Oxycodone.

When it’s in liquid form, capsules, or injections, the drug works faster and is therefore used to manage pain that doesn’t last long or help find the correct dose once someone is introduced to Oxycodone by a doctor.

On the other hand, the tablets are slow releasing, and it can take between 12 to 24 hours before you feel the effect of the drugs. While the tablets are slowly released into the system, their effects last longer, making them ideal for managing chronic pain.

In some cases, a physician will prescribe both fast-acting and slow-acting Oxycodone meds to a patient.

How soon will I feel the Effects after taking Oxycodone?

OxycodoneSimple forms of Oxycodone are taken every four to six hours, but the slow-release forms of the drug are administered every twelve hours. Upon ingestion, pain relief will be experienced within 10 to 15 minutes. Most individuals experience a peak of the drug after 30 minutes to an hour after ingestion.

After ingesting the slow-releasing variant of the drug, you can expect a second peak of effects after seven hours. The first time you take Oxycodone, you will experience its effects steadily for 24 to 36 hours. The plasma levels of the drug found in women tend to be higher in the elderly, women, and those suffering from liver or renal impairment.

Once you ingest Oxycodone, the drug is eliminated from your bloodstream within 22 hours. For some, it might take over 24 hours to completely get rid of Oxycodone from the system. It is important to note that even after being eliminated, the drug can still be detected in your body through various tests.

How and where can Oxycodone be detected in My Body?

Depending on when the Oxycodone was ingested, it can be detected in different parts of your body over some time.

  • Urine-Traces of Oxycodone can be found in urine three to four days after ingesting your last dose. Standard urine tests cannot detect Oxycodone, and therefore advanced tests are required.
  • Blood- Oxycodone can be traced in your blood 24 hours after your last dose.
  • Saliva- Oxycodone can be traced in your saliva one to two days after ingesting your last dose.
  • Hair- Oxycodone lasts in hair much longer than in any other body part. It can be detected 90 days after your last oxycodone dose.

How often should I take Oxycodone?

It would be best if you took Oxycodone as prescribed by a medical doctor. Capsules should be taken four to six times a day. Slow discharge tablets are taken one to two times within 24 hours, and you should take liquid Oxycodone four to six times a day.

Oxycodone can be taken at any time of day or night, but it is essential to try and ingest it at specific times every day.

A doctor will usually start you on a low dose, and if your pain is still out of control, the dosage will be increased until the pain is manageable. Once the pain has been controlled, your doctor might decide to switch your medication to slow releasing Oxycodone. This helps reduce the number of doses that one can take daily.

Most doctors don’t stop prescribing the drug at once. They cut down the prescription until you’re completely weaned off the medication.

What happens if I forget to take my Oxycodone?

Depending on the form of Oxycodone prescribed for you, you can do several things. Should you forget to take your medication, first check through the information that comes with your prescription. More often than not, they detail what one should do if they forget to take their medication.

Alternatively, you can consult with your pharmacist or doctor. Most importantly, never take two doses simultaneously to make up for a missed dose.

To avoid problems, set alarms that help remind you when to take the medication.

Can I take Oxycodone with other meds?

It is safe to take Oxycodone with some medications such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, and aspirin. It should, however, never be taken together with medicines that contain codeine because it can cause undesirable side effects.

Painkillers that have Co-codamol, Nurofen plus, Solpadeine and Co-codaprin should also be avoided.

 What Side Effects Should I Expect?

Side effects are not unusual when people take Oxycodone. Although there are many possible side effects, you may not experience any. You might also experience minor effects that are easy to manage. It is important to note that the likelihood of experiencing side effects is heightened if you’re on a high dose of Oxycodone.

Some of the common side effects include:

  • OxycodoneExtreme fatigue and drowsiness
  • Stomach upset
  • Feeling dizzy (vertigo)
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty coordinating
  • Itchiness or rashes
  • Confusion
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting

Although rare, you could also experience severe side effects. These include muscle atrophy, difficulty breathing, a drop in blood pressure (hypotension), difficulty breathing, and slow heart rate.

Ultimately, Oxycodone is a potent opioid that you should take under the supervision of a qualified physician. If taken as prescribed, it will offer relief without producing any adverse effects.


How Long Does It Take For Tramadol To Kick In?

Tramadol is a drug administered to manage pain. It can manage moderate to extreme pain resulting from injury, surgery, or illness. It is also used for the treatment of chronic pain in individuals who stop responding to other pain medication.

Because it is an opioid and therefore a controlled drug, it can only be obtained with a prescription. It comes in various forms: capsules, tablets, and liquid form. There is also an injectable form that is administered from a hospital.

Tramadol is usually prescribed to adults, but children who are 12 years and older can tolerate it as well. It is, however, not suitable for everyone. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, you should stay clear of the drug:

  • TramadolBreathing difficulties
  • Conditions that cause seizures
  • Head injury
  • Addiction to pain meds, alcohol, and recreational drugs
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Allergies to other pain meds

How Tramadol Works

A physician prescribes tramadol. You must follow the dosage as indicated by a health professional. The dosage might vary, but ideally, one should not consume more than 400mg within 24 hours. Because tramadol is not harsh on the stomach, it is possible to take it before meals.

Tramadol comes in different forms:

  • Rapid-acting tablets containing 50 milligrams of tramadol
  • Slow-responding tablets come in 50, 100, 75, 200, 400, and 300 milligrams of tramadol.
  • Drops that can be swallowed and usually contain about 100mg of liquid tramadol.
  • Injections
  • Soluble tablets containing 50 milligrams of tramadol
  • Tablets that melt in the mouth

TramadolThe fast-acting injections drop, and tablets kick in within 30 minutes to an hour. They are taken for pain that is anticipated to last for a short period. They can, however, be consumed to manage long-term or chronic pain. It is a pretty safe opioid to take as long as the doctor’s instructions are followed to the letter.

The slow-acting forms of tramadol take a longer time to kick in. This is because the drug is slowly released into the body over a long period, from 12 hours to an entire day. Although the effects take longer to kick in, they also last longer, making them ideal for people dealing with chronic pain.

Other factors determine how soon tramadol will kick in. These include:

1. Interaction with other medications

If you take other medications, the interaction with tramadol might affect how fast the drug kicks in. It is vital to disclose to your doctor any other medications you might be taking before a tramadol prescription is given.

Some of the medications that can weaken or shorten the effect of tramadol include:

  • Carbamazepine is used in treating epilepsy.
  • Ondansetron is used to prevent vomiting and nausea.
  • Buprenorphine is a type of painkiller.
  • Rifampicin is a kind of antibiotic.

2. Interaction with alcohol and/or other substances

Opioids trigger a chemical reaction in the brain to manage pain. Other recreational drugs and substances also trigger the brain and might have similar or opposing effects. This interaction can affect how fast and effectively tramadol will kick into your system.

3. Physical attributes

All our bodies are unique. Your body size, weight, height, and general health can impact how fast tramadol kicks in. Some individuals feel the drug’s effects more strongly than others, while some experience zero side effects.

4. Pre-existing conditions

If you have a pre-existing condition and have been on treatment for a long time, the medications that you have been taking might cause changes in your body that will interfere with how your body responds to tramadol, including how long it will take to kick in.

How Should I Take Tramadol?

Because the drug comes in various forms, there are different ways of consuming it. The capsules are swallowed with a lot of water. Drops, on the other hand, are mixed into a glass of water before consumption.

The soluble tablets should be dissolved in half a cup (50ml) of water, and the soluble tablets should be placed on the tongue and allowed to dissolve. When taking the soluble tablets, always ensure your hands are dry so that it doesn’t start melting into your hand.

Should you take other Painkillers while on Tramadol?

Some painkillers can be safely taken with tramadol. These include aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen. However, you should not take tramadol if you are on painkillers that contain codeine. The interaction can cause adverse side effects.

It’s important to note that a good number of over-the-counter pain meds contain codeine. If you are on tramadol and decide to buy over-the-counter medication, make sure that you avoid those that contain codeine.

Is it safe to take Tramadol while Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

TramadolIt is generally believed that pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should not take tramadol. It is riskier to take it during the early stages of pregnancy because it can cause problems to the fetus. At the end of the pregnancy, it has been known to cause withdrawal symptoms in newborns.

However, if a woman is experiencing pain during pregnancy, a doctor might opt to treat them using tramadol but under very strict supervision and monitoring dosage. Only a qualified medical professional would be in a position to determine if, when, and how tramadol is administered during pregnancy.

It is, however, safe to breastfeed when you’re taking tramadol. This is because the amounts that pass through the breast milk are minimal and harmless to the baby.

It is important to take note of any side effects that arise from taking tramadol. While it is well tolerated in most, some individuals have had adverse reactions to it, so it is wise that caution is taken. The prescriptions should also be followed to the letter to prevent the possibility of dependence on the drug.

Lastly, it would be best if you always were honest with your doctor about your medical history, addictions, and all medications you might be taking so that they make an informed decision before prescribing tramadol.

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