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Author Archive: aenriquez

Alcohol Abuse in the United States on the Rise

A JAMA Psychiatry article that was published in September 2017 has shown that Americans are consuming more alcohol than ever before. An estimated one out of every eight Americans which equates to around 30 million people, struggle with an alcohol disorder.

The study looked at the drinking patterns of around 40,000 individuals between 2002 and 2003 and compared it to that of people in 2012 and 2013. The findings were shocking, to say the least, especially in light of other substance abuse problems affecting the country such as the opioid epidemic.

Study Findings

The following findings were made in the study:

  • Alcohol use disorders rose by almost 50 percent. Nearly 9 percent of the population was affected in the initial research period compared to nearly 13 percent during the second part of the study.
  • Alcohol use disorders have almost doubled amongst the African American population.
  • There has been an increase of 84 percent of the female population struggling with alcohol use disorders.
  • It was also noted that alcohol use disorders increased more than double (106 percent) in individuals over the age of 65 and by nearly 82 percent in those between 45 and 65 years of age.

As can be seen, these statistics show the increase in alcohol use disorders. This is the complication of alcohol use and using alcohol in itself has spiked tremendously. High-risk drinking, a situation that is defined as consuming four or more drinks a day in women and five in men and including a day where this limit is exceeded at least once a week, has increased from nearly 10 percent in 2002/2003 to nearly 14 percent in 2012/2013.

What is Alcohol Use Disorder?

Alcohol use disorder is a condition that is associated with a pattern of alcohol use that involves:

  • Being preoccupied with alcohol.
  • Having problems controlling one’s frequency of drinking.
  • Continuing the use of alcohol even if it causes problems such as getting into trouble with the law.
  • Having to drink more alcohol in order to achieve the same effect.
  • Using alcohol to the point where the body becomes dependent on the substance and stopping it abruptly will lead to the user experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Complications of alcohol use disorder may include:

  • Alcohol intoxication – the higher the alcohol level in the bloodstream, the more impaired one becomes and this can lead to issues such as mental changes and behavioral problems such as unstable moods, inappropriate behavior, slurred speech, poor coordination, and impaired judgment.
  • Alcohol withdrawal – when alcohol use is stopped or greatly reduced, the user can experience problems such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, hand tremors, hallucinations, sleep-related problems, anxiety, agitation, and even seizures.

Pacific Bay Recovery

Pacific Bay Recovery is a top drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that specializes in helping patients with substance abuse issues such as alcohol use disorder.

The facility includes managing patients on an inpatient and/or outpatient basis depending on their needs and unique circumstances and offers the services of healthcare professionals such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and occupational therapists to name a few.

Cases of Severe Bleeding Linked with Synthetic Cannabinoid Use

Around the end of March of this year, 2018, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported that there were 50 cases of severe bleeding linked with the use of synthetic cannabinoids in that state, including two cases where patients died.

The synthetic drug which is referred to as fake weed, spice or K2 consists of a combination of hundreds of different chemicals. This makes it very difficult to determine what the user has smoked or consumed.

The drug is produced and sold as a cannabinoid product because it acts on the same receptors in the brain as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) does which is the main active ingredient in cannabis. According to the IDPH, synthetic cannabinoids have unpredictable side effects and can even be life-threatening to the user.

The perception around synthetic cannabinoids is that they are a legal and safer alternative to cannabis but many of the products that are available are actually illegal and can cause severe health-related problems.

Adverse Effects of Fake Weed

The symptoms of synthetic cannabinoids, or fake weed, that was reported by the IDPH included:

  • Bleeding from the ears or eyes.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Blood present in the urine.
  • Bleeding from the nose.
  • Bleeding from the gums.
  • Increased menstrual flow in women.

In general, synthetic cannabinoids are chemicals that are sprayed on plant material that is dried and these can then be smoked or converted into liquids that can be ‘vaped’ in electronic cigarette devices.

In the cases of the patients that suffered from episodes of bleeding, the blood samples taken from them showed that they had warfarin present in their bloodstream. Warfarin is an anticoagulant drug which is used in patients who have an increased propensity for developing blood clots or who are diagnosed with this problem. The medication is used to break up these clots by reducing the clotting factors in the bloodstream. Therefore, individuals who do not have any problems with increased clotting issues will develop a bleeding disorder if they consume or inhale warfarin.

Warfarin is also the main ingredient in older versions of rat poison.

The Problem with Synthetic Cannabinoids

The biggest problem concerning synthetic cannabinoids is the ease of availability of the product and that is can be purchased from virtually anywhere. The products can be found in:

  • Convenience stores.
  • Drug paraphernalia shops.
  • Gas stations.
  • Novelty stores.
  • Online stores.

Pacific Bay Recovery

Pacific Bay Recovery is a top drug and alcohol rehabilitation center that specializes in programs to help patients suffering from substance use disorders.

The services offered by the rehabilitation facility include:

  • Inpatient programs for withdrawing patients from the offending drugs as well as psychology, and occupational therapy sessions.
  • Psychiatry consultations for those who have any underlying mental health conditions.
  • Group therapy sessions for patients to help them relate to others with similar issues as them.
  • Outpatient programs for those who are assessed as being able to benefit from such a service.

The healthcare professionals at Pacific Bay Recovery help patients to discontinue using offending drugs in order to reduce health-related complications that may occur as a result of drug or alcohol use and to improve their social and occupational situations at home and work.

The Dangers of Abusing Bath Salts

Bath Salts is the colloquial name given to a synthetic drug which is used on a recreational basis and can be snorted, ingested, smoked, or injected. The latter though is ill-advised as this drug rarely has listed ingredients, let alone a dosage, and can, therefore, be immediately fatal to the user.

One of the main ingredients used in Bath Salts is 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and it has been found to be highly addictive and probably more so even than methamphetamine making it possibly the most addictive drug in the world currently.

The recreational use of Bath Salts has been linked to close to 23,000 emergency room visits in the United States alone in 2011. One clinical study found that over 15 percent of patients sent to an emergency room as a result of abusing Bath Salts were in critical conditions or died.

In the United States, the ingredients that are known to be most commonly used to develop Bath Salts have been banned from being used by humans.

Short-term Effects

The short-term neurological effects of Bath Salts include:

  • Severe agitation.
  • Violent behavior.
  • Getting a false high/euphoria which quickly develops into paranoia.
  • Psychotic symptoms such as hallucinations where they see and/or hear things that aren’t there, or even delusions where they may think that they are the president of the country or a prophet.
  • Uncontrollable cravings for the drug.
  • Having suicidal thoughts or attempting suicide.
  • Self-harm.

The physical effects of the drug may include issues such as:

  • Smelling like mephedrone which is one of the drugs used in Bath Salts.
  • A skin rash.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Developing a high fever.
  • Having the sensation that there’s something crawling on the skin.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Involuntary movements of the eyes.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Nosebleeds or feeling that the nose burns.
  • A ringing or buzzing sound in the ears.
  • Pain experienced at the back of the mouth.
  • Excessive grinding of the teeth.
  • A numbness or tingling sensation throughout the body.
  • Chest pains or severe discomfort which may be a sign of a heart attack.
  • Convulsions or seizures.
  • Herniation of the brainstem as a result of increased pressure inside the head and this can be a fatal condition.

Long-term Effects

The long-term use of Bath Salts can result in permanent complications that may include:

  • An increased heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Liver damage and possible failure.
  • Kidney damage and failure.
  • Skeletal muscle breakdown.
  • Swelling of the brain which may lead to brain death.

Management

Due to its highly addictive nature, withdrawing patients from Bath Salts can be quite a challenging process. Specialist doctors trained in addiction medicine are then sought to help manage these individuals and their services are requested in order to monitor the user’s progress.

Once the withdrawal process is completed, the patients are then admitted to the inpatient substance rehabilitation program to undergo psychotherapy and group therapy sessions. Here, they will consult with occupation therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers.

The Dangers of Abusing Prescription Stimulant Drugs

 

The most commonly abused prescription stimulant medications include amphetamines (Dexedrine and Adderall) and methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta).

The amphetamines and methylphenidate are used to manage medical conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and works by changing the amounts of specific neurotransmitters (hormones) in the brain. The medication’s function then is to:

  • Help increase an affected person’s ability to pay attention.
  • Control behavioral problems.
  • Allow the patient to stay focused for a longer period of time.
  • Reduce daytime fatigue and for this reason, is also indicated for those patients who struggle with narcolepsy.

Methylphenidate can also be prescribed off-label to help manage treatment-resistant cases of:

  • Major depression.
  • Bipolar mood disorder.

Use by Students

These prescription stimulants are sometimes used by students to help enhance their mental abilities in order to improve their concentration for purposes of studying. There are individuals who state that denying these students the medications, who are essentially not struggling with any conditions that the medications are indicated for, would be denying them the opportunity to better themselves academically.

However, if one is to prescribe individuals who do not exhibit any pathology medications that alter their brain chemistry, then one is bound to expose them to certain adverse effects.

Dependence and Addiction

Psychological dependence and addiction to amphetamines and methylphenidate are possible, especially if taken at high doses as a recreational drug. As with all addictive drugs, dependence on prescription stimulants causes changes in the brain’s neurotransmitter levels and this leads to addictive behavior.

Overdose

Addiction can lead to an overdose of prescription stimulants. This can result in central nervous system overstimulation which can cause issues such as:

  •        Agitation.
  •        Tremors.
  •        Vomiting.
  •        Muscle twitching.
  •        Euphoria.
  •        Increased reflexes.
  •        Confusion.
  •        Delirium.
  •        Hallucinations.
  •        Hyperthermia.
  •        Flushing.
  •        Sweating.
  •        Headaches.
  •        Heart palpitations.
  •        Rapid heart rate.
  •        Abnormal heart rhythm.
  •        Elevated blood pressure.
  •        Dry mucous membranes.

A severe overdose which will require immediate medical attention may result in the following problems:

  •        Increased core body temperature.
  •        Paranoia.
  •         Convulsions.
  •         Repetitive movements.
  •         A severe drop in blood pressure.
  •         Rapid muscle breakdown.
  •         Sympathomimetic toxidrome or an adrenergic storm which is a rapid increase of epinephrine levels in the body which causes the heart rate to spike and possibly become abnormal.

Fortunately, a prescription stimulant drug overdose is rarely fatal if one receives the appropriate medical care.

Rehabilitation

Becoming addicted to prescription stimulant drugs can become problematic, especially when the medication is taken in higher than required dosages as this can lead to the above-mentioned problems.

There are rehabilitation centers available where inpatient rehabilitation is offered. This will be beneficial to patients who are addicted to prescription stimulant drugs as the following services will be made available to them:

  • Safe withdrawal from the stimulant drug.
  • Management of any underlying mental health issues or stressors.
  • Psychological counseling to aid in the development of coping skills.
  • Time and study management or any other advice regarding everyday tasks and functions so that one doesn’t have to rely on taking stimulant drugs on a recreational basis.

 

The Relationship Between Psychiatric Conditions and Substance Abuse

Substance abuse disorder is a condition associated with individuals becoming addicted to certain substances such as alcohol and/or drugs. Addiction is defined as individuals partaking in these mentioned substances, because they have become dependent on them, and results in the affected person becoming socially withdrawn, experiencing breakdowns in relationships with friends and family, as well as committing actions that can get them into trouble with the law.

When a substance abuse disorder occurs together with any underlying mental health conditions then this is referred to as dual diagnosis (also called dual pathology or co-occurring disorders). Mental health illnesses may include:

  • Major depression
  • Bipolar mood disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder

Confirming the diagnosis of dual pathology may be challenging since substance abuse disorders may initially induce signs and symptoms of psychiatric conditions. Affected patients may then be regarded as having a substance abuse issue until such time as a complete and adequate medical history is taken from them to determine if the condition presented on its own or together with an underlying psychiatric disorder.

Issues Faced by Patients with Dual Pathology

These patients, compared to those with mental or substance abuse disorders alone, are faced with complex challenges such as:

  • An increased relapse rate.
  • An increased risk of being hospitalized.
  • Being exposed to illnesses such as hepatitis C and HIV.

Theoretical Causes of Dual Pathology

The following are theories that can help explain the relationship between mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders:

  • Causality – it is suggested that certain types of substance abuse can lead to specific mental conditions. An example is the use of cannabis leading to mild psychotic experiences although it isn’t proven to cause psychotic disorders.
  • Exposure to multiple risk factors – exposure to certain risk factors can lead to both mental health and substance abuse conditions and these may include poverty, social isolation, associating with drug abusers, living in areas with high drug availability, and traumatic experiences like sexual abuse.
  • Self-medicating – abusing medications used to help alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions may lead to the development of a substance abuse problem. Also, certain medications may be used to counter the side effects of certain psychiatric drugs and this can also lead to substance abuse.
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – up to 25 percent of patients with a substance abuse disorder are known with ADHD. A reason for this is because ADHD is associated with an increased craving for drugs. Treating both these issues is difficult and unfortunately, these patients have poorer outcomes.
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – as opposed to ADHD, ASD reduces the risk of an affected individual developing a substance abuse disorder. The reason for this is believed to be that ASD presents with a person lacking sensation-seeking personality traits and this helps to protect against abusing substances. It should be mentioned though that certain types of substance abuse, especially that of alcohol, can cause or worsen certain neuropsychological symptoms that are common in patients diagnosed with ASD.

Why 12 Steps Programs Aren’t a Magic Bullet

Modern medicine has tricked us into thinking fixing the human body is easy. The advent of antibiotics has to lead us to believe that there is a one-stop shop for every ailment or disease process. You’ve probably had grandparents complaining of a chesty cough diagnosed with a chest infection. Antibiotics are given and it clears up. Or if you’re a woman – you might have felt a sting when passing urine that quickly passed when your family doctor prescribed a 3-day course of antibiotics. Perhaps you even know somebody who had an early stage cancer that was swiftly trolleyed off to an operating room only to make a full recovery. Regardless of who the patient is, where the patient has come from and what they have done in the past is irrelevant – everybody gets the same treatment. But this isn’t the case with mental health and addiction. If you yourself are reading this looking for a cure for an addiction take a moment to think to yourself why you are here. What happened along your own complex journey that led you or somebody you love to addiction. Each patient, each person, has an individual story that directly affects why they are there and how they can recover. Why then does the United States rely so heavily on one treatment, 12 step recovery programs, for addiction treatment?

Dual Diagnoses

A significant proportion of people who have a substance abuse issue also have a mental health diagnosis. Called a dual diagnosis, this is just one example of the ways in which the status quo is hindered addiction recovery in the United States. Whilst a 12 step programme can be useful for these patients – a whole host of other mental health treatments are also needed.

Treatment Options for Addiction

Whilst 12 step programs do provide an excellent option for addiction recovery – they aren’t for everyone. They also aren’t the be all and end all of the addiction treatment. Take the PacificBayRecoverycentre for instance which offers the following list of treatments:

● Inpatient recovery
● Intensive outpatient recovery
● Cognitive Behavioural therapy
● Medical detox

These different types of treatment programmes are tailored to the individual – providing a far more holistic care for the patient. What we mean by holistic is that the programmes are built around the patient’s own personal journeys and stories. They are tailored and personalized to that patient.

There Will Never Be A Magic Bullet

For incredibly complex diseases like an addiction – there will never be a magic bullet, an antibiotic or drug that can be given quickly and easily and give the patient immediate and lifetime relief. A multitude of treatments and need to be tailored to that individual patient to aid in their recovery. An interesting blog post (that I recommend you read) on DopeMagazine.com explored this very issue this week. In the article a clinician notes:

“Without guidance to other methods, a person with an addiction can stay stuck in the belief that nothing will work for them,” says CT, a Seattle-based CDP who wished to remain anonymous. “12 Steps does not encourage getting help for mental health issues, nor convey how common dual disorders are.”

And therein lies the issue. Not that 12 step programs don’t work. For many they do. It is just the word is not getting out about the different options available that specialist centers like the Pacific Bay Recovery Centre can provide.

Signs to Look for in an Alcoholic

People across the western world are certainly fond of a drink. In fact almost 27% of the American population over 18 binge drink every single month according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Almost 70% of American adults had a drink in the past year and almost 56% in the past month. This will come as no surprise to many – and it’s no secret that lots of us need to cut down in one form or another. But the majority of Americans aren’t alcoholics. How can you differentiate between somebody that likes a drink and a problem drinker that potentially needs professional help? The simple steps below should help.

Doctors across the world use a tool developed by the World Health Organization called the AUDIT. It helps doctors identify people that might be at risk of alcohol abuse. Whilst it isn’t 100%, and scoring highly on it is not a diagnosis of alcoholism (you should always visit a licensed doctor for a diagnosis), it can give a good indicator to problem drinking. It acts as a good tool to have in mind if you suspect you or somebody you know may suffer from alcoholism.

The questionnaire includes 10 questions each with an answer scoring between 0 and 4. The maximum score is therefore 40, and any score over 20 indicates potential dependence. You can download the questionnaire for yourself at the following link but the questions include things such as:

● How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
● How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of your drinking?
● How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session? (This is often known as an “eye opener” and it a big sign of alcoholism).
● How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
● Has a relative, friend, doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

Getting Help For a drinking problem

If you or somebody you love scored highly on the World Health Organization’s AUDIT score, it may indicate they have a dependence to alcohol. There are lots of treatment options available for those who do, and there are a number of specialist services available across the United States that can provide tailor made plans to help an individual overcome their drinking problem. Their treatment options include:

● Inpatient recovery facilities (where a patient will stay on site to break their habit).
● Intensive outpatient treatment (where the patient come sin for regular meetings to discuss and get help).
● Pharmacotherapy – sometimes drugs may be prescribed to overcome withdrawal.
● CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy can be very helpful for people that have a dual diagnosis of alcoholism and a mental health condition).

Substance Abuse and Inpatient Rehabilitation Services

Substance abuse is a difficult and challenging problem for affected individuals to manage and overcome. Factors such as the environment one lives in or is exposed to contribute to continued substance abuse. Increased stressors and being known as mental health conditions are also problems that can lead to alcohol and drug abuse and this may lead to further mental and physical complications.

Recognizing that one may have a problem with substance abuse can be quite difficult because most individuals who face this problem are either ignorant of the problem or are in denial of being affected. The following are symptoms that may help one identify if they have a problem with substance abuse:

  • Overcoming Substance AbuseThere’s a lack of control when using the abused substance.
  • Family members and friends express concern over the substance abuse.
  • Questioning whether the use of the substance is actually a problem or not.
  • Only the user knows the extent of their substance use.
  • The user is isolating themselves from friends and loved ones.
  • The performance of the user at school or at work is suffering.

Those individuals who continue with the behavior to abuse substances despite facing negative consequences such as poor health or getting into trouble with the law are considered to be addicted to the substance in question.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Services

 

Inpatient rehabilitation is a treatment program where addicted individuals spend between one and three months at a designated and licensed facility aimed at helping those with substance abuse problems.

The following services are offered at these inpatient facilities:

  • Medical detoxification, where patients are withdrawn from their respective abused substances in a safe environment and where there is access to a healthcare professional who helps them go through the withdrawal process.
  • Access to primary care doctors and psychiatrists to address any physical and mental health issues which may arise or already be present and need addressing. Many patients who abuse substances are either diagnosed with or have underlying mental health issues which, as mentioned, may trigger abusing the use of alcohol and drugs.
  • Psychologists are also available to discuss mental health conditions and any underlying and unresolved stressors at home or at work. Psychotherapy aims at helping the patient have a positive outlook on life and teaches them coping skills to better deal with stressors outside of the rehab facility.
  • Occupational therapists are involved with motivating affected individuals to help improve their drive and their mood by incorporating appropriate activities for patients to perform. Relaxation techniques are also taught by these allied healthcare workers.
  • Physical therapists may also be involved to help with any musculoskeletal conditions or just help reduce tension in affected individuals by working on tense areas of the body. Massage therapy, for example, is one of the clinically proven methods for helping with stress reduction.
  • The program is beneficial in monitoring the medication intake of patients which improves their compliance, such as where treatment is prescribed for certain individuals like methadone for heroin addicts.

The biggest benefit of an inpatient rehabilitation facility though is that the patient is taken out of their environment where exposure to the addictive substance is a problem. Here, they are able to focus on the important aspects such as overcoming their addiction with the right help in order to get back on track with their lives.

How To Identify Alcoholism

People across the western world are certainly fond of a drink. In fact, almost 27% of the American population over 18 binge drink every single month according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Almost 70% of Americans had a drink in the past year and almost 56% in the past month. This will come as no surprise to many – and it’s no secret that lots of us need to cut down in one form or another. But the majority of Americans aren’t alcoholics. How can you differentiate between somebody that likes a drink and a problem drinker that potentially needs professional help? The simple steps below should help.

Identifying Alcoholism

Doctors across the world use a tool developed by the World Health Organisation called the AUDIT. It helps doctors identify people that might be at risk of alcohol abuse. Whilst it isn’t 100%, and scoring highly on it is not a diagnosis of alcoholism (you should always visit a licensed doctor for a diagnosis), it can give a good indicator of problem drinking and it’s a good tool to have in mind if you suspect you yourself or somebody you know may suffer from alcoholism.

The questionnaire includes 10 questions each with an answer scoring between 0 and 4. The maximum score is therefore 40, and any score over 20 indicates potential dependence. You can download the questionnaire for yourself at the following link but the questions include things such as:

  • How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?
  • How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of your drinking?
  • How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink in the morning to get yourself going after a heavy drinking session? (This is often known as an “eye opener” and it a big sign of alcoholism)
  • How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?
  • Has a relative or friend, doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested that you cut down?

 

Getting Help For a Drinking Problem

 

If you or somebody you love scored highly on the World Health Organisations AUDIT score, it may indicate they have a dependence on alcohol. There are lots of treatment options available for those who do, and there are a number of specialist services available across the united states that can provide tailor-made plans to help an individual overcome their drinking problem. Their treatment options include:

  • Inpatient recovery facilities (where a patient will stay on site to break their habit)
  • Intensive outpatient treatment (where the patient come in for regular meetings to discuss and get help)
  • Pharmacotherapy – sometimes drugs may be prescribed to overcome withdrawal
  • CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy can be very helpful for people that have a dual diagnosis of alcoholism and a mental health condition).

Specialized Outpatient Programs for Patients with Substance Abuse Disorders

Intensive outpatient treatment programs are developed for individuals with addictions to substances such as opiates/narcotic and are available for affected individuals of all ages and backgrounds. The programs provide a supportive, structural, and educational setting for those who need assistance with the recovery process.

The benefits of an outpatient addiction treatment facility include:

  • Reinforcing helpful and healthy ways of interacting with a safe and supportive environment.
  • Assisting with the development of communication and socialization skills.
  • Guiding, where necessary, patients in structuring their new lifestyles.
  • Helping patients to get assistance from other group members during their recovery process.

The following are specialized outpatient programs that have been shown to be effective and beneficial in those patients affected by substance abuse disorders:

Aquatic therapy

  • Performing exercises in water help with relaxation have a physical therapeutic benefit.
  • Warm water is used to help facilitate muscle relaxation and increase peripheral circulation.
  • Can help to detoxify the patient faster from the drug they used.

Counseling

  • This service offers a forum for patients to receive support with their life stressors, as well as school, work, and any family-related issues.
  • Traditional counseling allows the addiction specialists to help addicts resolve anxiety, stress, emotional concerns, and interpersonal conflicts.
  • Counseling also includes group therapy sessions which focus on improving strategies to remain sober, develop a supportive environment needed for recovery, and avoiding relapses.

Hypnotherapy

  • Regarded as a relaxation technique in terms of helping to reduce addictive behaviors in affected individuals.
  • Used to put the patient in between a sleep state in order to induce suggestions into the unconscious mind.
  • Studies have shown that this therapy is more effective than placebos or simple therapies when dealing with substance abuse disorders.

Physical restorative therapy

  • Exercise and physical practices such as yoga are incorporated to help improve the strength of the body.
  • This is especially effective in those patients who have experienced physical complications such as muscle loss, arthritis, balance disorders, and generalized weakness due to their addictive behaviors.
  • This therapy helps to recondition the body to its optimal state.

Psychoeducation

  • Here, education and information regarding substance abuse, addictive behaviors, mental health disorders and what to expect on the journey to recovery are discussed and given to the patient.
  • The goal of this therapy is to help the patients and their family members understand how addictive behaviors develop, what events may trigger these issues, and what can be done to overcome the pathology.
  • A better understanding of the addictive process allows for better understanding of the causes of the problem which in turn means a better understanding of what situations to try and avoid from the patient’s side and what family members and friends can do to support them.

Spiritual Therapy

  • This involves the process of helping to relieve physical and emotional problems through meditation and prayer.
  • Spiritual therapy may involve the transference of spiritual energy from the person administering the therapy by touching or laying hands on the patient.
  • Even in those who are not spiritual, the act itself is one of grace and compassion that some benefit may be derived from this therapy.