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4 Common Addictions to Familiar Substances

Addiction is a brain disease that can destroy an individual’s entire life. Regardless of how it began, substance abuse can turn your and your loved ones’ lives upside down. Unfortunately, the most common addictions are of substances that are easily accessible and can catch your unawares, if you are careful.


Marijuana is a drug that has recently been legalized in many states, for medicinal and recreational usage. But the drug still has its addictive qualities.

Marijuana has been shown to be helpful in specific cases, in small doses, in a medical setting, but not for recreational use. Continued use of marijuana can make a person addicted to the drug, and may even damage your cognitive abilities.


Tobacco is truly one of the most common addictions in the world. It is available almost everywhere – from the gas station to the grocery store. You can even buy it in bulk, depending on which form of tobacco you use. They are quite affordable too. Anyone over 18 can get their hands on a pack of cigarettes for a reasonable price.

Did you know that tobacco contains nicotine which causes addiction? Nicotine makes the adrenal glands release adrenaline and increases dopamine. But tobacco smoking can lead to lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

The easy access to such an addictive drug makes it one of the most common addictive substance.


Beer stands right behind tobacco because of its consumption and addiction potential. Beer is made and sold worldwide. Almost anyone, above the age of 21 years, can buy and consume beer, legally. You can buy it in bulk, like tobacco and it is affordable. There is no restriction on how much you can buy at a time.

Fortunately, there are some regulations on beer that are stricter. For example, you can smoke and drive but it’s illegal to drink and drive.

Beer contains alcohol that affects the brain, in a way that it can cause phases of anxiety or depression, if you go without it for some time.


When a doctor prescribes some mediation, people generally do not think of getting high off of them. The problem is they’re easy for an addict to get their hands on.

If you are taking some prescription pain medication, it’s not difficult for anyone in your family to get their hands on these pills, since they since they’re lying in plain sight. Many such drugs are addictive too.

Many Over-the-Counter (OTC) medications are easily available and cost less.

If you or a loved one is addicted to a substance, it is best to seek professional help right away.


Who needs Residential Addiction Rehab?

Drug and alcohol addiction affect millions every year. When the individual is able to overcome denial and agree to professional help and treatment, it is a big leap for them. However, it is important to know that there are various treatment plans available, based on your specific situation.

Some treatment programs are available as inpatient or residential programs while others are in an outpatient setting. To make the right choice, read on to understand who needs residential addiction rehab.

Residential or Inpatient Treatment

In residential rehabs, patients stay in the rehab during their treatment, where they receive round-the-clock care. These facilities often provide more comprehensive services to help their patients recover.

Residential treatment usually consists of a number of stages. Beginning with medical detox, patients are weaned off the drug under medical supervision. In the next stage, these patients start going through counseling and therapy to address what caused their addiction, in the first place. This may include learning life skills and building healthy habits.

On the other hand, outpatient treatment, provides this treatment in parts, when patients come for appointments and meetings.

Who needs Residential Addiction Rehab?

Residential treatment is always the better choice because the individual receives 24-hour care from compassionate professionals. It is easier to recover because the substance is not available, and the person can stay away from the triggers and stressors that pushed him/her towards addiction. The person can look forward to faster recovery.

However, this type of treatment may not be suitable for those, who do not have anyone to help them with their responsibilities, like kids at home, when they are at the rehab. These people can opt for the intensive outpatient treatment.

Remember that detox should be done under residential treatment to ensure safer recovery. Many withdrawal symptoms can be severe and it is not a good idea to detox at home.


4 Excellent Tips to prevent Alcohol Relapse

Recovery is a long journey, and maintaining long-term sobriety take effort, motivation, and self-control. Here are some highly effective relapse prevention tips that can keep you on your path of recovery.

Know your triggers

Relapse is part of recovery, and it is wise to accept this as normal experience in your life. Relapse presents the opportunity to learn to avoid future mistakes. Developing self-awareness and self-control can help you identify triggers. Once you know your triggers, you will have the power to avoid them.

Go to therapy.

Ongoing counseling and therapy help you maintain sobriety. It can help you resolve any negative feelings and thoughts that push you back towards alcohol use.

Have a relapse prevention plan in place

With your therapist’s help, create a plan that will help you manage recovery, as well as prevent relapse while keeping you on track.

Learn to cope with cravings and triggers

Understand that your cravings and urges are normal in early recovery. When you repress them, they become stronger. Learn how to take control of your thoughts and emotions.

Avoid high risk situations with alternative strategies. Here are some useful tools to prevent relapse –

  • Develop a hobby, sport or other activity
  • Encourage yourself with positive self-talk
  • Use meditation as a healthy way to cope with stress and relax
  • Learn anger and depression management
  • Reduce your list of daily responsibilities


Is your Oved One Addicted to Opiates?

If a loved one is addicted to opiates, you obviously want to help them quit the drug. But to help the person do so, you first need to understand how addiction works.

What is Addiction?

The foremost thing you should understand is – Addiction is NOT a choice, it’s a disease. Initially, a person takes drugs to experience a high but with repeated use, their brain and body develop a necessity for the drug, in order to feel normal again.

The cycle of addiction begins with the first use. Opiates, like heroin, morphine, or codeine create a sense of euphoria. People want to continue feeling good and go back for more. Over time and with repetition, the brain adapts and now needs the drug to feel normal. Meanwhile, the body begins to deteriorate. The time, it takes to become addicted, varies from person to person.

A person is dependent on the drug when they miss a dose and experience withdrawal symptoms. With time, the person needs more of the drug to feel the same effects. This is tolerance – another brain adaptation.

To tell if your loved one is addicted or dependent, consider the following questions.

  • Are the person’s responsibilities at risk due to opiate use?
  • Does the person crave opiates?
  • Does the person end up in dangerous situations due of opiate use?
  • Does the person spend a great deal of time thinking about, obtaining, or using drugs?
  • Has your loved one continued using opiates despite work, health, or relationship problems?
  • Has the person ever tried to quit but failed?

If the answer to any of these questions is a ‘yes’, addiction may be present.

Address denial

Most addicts deny addiction and fear quitting because –

  • they fear withdrawal
  • they are scared of dealing with pain

Opiates are the most addictive drugs known and most addicts began taking opiates to combat chronic pain.

The first step is to seek medical help. Without professional help of a reputable treatment program, it may be difficult to detox and achieve long-term sobriety.

To talk to your loved one, about seeking professional help, here are some critical things to consider –

  • get some advice before you begin
  • plan communication in advance
  • prepare as if anything can happen
  • provide a solution for recovery
  • follow through


Medical detox is the first step in treatment. During detox, opiates leave the body.

While unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may occur but they can be treated as they occur. In fact, doctors can manage the withdrawal symptoms with medications and psychological support.


Treatment begins with assessment of the extent of addiction, the overall health condition and history of addictive behavior. The addiction professional will then create an individualized treatment plan ideal for the person’s needs.

The treatment of opiate addiction may include pain relief without the use of opiates, psychotherapy, counseling and life skills training.

3 Must Know Truths about Sobriety

Many people decide to get clean only after they hit rock bottom.

And the first, most important, step on their journey to recovery is to admit they can’t control or manage their addiction and to ask for help.

While this is a defining step in the recovery journey, there is a lot ahead that you should know if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction.

Here are a few truths that you should know, about recovery and sobriety.

Recovery is HARD WORK

While people entering a drug or alcohol rehab already know that quitting is going to be tough, detoxing from drugs or alcohol is riddled with uncomfortable, even fatal symptoms, that affect both the body and the mind.

These are withdrawal symptoms and may include –

Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Muscle aches
  • Headache and Dizziness
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Tremor
  • Fever
  • Seizures

Mental Withdrawal Symptoms

  • Excitability
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social phobia
  • Perceptual distortions
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Irritability
  • Intrusive memories
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Obsessions

Recovery without Professional Help is a BAD IDEA

With the right treatment and support, the journey to recovery can be smooth. But without the right kind of help, quitting may even prove life-threatening, in some cases.

Brutal withdrawals, accidental overdose, and dangerous complications can cause serious problems if you are not at a good rehab or addiction treatment center.


There is a reason recovery is called a ‘journey’. There is no cure for the disease that is addiction BUT a lifelong practice of sobriety, including behavioral changes and mental adjustments, can help the person lead a sober life forever. The best addiction recovery programs, such as ta Pacific Bay recovery in San Diego, will help you create a sober life for yourself, based on strong foundations. But it requires commitment to your own well-being. That is why good rehabs offer a medical detox followed by an inpatient rehab and later support by outpatient rehab, to ensure you stay clean and sober.

To learn more, call one of the most trusted intensive outpatient treatment and inpatient rehab in San Diego, Pacific Bay Recovery at 858-263-9700 Today. Pacific Bay Recovery offers both inpatient and intensive outpatient treatment in San Diego.

5 Things you MUST Know if your Son or Daughter is an Addict

As a parent, you want to shield your kids from pain and you do your best to do so. But when your child is a victim of the disease of addiction, it seems you are completely powerless.

Fortunately, if you have a son or daughter who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is hope. Here are 14 things that you should know about children and teens who are addicted to alcohol or drugs.

Addiction is a Brain Disease

Addiction is a brain disease – a complex one that deeply affects those who are addicted to a substance. This may be a tricky concept to wrap your mind around but it is TRUE.

NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) defines addiction “as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking, continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain.”

Addicts are Sick, NOT Wicked

You may feel very angry with your child because of his/her addiction. Most parents condemn it.

The substance abuse may be affecting him/her as well as the rest of your family and you may witness examples of BAD behavior in action. But, that is all addiction, not your son or daughter.

Addiction is a failing of a person’s character. It is a DISEASE.

Addiction is Not a Choice

Understanding that addiction is a disease, and NOT a choice, is hard for many parents. Your child is not CHOOSING to use drugs. S/he may have chosen to do it the first time, but once the addiction is in control, s/he is powerless over the disease. The drugs run the show.

Addiction disrupts the brain’s function of critical thinking and decision making, rendering the addict powerless to exert free choice.

NO ONE wants to be an Addict

Yes, it is true – no one wants to be an addict. No one wants to become hopelessly addicted to a substance, let it ruin their lives and destroy them.

Many people try drugs and move on. However, for those predisposed to the disease of addiction, the brain clings to the high and never wants to let go. Once addiction sets in, the addict is robbed of all free will.

Your Child’s Addiction is NOT your Fault

Many loving parents start blaming and beat themselves up for the mistakes they made as a parent, when they discover that their child is addicted to a substance.

Remember that you don’t cause it or control it. It is not your fault. But you can help your son or daughter get help at a professional rehab and help him/her lead a life of sobriety, doing all they dream of.

Is Drinking Alone a Sign of Alcoholism?

Having a beer or a glass of wine by yourself, in front of the TV isn’t alarming. For many people, it is a usual way to unwind after a long week. But for others, drinking alone is a sign of something bigger. Alcohol addiction is a disease that flourishes on isolation and can rapidly take hold if drinking is your way to cope with uncomfortable emotions or mental trauma.

Is drinking alone a sign of being alcoholic?

Drinking alone does not make a person an alcoholic. However, combined with other warning signs, drinking alone or in secrecy could indicate alcoholism. These warning signs include –

  • Temporary black-outs
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Inability to quit drinking
  • Making excuses to continue or hide drinking
  • Drinking takes priority over your job or relationships
  • Increasing alcohol tolerance
  • Participating in risky behaviors
  • Feelings of withdrawal

Any combination of these symptoms in addition to drinking alone may indicate that your drinking is turning into an alcohol addiction.

There could be several reasons for a person drinking alone, such as –

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • Loneliness
  • Sleep problems
  • Anger

Many people drink to avoid or numb such mental health issues. Without proper treatment, a drinking issue can quickly turn into alcoholism.

Is drinking alone dangerous?

Drinking alone results in a number of dangerous consequences. It can put drinkers in unsafe situations since alcohol consumption affects a person’s ability to reason and make decisions. Without anyone around to prevent the person from a risky behavior, the person may engage in drunk driving, and sexually aggressive or violent behaviors. These actions put ther person as well as those around him, in danger.

Drinking alone does not make you an alcoholic, but it could. If your solo drinking sessions have become more common lately, seek help.



Custom Addiction Treatment for Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals often have demanding jobs and face great challenges at work. They are saving lives, after all. Most know when they need help with a substance abuse issue but often do not seek help. A common reason is lack of specific treatment programs for these professionals.

Here are 4 important reasons for customized substance abuse treatment programs for medical professionals.

Your license could be at risk

The state’s Licensing Board has total control over a healthcare professional’s ability to practice medicine. You may be in denial of your substance abuse problem but the Licensing Board will not see it that way. For them, the public’s best interest is important. You are at risk of losing your license.

Not seeking treatment is almost like throwing away your career, something you obviously don’t want.

Addiction specialists understand what you are going through

Specialists at a rehab program are trained and experienced in treating various types of substance abuse disorders – how the nature of each substance is different and how they affect the body differently. They also know how to wean the body off a substance and the individual withdrawal symptoms. Based on your specific condition and your overall health, they would customize a treatment plan, specifically for you.

Access to controlled substances is part of the job

Addiction treatment for healthcare professionals is unique because unlike others, who recover from substance abuse, they will have easy access to controlled substances, tempting them to start re-using. This makes the likelihood of relapse even higher than other individuals. The high degree of stress in the field of healthcare field and the easy access to medications can be a constant temptation.

For all these reasons, healthcare professionals dealing with substance abuse should find a treatment program that is customized to their needs. Seek help.

Is Marijuana addictive?

Marijuana or weed is one of the most intriguing and controversial psychoactive drugs. After the legalization of weed in many US states, the marijuana menace has increased, simply because it is legal and many people are curious to try it.

Marijuana is addictive and one of the most popular and commonly abused substance. While weed is an antidepressant, it also produces psychedelic effects in higher doses. There are two classified types of marijuana – one produces psychedelic effects and the other works as a depressant.

Despite its legal status and medical purposes, weed is addictive. For instance, it is one of the most commonly abused illicit drug among youth and adults.

So, if you wish to know whether weed is addictive, the answer clearly is “YES, it is!”

Marijuana users, especially chronic users, experience physical as well as mental health problems, including brain and memory malfunctions.

The short-term side effects of marijuana include –

• altered senses
• altered sense of time
• changes in mood
• impaired body movement
• difficulty with thinking and problem solving
• impaired memory
• psychosis, hallucinations, delusions (when taken in high doses)

Apart from the above-mentioned short-term side effects, marijuana can have profound effects on brain development, which makes it extremely harmful for children and adolescents. Pregnant women that use the drug give birth to babies with negative behavior and development issues.

Methadone Addiction

Methadone is a painkilling, opioid drug. Opioids can be natural or man-made, pain-relieving drugs, prescribed to relieve pain and discomfort.

Methadone produces effects, similar to morphine but the effects tend to be longer-lasting. It is commonly used as a substitute to opiate like heroin and morphine. While methadone does not produce intense effects, it can still produce feelings of euphoria and relaxation. However, methadone can still be abused, resulting in physical and psychological dependence, if not used properly.

Short-Term Effects
After an initial absorption, individuals experience drowsiness, which may make them feel lethargic. They also experience pain relief, euphoria and complete relaxation.

Continued use of methadone produces severe physical effects on the body, including –
• Sweating
• Nausea
• Constipation
• decreased heart rate
• pinpoint pupils

Behavioral changes include aggressive mood swings, increased anxiety and feelings of depression.

In the event of an overdose or dependence, users may experience –
• lowered blood pressure
• shallow breathing
• tremors
• itchy skin
• blue lips
• decreased heart rate
• extreme lethargy
• hard time recognizing whereabouts
• even a comatose state

Long-Term Effects
The long-term effects of methadone addiction worsen as the individual goes on using. Long-term use may produce effects, such as –
• severe respiratory issues
• cardiovascular problems
• memory loss and issues with learning
• poor judgement
• changes in personality or behavior
• poor physical hygiene
These issues begin to build-up with continuous injections and go on becoming severe.