Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

(858) 263-9700

Call today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.

(858) 263-9700


Addiction Rehab Center

Systematic and Medically Supervised Withdrawal from a Drug

Medically supervised withdrawal from a drug, also referred to as detoxification, is the first step in substance abuse treatment programs and it involves the removal of these toxic products from the bloodstream.

An indicator of addiction to a substance is the onset of withdrawal symptoms when trying to remove the drugs from the body. These can range from mild to severe in nature, and there are situations which can be life-threatening depending on the drug used as well as the level of dependency and the method of intake.

Withdrawal symptoms can be both psychological and physical and abruptly stopping the offending drug is usually not suggested. Therefore, medically assisted detoxification is recommended to prevent patients experiencing unwanted withdrawal effects.

assisted or Supervised Withdrawal

Medically Assisted Withdrawal

Medically assisted detoxification is accomplished in a controlled facility which is supervised by healthcare professionals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Some patients may need to be weaned down from the drugs they are using in order to slowly get the product in their system down to nothing, and others may require being prescribed other medications in order to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

The patients most likely to require medically assisted withdrawal include those who are addicted to drugs such as:

  • Prescription opioids
  • Heroin
  • Alcohol
  • Benzodiazepines

Prescription Opioids and Heroin

Prescription opioid addiction is a public health emergency currently in the United States with over 40 Americans dying from opioid overdoses every day in the country. In 2012 alone, over 2 million Americans over the age of 12 were addicted to these medications and another near 500,000 people were addicted to heroin. Heroin is also an opioid but an illegal one.

Opioid addiction needs to be managed medically since withdrawing from these drugs causes uncomfortable symptoms and signs such as:

  • Excessive sweating with intermittent chills
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Generalized muscle aches and pains
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Sleeping disturbances
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

Patients addicted to prescription opioids are usually managed by gradually reducing the dose of the drug until it has worked out completely from their bodies. Heroin is managed differently in that methadone is dispensed to these patients to take over the effects caused by the drug. The methadone is then gradually tapered down until it can be stopped.

Medications such as buprenorphine and buprenorphine combined with naloxone are also used to help treat opioid addiction and dependency.

Alcohol

Suddenly stopping the intake of alcohol in someone who has a severe dependency on this product can be life-threatening.

A condition known as delirium tremens (DT) can develop as a result of alcohol withdrawal and may present with the following symptoms and signs:

  • Agitation
  • Fevers
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures

In order to avoid these severe conditions, medically assisted withdrawal from alcohol is often necessary and entails the use of medications such as benzodiazepines. Mineral and vitamin supplementation may also be prescribed to replace those lost as a result of excessive alcohol use.

Benzodiazepines

These drugs do have their place in treating anxiety and sleep disorders but there are patients who become dependent on them and need help to remove them from their system.

Benzodiazepine withdrawal is performed in a similar fashion to that of opioid withdrawal in that the dosage of the medication is tapered down until it is completely metabolized by the body and completely removed from the patient’s bloodstream.

Patients addicted to short-acting benzodiazepines are prescribed longer-acting ones during medically managed withdrawal in order to reduce the chance of potential side effects.

Free Opioid Overdose Antidote Available in Six States

Opioid Overdose TreatmentPatients in six American states will have free access to the Evzio naloxone auto-injector which is a medication used for reversing an opioid overdose. This is a very important medication that is available by way of a pilot program since America currently has an opioid epidemic which has been declared a public health emergency.

The six states which will have the naloxone auto-injectors available include:

  • California
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • Missouri
  • Ohio

The United States Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, called for naloxone to be more readily accessible to those individuals who are at risk of overdosing on opioid medications. He also mentioned that friends and family members of such individuals should also be supplied with the naloxone auto-injector to use on the person overdosing on the narcotics.

In a statement, Dr. Adams mentioned the following:

  • 77 percent of opioid-related deaths occur outside a medical setting with the majority taking place at home.
  • Increased naloxone availability should occur in conjunction with increased access to evidence-based therapies for substance use disorders associated with opioids.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 115 Americans die daily from overdosing on opioid medications. In 2016, more than 42,000 people died from an opioid overdose and this rose to over 66,000 in 2017. This is why having naloxone available, which reverses the effects of opioids, is a very important step in attempting to curb the death rate caused by this crisis.

How to Receive the Naloxone Auto-Injector

Patients with commercial insurances will be able to receive the naloxone auto-injector without a prescription and without having to pay anything by calling a toll-free number and speaking to a pharmacist.

There is no fee for the device because it is available through the pharmaceutical company that developed the product, Kaleo’s, virtual standing order program. The device is then delivered to the individual’s home address once ordered.

If a patient doesn’t have government or commercial insurance and whose total income is less than $100,000 annually, Kaleo offers a Patient Assistance Program that makes the device available for free out-of-pocket.

Kaleo also says that they plan to extend their pilot program to additional states and hopefully the auto-injecting device will be available to more individuals around the United States to help prevent deaths as a result of opioid overdosing.

Pacific Bay Recovery

Pacific Bay Recovery is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center based in San Diego and they deal with and manage patients who are dependent and addicted to medications and drugs such as the opioids.

The services offered by the rehabilitation center 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 themselves.
  • 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 opioid use and to improve their social and occupational situations at home and at work.

 

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.

 

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.

Outpatient Rehab – Is it Right for Me?

For those whose lives still remain functional, outpatient rehab may be an option to consider. With this type of program, you see a counselor locally and work with therapy groups, attend AA/NA meetings, and complete assignments to help you with becoming drug- and/or alcohol-free. While you do have the freedom to live your life, random drug/alcohol tests are likely with this type of program, and you must be willing to submit to them, especially if it is court ordered outpatient care.

Addictive Medications and Minor AddictionsMinor Addictions

If you have trouble removing drugs and/or alcohol from your life, outpatient treatment may be right for you. This is especially the case if your life does not revolve solely around drinking and using drugs.  When you blow off friends, family, or general adult responsibilities to bar hop, consume an entire 12-pack of beer or bottle of alcohol, it’s time to get help. If you’d rather sit and completely lose your mind to get high instead of cleaning the house, grocery shopping, or spending time with your kids, it’s time to get help. This might be the right situation for you since you’re still able to function in daily life.

Remain in your Own Home

When attending outpatient rehab, you don’t have to deal with the stress of being in a strange place with conflicting personalities or those that are near death from their addictions. Being able to stay home with your family or in transitional housing while getting treatment has proven higher success rates. You have to take this program just as seriously as you would an inpatient center.

The transitional housing idea is to keep you in a dry household with others that are also in recovery. You still go to work, pay your bills, and have some freedom. There are curfews and some house rules to adhere to while seeing your counselor, participating in maintaining the home, and attending group sessions.

Live Normal Life without Drugs or Alcohol

In an outpatient program, you learn how to live life and make use of the extra time that you’d normally spend drinking or getting high. Some counselors suggest taking night college courses, painting, cooking, or taking up a hobby. It’s also an open invitation to get more involved with your spouse and children. Taking a more active role in your family is healing in itself and has plenty of benefits. You’re treating the addiction with your family, rather than being separated from them and feeling awkward returning home in a sober state.

Outpatient programs don’t work for everyone. This is the case with addicts where the only method of detection is by a blood sample or spinal tap. These expensive procedures have to be paid for by the patient and most cannot afford them. For those that recognize their problem and cannot afford inpatient care, this is a good place to start. It can be considered as temporary treatment while you look for financial aid or “scholarship” funds to get clean and live a healthy, substance-free lifestyle again.

New Research on Treating Substance Abuse

Although widely opted for, detoxification may not be as effective to treat substance abuse as medication.

Treating Substance AbuseA new research suggests that substance-dependent individuals seeking assistance through an expensive medical detoxification can perhaps benefit better with a combination of opioid medications like buprenorphine and methadone. Such medication allows substance dependent patients to slowly modify their body pattern.

This research does not claim these medications to be a permanent alternative. But compared to the method of medical detoxification, this comes with a saving of approximately $78-257. Moreover, it is psychologically easier than facing the withdrawal symptoms during detoxification.

Today, more than 2.6 million residents of the USA suffer from opioid dependency. Claiming 91 lives each day, The US faces a tremendous challenge dealing with opiate addiction. And more than 80 percent of the drug addiction victims have been deprived of medication-based treatment.

California is currently the largest state found with opiate addiction crisis. The health regulations still favor detoxification by not prescribing opioid agonist medication till the patient is proven to have gone through detoxification. This implies that a patient would have to pay for the detox prior to being insured for buprenorphine or methadone.

New law:

The latest improvisation in the law has added a provision which organizes an emergency alcohol and drug detoxification program under the administration of the Health Department.

The purpose of this program is to encourage health services to develop new ways for detoxification of drug within a medical facility center after an overdose. Highlights of the bill include:

  • This bill is sponsored by State Rep. Aaron Kaufer.
  • It enables the Department of health to provide more proficient medical detox facilities, sharing the burden of Department of Drug & Alcohol that was previously responsible for dealing with a substance based emergency. Additionally, Department of Health has more resources, comparatively, says Kaufer.
  • It is important to note that this law does not impose upon hospitals to spare beds for drug addiction emergencies, but only to become more efficient in easing the risks involved with overdose.
  • This program will facilitate basic facilities required by an individual for detox.

Kaufer says:

“ There obviously is economies of scale at a place like a hospital. Whether it is space or access that is important, is the important question. People are treated and sent back, while this initiative proposes a stay in the hospital till a facility center is found for them where they can effectively get treated for addition”

It is still unclear how the law will come into practice. It is new and will require a complete design of how things would work before it is implemented as a must. “Much of the responsibility will fall on the Department of Health to determine how this program will work” provides Nate Wardle, a spokesman fforthe health department.

It is hoped that the research would help the health centers perceive a better and more effective combination of detox and medication to cater the needs of an opiate addict. In the current crisis, it is best if the state implies any law that promises better results.

 

Detox is Only the Beginning

Many people think of addiction treatment as detox and are afraid of it too.

Yes, detox is an important first step in recovery, yet detox is only the first of a series of steps and changes you need to make to complete recover from addiction.

When you wean yourself off the drug or alcohol, the body (which is dependent on the substance by now) undergoes withdrawal. These withdrawal symptoms may be physical, such as nausea and diarrhea or psychological, such as mood changes and depression. Most abusers dread these withdrawal symptoms. While detox can be a trying experience, it has a reasonably predictable – and relatively short – duration. Leading drug detox facilities, such as pacific Bay Recovery in San Diego, offer medical detox that is carried out under the supervision of doctors and addiction specialists.

It is important to remember that detox is just the beginning of a long process of sobriety and recovery.

Detox can bring change but that would only last a short duration. You need to follow it up with inpatient or intensive outpatient treatments that help you recover and cultivate a drug-free lifestyle.

Detox signals the beginning of your treatment but it isn’t the entire treatment. There is lot of work to be done. Check with your rehab center about addiction treatment programs available. You can choose from inpatient and intensive outpatient programs.

Heroin – The Ultimate High

Heroin gives a high like no other drug. But the sense of empowerment doesn’t last long. In fact, it leaves you worse than before. And most importantly, the drug slowly destroys every cell in the body.

Heroin and the Brain
Heroin is an opiate. It gradually alters brain structure and function. The drug itself goes through many chemical reactions in the brain and changes into morphine. It quickly binds to the opioid receptors, mimics endorphins (natural “feel-good” chemicals) and relieves pain and anxiety, producing a euphoric state. This is what makes heroin so addictive.

Heroin and the Body

  • Intake
    The person takes heroin.
  • Heart
    Heroin enters the bloodstream quickly.
    The heart pumps the blood with the drug in it.
  • Brain
    The drug passes through the blood-brain barrier and reaches the brain to undergo chemical reactions and binds to opioid receptors.
    Causes euphoria, pain and anxiety relief
  • Liver
    The drug undergoes extensive first-pass metabolism in the liver.
    The liver produces specific enzymes for this purpose.
    The drug enters the body’s circulation.
  • Kidneys
    Heroin has an extremely rapid half-life of 2-6 minutes.
    About 7% is excreted as unchanged morphine and 50-60% as glucuronides.
    Within 72 hours up to 90% is eliminated in urine.

How Heroin Destroys the Body
Heroin use can cause –

  • suppressed breathing
  • irregular heartbeat
  • hormonal imbalance
  • impaired decision-making
  • kidney failure

Timely treatment for heroin addiction can help prevent further damage.

Everything You Need to Know About LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is sold on the street under names such as Blotter, Dots, Trips, and acid. The designs on the blotter paper also influence the name, such as Purple Dragon. LSD is an odorless, colorless, bitter tasting synthetic drug that has been around since the 1930s. It is a potent hallucinogen and is manufactured from lysergic acid found in ergot (a fungus) on rye and grains. LSD is diluted as a liquid for oral use or produced in a crystalline form that is mixed with excipients.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NHSDA) in 2010 estimated that more than 6 percent of surveyed adults ages 18 to 25 used LSD at some point of their lives. This number was down significantly from 16 percent in 2002, however. For youth, the rate of LSD use during the last month is less than 1 percent.

LSD Uses and Effects

LSD is usually taken as a recreational drug, entheogen, or for psychedelic therapy. It has been used by psychiatrists who value the therapeutic effects in the treatment of cluster headaches, alcoholism, to enhance creativity, and for spiritual purposes. Also, LSD can help a patient to “unblock” subconscious repressed memories, leading to benefits in psychotherapy.

LSD effects are unpredictable, and use is considered to be an experience or “trip.” When it’s not pleasant, it’s considered a “bad trip,” versus a “good trip” when all goes well. These “trips” can last for up to 12 hours, and the first effects of the drug are experienced approximately 30 to 60 minutes once it is used.

The user will have varying emotions, mood swings, extreme changes in mood, impaired depth and time perceptions, and distorted perception regarding movements, shapes, colors, sound, body image, and touch. If taken for an extended period of time, the drug produces hallucinations and delusions. LSD causes physical changes also, such as high body temperature, dilated pupils, sweating, nausea, increased blood sugar, elevated heart rate, high blood pressure, dry mouth, tremors, and sleeplessness.

LSD Health Hazards

LSD use makes a person lose the ability to make sound judgments and view danger. After using LSD, a person suffers depression and/or anxiety, and may also experience flashbacks, which are re-experiences of the “trip days or months after consuming the last dose. If a flashback suddenly occurs, it is often without warning, and the hallucinogens are more common in a chronic LSD user or those with an underlying personality disorder. Healthy individuals who occasionally use LSD also have flashbacks and bad trips. In addition, LSD produces tolerance, and users need to take larger and larger amounts to achieve a state of intoxication. This, however, is a dangerous way to use LSD, as it is an unpredictable drug.

LSD is not seriously addictive, as it does not lead to compulsive drug-seeking behavior. Addiction to hallucinogens is quite a rate but does occur. Because LSD produces a tolerance, some users report that they need to take higher doses each time. Also, LSD is illegal and possessing it leads to disciplinary consequences, fines, and heavy prison sentences.

The Stages of Relapse

Relapse is associated with many feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. There are 10 stages involved with relapse that has been identified by experts.

Stage1: Unhealthy Emotions

When you stop using drugs and develop a recovery plan to stay clean, you initially do fine. However, at some point, you may come upon a problem and not be able to adequately cope emotionally. These unhealthy emotions are often called “stinking thinking” because you feel down and out but do not understand why.

 

RelapseStage 2:  Denial

Instead of recognizing that you are stressed and emotionally unable to cope with these feelings, you use denial to convince yourself everything will be alright. However, this mechanism is similar to what you use when you are dealing with addiction and confronted with uncomfortable feelings. Denial of emotional stress often leaves the recovering addict feeling overwhelmed. If you use recovery tools, you will know that sharing these feelings help you get over these emotions.

The worst thing a recovering addict can do in the denial stage is isolated him- or herself from support persons. You may overreact and focus on internal issues, causing you to relapse quicker. Don’t distance yourself from your support network during the denial stage. Learn how to recognize it and move forward. During recovery, you may feel like you are on a roller coaster of your emotions. This is the stage of relapse where you often feel anxious and have much sleeplessness and sadness. These ups and downs are part of the denial stage of relapse.

 

Stage 3:  Compulsive Behaviors

In the downward progression of drug use, a recovering addict first tries to cope with emotional stresses by engaging in certain compulsive behaviors rather than using appropriate recovery tools. During this stage of relapse, you will find your thinking going back to the old, insane ways associated with drug and/or alcohol use. You know you don’t want to get back on drugs again, but you are also not using the techniques to cope that you learned in rehab.

Emotional relapse is associated with compulsive behaviors. These are things we do to attempt to repair ourselves, slowly abandoning the recovery program and returning to drug use. During this stage of the relapse process, you make irrational choices, use poor judgment, and become argumentative and defensive. Signs of emotional relapse include sleeping more, ignoring personal hygiene, and having distorted thinking.

 

Stage 4:  Triggers

Triggers are things, places, and situations that remind you or prompt you to use drugs or drink alcohol. In a solid recovery program, you do not use the right techniques to avoid and ignore triggers. During this stage, you need to avoid places that remind you of your using days. Triggers snap you and set you off. During this stage, you should attend a meeting, contact a sponsor, or turn to a higher power to remove the obsession for using drugs or drinking.

 

Stage 5:  Interior Chaos

When a person is triggered to use drugs, their stress level goes up and erratic emotions control thinking. This leads to interior chaos, which is part of mental relapse. During this stage, thinking patterns are more distorted and insane, with the obsession to use drugs becoming stronger. The reality of your condition is obscured by fantasies of the good old days of drug use.

During stage 5, you need to remind yourself of why you wanted to get clean in the first place. You need to go back and remember how the disease rendered both your body and mind abnormal. Also, you need to stay focused on the program in hopes of maintaining recovery. It is crucial that you remember that it is not external issues that lead to drug use, but it’s your inability to cope with emotions and thoughts that drive you toward drugs.

 

Stage 6:  Exterior Turmoil

If you remain in a state of mental relapse, you may at some point realize that your frame of mind is not right. You know that you are slipping out of recovery and having feelings of shame, fear, or even pride. Eventually, your addictive thinking ways cause problems with your outside world. This is when you have fights with family members, get into arguments with co-workers, and feel bitter.

 

Stage 7: Loss of Control

If you try handling your problems without help, they may overwhelm you until you feel fed up. You may feel that you are getting out of control again. Life may become troublesome, and you are at crises. Once you recognize that you are out of control, you may have a chance at staying clean. This is a crucial point during relapse to identify the problems and refrain from drug use.

 

Stage 8:  Addictive Thinking

At this stage of your relapse, you use all your addict defense mechanisms. The disease convinces you that recovery is not working, and that you should just do what you want. You may feel miserable and fail to understand what is really going on. Deluded feelings convince you that recovery is too hard and not enjoyable. The disease makes you avoid support persons, skip meetings, and think about using more and more. To avoid responsibilities, you think about leaving your spouse, quitting your job, and using drugs.

 

Stage 9: High-Risk Situations

By this stage, your mental relapse is full-blown. Your emotions are in turmoil and your thinking is distorted. You believe it is alright to go back to visiting places where drugs are, and you get to be around the drug scene. You justify your behavior and put yourself in real high-risk situations.

 

Stage 10:  Relapse

When you actually relapse, you revert back to your old ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. You find yourself abandoning your recovery skills and using drugs and/or alcohol again. The way you see it, you can use or commit suicide. Relapse is not a failure, however. Rather, this is just a minor setback. At this point, you need to go back into inpatient treatment, where you can work through your problems and get clean again.