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Drug Detox

The Importance of a Healthy Diet in Addiction Recovery

When a recovering drug user seeks treatment for their problem, they are generally prepared to participate in the standard methods of treatment: detox, therapy, group sessions, and the like. One thing that is not often addressed is the importance of having a healthy diet.

 

A healthy diet can bring a user’s energy levels back to normal, help to stabilize their emotions, and can help ensure longevity by reducing any damage that might have been done by using drugs. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a healthy diet in addiction recovery.

 

What Is a Healthy Diet?

A healthy diet differs for different people. While the standard dietary guidelines in America seem cut in stone, diet goes much deeper. However, there are some basics that every individual need to attend to.

 

  • Vitamins and minerals. The body needs a varied amount of vitamins and minerals for it to run properly. These vitamins and minerals are best obtained from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Processed foods are often low in vitamins and minerals and provide little benefit aside from calories.
  • Protein is necessary for the development of healthy muscle tissue and skin. If you’re recovering from a drug addiction, protein can help you build back any muscles that you may have lost.
  • Carbs provide the body with energy. However, refined carbs, like breads and sugars, are actually bad for your health. Look for complex carbs like those found in sweet potatoes and whole grains.

Different people require different amounts of the nutrients listed above. The best way to figure out your own particular nutritional needs is to talk to a nutritionist.

 

Why a Healthy Diet Is Important for Recovering Addicts

There are many reasons that a recovering addict would want to take care of their diet. Some of the more serious reasons include:

 

  • A good diet provides energy, which recovering addicts are often in need of.
  • A healthy diet can help to reduce levels of anxiety, which can be a triggering factor for people struggling with addiction. In fact, some nutritional deficiencies can even cause anxiety, which may make someone more likely to use drugs.
  • A diet rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients can help reduce damage to tissues and organs and can enhance longevity.
  • A healthy diet encourages a stable, positive mind state and can reduce emotional problems.

 

Following a healthy diet plan can also provide recovering drug users with a new fixation. Granted, it is possible to become too fixated on developing an ideal diet plan – however, if this is only a temporary fixation that helps to draw focus away from cravings and addiction, then it can be considered beneficial in the long run.

 

Conclusion

Psychotherapy, detoxification, and group meetings are staples for addicts in recovery. However, one oft-overlooked facet of a complete recovery is a healthy diet.

 

A healthy diet can bring recovering drug users back to baseline by providing them with energy and overall good health. If you or a loved one are going through addiction treatment, don’t forget to address the important issue of diet!

 

Written by Nigel Ford

4 Signs of a Relapse

For people in recovery, relapse is big concern. Relapse can be a step backward, compromising your hard-earned progress. Contrary to popular belief, relapse doesn’t happen abruptly. It creeps up on you in stages, and there are red flags before a person experiences a full-blown relapse.

Recklessness

Engaging in reckless behaviors or decision-making can impact your recovery even if those actions do not directly involve drugs or alcohol. Healthy risk-taking can aid recovery by helping you to move past your comfort zone but impulsive decisions can prove self-destructive, and lead you to pick up alcohol or drugs again.

Negative thoughts and emotions

Persistent feelings of self-pity, sadness, frustration, and isolation can impact your recovery. You may feel deprived during early recovery, but with treatment, you can learn how to cope with difficult emotions and establish healthy thinking patterns. If you notice yourself falling prey to negative thoughts and emotions, they may trigger a relapse.

Neglecting responsibilities

A lack of motivation to fulfill your responsibilities could be another red flag. If you find yourself, or your loved one in recovery, skipping support group meetings or falling out of your routine, seek help right away.

Lying and denial

Right before a relapse, people may tell themselves that a small amount of a substance won’t hurt. This is a dangerous thought for those in recovery. Alternately, the person may be making repeated excuses to cover up certain behaviors. Being honest and sound judgment are critical to a successful recovery.

Seek help if you spot any of the above-mentioned red flags.

 

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is second biggest killer among illegal drugs. However, recognizing the signs of cocaine addiction is not easy. You could look out for these red flags.

Signs of Cocaine Use

The effects of cocaine use start soon after consumption and may last about an hour. Some of these are immediate side effects while others are the result of prolonged use.

  • Physical Signs – Nosebleeds, jaw clenching, muscle twitches, tremors or shakiness, increased body temperature, weight loss
  • Mental / Emotional Signs – Excitability, overconfidence, mood swings, depression, restlessness, paranoia, talkativeness
  • Other signs – Social isolation, risky behaviors, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, poor personal hygiene, financial problems

Since the high from cocaine lasts a relatively short period, users may use several doses. Consuming large quantities can lead to unpredictable and even violent behavior. Such changes in your loved one’s behavior could be signs of a cocaine abuse problem.

Drug Paraphernalia

Apart from the signs mentioned above, there are other indications of cocaine use – drug paraphernalia, such as white powder buildup, syringes, or glass pipes. And some of these items may be hiding in plain sight. For instance, dollar bills in a wallet are normal but rolled up dollar bills in a drawer aren’t. Watch out for –

  • Dollar bills
  • Hollow pens
  • Snuff bullets
  • Small mirrors
  • Lockets and bulky rings
  • Small, re-sealable plastic bags
  • Razor blades
  • Plastic cards

Harmful Effects of Long-Term Cocaine Use

Symptoms of prolonged use include:

  • Loss of smell
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Tooth decay
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Severe depression
  • Seizures
  • Delirium or psychosis
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Lung damage
  • Heart disease
  • Rare autoimmune diseases
  • Permanent damage to blood vessels

If you suspect a loved one of cocaine use, seek help right away.

 

Is Medical Detox Necessary?

Medical detox is a necessary part of addiction treatment. It is the only way those suffering from addiction problems can return to a normal life without long term inpatient treatment. It is also the most important part of addiction recovery. Medical detox is the first step to recovery and is always supervised by medical professionals. Once medical detox is completed, the patient can begin the rest of the hard work on the road to recovery.

Medical detox is necessary because patients typically enter rehabilitation at a time when their drug use is at an all-time high. With drugs still active in their system, medical detox is necessary before taking any other steps. In many cases, addicts continue to use because the feeling of going through detox seems impossible to deal with. This is where medical professionals come into play. By getting help through medical detox, patients are allowed access to medications that can help lessen the symptoms of detox, and allow the patient to complete the process of detox, before continuing with his or her recovery.

 

Overcoming urge is one of the most challenging parts of addiction recovery. It is also one of the main reasons medical detox is necessary. Many people attempt to detox on their own. However, the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal typically result in relapse. Having medical professionals who use medications to alleviate those symptoms is key to making it through the first week of detox. These medications act on the brain in the same way drugs and alcohol do. This tricks the brain into allowing the body to detox, without as many unpleasant feelings as withdrawal on its own would normally cause.

After substances are entirely out of a person’s body, he or she is finally ready to begin the journey to recovery. Starting detox in a medical facility allows the patient access to mental health professionals, along with those who are helping with the physical symptoms of addiction. Addiction requires just as much psychological work as it does physical work. In addition to medical detox, counseling and therapy are equally as important in ensuring a successful recovery.

Medical detox allows for a safe withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. Normal withdrawal side effects include nausea, vomiting, shaking, diarrhea, bone or muscle pain, and seizures. In some cases, withdrawal can lead to death. For this reason, it is important to have the help of a medical professional. Surprisingly, alcohol can be one of the worst substances to detox from. The painful and unpleasant side effects of withdrawal often lead the patient to relapse. Fortunately, with the help of a medical team, full detox is possible, which allows the patient to continue on his or her road to recovery. With the physical state playing such a significant role, the mental state of a person addicted to substances is often forgotten about. Ensuring a strong support system of medical professionals, friends, and family is key in the road to recovery. Detoxification can seem like a very daunting process to go through alone. Fortunately, medical aid is available to help patients through the process.

Psilocybin Abuse

Psilocybin is a psychoactive substance contained in several species of mushrooms, which are consumed recreationally. Psilocybin/mushrooms are categorized as psychedelic drugs (or hallucinogens) and are considered to be a Schedule I controlled substance without any indications for medical use by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration 2. However, there is some evidence to suggest that it may have some therapeutic utility for some conditions, such as depression. Approximately, 1.2 million people over the age of 12 have been reported to be users of hallucinogens, and young people with a co-occurring major depressive disorder have been found to be more likely to use hallucinogenic drugs than those without that diagnosis.

These mushrooms containing psilocybin are typically ingested or drank as a brewed beverage. They are hallucinogenic and people consume it to experience a “good trip”, which are vivid perceptual effects (visual and auditory hallucinations) and changes in perception of time. Sometimes, user experience a “bad trip”, which comprise negative experiences while under the influence, and can have lasting effects on the user. Other symptoms include detachment from reality or self, feeling of spiritual experiences, intense emotions, increased respiration, temperature, and blood pressure, heart palpitations, tremors, loss of appetite, dry mouth, sleep disturbances, nausea, blurred vision, dilated pupils, loss of coordination, paranoia, and in extreme cases, psychosis. These users are prone to injury or death as a result of poor judgment while under the influence of psilocybin. Furthermore, they are also at increased risk of poisoning and potential death from accidentally ingesting a misidentified, poisonous mushroom.

These mushrooms containing psilocybin are typically ingested or drank as a brewed beverage

About 4.2% of the users experience what is known as the hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, which includes flashbacks or re-experiencing of psilocybin intoxication despite having abstained from magic mushroom use for an extended period of time.

Persistent use of psilocybin can indeed result in addiction. The signs of psilocybin addiction include craving for mushrooms and spending a lot of time and effort seeking them and using them despite failure to fulfill personal obligations, or having a concern for social/interpersonal problems or health issues. These abusers also repeatedly fail to cut down or quit using mushrooms.

Psilocybin/mushroom treatment becomes necessary for someone who abuses it to the point that they become out of touch with reality. The treatment plan is targeted at weaning them from psilocybin/mushroom dependency. The good news is that psilocybin is not that addictive, so there is no major chemical/pharmacologic dependence; however, the psychological dependence is quite strong. Things get complicated when there is polysubstance abuse. This is not uncommon in these users, as they tend to use other agents as well, such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, stimulants or opioids. Such users would always require a rigorous detox program and rehabilitation in order to have a full recovery. There are various programs especially designed to address not only these addiction issues but also the underlying psychological issues that predispose them to addiction in the first place.

Methods of Drug Detox

There are various types of drug detox programs depending upon the drug or substance of use. These methods can be very effective if chosen for the right condition. In addition to the type of the drug of abuse, other factors that play a role include the dose taken at the time the patient starts detox, the duration of addiction, and if there is polysubstance abuse determine the most appropriate type of detox. Some of the detox methods include “Cold-Turkey” detox, short-term medicated detox, long-term medicated detox, etc.

The “cold turkey” detox method entails stopping the use of all drugs with no pharmacologic assistance and with only medical care available for emergency situations. These patients experience the full brunt of the withdrawal symptoms with no help from supportive therapy. That makes it a feasible option for less intense addictions but for the rest, the cold turkey detox is not suitable and can be counterproductive, in fact dangerous.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed
Medical detox, on the other hand, is different because patients who opt for medical detox stop taking their substance of use but as they experience withdrawal symptoms, they are able to take certain medications for a limited period of time to ease discomfort. This is why this program is better tolerated and can handle slightly more intense forms of addictions. It is important to note that the medications administered/prescribed in this program are primarily for symptomatic relief, such as non-addictive sleep medication for insomnia or anxiety. The main idea is to minimize the degree of discomfort as these patients are detoxing.

If an alcoholic is undergoing medical detox, they are commonly given benzodiazepines to alleviate anxiety, jitteriness, insomnia, and to treat or prevent seizures, and they have a cross-tolerance with alcohol. However, in order to treat the use of opioid drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids, these medications have to be taken longer-term, especially partial agonists, such as methadone or the drug combination buprenorphine and naloxone (Suboxone). But over time, as the detox continues, they’ll often require lower doses of medication until they’re eventually drug-free.

It is important to make sure that first of all, the diagnosis is correctly made, and underlying medical conditions are addressed, then the right type of detox program is chosen. Regardless of the type of detox program chosen, it has to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.

Both these detox types can be carried out with the patient being at home, but it may not be the best option. The reasons for that are that it may not be entirely safe, given the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms or relapse with an overdose. It is also less effective given the higher chance of noncompliance. Overall, professional detox is safer, better tolerated and more effective in the end. Choosing the right professional detox is key, however. And at Pacificbayrecovery.com, we provide highly professional, evidence-based care to these patients.

Detoxification of Drug Use – What Steps are Necessary for Healing

Drug users have one thing on their minds - how and when will they get their next “high”.

Partying too many nights in a row during our college years …. Normal, yes! Staying out with friends and consuming too much alcohol, is tried by many people.

Getting asked to try drugs – now, that is a different animal altogether. Drug addiction is like a ferocious lion, that rears is loud roar constantly throughout the day until you feed it a pill, shot, hit or fix.

Drug users have one thing on their minds – how and when will they get their next “high”.  They fixate on thoughts of feeling euphoric, altering their state of being and the waves come crashing in around them.  Some are running from their past, carrying unnecessary baggage, numbing from tumultuous life situations and ultimately becoming addicted.

Addiction is not just being dependent upon “street drugs”, plenty of Americans become enslaved to prescription drugs, as well.

Users experience pleasurable sensations due to addiction itself or running away from painful life situations, they have not been able to find a solution for.

When users experience withdrawal, the side effects can be painfully excruciating.

Withdrawal Symptoms can Include the Following:

◻Feeling jitters/shaky/unable to control tremors

◻Headaches

◻Insomnia

◻Stress/anxiety/thoughts of suicide

◻Nauseous/flu-like symptoms/cramping in the abdominal area

◻Irritable

◻Sweating – like you are drenched – “more than a normal”

◻Blurred vision

Unfortunately, if users do not get to a detox center or treatment facility, where they will work on safely detoxifying – they could die.  Detoxing your body of harmful toxins is very challenging.  The process can be tricky and lengthy.

Drugs are depressants, just like alcohol and they alter chemicals in our body, increasing our adrenaline and producing erratic states of being.  Drug users are unpredictable and can cause bodily harm to themselves and others.

First step:  you must accept the fact and admit that you are an addict.  If we continue to lie to ourselves, we can’t face the reality of seeking proper treatment.  You must want to change your life and stay clean and sober.

Ouch …. What a major hurdle to step over but if we don’t admit our problem, it will never go away.  We will be running from ourselves for the rest of our lives. Wherever we go, there we are!  Everything becomes a blur, memories are forgotten or very distant and we isolate to hide our addictions.

Trained clinicians and passionate healthcare employees make a significant difference, on the road to recovery

Trained clinicians and passionate healthcare employees make a significant difference, on the road to recovery.  Here at  https://www.pacificbayrecovery.com/ we assist you in navigating successful care of life-altering addition.

Being just a number makes us feel less than, not important or cared for.  Here at Pacific Bay Recovery, we utilize a different approach to healing. You are treated as an individual, not an addict.  Each person that walks through our doors, is designed a different treatment recovery plan that is tailored specifically for them.

We want our patients to feel welcome, a part of instead of apart from and included like family.

We are here to help you succeed on your road to recovery!  We believe in you and will be here every step of the way.

Should you have any additional questions please send us a message https://www.pacificbayrecovery.com/contact/

Demi Lovato Hits Rock Bottom — Overdose Serves as a Wake-up Call

 

There is much work to be done and it will take a lot of courage, dedication and fierce resisting of temptations, while learning to recover from abusing drugs

Is it getting hot and saucy in here?  Time to turn up the heat at this party or cool it down to subzero?  Cocktails, slinky skirts, intellectual convos, and working with high-end elite, are what’s in the game.  However, it tends to be the things we don’t say, that could hurt us most.  When we hide behind life’s tremendous tribulations, drowning them with alcohol and drugs and wishing our burdens would magically diminish.  The latest Hollywood icon, Demi Lovato, a 25-year-old popstar, (singer, songwriter, and actress) opens our eyes to the reality of overdose!

Feeling invincible, experiencing fancy liquid courage and posh lifestyles, are all a part of glorifying celeb life.  Turning to a few drinks makes life easier to manage and keeps stress at bay. Drugs…. That is another beast to face and one Demi felt must have been her only solution.  What she wasn’t prepared to do was face rehab, the tumultuous road that lies ahead, towards a healthy journey and making positive decisions that will help her to heal.

Demi has been urged to check herself into a rehab facility after she leaves Cedars – Sinai hospital.  She has a laborious decision to make?  Heal or hurt and the choice is all hers!  Facing rumors, paparazzi, holding ceiling height standards and being in the limelight cannot be easy.  But, there won’t be any of that if she continues on this path.

R E H A B …. A scary word for some, comfort for others!  Perspective is everything when it comes to discussing your road to recovery!

There is much work to be done and it will take a lot of courage, dedication and fierce resisting of temptations while learning to recover from abusing drugs!

In the program, we want to make sure patients don’t “fall off the wagon” again.  At our facility, https://www.pacificbayrecovery.com/ we strive to “Navigate successful care of life altering addiction.”

A healthy lifestyle starts from within; loving ourselves, healing the parts of our past, learning how and who to forgive, not continuously stuffing our backpacks, exercising self-care and learning to say NO (it is a complete sentence).  What we think and speak about, we bring about.  If we are facing chaos and disconnect, we tend to isolate and learn to numb our feelings.

Rehab MUST be our solution to a better life.  The key is to learn from compassionate experts (like the ones at Pacific Bay Recovery) who want to see you rehabilitate your mind and body.

Phrases are used, such as “Keep coming back and one day at a time” for motivation and to stay clean and sober.  Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful and drugs are 10x worse than that.  Our clinicians and social workers need to be reassured that all patients grow through our treatment program!

Selecting abstinence from drugs is grueling.  Changing your habits is difficult.  Owning your stuff and making shift occur, won’t be a walk in the park.

Places such as PBR are here to help, not hurt.  We offer several treatment services and powerful programs that will fit your recovery needs. While we do have an incredible success rate – we want you to feel safe and will answer any questions you have.  You can contact us for more details https://www.pacificbayrecovery.com/contact/.

We believe in your progress and will help you on the road to getting your life back.

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.