Blog

what to pack for rehab

What To Pack for Rehab: Your Complete Packing List

A study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 90% of people who need rehab the most don’t go.

If you want to take back your life, going to a rehab facility that offers therapy and plenty of activities is your best chance at recovery.

If you or a loved one is getting ready for this incredible journey, here is a comprehensive list of what to pack for rehab to stay happy, comfortable, and safe.

1. What Should I Pack for Rehab? Things that Make You Feel Comfortable

Getting through the detox phase can be difficult, so keeping your comfort in mind is vital. Be sure to pack the right clothes and small mementos from loved ones so you can feel your best.

What to bring to rehab to wear:

  • A week’s worth of comfortable clothes
  • An exercise outfit
  • A modest bathing suit
  • Sneakers and flip flops
  • Cozy pajamas (and a bathrobe and slippers, if you choose)

Other small items to keep your spirits lifted:

  • Letters of encouragement from loved ones
  • Cherished photos
  • Tiny gifts or items that are extremely important to you
  • A cozy blanket that smells like home

Do keep in mind that space is limited at rehab facilities, so you don’t need to pack as much as you think. Since you’ll be able to do laundry, you only need a handful of outfits for your stay.

2. What to Pack for Rehab to Stay Healthy

Many people who go to rehab have pre-existing conditions that require medication to treat. When packing for rehab, make sure everything you bring has in-tact labels. Bringing unopened items is preferable.

Any medication should have your name, your doctor’s contact information, and the date of your prescription on the label. Make sure you bring enough medication for the duration of your stay.

If your rehab center doesn’t provide vitamins, you may want to pack a multivitamin to make sure your body stays healthy during your detox.

All essential toiletries like deodorant, mouthwash, toothpaste, makeup, shampoo and conditioner, soap, and sunscreen need to be alcohol-free.

3. A Journal Should Definitely Be on Your Rehab Packing List

Although it’s not essential like clothes or toiletries, a journal is highly recommended for anyone entering rehab.

Writing down your thoughts and experiences each day will help you reflect on your progress and process what’s happening. Not only is it uplifting to see how far you’ve come, but writing down your goals will also hold you more accountable.

4. Bring Entertainment that Doesn’t Require Internet

Smartphones, laptops, and other electronics are at the top of the list of what not to bring to rehab. Your stay is all about finding yourself. Unsupervised contact with the outside world can hurt your progress.

Paperback books and appropriate magazines are great ways to enjoy some downtime. Many facilities will offer several different types of entertainment so you don’t get bored. Small electronics like mp3 players are usually permitted if their only function is to store music.

5. Keep Small Bills and a Debit Card on Hand

You’ll need small bills and change if you want to get snacks from vending machines or use pay phones to speak with loved ones when allowed.

Lots of rehabs will organize small outings to the store so you can stock up on toiletries and snacks, so having a debit or credit card will allow you to make purchases.

Want to Go to the Best Rehab Facility in Florida?

Now that you know what to pack for rehab, you can make sure you or a loved one is prepared for the journey of getting clean.

If you want to go to an effective rehab center that utilizes the best methods, Pathways Florida would love to help you. Learn more about us to see why our facility helps so many people get sober.

fentanyl abuse

Fentanyl Abuse: Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Are you concerned that someone you love has fallen victim to Fentanyl abuse? 

This opioid is often initially prescribed to help patients recover from surgery and manage chronic pain. However, it’s one of the most addictive medications in the country — and it’s about 50 times more powerful than morphine and heroin. 

In fact, over 130 people die every day due to Fentanyl and other opioid abuse. 

So, what are the most common abuse of fentanyl symptoms? 

Keep on reading this post to find out what to look for, and learn where you can get help for yourself or someone you care about.

The Most Common Signs of Fentanyl Abuse

Over 11 million people have misused their opioid prescriptions in the past year alone. 

The Opioid Crisis has certainly put the spotlight on Fentanyl abuse, but it can be hard to know what to look for. 

The Physical Signs

First of all, you might notice that the person you suspect of abusing it is tired all of the time. The dreamlike state of a Fentanyl high is often called the “Opioid nod off.”

The abuser may fall asleep quickly and at random times. You may also notice that they breathe much more slowly when they’re asleep than they normally would. 

Physically, the abuser may also frequently vomit, complain of being dizzy, and even experience swelling in the hands and feet. 

They may often appear confused and disoriented and display a serious lack of focus overall. 

In some cases, you may notice that their pupils are seriously constricted and that they’re often scratching themselves. They may have a slower overall reaction time and they could even look flushed and red.

Other times, they may sweat and shake profusely — often, this is a sign that they’ve gone into a withdrawal. In order to mitigate these symptoms, they’ll need to take more of the drug.

The Emotional Signs

Someone who is addicted to Fentanyl may experience extreme mood swings. They can act euphoric and loving one moment, and then, when they come off the drug, become angry and even violent. 

You might have noticed they’ve been isolating themselves much more recently. They also seem incredibly anxious all of the time. They lash out at you for no reason, and you’ve even noticed that cash and valuables have gone missing. 

Interestingly, the emotional signs of an addiction are often much easier to spot than the physical ones. 

The abuser may have lost their job, compromised their relationships with friends and family, and even stopped partaking in hobbies and activities they once enjoyed. 

Getting Help for Fentanyl Abuse

Now that you know some of the most common signs of fentanyl abuse, we know that you want to learn more about how to get help for yourself or someone you love. 

Recovery is possible — but it will take serious commitment and expert care. You’ll also need to be able to detox in a safe and medically-monitored environment. 

We can help you to get your life back on track. 

Learn more about our treatment and recovery services, and get in touch with us when you’re ready to end an addiction to opioids. 

fentanyl treatment

Your Guide to Fentanyl Treatment & Recovery

On average, Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin. Learn about Fentanyl treatment and recovery before it’s too late.

Fentanyl is a prescription drug, but synthetic versions are also made on the streets. Either way, it only takes a little bit of Fentanyl to overdose. 

Here’s what you should know about Fentanyl addiction treatment and recovery.

Fentanyl Treatment: Detox

Anyone with a Fentanyl addiction will need a detox. Detox is the process of removing toxins from the body.

Detox must happen in a controlled medical environment like a rehab center. Stopping Fentanyl abuse cold turkey can be dangerous. Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms alone can be fatal if not treated by professionals.

During a medical detox, doctors prescribe medications to ease withdrawal symptoms. These prescriptions often include anti-convulsants, anti-anxiety medications, and more. 

Inpatient rehab programs perform detoxes. They also do the following:

Mental Health Diagnoses

Untreated mental illness is a common factor in drug addiction. During your stay at an inpatient rehab, doctors/mental health professionals treat mental illnesses. 

A doctor will see the patient and diagnose them. Then the doctor will prescribe relevant medication(s). The patient will then take the medications in a supervised environment.  

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Fentanyl addiction treatment involves CBT to change negative behaviors and thought patterns. During CBT, therapists talk patients through processing their experiences, responses, and feelings. CBT happens one-on-one and in group sessions.

CBT equips patients with better coping strategies to avoid relapse. It also helps patients deal with any underlying trauma that worsens their drug abuse. 

Additionally, CBT involves improving communication skills and taking accountability. 

Patients must be as honest as possible in treatment. For instance, if the patient has a habit of Fentanyl patch abuse, they must always disclose this fact.  

Therapy programs increase an individual’s chance of long-term recovery.   

Medical Maintenance Programs

Treating an opioid addiction like Fentanyl generally takes a year to complete. Completion and recovery vary on an individual basis.

To stay off Fentanyl, many people enter medical maintenance programs. These programs involve taking drugs like Methadone or Buprenorphine to reduce cravings.

Part of the program involves speaking to health professionals. This is to avoid abusing the maintenance drug.

Support Network

Once people leave inpatient programs, they must have a healthy support network. This includes family, friends, and professionals.

Many treatment centers provide education for friends and family. An individual’s chance of recovery increases with a good social support network.   

Start a Journey On The Road To Recovery

In the United States, over 72,000 people died from overdoses last year. Starting Fentanyl treatment can save lives.  

Fentanyl overdoses alone killed over 29,000 people in the United States last year. Unfortunately, Fentanyl use is on the rise, which means more overdoses are happening.   

Make an empowering decision and seek treatment for opiates today. It’s the healthiest thing you can do.  

drug and alcohol rehab

What to Expect: Guide to Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Did you know about 114 people die daily because of drugs, while about 6,748 get sent to emergency rooms for treatment?

This was an estimate raised by the Centers for Disease Control. It shows the severity of addiction and how it affects everyone.

If you or someone you know is down that path, don’t give up hope! The road to recovery is daunting, but it doesn’t mean you have to come in blind.

As you go for drug and alcohol rehab, here are some things that you may come across on your journey to sobriety:

1. Drug and Alcohol Rehab Can Be Scary and Unpredictable

When undergoing drug and alcohol rehabilitation, it can be scary and downright unpredictable. You may end up doubting yourself or wonder if your addiction is even severe when compared to others.

Oftentimes, you may feel shy and uncomfortable, especially during the first time. You may also feel embarrassed and ashamed. It will take time to ease in but everything will work out.

Do you feel like giving up? It may be because you feel that the program seems impossible to complete. You might feel like it won’t work.

It’s unpredictable but press on and push forward. You will get better. But if you are still uneasy about it, always remember you can still leave.

2. Detox and Withdrawal

One of the things you do in rehab is detoxification. Some rehab facilities have their own detox programs. A few rehab centers expect you to finish the detox process before stepping into their facilities.

A good reason behind this is due to how sustained alcohol or drug use can take a huge toll on both your physical and emotional health. You can find out more about how you can take on the detox process here.

3. Varying Facilities

Don’t expect every rehab facility to be the same. On one end, you have camp-type facilities designed to cater to teenagers. On the other, you have more luxurious facilities designed with a wealthy amount of amenities.

There are other facilities that hang between. They only give you enough to live comfortably.

It is true that the facilities you get to use will depend on how much you or your insurance plan are able to afford. However, it has little to do with how successful or effective the rehab program will be to keep you sober. Don’t look at the price tag; look at their track record in helping folks recover.

4. Education

Education is a core component for rehab and treatment programs, though this varies for each facility. Its aim is to help you look at your addiction in an honest and realistic approach. From there, you can work to change your attitude about your alcohol and drug use.

This also lets you understand the nature of your addiction. As well as help you look at the seriousness of the addiction that you have.

5. Therapy

One thing that you should know about what happens in rehab is that there are various kinds of therapy involved. Each facility would offer different ways to help you break away from your addiction.

The most common would involve group therapy and counseling. The 12-Step method is one of the most notable, though there are other forms of therapy that you can make use of. Some of these alternative forms of therapy include art, music, dance, neurofeedback, and so on.

Of course, they have an aftercare plan included in the program to prevent you from undergoing relapses and keep you sober.

We’re Here to Help You!

Going to drug and alcohol rehab can be a rather scary experience. However, we will be with you in every step of the way. If you wish to know more about what we treat and how we can help, feel free to contact us.

what is fentanyl

What Is Fentanyl? Everything You Need to Know

Over 4 billion prescriptions are filled a year, and the numbers are increasing.

Among those prescriptions opioids, specifically fentanyl. Doctors prescribe this drug for many reasons, but the dangers of it are significant. Have you or someone you know been prescribed fentanyl?

It’s likely you want to know the answer to “what is fentanyl” and how it can pose a threat to anyone who takes it. To find out more about this drug, continue reading this article. 

What Is Fentanyl? 

Fentanyl is described as an opioid whose strength is even greater than that of morphine. It has many forms, on and off the streets where it is sometimes sold illegally. 

What is fentanyl used for? 

There are many legal reasons why a doctor would prescribe such a drug to a patient. In some cases, patients will build tolerance toward some drugs that make them unable to work. In these cases, sometimes fentanyl is prescribed because of its strength. 

Other reasons are chronic pain, anesthetics, and post-surgery pain relief. It comes in the form of a shot or a patch in most cases. 

What Are the Side Effects of Fentanyl?

Like other synthetic opioids and drugs, fentanyl can pose many side effects. Common side effects include: 

  • Hallucinations 
  • Inability to empty bladder 
  • Breathlessness 
  • Fever
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness 
  • Chills
  • Upset stomach
  • Head pain
  • Weakness 
  • Anxiety 

The list of fentanyl side effects is very long. If these or other effects continue, you should always speak to your doctor.

As well as these effects, fentanyl poses a risk of addiction. It’s not always wise to keep using drugs as potent as fentanyl for long periods. Often, addiction is difficult to spot if someone has a high functioning addiction

Fentanyl and Addiction 

As mentioned above, fentanyl is addictive and can be deadly. Keep reading for the main reasons. 

1. It’s a Fast Acting Drug 

One of the most helpful things about fentanyl is how fast it works. The problem with that, though, is its potential for addiction. 

Not only can it be a problem for those who use it, but it’s also bad for those who find it. If a patch is left in the trash, anyone can still use what’s left. 

2. It’s Added Into Other Drugs 

We’ve already talked about the effectiveness of fentanyl. Pair it with other drugs, and it can be a problem. 

A lot of people are using this drug along with other drugs simultaneously. They’re adding things like heroin, oxycodone, and cocaine to it to make it more powerful. Mixing drugs makes them even more addictive and deadly. 

3. It Doesn’t Take Much 

Doctors know how powerful fentanyl is, which is why it’s given in small doses. People who sell it aren’t concerned with dose level, meaning a lot of people overdose. 

The risk for overdose is very real for Fentanyl by itself. Imagine if it were added to other’s and then consumed. It’s never a good idea to take this drug without the directions of a doctor. 

Treatment for Addiction 

What is fentanyl? Now, you know that it’s a deadly, addictive drug. Anyone taking fentanyl should be careful, and seek help if they become addicted. 

Do you or someone you know suffer from substance abuse? It can be difficult to sit by and watch loved ones struggle. Don’t let them go it on their own. Pathways is here to help with addiction treatment programs

drug relapse

5 Common Relapse Triggers and How to Fight Back

Did you know that drug relapse rates are around 40 to 60 percent?

That means, on average, 4 to 6 people who stop using a substance they were addicted to will start using again.

Oftentimes the cause for relapse is not clear, but in some situations, something triggered it. Whether it be a stressful situation or a bad breakup, drug relapse can happen to anyone.

That’s why knowing what the triggers are can be a lifesaver. If you know what may cause a relapse, you’ll be able to identify what may cause you to relapse.

Read on to learn more about relapse triggers.

1. Getting Too Comfortable

When someone gets clean from their addiction, it can be a rewarding experience. It’s a cause to celebrate!

But here’s the thing: getting too confident about it may make it more likely that you relapse.

If someone becomes too comfortable, odds are they might stop doing their relapse prevention plan. They may even start hanging out with people that got them started on the substance in the first place.

Make sure that after rehab, you stay on your outpatient care track. This will keep you from growing too confident in your sobriety.

2. Stress

Everyone has stress in their life, and most are able to cope with it. A little bit of stress can be a good thing, but too much of it can spell serious consequences for some.

Especially for people that are living a newly sober life, stress can create a feeling of need for that substance. Because the substance used to give a sense of safety, a person may often feel that it can create some form of balance in their life.

Stress can come from a number of different situations or events. Financial troubles, health problems, or a complicated family situation can all create enough stress to cause a relapse.

But seeing something stressful take place can also cause someone to relapse. It simply depends on the person and how much it takes to push them to the substance again.

3. Something Good Happening

This might sound silly at first, but something good happening can cause you to relapse. And because you won’t be on guard, this could be one of the more significant triggers.

Some good things might be:

  • Dating someone new.
  • Getting a new job or promotion.
  • Buying a new car or home.
  • Hitting a sobriety milestone.

All of these situations have the potential to trick you into thinking it might be okay to celebrate with an addictive substance. It’s best to avoid this at all costs.

Instead, invite some friends over or go out for dinner with them. Make sure that you’re around people while celebrating to avoid any potential relapse.

Are You Worried About Your Relapse Triggers?

After reading this article, you should be aware of some common situations, events, and feelings that could cause a relapse. Remember that everyone responds to relapse triggers differently than everyone else.

If you want to learn more about living after addiction, please visit our sober living page today.

spouse of an addict

5 Tips For Coping When You’re The Spouse Of An Addict

Lifeguard training 101.

There are two small steps critical to passing every emergency test scenario.

Many have had to re-take entire courses because they forget these two, vital components.

Dramatic rescue situations can make it difficult to remember important details. Tests with multiple-person saves or anything involving head, neck and back injuries require special procedures.

Nervous trainees tend to jump in the water at a swimmer’s first sign of distress. The moment they do, they fail the test.

What crucial steps are they missing? And what does this have to do with being the spouse of an addict?

So glad you asked.

Living as the Spouse of an Addict: The Missing Details that Cost Survival

Every team of aquatic directors has what’s known as an emergency action plan (EAP). A group of knowledgeable people put this plan together so that in the event of an emergency, a simple signal from a lifeguard activates an entire chain of events.

One person clears patrons out of harm’s way, while another helps with the rescue, while another stands by the phone ready to call an ambulance, while another comforts the families of the loved one in crisis, while another grabs the first aid kit… you get the picture.

If a lifeguard fails to give the EAP signal before a rescue commences, he/she is putting themselves and the lives of their patrons at great risk.

The second important detail starts as a sad truth. Drowning people are notorious killers.

It doesn’t matter how well a lifeguard can swim. If a panicked swimmer grabs hold of someone without a flotation device, they’re both going down!

This analogy is full of significance and translates almost effortlessly to situations involving loved-ones who struggle with addiction.

Let’s unpack some of this rich application together.

1. Community: Your EAP

When a spouse or loved one is struggling with addiction, it is vital to have a close, trustworthy community of at least 2 or more people.

One common theme of addiction is that it is closely linked to cycles of untruths. Often, lies told by the one struggling become so thick that the person telling them cannot even keep track of what is true.

The spouses of such persons will need consistent reminders of truth as the one struggling will try to cover up or make excuses for their decisions to engage in addictive behaviors.

The one struggling will often view your confiding in a friend or community as a betrayal. It will be difficult to convince them otherwise.

Be prepared for this, and be both gentle and unrelenting that it is your right to pull your support systems close during difficult times.

If you have trustworthy friends with whom you are comfortable sharing intimate truths, wonderful! You already know who to call.

However, married couples tend to isolate when times get rough. Perhaps you have pushed everyone away in your attempt to protect your loved one and hide from the unhappy truths that daily knock at your door.

Fortunately, there are many resources to choose from. Support groups, confidential online chatrooms, and meetings within spiritual organizations serve as places to process communally.

2. A Clear Commitment to Personal Health

Drowning people were given a pretty strong bad-rap in the first section. Of course, no one would consciously ask the person they love to die with them.

But when someone is panicked and drowning, they only have one thought.

“Keep your head above water at all cost.”

Through a commitment to personal health and wellness, you extend the “life tube” of hope to someone drowning in addiction.

To approach the situation any other way is to elongate the amount of time that the addiction persists. You enable the addiction when it is possible for your spouse to have both you and the addictive substance/process simultaneously.

As your loved-one goes through the process of rehab, they will need your affirmation and support. If you have neglected your own personal health, you will be incapable of constructive support when it is most useful.

Throughout the process, welcome your loved-one into your commitment to health.

“Hey babe, I am going on a jog. Would you like to join me?” or “I’m choosing not to stay inside this evening. Would you like to go on a double date with your friends?”

If he/she makes a decision not to join you, that is entirely their choice, but you have already behaved in a way that welcomes them into your healthy space.

Write up a regimen. Call an accountability partner. Does the day transform from gloomy to sunny after you’ve spent a good hour at the gym? Go daily.

Is your soul titillated when you read a well-written book? Excellent! Hide away four times a week and read.

This section on good health would be incomplete without addressing tears.

Contrary to popular belief, crying is healthy. Cry as much as you can; it is the farthest thing from weakness.

Your tears are a sign of deep grief, empathy, and often anger that things are not as they should be.

Friend, if your loved one is suffering under the weight of addiction, things are not as they should be. It is not the way of love to accept them as such. So, wear your tears proudly.

Fun fact: tears are our bodies natural way of processing and expelling the emotions discussed above. Stuff your tears and you will carry them until you cry them.

3. Know the Possible Outcomes Ahead of Time

Addiction effects marriage in cruel and decisive ways. It takes two people who have made commitments of honesty and vulnerability and makes a mockery of their commitment.

One of the first things a person will do when they believe their spouse is lying is check their husband/wife’s phone.

If they find nothing, they experience a mix of guilt and relief.

If they find their suspicions are true, they feel guilt and justified anger.

Save yourself the guilt! Become an expert in your spouse’s struggle, no snooping involved.

Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping, or pornography, addiction tends to follow predictable patterns.

Know the substances, the processes, and the different stages involved.

It is a mercy to your spouse if you are aware of where their struggle with addiction might lead. It may also help take the sting out of your being shocked by their behavior.

Part of the rehab process at most treatment centers is confessing one’s addiction behavior to spouses and lloved ones

It can serve as another form of self-care and protection to already have a good guess of where your spouse’s struggle has taken them before their moment of confession arrives.

4. Avoid Shaming Comments and Behavior

Think about addiction for a moment.

How many children do you know who are considering a life of addiction when they grow up?

It’s an absurd thought. No one desires a life of addiction.

If you were to ask anyone who is struggling with an addiction if this is the life they truly want for themselves? No one in a position of genuine vulnerability would say “yes.”

The truth is, addiction most naturally springs from places of deep shame. Layering shame on top of it will only bury the source deeper and increase a spouse’s appetite for the comforting addictive substance/process.

Decide as soon as possible, is health your aim? Or is it more important to save face?

It will be difficult when friends and acquaintances learn the truth of what is going on. Long sessions of rehab are particularly precarious to avoid in conversation.

There are endless sources of shame vying for the attention of your spouse, refuse to join the throng.

5. Understand that it Takes Time

Have you ever been awed by the power of a large waterfall?

They all begin as tiny streams that could be easily dammed or diverted.

When looking at a small stream, it seems absurd to think that one day it could become a Niagara Falls changing the shape of the earth the river below and eating a cliff into the rock and sediment beneath it!

This is the power of repetition.

Cycles of addiction function in the same manner.

Think of the brain activity as the water in the stream. What begins as a few small choices can end in a situation completely outside the addict’s actual ability to stop… without major reconstruction.

No one who pops a few small white pills ever imagines one day they’ll shoot poison into their veins for relief.

No one who throws up that second piece of cake imagines that one day they won’t be able to hold down a spinach salad.

Know what to expect with addiction, rehab, and possible relapse.

Addiction changes brains. It takes large amounts of time and radical re-positioning to find a different path that the “water” will be more apt to take.

Ready to find a Rehab Center?

The spouse of addict can have peace of mind when their loved one is at Pathways Treatment and Recovery Center in Florida. They have a variety of treatment program options, and their experts are committed to helping clients find wholeness and stability.

Check out what we treat and send us a message for more information.

how to spot an alcoholic

How To Spot An Alcoholic: An In-Depth Guide

According to research conducted in 2015, 15.1 million adults in the United States are alcoholics. Over a quarter of all adults have also admitted to binge drinking within the past month. However, how to spot an alcoholic isn’t always straightforward.

Many people picture alcoholics as those who are unable to live another life. Images of homeless individuals or someone unable to attend work because of their addiction is often what comes to mind. But this isn’t always the case.

Alcoholism isn’t just an addiction; it can be deadly. The same 2015 research stated that alcoholism is the third most common preventable death in the United States. The first two are obesity and tobacco.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the tell-tale signs of alcoholism. Many of them extend beyond what is typically associated with classic signs and symptoms.

How to Spot an Alcoholic: Lying About Behaviors

This can be a tricky one, as some alcoholics not only defy stereotypes, but also hold down jobs, marriages, and other relationships while being heavily addicted.

One big sign of alcoholism is lying about alcohol consumption. Although it can be difficult to monitor this in an adult, many family members will notice things over time that clue them in.

You may notice, for example, that alcohol in the house goes missing often, though no one admits to having drunk it. They may also see someone consuming large amounts of alcohol or see them drinking in excess when no one else is drinking.

Later, the same person who observed this behavior may notice that the alcoholic in question told someone they know that this behavior either never took place or that they drank far less than they actually did.

Deceit is a very common problem in addictions or dangerous disorders. It is prevalent amongst those who also suffer from drug addictions, eating disorders and other detrimental habits.

Drinking at Inappropriate Times

While we touched on drinking heavily when no one else is around, there are also other times when drinking may be a problem. An alcoholic might hide alcohol in other containers and drink throughout the day at work or school, for example.

They may also add alcohol to other drinks throughout the day, such as in their coffee or tea. While this is okay every once in a while, it is worrisome when it becomes a daily habit.

They may also drink in situations that they know could lead to danger, such as while caring for their children, operating heavy machinery or while driving. These potentially dangerous behaviors should be addressed immediately, as they can put other people’s lives at risk.

Many alcohol-dependent people drink at inappropriate times not only because they are mentally dependent, but have become physically dependent. Detoxing from alcohol can take a long time. It can also produce unwanted physical symptoms.

Alcohol withdrawal can happen just a few hours after the person has had their last drink. Symptoms include anxiety, headache, shakiness, nausea, vomiting, and insomnia. Some people who have been drinking for a long period of time may also experience seizures or hallucinations.

Typically, these symptoms go away once the body stops becoming dependent on alcohol. However, as these symptoms can get in the way of daily life, staving them off with more alcohol is common.

Developing a High Tolerance for Alcohol

Some people feel drunk or slightly buzzed after one or two drinks. Alcoholics have built up a tolerance for its effects, just like people build up a tolerance to medications. A person who is highly dependent on alcohol might be able to down many more beers or spirits than most other people without it seeming to affect them.

Mood Swings

Alcohol has a tendency to lower inhibitions. This is why security is out in full force in most locations where alcohol is present and people are likely to drink in excess.

However, if some is drinking in excess habitually, their behavior may become irrational, angry or even scary more often than usual.

Mood swings may come in the form of yelling at a spouse, relative, child or friend. Some may be physically aggressive, which is why alcohol often plays a role in abusive situations.

Other alcohol-dependent people may become weepy or emotional about situations in their lives. For many, this is not a usual behavior trait when they do not drink.

Most alcoholics have mood swings that switch very quickly from one extreme to the other. This can obviously be difficult for friends and family members trying to live with or support the person.

Becoming Flaky or Unreliable

Alcoholics can increasingly become unreliable as the problem worsens. Though it is important to note that this does not happen to everyone.

Some people erroneously believe that someone does not have an issue with alcohol if they don’t have attendance issues or are able to follow through on their commitments with friends and family.

This does not mean that some alcoholics don’t fall into this trap. Many times people stop showing up to places, including their work because they are hungover. Sometimes, they may be embarrassed because of their behavior under the influence and having to face those individuals again.

In some instances, alcoholics may avoid a situation simply so that they can stay home (or at another venue) and drink.

Often, they will be difficult to get ahold of. They may cancel plans at the very last minute, or simply not show up. Many will find it difficult to get in touch with them after they’ve neglected responsibilities, as not answering the phone or front door can also be a sign something is wrong.

Only Showing Up at Events Where There is Alcohol

If someone has a severe problem with drinking, they will resort to drinking at inappropriate times, as discussed above. Because of this, some may want to hide their inappropriate drinking by only showing up to events that are serving alcohol.

If the person in question is suddenly missing out on children’s birthday parties, work, school or dining at places that don’t serve alcohol, but always shows up at weddings or family gatherings involving substances, this can be a warning sign.

Avoiding Responsibilities

While we have discussed the inability to show up for events, school, work or other meetings, often other responsibilities are neglected. This can include not paying bills, not cleaning the house, neglecting children or animals, shirking off doctor or dental appointments and many others.

Some people with severe alcoholism may find it difficult to leave the house. This can be due to a variety of factors but also falls into the category of avoiding daily tasks.

Neglecting Appearance

Neglecting your appearance is a common issue with mental health decline. Someone who is very deep into their addiction may fail to wash for days, stop combing their hair, changing their clothes or even showering. They may have laundry piled up they haven’t done and wear dirty clothes instead.

Blacking Out

Most people have experienced a binge drinking blackout when they don’t remember what happened the night before after excessive alcohol consumption. This can be one of the earlier signs of alcoholism. When blacking out, people may consume even more alcohol than they intended and not even remember.

Memory blackouts can also lead to very dangerous behavior, including driving, biking or operating a motorcycle under the influence. This can, of course, not only put the person’s life at risk but also other people’s.

Clashing with the Police

As mentioned earlier, problematic drinking behavior can create aggression. Someone who is dependent on alcohol may drink in excess and not care about the consequences.

This can mean they have collected several citations for things like driving under the influence or disorderly conduct.

Often, these citations and fines do very little to curb their behavior. This is because they have become so dependent, they no longer care about the real world consequences of their behavior.

Unable to Maintain Relationships

Many alcoholics are unable to maintain relationships with their spouse, partner or family members. This is because they focus on alcohol over the other person. Often, the relationships become damaged, sometimes irreparably, because of the excessive drinking.

What to Do If You’ve Spotted This Behavior in a Friend or Family Member

If you’ve read this list of how to spot an alcoholic and feel this describes someone you know, it is important to find ways to encourage the person to receive treatment. While it may not be easy to get them there, rehab facilities are best equipped to deal with the reasons behind heavy drinking.

Visit our website for resources and programs to help intervene if you or a loved one are experiencing alcohol dependency.

All About Recovery: 12 Things To Know Before Enntering Rehab

all about recovery

Are you or a loved one struggling with a drug addiction?

You’re not alone. Over 20 million Americans regularly use or are addicted to, drugs. Your interest in rehab is already a positive first step. Entering into a program can be a life-changing decision. With that, can come the fear of the unknown.

We’ve laid out 12 tips, all about recovery, that can help you prepare for rehab and know what to expect.

Be Sure the Rehab Deals with Your Specific Addiction

It goes without saying that you’ll want to thoroughly research any rehab you plan to enter. If you’re not in a position to do this, ask a family member or friend to do the legwork.

Many programs offer targeted treatment for specific drug use. The type of detox and recovery path you’ll be taking will vary, for example, if you’re abusing opioids as opposed to a sedative. The more targeted the approach, the more likely recovery is in your future.

You’ll be frustrated to enter a clinic only to find a generalized recovery program because addiction and it’s treatment methods are not one-size-fits-all.

See What Your Insurance Will Cover

Rehab costs can add up quickly so it’s important to make arrangements beforehand so you know what you’re entering into financially and see if there are ways to receive help with payment.

While they likely won’t cover it all, many insurance plans will help with at least a portion of the clinic payment and this could be a game changer when it comes to selecting the right program and length of time you’ll want to stay.

Be sure to ask if the program you’re interested takes in insurance as well. Some don’t and so you may want to shop around until you find one that does.

Furthermore, if you’re employed fulltime, be sure to check your companies handbook for rules regarding medical leave. Some companies may continue to pay your salary during this time but there will be applications and paperwork you’ll need to fill out with Human Resources in order to sure you get it.

Ask All About Recovery & How the Clinic Handles Detoxing

Clinics will be happy to answer questions about what happens once admitted and how the detox process works. Depending on what drug you or your loved one is addicted to, the withdrawal process can be severe.

Withdrawal happens when a person stops taking a drug or substance their body is dependent on. It can result in nausea, vomiting, fever, confusion, and dizziness among other symptoms. Many clinics handle this process differently.

At some treatment centers, there is a weaning process, where the drug is tapered down in order to curb some of the withdrawal symptoms and minimize illness and suffering. Other places force you to stop the drug completely and at once.

Remember Addiction Is a Disease

As you or your loved one embark on the recovery process, it’s important not to put blame on the person with the addiction. Addiction is a disease of the brain, just like any other disease that infiltrates the body.

Because many people view drug abuse as a choice, the fact that it’s a disease is often lost and people feel like failures or as though they’ve done something wrong.

At the end of the day, the choice to use is yours but it’s imperative to approach healing with the awareness that you will always have a to fight the disease, in order to remain clean.

You Will Never Be Cured

Be gentle and patient with yourself. Although you will hopefully become sober in treatment, keep in mind that your treatment will need to continue and that there is no “cure” for addiction.

It is an ongoing process and you will have to treat yourself as an addict forever, even though it will hopefully be as a recovered addict. This awareness is what will keep you on a clean path because you will be implementing the work you learn in rehab long after you’ve checked out.

There Is No Right Way to Recover

Everyone is different and responds differently to various treatment methods. It’s important to note that not every tool or step will be beneficial for every person. Some may respond to certain things positively and know they can’t remain sober without them, while those same tools may be irrelevant for others.

That’s okay. If something isn’t working for you, don’t judge it or get frustrated with yourself or the process. Simply acknowledge that this may not be a powerful tool for you and your recovery and move on to trying something else.

Life After May Be More Challenging Than Rehab Itself

During your time in rehab, you will hopefully make significant strides in your effort toward recovery. It’s the most important and valuable first step but it’s just that, the first step.

Many people find the safety and routine of rehab to be comforting and the thing that keeps them on a positive path forward. When this tool is gone and you’re out in the real world, the work you must do to stay sober can become more challenging.

You aren’t working with the same counselors or doctors and the group of people you have met in rehab is no longer around. Don’t give up. Knowing the challenges of entering the real world after rehab can prepare you for it so you’re ready to remain sober after you check out.

You Will Have to Make More Changes

While in treatment, you will be urged in your work to think about what lifestyle changes need to be made once you’re back in the real world. Whatever you were doing before; places you hung out, people you were friends with, etc., clearly wasn’t working to help keep you sober. They will likely have to change or be reconsidered.

You’ll need to take inventory of the way you live, the things you do for fun, the people you hang out with and more, in order to determine what can stay and what or who, needs to go. Some of these people and places will be triggers that could challenge your sobriety, so you’ll want to avoid them at all costs once you’re back to your regular life.

Watch for Replacement Addictions

As we mentioned above, addiction is a disease of the brain. This means that while you may be able to stop using drugs, that drug could possibly be replaced by something else negative.

Once they’ve stopped their drug use, many addicts take up smoking. This is a common replacement that is, of course, terrible for you. People may find themselves diving into toxic sexual relationships, excessively gambling, becoming heavy shoppers and more.

Addictive behavior can manifest in many ways other than drug use. Keep an eye on your loved one to see if a substitute is taking place.

It’s Okay to Grieve

You know you’re getting better but with that, you are losing something that has been with you for some time. Allow yourself to grieve that loss. For many addicts, their drug has become their best friend, their closest confidant and the thing that has allowed them to function for however long they’ve been using.

With that loss comes the loss of what people deem as “having fun”. There is often a sense that the fun of life is over now that you’re sober, you’ll never get to feel the way you’ve loved feeling ever again.

Grieving this loss is healthy and natural. You are saying a proper goodbye to something that has been a part of you for so long. Grieving it will also help you move on and leave it behind.

Your Social Life Will Change

More likely than not, the people you surrounded yourself with while you were using are not going to be the people you want to be around once sober. Are these the people you partied with? Used with? Even the people who got you the drugs in the first place?

While some of these people may be close friends, if they use or were with you while you were using and enabled you, you’ll want to cut ties or at least create a significant distance. It may be hard at first for them to understand but if they love you and are truly supportive or your recovery, they will. If not, you shouldn’t be around them anyway.

Relapse Is a Re-Start, Not an End

You are fighting a disease and relapsing is very common. Don’t get down on yourself, blame yourself or believe this is the end of the road for you and you’re doomed to a lifetime of drug use.

Take the relapse as a moment to restart; acknowledge the slip-up, seek further treatment, either with rehab or meetings and get back on your path. The longer you dwell on the relapse or beat yourself up about it, the more precious work and time you’re taking away from your recovery.

Try to Keep an Open Mind

Now that you’ve read all about recovery, you’re ready to take the big first step and enter rehab. Remember that you’re seeking treatment and that is the best thing you can do to take care of yourself.

Be patient and kind to yourself and do your best to enter the program with an open mind.

If you’d like more information about our various treatment programs, please contact us today and visit our blog for more useful information.

How Are Short-Term Detox Programs Different From Rehab?

detox programs

Have you recently come to the conclusion that you or a loved one needs help with their addiction? Realizing the need for help is a huge step, deciding what to do next is equally as important.

If you’re new to the world of treatment centers, detox, aftercare, and similar facilities, you might be concerned with choosing the right fit. That is okay and to be expected.

In fact, many people experience great anxiety over deciding to get clean, choosing a facility and what lies ahead.

The best thing to do is what you’re doing currently–research the differences between detox programs and drug rehabs. This will make your decision easier as well as informed.

Keep reading for more information to help choose which type of facility is right for you or your loved one!

Benefits of Detox Programs

Both detox programs and rehab centers have benefits. It is important to discuss each of these benefits as well as their drawbacks to paint a full picture of each type of facility.

The first benefit of entering a detox-only program is the cost. If you or your loved one has health insurance, the majority of it should be covered by the plan. Even if this cost is minimally covered, a detox hospital is still far cheaper than a full-blown inpatient treatment.

If health insurance isn’t available, the cost of a detox center is going to be far cheaper than even choosing an outpatient program.

Something else to consider is the time factor. Detox programs are typically around three days to one week. This means less time missed from work, family, and life in general.

For single parents, it could be difficult to find a babysitter or nanny for an entire month away. With detox units, this problem is almost eliminated.

Probably the best thing about going through an actual detox program (not doing it yourself, at home) is the fact that there is a full staff of doctors and nurses.

These people aren’t there to pass judgment, criticize choices, or lecture you on drugs. They’re there to help ease the pain of drugs leaving your system.

The staff will administer the correct medications to ensure the physical detox is as comfortable as possible, take vital signs, and watch for any signs of complications. These complications can include seizures, dehydration, and even fever, all of which can be deadly.

12-step groups are also known to make visits to detox units. These groups hold meetings for the patients to get them acquainted with the different programs available. This is an excellent source of information for those that don’t have the time, resources or want to attend an inpatient rehab.

Benefits of Choosing a Rehab

If this is the first time you’ve dealt with treatment centers, detox, or any type of program of this nature, a rehab might be a good choice. Many rehab centers offer a medical detox program included with the cost.

Similar to detox, the cost of a rehab could be covered by insurance. However, choosing a rehab will cost time. Once you’ve entered an inpatient program, you’re there for 28 days or longer.

Although 28 days seems like a long time and a lot of work missed, it actually can be a great foundation for your recovery. While inpatient, you’ll receive therapy and counseling for addiction and any co-occurring disorders.

Staying at a rehab includes access to medical staff like doctors and nurses, as well as clinicians like psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, and social workers. There is also the benefit of communication with other patients that have been there for a while who can relate to what you’re going through.

Rehab facilities have different types of treatment including those that are 12-step based, faith-based, or holistic. Regardless of the type of rehab you choose, you will gain a great foundation in that recovery.

You might be worried about not seeing your loved ones for an extended period of time. Usually, after the first week, you are allowed phone contact as well as visits from them on certain days.

While in a rehab treatment center, it’s likely that you’ll form bonds with other patients. This is often encouraged although with restrictions. Many times the people you’re in treatment with will end up at the same meetings once released.

It may seem odd, but this gives a sense of friendship and community when you’re new to the recovery world.

Finally, if you’re a foodie and love to eat, rehab has some great, healthy food! While in active addiction, people deprive their bodies of the proper sustenance they need to function. Rehabs take care to feed their patients healthy and delicious food to further their recovery.

Drawbacks of Choosing Detox Only

Detox is less expensive than rehab and does a great job at helping an addict or alcoholic remove the toxins and drugs from their body. However, detox units can’t keep a patient long enough to teach them how to live sober.

Unfortunately, because of the short period of time spent, patients don’t have the time to get to know other people further in their recovery. This short amount of time also doesn’t allow any other mental disorders to be diagnosed or treated.

Drug detox programs can also be a haven of sorts for addicts who have no intention of getting clean but are on the outs with their family. For those that are trying to better their lives, these types can throw a wrench in the plans.

Finally, detox units are often in a hospital setting. This often means hospital food… and while nutritious, it isn’t always the best tasting.

The Problem With Rehabs

Drug rehabs are great in many ways, but they do pull the patient away from their family and work for about one month. This can be worth it if the patient decides to live by what is taught and remain sober.

However, many times this isn’t the case. After the first treatment, many addicts see a second and third trip to the facility. This is an expense that adds up quickly. If the patient decides to leave against medical advice, insurance often doesn’t pay for it.

Mentioned earlier was the fact that you’ll meet other people that will probably be at the same meetings or functions. While this is great, relapse does happen. Being friends with people you went to rehab with is great, but can also put you at risk for relapse.

This isn’t to say that rehabs are bad or that they don’t work, just that forcing an addict into one doesn’t often go as planned.

There is no Real ‘Winner’

No matter which type of facility you check into, there isn’t truly a right or wrong choice. Overall, rehabs and detox units have many, many benefits and picking one or the other is about finding the right fit for the person and situation.

Many people don’t want to spend a month or longer away from their family. Some already have a foundation in recovery and just slipped up for an extended period of time. Other patients might not have access to the amount of money needed for the co-payment on a rehab. These are all great fits for a short-term detox hospital.

On the opposite hand, addicts and alcoholics that haven’t been to a rehab facility before may benefit from the in-depth education they receive on addiction. Likewise, if they can afford to miss work, and haven’t been introduced to the recovery community (12-step, etc) they may find that choosing a rehab fits their needs.

Oftentimes, rehabs include the patient’s family. This added part can mean that the family learns about addiction, how not to enable the addict, boundary setting, and even some counseling between the patient and family members.

Again, because a detox hospital only keeps the patient for a short amount of time, the family counseling doesn’t happen. Although this therapy might be helpful in some settings, it isn’t always.

Some patients have burned all bridges to their families. Other families enable the addict because of their own addictions. Sometimes those relationships are just too far gone to be helped in that short amount of time.

Final Thoughts

There is no 100% right answer on if detox programs or rehabs are the better choice for an addict or alcoholic. Each case and each patient are different.

If you feel strongly that one is better for your or your loved one over the other, consider talking to several facilities and detox hospitals. There is also always the option to admit into a detox hospital and further decide on a treatment facility.

You should also note that many treatment facilities also offer a medical detox program that leads directly into the rehab once you’re feeling better.

Regardless as to what your choice is, you’re getting yourself or your loved one help. That is truly something to be proud of.

When you’re ready to start your life again and make a decision on which type of facility is best for you, contact us!