When I went to drug rehab for the first time I was merely expecting to learn how to not do drugs. I had no idea that drug rehab was going to consist of something more than just facing my drug addiction. Don’t get me wrong, facing my drug addiction was a big deal, no doubt, but I also learned a lot of things about myself. Some of these things I learned made me seriously uncomfortable and others were exciting and profound! Regardless of what they were they helped me to build a foundation for my recovery and I still carry many of these surprising things I learned in drug rehab with me today.
Here are 5 (surprising) things I learned in drug rehab:
- How to grocery shop: I am not sure about anyone else, but I didn’t do much grocery shopping in my addiction. And if I did do any grocery shopping I was making a bee line for the ice cream section for my daily recommended serving of sugar in a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia; that or the beer section. What I learned in drug rehab was how to manage a specific amount of money and to plan meals ahead of time for when I went grocery shopping. Needless to say in drug rehab my eating habits weren’t much better than they were before (you would still see Cherry Garcia in my cart but that wouldn’t be the only thing in there), that has taken some time, but I learned how to make a list, manage money, and get foods to actually make meals and eat for a week.
- How to not hate women: I know that sounds harsh but the truth was I didn’t like women. I thought women were catty and mean. I felt as if women were always out to screw me over. So simply put, in drug rehab I hated women initially. What I learned in drug rehab was that I didn’t hate women; I hated myself as a woman. It wasn’t the fact that these women were catty; it was the fact that I was catty. It wasn’t that they were mean; I was mean. What I knew I was capable of, I thought other women were capable of too. What I learned in drug rehab was how to not hate women and therefore no longer hate myself.
- How to do things I didn’t really want to do: As an addict, I am very impulsive and driven by feelings and emotions. When I didn’t feel like doing something in drug rehab I would just not do it. For instance, making my bed? Nope, not going to happen. What I learned in drug rehab was that sometimes in life you have to do things you don’t really feel like doing because they are the right thing to do. Through doing things I didn’t want to do what I truly learned in drug rehab was discipline and perseverance.
- How selfish I really was: I definitely wasn’t in denial about the times when I was being selfish but I had never realized that really my entire existence up into the point I became aware of it, was selfish. What I learned in drug rehab was that I was on borrowed time. That I am already given way too much by being allowed to live life and even go to rehab! For me, my drug use should have ended in a prison sentence or death; to be in rehab and still alive was more than I could ask for. But there I was, obviously still alive and getting sober for a reason. And all I could think about was my problems, what I needed and what I wanted and how unhappy I was. How selfish, right? When I learned how selfish I was in drug rehab my life started changing drastically.
- That drug rehab won’t keep me sober: This seems contradictory I know. But what I learned in drug rehab is that drug rehab can’t keep me sober. Drug rehab can teach me many things and those things I can carry with me but it won’t keep me sober. I need a working and ever present program of action, and once I leave drug rehab it no longer gives me that. Luckily, most drug rehabs teach you that drug rehab can’t keep you sober and they give you a solution for that; they recommend a 12 step fellowship. My drug rehab offered 12 step meetings every night because they knew that drug rehab was going to end, and I was going to have to continue on with something. The 12 step fellowship I have is in AA and it is the reason I have managed to stay in sobriety and I learned that in drug rehab.
Everyone learns different things in drug rehab. What I know is that I learned exactly what I needed to know at the time and that I still carry these things with me. I go grocery shopping and I am not surviving on Ben and Jerry’s, I don’t hate women, I do things I don’t really feel like doing every (like working out), I try to practice selflessness so I am not so selfish, and I have another way to sober other than drug rehab. I wasn’t expecting to learn these things in drug rehab, but I am so glad I did.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-951-6135.
Borderline personality disorder is recognized by a few characteristics that are also commonly seen in someone with an addiction. The characteristics of borderline personality disorder are someone who is highly manipulative, dependent, and dramatic. There is more to borderline personality disorder though.
Mental health professionals know that this kind of behavior stems from a way to cope with overwhelming fear and emotional pain, even if it is dysfunctional. The pain and emotional instability as well as impulsive behavior put someone with a borderline personality disorder at a high risk for addiction or can be confused with addiction and in some cases where both are apparent, aggravate the symptoms.
Addiction and borderline personality disorder are hard to diagnose
When addiction and borderline personality disorder overlap it can be really hard to treat. The similarities between addiction and borderline personality disorder can make a proper diagnosis nearly impossible. Here are some examples of when addiction and borderline personality disorder overlap.
- Both are characterized by impulsive, self-destructive behaviors.
- Both may be characterized by mood swings ranging from severe depression to manic periods of intense energy.
- Both may be characterized by manipulative, deceitful actions.
- Both may be characterized by a lack of concern for one’s own health and safety and an insistence on pursuing dangerous behavior in spite of the risks.
- Both are often characterized by a pattern of instability in relationships, jobs and finances.
Suicidal behavior, moodiness, depression and paranoia are all symptoms commonly associated with drug and alcohol addiction as well as borderline personality disorder also. This is why it is really important that someone with a drug addiction try to find a dual diagnosis program that can successfully diagnose between mental illness and drug abuse.
So how do you treat addiction and borderline personality disorder?
Treating addiction and borderline personality disorder is notoriously known among mental health professionals as being difficult. Clients with addiction and borderline personality disorder often times will make unrealistic demands of their therapists and will most likely require constant contact with their treatment team. Someone with an addiction and borderline personality disorder may come off as dependent because they are often times searching for caretakers who can fulfill their emotional need. Or they can be the exact opposite and fight against their “care takers”; becoming hostile, paranoid and angry for no reason. This is especially true of someone with a borderline personality disorder and the addiction just heightens it.
One of the most successful ways to approach addiction and borderline personality disorder is Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT. DBT is based on the principle that change can be balanced with self-acceptance. DBT helps individuals with severe psychiatric disorder build meaningful and stable lives. This is especially important in someone with an addiction and borderline personality disorder. Why? When someone has an addiction it may seem as if they have a mental illness when they really don’t so using medication to treatment mental health issues could be dangerous for someone who has an addiction. Until an addict recovers somewhat it is best to use some kind of psychotherapy until a proper diagnosis can be determined. This is part of the reason DBT is so great for someone with an addiction and a borderline personality disorder. DBT is offered at most drug and alcohol treatment centers including Palm Partners. Here are some benefits of a dual diagnosis program that offers DBT for addiction and borderline personality disorder:
- Helping the client find the motivation to make significant changes in her life
- Teaching the client to manage moods and handle triggers through practical skills like mindfulness training
- Eliminating the environmental cues and social connections that promote substance abuse
- Reducing the craving to drink or abuse drugs
- Identifying and pursuing meaningful, self-affirming activities that provide a sense of connection to others
- Helping the client achieve set and achieve manageable recovery goals, like staying sober for 24 hours at a time
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-821-9584.
Meth or methamphetamine is a powerful central nervous stimulant that is considered to be the most powerful “upper” on the street. The physical side effects of meth make it fairly easy to spot an addict. Meth impairs people to the point where they really cannot cover up their behaviors (like severe insomnia and paranoia) or hide their meth use (meth mouth, scabs on skin) from anyone. Yet, it is good to know the signs of meth addiction for yourself or for your loved one so if you ever come across a situation where someone using meth needs help you can be there.
Here are 5 signs of meth addiction:
- Irregular sleeping patterns
Because meth is such a powerful central nervous stimulant, those who have a meth addiction will usually have weird sleep patterns. This is because one of the biggest side effects of meth is wakefulness. People with a meth addiction are usually awake for days on end and then crash for long periods of time. This means that if you notice someone has been awake for a few days or up all night frequently and then sleeps for a few days; they could have a meth addiction. Granted, irregular sleep patterns can be chalked up to many different things, some as simple as a different sleep schedule or diet but that is why there are 4 more signs of meth addiction.
Meth is a powerful drug as we have said many times now and some other side effects of it are hallucinations (auditory and visual) as well as intense anxiety and paranoia. The extreme paranoia comes from a mix of, lack of sleep and the drug itself. Someone with a meth addiction will be afraid to use their computer, will want to lock their doors, will be very anxious and frightened easily etc.
One of the biggest signs of meth addiction is weight loss. Just like many people who have a cocaine addiction lose weight because it decreases appetite; the same goes for meth. Meth because it is a stimulant decreases the appetite of the meth user so they will not eat nearly as much and will drop weight rapidly. Weight loss over a long period of time is not what we are talking about either, we are talking about rapid weight loss. Many times someone with a meth addiction won’t eat for days on end and will drop 5 to 10 pounds in a matter of a week.
Someone with a meth addiction will often look frenzied and wide eyed. Their eye lids will seem glued open, they will have bags under them and their pupils will be dilated. This mixed with weight loss and a frantic attitude can make someone with a meth addiction seem pretty wild and crazy looking and this is definitely a sign they need help. As with all central nervous system depressants the pupils in the eyes become larger with drug use. So pay attention to the eyes if you are looking for signs of meth addiction.
- Meth mouth and grinding teeth
Meth mouth and bruxism or grinding teeth usually are symptoms that show up when someone who has a meth addiction is still high on meth and has been using it for a long time. Meth mouth is exactly what you see in many meth ads that are meant to keep you from wanting to use the drug. The teeth begin to rot or fall out and the mouth becomes dry. Those with a meth addiction will also grind their teeth vigorously while they are high. This can cause the teeth to fall out, be worn down, and to rot due to the loss of enamel. Many times a person with a meth addiction is not aware they are doing it while high on meth only after they sober up and the pain in their jaw is immense. Often times they will be swollen from grinding their teeth and in so much pain they can’t eat solid food.
There are many more signs of meth addiction such as wounds on the body from picking, more severe meth mouth, more extreme weight loss, having no money, lying, stealing, needle marks on the arms and hands if they are shooting meth etc. If someone you know has the signs of meth addiction don’t hesitate to try and help them. Meth is a dangerous drug and is very addictive. Many times people who have a meth addiction want to stop and just cant.
If you or your loved one is in need of treatment for alcohol or drug addiction please give us a call at 800-821-9584.