Author: Shernide Delva
There are two sides to every story, and when it comes to alcoholism, the same saying holds truth. A new study examined the changes in the brain that makes a person prone to alcoholism. What they discovered is that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone and impulsive.
Anxiety and impulse control issues are common among alcoholics and the difference between the two could lie in changes in the brain tissues. The brain tissue of alcoholics experience changes that are different from the non-alcoholic brain. Over time, the brain tissue changes from consuming alcohol. Researchers have discovered that there are two types of alcoholic brains: anxiety-prone (Type I) and impulsive-depressive (Type II) and brain changes are exclusive to one type or the other.
Type I Alcoholics: Type I alcoholics typically become dependent on alcohol later in life. These types are prone to anxiety and use alcohol increasingly to resolve these issues.
Type II Alcoholics: These types tend to get hooked on alcohol at a younger age and exhibit anti-social impulsive behaviors.
The brain is a complex organ so not every alcoholic fit into these two categories, the researchers noted.
“From the viewpoint of the study setting, this division was made in order to highlight the wide spectrum of people suffering from alcohol dependence,” said lead researcher Olli Kärkkäinen. “The reality, of course, is far more diverse, and not every alcoholic fits into one of these categories.”
Regardless of what “type” of an alcoholic you are, there are similarities in the brain of all alcoholic. All alcoholics have an increase of a steroid hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone that affects the central nervous system. This could explain why many alcoholics become tolerant to the effects of alcohol after chronic, long-term use.
In addition, all alcoholics showed decreased levels of serotonin transporters in brain regions. This means that alcoholics have difficulty with mood regulation. They tend to be seeking this happy chemical and have a decreased level of serotonin transporters in the brain. This could explain why many alcoholics experience social anxiety.
Researchers will be using the results from this study to come up with new treatments for alcoholism that take into account the distinct differences between Type I and Type II brains.
“These findings enhance our understanding of changes in the brain that make people prone to alcoholism and that are caused by long-term use,” said researcher Kärkkäinen. “Such information is useful for developing new drug therapies for alcoholism, and for targeting existing treatments at patients who will benefit the most.”
In Western countries, it has been estimated that around 10-15% of the population qualify as alcohol-dependent. Across the world, alcohol is causing as much damage as all illegal substances combined. It is important to note these differences so medical personnel knows how these cases can differentiate.
Most of all, it is important that those who have struggled with alcoholism to seek help as early as possible. People who drink large amounts of alcohol for long periods of time run the risk of developing serious and persistent changes in the brain. The damage could be a combination of the alcohol consumptions along with poor general health.
Often, alcoholics have deficiencies in their health. Thiamine deficiency is extremely common in those with alcoholism and is a result of overall poor nutrition. Also, it can be hard for those struggling to make staying healthy a priority. Thiamine is crucial to the brain. It is an essential nutrient required by all tissues, including the brain. Many foods in the United States are fortified with thiamine; therefore, the average healthy person consumes enough of it.
Alcoholism can cause major damage to your brain and overall health if left untreated. This article simply confirms the reason why it is so important that those struggling with alcoholism seek professional help. Trying to fix the problem on your own is not the best solution, especially when you are not aware of how your mind and body is functioning. We are here to help. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, don’t wait. Please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.
(This content is being used for illustrative purposes only; any person depicted in the content is a model.)
What to Expect from Drug and Alcohol Treatment: How It Works
A drug and alcohol treatment facility or program is a medical and residential program that specializes in helping you get off drugs and alcohol. A medical staff monitors you and administers medicine to alleviate your withdrawal symptoms so that your detox and recovery are safe and comfortable.
What to Expect from Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Alcohol Detox
If you are dependent on alcohol, you will require the help that a drug and alcohol treatment program can offer. It’s not safe to go “cold turkey,” suddenly stopping your drinking. The staff at the drug and alcohol treatment facility is trained to help and administer certain medications in order to ease your withdrawal symptoms.
Alcohol withdrawal syndrome is a medical condition that results when you stop drinking once you are physically dependent on alcohol. The withdrawal symptoms from alcohol dependence can range in severity, from mild such as insomnia and anxiety to severe and life-threatening, such as convulsions, which can lead to death. Alcohol withdrawal syndrome can cause seizures, delirium tremens, also known as “the shakes,” anxiety, panic attacks, and paranoia.
What to Expect from Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Drug Detox
The withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other drugs can be extremely uncomfortable, even painful, psychologically disturbing and can result in death. So much so that, many people in your situation say that the biggest obstacle to their recovery is their fear of withdrawal symptoms. The staff at the drug and alcohol treatment facility can address your withdrawal symptoms from a number of different drugs, not just alcohol.
If you are using opiates, such as the prescription painkillers oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone or heroin, the withdrawals aren’t life-threatening however, in some cases, people have experienced seizures when they stopped on their own. Alcohol and drug treatment programs can help alleviate your withdrawal symptoms and you will be able to manage them much more comfortably.
If you are dependent on benzos, such as Xanax or Valium, or barbiturates then a medical drug detox is necessary. Just like with alcohol withdrawal syndrome, benzo withdrawal syndrome is potentially fatal. Severe symptoms are seizure, heart failure, stroke, coma, and death.
If you are addicted to amphetamines, such as cocaine and crack, and methamphetamine, such as crystal meth, the withdrawals include uncomfortable and frightening psychological symptoms such as hallucinations and extreme paranoia. The drug and alcohol treatment programs are equipped for treating these symptoms as well.
What to Expect from Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Rehab
After detox, which may last from 4 to 10 days depending on your progress, you will enter the next level of the program offered at your drug and alcohol treatment. A detox program is not enough, on its own.
Real recovery begins with the residential inpatient rehabilitation level of treatment, called “rehab” for short. This can last up to 30 days, which really is only a drop in the bucket compared to a lifetime. At the rehab level, you will reside in a safe and comfortable environment where all of your needs will be met.
You will be kept comfortable, have case management support, and will have medical services provided. You will attend meetings, called groups, where you will learn about substance abuse and be given the tools to use once you complete the program so that you don’t get caught up in drugs and alcohol again. You will also have group and individual therapy sessions where you can address any dual diagnosis, or co-occurring issues such as depression, anxiety, as well as trauma-related issues.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and don’t know what to expect from a drug and alcohol treatment, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135 so that you can speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available around the clock to answer your questions and help you decide what’s next.
Author: Justin Mckibben
Every once in a while people who are actively addicted to using and abusing drugs or alcohol have co-dependent drug-related relationships with their loved ones, and once in a while they both decide they want to change their lives, or one talks the other into at least giving it a shot. The question then becomes should you go to treatment with a loved one when trying to give up drugs or alcohol?
The following article is simply based on my own experience. I’m obviously not an authority on these subjects by any means, and I am not an expert on any level of therapeutic values and what will or will not work. What I can say is my opinion here is based off of having experienced treatment with a loved one, and knowing how it affected my recovery at the time. I am not in the business of telling anyone what to do, but I have also witnessed other loved ones in treatment together.
One Big Addicted Family
I will start by explaining my personal experience, and the various elements of that situation. My first time in treatment for drug addiction, I was talked into going- by my ex-fiancé, who went to treatment with me. So it was myself, and the girl I had been using drugs, drinking, and experiencing up’s and down’s of a love-life with in rehab. Next, her brother- who has been a close friend of mine- decided to come too, so a few days after we arrived he showed up to treatment with us. Yes, you read that right. It was:
- My (on and off) Fiancé
- Her Brother (My Best Friend)
All of us in rehab together?! Yes, we were like one big addicted family. We had all used together, and did other things in order to get drugs and drink together, so we figured why not get clean together. Now again, I will say that this is just my personal opinion, and what happened to me when I was in treatment with my loved ones.
Enabling Old Behavior
While in treatment with loved ones who had known me for years, it was easier to remain stuck in my old mind state. Because regardless of what happened I knew the connection I had with these people was going to exist. Even though my loved ones sometimes took the opportunities to call me out on the things I was doing wrong, or the issues I was avoiding, there was still a fair amount of moments when they co-signed and enabled my old behaviors because it suited our relationship better that way.
In all honesty, when a situation in treatment is brought up that has the potential to threaten that relationship, a lot of people will instinctually say or do things that protect the ones they love from the truth that they need to hear. If I was doing something that was not conducive to my recovery, my loved ones would probably enable me if it was easier to save face and avoid painful conversations.
This was especially true with my ex-fiancé, because we wanted to get through our relationship problems, but we hoped that they would disappear when we were clean and sober. Sadly, this was not the case. Too many issues had been swept under the rug or festering in silence by the time we both got the clarity that sobriety afforded us. Even though we initially avoided the hard truth by letting each other do questionable things, we inevitably felt the reality of our discrepancies and parted ways before treatment ended.
With my intimate relationship, with my fiancés brother and her relationship, even with the relationship between her brother and I there became these rifts that caused some emotional compromises that would be otherwise alleviated until a better time in early recovery. Even though having the support of family members and those closest to you in treatment can be inspiring and help some people feel safe and secure, it also has the potential to create co-dependent sobriety.
Co-dependent sobriety is not (in my opinion) an effective or healthy kind of recovery on any level. This kind of relationship in recovery is counter-productive, selfish and dangerous. When your recovery depends on your relationship with a loved one, and their sobriety, then it is not real recovery (in my opinion). This is when you are with someone you love, and you both get clean and sober together, and then one of you relapses and the other is helpless to stay sober themselves. Or when you get clean and sober together, and then you separate and you cannot stay clean alone.
This is the problem with being in treatment that I saw coming, I felt it growing, and I had to circumvent the issue for my own sanity as well as the ones I loved. I was very afraid that if the 3 of us got out of treatment together and stayed as a group, one of us would eventually use, and the others would either abandon them, or we would all tumble like dominos. This has happened to plenty of people. They build their entire recovery off their relationship with the family member or loved one they get clean with, and then when things change and they are emotionally compromised, they give up.
The Freedom of Independence
While my experience may suggest that the only outcome is a bad one, I assure you that there is always some silver-lining I look for. Other people’s experiences may exhibit more or less good or bad results, but in all honesty I think the most effective and unselfish way to go to treatment is alone. While being there for one another may seem like it is doing a great deal to keep each other on the right path, it has the potential to eventually damage your recovery, and endanger your loved ones as well.
Freedom is a huge piece of sobriety. Freedom from drugs and alcohol, and the freedom from our former selves to grow as an individual is how we recover. In order to get that kind of freedom one must learn to stand on their own two feet and be an independent human being. Relying on your loved ones for happiness, or using loved ones as a crutch and excuse for misery is detrimental to growth and independence. You spend too much time worrying about what the other person thinks and feels, and don’t put enough focus on what needs to be done to change your life!
My sponsor told me once that I needed to develop my recovery independent of any human influence. I could not be sponsor dependent, I could not be family dependent or relationship dependent, I needed to be spiritually independent, and rely only on my higher power to sustain my life. I had to put in the work, and I had to not use drugs or drink, and there were other things involving helping others and amending relationships that kept me sober.
In many ways, I feel that by ending my relationship before I got out of treatment was risky, but it was the best things I ever did for my recovery and for my ex-fiancé. We both continued to struggle afterwards, but allowing for her to grow in treatment and afterwards without me, and letting myself take my first steps toward true freedom on my own two feet changed everything. She has a different path than I do, and her life now includes a beautiful baby girl, and a real relationship that gives her happiness beyond her recovery from addiction.
I ended up back in treatment, and this time I went alone. I put aside all the preconceptions I had about recovery and relationships, I stopped trying to be right about things that I was clueless about and had an opportunity to address things I was afraid of talking about before, because no one was there to hold me back out of fear of hurting their feelings. My two experiences in treatment were vastly different, and while I was blessed to experience some of it with people I loved, I was able to focus more on the truth and hearing what I needed when I walked into that alone.
These opinions are based off of what happened to me, and what I felt and have witnessed others feel in treatment with their loved ones. Be it brother and sister, boyfriend and girlfriend, or parent and child it can seem to be a way to protect each other, but honestly take a look at the possibility that you are further jeopardizing each other by hindering growth, accountability, and freedom. If you truly love someone who is struggling alongside you, give them the space to be the greatest version of themselves, with that being dependent on you. If you or someone you love, or both of you are struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.
Before we talk about finding drug treatment in Massachusetts, let’s discuss what drug treatment in Massachusetts does so you can decide whether it’s something you need.
In a nutshell, drug treatment in Massachusetts can help you stop drinking or using drugs in a safe and comfortable way when you find that you can no longer go a day with drinking alcohol or taking another drug – whether it’s benzos, painkillers, or amphetamines.
Finding drug treatment in Massachusetts: A Note about Withdrawal Syndrome
What we mean about being safe and comfortable is this: Every drug, including alcohol has its accompanying withdrawal syndrome, which is a set of symptoms that occur once you stop drinking or using. This happens as a result of something called physical dependence, a medical condition, which requires specialized medical treatment. Therefore, it’s almost always necessary to attend medical detox, which is found in drug treatment in Massachusetts; you can’t simply stop drinking or using certain drugs cold turkey; the withdrawal symptoms can be so severe that they may even be life-threatening.
Finding drug treatment in Massachusetts: Phases of Treatment
There are several stages to drug treatment in Massachusetts that start with being more intensive and structured and become less structured as you move on to the next level.
Finding drug treatment in Massachusetts: Phase One
Medical detox is the first level of drug treatment in Massachusetts and is the most intensive. You will first be assessed to see what drugs are currently in your system as well as what you have been using and for how long. This is necessary in order to develop a treatment plan that is individualized for you. Drug treatment programs in Massachusetts are staffed with medical professionals who will treat you with specific medications in order to make your detox both a safe and comfortable process.
Finding drug treatment in Massachusetts: Phase Two
The inpatient rehab stage of drug treatment in Massachusetts consists of group and individual therapy as well as group meetings, or “groups” for short. Groups are a forum for learning about substance abuse and addiction. The therapy sessions support you in healing psychological pain that contributed to your substance abuse. All of this is important in learning your patterns of use so that, when you complete rehab, you can be successful at recovery and leading a sober lifestyle.
Finding drug treatment in Massachusetts: Phase Three
Intensive Outpatient Program
IOP, for short, consists of group meetings during the day or evening that are held at a separate facility or campus from where you live. At this stage, you will no longer be living in a residential rehab facility; you may either move back home or move into a halfway house or sober living community. It is best to consider a halfway house or some kind of sober living community situation (sober house) before moving back home because this environment will support you in the recovery process.
Moving home too soon can undermine your recovery because you will be back in the same environment in which you were drinking and/or drugging. Also in IOP, you will have individual and group therapy, like in rehab. At this stage, you will work with your therapist to develop an aftercare plan that consists of finding support group meetings in your area, following up with a private therapist and anything else specific to your situation. This is a helpful tool in supporting your success at recovery.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction issues and is looking for assistance in finding drug treatment in Massachusetts, call us toll-free at 1-800-951-9135 to speak directly with an Addiction Specialist. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and share with you our resources. Help is available and you are not around.
Substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point, WA is a specialized treatment program that addresses the physical, psychological, and behavioral aspects related to both substance abuse and addiction.
Substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point Treats Substance Abuse
Substance abuse, also called chemical abuse disorder, is a medical condition that involves the physical and psychological dependence on alcohol and other drugs. People who abuse drugs are caught up in a devastating cycle of drug use that, despite the negative social, financial, and social consequences, is difficult to break. Substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point, WA provides a program of highly-specialized medical assistance to those who have become dependent on alcohol and other drugs.
Substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point Treats Addiction
Addiction in another medical condition that is closely-related to substance abuse in that it involves chemical dependence but it is a chronic, ongoing issue that requires intensive and comprehensive treatment in order to establish new behaviors that can support long-term success in abstinence from drugs and alcohol. The professional staff at programs for substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point is equipped to treat people with alcohol and drug addictions.
Substance Abuse Treatment in Yarrow Point: Phases of Treatment
The first phase of substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point is known as the medical detox. When you first arrive, you will be evaluated for your history of substance abuse as well as tested to get an idea of the levels of drugs in your system. This is invaluable information for the medical staff so that they can go about planning the first course of your treatment. Attending a medical detox is different from trying to detox at home in that it is a much safer and much, much more comfortable process. You will be given medications to ease the detox process, which is really a godsend.
The next phase of the recovery process of substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point is inpatient rehab. Detoxing from drugs is simply the beginning of the recovery process from alcohol and other drugs. For those who have substance abuse disorder or an addiction, it’s essential to learn about their medical condition, coping methods, and new and healthy behaviors in order to have the best chance of success at sobriety. At your substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point, you will have a team of professionals – therapists, case managers, behavioral technicians, medical doctors, and psychiatrists – as well as peers to support you in your recovery process.
Intensive Outpatient Program
Also known as IOP, the intensive outpatient program phase of substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point is a supplemental program that bridges the prior, more intensive phases of treatment to what’s to come. At IOP, you will have some of the structure as before but also a lot more freedoms. You will continue to receive treatment: individual as well as group therapy sessions, while beginning to rebuild your life, such as returning to work or getting a new job and reuniting with family. This is such a great support to those is early recovery.
If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction and is looking for substance abuse treatment in Yarrow Point, WA, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.