On one hand, returning back to work may be just the right decision to stabilize a new way of life. You may appreciate the opportunity to be productive, enjoy aspects of a fulfilling career, take care of financial needs, and establish a routine.
On the other hand, going back to a place of employment might pose some challenges. Certain legal issues regarding job security and expectations may need to be confirmed. Dealing with office gossip could be a hassle. It’s also possible the work environment may contribute to addictive behaviors.
Returning To Work After Rehab can be very scary: What To Expect? After spending a lot of time in a rehabilitation program, you must now face the challenges of daily life. You may be afraid of losing your job after drug rehab. Alternatively, you may be worried that the stress of returning to community life will be a trigger for a possible relapse. Meanwhile, these emotions are very normal, many people can return to work and maintain a sober lifestyle after rehab.
What To Do Before Rehab
If you’re thinking about going to rehab, you know that addiction is ruining your life.
Addiction, whether you realize it or not, harms your work performance. You will gain tools to improve your work performance, relationships, and outlook while in rehab.
Addicts in recovery are more likely to succeed at work or find better jobs than those with untreated substance use disorders. When you choose to seek treatment, you are deciding to live a happier life and pursue your career. And that’s exactly what our rehab will provide. From individual therapy to group therapy, you will have all the help that you need from us.
Give your boss as much notice as possible so that he or she can make sure your responsibilities are covered while you’re away. However, your health and safety come first, so you should take care of yourself as soon as possible.
Tips for quitting your job to go to rehab:
- Tell the truth about how long you plan to be gone.
- Inform your employer of the seriousness of your condition.
- Ask someone to cover you while you’re away.
- Inform your boss and coworkers that you intend to return to work.
You should also keep them updated on your progress during rehab. Give your boss updates as often as possible, or work with a case manager at a rehab facility to communicate with him or her.
The best way to have your job back after drug rehab is to commit to treatment and demonstrate your ability to perform when you return. When you admit to having an addiction, that’s the first step towards recovery. After drug rehab, you will have a lot of challenges but with patience and a lot of will, you will get through this.
If you want to have a successful recovery, you can do it by taking the following steps:
- Find out what addiction is and how it affects you.
- Analyze your behavior, in this way you can reduce the chances of a relapse.
- After the drug rehab, ask for help from friends, family, and, in some cases, coworkers.
- Choose the best treatment option for you.
You may be able to return to work while you are in rehab, or you may prefer to take your time before returning to work. To reduce your chances of relapse, you should stay in a sober living environment and avoid risky situations.
Work And Recovery
Recovering from addiction is a difficult process. The “after rehab what to expect” phase is even harder. Recovery is full of difficult obstacles to overcome, from the first steps of detox to re-entering society.
There are no positive work references
One of the most serious issues that recovering addicts face is a lack of positive work references.
After drug rehab, their previous substance abuse had an impact on their job performance and they need to catch up with life.
Even when they limit their substance use to the evenings and weekends, addicts frequently arrive late for work, call in sick, or are not productive at work. Even your boss should be prepared on what to expect after drug rehab from you.
A “healthy” work-life balance in recovery is possible with the help of a supportive network of peers, clinicians, and medical providers. So work and recovery are related to each other. A lot of people know that after rehab what to expect is just feeling better and staying away from any kind of substances, in this way they can start working and having a normal life.
The Stigma Associated With Addiction Is A Factor
Knowing that a job applicant is in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse can reduce the candidate’s chances of being hired.
Not getting hired is one of the things to expect after drug rehab.
In today’s society, there is a lot of misinformation about addiction, which can have a negative impact on a hiring manager’s perspective. Employers are hesitant to take the risk even when the recovering addict is doing well and wants to improve himself.
Recovery Can Be Difficult
Some employers hesitate to hire someone with a history of addiction because they are aware that the candidate will have problems.
Group meetings, individual counseling sessions, and other forms of outpatient treatment, these are some of the steps that patient should take. Most employers have strict attendance requirements and are unwilling to bend the rules to allow those in recovery the time they need to attend counseling.
A Person’s Criminal History Is Important
Many recovering addicts have prior criminal files. These could be crimes committed because of their addiction, or they could be other poor decisions made by the individual.
Work: After Drug Rehab What To Expect
Returning to work after drug rehab has its challenges, but it may be the next step in your recovery journey.
It may be overwhelming, but unless you can live without your family’s money, you will have to do it sooner or later. Here are some of the advantages of returning to work after rehabilitation. Work and recovery are equivalents of each other. Recovery depends a lot on your work.
Work can provide a sense of purpose for many people. People trying to fill the void left by drugs and alcohol may lack a sense of purpose. Returning to work after drug rehab is important because it can give these people a purpose and meaning in their lives.
Keep You Busy
You may have too much free time if you don’t have a job.
These long periods, may lead you into bad habits and get back to drugs or alcohol. Instead, a job can keep you busy and help you make better use of your time. After drug rehab, the only thing that you need to do is do fill your free time with different activities. And work is the most helpful thing that can happen to somebody who is in recovery.
Connect with People
Another thing to expect after drug rehab is making new friends.
You may not be close to all of your coworkers, but some of them may become close friends. These people can give you support during your recovery journey, especially if you are having difficulty making new friends in recovery.
Tips for Returning to Work After Rehab
It’s natural to be nervous about returning to work after completing addiction treatment.
To begin with, you’re probably concerned about whether you’ll be able to get your job back after a rehab, and then keeping it. You have to know that work and recovery can help you either get over your addiction or make the situation even worst.
Return to your job only when you are ready to face the challenges of a typical workday, not earlier!
Stress is a major risk factor for relapse, and work environments are frequently stressful. There are, however, stress-relieving strategies.
- Avoiding stressful situations.
- Taking a deep breath or going outside to relax.
- Working toward short-term objectives.
- Exercising regularly.
- Eating a nutritious diet.
Many people are also concerned about their reputation or what others may think of them when they return to work. Talking with coworkers can help you a lot.
Interact with Coworkers
You don’t have to say anything about your personal life if you don’t want to.
Being open about having the necessary treatment and working toward recovery, on the other hand, can help reveal internal stress. Work is a critical component of recovery and coworkers are the same thing.
Coworkers are a support system during the recovery process. Some of your peers may not be supportive, but you should not be concerned about their thoughts and beliefs. This is the reason that our staff will do the best so you can start once again your life and fix all the broken relationships.
Avoid and Manage Relapse
During the recovery process relapse is common, but abusing illegal drugs or alcohol can violate workplace policies.
Avoid risky situations, attend support group meetings, and continue to attend therapy after treatment to avoid relapse.
If you notice any of the warning signs of relapse, reach out to a friend, family member, or therapist for help. If you feel that you are not feeling well, seek treatment as soon as possible.
Is It Necessary For Me To Return To Rehab?
You may need to return to rehab depending on the level of your relapse to substance use. This depends on the drug or alcohol usage. There is a difference between a single slip and a complete relapse.
A “slip” is described as a one-time usage of a substance for a short period (typically less than a day). After a slip, the person understands the danger they’ve put themselves in and stops using before relapsing into addiction.
If you have a slip, you can get back on track by attending a meeting, discussing the slip with a counselor, and staying away from your addiction. At this point, it’s critical to get help.
Why Choose CVN Detox?
We have an experienced team, passionate and committed towards the patients.
We at CVN Detox understand how important it is to make the right decision when deciding between rehab centers. And for you coming forward to ask for help is a huge step in the right direction, it is critical to find a treatment facility that best meets your needs. That is why, from the moment you contact us, we will be there to support you and provide you with all of the information you need to know to make the best decision for you so you can work and recovery at the same time.
If you need FREE help or have Medical or Medicaid insurance please contact the National Helpline about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, treatment, and recovery in English and Spanish.
Dopamine Diet, Dopamine Detox & Dopamine Fasting are the trendy buzz words right now. But what is behind? Let’s find out!
First Of All, What Is Dopamine?
Dopamine is a chemical produced in our brain. It is a neurotransmitter, meaning it sends signals from the body to the brain. It releases when you do an activity that is pleasurable or brings rewards. Many brain networks rely on dopamine to function properly, including a collection of brain structures seated in the center of the organ known as the “mesolimbic reward pathway.” This evolutionarily ancient pathway helps control our response to rewards, like food, sex, and drugs. From this pathway, dopamine ventures out to other brain regions that shape our memory, expectations, emotions, and reactions about rewards. Dopamine… That’s what my brain is chasing. The more anticipation that builds up, the higher are the odds of dopamine being raised. Hence, this causes your brain to put more focus on pleasurable activity. There is a reason why our brain can become so dependent on dopamine. Once it develops tolerance, it requires more and more dopamine, and normal tasks become difficult to complete. Have you ever heard that our brain’s reward system might be completely hijacked by dopamine addiction? Ok, let’s learn a bit about the dopamine diet, dopamine detox & dopamine fasting.
As we discussed above, dopamine is the feel-good chemical, a neurotransmitter that your brain releases as a reward, often for doing very basic life-sustaining stuff, including eating food. Even the anticipation of eating something tasty can tickle the brain’s dopamine-producing pleasure centers. But like so many things in life, too much of a good thing can backfire.
Sugary and high-fat foods are literally addictive. There is evidence that, over time, trying to satisfy constant cravings for sweet or fatty foods can dull the complex reward response. Eventually, the effect of dopamine on the brain is diminished. You eat for the reward, but the feeling of pleasure is blunted — you’re not feeling quite as good anymore. So you eat more, which leads to weight gain and even feelings of depression, which only makes you want to eat more to feel good again…but you don’t. And on it goes…
The idea behind the Dopamine Diet, then, is to get on top of addictive food cravings by boosting dopamine. Protein is a primary food of interest for dopamine dieters. That’s because certain amino acids (L-tyrosine) in protein-rich foods are key to dopamine production. Gradually, so the thinking goes, eating foods high in L-tyrosine will boost dopamine, reduce the urge to overeat, and reactivate dopamine receptors that were stunted by overeating. The end result, if the theory holds, is that you become satisfied with smaller portions and your cravings are brought under control.
Certain celebrities such as TV chef Tom Kerridge have boosted this diet’s popularity in recent years. There are several different versions of the diet, but all are based around foods that are thought to boost dopamine. These can include:
- Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt
- Unprocessed meats such as beef, chicken and turkey
- Omega-3 rich fish such as salmon and mackerel
- Fruit and vegetables, in particular bananas
- Nuts such as almonds and walnuts
- Dark chocolate
Most versions of the diet recommend avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and processed sugar, while some also recommend cutting out or severely restricting starchy carbohydrates.
Dopamine detox is a concept that a lot of people follow. Consider it to be a detox, but for your brain. The simple rule to follow is to avoid engaging in any activity which you enjoy doing or which stimulates the brain-it could be browsing your phone, avoiding screentime, listening to music, or engaging in any hobby. The idea is- to devoid the brain of any good happy activity, that, in the end, even a boring activity ends up being fun. That way, the brain starts to love it.
Ideally, by the end of the detox, a person will feel more centered, balanced, and less affected by their usual dopamine triggers. However, it is important to note that a true dopamine detox, whereby a person successfully halts all dopamine activity in the brain, is not possible.
The human body naturally produces dopamine, even when it is not exposed to certain stimuli. A more accurate description of the dopamine detox is a period of abstinence, or “unplugging” from the world.
Doing so may have positive effects on those who implement the practice from time to time. However, the term “dopamine detox” by its very nature is problematic, and not at all scientifically correct. Dr. Sepah himself says the name is not meant to be interpreted literally.
The dopamine fast, created by California psychiatrist Dr. Cameron Sepah, has very little to do with either fasting or dopamine. As Sepah told the New York Times, “Dopamine is just a mechanism that explains how addictions can become reinforced, and makes for a catchy title. The title’s not to be taken literally.” Unfortunately, with such a snazzy name, who could resist? This is where the misconceptions begin.
It’s important to note that, despite the name, the original idea behind dopamine fasting is not to literally lower dopamine levels.
“The goal is not to reduce dopamine or elicit functional brain changes,” Sepah, who is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, told. Instead, dopamine fasting encourages people to reduce the “time spent on problematic behavior,” he said.
Still, research shows there is a connection between dopamine and problematic behavior, such as drug abuse.
When the brain picks up clues that it may soon receive a reward — whether that reward is food, illicit drugs, or likes on social media — a flash of dopamine zaps the reward pathway. Another hit of dopamine comes with the reward itself. Addictive substances and behaviors repeatedly bombard the reward pathway with huge surges of dopamine, and over time, the brain morphs in response.
“When we image [drug users’] brains, we find that in the immediate aftermath of using they actually have less dopamine and fewer dopamine receptors than those who don’t use drugs,” said Dr. Anna Lembke, an associate professor and medical director of addiction medicine at Stanford University.
All addictive drugs cause dopamine levels to spike in one way or another, Lembke said, and in response, the brain weakens or eliminates the receptors built to respond to the chemical. That means drug users need more of the substance to elicit the same surge of dopamine, and that other rewards, like food and social interaction, steadily lose their appeal.
You can’t “fast” from a naturally occurring brain chemical
Dopamine is one of the body’s neurotransmitters and is involved in our body’s system for reward, motivation, learning, and pleasure. While dopamine does rise in response to rewards or pleasurable activities, it doesn’t actually decrease when you avoid overstimulating activities, so a dopamine “fast” doesn’t actually lower your dopamine levels.
We have already clarified that a complete and total detox from naturally occurring dopamine is not possible. That said, the decision to unplug and detach from certain impulsive behaviors may come with some health benefits, one of which is the potential for heightened focus and greater mental clarity.
Dopamine is often distracting and may be a hindrance for some people from achieving their goals. It is what prompts the excessive repetition of certain feel-good behaviors, causing people to scroll mindlessly on social media or binge-watch their favorite TV shows.
These unnecessary compulsions detract from spending time more productively on work, health goals, home organization, and more. When people actively avoid these distractions, they may free up more time for the things that matter more to them.
In short, a dopamine detox is not technically possible, and any evidence of its positive effects are purely anecdotal.
However, by avoiding certain behaviors, such as spending hours scrolling through a smartphone and social media sites, people may be able to achieve a greater state of mindfulness, which comes with its own benefits. Among these are stress relief, lower blood pressure, and improved sleep.
Dopamine Fasting or Dopamine Detox For People Who Struggle With Addictive Behavioues Or Mental Health Issues
Without substances, screens or other stimuli to distract them, people suddenly become reacquainted with themselves, that, in fact, can be terrifying for people.
To move past these withdrawal periods and avoid relapse, people must address the roots of their addictive behaviors. For example, people practicing compulsive internet use must learn how to place healthy limits on their use of the technology. Just like those addicted to drugs, they must come to recognize and cope with triggers that push them toward destructive behavior.
Mental health professionals can guide people through this process using standardized techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a protocol that helps people re-evaluate their patterns of thinking and behavior, and better cope with difficult situations, according to the American Psychological Association. (Sepah claims his recommended version of dopamine fasting is actually based on CBT techniques aimed at empowering people to overcome unhelpful impulses.) Advertisement
“The idea is to … temper our consumption” of rewards, Lembke said. In an age in which we enjoy easy access to addictive substances and a million other distractions pull at our attention, sometimes, we must “consciously abstain” from behaviors that could spiral out of control, she said.
That said, you probably shouldn’t cut out all pleasurable experiences from your life, Greenfield added.
“I don’t think it’s realistic, and I’m not even sure it’s healthy” to completely eliminate all pleasurable experiences, he said. “I am not familiar with any programs that advocate for that, and that’s certainly not within the realm of typical medical treatment.”
Do you wake up each morning and feel as though there is no more spark in your life? If so, you might have what is known as dopamine deficiency. Dopamine is the primary brain chemical response that motivates us and makes us feel good. Aside from making us feel moody and tired, low dopamine levels also contribute to many mental health conditions and addiction.
Dopamine plays a part in controlling the movements a person makes, as well as their emotional responses. The right balance of dopamine is vital for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Vital brain functions that affect mood, sleep, memory, learning, concentration, and motor control are influenced by the levels of dopamine in a person’s body. A dopamine deficiency may be related to certain medical conditions, including depression and Parkinson’s disease.
A dopamine deficiency can be due to a drop in the amount of dopamine made by the body or a problem with the receptors in the brain.
The symptoms of a dopamine deficiency depend on the underlying cause. For example, a person with Parkinson’s disease will experience very different symptoms from someone with low dopamine levels due to drug use.
Some signs and symptoms of conditions related to a dopamine deficiency include:
- muscle cramps, spasms, or tremors
- aches and pains
- stiffness in the muscles
- loss of balance
- difficulty eating and swallowing
- weight loss or weight gain
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- frequent pneumonia
- trouble sleeping or disturbed sleep
- low energy
- an inability to focus
- moving or speaking more slowly than usual
- feeling fatigued
- feeling demotivated
- feeling inexplicably sad or tearful
- mood swings
- feeling hopeless
- having low self-esteem
- feeling guilt-ridden
- feeling anxious
- suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm
- low sex drive
- lack of insight or self-awareness
Dopamine deficiency can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, affecting them both physically and mentally. Many mental health disorders are linked to low levels of dopamine. Other medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, have also been linked to low dopamine. Always speak to a doctor first if they are concerned about their dopamine levels.
That said, the decision to unplug and detach from certain impulsive behaviors may come with some health benefits. By avoiding certain behaviors, such as spending hours scrolling through a smartphone and social media sites, people may be able to achieve a greater state of mindfulness. Among these are stress relief, lower blood pressure, and improved sleep.
Navigate through your life, using common sense, native intelligence, and stay healthy!
In the US, over 85% of American adults say they’ve drunk alcohol at some point in their life. Drinking profoundly alters an individual’s mood, behavior, and neuropsychological functioning. For many people, alcohol consumption means relaxation. However, the effect of alcohol can actually trigger anxiety & increase stress.
To understand exactly how alcohol impacts your life, you should find out a little about it. Yes, it is known that alcohol affects brain function, but you may wonder exactly how it works. Some people think of alcohol as a stimulant that can increase your heart rate, give you energy, and decrease your inhibitions. However, this is not the whole story. At the same time, alcohol slows your body down. So, do you know the right answer to this question: is alcohol a stimulant or a depressant? Read on to find out more about alcohol and its effects on your brain and body.
Is Alcohol a Stimulant?
Stimulants are substances that increase central nervous system activity. This can include increased heart rate, rapid breathing accompanied by increased energy, and positive feelings. For a substance to be classified as a stimulant, these effects must be the dominant ones produced by the substance. For example, the brain may release it when we eat or even see the food we crave. This can result in feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Dopamine can also increase heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Some examples of stimulants include caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, nicotine, and betel nut. As you can see, some stimulants are legal, while others are illicit substances. While some level of dopamine in the brain is important for our well-being, high levels may generate aggression, anxiety, poor impulse control, and risk-taking behavior.
Alcohol, particularly in the early stages of consumption, is a stimulant on the central nervous system. It triggers an increase in dopamine levels. This speeds up the heart and respiration rate and can increase energy and confidence, lower inhibitions, and improve mood.
Is Alcohol A Depressant?
Based on the name, many people think that depressants make you feel depressed. However, that’s not necessarily true. “Depressant” refers to the effect that these substances have on your central nervous system, not how it’d impact your mood. Depressants slow down central nervous system processes. For example, the heart rate and breathing are slowed, and reflexes and response times are dulled. To be classified as a depressant, these effects must be the dominant ones produced by the substance. Examples of depressants include barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, ketamine, and heroin. Most of the substances on this list are either controlled ones or flat-out illegal to use. So when you ingest a depressant, you might feel relaxed and even sleepy and/or sedated. Depressants will slow down your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
After the initial stimulant effects, alcohol slows down your central nervous system, decreasing your blood pressure, heart rate, and mental clarity. In turn, people who have ingested large amounts of alcohol have slower reaction times and may seem sleepy, disoriented, or sedated. In addition, higher doses of alcohol can suppress dopamine production, making you feel sad or listless. Depressant effects of alcohol occur when your BAC reaches about 0.08 mg/l. Once your BAC reaches 0.2 mg/l or greater, its depressant effects on your respiratory system can become so powerful that they cause coma or death.
It’s important to understand that when alcohol is referred to as a depressant, that doesn’t mean it gives people depression. Depression is a mental health issue. Although it can arise from alcohol addiction and many people develop an alcohol use disorder attempting to self-medicate when depressed, the substance itself doesn’t create the mental health condition. Rather, when alcohol is referred to as a depressant, it is meant in a medical sense as it slows down several processes in the body. For example, alcohol abuse slows breathing, blood flow and can dull the senses. Thus, alcohol is a depressant. But again, drinking alcohol does not give you depression; mental health conditions cannot be transmitted or created this way.
The Bottom Line: Is Alcohol a Stimulant or a Depressant?
You might’ve noticed that we haven’t put alcohol in either category above. Alcohol is a depressant with some stimulant effects. In small doses, it can increase your heart rate, aggression, and impulsiveness. However, in larger doses, alcohol typically causes sluggishness, disorientation, and slower reaction times, as it decreases your mental sharpness, blood pressure, and heart rate.
It is a common myth that alcohol is a stimulant. After all, it ramps up your confidence, makes you giddy, and certainly gives you a burst of energy! It does raise your heart rate, along with some other physical changes. However, these effects are just temporary. Plus, they’re a result of your brain releasing more dopamine after your initial drink. Dopamine is also known as the feel-good hormone, as it can make you feel happy and lessen pain processing.
Alcohol, is in fact, truly a depressant. Think about how you feel when you drink alcohol, especially in excess; you start slurring your words and have slower reaction times. As you can see, while alcohol does have some stimulant effects, it’s scientifically classified as a depressant. You’ll typically feel the stimulant effects at a BAC of under 0.05mg/l. But once you go over 0.08mg/l, the depressant effects will take over. Do note that you should never mix stimulants (or other medications such as SSRIs) with alcohol. Doing so can have serious and even fatal results.
What Effects Does Alcohol Abuse Produce?
Alcohol alters both your brain and your nervous system. It just depends on how much alcohol you have as far as your body’s degree gets altered. The more alcohol you have, the more significant the effects of the alcohol are. If you drink too much alcohol, your body will become completely sedated. Here are some of the effects of alcohol, starting with the mildest and progressing to more serious effects:
- Lowered ability to make good choices
- Struggles focusing
- Decreased depth-perception
- Heart rate increases, then slowly decrease as alcohol intake increases
- Slurring speech
- Coordination problems
- Digestive tract issues (vomiting and diarrhea occur frequently)
- Mood changes
- Lower than normal body temperature
- Increase in blood pressure
- Struggles staying conscious
- Memory loss
- Increased risk of cancer
- Decreased ability to retain information
- Liver problems
- Heart problems
This list is full of a lot of health issues that can result from alcohol. However, it is only a small portion of all of the issues that alcohol can lead to. The occasional drink is typically not a problem that will result in long-term negative effects of alcohol. What is a problem is chronic drinking or binge drinking on a regular or semi-regular basis. Your body can only handle so much alcohol. The more you drink and the less time off you give your body, the more your body will struggle and the worse the effects will likely become.
The Effects Can Be Wildly Varying for Everyone
Do note that the depressant effects (as well as the stimulant effects) can be different for everyone. For example, you might feel giddy and alert after one beer while your friend is sulky and incoherent on the same amount of alcohol. The main things that affect how someone’s body handles alcohol include their:
- Unique body chemistry
- Alcohol tolerance
Some can drink casually, while for others, one drink can be all it takes to spiral into addiction. Are you concerned that you or a loved one might be developing alcohol dependence or addiction? Then watch out for these signs:
- Drinking in isolation
- Excessive excuses for drinking
- Mood swings
- Hangover symptoms when not drinking
If you’ve noticed these signs in either yourself or a loved one, it may be a good idea to go to rehabilitation so you can get sober.
Get Help for Alcohol Addiction Today
Alcohol is a powerful drug. It can raise you for a short time, and it can keep you down for a lot longer. It will leave you struggling with how you feel about yourself or your situation if you let it. Regardless of whether you still think that alcohol is a stimulant or a depressant, one thing’s for sure: dependence or addiction to this substance can have detrimental effects on your life. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, then a trip to rehab can be beneficial. There, caring professionals can help you get on the road to recovery and sobriety. Are you ready to get help for alcohol addiction? Then get in touch with us now. We’re here to help you 24/7.
Opioids are the umbrella term that includes natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetic opioids created in a laboratory. Opioids dull the senses and relieve pain, acting as pain relievers or anesthesia. Opioids include natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetics opioids. Some people refer to opioids as synthetically generated narcotics and to opiates as narcotics delivered from natural plants. Our language is evolving; lately many people, especially journalists and politicians, tend to refer to all of these drugs as “opioids.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, in 2019, opioids dispensing rates continued to remain very high in the USA:
- In 5% of U.S. counties, enough opioid prescriptions were dispensed for every person to have one.
- 153 million Opioid Painkiller prescriptions were written in 2019
- The overall opioid dispensing rate in 2019 was 46.7 prescriptions per 100 people, and some counties had rates that were six times higher than that.
Do you know the difference between Opiates and Opioids?
Some people carefully distinguish between these two groups of narcotic drugs when they speak about them. Other people use the two terms interchangeably or prefer one over the other. Our language is evolving; lately many people, especially journalists and politicians, tend to refer to all of these drugs as “opioids.”
Both opiates and opioids are used medically. They may be prescribed for pain relief, anesthesia, cough suppression, diarrhea suppression, and for treatment of opiate/opioid use disorder. Both opiates and opioids may also be used illicitly by people with substance use disorder. The main difference is in how opiates and opioids are made.
The poppy plant creates opiates. Opiates are labeled as “natural” because nature creates the active ingredient molecules. Common opiates include opium, morphine, and codeine; both made directly from poppy plants.
An opioid is a substance (molecule) that is synthetic or partly synthetic. This means the active ingredients are created chemically. Opioids act just like opiates in the human body because of their similar molecules. Common opioids are OxyContin, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and others.
Opiates are narcotics derived from the opium poppy (natural).
Opioids are narcotics that include natural opiates and semi-synthetic opioids and synthetic opioids created in a laboratory.
Sometimes people refer to opioids as synthetically generated narcotics and opiates – narcotics delivered from natural plants.
What Are Opioids?
Opioids are the umbrella term that includes natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetic opioids created in a laboratory. Opioids dull the senses and relieve pain, acting as pain relievers or anesthesia. Opioids include natural opiates, semi-synthetic opioids, and synthetics opioids.
Opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut, and other parts of the body. The opioids block pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain when it happens. While opioids can effectively relieve pain, they carry some risks and can be highly addictive. The risk of addiction is especially high when opioids are used to manage chronic pain over a long period of time.
Types of Opioids :
- Naturally Occurring Opiates: Opium, Morphine, Codeine, Heroin
- Semi-synthetics opioids: Vicodin (Hydrocodone), Percocet (Oxycodone), Oxycontin (Long-acting Oxycodone)
- Synthetic (Man-made) Opioids: Methadone, Fentanyl
The pharmaceutical industry has created more than 500 different opioid molecules. Some are widely used medically; some are not.
Well-known opioids used medically in the U.S:
- Dextromethorphan (available in the U.S. without prescription as, e.g., NyQuil, Robitussin, TheraFlu, Vicks)
- Dextropropoxyphene (e.g., Darvocet-N, Darvon)
- Loperamide (e.g., Imodium)
- Hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin)
- Oxycodone (e.g., Oxycontin, Percocet)
- Oxymorphone (e.g., Opana)
- Meperidine (e.g., Demerol)
- Methadone (e.g., Dolophine)
- Fentanyl/fentanil (e.g., Ultiva, Sublimaze, Duragesic patch)
- Carfentanyl/carfentanil (e.g., Wildnil, for veterinary use)
If you are prescribed opioids, consider following the safety tips below:
- Talk to your doctor. Make sure you have considered all alternative pain-relieving medications that don’t carry an addiction risk. If opioids remain the best option, ask how to minimize the risks and side effects. Provide information on your medical conditions — and if you have taken opioids in the past, tell your physician how they affected you. Also tell your physician if you have a history of addiction to drugs or alcohol; people predisposed to alcohol abuse may be more susceptible to misusing opioids.
- Watch out for side effects. Some side effects of opioids may be mild, such as sleepiness and constipation, while others, including shallow breathing, slowed heart rate, and loss of consciousness, can be serious and may be signs of an overdose. Ask your physician what you should be aware of and what you can do to prevent potential problems. If you experience possible symptoms of an overdose, contact your doctor or call 911.
- Take opioids only as directed. Follow your physician’s directions, and read the prescription label. If you take other medications, ask your physician whether it is also safe to take opioids.
Also, ask your doctor about other pain management alternatives, including:
- Combination therapy. Opioids by themselves may not always fully control your pain. Combining opioids with other medications or nonmedication treatments, while under the care of a physician, can improve your pain management and result in your needing a lower dosage of opioids.
- Nondrug therapies. Many people find relief with alternative therapies, such as biofeedback, meditation, massage, and acupuncture. You may also get relief with interventional therapies such as nerve blocks, or surgical procedures in which the nerves causing the pain are cut. A physician anesthesiologist or other pain medicine specialist can help you find what works best for you.
- Injections or implants. If you are having muscle spasms or nerve pain, an injection of local anesthetics or other medications can help short-circuit your pain. If you have chronic pain in your back, arms, or legs, a pain medicine specialist might suggest spinal cord stimulation, in which a device is implanted in your back and blocks pain by delivering electric pulses to your nerves and spinal cord.
What Are Opiates?
Opiates include substances derived from Opium, a chemical that occurs naturally in poppy seeds and plants. These drugs are used clinically for treating mild to severe pain. Unfortunately, due to their intensely calming effects, Opioids have tremendously high rates of abuse, which can lead to addiction in many cases.
What is Heroin?
Heroin is the most popular opiate and a Schedule I narcotic under the Federal laws of the United States (no medicinal purpose, highly abused). Genuine “heroin” is an opioid. Heroin is still synthetic, even though it uses molecules from the opium plant in its synthesis process. People can use the terms interchangeably. On the street, “heroin” may mean synthetic, natural, or semi-synthetic compounds. Additionally, people may call manufactured opioids like Oxycontin “synthetic heroin,” adding more confusion. Many references currently use opioids to refer to all opium-like substances (including opiates and opioids) and limit the use of “opiates” to only natural opium poppy-derived drugs like morphine. The brutal fact is both are highly addictive and can be life-threatening when the dependency becomes out of control. The best option to avoiding the possibility of fatally overdosing is finding a treatment center that can provide care from detox to residential care to outpatient programs.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioids or opiates addiction, contact CNV Detox in Los Angeles, California, for detoxification and residential treatment.
We all know that honesty is a very respected characteristic. If someone highly respected is discovered to be dishonest, it can ruin their reputation. Nevertheless, some types of dishonesty are more acceptable than others. The fibs and “little white lies” that we all tell from time to time are viewed as harmless and occasionally as kind.
But still, individuals who are trying to recover and rebuild their life after addiction need to be particularly careful about being honest. They need to be truthful with other people and especially with themselves.
Honesty Is One Of The Most Important Qualities During Addiction Recovery
Honesty is the most important principle for anyone in recovery. If a person who has problems with alcohol or other substances can be sincerely honest, recovery is assured. If the individual with substance use disorder (SUD) of any kind can admit, claim, or just plain tell the truth about what is going on, it forms the basis for everything to come. During recovery from substance abuse, honesty is crucial because:
Lying is a common trigger for relapse. Addicts often lie and lying during recovery is a sign that the person is going back to old coping mechanisms for coping with their life.
When recovering addicts stop being honest with themselves and other people, they can become “stuck” in their recovery. By being unwilling to face the challenges ahead of them, they start to hide in denial where no progress can be made. This is another common reason for relapse.
Not being honest with friends and family can ruin and progress that has been made to restore and rebuild relationships.
Twelve-step and other self-help programs require relentless honesty. If a member is dishonest with the group, they won’t get any benefit from the program.
By maintaining honesty during recovery, it means the person doesn’t have to also deal with feelings of guilt for being dishonest. Feelings of guilt during recovery can make it difficult to find real happiness in sobriety and potentially cause a relapse.
It was the addict’s lack of honesty with themself that kept them trapped in addiction. Honesty helps make it possible to avoid letting self-deception take over their life again. If it does they may doubt the value of sobriety and the need for abstinence.
Honesty reinforces the healing of the person and those who are close to them. Dishonesty prevents the healing process.
Honesty is crucial to any type of therapy. If an individual is attending therapy in recovery, it is essential, to be honest in the therapy sessions, otherwise, there will be little benefit.
How You Can Increase Honesty in Recovery
Honesty is the key to a successful life free of addiction. As a result, it’s important to develop this characteristic. Recovery and honesty go hand in hand. Some ways to practice and increase honesty include:
- One solution to breaking away from dishonesty is to admit when it has happened as soon as possible afterward. It’s difficult to admit lying, but it makes it more difficult to be dishonest going forward.
- Similar to building muscles, the more you develop your honesty, the more honest you become.
- Keeping a journal is another good way to keep track of your behavior. By journaling, you have a way to look back on the day and find any examples of dishonesty. Also, it reduces the chance of being caught up in self-delusion.
- A person in recovery needs to have a clear understanding of the importance of honesty, and the pitfalls of dishonesty in recovery. People who don’t value honesty will not put much intention into living life honestly.
- As mentioned previously, there are times when telling a lie might be the lesser of two evils. Everyone plays down the importance of a “little white lie.” However, it’s not a good plan during recovery to view any type of dishonesty as acceptable. Always aim for total honesty, even if you are unlikely to achieve it.
The Connection Between Honesty and Well-Being
There is a connection between honesty and well-being. Honesty has beneficial effects on our feelings of contentment, security, and happiness. A study was conducted that found that people who intentionally work to lie less typically experienced fewer problems with physical and mental health. One obvious reason that honesty is beneficial is that people who tell the truth don’t have to worry about, or deal with, the stress that often comes with lying.
When you lie, you have to remember your lies to prevent them from being found out and proved to be lies. In many cases, you have to tell more lies to cover the original lie. This results in an increasingly complicated set of lies that become increasingly hard to remember. It’s best to realize that although being honest can be difficult initially, it can prevent you from having to deal with the stress and anxiety of lying. Which is more rewarding in the long run.
Pitfalls of Dishonesty in Recovery
Not consciously practicing honesty as an important personal quality could lead to:
- Higher risk for relapse
- Life in recovery is not as fulfilling
- Dry drunk syndrome (behaviors that are usually seen with alcohol use that carry over into recovery)
3 Tips for Making Honesty Easier
Most people think honesty is simply the act of telling the truth. But it’s deeper and more complex than that. What may be true for one person may not be true for another. And at times, it may be hard to tell only the truth.
Almost everyone tells a lie occasionally and, unusually, a person strives for honesty in every situation. But if the person feels like lying has become a habit or they feel like they can’t help lying, some things can be done to become more honest such as:
- Be aware of the times you are more likely to resort to dishonesty. Recognize that all people experience moments of dishonesty and then try to acknowledge your examples of deception instead of feeling ashamed or embarrassed.
- Recognize situations and surroundings where dishonesty is more likely to occur. Those situations can then be avoided or dealt with carefully. Circumstances where deceit is more likely to occur include:
- In cases where there is a conflict of interest
- Situations where the rules aren’t clearly stated
- During therapy, you have an opportunity to work on honesty, but some people misrepresent the truth in therapy. This commonly happens when an individual wants to avoid painful consequences or feelings of shame and guilt. In reality, therapy provides a safe place for people to share their inner thoughts without being judged and can help a person understand why they have been dishonest in the past.
How To Cope With Emotions During Recovery
Coping with emotions during recovery is one of the more difficult things to handle and could risk a person’s recovery and cause a relapse. Being open and honest about your emotions can help ward off uncomfortable feelings. The emotions that are most likely to cause problems for people in recovery are:
Loneliness and Boredom
Humans are social beings. And because of this, loneliness is a difficult emotion to deal with. When an individual stops using substances, it often means leaving their social group who were also involved with substance use. Leaving these social relationships can cause feelings of loneliness and boredom when they are gone. Boredom or the feeling that you have nothing to do is also a dangerous emotion. It’s also often a reason why people return to substance use.
Joy and Happiness
Somber emotions are not the only ones that can bring on a relapse. During recovery positive emotions also have that power. Stress can come from being happy about a first date, taking a trip, or a promotion at work. “Just one drink” to celebrate can undo a recovery.
Anger is the most dangerous of all emotions. When people are angry they aren’t thinking clearly. Due to this, it is easier for people to take part in behavior that they will regret later which leads to feelings of guilt.
Guilt and Fear
Guilt is extremely self-destructive and benefits no one. Since it’s impossible to change the past, the best path is to focus on the future. Unfortunately, the most common fears that people have in recovery come from worrying about things that have not happened and may not happen in the future. Self-destructive ideas related to anger, guilt, and fear of the future provide an easy path to relapse.
Breaking the Bonds of Addiction
Addiction does not respect people, money, or power. It doesn’t care if it destroys people, families, or entire communities. It doesn’t care if it cripples or kills. It only wants complete devotion.
When addicts become honest and admit what is in their hearts, they become empowered. They are no longer confined to their little worlds of lies. Honesty destroys the shackles of addiction and lets the addiction know that they will not be slaves to it anymore. Honesty is a ticket to freedom from substance abuse.
Are You Looking for Honesty and Recovery?
Are you starting to take an honest look at yourself, your life, and your future? Good for you. You are laying the foundation for your freedom from addiction. CNV Detox knows that you will need help to break the bonds of addiction safely and to live an honest, fulfilling life in your future.
We have programs that include:
- Medical Detox: Medically supervised detox so your body can return to a more normal balance safely.
- Residential Program: You live at our Los Angeles facility, safe and secure and away from the distractions and triggers that might cause a relapse.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): You may need medication to help you ease into total sobriety and help you focus on getting well.
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Many people with substance abuse also have a mental disorder. This is called co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis. It’s vital to have both conditions treated at the same time in a dual diagnosis treatment program to spot underlying issues that could be contributors to making things worse.
Our facility provides a home-like atmosphere where you can build strong and supportive relationships with the staff and other residents. But we can’t do anything until you contact us. Whether it’s for yourself or someone close to you, don’t wait any longer. Contact us now to learn more about how we can help you recover, and get your life back in control.
Addiction to drugs or alcohol can be a challenge to overcome. Recovery involves attention to the physical, mental, and emotional components that lead to substance abuse. Thankfully, there are treatments available to help you or your loved one through the process. As you begin to search for the next step in your recovery journey, you will find that two of the main treatment models are inpatient treatment and outpatient drug rehab.
These treatment routines share much in common, and both inpatient and outpatient clients will receive counseling and therapy as support. However, several differences may make one type of treatment preferable to the other.
The Goal of Drug Rehab
There is more to recovery than stepping away from a drug habit. Relying on substances is often a sign of an underlying problem. If you do not deal with the mental and emotional issues in your life, you are much more likely to fall back into old habits.
Responsible treatment for drug and alcohol addiction looks at the whole person. Our goal is to help you get back on track for a fulfilling life. This focus means helping you make the necessary physical, social and psychological adjustments so that you can approach things in a new way. We want to free you from dependence on drugs so that you can enjoy life to the fullest.
Understanding the Continuum of Care
Recovery is a long-term process. Depending on the severity of an addiction, it can be years before cravings disappear. Even then, unexpected stress can trigger use.
Many treatment centers seek to provide a full continuum of care. In this model, addiction specialists see recovery as a slow transition from addiction to wholeness.
The continuum begins from the moment a client reaches out to seek help. There are several steps along the way:
- Evaluation – Determining the level of addiction and other client needs.
- Planning – Creating a treatment plan to meet those needs.
- Detox – Providing care as the substance leaves the client’s system.
- Treatment – Providing counseling and strategies for healthy living.
- Continued Support – Helping the client transition back into independent living.
Differences Between Inpatient Treatment and Outpatient Drug Rehab
With an understanding of the continuum of care, it’s clear that recovery takes time. However, every person and addiction is unique. Inpatient treatment and outpatient drug rehab can both help clients reach recovery, but they do so in different ways.
The greatest difference between inpatient and outpatient care is the location. Both models may take place at a treatment center. In an inpatient setting, clients stay at the facility for an extended period. In most cases, they will not have contact with the outside world until they have made some progress. The treatment facility provides food, lodging and activities so that clients can focus their entire attention on getting better. In cases where the detox process requires medical observation, inpatient treatment is a necessity.
In outpatient drug rehab, clients spend most of their time outside the facility. They will come to counseling sessions a few days a week. In this scenario, clients can stay at home, continue working and support their families. The challenge for outpatient clients is that they never get to fully step away from their addiction triggers.
When you’re at a treatment facility 24 hours a day, you live and breathe recovery. Inpatient rehab is an intense experience with continuous support. Clients do not only have access to the resources of experienced staff members. They also have the support and camaraderie of the other clients in the facility. It can be easier to go through the recovery process when you have other people walking with you.
Outpatient clients follow a different schedule. They will still receive counseling to deal with emotional issues and learn recovery strategies. However, after the sessions, they will go home. One of the strategies for successful outpatient recovery is developing a support system outside the facility.
Due to its intensity, inpatient treatment can take less time than outpatient recovery. Some inpatient clients may be ready to return home after a month. Clients who need more support may live at a treatment center for three to six months. Outpatient clients can expect a longer process ranging anywhere from three months to a year.
The best inpatient treatment centers are comfortable facilities with resources for every aspect of a client’s recovery. In addition to therapy options, they provide healthy meals and opportunities for exercise. Living on-site for an extended period is more expensive than visiting for a few hours each week. Inpatient treatment will have a higher cost than an outpatient program.
Advantages of Inpatient Treatment
For many people struggling with addiction, recovery requires the full focus offered by an inpatient setting. The detox process can be uncomfortable and stressful. An inpatient center has the resources to assist clients through the ordeal. Also, the other clients in the facility provide a support group. These people can say that they are going through or have gone through the same thing.
Inpatient centers are also better equipped to handle the needs of dual diagnosis clients. An underlying mental health issue requires special attention. With residential care, the staff can provide better monitoring and support.
The inpatient setting also gives solace from the stressful triggers that cause a relapse. This time away is a retreat from daily concerns and stressful relationships. Clients have space and freedom to express themselves honestly, learn and grow.
Disadvantages of Inpatient Treatment
The realities of inpatient drug rehab are a challenge for some clients. It can be difficult for parents to spend that much time away from their children. Employers are often supportive of inpatient care, but it may mean lost wages or missed opportunities for the client.
The expense of an inpatient stay is another consideration. Before you enter a program, you will want to look at how much of the treatment your health insurance covers. If recovery becomes a financial burden, it can create another stressor.
Advantages of Outpatient Drug Rehab
The greatest advantage of outpatient drug rehab is that it is less disruptive than an inpatient program. Although clients may have to adjust their work schedules, they can remain active and engaged with their employer. Continuing to receive an income can make treatment more accessible.
These clients can also maintain their family lives with a minimum of interruption. The schedule of outpatient drug rehab means that there are fewer concerns about childcare schedules or missing out on special events.
Disadvantages of Outpatient Drug Rehab
The lack of disruption in an outpatient program can be a disadvantage. Continuing daily life means never getting from the pressures of that life. In addition, employers and family members may not respect the needs of an outpatient client. There can be pressure to skip sessions when they are inconvenient.
The length of time required by outpatient drug rehab can also be daunting. For some people, a large disruption for a month or two is easier to handle than a less intense process that lasts a year.
Part of the recovery process involves analyzing patterns and relationships. It is more difficult for clients to look at their lives objectively when they are in the middle of them. Spotting a harmful pattern is challenging without some distance.
Finding the Best Fit
The best choice between an inpatient and outpatient program depends on several factors. The treatment center may make a recommendation based on the type or length of the addiction. During the initial evaluation, they will also look at a client’s living situation and social needs.
The Ideal Candidate for Inpatient Treatment
Clients with a serious addiction or dual diagnosis do best in an inpatient setting. These individuals require separation from their daily patterns and stresses. The inpatient model gives them the support they need to recover and renew.
The Best Fit for Outpatient Drug Rehab
Outpatient addiction programs are best suited for clients with minor addictions. These are people who recognize that they have a problem, but it has not seriously impacted their lives. A person in recovery who has experienced a minor relapse can also find help through an outpatient program.
A client’s life circumstances may also make an outpatient model more realistic. People with small children and other caregivers may need the flexibility this type of treatment provides.
Finding Support on Your Recovery Journey
Whatever your recovery needs, contacting a treatment center is often the first step on the path. In Southern California, CNV Detox provides comprehensive, compassionate care for clients seeking relief from addiction. Our experienced team is ready to help you on the journey. Contact us today.
Lithium is one of the medications that may be recommended for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal and alcohol use disorders. Lithium has been used for this purpose since the 1970s. Studies have shown that the use of lithium for alcohol withdrawal helps to reduce shaking and other visible withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, the medication significantly improves motor skills during the withdrawal process.
Research suggests that using lithium for alcohol use disorders may have long-term benefits, too. In fact, studies have found that individuals with alcohol use disorders who take lithium for one year have fewer episodes of alcohol use than those who do not take the medicine.
This guide will help you understand what lithium is and how it can help with alcohol use disorders and co-occurring conditions. You will learn about the potential side effects of the medicine and the precautions to take during treatment.
What Is Lithium?
Lithium is an element that exists in nature, and it was discovered in 1817. In 1871, it was used for the first time as a treatment for mania. It is a prescription drug that acts as a mood stabilizer. The drug works by altering the way that sodium moves through the nerves and muscles. Sodium helps regulate moods and feelings of excitement.
What Conditions Does Lithium Treat?
In addition to using lithium for alcohol withdrawal and alcohol use disorders, the medicine is still used today to treat symptoms of mania that are associated with bipolar disorder. It can help ease aggression, anger, restlessness and hyperactivity. It is used for the treatment of acute symptoms, and patients with bipolar disorder may also take lithium on a long-term basis to prevent episodes of mania or to reduce the intensity of these episodes.
In some cases, lithium is recommended for the treatment of recurrent depression, and clinicians may consider it for certain patients with schizophrenia. In addition, lithium could be considered as a treatment for aggressive behavior.
How Does Lithium Help With the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorders and Co-Occurring Conditions?
Studies of lithium and alcohol use disorders were first conducted in the 1970s. Since that time, multiple studies on lithium and alcohol use have been completed, and the results have been encouraging. When lithium is used for the long-term treatment of alcohol use disorders, the studies show that the patient’s desire to consume alcohol is reduced. If lithium and alcohol are consumed together, the patient will have a reduced sense of intoxication. The use of both lithium and alcohol will also lead to reductions in the cognitive dysfunction that occurs with alcohol use.
Studies of lithium and alcohol use disorders carried out over at least 18 months show that lithium significantly reduces the rate of readmission for alcohol use disorder treatment. Lithium seems to promote abstinence for patients with alcohol use disorders.
While the above findings on lithium and alcohol use disorders are true for patients with and without co-occurring conditions, research shows that co-occurring conditions are present for at least 40% of individuals with alcohol use disorders. Bipolar disorder is one of the most common co-occurring conditions for patients with alcohol use disorders. Lithium helps reduce the impulsive behavior and anger that can occur with bipolar disorder, and it can reduce a person’s urge to consume alcohol. Lithium significantly reduces the risk of suicide in patients who have bipolar disorder.
Is Lithium Right for Me?
Before prescribing lithium for alcohol withdrawal or any other purpose, clinicians will take a full medical history. They may perform a physical examination. These steps are necessary to determine whether lithium is safe for the patient’s overall health.
During the medical history portion of the exam, patients should let their doctor know if they have any history of breathing issues, heart disease, kidney disease, or thyroid disease. Patients should inform the clinician if they have a history of epilepsy, Addison’s disease, psoriasis, or myasthenia gravis. The physician will also need to know whether the patient has ever experienced fainting and whether the patient has ever had an abnormal ECG. If anyone in the patient’s family has passed away before the age of 45, the patient should make sure to mention this to the medical professional.
Currently, scientists do not know whether lithium is safe for use by individuals who are pregnant. People who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant should discuss the risks and benefits of lithium for their situation. People who are breastfeeding should not use lithium.
What Are the Recommended Doses for Lithium?
For the control of acute symptoms, most patients take 1,800 milligrams of lithium per day. When extended-release tablets are used, patients may take 900 milligrams in the morning and 900 milligrams in the evening. For regular tablets, individuals use three daily doses of 600 milligrams each.
When using lithium on a long-term basis, the recommended dose is between 900 to 1200 milligrams per day.
What Are the Potential Side Effects of Lithium?
Like all medications, lithium may cause side effects for some patients. The most commonly reported side effects associated with lithium are:
- Weight Changes
- Difficulty Controlling Fine Hand Movements
- Abdominal Pain
- Hair Loss
- Changes in How Food Tastes
- Joint or Muscle Pain
- Loss of Appetite
Patients should let their prescribing physician know immediately if these side effects are persistent or severe. Some people who use lithium may develop more serious side effects. Although these are less common, patients should seek emergency medical care if they notice any of these effects:
- Foot, Ankle or Lower Leg Swelling
- Chest Tightness or Pain
- Crossed Eyes
- Changes in Heart Rhythm
- Slow or Jerky Movements
Depending on the severity of the patient’s side effects, doctors may recommend changing the patient’s lithium dose or switching to another medicine.
What Should I Know About Lithium Toxicity?
Lithium toxicity is a rare side effect that may develop during the use of this medicine. It can be fatal. To prevent this side effect, patients should seek emergency medical attention if they have any of these symptoms:
- Blurred Vision
- Slurred Speech
- Ringing in the Ears
How Can I Take Lithium Safely?
While taking lithium, it is important to follow all directions printed on the label and in the medication leaflet. Patients should take the exact dose that has been prescribed. This medicine can cause serious side effects if it is taken in doses that are only slightly larger than the prescribed dose. Patients should only take lithium for the length of time that their healthcare provider prescribes.
You should swallow lithium tablets whole. Never crush or chew the tablets. If you are using the liquid form of this drug, you should measure the correct dose with the included dosing syringe. You should never measure this medicine with a kitchen spoon.
To store lithium safely, keep the medicine bottle tightly closed and away from heat and moisture. This medication should be kept out of the reach of children.
What Precautions Should I Take During Lithium Treatment?
Since lithium can increase the risk for dehydration, it’s important to drink a sufficient amount of liquid each day. However, drinking too much fluid during treatment could be dangerous. You should ask your healthcare provider about an appropriate liquid intake and about the types of liquids that you should drink. It may help to keep a log of your daily fluid intake during treatment.
During treatment with lithium, continue to consume the same amount of salt in your diet that you normally would. Altering your salt intake could cause the amount of lithium in your body to change.
After starting lithium, you will need to avoid driving and any other potentially hazardous activities until you understand how lithium affects you. This medication can impair reaction time.
What Monitoring Is Necessary During Treatment?
While taking lithium, you will probably need to have regular blood tests. These tests are necessary to measure the amount of lithium in your blood. Lithium has a very narrow dose range, and doctors will use the test results to adjust your dose so that it is effective and safe for you.
If you need to have surgery, let your surgeon know that you are taking lithium.
When Might I Notice an Improvement in My Symptoms?
Depending on the conditions for which lithium is being used, it may take up to three weeks to notice an improvement in symptoms. However, you should let your healthcare provider know if you have not seen any improvement after the first week of treatment.
Where Can I Find Out More About Using Lithium for Alcohol Withdrawal?
The medical team at CNV Detox routinely uses lithium for alcohol withdrawal treatment. We can help you understand whether lithium may be beneficial for your particular situation and overall health needs. Our knowledgeable, compassionate team will take care of you at each step of your treatment and recovery. Contact us to speak with our team members today. It is an honor to be part of your care.
According to the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, some studies show that up to 60% of adults experience chronic insomnia. In short, insomnia is when a person has issues related to sleep. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) writes that substance use causes sleep problems. Some people suffering from an addiction to drugs and alcohol may relapse to get a solid night of sleep.
Trazodone and Ambien (zolpidem) are medications that can help with insomnia. You should consider the fact that all medications have side effects before thinking about trazodone vs Ambien as options. Individuals can become dependent on medication, just like any other drug. Intensive care is likely the best option for people with a dual diagnosis.
What Are Trazodone and Ambien?
As aforementioned, trazodone and Ambien are types of medication that assist with sleep issues. The Sleep Foundation notes that a doctor will for the following characteristics before they diagnose a person with insomnia:
- Problems getting to sleep (sleep onset)
- Issues staying asleep (sleep maintenance)
- Sleeping far into the morning
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
There are two types of insomnia that either medication might be able to help with. One might help more than another. That’s why it’s important to look into trazodone vs Ambien.
Primary insomnia is when a person has an issue sleeping that is unrelated to any other health disorder. On the other hand, secondary insomnia is when a person has sleep issues because of a health issue. Health issues like chronic pain and anxiety can cause restless nights. Also, insomnia can be categorized into short-term and chronic. Short-term only lasts a short time, while chronic lasts three months or more.
What Is Trazodone?
Trazodone was initially used as an antidepressant. It falls into the medical class of serotonin antagonist and reuptake inhibitors (SARIs for short). It’s less effective to treat depression than other medications like Prozac and Zoloft, which are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
It works by impeding the 5H2a receptor, which is a serotonin receptor. Hence, it blocks the serotonin transporter from making it to the receptor. Normally neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are reabsorbed into the nerve cells that produced them after they deliver a message.
Serotonin plays a role in:
- Mood stabilization
- Bowel function
- Blood clotting
- Bone health
This medication hinders serotonin from being reabsorbed. That leaves more serotonin for the central nervous system to work with (CNS). The CNS is made up of multiple systems in the brain and spinal cord. It is in charge of regulating intelligence, memory, and learning. Also, it prepares the body for stressful situations and for rest, which plays into insomnia.
For this reason, trazodone may be prescribed to someone with insomnia or as a last line of action for someone suffering from depression. This SARI also has sedative effects, besides how it inhibits serotonin. It’s not a sedative per se, but can make a person feel more relaxed and ready to knock out for the night.
What Is Ambien?
Ambien is a type of drug that produces sleep. It falls into the sedative, or hypnotic, drug class. Ambien is a potent drug that acts almost like benzodiazepines (benzos), but it’s not one. Examples of benzos are Xanax and Valium.
People who consume sedatives may experience the following:
- Increased relaxation
- Feeling less stressed
- Impaired motor function
- Inability to retain new information
- Slowed heart rate and breathing
Ambien supposedly works by making more gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) available for the CNS to use. GABA is known as an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which is an amino that impedes the flow of chemical messages. The more GABA available for the CNS to use, the more the body’s systems slow down. This includes the parts of the systems that keep people awake and alert.
A doctor may opt to prescribe this medication over others because it has a short half-life. A half-life, in terms of medication, is how long it takes the body to half a medication’s concentration. So, Ambien’s short half-life means it’s fast-acting, doesn’t need a large dose, and doesn’t remain in the body for a long period of time. Though, the dose of Ambien may change depending on the type of insomnia a person has.
What’s the Difference Between Trazodone and Ambien?
The difference between trazodone and Ambien as sleep aids are that they’re different types of medication and work with different brain chemicals. Trazodone was developed to help people with depression. Ambien was specifically made to help people with insomnia. Additionally, it can take trazodone weeks to work.
Also, using Ambien to treat insomnia isn’t “off-label,” according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In comparison, using trazodone for insomnia is considered “off-label.” The FDA writes “off-label” use is when a doctor prescribes FDA-approved medication for unapproved reasons.
That doesn’t mean that the medication won’t be effective or is illegal. It just means the company that produces the medicine hasn’t submitted the proper clinical data and additional information for the FDA to review.
Doctors may prescribe medication for “off-label” use when:
- They judge it’s appropriate
- There isn’t an approved medication on the market to treat a particular condition
- A patient has exhausted all forms of other treatment
- A doctor wants to try a different dose than what the FDA has approved
- The doctor wants to administer the drug in a different form that’s unapproved by the FDA (i.e.: capsule vs oral solution)
Also, Ambien is a sedative versus trazodone, a SARI with sedative-like properties. Knowing the differences between the two can help a patient stay informed. They might prefer using one over another.
What Are the Side Effects of Trazodone and Ambien?
Both Ambien and trazodone have side effects like any other medication. People should only resort to a prescription when they’ve exhausted all other options. Medications can also cause severe allergic reactions, leading to a costly hospital visit. It’s worth weighing the side effects of both of these drugs.
Trazodone Side Effects
Some patients notice a trazodone appetite suppressant effect after they consume it. The National Health Service (NHS) writes that it can actually increase or decrease hunger levels depending upon who takes it. If this happens where it results in severe weight loss or gain, talk to a doctor.
Other side effects of trazodone, sometimes called a trazodone hangover, include:
- Feeling overly tired
- Body aches and pains
- Feeling fluish
- Dry mouth
Less common side effects are:
- An abnormal heartbeat
- A long-lasting and painful erection
- Skin or the whites of eyes turn yellow
- More infections than usual
An allergic reaction is different from side effects. Side effects other than the ones mentioned, like wheezing and swelling, need immediate care. The NHS also writes that taking this medication while pregnant could affect the unborn baby. Certain conditions and medication can cause adverse effects.
Ambien Side Effects
When it comes to trazodone vs Ambien, they both have similar side effects. Ambien seems to have more side effects as a whole. Though, unlike trazodone, it’s highly addictive. Doctors typically won’t prescribe for more than two weeks because of this. Ambien side effects can be broken down into very common, common, uncommon, and rare.
Very common symptoms mean they happen to more than 10% of patients:
- Dizziness (around a quarter of patients)
- Light drowsiness
Common symptoms range from 1% to 10% of patients:
- Attention disturbance
- Burning sensation
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Feeling light-headed
- Memory issues
Uncommon and rare symptoms of Ambien (0.1% to 1%) are:
- Speech disorders
- Issues with taste
- Restless legs
The symptoms mentioned aren’t an exhaustive list. There is a risk taking medication, prescribed or not. Talk to a doctor about the side effects before consuming Ambien. Also, certain medications and conditions can increase the chances of adverse effects.
Are There Alternatives to Trazodone and Ambien?
Before thinking about trazodone vs Ambien, consider natural alternatives. There are herbal supplements that may be able to help with insomnia, even in the worst cases. Two supplements that can help with sleep issues are melatonin and valerian root.
Melatonin is typically made synthetically. They’re made to mimic the naturally-occurring brain chemical, melatonin. This chemical is produced in sync with the dark-light cycle. Being exposed to light before bed, even if it’s hours before, can disrupt melatonin production. Melatonin can come as a liquid, capsule, or vaporizer. They may come in other forms
Valerian root may be a good option for those with insomnia. The medicine department of University of Michigan says that valerian root is a herbal supplement that has effects similar to trazodone and Ambien. In other words, this herbal supplement can aid sleep issues, anxiety, and depression. Also, it can help with cramps. The university does mention it can take weeks for valerian root to help serious cases of insomnia.
Trazodone and Ambien Can’t Always Help Underlying Issues
Although trazodone and Ambien can’t always help underlying issues, CNV Detox can. Secondary insomnia can come about because of a substance use disorder or mental illness. CNV Detox helps members take the first step to long-lasting recovery from addiction, and possibly insomnia. If you don’t pull out a weed by the roots it will continue to grow. Contact us if you have a substance use disorder and insomnia before thinking about trazodone vs Ambien.
People with fears and reservations about entering addiction treatment may find any number of reasons to justify putting off their recovery. Some worry about finances, while others fear lost time or social stigma. No matter what the reason, those who fear drug and alcohol rehab often find themselves asking: “Can I detox at home?”
For some, this is possible; however, two primary factors keep countless addicts and alcoholics from recovering by self-will alone. These factors are the need to detox in a safe environment and the need to set a foundation for long-term recovery. Without meeting these needs by seeking treatment at a licensed drug and alcohol rehab, getting sober will be next to impossible for most people.
Reasons Why People Might Try to Detox at Home
The following reasons might have crossed your mind if you’ve thought about detoxing at home.
Willpower to Overcome Addiction On Your Own
If one or more of your friends and family have told you that you can get over addiction by yourself, you might believe you can. Some people think that you can simply stop using drugs. However, addiction is a disease, just like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. You can’t just “overcome it.” Substance use disorder require professional treatment and therapy for full recovery. Even after detox, you still need additional treatment to be successful.
Relapse After a Previous Detox Program
You might have already attended a professional detox program and relapsed. As aresult, you’re probably thinking that a program doesn’t work and that detoxing at home would be better. However, you shouldn’t look at relapse as a failure. This doesn’t mean that another program wouldn’t work better for you. Some people relapse several times before achieving long-term sobriety.
Professional Detox Can Be Expensive
The thought of attending a rehab center to recover from addiction might seem daunting, especially if you’re low on funds. However, many treatment facilities accept a variety of insurance. If you don’t have insurance, you might qualify for financial aid or be able to do a payment plan. You shouldn’t let the cost of treatment prevent you from seeking help.
Feelings of Shame About Your Addiction
If you have low self-esteem (which is a large factor in addiction), you might think that you aren’’t worthy of help from treatment professionals. Your family might want you to detox at home so that no one else knows that their loved one has an addiction. However, there’s still a risk that at-home detox won’t work.
Wanting to Keep Your Addiction A Secret
What if your friend, mother, or sibling finds out you have a substance use disorder? Going to treatment might let your secret out. You might fear that your doctor will call the police if you tell them you’re using illegal drugs. You could also be afraid that your employer would find out and fire you from your job.
Can I Get Sober On My Own?
If you have mild substance use disorder, it’s possible for you to detox from home. As we’ll talk about later, though, you definitely shouldn’t detox at home if you have a severe substance use disorder. It might seem easy and inexpensive to get sober on your own. Some people also might think that you can simply quit using drugs “cold turkey.” Although this can sometimes work for people who are quitting cigarettes, it’s not so simple for other substances.
There are programs out there that promise rapid detox with self-supervised, at-home treatments. They’ll recommend using other drugs to get over your substance of choice or tapering usage over time. However, there is no real supervision over this process.
The Dangers of Detoxing Alone
Even if you’re thinking about getting sober on your own, the dangers of detox at home far outweigh the benefits. Overall, it’s best to receive professional detox in a certified treatment facility.
Many people who detox from home aren’t prepared to handle the potentially severe consequences of withdrawal. Alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal provide some of the most uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Severity of Withdrawal Symptoms
When first getting sober, most people suffer withdrawal symptoms to varying degrees. Depending upon the substance used, as well as the amount and frequency of use, these symptoms can last up to a few days or even more than a week. While most withdrawal symptoms are relatively mild, some symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal can be severe or possibly life-threatening. Ranging from mild to severe, common withdrawal symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
Drug and alcohol rehab facilities help patients manage these symptoms by providing them with medical detox services. Patients will receive approved medications to treat their withdrawal symptoms and will reside under the continuous supervision of medical staff to mitigate any dangers associated with their present symptoms. Seemingly mild symptoms can become life-threatening without much notice, and those who attempt to detox on their own will have a hard time preparing for the possibility that they may require medical attention once their withdrawal period hits its peak.
We’ll break down withdrawal symptoms for common drugs that people tend to abuse.
Alcohol withdrawal usually happens six to 24 hours after you stop drinking. Mild withdrawal symptoms might include anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and restlessness.
If you have a mild alcohol use disorder, it’s possible to detox at home. However, you shouldn’t try to do this if you have a severe addiction. Supervised medical detox is the best choice due to the complications that painful withdrawal symptoms can bring (including death).
Severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:
- Delirium tremens
- Elevated blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Kidney dysfunction
Non-medical detox or medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can help you manage these symptoms. In MAT, staff use benzodiazepines to relieve anxiety, seizures, and delirium tremens.
As we just mentioned, benzodiazepines can treat many difficult withdrawal symptoms. Detoxing from benzos is complicated because the process can last up to three months. This is common for people who take high doses of benzos for prolonged periods. On top of that, benzodiazepine withdrawal can lead to serious symptoms if you don’t manage it properly.
Severe symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Psychotic events
- Dry heaving
- Hand tremors
- Panic attacks
Heroin/Prescription Opioid Withdrawal
Although opioid withdrawal symptoms aren’t usually fatal, they’re known to be quite uncomfortable. Some of the first opioid withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, muscle aches, anxiety, and sweating. Diarrhea and vomiting can happen as withdrawal progresses. It’s best to enroll in professional detox when you have opioid withdrawal.
Buprenorphine is a common medication used to displace opioids from the body’s opioid receptors. This reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and it also blocks the pleasurable effects people feel when taking opioids.
Severe symptoms of heroin and prescription opioid withdrawal include:
- High blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dilated pupils
- Runny nose
- Goosebumps on the skin
Performing a detox at home can also be dangerous since it won’t necessarily complete your recovery. This increases your risk of relapse. People are at less risk of relapse if they complete a full treatment program with therapy and aftercare. Another risk of detox at home is the “kindling phenomenon,” which refers to more severe withdrawal symptoms that happen with repeated relapses. If you relapse more than once and keep trying to detox at home without an intervention, you could set yourself up for even worse symptoms.
One study shows that people in a professional substance abuse treatment program are more likely to stay sober over time. On the other hand, those who try to detox at home tend to relapse. After three years, 62.4% of people who received help were in remission from addiction, and only 43.4% of people who didn’t get help were in remission.
In the long-term, after 16 years, 60.5% of people who didn’t receive help and were sober after three years had relapsed. Only 42.9% of people who received help and were sober after three years had relapsed. This shows how effective professional detox is and how detox at home can be a huge risk.
Drug and Alcohol Rehab Prevents Relapse
Easing patients through their withdrawal symptoms is only one step in a much longer process. Drug and alcohol rehab provides addicts and alcoholics with a safe space in which they can face the underlying causes of their addiction, not just its symptoms. This allows them to begin laying the groundwork for long-term recovery by establishing a relapse prevention plan based on the triggers they identify in treatment. Such triggers may include negative emotions, the sight or smell of drugs and alcohol, financial difficulty, work-related stress, and communication with drug dealers or other individuals related to the addict’s substance use.
Naturally, relapse prevention requires more than the identification and avoidance of triggers. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, those who turn their lives around for the better typically accomplish change by transforming their behaviors, attitudes and beliefs. Learning to overcome triggers is a reactive approach; drug and alcohol rehab provides a proactive approach by teaching patients to establish a mindset in which triggers no longer have the same effect on them. This takes time and effort, but it is highly achievable with the help of a licensed addiction treatment facility.
Why Going to Addiction Treatment is the Best Option
Despite the above discussion regarding withdrawal in addiction treatment and relapse prevention, you might still ask yourself: “Can I detox at home?”
This question, however, is unnecessary. Regardless of whether it is theoretically possible to go it alone, there are passionate professionals who can help you. By entering treatment at CNV Detox, you can overcome your withdrawal symptoms without needless suffering. You can then pursue a full continuum of care while building the tools you need to establish long-term success in your recovery.
Benefits of Detoxing in a Safe Environment
When you detox in a safe environment like an inpatient treatment center, you’ll feel secure and comfortable. Facility staff will make sure you receive round-the-clock care. Spending a long time in treatment will also help you effectively recover from substance use disorder.
If you try to detox at home and you’re not in a supportive environment, the results could be disastrous.
The Need for a Foundation for Long-Term Recovery
One thing detox in a treatment center provides is a foundation for long-term recovery. Facilities can provide you with tools and skills that detox at home won’t give you. Joining 12-step support groups and receiving career counseling will help keep you accountable and stay on the right track. If you ever experience cravings, your sponsor can help you see the bigger picture and control these.
CNV Detox Can Help You
Don’t allow your fears to get the best of you, wondering whether you have the strength to become sober without the help of drug and alcohol rehab. Accept the help that has been offered, and discover the joy of recovering as part of a community rather than all alone.
The thought of leaving your current life behind to enter drug and alcohol rehab might be scary at first, but it’ll ultimately be one of the best decisions you ever make for yourself. When you have some sober time under your belt and you’re looking back on what life was once like, you’ll wonder why you ever put off treatment in the first place.
For more information on how drug and alcohol rehab can help you overcome withdrawal and prevent future relapse, contact us today. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our programs and facilities completely free of charge.
What is Wine Mom Culture?
Wine mom culture encourages drinking alcohol to take the edge off the stresses of being a parent. It’s reinforced by memes on the internet and products like wine glasses that say “mommy fuel” or “They whine. I wine.” Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotbe of NBC’s “Today Show” became popular and well known for drinking wine at 10 a.m. in the early 2010s.
The wine mom comes from the world of mommy blogs. Mommy blogs celebrated the moms who could “do it all,” keeping perfect homes, taking care of children, and working full time. But at the same time, they also celebrate “realness” like admitting to feeding kids Pop Tarts for dinner or drinking a bottle of wine between dinner and bedtime.
What began as a source of harmless, humorous memes and bonding for stressed-out mothers is beginning to look like a full-blown public health problem. Experts are expressing concern across the United States.
Who Becomes a Wine Mom?
Alone, a wine mom is someone who likes to drink to take the edge off parenting duties and who is open to making fun of the fact. But as a group, wine moms have started to represent bothersome trends in modern parenting, or even a comfortable middle-class sense of security. Considering that, should you label every mom who likes to drink wine a “wine mom”? It depends on who you ask. The wine mom could be a put-upon and sympathetic person or a suspiciously harmful one.
Why Women Drink
One important feature in understanding the public health effect of wine mom culture is getting a picture of why women (especially moms) drink. Clearly, the wine mom culture isn’t making moms drink. It’s a pop-culture reflection of real, overlooked issues in our society and the lives of women. There are complex underlying problems that can’t easily be solved. Problems that range from professional and personal pressures to basic ideas about the role of women and mothers in society.
- Socializing: Alcohol has always been used as a way to socialize. Unfortunately, social drinking and binge drinking go together, and binge drinking often is one of the first signs and causes of problem drinking. It prevents women from seeing the signs of problem drinking in themselves or their friends.
- Stress relief: The main reason women give for drinking is to relieve stress. Through the decades to today’s “mommy juice,” the stress of motherhood has been seen as a disease that needs a cure. Sadly, the cure often is worse than the disease.
- Self-medicating: Besides simple stress relief, the drinking shown in wine mom culture can be considered dangerous self-medicating. This is especially true for undiagnosed or unknown emotional and psychological issues. More than 10% of women report depression and more than 8% report anxiety disorders.
- Rebellion: The “bad mom” genre in movies, TV, and online is appealing to some moms. It represents the rebellion against social pressures and the unrealistic social beliefs about the perfect mom and the women who can do it all.
Moms who drink wine or other alcoholic beverages obviously existed before the internet. However, the internet launched them into social media stardom. During the mid-2010s, the phrase “wine mom” got popular because it became common for moms to joke online about drinking wine to cope with the stress of motherhood. Wine moms began poking fun at themselves in viral videos, blog posts, and memes.
The humor of the wine mom can be empowering for mothers. University of California associate history professor Lisa Jacobson says she recognized immediately why “wine mom” humor has the agreement of mothers. “It allows women to embrace their identity as mothers, while also refusing to be solely defined by that role.” The memes contain open expressions of frustration at the coexisting monotony and chaos of modern mothering and struck her as “a vaguely feminist rejection of the vision of the traditional self-sacrificing ‘homemaker’ mom that’s been memorialized in the 1950s sitcoms.”
In the 20th-century picture of the nuclear family, moms raised the kids while dads worked outside the home and came home to relax until bedtime. Their drinking time was basically built into the daily schedule. But “beer dads” has never become an internet joke, even though fathers are often stereotypically identified with beer.
Symptoms of a Serious Problem?
Wine mom humor has frequently been accused of glorifying excessive drinking Or otherwise promoting drinking as a coping method among parents. Clearly, for anyone drinking to self-medicate or developing an alcohol addiction is a cause to be concerned about.
Historically, it’s been more culturally unacceptable for women to be drunk than men because it is viewed as a violation of different ideas about femininity. Besides that, mothering is known widely to be a majorly important job that doesn’t end every day at 5 p.m. or offer any time off. So any time a mom is drinking it could be seen as drinking on the job.
Sounding the Alarm
And now, some of the mommy wine culture’s biggest supporters are sounding the alarm. It is being argued that normalizing wine culture isn’t really giving women an opening for self-care. In fact, it’s probably damaging their health.
On a wider level, America appears to have a bit of an alcohol problem. A study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, discovered that alcohol-related deaths in the U.S. doubled between 1999 and 2007. The largest increase was among non-Hispanic white women.
Similarly, a 2017 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that between 2001 and 2013 the rates of high-risk drinking (Behavior that could lead to alcoholism) were up 58% for women. And rates of problem drinking rose more than 84%. Problem drinking is defined as drinking to the point that it interferes with your life or you are unable to stop.
Keep in mind that those numbers come before the real popularity of wine mom culture in the last five years. It seems that internet culture is reflecting and expanding a social trend. This is what social media is good for.
Even though there is no evidence that the thriving mommy wine culture is directly responsible for the trend, these findings tend to weaken the idea that drinking alcohol is something you do to take care of yourself. For a long time, we have been led to believe that moderate drinking may have some health benefits. However, there’s just as much evidence to indicate the opposite.
With that in mind, how do you determine whether you’re drinking too much? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that heavy drinking for women is considered more than eight drinks per week. However, the majority of heavy drinkers don’t meet the standards to be diagnosed with severe alcohol use disorder (AUD). “Drinking is a problem if it causes trouble in your relationships, school, social activities, or how you think and feel,” according to the CDC.
The problem is that in this culture we are told that wine and other alcohol is something we deserve. It makes everything about drinking cloudier. Do you drink too much or are you just doing what you need to take care of yourself? Don’t all tired moms do this?
Recent research has determined that parental burnout is very real. Up to 14% of parents now qualify as burned out. This means that they’re physically and emotionally exhausted to the extent that they may be distancing themselves from their kids. Or they may be feeling that they are unqualified as parents. Parents need outlets, but former wine moms are pushing back against the idea that alcohol should be that outlet.
Wine mom jokes reveal the most immediate problem is that modern parenting has become a more intense and isolating job than it used to be. Wine mom memes could be understood as an unspoken rejection of the notion of the supermom who can do it all. On the other hand, the existence of that ideal in the first place may be what makes mothering more stressful.
Supermoms are usually understood to be both successful career women and successful mothers and homemakers. But still, most workplaces are better suited to childless workers than parents. Similarly, they tend to favor childless women over mothers. This all means that in real life, many women who try to be supermoms feel like they just end up cramming a lot of hurried, flawed parenting into the hours they’re at home.
Women, Wine, and Alcohol
When it comes to drinking, life is not fair to women. More men report having a problem with alcohol, but women are more likely to develop an AUD. Due to the composition of women’s bodies, women get drunk faster, process alcohol slower, and become dependent easier than men. That’s why, when experts talk about moderate alcohol use, one glass of wine is moderate for women.
As a result, women who are alcoholics are more likely to suffer health damage than alcoholic men. Alcoholic moms are also more likely to develop:
- brain damage
- liver damage
- heart damage
- hormonal problems
Alcoholic Moms and Their Families
The danger of alcoholism is also a serious threat to family life. Like other mental illnesses and addictive behaviors, alcoholism tends to run in families. Addictive behaviors are partly genetically linked, but when children see a mother self-medicate, they are more likely to see it as harmless and are more likely to follow the parent into addiction.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has found that as much as 10% of children in this country live in a home where at least 1 parent has a drinking problem. Having just 1 alcoholic parent increases a child’s risk of:
- accidental injury
- becoming an alcoholic in adulthood
These dangers are increased because women are less likely than men to get help for their addiction. There appears to be built-in social learning that makes us unaware of addiction in women — we call it the wine mommy culture. Conversely, there is still the social stigma against addiction in women, which makes them afraid to seek help. Even when they know they have a problem. This means that it is a health problem that can continue through generations.
Not Just Moms
For all the talk of wine moms, researchers have not found much evidence to imply that binge drinking is a problem limited to moms. A study published in 2019 found that all adult women were drinking more in 2018 than in 2006. Likewise, most adult men were too.
The Sober Curious Movement
The meaning of “sober curious” is pretty obvious. It suggests that you are questioning your need to drink alcohol, what it’s doing for you if it’s worth it, and what you might be able to accomplish without it. Compared to people who identify themselves as alcoholics or problem drinkers, sober curious people are people who still have the option to choose. In short, it means that you realize that alcohol probably isn’t serving you well and you want to learn more about it.
As we already know, alcohol abuse among women has been sharply on the rise for years. A 2020 study from the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that the rate of deaths involving alcohol consumption for men increased by 35% from 1999 to 2017. But for women, the numbers increased by 85% in the same period. At the same time, the association between wine and motherhood also rose.
Can Alcoholic Moms be Treated?
Overcoming the shame and prejudice that American culture has against women with addictions won’t be easy to do. But if you are a mom with a drinking problem, you aren’t just doing it for yourself, but for the children watching you. They aren’t the ones responsible for your drinking, but they may be the reason you stop.
You or a loved one can find treatment at CNV Detox. Whether you are a wine mom with a drinking problem or you have an alcohol use disorder, we have the experience to help you recover. We are a judgment-free zone and our only care is to help you recover and get back to your family.
Just in case you have an underlying mental disorder, something common with addiction, we have a dual diagnosis program that will help you understand and solve your mental and emotional issues. Contact us now. We know you have questions and that’s a good thing. There is no reason to let this go on.