Addiction is a brain disease that alters behavior due to damage to multiple parts of the brain. Long-term exposure to substances can lead to issues related to judgment, self-control, decision making, cognitive abilities, and memory loss.
However, casual drinking and such should not be mistaken for addiction. Occasional consumption can lead to addiction, but it is not the same.
Addiction can cloud someone’s judgment due to the physical need to consume drugs or alcohol. The brain becomes used to, and consequently needs, that constant supply of the substance. With time, the need becomes more intense.
For alcohol, there are some red flags regarding the amount of drinking. For men, 4 drinks on the same day or up to 14 weekly drinks shouldn’t be a cause for concern. As for women, 3 drinks a day, and 7 drinks a week are the limit.
Drinking more often than that is considered binge-drinking, putting them at high-risk alcohol consumption. People who are drinking more than that can develop or might have already developed alcoholism.
Those who take prescription medication on a daily basis should also be on the lookout for any signs. They can be safe when taken according to medical instructions, and for a limited period.
If the person isn’t able to quit, takes more than required, or is double-dipping in prescriptions, they could be in trouble. This can apply to opioids, benzodiazepines, and medication like Ritalin.
There are some general signs to look out for besides those that could be red flags. A person might be addicted if they are experiencing some of the following:
California was hit by the current wave of the opioid crisis in the U.S. later than other states, which is the third wave. Most states reported increased cases of fentanyl-related deaths by 2016.
California only started doing so later in 2017. This also happened at the beginning of the 2010s, when the second wave of the crisis began. Heroin was the main culprit behind it, but heroin-related deaths didn’t spike in California at the same time. Prescription opioids have been the most commonly abused in the state of California.
Los Angeles has reported the highest number of opioid-related deaths of all counties, which has been constantly on the rise since 2015. Among opioid abusers, most victims of lethal overdoses were between 25 and 29 years old, males, and white. After opioids, psychostimulants have been the most lethal amongst users.
Cocaine and benzodiazepines, respectively, follow this. Though the age demographic varies, white males seem to be the most at risk for all drugs.
Treatment centers in Los Angeles all have programs made up of three stages: detox, substance abuse treatment, and aftercare. They are all equally important for a full recovery and to avoid relapse altogether.
Addiction affects the body physically, emotionally, and mentally. This means that it is not enough to just stop taking drugs and drinking in order to truly overcome addiction. There are underlying causes and triggers that need to be understood. This way, triggers can be addressed and avoided properly. Getting clean is just one of the required steps.
The first step is to start detoxification, and medically-assisted detox is a safer, less painful choice than quitting cold turkey. Throughout the detoxification period, patients experience withdrawal symptoms at their full force. This could either be anywhere from mild to severe symptoms and depends on the substance and quantity abused.
The symptoms triggered by the detox vary depending on the substance. Some of the most common ones are related to the digestive and nervous systems. Symptoms like headaches, nausea, diarrhea, jitteriness, and insomnia are some of the most commonly reported.
However, in some severe cases, people might experience hallucinations and even seizures. Trying to quit on your own can put your life at risk.
With 24/7 supervision, patients will have pain management medication safely prescribed to help with symptoms without worsening them. Any emergency procedures required can also be done right away, quickly, and effectively.
And what’s more, some substances cannot be quit abruptly. In some cases, people need to wean off the drugs. This can be especially hard to do without medical supervision, as it might be hard to resist taking more during cravings.
Relapsing during detox can be a problem, especially since some substances might make the body go into shock. Again, medically-detox would be safer – the patient would have no opportunity to relapse with supervision in a safe environment.
Once withdrawal symptoms have been treated and managed, patients need to start substance use treatment. This portion of the program will address the psychological aspect of addiction through sessions of therapy and therapeutic activities. Patients will partake in both individual and group sessions of treatment throughout their program.
Individual therapy is of the utmost importance for treatment. It gives patients the privacy they need to talk about what they don’t want to discuss in group settings. Each case is different, so it requires special attention for personalized solutions and insight on their addiction. Additionally, it’s an opportunity for the therapist to learn more about the patient and to notice what they wouldn’t in group therapy.
Group therapy, on the other hand, works on issues that individualized therapy wouldn’t. Social skills, interpersonal and relationship difficulties, and trust issues would be some of them. Group sessions can help patients see that they are not alone in their struggle and learn from other’s experiences. This is also important to help avoid self-isolation dynamics, which can lead to relapse in the long run.
The way sessions will work depends on what the license professionals believe is best for the patient. They will take multiple factors into consideration, like addiction level and history, symptoms, previous relapses, comorbid disorders, family history, and more. Programs will usually fall under two categories: inpatient and outpatient.
Inpatient programs will require 24/7 stay at the facility until the end of the program. Patients stay with their doctors and peers, though they get visitation days and hours as well. They will only leave in case of therapeutic activities, which are guided by a professional.
This service setting is mostly recommended for severe cases, especially in the case of a previous relapse. They tend to be shorter, as they are more in-depth and intensive.
As for outpatient treatment, patients only need to come to the detox and treatment center for their sessions. However, this service setting is only recommended for mild to moderate cases and can be riskier.
Patients in this program need to have a safe environment to come home to and reliable transportation. The number of weekly visits can go anywhere from 2 to 5 or 6 sessions, which can last from 3 to even 6 hours.
As you can see, there are several treatment center options in Los Angeles.
Addiction is a lifelong disease, so leaving the facility does not mean going back to your usual life all at once. Patients will design an aftercare plan with their doctors before going back to their routines in order to avoid relapse.
People who think going back home might trigger them into using again can go into sober living or a transition home. They are a safe environment for people with sober lifestyles, with rules to promote sobriety.
Anyone in recovery should also look for support groups in order to stay clean and meet new people. 12-step programs are reliable, available in most cities, and their program has been praised for years. In these meetings, you will feel supported by those who understand you while also being held accountable. It is somewhere to feel like you belong and know you are not alone.
Finally, people in recovery need to continue going to therapy or psychotherapy for those taking medication. Mental health can directly affect one’s chances of relapsing. Relapse is a process, and the first stage is psychological and emotional. A therapist will be able to continue teaching relapse prevention techniques and prevent toxic behavior from continuing.
Overcoming addiction is a road that cannot and should not be traveled alone. Having the right team beside you and getting proper treatment is the best way to make that road as smooth as possible. And you can get the help you need right now, at CNV Detox.
We believe that becoming sober should be about healing all aspects of your life. That is why we offer all services needed in order to make you be more than sober — to make you independent. No matter where you are on your way to a sober life, we can help you get to your destination of a healthier life.
If you or a loved one are in need of substance abuse treatment in Los Angeles, contact us today. Our team can answer all of your questions and tell you everything you need to know about our programs. You can be the happier you again and find your way back to a life without addiction.
Successful recovery starts from within.
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