Category: Addiction

painkiller addiction

5 Big Warning Signs of Painkiller Addiction

Sometimes it starts slowly… creeping into the life of you or the ones you love day by day until you don’t recognize the person looking back at you. In other cases, it hits you like a freight train, but no matter how it happens painkiller addiction is not going to go away on its own.

In 2017 alone, 18 million people misused prescription medication. The cycle has to stop, but how do you spot the signs of addiction before a life-altering drug overdose?

It isn’t ever easy to see a loved one in the clutches of prescription drug abuse, and it is even harder to look in the mirror and see the signs of abuse staring back at you.

We want to help you through it. We have put together a list of warning signs that can help to identify there is a problem and get you can get working fast on the solution.

Warning Signs of Painkiller Addiction

The following 5 signs are signs that could help you spot prescription drug abuse and possibly save a life.

1. Behavior changes

Mood swings and hostile behavior seemingly out of nowhere are an early sign of addiction. Often times unavailability of the drug can cause aggressive behavior. A change in decision making abilities and/or engaging in risk-taking behavior is something to look out for as well.

2. Using more than the recommended dosage

There are many disorders that go hand in hand with addiction. Often times prescription drug abuse begins with misuse of a medication that belongs to the user. They may develop tolerance and start to take more than needed. In some cases, the pain might feel stronger as drug tolerance increases, creating a vicious cycle of misuse.

3. Highs and Lows

An addiction to opioids can cause euphoria and excitability, followed by drowsiness and sometimes confusion. An extremely energetic attitude shortly followed by agitation or anger is common. These high and lows on a regular basis are a warning sign that there could be a problem.

4. Physical Withdrawal

When a dose is missed serious physical symptoms can occur. Muscle aches, sleep changes, and flu-like symptoms are just a few signs of withdrawal. 

5. Secretive Behavior

Using deceitful behavior to get access to the drug is a tricky sign as the addict will go great lengths to hide the addiction. Keep an eye out for things like falsely losing pills to obtain a new prescription and forging prescriptions.

The Next Step 

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these symptoms you are not alone. Painkiller addiction is not the end of the road. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The important thing is to be strong and vigilant in the recovery process and take it one day at a time.

If you or someone you know needs help with the recovery process contact us or visit our page for more information. 

 

 

anxiety and addiction

What Is the Link Between Anxiety and Addiction?

Everyone at some point in their lives has had something that they’ve felt anxious about. But what happens when your anxiety is a constant feeling, and you can never seem to get rid of that feeling.

For some people, the only way to get through situations where they may feel anxious is to begin abusing substances. Usually, people that abuse substances don’t enter treatment for fear that their anxiety issues will remain unfixed.

We are going to help you fill in the information between anxiety and addiction. This way, it will help make more sense to you and others around you.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is made up of a mixture of thoughts, behaviors, and feelings that make situations uncomfortable for some people. When a person suffers from anxiety, they have issues that stem from fear. Because of this fear, it causes irrational thoughts, which then turn into behaviors.

The use of substances to treat anxiety is a way for an addict to escape the anxiety that they feel daily. A person that suffers from anxiety may exhibit one of the following signs:

  • The need for control
  • Ignoring signs of stress physically and psychologically
  • The need for approval
  • The need to be perfect

Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety will manifest itself psychologically and physically, and for an addict, it can be easier to abuse substances than to face the issues that are causing their anxiety. You can compare the feeling of anxiety to that of going through withdrawal.

If an addict can use again to escape withdrawing, then that is what they are going to do. The same goes for the feelings of anxiety if they can lessen that feeling or reduce that feeling by using they are going to continue using. 

Over time, as an addict continues to abuse drugs, their feelings of anxiety will become just as strong as their addiction. Having an addiction allows the addict the ability to run away from their problems.

Anxiety and Substance Abuse Treatment

Dual diagnosis is the term that is used when it comes to treating anxiety and substance abuse. This will allow the addict to confront their issues with addiction. While confronting the anxiety problems and getting to the bottom of what is causing the anxiousness.

The addiction treatment network will be comprised of doctors, therapists, and nurses that will help the addict through detox. And give them the skills they need to cope with everyday life without using.

Anxiety treatment therapists will give the addict the tools they need to reduce the anxiety they feel by addressing why they feel this anxiety.

The Wrap-up

Having anxiety and addiction issues doesn’t have to mean the end all be all for you. There are always people that are willing to step up and help you out of the situation that you’re in.

We’ve given you all of the information you need when it comes to anxiety and addiction and hopefully have helped you. If you need more information, contact us today.

 

Drug Addict Behavior Traits

5 Common Traits to Help You Identify a Drug Addict

Has your friend or child been acting strange lately? Do they not seem like themselves?

Just because you can’t put your finger on what’s different, doesn’t mean you’re making it up. If you think something is wrong, you need to trust your gut. As we’re learning more and more, your gut is connected to your mind and is usually right.

Your friend acting strangely could be from a lot of different things – not necessarily drug use.

But, it’s good to know some drug addict behavior traits, just in case. We’re detailing them, below.

Drug Addict Behavior Traits

These traits aren’t in any particular order of importance, nor are they chronological. Each person is different, and their journey to addiction will be as well.

Please keep that in mind while going through the following traits.

A Change in Priorities

Everyone has their “thing.” For some people it’s work. For some, it’s working out, reading, or going out on their boat.

Whatever it is, it brings them joy, and they always make time for it, even if they have to prioritize it over something else.

However, drug and alcohol use change those priorities. As addiction progresses, getting high or drunk becomes the top priority more and more.

If you notice your friend isn’t doing what they love anymore or isn’t making time for themselves, it’s time to check-in.

*This trait is also a sign of depression, so it’s extra important to make sure they’re okay.

Impulsive Behavior

As someone starts to use and abuse substances, they start making a series of bad decisions.

What may start as bad time-use decisions, like going out on a work night, can progress into things that put their personal safety at risk.

If you notice them doing things like driving drunk, going home with strangers, getting in fights, or making other harmful decisions, that’s another sign to make sure your friend is okay.

An Extra Short Fuse

We all know people who have a short temper – even when they’re not using alcohol or drugs. But a temper is something that stays relatively predictable (whether it’s short or long), in someone’s adult life.

A change in temper, especially becoming more short-tempered, is a sign of addiction. The persons’ drug use is putting such stress on their mental resources that they find themselves being able to deal with less and less.

This trait can be dangerous, so make sure the person is calm before you talk to your friend about these concerns.

Low or Worsening Self Esteem

Finally, it’s not uncommon for drug or alcohol use to have an impact on someone’s self-esteem. In fact, having low self-esteem is a risk factor for developing an addiction in the first place.

Addictions upset the serotonin production in your brain, and cause depression from over-use.

What To Look Out For

When it comes to the alcohol and drug addict behavior traits above, you’re looking for a change.

A change in their priorities, the kinds of decisions they make, how they handle stress, and or in their self-esteem.

If you catch this change early on, you may be able to help them seek treatment before a full-blown addiction starts. Learn about our support groups and our recovery programs here.

 

fentanyl withdrawal symptoms

What Are Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms?

Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans know someone who is addicted to opioids?

The sad truth about opioid addictions is that many people who become addicted were originally prescribed this medication by their doctor when weaker OTC painkillers could’ve been used instead. Since some people don’t realize how addictive opioids are, it’s easy to get into trouble if you don’t follow the dosage instructions carefully.

Fentanyl is one of the most common opioids prescribed. Whether you or someone you love is battling an opioid addiction, learning about the fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can make the detox process less scary.

What are the fentanyl withdrawal symptoms? Keep reading for all the facts.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms During the First Three Days

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms can vary from person to person based on numerous factors. However, there are a handful of common symptoms that affect both the body and mind.

Physical symptoms within the first three days of withdrawal can include sweating, fever, runny nose, fatigue, and soreness. These symptoms are similar to how your body feels after catching the flu.

Some psychological symptoms can include anxiety, insomnia, and irritability. If the anxiety is severe enough, it can have an impact on the body by elevating the heart rate.

Fentanyl Withdrawal Symptoms Beyond Three Days

Everybody detoxes at a different rate. However, most people’s symptoms tend to intensify around the 3-day mark.

Physical symptoms that may start to appear 3 days into the detox process include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramping, and nausea. If the symptoms are severe, you’ll need to be diligent about drinking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.

During this time period, cravings for fentanyl can also peak. Another common psychological symptom is depression.

How Long Does It Take to Overcome the Symptoms?

Addiction doesn’t look the same in every person. People who have milder substance abuse issues will be able to detox faster than those who have heavy substance abuse issues. Some people can start to feel better between 5 and 7 days, but others can experience unpleasant symptoms for longer than a week.

What Can You Do to Make It Through the Detox Process?

Trying to quit fentanyl cold turkey is extremely challenging, especially if you’re doing it alone. The best way to ensure you recover is by working with experienced health care providers who can monitor your symptoms and help keep you as comfortable as possible. Being in a drug-free environment like a drub rehab center can help you get through the intense cravings that can lead to a relapse.

Are You Having Problems With Fentanyl Abuse?

Fentanyl withdrawal symptoms aren’t pleasant, but the good news is that recovery is always possible. Educating yourself about the detox process can make getting sober much easier.

Do you need help overcoming a fentanyl addiction? If so, Pathways Florida would love to help you thrive. Contact us to learn more about our addiction treatments and services that can help you take control of your health.

problem drinking vs alcoholism

Problem Drinking vs. Alcoholism: What’s the Difference?

Did you know that over 15 million Americans suffer from an addiction to alcohol?

If you also factor in the number of people who have alcohol use issues, this figure soars much higher. Lots of people have heard the term ‘problem drinker’ before. However, not many know the differences between problem drinking vs alcoholism.

How can you tell if you or someone you know has a drinking problem or an addiction? Keep reading to learn the facts.

What Is Problem Drinking Exactly?

Problem drinking occurs when someone abuses alcohol for the emotional benefits. People who have a social drinking problem feel like they need to drink around others to loosen up and have a good time. Another type of problem drinking is relying on alcohol to alleviate stress, sadness, or other negative emotions.

Problem drinking is a psychological dependency on alcohol where people drink to feel better.

What Are the Differences Between Problem Drinking Vs Alcoholism?

The major difference between problem drinkers and alcoholics is a physical dependency on alcohol. Problem drinkers may have strong cravings for a drink. Alcoholics will start to exhibit physical and psychological symptoms if they don’t have alcohol in their system.

Problem drinkers can go months without having a drink. Alcoholics can start feeling shaky, nauseous, agitated, and anxious within a couple of hours since their last drink.

What Are the Treatments for Problem Drinking and Alcoholism?

Problem drinkers have a much easier time getting sober because their bodies haven’t developed a physical dependency yet. This means that the only symptoms they may or may not experience are psychological. Problem drinkers who want to quit alcohol have to face the issues that make them want to drink in the first place, which can be challenging.

True alcoholics have developed a physical need for alcohol. This means detoxing can be an intense process that has both physical and psychological symptoms. Some alcoholics can get sober on their own, but detoxing in a drug rehab center can provide the best results.

Although problem drinkers can quit whenever they want to, that doesn’t mean they’re immune to temptations. Some problem drinkers can benefit from a long-term rehab program because they have to live in a clean environment with a structured daily schedule.

Which Treatment Is Right for You If You’re a Problem Drinker?

If you believe you’re a problem drinker and not an alcoholic, you can try to get sober on your own by cutting back over time or quitting cold turkey. However, if your cravings are too strong to overcome on your own, seeking professional care may be the best way to weaken your emotional dependency.

Are You Interested in Getting Help at an Alcohol Rehab Center?

Now that you know the differences between problem drinking vs alcoholism, you can have an easier time figuring out what you need to do to get better.

If you need addiction treatment, Pathways Florida would love to help you get healthy. Contact us to learn more about our Florida rehab center and services.

how long does it take to get addicted to alcohol

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Alcohol?

Did you know that a National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed over half of Americans had consumed alcohol within the past month?

Alcohol is extremely prevalent in our society even though people know the risks of having too many drinks. Most people are able to drink responsibly, but others can develop an addiction before they realize something is wrong.

Have you ever wondered “How long does it take to get addicted to alcohol?” Keep reading to learn what causes alcohol addiction.

How Does Alcohol Addiction Start?

Before you can get addicted to alcohol, you have to surpass the healthy limit on drinks. According to Mayo Clinic, women can enjoy up to one drink per day while men can have two safely.

Some addictions start with episodes of binge drinking. Others start by slowly increasing the number of drinks consumed on a regular basis. People may start drinking more without being aware of it, but most people seek out more alcohol for the benefits.

Alcohol can provide the brain with temporary euphoria. This means people can develop an emotional dependency on the way alcohol makes them feel. This is one of the first major warning signs of an addiction.

How Long Does It Take to Get Addicted to Alcohol?

Addiction requires a lot of exposure to alcohol. This can be done in a short amount of time with frequent binge drinking episodes or slowly over time by having more drinks than the healthy amount.

Aside from the unique amount of alcohol each person can drink, there are plenty of other factors that increase someone’s likelihood of developing an addiction and how soon it can occur.

Since genetics play, a big role in health, having other family members with an addiction can make you more predisposed to the disease. Some studies show that starting to drink at an earlier age can also make you more likely to struggle with addiction. Another factor that can lead to alcohol dependency is having past traumas and no healthy coping mechanisms.

What Are the Signs of Alcohol Addiction?

As your dependency increases, you reach a point where your body develops a physical addiction to alcohol. This means that not having alcohol in your system can lead to mild withdrawal symptoms that progress the longer it’s been since your last drink.

Some signs that you may have an alcohol problem include being unable to control how much you drink, feeling irritable or paranoid, worsening relationships or work performance, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you don’t drink for a few hours.

Do You Need Alcohol Addiction Treatment?

How long does it take to get addicted to alcohol? As you can see, there are numerous factors that influence how fast someone can develop an addiction. With these facts, you’ll be able to realize the warning signs and get help before the problem gets worse.

Whether you’re already addicted or you’re showing signs of developing a dependency, getting professional help is the best way to restore your health. If you’re ready to take the first step toward recovery, Florida Pathways would love to help you get sober. Contact us to learn about our alcohol and drug rehab center.

how to tell when a drug addict is lying

How to Tell When a Drug Addict Is Lying

You’ve got this friend who always seems tired lately. They’ve also lost their job and won’t tell you why. When you ask what happened, they get super defensive.

It’s raising red flags with you because you know that they were an addict in the past. You can’t be sure if they’re back at it or not. You don’t know how to tell when a drug addict is lying.

The defensive nature is one way to tell but it’s not the only way. Keep reading to learn more about how to tell if your friend is lying so you can get them the help they need.

1. They’re Tired or Hyper All the Time 

Is your friend nodding off in class? Are they stopping by Starbucks every morning or sucking down energy drinks like candy? They won’t tell you their fatigue is due to a drug habit. 

They’re more likely to tell you that they had an all-nighter at work or was up studying late. On the flip side of this, if they seem more energetic than normal this is a cause for alarm as well. 

They’ll use the excuse that they had one too many coffees this morning which is a viable story until they’re using it every other morning.  

2. They are Facing Bad Repercussions

When your friend gets fired from a job they aren’t going to tell you it was because they were caught using on the clock. They’ll tell you that they made a small mistake or that their boss was looking for an excuse to fire them. 

If they get a DUI they’ll tell you that they got a ticket for something else instead. Either way, they may ask you to bail them out of their trouble. 

3. They Never Seem to Have Enough Money

If your friend asks you for money to help with rent or groceries once, that’s one thing. If they ask for it once a week then that’s a sign that they have a problem. 

After a few times of this, if you call them out for their lack of budgeting skills and refuse to give them more money, they may turn to other means to fuel their habit. 

4. Excuses and Promises 

Nobody wants to go to rehab, even if it’s the best option for them. They may not admit to themselves that they have a problem unless it gets really out of hand. 

If you stage an intervention they may use excuses like “I’m just going through a lot right now” coupled with promises to get better

How to Tell When a Drug Addict is Lying 

There are a lot of signs that your friend may be an addict. Lying is one of them. If you know how to tell when a drug addict is lying, you may be able to call them out on it and help them before it’s too late. You don’t want to accuse your friend but it’s better than the alternative. 

Part of getting your friend the help they need is getting them into the right recovery program. Go here to see what we offer

rebuilding relationships in recovery

How to Go About Rebuilding Relationships in Recovery

There are 21.5 million Americans who have a substance abuse disorder but countless other people are affected by the disease.

Substance abuse of any kind not only takes a toll on your body and your mind. It can also have a lasting effect on relationships. Rebuilding relationships in recovery is an important factor in treatment.

A key component to recovery is having a support system around you, but often those who would be a part of that group are hesitant by the time their loved one enters treatment.

They’ve been lied to, made promise after promise, and let down again and again.

But, it isn’t impossible to rebuild relationships in recovery it’s easier to do with the help of professionals than it is on your own.

Read on to learn more about the best ways to rebuild relationships after addiction.

Affect of Addiction on Relationships

When you are dealing with addiction, it isn’t only you that is dealing with it. It doesn’t matter what the drug of choice is whether it be alcohol or heroin, the whole family is affected.

It’s important to address not only the addiction itself but also treating the broken relationships that stem from addiction.

Certain relationships are affected differently by addiction and need to be dealt with in a slightly different manner.

Which Relationships Need Rebuilding?

Not all relationships in an addict’s life need to be restored. If there were any toxic relationships it’s best to keep them out of the picture to avoid relapse.

It’s different for each type of relationship.

  • Spouse

A partner or spouse will often feel like they can never trust again. It’s important to admit to everything so trust isn’t shattered again even after recovery.

  • Children

Children of addicts may have a lot of anger with the realization their parents aren’t like other parents. It will take a lot of patience to rebuild the relationship.

  • Parents

Parents are the first emotional and physical support in someone’s life and we learn to lean on them. As a parent who has done everything they can to protect their child, it’s common to feel betrayed and also guilty. They must learn to let go of the guilt and forgive themselves before they can forgive their addict child.

Best Ways of Rebuilding Relationships in Recovery

The best way to rebuild relationships is through treatment. In recovery, you’re there to commit to change in ways that go beyond just getting sober.

Discovering what led you down the path to addiction and who and how you’ve hurt people who love you is key to rebuilding relationships in recovery.

  • Reach out to loved ones you want to reconnect with and apologize
  • Be honest and transparent
  • Don’t beat yourself up over and over again
  • Be patient

Being patient is essential in the process of rebuilding relationships because the damage did not happen overnight and the trust can’t be established overnight either.

Find a treatment program that shines a light on treating not just the addiction but also on rebuilding broken relationships.

what causes addiction

What Causes Addiction? Guide to Understanding Alcohol Addiction

21 million people in the United States suffer from some type of addiction and one in eight is an alcoholic. Addiction not only affects the person struggling with addictive behaviors, but also the people around them and those they love.

But what causes addiction and is there any way to treat it? If you know a loved one who is wrestling with addiction, continue reading to discover more about this debilitating disease.

What is Addiction?

Addiction is not just related to certain destructive behaviors. Addiction is a brain disease that changes the pathways in the brain so a person becomes increasingly dependant on dangerous substances like alcohol or certain drugs. The person then becomes subject to addictive behaviors that harm themselves.

Although people can become addicted to almost anything, one of the main addictions is alcohol. 14 million people have an alcohol disorder per year.

Here are some symptoms of people who have alcohol addiction:

  • Experience intense and deep cravings for the substance
  • Lying or stealing money to acquire the substance
  • Loss of job or skipping work or school
  • Changes in physical appearance such as red eyes, pale skin, and weight gain or loss
  • May disappear for prolonged periods
  • May pick fights, become excitable, silly, or not understanding the extent of the problem

These are some of the tell-tale signs of addiction, though every addiction is different. Always take inventory of the behavior along with other factors to determine if someone truly has an addiction.

What Causes Addiction?

While a person is not born as an addict, many factors can contribute to the development of addiction.

Environment

Your family, job, friends, and other environmental circumstances are one of the main causes of addiction. If you are continually hanging around people who abuse substances, like alcohol, you’re more likely to partake as well due to peer pressure.

When parents fail to create boundaries, disciple, or supervision for their children leaves them open to forming an addiction. Living in poverty is also a possible cause of addiction.

Genetics

The study of genetics refers to your genetic makeup and the hereditary traits you inherit from your parents. With addiction, families with members who have addition may pass those traits to their children.

There are even genes that are associated with specific addictions like alcohol. However, just because you may be predisposed to addictive traits, doesn’t mean that your environment cannot alter them.

Traumatic Events

The experiences you have in childhood can pave the way for behaviors later on in life. For example, if you experience trauma in your childhood, you’re more likely to experiment with or abuse substances like alcohol to cope with all the negative emotions the trauma caused.

Trauma is not limited to childhood, as adults can develop post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. People with PTSD may turn to alcohol or other drugs to numb the feelings of anxiety, depression, stress, or more.

Alcohol Addiction: There is Help!

Once you know what causes addiction, only then can you take the steps to get treatment. If you’re looking for a treatment center for you or someone you love, our Florida Rehab Center is the perfect place for you. Check out our page today to learn more!

most dangerous drugs

Lethal Addictions: The 5 Most Dangerous Drugs

More than 114 million people have tried an illicit drug at some point in their lifetime.

Some of these drugs are dangerous and more addicting than others. Accidental drug overdose is one of the leading causes of death for Americans under 50.

While all addictions are harmful, some are outright deadly. Find out the five most dangerous drugs to be addicted to here.

1. Prescription Pain Killers

Prescription opioid painkillers are one of the most dangerous legal drugs. Every day, about 46 people die from prescription painkiller overdose. These drugs include morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

These pills are extremely addictive. Synthetic opioids are the most frequently involved in overdoses and growing at the fastest rate. These drugs include fentanyl, tramadol, and fentanyl analogs.

In 2017, fentanyl accounted for 26,211 deaths. This was an increase of 48 percent from 2016.

2. Meth

Meth is a white powder that gives an immediate high that fades quickly. Users either snort, inject, swallow, or smoke this drug. It is made with pseudoephedrine, which is a common ingredient in cold medicines.

Long-term effects of this drug include skin sores, brain damage, extreme weight loss, anxiety, confusion, and teeth loss. An overdose of this drug can cause heart problems, kidney failure, and bleeding in the brain. Overdose deaths from meth quadrupled from 2011-2017.

3. Heroin

Heroin comes the opium poppy, which is a flower that grows in South America, Mexico, and Asia. This drug is highly addictive. It was originally a prescription drug until the 1920s.

Users build up a tolerance quickly and have to take larger doses. This increases the risks and leads to comas, blackouts, and sudden death.

In 2017, more than 15,000 people died from a heroin overdose. Heroin use has increased in recent use because of prescription opioids. People find it easier to get heroin and it’s cheaper than prescription drugs.

4. Cocaine

Cocain comes in many forms include a power that users snort or inject. Crack is another crystal form of this drug that is smoked and goes into the bloodstream from the lungs. Some people become addicted to this drug after only smoking it one time.

This drug can cause breathing problems, seizures, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure. This drug triggers the brain to release dopamine that creates a euphoric sensation. This high is short-lived, so many users repeat usage to keep the feeling.

5. Alcohol

Around 6 people die every day from alcohol poisoning, but this is not just binge drinking college students. This does not even include drunk driving accidents, which accounts for more than 10,800 deaths each year.

This makes alcohol’s death toll more than 10,000 deaths each year. Chronic excessive drinking causes damage to the stomach, liver, pancreas, and heart. It can also increase a person’s chance to develop cancer in the esophagus, throat, and mouth.

Getting Help from the Most Dangerous Drugs

These most dangerous drugs do not have to take over your life or a loved one. Treatment is available to help get back on track.

Contact us any time for treatment for these drugs or even to answer a few questions.