Category: blog

high functioning alcoholic

What Is a High Functioning Alcoholic?

In 2018, almost 6% of American adults were reported to have an Alcohol Use Disorder, but it is expected that the actual figure is much higher, with many alcoholics keeping their addiction a secret from those around them.

You see, not all alcoholics fit the ‘down-and-out’ stereotype. The high functioning alcoholic manages to operate in society whilst being dependent on alcohol.

If you are worried about yourself, or a loved one, this article should help shed some light on what it means to be a functioning alcoholic.

Symptoms of a High Functioning Alcoholic

A high functioning alcoholic is likely to plan their life around drinking and drinking around their life. They won’t necessarily drink all day or drink themselves into a stupor every time they drink.

They are much more likely to go about their day productively. This might include going to work, carrying out daily tasks, and even partaking in sporting activities. A functioning alcoholic is more likely to set time aside at the end of the day to drink.

Due to their increased tolerance, a high functioning alcoholic will require more alcohol than most to feel its effects.

They are likely to find it difficult to control their intake. After the first drink, they might develop a ‘thirst’ for another as they begin to chase the feeling that comes with drunkenness.

High functioning alcoholics are more likely to drink alone. This might be because of a sense of shame, or simply because it guarantees that no one is going to comment on their intake.

The withdrawal symptoms experienced by a high functioning alcoholic might not be as obvious as those of other alcoholics. They might suffer from mild physical symptoms such as shaking hands, nausea, and headaches. They may also appear agitated and of low mood when not drinking.

One of the biggest dangers of high functioning alcoholism is that it is much more likely to be prolonged. This means that the serious health implications of heavy drinking are not likely to present themselves fully until later in life.

Risk Factors

There are a number of factors that can increase your chance of developing alcohol dependency:

  • Having existing or past alcohol use disorders in the family, especially parents or other close relatives
  • Suffering from mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety
  • Being prone to stress
  • Suffering from low self-esteem
  • Pre-existing trauma

Leading experts in addiction believe that alcohol is often used by addicts to escape from emotional pain. This pain is almost always born from earlier trauma or loss. 

Helping a High Functioning Alcoholic

This being said, it is not always the case of breaking down behavioral patterns and creating new ones. Attempting to curb your own or someone else’s drinking is not necessarily of any benefit without a deeper understanding of the root cause.

The most important thing to look at is WHY an individual drinks. By understanding what alcohol is being used to mask, the individual can begin to understand why they drink.

Seldom is this obvious at first, but if someone can conquer the reason why then they can eliminate the resulting need.

Alcohol rehabilitation centers offer high functioning alcoholics a safe space to tackle these issues by implementing therapies, such as Rapid Resolution Therapy, along with a safe alcohol-free space.

If you or a loved one are showing signs of alcohol dependency, do not hesitate to contact us for further information.  

alcoholism and depression

Alcoholism and Depression: Is There a Connection?

At least 40% of alcoholics struggle with depression and alcoholism and depression often coexist with each other.

One problem can make the other problem worse and result in a cycle that’s hard to get out of if not treated properly. While this is problematic, it’s also true that when one condition starts to improve, the other will likely follow.

Don’t give up.

Read on to learn more about what you need to know about alcohol and depression.

Does Alcohol Cause Depression?

Alcoholism can lead to depression and depression can also lead to becoming an alcoholic. While turning to alcohol when depressed is common, there are also many people whose alcoholism led to depression.

When you are addicted to alcohol, prolonged use changes and rewires your brain just like any other substance. These systematic changes often lead to depression making it a vicious cycle, and one that needs to be addressed.

Alcohol lowers serotonin and norepinephrine levels which work to regulate our moods. When these chemicals are lowered, it can lead to depression.

Alcohol use also alters your sleep patterns, and that disrupts thought processes leading to depression symptoms.

So, if you don’t have any mental health issues such as depression, it doesn’t mean you are safe from developing one due to over-drinking.

Alcohol is A Depressant

Although many people drink with no problem, there are many that become addicted and develop alcoholism. For those who don’t, they still don’t really know what alcohol does to their bodies.

Even though a drink or two can often get the party going or open you up if you’re typically shy, it’s still a depressant even if it doesn’t start out that way.

The reasons many people find themselves in dreaded situations like doing or saying things we will be embarrassed about are due to the regions of the brain where the activity is decreased.

The prefrontal and temporal cortex.  These parts of the brain are responsible for decision making and rational thought processes.

If you are depressed and feeling desperate for a pick-me-up, don’t reach for a drink because you will find yourself more down than before.

Alcoholism And Depression

The two often co-exist with each other for many reasons.

It’s common for someone struggling with depression to self-medicate and cope through drinking.

It starts as a form of escape from the feelings of sadness and worthlessness. This may work temporarily but eventually, it will only make things worse.

There are several depression symptoms that will be aggravated by overuse of alcohol:

  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Fatigue
  • Over-eating
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Feeling helpless and ashamed
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts

If you are struggling with depression, don’t worsen your symptoms by turning to alcohol for relief.

Getting Help with Alcoholism and Depression

Most treatment centers treat dual diagnoses and are much better to turn to when looking for relief from alcoholism and depression.

Experiencing both at the same time is particularly hard on someone and require integrated treatment to effectively move towards recovery.

If you or a loved one are ready to get help, reach out to a treatment program and let someone qualified help you get back to being you.

fentanyl patches

Fentanyl Patches Are Just as Dangerous as Regular Fentanyl. Here’s What You Need to Know

According to the Centers for Disease Control, illegally made fentanyl is responsible for the recent rise in synthetic opioid overdoses. Death due to overdosing on opiates rose an alarming 47% to more than 28,400 deaths in 2017 alone.

Opioid users and abusers are finding creative and devastating new ways to access synthetic opioids now that legislators are cracking down. One of these methods may be responsible for the rise in synthetic fentanyl production.

Illegal drug manufacturers are harvesting this opioid from fentanyl patches, which are legal when prescribed by a physician. However, when people extract fentanyl from transdermal patches, this isn’t just illegal. It’s highly dangerous, too.

Do you know someone who may be using fentanyl patches for recreational synthetic opioid sale or consumption? Read this guide about recognizing fentanyl patches to save someone you love before it’s too late.

What Do Fentanyl Patches Look Like?

Prescription fentanyl patches typically come in a small square or rectangular package made of plastic. It may state the innovator or generic name in the top left corner of the package. It should always say “fentanyl” in bright, bold letters on the front of the package.

The patch itself is mostly square with a small triangular tab for removal. Some generic brand patches are made in a long, rectangular shape with the added tab for removal.

Another thing to look for is the fentanyl dosage stamped onto the removal strip. It will likely state the name of the drug plus a dosage in micrograms per hour. This makes it easier for patients if they lose the plastic package and easier for you to recognize if someone is using fentanyl illegally.

The Legal Use of Transdermal Fentanyl

Fentanyl patches are commonly used by elderly individuals and patients of all ages with chronic pain conditions. Usually, people who aren’t able to take oral opioids are prescribed patches for their ease of use.

Fentanyl isn’t typically prescribed to someone who’s never taken opioids. Why? Because this member of the opiate family is 200 times more potent than morphine.

If you see someone you know using fentanyl patches, ask yourself whether they’ve used prescription opioids before. When the answer to that question is no, look out for the following symptoms of recreational fentanyl use:

  • Anxiety and other severe changes in mood
  • Social, academic, or workplace problems
  • Swollen extremities
  • Fatigue and dizziness
  • Constipation, vomiting, or nausea

What to Do If Someone You Love is Using Illegal Fentanyl

If you or someone you love is extracting recreational opioids from fentanyl patches, it’s time to seek help or intervene. But know that you’re not alone during this frightening time.

Pathways is a Florida rehab center that can help you or your loved one get help before it’s too late. Download a brochure today to find out how we contribute to the fight against opioid addiction and how we can help you fight your addiction, too.

fentanyl and morphine

Fentanyl And Morphine: What Are They And What Are They Used For?

Did you know that drug use is the highest among those in their late teens and twenties? What drugs do they usually use? Prescription pain killers and synthetic opioids.

What are synthetic opioids? They’re a class of drugs that are meant to alleviate pain—fentanyl being one of the most common ones.

As with all opioids, abuse can lead to significant health problems. For instance, it can cause shallow or labored breathing. Fatal overdoses are also uncommon.

But how is it different from other opioids? Take fentanyl and morphine, for example—how are they different?

Curious to know? Because that’s what we’re here to talk about!

Keep reading to learn more!

How are Fentanyl and Morphine Different?

Fentanyl, as mentioned earlier, is a synthetic opioid. It’s one of the most commonly prescribed drugs used for chronic pain.

It works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, which are responsible for controlling pain. Over time, however, the body will adapt to it. As a result, the individual will need a higher dose for the same effect.

The same applies to morphine, except it’s a naturally occurring opioid.

The main difference between the two drugs is that fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent. In other words, accidental overdoses are much more common.

Both, however, are addictive.

Common Side Effects

Fentanyl and morphine are both opioids. Because of that, they have similar side effects.

Some of the most common ones include nausea, vomiting, tiredness, dizziness, constipation, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Dermal patches can also cause irritation and redness on the skin.

One thing to note is that constipation from opioid-use is unlikely to go away by itself. As a result, you’ll often need to use a laxative.

Different Formulations of Fentanyl

Fentanyl, like many drugs, come in several forms. For instance, you can get it as a transdermal patch, which goes on your skin. Generally speaking, these are used by those who are opioid-tolerant.

Other options include tablets, sublingual tablets, sublingual sprays, nasal sprays, and oral lozenges. In some cases, doctors may also inject it as a solution.

Different Formulations of Morphine

Morphine is often given by mouth as a tablet or syrup. However, it also comes as an injectable solution (which goes either into the muscle or under the skin). In addition to that, it can be given rectally as a suppository.

What’s more, is that it’s available in both fast and slow-releasing forms. Generally speaking, most people will start with the former as it’s easier to adjust the dose.

Dosing For Fentanyl and Morphine

The dose for both medications depends on a variety of factors. For instance, you have to take into consideration your age and condition.

It’s important to note that dosing differs between different formulations as well.

As a general rule, your doctor will prescribe the least amount possible—this helps to minimize side effects.

Using Opioids

Hopefully, that gives you a better idea as to how fentanyl and morphine are different. While they’re both pain killers, they differ in several ways! For one thing, the former is much more potent.

Looking for a rehab center in the Sarasota area? Feel free to contact us about our services!

who makes fentanyl

Who Makes Fentanyl and How Do They Sleep at Night? A Look into the Industry

You’d have to be living under quite a heavy rock to have not heard of the Opiate Crisis in America. 

Over the past decade, overdoses from opiates have skyrocketed. Addiction rates are still on the rise, and the cost is nearly incalculable. 

But how did we get here? How is it possible that something like Fentanyl, 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, is available to the public? Who makes fentanyl, and who has the audacity to market it as medicine?

We’ve got the answer. Let’s take a look. 

What Is Fentanyl? 

Fentanyl is an opioid. It’s a painkiller, and a powerful one. Fentanyl tends to be used for post-surgical patients and those who have used powerful painkillers long-term and developed a tolerance. 

Unlike its cousin, morphine, Fentanyl doesn’t require the natural opium from the poppy plant. Rather, it’s produced in labs and is totally synthetic. This makes it highly versatile, since moving its molecules can make it more or less potent.

When used in hospitals, it’s regulated and relatively safe. 

However, fentanyl is popular among illegal drug labs because it is so easy to manufacture and manipulate. Because of this, it’s often used to cut other, more expensive drugs. 

This means outside hospitals, Fentanyl is widely available and easy to obtain, even on accident. In 2017, there were nearly 30,000 overdoses linked to Fentanyl in the United States. Compare that to less than 800 deaths only two decades prior. 

But who is making this stuff, and where are addicts getting it?

Who Makes Fentanyl?

The obvious answer here is that drug companies make Fentanyl. Just like any drug, it is manufactured to regulation and shipped to hospital pharmacies. 

Opioid addiction has been a problem in America for decades. But the issue with many opioids was that they were difficult to get without a prescription. That didn’t stop the problem, obviously. But the difficulty in getting Morphine or Oxycontin without a doctors note did present a problem. 

Fentanyl, though, is different. It’s easy to make in a lab, with just a little bit of know-how. 

Which brings us to the secondary, and more dangerous makers of Fentanyl. Illegal drug manufacturers. 

When illegal labs create fentanyl, they aren’t selling it as itself. Rather, they are using it to cut other drugs, like heroin or cocaine, or compounding it into tablet and pills and selling it as other drugs, like oxycodone.

The Hidden Danger of Fentanyl

Fentanyl can be a lifesaver for those with high levels of pain. And in a controlled environment overseen by medical professionals, most are able to take it safely. 

But when the answer to “who makes Fentanyl” is “illegal drug manufacturers”, the danger becomes quite apparent. People who are looking for a fix of heroin or cocaine may be given their drug cut with Fentanyl and overdose accidentally. The same is true of opioid addicts looking for Oxycodone. If the pills are fake and made with fentanyl, one pill may be enough to trigger an overdose. 

If you or someone you love is worried about the possibility of Fentanyl overdose or opioid addiction, give us a call today. We are here to help. 

drug and alcohol rehab

What to Expect: Guide to Drug and Alcohol Rehab

Did you know about 114 people die daily because of drugs, while about 6,748 get sent to emergency rooms for treatment?

This was an estimate raised by the Centers for Disease Control. It shows the severity of addiction and how it affects everyone.

If you or someone you know is down that path, don’t give up hope! The road to recovery is daunting, but it doesn’t mean you have to come in blind.

As you go for drug and alcohol rehab, here are some things that you may come across on your journey to sobriety:

1. Drug and Alcohol Rehab Can Be Scary and Unpredictable

When undergoing drug and alcohol rehabilitation, it can be scary and downright unpredictable. You may end up doubting yourself or wonder if your addiction is even severe when compared to others.

Oftentimes, you may feel shy and uncomfortable, especially during the first time. You may also feel embarrassed and ashamed. It will take time to ease in but everything will work out.

Do you feel like giving up? It may be because you feel that the program seems impossible to complete. You might feel like it won’t work.

It’s unpredictable but press on and push forward. You will get better. But if you are still uneasy about it, always remember you can still leave.

2. Detox and Withdrawal

One of the things you do in rehab is detoxification. Some rehab facilities have their own detox programs. A few rehab centers expect you to finish the detox process before stepping into their facilities.

A good reason behind this is due to how sustained alcohol or drug use can take a huge toll on both your physical and emotional health. You can find out more about how you can take on the detox process here.

3. Varying Facilities

Don’t expect every rehab facility to be the same. On one end, you have camp-type facilities designed to cater to teenagers. On the other, you have more luxurious facilities designed with a wealthy amount of amenities.

There are other facilities that hang between. They only give you enough to live comfortably.

It is true that the facilities you get to use will depend on how much you or your insurance plan are able to afford. However, it has little to do with how successful or effective the rehab program will be to keep you sober. Don’t look at the price tag; look at their track record in helping folks recover.

4. Education

Education is a core component for rehab and treatment programs, though this varies for each facility. Its aim is to help you look at your addiction in an honest and realistic approach. From there, you can work to change your attitude about your alcohol and drug use.

This also lets you understand the nature of your addiction. As well as help you look at the seriousness of the addiction that you have.

5. Therapy

One thing that you should know about what happens in rehab is that there are various kinds of therapy involved. Each facility would offer different ways to help you break away from your addiction.

The most common would involve group therapy and counseling. The 12-Step method is one of the most notable, though there are other forms of therapy that you can make use of. Some of these alternative forms of therapy include art, music, dance, neurofeedback, and so on.

Of course, they have an aftercare plan included in the program to prevent you from undergoing relapses and keep you sober.

We’re Here to Help You!

Going to drug and alcohol rehab can be a rather scary experience. However, we will be with you in every step of the way. If you wish to know more about what we treat and how we can help, feel free to contact us.

Spotting Rx Drug Abuse

“I found multiple bottles of pain killers with prescriptions from different doctors in the medicine cabinet.”

“My spouse is taking 2-3 times the recommended dosage of a prescription pain medicine.”

“There are unexplained ATM withdrawals from our bank account.”

“My spouse is suddenly having attendance problems at work/keeping a job. This was never a problem before.”

These are common warning signs of a prescription drug dependency/addiction. If you have noticed any of these signs with a spouse, adult child or anyone residing in your household, it may be time to address the issue. These warning signs can be accompanied by a withdrawal from family responsibilities, mood swings, hostility or a change in sleep patterns.

Start the process by creating a log or diary of what you know. When was the person initially prescribed
pain killers, anti-anxiety medications or sleep aids? Can you note specific instances of the warning signs since the person began taking the prescription? Has there been a steady increase in the number of instances?

What are the next steps? While being supportive, share your concerns with the individual. In many cases, the person will be in denial about the problem. The next step would be to speak to the doctor about the issue, if you can, given today’s privacy regulations. If the problem persists, it may be time to consider entering a treatment program, starting with a medical detox, followed by either residential or outpatient counseling.

Pathways 28-day and extended care treatment programs utilize proven, science-based methods to prescription drug dependencies and addictions. Contact us to learn more about these programs.

Xanax: Abusing Prescriptions

Despite the prevalence of attention given to abuse of prescription painkillers, one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs in the US is in fact Xanax and its generic form, alprazolam. From the class of benzodiazepine drugs, a grouping of controlled substances that also includes Valium and Klonopin, Xanax is a central nervous depressant meant to aid in the treatment of panic attacks as well as severe anxiety. The fast acting drug gives users a sense of calm and mild euphoria, however when use becomes extended over time, tolerance and abuse can quickly lead to dangerous physical and emotional dependencies. Xanax addiction can quickly spiral out of control for those afflicted and potentially cause severe health issues.

Symptoms of Xanax Abuse

Because of its classification as a depressant, the most common effect Xanax has on users is causing a sense of drowsiness. As a person takes more of the substance on a regular basis, tolerance for the drug builds. What began as mild drowsiness can evolve into constant state of lethargy where an individual begins shirking responsibilities, has difficultly with fine motor skills, and always seems to have their thoughts in a haze. The may seem confused, have a lot difficultly with short term memory, have trouble articulating thoughts, and may even have problems with their vision. Weight loss or a change in libido can also be symptoms occurring in conjunction with those mentioned that might further indicate the presence of a Xanax addiction.

Dangers of Xanax Addiction
As a drug that depresses the central nervous system, which also develops a tolerance in a user over time, the dangers of Xanax abuse are dramatic. A major issue with Xanax is its usage in conjunction with other substances, most notably alcohol. Since both are depressants, the simultaneous use of alcohol and Xanax carries the risk of experiencing fatal respiratory failure. Often, when someone abusing Xanax consumes alcohol, they do not consider the serious and immediate consequences of doing so because the usage of Xanax has become such a normalized behavior.

Xanax Withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms from Xanax can cause intense discomfort, however they are very manageable with acceptance and a willingness to partake in betterment. Insomnia, headaches, nausea, chills, paranoia and anxiety all can accompany withdrawal from benzodiazepines. It is important to remember that for most, when under the supervision of rehabilitation professionals, these symptoms pass in a few days ad present the most difficult stage of overcoming Xanax addiction. It will take time for a person’s body and mind to recover from the abuse of the drug, and any recovery effort necessitates a course of therapeutic treatment. With the proper treatment, abuse and addiction of Xanax can be overcome.

Getting Help
If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic Xanax abuse and addiction, Pathways offers a residential treatment facility located in Sarasota, Florida. At Pathways, the recovery process begins with qualified and professional treatment practices meant to free lives held captive by the disease of addiction. For more information, please contact the professionals of Pathways Florida here.

The Pains from Percocet Abuse

Percocet is a pain medication that contains both oxycodone and acetaminophen, the same active ingredient in Tylenol. Because of the oxycodone component, long-term use of the drug may lead to the development of a tolerance to the medication. When an individual develops a tolerance to a prescription drug, they require more medication to feel its affects. You can see how this cycle of increasing the medication can easily lead to a dependence and full-fledged addiction.

Those who abuse Percocet abuse may exhibit confusion, sleepiness, light-headedness, slow breathing, constipation, sweating, headaches, vomiting or dry mouth. People who are dependent on Percocet, or any of the prescription drugs, will often seek prescriptions from several doctors (known as doctor shopping) and those who are very desperate for the drugs will look to street sources.

Unfortunately, prescription abuse happens all too often. If you have a friend or family member that you suspect is abusing a prescription medication such as Percocet, verify their prescription against the number of pills in the bottle to see if they are consuming more than the recommended dosage. If so, you may want to encourage them to seek treatment. Often, for people who are addicted to Percocet, detox alone is not enough. Residential treatment, such as what is available at Pathways to Recovery, is recommended.

Things to Consider When Seeking Treatment

You have a friend or family member who is abusing drugs or alcohol. You know you want to get help for them, but you aren’t sure what the first step should be. If you’ve found this article, you are doing what most people do – start an internet search. Of course, this can raise more questions than answers. We hope to simplify your process.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, or NIDA, has released a list of five items you should consider when looking for treatment. Pathways meets all of their suggested requirements.

1 – Does the program use treatments backed by scientific evidence?
Yes! Pathways uses several evidence-based treatment methods for substance abuse treatment. These primarily include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Moral Reconation Therapy and Motivational Enhancement Therapy. To learn more about each of these treatment methods, please visit our addiction information.

2 – Does the program tailor treatment to the needs of each patient?
Yes! Upon arriving at Pathways, each client sits with their primary counselor and completes a full assessment that is used to develop a treatment plan. This plan is tailored to specifically meet the needs of each client.

3 – Does the program adapt treatment as the patient’s needs change?
Absolutely! Weekly one-on-one counseling sessions between client and primary counselor give the opportunity to adjust the treatment plan, revise goals, as well as treat issues that may not have been revealed during the assessment.

4 – Is the duration of treatment sufficient?
While Pathways has traditionally been a 28-day treatment program, the ability to extend the program for an additional 30, 60, or 90 days provides opportunity to address additional issues or concerns that a client may have. Many Pathways clients spent years actively using and sometimes these behaviors cannot be changed in just 28 days.

5 – How does the 12-Step or similar recovery programs fit into drug addiction treatment?
Pathways incorporates the 12-Step philosophies into the treatment plan. Clients are required to attend meeting either off-site or on-campus.

For more information on how Pathways can help, please visit our website.