“I've been through 15 treatment centers, psych hospitals and institutions. I learned so much from Seasons about myself that wasn't addressed at other facilities. Issues that needed to be dealt with on a one on one level. Thank you Seasons for helping me and my family.”
Carl B, New York

Recovery and Surgery: The Balance of Taking Prescriptions as Suggested


Treatment Programs -
October 24th, 2014 No Comments

recovery and surgery

The fact that certain types of strong painkillers can be dangerous if taken inappropriately and can create dependence and addiction does not take away from the usefulness these drugs can provide if used as recommended under careful medical supervision. Particularly during the severe pain caused by surgery, it may be necessary to use these substances as part of a pain management program that can be an important way to recover from surgery.  If controlled, medication can speed healing and prevent complications, as well as limiting the extent your post-surgery experience will interfere with your life.  In order to both make the pain medication effective, and avoid the side effects and dangers, it is absolutely essential that your use of the drug be according to the instructions of a health care provider.  

Communicate with doctors pre surgery

The time to begin thinking about a responsible and effective pain management program is before the surgery makes it necessary.  This means expressing to your doctor your previous experiences with pain, and how you have handled it in the past. Everyone has a different level of pain tolerance and sensitivity to feeling, so different people may feel the same procedures differently.  Helping your health care provider be aware of your experiences can help him or her pick out which medication is right for you. 

Other factors that can affect what pain relief program will work for you include other medications you are taking, and any struggles with addiction.  Some drugs may interact negatively with each other if taken in combination, and some painkillers have fewer risks of addiction then others.  Help your physician understanding all these different factors

Careful use and continued communication post-surgery

After the surgery, it’s important to continue to communicate with your doctor about any pain you are feeling, and your experiences with medications.  The Joint Commission has created a standardized scale from 1-10 to measure the level severity of felt pain. This can be a helpful way to let your health care provider know how much pain you are feeling, and whether or not the current medication is effective at relieving it.  

One very important thing to avoid is self-medicating, or independently choosing to increase conception of a medication.  Rather, talk to your doctor if you are still feeling pain, so the two of you can work out an effective plan. An addictive mindset is focused on always trying to get as much of a drug as possible, in spite of the tremendous risk. By contrast, with responsible pain management, the key is balance.  There are both benefits and risks to pain medication, strong enough to help you perform the activities you need to recover, while avoiding the unpleasant side effects from taking too much.

One tool that can be used to encourage responsible use of powerful opioid painkillers is a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA), that allows you to give yourself a carefully measured out dosage when needed.  Because it takes time for a medication to enter into your system, it will only honor the first request within a set period. Too much will make you too drowsy to press the button. In this way, overdoes are prevented.  For this reason, it’s very important that the person in need of the medication be the one to press the button, not other friends and family.

Pain gets in the way of your healing process, so the aftermath of serious surgery is not the time to try to ignore and endure pain. Rather, it’s a time to carefully listen to your body’s real needs, and communicate with a health care professional to find a responsible way of dealing with that pain.  Within those boundaries, medication can be an important part of recovery.

photo credit: BrownPolyester via photopin cc

5 Reasons Everybody’s Bottom is Different in Recovery


Treatment Programs -
October 22nd, 2014 No Comments

What it means to reach the bottom

The pull of an addiction may be so strong that efforts to convince him or her of the need for recovery will be very difficult. Ultimately, the decision to pursue recovery must come from the individual alone, and they must decide when they are ready.  In order to become ready, it is often necessary to “hit bottom,” or be in a situation of pain that jolts the addicted person out of a sense of compliancy.

Heavy users will invariably reach a point when life feels dangerous, out of control, or fundamentally unsatisfying. It is at this point that the myth that your addiction is not a big deal or under control comes crashing down, and you feel forced to admit a need for help. The phrase “hitting rock bottom” may bring up dramatic images of homelessness, prison, or a near-death situation, but the truth is many people’s bottoms may be less dramatic, internal pain that simply creates a moment where you “wake up” and realize that you don’t want to continue living this way. 

Each person struggling with substance abuse is going to have different experiences, and different things to get them to the point of “waking up.”  Here are a few of the factors that can affect what someone’s bottom will look like.

bottom line in recovery

1) Supportive relationships with others

One factor that can make a huge difference in what a bottom looks like is whether or not an addict is surrounded by support from friends and family.  People struggling with addiction may behave in hurtful ways to the people around them, as the craving or effects of a substance takes over. 

Enabling an addict, or reducing the consequences of their behavior can reinforce behaviors of denial, but abandoning someone to their addiction can also further reinforce feelings of hopelessness. Instead, friends and family can lovingly confront addictive behavior, brining them to a point of realizing the dangers of their behavior. 

2) Socio-economic factors and structuralized racism

Addiction affects people from every walk of life and ethnicity, but social context can affect the perceived consequences or outside pressures to achieve sobriety.  Police activity against illegal drug use is highly concentered in lower-income urban areas, leading to huge disparities in the enforcement of drug laws. 

Poorer people of color are more likely to get “caught” and face jail time for their drug use then wealthy white users, and users with disposable income may be less aware of how much their addiction is costing. This made lead to more denial and a false sense of security among wealthier and privileged users, thinking their addiction is less of a problem since they face fewer social consequences.

3) Personal awareness of behavior, and self-honesty

“Hitting the bottom” works as a motivation to seeking recovery because it helps the person struggling with addiction to see reality.  Two false ways of seeing reality that create a barrier to seeking recovery are hopelessness and denial.  Hopelessness, or exaggerating the badness of a situation and failing to see how theirs a way out, makes recovery seem impossible. 

Denial, failing to see the negative consequences at all, makes recovery seem unnecessary.  Practices of careful self-examination will reveal two truths – that you need recovery in order to live a fulfilled life, and that it is possible to work through and obtain. Both of these truths need to be grasped in order to escape from your rock bottom. 

4) Honest look at the future

The ability to look into the future and see how small issues could become bigger if untreated is one of the primary things that can help stop after a “high bottom” (in which a realization of the need for recovery is reached without serious loss), rather then a low bottom. 

Denial can get caught up in “yets,” making you believe that your addiction isn’t a problem “yet,” causing you to postpone treatment. Missing one day of work because of an addiction may not seem like a big deal, but it can be a warning sign that going further down that path could lead to loosing your job. 

5) Honoring self-dialogue 

Denial can silence the thoughts you have of yourself.  Very light consequences of substance abuse, such as feeling sick during withdraw, may cause small thoughts of changing behavior to creep up.  

On the other hand, in the throws of addiction, multiple arrests, loss of jobs or relationships, or threats of death may not be enough of a “bottom” to make you want to seek treatment.  Self-awareness can be a very important tool in helping you avoid getting at the lowest bottom possible.

photo credit: CJS*64 via photopin cc

Understanding the New Benzo Flubromazepam


Treatment Programs -
October 16th, 2014 No Comments

Benzodiazepines are a type of tranquilizing medication often prescribed for pain or anxiety such as Valium or Xanax. Benzos, as they are commonly called, have great potential for abuse and addiction as recreational drug users seek them out for their sedating effects. While benzos can be prescribed for legitimate medical reasons such as insomnia, seizure control, alcohol withdrawal, muscle relaxation or anxiety they are frequently obtained without prescription through friends or people on the street.

The most common types of benzodiazepines come in the form of medications like Versed, Halcion, and Librium. There is a new type of benzo, however, known as flubromazepam that has attracted attention by appearing in internet shops selling designer medications and research chemicals. This new drug could create a lot more potential for abuse as it is not normally obtained through a prescription.

Benzodiazepines

What is Flubromazepam?

Flubromazepam is a benzodiazepine derivative that has been in existence since 1960 when it was first made. It was never marketed as a medication and was forgotten until it re-emerged in 2012 when it began to be sold as a research chemical. It is very similar to the drug phenazepam, another designer benzo that has been marketed by pharmaceutical companies in some countries with flubromazepam only having one single alteration to the formula.

Flubromazepam is still being studied for its effects and the usefulness of the drug as a sedative or painkiller such as Valium or Xanax. Because it is a benzodiazepine derivative it has a similar effect to that type of drug including sedative, hypnotic, muscle relaxant and antiepileptic effects.

Users state that the drug has a strong anxiolytic or anxiety inhibiting effect as well as some muscle relaxation and a mood-lifting effect. People taking flubromazepam do not experience as much brain fog as some other similar type of benzo medications.

Effects of the Drug and other Benzos

Although flubromazepam is now sold on the internet as a research chemical, it can be easily obtained for recreational purposes and has plenty of potential for abuse. It has similar effects to prescription benzos like Bromazepam which is used to treat panic attacks, insomnia and anxiety but it is not yet available through prescription. It is intended for use in pharmaceutical research and clinical trials but recreational users are already experimenting with drug to see how it compares with other types of benzos.

Flubromazepam is likely much stronger than regular pharmaceutical benzos because it is still being studied and developed for prescription use. Recreational users might not be aware of the strength of the medication and end up taking too much without realizing. The drug can also take time to reach its full effect which could potentially lead to overdose if users become impatient and start taking more of the drug.

Flubromazepam also has a long half-life and the effects of the drug can last almost the entire day making it the type of medication that the brain gets adjusted to. When this happens it can potentially lead to a serious addiction because the brain gets used to functioning with the effect of benzodiazepine all the time.

Without it the body and mind could go through intense withdrawal symptoms. Even a single use of this drug can lead to a type of withdrawal effect or “comedown” where the user feels depressed the next day. As with any type of benzo, Flubromazepam can be abused for the purpose of achieving a state of relaxation and euphoria.

The drug, however, can become very addictive and lead to tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and potentially an overdose.  A research chemical like Flubromazepam could become problematic the more it is used recreationally.

photo credit: Divine Harvester via photopin cc

5 Physical Coping Skills You Need in Early Sobriety


Treatment Programs -
October 14th, 2014 No Comments

The first few months of sobriety are often the most difficult especially for addicts that have engaged in substance abuse for much of their life. Detoxing can be physically very painful and mentally stressful in a way that can make addicts truly suffer if they do not have any coping strategies to help get through the process.

meditation

The early phases of sobriety involve a lot of withdrawal symptoms that make it hard to focus on the journey of recovery. With the right coping skills it is possible for an addict to get through the most difficult moments of detox and withdrawal without giving in to their urges to use again. These are some helpful skills in coping with early sobriety.

1. Distracting Activities

 Hobbies and activities are necessary tools to have when dealing with the type of withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings that accompany the early stages of sobriety. You need to have a list of distracting activities that you enjoy that will effectively keep your mind off of any urges or cravings to use drugs or alcohol.

When your mind becomes absorbed in something else most of the thoughts about substance abuse tend to fade away. Hobbies should be something positive that you are passionate about and an activity that you know will help you forget about your cravings.

2. Exercise and Focus on Health

Physical health is something that can deteriorate as an addiction progresses. People in recovery might also be dealing with health problems in addition to their emotional issues after years of abuse. Focusing on healthy eating and exercising can be a positive way to reduce cravings and stabilize your mood.

Regular exercise helps release tension from the body so that you experience less physical pain and anxiety while boosting your mood. Healthy eating can also improve any physical ailments associated with withdrawal and keep emotions more balanced in order to lessen cravings. 

3. Meditation and Relaxation

Withdrawal symptoms and cravings can create a lot of stress and tension that can make an addict’s situation worse. It is important to develop a habit of using relaxation tools on a regular basis to prevent stress from building up to a dangerous level.

Meditation can be a useful tool in creating a clear mind and a sense of being calm, peaceful and relaxed both mentally and physically. Mindful meditation can help you become more aware of how often your thoughts turn to certain patterns and you can learn to redirect your mind to the present moment instead of being lost in negative thoughts.

4. Confront Urges

While finding distracting activities can be one method of fighting cravings, another strategy can involve facing the urge to drink or use head on. This is sometimes called “urge surfing” as a craving can be seen as a kind of wave that builds and then dissipates.

An addict can go with the force of the craving without actually giving in to it and wait for it to pass. It is another way to be completely aware and mindful as the feeling occurs without acting on it.

5. Working and Volunteering

A good physical coping skill in recovery is to stay busy and active in more than just hobbies but also meaningful work. Focusing on a new job or becoming involved in volunteer work can help you feel productive and give you a sense of contributing to something bigger than yourself.

You will be less likely to experience cravings or physical pain and stress when you are busy and involved in something that provides you with a sense of personal growth.

photo credit: Pawel Maryanov via photopin cc

Modern Views On Drug Addiction and Treatment are Changing


Treatment Programs -
September 17th, 2014 No Comments

Drug Addiction

The modern recovery moment traces its origins to Alcoholics Anonymous, in 1939.  Over that long period, science has made many advances in understanding the nature of addiction and different ideas of how to treat it.  Even as the motivation and need for sobriety has remained unchanged, there are new and innovative methods for accomplishing these goals.  Here are some of the recent innovative ideas that are affecting how addiction and treatment is understood.

A Push For Integration Between The Worlds Of Medicine And Recovery

 Scientific research, particularly in how an addict’s mind and body operates, has led to a shift away from understanding addiction as a moral failure, or something requiring stronger will power, to an illness requiring medical treatment.  In light of this, it is a disturbing reality that most people with the illness of addiction do not get needed medical care. 

According to a report from the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, while 80 percent of people who have high blood pressure get medical attention, only about 10 percent of people with addiction are receiving evidence-based treatment.

Many medical doctors are unaware of the reality of addiction, and many people in the recovery movement have very little medical training.  Thus, there is a need for addiction medicine to come more in line with medical practice. This means that doctors and other health care providers are becoming need to be made more aware of the issues of substance abuse, learning to test for and diagnose addiction the way they would for any other illness.

A realization that care should be long-term based, and not one-size-fits all

A week or month long stay in a rehab center can do some good helping you get over the initial problems of withdraw, a serious substance abuse problem cannot be “fixed” in such a short period of time. With just one short-term program, it can be easy to relapse as you settle back into a life otherwise unchanged. Recovery should rather be thought of as a long-term process, spread out over months or even years.

Treatment for addiction should be individualized and long-term, responding to your unique needs and caring for you as a whole person, focusing on the biological, emotional, and social challenges of withdraw and sobriety. Cognitive-Behavioral therapy can be a useful way of dealing with root causes, and this is sometimes combined with medications that can lessen withdraw and addiction symptoms.  This may also involve the input of a social worker to address living conditions that precipitate addiction.  In short, addition counselors are working to make use of a variety of perspectives to get a full picture of a person’s individualized needs, and adjust their program based on which available options will work.

A shift away from merely solving the “negative” issue of getting rid of the addiction, towards a “positive” push towards living a full, sober life

The positive psychology movement of Carl Rogers has led to a shift away from therapists only thinking about people needed treatment as people with problems that need solving. Rather, the important thing is to help all people reach a state of self-actualization, in which an individual is aware of what he or she wants out of life and how to strive for it. In this way of thinking it is not enough merely to understand sobriety as a way of life that avoids substance abuse. Rather, we should look at what can motivate the person to replace addiction with a healthier lifestyle.

The emphasis should be on empowering the individual to work towards something positive, not merely avoiding an addictive substance. While traditionally addiction has been understood primarily as a moral, medical, spiritual, social, or psychological issue, contemporary ways of dealing with the issue integrate all these areas, using a variety of “lenses” to determine how an addict can feel like a whole person again.

photo credit: incurable_hippie via photopin cc

5 Ways To Overcome Fear In Recovery


Treatment Programs -
August 27th, 2014 No Comments

fear in recovery

There are lots of reasons to feel afraid. Some fear is legitimate, protecting us from danger. However, a lot of the time, fear is counterproductive, keeping us from taking steps towards positive change or improved relationships, and maintaining a harmful but comfortable status quo. Recovery is a huge change, and some hard actions you take to alter behavior, and so it can bring a lot of powerful fearful emotions along with it.  Rather then letting fear hold you back, here are some ways you can learn how to respond to fear, listen to it, and ignore it enough to do what is right for you.

1)    Identify the thing that makes you afraid

Naming fears is the first step to dealing with them.  Often fear comes amorphously, a simple feeling of dread that feels unexplainable. Rather then give in; pause to ask yourself, “What do I really have to be afraid of? What worst-case scenario am I picturing that’s making me want to hold back?”  Sometimes simply by stating your fear of change outright, you can realize that in reality, you have nothing to be afraid of.  If the fear remains even after being named, you can analyze the fear and figure out how to best approach the situation with a more a level head.

2)    Use gratitude and a positive mindset to focus on good in life

Look around at your life, and realize that you’ve made it through hard times before. There is a lot that is going well in the world, and by brining your focus on that, you can take it off the parts that feel intimidating. Realize too that there will continue to be good things in your life no matter what will allow you to have less anxiety about the future, allowing you to accept whatever outcome happens. 

3)    Do the thing that you are afraid of, one baby step at a time

Such a huge goal as “get sober” is too much for any person to do at once. Naturally, with such a huge task ahead of them, it would be easy to feel fear at the possibility of failure. The way to address such a huge fear is by taking small steps, making smaller goals, and realizing you have the capacity to meet them.  In this way, you will not allow fear to stop you from doing something, but in small ways that will boost your confidence.  Like the man moving a mountain with a spoon, who simply keeps at doing a small action, again and again, until it all adds up to something huge.

4)    Share your fears with others who are supportive, especially with a group of people also in recovery

There is an African proverb that goes “sharing joy multiples it, and sharing trouble divides it.” Although it may sometimes feel like it, you are not the only person who has ever faced whatever you are going through. A good support group or trusted friend may be facing issues very similar to what your own fear. They can encourage you, empathize with you, and tell their story of getting over their fear, in a way that could be encouraging to you.

5) Visualize yourself as you would most like to be

A lot of times, fear is rooted in the imagination. Your mind creates scenes of things going badly, and your body responds by trying to retreat or panic, so the bad thing imagined doesn’t happen.  Counteract this tendency by creating your own visualizations, but ones that are full of gratefulness and hope. Imagine yourself, living confidently and victorious over your addictions, able to lead a happy life where you are in control of doing what’s truly enjoyable and good for you. This exercise will give you confidence as you go through life, and helping you face your worst fears. 

photo credit: ValetheKid via photopin cc

What Parts Are Necessary For An Intervention


Systemic Addiction Treatment, Treatment Programs -
July 25th, 2014 No Comments

intervention

Orchestrating an intervention for a loved one can be a delicate and stressful endeavor. However, when the people close to an addict feel like they need to stage an intervention, chances are the addict is in desperate need of help. Interventions are often considered the last resort to get someone help. An intervention shouldn’t be staged without careful planning and the assistance of a professional interventionist. The ultimate goal of an intervention is to get the addict to agree to get treatment, and not to estrange them even more. Relations between the two parties can be so strained, that a professional interventionist needs to be present to provide the proper moderation and guidance. For anyone wanting to stage an intervention, here are the parts necessary to perform one successfully.

Carefully Research The Situation

A lot needs to be considered before putting the wheels of an intervention in motion. Things that need to considered are:

  • What treatment center will be offered to the addict?
  • Will insurance cover the costs?
  • Who are the closest people to the addict?
  • Is the addiction immediately life-threatening?
  • Are there children involved who might be affected?

All of these things need to considered to set a time-frame. For example if the addict’s personal safety or safety of children involved in the situation are at stake, then the intervention needs to be put in motion right away. However, if the situation isn’t that immediate, more time can be taken to research the right treatment center, who is available to be involved in the intervention, and where it should take place.

Gather The Right People

Once the situation is assessed, then one of the most important parts of the intervention needs to be organized, which is gathering the right people to stage the intervention with. Gauge who is willing to take the time to attend and when they are all available, and where the meeting will take place. Then ask them to write a letter stating to the addict why treatment must be sought immediately, and how it has negatively affected them. Then the order of who reads their letter should be decided. As mentioned before, a successful intervention needs to be orchestrated with care and planning to have the best chance of convincing the addict that treatment is the right solution. Once this part has been organized and planned, then the final part of planning the intervention can be done.

Find A Professional

It’s essential that an intervention professional be brought on board to make sure that everything is done to ensure success. The professional can help with the letters, figuring out the best location, and the best way to approach the addict. The professional can also provide some counseling and advice to the people who will be staging the intervention, so as to avoid conflict and figure out the best way to interact with the addict. Once the professional has been consulted, the team is in place, and the location figured out the intervention can then be staged.

Consider All Outcomes Before Going Forward

However, one more important thing the people who are staging the intervention should consider are all the possible outcomes. The best case scenario is of course the meeting going smoothly, and the addict willingly decides that getting treatment is the best option. Unfortunately, even the best laid plans can go awry. There is also the possibility of the addict refusing treatment and the intervention causing an estrangement. In this case, the people staging the intervention should be prepared for that outcome, but understand that they are going to lose that person to addiction anyways, so the benefits far outweigh the consequences. And with the proper planning, an intervention may even save that person’s life and future.

photo credit: emdot

5 Physical Activities That Benefit Health And Sobriety


Systemic Addiction Treatment, Treatment Programs -
July 23rd, 2014 No Comments

exercise-addiction-recovery

Incorporating physical activity into a regular routine is essential to facilitate health and sobriety. While it’s important for every person to do, it’s even more important for someone trying to maintain a long-term recovery from addiction. When someone is working on maintaining sobriety the process involves strengthening themselves physically and mentally. Besides working out nutrition plays an important role in recovery as well.

The body has already been weakened and is used to being abused, and physical activity helps the body become healthy and strong again. Many people now take the holistic approach to sobriety, and that means finding balance in their life, which involves integrating physical activities that help calm the mind and keep the body active. Here are 5 physical activities that benefit health and sobriety.

One: Walking Or Running

One of the simplest and most effective physical exercises that people can do is walking, or running if they feel like they are already in good shape. The great thing about walking is that it can be done by anyone no matter where they are located.

It’s free and doesn’t need any equipment or require any training. People can also vary the location of their walks, such as hiking on a nature trail or forest. Besides keeping a person in shape, it will lower the risk of heart disease and will help clear the mind. And when someone gets into the regular routine of walking, it helps add structure into their lives.

Two: Yoga

Yoga has been noted as being particularly effective in helping break the addiction patterns that the brain forms. Yoga increases body awareness and helps a recovering addict connect with the body in a more intimate way, through breathing and guided exercises. Yoga can help someone learn how to manage their emotional stasis and discover how strong and powerful their body actually is.

Three: Painting Or Drawing

In this day and age, when most people are glued to their smartphone or tablet, the physical act of drawing and painting can be incredibly therapeutic. The value of using one’s hands to create something is underrated and can have a calming and healing effect on a person. When someone in recovery paints or draws it’s not about creating the finished piece, but accessing the creative and happy part of the mind that probably had previously been lying dormant.

Four: Building Something

Likewise building something can help stimulate the mind in a way that it hasn’t been before. And it doesn’t have to be, and probably shouldn’t be complicated, unless someone has previous experience. It can be as simple as building a wall hanging or folding origami or constructing a simple piece of furniture, but the act of building something creates an innate sense of satisfaction and helps build self-esteem.

And in a more abstract sense, building something can even mean planting a garden or landscaping a yard. Overall it means just putting time and energy into a project and creating something.

Five: Swimming

If someone is lucky enough to be near water, whether a public pool or beach, then swimming is an amazing physical activity to take part in. Easier on the body than almost any other form of exercise, it nonetheless has great cardiovascular benefits, and helps a person feel stronger and happier. Being in the water is always an enjoyable and satisfying workout, where a person utilizes all parts of the body during swimming.

And like walking or yoga, regularly scheduling swimming sessions will help add structure to a person’s life. And by incorporating exercise on a regular basis, over the long-term the individual will look better, and be stronger mentally and emotionally. Exercise is an essential part of finding a holistic balance in one’s life. People can learn to interact with their bodies in kind, compassionate, and nurturing ways.

photo credit: Alexandra Huang

Do Women And Men Have Different Types Of Recovery?


Systemic Addiction Treatment, Treatment Programs -
July 9th, 2014 No Comments

differences in gender recovery

There is no question that women and men have a number of physiological differences when it comes to the development and progression of addiction. Alcohol and other drugs affect women and men differently and can ultimately impact the way that they recover from their substance abuse problems. Neither gender seems to recover more quickly or easily, but the path that each takes throughout the journey to sobriety is slightly different.

The experience of drug use and addiction varies greatly between men and women who have physical, psychological and emotional differences that factor into their dependency. As the number of women suffering from alcohol and drug abuse continues to grow it is important to look into these differences to improve the recovery process for them and attend to their specific needs.

Gender Differences In Addiction

Historically, addiction is a problem that is much more prevalent for men than women. Even in today’s world, men are twice as likely as women to become addicted to drugs or alcohol except in the case of prescription drugs which is about equal. When it comes to alcohol abuse the rates of addiction can be as much as three times greater for men. In spite of these numbers, the amount of women seeking recovery for alcohol or drug addiction has been on the rise in recent years. Although addiction is more prevalent for men, it remains a significant problem for women who are struggling with a dependency.

The reasons that men and women tend to gravitate toward drug abuse can also differ. Men may use drugs to amplify positive moods and cope with social problems while women may use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate their emotional and psychological issues. Studies show that women are more likely to have issues like depression, anxiety or eating disorders which can contribute to their risk of developing an addiction. Stress factors such as relationships, childhood trauma, and victimization can also be serious risk factors for women who begin engaging in substance abuse.

Challenges in Recovery

When it comes to addiction recovery, women are actually less likely to seek help for their substance abuse problems than men. This can be due to the social stigma that is associated with being a female alcoholic along with practical concerns such as cost, child-care arrangements and responsibilities at work and home. It can also be more dangerous for women to wait too long to seek treatment for their addiction. The stages of alcoholism and drug abuse tend to progress more rapidly for women and the effects on their body are more severe. If a woman waits until she hits rock bottom to get help for her addiction then it may already be too late.

When women and men are in the process of recovery they may have to experience different barriers and obstacles to overcome. Women more often must deal with symptoms of depression that can represent a major challenge in their recovery. They may also have more issues with self-judgment and a critical inner voice that can make it difficult to fight cravings.

Once women and men reach the stages of recovery in a treatment center, they can both be equally successful in their attempts to become sober. They both have similar rates of abstinence and relapse making them about the same as far as their ability to recover. Women, however, tend to have shorter relapse periods and a greater willingness to seek help after a relapse. When given treatment for their specific needs such as group therapy or treatment for mental disorders, women can be as successful as men in recovery. Each gender may have certain needs in their recovery but both can become sober and avoid relapse with the right kind of treatment.

photo credit: yong

The Most Integral Changes in Addiction Treatment of the Past 20 Years


Alcohol Addiction, Drug Addiction, Treatment Programs -
July 7th, 2014 No Comments

Changes In Addiction Treatment

Recovering from addiction is often a difficult and heart-breaking process for everyone involved. Depending on the severity of their addiction, substance abusers may have to return to rehab treatment several times before finally becoming sober for good. The treatment approach for many decades has focused mainly on 12 step programs and a medication-free recovery. Now doctors and scientists are beginning to change their views of addiction therapy and push for more recognition of addiction as a disease that can be treated through medical approaches. In the past, addiction has been considered a behavioral problem rather than a medical problem but there have been significant changes in the view of addiction and methods of treatment in recent years.

Medical Treatment for Addiction

In only the last couple of years a top addiction society officially declared addiction a “brain disorder” that could be treated by doctors as well as addiction specialists. Medical schools can now offer a specialty substance abuse training program for doctors to be able to treat people suffering from addiction. The government has also created new resources to help guide patients, families and doctors toward science-based addiction treatment and there have been more developments in medication to treat addiction. Now instead of being viewed as a moral failing of the individual, addiction is considered more of a chronic disease of the brain that can be treated.

Addiction Treatment in the Past

Addiction is a significant problem in the U.S. with about 21 million Americans suffering from a substance abuse disorder for which they need special recovery treatment. There are more deaths caused by drug overdoses than traffic accidents in America. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans who are addicted to drugs other than nicotine do not receive treatment. Most of those people who do receive addiction treatment are provided help by programs that are not proven to be effective and are run by people with no medical training. The most popular recovery programs using the 12 step method do not have enough solid data to show their effectiveness. The history of the recovery movement of the past 20 years shows that addicts were shunned by the medical establishment and were forced to receive help outside of it. This is why most drug abuse treatment has been developed outside of mainstream medicine and fails to prove its effectiveness. 

More Effective Treatment for Addiction

Over time, laboratory science has revealed addiction to be a true medical problem involving serious brain alterations caused by drug use. Alcohol can alter brain circuitry and most drugs affect the brain’s ability to produce normal levels of dopamine. Even after abstaining from drug use for a period of time, the brain of an addict can often fail to return to normal. Addicts must cope with severe mood swings and intense cravings or urges to use again. These types of brain changes make addiction a disease that should also be treated medically rather than simply through behavioral therapy. Addiction often proves to be a chronic disorder that requires multiple rounds of therapy and treatment to reduce the risk of relapse.

The most significant contributions to addiction treatment have been the development of medications used for treating substance abuse such as methadone for heroin or Antabuse for alcoholism. The future of addiction treatment will most likely involve more medications that can work effectively and be obtained through medical treatment. This type of medical treatment should be incorporated with the therapy available through existing substance abuse treatment centers. Drugs that can reduce cravings and prevent relapse are now becoming a key element in addiction treatment. The biggest changes in addiction treatment have come because of the shift in the view of addiction as a medical disease rather than a social or behavioral issue.

photo credit: lindslu

Seasons In Malibu drug rehab offers world class addiction treatment in Malibu, CA. Call us now (866) 780-8539!
(424) 235-2010
6380 Sea Star Dr. Malibu, , CA 90265 US
map