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With upwards of 15,000 substance abuse treatment facilities in the U.S., it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you or a loved one. One of the best ways to choose the right treatment program is to consider the facilities certifications. A seal of approval from the Joint Commission (JCAHO) is considered the highest award available



Signs That Show You Are Drug or Alcohol Dependent

1. Tolerance
Have you noticed needing to use more of the same substance to get the desired effect? Our bodies grow increasingly more tolerant of drugs and alcohol the more often we use them. Tolerance is a signal of abuse and your bodies way of handling the toxicity. In reality you are allowing your body the ability to absorb more toxins when you increase your tolerance.
2. Withdrawal
As drugs or alcohol leave the body, classic symptoms of withdrawal set it. These include anxiety, jumpiness, shakiness, trembling, sweating, nausea, vomiting, insomnia, depression, irritability, loss of appetite, fatigue and headaches. Severe withdrawal can include seizures, hallucinations, fever and even death, especially for alcoholics. Your body, which is getting used to having the drugs and alcohol in your system, is reacting to the void. To calm these symptoms, addicts and alcoholics drink or use to calm their symptoms, or to avoid symptoms at all. Many turn into morning drinkers or all-day drug abusers.
3. Loss of Control
Have you found yourself drinking or using more than you wanted to, and for a longer time than you intended? This is a classic sign that your using is getting out of control, because you are no longer in charge of when you choose to stop using. Many consider this the powerful “obsession” of using.
4. Desire to Stop But Can’t
You’ve identified that your drinking or drugging problem is causing negative consequences in your life. But despite changing up your routine, using in different ways or trying to abstain altogether, you find you cannot quit. This is also a classic signal that you or a loved one are in need of professional help to relieve you of your dependency.
5. Neglecting Other Activities
As drugs and alcohol become an everyday need, it requires more time to get and use them in daily life. Addicts find themselves doing less of the activities they used to enjoy in order to concentrate more on their drug of choice. In addition, it can become difficult to do some of the activities they once enjoyed while under the influence of powerfully mind and mood altering substances.
6. Continue To Use Despite Negative Consequences:
As drugs and alcohol become abused with greater frequency, it commonly interrupts daily life and leads to substantial issues with family, loved ones, the law, your career and ones health. What maybe used to seem unimaginable becomes reality like incarceration, loss of relationships, loss of jobs and a deterioration in health. Despite these radical consequences, the power of addiction usually overwhelms these dire circumstances and the user finds themselves relying more than ever on their drug of choice.
If you’re not sure if you or a loved one are exhibiting these symptoms, there are also other warning signs to be on the lookout for. Some include weight loss or gain, loss in appetite, seizures, unexplained accidents or injuries, shakes, tremors, slurred speech, drop in performance or attendance, unusual need for money (borrowing, stealing or missing valuables), frequent arguments, unexplained change in attitude and mood, frequent irritability, outbursts, unusual hyperactivity, lack of motivation and paranoia.
It’s important to remember that these are all normal reactions to drug and alcohol abuse. After a time, it becomes difficult even for the most determined people to kick their addiction without outside help and a dramatic lifestyle change. If you think you may have an addiction problem, or know someone who is showing these signals, call one of our specialists at 1-866-233-1869 and they’ll be happy to recommend a treatment plan to overcome the powerful obsession of addiction.



December 2, 2014 Marissa ObrienAlcoholism0

Alcohol is by far the most frequently abused chemical substance throughout the country – and has reigned supreme since its introduction into society. While many tend to partake in alcohol consumption because it is “safe” and socially acceptable, the long-term effects of prolonged alcohol abuse are extremely detrimental, and often lethal. However, long-term effects of alcohol consumption can have cardioprotective health benefits. Though be weary of using this as an excuse if you tend to imbibe more than you should. One glass of wine on a Saturday night is exceedingly different than a fifth of vodka first thing in the morning. If you are overindulging, the consequences may be fatal.

Long-Term Consequences of Alcoholism

Long-term effects of alcohol abuse include malnutrition, alcoholic liver disease, chronic pancreatitis, and cancer. Psychological damage is also likely to be done with extended periods of daily and excessive alcohol consumption. Many chronic alcoholics will begin hallucinating or becoming delusional after years of daily use. Typically, there are twelve major risks involved with chronic alcoholism. Each is severe, and many can co-occur depending on the severity of the alcoholism.

  1. Pancreatitis

Heavy drinking has been known to inflame the pancreas, interfering with the digestive process. Up to 60% of pancreatitis cases are caused solely by heavy drinking.

  1. Gout

Gout is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals within the joints. Heavy alcohol consumption can cause gout, as well as aggravate existing cases.

  1. Cardiovascular Disease

When one is drinking heavily on a regular basis, their platelets are more likely to clump together and for blood clots. In many instances, increase in blood clots will eventually lead to heart attack or stroke.

  1. Cirrhosis

Alcohol is extremely toxic to liver cells. After prolonged periods of heavy drinking, the liver may be so scarred it cannot function properly. Liver function is essential to overall health, and cirrhosis can be lethal.

  1. High Blood Pressure

Over-consumption of alcohol can disrupt the sympathetic nervous system, which controls the constriction and dilation of blood vessels.

  1. Nerve Damage

Alcoholism is known to cause what is called alcoholic neuropathy – a painful condition that arises because alcohol is highly toxic to nerve cells.

  1. Anemia

Alcoholism causes the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to diminish, resulting in anemia. Anemia may cause shortness of breath, fatigue, and dizziness.

  1. Cancer

When large amounts of alcohol are consumed, the body converts it into acetaldehyde – a potent carcinogen. Cancer is more common amongst drinkers that additionally use tobacco regularly.

  1. Dementia

Alcoholism speeds up brain atrophy – the shrinkage of the brain. Memory loss is an extremely common side effect amongst binge and daily drinkers.

     10. Seizures

Not only does heavy drinking cause epilepsy, and sometimes cause seizures in those who do not have epilepsy – alcohol consumption also interferes with medications used to treat convulsions.

     11. Depression

Recent studies show that depression actually results from extensive heavy drinking, rather than the other way around. Additionally, symptoms of depression are proven to decrease once an alcoholic maintains sobriety for a prolonged period of time.

    12. Infectious Diseases

Not only does alcohol consumption majorly suppress the immune system, but those who drink excessively are more likely to engage in risky sex – therefore contracting sexually transmitted diseases.

 

 


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The Hope Center for Rehabilitation offers a full range of services both leading up to, during and following treatment, including professional interventions, a luxury, medically assisted detox program, inpatient rehabilitation (30-90 days), intensive out-patient rehabilitation and out-patient services. Each of our clients become a part of our alumni program at the completion of their treatment to help foster a continued community of recovery.

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