Should I Take Vitamins During Detox?

Should I Take Vitamins During Detox?

Drug addiction often causes you to neglect your health. Some drugs, especially stimulants, suppress your appetite, preventing you from getting adequate calories of any kind. Some drugs mask the symptoms of malnutrition or dehydration. Some drugs actually deplete vitamins or prevent them from being absorbed. Alcohol, for example, depletes B vitamins and also causes dehydration. Taking vitamins during detox can ease some of the symptoms, including cravings, and start restoring your health for long-term recovery.

This is why detox centers usually administer vitamins along with IV fluids. B vitamins and vitamin C are especially important. B vitamins are particularly depleted in alcoholics. For alcoholics in withdrawal, the Mayo Clinic recommends 100 milligrams of B1, or thiamine, which is about 100 times the daily recommended allowance. B1 supplementation helps reduce fatigue and improve mental clarity, both of which are helpful during detox. Vitamin C helps improve immune function. If you already feel bad from withdrawal, the last thing you need is a virus.

Alcoholics often suffer from other vitamin deficiencies as well, because alcohol prevents the body from absorbing vitamins properly. In addition to B and C, alcoholics are typically deficient in other vitamins including selenium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc. These are all important for various functions, including immunity, mood, and energy.

Taking vitamins to make up for these deficits can ease your symptoms and speed up detox. A multivitamin is a good idea but keep in mind that multivitamins are typically formulated for long-term use and not to make up for severe deficiencies. You may need higher doses of some vitamins at first but you should be careful with dosages of selenium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc because large doses can cause problems. It’s best to either stick with the recommended daily allowance of those vitamins or consult a doctor. B and C vitamins, however, can be taken frequently in large doses and your body will just get rid of whatever it doesn’t need.

If you detox in a clinic, you will have doctors who can perform blood tests to determine your specific deficiencies and correct them. This is the safest and most efficient way to do it. If you have to detox at home, having high quality B-complex and C vitamins on hand in addition to a multivitamin is a good idea. It’s always best to get vitamins from food, but if nutrition has been neglected for months or years, you might have to catch up.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168

Risks of Prolonged Alcohol Abuse

Risks of Prolonged Alcohol Abuse

Most people know about two of the biggest risks of prolonged alcohol abuse– liver disease and car accidents. A liver that has to constantly filter alcohol will not stay healthy for long and everyone knows alcohol impairs one’s ability to drive. Some people decide to drive anyway because alcohol also impairs their ability to judge whether they are too drunk to drive. These are two major health hazards, but prolonged alcohol abuse has other dangers as well.

Anemia. Alcohol reduces the number of red blood cells, making it difficult for the blood to carry enough oxygen. This results in fatigue, shortness of breath, and dizziness.

Cardiovascular disease. Alcohol increases your risk of two major cardiovascular problems–blood clots and atrial fibrillation. Heavy drinking makes blood platelets more likely to stick together, causing blood clots and strokes. Heavy drinking also weakens the heart muscle, a condition called cardiomyopathy. This muscle can eventually stop working completely. Heavy drinking can also lead to abnormal heart rhythms, which can also cause blood clots and stroke.

Prolonged drinking can also raise blood pressure. Alcohol interferes with the autonomic nervous system, constricting blood vessels, which gradually becomes permanent. High blood pressure can lead to other diseases like kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Cancer. Your body metablolizes alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is a potent carcinogen. Under normal circumstances, this compound is only present for a short time until it is metabolized further, but heavy prolonged drinking vastly increases the amount of acetaldehyde you’re exposed to. Prolonged alcohol abuse is linked to increased risk of liver and breast cancer, as well as cancers all along the digestive tract from mouth to colon.

Dementia. Given the cognitive impairment a few drinks can cause, it shouldn’t be too surprising that long term alcohol abuse can cause permanent brain damage. Your brain normally tends to shrink as you age, but alcohol can speed up the shrinking. You begin to suffer damage to the parts of the brain responsible for memory and executive function. These problems then become compounded by other problems such as malnutrition.

Life problems. Alcohol increases the risk of the problems above. Although none of them is inevitable, if you drink long enough, any one of them becomes more likely, especially liver problems. Other, more personal problems are likely to arise long before cancer of dementia. These problems may include failed relationships, problems at work, and accidents. All of these can ruin the quality of your life long before a major disease can end it.

 

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168

Is Detox Covered by my Insurance?

Is Detox Covered by my Insurance?

The first question many people have when they decide to get treatment for addiction is, “How will I pay for it?” Medical detox is a great way to get the drugs out of your system and manage withdrawal symptoms, but it also requires 24-hour medical care, room and board, and medication. The costs can add up quickly and many people who want to get treatment for addiction never do because they worry about the cost.

Whether insurance covers detox depends on your insurance. Insurance usually covers traditional detox, as addiction is considered a mental health issue. Traditional detox includes the hospital stay, medical supervision, and medication to treat withdrawal symptoms. You will likely have a copay, depending on your plan. You may also need a referral from your doctor.

Consult your insurance benefits guide or contact your insurance company to find out for sure what they cover. Detox centers typically have staff that specialize in dealing with insurance companies. They can answer questions about coverage too. You don’t have to figure it all out yourself.

Insurance probably will not cover rapid detox. Rapid detox is when they give you medication to block the action of the drug, then knock you out through what would otherwise be a pretty intense withdrawal. It might speed up detox by a few days, but there are questions about its safety and it hasn’t been proven more effective than regular medication-assisted detox. You probably don’t want it anyway, but if you do, it’s expensive and you will have to pay out of pocket.

If your insurance won’t pay for detox, there may be other options. Facilities will often allow you to pay in installments, so you don’t have to pay the whole bill at once. The bill for detox will probably be in the $1000-$5000 range. Some facilities work on a sliding scale or offer other financial assistance so don’t assume you can’t afford detox just because your insurance won’t cover it. Keep in mind, if your insurance won’t cover detox, you can appeal that decision.

If you don’t have insurance at all, you may still be able to detox. You can find a facility that charges on a sliding scale based on income and you can usually work out a payment plan. If these options still don’t work, Medicaid or Medicare might help. There are also state-sponsored programs and charities that will help you detox.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168

Pros and Cons of Regulated MDMA Use

Pros and Cons of Regulated MDMA Use

MDMA was discovered in 1912. It was first used to improve psychotherapy in the 1970s, when therapists noticed it made patients more open and less defensive. It became popular as a street drug in the 1980s. Although it was banned in 1985, it has remained a popular party drug. MDMA is a stimulant that increases empathy, well-being, and sensation while decreasing anxiety and sense of self. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in the therapeutic possibilities of MDMA, and advocates have renewed their push to study the drug further.

Pros:

Therapeutic use. MDMA is currently being studied as a means of treating anxiety disorders, including post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, social anxiety in autistic people, and anxiety in terminally ill patients. In 2016, the FDA approved large scale clinical trials using MDMA to treat otherwise resistant PTSD.

MDMA is also being studied as a treatment for addiction. In 2017, a study in the UK began investigating whether MDMA could help alcoholics who have not responded to other forms of treatment. The idea is that MDMA would better allow addicts to work through the trauma at the root of their addiction. Therapists would be able to help them process experiences that would be too painful to revisit without the help of the drug.

You know what you’re getting. Almost all MDMA is currently manufactured illegally, which means a pill could really be anything. Many pills have no MDMA in them at all, leaving you to wonder what the do have in them. Often they are full of chemical approximations or fillers. You just don’t know. With regulated manufacturing, you would know what you’re getting and at what dose.

The dangers are minimal. MDMA is not particularly addictive, partly because it’s a party drug only used in certain environments and partly because it depletes serotonin, leaving you feeling depressed for several days after use. Many people quit using because of the depression. Some studies have shown MDMA is less physically and psychologically addictive than cannabis and far less addictive than other stimulants, like meth and cocaine. While there are dangers of overuse, very few people overuse MDMA, especially in a therapeutic setting.

Cons:

Can have dangerous side-effects. While MDMA is one of the least dangerous recreational drugs, it can cause jaw clenching, nausea, vomiting, increased heart rate and blood pressure, insomnia, and paranoia. It can also cause hyperthermia and dehydration. These can be particularly dangerous at clubs or parties because prolonged dancing amid warm bodies can result in heat exhaustion. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are what cause MDMA related deaths.

Too much can change your brain. Long-term or high-dosage use has shown to cause lesions in several areas of the brain. These lesions can cause cognitive changes, including depression, insomnia, and changes in serotonin that affect concentration and memory.

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168

Adderall Addiction Can Be Brutal

Adderall Addiction Can Be Brutal

Adderall is often considered the drug of choice for overachievers. Adderall is a long-acting amphetamine often prescribed to alleviate the impulsive behavior and short attention span caused by ADHD. Many students without ADHD abuse Adderall because they feel pressure to excel in school, even if it means studying, working on projects, and doing extracurricular activities at the expense of sleeping. Ironically, the intense energy and focus Adderall can give you often does not translate into good work. It often seems good at the time, but later seems disjointed and frenetic.

Nevertheless, the feeling of going a million miles an hour is addictive. You feel great on Adderall–confident, productive, energetic. The world is a bit sharper. You can really focus on what you’re doing. The flip side of that is when you stop taking it, you feel stuck in mud. You’re extremely tired. You can’t focus. You’re depressed.

If you are someone who started taking Adderall to get ahead at school or work, trudging through a long period of this kind of withdrawal is unthinkable. You have tests to study for and projects to finish. You can’t stay in bed for two weeks while your neurotransmitters level out.

For people who don’t need it, Adderall has a downward spiralling effect. It keeps you from sleeping, so you feel tired and you need to take more just to function. This is in addition to the normal tolerance that forms the basis of physical dependence. It’s a difficult cycle to break.

Just as painkiller addiction often leads to heroin addiction, Adderall addiction can lead to meth addiction. Like heroin, meth is usually cheaper and easier to get than its prescription cousin, and like heroin, meth is more dangerous.

Quitting Adderall is challenging because taking it makes you feel like you have been turbocharged and are finally reaching your potential. Quitting feels like going back to your old, mediocre self, only more tired and unfocused than you were before. Failure at work or schools feels certain. It’s easy to say, “I’ll stop after finals,” or “I’ll stop once I get a promotion,” but it’s never easier to stop in the future.

Quitting Adderall or other amphetamines is possible and you can do it without feeling like your life is ending. It requires support, therapy, and possibly medication. Gardens Wellness Center has the resources to help you break your addiction so you can be productive and happy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at info@tgwcdetox.com.

Is Addiction a Disease?

Is Addiction a Disease?

The idea that addiction is a disease was first made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous. In 1956 the American Medical Association declared alcoholism a disease and the notion has been broadly accepted in the decades since.

Thinking of addiction as a disease has several advantages. The first is that it reduced judgment of people struggling with addiction. Addiction used to be considered a moral failing, a sign of weakness, or a lack of discipline. To think of addiction as a disease is to neutralize some of the shame associated with it. Shame is a subjective matter, but in general, it would be strange to feel ashamed of having, say, lupus. It may be frustrating, painful, or debilitating, but not shameful.

Shifting addiction from moral failing to disease also encourages social support. Shame and isolation only make addiction worse, so thinking about addiction in a way that mitigate these factors is generally positive, and an improvement over previous thinking.

Like all models, the “addiction is a disease” model has some shortcomings. Whereas diseases are mostly biological, addiction is more complex. There is certainly a biological aspect to addiction, but other factors are perhaps more important. Relying too much on the conception of addiction as disease implies it can be treated medically. While medication may help in some situations, it is not usually enough. For example, studies show Vivitrol, the “addiction vaccine,” improves chances of staying in recovery, but most people who take it still relapse. We would be unimpressed if most people who were vaccinated against measles still got measles. Despite the lukewarm success of this treatment, many drug courts still require it as part of sentencing.

Conversely, it would be strange is measles were treated with counselling or group therapy, both of which are proven effective in treating addiction.

Many people who resist the idea that addiction is a disease claim that drinking and using drugs is a choice and so the “disease” couldn’t take hold in someone who abstains. This distinction may be technically true, but it’s practically useless. Almost everyone in the US has drunk alcohol at some point, but only a small percentage become alcoholics. Do all the people who drink without becoming addicted deserve special credit?

Or consider heart disease, which is highly correlated with smoking and unhealthy eating. Is it not really a disease because the patient chose to smoke or eat badly?

Our notions of what a disease is or what a moral failing is are somewhat arbitrary. Many behaviors we once thought of as evil or immoral have been shown to have biological or developmental causes. Treating these conditions instead of punishing them is progress. On the other hand, we have to remain flexible in how we think about addiction, lest we become seduced by “addiction vaccines” and the like.

Addiction is complex and recovery takes time and effort. At Gardens Wellness Center, we take a multifaceted approach to addiction treatment, one tailored to your specific needs. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at info@tgwcdetox.com.

How Soon After I Stop Using Do I Need to go to Detox?

How Soon After I Stop Using Do I Need to go to Detox?

You should go to detox as soon as possible after you decide to stop using. In fact, you haven’t actually stopped using until you have been through withdrawal. If you haven’t been through withdrawal, you haven’t quit; you’re just between uses. If you have been through withdrawal, meaning the withdrawal symptoms of your drug have come and gone, a process that should last about a week, then there is no point in going to detox. You are ready to do into treatment and you should do so immediately.

When you definitely decide to stop, you should go into detox right away–meaning, within hours. Different drugs act at different rates. The more fast-acting the drug, the sooner you will begin to feel withdrawal symptoms. Heroin, for example, is pretty fast-acting and withdrawal symptoms can start six to 12 hours after your last dose. Symptoms usually peak in two or three days. Alcohol withdrawal also begins after about six hours, but it may be two or three days before the DTs start. DTs happen in about five percent of cases and are among the most dangerous withdrawal symptom of any drug. Although prolonged, heavy drinking makes DTs more likely, it’s hard to predict whether they will hit and it’s better to be in a safe environment if they do.

More importantly, going to to detox improves your chances of staying in recovery. You can’t relapse while you are in a detox facility. Getting through that initial withdrawal is difficult and addicts who are trying to get clean often relapse just to make the symptoms stop. That isn’t an option in a facility. You will also get medication to reduce the severity of the symptoms. If you just say you’ve stopped using, that pronouncement might be severely tested once symptoms start.

Even if you don’t go to detox right away, you can still go if symptoms become too strong. They’ll still let you in. If you start to experience severe withdrawal, which might mean high fever, hallucinations, severe confusion, stomach pains, or seizures, you should seek emergency medical care immediately and remain in medical care until withdrawal ends.

It’s best to avoid that if possible. Going into detox right away after you decide to quit will allow you to be admitted, stabilized, and settled by the time withdrawal starts. That will make sure withdrawal is as comfortable as possible and give you the best chance to finish detox.

Human dignity has value. When a loved one chooses detox, they should be comfortable and treated with respect. Struggling with addiction is not something punished. Recovery should be supported with empathy and acceptance. Gardens Detox stands out, changing the way the industry approaches detox. Call us today for information on our programs:  (844) 325-9168

Make Detox Your First and Last

Make Detox Your First and Last

Detox can be rough. You might feel anxious, nauseous, irritable, shaky, achy and generally terrible. Even with the best care it won’t exactly be pleasant. It might feel like withdrawal will never end. If there’s one sure thing in detox it’s that you don’t want to have to do it again. Here are some ways to improve your chances of staying in recovery so your first detox is your last.

First, detox in a clinic if at all possible. This vastly increases your likelihood of completing detox and completing it safely. Alcohol, benzos, and opioids can have fatal withdrawal symptoms. Medical care can mitigate the danger and make symptoms less unpleasant.

Detoxing in a clinic also keeps you from relapsing. If you detox at home, you might experience symptoms like a very bad flu. If you know that using again will make it all stop, it will be extremely difficult not to relapse. Imagine enduring three or four days of pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, relapsing and having to try again. Detoxing in a clean environment while medical staff manages your symptoms will ensure you actually finish.

Second, remember that detoxing is just a start. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the drugs are out of your system you are not longer addicted. Addiction creates a deep groove that it’s easy to slide back into. If you can, you should enter a treatment program where you can work with a therapist and develop healthy habits in a protected environment.

Treating the causes of addiction is necessary for staying in recovery for good. These causes may include trauma, friends, or how you deal with stress. This can take a while to sort out. You have to learn new habits and new ways of dealing with people. You have change the way you think about stress, and maybe how you think about yourself. You may have years of bad habits to untangle.

Third, you need a support system. It’s not enough to just get rid of the negative influences in your life. You have to cultivate positive influences as well. You need social support. This can have many elements–repairing relationships with family and friends, seeing a therapist regularly, attending meetings, or maybe taking up a hobby that encourages healthy habits and social connection.

This isn’t just so you have someone to talk you down from cravings. Having more social support means you can deal with stress better because you have help. Less stress means less pressure to relapse.

Social support also means you support others. This is often an overlooked aspect of recovery. In helping others you help yourself. You feel better about yourself and you are less preoccupied with your own problems, including stress and cravings.

START your recovery at the Gardens Wellness Center in North Miami. Our comfortable environment offers the highest luxuries in detox, making sure you are safe and encouraged to make it through withdrawals. Changing the way we approach detox, our program is focused on holistic care in order to create a foundation of recovery. For information, call:  (844) 325-9168

How Nature Heals

How Nature Heals

When you’re in recovery, one of the best things you can do for yourself is spend time in nature. Taking a walk in nature has been repeatedly proven to reduce stress and help people feel calmer. It has been shown to improve many health conditions from diabetes to high blood pressure. Taking a hike once a week is not a substitute for healthcare, therapy, or meetings, but it can make all of those things more effective and just make you feel better.

You may be familiar with calming effect of nature. Getting outside can be a break from everyday pressures, a chance to breathe fresh air and listen to the birds. You may be surprised to learn that the therapeutic effect of nature is actually complex and multifaceted. Studies have shown there are more than 20 ways in which nature improves our health. One of the most important is that walking in nature has been proven to reduce inflammatory cytokines in the blood. These cytokines have been linked to depression and reducing them may improve mood. These cytokines also play a role in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Spending time in nature may actually expose you to healthy chemicals. Many plants give off compounds called phytoncides. These have a range of health benefits, including improving immune function and lowering blood pressure. Being in nature may also increase your exposure to microorganisms that benefit your skin and immune system.

Interacting with nature can change your behavior for the better. For one thing, if you’re spending more time in nature, you’re probably doing something–hiking, climbing, biking, rowing–and that activity will improve you health, your mood, and your sleep. If you spend two weeks camping, it can reset your circadian rhythm so you have a more regular sleep schedule. Being outside with friends promotes social bonding. You are all more relaxed and you talk instead of watching TV or looking at your phones. Even if you aren’t especially active, just being in nature still has all the other benefits.

Unfortunately, even being active and spending time outside in urban environments hasn’t shown the same benefits. Being active is certainly better than being sedentary, but being active in a natural environment is better still. The good news is that you don’t have to take a raft down the Amazon to get the benefits of nature. Even parks and gardens have some of the same benefits. If nothing else, the mere sights and sounds of nature can make you feel a bit more relaxed. If you can’t get outside, try binge watching Primitive Technology videos on YouTube.

Treating addiction means taking care of your whole self–physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Gardens Wellness Center can help you get started in recovery. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at info@tgwcdetox.com.

Does Adderall Addiction Lead to Other Drugs?

Does Adderall Addiction Lead to Other Drugs?

Lately, prescription opioid painkillers have gotten a lot of attention, and with good reason. Opioid painkillers are addictive and addiction to painkillers often leads to an addiction to heroin. A less discussed but more frequently abused prescription drug is Adderall.

Adderall is sometimes prescribed for sleep disorders like narcolepsy, but is most commonly prescribed–and, many believe, over-prescribed–for ADHD. Adderall is prescribed for ADHD because it is essentially a long-acting amphetamine that improves concentration in people whose minds incessantly jump from one thing to another.

Adderall is easy to get. Most people who have abused Adderall have gotten it from a friend, family member, or classmate. Hardly anyone buys it from a dealer and so it has none of the stigma of an illicit drug.

Unfortunately, Adderall is addictive. With regular use, whether as a study aid or just for fun, you can become physically dependent. You need more to experience the same effect. When you try to stop using it, withdrawal symptoms can include irritability, lethargy, anhedonia, depression, and a general inability to think clearly or function. It can be very hard to quit, especially if you feel like your grades and your entire future depend on you being constantly at your best.

Adderall is an amphetamine similar to meth, often called its “cousin.” The effects of high doses of Adderall are often compared to meth or cocaine. People addicted to Adderall often try to get prescriptions by faking the symptoms of ADHD. This is sometimes an effective strategy, but people with ADHD typically remain at a steady dose, whereas Adderall addiction typically entails an escalating dose, something your doctor is not likely to accommodate.  

Adderall addicts may look elsewhere in desperation. A cheaper, more readily available alternative is meth. It has much of the same effect as Adderall with none of the paperwork. There are two main factors preventing the widespread abuse of Adderall from becoming widespread abuse of meth. The first is that there hasn’t been a broad crackdown on Adderall prescriptions as there has been with opioid painkillers, so Adderall is still relatively easy to get. As bad as Adderall addiction is, it doesn’t cause fatal overdose, although it can contribute to alcohol poisoning and prolonged use causes the same cardiovascular damage as other stimulants.

The second factor is that many people who abuse Adderall do so for a specific purpose, like getting through finals week. Winter break is a perfectly acceptable time to crash and level out, so students who use it two or three times during finals week don’t develop a strong dependence and have the luxury of recovery time.

Although addiction to Adderall and escalation to other drugs is rare compared to the escalation we commonly see in opioid painkillers, it does happen. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to Adderall or other stimulants, Gardens Wellness Center can help. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at info@tgwcdetox.com.