Why Should I Move Into a Sober Living Environment After Treatment?

Why Should I Move Into a Sober Living Environment After Treatment?

The idea of returning home after treatment can be a scary thought.  You have just spent 90 days trying to unlearn habits that have been built over a lifetime.  You may be wondering if you are ready to return to your old life.   With relapse rates ranging between 50%-90% this is a legitimate concern. Relapse is a possibility in recovery, but it does not have to be a promise.  Returning to your home could mean coming back to a world full of triggers that might cause you to stumble.  

An option to help with the transition is a Sober Living environment or “halfway house”.  Sober living environments are transitional homes that help you ease back into your life after completing treatment.  They will maintain a drug and alcohol free environment that limits the stresses and temptations you may face in your home life.  Some communities may even offer services such as job placement, support groups, and 12-step programs in-house.  Sober living homes are typically positioned in residential, suburban communities and are removed from the hustle and stresses that can come with city life.

By choosing to first go to a sober living community, you will be able to begin your reintroduction into the real world while still having accountability and support for your recovery.  This support system can help you deal with some of the pressures that you will face early on in your transition back to the real world: returning, dealing with people who may not know about or understand your sobriety.  While in a sober living environment you will be surrounded by others in the exact same situation as you.  Not as intensive as a treatment facility,  sober living communities are very strict in their rules regarding drugs and alcohol.  Most sober living communities will utilize onsite testing methods for drug and alcohol use.  Some may see it as a negative aspect, but sober living communities will typically have a restriction on guests and encourage the patient to avoid romantic relationships early in their recovery. .  If you have any doubts or concerns about returning to your home life, a sober living community can be the perfect transition for you.

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery from addiction to drugs and alcohol. The Gardens Wellness Center is redefining the way we approach detox and treat those who are detoxing. Our comfortable environment, encouraging program, and engaging amenities set us apart from other detox centers. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Medical Detox?

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Medical Detox?

Medical detox–detox in a medical facility–has several clear benefits. First and foremost, medical professionals are on hand to manage the most dangerous symptoms of withdrawal. When withdrawal is severe enough, the symptoms can be life threatening. Seizures from alcohol withdrawal, for example, can be fatal and medical professionals can administer anti-seizure medication to reduce the danger.

Medical detox may also be necessary if you are unable to endure the symptoms of withdrawal and continually relapse. This is most often the case when the patient is a long-time alcoholic or is addicted to drugs such as heroin, cocaine, meth, or prescription painkillers.

Being in a medical facility will help prevent relapse and the medical staff may be able to administer medications to mitigate the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea or insomnia. Staff can also administer medication for the specific withdrawal symptoms of certain drugs, such as ativan for alcohol withdrawal or methadone for heroin.

The main drawback of medical detox is the cost. You’ll have a team of medical professionals watching over you 24 hours a day for as long as you’re there. Add to that the cost of medications and you can expect to spend at least $300 per day and usually more.

Some insurance will cover medical detox and Medicare may cover some programs. Detox facilities themselves may offer some financial support and you may qualify for government assistance or state treatment programs. Don’t automatically assume medical detox is out of reach because of the cost.

There are two important things to keep in mind when considering medical detox. The first is that it is going to be uncomfortable. The medical staff can reduce the danger and maybe reduce some of the symptoms, but your body still has to rid itself of a toxic substance that it depends on and it won’t be pleasant.

The second thing is that medical detox is intended to get you through the most dangerous and painful part of recovery but is not intended to address the underlying causes of your addiction. Detox is only the beginning of recovery.

Detox is the first step in the journey of recovery. Start your journey with The Gardens Wellness Center, a residential medical detox program offering comfortable and compassionate care for holistic healing. Call us today for information: (844) 325-9168

Which Over The Counter Drugs Are Addictive?

Which Over The Counter Drugs Are Addictive?

Over-the-counter medications, or OTCs, are not typically as potent as prescription and illicit drugs but they are much easier to get–you can buy them without a prescription at any pharmacy or grocery store–and they can be harmful when abused.

Abuse is generally considered any use other than the intended purpose and recommended dosage. OTCs are are often abused by children and teenagers because they are easy to get–very few states set age limits for buying OTCs–and are kept in most houses.

The most commonly abused OTCs fall into three categories: cold and flu medicines, pain relievers, and weight-loss drugs.

Dextromethorphan (DXM) is a cough suppressant in most OTC cold medicines. It’s the stuff in NyQuil that makes you feel spacey. If you take too much it can produce a dissociative hallucinogenic state similar to ketamine. Your vision may become distorted, as well as your body perception. You may experience excitement or loss of time perception.

Pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in Sudafed, is the stuff that keeps your nose from running and keeps you on your feet at work when you should absolutely be home in bed. It can also be turned into meth. It is primarily abused as a stimulant. Adverse effects include anxiety, insomnia, and dizziness. More extreme side effects might include tachycardia, palpitations, arrhythmia, and hallucinations.

OTC pain medicines include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. They are perhaps the most commonly used OTCs. Many people carry OTC painkillers with them, or leave a bottle at work. The effects are mild–they may relieve a headache, if it’s not too bad. OTC painkillers are most frequently abused by people with chronic pain. Taking them too frequently or in too high a dosage–particularly acetaminophen–may lead to stomach pain and permanent liver damage.

Weight-loss drugs can include anything from “snake oil” to amphetamines. You never really know what you’re getting. Some drugs, like Hydroxycut have been found toxic, banned, reformulated, and reintroduced to the market several times. Weight-loss drugs are variously supposed to speed up metabolism, suppress appetite, and block fat absorption. Unless you have a diagnosed bariatric condition, it’s probably best to stay away from these entirely. Weight-loss drugs are often abused by people with eating disorders.

It’s easy to think that since these drugs are legal and widely available, they must be safe. Typically, when taken as directed, they are safe. Despite their relative safety, it’s important to remember that they are designed to alter your physiology and so have the potential to be addictive and damaging when not used as directed.

Detox from over the counter drugs can include serious health risks. Start your journey to recovery in a safe medical detox center offering the best in comfort and clinical care. Call The Gardens Wellness Center today for information on residential, medical detox programs:  (844) 325-9168

Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine Addiction

Ketamine has been around for 30 years and is mainly a party drug when it is being abused. In its normal use, ketamine is used as an animal tranquilizer. It’s a dissociative anesthetic, which means it creates a feeling of separation from the body. At high doses it may lead to feelings similar to an out-of-body experience or a near-death experience, which many party-goers affectionately refer to as the “k-hole”.

Ketamine reduces physical sensations and may cause paralysis and short-term memory impairment, making it commonly used as a date-rape drug.

The effects of ketamine are unpredictable. As with other illicit drugs, the dosing is difficult to control and the user may experience the dissociative state as euphoric or terrifying. Ketamine is most commonly snorted as a powder and using it carries the additional risk of simultaneously using an unknown substance. What’s more, because of the temporary paralysis, there is a danger of choking death by aspiration.

The outward appearance of ketamine use may appear similar to drunkenness–slow, uncoordinated movements; slurred speech, disorientation, difficulty thinking or concentrating, impaired memory, and vomiting. Someone under the influence of ketamine will be less sensitive to pain.

The long-term effects of ketamine may include stomach pain and damage to the bladder and urinary tract which may result in incontinence. Someone on ketamine might injure herself badly, not notice, and continue making the injury worse.

Ketamine addiction appears to be mainly psychological. People who habitually use ketamine may be using it to self-medicate for depression. Ketamine has, in fact, shown promise as a treatment for depression, but mainly as an emergency treatment to relieve suicidal thoughts.

One of the dangers of ketamine withdrawal is the sudden return of depression. Fortunately, most withdrawal symptoms aren’t severe–comparable to the flu–and should last less than a week. However, withdrawal from any deeply psychological drug like ketamine should take place in a residential detox program. With a twenty-four hour staff to support you, you can walk through any challenge either physical or mental.

The Gardens Wellness Center is changing the approach to detox. Detox is the first step in your journey of recovery. Start the right way with a comfortable environment, healing therapy modalities, and the support of an experienced, compassionate staff. For information on our Miami, Florida location, call us today: (844) 325-9168

Will I Learn To Like Sobriety?

Will I Learn To Like Sobriety?

One of the biggest fears someone might have about getting clean and sober is what life will be like without the use of drugs and alcohol.  For so long, the addict has experienced their life behind a substance lens.  Therefore, the thought of living without that substance can be terrifying.  Many wonder what they will do and think that life will now be boring.  

It is no argument that it will certainly be an adjustment. However, living a life free of addiction opens endless doors; doors that once were not possible because you were always under the influence.  You will be able to find hobbies that you love and are actually able to follow through with and friends that you know are true because they have no ulterior motives.  Learning how to do day-to-day tasks will be different, and nobody promises that it will be easy.  However, you’ll be mentally present and able to enjoy and remember fun times.  You won’t see pictures and feel embarrassment and shame.

Now, when people look at you, they will be proud; proud of how strong you are and how you have overcome.  When you have people who believe in you and who you know are quietly impressed with your sobriety, it’s empowering.  Being sober makes you want to keep being sober.  You will accept challenges with open arms and it will be exciting.  No matter what, you will experience failures in your life, yet being sober you will always have that sense of pride to fall back on knowing that you have gone through bigger life changing circumstances and made it through to the other side.  Hitting milestones makes you want to keep going.  

Additionally, when you’re sober you feel as though you’ve won the lottery.  Things that you have always wanted to try but couldn’t because you were too obliterated, are now possible in excess. The greatest part of being clean and sober is that you learn to love yourself.  You no longer feel that deep shame of what you are or what you have done.  You finally feel like you fit in – most importantly, with yourself.

Detox is the first step in the journey to recovery. Start your journey with The Gardens Wellness Center, offering residential medical detox programs with the utmost care and compassion:  (844) 325-9168

How Long Do I Need to Stay in Treatment

How Long Do I Need to Stay in Treatment

When considering going into a treatment facility, you may wonder how long it will take to get well again.  Sometimes people hope or wish for a quick and easy solution to their drug and alcohol addiction, and unfortunately, this is not the case.  There isn’t a quick pill you can take to make it all go away.  Typically, for the addict, their disease stems from something much deeper.  The abuse of substances is just a symptom of their issues.  Until they can work through their problems and understand why it is that they turn to those substances, they have little hope for staying clean and sober for a long period of time.  Treatment centers vary, but inpatient residential treatment typically ranges anywhere from 28 to 120 days.  Many treatment facilities also offer outpatient services, as well.  The average outpatient rehabilitation is 10 weeks, but some can be up to 18 months.  The recommended length of treatment will vary based on an individual’s needs.  Research has shown the longer a person stays in treatment, the more likely they are to continue a life free from addiction.

The first part of treatment will initially consist of medically removing the substance from the body and working through the withdrawals of said substance.  Depending on what the drug is will depend on how long it takes for the withdrawals to subside, but it can take weeks for the body to adjust.  Typically, opioids and alcohol can have some of the worst, and potentially life threatening withdrawals.

Once you’re physically able, you will transition into another level of care, like residential inpatient.  This is where you will begin to develop life skills and coping mechanisms.  A drug rehabilitation treatment center, whether it be inpatient residential or outpatient care, will likely have licensed counselors that help to explore and pinpoint underlying issues so that you may begin to work through and overcome them.  They will help to develop skills so you can manage life’s challenges without turning to various substances.  Many treatment centers encourage twelve step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).  These programs can be very beneficial to the addict, as they will find camaraderie with those who have gone through the same situations.

This process of treatment takes time.  There are many parts of the brain that are involved with addiction and several areas of a person’s life may have been affected by the disease.  Therefore, the more time that is devoted to addressing the issues that have arisen from addiction, the greater the benefit will be.

Detox is the first step to treatment. Start your recovery the right way in a caring and compassionate environment like the one we have created at The Gardens Wellness Center. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

What Are My Options For Medical Detox?

What Are My Options For Medical Detox?

You may have made the decision to seek help for your drug or alcohol addiction. Congratulations! Treatment is  a decision that has the power to change your life forever for the better, as well of the lives of those you love. It’s a decision to end your suffering, and instead begin living a life that’s productive and purposeful – one filled with peace, serenity, love, and laughter. Recovery is entirely possible!

The first step is to seek help. Addiction is a malady of the body, mind, and spirit. Therefore, the first order of business is to physically detox from drugs and alcohol. Detoxing is the process of ridding the body of toxic substances by abstaining from those substances.

If you’ve ever tried to quit your addiction on your own, you know that withdrawal can be painful. We experience symptoms such as shaking, shivering, burning, itching, muscle aches, headaches, insomnia and extreme anxiety, among other things. In some cases, severe reactions such as seizures can occur. These symptoms have often caused us to return to our addictive substance, thinking it is the only relief available. For this reason, it is typically unwise to try to detox on your own.

Several options can ease our suffering as we rid our bodies of these toxins. Assistance from an addiction counselor, physician, clinic or treatment center is considered by many to be the best course of action. Medications such as Antabuse, for alcohol addiction, or Suboxone, for opioid addiction, are frequently dispensed, but these must be taken under competent medical supervision.

Seeking admission to an inpatient detox unit is often a favorable approach. It’s important to look for a reputable facility that offers the specific type of help you need, in a setting that’s comfortable for you. Detoxing at a treatment center typically takes three to seven days, but can last a few weeks. From there you may be placed in either a residential or outpatient rehab.

Whichever method you choose for detoxing, know that the physical pain and discomfort are only temporary. You are now on your way to a rich and rewarding life.

Detox is the first step in the recovery process. Call The Gardens Wellness Center today for information on our residential detox programs:  (844) 325-9168

Cocaine Is Highly Addictive

Cocaine Is Highly Addictive

Extensive scientific research has been done to demonstrate the addictive nature of cocaine. Cocaine is a stimulant drug made from the coca plant. The coca plant is native to South America. Cocaine alters one of the neural circuits in our brain that is necessary for survival. This alternation impacts the user’s capacity for judgment, memory, learning, and decision making.

When a person uses cocaine for the first time, they will likely feel the following effects almost immediately:

  • Pleasure and feelings of intense well-being.
  • Increased talkativeness.
  • Decreased appetite.
  • Decreased sleeping behavior.
  • Sense of increased mental alertness.
  • Heightened sexual arousal.

The Center for Substance Abuse Research reports that addiction can develop after one use of crack cocaine. Crack is a less expensive version of cocaine that is mixed with another substance to form a solid, also called a rock. This does not mean all users will become addicted immediately, but it means the possibility is there.

Cocaine affects our brain. Cocaine triggers the release of dopamine, known as a feel good brain chemical. The dopamine gets stuck in the brain’s synapses resulting in a feeling of being ”high”. The brain and body adapt very quickly needing larger and larger quantities of cocaine to create the same high. This increased need is called tolerance and is an indicator of addiction.

An increased tolerance can lead to users to seek larger quantities and/or alternative ways of administering cocaine. The highs of cocaine use come with a multitude of problems. There are many long term effect that include:

  •        nosebleeds
  •        higher risk for contracting blood borne diseases such as HIV or Hep C
  •        malnourishment
  •        severe bowel decay
  •        restlessness
  •        paranoia with auditory hallucinations

Cocaine is known as a highly addictive drug. Addictive drugs illicit withdrawal symptoms when the drug intake is reduced or stopped. Withdrawal symptoms from cocaine include:

  • depression
  • fatigue
  • increased appetite
  • unpleasant dreams and insomnia
  • slowed thinking

Cocaine induces euphoric feelings in the short term and addiction in the long term. The drug’s impact on the limbic system produces changes in the brain that alter one’s ability to make sound decisions. The risk of cocaine addiction is great. The potential impacts of drug addiction are dangerous and can lead to death. If you suspect you or a loved one are dealing with a cocaine addiction there is help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and inpatient treatment centers are two popular roads to recovery.

The first step to healing cocaine addiction starts with detox. Start your journey of recovery with The Gardens Wellness Center. We are changing the approach to detox. Call us today for information:  (844) 325-9168

Why Do Treatment And Recovery Need To Be Mind, Body, Spirit?

Why Do Treatment And Recovery Need To Be Mind, Body, Spirit?

Addiction is a disease of more than just the body: It’s also an affliction of the mind and the spirit. Simply detoxing, over a period of days, from our drug of choice is not enough to bring us recovery from our addiction. If only it were that simple!

The physical detoxing must occur first, and this is usually accompanied by a fair amount of bodily discomfort. We often shake, shiver, itch, burn, throb, wrack and sob uncontrollably as the drugs leave our system. Sometimes, seizures and other severe physical reactions can occur. For this reason, it is typically best to withdraw in a controlled medical setting, such as a recovery center.

Once we’ve detoxed, we find that our minds are still muddled, and we are broken and ashamed. How did we get here? How will we ever recover? It’s important that we stay attuned what our bodies, hearts and minds are telling us.

One of the first things we learn is the acronym H.A.L.T., which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. These four states of being can lead us directly into a relapse if we don’t heed their warning.

If we’re hungry, the first thing we do is to eat nourishing food and savor a good meal. If we’re angry, we acknowledge our feelings and diffuse our temper by stepping away from the situation; we might pray or meditate, talk to our therapist or a friend, read, or take a walk. If we’re lonely, we call another recovering addict or, better yet, we get ourselves to a meeting. If we’re tired, we close our eyes and rest as soon as we can.

There’s another idea we’re taught in early recovery: Move a muscle, change a thought. That is to say, we can change our ideas and emotions by getting some physical exercise. The first step is to identify our emotions. Feeling anxious or tense? Again, a walk is often the best remedy. Doing some stretching, yoga, or even house- or yard work are other ways to change your train of thought and work off nervous energy.

Finally, we must feed our spirit through prayer or meditation. Active addiction has left a hole in our heart. Through physical exercise, the fellowship of our treatment group, therapy, and daily meditation, we learn we have all the ingredients necessary for a successful recovery.

The Gardens Wellness Center is bringing the holistic approach to residential medical detox. Call us today for information our our clinical detox programs and how to take the first step in your journey to recovery:  (844) 325-9168

Addiction as a Brain Disease

Addiction as a Brain Disease

For most of history, drug addiction was viewed as a moral flaw. Common beliefs dictated addicts were lacking in willpower and were often punished rather than treated for their disease. With the passage of time has come scientific discovery. We now know that drug addiction is in fact a brain disease.

As scientists have expanded their research on addiction as a brain disease more and more information is being uncovered. Information gained from research has been useful in developing programs to help prevent drug addiction, helping those impacted by drug addiction, as well as how to treat those that are drug addicted.

According to The National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. It is considered a brain disease because drugs change the brain. They change its structure and how it works. These brain changes can be long-lasting, and can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who abuse drugs.

Addiction is a lot like other diseases, such as heart disease. Both disrupt the normal, healthy functioning of the underlying organ, have serious harmful consequences, and are preventable and treatable. If left untreated, it can last a lifetime.

There have been extensive brain imaging studies of people addicted to drugs that demonstrate the physical changes in the brain. The areas impacted are critical to decision making, behavior control, judgment, learning, and memory. This alteration of the brain shows us how the brain of drug addicted individuals is hindered in its functioning. While an individual with a normal brain might make a decision to stop doing drugs once problems arose, an individual with a drug addicted brain doesn’t follow that same path.

Scientists are continuing to research addiction as a brain disease. Current research indicates genetics play a significant role as a risk factors to predict drug addiction. Environmental factors also play a heavy roll. Everything from having a lack of parental support to living in a community with poverty can impact drug addiction development.

What we know is regardless of the path that lead to drug addiction, it is a brain disease. The brains of those addicted to drugs are different than their non-addicted counterparts. This knowledge allows us to develop treatment programs to support those looking to recover. Just as it’s possible for the heart to heal from heart disease, it’s possible for the brain to heal from drug addiction.

Detox is the first step you take in healing from addiction. The journey to recovery begins by admitting that you want and need help. Call The Gardens Wellness Center today for information on our residential detox programs:  (844) 325-9168