- Drug and Alcohol Abuse Affects More Than Just Yourself
When you have an addiction, your loved ones suffer too
There are many ways in which drug addicts and alcoholics may justify their addictions to themselves that might sound familiar to you: that you have it under control and are still functioning normally, or that you can stop at any time and therefore do not require treatment. Even if you are aware that there is a problem, many addicts rationalize that at least they’re not hurting anyone besides themselves. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Family members, spouses, children, all of these people are affected by their loved one’s addiction in ways that are more overt, such as financially and emotionally as well as other, less obvious psychological effects that will still be felt years in the future.
Financial burdens, emotional scars, and darker futures
One of the most obvious ways that your addiction can negatively impact your family is through the financial issues that arise due to behaviors like spending any money you can get ahold of in order to buy drugs or alcohol. It’s easy to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the pursuit of supporting drug habits and quieting cravings. Your addiction may also become so severe that it interferes with other parts of your life, like making you unable to function at your job and creating not just a financial strain on you and your family, but also putting the burden on your partner or spouse as the sole provider for your family. Your addiction can also put an emotional strain on your family, as your erratic behavior means that you might lie to them, steal from them, and other behaviors that make it clear that they can no longer count on you, in part because your brain has been trained to focus on the goal of feeding your addiction, making everything else secondary. But when it comes to family members being negatively impacted by addiction, children seem to get the worst of it. It may not be immediately obvious, but the effects of having a parent who is an addict will be felt by your children well into their adulthood. The children of addicts tend to grow up with poorer self-image, anxiety, fear of abandonment, difficulty handling stress, and even chronic depression. All of these mental health issues also make them more susceptible to falling to addiction as well. Children raised by an alcoholic parent are in fact four times more likely to develop alcoholism themselves when compared to other children. It may not be obvious now, but your addiction has the potential to cause great harm to your children long after they’ve grown up.
Addicts are never hurting only themselves. Their loved ones also feel the financial, emotional, and mental strain the comes from living with someone in the throes of addiction. It can cause their family harm not just in the present but for years to come as well. If you are not seeking treatment based on the belief that your addiction only affects you, you are sorely mistaken and need to reconsider getting help for your addiction, if not for yourself, then for your loved ones. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!
- Smoking Marijuana Creates Stronger Potential for Harder Drug Use Later in Life
As marijuana heads for the mainstream, children are at risk
There’s no denying that marijuana is growing in popularity and acceptance within the United States, especially when taking into account that it is legal or at least decriminalized in twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia. While it’s true that there are positive uses for marijuana, such as treating chronic pain as well as illnesses like Crohn’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis, the rapid proliferation of the drug has made it difficult to track and control, which makes it much more easily accessible to minors, bringing with it a whole host issues, the most troubling of which is an early normalization of casual drug use that could lead to harder drugs in the future.
The dangers of early drug use
Because the brain does not fully mature until someone is in roughly their mid-twenties, children in high school and junior high who start recreationally smoking marijuana are extremely susceptible to dangers of cognitive impairment. Additionally, while marijuana is generally not considered “addictive” in the sense that it does not instill a physical craving in the user like other, harder drugs, it still can be a triggering factor for addiction, especially there is a genetic predisposition for it. Early use of marijuana makes children not only associate it with fun, therefore working to rewire their immature brains with the strong potential to make it habit-forming. Most pressing though, as we previously mentioned, creating an atmosphere that normalizes drug use could make marijuana serve as a gateway to harsher drugs that carry with them more intense physical, mental, and legal consequences. A recent study from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that 16 to 25-year-olds had the highest rates of illicit drug use at around twenty percent, as opposed to people 26 and older, who’s average rate was less than ten percent. In 2011, more than 2.5 million Americans aged twelve and older were diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder, and these numbers show no sign of going down.
While many people want to celebrate the growing mainstream acceptance of marijuana, it’s important to keep in mind the potential dangers of making it more accessible, and the effect this can have on children and teens, who’s not yet fully-developed brains stand to be the most harmed by marijuana use. While it might not seem like it at first, smoking marijuana while in junior high and high school greatly increases the potential of these children struggling with addiction to stronger drugs later in life. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction or substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!
- What to Consider when Choosing a Rehab or Treatment Center
Things to think about before checking in
Being able to admit that you are in need of a rehab or treatment center can be scary, but recognizing and understanding this is already a major first step on the road to recovery. So now it’s time for the next step: choosing a treatment center or rehabilitation facility. This can also feel like an overwhelming task. How do you know which one is best for you and can properly meet your needs? How do you know which one will be more effective than another? How can you discern a legitimate rehab from a scam? At Ridgeview Ranch, we’ve come up with a list of important factors to consider when it comes to choosing a rehab or treatment center that’s right for you.
What you need to know
The most imperative thing to be aware of: is this treatment center licensed, certified, and accredited? Always make sure to enquire about a rehab’s qualifications before making a decision and ensuring you’ll be getting the highest quality care. They should also definitely have been in business for longer than a few months and can provide alumni for you to talk to about their experiences at the treatment center. If they cannot do this, it can be a red flag. Other warning signs for places to avoid include rehab centers that offer an “instant cure” or other unrealistic promises. Another major factor to consider is the different types of therapies offered at the rehab or treatment center, since an addiction treatment plan should include multiple therapies, including individual, group, cognitive-behavioral, etc. Also, is the treatment customized? Addiction is never “one-size-fits-all” and it’s important to make sure the treatment center you’re checking in to knows this as well and will help build a plan geared to your specific needs. Lastly, do they offer after-care? Addiction does not end once your time in rehab is over, which is why it’s critical that there is a plan in place for after you leave and are reintegrated back into your regular life.
This is by no means a comprehensive list of tips, but it does cover some of the most important ones that should be at the forefront of your mind when choosing a rehab or treatment center. And always remember, if you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!
- Drunk Driving: Know the Consequences
The costs are greater than you know
How many times have you been in this situation? You’re out at a bar or club, you’ve had a few drinks and you’re feeling pretty good. As the night winds down, it’s time to go home. You know you’re not sober, but it’s not that big a deal, right? You can drive just fine. Of course, the truth is that you can’t. Your judgment has been impaired by alcohol. Every time you decided to drive drunk, you’re putting not just your own life, but the lives of other drivers at risk. Maybe you’ve gotten lucky and have never experienced the negative consequences of driving under the influence, but statistics show that if you continue to press your luck, it’s just a matter of time until you do.
When you get behind the wheel drunk, you put everyone at risk
If you’re wondering just how many drinks it takes to diminish your judgment, it’s much less than you would think. One drink is typically defined as 1.5 ounces of liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or twelve ounces of beer, and after just two drinks, your ability to judge yourself and your surroundings begin to drop. After three or four, your coordination, alertness, and concentration have gone. Finally, at five or six drinks, your response time becomes dangerously slow, your ability to process what you see in front of you becomes severely impaired and the odds of you being able to pay attention to the road are basically non-existent.
So what’s the potential for damage? According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, drunk driving kills 27 people a day, and has been either directly or indirectly responsible for thirty thousand deaths in just the last three years, and it’s estimated that six thousand of them were children. Even if you yourself are not injured while drunk driving, there’s a thirty-three percent chance that you will injure someone else. If these statistics are not enough to deter you, there’s also the legal aspect. More than a million and a half arrests for drunk driving are made every year, and more and more sobriety checkpoints are being set up as time goes on, which makes it more likely that even if you don’t injure or kill someone with your driving, you can still end up getting arrested, losing your license, and even going to prison.
The next time you’re out drinking, designate a sober driver, call a cab or use the Uber or Lyft apps, call a friend, take the bus. There are so many easy alternatives to getting behind the wheel drunk and potentially killing yourself and others. For more information and a list of drunk driving resources, you can visit Alcoholawareness.org, and if you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!
- Rethinking Relapses: What Falling Off the Wagon Can Teach You
A relapse doesn’t mean you’ve failed
It never feels good to relapse – or, it can feel good in the moment, but all too soon a relapse is accompanied by feelings of guilt and regret. Our Pasadena rehab center understands that relapsing can feel like failure, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, a relapse can often help open the door to more lasting success with quitting.
Relapses happen, what can we learn from them?
The most important thing to recognize is that successfully implementing major behavioral changes, like recovering from addiction, is a long and winding road, and that very few people nail it on the first try. Studies show that eighty percent of alcoholics will drink again at least once, and between sixty and ninety percent of smokers will smoke again within a year of quitting, which shows that relapse tends to be the rule and not the exception. The good news? Those same studies show that there are at least two million more ex-smokers than current smokers in the country, and in one of the largest U.S. surveys of alcohol use, only one-quarter of the people addicted to alcohol were still drinking heavily the following year. Another study revealed that of a sample of cocaine addicts who had undergone treatment, more than half were still clean and sober five years later. It’s also important to remember that one slip-up doesn’t have to mean a complete and total relapse. Falling off the wagon can feel like you’ve canceled out all your hard work, but that kind of defeatist thinking just makes things worse. Instead of feeling guilty, try to think hard about how the relapse happened. What were you feeling? Who were you with? What had been happening in your life? This way, along with help from our Pasadena addiction treatment center, you can learn from your relapse and develop better techniques for anticipating, and therefore avoiding, another one.
The journey of completely kicking an addiction is one that may never be truly over. And that’s all right! What matters is you don’t let a relapse stop you from picking yourself back up and getting back on the wagon. If you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!
- What Happens When You Give Up Alcohol
Here’s some things you can expect when you decide to stop drinking
Whether you feel like you’re just overdoing it on the drinking and want to stop before it becomes an issue or it has already become a problem that is affecting your work and personal relationships, giving up alcohol can be a difficult process, as it is still an extremely addictive substance. Nonetheless, there are so many benefits to giving up drinking that it is worth pushing through the pains of withdrawal. You’ll very quickly start to see how putting a stop to drinking can improve so many aspects of your life. However, there are some negative things to expect as well as your body adjusts to the lack of alcohol. That’s why we’ve compiled a helpful overview of some of the things – good and bad – that you can expect when you give up alcohol.
What you need to know
First, the bad news: There’s a strong chance you’ll be getting sugar cravings. The reason for this is that when you stop drinking, you’re denying your body a source of the “happy-making” chemical dopamine that it’s become used to getting from alcohol on a regular basis. With this sudden lack of a dopamine source, your body will more likely be making you reach for something sweet instead as a substitute. Another thing to expect is difficulty being around others who are drinking. If you’re just starting to kick the addiction, we recommend avoiding being around people who are drinking entirely. You’ll have to deal with the feeling of missing out, but being around people who are drinking, especially if you were frequently a social drinker before you quit, can drive you crazy with envy and desire for a drink and can make quitting that much harder.
But let’s move on to the good stuff: When you quit drinking, you’ll find yourself sleeping more soundly. While studies have found that alcohol may make you fall asleep more quickly, it disrupts the quality of sleep so you wake up feeling groggy and even more tired than when you went to bed. But when you stop drinking, quality of sleep improves, which not only is good news for your mood and concentration, but your overall health in general. You’ll also find yourself losing weight without consuming all those extra carbs that hide in alcohol, especially sugary ones like margaritas and piña coladas. And a definite major bonus? You’ll have more money! Drinking, especially if you’re fond of expensive wine, scotch or whiskey, can leave you with an empty wallet. Take time to do the math and you’ll quickly realize that, while you may be missing out on those nights out, you’re saving yourself a bundle.
Quitting an addictive substance is never easy, but in the end, the benefits always outweigh any negative you might encounter. You’ll find yourself with an overall better quality of life and ensure that you’re there for the people you care about and who care about you. If you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here to Help!
- Happy Holidays from Ridgeview Ranch
- Why Meth Users Might Not Seek Rehabilitation Treatment
Some psychology behind why people suffering addiction might deny themselves treatment
While it can often be difficult for people struggling with addiction to admit or even realize that they need help, a new study addresses another dimension of this: embarrassment. Coupled with the social stigma of abusing drugs, some people would rather deny themselves treatment than out themselves as someone wrestling with an addiction. In a study recently published in a journal called Drug and Alcohol Dependence analyzed barriers to treatment, in this case for methamphetamine specifically. While some of the other typical arguments were present in the study as well, such as the belief that help is not needed or the preference to simply withdraw from help, researchers were surprised at the level to which embarrassment and social stigma played a role in people refusing to seek treatment.
Too much shock tactics, not enough help
In recent years, both methamphetamine use and supply has escalated at an alarming rate that is cause for major concern. The study was carried in five different countries: Australia, South Africa, China, the United States and the United Kingdom. What the researchers found was that users who understood that they were addicted and may have even wanted to get treatment were so ashamed or felt the social stigma so strongly that in the end, they chose not to. Researchers also discovered that these feelings of shame were only exacerbated by media campaigns meant to curb drug usage. These advertising campaigns sensationalize the issues associated with meth use to the point where users are portrayed at best as criminals and at worst as something like animals, which only serves to hammer home the stigma of dealing with a methamphetamine addiction. Researchers came to the conclusion that these campaigns need to do a better job of not just using fear tactics to keep people from using meth, but also provide and emphasize treatment options that are available in order to be more useful to people who are currently using, as opposed to just scaring people off from doing it in the first place.
It is absolutely a scary experience admitting that you have an addiction and need help overcoming it. It makes people vulnerable and brings them face to face with the stigma of addiction. But the benefits of getting help and treatment far outweigh the costs, and despite the social stigma present, you should never feel too ashamed to seek treatment, as it shows that you are actively trying to improve your life and make decisions in your best interest. If you are using methamphetamines or struggling with drug addiction in general, know that there are centers for treatment like Ridgeview Ranch that understand, and will do everything they can to help you get your life back on track. If you or a loved one is in need of help with substance abuse, Call Ridgeview Ranch Today at (800) 296-1868. We’re Here To Help!
- Prescription Pain Pills: The Dangers of Addiction
It’s important to know the signs and perils of prescription painkiller addiction
Painkiller abuse has been referred to as a growing epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdose has been responsible for more than one hundred and sixty-five thousand deaths between 1999 and 2014. More than half of these overdose deaths involved prescription opioids and in 2014 alone, more than 14,000 people died of prescription opioid overdose. Efforts to combat it have included prescription drug monitoring programs, which is meant to combat things like “doctor shopping,” someone using multiple doctors in order to get as many prescriptions as they can. With all the clear dangers for prescription painkiller abuse as well as statistics about overdoses, some might wonder how someone can even let themselves get addicted in the first place. But addiction is, of course, not at all that simple. There’s a myriad of ways and reasons that people can become addicted to prescription painkillers, but luckily, there’s also help in the form of addiction treatment centers like Ridgeview Ranch.
Early warning signs
The first thing to understand is the difference between dependence on a drug and addiction to it. When you are dependent on a drug, that means that your body has built up a tolerance to the drug and you need to take more and more of it to feel its effects, and can suffer a withdrawal without it. While this is a facet of addiction, it does not constitute it. Addiction is dependency in the context of compulsive drug use, even in the face of dangerous and harmful consequences. It’s a dependency that becomes not just physical but mental, an inability to stop using and a failure to meet life responsibilities and obligations. Warning signs of the beginnings of an addiction can sometimes be difficult to spot until it’s too late, even if you’re the one who is sliding into addiction. It’s important to know the warning signs to watch out for:
- You’re taking a different number of pills than prescribed by your doctor. Whether it’s taking more at once or more often than your doctor has told you to, this is an early sign of a budding addiction. Deciding your own dosage instead of following your doctor’s orders may be indicative of a problem.
- You’ve been using painkillers for a long time. A doctor prescribes you painkillers after a surgery or otherwise because you hurt. But they are not meant to be a permanent solution. If you’re still taking prescription pain medication after the pain should have gone away, this is a big warning sign that something is wrong. It might be that you just enjoy the way they make you feel, or you’ve started to physically need them. Both of these are signs of addiction and reasons to get help before it’s too late.
- You’re getting painkillers from other sources than a doctor. While there is a crackdown on “doctor shopping,” there are other places to get pills from, such as ordering them online, stealing from people’s medicine cabinets, buying other people’s prescription medication or even purposefully hurting yourself so you can get access to more. All of these are very serious signs that you have an addiction, both that you are getting drugs from illegal sources and that you feel the need to “stockpile.”
It can be frighteningly easy to misuse painkillers, even when you try not to do it. The most important thing to remember is honesty. Be honest with your doctor, your friends and family, and of course, yourself. If there’s a problem and you see yourself or someone you care about exhibiting these signs, know that there are addiction specialists and treatment centers that are there to help and can get your life back on track and back to normal. Here at Ridgeview Ranch Treatment Center, we understand the roots of addiction and are committed to providing hope and healing.
- Ridgeview Ranch at the CSUN Fall Career Fair
Ridgeview Ranch at the CSUN Fall Career Fair, Northridge, CA, Tuesday, October 25, 2016. Looking for employment in the behavioral health field and have a compassion for helping people? Then, email your resume to email@example.com or apply online HERE. Available positions: Certified Substance Abuse Counselors, Program Manager, and Resident Technicians (full time or part time). Qualified candidates will be contacted by our HR Department for an interview.