Detox Timeline: How Long Does Alcohol Withdrawal Last?

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America has an alcoholism problem, and things are getting worse. New studies reveal that 32 million Americans – or one in seven adults – have abused alcohol or suffered from alcoholism within the last year. What’s worse is that few of these people have received alcohol addiction treatment or medically supervised detox.

Detoxing from alcohol is one of the first steps toward sobriety, but it’s also one of the most difficult. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild to severe, which can discourage some alcoholics from reaching that crucial turning point toward recovery. Detox is a physical and mental process that is painful and, in some cases, potentially deadly. This is why medical detox is recommended. 

detox from alcohol side effects

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person. The worse the alcoholism, the more likely you are to develop severe withdrawal symptoms. For many individuals, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will last up to three days, but they may persist for weeks longer depending on your drinking habits.

When does alcohol withdrawal begin?

Most withdrawal symptoms start within the first 2 to 8 hours after the last drink. In a few cases, they begin days later. The peak of the worst symptoms generally occurs within 24 to 72 hours. The sudden separation can produce immediate and intense symptoms, which is why it can be so difficult to break addiction to alcohol.

When alcohol withdrawals begin, it’s important to be prepared. You will experience temptations to grab another drink to ease the symptoms. Not only is your body experiencing a difficult process of detoxing, but your mind is also facing a mental battle of resilience.

Distraction is one of the most effective tools to overcome the difficult days of early recovery. When you experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms, knowing how to distract yourself will help keep you focused on your goals. Without distractions, you’ll be focused on your discomfort Things you can do to distract yourself include:

·      Going for a walk

·      Watching television

·      Reading a book

·      Listening to music

·      Spending time with others

If you suffer from alcoholism, there are instances when medical detox is recommended. Professional supervision is key to minimizing your withdrawal symptoms and discomfort whenever possible. You can also enjoy peace of mind knowing that your health is the top priority.

To learn if detox and alcoholism treatment is right for you, contact us online or call us at 615-939-9294.

Time heals all wounds: Understanding the alcohol withdrawal timeline.

Now that we’ve covered when alcohol withdrawal symptoms begin, let’s explore how long you can expect these symptoms to last.

alcohol withdrawal duration and stages

No two cases are exactly alike. Clinical manifestations of withdrawal symptoms will vary from person to person based on the severity and duration of alcohol abuse. What follows is a clinical continuum, but the sequence of events may not apply universally since it’s largely dependent on the degree of alcoholism.

There are four stages of the withdrawal process.

Stage One

This is the stage when alcohol withdrawal starts. You may experience autonomic hyperactivity within hours of the final drink. Fortunately, most symptoms will peak within 24 to 72 hours of when they first appear. When you detox from alcohol, symptoms you may experience include:

·      Tremors

·      Sweating

·      Anxiety or agitation

·      Insomnia

·      Nausea and vomiting

·      Elevated body temperature

·      Increased blood pressure

Medically supervised detox follows alcohol withdrawal guidelines to minimize these symptoms for your safety and comfort. Drug and alcohol treatment centers understand the importance of preventing complications of stopping alcohol use. We understand what alcohol withdrawals feel like and want to help you succeed on your path toward recovery.

medically supervised detox

Stage Two

Within 12 to 24 hours after the last drink, one-fourth of alcohol-dependent individuals in withdrawal will experience hallucinations. This marks the second stage of withdrawal. People suffering from hallucinations will see or hear things that are not physically present. The hallucinations are punctuated with moments of reality where the person has clear-headed understanding of what is currently happening before another hallucination kicks in. Though Stage Two occurs after Stage One, many symptoms present from Stage One may still linger during this time.

Stage Three

Can alcohol withdrawal cause seizures? The answer is yes. During Stage Three, up to 10 percent of patients will experience neuronal excitation, which manifests in the form of seizures. Because the body is dependent on alcohol, a few hours of abstinence or decreased alcohol intake is enough to “shock” the body. Stage Three usually sees individuals experience several generalized, short seizures rather than a single long seizure.

Stage Four

Delirium tremens occur in up to 5 percent of all patients, but affect nearly 30 percent of alcoholics who experience seizures in Stage Three. Delirium tremens is a prime example of why medically supervised detox is so important. If left untreated, mortality rates may be as high as 15 percent. Our alcohol addiction treatment programs are staffed with experienced healthcare professionals who look out for such complications.

Most symptoms begin within three to four days of withdrawals, though they are also known to begin as long as two weeks afterward. Disorientation, hallucinations, impaired attention, pronounced autonomic hyperactivity, tremors, rapid heartbeat and pupil dilation are some of the common symptoms. Medicines called benzodiazepines can help when administered by an addiction treatment professional. 

Can alcohol withdrawals cause anxiety 

Don’t let fear of what might happen during withdrawal prevent you from taking action to better your life.

Addiction treatment professionals understand what alcohol withdrawals feel like. We understand the anxiety, insomnia, psychological and physical symptoms that alcohol withdrawals can cause. We understand the importance of monitoring your progress for as long as symptoms are present.

Because sudden alcohol cessation can cause hallucinations, convulsions and even seizures, it’s important to seek professional help. These symptoms and side effects can result in death if left untreated. If you suffer from serious dependency on alcohol, don’t attempt going “cold turkey” without the protocol that a treatment facility can provide. You deserve support, understanding and expert resources to guide you through this challenging but promising time.

Recovery from alcoholism goes beyond detox. It lasts beyond the months after your last drink. It’s a lifetime commitment to a new, healthy lifestyle.

Our facilities offer alcohol addiction treatment that addresses the root cause of your addiction. We understand that no two people are alike and that a host of varying factors has contributed to your substance abuse. Our recovery programs are designed to focus on your unique experience and healing as an individual.

It’s time to kick your drinking to the curb. Contact us online or call us at 615-939-9294 to learn about our treatment facilities and the drug rehab options near you.

5 Relapse Prevention Techniques Proven to Work

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By the time most people seek professional help, they’ve already tried to stop using drugs and alcohol on their own. Self-recovery can be extremely difficult. Most people relapse within the first few days of quitting. This isn’t because of weak willpower or compromised morals. Most people simply don’t have the tools necessary to step out of addiction and toward a healthier, more fulfilling life.

what are relapse prevention strategies

The secret to lasting recovery is relapse prevention, but because addiction is a chronic disease, the likelihood of relapse is high. Fortunately, drug rehab programs minimize this risk. During treatment, patients learn relapse prevention techniques and coping skills to avoid a “slip.”

 

What are relapse prevention strategies?

 

Though relapse can be common, it’s important to know how to avoid or minimize it. There is no magic formula to completely eliminate any chance of relapse. It’s hard work and steadfast commitment to stay clean and sober. However, there are ways you can empower yourself to stay on the path of recovery and a new, healthy lifestyle.

 

1.     Discover what your triggers are. Many relapse prevention plans teach patients to avoid their triggers, but how can you avoid triggers unless you know that they are? It’s incredibly important during drug rehab to learn your personal triggers, because relapse is incredibly difficult to prevent – if not impossible – if you don’t see it coming. For example, a location where you used to use drugs and alcohol might trigger a craving. A specific song you listened to while using could cause a slip. Understanding these potential stumbling blocks will help you be on guard for relapse triggers and avoid them.

2.     Make new friends and develop a positive support network. During addiction treatment and recovery, it’s important to leave your friends from your addiction days behind you. It’s normal to miss friends you used to hang out with, but it’s also important to identify and avoid negative environments where drug and alcohol use is present. One of the most effective strategies in relapse prevention is to create healthy environments that promote sobriety. It’s important to surround yourself with friends who are substance-free, and for some people, this means making new friends altogether.

3.     Acknowledge sudden changes in attitude or behavior. If you experience a sudden change in behavior or attitude, it’s a clear signal that something is wrong and that a drug relapse may be right around the corner. These sudden changes might be the result of depression, rejection, hurt, embarrassment or disappointment. Relapses happen when people don’t acknowledge unwanted emotions, then turn to drugs or alcohol to escape these feelings. Instead, acknowledge these feelings and use coping-self talk to remind yourself that the feelings are only temporary. Drugs and alcohol might provide temporary escape, but they’ll only make the problem worse.

The first stage of relapse is known as “emotional relapse.” During this stage, it’s common for patients to bottle up emotions, isolate themselves and begin exhibiting poor self-care. Sudden changes in attitude or behavior are telltale signs that you’ve entered emotional relapse. By taking action now, you can prevent relapse into substance abuse.

4.     Don’t get complacent. After attending an addiction treatment program, it’s important to understand that this is just the beginning of your recovery. Sobriety is truly a lifelong commitment. One of the most common reasons for relapse is complacency. This can manifest in several ways. Maybe you stop attending an aftercare program or maybe you fall out-of-touch with a support network. Instead, find out what long-term recovery program works for you and stick with it. Recovery coaching is one of the ways to stay connected and supported in recovery.

5.     Find new interests and hobbies. Positive activities are key to preventing relapse. Hobbies that you genuinely enjoy not only keep you occupied, but they also keep you happy and emotionally healthy. Whether it’s fitness, cooking or traveling, find time to set aside for your favorite recreational activities. If you do this, you are likely to find joy in your hobbies, which will help eliminate or minimize the threat of relapse.

 

Here’s what to do if you relapse.

 

Relapse happens. It’s not the end of the world. It’s not an indictment of you as a person. Don’t be discouraged if you relapse, even after completing an addiction treatment program. But it’s important not to let a single “slip” turn into something much worse.

 

If anything, relapse is an opportunity for learning and greater self-understanding, which will contribute to a consistent life of sobriety. If you relapse, consider:

 

·      Re-entering treatment.

·      Talking to a sponsor or recovery coach.

·      Asking for support from family, friends and others in recovery.

·      Regularly attending 12-step meetings

·      Participating in cognitive behavioral therapy

 

If you or a loved one sees the warning signs of relapse, don’t wait until it’s too late. If there’s a chance relapse might occur, it’s important to take action now. Call 615-939-9294 or contact us online to find more information on the best ways to prevent relapse.

 

Genetics and Mental Health: What’s the Connection?

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If untreated mental illness can lead to addiction, it’s important to ask, “What leads to mental illness?” Unfortunately, there’s a widespread notion that mental illness is somehow a “choice” or something that’s “just in your head.” This misconception is dangerous. It prevents individuals from getting the treatment they deserve.

Years of research reveals that depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia and autism – the five major mental illnesses – can be traced to the same inherited genetic variations. In other words, genetics and family history play a major role in the development of mental illnesses. While the exact cause of mental illness is unknown, it is clear that biological, psychological and environmental factors all contribute to a mental health disorder.

 

What Causes Mental Illness?

 

It’s worth remembering the complexity of the human brain. Composed of over 100,000 million or more interconnected neurons, the brain is the most complex object that biological science has ever investigated. This complexity is what makes progress in neuroscience and genetics of mental illness extremely difficult.

Susceptibility of mental illness is passed through genes. Abnormality in many genes and how they interact in the environment determines whether or not the mental illness develops. This is why between two identical twins (who both inherit the same susceptibility to mental illness) might have different outcomes. One might not have a mental illness, whereas the other twin experiences a traumatic life event that triggers the susceptibility to mental illness into reality.

What’s particularly interesting is the genetic overlap between the different mental health disorders. Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, for example, have a high overlap of inherited genetic variations, which is why patients with one disorder will often times have the other. The genetic variation between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is about 15 percent.

However, no matter the genetic variation, biology alone does not result in mental illness. An individual may be more susceptible to a mental health disorder because of genetics, but it doesn’t mean that the illness will be triggered.

At JourneyPure, our addiction treatment addresses the biological, psychological and environmental factors that all contribute to addiction. We prioritize treating existing co-occurring disorders to minimize chance of relapse and maximize the possibility of long-term recovery.

Contact JourneyPure online to have your questions answered or call us today at 615-939-9294 to learn more.

 

Am I Addicted to Weed? Facts About Marijuana Addiction

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It’s not always easy to see when smoking weed has crossed the line from moderate or social use to weed addiction. Today, it’s especially difficult because of the growing wave of marijuana legalization and support for medical cannabis. As legalized marijuana gains prominence in pop culture, so do misconceptions about the use of weed.

facts about smoking weed

Yes, weed addiction exists. Though most people can use marijuana without becoming addicted, individuals who suffer from mental illness, stress, genetic predispositions and similar vulnerabilities face a real risk of weed addiction.

Is marijuana addictive?

Weed addiction is more common than you might think. Unfortunately, as the battle over legalization continues, myths about marijuana addiction continue to pollute the mainstream. While marijuana is not very addictive compared to tobacco, heroin, cocaine and alcohol, dependence on weed is still a legitimate concern.

Different strains of marijuana contain different amounts of potent THC. But aside from worrying about the drug itself, users also have to consider the possibility of laced weed, which can be difficult to detect but has dramatic consequences. Laced weed might contain PCP, coke, meth, glass and other highly addictive drugs that could lead to dependence.

what does laced weed look like

So how do I know if I’m addicted to weed? - Take our online addiction self-test.

Every day, thousands of users across the country wonder, “I think I am addicted to weed.” If you’re worried about potential weed addiction, take our online quiz.

Please note: the results of this online self-test are not designed or intended to professionally diagnose dependence on weed. This test should be used solely as a guide to understand your marijuana habits and potential health issues involved with it. A self-test cannot substitute full evaluation by a health professional.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1.     Have you ever thought you should cut down your drug or marijuana use?

2.     Have you ever felt irritated or annoyed when others commented on your use?

3.     Have you ever felt guilty or badly about smoking weed?

4.     Have you ever used drugs or marijuana to ease loneliness, pain, suffering, withdrawal symptoms or to avoid feeling down?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may suffer from weed addiction. Again, this self-test cannot replace a professional evaluation. To learn more about a professional diagnosis, contact us here or call 615-939-9294.

Telltale signs and symptoms of weed addiction.

Could you be dependent on or addicted to weed? If you find it difficult to enjoy yourself or relax in a social setting without smoking weed, it’s possible you’ve become dependent on the drug. An estimated 4.2 million people in the United States have abused or are suffering from weed addiction. As much as 9 percent of people who try or use marijuana will become dependent at some point.

weed addiction test online

Unlike opiates, which can result in substance abuse and addiction fairly quickly, marijuana abuse and addiction can take months or even years to develop. Because the substance abuse takes so long to manifest itself, most users don’t even realize they’ve crossed the line into addiction or dependence until they’re already an addict.

Weed addiction signs include, but are not limited to:

·      Tolerance. One of the first signs of any addiction – but especially weed addiction – is increased tolerance. When first trying marijuana, it may only take a few puffs to get high and feel the effects. However, after repeated use, it may take more and more in order to experience the same high. Tolerance means that the more you smoke pot, the less you feel the effects. This is the first real sign of addiction.

·      Withdrawal. The second major warning sign of weed addiction is withdrawal. This means that any time you stop smoking pot, you experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, loss of appetite, insomnia, sweating, headache or irritability. It’s physical and psychological addiction to weed that triggers these withdrawal symptoms.

·      Inability to stop using despite the consequences. Have you faced consequences from smoking pot? Perhaps it’s caused problems at school, home or at work. Maybe relationships and friendships have suffered because of your use. If you know that pot will cause problems in your life, but you can’t stop smoking marijuana, you might be addicted. Instead of wondering, “Why am I so addicted to weed?” it’s important to consider weed addiction treatment options before anything worse happens.

·      Obsession or compulsion. Do you spend the majority of your time getting high? Do you choose your friends based on whether or not they smoke marijuana? Are you smoking weed to relax or escape reality? The unyielding obsession or compulsion to use marijuana is a telltale sign of addiction. Weed use can be classified as a disorder when you begin to modify your life and lifestyle so that it revolves around the drug.

If you or a loved one experiences any of these telltale symptoms, marijuana addiction may be present. It’s importance to seek weed addiction help before the problem gets worse

 

I think I’m addicted to weed. Does weed addiction treatment work? 

If you’re reading this, you may be wondering whether you or a loved one is addicted to pot. In fact, you might be beating yourself up by asking, “Why am I addicted to marijuana?” or wondering how to kick a weed addiction treatment.

Simply wondering about these issues won’t do anything to curb dependence. Too many people speculate about the situation, hoping things will get better on their own, without taking action. Instead, it’s important to seek weed addiction help from reputable healthcare professionals.  

weed addiction help and treatment

Fortunately, weed addiction is similar to other substance use disorders. This means that addiction treatment is effective at pinpointing and treating the underlying cause of addiction. In most cases, a dual diagnosis (meaning that a co-occurring mental disorder is present) must be addressed in order to prevent relapse.

Weed addiction treatment may include, but is not limited to:

·      CBT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychotherapy that teaches people strategies to identify and correct problematic behaviors. This eliminates destructive thought patterns while helping people develop self-control that can be used to stop drug use.

·      Contingency management. This is a type of clinical behavior analysis therapy that applies operant conditioning, uses stimulus control and consequences to alter behavior. Tangible rewards reinforce positive behaviors such as weed abstinence.

·      Motivational enhancement therapy. A form of therapy that does not “treat” a person, but harnesses their own internal energy and resources to drive change and engagement in treatment. This systematic form of intervention is known to produce rapid, meaningful change.

Addiction treatment is proven to work when self-attempts to detox and become sober have failed. Though it may be embarrassing to admit you need help, this is one of the first steps to truly overcome your addiction. Because addiction rarely occurs in a vacuum, chances are a co-occurring mental disorder that also needs treatment may be present.

The only way to determine the right course of action for you is to seek professional help.

Need help overcoming weed addiction? Call 615-939-9294 or contact us online to learn more. Step into recovery with a free consultation today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Am I Addicted To Prescription Painkillers?

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 It’s a prescription so I am safe from addiction.

 

This false statement is a huge part of the threat that prescription painkillers pose on Americans every single day. 6.1 million people have used prescription painkillers non-medically in the past month—but how do you know if you are addicted?

 

Addiction should not be confused with dependence. Your body can easily become dependent to a drug due to built up tolerance. The longer you take a medication, the more you will need to get the same effect. However, addiction goes beyond the physical aspect of dependence and it becomes mental as well. Not only will you crave the drug, you will obsess over it. Most importantly—you will continue to use even if it has caused issues in your everyday life (i.e. work, family). 

 

If your doctor has prescribed you prescription painkillers, and you are taking the proper dosage—you should not have a problem. However, addiction to prescription painkillers is real and it is important to know some of the key warning signs that you are addicted to the drug.

 

WARNING SIGNS OF PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLER ADDICTION

 

·      You do not follow your doctor’s dosage. Whether you take your prescription more often or you take a higher dosage—both impose a risk to your health. If you continue to tell yourself that self-prescribing is okay because the doctor does not understand your level of pain, this is a key warning sign. Starting to control your medication actually exposes the drug’s power over you, which is a first sign of addiction.

·      You think about your medication frequently. During the early stages of prescription painkiller addiction, thoughts of your medication will start to consume your mind. Maybe you are thinking about when you can take your next dosage, or if you should call the doctor and get a refill so your supply does not get low. As stated before, addiction is both physical AND mental, so it is important to be aware if your mind is starting to be consumed by the drug.

·      You are looking for new sources. Has your doctor stopped prescribing you what you think you need, and now you are searching for a new prescriber? Or maybe you have resorted to obtaining drugs from the internet or a friend? Regardless of how you have obtained the drugs, if you are looking from a new source because your original prescriber lowered or changed your dosage—you could have a problem.

·      Medication is starting to affect your life. Individuals who are addicted to drugs like morphine and codeine may notice an increased need to sleep. Other signs include needing your medication to feel happy or to simply get through the day. If you are starting to neglect your everyday responsibilities and don’t quite feel like yourself, it might be time to seek help.

 

WE ARE HERE TO HELP

These are just some of the warning signs of a developing addiction. If you have developed one or more of these symptoms—we are here to help. We offer prescription painkiller addiction treatment in Tennessee with clinically proven methods. Contact us today.