How to Detach With Love From an Addict

Detach With Love From an Addict | Midwood Addiction Treatment

According to statistics, an estimated 10% of Americans experience a substance disorder at some point in their lives. Addiction is an unyielding, chronic disease, and once a person is afflicted, he or she will remain afflicted for life. Like other diseases, addiction has a relatively high rate of relapse. Although many people recover successfully for the rest of their lives, many will inevitably encounter ups and downs along the way.

People who are actively engaging in addictive behavior often causes harm to their loved ones. It is normal for those persons to help their friend or family member, but unfortunately, they may do so at the expense of themselves. For this reason, it is important for the loved of alcoholics and addicts to unburden themselves and regain control over their lives and emotional well-being.

Unfortunately, addiction often comes with adverse changes to an individual’s personality and behavior. Loved ones who were once caring and giving of themselves may become incredible selfish and demanding. They may ask more of others than those people are willing to give. Investing energy into these individuals can be taxing, and result in tremendous stress and emotional pain.

However, stepping back doesn’t mean completely leaving the loved one to his or her own devices. If this person is leaning on you to sustain vital aspects of their lives, such as food or shelter, withdrawing support is likely to lead to a worsening of the addiction, as well as their health and quality of life.

It’s okay to continue helping addicts out in these ways, so long as you do not enable their addictive behaviors. By showing them that you still love them, you may eventually be able to solidify their trust and let you help them seek professional treatment. Your support may also be vital in keeping them motivated to do the work that is required to sustain long-term sobriety.

What Is Detaching with Love?

Detaching with love is the gentle process of stepping away from toxic, codependent, one-sided relationships. In doing so, you make the conscious choice to invest less emotional energy in the loved one until they seek help for their active addition and become better able to reciprocate the attention and support you give to them.

Detaching with love means that a person has decided to stop enabling a loved one’s addiction, break the cycle of codependency, and be free to have their own space and attend to their own needs.

Stop Enabling

Detach With Love From an Addict | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Despite best intentions, continuing to invest significant time and energy into a loved one who is an active addict or alcoholic is enabling them to continue harmful behavior. While offering some support, such as, say, keeping them off the streets by sheltering them, may be beneficial, other activities, such as giving them extra money or lying for them, are probably not.

When you step back, you show that you refuse to enable their addiction to the extent that you once did. It also helps to prevent you from unintentionally engaging in behaviors that only serve to foster such a toxic relationship.

Avoid Codependency

Codependency can occur in relationships that do not involve substance abuse, but it is a condition that is closely linked to them. Codependency requires one member of a relationship to be an emotional manipulator to some extent, while the other member is more passive and feels it is necessary to attend to all the needs of the other. Often, codependents are significant others, but they can also be parents, children, siblings, or friends.

Codependency is extremely harmful to everyone involved. Indeed, it not only enables substance abuse, it also forces the codependent person into a situation in which they are perpetuating their own addiction to being a caretaker. Stepping out of a codependent role can be very challenging, and both members of a relationship usually require psychotherapy and counseling. Learning to detach with love is a good start, however, and it may be the stepping stone needed to facilitate the process of long-term recovery and healing.

Take Back Space

Wanting to help loved ones is natural, but it is not healthy to do so at the expense of oneself. People must be allowed to focus on their own physical and emotional well-being. An Individual should live a life that is not entirely devoted to someone else’s—especially when doing so enables another or even harms them in some way.

How to Detach with Love

Detaching with love is about gently but firmly establishing boundaries and adhering to them no matter what. Remember, you are—by far—not the only person who has had to detach with love from an addict. You can find help and support from groups, such as Al-Anon, that consist of the family members of alcoholics and other addicts who can offer advice.

When detaching, remember not to accept responsibility for their actions or blame yourself. It is not your fault. The development of addiction is multi-faceted, and many variables, including genetics and repeated exposure to a substance, come into play. Do not let self-guilt drive you to bail them out of bad situations, time and time again. You must find a more detached way to show them you care.

You can encourage them to seek help, and they can do so when ready. But, you can’t force them—they are making that choice, and it’s not your fault if they are not ready to take responsibility for their health and well-being. You cannot live a person’s life for them.

Detach With Love From an Addict | Midwood Addiction Treatment

One of the most challenging aspects of detaching with love is learning to say no. Saying no is difficult because you will likely have to watch the loved one get hurt and suffer more in the process. They may also be angry, and inflict blame or shame upon you in an effort to change your mind.

Once you say no and establish boundaries, you must stick to them. Failing to do so further enables the addict and undermines your commitment to loving them properly. Addicts are frequently selfish, delusional, and manipulative, and cutting them any slack will display to them that you are someone of which they may continue to take advantage.

Stepping back can be beneficial for both people involved, but remember that this is mostly for your personal well-being. It forces them to cope with their addiction on their own but also serves to protect you from further abuse and harm inflicted by a person with a severe, chronic condition.

Detaching with love can be challenging, but it’s also important to make room for yourself and your own needs, avoid enabling, and still be there emotionally for your loved one. In an ideal world, you would be able to help your loved one get professional treatment, but that’s not always immediately possible. Detaching with love provides you with the opportunity to remain a supportive person in the loved one’s life without allowing them to drag you down into their problems.

Getting Help for Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive, evidence-based programs designed to treat all aspects of a person’s recovery, including mental health support and family counseling. Addiction does not exist in a vacuum. Long-term recovery requires much more work to ensure that a person is emotionally stable enough to use the skills needed to avoid succumbing to triggers and relapse.

We are committed to ensuring that those who suffer receive the very best, most effective care available! If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, contact us today and find out how we can help!

The Role of Grief Counseling in Addiction Treatment

Grief Counseling in Addiction Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Grief and loss are normal, albeit unpleasant feelings that most people will experience at least once in their lives. Many profound changes can cause an individual to experience grief or loss. For people who have suffered this type of emotional pain, grief counseling can be extremely beneficial. Events that may result in grief include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Death of a loved one, such as a spouse
  • Adverse changes in one’s health
  • Adverse changes in the health of a loved one
  • Marital separation or divorce
  • Adverse changes in interpersonal relationships
  • Marriage
  • Incarceration
  • Personal injury or illness
  • Losing a job or changing one
  • Change in responsibilities at work
  • Adverse changes in financial status
  • Retirement
  • Pregnancy
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Child leaving home and “empty nest” syndrome
  • Spouse starts or stops work
  • Beginning or ending school
  • Changes in living conditions or residence
  • Destruction caused by a natural disaster
  • Loss of trust, approval, or safety

These are just a few common potential causes for grief, but the list is nearly endless. Any change in a person’s life that is perceived as significant or adverse or forces them to leave something cherished behind can lead to emotional pain and feelings of loss.

How Grief Is Related to Addiction

Though destructive, substances and addictive behaviors may offer comfort and respite from unpleasant emotions. Drugs and alcohol can be used to fulfill a need, at least temporarily, regardless of how unhealthy they are. Even people who have not used substances historically to excess may find themselves picking up a bottle of liquor or buying illegal drugs. People who are in recovery from an addiction are at an even higher risk of doing so.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for a person to experience grief when confronting the possibility that they need treatment for substance abuse. Even those who are very motivated to recover may have these feelings, as they realize that they need to make dramatic lifestyle changes and put many aspects of their former lives behind them. Doing this is not so easy for many people.

Moreover, walking without using the emotional crutch of substance abuse can be frightening. This fear is especially palpable when the person realizes that there is no immediate substitute, only dedication and active maintenance until the end of their lives. People in recovery who experience grief need to be provided with effective tools to manage these feelings, or the possibility of a new way of living may seem impossible.

Sometimes these feelings don’t float to the surface until after the person is in recovery for a short time. Substances tend to stunt emotions, and even after initial withdrawal symptoms have subsided, feelings of grief, anxiety, and depression can manifest. Regardless of when they occur, they will be unpleasant and must be addressed immediately to prevent relapse.

Common feelings of grief and loss associated with entering recovery include the following:

  • Strained or severed relationships
  • Loss of trust
  • Loss of a job due to addiction or the need to enter rehab
  • Being forced to examine the harm that addiction caused to oneself and others
  • Being forced to endure grief and loss formerly blunted by substances
  • Feelings of abandonment from others caused by a person’s addiction

Models of Grief

The experience of grief is unique and personal for each individual. However, there appear to be universal trends in how people tend to cope with loss. Psychologists and other researched have devised various models of grief. One of the most familiar models is what is known as the five stages of grief. Many counselors and therapists have leaned on this model to help a person work through their feelings at various times.

Grief Counseling in Addiction Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

The Five-Stage Model

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, a Swiss-American psychiatrist, identified five stages of grief that take place chronologically:

1) Denial

2) Anger

3) Bargaining

4) Depression

5) Acceptance

Kubler-Ross believed that everyone experiences at least two of the five stages of grief, and also acknowledged that some might revisit certain stages throughout their lives.

Stage 1: Denial

In simple terms, denial is hallmarked by the inability to accept the change or loss that is occurring. For example, many people who are confronted with an expected death of a loved one report being in disbelief upon hearing the news and even feeling numb. 

Denial is more or less a natural defense mechanism to help us deal with extremely distressing emotions, or preventing us from experiencing too many feelings simultaneously. Denial usually fades with time, and the person experiencing it will gradually start to feel more emotions.

Stage 2: Anger

Anger can occur at any time following a stressful event, and feelings related to this anger may persist for years. People are often angry at themselves, God, or a person that was at the center of the grief or loss.

Some people are more adept at managing anger than others. Some may require anger management therapy or bereavement counseling to help them work through anger associated with a significant loss.

Stage 3: Bargaining

Bargaining is associated with praying or offering something in exchange for the loss in an effort to prevent the loss from occurring. For example, a man who cheats on his wife may beg her forgiveness and offer to go to couple’s counseling if she agrees to stay.

Bargaining sometimes works, so we use it as a means of avoiding the loss or maintaining some sense of control. Unfortunately, bargaining is often ineffective, and when we can change the circumstances, the next stage of grief may begin.

Stage 4: Depression

When bargaining isn’t successful and reality hits, a person will often experience intense sadness, hopelessness, and become emotionally unable to attend to normal life responsibilities. Depression may be relatively temporary, or it could advance into a clinical depression that persists for months or years.

Indeed, depression associated with grief can be experienced at various times for the rest of a person’s life. This grief can be seemingly random or be related to holidays, birthdays, or other occasions. It may also be triggered by exposure to certain people, places, or things. This is normal and does not necessarily indicate that one’s emotional health is rapidly declining. 

Stage 5: Acceptance

Grief Counseling in Addiction Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Although acceptance is the final stage, it is not necessarily the end of the process. Acceptance does not mean forgetting the loss or blocking it out emotionally. Rather, acceptance means working through the other stages until you come to a place where you can understand the true depths of your loss and move on emotionally.

Acceptance eventually happens when a person has successfully processed the painful truth that a part of one’s life has been lost. After acceptance, there may be revisits to some stages, but at this point, a person should be allowing him or herself to adjust to and enjoy life again despite the loss.

Grief Counseling and Treatment for Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive treatment programs designed to treat all aspects of a person’s emotional and physical health. These may include feelings of grief, depression, or any number of mental health issues with which a person may be faced.

Grief counseling and other types of therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, help clients learn to navigate the world without feeling the need to resort to substances or harmful behaviors. They learn healthier, more effective coping skills that will allow them to deal with stressful situations, as well as a caring support system to assist them in this process. Our goal is help our clients bring their lives back into balance so they can process their emotions more productively.

By allowing the ever-changing flow of emotions to be felt and expressed, healing can finally begin, and the emotional void felt by an addict can be filled with a healthier state of being. Contact us today if you are ready to take the first step on the road to recovery and begin to enjoy the life you deserve!

What Is Adventure Therapy?

Adventure therapy | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Adventure therapy combines nature, community, and various therapeutic activities. Adventure therapy aims to improve a person’s mental, physical, social, and spiritual wellbeing using engaging outdoor activities to facilitate self-discovery and address adverse life circumstances. Importantly, however, this is accomplished in a wilderness environment free from negative influences that a person would deal with in the real world. 

Adventure therapy helps people to overcome drug or alcohol addiction and mental health problems. It is considered to be a very useful technique, and the adventure therapist endeavors to actively stimulate clients using various tools. Adventure therapy is a unique opportunity to provide clients with a variety of fun activities to foster emotional development using an unfamiliar and exciting environment.

Who Adventure Therapy Benefits

Adventure therapy is a powerful approach to treating anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, loss, eating disorders, addiction, and more. It can also be an inspiring and fruitful component of family therapy. It has been shown to be highly beneficial for teenagers, young adults, and people who suffer from a variety of mental health issues.

How Adventure Therapy Works

Adventure therapy fosters rehab, growth, development, and improvement of a person’s physical and psychological wellbeing through activities that involve firsthand experience. Adventure therapy is often conducted using a family or group. It uses an outdoor environment to evoke change by using experience with collaborative games, trust, and activities, problem-solving initiatives, high adventure, and outdoor endeavors. 

Following each activity, the group processes the events. This part of the program consists of a discussion in which therapists help clients internalize their experiences and correlate them with therapeutic goals.

Empowering ventures commonly used in adventure therapies include the following:

  • Kayaking
  • Rock climbing
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Caving
  • Horseback riding
  • White water rafting
  • Paddleboarding
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • Skiing

Most activities, such as hiking and caving, are relatively low risk for injury. Paddleboarding merely requires the person to stand on a board and paddle. In doing this, he or she can experience freedom while still remaining in control. 

While rock climbing, the client must facilitate the self-confidence and persistence required to climb. Group efforts, such as canoeing, foster communication and teamwork. Finally, camping promotes trust and improve’s one’s ability to survive in diverse environments.

What Is Adventure Therapy? | Midwood Addiction Therapy

Adventure Therapy Is Not Wilderness Therapy

Adventure therapy is frequently but falsely referred to as wilderness therapy. Wilderness therapy is, in fact, a form of adventure therapy, but only uses the climate and landscape. Conversely, adventure therapy often includes the use of challenging obstacles as well. 

In wilderness therapy, the primary focus is adaptability and persistence, and this is a bit different from adventure therapy’s emotional and physical challenges. Also, wilderness therapy tends to pose some risk, and it is comprised of other treatments and techniques.

How Adventure Therapy Is Beneficial

When clients learn mindfulness during enjoyable activities, the main objective of adventure therapy is for them to associate life experiences with current outdoor expeditions. Moreover, patients garner a new sense of self-confidence and develop better social skills. 

For instance, as clients learn how to rock climb, they can be open about their need for interdependence or independence. Adventure therapy provides an opportunity for growth and insight while being joyfully active. There is also the power of hands-on problem-solving while confronting the fear that is connected with such challenging activities. 

During isolation in nature, some clients have a spiritual awakening and will ultimately be transformed by the experience. Lastly, therapists are actively involved in clients’ objective-oriented and decision-making processes in order to emotionally strengthen the groups’ experiences.

Adventure therapy is also beneficial for the following:

  • Encouraging and fostering responsibility
  • Forging healthy relationships and learning to collaborate with others
  • Developing vital social skills, such as communication and cooperation
  • Promoting self-awareness and confidence
  • Increasing emotional resilience
  • Fostering openness and emotional exploration
  • Providing opportunities to confront real-world challenges
  • Mitigating depressive symptoms
  • Cultivating healthier emotional and behavioral functioning
  • Teaching effective coping skills

As a result of stimulating activities, clients feel invigorated and more trusting and self-confident. It differs from traditional therapies and offers more fun and excitement than most traditional methods.

Treatment for Addiction

Adventure therapy is just one modality that can be employed as a component of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers adventure therapy in addition to, but not limited, the following services:

Overcoming addiction is challenging, but it doesn’t have to be brutal. You can enjoy your journey to sobriety and healthier life! Surmounting substance abuse requires focus and dedication and a safe and supportive environment. We offer engaging and often enjoyable therapies to encourage a full recovery.

Our caring staff is dedicated to helping those who need it most break free from the shackles of addiction for life! Contact us today and find out how we can help!

EMDR Therapy for Addiction

EMDR Therapy Benefits | Midwood Addiction Treatment

(EMDR) Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy  is a practice in which a therapist asks the patient to think about specific aspects of one or more traumatic experiences that cause the person to experience distress. During this, the client follows the motions of the therapist’s hands with their eyes. The therapist moves his or her fingers in the client’s visual field, and he or she visually follows this movement.

These eye movements are rapid and jerky and redirect a person’s sight by fixing their vision on a moving target. Advocates for EMDR believe that promoting these movements while thinking about past traumatic experiences can help a patient to reprocess the experience and mitigate the emotional response. EMDR also includes other principles from behavioral therapies.

EMDR Therapy

EMDR was initially intended to assist in the treatment of PTSD, acute stress disorder, and adjustment disorders. Proponents of EMDR also claim that it is beneficial for the treatment of other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, and maladjustment, as well as for the treatment of addiction to drugs and alcohol.

It is important to note, however, that not every therapist who uses EMDR includes the eye movement component. Sometimes the therapist merely taps their finger or uses sound or some other method in the place of eye movement.

Elements of EMDR

In general, EMDR typically includes the following elements in its overall treatment package that have empirical validation for their usage:

Assignments and Homework

Most behavioral therapies require that patients complete certain assignments during mental health treatment and to complete homework assigned by the therapist. The concept of giving homework to develop new skills to address an emotional problem has a lengthy history in psychotherapy.

Development of a Robust Therapeutic Relationship

Therapists who practice EMDR aim to develop a strong working collaboration between the patient and the therapist as a primary contributor to a successful outcome in treatment. This alliance has long been considered to be a vital element of effective therapy.

Exposure Treatment

As noted, as a part of EDMR patients are required to reflect on certain aspects of their traumatic experience(s) that are especially stressful. This type of reflection is adopted from a therapeutic technique known as exposure therapy.

The notion behind exposure therapy is that when a person feels anxious, depressed, fearful, etc. as a result of a particular stimulus, having him or her re-experience the stimulus ultimately causes the anxiety to peak and then level off.

By repeatedly exposing a person directly or through mental imagery, he or she should experience a decrease in anxiety. Ideally, there will be a point in which reflecting on the experience no longer causes the person significant distress. During exposure, patients can also learn breathing and relaxation techniques to aid in the process.

Cognitive Restructuring

EMDR Therapy Benefits | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Cognitive restructuring is a practice that is adopted from cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), one of the most common therapeutic models employed by therapists today. Cognitive restructuring entails re-conceptualizing a person’s emotions, thoughts, and belief systems in a manner that is more functional and pragmatic.

CBT is based on the idea that many dysfunctional behaviors, such as substance abuse, are driven by an unhealthy and dysfunctional belief system. CBT identifies these irrational thoughts and feelings and, using a therapeutic process, helps the person restructure them, so they are closer to reality.

The Process of EMDR

The specific delivery of EMDR may vary between treatment providers, but the standard practice is performed using eight main steps or phases. These eight phases consist of the following:

Phase I: History and Background of the Patient and Preparation for a Treatment Plan

Most of this information is gathered during the first one or two sessions, but therapists will often continue to garner information about the patient’s history and background throughout the therapy process. During this phase, the client and therapist will determine specific targets to be addressed in therapy. These typically include traumatic events and other significant emotional disturbances.

Phase II: Treatment Preparation

The treatment alliance is developed during this phase, and the therapist informs the patient about the process of EMDR. The therapist will guide the client in specific techniques that can help them to better cope with the effects of trauma. These practices typically include breathing, relaxation, and other methods of dealing with distress.

Phase III: Assessment

This phase can be lengthy and includes substantial interaction between the therapist and the patient. Several targets are identified, and their emotional effects on the patient are examined.

The therapist and patient then collaborate to develop more useful approaches to these emotional responses. Next, the therapist and client work together to devise ways of measuring current feelings of stress and alternative approaches to handling stress.

Phase IV: Desensitization

During desensitization, the actual practice of eye movement desensitization is combined with the examination of both the traumatic event(s) and the corresponding emotional responses. Also, positive emotions are implanted with recollections of past experience(s) that led to distress.

Phase V: Installation

During this time, more reprocessing is performed to insert positive feelings concerning the client’s perception of past trauma in addition to the client’s own ability to deal with everyday events.

Phase VI: Body Scan

Here, the patient and therapist attempt to reveal any remaining body tension that is being associated with the targets and reprocess it throughout the course of treatment. Analyses of thousands of EMDR sessions have shown that there is an actual physical response to unresolved thoughts and feelings.

This assertion is further supported by studies that show that, when a person is traumatized, the event is stored in body memory rather than narrative memory. Therefore, the body retains the adverse emotions and physical sensations of the original traumatic event(s). When that information is processed, it can then transition to narrative memory, and the body sensations and adverse feelings linked to the memory disappear.

Phase VII: Closure

EMDR Therapy Benefits | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Closure is a process in which the patient’s reactions are reevaluated to ensure they have responded to treatment, and that the patient feels better as a consequence. This process ends every treatment session.

Closure ensures that the patient leaves the session feeling better than he or she did at the beginning. If the processing of the target is not accomplished in a single session, the therapist will help the patient to use self-calming techniques to regain a sense of stability.

Phase VIII: Reevaluation

In the final phase, the patient an therapist work together to reexamine the entire process. This is done to ensure that the objectives of treatment have been achieved and that the techniques the patient is using for coping are effective. If any problems still need to be addressed, the therapist returns to the relevant stage and helps the client work through them. If the goals of the therapy have reached, the EMDR treatment is complete.

Getting Help for Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers integrated, research-based rehab programs in both partial hospitalization and outpatient formats. We employ skilled staff who deliver therapies to our clients with care and expertise. We seek to provide the people in our care with the most effective treatment available.

We are committed to ensuring that every client is equipped with the tools and support they need to break free from the shackles of addiction and sustain long-term sobriety and wellness! If you or a loved one are prepared to recover and begin the process of living a substance-free life, contact us today!

Risks of Undergoing a Rapid Detox Program

Rapid Detox Program Risks | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Rapid detox is a fast method of helping a person through the withdrawal period versus a regular detox which usually takes several days. Rapid detox is not generally recommended and is not considered to be effective in sustaining recovery. In extreme cases, rapid detox can be hazardous and even life-threatening.

When a person undergoes a rapid detox for opioids, he or she is given anesthesia for 4-6 hours while medications are used to clear the drugs from their system. These drugs may include heroin, fentanyl, or prescription painkillers such as oxycodone.

In essence, this method is intended to avoid the pain and discomfort of opioid withdrawal as the person is under sedation during the process. The idea is that when the person wakes up, the drugs will already be eliminated from their body and withdrawal symptoms will be mitigated. The person is then observed, usually overnight, before being discharged the next day.

Possible Risks of Rapid Detox

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) warns against rapid detox, stating that the potential benefits do not outweigh the risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there have been several deaths that resulted from this method of detox.

Possible effects of rapid detox include the following:

  • Respiration problems
  • Renal failure
  • Pulmonary distress and failure
  • Thyroid hormone suppression
  • Elevated levels of cortisol
  • Irregular cardiac functions
  • Psychosis
  • Delirium
  • Suicidality

Withdrawal May Still Occur After Rapid Detox

Rapid Detox Program Risks | Midwood Addiction Treatment

One of the most significant drawbacks to the rapid withdrawal method is that adverse symptoms may still occur after it has been completed. It’s never recommended to quit using opioids “cold turkey,” or abruptly. When a person becomes dependent on them, there will be a severe withdrawal syndrome that onsets after the drugs are cleared from the body.

Opioid drugs inundate the brain with dopamine, a neurochemical that is associated with emotional regulation and the way a person feels reward and pleasure. With routine use of these drugs, the brain anticipates their interruption and no longer processes dopamine at a normal rate. When the drug’s effects wear off, withdrawal symptoms will manifest.

Opioid withdrawal has been described as similar to an unusually severe case of the flu. Heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration rates increase, body temperature rises, and chills and sweating occur. Other common effects include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, headache, runny nose, watery eyes, and body aches and pains.

Anxiety, depression, restlessness, insomnia, irritability, and mental fog are also typical symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Rapid detox is intended to circumvent all of these effects by inducing them while a person is heavily sedated. However, it is an expensive procedure that isn’t without risk.

Rapid detox is merely a method of attempting to force opioids out of the system swiftly. Moreover, it does not address the underlying behavioral and emotional issues that contribute to opioid abuse. Imminent relapse and overdose are significant risks of using this method because these issues haven’t been identified and treated appropriately.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, relapse rates for addiction are between 40-60%. These rates are comparable to those for other chronic diseases, such as type I diabetes and high blood pressure. The greatest danger of relapse after a period of sobriety is an increased risk for an overdose.

Once opioids are cleared from the body, the brain will begin to restabilize. The person will not be as tolerant to the same amount of the drug as they were before undergoing detox. For this reason, if they use the substance in a similar amount as they were accustomed to before, an overdose can occur. Because tolerance is lower, drug levels can become toxic much more rapidly.

Detox should always be performed as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program and not as a self-contained method of recovery. Rapid detox is not an antidote to opioid addiction. Instead, it may mislead patients and offer false hope for a quick remedy that will likely not be effective on its own. A medical detox program should be followed by an intensive addiction treatment plan that can help a person learn how to maintain long-lasting recovery and decrease the chance of relapse.

Effective and Safe Detox Methods

Medical detox can be conducted on an inpatient or outpatient basis, and for opioid drugs, especially, it is considered to be ideal. Detox programs are frequently offered as part of more extensive residential treatment programs that provide 24/7 medical supervision for an average of 5 to 7 days. During this time, vital signs are continuously monitored, and other medical needs are simultaneously addressed.

Medications may also be administered. For an opioid detox, instead of discontinuing use abruptly, slowly tapering the client off the drug can prevent the trauma of sudden withdrawal. In detox, powerful opioids, such as heroin, are replaced with methadone or buprenorphine. These medications can minimize withdrawal symptoms while not providing the same “high” in which the person’s body is accustomed.

Buprenorphine is what is called a partial opioid agonist, as opposed to a full agonist like heroin. This property means that it doesn’t induce the same intense effects as full agonists, even if a person tries to abuse it. After a certain level of the drug is in the bloodstream, it stops working, reaching a ceiling or plateau of effectiveness. This design works as a deterrent for abuse.

Buprenorphine is also often combined with a dose of the opioid antagonist drug naloxone. Within buprenorphine combination products such as Suboxone, the antagonist component doesn’t activate unless the medication is altered for abuse. This mechanism serves as yet another deterrent to abuse.

Rapid Detox Program Risks | Midwood Addiction Treatment

During medical detox, health providers also use other medications to treat other symptoms of withdrawal. These include sleep aids, mood stabilizers, pain relievers, and products to help with gastrointestinal issues and diarrhea.

A detox program should provide emotional support and mental health care, as well. Folloing detox, patients should immediately be transferred into an addiction treatment program. Once there, clients will receive therapy, counseling, and other tools to encourage sobriety and discourage relapse.

Support group participation and holistic techniques may also be employed. These may include art and music therapy, meditation, yoga, health and wellness programs, etc.

Getting Help for Addiction

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers customized, evidence-based programs that feature services shown to be essential for the process of recovery. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Group support
  • Substance abuse education
  • Health and wellness education

If you are motivated to break free from the cycle of addiction, there is help available. We ensure that our clients receive the most effective treatment available and that they are provided with the tools they need to recover fully and sustain long-term sobriety. Contact us today!

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What Is a Saliva Drug Test?

Saliva Drug Test | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

What Is a Saliva Drug Test? – Traditionally, the urinalysis has been the most widely used drug testing method, but the saliva drug tests, or mouth swabs, have become increasingly common. There are benefits to doing this type of analysis—it’s cost-effective, easy to administer, and can be performed anywhere. Moreover, law enforcement and employers can immediately check for drug use without having to deal with urine samples.

Saliva Drug Testing FAQ

Which substances can be detected on a saliva drug test?

10-panel saliva drug tests can identify the presence of the following:

  • Amphetamine
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Opiates—opium and morphine
  • Opioids—oxycodone and methadone
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Methaqualone (quaaludes)
  • Propoxyphene (Darvon)
  • Alcohol
NOTE: Some opiates, such as heroin and codeine, are converted back into morphine in the body, and show up as such on drug tests.

A 12-panel saliva screen can also test for tramadol, fentanyl, and buprenorphine. A 5-panel screen can only identify drugs out of the first five categories on the above list. The more drugs a test can detect, the more expensive it will be.

Saliva tests are excellent to use to identify very recent drug use. However, due to their brief detection windows, they are not able to identify use beyond the last few days. The benefit of using mouth swabs is that drugs can be identified in saliva much sooner than urine.

Saliva Drug Test Detection Windows for Common Drugs
  • Marijuana: 12-24 hours
  • Cocaine: 24 hours
  • Opiates: 2-3 days
  • Methamphetamine: Up to 2-4 days
  • Alcohol: 6-12 hours

Who conducts saliva tests?

Businesses are the most likely to administer saliva tests. They may do so before hiring new employees, or to test current workers. Although these tests can be conducted routinely, they may be more commonly performed after an accident occurs or when an employee returns from an extended leave.

That said, saliva drug tests are becoming more common among law enforcement officials because they are less expensive and easier to administer than urine tests. Also, they can often identify potential drug use sooner than urine analysis.

How are saliva drug tests administered?

Performing a saliva test is fast and straightforward. A swab that sometimes resembles a toothbrush or a large Q-tip is placed between the cheek and lower gum for 2-3 minutes. After saliva gets absorbed into it, it will indicate a positive or negative result in minutes.

Saliva Drug Test | Midwood Addiction Treatment Center

What makes these tests effective?

The accuracy of a mouth swab drug test depends on several factors, but it should be very reliable if properly administered. Moreover, the sample collection should be done within the detection window, using a swab of good quality. If performed randomly, the person should not be given any time to try to tamper with the results.

If you’re working at a business that often performs random drug screenings, failing one of these tests can result in significant trouble.

Common Saliva Drug Tests

If you are seeking to test employees, investing in one of the following screening kits might be a good idea:

SalivaConfirm™ Premium Saliva 5-Panel Drug Test – This test will detect amphetamines, marijuana, methadone, cocaine, and opiates.

6-Panel Oratect® Saliva Drug Test – This tool will test for marijuana, amphetamines, PCP, cocaine, methamphetamines, and opiates.

SalivaConfirm™ 12-Panel Drug Test + ALC – This screening tool can identify the use of the following:

  • Alcohol
  • Amphetamines
  • Barbiturates
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Buprenorphine
  • Cocaine
  • Fentanyl
  • Marijuana
  • Methadone
  • Methamphetamine
  • Opiates
  • Oxycodone

Other Types of Drug Tests

As noted, urine tests are commonly used to check for drug use. However, blood and hair follicle tests are also possible methods. Blood tests are not routinely performed in many cases, as they are both expensive and invasive. Employers may in some cases perform hair follicle tests if they are looking for a long-term detection window (e.g., 90 days).

Treatment for Substance Abuse

If you know beforehand that you might be drug tested, the best approach is to stop using drugs immediately. Depending on the severity of your drug abuse, you might want to consider seeking professional treatment. Many companies will allow this and consider it a medical leave.

If you are using while on the job, you are urged to do this as soon as possible. You or someone else could be hurt, or you may be demoted or terminated from your job.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers a wide range of evidence-based services, delivered in both partial-hospitalization and outpatient formats. Approaches such as psychotherapy and group support can help you identify the underlying reasons why you use, and how you can positively alter your thoughts and behaviors.

If you are afraid you are going to fail a drug screening, or are simply seeking professional help for substance use, contact us today! Let us help you break free from the cycle of addiction and cultivate the healthy and fulfilling life you deserve!

⟹ READ THIS NEXT: What Does Relapse Mean?

What Does Relapse Mean?

What Does Relapse Mean? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What Does Relapse Mean?: Fostering the Motivation To Return to Healthier Habits – Maintaining sobriety is a life-long endeavor that comes with a myriad of challenges. For some, there is a significant risk of relapse looming, as well as a return to old destructive habits and behaviors. But relapse does not have to lead to the end of the road—learning from a setback can help you regain the tools you need to avoid reacting in the same ways in the future.

What Does Relapse Mean?: Three Stages

For many in recovery, relapse is part of the overall process. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about half of all addicts relapse at least once after becoming sober for a prolonged period.

When a person relapses, this doesn’t necessarily mean that recovery has been a total failure. Many people consider relapse to be a learning experience and become better able to recognize triggers and avoid pre-relapse the next time around. Although relapse is frequently accidental and impulsive, there are distinct warning signs that can foretell when a relapse is imminent.

Relapse is believed to consist of three separate stages: emotional, mental, and physical.

Stage 1: Emotional Relapse

During an emotional relapse, the person is not actively thinking about returning to drug or alcohol use. Their emotions and behaviors, however, may be setting them up to wander down the wrong path.

Emotional relapse can be recognized by symptoms such as depression, anxiety, anger, defensiveness, mood swings, social isolation, failure to attend group support meetings or therapy/counseling sessions, and poor eating and sleeping habits. In other words, the person is not taking care of themselves properly, and this neglect of self-care and coping mechanisms, if left unaddressed, increases the likelihood that a relapse will occur.

Stage 2: Mental Relapse

What Does Relapse Mean? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

During a mental relapse, the brain is teetering between the possibility of using versus not using substances. Part of the person in recovery wants to use, while the other part doesn’t want to waiver in their commitment to sobriety. Signs of mental relapse often include thinking about people and places associated with a past life, romanticizing prior drug or alcohol use, being deceptive, socializing with people who use, considering the possibility of relapse and even preparing for one.

Prevention of Mental Relapse

When the process of mental relapse starts, there are some methods that an addict can take advantage of to regain control of their thoughts and feelings and make the decision to actively avoid relapse.

1. Call someone—a sponsor, friend, or anyone who understands and will listen without judgment, yet is concerned with your sobriety and well-being and will not encourage activities that lead to a relapse.

2. Wait 30 minutes. Before acting on an urge to use, try waiting a few minutes and taking time to reevaluate this urges and the reasoning behind it. Cravings usually don’t persist longer than this, and sometimes the passing of time can help foster sobriety at least in the short-term.

3. Consider what could happen if you had one drink or used once. It is unlikely that it would end there, and an addict who takes this step may eventually find him or herself at rock-bottom just as before. People who suffer from addictions no longer have an “off button” when it comes to addictive behaviors and substances, so the possibility that it will really be just once is slim. Thinking about actions and consequences can mitigate the desire to use.

4. Don’t worry about the days to come—just think about today. Even those who have been in recovery for years manage their sobriety one day at a time. Thinking about abstinence when it comes to the rest of your life can be intimidating for anyone, so it’s beneficial to concentrate on making it through each day without using.

Stage 3: Physical Relapse

Unfortunately, the techniques in stage two will not be employed by everyone, and some people will resort to acting on their desire to use. When a person physically relapses, he or she may continue to use for weeks or months, while others recognize the significance of what they’ve done and return their focus to recovery. After relapse, there are several steps that a person can take to get back on the right track.

What to Do in Case of Relapse

1. Spend time with appropriate people who do not use and support your sobriety. Rather than continuing to socialize with friends who do use substances, call a sponsor or sober friend, and make plans. If you feel comfortable, express the reasons for your relapse and try to determine what you can do differently next time to prevent the same serious of events from escalating again.

2. Let yourself feel your emotions and identify where they are rooted. Relapse is often the result of negative emotions such as guilt, shame, and frustration, which are not pleasant but sometimes need to be fully experienced and processed. Continuing to ignore your feelings will likely lead to using again, so it is vital that you allow yourself to feel and to validate those feelings as being “okay.”

3. Don’t isolate yourself. Spending too much time by yourself can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation that may lead to relapse.

After Relapse

What Does Relapse Mean? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

If you’ve spent a significant amount of time in treatment and recovery, relapse can feel like a crushing failure. Remember, however, that many addicts experience at least one relapse before accomplishing long-term sobriety, and some have several. Moreover, it is not how many times you relapse, but your attitude and actions that follow that will determine your success or failure during the recovery process.

You haven’t truly failed until you give up indefinitely or literally die trying.

Relapse can be a vital learning experience that will help you identify mistakes you made along the way, such as spending time with friends who enable or encourage your habit. During treatment, you are not exposed to every trigger you will encounter in the real world. Therefore, you may find that you are unconsciously opening yourself up to circumstances that contribute to your decision to return to substance abuse.

After experiencing a relapse, you can begin to develop a strategy for dealing with triggers and cravings that you have identified. Such a strategy will help you avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

The Recovery Process

Feelings of hopelessness and shame torment many people who relapse. But these feelings only contribute to the potential for more abuse and, ultimately, the downward spiral of addiction.

Instead, forgive yourself, and take steps to regain control of the situation before it gets worse. Ask for help, and remember that further treatment is always available!

Regardless of whether you decide to enter rehab again, you should immediately return to the habits that promoted your recovery in the first place and avoid those that hinder it. These habits may include seeing counselors and therapists, participation in a former treatment center’s alumni activities, or attendance at support group meetings to replace those people in your life who enable your addiction.

Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

If you have experienced a relapse during recovery, it’s never too late to try again. Midwood Addiction Treatment offers evidence-based services, such as psychotherapy, counseling, group support, recovery-focused housing, and aftercare planning, all facilitated by caring addiction professionals.

We provide clients with the tools they desperately need to attain abstinence, avoid relapse, and enjoy long-lasting sobriety and wellness. We can help you reclaim the life and happiness you deserve! Call us today to find out how!

What Is Intervention?

What Is Intervention? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What Is Intervention? – It was once believed by many that the best way to help someone with a drug or alcohol problem was to wait until he or she hit “rock bottom.” However, this notion has been widely disregarded by the medical community which has concluded in recent years that addiction should be treated as a chronic disease and not a merely a moral shortcoming or series of unfavorable life choices.

For this reason, more compassion has been given toward those who suffer from addiction, and loved ones realize they need immediate help versus further punishment by letting them wait until the situation becomes absolutely dire. An intervention is a process in which loved ones, counselors, and intervention specialists can reveal to a person struggling with addiction the negative effects of the disease on his or her life, as well as the lives of those who love them.

Intervention Participation

Typically, the families of those suffering organize and perform interventions, but anyone with a sincere and loving relationship with the person can and should participate if possible. In addition to family members, these people may include significant others, friends and colleagues/co-workers, as well as religious leaders.

It is also strongly recommended to use the services of a person trained to stage drug and alcohol interventions. That professional can provide the family and other participants with the information they need to perform a safe, thorough intervention that has the most potential to be successful.

The Purpose of an Intervention

The immediate goal of an intervention is to help the person suffering from addiction to enter a rehab program. Ideally, this is often an inpatient facility but may also be a partial-hospitalization or intensive outpatient program.

The intention of this process is not to “gang up” on the person who needs help, but instead to show him or her how devastating their addiction truly is. Once the person understands how this problem impacts the lives of others, he or she may be motivated to seek treatment. An intervention can serve as a final warning, of sorts, that loved ones are now refusing to enable or support his or her addiction and related behaviors.

What Is Intervention? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

How Does an Intervention Work?

The intervention should be conducted in a safe environment with the participation of family members, friends, and others who have a personal stake in the outcome. Adults and older children and teens may wish to participate, but very young children who can’t actively engage in the conversation or who may become distressed should be absent. Regardless of who is involved, it is vital that each person receive sufficient training before attempting to participate in the intervention.

In most cases, the person for whom the intervention is staged has wronged friends and family members physically, emotionally, or financially. And because of this, best intentions may not be enough, and it can be easy for negative emotions such as anger and resentment to surface and hijack the intervention process. If this occurs, it will result in more harm than good and could thwart the process altogether.

Moreover, an intervention is not a suitable time to address the hurt and anger each individual feels. Instead, an intervention is an opportunity to reassure the person that he or she is loved. To ensure that the intervention doesn’t get off track, each member of the group should compose, in advance, thoughts they wish to express to the addicted person. They should also have their comments approved by other group members and the counselor/interventionist who is facilitating the process.

These thoughts may include any or all of the following:

  • How the person has been personally and adversely affected by the individual’s addiction and behavior
  • Changes the person has noticed in the addicted individual’s personality, integrity, and self-control
  • The overall effect that the addicted person’s behavior has had on the relationship
  • A statement of unconditional love for the addict and a commitment by the person intervening that he/she can no longer enable the addict to destroy him/herself

The last step in planning an intervention is to ensure there is room available and waiting in a reliable, trustworthy rehab facility so the addicted person can immediately enter treatment.

Signs an Intervention Is Needed

The following are a few common signs to look for if you believe someone you know is struggling with addiction:

  • Lack of interest in activities and hobbies formerly considered important or enjoyable
  • Being late for or missing work or school, poor performance academically or professionally
  • Financial issues, like asking to borrow money or uncharacteristically racking up debt or not paying bills
  • Sleep problems, such as insomnia or sleeping excessively
  • Bloodshot eyes, bad breath, trembling/shaking, and noticeable weight loss or weight gain
  • Abnormal behaviors, impulsivity or mood swings
  • Having conflicts with family members or co-workers
  • Neglect of friends in family in favor of a new social group that condones or promotes substance abuse

What Is Intervention? | Midwood Addiction Treatment

What If the Intervention Fails?

The most impactful moment of an intervention is typically the addicted person’s realization that loved ones will no longer enable his or her addiction. Many people suffering from addiction claim to want to get treatment but do so primarily as an attempt to manipulate others into continuing to help maintain their substance abuse habit, at least temporarily.

You will know an intervention has probably been unsuccessful if the subject promises to get help “soon” or agrees to enter rehab if he or she is given money or a place to stay “for a while.” In other words, using any type of manipulation to convince friends and family of his or her desire to seek help but then failing to follow through.

Ultimately, if he or she refuses to enter a rehab program, it is essential that those who participated in the intervention remain true to their promises and no longer enable the person’s addiction and behavior. It often takes more than one attempt at an intervention for it to stick. The important thing is to stay strong in the face of the person’s addiction and continue to assure them they are loved even though you are withholding means of support unless they agree to treatment.

Getting Treatment for Addiction

Staging an intervention is a time when families and friends can commit themselves to the process of getting their loved one into treatment. But remember, for the addicted person, intervention is only the first step to recovery. The majority of their work still lies ahead through therapy, counseling, skill-building, relapse prevention strategies, and a tremendous amount of unyielding resolve.

The goal of staging an intervention is to urge the addicted person to admit there is a problem and to receive help. Once this occurs, it is critical to get that person into rehab immediately and make arrangements beforehand to ensure the person is safely transferred into treatment without an interval in which they can change their mind.

Midwood Addiction Treatment offers treatment formats including partial-hospitalization, intensive outpatient treatment, and outpatient detox. We employ an integrated approach to addiction that includes evidence-based therapies vital to the recovery process, facilitated by compassionate addiction specialists with care and expertise.

If you or someone you love is addicted to drugs or alcohol, contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options!

ReVia for Opioid and Alcohol Treatment

ReVia for Opioid and Alcohol Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

ReVia (naltrexone) is a medication that is commonly used to treat both opioid use disorder and alcoholism. The key ingredient in ReVia is naltrexone, an opioid antagonist that blocks other opioids from interacting with the brain’s receptors.

As a result, individuals on ReVia can use opioids and alcohol without feeling their effects. This action can be a very effective way to prevent people in recovery from being tempted to use again. For this reason, ReVia is one of the most popular medication-assisted recovery treatments for opioid dependence.

Facts about ReVia

Naltrexone comes in two forms – as a pill (ReVia) and as an extended-release injection (Vivitrol). ReVia provides users with more control over their recovery and is easier to administer since patients can use it at home. Conversely, Vivitrol must be administered by a physician, and one shot lasts about four weeks.

Importantly, naltrexone is not naloxone, although with similar sounding names both related to opioid addiction it’s easy to understand the confusion. While naltrexone chemically blocks the effects of most opioids (opioid antagonist), naloxone actually reverses the effects of opioids and is used by first responders as an overdose antidote. It is also used as a component in some other drugs (Suboxone) to prevent abuse.

Side Effects

ReVia for Opioid and Alcohol Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Like most pharmaceuticals, ReVia is associated with a few side effects, including the following:

  • Cramping
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Joint pain
  • Chills
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Sexual problems

Liver damage, arthritis, and respiratory infections may also be side effects associated with long-term ReVia use. Because this drug is not habit-forming, it can be used for years if necessary, but this may increase the risk of more serious side effects.

Withdrawal and Cravings

One of the most common misconceptions about ReVia is that it can help mitigate withdrawal symptoms caused by alcohol or opioids. While ReVia blocks chemicals like opiates from binding to opioid receptors, it does not decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

To ease opioid withdrawal symptoms, a person would need a partial opioid agonist similar to Suboxone, although this would not help with alcohol withdrawal (for this, a benzodiazepine or barbiturate is often used in medical settings). Furthermore, ReVia does not reduce cravings for opioids or alcohol.

Use of ReVia with Narcotics or Alcohol

As noted, Vivitrol and ReVia block the effects of certain substances and attempting to get high or drunk while using them will be unlikely to produce many sought-after sensations.

Importantly, however, ReVia can only be effective to a certain extent. As such, some patients (particularly those who have been given Vivitrol) may try to overcome this block by consuming more of a drug than usual. The problem here is considerable – the amounts needed to circumvent effects of naltrexone are often dangerously high, and many have overdosed on ReVia for this reason.

Finally, rather than attempting to abstain initially, some people take ReVia using the Sinclair Method. The Sinclair Method is an approach to alcohol addiction treatment that uses a technique referred to as pharmacological extinction, or the use of an opiate blocker to transform habit-forming behaviors into habit-extinguishing behaviors. The effect is intended to be a return to a person’s “normal” level of alcohol cravings that existed before addiction.

Unfortunately for some, while quite logical in theory, this approach doesn’t always work. Over time, perhaps just a matter of weeks, a person’s brain can override the effects of naltrexone, inciting a return of pleasant feelings during bouts of drinking. This, in effect, neutralizes naltrexone entirely.

Effectiveness of ReVia vs. True Opioid Replacement Therapy

Research has shown that the two most effective methods of opioid replacement therapy and recovery are buprenorphine and methadone. Compared to naltrexone, these therapies tend to have a much higher success rate.

Perhaps some of the reason for this difference is patient resistance to continuing treatment. Some physicians contend, however, that it simply isn’t being prescribed appropriately.

But still, naltrexone certainly has its benefits. Because naltrexone does not have the potential for abuse, it is far more accessible than other drugs. For example, opioid withdrawal drugs such as Suboxone can only be prescribed by specially licensed health professionals because it contains buprenorphine, a drug which can be misused.

Also, the law restricts these providers to a set number of patients to whom they can dispense these drugs. This limit was put into place in an attempt to counteract the overprescribing of drugs with a high potential for abuse. Regarding methadone, only certain facilities operating under strict controls are allowed to treat patients with this drug.

ReVia for Opioid and Alcohol Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Another benefit of ReVia is that it is not considered to be an opioid in and of itself, and is considered by some to be preferable to other treatment methods simply because it is not a true opioid. This fact is vital when you consider the larger debate that’s been happening in the world of recovery for some time. Some people think the concept of treating addiction with another potentially addictive substance is misguided at best, and downright irresponsible at worst.

In fact, despite the clinically-proven benefits of using medication-assisted treatment, people contend that it is only worsening the problem. And while science doesn’t really agree, those who feel this is true occasionally fight to pass laws that make this form of treatment less accessible. One advantage of ReVia, therefore, is that it can be beneficial for those who are not able to be treated with other means that could be more effective.

It’s also worthwhile to mention that naltrexone remains one of the very few treatments for alcoholism that is proven to be effective. Alternatives such as Antabuse are used less and less in lieu of naltrexone’s clinically-proven ability to fight alcohol addiction without the horrific side effect of vomiting.

Drug and Alcohol Tolerance

The use of ReVia can reduce a person’s level of tolerance when taken over a prolonged period. In an ideal world where people didn’t encounter relapse, this wouldn’t be as much of a concern. But, unfortunately, about half of people with a substance use disorder do relapse at some point.

If drug use is again continued at a lower tolerance, the risk of overdose is far higher. For those who aren’t aware of this effect of ReVia and choose to go back to using at the same level as before, it may end up being a lethal mistake.

Using ReVia as a Component of a Complete Recovery Program

Similar to some erroneous beliefs about other medications, some people may be under the impression that the only factor in successful recovery is simply continuing to use ReVia. The truth, however, is that there’s a lot more involved in this process, and if it were as simple as just taking a pill every day, there would be a lot more people in active recovery.

Battling the symptoms of withdrawal and the cravings that result is just the first step in a balanced and comprehensive recovery program. The real work begins during psychotherapy and counseling and getting to the root of addiction and factors that contribute to it.

If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss treatment options and find out how we can help you restore sanity to your life and experience the long-lasting wellness and sobriety you deserve!

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Why Is It Important?

Dual Diagnosis Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Why Is It Important? – When a person suffers from addiction in addition to a mental health disorder, such as anxiety or depression, this is referred to as a dual diagnosis (also known as co-occurring or comorbid disorders). Dual diagnosis is very common among those who engage in substance abuse, and treatment demands comprehensive care to address both conditions appropriately.

Frequently, one disorder exacerbates the other – for instance, a person with depression may resort to substance use as a means to self-medicate. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution and can rapidly devolve into a worsening of mental health. Conversely, substance abuse itself can induce depression and anxiety to the extent that these symptoms become fully diagnosable as a disorder.

There is no single scientific explanation as to why mental illness, substance abuse, and addiction occur together so often. Most experts contend that a combination of biological, developmental, and environmental factors converge in a way that appears to contribute to both conditions.

Unfortunately, people who experience both mental illness and substance use disorders often encounter symptoms that are more intense and resistant to treatment when compared to those who suffer from only one condition.

Dual Diagnosis Assessment

During a clinical assessment for a dual diagnosis, health professionals gather collect information and examine many factors, such as the following:

Does the patient…

  • …meet criteria for one or more psychological conditions?
  • …have a history of substance abuse that has negatively affected their health, family, relationships, work, etc.?
  • …appear to be a threat to the safety of themselves or others?
  • …have a strong support system and resources available?
  • …display the motivation to engage in rehab and, ultimately, enter recovery?

Signs and Symptoms of Related Disorders

Mental health and substance abuse often co-occur together, but the symptoms can usually be distinguished. Common signs and symptoms of a mental health condition include the following:

  • Impulsive or risky behavior
  • Suicidal or homicidal ideations
  • A lack of interest in daily activities
  • Increased irritability and agitation
  • Lack of energy, fatigue, and lethargy
  • Negative changes in appetite, weight, or sleep patterns
  • Racing, intrusive thoughts and difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, shame, and fear

Symptoms and behaviors associated with substance abuse and addiction include the following:

  • An inability to control substance use
  • Cravings for drugs or alcohol are experienced
  • Tolerance develops, meaning more of a substance is needed to achieve the desired effect
  • Symptoms of withdrawal manifest when the person attempts to quit or cut back
  • Life revolves around acquiring, using and recovering from substance use
  • There is a failure to meet critical obligations, such as school, work, family, and relationships

Treatment for Dual Diagnosis

Suffering from a mental health condition in combination with a substance abuse disorder can be incredibly challenging. Nonetheless, through participation in intensive treatment, such as behavioral interventions, committed individuals will find that recovery is indeed possible.

Behavioral Therapy

Dual Diagnosis Treatment | Midwood Addiction Treatment

Behavioral therapies may include the following:

Cognitive-behavioral therapy – A form of psychotherapy that seeks to reduce problematic beliefs, feelings, and practices and displace them for healthier, more positive thoughts and patterns of behavior.

Dialectic behavioral therapy – A form of psychotherapy that has the goal of reducing harmful behaviors.

Integrated group therapy – A form of psychotherapy that is based heavily on peer support and addresses the symptoms of both mental health conditions and substance abuse simultaneously.


Treating a person with a dual-diagnosis often include the use of medication in addition to psychotherapy, depending on the mental health and substance use disorder. For example, anti-depressants are often used for depression or anxiety, and opioid replacement therapy can be employed for persons who are dependent on heroin or prescription painkillers.

Inpatient Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Depending on the intensity of the mental illness or addiction, a person may benefit from a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Due to the complicated nature of a dual diagnosis, many people with co-occurring conditions will require continual, long-term support from multiple health professionals, such as general practitioners, counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists.

PHP rehab programs are more intensive than outpatient programs because clients can receive the following services:

  • Daily therapy sessions
  • Daily support group participation
  • Immersion in a community with similar experiences
  • Continuing education on mental health conditions, substance abuse, and addiction

Outpatient Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Outpatient treatment, conversely, is more flexible than PHP treatment. People who choose outpatient treatment have successfully completed an inpatient or PHP treatment program or require more freedom to tend to work, school, or family responsibilities.

Patients may receive a variety of services during outpatient treatment, including:

  • Transportation
  • Individual and family therapy
  • Medication assisted-treatment
  • Support for independent sober living
  • Involvement in peer support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

If you or someone close to you is suffering from substance abuse and a mental health disorder, please contact us immediately to discuss treatment options and begin the journey to recovery!