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Is College Life Creating Addicts?

All across the United States, college students are getting more than an advanced education on campuses. They’re also getting exposed to binge drinking and drug use. In a study from Harvard University’s School of Public Health College, nearly 50 percent of college students engaged in binge drinking during the two weeks prior to being surveyed.

Is College Life Creating Addicts- Prescription Drug Abuse In College

Problems With Binge Drinking In College

Of the students who admitted to binge drinking, their number one reason for drinking was simply to get drunk. The implications for binge drinking are substantial. From injuries and accidents to physical assaults and “date rape,” excessive drinking is a very real problem on campuses. Yet, it remains pervasive in dorms, fraternities, sororities, and at sporting events, local bars and restaurants that serve students.

Prescription Drug Abuse And College Students

There has also been an uptick in the usage of prescription medications on college campuses. In particular, the ADHD drug Ritalin is commonly used by students who want to enhance their performance. In a recent study, as many as 20 percent of college students have used Ritalin, Adderall, or other prescription stimulant to study, write papers or take exams and finals. In a study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the number of teens who admit to abusing prescription medications has tripled from 1992 to 2003.

Like with binge drinking, the side effects of Ritalin or Adderall abuse can also be very serious. These can include seizures, hallucinations, and paranoia. Addiction to these drugs can occur quickly, which often results in long-term physical and psychological damage.

Substance Abuse Prevention On College Campuses

Substance abuse is something that college administrators, parents, and students should take very seriously. As long as there is a tolerance for drug or alcohol use on campuses, the future of some of the best and brightest students will be robbed. The fact is that alcohol and drug use leads to poor academic performance, depression, anxiety, physical health problems, crime, and even suicide.

Many addiction experts believe that more has to be done to take the “high” out of higher education. This starts with establishing policies that can help stop the problem such as banning alcohol in dormitories, educating students on the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and working with local authorities to limit the number of bars and retail liquor stores near campus.

Helping A College Student With An Addiction Problem

Many college students develop addictions while away at school. In fact, this is a common cause of dropping out. If you suspect that a loved one who is in college is suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, don’t wait for the problem to get worse. It will! Instead, seek the help of a local, professional addiction treatment program that can guide you on the steps to take.

Your loved one may not understand that they truly need help. Be the one who steps up and seeks help for them…

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Importance Of Recognizing Co-Occurring Disorders When Treating Addiction

It is a reality that many individuals who struggle with mental illness will self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. It’s also a sobering truth that many otherwise healthy individuals who fall into addiction eventually acquire mental illness.

The Link Between Addiction And Mental Health Issues

Recognizing Co-Occurring Disorders When Treating AddictionThe link between addiction and mental illness is undisputedly strong.

In fact, it’s estimated that around 50 percent of all individuals who have one or more mental health conditions also suffer from drug and/or alcohol abuse.

Some disorders are particularly common in those who suffer from addiction. These include depression, social anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder.

However, it is also seen in many patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and even schizotypal personality disorder.

The Importance Of Recognizing Co-Occurring Disorders When Treating Addiction

Because there is such a strong connection between addiction and mental health problems, effective addiction treatment must also include identification of any underlying mental health conditions, as well as specific treatment for them.

Recognizing and treating mental illness is vital to allow the individual healing and a more complete recovery from both the addiction and any mental health or traumatic causes or triggers.

Getting Help For Co-Occurring Disorders

Often, it’s the addiction that leads to an individual with co-occurring disorders to get help. Unfortunately, most of these individuals will find themselves in treatment programs that do little or nothing to address mental health problems. Significant research has shown that the chance of relapse is very high for those with co-occurring disorders who do not get combined treatment for addiction and mental illness. However, co-occurring disorders treatment can help those suffering from addiction and mental illness.

Getting real, lasting help requires stopping the cycle of self-medication. Only receiving treatment for both the addiction and related or underlying mental health conditions can truly address the self-propelling cycle of co-occurring disorders. An integrated approach to treatment is needed that includes detoxification, therapy, education, relapse prevention, and more.

Because recovery followed by relapse often leads to a worsening of symptoms of both the addiction and the mental illness, effective treatment that addresses both conditions is vital to sustaining recovery and preventing the frustration and heartache of multiple relapses.

Don’t Delay

Are you or a loved one suffering from addiction and a mental illness? Yes, it can be overwhelming, but effective treatment is available. With each passing day, it can be more difficult to treat. This is why it’s essential to be proactive in seeking treatment. Call us for more information on co-occurring disorders treatment.

Our team of experienced, caring professionals is here to help you or your loved one on a journey to recovery and healing.

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Recognizing Signs And Symptoms Of Heroin Addiction

Recognizing signs and symptoms of heroin addiction

Knowing the signs and symptoms of heroin addiction can help you manage one of life’s most difficult situations – living with a heroin addict. First and foremost, it’s important to understand that addicts, by the very nature of their disease, are extremely proficient at leading double lives and are highly skilled in secrecy, making excuses, and covering up.

One of the first signs your loved one may be struggling with heroin addiction is when it becomes nearly impossible for them to provide answers to your everyday questions.  Heroin addicts are notoriously illusive, and just like the CIA, they consider everything to be on a need-to-know basis.

Heroin addicts also keep friends and family members compartmentalized and separated to hide their problem. Addicts dole out small bits and pieces of information, so that no one ever gets the full picture of their lives. However, when you add up the whole story, it’s easy to see that your loved one is in deep trouble and covering up a serious addiction to a dangerous substance.

When A Loved One Is Addicted To Heroin

If you’re like many you’ve probably asked yourself “What leads to heroin addiction?”  Studies have shown that many heroin addicts were introduced to opiates through legitimate medical uses such as painkillers after surgery. Opiates are highly addictive, and it’s not uncommon for patients to seek out street drugs once they are not able to sustain their usage through prescriptions.

Signs Of Heroin Addiction

If you suspect that your loved one is abusing heroin, there are other signs to watch for besides secrecy. These include:

  • Significant Behavioral Changes
  • Declining Health or Unexplained Weight Loss
  • Track Marks on Arms or Legs
  • Drug Paraphernalia Like Syringes, Small Glass Pipes, Rubber Ties, and Bent Spoons
  • Bags of a Powdery or Crumbly Substance

What Next?

If your suspicions have been confirmed, and you are, indeed facing the fact that someone you are close with is a heroin addict, it’s time to lead them to help to overcome heroin addiction for the long term. This means researching appropriate drug addiction treatment centers.

In some cases, inpatient care is the best option – especially for those with co-occurring mental disorders. At Summit Behavioral Health, we offer a variety of convenient treatment facility locations, including an inpatient treatment center in New England, located in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Heroin addiction is serious and not something to ignore. Pay attention to your loved ones and if they need help to get free from the grip of heroin addiction.

Call Us Now For Information And Local Treatment

Common Ways That Addicts Hide Their Addiction

Build The New-Common Ways That Addicts Hide AddictionImagine being married to someone for years, living with them under the same roof, sharing hopes and dreams, yet not knowing they suffer from a serious, life threatening addiction. Or waking up one day to find your child has changed from a smiling, cheerful teenager to a sullen and isolated addict. Sounds impossible, yet this scenario is happening every day in millions of households across America.

Often, family members of addicts can’t believe they witnessed the entire day-to-day decline of their loved one, but never had a clue as to what was really going on. Addicts are extremely adept at the art of deflection and deception. Making excuses, lying, and telling stories are all strategies that addicts use to keep their loved ones in the dark. Yet, the drugs or alcohol will eventually wreak so much havoc on the addict’s life that he or she will not be able to hide it.

Indicators That A Loved One Is Hiding An Addiction

Addicts will hide their problem in a variety of ways. Often, one or two signs are initially overlooked. Yet, when multiple behaviors begin to not add up, it’s time to seriously consider that an addiction could be a very real problem. These include:

  • Hiding Substances around the House
  • Defensiveness if Questioned
  • Putting Alcohol into Different Containers
  • Vague Claims of Illness
  • Using Work as an Excuse
  • Multiple doctors or an Unusually High Number of Prescriptions
  • New “Friends”
  • Physical Symptoms Like Weight Loss
  • Sleep Disturbances

So, Now What?

When all signs are pointing to your loved one suffering from an addiction, it’s time to take the next step of confronting them about it. This isn’t something to take lightly. In fact, it’s important to carefully consider your options and to have a plan of action in place before you confront the addict.

It’s important to understand that a person who is struggling from drug or alcohol dependency is emotionally unstable, due to the substance altering his or her brain chemistry. There may also be underlying mental or emotional issues at play which can make the problem more complex and difficult to treat. It may be well worth the time and effort to ask for professional help during this very challenging time.

If you are facing the reality that a loved one has a drug or alcohol problem, help and resources are available. Don’t tackle this problem alone.

Contact Summit Behavioral Health now and learn more about treatment for long-term recovery.

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The Facts About Quitting “Cold Turkey”

The Facts About Quitting Cold Turkey-Medical Detox ProgramSome individuals who are addicted to drugs or alcohol believe that they can quit at any time. It’s easy enough to think that quitting just requires a little self-discipline and time. Yet, going “cold turkey” rarely leads to a successful recovery. Often, the addict cannot manage the overwhelming side effects that occur during the cold turkey detox process and end up using again to relieve the pain and cravings. With each attempt, side effects of detox can become more serious and relapses can become increasingly severe.

The Dangers Of Withdrawal

When an individual stops drinking or using drugs on their own, withdrawal symptoms can appear quickly. And, they can be very unpredictable, scary and even life-threatening. Common symptoms include tremors, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, headache, increased heart rate, sweating, irritability, confusion, insomnia and nightmares. The most severe form of withdrawal is known as delirium tremens (DTs) with dangerous side effects that can include hallucinations, seizures, extreme confusion and a high fever. This condition is considered to be a medical emergency and requires immediate help. Often, symptoms worsen over two or three days and can persist for several weeks.

Medical Detox Program

Because of the dangers of withdrawal, the best choice for anyone who wants to quit using is to seek professional addiction treatment. For many, this means entering a medical detox program like ours here at Summit Behavioral Health.

The goal of treatment is to keep the individual comfortable and symptoms managed during this first step of addiction recovery. While professional addiction treatment can help anyone who is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, it is particularly beneficial for those who are more likely to experience severe complications of detox, such as those who have:

  • Bad health
  • A diagnosis of a co-occurring medical or psychiatric disorder
  • Poor nutritional status
  • An addiction to more than one substance

When To NEVER Go Cold Turkey

Cold Turkey should always be avoided, but when any of the following situations are applicable, going cold turkey should never be attempted.

Extreme Intoxication – Respiration and cardiovascular function must be monitored continuously until alcohol levels drop to a safe range.

Three or more unsuccessful attempt to detox – Complications are far more likely in someone who has attempted multiple withdrawals.

A history of seizures or DTs during withdrawal – Medication may be required to avoid seizures.

Unstable psychiatric condition – When alcohol or drugs are used as a form of self-medication, eliminating the substance can lead to a substantial increase in the symptoms of a co-occurring mental illness.

The Benefits Of A Medically Supervised Drug And Alcohol Detox Program

Every individual responds differently to detox. With an individualized detox program run by an experienced, highly-qualified medical, clinical and holistic team, specific symptoms can be managed and the groundwork can be set to successfully transition to a program focused on lasting recovery.

Have you or a loved one attempted to quit drugs or alcohol by going cold turkey?

There is a better solution that is far more effective.

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