5 Important Things to Know Before Starting Drug Rehab

Drug rehabilitation programs have the power to change lives. Drug rehab can take people who have been lost and give them a compass so that they can find their way back to being part of regular society. Making the decision to seek drug addiction treatment is not an easy decision. It can be one of the hardest decisions you will ever make. The idea of leaving behind a very comfortable, while still harmful, part of your life can feel very threatening. Once you have made the decision to participate in treatment, it is important to be prepared.

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Here are a few things that you should know if you are considering drug rehab for yourself or a family member:

1. There is a difference between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation.

Inpatient and outpatient rehab are the two major types of rehab available to people who have made the decision to seek treatment. Outpatient treatment programs are best for people who have moderate addictions and obligations that make it inadvisable for them to participate in a residential program. Outpatient programs allow drug users to continue to be a part of their regular lives while still seeking addiction treatment. Inpatient treatment programs are best for people with more severe addiction problems who need to be kept away from the outside influences that they have been experiencing. Inpatient programs require that patients live within the treatment facility and abide by the rules that the program sets forth.

2. Attitude makes a difference.

If you are not ready to seek treatment or you believe that it will not work, you are probably better off not getting started at all. If you go into treatment with a positive outlook and a healthy mental attitude, then you are likely to be successful. If you want to seek treatment, but you are not sure it is going to work, fake it. Even if you do not believe it, tell yourself and anyone else that you will be successful in treatment and that you are going to come out the other side a more amazing you.

3. Your loved ones are telling you the truth.

It is possible that you are making the steps to go to treatment because of an intervention staged for you by the people who care the most about you. An intervention means two very important things – that there are people who love and care about you who do not want to see you continue to harm yourself, and that you are in denial about what you have been doing to yourself. In rehab, you will be asked to take responsibility for your actions and for your drug use. You are the only person who can make the decision to take that responsibility and it is a sure sign of healing when you can take ownership of your own behaviors.

4. Group counseling is not so scary.

For people who are naturally introverts or have trouble with public speaking, the idea of group therapy can be terrifying. It can sound very intimidating for almost anyone. Many participants are hesitant to share at first because it is a group of strangers, but eventually, everyone loosens up a bit and realizes that you are all there with a common purpose. You all have things that you can learn from one another. As participants begin to feel less isolated and more a part of this bigger support structure, some of the biggest breakthroughs can occur during group therapy.

5. Rehab does not end when the program ends.

One of the most important parts of rehabilitation happens after your formal rehab treatment is finished. Aftercare is one of the best things that you can do for yourself once your program ends. There are both formal and informal aftercare options. Some facilities offer aftercare programs that include 12-step groups, continued therapy session, sober living activities, and potentially more training in how to live a drug free life. You can also find most of these options on your own. Narc-Anon groups have regular meetings all over the country. You can make and keep maintenance and follow-up appointments on your own. You can also seek out a sober living group that fits into your schedule and participates in activities that are right for you.

10 Reason Why You Should Try Meditation

Meditation is not just for hippies and gurus anymore.  There are endless  professional athletes, doctors and superstars who have decided to try mediation, and preach its’ benefits. The masses have begun to open up to the idea of this simple, yet useful form of relaxation in the past few years; however, meditation has been around for much longer than that. Meditation has a prehistoric origin and can be found in many religious and non-religious practices throughout human history.  As you would expect, some of the earliest records of meditation come out of ancient Hindu traditions passed down through the generations to be brought along with yoga practice to the modern world during the 19th century.  Because it has been tried and true for much of the span of human history, meditation is a great tool that can be used in any kind of recovery treatment. Meditation has been proven to be an effective healing activity with many health benefits throughout its’ existence.

Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why you should try meditation.

why you should try meditation

1.  Meditation Reduces Stress

Everyone could do with a little less stress in their lives.  Meditation releases endorphins in the same way the exercising does.  Endorphins reduce stress in the brain.  This reduction of stress lets you focus on exploring yourself and your own mind without all of your smaller, but still nagging worries getting in the way.

2.  Meditation Helps You Focus

Meditating lets you learn how to discipline yourself and your mind.  And this discipline will be reflected in your life away from meditation as well.  Your mind will be able to focus more naturally and you will have increased efficiency.

3.  Meditation Makes Your Happier

Since meditation causes the pituitary gland in your brain to secrete endorphins, which are known to elevate your mood and have a positive effect on your whole body. This release of happy juice you will be happier overall.  It alters the brain activity to enhance the area associated with positive emotional experiences.

4.  Meditation Lowers Blood Pressure

By decreasing psychological stress and increasing your ability to cope with stressful situations, meditation can make your blood pressure lower.  Both in the short term and later in life, meditation can make your blood pressure lower.

5.  Meditation Relieves Pain

Practicing meditation in the long term can lead to physical changes in the brain that can help alter your perception of pain.  The people who meditate often can experience a lowered sensitivity to pain.  Meditation can be a great way of dealing with chronic pain as well.

6.  Meditation Connects Your With Yourself

One of the major points of meditation is to learn to how let your mind direct itself rather than consciously directing it.  This non-attachment is meant to give you a better understanding of yourself and a better connection to what is going on in your mind and in your body.

7.  Meditation Connects Your to Others

While meditation is mostly concentrated on self-growth, it can also improve your social interaction skills.  After practicing meditation for a while, your mind will become more focused on compassionate feelings that can be directed toward others.  Any amount of meditation practice can make you feel better about dealing with yourself and dealing with others.

8.  Meditation Brings Emotional Balance

Meditation can help you learn to put aside neurotic or unhealthy emotions related to certain situations.  Once these negative feelings can be put aside, you may be able to focus on the situation at hand and how you really feel about it rather than having it colored by information that is emotionally triggered rather than logically triggered.

9.  Meditation Gives You Better Control Over Your Emotions

As mentioned above, meditation can help you put aside negative emotions that can taint your response to an emotional situation.  It can also help you control your emotions overall.  With the help of meditation, if you want to be more positive, you may be able to put aside negativity and bring the positivity to the top.  If you want to be more caring, you may be able to focus on the caring expressions you would like to be making and put aside the less caring attitudes that you no longer need.

10.  Meditation Continues to Help Even When You Are Not Practicing

You can still benefit from your brain’s emotional processing even when you are not actively meditating.  According to a study done but Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, the brain region with the amygdala responds to emotional stimuli.  This response can be changed by meditation.  This occurs even when you are not in active meditation.

Try Meditation and Keep Growing

Achieving the perfect meditative state takes a lifetime of practice.  But along the way you will pick up some very valuable skills that will almost immediately help make your life and overall health better. There is no doubt that anyone who wants to live a healthier and happier life should try meditation.

Overcoming Terminal Uniqueness in Addiction Treatment

For many newcomers to drug and alcohol treatment programs, feeling like they don’t belong in the group because they don’t have anything in common with other members is common. It’s a phenomenon known as “terminal uniqueness,” and it’s a form of denial that allows addicts and alcoholics to believe that the situation they are facing is unlike any situation anyone else has ever faced, ever. For newly recovering addicts entering alcohol treatment programs, terminal uniqueness can become an excuse to leave treatment – if you let it.

What Is Terminal Uniqueness?

Terminal uniqueness, also known as personal exceptionalism, is a belief that the bad things that are happening to others in your situation can’t happen to you, because you’re different. Think of the smoker who continues puffing away even though he or she knows that cigarettes cause lung cancer – that person is suffering from terminal uniqueness. It’s called “terminal” because, if you don’t knock it off, it will kill you.

As an addict in the throes of active drug or alcohol addiction, terminal uniqueness can allow you to continue self-destructive behaviors. No matter how many times you see others destroy themselves, terminal uniqueness will allow you to tell yourself that it couldn’t happen to you – you are somehow, as if by magic, exempt from the rules of addiction that govern the lives of so many others.

Terminal Uniqueness in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs

For many addicts who are new to recovery, terminal uniqueness doesn’t just disappear because they sobered up. Instead, it allows addicts and alcoholics to tell themselves that they don’t belong in alcohol treatment programs, because they’re not like the other people there.

If you’ve sat in a 12-Step meeting or a group therapy session and felt like you didn’t belong because you don’t have anything in common with the other members of the group, you’ve experienced the undermining effect terminal uniqueness can have on your recovery efforts. When you look at the other members of your treatment group, all you can see is what makes you different from them.

Of course, there’s a good chance that you are very different from the other members of your treatment group, especially if you’re attending 12-Step meetings that are open to the community. People from all walks of life and all backgrounds find their way into alcohol treatment programs. Most alcohol treatment programs will be populated by people of different ages, races, professional backgrounds and genders.

Your recovery program will probably put you into close contact with people whose lives have been very different from yours, and these people will likely hold some very different opinions and view the world through very different perspectives.

Finding Common Ground in Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs

Just because the other people in your addiction treatment groups have very different lives and backgrounds doesn’t mean you have nothing in common. In fact, you have one very big thing in common – you all suffer from a substance abuse disorder.

It’s easy to get hung up on the differences between yourself and the other members of the group. If other members of your group have been abusing multiple substances for years and you’ve only abused one substance for a short period of time, it’s easy to tell yourself that you’re not as bad an addict as they are. If you’re a woman and most or all of the members of your group are men, it’s easy to feel like an outsider. If you’re young and other members of your group are old – or vice versa – it’s easy to feel like they won’t understand you or take your struggles seriously.

Instead of getting hung up on how the other members of your addiction treatment program are so much different from you, look for ways in which you are similar. Look past the superficial differences between you and listen hard to what the other members of your group tell you about themselves. When you pay attention, you will find that you have more in common with the other members of your group than you thought. And, if it turns out that you really are a poor fit for your treatment program, you can always find another program – but not without giving the one you’re in a chance first.

Whether you’re still in active addiction or you’ve entered treatment, thinking you’re different from others in the same situation is a dangerous trap to fall into. Focus on finding the common ground you have with your peers in treatment, and you’ll find that you’re able to help one another more than you ever expected.

Making it Through Heroin Withdrawal

Being addicted to heroin feels like being on a roller coaster ride that never ends. You’re either high and intoxicated, or fighting off excruciating heroin withdrawal. Either way, normal functioning is a struggle. Holding down a job and maintaining a normal lifestyle while on heroin is so difficult that many addicts can’t manage it at all.

If you’re like the majority of heroin addicts, you would love to quit. But the prospect of going through full heroin withdrawal is scary enough to keep you trapped in the cycle of addiction. Maybe you’ve already tried to quit cold turkey and failed. The more times you fail to quit using heroin on your own, the more hopeless you become as you feel more and more convinced that you just don’t have what it takes to make the necessary change in your life.

But what if you could quit without going through heroin withdrawal? With buprenorphine maintenance treatment, you can – and at the Delray Center for Healing, opiate addiction treatment is affordable and easy.

Why Does Heroin Withdrawal Hurt?

Heroin withdrawal is painful because chronic opiate abuse disrupts your brain’s ability to produce endorphins, which are important for feelings of well-being and natural pain relief. Heroin acts on the brain’s opioid receptors, which is why users feel euphoria when they take the drug. However, when an addict stops taking the drug, your brain is unable to naturally produce the endorphins that would stimulate those opioid receptors through natural means. Since your brain is unable to produce the neurotransmitters that help your body feel normal, opiate withdrawal pain is the result.

Treating Opiate Withdrawal with Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine, marketed under the brand names Subutex and Suboxone, is an opioid drug that stimulates the brain’s opioid receptors. However, unlike heroin and methadone, buprenorphine only stimulates the brain’s opioid receptors a little bit – enough to relieve withdrawal symptoms, but not so much to cause euphoria. That’s because the manufacturers of buprenorphine don’t want to give users an incentive to abuse the drug.

Because buprenorphine relieves withdrawal symptoms and doesn’t cause a “high” feeling, it can help you get off the roller coaster of heroin addiction and feel normal again. Since it’s designed to be hard to abuse, it’s less strictly controlled than methadone, an older drug used for heroin maintenance treatment. When you’re on methadone treatment, you have to appear at a special clinic every day to get your medicine, and submit to often humiliating measures designed to verify that you’re committed to your recovery. You’re not allowed to take any methadone home with you; just making room in your schedule to get to the methadone clinic every day can make it hard to maintain the responsibilities of a job or live a normal life.

When you use buprenorphine to manage heroin withdrawal symptoms, you can take a supply of your medication home with you – you’ll be trusted to take it responsibly. That makes it easier to hold down a job and manage the responsibilities of normal life while going through treatment. It also makes it much easier to protect your privacy while you’re going through treatment. Since you don’t have to be seen going in and out of a methadone clinic every day, you can keep the fact that you’re going through treatment for opiate addiction to yourself, if you want. That’s especially important for addicts who managed to maintain a relatively high level of functioning during their period of active addiction.

Many people who use buprenorphine feel that it has fewer side effects than methadone and leaves their minds feeling clearer. Eventually, you’ll want to taper off of buprenorphine and start a new, completely substance-free life. Buprenorphine is much easier than methadone to taper off of; detox symptoms are far less severe.

Buprenorphine for opiate addiction maintenance is much more likely to be successful if you also receive addiction counseling from a qualified therapist. Counseling helps get at the root of your substance abuse problems, so you can make real changes in your thinking and your life. If you or someone you love wants to quit using heroin, call the Delray Center for Healing today at 888-699-5679 to find out how buprenorphine can help you get clean without suffering heroin withdrawal.

Understanding Opiate Addiction Symptoms Can Save Your Life

It’s not easy to overcome opiate addiction symptoms – in fact, many experts believe that opiate addiction is one of the most difficult forms of addiction to treat because the symptoms are so powerful.

Opiate maintenance therapy can help ease withdrawal symptoms for the recovering opiate addict, but Suboxone or Subutex alone can’t resolve the underlying issues behind opiate addiction. In order to truly from opiate addiction symptoms, you’re going to need drug abuse counseling. Counseling can help to resolve the underlying psychological and emotional problems that led to your addiction, and it can help you develop the coping mechanisms you need to stay clean for the long run, repair your relationships and rebuild your life.

Opiate Addiction Isn’t Just Physical

If you’re just entering treatment for your opiate addiction symptoms, or if you’re still considering getting help, you could be forgiven for thinking that the symptoms of opiate addiction are largely physical. It’s true that opiate drugs like heroin, methadone and hydrocodone cause a powerful physical addiction that can precipitate a painful withdrawal syndrome. However, treating addiction to opiate drugs must go much further than merely treating the physical dependence.

After the physical dependence on opiate drugs is broken, recovering addicts still must face the psychological symptoms of opiate addiction. Especially in the early days of recovery, recovering addicts don’t know how to cope with stress in normal, healthy ways. Plus, since it can take months or years for the brain to fully heal from the effects of opiate addiction, recovering addicts will continue to struggle with powerful cravings brought on by environmental cues or exposure to people with whom they used to use drugs, or people who still use drugs.

Without proper counseling, recovering addicts will feel consumed by drug cravings and urges to return to use. Eventually, they’ll break down and go back to using drugs. While there’s no single type of counseling that’s right for every recovering opiate addict, there are several psychotherapy methods that have been found to be effective. You may need more than one type of counseling, depending on your individual needs.

Group Therapy for Opiate Addiction Symptoms

Group therapy and recovery support groups, like 12-Step groups, are considered an excellent counseling option for recovering addicts of all kinds. In group therapy, you’ll have the chance to build social skills and break free from the sense of isolation that many addicts struggle with. You’ll learn that you’re not the only one facing the struggles of recovery from opiate addiction. You’ll benefit from the emotional support of your peers, and learn from their insights and experience. You’ll also be able to start building a sober social support network – making new friends who support your recovery and won’t expose you to the temptation to use drugs is a crucial part of recovering from opiate addiction.

Individual Therapy for Opiate Addiction Symptoms

Though group therapy is highly recommended for recovering addicts of all types, you may also benefit from individual therapy. If you have a dual diagnosis – another mental disorder besides your substance abuse disorder – you will need individual therapy for that condition. You can’t recover from opiate addiction unless you also have adequate treatment for your concurrent mental health disorder. However, there are other forms of individual counseling that are considered beneficial for addiction.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Opiate Addiction Symptoms

Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is an effective form of therapy for treating many different disorders, including substance abuse disorders, anxiety and depression. CBT can help you learn to recognize the moods, thoughts and situations that most often trigger your substance abuse. Once you learn to recognize these triggers, CBT can help you learn to avoid them by replacing negative, unrealistic thoughts with healthier, more realistic ones. This is a valuable skills that can help you avoid addiction relapse and maintain your mental health for the rest of your life.

Family Therapy for Opiate Addiction Symptoms

Healthy relationships with family and friends can help you succeed in drug treatment and protect you from relapse. Family therapy is also helpful for your loved ones, because addiction affects the whole family. Through therapy, your family members can heal from the damage your substance abuse has caused in their own lives. Including your family in your treatment plan can help you stay in treatment, and motivate you to stay committed to your recovery over the long term.

If you or someone close to you needs help for opiate addiction, we’re here for you. Call the Delray Center for Healing today at 888-699-5679.