When a person gets sober, there are a lot of things that may go through a loved one’s mind. Families are not immune to the effects of addiction by any stretch, and it takes a lot of strength to remain by a loved one’s ups and downs as they begin their journey.
Experts usually describe addiction as a family disease. This description doesn’t mean that you cause a loved one’s substance use disorder. It does, however, mean that you can help them recover but you can't carry the burden or do their work for them. While the journey is there for them to walk on their own, healing can take place within the family as well.
Helping Your Loved One
As a family member, you probably have a lot of hopes as well as fears about the journey your loved one is taking. If they have been to rehab before, you might think that they need “extra” help to stay sober. The truth is that relapse is usually a part of a person’s recovery. If your loved one relapsed in the past, it doesn’t mean they weren’t trying hard enough. It said that their addiction is powerful and hard to overcome. Try to trust the process.
Here are a few more suggestions to help your loved one in sobriety:
- Get out of the way and let them work on themselves. You may think that helping your loved one means checking up on them and pushing them to try new things to cope with their life. You may have enabled them in the past and thought you were “helping” – such as when you gave them money or bailed them out of jail. It’s time for them to build a strong support network and learn to stand on their own two feet. If they need your help, they will ask you. (But don’t bow to unreasonable requests.)
- Trust the process. Getting sober can be messy; your loved one will be working on processing new information, feeling old and new feelings, and trying to be comfortable in their skin. Sometimes they will make mistakes. Sometimes you might argue with them. Don’t let these small setbacks cause you to lose your faith in their recovery program.
- Get help if you need it. It’s okay to have conflicting emotions and attitudes about your loved one’s new path in life. But they are not ready to hear or process your baggage yet; it takes time for them to become sane and stable again. A therapy group or self-help group like Al-Anon can help you deal with your issues.
- Read literature on addiction. There are many books, newsletters, blogs, and forums that discuss life in recovery. Ask your loved one’s treatment center for suggestions, especially if you feel a little lost with all of their new activities.
- Practice self-care. If you need to cry and beat up a pillow to deal with your feelings, permit yourself to do that. You may also find yoga, exercise, or meditation help you deal with stress. Your family is in a period of transition, and you’re not in charge of the process. You can, however, take responsibility for your personal mental health.
Getting Help for Addiction
If you or a loved one needs help with a substance use disorder, we’re here to guide you. Recovery is a process that is open to everyone, but asking for help is always the first hurdle. We can help you plan your journey in an empathetic, safe, and healthy environment. You CAN reclaim your life. Give us a call at 619-363-4767 for more information.
Medication-Assisted Treatment is the gold standard when it comes to helping people get clean and sober. Yet many treatment centers and detoxes are hesitant to make use of these tools for their clients. Unfortunately, the drugs are not widely available yet, but more treatment centers are incorporating them every year. Medications like Sublocade are helping opioid users get and stay clean, with far better outcomes than people who do talk therapy alone.
75% of people who chose Sublocade as their Medicated-Assisted Treatment option for twelve months remained sober in a recent study. This drug may help you attain long-term sobriety if you are considering treatment for an opioid use disorder.
Who Needs Sublocade?
Sublocade is a new version of the popular treatment drug buprenorphine, also known by its brand name Suboxone. People who have an opioid use disorder take this life-changing drug to stave off cravings and prevent relapse.
The medication is available as a shot, rather than a tablet or strip dissolved under the tongue like Suboxone. Many people who are new to recovery prefer to use Sublocade because it is available as a shot rather than a treatment you must administer daily.
Because of this, it is ideal for people entering long-term treatment, those with busy schedules, and people who also live with mental health disorders or others who may have trouble remembering or adhering to a medication schedule.
Sublocade is appropriate for anyone who lives with an opioid use disorder.
How Does It Work?
Sublocade and other types of buprenorphine are considered partial opioid agonists. This function blocks other opioids from special receptors in your brain - so if you try to get high, it just won’t work. At the same time, the drug can also suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Because it is administered as an injection, it must be given and monitored by licensed medical staff.
Sublocade is injected into the stomach, which may sound a bit scary, but it is still a simple pinprick and minimal pain. (It usually just stings a bit, like any drug injection.) The medication is also only administered once a month, so you won’t forget to take it.
Getting Help for Addiction
Medication-Assisted Treatment is considered to be the highest standard for people with opioid use disorder. Many treatment programs aren’t prepared to offer this option, but here at Present Moments Recovery we can help you decide if MAT is right for you and provide you both therapy as well as medication options. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help at 619-363-4767.
Vivitrol, also known as naltrexone, is a form of medication that is used in Medication-Assisted Treatment to block the effects of opioid drugs. This means that if you’re taking Vivitrol, and use an opioid, you won’t feel any pain relief or feelings of euphoria. People usually get an injection of Vivitrol while they are also in drug treatment. This allows them to focus on their recovery and not any uncomfortable, longer-term withdrawal symptoms or cravings.
More recently, Vivitrol injection has also been used to treat alcoholism by reducing the urge to drink. Some people have been able to maintain long-term sobriety, although this type of treatment is still in its beginning stages. The drug should always be coupled with drug and alcohol treatment to be most effective.
How Does Vivitrol Prevent Relapse?
Vivitrol injection is used to prevent relapse for people in recovery from an opioid use disorder. It isn’t meant to help people begin detox; it’s given after a withdrawal period to prevent future cravings. Most people get the shot after they have been entirely sober for two weeks or more. For people who drink, Naltrexone helps reduce cravings but it cannot be used with a person who has alcohol in their system.
Vivitrol makes it easier for people who have started on their recovery journey to continue. Opioids are an especially addictive substance and have a high relapse rate, even for those who have detoxed completely. Vivitrol helps calm cravings for opioids or alcohol. It also blocks the effects of drugs – so if you get high, there won’t be any “reward” or elation.
Vivitrol injections are meant to be used as a part of a complete treatment program. Without behavior modification and therapy, few people achieve long-term sobriety. Vivitrol helps lessen the intensity of a desire to use, giving a person “breathing space” between their addiction cravings and their desire for recovery.
How Is It Taken?
The drug itself is typically injected and can be taken once a month. Some people prefer a daily pill, which is also available. Once they have acclimated to the drug, there is a maintenance dose required to continue to prevent cravings.
A doctor will typically be the one who prescribes and administers your prescription. Treatment centers also have trained medical professionals that can do this for you.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, has severe effects on the body, mind, and spirit. We want you to know that you don’t have to get high anymore if you don’t want to! There are hope and help available to help you reclaim your life and begin a journey to recovery. Contact us for more information on our Medication-Assisted Treatment options at 619-383-4767.
Suboxone, also known by the drug’s generic name, buprenorphine, is a drug that is used to help people with opioid use disorder get and stay sober. Often it is an integral part of Medication-Assisted Treatment programs. This type of treatment includes medication as well as therapy and behavior modification. This helps people make the life changes necessary to achieve long-term sobriety.
MAT is underutilized in the treatment industry, but it is vital for opioid use disorder. Studies show that it is an important and exciting tool for people addicted to opioids. In fact, without MAT, at least 90% of OUD patients will relapse. When people are using medication like Suboxone to aid their recovery, their chances for relapse or overdose is just 50%.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Buprenorphine helps people get sober from opioid addiction through a couple of functions. For one thing, Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it partially activates the opioid receptor. The drug also suppresses withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings.
Unlike some of the other medications used for similar purposes, buprenorphine doesn’t cause severe side effects or euphoria. It is a long-lasting medication that helps the person’s system that is only needed once a day.
How Long Does a Person Take Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a drug that is safe and doesn’t cause harmful side effects for most people. Doctors tend to view the drug as similar to other drugs for mental health disorders – some people will probably need to take it for years or even for life to ward off opioid cravings. It is not addictive and does not get the user high. It helps stop the nasty withdrawal effects, and compulsion to use.
People don’t develop a tolerance for the medication, but it can have interactions with other drugs. A physician or other qualified medical staff will help determine if Suboxone is a good fit. They can also help a person with an opioid use disorder to determine the length of time they may need to use the medication.
Getting Help for Addiction
Medication-Assisted Treatment works, study after study shows. But you need a provider that is willing to prescribe it and help you plot your next steps to stay in recovery. Learn more about our options, and how we can help by calling us at 619-363-4767.
When you’re in drug and alcohol treatment, you’ll encounter a lot of tools and participate in therapy. Many of these will be tools to help you accept and understand and accept your addiction. You’ll also learn new coping mechanisms and techniques that will help you be more honest with yourself. Experiential therapy is one type of therapy that will help you develop new strengths and explore your emotions through various activities.
What Does Experiential Therapy Mean?
Experiential therapy is a type of therapy that is particularly useful for people who are building a foundation in recovery. And it means just what it sounds like – you’re growing and changing through the power of experience.
Sitting in a chair talking all day can become repetitive once you’ve been sober for a while. Getting out of a building and into activities can help you take risks, open up, and do something fun or constructive while you’re talking about it.
People learn more from their experiences than they do from lectures. You perspective can also change based on experiences. Because of this, experiential therapy can be helpful to keep you out of a “rut” or help you tackle any issue that’s difficult.
What Kind of Experiences Do People Have in Therapy?
Experiential therapy can be going on a hike, creating art, cleaning up a community space, learning to surf – almost anything, depending on what the therapist thinks will benefit your session. Groups tasks can help you build trust. Activities between yourself and your therapist can help you explore situations. Activities (sometimes, “homework” from a treatment center or therapist) that you do alone can help you build confidence in yourself or form a new skill.
Experiential therapy is adaptive. Not everything works for every person, just like other tools in recovery.
Getting Help for Addiction
Are you looking for a safe, empathetic environment to detox from drugs and plot your next step in life? We’re here to help! We offer experience, strength and hope for everyone who walks through our doors. Call us at 619-363-4767 to learn more about our detox and treatment options.
America is a country with what is now considered an addiction culture. While the stereotype of addiction is a homeless person on the street begging for money for a fix, the truth about addiction can be alarming for many people. Research tells us that 60 percent of American adults know somebody is abusing drugs or alcohol at their workplace. Whether it’s a restaurant, post office, or hospital, drug abuse is becoming a common way for people to escape while they’re at work for the day. Thousands of accidents are caused at work by people under the influence every year.
Addiction Hurts Your Job Performance
Millions of people abuse drugs on the job, and whether it makes you nod out, or you come in late from a hangover, it affects your job performance. Does this sound like you? If so, you may be in denial about how bad it’s gotten.
When addiction affects your job performance, you may be late to work, forget to do take-home tasks, or simply not able to give your presentation the time and attention it deserves. All of these things can make you look bad. And you may have noticed that addiction is a progressive disease. You can’t control how it will affect you. When you stop showing up for work or make a terrible mistake on-the-job, you won’t even have a job to return to.
If you’re employed and have health insurance, you’re very fortunate. If you’re struggling with addiction, you have the resources to get the help you need.
Employment and Treatment
If you’re struggling with a substance use order, you’re not alone. Addiction is a tricky disease, and there are higher success rates of abstinence for people who enter a detox followed by longer-term, inpatient rehab. Your health insurance will usually pay for your treatment.
You will need to take some time off while you’re in treatment but can continue any outpatient treatment and 12-step meetings when you have completed the other program.
You may worry that your employer can fire you when you admit you have a substance use disorder, but some laws can protect you from this. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects employees from discrimination based on a disability, and alcohol addiction, as well as other types of addiction, are covered under it.
When Are You Not Protected by the ADA?
One caveat: you have to get help willingly, before your employer disciplines you for poor performance. If they can prove your performance has been weak due to your drug or alcohol use, they legally have the right to let you go.
People actively using illegal drugs are not protected by the ADA, but if you’re clean and sober, it still applies to you. Your employer also has the right to test you for drugs or alcohol use as they see fit during work.
Studies show that longer-term, inpatient treatment followed by 12-step meetings and other therapies is the most effective way for a person to stay clean from alcohol or drugs. If you’re worried about your career prospects, the best thing to do is take action today and learn more about your treatment options. Please give us a call at 619-363-4767 to get started.
Getting clean and sober is hard work, and every day is a day to celebrate if you don’t use. But there is always a period of adjustment for people who are newly sober. With that adjustment, you will find that you’re settling into new habits and making new friends. Life, in general, is better when you’re sober. But sobriety is only achieved one day at a time, and there are many obstacles or dangers you may encounter along the way.
Here are five common dangers to look out for:
- Overconfidence: Sometimes you might spend so much time feeling good about yourself that you become overconfident in your recovery. You may not be paying attention to triggers, or you may think you can handle tempting situations on your own. This kind of thinking can set you up for a relapse. Share about it at a meeting before you take any action.
- Denial: Some people in sobriety will find the longer they are sober, the more they believe that their drinking or drugging “wasn’t so bad.” This is called minimizing, and it’s a defense mechanism that can ultimately cause you to pick up a drug or a drink. If it “wasn’t so bad” then why on earth did you end up in treatment or at 12-step meetings? People without addictions don’t worry about if they do or do not have an addiction. You must have been unhappy if you sought out help.
- Fear: Believe it or not, fear is another trigger that you need to look out for. Being sober may feel very foreign to you. The fear of the unknown can drive people to relapse. Talk about your worries with your support group. Don’t forget to acknowledge if you are afraid of using, too. That is a positive thing to fear.
- Depression or Anxiety: Untreated mental health issues can cause a person to pick up a drink or a drug again. Self-medicating is very common for people who experience depression or anxiety. If you think this is you, there’s no harm in being evaluated for a mental health disorder. You’re not alone, and there is a lot of support available.
- Changing Addictions: Many people who suffer from a substance use disorder may start doing other things that are addictive. Spending twelve hours playing video games, starting to gamble, or refusing to put down your call phone can all be signs that you’re engaging in another compulsive behavior. While you may benefit from working the steps to treat this behavior, you should also consider consulting a therapist to find out more about new coping mechanisms.
Recovery is a journey, not a destination. Confide in your support network and don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself engaging in one of the behaviors above. Instead, speak with your support system. Let people know if you’re struggling. And make sure to reach out and get the help you need and deserve.
Getting Help for Substance Use Disorders
Do you or somebody you know have a problem with addiction? Help is available, but you’ve got to reach out. Make the call today! We offer a range of services for alcohol and drug rehab in San Diego County. Get in touch at 619-363-4767.
In the US, there is an addiction crisis. People from all walks of life need help with their substance use disorder, but not all have the resources to be able to do this. Some people who have a drug problem have resources to take time off to cope with their issues and get help. People who are employed full-time may be able to keep their employment and go to addiction treatment using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
What Is FMLA?
FMLA is a federal law that requires employers to provide their employees with an alternative to losing their jobs when there is a medical crisis in their family. People can take it for themselves, or, sometimes as a caregiver as well. It can be used for things like cancer, car accidents, maternity leave, and addiction treatment. When approved, allows a leave of absence for up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period.
Are You Eligible for FMLA?
It’s possible that if you’re employed full-time, you will be able to use FMLA for your leave of absence. If you work for a larger company (more than 50 people) and have worked full-time for at least a year, it should be available to you.
If you work for a state, local or federal employer, such as a school, you’re covered by FMLA no matter what as long as you’re full-time.
Not every employer will offer this benefit for drug or alcohol addiction, so it’s important to speak with human resources or have your treatment center help you navigate benefits before you make your official plans.
How Does FMLA Work?
FMLA is typically an unpaid leave of absence that allows you to take time off for up to 12 weeks. Some employers will offer additional benefits, such as paid leave, but the bare bones law exists to help you keep your job.
The FMLA official descriptions say that it “provides certain employees with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave a year, and requires group health benefits to be maintained during the leave as if employees continued to work instead of taking leave.”
Hopefully, while you are away, you can take care of primary responsibilities or have help when you do so.
Getting help for a drug abuse problem can seem overwhelming, but you’re not alone. Recovery is always possible, no matter who you are or how much you use. Learn more about your options and using FMLA and insurance benefits for your treatment program by calling us at 619-363-4767.
Going to drug treatment is a life-changing event. When you first get there, you may be frightened and worried about your future. As time goes on, you begin to build a family inside those walls. You learn new coping skills and learn to trust yourself. So when it’s time to leave, it’s normal to worry about what life will be like when you come home from drug treatment.
Living with Triggers
In treatment, you’ll learn a lot about what triggers you to use and how to overcome those triggers. When you return to your “normal life,” those skills may be put to the test. You may feel anxious about leaving a drug and alcohol-free home. Your treatment counselors may help you with this by arranging for an aftercare program or helping you with placement in sober housing.
Some triggers that you return to in life may be unavoidable. If stress is a trigger – and many people say it is – then you won’t be able to stop experiencing that situation. You’ll want to keep an eye on what stresses you out so that you know when to use the tools you learned in recovery. Some people may be triggered when they walk down a specific block in their neighborhood. Changing your walking path, if possible, can help you from experiencing the trigger every day.
Use Your Support Network
Whenever the temptation is too great, you’ll have to turn to tools you learned in treatment. Keep the phone numbers of your 12 step sponsor in your phone, and know the meeting schedules close to your home.
Some triggers may have to do with the behaviors that you need to work on. You may find yourself over-reacting to some emotions or situations.
Before you leave treatment, you’ll be able to prepare for triggers and other issues that come up in your new life in recovery. Your therapist can help you create a plan. You may also find that aftercare is the best option to keep you grounded for the first few months after you come home from drug treatment.
Looking for Help?
Are you or a loved one struggling with a substance abuse disorder? Treatment is the first step to a new way of life. Learn more about your options by giving us a call at 619-363-4767. All calls are 100% confidential.
DEXTOX from Drugs and Alcohol can be a comfortable
Treatment of Addictive Disorders in the 21st Century
By Phillip Milgram, MD, Medical Director @ Present Moments Recovery
Recent advances and experience with the treatment of physical, chemical and habitual dependence, and with attempts to individualize treatment and engage unwilling or biased participants in traditional 12-step programs demand a discussion of how treatment can be more successful currently, than in the past.
“Treatment” consists of the gamut of use and abuse to identification, intervention, detoxification, introduction into rehabilitation, dedication to recovery, lifestyle changes, sober living, intensive outpatient and ongoing individual and group therapies. Predictors of successful recovery include rigorous self honesty, willingness to change, accepting direction, cleaning your side of the street, identifying and dealing with past issues so you can let go of them, social networking, admission of one’s faults to another human being, seeking authenticity and assisting others. As one who has personally found a new way to live in the 12-steps, I know to the deepest introspection; that to each of these contributors to successful program of recovery I can respond with “Yes, and by the way; AA has that”. As a treatment professional for 25+ years and with 28 years of dedicated personal recovery and a commitment to addiction treatment as my personal cause; I would like to discuss some recent discoveries that can serve to increase the success of recovery treatment.
The detox with Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD) is a game changer. I believe that therapeutic use of NAD will prove to be one of the greatest discoveries in medicine since Fleming invented penicillin. As an experienced Detox MD, and a member of “Like-Minded Docs” I have managed hundreds of patients with traditional “white knuckle” detox, and now personally observed almost 100 detoxes with NAD infusion therapy. NAD is a game changer. If you respond with the common 12-step old-timer response “there is nothing really new. They are just promoting already known concepts to make it sound new, softer and easier”: you are partially right, and partially wrong. If you are staunchly in that belief, you are just ignorant. The intent of this article is partially to attempt to enlighten you to an absolutely better detox: NAD. The part of the statement that is true, is that NAD, or Coenzyme 1; part of Vitamin B3; that is present in every living cell of your body and responsible for many intracellular, extracellular and nervous system health was what Bill W. and his doctors discovered in the 1930’s. The problem was that, for reasons we won’t discuss here, they used the entire Niacin molecule, and not the pure NAD portion. The pure NAD, only recently available from a limited manufacturing process and administered with concomitant nutritional protocols with care for purity and stability of the pure NAD molecule; results in an incredible benefit for the detoxification process.
In summary: *(Adapted, in part from “The NAD Story—The Big Picture”, by James Watson MD)
- Alcohol metabolism causes NAD+ deficiency
- NAD affects the reward circuits in the brain (nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area) common to all addictions that involve endogenous brain opioids, GABA and Dopamine
- NAD affects the stress circuits in the brain, which are responsible for the discomfort known as withdrawal
- These stress circuits play into the high occurrence of mental disease, specifically anxiety/depression and the various range of Bipolar Disorders
- NAD plays a role in treating the “neuroadaptive” responses in the brain that cause tolerance, sensitization and withdrawal
- NAD, through a separate action on brain chemicals known as “Sirtuins” allow the brain to remain “happy” and further reduce withdrawal symptoms
- NAD has a profound effect in opiate abuse patients due to epigenetic factors and gene expression.
- NAD causes a level of clear thinking (mental clarity), brain rejuvenation and a sense of peace that conduces to hope and a sense of “yes, I can recover”
- The use of NAD, combined with nutritional supplementation protocols we have developed, reduces the need for standard detox medications, which have their own deleterious effects.
- The NAD significantly reduces cravings over standard detox; almost like the patient had never been exposed to the alcohol or drug—truly miraculous to observe personally.
This discussion is not the platform for a scientific explanation. And there are many more ways that NAD has been shown to enhance the detox experience. But I have simplified some of these proven scientific discoveries to display that there is real science to what we see in using NAD in clinical detox situation. When I personally saw this, I was so impressed that I have dedicated my life to helping recovering alcoholics and addicts acquire NAD treatment. One of the things I most like is that; the infusions are administered over several days. So I have a captive audience, with a clear brain, to drop a little recovery on them, and hopefully ruin their drinking or using forever, like Johnny Appleseed, except dropping mustard seeds. My favorite thing to do, is to talk with alcoholics and addicts, especially those new in recovery, about the disease and treatment of addiction. My clinic is NAD MD, Inc. and my website is NADMD.com.
I am not saying that NAD is a “cure”, but in my experience NAD is absolutely the best first step in recovery. You still need a program of recovery, guided to the appropriate level of care for that individual, a plan, ongoing therapy, counseling and other techniques to find a new way of living and a lifestyle change, learning to place sobriety as the first priority. We have found that various techniques, such as NLP, and various psychological techniques have a much improved impact on a clear NAD brain. Also nurturing nurses and alternative physical methods such as yoga, stretching, massage, acupuncture, equine therapy, and other techniques create a detox experience that gets the newly recovering patient into a new path, a path to health and self-nurturing different from their previous deterioration into abuse, hopelessness and despair.
With the increasing prevalence of alcoholism and drug addiction in our society, and the informational technology seeming to enhance self-centeredness, isolation, self-directed crazy decisions, and disdain for traditional treatment, we have employed easier ways to enter recovery; such as letting a person live according to their conscience, or a sense of doing the right thing for the right reason and letting go of expectations or control. This is increasingly difficult with Millenials and Generation X patients.
As some of my friends and mentors would say: “Phil, it’s just the same thing packaged in a way for marketing purposes.” This does not pertain to NAD, as NAD will be shown to be one of the greatest advances in alcohol and drug treatment. But as far as rehabilitation, we must fashion recovery into a pill the newly recovering person can swallow, to accommodate those who are reticent to trust anything but their own self-determination and control; a characteristic of most of us already exhibit in early recovery.