3 Myths Shattered by Medical Detox

A number of myths concerning medical detox have cropped up over the years, often confusing people who are considering treatment. If you’ve been thinking about entering alcohol or drug detox, it’s important to educate yourself about these myths to choose a quality facility that understands just how essential medical detox is. Let’s take a look at three of the many myths surrounding this form of detox:

Myth #1: Any Addiction Can Be Overcome “Cold Turkey”

Most addictions are hard to overcome alone, as changes in brain chemistry have resulted in assorted compulsions and cravings that are very real and very painful. And while those addicted to drugs or alcohol may want to get sober, it is often very difficult to do so on their own due to these neurological changes. Depending on the addiction, attempting to quit “cold turkey” without the supervision of a drug rehabilitation center can actually be dangerous. Medical detox followed by a quality drug rehab program is often the best and most permanent way of ending addiction.

Myth #2: Medical Detox Eliminates Withdrawal Symptoms

Unfortunately this is simply not true. While detox medications are designed to aid the process and lessen withdrawal symptoms, most do not eliminate symptoms entirely, making it all the more necessary to rely on supervised treatment by experts. Physical discomfort is especially prevalent when undergoing withdrawal from opiates, and side effects from detox medications are also possible. Examples of side effects from detox medications include fever, insomnia, irritability, nausea and intense muscle aches.

Myth #3: You Can’t Force Someone Into Medical Detox or Drug Rehab

Just because a person entered a private detox center unwillingly does not mean detox and rehabilitation won’t be successful. Many enter medical detox following a court order or because of pressure from work, the military, or concerned family and friends. And while the addict may be hesitant to seek treatment at first, completing detox and overcoming withdrawal often allows for self-examination and the decision to live an alcohol and drug-free life. Eliminating cravings thanks to medical detox allows the person to clearly see the negative impact of drugs and alcohol and how important it is to rectify the issue before further damage is done to health, well-being, work and personal relationships.

These are just some of the many myths surrounding medical detox! Give yourself the gift of education concerning this subject, as it will help you choose the right private addiction treatment center for your needs. After all, you’re making a very important decision—isn’t it necessary to choose the best facility possible?

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Addiction in Seniors: How Common Is It?

Drug and alcohol addiction in our senior population is much more common than one may realize. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), persons aged 65 and over represent 13 percent of the total population, but account for over one – third of all prescribed medications. Beyond that, the number of people over age 65 taking three or more prescription drugs has skyrocketed to half of all seniors in the last decade. Drug, and even alcohol, addiction within the senior population is of special concern. Alcohol is clearly the most often used drug among the senior population. In 2011, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 8.3 percent of persons aged 65 and older report binge drinking every month.

COMMON?

Yes, addiction among seniors is common, and it’s not surprising. It is also understandable. The incidents of addiction occurring in a population that is aging, that wants relief from both physical and mental pain, makes perfect sense that those seniors will seek help however they can. There is no end to the current supply of over-the-counter medications from which to choose and mix, no end to commercial advertisements for the latest drug company’s cure-all. It should come as no surprise that seniors with various ailments will be prescribed medication at an increasing rate parallel to scientific advancement. Although their ailments are legitimate, the effects of multiple prescription medications from multiple physicians all equals eventual addiction.

While easy access to prescription drugs may be a more modern trend, alcohol is a tacitly approved substance that many seniors grew up using freely, and so continue to do so in their retirement years. Alcohol addiction is part of an approved life style that seniors bring with them to their new found drug dependence. Alcohol is an easy remedy for the physical pain associated with an aging body, and the mental pain, depression, or grief associated with illness or loss that befalls people in their senior years.

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

Whether a senior or a teen, drug and alcohol addiction is addiction. In fact, retiring baby boomers who grew up experimenting with drugs, don’t attach as much of a stigma to drug use in their senior years, especially if it’s prescribed by a physician for an ailment. But some do use illegal substances. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, nearly 4 percent of adults ages 60 to 64 report using illicit substances.

WARNING SIGNS:

The consequences related to substance addiction in seniors are serious.

  • cognitive problems
  • depression
  • balance problems
  • insomnia
  • agitation
  • “doctor hopping”
  • loss of appetite

SECRETS

Pay careful attention to your senior loved one, and if you have concerns about possible addiction, consult this excellent Family Guide provided by The Hills Treatment Center in Los Angeles. At a detoxification and rehabilitation center like The Hills, a professional staff can assist you and your senior through residential, outpatient, and home support therapies with insight and success. Don’t let senior addiction remain one of the best kept secrets.

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Can I Detox at Home?

DIY DETOX: A Dangerous Endeavor

Drug and or alcohol addiction are serious diseases and require respect when it comes to treatment. It’s not likely that most people would consider self treating their diabetes, their Parkinson’s, or even casting their own broken arm. The risk of failure and the risk of adverse consequences is too high. Then why consider the risk of detoxification at home? The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that every year, an average of 20.8 million people need treatment for illicit drug or alcohol use, but they don’t receive that treatment.

Detoxification at home is dangerous; death is a risk factor in this situation.

What’s it like?

We’ve all experienced craving a favorite food or sweet, then denying ourselves that craving; and feeling very uncomfortable, agitated, or obsessed. If you’ve skipped your morning coffee, you might suffer a bad headache soon after. Amplify all of these physical and psychological symptoms by geometric proportions and you’ll understand a fraction of what people experience when withdrawing from drugs or alcohol. The first step in detoxification is withdrawal. Treatment and recovery cannot go forward without the user navigating his or her way through withdrawal. This is not a process you can survive at home, as if you were doing a juice cleanse to rid your body of food related toxins. Don’t mistake the two.

Alcohol Detoxification Systems

  • Anxiety
  • Body pain
  • Chills
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Hallucinations
  • Heart Failure

Drug Detoxification Symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Anxiety
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Suicidal thought

The First Step

The first step is recognizing your addiction. Then if you are ready to make a whole-hearted commitment to change, you are ready to detoxify. But don’t begin this endeavor at home on your own, because you’ll risk life threatening reactions without any guarantee of success. The recidivism rate for those who attempt detox at home is very high, while success rates for those who are treated in a proper detoxification facility are much higher. In the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, an excellent example of a well equipped facility is The Hills Treatment Center.

The Right Detox

In a private detoxification setting one feels as comfortable as if they are in their own home, but with the medical and psychological support to make the withdrawal process safe and tolerable. Further, there should be a myriad of services aimed at guiding the substance abuser through treatment and long term recovery, specialized programs to help each individual transition back to a dependence – free life. In the right residential treatment setting, and with the right guidance from a clinician like Dr. Howard Samuels and his team of professionals and paraprofessionals, you can have the right detox; no matter if you’re suffering with alcohol or opiate addictions.

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Addiction Recovery Programs that Actually Work

Recognize addiction as a complex disease and you will begin to recognize those recovery programs that best provide substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation.

Understand that treating addiction requires treating the whole person, as does treating any disease. Diabetes for example, has a lower percentage of the population seeking treatment (8.3 percent) than do those seeking treatment for substance abuse (8.3 percent). Yet, most people seeking treatment for diabetes have ready access to a host of modalities to support their treatment, and even expect to receive support in all aspects of their short and long term recovery. The same should be expected when identifying recovery treatment centers for addiction. Surprisingly, the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University reported in 2012 that “Only a small fraction of individuals receive intervention or treatment consistent with scientific knowledge about what works”. That’s less than an acceptable standard, especially considering the challenges of addiction that impact multiple brain, body, and behavioral functions. Those seeking detoxification, recovery, and eventually rehabilitation from substance dependency should consider the following:

What are the five components of a recovery program that actually work?

  1. The Facility: The structure that houses the recovery program should be open to your inspection, and it should be possible for you to tour the facility and view treatment areas and programs in action where privacy allows. Look for a recovery center that is sensitive to the surrounding environment it creates for its clients.
  2. Admission process: A professional staff member should guide you through the intake process, answering all specific questions and concerns, in a private setting, and be available by telephone for follow up questions. They should be clear in outlining the various treatment options available to the patient so that you can make an informed choice as to how best start to your recovery program.
  3. Individualized treatment: The best treatment centers offer individual treatment plans tailored to suit each patient’s exact needs, and the needs of their families. Regardless of their drug of addiction, each patient should have equal access to medication, counseling, and links to the community that further supports their recovery.
  4. Types of treatment: State of the art addiction facilities should offer both inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare services for alcohol, drug, and opiate addiction. Medical detoxification and holistic drug rehabilitation should be offered. Individual treatment plans should be set, reviewed and refined by a team of addiction specialists. Look for a variety of modalities, programs within programs, to address patient’s needs.
  5. Staff: A staff of therapeutic professionals, experienced in substance abuse treatment should be listed with their credentials. Look for those professionals and paraprofessionals with knowledge and experience in; alcohol and opiate detoxification, 12 step and non-12 step rehabilitation, individual and group counseling, facilitating recovery for all adult ages and genders.

If you’re ready to embrace the notion that treating addiction requires treating the whole person, then you’re ready to begin identifying the type of recovery program that actually works on your individual behalf. It is vital to understand that treating addiction requires treating the whole person, as it does in treating any disease. This is the approach taken by Dr. Howard Samuels of The Hills Treatment Program in Los Angeles California, in Hollywood Hills. It’s a good example of a recovery program that meets the guidelines for the successful, individual treatment of the substance abuser.

Once you have identified a recovery program that works, and works for you, ask yourself if you are ready to change. Changing behavior is a true human challenge, and if you’re ready to take that step, then investigate drug addiction and change.

For more information on Addiction Recovery Programs that actually work, call the addiction specialists at The Hills Center, (800)705-1909.

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Marijuana Detox

What You Need to Know About Marijuana Detox

Recovering from marijuana addiction is physically and emotionally challenging. Even individuals who choose to undergo non-medical drug detox quickly come to see the benefits of some type of caring supervision in an inpatient drug rehab facility. Choosing to seek out some type of support for Marijuana Detox is an important first step in recovery.

Recognizing Stressors that Contribute to Addiction

It is important to note that even those who prefer to undertake private addiction rehab need not feel alone in exchange for their privacy. In fact, a next important step in the marijuana detox and recovery process may involve undergoing a professional assessment in order to understand some of the underlying factors that commonly lead to marijuana addiction in the first place. For instance, research demonstrates that almost thirty percent of individuals entering marijuana addiction treatment programs suffer from anxiety disorders. Almost forty percent suffer from depression, and nearly eighty percent can be diagnosed with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Recognizing such struggles in oneself – and coming to see how marijuana may have been used as a type of coping mechanism – is an essential step toward regaining control of one’s life.

Laying the Foundations for a Healthy Body and Lifestyle

Proper doctor supervision, for some, can be an important next step toward easing symptoms and healing. While medications are commonly prescribed to address the symptoms from which the recovering individual may be suffering, developing healthy habits (which include sufficient exercise, sleep, hydration, and nutritious foods) is the most important long-term step in moving toward a life that is free of substance abuse. A high end rehab facility recognizes that these same measures are also a first step in how the body works to remove marijuana’s toxins. Therefore, a supportive, restful environment provides components that may include highly nutritious meals, relaxing massage, and the healthy perspiration that comes from a form of exercise like yoga – in order to cleanse the body of the THC buildup from years of addiction, and to establish sustainable patterns for a new way of living.

Withdrawal: What to Expect

While it is not completely unheard of for some people to recover from their addictions quickly, for most people, the process can take from several weeks to a few months) – during which time one of the first symptoms of withdrawal may be insomnia. Other common symptoms are anger, headaches, changes in appetite, and changes in sex drive. Those experiencing sobriety for the first time in years may also feel overwhelmed by a crushing sense of depression. It is essential for those undergoing detox and recovery to realize that these feelings and symptoms are normal – and that they can and will pass. Putting oneself in a forgiving environment that is healthy and conducive to the healing process during this difficult time can make all the difference.

Call The Hills Center today for more information about Marijuana detox and addiction treatment or to speak with addiction specialist, (800) 705-1909.

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Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

An addiction to alcohol is a powerful one, and while humans have always found ways to make alcoholic beverages, alcohol abuse can result in a number of damaging effects, both physical and emotional. Withdrawing from alcohol is very serious, if not life-threatening, in those who have drank heavily for months, years or even weeks. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and why attending private addiction rehab is the best option, particularly for severe cases.

The More You Drink

The more alcohol you drink on a regular basis, the more severe symptoms are when you stop. Symptoms are worse if combined with other medical conditions, and most often occur in adults, though children and teenagers can also experience alcohol withdrawal. Types of medical conditions that worsen the effects of alcohol withdrawal symptoms include susceptibility to seizures and infections, as well as diseases such as lung and heart disease.

Alcohol withdrawal syndrome occurs in heavy drinkers, with symptoms emerging in as little as two hours after the person stops drinking. However, most experience symptoms eight hours after drinking ceases. Symptoms of alcohol withdrawal syndrome include anxiety, shakiness, seizures, hallucinations, irregular heartbeat and delirium tremens. The death rate from the latter, which includes confusion, fever and rapid heartbeat, is between one and 15 percent.

Additional Symptoms

Other alcohol withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Nervousness
  • Clammy skin
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Headache
  • Enlarged pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pallor
  • Alcohol craving

Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The detox process, no matter what the substance, is an intense, often painful process that requires medical supervision. Seizures and delirium tremens are two particularly frightening alcohol withdrawal symptoms that require the help of medical professionals. If you or someone you love has an alcohol dependency that requires medical attention, the decision to enter a private detox center is a way to ensure you’ll receive the best care possible. The right facility will feature on-call staff to assist you with whatever you need, day or night, and provide comfortable accommodations where you can rest and recuperate. A high end rehab facility will also feature healthy meals to ensure you or a loved one receives the essential nutrients imperative for rebuilding stasis.

Don’t deal with the effects of alcohol withdrawal alone or otherwise without the right type of supervision! Take care of yourself by entering a luxury drug rehab facility where you can overcome your symptoms and begin your journey of recovery.

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Should I Detox at Home?

The first step to beating a serious drug addiction is drug detox. The drug detoxification process can be extremely difficult, mentally, physically and emotionally. When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, they become dependent on the substance in a variety of ways. First, there is the mental emotional dependence – using a substance to feel a certain way. Next, there is the physical dependence, in which the body must have drugs or alcohol to function. After a while, the body and minds simply cannot function without drugs or alcohol – and when a person attempts to quit, they can be put into severe emotional, mental and physical distress.

The Dangers of At Home Detox

The idea of doing an at-home detox can seem like a good one, until you start to really consider all the factors. Detoxification is an extremely intense process, and few patients understand just how difficult – or dangerous – it is to go it alone. You often hear about addicts who think they are going to “lock themselves in a room” for a week and detox. No matter how strong the desire to get clean is, at home detox seldom works. Detoxification can be extremely painful and scary. Detox patients can suffer from chills, sweats, severe nausea, full body pain, intense headaches, tremors and seizures. A patient can be disoriented, delusional, and violent and suffer from extreme anxiety, stress and depression. These severe symptoms can lead to dangerous medical conditions and without the care of medical professionals, could place a patient’s health in jeopardy. Often, people attempting to detox at home end of relapsing because they simply can’t handle the physical, mental and emotional withdrawal symptoms. They can also become a risk to themselves and others.

Drug Detox Centers

Drug detox centers are proven to be an effective way for addicts to detox from drugs and alcohol in a safe way. At a drug detox center, a patients is assessed and a detoxification plan is created specifically for their unique needs. A plan is put into place to safely and effectively help rid the body of toxins and manage pain. These medically guided detoxification treatment options include the use of saunas to help the body sweat and release toxins that have been built up in the internal organs, medication to help manage pain and medication to help the body ease off of severe drug addiction. An addition, counseling, therapy and support therapy techniques are used to help a patient manage the complex emotional issues and mental stress and pain that can arise during the alcohol and drug detox process. Finally, drug detox centers are a safe and comfortable place, where a patient is completely removed from the stresses, influences and stress of the outside world. Each day is focused completely on detoxification and recovery, which greatly improves an addict’s chances of complete recovery.

Drug Detox Los Angeles

If you’re looking for a safe and effective center for drug detox, Los Angeles’ The Hills Treatment Center is a top private detox center with a high success rate for helping addicts detox from drugs and alcohol and overcome their addictions. The Hills Treatment Center is a luxury drug rehab and detox center that offers comfortable sleeping arrangements, one on one staff, world class meals and support therapies such as massage and yoga. To learn more about The Hills Treatment Center’s private detox center, visit our website for more information.

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10 Reasons Residential Treatment Works for Addiction

Considering residential treatment for an addiction, whether drug or alcohol-related, is a courageous decision and the first step on the journey of recovery. Private addiction rehab offers many benefits other programs simply cannot, but if still on the proverbial fence about entering residential treatment, check out 10 reasons why it works for addiction:

1) Structure

Residential drug and alcohol treatment programs feature a structured environment. This structure is very important when undergoing detox or during any other time early in the recovery process, as relapses are still a possibility. A residential treatment program schedule is packed with healthy activities, from individual and group therapy to exercise, art programs and more.

2) Round-the-Clock Care

These programs feature 24/7 care, which again reduces the possibility of relapse. Patients frequently have trouble sleeping and experience other withdrawal symptoms in addition to emotional and mental pain and fear. The ability to talk to a staff member in a supportive environment therefore contributes to an easier recovery. Many staff members are recovering addicts themselves and are more than happy to share their experiences with patients.

3) Comfort

Another benefit of a residential treatment program is comfort. Rooms are furnished with cozy beds and other comfortable furnishings that invite patients to relax as their bodies heal. Such comfortable, relaxing settings are generally much more attractive to patients than a hospital or institutional environment.

4) “Whole Person” Treatment

Entering a drug or alcohol residential program allows the “whole person” to heal. This includes the healing of the emotional self through assorted counseling sessions and spiritual activities, as well as the physical self via nutritious meals, sleep and exercise. Addiction affects the mind and the body, making it necessary for both to heal during recovery.

5) Support

The support of others going through the same recovery process is yet another benefit of residential drug and alcohol programs, as it’s helpful for the patient to know he or she is “not alone.”

6) Connection

Whether with a roommate or other patients at the facility, it’s entirely possible to make friends for life while in treatment. This builds on the previous benefit, as forming bonds with those who also struggled with addiction is very helpful, particularly during those early days in the “real world” when it helps to have supportive friends.

7) Medication Support

Some patients require medications for certain health issues or withdrawal symptoms while in recovery. A residential program offers medication support, as staff can administer medications in a safe manner.

8) Focus

Entering a residential drug or alcohol treatment facility allows the patient to focus entirely on recovery. The distraction of a job, school, friends and family and other activities that make up daily life have been removed, and with them the temptations of drugs and alcohol.

9) Education Support

Private rehab facilities may provide education-related support to patients attending school, such as Wifi and IT amenities. This allows patients to continue their educational pursuits without interruption.

10) Family Therapy

Along with individual and group sessions, family therapy is another common option during residential treatment. This is especially helpful to patients coming from a family with a history of addiction.

The benefits of residential care when recovering from drug or alcohol dependency cannot be overstated! A safe, structured environment offers patients the opportunity to recover fully while receiving the support of staff and other patients, making the next step in the process—sober living—that much easier.

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Taking Direction in Rehab

Addicts and alcoholics check into a residential treatment center to get the 24 hour a day care they need in early sobriety. Rehab offers a fresh start, new scenery and like minded people working towards the same goal of recovery. Many alcoholics and addicts go to rehab out of state in hopes to avoid distraction and “start over”. Some check in to ritzy places with world class chefs and masseurs while others check into decidedly more modest treatment centers with cot like beds and multiple roommates. In Los Angeles alone there are a plethora of rehab facilities to check into, but one thing always remains the same: the addict is going to live by a new set of rules.

Treatment centers aren’t designed to punish the addict and alcoholic but rather to instill new ideas and behaviors conducive to recovery. While every rehab offers a different schedule, the addict’s day is usually pretty well mapped out. Some may balk at the seemingly rigid schedule as they’re handed a sheet depicting the weekly itinerary. Most alcoholics and addicts are defiant towards structure and have a hard time playing by anyone’s rules but their own. Selfishness and self centeredness are key characterizations of the addict and its not unusual for them to be used to doing things “their way” even if its at the expense of others.

A lot of the rules and guidelines at a treatment center may seen pointless and stringent. Its not uncommon to see an addict try and talk their way out of doing a chore or attending a meeting. Addicts are full of excuses for why they are above the law. This entitled sense of self is another characteristic that defines addicts and alcoholics. Learning to go with the flow of life and work with other people is an important part of recovery. If an addict were to check into rehab and refuse to get out of bed all day they would be missing the experience. This is a time to change and form new habits. Its not going to be easy for someone that’s used to getting their way all the time, but part of recovery is surrendering to a new way of living. It is of no value to the addict to continue to live life on their terms only.

The staff isn’t out to get you, so arguing is futile. Treatment offers us the opportunity to learn how to coexist with other people in a harmonious way. Addicts like to put up a good fight, especially if their egos are threatened. It is not uncommon to see a patient complaining at a staff member or yelling at their roommate. With emotions seen for the first time in years, early sobriety can make us testy and angry. Mending and building new healthy relationships with others is paramount in recovery.

At first the days of treatment may seem to stretch on forever. The “finish line” may be nowhere in sight—but that isn’t the purpose of treatment. In recovery there is no finish line. Yes, the day will come to check out of rehab, but if its given a fair shot, the process will help develop new tools for living a happy, sober life.

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Letting Go of the Past and Staying in the Present

Letting go of the past won’t happen over-night but it is possible. It is a gradual process that can be achieved through communication and honesty with yourself and others.

Remember there is a difference between letting go of the past and repressing the past memories that haunt us. Repression is highly damaging to oneself as everything bottled up keeps building until one erupts both emotionally and physically. Letting go of the past can be simply processing everything you had done when drinking or using. Uncovering the reasons why you had done them and how you can move on from it and not allow it damage your future.

Staying in the present is essential in recovery. We cannot progress until we leave the past behind us. Being mindful of the future is important but don’t get stuck in the future either. Future ‘tripping’ is almost as harmful and being stuck in the past. As AA says; ‘one day at a time.’ Of course it is important to make plans for the immediate future and big changes to keep us occupied each day. We shouldn’t completely ignore the future. However when our concern for the future creates unreasonable levels of anxiety and catastrophe takes place this is when it can become harmful to recovery. Assuming the worst is not uncommon but it can eventually control you and divert your attention away from sobriety and sometimes lead to a relapse.

The best method of all is just to stay concerned with each day as it comes, be aware of feeling in the present as that is what is important. True it is important if you were feeling sad yesterday, but if you are feeling different today then that is the new reality of much more significance. Instead of looking to future and worrying about what’s ahead keep present and tackle issues as they come day to day.

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