Problem with Drugs or alcohol?-Check out Our New Video

Posted June 11, 2010 by Michael
Categories: 12 Steps, Addiction, addiction treatment, addictive behavior, Alcohol abuse, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, drug addiction, heavy drinking, lifestyle, prescription drug abuse, readiness to change, Recovery, recovery alternatives

Problem with Drugs or alcohol?.


Seeking Substance Abuse Treatment Options In the Sacramento Region

Posted May 31, 2010 by Michael
Categories: 12 Steps, Addiction, addiction treatment, addictive behavior, Alcohol abuse, alcoholics anonymous, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, drug addiction, heavy drinking, lifestyle, narcotics anonymous, prescription drug abuse, readiness to change, Recovery, recovery alternatives, sobriety

esidential treatment in either a detox or rehab facility can be the difference between life and death for many people. In Sacramento, most of the facilities are based on the social model of recovery. In this atmosphere, the addict or alcoholic is supervised 24/7 and closely monitored during the first 24 hours. Government funding is available for some residential treatment programs, but there are also several that accept private payment including personal check, cashier’s check, cash, credit, or traveller’s checks.

Drug or alcohol detox is the first step in the treatment process for anyone entering a residential program. A contracted physician will review the client’s medical and use history and prescribe the appropriate detox medications. These medications will ease the pain of withdrawal and reduce or prevent many of the symptoms of withdrawal like body aches, the shakes, night sweats, vomiting, and even a depressed mental state. Closely monitoring the of the client in the social model detox program during the initial stages of withdrawal is critical. For many the symptoms of withdrawal can be overwhelming causing them to relapse before they have even been given the chance of getting clean and sober. Going back to using or drinking during this initial critical stage is oftentimes seen as the easier path, but this only prolones the vicious cycle of addiction.

After the initial detox phase of someone’s journey to sobriety, many people will choose to continue their treatment in a longer term program. Treatment for addiction and substance abuse in an inpatient setting is much more structured than most social model detox programs. There are scheduled activities like one-on-one counseling, group therapy, exercise, journaling, and recovery planning. Inpatient treatment can last 30, 60, 90 days or even longer.

An intensive outpatient program is another option for treatment after a stay in a residential detox program. In an outpatient alcohol and drug counseling program, the addict or alcoholic will work with one or more counselors to develop a plan for long term sobriety. Activities will include things like anger management, sobriety maintenance, and recovery planning. In the social model format of counseling, everything will be done based on the 12 steps of recovery and most of the treatment will be designed to get people knowledgable about and interested in the 12 step fellowship.

The opportunity to ease back into normal life provided by the outpatient addiction counseling can be critical for many people. Leaving an inpatient program, whether that be detox only or a longer form of residential treatment, can be stressful for many addicts and alcoholics. The substance abuse counselor in an outpatient program can keep the client’s mind focused on their recovery and reduce the stress that normal everyday life causes. The individual’s needs determine the frequency of care necessary in the outpatient counseling program. For some as little as one day per week will be sufficient for them to maintain their sobriety after treatment, but for other addicts and alcoholics 5 days per week may be required for a time after leaving treatment if they are to maintain their sobriety.

Some addicts or alcoholics may try to avoid inpatient treatment completely. Either they refuse to put their life on hold while they seek help for the chemical dependency, or they are in denial about the intensity of their addiction. An outpatient addiction counseling program is an attractive alternative to inpatient treatment. For some of these people the outpatient program is sufficient to get them headed in the right direction, but for many others outpatient substance abuse counseling is only a way for them to please loved ones, employers, or the courts. In the end, their addiction or dependency on drugs or alcohol ends up being too strong to be handled by outpatient addiction treatment, and they eventually end up in residential treatment.

Pathways Recovery provides several options for people seeking addiction or substance abuse treatment or counseling. For many people they will need to check themselves into our Sacramento Rehab program, but for others they may choose to seek help through our Outpatient Drug Counseling In Sacramento.

Clug Drugs

Posted May 15, 2010 by Michael
Categories: Addiction, addictive behavior, change, Drug Abuse, drug addiction, lifestyle, memory loss, prescription drug abuse, readiness to change, Recovery

Most young (or young at heart) adults that are into the club scene are familiar with substances commonly referred to as “club drugs”.  These include drugs like MDMA , Rohypnol, GHB, and Ketamine which are generally attractive to club goers for their low cost and the intoxicating high that can intensify the clubbing experience.  Street names for club drugs include XTC, X (MDMA), Special K, Vitamin K (Ketamine), soap (GHB), and roofies (Rohypnol).
Most of these drugs are central nervous system depressants, and a couple of them (GHB and Rohypnol) have become famous as date rape drugs or more recently in movies like The Hangover.  GHB in combination with other drugs can cause nausea, breathing difficulites, and even comas (not to mention overdoses and death).
Ketamine (AKA “special K” or “vitamin K”) was developed as an anasthetic for both human and animal use, however, about 90% of the Ketamine currently produced and sold legally in the United States is intended for veterinary use.  It can be injected or snorted and can cause dream-like states and hallucinations.  In higher doses, users can experience delirium, amnesia, impaired motor function, high blood pressure, depression, and potentially fatal respiratory issues.
Rohypnol is not approved in the United States for any legal purposes, but it began showing up in the 1990’s for illicit uses.  It is in the class of drugs known as benzodiazepines and when mixed with alcohol it can incapacitate victims and prevent them from resisting sexual assault (hence the term date-rape drug).  Because it is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless liquid it can easily be mixed in someone’s drink and produce a state of aterograde amnesia where the individual may not remember events (like a sexual assault) they experienced while under the effects of the drug.
MDMA, more commonly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline.  Other street names for MDMA include XTC and the “hug drug.”   Because MDMA can interfere with the body’s ability to break it down, or metabolise it, potentially toxic levels of the drug can quickly be reached by repeated short interval usage.  This can result in extremely elevated body temperature resulting in liver, kidney, and cardiovascular system failure (more commonly referred to as death).
While the euphoric effects of these chemicals is undeniable, the jury is still out on the proper treatment related to their usage.  Unlike other substances of addiction, a person using club drugs is most often doing so in a social setting with many others using the same, or similar, drugs.  Being part of that group gives the user a sense of belonging that they may not feel anywhere else in their life.  Until the damaging effects of their drug usage reaches a point that outweighs the perceived social benefits, the person may not feel a need to give up their lifestyle.

Related Links:

What is Social Model Detox?

Posted April 21, 2010 by Michael
Categories: Recovery

The first step in recovering from substance abuse is to get the chemicals that have been poisoning your body out.  Depending on the substance of abuse, this can take several days or as long as a year.  The hard part is if you have been abusing your drug of choice for an extended period of time, your body has probably become dependent upon it.  So as the poison is flushed out of your body, physical symptoms like craving, “the shakes”, and even a depressed mental state can occur.  It is during this critical time that most addicts will need professional help to get over the hump and begin their journey of recovery.

Many addicts when trying to quit “cold turkey” on their own will revert back to their substance of abuse to ease the pain of withdrawal, but this option only ends up prolonging the vicious cycle of their addiction.  In social model detox, addicts are closely monitored during the first 24 hour period of sobriety to make sure that their vital signs remain stable and they remain abstinent during the most difficult period of withdrawal.  After the first 24 hour period, the addict or alcoholic will receive counseling and therapy and be provided long-term solutions for recovery.  Since most stays in a social model detox are between 5 to 10 days, the staff will have appropriate time to assess the addict’s needs and make recommendations that will maximize the chances of staying clean and sober long term.

For more recovery related resources:
Sober Recovery
Pathways Recovery
First Step Recovery

Drinking/Using for All the Wrong Reasons

Posted April 16, 2010 by Michael
Categories: Addiction, addictive behavior, Alcohol abuse, alcohol dementia, Alcoholism, Drug Abuse, drug addiction, heavy drinking, lifestyle, prescription drug abuse, underage drinking

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The first time we drank or used, there was probably some amount of social component.  Either we picked up because our friends were doing it, or we did it because it livened up the situation.  As we grow into our addiction, we begin drinking or using for all the wrong reasons.  It’s no longer a social activity.  This alcoholic got drunk for one of the following reasons:

  • Relieve Stress
  • Forget About Life
  • Relieve Boredom
  • Self-Loathing
  • Fill A Gap

How about you?  What drives you to hit the pipe, stick a needle in your arm, or drown yourself in liquor?  Whatever the reason, if you’re reading this blog it’s probably not the right one (if that exists).  Send me your reason and I’ll post it to the blog.

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Put Down the Ego and No One Gets Hurt

Posted March 29, 2010 by Michael
Categories: 12 Steps, AA, Addiction, addictive behavior, Alcoholism, change, drug addiction, ego, lifestyle, Recovery, sobriety, spirituality

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I just saw a great website called Be No Ego.  It’s dedicated to what the world would be like if we all just put down our egos and developed a little more compassion.  For instance, in a world without ego there would be no “toes to step on, feelings to hurt, fair shares to grab, territory to defend, etc.”
While we’re active in our addiction, our egos come into play plenty.  We build resentments against others who we feel have disrespected us because we have damaged our lives and relationships so much the only thing we have left is our ego.  This sad state causes us to continue getting high because that’s the only time we feel good about ourselves.  So, people and relationships continue to take a back seat, including those we love dearest, and our lives continue to get worse faster than we can lower our standards.
With no ego we become “humble, teachable (close your mouth and open your ears), appreciative of others, and more relaxed.”  Through this we learn to live life on lifes terms.  In fact the theory of “no ego” has been around for quite some time.  It is one of the most basic philosphies of Buddhism and leads to the compassion required to live Buddha-like.  To learn more details about Buddhism, check out The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.  In this book, the author details buddhist philosophy regarding the transitory nature of our lives and how this wisdom can be applied to enrich your existence.  For addicts in recovery, this knowledge could be the difference between a “dry drunk” and living happy, joyous, and free.

Related Links:

A Spiritual Program

Posted March 21, 2010 by Michael
Categories: 12 Steps, AA, addictive behavior, alcoholics anonymous, change, ego, higher power, lifestyle, Recovery, sobriety, spirituality

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In the The Spirituality of Imperfection the authors state that “it is only by ceasing to play God, by coming to terms with errors and shortcomings, and by accepting the inability to control every aspect of their lives that alcoholics (or any human being) can find the peace and serenity that alcohol (or other drugs, or sex, money, material possessions, power, or privelege) promise but never deliver.  It is only by turning over control of our lives to a higher power outside ourselves that we can relieve ourselves of the bondage, and burden, of the over-reliance on self.  Until we are able to develop this mindset we will be unable to move forward in our recovery. 

I am not talking about a need to become religious, because as even Bill W. said “the problem with organized religions is their claim how confoundedly right all of them are.”  What I am referring to is a need to recognize that many times we will plan and plan and plan the outcome only to have some outside influence drastically impact the results of our efforts, while at other times we will do no planning whatsoever and things will still turn out in our favor.  Sure we all still need to be a willing participant in the journey of life, but there will be many unplanned forks in the road which need to be viewed as detours providing opportunities for growth rather than roadblocks.  If we can’t accept this situation, we will continue to fight an uphill battle against a force more powerful than ourselves and eventually lose this battle by relapsing or isolating ourselves in misery.

Related Links:
A Restful Mind: Daily Meditations for Enhancing Mental Health