cognitive dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance Treatment

Oftentimes, people have an explanation for their behavior and tend to rationalize it to make what they are doing seem more acceptable. This is especially true for people who suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol

Despite the physical and psychological consequences of drinking and taking drugs, individuals who have this disease, view their addictive behaviors differently than those who don’t. 

When friends and family try to make a person with a substance use disorder (SUD) see that they need help, it is common for someone with an addiction to not be deliberately willful. This is because they are set on their own beliefs and justify them, even though they are misguided and careless.  

When a person always has a rational explanation for their irrational behavior, this is known in psychology as the cognitive dissonance theory. 

At Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare, our team aims to help our clients with addiction and mental illness recover. This is done by learning how to change their thought patterns and remove their dissonance through various methods of therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

What is Cognitive Dissonance?

Cognitive means thinking, and dissonance means a lack of harmony between two things. When you put the two together, cognitive dissonance is when two thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors are out of whack. This can make someone feel psychologically uncomfortable. 

The term cognitive dissonance was first coined in 1957 by Psychologist Leon Festinger. In his book titled, A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance, Festinger’s hypothesis was centered around the notion that people can develop a pre-existing condition in which they have to always check that they’re acting in accordance with what they believe. This is called internal consistency. When one’s beliefs become inconsistent or conflicting, this leads to disharmony and conflict, which is what most people try to avoid. 

In other words, as cognitive dissonance is described as a person who experiences feelings of internal discomfort, as a result of having two opposing cognitions in their mind at the same time, Festinger’s theory was correct. 

It was proven that individuals tend to look for some sort of stability and dependability with their attitudes, perceptions, and thoughts. But, oftentimes, their beliefs and actions/behaviors do not match up. People fail to realize that everyone has different feelings and beliefs, which will influence how they are going to behave. The saying actions speak louder than words rings true in this case.

When someone wholeheartedly believes in something, and it is challenged, that makes someone angry and they act on it without thinking. This causes distress and tension, affecting one’s ability to function normally. 

As established, dissonance is a lack of agreement between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. People tend to act on their feelings/emotions, but do so impulsively. 

Therefore, to remove or resolve this dissonance all together, people have to do what is called, “explain something away.” This involves taking a number of steps and actions to overcome the discomfort by doing one of the things below including:

  • A person rationalizes their internal conflict by seeing it from a different perspective by adopting alternative ideas that could help to relieve or dispel negative thoughts and feelings. 
  • Someone changes their behaviors to better coincide with their thoughts.
  • Someone changes their thoughts to better coincide with their behaviors.  

The Relationship Between Cognitive Dissonance and Addiction

The theory of cognitive dissonance has serious implications and the role that it plays in those with addiction helps specialists understand the reasoning behind how an individual with a substance use disorder thinks vs someone without one. 

Addicted individuals crave drugs and alcohol, which distorts their ability to process information. When making the choice of whether to use or not, they believe in holding onto the ideas and comfort of engaging in things that they know are bad and irrational to a majority of other people. 

This is because the cognitive dissonance theory explains that people are willing to increase their own delusional ways of thinking to protect themselves from reality. It is similar to why a person drinks and takes drugs to cope and numb themselves from the discomfort or pain they are feeling.  

Again, an addict’s brain is different from someone who is not addicted to drugs and alcohol. For example, a person who tends to binge drink will justify their behavior by saying it is just a couple drink when in reality it is an excessive amount in a short period of time. 

Someone with addiction experiences cognitive dissonance often. They tend to modify their thought processes to support their cravings and addictive behavior, in order for them to feel or assure themselves that their choices or how they are acting is more favorable than it actually is. 

There is so much evidence that details how alcohol and drugs destroy lives, but addicted individuals will still justify the means, and view these substances as their form of support. People with cognitive dissonance blame their addiction issues and the reason why they drink excessively is that they have problems in their lives. Examples of how cognitive dissonance affects a person with substance abuse include the following: 

  • They believe that people who do not engage in the use of drugs and alcohol are boring and lack character. 
  • The reason for abusing substances is because they believe it is a sign of artistic intelligence.
  •  People who become sober are deprived of life and can never experience happiness. 
  • The only comfort for one’s problems is alcohol and drugs. 

A big component of cognitive dissonance and addiction is denial. People who are addicted to substances tend to deny that they have a problem, to begin with. Those with this distorted way of thinking may not even realize that they have a problem, or if they do, they ignore it. They believe that no amount of help is needed, there is no help available, or that treatment can’t help them and recovery is unattainable. 

People with addiction tend to feel alone, and the one thing that makes them feel whole is to drink and take drugs. Little do they know, overdose, coma, seizures, and death occur before finally deciding to get help. 

However, there are fortunate individuals who see how their substance abuse is causing not only destruction in their lives but also with those who love them. They hold onto the belief that they will see better days and that recovery is needed to change their life.

Factors of Cognitive Dissonance 

In today’s world, people do things or have beliefs and opinions that sometimes leave us questioning humanity. Maybe they do not make much sense to you or other people, but everyone is different. 

While it is true that people do crazy and illogical things, behaviors are linked and related to what we are influenced by biologically, environmentally, physically, psychologically, and socially. There are major factors that contribute to the cause of addiction and cognitive dissonance. These include: 

 

  • Decision-Making: Cognitive dissonance completely changes an individual’s ability to make decisions, especially ones with addiction. 
  • Forced Compliance Behavior: When a person is forced to do something that they didn’t want to do, and their thoughts provoke them to do it anyway. 
  • Effort: If we put a lot of effort into something and it goes poorly, people tend to justify it that they did the best they could. This is called effort-justification. 

 

There is no doubt that cognitive dissonance can have a powerful influence on our behaviors and actions. 

How Addiction Affects Decision-Making 

People want to believe that they or others make good choices. Although, when something they once believed turns out too good to be true, it conflicts with their pre-existing beliefs about their decision-making abilities. 

This theory of cognitive dissonance plays a major role especially for those who suffer from substance abuse. Addiction is a disease that already changes the chemistry of the brain and its ability to function normally. The regions that allow us to think and make decisions effectively have been damaged. 

For someone with addiction issues, when dissonance comes into play, it greatly compromises their ability to make rational decisions. One could argue that drinking and taking drugs is ultimately someone’s choice. 

However, while that may be true, evidence-based scientific research has shown that this disease plays mind games, controlling all aspects of a person’s life, mentally, physically, and socially. 

In other words, cognitive dissonance works in tandem with addiction. It completely changes a person’s moral compass, which is why the choice they make to engage in these addictive behaviors is stronger than just willpower. 

The neurotransmitters within the brain have been modified to now accommodate drugs and alcohol, essentially brainwashing people into believing that these substances are “good” for them. Without professional help, the cycle of addiction will continue.  

Cognitive Dissonance Treatment 

When there are conflicts between cognitions (thoughts, beliefs, opinions), people will take steps to reduce the dissonance and feelings of discomfort. This is what addiction specialists at Granite Mountain specialize in.

Have you ever felt a sense of tension in your mind, but you weren’t sure why or what was causing it? This psychological phenomenon of cognitive dissonance is hard to detect, but for those with addiction, it is important to recognize. This can help be able to detect any underlying mental illness that can be a major contributor to someone’s addictive behavior. Co-occurring disorders (addiction and substance disorder coinciding) can be managed with dual diagnosis treatment.

Cognitive dissonance in a  way is mental illness within itself, and without treatment, the chances of relapse are high, and most importantly, it exacerbates an individual’s condition and hinders their chances of a successful recovery. 

If you or a loved one is suffering from cognitive dissonance and addiction and would like to learn more about treatment options, contact us today! We will help you recover and get your life back!

References 

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-cognitive-dissonance-2795012

https://www.simplypsychology.org/cognitive-dissonance.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201610/cognitive-dissonance-and-addiction

 

self-esteem

How to Build and Improve Your Self-Esteem During Addiction Recovery

The symbiotic relationship between drug and alcohol addiction and self-esteem is complex and oftentimes hard to understand. While they do go hand-in-hand, many questions need to be answered to fully comprehend the psychology behind self-worth and addictive behaviors. 

The main one being poor self-image, a problem that needs to be solved in conjunction with addressing one’s addiction issues, or will it naturally work itself out when the addictive behaviors don’t occur anymore? 

The answer to this question varies from person to person. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each person’s circumstances or struggles with addiction are different. However, what isn’t contradictory is that professional treatment at a rehab facility is necessary to recover. Treatment can break the treacherous cycle of addiction and improve your low self-esteem.

The addiction specialists and multidisciplinary team at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare in Prescott Valley, AZ, can help break this cycle of addiction, thus, improving one’s self-esteem. 

The Relationship Between Self-Esteem and Addiction

While these are various common reasons and risk factors of addiction, numerous evidence-based research studies have proven that the root cause of addiction is the result of low self-esteem. 

Not effectively addressing the major role that self-esteem plays in all aspects of life, including addiction, unfortunately, and all too commonly, leads to various complications health-wise, socially, mentally, and physically. 

Missed signs of addiction and any sort of psychological distress can also deter someone from receiving the professional help that they need, hinder their addiction recovery process, and also cause individuals to potentially relapse. So, why is self-esteem such an important component of addiction recovery? 

What is Self-Esteem? 

What exactly is self-esteem, where does it arise from, and why is it so influential and important in our lives? 

In the world of psychology, self-esteem is defined as a person’s overall self-worth or personal value. In other words, it is how much you value, respect, like, and appreciate yourself. Use the power of positive psychology if you will. 

Importance of Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is often viewed as a personality trait, which encompasses a variety of beliefs, including appearance, emotions, and behaviors. It is extremely influential and important because it plays a significant role in all aspects of a person’s life, including mental health, relationships, success, failures, and motivation. 

There are both healthy and low levels of self-esteem, which can fluctuate from time-to-time depending on your genetics, age, environment, people around you, attitude, etc. However, it is often our experiences that form the basis of our overall self-esteem, positively and negatively. Although, it is important to note that there needs to be a balance between too little and too much self-worth a person can have. 

Signs of Good Self-Esteem

If you exhibit the following signs and behaviors, you most likely have good self-esteem. 

  • Having confidence, but knowing the difference between that and being arrogant
  • Being able to accept who you are
  • Can take constructive criticism and feedback
  • Has the ability to say no
  • Has a positive outlook on things, and is always able to do so even when times are hard 
  • Ability to see things from various perspectives, including strengths and weaknesses
  • Expressing your needs, wants, and opinions
  • Does not seek approval from others
  • Not afraid of failure or setbacks 
  • Accepts imperfection

Confidence in one’s value as a human being is something that doesn’t come easy for everyone, which makes it a beneficial psychological resource. Whenever someone exudes confidence, it commands attention and is noticeable.

Signs of Low Self-Esteem

If you exhibit the following signs and behaviors, you may be experiencing low self-esteem. 

  • Negative outlook and defeatist attitude
  • Lack of confidence
  • Inability to express your wants and needs
  • Focus on weaknesses and negativity
  • Not being able to see things from other perspectives
  • Trouble accepting criticism or feedback 
  • The belief that others are better than you
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Putting yourself down
  • Intense fear of failure

Self-esteem is a characteristic that inevitably changes over time, and therefore, success or setbacks both personally and professionally can negatively impact a person. 

How Low Self-Esteem Causes Addiction 

The effects of low self-esteem can be detrimental, especially when suffering from addiction. Becoming addicted to drugs and alcohol is a consequence of a choice and compulsive addictive behavior. 

For people who have developed low self-esteem over time due to various reasons, commonly experience symptoms of anxiety or depression, and as a result, they turn to drugs and alcohol to mask their pain and insecurities. Low self-esteem results in self-medicating.

In other words, those with low self-esteem turn to drugs and alcohol to numb pain and escape from reality. These substances are seen as a way to escape. 

What Happens to Self-Esteem When Using?

For people with low self-esteem, drinking, and taking drugs allows these individuals to feel like they appear more confident than they really are. 

Again, the whole reason why people engage in these addictive behaviors in the first place is that they believe that these substances make their problems or feelings disappear, despite the consequences. Easy accessibility of drugs and alcohol also is a major contributing factor. 

However, doing so compulsively, actually makes matters worse, and often leads to dependency and addiction. What some people fail to realize at the time is that these euphoric feelings from the drugs and alcohol are temporary and short-term. 

These substances turn out to not be a permanent solution for their pain and suffering, but rather, a temporary release. Along with health consequences, mentally physically, and socially, addiction resulting from substance abuse, ends up severely affecting a person’s self-esteem, causing their self-confidence to dissipate quickly.    

Eventually, individuals suffering from addiction are incapable of overcoming these challenges that caused them to turn to drink and take drugs in the first place. As their substance use disorder worsens, the lower their self-esteem becomes. 

Simply, the more one uses, the worse they end up feeling about themselves. What was once just a low self-confidence issue has now spiraled in addiction, which has taken control of all aspects of one’s life. 

This cycle of addiction and low self-esteem is only able to be taken hold of with help from medical professionals and addiction specialists. 

Addiction Risk Factors

Oftentimes, people wonder what is it that makes people want to make that choice to use and abuse drugs and alcohol in the first place? The answer to this can be complex, as addictive behaviors vary from person to person, but, mainly because various factors increase the likelihood of developing an addiction. 

The common reasons why people turn to the use of substances include but are not limited to:

  • It’s a choice that results in consequences 
  • Family history of substance abuse (Genetics) 
  • Co-occurring mental illness
  • Coping mechanism (Self-Medication)
  • Environmental factors and peer pressure

Addiction is a chronic disease that severely affects the brain and body. While this is true, neurological functions are not the sole cause of substance use disorders (SUD). Many different components play a role in the cause of addiction. 

In other words, drug and alcohol addiction is not just the result of one factor in a user’s life. Instead, it is a combination of them that exposes people to this destructive path. There are three main areas of risk factors that contribute to dependency and addiction. They are as follows: 

Biological Predispositions

Drug and alcohol addiction is 50 percent attributed to genetics. Research has shown that children who are the product of addicts are approximately eight times more likely to become ones themselves. 

Not everyone who has a family history of substance abuse will be an addict, but the probability and susceptibility of becoming addicted are high. Males are more likely to become addicted to drugs and alcohol than women.  

Environmental Factors and Influences

The environment that you are in has a major effect and influence on people’s behaviors. Being at home or school is very influential on the possible development of substance use disorders. 

As mentioned before, having a family history of drug use and alcoholism increases the chances of someone else having the same genetic predisposition for addiction. 

At school and work, peer pressure and fitting in is a huge risk factor for addiction, as well as stress. Feelings of stress and anxiety in these environments are normal but often result in the gravitation towards substances, as people believe it will help them cope or forget what they are feeling at the time. However, it just exacerbates the situation, resulting in a host of health problems, physically, mentally, and socially.  

Drug Choice and Methods of Use

The likelihood of addiction depends on the drug or alcoholic beverage of choice. Especially with drugs, the potency of certain drugs leads to dependency and addiction. 

With one use of a drug, that is usually all it takes, which commonly leads to polysubstance abuse, meaning the use of one or more substances. The way a drug is taken, the meaning if it was snorted, injected, or in pill form. Drugs that are smoked or injected have a much faster euphoric or high effect on the body. 

As a user takes a drug or drinks more and more, the body becomes tolerant and dependent on the substance, which means that with each time of use, a higher dosage will be required to keep feeling the same drunk or high effect. Thus, tolerance and dependence lead to addiction. 

However, one answer that many researchers have agreed upon is low self-esteem. Self-esteem is defined as confidence in one’s own abilities. This type of self-respect plays a crucial role in the likelihood that a person will abuse drugs, which in turn means that a drug abuse treatment program works to combat and improve the factors that influence low self-esteem.

Mental Health and Addiction

People who don’t suffer from mental conditions associated with self-esteem, such as anxiety and depression, don’t fully understand why people turn to self-medicating with drugs and alcohol as a means to cope instead of seeking treatment for their symptoms. 

Mental illness is a major risk factor for substance abuse, and often these conditions occur simultaneously. This is defined as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders. Someone with mental health issues commonly develops a substance use disorder. 

Unfortunately, but all too often, the underlying mental illness is left undiagnosed and untreated. Thus, conditions worsen, along with a person’s self-esteem.

A major reason that people also don’t receive the proper help that they need is because of mental stigma. Feeling of shame, guilt, and embarrassment often take over, making a person with addiction reluctant to admit to themselves, friends, and family that they need help, or they are in denial that they need help in the first place. 

This avoidance to seek help not only worsens mental health and addiction but, most importantly, an individual’s self-worth. People with low self-esteem feel that they aren’t worth receiving help or that there is no one out there to help them when in reality, there is. 

Importance of Self-Esteem During Addiction Recovery

The drugs and alcohol are no longer in your system as you went through the process of detoxification. Addressing one’s lack of self-esteem is now a priority.

For those in addiction recovery, healthy self-esteem becomes a powerful tool and resource to turn to, which not only helps people stay on the road to long-term recovery, but also prevent relapse.

Think of it in this logical way: When you are feeling good about yourself and value what you have to offer, you are more likely to stay motivated and on a successful path to recovery and avoid entering into the cycle of addiction. 

In the early stages of recovery, people are very emotional and at a very low point with poor self-esteem. That is why building up your self-worth during this crucial time can make a big difference in your recovery journey, increasing the chances of a successful outcome and long-term sobriety.

Improving Self-Esteem Through Addiction Treatment

The good news is that help for addiction, and low self-esteem is available! Steps to rebuilding your self-esteem despite your addiction are possible with the right treatment plan and resources. 

There are three major causes of poor self-esteem in recovery, immorality, instability, and insignificance. Knowing what causes these negative feelings makes it easier for us to build up you or your loved one’s self-esteem through methods of therapy and counseling. 

Whether you are contemplating receiving help or already on the road to recovery from addiction, here are three tips on how to rebuild, boost, and improve your self-esteem during addiction recovery. 

  1. Think positively: I know it is easy for someone to say, but the power of positive thinking does make all the difference in all aspects of life. By using psychological techniques of reframing, meaning flipping a situation to be positive rather than negative, it helps to see things from a different perspective, so that you can handle it effectively. In addiction recovery, maintaining a positive attitude will help motivate you and others to not give up.  
  2. Self-forgiveness: Take responsibility for your actions, but don’t beat yourself up. Think about how far you have come and allowed yourself to be forgiven. This way, you will be able to move forward and focus on recovery. 
  3. Affirmations: Give yourself daily affirmations such as I am receiving the help that I need and doing well, I am a warrior, I am beautiful. Also, give other people a compliment and smile, it will make you and others around you feel positive energy, and that you are all in this together. 

Granite Mountain Can Help You Recover 

To truly understand the connection between low self-esteem and substance abuse, one needs to first understand that low self-esteem is a result of many conditions, including addiction and mental illness. 

Having low self-esteem during addiction recovery is very common in the beginning, but there are methods of treatment to help treat substance abuse and mental illness. With time, your self-esteem, confidence, and worth will all return, as the cycle of addiction will no longer be in your path. 

To learn more about how we can help individuals combating addiction rebuild their self-esteem and prevent relapse, contact us at Granite Mountain today!

References

https://www.safetynetrecovery.com/self-esteem-addiction/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/self-esteem

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-self-esteem-2795868

https://www.lifehack.org/565816/low-self-esteem

https://www.thecabinchiangmai.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Risk-Factors-for-Drug-Addiction.pdf

https://www.verywellmind.com/five-ways-to-build-self-esteem-22380

high-functioning depression

High-Functioning Depression and Addiction: Recognizing the Signs

When someone has a mental illness such as depression and suffers from addiction simultaneously, this is called dual diagnosis or a co-occurring disorder. Those with dual diagnoses commonly resort to using drugs and alcohol to cope and end up developing a dependency, eventually leading to addiction. This is especially true for people with high- functioning depression. 

Vice versa, those with an addiction to drugs and alcohol commonly suffer from some sort of mental illness. As a result, treatment and recovery at a rehab facility such as Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare in Prescott Valley, Arizona is the best option for living a high-quality life and maintaining sobriety. 

Our addiction specialists have created this guide to help you or a loved one effectively recognize the signs of high-functioning depression, and erase the stigma surrounding mental health. Know that help is available before it is too late.  

What is High-Functioning Depression 

If you looked up the term high-functioning depression in the DSM-5, the diagnostic manual used by psychologists and other mental health professionals to diagnose their patients, you wouldn’t find it under that name. This is because the official name for high-functioning depression is persistent depressive disorder (PDD). 

Also known as Dysthymia, PDD is more common than people think, as there are more than 3 million cases annually in the United States. Diagnosed more in women than men, dysthymia is defined as a chronic, high-functioning form of depression, meaning it is continuous and lasts long-term. This type of depression is a lot harder to spot. While people may think of depression as the common term, it is the word “persistent” that is the focus keyphrase. 

Further evidence-based research conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows, that approximately 14.8 million American adults or about 6.7 percent of people aged 18 and older in the United States suffer from a depressive disorder in a given year. 

Since dysthymia is classified as chronic, and not acute, suffers from this mental disorder may experience symptoms for many years before actually being properly diagnosed. 

This further proves the point, that individuals suffering from high-functioning depression, who are often good at suppressing their problems often believe that the “depression” or sadness they are feeling is just part of who they are. Thus, missing the realization that what they are actually experiencing may be more severe than they originally let on. 

This also explains why depression sufferers seem to hesitate in discussing with doctors, family, or friends about how they feel, as they say, they feel “fine.” Although, it is common for people with mental illness or substance abuse issues to feel embarrassed to come forward and admit they may have a real problem, and most importantly, that they need help. 

However, it is crucial to understand all the ins-and-outs of both high-functioning depression and addiction, in order to effectively recognize the signs, symptoms, and risk factors of these co-occurring disorders. 

What Makes Someone “High Functioning?”

As mentioned before, people who are classified as “high functioning” often do anything they can to give the impression that they have got it all together, that their lives are going very well and everything is normal. While this may be true and convincing, deep down, sufferers of depression are unwell, and constantly fighting to keep it together and survive each day at a time.

People with high-functioning depression tend to be happy, successful, intelligent, friendly, outgoing, and disciplined people. While this may be true and convincing, deep down, sufferers of this mental illness are not fine, and constantly fighting to keep it together and survive each day at a time.

Living With Persistent Depressive Disorder 

Have you ever known a person who has it all; a loving family, a great job, and a decent social life? While in-person or on social media it may look like their life may be happy and perfect, the answer is nothing is perfect or always what it seems. 

In fact, scientific studies have shown that the more someone appears to have it all together, it is more likely that they are going through something, but trying their best to hide it. The saying, “Be nice, because everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” never rings truer. This scenario paints a picture of someone suffering from persistent depressive disorder. 

Living with this type of depression is difficult, and those who do are internally plagued by negativity, and a dialogue of self-doubt. This makes people feel insecure, incompetent, and unworthy. People with this type of depression can live their daily lives, but it truly enjoying every day comes with constant challenges. 

In other words, as everyone is different, a typical good day for a person with high-functioning depression looks like an individual who doesn’t have depression. This type of depression causes bad days to outweigh the good, unfortunately. While it may take only an hour or two for other people to focus and complete their tasks, those with severe depression may have an extremely hard time focusing.

Co-occurring Conditions: High-Functioning Depression and  Addiction

High functioning depression and addiction go hand-in-hand, which is why it is extremely important to know the signs of both disorders so you or a loved one can get the necessary help. People who suffer from depression are twice as likely to suffer from addiction and are usually able to function well. Although, PPD and addiction are difficult to manage without professional help. 

At least three-quarters of patients with dysthymia also have a chronic physical illness or another psychiatric disorder, such as drug addiction, or alcoholism. It is very common for people with PDD to have an addiction to drugs and alcohol. High-functioning depression impacts people’s lives in various ways. As a result, it causes sufferers to rely heavily on coping mechanisms, commonly drinking alcohol or using drugs. 

Coping With Depression: Substance Abuse  

Approximately 50 percent of people with a substance use disorder, such as alcoholism or drug addiction, are considered high-functioning. This number speaks volumes. While these people are considered to have PDD, behind closed doors, oftentimes, because they are depressed, they turn to the use of drugs and alcohol as a means to try and self-medicate and cope with their symptoms. 

Vice Versa, some people are addicted to drugs and alcohol first, and then develop an onset of depression symptoms later on because of damage to the brain caused by long-term substance abuse. 

No, I Can’t Just “Get Over It”- Depression vs Clinical Depression

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), while anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the United States, the prevalence of depression is not far behind, as more than 300 million people worldwide suffering from the disorder. 

Defined as a mood disorder, depression is a mental illness known to cause a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Depression has many faces and a variety of different kinds. The most common types include:

  • Seasonal Depression: 
  • Major Depressive Disorder 
  • Postpartum Depression
  • Situational Depression
  • Atypical Depression 
  • Psychotic Depression

The most popular type of depression affecting people today is major depressive disorder commonly known as clinical depression. It is extremely important to note, that there is a key difference between depression and clinical depression. 

Depression

Someone who is not diagnosed with a certain type of depression, but is “depressed,” experience normal bouts of sadness that arise from certain situations that occur. This is called Subsyndromal symptomatic depression (SSD), meaning that a person is depressed, but their symptoms don’t meet the criteria for a diagnosis of a major depressive episode. 

Clinical Depression

When you are suffering from high functioning depression the things that used to bring you joy often become things that you want to avoid. Clinical depression, however, is severe, where an individual is depressed for a couple of weeks or more, and it affects their ability to function, such as think, feel, sleep, work, eat, and handle daily tasks. The National Institute of Mental Health (NAMI) states that in order to be diagnosed with some sort of depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks

Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Depression

If you or a loved one has been experiencing the following symptoms, either most days or every day for at least two weeks or more, this may be a sign that you are suffering from depression. NAMI states that the most common signs and symptoms of depression include the following: 

  • A feeling of hopelessness or negativity
  • Persistent sadness, anxiousness, emptiness
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Isolation
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or attempt to commit suicide
  • Loss of interest in favorite hobbies and activities
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Lack of energy and focus
  • Fatigue and restlessness
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Indecisiveness
  • Difficulty sleeping (Insomnia) and waking up in the morning
  • Extreme changes in your appetite and weight

Not everyone who is depressed experiences all of these symptoms mentioned above. Everyone and their cases of depression are different, and therefore, their symptoms and treatment for the illness will vary. For example, some people may experience a few symptoms, while others will experience many. An individual’s symptoms may also depend on the stage of depression that they have. 

Diagnosing High-Functioning Depression: An Invisible Disease 

Truth is, for people living with high functioning depression, it is often hard to tell because these are the types of individuals who are high achievers, perfectionists, and who are experts at making you think everything is all right even when it is not. 

The point is, you would never know that the person right in front of you is suffering from depression because they appear to be functioning normally. 

In order to be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have a severe inability to function in life. This is why so many with PDD go undiagnosed. They appear to be functioning, but once they finish work or any other task, they immediately head home to be in isolation. Since functioning inabilities are not as bad for a person with PDD as they are for someone with major depression, this behavior can last for a very long time.

It’s even possible for someone with PDD to develop more severe symptoms that result in episodes of major depression when their symptoms are left untreated. This is why it’s important to seek treatment if you suspect that you or someone in your life may be suffering.

Just like any type of dual diagnosis, high functioning depression and addiction often go unnoticed and undiagnosed. Essentially, it is deemed an invisible disease. Navigating through life without getting help for a mental illness is not only dangerous, but it causes complications such as the likelihood of relapse and increases the risk of overdose and suicide. 

How to Treat High-Functioning Depression and Addiction

High-functioning depression and addiction can be effectively treated in a safe environment using methods of detoxification, behavioral therapy, medication therapy, and other evidence-based therapies for these disorders. Detox helps with a physical dependency on drugs and alcohol, while behavioral therapy addresses the root of the problem and helps identify the reasoning behind why you are depressed to help you overcome it. 

Those who need help and treatment for co-occurring disorders such as PDD and addiction can receive it in an inpatient rehab facility, monitored by trained addiction specialists. Treatment programs that last a minimum of three months (90 days) are recommended for patients with a dual diagnosis. 

Ending the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

While the stigma surrounding mental health is starting to improve, there is still a lot of work to do, and some dangerous myths to debunk. Depression is severe and persistent, and not something someone can just get over or shut off automatically. 

Granite Mountain is Here to Help

If you or someone you may know is suffering from signs of high-functioning depression and addiction, the addiction specialists at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare are here to help you recover and maintain sobriety. Contact us today at (877) 389-0412. 

References

https://www.psycom.net/high-functioning-depression/

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

https://www.verywellmind.com/depression-statistics-everyone-should-know-4159056

https://bhatiapsychology.com/what-is-high-functioning-depression/

https://www.detox.com/drugs-alcohol/high-functioning-depression-addiction-05-17-2018/

https://www.dailyhealthcures.com/general-health/high-functioning-depression/

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/this-is-what-high-functioning-depression-looks-like#1
https://www.altamirarecovery.com/blog/understanding-high-functioning-addict-treatment-matters/

https://explorable.com/e/common-types-of-depression

 

Signs of Adderall Abuse

Signs of Adderall Abuse: Who is Abusing it The Most?

With any drug, most people are aware that there are often side effects associated with taking it. For those who take Adderall, prescribed or not, the reward is oftentimes more important than the consequences. Individuals who use this drug regularly may begin to show signs of Adderall abuse.

Are you or someone you know addicted to Adderall and don’t know where or who to turn to for help? At Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare, our drug addiction specialists help people with drug addiction get back on the road to sobriety. 

One of America’s Favorite Drugs of Choice

Many students and former students would most likely say that studying late into the night and cramming for exams was just a normal part of being in high school and college. But, can you think of how many countless stories that you have heard about someone who used Adderall in some capacity when they were in school? 

While it is the norm, especially more so in college to pull an all-nighter, people are able to keep up with their crazy academic workloads, because they resort to taking Adderall, also known as the “Study” or “Get ahead” drug. 

Adderall does seem to keep people laser-focused. But, what is crazy, is not why people take it or how it works. Instead, the number of people who use it, prescribed or often unsubscribed, is alarming. Surprisingly, this medication is so easy to get. It is true to say that Adderall has become the foundation of most modern American college campuses today. 

Think about it for a second. A magic drug that makes people feel like a rock star at school or work; hyperalert and able to get anything done. I know, it sounds like Charlie finding the golden ticket in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But, truth is, while Adderall is approved by the FDA and only available through a prescription from a licensed psychiatrist, it is one of the drugs most frequently abused and used illegally. 

What is Adderall? 

Adderall is a medication classified as a stimulant, made up of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. It is commonly used to treat people diagnosed with a behavioral disorder, such as Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), and sleep disorders, such as Narcolepsy. For individuals with these disorders, the drug helps one’s ability to focus, pay attention, and control behavior. Other symptoms that result from taking Adderall include suppressed appetite and weight loss. 

Only available by prescription, Adderall is a tablet that is commonly ingested orally. Available in various dosages, ranging from 5mg to 30 mg, depending on the person and the severity of their symptoms. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), doctors usually start patients with a lower dose and gradually increase it as needed. 

While Adderall is one of the most well-known medications used to treat hyperactivity, there are two versions, Adderall and Adderall XR. Both Adderall and Adderall XR work by increasing these neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for regulating attention and focus. While both types have the same ingredients, they absorb in the body differently at different speeds, along with the strength and dosage. 

Adderall and Adderall XR

Adderall tablets are usually taken first thing when someone wakes up in the morning, so it can absorb, as subsequent doses must be taken four to six hours apart. More than one Adderall pill can be taken as instructed. 

Adderall XR is a secondary form of Adderall, but with an extended-release. This means, that the capsule dissolves slowly, and the ingredients are released into the body throughout the day, which makes the drug last for a long period of time. Adderall XR is only taken once a day.

So, the question is, how does someone realize that they are abusing a drug, such as Adderall?

Adderall Usage and Abuse: High School and College Students

This may be a hard pill to swallow, but the most common group of Adderall abusers is the American youth, ranging from high school to college students. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found an increase in the non-medical usage of Adderall, resulting in an increased number of ER visits, but no increase in prescriptions for the drug.

This evidence further indicates that Adderall abuse is on the rise, especially on college campuses, being the second-most common drug abused, besides marijuana. 60 percent of people ages 18-25 use the drug without a prescription.

Students often see using Adderall as a win-win situation. After all, what’s not to like about being able to focus for long periods of time for a few dollars or for free even? Those who sell or share Adderall justify it with the idea that “sharing is caring.” 

Adderall is now so prevalent on college campuses that students act like it is water because they perceive the drug as a harmless and relatively benign substance. As the pressures of school increase, people found it necessary to increase their dosage, makes sense right? 

However, again, people don’t understand or are aware of the science behind what these drugs can do to one’s brain and body. The more a person takes Adderall, the more their body will become used to it. While the drug has its benefits, it still has addictive properties, and those who don’t necessarily need it can become addicted if not careful. 

The more someone takes Adderall, the body becomes dependent on it, which often leads to the start of abuse and addiction. This is because, just like prescription opioids, Adderall is known for its high potential for tolerance, which is what leads to addiction, or the progression to other stronger substances. The side effects of Adderall withdrawals can be debilitating, which can make it difficult for people to quit using.

Adderall Abuse and Addiction

One Adderall pill was enough to convince you that the drug was amazing. Once people who are especially not diagnosed with ADHD continue to abuse Adderall, they experience what is called “The Adderall High.” The drug produces euphoria and gives people energy. But it is much more than that. It kind of makes people feel like they can do anything, feel almost superhuman. This is where the danger comes into play. 

When people are on Adderall and then come off the drug, they will often start to seem depressed and lethargic. They may not be interested in doing anything, and they tend to be detached from the people and activities they once enjoyed doing. 

There are many signs of Adderall abuse. Also, there are also common warning signs that someone is addicted to Adderall, not just using it recreationally. Remember that addiction can include a psychological or physiological dependence on the drug.

The problem comes in when people who use Adderall keep taking the drug. His or her body may become dependent on it, eventually. As a result, the individual’s body slowly stops working properly. This is due to substance dependency and tolerance. 

Identifying Some Signs of Adderall Abuse

Adderall abuse occurs in several ways. Some of the common signs that someone is abusing Adderall include:

  • The need to take bigger and bigger doses to feel an effect
  • Continuing to use Adderall despite negative effects and consequence
  • Using a higher dose of the substance than prescribed. 
  • Taking the medicine through a non-approved method like snorting.
  • Taking the drug for reasons other than medical need, such as to stay awake for long periods of time.
  • Using the medication more frequently than prescribed.
  • Taking someone else’s medication.
  • Spending excessive amounts of money on Adderall and purchasing it from an illicit source for recreational use.

Eventually, with continued use of Adderall, people will start to experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t take the drug, and ongoing use of Adderall can lead to chemical imbalances in the brain. The brain becomes so used to the Adderall over time, that every time it is taken, what once worked in the beginning, no longer works or has the same effect. 

Therefore, people continue to increase the amount they take, to feel the same “high” effect they once used to feel from a lower dosage. Before they know it, they are addicted and need help to end this vicious cycle of Adderall abuse. 

How Does Adderall Affect the Brain and Body? 

Adderall, a stimulant, which works by increasing the levels of neurotransmitters known as dopamine and norepinephrine within the central nervous system (CNS), consisting of the brain and spinal cord. 

Norepinephrine is responsible for producing many effects within the body. It’s mainly associated with releasing adrenaline. This provokes the “fight or flight” response when the perceived danger. Norepinephrine affects how the brain responds to events, particularly the speed to which it reacts to outside stimuli.

Dopamine is the body’s “feel-good” chemical. This is because it plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior. 

When someone takes Adderall, norepinephrine speeds up the CNS. This keeps the neurotransmitter in the synapses longer. In turn, it triggers alertness, clarity, increasing focus, and decreasing appetite. Dopamine is the reward neurochemical. It’s why someone who uses Adderall may experience feelings of happiness or euphoria. While euphoria from dopamine is natural and warranted, drugs like Adderall produce abnormal amounts of it. This leaves people who need the drug or want it coming back for more.  

When someone has ADHD, taking Adderall helps them be calm, focus, concentrate, think things through, and control their behavior. Sometimes, people who don’t actually have ADHD or haven’t been properly diagnosed still take Adderall. This is due to the fact that they see it as helpful. While it is illegal for individuals with a prescription to sell drugs to others, that doesn’t stop some from profiting off their prescription. 

However, the brain sees it differently. For some, the drug can have the opposite effect. In other words, in people with ADHD, the drug, used in conjunction with appropriate behavioral and psychotherapeutic interventions, brings their level of stimulation down to a level where they’re better able to function. In healthy people, the drug has the opposite effect. It over-stimulates the brain, causing long-term adverse symptoms and withdrawal.

Common Symptoms of Adderall Withdrawal 

  • Weakness or numbness in extremities
  • Lack of energy
  • Irritability or anger
  • Insomnia
  • Constipation
  • Headaches
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low libido
  • Vision problems
  • Peeling or blistering skin
  • Mental problems such as mania, paranoia or seizures

Side effects are a sign of what is occurring within the brain and the body. Our bodies are connected to our minds. So, whenever something happens in the brain, it sends a signal to the body for a reaction. Adderall creates a lot of activity in the brain. This can be problematic for people who have a mental disorder such as anxiety. Taking this drug can worsen one’s mental health disorder symptoms. Still, that doesn’t stop people from becoming addicted

Thankfully, there is help for those who are suffering from substance abuse. Individuals who are dealing with Adderall dependence can find hope. Through treatment and therapy, people can become free from addiction.

Let Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare Help

Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare offers drug addiction treatment to help those who are dependent on Adderall get clean and maintain sobriety. The biggest step you can make toward recovering from addiction is picking up the phone and asking for help. 

Our goal is to provide compassion and support during your decision-making process for seeking treatment. We are here for you every step of the way. Contact us today at (877) 389-0412. 

References

Group Therapy for Heroin Detox

What to Expect Going Through Heroin Detox in Yavapai County, AZ

What Is Heroin?

Heroin a derivative of the opium poppy flower, which is native to Asia, Mexico, and South America. This drug is extremely addictive and is illegal in the US. It has the appearance of white or brown powder, or more the popular black tar. Some of its names are smack, horse, junk, and brown sugar.

How Addictive is Heroin?

It doesn’t matter how you use it, once it is in your system, heroin hits the brain rapidly. It is very easy to develop an addiction to heroin. Even after just one use.

Heroin can be smoked or snorted, although most heroin users use a needle to inject it directly in the vein to get the fastest high. It is also the most dangerous way to take it. Injections cause the risk of overdosing to increase dramatically, and the risk of infection from dirty needles is very high.

How Does Heroin Effect You?

Directly after a hit of heroin, the brain is flooded with endorphins, it is a rush of euphoria. After several hours, you’ll experience a slowing sensation like the world is moving slow. This can cause a user to think slower and sometimes even walk slower. Some heroin users express that they feel like they are in a dream.

Here is a study in Illinois concerning suburban users, some defined the use of heroin gave them a feeling of being wrapped in a warm blanket and worries were gone.

This potentially lethal drug sometimes causes vomiting or nausea. It can also create an urge to scratch and itch. Heroin in the system changes your brain’s chemistry and can even block pain signals or slow both breathing and heart rate. Overdosing will cause you to stop breathing and lastly die.

Heroin Statistics

Studies have found that there is a connection between drugs and mental health issues. Many heroin users try to self-treat their anxiety and other stressful issues with drugs. This Illinois study reports that around 75 percent of heroin users indeed had some form of mental illness like ADHD, bipolar disorder, or depression.

To say there is a spike in heroin use is a bit of an understatement. Documented use of heroin has virtually doubled from 2007 to 2012. This is more than just a spike. It is an indicator of the opioid crisis in America.

Some drug specialists claim that this crisis is mainly connected to the increasing abuse of prescription painkillers like Vicodin and oxycontin, which are also in the opioid family.

What Does Heroin Really Do To Your Body?

Using heroin consistently causes your body to build up a tolerance to it. This doesn’t mean that heroin can’t harm you. What this means is that you will require more heroin to get the same level high. The more you use the more your body will depend on it. Attempting to quit heroine will leave you with symptoms. These symptoms are known as withdrawal symptoms. They could range from feeling jittery, experiencing chills, vomiting, and muscle and bone pain.

Heroin withdrawal symptoms could potentially last for a week. Some symptoms may be severe:

  • Cravings
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Agitation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle spasms

Heroin use may also cause:

  • Collapsed veins
  • heart lining and valves Infections
  • Skin abscesses
  • Contraction of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
  • Miscarriage
  • Lung diseases, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia

Detox Program Treatment Centers

There are a ton of drug rehab and detox facilities located in Yavapai County that are worth considering. After your assessment at one of these venters, you will be on the right track to your detox and recovery in Yavapai County. Detox and withdrawals affect everyone differently. This is why it is best to find the right drug rehab and detox program and undergo professional care, this allows a safe place for you to detox, because you will be in a controlled environment.

You’ll find a number of a number of forms of detox, such as heroin detox programs in Yavapai County, alcohol detox programs in Yavapai County, and opiate detox programs in Yavapai County.  The first step in recovery is the detox process. It is vital to choose a safe, and supervised drug or alcohol detox center.

Why Choose a Heroin Detox Program In Yavapai County?

Users that wish to find a heroin detox in Yavapai County can get the help they need at a qualified treatment center. Users can detox safely at a specialized facility in Yavapai County Az, supervised by medical professionals, and have a specially designed follow-up plan which can include a period of comprehensive therapy.

Yavapai County holds Residential inpatient treatment that offers around the clock care. There are even outpatient treatment programs located within Yavapai County that offer flexible treatment programs to individuals who cannot stay in a live-in facility. This would be great for people can’t interrupt their regular lives because of work or school. In a program like this, participants usually meet a weekly, a couple of times a week.

There are also some programs available for treatment and detox in Yavapai County, AZ that offer a combination of in and outpatient services: there’s an inpatient portion for everything that requires medical supervision or partial hospitalization, and then there are intensive outpatient treatments which include outpatient clinic follow-up.

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing addiction, please call us at (928) 756-0694 or contact us here. Looking for heroin detox in Yavapai County may be easier than you think. Contacting us is the first step towards a life free from addiction!

References

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-to-expect-from-heroin-withdrawal-22049

Addiction Treatment Facility in Arizona

Why Choose an Addiction Treatment Facility in Arizona

If you are seeking an addiction treatment facility in Arizona, then there are plenty of options to consider.  Most of them are located in Phoenix and Tucson, but you can find others in smaller cities.  Our facility, Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare, is located in Prescott Valley.

One of the steps in choosing the right addiction treatment facility is picking your location.  Deciding on whether you want to be close home or further away during your recovery is important because environmental settings can play a key role in your success.  Choosing the right addiction treatment facility is about more than just location.  You also need to find programs that are customized to individual needs that are more effective in treating the issues that lead to a person’s addiction.

Addiction in Arizona

In recent years, Arizona has had some success in its battle against substance abuse.  It still has high rates of prescription drug abuse and illicit drug abuse, especially among the state’s youth.  There many treatment centers available in the state to help fight this battle.  Arizona has an estimated 341 treatment facilities, 31 of which that offer opioid treatment programs.  There are also special programs that are available for men, women, and people who suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders, adolescents, and those who have experienced trauma.

Choosing Your Treatment and Financing Your Recovery

There are inpatient and outpatient programs available for addiction recovery.  Patients participating in inpatient treatment will reside at the recovery facility 24 hours a day.  This will allow them to maintain focus on their treatment and recovery efforts.  Outpatient programs traditionally offer the same kinds of treatment as inpatient programs, but in outpatient programs, the patient lives at home and commits to a certain number of hours per week, where they will participate in treatment.

Many people that are battling with an addiction may not have the finances or resources to stay at an addiction recovery facility for long periods.  If you are trying to determine the price of rehabilitation in Arizona, you can look at this expense in your recovery, health, and well-being.  You can find both residential and outpatient programs in Arizona.  When looking at addiction recovery centers in Arizona, you will find that there are different financial options available to you.  Some of them will accept private insurance and military insurance.  Other facilities are state-financed or have payment assistance plans for those who need it.

The state of Arizona has over 25 different drug and alcohol detox facilities Each one can help patients get through painful withdrawals when overcoming addiction.  Their services include medical and traditional detox.

Treatment centers in Arizona can help patients with different types of addiction, including substance abuse issues and drug abuse.  They generally offer 30-day programs or more extended programs that can last 60 to 90 days.

Beginning Treatment With Detoxification

Whether your addiction is drug or alcohol-related, your first step in treatment is to detox.  The recovery centers will have medical professionals on hand to monitor you during this phase and make sure you are safe.  The next step after detox is to begin therapy, whether in an individual or group setting.  The majority of the treatment centers in Arizona for alcohol and drug abuse focus on this step as the start to a patient’s path to full recovery.

The best treatment centers in Arizona will help you set a management and success plan for after you leave the facility.  This can include group support like alcoholics anonymous or engaging with your inner circle of family and friends.  This type of ongoing treatment or support plan is to help you to stay substance-free.

Treatment at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare

Long-term treatment is seen as the ideal approach for a successful recovery. But Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare understands that there can be financial and environmental obstacles that can make this difficult.  Each of our clients’ treatment plans is created with this in mind.

Once you arrive at our facility, you will see that we have a welcoming community environment where everyone is important and equally valued.  We offer treatment in three phases:

  • Phase I: Acceptance, Belonging, Community
  • Phase II: Enrollment, Commitment, Connection
  • Phase III: Reconstruction, Reintegration, Transformation

The first phase includes group and individual therapy sessions in varied environmental settings; community-based, supervised, nature immersion programming; and psychiatric evaluation on an as-needed basis.

In Phase II, you can expect ongoing clinical assessment; employment coaching and job acquisition; and volunteerism support and experience.

In Phase III, you will experience community leadership and mentorship; continued practice managing privileges and unsupervised time; and a 12-step involvement.

You can learn more about our recovery programs by contacting us today.  You or your loved one can also contact our facility and speak with one of our specialists today at 1-877-389-0412 about customizing the right treatment plan for you.

Heroin addiction prescott valley

Heroin Addiction in Prescott Valley, Arizona

The use of heroin has become more widely used, doubling between 2007 and 2012.  The effects of this drug are dangerous and can be deadly.  It is highly addictive, even if you try it only once or twice.  If you or your loved one is dealing with a heroin addiction, you do not have to fight it alone.  Our specialists at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare are right here in Prescott Valley, Arizona, and can help you win this battle.

Heroin Use

The three ways that heroin is used are:

  • Smoking
  • Snorting
  • Injecting

Most heroin users prefer the latter method of injecting because it gets them the quickest high. It is also the most dangerous method.  By injecting, you can overdose more quickly, but also be at risk of becoming infected by a contaminated needle.

Background on Heroin

Heroin originated in Mexico, Asia, and South America from a flower, the opium poppy.  It can come in the form of white or brown powder, or black tar.  In the early 1800s, French pharmacist, Friedrich Serturner discovered how to isolate morphine, one of opium’s active ingredients.

Morphine was widely used to treat pain and cure opium addiction before the discovery of its addictive properties.  Morphine was used in the United States during the American Civil War to manage pain from battle wounds.  In 1874, an English chemist, Charles Romney Alder Wright experimented with mixing morphine with different acids.  He is credited for inventing a new chemical called diacetylmorphine, or diamorphine, which is heroin.  It was similar in structure to morphine but was two to three times stronger.  Heroin is created when reacting morphine with other acids.  To put it simply, heroin is morphine with a small chemical compound added to it.

Heroin was not always known as the street drug as it is today.  Its name was first used by the pharmaceutical company, Bayer, as a brand name in 1898.  People reported having a heroic feeling after using the substance.  Bayer marketed the drug in the United States as a non-addictive pain medication. Up until the 1920s, it was prescribed to adults and children as cold medicine and for other pains.  Heroin use and misuse rose rapidly during the decades of its legal use.  The addictive substance became illegal in 1924 and is still illegal to this day.

Why Is Heroin Addictive

Heroin users take this drug for the rush of good feelings and happiness that it gives them right after taking it.  Then, for several hours after, your world begins to slow down.  Your thinking process is slower and your actions, such as walking slow down as well.  Users report that they feel like they are in a dream, protected by a blanket without worries.

That dream-like state and freedom of worries can be extremely addictive to anyone who is attempting to escape or treat anxiety and other stressors. Heroin can be uniquely addictive to individuals who have mental health issues.  An Illinois study found that 75% of users suffered from mental health conditions such as depression, ADHD, or bipolar disorder.

Effects of Heroin

Short-Term

After smoking, snorting, or injecting heroin, it enters the brain and is then converted to morphine and binds rapidly to opioid receptors.  As mentioned earlier, users will get a surge of pleasurable sensation, like a rush.  This feeling is followed by a warm flushing of the skin, dry mouth, and a heavy feeling in the extremities.  Heroin users may also experience nausea, vomiting, and severe itching.  Once the initial effects start to wear off, users will become drowsy for several hours, experiencing cloudy mental function, slower heart rate, and life-threatening slowed breathing.  When breathing is slowed down, users risk slipping into a coma and suffering from permanent brain damage or even death after an overdose.

Long-Term

Repeated heroin use can alter the physical structure and physiology of the brain, resulting in long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed.  Users risk deterioration of white matter in the brain that can affect a person’s ability to make decisions, regulate behavior, and respond to stressful situations.  Tolerance is another long-term effect when more and more of the drug is required to get the same results.  Heroin produces significant degrees of tolerance and physical dependence.  Physical dependence means that the body is accustomed to the presence of the drug, and withdrawal symptoms occur when use is drastically reduced.

Heroin withdrawal can occur shortly after the last use, often within a few hours.  Some withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Restlessness
  • Muscle and Bone Pain
  • Insomnia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Cold Flashes with Goose Bumps
  • Leg Movements

During the first 24-48 hours is when significant withdrawal symptoms occur, but usually, subside after about a week.  In some cases, withdrawal signs can last for many months.

Heroin Use Disorder is also an effect of heroin use.  It is defined as a chronic relapsing disease that goes beyond physical dependence and is identified by uncontrollable drug-seeking without regard for the consequences.  Once a person develops a heroin use disorder, seeking and using the drug becomes their primary purpose in life.

Changing Your Focus to Fight the Addiction

Heroin addiction is lethal, but there are a variety of treatments that can help you overcome your heroin use disorder.  Two types of effective therapies are behavioral and pharmacological.  Either one of these treatments assists with restoring a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior, resulting in increased employment rates and a lower risk of contracting HIV and other diseases and criminal behavior.  Research shows that in many cases, the integration of both of these treatments is the most effective approach.

If you or a loved one are struggling with a heroin addiction, your focus does not have to be on getting your next high, but on ending this vicious cycle of addiction.  Contact one of our Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare specialists today at (928) 756-0694 or online by clicking here.

 

addiction treatment in Arizona

Getting Help: A Guide for Addiction Treatment and Recovery in Arizona

Picking The Right Solution

So you’ve decided that you are going to get help and are going to look for addiction rehab in Arizona. This is great, and it’s already the first step towards recovery. Therefore, your journey has already begun, since you know where you’d like to get treatment. However, before actually picking out a facility, it is important to know your options to decide which best applies to your situation.

Researching all of your options is very important, and you can’t just go with the first one you see. Every rehab center’s webpage is made to make their facilities look perfect, so of course, the first one you read about will look like the right fit for you. However, it is vital to compare centers and programs. Recent studies show that as many as 85% of users relapse within the first year after treatment, and a lot of times, that might have something to do with picking the wrong addiction rehab or program.

Furthermore, when it comes to heroin addiction, around 90% of users relapse, according to several studies in different countries. Considering the opiate epidemic and how often addiction rehabs in Arizona take in people struggling with heroin addiction, if you fit this profile, you should be extra careful to make sure you are picking the right option. Nonetheless, it is also important to keep in mind that relapsing is nothing to be ashamed about, especially considering how frequent it is – but it is something that is best to avoid.

The point is not to pick whatever program is most convenient, but to pick what will guarantee that you will be part of the group that stays sober. Getting through the first year is especially important since only half of the users tend to relapse by then. It is not about immediate help, it’s about thinking of long-term solutions because recovery takes time.

What Should You Know About Programs

As you look up your options, a few factors will differentiate each program. First, you must know what service setting is best for you. This requires deciding whether you’d need an inpatient program or an outpatient program, meaning if you’d stay in the facilities 24/7 or if you’d go only during treatment and appointment hours. There are different types of “intensities” for both of these alternatives, but this would be the first factor to consider amongst them.

Secondly, the length of treatment is another issue at hand. There are short-term programs that can be as quick as a month-long plan, or longer-term ones, which can last months, up to even 120+ days. It is important to discuss this with your health care provider and not just decide on your own which would be more appropriate for you.

Finally, you will also need to find out which “approach” can work best for your lifestyle, beliefs, and needs. What kind of therapy needs to be applied for your scenario? Would you prefer a holistic method? What type of counseling would you need? This would all depend on the factors mentioned before, as well as how into your addiction you have fallen and what your diagnosis is. Dual-diagnosis patients, for instance, would need an approach that is different than a detox patient. A lot of the user’s way of living comes into play when it comes to picking an addiction rehab and treatment, so make sure to take that into account as well when speaking to your health care provider.

Affording Addiction Rehab in Arizona

A final step is a topic that might sometimes feel like an obstacle between the user and the help they need, which is pricing. Paying for treatment can be more expensive than some can afford. However, most times, people just don’t know their options well enough and end up getting stuck on that detail when they could find a way to afford many programs in addiction rehabs in Arizona.

Step one would be to see which programs your healthcare plan can cover – and there are many.  Any mental and behavioral services are classified as essential health benefits, and therefore must be covered by insurance. If you are in Arizona, addiction rehabs can be paid for through state, federal, or private marketplace insurance plans. You can also use Medicaid should you qualify for it, but you need to know their conditions to cover treatment since it doesn’t cover every option.

If neither of those applies to your case, there are still options. Paying out of pocket is not impossible even if you do not make a lot of money – using credit cards, payment plans, or researching for sliding scale treatments can all make the damage to your bank account much smaller. Other than that, there are addiction rehab grants or scholarships that aid patients financially, or just getting the usual loan, as long as you are sure to go with the one you can actually afford.

No Excuses For Getting The Help You Need

Deciding to get help is important, but you need to take action to make it count. There are plenty of options for addiction rehab plans and facilities in Arizona for everyone and for every case scenario. As long as you follow these steps and keep them in mind as you make your decision, there is no reason to postpone your plans.

At Granite Mountain Behavioural Healthcare, we are hoping to help you no matter what your addiction is and how intense it has become. We can help you with information regarding payments, programs, therapy, and guide you through the process, so you can count on us. Visit our website and find all our contact information to schedule an appointment today.

We believe in empowering and in long-term solutions, so you won’t just overcome your addiction, but you will actually leave it behind you for good. 

References:

opiate detox

Opiate Detox: A Timeline of What to Expect

What Are Opiates?

To define it briefly, opiates are drugs classified as “downers” that come from the opium poppy, which have an effect on the pleasure receptors of the brain. Legally prescribed opiates, such as codeine and morphine, are used in order to help patients deal with pain. Opiates in small doses and for short periods of time are not only safe but often recommended. The main issue with opiates is when they are taken for longer than usually 5 days, and without proper medical supervision.

When this happens, a patient can be at risk of becoming addicted to the drug. At this point, they can either keep on taking legal substances to feed their addiction or actually start seeking illegal ones once they can’t get prescriptions anymore. One of the main reasons why a lot of people can get addicted is not just the relief from pain, but the actual stage of euphoria the drug can give.

But even though any opiate might cause an overdose, most illegal drugs tend to be more dangerous than prescription opiates. Since they are synthetic and not manufactured in a lab, it is much harder to predict the effects it might have, and therefore, any dose could actually be lethal.

How Does Opiate Detox Work?

Once someone has decided to quit the drugs for good, they can start what is called opiate detox. While the concept of detoxing from opiates is simple in theory, there are many factors to be considered as you start to get rid of them and start your opiate detox process. That is not just because of the effects of the drug in your body as you take them, but also as your body feels the abstinence.

Using opiates for long periods of time has its toll on the body, and addiction becomes something beyond the psychological aspect of dependence, as it actually starts affecting a user physically and chemically as well. The higher the amount taken, the more resistant to the drug an addict becomes, and the more they require to feel the euphoria and the pain relief they once felt. And since it has such a strong neurological effect on the body, the brain starts requiring it just to function properly.

Cutting out that supply to the body, and mainly the brain, can cause a lot of strong reactions. This is why there is a “right” way to go about your opiate detox: it should not be treated like a simple cleanse or like starting a diet. Some of the effects can be dangerous, especially if you cut opiates abruptly and at once as you detox. And that’s where the problem is if going through it alone: slowly lowering a dose might be hard, and even lead to a relapse.

There are many options out there for opiate detox, some of which might require other medications to treat both the side effects and the addiction itself. Inpatient, outpatient, and at-home opiate detox are all possible, but you must be honest with yourself about your limits when making that decision.

Symptoms of Opiate Withdrawal: A Timeline

No matter how you decide to go into your opiate detoxing process, it is inevitable to feel the effects of withdrawal. If you have reached the point of addiction, your body feels like it needs the drug. But there is no cause for real concern: it might hurt now, but it will feel much better later as you get your life back.

In the initial phase of your detox, a lot of the symptoms seem more related to the nervous system, such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Muscle aches
  • Sweating profusely
  • Low energy
  • Sleeplessness
  • Tearing eyes

It’s possible to see that some of the symptoms can affect the other. For instance, being constantly agitated and not being able to sleep will eventually cause low energy, as this might be too much for the body without rest. Although not solely caused by lack of sleep, low energy can certainly worsen without it.

But as this first phase fades, other symptoms can take over. While this might feel discouraging at first, it is important to keep in mind it is in fact part of the process, and it means you are moving forward. In this second phase, one can experience:

  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Goosebumps and chills
  • Irregular/accelerated heartbeat
  • Dilated pupils

If you are not careful, these more physical symptoms might cause other problems, such as dehydration. Unfortunately, relapses are also common from intolerance to such strong effects.

Together, these symptoms might last up to a month and can start in a few hours from taking the last dose. This, as mentioned, would all depend on how deep into their addiction a user was – in other words, what drug was taken, how much, and how often. As a patient goes through these two phases, the next part of this opiate detox is made up of long-term withdrawal symptoms, which will be linked to the emotional and behavioral nature of addiction.

We Are Here With All The Help You Need

The opiate detox can be quite rough on the body for all the reasons listed, and going through it alone can be too traumatic for most people. There is proven efficiency in starting a program made to help anyone who has gone through the hardships of addiction for too long, and a number of options are available. So why risk relapse and unnecessary pain when you can have a properly trained team giving you the medical and emotional support you need?

We at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare can give you different solutions for your problem. One of the greatest benefits we can offer for opiate detox, for instance, is the Recover Strong program, which is based on the neuroscience of body movement for healing. As you get the therapy and support you need, you’ll get a chance to work through the physical toll of your detox by training your body to become more resistant physically in a healthy way.

No matter what kind of help you need, we will be happy to meet with you and discuss your needs, our programs, and answer any of the questions you might have. Visit our website and contact us today. Substance abuse stops the second you decide to get help, and we want to be there for you all the way.

References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-opiate-withdrawal

https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/opioids

https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/opioids/index.html

Insurance for Granite

Will My Insurance Cover My Addiction Treatment, and Other Questions About Medical Insurance for Rehab.

How To Get Started

One of the main issues someone can come across when looking for help to deal with addiction is finding a program that is actually affordable. It can be a real problem, to the point where some won’t even get the help they need because they believe they cannot afford it. The matter of the fact is that most people are not aware of the many ways financial aid is available so that programs and treatments can become less costly in the long run.

The first question that might come to mind is: Can I use insurance for rehab coverage? Yes, it is possible to get the coverage needed from your insurance for rehab programs of all kinds. Marketplace plans have to cover mental and behavioral health services because they are considered essential health benefits. While it might be a bit confusing, understanding the different types of marketplaces, there are plenty of ways to find out what insurance plan would work best for you and for rehabilitation as well.

Besides the option of marketplace insurance, there is also Medicare, and those eligible must be: over 65 or have paid taxes for Medicare for at least 10 years; have a spouse who paid Medicare taxes for 10 years; have End-Stage Renal Disease; be young and have a disability. Medicare can cover most of your needs for rehab insurance, but it differs depending on whether you have Medicare Part A or Part B. However, both cover rehab program services while the patient is being treated, even though there are limitations.

What if I Don’t Have Insurance?

If reading about all of these options made you confused or if you know you cannot commit to paying monthly insurance, this doesn’t mean you can’t get help. It is possible to get clean without having to use insurance for rehab treatment. It is true that Americans have become more and more indebted by medical costs than ever before, but when it comes to rehab, there are ways to control the financial damage.

Some of the options for people that don’t have insurance to use for rehab and treatment purposes are:

  • Sliding scale treatments – plans with fees that vary depending on the patient’s income, and can be lowered accordingly.
  • Credit cards – people that have good credit could try and pay off their expenses out of pocket by using their credit cards, paying gradually as they can.
  • Payment plans – there might be the possibility of breaking the full price up into monthly payments to get through little by little.
  • Rehab grants and scholarships – Government organizations and rehab programs offer grants and/or scholarships to help patients pay for their program.
  • Loans – while not the most attractive solution because of the risk of debt, an alternative would be to take out private loans, such as personal loans or even home equity.
  • Crowdfunding – a popular option for many financial needs nowadays, getting help from others through online funds like a GoFundMe page can at least help cover part of the costs.

The best option to pick will depend on what are the main issues stopping you financially from starting a rehab program without insurance. Do you have a steady income? This could mean paying for the program little by little might be the way to go. Does your case require inpatient treatment and you won’t be able to work for a while? A grant might be something worth pursuing. Have a lot of followers on social media? Crowdfunding could work faster for you.

If you are torn between another major expense and treatment, your decision would depend on your priorities. However, it is worth pointing out that, without your health, whatever you might be thinking of pursuing that requires a major expense – moving, going back to school, buying that new car – might not be something as enjoyable if your health is at stake. Of course, some expenses are inevitable, such as legal expenses or taxes. But it is crucial to weigh your options before making a financial decision this important.

Can I Afford Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare?

In order to find out if you could join us at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare, you can contact your insurance and ask for rehab options that you can get coverage from. If you need help knowing how to do that, or even if you don’t have insurance, you can contact us here and provide the necessary information for us to get back to you to explain the intake process as clearly as possible.

We at Granite Mountain Behavioral Healthcare offer services to aid those hoping to leave their addictions behind them that can’t be found anywhere else. Because we are aware that finances might be an obstacle to many, we don’t believe in short-term solutions and we understand that some might have to set a deadline. At the core of all our programs is the desire to do more than just end substance abuse, and to actually empower individuals and change them in the long run through their transformation process so that they can become fully independent.

We hope to help you any way we can, so do not hesitate to contact us. Visit our website for more information on how to reach out to our team, so they can guide you through all of the options, financial or not. No matter what financial decision you’ll make, the only option you cannot pick is to not get the help you need.

 

References: