Alcohol abuser on a bridge

Why does society view alcohol abuse differently than other substances?

Why does society view alcohol abuse differently than other substances?

As you know, alcohol abuse is a really big problem in many parts of the world. It's even worse for teenagers who are abusing alcohol because they don't fully understand what can happen if their drinking habits get out of control. And yet, society treats this issue differently than other substances like drugs and cigarettes. Why is that? Well, there are many reasons for this - addiction, withdrawal symptoms, etc. We will go through some of them here so that we can better understand why society views abuse of alcohol as different from other substances.

What is alcohol and its difference from other substance abuse?

To understand the vast differences in society's views on alcohol abuse versus illicit substances, we first need to get acquainted with how both of them work. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down your central nervous system and creates feelings of relaxation and lightheadedness.

Drugs are any substance that alters brain function by changing its chemistry. The key difference between these two substances is the risk they pose for addiction, dependence, or death, as well as their legality. When it comes to the risk for addiction and dependence, there's no question about alcohol.

Alcohol has a high potential for abuse because of its effects on neurotransmitters in your brain, leading to feelings of pleasure or euphoria when you drink too much. Similar risks exist with other substances like heroin and cocaine, but many people feel that alcohol is somehow different.

Why does society view alcohol abuse differently?

Alcohol has been around longer.

This could be because alcohol has been around for centuries, and it's become part of our history, culture, traditions, etc. In contrast, many other substances have been seen as illegal from the beginning. Society has gotten used to the idea of alcohol being around for a long time, but it's difficult for them to change their views on illicit substances. Or maybe people don't want to think that their favorite drink can cause serious harm in the hands of a serious drinker.

Alcohol is legal

Alcoholic beverages are legal, making them more accessible than other substances and giving people the impression that they are safe. However, alcohol is a depressant, meaning it slows down your central nervous system, which can create feelings of relaxation or lightheadedness and affect judgment-making.

Alcohol is part of our culture.

As mentioned above, alcohol has been around for centuries, and it's become a big part of many cultures. For example, in some countries like Italy or France, wine plays an important role at mealtimes and religious ceremonies. But again, the problem with this view is that society tends to ignore how dangerous alcohol can be if people drink too much too quickly without realizing it.

Alcohol also isn't considered very harmful by most people because they feel they can control their drinking habits even if they've had one too many drinks on occasion. We all know someone who hasn't let themselves go overboard when they drank; however, many individuals struggle more than others - especially teenagers whose brains are still developing and who haven't yet learned to control their alcohol intake.

The lie - Alcohol is not as dangerous as other substances.

Because of how society views alcohol, it seems like they believe that drinking alcoholic beverages isn't very harmful because people can avoid getting too drunk if they want to without a problem. But what many don't realize is how easy it is for someone with a low tolerance level to lose control over how much he drinks before realizing they need help for alcohol abuse or understanding why his judgment has been affected so badly after having had one drink too many. And when this happens now and then, most individuals can go back home at night safe and sound where family members will look after them until everything goes back to normal again the next day.

Alcohol addiction is not as severe as other substances.

Even though some people may feel like alcoholism isn't very harmful compared to addiction to certain illicit drugs, this doesn't mean it's not an issue worth looking into further. Many addicts start off by using something like alcohol until it consumes them. One morning they wake up feeling completely miserable, having had no control whatsoever. this is where they need help for alcohol abuse.

Withdrawal symptoms

Another reason why society might view alcohol abuse differently is that there are no withdrawal symptoms associated with this substance after you stop drinking - unlike heroin or cocaine that often come with cold sweats and headaches when people who have become dependent try to quit. Many people seem to feel as though these addiction-related effects somehow make alcohol different from other substances like marijuana which doesn't cause any physical pain whatsoever during withdrawal periods.

Do I have a problem with alcohol? how to tell

  • Drinking alone
  • Lying about drinking habits
  • Lack of understanding
  • Stealing money to get a bottle of alcohol
  • Hiding alcohol- stashing it in the wardrobe or anywhere else not visible
  • Spending long periods and energy thinking about where you can find alcohol, how to get hold of it, etc.
  • Feeling angry when someone tries to control your drinking habits
  • Put down by people who care for you because they're worried that you may have a problem with alcohol
  • Unable to control the amount you drink when out at a party or socializing with friends

These are all signs that someone may have an addiction issue, and this person needs to seek help for alcohol abuse. While it's not as severe as other addictions, it can lead individuals down a dangerous path if left untreated.

Why is alcohol socially acceptable?

Source of fun and relaxation

Alcohol is a substance individuals around the world have been using for centuries as a way to unwind and relax after having had a long, hard day. Because it's so readily available, individuals feel like they can enjoy this drink responsibly without any serious consequences in their lives - unlike other drugs that people tend to associate with addiction and drug-related issues. Alcohol also seems less harmful because many assume that everything will go back to normal again once you stop drinking.

Socially acceptable in our culture

The way that society views alcohol is another reason why people might think it's not such a big deal. Most individuals view drinking as socially acceptable and don't realize how easy it can be to fall into an addiction trap if they aren't careful with their intake.

Big business

Alcohol consumption has become big business, with companies spending millions on marketing campaigns to get people hooked on their brand. This insinuates that drinking alcohol is something completely normal and harmless when in reality, anyone who drinks too much can lose control over how much they consume.

The glamour of drinking

Many people enjoy the feeling of being out on a romantic date or having drinks with friends, which can be another reason why alcohol abuse might look less severe than it is.

Alcohol addiction can affect anyone.

No matter what type of lifestyle someone leads, how old he is, or where he comes from, anything is possible when we understand that our actions come down to the choices we make. And when it comes to alcohol, there are so many different ways that people become addicted and need help in overcoming their drinking habits before they begin making significant changes for the better which will last a lifetime.


These are some of the reasons why society treats alcoholism so differently than drug or cigarette use. Alcohol may be legal in most places throughout the world today, but its misuse still leads to many deaths each year.


Contact Enlightened Solutions to get help for Alcohol Abuse in New Jersey. We are a top-rated treatment center with highly trained staff.

harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment

What is the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment?

Substance abuse is a complex condition that can affect many areas of an individual’s life. There were over 20.7 million Americans in need of substance abuse treatment in 2017. Thus, it is a no-brainer that there is a dire need for specialized substance abuse treatment. The good thing is that substance abuse treatment programs help address the needs of people struggling with substance abuse.

What is the Harm Reduction Approach?

It is a well-known fact that substance abuse encourages many harmful behaviors. They include risky sexual behavior, driving under the influence, and sharing needles. The harm reduction approach aims to limit such destructive behaviors among drug addicts and improve their quality of life.

Generally, harm reduction is a public health strategy that utilizes practical ideas to limit the negative effects related to drug use. It is a social justice movement designed for drug addicts who do not respond to traditional rehabilitation methods or abstinence. The harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment contains proactive strategies that addicts can put in place on their own or with the help of their family and friends.

Examples of the Harm Reduction Model

Contrary to the punitive approach, the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment acknowledges the humanity and dignity of addicts. It aims to bring them into a community of support and care. In turn, this minimizes the harms of both ineffective and racialized drug policies and problematic drug use.

As a result, the approach promotes social inclusion and optimal health among addicts. There is no universal formula or definition for implementing the harm reduction model. But, below are the central principles involved in harm reduction practice.

1. Safe Needle Exchange Programs

Needle exchange programs provide free and sterile injection equipment. In turn, addicts who are not yet in a treatment program receive contaminant-free needles. This reduces their chances of contracting hepatitis A or HIV.

According to research, such centers serve as a bridge between addicts and other essential services. Such services include drug dependency treatments and HIV testing. These centers also provide safe disposal sites to throw away hypodermic needles and syringes.

2. Supervised Consumption Sites

Also known as Overdose Prevention Sites, these are areas that provide a safe and controlled environment for addicts to use currently illegal substances. In turn, this occurs under the supervision of trained personnel and without fear of arrest.

Such safe consumption spaces also offer mental health and medical help to users. They also provide a crisis helpline in case of emergency. Onsite workers also train the users on how to use medication-assisted treatment.

3. Medication-Assisted Treatment

Over-reliance on prescription painkillers is just as problematic as heroin addiction. Excessive use of OxyContin, Vicodin, and Fentanyl leads to opioid dependence. With the help of injectable Naloxone, methadone, and buprenorphine administered by a medical professional, addicts can reverse opioid overdose effects.

These medications also aid in limiting heroin cravings. They also improve the tolerance to HIV medications and other treatments. As a result, they enhance community and personal consistency. Treatment centers that provide this harm reduction service pair it with group therapy and counseling. Thus, patients can focus solely on mending their emotional and mental health without getting worked up about physical withdrawals.

4. Counseling and Peer Support Groups

Traditional peer support programs and counseling groups work hand in hand with the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment. They equip addicts with the relevant psychological tools to allow them to live a normal and fulfilled life.

Group and individual counseling help addicts understand the underlying reasons for their drug use. Talk and behavioral therapy assist them in taking note of the environmental and mental factors that contributed to their addiction.

5. Alcohol Treatment

Treating alcoholism involves several harm reduction strategies. For instance, the doctor and patient work together to create and maintain abstinence or limited drinking goals. Other harm reduction ideas involved in alcohol treatment include:

  • Arranging a ride before going out drinking
  • Giving your car keys to a sober companion
  • Logging off and keeping away from various social media platforms
  • Counseling and support groups to help you understand why, how, and when you drink.

6. Housing First

Also referred to as non-abstinence housing, these are permanent housing solutions for under-housed or homeless people. It also provides a safe and controlled environment for people who use drugs. They do not have to commit to abstaining from the use of illegal substances.

7. Community Mobilization and Empowerment of Rights Protection

Human rights protection is essential to health just as much as sterilized injection equipment. Mobilizing the community to realize this is vital in enforcing the harm reduction model. In turn, it is critical to legally empower communities to enhance the access of those who use illegal drugs. It also reduces cases of police harassment.

Community mobilization is also helpful when it comes to advocacy for drug policy reforms. It can help to decrease interference from law enforcement during lifesaving services. It also aids in holding and preventing various people accountable for abusing the rights of those who use drugs and reducing incarceration.

Pros and Cons of the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment

Compared to detention and the punitive approach, research shows that harm reduction strategies are more cost-effective. They also produce better and more effective results as it allows people who misuse alcohol and drugs to improve their quality of life.

Furthermore, people who use harm reduction strategies are more likely to get referrals to social services and medical organizations. They can even receive employment through special programs. By reducing the harmful effects of substance abuse, such individuals can actively work on getting their lives in order before going through physical withdrawals.

On the other hand, many people believe that implementing these strategies encourages illegal substances in the community. Likewise, some safe needle exchange sites are poorly managed. Thus, it is vital to do your research before choosing a facility.


Suppose you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse and is not willing to commit to traditional rehabilitation programs. In that case, the harm reduction approach to substance abuse treatment may be an ideal option. At Enlightened Solutions in New Jersey, our trained specialists use various harm reduction strategies to ensure addicts improve their lives.

definition of addiction

How does addiction develop and what are the key factors involved?

Several factors impact a person's risk of addiction. However, before discussing these factors, it is crucial to have a clear idea of what addiction is and what it is not.

What Is Addiction?

Simply put, addiction is a disease that affects the brain. It can alter the brain structure and the way the brain works. In the same way that cardiovascular disease affects the heart's function, addiction impedes the brain from functioning normally. Drug addiction is a chronic disease. However, like other chronic diseases, it is preventable and can be treated.

Drugs affect the brain in several ways. One is by interfering with the communication between nerve cells and how they create dopamine. When a person takes an addictive substance, their brain produces more dopamine.

Dopamine makes you feel good. The more dopamine that is released, the more a person will want to get that dopamine high again. With time, the body becomes accustomed to having higher levels of dopamine. As a result, a person loses the ability to experience joy and pleasure from everyday activities. Instead, they need to keep doing drugs to maintain a happy, joyful, or pleasurable feeling.

The need to seek that dopamine high becomes the driving force in a person's life. The pleasure they get from hanging out with friends or being in other people's company is replaced by an irrational drive to seek out drugs.

A popular myth is that addiction is the result of a moral failing. The truth is that it is a treatable disease that has a physical, emotional, and psychological impact on the person suffering from it.

What Factors Contribute to Addiction?

Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are ongoing problems in the United States and around the world. Researchers have devoted a considerable amount of time to see why people become addicted to drugs and why others who use the same drugs do not develop an addiction. Several factors can contribute to addiction. Some people may only have one of these factors and are less prone to addiction, whereas others may have several factors, increasing their propensity to develop an addiction.


Genetics plays a role in the development of most diseases. If there is someone in your family who has dealt with substance abuse in the past, it does not guarantee that you will become addicted to a substance as well. In the same way, a person in your family having cancer does not automatically mean that you will develop cancer.

However, because a member of your family has a problem with addiction, genetically speaking, there is a greater propensity for you to become an addict if you use drugs. Statistics indicate that genetics contributes to up to 60 percent of the risk of someone developing an addiction.

Your Age When You Started Taking Drugs

Research indicates that the younger a person is when they start using drugs, the more likely they will develop an addiction as they age. A critical factor in this is how a person's brain develops, especially when they are a teenager. When a person uses drugs during their formative years, they can become more vulnerable to addiction as they get older. Studies have shown that most people who develop substance use disorder begin using drugs between the ages of 18 to 24.


Statistically, men are more likely to abuse and use drugs than women. There are some noticeable differences in how drugs affect the male body as opposed to the female body. There are also differences in the drugs that men and women use. Research shows that men are more inclined to use alcohol and marijuana. Women are more likely to become addicted to drugs that lower anxiety levels. In recent years, some of these statistics have been changing.

Mental Illness

If a person has several mental illnesses, there is a higher chance that they may abuse drugs. There are several reasons why this is true. One could be that the drugs give the user a sense of well-being and euphoria. It is also possible that certain mental illnesses will impact the parts of the brain that are also affected by drugs, thereby increasing the propensity for abuse.

Unstable Home Environment

Children who grow up in a home where their parents are involved and provide a stable home environment have a decreased chance of using or abusing drugs. Conversely, children who grew up in an unstable environment, especially one where parents are addicts themselves or have a mental illness, have an increased chance of using and abusing drugs.

Growing up in an Environment Where Drugs Are Present

Suppose you were growing up in an environment where drugs were readily available or in an environment where friends and family members used drugs. In that case, this is going to impact the likelihood of developing an addiction. There are some environments where it is just easier for people to get drugs. Because the drugs are there, they decide to try them.

Looking Beyond Risk Factors

While the above-mentioned risk factors do play a role in whether a person will develop an addiction, it is vital to go beyond simple risk factors and understand the human psyche. The psyche plays a huge role in making one person different from another person.

Two people could come from families where addiction was present and both could be exposed to people who used drugs, but one person will develop an addiction and the other will not. This does not mean that one person is stronger or weaker than the other. It means that the individual psyches of people differ.

It is important to remember that idea, especially when discussing addiction treatment. Since no two people have the same road to addiction, no two people will have the same journey to recovery. For recovery programs to be effective, they need to treat people as individuals and provide a safe, inviting environment that is conducive to recovery.

Enlightened Solutions provides a safe and inviting environment where recovering is our top priority. Contact us with any questions or if you need help with addiction.


People in treatment for addiction

5 Stages of Change During Treatment For Addiction

What are the 5 Stages of Change During the Treatment For Addiction?


Addiction is an issue that affects millions of people each year. It can be difficult to recover from addiction on your own, which is why professional treatment for addiction is so important.

There are 5 stages of change during professional treatment for addiction: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. We will go over what these stages mean below!

Who Does Addiction Affect?

Addiction can affect anyone: the unborn, young children, adolescents, parents, friends, spouses, and partners of addicts as well as society at large. Addiction can be to substances such as alcohol or drugs (e.g., heroin) but it also includes behavioral addictions such as gambling or sex addiction.

Addiction is a dangerous situation that needs professional treatment. Addiction is a progressive disorder, meaning it becomes worse over time if left untreated.

Is Addiction Treatment Important?

Alcohol and drug treatment is very important for anyone who is suffering from addiction. Without treatment, the effects of addiction can be detrimental to an individual's physical and emotional health and could even be potentially fatal. Some people may not understand why treatment is so important in their lives until it is too late, but treatment does help many individuals recover from addictions to drugs or alcohol.


When an individual enters treatment because he/she needs treatment or because someone else has helped them go into treatment, then it is called "intake" which means that the person will be evaluated before he/she receives treatment at a treatment center.

Intake may involve a lot of different things including a mental health assessment, medical assessment, and a substance abuse assessment. If the treatment center is licensed and has medical staff members on-site they will administer those assessments and treatment will begin as soon as possible depending on what kinds of treatment you need.


Inpatient treatment means that you will have to check into treatment for a certain amount of time. Treatment may be from 30 days to 90 days or longer, but it depends on your treatment program. In some cases, an individual might just need outpatient treatment sessions. Some individuals may go to one session during the day around their work schedule or school schedule. Once treatment is done they can return home and continue going about their regular daily routine instead of being required to stay in treatment all of the time.

The Benefits of Addiction Treatment

The benefit of addiction treatment is that you get to be in a safe environment where everyone understands what you are going through and can share their stories with others who know exactly how they feel. Having this kind of environment will make an individual more likely to open up about what they are feeling or experiencing, thus creating more effective treatment goals.

Enlightened Solutions in New Jersey offers treatment for addiction in a group setting, among other programs. This could be beneficial to some who are shy or may not want treatment alone. The main benefit of addiction treatment is the fact that treatment works and our facility is always available.

Here are the 5 stages of change during addiction treatment:

The Precontemplation Stage of Change

This stage of change is when the addict does not believe that they have a problem with addiction. They might feel like their problems are caused by outside factors and will remain in this stage until those factors go away. During professional addiction treatment, counselors can help addicts understand how much their actions affect others as well as themselves.

The Contemplation Stage of Change

In the second stage of change, addicts begin to feel ambivalent about their drug or alcohol problems during professional addiction treatment. They have a desire to change but at this point, they may not be ready because it means giving up things that are important in their lives - such as friends and family members they spend time with.

The Preparation Stage of Change

In the third stage of change, addicts begin to feel a little more committed towards professional treatment for addiction and they are ready to make some changes in order to get better from their addictions.

The Action Stage of Change

In the fourth stage of change during professional addiction treatment, clients gain full commitment toward professional treatment for addiction and recognize that professional treatment for addiction is necessary to change their lives and get better from their addictions.

The Maintenance Stage of Change

In the final stage of professional addiction treatment, addicts feel confident that professional treatment for addiction has enabled them to gain control over their lives and they will be able to maintain an alcohol-free or drug-free lifestyle upon leaving professional addiction treatment.

The Dangers of Addiction

There are countless dangers associated with drug addiction. Some examples include kidney damage, loss of motor coordination, difficulty breathing, and memory impairment.

Those who become addicted to drugs or alcohol can also face legal issues involving theft or unlawful behavior in order to continue their drug addiction. Additionally, when individuals attempt to stop using the drug after becoming addicted, they may experience intense withdrawal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, fever, goosebumps, and intense cravings for the substance.

Addiction Impact on Society

Drug addiction also has an impact on society as a whole with increased crime rates being linked to those who have been arrested for buying illegal substances. In 2004 alone there were 3 million arrests for drug-related offenses. If you have been arrested for a drug-related offense the charges may affect your social status, employment prospects, and the custody of any children.

Addiction Effect of the Economy

Drug addiction is a complex issue that affects the life of the individual as well as those around them. Additionally, drug addiction has been shown to have an impact on the economy as the demand for health services as well as law enforcement resources increases through the increased prevalence of drug abuse.

In 2004 there were three million arrests for drug-related crimes in the United States alone. This shows how prevalent drugs are in society today. It costs billions of dollars every year to try and fight these drugs and their abusers but this doesn't seem to be doing much good. The cost will continue to increase if we don't find ways of solving the problem.

The goal of addiction treatment is to create a new, sober lifestyle. The treatment method that works best for one individual may not work for another. At Enlightened Solutions, we believe that professional addiction treatment is the way to go.

We offer a wide range of services for each individual client which helps them find their path towards sobriety. We provide them with all the tools they need to continue it after they leave our care. Contact us today if you or a loved one is suffering from addiction.

Person passed out from alcohol addiction

How Does Alcohol Addiction Change Our Bodies?

The intention of alcohol manufacturers is for drinkers to take in moderation, but unfortunately, a significant number exceeds the limit by drinking heavily. Heavy drinking is consuming five or more alcoholic drinks on one occasion, even if it's for a day within the last 30. Heavy drinking often develops into an addiction. Heavy drinkers should know that alcohol addiction changes our bodies by causing harmful effects. The damage to internal organs might not be visible, so it is essential to act upon noticing the first signs of alcoholism.

Alcohol causes harmful effects because it becomes a waste product and the body, through various organs, tries to excrete it. Even a small amount of alcohol affects the body systems. It is worse when the alcohol exceeds the level that your body can process. Intoxication happens as alcohol builds up in your bloodstream and distributes throughout the body to cause some of these changes.

An estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually.

Alcohol addiction changes the body in bits by affecting these different organs.


Heavy drinking increases the risk of harmful and potentially life-threatening liver issues. The liver is the body part that breaks alcohol down and removes it from blood. Too much alcohol within a short period may overwhelm the metabolism process leading to fatty liver. The challenges to break down alcohol can lead to type 2 diabetes or liver failure. Excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption can cause these other severe liver complications:

  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Alcoholic hepatitis

The conditions need an accurate diagnosis, kidney medication, and an intensive alcohol addiction treatment plan.


The heart is vulnerable to excessive alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking can, with time, weaken the heart. A weak heart slows the delivery of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to other vital body organs. Heavy drinking increases triglyceride levels in the blood. Triglyceride is s type of fat that, at high levels, increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Some early alcohol-triggered cardiovascular effects like an irregular heartbeat or blood pressure may trigger other problems later in life. Addiction causes long-term consequences including:

  • Stroke
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cardiac conditions


The brain is one of the areas that suffer the effects of excessive alcohol and addiction. Heavy drinking causes temporary complications like loss of memory and coordination. It can, with time, cause long-term, sometimes irreversible side effects. Excessive and prolonged alcohol use may interfere with the brain's structure and functions. It may also impact the body communication pathways due to damage on different brain regions, especially the:

  • Limbic system
  • Cerebellum
  • Cerebral cortex

Normal functioning reduces, for instance, when alcohol affects the cerebellum, the area of the brain that coordinates motor skills. A loss of balance, emotional response, and memory issues also are signs of how alcohol addiction changes our bodies.


The pancreas helps regulate blood sugar levels and is a part of the digestive process. Drinking alcohol for many years can negatively affect the pancreas leading to lasting health complications. Unfortunately, many pancreatic conditions are not diagnosed in the early stages. They become severe. Lengthy alcohol abuse can gradually cause swelling of blood vessels around the pancreas and the occurrence of pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis increases the risk of developing a rapid spreading and dangerous pancreatic cancer. Alcoholics with symptoms below are likely to have a pancreatic attack.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Fast heart rate

Medication and other treatment methods help to manage pancreatitis effects but reversing the condition is very difficult.

In addition to body organs, alcohol addiction changes our bodies by affecting body systems and prevents them from functioning optimally. A body system is a group of tissues and organs that perform crucial functions like growth, survival, and reproduction.

Too much alcohol and addiction affect the following body systems.

Central Nervous system

Alcohol changes our behavior by inhibiting coordination and speaking, causing slurred speech. A weakened central nervous system also affects:

  • Impulse control
  • Ability to make memories these causing blackouts
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Temporary paralysis

Heavy drinking progresses to dependency, and those why try to stop drinking experience severe withdrawal effects. Long-term use may cause the shrinking of the frontal lobes in the brain.

Immune system

The body relies on the immune system to fight off viruses, bacteria, and other illness triggers. Alcohol slows down the immune system and reduces the efficiency of the white blood cells in fighting bacteria. Heavy drinkers compromise their immune systems more, increasing the risk of contracting various forms of cancer and succumbing to illnesses like pneumonia and tuberculosis, even with alcohol addiction treatment.

Excretory system

This system removes waste products, including alcohol, from the body. Consuming excess alcohol can affect normal insulin production by the pancreas and create toxic substances that start destroying it. Too much drinking may harm the liver to slow its job of breaking down the harmful substances in the body. A liver malfunction can cause cirrhosis, a buildup of scar tissue that destroys the liver.

Digestive system

Severe damage occurs quickly in the digestive system. Alcohol steadily causes malnutrition by making it difficult for the intestines to manage bacteria and absorb nutrients.

Skeletal System

Alcohol abuse inhibits the production of new bones. The slow production increases the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis. The muscles are also more likely to cramp, weaken, or degenerate.

Circulatory system

Alcohol addiction changes our bodies much by impacting heart function. A heart problem is more likely to occur in heavy drinkers than someone who does not drink. Drinking heavily, even for one occasion make can cause heart trouble. The risk for women is more than for men. Heart problems that alcoholism can cause include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Poisoning of cells in the heart muscle
  • High blood pressure

Reproductive system

Erectile dysfunction is a common side effect in men who drink excessively. Alcohol inhibits hormone production causing infertility. Alcohol can stop menstruation and cause infertility in women. Additionally, it heightens the risk of breast cancer.

Alcohol addiction also causes short short-time side effects.

  • Slurred speech
  • Mood shifts
  • Memory lapses
  • Slowed breathing
  • Poor or lack of coordination

Some people experience fewer side effects from alcohol addiction, while others suffer from multiple side effects. All of them translate to addiction problems, so it is crucial to seek alcohol addiction treatment under the care of professional alcohol recovery experts. Specialized alcohol treatments programs help overcome the urge to drink and withdrawal symptoms that make people give up.

It is also essential to consult a medical professional when recovering from addiction who can run a series of tests that will reveal the existence of any addiction-related illnesses and recommend treatment.

Enlighted Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment facility- we focus on healing the whole person, not just treating the addiction. Our individualized recovery plans combine a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, acupuncture and chiropractic work, and equine-assisted therapy. Our location near the southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal healing and relaxation.

If you need relief from addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.

Benefits Of Drug Addiction Treatment

5 Benefits of Drug Addiction Treatment

Millions of people in the US need treatment for some type of substance use disorder (SUD) but do not seek help from an alcohol or drug addiction treatment facility. According to The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP), only 10 percent of the 23 million people aged 12 or older with a SUD receive the treatment they need.

So it's a big deal that you're curious about the benefits of drug addiction treatment in preparation for recovery. A list of benefits awaits, whether you're going to rehab for prescription drug addiction or addiction to illicit drugs such as heroin or cocaine.

What Is Drug Addiction?

The term "addiction" is used to describe a substance use disorder. The substance can be drugs or alcohol. SUD is a mental health disorder marked by a psychological dependence on a certain substance.

Concerning drugs, people develop an addiction from abusing prescription drugs such as benzodiazepines, Adderall, methamphetamines, and opioids. Commonly abused opioids include codeine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl. Prescription drug abuse mainly involves taking more pills than prescribed or taking medication prescribed to someone else.

Illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and hallucinogens are addictive and cause dependency.

One of the telltale signs of addiction is compulsively seeking and using drugs while disregarding the health, financial, social, and legal consequences.

Why Drug Abuse Can Be a Difficult Habit to Kick

Drug use is habit-forming and often results in addiction because of how it affects the brain. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), drug addiction is a complex disease. This makes it difficult to overcome on your own.

Addictive drugs such as heroin and prescription opioids, for example, cause euphoria (feeling "high") coupled with a false sense of well-being. They adversely affect the dopamine system in your brain. The chemicals in the drugs cause the brain's reward system to stay "on" which makes you feel as if you need the drug to feel normal.

The longer someone uses an addictive substance, the more of it they'll need to feel good. But the dopamine system is never satisfied. Meanwhile, it becomes increasingly difficult for you to quit. Even when you're ready to start recovery, it will take more than strong will or good intentions to regain your sobriety. What's usually needed is comprehensive treatment at a drug addiction treatment facility and the tools to prevent relapse.

5 Benefits of Drug Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a treatable disorder and there are various benefits to reap by going to a drug addiction treatment facility. Here are five important ones.

1. It is a safe way to quit

Quitting "cold turkey" or on your own can be potentially dangerous or life-threatening. Instead, you can receive medical detox at an inpatient or outpatient detox facility under the supervision of a physician and a therapist. Detox helps you to physically withdraw from drugs. You'll get help managing discomforting withdrawal symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, or insomnia. Detox also prepares you for receiving drug addiction treatment or therapy. Types of therapies include cognitive-behavioral therapy, trauma therapy, and family therapy.

2. You can receive treatment for a co-occurring disorder

You will need to undergo a detailed physical, mental, and psychological evaluation at the drug addiction treatment facility of choice. The evaluation helps to determine the extent of treatment required including the need for addressing mental health conditions. Common conditions that occur alongside addiction include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A co-occurring disorder is often the reason for drug abuse in the first place or the reason it's hard to quit.

3. You'll learn the root causes of substance abuse

Substance abuse does not happen in isolation. There is usually some underlying factor or reason why people turn to drugs. Factors (also called triggers) include stress, grief, trauma, negative thoughts or emotions, belief system, family history, or a mental health disorder. These individuals tend to see drug use as a way to cope and don't usually set out to get addicted. While receiving drug addiction treatment, your therapist will help you peel back the layers to learn what pushes you to drug use and healthy ways to cope.

4. You will receive tools for protecting your sobriety

The main goals of drug rehabilitation are to stop drug use and prevent relapse. You will learn the tools to handle drug use triggers, whether it's a person, place, thing, thought, feeling, or mental health condition. You'll be able to focus on building a productive life as you commit daily to abstaining from drugs. Your coping strategies can also include a network of people who can keep you in check, especially at times when you feel vulnerable to relapse.

5. You can finally get your life back

Many people addicted to drugs may suffer setbacks in life such as losing their job, friendships, money, home, or family. The loss can be devastating and make it seem impossible to rebuild your life. Whether it's you or a family member, going through rehabilitation is a major stepping stone to putting your life back together. Part of the rehab program may involve providing you with the skills and tools to help you reconnect with loved ones, find work, or secure transitional housing.

Addiction Treatment at Enlightened Solutions

Now that you know more about the benefits of drug addiction treatment, hopefully, you feel more ready and empowered to take the next step. That step could be contacting a rehab facility to ask about their recovery programs. Enlightened Solutions have programs and therapies designed to meet the individual needs of the men and women in our care. They include:


  • Outpatient
  • Intensive outpatient
  • Partial care program
  • Medical detox


  • Dual-diagnosis treatment
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy (DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • 12-step program

Our addiction specialists take a comprehensive approach to treatment by seeking to address addiction from various angles. Addressing the addiction may include recommending dual diagnosis treatment to help you overcome substance abuse and a co-occurring mental health disorder such as anxiety or depression. Studies suggest that those who receive dual diagnosis treatment have a greater chance of staying sober after leaving a drug addiction treatment facility.

Call 833-801-LIVE to speak with our admission counselor or find out more about our programs and therapies.

Signs of Drug Addiction

10 Signs of drug addiction to look out for

Signs Of Drug Addiction You Should Be Aware Of

Drug addiction is a problem that knows no race, class, or gender. And it’s something that’s not always easy to overcome. But the first step in that process is always the same. It’s learning the common signs of drug addiction so you’ll know when to get help for yourself or a loved one who’s struggling.

Some of the tell-tale signs of drug addiction are easy to spot. There are often physical and behavioral effects that are obvious to all. But some of the other signs are so subtle that they’d go unnoticed by an addict’s friends, family, and social circle if they’re not on the lookout for them.

To help, here’s a list of ten signs of drug addiction to look out for that paint an unmistakable picture of someone in need of drug addiction treatment. We’ll begin with the most obvious signs and work our way down to some of the harder-to-spot symptoms. Let’s begin.

Physical Changes

Drug addicts often display one or more physical symptoms of the effect a drug is having on their bodies. And although they’re not definitive signs of an addiction, they should be enough to get your attention. Some of the most common physical signs of drug abuse are:

  • Pupils that are enlarged, too small, or unresponsive to changes in lighting
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Poor coordination or motor control
  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden changes in weight
  • Chemical odor on breath or clothing
  • Unusual marks on the skin
  • Lethargy and/or insomnia

Although some conditions other than drug addiction may cause some of the symptoms listed above, none of them are routine. And if the person in question is suffering from an overdose or another serious adverse reaction to a drug, they may also:

  • Have difficulty breathing
  • Suffer hallucinations
  • Become aggressive or outwardly agitated
  • Lapse in and out of consciousness

If any of these are present, get help immediately.

Changes to Grooming Habits

Someone addicted to a drug will frequently begin to alter their daily routines, prioritizing procuring and consuming the drug above almost all else. For that reason, it’s common for an addicted person to begin letting some of their normal grooming habits fall by the wayside. They might shower less frequently, neglect to wash their clothing, and stop shaving or styling their hair. As their condition deteriorates, the effects of these changes become more and more obvious.

Poor Decision-Making

Drug addiction often interferes with the addict’s ability to use sound reasoning and make good decisions. This might lead them to engage in behavior that they would never have considered before becoming addicted. They might:

  • Frequent dangerous areas in search of drugs
  • Begin stealing from friends and family to support their habit
  • Drive while high or otherwise impaired
  • Engage in risky sexual behaviors

Lying About Drug Consumption

In many cases, drug addicts will go to great lengths to deny or downplay their drug use. This almost always includes them lying to family and friends about their drug consumption. They do it as a defense mechanism – rationalizing their problem away as either being nobody’s business or not bad enough to warrant attention from others. They will also frequently become defensive when challenged about their drug habits, lashing out at those trying to get them the help they need.

Secretive Behavior

Because it’s so difficult to conceal the signs of drug addiction from others, addicts often begin to exhibit secretive behavior as their condition worsens. They might start to isolate themselves at home or drop out of sight with increasing frequency as they seek to feed their addiction. This is a symptom that goes hand-in-hand with lying about their drug consumption – and is frequently the next escalation of that behavior.

Changes in Friends and Social Groups

Drug addiction often drives a person to drift away from their established friend group or social circle. This may be due to their need to conceal their addiction or a result of them seeking out others in similar circumstances to their own. You may also notice a parade of new acquaintances appearing and disappearing out of their lives. It’s all an indication of the instability that drug addiction creates in the addict’s life.

An Increase In Crisis Situations

Another common sign of drug addiction is an increase in the number of crises that appear in the addict’s life. They may neglect their work or home obligations, leading to frequent blow-ups and emergencies as they try to cope. They might seek out others’ help to get them out of trouble when it happens, and as these incidents pile up, it will become clearer that there’s an underlying cause at work.

Sudden or Frequent Financial Difficulties

As a drug addiction worsens, the addict will likely consume more and more of the substance at the root of their problem. And that leads to financial difficulties as the drug eats up more and more of their budget. They may begin asking friends and family to borrow money, often in odd amounts, reflecting the cost of the drug they’re trying to procure. They may also be hesitant to disclose why they need the money or offer unusual or implausible excuses for their behavior.

Drastic Relationship Changes

Because of the toll drug addiction takes on a person, both physically and mentally, it’s often difficult for an addict to maintain stable relationships with others. They may begin to neglect those they care about or begin to behave in a way that drives those close to them away. The result is often a string of broken relationships that forms an unmistakable sign of a person in need of drug addiction treatment.

An Increase in Drug-Related Illnesses

Although it’s difficult to draw a straight line between drug use and specific illnesses, there are some types of illnesses that addicts frequently fall victim to. Those addicted to intravenous drugs like Heroin might end up with bacterial infections, hepatitis, or even HIV (if they’re sharing needles with an infected person). And those addicted to Cocaine might suffer respiratory complications such as breathing difficulty or pulmonary edema. If someone begins getting diagnoses like these with no other obvious causes, drug addiction might be to blame.

The Bottom Line about signs of drug addiction

Drug addiction creates a painful and difficult situation, both for the addict and for the people who care about them. But the sooner you can identify a drug addiction, the easier it may be for the person to get the help they need to recover. Learning the signs of drug abuse detailed above is the first step in spotting someone who might be suffering from drug addiction. And although they may hesitate to admit their problem, they’ll at least know where to reach out to seek treatment when they’re ready.

And at Enlightened Solutions, we stand ready to provide that treatment. We’re a licensed treatment center that offers recovery services rooted in the 12-step philosophy. We build an individualized recovery program for each client that is designed to heal them as a person – not to just address their addiction.

We combine a variety of treatments, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), art and music therapy, meditation, and yoga to help our clients overcome their addiction and emerge from treatment with the tools they need to live better healthier lives.

If someone you love is exhibiting any of the signs of addiction discussed here, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information. We’re ready to help.

The Inner Workings of Rehab

Recovery from alcohol or drug addiction isn’t easy. Overcoming addictive behaviors and staying sober requires motivation, support, and expertise. Rehab centers offer just this. They offer evidence-based treatment approaches under the guidance of professional staff and provide compassionate care to help you develop the skills to overcome your addiction and remain committed to sober living.

What Is the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab?

There are two types of rehab centers - inpatient and outpatient. Outpatient centers offer part-time programs that fit in around your daily life. Programs may offer 10-20 hours of treatment each week so you can continue to work and fulfill other obligations.

Inpatient programs are intensive, residential rehab programs where you stay in the treatment facility. Programs vary in length but most last at least thirty days. Inpatient programs offer a safe and controlled environment with twenty-four-hour medical support. They tend to be more effective than outpatient programs for more severe cases of addiction. 

What Treatment Options Do Rehab Centers Offer?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most effective treatment programs offer a combination of different treatment options tailored to match each individual’s needs. Everyone’s experience of addiction is different, and no single treatment approach suits everyone. Rehabilitation programs tend to offer a variety of different therapies and holistic healing approaches to provide a treatment experience that works for you.

These treatment options may include:

  • Individual therapy
  • 12-step program
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Dialectical-behavioral therapy
  • Group therapy and support groups
  • Experiential therapies such as music therapy, art therapy, and equine therapy
  • Dual diagnosis
  • Family therapy
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Medically assisted detox

Addiction treatment programs help you identify the causes of your addiction and develop the skills to overcome them. This may involve learning what your triggers are and how to avoid them or developing coping skills to deal with triggers in healthy ways. 

Rehabilitation also aims to improve your mental and spiritual well-being. It is a chance to find joy and inspiration in sober life and commit to your recovery journey.

What Is Dual Diagnosis and How Does It Help Treat Addiction?

Almost 50% of people with a substance use disorder also suffer from another mental health condition. Co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression can be the driving force behind addiction. If ignored, they can cause addictive behaviors to resurface, even after years of sobriety.

Dual diagnosis programs treat co-occurring disorders alongside addiction. They offer a holistic healing approach that aims to treat the entire person. Dual diagnosis helps you overcome the underlying causes of your addiction so you can maintain sobriety in the long term.

What Are The Different Stages of a Rehab Experience?

A recovery program usually begins with an in-depth assessment of the nature of your addiction and your circumstances. This allows therapists, medics, psychologists, and other staff to design a treatment plan to suit you.

For most people, the next stage in the recovery process is detox, to remove all traces of the substance and its toxins from your body. Rehab centers typically offer medically assisted detox to ensure that withdrawal is as safe and comfortable as possible. 

After detox, the main part of the treatment program begins. You participate in therapy sessions, support groups, and other treatment modalities over several weeks or months. During this time, you learn and develop the skills you need to overcome addiction.

The final stage of rehabilitation is aftercare. Recovery is a lifelong process that requires continued support and commitment. Rehab programs may connect you with support groups in your local area, provide you with a sober companion, or offer guidance to family members. 

Aftercare programs help you to stay supported and motivated once you have left a rehab center and guide you to lifelong recovery.

If you are struggling with addiction or substance abuse, recovery can seem scary or even impossible. However, with the proper support, anyone can recover from addiction. 

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients a variety of evidence-based tools to assist them with moving forward in their sober journey. We focus on healing the whole person and not just treating their addiction. Our world-class treatment program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and offers each client an individualized recovery plan.

We offer a range of advanced treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care, and equine-assisted therapy. Our location near the southern shore of New Jersey offers unparalleled healing and relaxation.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.



How Quitting Alcohol Can Revitalize Your Life

When you stop drinking, you see immediate improvements in your life - you have more time, energy, and money. Quitting alcohol improves your physical health, your mental well-being, and your appearance. It can help you heal relationships with loved ones, excel at work, and turn your life around.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Improve Your Health?

Even drinking small amounts of alcohol can be harmful to your health. However, drinking more than the recommended guidelines significantly increases the risk of developing long-term health problems, including cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, and a weakened immune system. Alcohol-related health problems are serious and widespread - more than 95,000 people die each year in the United States due to excessive drinking.

Luckily, your body is an incredible creation that can repair itself. Research shows that some of the damage alcohol causes to your liver, gut, heart, and brain begins to heal as soon as you stop drinking. This is true regardless of your age or how long you have been drinking - it is never too late to enjoy the benefits of being sober.

Quitting alcohol can also help you lose weight. Alcohol contains the second-highest amount of calories of any kind of food, and excessive drinking is often a key contributor to weight gain. Alcohol contains ‘empty calories’ that have almost no nutritional value - it doesn’t benefit our bodies in any way. 

Stopping drinking is a chance to start eating well, exercising, and practicing self-care - the foundations of a healthy lifestyle.

How Can Quitting Alcohol Make You Happier?

Drinking too much is not only damaging to your physical health - alcohol abuse and alcoholism (or alcohol use disorder) is also linked to mental health conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Around 50% of people with alcohol use disorder also have another co-occurring condition. Quitting alcohol makes you less likely to develop anxiety or depression and is a crucial step in recovering from existing conditions so you can live a joyful and productive life.

Recovery from alcohol also helps you to improve your overall well-being and feel better in yourself. Heavy drinking often comes with feelings of guilt and shame, which can be exacerbated by difficult relationships with loved ones or problems at work and home. As you recover from alcohol, you may grow in self-confidence, appreciate your self-worth, and enjoy healthy and happy relationships with those around you.

What Are the Effects of Alcohol on Your Thinking and Memory?

Excessive alcohol consumption also affects your memory and other cognitive functions. It can make you think less clearly, decrease your attention span, and impact your problem-solving skills. Quitting alcohol can help you reverse these changes so you can increase your mental performance at work and in your daily life.

What Can You Do Instead Of Drinking Alcohol?

Drinking alcohol takes away your time. Getting drunk can take a whole evening, night, or day and the hangover the next morning may leave you confined to your bed. Stopping drinking gives you the chance to rediscover old passions, find exciting new hobbies, and leaves more time to care for yourself and your loved ones.

Alcohol is also expensive. Even moderate drinking can become costly - if you drink only one $5 glass of wine a day, you end up spending $1825.00 over the whole year. When you give up alcohol, you can use this money for other more valuable things like family holidays, home improvements, or just living a more comfortable everyday life. 

Quitting alcohol may not be easy, but you can overcome your addiction and revitalize your life with the right support. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients powerful tools to move forward in their sober lifestyle. 

We focus on healing the entire person and not just treating their addiction. Our recovery program is rooted in the 12-step philosophy and offers each client an individualized recovery plan. Our licensed treatment center near the southern shore of New Jersey is the perfect place for healing and relaxation. 

If you struggle with addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.








How Dangerous Are Smart Drugs?

Smart drugs are stimulant prescription medications that people use to enhance their mental performance. Smart drugs can make you feel more awake, more motivated and improve aspects of memory and learning. Like all stimulants, however, they pose serious health risks, and abusing smart drugs can lead to heart problems, psychosis, paranoia, and addiction.

Why Do People Use Smart Drugs?

Smart drugs such as dextroamphetamine (Adderall®) and methylphenidate (Ritalin®) increase the signaling of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical that produces feelings of euphoria and may enhance cognitive functions.

Doctors prescribe Adderall and Ritalin for certain psychiatric disorders like attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. However, there is a growing trend of the misuse of smart drugs by healthy people without any medical need. This includes:

  • Professionals to increase their productivity
  • Older people to slow declining cognition
  • High school and college students to improve academic performance.  Research suggests that in North America, up to 25% of students may have used smart drugs

What Are The Short-Term Dangers of Smart Drugs?

While smart drugs may cause short-term improvements in brain function, they can also have uncomfortable and dangerous side effects. 

Common adverse effects include headaches, dizziness, nervousness, and insomnia, though some people have more extreme reactions. Taking smart drugs can cause psychotic episodes, extreme paranoia, and suicidal thoughts.

Taking high doses of smart drugs also puts you at risk of an overdose. Stimulant overdoses, while not normally fatal, can be extremely dangerous. You may develop a dangerously high body temperature, fast or irregular heartbeat, cardiovascular failure, and have seizures.

What Are The Long-Term Effects of Smart Drugs?

While it may be tempting to use smart drugs to help you do better in college or be more productive at work, repeatedly using smart drugs can lead to a range of severe health problems. 

Using smart drugs may lead to psychiatric disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, and depression. These conditions can have an immense impact on your mental well-being and decrease your productivity and performance in the long run. 

Repeated use of smart drugs can also lead to addiction. When you take smart drugs, it activates the reward pathway in your brain, producing urges to seek and reuse the substance. It also interferes with your ability to resist these urges. These effects may be stronger on a developing brain, putting young people at greater risk.

Addiction is a serious illness that can be devastating to your health, work, and social life. It is a chronic brain disease that causes physical changes in the brain, which can be long-lasting or even permanent. Recovering from addiction requires commitment and support, usually from a rehabilitation center or professional treatment program.

Do Smart Drugs Improve Mental Performance?

Most people misuse smart drugs to try and improve their mental performance. However, scientific research offers contradictory evidence on their effectiveness. Several studies suggest that for healthy individuals, smart drugs do little to improve most cognitive functions. 

A systematic review of studies found that Modafinil did increase wakefulness and attention, even in healthy individuals. However, it also made individuals feel more confident, making it difficult to assess its impact on other aspects of cognitive performance. 

Similarly, a study on the effects of Adderall on young people found that there was no improvement in cognitive functions such as working memory, control, creativity, and intelligence for most people. However, as with Modafinil, participants did perceive their mental skills to be enhanced. This overconfidence may hinder someone’s ability to complete tasks and work effectively, outweighing any benefits of the drug.

Smart drug abuse and addiction can cause serious damage to your health, social life, and work performance. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients tools to use as they move forward in a sober lifestyle. 

Our treatment program focuses on healing the whole person and not just addiction. Our individualized recovery plans are rooted in the 12-step philosophy and provide a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic care, and equine-assisted therapy. 

Our treatment facilities are located near the southern shore of New Jersey, allowing us to provide optimal healing and relaxation throughout your stay. If you struggle with addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.