How Does Opiate use Lead to Addiction?

How Does Opiate use Lead to Addiction?

Opiates have been used for many years as a form of pain management and are still prescribed today. In the early 1900s, heroin was used as a cough suppressant. This was before anyone was aware of its addictive nature. OxyContin, morphine, methadone, and hydrocodone are some of the opiates used to treat pain.

Opiate use releases endorphins, which produce a heightened sense of wellbeing. Over time, the brain is tricked into not releasing endorphins naturally. The only way a person can experience the same euphoric feelings is by continual use of the drug and in larger amounts. This triggers the cycle of addiction.

When endorphins are not released naturally, a person becomes sick or depressed unless he or she uses the opiate. Using the opiate is no longer about feeling the pleasurable effects, but avoiding the negative feelings without it. After repeated use, the brain stops creating dopamine and limits a person's ability to feel the strong and desirable euphoria, and only happens when using the opiate again. That is why a person craves the next high. When receiving pleasurable feelings turns into avoiding bad ones, the person becomes addicted to opiates.

Opiates are usually prescribed to a person for pain management. Over time and prolonged use, a person develops a tolerance to the intended dose and needs to take more and more to achieve a similar effect. When a person takes more than he or she needs, they usually doctor shop to get more prescriptions from different medical professionals. Many people who use prescription painkillers switch to a cheaper, more potent opiate - heroin.

When a person addicted to opiates stops using them, withdrawal symptoms immediately occur. The withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, disruptive sleep patterns, insomnia, nausea, and other physical and mental health conditions. The body becomes physically dependent on the opiate, and cravings set in.

Opiate addiction interrupts regular activities in a person's life. The individual with opiate addiction focuses on getting his or her next high to relieve the severe withdrawal symptoms. Opiate addiction disrupts marriages, relationships, and causes poor job performance and dependability.

There are medications to help lessen the intensity of opiate withdrawal. A person living with an opiate addiction should never detox alone. The urge for relapse is extremely strong with opiate addiction. Detox must be done safely with medical supervision.

Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.

Can Drug Addiction Cause Mental Disorders?

Can Drug Addiction Cause Mental Disorders?

Many people use drugs as an escape from reality. Drug addiction can heighten underlying mental health disorders. Certain drugs can cause paranoia, depression, and anxiety. A person with depression, anxiety, PTSD, paranoia, or other mental health problems will experience elevated levels of these symptoms.

When a person uses drugs regularly, he or she will build a tolerance to the effects of the drug. The brain develops a dependence on the drug to function and using drugs can cause brain damage, liver failure, seizures, heart attack or stroke. Drug addiction leads to many physical and mental health issues. Drugs can cause a person to overdose or lead to an early death.

People who have a mental health disorder often use drugs to alleviate the symptoms of their mental illness. When people self-medicate, any mental health problems they have are temporarily masked. Some drugs can be associated with the development of certain disorders. Instead of bringing relief, drugs can lead to new problems.

Drug abuse can cause many types of mental health illnesses. Psychosis, delirium, amnesia disorder, and perceptual disorders can develop from regular drug use. Disruptive sleep patterns, shakiness, disorientation, irritability, anxiety disorders, and depression can stem from heavy drug use.

Some drugs affect memory and can cause persisting dementia or amnesia. Long-term drug use can cause an inability to retain new memories or access old ones. Drugs damage parts of the brain that control memory retention.

Not everyone reacts the same way to each drug. One drug may cause a person to experience psychosis, but another person taking the same drug might have symptoms of anxiety. Drugs such as cocaine have been associated with the psychotic disorders. Certain drugs or alcohol can accelerate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

People living with drug addiction and mental disorders have a dual diagnosis and need to stay in therapy for a long time. It can be hard to treat a mental illness that is covered by a drug addiction. Healing will take time, but recovery is worth the effort. Sometimes people will need medication prescribed by a medical professional who can manage and monitor the progress in recovery.

Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.

Loss of Control

Does Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Lead to Substance Abuse?

A person's mental health condition can influence his or her drug or alcohol abuse. Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety can contribute to a person's substance abuse because he or she can temporarily escape reality. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating mental disorder that causes depression, intense anxiety, and intrusive memories or flashbacks that interfere with life. Many people develop PTSD from childhood abuse, military combat, natural disasters, and sexual assault. First responders are at risk of PTSD because of on-scene tragedies, accidents, or crimes.

People with PTSD often turn to drugs or alcohol to suppress his or her pain. Abusing drugs or alcohol with PTSD creates a dual diagnosis - one from an impairing psychiatric disorder and the other a substance addiction. A person with PTSD abuses drugs or alcohol as a way to seek temporary relief from the reality of daily life. He or she uses more and more to escape from painful memories and flashbacks, and increase the risk of drug or alcohol addiction.

A person with PTSD and substance addiction has a dual diagnosis and needs to get treatment immediately for his or her mental condition and addiction. A medical professional or medical team monitors the combined treatment and medication if needed. Many drugs can worsen symptoms of PTSD and cause physical impairment, overdose, or death. Alcohol abuse damages the brain's function and causes physical damage to major organs in the body. Alcohol affects a person's critical thinking, vision, speech, coordination, movement, and can cause overdose or death.

A person with PTSD is at high risk of substance abuse but when a medical professional treats the PTSD, the risk for substance abuse lessens. When a person has PTSD, he or she can have angry outbursts, feelings of helplessness, aggressive behavior, and restlessness. Individuals who are diagnosed with PTSD and drug or alcohol abuse often experience other disorders such as depression, chronic pain, chronic illness, or attention deficit disorder.

People living with PTSD often relive the traumatic event, have nightmares, and can become socially withdrawn. A person with PTSD can feel ashamed or guilty from the trauma and be reluctant to seek help. When a person with PTSD and substance abuse goes to treatment, he or she needs intense support and encouragement from family and friends. A dual diagnosis can be difficult to treat, but recovery is possible.

Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.

The Dangers of Vaping

The Dangers of Vaping

Vaping is an alternative to smoking cigarettes and has been gaining popularity in recent years. People who use e-cigarettes mostly consist of current or former cigarette smokers. E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that were developed to help wean people off tobacco products.

Since vaping does not involve the use of tobacco, people believe the product is safer than smoking. Although vaping is considered safer than inhaling tobacco smoke, e-cigarettes release nicotine, which is an addictive and harmful drug.

People who vape can become dependent on e-cigarettes like smokers who are addicted to smoking tobacco products. The e-cigarette battery-powered and heats a liquid solution that creates an aerosol spray. The spray is the vapor the person inhales. The liquid solution contains various ingredients and flavoring.

Vapors from e-cigarettes can irritate and inflame mouth cells that could lead to gum disease. Severe gum disease causes tooth loss. The vapors from e-cigarettes can also cause lung damage. The vapors can affect a person's immune system. Vaping is known to cause smoker's cough and bloody mouth sores.

Inhaling vapors can irritate the lungs and the liquid used in e-cigarettes may contain cancer-causing chemicals. When the polluted solution is breathed in regularly, a cough develops that will not go away. Over time, the cough can cause chronic bronchitis.

Teens are impulsive and can be easily influenced to try vaping. The flavoring in the vaping liquid is very appealing to teens and young adolescents. Some of the flavors are fruit and candy-flavored and can cause the product to appear less harmful than other tobacco products. This false perception is one of the reasons young adolescents try e-cigarettes.

The e-cigarettes contain a metal coil that heats up the liquid that becomes a vapor. These coils can become toxic when heated up. The metals can cause cancer and harm the nervous system.

While e-cigarettes use less nicotine than tobacco products, vaping is harmful to a person's health. When vaping, a person is inhaling hot aerosol particles, which put him or her at risk for health complications. E-cigarettes are less dangerous than a cigarette, but they are not safe.

Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.

Why is it Hard to Quit Drugs and Alcohol Alone?

Why is it Hard to Quit Drugs and Alcohol Alone?

When a person tries to quit drugs and alcohol alone, he or she is putting themselves at risk for serious mental and physical health complications. The individual can go through intense withdrawal symptoms, depending on the type of drug used, duration of use, and the severity of addiction. Some withdrawals from drugs such as heroin will cause flu-like symptoms. The uncomfortable and sometimes painful withdrawals can cause individuals to relapse.

Drugs and alcohol change the way a brain controls a body's functions. Over time, the brain becomes dependent on the drugs or alcohol and needs those substances to make the individual feel comfortable. When a person abuses drugs or alcohol, the brain's neurotransmitters release increased levels of dopamine and the individual experiences euphoric and pleasurable feelings.

Many people use drugs or alcohol to cope with stress or anxiety. If a person has an underlying mental health condition, drugs and alcohol can heighten his or her symptoms. These substances can increase anxiety, paranoia, or depression. The brain relies on the drugs or alcohol to function, which makes it hard to quit. Medication-assisted detox is a safer and more comfortable way of stopping drug and alcohol use. A medical professional can monitor the detox process and administer medication if needed.

When a person stops using drugs or alcohol, he or she can feel very sick and feel strong cravings. Making the decision to stop using is a big step. A person can face many challenges during detox, rehab, and throughout recovery. Fortunately, there are support groups and meetings where other people understand what he or she is going through. The people at support groups and meetings can give advice and encourage each other during recovery.

Counselors can help find medication that reduces cravings to use drugs or alcohol. They can teach the individual how to cope with problems without using substances. After quitting drugs and alcohol, a person has a lot of work to do. He or she needs to learn how to live without substances to cope. People, places, and things associated with his or her drug or alcohol use need to be avoided. Meeting people in support groups can lead to new, sober friendships. The person needs to develop strategies for staying away from things that can cause a relapse.

Never try to quit drugs or alcohol alone. There are safe options to quit drugs and alcohol. Anyone who wants to quit using drugs and alcohol should seek professional help. Quitting drugs and alcohol is the first step to living a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach to the road to recovery.  If you're struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, our program is specialized in dual-diagnosis treatments. Don't hesitate and call today: 844-234-LIVE.

6 Reasons Why Childhood Trauma Can Lead to Drugs and Alcohol

6 Reasons Why Childhood Trauma Can Lead to Drugs and Alcohol

When a person experiences trauma at any age, he or she might turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. Some trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and put a person at risk of developing a drug or alcohol addiction. Traumatic events can bring back painful memories or flashbacks so people with childhood trauma often turn to drugs or alcohol to escape reality.

Abuse in any form is traumatic for a child. Sexual, physical, emotional, and mental abuses are very traumatic and can impair a child's development. Fear, bad memories, and safety are some reasons why childhood trauma victims turn to drugs or alcohol.

For a teenager with childhood trauma, the risk of developing an addiction is increased. Teens often engage in risky, impulsive, or dangerous behavior and teens are easily influenced by peer pressure to try addictive substances. A teen with a traumatic history is likely to use drugs or alcohol to relieve painful memories of his or her childhood abuse or trauma.

Here are 6 reasons why childhood trauma can lead to drugs and alcohol:

  1. Escaping memories. People with childhood trauma abuse drugs and alcohol to escape the memories of their trauma and suppress any thoughts that lead to reminiscing about the event.
  2. Feeling good. Drugs and alcohol change the brain's function and cause the neurotransmitters to release high levels of dopamine. The dopamine gives the person a temporary pleasurable effect.
  3. Seeking safety. People who experience childhood trauma can feel safe when they abuse drugs or alcohol because their moods, emotions, and feelings change. They can feel safe now as opposed to the vulnerable child they once were.
  4. Control. A person who goes through childhood trauma can feel like they are in control when they use drugs or alcohol. The temporary shift in attitude allows the person to freely express his or herself and be in control of what they do.
  5. Stress relief. Sometimes people with childhood trauma turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve stress and anxiety. Substance abuse can actually contribute to more stress and anxiety.
  6. Develop social relationships. Childhood trauma might have affected the person's social relationships as a child. Using drugs or alcohol can make a person feel more social.

Seek medical treatment if you have PTSD or experienced childhood trauma and are using drugs or alcohol to cope. Mental health and addiction are treatable and recovery is possible.

Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach to the road to recovery.  If you're struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, our program is specialized in dual-diagnosis treatments. Don't hesitate and call today: 844-234-LIVE.

The Most Severe Long Term Effects Of Meth Addiction

The Most Severe Long Term Effects Of Meth Addiction

Meth is one of the most heavily trafficked drugs into the US, according to The New York Times and is still an addiction problem. Highly addictive, cheap, and potent, this synthetic drug causes many long term effects which require treatment and recovery to heal.

Impaired cognitive functioning

Meth is a central nervous system stimulant, meaning it quickly reaches the brain and strongly impacts it. Drugs like meth affect many areas of the brain and damage them. The prefrontal cortex, which houses our cognition and our cognitive functions, is one of the areas most severely impacted by meth addiction. Our cognition is the operation center for all of the things which makes us human and defines our behavior. Everything from our motor functions like walking and talking to our judgments, perceptions and more live in our cognition. When our cognitive capabilities are damaged due to meth, it can take time to repair and heal the prefrontal cortex. As a result, some cognitive damages can be long term. Severe meth addiction can result in permanent damage to motor functions like speech or muscular coordination.


The stimulant nature of meth is so intense that it causes the brain to speed up beyond its own ability to process. Sensory input channels are blasted wide open allowing an influx of information into the brain. In addition to all of the chemical responses happening in the brain as a result of meth, the brain reacts in peculiar ways like hallucinations and paranoia. Recovering meth addicts often share stories of their frightening delusions, aggressive behavior, hallucinations, and paranoia. Meth can cause an individual to enter a permanent state of psychosis if they suffer a mental break. However, miracles do happen in treatment for meth addiction. People are able to recover in remarkable ways, getting all of their mental abilities back in healthy function.

Physical damages

“Meth mouth” is one of the most common long term damages caused by meth addiction. Users who choose to smoke crystal meth are regularly inhaling a concoction of chemicals which greatly reduce the quality of their mouth health. Meth blasts through enamel and gum lining, creating rotted teeth and gingivitis. Addiction in general can pull attention away from the need to maintain dental hygiene. Staying awake in a blackout for potentially weeks at a time, a side effect of meth, can also result in neglecting dental practices.

Users who inject meth intravenously can damage their veins, get infections, and cause a great deal of damage to their physical health. Many intravenous users have permanent scars and bruises on their bodies from over injecting and turning to veins all over the body.

A meth addiction can sometimes be distinguished by the condition of a suspected user’s skin. Excoriation disorder, known as skin picking disorder, is common with meth addiction. The heightened energy, alertness, and focus created by meth can find a focus in dermatillomania, or picking the skin. Commonly, users who go on a meth ‘binge’ will end up with bloodied, scarred faces, arms, and legs, from spending a number of hours specifically focused on picking their skin. Typically this behavior ends when meth addiction ends. However, it can last and become a new ‘addiction’ in recovery.

The best move to make for recovery from drug abuse is the quickest move by calling and asking for help immediately. Recovery is possible and healing will take place in mind, body, and spirit. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers a holistic based, 12-step inspired, clinically proven program for alcoholism and co-occurring disorders. Call (844) 234-LIVE today for information on our partial care programs.

Glorifying and Romanticizing Alcohol

Glorifying and Romanticizing Alcohol

When people find themselves sobering up, it’s almost impossible not to have any temptations. Depending on which state people live in, there can be alcohol at every corner and sprawled throughout stores. Americans love their alcohol and love a good party. For someone with addiction, there’s already any old reason to drink, but there is a massive amount of help by advertisers and traditions that pile on top. It’s no wonder alcohol has taken such a large role in our society.

Perhaps in the “glory days,” someone might be able to handle the bad habit, but things had clearly progressed to complete destruction by alcohol and/or drugs. However, there will forever be the chase of that first high, that first numbing feeling, the happiest moment to date. Therefore the mind constantly tell the person they can do it! They can drink or use like a gentleman! Just keep trying! The person must keep in mind the consequences while staying spiritually fit to ward off the minds justifications. After all, it might start off fun, but the person will never know where it can be taken. It's a gamble and it's dangerous.

People with addiction and/or alcoholism must take it day by day. It’s too overwhelming to commit to forever at that time. As long as the person stays sober that day, its progression. It can become too much to think about the loss of the relief produced by the substance, for an entire lifetime. This is when the tools tools learned in treatment and therapy should be utilized. There are ways out of these mind games. It helps to think the situation all the way through. The drink or drug might sound good at the moment, but then what? By attending 12-step meetings and focusing on spirituality, there will be more consistent focus on living sober and staying connected to God. Soon life’s highs will be associated with running towards the beauty of life, rather than running away from uncomfortable feelings and into the bottle.

Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach to the road to recovery.  If you're struggling with addiction and/or mental illness, our program is specialized in dual-diagnosis treatments. Don't hesitate and call today: 833-801-5483.

How To Find a Treatment Center

How To Find a Treatment Center

Right now there are treatment centers popping up across the country. Before choosing a facility, there should be certain questions asked about the program first. Often times, it’s a good idea to get the person who's struggling out of the location he/she had been while in the behavior. First, the person must detox from the substances used. This is crucial because there can be serious problems that arise out of the withdrawal period. Some treatment centers offer this and some will require it happen before entering the facility. There are both inpatient and outpatient treatment as options, and there might be an assessment to find which is right for them.

If the person is struggling with both addiction and mental health, a dual-diagnosis center would be the best fit. Here there will be the ability to incorporate both issues to find the best solution.  There are gender-specific centers, which allow for less distraction and more focus on the issue at hand. This might have more of an effect on some more than others. Additionally, it’s important to look at the criteria of the treatment plan. There are some programs that incorporate the 12-steps and some that don’t. There are more clinical rehabs and some more holistic. Some have a combination of different factors to get through to patients in unique ways. The person might want to look at the different kinds of therapy the rehab offers. This being said, it’s important for people to stay open-minded in the process.

At this point, perspective patients will want to look at their insurance plan’s coverage. There may be the option to pay with cash also. However, if insurance is the only option, the insurance company will have the final say and approval. Sometimes the insurance company will be able to cover a portion of the bill and sometimes they would be able to pay the bill in full. This can be the most frustrating part of it all, but once this part has been taken care of its as smooth sailing as early recovery can get. All there is to do now is take it all in, and stay on the path to recovery!

If you are seeking transformation and looking for a dual-diagnosis treatment, our facility’s amazing program could be the answer you’ve been searching for! Enlightened Solutions offers a clinical, holistic and 12-step approach for the addiction recovery process. For more information call today: 833-801-5483.  

Why is Fentanyl Deadly?

Why is Fentanyl Deadly?

Fentanyl is an extremely potent and addictive opioid that causes many overdoses and deaths. Overdose is common with fentanyl abuse because users build a high level of tolerance in a very short time. Medical professionals use fentanyl in a safe environment for pain management, but many people who are addicted to painkillers use the drug.

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine, causing a person to become dependent and addicted to the substance much faster than other opioids. The tiniest amount of fentanyl can cause overdose or death. Many people overdose on fentanyl because the tiny amount they use repeatedly eventually is not enough to give the pleasurable feelings they experienced the first time. This results in the user taking higher doses of fentanyl, but the body cannot process the high amount fast enough, causing an unintentional overdose.

Sometimes people mix fentanyl with other drugs or alcohol. Fentanyl is a deadly drug and a person increases the risk of overdose or death when combining it with other drugs or alcohol.

Some signs and symptoms of fentanyl overdose include:

  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Slow breathing and heartbeat
  • Severe drowsiness
  • Inability to talk
  • Feeling faint or dizzy

Opioid-dependent individuals use fentanyl as a replacement for heroin. Fentanyl is extremely dangerous because of its potency and small amount needed to cause overdose or death. Fentanyl-related death occurs so quickly that often people are found with a syringe still in the site of injection. Many fatal overdoses that were thought to be from heroin are actually caused by fentanyl.

Healthcare professionals can prescribe fentanyl for pain management and the directions for use must be followed directly to prevent overdose or death. Fentanyl skin patches are prescribed at a low dose and used for chronic pain that cannot be controlled with other painkillers. The patch should be disposed of by flushing down the toilet to avoid contact with other people.

If a person overdoses on fentanyl, he or she should be treated immediately with naloxone, which is a drug that reverses the effects of opioid overdose. Multiple doses of naloxone may be needed to revive a person due to fentanyl's high potency. People who become dependent on or addicted to fentanyl need to seek treatment to prevent overdose or death.

Treatment is the beginning of a beautiful journey of healing, transformation, discovery, and more. Enlightened Recovery Solutions offers partial care programs for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, bringing together a harmonious balance of clinical, holistic, and 12-step philosophy. Call 833-801-5483 today for information.