Cenikor Donations

Articles Archives | Cenikor Foundation

What Happens When You Quit Drinking Alcohol?

There may be nothing tougher to fight than the silent enemy of addiction. As you try to find a path to recovery so you can quit drinking alcohol, you may feel like you are going down dead-end roads. The cycles of alcohol withdrawal and detox is a serious biological event.

It has nothing to do with how much you want to be free of your addiction. Nor does it matter how often you drink, how much you drink, or where you drink. Another article about learning more about how or why you drink may not help you understand what happens to you when you quit drinking alcohol.

Please keep reading if you want to learn more about what happens during alcohol withdrawal and detoxification. That way, you’ll know what to expect and when the symptoms of withdrawal may happen to you. It’s a wise decision to learn what to expect as you go through alcohol withdrawal and detoxification.

When You Quit Drinking Alcohol

The best way to provide information about what happens when you quit drinking alcohol is to divide it up into stages. The first biological event your body goes through in alcohol withdrawal and detoxification is the level of the neurotransmitter GABA goes up. Alcohol blocks GABA function, so it’s free to provide you with an inebriated state.

When you stop drinking, your brain no longer has to block GABA functions. So, your brain begins to return to its normal state. The second biological event is the level of neurotransmitter glutamate goes down. It may be a slight amount, but it does go down.

Glutamate is an excitatory neurotransmitter that stimulates brain cells, causing them to be more “excited.” Several other neurotransmitter levels can go up, including dopamine.

Alcohol Withdrawal

While several neurotransmitter levels can go up like what happens with dopamine sometimes, they can also go down slightly. This means some neurotransmitters like acetylcholine, norepinephrine, serotonin go down, but no one can agree on what that means. Some addiction experts state that excitatory neurotransmitters go up or down to meet and balance out the GABA activity.

The neurotransmitters go up or down because GABA activity is up or down, and they want to balance things out in your brain. There is a plateau stage of alcohol you reach in the withdrawal process. It’s one of the hardest phases to get through mentally and physically.

You will feel awful during the plateau phase of alcohol withdrawal. The stages start about 2-3 days after you had your last drink.

Withdrawal and Detox

Alcohol withdrawal symptoms start about 10-12 hours after you quit drinking alcohol. However, some people don’t start experiencing alcohol withdrawal and detox symptoms for 48 hours. The symptoms continue to get worse the longer you go without a drink.

A primary symptom of alcohol withdrawal is confused thinking, moodiness, poor memory, disorientation, disorganized thinking, and more. Alcohol is a powerful foe. Alcohol actively prevents your brain from making new neurons to replace the old ones that were lost during your alcohol use. Also, you will start to experience physical symptoms.

Some of the physical symptoms include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Decreased appetite
  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Trembling

Your mental state will fluctuate between depression and sadness. You might also feel nervous or anxious.  Alcohol depresses your brain’s pleasure pathways too.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

You will notice that alcohol withdrawal creates behavioral symptoms like anger or irritability. Since alcohol lowers your inhibitions, and in most cases, makes you feel better about yourself. You start losing that layer of positive behavioral self-thinking as you go through alcohol withdrawal.

By the time you reach the crash stage of alcohol withdrawal, you’ll feel so bad you want to crawl into a corner. You may want to give up physically, psychologically, and behaviorally. This symptom is due to your brain being starved for alcohol, and it’s letting you know it wants it back.

Alcohol Withdrawal and Brain Chemistry 

You’ll also have headaches and feel so depressed you may want to die. The good news is your GABA brain levels are returning to normal, and such your symptoms lessen in intensity. You may still suffer from nausea, but that’s not directly linked to withdrawal.

Rather it’s because your brain’s chemistry is trying to figure out what’s going on. The recovery stage of alcohol withdrawal is where your brain is returning to normal GABA and glutamate levels. Without the alcohol to suppress them, your brain feels better, and you feel better.

Alcohol Withdrawal and Spiritual Experience 

There are people who report they have an epiphany or spiritual experience when going through alcohol withdrawal. More than likely, this was due to the brain secreting more dopamine when you’re sick. Your brain secretes more dopamine when you are sick so you can start to feel better.

It’s the sickness that stimulates your brain to make more dopamine. That’s also when your brain wants alcohol so that it can make dopamine. Your experiences during this time can be turbulent or euphoric because of high levels of dopamine.

Your Next Step in Alcohol Withdrawal and Detoxification

There is a place you can that understands how difficult it can be for you to reach out for help when you want to quit drinking alcohol. Cenikor has compassionate advisors that help you from the first step to the last one. Cenikor is there for you if you have questions and will answer your treatment concerns.

More than anything, Cenikor helps you turn the page on your old life. They can help you find the path towards a healthy future. Cenikor treats your whole person when you go through withdrawal and detoxification.

You want and need a program that helps you find the recovery tools you can use to fight alcohol addiction for the rest of your life. Cenikor optimizes your resilience while providing the compassionate treatment you deserve. Contact us today so your future has unlimited opportunities.


Strategies to Prevent Underage Drinking

Did you know that the average teen boy tries alcohol at age 11 and the average teen girl tries it at age 13? So if you have a teenager in the house, it’s very likely that they’ve already had their first sip of alcohol, and then some.

While this might cause some concern, you can’t control what your children do. After all, the more you forbid them from doing something, the more they’ll want to do it.

So if you want to prevent underage drinking, you might be stumped as to how you can do it effectively.

But rest assured that there are actual ways to keep your children from drinking without alienating them in the process. Read on for some good strategies you should use.

Be Open With Communication

If you think back to your own teenage years, you probably were confused and had a lot of questions about various things.

How did your own parents treat your inquisitive mind? If they constantly brushed you off, or worse yet, shut you down, then that might’ve driven a wedge between you and your parents. You probably felt like you couldn’t trust them with your feelings, so you never went to them for anything.

Most likely, you don’t want that to happen with you and your kids. The more they can trust you, the better the chance you have of catching underage drinking early on.

So the best thing you can do is be open with communication. Below are a few things to keep in mind.


Facilitate Conversations

It can be hard to communicate with a teen. So, you’ll want to try and ask open-ended questions instead of just “yes” or “no” ones.

For example, you can start off by asking your children if they’re interested in drinking. Whether they answer “yes” or “no,” don’t let the conversation end there.

Keep it going by asking them “why?” They might be surprised that you care to hear what they think. And you just might be surprised at what’s going on in their minds too!

Be Compassionate and Empathetic

All too often, parents brush off their children’s feelings as “just a phase” or “not that serious.” This can make teenagers feel belittled and as if they aren’t being heard and understood.

So no matter how trivial something might seem, always remember to be compassionate and empathetic. If your kids realize that you’re able to put yourself in their shoes, then they’ll trust you more and will be more willing to open up to you.

Be Honest

When it comes to preventing underage drinking, you might be tempted to use scare tactics. You might also want to only highlight the negatives of alcohol and avoid talking about the positives.

But teens are very good at picking up on things. If you’re all doom and gloom about alcohol, they’ll know something’s up. Adults love to drink, and most do so in moderation, after all, so something doesn’t add up here.

Be honest—yes, it’s fun, exciting, and sometimes relaxing to drink alcohol. But if you drink too much, you might end up making bad decisions and doing damage to your body, both mentally and physically. Not to mention, there’s the very real issue of addiction.

It might help to do some research and find out some underage drinking statistics so you can present them to your kids. That way, they know you’re not making things up.

It can also be useful to go over the consequences of underage drinking, especially the legal ones.

And if you have a family history of addiction, don’t hide this either. This makes your teens more susceptible to addiction, and they deserve to know about it. Together, you can discuss and figure out what this means for them.

Don’t Get Angry

You were a teenager once and you know just how many slipups you made in those years. So why should you expect your children to be perfect?

You should be clear about your expectations that they shouldn’t drink and that they shouldn’t hang around people who drink either. And you should also agree on the consequences if they don’t follow your expectations.

But if they do make a mistake, don’t get angry and yell at them. You can feel free to express that you’re disappointed but make that the extent of it and then carry out the agreed-upon consequences calmly.

Get Help if Needed

Maybe at the time of reading, you already suspect that your teen is drinking alcohol. This might have you worried, but don’t lose hope.

You’ll want to sit down with your child and ask them things such as how often do they drink, why they drink, and if they have trouble stopping. If they seem to have an alcohol dependence, you might want to send them to adolescent inpatient treatment.

These programs will help teens pave the road to healthy lifestyles. So the earlier you get intervention, the better.


Prevent Underage Drinking With Our Tips

You’ll probably recall that being a teenager wasn’t the easiest thing. Those years were tough, with changes in your body, new schools, and judgment from your peers. If you keep that in mind, then it can be easier to see why underage drinking is so appealing to your kids.

When you can show them that you understand and can put yourself in their shoes, your teens will be more receptive to what you have to say. By approaching them with the correct attitude and strategies, you’ll be able to keep them safe and increase the chances of them growing up happy and healthy.

If you feel that your teen can benefit from adolescent inpatient treatment, then get in touch with us today. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.


What Happens During Detox?

About 23.5 billion Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. That’s one in every 10 Americans above the age of 12! Meanwhile, only 11% of addicts receive treatment.

Are you considering making a positive change in your life by detoxing? It’s important to prepare yourself first. Otherwise, you might fail to detox in a safe environment.

What happens during detox? Keep reading to find out. In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know before starting the detox process.

With this guide, you can prepare yourself for the road to recovery. Get started by learning what to expect during detox today.


What is Detox?

First, let’s answer the question that’s likely on your mind: what does detox mean?

The detox process allows you to remove all traces of alcohol and drugs from your body. After a detox, you should feel physically stable. Detoxing can prepare your mind and body for therapy.

Over time, your body can become accustomed to having drugs or alcohol in your system. You could become dependent on drugs. Meanwhile, your body can build a tolerance, requiring you to use more to experience results.

When you reduce and remove these substances from your system, your brain will need to adjust. Many people experience withdrawal symptoms during the detox process.

A professional detox from drugs and alcohol can help minimize your withdrawal symptoms. A professional team will ensure you’re as comfortable as possible. With their help, you can detox safely.

Detoxing alone, however, is unadvised. You might not receive the care you need in time. If you fail the process alone, your motivation to complete a successful detox could drop.

Look for a detox facility that offers access to medically trained specialists. You’ll remain under the care of healthcare professionals, including nurses and doctors, during the detox process.


How to Tell You Need to Detox

The number of alcohol liver disease deaths has already reached 24,110 a year. By determining if you need to detox, you can avoid long-term consequences, including death. Here are a few signs that could indicate you need to start the detox process.

One of the main signs you need to detox from alcohol or drugs is an increased dependence. Do you feel like you can’t get through the day without drugs? It’s likely you need to start the detox process.

Do you need to use more of a substance to feel its effects? You’ve likely developed a tolerance. You could overdose as a result.


Here are a few other ways to tell you should start the process of detox.


  1. Addiction Symptoms

Have you started demonstrating symptoms of addiction? For example, maybe you’re taking reckless risks while under the influence. Perhaps you’ve developed a habit of driving while drunk.

If you’ve started making dangerous, life-threatening choices, you might want to consider getting treatment. Start detoxing before you put your life in jeopardy.

Talk to your doctor, too. Have they noticed your health has deteriorated over time? Drug and alcohol use can damage essential organs.

You could put your heart, brain, and liver at risk.

Drug and alcohol use can also increase your risk of hepatitis C, heart failure, HIV, and other conditions.

Have your friends and family members started commenting on your substance abuse? They’ll likely notice signs of your addiction before you do. If they’re concerned, don’t shrug it off.

Instead, take their warnings seriously. It’s likely they only want to help.

Your addiction could get you in legal trouble, too. For example, you might get arrested for buying or selling drugs. You could get caught stealing or driving drunk.

Violent behavior is a common issue, too.

Are you neglecting your responsibilities? Have you missed work or school as a result of your addiction? Consider getting help.

If you don’t know how to stop using, look into local detox centers. Professional medical help will ensure you detox in a safe environment. Otherwise, detoxing alone could prove detrimental to your health.


  1. Exhaustion and Stress

Alcohol and drug abuse can impact both the mind and body. If you’re feeling stressed, it could lead to other health issues, including weight gain and sleep deprivation. Stress can also trigger depression and other health issues.

You might rely on drugs and alcohol even more to minimize your stress.

Learning more about what happens during detox could help. During a detox, you can focus on improving your mental and physical health. You can minimize the stress in your life and find healthy coping mechanisms.


  1. Skin Issues

Substance abuse can impact your skin health, too. Toxins will start to build up under the skin. Meanwhile, toxins can also overload your liver.

You could experience acne, itchy skin, eczema, and other issues.

Detoxing can help remove the toxins from your body to minimize skin problems.


  1. Sore Joints and Muscles

Are you experiencing more aches and pains throughout the day? It’s possible your body is inflamed. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to illness, disease, and toxins.

Too much inflammation over time can cause sore joints and muscles.

In addition to detoxing, you can add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet. Consider using ginger, turmeric, and garlic to ease inflammation.


  1. Digestion Issues

Are you experiencing stomach pains and digestion issues? You might experience bloating, diarrhea, or gas. Listen to your gut!

It’s telling you something is wrong.

If you’re experiencing digestion issues, take it as a sign you need to detox from alcohol or drugs. Otherwise, substance abuse can cause your entire body to deteriorate over time.


The Detox Process

With treatment, about 70% of alcoholics can decrease the number of days they consume alcohol. They can also improve their overall health within six months.

Are you thinking about undergoing the detox process? Here’s what happens during detox. By learning more about the process, you can prepare yourself before treatment.


Medical Assessment

What happens during detox? First, you’ll need to undergo a medical assessment.

A medical professional will gather information about your medical history. They’ll also ask for information about your addiction, including your substance of choice. This assessment will help them determine your unique needs.

Your team might need to take blood work to assess your health. They’ll also use testing to check your mental and physical wellbeing.

An assessment will help your medical team create your personalized detox plan.



The detox process ensures you safely manage your withdrawal symptoms under medical supervision. When you quit using dangerous substances, your body will need time to adjust. Without drugs or alcohol in your system, you’ll experience withdrawal symptoms.


These symptoms can include:

  • Fever and flu-like symptoms
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Aggression
  • Headaches
  • Skin-related changes (acne, itching, rashes, etc.)
  • Body aches and pains
  • Physical and emotional symptoms
  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shainess
  • Unstable blood pressure and heart rate changes
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations

You could also experience delirium tremens (DTs). The DTs are a life-threatening concern. You could become restless, confused, or get upset.

You might experience seizures, hallucinations, and develop a fever, too.

Every detox process is different. The type of substance you used and the severity of your addiction can impact your detox. If you’ve used drugs or alcohol over years, your body’s reaction to detoxing could become more intense.

During the detox process, you might need to take medication to ease your symptoms. These symptoms could last for a week or more. The worst of it will occur within 24 to 72 hours of starting the detox.


A Safe Environment

Detoxing with professional help will ensure you remain in a safe environment. You’ll likely start your detox in a hospital-like setting. You’ll have privacy as you begin your detox.

Detoxing in a safe environment will ensure you don’t have access to drugs or alcohol.

Your detox team will monitor your overall health. They’ll determine which medications and treatments you need for successful treatment.

Once you complete the detox process, you can move into an inpatient care facility.

There are two types of detox programs: inpatient and outpatient. With inpatient treatment, you’ll remain in a detox clinic, rehab center, or hospital. You’ll receive around-the-clock care.

With outpatient treatment, you’ll live at home. You could visit a health care professional regularly during the course of your treatment.

Inpatient care ensures you require help 24/7.



During your detox process, you’ll have a team of dedicated professionals supporting you. They’ll help you manage your physical and psychological symptoms. You’ll also have a licensed counselor on your team.

They’ll help you adjust to any emotional components of your disease.

Make sure to look for a program that gives you access to certified and licensed providers.


What Happens During Detox: Your Guide to Getting Clean

You don’t have to go through the detox process alone. Now that you know what happens during detox, you can get the help you need. Consider finding a detox facility to begin your treatment today.

With professional help, you can detox safely and successfully.

Eager to start your detox process? We’re here to help.

Contact us at 1-888-236-4567 today to get started.


Binge Drinking and Alcohol Abuse Facts

Did you know that an estimated 3 million deaths (over 5% of all deaths) occur as a result of alcohol worldwide every year? Do you worry that you or a loved one is dealing with binge drinking or alcohol abuse, and may become part of that statistic?

While not always related, binge drinking & alcohol abuse are closely tied. Many people don’t recognize that they have a problem until it’s too late, and then they have to go through a painful detox and recovery period.

We want to keep you informed with binge drinking & alcohol abuse facts so you know what to look out for, what risks are associated, and how you or your loved one can recover. Keep reading to learn more.


What Is Binge Drinking?

Binge drinking is a common practice and most people who binge drink don’t suffer from an alcohol use disorder. That said, it isn’t safe and someone who binge drinks on occasion should stay aware of their alcohol intake and keep tabs on their health

When someone binge drinks, it means that they’re drinking enough to raise their blood alcohol content (BAC) to over .08%. The amount of alcohol that causes your BAC to rise that high varies based on multiple factors including altitude, body weight, speed, food intake, and sex (men can often drink more than women).

On average, 5 drinks for men and 4 drinks for women (within two hours) is considered binge drinking.

Binge drinking is common amongst college-aged adults and often normalized to the point that no one considers it a health concern. Binge drinking may result in alcohol poisoning or risky behaviors.


Is Binge Drinking Always Alcohol Abuse?

As we mentioned, binge drinking isn’t always an indication of an alcohol use disorder. While these people are technically abusing alcohol by drinking too much, it doesn’t mean that they have an alcohol problem per se. You need to look at it on a case-by-case basis.

For example, someone who drinks too much at the occasional party or event, or someone who misjudges their tolerance based on new factors (like medication, weight loss, or food intake for the night) likely doesn’t have an alcohol use disorder as long as they later recognize their mistake.

When someone binge drinks often, though (like every week or even every day), it’s a problem. This is one of the primary issues with the normalization of binge drinking for college students.

When partying too hard is the norm, these students are at risk of developing alcoholism and future health problems. They aren’t yet aware of important alcohol abuse facts, so they’re putting themselves at risk.


How Do You Know If You Have an Alcohol Problem?

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re worried that you or a loved one has a problem with alcohol. Whether you’ve had one bad night out or you’ve noticed unhealthy patterns, it’s great that you’re doing your research.

There are several key signs that someone may be abusing alcohol to the extent that it’s become a problem. They include:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Neglecting responsibilities (like school or work) in exchange for alcohol
  • Frequent stomach pain
  • An inability to know when it’s time to stop
  • An increased alcohol tolerance
  • Mood disruption
  • An inability to feel “normal” when not under the influence of alcohol
  • Frequent alcohol cravings
  • Drinking in excess when alone

From time to time, most of these things can be normal. In combination, though, they’re problematic. These factors are a sign that it may be time to seek out counseling or a recovery center. It’s also a good idea to talk to friends and family to see if they’ve noticed any strange behavior.


What Are Alcohol Abuse Risk Factors?

Did you know that there are some things that make people more susceptible to abusing alcohol?

Because many people use alcohol to self-medicate, both mental illness and chronic pain are large risk factors for alcohol abuse. Unfortunately, because alcohol is a depressant, these people are actually doing more damage.

While they may get relief from pain or mental struggles for the moment (because alcohol inhibits the central nervous system), in the long run, they’re harming their minds and their bodies and preventing themselves from healing.

The more alcohol you drink, the less that it affects you (which is why people drink greater amounts over time).

A family history of alcoholism or addiction is another risk factor for alcohol abuse, as well as a family or friend group that’s normalized binge drinking even without alcoholism being a factor.

Being in college or in an industry where drinking is the norm (such as bartending) is another risk factor.


What Are the Dangers Associated With Alcohol Abuse?

People seek recovery because alcohol abuse is dangerous. Are you familiar with the harm that it causes?

There are plenty of short-term and long-term dangers that you should be aware of so that you can keep an eye on your own condition.


Short-Term Dangers and Side-Effects

There are some dangers that aren’t only associated with alcoholism, but also with short-term alcohol overuse (including binge drinking). Many people who have experienced the aftermath of too many drinks are familiar with these side-effects.

They include:

  • Headaches
  • Dehydration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mood disruptions
  • Fatigue

There are dangers associated with this kind of drinking as well. While the previous “hangover” symptoms go away, some dangers are deadly, even when they’re the result of a single night of drinking.

They include:

  • Recklessness and risky behaviors
  • Risky sexual encounters (that could end in STDs)
  • Fetal alcohol poisoning (if pregnant)
  • Car accidents
  • Alcohol poisoning

People are more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors after they’ve been drinking too much because of how alcohol inhibits the nervous system. You’re unable to make clear decisions.

This is the primary factor behind drunk driving. No one sets out to drive dangerously; they don’t realize that they’re too drunk to drive.

This is also what leads to plenty of injuries from other risk-taking behaviors like swimming while drunk, trying to perform physical feats, and getting into fights.

While a single night of alcohol overuse doesn’t usually have serious results, these also aren’t uncommon.


Long-Term Dangers and Side-Effects

When you abuse alcohol for a long time, you have a greater chance of experiencing negative side-effects and dangers. This is why it’s so important to catch alcohol abuse before it turns into alcoholism.

Side-effects include:

  • Frequent fatigue
  • Irritability when sober
  • Personality changes
  • Isolation
  • Poor school or work performance

While these side-effects may seem mild, they’re signs that you need to stop or you’ll start facing serious consequences. Those consequences may include:

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Alcohol addiction
  • Liver damage or disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Memory problems
  • A weakened immune system
  • Various types of cancers
  • exacerbated mental health problems
  • Withdrawal

Many of these dangers can end in severe illness, or worse, death. While it’s not considered as “serious” as addictions to hard drugs, alcohol abuse and addiction can still be disastrous.


How Can Someone Recover From Alcohol Abuse?

If you’re worried that you’ve been abusing alcohol, the first thing that you should do is see if you’re able to cut back on your own. Abusing alcohol doesn’t automatically mean that you have an addiction.

Reduce or omit alcohol from your life for a few weeks and if you feel the need to reintroduce it during social events or gatherings, don’t have more than a single drink.

If this is too difficult and you find yourself craving alcohol or feeling withdrawal symptoms, it’s time to seek out professional help. Withdrawal is dangerous, so having professionals on your side is the best way to go.

There are plenty of recovery options for people who choose to seek treatment. They usually start with detox to rid your body of residual alcohol so you can begin to recover.

After this, you can choose between inpatient and outpatient treatments. Inpatient (or residential) treatment is for serious recovery. People in residential treatment are removed from the stressors of everyday life and put into intensive counseling programs to get them ready to return to a healthy life.

People who can’t afford to stay in a residential treatment center (whether for financial reasons or because of responsibilities) may benefit from outpatient treatment. You still get high-quality counseling and support, but you’re able to continue living at home.

The most important part of recovery is developing an effective support system.


Binge Drinking & Alcohol Abuse Are Serious

Binge drinking & alcohol abuse don’t always end in alcohol addiction, but they still present health risks and addiction is always a possibility.

If you’re worried that you’ve been consuming too much alcohol and you don’t feel capable of handling it on your own, it may be time to seek professional help.

Do you want guidance for your alcohol abuse problem? We’re here to support you. With detox programs, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and recovery support, we at Cenikor want to help you heal.

Contact us at 1-888-236-4567 to talk to one of our compassionate advisors about your treatment options.


Rehab for Teens: How to Choose the Right Rehab for Your Teenager

If your teenage son or daughter is in the throes of an addiction, the right resources can help you find the support your family needs.

Are you looking for rehab for teens? In your research, you’ll find that there are many different options, including both inpatient and outpatient treatments.

Knowing the features that set a reputable facility apart can help direct and guide your search. Today, we’re sharing how to find the right addiction treatment program that your adolescent needs.

Understanding the Types of Rehab For Teens

There are two primary different types of drug rehab centers for teens.

Inpatient programs offer a more intensive treatment and require the patient to remain on-site for the duration of the services. On the other hand, most outpatient programs require the patient to visit the facility to receive treatment during the day, but allow them to return home in the afternoon or evening.

Should your teenager stay in a rehab center full-time or just to attend daytime sessions?

There isn’t a universal rule that will dictate the answer. Rather, each individual is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, with appropriate recommendations to follow. A few of the deciding factors will include:

  • The nature of the teenager’s addiction
  • The teenager’s medical needs
  • The teenager’s metal health needs

At Cenikor, we offer both inpatient and outpatient treatments at our Adolescent Drug Rehab Centers. Both are designed for teenagers who are between 13 and 17 years old at the time of admission.

Let’s take a look at a few of the features of each treatment, along with ways to decide which one to pursue.

Adolescent Inpatient Treatment 

Inpatient rehab centers are also known as residential treatment programs. These facilities provide full-time, comprehensive care for adolescents whose lives have been affected by a substance use disorder.

As you seek out the best one in your area, look for a facility that employs licensed clinical staff. There should also be a range of inpatient services provided to cover the spectrum of different patient needs. In addition to screening and assessments, our team also provides:

  • Early intervention services
  • Issue-specific rehab groups
  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Recovery after-care services

If your teenager is experiencing substance dependence or is suffering from a dual diagnosis that includes mental illness, inpatient rehab services can help. These facilities are especially beneficial for adolescents who require detox support before beginning therapy.

While in our inpatient rehab, each client will learn to live with structure and boundaries. They’ll also attend meetings with their peers and counselors to address and help adjust negative behaviors and attitudes. To keep up with their educational requirements, they’ll meet with qualified instructors in our on-site, accredited school.

Adolescent Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab services can also be life-changing for adolescents and their families who have been impacted by a substance use disorder. While inpatient services require clients to spend the duration of their treatment on-site, outpatient treatment allows them to spend the night at home.

Our team at Cenikor provides intensive outpatient services to adolescents on an individual, group or family level. We understand that addiction can affect parents, siblings and other loved ones in different ways, and we’re here to help. Our licensed clinical counselors lead evidence-based, outpatient group counseling programs that can help everyone heal.

These services are designed to facilitate both addiction recovery, as well as the client’s mental health. They are best suited for teenagers who:

  • Do not have a serious addiction
  • Are at a lower risk of relapsing
  • Have already completed an inpatient addiction treatment program

Often, clients will enter into outpatient programs once their inpatient treatment has ended. This support can help them successfully reintegrate into society and prevent a relapse.

Rehab For Teens: Which Treatment Is Right For Your Family?

Both inpatient and outpatient treatment services can be beneficial for adolescents who are trying to overcome a substance abuse disorder.

When deciding which option is best for your family, it’s important to work closely with your treatment provider, as well as your physician. These healthcare professionals can assess your teenager’s physical and mental needs to help guide you toward the right program.

One distinction to keep in mind is that outpatient programs tend to be open-ended. In other words, they are not pre-arranged for a set duration of time. Rather, your teenager (and your family) can attend therapy as long as required until full recovery is achieved.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Facility

Before choosing a drug rehab program for your teen, see if you can take a tour of the facility and speak to the staff. Bring along a list of important questions to ask to help you better understand their offerings. A few to consider include:

  • Can you customize an individual treatment plan for my teen?
  • Is your rehab facility accredited?
  • How involved can my family be in the treatment?
  • Are your staff members licensed, with specialized training in therapy for teens?
  • Do you offer an integrated treatment approach?
  • Is your program specifically tailored for adolescents?
  • How will you ensure that my teen is actively involved in their own treatment?
  • Will this treatment affect my teen’s education or career readiness?

You should feel comfortable with the answers you receive before moving forward. If you receive any hesitation or pushback when presenting these inquiries, consider that a red flag and continue your search elsewhere.

Learn More About Our Adolescent Drug Rehab Centers

It can be difficult and disheartening to watch your adolescent struggle with a substance abuse disorder. Thankfully, there are many resources, including rehab for teens, that can help them work through these challenges and chart a new course.

At Cenikor, we offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab services, with programs designed specifically for teens. Fill out the form on our website or contact us here to reach out to an admission advisor.


Essential Guide: How to Choose the Right Substance Abuse Center

About half of all teenagers have misused a drug at least once, and more than 40% use illicit drugs. Millions of other young people are addicted to alcohol. Experts estimate that 10 million Americans ages 12 to 29 need treatment to overcome their addiction.

Teens resort to alcohol and drugs for different reasons. Some do it because of peer pressure. Others see it as a way to cope with stress, depression, or anxiety.

As a parent, it’s your responsibility to make sure your child receives appropriate treatment in a substance abuse center. Both alcohol and drugs can lead to emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems.

Finding help for addiction can be difficult, given the large number of alcohol and drug rehab centers out there. You may not know how to choose one, what to expect, and what the treatment involves.

If you’re ready to take this step and help your teen, you may find this guide helpful. Here’s what every parent should know about substance treatment facilities and how to choose the right one.

Get a Professional Assessment

First things first, reach out to a healthcare provider certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. If you have a hard time finding one in your area, contact a psychiatrist who specializes in substance use disorders.

These medical professionals can assess your child’s needs and decide on the best course of action. Your teen may not need long-term inpatient treatment. Outpatient services and detox programs can be just as effective as inpatient treatment in mild cases of addiction.

A psychiatrist will evaluate your teen’s behavior and attitude toward drugs, as well as the underlying problems behind his addiction. With this information, he will determine what type of treatment is right for your child and advise on how to proceed further.

Consider Your Child’s Needs

Teenagers experiment with drugs or become addicted to them for several reasons. Some do it because it makes them feel good. Cocaine, heroin, and other substances activate the brain’s reward center, triggering feelings of euphoria.

Adolescents may also feel pressured to get higher grades, become better athletes, and so on. Many of them resort to illegal stimulants to keep up with these demands.

Young people are also more vulnerable to social anxiety, depression, and stress than adults. Alcohol and drugs take some of the pain away, leading to a false impression of well-being.

Considering these aspects, it makes sense to choose a substance abuse center that can address the underlying cause of your teen’s addiction.

If, say, your child suffers from depression, look for facilities that offer psychiatric and psychological services in addition to substance abuse treatment. This way, he will receive the support needed to resist the urge to take drugs.

Reach out to the facilities you’re interested in. Try to find out if they have counselors and other professionals specialized in treating the problem your child is having. A multidisciplinary treatment team may also include wellness specialists, nutritionists, and more.

See What Services They Provide

There is more than one way to address substance dependence and abuse. For example, a substance abuse center may have inpatient and outpatient programs. Some facilities also offer group therapy, one-on-one counseling, and recovery support.

Cenikor’s adolescent inpatient program includes screening, assessment, after-care services, and more. Families can also opt for outpatient services that meet the needs of young people. Teenagers can attend career development groups and continue their education on-site.

We have several other programs for different needs and age groups. We offer medical detox services, adult inpatient programs, prevention plans, and outpatient services—just to name a few.

Consider the Location

As a parent, you may want to choose a rehab center located close to your home. While it’s true that nearby facilities are more convenient, they’re not always the best choice.

Your child may benefit more from spending time away from his home, school, and peers. This will allow him to escape the routines that fuel his addiction.

For example, if your child is bullied at school but keeps going there during his recovery, he may not be able to quit drugs. The time spent at rehab will help him overcome the negative feelings associated with bullying and boost his self-esteem.

Our rehab programs are available in over 10 different locations in Texas. We have substance abuse treatment facilities in Houston, San Marcos, Amarillo, and other cities.

Check Their Credentials

Make sure the facility is certified or licensed by the state. Ideally, it should also be accredited by a trusted organization, such as The Joint Commission.

Its longevity matters, too. Look for a substance abuse center that has been in business for several years and has a track record of success.

Cenikor, for instance, was founded in 1967 and has changed more than 100,000 lives. Our mission is to help people break the vicious cycle of addiction and enjoy better health.

Ask the Right Questions

The best rehab centers will be ready and willing to answer any questions you may have. Ask about their approach to substance abuse treatment, their success rate, and what kind of aftercare they provide.

You may also request more information about their staff-to-patient ratio, medications used, accommodation and amenities, and family support services. The cost of treatment depends on your child’s needs, so you might not receive an estimate on the spot.

Choose the Best Substance Abuse Center for Your Teen

Rehab for teens poses unique challenges and should take into account the patient’s gender, behavior, and level of maturity. At the same time, it needs to address any emotional, psychological, or physical problems he is facing.

Now that you know what to look for in a substance rehab center, reach out to our team at Cenikor. Our adolescent treatment services are tailored for people ages 13 to 17 and include both inpatient and outpatient treatment options.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Contact us today to discuss your needs and see how we can help.


How Do People Pay for Rehab Services?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), each year, America pays over $600 billion for substance abuse rehab services. Addictions also have health and social consequence costs which add to this total.  However, it costs less to treat an addicted individual than to pay for imprisonment. On average, it costs about $4,700 to pay for a year of methadone treatment for one person. If they are put in prison, according to the U.S. Government’s Daily Journal The Federal Register, it costs about $40,000 per year.

At Cenikor we understand cost concerns and know when considering addiction rehab, many worry about how to pay for it. At Cenikor we seek to alleviate barriers so cost does not prevent people from receiving help.  Listed below are different options available to help you afford treatment.

Rehab Services as an Answer for How to Recover from Addiction

The goal of addiction recovery is to help reestablish healthy, productive interactions. This includes relationships involving the family, job, and community.  Studies show that entering and staying in rehab stops addictive behavior. Which studies say this? This needs to be cited.  Studies also report less criminal activity, better social and psychological functioning, and improved work performance among those who have gone through recovery programs.

As Cenikor understands and models at its centers, It’s important to remember that every person is unique. Recovery success depends on the type and extent of their problem. Having an appropriate care plan and quality treatment also impacts outcomes.

Addiction treatment also requires a commitment to behavioral changes. It may also involve taking medications to correct addictive cravings and psychological effects.  After all, addiction is a chronic disease like high blood pressure and diabetes. If you stop taking the medications or following the diet, you’ll get worse. The same can adverse effects happen with those recovering from addiction.

To find out more and get help, it’s important to contact Cenikor today. We can help you develop the tools needed to start and stay on the road to recovery

 Paying for Rehab

There are many different ways that individuals pay for rehab services. The first step is to find out which options are available to you. You may need to apply to programs and wait for acceptance before starting treatment.

The following will help you know where to start looking for help.

Employee Assistance Programs

Some companies offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) as a benefit for their workers. The individual may have access to free assessments, referrals, counseling, and follow-up services.  There is often a limit to the number of free sessions. Employees may have the option to continue seeing the EAP counselor and pay out of pocket.  EAPs don’t provide medical care or replace medical or mental health providers. They work with outside resources when the situation exceeds the EPA program limits. An EAP can help you get started and get referrals for the right treatment.

Credit Card

Another payment option for addiction rehab is to apply for a low-interest credit card. You can use this to pay copays and deductibles.  Often the credit limit is low at first so it’s important to pay the balance as soon as possible. This will improve your credit history and prevent building up debt.


For those with poor credit, no health insurance, or other financial problems, you can try fundraising. Today, social media provides many ways to start a crowd-source fund for your cause. It may surprise you that friends, family, churches, and other groups want to help with your recovery.


Some finance companies specialize in healthcare-related loans or credit. Often this includes addiction treatment costs. These loans may have lower interest rates and more flexibility.  Also, consider talking with the bank that you use regularly about loan options. Speak with friends or family who may have the ability to set up a personal loan.


Medicare beneficiaries may receive inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment. There are some rules that must be met in order to receive coverage.  Your healthcare provider must certify that the services are medically necessary. All treatment must occur in a Medicare-approved facility or from an approved provider.

Medicare Part D covers medically necessary outpatient prescription drugs used for addiction treatment. Yet, Part D doesn’t cover methadone or other similar drugs given for addiction treatment. It will cover methadone as part of an OTP service.

Another service, Structured Assessment and Brief Intervention (SBIRT), is also covered by Medicare. This service applies to individuals demonstrating addictive tendencies or behaviors. It includes screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment.


Each state creates its own Medicaid rules and regulations. This means that your state may or may not pay for addiction treatment. Speak with a local Medicaid representative to learn about the plan and qualifications.  Several managed healthcare plans have entered into agreements with Medicaid. If you have access to these specialized programs, talk with a Cenikor representative about your needs. Also, make sure the rehabilitation center accepts these plans.

Payment Plans

Some addiction treatment facilities offer sliding scale fees and payment plans. They may even offer their own financing plan with low monthly payments.

Private Insurance

The American Community Survey and the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement measured insurance coverage. The report showed that 92% of Americans had private health insurance for at least part of 2019.

At Cenikor, we accept the following insurances:

  • Aetna
  • Amerigroup/MultiPlan
  • Beacon Medicaid
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Cigna Health Springs Medicaid/ MultiPlan
  • Community Health Choice
  • CompCare
  • Cook Children’s Health Plan
  • Galaxy Health Network
  • Magellan Commercial
  • MHNet
  • Parkland Community Health Plan – Medicaid
  • Right Care Scott & White Medicaid
  • Scott & White Health Plan
  • Sendero Health Plan – Medicaid
  • Texas Children’s Health Plan
  • TMHP Traditional Medicaid
  • USA Managed Care Organization
  • Value Options (presently known as Beacon Health Options)
  • Cenpatico/Superior
  • Humana
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

This does not represent a complete list. Contact Cenikor to find out if they accept your insurance.

Each insurance plan has different rules about what they pay for. Ask about what your policy covers related to rehab.

It may cover inpatient and/or outpatient treatment as well as follow-up counseling. Other services include medical detox that often uses medications. Also, ask if they cover maintenance meds.

Are You Thinking About Seeking Addiction Rehab Services?

If you or a family member is struggling with an addiction, you may be considering rehab services. This article provided information about different options available to help pay for rehab.

At the Cenikor Foundation, we offer a variety of programs. They’re designed to help you and your loved ones get your life back on track This is done by addressing key behavioral issues.

The best way to learn how to deal with it, though, is to call Cenikor today at 877-243-2823 or 866-217-3362.  We look forward to hearing from you today.

alcoholic addiction rehab cenikor

What Is the Treatment for Alcohol Addiction at Cenikor?

According to the WHO, three million people die each year from alcohol abuse, representing 5.3% of all deaths. This number only rises when considering the deaths of individuals between the ages of 20 and 39. In total, over 13.5% of deaths in this age group are alcohol-related.

At Cenikor we believe it is no shock that many people suffer from alcohol addiction, which is a medical disorder. When that disorder becomes severe, it is called alcohol use disorder or AUD. About 15 million Americans suffer from this disease, including about 400,000 adolescents.

This article will take a look at the standard treatment options and the best time to receive them.

When Is the Best Time to Undergo Treatment?

At Cenikor, one of the oldest, most successful, and best rehabilitation organizations in the nation, we provide effective treatments to help people achieve sobriety and sustain recovery for the rest of their lives.  Before treatment begins, though, the person must recognize they have a severe condition. Also, they must have a desire to quit drinking. Sometimes an individual will get to this point all by themselves.

Other times, friends and family members must hold an intervention. It is during this time that they can express their concerns about their loved one’s alcohol abuse. It may be the right moment to explain the help available at a rehabilitation center.

What are the different treatments? Let’s take a brief look.

Pharmaceutical Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

There are three prescriptions approved by the FDA that can prevent relapses. Of course, medicine alone will not cure alcohol addiction. Doctors recommend contacting a rehabilitation center for a complete recovery.

The three medications are Antabuse, Naltrexone, and Acamprosate. Antabuse (Disulfiram) works by preventing the breakdown of alcohol in the body. This blockage leads to buildup and causes people who drink alcohol to become very sick. Naltrexone (Revia) and Acamprosate (Campral) act by blocking receptors’ that affect alcohol cravings. These medicines allow people to control their urges to drink alcohol.

Alcohol Addiction Support Groups

A well-known treatment for alcoholism is support groups. The most common support group is AA or Alcoholics Anonymous. Since the 1930s, AA has helped people recover through understanding and shared experiences.

At support groups, recovering alcoholics can feel comfortable sharing their experiences. This is because all the participants know exactly how they feel. There is a unique feeling of understanding, which creates a support system for attendees.

AA is not the only type of support group. Other groups have the same purpose but approach alcohol addiction differently. For example, the Women for Sobriety group helps women who suffer from alcohol addiction.

Even during the pandemic, many of these support groups continue holding their meetings. Some are virtual so that those who need help can receive it no matter the situation.

Alcohol Rehabilitation Centers

Rehabilitation centers offer clients a detox program that will help with withdrawal symptoms. They also teach life skills that can help individuals manage money and hold down a job. These increase the chances of a successful recovery from alcohol addiction, especially if done in reputable facilities like ours.

The three fundamental stages of alcohol addiction rehab are:

  • Detoxification
  • Rehabilitation
  • Maintenance

Alcohol addiction rehabilitation centers have trained professionals that guide clients through these three steps. They also use individual and group counseling in their treatment plans. Sometimes, they may prescribe a medication that aids in recovery and observe the patient’s use of it.

It is essential to understand the treatment programs available at rehabilitation centers. By doing so, you will have an idea of the choices available.

If you are ready to enter one of the programs, reach out to Cenikor today at 888-236-4567. We will be able to match you with the best treatment program according to your needs. Here’s a brief guide to the treatments we have to offer.

Detox Program

Detoxification is the first step to rehabilitation from alcohol addiction. The purpose of detox is to stop a person’s drinking habits and cleanse their body of alcohol.

The treatment can last up to a week. At first, clients may experience some very uncomfortable symptoms caused by withdrawal.

Some withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety

Since the withdrawal symptoms can be severe, clients may need observation and medication. Of course, the severity of your alcohol addiction will determine the program you need. At Cenikor, we offer two detox treatment types.

Outpatient Detox

During this detox treatment, clients can maintain a normal lifestyle. This means they can stay at home or even continue to work. Meanwhile, trained professionals supervise their recovery.

Clients take medication for the withdrawal symptoms. Also, they receive counseling sessions with a substance abuse therapist. A licensed medical director oversees the entire detox procedure.

Outpatient detox programs are best when the client is highly motivated or when their addiction is not severe. Since they will receive less supervision than in an inpatient program, they should be prepared to detox at home.

Inpatient Detox

Inpatient detox programs require clients to remain at the rehabilitation center. Medical staff will watch the client 24/7 and give them medicine to ease the withdrawal symptoms. This program is best for those who need extra help to stop drinking or without a comfortable place to detox.

Doctors usually recommend inpatient detox programs. They may be safer and more comfortable than outpatient programs. When helped through the entire detoxification process, clients are more likely to follow through.

Short-Term Rehabilitation Program

A short-term program usually lasts one month, and the client must stay in the facilities. During this time, medical professionals create an individualized treatment plan. Our treatment includes various types of counseling- individual, group, and family.

Clients will also be prepared to face challenges after the program is over. This will help them avoid relapses.

Of course, those suffering from alcohol addiction should check with our rehab center specialists to ensure that a short-term program is right for them.

Long-Term Rehabilitation Program

This program requires clients to go through all the steps of addiction recovery. Clients may stay at the center for months.

They should start the program when they are ready. Having proper motivation will lead to better results.

Cenikor’s long-term treatment benefits are not limited to alcohol addiction. Our programs help clients regain financial stability, employment, and suitable housing.

The workforce development training will guide those looking for jobs. This is especially important since they may experience discrimination from potential employers. But, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), they have the same rights as other people.

Adolescent Program

This program helps adolescents with alcohol addiction. Usually, they are between the ages of 13 to 17.

Our clinical personnel gives individual therapy, recovery services, and assessment of the adolescent. Those who have dual diagnosis will receive treatment for mental disorders.

Counselors will help structure the young client’s behaviors and attitudes. Also, they will receive a school-education through a qualified teaching staff. Additionally, our rehabilitation center includes a workforce development program with this treatment. You can rest assured that at Cenikor, clients will have everything they need to rehabilitate.

Outpatient Rehabilitation Program

Outpatient rehabilitation allows those with alcohol abuse disorders to receive help without living at a rehab center. It is vital to have a comfortable living environment and the support of their family. This will increase their chances of successful rehabilitation.

Just as with outpatient detox programs, the client can continue their daily activities. This may mean working or caring for their family. Meanwhile, clinical and medical staff provide extensive services, including recovery and after-care services.

The client’s family can help a great deal in the recovery process. For this reason, recovery centers include families in the process.

The client’s addiction may have caused them to make poor decisions in the past. Understanding the severity of alcohol addiction can help them forgive their loved one.

Counselors can also help families to rebuild broken relationships and reconnect. Having healthy and supportive relationships will motivate the client to rehabilitate.

Sober Living Program

Many times, a client’s home is not suitable for a full recovery from alcohol addiction. Sometimes, they live with others who do not support their recovery process. Also, they may not feel ready to face so many temptations on their own.

Thus, many rehabilitation centers offer homes that are safe and free from alcohol. Sober living programs are significant transitions from rehabilitation centers to the real world.

The client may remain in these homes as long as they fulfill the requirements. They must be sober for thirty days, participate in local support groups, and maintain a stable job. At Cenikor, we offer sober living programs that help with the transition.

Recovery Support Program

Often, a person who hasn’t been rehabilitated well from alcohol addiction will relapse. So, we offer a treatment program that helps people who suffer from chronic relapse.

The goal is to empower them to take control of their actions. At the same time, a specialist will address certain life areas like mental health and housing. When they finish the program, clients will have learned methods that will help them avoid relapse.

Seek Help for Alcohol Addiction at Cenikor

Although alcohol addiction is a debilitating disorder, there are many treatment options. If clients have a willing attitude, they can recover with the help of treatment programs.

No matter if you are looking for help with alcohol addiction for yourself or a loved one, reach out to us at Cenikor. For over 50 years, Cenikor has been helping those who need treatment.

Contact us to learn more about our alcohol addiction recovery programs.

Dual Diagnosis Rehab

Dual Diagnosis Rehab: Treating Addiction and Mental Health

Dealing with addiction is always challenging, but it may be especially difficult for individuals who struggle with mental health disorders. Research shows that many adolescents with substance abuse disorders also have a mental illness. In fact, up to sixty percent of youth involved in community-based treatment programs also have the symptoms to be diagnosed with a mental disorder.

Individuals seeking to recover from mental illnesses and addiction need a unique treatment plan to address both factors simultaneously. To do so, they must seek a dual diagnosis rehab program.

What is Dual Diagnosis Rehabilitation?

Studies show that there is a common link between substance abuse and mental illness. In some cases, a person seeks relief from their mental health problem through drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse occurs more frequently with specific diseases such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and personality disorders.

Scientists have learned that people with mental disorders experience brain activity changes that make them more vulnerable to problematic use of substances. These neurobiological changes enhance rewarding effects while reducing adverse ones and temporarily relieve their mental illness symptoms.

Other times, the person develops a mental illness as a result of their substance abuse. Illegal drugs cause mental health problems such as paranoia, anxiety, hallucinations, or aggression.

No matter the reason for the substance abuse, drugs and alcohol can worsen mental illnesses and lead to further psychological problems. Cocaine, for example, can exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder and contribute to its progression.

Therefore, it is necessary to break the cycle of addiction while treating an individual’s mental disorder. That is the goal of dual diagnosis rehab.

Signs that Someone Needs Dual Diagnosis Rehab

The symptoms of dual diagnosis vary, as there are several combinations of mental illnesses and substances. Therefore, it is crucial to look for sudden changes in behavior. These may indicate that an individual is suffering from addiction, mental health disorders, or both.

These sudden changes may include withdrawing or avoiding family members and friends. Additionally, the individual may feel like they can no longer function without drugs or alcohol. They may stop going to work or school and engage in risky behavior.

These warning signs, coupled with extreme mood changes, confusion, or trouble concentrating, are reasons to seek help. Mental health clinics can use screening tools to identify those at risk for dual diagnosis.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Obstacles

If treating a client with a single diagnosis has numerous obstacles, this is all the more so true when dealing with a dual diagnosis. Symptoms are more severe and persistent, which makes it difficult for clients to comply with the treatment.

Sometimes individuals are allowed to drop out prematurely and never finish their program. They are therefore at an increased risk of suicide, especially after failed attempts to rehabilitate.

Another obstacle for treating dual diagnosis is the lack of training many medical professionals receive in this area. Many graduate programs separate mental illness treatment from substance abuse, leaving most professionals trained in either field but not in both. For example, an addiction care specialist may not fully understand the client’s mental illness, whereas a psychiatrist may have only taken a few addiction classes.

Likewise, an addiction recovery facility will often focus only on the client’s addiction despite knowing their mental condition. Usually, they are not prepared to offer mental health services.

It is crucial to get help from dual diagnosis recovery programs to avoid these common obstacles. Specialists know how to deal with the many combinations of addictions and mental illnesses.

How to Overcome Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Individuals with a dual diagnosis need extra care to progress in rehab. They may need treatment like psychotherapy, medication, behavioral therapy, and peer support groups. That’s why they must seek out a program that meets their needs.

The first step in treatment is performing a full assessment of both conditions. Evaluation can be difficult because many addiction symptoms overlap with those of mental illness. Once the severity of the client’s conditions is known, the treatment process can begin.

The rehabilitation center will likely educate the client and their family about the relationship between their mental illness and addiction. They will then begin teaching the client coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations and safely navigate their mental illness.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Process

The treatment programs’ steps may vary according to the type of mental disorder and the severity of the addiction. However, they usually involve these steps.


The detoxification process is when the patient undergoes withdrawal, either by stopping substance use abruptly or tapering it off. It is regularly the first step in addiction treatment.

For someone struggling with addiction and mental health problems, taking the first step can be extremely difficult. Individuals may dread losing the substance, along with the emotional and mental effects that temporarily relieved their disorder. Besides, they likely fear the withdrawal process, as it usually comes with undesirable side effects.

Medical professionals can help ease these side effects and make the withdrawal process safer in detox programs. A more tolerable withdrawal process increases the likelihood that the client follows through with their treatment.

Inpatient or Outpatient Rehabilitation

Although detoxification is necessary to begin the road to recovery, it is by no means the end of the client’s addiction. While the patient is past the short term withdrawal symptoms, they still need help to address the underlying causes of their substance abuse. Rehab can help recovering individuals to deal with their cravings in positive ways.

There are two main types of rehabilitation programs: inpatient and outpatient. The main difference is that inpatient programs require clients to live at the rehab facility for a specific period. Meanwhile, outpatient programs are more flexible.

Experts usually recommend inpatient programs for dual diagnosis patients since they need more assistance in their recovery journey. Inpatient rehab programs’ success rate is higher because professionals monitor clients 24 hours a day. If they lack motivation, clients will receive specialized attention and encouragement from the staff.

Inpatient programs can be short-term or long-term. In addition to dealing with addiction and mental health issues, clients learn practical skills to help them succeed. These include money management, social skills, and workforce development.

Outpatient rehabilitation services are great alternatives when a client cannot stay full-time in the recovery center. They will be able to receive care and support and continue to work or care for their family. It is much more flexible but requires the client to be committed to their treatment since they will not be monitored by professionals every day.


Sometimes clients have gone years with undiagnosed psychiatric issues. Depending on the severity of these concerns, they may need medications. These may include antipsychotics, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, or mood stabilizers. Trained professionals need to supervise dual diagnosis clients when using drugs, which is another reason they often recommend inpatient programs.


This type of therapy will help the client understand the link between their emotions and behavior. They can use this information to understand why they became addicted to substances in the first place and avoid similar patterns in the future.

Usually, clients are encouraged to make some changes in their life to help them avoid returning to their addiction. These may include adjusting specific habits, ending relationships or forming new ones, learning stress management techniques, and finding suitable housing.

Support Groups

It is vital to have a strong support group while receiving treatment. Inpatient rehabs are excellent in this aspect since support groups are usually part of the treatment plan.

These groups provide a comfortable setting for members to discuss their feelings and the issues that they have encountered during their dual diagnosis recovery. Of course, it is also an environment where everyone feels understood because they can relate to the other members’ struggles. Even after leaving a rehabilitation center, participation in these groups is an incredible tool to keep recovering individuals on track.

Aftercare for Dual Diagnosis

Many clients worry that they will relapse after leaving the recovery center. To make the transition more comfortable, they choose to spend time in a sober living home. These homes provide clients with more freedom but are still controlled environments without some of the real world’s stress and challenges.

Clients need to fulfill specific requirements to stay in these homes. These include maintaining sobriety, participating in support groups, and maintaining steady employment. In turn, they continue to receive support and guidance while developing their personal skills.

Even if a client chooses to return home after their rehabilitation program, they can be successful. With the skills and coping mechanisms they learned in the program, they are usually ready to integrate into the real world. Of course, they must be careful of their environment and those with whom they associate.

Find the Best Dual Diagnosis Rehab

If you are struggling to treat addiction and mental health disorders, there is no better occasion than now to get the help you need. With the proper dual diagnosis rehab program, you can recover from your addiction while improving your mental health. We have programs located throughout Texas.

Contact us to receive further information about our dual diagnosis recovery programs.

drug addiction is a disease

Is Drug Addiction a Disease? How Drug Addiction Is Viewed by Medical Professionals

It’s an age-old debate. Is drug addiction a disease or a choice? Some will say it’s obviously a choice to pick up a drink or a drug. Others will say alcohol and drug abuse is a disease.

One of the reasons this is such a hotly debated topic is because so many people suffer from this affliction. According to the United Nations, 35 million people around the world suffer from drug use disorders. That’s an astoundingly high number of people who are facing down a horrible ordeal.

But, here’s something that’s, perhaps, more alarming than that 35 million statistic. The UN went on to report that only one in seven of those sufferers will go on to receive treatment.

Is that because there’s such a stigma around this issue? Do people continue to assume that those faced with this affliction are weak and can just stop anytime they’re ready?

Or, is that because alcohol and drug abuse has become almost acceptable in society? You can’t turn on a TV show or attend a social gathering without alcohol being present.

It’s hard to say. But, regardless of the reason for the ever-present struggle against addiction, we’re going to put all this in its proper context. Is addiction a disease? It surely is and here are many of the reasons why.

What Is Addiction?

In its simplest terms, addiction is a strong compulsion to obtain and ingest harmful substances even though they will produce a host of unhealthy circumstances.

In more formal terms, addiction is classified as a brain disorder because it involves functional changes to some of the brain’s circuits.

Addiction is seen and treated as a disease by medical professionals because it alters – or disrupts – the normal, healthy functioning of the brain, amongst other organs.

Addiction also functions much like many other diseases. For example, it disturbs the regular functioning of a major organ (particularly, the brain).

It leads to a decreased quality of life and risk of premature death. It can also be reoccurring like other major illnesses and may require a lifetime of management.

Like other illnesses, addiction is treatable with the proper course of treatment. That course of treatment may look different for each person suffering from this disease. But, once treated and managed properly throughout the course of one’s lifetime, symptoms are likely to diminish.

The Brain and Addiction

When drugs are added to the body, they often target one chemical in particular: dopamine. Dopamine is a small but important chemical that carries signals from one brain cell to another.

In a healthy, unaltered brain, dopamine is released to signal a reward. For example, after we eat a satisfying meal or take a healthy run, dopamine sends out a signal that says, “Well done; be happy.”

But, a brain suffering from drug addiction is under siege. Drugs act like these little chemical messengers and trick the body into thinking “Well done; be happy.”

The problem is, the body is mistakenly reacting positively to a drug that is harmful to the body and, over time, it will require more and more of that drug to achieve the same message.

Perhaps worst of all, when people habitually misuse a harmful substance, the brain starts to produce less dopamine. (After all, the drugs are acting like dopamine.)

So, when someone suffering from addiction stops abusing the substance, it may be temporarily difficult to feel the release that dopamine used to provide.

Of course, the body can regulate these things over time. It just explains why the early stages of recovery are a bit of an uphill battle.

Isn’t It a Matter of Choice?

The trouble some people have with the medical definition of addiction is that it is a matter of choice to ingest that first harmful substance, be it nicotine, alcohol, or other drugs.

Doesn’t it become a matter of willpower and choice, then? The short answer is no. Underlying mental health disorders, childhood trauma, and even a family history of addiction can make some people more susceptible to this disease than others.

You can also look at it this way. Most people don’t want to ruin their health, financial stability, and relationships. So, if addiction was as easy as deciding to stop, everyone would do it and the world wouldn’t be so full of people suffering from the disease.

This is why it goes back to a disease that targets a vital organ. Once the brain becomes altered by the disease of addiction, willpower and choice can become impaired beyond a person’s ability to “just say no.”

Also, we cannot choose how our brains will react to substances. This is why people with the disease of addiction cannot control their abuse while others can stop after one glass of wine or never even consider ingesting drugs.

On a final note, there are other ailments that are easily classified as diseases that came about as a  result of choice. It’s quite easy for someone to choose to overeat until they’re battling diabetes, heart disease, or high cholesterol. Yet, no one denies them the label of disease.

If It’s a Disease, Can One Ever Stop?

People with the disease of addiction can stop abusing drugs; it’s just more difficult for them than for someone who hasn’t become addicted.

This is why it’s not a moral dilemma – or a matter of weakness – and those suffering from addiction shouldn’t be blamed for having a disease.

The level that people suffer from this disease may vary, however. Some people will deal with addiction in high school and the early years of college. Then, as they enter the workforce, they might be able to scale back and allow their brain and body to recover.

Others, however, will go on to become chronic sufferers from this disease. In this scenario, addiction goes on to become a progressive, deteriorating disease that requires treatment, aftercare, and long-term recovery.

How Is the Disease Treated?

Actually, one of the arguments against the age-old question, “Is addiction a disease?” is the fact that some people can be cured without any treatment. People with a mild disease may recover with little to no treatment; they may be able to just stop.

Meanwhile, people with a more severe form of the disease may require intensive treatment and lifelong management to be relieved. Professional detoxification may be required as the body readjusts to a lack of harmful substances.

Treatment may be short-term or long-term, inpatient or outpatient. That is, for short- or long-term inpatient care, some people check themselves into a medical facility where professionals can monitor their detoxification process and see them through the worst of it.

A proper therapeutic community will use peer influence and clinical counseling to help patients change their attitudes, behaviors, and perceptions. Ultimately, they should be rehabilitated to the point where they’ll experience financial stability, employment, housing, and an aftercare support system.

Outpatient care requires regular check-ins with a medical professional as the brain and body readjust to life without harmful substances. This can include screening, assessment, issue-specific classes, counseling, and more.

Whether someone’s disease was mild or severe, support groups may also be a benefit to them.   There are plenty of sufferers who have gone before them, successfully detoxified their bodies, and gone on to live happy and productive lives. They can pass on countless tools for survival.

There’s Hope for the Disease of Drug Addiction

Although it’s clear drug addiction is a disease, we hope you also see that it’s a treatable disease. There are numerous roads to recovery and lifelong plans in place to help people who are suffering prevent further recurrences.

Although the brain is targeted and altered by this disease, it is possible to restore it to its proper and healthy functioning. Better than that, once someone is free from this disease, they can go on to live a new life that’s even better than the one they had before their struggle with addiction.

Here at Cenikor, that’s precisely what we’re all about. Cenikor is a place for change. We help our clients achieve better health and, ultimately, better lives.

We’re committed to helping people facing down alcohol and drug addiction, as well as behavioral health issues, through a full continuum of care.

Through our admissions process, we’ll help you or your loved one determine the best level of care to meet your individual needs. We provide a variety or options for both adolescents and adults, and we’re able to accept most insurance plans.

Please feel free to contact us today through our online form, live chat, or phone number. We can be reached at 888-236-4567 Monday through Friday from 8AM to 7PM and Saturday and Sunday from 8AM to 5PM. Remember. There’s hope; there’s a solution; and we’ll help you find it.

Chat & Phone Support Timings
Mon – Fri: 8AM to 7PM
Sat – Sun: 8AM to 5PM
Translate »