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teen addiction
15
Dec

How Can Parents Deal With Teen Substance Abuse?

Coping with substance abuse of any kind and at any age is difficult, but teen substance abuse is especially concerning for parents and other family members of teenagers.

If you’re struggling with the effects of a teen who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, there are ways you can cope and give your teenager and your family the help they need.

Read on to learn some effective, actionable ways you can deal with this issue and continue to move forward in a meaningful way.

Risks and Statistics

While peer pressure is a common factor in teen substance abuse, other factors may also come into play. In a world driven by modern technology, things like social media and the need to compete with others may drive some teens to use drugs or drink alcohol.

Other risk factors may include financial hardships or living in a financially unstable environment, abuse, genetics, or simply feelings of being overwhelmed. Whatever the reason, teen substance abuse stats in the United States are staggering.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), as of 2019, drug and alcohol use among teens is on the rise. In a recent survey, 26% of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 claimed to drink alcohol. The number increased much higher in young adults.

The stats on illicit drug use is much more significant. Over 49% of teenagers at the age of 12 and up claimed to use some kind of illicit drug in their lifetime.

Using drugs and drinking alcohol among teens is fairly widespread. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, approximately 86% of teenagers claimed to know someone who either smokes, drinks, or uses drugs during the school day.

While some teens partake in substance use as a social tool, others struggle with long-term use and abuse. When the occasional use becomes a habit, all parents should be concerned.

Signs of Substance Abuse in Teens

While not all drugs and not all teens are alike, there are some common signs that your teenager may be struggling with substance abuse. It’s important to be aware of these signs and to communicate with your teen often so you can easily spot if someone is wrong.

Some of the most common red flags that parents should look for include:

  • Teenagers who typically excel suddenly have low grades, missed tests, etc.
  • Notifications from the school that your teen is missing classes
  • Acting in a withdrawn manner and losing interest in things they once enjoyed
  • Changes in sleep habits and/or in appetite
  • Poor hygiene (bad breath, body odor that is abnormal)
  • Refusing to make eye contact or talk to you or other members of the family
  • Smells of smoke on clothing or in the hair
  • Behavioral changes that are extreme or seem unusually out of character
  • Secretive behavior (i.e. stealing, sneaking out of the house)
  • Spending time with a new group of friends while dismissing their old friends

While not all of these signs indicate that your teen is struggling with substance abuse, they are the most common red flags. Currently, the COVID-19 pandemic is also affecting the mental health and well-being of adults and teenagers. Increased stress and anxiety may play a role in teens turning to substance abuse to help them “escape” or to feel numb.

What Parents Can do About Teen Substance Abuse

If you suspect that your teenager is struggling with drugs or alcohol, it’s imperative that you take action as soon as possible. Certain drugs like opioids can be fatal and no parent wants to see their child die as a result of a drug overdose.

Before you begin tackling the issue, it’s important that both parents are on the same page and have a plan of action that they can agree on. Sit down and talk to your spouse or partner and express your concerns. Then, decide what you want to do to address the problem together as a team.

Keep in mind that no one person is to blame if your teen is struggling with substance abuse. Agree to approach your teenager out of a place of love and concern rather than an angry or accusatory one.

Even if you don’t agree about certain aspects of the problem, it’s crucial that you both come together before you talk to your teen. It’s imperative that you’re united on this issue, otherwise, your teenager may try to turn the problem against you since they can see you’re not both on the same page.

Find Evidence of Substance Abuse

Talking to your teenager about this sensitive subject may result in an argument, but as a parent, it’s your job to oversee your teen’s well-being. If you need to find real evidence that your teen is drinking or using drugs, it might be time to do some “investigating” before you approach them.

Remember that teens are not adults yet and that they’re still living in your home. If you feel like you need some evidence first, don’t hesitate to go through their belongings to see what you can find.

Some common places where teens may hide drugs, pipes, and other drug-related items include small pockets on purses and backpacks, areas under the bed, or in desk or dresser drawers. Other areas may include buried in the dirt of houseplants, inside a book, or in “fake items” designed to conceal drugs. You may also find them hidden in over-the-counter medicine bottles, such as Advil or Tylenol.

If you do find drugs or drug paraphernalia, remember to stay calm. Gather your evidence and keep it in a safe place until you’re ready to talk to your teen face-to-face.

Having the Conversation

The first step in dealing with your teen’s substance use or abuse is to sit them down and have a serious conversation. It’s absolutely vital that you remain calm and measured and refrain from yelling or talking to them in an accusatory tone.

Let your teen know that this is coming from a place of love and that you’re concerned about their well-being. Prepare for your teenager to respond in anger and possibly resort to name-calling or even storming out of the room.

The initial talk about drug use is never easy for any parent. Do your best to take deep breaths and continually remind yourself and your teenager that this conversation is happening because you love them.

Make sure that you show your teenager the evidence of drug use you’ve found (if any) during this conversation. Without it, it’s easy for your teen to accuse of lying and you won’t have any proof to back up your concerns.

Expect your teen to react in anger and know that they might say things that are hurtful or shocking. This is simply a reaction to you addressing this issue, and it’s completely normal for anyone to behave this way after being confronted. The key is determining how you move forward from here.

Set Expectations and Enforce Consequences

If you’re able to talk to your teenager in a calm and rational way, now is the time to tell them exactly what you expect. Lay down some ground rules that include absolutely no more drug use in the home first and foremost.

Explain to your teen that you expect them to stop using drugs and even that they must stop hanging around certain people if that’s what it takes. When you make your expectations clear, there should be no confusion moving forward.

Anything your child or teen does that they shouldn’t do must have a set of consequences. Without consequences, people will continue the same behavior they’ve been doing, which is what often leads to more serious issues with abuse or overdose.

Make it clear that your teen will have to face these consequences and that it will start immediately. Whether that means taking away their smartphone or the car, or “grounding” them, it’s simply part of the healing process.

Every parent does things in their own unique way, so the consequences you choose to enforce are entirely up to you. Just make it very clear that they’re a direct result of this problem, and that the purpose is to help your teenager see the seriousness of their actions.

Do Not Ignore Mental Health

While some teens use drugs or drink because they want to fit in, others may be struggling with much deeper issues. Never ignore the fact that your teenager might be suffering from a mental health-related problem that has lead to drug use.

Some common issues that teenagers face include ADHD, eating disorders, anxiety, and depression. Ask your teenager what they are struggling with and if they’ve been feeling a certain way that may benefit from the help of a mental health professional.

Mental health problems and drug abuse often go hand-in-hand. Never ignore the fact that your teen may in fact just need some help that addresses their issues on a much deeper level.

If you ignore mental health problems, substance abuse will likely only get worse. Until the underlying problem is addressed, your teenager will probably continue using drugs or drinking to “numb” them from the pain that they’re feeling deep down.

In many cases, people who get help for their mental health problems learn how to cope in a much more healthy way. Talk to your teenager openly about how they’re feeling and see if you can get to the root of the problem.

Don’t Go it Alone

Parents who are dealing with teen substance abuse may feel like they’re alone. However, finding support from others is crucial not just for your teen, but also for you.

Turn to people you can trust for help with this issue including your teen’s doctor, school teachers, or close friends and members of your immediate family. You might feel embarrassed that your teen is struggling with substance abuse but it’s important to remember that this is not your fault.

Create a close-knit support system that can provide help to you and your teenager. There are also a number of helpful parent support groups online that address the specific issue of struggling with teen substance abuse.

Feeling overwhelmed by this situation can set you up for failure if you don’t have the right support. Never hesitate to reach out to others and get the help you all need together as a family.

If your teen’s substance abuse is severe or continues, it may be time to consider a rehab facility. Whether it’s inpatient or outpatient, this may be the best route available to get them the level of care and help they need to recover.

Stay Supportive

Once your teen’s substance abuse is addressed, it’s crucial to stay as supportive as possible to help them through it. Remember that being supportive is not the same thing as enabling and that you’ll probably have to practice a lot of “tough love” during this time.

Never ignore your teen’s drug use and never try to cover it up to others by lying. Be open and honest and admit that there is a serious problem that the entire family needs to address together.

Keep your mind and your ears open to your teen. Let them know you’re always available if they ever need to talk or vent about the things they struggle with.

Once your teenager realizes they are loved and have plenty of support, they can begin the road to recovery. Don’t forget to take care of yourself during this difficult time, too. Reach out to others and practice self-care so that you are able to provide your teen with the level of support they need to get better.

Recovery is Possible

Dealing with teen substance abuse is never easy, but it’s crucial that parents know how to begin addressing the problem. With the right approach and a good support system, you can tackle this problem head-on and then start the recovery process together.

If you are concerned about your teenager and need help and support, please visit our website and contact us today for more information.

How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab
7
Dec

How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab

Over 21 million Americans live with a substance abuse disorder. Yet, only around 10% of these individuals seek treatment.

This is a cause for concern, given that early treatment proves effective in helping those living with this disorder to get better. However, getting a loved one into treatment is not always easy.

If your loved ones are living with a condition, it is important to approach this subject with empathy and tact. In this article, we look at how to convince someone to go to rehab by exploring the dos and the don’ts of handling a sensitive situation like this.

  1. Do Your Research

Before you have any conversations surrounding rehab, it is important to get accurate information regarding the mental illness your loved one is living with. This will help you recognize the severity of the issue and be more understanding of what’s going on.

Do your research, learn about the facilities offered by rehabilitation centers, and find out what your options are before presenting any suggestions. Also remember that no matter how much research you do, mental illness is a subjective experience.

  1. Understand and Acknowledge Your Limitations

It is unfortunate, but there is no way to force someone into wanting to get better. It is a deep, internal process that must come from them.

You can, of course, support them and lend a listening ear, but it is important to understand there is only so much you can do. Do remember to set realistic expectations for yourself and recognize their refusal to seek treatment is neither your fault nor theirs. It is simply an unfortunate reality of addiction and mental illness.

That being said, if you do feel like they are a threat to either themselves or the people around them, seek professional help or external intervention immediately.

  1. Convey Empathy and Understanding

When you’re trying to talk, it is important to keep empathy and compassion as the foundation for your conversation. Yes, it can get frustrating, but you must remember that patience and support go much farther than judgment.

It is important to stay clear of blame and negative language as much as possible.

Make it known that you do not judge them for what they are experiencing and let them know you care for and support them. You want to ensure you’re presenting all your advice as suggestions and being open to what they have to say as well.

Accusations, instructions, or orders immediately put most people on the defense. Ask open-ended questions, give them a lot of space to speak, and avoid criticism as much as possible.

Simultaneously, do take time to address your own emotions in a healthy way. Talking to a trusted friend, or a therapist can help you cope with some of the frustration or exhaustion you feel.

  1. Take a Solution-Oriented Approach

There are many reasons why someone might be unwilling to go to rehab. What you can do is try to understand what it is that is preventing them from seeking treatment.

Is it financial constraints? Is it the fear of being judged? Or perhaps it’s the unwillingness to accept that there is a problem.

Ask open-ended questions and let them speak in a safe, non-judgmental space. Once they have communicated what specifically prevents them from going to rehab you will be in a better position to work through possible solutions and make them comfortable with the idea.

  1. Seek Assistance

Convincing someone who doesn’t want treatment to go to rehab is not an easy job at all. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to seek additional intervention when necessary.

Do reach out to other people for advice. If you know someone who had treatment for a similar condition, it can be beneficial to talk to them and ask them for their advice.

You can also reach out to a qualified therapist or psychiatrist to get their opinion on the matter and seek their help. Similarly, if the family or friends of this person are aware of these issues, it is also advisable to talk to them about your next course of action.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some people may need medical detox depending on the severity of their addiction and symptoms. Expert medical opinion can help in convincing someone that it is time for them to consider rehab for their addictions.

  1. How to Convince Someone to Go to Rehab Through an Intervention

An intervention involves the meeting of close friends and family. When you’re planning an intervention, be sure to only include people who are loved and trusted by the person living with the addiction. Make sure that they’ve all done their research and understand the importance of being empathic and non-judgmental in their tone and message.

Everyone must have their messages prepared, to ensure that there are no slip-ups.

Next, choose a space that allows for comfort and safety.

Be prepared to follow up with them and ask them to convey their thoughts and feelings about the subject. Do remember that all interventions are not successful. It is important to set realistic expectations.

Learn More About Treatment Centers

Rehabilitation centers can seem like unknown, foreboding places to someone who is unwilling to seek treatment. Knowing how to convince someone to go to rehab can help address the discomfort they feel.

Additionally, learning more about rehabilitation centers and the programs they offer are a great way to make the idea seem less threatening to someone who is not at ease with the arrangement.

At Cenikor, we offer a variety of in patient and outpatient treatment programs that are designed to help those living with substance use disorders get on the road to recovery. Learn more about the various programs we offer or set up a consultation with our mental health experts today!

national relapse trigger
30
Nov

The COVID-19 Pandemic: A National Relapse Trigger

Over 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder (SUD). A July 2020 study showed a 32 percent increase in non-prescription fentanyl use. This took place between March and May. This report also showed a 20 percent increase in methamphetamine and a 10 percent increase in cocaine use. During this same time, the incidence of drug overdoses rose by 18 percent.

Another study surveyed 1,079 SUD family members. They found that 20 percent reported an increase in their relative’s SUD during COVID-19.

The pandemic is serving as a relapse trigger for those with SUD. The need for physical distancing has reduced access to support services. Keep reading to learn about the connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and addiction relapses.

What Is a Relapse Trigger?

Many factors can cause an individual to return to addictive behavior. The person may use their addiction to avoid or cope with stress. Examples of stressors include problems with finances, relationships, isolation, and work.

Any significant life change or increased stress can serve as a relapse trigger. Relapse symptoms include increased cravings, hunger, anxiety, exhaustion, or depression.

Why Is COVID-19 a Relapse Trigger?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the nation has experienced physical lockdowns. There’s been an increase in unemployment and ongoing financial and health uncertainty.

For those fortunate enough to continue working, ongoing job security may also cause anxiety. Many employees now work from home, which can lead to feelings of isolation. Individuals with children must balance childcare and meeting work expectations.

Overall, the nation’s stress level has increased. To compound this problem, access to healthcare and support services is now limited. This makes it harder to get prescriptions filled and contact healthcare providers.

Virtual appointments and other avenues have been developed to ease this problem. Interruption in face-to-face and group interaction can prove devastating for those with SUD due to the support they provide.

A March 26, 2020 article in the New York Times paints a picture of the pandemic’s impact on those with SUD. The Cleveland outpatient clinic held its daily 3-hour morning therapy on Friday, March 13th. The group included alcohol, cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin addicts.

The session began with low lights and meditation. There was plenty of coffee and snacks for everyone. Some people were recently out of marriages, jobs, and jail. One individual was attending for the first time.

They shared heartfelt feelings and secrets. Members felt support for their sobriety.

At the end of the meeting, they joined arms and recited the Serenity Prayer. They left with wishes for safety and a return on Monday.

That Monday never came. People were left hanging without their safety net. Their risk of relapse increased that day.

The COVID-19 Impact on Teenagers

As our nation tries to cope with prolonged fear and stress, our teenagers are suffering as well. Too many adolescents, during normal times, turn to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to cope with life. Puberty presents many changes and challenges including significant peer pressure.

Recent studies have shown that 60 percent of teens experiment with alcohol by twelfth grade. About 50 percent try marijuana and 20 percent use non-prescribed medications. Between ninth and twelfth grade, 40 percent of teenagers try tobacco.

With the onset of the pandemic, most schools closed and activities were canceled. For many teenagers, this left them without structure and support. Changes in normal routines increased already strained family relationships.

Adolescents lack the maturity to cope with major stressful events. They need the support of parents, school personnel, religious leaders, and community members. Without this network, many teens turn to addictive and risky behavior as a coping strategy.

COVID-19 Mental Health Challenges

Separation from a community increases mental health challenges for many people.

One 48-year-old man with SUD stated, “Being alone five days in a row can get to you, can make you anxious and depressed.” Add the fear of catching a deadly disease by breathing contaminated air or touching something with the virus. The physical distancing required to fight COVID-19 is removing support and increasing isolation.

The pandemic has created a source of trauma for many people. Trauma is often a significant relapse trigger for addiction. Trauma increases stress levels and narrows a person’s ability to focus on problem-solving. This leads to poor coping mechanisms such as substance abuse.

Actions Taken to Decrease COVID as a Relapse Trigger

Many organizations are enacting changes to previous protocols and recommendations. Experts have responded to the pandemic’s emotional impact by developing new problem-solving approaches.

Two organizations are actively working to make changes. These include:

  • The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)

They’re making it easier for those with opioid use disorders to get buprenorphine and methadone. The DEA is now helping patients get medications to control pain.

The American Medical Association has urged state legislators and governors to become involved. They’ve asked them to adopt the SAMHSA and DEA guidelines as written for the duration of the pandemic. This means more flexible evaluation and prescribing criteria and the use of telemedicine.

These guidelines make several requests. Examples include removing prior authorization, step therapy, and other obstacles to medication access.

They encourage enforcing parity laws for meaningful substance use and mental health disorders. States are also asked to support programs that provide sterile needles and syringes.

Are You Looking for Help with Addiction?

If you have a history of substance use disorder, watch for signs of relapse. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a relapse trigger for addiction. Cenikor offers a place to strengthen your foundation for improving your health and lifestyle.

Our program focuses on alcohol and drug addiction as well as mental and behavioral health concerns. Cenikor provides quality treatment for adolescents and adults.

Don’t wait. Contact us today to speak with one of our compassionate admission advisors. They will answer your questions and help you move toward a new life.

Teen Mental Health and Substance Abuse
26
Oct

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Is on the Rise for Teens Because of COVID-19

Since March, everything in our world has been turned upside down. Sporting venues have shut down, restaurants may offer only delivery services, and work and school has moved into the home. And over the last seven months, you may have noticed your teenager has been acting a little differently.

Teenagers are facing greater mental health challenges than ever before, and many may turn to substance abuse to cope. Read on to learn more about how substance abuse has changed among teenagers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Substance Abuse Risks Among Teens

Before we dive into the additional problems the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, let’s talk some about substance abuse among teenagers in normal circumstances. Puberty can be a challenging, stressful time, and many teenagers turn to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco as a coping mechanism. There may also be pressure from friends to try drugs as a way to rebel and fit in.

By twelfth grade, about 60 percent of teenagers have tried alcohol, and about 20 percent have used medications without a prescription. About half of high schoolers say that they have tried marijuana. And roughly 40 percent of teenagers between ninth and twelfth grade have tried cigarettes.

Mental Health Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of mental health challenges for teenagers and adults alike. For one thing, the constant stress of living in a disease-ridden world has left many of us at higher risk for anxiety and depression. Even routine tasks like going to the grocery store or attending school may now carry an added layer of stress.

Teenagers have also become more isolated than ever before in the face of the pandemic. With schools shut down or using virtual learning, adolescents can no longer see their friends as often as they used to. They may also not be able to participate in their usual extracurricular activities thanks to COVID shutdowns.

Connection Between Trauma and Substance Abuse 

In addition to the continual strain the COVID-19 pandemic is causing, it has also been a source of trauma for today’s teenagers. Most of us grew up believing certain things in life were constant – school, sports, graduation ceremonies, and more. But today’s teenagers have had all that taken away from them as we’ve had to learn to live with the consequences of the pandemic.

This trauma is part of what causes teenagers to turn to substance abuse. Most teenagers haven’t yet learned healthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress, and substance abuse may seem like a good option to relieve that stress. Once the teen associates that substance abuse with stress relief, they may have a hard time finding other ways to deal with the challenges they face.

Recent Teen Substance Abuse by the Numbers

So how has teenage substance abuse changed since the start of the pandemic in March? According to one study, alcohol use among teenagers has risen some during the pandemic.

Before COVID, this study estimates 28.6 percent of teens used alcohol. During the pandemic, that number rose to 30.4 percent.

The frequency with which teenagers use marijuana and alcohol has also risen during the pandemic. Before COVID, teens reported using alcohol only about twice a month. That number rose to almost three times a month during the pandemic.

Cannabis use days also increased slightly from an average of 3.28 days per three weeks before the pandemic to an average of 3.76 days per three weeks during the pandemic.

Common Drugs 

There are a few drugs teenagers may use more commonly than others. Most teenagers aren’t using heroin, cocaine, or other “serious” drugs during their high school years. Instead, you’re much more likely to see drugs that seem like “not such a big deal” showing up among teenage crowds.

Alcohol is by far the most common drug of choice for teenagers, though marijuana isn’t far behind. Many teenagers have tried cigarettes, and vaping has become frighteningly trendy in recent years. Teenagers who feel more pressure to perform well academically may also use drugs like Adderall to get their school work done.

Warning Signs to Watch For

If you are the parent or loved one of a teenager, there are a few warning signs that can let you know they may be using drugs. Their mood may change even more than normal, and they may be unable to focus, have a sudden loss of inhibitions, or lose motivation.

Keep in mind that some of this is to be expected as a normal part of puberty. You want to keep an eye on drastic shifts.

Your teenager may also begin to act differently in school, or they may become unusually clumsy. They may have burn marks on their fingers or lips, their face may often be flushed, and you may notice them wearing long sleeves even in hot weather. They may have sores around their mouth, they might get lots of unexplained nosebleeds, or they may seem sick much more often.

How to Help an Addicted Teen

If you think your teenager may have a substance abuse problem, the first and most important thing you can do is let them know you are there for them. Responding with anger will only make them think they can’t turn to you for help. Instead, focus on showing compassion and letting them know that, no matter what problem they bring to you, they’ll be in a safe, trusted space and that you’ll get them the help they need.

If you find out your teenager is using drugs, talk to their school counselor about resources to help. They may be able to direct you to a therapist who specializes in working with teenagers and substance abuse. Keep lines of communication open between you and your teenager, and continue to show them compassion and love throughout this process.

Care for Your Teen’s Mental Health 

Substance abuse is a dangerous problem among teenagers, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made it worse. Teenagers are facing worse mental health problems than ever before, and many may turn to drug use to cope. If you suspect your teenager may be using drugs, give them a safe space to talk to you about it, and make sure they get the help they need with compassion and care.

If you’d like to find the right help for your teenager, reach out to us at Cenikor. We are a place for change that can help you and your teen find better health and better lives. Contact us today to learn more about our addiction recovery programs.

opioid addiction
20
Oct

Opioid Overdose and the Pandemic: The Shocking Link Between the Two

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the opioid crisis was often in the headlines. While it seems to have lost the spotlight, opioid overdoses remain a huge problem.

How many deaths due to opioid overdose would you guess happened last year? The answer from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is about 72,000. This is a 5% increase in America since 2018.

Opioid overdose deaths are higher than from car accidents, guns, or AIDS. The CDC also estimates that opioid abuse costs the U.S. about $78.5 billion each year. This includes healthcare and treatment costs for addiction, lost productivity, and criminal justice.

Keep reading to learn more about opioid addiction, overdose, and the pandemic’s impact.

What Is an Opioid?

Opioids describe a class of drugs that occurs naturally in the opium poppy plant. Many prescription painkillers contain opioids. The street drug, heroin, is also an opioid.

Prescription opioids help relieve pain. They do this by blocking pain signals sent from the body to the brain.

Along with decreasing pain, opioids also make some people feel relaxed or even “high”. This high or happy feeling may lead a person to use more than needed. This may result in an addiction.

Other side effects include constipation, nausea, and drowsiness. Some people even experience slower breathing and confusion.

Some common prescription names for opioids include OxyContin®, codeine, morphine, and hydrocodone. Fentanyl is another opioid that’s about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It’s often prescribed for cancer patients.

All these drugs may be found in the illegal market as well. Street heroin and fentanyl often contain other dangerous products along with the opioids.

How Is Opioid Abuse Defined?

Opioid abuse means that an individual uses more of the medication than prescribed. It can also refer to situations when someone uses opioids that were prescribed for someone else.

The brain chemistry changes and develops a tolerance for the drug. Tolerance means that the individual needs to use more drugs over to get the same effect. If they stop the drug suddenly, they will have physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

Anyone who takes opioids for a prolonged time becomes dependent on the drug. This isn’t the same thing as an addiction.

Addiction describes a strong, compulsive urge to use opioids. This is no longer related to a medical need for the drug. Opioids have a high risk of becoming addictive even if it was originally prescribed.

Those with an opioid addiction may place getting the drug over food or other life necessities. Addiction interferes with relationships, work performance, and health. No one knows why some people are more prone to become addicted than others.

What Is an Opioid Overdose?

Over 1,000 Americans receive emergency department treatment every day for opioid overdoses. Even more concerning, someone dies from an opioid overdose about every 11 minutes.

Often, these overdoses occur by accident at home. A person may be trying to stop their pain and take too much of the medicine.

An overdose causes the brain receptors to block the pain, slow the breathing, and calm the body. When there is too much opioid drug in the blood, it can decrease breathing to a dangerous or deadly level. The most common cause of death is the cessation of breathing.

Signs and symptoms that an opioid overdose emergency is happening includes:

  • Extreme sleepiness or not able to wake up
  • Very slow or no breathing
  • Slowing of the heartbeat and low blood pressure
  • Cold and clammy feeling skin
  • The pupil (the center black part of the eye) looks very tiny
  • A blue color to the lips and nails

If the person doesn’t receive immediate medical treatment, they can die. Remember, this can result from legal prescriptions or illegal opioid use.

How Has COVID-19 Affected the Opioid Overdose Crisis?

During COVID-19, a large part of the U.S. has experienced quarantine. Many workers have also begun working from home or lost their jobs. Many businesses and healthcare facilities have limited access.

In general, the nation’s stress level has risen dramatically. Isolation and stress are two strong contributors to addiction. Many individuals may have trouble contacting their doctor or getting prescriptions refilled.

The majority of states are reporting increases in opioid-related deaths since the pandemic. They’ve also seen more problems with mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse.

Increased use of alcohol and drugs only adds to family and community problems. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported an increase in substance abuse after 9/11.

Our nation is facing an even more wide-spread and longer state of fear and stress today. More individuals have directly felt the impact of this crisis than at any other time in their life.

New Guidelines

In response, the American Medical Association (AMA) has taken action to address this issue. They are asking governors and state legislators to follow the new guidance. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released new rules.

The DEA and SAMHSA guidance encourage flexibility in evaluating and prescribing opioids. They also support the use of telemedicine.

They recommend reducing barriers for those who need medication. These barriers may include insurance prior authorization and step therapy. They support meaningful treatment for mental health and substance abuse disorders.

Other changes involve making sterile needles and syringes available to decrease infection risk. The AMA also encourages reduced restrictions on opioid dosing, quantity, and refills.

Do You Need Help With Addiction?

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, it’s time to get help. This article gave an overview of opioid abuse and opioid overdose. Experts know that pandemic-related stress is making the struggle with addiction harder.

Cenikor provides quality substance abuse and behavioral health services. We value health, wellness, faith, work, recovery, respect, education, and accountability. Our goal is to rebuild relationships and families through affordable services.

Contact us today if you or a family member needs help with an addiction.

17
Apr

Help is Available During the COVID-19 Crisis

CEO Bill Bailey provided an interview for CW39 Houston regarding substance use disorders and recovery. Read the story below:

During these uncertain times it can be especially difficult for those recovering from or battling an addiction. That’s why the Cenikor Foundation is remaining open to serve during the pandemic.

They’ve actually seen an increase in people seeking help, since the pandemic. “The first two weeks we saw about a 10 to 20% increase of people calling in for assistance,” said Bill Bailey, President & CEO of Cenikor Foundation. “It’s leveled off but we’re still seeing 28 to 30 new admissions a day.”

Cenikor Foundation’s short term residential program provides a community-based treatment for addiction. These services have been designated essential services during this pandemic. This model has been successful for Cenikor for over 50 years. In recent months, operations have required updates to protect the health and well-being of clients, staff and visitors.

Cenikor Foundation is a non-profit and will work with you whether you have insurance or not.

As far as signs of you or someone you know battling an addiction during quarantine? Bailey said to look to see if the person is drinking throughout the entire day. “Or that they’re drinking excessively or started using other substance. And if you find them incoherent or unable to speak with you. Their thought process may become cloudy,” Bailey adds.

And for anyone struggling out there Bailey has a message, “There is hope, there’s a safe place to seek treatment today. Don’t wait until the virus has passed, now’s the time to come in. We’re here for you.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, please call 1-888-CENIKOR (236-4567).

Original Source

Bill Bailey - Cenikor Foundation CEO
8
Apr

Substance Use Disorder Lost In The Coronavirus Pandemic

As the country learns to fight the novel coronavirus, the opioid epidemic has slipped back to the shadows. Just a few months ago, that epidemic was taking almost 200 lives per day, 67,367 in 2018, and had become a household topic. Taskforces, committees, legislators, communities and treatment providers were standing together to help make resources available for those that found themselves suffering from addiction issues.

We are facing a time of unprecedented stress and unknowns. Unemployment is rapidly rising. Social distancing brings the psychological fallout of isolation. It is vitally important, now more than ever, to the health of our nation to ensure that treatment is available and accessible. Times of high stress bring with them an increase in alcohol and drug use and abuse which compounds the issues that our families and communities are already facing. According to a National Institute on Drug Abuse report following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, “stressful times are particularly difficult for those who are more vulnerable to substance abuse and stress. Stress is one of the most powerful triggers for relapse in addicted individuals, even after long periods of abstinence”.

As we all know, hospitals are dealing daily with the pandemic and we are so grateful for the doctors and nurses showing up every day. A lesser known fact is that as stay at home orders have been issued across Texas, substance use disorder services have been designated essential services. This further emphasizes the necessity for those struggling with addictions to be able to receive the services they so desperately need. At Cenikor Foundation, we have been serving a community in the crisis of addiction for over 53 years and continue to meet the challenge through this crisis. True to the trends we have seen in previous crises, we continue to see a steady stream of calls for help. Our staff have risen to the challenge to provide safe environments for those seeking services and continue to provide daily the care that is necessary to save the lives of those suffering from addiction. We are honored and privileged to continue being a place for change during, through, and after this national crisis. Whether you or someone you love is searching for detoxification, shorter-term residential or outpatient services, and whether you are insured, uninsured or under-insured, there is someone out there who can help. For every unique situation, there is a door to successful recovery, there are resources available and it is the right time to ask for help.

Bill Bailey has served as President and CEO of Cenikor Foundation since 2004. Through Bill Bailey’s 16 years of leadership, Cenikor has provided strategic guidance, igniting a successful cycle of growth in geographic scope and treatment services within Cenikor’s full continuum of care. Bill’s commitment to Cenikor and the overall behavioral health community is one of long-term success, focused on Cenikor raising public awareness in the areas of treatment, prevention and education, and continuing a progressive movement on a national level.

Original Source

31
Jan

New Youth Recovery Community Center

Cenikor San Marcos hosted a ribbon-cutting on Thursday, January 30, to commemorate the grand opening of our new youth recovery community center! A proclamation was made by special guest Senator Judith Zaffirini, PhD.

We are excited about this advancement in our Youth Recovery Community program. This community center will serve as a safe and sober space for youth and young adults to explore friendship, fun and education.

You can watch our news segment here or read the newspaper article here.

To learn more about our YRC program, visit this page or email yrcsanmarcos@cenikor.org.

24
Jan

New Access Center Opens in Killeen

Cenikor Foundation opened a new call center as part of its focus on making recovery more widely available. The Access Center will provide information and support admissions to those seeking treatment for substance use disorder.

Vice President Amy Granberry spoke with KXXV about this expansion. “The absolute first step is calling and asking for help,” Amy states. “Then we do our best to help connect people to services they need.”

Cenikor Foundation currently offers intensive outpatient services at its facility in Killeen, Texas. This call center brings more jobs to Killeen and builds a local workforce to support its mission to provide a foundation for better health and better lives.

Watch the full news story here

2
Jan

For addicts, it’s never too late

The Advocate responds to a newspaper editorial from Cenikor President and CEO, Bill Bailey. James Victorian, proud Cenikor graduate shares his own story of overcoming addiction.

“Today, I’m strong in areas where I was weak, and I’ve finally learned to put others before myself. I graduated from the program last June — at 56 years of age — and I’m looking forward to living the new life I’ve been blessed with to its fullest. I hope that anyone dealing with a substance use issue knows that it’s never too late to start over.”

Read the full letter here: Original Source

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