Substance abuse

What Should I Do If I Relapse?

relapseUnfortunately, relapse is often a reality of recovery. Up to 60% of patients who receive treatment for a substance use disorder will relapse within one year, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association — and the rate is even higher with drugs like heroin.

Addiction recovery is a lifelong healing process, filled with ups and downs, successes and disappointments and often instances of backsliding or relapse.

Here’s what to do (and what not to do) if you relapse:

  • Do take responsibility. Your first step is to recognize that you slipped up – and so it’s now time to redouble your efforts so you can better understand and control your cravings and triggers. This isn’t to say that you need to have the answers right now. You just need to be able to accept what happened and move forward with your recovery.
  • Don’t beat yourself up. It’s easy to heap blame on yourself about how you should have somehow been able to avoid using again – but that’s counterproductive. Along the same lines, it’s also a mistake to think that there’ s nothing you can do about it. Relapse is not a failure, but a sign that you need to evaluate and tweak your recovery strategy. It’s an opportunity to learn more about yourself and your addiction.
  • Do seek professional help. Working with an addiction professional can help you better understand the root cause of your slip-up and equip you with coping skills to prevent another relapse in the future. This is also the time to lean on your support network, so go to a 12-step meeting or talk to a sponsor or loved one. For someone who has relapsed multiple times, more intensive treatment is likely required.

Get Support at Synergy
If you or a loved one is seeking an individualized addiction treatment plan, look no further. Our programs and activities are designed to give each client the tools he or she needs to prevent relapse and succeed at lasting recovery. To learn more, call today: 888-267-8070.

What Compulsive Gambling and Substance Abuse Have in Common

Compulsive Gambling and Substance AbuseDid you know that more than 70 percent of those with a gambling disorder also have an alcohol problem – and nearly 40 percent have a drug abuse problem? Perhaps, it’s not too surprising that gambling addicts are often struggling with substance abuse as well.

After all, a gambling addiction can certainly reinforce a drug or alcohol addiction. Many gamblers drink to loosen up before betting, or turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to numb the feelings of remorse caused by losing large sums of money.

What’s more, pathological gamblers and drug addicts share many of the same genetic predispositions for impulsivity and reward seeking. A few studies show that some people are especially vulnerable to both types of addiction because their reward circuitry is inherently under active — which may partly explain their thrill-seeking behavior.

Here are a few more characteristics of both compulsive gambling and a substance use disorder:

  • Increasing preoccupation with the “drug” of choice
  • Tolerance, or needing more in order to achieve the desired excitement
  • Using the substance or behavior to escape problems or mask emotions or mood disorders
  • Concealing the extend of the addiction to family, friends and therapists
  • Failing several times to scale back or stop altogether
  • Jeopardizing relationships with family, intimates, and peers
  • Inability to maintain responsibilities at work, at school or in the home
  • Incapacity to properly assess the risks and rewards of a given situation

Getting Help for Compulsive Gambling
It’s nearly impossible to stop a gambling addiction on your own. And, yet, a mere 7 to 12 percent of compulsive gamblers will ever seek help, according to a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry. Don’t wait to seek treatment. Start by taking our gambling addiction self-assessment – and answer the questions as truthfully as you can. To learn more about our compulsive gambling treatment, call today: 888-267-8070.

Study: Teens at Elite High Schools Face Higher Addiction Risk

teens at elite high schools higher addiction ratesPrivilege doesn’t offer protection from addiction, according to a new study of more than 500 teens published in the journal Development and Psychopathology.

In fact, teens at elite U.S. high schools face an even higher addiction risk – with rates twice as high as national norms, noted researchers.

“Results showed that among both men and women and across annual assessments, these young adults had substantial elevations, relative to national norms, in frequency of several indicators – drinking to intoxication and of using marijuana, stimulants such as Adderall, cocaine, and club drugs such as ecstasy,” said study author Suniya Luthar, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University, in a press release.

“Paradoxical though it may seem, these ostensibly privileged youth, many of who start experimenting early and often with drinking and drugs, could well be among the groups at highest risk for alcoholism and addiction in adulthood,” Luthar said.

The study noted the following as possible reasons for the increased risk, including:

  • Pressure to succeed or stress about the “right” college
  • Having money needed to buy drugs, alcohol and high-quality fake IDs
  • Widespread peer approval of substance use
  • Lack of awareness from parents

While researchers have long-linked substance use disorders with children growing up in poverty, Luthar noted that there needs to be more studies to identify and treat addiction in well-to-do areas. “We now need the same dedicated research on kids who grow up in pressure-cooker, high-achieving schools,” she said.

Addiction Help for Young Adults
In recent years, we have seen the increased need for alcoholism treatmentprescription drug treatment and opiate and heroin addiction treatment among young adults. For more specific information on our drug and alcohol rehab for young adults, please reach out to our admissions department today. Call: 888-267-8070.

Working The Steps

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When I decided to stop drinking, I knew there were certain steps I had to take to ensure my sobriety. The first step for me was to enter a drug and alcohol rehab where I learned many life-saving tools.

When I completed my stay, I was told to get a sponsor and work the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I was afraid to get a sponsor when I got out, so I never asked anyone for help. Three months later, I relapsed.

After my dangerous and terrible relapse, I finally called someone I looked up to at an AA meeting to be my sponsor.

I started working the 12 Steps immediately, and it brought a sense of peace into my life. I was able to talk to someone who already walked the path I’m walking right now.

I take great comfort in knowing my sponsor has dealt with many issues, feelings, and events that I’m currently dealing with.

When I work the steps with my sponsor, I feel a deeper connection to myself and to the world. I don’t feel alone, scared, and guilty.

Working the steps is cathartic to me. I write my thoughts and feelings on paper, share what’s going on in my life, and talk about my issues.

Sometimes when I feel like my life is spiraling out of control, I call my sponsor to bring me back to reality.

I understand why the steps are written the way they are, because each step builds on each other. I can’t skip around because it won’t make sense.

I know that if I put hard work into the program I’m working, I will see rewards, and I have. My life is a million times better than it was when I drank.

I know how to deal with issues in life with grace, dignity, and a backbone. I don’t have to crawl into a dark corner and drink myself into oblivion.

I’m grateful I found a sponsor I can trust who leads me through the 12 Steps with care. I know that I can face any problems in my life without the crutch of alcohol.

If you have a problem with substance abuse, our Florida based drug and alcohol rehabilitation center can help. We offer specialized treatment programs to every client who stays with us.

Man Caught With Drugs In Court

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In Salem, Oregon, police say Michael Durban strolled into his arraignment on possession of heroin charges with heroin and needles in his pocket.

Durban is facing another count of unlawful possession of heroin because police found hypodermic needles and a cotton ball possibly containing heroin on him.

When asked about the paraphernalia, Durban replied, “I got mixed up. I thought I left it in my car.” He was placed under arrest and transported to the Marion County Jail.

Drugs can make us do irrational things. Coming to court with drugs is never a good idea, and a sober person would understand that.

Drugs cloud our judgement, and lead us into dangerous situations. We can’t think clearly, so we think bad ideas are actually good ones.

Many times people who get high think they look normal to the rest of the world. They feel good, so they think they look good. They can’t see how they stumble, slur their words, or say things that don’t make sense.

I knew a lady who had an issue with drugs, but wasn’t ready to get help. We went to her birthday party, and she couldn’t stop laughing at a picture on her refrigerator. I was helping her bring sodas out to the rest of the party when she stopped me in the kitchen.

She pointed to a picture of herself on the fridge, rambled about something, and broke into hysterical laughter. I had no idea what to do, I was very uncomfortable.

When it was time to cut the birthday cake, her eyes were bloodshot, and she couldn’t hold the knife to cut the cake. She asked my husband to help, so he finished cutting the cake. We decided to go home a little early.

The lady didn’t think she had a drug problem, so she refused to talk about receiving help. Her family talked to her about her behavior, but she wasn’t ready to stop using yet.

A couple years later, she finally decided to get help with substance abuse, and she’s doing great now.

Seeking help through a certified drug and alcohol treatment center like Synergy Group Services, Inc. can save your life. Here at our Florida based substance abuse rehabilitation facility, we teach our clients how to live a healthy life of sobriety.

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