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Addiction can be a crippling disease and is responsible for thousands of deaths nationwide every year. Luckily, several different types of resources exist to treat addiction and aid in recovery. Treatment isn’t a one-size-fits all formula, though. It depends on the person affected, severity of the addiction, type of addiction, and many other factors. Oftentimes, the situation is dire and requires admittance into a rehab as fast as possible.
Signs It’s Time for Rehab
Overdose is a life-threatening condition which can be fatal. This happens when the user ingests, smokes, injects, or inhales a toxic amount of the substance of choice. Overdose can also occur when a deadly combination of different drugs enter the body simultaneously. Each drug has particular symptoms when overdose occurs.
- Heroin/Opiates: Users who overdose on heroin or opiates might experience shallow breathing, slowed heartbeat, confusion, poor circulation, constricted pupils, or loss of consciousness.
- Cocaine: Cocaine overdose can result in rapid heartbeat, agitation, hallucinations, paranoia, uncontrollable muscle movements, dilated pupils, seizures, vomiting, anxiety, or dizziness. Damage to the organs and death may ensue.
- Benzodiazepines: Signs of benzodiazepine or “benzo” overdose include altered mental status, dizziness, blue lips or skin, respiratory problems, coma, stupor, and unresponsiveness.
- Alcohol: Alcohol overdose is very common. Some signs include dizziness, slurred speech, aggression, vomiting, confusion, dehydration, amnesia, nausea, depression, and unresponsiveness.
If you or a loved one experiences an overdose from any substance abuse, rehab should be strongly considered.
Due to the nature of the disease, once someone becomes addicted to drugs or alcohol other things in his or her life might become less of a priority. Isolation, trust issues, and abuse can all stem from addiction. If relationships in your life start to become adversely affected by your alcohol or drug use, rehab could remedy the problems in your life. Both inpatient addiction treatment and outpatient treatment is available to help the user take appropriate steps to fix the damage.
Have you noticed you’re having trouble controlling how often you use drugs or alcohol? Occasional use can quickly transform into a habit unable to be regulated. Cravings and negative consequences of drugs and alcohol may be strong indicators you’re losing control to your affliction, and rehab might be a suitable route to gain that control back.
When someone refrains from or cuts down on a substance he or she had been using, withdrawal symptoms are very common. Because the body is accustomed to having that substance, once it is removed, negative side effects tend to occur as a result.
Heroin/Opiates: Though usually not life-threatening, opiate withdrawal is known to be a horrible and crippling experience oftentimes leading to the user seeking out another dose (if only for the relief). Withdrawals typically start 12 hours after the last dose. The user can experience flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, sweating, muscle aches, trouble sleeping, and runny nose. Following this, nausea, diarrhea, cramps, dilated pupils, and chills can occur.
Cocaine: Cocaine withdrawals may start as little as minutes after the last dose and extend for up to 10 days. Symptoms can include paranoia, anxiety, irritability, fatigue, and sleeplessness.
Benzodiazepines: Physical dependence on benzos and curtailing use is extremely serious and can oftentimes be fatal. Nausea, memory loss, shaking, irritability, anxiety, sweating, confusion, headaches, stiffness, hallucinations, seizures, and psychosis can all follow the discontinued use of benzodiazepines.
Alcohol: Like benzodiazepine withdrawal, suddenly stopping alcohol consumption once physical dependence is present can be quite dangerous; and can even lead to death. Symptoms can begin two hours to four days after the last drink and might include headaches, anxiety, seizures, restlessness, sweating, loss of appetite, shaking, hallucinations, delirium tremens, and nausea.
Rehab is an excellent outlet and resource to aid in recovery while helping a user get through withdrawals. Medical services and 24-hour supervision through an inpatient treatment program are highly recommended, especially concerning the life-threatening alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawals. Many rehabs offer these services.
Drugs and alcohol can rewire the brain and how it sends and receives information. They significantly increase the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for pleasure and motivation. This abundance of dopamine produces cravings (discussed earlier) so strong the user will often engage in risky behavior to satisfy the ‘itch.’ High-risk sexual behavior (number of partners, lack of protection, pregnancies) and illegal activities are correlated with drug and alcohol addiction. If you find yourself engaging in risky behavior, rehab can help.
After prolonged use of a particular substance the body will adapt—the effects of the drug won’t be the same as before. The user might have to increase their dosage to reach the same high or achieve any effect at all. If you find yourself having to use more of a certain substance to receive the effects, you may have built up a tolerance. Tolerance to a drug or alcohol can be a good indication it’s time to go to rehab.
Other indicators that you or a loved should actively seek out entering a rehab fast are health issues caused by drug or alcohol use, legal problems stemming from drug or alcohol use, lying about drug or alcohol use, and financial issues due to drug or alcohol use.
Types of Rehab
Due to the complexity of addiction, many different types of rehab programs for drug and alcohol dependency exist. The appropriate rehab depends on the situation and severity of the addiction. Contacting a professional to decide which rehab is best for you and how to get into a rehab fast is the best course of action.
Intensive Residential Rehab
Intensive residential rehab usually begins with detox. As a user quits a substance and the body starts experiencing withdrawals, detoxing at a facility can be extremely beneficial and, in some cases, necessary. Opiate and stimulant withdrawal tend to be extremely unpleasant often pushing the user towards relapse. Alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal, on the other hand, can be fatal. Intensive residential treatments offers a safe, relaxed, and ample environment—it can range depending on the length of the program, but usually starts between 28 days to 14 weeks. Here’s what you can expect at an intensive residential drug rehab and detox:
Medical Aid: As the body clears itself of a substance, severe withdrawal symptoms are likely. Depending on the facility, detox centers might have a doctor and nurses on-site to help administer a certain medication. These drugs are meant to help the body rid itself of the toxins and make the withdrawals more tolerable and safe while weaning off. Examples include Suboxone for opiate withdrawal and Librium for alcohol withdrawal.
Comfortable Setting: Detoxing and recovery can be severely unpleasant experiences. Intensive residential rehabs offer a comfortable and relaxing environment to help the patient’s transition to sobriety. Removing triggers and stressful components from a user’s environment are detrimental to recovery.
Camaraderie: Addiction can be a lonely disease leading users to feel abandoned and misunderstood. At a detox center, those struggling are supported by others dealing with the same struggle. In this, they find meaning and purpose knowing they are not alone.
Counseling: Drug and alcohol use is regularly a direct result of underlying issues (family history, relationships, abuse, depression, etc.) Intensive residential rehab facilities offer a wide array of group and individual counseling to deal with these problems and prevent future use.
12-Step Program: 12-step programs like those presented in A.A. have proven countless times to aid in addiction recovery and prevent relapse while recovering in a detox program. They are a set of spiritual-based principles. Many detox services introduce a 12-step program allowing the user a full and comprehensive recovery.
Safe Environment: As mentioned above, withdrawals can be a horrid and sometimes fatal experience. Specialized detox facilities have 24/7 services to closely monitor patients while keeping them safe and stable.
Detox is just the first step to recovery. Everyone is different and responds to their detox at different rates. Some may experience more severe emotional, psychological, and mental effects than others. Relapse is especially concerning immediately after detox is complete. Because a user’s tolerance is reduced during the detox period, a relapse can often result in fatal overdose. This makes further treatment upon completion of detox vital.
Though intensive inpatient rehab offers detox, counseling, continuing care and medication assisted therapy, sometimes this recovery option isn’t best for the user. Outpatient rehab is an alternative that can aid in recovery as well. It doesn’t require the patient to live at the facility which allows him or her to attend school, work, and other commitments. Here’s what you can expect at an outpatient rehab treatment facility:
- Group, Individual, and family counseling
- Integration into support groups
- Relapse prevention training
- Substance use screening and monitoring
- Educational services
Considerations of Inpatient vs. Outpatient
Choosing which rehab is best for you or your loved one can be overwhelming. The best option is going to depend on a wide range of factors. Here are some things to consider when deciding:
Severity of addiction: Inpatient rehab will typically be the best option for someone severely addicted to a substance. The detox services offered allow the user a safe recovery through withdrawals, 24/7 monitoring, medical services, counseling and a comfortable environment can help the patient fully recover and prevent relapse in the future. Additionally, it removes all access to drugs and alcohol thus preventing the patient from relapsing. If the user’s addiction hasn’t spiraled, outpatient rehab may be a better option.
Price: Inpatient rehab tends to be more expensive than outpatient rehab, so cost should be a consideration. With that said, inpatient rehab has much higher success rates and can be worth the extra money spent. Make sure to research what insurance different facilities accept and if you’re covered at all.
Length and Schedule: Inpatient rehab will require the patient to sacrifice at least 28 days (depending on the center) while they live at the facility on their path to recovery. This might interfere with work, school, and other commitments. The recovery achieved at the inpatient rehab, though, may be well worth the time sacrificed.
Other factors to consider when choosing which rehab is best for you include where the program is located, reputation of the program, and experience of the staff.
How to Get Into Rehab Fast
Once you have realized you or someone in your life has a substance abuse problem and you have picked which type of rehab is best, it will be time to act. Depending on the severity of the addiction, you may ask how to get into a rehab fast. Getting admitted can take some time, but here are some things to consider:
Overdose and Life-Threatening Conditions: Oftentimes those who overdose and/or have life-threatening conditions as a result of substance abuse can get admitted immediately. These patients have priority and will likely need a referral from a doctor. If you have chronic medical problems or need constant monitoring, getting into a rehab fast should not be a problem.
Detox Center: If an inpatient residential rehab isn’t available immediately, a user can generally find a facility that specializes in strictly detoxing. Local hospitals, ERs, and private detox companies offer this service and are usually available immediately.
Research: If no inpatient programs are available immediately, you can research rehabs you are interested in and make arrangements to be admitted fast. While detoxing at a facility, the user (or his/her family) can contact rehab facilities and begin the process of admittance. Upon completion of detox, the patient can transition directly into rehab. You can also work with the patient’s case manager or social worker to find the most appropriate rehab and make arrangements. Being proactive, making phone calls, and taking appropriate steps is how you get into a rehab fast.
Support Groups: While waiting for a spot at a rehab facility, support groups such as A.A. and N.A are great options in the meantime. Online forums and chat lines are available as well. These are great resources for a user if there’s a gap between detox and inpatient residential rehab or while waiting for a spot at a rehab to open. Seeing a therapist or counselor is another great support tool while waiting for your treatment facility.
Addiction can be a life-threatening and dangerous disease, but there are a multitude of resources available to those in need. Once you’ve accepted your situation and researched the appropriate programs, it’s time to get into rehab fast. By being proactive and following the steps outlined above, recovery from addiction will come and your life will improve drastically. For more information on drug and alcohol detox programs, please call our Florida treatment center today.