Crohn’s Disease And Addiction Crohn's Disease And Addiction

Crohn’s disease causes your digestive tract to become severely inflamed. Its often incapacitating symptoms lead some individuals to self-medicate by substance abuse. Some even become addicted to their prescribed painkillers because of this. Whether it be alcohol or other drugs, these substance can lead to addiction and aggravate the disease.

Crohn’s disease currently has no cure. For an individual with Crohn’s, this prognosis can seem quite dim, especially when paired with the life-altering symptoms the disease produces. But with the proper lifestyle, therapies, and treatment, Crohn’s can be successfully managed, and so can an addiction.

What Is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This inflammation causes distress to a person’s digestive tract, specifically the small intestine and colon. Sometimes the symptoms temporarily subside, this is called remission.

While symptoms can be mild, in its most extreme manifestations, “Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications,” according to Mayo Clinic. Crohn's Disease And Addiction Painful and Debilitating

This reality may lead some individuals to self-medicate their pain or emotional symptoms with drugs or alcohol. Doing so will only complicate matters further, and in many cases it will intensify the symptoms even more.

Is It Dangerous To Have Both?

Crohn’s can mask certain symptoms of substance abuse and vice versa. This can make it difficult to identify the root of the problem in some individuals and forestall treatment.

Depending on the drug of abuse, both diseases can create similar symptoms, such as abdominal cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, a suppressed appetite, malnourishment, and dehydration, among others. Individuals with Crohn’s may try to blame the side effects of their drug abuse on it in an attempt to hide their addiction.

These effects (especially malnourishment and dehydration) can become dangerous when compounded by chronic drug use and Crohn’s. Both diseases have also been linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide.

The Emotional Strain Of Crohn’s Can Lead To Substance Abuse

It can be difficult to cope with a serious disease like Crohn’s and the many ways it alters your life. Over time, a person’s mental and emotional health can become seriously compromised, in a way which fosters substance abuse. Crohn's Disease And Addiction Depression And AnxietyMental Illness

Crohn’s can cause or worsen certain mental illnesses, especially depression and anxiety. One study found that instances of these disorders are highest within the first year of diagnosis.

These findings were in line with other research which “found depression and/or anxiety to be more common in patients with IBD than in the general population or in patient groups with other chronic diseases.”

Isolation And Loneliness

During an active state of Crohn’s, the unpredictability of the disease can make it difficult to socialize. A person with Crohn’s may feel so unwell, or grow to fear the onset of their symptoms and the difficulty of managing them, that they simply stay home.

To self-treat these states, a person may begin using drugs or alcohol, which can actually make these states more severe. As they worsen, a person may continue to drink or use drugs, to the point they become dependent and addicted to the substance.

How Are Crohn’s Disease And Substance Abuse Related?

Alcohol abuse is especially harmful to people with Crohn’s. It irritates an already inflamed digestive tract and increases the odds of further damage to these sensitive tissues.

Some research does show that marijuana may be helpful in treating certain symptoms of Crohn’s, but if a person self-treats their condition they do run the risk of becoming addicted.

Opioid painkillers may be used to treat the pain associated with Crohn’s or after surgery for the disease. But certain individuals may begin to use their medication improperly, which could lead to severe addiction.

What Factors Of An Addicted Lifestyle Can Aggravate Crohn’s?

The following lifestyle factors can aggravate Crohn’s Disease:

  • Diet: Addicted individuals are more apt to make poor dietary choices, which are speculated to aggravate Crohn’s.
  • Immune System: Substance abuse can decrease your immune system, which can trigger an episode, and make it harder for your body to fight Crohn’s.
  • Smoking: Smoking makes Crohn’s disease worse. Certain forms of substance abuse, for instance alcohol, make certain people more apt to smoke.
  • Stress: An addiction can destroy important aspects of your life such a your health, family, career, and educational pursuits. These happenings can increase stress which inflames Crohn’s.

Individualized Care Is Crucial When Treating Crohn’s Disease And Addiction

If you have Crohn’s disease and addiction, you need to ensure you’ll be in a treatment environment which is sensitive to the needs of both diseases (addiction is, itself, a disease). Crohn's Disease And Addiction Treatment Environment

Full-spectrum, individualized care is critical for patients who have both a chronic disease and addiction. Behavioral therapies, counseling, and other modalities should be adapted to help you heal on a physical, mental, emotional, and social level from both diseases.

Advanced Medical Care

When the disease is an active state, you may require additional medical care, nutritive support, and even counseling. Certain B vitamins may be administered as they are used to treat both diseases.

Dual Diagnosis Care

Dual diagnosis care is an important element of treatment for those with a co-occurring mental health disorder. Non-addictive medications may be used to treat anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness which you suffer from.

Pain Management

For those in need of pain management, certain non-addictive medications or alternative therapies may be used.

Family Therapy And Support

Chronic disease and addiction can take an immense toll on your family members too. A comprehensive program should offer family therapy and support to help you grow and heal together within the face of such adversity.

Mindfulness And Stress Management Practices

Because stress can cause a flare-up of Crohn’s, it’s important to learn how to manage it in a healthy way. Mayo suggests the following techniques:

  • Biofeedback
  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga.

Many facilities offer these holistic therapies.

Fitness And Nutrition

A program may offer exercise facilities or classes which can help you to channel your stress in a healthful manner, all the while strengthening your body.

Even though experts are still learning about the role diet has on Crohn’s, it’s still important to be mindful of how you eat. A good facility will prepare meals which take into account any dietary restrictions you may have.

Relapse Prevention Training

Since Crohn’s is a lifelong disease, you must be prepared to deal with flare-ups, both mentally and physically. Without relapse prevention training, an active state could become a trigger for addiction. Enhanced coping skills will be taught to help you cope with these challenges.

Battling Crohn’s disease and addiction isn’t an easy task by any means, but it is possible to develop positive and healthy behaviors which can support a drug-free life and better overall physical health.

Even though there isn’t a cure for Crohn’s, the right combination of therapies can decrease the severity of symptoms and/or lead to long-term remission. Recovery from addiction is also something you need to commit to for life, but the right treatment program can make all the difference by preparing you for this journey.

Get Help For Chrohn’s Disease And Addiction Today

If you or a loved one has Crohn’s, you can still seek treatment. Protecting your body from the effects of drugs or alcohol is especially important with this concern, and wants to help you reach this goal.  Contact us today to learn more about your treatment options.

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What is “Wet Brain”? What Is Wet Brain

Characterized by hallucinations, unsteady gait, confusion, and amnesia, ‘wet brain’ is a degradation of the brain caused by a Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency. Wet brain is also referred to as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome by the medical community. While a variety of factors can come into play when a patient develops wet brain, alcoholism is a common cause of the Vitamin B1 deficiency that can lead to the disorder.

What Is Wet Brain?

Wet brain is actually a manifestation of two conditions; Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis. Both Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis present symptoms of degradation of the brain, however Korsakoff’s psychosis affects memory impairment while Wernicke’s encephalopathy is characterized by visual and gait impairments. While these conditions can occur separately, they are commonly diagnosed together. What Is Wet Brain_Wernicke

The first phase of wet brain is Wernicke’s encephalopathy. This phase is usually brief, however, the onset of its symptoms can happen quickly. Classic symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy can include:

  • Loss of muscle coordination leading to unsteady gait and leg tremors
  • Vision changes
  • Eyelid drooping
  • Confusion
  • Double vision
  • Loss of mental activity

Patients do not need to present all symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy to be diagnosed with the disorder. In some patients, the symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy may be mild and unnoticeable for the most part. If left untreated, it can cause coma or even death in many patients. What Is Wet Brain_Korsakoff

The second phase of wet brain is Korsakoff’s psychosis. Characterized by fast onset of memory impairment without any other decline in intellectual functions, Korsakoff’s psychosis develops as a result of the brain damage caused by Wernicke’s encephalopathy. The part of the brain that is damaged by Wernicke’s encephalopathy directly relates to memory creation and retention.

The symptoms of Korsakoff’s psychosis will generally develop once the symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy go away. These symptoms can include:

  • Amnesia
  • Loss of memory – from mild to severe
  • Making up memories or stories that never happened
  • Hallucinations
  • Inability to form new memories

How Does Alcohol Cause Wet Brain?

Alcoholism and chronic alcohol abuse do not directly cause wet brain, however they are the most common cause of wet brain. The brain damage associated with Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome is actually caused by a Vitamin B1, or thiamine, deficiency. Thiamine is required for the presence of several enzymes that assist in breaking down sugar and carbs into other energy molecules. The absence of this results in brain damage.

Because high levels of thiamine are stored in your heart, kidney, brain, and liver, prolonged or excessive amounts of alcohol consumption can prevent the absorption of thiamine into your liver or gastrointestinal tract. Excessive alcohol consumption can also have a negative effect on the thiamine currently stored in your system. What Is Wet Brain_Deficiency

Alcoholism and alcohol abuse, however, are not the only causes of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome. Because the syndrome is actually caused by a thiamine deficiency, other sources of malnutrition can also be a cause of the symptoms. Eating disorders, starvation, AIDs, and cancer can also cause malnutrition and thiamine deficiency severe enough to cause Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome.

Treatment For Wet Brain

Wet brain diagnosis will usually involve a series of tests including thiamine and other vitamin levels in the blood, CT or brain scans, liver function, and MRIs to measure for bleeding or tumors in the brain. Along with the results of these tests, cognitive and memory performance will also be measured to compare with the symptoms of Wernicke’s encephalopathy and Korsakoff’s psychosis individually.

Once wet brain is diagnosed in an alcoholic patient, a thiamine injection will be promptly administered in an attempt to get thiamine levels back up. While the thiamine injection can improve confusion and unsteady gait in a patient, any memory loss the patient currently suffers from will likely remain the same.

Immediate abstinence from alcohol is also recommended, along with a well balanced diet. Inpatient rehab along with other drug rehabilitation programs are highly recommended to ensure the proper detox of a patient suffering from alcoholism as well as to reduce the likelihood of a relapse down the road.

Without treatment, Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome will likely result in death. With treatment, it is possible to control and improve some of the symptoms associated with the syndrome such as confusion and unsteady gait. If the syndrome is caught early enough, it is possible to administer treatment in time to help reverse some of the effects that have already started taking place.

Get Help

If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism or the symptoms of wet brain, it is essential you seek out professional help. Wet brain does not always present itself in obvious ways, but it is very life-threatening. In certain cases, by the time it is diagnosed there is already permanent brain damage for the patient.

Our addiction specialists are standing by to take your call and offer more insight to the rehab programs available for alcoholism and alcohol abuse. Your call is always confidential, and we can get you started on the road to recovery. Call us today.

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For More Information Related to “What is “Wet Brain”?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Organization for Rare Disorders – Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome
The Scientific World Journal – Thiamine Deficiency Induced Neurochemical, Neuroanatomical, and Neuropsychological Alterations: A Reappraisal

Dual Diagnosis: Sex Addiction And Mental Illness Sex Addiction_Facebook

Have you ever had a partner who seemed a bit preoccupied with sex? We may have all gone through phases during which we were highly sexually active, but when is this behavior called addiction?

Sex addiction (also called hypersexuality) is not classified as a medically recognized mental disorder—yet. But it is becoming more widely accepted as a legitimate mental disorder that needs proper assessment and treatment.

Sex addiction can be and often is accompanied by other mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression. It can also occur along with substance abuse. When two disorders occur at the same time, it’s called a dual diagnosis, or co-occurring disorders, and the disorders tend to affect each other.

What Is Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is defined as having a preoccupation with sexual fantasy, due mainly to intimacy dysfunction. It has been called an intimacy disorder. This preoccupation is characterized by compulsive thoughts and behaviors, usually involving:

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Pornography
  • Romantic intensity
  • Objectifying a partner
  • Obsession with the pursuit of sex, especially casual or non-intimate

To be classified as addiction, this behavior has to have lasted for six months or more. As with any addiction, people with this problem may be aware of their behavior, but may be powerless to stop. Sex Addiction_What is Sex Addiction

For example, someone with this problem tries to fix the behavior, but fails. People who struggle with sex addiction may hide some of these compulsive activities from a partner due to shame, guilt, or remorse. Further, they may have made countless promises to change, but were simply unable to. That’s why many people with this problem have trouble with relationships, as reported by Medical News Today.

What Causes Sex Addiction?

Sex addiction is a process addiction. In simple terms, that means it is similar to gambling addiction or compulsive spending; “sexual addicts typically spend a much greater amount of time engaged in the pursuit of sex and romance (the process) than in the sexual act itself,” Psych Central states.

The direct cause isn’t known, partly due to lack of research. But of the studies that exist, some show that the brains of those addicted to sex respond to sex in the same way as someone addicted to drugs or alcohol. That is, someone addicted to sex gets a euphoric feeling when they experience it.

Psych Sex Addiction_Child Abuse explains, “People addicted to sex get a sense of euphoria from it that seems to go beyond that reported by most people. The sexual experience is not about intimacy….any reward gained from the experience soon gives way to guilt, remorse and promises to change.”

Sex addiction causes the person affected to use sex to deal with life stressors, cope with pressure at work or school, and in general for thrill-seeking and to feel better. People seek drugs or alcohol for similar reasons.

Other causes may be more indirect. For example, one study found that more than 80 percent of people addicted to sex suffered sexual abuse as children. Research in general, though limited, reveals that many people with sex addiction experienced some kind of abuse during childhood.

In addition to sex addiction, many people also have co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse and mental illnesses. Addiction symptoms can worsen the symptoms of mental illness.

How Is Sex Addiction Affected By Mental Illness?

Sex addiction is a complex disorder because it works like an addiction in the brain, but is characterized by emotional and mental symptoms much like mental illness. Therefore, sex addiction can be greatly affected by other mental illnesses. Why?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states, “people with mental health disorders are more likely than people without mental health disorders to experience an alcohol or substance use disorder.” In other words, having a mental condition greatly increases your chances of substance abuse.

Diagnosing co-occurring disorders can be difficult though, especially because symptoms of each disorder can vary in levels of severity. Left untreated, co-occurring disorders can lead to a number of consequences, including:

  • Developing further disorders
  • Homelessness
  • Incarceration
  • Suicide
  • In some cases, death

How Many People Experience Dual Diagnosis?

You may not be surprised that millions of people suffer each year from mental illnesses and substance abuse alike, but did you know that millions also struggle with a dual diagnosis? In 2014, 7.9 million people in the United States reported a dual diagnosis, SAMHSA states. That number only includes adults.

Men are more affected by co-occurring disorders than are women. People who are at elevated risk tend to be: lower socioeconomic status, military veterans, or people with other medical illnesses.

What Are The Signs Of A Dual Diagnosis?

If you are struggling with sex addiction and other mental illness, it may be helpful to recognize the signs so you can seek the help you need. Signs of sex addiction are mentioned above, but mental illness signs depend on the mental illness itself, as symptoms greatly vary among disorders.

In general, here are some possible signs of a dual diagnosis:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Drawing back from friends or family
  • Engaging in risky behaviors
  • Loss of control: over behavior, substance abuse, emotions, etc.
  • Using or seeking substances in dangerous situations
  • Feeling like you need the drug (in this case, sex) to be able to function or feel normal
  • Tolerance: this occurs usually when people no longer feel the effects of a drug; with sex addiction, it can occur when sex no longer makes a person feel euphoric.
  • Withdrawal: extreme urges or cravings—typically for drugs or alcohol, in this case for sex— and even physical symptoms that keep you seeking sex again and again

How To Treat Sex Addiction And Mental Illness

Treatment for a dual diagnosis is most effective when using an integrated approach. This allows people to receive assessment and care for both disorders, working on healing from each at the same time. Sex Addiction_Psych Central

Many of the treatment methods found most effective for sex addiction can be found at an inpatient rehab center. The same is true for mental illness. Healing at a rehab center presents a number of advantages.

Professional, quality medical care makes a difference in your chance of treatment success. For example, some mental illnesses or addiction disorders require medication that has to be given by a licensed medical professional. Rehab centers provide knowledgeable, trained staff to help you through a difficult time.

More than that, rehab centers have experience in treating your illness. Staff and experts have helped others before you overcome their disorders. In rehab centers, you will also be lifted up by other people who are there for similar reasons—to heal and to have a chance to start over.

Some of the most effective treatment methods are:

Get Help With Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Sex addiction is a disorder many people may not even know they have. Like many addictions, it can lead to dire consequences in your life, relationships, and finances. Paired with mental illness, sex addiction symptoms can escalate.

If you are struggling, don’t hesitate to seek the help you deserve. Contact us today at to learn more about dual diagnosis treatment and hear about our renowned rehab centers.

For more information, call now!

For More Information Related to “Dual Diagnosis: Sex Addiction And Mental Illness” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Medical News Today—Sex Addiction Is A Legitimate Mental Disorder
National Alliance On Mental Illness—Dual Diagnosis
National Institute On Drug Abuse—DrugFacts: Comorbidity:Addiction And Other Mental Disorders
Sex Addicts Anonymous—Are You A Sex Addict?

Environmental Risk Factors for Developing an Addiction Environmental Risk Factors_

Environmental Risk Factors play a part in all of our day-to-day life. A person who goes to work as a fireman has a risk of getting burnt, much like a person who is subjected to alcohol and drugs has a risk of getting high or drunk and becoming addicted. There are a variety of environmental risk factors that play a part in developing an addiction–the more common ones are Community, Peer, Family, and School. Not everyone who tries drugs will become addicted, or even like it for that matter, but some people are hooked right from the start. It might not be too late to educate yourself, and your teens about addiction…

Have you ever known somebody since they were young, and the tragedy of addiction has always been their fate? Everyone in their life, including them, is addicted to drugs or alcohol. Their mom and dad are both addicted to drugs, their brothers are addicted to drugs; their whole family seems to be addicted to drugs or alcohol. Maybe their neighbor is even addicted to drugs. This person, like millions of others, had environmental risk factors which contributed to their own addiction. Environmental Risk Factors_50,000There are a lot of different contributing factors leading to an addiction; these can be community, family, school, and friends (peers). Though not everyone who experiments with drugs becomes addicted, approximately 10% of people who try drugs do, and major contributions to addiction come from a combination of environment and genetics. That translates to roughly one in ten people who will become addicted to a drug after trying it once.

How To Identify Addiction

Addiction can be tricky to understand for someone who hasn’t experienced it first hand. It can be just as confusing, for someone who is battling addiction, to try to explain how they wasted their life savings, stole from a loved one, or went to the hospital. One of the easiest ways to understand addiction is by recognizing that the person suffering from it is very ill–both mentally and physically. They might not be able to stop using drugs or alcohol–as hard as they might try or as many times as they say they’ll quit–they’re hooked.

Teens And Addiction Environmental Risk Factors_Home Risk Factors (1)Teens will be exposed to drugs and alcohol, whether they’re the one using them or not. If they aren’t, it will be someone they know of who is using the drug. Scientists from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse have discovered that adolescent brains are more susceptible to addiction than an adult brain, because they are not fully developed yet. They go on to say that the same teen’s still developing brain can also be more resilient to addiction, and can be taught. So there is hope…

Unfortunately, with the stigma attached to drug dependence, many families refuse to look outside the home for treatment. Most people suffering from addiction didn’t choose to become addicted to a drug–it’s just the nature of habit. Addiction can happen where we least expect it, but perhaps with the right evidence, the mind of a potential drug user will be guided elsewhere.

How Many People Are Suffering From An Addiction?

Addiction affects 23.2 million Americans, and sadly, only 10% of those people are receiving the treatment they need. With that distressing statistic, there is most likely a person in your life who is suffering from an addiction. It isn’t a disease that only affects cities, or people below the poverty line… Addiction affects everyone.

Moreover, “1 in 10 Americans over the age of 12 classified with substance abuse or dependence, addiction takes an emotional, psychological, and social toll on the country. The economic costs of substance abuse and addiction alone are estimated to exceed a half trillion dollars annually in the United States due to health care expenditures, lost productivity, and crime.” (National Institutes of Health)

What Are Some Environmental Risk Factors For Addiction?

Just about anything can play a role in a person’s addiction, but we can safely assume that each person started off experimenting with drugs that they had previously seen someone else use. A person’s first exposure to drugs and alcohol might have been brought on by a common environmental risk factor–these factors can all be better understood when put into the more specific categories:

A person is at great risk of becoming addicted when exposed to these environmental risk factors. Though it isn’t just young adults in jeopardy; substance addiction can happen when life gets the best of you–and sometimes a person will start using a drug or alcohol to cope with loss–because it makes them feel better. This can often lead to addiction of the substance overtime. Substance use coping is dangerous and unhealthy.

Community Risk Factors For Developing An Addiction Environmental Risk Factors_CommunityA person’s community can play a major role in their subjection to alcohol and drug addiction. “If a…community has favorable attitudes toward drug use, firearms and crime, their risk is increased.” (Genetic Science Learning Center) Most teens have a seemingly “cooler” neighbor whom they look up to or want to be like.. Teens are impressionable, and if they see this person they look up to smoking cigarettes, using drugs, or drinking, they might think that this is how to be cool.

Many urban communities and neighborhoods have outreach programs and “drug-free school zones,” but sometimes communities are completely shocked to find that the drugs and alcohol are being used by their very own children–or even by people of their own stature. It can be difficult for parents, worried about addiction, to decide who to let their kids hang around with. The best method might be to educate them before the problem arises.

Peer Risk Factors For Developing An Addiction Environmental Risk Factors_Peer“The single biggest contributing factor to drug abuse risk is having friends who engage in the problem behavior.” (Genetic Science Learning Center) So how do we pick and choose friends, or try to encourage our friends not to use drugs and alcohol? Everybody is going to come across peer pressure in their life–it’s just part of being human–and it will likely always be that way.

Not every misdirected kid who invites his friends to join him for a drink or a smoke is addicted to the substance, but it’s like the old saying goes “misery loves company.” By nature, prolonged use of said drug very often can lead to addiction–it’s just the way our minds work. The human brain craves euphoria, and when something feels good, tastes good, or looks good, we want more of it.

Home Risk Factors For Developing An Addiction Environmental Risk Factors_FamilyAn adolescent’s first exposure to drug and alcohol use often takes place in the home–this usually depends on parenting practices and general home life. These risk factors are broken down into several categories, but two common understandings of child upbringing (as related to drug and alcohol use) are maltreatment and traumatic events. Parenting practices can play a significant role in substance use disorders and addiction. Sometimes, if a mom or dad is never around to see the sometimes obvious signs of drug and alcohol use, or neglect to educate their children–those same children can be at risk.

Maltreatment and traumatic events can include physical abuse, sexual abuse, or simply a cruel upbringing. Maltreated or abused children are 7 times more likely than others to use drugs or alcohol by age 12. Incredibly, maltreated children, on average, are likely to use alcohol 2 years before their peers.

School Risk Factors For Developing An Addiction Environmental Risk Factors_SchoolTeen may be at risk for substance use and addiction when they miss out on extracurricular activities, or or when they lack some of the social structure that comes from good grades and commitment. People strive to fit in with whomever they surround them self with, these school mates might be involved in drugs (and who knows? Maybe there is an opportunity to help them out of it.), but when such an adolescent is surrounded by others who strive to do great things, they too will seek self-improvement and success.

Schools offer a wonderful opportunity for teens to grow socially and mentally, but can also offer them an opportunity to grow experimentally with the exposure to drugs and alcohol. Schools can also offer information on drug and alcohol use. Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) is one example of how schools attempt to educate teens about smoking, using drugs, and drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, D.A.R.E. was claimed to be ineffective by the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

There are other classrooms which can help a person develop healthy habits: Psychology Class, Health Class, Physical Education, and Sexual Education.

How To Learn More About Environmental Risk Factors Of Addiction

Over 50,000 people died from an overdose in 2015, a number that grows leaps and bounds larger each year. If you are a parent of, spouse of, or a person suffering from an addiction–there is no reason to become another statistic. There is hope for you and your loved ones to get well, and to leave your addiction behind. If you have questions about Environmental Risk Factors for Developing an Addiction and are seeking treatment–it is not too late. Contact us today! Together, we can help make environments safer for everyone.

If you or a loved one is battling addiction, contact us now!


For More Information Related to “Environmental Risk Factors for Developing an Addiction” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Library of Medicine – The Science of Addiction: Drugs, Brains, and Behavior
Genetic Science Learning Center – Environmental Risk Factors
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) – Adolescents at Risk for Substance Use Disorders
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NIH) – Project D.A.R.E. Outcome Effectiveness Revisited
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Overdose Death Rates

Cocaine Use And Depression Cocaine And Depression_

Extended cocaine use affects neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. The longer the usage, the more these essential neurotransmitters are repressed and impacted. Cocaine alters the brain’s natural reward system, leading to feelings of paranoia, depression, or anxiety. Whether depression came before or after cocaine use, treatment is highly needed to deal with any form of mental illness. Many who face depression turn to drug abuse, and many who suffer from drug abuse form signs of depression afterward. Cocaine And Depression_1 in 10 TeensDrug abuse has the potential to create numerous health effects, both physical and mental, within the lives of those who abuse. When a mental health disorder occurs with drug abuse, the two often worsen each other. Cocaine abuse, especially prolonged use, changes a person’s brain, affecting various chemical components, including certain important neurotransmitters which are critical within regulating a person’s mood. This effect may worsen existing depression or create new symptoms. Together, these disorders require effective substance abuse treatment.

Depression In America

Depression is a disease which is rampant across our country, and receiving the right information can help to greatly improve these conditions. This disorder can become debilitating, changing the way you think, feel, and carry out daily tasks.

In 2014:

  • 1 in 10 teens suffered a period of major depression.
  • 1 in 5 American adults experienced a mental health problem.
  • 1 in 25 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or major depression.

In addition, over 41,000 Americans are lost every year because of suicide.

Two or more illnesses can co-occur with each other in the same individual, such as a cocaine use disorder and depression. These are called co-occurring disorders or a dual diagnosis. Whether it’s happening at the same time or one after the other, this comorbidity (presence of two or more illnesses) can impact each illness and make them both go down hill faster. A person’s normal desires and needs can be greatly impacted by addiction. Compulsive behaviors from drug abuse are comparable to those of mental conditions.

Cocaine’s Effects On The Brain Cocaine And Depression_1 in 25 AmericansWhen using cocaine, there are several things which transpire concerning different aspects of the brain. Various neurotransmitters are affected, including the release of dopamine. When it comes to a sense of well-being, dopamine is the chemical which is considered to bring forth all kinds of pleasure and happy feelings. Dopamine releases when related to pleasure or a feeling of reward when it comes to specific activities in life. If dopamine levels become too high in the brain, they are linked to hallucinations, aggressiveness, delusions, anger, as well as other psychotic symptoms.

Cocaine also increases norepinephrine and serotonin, which are other important neurotransmitters within the body. When it comes to norepinephrine, the body’s “fight-or-flight” mode gets activated, including an increase of heart rate and blood pressure and a person feeling alert. Keeping a balanced mood, sleep, appetite, as well as other behaviors, are all linked to serotonin.

Cocaine kicks these brain chemicals into an instant rush, and over a period of time, these essential neurotransmitters become low and depleted. This can lead to a host of different problems, including depression.

Cocaine And Depression Cocaine And Depression_WithdrawalAfter extreme abuse over a period of time, stopping the use of cocaine can lead to cravings and depression for months. In some cases, suicidal thoughts may also occur. As someone faces withdrawal, the cravings grow more intense, even though the pleasurable effects of cocaine dip way down, instead becoming replaced by paranoia. When someone is facing withdrawal, here are some of the symptoms that may occur:

  • Increased appetite
  • Agitation and restless behavior
  • Slowed activity
  • Fatigue
  • General feeling of discomfort
  • Depressed mood
  • Vivid and unpleasant dreams

When cocaine is used chronically, it blocks normal neural functions. It starts to disrupt the brain’s chemical reward areas. The longer cocaine is used, the more neural depression starts to impact emotions, memories, and cognitive functions.

What Happens When You Use Cocaine For A Long Time?

Through tests, it has been found that cocaine, when abused over an extended period of time, creates a decline in neural activity within the motivational and pleasure areas of the brain. Quoted within a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publication on the subject, Dr. Porrino says, “Within the structure called the striatum, the blunting of activity spreads from the nucleus accumbens, a reward area, to the caudate-putamen, which controls behavior based on repetitive action.” Cocaine And Depression_MemoriesMemories and information-processes are highly restricted when someone uses cocaine over the long term. “The reduced activity of the temporal lobe indicates that this structure is somehow compromised,” says Dr. Nancy Pilotte of NIDA’s Division of Basic Neuroscience and Behavioral Research. “Some of these regions mediate the ability to connect emotionally, and cocaine’s blunting of them may induce a flattened affect similar to depression symptoms that are common among chronic cocaine abusers.”

Does Cocaine Cause Depression?

When it comes to mental illnesses and drug abuse, the two are highly linked. Many people who abuse drugs are also diagnosed with a variety of mental disorders, such as depression or anxiety. When people who are facing troubles turn to cocaine, this drug abuse can also bring out the symptoms of a separate mental illness like depression. A mental disorder can create a need for an individual to self-medicate from the emotional or mental symptoms that they are coming up against. In this case, it could have been depression that caused the drug addiction, or in others, it could be that the drug addiction was the first to show up. It can be tricky to decipher which one occurred first. Regardless of whatever symptoms popped up first, it is important to bring about treatment to mental illnesses.

Reach Out For Treatment Today

If you or a loved one suffer from cocaine abuse and mental health issues, contact us now!

Whether the signs of depression have happened before or after cocaine use, reach out for the help you need today. If you are experiencing depression, suicidal thoughts, or other symptoms of mental illness, there is support for you. Getting the help you need will start your journey upward out of depression and cocaine abuse. Please contact us at


For More Information Related to “Cocaine Use And Depression” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Institute on Drug Abuse — Long-Term Cocaine Self-Administration Depresses Brain Activity
National Institute on Drug Abuse — Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Disorders

Substance Abuse and Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_

Substance abuse can lead to anxiety disorders, which are characterized by frequent and unexpected panic attacks. Panic attacks are sudden bouts of fear and increased heart rate, or a fear of impending doom. With anxiety disorders–that fear never goes away. Some substances, legal or illegal, can make a person more likely to experience the adverse symptoms of an anxiety disorder. There is treatment available for substance abuse disorders–you don’t have to be afraid anymore. Panic Attacks_20 minutesEvery little kid walks through a dark alley and gets the heebie jeebies, it’s just part of growing up. As they get older and recognize that there is no boogie man there to get them, they relinquish the fear and grow out of it. Some people go through life with that constant fear that something bad will happen. They very well could be suffering from a panic attack, which is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as a sudden attack of anxiety and overwhelming fear. Frequently, though many panic attacks are direct results of an anxiety disorder or panic disorder, in which that fear is constant. Certain drugs can trigger a panic attack in an individual.

Anxiety Disorder And Panic Attacks

As previously clarified, anxiety is a sudden feeling of fear. Anxiety can be a normal reaction to heart wrenching situations–driving a car for the first time, the first day of school, or the moment before a big game. A person suffering from an anxiety disorder can experience this feeling constantly, these bouts of fear are known as a panic attacks. Panic attacks can last for up to 20 minutes. A person with an anxiety disorder also is likely to experience some of these symptoms: (U.S. Library of Medicine):

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of losing control or impending doom
  • Feeling of choking
  • Feelings of detachment
  • Feelings of unreality
  • Nausea or upset stomach
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or face
  • Palpitations, fast heart rate, or pounding heart
  • Sensation of shortness of breath or smothering
  • Sweating, chills, or hot flashes
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Substance Induced Anxiety Disorder Panic Attacks_39%Not every substance will cause a panic attack, however, there are certain drugs that can. Some people suffering from a substance abuse disorder (or better understand by their lack of ability to stop using a drug even when they want to) migh have a delusion that impending doom awaits them if they don’t “get their fix.” A person suffering from a heroin addiction might constantly think about the drug, but if there is none left? Well that’s when the fear of withdrawal, or fear that they won’t get high again might set in. In a study conducted by the U.S. Library of Medicine, “Of 97 individuals with panic, 39% had abused at least one substance.”

Substances That Can Cause Anxiety And Paranoia

The substances associated with panic attacks can vary, but generally, if a drug increases heart rate–it can also increase the risk of a panic attack. Some (but not all) of the different drugs that can lead to a panic attack are: Caffeine; Alcohol; Heroin and other Opioids; Cocaine; Marijuana; Sedatives; Nicotine; and Hallucinogens.

Caffeine Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_CaffeineCaffeine is not always associated with substance abuse; however, it’s still a drug. When caffeine is consumed in heavy quantities, or more than a healthy amount, that’s abuse. Caffeine is a stimulant, and after it’s ingested (whether it’s in a pill form or in a beverage) it raises the heart rate. According to the National Center for Biotechnology information, caffeine is associated with an increased number of panic attacks for people who are predisposed to them.

Alcohol Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_AlcoholAlcohol is a drug which is sometimes referred to as “liquid courage”, because it can cause a person to do things that they might not normally do. Alcohol can lead to mood swings and temper tantrums–a person who abuses alcohol may exhibit bouts of rage, anxiety, and increased danger to his or herself and others. Withdrawal from alcohol can also lead to symptoms such as anxiety and panic attacks, but it can also lead to insomnia, delirium tremens, sweating profusely, depression, delusions, nightmares, and seizures. According to NCBI, “Alcohol-induced deliriums after high-dose drinking are characterized by fluctuating mental status, confusion, and disorientation.”

Marijuana Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_MarijuanaMarijuana can be smoked, consumed, or “dabbed”–the highest dose of tetrahydrocannabinol THC which can be abused. THC is the primary compound found in marijuana, and it can have serious affects on the mind of a person using it. Abuse of marijuana can lead to lack of motivation, mood swings, anxiety, and panic attacks. The U.S. Library of Medicine found that a lifetime of marijuana is significantly related to a lifetime of panic disorder and panic attacks. Not only that, they found that people who abused marijuana in the past year, and currently use marijuana, are more likely to be diagnosed with lifetime panic disorder as well as current panic attacks.

Cocaine Abuse And Panic Attacks

Cocaine is a drug which can be snorted, injected, laced with other drugs, and more. It give a person a false feeling of power, and can lead to behaviors like violence and promiscuity, it can also cause paranoia. Cocaine is a stimulant, and can be extremely dangerous for the heart, it can also lead to severe anxiety and panic attacks. Cocaine abuse often leads to manic behavior and delirious speech. Overdose from cocaine killed approximately 7,000 people in 2015, and withdrawals (often referred to as “a crash”) can lead to depression and craving more of the substance. Panic Attacks_7,000

Heroin, Opioid Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_HeroinOpioids such as heroin are characterized by spurts of intense euphoria and well-being. Abusing drugs like heroin can lead to anxiety, severe depression, and insomnia. Even after a person stops using opioids, the withdrawals can start after a couple hours and last for several weeks–withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly dangerous and sometimes include paranoia, anxiety, panic, and seizures. With the prolonged withdrawals associated with opioids, relapse is more likely to occur to avoid further withdrawals.

Hallucinogen Abuse And Panic Attacks Panic Attacks_HallucinogenHallucinogens can give the user visual and mental delusions–or hallucinations. A person who is abusing hallucinogens (such as LSD, Peyote, PCP, and Psilocybin Mushrooms (or Shrooms)) can become dangerously antisocial. They might experience bouts of laughter, which can be followed by unexplainable crying. A person using these kind of drugs can very quickly slip into a drug induced panic attack, or lapse into paranoia. Withdrawal from some hallucinogens can be feeling of emptiness, prolonged trip (or “permi-trip”), inability to eat, anxiety, and fatigue.

How To Tell If Someone Is Abusing Drugs

Someone who’s abusing drugs might not be easy to pick out in a crowd, drug abusers may have a lot of practice hiding their addiction. A person who is abusing drugs or hiding an addiction may:

  • Spend a lot of time alone
  • Lose interest in their favorite things
  • Get messy—for instance, not bathe, change clothes, or brush their teeth
  • Be really tired and sad
  • Be very energetic, talk fast, or say things that don’t make sense
  • Be nervous or cranky (in a bad mood)
  • Quickly change between feeling bad and feeling good
  • Sleep at strange hours
  • Miss important appointments
  • Have problems at work
  • Eat a lot more or a lot less than usual

(According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse)

What To Do For Treatment Of A Substance Abuse Disorder

Experts suggest the following tips for avoiding panic attacks: Abstaining from alcohol, a healthy diet, exercising often, getting enough sleep, or reducing (or avoiding) caffeine, certain cold medicines, and stimulants.

If you or a loved one suffer from substance abuse or anxiety, contact us now!

Though sometimes putting an end to substance abuse is more difficult–especially when trying to do it alone. The withdrawals from heavy use of drugs like alcohol can lead to death if not treated by a professional. You might be concerned about your substance abuse problem and panic attacks, if so, you can reach out to us at, or you can call to speak to a professional at 1-833-473-4227. All calls are confidential, and our main goal is to help you in your steps to recovery. You don’t have to be afraid anymore.


For More Information Related to “Substance Abuse and Panic Attacks” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From


National Institute on Drug Abuse – Signs of Drug Use and Addiction
National Institute on Drug Abuse – Overdose Death Rates
National Center for Biotechnology Information – 9 Substance-Induced Disorders
National Institute of Mental Health – Anxiety Disorders
U.S. Library of Medicine: National Institutes of Health – Relationship Between Substance Abuse And Panic Attacks
U.S. National Library of Medicine – Panic Disorder
U.S. Library of Medicine – Marijuana Use and Panic Psychopathology Among a Representative Sample of Adults

Getting Help After Getting A DUI/DWI Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI

While many people understand the dangers associated with operating an automobile after consuming alcohol or drugs, far too many individuals still engage in this risky behavior. For many, receiving a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated) due to this choice is the beginning of a lengthy process.

These charges may result in a variety of court sentencing restrictions and requirements, including mandated 12-step group attendance, alcohol or drug education classes, and/or substance abuse treatment. While the alcohol or drug abuse that resulted in these charges may have been recreational or a one-time event, for many, it can serve as an opportunity to get them the effective treatment they don’t yet know they need, offering them a chance at sobriety and a better life. The court may require you attend certain facilities, in other instances you may have to choose on your own; in this case it is very important to consider your specific life circumstances and concerns to ensure the best type and level of care.

Getting Help After Getting A DUI/DWI Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-03Despite its legal standing, prevalence, and acceptance within numerous social spheres, alcohol is not a benign drug. One of the most common and destructive ways in which this occurs is within circumstances regarding an individual driving after they have been drinking. In decades past, this behavior was more commonplace and even somewhat socially acceptable. Fortunately now, with the advent of more strident rules and social perspectives, this behavior has declined, as evidenced, in part, by statistics presented by the National Institutes of Health who reports that since “Since the early 1980s, alcohol-related traffic deaths per population have been cut in half with the greatest proportional declines among persons 16-20 years old.”

Despite this apparent decline, many individuals throughout our nation make the ill-fated decision to get behind the wheel of a car after consuming some measure of alcohol or drugs; for many, this results in an arrest and charges of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In either instance, you may encounter legal troubles, resulting in mandatory obligations regarding drug and alcohol education or treatment. After this occurs, it is important that person fully understand their options and the ways by which they can obtain help.

What Are A DUI/DWI And What Happens When You Get One?

Laws regarding these charges vary state to state. Those under 21 may face a zero tolerance law. Some states have a zero tolerance for individuals over this age, meaning that any amount of substances over the legal limit (0.08 BAC) constitutes a singular offense, whereas some offer a distinction, with a lesser charge of driving under the influence (DUI), and a more severe charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Either of these charges may potentially stem from drug or alcohol use or a combination of both. Regardless of the distinction, to get there, a person had to have been using, and possibly abusing, either drugs and/or alcohol.

Prior to the official judgement, or included within the sentencing, a DUI/DWI offender may be required to have a substance abuse assessment and go to a treatment facility. This may occur in varying forms and length, depending on the results of the assessment and the sentence, which may be based on your blood alcohol content, any prior offenses, if anyone was injured or killed in the event, and past participation in a program. This may be part of a suspended sentencing arrangement or a condition of probation. Additionally, in some instances, a person may be required to attend 12-step meetings, group counseling sessions, or alcohol or drug education classes.

How Do I Begin To Get Help?

After receiving a DUI/DWI a person may be very affected emotionally and mentally, as the situation in its entirety can be very overwhelming and strenuous. Faced with court and legal costs, the stigma attached to the arrest and sentencing, and the impact on your family or career, you may be overcome and not know where to turn. In the case of certain legal directives, such as counseling or a alcohol or drug education class, the court will likely require that you enroll within a certain facility for these sessions, taking the guesswork out of it. If you’re required to attend 12-step meetings, they will likely supply you with a list of current and local groups. If you’re required to attend treatment, things may not be as cut and dry. Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-04

With less severe offenses, you may only be required to attend outpatient treatment, a form of treatment which allows you to remain at home, while traveling to the facility for a limited number of sessions within a set period of time. In more severe cases, such as in those with multiple offenses, a person may be required to attend inpatient drug rehab, most typically for 30 days. An inpatient program is residential based, meaning that you live on site for the duration of the treatment. The theory behind this is that multiple offenses speak to an ongoing problem or chronic abuse of drugs or alcohol, as could be characteristic of an addiction, a circumstance which often requires intensive care. Typically, in situations regarding rehab, a person is responsible for finding and paying for their own treatment.

What Are The Benefits Of Getting Help?

Firstly, in some cases, seeking and obtaining help or treatment on your own may signal to the judge your readiness to change and your recognition of the detriment of your ways. Secondly, in instances where treatment, counseling, and/or education classes are mandated as part of sentencing, the penalties for your DUI or DWI, such as court fees, a suspended license, or any jail time, may be reduced or eliminated should you attend. Should your license be revoked, successful completion of either of these things may allow for your driving privileges to be restored. On the other hand, should you negate these rulings, or fail to fulfill all the requirements, your license may not be reinstated and/or you may be required to appear in court again and suffer further legal repercussions.

Alcohol or drug education classes will not only educate you on the risks and dangers of substance abuse, but help you to learn better decision making skills, while putting the use and abuse of these substances within the context of your life. Perhaps you made a series of bad decisions within a single night, culminating in your getting behind the wheel. In this instance, any education or counseling you receive, should be viewed as a protective or preventative measure, staving off further, and more serious, instances of risky behaviors (such as operating a vehicle while using), abuse, or addiction.

On the other hand, many individuals who face charges do suffer from instances of abuse or addiction. This may force you to get help you might not yet realize you need. The good news is that a person doesn’t have to readily choose treatment for it to be effective. The National Institute on Drug Abuse comments on this, asserting that “Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements from…the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.” Though you may not have choose this path, enrolling in a treatment program may help to protect your life; your health, both physical and mental; and benefit you in countless other ways.

Are There Programs Specifically For DUI/DWI Offenders? Getting Help After Getting A DUI DWI-05Yes. While you will likely be able to choose most any program, there are certain programs that are especially designed for DUI/DWI offenders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “The N-SSATS Report,” outpatient DUI/DWI treatment programs may be shorter than their traditional counterparts. Despite this shorter length, the report notes that these programs may be successful and that “Research has demonstrated that DUI/DWI programs that combine educational programs with evidence-based therapeutic approaches—such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and relapse prevention—are effective in facilitating and maintaining behavioral change.”

The report outlines the availability of these programs, based on 2012 findings on the then available 10,144 outpatient-only facilities. It found that:

  • One percent treated only these clients
  • 36 percent offered care to these and other clients
  • The remaining 63 percent did not offer specialty services for these concerns.

While this is a starting point, there are yet other factors to consider when seeking treatment.

What Other Elements Should I Consider?

It is especially pertinent that those individuals with true concerns of substance abuse and addiction fully consider their options against their unique needs, so that they not only fulfill their sentencing requirements, but take advantage of the opportunity by receiving individualized and effective care. Other factors to consider are:

  • Finances
  • Employment status/obligations
  • Family situation and obligations
  • Current and past health and medical conditions
  • Severity of abuse/addiction
  • Presence of any co-occurring disorders
  • What your support system is like

Oftentimes, in cases of drug and alcohol abuse or addiction, a person may have a co-occurring mental health disorder. The SAMHSA report speaks of this, “Studies of this population show that DUI/DWI offenders are at high risk for having comorbid psychiatric disorders, multiple substance abuse problems, and among repeat DUI/DWI offenders, neurocognitive impairments.” Taken into consideration, this makes clear the imperative for effective dual diagnosis care that can treat a person’s co-occurring disorders. Fortunately, the aforementioned treatment modalities have all been proven to be effectual in this capacity. Whatever the specifics of your life, strive to view this circumstance as an opportunity for positive change.

Find The Road To Treatment

If you or a loved one suffer from alcohol abuse or addiction, contact us now!

Whether you’re looking for a program only to satisfy court requirements, or if you’re doing this alongside of a genuine need for addiction treatment, our staff at can help direct you towards the resources and options you need to make the best decision. Contact us today.

For More Information On Alcohol Abuse And Addiction, Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration — The NSSATS Report: Types of Services Provided by Programs for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired Clients

Co-Occuring Disorders: Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder Co-Occuring Disorders- Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A Co-Occurring Disorder is diagnosed when a person has a substance abuse disorder along with a mental health disorder. Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPS is a pattern of grandiose beliefs and arrogant behavior. A person suffering from Alcoholism can often exhibit coinciding behaviors. Alcoholism disease, defined by a person’s inability to stop drinking alcohol as soon as they start–or the phenomenon of craving. Sometimes a person suffering from alcoholism will have every excuse in the world to drink, even though their life’s consequences say otherwise.

We all have that friend who’s always right, and even if they’re wrong, they will still argue, or they will point your attention to somebody or something else. Arguing with a person who is always right can be a daunting endeavor. Our friend may suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder NPS, which the U.S. Library of Medicine defines as, “An enduring pattern of grandiose beliefs and arrogant behavior together with an overwhelming need for admiration and a lack of empathy for (and even exploitation of) others.” A person who suffers from alcoholism can sometimes display the exact behaviors as seen in Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

What Exactly Is Narcissistic Personality Disorder? Co-Occuring Disorders- Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder Overwhelming NeedNarcissism is rarely a desired attribute, though it is often directly related to a personality disorder. Personality disorders fall into the mental health category, and can negatively affect certain areas of a person’s life. More accurately, Narcissistic Personality Disorder can affect a person’s relationships, school, work, and money. So essentially, NPS can affect nearly every part of a person’s life. A person who is suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder may not display a whole lot of empathy for other people. In other words, they seldom care about anyone but themselves. NPS is often similar to Substance Abuse Disorder–or more conclusive, in this case, Alcoholism.

How Is Alcoholism Related To Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Alcoholism is more than just occasionally drinking too much and causing a scene. Alcoholism is an obsession with alcohol. It is the decision to drink when life’s circumstances tell you to do the opposite, no matter who gets hurt. It’s a disease where the person suffering lacks the ability to stop once they have started. Alcoholism is best described as a progressive illness–so it gets worse over time. Sometimes a person suffering from alcoholism claim a perfectly good reason to drink, even if they have lost their job due to drinking, or if their spouse threatens to leave them if they don’t put down the drink.

To everyone else in his or her life, they are foolish for drinking. “Why doesn’t he stop?” They’ll ask. “The doctor told him that he would die of liver cancer, if he keeps drinking, yet he drinks anyways!” …and so on. A person fighting alcoholism doesn’t always see things that way. In fact, they sometimes don’t see things any way but their own–this is where Narcissistic Personality Disorder can come into play. For even when important parts of their life are going to shambles, in the co-occurrence of alcoholism and narcissistic personality disorder, the sufferer believes that everyone else is wrong.

A Bit More About Alcoholism Co-Occuring Disorders- Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder 18 Million AmericansAccording to the U.S. Library of Medicine, approximately 18 million Americans suffer from an alcohol use disorder, which includes alcoholism. This means that their drinking causes severe repercussions in their life, whether that it’s health related – mental or physical, or financial instability. Sometimes a person suffering from alcoholism can seem self-centered, arrogant, narcissistic, and self-righteous–but there is much more to understanding the mind of a person afflicted by alcoholism. Alcoholism can lead to a lot more than neverending arguments, and urinated sheets. It can lead to death.

Common Signs Of Alcoholism

A person who is struggling with alcoholism can sometimes be easy to spot, but things aren’t always as they seem. A person with an alcohol abuse disorder such as alcoholism, might be what you call a “functioning alcoholic,” and though their life seems to be in order, they might be battling withdrawals right to their next drink. If you’re concerned about someone’s drinking habits, here are a couple distinguishable traits you might look for, in yourself, or in another person in your life. (From the U.S. Library of Medicine):

Craving – a strong need to drink.

  • Sometimes a person suffering from alcoholism will want to drink at the strangest occasions–in the morning, before an interview, during class, or on the road.

Loss of Control – not being able to stop drinking once you’ve started.

  • Oftentimes a person will continue drinking when everyone else has gone to bed, and stay up all night drinking. They may even drink alcohol until they black out or pass out.

Physical Dependencewithdrawal symptoms.

  • Withdrawals may include: Delirium Tremens, Cold Sweats, Diarrhea, Vomiting, Night Terrors, or Loss of Appetite.

Tolerance – the need to drink more alcohol to feel the same effect.

  • Some people suffering from alcoholism can seem like they can consume a lot more alcohol than everyone else. “How the heck aren’t you drunk yet?”

What If A Person Is Proud Of Their Drinking? Co-Occuring Disorders- Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder Alcoholism Is NotA person who is suffering from alcoholism and narcissistic personality disorder, might answer the question (How the heck aren’t you drunk yet?), with a false sense of pride or by stating anything other than “because I can’t stop drinking”, or by stating, “I have built up a tolerance.” There are many accomplishments that deserve a person the right to be proud of themselves, but unfortunately, alcoholism is not one of them, and it’s dangerous to believe that it is. Intervention and treatment are very likely the only way to get a person on the right track towards recovery. Try to remember that Alcoholism is a disease and the person with it is very sick.

Is Relapse More Likely With Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

“Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, right?” This statement can sometimes be heard when slurred through the lips of a person who is drunk, when they are confronted about their drinking. If confronted further, they may get highly defensive. Even when a person with narcissistic personality and alcoholism stops drinking, this defensiveness can continue growing. A person may seek treatment for one disorder, but not the other–according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; they go on…

“…People receive treatment for one disorder while the other disorder remains untreated. This may occur because both mental and substance use disorders can have biological, psychological, and social components. Other reasons may be inadequate provider training or screening, an overlap of symptoms, or that other health issues need to be addressed first.” Though alcoholic relapse not a certain result of another personality disorder, a person suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder might find more reasons to hide a relapse from their loved ones.

What If A Person Suffering From Narcissistic Personality Disorder Relapses?

If a person is suffering from Alcoholism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder, they very likely have a fragile self esteem, and will not let on that there is a problem. If they relapse, they feel like a failure and can be quick to blame others, but really need not focus on the incident as a failed attempt, but rather an opportunity to learn. Everyone has a reason for the way they act, and whether or not those reasons are justifiable, a person with narcissistic personality disorder and alcoholism might tell you a perfectly good reason for why they should drink.

Treatment For Alcoholism And Narcissistic Personality Disorder

If you or a loved one suffer from a co-occuring disorder, contact us now!

Treatment for co-occurring disorders is tailored to the individual, because some of those affected by multiple disorders might exhibit more signs for one or the other. If you feel like you might be showing signs of alcoholism, there is hope, and there is no reason to be ashamed. Alcoholism is a very serious condition, and without treatment, it can lead to homelessness, failed relationships, and even an early death.

For more information about co-occurring disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Alcoholism, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Call to speak to one of our understanding staff members 1-833-473-4227 or Email Us We are always here to help you.


NCBI – Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – Co-Occurring Disorders
U.S. Library of Medicine – Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
U.S. Library of Medicine – Narcissistic Personality Disorder
U.S. Library of Medicine- Personality Disorders

Can Drug Use Cause Mental Illness? Can Drug Use Cause Mental Illness_

Have you ever known someone who abuses drugs, and suspected that person may be suffering with mental illness? While you may not be a doctor, you also may not have been wrong in your concern. Drug use can affect mental illness and vice versa. Recent research delves into studies of dual diagnosis patients, or those people affected by two disorders, such as substance abuse and mental illness. What is clear is that when a person is dually affected by disorders, each disorder tends to affect the other.

But can one cause the other? In particular, can drug use cause a person to develop a mental illness? To understand the answer to this question, it may be important to know how dual diagnoses work, what they are, common symptoms of drug abuse and mental illness, and what treatments may be best for a person affected by both disorders.

Dual Diagnosis—What Is It?

As explained briefly above, a dual diagnosis occurs when one person is diagnosed with two disorders or diseases. Typically, though, a dual diagnosis means that a person had a disorder and developed another disorder which may be affected by the development of the first. For example, a person who is abusing substances may develop depression or anxiety. In contrast, a person with depression or anxiety may turn to substances as a form of relief or solace. Unfortunately, as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) explains, “research shows that drugs and alcohol may only make the symptoms of mental health conditions worse.” Can Drug Use Cause Mental Illness_ What Is It_People affected by dual diagnosis may experience dire effects to their health; each disease can greatly influence the other, and either disease can occur first. Further, the problem of dual diagnosis is vast. As NAMI reports, “about a third of all people experiencing mental illnesses and about half of people living with severe mental illnesses also experience substance abuse.” The reverse is also true, as nearly the same amount of people affected by substance abuse are suffering from mental illness as well.

Yet, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that, “the high prevalence of comorbidity between drug use disorders and other mental illnesses does not mean that one caused the other, even if one appeared first.” In other words, though drug abuse and mental illness may appear together, even when in close succession, one does not necessarily cause the other to occur. Instead of focusing on how one disorder may cause the other, it is vital to learn about each disorder, how to recognize and prevent it, and especially how to treat it.

Drug Abuse And Mental Illness: Common Symptoms Of Each

Every instance of substance abuse may look different from the next, and the same for mental illness. However, there are some common symptoms which may appear with each disorder. If a person is already suffering with one disorder, knowing the signs of a developing, co-occurring disorder may be useful should the person need help. Some of the signs of drug abuse may be:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Engaging in risky or illegal behavior due to drug use
  • Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal
  • Inability to stop drug use, even when the person tries
  • Needing to use drugs to be able to start a day or function throughout the day
  • Seclusion: especially from those close to the person
  • Tolerance to effects of substances Can Drug Use Cause Mental Illness_ If A Person Is AlreadySymptoms of mental illness are great in number, but some may signal the development of a disorder. A person with a developing mental illness may have problems concentrating at school or work, undergo severe mood changes, withdraw from family or friends, or have suicidal thoughts.

So, what can be done to help people afflicted with drug abuse or mental illness? Treatment is the best way to help a person begin to heal from substance abuse and manage mental illness. Though there is no one cure for either, a person may learn to abstain from substance abuse to live a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle, and may learn to cope with mental illness.

Treatment For Drug Use And Mental Illness

Treatment for dual diagnosis must be comprehensive, or must address the needs and issues of both a person’s illnesses. People undergoing treatment at the same time for two disorders have a long treatment road ahead of them. But completing treatment may give them the results they want and deserve. For instance, as the NIDA states, a person with a mood disorder and substance abuse could benefit from treatment because “the diagnosis and treatment of the mood disorder can reduce the risk of subsequent drug use.” Treating one disorder could help the other disorder. Can Drug Use Cause Mental Illness_ Treating One Disorder Could HelpSome of the best treatments can occur in an inpatient rehab facility, where an individual has access to care and monitorization round the clock. For people with co-occurring disorders, medication may be necessary and supervised administration may be required. Also, behavioral therapy and counseling can greatly help a person who is struggling with the heightened issues of mental illness and the desperate urges of substance abuse. Whatever treatment plan a person chooses, it should work to effectively treat the issues of all diagnoses.

Where To Find Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders

For more on drug use and mental illness, contact us today!

When a person has one disorder, finding treatment can be tough. When a person is affected by two disorders or more, this process may escalate to overwhelming. If you have a loved one who is struggling and want to get them the help they need, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact us today at for answers to your questions, information about treatment, and to learn more about our treatment centers.

Sources—Mental Health And Substance Use Disorders
National Alliance On Mental Illness—Dual Diagnosis
National Institute On Drug Abuse—Comorbidity: Addiction And Other Mental Illnesses

Should I Go Back To Rehab After A Drug Or Alcohol Relapse? Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_

Whether or not relapse is a “normal,” or even necessary, part of drug-addiction recovery is debatable. What’s not debatable, and where consensus is virtually unanimous, is that relapse occurs at a relatively high rate—40 percent to 60 percent, according to a Journal of the American Medical Association study cited by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). In order to determine if you should return to rehab, it is first important to fully understand relapse and the dangers it presents.

What Is Relapse? Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ Relapse Occours At A Relatively

Defining “relapse” also can be tricky, and depends on various factors, including the drug involved, specific patient criteria, and the treatment method employed. To understand relapse, one must first recognize successful treatment factors. The Office of National Drug Control Policy defines effective drug abuse treatment as:

  • Reducing the use of the primary drug, drugs, or alcohol.
  • Improving the employment status or prospects of the patient.
  • Improving the patient’s educational situation, where appropriate.
  • Improving relationships with family, friends, employers, and other associates.
  • Improving the patient’s medical condition and overall health.
  • Improving the person’s legal situation regarding prison, jail, probation, parole, driver’s license status, and arrests.
  • Improving the patient’s mental health condition.
  • Reducing the person’s noncriminal safety incidents, such as car accidents, injuries, and emergency room visits.

Simply defined, relapse is the return to a previous situation regarding drug or alcohol use. Regardless of how long someone’s been sober, a return to substance abuse is a relapse. According to the American Bar Association’s GPSolo magazine, “Relapse is the return to alcohol or drug use after an individual acknowledges the presence of addictive disease, recognizes the need for total abstinence, and makes a decision to maintain sobriety with the assistance of a recovery program. According to a survey of members of AA, 75 percent experience a relapse during their first year of recovery. For those who are sober five years, the rate drops to seven percent.” Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ 75 Percent Experience A Relapse

Lapse Vs. Relapse

You may wonder if there is a difference between a slip, or a “lapse,” and a true relapse. A lapse is a temporary, often one-time, return to prior drug-use behavior, whereas a relapse is a “full-blown” return to drug or alcohol abuse after an attempt to quit. To better understand this concept, we’ll compare drug addiction lapse and relapse to a person trying to lose weight and maintain the weight loss. Eating a single piece of pizza, for instance, would be considered a lapse. Gaining 35 pounds during the course of dieting from a continued poor diet, would be considered a relapse.

Why Do People Relapse?

Many factors may contribute to a person relapsing. Primary causes of relapse include: medical problems, mental health issues, failure to follow through with aftercare conditions, over confidence in treatment progress or recovery, forgetting or ignoring painful lessons from the “good old days” of substance abuse, stress, a lack of support, issues with family members and friends, and job issues or lack of employment. Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ A Lack Of Commitment To Sobriety

Lack of commitment to sobriety can also be a major factor in relapse. Here, we provide a thumbnail view of four stages of recovery used in many treatment programs, including, pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, and action. Often, during the pre-contemplation stage, and even into the contemplation phase, a person may not even consider his or her behavior a problem, however, he or she eventually realizes that the negative consequences are mounting. This can lead to the contemplation stage, although people may fluctuate between either or both of these phases for years before actually moving on to the preparation and action stages. Sometimes, a person may relapse back to one of these stages, as they struggle to maintain their recovery.

Outside pressures—from family members, friends, co-workers, or even via legal issues or court-ordered rehab mandates—can also put people at risk for post-rehab relapse. A person may enter rehab while still in the pre-contemplation stage and simply not be committed to the process, potentially increasing the risk of relapse.

This lack of commitment, among other factors, is often cited for the “revolving door syndrome,” or a cycle of treatment, relapse, and a return to treatment. A person might be ambivalent about recovery, seeking treatment not for themselves but for external reasons. Other people may fear the unknown, as they don’t know how to live outside addiction. Unrealistic expectations are another factor, including the belief that sobriety will cure all of life’s problems. Many people also fall into the trap of making changes only regarding drug or alcohol use, while ignoring other necessary lifestyle changes.

Relapse Myths

There are many myths surrounding relapse, some deeply ingrained and widely held. If not addressed thoroughly in rehab, these beliefs can lead to relapse after rehabilitation is complete. Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ Popukar Myths About Relapse
Here are five such myths that can lead to relapse:

  • All people who suffer from drug or alcohol abuse will relapse. This fallacy can lead to a “self-fulfilling prophecy” and relapse.
  • People who relapse aren’t committed. Lack of motivation may, indeed, be a factor, however, many highly motivated people also relapse.
  • Relapse only occurs by returning to your drug of choice. Choosing to abuse another drug may return you to an addictive and dysfunctional state.
  • Relapse means that a person is back to square one. Again, a person doesn’t have to relapse, but it is important to remember that knowledge can be gained from this experience that may be useful within the next attempt at treatment and in avoiding future relapse.
  • If a person relapses, it means that rehab treatment failed. A drug treatment regimen may need adjustments to be successful or another program may be beneficial.

Relapse Comparisons

While many critics point to low success rates of drug rehab programs as evidence of failure, the fact is that alcohol and drug treatment relapse rates compare to the relapse rates of treatment modalities for physical conditions—over which people have ostensibly less control. For example, where the relapse rate for drug addiction is 40 percent to 60 percent (according to NIDA), the relapse rate for Type I Diabetes is 30 percent to 50 percent, and 50 percent to 70 percent for both hypertension and asthma.

Dangers Of Relapse

Aside from problems typically associated with addiction, relapse can be especially dangerous for many people for several reasons. First, a person’s tolerance is reduced through abstinence, so a drug overdose is a distinct possibly—especially with opioids like heroin. This is due to physiological changes in an addicted individual’s body, according to Dr. James C. Garbutt, Professor of Psychiatry and addiction specialist at the University of North Carolina, as reported in a Huffington Post article. Should I Go Back to Rehab after a Drug or Alcohol Relapse_ The Longer You're Sober

In regards to this, Dr. Garbutt is quoted as saying “When you’re actively using opiates, that center can adapt to the exposure, allowing addicts to use more or in greater concentration without the respiratory system failing. But when people get sober, the receptors in their brain and the chemical mechanisms which process the drug become more sensitive, and the reaction to the opiate becomes more pronounced. The longer you’re sober, the more the brain will attempt to adapt back to its normal state.”

Huffington Post also quotes Dr. David Sack on this subject, who asserts “It’s (also) important to realize that many of the overdoses are in the first few doses, because by the time an addict re-establishes their addictions, they have tolerance again. This is someone who is deciding whether they are going to be sober or not. So craving is a big factor—being preoccupied with procuring drugs increases and escalates in the first days after treatment.”

In a NIDA article titled “America’s Addiction to Opioids: Heroin and Prescription Drug Abuse,” the high risk of overdose during relapse regarding opioids was further explained. “This tolerance contributes to the high risk of overdose during a relapse to opioid use after a period in recovery; users who do not realize they may have lost their tolerance during a period of abstinence may initially take the high dosage that they previously had used before quitting, a dosage that produces an overdose in the person who no longer has tolerance.”

Should I Go Back to Rehab?

Although each person must determine for himself or herself whether or not a relapse calls for further treatment, we highly recommend it. Here are a few guideposts to consider to help with this decision. The first probably is defining the “relapse” in question—is it a stumble, or “lapse,” or is it a fully realized backslide or true relapse? Ask questions. Did you have a single beer at a cookout before coming to your senses, or did you go on a week-long bender, black out, and begin compulsively using again?

If you determine that you have experienced a true relapse, reentering rehab may be your best option. However, practical matters must also be considered. Can you afford another stay in rehab? Does your insurance cover the cost? How long will you be in treatment? How does such a decision impact your job and finances? Are you truly committed or are you responding to external pressures from family or friends? Do you want to reenter a facility where you previously were treated or would it be better to research other options? Have you identified the reasons for your relapse?

If you’ve determined that you actually need to enter rehab, consult a professional, especially if issues like cost or insurance coverage are the main stumbling blocks. Assistance often is available.

Get Help If you Have Questions Or Concerns

Contact us today for more information on relapse

If you’re considering reentering a rehabilitation facility for concerns related to relapse or entering for the first time, and you have any questions or concerns, contact us at, or call 1-833-473-4227.



National Institute on Drug Abuse — Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction
Office of National Drug Control Policy — Treatment Protocol Effectiveness Study
American Bar Association: GPSolo — Relapse After Long-Term Sobriety
Huffington Post — What Drug Relapse Has To Do With Accidental Overdose Risk

How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System? How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System_

Cocaine is a drug that comes in two types of forms, in a powder (cocaine) and a crystal (crack). Formulated from the coca plant, cocaine creates a short-term “high,” that for some, may turn into the extreme opposite, such as depression, edginess, and an intense craving for a new fix. Snorted as powder, changed into a liquid for injection with needles, or turned into a crystal to be smoked, cocaine abuse takes on many forms, all of which are dangerous for people.

Cocaine starts to disrupt the way your brain processes the “feel good” chemicals in your body, so that you need more of the drug to feel relatively normal. Those who become addicted to cocaine oftentimes end up losing interest with other important aspects of their life, such as family, friends, or activities they used to enjoy.

How Fast Does Cocaine Work?

Cocaine takes hold right away, even with only a single dose. Its effects can range anywhere from a few minutes to up to an hour. When people use it in small amounts, the individual may feel more talkative or alert, feeling greater amounts of energy, a sense of euphoria, and increased sensitivities to sight, touch, and sound.

How a person feels when using cocaine is usually dependant on how they use it. The quicker the drug goes into someone’s system, the stronger the high becomes—but in turn, they also experience a shorter amount of time feeling the effects. Smoking coke yields quicker results, which only last five to ten minutes, whereas snorting it produces a slower effect, with the feelings present longer, at 15 to 30 minutes, as explained by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

How Long Does It Stay In The Body?

Mental Health Daily reports “Upon cessation of usage, cocaine is known to stay in your system between 3.3 and 5.5 hours. However, the primary active metabolite within cocaine known as “benzoylecgonine” takes considerably longer (between 1 and 2 days) to get fully eliminated from the body.” How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System_ Cocaine Is Known To Stay In Your

Despite this, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Treatment Improvement Protocols tells us that cocaine stays in the urine one to three days for those who use on a daily basis; however, a single use will only be witnessed for a day or less. Cocaine may be detected in sweat longer. There has been manufacturers who developed a sweat patch approved by the FDA, that is worn for about a week. Hair also can detect illicit substance. Small amounts of metabolites in the bloodstream flow into the hair and then are trapped in the hair strands. When a substance is used for about a week, the hair follicles start to absorb it. Most hair grows at about ½ inch per month, so a strand can hold a record of someone’s substance use for longer periods of time.

Cocaine’s Dangers And Damage To The Body How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System_ Here Are A Few Things

Cocaine is damaging while you use it, however, even after the drug leaves your body the hazards of abuse and addiction may continue to affect you. Individuals who use cocaine tend to not sleep consistently. Those who use cocaine chronically also tend to not want to eat, so they are often times malnourished, which can lead to other problems in the body. Here are just a few things that happen to most people when using cocaine: nausea, constricted blood vessels, increased heart rate, muscle spasms, convulsions, paranoia, anger, hostility, or anxiety.

Though some individuals may use cocaine sporadically, many times an individual who abuses cocaine will use it in a binge-like fashion, and each time they tend to up the dosage for greater results. Doing so can increase restlessness, panic attacks, irritability, paranoia, and sometimes full-force psychosis—which can cause the person to completely be consumed with non-reality experiences and hallucinations, to the extent their safety is jeopardized.

People who abuse cocaine will have different results and a variety of problems, depending on the way they choose to use it. When someone constantly snorts cocaine, for example, this can lead to nosebleeds, a person no longer being able to smell, swallowing problems, the voice becoming hoarse, a constant inflamed, runny nose, and permanently damaged nasal tissue. Those who smoke cocaine may harm their lungs and aggrevate existing asthma. Users who inject the drug develop track marks and increase their risk of contracting a disease such as HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C. Those who inject may also have allergic reactions, which can result in death in some cases.

The organs in the body can get damaged by repetitive cocaine usage, as explained by NIDA. Blood flow into the gastrointestinal tract can be impaired, creating a risk of tears and ulcerations or a person may also encounter severe bowel decay. The heart and cardiovascular system is also greatly affected, leading to chest pain, a greater risk of stroke, inflammation to the heart muscle, and even heart attacks. How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System_ An Individual May Suffer Cognitive

Beyond stroke, neurological problems are also a significant risk when using cocaine for extended periods of time. The National Institute on Drug Abuse tells us an individual may suffer cognitive impairment, with reduced functioning in: memory, motor skills, prolonged attention, impulse control, or decision making concerning rewards or punishments. More severe risks occur as well, including seizures, and in some cases there has been intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), and disorders such as Parkinson’s disease can also be a concern with long-term use. In addition to all these risk, a person can overdose on cocaine, which can lead to death.

Reach Out And Get Help

Contact us today for more about the harmful effects of cocaine

The body is a beautiful thing, but when impacted with drug abuse it can become severely damaged. If you or a loved one is walking down the road of cocaine abuse or addiction, there is help for you today. No one deserves to face these challenges alone—that’s why we are here to support you.

Please reach out and contact us at We are here to help uplift you, help you, and give you more information.


For More Information Related to “How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System?” Be Sure To Check Out These Additional Resources From



National Institute on Drug Abuse — Cocaine: Research Report Series
The National Center for Biotechnology Information — Appendix B. Urine Collection and Testing Procedures and Alternative Methods for Monitoring Drug Use
Mental Health Daily — How Long Does Cocaine Stay In Your System?

Temazepam (Restoril) Abuse Potential Temazepam (Restoril) Abuse Potential

While many people are able to take prescription medication safely and responsibly, more than 20 percent of people in the United States have admitted to using drugs for nonmedical purposes in their lifetimes. With new medications developed all the time, it can be difficult to know which ones may be safe, and which hold high risks for abuse or addiction. Yet knowing which medications are high risk for abuse or addiction before you take them may help prevent addiction, adverse health effects, or even overdose. One drug that may put a person at risk of abuse or addiction is temazepam, a drug under the brand name Restoril. Temazepam (Restoril) Abuse Potential_Temazepam Recreational Use

Temazepam Defined

Temazepam is a benzodiazepine drug usually used to treat people who experience troubles with sleeping (insomnia). Because of its dangerous side effects, temazepam is not to be taken by pregnant or nursing women. Further, as explains, “Temazepam may be habit-forming and should be used only by the person it was prescribed for.” In particular, this medication should not be shared with anyone who has had a history of drug abuse or addiction, as “misuse of habit-forming medication can cause addiction, overdose, or death.” Temazepam (Restoril) Abuse Potential_Habit Forming

How It Works

According to Everyday Health, benzodiazepines work in the body by enhancing the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, within the brain. GABA is a chemical, or neurotransmitter, in the brain responsible for sending messages from one nerve cell to another. GABA reduces anxiety and brain activity—essentially allowing you to sleep. For people who experience insomnia, that may result in high brain activity or anxiety, making it difficult to sleep, benzodiazepines work to enhance the results of GABA and increase a person’s ability to sleep and stay asleep.

Potential For Abuse

Because of its high potential for abuse, temazepam is typically only prescribed for a short time. In fact, it should not be used for more than seven to ten days. This is because the body can develop a tolerance to or physical dependence on the effects of it in a short time. Tolerance occurs when a person no longer feels the effects of a medication he or she is taking. A physical dependence, as Rx List explains, “is a state of adaptation that is manifested by a specific withdrawal syndrome that can be produced by abrupt cessation [stopping use], rapid dose reduction, decreasing blood level of the drug and/or administration of an antagonist.” Temazepam (Restoril) Abuse Potential_Physical Dependence

In other words, when a person develops a physical dependence to a substance, that person’s body adapts to rely on the physical effects produced by the drug. Unfortunately, when people no longer feel the effects of medication due to tolerance, they may try to take more of it in order to achieve the desired effects. This puts them at greater risk for addiction and overdose, the latter of which can be fatal in some cases.

People who have abused other substances are at higher risk for developing addiction to temazepam. For those who are abusing temazepam and stop abruptly, withdrawal can occur, which may result in some adverse health effects, such as:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Flushed skin
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Vomiting

People who are suffering from temazepam abuse and are undergoing withdrawal may need medical attention, as withdrawal can be difficult to attempt alone. In order to avoid extreme symptoms, it may even be necessary to wean a person slowly from use of the drug by tapering the dose a little at a time. In this case, a person should be monitored to ensure the safety of this method.

What To Do If You Are Suffering From Abuse

If you or someone you know are in the early stages of prescription drug abuse, then perhaps you may be wondering if you should seek treatment. Withdrawal can occur if a person tries to stop abusing a substance and can range from moderate to severe. To avoid these effects, it may be best to seek treatment. With more severe forms of abuse, such as addiction, this process may begin with detoxification—a process geared towards ridding the body of harsh chemicals built up from abuse, while also tempering symptoms of withdrawal.

In addition, overdose is a real possibility for people who abuse substances. Even if an overdose is not fatal, it can be detrimental to a person’s health. Overdose can occur from taking too many doses in a short period of time or from too much of a substance acquired over time. Some overdose signs to look for are:

  • Confusion
  • Extreme drowsiness
  • Fainting
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Seizure
  • Slowed heartbeat or breathing
  • Slurred speech
  • In extreme cases, coma

If you or someone close to you is exhibiting these signs of prescription drug overdose, don’t hesitate—seek medical attention immediately, as your life may be in jeopardy. This risk of fatality increases with concurrent alcohol use and abuse.

How To Get Help For Substance Abuse

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.

Prescription drug abuse can be a dangerous, addicting habit, but it doesn’t have to be. Part of prevention is knowing your medication, refusing to share it with others, and cautiously following prescription directions for dosage and frequency. If you are suffering from abuse, though, there is help waiting for you when you are ready to receive it.

Don’t wait any longer—contact us today at to hear about treatment plans and get professional support in choosing one that is right for you.

Sources —Temazepem
Everyday Health — Temazepem
National Institute On Drug Abuse — Misuse Of Prescription Drugs
Rx List —Temazepem

Can You Be In Remission From Drug And/Or Alcohol Addiction?

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction

Addiction has not always been viewed as a disease or brain disorder. In fact, it used to be viewed as a war of only willpower against which we needed to fight. Now, we know that people make the initial choice to abuse substances, but over time abuse changes the brain, making it continually crave substances. Chronic abuse can become a disease of the mind if it develops into an addiction, one which makes a person fight daily to avoid further use, and one which requires treatment for a person to recover.

Since addiction is a disease, can a person be in remission from it? To answer this question, it is first important to understand how addiction as a disease affects you.

Addiction: A Brain Disorder


First, it is necessary to comprehend how the brain functions. The brain essentially works by utilizing brain cells (neurons) to send messages to other brain cells by releasing a chemical (neurotransmitter). As the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) explains, “drugs are chemicals that affect the brain by tapping into its communication system and interfering with the way neurons normally send, receive, and process information.” In fact, the chemicals in certain drugs can actually mimic neurotransmitters and the way they work, effectively tricking the brain’s receptors, which allow the chemicals to attach to and activate the neurons.

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction_Brain Disorder

But the chemicals in these drugs only mimic the way that chemicals in the brain works. In other words, though chemicals from drugs may act like those of the brain, they can only imitate them, and this means they will never function in the same way as the naturally occurring chemicals in the brain. This difference causes the brain’s communication system to transmit messages that do not work like regular ones. As NIDA states, “this disruption produces a greatly amplified message, ultimately disrupting communication channels.”

Substances do more than just stop the normal communication in the brain, though. They also produce an excess of dopamine, resulting in a feeling of euphoria (reward). It is this euphoric feeling that changes the brain. A person’s body enjoys the feeling of euphoria because the brain enjoys it, even if that feeling is short-lived. That is why a person abusing substances often continues to seek abuse; the brain prompts him or her to seek that euphoric feeling again and again. Eventually the brain struggles to produce its own naturally occurring chemicals and a physical dependence is formed. When this is paired with compulsive drug seeking and other behaviors, an addiction is present.

Can You Treat A Brain Disorder?

To treat an addiction, along with overcoming the physical effects of withdrawal, a person must overcome the effects on his or her brain. At best, a person must train his or her brain to function without substance abuse and retrain the brain to seek rewards through other avenues. It is the reason so many treatment methods involve behavioral therapy or guiding a person to build a lifestyle free from drugs or alcohol.

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction_Remission

As with many diseases, if a person successfully treats substance abuse, that person can be in remission. In fact, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) suggests the term “remission” for addiction, defining it as “a state of wellness where there is an abatement of signs and symptoms that characterize active addiction.” The fact that is important to note is that, as with other diseases, relapse is a possibility. In fact, relapse is highly likely. That is why treatment is so important.

It would not be expected of someone with a mental health disorder to overcome the condition and be cured. In truth, the term “cure” is not commonplace within the treatment of mental health disorders. Instead, treatment focuses on helping a person learn how to manage both the disease and their life more effectively in the long term.

Neither should a cure be expected of substance use disorders. Treatment is effective, and more and better methods are developed all the time to help people overcome addiction. However, ultimately treating substance abuse means building a life in which a person can deal with the long-term effects of drugs or alcohol. These effects may include the changes to the brain. It can often be a daily struggle for years to come, avoiding substances, but it is something that can be worthwhile.

Reaching Remission

With millions of people struggling in the United States every year, it cannot be denied that addiction is a disease which affects many. Yet so few of these people get the treatment they need to free themselves from substance abuse. Any time a person has a health condition, it is best to seek the proper treatment, and this is also true for substance use disorders.

Can You Be In Remission From Drug Alcohol Addiction_Reaching Remission

As Psychology Today states, “Despite our national obsession with quick fixes, there’s no simple solution to our country’s drug problem. We have to recognize that addiction, like diabetes and cancer, is here to stay. By accepting this fact, we can work to improve addiction treatment rather than waging war against drug users.”

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.If you have been suffering from addiction and are wondering if there is a way you can reach remission, we are here to show you that there is hope. Contact us today at to learn more about treatment options, find connections to resources, and speak to professionals about your concerns.


American Society Of Addiction Medicine—Terminology Related To Addiction, Treatment, And Recovery
National Institute On Drug Abuse—Treatment And Recovery
Psychology Today—Will There Ever Be A Cure For Addiction?

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa And Substance Abuse

Co-Occurring Disorders Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse

Within the world of substance abuse and the subsequent treatment, co-occurring disorders are one of the greatest concerns. A co-occurring disorder is any disorder that exists concurrent, or at the same time as a substance use disorder. The National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) reports research finding that up to 50% of individuals experiencing an eating disorder also have a substance use disorder.

Understanding Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa (AN) most commonly arises in adolescence or the teen years, and can carry onwards to a person’s adult life. More common in women, it can also affect men. Recently, the criteria as set forth by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has changed, with the publication of their 5th edition. The criteria for anorexia nervosa, as extracted from American Family Physician, is:

  1. Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health. Significantly low weight is defined as a weight that is less than minimally normal or, for children and adolescents, less than that minimally expected.
  2. Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behavior that interferes with weight gain, even though at a significantly low weight.
  3. Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

According to NEDA, there are two subtypes of anorexia:

Binge-Eating/Purging Type — If within the last three months, the person exhibited behaviors of binging (eating excessive amounts of food, more than is considered a meal, in a short period of time) and/or purging (a person makes themselves pass food they consumed, either by self-induced vomiting, or by using laxative, dietetics, or other harmful methods.)

Restricting Type — A person’s actions do not involve the above patterns of behaviors.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse Anorexia Nervosa (AN)One of the biggest changes between the DSM-IV and DSM-V criteria, is the criterion that dealt with body weight. Now geared more towards recognizing this eating disorder as a physiological one, rather than only a weight disorder, these new guidelines broaden the scope of access for those who need help.

Signs Someone Has Anorexia And/Or Substance Abuse

When a person suffers from anorexia, they often develop idiosyncratic behaviors surrounding mealtimes and their eating habits. For instance they may exhibit any of the following:

  • Substantial weight loss
  • Loss of period
  • Eating mainly fruits, vegetables, and diet food products
  • Developing food rituals (dabbing excess oils or liquids off food, cutting food into tiny bites, or rearranging food on their plate)
  • Becoming adamant about not eating certain types or groups of food
  • Overly concerned with weight, caloric intake, fat content, and dieting
  • Expressing worry about being “fat,” or about gaining weight
  • Ignoring that they’re hungry
  • Always having a reason to be absent during meals
  • Exercising in an extreme manner in an attempt to offset caloric intake
  • The preoccupation and mindset concerning eating, dieting, food intake, and weight lost shift to a person’s primary focus.

If a person is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction, you may witness them:

  • Exhibiting secretive behavior, including hiding drugs or alcohol
  • Lying about their drug or alcohol use
  • Becoming unable to stop drinking or using, even if they want to
  • Requiring more and more of the substance to feel the same way they used to feel
  • Letting their responsibilities slip, whether they be work, school, or family related
  • Not taking care of their appearance or grooming
  • Taking risks or doing things they normally wouldn’t
  • Having relationship troubles
  • Continuing to use even when faced with the damaging consequences
  • Exhibiting withdrawal if they stop using drugs or alcohol

Some characteristics or behaviors may be suggestive of either anorexia or substance abuse, such as withdrawing from their family and friends, losing interest in activities that they previously enjoyed, or having mood swings.

The Connection Between Anorexia And Substance Abuse

Eating disorders are widely linked to substance abuse, and anorexia nervosa is no different. Many instances of abuse and addiction arise out of an individual’s desire to self-medicate a variety of symptoms, including mental health needs. As various mental health disorders are common in individuals with AN, they may quickly resort to substances as a means to treat these or for emotional regulation.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse Appetite Suppressants

Caffeine and nicotine are commonly abused substances by individuals who have anorexia, because they are appetite suppressants. People may use amphetamines or methamphetamine to expedite their weight loss, only to find that their abuse becomes an addiction. Individuals who exhibit purging characteristics may abuse laxatives or diuretics to further this behavior. It has been found that alcohol abuse and addiction are more common in AN which exhibits binging and/or purging behaviors. People may use marijuana to cope with the stress they feel from both their lives and this hidden disorder.

One startling practice that is becoming especially widespread in college students, is termed “drunkorexia.” Though not always associated with anorexia, this dangerous habits is sometimes used by those with this disorder. In essence, drunkorexia is essentially the behaviors of anorexia or bulimia combined with alcohol abuse, especially binge drinking. A person may not eat, or exercise excessively, with the knowledge that they intend on drinking heavily in the near future.

Dangers Of These Combined Disorders

Standing alone, these disorders are dangerous in and of themselves, together, the danger skyrockets, leading a person down a path of physical decline. These are some results:

Slowed cardiovascular system — Anorexia causes a person’s heart functions and muscle structure to become altered, leading to decreased heart rate and blood pressure. Various types of substance abuse and overdose can also cause this, further increasing the risk of heart failure that may be present for those with AN.

Malnourishment — Clearly, as a person fails to consume adequate amounts of food, their body struggles to maintain critical body systems and processes as it fails to find the nutrients, vitamins, and chemicals it needs; anemia may occur. Malnourishment is common in most all instances of substance abuse. Alcohol, inhalants, and opioids are examples of drugs that can cause anemia.

Depleted bone density — Because of the malnourishment, a person may get osteoporosis, leading to brittle and dry bones. Heavy drinking may cause this, and research suggests that opiate addictions can as well.

Extreme dehydration — Anorexia can severely dehydrate a person, the extent that they get kidney failure. Many drugs of abuse lead to dehydration, most notably perhaps is an alcohol addiction, which can also cause kidney failure. MDMA (ecstasy) can also lead to these concerns.

Muscle depletion and weakness — Without proper nutrients, a person’s body cannot build and maintain muscle mass. Muscle atrophy can result from an alcohol addiction. Cocaine may also lead a person’s muscle tissue to break down and amphetamines may cause muscle weakness.

Weakness marked by fatigue or fainting — Without caloric intake and the essential nutritional and chemical compounds that are found in food, an individual with AN has little means to make energy. These symptoms are also widely prevalent in many drugs of abuse.

Dry hair and skin — Again, due to a lack of nutrients, a person’s body cannot upkeep itself. A person may even begin to lose hair. Various drugs of abuse may also deplete a person’s body in the way that their hair and skin begin to show wear, especially alcohol abuse.

Body hair growth — As a person loses their critical fat stores, they may grow a downy type of hair called lanugo as their body attempts to warm itself.

Anorexia can be deadly, giving credence to the phrase “starving yourself to death,” a risk that is further compounded by substance abuse or addiction. Reports cite that out of every mental illness, anorexia has the highest mortality rate, finding that 4% of those with this disorder will die due to complications of the disease, whereas others say 20% when including suicide. Due to a reported 56 times greater likelihood of committing suicide, one in five of these deaths is attributed to suicide. Coupled with the toll of drug or alcohol, this risk may be even higher.

How Are Eating Disorders And Substance Abuse Similar?

Why does a person develop an eating disorder? The scientific community recognizes it may be due to several things, including environmental, biological, and psychosocial influences. What is interesting, is that within both eating and substance use disorders, persons may encounter some of the same feelings that lead them to these behaviors/disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • Social or generalized anxiety
  • Urge to self-medicate
  • Addictive personality
  • Family dysfunction

Some researchers even suggest that eating disorders are in and of themselves addictions, as explained by an article presented in Psychiatric Times, as these “individuals typically require more of the behavior to produce the same reinforcing effect,” and have been found to have cravings, continue their harmful behaviors despite the apparent danger of their ways, and exhibit significant instances of relapse.

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Substance Abuse Exogenous Opiates

These parallels continue on a biological level too—the article notes that “starvation activate the dopaminergic (DA) reward pathway of the brain. The resulting biological events underlie the auto-addiction opioid theory, which proposes that a chronic eating disorder is an addiction to the body’s production of endogenous opioids and therefore is identical to the physiology and psychology of substance abuse in general. In other words, starving, bingeing and exercise all serve as drug delivery devices since they increase circulating levels of -endorphins that are chemically identical to exogenous opiates, and these endorphins are as potentially addictive because of their ability to stimulate DA in the brain’s mesolimbic reward centers.”

Though this might seem overwhelming, these parallels may make treatment for these co-occurring disorders in some ways more efficient as certain modules may work simultaneously and succinctly for certain aspects of both disorders.

Treating These Co-Occurring Disorders

The best rehab facility for these concerns is one that is adept at treating each need. Due to the severity of these co-occurring disorders, generally, an inpatient drug rehab program would be recommend, due the residential format and the longer around of time that it allows a person to receive treatment. In extreme cases, hospitalization or a feeding tube may be required.

During treatment, a person may first receive a medical detox, to rid their body of the drug. Medical supervision is especially important during this time because of the increased fragile nature of their body and mind due to AN. They may then receive nutritional and vitamin supplementation to help them recover from both the eating disorder and the substance abuse or addiction. Treatment may entail individual, group, or family sessions, and various forms of psychotherapies. If a person has any physical health concerns resulting from these co-morbid conditions, these will need to be treated at this time as well.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is an excellent, evidenced-based treatment for both AN and substance use disorders. When considering therapy, your support team will also look to any other co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety which may aggravate these disorders, that may need to be treated as well.

Medication-supported treatment can have a crucial role within treatment for both disorders. The Oxford published article, “Recognizing alcohol and drug abuse in patients with eating disorders,” asserts that naltrexone may work for eating disorders and concerns of alcohol addiction, and that some research leads scientists to think that serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may also work for both.

We Can Help You On The Path To Better Self-Care And Sobriety

Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.We realize that individually, these disorders may be daunting and when combined, they may be hugely overwhelming, however, we also firmly believe that with the proper team behind you and perseverance, you can be treated. If you’re struggling with one or both of these, is standing by to help you find the caliber of care that is best suited to your unique health needs. Contact us for compassionate help today.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders — Eating Disorder Statistics
American Family Physician — Initial Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa
Mirror Mirror — Eating Disorders Statistics
National Eating Disorder Association — Anorexia Nervosa
Social Work Today — Insatiable Hungers: Eating Disorders and Substance Abuse

Co-Occurring Disorders: Anxiety And Addiction

Co-Occuring Disorders Anxiety and Addiction

Anxiety And Addiction: What You Need To Know

Though anxiety and addiction are not necessarily linked, having both can cause symptoms of each to worsen, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. In particular, co-occurrence of substance abuse is common for those people affected by social anxiety. Mental illness may be caused by or may result from substance abuse, however, as new studies are finding. People who have mental illness may seek drugs as a way to cope with the illness, and conversely, people who are victims to substance abuse may develop mental illnesses. The following points highlight one of the most common dual diagnoses, social anxiety and alcohol abuse, how to diagnose these two disorders, and how to treat them.

Social Anxiety: A Catalyst For Alcohol Abuse

People with social anxiety tend to feel that the effects of alcohol help lessen their social anxiety. Unfortunately, in reality it tends to make their social anxiety worse, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. In fact, alcohol abuse tends to follow the onset of social anxiety.

Co-Occuring Disorders Anxiety and Addiction Social Anxiety

In America, approximately 15 million adults (accounting for 7 percent of the population) have social anxiety disorders each year. In trying to cope with this disorder and its symptoms, it is not unusual for people with this disorder to turn to alcohol; in numbers, about 20 percent of people who have anxiety disorder also are victims of alcohol abuse. Many seek alcohol because it provides temporary relief of social anxiety symptoms, but researchers have found alcohol tends to have the opposite effect, even if this effect takes place later. Some negative side effects which users with social anxiety may experience include:

Signs that someone may be abusing alcohol include the following, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:

  • Drinking alcoholic beverages four or more times per week
  • Having five or more alcoholic drinks a day
  • Not being able to stop drinking after starting
  • Needing a drink to face the day
  • Feeling guilty, or remorseful, after drinking
  • Hearing someone close to you say he or she is concerned about you, or your drinking

Dual Diagnosis: Dealing With Two Disorders At Once

Comorbidity, or when two or more illnesses (including addiction) affect one person at the same time, is common for people who have mental disorders or people with substance abuse—one tends to contribute to development of the other. This is in part because drug addiction is a mental illness; addiction changes the way a person’s brain works, making it characteristic of many mental illnesses. In terms of numbers, in contrast to those who do not have a substance abuse disorder, people with addiction are twice as likely to also develop a mood or anxiety disorder. The first step in diagnosing is the careful identification of both addiction and anxiety disorders.

Co-Occuring Disorders Anxiety and Addiction Mental Illness

Seeking Treatment For Co-Occurring Disorders

Because there is such a high rate for co-occurring disorders, when treating two illnesses at once, it is imperative that treatment involves careful diagnosis and appropriate treatment for both disorders—not just one of them.

Co-Occuring Disorders Anxiety and Addiction Substance Abuse

Although medications exist for treating single addictions to alcohol, opioids, and nicotine, no single drug has been developed specifically to treat addiction to two or more substances. However, there are some medications that may aid in the treatment of two disorders, such as bupropion, which can treat depression and nicotine addiction, and may also reduce cravings for methamphetamine, according to National Institute of Drug Abuse. Further research must be conducted in order to understand how medications can be used to treat people with comorbidities, but behavioral therapies are also available, and can be effective at treating people with comorbidities.

The Next Step: Finding Help For Co-Occurring Disorders

Co-occurring disorders can be disastrous when left untreated. In particular, having co-occurring disorders can mean that the victim never fully recovers from Contact us if you or a loved are considering treatment.either addiction. A person with social anxiety, in other words, may struggle with addiction his whole life. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety, and also battling addiction, (or even if they are battling a different set of comorbidities) do not ignore the signs. Contact us today at to help get the proper diagnosis and treatment, and to get your life back on track.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America- Social Anxiety Disorder and Alcohol Abuse
Anxiety and Depression Association of America- Substance Use Disorders
Genetic Science Learning Center- Mental Illness: The Challenge of Dual Diagnosis
National Institute of Drug Abuse- Comorbidity: Addiction and Other Mental Disorders