Helping a Friend Who’s Struggling With Drug Addiction

If you know a friend or family member who’s struggling with drug addiction, you may be wondering how you can reach out. The decision to help someone you care for isn’t as easy as it seems, but it is definitely possible. With a bit of support and dedication, your friend will have a greater chance of overcoming their addiction than if they were to face their battles alone. While each situation is unique, there are a few guidelines that will help you approach this task with more confidence. As always, if you need any additional information or advice, then get in touch with us at Calm Rehab the leading drug and alcohol rehab center in Bali.

Here is how you can help a friend with an addiction problem and encourage them to seek professional help.

Signs that a friend is addicted to drugs

There are many clues that point towards addiction, whether it be behavioural or physical. Here are some of the most common signs an individual is addicted to drugs:

  • Sudden mood swings or changes in behaviour
  • Isolating one’s self from friends and family
  • Lack of personal hygiene and grooming
  • Loss of interest in favourite activities or hobbies
  • Neglecting responsibilities (i.e. work, family, children, etc.)
  • Bloodshot eyes or small pupils
  • Tremors, shaking, and slurred speech
  • Unstable coordination when walking
  • Shocking weight loss or weight gain

Aside from these changes, the following items could also indicate an addiction:

  • Syringes and empty bottles
  • Small, resealable packets that could be used for drug storage
  • Pipes and burnt foil
  • Accumulation of medical prescription

Ways you can help your friend

While it can feel intimidating to confront a friend about their drug use, do not be afraid to help them out. As their friend, it’s good that you have their best interests at heart. Even though they may have hurt you with their past actions, it probably wasn’t their intention to do so. Remember that addiction can make even the best people make poor decisions. That said, here are a couple of ways you can help your friend start their journey to recovery.

  1. Understand that your friend may not see their drug use as a problem

While your friend may not see their addiction as an issue, that doesn’t mean you should leave it as is. Be honest with your friend and talk to them about how their drug use is affecting their life. Addiction is a serious problem and oftentimes individuals will try to justify their bad habits. When this happens, do not get frustrated and move on to the next step.

  1. Voice your concerns in a respectful manner

When you raise your concerns to your friend, they are more likely to hear you out. They may not be worried about their health or occupation, but they may care enough when they discover that a close friend or loved one is suffering because of their actions. It’s always wise to approach your friend respectfully so they can feel your concerns are genuine and true to the heart.

  1. Let them know you’re there for them

Addicted individuals will want to steer clear from friends and family members to conceal their drug use. But despite them pushing themselves away, let your friend know that you’re there for them. It may take some time before they turn things around, but once they start rallying behind your support, it can make a huge difference on their journey towards recovery.

  1. Do not resort to emotional appeals

No matter what happens, do not try to guilt-trip them into realizing their addiction problem. Criticizing, threatening, or using emotional appeals won’t do your friend any good and they’ll only push themselves even further. A more focused approach is required and this requires patience and understanding on your part.

  1. Encourage addiction treatment

As your friend exhibits signs of trust, you can start opening up about addiction treatment. Talk about the benefits of being sober and how undergoing a treatment program can help turn their life around. Provide them with assurance and show your commitment to helping them get over their addiction. This will help boost their confidence in entering addiction treatment and hopefully, make lasting life changes afterwards.

What if your friend isn’t responding to your help

Unfortunately, even the best of efforts sometimes aren’t rewarded. If you gave it your all and your friend still isn’t responding, then you may want to go with intervention. Intervention is a carefully planned process wherein a licensed drug counsellor confronts your friend about their drug use. Friends and family members take part in planning the intervention to create a detailed structure with goals, guidelines, and proposed treatment methods in mind.

It can be easy to get caught up in helping your friend and neglect yourself in the process. While it’s great that you have great intentions for others, don’t forget to take care of yourself as well. You can only do so much before you get burned out. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and avoid skipping meals.

Handling Depression After Rehab

Mental illnesses like depression are often diagnosed alongside addictions, and for many people, it can be difficult to manage, especially after undergoing rehabilitation. Asking which one came first may not seem relevant because both depression and addiction are diseases that require long-term treatment.

Patients without co-occurring depression can develop depressed feelings in the weeks following their completion of addiction treatment. It can increase their risk of relapse which is why it’s important to have a plan in place so that people who find themselves in this situation know what to do. Handling depression after rehab may feel daunting, but it is definitely not impossible. Here’s how to do so from one of the leading rehabs in Bali.

What happens to your brain when you stop self-medication

When you undergo detox, you are specifically removing the maladaptive self-medication on which you came to depend on. It can feel overwhelming at times and you may find it difficult at first after your rehab. Furthermore, the longer you self-medicated with alcohol or other drugs, the harder it is for your brain’s reward system to start functioning normally again.

It is no surprise that the time immediately following completion of rehab that patients develop depressing moods. In some cases, those feelings can develop into full-blown clinical depression. The good news is that there are safer and more effective treatments for depression today than we’ve previously known.

How depression affects addiction recovery

Having depression whilst recovering can impact a patient’s life in many ways. The person might feel too tired or unmotivated to provide proper self-care or they may find it difficult going to 12-step meetings or fulfilling their daily responsibilities in general.

In these instances, the person is at a greater risk of relapse, so it is important to recognise what is going on and to take responsibility for putting their recovery back on track. There are many practical steps to circumvent this and those steps involve:

1. Using your support network early on in your recovery

Your support network, including your 12-step sponsor (if you have one), is there to help you get past this vulnerable stage in your life so so reach out to them as much as you can. As hard it may be to pick yourself up and go to a meeting, it should be in your best interest to do so. At the very least, attending an online meeting can do wonders for your recovery if you can’t physically attend one.

If you have been prescribed medication, take it exactly as prescribed. Try not to isolate yourself as much as possible and also avoid known triggers. Finally, practice self-care to the best of your abilities starting with your diet. Eat healthy foods on a regular basis and get enough rest, preferably 8 hours a day. Take care of basic hygiene and remind yourself that you’re fighting the good fight. Sticking to healthy routines every day can make a massive difference in your recovery and will allow you to minimise your risk of relapse.

2. Be open to medical treatment for depression

If you are a couple of weeks out from your rehab the depressive symptoms aren’t getting any better, it’s best to have a talk with your specialist regarding treatment options for depression. Treatment for clinical depression is far better than it was before, and you can rest assured by the fact that many of the medications used for depression are safe, effective, and non-addictive.

Do note that medications for depression may take a couple of weeks before it takes effect, so don’t feel like you have “failed” if your meds don’t seem to work after only a few days. However, if they do not seem to be effective after more than a month, then it’s definitely worth bringing to your physician’s attention. 

Depression treatment can be quite complex in that a medication that works great for one patient may not work at all for another, and vice versa. Sometimes it takes a while to get the right medication at the right dosage so do not lose hope and have patience in your recovery.

It is no surprise that depression in addiction recovery is common. In many cases, it goes away on its own as the brain regains its ability to function normally. However, there are a few instances where depression does not resolve on its own. If this happens, it’s worth discussing things with your addiction specialist regarding depression treatment. Remember that depression is not a character flaw or lack of willpower, but is a distinct medical condition that can be successfully addressed.

If you have made it through treatment to long-term addiction recovery, you are strong and have done something not everyone can do. Do not allow depression to undo all your hard work because depression can be treated successfully. If you have questions about addiction recovery, we encourage you to contact us today.

Music Therapy and Addiction Recovery: What You Need to Know

Music is an art form that almost anyone can relate to. It has the ability to influence one’s mood and emotions depending on the type of music they’re listening to. For example, listening to an upbeat song can lift people’s spirits while mellow tunes, on the other hand, can elicit feelings of calmness and relaxation. The thing about music is that it enables people to communicate their mood in a different way. It can be difficult to explain a mood to other people, but with music, emotions can easily be understood.

There are many claims made regarding the power of music and there is growing scientific evidence to back them up. Music therapy has been shown to help people recover from addiction and is a viable supplementation to conventional therapy methods. In this article, the staff at Calm Rehab, the leading rehab centre in Bali, will be taking a look at what music therapy is all about and how it can help recovering individuals build a life that’s free from addiction.

What is music therapy?

Music therapy is described as the clinical and evidence-based use of music to help a recovering individual achieve their goals within a therapeutic relationship. Through music, the person can manage their physical, emotional, and cognitive struggles. The client can interact with the music in numerous ways such as singing, dancing, and listening to the beat. They can also participate in songwriting or lyric writing to express their feelings and emotions.

The music therapist is trained to use music effectively as a means of aiding the client’s recovery.  They are responsible for determining the exact course of treatment that will work best for each client as everyone responds to music differently. When they first meet the client, the goals of treatment will be established, and this will help guide their efforts. It could involve music creation or simply just by listening to a certain type of music.

What are the benefits of music therapy?

There are plenty of benefits to music therapy that recovering individuals may find comforting. Some of the advantages of music therapy are:

  • Reduces stress levels and encourages the relaxation response
  • Can help lower blood pressure
  • People who are dealing with depression may experience lessening of their symptoms
  • Can help improve communication skills for people with autism
  • Can help with managing anxiety
  • Encourages a meditative state. This is because when music has a strong beat, the brain waves are stimulated
  • Fast, upbeat music can help improve concentration levels
  • Encourages an optimistic state of mind. The person may continue to benefit from this positivity long after listening to music
  • Can help reduce muscle tension
  • Reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Can help cope with boredom
  • Listening to music can uplift one’s spirituality. Music can be used to help people progress along a spiritual path. Some people listen to music as a means of achieving spiritual enlightenment.
  • Can work as an emotional release.
  • Can help people overcome addiction and become a useful recovery tool.

Music Therapy and Addiction

Music therapy can be of great value to individuals who are attempting to overcome addiction. While it may not be viewed as a primary means of addiction therapy,  it can supplement other types of addiction treatment. The benefits of music therapy for people recovering from addiction include:

  • When a recovering individual becomes sober, they are likely to experience a wave of emotions. Listening to music can help filter some of the negative emotions and invoke positive feelings to the person.
  • One of the reasons people suffer from relapse after a period of sobriety is being unable to cope with increased stress levels. Music can help people relax and enter a state of calmness which helps greatly with stress management.
  • Boredom is another factor that affects people who are in recovery. Boredom can create feelings of intense cravings which puts the person at risk of relapse. By listening to music, they are less likely to think of the substance they’re addicted to.
  • Sobriety can sometimes make recovering individuals feel lonely after detaching from previous friendships/activities. Music makes for a good company that can help with feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  • Music therapy takes on a different approach to addiction recovery which some individuals may find appealing.
  • Meditation can be a highly beneficial tool for people in recovery. Music can be a good introduction to meditation. Music and meditation go hand in hand in creating a harmonious relationship to one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions.
  • When people first become sober they can struggle with mental fuzziness. Music may help to improve their concentration levels.
  • If people are dealing with symptoms of depression they may find that listening to music can help with this.

Services that music therapists provide

Registered music therapists work with patients of all age groups to address a range of cognitive, physical and socio-emotional goals. Some of the services that music therapists provide are:

  • Palliative care
  • Oncology
  • Disability
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Special education
  • Early childhood intervention
  • Aged care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Mental health
  • Neo-natal care
  • Pediatrics

Substitute Addiction: What is It and How to Avoid It

When a person replaces one type of addiction with another, they are likely to build unhealthy coping mechanisms. This act of replacing an obsession with an equally destructive habit is called substitute addiction. A phenomenon that elicits feelings such as relaxation, overstimulation or escape, substitute addiction can negatively affect a person’s recovery progress. Within addiction replacement, a new habit takes the place of previously addictive behaviour to produce the same feeling or high. 

Anyone who’s dealt with addiction understands the concept of substitute addiction. From smoking to eating; from drinking to gambling; the individual is replacing one addiction for another to compensate for a perceived lack of psychological or emotional satisfaction.

Understanding what substitute addiction is and knowing how to avoid it is crucial to ensure the success of a person’s recovery. Alternatively, it is always advisable speaking to a leading drug and alcohol rehab center in Bali to discuss any issues you may be having further. This article will go over what substitute addiction is all about and what you can do to build healthier coping mechanisms instead.

How can you detect substitute addiction?

Recognizing a substitute addiction problem occurring can be quite challenging for friends, family members, and loved ones. People close to the person may think replacing one addiction with a less harmful one is okay. For example, they might think  it’s acceptable for an ex-heroin addict to use marijuana or smoke cigarettes, but the core issues at the centre of the addiction still exist. The reasons that a person needs to use drugs or alcohol are not yet resolved and may cause a person to spiral out of control into another addiction. The behaviour associated with the addiction is damaging and can cause harm to the addict and those around them if not addressed.

Substitute addictions often share the same characteristics as the original addiction. Perhaps two of the most important questions regarding this phenomenon are: is the behaviour compulsive and is the substitute addiction out of control?

When assessing whether or not a person is developing substitute addiction, there are plenty of things two consider. Most importantly, is the behaviour, activity or substance:

  • A quick form of relief when emotional pain or anxiety arises?
  • Slowly replacing the original addiction to recreate feelings of high?
  • Becoming part of a daily routine?
  • Affecting the individual’s personal responsibilities even more?
  • Being pursued even if negative consequences pile up such as financial problems, physical or mental health issues, and affecting relationships?

Addictive personalities are often vulnerable to other addictions that could potentially fulfil their needs. However, they may seek out substitute addictions that are less harmful than the original (e.g. nicotine and alcohol). Still, one should take substitute addiction lightly as the phenomenon can reinforce addictive personality and may increase the likelihood of relapse during recovery.

Recovering from substitute addiction

Most often than not, an underlying issue is what triggers addictive behaviour as a form of coping mechanism. The issue can be anything from an anxiety-generating situation, an unfinished grieving, or a past traumatic event. Identifying the root cause and addressing them will contribute significantly to the recovery process and help the person avoid developing destructive habits as they move forward.

Some of the most effective, evidence-based methods to fight addiction are:

  • Cognitive and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (CBT and DBT): With CBT, the person learns to correct problematic thinking and behaviours through developing more accurate thoughts and effective coping mechanisms.
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy is effective in individuals with substitute addictions ranging from alcohol and cannabis addictions to gambling and drinking.
  • Trauma-Informed Approaches: Address consequences of traumatic experiences, change problematic thinking and developing coping strategies. Recognize one’s need to be respected, informed, connected, and hopeful regarding their own recovery. Understand the interrelation between trauma and symptoms such as SUD, eating disorders, depression, and anxiety

In some, a substitute addiction can be as detrimental if not more harmful than the original addiction. Recovering from substitute addiction may require medical detoxification, therapy and medication if the person has resorted to other drugs and substances to seek high. Cognitive behaviour therapy and psychotherapy can significantly improve the future of a recovering addict and help them establish new life skills that will translate well into their sober lifestyle.

What about positive addiction replacement?

There are instances where an individual may resort to less harmful habits as a form of coping mechanism. For example, a person may develop substitute addiction involving a positive activity like exercise or book-reading. The question now becomes, can this new habit be classified as positive addiction replacement? Does it still warrant concern even if the person is undertaking a less harmful activity? While positive addiction replacement appears somewhat less concerning, if performed compulsively, the new addictive habit will fuel up an addictive personality all the same. It will continue to affect self-control and one’s sensitivity for dopamine.

As a result, the addicted person will become even more vulnerable for additional addictions and relapse. According to some researchers, not all positive addiction replacement can lead to destructive patterns. Activities like playing an instrument, gardening, or reading books present a lower risk of spiralling out of control compared to working out and such. There may be qualities inherent in behaviour that tends to prevent it from becoming an object of addiction, at least for most people.

 

Online Drug/Alcohol Therapy: What You Need to Know

With the global pandemic affecting millions of recovering individuals around the world, it’s important for us to reach out to you and let you know you’re not alone. Thanks to online technology, recovering patients can now have access to online help that’s professional, compassionate, and reliable. A growing number of people are opting for telehealth to meet their mental health care needs and for good reason. Online therapy allows an individual to connect with their therapist from anywhere in the world. In light of the current crisis, it’s important to look after not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

There are plenty of benefits to online therapy, especially in today’s world where maintaining social distance is strongly advised. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at online drug/alcohol therapy and how to know if this form of medical treatment is right for you.

Reasons to choose online therapy

Therapists who practice online offer their services via video sharing, chat, email, or even through phone calls. As technology evolves, so does telehealth. Therapists can help guide people through challenges using the most useful and current communication technologies. 

Mental health professionals offer telehealth as a primary means of communicating with people who wish to seek drug/alcohol therapy. Some individuals prefer online therapy because they can reap the benefits of conventional therapy right at the comfort of their homes. This can be particularly helpful for people who live in remote areas or with limited mobility due to disability or caregiving responsibilities.

Online therapy may be used as a standalone treatment or paired with conventional therapeutic treatment. For example, a therapist may offer treatment from their office and switch to telehealth when a person is unable to visit or cannot commute to the office.

 

Teletherapy is particularly useful in situations where patients have difficulty accessing mental health services. The great thing about this type of treatment is that it’s very flexible. Some patients may choose to receive online therapy via text while others prefer email or video sharing. People who are new to therapy may find it easy to participate in online therapy sessions. The fact that treatment takes place in the home may also reduce the stigma associated with receiving mental health services.

Who is online therapy for

Online therapy is a great option for those who want to undergo drug/alcohol therapy, but cannot do so due to unforeseen circumstances, with the global pandemic being one example. It can also prove appealing to those who aren’t as comfortable receiving therapy in an office as opposed to online. Like with many aspects of our life that are now available online, telehealth is therapy’s way of keeping up to date with the latest digital trends.

Many aspects of mental health can be addressed with online therapy, most of which include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Food and eating disorders
  • Relationship issues
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Drug use

Some studies even suggest that online therapy may be as effective as face-to-face therapy for some patients. Many popular approaches, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), are well-suited to online therapy. However, visual feedback may not always be available, depending on the form of communication used.

There are instances where telehealth is not recommended. For example, people with severe psychological or emotional issues may not receive the treatment well. The same goes for people with severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or suicidal thoughts who may benefit more from traditional therapy. Individuals with these mental health conditions require intensive care and online therapy may not be able to cater to their needs.

Others who may not benefit from online therapy are those who are uncomfortable with technology. People with little privacy at home, those who wish not to share personal matters over the internet or phone, and individuals living in abusive situations may also prefer to see a mental health professional in person.

 

Ice Addiction: What it is and How to Overcome it

According to The National Drug Strategy Household Survey, around 1.3 million Australians are using meth (ice) which is roughly 7% of the nation’s population, a figure that’s far greater compared to only 0.4% of Americans who have reportedly used the drug.

With at least 8 tonnes of ice consumed between 2016 and 2017, methamphetamine remains the most widely used drug in the country. The highest usage rates were discovered in Adelaide and parts of regional Western Australia. Teenagers are especially vulnerable to meth, as statistics indicate that roughly 1.4% of Australians aged 14 years and above have experienced using meth in 2018.

If you or anyone you know is fighting ice addiction, do not hesitate to reach out and get the support you need. Here is everything you need to know about ice addiction and learn about the several treatment options available.

What Is Ice Addiction?

Unlike heroin, ice rarely becomes addictive with a single-use. However, the person can develop a greater dependency on the drug when used frequently. Ice is often smoked by placing it in a glass pipe. The effects can be felt instantly and the user may experience feelings of euphoria and a rush of energy. Ice can also be injected, which takes just 15 to 30 seconds for it to take effect.. Sniffing the drug takes 3 to 5 minutes while swallowing takes the longest at around 15 to 20 minutes.

A person who’s dependent on ice can suffer from a substance-induced disorder, a condition that describes those who develop concerning behaviours and experience mental health conditions such as psychosis and anxiety due to drug misuse. The huge ice demand from Australia has led to increased production from neighbouring Asian countries such as Thailand and China. With an abundant supply of ice, the price has dropped significantly and made the drug more affordable than before. A ‘point’ of ice can be bought for just $40 in rural areas. Depending on the purity level, a point of ice can last for a couple of days. The potency of the drug along with its economical appeal is just two of the main reasons why it’s a widespread issue in Australia.

Why Is Ice Addictive?

Ice is a synthetically produced substance, a drug that first acts as a stimulant and then proceeds to destroy the body systematically. Ice is highly addictive because it affects the body’s release of hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is responsible for regulating one’s mood, actions, and feelings. Serotonin, meanwhile, elicits pleasure which gives users that satisfactory feeling when using ice. These hormones are instantly bolstered the moment a person uses ice. Neurological studies reveal that ice can spike dopamine levels by as much as 1000% which explains the artificial confidence one receives when using the drug.

Once the drug takes effect, the senses of euphoria and drive kick in. A person may start to enjoy their surrounding environment more and demonstrate energetic behaviour. These effects last from 8 to 24 hours, but when the effects wear off, the person will suddenly experience a deficit of these neurotransmitters and be compelled to use it again and in most cases to be able to function.

Prolonged use of ice directly impacts the brain’s natural ability to produce ‘happy’ hormones. Eventually, the person will need to smoke ice to simply get through the day. They feel like using the drug is part of their normal routine, thus making it difficult to quit like with most abused drugs.

While it can be difficult to estimate just how addictive ice truly is, what’s clear is that it can trigger a pattern that can lead to addiction. This is why helping those who are addicted to the drug early on can prevent life-threatening consequences and get them on the road to recovery.

Ice Addiction Signs and Symptoms

People who use ice can exhibit physical signs and symptoms. But of course, this will depend on what stage of addiction they are at, so not all signs may be visible in every ice user. Furthermore, if they are good at hiding their misuse, it can be difficult to confirm their addiction. If you suspect that someone is engaged in ice abuse, here are some signs to look out for:

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Frequent outbursts or mood swings
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Dilated pupils
  • Tooth decay and tooth loss
  • Insomnia and unusual sleeping patterns, like being awake for days or weeks at a time
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Twitching, facial tics, jerky movements, constant talking and other odd mannerisms
  • Engaging in risky behaviours
  • Violent behaviour when unable to access the drug

Treatment options for ice addiction

There are several treatment options available for recovering ice addicts that range from residential programs to outpatient treatment. Residential programs are believed to be the best form of treatment as it removes the person from their harmful environment and begins the path to recovery under the guidance of medical professionals and addiction specialists.

Of course, not everyone is suited to undergo residential treatment which is why outpatient treatment is another option. Such treatment is more suited for recovering addicts who are capable of coping without the drug whilst living in their regular environment. Alongside these treatments is detoxification which is the process of eliminating harmful toxins from the person’s body. Detoxification is an important part of ice recovery and is necessary to safely manage withdrawal symptoms.

If you are having troubles with ice, do not hesitate to reach out for help. The sooner you act, the less damage you will experience as a result of drug misuse. Here at Calm Rehab, we provide the appropriate medical, emotional, and psychological support for those who are struggling with ice. We understand the needs of our clients and do our very best to meet those needs and help set them up for future success.

For more information about our services, feel free to contact us today and we will be happy to assist you or provide any advice you need. As the leading drug and alcohol rehab in Bali we are perfectly suited to help assist.

Alcohol Detox: How Long Does it Take?

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances a person can withdraw from. The withdrawal symptoms can prove life-threatening and requires professional medical attention in most cases. Detoxification is an important part of treating alcoholism to help rid the body of all the toxins and keep withdrawal symptoms under control. The detox process can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on how the person’s body reacts to alcohol abstinence.

Exactly how a person progresses from detox is influenced by several different factors, thus making it difficult to determine the length of the detoxification process. However, it is possible to obtain a reasonable timeframe by monitoring the symptoms and evaluating their progression. Here is how long alcohol detox can take.

Alcohol detox treatment

The vast majority of acute alcohol withdrawal will have largely faded after a week through the detox process. Medically assisted detoxification provides ongoing clinical and medical support to recovering patients. During this phase, the patient will be provided with medication and nutritional assistance to manage withdrawal symptoms. They may also be provided with benzodiazepines to slowly taper off their drug use and prevent relapse as much as possible.

The main goal of an alcohol detox treatment is to safely remove the harmful toxins from the patient’s body that have accumulated through alcohol abuse. The bigger picture involves nursing the patient back to good health by helping with their dietary needs and nutritional deficiencies.

Because the whole recovery process can be a very uncomfortable process, many rehabilitation centres offer luxury settings to create the perfect environment for patients to recover. At drug and alcohol rehab treatment centres in Bali such as Calm Rehab, along with medically assisted detox, the patient will receive psychological support and counselling for their mental health.

Some people choose to do alcohol detox at home, especially if they exhibit only mild to moderate withdrawal symptoms. During these instances, having professional supervision is very important to ensure the patient is recovering well and their health is carefully monitored throughout the detox process. However, it can be difficult to predict the development of withdrawal symptoms when at home so the general recommendation is to undergo a detox at a professional facility for more thorough supervision.

The first few hours of alcohol detox

Having intense cravings is one of the many signs of alcohol withdrawal and is a telltale sign that the body has begun the detoxification process. These cravings may be immediately apparent within hours of sipping the last bottle and will continue on as the detox goes. The first few hours of alcohol detox may also include symptoms such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Increased heart-rate/blood pressure
  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Shakes and tremors

Patients with severe alcohol dependence may experience even worse symptoms and persist throughout the detox process.

Two days into alcohol detox

After the initial hours of the detoxification process have passed, more severe acute symptoms may appear. These symptoms can become life-threatening due to the brain being unable to compensate for the lack of chemical signals re-entering the body. At worst, the brain can lose the ability to control a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, and nervous system functions. Some of the acute symptoms that may surface during this stage are:

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Rapid increase of heart rate and blood pressure
  • Chest pain
  • Delirium tremens, a dangerous psychotic condition that can prove fatal if no medical intervention is performed

The extended phase of the alcohol detox process

Alcohol detox can continue on for many days after the initial withdrawal symptoms have surfaced. Restlessness, anxiety, and cravings may intensify with long stretches of alcohol withdrawal. If not monitored closely, the patient may suffer from frequent and severe seizures. After the 48-hour mark has passed, the risk of seizure will start to drop. Continued medical observation is highly advised as the risk of confusion, heart attack, and stroke are still present. In worse cases, moderate withdrawal symptoms may last up to a month.

Over the course of the detox period, the patient will be monitored for delirium tremens. Delirium tremens is the most severe form of alcohol withdrawal, with the patient experiencing the following:

  • Increased irritability or agitation
  • Body tremors
  • High fever and sweating
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Dehydration
  • Severe confusion
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of consciousness

While not every recovering alcoholic will develop delirium tremens, it’s best to have the patient be assisted by an addiction treatment professional to assess their risk. Alcohol withdrawal can be both physically and mentally taxing, with serious health complications and cravings developing if no intervention is done.

To summarise, alcohol detox takes about a week to where the body completely flushes toxins out of its system. It only takes a few weeks for a person to become dependent on the alcohol, but the impacts can last for years. Once an alcoholic abstains from drinking, the first thing to do is to seek professional help. Alcohol detoxification is crucial to addressing alcoholism and is the first step towards the journey to a sober lifestyle.

If you or a friend is in need of help, don’t be afraid to reach out. Alcohol addiction is a serious disease that requires professional and medical attention. Speak to a qualified addiction specialist today to learn more about alcohol detox.

addiction-treatment-after-covid-feat

Addiction Treatment in the Middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic

With so many people staying in their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals who are recovering from addiction may find themselves in a difficult situation. Social distancing and self-isolation can present unique challenges for those who suffer from substance abuse and mental health disorders. We all know that in addiction circles, a strong community is vital to achieving a steadfast recovery and it’s one reason why rehabilitation centres provide aftercare groups for their alumni. It is often highly recommended to engage with a leading rehab center like Calm Rehab in Bali for further information and advice.

While tough times may lie ahead, addiction treatment is still possible and recovering individuals are highly encouraged to continue their journey to reduce the risk of relapse and avoid drug or alcohol consumption. If you find yourself struggling to keep up with your recovery, don’t lose hope. Here are a few reasons why you should keep pursuing your addiction treatment in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

Addiction treatment is risky in emergency rooms

It can be a very dangerous decision to forgo addiction treatment during this time because addiction treatment is very risky in emergency rooms. When a recovering addict suffers from an overdose or crisis, they can potentially be sent to the nearest emergency department where the risk of COVID-19 infection is high. With public healthcare systems being severely overwhelmed, emergency and ICU beds are hard to come by which presents another problem for patients with substance abuse disorders.

But if you undergo residential treatment, the chances of you contracting the virus are significantly less compared to staying in a hospital. You get access to complete medical care and undergo detoxification without fear of being exposed to infected individuals. Having personalised care is crucial in times like this and will definitely benefit recovering addicts greatly as they move forward with their recovery.

Social distancing can trigger relapse

With stringent quarantine measures in place, socially interacting with other people is limited at best. For people who are recovering from addiction, socialisation an important element in battling relapse. Being under quarantine can foster feelings of self-isolation and cloud the judgment of recovering individuals. It’s a scary place to be alone by yourself while battling a mental health or substance abuse disorder, which is why most addiction specialists recommend undergoing residential treatment so that patients can stay in a safe place where they can open up to other people and interact with them.

Furthermore, a recovering addict might be forced to detox if their drug or alcohol supply runs low, which can potentially turn into a life-threatening situation if not managed by a healthcare professional. On the positive side, some people may take advantage of this scarcity and quit under their own willpower. Either way, being isolated isn’t an ideal situation for most recovering addicts and it’s highly recommended to continue pursuing treatment whether it be in a residential or outpatient program.

Addiction increases the risk of contracting COVID-19

COVID-19 attacks a person’s respiratory system and people who smoke tobacco and drugs like meth and cocaine are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Chronic use of opioids and/or alcohol can compromise a person’s immune system and make them more susceptible to all types of infections. Not only that but people with substance abuse disorders are more likely to develop severe symptoms if they do get infected.

Continuous exposure to drugs will have a major impact on both your health and recovery. It’s for these reasons that medical professionals and addiction specialists recommend a residential treatment that follows Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) practices to protect an already vulnerable group.

Residential treatment is much safer than staying at home

There’s more to a residential treatment facility than just treating addiction. Here, people can develop life-long skills and self-care practices to better manage their stress levels and enjoy a brighter future that’s both drug and alcohol-free. Patients can lean on an entire community for support and the medical care you can receive is much better than being admitted in a hospital. It’s a safe haven for people who suffer from serious substance abuse, especially in the middle of a global pandemic like we’re experiencing now.

Of course, each patient has different needs and not everyone is suitable for residential treatment. Other treatment programs like outpatient treatment and virtual addiction treatment are viable alternatives that recovering individuals can explore. By undergoing a treatment program that fits your needs, you’re better able to manage your recovery and press forward even in challenging times like these.

Choosing the right treatment program for you

There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment for addiction and patients need specialised care in order for the treatment to be successful. In some cases, addiction treatment isn’t just limited to one type of treatment program to give patients some diversity and strengthen their chances of successfully recovering. If you’re unsure about which treatment program works best for you, we highly suggest contacting an addiction specialist to help you make an informed decision.

While the coronavirus threat still exists, that doesn’t mean recovering addicts should just abandon their treatment altogether. In fact, now is the time more than ever to move forward with your addiction treatment to receive the help and support you actually need. Reach out to a rehabilitation centre today to continue on with your recovery.

Staying Sober During the COVID-19 Lockdown

For many people who are in recovery you may be wondering if you can handle all of this self-quarantining due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, much of the lockdown may remind you of your using days – isolated from the rest of the world and trapped in your own thoughts. 

Confusion, frustration and fear of future is affecting the whole world and you are inundated with news and opinions on social media… you’re fighting much more than just the battle with the coronavirus itself. All of this may lead you to question, “how can I stay sober at a time like this?”

Fortunately, the recovery tools look strangely familiar to what sober people have used and it’s prepared most of us to face such difficult situations. Maintaining sobriety under the coronavirus lockdown is certainly within the realm of possibility and even when under the pressure of isolation, you can still end up triumphant and live sober for another day. Here’s how.

  1. Use your experiences with withdrawal as motivation

Change and scarcity are the two key ingredients of withdrawal. People in recovery looked at withdrawal right in the eye and managed to press forward. Imagine if you could do it then, with a substance that you were more than physically addicted to, you can most certainly do it now. Withholding from things you think you needed, especially in isolation, can prove hugely advantageous during these trying times.

  1. Reaching out to other people

One aspect of recovery is about creating genuine connections with other people. This meant ditching the mask that says “I’m fine! I’m totally alright”, and opening up to individuals who share the same experiences (Alcoholics Anonymous comes to mind). Sharing your struggles, fears, and needs with like-minded people can teach you that being vulnerable is okay. At a time like this, the simple conversation of staying sober can help you steer clear from familiar triggers like stress, emotions, HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired) and the like.

  1. Replacing bad habits with healthy ones

A lot of our time right can be spend scrolling through social media, laying in bed all day, and just generally being unproductive. This can contribute to unhealthy thoughts and influence your approach towards your recovery. Rather than just letting time pass, think about how you can make better use of your time like joining online meetings or working out. Such activities can drastically reduce your stress levels and restore a sense of balance in your daily schedule which is something we all need when we’re quarantined all day long.

  1. Treat your home as a safe harbour

Being under quarantine can seem like both a blessing and a curse, but only if you see it as such. Think about your home as a safe harbour where you can recoup and recover. You’re far away from toxic friends, acquaintances, and other people that might cause you to suffer from relapse. Sure, being isolated does have its own challenges, but it’s certainly much easier to deal with than having to go through risky situations.

  1. Take control of what you can control

With all of the attention-grabbing headlines, it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus on your recovery. While we can’t control the pandemic itself, we can control how we react to the situation and how we can take ownership of our decisions. For example, you can choose not to use social media when all you see are images of beer bottles or, you can stop reminiscing about your previous alcohol experiences when you’re lying in bed. Take control of what you can control and never let the circumstances dictate your choices. It will help you progress greatly in your journey towards long-term sobriety.

  1. Stay fixated on your goals

Recovery is more about shaping your future than fixing your past. And while the global pandemic might have thrown a wrench in achieving your goals, it’s important that you never lose sight of them. What are your reasons for maintaining sobriety? What do you plan on doing after all this quarantine is over? These are some important questions worth pondering and ones that will help clear your mind off of any unwanted distractions.

At the end of the day, it’s about approaching your sobriety the same way you do with the coronavirus pandemic; take it one day at a time. There are far too many unknowns for you to overthink about and if you let the current headlines distract you, you may lose sight of your true perspective. Going into bed knowing that you made it without a drink is a small victory worth celebrating as you prepare for the next day. If you at any stage feel uncomfortable or feel like you need to speak with someone, get in touch with Calm Rehab Bali who is a leading drug and alcohol rehab centre.

 

What You Need to Know About Non-Substance Addiction

When people hear the word addiction, they often associate it with substances like illicit drugs and alcohol. In broader terms, addiction can develop into anything that isn’t substance-related like food, gambling, gaming, shopping, and more. This type of addiction is known as non-substance addiction. When a person engages in these activities, they find it difficult to stop despite their negative effects. It can interfere with a person’s daily life and even put them in unsafe situations.

Non-substance addictions can cause physical, emotional, psychological, and even financial distress. Knowing the symptoms of a non-substance addiction is crucial to preventing serious harm and helping the person regain control of their life. In this article, as a leading rehab centre in Bali we’ll be discussing what non-substance addiction is all about and how you or your loved one can overcome this behaviour.

Symptoms of non-substance addiction

A person with non-substance addiction is someone who frequently engages in activities without fear of the consequences. For example, a person who’s addicted to gambling may continue to spend all their savings or a person who’s addicted to gaming may sit for hours on end without thinking about their physical health. Symptoms of non-substance addiction may include: 

  • Continuous engagement in risky or troublesome behaviour
  • Impaired decision-making skills
  • Strong cravings to engage in activities
  • Strained relationships (both work and personal)
  • Conflicting emotional response

Causes of non-substance addiction

Most health experts around the world describe addiction as a disease that affects a person’s brain activity. The person’s reward, motivation, and memory systems have been altered in a way that brings physical and emotional satisfaction whenever they participate in addictive behaviour. This feeling of excitement or “rush” is what keeps a person from continuing their bad habits despite the negative outcomes. Prolonged engagement in such activities unlocks a series of euphoric feelings and strange behavioural characteristics that make them even more addicted.

Diagnosing a non-substance requires the help of a medical or mental health professional. The person undergoes a thorough assessment conducted by a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, and general practitioners. Observe the person for symptoms of non-substance addiction and if they continue to exhibit the symptoms on a regular basis, contact a medical professional immediately for assistance.

Treatment options for non-substance addiction

While most rehabilitation centres are aimed at treating people with substance abuse disorders, there are plenty of treatment facilities out there that offer treatment programs for non-substance addiction. These facilities approach the treatment a bit differently compared to treating substance abuse as they focus on addressing the underlying causes of non-substance addiction. If you know a loved one who suffers from non-substance addiction or you find yourself dealing with this kind of disease, it’s best to reach out to a dedicated treatment specialist as soon as possible.

Each person’s needs are quite different and it requires a thorough assessment from a qualified therapist to determine the right treatment program. Some therapists may recommend treatment that’s similar to substance abuse if the patient exhibits similar symptoms. An effective addiction treatment program for non-substance addiction may include a combination of the following.

  • DiagnosisJust like with substance abuse, there are co-occurring disorders that play a role in affecting the patient’s decision-making. A thorough diagnosis will help identify any co-occurring mental health disorders that contribute to their behavioural addiction.
  • Detoxification Some patients report feelings of insomnia, depression, anger, and panic when they stop participating in addictive behaviour. Therapeutic support by means of detoxification can help ease the patient’s transitional period and improve their capacity to stick to the treatment program.
  • Treatment plan The treatment plan is specific to the individual and this can involve many therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy, group therapy, contingency management, and more. The treatment plan will be based on the patient’s current circumstances, comfort level, and goals for when the recovery is completed.
  • Family supportThe support of families and loved ones can act as a strong catalyst in encouraging a person to undergo treatment. The patient will need every bit of support they can get as dealing with behavioural addiction can be just as difficult when dealing with substance abuse. Family members are encouraged to take part in the treatment program and provide a positive environment where the patient can continue to progress after their treatment has finished.

Non-substance addiction is a serious disease that requires immediate intervention. If left untreated, it can send the person into a downward spiral that’s even more difficult to recover from. If you or your loved one is exhibiting any symptoms of non-substance addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out to a dedicated specialist to help regain control of your life.