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Meth Addiction is Trouble for Women

by James Heller 20. February 2014 11:30
Crystal meth has different effects on the lives of women versus men.  Aside from the physical damage it deals to the female body, there is a higher risk of mental trauma due to the behaviors that go along with meth use.  This makes it all the more important to educate youths before they get hooked, and to provide mental health treatment along with addiction treatment if they do.
 
 
We’ve all seen the disturbing before and after photos on the internet.  You would think those, on their own, would prevent young women from even associating with meth users.  But youth carries with it a feeling of invincibility and a “that won’t happen to me” attitude, which sadly turns the images into a joke among friends.  The outcome isn’t funny for the women in the pictures.

A more immediate consequence of meth use for women is what can happen to them in the midst of other users.  Instances of rape, serious injury, and death are higher than normal when a group of individuals use meth together.  The drug relieves users of inhibitions, making them feel like rules of good conduct don’t apply to them.  Couple that with feeling stronger and more agile, with a threshold for pain that is through the roof, and you have a game of tragedy roulette.
Maybe the knowledge that their security can go to zero at any second on meth, may just keep them from using even once.

If she survives time as an addict and hasn’t permanently damaged reproductive organs, brain tissue, her heart, liver, or lungs, a woman will have likely been traumatized at least once.  Many of them won’t even see forced sex as a past trauma, at first, seeing it only as a part of the lifestyle.  But as the addicted brain begins to recover and emotions rise to the surface, those and similar events can drastically inhibit recovery and may lead to a relapse.

At Tarzana Treatment Centers, we recognize these critical differences in how women respond to drug treatment.  Our women only programs utilize trauma-informed and gender-specific counseling techniques to improve treatment outcomes.  Eligible women can enter residential treatment with small children, allowing those important bonds to be strengthened.
Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.
  
Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Vivitrol Aids Recovery from Addiction to All Drugs

by James Heller 26. October 2012 09:20
It’s very rare for addicts to be monogamous with their drug of choice.  They usually abuse alcohol as well.  Even if they don’t, alcohol use in early recovery could pave a path back to addiction with the same or another drug.  Especially when individuals have had multiple relapse issues, prevention of another could come in the form of alcohol craving reduction.
 
 
Tarzana Treatment Centers provides Vivitrol for alcohol and opiate craving reduction.  This monthly injection of Naltrexone has helped many who suffer from alcoholism and opiate addiction.  They have achieved long-term sobriety when they previously struggled with relapses.  Vivitrol works with brain chemistry to minimize the distraction and temptation of this major relapse trigger.

Alcohol is a drug, just like any other.  Most addicts abused alcohol before they tried the drug they eventually became addicted to, and either combined the two (or more) or cut back on alcohol.  In any of these cases, alcohol holds a psychological connection with dependence on the drug of choice.  

In recovery, the suggestion is to remain abstinent from all drugs, including those that were not a part of the problem.  This is to avoid the problem of cross addiction.  The disease of Addiction causes sufferers to seek an escape mechanism because they can’t cope with normal life occurrences.  So, cocaine addicts in recovery might think it is okay to have a glass of wine because alcohol was not a problem before drug rehab.  

The addicted mind works in such strange ways that alcohol might not be the biggest threat.  Methamphetaminemarijuana, and cocaine addicts may have a history of being prescribed opiate painkillers from a past injury.  This is a great temptation for someone who is desperately trying to remain abstinent.  The “pain” mysteriously reappears, quite often, and the addict requests another prescription.  Unfortunately, there are far too many doctors who are willing to accommodate.

Whether the hope is to avoid alcohol or opiate abuse, Vivitrol is the solution.  After the first 30 days without alcohol or other drugs, recovering addicts of any drug will see the benefits of total abstinence.  By eliminating the possibility of cross addiction with alcohol or opiates, and blocking that psychological path to their drug of choice, addicts to any drug have a better chance for long-term recovery.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides a full array of health care services including adult and youth alcohol and drug treatment.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley and specialized services for HIV/AIDS care.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependencedrug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders or from other services we offer, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us using our secure contact form.

Telemedicine services are also available with online medical care, online mental health treatment, and online alcohol and drug treatment.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Alcohol Dependence and Drug Addiction -Tolerance

by James Heller 18. May 2010 13:48
Tolerance, as it relates to alcohol dependence and drug addiction, is often misunderstood by many in the general public.  In the manner that drug and alcohol tolerance functions, it can be a safety mechanism to the body and, at the same time, deadly.  This makes awareness of the subject critical for anyone who engages in alcohol abuse or drug abuse, as well as those in recovery.

It can easily be assumed that tolerance means that an individual can drink more alcohol without getting drunk, or handle drug use in a seemingly controlled manner.  With this assumption comes the belief that these “abilities” are an example of the natural differences that exist from one individual to another.  While this is partially true, the nature of alcohol and drug tolerance is much more complicated.

Alcohol tolerance is the example with which most people can relate.  Consider the amount of alcohol you need to drink before you feel the effects, or “buzzed”.  Let’s say this is 2 beers.  If you drink 2 beers every day, over time you will feel less of an effect.  If you want to feel the same effect, you must drink more alcohol.  The amount of alcohol needed for the same feeling will continue to increase as you add more alcohol.  

The same concept works with drugs.  Alcohol abuse or drug abuse can result from tolerance since individuals will chase that feeling by drinking or using more on each occasion.  If the cycle continues with regular daily alcohol or drug intake, the body can become physically dependent and alcoholism or drug addiction is the result.  

On this road to addiction that we just followed, the brain has protected the body from overdose, with tolerance, by adjusting to the higher levels of substance use.  This benefit of drug tolerance can become a dangerous consequence, though, for recovering individuals who relapse.  The addicted brain still needs a large amount of drugs for an effect, but the body returns to a lower tolerance of what is essentially a poison.

At the time of first use on a relapse, the brain will dictate the most recent amount of drugs used to get a desired effect.  If the formerly recovering addict is not careful, this amount can easily cause a drug overdose or even be fatal.  Many drug addicts are not aware of this fact, and will even ignore warnings from fellow drug users because they don’t realize the consequences they face.

While alcoholics are less likely to overdose on alcohol during first use on a relapse, they may experience what is known as a lack of tolerance.  At this point, a drunken feeling may result from only 1 drink.  Lack of tolerance can actually occur with anyone who drinks alcohol, but it is typically coupled with alcohol dependence.  Of course, that 1 drink will still not be enough to satisfy alcoholics and they can become a danger to themselves through inebriation and alcohol’s effect on the body.

This information is good to share with teens, friends in recovery, or anyone you may know who engages in alcohol abuse or drug abuse.  Too many see tolerance as a benefit both early in substance use and in addiction.  Tolerance is explained in effective alcohol and drug treatment as part of addiction education groups to prevent accidental overdoses among those who may relapse.  Bringing this awareness to the general public may save even more lives.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides youth alcohol and drug treatment and addiction education.  We specialize in treatment for mental health and substance use disorders, and have two primary medical care clinics in the San Fernando Valley and Antelope Valley.  If you or a loved one needs help with alcohol dependence, drug addiction, or co-occurring mental health disorders, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

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More on Methamphetamine Treatment

by James Heller 7. October 2009 14:19
By Ken Bachrach, Ph.D., Clinical Director

Treatment for methamphetamine is effective and available to those needing assistance stopping methamphetamine use and recovering from the effects of this highly addictive drug.  Methamphetamine currently is the primary drug of choice for one-third of individuals seeing residential and outpatient drug treatment at Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles.  

The first step is to stop using methamphetamine.  Methamphetamine withdrawal is an uncomfortable state.  While meth users usually don’t need medication to help them withdraw, they are often experiencing symptoms of depression, fatigue, agitation, confusion, lack of energy, paranoia, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.  So it is still prudent for meth addicts to enter a medical detoxification program in treatment.

These acute withdrawal symptoms can last from two days to two weeks.  During this period of time it is important to provide structure, and to not to make too many demands on the individual.  Symptoms of concern should be monitored and re-assessed on a regular basis, and psychological symptoms that persist may need more attention, including psychotropic medication.

During the first few days after stopping using methamphetamine, sleep, support, and eating nutritious foods is beneficial.  The meth addict’s brain is going through major changes and each day can be a challenge.  Medical and dental needs should be assessed, and it is a good idea to see a physician and a dentist if there are any concerns.

Problems with learning and memory may actually get worse following the cessation of methamphetamine use.  Research has shown that some individual’s have more impaired verbal memory for up to six months after they stopped using meth compared to when they just stopped.  This is unique among drugs of abuse.  

Since most counseling and treatment involves primarily counseling through talking, it is possible that meth addicts in early recovery will have difficult times remembering information.  Fortunately, visual memory is not impacted the same way that verbal memory is, so efforts should be made to use visual means in counseling and treatment.  

In addition, writing things down, using chalk boards and white boards, as well as active learning though role play and exercises may help overcome and compensate for these deficits in verbal memory.

Relapse triggers need to be identified for each individual, since these people, places and things place an individual at risk for resuming their meth use.  Sexual triggers are very common for both men and women who use meth, since surveys have shown that sex is associated with meth use more than any other drug.  In one survey, 67% of meth users agreed that they were obsessed with sex, compared to 40% of cocaine users and 16% of alcohol users.  

The road to recovery may not be a simple nor easy one.  As with many drugs of abuse, relapse is common, but getting back into treatment quickly can greatly increase one’s changes of long-term recovery.  In addition to addressing the specific issues surrounding methamphetamine use, medical, psychological, family, social, legal, vocational, and education issues often need to be addressed as well.  

Methamphetamine addiction treatment is as effective as for other drugs.  It is a myth that treatment for methamphetamine is not effective.  An evaluation by UCLA researchers of over 35,000 individuals referred to treatment showed no difference in any of the outcome measures when compared to users of other drugs of abuse.  This included treatment completion rates, urinalysis data, and retention in treatment rates.

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles provides medical detoxification for methamphetamine addiction as part of our commitment to integrated behavioral healthcare in alcohol and drug treatment.  If you or a loved one needs help with methamphetamine addiction, please call us now at 888-777-8565 or contact us here.

Southern California Locations for Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Tarzana Treatment Centers has locations all over Southern California in Los Angeles County. Other than our central location in Tarzana, we have facilities in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley, Long Beach, and in Northridge and Reseda in the San Fernando Valley.

Methamphetamine Treatment

by James Heller 13. May 2009 10:44
Methamphetamine treatment is approached in much the same way as other drug addictions.  But while the disease of addiction is the same with all drug types, methamphetamine addicts may find relapse prevention more difficult in comparison to other illegal drugs.

One attraction to methamphetamine, or crystal meth, is the sense of alertness and euphoria it brings.  The problem is that methamphetamine changes behavior and has the power to rapidly destroy even the most successful individuals in society.  But even if an individual is aware that addiction is a problem, the ability to work or study longer can make that an annoying side effect.  

It is also a drug used among teens and young adults in social situations to enhance and prolong the “party”.  Mixing drugs and alcohol has become a dangerous trend with these groups, driving a rise in overdoses and deaths.  Unfortunately, along with the sense of alertness that attracts use, the low price and high availability make methamphetamines easy to obtain.

Self-medicating is also a problem that affects those with co-occurring mental health and substance addiction problems.  Sufferers of bipolar disorder and ADHD report feeling “normal” after using crystal meth.  Many of them forego therapy and become addicted, unaware of the damage the drug is causing.

These aspects of methamphetamine use are very tempting to the addict newly recovering from drug addiction.  Since these relapse triggers cross socio-economic boundaries they should be addressed with any crystal meth addict in treatment.

Tarzana Treatment Centers provides adult and adolescent detox and treatment services for methamphetamine addiction.  We also provide mental health treatment as part of our commitment to offering Integrated Behavioral Healthcare services.

Below are highlights of a report on the rise of methamphetamine treatment admissions from the Office of Applied Studies at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

-- Begin external content --

Highlights:
  • According to SAMHSA's Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS), the primary methamphetamine/ amphetamine treatment admission rate in the United States increased from 10 admissions per 100,000 to 52 admissions per 100,000 population aged 12 or older between 1992 and 2002.
  • Smoked methamphetamine/amphetamine is often referred to as "ice." In 1992, 12% of primary methamphetamine / amphetamine admissions reported smoking as the primary route of administration and 39% inhaled the substance. By 2002, 50% reported smoking as their primary route of administration for methamphetamine / amphetamine and only 17% inhaled it.
  • In 2002, 19 States had rates in excess of the national rate (52 admissions per 100,000 population): 10 States were in the West, 7 were in the Midwest and 2 were in the South. The highest rates were in Oregon (324 admissions per 100,000), Hawaii (217 per 100,000), California (200 per 100,000), Iowa (198 per 100,000), Wyoming (167 per 100,000), Nevada (156 per 100,000), Washington State (150 per 100,000), and Arkansas (125 admissions per 100,000 population).

-- Source: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/2k4/methTX/methTX.cfm --

Tarzana Treatment Centers in Los Angeles makes a daily effort to find treatment news articles that we can share with our readers in the alcohol and drug treatment community.  The external content was found among other articles of equal informational and educational quality.