Rehabilitation: Inpatient vs. Outpatient Programs

Have you decided that it is time to quit your addiction? Whether it be drugs or alcohol, you have decided that it is time to get some help.

That is great! After all, the first step to addiction recovery is deciding that you need help and that it is time to make a change. Next, comes the decision of where to go.

First, you must consider the type of program you want: inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.

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But, assuming that you have never been to rehab before, how do you know which one will work best for you?

The main differences between inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities are:

  1. Duration of the program.

    Based on your needs, the total length of the process will vary. However, most people spend about 28-30 days starting out in an inpatient rehab. But, a more severe case can take anywhere from 90 days to a year, or longer.

    On the other hand, outpatient care does not require you to stay at the treatment facility at all, but it does require regular attendance to counseling sessions which are typically offered weekly or even daily. On average, someone in an outpatient rehab program continues participation for 12-16 weeks. However, it could last for several months or even years based on individual need.

  2. The cost of the treatment.

    Obviously, inpatient treatment will be more expensive as housing costs are included. An inpatient treatment program will include room and board, intensive daily treatment and more.

    Whereas, outpatient treatment just requires payment for the treatment services such as counseling, but patients live on their own outside of the facility.

  3. Your place of residence during treatment.

    As mentioned before, inpatient means you live there. So, the biggest difference between the two – inpatient and outpatient – is if you live at the treatment facility or not.

    With outpatient rehabs, you have greater freedom and can continue with your daily activities, however, with inpatient treatment you must become fully devoted to the program.

  4. The detox processes.

    Detoxification is required for both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, however, inpatient rehabs do detox on site. If you choose to go with an outpatient program you might try finding a clinical setting for a medical detox.

The type of program you choose is entirely based off your needs – do you need more structure or do you have enough willpower to complete the program while living in the outside world?

Each treatment type offers its own benefits. Ensure you do extensive research before making your selection.

Heroin: How it Effects the Body

Heroin is an opiate commonly used as a recreational drug due to its euphoric effects on its users. Users can experience its effects almost immediately – within a few minutes – and the addiction liability is high.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 669,000 Americans reported using heroin at some point in 2011 – a number that has been on the rise since 2011.

While it is obvious that most drugs have negative side effects, oftentimes, users do not actually know the true effects that heroin is having on their body…

Heroin and the Brain

Heroin quickly reaches the brain upon being administered and it goes on to bind with the opioid receptors. These receptors are what is involved in the perception of pain and pleasure. Therefore, this is why a person using heroin might show signs of euphoria and will also feel relief of physical pain.

However, it can also increase the feelings of pleasure by altering the activity in the limbic system, which is partially responsible for creating a physical addiction. Heroin alters the brain in such a way that the person becomes physically addicted to and dependent on it.

Heroin and the Heart

Also associated with heroin use is a decrease in heart function, which in more serious cases can actually lead to an infection of the heart lining and valves which could lead to serious long-term health consequences.

However, if users decide to mix heroin with alcohol then even more risks arise. Heroin and alcohol both cause a considerable slowdown of the heart rate on their own, so when combined it can cause the heart rate to be slowed down to a life-threatening speed.

Heroin and the Immune System

As a result of poor nutrition and neglect, heroin users risk considerable damage to their immune system. In addition, heroin users often expose themselves to a variety of diseases which can wreak havoc on their body when combined with their other health complications.

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Heroin and Behavior

While there is no direct correlation between heroin users and personality pattern changes, there are a few noticeable differences that are commonly seen among heroin users:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Loss of interest in other activities
  • Disorientation
  • Lying
  • Unstable mood
  • Secrecy

Heroin not only effects a person’s mental state but it affects their physical state as well. Abuse of drugs – such as heroin – can take a toll on the body and cause great mental and physical issues which could potentially be life-threatening or lifelong conditions.

The risk is not worth the high.

Oxycodone: A Look into the Addiction

What is Oxycodone?

Oxycodone is a prescription medication derived from the poppy plant, which is typically prescribed for pain relief from moderate to severe pain.

Visually, it is a white, odorless crystalline power that is usually seen in the form of a small pill.

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Why do people take Oxycodone?

While it is often prescribed for those in pain, it is also frequently abused

If prescribed by a doctor and taken according to their instructions, Oxycodone can be a great relief from pain from those suffering from acute or chronic pain and can greatly improve their quality of life.

However, when abused, it is often used because it triggers a “high”, or euphoric effect. It can be ingested in a variety of ways:

  • Intravenously
  • Rectally
  • Orally
  • Transdermally

…and more. Especially once it has become an addiction, individuals will consume it in any way possible.

What are the effects of oxycodone?

The side effects of oxycodone can range from nausea and constipation to difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, and severe rashes. In addition to those symptoms, long-term users might also experience:

  • Kidney or liver damage
  • Respiratory distress
  • Loss of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Physical dependence

…and more.

Just like most other drugs, Oxycodone is not intended to be used for a prolonged period of time in a way such as that in which it is used by addicts.

Oxycodone is classified as having a moderate to high dependence liability. Similar to other opiates and opioids, the continuous use of this drug can result in an increased tolerance to the effects of it.

Users can easily become addicted to this drug and become dependent on it – both physically and mentally.

It becomes a crutch and something they use to feel different.

Sadly, just because something is a prescription medicine does not mean it is not addictive.

While Oxycodone is not technically a gateway drug – meaning it leads the user to experimenting with other drugs – it does have that same effect. It might not be the first drug someone experiments with, but unfortunately, it probably will not be the last either.

Oftentimes, once the high of a specific drug is over, the user will not only continue to increase their usage as a means to continue getting high but will go out looking for something else to fill the void. Something else to offer that same sense of euphoria.

The opioid epidemic is real and is one that is killing millions of people around the world. Don’t let yourself, or someone you love, be next.

4 Tips on How to Cut Back on Your Alcohol Consumption

Do you find yourself questioning if your drinking has gotten out of hand?

Maybe you have overdone it just a few times too many lately, or maybe it has started to affect other areas of your life such as your work life or your relationships…

Drinking can go from an occasional, casual indulgence to a full-blown problem in a short period of time.

So, if you have found yourself questioning if you might be developing a problem, it might be time to work on cutting back on your drinking.

The Benefits of Cutting Back

Of course, if you feel you are at risk of developing an alcohol addiction, that is reason enough to cut back. However, there are several other health benefits to cutting back on your alcohol consumption including:

  • Feeling better mentally and physically
  • Looking better – more awake, in better shape, etc.
  • Saving money by buying less alcohol
  • Sleeping better
  • Reducing your risk of heart problems
  • Improving relationships and work performance

Isn’t your health worth it?

4 Tips for Cutting Back

Now that you know why you should do it, here are some tips for how:

  1. Set limits.

    Set limits both for the financial aspect and the actual alcohol limit. Have a set limit that you can spend on alcohol and don’t exceed it. Next, set a limit for either the strength of your drinks and/or the number of drinks you consume. Self-discipline will have a positive influence in your life.

  2. Inform your family and friends.

    It is much easier to stick to a goal when you have someone holding you accountable. So, let your friends and family know what you are doing. They might be able to offer you additional advice and definitely some support. It always helps to have someone looking out for you and ensuring that you don’t slip up.

    Also, if they were already worried about you then it will give them a peace of mind that you are making a difference.

  3. Have alcohol-free days.

    You don’t have to drink every day – or even every week. If you drink daily, take a day or a few days off. Or, if you drink every weekend then take a weekend off. It will show you just how much better you can feel if you skip out on that beer every once in a while, and will also help reduce the amount of alcohol you are consuming.

    Just a few sober days in a row can help the body reset itself, especially the liver.

  4. Explore other activities.

    It is no secret that drinking is an activity, and usually a social one. It gives you something to do, eases your mind, and can help make other not so fun things just a little bit more fun.

    However, there are plenty of other activity options, you don’t have to settle for a night of drinking. Try out something more active like swimming or Frisbee. Whatever it is that sounds good to you, try something new. Pick up a new hobby that does not involve drinking.

    It is much easier to cut back on drinking when you are focused on something else.

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Tips for Anger Management in Recovery

Anger is often a misunderstood emotion. It is often seen as something negative, which in most cases it is. It can cause people to do crazy things that are out of the ordinary and oftentimes is one of the main culprits of addiction

And, for some, anger can be dangerous. It can be a destructive force that fuels someone’s actions…

However, anger is an emotion – just like sadness, happiness, worry. Anger does not have to be dangerous or scary. When properly managed, it is okay to feel angry.

In fact, feeling angry is actually healthy. Just like any of your other emotions, anger is your mind giving a cue on how you should react toward the rest of the world. So, to experience anger just makes you human.

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But, during a time of stress and sadness, and especially during addiction recovery, anger can be an overwhelming emotion. To avoid it turning into a negative or violent emotion, you will need to practice anger management.

Here are a few tips to help you manage your anger in a safe and productive way:

  1. Practice taking deep breaths.

    There are several different deep breath techniques such as deliberately breathing in and out deeply or just counting up to a certain number as you breathe.

    But, just by implementing a simple intervention step into your life when you notice you are feeling angry and overwhelmed, you can learn to calm yourself down before it goes too far.

  2. Give yourself a soothing pep talk.

    Especially when you are mad, it can be hard to hear advice from other people. So, oftentimes, people telling you to calm down doesn’t really do much for you. However, you have the ability to talk and reason with yourself.

    Take a second to remind yourself why it is important that you calm down and continue to remind yourself that everything is okay.

  3. Analyze your feelings.

    Sometimes anger stems from your own self-defeating thoughts…

    When you feel the feeling of anger coming over you, stop for a moment and consider why you are feeling that way…

    Are some of your thoughts promoting anger?

  4. Focus on engaging in regular self-care and hobbies.

    This tip is more for long-term coping, but that is why it is the most important. Find something you love doing, something that helps relieve your stress. A lowered state of stress can also mean less anger.