Fentanyl

Fentanyl is one of the most dangerous drugs in the country. Addiction treatment for fentanyl is becoming more and more requested as people are becoming dependent on this drug. Some states, like Ohio, even have booths set up at music festivals and other events notorious for drug use that provide kits to test for impurities and additives to drugs like MDMA. MDMA is considered a party drug by many people and sometimes dealers put fentanyl in the drug. Fentanyl is sometimes added by drug dealers and/or importers to drugs like but not limited to: cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. This is done to add to the initial strength of the drug. 

Fentanyl is about 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. In most instances, people purchasing these drugs are unaware they are also ingesting fentanyl and greatly risk overdose. 

Let’s take a look at fentanyl to gain a better understanding of the risks of this substance. Let’s also look at treatment options.

What is the Original Use of Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a prescription opioid that is used in a medical setting for patients who are dealing with extreme pain. Often patients who are prescribed fentanyl have developed a strong tolerance to other opioid pain treatments. Therefore, fentanyl is used as a “break-through” pain reliever. 

In a medical setting though, it’s use is heavily supervised and there is little to no risk. In many cases, fentanyl is often seen as the only relief for patients suffering from chronic pain.

How Much Fentanyl is Deadly? 

Unfortunately, the difference in dosage between therapeutic fentanyl and an overdose portion is very small. As little as 2 to 3 milligrams can kill a person who has not developed a tolerance. One milligram is about the size of a grain of sand. 

Why do People Become Addicted to Fentanyl so Easily?

Since fentanyl is from the family of opioids it acts the same way as other opioids such as oxycodone, oxycontin, morphine, and even heroin. This means that it actively attaches to the receptors in the brain that regulate pain and pleasure. Opioids activate pleasurable feelings and thats why people enjoy them.

Some victims of addiction have accepted the existence of fentanyl gladly, others do not like it as they were not aware fentanyl was what they were ingesting. All people who are victims of addiction would like to know what is in their drugs. Some people would not take a particular batch of drugs if they knew fentanyl was in it. Unfortunately, if the person does not have a testing kit there is no way to know if there is any fentanyl in the substance except to take the drug.

Fentanyl affects everyone differently, depending on the person’s size, weight, overall health, mental health, and what other drugs have been taken. This means that someone who is taking fentanyl for the first time will not know if it will hurt them.

Why is Fentanyl in Other Drugs if It is So Deadly? 

One of the reasons that fentanyl can end up in other drugs like heroin and cocaine is the dealer or bagger intentionally adds it to increase the user’s high and sell a potentially more profitable product in the future if the buyer ends up liking it. When this is done the client often knows about the additive. However, they may not have built up a tolerance or may misjudge the potency of the drug and their ability to handle that amount of the drug and overdose. Fentanyl is cheaper to produce than heroin and other drugs which is a big incentive for drug dealers to push the product. 

Fentanyl may also end up in some drugs because the person bagging the drugs, do not wipe down their table between chopping different substances. They might chop fentanyl and then immediately chop cocaine or heroin without enough clean up in between.  

Another risk is sometimes people will share needles when they are injecting fentanyl. Sharing used needles can spread illnesses like HIV, hepatitis C, and other infections.

What Are Some Examples of Intentionally Harmful Fentanyl Sales?

In Arizona, there is a lot of “Percocet” coming across the border from Mexico that is made of fentanyl with no oxycodone or acetaminophen (the two active ingredients in Percocet) in them at all. These drugs are being marketed on the west coast as authentic Percocet and people are dying. It is only a matter of time until these “Percocets” reach Pittsburgh if they have not already. These pills are being sold because they are cheaper to produce than actual Percocet.

How Many People in PA Overdose from Fentanyl Every Year from Fentanyl? 

In eight Pennsylvania counties, including Allegheny, fentanyl overdoses make up 60% of overdose deaths. Heroin accounted for 43% of overdose deaths in the area, and cocaine accounted for 32%.

How Do You Take Fentanyl?

Prescription fentanyl can be given to patients in many forms:

  • Patches
  • Pills
  • Lozenges (known as lollipops)
  • Nasal spray
  • Buccal film
  • Intravenous liquid

Illicit forms of fentanyl are often created in an illegal lab and are in a powder form. This type of fentanyl can be smoked, snorted or injected. Illicit fentanyl is extremely dangerous as the strength varies greatly and is extremely easy to overdose.

Drugs are also notorious for lowering inhibitions. Often this can cause the drug user to put themselves in dangerous situations like going in search of dangerous people who might have drugs to get another high, having unprotected sex, sharing needles, and/or getting in trouble with the law. 

What Shouldn’t I do When Trying to Recover from Fentanyl at Home?

The most important thing you can do for someone who is addicted to fentanyl is to get them medical help. Medical help in the form of a medically assisted detox can be found at reputable rehabilitation clinics. Going through an online course on how to detoxify and otherwise treat yourself can be not only a waste of precious time, it can be deadly.

Going “cold turkey” can have deadly side effects, any amount of detoxification can lower tolerance. Many people overdose because they attempt to take the same amount of fentanyl or other drugs as they did before detoxifying or attempting to detoxify. The temptation to relapse is strongest within the first 48 hours. Slowly weaning yourself off addictive substances is extremely difficult without proper supervision under the care of medical professionals.

How Do I Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want to go to Drug Rehab?

Unfortunately, your loved one might not be ready to admit that they need help yet. Here are some important ways that you can help your loved one:

·       Take care of yourself first. 

It is like when you are on an airplane and the instructions on the oxygen mask instruct you to secure your own mask before your child’s. It is tempting to secure your child’s mask first but you have to consider what happens if get even worse. If you are not in a healthy position your child is left alone and can only rely on other passengers and airplane staff. You cannot care for your loved one if you are not taking care of yourself. You have rights as a caregiver.

·       Carry Narcan on yourself and encourage other people in your loved one’s life to carry it.

Giving your loved one a kit might help too. While they will not be able to use it on themselves, another person might find it on them and be able to administer it according to the directions on the package.

Narcan will instantly reverse the symptoms of an opioid overdose. It is also important for the person to get medical attention quickly. Narcan has saved many lives. You can see the drug information on their website.

Narcan is available over the counter at the pharmacy in Pennsylvania.

·       Learn CPR

Knowing CPR can be critical to keeping your loved one alive after an overdose while waiting for an ambulance or other medical personnel. 

·       Be aware of manipulative actions or words on the part of your loved one.

Some drugs, like heroin (which is often mixed with fentanyl), make individuals so addicted that they will even engage in criminal activities to get drugs. While it is important to know that it is the effect of drugs and not your loved one.

·       Do not enable

It is important to not enable your loved one. Enabling is when someone helps someone else not have to face the consequences of their actions. People who enable often think that their loved one will eventually come around on their own. The only way to get help for people with substance abuse problems is to get them professional help. Drugs are not only mind-altering, but they are also often behavior-altering. 

***Remember, it is in you and your loved one’s best interest to get admitted to a rehabilitation clinic as soon as possible.

Do I have to go to Rehab to Quit Drugs? 

Getting off drugs like fentanyl is almost impossible without the help of trained medical professionals because addiction is a medical condition. Opioids and other drugs cause complex interactions in the brain. It is hard if not impossible for someone who is not medically trained to manage their medical tapering and/or detoxification from addictive substances. It is also dangerous.

Can I Quit Drugs Without going to Drug Rehabilitation?

There is a lot of misinformation out on the internet that promises that certain essential oils will cleanse the body of fentanyl, or that you can just drink sports drinks and bear through fentanyl detoxification. This information is not only false, but it is also dangerous.

Essential oils may be good for some things, but keeping someone safe while their body detoxifies itself from drugs is not an area in which they are applicable. While the body does naturally rid itself of substances like cocaine it does take about a week of total abstinence from any addictive substances for the process to be almost complete. Medical tapering is a medical practice. Trying to taper with methadone at home is not effective and it will be essentially trading one addiction for another.

When Will the War on Drugs Stop? 

Drugs and drug addiction are not problems that will go away any time soon. Here at DreamLife Recovery, we are at the forefront of the struggle against destructive drugs like fentanyl. Fentanyl and other opioids have destroyed too many lives and our goal is to not let them destroy anymore.

Fentanyl is not a drug that is soon to go away. It is being pushed on us and our loved ones because it is cheap, easy to transport, and effective in low quantities, basically cutting down on shipping costs because of potency.

Why Are People Reluctant to get Help for Their Addiction?

Often people who give up very addictive substances like heroin and fentanyl describe stopping the drug as “losing a good friend” because the drug is sometimes either all they have left and/or it is the only thing left in the world that matters to them.

Make no mistake about it. Drugs are not your friend. They are substances that people have abused over the years to the point that their medical use is almost overshadowed by the harm they bring to the people who do not use them for good. Let us help you. Let us help you win your fight. 

When you are ready for help, contact our website or call us at (844) 402-3592. Let us help you live the life you’ve always dreamed of.

References:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308156.php

https://www.drugs.com/illicit/fentanyl.html

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/nea898/how-much-fentanyl-is-actually-in-cocaine

https://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2019/04/29/Pennsylvania-Research-fentanyl-varied-effect-opioid-heroin-drug-users-behaviors/stories/201904260107

https://caregiver.com/articles/caregivers-bill-of-rights/

https://www.narcan.com

dark web and drugs

Drugs and The Dark Web

There is a lot of information and many assumptions about the dark web. Most people have no idea what the dark web is, how it works or what really takes place. Also, many people do not know the difference between the dark web and the deep web.

In many cases, most people understand that the dark web is a dangerous place that people access for illegal reasons. Therefore most people chose to stay away from the dark web because of fear.

However, someone who may not be able to score drugs or other illegal contraband through individual connections may choose to access the dark web out of disparity. For friends and family, it can very difficult to find out how a loved one is gaining access to such substances.

In this article, we will take a look at the dark web and the dangers that surround it, as well as treatment for addiction to illegal substances purchased from the dark web.

What is the Dark Web?

The deep web includes any websites that you need a password and authorization to access. For example, you could not be able to access the contents of someone’s email just by googling them. Anything that you can find on search browsers like google is considered part of the surface web. The dark web is only accessible by using browsers like Tor. 

Understanding “Tor” and How it Makes The Dark Web Accessible 

Tor is short for The Onion Router. It is so named because of all of the layers of anonymity you use to protect your identity. It was named this way to relate to the many layers of an onion. While there are some good things on the dark web, it was instrumental in the Arab spring, there are also many bad things.

One of the things that your loved one could be using the dark web is to buy drugs. Two of the most infamous drug hubs, Silk Road and Alphabay have been shut down. This in no way means that there are not plenty more sources for drugs on the dark web.

How Do Black Market Drugs Get into My Home?

Often drugs are sent through the mail. Other things ordered on the dark web like child pornography or contacting a hacker for hire does not require an exchange of physical goods. Many times, bitcoin is used in the dark web transaction because it is harder to track. Make sure you open every letter and box that you get if your loved one is addicted to drugs and you do not know where they are coming from. They might be in letters that just look like junk mail.

This goes not only for pills but for powder too. You would probably not notice an envelope that contained only a small number of pills. Some drugs, like LSD, require only 25 micrograms to create a high. This is less than the weight of two grains of salt. Enough LSD for a high is about $10. 2,000 micrograms of fentanyl will kill you. A traditional dose of heroin is 1/10 of a gram. That is 100,000 micrograms. Drugs do not have to be shipped in large bricks to enter your home. 

How Can I Stop My Loved One from Buying Drugs on the Dark Web?

This is why you need to get your loved one to a rehabilitation clinic. At DreamLife Recovery, it is much harder for a patient to access drugs than it would be outside the clinic. Here your loved one will not be able to receive any drugs. We know what we are looking for. They cannot smuggle in drugs either as all of our clients are searched before entering the clinic. Your loved one will not have access to any sort of private stockpile of drugs that they might have stored away at home. Even more importantly, your loved one will be separated from the people who do drugs with them and to whom they might be selling drugs to, whether on or off the dark web.

Should I Go on the Dark Web?

The dark web is incredibly dangerous. Many people advertise ways to download Tor. No matter what you do this is not a safe place to visit. It is not somewhere to go ask around if your loved one has been on there. It is not somewhere to confront a possible dealer or ask them to stop selling to your loved one. This will only lead to trouble. 

There is nothing to really be gained by visiting the dark web. This is not a place to visit and find out what it is like. You will probably find yourself with more than you can handle if you start poking around the dark web for fun or otherwise go on without knowing what you are doing. Reading a few websites and blogs is not enough research.

How Did the Dark Web Get Started?

The dark web was developed by the United States Navy as a way to share and receive information from spies. Because having users pop up here and there would look suspicious and it might mean that even though the address is camouflaged, other governments might find the spy. To camouflage itself, the government opened the dark web up for anyone to use. The government’s projects are masked by the sheer number of users on it. 

What Sort of Crime is on the Dark Web?

Although it was started and remains a place for anonymous free speech, it has also descended into crime in many parts. However, Interpol, the FBI, and the police are all collaborating to shut down crime on the dark web. Massive stings like taking down Silk Road and Alphabay took years.

The arrests are still going on. Many of the drug dealers and other criminals are still at large. Just because these websites have been taken down does not mean that the problem is solved. Other dangerous things are also available on the dark web like people who are being trafficked for sex and other reasons, child abuse images, weapons, hit people for hire, and hackers for hire, are a few things that can be found on the dark web. 

Many people on the dark web have been doing this their whole lives and are very intelligent. Many of them have alluded law enforcement for a very long time. So it is strongly recommended that you do not try to intimidate them in order to make them to leave your loved one alone. It is far better to get your loved one somewhere safe, and in an addiction treatment program like ones we provide at DreamLife Recovery.

Don’t Wait! Get Help Today!

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, do not hesitate to contact us here or call us at  (844) 402-3592.

Let us help you live the life you have always dreamed of.

References:

https://science.howstuffworks.com/lsd.htm 

https://www.harmreductionohio.org/how-much-fentanyl-will-kill-you-2/ 

https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2014/05/25/315821415/going-dark-the-internet-behind-the-internet 

https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/17/18226718/alphabay-takedown-drug-marketplace-federal-arrest 

https://www.thesun.co.uk/tech/2054243/dark-web-kidnap-chloe-ayling-encrypted-network-black-death/ 

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3249765/what-is-the-dark-web-how-to-access-it-and-what-youll-find.html 

https://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/security-awareness/curiosity-dark-web-dangerous-effects/ 

https://www.legitscript.com/blog/2018/08/how-drugs-are-sold-on-the-dark-web/ 

The statistics of heroin abuse in Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas are astounding. Deaths from heroin overdose are on the rise. This article covers not only key statistics but includes an outline of DreamLife Recovery’s rehabilitation program.

The Volume of the Problem

Pennsylvania ranks 26th in national opioid abuse statistics. Heroin, a popular opioid, is often seized kilograms at a time (one kilogram is over 2.2 pounds). Not only this but Pennsylvania is a hub for distribution and sale of heroin throughout the Midwest and as far north as the New Jersey area. Prices vary but .02 grams of heroin can be bought for $10 dollars. That is .002 pounds of heroin, rounding the number in pounds down. Due to the low price and ease of access in Pennsylvania heroin is still a popular drug to abuse. This has necessitated drug rehabilitation clinics, especially in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County as a whole. DreamLife Recovery is amongst the number fighting this epidemic.  Click here to start your rehab journey.

Lethal Overdoses on the Rise

According to the Pennsylvania Coroners Association, Haulk and Montarti say Allegheny County’s fatal overdose rate for all drugs in 2015 was 33.6 per 100,000 people, nearly double the national rate. Our state also faced lethal overdoses as double the national rate in 2016. Studies take time to come out so sometimes it is necessary to reference older data. The threat to our loved one’s lives remains the same. A total of 4,600 people died in 2016 from an overdose of drugs. These numbers exclude suicides even if drug addiction issues were the driving cause. The number of fatal overdoses in 2016 moved up to 4,642, a jump of 37%. Illicit and pharmaceutical opioids were responsible for 85% of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania. Drug rehab centers like DreamLife Recovery in Pittsburgh are at the forefront of this fight. 

Of the 414 overdose deaths in Allegheny County, the home county of Pittsburgh and fourteen colleges was up to 300 fatal overdoses as the result of either prescription painkillers or heroin. Tested samples of heroin from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia indicate that heroin sold within these cities is some of the purest and cheapest in the country. This poses a risk not only to people in the cities but to visitors who buy drugs here. The purer a drug is the fewer fillers in it. This means that you are (for example injecting) more heroin that you might realize if you do not know that that batch does not have as many fillers in it. This can be deadly. Fillers in drugs work the same way they do in food. The more filler per pound the less of the “desired” ingredient per pound of that batch. That means even if you are putting the same amount of product in your body the levels of heroin in the different batches differ and your body can only take a certain amount of heroin before you die. 

Demographic Breakdown, who is at More Risk for What

Compared to women, men are more likely to die from street drug opiates like heroin. Women more often die from prescription opiates like oxycodone. What’s more, 77% of the drug abuse victims were white, 12% were Black, 4% were Hispanic, and 7% did not identify as White, Black, or Hispanic. These numbers represent the fatal overdose deaths. These are only the reported deaths. This statistic is affected by the lack of centralized data available to researchers. In other words, the number dead from drugs is likely much higher. It is important to remember that both illegal and pharmaceutically prescribed drugs can be opioids.

A Plan, Not Only for Rehab Clinics in PA but Around the World

Heroin is only one form of a class of drugs called opioids. At DreamLife Recovery, our drug rehabilitation clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania we use medical tapering. This groundbreaking treatment by Dr. Vincent D. Pole involves tapering a victim of drug abuse off the drug instead of suddenly starting detoxing them, making them go “cold turkey” by not giving them access to any maintenance drugs. Sudden detoxification is definitely not pleasant and leads to higher rates of relapse into drug abuse.

Detoxification is an essential part of rehabilitation. Detoxification gets the drugs out of the patient’s body so that emotional healing can begin. At DreamLife Rehabilitation Clinic we use methadone to help taper victims’ drug addiction off of drugs like heroin. Not only does this ease detoxification symptoms but it reduces the victim of addiction from engaging in risky behavior to obtain heroin or other drugs. On methadone a patient can spend their time in constructive ways like participating in therapy, working on their physical health, or even preparing to seek employment. See our plan and process here.

This treatment was not available in the 1960s because there was no conclusive research as to how long the drug stayed in a person’s body. The initial research was transferred to Manhattan General Hospital in New York City, NY. Doctors at the Manhattan General Hospital found that treatment with methadone of 80 to 120 milligrams a day is optimal. In the 1970’s Dr. Jerome Jaffe made by then better-researched methadone a public health initiative. Dr. Jaffe was the head of the Special Action Office for Drug Abuse Prevention for the White House at the time. Our clinic in Pittsburgh has also extensively studied this plan and after careful consideration, we have adopted the method at our Pittsburgh rehab clinic.

Naltrexone is also in our arsenal of tools. It was brought into production in the 1980s. It is not to be confused with Narcan. Narcan is a widely used medication only used in emergency situations to reverse the symptoms of overdose. Our staff can advise you on whether you should keep Narcan with you to help your loved one if they overdose before they decide to start treatment. We can also advise you on how to procure it. Narcan is available over the counter in some parts of the United States. Naltrexone is now approved for the treatment of alcohol abuse as well. Naltrexone works by blocking the receptors in the brain that respond to opioids by releasing chemicals in the body that make the person feel good. Naltrexone blocks these feel-good effects of drugs. 

Medication-assisted detox at places like our Pennsylvania rehab clinic saves lives. Mixing even beneficial medications without supervision by medical staff can be deadly. At DreamLife Recovery, we have a professional staff that keeps you and your loved ones safe. Once more, detoxification and other recovery attempts when done without the supervision of trained, professional, medical staff can be dangerous. 

Other Reasons to Talk to Your Loved Ones

Neonatal opioid withdrawal occurs when a woman uses certain types of drugs during her pregnancy such as heroin and other opioids. The number of babies born with neonatal opioid withdrawal symptoms has skyrocketed from 1.5 hospital births per 1,000 hospital births to 8.0 per hospital births. In plainer words, a baby with neonatal opioid withdrawal is born every fifteen minutes. The infant is born drug-dependent (addicted) on the drug(s) the mother took during pregnancy.  This means the baby will have trouble feeding and learning. One symptom of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is difficulty learning even when the child is school-aged. The baby absorbs the drugs while in the womb as it takes in nutrients from its mother. 

Another problem that is related to heroin abuse is HIV and Hepatitis C infections resulting from shared injection devices like needles. 5.6% of HIV infections come from shared needles as opposed to contaminated needles causing 11.9% of the infections in women. In Pennsylvania, Hepatitis C is also a problem. The 2013-2016 average number of victims of Hepatitis C was 95,100. There is a newer treatment of Hepatitis C now that you might want to be aware of for yourself and your loved ones now that you are preparing to take the first step to recovery.

A Holistic Approach

Equine Therapy

The healing power of animals is well known in many medical fields and equine therapy is a very well-established method of care. For many people, emotions can be numbed through drug abuse. As the person starts to recover feeling comes back. Sometimes people have trouble adjusting to these new emotions. Interacting with horses while medical professionals observe and help the patient ask the necessary questions about themselves and their emotional state can be very therapeutic. Local horse clubs and barns are not licensed to provide equine therapy. A licensed mental help professional like the ones at DreamLife Recovery drug rehabilitation in Pittsburg are well educated and experienced in how to foster the appropriate relationships with our horses. For additional information on the benefits and uses of equine therapy visit us here.

Some benefits of equine therapy are:

•    Learning to identify and process feelings

•    Working on work ethic

•    Learning to trust

Adventure therapy

Adventure therapy, found here, is another proven helpful component in recovery. Adventure therapy is also known as wilderness therapy, activity-based counseling, or therapeutic excursions. Adventure therapy health professionals use activities that the patients perform like pitching a tent to relate to real-world experiences. Another example is helping a patient work out whether to gather firewood with the rest of the patients. This might not seem important but as mentioned earlier drugs numb many emotions that people have to use to deal with others whether in the real world or in a therapy setting. 

Some benefits of Adventure Therapy include: 

•    Increased ability to identify unhealthy habits and behaviors

•    Greater focus and attention

•    Decrease in denial

•    Increased sense of worthiness and personal value

•    More positive attitude

•    Greater awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses

A Path Out

Don’t become just one data point lost in a statistic of thousands. DreamLife Recovery is a rehab clinic in Pittsburgh, PA that is here to help you and your loved ones. Detoxification; family therapy; available partial hospitalization, residential treatment, and intensive outpatient treatment are all available to you at our clinic. 

At DreamLife Recovery, we have a top-quality residential treatment procedure. Patients will follow the steps of:

•    Admission to the clinic

•    An individualized treatment plan that takes into account your personal uniqueness

•    Detoxification

•    Counseling in both individual and group sessions

•    Aftercare to ensure that your recovery is permanent 

Family is encouraged to be there with you for support every step of the way. 

Partial hospitalization is often a component of treatment. Here we give you a stable routine and help you get better. The therapy components here are more robust. See more about our partial hospitalization here.

Also available is our outpatient rehab clinics. Also, in Pittsburgh, PA. This setting is designed for people who have only been using opiates like heroin for a short amount of time. People who have been the victim of addiction for years often need the help of our partial hospitalization program to be successful. In our outpatient clinic, you will receive either three, five, or seven sessions a week. Sessions can be either during the day or at night. You will receive:

•    Counseling

•    Self-evaluate your own substance abuse patterns

•    Develop healthy sobriety strategies to prevent relapse

•    Education on drugs and drug use

Outpatient rehabilitation is also good for patients who have responsibilities that they might not be able to leave to others like child-rearing. Clients will also receive one hour of individual counseling per week. See our outpatient information page here.

 Our aftercare treatment plan helps the victim of drug addiction keep control of their lives after treatment. For an extensive explanation of our valuable aftercare services please see this.

Information

If you or anyone you know is abusing drugs there is help available. At the DreamLife Recovery drug rehab clinic located in Pittsburgh, PA we are serious about helping you and your loved ones start and follow through the road to recovery.

Drug addiction is a serious disease and treatment should not be delayed. Please contact us at (844) 402-3592

References:

https://www.overdosefreepa.pitt.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/DEA-Analysis-of-Overdose-Deaths-in-Pennsylvania-2016.pd_-1.pdf

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/09/180920161028.htm

https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2018-10/PA%20Opioid%20Report%20Final%20FINAL.pdf

https://www.drugabuse.gov/opioid-summaries-by-state/pennsylvania-opioid-summary

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ending-addiction-good/201708/the-therapeutic-value-horses

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK310658/

https://www.addiction.com/a-z/adventure-therapy/

There are many factors to take into account when choosing the right residential treatment program for addiction. Some things like:

• How long does the treatment last?

• What is the aftercare program like?

• Does the facility have dual diagnosis capabilities?

• Is the facility wheelchair accessible?

• Is the program holistic?

• What sorts of therapy is available?

• What is the treatment center itself like?

Here at DreamLife Recovery, we offer a residential program to help people overcome addiction. To learn more about our program, you can contact us today.

What Should I Look for in a Residential Treatment Program for Drugs or Alcohol?

Residential treatment options for alcohol and drug addiction are varied. The first choice you have to make is how long do you want the recovery process take? Some clinics treat their patients for three to six weeks before discharging them. The other option is long-term residential treatment. In these programs, the patient is treated from six to twelve months. Time is a very important factor when it comes to addiction treatment.

Some people have to be in a residential treatment program for twelve months. Others can go through our intensive outpatient treatment program and use that in their healing process instead. 


Part of the difference between who is a candidate for short-term programs and who can benefit most from long-term residential care depends on factors like how long the patient has been drinking and how many times they have tried to stop drinking previously and relapsed.

What Aftercare Options are Available in Residential Treatment Facilities?

Another set of options that is important in choosing a residential treatment program is what sort of aftercare program you want. Some programs discharge their patients to independent organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, or Narcotics Anonymous. At other residential treatment programs like ours, in-depth aftercare programs are included to help our patients with their long-term recovery maintenance.

We will provide you with a therapist and your therapist will know your history including things that you didn’t think would be important to mention but could have a huge impact on your continued therapeutic treatment.

Group therapy as part of aftercare from an addiction clinic means that you could see the same familiar faces that supported you in group therapy while in the residential treatment program.

What Programs in Pennsylvania Offer Residential Treatment Programs for Addicts with Dual Diagnosis?

The third set of options to consider is whether the clinic is a dual diagnosis clinic or a clinic committed to only treating addiction. Dual diagnosis occurs when at least one mental illness is diagnosed as present in a victim of addiction. People with alcohol problems can often have a dual diagnosis. People with mental illness often develop addictions after they begin using alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with the stress of their illness(es).

It is possible for someone who has a dual diagnosis to have more than one mental illness. If the patient with a dual diagnosis goes through a standard recovery program without addressing the mental disorder, addiction treatment usually does not work. The stress and pain that drove the victim to start abusing alcohol are still present.

Are All Addiction Treatment Centers Holistic?

The fourth criterion for assessing if a certain residential treatment program is right for you is whether the program is holistic.

Holistic programs treat the whole body whereas bare-bones residential treatments only treat for addiction and ignore the other stressors in a person’s life that help perpetuate the addictive cycle. Addiction can occur on its own but often it is triggered by other life events.

One of these life events is a physical injury. Someone with a physical injury might drink to numb the pain and/or abuse prescription drugs like painkillers when their physical pain symptoms aren’t being properly managed by taking the medication as directed by their doctor.

Holistic treatment uses yoga, family therapy, acupuncture, etc. To treat the whole body instead of just the symptoms of what might be a larger problem. 

What Sort of Therapy Do Addicts Need?

Therapy options also need to be considered when choosing a residential treatment facility. Does the program offer a group as well as individual therapy? Group therapy can help a patient develop strong, healthy bonds with other people in the same situation as them. This is important because the road to addiction recovery can often seem very lonely outside of a group setting.

At DreamLife Recovery, we also educate our patients on how to socialize without drugs or alcohol. Sometimes it is hard to say no when you feel peer pressured and/or when everyone else is using. We help the patient practice saying no to drugs and alcohol in ways that the patients are comfortable with. You do not have to reveal that you were a victim of addiction if you do not want to. We give you discreet methods of saying no to even the pushiest people.

Another option that is important is family therapy. DreamLife Recovery offers an outstanding family therapy program.  Addiction can drive family members apart from each other. But, with the patient’s consent, his or her family can help with the recovery plan. Also, our therapists can help facilitate the healing words that may need to be said and help to guide the entire feeling to freedom from the pain of addiction.

What Resources are Available in Private Drug Rehabilitation Programs?

The final factor to consider when choosing a recovery facility for your loved one is the quality of the facility itself. Here at DreamLife Recovery, we make sure that our clients become both physically as well as mentally healthy. We emphasize good diet and exercise. We also offer:

• Acupuncture

• Private gym

• Tai Chi

• Recreation therapy

• Hydrotherapy

• Golf

• Massage therapy

• Biofeedback

• CBT/DBT

We at DreamLife Recovery are also wheelchair friendly, making our facility more easily accessible for each of our clients!.

Alcoholism is a dangerous and devastating addiction. Every year people die as a result of alcohol use whether it is from alcohol poisoning, drunk driving accidents, or other alcohol-related situations. Please let us help you before it’s too late. We accept many major insurances so that you do not have to bear the financial burden of recovery alone. 

Please contact us for more information by clicking here.

Or by calling us at: (844) 402-3592

References:

https://www.addictioncenter.com/treatment/inpatient-outpatient-rehab/

https://startyourrecovery.org/treatment/rehab-centers/outpatient-vs-inpatient

What is a Partial Hospitalization Program?

Partial Hospitalization Programs are often a good choice in detoxing and recovering from heroin addiction as well as other addictions. In partial hospitalization, unlike starting in residential treatment or going through intensive outpatient care, you spend a lot of your time detoxing from heroin and any other addictive substances in your body.

Detoxification is necessary. These drugs cannot just stay in your body. They are making you sick. Our residential treatment is almost always only after the partial hospitalization detox. Some information on our partial hospitalization treatment program can be found here.

The First Step of PHP: Detox

The first step of detoxification from heroin includes medical tapering. In medical tapering drugs such as methadone are used to gradually wean the patient off heroin. This takes some time. The average length of detoxification is nine to fourteen days.

The first stage of heroin detoxification occurs six to twelve hours after your last dose of heroin, the peak of detoxification occurs after one to three days, and then symptoms subside for about a week until detoxification is over. Proper detoxification can lessen the chances of relapse and helps the patient feel less of the withdrawal side effects.

Please do not try to detoxify your body from heroin on your own without proper medical supervision. It can be deadly. Attempting to taper off of heroin at home can lead to the temptation to mix different recovery drugs that might be available whether they are legal or illegal. This is very dangerous. Drug interactions can be very bad even in the most innocent situations like trying to boost your anti-depressants with ‘natural’ remedies like Saint John’s wort.

Many people addicted to drugs have underlying medical conditions like mental health conditions making the chance of bad reactions to mixed medications very likely. Especially if they are already taking any medication to control their symptoms. If your medication is not out of your system it could cause a reaction even if you are not currently taking your prescribed medication.

Here at DreamLife Recovery, we believe in healing the whole person. This includes mental wellness programs as part of our therapy. Drug abuse is often, but not always, linked to emotional trauma, and/or mental illness.

Mental illness is not a sign of weakness and there are many successful people who deal with mental illness like John Nash who has done great things. Robert Downy Junior, the famous actor, has struggled with addiction. Addiction nearly ruined his career until he recovered, committed to sobriety after rehab, and went through drug rehabilitation and treatment.

You can still go on to do great things. This doesn’t have to be the end.  Treatment like ours sets you up for success in the future. Let us help you. Find help here.

Medical Tapering: Understanding the Treatment

One of the most helpful medications used to combat detoxification symptoms is methadone. Methadone is not available at a physician’s office. Its use is highly regulated, and it can only be legally obtained and distributed by certain medical professionals with a special allowance to use it in their practice. However, it can be distributed in hospitals as well.

Here at DreamLife Recovery, we are certified to use both methadone and naltrexone in our clinic. Naltrexone is different than methadone. Methadone lessens painful symptom withdrawal from heroin and blocks the euphoric effects of heroin. Naltrexone competes with heroin for use of the parts of the brain that heroin stimulates. Because of that, it crowds out the pleasurable effects of heroin. Therefore, heroin cannot activate the brain to feel pleasure because it is crowded out by the Naltrexone.

To learn more about our medical tapering program click here.

A Deeper Look at Withdrawals from Heroin

People going through even supervised detoxification go through negative symptoms as the drugs leave their bodies. Here at DreamLife Recovery we help lessen your suffering. Some side effect of detoxification are:

•    Drug cravings

•    Trouble concentrating

•    Tremors

•    Sweats 

•    Abdominal cramps

•    Difficulty feeling pleasure

These symptoms don’t have to be as bad as they sound. Some people have likened it to the symptoms of a very bad flu. Here at DreamLife, as stated earlier, we help your process and recovery with methadone and other tapering medications to make the process of detoxification easier.

What to Expect After You Make the First Step Towards Recovery

Here are the steps once you reach the admissions stage at the start of your commitment to recovery.

•    Admissions

This seems like a scary process. Your weight, height, and gender are all taken into measured and recorded so that DreamLife can assess the proper amount of medication to give you to start you tapering off of drugs. We do all that we can at DreamLife Recovery to make you feel more at home and keep you calm and confident.

•    Medical Care

In our Partial Hospitalization Program, we monitor you around the clock for your safety and comfort. Our trained staff is very responsive, and we care about you and your needs

•    You are Introduced into a Group Setting

We place you in a community of individuals who are also on their path to recovery. Recovery doesn’t have to be a lonely road

We Offer a Plan for Healing

Often addiction will drive a wedge between the victim of addiction and their loved ones. This wedge can be started with undiagnosed mental illness. People want to understand you. We care.  We offer family counseling as well as individual and group counseling to bring families back together and help the family as a whole heal from the effects of addiction. Please let us be there for you and help your family be there for you too. You don’t have to do this alone.

You can get in contact with us by calling us at: (844) 402-3592 or contact us here.

Reference:

https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/combine/faqs.htm

https://www.mdedge.com/psychiatry/article/63091/which-patients-partial-hospitalization

Part of the problem with identifying alcoholism and when your loved one needs to go to an alcohol rehab clinic like ours in Pittsburgh, PA or your surrounding area is not easy. Alcohol is deeply embedded in not only national but our local culture. Everyone drinks a little too much sometimes, but when does it slide from enjoyment to addiction?

A Word on Alcoholism from our Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The warning signs of alcoholism are sometimes easily ignored by the victim of the addiction but can be more easily spotted by their loved ones over time. Here at  DreamLife Recovery, in Pittsburgh, PA we can help you tell the difference in whether your loved one just needs to reign in their enjoyment of alcohol or if they are the victim of addiction.  Some common signs of addiction are:

Drinking in potentially dangerous or risky situations. Are you drinking and then driving or drinking while driving?

• Abandoning responsibilities to go drink Were you supposed to go pick up the kids but drank instead?

• The uncontrollable urge to drink Are you able to rationalize or try to rationalize drinking frequently or when drinking interferes with other obligations like school or work?

Lack of control over your drinking Can you just not stop yourself from drinking?

Consistent negative outlook or thoughts when not drinking Is sober life harder to handle than being intoxicated to the point where you need to drink to feel good?

Statistics on Drinking and Drinking Deaths

In 2016 alcohol-related car crashes increased to 2017’s figure of 10,346. Alcohol-related deaths were over 280 in 2017. Car crashes might not seem like a big deal on their own. But car crashes put not only put the driver of the vehicle at risk but also the passenger(s) and pedestrian they might hit or the driver and passenger(s) of another car and/or motorcycle they might collide with. The alcohol-related car crash numbers are far higher than the fatality numbers. The fatality numbers include only deaths. They do not include people who were traumatized, injured, in a coma, and sometimes no longer able to walk because they were hit by a drunk driver’s car.

Each day alcohol-related car crashes occur at the rate of 28 crashes a day. Every day alcohol-related car crashes hurt or maim 18 people. Here at Dreamlife Recovery, an alcohol rehab clinic in Pittsburg, PA, we are horrified by these numbers. This is why our state-of-the-art clinic, nestled in beautiful Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, is right for you.

What Amount of Alcohol Consumption is Risky?

Women who drink more than three drinks a day, with the pattern continuing three days a week or the pattern of drinking seven drinks a week are deemed excessive drinkers. Men who drink four drinks a day or fourteen drinks in a week are also considered at risk or might also be addicted. A drink of wine is five ounces, which is a half-full bowl of wine in a wine glass. A drink of beer is twelve ounces, which is four ounces less than a pint of beer. A drink containing liquor big enough to be considered a shot is one point five ounces. These beverages are all each considered one alcohol drink.  For example, if you have one shot and two beers you have had three drinks.

While these numbers can be easy to brush off as a one-time thing, as maybe you went to a friend’s party that week or a pre-wedding party. The problem is in the pattern. Can you think of a time you did not have seven, fourteen, or more drinks in a week? Was it yesterday? Last month? Last year? The time to get your life back is now.

Mixing Alcohol with Other Substances: Understanding Risk Factors

Most medications do not mix well with alcohol. These include not only prescriptions, but herbal supplements, vitamins, and over the counter medications. A few examples of groups of drugs that react poorly to alcohol are:

•           Arthritis medications

•           Attention Deficit Disorder medications

•           Blood clotting medications

•           Sleep medications

•           Depression medications

•           Diabetes medication

•           Anti-infection medications

•           Pain medications including Tylenol and Advil

•           Anti-Seizure medications

•           Motion sickness

For a more complete list of the types of medications and specific medications that interact poorly with alcohol, see here. This is not a complete list. We just want you to be aware of some of the dangers and stay safe. As always, ask your doctor about the risks associated with alcohol for any substances that they may prescribe you.

Additional Risks that are Associated with Consuming Large Quantities of Alcohol

The first risk that comes to mind when discussing inappropriate drinking is fetal alcohol syndrome. Some fetal alcohol syndrome problems in babies include:

•           Small brain size

•           Heart defects

•           Intellectual disability

•           Problems with impulse control and behavior

•           Rapidly changing moods

Fetal alcohol syndrome cannot be corrected or reversed. Children do not grow out of it. If you are thinking about having a child but you suffer from alcohol addiction, or you think you might be pregnant and you are addicted to alcohol please see here for a far more extensive list of complications caused by fetal alcohol syndrome. There is no amount of alcohol that is known to be safe for expectant mothers. If you suspect that you are addicted to alcohol, or in any way find yourself feeling the need to drink during pregnancy please click here. You are not only risking your life. You are risking the life of your child.

Alcohol Poisoning: Recognize the Signs

Like drug overdose, it is possible to die from alcohol poisoning. Drinking to the point of poisoning yourself depends on different factors including gender and weight. Women’s bodies contain less water than men’s and the alcohol mixes with the water. No matter what your size or gender if you see any of these symptoms in anyone please call 911.

•           Vomiting

•           Slow breathing of fewer than 8 breaths per second

•           Irregular breathing of 10 seconds between breaths

•           Confusion

•           Blue-tinged skin or pale skin

•           Hypothermia (low body temperature)

•           Passing out/unconsciousness

•           Seizures

If someone has a seizure follow these steps

  1. Keep other people out of the way
  2. Clear any hard or sharp objects out of their way
  3. Place them on their side to keep their airway clear
  4. Time the seizure. If you have a smartphone you can find the stopwatch feature

Do not put anything in the seizure victim’s mouth. The idea that they can swallow their tongue is a myth. They might hurt their teeth or bite you if you insert anything into their mouth during a seizure.

This is only emergency information. To identify the different types of seizures and their severity follow this link.

If you suspect that someone is going through alcohol poisoning, follow these steps

•           Call 911 immediately. Do not assume that the person will sleep off the effects of the alcohol. Not getting the help of medical professionals can be dangerous or even deadly

•           Tell the medical personnel when the person was drinking, how much they drank, and what type of alcohol they drank.

•           Do not leave the person alone. If you suffer from alcohol poisoning you can choke on your own vomit.

•           Do not try to make the person throw up the alcohol. This is dangerous as they can choke on their own vomit

•           If the person is vomiting, try to help them sit up so they don’t choke on their vomit. If they cannot sit upturn their head to the side to help prevent choking on vomit.

If you are worried about trouble with your parents, the law, or others, remember that alcohol poisoning can easily be deadly. Even if you follow all of the above steps it is an emergency medical crisis and should be treated as one. Don’t let temporary problems stop you from saving someone’s life.

If you meet the criteria for over drinking and/or have gone through alcohol poisoning it is probably time to seek help. You can only keep drinking for so long before it destroys your life and your health. Contrary to what some people believe alcohol is a drug. Not being able to control your drinking does not make you weak. You are the victim of addiction. Addiction is a disease like any other and it doesn’t strike people for weakness. It strikes because it can.

Every day six people die of alcohol poisoning in the United States. This makes for an average of 2,200 deaths a year. Three of four alcohol overdose deaths occur in adults ages 35 to 64. The majority of alcohol poisoning deaths are men at 76% of the alcohol overdose population. 68% of alcohol poisonings are white non-Hispanic people, 15% are Hispanic, 9% are Black non-Hispanic, 7% are Native American/Alaska Native, and 2% Asian/Pacific Islander.

Finding a Solution for Alcohol Addiction Recovery in Pittsburgh, PA

At DreamLife Recovery (a rehabilitation clinic in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania), we offer state of the art care. We also invite your loved ones to be near you and support you every step of the way. You can choose between our residential programs or our outpatient treatment programs.

Our outpatient program is intended for victims of alcohol addiction who have only been suffering for a short period of time so far and who have never stopped or relapsed before. You can find more about our program here.

Our inpatient program at DreamLife Recovery is also available to people who either have suffered from alcohol addiction for a long period of time or have tried to quit and relapsed at least once. It is also available to those who need to go through partial hospitalization. You can find a full description of our residential treatment here.

•           Admissions

When you enter the program, we take into account your individual needs and personal uniqueness to set up a personalized plan for you

•           Detoxification

Ridding your body of the dangerous levels of alcohol can be made far less unpleasant and far safer with the help of our well-trained medical staff who are with you every step of the way. Trying to detox without medical help can be dangerous.

•           Counseling in both individual and group sessions

We provide you with a community so that recovery does not have to be a lonely battle. We are here to support you and foster your growth.

•           Family counseling

Your family has also suffered from your addiction. Our counseling programs help put both you and your loved ones back on the path of normalcy and stability.

•           Transition preparation

We start preparing you to transition back to your community early so that it isn’t a struggle later on. This helps make your recovery a success

•           Aftercare

When you leave our program, we offer aftercare services. Aftercare is paramount to your continued success and we prepare you to fully and healthily transition back into your community.

There are many benefits of our aftercare program, such as:

•           Group meetings

•           Family sessions

•           Organized social and recreational activities

Plus, more. We may also assist you in communicating with family, employers, and even the legal system.

There is Hope and DreamLife Recovery Help

If you or anyone you know is suffering from alcohol addiction, please contact us. Alcoholism is a serious condition like any other drug addiction or disease. Help is available. There is hope. At DreamLife Recovery rehabilitation clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania we care and we take your problems seriously. We take you seriously.

Please do not become just one more statistic of thousands. Whether it is death or maybe immobilization in a car crash, alcohol poisoning, or causing fetal alcohol syndrome we don’t want you to be a statistic. We want you to just be… you. We at DreamLife Recovery care and it is our goal to reach zero alcohol complications and addictions starting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and extending outward to the country. Our goal is zero alcohol-related deaths, injuries, and addictions nationwide starting in our clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Freedom from alcohol addiction can be found with DreamLife Recovery. Please contact us at, (844) 402-3592. Or contact us online here.

References:

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/alcohol-use-disorder-18/what-is-alcohol-abuse

https://www.mentalhelp.net/substance-abuse/alcohol/

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/harmful-interactions-mixing-alcohol-with-medicines

https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/overview-alcohol-consumption/alcohol-facts-and-statistics

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fetal-alcohol-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20352901

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alcohol-poisoning/symptoms-causes/syc-20354386

https://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/epilepsy-seizure-what-to-do-in-an-emergency

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/alcohol-poisoning-deaths/index.html

Recovery from heroin addiction is hard work and it can be very scary to admit that you have a problem and that you need help. What’s most important is the realization that you want help and you want to commit to sobriety. Here at DreamLife Recovery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we are committed to making your dream of recovery a reality.

A person can easily become addicted to heroin. There have been 300 opioids death in Allegheny County alone in 2015. The numbers are slow to come out because there is no central data structure for collecting death and addiction statistics. This takes into account the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs there is. Heroin is also cheaper and easier to get than other opioids. Heroin is a schedule one drug and has no valid medical uses. Addiction is a medical problem and not a sign of weakness. Addiction is a disease. The first priority of our treatment is helping you get well.

Lets’s take a look at the timeline of recovery with residential treatment for heroin addiction.

Admission to our Clinic

This can be very intimidating. You are in a new place ready to take on the biggest challenge of your life. We will be here every step of the way. After admissions, we will put you into our Detox Program. Things like taking your weight, height, and gender down might seem like just needless busy work but it will help us assess how much medication to give you during the medically assisted tapering off of heroin.

We will also need other information like your prior drug history and we need to know of any “co-occurring” conditions (medical conditions that happen occur together in a certain person like major depressive disorder and heroin addiction or OCD and heroin addiction). Please contact us to make sure you have a list of everything you need to bring to admission. 

What to Expect for Detox

You are admitted to our Detox Program where we prepare you for Medically Assisted Detox. Six to twelve hours after your last dose of heroin withdrawal symptoms will start to occur

Withdrawal symptoms include:

•    Muscle and joint pain

•    Nausea and vomiting

•    Cold Sweats

•    Insomnia

•    Diarrhea

•    Craving for heroin

These symptoms will peak between 48 and 72 hours. After that, they will start to subside. This process will take about sixteen days. After the detox program, you will move to our residential program.

Residential Treatment Program

Our Residential Treatment Program combines holistic treatment with the best of modern medicine. During residential treatment, we will help you through our individual, group, and family counseling programs. There is where and when we will address any issues that have promoted or triggered your drug use like trauma and mental illness.

Besides traditional therapy we offer:

Equine Therapy is one of the most useful holistic tools in heroin addiction recovery. The horses and patients interact with the support of our addiction recovery professionals. The responsibility and love the patients receive from the horses is a big factor in healing and recovery. Interactions with the horses can also prompt useful interactions with the mental health professionals as the patient and recovery professional work as a team to recover the emotions that the addiction victim had been losing to the drugs. At DreamLife Recovery, our horses are specially trained to be patient provide quality therapy and express love in ways that the victim of addiction can best accept at the time.

Adventure Therapy, also known as wilderness therapy, is also beneficial, especially to people who lived in urban communities. The change of space and peacefulness of the outdoors helps break the addiction victim of some of the trains of thought that were going through their minds. Our health professionals closely supervise our patients do group activities like, collect firewood and help patients rebuild things like teamwork skills to solve puzzles like pitching a tent. 

Yoga is popular around the world to align the mind-body bond. Focus on breathing and special asanas helps our patients deal with the stress of therapy and battling addictive patterns. Yoga helps a recovery patient develop inner peace. You can find out more 

After about 90 days you will be reintegrated into the world using our Aftercare Program.

Aftercare program

In our Aftercare Program, we work with you to make sure that recovery lasts. Our aftercare heroin recovery program takes about 130 days. Before your discharge into outpatient care, we set up a strong aftercare plan which besides our established programs takes into account your needs and concerns transitioning back into your community. During our aftercare we offer these programs to help you succeed:

•    Group meetings

•    Family sessions

•    Organized social or recreational activities

•    Individual sessions

•    Drug testing

•    Case management

Heroin is a destructive drug and has long-ranging consequences. We hope that you will let us help you recover. In the end, the most important thing in recovery is you. Addiction is a medical problem. It is often a way to cope with things, like mental illness, that can seem like much more than what one person can handle. Drugs are not the answer. You are. You are enough.

During your whole course of treatment for heroin addiction, we monitor your progress and make changes to your regime as needed. We do not put you in a single serving plan where you are just seen as another patient to be milled through. We care about you and we want to see you succeed. There is no quick fix to this. A run through a detox program and then immediate and complete discharge without any outpatient treatment will almost always lead to relapse. 

Addiction is one of the most formattable and diverse problems in the medical world. Here at Dreamlife Recovery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania we are specially educated, trained, and highly motivated to find your cure. Every person is unique and our program adapts to meet your mental, addiction, and family support needs. 

References:

https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2017/05/this_is_the_high_cost_of_opioi.html

https://americanaddictioncenters.org/withdrawal-timelines-treatments/heroin

Alcoholism can be difficult enough to deal with on its own. Things get more problematic when mental illnesses, such as depression enter the scene. Please see below for some of the common signs of depression and some of their external causes.

Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of Depression

Mental health issues such as anxiety, bipolar, and depression can often occur with alcoholism. In fact, many alcoholics experience clinical depression before or during their addiction. Some of those symptoms include:

•           Feelings of emptiness

•           Feelings of helplessness

•           Feelings of worthlessness

•           Irritability

•           Trouble concentrating

•           Sadness

Most people feel at least some of these feelings every once in a while, but if your symptoms have lasted two weeks or more you might be dealing with depression. Depression is nothing to just brush off, and it is not a sign of personal weakness. People who may discount your emotions simply may not understand. 

Yes, everyone feels sad every once in a while, but that does not invalidate your feelings or state of being. Do not let their denial of your problem(s) stop you from seeking help. Here at Dreamlife Recovery we believe you and believe in you. You can find help here.

8 Indicators that your Alcoholism Could be Caused by Something Bigger

We are ready and able to help you battle your alcoholism and the underlying causes of it. We are a dual diagnosis treatment center. This means that we are qualified to treat mental illnesses that occur with or help cause alcoholism and other addictions as well as alcohol addiction. Here are some of the common causes of depression.

1.) Chemical/Organic Setup of the Brain of the Mental Illness

Doctors all over the world are researching how and why mental illnesses occur and exactly what causes these disorders. One of the things that is agreed upon is that the brain structure and chemical makeup of someone with a mental illness is different than someone without. This chemical difference is notable in not only people who suffer from depression but also individuals suffering from bipolar disorder, borderline disorder, and other mental illnesses.

2.) High Stress

Stress often triggers the tendency to drink to excess. This is a more common coping mechanism when dealing with stress than people let on. There are many people who seem superhuman who cope with their stress and obligations by abusing substances. Drinking to excess too many times, over a long period of time, rewires the brain so that you have trouble coping with life events including day to day activities without alcohol. Some alcoholics are high functioning so the downward spiral isn’t always apparent to outsiders.

3.) Trauma

Childhood abuse like sexual and physical abuse can encourage someone to drink to excess to try to numb the pain. There are more types of abuse than sexual and physical abuse. Abuse experienced in infancy can still affect someone in their adult lives.

4.) Bullying

Being bullied during childhood and beyond is a common reason for someone to develop depression and alcoholism. It is a valid type of trauma.

5.) Community Violence

Community violence is violence that occurs in front of a person when the person is not the intended victim of the trauma. Many people who have seen someone die report that even witnessing the tragedy affects them for the rest of their lives.

 6.) Loss of a Loved One

The loss of a loved one is always hard, but for some people, the trauma might be especially pronounced. This could be anyone from a grandmother, to a good friend, to a mother or father figure who protected the child from abuse at the hands of another.

7.) A Close Family Member Suffers from Alcoholism and/or Depression

Alcoholism can tend to be genetic, but there can be environmental factors that encourage it as well. The experience of living in an abusive home where any family member who causes the abuse drinks can drive another person in the household to start drinking as a way to cope with the pain.

8.) Pregnancy/Postpartum Depression Hormones

Many women can develop postpartum depression after giving birth. Often being told that this should be the happiest time of their lives can lead these feelings to intensify. Often new mothers are bullied into keeping silent about their depression. People like to refuse to accept the existence of postpartum depression in others and themselves. Here at Dreamlife Recovery, we know that postpartum depression is very real and we know that it is very valid, and too often ignored. Denial of treatment of postpartum depression can lead a new mother to feel that her only outlet to cope with her depression is drinking.

Some indicators of postpartum depression include not loving or taking care of your baby. Most women feel depressed for about 3-5 days in the period following giving birth. This is often known as the “baby blues”. Any of these feelings can also occur in pregnant women as well. This is could to be caused by the huge chemical and hormonal changes going on in a woman’s body as she creates life and when the body is trying to recover from the stress of birth. If feelings of depression, including those listed above in the clinical depression section, last longer than two weeks please seek help.

We are here for you

Here at Dreamlife Recovery, in Pittsburg, PA, we are a dual diagnosis clinic. We are prepared to help you learn healthier ways to deal with your depression. Depression can be a crippling, or near-crippling disorder. One of the problems that depression can cause is that it makes it hard for the affected person to find the energy to reach out, or it can cause the belief that they are not worthy of treatment. Please do not let your loved one suffer from this alone. It is hard to watch someone cause themselves problems or even go into a self-destructive tailspin, but you can help with their depression by helping them help themselves. They might go back to drinking even if that problem is ‘fixed’. Depression is a long-ranging problem. We are here to help. Dual diagnosis matters.

In our Pittsburg, PA location we treat not only depression as related to alcoholism but as related to other substances too, like heroin. Alcohol often goes hand in hand with other addictions like addiction to painkillers. Please contact us for more information. We are here for you.

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References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/basics#symptoms

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-symptoms-causes#1

https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/symptoms-of-stress

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/what-is-depression#1

https://www.womenshealth.gov/mental-health/mental-health-conditions/postpartum-depression

The statistics on drug use in Pennsylvania alone are horrific. Possibly more terrifying is a large number of people with dual diagnosis here in Pennsylvania who need treatment, but fail to get it. A large part of this is that most addiction rehabilitation centers are not set up to treat dual-diagnosis patients. The numbers in the following paragraphs are approximate statistics taken from scientific surveys. The real numbers could be much higher. We at DreamLife Recovery are at the forefront of the fight against dual diagnosis suffering.

What are the dangers of untreated dual diagnosis?

Is your loved one a victim of co-occurring disorders? People who suffer from addiction and mental illness often go undiagnosed. In some worse case scenarios, these individuals end up homeless and/or in the state prison system. Some of this occurs when their addiction has escalated to the point that the people who care for them cannot continue to take care of them on their own. You do not have to bear the brunt of the cost of good treatment by yourself.  You can find help at with us at DreamLife Recovery.                    

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is a state that some people find themselves in when they are the victim of addiction and a mental disorder at the same time. This is often referred to as a co-occurring condition or disorder. Possible dual diagnosis mental disorders can include, but are not limited to:

•           Bipolar

•           PTSD

•           ADHD

•           Depression

•           Panic Disorders

Here at DreamLife Recovery in Pittsburgh, PA we are qualified to not only treat the victims of addiction, but we are also qualified to help people with the co-occurring condition that has led to addiction. Not all clinics are set up to care for patients that require dual diagnosis, and if the mental disorder is not dealt with in rehabilitation, it is much more likely that individuals will not completely recover.

How Many People in Pennsylvania have Depression?

All of these figures are for individuals who are 18+ years of age. Most doctors do not like to formally diagnose people under 18 years old with mental disorders. However, if you think that your child might have a mental disorder it is important for you to seek treatment for them. Depression is a major underlying cause of alcohol addiction.

•           679,000 people in Pennsylvania alone have had at least one serious depressive episode in their lifetime

•           389,000 people in Pennsylvania who have depression have also had serious thoughts of suicide.

•           90% of people who die of suicide have one or more mental disorders. This includes people with a dual diagnosis.

Are People with Depression at Risk for Addiction?

People with depression are at high risk for addiction. Because the stigma of drinking is less than that of taking mental health medications or going to therapy many undiagnosed, and some diagnosed people with depression choose to drink to cope with their symptoms. This is not only dangerous for the person with alcohol addiction but to others as well. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, there are 10,558 alcohol-related car crashes in a year. This number does not provide information on how many fatalities resulted from these crashes or how many people were permanently injured from the crashes who were either in the car while the intoxicated person was driving or in another car that the intoxicated driver hit.

Do People with Mental Illness Abuse Substances Other Substances than Alcohol?

People with dual-diagnosis are not limited to abusing only alcohol. They can be the victims of multiple addictions at once. It is also possible for someone with a dual diagnosis to have more than one mental disorder.

•           37% of all alcohol abusers have a mental illness

•           53% of drug abusers have more than one mental illness

•           29% of all individuals with a mental illness abuse alcohol, or other drugs

Sometimes a person’s mental disorders can be hard to spot from the outside. Some people have lifelong depression causing people to think that’s “just how they are”. Other people have disorders like bipolar that are not treated correctly because the doctors think that they have depression instead. Some bipolar medications, like lithium, can be deadly if you take them while drinking. Do not let your loved one fall into the trap of not talking to their mental health provider about their alcohol addiction out of shame. You can be honest with us and the doctor that you see after treatment. We are here for you.

What are the Consequences of Untreated Dual Diagnosis?

Every year

•           26% of people living in homeless shelters have a mental illness

•           60% of adults with mental illness don’t get help

•           24% of state prisoners were diagnosed with a mental disorder.

These figures apply all across the United States, including Pennsylvania.

Is It Possible for Someone Who is Already Diagnosed with a Mental Disorder to Develop an Addiction?

Some people who are already diagnosed with a mental disorder become addicted to alcohol and drugs. At times this is because the stress they feel from balancing their disorder and everyday life is too much. Other times life becomes unmanageable because their disorder(s) are not properly treated and feel like too much of an impairment to manage without drinking even if they know the dangers of mixing certain medications with alcohol. There are also times that a person is misdiagnosed. This happens a lot with bipolar disorder. Lots of times someone with bipolar disorder is accidentally misdiagnosed as having depression. Bipolar is not treated with the same medications as depression. This means that the patient might experience additional symptoms resulting from incorrect medication.

Where Can I Get Help for my Dual Diagnosis?

Here at DreamLife Recovery, we take your needs very seriously. There is no shame in seeking help for a mental disorder. Often times they are the result of biology, trauma, and other things that are outside of your control. Like addiction your mental illness is treatable. Things will only get better when you ask for the help you need.

To contact us at DreamLife Recovery please click here 

 Or call us at (844) 402-3592

Equine therapy is a new type of program that places horses and patients together under the guidance of trained mental health professionals. There are many benefits to equine therapy. 

What is Equine Therapy?

Equine therapy is not having someone put a saddle on a horse and let you ride it. Equine therapy is a reputable therapy in which our patients at DreamLife Recovery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania learn toluene, independence, assertiveness, self-regard, and more. A more complete list can be found here.

Horses are amazingly gentle and intuitive creatures. Here at DreamLife Recovery, all of our horses have been temperament tested and trained to be useful in therapy.

Is Equine Therapy Reputable?

Through the ages, horses have comforted people and brought them solace in hard times. Although horses have moved out of the center of many human’s lives the dynamic has not changed. Unlike dogs, horses are prey animals. This means that other animals eat them for food in the wild. So, they have evolved to by hyper aware and sensitive to their surroundings.

Patients with addiction often identify with this hyper-awareness and identify with the horses, helping create an even stronger bond. One exercise commonly done with horses is to place the horse in the center of a large circle. The health professionals introduce the patient into the outside of the circle. The patient’s goal is to get the horse to move outside of the large circle it is in without physically touching the horse in any way.

Many patients try to yell and whistle at the horse. That does not work. After the exercise, the health professional relates the exercise to the patient in a different way. If someone were to start yelling and whistling at you, would you come to them?

What are the Standards for Equine Therapy?

Most horses are not right for equine therapy. This means that even though you might have, and probably have dealt with horses in the past, equine therapy horses have to be the best in class in every class. Even the sound of their walking and their gait is evaluated. If a horse does not move correctly while walking and trotting, our patients will not get the maximum effect from their equine therapy. If the horse walks or trots incorrectly or has any sorts of health and temperament problems the horse is not considered for our equine therapy program. 

Our mental health professionals are also specially trained. There are many things about a horse that should be related to people before, during, or after, equine therapy. One example of something that it would be good to relate before is that the horse doesn’t bite while taking a treat. Horses use their lips a little while taking treats from a person’s hand. This can lead to the feeling that the horse is about to bite. In reality, it is using its lips to gather up the treat so that it doesn’t have to use its teeth. The feeling of a horse’s lips trying to take a treat is somewhat like thick, velvety, wiggly, rubber bands. You have to learn to trust the horse not to bite you even when you feel like your whole hand it almost in its mouth.

Besides reassurance and mental health help, our professionals keep you safe around the horses. Therapy horses are some of the best but you should still never walk behind a horse. Part of this is teaching less impulsivity and greater foresight. The other part of it is that horses cannot see behind them and you are far more likely to spook a horse from behind, where they cannot see you, than from the side where you are in full view.

Patients are in charge of not only learning how to ride a horse, but they are also responsible for grooming the horse and seeing to its needs like feeding and watering it. Feeding another living creature can be incredibly therapeutic for some and the love horses bring to us is life changing. Victims of addiction are not the only people who can benefit from equine therapy. People with mood disorders, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders, and self-harm issues can also benefit from interacting with horses. Many people who are the victim of addiction also suffer from a mental illness. The pain of mental illness will often drive a person to abuse substances to find relief from their suffering.

Who Can Benefit from Equine Therapy?

It is worth noting that for the therapy to be effective it needs to be done under the guidance of a licensed professional. Our professionals are trained to help you work with horses. Not only that, they are trained to help you relate your experiences with the horses to everyday situations and thought patterns that people affected by mental illness and/or addiction often suffer from.

This is why our horses are from a nearby ranch dedicated to maintaining the horses and ensuring that their training is kept up to date. This way we at DreamLife can focus on healing you and leave the specialized horse training to other professionals to ensure maximum benefit to our patients. 

Equine therapy is good for people not only with all sorts of mental disorders but with physical disorders as well. Horses are very inclusive animals. 

Horses are majestic animals. They have a lot to offer, even in a non-therapy situation. Equine therapy, however, helps you or your loved ones get the maximum benefits of interacting with these animals. Here at Dreamlife Recovery, we love our horses. We hope that you will love them too. They have plenty of love in their hearts for you too. Click here for more information about us, our treatment plan, and our equine therapy program

References:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ending-addiction-good/201708/the-therapeutic-value-horses

https://pethelpful.com/horses/Would-your-horse-make-a-good-therapy-horse

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