Author Archives: ohr_guest

doctors steal prescription drugs, luxury rehab

How Common Is It For Doctors to Steal Prescription Drugs?

How Common Is It For Doctors to Steal Prescription Drugs?

Society often sees doctors and other medical professionals as some of the best of us. They devote their lives to helping others and can work medical miracles when we need them most. However, they are sadly not perfect. Unfortunately, some doctors steal prescription drugs to cope with their job.

We go to the doctor when we are ill expecting them to diagnose the problem and prescribe the cure. However, who takes care of doctors when they are ill? Do they self-diagnose and self-prescribe? It turns out that is becoming more common, and some aren’t even using a prescription pad to help themselves.

Self-Medicating Medical Professionals

Doctors, nurses, and workers with easy access to addictive prescriptions are stealing prescription drugs at an alarming rate. In 2018, 47 million doses of legally prescribed drugs were stolen, and 67% of those thefts were by medical professionals. Their high-pressure lifestyle and easy access to highly-coveted pain medication make opioid addiction for these professionals more likely.

So, why do doctors steal prescription drugs? Unfortunately, these professionals often feel extreme shame and stress to hide their addiction given their profession’s reputation. After all, if they can’t help themselves, how can they treat me? After admitting there’s a problem, their reputation makes it difficult to seek out a rehabilitation center within their own community. A confidential, luxury rehab center might be the best option for a medical professional struggling with a secret addiction.

All people who hide their addictions fear what will become of their life after they admit they have a problem. What makes medical professionals more fearful of taking control of their addiction is that control also means changing their career or facing their addiction every day for the rest of their lives. Most facilities will not employ doctors who have lost their previous job due to stealing prescription drugs. So, when doctors steal prescription drugs, giving into their addiction can not only ruin their lives physically but professionally as well.

Doctors and nurses see people every day who are at their weakest, so they feel they cannot show any weakness. They are quite literally heroes to people and that pressure to remain a hero in people’s eyes can lead doctors who are struggling with addiction to not seek treatment. In the long run, this only creates a bigger problem and can lead to a worse result for the patients they treat.

Getting Help

It is important to recognize that inpatient rehabilitation is essential to recovery for those medical professionals struggling with prescription drug addiction. Success rates are much higher for individuals who remove themselves from their triggers for some amount of time. A calm, stress-free, and medically supervised rehabilitation facility is great for this – and Ocean Hills Recovery can help.

Ocean Hills Recovery, a luxury rehabilitation center, specializes in inpatient treatment that is customized to the length necessary for the patient. The personalized, confidential care that they provide ensures a recovery plan that is centered around the needs of the patient. The caring staff at Ocean Hills Recovery can help any person overcome their addiction, but their honest, “Collaborative Recovery” approach is particularly suited to medical professionals seeking distance and support as they get back to the confident, strong person they were before their addiction.

If you or someone you know is struggling with professional drug abuse or addiction, give Ocean Hills Recovery a call today before it’s too late.

addiction treatment, more than diagnosis, addiction treatment

Addiction Recovery: You Are More Than A Diagnosis

Addiction Recovery: You Are More Than A Diagnosis

In today’s society, we tend to know people by what they do. Teachers, lawyers, managers, laborers; what we do seems to define who we are to those around us, and in society in general.

If you suffer from a substance abuse disorder, you may have sadly and mistakenly been known merely as an addict. You may worry about what those around you would feel if they knew you were seeking addiction treatment because you’ve come to believe that your addiction has taken over your life and is now who you are. Know that’s not the case; your addiction does not define you. You are in control of what defines you, and the staff at Ocean Hills Recovery wants to help you be who you want to be in this life.

Redefining Your Place in This World With Addiction Treatment

Though it’s a misguided notion, if you experience drug or alcohol addiction, you may believe that your life no longer holds the same value as one who doesn’t suffer from the disease of addiction. You’re often embarrassed about your substance abuse, and you slowly allow the misconception about addiction defining you take over your life. Perhaps you worry the stigma of addiction is too strong, and that even addiction recovery can’t change you’ve become because of drug or alcohol abuse.

But that’s not the case. Addiction is a disease, and the sooner you look into fighting against the stigma of addiction with addiction treatment, the sooner you’ll realize that you matter in this world and that you are more than a disease or a diagnosis.

Continued after video:

How Guilt & Shame Hinder Addiction Recovery

It’s human nature; of course, you want to be dependable and reliable for friends and family members. You never want to let those you love down. Sadly, though, when you’re in the throes of substance abuse, that tends to be precisely what happens. The guilt and shame of disappointing those you love make it easy for you to accept an addiction diagnosis as a definition of who you are.  

Drug and alcohol dependency and addiction leave devastating effects on you and those you love. You may find it hard to reconcile those feelings and get past the embarrassment and shame you feel for ‘bringing those effects on.’ The problem is that societal stigma you put on yourself can prevent you from seeking addiction recovery.

That’s where a caring and compassionate addiction treatment program will help you fight that stigma and help you realize you make a difference to people. Ocean Hills Recovery wants to help you to be the you that you were meant to be—to live the life you lived before addiction took its toll on your self-esteem and self-value. The staff at Ocean Hills Recovery will walk with you and help you battle the negative feelings drugs and alcohol have created within you. They’ll help you remember that you are worthy, and you are important and that you are more than an addiction.

Addiction Treatment Can Break the Stigmas

Seeking an addiction recovery program is the first step to not only taking your life back but also helps break the stigma of addiction that others may face as well. The professional and experienced staff at Ocean Hills Recovery Center will do all they can to help you live the life you were meant to live. They’ll help you learn how to show the world that addiction doesn’t define anyone. They’ll teach you how to stop punishing yourself, and how to be a positive influence and role model for others around you.

Instead of feeling that addiction controls your world, they’ll help you learn how to manage the addiction, and the negative feelings addiction has built inside of you.  There is no shame in seeking addiction treatment, and when you do and successfully gain your life back, you’ll show the world how strong and courageous you truly are.

imposter syndrome in addiction recovery

Fighting Imposter Syndrome In Addiction Recovery

Fighting Imposter Syndrome In Addiction Recovery

If you’ve ever felt that you are not doing well in addiction recovery, or that you are faking your success, you may suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Fighting Imposter Syndrome in addiction recovery can make your journey difficult because you don’t believe you deserve to be addiction free. That’s not the truth, though, and you deserve not only to be an addiction survivor but to be proud of yourself as well.

Fighting Imposter Syndrome in Addiction Recovery: Your Own Worst Critic

Imposter Syndrome is a term that was first introduced by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes in the ’70s. This term was used to describe their observation that many high-achieving women often believed they were not necessarily deserving of their accolades and accomplishments. These same women felt like imposters who ‘lucked out,’ with success.

Today, Imposter Syndrome describes pervasive feelings of insecurity, self-doubt, incompetence, or inability to be successful. For those struggling with addiction, the syndrome makes them their own worst critics.

If you’re in active addiction, you may believe the lies you hear in society. A common lie is that your past and present actions make you less worthy of recovery and rebuilding a new, substance-free life. This fuel for Imposter Syndrome makes it even more difficult for you to believe that you can break the chains of addiction, but that’s not true. We will help you realize your potential, your actual self-worth, and teach you to ward off the sabotage of Imposter Syndrome in addiction recovery.

Imposter Syndrome in Addiction Recovery & Sabotage: A Vicious Cycle

If you’ve ever tried to recover from substance abuse and struggled, it may be because you also thought yourself to be a fraud. You may have told yourself that you “Couldn’t do it,” or that “You didn’t deserve to be free,” because you didn’t believe you deserved to be. That’s how Imposter Syndrome can sabotage your recovery. When you doubt yourself, you may slowly but surely be erasing any success you have at trying to abstain from the addictive substance. This stress, guilt, and depression can lead you to active addiction again, as you feel you’d end up there anyway eventually.

More, Imposter Syndrome can sabotage your recovery because you may feel like you’re living in a house of cards about to fall if anyone knew who you really were. Once you start to believe the lies you tell yourself, even the successes you may have in repairing relationships and trying to get your life back seem temporary to you because you’ve just been lucky. You believe that soon enough, your luck will run out, and you’ll still be someone struggling with addiction and letting everyone down.

It’s just a lie, though. You can be successful in recovery, and the professional and compassionate staff at Ocean Hills Recovery knows how to help you be so.

Continued after video:

Recovery Is Work, Not Luck, And You Can Do It!

Recovery from active addiction takes hard work and determination on your part. Ocean Hills Recovery wants to walk with you step by step as you claim your life back. Recovering from substance abuse does not just happen by luck, but it is possible. Ocean Hills Recovery will help you remember that you are worth the changes you will make. Most importantly—you deserve them because you’re putting in the effort to take your life back.

Imposter Syndrome in addiction recovery is real, but together with Ocean Hills Recovery, you’re an unstoppable team. They’ll help you put an end to Imposter Syndrome with long-lasting and deserved sobriety, so contact them today and start your new life.

Sexuality and SUD

Is There a Connection Between Sexuality and SUD?

Is There a Connection Between Sexuality and SUD?

We all know that substance use disorder does not discriminate. It can affect any race, gender, and age group. One statistic that many people may not be aware of is the fact that there is a link between sexuality and SUD with a higher occurrence of addiction in the LGBTQ+ community compared with the heterosexual population.

Statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration show that about 20 to 30 percent of those in the LGBTQ+ community have a substance use disorder compared to around eight percent in the rest of the population.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, people who identify themselves as part of the LGBTQ+ community are more than twice as likely as heterosexuals to use illegal drugs. They also have a greater chance of having a substance use disorder. When they do enter treatment, they often have severe cases of addiction.

Why is there a link between sexuality and SUD?

A higher stress level is often the reason why more people in the LGBTQ+ community abuse drugs and alcohol. They get stressed by how society treats them as they try to find their place. They also get stressed when deciding whether to come out and how they will be accepted once they do. While some can deal with this stress, others cannot and turn to drugs and alcohol. Other factors that can play a role in addiction for those in the LGBTQ+ community include:

  • Discrimination
  • Abuse
  • Harassment
  • Being the Victims of Violence
  • Depression or mental health issues

Depression and mental health issues are part of the co-occurring conditions that many who have an addiction also deal with whether they are part of the LGBTQ community or not. But, it is a more prevalent issue among those in the LGBTQ+ community. According to the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, 92% of LGBTQ+ patients who receive treatment for addiction also experienced co-occurring conditions compared to 78% of other patients.

Many times those in the LGBTQ+ community will turn to drugs and alcohol to help them cope with the issues they’re facing. Unfortunately for many that spirals into addiction.

Another contributing factor is the lack of support from family and the fact that many in the LGBTQ+ community often meet in bars which only fosters that addiction. For others, it’s the use of drugs to enhance the sexual experience that leads them to develop an addiction. This behavior seems to be more prevalent in the LGBTQ+ community than in the heterosexual community and is another underlying cause of substance use disorder.  

What can be done to treat SUD in the LGBTQ community?

Members of the LGBTQ+ community may be discouraged to get help for their addiction if they had a negative experience in coming out to health care providers. If not themselves, they may hear others’ negative experiences and are discouraged due to that. Not getting the support they need in those circumstances can lead them to not seek help for their addiction.

One of the major factors about the treatment of substance use disorder in the LGBTQ+ community is acceptance and understanding. That needs to be present in order for an individual to feel comfortable coming forward to get help. They need to feel included and part of a supportive community that can help them with their addiction.

When you’re looking for a recovery center, you want to find a facility that offers both traditional group therapy and therapy that is specific to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community. A facility that can help those in the LGBTQ community+ will go the extra mile to provide the care and understanding that is needed. They will also have staff that trains specifically to handle the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Ocean Hills Recovery – Inclusive  Addiction Treatment

At Ocean Hills Recovery, all those who need substance abuse treatment get the help they need. This includes detox services, group therapy, and individual therapy. Since all addictions are different, all treatment plans differ as well. Some patients will benefit from a 30-day program. Others will need a 60 or 90-day program to battle their addiction. Whatever the case, the staff at Ocean Hills Recovery will accommodate your needs so you can live a sober life.

Once the in-treatment program is complete, many patients will continue with outpatient therapy. This helps them as they get used to living in the real world without drugs and alcohol. For many, this is the hardest part and can result in relapse if patients don’t get the proper treatment and support they need to stay sober.

The staff at Ocean Hills Recovery is trained to treat the specific needs of the LGBTQ community. Contact Ocean Hills Recovery today to speak with a trained member of the staff and begin your road to sobriety.

Choosing Inpatient Rehab

Choosing Inpatient Rehab – Is It Right for You?

Choosing Inpatient Rehab – Is It Right for You?

When it comes to choosing an inpatient rehab facility, selecting the right recovery center is crucial to long-term success. There are many different factors, options, and variables to take into consideration. While there is an urgency to begin treatment as soon as possible, taking an appropriate amount of time to evaluate your rehab choices is very important.

We’ve put together the following checklist to help you, or your loved one, make the first step in the journey toward recovery a positive one.

#1 – Safety of Inpatient Rehab

Safety should be the number one priority in almost every endeavor. The same holds true when researching inpatient rehab centers. Be sure to evaluate the physical safety of the building and premises such as a secure entrance, visitor identification procedures, and visual safety installations such as exit signs and evacuation placards. In addition to building safety, ask the staff about their own training regimen, safety protocols, and best medical practices.

#2 – Available Treatments

Every individual’s path to recovery is different. Rehabilitation centers taking a one-size-fits-all approach limits a patient’s ability to properly address their addictions. Look for facilities providing a variety of treatment options such as 12-step programs, detoxification services, and dual-diagnosis specialties. 

#3 – Distance from Triggers

It is often recommended those recovering from addiction keep a safe distance between themselves and potential triggers. While some triggers cannot be avoided such as dates, others can including specific locations, people, and even smells. Select a facility where the number of triggers is kept at a minimum. In some cases, this may mean choosing a rehab center further away than those close to your home.

#4 – Distance from Family and Friends

Combating addiction is rarely done alone. The support of friends and family can be critical to a patient’s success. Unlike triggers, where we want to create space, choosing a location close to those supporting you can increase the probability of recovery success. The closer loved ones are, the more likely they will visit and lend their support. If support from your family or friends can’t come in direct physical form, ask the rehab facility if FaceTime or phone call support can be a part of your treatment plan.

#5 – Length of Stay

Look for facilities with the ability to provide the length of stay necessary for recovery. Some programs may only offer one-week inpatient services. However, stays lasting at least one month has shown higher levels of long-term success. There is no specific number of days that works out for everyone, making the flexibility of stay length an important consideration.

#6 – Cost

Without insurance, rehabilitation services can cost thousands of dollars. Of course, health and well-being are paramount for someone suffering from addiction. Make sure you balance the cost of care with the treatments provided. Ask if there are payment plan options and if so, inquire about interest rates, penalties, and fees.

#7 – Insurance

Many inpatient rehab centers now accept insurance. It is critical to learn how your insurance will work with your chosen facility. Learn whether coverage is provided as in-network or out-of-network as your out-of-pocket expenses will be quite different. Then, find out if your insurance will pay up front or if coverage is on a reimbursement basis. Reimbursement plans require much more work by the patient and their family in ensuring treatments and medications are covered property. Ask the rehab facility to verify insurance benefits for rehab and they can help to explain coverage.

#8 – Availability

As more individuals seek addiction treatment, rehab centers are filling up faster than ever. In some instances, waiting lists are needed. If you have found the perfect rehab center for your recovery needs, sometimes waiting may be appropriate. However, make sure you discuss your situation with your physician before waiting too long.

#9 – Visitation Rules

Whether or not visitors are allowed is a personal choice. However, not only should you consider if your family and friends can visit, but consider how the visitation of other guests may affect your focus on addiction recovery.

#10 – Tailored Treatments

Finding a facility offering a variety of treatment programs is a wonderful indication the center may be a fit for your recovery needs. To go one step further, learn if their treatment programs are custom tailored for each individual. The more specific a patient’s program is, the higher the chance of success.

#11 – Post Care Services

After detoxification and inpatient rehab, does the facility you are considering offer post-care services? Services could include support groups, regular checkups, and counseling services. Walking out of a rehabilitation center’s doors doesn’t mean recovery has ended. In fact, it is often the post care services that help patients maintain sobriety for years to come.

#12 – Certifications and Accreditation

At the most basic level, check to ensure the facility you are considering is state licensed and certificated.  Once confirmed, look for centers whose staff have been professionally trained and hold the proper licenses and degrees for the services they provide. Lastly, seek out inpatient rehab centers who have received national or international accreditation, such as one offered by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.

The First Step to Inpatient Rehab

Deciding to seek treatment for yourself or a loved one is an important first step. Choosing the right inpatient rehab facility is an important decision. If you need additional assistance in selecting a center that is right for you, speak with your physician or contact one of our professionals at Ocean Hills Recovery.

gabapentin addiction

Gabapentin Addiction

Gabapentin Addiction

With the growing opioid epidemic being the Marquis story of the day, it should be noted that there are still other narcotics out there. One of these problematic drugs is Gabapentin, and within the United States, there is a noticeable increase in rates of gabapentin addiction.

What is Gabapentin?

Gabapentin is a generic drug used as a nerve pain medication and an anticonvulsant. It can only be obtained with a prescription; in 2017 it was one of the most commonly prescribed medications, usually for patients with shingles and seizures. It does interact with alcohol. Some brands of Gabapentin include:

  • Gralise
  • Neuraptine
  • Horizant
  • Neurontin

Gabapentin Addiction

What’s so unusual about a gabapentin addiction is that it is specifically NOT an opioid. It is considered a safe alternative painkiller because of its non-addictive properties. Even more destabilizing is the fact that gabapentin has been approved by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as a non-opioid treatment for chronic pain.

As opioid addictions continue to rise, access to them is more restrictive; this causes many doctors to rely heavily on gabapentin prescriptions. However, doctors and pharmacists noticed a trend of early refills on gabapentin. Early refills are typically the first red flag to signal abuse and/or addiction to a prescribed medication. According to a report from NBC News, gabapentin addictions were observed in the states of Kentucky and Ohio. In Ohio, 300 milligrams are sold for the price of 75 cents a pill, so it is a cheap substance to buy.

In Kentucky, gabapentin was first classified as a controlled substance in 2016, when the drug accounted for one-third of the states overdoses. It is now known in Kentucky as a Schedule 5 drug, which means that every time it is purchased it is reported into a prescription-monitoring plan. The hope is that other states will participate in the monitoring plan in an effort to fight the problem.

Effects of Gabapentin Interactions

Since gabapentin itself is non-addictive, it is pretty safe when used alone. Only when interacting with other drugs does gabapentin pose a threat. Instead, it is known as a “potentiate” or a booster; it enhances the effects of any other substances it interacts with. When it is used in combination with alcohol, or with already dangerous drugs like heroin or fentanyl, gabapentin strengthens the high to a lethal degree. According to an article in Tech Times, Gabapentin is also sought out because one of its side effects is sedation.

Causes of Addiction

Ironically, addiction to gabapentin is due to being overly prescribed by doctors in hope of cutting back on prescribing opioids. That backfired, however, as users combined both types to achieve a more enhanced high and now addictions run rampant between both sets of drugs. This could prove injurious to people who actually respond well to gabapentin, as doctors are now more hesitant to prescribe it.

As doctors try to get a handle on this problem, there are plenty of places to begin your own efforts at recovery. If you or someone you know suffers from an addiction of any kind, Ocean Hills Recovery is here to guide you on the path to rehabilitation and healing. 

sober but addicted to sugar

Sober but Addicted to Sugar

Sober but Addicted to Sugar

Getting sober is difficult, and maintaining sobriety has its own challenges. What happens when people who have stopped drinking alcohol find themselves struggling with strong sugar cravings? If you’re sober but addicted to sugar, know that you aren’t alone in dealing with this issue.

Is Sugar Addictive?

There’s no doubt that people can come to crave sugar and compulsively consume sugary food and beverages. Whether there’s such a thing as a full-blown addiction to sugar is unclear; some researchers support the idea, while others believe that the claim of addiction is too strong. Regardless, people can display signs of addiction involving sugar, including cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Although sugar consumption doesn’t generate the mental effects of alcohol or drug use, it can affect similar reward pathways in the brain. What happens when people eat or drink sugary products more frequently or in greater amounts?

Excessive sugar consumption is strongly associated with poor health outcomes, including an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems. If you’ve already struggled to improve your health by becoming sober, you don’t want to undermine your efforts by hurting your body in other ways.

Sugar Consumption During Sobriety

In a 2018 article from Business Insider, the author mentions going dry for the month of January and experiencing stronger cravings for sugary food. Even though the author doesn’t report having a prior addiction to alcohol, she describes how curtailing alcohol use still affected her life, including her need to eat sugary food. The article discusses some evidence from recent research on how people who are dependent on alcohol also tend to prefer food high in sugar; furthermore, alcohol cravings and sugar cravings appear to call on similar systems in the brain.

We don’t yet have a fully developed understanding of the relationship between different kinds of cravings or addictions. Even if you fight against one kind of compulsive or addictive behavior, your brain may remain vulnerable to other addictions. During sobriety, compulsive sugar use may begin to serve as a substitute for alcohol use. The sugar consumption may respond to certain physiological needs and give you some of the feelings and sensations that you formerly received from alcohol.

We should also consider the psychological issues that could potentially drive people towards greater sugar consumption. When maintaining sobriety, people may be struggling with stress and could turn to sugary foods for comfort and relief. Sugar consumption is also linked to anxiety and depression, mental health issues that are often comorbid with problematic drinking or alcohol use disorder. People with alcohol addiction may have also neglected their health, including their eating habits, while they were still drinking. If you’re sober but addicted to sugar, it’s important to evaluate your underlying psychological needs and your habits to determine how to curb excessive sugar consumption.

What Can You Do About Your Sugar Cravings?

If you’re eating sugary foods occasionally, you don’t necessarily have a problem. But if you feel that your sugar cravings are difficult to control and that you’re consuming too much sugar, it’s best to speak to compassionate professionals.

Whether you’re sober or still using alcohol, addictive sugar consumption can become a serious issue, hurting your health and possibly impeding your recovery from alcohol addiction. Reputable professionals who work in alcohol rehabilitation programs can help you figure out the right approach for dealing with addictions and cravings, including your intensified need for sugar. You may benefit from certain medical treatments, psychological counseling, and the creation of new strategies and habits for healthier living.

You’ll be treated as a complex individual with unique needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for dedicated, intelligent, and compassionate assistance.

Community in Drug and Alcohol Rehab

The Benefits of Community in Drug and Alcohol Rehab

The Benefits of Community in Drug and Alcohol Rehab and Why Self-Help Addiction Treatment Doesn’t Work

When a person admits that they have an addiction problem, the most helpful form of treatment is entering a drug and alcohol rehab program. Each one is slightly different, but the best results come from a place that involves community treatment. Since substance abuse can be challenging to overcome, it is essential to have a solid support system in place during treatment and after a person leaves rehab.

The Downside of “Self-Help Recovery”

When a person relies on themselves for drug addiction recovery, it can be a long and lonely road. When an individual enters a drug and alcohol rehab but returns home without community backing, they will most likely find themselves relapsing. Many times, the stresses of life and other situations that caused the abuse will remain. Without a sense of community, a person is likely to fall victim to particular triggers and return to drug or alcohol use. Also, it is quite easy to go back to the habit of spending time with old friends who share the same addiction problems.

According to an article in “U.S. News and World Report”, self-help methods are only effective when a person approaches treatment in a serious and disciplined manner. Also, the individual must be able to dedicate the appropriate time and energy toward success. Since a person does not usually possess these items, the compulsion that is associated with alcohol use disorder and drug addiction makes it impossible to recover with self-help treatment alone.

An addicted mind is impulsive and irrational. This makes it difficult to succeed with a self-help recovery plan as well. Treatment for addiction must be approached in a manner that gets to the root of the problem. Often, an individual is left depressed among feelings of trauma or hopelessness. Without help from a community, it is common for an individual to return to drugs and alcohol so that emotions are masked.

Reasons Why Community in Drug and Alcohol Rehab Works Better Than Self-Help

When an individual enters a community-based drug rehab program or has support from friends, family, and others who are going through the same issues, there is a deep level of commitment involved. This often leads to a life of learning and positive changes. European Addiction Research published a report, which showed that 64 percent of patients who suffered from alcohol or drug dependency remained sober for six months following a treatment program that involved community support and aftercare.

Community-based treatment may involve working with trained therapists who teach how to make good choices and how to deal with the underlying causes of an individual’s addiction. However, the most important players in community treatment are the loved ones of those who suffer with addiction. Having a place to turn that is filled with compassion and support is key. It is the only way to forge through the temptations of returning to drugs or alcohol. Besides an immediate circle of family and friends, many recovering addicts join support groups. Connecting with a sober community proves that success is possible. It offers a nurturing environment that promotes long-term sobriety. People are able to work together and support one another while working toward a common goal. Living in a sober house may be a smart choice after leaving a treatment facility as well. It provides a more “normal” atmosphere so that a person learns how to assimilate into real life while remaining in a community that encourages sober behavior.

The U.S. Surgeon General has explained that addiction is a chronic disorder. Since it is a comprehensive experience, individuals can only enjoy long-term recovery with evidence-based treatments and community support. Mental Health America, a nonprofit that is dedicated to addressing the needs of people who live with mental illness and substance abuse issues, mentions that community support is the best hope for people who are battling addiction. Besides offering a safe haven, the community has the potential to help remove the negative public stigma that is attached to addiction as well.

If you are considering a life of sobriety, or you have already tried addiction treatment without success, consider working with Ocean Hills Recovery. We treat each patient on an individual basis and provide a wall of support that enables a person to achieve sobriety well into the future. We take a community approach to addiction treatment so that a person has the highest likelihood of experiencing positive results. For more information, call us today.

History of the opioid epidemic, opioid rehab california

History of the Opioid Epidemic

This entry was posted in Drug Addiction and tagged on by .

History of the Opioid Epidemic

As one of the fastest growing causes of death in the United States, it’s safe to say that opioid addiction has escalated to an epidemic in our country. From prescription abuse to illicit substance usage, the prevalence of opioids is one of the most important crises the United States faces – and it is only getting worse. But to fully understand how opioid addiction came to be such a problem, we’ll need to take a look at the history of the opioid epidemic.

If you or someone you know hasn’t been affected by the opioid epidemic, consider yourselves lucky. According to the American Psychiatry Association, nearly one-third of Americans know someone who is or has been addicted to opioids at some point. If left unaddressed, this familiarity could grow to similar levels of alcohol and smoking – but with much more dire consequences.

In the fight against addiction, information and awareness can go a long way. In this article, we’ll outline the history of the opioid epidemic to give you an idea of just how dangerous it is, and how to seek help if you’re suffering from addiction.

How the Epidemic Began

Just like other epidemics throughout history, the opioid epidemic started small but grew exponentially over time. Although opioids have existed since the 1800s (and opium was used hundreds or even thousands of years ago), the major problems truly began in 1991 when doctors began more frequently prescribing opioids to their patients. While previously they were primarily used for cancer-related pain, drug manufacturers began recommending their usage as general painkillers despite a lack of information surrounding their safety. They even claimed that patients wouldn’t become addicted to opioids – but they were wrong. This began a trend of doctors overprescribing the drugs that led to 86% of opioid prescriptions being used for non-cancer related pain in 1999. The trend continued, leading to 3 times as many overdose deaths in the US from 1999-2015 as a result of widespread misuse.

The Government’s First Major Crackdown

As the death toll continued to climb and addiction rates rose, more information about the dangers of opioid abuse became available. This led the CDC, FDA, and other government institutions to step in around 2010 to introduce more restrictions for prescribing opioids as a means to slow the growth of the disease. SAMHSA – the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration – also began taking steps to increase the availability of treatment services, improve awareness of the dangers of opioid abuse, and fund research into non-addictive pain treatments. However, the dwindling availability of prescribed opioids led people to begin searching for alternatives, leading to the rise of heroin as one of the most dangerous street drugs available and an overwhelming increase in opioid abuse.

The Rise of Heroin and Other Street Drugs

Once the patients ran out of their painkiller prescription, many found themselves addicted to the painkillers they were on. This caused them to seek out other opioids to maintain their euphoria and fight off withdrawal. Unlike many pharmaceuticals, heroin can be made relatively quickly and inexpensively from poppy seeds, making it much more readily available on the streets than heavily-regulated prescription opioids. For those who were desperate to feed their addiction, it was the perfect transition. Unfortunately, street opioids are even more dangerous than prescriptions.

Heroin is an entirely unregulated illicit substance, meaning that the dosing is inconsistent because most of the time, the buyer doesn’t even know what is exactly in it. This makes it exceptionally dangerous to use due to the risk of it being “cut” with another drug that could be far too potent or interact with the heroin to cause potentially fatal side effects. Heroin is also often injected, which introduces bloodborne diseases like Hepatitis C and HIV to those who share needles used for injection.

The dangers of heroin grew even higher in 2015 when Fentanyl – a much stronger opioid – began flooding the streets of the United States. At 50-100x the strength of morphine, even 10% of your usual dose could be enough to lead to an overdose. With Fentanyl being almost indiscernible from heroin and a lack of awareness about the dangers of Fentanyl, people began to take it accidentally. This caused overdoses to skyrocket in the following years which led to the largest spike in drug-related deaths in the history of the opioid epidemic in 2016 and a public health emergency being declared in 2017.

Continued after infographic:

History of the opioid epidemic, opioid rehab california

The Effects of Opioid Addiction on The Population

Drug use is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the US, with approximately 25% of preventable death being attributable to alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drug usage. However, unlike alcohol and tobacco, it is incredibly easy to die from opioid overdose in the short term. Approximately 130 people die from opioid-related overdoses every day in the US, and even more die from complications caused by their addiction. With just a single accidental overdose being potentially life-threatening, there are few more dangerous addictions than opioids – and even more reason for you to get the assistance you need.

Liberate Yourself from the Epidemic with Opioid Addiction Rehab

Addiction can be a physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally draining illness. It is easy to feel hopeless or out of control when suffering from it, which makes seeking help an even harder decision to make. Fortunately, if you’re reading this you still have a chance to avoid becoming another overdose statistic.

Ocean Hills Recovery is a comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center specializing in treating substance addiction. Our inpatient rehab programs can provide a safe environment for you to kick your addiction and begin the path to recovery. Through detox, until you graduate from the program, you’ll be under the watchful eye of expert staff at Ocean Hills Recovery’s premier Californian rehab facility where you can relax while you focus on your treatment and recovery. During your stay, you’ll be equipped with coping skills to help avoid relapse and provided with resources to continue your treatment once you leave.

You can’t change the past, but you can control the future of the opioid epidemic by not being a part of it. Don’t fall prey to addiction – give us a call today.

vaping and addiction

Vaping and Addiction

Vaping and Addiction

E-cigarettes and vaping have seen an exponential rise in recent years, as people look to replace their addiction to smoking cigarettes with something that claims to be less harmful. On the surface, vaping can seem like a much less dangerous activity to engage in, as nicotine is delivered to the individual through water vapor instead of through smoke and combustion. But although this may be less harmful than traditional cigarettes, vaping and addiction are realities that should not be overlooked.

Before diving head first into this habit, it’s essential to understand not only how vaping can affect your health, but how it can open to doors to potential other addictions.

Is Vaping Harmless?

The notion that vaping is safe and harmless is a misconception, and this belief can be especially harmful to our youth. Unfortunately, vaping nicotine is not a safe or healthy habit to engage in, as it can have several adverse health consequences.

Many e-cigarettes contain more than just nicotine in vapor forms. Not only is does vaping include nicotine, but it can also contain things such as ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs while vaping.

E-cigs can also hold substances such as heavy metals, including nickel, tin, and lead, things which can have serious adverse health consequences. E-cigarettes have also been known to contain items such as diacetyl, a flavor compound that has been linked to severe lung disease.

Additionally, vaping can include consuming volatile organic compounds, which can contribute to a reduction in overall lung health.

Deceptive Marketing to Young People

Big Tobacco has seen the writing on the wall, which is why big-name vaping brands such as Juul, Vuse, and others are owned by big tobacco companies. As more people kick smoking to the curb, vaping is seen as the next big growth market in the nicotine industry, as vaping was expected to increase by 24% in 2018.

A recent study of 12th graders found that teens who vaped were more than four times as likely to move away from the perception that cigarettes posed a severe health risk. This illustrates how vaping can damage the perception of tobacco being an adverse health concern.

Vaping is marketed to young (and old) people as being a less dangerous, less addictive, more accessible version of smoking, which can make it seem like a harmless activity as a result. Because vaping is a recent phenomenon, there is simply not enough research to conclude that this is a safe and harmless activity. This fact should not be overlooked, as a person shouldn’t merely rely on the best-case-scenario to guide them with their health. As we’ve seen with smoking and tobacco, research may end up showing that vaping can lead to cancer, respiratory issues, and other health conditions which can make the act of vaping a very harmful act.

Continued after infographic:

vaping and addiction, is vaping safe?

Vaping Can Lead to Other Forms of Addiction

Vaping is often seen as a harmless activity. The wide availability of fruit-inspired varieties that appeal to a younger market disguise the fact that the key ingredient is still nicotine. Vaping has seen an increase within the younger section of the population, as usage among high schoolers has risen from less than 5% in 2011 to over 20% as of 2018.

Nicotine is unsafe at any age, but particularly dangerous before the age of 25 as the brain is fully developing until then. The brain will begin to crave the “feel good” reward that nicotine delivers as it is inhaled.

Often, this leads them to try other substances such as alcohol or other drugs that can deliver the same high. Vaping at a young age has been shown to increase the likelihood of an individual using marijuana in the future as well.  More than 1 in 4 teens who reported vaping eventually moved on to smoking pot. The seemingly harmless act of vaping can quickly turn to a debilitating addiction.

Although vaping is often marketed as a safer alternative to smoking, it can actually lead teens to eventually smoke cigarettes as well. A  2018 National Academy of Medicine article reported there was evidence that e-cigarette use can increase the frequency and amount of cigarette smoking in the future.

Continued after video:

Seek Assistance Before Your Condition Gets Worse

Casual use of e-cigs can quickly develop into a full-blown dependent behavior, something which can create physical, mental, and financial stress. Vaping and addiction are things that are serious and need to be dealt with. As previously stated, it can lead to many other adverse health outcomes, especially if one decides to engage in other forms of substance use. Before things get out of hand, it’s always wise to seek help from trusted, professional sources.

Vaping may seem relatively insignificant when compared with other forms of addiction, but addictive behavior is still something that can create adverse life outcomes and should be addressed as soon as possible. Peer support and one-on-one therapy can be extremely beneficial with individuals struggling with an addiction, and this is no different when it comes to vaping and nicotine.

If you or someone you love is seeking addiction treatment, contact the caring professionals of Ocean Hills Recovery. We have worked directly with clients to assist them on their path to recovery, and we provide realistic and sustainable solutions that will last long beyond the treatment center.

Contact Ocean Hills Recovery today to begin your recovery and achieve the life you deserve.