Category Archives: Rehab Info

How to Talk to Your College Student About Drugs and Alcohol

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The start of college is an exciting time for a young adult. However, many college students have extra time on their hands, as well as exposure to drugs and alcohol. Although most students are aware of the negative physical effects of drugs and alcohol, many don’t know of the legal, social and academic consequences that can occur.

As a parent, you must realize that college students, particularly first-year students, are at an increased risk for alcohol-related problems. This increased risk comes from the availability of alcohol, the absence of parents and the desire to fit in.

With colleges and universities opening their doors in just a few short weeks, now is a great time to talk with your child about substance abuse. These conversations can be uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them. Young people need to know the dangers associated with recreational drug use.

Start the Conversation 

Here are a few tips for starting the conversation with your child.

  • Ask the right questions. Get a feel for how your child will handle drugs and alcohol in the college environment. How will they decide whether or not to drink? What happens if they find a student passed out by the bathroom? What if they find themselves at a party with only alcohol to drink?

  • Set realistic expectations. Let your child know what you expect from them in terms of grades and behavior. It’s recommended that you stay in close contact for the first six weeks, as this is when college students are most vulnerable.

  • Know the consequences. It’s important for students to know the legal consequences of getting caught with a fake ID, drinking underage or driving intoxicated. College campuses also have their own set of rules for underage drinking.

  • Define high-risk drinking. There is a difference between having one drink (after a meal, at the age of 21) compared to drinking to intoxication. Taking shots, chugging beer, playing drinking games and more are all done to get drunk.

  • Examine your values. What types of messages does your family send about drinking and drug use? Avoid telling stories that glorify drug or alcohol use, as this could set the wrong impression.

  • Encourage intervention. It’s hard for young people to go against the crowd, but someone has to. Encourage your child to intervene when someone needs help, such as when they are passed out or unconscious.

  • Know the scene. For young people, it can feel like “everyone” is using drugs or alcohol. As adults, we know this is exaggerated. Help your child understand that it’s okay to resist the peer pressure.

  • Keep in touch. Most importantly, keep in touch with your college student. Set up times to connect, and be on alert for changes in their personality or behavior. If you recognize anything out of the ordinary, encourage your child to use the resources on campus.

This is a pivotal time in your child’s life – and yours! Make the transition smoother by having this conversation early on, keeping the lines of communication open and staying alert for potential problems.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab

When you’re ready to start a treatment program, you will have to decide between an inpatient and outpatient program. Each one has advantages and disadvantages to consider. For most people, there is no right or wrong decision. It’s about choosing the route of treatment that will accommodate your personal needs and help you heal from your addiction.

Choosing between an inpatient vs outpatient treatment program is a major decision that will affect your treatment experience. Because of this, we would like to take some time to address the features and benefits of both types of programs. The River Source is proud to offer inpatient and outpatient rehab, so you can count on us to provide you with honest feedback on the two approaches.

Let’s begin!

Why Get Professional Treatment

We know more than ever before about addiction. We still have a long way to go, but the modern view of addiction is that it’s a complex brain disease that is characterized by the compulsive use of drugs or alcohol, despite negative consequences. While researchers don’t know for certain what causes addiction, it’s believed to be the “perfect storm” of genetic, environmental and behavioral factors.

In many cases, drug use starts as a voluntary behavior, usually as a form of recreation or relaxation. Not everyone gets addicted, but some do. As an addict falls deeper into the disease, changes in the brain begin to take place. Over time, addicts find it difficult to get pleasure from everyday things in life. The only thing that brings them “happiness” is getting high.

It is very difficult to stop using drugs and alcohol on your own. If you are addicted, professional help is probably needed. Not only will an addiction treatment program help you detox and withdrawal in a safe, medically supervised environment, but also you will learn new skills and coping mechanisms to navigate the world without needing your constant: drugs or alcohol.  

Inpatient vs Outpatient Rehab

When making the decision to seek treatment, you have two main choices: an inpatient rehabilitation program or an outpatient rehabilitation program. Your needs and the severity of your addiction will largely drive the selection process.

  • An inpatient program requires you to live at the treatment facility. The benefit to this is that you receive around-the-clock supervision by the support staff. Whether it’s a side effect from a medication or a difficult day in recovery, the help you need is just around the corner. Additionally, a residential treatment program gets you away from everyday distractions and temptation that you might have at home.

  • An outpatient program does not require you to live at the facility. Most programs entail some type of daily treatment, but you return home to your family. The main benefit to outpatient treatment is that you can tend to your responsibilities such as work and family. This makes getting help more attractive and feasible. Outpatient care is also less expensive.

Generally speaking, inpatient programs are best for treating moderate to severe addictions. Addicts need to be in a sober, supportive, distraction-free environment so they can focus on getting better. Outpatient programs work well for recovering addicts, after an inpatient program has been completed. They provide structure and motivation for staying clean, but often aren’t enough to handle serious addictions.

Features of Inpatient Treatment

The River Source strongly recommends inpatient treatment to those who are struggling with drug or alcohol abuse. We realize that outpatient care may look attractive, but severe addicts need to be able to focus on their sobriety with no distractions. By choosing a residential program like ours, you can expect the following benefits.

  • Supervised detox. The recovery process starts with detoxification. The River Source staff effectively manages side effects, keeping patients as comfortable as possible. It’s reassuring to know that you can detox safely, with access to doctors, nurses and support staff.

  • Administration of medication. If you need any type of medication, an inpatient treatment program is qualified to administer it. The River Source has a wide range of conventional and holistic medicines that we use during detox, and we can successfully treat a dual diagnosis.

  • Group and individual therapy. A large part of the treatment process involves therapy. You will start treatment with a lot of therapy, and it will taper off based on your needs. Group therapy is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with others, avoid isolation and practice empathy. Individual therapy is a time for you to learn about yourself, identify the reasons for the abuse and work toward positive changes in your life.

  • Amenities/Therapies. Treatment facilities vary. Some offer high-end services such as horseback riding, fine dining and private accommodations. Others are more practical in their offerings. The River Source has an active and engaging program schedule that includes yoga, acupuncture, massage therapy, infrared sauna therapy and vitamin therapy.

  • Desirable location. Most inpatient treatment programs are located in desirable settings such as beaches, mountains and deserts. The reason for this is to offer a calm, peaceful environment to seek treatment in. It’s mentally and physically rewarding to look out at a vast desert and watch the spectacular sunsets as you reconnect with your spiritual side.

  • Supportive environment. It’s very difficult to stop the cycle of abuse when you return home to the same environment where you’ve used drugs and alcohol. Things are compounded if you have family that drink alcohol or friends that use drugs. An inpatient program removes you from this environment and puts you in a safe, sober community with people who support your recovery.

  • Distraction free. Another great benefit of inpatient rehab is that it is free from distraction and temptation. You can focus entirely on your recovery without having to worry about what’s going on at home or work. This focus provides the foundation for a successful recovery.

Features of Outpatient Treatment

Outpatient rehab appeals to many people because of its flexibility. If you need support, you can get it while still attending school, going to work or raising your family. Outpatient treatment is a wonderful extension of treatment. If you can’t afford a longer stay in a residential program, or you find that you need a bit more support in early recovery, outpatient care offers structure and stability. It can also be effective for some addicts.

The features of an outpatient treatment program are:

  • Live at home. Not having to leave your home and family is a major perk to outpatient treatment. You can receive counseling in a variety of forms, and be held accountable for your actions without having to leave your spouse or children behind.

  • Continue working. Even though addicts have rights in the workplace, it’s understandable that not everyone can leave their jobs. If you are someone who needs to keep working, you can do so with an outpatient treatment program. If you are in school, you can continue your education as well.

  • Support network. If you have a good support network at home, you might not want to leave it during treatment. Not everyone has this type of system at home, but you may. If you feel that your family can help you stay on track with your goals, outpatient treatment may make sense.

  • Therapy and education. Even though you are not living in a facility 24/7, outpatient care still provides you with essential therapy and education. You will learn many effective skills to help you lead a sober life and have the chance to practice them in the real world.

  • Less expensive. Outpatient programs tend to be less expensive than traditional residential facilities. For a family that doesn’t have a lot of money, this can be a huge factor. Luckily, many treatment facilities do accept insurance and have options to reduce the cost of care.

Inpatient vs Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment: What’s Better?

Remember, it’s not about making the “right” choice but rather about the type of program that is going to serve your needs and help you achieve sobriety. We’ve highlighted the features of inpatient vs outpatient alcohol treatment and we hope that you have a better understanding of what to expect.

To summarize, intensive inpatient treatment allows for a higher likelihood of success and a reduced risk of relapse. Outpatient treatment lets you to practice relapse prevention techniques in the real world, during the treatment process.

With the benefits to both treatments, The River Source often recommends inpatient and outpatient care. We feel that the treatments can be highly effective for people with chemical addictions. It’s a time and financial investment, we do realize, but it can make all the difference between succeeding in recovery and not.

Because each person is unique, we highly recommend calling the treatment center of your choice and moving forward with an assessment. The River Source assesses all new patients so that we can confirm a diagnosis. It’s possible that you may have a co-occurring disorder such as anxiety or depression that needs to be addressed as well. When we know what we are dealing with, we can advise you of the options that will best fit your needs and help you reach your sobriety goals.

Packing for Rehab: Items to Bring

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Packing for inpatient rehab is not as glamorous as packing for vacation. You won’t find an Instagram photo of your suitcase with the caption, “Can’t wait to be in treatment!” While a rehabilitation program may not be a luxury vacation, it’s much more important and life-changing. You may not be coming home with a tan, but you will be coming home with a restored spirit and a second chance at life.

Here at The River Source, we find that it’s the little things that can make inpatient treatment more successful, such as by feeling organized and prepared. Below is a simple checklist of items to bring to rehab. We recommend speaking to the admissions staff for specifics, as some facilities are different. You can also read more information on our FAQ Page.

  • Clothes. We recommend packing 5-7 outfits. Clothes should be casual, comfortable and season-appropriate. The River Source is located in Arizona, so cool, breathable clothing is best year-round. Other clothing items to consider is a light jacket/sweater and exercise/recreation clothes.

  • Shoes. Two pairs of comfortable, casual shoes are adequate. It’s also a good idea to bring along a pair of sandals for the shower and slippers for the evening hours.

  • Toiletries. Personal items will be your responsibility, including toothpaste, a toothbrush and deodorant.

  • Medications. If you are on any medications, bring them along in their original bottles, sealed and unopened. All instructions should be included as well.

  • Dietary Supplements. You may bring vitamins and minerals as long as they’re in their original bottles. Supplements are always subject to approval.

  • Family Photos. Family and friends can be an incredible support system while you’re away. Bring along photos of treasured loved ones.

  • Pillow/Blanket. Inpatient programs offer clean, simple rooms with beds and dressers. However, many patients enjoy bringing a piece from home, such as their favorite pillow or blanket.

  • Laptop/Phone. You can use electronic devices during the designated hours of 4:30-6pm Arizona time. Use of phones and computers is at the discretion of The River Source staff and restricted during the first week.

  • Cash. While it’s not necessary to bring money, you can have a credit card on file or a small amount of money (no more than $100) that is kept in the office. You can use this for snacks.

Going to rehab comes with mixed emotions. A bit of preparation can help make the transition smoother. If you have additional questions on the admissions process, call The River Source. We’re here for you every step of the way!

When You Have a Behavioral Health Issue and an Addiction

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It’s not easy to have a mental illness. It’s not easy to have an addiction. When you have both, things get even more complicated. Yet for half of individuals with severe mental disorders, a dual diagnosis is their reality. The link between mental illness and substance abuse isn’t well understood. However, researchers are finding that with support, self-help and treatment, you can get your life back on track and heal from both the mental illness and the addiction.

What is the Connection Between Substance Abuse and Mental Illness?

In a dual diagnosis, the mental health issue and addiction have their own unique symptoms. These symptoms can make it difficult to function in everyday life, manage stress and relate to others. To make matters worse, the symptoms of both conditions impact each other. When the behavioral issue goes untreated, the addiction usually gets worse. As the substance abuse progresses, the mental illness usually does, too.

Probably the biggest question that people have is what comes first – the addiction or the mental illness. Addiction is common in people with mental health issues, but one does not directly cause the other. The most likely conditions that are associated with drug and alcohol use are depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and schizophrenia.

  • Alcohol or drugs are often used to numb the feelings of depression or anxiety.

  • Alcohol and drug use increase the risk of mental illness in at-risk individuals.

  • Alcohol and drug use can make the symptoms of an existing behavioral issue worse.

Recognizing When You Have a Dual Diagnosis

It’s difficult to admit that you have a problem with drugs or alcohol and are suffering from symptoms of depression, anxiety or PTSD. You are not weak to admit this. In order to move forward in your life, you must recognize your need for professional treatment. Mental health problems and addiction do not get better when they are ignored.

Here are a few things to consider when determining your risk factors.

  • Family history. Have others in your family dealt with mental illness, alcohol abuse or drug addiction? This can put you at risk for developing these problems, too.

  • Sensitivity to substances. What is your relationship to drugs or alcohol? Are you sensitive to their effects?

  • Symptoms of mental illness. How do you feel when you’re sober? Do you feel depressed or anxious?

  • Treatment history. Have you been treated for mental illness or addiction in the past? If the treatment did not work, why do you think this was the case?

The first step in conquering the demons and working toward a healthy, happy and substance-free lifestyle is admitting that you have a problem. If you are ready to work through your dual diagnosis, call The River Source. We are successful in treating both conditions, and our treatment is affordable and confidential.

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline

Methadone is a medication that can be used to treat an opioid addiction. Methadone is an opioid itself, and it can be habit forming. People who take the drug for an extended period of time can become addicted. A structured detox program is often needed to safely withdrawal from the opioid, as detox can be unpleasant and uncomfortable if methadone is stopped suddenly. Choosing a medically supervised detox program can ensure a safe and effective withdrawal process.

If you or someone you love wants to stop the cycle of methadone abuse, it’s helpful to know what to expect. This is not to scare you or turn you away from detox but rather to prepare you for the process. The methadone withdrawal timeline starts around 24 hours from the last dose. Let’s explore in further detail what to expect from the timeline.

Methadone Withdrawal Timeline: A Complete Guide

Methadone is a long-acting opioid, with withdrawal symptoms usually peaking around a day from the last time the user got high off methadone. Acute methadone withdrawal can last for up to three weeks, but symptoms significantly improve after 10 days. During the first 10 days, symptoms feel a lot like a severe flu. Also common is psychological symptoms such as anxiety and paranoia.

First 24 Hours

Physical symptoms are typically first to appear. Symptoms include chills, fever, rapid heartbeat and muscle aches. The side effects start to manifest 24-30 hours from the last dose of methadone, which is longer than many other drugs because of its long half-life. For the next couple of days, users will continue to feel like they have a violent flu.

Days 2-10

Once users enter Day 2, the withdrawal symptoms worsen. According to the methadone withdrawal timeline, the next week or so brings strong cravings for the drug, hallucinations, paranoia, insomnia and anxiety. The physical symptoms continue as well.

Days 11-21

At this point in the timeline, the flu-like symptoms should begin to subside. Any relief is welcome and can provide the body with more energy to continue on with recovery. Unfortunately, the physical symptoms are often replaced with depression, which usually sets in around Day 11. Depression can turn severe and prevent some patients from experiencing pleasure.

Day 22+

After three weeks of tapering off methadone, users should feel very few side effects. If there are any lingering symptoms, they should be mild. Symptoms of depression may still be present as the body adjusts to not being on methadone. Participating in counseling or an inpatient treatment program is helpful in managing these emotions.

Most Common Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

According to the methadone withdrawal symptoms timeline, users are most likely to experience the following effects:

  • Strong cravings for methadone

  • Aches in the muscles and bones

  • Stomach cramping or pain

  • Insomnia

  • Agitation

  • Anxiety

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Goosebumps

  • Teary eyes

  • Sweating

  • Dilated pupils

  • Excessive yawning

Though each person is unique, the withdrawal timeline for methadone takes on the same form for all users. What makes the process different is the intensity of these symptoms, how long the symptoms last and the way they are received by the individual. For example, users who have been on methadone for a long time and take a higher dose generally experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.

However, methadone is highly addictive, leaving no one immune to its effects. Users who have taken a small dose as part of a maintenance program can still be addicted and experience withdrawal symptoms. The best thing to do is speak with a professional treatment center that can offer a more accurate picture of what to expect in your specific circumstances.

Easing the Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

As unsettling as it can be to read through the symptoms of methadone withdrawal, remember that you or your loved one is not alone in the journey. First of all, methadone users should always detox under the supervision of a doctor. This prevents withdrawal symptoms from becoming life threatening. It’s not recommended to quit on your own or quit cold turkey.

Not only will a medically supervised detox center ensure that you or a loved one withdrawals from methadone safely, but also there are conventional and alternative treatments that can be used to ease withdrawal symptoms. Treatment centers like The River Source generally taper off the drug over the course of a few weeks, gradually reducing the dosage. We also offer a number of medications that can help manage methadone withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Buprenorphine: This medication is sometimes used to manage withdrawal, and it can reduce the amount of time it takes to detox from methadone. Buprenorphine is a synthetic opioid. It blocks the euphoric effects of additional opioids and reduces the risk of misuse.

  • Benzodiazepines: Benzos are sometimes used to treat severe anxiety and insomnia, though they are addictive, so other options may be considered. Non-addictive prescriptions such as trazodone are often preferred in methadone recovery.

  • Clonidine: Clonidine is a medication that can relieve symptoms of anxiety and agitation associated with withdrawal. It also works on symptoms such as runny noses, sweating, cramping and goosebumps.

  • Zofran: This medication is used to treat nausea, and it can help prevent dehydration and an imbalance in electrolytes. Additional medicines that may be used to treat diarrhea and vomiting are Imodium and Compazine.

  • Baclofen: Baclofen is used to reduce the pain associated with muscle cramps and spasms.

  • Naltrexone: This drug is used to help prevent relapse after methadone treatment. It works by blocking the effects of opioids and reducing cravings. It’s available by pill or injection.

Holistic Therapies Used in Methadone Detox

As you or a loved one goes through the methadone withdrawal symptoms timeline, the goal is to keep you as comfortable as possible. That’s why our detox center has naturopathic doctors available as well as medical supervision 24 hours a day. Anything that is needed during this time can be handled on our end, leaving no patient alone as they safely get off methadone.

Aside from medication-assisted treatment, we also offer a wide range of alternative therapies.

  • Vitamin IV therapy: Our solution contains a mix of high b’s and c’s, complex b 5, 6 and 12’s, calcium, zinc and magnesium to restore the body and aid in natural healing. Our IVs are tailor-made for each individual based on their needs.

  • Oral vitamin therapy: Oral vitamins are available in pills, powders and drops. These options allow for maximum effectiveness.

  • Sauna treatments: The goal of infrared sauna therapy is to sweat out the toxins in the body. When the toxins exit the body and essential nutrients and vitamins are put back in, patients feel healthier and stronger in a shorter amount of time.

  • Massage therapy: Massages are also effective at releasing toxins from the body. They are also extremely helpful in reducing muscle and body aches, promoting healthy sleep and decreasing anxiety and depression.

  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been highly successful in assisting in detox from drugs and alcohol. By targeting specific points in the body, acupuncture can reduce methadone cravings, relieve withdrawal symptoms and reduce anxiety.

Most therapies are included in the base cost of The River Source’s detox program. For more information about our medically supervised detox center and its costs, please call us today.

Complications of Methadone Withdrawal

When it comes to drugs and alcohol, nothing about misuse and abuse is easy – except for becoming addicted. Even if you or a loved one go through the methadone withdrawal timeline in a textbook fashion and are symptom-free in a couple of weeks, there are still complications to be aware of. Some of the biggest concerns associated with withdrawal are relapse and overdose.

Abstaining from the drug for a short period of time decreases your tolerance to methadone. If you are to relapse and you use the same amount of the drug, the risk for overdose goes way up. This scenario is one of the most common reasons why heroin users overdose. They are clean for a while, and this lowers their tolerance. When they relapse and take the dose they are accustomed to, they end up overdosing.

In addition, it’s important to pay attention to anxiety and irritability. These symptoms can be severe and lead to depression or suicide in some individuals. Talking with a therapist can be helpful in managing these feelings. Also, many medications are available to boost neurotransmitters in the brain and combat some of the negative thinking processes.

Continuing Treatment for Methadone Addiction

With the risk of relapse and overdose, it’s highly recommended to participate in a treatment program following withdrawal from methadone. It’s helpful to be in a safe, supportive environment for the next month or two. Returning home may be distracting to your recovery. Included in a treatment program are counseling, life skills workshops and continued access to therapies like massage and acupuncture.

Today, there are many different treatment programs available for methadone addiction, including outpatient and inpatient. Some treatment is always better than no treatment, so talk to an addiction recovery center like The River Source to learn more about your options. By bolstering your detox program with 30+ days of treatment, you greatly improve your chances of staying sober.

The River Source is a holistic treatment center that is experienced in treating methadone addictions. Call us today so that we can assess your needs and get you or a loved one the care that is so well deserved!

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Recovering Addicts?

The River Source offers a wide range of treatments, including holistic therapies and evidence-based practices, or EBPs. Evidence-based treatment has been studied by the scientific community and has proven to be effective in multiple studies. Examples of EBPs include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and 12 Step Facilitation Therapy (TSF). By offering many forms of therapy, we are able to build individualized treatment plans for each patient.

Today we will talk about CBT and how this type of therapy can help you or a loved one in recovery. Some therapies are optional, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is highly recommended for all recovering addicts, as you’ll soon learn why.

What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that changes your beliefs, thought patterns and attitudes. The motive for changing these thought patterns is because they are believed to be unhealthy and at the root of destructive behaviors.

At The River Source, our counselors start by identifying the thoughts and belief systems that are influencing your behaviors. Once you have identified the link between your attitude and your behavior, you and your counselor will come up with a plan for handling these types of situations. In your plan will be action steps and practical goals.

Over time, you’ll apply these changes to your life and respond in a more positive and constructive way to stressful situations. CBT can also help treat co-occurring conditions that you might be suffering with, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. As you learn to approach situations differently, you won’t feel the need to engage in self-destructive behavior.

How CBT Can Help with Stressful Situations

Let’s look at an example of how CBT might play out in the real world.

Anna suffers from depression and alcohol addiction. She was raised in a verbally abusive home, which has resulted in her feeling anxious, depressed and worthless in her adult life. To cope with these feelings, Anna abuses alcohol.

When Anna is criticized at work, she automatically thinks that she’s not good enough. Rather than taking the criticism constructively, her thoughts of being worthless and incapable lead to physical and emotional effects. As a result, Anna avoids contact with people at work, and goes home to drink by herself.

When Anna participates in CBT, she identifies her destructive thought patterns and why they keep leading her to drink. Her therapist helps her to see that she is not worthless and that she should look at the criticism in a healthy way. When applied, these critiques can help her grow in the workplace and perform better.

The next time when Anna is at work and receives constructive criticism, she takes it positively and doesn’t suffer the same emotional and physical effects. Her job performance gradually improves, helping her self-confidence, and she develops better relationships with her coworkers.

CBT is Part of an Overall Treatment Plan

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on its own is not enough to treat addiction, but it is part of a healthy treatment plan. As you or a loved one recovers from addiction, it’s important to make changes that will prevent the return to substance abuse. Sobriety, as we now know, is more than stopping the use of drugs and alcohol. You must also free yourself from negative thinking and destructive behavior. CBT facilitates this.

The River Source offers numerous evidence-based treatments and is happy to discuss them with you. Call us today to learn more about CBT and how it can help you or a loved one.