Which Professions are More Likely to Have Employees that Engage in Substance Use?

When looking at substance use disorders (SUDs), you look at the person who is going through this situation and wonder what happened to them and how everything started. Well, most of those who engage in substance use are actually working professionals. It is important to consider if employment is a prevalent culprit of substance use and why.

Food Service Industry

Workers in the food service industry fall at the top of the list for professions that are most likely to have employees who engage in substance use or who have a SUD. When employees are younger, they may engage in substance use simply to fit in or because they think it will help them to be a part of the team and have friends. However, many young people don’t yet realize that employees are simply environment acquaintances and that the relationships forged through working in the same place are not usually long-lasting or beneficial, especially at their first job. For those employees who are adults, their situation looks very different. If you ask an older adult why the ended up working in the food industry, especially at fast food locations, unless they have a passion for food, are a franchise owner, or obtained a management position, most of them did not envision working that type of job at that point in their life. Many people had bigger hopes and dreams for themselves and maybe life just didn’t work out the way they anticipated. Having to work long hours, usually overtime, for minimum wage can be quite taxing on a person. Some of these employees may even feel guilt or shame because of the position that they are in, which to them, is a valid reason to engage in substance use as a means of escaping their reality.

Management Positions

Those employees who are in management positions or who have a lot of responsibilities at work such as those in positions involving information technology can have the tendency to engage in substance use for a number of reasons. When working on large projects, they may have to stay at the office late or take their work home with them in order to complete it, which can cause them to work longer than normal hours. In these situations, they may find themselves needing a boost to stay awake and be productive, which is how they start using substances. Employees in this position may also feel overwhelmed and stressed about brokering large deals, meeting with important clients, or creating presentations to give to higher-ups within the company they work for. In these cases, they may use a substance in order to help calm their nerves and relax while they get their work done. While it may be a one time or occasional occurrence, it can easily develop to the point of dependence which is one way that SUDs come to life.

Entertainment Industry

Substance use in the entertainment industry is fairly self-explanatory. Many people in the spotlight have a lot of money and the ability, time, and freedom to do whatever they want. For these people, especially newcomers, partying can be very enticing and the substances that go along with the parties are not in short supply. What is unfortunate about those in the entertainment industry is that a good time can often turn into escaping feelings. Entertainers of all kinds have noted feeling alone or being under too much pressure, which are reasons for their prolonged substance use. It is hard to imagine someone feeling like this in their position, but they are people too and they are not exempt from mental health issues or emotions just like everyone else. The worst part about substance use or SUDs in the entertainment industry is that because there are so many options available in such large quantities, many people have prematurely passed away due to substance use. It was just an accident, but it cost them their lives, and that has a tendency to make you think about your own life.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may have started using substances as a means to alleviate work stress and it simply went too far. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

Financial Impacts of Addiction

Every year people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on various substances. Many people look at the cost of prescriptions as being exorbitant, however, in all actuality, the street value of substances far exceeds the costs of those purchased legally with prescriptions. For example, it was noted through a collection of data that at one point the money made from the sales of illicit substances, alcohol, and cigarettes comprised nearly 3% of the gross domestic product for the United States alone. This means that in a dollar amount, it accounted for nearly 130 billion dollars. In 2017, Australia was noted as having spent over 13 billion dollars on illicit substances. Going along with this statistic is the fact that those who were purchasing these substances were spending over 110% of their weekly income, which means that there was a deficit in their household income.

Along with this statistic, Lee Miller, Wei Lu, and Bloomberg stated in their article that in the same year, 70% of the illicit substances that were purchased were either cannabis or methamphetamines. Furthermore, breaking down the cost, even more, the cost of substances across the globe ranges quite a bit, but the prices are still extremely high based on their country of origin. For example, one kilogram of cocaine in Europe costs over $50,000, in the United States it costs over $30,000, and in Costa Rica, it costs just under $10,000. All different prices, but all relevant to the conversation of the amount spent on substances. Looking at the price listed for the US alone, that is the average household income of a lower-class family and depending on the household size, this yearly income would place them as being below the poverty level. When put into perspective, it is hard to imagine that an entire year’s salary could be spent on something that disappears so quickly.

Forcing Yourself to make Choices

When an individual opts into substance use, no matter the reason, they are impacted physically and mentally based on what they are experiencing within their lives and the effects of the substances. However, the financial impact also takes a large toll on users. Depending on the stage of a SUD, money may be pouring into the addiction in a way that there is no room for any other purchase. In some cases, people may be forced to choose between a substance or a physiological need. There is the choice of whether they would rather have food, electricity, water, a car, and in the worst of cases a home, or put their money towards their substance of choice instead. Even in the early stages of a SUD there is money here and there being put into substance use that could be going elsewhere, and even $10 or $20 here and there can begin to add up very quickly. Not to mention, when larger dollar amounts are being spent, there is nothing to show for where a person’s money is going, it’s just simply gone, as is what they’re spending it on. If a SUD is further along, there is also the chance that people will end up making a choice about whether they continue to go to work or whether they gravitate towards seeking out and using substances. Then, not only is there a loss of income, in some situations, people are placed in a situation where they choose to engage in negative activities in order to find some means to be able to obtain the substance of choice. Inevitably, it is a vicious cycle and one that can have the tendency to go from bad to worse fairly quickly.

Lack of Savings

Since the cost of substances tends to add up quickly, it can be hard to save money. Being able to save money is important for many reasons such as in preparation for the future. If you have a family, this can be imperative for financial security. Many families often have a household income that can pay for monthly expenses but doesn’t afford them to save money beyond that as it is, which can make money going to substances even more difficult for the rest of the family unit. In some cases, there may be family vacations that the family would love to have, or maybe a larger vehicle would be a good investment, but the money simply isn’t there because it’s going towards substance use. Making good decisions for yourself, especially when you have a family of your own, will only bring more positive results to everyone in your life. Choose to break use your resources to your advantage so that you have the opportunity to build savings, get back on your feet, and stop contributing to an industry that has a negative impact on the lives of so many.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, it is likely that you’re not making yourself a priority. Financially speaking, there may be many things that you’ve wanted to save for or things you’ve wanted to buy or do, but your money is going to the wrong things. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Put your money into something that will make a tremendous positive impact on your life. Call us today at (805)719-7954.

How do you Help a Child Whose Parents Engage in Substance Use?

The National Institutes of Health noted that roughly 25% of children who are aged eighteen or younger are a part of a family in which at least one family member engages in alcohol use or is dependent on alcohol. This does not account for those children whose parents use substances other than alcohol or those with a serious substance abuse disorder (SUD).

Offer a safe Haven

If you notice that a child is showing signs such as being afraid to go home or would rather stay at school or be anywhere besides their home, it may be worth looking into their home situation to see if a SUD is present in their parent(s). Most often, it will be a child’s teachers or parents of friends, or neighbors who notice that something isn’t quite right before anyone else will. Whether you fall into these categories or you happen to run into a child who comes to you for help, listen to them. Offer to be a person that they can express their concerns to and let them know that there is someone who is willing to help them. If you are an adult that the child is familiar with, offer to do the same thing and sit and talk with them and be a trusted adult that the child can come to. If you are close with the family or your child is friends with the family, consider having the child over for sleepovers or to spend time with your family so that they can have some extra time away from their home. If you are a teacher, consider helping the child get involved in extracurricular activities that will allow them to do things that they enjoy in a safe place that keeps them away from exposure to the SUD. Family members should consider allowing the child to move in with them if it will be the best option to keep them safe and have a chance at a normal childhood.

Alert Authorities

Situations in which a parent’s SUD is a serious detriment to the health or safety of a child call for you to alert the authorities as to what is going on in the child’s home. No child should have to feel unsafe in their own home, let alone go through experiences that are traumatizing or that lead to the compromising of their well-being. If a child is being neglected, as sad as it is, they may need to be moved to the home of a family member or with someone who can handle raising them while their parents get the help that they need. Many children with parents who engage in substance use often are forced to grow up faster than their peers and may engage in illegal activities such as theft in an attempt to take care of themselves in cases where their parents cannot. There is no reason why a child should ever have to subject themselves to that type of life simply out of necessity, they do not deserve that. As an adult, it is your responsibility to point out these situations to the right people so that they can get help. Doing nothing is just as bad as what is going on in the home, especially if you can help the child.

Seek Support from the Education System

If you are worried about the outcome of contacting the police or Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), then use the school as a resource to get help for the child. Telling the guidance counselor and principal can help alert someone else to the situation, which means that more people will be working to help the child, which is what you want. Furthermore, they may know the correct people to get into contact with and can do so quickly in order to get the child out of that situation. While it is a hard conversation to have, it may save a child’s life and that makes it worth doing. Do not feel guilty for getting help, if the parent(s) with the SUD were in any other state, they would greatly appreciate you looking out for their child and they would probably do the same if they noticed another child going through the same situation. Reach out to those who can do something and get help for the child and then work to help the parent get help as well.

If you know a family in which the parent(s) are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you can help the children within that family unit. You may not understand what is going on with the family, but everyone has a responsibility to be there for children. We want to help you help the family get back on track. Make a call and get help for them today. Having a team and really community of support to help get them through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help them overcome issues and get back to feeling like themselves. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

Nutrition in Relation to Substance Use Disorders

Those who suffer from substance use disorders (SUDs) often experience nutritional deficiencies due to the use of certain substances. Deficits in nutrition may be caused by both psychological and physiological aspects being impacted by the effects of various substances. Alyssa Salz, MS, RD, LD noted in her article Substance Abuse and Nutrition that for those who suffer from SUDs may have not been getting their nutritional needs met at all, or they may be getting insufficient amounts of their daily intake needs. Some people may only eat small amounts of food a day and it can likely be just something to make sure they’re intaking anything, but in some cases, it is only what they can find. For those people whose SUD is severe, they may not even be focused on eating at all, this can sometimes be caused by needing money and a means to obtain substances that can take precedence over other needs such as eating. Even when the frequency or amount of substance use isn’t grave enough to impede one’s ability to obtain or intake food, many substances come with side effects that will affect the user’s ability to achieve optimal nutrition for themselves. Depending on the substance being used, a person’s metabolic rate will slow down and blood sugar levels will be irregular, making the body’s ability to digest food and use nutrients properly will be negatively impacted. Most commonly, substances have the tendency to decrease or eliminate one’s appetite, therefore they do not eat anything while feeling the effects of the substance. Still, in other cases, the appetite may be enhanced, which will cause a person to overeat, which will potentially lead to significant weight gain. No matter which end of the spectrum an individual falls on, there tends to be no moderation which ultimately makes a person’s overall health much worse, especially in conjunction with substance use taking place.

Turning your Health Around

In addition to poor nutrition being prevalent among those with a SUD, dehydration is often common. Therefore, the first step to turning one’s health around is to start by drinking water. Water intake not only keeps your body hydrated but it helps all the body’s processes to work much more effectively. You may be able to go longer periods of time without food, but the same rules do not apply to water and how much you should be drinking daily. Depending on how long a person has gone without proper nutrition, they may want to start on softer foods and move towards solids later, when they feel that their body is ready to be reintroduced to a wider variety of foods. This can be especially true for those overcoming a SUD who are experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as nausea because it will be much harder for them to keep food down, especially solids and or food in larger quantities. Not only will focusing on making your body healthy again help you on your journey of recovery, but it will also help your mind tremendously. Improved nutrition leads to better mental health as stated by Salz, which means that your state of mind will be benefitted as well, allowing you to have a better chance at staying focusing on making yourself well and growing through your experience(s).

Resources for Restoring Nutrition

Should a treatment center be a viable option to aid in recovery, many of them offer tremendous meal plans complete with carefully curated healthy meals to help both your mind and body feel better. For many people going through recovery, it may be helpful to get into contact with your doctor and/or a dietician who can help aid you in eating the right kinds of food to get back any nutrients that you may be lacking. You can also look to those members of the recovery community and gain insights into some of the methods that they choose for themselves in terms of lifestyle changes and healthy eating. If researching nutrition alone is not enough, remember that you have resources and many people who are more than willing to help get you back to your best self.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, it is likely that you’re not making yourself a priority. We want to see you be healthy in your mind, body, and spirit. When the time comes that you decide that you are ready to leave substance use behind and move on to better things is the perfect time to do so. You are probably aware that your whole life will change, but in many cases, change is for the better. Despite having reservations and fears about what the future will look like for yourself, know that it can only get better from here. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer peace of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Call us today at (805)719-7954.

How does Substance use Change a Person’s Health and Physical Appearance?

Not surprisingly, individuals who engage in substance use are likely to suffer from changes to their overall health and appearance. Those with substance abuse disorders (SUDs) that have been using for a long period of time will not only have their entire lives change, but they can ultimately end up feeling and appearing like a totally different person. Knowing what substances can do to one’s body is important to recognize those loved ones who need help but is also an incentive for those with SUDs to seek support to get help and get back to being themselves again.

Internal Health

More important than one’s physical appearance is their health and the way it is impacted based on prolonged substance use. The effects on health are not only determined by the type of substance ingested but by other factors such as the amount taken, how long it is taken, and whether it is taken with anything else. The class of substances known as stimulants such as methamphetamine and cocaine can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart palpitations, blood clots, and damage to the heart. Use of inhalants may lead to the same health issues and even death. Mixing alcohol with any other type of substance significantly increases a person’s risk of ending up in a coma or dying. Substances such as ecstasy may cause an increase in body temperature and dehydration which inhibits effective blood flow throughout the body which can lead to the kidneys shutting down. Poor nutrition and impaired cognitive function are also on the list of adverse health effects as these two areas alone impact so much else of what they body does. Other ill effects for health due to prolonged substance use include addiction, contraction of HIV/AIDS, contraction of Hepatitis, mental illness, cancer, as well as lung and heart disease. It is important to note that substance use that occurs in women during pregnancy can cause their baby to develop differently than they normally would as well as for them to be born and have to face withdrawals. Additionally, substance use can alter the genetics, which can lead to mutated genes being passed on to babies, which may lead to health issues or the development of disorders in children.

External Appearance

All substances have differing effects on a person’s appearance, some similar to one another and others are specific to certain substances in particular. Use of steroids can cause the breasts to develop on male users in addition to causing serious acne all over the body, not just on the face. Also, there can be a reduction in hair growth for women and for men. If used at a younger age, steroids may even stunt your growth. Methamphetamine can cause changes in appearance such as the presence of wounds from a habit known as “picking” where users pick at their skin to alleviate various sensations. It also causes skin that looks as though it has lost its color in conjunction to causing acne. It also seriously impacts a user’s mouth in that it can cause them to clench their teeth, increase dry mouth, and impair one’s ability to take care of their teeth and in many cases an individual’s teeth may actually rot.

Methamphetamine will also cause users to lose their appetite which can result in severe weight loss due to malnourishment. If substance users inject their substance of choice intravenously, then they will likely have “trach marks” in places such as the ditch of their elbow from continued insertion of needles. These are all very negative effects of substance use and it can be hard on friends and family to see their loved one turning into a person that they hardly recognize. Getting into treatment and starting the road to recovery is the best way to change one’s physical appearance and begin to look healthy again. The body is surprisingly forgiving and if you suffer from a SUD, you should consider letting your body work its way back to health now before damage is irreparable while you work to get everything else back on track.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

What are some Commonalities Among Those with a Substance Use Disorder?

If you break down what the commonalities are of people who have substance use disorders (SUDs), you will likely find that the biggest one is that they all have a need to partake in substance use. They all have feelings that won’t go away until their needs are met, and their lives are very much impacted because of it. The lives of everyone around them are affected as well. Looking further into SUDs and similarities, the most important one to recognize is that those who use substances to the point of addiction all need a helping hand and the opportunity to improve their lives and get back on their feet in a positive direction.

Comorbidities

Instances of SUDs are hard for a person to deal with, but changes are, that isn’t the only battle they’re fighting. In many cases, people who engage in substance use also are dealing with other disorders that may not be so apparent because their SUD steals the limelight. Often, people use substances as a means of escaping the symptomologies of other disorders such as depression and anxiety, among many others. Feeling debilitated in their daily life makes it hard for them to function and substance use may have made these individuals feel as though they were able to loosen up and get through their other issues easier. Although, this is not a sustainable coping mechanism. If you know someone or come across someone with a SUD do not simply assume that they are just bad people who make poor choices. Yes, their choices matter, but they were simply not able to handle their problems the same way that you do. Instead of passing judgement, help them to get into recovery and to learn the right ways of overcoming obstacles to do better in the future.

Development of an Alter-Ego

Individuals suffering from a SUD often develop characteristics or personality traits that aren’t anything like the person that they used to be before the start of their substance use. Researcher Robert J. Craig and his colleagues used the Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory in order to assess common personality traits among participants who suffer from SUDs, namely those who are alcoholics. Within the data they collected, they found that while there were differences among participants, many of the alcoholics depicted similar personality styles such as Schizotypal, Paranoid, and Borderline personality disorders, through the exhibition of characteristics such as dependent submission and avoidance. They also noted that these individuals experienced higher levels of hopelessness and psychological issues that were most commonly due to the continued effects from prolonged alcohol. Some of which include emotional states of confusion and impairment in memory and cognitive function. These researchers do believe that studying this concept further through asking the right questions can help to further use personality styles to gain information such as likelihood of relapse.

From a clinical standpoint there are proven personality traits that are present within substance users, but these characteristics show themselves in many different forms in one’s normal environment. Many of those with SUDs gain tunnel vision, only being focused on obtaining their next fix, which leads them to be neglectful of their responsibilities. They lose interest in their hobbies or goals they once had for themselves. Typically, they become unproductive unless it suits their needs. Manipulation is common among those with farther developed SUDs because those who have been using substances for a longer period of time may have exhausted their own resources in an attempt to keep their usage going. Ultimately, they begin doing whatever it takes to meet their needs, even if it means taking advantage of someone else. They may end up lying or stealing to get their needs met as well. While all of these are not positive things, the important thing to remember is that many people with SUDs were not like this before they began relying on substances. They were happy, loving, productive, inspiring people who simply lost their way. What’s important is that there is an effort made to help them get into recovery so that they can lose this alter-ego that they’ve created for themselves and get back to being the good people that they once were, only even better than before.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

When Drinking Socially goes from fun to Dangerous

Drinking in social settings might not seem like such a bad thing, and for some people it isn’t. However, when done on a constant basis or includes being in the wrong place at the wrong time, it is easy for a seemingly innocent situation and harmless fun to get out of control. Not to mention, drinking socially can sometimes start off as the occasional activity and then slowly turn into an every night thing, which then can spiral into an addiction, or a substance use disorder (SUD). Alcohol falls within the variety of substances known as depressants and when consumed by someone who already suffers from depression, it generally makes their symptomologies much worse. They may feel lower emotionally, remember things that are highly upsetting, lash out at others because of past occurrences, and be unreasonable to anything that might contradict how they’re feeling. These instances can cause a lot of strain on the person themselves and those around them, however, this is only one part of why consuming alcohol socially is not always the best idea.

Driving Under the Influence

One of the biggest concerns about going anywhere and drinking is facing the possibility of driving under the influence, and while this discussion specifies alcohol as the substance of focus, driving under the influence means any type of substance within the body during the time behind the wheel. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided a report that stated that in 2016, over one million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence. What’s scarier? Over 100 million more drivers admitted to driving under the influence, they just weren’t caught. Unfortunately, over 10,000 people died in car accidents involving a drunk driver the same year as well. For those who have been drinking for a long time, you might assume that “you drive better when you’re drunk,” however, that does not excuse getting behind the wheel after having consumed alcohol or any other substance for that matter. You are not only putting your own life at risk, but you are endangering the lives of anyone else on the road with you at that time. If you plan to go out and know that drinking will be involved, don’t drive yourself. Choose a designated driver and carpool of choose to take an Uber or Lyft to and from your destination.

Inebriation in Unknown Places

Drinking socially can also come to include frequenting places that you’ve never been to before. Venturing out and exploring new places is not a bad thing, however, when alcohol is involved, it can make things scarier to navigate if you’re unfamiliar with your surroundings. New places mean a lot of new people, and sometimes, people unfortunately don’t always have the best of intentions. Should you be in an uncomfortable situation, you know how to find your way around the establishment and the area, and you also probably know a few people who would step in to help you if you needed it. This is not the case in unchartered territory, unless you bring a trusted friend with you. It is important that you have a plan before going out to different parts of town or with people that you don’t know that well. Bring someone with you if you can, have an escape plan should you need to leave early, and pay attention to everything going on around you so that you don’t miss anything. Also, keep in mind that there are many products currently available to help in situations like this such as Undercover Colors’ “SipChip Drink Spiking Test” or their nail polish line in which you place your finger into the cup and your nail polish changes colors if there are substances in the drink. Ingesting alcohol can be bad enough at times but adding in other substances will just make things much worse, plus put you in a bad situation, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

House Party Hibernation

It is not uncommon to attend parties at someone’s home. While many people may think that this is a better option for a place to gather and drink socially, it can actually end up being worse than going out. Some house parties end up including a wide variety of people, some of whom are underage, which can put you at greater risk of being in trouble should law enforcement show up. Furthermore, falling asleep at someone else’s house puts you at risk for issues such as someone stealing your things or worse, someone trying to harm you either physically or sexually. Going to a house party might seem much more low-key than dressing up and going out, but it is important that you take the necessary precautions to be safe. If you do find yourself in this kind of environment, make sure to keep substance consumption at a low because you want to be able to remember the evening and ensure that you get home safely.

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

How do Substance Use Disorders Start?

People who have a substance use disorder (SUD) may not remember exactly how their disorder started or why, but there are a few safe bets as to how things began. Some individuals begin using substances because they are offered it and want to try it, they went through a traumatic event or they were experiencing debilitating effects from mental health issues. Others might have found themselves in overwhelming environments or around people who were not good for them, whether they knew them personally or not. What is important to note is that no one who has a pervasive SUD ever thought that this is where they would end up. Their intentions weren’t to end up with an addiction, they simply wanted to escape pain or other negative emotions, or they wanted to try something that ended up being taken too far. When you’re younger everyone tells you about the negative aspects of substances and why they are awful, however, no one tells you about the negative aspects of life and how hard it will be as you get older. You start off on this road of life trying to do the best you can do but at some point things go astray, but by getting help and getting back on track, you can put your life together again and make it even better than it was before. That’s reason enough to have hope and faith in yourself.
The Different Types of Substance Uses

When talking about SUDs it is important to discuss more in depth the varying types of reasons that people end up using substances in the first place because everyone’s goal is not the same and addiction doesn’t always start in the same places for everyone. As someone who uses substances or if you know someone who uses them regularly, these scenarios will look familiar to you:

Salubrious usage: using substances as a means of gaining therapeutic benefits.

Usage based on situation: substances used socially to overcome anxiety or during exceptionally stressful times.

Recreational use: taking substances just for fun or to feel good.

Dependent usage:
taking substances because you have come to need them in order to function and make it through daily life.

Bingeing: partaking in larger amounts of substance use over a shorter period of time.

Experimenting: trying a substance based on being inquisitive.

Breaking down the different types of use can help people to recognize where they fall within these categories and find a way to either put a stop to these activities themselves or they can obtain help and get into the recovery community.

Opportunistic Activity

Since the majority of people will say that they use substances to escape from something, whether it is a situation, environment, or emotion, it is good to discuss why substances end up being the thing that they run to. Different substances have different side effects which can work to ease feelings and change one’s physiological state in varying ways so not everyone will gravitate towards the same substances. In some instances, people choose substances over other methods because they feel as though it’s the easier choice. One of the biggest issues concerning substance use that needs to be addressed is their availability. If you look at the cost of seeing a therapist or getting some kind of professional help to work through issues, you’ll notice that it’s quite expensive. Not that the costs of substances don’t add up and quickly, but in a weak moment, it’s easier to afford $20 for a substance than it is to pay out $150 for a therapy session. The fact that healthcare is exorbitant makes people feel as though they can’t take advantage of resources which is really unfortunate. Additionally, there are so many harmful substances that are legal. Some of the most used substances to date you can buy at a store or get from a pharmacy. Having these substances readily available for consumers not only increases the number of people who will be exposed to them, but it increases the likelihood that usage will turn into addiction. Regulation is very important to the future of addiction and recovery. Being able to move forward responsibly will not only help people now, but it will help keep SUDs from being so pervasive in the future.

Call to Action

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

When Should I Consider a Treatment Center to get help for Myself or a Loved one with a Substance Use Disorder?

If you are someone suffering with substance abuse disorder (SUD) and you are lucky enough to recognize that you are at a point where you can choose recovery over addiction, then you should certainly consider doing so. However, for those who are much deeper into their substance use, they may not be so lucky to take the steps on their own to get help. In these cases, help is often given from friends or family who care about their loved one enough to support them through the tough things they are facing and to continue to be there to see them through to the other side. As a close relative or friend of someone who uses various substances, you may be able to recognize when enough is enough and an addiction is either too serious or has gone on for too long and nothing else has helped them. This is when a treatment center becomes a real option to help aid in the recovery of the person with the SUD. You may also be in the situation where you know that there is a problem but you’re not sure if it’s time to consider a treatment center or if you should still try to find other options to help them get to a point of recovery.

Recognizing SUD Severity

Dennis Hopson has outline signs of alcoholism that you need to pay attention to in order to decide that it’s time for further help from a treatment center. While these characteristics of this SUD are applied to alcohol use, they are representative of addictions to other substances as well. Therefore, no matter the substance, if you find that your loved one exhibits these signs and symptomologies of a SUD, then it is time to get them the help that they need:

Legal Issues: some people with a SUD tend to end up in jail, having their driving privileges revoked, being required to pay fees and court costs, and end up with one or more criminal charges on their records, whether misdemeanors or felonies.

Blackouts: those with severe use may end up not remember what happened to them, how they got somewhere, and may sometimes unknowingly find themselves in dangerous situations.

Deteriorated relationships: those with a SUD that has been going on for a long time or has gotten out of control can be taxing on family and friends and can severely strain these relationships.

Choosing a SUD over responsibilities: if a SUD is severe enough, the person may begin to stop going to work, do poorly in school, and even stop taking care of their children, depending on the situation.

Increased tolerance: many people who have a long-lasting SUD often gain a high tolerance to substances which means that it takes more of it to achieve the desired effect; this can be dangerous and very expensive.

Going through withdrawal: if a person begins experiencing withdrawal symptoms because they are going without a substance, then their SUD is severe and should be addressed and treated. Symptoms include anxiety, hallucinations, flu like symptoms, headaches, and sometimes seizures, among other things.

Lack of control of consumption: being unable to go without the substance in certain situations or prior to, or not being able to stop usage during events such as when having a medical procedure done or being placed on other medications for health issues.

If you recognize any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, find someone to talk to and find a way to get help. At this point, getting help may be the difference between life and death should the SUD continue and worsen. It is understandable that life is hard and that there are many feelings that have to be dealt with, but substance use isn’t the way, at least, not anymore. You are so much stronger than you think and have the power to overcome much more than you probably give yourself credit for, and this truth applies to getting on the road to recovery. You can do it.

Call to Action

If you are currently suffering from a SUD, there is a chance that you may feel as though you have lost your way. You may not understand why you are where you are or how to find a way out. We want to help you get back on track. Make a personal investment in yourself and get help today. Having a team and really community of support to help get you through can offer piece of mind and a sense of security. At Enlight Treatment Center, we emphasize care and comfort and we want to be that team for you to help you overcome issues and get back to your best self. Whether you have questions or want to visit our facility and talk with us in person, we are always here for you. You can call us at (805)719-7954 or schedule a tour of our facility at 11811 Darlene Lane, Moorpark, CA 93021.

Anxiety Inducing Addiction

Sudie E. Back and Kathleen T. Brady wrote Anxiety Disorders with Comorbid Substance Use Disorders: Diagnostic and Treatment Considerations, in which they discuss generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and substance use disorder (SUD) and the relationship between the two. They cited a recent study in which nearly 6,000 adults stated that GAD was the anxiety disorder most frequently attributed to using substances to overcome the symptomologies associated with anxiety. GAD that is accompanied by other disorders is shown to increase the rate at which people go from first starting to use substances and getting to a point of reliance on them. Furthermore, SUDs that are experienced in conjunction with anxiety disorders have proven to make GAD much harder to overcome and be successful against. In order for many anxiety disorders to be clinically diagnosed, they must be present in an individual for at least six months before they can be considered a disorder. Treatment of anxiety disorders, namely GAD can be quite difficult in those who are more prone to substance use or those who already have SUD. While there are some medications that can be effective, others are generally off-limits due to the addictiveness of the substance. Despite treatment seeming like a difficult thing to obtain, there are ways to get help with the treatment of both disorders. However, one of the most important steps is to understand why those with anxiety feel the need to seek out substance use as a means to quell their anxiety and what can be done in those instances.

Those who have GAD or any other type of disorder involving anxiety know that it can be extremely hard to cope with on a daily basis. Individuals with anxiety often experience symptoms such as feeling fatigued, muscular issues such as tensing or twitching, feelings of being on edge or nervousness, feeling as though they’re in harm’s way, an inability to focus, inability to sleep, feeling week, increased heart rate and breathing pace, along with gastrointestinal issues. In addition to these issues, many individuals experience symptoms associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), engaging in repetitive behaviors such as rocking back and forth, flashbacks to various occurrences such as those experienced accompanied with some sort of trauma associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and avoiding situations that may induce anxiety, which can keep someone from being out in the real world because they are afraid about what could happen in any given situation or environment. Since there are so many symptomologies associated with anxiety, it is easy to imagine why someone would want to escape all these feelings, both the mental and the physical. However, it is important to find out why people with anxiety turn to substances in order to assuage their symptoms.
Why is Anxiety Linked to Substance Use?

People often turn to substances to relieve their symptoms associated with anxiety. They believe that various substances will help to calm them down and take their mind off things that are bothering them. No matter the substance of choice, there is the appeal of stepping outside of oneself and being able to feel anything other than what they’re experiencing. Most often, substance use tends to begin as a means of escaping what they’re going through by being utilized as a coping mechanism. Although, it should be noted that this is not a permanent solution, merely a temporary one. For those with anxiety, it is seen as a means to calm nerves and to help them relax. The problem with this type of coping mechanism is that it can have the tendency to make someone’s situation worse than it was, to begin with. Certain individuals experience the adverse side effects of substances, for example, paranoia, which can only heighten anxiety. Others may have impaired judgment, which can also lead to increased symptoms of anxiety, whether in the moment or the next day after trying to remember what they did the night before. While many substances are unfortunately readily available, that does not mean that they are viable options. Not to mention, after having begun using substances, there is the tendency to continue to do so, which can add to problems already being experienced in life. Everyone has a multitude of situations that they are currently experiencing and finding more suitable options for coping with life’s difficulties will not only help people learn how to better overcome obstacles, but it can help them to have fewer problems in the future and to be healthier overall, which is something we all should strive for.
Alternatives for Relieving Anxiety

Rather than looking to substances as a means of escape, facing anxiety head-on and being able to conquer it will lead to much more positive outcomes in the future. First, you must understand what your triggers are. Do you have GAD and simply remain on edge on a seemingly constant basis or do more specific situations trigger your anxiety? Understanding the type of person you are is a great first step, and while it may take time, it will help you, in the long run, to truly know yourself. Once you understand what causes your anxiety, you should try to break down the situations and look for alternatives to help you get through them easier. For example, if having to make phone calls to a doctor’s office for an appointment gives you anxiety, try talking on the phone with friends and family more frequently, then you can maybe three-way the office and know that you have support with you should you begin to feel anxious. Work your way up until you can make those calls alone. Even though they seem like small steps, they are worth taking in order to feel more confident in difficult situations. There are also alternatives such as exercising, getting massages, reading, and drinking tea, among other things. Anything to do with self-care and helping you to be calm and in the right headspace is worth doing. You have to make yourself a priority and take care of yourself first before you can worry about anything or anyone else.

Having anxiety can be hard to deal with and we understand that it can be a hard disorder to navigate life with. While you may have chosen a coping mechanism that you thought would help, it’s okay to find out that maybe it wasn’t the best choice for you. To help you reduce your anxiety and feel your best, call us today at (805)719-7954.