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Anxiety and the Increase in Benzo Use

Anxiety and the Increase in Benzo Use

Benzodiazepines, also known as benzos, are commonly prescribed to combat anxiety and sleep disorders like insomnia. In the last fifteen years, benzo use has been steadily rising, and along with it have come higher death rates, notably when these drugs are used in combination with opiates or opioids.

One in four people who are prescribed benzodiazepines will abuse them

According to a study published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 30.5 million American adults use benzodiazepines, representing between four and six percent of the population. Of those, about 17 percent overuse, or take them for uses other than they were intended.

A short-term solution

Generally, benzodiazepines are never recommended for long-term use, and rarely without an adjunct therapy, like psychiatric counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy. If taken as prescribed, and only for a short duration of treatment, they help address issues such as anxiety, seizures, and insomnia. They are also used in conjunction with treatment for alcohol addiction to ease tremors and other symptoms.

Some commonly prescribed benzos include:

  • Klonopin (clonazepam)
  • Xanax (alprazolam)
  • Valium (diazepam)
  • Librium (chlordiazepoxide)
  • Ativan (lorazepam)
  • Restoril (temazepam)
  • Halcion (triazolam)
  • Serax (oxazepam)

Because they are not as strictly controlled as opioids, they are often easy to obtain from a doctor. However, in about 20 percent of cases that result in benzo abuse, users get them from a friend or family member.

Because they are so effective at relieving anxiety, they can become highly addictive, leading some to look no further for a solution to their problem.

Benzo use is on the rise

As life becomes more hectic, fast-paced, and stress-filled, benzos can become a quick fix that eventually turns into a habit. While many doctors recognize that there are many non-drug interventions that can be more effective over the long term, the fact remains that prescriptions for benzodiazepines have doubled over the past 20 years.

Living in the age of anxiety

Anxiety, panic, and fear are very real in this day and age, and not just to those with a diagnosed mental illness. The pressure to perform at work, to engage in social media, or to over-achieve in school can be enough to drive anybody over the edge.

If an individual is not encouraged to seek an alternative treatment, taking a pill now and then may seem harmless enough. If it helps us cope with the constant barrage of noise we are faced with every day, it might seem like a godsend – at least, at first.

Ironically, the symptoms of benzo overuse are much the same as the symptoms for which they are prescribed. Anxiety, insomnia, headaches, dizziness, weakness – all of these can manifest as a result of benzo withdrawal. Symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several months, and prolonged withdrawal is not uncommon, sometimes years after the drugs have been discontinued.

Getting help for benzo dependency

Recovering from benzo dependence is not something you should attempt on your own. With the right interventions and treatments, it is possible to put it behind you and take back control of your life – and learn how to cope with your anxiety.

If you or a loved one is struggling with a benzo dependency, we can help. Reach out today to get started.

How Treatment for Opioids in Long Beach has Changed 

How Treatment for Opioids in Long Beach has Changed 

Opioid addiction in America has risen to crisis proportions in recent years, affecting people from all demographics and all walks of life.

According to a recent study released by the US Department of Health and Human Services, 130 people die every day from opioid overdose from drugs that include prescription pain medications like oxycodone and morphine, synthetic opioids like fentanyl and hydromorphone, and street opiates like heroin.

Opioid addiction can affect anyone

It often starts innocently enough. Following an injury or after surgery, patients are prescribed pain medication to help them cope as they heal. What is supposed to be a temporary intervention quickly turns into a physical addiction.

If the doctor refuses to renew the prescription, patients often turn to the street, often ending up with counterfeit drugs, some laced with deadly doses of fentanyl. Those who do not overdose become even more addicted.

While some manage to maintain their jobs and go on with their lives in spite of it, many lose everything to their addiction, spending all of their time trapped in the cycle of getting money for drugs through crime or deception, looking for drugs, using them, and recovering from them.

For these individuals, there is little choice. The withdrawal symptoms are severe enough that they will do just about anything to keep themselves well – which means, continuing to use. When desperation sets in, any promise of relief will do, leading even the most cautious into dangerous territory.

Opioid addiction treatment Long Beach

While you might think the opioid crisis is a recent phenomenon, addiction has threatened public health several times over the past few centuries. Every time it takes hold, scientists come up with newer versions of the drug that are supposed to be safer.

Many of these formulations, like heroin, and more recently, methadone, have actually been invented to treat addiction. The philosophy is that if a doctor can control and monitor the dosage, it will be easier to manage. In reality, what they are really doing is transferring the addiction to a different form of the same thing and continuing the cycle. While some may respond to this treatment and move past their addiction, many become stuck in it for years, never truly breaking free.

What’s different in today’s opioid treatment?

Today, we better understand the mechanisms of addiction and pain. We approach treatment and recovery differently than in the past, putting the focus on the patient and helping them return to a functional, productive life.

Medications we now use to treat opioid addiction, like buprenorphine, Suboxone, and Subutex, are highly advanced, alleviating the symptoms without causing the opiate “high.”

At our Long Beach opioid treatment center, we combine drug therapy with a multi-disciplinary therapeutic approach that includes psychological counseling, physical therapy, and educational support to help individuals get their lives and their joy for living back on track.

While medications are an important intervention in addiction treatment, we place an equal focus on the underlying cause, whether that is rooted in chronic pain, psychological behaviors, outside stressors, or other forms of mental illness. This type of combination therapy has helped many people overcome the bonds of opioid addiction and return to a healthy, productive, and happy life.

Opioid treatment Long Beach

If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, we can help. Reach out today to get started.

 

Drug and Alcohol Use in Long Beach

Drug and Alcohol Use in Long Beach

Drug and alcohol use often begins as harmless experimentation, but if it occurs over an extended period, it can lead to addiction and a lifetime of hurt, both for the user and their family and friends.

In Long Beach, there are resources for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, detox, and recovery, but if you don’t know where to start, it can be a frustrating process. In truth, the hardest part is getting started. Once you have decided to seek help, you will find plenty of helpful, caring supports that can help you get your life back on track.

The truth about drug and alcohol use in Long Beach

Of the nearly half a million people that make Long Beach their home, about ten percent use drugs or alcohol to the extent that they are considered addicts. The highest percentile in this group is using heroin or opioids, but cocaine, methamphetamine, and prescription drugs are also a significant factor.

Alcohol abuse often begins at an early age and can lead to long-term issues that affect the individual’s ability to finish school, maintain gainful employment, and lead productive lives as an adult.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, almost half of all Americans have a history of alcoholism or alcohol abuse in their family. About 27 percent of adults over the age of 18 engage in binge-drinking, and more than ten percent of children live with an adult who has a drinking problem.

Though there are many variables and just as many reasons why people use and abuse drugs and alcohol, the results are generally the same. Lives are destroyed, productive relationships are a challenge to maintain, and the addict often faces incarceration, hospitalization, or the potential for early death.

Hope for drug and alcohol use in Long Beach

If you are struggling with an addiction or if substance abuse has taken over your life, there is hope. It may seem like a monumental undertaking, but know that there are people out there who care and who want to see you get better. Reaching out to make that connection is the first step; once you have begun your walk down the path to recovery, you will never be alone.

Individualized treatment plans

Everybody’s circumstance is different, just as is every addict’s reasons for using. You may have been exposed to significant trauma throughout your life and began using substances to numb the pain. We’re here to tell you, you’re not alone.

Our approach, our treatment goal, is to heal the whole person, not just the addiction. After the initial detox, we will focus on addressing the underlying cause in an effort to ensure a sustained recovery. Whether it’s physical pain that resulted in an opiate addiction or long-standing trauma that you are trying to forget, our team of caring, compassionate doctors, counselors, and therapists will work with you to develop a program that works for you.

Drug and alcohol recovery Long Beach

If you are suffering, we want to help. Reach out today to get started – the rest of your life is ahead of you.

Take The First Step Now

For immediate assistance, please call our Admissions Specialists at +1(562) 473-0827 or +1(866) 766-8776.

For more information or to start admissions – fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible:

Aftercare and its Role in Longterm Recovery

Aftercare and its Role in Longterm Recovery

Like any chronic health issue, the long-term aftercare that follows detox or inpatient treatment can be just as important as the initial treatment itself. If you look at recovering from addiction through the lens of a chronic condition, it is clear that long-term recovery requires similar steps to that of treating hypertension or diabetes: diagnosis, stabilization, continuing care, and of course, lifestyle changes.

Detox and Inpatient

The first step after seeking help might be to go into a medical detox or inpatient program for a period of time, where professionals can evaluate and observe you while withdrawing from a substance. During the inpatient portion of treatment, feelings, thoughts and behaviors will no doubt surface in the absence of the substances we use to escape these normally. This period of stabilization provides you with a solid foundation to begin addressing these issues as you develop your treatment plan for long-term aftercare.

Aftercare Planning

After receiving comprehensive inpatient or residential treatment, and you’ve chipped away at the physiological and psychological hold that chemical dependency can have on you, it is critically important to find the proper outpatient aftercare program for the weeks, months, and years ahead. Considering that recovery from addiction is not a single episode, enrolling into aftercare for groups and individual therapy sessions at an intensive outpatient or day treatment program significantly lowers the risk of relapse.

Relapse Prevention

Often times, people will complete a 28-30 day inpatient program with a renewed sense of self-efficacy, that “I got this” feeling, and will return home without seeking aftercare. As we touched on earlier, this period is intended to lay a foundation for treatment – it is not the end all, be all for recovery – and people are at the greatest risk for relapse and overdose following detox and inpatient programming. Research suggests that continuing care in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) produces the greatest outcomes for people following detox and inpatient treatment.

The statistics are widely known that approximately half of those who go through some type of addiction treatment will likely relapse at some point in their lives, but that number drops significantly among those who regularly attend aftercare treatment, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

Benefits of Aftercare

Aftercare or continuing care in an IOP presents incredible benefits for someone in early recovery: addressing trauma, developing coping skills, finding balance, connecting with our bodies, mending broken family ties, improving communication, etc. And in addition to these revelations in personal development, maintaining regular contact with recovery and healthcare professionals as well as engaging with a recovery support community with peers who are faced with the same challenges, help to set you up for long term success and recovery.

Why Roots?

At Roots Through Recovery, we understand the importance of finding a personalized aftercare plan that works for each person. We know that the inpatient treatment is a crucially important step, and it is the beginning of the long journey of recovery, along with aftercare or continuing care in an intensive outpatient program. Roots believes that no two individuals are the same, and neither are their journeys, so if we aren’t appropriate for you, we will ensure we find the right place to meet your individual needs.

Take The First Step Now

For immediate assistance, please call our Admissions Specialists at +1(562) 473-0827 or +1(866) 766-8776.

For more information or to start admissions – fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible:

Employee Assistance: EAPs and Unions

Employee Assistance: EAPs and Unions

Throughout time, employees struggling with addiction and other mental health issues have been unfairly targeted and mistreated by employers. But as the discussion around these issues becomes more informed and industries understand it is not a sign of weakness or a moral flaw, employers, unions, and other work-based resources like EAPs are becoming more commonly available both in the U.S. and around the world. Aside from creating a supportive and nurturing workplace that bodes well to productivity, employers have a responsibility to provide services to those who are struggling with these issues.

Employee Assistance Programs

The rise of Employee Assistance Programs, or EAPs for short, has spread across federal, state, and local government jobs and is now more commonly available in the private sector. Although they’re not new in concept, modern EAPs are now more focused on employees’ health and mental wellbeing than ever before, and they’ve come a long way from simply sending a worker to a quick psychological assessment before bringing them back into the field.

In addition to the family and workplace counseling they’re often known to provide, EAPs sometimes cover short-term and outpatient treatment for issues ranging from substance abuse and addiction to anxiety and trauma. Although their roles are still technically to assist in resolving issues that are affecting the employees’ ability to work, they’ve come a long way from the days in which employers believed that their workers would be able to leave their “personal issues” at home.

Many EAPs help organize health fairs, implement wellness programs to improve employee self-care, and educate their employees about their rights through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Family Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA). The management of EAPs varies from business to business, but many EAP professionals are Licensed Clinical Social Workers or have a background in counseling. Their experience and primary role make them a valuable resource for anyone struggling with substance abuse or mental health issues.

Unions

In addition to EAPs, some of the largest proponents of improved mental health and appropriate treatment for the workforce have been labor unions. Seeing as it is within their realm of responsibility to take care of their members, unions have started to make a shift from sweeping these issues under the rug to bringing them to the forefront. Like the EAPs, many unions now have drug and alcohol programs, and many even offer peer advocacy programs to educate their members about common addiction and mental health issues along with helping to identify and find appropriate treatment.

In the Long Beach area, for example, the ILWU-PMA offers the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Program, or ADRP. The ADRP provides its members with counseling and resources to help them find treatment and support them throughout the recovery process. ILWU members, many of whom find themselves injured in the workplace and develop a dependence on prescription pills, or are struggling with other issues, have found the ADRP program to be extremely supportive and beneficial for them as they go through treatment.

Outside Support

At Roots Through Recovery, we understand the challenges that addiction and mental health issues can create in one’s life, both personally and professionally. That’s why one of our goals is to help people get their lives back on track, regardless of what their journey has been thus far. We regularly work with EAPs and unions to help them provide better care for their employees, and we are encouraged by the current trend of incorporating more whole-person wellness programs in the workplace.

Although not every employer or industry is required to offer coverage for substance abuse and other mental health issues, it can certainly be worth investigating what options and benefits are available to you should you decide to explore support beyond what is offered by your employer.

 

 

Take The First Step Now

For immediate assistance, please call our Admissions Specialists at +1(562) 473-0827 or +1(866) 766-8776.

For more information or to start admissions – fill out the form below and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible: