The dangers of prescription drug abuse

Is it possible that you or someone you love is addicted to prescription drugs? At Eden Rehabilitation Centre, we understand that most of us take prescription drugs only for the reason the doctor intended. Nevertheless, an estimated 48 million people (aged 12 and older), according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons in their lifetime and many result in addiction and the need for recovery.

In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in prescription drug misuse or abuse. This increase has led to a corresponding increase in ER visits because of accidental overdoses as well as admissions to drug treatment programmes for drug addictions

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is one of the most poorly recognized types of chemical dependency, particularly in women. A prescription drug is any medicine regulated by law to require a doctor’s prescription before it can be obtained. Prescription drugs generally work by either suppressing or promoting chemical reactions in the brain.

Three different classes of prescriptions, Eden Recovery Centre emphasises, are most susceptible to abuse and treatment and recovery is imperative:

  • Stimulants: most commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Opiates: most often prescribed to treat severe or chronic pain
  • Tranquilizers / sedatives: frequently prescribed to treat anxiety disorders or sleep disorders

Drug-seeking behaviours are the primary warning signs of prescription drug abuse, regardless of the chemical makeup of the medication. These behaviours include:

  • Frequent requests for refills from physicians
  • Losing prescriptions and requesting replacements regularly
  • Crushing or breaking pills
  • Stealing or borrowing prescription medications from family members, friends, or co-workers
  • Consuming prescriptions much faster than indicated
  • Visiting multiple doctors for similar conditions
  • Inconsistent answers to questions about prescription usage
  • Stealing or forging prescriptions
  • Consumption of over-the-counter drugs for the same conditions that a doctor has prescribed other medication
  • Ordering prescription medications over the internet

Several other behavior patterns often accompany the emergence of prescription drug addiction and treatment for recovery may be needed. They should also be considered signs of a progressing addictive disease process:

  • Noticeable mood swings corresponding to availability or absence of prescription drugs
  • Changing sleep patterns
  • Increasing irritability, especially when prescriptions are unavailable
  • More frequent alcohol consumption

If you are concerned about your, or a loved one’s, addiction with prescription drugs, please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


How drug addiction starts

Eden Rehabilitation Centre explores the fine line between recreational use and drug abuse and addiction. The ugly truth is that very few addicts are able to recognize when they have crossed that line because most of the time, that line is one that is extremely thin and a slippery slope to disaster.

  • Drug abuse may start as a way to socially connect. Commonly, people try drugs for the first time in social situations with friends and acquaintances. A strong desire to fit in to the group or be more confident can make it feel like doing drugs is the only option to fit in.
  • Problems can sometimes sneak up on you, as your drug use gradually increases over time. Smoking a joint with friends over the weekend, or taking ecstasy at a rave, or cocaine at an occasional party, for example, can change from using drugs a couple of days a week to using them every day. Gradually, getting and using the drug becomes more and more important to you.
  • If the drug fulfills a valuable need, you may find yourself increasingly relying on it. You may take drugs to calm or energize yourself, or make you more confident. You may start using prescription drugs to cope with panic attacks or relieve chronic pain. Until you find alternative, healthier methods for overcoming these problems, your drug use will likely continue. If you are using drugs to fill a void in your life, you’re more at risk of crossing the line from casual use to drug abuse and addiction. To maintain a healthy balance in your life, you need to have positive experiences and feel good about your life without any drug use.
  • As drug abuse takes hold, you may miss or frequently be late for work or school, your job performance may progressively deteriorate, and you may start to neglect social or family responsibilities. Your ability to stop using is eventually compromised. What began as a voluntary choice has turned into a physical and psychological need.
  • Eventually drug abuse can consume your life, stopping social and intellectual development. This only reinforces the feelings of isolation that led to the drug use in the first place.

The good news is that with the right treatment and support, you can counteract the disruptive effects of drug use, seek recovery and regain control of your life. The first obstacle is to recognize and admit you have a drug addiction problem, or listen to loved ones who are often better able to see the negative effects drug use is having on your life. Recovery is possible.

If you are concerned about your, or a loved one’s, drug addiction, please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


We’ve all heard of the drug ‘Tik’ – but what is it?

Eden Recovery Centre explores the meaning behind the word Tik and the pain and addiction suffered on those whose hands it touches.

Tik is the South African street name for crystal methamphetamine. It has a very bad reputation in South Africa because it’s more potent that other forms of meth and because it is so easily available making recovery tough. It started off as the drug of choice in poor communities because it’s cheap, but it has since spread to other levels of society.

Tik’s effects are stronger and last longer than other forms of meth, but the crash is also much worse. Tik and all other forms of crystal meth are stimulants, as opposed to depressants, because they increase activity between the brain and the central nervous system.

Appearance

Tik is a white powder that is smoked, snorted and injected. Crystal meth comes in crystalline blocks; it is also smoked, snorted and injected.

Effects

Tik is an extremely powerful drug that could result in rehabilitation for addicts. It takes effect instantly if it’s injected or smoked; it has a lag time of about half an hour if it’s snorted or swallowed. The instant effects are pleasurable, but the after-effects are awful. The long-term effects are even worse.

Pleasant side-effects include:

  • Euphoria
  • Heightened sense of contentment and satisfaction – no worries in the world.
  • Confidence
  • Energy
  • Power
  • Gratitude

Unpleasant side-effects include:

  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Panic attacks
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations
  • Aggression
  • Headache
  • Cramps

Long-term side-effects

  • Malnutrition
  • Depression
  • Meth mouth – rotten and broken teeth caused by poor oral hygiene and constant grinding.
  • Mental disorders – Tik psychosis
  • Insomnia
  • Seizures
  • Organ failure
  • Heart attack
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Death

If you are concerned about your own Tik addiction or that of a loved one who could be addicted to Tik, please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


10 Warning Signs Of Alcoholism

It’s hard to be objective when it comes to figuring out whether you or your loved one has a problem with drinking. At Eden Rehabilitation Centre we have discovered that emotions run high, rationalizations and denials lead to confusion and it can seem hard to draw the line between what’s acceptable and what’s going too far.

Here are 10 of the most important things to look out for in yourself or your loved one and whether it’s time to consider rehabilitation. 

  1. Lying About or Hiding Your Drinking – Denial is common with people having problems with alcohol, so both problem drinkers and alcoholics might drink secretively or lie about how much they drink to make it seem like less of an issue.
  1. Drinking to Relax or Feel Better – Almost all people struggling with addiction abuse their substance of choice for emotional reasons. Whether it’s stress, depression, anxiety or anything else, using alcohol as a method of easing negative feelings is a risky habit—the “relief” it provides is only temporary and it ordinarily makes things worse in the long run.
  1. “Blacking Out” Regularly – Drinking so much that you have no memory of what happened is another red flag for a problem with alcohol. Simply put, it means you drank waytoo much.
  1. Being Unable to Stop Once You Start – If you always finish a bottle of wine once it’s opened or drink all the beer in the house once you’ve had one, it’s another sign you aren’t in full control of your drinking and you may have a problem. You may need to seek help from a rehabilitation centre such as Eden Recovery Centre.
  1. Drinking in Dangerous Situations – Drinking when you really shouldn’t—like before work, before you have to drive somewhere or drinking against your doctor’s orders when you’re on medication—is an important sign of problem drinking.
  1. Neglecting Your Responsibilities – If you’re having problems at work, school or with your household responsibilities because of your drinking, you have a problem. Alcohol has crossed the line from an occasional indulgence to something that seriously impacts your day-to-day functioning.
  1. Having Trouble in Your Relationships – This is closely related to the last point, but it’s in many ways more important. If your drinking is causing problems with your closest friends, your significant other or your family, it’s an indication that alcohol is a bigger priority than even the most important people in your life.
  1. Being Able to Drink More Than You Used To – Tolerance is another key sign of addiction, so if you can drink more than you used to and need to drink more than you did before in order to get drunk, it’s a strong indicator that you’re becoming an alcoholic.
  1. Experiencing Withdrawal – Withdrawal is different from a hangover; it’s the reaction to the lack of alcohol rather than too much alcohol. If you start to feel irritable, tired, depressed, nauseous or anxious when you haven’t had a drink, there’s a possibility you’re going through withdrawal. Other signs include having trouble sleeping, losing your appetite and experiencing shakiness or trembling.
  1. Trying to Quit but Being Unable to – If you have realized your drinking is becoming a problem (or someone who cares about you has) and tried to make a change but have been unsuccessful, you should seriously consider seeking help from a rehabilitation centre.

It’s important to note that experiencing just one of these signs doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a problem drinker or an alcoholic, but if you’re experiencing a few of them (or you see numerous signs in a loved one), there is a very strong possibility your drinking has gone too far. The latter five symptoms in particular are signs of addiction rather than problem drinking. If you are concerned – please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Can teen drug abuse be avoided?

At Eden Rehabilitation Centre we believe that there are numerous factors that could possibly contribute to teen drug abuse–some of which turn into a life-long habit. But what are these risk factors and how can we combat drug use at an early age?

Lack of Parent to Child Communication
Teen drug abuse could possibly be reduced if parents set aside more time to talk to their children about the dangers and consequences associated with drug and alcohol abuse. If parents alert teens of the risks, there is a possibility that more would avoid substance abuse altogether.

Teens who think their parents don’t care are also more likely to pick up bad habits and land up in recovery later on in life. Talk to your teen on a regular basis about their day, friends, school and other relevant topics. Parents who are there for their teens when they get home from school or after a night out with friends are more likely to have children who don’t abuse drugs and alcohol. If a teen knows there is a “check point” at home, they will be more likely to stay away from drugs and alcohol for fear of getting in trouble.

Tip: The use of statistical data can be very helpful in keeping your kids informed. Encourage them to read books on real–life addiction stories and rehabilitation centres or get online and show them the hard hitting facts.

Trying to Fit In at School
While drugs and alcohol are prohibited at school, teens always find their way around it. If the cool kids at school are doing it, odds are your child might experimenting to fit in.  Talk to your kids about their friends and who they are hanging out with when at school.

Unsupervised Accessibility
Do you keep alcohol at home? Is it possible that your child could steal from your stash when you are not in the home? If you answered yes, then you are exposing yourself to legal liability. This not only applies to alcohol, but other drugs, cigarettes and prescriptions found in most households.

Keep prescriptions, alcohol, cigarette and other harmful substances in a locked cabinet or drawer. Make sure your child understands that taking or using any of the prohibited substances is not acceptable.

Tip: To make certain teens are not stealing, regularly check levels of all substances. Use a marker to draw a line on a bottle, or count the number of pills in your container.

Encourage a sporty and outdoor lifestyle.

More teens are being left in the home while mom, dad or other adults are at work. Teens who are left along for long periods of time or who are allowed to come and go as they please will undoubtedly have greater opportunity for exposure to drugs.

Rather encourage your teens to get involved in extramural activities such as academics or sports (Swimming, rugby, tennis, athletics etc) When they are investing their free time in valuable activities, they will strengthen their individuality, team work abilities and self-esteem and decrease their need to fit in on a social party level.

Tip: Ask your teen what sport they would love to get involved in. Inspire them through YouTube videos or new piece of equipment to grow their passion.

If you are concerned about your child and whether they may be experimenting with drugs and alcohol – please contact us. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please feel free to contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Alcohol abuse facts – How does alcohol affect your health?

People drink to socialize, celebrate, and relax.  Alcohol often has a strong effect on people – and throughout history, we’ve struggled to understand and manage alcohol’s power.  Why does alcohol cause us to act and feel differently?  How much is too much? Why do some people become addicted while others do not? Am I in need of recovery? Am I a possible alcoholic?

Drinking too much – on a single occasion or over time – can take a serious toll on your health.  Sometimes treatment and recovery is needed to break the pattern and give you the necessary tools to understand the long-term damage alcoholism could be doing to your body.

Here’s how alcohol abuse can affect your body:

Brain:
Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.  Alcohol can also result in black outs and memory lapses.

Heart:
Drinking a lot over a long time or too much on a single occasion can damage the heart, causing problems including:

  • Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle
  • Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure

Research also shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol may protect healthy adults from developing coronary heart disease.

Liver:
Heavy drinking takes a toll on the liver, and can lead to a variety of problems and liver inflammations including:

  • Steatosis, or fatty liver
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Fibrosis
  • Cirrhosis

Pancreas:
Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can eventually lead to pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.

Cancer:
Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of developing certain cancers, including cancers of the:

  • Mouth
  • Esophagus
  • Throat
  • Liver
  • Breast

If you are concerned about a family member’s drinking habits or your own even, please contact us – your health is too important and sometimes, even though you think you can, the reality is that you cannot do it alone.  For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Relationships and Recovery

After a long and painful battle with addiction, surely love is always the answer? An important consideration in regard to relationships in early recovery is that those in early recovery or release from rehabilitation rarely know who they really are and often battle with this concept. If one is unsure of who they are, how can they know what they will want in a relationship? If they do not know who they are they cannot truly love themselves. If they do not love themselves how can they love a partner?

In light of these considerations on the topic of early recovery and relationships, everyone in early recovery from drug addiction, alcohol abuse or any form of addiction considering entering a relationship has reason for concern. The questions “is it possible this attraction is due to unconscious complexes or addictive behavior?” or “what contributes to my attraction to this person?” needs to be asked and strongly considered. And as a final thought in regard to answering these questions, does someone in early recovery have the capacity to be entirely honest with themselves, when not that long ago they were convincing themselves they needed another fix, drink, hit, etc. to get through the day?

Reasons Relationships in Early Recovery are Ill Advised because:

  1. Relationships take the focus off of recovery.
  2. Relationships take the focus off of the individual and their rehabilitation goals.
  3. Relationships increase the potential for relapse due to emotional intensity.
  4. There is too much potential for underlying issues, projections, and complexes to be creating the attraction.
  5. Low self-esteem and the bargaining process of relationships make early recovery a tenuous time to enter a relationship.
  6. There is a strong likelihood of outgrowing the relationship quickly.
  7. In early recovery you do not really know yourself yet.
  8. In early recovery you may not have a healthy understanding of what love is yet.
  9. There is a strong possibility of the individual in early recovery acting on, “I want what I want when I want it.”
  10. In light of advice to the contrary, if you decide to enter a relationship, you are working your own program. This is self-will, and this is an addictive behavior.

For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes and advice on relationships in the stages of recovery, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


The ugly truth behind marijuana addiction

A marijuana addict’s life is controlled by marijuana. He or she loses interest in all else and their dreams go up in smoke. Marijuana addiction is a progressive illness often leading to addiction to other drugs, including alcohol. The lives, thinking and desires of marijuana addicts centre around marijuana–scoring it, dealing it and finding ways to stay high. That’s when rehabilitation may be the best possible solution for recovery.

Addiction is a progressive, long-term continuing problem. When an addict tries to stop using and fails because life without the drug is just too hard, that is addiction. Once an addict is convinced he or she cannot live without marijuana, the dependency becomes an obsession. When the addict uses even though he or she promised themselves they wouldn’t, this is compulsion.

SHORT-TERM EFFECTS

  • Sensory distortion
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Poor coordination of movement
  • Lowered reaction time
  • After an initial “up,” the user feels sleepy or depressed
  • Increased heartbeat (and risk of heart attack)

LONG-TERM EFFECTS OF MARIJUANA

  • Reduced resistance to common illnesses (colds, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Suppression of the immune system
  • Growth disorders
  • Increase of abnormally structured cells in the body
  • Reduction of male sex hormones
  • Rapid destruction of lung fibers and lesions (injuries) to the brain could be permanent
  • Reduced sexual capacity
  • Study difficulties: reduced ability to learn and retain information
  • Apathy, drowsiness, lack of motivation
  • Personality and mood changes
  • Inability to understand things clearly

If you, or someone you care about needs help with an addiction to marijuana, Eden Recovery Centre may be the answer.

The THC in marijuana tends to be stored in fatty tissue as it is fat-soluble, therefore it is vital to long-term recovery that these drug residues are flushed from the body improving mood, cravings and energy. Each person in recovery at Eden Recovery Centre has the support needed to discover and repair the reasons drug abuse started. And to complete recovery from addiction, each person learns the life skills that are vital to staying drug-free even when faced by challenging situations. It takes a very well-rounded programme like the one at Eden Recovery Centre to turn addiction into lasting sobriety.

At Eden, no drugs are ever used as part of addiction treatment. The goal is a completely drug-free life.

For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes which may you’re your loved one deal with marijuana addiction and lead them down the road to recovery, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Families can find light in the storms of addiction

When a person has a drug or addiction problem, they have a disease that can hurt the family unless they seek the necessary help from a dependable rehabilitation centre. Drug abuse puts a lot of stress on parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and anyone who is part of the home. Please don’t be fooled in to thinking that any addiction case is different, or that the situation is unique, because the outcomes and destruction is always the same.

What happens when a family member gets involved in drugs/addiction?

  • You can’t count on them to do what they say they will do.
  • They may forget or get distracted because their focus is on getting and taking drugs.
  • They might lie or steal money to buy drugs.
  • They might get fired from their jobs.
  • They might not come home at night.
  • They will refuse recovery or admit there’s a problem
  • They may do bad things they would never do if they weren’t abusing drugs.

Family members might fight and argue excessively because of the problems the drug abuse is causing by withholding recovery. The drug user might do and say things that upset neighbours and friends, and make the family feel ashamed and somewhat embarrassed. Some people who are battling addiction don’t believe that they are sick and out of control nor seek recovery, so they don’t look for treatment at a reputable rehabilitation facility such as Eden Recovery. They don’t see the problems they are causing themselves and those around them. Other people who are addicted are aware of the problem, but may be so upset and confused that they do not know how to ask for or get help. But there is always hope. Recovery is possible and loved ones and relationships can be pieced back together and relationships restored. Hope is never lost and second chances are imminent. The  sun can shine again. For more information on how you can help a loved one who is struggling addiction as well as more on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.


Is it time for an intervention?

At Eden Recovery Centre we believe an intervention can motivate someone to seek help for alcohol or drug abuse, compulsive eating, or other addictive behaviours. We also know that it’s challenging to help a loved one struggling with any type of addiction. Sometimes a direct, heart-to-heart conversation can start the road to recovery. But when it comes to addiction, the person with the problem often struggles to see it and acknowledge it. A more focused approach is often needed. You may need to join forces with other concerned family members or friends and take action through a formal intervention. That’s because people who struggle with addiction are often in denial about their situation and unwilling to seek recovery or treatment. They may not recognize the negative effects their behaviour has on themselves and others.

So how does a typical intervention work?

  1. Make a plan.A family member or friend proposes an intervention and forms a planning group. It’s best if you consult with a qualified professional counsellor, addiction specialist, psychologist, mental health counsellor, social worker or rehabilitation Centre such as Eden Recovery Centre – to help you organise an effective intervention. An intervention is a highly charged situation with the potential to cause anger, resentment or a sense of betrayal.
  2. Gather information.The group members find out about the extent of the loved one’s problem and research the condition and treatment programmes which Eden Recovery Centre is happy to help you with. The group may initiate arrangements to enrol the loved one in a specific treatment program.
  3. Form the intervention team.The planning group forms a team that will personally participate in the intervention. Team members set a date and location and work together to present a consistent, rehearsed message and a structured plan. Often, nonfamily members of the team help keep the discussion focused on the facts of the problem and shared solutions rather than strong emotional responses. Do not let your loved one know what you are doing until the day of the intervention.
  4. Decide on specific consequences.If your loved one doesn’t accept treatment, each person on the team needs to decide what action he or she will take. Examples include asking your loved one to move out or taking away contact with children.
  5. Make notes on what to say.Each member of the intervention team describes specific incidents where the addiction caused problems, such as emotional or financial issues. Discuss the toll of your loved one’s behaviour while still expressing care and the expectation that your loved one can change. Your loved one can’t argue with facts or with your emotional response to the problem. For example begin by saying “I was upset and hurt when you drank…”
  6. Hold the intervention meeting.Without revealing the reason, the loved one is asked to the intervention site. Members of the core team then take turns expressing their concerns and feelings. The loved one is presented with a treatment option from a rehabilitation centre and asked to accept that option on the spot. Each team member will say what specific changes he or she will make if the addicted person doesn’t accept the plan. Do not threaten a consequence unless you are ready to follow through with it.
  7. Follow up.Involving a spouse, family members or others is critical to help someone with an addiction stay in recovery and avoid relapsing. This can include changing patterns of everyday living to make it easier to avoid destructive behaviour, offering to participate in counselling with your loved one, seeking your own therapist and recovery support, and knowing what to do if relapse occurs.

A successful intervention must be planned carefully to work as intended. A poorly planned intervention can worsen the situation — your loved one may feel attacked and become isolated or more resistant to treatment. For information on Eden Recovery Centre’s Treatment Programmes which may help with structuring your intervention and aiding your loved on the road to recovery, please contact the Eden Recovery Centre. You can depend on full discretion.