Prescription Drug Detox

Prescription drug detoxification (or “detox”) is needed when an individual becomes addicted to a prescription medication and needs to stop using the drug. In recent years, the abuse of prescription drugs has become more rampant; this is due partly to the widespread availability of the medications and because of the high-risk level for addiction. Drugs such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and various opiates are often prescribed to address legitimate physical and mental ailments; however, when taken without medical supervision, these types of drugs can be heavily misused. Specifically, teenagers in the United States have become increasingly exposed to prescription drugs, accelerating the potential for abuse and addiction.

Unlike other types of substance abuse, prescription drug abuse affects the user on both physical and psychological levels. Not only does the user’s body become addicted to the drug, but the addict also continues to use the drug in order to avoid prolonged mental distress. Depending on the type of prescription drug being abused, users can experience physical symptoms that mimic their initial disorder when that individual abruptly stops using the drug. For example, if an individual was prescribed an anti-depressant such as Valium and then stops taking the drug after repeated use, s/he may experience severe episodes of anxiety or depression. This cycle of usage perpetuates the abuse, as the individual continues to take the drug in order to sate his or her physical and mental dependence.

The intensity of the detox process depends on the individual, the severity of the addiction, the type of prescription drug being abused, and the amount of time the addict has been using the drug. Individuals addicted to some prescription drugs (e.g. barbiturates) can undergo life threatening withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuing the use of the drug, which is why it is important to have a medical professional supervise or be involved in the detoxification process. Medical detox treatment options are created on an individual basis, and these detox programs are intended to minimize the risks of withdrawal symptoms and address the root psychological causes of the addiction.

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Klonopin Detox

Clonazepam – known in the United States under the trade-name Klonopin – is a benzodiazepine that is prescribed to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, mania, epilepsy, and additional types of seizure and parasomnia (sleep-related) disorders. Though it is not known for its addictive or habit-forming qualities, like any benzodiazepine there is a risk of physical dependency that leads to withdrawal symptoms and potentially abuse and addiction in order to avoid withdrawal. Long-term effects of Klonopin usage – even when taken in small doses – include tolerance, dependence, and cognitive impairments.

Because Klonopin is a muscle relaxant and anticonvulsant, common side effects of Klonopin when initially taken include irritability, lack of motivation, impaired motor function, dizziness, hallucinations, and drowsiness. After an individual becomes tolerant of the drug, these side effects will worsen when the course of treatment is stopped, leading to withdrawal-related health issues like anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, tremors, and seizures. Many of the withdrawal effects are identical to the disorders that the medication was prescribed to treat. Since the withdrawal symptoms are usually severe and potentially life-threatening, using Klonopin for an extended period of time is not recommended.

Due to the high potential for abuse and the extreme withdrawal side effects, the detoxification process for Klonopin can be both physically and mentally challenging if not carefully monitored. Though some individuals attempt to initiate their own Klonopin detox programs because they do not feel that they are “addicted” to the medication, many find it difficult to effectively limit the dosage enough to repress both the original issues and the withdrawal symptoms. Though medical or licensed professionals may follow a similar detoxification process (i.e. lowering the dosage of Klonopin in minor increments), they also combine additional methods to improve the effectiveness of the detox procedure. Oftentimes, these methods include therapy and ongoing treatment for the mental disorder.

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Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a general term that refers to a negative pattern of illicit substance use. The term “substance abuse” is sometimes used interchangeably with “drug abuse,” though the connotation of the word “drug” is slightly more limited. Medical professionals and authors have adopted the term “substance abuse” and use it to describe a variety of non-dependent alcohol and drug related disorders. Generally, substance abuse occurs when an individual abuses drugs and/or alcohol to his or her physical or psychological detriment. Substance abuse encompasses a wide-range of drugs, including alcohol and tobacco. While the abuse of certain types of substances has decreased in recent years, the use of other drugs such as prescription medications and heroin has increased dramatically.

The causes of substance abuse vary on an individual basis, and they can range from depression and pain relief to environmental and social factors. Specific risk factors such as a genetic predisposition can significantly impact an individual’s likelihood of developing a substance abuse disorder. Increased exposure to drugs and alcohol may cause an individual to become desensitized to dangerous substances, especially in cases of children and young adults witnessing family members or authority figures abusing drugs. Other causes of substance abuse include mental and emotional disorders, physical ailments, and peer pressure. An individual may also abuse a substance without developing a physical dependency on the drug.

There are numerous treatment options for individuals suffering from substance abuse, including therapy, detoxification, inpatient and outpatient centers, and more. Depending on the needs of the individual and the type of substance being abused, medical supervision may be required in order to deal with all aspects of the substance abuse disorder. Because abusing drugs and alcohol can have both physical and psychological effects, it is important to complete a full treatment program. When treating substance abuse, the support of family and friends can serve as a crucial part of the recovery process.

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Stress

Stress occurs when the body physically responds to an emotional or physical stimulus, be it real or imagined, which affects the body’s normal operation. Everyone experiences some degree of stress on a regular basis; it has many causes, both external and internal. In small doses, stress is a useful way for the body to respond to threats or danger. Specifically, when the stress response is functioning normally, it generates energy and focus; stress can also help the body handle emergency situations. However, when stress becomes extreme or chronic, it begins to negatively impact the body and the functionality of the brain.

Small or brief episodes of stress have many different side effects, including elevated heart rate, increased adrenaline production, and greater focus. When an individual is too stressed for an extended period of time, mental and physical health problems can develop or worsen: depression, insomnia, anxiety, heart disease, digestive disorders, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, eating disorders, etc. Though some of these side effects of stress can have other causes, if an individual is constantly feeling overwhelmed or depressed, has difficulty concentrating, worries constantly, or experiences a variety of physical symptoms (frequent colds, chest pain, intestinal distress, etc.), s/he may be suffering from chronic stress.

The external and internal causes of stress have the same effect on the body – with regards to stress, the human body cannot differentiate between physical and psychological threats. Along the same lines, the body cannot distinguish between real and imagined stressors, which means that the causes of stress can vary greatly between people. For example, one individual may feel stressed or overwhelmed when traveling alone, while another person may find it relaxing. In addition to other things, your stress level depends on your response to elements of your life (such as relationships, work, and environment). Some of the most common causes of stress include divorce, the death of a loved one, and physical illness or injury. For some people, something as small as forgetting to turn off the coffee pot at home may incite a stress response from the body. Not all stressors are negative; positive or happy events can also trigger a stress response.

Managing stress involves understanding how you respond to events, learning how to relax, maintaining or strengthening relationships, and understanding your emotions. Because stress manifests itself physically, both your physical body and your mental state will benefit from effective stress management.

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Faith-Based Drug Rehab

Faith-based drug rehabilitation is different from other rehab programs in that it focuses on spiritual healing based on Christian beliefs instead of conventional recovery programs. Though numerous drug rehab programs incorporate aspects of spirituality into the treatment process, these types of programs usually focus on a more general sense of spiritual well being. Faith-based drug rehab, also known as Christian rehab, focuses on the drug addict’s relationship with Jesus Christ rather than a universal higher power. Faith-based recovery programs usually involve Bible study, sermons, prayer, church services, and other spiritual steps that focus on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Along the same lines, Christian rehab centers also tend to practice healing the self through Jesus Christ, as opposed to more conventional therapy programs.

There are several different types of faith-based drug rehab programs, but each centers on the Christian belief system. Some of the programs involve little or no traditional Western medication and counseling, while others involve aspects of vocational rehab by having drug addicts participate in work programs like the Salvation Army. Other faith-based rehabilitation programs combine traditional treatment methods – like counseling and therapy – with Christian ideology. Like all drug rehab centers, the main goal of Christian rehab is to address and resolve the underlying issues that led to the addiction. Christian centers also focus on ensuring that the rehabilitated individual continues on a spiritual path even after leaving the treatment facility.

Faith-based rehab locations can be found throughout the United States. Some of the Christian drug rehab programs exist as optional treatment plans within a larger recovery facility, while other rehab centers are devoted strictly to faith-based drug recovery. Facilities that offer only faith-based rehab usually also have pastors and credentialed Christian therapists on staff to assist users with overcoming the addiction. Faith-based rehab is also available as an in-patient or an out-patient.

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Insomnia

Insomnia is a broad term that encompasses a wide range of sleep-related disorders; insomnia is not a disorder or disease itself, it is actually a symptom of an underlying medical or psychological issue. Though many people may experience episodes of sleeplessness, insomnia is a persistent condition categorized by having difficulty falling asleep, waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to fall back asleep, waking up too early in the morning, and feeling tired upon waking. These periods of insomnia can last anywhere from a few days to a month or more, depending on the latent causes.

There are two main types of insomnia: primary (insomnia unrelated to another existing health condition) and secondary (insomnia caused by pre-existing health conditions or other outside factors, such as alcohol or medication). Both types also vary by the length of the insomnia episodes and how often they occur. Acute insomnia – usually brought about by stress, illness, medications, or jet lag – is short-term and usually lasts from a few days to a couple of weeks. Chronic insomnia – caused by depression, chronic stress, or pain – occurs at least three nights in one week for a month (or longer) period.

Insomnia is also one of the side effects of a number of drug and substance addictions, including alcohol addiction, cocaine use, prescription medication abuse, and more. Though insomnia is usually cured during the treatment process, it can linger until the individual fully addresses all emotional, psychological, and physical aspects of the addiction.

Less serious types of insomnia do not necessarily need to be treated professionally; mild acute insomnia can be combated with relaxation techniques or simply by adjusting your sleep schedule to a more normal, consistent cycle. Though medications are often prescribed to aid in treating insomnia, some of these medications may lose effectiveness, cause dependency, and potentially contribute to the insomnia after your body has become used to the medication. Therapy is also an option for treating the disorders (e.g. depression) that cause the insomnia.

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OxyContin Addiction

OxyContin is the controlled-release version of oxycodone – an opioid analgesic medication synthesized for the purpose of relieving moderate to severe pain. Though OxyContin is used for medical purposes and often prescribed to individuals who experience pain associated with arthritis, trauma, fractures, cancer, etc., it has become more widely abused in recent years, leading to a greater numbers of addicted users. Like other opiate drugs (e.g. morphine) with a high risk for abuse, users who possess OxyContin without a valid prescription can be subject to criminal prosecution. Due to its availability and the rush of “euphoria” experienced after first taking the drug, OxyContin has become one of the most highly abused prescription drugs in the United States, especially in younger or teenage populations.

There are numerous side effects when taking OxyContin: respiratory depression, nausea, sedation, dizziness, vomiting, headaches, etc. After a user becomes physically addicted to the drug, more serious side effects can emerge. When someone is suffering from OxyContin or another opioid addiction, that person’s body becomes used to having the drug in its system; thus, stopping the drug can produce withdrawal symptoms in addition to the drug’s serious side effects: muscle and bone pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, tremors, restlessness, increased heart rate, and more. Because there is no absolute maximum dose, the risk of death increases in users who have an addiction to OxyContin; as addicts continue to take higher doses of the medication to achieve the same feelings of “euphoria” felt initially, the risk of overdose is intensified. This is one of the main reasons it is so important to take the prescription responsibly and only when needed, under the supervision of a licensed medical professional.

Oxycodone itself is habit forming, which increases the likelihood of addiction to the drug. Addiction to OxyContin is fully treatable as long as both the physical and psychological factors of the addiction are addressed. Though dealing with withdrawal symptoms can be painful, closely monitoring the process can minimize its life-threatening aspects and alleviate some of the major withdrawal symptoms.

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Depression Treatment

Depression is a psychological problem characterized by negative or extreme changes in thinking, behavior, and physical well-being. It is one of the most common mental disorders in the world; in the United States alone, around 20 million adults suffer from depression annually. Though it is widespread, the number of people who actually seek treatment for the illness is considerably less than the number of affected individuals. In fact, only about one-third of American adults experiencing depression receive treatment; the majority of people who suffer from the disorder are not treated for it, due to a variety of factors that can include the social stigma associated with depression, the extreme debilitating symptoms, and misdiagnosed symptoms.

Because depression manifests itself physically as well as psychologically, the symptoms can range anywhere from overeating and sleeplessness to feelings of hopelessness. The variety of symptoms also contributes to the misdiagnosis of depression, as doctors or psychologists attribute other causes to the perceivable depression indicators. Each individual experiences depression in a different way and to a different extreme; common symptoms include headaches, sleeplessness, a lack of interest in daily activities, oversleeping, thoughts of suicide, a fixation on death, work and relationship issues, and feelings of worthlessness. There are also different types of depression, which are typically categorized as follows: major depression, dysthymic disorder, adjustment disorder, and bipolar depression.

Due to the wide range of depression symptoms and causes, treatment options vary on a case-by-case basis. The two main treatment methods for depression are psychotherapy and medication. Some individuals may only need a few therapy sessions before they start feeling better, while more serious cases of depression may require medication in addition to regular therapy sessions. However, for people afflicted with the disorder, medication is usually optional unless the individual is a) having extreme physical symptoms that need to be treated b) having difficulty maintaining a normal lifestyle or c) experiencing bipolar or major depression. Due to the severity of bipolar and major depression, medication is customarily included in the treatment program.

Everyone experiences episodes of sadness, loss, grief, or anger. When these episodes last longer than a week or when they interfere with daily activities and relationships, you may be suffering from depression and could benefit from seeking treatment from a therapist or a psychologist.

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Teen Wilderness Camps

Teen wilderness camps are a form of treatment and therapy for a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, grief, self-esteem, and drug or alcohol addiction. Many families seek out these programs in an attempt to help their child or young adult (usually ages 11-18) overcome psychological and emotional problems. These camps, designed to address each teenager’s needs while s/he interacts with other young people, have become increasingly popular in the past few years as an effective treatment option. Instead of medicating the teen or sending him or her to an inpatient recovery facility, parents or guardians will send the young adult to one of the hundreds of wilderness camps around the world. Each camp is different, but all the wilderness programs emphasize a connection with the outdoors, cooperation with other struggling individuals, self-reliance, and self-discipline.

At wilderness camps, the teens must learn how to survive in the outdoors without any modern conveniences. This includes preparing and cooking their own meals, making fire, fetching water, setting up and packing camp, and hiking. The size of the group of individuals depends on the camp, but each group is led by a supervising adult (or adults). At most camps, these guides are trained and licensed therapists. As the teen participates in the wilderness aspect of the program, the therapist also leads sessions with the group to address each person’s issues. This can involve more traditional therapy techniques, including one-on-one sessions and group discussions.

Teen wilderness camps can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to more than $30,000 dollars, depending on the length of the program, the type of program offered, and the type(s) of therapy utilized by the camp. For example, a wilderness camp that lasts around 60 days and offers individual therapy sessions on top of the wilderness experience will cost more than other camps. Most of the programs are all-inclusive, a factor that also contributes to the overall cost of the camp.

If your teen is struggling with emotional, psychological, or substance abuse issues, a wilderness camp program may be able to help them in ways that traditional treatment options would not. It is important to contact the individual camps beforehand to determine whether or not the camp will be a good match for the teen.

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Treatment vs. Jail

New legal options for non-violent drug users and possessors are being debated on a national level; states are also enacting local propositions and acts that deal with treating drug abusers. Non-violent drug criminals are individuals that may use, possess, or sell illegal substances but do not participate in violent crimes to obtain or distribute the drug(s). Though the definition of violence encompasses a number of categories of transgressions, non-violent drug offenders serving jail sentences are different from violent criminals who may also be incarcerated (e.g. murderers). Traditionally, drug-using criminals would be jailed for offenses, and prison time would serve as both a punishment and a treatment program. However, new arguments involving both social and environmental aspects propose that treatment – including community-based centers and rehabilitation facilities – is a better option for addressing the underlying problems with drug use.

Because drug users are also suffering from addiction, simply putting them in jail does not allow them to obtain the necessary treatment to deal with the drug dependency. Recent statistics support the idea that individuals who have served a mandatory jail sentence without participating in a treatment program return to a life of drug use and crime, whereas incarcerated drug abusers who participate in treatment programs and enter care facilities upon release are less likely to commit new crimes.

Along the same lines, drug users who are treated fully for the addiction have a greater chance of recovering and becoming productive members of society. Since many treatment programs involve therapy and even job placement, the temptation to return to drugs and crime is minimized. It has been argued that imprisonment creates a cycle of drug abuse, arrest, jail time, release, and a return to a drug-related lifestyle because it does not deal with the underlying issues of the user or possessor.

In addition to the addiction aspect of this debate, states are also considering the taxpayer benefits of enacting treatment programs for drug users (instead of jail time). When evaluating how much it costs the government and the taxpayers to support incarcerated non-violent criminals (including legal fees, court fees, law enforcement, jail time, etc.), treatment seems to provide an additional social benefit.

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