The Evolution of Drug Detox Methods Over the Years

drug detox methods

There are many detoxification methods used today. Detox is often grouped into “alternative health” but throughout most of the time it was classified as mainstream medicine and healing, and what is currently considered as mainstream is really the new kid on the block.

Heading back in time and into various ancient cultures, such as Egyptian times, Ancient Greece, and the Biblical era, detoxification was used as a way to remove toxins from the body so as not to catch a disease, to heal the body’s integrated system, and to stay healthy. It is more or less still used in the same manner. Detoxing is ridding the body of unnatural elements, or “toxins.” Today we do it through many methods, much of them initiating from the ancient custom of detox.

Drug Detox Methods

Ayurveda

The oldest form of medicine in the world comes from India and is called Ayurveda. Ayurveda dates back from 3-5,000 B.C. it was first written down over 5,000 years ago and before that was passed on from teacher to student verbally. Eventually, the first school was founded in India around 800 B.C. Ayurveda means the science of life, the Indian word, Ayur which means, “life” and Veda which means, “knowledge” or “science,” explains the basis of Ayurvedic medicine. The aim of it is to heal people and prevent a disease or illness from coming about through the application of such knowledge.

Ayurveda was spread by Buddha, but it has also influenced other healing and detoxification schools, such as those in Chinese, Tibetan, Islāmic, Greek, Roman, and European practices. The Ayurvedic principle holds that disease is caused by toxins built up in the body. Some detoxing methods used in Ayurvedic practice include enema, fasting, exercise, sunbathing, herbalism, and nutrition.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

90 B.C. found Chinese medicine allowing for Acupuncture, although it was more than likely practiced well before then, that is when it was first documented. The points on the skin that get pressed are called acupuncture points, and these points in the body are connected with specific organs and so, pressing on them, they can then remove toxins from that organ, and therefore detox the body of toxins.

One of the reasons the feet are often used as primary acupressure points, or with a detoxing foot pad, is because traditional Chinese medicine shows that the body sends toxins as far away from the heart as it can get. Traditional Chinese Medicine also uses specific nutritious foods, herbal remedies, and detox teas.

Native American Healing

Meanwhile, in the Western hemisphere, Native Americans had their own ways of healing and detoxing. They used steam to detox and as a purification method, called a “sweat lodge” which is much like a sauna and, like Ayurvedic practice, they fasted. Native Americans also used herbs. One of the most common detox herbs preferred by Native Americans was Slippery Elm, used as an immune booster and to soothe the throat or intestinal tract, or to heal from an inflammatory illness, they also used it to heal wounds.

Other Ancient Detox Customs

Biblical methods include focusing on the diet and physical and aromatic cleansing. Ancient Greece and Rome used baths and sauna treatment for effective detoxification. The Egyptian basis for detox was colonic irrigation. Their studies showed that fever was caused by decomposition of the intestines which created toxins. They also used clay, much as we use clay masks today, to draw out impurities and toxins through our largest organ, the skin.

What is Detox?

Now that we know what detoxes the body, the fact that it has been used for thousands of years to heal the body, and to not only help it recover from an illness but as a preventative method against disease, we can explore ways that detoxification is commonly used today.

Sauna and Steam Rooms

Sweating is an important method of detoxing as one removes toxins through sweat, which is why many people turn to exercise, such as running or playing a sport for eliminating toxins. Sweating in a sauna is far more effective as you sweat out incredible amounts of sweat and it actually rids the kidneys of one-third of their toxins. Because you sweat so much, it is vitally important to stay hydrated and to replenish the vitamins and minerals that you lose in your sweat.

Steam bathing is also an ancient custom originating with the earliest nomadic tribes. Some steam rooms also use aromatherapy, such as eucalyptus hanging in the room, to open up the lungs and pores for greater detoxification results. With a steam room one would want to be wary of fungi and mold that could grow, so keeping a clean fresh towel is important as well as clean sandals.

Using either method of detoxing through copious amounts of sweat, one should always shower afterward to rinse away all toxins remaining on the skin. Both are effective ways of sweating and releasing impurities.

Diet and Nutrition

There is much information on diet and nutrition and a lot of ways one can take care of the body by feeding it the proper nutritional content needed to make energy, regulate temperature, and even further, heal.

Each produce item has a list of nutritional elements that it provides. For example, the nutritional content of kale is the main reason it is such a fad, it has incredibly high quantities of vitamin K, a high level of A and C, it has good levels of the B vitamins, and it also has minerals such as magnesium and potassium. Additionally, it is a good source of protein and fiber. Although the qualities of any leafy vegetable have similar vitamins and minerals, kale is one of the superior vegetables.

Another example of a common food item is the herb cilantro, usually used in Mexican dishes and the cousin of parsley, cilantro is an excellent detox herb, especially for heavy metal detoxification. It also is a good anti-inflammatory and can expel bad bacteria.

Natural Detox Remedies

There are many other home remedy and spa-type detox methods. For example, foot baths can draw out toxins and do so to such a degree they can leave the water black. One can detox in the bath with Epsom salts, which regulate over 300 enzymes among other healing qualities, and other elements such as essential oils that draw out impurities. There are hand and foot pads one can use. Detox teas are available online or in health food shops. One could find many home remedies online that are safe and effective to rid oneself of the damaging effects of toxins.

Detoxification

Most of the ancient detoxification methods are still used today and are just as effective in pulling out unhealthy substances, in effect, poisons. Besides the toxic effects of drugs, toxins are in the food we eat from the pesticides and herbicides sprayed on them, in the water we drink from medication, chlorine and fluoride, and chemicals in pollution. There are also serious toxins in our environment such as over 80,000 chemicals in the US, most which haven’t been tested and of which we don’t know the effects of.

To detox the body of toxins is an important and necessary undertaking in today’s world. Detoxification boosts the immune system, can prevent disease and can rid one of the poisons embedded in the body. One can then begin to heal and become healthy. The question, “What is detox and its application?” has existed throughout history and the answers are a primary and effective route to recovery. Contact Choices Recovery today for more information on detoxification and addiction recovery.

Faith and Addiction: How the Major Religions View Recovery

faith and addiction

Religion and Recovery

Religion is an important matter and in the matters of addiction, recovery, and relapse it is very relevant; as there are more than 350,000 religious congregations in the United States, a total of 95% of Americans have some religious faith, and research has shown that spiritual persons are less likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs.

Studies done on alcohol abuse have shown that 88% found lower alcohol abuse for those with a higher religious involvement. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, studies have shown those who hold the importance of religion are less likely to use tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs. One national study showed that among religious adolescents, 9.9% had used marijuana, compared with 21.5% of adolescents whom religion was only a little important.

Religion has been associated with positive drug-related outcomes and most religions explicitly prohibit or discourage substance use, therefore there is a certain resilience and ability to recover from substance addiction in those who practice a religion. This shows that abstinence and addiction are lower for those of religious beliefs and that religion could very well be a vital agent in overcoming addiction.

CHRISTIANITY

Christianity presently is the largest religion. In 2010, it was found that there were 2.18 billion Christians and a total 32% of the world’s population is considered to be Christian. Therefore, Christianity is the majority leader of religiously affiliated treatment programs in America. One of the most well-known treatment programs in the world is A.A (Alcoholics Anonymous) which is based on the Bible. Christianity is based on relieving oneself of one’s sins, by confessing and repenting for them. Some verses from the Bible that could be studied, or prayed upon, which might free one from the sins of addiction include:

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
[1 Corinthians 10:13]

“Whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding.”
[Hosea 4:11]

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
[Ephesians 5:18-20]

BUDDHISM

Another example of a major religious faith is Buddhism. Buddhism is a centuries-old Eastern practice that today is still widespread across many countries and cultures, made up of over 360 million people who practice it. In religious rehabs, Buddhism is additionally adapted in recovery for the substance addicted to overcome addiction through meditation and other similar processes.

HINDUISM

Another Eastern religion is Hinduism, with billions of followers the world over, it is the third largest religion and is in fact recognized as the oldest known religion. One of the pieces of this religion is so successful that people in all walks of life practice it to the degree that is has become a health and self-improvement fad, yoga.

Hindu techniques are very powerful and address the mind, spirit, body, and emotional state of a person. Hinduism teaches that the entire universe is connected including living life in balance with nature. Hindus have a daily relationship with God but turn to God for help as a last resort, with taking responsibility for self and others as the first intention. Meditation and self-control are other techniques used in the Hindu religion and the health of the whole person, instead of only their addiction habits, are zeroed in upon. All of these methods can be and are used in addiction recovery.

ISLAM

In the Islamic religion, the use of drugs and alcohol is forbidden, addiction is viewed as a sin. The Quran is the Book they turn to for guidance in life and through addiction, the “Six Articles of Faith” summarizes Islamic beliefs about God, angels, prophets, the afterlife, and predestination. The purpose of life is to live in a way pleasing to their God, Allah, and in turn, gain His forgiveness and entrance into Paradise. Here is a verse related to alcohol and addiction:

“Satan only seeketh to breed animosity and spites among you by means of wine and gambling and would keep you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer; will ye not then desist?”
[Sura 5 – Al-Maeda (MADINA): Verse 91, Translation: Eng-Abdul Daryabadi]

JUDAISM

Judaism began as early as 2000 BCE, and today has approximately 14 million followers, and 3.5 billion others follow religious beliefs that are directly influenced by Judaism, such as Christianity and Islam. In Judaism, like Islam, they believe that there is only one God.

Huston Smith in The World’s Religions expounds upon the influence of the Jewish religion upon current civilization: “It has been estimated that one-third of our Western civilization bears the marks of its Jewish ancestry.” Sacred texts that serve as a basis for Jewish law and spirituality include the Torah and the Talmud, also the Temple can be turned to for support and strength when overcoming addiction and other spiritual hardships.

NON-DENOMINATIONAL

One doesn’t even have to have a specific religious belief to be accepted at most religious-based rehabs, some are more devout while others are looser in their religious application. The main aspect is that most major religions view addiction as a problem to be overcome, and recovery not only as possible but as achievable.

Statistics on Addiction Recovery

An estimated 208 million people use illegal drugs. In the month prior to a survey done in 2007 by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the results showed that 8% of the population aged 12 and older, or 19.9 million Americans used illegal drugs. The top 10% of American drinkers, 24 million adults over the age of 18, consume on average 10 drinks per day.

Statistics on addiction recovery rates are hard to find due to the varying degrees of quality for each treatment center and due to the different types of substance abuse. Because drug addiction is such a prevalent problem today, the statistics on its usage and on relapse rates are the focus; as to fix a problem one must first know what the problem is. However, it is necessary to know what percentage of addicts recover from treatment and that varies from rehab to rehab, and as more studies are done on this and as more alternative programs continue to surface, as they are, we will know more on addiction recovery rates.

Some statistics for inpatient treatment plans show that:

  • Out of 73% of addicts who completed treatment, 21% remain sober after 5 years.
  • Out of 51% of addicts who completed residential treatment, 21% remained sober after 5 years.
  • Out of 43% of addicts who completed outpatient drug-free treatment, 18% remained sober after five years.

Addiction recovery is possible. The more alternative addiction recovery programs that continue to pop up, the more religious rehabs become known, the greater the focus on holistic and nutritional healing in treatment facilities. This will then increase the number of detox-based rehabs, resulting in greater chances that statistics on addiction recovery will rise.

Relapsing on Probation: Is the Justice System Failing Addicts?

relapsing on probation

Why Do People Relapse on Drugs?

Drug addiction is a huge problem. As the drug trade is a $400 billion dollar industry, one could imagine the struggle against relapse when rehabs don’t always bring about recovery.

Addiction relapse is very common because drugs are a poison that interferes with your body’s normal functioning and chemical interactions, vital organs such as the brain and heart. They slowly kill the body in such a way that one usually starts hallucinating, can become paranoid, and so much more depending on the drug of choice, and the user is not thinking about anything else but getting that high. The body begins to build a little tolerance over time to the drug it takes so that the same high is unachievable and the addict feels they need to use a higher dose to try to achieve that same high. So often a never-ending cycle, which on the downward spiral of their lives, often result in death by overdose.

People often think of drugs as, “not being that serious,” that, “peer pressure is more important,” or simply that, “just one hit,” isn’t going to turn them into a user for life, but the fact of the matter is that nearly all users who start of down that path don’t think that they are going to become addicted. The dependency on drugs really becomes in the addict’s altered reality, more a necessity of life than food, shelter, or water, not to mention family members being cast aside in their tunnel view of the next high.

When a Drug Addict Relapses

Finding the right rehab so that the addict doesn’t relapse can be very tricky. Often times there are other addicts at a drug rehab who have a different drug of choice from the other users, and in describing their highs and the drug, and even sometimes sneaking the substance in, other users can get out and, not find their normal drug of choice, turn to one they heard about that sounded like a similar high or stronger high. Usually, something happens in their life, such as “friends” who have a bad influence on the user, start coming around, wanting to get high with them or having the intent of dealing so that they, themselves can get their next high too. Or dealers come banging on their door pushing. Or they have a stressful situation come up, such as a job loss or a loved one pass, and not coming up with another solution, they turn back to the drug. Although it can be difficult to predict, willpower and exposure influence the relapse.

One of the questions at present in relation to the judicial system and addicts is, in the eyes of a judge, whether or not a relapsing addict should go to prison or to rehab.

Should the Justice System Have a Hand in Rehab?

Court ordered rehab is when the judge and prosecution feel that a defendant would benefit from rehab rather than going to jail, and the judge makes that the pronouncement. One suggestion is for the judge to create a plan that the addict can implement if they feel they are going to relapse, such as a number they can call or somewhere they could go be that would help them stay clean, but some are concerned with what could this entail; could someone be institutionalized against their will simply because they are addicted to drugs, and experienced the unfortunate but common relapse? But what gives the court a right to interfere with someone’s personal choices bad as they might be, or individual challenges that they face?

One such famous example from 1962 is Robinson vs. California which was taken to the Supreme Court. The syllabus states: “A California statute makes it a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for any person to ‘be addicted to the use of narcotics,’ and, in sustaining petitioner’s conviction thereunder, the California courts construed the statute as making the ‘status’ of narcotic addiction a criminal offense for which the offender may be prosecuted ‘at any time before he reforms,’ even though he has never used or possessed any narcotics within the State and has not been guilty of any antisocial behavior there.”

The main thing to consider is whether it is effective or not for a judge to rule, shouldn’t it be a personal choice of the defendant and isn’t that choice their right? Or should someone who is destructive to themselves and society (and most importantly who is actively partaking in an illegal activity) be under the authority of a judge, dictating that he go to rehab instead of jail time?

Another common factor that holds much concern over the potential of a judge ruling rehab for the addicted is the fact that all rehabs are different and vary in quality and result, and some that might work for one person, might not work for another. For example, if an addict was very religious and felt that their only way to reform was from God’s forgiveness and acceptance first, and guidance next, and they were very devout and didn’t feel they could possibly recover otherwise, yet a judge not wanting to enter into religious matters, enforces the addict to go to a cut and dry rehab. Beside the addict not being able to express his grievances he might not want to go to a rehab and could suddenly have addiction relapse.

A more basic example might be that a person has been to 10 rehabs and has been addicted for more than half his life, and simply doesn’t want to go to rehab, could the law enforce him to come clean, and will it result in recovery? Yet another stance is how far could this be taken? Could a judge get a criminal out of jail time simply because he was also a drug addict?

Where Does the Judicial System Fit In?

Recovery can occur, whether it happens the first time, after relapse or even in or out of rehab, but it seems that rehab nonetheless should remain for the addict to choose, not a judge to enforce. Just as a judge shouldn’t be able to adjudicate whether or not a person should be put into a mental institution, or, as ridiculous as it may sound, ruled to take part in an intensive weight loss program. Recovery only occurs first and foremost with the willingness of the addicted and his decision to achieve a drug-free way of life.

A common question is, “Why do people relapse on drugs?” There are many reasons that the addicted relapses, but it is important to remember, the long road can truly come to an end and persistence can win out. Call Choices Recovery and let us help you on the road to recovery.

The Hidden Causalities of IV Drug Abuse

iv drug abuse

IV Drug Abuse

IV drug abuse is most commonly associated with heroin, and although it primarily is heroin that is used intravenously, Methamphetamines, Cocaine, Morphine, Amphetamines, and even prescription drugs are also abused through IV injection.

An estimated 13.5 million people in the world use opioids, which includes 9.2 million who specifically use heroin, some estimate figures as high as 900,000 in the US alone, while the 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported 153,000 current heroin users. Drugs related to the opium flower, besides heroin, which were all originally medical pain relieving drugs include but aren’t limited to Methamphetamine, Morphine, Codeine, Methadone, Laudanum, Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Percocet some of which dated back as far as the 16th century. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime gave a report of amphetamine-type stimulants totaling 24.7 million abusers.

Friends and Family

Friends and family surrounding the IV drug abusers suffer tremendously by watching almost helplessly as their loved one dwindles downwards in addiction thereby ruining their life, and they, too, are the casualties of IV drugs. The addicted know the hardships they are causing on their friends and family and upon themselves but are driven to it by the painful mental and physical effects of the drug. Some stories of heroin addicts and other IV abusers are:

“You believe that coke will increase your perceptions, that it will allow you to surpass yourself, that you will be able to control things. It’s bloody nonsense. After a while you don’t pay your bills anymore, you don’t wash yourself anymore, you give up your friends, your family. You will become defenseless and alone.” —Nigel

“Heroin cut me off from the rest of the world. My parents kicked me out. My friends and my brothers didn’t want to see me anymore. I was all alone.”—Suzanne

Babies

One of the worst hidden casualties of IV drug abuse is the most delicate and unsuspecting victims: babies. In the last decade, babies being born addicted to drugs have increased by a staggering 500 percent, and according to a study done by the University of Michigan, a baby is born every hour addicted to some sort of opiate in the US.

Cocaine, the second most trafficked illegal drug in the world, like heroin and the other aforementioned drugs, is also used for IV injection. Cocaine is a multi-billion dollar enterprise worldwide and is one of the most dangerous drugs due to the higher and higher dosages the addicted needs because of the adapting tolerance levels of the body. Even schoolchildren as young as eight become addicted, not to mention the children born to cocaine-addicted mothers, many of which are afflicted with birth defects.

Being born addicted to drugs and suffering from withdrawal is medically termed as Neo-Natal Abstinence Syndrome, NAS. This is unimaginably painful for the baby. The same study mentioned above revealed that 13,539 babies are born with NAS each year. It is hard to realize that mothers who are addicted continue to use while pregnant resulting in newborns arriving suffering from extreme withdrawal symptoms every 25 minutes. In just one decade, the babies being born addicted to drugs quadrupled in the US, Kentucky is one of the worst hit, with originally just 28 drug-dependent babies born in the year 2000, to an unbelievable 1,409 in 2014.

“Welfare money was not enough to pay for our meth habit and support our son so we turned our rented home into a meth lab. We stored the toxic chemicals in our refrigerator not knowing that the toxins would permeate [go into] the other food in the icebox.

When I gave my three-year-old son some cheese to eat, I did not know that I was giving him poisoned food. I was too stoned on meth to notice, until twelve hours later, that my son was deathly ill. But then I was so stoned it took me two hours to figure out how to get him to the hospital five miles away. By the time I got to the emergency room my boy was pronounced dead of a lethal dose of ammonia hydroxide—one of the chemicals used to make meth.” —Melanie

Not just US babies are tortured from NAS, it is a worldwide issue. Addiction plagues not only the user and those that surround her but also her innocent newborn.

Society

It is known what the drug user inflicts upon himself. We have covered what the family and friends go through and also the faultless babies, not only are they pained, but the community around him hurts, the taxpayers of the country endure, and still, the society as a whole suffers.

According to the Center on Addiction Research, federal, state, and local governments spend close to $500 billion each year on addiction and substance abuse. Over the past four decades, they have spent over 1 trillion dollars on the war on drugs and taxpayers are the ones who get stuck with the bill.

There are various infections related to opioid drug use, including MRSA which costs around $6 billion a year to treat in the U.S., or $60,000 per patient, and Endocarditis which costs around $50,000 a year. One example of a single uninsured user’s four treatments of Endocarditis was almost $400,000 and that wasn’t including her cardiac surgery or other past and potential future treatments due to her addiction.

The average cost for a baby’s stay in the hospital is also over $50,000. Heroin addicts and other IV Drug addicts affect more people than probably thought imaginable. The addicted, their family, friends, neighbors, and society as a whole are dramatically traumatized by drugs.

Stories of Heroin Addicts

Stories of heroin addiction are as numerous as there are heroin addicts, 9.2 million users, if not more when considering the friends and families who are casualties of the heroin user with their own stories.

Some personal stories of heroin addiction are:

“From the day I started using, I never stopped. Within one week I had gone from snorting heroin to shooting it. Within one month I was addicted and going through all my money. I sold everything of value that I owned and eventually everything that my mother owned. Within one year, I had lost everything.

I sold my car, lost my job, was kicked out of my mother’s house, was $25,000 in credit card debt, and living on the streets of Camden, New Jersey. I lied, I stole, I cheated.

I was raped, beaten, mugged, robbed, arrested, homeless, sick and desperate. I knew that nobody could have a lifestyle like that very long and I knew that death was imminent. If anything, death was better than a life as a junkie.”—Alison

Drugs equal death. If you do nothing to get out, you end up dying. To be a drug addict is to be imprisoned. In the beginning, you think drugs are your friend (they may seem to help you escape the things or feelings that bother you). But soon, you will find you get up in the morning thinking only about drugs.

Your whole day is spent finding or taking drugs. You get high all afternoon. At night, you put yourself to sleep with heroin. And you live only for that. You are in a prison. You beat your head against a wall, nonstop, but you don’t get anywhere. In the end, your prison becomes your tomb.” —Sabrina

“People believe that heroin is super, but you lose everything: job, parents, friends, confidence, your home. Lying and stealing become a habit. You no longer respect anyone or anything.”Pete (Quotes of users taken from Foundation for a Drug-Free World)

Heroin Addiction Recovery Stories

Heroin addiction recovery stories are sadly less numerous but are nevertheless inspiring and give heroin addicts and their families hope. Furthermore, when broader reaching, they have the possibility of getting other heroin addicts recovered, once and for all.

They range from someone like Christina’s who started from painkiller addiction to someone like Corey’s who went through his addiction and came out the other end, wanting to help other people. Watch their videos and see their full heroin addiction recovery stories.

Analysis of The Vitamins Lost in Addiction & How to Curb Withdrawal Using Them

addiction and vitamins

The drug-related mortality rate in the United States is staggering, it suffers three times the average global rate of drug-related deaths. Not only are we plagued by this epidemic in the U.S but the international illegal drug trade is estimated at $400 billion dollars annually! The U.S. economy is strained with drug use costs for increased health care, crime, and lost productivity amounting to over $700 billion annually! The rates of rehab returns are staggering and one of the most important parts of a successful drug rehab facility is the detoxification program it offers and a large part of that would include a successful withdrawal process.

What is Withdrawal?

The body depends on certain vitamins and minerals to function properly when one uses drugs, they deplete your natural reserve of vitamins and your dependency on the drug becomes stronger. When one is withdrawing from a drug, the deficiencies that that drug produced can be agonizing, now coming off of it.

Withdrawals are what occurs physically and emotionally for a person when coming off drugs, and are dormant effects of the drug. Length of withdrawal and its symptoms vary from drug to drug, as do the physical and mental reactions to no longer taking the drug.

What is Detoxification and How Can You Detox with Vitamins?

Drugs deplete vitamins and minerals from the body, and nutritionists’ experiments indicate that vitamins and minerals assist the withdrawal. A number of drugs interfere with digestion and absorption of all food as well as most vitamins and minerals, resulting in deficiencies which, in turn, cause some damage to every part of the body and so nutritional and vitamin needs are increased. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can actually cause such metabolic imbalances that it can create addictive cravings and other mental symptoms that can block recovery and potentially lead to relapse.

Detoxification is the process of getting rid of toxins in the body. Drugs are essentially poisons, and so drug detox would be the process of getting rid of the poisons that have been inflicted upon your organs and damaging your tissues, nerves, and cells.

One can repair the parts of the body from the loss of vitamins that occurred during the addiction as well as use vitamins to curb withdrawal and thoroughly detox. Much research has been done in the way of vitamins and minerals, and their use in drug detox. Some key vitamins and minerals are the B vitamins, Vitamins C, D, A, E, Zinc, Magnesium, and Calcium.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is known for improving eyesight, but it is also good for fighting against infectious disease, gene regulation, supporting red and white blood cells as well as supporting the immune system.

Vitamin B

B vitamins would include, Citicoline, Niacin, B1, B6, and B5. B vitamins are one of the most important vitamin groups, preventing depression, and other uncomfortable mental states in the addicted. They are also anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective as well as having the potential to reduce addiction to drugs.

Vitamin C

To expound upon Vitamin C, it has been known to prevent and minimize the toxicity of drugs and allergic reactions, and it is greatly depleted from the body from using drugs, so it is a vital nutrient. It has been proven to help with withdrawal of such drugs as opioids and to decrease the dependence on morphine. It reduces stress, anxiety, depression, etc. and speeds up the healing process.

Nutritionist Adelle Davis wrote in her Drugs Versus Nutrition, on Detoxification by Vitamin C: 

“When 300 to 800 milligrams of vitamin C were given daily with a single drug, the period of treatment was considerably shortened, and larger, more effective doses could be used when needed. The vitamin also helps to prevent the liver damage known to be caused by a number of drugs.”

Vitamin D

Drug use can bring about a deficiency in vitamin D. Your entire body uses this vitamin to function properly, and there are also necessary psychological benefits of it. In the handling of drug addiction and entering detox, vitamin D is a necessity. This is because every tissue in your body has Vitamin D receptors, this includes your brain, heart, muscles, and your immune system.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is known to benefit skin, hair, and nails, but it’s an important antioxidant and is used in cell signaling mechanisms, such as in their interaction with each other and in carrying out important functions. Like Vitamin A, it too is important in relation to red and white blood cells and fighting disease and in supporting the immune system against harmful bacteria and viruses.

Magnesium and Calcium

In regards to the minerals, calcium, and magnesium, the nervous reactions, muscular spasms, tics, etc. caused by drug withdrawal can be diminished by these two important minerals. Magnesium participates in well over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including hormonal, enzyme, and neurotransmitter activities, affecting our mood and brain health. Almost every cell in the body uses calcium in some way or another. Calcium is used by the nervous system, heart, bones, and muscles.

These are important minerals for decreasing dependence on drugs, withdrawal symptoms and lowering relapse rates.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential mineral that is found in every tissue in the body, is an important part of cell division and stimulates the activity of around 100 enzymes in the body! Zinc deficiency is commonly found in drug addicts and is an important mineral in treating addiction and helping withdrawal. Zinc is key for emotional and mental stability, it supports a healthy immune system, rapid healing, is a powerful antioxidant and is involved in the maintenance of ideal hormone balance.

You can see how vitamins and minerals are necessary not only in restoring the body’s functions and parts but in drug detox, and in addiction withdrawal. One can get vitamins naturally from certain whole foods, or synthetically from a lab, in pill or liquid form, derived from natural food sources.

Drug Rehab Detox

As explained on our detoxification page, “The primary action of a drug is to increase the quantity of a specific chemical that is produced naturally in the body…When a substance is used over an extended period, it starts to replace the chemical it once increased. As this process occurs, a person becomes dependent on the drug. The body stops making the chemical that the drug replaces and expects the drug to take its place.”

The purpose of detoxification is to rid the body of toxins and restore it to its original condition from before it was dependent on drugs. The human body extracts vital nutrients such as vitamins and minerals from food for optimal brain and body functions and for healing from traumatic experiences such as poisoning from drug addiction.

One of the biggest problems with drugs is the vitamins and minerals lost from using them, affecting the mind and the body, and this is a large part of what makes the withdrawal process so tough on the drug addicted. Rehab stands for rehabilitation and that is exactly what one would expect to achieve. A rehabilitated person, no longer dependent on drugs for living their lives, can be achieved with the benefits of vitamin therapy through proper detox. Call Choices Recovery today for more information.

Best Strategies for Parents to Prevent Underage Drinking

underage drinking

Although teenage drinking has declined in recent years, underage drinking is still fairly commonplace in America today. A 2016 Monitoring the Future survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found the following high school drinking statistics: roughly 17% of eighth graders, 38% of tenth-graders, and 56% of twelfth graders consumed alcohol in the past year. While these numbers are lower than in past years, they are still high considering that alcohol consumption is illegal for all of these age groups. Such high levels can be attributed to easy access to alcohol; since it is legal for adults over the age of 21, minors with an older friend or inattentive parents can usually find alcohol if they want to.  Some parents even accept underage drinking as a right-of-passage and do not mind or worry about it. Some parents even go so far as to purchase alcohol for their teens, hoping that if they drink at home, with some level of adult supervision, they will be safer. However, teens are typically not responsible enough to handle the effects of alcohol, leading to tragic consequences.

The Dangers of Underage Drinking

Underage drinking is a problem because teens lack the maturity to drink responsibly. Physically, their young bodies cannot handle the alcohol, and they become intoxicated quickly. Mentally, teens are not mature enough to make good decisions concerning alcohol. With poor self-monitoring skills, they may quickly drink too much and make impulsive, irresponsible decisions about whether or not to drive, have sex, or engage in reckless behavior such as swimming, diving, or daring each other to complete outlandish stunts. These types of behaviors can lead to injury and death. In addition, underage drinking increases the chances of abusing alcohol as an adult. According to the following teenage drinking death statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive drinking leads to more than 4,300 deaths of underage youth each year, including:

  • 1,580 motor vehicle deaths
  • 1,269 homicides
  • 245 poisoning, burns, falls, or drownings
  • 492 suicides

The consequences of underage drinking are not always deadly but are still quite severe. According to the CDC, teens who drink are more likely to experience:

  • Problems in school, such as frequent absences or poor grades
  • Social problems, such as fighting and lack of participation in activities
  • Poor health, such as hangovers, illness, and disruption of normal growth
  • Higher risk of physical and sexual assault
  • Memory problems
  • Other substance abuse
  • Changes in brain development that may be lifelong
  • Unwanted, unplanned, and unprotected sexual activity

How to Prevent Underage Drinking

The most important step in preventing teenage alcohol-related deaths is parental involvement, followed by community support, including the schools, extracurricular groups and activities, and governmental policies. Parents can help their teens by:

  • Establishing solid lines of communication with their children
  • Listening and making their teens feel comfortable
  • Providing consistent discipline and clear expectations
  • Monitoring the teen’s friendships and activities
  • Strengthening family bonds

Schools can help by:

  • Providing developmentally appropriate information about drugs and alcohol
  • Teaching skills to resist peer pressure

Extracurricular programs, which may or may not be affiliated with the school, can:

  • Provide positive adult role models
  • Provide supervised activities
  • Provide opportunities for teen leadership

Policies made by the community and the government can impact teen drinking by:

  • Maintaining a minimum drinking age of 21
  • Imposing excise taxes on alcohol
  • Limiting availability of alcohol to minors

Strong parental involvement goes a long way toward preventing underage drinking. If you are a parent concerned about your teen’s drinking habits, we can help. Call our toll free number today.

Why Recovering Addicts Can Benefit from a Career in Addiction Counseling

addiction counseling

Drug and alcohol abuse is a chronic problem in America–as many as 2.4 million Americans struggle with prescription drug addiction, and 17.6 million abuse alcohol. This addiction and abuse can destroy lives, leading to deaths from overdose, abuse-related illnesses, and deaths from accidents while driving vehicles, boats, or even just from falling. Thankfully, many individuals are able to overcome their addiction and maintain a sober lifestyle over a long period of time. These people work hard to rebuild their lives, their relationships, and careers after giving up substance abuse. Upon completing rehab, many addicts in recovery return to their former professions, but some people choose to move in a different direction with their newfound life. They may be so excited about recovery that they want to incorporate it into all aspects of their lives, or they may feel so inspired by their sobriety that they want to help others achieve sobriety as well. For these people, substance abuse careers may be a good choice.

Substance Abuse Careers

People in recovery may look for alcohol or drug addiction jobs because of their personal experience with substance abuse. Having struggled with addiction allows addicts in recovery to relate to the challenges of overcoming addiction, undergoing detox and withdrawal, and maintaining sobriety. There are a variety of careers related to helping people to overcome addiction; some require degrees and some do not. Here are a few examples of substance abuse careers:

  • Addiction Counselor or Substance Abuse Counselor: works directly with patients to understand the roots of their addiction, reorganize their lives for sober living, and plan ahead for any challenges they may encounter. These counselor work on a team with other counselors and medical professionals to develop treatment plans. They may work at an addiction treatment facility, correctional institutions, or in private practice. Substance abuse counseling does not require a college degree and training is provided on-the-job.
  • Social worker: works with the patient and with the family to make a plan to treat the addiction, cope with the changes that go along with addiction treatment, and to change the home environment to make sober living possible. Social workers may be employed by the state or local government, schools, hospitals, and health care centers. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in social work is required but some positions may require a master’s degree.
  • Recovery coach: works directly with the patient to identify goals for sober living, practice strategies for positive coping mechanisms, and dealing with the mental and emotional issues brought on by substance abuse. They may work in a rehab center or as a private support system for those who can afford it. Recovery coaches may have an educational background in addiction treatment or they may be “self-certified” based on personal experience.
  • Drug addiction and detox specialist: Medical doctors who supervise patients going through the process of detox and withdrawal. They typically work at treatment centers, where they oversee each patient’s detox process and course of treatment.

Careers in addiction counseling can be especially appealing to people who have overcome substance abuse. Addicts in recovery may feel so empowered by their new lifestyle and new choices that they want to share it with others who are just beginning to work toward recovery.  Additionally, working in a substance abuse career can help an addict in recovery stay on track by making his or her whole life about sober living. Since some of these jobs require no specific education, drug addiction careers are possible for anyone committed to helping others maintain a clean and sober lifestyle.

Does Vitamin C Aid in Drug Detox and Addiction Treatment?

vitamin c

Drug abuse and addiction is a major health issue in America today. According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.9 million adults needed substance abuse treatment; however, only 3.6 million adults received any treatment at all. These numbers indicate just how large the scale of the problem is, but the statistics fail to capture the causes of taking drugs and the and effects of using drugs. Addressing the root causes of addiction and treating the effects can help the individual user rebuild his or her life without substance abuse.

Why Do People Take Drugs?

There is not one simple answer to this question; different people begin abusing drugs for different reasons. However, there are a few main causes behind drug abuse:

  1. Genetics: people with a family history of substance abuse are at higher risk of substance abuse than others. This does not mean that children of addicts are doomed to a life of addiction, but they probably have a genetic predisposition toward addictive behaviors. If you are aware that you have a family history of drug or alcohol abuse, it may be wise to monitor your own behavior.
  2. Poverty: there is a demonstrated correlation between poverty and substance abuse. People who struggle financially often feel the stress of not having enough money, and may use substance abuse as a method of coping with that stress. Sadly, treatment options are limited for people with low incomes, making it less likely that they will recover. Once people become addicts, they often choose to spend their money on drugs or alcohol instead of paying their bills, leading them into further financial disarray.
  3. Trauma: Many studies have shown a connection between prior trauma and current substance abuse. Victims of physical or sexual assault may use substance abuse as a form of self-medication.
  4. Peer pressure: this can be overt, such as teenagers pressuring one another to try drugs or alcohol, knowing it is against the law, but it can take a more subtle form among adults. If a spouse or partner uses drugs or alcohol, that behavior can begin to seem normal to the sober spouse. He or she may begin using at a low level, thinking that it is harmless in comparison, but over time, that low level can develop into an addiction.

How Drugs Affect Your Life

Drug abuse and addiction have a profound and far-reaching impact on the life of the user. These effects can be biological, leading to malnutrition and damage to the heart, liver, kidneys, digestive system, and lungs. Sharing needles or engaging in risky sexual behavior can increase the risk of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Drug use damages a user’s social life, as they alienate friends and family by neglecting commitments, asking for money, and lying or stealing to fuel their use. Substance abuse can lead to financial ruin as users spend their money on drugs instead of paying bills, and users may lose their jobs for poor performance or failure to show up.

Can Vitamin C Help?

Over time, drug abuse may lead to malnutrition. The user may become malnourished because:

  • Drug use reduces the user’s appetite
  • He or she may choose to use drugs instead of eating
  • The body’s nutrition stores may be depleted trying to repair damage to the body

In some studies, it indicates that high-dose vitamin therapy can reverse vitamin deficiencies and improve long-term sobriety rates.

If you or someone you love struggles with substance abuse, call our toll-free number today. We can help you find the treatment approach that best suits your needs.

The 8 Steps America Is Taking to Battle the Opioid Crisis

opioid crisis

What are Opioids?

Opioids and opiates, also known as narcotics, are a class of drugs derived from the poppy plant. They include street drugs, such as heroin, and a variety of prescription painkillers, including:

  • Codeine
  • Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin)
  • Hydrocodone with acetaminophen
  • Oxycodone (such as Oxycontin)
  • Oxycodone with acetaminophen
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine

Prescription opioids require a prescription and carry a high potential for addiction, even when used as prescribed. Whether used illegally or with a prescription, all opioid drugs affect the brain in the same way. They work by binding to receptors in the brain and spinal cord to prevent the release of a chemical called GABA, which normally regulates dopamine production. When GABA is blocked, dopamine floods the brain. This combination blocks pain messages to the brain and produces a pleasurable high. Because opioids carry such a strong potential for habit formation, it is critical to take these drugs only when necessary and to follow the doctor’s instructions for timing and dosage.

The Opioid Crisis in America

In recent years, opioid abuse in America has skyrocketed. Since the year 2000, deaths from opioid overdose has tripled; in 2015, more than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose, and more than 2 million Americans struggled with substance abuse disorders related to prescription painkillers. Clearly, this abuse requires a response as soon as possible in order to prevent more damaged lives and deaths. Here are eight proposed steps to curb this epidemic:

  1. Save lives by reducing deaths from overdose and infectious disease. Overdose deaths can be prevented by increasing the availability of naloxone, a medication that can prevent death in someone who has overdosed on opioids. Needle exchange programs can limit the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
  2. Treat, don’t arrest: allow addicts to ask law enforcement officers for opioid addiction help instead of repeatedly arresting offenders.
  3. Fund treatment: support Medicaid-funded treatment for opioid addiction recovery.
  4. Combat stigma: utilize public education campaigns to dispel myths and promote understanding about opioid addiction so that people will feel more comfortable admitting their problems and seeking treatment.
  5. Support medication-assisted treatment: replacing opioid use with the medically-monitored use of suboxone, methadone, or buprenorphine has been demonstrated to be an effective approach to opiate addiction recovery, yet fewer than one-third of conventional drug treatment centers in America utilize medication-assisted treatment. We should encourage this method of treatment by expanding its availability at federally-funded treatment centers, expanding Medicaid and Medicare coverage, and requiring staff training at federally-funded centers and Veterans Health Administration hospitals.
  6. Enforce mental health parity: strictly enforce the federal mental health parity laws that require insurers who cover behavioral health to offer the same benefits for mental health and addiction as they do for surgery or medical therapies. As many as 50-70% of people with substance abuse problems also suffer from mental health conditions such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  7. Teach pain management: train doctors in the management of prescription opioids and misuse prevention; sadly, many addicts begin using prescription drugs legitimately but segue into abuse.
  8. Start prevention education at an early age: begin to educate children as young as seventh-grade, not just as to the risks of drug abuse, but with the decision-making skills for their teenage years and beyond.

Addiction Treatment and Recovery

While challenging, opioid addiction recovery is possible. Addicts must undergo the uncomfortable process of detox and withdrawal, which can be eased through the use of appropriate medications. With therapy and support, addicts can learn to navigate life without substance abuse. If you or someone you love struggles with opioid addiction, our trained staff can help. Call our toll-free number today.

Married to an Addicted: How to Know When It’s Time to Leave

drug addict

A marriage can be a beautiful and a rewarding union, and usually, it is. Typically, it is just that. Sometimes, however, things can come up that can create difficult issues and hardships within the marriage, and this is pretty normal. However, sometimes things can get really, really tricky within a marriage and the issues and the struggles that a marriage can face can be too much for it to bear. Certain things can come up in a marriage that can create difficulty and a hardship and a lot of struggles for people, and these can truly create a grueling and big problem situation for the marriage. Things can come up like adultery, serious financial problems, power struggles, and addiction.

A marriage can veritably be ruined by drug and alcohol addiction. When addiction comes into a marriage, people wonder, do drug addicts ever change? Well, as soon as they realize that drug addicts do not change unless they get into a rehab center that can help them kick their addiction habit, those spouses often then wonder how to end a relationship with an addict. Having a drug addict or an alcoholic for a spouse is one of the worst life situations that one could possibly face, and this is the simple and concerning truth of the matter. Though drug and alcohol addiction is a constant and a growing issue for those who have to deal with it, it is also a huge problem and a big worry for the family members and loved ones of those who are connected to that addict too.

How to Know When its Time to Go

How to know when its time to go? Love is not something you can just turn on and off like a switch. It just doesn’t work like that. There are a lot of other factors here to consider. People often wonder when the right time to leave an addicted spouse or loved one is. People often wonder just exactly how they are going to find peace of mind and freedom in their lives when faced with the struggles and difficulties of having an addicted spouse.

The simplicity of it is there are very straightforward signs and indicators that show you when it is time to leave your addicted spouse. For some of these signs, just one indication or happenstance is enough to call it quits. For some of these signs, several of them adding up indicate it is time to leave them:

  • Has your spouse, partner, or significant other abused you or the kids physically or verbally?
  • Has your spouse, partner, or significant other used drugs or alcohol in front of you or the kids?
  • Has your spouse, partner, or significant other gotten high or strung out or drunk in front of the kids?
  • Has your spouse, partner, or significant other refused to go seek help at a rehab center?
  • Has your spouse, partner, or significant other ever stolen from you or from anyone else?
  • Has your spouse, partner, or significant other seriously impacted the lives of your kids or your life?
  • Has your spouse, partner, or significant other created constant and permanent turmoil in your life or in the lives of your kids because of their substance abuse?

How to Leave a Drug Addict?

Do you know how to leave a drug addict? The thing with leaving a drug addict or alcoholic spouse, partner, or significant other is that the above situations have gotten so bad that your life or the lives of your kids are now being seriously, negatively impacted by the person’s habits. When this happens, you need to throw in the towel and call it quits with them. When this happens the truth of the matter is that people really do need to stop with what they are doing. They need to just put their foot down and leave the person.

What they don’t realize is that their leaving their spouse will often have a very good effect on their spouse. Realistically, getting away from the spouse is a form of the tough love approach, and this can actually have a very good effect on the person. Suddenly losing their spouse and kids can be enough of a slap in the face to show them that they really do need to make a change and they really do need to do something about their habits.

Getting away from a substance-abusing spouse can give a person the peace of mind and the stability that they need to start rebuilding and stabilizing their lives. This can make a spouse want rehab. Furthermore, getting people off of an addiction and getting them these types of tools can be very helpful and very effective for getting that person to realize the direction their lives are going in. Call Choices Recovery today for more information at 877-692-2313.