How To Seek Treatment For Yourself

It can be extremely difficult to admit you have a problem with drug abuse or alcohol. Most people experience feelings of shame and embarrassment when it comes to admitting they have a problem, so if you’re reading this and feel that way, you aren’t alone. 

Above It All is here to let you know that no one is perfect and you shouldn’t be ashamed to look for help. It’s never too early or late to seek addiction treatment. Because addiction takes many shapes and forms, there are a ton of different treatment options out there available for you that you should be aware of. 

How to Find Addiction Treatment for Yourself

First and foremost, if you find yourself here, you should be very proud of yourself for taking the necessary steps to get better. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to not only admit you need help, but to actually do something about it.

When seeking addiction treatment, a good first step to take is educating yourself on the various types of treatment available. The main forms of addiction treatment are detoxification, inpatient/residential, intensive outpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient. The overall goal of each form of treatment is the same but the length and times of the programs will vary. The type of treatment you choose will be based on what you’re addicted to. For example, not all substance abuse disorders require detox. To start research you can perform a simple google search, use an addiction resource such as Above It All, call your primary care physician, or ask family and friends. 

Determining the Best Program for You

Now that you are ready to find the best addiction treatment program for you, be selfish. Put yourself first during this process and really think hard about what you think will make you happy during treatment. Maybe location is important for you. There are plenty of addiction facilities near the beach and immersed in nature. Maybe the structure of the facility is most important to you. Some facilities offer shared rooms and some have private only bedrooms. If you are big on mindfulness and meditation, you can choose a program that incorporates those things.

After you narrow down a location, you can start to think about what kind of addiction treatment you want to pursue:

Inpatient or residential programs: Inpatient and residential treatment programs on average last about 30-60 days (there are longer programs as well). During this kind of treatment you will live at the facility. Some programs have shared rooms and some have private ones. You will eat all of your meals here and attend individual and group therapy sessions. If you require detox, you will do this at the beginning of your stay under medical supervision. This is the safest way to detox off of a substance. These programs are beneficial because staff is always onsite to help you, should you need anything. You are also removing yourself from society for a period of time. A lot of people think of this program as a good break and can focus 100% on recovery. 

Intensive outpatient programs: Often shortened to an IOP, is a program that can be used as a transition step once you leave inpatient or an alternative to an inpatient facility. If you attend an IOP program, you will go onsite to the facility multiple times a week for about 4-6 hours at a time. You will participate in individual and group therapy, like you would in inpatient, but you eat and sleep at home.

Outpatient programs: These programs provide the most flexibility in terms of treatment. Outpatient can be a transition step once you leave an IOP or can be used as an alternative to inpatient or IOP. If you are a single parent or cannot afford to take off of work, this is a great treatment option for you. Clients attend outpatient a few times a week (less than IOP) and therapy sessions can last anywhere from 4-6 hours.There are lots of types of outpatient treatment, including support groups, and the goal is to keep you sober.

Things to Consider

There are a few things regarding your addiction to keep in mind when seeking treatment: 

  • How severe is my addiction? 
  • Do I need detox?
  • Do I have any mental health issues like depression or PTSD?
  • The type of insurance I have
  • How long do I think I should be in treatment? 
  • Will I need a referral to a program?

All of the above mentioned are factors that will help determine the best course of treatment for you. 

Don’t Wait to Get Help

At Above It All, we are a free addiction treatment placement service that provides those struggling with substance abuse assistance in finding the right treatment for them. We provide a 24/7 comprehensive treatment matching service. Our program includes admissions, insurance verification, transportation assistance, and care management from start to finish. If you are looking for help finding addiction treatment and rehab in California, please give us a call! 

What Causes Addiction?

Nobody starts out with the intention of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol, but the current addiction statistics are striking. Almost one in ten people are addicted to drugs or alcohol in the United States. Today addiction is recognized to be a chronic disease that occurs when the brain’s chemistry and function are altered. People can become addicted to alcohol, street drugs such as cocaine or heroin, prescription drugs such as opioids and benzodiazepines, and even behaviors such as eating, sex, or gambling. Addiction goes beyond lacking ‘self-control’. Like any disease, addiction is best combated with professional help. 

What is Addiction?

Addiction occurs when repeated behavior such as substance abuse rewires the brain to believe it needs the substance to stay alive. The brain interprets all pleasure the same way, regardless of what is causing the brain to release dopamine. Actions and substances that release dopamine in the brain include drugs, eating, sex, and receiving a monetary reward. 

An addict repeatedly abuses drugs or alcohol because their brain needs it. When the brain doesn’t receive the substances, it sets off cravings. The cravings don’t go away until the drugs or alcohol are taken again. 

What Causes Addiction?

Several common causes of addiction include: 

1. The Pleasure Principle: This is one of the main causes of addiction. Addictive substances impact how the brain registers pleasure when it comes to drugs and alcohol. The brain registers all pleasure the same way, releasing dopamine. Eventually, this pleasurable response is released so consistently that it drives someone to seek out this substance constantly. Addictive drugs provide a shortcut to this pleasure system, flooding the area with dopamine, which gets someone hooked on drugs or alcohol. 

2. Learning and Memory: Once this pleasure signal is triggered, a transition process takes place where someone becomes hooked on drugs or alcohol. This path is called learning and memory. Dopamine interacts with other transmitters in the brain, taking over the brain’s learning system. This learning system is important because it also drives other processes that people need to survive. Eventually, the brain learns that it requires that pleasurable substance to survive. Memory sets in as addictive substances overload this circuit, leading to addiction over the course of repeated exposures.

3. The Drive Associated with Compulsion: As people slide deeper into the clutches of addiction, compulsion takes over. This is the loss of all control associated with regulating the use of an addictive substance. The pleasure starts to subside; however, the memory persists, leading to compulsion. Cravings continue, snaring those who are pursuing sobriety. People have a compulsive drive to seek out that addictive substance. They will sacrifice relationships with family members and friends. They will empty their bank accounts. They will do anything to seek out that next fix.

These three causes work together to snare somebody in the trap of addiction. Fortunately, recovery is possible. With the help of trained professionals, people can not only get sober but maintain sobriety in California.

Let Us Help!

At Above It All, we are a free addiction treatment placement service that offers 24/7 assistance to those struggling with drug abuse. We can provide you with help in finding the right treatment for your needs in the Southern California area. With the help of our comprehensive treatment matching service, we will help you get the help that you deserve. Our program includes admissions, insurance verification, transportation assistance, and care management that will be with you every step of the way. If you are looking for help with addiction treatment in the Southern California area, please give us a call today!

A Guide To Cocaine: Dangers, Signs, & Symptoms

Cocaine has long been associated with the rich and famous, but in reality, that’s just a fairy tale. Many people from all walks of life find themselves lured into the world of drug abuse only to find that the fantasy is a long way from the reality where cocaine abuse is concerned. The addiction soon sets in and lives are destroyed.  Let’s look at the reality of cocaine abuse.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a central nervous stimulant. It raises your heart rate and gives you energy. Normally, this white powder is ingested by sniffing it into the nose, but it can also be injected or smoked. It produces a high that can last anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes, depending on how it is taken and how large the dose is. Over time, cocaine changes the structure of the user’s brain, causing addiction. The high from this drug is produced because it blocks the absorption of dopamine, allowing the “feel good”  neurotransmitter to stay active in the brain longer.

Signs and Symptoms

Some of the more common signs that a person is using cocaine include:

  • Increase in the amount of talkativeness and the rate of speech
  • Flushed skin that may contain sweating
  • Paranoia or delusions may be present or hallucinations. Often the symptoms resemble schizophrenia.
  • Weight loss can be extreme because cocaine reduces appetite. The individual will also experience a great deal of movement in the form of constant jitters and an inability to sit still. The increased activity combined with low appetite makes weight loss quick.
  • Increased risk-taking is noticed. The drug reduces inhibitions and the user may feel invincible. This can include taking part in frequent risky sexual behaviors.
  • Redness under the nose and frequent runny or bloody nose. This comes from the cocaine burning the skin around the nose and doing damage to the lining of the nasal passages.
  • Needle marks if the user injects the drug
  • When higher doses are used, the person may exhibit anger, strike out violently, or throw frequent tantrums that result in throwing and breaking things. 

In addition to the above signs, the person will exhibit signs associated with most addictions. These include a seemingly never-ending need for money, secrecy, neglect of body appearance, and a change in both behavior and personality. You may find the person stealing and lying to gain access to money for the drug. Often a person won’t admit how frequently they use cocaine and may try to hide the fact entirely, resulting in more lies and secrecy.

Dangers of Using Cocaine

One of the biggest dangers related to cocaine abuse is that a user’s blood pressure rises extremely high. This happens because the blood vessels constrict and the heart needs to work harder in order to get the blood through. Long-time use also destroys the lining of the nasal passage. A person loses sleep which doesn’t allow for the body to heal. This means that other body organs eventually show signs of damage. If too much cocaine gets into the system, a person can experience extreme rises in blood pressure, seizure, stroke, and even death.

Let Us Help You Find Treatment

Getting help for addiction can be confusing. There are so many choices available, insurance coverage varies, and even things like transportation issues can all factor into things. Above It All was created to make the process easier. Our 24/7 free matching service will work with you to find the addiction treatment that is best suited for your needs. We want drug abuse to be something you can put in your past. Contact us today and let us find you help.

Most Common Signs of Addiction

Addiction is something that affects not only the individual who has the addiction but also those who regularly interact with or love that person. This includes friends, families, and coworkers. It’s often these people that surround the addicted person who first notice signs and become concerned. This is because the addict themselves are often in a state of denial. Do you know what to look for if you think your loved one may need drug abuse addiction treatment?

What is Addiction?

Addiction is a physical and psychological dependency on something, generally drugs or alcohol. Substance abuse use starts out casual, but as the body becomes used to the substance, it will then require a large amount for the individual to receive the same reaction. This dependency will continue to escalate over time until the individual can no longer feel “normal” unless they are using drugs or alcohol. Their life begins to center around planning for, finding, and using the substance. If they try to stop they go through physical withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms don’t subside until the substance leaves their system or they use it again. 

What Are Some Common Signs?

Addiction affects everyone differently, but there are several signs you can watch for that indicate addiction treatment is necessary. Below are the most common: 

Personality and Activity Changes

Drug or alcohol addiction may cause a person to appear edgy when they do not have the substance. They may start sleeping more often or not at all. Bursts of irritability can occur, especially if their drug abuse is mentioned. A person who has always been dependable may start arriving late or they may not show up at all. This is especially true if the event is someplace where they can not use what they are addicted to. For example, a parent who has never missed the kid’s school events may suddenly stop going because he can’t drink while there. 

Isolation and Secrecy

As a person starts to realize they may have a problem, or if those around notice, the person may isolate themselves. They will participate in drinking or drug activity alone and hide as much as possible from loved ones. They may pull away, stop accepting invitations, and create excuses not to attend events or get-togethers. They may disappear for hours and refuse to tell anyone where they have been. Anger may result if you confront the issue. They may suddenly need money but give no explanation for why, or where their money has been spent.

Drastic Physical Changes

As substance abuse continues to worsen, you will likely notice drastic physical changes. Eyes may always be red and pupils dilated. Weight loss is also a very common sign. This is the kind of weight loss that seems to happen quickly and without apparent cause. Clothing may seem to hang on the individual. Personal hygiene may become lax or they’ll wear the same clothes for several days without changing.

Inability to Quit

The individual may have tried to stop using drugs or alcohol at least once and then returned to the drug activity. When confronted, most people will deny how bad their addiction is, and say they can quit anytime they want. Some even try to prove this, but in the end, they return to the behavior because not using becomes uncomfortable. Addiction has a powerful hold on its victim.

Let Us Help You Find Treatment

Above It All Treatment is a 24/7 referral service that will help you or your loved one find the best resources to help deal with substance abuse. We have a comprehensive list of drug addiction treatment centers in the California area. Substance abuse doesn’t have to continue ruling your life. Contact us now to receive free guidance to get help for your substance abuse. We take our matching service seriously and will work to see that you are guided toward a facility that can best meet your needs. Contact us today!