What Are Drug Withdrawals?

Drugs and alcohol can certainly ruin someone’s life. Sometimes it’s a long process, and for others it can happen relatively quickly. If you are looking to quit using drugs or alcohol but are scared of withdrawals, please don’t let that be the reason to not get sober. Unfortunately, there is only one way out of addiction, and it’s to get through withdrawals. Different substances have different withdrawal patterns, and learning how to deal with them can help save a life. Fortunately, there are plenty of addiction treatment facilities that can help you manage withdrawal safely and comfortably. Addiction is a powerful thing but someone that is determined to recover is just as strong.

 What Is Withdrawal?

Withdrawal is defined as the physical and psychological effects that happen to a person and the brain following the abrupt discontinuation of use of a drug or alcohol. This means that when you stop using a drug or other substances that alter your mental or physical state of mind, the way your body reacts is the withdrawal from the substance. Withdrawal is something that all people experience to some degree when they do stop using drugs or alcohol. Withdrawal can vary from drug to drug and from person to person.

Withdrawal can happen to anyone that has been using drugs or alcohol, then either loses access to them, or stops using them all together. Withdrawal can be incredibly scary and can even lead to death in some cases. If you are dealing with withdrawal you can experience mild to extreme side effects, depending on the substance you’re abusing. Above It All strongly suggests detoxing at an addiction treatment facility and not on your own. 

What Is Detox?

The process of detoxification can cause your body to go into withdrawal, as it’s the process of removing toxic substances from your body. Detox at a treatment facility is led by medical professionals to ensure your safety. Detoxing at an addiction treatment facility is also the best way to manage the pain of withdrawal. You’ll be monitored 24/7 by medical staff who are experts in addiction. Above It All is here to match you with a treatment facility that has a professional detox program so you can start your recovery journey the right way. Detoxing at a facility is much safer than detoxing at home and experiencing unmonitored withdrawal symptoms. After you complete detox, the next recommending step is residential inpatient treatment. Once you experience withdrawal, it’s important to learn the coping skills that will help keep you sober, so you never have to withdraw again.

Withdrawing From A Substance

Different drugs create different withdrawal symptoms. See below for the most common withdrawal symptoms associated with the most commonly abused drugs:

  • Cocaine: Depression, feelings of hopelessness, and feeling restless. On average these symptoms last about seven to ten days. 
  • Alcohol: Short term tremors and seizures. Severe alcoholics can experience wet brain during withdrawal or even death. 
  • Opioids: Flu like symptoms; body aches, runny nose, fever, and vomiting. 
  • Benzodiazepines: Anxiety, depression, and seizures. It’s important to not stop using these drugs cold turkey. 

Seeking Addiction Treatment

For those that are struggling with addiction, seeking treatment is going to help you work through the substance abuse and the issues that caused the addiction in the start. Above It All is a free addiction placement service that helps you find the program that is going to work for you and help you recover. Our 24/7 help line is answered by addiction experts who can answer any question you may have about treatment. We offer matching services for detoxification, residential inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, outpatient, and sober living. Reach out to us today to get the help you deserve! 

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!