What to Look For When You Think a Loved One Has a Xanax Addiction

Does your loved one have an addiction to Xanax

Not all drugs are illegal. Most drugs are prescribed by doctors and there are no laws stopping you from taking them, transporting them, or using them anywhere. Studies find that addiction among these kinds of drugs is just as common as addictions to drugs that are illegal. 

Legal drugs pose a higher threat because there are no ramifications like jail time to steer someone away from using. A drug of this kind is Xanax. Most of the world takes some form of Xanax to deal with the stresses of life and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As a result, someone can easily start abusing the substance. Here is what to look for if you think a loved one has an addiction to Xanax. 

What Is Xanax?

Xanax is a Benzodiazepine. Xanax is prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. Its effects calm a person down and allow their minds to rest so they can do everyday things like drive, work, and relate to other people. A large percentage of people take Xanax. 

How Can I Tell If Someone I Love Is Addicted?

The first sign of a Xanax addiction is withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms are restlessness, irritability, high levels of stress, high levels of anxiety, and insomnia. If your otherwise healthy loved one is on Xanax but is still showing these signs, that means their Xanax is not working because the Xanax is not strong enough.

A person who is abusing Xanax will build up a high tolerance to the drug so the drug will stop working. Keep an eye out for your loved one being prescribed higher doses or if you notice they are taking a lot of Xanax per day. Some addicts can take up to 25 pills in one day. 

What Do I Do If They Are Addicted?

Seek help. There are plenty of treatment centers around that are experts in helping someone manage and put an end to their addiction to Xanax. A quick internet search will lead you in the right direction. Once you are armed with both inpatient and outpatient programs, sit your loved one down and talk to them about your concerns. Let them know you are there for them and always ready to talk about how they feel and available treatment options. 

Do Treatment Centers Work?

Yes. Many addictions are alike. Some feel that if it’s not a hard drug it’s not that serious. But it is. Many centers have intensive outpatient programs to help break patients of their habits, and many centers have effective detoxification programs that will help a person come off of their addiction without serious harm or side effects. 

Don’t wait, act now. The decisions you make today could save the life of someone you love. Don’t worry about hurting the relationship. Any help you offer is worth ruffling some feathers. Contact the Robert Alexander Center today to learn how you can save a life.

What are the Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal?

What are the Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug that impacts the central nervous system and can have devastating effects on the body. This drug can cause long-lasting withdrawal symptoms and be a difficult habit to break.

But, at the Robert Alexander Center, our highly-trained professionals are ready to support you through every step of the process. We work with our clients to develop addiction treatment designed around their needs and the level of support needed. 

Check out the Robert Alexander Center, where we provide expert treatment for lasting recovery.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant drug used illegally to create a high. This drug can cause euphoria and a feeling of increased energy and focus. However, it can also cause hypersensitivity to light and sound, paranoia, and many health-related problems that can be irreversible. 

Cocaine is continuously dangerous. The risk of overdose is equal each time an individual takes a hit, even if the dosage is the same and from the same batch. The impact of cocaine on the body can cause overheating, heart attack, stroke, and psychosis.

Why Is Cocaine Addictive?

Cocaine is addictive for two main reasons; the time it takes to be felt and how quickly it is processed through the system.

Cocaine, in its multiple forms, is extremely fast-acting. When cocaine is snorted, the effects can be felt in under 5 minutes, and that is the longest it takes. Dissolving and injecting cocaine can be felt in under a minute, and individuals who get free-base crack cocaine to smoke, feel the effect of the drug immediately. This fast-acting substance impacts the brain’s reward center, making it related the action with the euphoria and wanting to increase the likelihood of repeating. 

Another aspect of cocaine that makes it extremely addictive is the fact that it wears through the body so quickly. Individuals who use cocaine know that they must take continuous hits to maintain the high as it often wears off within an hour. Continuous use makes cocaine a commonly binged drug and more addictive. Bingeing is a factor in problematic use that makes addiction more likely. 

Can Cocaine Cause Withdrawal Symptoms?

Cocaine can cause withdrawal symptoms. When using cocaine, the body begins to expect causing dependence and addiction. Individuals who continuously use cocaine may begin to experience negative reactions to the drug, referred to as sensitivity. This can cause the euphoria to turn to paranoia and the hyperfocus to turn to hypersensitivity to light or sound. This change can dramatically impact an individual’s withdrawal symptoms.

What are the Signs of Cocaine Withdrawal?

Individuals who are ready to detox and go through withdrawal from cocaine, can expect to experience a number of side effects related to use. 

Cocaine withdrawal can cause:

  • Reckless behavior
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Increased appetite
  • Nightmares

Additionally, it can cause intense cravings for cocaine. This can be one of the most damaging and challenging withdrawal symptoms, as it can last for months and has a high probability of causing individuals to relapse. Depression, also a common withdrawal symptom of cocaine, can last for months following detoxification. These symptoms can also lead to several severe outcomes like relapse and suicidal thoughts.

How to Find Cocaine Detox Centers

Individuals who are ready to stop using cocaine should look for detox centers that can transition them into a comprehensive treatment program that focuses on healing the mental, physical, and emotional trauma of addiction. Additionally, cocaine abusers should look for detox and treatment centers that have specifically dealt with individuals who struggle with cocaine addiction, as they will be more familiar with the symptoms of detox and any possible signs of relapse.

We offer comprehensive addiction treatment at the Robert Alexander Center, starting with cocaine detoxification. Our inpatient, partial hospitalization, and outpatient care programs are designed to support our clients through addiction treatment in the safest and most structured way possible. 

Many individuals find that the transitions between treatment can be the most difficult to manage. At the Robert Alexander Center, our clients transition seamlessly between programs where they have access to the same doctors and facilities without having to reintroduce themselves and explain their addiction to a new person. 

Our campus houses both inpatient and outpatient programs, nutritional health staff, and a full staff of high-quality and expertly trained staff to support you through every step of the process.

Check out the Robert Alexander Center today to see how we can support your healthy living.

Is Addiction A Genetic Disease?

Is Addiction A Genetic Disease?

Alcoholism is a mental health disorder developed by a combination of factors, including genetics. But while genetics can play a part, its role does not overpower or overshadow the additional factors that develop a disorder like addiction.

At the Robert Alexander Center, we support individuals through detoxification, inpatient addiction treatment, continued outpatient treatment, and combined family therapy for individuals who are ready to make a significant change in their lifestyle. We use traditional therapies to help individuals with substance use disorders and many comorbid disorders that impact, and sometimes even worse, the effects of addiction.

Contact the Robert Alexander Center to see how we can help you battle addiction today.

What Causes Addiction?

There is no one singular cause of addiction. In many cases, it actually is a combination of many factors that lead to addiction. Addiction is a significant mental health disorder that impacts an individual in every aspect of their life. The build-up to this kind of disorder is extensive and can stem from a multitude of factors like risk, environment, and genetics.

Individuals with a heightened risk of addiction include those who use illegal drugs, misuse prescription drugs or alcohol, or exhibit problematic behaviors involving drugs and alcohol. 

Problematic use of drugs includes the misuse of prescription drugs, illegal drug use, and misuse of legal substances. Individuals may misuse prescription drugs, like opioids, when they take the medication to get high, take the medication in an unintended way, like crushed or dissolved, and take a substance too much, too frequently, or both. Illegal drug use indicates a willingness for risk and, combined with the effects of the substance, can lead an individual into even higher-risk situations. Lastly, individuals who misuse legal substances are at a higher risk than others because of unsafe use. This can include drinking underage, mixing substances, and ingesting these legal substances in an unsafe way.

Another factor that can lead to addiction is the environment that they are in. Whether as an adult or child, individuals in an environment surrounded by illegal drug use, problematic drinking, or other’s addictions can lead to a greater risk for an individual to become addicted themselves. 

Finally, genetics is a factor in addiction. Individuals with an addicted biological parent can sometimes experience a greater than average likelihood of developing an addiction. 

Is Addiction a Genetic Disease?

Addiction is not a genetic disease. Individuals who have a biological relative who is an addict are not guaranteed to develop an addiction. 

Addiction is developed through a combination of risk factors and substance use. While individuals who are exposed to an environment of substance abuse at a young age, have a genetic connection to an addict or display high-risk use patterns, there are no guarantees that an addiction will or will not be developed.

Those most at risk are individuals who are exposed to substance use or abuse at a young age. This environment, typically caused by parents or guardians who display problematic use or addictive tendencies, demonstrates unhealthy and unsafe use for individuals, leading to exposure and problematic use at a young age. 

How to Find Addiction Treatment Programs Near Me

When looking for an addiction treatment program, it is important to consider the factors that lead to your addiction and those that will most help you through your treatment. Finding an addiction treatment program near you can provide multiple opportunities for you to grow and learn in a familiar environment.

Addiction treatment programs and campuses near where you live are ideal for individuals with local families and those that have strong ties to the community. In this way, you are familiar with your environment and can focus on healing. 

The Robert Alexander Center

Here at the Robert Alexander Center, we believe we are the best option for local addiction treatment near you. Our campus houses multiple addiction treatment programs, family therapy options, and extensive aftercare programming for individuals who have completed residential programs on our campus. 

Our comprehensive campus accepts individuals in every stage of the detox and recovery process working with individuals to help them rid themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally from the damage of addiction. 

We use a combination of traditional evidence-based treatment programs with comprehensive physical health care through our nutritionists and designated spa and workout areas. This is ideal for individuals who are trying to make a positive change in their lives. 

Our expert medical staff offers residential treatment, outpatient care, and family therapy. They are also trained to manage comorbid mental health disorders like anxiety, bipolar, depression, mood disorders, personality disorders, PTSD, and trauma. 

Contact us today to see how we can start you on your journey of recovery.

How Using Anabolic Steroids Effects On The Brain

Anabolic Steroids Effects On The Brain

Medically prescribed to treat conditions including eczema, arthritis, and some cancers, the high levels of testosterone in anabolic steroids have led to prevalent and ongoing illicit use in individuals seeking to bulk their muscles or improve athletic performance. While steroid use is prevalent and regularly tested amongst pro athletes, studies continually reveal that this problem most regularly arises among adolescent males. That’s a significant problem considering that the ongoing use of anabolic steroids from a young age can result in a range of physical setbacks, including stunted growth and low sperm counts. Even outside of these physical setbacks, notable behavioral shifts point to the fact that untreated anabolic steroid abuse can also wreak havoc in the brain.

The fact that steroid-induced brain changes are often irreversible and extreme is especially concerning for young users. In this article, we consider in-depth look at anabolic steroids effects on the brain, and how that ultimately impacts behavior in individuals who don’t seek treatment.

Anabolic steroids effects on the brain

There are now a lot of in-depth and relatively complex studies into the often worrying impact that anabolic steroids can have on the brain, but to put it simply, abuse of this substance has been found to significantly impact the functioning of the limbic system. This is the part of the brain that impacts mood and can cause significant and notable mood and personality shifts in ongoing users. 

A 2013 study that used three imaging techniques to study different parts of the brain out of a pool of weightlifters revealed especially concerning results. Structural imaging data particularly revealed a significantly enlarged amygdala (the part of the brain that regulates emotions, aggression, and anxiety) in steroid users. Abnormalities were also noted in the reduction of brain sugar levels, resulting in early cell deaths that leave long-term steroid users at significantly increased risk of conditions like dementia. 

Further studies have also linked anabolic steroid use to the brain’s neurotransmitter systems, including mood-regulating hormones like dopamine and serotonin, with more notable impact inevitably registered among extended users.

How does this impact behavior?

Understanding the science is one thing, but many individuals fail to realize how these sometimes notable brain changes impact behavior overall. Perhaps the most worrying thing about the impact of anabolic steroids is the fact that they effect largely emotional/mood-based centers in the brain, resulting in some shocking, uncontrollable, and often distressing behavioral changes in short and long term users, the most notable or which include – 

1) Sudden mood swings

Irritability and sometimes aggressive mood swings are often the most notable and earliest behavioral changes to result from anabolic steroid abuse. Often referred to as ‘roid rage’, this can lead to difficulty both controlling emotions and appropriately handling rage, leaving users at increased risk of both violent incidents and overwhelming emotions.

2) Increased anxiety

Long-term users of anabolic steroids also report notably increased levels of anxiety and feelings of severe unrest or mistrust. This can increase isolation in steroid users who naturally withdraw, increasing the risks of developing further mental health setbacks including depression.

3) Feelings of invincibility

Anabolic steroids provide an initial boost that can also leave users feeling invincible, thus increasing the risks that they’ll either push their bodies too far or take unnecessary risks that can quickly lead to injury. Worse, the imagined strength that steroids offer can prevent users from noticing injuries of this nature until they’ve done extreme damage. 

4) Growing feelings of dependency

Studies also reveal that 32% of people who use anabolic steroids develop a dependency on them, resulting in both physical withdrawals and mental reliance. In some dependent individuals, mental struggles as a result of withdrawal amidst this reliance can even include depressions and suicide attempts. 

Treatment through anabolic steroid addiction

As well as helping to reduce a user’s physical dependency on steroids through professionally overseen detoxification, treatments including intensive outpatient programs, and even periods as an inpatient can be a huge help for addressing anabolic steroid abuse. The sooner individuals seek this help, the better able they’ll be to directly address how usage has impacted their moods, as well as preventing further damage that could lead to irreversible changes. Outpatient programs that incorporate a wide range of therapies and personal focuses can prove especially effective for this purpose, providing users of anabolic steroids with accessible treatment that helps them to start on a new path while simultaneously freeing them to improve the lifestyle that led them to trouble in the first place. 

How Do Anabolic Steroids Affect The Body?

How Do Anabolic Steroids Affect The Body

According to a national household survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as many as 1,084,000 Americans, or 0.5% of the population, reported using anabolic steroids. While not a problem, when prescribed by a trained professional, illegal steroid use, can be both incredibly damaging, and addictive across extended periods.

Unfortunately, the true prevalence of illegal steroid usage is incredibly difficult to determine, but experts believe that the prevalence of this problem is particularly high amongst young male populations bowing to peer pressure and incorrectly relying on steroids to bulk their muscles. 

Most commonly associated with sudden mood swings and increased aggression, the mental impact of ongoing and unmonitored steroid usage is well documented. What’s perhaps less well-known are its physical side effects. As such, it’s vital to consider how do anabolic steroids affect the body and the lasting impact it can have if individuals don’t seek treatment?

What are anabolic steroids?

Far from the popular belief that steroids are a tool through which to build muscle, doctors will only ever prescribe for this reason in cases of extreme muscle loss or hormonal imbalances. More commonly, anabolic steroids are medically used as a form of anti-inflammatory or to clear up skin infections, etc. thanks to their ability to boost testosterone levels in the body. When prescribed in small doses in a medical setting, these increases in testosterone are carefully overseen and generally not in large enough quantities to cause damage. Unregulated anabolic steroids, however, are used in far less monitored situations, typically in doses that no doctor would condone.

How Do Anabolic Steroids Affect The Body?

The mental impact of anabolic steroids isn’t unknown amongst even illicit users, but the sometimes extreme physical impact of this drug is far less considered. This is a significant problem given that both short and ongoing usage can take a significant toll on the body through side-effects including –

Short-term physical effects

Even after short periods, individuals abusing anabolic steroids will start to notice certain physical effects. Except for infection which can quickly arise when steroids are misused/unhygienically injected, most of these immediate physical changes will relate to appearance, and may include-

  • Notably larger muscles
  • Sudden oily skin and acne
  • Water retention
  • Yellowing of the skin
  • And more

Long-term physical effects

These initial warning signs only worsen as usage continues, making way for some longer-lasting and far more concerning physical effects on the body that most commonly include –

  • Hormonal complications: With adolescent usage, especially, steroid abuse can lead to significant damage as a result of hormonal complications, including stunted growth, male-pattern baldness, and decreased sperm production.
  • Poor heart health: Studies continually reveal links between steroid abuse and poor heart health, particularly caused by excessive strain and adrenaline that can lead to high blood pressure, poor cholesterol, and eventually heart disease or attack.
  • Increasing the risks of cancer: Despite being used as a cancer treatment in medical settings, the impact of steroids on bodily cells can increase the risks of certain cancers, including breast, testicle, and prostate.
  • Visible physical effects: While the visible effects of steroids are most notable early on, they continue to worsen with usage, and at this stage can include severe acne, constantly greasy hair, and baldness in men and women.

Do steroids impact men and women differently?

While the illicit use of anabolic steroids is most commonly seen among adolescent males, it’s not unheard of for women to also abuse this substance with very different results. For obvious reasons, notably increased levels of testosterone in the female body can especially result in the shrinking of breast tissue (as opposed to in males who can develop breasts during usage), as well as increasing the risk of facial hair, interrupting menstrual cycles, and even resulting in a noticeably deeper voice. 

Steroid misuse requires professional treatment

Whether you or a loved one are abusing anabolic steroids, taking proactive steps towards detoxification and recovery is the best possible way to avoid these lasting and often irreversible health conditions. Unfortunately, the addictive nature of these steroids means that, even when physical effects like these begin to make themselves known, countless users struggle to break this habit. Professional treatment provided through accessible programs like our intensive outpatient offerings provide a range of therapies and focuses to help you or your loved understand both steroid reliance and its overall impact, all in the form of outpatient treatment that makes it far easier to access help whenever you/they feel that it’s time to do so.

Getting An Interventionist For Family Struggling With Addiction

Getting An Interventionist For Family Struggling With Addiction

Watching your loved one battling addiction is heart-wrenching. You feel helpless and frustrated as you watch them destroy their lives and relationships. You want them to get help and get better but they’ve resisted your attempts at getting them to face up to the problem. Or worse, they are in denial about how bad their addiction is.

When it gets to this point, you may want to stage an intervention using the help of an interventionist.

What Role Does an Interventionist Play?

It can be difficult for your loved one to recognize and even admit that they need help for alcohol or drug abuse. They may be in denial or get defensive or violent when confronted about their addiction. In that case, an intervention may help them realize the extent of the problem and get them to seek professional help.

An intervention is a focused approach where a family shows their loved one dealing with addiction how their behavior and habits have affected those around them. It can be challenging for the family to confront the loved one, not knowing what to say or falling back to enabling behaviors. That’s where an interventionist comes in.

An interventionist’s goal is to get the person struggling with addiction to accept help. There are professional interventionists who have been certified by the Association of Intervention Specialists (AIS). Their role involves:

  • Guiding the family on how to conduct an intervention.
  • Learning more about the addict to choose a suitable intervention strategy then leading the family in the planning process.
  • Moderating the conversation during the intervention and helping to keep it focused, positive, and non-confrontational.
  • Helping to keep those involved in the intervention from losing their cool. Interventions can be difficult to get through and sometimes emotions can run high and risk derailing the entire process. The interventionist’s role is to keep this from happening and ensure that the conversation remains productive throughout.

Choosing an Interventionist

You can get recommendations for an interventionist from doctors and therapists who specialize in addiction or from addiction treatment facilities. When looking for an interventionist, get one who:

  • Is a good listener who you’re comfortable working with.
  • Will be with you from the start up until your loved one goes into treatment.
  • Has the right training and experience to guide the intervention.
  • Has been credentialed and certified.
  • Uses an intervention model and strategy that you’re comfortable with.

We Can Help

Our mission as the Robert Alexander Center for Recovery in Kentucky is to provide affordable addiction treatment to all who need it. We offer a range of treatment programs including a detoxification program as well as an intensive outpatient program and a standard outpatient program. We also have a family therapy program geared towards families that have been devastated by addiction.

If you’re looking for an interventionist to help your family plan an intervention, we can help. Get in touch with us and let’s help you figure out your next steps.

How Does Drug Addiction Worsen The Impact Of Stress

Many people resort to certain substances such as alcohol or drugs for a variety of reasons. Young individuals often start experimenting with these drugs because of curiosity or peer pressure. However, stress is a problem for a large number of people, and it is one of the reasons why many people misuse alcohol or drugs.

People’s physical and emotional well-being is negatively impacted by stress. Those who are unable to cope with stress in a constructive and productive manner may seek temporary solace via alcohol or drugs. Unfortunately, people who self-medicate with alcohol or drugs run the danger of developing a variety of additional issues, including addiction, which will exacerbate their difficulties.

Ironically, it may also be that drug addiction can worsen the impact of stress, the very thing it was meant to relieve. This is why professional treatment is always the best course of action. 

How Is Addiction Related to Stress?

Stress may lead to drug use, but drug use can also lead to stress. Certain substances, such as cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol, and nicotine, stimulate not just the reward pathways but also the stress pathways in the brain. Drug and alcohol withdrawal can also trigger physiological stress reactions. 

Living in active addiction is, of course, a recipe for stress. Addiction often brings with it challenges that might exacerbate a person’s stress, such as:

  • Health Issues
  • Financial Setbacks
  • Relationship Discontent and/or Conflict
  • Instability in the Family
  • Unwanted Pregnancy

Stress is also a risk factor for relapse in persons in recovery from addiction, after which expert help will certainly be required.

How Do Drugs Make Stress Worse? 

According to studies on the brain – perhaps the body’s most misunderstood organ – persons who are stressed are more prone to misuse alcohol or other drugs or to relapse into drug addiction.

Signs of Self-Medicating 

Self-medicating refers to efforts to cope with depression, pain (physical or mental), or powerful emotions without the aid of a doctor by using medicines (prescription or otherwise), alcohol, and other substances. To self-medicate, you do not need to be diagnosed with a medical problem. You might be self-medicating simply as a reaction to the stresses of ordinary life.

What are some of the signs that you or someone you know might be self-medicating?

  • Avoiding family, friends, social gatherings, and other activities
  • An abrupt shift in one’s interests or who one spends time with
  • Secrets concerning how one spends one’s time
  • Ignoring bodily needs, such as washing or eating
  • Having problems at work, school, or in other areas
  • Anger out of nowhere
  • Because of the high expense of alcohol and drugs, you may be experiencing new or unexpected financial difficulties

Why Is It Dangerous To Self-Medicate With Alcohol Or Drugs?

It is never a good idea to consume alcohol or use medications to feel better. Self-medicating with chemical substances can – and usually will – result in a variety of problems, not the least of which is addiction. Those suffering from alcohol or drug addiction risk losing their friends, families, careers, fortune, and houses. Substance abuse may help a person feel better in the short term, but if it persists, it will compound difficulties. Those who are forced to take drugs or use alcohol will be unable to live regular, healthy lives. They will struggle to keep a career, and their relationships may suffer as the effects of the addiction begin to influence others in their life.