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How a counselor helps in aftercare

When people complete their addiction treatment, it is natural to think that everything will return to normal. While this is so for some people, others will relapse in no time.

One of the reasons why this happens is because we are wired differently and addiction does not happen to us the same way.

Hence, some people will be able to live their normal lives, while others will continue to enter in and out of rehab. Another reason why relapse is possible is that not everyone has the luxury of knowing what coping strategies

With the presence of a counselor, it would be easy to prevent addiction a second time because you know what you should do and not do.

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Here’s the function of a counselor in aftercare

Teach coping strategies

Aftercare treatment can be likened to preparing for battle. The counselor does their best to arm you with crucial life skills that will help you fight off addiction cravings when they surface.

With the counselor’s help, you will be gradually integrated into society without bowing to cravings or triggers.

Teach healthy life habits

One of the reasons why people relapse is because they live unhealthily. If you don’t know how to inculcate healthy life habits, the counselor would teach you.

During your aftercare treatment, you will learn some essential healthy life habits like eating well, sleeping at the right time, exercising, taking lots of water, etc.

These healthy habits will put you in a position where you are not susceptible to getting addicted because you will be sane, sober, and clean.

Provision of support

If you need someone to listen to your complaints, stories, and challenges, the counselor is always there for you. Some people relapse because, after their addiction treatment, they have no one to talk to.

You can always find a confidant in a counselor. Therefore, you will not be overwhelmed with emotions that might make you return to your addiction.

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Tips to prevent drug addiction in teenagers

If drug addiction is in play, it can have a profound effect on your teenager’s life. The reason is that they are at the developmental stage where they make decisions that they will carry on for the rest of their lives.

Hence, instead of seeking ways to treat addiction when they are caught up, it is best to prevent it from happening in the first place.

When you can spot all the possible ways that teenagers can get addicted to drugs, you can help them live a sober and healthy life.

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Here are some tips to prevent drug addiction from happening.

Educate them about addiction

Not all teenagers are knowledgeable about what addiction truly means. Some of them see addictive habits as some things you do for fun because you love them.

Therefore, you need to educate your kids that addiction is a brain disease that can affect other aspects of their lives.

They need to understand that when addiction is in play, they would have to choose between other important things in their lives and addiction.

Know the friends they keep

You have to be careful about the type of friends your teenagers keep if you want to prevent addiction. Many teenagers became addicted because of their friends.

It is important to ensure that the close friends and acquaintances of your teenagers are sober. You can also go all the way to verify that their parents are equally sober.

Teach them healthy habits

When you teach your teenagers healthy habits, you are helping them keep addiction at bay.

You need to teach them the importance of sleeping at their normal bedtime, eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, taking lots of water, etc.

With these healthy habits, they will not encounter stressors that can make them addicted.

If you suspect that your teenager is abusing drugs, you don’t have to be alarmed. First, talk to them about it and encourage them to be honest. Then, get professional help for them so that they can become sober once again.

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Four ways a counselor can help a drug addict

One of the most challenging yet rewarding things you can do for a drug addict is to provide them with help and care that would restore them to full sobriety.

Achieving this is difficult because addicts do not like to admit they have an addiction problem.

Some of them are quite comfortable opening up to a third party because they believe they would not be stigmatized.

This is why some of them would rather discuss with a professional like a counselor instead of anyone close to them.

Here are some ways a counselor can help a drug addict

  • Helping them acknowledge their addiction

It is easier for an addict to break free from addiction when they accept that they have a problem. Doing this might be difficult but the counselor will assure them that their acceptance provides a smooth passage into living a normal life.

  • Creating a therapeutic bond

A drug addict can conquer addiction if he has a smooth alliance with the counselor. This means that the addict trusts the counselor enough to help them scale through the addiction treatment program.

Also, a strong therapeutic bond or alliance means that the patient sees their counselor as a trusted individual who has their best interests at heart. Hence, it would be easy for them to open up when needed.

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  • Motivate Patients to recover

Addiction recovery is difficult, and sometimes, there might be no one to encourage the addicts. The counselor understands the needs for this, and they will always encourage the individual that they have the willpower to overcome addiction.

Even though the power lies in the hands of the patient, the counselor can employ innovative styles that can encourage patient recovery.

  • Create a relapse prevention plan

Even though addiction treatment can be successful, there is a chance of relapse. The counselor, being aware of this, helps to develop a solid relapse prevention plan that will help the patient fight off addiction.

This relapse prevention plan will help the patient to identify cravings and triggers that might make them go back to their addiction.

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The importance of detoxification in drug addiction treatment

Detoxification is the process of eliminating substances like drugs or alcohol in the body. When an individual opts-in for addiction treatment, detoxification is usually the first line of action.

The essence of detoxification is to make the individual cope with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that might occur when they stop taking drugs.

Not everyone has the same experience with detoxification because people have different addiction intensities.

Therefore, the duration and type of detoxification depend on the nature of the person’s addiction.

Sometimes, medications are used in detoxification to reduce cravings and triggers while the drugs are eliminated from their bodies.

Deciding to detox on your own can be harmful and deadly because any medical disaster could occur. It is best to have your detoxification under the close supervision of a health professional.

Many possible problems could occur like intense dehydration, increased heart rate, seizures, etc. Some of these health complications can be fatal if there’s no monitoring or health support.

Generally, there are three phases of detoxification. The first stage is Evaluation. This is the point where patients are screened for both mental and physical health problems.

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Their blood tests would be taken to check the amount of drugs in the system. This would help to determine the medications to use.

The next stage is stabilization. The patient undergoes psychological and medical therapy to remain stable. Stabilization prevents the patients from any type of harm because of complications and withdrawal symptoms.

The last stage is preparation for the full treatment program. The doctors ensure that the patients get familiar with the treatment process and what they should look forward to.

Research has shown that inpatient rehabilitation for the patient increases the chance of achieving success after detoxification.

The reason is, the individual would be under close monitoring all through their treatment. Unlike outpatient rehab where they would need to attend rehab sessions from home.

If a detoxification program is medically supervised, it would prevent hazardous complications of drug withdrawal.

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Treatment for drug abuse

People abuse drugs for many reasons. Some of them know that their abusive habit is taking a toll on their health, but they don’t mind because their brain reward system has been distorted.

Hence, it would be difficult to stop abusing drugs even though they make up their minds.

Here are some effective treatments for drug abuse

  • Detoxification

When treating drug abuse, detoxification is important because it helps to eliminate toxins in the body due to the substance build-up.

It is advised that detoxification is done under the supervision of a reputable healthcare professional because it might come with some unpleasant symptoms. Detoxification alone cannot treat drug abuse, but it is an essential part of the whole treatment.

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  • Medication-assisted therapies

If the withdrawal symptoms are quite intense, the therapist may give the patient some medications to help reduce the effects and cravings. It would make the individual more stable so that they can follow through with the treatment.

  • Behavioral therapy

This is also known as psychotherapy. The individual enters into a talk therapy session with the counselor. The essence of this therapy is for the counselor to determine the root cause of the individual’s abuse.

Therefore, the counselor relies on the testimony of the individual to create a treatment plan for them.

  • Inpatient/Outpatient treatment

Depending on your treatment needs, you would be advised to opt for either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Inpatient therapy requires you to remain hospitalized or within the rehab center. While with outpatient therapy, you can attend rehab sessions from home or work.

The therapist usually determines which one to go for after receiving reports from the counselor during the behavioral therapy session.

The risk of drug abuse is immense. This is why people who are hooked on drugs need all the help they can get. People who abuse drugs can recover fully and lead healthy lives provided they are given the right care and attention.

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Four drug types that are commonly abused

When it comes to abuse, one of the common forms is drug abuse. People abuse different types of drugs because of the thrills it brings. Some people also abuse drugs as an escape route from reality, only to discover that it was a temporary relief.

In this piece, you will learn more about the drugs that are commonly abused

Marijuana

This drug is gotten from the Cannabis sativa plant, and it is arguably one of the most abused drugs in the world.

When you take marijuana, you will experience an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. For some people, taking marijuana makes it difficult for them to concentrate. While others might boast of achieving full focus and concentration when they take this drug.

People rarely die from smoking marijuana, but they are at risk of coming down with heart diseases and other related problems.

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Cocaine

Cocaine is one of the most addictive and powerful stimulants that gives a euphoric feeling when it is taken. Not everyone who has taken cocaine likes the rush that comes with it. But users have revealed that it lasts between 30 to 45 minutes.

When Cocaine is in the system, it tightens the blood vessels, which makes the heart operate faster than usual. If care isn’t taken, cardiovascular problems can occur, which may lead to death.

Opiates

The primary essence of opiates is to provide people with relief when they sustain injuries. However, many people have abused its importance, as they prefer to take it because of the pleasurable feelings it provides. If opiates are taken in large quantities, they can impair the brain.

Methamphetamine

This is a white powder that is usually injected, snorted, or smoked. Many people are addicted to methamphetamine because it also gives a euphoric rush.  

Methamphetamine speeds up the heart rate and increases body temperature. If it is used for a long time, it can cause hallucinations, insomnia, anxiety, etc.

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Signs that your loved one is addicted to drugs

You might have heard of the term “drug addiction” but you may have not seen someone who is addicted because you don’t know the signs to look out for. This means that your loved one might be addicted, but you are unaware even though the signs are staring you in the face.

If you observe these signs and you confirm that your loved one is addicted to drugs, you need to help them break free and get back on track.

To confirm if your loved one is hooked on drugs or not, here are some signs to watch out for

  • Physical signs

One of the noticeable signs or symptoms that you will observe is some physical changes. If you know your loved one too well, and you see that some things have changed in their physical structure.

For instance, you might observe that they are losing weight or gaining some pounds rapidly.

You might also detect some abnormal skin coloration that is different from their general skin color. If you check their faces, you might see some unusual changes there too.

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  • Behavioral changes

Another sign of drug addiction is when your loved one shows some behavior that is not typical of them. They might get more violent and aggressive for no reason which shows that they need extra concern.

Some of them would also lose interest in some of the activities that were once profitable to them. The reason might be because they are too busy invested in their drug addiction that they barely have time for other things.

  • Getting into some financial crisis

Many people who are hooked on drugs tend to get into financial crises because they spend most of their money on drugs. So, they end up borrowing money to meet the standard of life they have created from their addiction.

Helping a loved one to break free from addiction can be difficult because they will think that you want to condemn them. However, you need to approach their situation from the standpoint of love. Help them understand that you want the best for them.

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Causes Of Drug Addiction

Various factors lead to drug addiction in the life of individuals. Often it is difficult to pinpoint one thing as a general factor that leads to drug addiction because situations differ.

Also, since addicts tend to hide and remain in denial, it might be hard to determine the cause of their addiction.

Nevertheless, some factors are generally attributed to causing drug addiction in individuals most times.

These factors vary based on individual personality but apply in most instances. These factors are physical, psychological, and emotional.

These factors include;

  • A Drug Addict Parent

Having a parent who is a drug addict can cause a person to also become an addict. This is because such a person would be exposed to all kinds of drugs as the addict’s parents would carelessly leave them around the house. This can cause a person to try out drugs unsupervised.

So, growing up with someone who is an addict increases the possibility of that person becoming an addict.

  • Peer Pressure

A person can also be drawn to drug addiction due to peer pressure. This is true for youth adults who have friends who take drugs. In order not to feel left out and due to constant encouragement, a person can begin taking drugs which could lead to addiction.

This is especially true for teenagers who are still developing self-control brain cells and are prone to risk-taking.

  • Emotional Trauma or Stress

Drug addiction occurs due to emotional trauma or stress. Some people are drawn to drugs as a means to manage excess stress. While others end up with drugs as a means of escaping the emotional trauma which they have experienced.

  • Early Exposure to Drugs

The earlier a person is exposed to drugs like cocaine, the more likely he or she would get addicted to it. This is because young people are prone to risk-taking and their brain cells for self-control are still developing.

So, people who are exposed to drugs early in their life are more prone to drug addiction.

In summary, these are not the only causes of drug addiction. There are still other factors responsible for drug addiction. But these are likely significant in the occurrence of drug addiction.

 

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Effects of Drug Addiction 

Drug addiction is the constant dependence on a particular drug in a way that is harmful to a person.

That without consuming such a drug, such a person is restless, uncomfortable, and cannot function well. This constant and continuous consumption of the drug affects individuals in many ways. 

First, the chemical substances alter the function of the person’s brain. This is apart from the physical, mental, emotional, and physiological effect it has on an individual.

Knowing the effects of drug addiction is vital in deterring people from addiction.

Therefore, this article will highlight the various effects of drug addiction. These effects include;

  • Cardiovascular Issue

Drug addiction can lead to various heart problems for an individual. The chemical substances cause harm and affect the cardiovascular organs of a person. So, a drug addict could experience heart attacks and collapsed veins.

  • Brain Damage 

The drugs affect the brain cells of an addict, such that it affects some of their basic functions. This can affect the memory of a person leading to memory loss. It could also lead to loss of attention or permanent brain damage for a drug addict.

  • Weakened Immune System 

The constant consumption of chemical substances affects the immune system of an addict. A drug addict’s immune system is extremely weakened, making them susceptible to infections and illnesses. So, one effect of drug addiction is that it weakens the immune system. 

  • Reduced Performance 

Beyond the effects on the body organs, drug addiction also affects the social behavior of a person. It could lead to poor performance at school or work due to loss of memory and attention, and inability to concentrate. This can lead to a loss of job for a drug addict. 

  • Social Withdrawal 

Drug addicts tend to avoid social judgment. They do not want to be judged by friends or family. So, they end up withdrawing from those close to them and instead enter a world of depression and anxiety. 

These are some effects of drug addiction. Drug addiction causes every aspect of a person’s life, it can even spread to those around them. Therefore, it is vital to address drug addiction as soon as you notice, with professional treatment. 

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What is Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a common type of addiction found among people. It is a chronic illness that affects the brain functions of a person. Individuals can get addicted to legal or illegal drugs due to constant use.

Drug addiction arises from continuous use by a person till it gets to a point where he/she can no longer stop their consumption of that substances.

Some drugs people get addicted to are cocaine, heroin, alcohol, marijuana, etc. Some people also get addicted to prescribed drugs, which arises due to constant use and overdose of the prescribed medication.

There are several reasons why people get addicted to drugs. It often begins as a bad habit that escalates into addiction and uncontrollable use of the drug.

This could be due to peer pressure, friends who encourage them to use drugs and continue using such drugs.

These drugs affect the mental and physical state of a person. So, once a person tries out a drug there is that urge to continue using it to get that feeling. This leaves numerous negative effects in the life of a drug addict.

Drug addiction can also occur due to excess stress and inability to handle stress. This happens with working-class people, who have demanding jobs and then rely on drugs to relieve stress. They enjoy the relieve gotten from these drugs so they continue using them which leads to addiction.

There are several signs which show that a person is addicted. These signs include;

  • A drug addict leaves a constant urge to consume the drug even at odd times like early morning, at work, or late at night.
  • A drug addict is constantly spending money to purchase these drugs, even when it is not convenient. They can borrow or steal to buy drugs, and this can lead to financial crisis.
  • A drug addict may feel the urge to change friends to people who also use these drugs. This is because it would provide a constant supply of drugs.

Drug addiction comes with a lot of mental and emotion damage for a person. If a time comes when they want to stop due to its negative effects, they cannot stop which leaves them in a horrible state. But drug addiction isn’t the end of a person, with proper professional help they can recover.