Employment after Rehab

After rehab, many individuals are concerned about finding employment. They worry about the time they’ve been out of the work force due to inpatient rehab. They may feel concerned about whether or not to disclose past substance abuse and stress about future employers discriminating due to substance abuse.

Rest assured, however. Studies show that more than 23 million adults – 10 percent of the U.S. population – consider themselves to be in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse. Noting this fact, consider that many individuals go on to lead successful lives and work in careers they enjoy and find success in following rehab. Further, many companies are open minded about hiring candidates with previous drug or alcohol issues.

As long as one can stay in healthy recovery and sobriety, they don’t need to worry about reaching professional goals and becoming a loyal strong employee. Continuing self care in recovery will ensure that the job or career thats desired will be well within reach.

Developing a strong resume and developing a plan for an ideal, desired job is key. Asking questions of oneself about the things they liked and didn’t like about previous employment and employers can help give direction. Also, being aware of one’s strengths and weaknesses and skills can provide insight to future employers as well.

It’s also crucial to picking jobs that don’t have triggers to avoid relapse. After rehab, many find that structures jobs, similar to rehab are better fulfilled than laid back structureless jobs. Further, starting small and not taking on to much is a good idea after rehab.

Remembering the positive growth from rehab along with the bright future ahead can help individuals find employment after rehab.

Loneliness: A Public Health Crisis

A recent study published in Fox News authored by Julia Naftulin indicates that loneliness is now thought to be more of a danger to society than obesity in terms of health. The article discusses how although each of us feels lonely from time to time, a new study shows that feeling lonely is on the rise and the dangers of feeling lonely are a major health threat.

A new study conducted by Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, professor of psychology at Brigham Young University was discussed at length in Natfulin’s article. The study showed feeling lonely and/or isolated can lead to premature death—in fact, those with social connections decreased their risk of an early death by 50%. Still, a number of things can affect how often or deeply a person experiences loneliness. People who suffer from depression or anxiety are likely to feel isolated on a grander scale, since loneliness is a state of mind, says Dr. Galynker, adding that a happy person with five social interactions a day may feel connected, while a depressed person with the same five social interactions may feel isolated and disconnected from others.

Although our culture in the US accepts and normalizes living alone and being independent, most other cultures do not. That is to say, many live with extended family their entire life. Further, the role of social media in this loneliness crisis is huge. Not only do we tend to feel left out or not “as good as” due to social media, many individuals are triggered into feelings of isolation and loneliness that are not healthy at all due to the influx of the Internet and online communication.

Determining if you are feeling excessively lonely in such a way that warrants help may seem difficult. But research suggests that if you turn to others to alleviate your loneliness than most likely you’re ding ok. But if you isolate further or don’t feel like confiding your feelings of looniness to others than it might be good to seek professional help.  Many people feel insecure and nervous about reaching out to others for fear of rejection. Awareness of those around us is key in solving this problem. Including those in our life in real time interactions and, making time for those who we now to be more isolated can help break the cycle of loneliness in our society and alleviate this oncoming public health crisis.

Natural Disasters Can Trigger Relapse

Natural disasters, such as the recent flooding in Houston, Texas, can be devastating and can lead individuals in recovery to relapse. Many people may experience serious stress during a natural disaster as well as in the aftermath which can evolve into an anxiety disorder known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When individuals have struggled with drug or alcohol addiction, the combination of PTSD and stress is one of the most common causes for relapse. Further, experiencing PTSD due to natural disasters or otherwise, can often trigger first time drug or alcohol use or an increase in drug and alcohol use in current users.

Due to the fact that individuals who have struggled with addiction in the past may be extra sensitive to stress, they are more prone to cope with the stress of a natural disaster with drugs and/or alcohol as a coping method. Drug cravings are shown to increase with stress as well. Further, stress due to a natural disaster can cause depression, anxiety, insomnia, and even nightmares. Thus, those battling drug addiction have a much higher potential to relapse in an attempt to suppress stress or other emotional troubles associate with natural disasters.

Fear and depression have also been shown to increase when natural disasters strike. For former drug addicts, drugs and alcohol are often used to numb the feeling associated with or to cope with the loss of control, overwhelming stress, or despair associated with fear and depression.

Awareness of the possibility of relapse and the factors of fear, depression, and PTSD that can lead to a possible relapse are key in staying in healthy recovery during a natural disaster. Also, reaching out for support from loved ones who were not affected by the natural disaster can also sustain individuals dealing with recovery from drug/alcohol addiction.

Qualities of an Excellent Drug Rehab

Many offer different types of therapy, in-patient and out-patient facilities, shared or private rooms for inpatient care, different durations of recovery programs, gender-specific programs, programs with or without family involvement, etc. With so many options and choices, it’s good to get educated on what’s most important when deciding on a drug rehab facility.

CNN Health offers a few tips when looking for the right drug rehab for recovery. Most important, it is crucial to verify that the staff members are certified in their given specialties. Most qualified treatment centers will list their accreditations and licensure on their website, but if you can’t find it, don’t be afraid to call and ask. Drug Rehab facilities are used to these kinds of questions and know they are in contest with many other facilities. Further, gender specific programs have been shown to help in recovery since there are no distractions or impediments from the opposite sex. Also, look for programs that offer individual therapy sessions as this has proven to be very effective in recovery. And finally, make sure the facility you choose has a solid aftercare plan to help you or your loved one stay on track.

Some other important qualities to look for include the sincerity and quality of the care of the individuals in the facility. Don’t be afraid to ask for a tour and watch close how the individuals who work at the facility treat patients and each other. Are they friendly? Are they warm and empathetic or do they seem judgmental? All of these qualities should be evaluated and will vary from person to person. The staff members at drug rehab facilities are the “heart and soul” of the treatment center. Patients must feel comfortable and accepted without judgment—something that is essential to a successful recovery environment. Also, make sure your privacy and security are priorities and not in jeopardy of being compromised in any way.

Another point many don’t consider, especially when considering in-patient treatment, is the status of the facility. If you are used to certain luxuries such as jetted tubs, certain thread counts, etc., make sure the facility provides those things. Don’t shy away from asking about the accommodations – remember, being comfortable and feeling secure will help with recovery immensely.

There are many other things to consider when choosing a drug rehab but these few things can help get the process started. Take time to choose the right facility and make sure that there isn’t any pressure involved in the decision you make. Feeling confident in your choice of a drug rehab will also help with a successful recovery.

When individuals reach the point where they want to recover from drug abuse, many feel they simply do not have the funds to do so.  Or, they feel like they can beat it on their own and save money.  Or, they think that rehab is too costly and they can’t or won’t afford it.  A very interesting fact, however, is that when the cost of continuing drug abuse is examined, it is often found that rehab would actually be less expensive – especially in the long run.

Further, financing a drug addiction is a large financial burden that carries an even larger risk with it: the lengths people will go to to obtain drugs to feed their addiction.  Theft, blackmail, and harming others can be very prevalent among addicts.  Many people have questions about the cost of drugs in comparison to the cost of drug treatment. Often, when choosing between a continuing drug habit and financing rehab, people don’t consider the sheer cost of feeding their drug dependences. Many individuals will end up spending thousands—or more—on drugs and alcohol throughout their lifetimes

Again, it is interesting that research shows that some people put off getting treatment because they fear they cannot afford rehab. Interestingly, it turns out that rehab is much cheaper than drug addiction in the end.

Most importantly, rehab is an investment.  Generally drug rehab will bring better health, more meaningful relationships, increased self-esteem, and much more disposable income (instead of spending any disposable income on a drug addiction). And, individuals will most certainly have a brighter future when investing in rehab over addiction.

Individuals with alcohol or drug addictions should seek treatment – whether inpatient or outpatient. All kinds of treatments are available at all various costs. Putting one’s health first will prove to be a better financial decision with a more positive outcome.  Research shows that most addicts are unable to achieve successful recovery on their own or with family members alone, so finding help is vital. Deciding between costs, inpatient and outpatient rehab, and finding the right treatment center – regardless of expense –are all important decisions to be made for a successful recovery outcome.

Statistics concerning Alcohol Consumption

Below are some statistics about general trends of alcohol consumption in the United States as reported by NIAAA’s Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry

How frequently did American adults (ages 18 and over) drink in the past year?

(Source: Wave 2 NESARC, conducted by NIAAA’s Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry)

 

Percentage who drank:                                            Women           Men

  • Daily                                                                  2.45%             5.78%
  • Nearly every day                                             2.39%             4.98%
  • 3-4 times a week                                             5.55%             10.00%
  • 2 times a week                                                 5.82%             10.46%
  • Once a week                                                     6.77%             10.33%
  • 2-3 times a month                                          8.27%             9.55%
  • Once a month                                                  7.19%             6.72%
  • 7-11 times in the past year                            4.44%             3.51%
  • 3-6 times in the past year                             9.26%             5.67%
  • 1-2 times in the past year                              8.73%             4.91%
  • Never in the past year                                    39.13%          28.09%

 

How many American adults (ages 18 and over) drank in the past year and how much did they drink?

(Source: Wave 1 NESARC, conducted by NIAAA’s Laboratory of Epidemiology and Biometry)

 

  • Percentage who had at least one drink
    59.6% (women)             71.8% (men)
  • Percentage who have never drank –lifetime abstainers
    22.5%  (women)           11.6% (men)
  • Percentage of binge drinkers – drinkers who consumed 4+/5+ (women/men) drinks within 2 hours at least once
    28.8% (women)             43.1% (men)

 

How many drinks did drinkers usually consume on a drinking day?

  •             1 drink – 48.2% (women)         28.7% (men)
  •             2 drinks – 29.9% (women)          29.0% (men)
  •             3 drinks – 21.9% (women)        42.3% (men)

Utah taking measures to prevent opioid overdoses

Health.utah.gov published info recently indicating that Utah recognizes the problems it is facing in the fight against opioid overdoses and is doing something about it. They reported that the “Utah State Legislature passed two laws in 2014 to help reduce drug overdose deaths”:

1-The Good Samaritan Law (House Bill 11). This law enables bystanders to report an overdose without fear of criminal prosecution for illegal possession of a controlled substance or illicit drug.

2-Naloxone Law (House Bill 119)

This law permits physicians to prescribe naloxone to third parties (someone who is usually a caregiver or a potential bystander to a person at risk for an overdose) and permits individuals to administer naloxone without legal liability.

Further, health.utah.gov goes on to indicate some important facts about opioid overdose and abuse. They indicate that, “in Utah, the top five circumstances observed in prescription opioid deaths were:

  • 65% substance abuse problem (Substance abuse problems include those in which the individual was noted as using illegal drugs, abusing prescription medications, or regularly using inhalants at the time of death.)
  • 62% diagnosed mental illness
  • 61% physical health problem
  • 16% history of alcohol dependence or problem
  • 10% history of suicide attempt

Dangers of Prescription Drug Abuse:

  • Dependence
  • Slower brain activity
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Heart failure
  • Lethal seizures

Cocaine Statistics 

Back in the 1980’s we often heard about cocaine use and abuse but now it seems we hear more about heroin/opioids. However, although many people believe that cocaine is not a major threat like it used to be when cocaine use peaked in the 80’s, recent show that cocaine use is on the rise again.

For instance, a study performed by the Substance Abuse and Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) showed that although cocaine use declined until the early 1990s, cocaine use has been rising in the United States since. Also, it is estimated that about two million people are cocaine addicts in the United States, and that between 22 and 25 million people have used cocaine at least once. Also, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), about 0.7 percent of the population in the US aged 12 and older used cocaine – including crack cocaine – in the past month. Although 0.7 might seem like a small amount of the population, it translates to over a million new users a year.

New reports also indicate that cocaine users used to be closer to 18 and now are more college aged – closer to 21 on average. Cocaineabuse.us indicates that drug-statistics.com reports that college students have been increasing their use of cocaine – up to 4.8 percent from 2 percent in 1994. Also noteworthy is the fact that men are more likely to use cocaine than are women. However, more and more females are being reported as abusing cocaine. In fact, more than 400,000 infants are born addicted to cocaine each year in the United States.

Another interesting fact is that the rate of cocaine use is found according to racial lines. The most common group of cocaine abusers is American Indians and/or Alaskan natives. Their rate of cocaine use is about 2 percent. Other cocaine use rates include 1.6 percent for African Americans, 0.8 percent for Caucasians, 0.8 percent for Hispanics, 0.6 percent for Pacific Islanders and/or Native Hawaiians and 0.2 percent for Asians. As a result, some agency resources are being concentrated in areas where certain races reside and cocaine use is higher. (cocaineabuse.us)

The good news comes from the younger generation. That is to say that cocaine abuse among high school students is actually down from where it once was. Recent studies indicate that high school sophomores are using cocaine less. Again, cocaineabuse.us states that the, “NIDA reports that past-year use of crack cocaine decreased in 10th graders from 2.3 percent to 1.6 percent. This is encouraging, and it is hopeful that today’s teenagers will continue to avoid cocaine even after they reach the 18-25 age group. Sadly, however, there is speculation that the decline in cocaine use among today’s teens has less to do with the anti-drug campaigns, etc. and more to do with the inexpensive availability of prescription drugs.

Statistics and studies show that while opioid use is a definite concern and factor in today’s “anti-drug” campaigns, cocaine use is once again on the rise and should not be ignored.

Top 10 Most Abused Drugs Drug RehabTop 10 Most Abused Drugs

Recent statistics show that there has been a slight shift in the top 10 most commonly abused drugs. The most noteworthy is marijuana, moving from 3rd place to 2nd place recently. Most speculate this is due on part to the legalization of recreational marijuana in many parts of the country.

 

  1. Alcohol: The CDAC notes that, “with over half (51.8%) of U.S. population identified as drinkers, alcohol is the #1 most abused substance. Nearly a quarter of the population participates in binge drinking (58.6 million), and 6.7% of the population reported heavy drinking (16.9 million). As a depressant, alcohol produces impaired coordination and judgment, slurred speech, and blackouts.”
  2. Marijuana: Marijuana is the #1 most abused illicit drug and the third most abused drug according to the CDAC. The CDAC reports that, “the dried parts of the Cannabis plant can cause distorted perceptions, impaired coordination and problems with learning and memory.”
  3. Tobacco: At least one quarter of Americans (6.9 million) are users of a tobacco product making it the second most abused drug. Many individuals are drawn to smoking because it stimulates the pleasure centers in the brain and turn on the body’s natural chemicals that produce euphoria. Cigarette smoke contains over 4000 chemicals, causing long-term systemic effects. These risks include high blood pressure and smoking has been proven to increase the risk of cancer.
  4. Prescription painkillers: The abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise and has moved up in ranking to be the fourth most abused type of drug. Painkillers, such as Vicodin and OxyContin, are the most abused prescription drugs. These drugs can produce effects similar to heroin. Painkillers can have negative effects on the physical body causing heightened sensitivity to sound and light, hallucinations, blackouts and problems with the lungs, central nervous system, stomach, intestines, liver, kidneys, heart and death from overdose.
  5. Cocaine: Although cocaine gained popularity back in the 1980’s, it still remains on the top 10 list of most abused drugs: listed as the fifth most abused. According to the CDAC, nearly 1.5 million people in America are current users of this white powder. Cocaine use results in severe psychological dependence and intense drug cravings. This is due to cocaine’s short-lived yet powerful effects of euphoria. With cocaine, tolerance builds quickly, making it more dangerous.
  6. Prescription Sedatives: The most common sedatives are benzodiazepines and tranquilizers. Approximately 2.4 million people in the U.S. are using sedatives for non-medical purposes. These are highly addictive and can cause memory loss, poor motor coordination, paranoia, stupor, suicidal thoughts, aggression, respiratory depression and coma. Mixing sedatives with alcohol is very dangerous and can cause death.
  7. Prescription Stimulants: Prescription stimulant drugs have a high addictive rate and about 1.2 million Americans are currently taking prescription stimulants for non-medical purposes. These stimulants, such as Ritalin or Adderall, are usually prescribed for people who have narcolepsy or ADHD. These drugs increase the level of dopamine in the brain causing feelings of euphoria. Abuse of stimulants can cause heart attacks, strokes, depression, malnutrition, hostility and paranoia. Because stimulants increase energy and focus, teenagers are abusing the drug because they believe it will enhance their learning and test scores. The abuse of these drugs has increased significantly on college campuses across the country.
  8. Hallucinogens (LSD, ecstasy): Approximately 1.1 million people are currently taking hallucinogens in the U.S. Hallucinogenic drugs are known as PCP, mescaline, Ecstasy, LSD and psilocybin mushrooms. These drugs cause hallucinations and profoundly affect the perception of reality. Some negative effects of using hallucinogenic drugs are delusions, paranoia, panic, terror, despair, psychosis, and psychological illness. Flashbacks from some of these drugs may occur at anytime after using the drug. LSD is reported to be the most popular hallucinogen among users. LSD, also known as “acid,” is the most potent hallucinogen in the world. It is often sold on blotting paper, or “window panes.” The effects of LSD are unpredictable, altering the user’s mood, personality, and sensations of reality. (CDAC, 2012).
  9. Heroin: Heroin is known as the most powerful and addictive drug in the world and its use is increasing in the U.S. Heroin induces euphoria by binding to the opioid receptors that control consciousness, breathing and blood pressure. Long-term effects of using heroin include collapsed veins, partial paralysis, memory loss, intellectual impairment, and disease of the heart, liver and kidneys. Heroin is often diluted with other substances creating a high risk of physical complications and death. It is made from poppy plants and is a highly addictive opiate. It can be injected, smoked, or sniffed and creates a feeling of a euphoric rush. Users feel an increased ability to communicate easily with others, and report heightened sexual performance.
  10. Methamphetamine: The tenth most abused drug is methamphetamine, also known as meth, crank, or speed. Although last on the list, it shouldn’t be ignored. Meth is popular among young adults. Meth produces feelings of well-being and energy which can last from 4 to 16 hours. Because of its lasting effects, it is a popular drug for both parties and nightclubs. Meth is highly addictive, and burns up the body’s resources and can cause permanent damage to the brain and body.

This video helps show how important human connection and how that relates to addiction. We highly recommend watching this.

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