Sober Living Blog

Great articles for people trying to help themselves or a loved one reach full sobriety.

Dealing with Drug Withdrawal Symptoms

Posted by on Dec 15, 2013 in Sober Living | 0 comments

drug withdrawalDrug withdrawal can cause a variety of emotional and physical side effects. Common symptoms of withdrawal include anxiety, depression or social isolation from an emotional standpoint while physical effects such as sweating, difficulty breathing or nausea are also likely to occur. Depending on the type of drug and length of use, more serious symptoms of withdrawal can include seizures, heart attacks or even strokes.

Drug withdrawal symptoms vary based on drug type

  • Depressants: Drugs that fall under the depressant category include barbiturates or benzodiazepines, which are often used for treatment of anxiety and insomnia. Ironically, the minor side effects of withdrawal from the overuse of depressants include restlessness, anxiety and sleep deprivation. As time goes on, extreme reactions like hallucinations and full-body tremors can occur.
  • Stimulants: Cocaine and Ritalin are examples of stimulants and can cause depression, increase fatigue and generate intense cravings upon initial drug withdrawal. Symptoms can eventually intensify to paranoia or suicidal thoughts and attempts if abuse of the drug continues.
  • Opioids: Drugs such as heroin, morphine, codeine and OxyContin that fall under the opioids category encompass the basic symptoms of drug withdrawal mentioned earlier. However, withdrawal from these drugs can produce the most severe physical effects such as abdominal cramps, tremors, bone and muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

Coping with withdrawal symptoms is not an easy or simple process. It is most important to note that a user should not stop abruptly, as this can cause several mental, physical and emotional problems. It is best to wean off of the drug under proper medical supervision. Over-the-counter drugs (or OTCs), such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, are often prescribed to aid the small aches and pains that occur as the drug exits the body. Aside from medical assistance, support groups or sober living environments are also encouraged to assist on the road to sobriety.

Middle River North offers a sober living environment for those looking to take the next step towards recovery. Open twenty-four hours a day with an encouraging, supportive and understanding staff, clients are likely to attain long-term recovery.

Image from: SpringdaleClinic

Halfway Houses:Transitioning from Rehab to Society

Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Sober Living | 0 comments

Halfway HousesReaching full sobriety is a long journey that is made up of many parts.  For most addicts, rehabilitation is the biggest step towards beating their disease.  However, the mindset of many addicts is that once rehab is over, than they can easily enter society without experiencing a relapse.  This is not true.  Making the transition from a rehabilitation center straight back into society can prove to be disastrous.

Imagine treating an addiction like a serious injury, i.e. breaking your leg.  The first step to repairing a broken leg is to wear a cast until the bone heals.  However, once the cast is removed one should not run on the recently injured leg until it has been properly strengthened.  If the person does immediately go for a run, they will be extremely susceptible to reinjuring their leg.  It is very similar to one attempting an immediate entry back into society from a rehabilitation center.  In a rehabilitation center one is under constant monitoring and receives constant attention (a cast).  Once the patient leaves rehab, he/she will need to gradually enter society in order to avoid an imminent relapse.  If the patient were to go to a halfway house, he/she would have the opportunity to gradually enter society again and strengthen their will to be fully sober for the rest of their lives.

Halfway Houses are the Bridges to Full Sobriety

Halfway Houses can serve as a bridge from a rehabilitation center into society.  The gradual amount of monitoring from constant to limited will help the transition greatly.  You have more freedoms in a sober living environment while still having standards, both medically and mentally to keep you on track.   Medically, most houses will have random drug testing to ensure that all of the residents are staying on course.  For example, if a resident were to fail a drug test than they will receive immediate attention and be placed back into a rehabilitation center.   In addition, halfway houses also have connections to local medical professionals for additional help.

Mentally, a halfway house provides a very social environment that provides a lot of support.   Residents will work together and serve as mentors for each other to help everyone achieve their common goal.   Halfway houses also have mentors on their staff that have dealt with addiction and will help the residents through their difficult journey to full sobriety.  Sober living environments serve as the last leg of the journey to reaching full sobriety.  Reaching full sobriety is extremely difficult without that gradual transition from constant monitoring to no monitoring at all.  Don’t let recovery be more difficult than it already is and make sure that you don’t cut any corners in order to achieve full sobriety.