5 Signs of an Oncoming Relapse

A relapse is when an addict starts to use drugs or alcohol again. It can be their old substance of choice or they start abusing a new substance. After recovery from drug abuse and addiction, it’s important to be aware of how relapse can occur. It’s also important for friends, family, coworkers, etc to know what to look out for if they know someone in recovery. While relapse is often unexpected, there are a few signs that can help someone realize that it is near.

Change in Behavior

If someone is acting strange or suddenly becoming irrational in different scenarios, it could be a sign of relapse. In many situations, this change in behavior is not necessarily a change in character, but can be a cover-up for an underlying issue such thoughts of using drugs or alcohol again. If you notice this you can ask questions to try to get to the root of the problem and see why someone is acting a certain way. Your loved one may even open up to you if they see that you care about what’s going on. 


Isolation, also known as social disassociation, occurs when someone keeps to themself. If a person is on the verge of a relapse, they will refuse to attend events with friends and family, or will suddenly cancel plans to avoid social interaction. They have no interest in going out in public or connecting with others. 

When the Mundane Becomes Unmanageable

If someone is struggling to do basic day-to-day things like cook for themself, manage their hygiene, or get dressed, this can be a sign of an oncoming relapse. Addiction is consuming and the thought of using again trumps all other thoughts. If someone is thinking of using again it will be all that they think about. Brushing their teeth or cleaning up after themselves won’t be a priority.

Signs of Depression

Depressive states and feelings can also be a sign of relapse. This is because of the elevated stress and the fear of failing when starting a new life after recovery. For some people, the pressure to find success after rehabilitation can be overwhelming. This can lead to a period of depression. Depending on how they respond to the depressive symptoms and feelings, this state can sometimes lead to relapse if unsupported or untreated.

Change in Routine

When someone who has been sober suddenly decides to go out at night or hang out with the people that subjected them to their lifestyle while on drugs or alcohol, this could definitely be a sign of relapse. While we’d like to think that this isn’t possible, or that a person could not go back to their habits, it happens more often than we think. 

However, it’s possible to prevent this change in routine. By giving a person responsibilities and a different routine, you can potentially keep them away from the things that once lead to their drug abuse. Either way, it is important to recognize that a sudden change in routine could mean that someone is looking for a way to use drugs or alcohol again.

Recovery is a Journey, Not a Destination

Relapse is scary. Whether you’re a recovering drug addict or you know someone who is, it’s important to educate yourself as much as possible about the warning signs for relapse. Those in recovery have worked hard to become sober and have to work hard to remain sober. 

If you are looking for further information or resources about how to know the signs for relapse, please contact us at Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida. We are here to support you and help you to find the assistance you need in order to keep drug abuse and addiction out of your life and the lives of those around you.

Why it is Hard To Be Sober in a Culture Based Around Alcohol

From the earliest days of the United States, there has been a strong culture based around alcohol consumption. Indeed, many of the first immigrants to the new world started setting up breweries based around skills that were learned in Europe. Since that time, alcohol has been an integral part of the culture in the United States. People simply need to look around. Most major cities in the United States have hundreds of bars, sometimes right next door to each other. Days of the week are often based around drink specials and given nicknames to further promote them. Most restaurants also have drink specials that are designed to be paired with their food specials.

Indeed, the culture in the United States is based around alcohol as a social lubricant. Sure, drinking in moderation might work for some people; however, for those who are recovering from an addiction to alcohol, this can be a serious problem. For this reason, it is critical for everyone to know a few important points regarding staying sober in a culture that is based around alcohol.

Struggling with Sobriety is a Common Problem

In the United States, there are millions of people who damage their lives every year due to drinking in excess. When someone succumbs to the dangers of alcoholism, this can lead to serious health effects. Long-term alcohol use can lead to extensive liver damage that might progress to the point that it required a transplant. This is in addition to the numerous short-term health impacts including impaired judgment, difficulty breathing, acute alcohol poisoning, and the development of Delirium Tremens due to alcohol withdrawal.

Furthermore, an addiction to alcohol can also damage someone’s relationships with family members and friends. Personal relationships might get pushed to the side in favor of the altar of addiction. People might even sacrifice gainful employment just to feed this addiction. There is plenty of collateral damage that stems from an addiction to alcohol. For this reason, it is important for anyone who is struggling with alcoholism to rely on help from the professionals. The recovery process for anyone will begin with a single step.

The Pervasive Problem of Alcohol at Restaurants

It is important for people to be sensitive to the dangers of alcoholism and the countless people who have rebuilt their lives and are trying to stay sober. This becomes even more important when someone steps out into society. A quick scan of any restaurant menu will quickly reveal that the alcohol is placed at the top. Some restaurants even have an entire menu dedicated just to beer, wine, and liquor.

This is for good reason. Those who own bars and restaurants are running a business. Most will say that the big profits come from alcohol and not from food. A single well drink can exceed the cost of some entrees. Therefore, restaurants often prioritize alcohol on the menu, trying to push this harder than even their most expensive dishes. It should come as no surprise that many of the top supermarkets and restaurants end up cashing in on alcohol.

Alcohol and Sporting Events

Many people even say that alcohol has become ingrained into the sporting culture as well. People often tie sports and drinking together at a young age. Attending sporting events often involves a “pregame” before heading over where students try to create some sort of “slight buzz.” Then, the drinking continues once people reach the game.

Sadly, many of the people who drink alcohol are college students who are underage. Without proper supervision, many of these students end up with drinking problems that start during college. Even though many colleges have “sober dorms,” drinking still takes place here as well. This is a serious issue that becomes even greater for those who are recovering from an addiction to alcohol.

Maintaining Sobriety in Today’s Society

When someone ventures out into a world with alcohol at every turn, it can be hard to stay sober. There are a few ways that people can face this challenge head-on and remain successful during recovery. Make sure to share the challenges of addiction with family members and close friends. It is a good idea to go to social events with a buddy. This might be a friend or a buddy who is also in recovery. Furthermore, it is critical to know one’s limits and recognize the signals that someone’s personal resolve might be weakening. When this happens, be sure to ask for help. Nothing should ever come before someone’s continued, ardent, successful sobriety.

Trust Principles Recovery Center for Alcohol Abuse Treatment

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem in today’s society. Anyone who would like help in the Davie, FL area should rely on Principles Recovery Center. We provide family-focused treatment plans and even have a Spanish-speaking drug rehab program. Contact us today!

How to Quit Using Cocaine

Addiction is making headlines across the nation. Choose any major newspaper and you’ll see stories of heroin, fentanyl, and methamphetamine affecting lives and whole communities. While these sad stories grab headlines, it can be easy to think that’s where the drug problem and substance abuse ends.

But there are many forms of addiction that don’t make headlines.

Cocaine addiction is still a significant problem for many. While not the headliner it used to be in the ’80s, this drug is widely available and difficult to avoid for those who know where to find it. This highly powered stimulant is a Schedule II drug, meaning the U.S. government finds it to be high risk for abuse but does have minimal medical use. On the street, cocaine will often be found in a snortable or injectable powder (coke), or a smokeable form (crack). However its found, cocaine addiction can be a serious problem, but it’s possible to quit.

Defining Drug Abuse

When does the occasional drug dabbling switch from use to abuse? While it’s easy to see when someone is hitting rock bottom, drug abuse can begin with more subtle signs. Cocaine is extremely fast-acting, so the effects can disappear within hours, leading some people to think that they do not have a dependency or addiction. Chemically, however, increased use of this stimulant will act upon dopamine production in the brain. Dopamine is one of the body’s “happy chemicals” that affects mood among other things, and cocaine allows this neurotransmitter to build up unnaturally, disrupting the body’s normal regulation of risk and reward. Overtime (which is different for everyone) this disruption will create a dependency on the drug for that rewarding feeling in addition to creating habits and behaviors that are difficult to break on their own.

Addiction Treatment

Most people don’t go straight to a professional for treatment. The average person will try to quit or reduce their coke use on their own believing that their problem was only minor, fearing embarrassment, or believing willpower alone is enough to kick the habit. And while a few people make it – most people fail without support.

Fortunately, just as addiction isn’t a one-size-fits-all problem, neither should you settle for a recovery option that isn’t right. Many people have successfully recovered from cocaine addiction with the right support. Professionals can help provide quality behavioral and medical support and peers can help ease the struggle. Primary types of addiction treatment include:

  • Inpatient detox and rehab – full-spectrum care to help bring you back to help both physically and mentally in a controlled setting away from home and the associated triggers you may find there.
  • Outpatient treatment – professional support including many aspects of inpatient care that also allows patients to continue required duties at home or work in a limited manner.
  • Support groups – including 12-step programs and counselor-led group therapy, many people find recovery easier with community peer support. Groups are available across the nation and on a wide variety of schedules to help others maintain sobriety.
  • Individual therapy – often included as part of both inpatient and outpatient treatment, individual therapy can help retrain toxic behaviors and diagnose underlying issues that may have led to cocaine abuse.
  • Sober living – many people in recovery find their path easier when living in a supportive environment with others who are maintaining a sober lifestyle. Unlike inpatient treatment, individuals are free to come and go as long as they follow house rules.

All of these options are designed to help quit cocaine addiction, managing the steps of withdrawal. Most addicts will experience cravings, anxiety, and even paranoia during the process, and it can be dangerous to do so alone, increasing the risk of depression and suicide. Find the right support to help yourself or the addict in your life quite cocaine safely. Visit principlesrecoverycenter.com to learn more.

Principles Recovery Center: One More Step to Healthy Living

Starting a new life without a dependence on drugs and alcohol is a big challenge, but it’s not impossible.  Fortunately, anyone who is serious about wanting to get over their dependence, both physically and psychologically, can do it.  Overcoming these problems cold turkey is never easy, can even be dangerous and even life-threatening.  But there is a healthy alternative: Principles Recovery Center, Florida-licensed inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center located in Davies.

At Principles Recovery Center, we offer both a program and an environment where patients can receive treatment in a safe environment where they can focus and receive every benefit of our time-proven program: physically, emotionally, and psychologically.  These benefits include:


Prime among the benefits of an inpatient treatment program is safety.  As difficult as drug and alcohol treatment is, an inpatient approach is the most effective since it offers the participants a chance to be free of the daily stresses and temptations of life and concentrate on recovery.  Further, eliminating substances nearly always causes withdrawal symptoms that often include the following:

*  Tremors

*  Sweating

*  Panic and anxiety

*  Insomnia

*  Restlessness

*  Nausea and vomiting

*  Seizures

*  Hallucinations and delusions

*  Muscle aches

The length of time that withdrawal symptoms, as well as their severity, is usually associated with what substances a patient has abused.  With a recovery program that is based on an inpatient treatment approach, patients receive a complete set of support services, including medical supervision that can help patients deal with problems as they occur, whether they are directly related to the substance abuse issues.  With medical solutions so close at hand, patients are better able to reach for a proven alternative that will help, rather than hinder their recovery.

Safety and Support

Perhaps the most important benefit of a residential treatment program to deal with drug and alcohol abuse is with a supportive and safe environment, which includes people who understand precisely what another patient is going through.  This includes the treatment professionals as well as peers who are struggling to deal with the same problems that they are.  Treatment professionals who are educated and experienced in providing their recovery services to patients, as well as peers who also provide support, are the complete set of tools that patients can use to overcome their dependence.

A huge part of drug and alcohol dependency comes from the environment of the person suffering from their effects.  With a residential program of drug and alcohol recovery, patients are taken out of the environment that caused them to become addicted.  Without these surroundings, patients are better able to find the support that will bring them to a better place for complete and total recovery from their addictions.  Further, patients are removed from the other stresses of daily living, whether they contribute directly to addictive behavior or not.  Even day-to-day requirements for living such as preparing meals for themselves and family are eliminated so that patients can deal in a focused manner on their rehab.


Another important benefit of an inpatient addiction treatment program is structure.  With an inpatient treatment approach, people who are faced with their old choices are removed from the day-to-day stresses, which include being unable to contact or be contacted by drug dealers and other negative acquaintances who are able to influence a patient’s life decisions.

Focus for the Long Run

Hope.  Perhaps greater than any other influence for patients is the opportunity for hope in the lives of those affected.  An inpatient program of drug and alcohol abuse gives patients the chance to hope and gives them a clear future to focus on and gives them the tools to reach those goals.

How to Quit Painkillers

prescription pills addiction

It all started when your doctor prescribed a painkiller to make you feel more comfortable. Maybe you were in an accident or you were injured at work. Maybe you needed help recovering from surgery. But now you are dependent on that prescription medication. You crave it and you know it’s an addiction that you need to quit.

How Painkillers Work

Painkillers work by traveling to receptors in the brain and blocking the sensation of pain and inducing a euphoric state. Prescription painkillers actually alter the circuits that are responsible for mood and reward behavior.  In the past decade, there has been a huge spike in the number of prescriptions written for opioids and now misuse of opioid painkillers is considered to be the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Opioid drugs either contain extract from the opium poppy or chemical compounds designed to mimic that extract. They are highly successful in treating severe pain but they also carry a high potential for addiction or abuse. Some common generic names for opioid painkillers are morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl. Some of the brand names include Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin.

Opioids can be very dangerous when they are abused because the amount of the drug needed to feel its effects and the amount of the drug it takes to suppress breathing and kill a person are not that different.

How to Quit

So how do you quit taking these painkillers? The first step is to stop taking them completely but that is easier said than done. It can be dangerous to quit a painkiller “cold turkey”. The brain becomes used to having opioids and stopping all at once can lead to seizures or an irregular heart rate.  Once you have committed to breaking the addiction, you will probably need a doctor’s supervision to wean yourself from your painkillers. A doctor may gradually reduce the dosage of the painkiller, or taper it, to lessen the body’s withdrawal symptoms.  Those symptoms may include anxiety, irritability, depression, runny nose, sweating, confusion, abdominal distress or enlarged pupils along with cravings for the drug. The symptoms aren’t dangerous but they can be very unpleasant and uncomfortable.

In some cases, doctors prescribe medications that help relieve symptoms as the body goes through detoxification. This is called Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT. Methadone is an example of a prescription drug used to help break the addiction. Along with MAT doctors employ behavioral therapy and other counseling as part of addiction treatment.

Healthy Habits

Whether your doctor has decided to taper the amount of the painkiller or is using other medication to assist in detox, there are some healthy habits the patient can practice during treatment. This includes drinking more water, eating healthy meals, practicing deep breathing or other relaxation techniques, getting moderate amounts of activity and promoting positivity. You can break this addiction and you need to believe in yourself.


Addiction treatment doesn’t stop just because the substance is gone from your system. Counseling or therapy or some kind of behavioral support is necessary for long-term success free from addiction. Having a support system in place helps to eliminate or minimize relapse.

Principles Recovery Center

At Principles Recovery Center in Davie, Florida, our staff is expertly trained in breaking painkiller addiction. We offer inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment as the painkiller is eliminated from the patient’s body and the patient’s life. We follow that treatment with support including cognitive-behavioral therapy, multidimensional family therapy, motivational interviewing and contingency management.

Quitting painkillers isn’t easy. But at Principles Recovery Center we’ll be with you every step of the way.

Signs that it May be Time to Intervene

Some of the biggest problems that are facing the modern healthcare system include drug abuse and addiction. Drug addiction impacts countless families every year and has the potential to tear apart individuals and families, wrecking personal and professional lives. It is important for everyone to know how to help people who are struggling with addiction. One of the first parts of addiction treatment is an intervention. This is where family members and friends come together for the benefit of the individual who is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. There are a few signs that everyone should look for that might indicate that it is time to intervene.

1. Someone has Developed a High Tolerance

When someone has developed an alcohol or drug addiction, they will gradually build up something called a tolerance with extended use. The more that person uses drugs or alcohol, the more of that substance he or she will need to obtain the same effects, such as a high. This growing drug or alcohol requirement is called tolerance. Family members and friends might notice more beer or liquor bottles lying around than usual. They might also notice more pills or syringes than previously present. These are all signs that the person is using more drugs or alcohol than before. These are also signs that an intervention is necessary.

2. There is Deceptive Behavior on a Regular Basis

If someone is starting to feel guilty about their drug or alcohol habit, then they know what they are doing is wrong. They will engage in deceptive behavior to try to cover up their habit. This might mean lies about why they cannot attend family functions. They might also lie to get out of obligations related to work. They might even lie about where the drugs or alcohol are coming from. The need for deceptive behavior is simply a sign that the problem is growing quickly. Therefore, it is time to intervene. Sometimes, trapping someone in their lies is not enough. They will simply double down on them or explode with anger or rage. A direct intervention is what is necessary.

3. They are under the Influence on a Regular Basis

Another sign that an intervention is needed is that the person is under the influence constantly. They might even start to do drugs or drink in the morning. They might also be under the influence while at work, inhibiting their performance and causing employment issues. They will even be under the influence of social settings. This type of behavior simply displays that the addiction is growing and is out of control. It is time for intervention before more people start to get hurt or the issue causes damage that cannot be undone.

4. Financial Problems are Starting to Present Themselves

When someone has an addiction, they will do anything to feed it. This means stealing money from family members and friends. This means missing mortgage payments or rent payments to feed the addiction. This means allowing the lights to be shut off or going deep into debt to feed alcohol or drug-related obligations. Financial problems are typically one of the last problems to develop before someone hits rock bottom. Therefore, if financial problems are starting to show up, it is time for an intervention. These financial issues can run deep and it is important to stop that person from digging the hole any deeper than it already is.

5. Medical Complications Have Occurred Due to the Addiction

The side effects of drug and alcohol addiction can be severe. Overdoses related to drugs and alcohol can kill someone. Therefore, it is not unusual for someone to put themselves in the hospital or even the ICU. If someone has developed medical problems related to an addiction to alcohol or drugs, it is time to intervene. The next time someone puts themselves into medical problems, he or she might not recover. It is prudent to try to prevent this from happening. This is where an intervention for drug or alcohol addiction is necessary.

Trust the Professionals for Help with Addiction Treatment

These are a few of the many signs that it might be time for an intervention. After this, it is important to ask for help from trained professionals. Principles Recovery Center is a professional drug rehabilitation facility that is located in Davie, FL. This facility provides a treatment program with a family-focused approach that has already proven successful for countless individuals and families. Furthermore, Principles Recovery Center also provides a Spanish drug rehab program as well. Featuring tried and true treatment methods with a modern, innovative approach, Principles Recovery Center is poised to help numerous clients in the future as well. Visit their website to learn more about their services today.

How to Beat an Opioid Addiction

The statement that beating an opioid addiction is difficult is not an understatement.  It definitely is tough; however, it is NOT impossible.  With the support of loving family members and friends, it is totally feasible.  This article discusses how to help a person you know that has an addiction to opioids.

The Road to Addiction Treatment

It begins with coaxing the addicted person into admitting he or she has a problem.  This is the hardest part, yet it is the most important part.  Nobody can be cured of an addiction to opioids until they own up to it in the first place.  In order to do that properly, there must be an understanding of what they are and what they do.

Opioids Include Some Familiar Names

Many people may be more familiar with the names of some common opioids than they think.  They include drugs such as morphine, fentanyl, heroin, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.  Some are originally prescribed by doctors as pain killers while others are obtained strictly off of the street.  Mind you, these are only SOME of them.  There are scores of them, all of which are bad news.

What Do These Drugs Do?

The common denominator is that they all relieve pain for the user.  Whether it is a physical pain or illness or an emotional one, perhaps caused by a romantic break-up, the user feels relief from the pain.  The equally common problem with all of them is that they are highly addictive.  If left untreated, the addiction will eventually kill the user.

How Does Someone Help Their Loved One?

Seek out a reputable, reliable and caring facility as the focal point of the addiction treatment.  Everyone has to understand when they go into this, it will be a long, hard road.  It is tougher than beating alcohol addiction.  This is a fact agreed upon by leading opioid addiction treatment experts.  There should be a lot of counseling involved, most likely for the family in addition to the user.  Persistence is also a key factor.  Once treatment is started, it is important NOT to give up at any stage.

Can an Opioid Addiction Be Treated Solely at Home?

In actuality, the answer is yes; however, there are a number of pitfalls.  The user is going to exhibit serious withdrawal symptoms.  This can incorporate physical illness, harmful mood swings, personality difficulties, and so many more bad occurrences.  Remember, the process can take years.  That is a long time for a family to cope with this.  Frequently, it does not work at all.  It is highly recommended to avoid this and seek the experience of a trained staff to overcome addiction.

What Constitutes an Excellent Drug Rehab Center?

One that believes each patient deserves to be treated with respect and dignity.  Each one will receive their own customized treatment program like Principles Recovery Center.  They have more than thirty years of experience, some of who have personally gone through drug addiction.  The counselors and staff members truly want to help.  The opioid user is definitely not alone here.

Is There Anything I Can Read That Will Help?

Reading this article all the way through, as well as similar pieces is a great start.  The websites of treatment centers, such as Principles Recovery Center, have plenty of helpful information on them.  This latter source of information is also available in Spanish.

Another excellent resource for everyone involved in helping the user is a recent study published in the “Journal of Addiction Medicine.”  The lead author of that study is a person named Lauren Hoffman.  Ms. Hoffman analyzed recovery services and methods of treatment of opioid abuse.  She is a notable authority on this subject.

Final Thoughts on This Topic

It cannot be stressed enough how vital it is for the family and friends of an opioid addict to support him or her.  They will not be successful on their own.  It is just as important to choose the correct addiction treatment facility.  Pick one where the staff completely understands and identifies with the user.  Make sure the whole family is included in the treatment efforts.  That is the only way to ensure a full recovery.  Do not wait, begin your search today.


Outpatient Programs: The Benefits and More

Addiction is a disease that impacts countless people across the country. With addiction becoming more prevalent than ever before, the stigma surrounding this disease is starting to fade and people are focusing on the treatment options for addiction. When someone is released from an inpatient addiction treatment facility or is first looking for treatment, they are likely going to turn to an outpatient program. There are multiple types of outpatient treatment programs. It is important for everyone to find an outpatient program they trust. When looking for an outpatient treatment program for addiction, there are a number of benefits to consider. Adequately understanding these benefits will go a long way toward helping someone complete their recovery process.

The Benefits of an Outpatient Addiction Treatment Program

There are numerous benefits of working with professionals in an outpatient addiction treatment program. By trusting the professionals, those looking to recover from addictive behaviors will have access to the expertise and experience of those who have helped countless patients before them. Some of the benefits include:

A Longer Duration of Treatment

One of the major benefits of enrolling in this type of treatment program is that it extends the duration of their treatment. Those looking to recover from addictive behaviors should know that the treatment process doesn’t end when they leave the inpatient program. They need to continue to focus on their sobriety even after this time. This type of treatment program helps people extend their recovery process to maintain their sobriety.

Flexible and Easily Accessible to Everyone 

One of the major problems with an inpatient treatment program is that individuals have to disrupt their normal, everyday lives. This means that people might have to miss school, could have issues maintaining their gainful employment, and will strain relationships with family members and friends. In the outpatient setting, people can maintain their daily routines and stick to their everyday life. They can do all of this while still receiving treatment for their addictive behaviors.

Lower Costs than an Inpatient Program

Another major sticking point of inpatient centers is that they are extremely expensive. While many people have high-quality health insurance, these companies might be unwilling to pay for the costs of these centers. Even those that are could still shoulder families with high coinsurance rates and possibly extreme deductibles. All of this can make paying for an inpatient stay prohibitive. When people elect to go with an outpatient treatment program, the costs are far less. In addition, health insurance companies are often more willing to pay for treatment in this setting.

The Ability to Develop Long-Term Relationships

When individuals are receiving therapy in the outpatient setting, they might go to appointments every day, once a week, once per month or less. The idea is to develop a continual relationship that will help people stay sober over the long term. This means that the relationships people develop in this setting are invaluable. Many people who enroll in this type of therapy will develop relationships that will last for decades. The dedication of these providers is invaluable for those who are looking to stay sober.

More Responsibility is Placed on the Patient

The goal of an outpatient program is to help the individual gain an increased sense of responsibility for his or her own life and recovery. In this setting, patients have their freedom. They are able to go about their daily lives. They will be exposed to temptations and will be expected to stand up to these temptations. In addition, patients will also have access to assistance. These programs have helplines that people can take advantage of if they feel like they are slipping.

More Privacy is Available to the Patient

Finally, another added benefit of an outpatient program is added privacy. Often, individuals in these programs will be attending visits in a one on one setting. Unlike an inpatient program, they might not see other patients (unless they enroll in group programs by choice). With this greater degree of privacy, patients often feel more comfortable sharing their stories and feelings.

Clearly, there are a lot of benefits that come from enrolling in an outpatient treatment program. By trusting in the professionals, individuals can rest easy knowing they are in good hands during their recovery process.

Rely on the Expertise of an Outpatient Treatment Program

These are only a few of the many benefits of working with professionals in an outpatient treatment program. With the guidance of the professionals and a strong support network of family members and friends, individuals suffering from addiction will have access to the resources required to fight addiction. It is important for everyone to consider the numerous benefits of an outpatient treatment program. This will help someone not only achieve sobriety but remain sober for the rest of his or her life.

Substance Abuse & Sex Addiction: Co-Occurring Disorders & Recovery

Addiction comes in many forms, most addictions involve the abuse of a psychoactive substance such as illegal drugs or alcohol. The word “addiction” comes from the Latin phrase, “ad dictum,” which means “to the dictator.” That alone is very instructive. But addiction might best be described as a progressive disorder of choice where the sufferer persists in a given harmful behavior despite both the pernicious consequences and a desire to stop.

Co-Occurring Disorders

Of course, few addictions come as stand-alone behaviors with no compulsive build-up involving other compulsive, destructive behaviors. It is much more common for one compulsive behavior to coincide with, or compliment, another. Alcohol and tobacco abuse often go hand in hand, for example. Likewise, overeating and compulsive TV or Internet use also tend to work in tandem.

In addiction medicine, we treat co-occurring disorders very seriously. Also known as co-morbid disorders- addictive behaviors that come in pairs or clusters- can be extremely destructive, and startlingly dangerous.

Sex Addiction in Tandem with Other Addictions

So it should not be surprising that substance abuse and sex addiction – what might better be referred to as a compulsive intimacy disorder – would also tend to coincide for many people.

Sex addiction might best be described as persistent and recurring compulsion to engage in harmful levels or amounts of sexual activity. This could mean abusing pornography, spending inordinate amounts of time and/or money on erotic materials. It could mean compulsively seeking out more and more sex partners. It could also mean excessive masturbation.

Common signs of sex addiction include, but are not limited to;

  • Sex with multiple partners despite wanting to quit
  • Libido interferes with other responsibilities and commitments
  • Excessive sexual activity, even when the addict does not want to
  • Failure to curb sexual activity
  • Behavior restricted only to those that could lead to sex
  • Canceling obligations to pursue sex
  • Sexual behavior that damages other important relationships
  • Escalating intensity of the behavior to achieve the same effect
  • Feeling like a “failure” during long periods of abstinence

Whether sex addiction comes in the form of pornography and masturbation, or the seeking out of sexual adventures – it is extremely common to pair these behaviors with other drugs. Alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs associated with hyperactive social seeking are common drugs of abuse which pair with the compulsive behavior of the sex addict.

Alcohol, for example, is a powerful dis-inhibitor and anti-anxiety substance. Cocaine, on the other hand, gives the user a powerful (albeit brief) boost of endorphins and energy, and can drive the user to be inordinately enthusiastic about social situations.

Co-occurring addictive behaviors can be mutually triggering, one leading to the other – or one being necessary to obtain the other. Some people may use sex to obtain drugs, while others may use drugs to obtain sex. Whatever the case may be, the destructive downward cycle can be devastating to the user and to the people who care about her or him.

Recovery from Co-Occurring Sex and Substance Abuse Disorders

As with any addictive disorder, recovering from co-morbid sexual and substance abuse, addiction can only happen when the addicted person is ready to admit that he or she has a problem and is willing to do the necessary work to achieve lasting recovery.

Addiction is an impairment of the facility of choice. It is a condition wherein the afflicted person’s ability to make healthy, long term decisions is impaired. It is not a moral failing or a sign of weakness, but a medical condition that requires treatment.

The good news is that evidence-based therapies and techniques exist and have been in use for many years that have been shown to make recovery much more obtainable. All that is needed is for the addiction sufferer to commit to treatment. Sometimes, reaching the bottom is the only way for the addicted person to see that treatment is necessary.

If you or someone you love is suffering from a sexual compulsion and substance abuse co-morbid disorder, programs exist with proven track records of helping those who are ready to change. Lasting recovery may be months or years away, but it can only start by reaching out for help.

Your decision to pick up that phone and contact us might be the first step to achieving a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life – free of the cycle of abuse and addiction. Principles Recovery Center is here to help.

The Importance of Aftercare

Aftercare can become one of the most important steps in the recovery process due to the possibility of relapse. Beating addiction is a long-term process that needs to become a lifelong commitment, so the investment in an additional period of substance abuse management is often just as significant as the initial recovery steps. Here are some reasons why aftercare is significant and what someone entering an addiction treatment program should expect at this time.

A crucial time

Statistics suggest that somewhere between 40 and 60 percent of individuals who go through a rehabilitation program will relapse. Within the first year, this rate is even higher. This is because everyone needs time to adjust to their new way of life and develop coping mechanisms to avoid abusing drugs or alcohol, which can take more time than a few months of treatment. Most people have heard of individuals entering a halfway house or a sober home immediately after completing a rehab program. That is because this form of aftercare offers a structured environment and accountability, rather than allowing individuals to leave and be on their own while they face a new set of struggles associated with sobriety. There also may be group activities or therapy sessions while staying in these homes. Some also choose to have these kinds of sessions or checkups in an outpatient setting if they need more freedom, yet still, require the accountability associated with a halfway house. If there are any doubts about someone’s ability to remain sober on their own, they should consider aftercare rather than risk the serious health or legal problems associated with relapse.

Is aftercare really necessary?

While it may be possible for someone to totally overcome their addictions after a brief stint in rehab, this is not always the case. Some people can experience long-term withdrawal symptoms from drugs such as opiates that require additional medications. Some people may be required by law through programs such as probation or community control to be monitored and tested for drugs and/or alcohol as a condition of release. These programs may last several months or years after the person is released to make sure they are no longer addicted or using illegal drugs. A positive social environment is also associated with better recovery outcomes, which is due to the fact that newly recovered individuals tend to experience negative emotions associated with their addictions. In isolation, these feelings can become intense and lead the person into relapse as a form of improper emotional management.

Planning for the future

If someone is serious about remaining sober for good, they need to take the time to develop a new life that will include maintenance of their responsibilities and social relations, but eliminate their addictions. Aftercare can gradually ease someone into this process and create a period of trial and error where professionals can help with any issues that arise. Therapists and others who are involved in the aftercare process will provide the tools necessary to deal with stress and temptations that will occur on a regular basis when someone returns to a normal life.

A good start is the best path to success

Addiction is a chronic condition that requires long term management. Tensions with family and financial or career problems tend to be large sources of stress within the first year of recovery. If someone remains sober throughout this early time, the possibility of relapse will drop off significantly. Aftercare will often provide some kind of blueprint through consistent meetings or programs that can be part of a person’s regular routine if necessary. Unfortunately, some individuals tend to not be as serious about aftercare and the following steps at their own peril, as this ability to remain sober, is more important than the initial rehab program and the best indicator of a person’s future outlook. In other words, appropriate aftercare will demonstrate whether someone can really handle sobriety or not.

Get more information from Principles Recovery Today

Principles Recovery offers many services related to addiction treatment. Principles Recovery is located in Davie, Florida, and we are available to provide help to you or a family member who is struggling with addiction.