Substance Abuse Center Blog
Certain populations seem to have an increased risk for addiction over others. High stress environments with easy access to controlled substances are risk factors for addiction that may make certain groups more susceptible. Nurses are one such group. Their job is difficult, requires long hours and their decisions can mean the difference between life and death. The high stress environment together with frequent contact with controlled substances puts nurses at risk for addiction.
Homeowners on Riviera Drive in Boynton Beach have nicknamed their street “Rehab Drive.” Three of the fourteen homes on the street are sober homes—halfway homes where newly sober addicts live in a supposedly drug/alcohol free environment to help them in their recovery. Residents there complain about finding needles on the street, and seeing lights from police vehicles and ambulances visiting these sober homes. Since sober homes are unregulated, more and more are popping up around Palm Beach.
Nurses are an important part of the medical profession and are invaluable to the many patients that they help. Addiction is a problem faced by many professionals, including nurses. Since addiction can interfere with work, and possibly create an unsafe environment for nurses, the Intervention Project for Nurses (IPN) was created in Florida in 1983 through legislative action. Their program provides close monitoring of nurses in Florida that have abused alcohol or drugs.
“Benzos” is the slang term for the category of psychoactive medications called Benzodiazepine. Brand names of the drug include Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, and Valium. These drugs are typically used to treat anxiety disorders as well as insomnia and seizures. Prescriptions for these drugs have tripled in the past twenty years which many attribute to better awareness of mental health disorders. Unfortunately, along with the increase in prescriptions, there has also been an increase in overdoses.
Opioid overdoses are on the rise in Florida. According to the medical examiner’s office this increase is due to overdoses from heroin and the synthetic narcotic fentanyl. Some speculate that the crackdown on oxycodone has turned addicts to heroin and fentanyl instead. Unfortunately, fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin, and users may not even be aware that they are using it. Since it is cheaper to manufacture, dealers have replaced other opioids with fentanyl—a much more potent drug.
These days, addiction isn’t the only reason to attend a rehab facility. Often addiction results from self medication for other problems. Mood disorders, anxiety, trauma are all problems that cause many to seek drugs or alcohol in an attempt to relieve symptoms. Unfortunately alcohol and drugs never relieve symptoms, they only exacerbate real problems. Yet addiction is a problem that can only be treated if the initial problems are also addressed. There is little success in treating addiction without also treating the depression or anxiety that triggered the addiction.
Women and Sexual Abuse
Phases of Alcoholism
Dealing with Stress and Substance Abuse
Each person at different points in their life will encounter stress. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, stress comes to all, with no exceptions. Some of us may encounter stress some of the time, while others may seem to face high levels of stress all the time. Stress is triggered by a number of factors, but it is how we handle stress that impacts your health, happiness and well-being. Since each of us is unique, we all have our own techniques and ways of handling stress as it comes into our lives.
After Kristin Harris was planning on attending a different facility, she shares how her plans changed and what a difference Origins of Hope made in her life. Listen to her personal experience at Origins of Hope and how she was able to turn her life around.
Escaping an addiction can be especially difficult when it is all you have known your whole life. Alcoholics and drug addicts, who have grown up in an environment where the culture of their home revolved around these substances have a particularly hard time changing the course of their lives. After watching parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, friends, or cousins struggle for years with drug or alcohol addictions, it may seem you can never quit, you can never be sober.
Too often, addiction has a negative stigma. If only those that struggle with addiction had enough willpower or enough moral fortitude, they wouldn’t continue to drink or do drugs. The truth is that addiction is not a choice people make, it is a disease. Addiction, in fact, takes away choice. Real changes to the brain make addiction difficult to overcome, even those with the desire to do so. Addiction recovery is a lifelong process where the recovered addict always has to be on guard.
Overcoming addiction is not as simple as never drinking or doing drugs again. Healthy habits need to replace the unhealthy ones or it will be too easy to succumb to temptation. Often, certain situations or people are linked with substance abuse. If you always came home after work and started drinking, that same situation will continue to cause temptation. It would be wise to begin a new, healthy habit to participate in when you get home from work.
Worry is something that everyone feels from time to time. School or work problems, family issues, important decisions or deadlines will bring a feeling of nervousness. Anxiety that occurs occasionally is common and nothing to worry about; however, sometimes that feeling of anxiety is persistent and can cause problems functioning in daily life. When feelings of anxiety persist or get worse, it is time to talk to a healthcare professional to determine if it is an anxiety disorder.
Women Not Alone in Struggle
Addict’s often feel their life spiraling out of control, and for some, that spiral ends in suicide. As the tenth leading cause of death in America, suicide accounted for 41,149 deaths in the year 2013 according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Many know that depression and other mental health disorders are a major risk factor for suicide, but less known is that substance abuse is also a major risk factor. Research shows that those with substance abuse problems are more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
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