Substance Abuse

Life Quality Resources can help you recover from addiction and rediscover a life without dependency.

 

Treatment

While at Life Quality Resources we are not a primary addiction treatment center, we do provide adjunctive treatment options for individuals who have made the commitment to achieve the life of sobriety or freedom from compulsive behavior. Drawing from successful programs that have been developed in the VA Hospital system that combine biofeedback and neurofeedback/self-regulation strategies we can add an extra layer of support for individuals committed to 12-step programs. Through this commitment change will happen, and the opportunity for a renewed life and sense of self will emerge.

A typical treatment for assisting with substance abuse recovery at Life Quality Resources involves a variety of therapies selected for each patient’s needs.

These therapies can include:

  • Neurofeedback
  • Biofeedback
  • Nexalin Advanced Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Medication Management
  • Symptom/Coping Strategies
  • Neurotransmitter and Hormone Testing
  • Nutrition
  • Functional Health Plan
  • Meditation Techniques
  • Family Counseling

 

About Substance Abuse

It is estimated that between 8-11% of the American population have a serious alcohol problem, and that number is increasing with our country’s current economic state. Almost 50% of the US population consider themselves “regular drinkers”. Abuse of various types of illicit drugs has also steadily increased over the last 25 years.

“8.7 percent of the population aged 12 years old or older used illicit drugs including marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.”

September, 2010 report: “National Survey on Drug Use and Health” US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The dangers associated with abusing a substance can be threatening to you and others. Substance abuse alters your judgment, attention, bodily control, and the perception of your environment. These physical and psychological changes can cause you to make decisions that you would not normally make like driving while impaired or creating a violent/criminal situation.

 

Causes of Substance Abuse

The causes of substance abuse are numerous and varied among individuals. A common factor reported by most substance abuse sufferers is that they are seeking pleasure that is lacking in their life. Alcohol and drugs produce an artificial sense of pleasure by
hyper-stimulating the brain’s pleasure centers. Sensation-seekers are often enticed into substance abuse because of this process. Some people use drugs and alcohol to cope with traumas, whether it involves abuse, relationships, or failures. A family history of substance abuse also increases a person’s chance of becoming one themselves. It is likely that being in an environment that promotes or exhibits substance abuse will lead one to become more attracted to using drugs or alcohol themselves. This theory also explains peer pressure being a common cause of substance abuse. Some underlying causes that may also contribute to the use and abuse of substances are the glorification of drugs and alcohol in popular culture, beliefs in the healing/performance-boosting power of use, rebellion, and an initial curiosity that becomes addiction. People with a history of mental health issues are also more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.

 

Subtances at a Glance

Alcohol – Although most people view alcohol consumption as a way to stimulate sociable activity, it actually depresses the brain. This is manifested in slurred speech, loss of inhibitions, reduced muscle control, and lack of coordination. Long term alcohol abuse can result in liver failure, enlarged heart, and cancer of the stomach, esophagus, and pancreas. Withdrawal form alcohol can produce some serious symptoms such as anxiety, seizures, irregular heartbeat, tremors, hallucinations, and some life-threatening conditions such as delirium tremens. In addition to putting your own life at risk, others’ lives are affected by alcoholism in your family and social circle, as well as complete strangers. Alcohol is the most common factor in fatal automobile accidents, associated with nearly 50% of them.

Marijuana – The most commonly used substance in the United States, marijuana comes from the plant Cannibus Sativa, and the active ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol produces an intoxicating effect when smoked or eaten. Marijuana smoke contains more cancer-causing chemicals than tobacco, and can irritate your lungs and throat. Common symptoms include increased relaxation and pleasure, as well as impaired coordination and memory.

Cocaine (Crack) – It is estimated that over 2.5 million people abused cocaine in the United States in 2010. Cocaine can be smoked, injected, snorted, or swallowed, and the intensity and duration of effect is dependent on how it is taken. Because of the release of various neurochemicals in the brain, cocaine is said to produce feelings of alertness and increased pleasure, but its physical side effects are dangerous and sometimes deadly. Abuse of the drug can produce constriction of blood vessels which can lead to heart damage, strokes, irregular heartbeat, and death. Damage to the lungs, brain, and kidneys are also attributed to prolonged abuse of cocaine. Paranoia and depression are common psychological side effects.

Heroin – Heroin is one of the most addictive substances as well as the most rapidly active of the opiate family of illicit drugs, making the difference between use and abuse a very thin line. Heroin use among the US population in 2008 was at 1.2 million, with about half of this number falling into the abuse category. Heroin is classified as a depressant that inhibits the central nervous system. Withdrawal symptoms when coming off heroin usually start 12 hours after the last dose is taken, and can last for up to 7 days (peaking between the 2nd and 3rd day). Depression and anxiety are the most common psychological symptoms, while the physical symptoms are numerous and painful. These physical symptoms include extreme heroin cravings, intense bodily aches and pains (especially in the back and legs), increased physical sensitivity, frequent diarrhea, vomiting, high fever, and insomnia. Long-term or prolonged use can result in collapsed veins, infections of the heart lining and valves, cellulitis, liver disease, and pneumonia. Indirect adverse health effects include risk of HIV/AIDS infection due to shared needles, as well as vital organ clotting and damage from undissolved additives used to cut heroin.

Methamphetamines – Known by many street names like speed, ice, meth, crystal, crank, etc., methamphetamines have grown in popularity in recent years. Users report feelings of increased alertness and sensations of pleasure coupled with a decreased appetite. The physical and psychological side effects of this drug are extreme and have a relatively quick onset. Methamphetamines have a pronounced negative effect on the central nervous system, and can damage nerve terminals and neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. Large doses can elevate body temperatures to lethal levels, and can cause convulsions. Long-term effects of the drug can produce psychosis (paranoia, hallucinations, mood swings, body tremors), stroke, insomnia, anxiety, patterns of violence, and dental destruction. Physiological and neurological effects include extensive damage to the dopamine and serotonin nerve cells in the brain, as well as a variety of cardiovascular issues.

“Club Drugs” – With the rise in popularity of rave parties and clubs, the use of an assortment of different drugs has also risen. Hallucinogens (Ecstasy, LSD, and mushrooms) as well as sedatives (Rohypnol, GHB) and anesthetics (Ketamine, PHP) have all seen an increase in use in the last 15 years among youth and young adults age 15 – 24. Repeated and long-term use of hallucinogens can cause damage to the brain’s ability to regulate sleep, emotions, and memory as well as induce psychosis. Abuse of sedatives can result in low blood pressure, impaired memory, abdominal cramps, and dizziness/confusion. Excessive use of anesthetics can cause amnesia, impaired memory, attention difficulties, depression, psychosis, and breathing problems.

 

Signs, Symptoms & Treatment of Teen Drug Abuse

Click on the link below for more information that is specific to teenagers suffering with a drug abuse problem. This could prove vital to parents and caregivers looking for guidance.

http://www.offthewagon.org/teen-rehab/