Understanding Addiction with Reflections Recovery Center

Tag Archives: Addiction Treatment for Men

Biochemistry and Addiction

If someone suffers from anxiety, depression, or addiction they could have a biochemical imbalance. A biochemical imbalance is not the sole factor in addiction, but it can play a large part. There are many factors to understanding something as complex as addiction, and biochemistry is only a part of that. With that being said, understanding a person’s biochemistry can provide significant insights into their history and current health. It can also help to determine what treatment will be most helpful for each patient. Additionally, biochemical imbalances can manifest as issues that are more than just mental health issues. Our testing will take a comprehensive look at how biochemical issues might be affecting each patient. At Reflections, we want to completely understand each patient to be able to thoroughly treat and overcome their addiction. Our efforts to look at each person’s biochemical makeup is a part of that process.

Someone might be struggling with addiction and they do in fact have a biochemical imbalance. Their first step does not have to be prescription drugs to try to supplement what their body is lacking. That is not to say that prescription drugs have no value or do not help people, but that there are other solutions. These solutions can work separately from prescription drugs or in tandem as needed. Often when someone is struggling with a biochemical imbalance, they turn to substance abuse hoping to fix the problem. We want to completely understand how it is affecting each patient, whether mentally or physically. At Reflections, our hope is to find long-term solutions which will be essential in preventing relapse.

Heavy Metal Imbalances

Heavy metals are a natural component of the earth’s crust and there are a number of ways that our bodies can absorb them. At certain quantities, the heavy metals become toxic in a way that begins to significantly impact our health. There are many different ways someone can be exposed to heavy metals and some of the most recognizable may be lead, mercury, and arsenic. These are metals that are recognizably dangerous, however not all heavy metals are necessarily bad. Some heavy metals provide essential nutrients, but at certain levels they can become a problem. For example, zinc is a heavy metal that plays an important part in many biological processes “…including growth and development, lipid metabolism, brain and immune function.” (NIH)* Zinc also has a number of positive aspects, but too much can lead to symptoms like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and lower copper levels over time.

Copper is another essential heavy metal, but again it needs to be balanced. At Reflections, Dr. Lisa Parsons, our Medical Director, looks closely to see if any patients are suffering from a copper/zinc imbalance. For anyone living in the Southwest, where we have a lot of copper and zinc, this can become even more of an issue. Per Dr. Parsons, someone might have a genetic difficulty maintaining a proper balance and they will have too much copper. This becomes an issue with too much free copper, which depletes the dopamine pathway and raises up the norepinephrine. With a lack of dopamine, someone would feel low, have a hard time getting up, they would not look forward to anything, and would feel a lack of joy or motivation. With too much norepinephrine, someone might feel all over the place, tense, anxious, and they might have a hard time focusing.

Testing and Treatment

There are numerous heavy metals that go beyond just copper and zinc. Those are just a few good examples of heavy metals that are needed, but need to be kept in balance. At Reflections, we are want to understand these imbalances because they can clearly have a significant impact on our lives. People will often turn to substance abuse to try to cope with symptoms that are manifested through the imbalance. From a New York Times article, Daniel Goleman wrote, “…addiction becomes a kind of self-medication in which drugs correct the chemical imbalance and bring a sort of relief.”* While a heavy metal imbalance might not be the sole reason for addiction, it can play a significant part. If we can test to identify imbalances and correct them, we can work to help each patient feel better. Addiction is a complicated issue and it takes hard work to understand each step.

The Path to Addiction

With biochemical testing, we hope to understand and treat as many of the steps or causes that we can identify. We want to find out how someone can go from use or experimentation to dependence and then to addiction. Some of the many factors include social and economic environments, personal choices, and genetics.

From the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the data showed 140.6 million Americans aged 12 or older were current alcohol users. Within that, 66.6 million were binge drinkers in the past month and 16.7 were heavy drinkers within the last month.* At the time of the study, in 2017, 30.5 million people aged 12 or older used an illicit drug in the last 30 days.* As alcohol is widely used and socially accepted, it can be hard to recognize when it becomes a problem. While most illicit drugs are not widely accepted, it can still be difficult to recognize when it becomes abuse and addiction.

Many of the more obvious factors in addiction, may be the social, economic, and familial components. They are all important to identify and understand. However, it can be essential to look for the things that others might not. That is something that we firmly believe in at Reflections. We want to consider the aspects listed above, of course, but we also want to look at what might be overlooked. If we look at genetic testing, biochemical imbalances, and nutrition we can better know how to help each patient.

Moving Forward

Each factor that we can understand and work on will add up to a more complete treatment. Nobody can guarantee that every single issue will be fixed. However, at Reflections we do take care to work on all of the possible causes as we are able. The more we can help and the more tools we can give our patients they better off they will be. With a holistic approach, we look at the entire patient and hope each patient will feel better overall. If someone is feeling better physically that should translate to improved mental health and an improved outlook on life. If you or a loved one needs help, contact us today.

*Resources:
Decreased Zinc and Increased Copper in Individuals with Anxiety – NIH
Scientists Pinpoint Brain Irregularities In Drug Addicts – NY Times
2017 NSDUH Annual National Report SAMHSA

Genetic Testing & Addiction

How Genetic History Impacts Addiction

The science behind genetic testing used as a method to understand addiction may be relatively new. Still, it is making a significant impact. It is not a perfect fix when it comes to resolving or preventing addiction, but it helps in understanding addiction and treatment. If medical professionals fully understand their patient’s history and makeup, they are better equipped to help them. At Reflections, we firmly believe in fully understanding and treating each patient. When we work with genetic testing, we are not going to get a magic book with all of the answers. However, we will better understand each patient. This will help the patient in their recovery and they will have a better chance at maintaining sobriety.

When someone is already suffering from addiction, our goal is to understand their history and how they got there. Is there anything in their history and genetic make-up that made them susceptible to addiction? In a study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH), they noted, “Addictions are moderately to highly heritable.”* This does not mean that every person with addiction in their heritage will suffer from addiction. The risks are higher but there a lot of factors. The possibility of addiction can greatly depend on the availability of an addictive agent, exposure to the addictive agent, and their choice to take it (NIH)*. Nonetheless, the reality is that there can be a greater risk and this is important to keep in mind. Identifying genes that make a person susceptible to addiction make it easier to then identify tools to help prevent relapse.

Genetic testing is only one piece of a very complex puzzle in resolving the problem of addiction.

-Robert Parkinson, U.S. News

Understanding Addiction with Genetic Testing

At Reflections Recovery Center, Lisa Parsons is the Medical Director. Dr. Parsons is particularly interested in understanding every aspect of the patient’s physical makeup to fully help them. It helps to look at the DNA of patients to understand if they are carrying any vulnerability in their genetics. If so, did something occur in their life that turned that vulnerability on? Someone that is prone to stress and anxiety might be fine until something traumatic happens. Part of their genetics that drive the stress and anxiety can be what then makes them susceptible to substance abuse. The testing our team does, including Dr. Parsons, looks at these factors and check for imbalances. Once an imbalance is identified, we can begin treatment to regain a proper balance again. As with any treatment, nothing is a perfect or a total fix on its own. Nonetheless, regaining balance in any area is hugely important and helpful.

DNA Methylation

One of the genetic structures we look at is DNA methylation. Methylation is a chemical reaction that occurs in every cell and tissue in our bodies.* It is, understandably, an incredibly important part of our health. As methylation is a process that involves DNA, understanding it and our genetic history is so important. Within the brain, there are reuptake proteins which act like vacuum cleaners. They live between brain cells that take away neurotransmitters to create balance. Balance is incredibly important for health in every aspect and especially so when it comes to methylation.

When someone is undermethylated, with too many reuptake proteins, they may feel chronically depressed, tense, and anxious. Some people may feel suicidal or a lack of care for their own life or safety. With too few reuptake proteins (overmethylation) someone might feel fidgety, tense, have a hard time relaxing, or have a hard time sleeping. With either imbalance, this can leave someone susceptible to addiction as they try to cope with these symptoms.  Methylation is a process that significantly impacts our health and lives more than most of us realize.

There are, of course, many other aspects of genetic testing to look at. This is just a brief example of what we will look at to thoroughly help each patient.

Treating Addiction with Genetic Testing

Not everyone suffering from addiction carries the same genes indicating addiction. Likewise, not everyone with vulnerable genetics will suffer from addiction. For those that are vulnerable or carry “addiction genes”, understanding their genetic makeup will help. Genetic testing allows us to determine if a patient is suffering from any number of disorders. We can see what in their genetic makeup may have made them vulnerable to addiction in the first place. It can also help to determine what is the best course of action for treatment. The more precisely we can understand genetics, the better we can tailor treatment to each individual.

In an article for U.S. News, Robert Parkinson writes, “Genetic testing is only one piece of a very complex puzzle in resolving the problem of addiction.”* This is incredibly important for any person, or loved one, dealing with addiction to know. Genetic testing is not going to provide a clear map for curing addiction and ensure there is never a relapse. What it will do is provide clarity and direction in some aspects. Addiction may be a complex puzzle and genetic testing may only be one part of that puzzle, but each piece is still vital. We want each patient to maintain sobriety, not just become sober for a short amount of time. If we are going to meet this goal, then we have to look at everything we can to help them.

*Resources:
NIH – Genes and Addictions
Revolution Health – What is Methylation and Why Should You Care?
U.S. News – Genetic Testing for Addiction

Dual Diagnosis & Co-occurring Disorders

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines Dual Diagnosis as, “…when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously. Either disorder-substance use or mental illness-can develop first.”* Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers may not be the easiest to find, but they are incredibly important. Clients need doctors that can properly address both psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders.

Co-Occurring Disorders in Men

Addiction and mental illness can clearly create a vicious cycle. To properly address it there needs to be a clear diagnosis of addiction and mental illnesses. Not every person struggling with addiction will face a mental illness and their path will be a little different, though no less thorough. The people that do face addiction and mental illness though will need specialized care to properly address both issues. In a 2017 study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), it was reported that 8.5 million adults, or 3.4 percent of adults (18 or older) had co-occurring disorders in the prior year.*

Moreover, when it comes to seeking treatment, men rarely seek treatment for any disorder. If they seek treatment for addiction, they are less likely to seek treatment for mental illness due to shame and social stigma (NIH).* At Reflections, we are a men’s only rehab which we believe allows us to thoroughly treat the men we help. We work to be proactive in identifying and treating any mental illness with which our clients may be struggling. Our aim is for all of the men we treat to feel comfortable and to know that there is no shame in seeking help.

A Comprehensive Recovery

For recovery to be comprehensive, it is important to treat a patient as a whole person. This means thoroughly going over their physical and mental health. We also will look at their history up to the point where they have entered rehab. Addiction is a complicated disease and treatment should be varied to thoroughly address all of the underlying causes. With dual diagnosis, the aim is to address the mental illness and drug addiction as separate but co-occurring disorders. The best plan for treatment is to integrate different forms of therapy. This will allow each issue to be addressed individually, but coordinated to adequately tie everything together. Treating only the mental health problems or only the addiction will not allow for a full recovery.

Our goal is to accurately and thoroughly understand each patient and how to best help them.

Behavioral Therapy to address Dual Diagnosis

At Reflections Recovery Center, clients will go through complete intake assessment within a few days of arriving. This will allow us to do physical and mental health evaluations. We will review medical history as well as family’s health history, if possible, to look for any patterns and to gain a thorough understanding of the patient. Each client with have a variety of therapies that they can engage in to best help their recovery.

Among the different types of therapy that we engage in, clients can participate in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). CBT works to help clients adjust their thoughts and attitude, leading to improved emotional stability. DBT is similar and helps clients learn to regulate emotions, tolerate pain in stressful situations, and maintain healthy relationships with other people. CBT and DBT both greatly help someone who is dealing with a dual diagnosis. Reflections also has a number of other relevant and beneficial therapies that our clients have the opportunity to engage in.

Nutrition and Biochemical Deficiencies

A physical evaluation will be essential to understanding what state the patient’s body is in. It is important to understand what nutrition the client is lacking or if they have any physical disorders. Nutrition plays a significant part in addiction. With regard to nutrition, part of what we are especially interested in is your cholesterol and vitamin D. Sleep is essential for any person and is absolutely necessary when in recovery. Cholesterol helps the brain to function and that can help manage feelings of impulsivity. When your brain is functioning better, sleep should be easier to get back to normal. Furthermore, lack of vitamin D can potentially lead to bone demineralization, myopathy and immune system problems. These in turn can lead to other symptoms like pain and fatigue, which begin to disrupt your sleep.

Addiction deprives the body of nutrients and your body will let you know that it is struggling. When our doctors know how the patient’s body is deprived, this allows us to begin the process of healing. When your physical and mental health are in a better place, you will have gained important tools in your fight against relapse. We will of course look into much more than cholesterol and vitamin D. Those are just a few examples of how important seemingly small parts of our health can greatly impact our lives. When you are working to treat an entire person, you need to look at the details that are often overlooked.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

The truth is, a dual diagnosis is not something that is easy to treat. However, a dedicated medical professional works to find the root causes of the disorders and properly treat them. If you or a loved one is possibly dealing with a co-occurring disorder, then you need an experienced and licensed dual diagnosis treatment center. We have a qualified medical team that can treat psychological issues and substance use disorders. Our goal is to accurately and thoroughly understand each patient and how to best help them. We aim to help each patient develop the skills and knowledge to maintain sobriety wherever they go. Contact us today to find out more!

*Resources:
Dual Diagnosis – NAMI
National Survey on Drug Use and Health – SAMHSA
Men with Co-Occurring Disorders – NIH

Substance Abuse Facts and Statistics: Differences Between Men and Women


Every individual who suffers from substance abuse has a different experience, but there are some general trends that apply to men and women that may help inform aspects of one’s treatment.

The best way to counteract substance abuse is with an individually tailored treatment plan, and this requires a careful examination of a patient’s past and the factors that influenced his or her addiction in the first place.

Substance Abuse Trends in Men

In general, men are more likely to abuse illicit drugs than women. However, there is a relatively equal chance for both men and women to develop substance use disorders.

Men and women also tend to display different preferences for the types of drugs they use. For example, marijuana consumption is more common among men than women, and women generally experience enhanced effects from stimulant use compared to men.

Marijuana

Among marijuana users, males have a higher tendency to have additional substance use disorders, as well as mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Men also generally experience a greater “high” from marijuana than women do, which can lead to patterns of abuse over time.

Heroin

Men are far more likely than women to inject heroin, and most women who inject heroin on a regular basis report social pressure and pressure from a romantic partner as their main motivations for injecting. Women who inject heroin typically take smaller doses than men to reach equivalent levels of addiction.

While studies also show that women are more likely to suffer a fatal overdose in the first few years of injecting heroin, this is likely due to their higher tendency to abuse prescription painkillers in addition to heroin. Women who do not fatally overdose in the first few years of heroin abuse are more likely to survive through recovery than men.

Substance Abuse Trends in Women

Laboratory studies suggest that hormonal differences between men and women may be the reason men and women experience drugs in different ways. The physiological differences between men and women lead to different experiences with illicit drugs, and substance abuse treatment professionals can use this information to develop individualized treatment plans.

For example, a woman who uses prescription opioids to self-medicate for depression would likely benefit from mental health counseling. But, she is statistically more likely to experience a relapse during recovery.

Prescription Painkillers

Some research indicates that women are more sensitive to physical pain than men and are more likely to experience chronic pain. This leads to a trend showing higher rates of prescription opioid abuse among women.

Women also have a greater tendency to take prescription painkillers for issues such as anxiety or depression. Additionally, studies suggest they appear to be more willing to take prescription painkillers that do not belong to them.

While women are more likely to abuse prescription opioids and more likely to relapse, men generally take larger doses and represent the lion’s share of overdose-related fatalities. In 2016, nearly 10,000 men and more than 7,000 women died from prescription opioid overdoses in the U.S.

Common Factors that Influence Substance Abuse

Many studies have shed light on the most common causes of drug addiction in men and women. Environmental factors, past trauma and co-occurring mental health conditions are some of the most prevalent driving forces behind addiction for both sexes.

Influential Addiction Factors for Men

Many of the factors that influence male substance abuse are external, such as work, life events, injuries or combat-related trauma. Men generally wait longer than women before seeking help with a personal problem or medical issue. And, men generally have higher physical tolerances for drugs than women do.

Essentially, this means men who abuse illicit drugs are more likely to do so at extreme levels than women in the same amount of time. Furthermore, men are more likely to develop long-term medical conditions resulting from drug addiction than women are.

Common Factors Influencing Drug Addiction in Women

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that women are more likely to experience domestic violence than men, and these incidents can lead to several health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, obesity and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Since women are more likely than men to self-medicate for mental health issues like anxiety and depression, traumatic experiences are unfortunately a common gateway to drug addiction in women. Female substance abuse is more common among those who battle mental health conditions or who have been victims of violent or traumatic events in the past.

Suicidal Tendencies of Men and Women with Addictions

Substance Abuse Trends In Men - Reflections RehabStudies from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) indicate that the suicide rate among men is four times higher than among women. Men are not only more likely to attempt suicide, but they also tend to successfully complete a suicide attempt at a higher rate.

Furthermore, about 22 percent of suicide deaths in the U.S. involve alcohol, while opiates play a role in roughly 20 percent of suicides.

Suicide is the second-most common cause of death among people of ages 10 to 24. About 4 percent of American adults 18 and older report having suicidal thoughts each year. Also, about 1 million people attempt suicide in the U.S. each year.

As you may have deduced, drugs and alcohol play a major role in U.S. suicides and accidental deaths. Drug abuse also increases the likelihood of a suicide attempt succeeding.

For example, a heavily intoxicated man may be far more likely to turn a firearm on himself without taking time to think about this decision, whereas a sober person might stop and reconsider before pulling the trigger.

Benefits of Sex-Specific Addiction Treatment

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, you may wonder why anyone would need sex-specific addiction counseling and treatment. There are many co-ed rehab programs available across the country, and some of them offer stellar services. However, it’s important to realize that the best way to approach substance abuse treatment is with an individualized plan.

Since men experience substance abuse differently than women, entering a sex-specific rehab program means that your treatment will focus on the issues and influential factors most likely to contribute to your pattern of addiction.

Men are generally more likely to use illicit drugs earlier in life than women. They are also more likely to use drugs to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder from military service or for recreational purposes. Men are also more likely to use drugs to increase productivity at work. On the other hand, women generally become addicted to drugs more quickly than men and are far more likely to self-medicate for mental health issues.

Substance abuse treatment largely centers on individual and group counseling, and co-ed treatment facilities can complicate this process. Residents of a sex-specific treatment facility won’t feel compelled to keep up appearances for the opposite sex, and they will be surrounded by like-minded individuals who share similar experiences.

Feeling comfortable with your rehab environment is a crucial component of a successful recovery, and both men and women generally report feeling more comfortable in sex-specific addiction treatment centers.

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Carisoprodol (Soma) Abuse and Addiction


Carisoprodol/Soma abuse and addiction is becoming more common in recent years, and this may be in response to the changes surrounding opioid abuse, addiction, availability, and dangers. Abuse of non-opioid prescription drugs have become more common because the dangers of opioid prescription drug abuse have become widely known.

Many prescription drug abusers feel that the abuse of non-opioid RX drugs are safer. However, prescription drug abuse of any kind holds many dangers, and Soma/carisoprodol can be very dangerous drugs.

What Is Carisoprodol (Soma)?

Carisoprodol is a musculoskeletal relaxer that is often used to treat painful muscular or skeletal conditions including back pain, joint pain, and severe arthritis. The most common form of carisoprodol used for medical purposes in the United States today is in pill form under the brand name “Soma.” Because of its sedative properties, it is often misused, abused, diverted from legitimate medical uses for recreational use, and is considered addictive and deadly in the event of overdoses.

Carisoprodol/Soma Side Effects:

  • Paralysis (numbness or loss of feeling in extremities).
  • Weakness, lack of motor control, uncoordinated movements, inability to stand or balance oneself.
  • Loss of consciousness, blacking out or fainting.
  • Increased heartbeat or tachycardia.
  • Seizures and convulsions, uncontrollable tremors, muscle spasms.
  • Blurred vision, loss of vision
  • Agitation/Confusion

Carisoprodol/Soma’s Potential for Abuse and Addiction

The potential for substance abuse involving Carisoprodol/Soma has been widely documented, with its abuse potential being compared to hydrocodone, oxycodone, and codeine. A 2007 study on carisoprodol abuse in Norway [New Tab Link to: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2000626/] not only proved that substance abuse from carisoprodol was highly likely, but the study helped to get the drug banned in Norway in 2008.

In the United States, Carisoprodol/Soma is legal to use with a prescription, but has been a schedule IV drug in the U.S. since January of 2012.

How Is Carisoprodol/Soma Abused? 

Carisoprodol is a skeletal/muscle relaxant that can help with back pain and other chronic pain issues by providing sedative, relaxant, and anxiolytic effects. Many soma abusers take the drug by its self in high dosages to maximize the effects felt, though carisoprodol/soma is also used for its potentiating effects when mixed with opioid narcotics.

The Dangers of Mixing Carisoprodol/Soma with Opioids

As a “potentiater,” soma/carisoprodol – when mixed with opioid drugs like codeine or hydrocodone – increases the amount of codeine/hydrocodone that is converted in the body to morphine/hydromorphine. In short, mixing soma with opioids makes the opioid effects stronger and more potent. It also dramatically increases the risk of accidental overdose and death.

The Dangers of Mixing Carisoprodol/Soma with Alcohol 

Carisoprodol is also often mixed with alcohol by recreational users, and mixing soma and alcohol – like mixing it with opioids – increases the effects of alcohol on the body. When mixed, a small dose of carisoprodol and as little as 1 drink of alcohol can have extreme effects, causing blackouts, slurred speech, complete lack of balance, and loss of consciousness.

The biggest danger of mixing soma and alcohol is the risk of overdose and possible death. The overdose symptoms caused by carisoprodol is very similar to overdose symptoms of GABAergic chemicals like alcohol, opioids, or heroin. The risk of respiratory depression is high with soma overdose, which can lead to hypoxia and death quickly.

Can You Get Addicted to Carisoprodol/Soma?

Yes, physical chemical dependence and addiction is very possible with carisoprodol. The risk of addiction and dependence to soma is based in the way the drug works in the brain, acting on the GABA receptors of the brain – just like heroin, opioids, and alcohol. Once the individual has become dependent on the drug, withdrawals can occur if they discontinue use of the drug without tapering or quit cold turkey.

Carisoprodol/Soma Withdrawal Symptoms

Again, because soma is a GABAergic drug, the symptoms of soma withdrawal are quite similar to alcohol and opioid withdrawal symptoms and include:

  • Changes in Cognitive Function, Confusion
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Increased Depression or Sadness
  • Mood Swings
  • Tremors, Shaking or Seizures
  • Agitation and Aggression (Aggressive Thoughts and Behaviors)
  • Insomnia/Sleeplessness
  • Muscle Cramps or Pains
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Increased Heart Rate, Tachycardia, or Heart Palpitations
  • New or Worsening Mental Health Conditions (Phobias, OCD, Co-Occurring Disorders)

Because so many soma abusers mix the drug with other drugs and/or alcohol, the severity of the withdrawals and the timeline for withdrawal can vary greatly. Just like alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal, carisoprodol withdrawals can be deadly in certain cases. It is very important to seek soma detox or full medically assisted drug detox when attempting to quit carisoprodol.

Carisoprodol/Soma Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Carisoprodal and opioids are very closely related, in-that they share common action mechanisms and risks for dependence, overdose and withdrawal. Not only have we seen an increase in individuals abusing soma since the opioid epidemic has arisen, but we have also seen many chronic pain sufferers that have been switched to carisoprodol from opioid medications to treat their chronic pain.

The risk of abuse, overdose and addiction to carisoprodol is very real, and those that have found themselves dependent on soma will need addiction treatment for soma dependence to treat the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of addition.

Arizona Prescription Drug Rehab 

At Reflections Recovery Center, we have become renowned for our efforts in treating prescription drug addiction in men throughout the opioid epidemic. While the majority of the country has now woken up to just how dangerous prescription opioids can be, too many are underinformed of the dangers of other prescription drug that are used to treat chronic pain conditions like severe back pain.

If you have found yourself with an addiction to soma, or if your loved one has become addicted to carisoprodol, Reflections’ men’s prescription drug detox and treatment program can help you to recover.

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Men’s Only Rehab: Building Brotherhood in Recovery from Addiction


Reflections Recovery’s addiction treatment program for men has an added benefit – that many other addiction treatment programs – do not have; guests of our program build bonds between each other in their recovery, and form a brotherhood that lasts well beyond treatment and into long term recovery and sobriety.

The Reflections Recovery Center Family

Supportive Addiction Recovery Staff
It is not only our guests that form bonds during addiction treatment and recovery; the Reflections Recovery Staff, counselors and therapy providers also work closely with the men staying with us, and we quickly form bonds with each other.

Though we as addiction counselors all develop a strong relationship our guests, it is our guests themselves who form the strongest bonds with each other, creating a brotherhood. This brotherhood helps individuals to strengthen their will and want for sobriety, and really gives guests a sense of purpose – even from the first days of recovery – that helps them to carry on through treatment, into aftercare, and continues long after our guests transition back into their lives outside of treatment.

Men in Addiction Recovery Need a Sense of Purpose During Recovery: Brotherhood Gives Purpose

One of the challenges in early addiction recovery for men is for those in treatment to find their purpose, or a motivation for continued work during treatment. When men suffering with addiction to drugs and alcohol first arrive in treatment, they are in a very fragile state. Many have hit a “rock bottom” moment, where they are unsure of what the future holds for them.

Many of our guests are in a state of such a severe addiction, that they are literally faced with life or death decisions – recover or face the very real threat of death – especially with severe addiction to alcohol, opioids, and heroin.

Our guests are in a period of transition in their lives when they arrive at our Northern Arizona rehab facility, and often need a little motivation to keep them on-track with their recovery goals. Even though our addiction treatment staff welcomes our guests with open arms when they arrive, it is usually their fellow men in treatment that make them feel fully at home and comfortable.

Brotherhood In Recovery - Reflections Arizona

Building Brotherhood in Recovery Through Outdoor and Adventure Addiction Therapy

One of the forms of therapies we utilize in our men’s substance abuse programs is adventure therapy, and we participate in a lot of outdoor activities throughout treatment. For those that have spent years focusing only on keeping up with their addiction, getting fresh air and enjoying the outdoors is actually a new experience for them.

Through our outdoor sessions, wilderness hikes, mountain climbing, cliff-diving, and swimming, men in our program further strengthen their bond of brotherhood.

Men in our program support each other through not only our counseling and group therapy sessions, but throughout our outdoor therapy adventures. As friends and peers, our guests work together to find purpose and to understand how a life without drugs and alcohol can be rewarding, and worth living.



Arizona Adventure Therapy for Addiction Treatment

At Reflections Recovery Center, we regularly schedule outdoor activities for our men’s rehab program attendees that – depending on the season – can include watersports, kayaking, hiking, and more. We regularly explore the many environments Northern Arizona has to offer, including trips to the Grand Canyon, trips to the beautiful and mystical Sedona, Arizona, getaways and day trips to Flagstaff, or exploring the wilderness around Prescott and Prescott Valley.


Our guests enjoy our activities and trips in between the hard work it takes to reshape your lifestyle, and learning how to live a more positive and productive life without drugs and alcohol. The memories made during their stay at Reflections last a lifetime, and serve as a basis of how life experiences can offer happiness and comfort in their sobriety.

Why Men’s Only Rehab with a Focus on Building Bonds Works to Prevent Relapse and Strengthen Addiction Recovery

Our men’s only treatment program for substance abuse and addiction has been recognized as one of the top centers for alcohol treatment in the country, best dual diagnosis and mental health treatment facility in Arizona, and has been called the “best heroin treatment program for men” due to our unique treatment style.

Putting young men in a sterile and institutional setting and telling them what they need to do is simply not as effective as creating a program that responds to their unique needs and shows them how a life without drugs and alcohol can be more rewarding. Furthermore, our rehab alumni take with them the experiences from treatment out into the world, and embed what they have learned into their own lives.

To put it simply, our men’s only rehab program works for men young and older, and offers a better chance at a successful rehabilitation from substance abuse and addiction.

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Why Men’s Only Rehab Programs Work

Are you the Parent of a Young Man who Could Benefit from Unique and Effective Model for Men’s Substance Abuse and Addiction Treatment?
Call us today to Speak with Reflections’ Caring and Supportive Addiction Treatment Staff to Reserve a Spot in Our Men’s Only Program

 

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Work Separation Anxiety and Not Receiving Addiction Treatment for Fear of Missing Work


Ask yourself this, “Do I fear calling in sick or taking vacation time? Do I worry that my tasks will pile up and fall behind while I’m gone? Or that others will try to do them and mess them up? Or that my boss will get impatient or look down on me for being absent?”

If you answered yes to the first question and to any of the following three, then you may suffer from work separation anxiety. Granted, this isn’t a clinical disorder, but it isn’t an ideal spot to be in. Furthermore, work stress will likely build up until you try to seek relief in unhealthy ways, such as substance use.

In the U.S, only about 11 percent of the roughly 25 million people who battle drug and alcohol addictions will enter a treatment program this year. Yes, some of this is due to inadequate insurance coverage. But, some people eschew seeking addiction treatment for fear of taking time away from their job.

What Is Work Separation Anxiety?

Separation Anxiety: The fear or distress that can happen to both children and adults when they think about separating from home or from the people they’ve become attached to. 

The Mayo Clinic asserts that separation anxiety, when it comes to relationships, normally occurs in infants and toddlers 3 years and younger.

“Less often, separation anxiety disorder can also occur in teenagers and adults, causing significant problems leaving home or going to work. But treatment can help,” The Mayo Clinic asserts.

When it comes to work, separation anxiety involves worrying over being away from the workplace for a prolonged time. And, in many respects, it’s understandable. To many of us, our work is our lifeblood – way beyond simply a means of paying our bills.

Our professions define many of our identities, too. After all, how many times do you meet a new person and they ask, “What do you do for work?” within the first couple of minutes?

It can be hard to separate yourself from the notion that where you work and what you do there does not comprise your entire existence. This is especially true if you’re used to working late, taking your work home with you and always being on standby in case “something urgent” arises.

Signs and Potential Symptoms of Work Separation Anxiety

If you look at the symptoms The Mayo Clinic lists for regular separation anxiety, you can tweak the list a bit in order to presume the symptoms of work separation anxiety:

  • Recurrent and excessive distress about anticipating or being away from the workplace or out of touch with colleagues
  • Constant, excessive worry about losing the job, the company going under, or colleagues not being able to do your tasks the way you would do them
  • Reluctance or refusal to take extended time away from work
  • Worried that something bad happened with the company while you’re disconnected from communication – such as no phone nearby, no service or dead battery on your phone, or no internet connection for your laptop
  • Repeated nightmares about losing your job or the company suffering a setback
  • Frequent headaches, stomachaches, indigestion, hot flashes or other symptoms when away from the workplace

Separation anxiety often has a close relationship with:

  • Anxiety disorders – such as generalized anxiety, panic disorders, panic attacks and phobias
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Depression

According to Suzanne Degges-White, Ph.D., counselor and professor at Northern Illinois University, workplace separation anxiety is characterized by “the type of person who cannot enjoy a moment away from the office for fear of what might happen in your absence or what tasks you’re not completing when you’re actually supposed to be focused on leisure, not work.”

Work Stress Leading to Substance Abuse

The stress of feeling always plugged into work can cause some people to unwind with a substance like alcohol or marijuana at the end of a long day. But in other cases, people begin taking drugs to overcome the lack of sleep or because they think it will boost their performance on the job. A stimulant is usually the drug of choice in these situations, with possibilities including cocaine, Adderall and methamphetamine.

The real concern with somebody battling workplace separation anxiety and substance abuse is that they are caught in a vicious cycle. The substance use may help them always be on the go, but it’s adding more stress and anxiety to the equation. This is bound to coming to a breaking point, eventually.

Substance Abuse Leading to Loss of Job

Another tragedy is that this job that the work this individual can’t pull oneself away from is being jeopardized by the continued substance abuse. Job loss could occur if the individual:

  • Says something inappropriate or offensive to a colleague
  • Lashes out at a coworker
  • Injures oneself or a colleague
  • Gets caught using on the job
  • Is hospitalized due to drug use at home and misses time from work

All of these erratic behaviors are more likely when an individual is actively addicted to drugs or alcohol. It’s worth saying again: Substance abuse directly jeopardizes their job standing. The longer the addiction rages on, it’s almost not a question if the person will lose their job or be demoted, but when.

Why Are Some People Afraid of Taking Time Away from Work for Rehab?

This is a valid question. Even though everyone who experiences work separation anxiety is not a drug addict, you almost have to be an addict to understand why other addicts don’t want to take the time away from work to rehabilitate.

When you’re actively addicted to a substance, paranoia is a common symptom or characteristic. Many addicts are constantly looking over their shoulder, so to speak. Addiction also rewires the brain to have thinking patterns that seem erratic or irrational to non-addicts.

A small sample of the myriad reasons people struggling with addiction may hesitate to take time off work for rehab include:

  • They fear losing their job or a demotion. (There are actually FMLA laws in place to preserve your job as you seek substance abuse treatment.)
  • They fear it would be letting down the rest of the company.
  • It would be seen as an admission of guilt. They can’t imagine interactions with colleagues and bosses ever being the same after going to and returning from rehab.
  • It would seemingly stifle all progress they had made toward the next promotion.
  • They are overwhelmed by the thought of falling behind on their work.
  • They don’t trust their colleagues to pick up the slack or to do the same quality of work in their absence.
  • Some work cultures implicitly look down on people who take vacation time or too much time off work, even if paid time off is one of the employee benefits.

Many of these are valid concerns, but actually getting into a rehab program will help alleviate many of these anxieties.

Working Through Work Separation Anxiety in Rehab

Professional addiction treatment programs can not only help you work toward long-term sobriety, but the counseling provided can help you overcome struggles like work separation anxiety. Counselors can help you understand what a healthy workload looks like once you return to your job.

And, perhaps, the counseling will help you realize that you either need a change of scenery or a new role at work, especially if your current role is stifling your larger goals in life. No matter what, the previous status quo is no longer acceptable.

If you have a son, brother or husband who’s struggling with substance use and can’t seem to pull himself away from work, there’s a level of stubbornness to break through to get him to go to rehab. A professional intervention is likely your best option in this scenario. Reflections Recovery Center stages professional interventions for men 18 years and older.

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Relapse Prevention for Alcohol Abuse: Tips for Staying Sober


Alcohol treatment centers are the oldest consistent forms of addiction treatment programs. People have been struggling with addiction to alcohol since we started manufacturing alcoholic drinks thousands of years ago. In all that time, alcohol relapse has remained a problem, with alcohol relapse rates averaging anywhere from 30-80%.

Relapse prevention has become a needed component to alcohol addiction recovery, due to the fact that urges and triggers are ever-present in sobriety. Quitting drinking is one thing, but how do you stay sober after alcohol rehab?

How Long Does It Take to Become Addicted to Alcohol

How long does it take to become addicted to alcohol, or physically dependent? The exact time it takes for the body to develop a chemical dependency to alcohol has many variables, but many recovering alcoholics will admit that they can remember a single moment when their alcohol problems began. This doesn’t mean that it took a split second to become addicted, but it certainly did only take a moment for the seeds of addiction to be sown.

In early alcohol addiction, the signs of a problem are obfuscated – meaning the signs are hazy and not exactly clear. Binge drinking, and drinking 6-15 beers in a single night is an obvious red flag, but most don’t recognize that as being a problem in the early stages. When you start craving a drink every night after work, that is another obvious red flag, but many simply write it off as a stress-reliever.

Alcoholism is a progressive disease, and in its early stages it can look similar to the habits of social drinkers. The problem is that problematic drinking doesn’t go away, it worsens. For that reason, it could take as little as a month to develop the early stages of alcoholism and alcohol addiction. This may seem like a short amount of time, but when you think of the fact that severe alcoholism and end stage alcoholism can develop in the short span of 5 years, a single month of binge drinking is more than enough time to do damage.

10 Tips to Quit Drinking Alcohol and Stay Sober

Before you can focus on staying sober, you first have to quit drinking. Quitting alcohol is the first hurdle in alcohol abuse recovery. This is easier said than done for most people who have been chronic drinkers or binge drinkers for a long time. The best way to deal with an alcohol use disorder is to seek help and treatment from an alcoholic treatment program. However, it could be beneficial for you to take these tips to stop drinking.

  1. Take a Good Look at Your Social Circle and Your Entertainment Habits

    Your entertainment habits include what you do to relax and enjoy yourself. It includes going out to dinner, watching movies, attending events with friends, and what you do to keep yourself busy. If dinner with friends always includes or is based off of drinking – that is a problem. If you go to sports events, movies, or concerts, and you have to have a few drinks to enjoy the event – that is a problem.

    Look at why you need to drink to enjoy these things. Is it because your social circle is drinking and you want to feel part of the crowd, or do you not truly enjoy the activity, and enjoy the drinking aspect instead? Looking at this and making a change to how you spend your free time can be the biggest help in cutting down or quitting your drinking.

  2. Look at Your Mental and Physical Health

    Self-medicating with alcohol is very common for a host of mental and physical issues including depression, anxiety, and underlying medical conditions you might not be aware you have. Find out what makes you happy and what doesn’t. If you find that you have to have alcohol to boost your mood or feel the excitement, then there is likely an underlying condition that needs to be addressed. In many cases, treating anxiety, depression, or other health concerns can fix the perceived need for alcohol.

  3. Replace your Alcoholic Beverages with Non-Alcoholic Drinks

    An issue that is very common amongst long-term beer drinkers is that the habit and action of drinking alcoholic beverages has become an addiction. In short, your drinking is just a habit that you have fallen into. You might be able to recognize this if you have ever had an empty drink, and the feeling of needing a replacement could almost drive you mad. What do you need another drink for? Is it just to have one?

    Try switching drinks to non-alcoholic choices, and have those choices available to you at all times. Sugary sodas are not the best option, but seltzer water, juice, tea, and flavored waters are great choices.

    Try and break the habit of giving the body an alcoholic drink every time the urge comes along. It might be tough to break the habit at first, but in many cases where the issue is problematic drinking, and not alcohol dependence, this solution may be enough to get you to cut out alcohol completely.

  4. Focus on Better More Quality Sleep

    Sometimes our cravings for alcohol equate to self-medication due to exhaustion and stress. The body’s natural remedy for these feelings is to get a good night of deep and restorative REM sleep so you can awake relaxed and refreshed for another day. If you are caught in the cycle of working late, drinking even later, waking up feeling sluggish and sick, and repeating the whole cycle over again, you are due for some rest and relaxation.

    Try getting a full night’s rest and waking up in the morning naturally (no caffeine), and see if this decreases your cravings for alcohol. Alcohol may feel like it helps you overcome a fast lifestyle, but when the alcohol becomes a bigger problem than you can handle, nipping it at the bud and focusing on slowing down your lifestyle might get to the root of the problem.

  5. Compare Your Drinking Habits to Those of Your Significant Other

    If you are in a relationship with someone, you can definitely adopt their habits, or their drinking habits can affect yours. Similar to our first suggestion of “Take a Good Look at Your Social Circle and Your Entertainment Habits,” take a look at what you and your spouse or significant other do together to keep each other busy.

    How much of your relationship is built on drinking? Would cutting down or quitting drinking put you at odds with your S/O, or would they be willing to cut down or quit as well? If your significant other is unwilling to change, how do you expect to be able to spur a change in yourself?

  6. Find Your Hobby. What do you love to do?

    Drinking is very much an affixation. When you are young and drinking is a new experience, it quickly becomes an easy go-to for entertainment. Think about those early experiences with alcohol – when it was new, it quickly became something that you planned on doing on weekends, or created a new angle on activities you enjoyed. The problem is that alcohol quickly takes over, and soon enough you look forward to the alcohol more than the activities. Instead, replace the alcohol with activities.

    Find out what you love to do, and can see yourself doing for hours on end, without even worrying about alcohol. For some, exercise is a natural replacement activity; for others, creating art or writing is a replacement. We can give more generic examples, but really it comes down to finding what you like to do. Can’t think of anything that interests you? Start trying new things and search out what makes you happy. Just don’t let alcohol be the only thing that brings you (what you perceive as) joy and fulfillment.

  7. Exercise, Eat Healthy, and Focus on Bettering Yourself

    Exercising and being healthy can be the activity or hobby that some find they love to spend their time on; but even if this is not going to become your hobby, it should be a part of your routine. Focusing on moderate exercise, healthier diet choices, and an overall focus on a healthier attitude and daily routine is essential for everyone – not just those looking to cut down on unhealthy habits.

    Diet and exercise plays the biggest part in who you are. A poor diet and lack of exercise can make you depressed, anxious, moody, emotional, and pretty much hate life. If you have these types of negative feelings, simply cutting out alcohol isn’t going to reverse everything and fix all your problems. Cutting out alcohol, eating a healthier diet, and getting a moderate amount of exercise will make you feel better though.

  8. Stay Away from Social Media (Or Moderate its Use at the Very Least)

    Social media is a very tricky thing; while it promotes that it is an easier way to help you stay connected to friends, social media is not your friend. In fact, it is the enemy of your mental and emotional health. Health agencies are starting to find that we are in the midst of a mental illness epidemic the likes of which has never been seen before – and it can be tied directly back to social media usage.

    Researchers have also begun to link increased drinking and an increase in alcohol use disorders to those that spend more than an hour per day on social media. Social media is built on reward triggers in the brain, just like drugs and alcohol trigger reward centers. Removing the source of these triggers can help greatly in reducing urges to drink when first quitting alcohol, or when trying to stay sober.

  9. Spend Time with Friends (and Without Alcohol), or Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself When Alone

    Social interaction (real social interaction, not social media interaction) can greatly help your mental health, and can help to prevent urges to drink. Spend time with your friends, and get your brain to spark the reward centers based off interaction with others. The reward your brain gives you for enjoying a conversation with a friend or talking about what you two have in common is chemically the same as reward response triggered by alcohol.

    Not only that, but talking about your feelings, problems and emotions with a good friend gives you another viewpoint. Talk through your problems with someone else, or vent a little – it can take a load off your shoulders.

    What if you’re an introvert, and prefer some time alone over too much time with others? Hey, no one loves you like you love you… but make sure it is self-loving and not self-loathing. Spending too much time focused on your problems, shame, embarrassment, or what doesn’t make you happy will only cause more negativity in your life. Don’t ruminate! If you don’t have anything nice to say about yourself, find a community or group activity that you can get involved with and try and get some new experiences that teach you to love yourself.

  10. Take a Look at Your Behaviors

    Nearly every aspect of staying sober comes down to your behaviors – whether it is what type of drink is in your hand, who you hang out with, how much exercise you get, or what activities and hobbies you are engaged in. There is a good reason alcohol abuse is often referred to as a behavioral health issue – the act of drinking is a behavior that is detrimental to your health.

    Take a deep look at your behaviors and ask yourself, why am I doing this? Why do I want do drink that drink? What reward am I going to get from that drink? What would I be missing out on if I don’t drink that drink…? This deep look at why you do what you do is a staple of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and CBT is one of the best therapies for alcoholism and alcohol abuse.

    CBT does work best when you have someone objective that is guiding you through the process (at least in the beginning), but you can get into CBT all by yourself, and it can change your life. For everything you do in life, there is a thought process that happens in the blink of an eye, too fast for you to even realize the decision-making process that just happened. By slowing down and looking at that decision-making process, you can make better choices, or at least make choices that guide you toward better outcomes.

Alcohol Relapse Rates 

All of the ideas we have given are great examples of how you can fight urges to drink when you are first quitting, or if you find yourself in a situation where your sobriety is tested. However, alcohol addiction and the urges to drink can be powerful, they can even be stronger than your better judgement, in some cases.

*Short Term Alcohol Relapse Rates (Within the First Year of Recovery):

  • With Treatment – Vary between 20% and 50% depending on the severity of the alcohol use disorder
  • Without Treatment – Vary between 50% and 80% depending on the severity of the alcohol use disorder.

*Long Term Alcohol Relapse Rates (Within the First Year of Recovery):

  • With Treatment – Average 23%
  • Without Treatment – Average 40%

This is why we urge those who have struggled with alcohol use to get into treatment,if they can’t do it on their own. When we look at the numbers, we can see that alcohol relapse rates are much higher in those that do not receive any help at all. You are stronger than addiction, but sometimes you need a coach in your corner that motivates you to show that extra strength and knock back the urges.

We can also see that the rate of relapse drops significantly if you can stay sober in your first year. Getting through that first year is key, and most of us need professional help for alcoholism and alcohol abuse to get through all of the triggers that present themselves in the first year.


*Moos RH, Moos BS. Rates and predictors of relapse after natural and treated remission from alcohol use disorders. Addiction (Abingdon, England). 2006;101(2):212-222. doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2006.01310.x.

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Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy: Symptoms, Causes, Life Expectancy, and Recovery


Alcohol abuse – especially binge drinking and long-term chronic alcohol abuse – takes its toll on the heart muscle and vascular system. We often forget just how dangerous alcohol can be, and wrongly assume that it takes decades for severe problems to show up from excessive drinking. 

How Alcohol Affects the Heart 

There are several concerns about the heart and circulatory system with heavy drinkers:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Strokes
  • Hypertension
  • Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy (Heart Failure)

Arrhythmias Caused by Alcohol Abuse – Abnormal heartbeats are quite common in heavy and chronic drinkers. The severity of arrhythmias ranges from mild to severe, with the least concerning being “innocent” heart palpitations and arrhythmias. These innocent heart arrhythmias could be temporary and could stem from a simple electrochemical imbalance or from poor nutrition and diet caused by alcohol abuse. Both atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia are forms of arrhythmias in common with alcohol abuse.

Alcohol-Related Strokes – A more serious concern is the risk of strokes with alcohol abuse. Binge drinking and chronic alcohol consumption for months or even a few short years can increase the risk of ischemic strokes and hemorrhagic strokes. Alcohol-induced strokes can occur in otherwise healthy patients and without existing coronary artery disease.

“Binge drinkers have an increased risk of ischemic stroke, are 56% more likely to have a stroke than non-binge drinkers, and are 39% more likely to have any type of stroke.

Alcoholic Hypertension – Binge drinkers and chronic drinkers know all too well the fact that heavy alcohol use raises blood pressure – sometimes raising it to dangerous levels. Alcohol causes your arteries and veins to stiffen, instead of flexing to the beat of the heart. Worsening the problem, continued alcohol abuse can cause the blood vessels to constrict within the already shrinking arteries and veins. Hypertension is an early sign of the increased risk of stroke and heart disease.

Alcohol and Cardiomyopathy 

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy is the most serious concerns of the effects of alcohol on the heart. Cardiomyopathy means “heart failure,” and alcoholic cardiomyopathy simply means that the heart failure is caused by alcohol. Alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a progressive disease, meaning that it worsens over time – especially with continued alcohol use.

“Quitting alcohol as soon as possible, and staying sober can immediately stop the progression of alcoholic cardiomyopathy in many cases – as long as the heart failure is not in the late stages of progression.”

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy Symptoms 

It is good to note first that just because you have one or more of these symptoms, it does not mean that you immediately have heart failure. The symptoms of very serious cardiomyopathy are similar to the symptoms of less serious heart issues that can be temporary and also caused by alcohol. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important to see your doctor and have them test to know for sure what is causing those symptoms.

That being said, the following are the symptoms that should prompt your doctor visit:

  • Edema (swelling of the ankles, feet, and legs)
  • Swelling in the extremities, neck, torso and overall swelling
  • Shortness of breath, especially when running or with strenuous activity (dyspnea)
  • Difficulty breathing (especially when laying on your back)
  • Weakness, Fatigue, and feeling faint or lightheaded
  • Foggy head (decreased alertness or difficulty concentrating)
  • Coughing and a cough with mucus discoloration (pink or frothy)
  • Decreased urine output (oliguria)
  • Increased urination at night (nocturia)
  • Heart Palpitations (irregular heartbeats)
  • Rapid pulse (tachycardia)

 Can Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy be Reversed? 

Alcoholic cardiomyopathy can be treated, which is good news for those suffering the symptoms of early stages of the disease, however, it does require a change of lifestyle to be effective. It all depends on how early you catch the disease, and whether or not you can quit drinking for good – that means no alcohol at all.

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy Life Expectancy

Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy: Symptoms, Causes, Life Expectency, and RecoveryWhat is the prognosis and life expectancy for someone who has been diagnosed with alcoholic cardiomyopathy? The prognosis really depends on whether or not the patient is able to quit drinking. If he/she stops drinking and the damage to the heart is not severe, the outlook is very good, and one would not expect a shortened lifespan. However, if the disease is in late stages and the damage is severe enough, it may be too late. Someone with end-stage alcoholic cardiomyopathy is not expected to live more than 4 years.

If someone does not quit drinking, the progressive disease is expected to get worse, and the outlook is grim for someone who continues to drink alcohol and let the disease progress to final stages. Let us be clear that if you do not stop drinking, alcoholic cardiomyopathy will lead to death – although this could take anywhere from 2-10 years, depending on how much existing damage there is.

“We cannot say this enough: quitting alcohol completely gives you the best shot at slowing or reversing this disease, and continued drinking only leads to worsening the disease and eventual death.”

Preventing Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy: Alcohol Treatment Programs 

Again, alcoholic cardiomyopathy is a progressive disease, and gets worse as you continue to drink. When diagnosed with this disease, it is imperative that you quit drinking completely. It is at this stage – when trying to quit – that many binge drinkers and chronic drinkers find that they cannot quit, or can’t stay sober for an extended period of time without relapsing.

When alcohol has such a strong hold on you that even the threat of terminal heart failure can’t get you or a loved one to quit drinking, the need for an alcohol treatment program that is intensive and offers a high chance of turning around both your lifestyle and health is needed. Individuals at this point are in a serious position where the stakes are high, and they need the best clinical and therapeutic care they can get.

Reflections Recovery Center is a leading alcohol treatment center in Arizona that can deal with unique needs an of alcoholic men facing health problems due to chronic drinking. The Reflections program puts emphasis on adopting a healthier lifestyle and finding joy in being sober and caring about your health and happiness. Our program can be just what men need when faced with the reality that they need to quit drinking, or face serious health problems.

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Is Your Husband Hiding Addiction?


Wives with husbands who are struggling with addiction often find it difficult to understand why their spouses are attempting to hide their addictions from them. In many cases, a wife believes her husband is intentionally trying to hide his addiction from her with mischievous intentions or to prevent her from helping him.

The reality is that it is rare for a person to hide a disease such as addiction for malicious reasons. The fact is, addiction is a serious illness with a wide range of symptoms that tend to intensify the feelings of denial, guilt and shame, all of which impair a person’s ability to seek help.

In most circumstances, the most effective support team for an addicted husband is his family, which is why it is important for family members to be aware of the fundamental components of substance abuse and how they can best support their addicted loved one. The following information about the effects of addiction on the body and mind can help you understand this disease and how to handle a husband’s addiction in the most effective way possible.

Husband Hiding Addiction: Concerning Withdrawal Symptoms

Addiction has a plethora of symptoms that are identical to those of serious diseases. Consisting of both mental and physical problems, the list of addiction withdrawal symptoms includes these mental conditions and physical problems:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Agitation
  • Headaches
  • Isolation
  • Sweating
  • Lack of concentration
  • High heart rate and blood pressure
  • Muscle pain
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Chest pain
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea

As you can see, addiction has severe withdrawal symptoms, which demonstrates that this disorder can be as truly debilitating as many other diseases. In fact, withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and depression can make recovering from addiction even more difficult for individuals pursuing sobriety.

Denial

It can be particularly hard for someone to address the negative feelings connected with his addiction or even think of himself as a person who is dependent on substances. In some circumstances, individuals can find themselves dependent on drugs or alcohol before they even realize it. Regardless of the individual’s awareness of the problem, it is human nature to want to avoid unpleasant realities.

When someone has a disease or symptoms that negatively affect their health, they tend to deal with the problem by refusing to believe it completely or by using rationalization, justification and excuses. Since the primary symptom of denial is the refusal to believe in its own presence, denial is extremely difficult to conquer alone. Even though denial is frustrating, it is likely your husband believes he is doing the right thing by hiding his pain.

Guilt and Shame

Even if your husband understands his addiction for what it is, he might be hiding the severity of it due to profound feelings of guilt and shame. Living with an addiction compels people to act in ways they would not normally act, just to make it through the day. In most cases, people struggling with substance abuse are not truly in control, due to addiction’s ability to control the mind and the body.

When someone is addicted, he or she feels forced to find the means to get the substance of choice every day. It becomes an obsession and compulsion, which can cause someone to do things that make them feel ashamed.

As substance use continues, someone struggling with addiction may gravitate toward their substance of choice to shut out their guilt. Like denial, the guilt and shame can make a husband feel he needs to shield his wife from the pain he would cause her if she understood how much he was struggling. Often, husbands believe they can handle the problem themselves. 

How to Help an Addict Husband

Addiction can be one of the most difficult problems a couple faces during their marriage, which is why seeking addiction help for your husband is critical to restoring the foundation of trust in your relationship. While your husband may believe that shielding you from his addiction is viable means of ensuring your protection, keeping you in the dark is doing a disservice to everyone involved.

Family Intervention

The best way to overcome this hurdle is with a comprehensive family addiction intervention. This can break down the walls of denial through the facilitation of honesty, empathy and understanding.

The goal of an intervention is to enable the healing to commence. After your husband has acknowledged his addiction, the family can move toward recovery, which will include family addiction support, focused on rebuilding trust between you and your husband.

Addiction Help for Husbands

While professional guidance can go a long way, nothing can hold a candle to having the support of a loved one during recovery. For this reason, Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona stresses the importance of including patients’ families throughout treatment.

Believing that effective communication builds trust, the mental health experts at Reflections can provide you and your family with a family communication specialist who will serve as a liaison throughout the course of recovery.

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What real clients have to say about Reflections Recovery Center in Arizona
Reflections provided me with the tools that got me where i am today with 14 months sober.
— Ricky A, Long Beach CA
Reflections gave me a life and an opportunity to become part of society. They challenged me and shaped me into the man I want to be.
— Dyer K, Gilbert AZ
I learned how to stay sober, found my best friends and created a new life at Reflections
— David S, Phoenix AZ

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