Tag Archives: Mental Health

Anger Management and Behavioral Health for Young Adult Son with Substance Abuse Issues

Awareness is growing nationwide that young men are struggling with anger issues at an alarming rate. And while anger in young men is frequently written off as part of the growing-up process, for many, anger management issues serve as a warning sign that more serious problems are at play.

If your son is unable to control his anger and also has issues with drug or alcohol abuse, it is important for you, as a parent, to understand that these two problems feed off each other. Trying to address one without also addressing the other simply won’t work.

In this article, we’ll examine the close relationship between anger issues, mental health and substance abuse, as well as how dual diagnosis addiction treatment serves as the most effective path toward achieving recovery for young men.

Types of Anger in Young Men 

Young men express their anger in a number of different ways. While experts differ in how they categorize the various ways anger manifests itself from person to person, some of the widely recognized forms of anger include:

Passive anger – Young men with passive anger issues do not usually express their feelings directly or aggressively. Passive anger very often takes the form of passive-aggressive comments, a brooding demeanor and social withdrawal. 

Judgmental anger – Individuals experiencing judgmental anger become upset when they feel that others are not living up to their expectations. Young men with judgmental anger appear resentful, and overly critical of the people around them.

Overwhelmed anger – This type of anger arises when an individual feels like they are losing control over their lives and can no longer manage all of their responsibilities.

Self-inflicted anger – People with self-inflicted anger typically feel weak or irresponsible. These feeling usually result from a perceived failure to live up to their own expectations.   

Volatile anger This type of anger is typically directed toward others, and is characterized by aggressive and even violent outbursts that are out of proportion to the situation.

The True Causes of Anger Issues 

Anger problems in men are very often caused by depression, anxiety, ADHD or other underlying mental illnesses. Anger issues are more serious than the fleeting feelings of anger that everyone experiences from time to time.

Prolonged and excessive anger is a warning sign of mental illness, as most healthy individuals don’t tend to carry their anger inside of them over long periods of time. Healthy individuals are also able to maintain control over their anger and limit the way anger influences their thoughts and actions.

For young men with mental health issues, feelings of anger constantly sit just below the surface and can manifest into action at the slightest trigger. 

There are a number of reasons why young men with mental health issues may develop anger disorders. For instance, individuals suffering from ADHD may feel a sense of frustration over their inability to focus on and complete tasks. Over time, this constant frustration develops into anger, both toward themselves and others.

Mental Illness and Substance Abuse 

Too many young men suffering from anger and mental health issues develop co-occurring disorders such as substance abuse. These men, unable to manage the symptoms of their mental illness, often turn to drugs and alcohol in an attempt at self-medicating. Unfortunately, doing so will only mask the underlying issues of anger and mental illness, and over the long term will cause these problems to become worse and worse.

Mental illnesses are rooted in a wide range of factors including genetics, environment and traumatic life experiences. For those at an elevated risk for mental illness, abusing drugs or alcohol, especially at an early age, can trigger the development of serious psychological problems.   

Drug and alcohol abuse will also exacerbate the symptoms of an already existing mental health problem. Drugs and alcohol can do serious damage to the delicate structures of the brain, and when one’s brain is already suffering from the effects of mental illness, the combination can have disastrous consequences.

Addressing the Problem Early 

Many parents wait too long before seeking addiction and anger treatment for their sons. The importance of early intervention cannot be overstated. While it may be comforting to believe that your son is just going through a phase and that they will outgrow their problems with anger and addiction, failing to act during their formative years can have serious lifelong consequences.  

By choosing a course of treatment for your son that includes both addiction treatment and anger management programs for young men, you’ll be helping him enter adulthood with the tools he needs to achieve his full potential.  

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Men 

The most successful addiction and behavior programs for young men include many different treatment protocols, such as:

Group therapy Mutual support among a group of peers is an indispensable element of dual diagnosis treatment. It is important for young men to recognize that they are not alone in their struggles with anger and substance abuse; sharing these experiences in a supportive group setting can make that happen.

Individual therapy Some issues are best addressed in a one-on-one setting with a psychiatrist, psychologist or licensed addiction counselor. Such expert guidance can help a young man gain a better understanding of who he truly is, as well as how his problems with substance abuse and anger management are, in reality, two sides of the same coin.

Family therapy Because substance abuse and anger issues are often rooted in one’s home life, it is important to involve the patient’s family in the treatment process. A family therapist can help everyone involved identify troublesome behaviors, such as issues of abuse or codependency.

Aftercare counseling – After graduating from a dual diagnosis treatment program, it is important for a young man to learn how to put his newly learned skills into practice. Aftercare counseling helps young men discover ways to navigate life’s many challenges without relapsing into both substance abuse and anger-motivated behaviors.

Finding Help for Your Son 

Remember, a key factor in successfully managing co-occurring substance abuse and mental illness is early intervention. So don’t wait! Reach out to the expert staff at Reflections Recovery Center today to learn how our men’s addiction treatment programs in Arizona can help get your son started on the journey toward holistic, lifelong recovery.

Learn More About Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment

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.

See Our Family Counseling Services

Benzodiazepine Prescription Drugs that Require Detox

Benzodiazepine Prescription Medications Can Lead to Addiction

Doctors prescribe benzodiazepine medications to treat medical conditions such as panic disorders, muscle spasms, seizures, anxiety disorders and the symptoms of acute alcohol withdrawal. While benzodiazepine medications are not as chemically addictive as opioids, cocaine or methamphetamine, they still carry a significant potential for abuse.

Some people abuse benzodiazepine medications for a euphoric high or intense muscle relaxation, and several take these medications longer than advisable. Unfortunately, proper cessation of benzodiazepine medication can be tricky, and attempting to try quitting “cold turkey” can have deadly consequences.

Benzodiazepine Prescription Uses and Risks

People who take benzodiazepine medications for anxiety or other mental health disorders may build a tolerance to the drugs over time. They also develop a physical dependence at the same time, often compelling a cycle of abuse that leads to addiction.

Prolonged use of benzodiazepines will lead to ineffective treatment for the person’s prior symptoms and make it difficult to function at home, school or work. Some people will take these medications in hazardous situations, such as before driving or operating dangerous equipment.

When an individual reaches the point that a benzodiazepine prescription drug is interfering with daily life or has grown into an addiction, it’s crucial to know how to address this issue safely.

Stopping Benzodiazepine Prescriptions Safely

Most doctors will recommend a patient to take a benzodiazepine medication for a certain amount of time and then gradually decrease the dose to wean off the medication. People who improperly stop taking their benzodiazepine medications risk an intense resurgence of previous symptoms the prescription aimed to treat.

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal

Benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms typically include nausea, disorientation, anxiety, hallucinations, hypersensitivity, tremors, and heightened autonomic activities like heart rate and breathing. The most serious possible withdrawal symptom is a potentially fatal grand mal seizure.

When a person enters detox for benzos, medical professionals will administer medications to manage these symptoms and flush the remaining benzos from the patient’s system. This is a long process that involves slowly tapering off the dosage of benzodiazepines that can last weeks or even months, depending on the level of addiction.

Most detox personnel recommend tapering the patient’s previously abused benzodiazepine medication and then switching him or her to a longer-acting benzodiazepine. Then, the patient will slowly taper off of that medication until the physical benzo dependency has passed. During this time, treatment and counseling between doses can help the patient understand the root cause of his or her addiction.

Types of Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepine medications are available in a variety of brands, each of which has different properties. Some are fast acting but only last for a short time, while others are slower acting but last much longer.

Different benzodiazepine medications require different detox methods, so it’s vital to understand the risks of each type of benzodiazepine medication.

Xanax Addiction

Alprazolam, commonly known as Xanax, is an effective treatment for a variety of panic and anxiety disorders. This fast-acting medication reduces excitability and increases inhibitory brain activity.

Xanax addiction can easily lead to:

  • Difficulty functioning in work, school or social settings
  • Profound symptoms of anxiety and panic
  • Disorientation
  • Many other negative symptoms

Chlordiazepoxide: Librium Addiction

Chlordiazepoxide, also known as Librium, is a sedative used to treat anxiety disorders and the withdrawal symptoms of addiction to some other substances, such as alcohol. Librium produces extreme adverse effects when combined with some other substances such as alcohol and opioid-based prescription painkillers.

When abused, Librium can cause “paradoxical disinhibition,” a condition entailing symptoms that one wouldn’t typically expect to see from a person under the influence of a sedative, such as:

  • Increased aggression
  • Irritability
  • Impulsivity

Clonazepam: Klonopin Addiction

Clonazepam, known as Klonopin, is the third-most prescribed benzodiazepine medication in the United States. This drug treats various anxiety disorders such as:

  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Extreme phobias

Klonopin abuse can lead to difficulty focusing, memory problems, cravings for more Klonopin, lethargy and delirium. It is possible to overdose on Klonopin, which can lead to respiratory depression, coma or death.

Clorazepate: Tranxene Addiction

Clorazepate, or Tranxene, is a fast-acting benzodiazepine medication that treats several anxiety disorders. Abuse of this drug can lead to dependence, and like other benzodiazepine medications, it requires a careful discontinuation plan for safe cessation.

Diazepam: Valium Addiction

Diazepam, commonly called Valium, is a central nervous system depressant used to treat anxiety and aid relaxation. Valium can ease muscle spasms, prevent seizures and manage the symptoms of various anxiety disorders. Abuse of Valium can lead to tolerance and addiction.

Over time, Valium withdrawal can affect a person’s mental health and cause symptoms such as:

  • Heightened aggression
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Feelings of intense anxiety

A Valium overdose can lead to coma or death.

Estazolam: Prosom Addiction

Estazolam, or Prosom, is a short-term prescription to aid sleep. Unfortunately, this drug can lead to dependency when abused, mixed with other substances or taken longer than prescribed.

Flurazepam: Dalmane Addiction

Flurazepam, known as Dalmane, is very similar to Valium and often prescribed as a sleep aid. Similar to Valium, abuse of this drug can easily lead to dependency and significant withdrawal symptoms.

Lorazepam: Ativan Addiction

Doctors generally only prescribe lorazepam, also known as Ativan, for short-term treatment for anxiety disorders. Even if a patient takes this drug as prescribed, it can still lead to tolerance and dependency, which can entail:

  • Profound memory loss
  • Impaired muscle coordination
  • Sensory problems

Midazolam: Versed Addiction

Doctors prescribe midazolam most often as an anesthetic sedative, but it can also help relieve the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Like any other benzodiazepine medication, users should gradually taper off this medication to avoid withdrawal.

Oxazepam: Serax Addiction

Oxazepam, also known as Serax, is a slow-acting benzodiazepine medication that helps users fall asleep and stay asleep. However, slow-release medication can lead to a tolerance, which can then lead to dependency without a cessation plan.

Temazepam: Restoril Addiction

Restoril, or the generic version temazepam, is a sleep aid intended for short-term use. Temazepam can cause short-term memory loss and other withdrawal symptoms with extended or inappropriate use.

Triazolam: Halcion Addiction

Similar to Restoril, Halcion is a sleep aid intended for short-term use. This drug carries a high potential for abuse, and abusing Halcion can lead to significant withdrawal symptoms.

Quazepam: Doral Addiction

Another benzodiazepine sleep aid is quazepam, also known as Doral. This medication depresses the central nervous system and is easily habit forming. Doctors generally only recommend Doral for occasional use.

Undergoing Safe Detox for Benzos

The thought of entering benzodiazepine detox can be frightening, but it’s important to understand how crucial medical assistance is during recovery. Benzodiazepine withdrawal can lead to profound physical and psychological symptoms, so attempting to quit a benzodiazepine medication cold turkey can be extremely dangerous, even fatal.

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Addiction and Suicide Rates Soaring in Arizona Cities

Drug addiction and mental health problems go hand in hand like the circle of love and marriage. We use drugs to numb pain, physical or emotional, real or imagined, and because we have mental health problems. And we sometimes have mental health problems because we use too many drugs.

Arizona has had a growing problem of both drug addiction and mental health crises. Phoenix and her suburbs have been particularly hard hit, especially Gilbert, AZ, which has been the center of opioid and heroin addiction in the state for more than 10 years.

Arizona’s Growing Mental Health Crisis 

Depression is a serious mental health problem. It can be fatal.

In 2015, suicide took more than 44,000 lives in America, making self-murder a significant health issue that affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities. In Arizona, suicide is such a severe issue it is ranked as the eighth-leading cause of death, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

According to statistics taken from CDC and Arizona Department of Health Services reports, the numbers around this deadly condition in Arizona are shocking:

  • Arizona had 10 child suicides (ages 14 and under) in 2015.
  • Arizona had 60 teen suicides (ages 15 to 19) in 2015.
  • The state had 1,276 suicides overall in 2015.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for those aged 10 to 14.
  • Taking one’s own life is the second-leading cause of death for Arizonans aged 15 to 34.
  • There are 2.5 times more deaths from suicide annually than homicide.
  • For each successful suicide attempt, there are 25 failed attempts — with many leading to hospitalization.
  • More women than men have suicidal thoughts and attempts.
  • More men than women are likely to die by suicide.

Arizona Suicide Rates Have Tripled

From 2001 to 2011, the suicide rates in Arizona have soared.

Of note is the suburb of Gilbert, near Phoenix. According to the Health Status Report for Cities and Towns in Maricopa County, the suicide rate increased threefold during the decade. In 2011, there were 31 suicides; in 2000, there were only 7, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The ratios per capita have increased as well.

The Gilbert Police Department has said it receives an average of four suicide threats or attempts each week, and one suicide completion per week. Mercy Gilbert Medical Center reports the number of mental health consultations rising over the past several years, some of which are related to suicide attempts.

Youth Suicides in Arizona

Last summer, a cluster of teen suicides rocked the community of Gilbert. Six teenagers hanged themselves, and a seventh fell victim to suicide by shooting oneself. Tragically, these young people, unknown to each other, lived less than 12 miles apart from each other. All committed suicide within a six-week period.

Subsequently, Gilbert Public Schools underwent Suicide Alertness Training to help educators recognize students who need help and to connect them with the appropriate resources.

Teen suicide prevention includes:

  • Improved communication between parents and teens.
  • Keeping a close watch on teens’ cellphones.
  • When depression is present, asking outright whether the student plans to kill himself/herself.
  • Monitoring social media.
  • Removing guns, belts and other potential means of self-destruction from the home.
  • Watching for drug or alcohol use.
  • Watching for teens talking about dying or death.
  • Being wary of teens becoming impulsive or taking unnecessary risks.

However, it’s not just the youth in Gilbert that are dying from suicide; it affects people of all ages. Friends and family may think their loved one is just depressed, but depression can become such a severe mental health crisis that suicide seems like a rational solution at the time.

Suicide Risk Factors

People at risk for suicidal behavior fall into all age groups. Some common risk factors are:

  • Having a mental health disorder
  • Having a substance use disorder
  • Stressful life events
  • Prolonged stress factors
  • Previous suicide attempts
  • Family history of suicide

According to America’s Health Ranking for Arizona in 2016, families concerned about a loved one should restrict access to firearms, lethal doses of medications and alcohol in the home.

Lack of Access to Mental Health Treatment in Arizona

It doesn’t help matters that Arizona is the second-worst state at addressing mental health issues. According to studies, adults and youth with a diagnosed condition, serious thoughts of suicide, and substance abuse problems have serious unmet needs in Arizona.

Lack of access to effective mental health treatment means:

  • Arizonans have unmet mental health needs.
  • Some Arizona residents don’t receive mental health treatment at all.
  • Residents are often unable to see doctors because of the cost.
  • Not enough primary care physicians are screening for mental illness.
  • Insufficient mental health professionals to meet the need in Arizona.
  • There are long wait times to get treatment.
  • A significant need for community services.
  • Insurance has holes in coverage concerning mental health services.

Heroin and Prescription Drug Addiction Arizona on the Rise 

Last year, President Trump declared that America was in the throes of a national public health emergency because of what opioids are doing to our citizens. Arizona is no exception. An American crisis, an Arizonan crisis, opioids and heroin have taken over our streets.

Derived from the age-old poppy plant, opioids are synthetic and organic drugs made from opium. One of the strongest and most addictive of these drugs is heroin, commonly snorted or liquefied and then injected. People caught up in the Gilbert, AZ heroin epidemic just call it dope.

Prescription drug addiction in Arizona is often a result of opioid use. Examples of commonly prescribed opioids are:

  • Percocet
  • Oxycodone/OxyContin
  • Methadone
  • Hydrocodone/Norco
  • Vicodin
  • Fentanyl

In the current opioid epidemic, these medications are easily ill gotten. Whether it be from a relative’s medicine cabinet or through illicit means, prescription drug addiction is rampant across the country and in Arizona.

Opioid Deaths Skyrocketing

New reports are showing a surge in opioid overdose deaths in Arizona. In fact, 2016 marked the highest number of deaths in 10 years. Heroin and prescription opioid painkillers are to blame.

People are starting out by taking painkillers for a legitimate reason, then getting hooked and moving on to something stronger. Accidentally taking too much opioid medication causes cessation of breathing and death.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services in 2016, the following statistics alarmed state officials:

  • Heroin deaths have tripled since 2012.
  • Every day, two Arizonans die from an opioid overdose.
  • The heroin death rate is rising faster than that of prescription opioids.
  • Hospitals saw more than 51,000 opioid-related encounters.

Because prescription opioid deaths are soaring and the government is cracking down on doctors who prescribe too much Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin, it’s no surprise people are turning to heroin for relief.

Drug Rehab near Gilbert, AZ

Because of the growing problem of heroin arrests, drug addiction and mental health crises in the Phoenix area, many are seeking out drug rehabs all over Arizona.

The city of Gilbert has seen heroin, a cheaper and more accessible alternative to prescription painkillers, cause an increase in narcotic-related arrests by 300 percent in the past 10 years. Regardless of the changing prescribing guidelines set forth by the government, when people are addicted, they find a way to get the drug they crave.

Treatment centers in Arizona are helping people who are addicted to heroin. The first seven to 10 days going without heroin is excruciating without medical help. Thus, professional drug rehab facilities wean people off opioids and keeps them as comfortable as possible.

If you or your son needs help with a mental health or substance abuse problem in Arizona, call Reflections Recovery Center while there is still time. Many of our clients have dealt with both a mental health issue like depression and a substance use disorder like heroin addiction. We have caring professionals waiting to help.

The Arizona families who have had to deal with these problems are in the thoughts of the team at Reflections Recovery Center in Prescott, AZ. For those facing thoughts of suicide, the situation can feel hopeless. However, depression is a treatable illness. There is help available.

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