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Alcohol is a Drug

Alcohol is a Drug

As an Orange County alcohol rehab and detox, we’ve listened to our community voice their concerns about illicit substances, from how easy they are to attain to how deadly, addictive, and unregulated they can be in our communities. From heroin to prescription opioids and synthetic drugs like spice and bath salts, it’s shocking that drugs with such scary reputations often overshadow the most deadly drug of all, however. A meta-analysis of the death rates, use rates, and societal harm of addictive drugs found that 4 substances were considered “high risk” to individuals, meaning very toxic and easy to overdose on. Of those 4 substances, only one was considered “high risk” on a population scale, meaning users pose a significant risk to those around them. Worst of all—this drug comes in candy flavors like cherry and cinnamon, which can disguise just how dangerous it is.

Yes, Alcohol is a Drug

It’s easy to forget but the over-the-counter ethanol alcohol we drink is a potent drug, and is still a leading cause of accidental deaths, property damage, and overdose. The complacency our society has with alcohol also means we forget just how serious the consequences of its use can be. As a drug, alcohol can have mixed reactions with other chemicals. Certain pain relievers, when mixed with alcohol, can damage the stomach lining, while others can increase the rate of intoxication.

Alcohol is also a depressant drug, so when combining with other depressant drugs it can create an adverse reaction. Mixing alcohol with sleeping pills or opiates can cause your body processes to slow down such as slowing or stalling your heart, or causing respiratory failure.

Alcohol’s Surprise Risk: Bioavailability.

The legal limit for alcohol is defined by blood alcohol level, but with different concentrations, body weights and heights, and a number of other variables… it becomes impossible to figure out exactly what your limit is. The bioavailability of a drug is the percentage that our bodies actually absorb and process. The bioavailability of alcohol is shockingly around roughly 80%. This means that the majority of the alcohol you drink will be processed by your body and therefore enter your blood.

Factors like tolerance, the sugar content of the drink, and your individual health habits can all change just how intensely you “feel” the effects of the alcohol, but none of those changes the amount of alcohol that actually enters your blood. This means you could be at intoxicated levels without feeling too bad, or you could be seriously impaired with small doses.

Reducing the Danger of Alcohol

Alcohol has a very intimate relationship with so many aspects of American culture. All attempts at banning alcohol have always backfired, forcing distributors to focus on stronger, more profitable variations, making the problem even worse. But light, recreational drinking isn’t the true issue. Addiction is.

You don’t make the choice to drive under the influence unless a number of thresholds have already been crossed. You have to have drunk more than your limit—showing either a misunderstanding of alcohol, or an explicit choice to disobey that limit. It also means either underestimating the danger of DUI or choosing the risk despite the consequences.

Some areas have seen reductions in drunk driving accidents as much as 25-35% by introducing ride-sharing services, like Uber and Lyft. Despite this, drunk driving is still a cause of over 10,000 deaths a year. If you frequently find yourself in dangerous situations because of alcohol, it’s urgent that you seek treatment immediately. While ride-sharing and designated drivers are great short-term options, moderation and sobriety are ultimately the goal, and a proper treatment program can get you there.

Where Can I Go to Detox Near Me?

Where Can I Go to Detox Near Me?

Addiction is a growing problem across the United States, and many Orange County residents are left wondering, “Where are hospitals that detox near me? Where can I turn for addiction recovery?” While there are many addiction treatment options, not every facility is the same. In addition, Orange County residents do not necessarily need to go to a hospital to detox – they can find high quality care at a detox center instead.

What is Detox and is it Necessary?

Detoxification, or detox, is the process of ridding the body of addictive substances. In order for addiction recovery to be more effective, clients must be free from the influence of any drugs or alcohol. Otherwise, these substances interfere with the ability to heal the body and mind and develop healthier routines thereby increasing risk for relapse.

Can’t I Detox at Home?

It can be very dangerous for individuals to go through detox without the supervision of trained medical professionals. Withdrawal symptoms can be very challenging and uncomfortable. Many people are not prepared to cope with withdrawal, and this can increase risk of relapse or overdose. Entering treatment at an Orange County detox facility is a much safer option and can support ongoing recovery.

Selecting a Detox Facility Near Me

There are many places in Orange County (OC) that offer detox, but the services and level of care are not always the same. It makes sense to look toward OC hospitals first, but there are other safe, high quality options that exist as well. For instance, Experience Recovery provides detox and withdrawal management services from the same skilled physicians that work in hospitals. However, they also have addiction specialists who are trained specifically in detox and addiction recovery and offer personalized care to clients.

Look for a detox facility that tailors care to client needs rather than following a strict timetable. Some clients are able to safely detox and move forward in recovery within three to five days, while others require 10 days, 15 days, or more. It all depends on the individual, type of substances used, duration and quantity, and other factors. Detox should not be rushed. Each client should be able to move at their own pace so that their individual needs are met.

What Makes Experience Recovery Different

Hospitals are often limited on how long patients can stay, but at Experience Recovery, treatment is personalized for each client. OC residents work with physicians, addiction specialists, and other care providers to progress through the detox process as safely and comfortably as possible. Medications are prescribed as necessary and carefully monitored to decrease the impact of withdrawal symptoms. Clients also work on other strategies to promote physical and mental healing and preparation for continued recovery.

Experience Recovery develops treatment plans aligned with each client’s individual needs. Clients receive around-the-clock care to help them address any challenges that may arise and mitigate risk of potentially serious withdrawal symptoms. As detox progresses, clients work with their treatment team to determine the next steps for recovery, whether that is residential care, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), outpatient care, or another option.

If you’re wondering, “Why choose an OC detox facility near me?” rest assured that you will receive the same high-quality care as at a hospital, but with a focus on the unique needs of addiction recovery and access to a full continuum of care at Experience Recovery. You can begin your journey by building a strong foundation in detox and then transition to other levels of care as you are ready to support a lifestyle of continued recovery. Engage in detox and addiction recovery geared specifically toward the needs of men at Experience Recovery today.

Choosing the Right Orange County Detox Center for Your Loved One

Choosing the Right Orange County Detox Center for Your Loved One

When a loved one is struggling with any kind of illness, it’s only natural to want to help them. When that illness is drug or alcohol addiction, however, it can be tough to know where to start. Full recovery is possible, but it’s not going to happen overnight. Addiction recovery is a journey with several steps—and the first of those steps is detox.

What is Detox?

But what is detox, exactly? Simply put, it’s the process in which the mind and body are rid of harmful toxins. If your loved one is going to be freed from addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s vital to have a clean slate—to begin rehab without any drugs or alcohol lingering in the system. This detox process will take anywhere from three to 10 days, depending on the nature of the addiction—and it’s not without some potential risks.

Withdrawal and Detox

The big risk in detox is withdrawal. Drugs and alcohol can exert such an impact on the body that eliminating them creates havoc.

Withdrawal symptoms vary from person to person, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Excessive hunger
  • Restlessness
  • Lethargy
  • Shakiness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Agitated, excitable, or irritable behavior
  • Hallucination or severe anxiety
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Seizures
  • Sensitivity to pain

These symptoms can be extreme. In the discomfort of withdrawal, it’s not impossible for the individual to reach for drugs or alcohol, hoping it will help them feel “normal” again—thus undoing their detox process. And if they reach for a higher-than-intended amount, it could result in an overdose, or even death.

Seeking Clinical Detox

Because of this, it’s important to help your loved ones seek detox in a clinical setting—somewhere with medical supervision. Not only does this ensure their safety, but it may also mean access to non-addictive medications that can ease the pain. And, clinical detox can often be faster than home-based or “DIY” withdrawal. Finally, a clinical detox makes it easy to transition into an in-patient rehab program.

What should you look for in a clinical detox program, though? Some guidelines include:

  • First and foremost, make sure the detox center offers treatment for the type of addiction your loved one is experiencing. Some detoxes will focus on opioid addiction, for example, while others are more wide-ranging.
  • Also make sure the addiction detox center you choose for your loved one is accredited by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
  • Ask about the medical qualifications of the staff. Seek a detox center where there are nurses or other clinical professionals on-site 24/7.
  • Don’t forget to ask about insurance! Most detox facilities will accept many different forms of insurance.
  • Inquire about whether the staff customizes its treatment approach to meet the needs of the individual—always a sign that you’re dealing with true professionals.
  • Finally, ask about options for transitioning into rehab. Make sure you’re taking the long view of addiction recovery.

Learn More About Addiction Detox from Experience Recovery

Detox is a vital first step in the recovery journey—and the best way to help your loved one is to explore local options for clinically-supervised detox centers. Experience Recovery is proud to offer a full range of addiction detox services to individuals throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.

We’d love to talk with you more about what you can expect from our detox program. Contact us today to start the conversation.

Does Marijuana Use Impact Driving

Does Marijuana Use Impact Driving?

It is common knowledge that driving under the influence of alcohol is incredibly dangerous. Alcohol alters reaction time, clear thinking, coordination, and much more. You simply shouldn’t get behind the wheel if you’ve recently had a drink. But what about driving under the influence of marijuana? Are there dangers associated with that? It is much harder to judge impairment from marijuana versus alcohol.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, stoned driving may be just as much of a problem as drunk driving. In Washington State, the number of fatal vehicle accidents involving marijuana use more than doubled from 2013 to 2014 rising from 8% to 17%. And it just so happens that 2014 is when recreational marijuana was legalized in the state. While they cannot directly link this to the increase in fatal crashes involving marijuana, it was likely a contributing factor.

Determining Impairment from Marijuana

One of the challenges of cracking down on stoned driving is that there is no clear-cut standard for determining when someone is too impaired to drive. Unlike blood alcohol testing which can be conducted via a breathalyzer in a matter of minutes, testing for THC levels is more complicated. The blood test can take up to two hours, and during that time, THC can drastically decrease resulting in inaccurate results. Plus, THC level alone does not determine how someone is affected. Some people with high THC levels may show low levels of impairment, while someone with a low THC level may be highly impaired. It varies from person to person.

Instead, law enforcement officials may need to use both blood tests and on-the-scene evaluation of physical and mental impairment to make a determination. Marijuana, just like alcohol, can slow reaction time, alter coordination, and negatively impact decision making. It is an addictive substance as well, and drivers should avoid getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

Treatment for Marijuana Addiction

Despite being legal in some states, marijuana is still addictive and can have negative effects. Drivers put themselves and others at risk if operating a vehicle while under the influence. To help mitigate this risk, seeking marijuana addiction treatment is encouraged. Individuals can free themselves of the adverse effects of marijuana on their mental and physical abilities and go about their day with a clearer mind. They can get behind the wheel feeling more alert and focused, able to respond appropriately to changing driving conditions or unexpected hazards, knowing that their judgement is not clouded by the effects of marijuana.

Experience Recovery supports individuals in overcoming addiction to marijuana and other drugs or alcohol through comprehensive, personalized approaches to treatment. Evidence-based therapies are used as part of a broader wellness program to address not just the physical and mental effects of addiction, but how it affects all aspects of a person’s life.

Is Professional Treatment Really Necessary for Marijuana Addiction?

Just like other drugs, marijuana can contribute to changes in the brain. It can be difficult for people to stop use on their own even if they want to. Professional treatment at a facility like Experience Recovery can help individuals to not only overcome physical addiction to marijuana, but psychological addiction as well. Through a supportive detox program and targeted treatment, they can shift their focus to healthier habits and develop strategies for relapse prevention.

Though marijuana itself is not fatal, it can contribute to accidents or injuries that can be. Driving stoned can pose a serious risk for everyone involved. Get the help you need to overcome addiction and build a healthier lifestyle by contacting Experience Recovery today.

Do I Need to Detox to Stop Drinking?

Do I Need to Detox to Stop Drinking?

The road to recovery begins with detoxification. Whether you are addicted to drugs or to alcohol, those toxic chemicals can linger in your body for hours or even days, and they can continue to impact your body and mind—making true sobriety impossible. Simply put: You can’t pursue sobriety if you are still drinking or doing drugs!

For those who are addicted to alcohol, then, detox is a necessary step to free your body and mind from addiction’s hold. As you consider detox, however, it’s important to have the right expectations.

How Long Does Alcohol Detox Take?

The first thing to consider is the timeline. While detox begins shortly after you finish your last drink, it can take a few days for the detox process to be complete. In fact, most individuals will need to allot seven to 10 days for alcohol detox.

Of course, detox is just the first step in the journey to sobriety; after those seven to 10 days, you’ll need to pursue residential care, which can last from 30 to 90 days. The timeline for your detox and recovery will vary, depending on such factors as your specific addiction, your addiction history, and the severity of your addiction.

What are the Symptoms of Alcohol Detox?

Those who go through alcohol detox can expect some withdrawal pains. Some of the immediate symptoms include sweating, nausea, vomiting, and even seizures. Once you’re out of the acute withdrawal stage, your symptoms may lessen to include poor sleep, a negative mood, and some cravings.

Again, the symptoms can vary from one person to the next, and they depend on the level and type of your addiction, plus any co-occurring conditions you may have. As you head into the detox process, however, it is important to anticipate at least some withdrawal pain.

Is Home or Clinical Detox Best?

Because withdrawal pain can be intense, home detox is generally not recommended. Trying to detox all on your own may cause you, in a moment of anguish, to reach for more alcohol—undoing all your hard work and putting you at risk of overdosing.

In a clinical detox setting, you’re carefully monitored to ensure health and safety. What’s more, non-addictive medications can be used to minimize your withdrawal pains, and to make the detox process as smooth and as comfortable as possible.

Is Detox Enough to Ensure Sobriety?

While detox is an important first step toward sobriety, it’s not sufficient in and of itself. Once you complete the detox process, it’s important to pursue some combination of residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment, a partial hospitalization program, transitional living, and aftercare.

These programs will help you develop the coping skills you need to maintain your recovery, even during seasons of stress or anxiety. They will strengthen you against cravings, and help you put a relapse prevention plan into place. While detox sets the stage for these important skills, it’s only meant to be the first step in your recovery journey.

Pursuing Detox from Experience Recovery

For those who long to be free from their alcohol addiction, detox is a crucial first step—and while it isn’t always easy, it does bring you closer to the sobriety you crave.

Experience Recovery is proud to deliver customized addiction treatment programs for our clients in Orange County—and that includes alcohol detox. The first step is reaching out to speak with a counselor, and determine which program is best for you or your loved one. Start that conversation today. Connect with Experience Recovery and ask us about alcohol detox.

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