Will I lose my job if I go to treatment?
A common concern amongst people seeking treatment is whether or not they will be able to retain employment during their recovery process. We will discuss federal protections that have been put in place for members seeking treatment for substance abuse later in this article.
Something to consider… How long will you really maintain that job if you continue to drink and/or use? Regardless of your situation, you could possibly have an excuse not to seek treatment on any given day. The longer that you go without getting help for your addiction, the more likely it is that the consequences will increase. Not only could you potentially lose your job, you could lose your house, loved ones, other material possessions, children and end up with serious medical issues and legal problems.
A job is never a justification not to seek treatment. The sooner that you are willing to set aside those reservations, the sooner you can get your life back. Many have fears about the stigma they could potentially be placed under for admitting that they have a problem to employer’s or co-workers. It is recommended that you go to someone that you can trust with this information. Remember, you don’t owe anyone else an explanation but the people that control the fate of your employment. Only disclose what you feel is necessary to disclose to said people.
We urge you to have a treatment location picked out ahead of time with an admission date set. Maybe you have a job where you can work from home. There are (occasionally) client’s that still maintain full employment status during their time in treatment. This is something that you should discuss with your case manager and therapist to determine if this would be conducive to your recovery journey. Notify your admission counselor if this is something you plan to do.
Federal protections for people seeking drug treatment:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – this protects people from being fired for seeking drug/alcohol treatment. It also protects you from being demoted, fired or refused to hire because you have a substance use history.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – Allows you to take up to 12-weeks off of work to deal with substance related problems. Please do research to find out if you qualify for this under your employer. Varies by length of time at employer and size of organization.
There are union protections as well. Please research The National Labor Relations Act for more information.
Our admissions team can help support you through this decision. Please reach out today! 866-757-0474
What is Kratom?
Kratom is a plant that is a resident of Southeast Asia, a substance that not everyone is familiar with, but should get to know… Kratom. This substance is also known as Mitragyna speciosa. Within this tropical tree there are compounds that can have mind-altering effects. Kratom has been growing in popularity over the last few years. It mostly appears on the U.S. market in a green powder form with noticeable odor, capsules containing the powder and extracts.
Why do people use kratom?
Kratom is extremely popular because it produces different effects depending on the strain and how much is used. If the person uses less, they are more likely to feel stimulating effects. This appeals to individuals that have a history of using substances like: crack/cocaine, crystal meth and Adderall. When a person uses more of the substance they will feel effects similar to pain-killers and heroin. It is most commonly used as a self-prescribed withdrawal medication, as well as, an opiate replacement. This means that individuals that get clean turn to Kratom to still feel euphoria. Kratom is not FDA approved and is not prescribed by doctors as a form of treatment.
Because kratom is a mind altering substance it changes the brain’s natural chemistry. Just like any other drug, the longer a person uses kratom the more likely it is that their brain will be expecting the substance. This is called drug dependence. If a person is a polydrug user, has been previously addicted to other substances or continues to take kratom in large amounts, the risk for addiction is doubled.
Risks and side effects of Kratom
Health effects reported from kratom use include: nausea, itching, sweating, dry mouth, constipation, loss of appetite and muscle jerks. Severe effects include: liver failure, seizure and hallucinations. Kratom is often used in conjunction with other drugs which is why it is associated with risk of overdose.
Should Kratom be legal?
There is much debate on whether or not kratom should be made illegal. Proponents believe that kratom can successfully be used as a harm reduction strategy. While others believe that it is a harm reduction substance that will lead users back to opiates because the effects are too similar.
Kratom has been under review by the World Health Organization and the report should be published sometime in October of 2021. If you worry that your loved one may be addicted to kratom or using it in combination with other substances, please reach out to our admission team today! 866-757-0474
The quiz below contains a few questions that can be used to determine whether or not your alcohol consumption could be considered harmful drinking. It’s important to know where you’re at with your drinking to understand the urgency for treatment. When the quiz is complete, please reach out to our admissions team for support finding the right level of care. Questions 1-3 of this quiz reference the AUDIT test (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) provided by the WHO (World Health Organization).
One can of beer (12oz approx 5% alcohol) = 1 drink
One glass of wine (5oz approx 12% alcohol) = 1 drink
One shot of liquor (1.5oz approx 40% alcohol) = 1 drink
Mending Relationships in Recovery
Addiction doesn’t just affect the individual. Family and friendships, professional and intimate relationships have been torn apart by alcohol and drugs. No matter how short or long the individual abuses a substance it seems like the damage results in the same. So, how does one begin to mend a broken relationship? Once in recovery, there are a few key steps that you can take to repair some of those burned bridges.
Initiate healing by simply acknowledging the other person’s experience. First allow the correct amount of time to pass before trying to force a conversation. You know the people in your life well enough to feel when it is safe to open a dialogue about what occurred. Sometimes people need to see that you have begun to initiate change before they will feel comfortable hearing you out.
Keep in mind that this needs to be a safe space for you too. Prior to taking responsibility, you have to prepare yourself for disappointment. You can’t control how the other person communicates. So, it’s important that you have a support team during this process. Consult with your clinical team and other people who have been through similar situations.
When taking accountability, it’s very important to listen. Listen to respond rather than listen to react. You can’t go back in time and change what occurred, but you can take responsibility for what your part in the situation was. Let them know that you have heard what they are saying and validate their feelings.
2. Be Honest
Be willing to own up to things that you are not proud of. You can only rebuild a relationship if you are going to be truthful. This includes divulging things that you wish didn’t happen. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and describe some of what you were going through during your addiction. Give them a glimpse into your world and how it got to a certain point. They may not ever understand, but at least they can trust that you are beginning to seek resolution.
Grant them access to parts of your life that you previously would not. Show them, through your actions and follow through, that you are trying to live a trustworthy life.
3. Nurture the Relationship
After you follow through… follow up! No matter what, stay consistent. Continue to show up for your loved ones. Be there for them. This could look like; calling when you said you would call, doing the favor you promised to do, communicating when you aren’t able to do something. Give them kindness and compassion. Exercise patience in their healing process. Don’t be quick to judge or become offended. There may be times when they pull back out of fear, but continue to show up anyway. The best and most important thing that you can do to nurture the relationship is to focus on your recovery first. Whatever this looks like for you, take part in it every day.
Do I need Detox?
The first thing to consider when thinking about detoxification, or detox, is dependency and tolerance. Dependency will result in withdrawal symptoms if a person stops using drugs and/or alcohol or decreases the amount/frequency of use. Tolerance happens when a person no longer responds to a drug in the way they did when they first started using. Therefore it takes higher doses of the drugs to get the “high” they use to achieve when they first started.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
Withdrawal is the physical and mental effects that someone goes through after they stop or reduce the amount of drugs or alcohol they were using. There are several different types of withdrawals and they can vary depending on what type of substance was being taken. Some common symptoms of withdrawal include:
• Change in appetite
• Change in mood
• Muscle aches/pains
While physical symptoms may only last up to a week, the mental withdrawal, such as depression, can last much longer.
Addiction Versus Dependency
Addiction is classified as a disease. Dependency is being physically dependent on a substance. Addiction is rooted in your brain. Dependency occurs when your body is used to the effects of the drug you’re taking and then goes into withdrawal if you reduce or stop using that substance.
Does My Drug and/or Alcohol Use Qualify As Addiction?
Determining when substance abuse has turned to addiction can be complicated especially if you are trying to self evaluate. There are questions that are part of a “self test” to help you see if you need professional help to overcome addiction . A few of the questions you can ask yourself are:
• Do you drink/use drugs because you are uncomfortable in social situations?
• Is drinking/drug use affecting your relationships with friends?
• Do you drink/use drugs alone?
• Do you feel guilty or depressed after drinking alcohol/using drugs?
• Do you get into financial troubles over buying alcohol/drugs?
• Do you make sure you have a steady supply of alcohol/drugs on hand?
These are just a few of the questions used to help determine if you are addicted and need to seek help. Professionals state if you can answer yes to three or more questions on the list then you need to seek professional help.
How Does Medical Detox Work?
Detox is the process of removing drugs and/or alcohol from your body. Medical detox provides a safe environment to withdrawal under medical supervision. Medical detox will not help you avoid all of the withdrawal symptoms that may occur, but it can reduce the severity and allow you to detox comfortably.
Do I Need Medical Detox?
If you have a physical addiction to drugs or alcohol, then you need medical detox. If you have withdrawals after reducing or trying to quit on your own, you need medical detox.
People suffering from dependency and addiction can benefit from detox. Just remember, detox is the first step in the recovery process. After you are clean, the next step will be to enter a rehab program to help achieve long term sobriety and help avoid relapse.