The Link Between Substance Abuse and Premature Aging

the link between substance abuse and premature aging

Premature aging is a side effect related to a number of poor habits. Still, many don’t seem to realize just how much it can be exacerbated by the abuse of drugs or alcohol. However, what most people don’t know about premature aging is that it can more than a skin-deep issue. Addiction-based premature aging has more to do with longevity and quality of life than it does with appearances. Here are just a few examples of the effects that substance abuse and addiction can have on the normal aging process.

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The Opioid Crisis: What Defines a Substance Abuse Epidemic

The Opioid Crisis

Illicit drug abuse has been a widespread problem in the United States for decades, but the misuse of prescription opioids is a more recent development that poses just as serious a public health problem. While most people with prescriptions take their medications responsibly, the results from a National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that an estimated 54 million people have intentionally used medications for non-medical reasons at least once. This makes up about 20% of Americans aged 12 and older. The problem has remained prevalent for years and, according to various professionals in the field of addiction recovery, has become an epidemic.

The Unofficial Definition of a Substance Abuse Epidemic

Definition of EpidemicAn epidemic is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as something that “[affects or tends] to affect a disproportionally large number of individuals within a population, community, or region at the same time.” Similarly, the Oxford dictionary defines an epidemic as “a sudden, widespread occurrence of an undesirable phenomenon.

In terms health and medicine, an epidemic typically refers to an outbreak of some sort of contagion or disease. These kinds of epidemics really only refers to infectious agents. However, non-infectious diseases like diabetes and obesity can also be described as epidemics since they persist in “epidemic proportions” in the United States. The same can unfortunately be said about drug abuse— especially opioids. The epidemic of opioid drug abuse, both prescription and illicit, has been dubbed The National Opioid Crisis.

The National Opioid Crisis

Opioid crisis statsBack in the late 1990s when opioid medications were still growing in popularity, many pharmaceutical companies had the medical community convinced that opioids did not have any addictive properties. This misguidance led more and more healthcare providers to prescribe opioid pain relievers— and at greater rates. The truth about the addictive nature of opioids didn’t become clear until after the widespread non-medical misuse of these medications began. Today, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies alike are slowly becoming more hesitant to prescribe opioid medications if alternatives are available. So far, the severity of the opioid crisis can be described by the following statistics:

  • as much as 29% of patients who are prescribed opioids misuse them
  • 8% to 12% of these patients go on to develop an opioid use disorder
  • 4% to 6% of people who abuse opioids abuse heroin
  • 80% of heroin users abused prescription opioids first

The issues surrounding opioid abuse have led to some devastating consequences. In fact, the sharp increase in overdose rates as a result of widespread opiate abuse has surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the United States today.

Opioid Overdose in Recent Years

As the leading cause of accidental deaths in the U.S., drugs overdose has claimed the lives of more than half a million people between 2000 and today, with more than 6 out of every 10 of those deaths involving opioid drugs.

Prescription vs heroin deaths in 2015

Prescription overdoses have made up a large number of the opioid overdose deaths over the last couple decades. In fact, the number of deaths that resulted from overdosing on opioid drugs like hydrocodone, methadone and oxycodone has quadrupled since 1999. In 2015, a total of 20,101 overdose deaths were caused by prescription pain relievers. By comparison, heroin overdoses resulted in 12,990 deaths that same year. Now, an estimated 91 people die from an opioid overdoses every day.

The Scope of the Opioid Substance Abuse Epidemic

Young Adults

The misuse of prescription drugs seems to be the highest among young adults between 18 and 25 years old. There has also been some reported non-medical misusage among adolescents between 12 and 17.

Young adults who misuse opioid prescription drugs are also statistically more likely to use other types of drugs. In fact, several studies have shown that prescription drug abuse among U.S. adolescents, young adults, and college students has a link to higher rates of:

Men versus Women

In most age groups, males are statistically more likely than females to abuse prescription drugs. The only exception to this is in the 12 to 17 age group, where adolescent girls outnumber boys in the misuse of prescriptions including but not limited to pain relievers, sedatives, and stimulants. This may have some influence over the fact that, in adulthood, women are more likely than men to develop a substance use disorder or an addiction to prescription drugs— although men abuse prescriptions more often than women do. Additionally, while it is true that more men die of prescription opioid overdose than women do, the rate of overdose among women is continually growing at a much more rapid rate than among men. In short, men tend to abuse prescription drugs more than women do, but women are more susceptible to addiction and overdose than men are.

The Middle-aged and Elderly

More than 80% of patients between the ages of 57 and 85 years old use at least one prescription medication every day. Half of this margin takes more than five medications on a daily basis. This puts the middle-aged and elderly age groups at a higher risk of health issues resulting from unintentional prescription abuse (i.e. accidentally taking medication in high doses or more often than what was prescribed). This is especially true of opioid medications. Certain factors can make prescription opioid medication misuse much more dangerous for older adults than for younger ones, including:

  • the statistical likelihood of co-occurring chronic illnesses in older adults
  • age-related changes in metabolism that may affect how a drug is received
  • the significantly higher potential of prescription drug use among older adults

The Economic Toll of the Opioid Substance Abuse Epidemic

The misuse of prescription opioids—along with the abuse of illicit opioids like heroin—has become as much of an economic dilemma as it is a public health crisis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that the total financial impact of prescription opioid abuse alone costs the United States more than $78.5 billion a year. This includes the costs of drug production and distribution, healthcare, addiction treatment, and criminal justice fees.

Government Preventative Measures So Far

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already set a plan in motion in their fight against the growing opioid epidemic. So far, HHS has been focusing on five major concerns:

  • educating the public about the opioid epidemic
  • supporting for research into addiction and pain management
  • endorsing the distribution and use of overdose-reversing drugs
  • improving public access to addiction treatment and recovery services
  • promoting non-opioid medications and practices for pain management

On section of the HHS, called the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has become America’s leading medical research agency in its efforts to help dissolve the opioid crisis. In recent years, many pharmaceutical companies and academic research facilities have partnered with NIH to develop better ways to improve pain management, treat opioid misuse disorders, and even prevent the misuse of opioid prescriptions in the first place.

Help End the Opioid Crisis with TTC Outpatient Services

With so much going into the fight against the opioid crisis, we can only hope that it will end soon. Until then, the Outpatient Services center is here to support you. Our team of qualified medical professionals and counselors will make your comfort and care a priority during your addiction treatment. If you or someone you know has developed an addiction to opioid prescription medication or illicit drugs, please call us at (844) 211-7944. All calls are confidential.


Can I Still Hang Out With My ‘Old Friends’ During Recovery?

Can I hang out with my old friends after rehab?

The changes that come with life after rehabilitation are often the hardest to face and the hardest to adapt to for recovering addicts. The shift from a drug-fueled life to one focused on sobriety can seem stark and even a little sad— especially for those who found great pleasure in the world of drugs.

Recovery targets and addresses these kinds of feelings to help you move on, but it’s not always easy. If you’ve spent months or even years using drugs, spending time with other drug users, and enjoying locations frequently preferred in the drug community, recovery will be an uphill battle. Plus, being aware that you need to make a change and actually making that change are two very different things. And it can be especially challenging when you have to sacrifice things like time with your friends in order to make that change possible. Now, it’s good to still remain in contact with friends during and after recovery, but spending time with the people who enabled you during your life of addiction should involve extreme caution.

Rehabilitation and “The Reset Button”

Rehabilitation is designed to be a fresh start, providing a separation between one stage of your life and the next. In rehabilitation, you have the chance to focus on yourself and your well-being for a few weeks. This process is critical to breaking the cycle of addiction and introducing you to a new way of life without the toxic habits that contributed to your addiction. It’s like pressing a reset button.

The rehabilitative reset button offers both physical and psychological healing. In addition to learning how to abstain from drugs, you and your fellow patients will also learn how to cope with cravings, how to resist temptation, and how to better cope with the kinds of ideas, stressors, and feelings that led to drug abuse in the first place.

Still, resetting your life isn’t the same as resetting a phone or a computer. Rehabilitation doesn’t erase your memories or wipe out your emotions. Whatever trauma you may have of your addiction is something that you’ll have to learn how to cope with. This includes cutting ties in your social circle where you need to. Remember, when you leave to start your new substance-free lifestyle, you’ll still be the same person, and the feelings and memories of your addiction will still be fresh in your mind— but you’ll be sober.

Adapting to Daily Life after Addiction

Those who reenter society after only a few weeks in rehab tend to struggle, especially if they reunite with old friends right away. A premature return to daily life – and older ways of life – can be a fast path to relapse. This is why it’s important for you to build new, sober relationships instead of sticking to the ones you’ve built with other users. By focusing on others who are similarly committed to sobriety, you’ll stay determined to meet your goals.

Friends and Relationships

When you return from rehab, the first thing you’ll want to do is reconnect with friends and family. It’s natural to want to catch up on what you missed, rekindle close relationships, and spend time with your loved ones, but it’s always a good idea to exercise some caution. While your family will likely continue to be a good support system, the friends you made through the course of your addiction will not. The friends that did not make the choice to get clean – like you did – may not be as supportive or as understanding of your commitment to your new lifestyle.

In fact, it’s entirely likely that the friends you had in connection to drug abuse may not have been real friends. You’re likely to find out for sure during your recovery. It may be difficult at first to distinguish drug-fueled connections from true, deep bonds. But, throughout recovery, the real friends will remain by your side. If anyone in your social circle does not support your decision to lead a sober life, then they simply should not be part of it.

Setting Boundaries

How to meet with old friends in recoveryWhile it’s important to build a strong support system with individuals who can support you through sobriety, you do not necessarily have to cut out the rest of your social circle for good. It’s entirely possible that some friends who still actively use substances may actually support your decision to get sober. Still, reconnecting with those friends immediately after leaving rehabilitation isn’t the best idea. The good news is, though, that once you’re several months out and have a handle on your sobriety, it might be okay to allow those old friends back into your life again.

If you decide to do this, it’s important to maintain complete control over the situation. Make sure you meet at a neutral location (preferably during the day) where there is no risk of running into triggers. Let your friends know in advance that substance use is off the table, and ask that they respect your sobriety by not imbibing in front of you. Substance abuse shouldn’t even be a topic of conversation around you, so make it clear that you are not going to entertain even the slightest mention. This policy needs to be zero tolerance; make it clear that any casual mention or presence of substances is a deal breaker. Your commitment to change should be respected. If it’s not, then your friends shouldn’t be a part of your sober life.

The Importance of Aftercare during Addiction Recovery

Adjusting to life after rehabilitation can be a challenge. Not only are you faced with setting boundaries with your old friends, but you’re also switching mental gears from “rehab mode” to “life mode” to establish a new, natural daily rhythm. It can be a sharp shift, which is why utilizing aftercare is such an important part of life after rehab.

Aftercare, or the intensive outpatient services that are available beyond rehab, is a key component of staying committed to recovery. Sessions with counselors and other recovering addicts will serve as a reminder of all your hard work so far. This will help you stay committed to your overall mission of recovery, giving you even more of the support you need to stay strong against temptation.

Get Help with The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services

Addiction recovery is a long and challenging road, but the journey can be that much harder if you’re blocked by people who don’t support your sobriety. With support from true friends and the new ones you make along the way, you won’t have to walk this path alone. If you are struggling with addiction and looking to get sober, the hard-working team at The Treatment Center’s Outpatient Services is here to help. As a full-service rehabilitation center, we will offer the support you need to get sober and stay sober.

Please contact us at (844) 211-7944 to learn more! All consultations are confidential.

Common Misconceptions: Detox in Film

Misconceptions - Detox in Film

Drug use is a common topic in films of all kinds, whether as a main plot point or a device to further a character’s storyline. This isn’t much of a mystery: approximately 25 million Americans have used an illicit drug at least once in the past month, and 70% of those 18 and older have had a drink. Whether for better or for worse, substance use, both responsible and irresponsible, is a popular habit for a large portion of individuals.

However, the use of substances in media isn’t always realistic. Often painted in extremes and designed to create drama and attract attention, drug use on television rarely sends an authentic message – or a positive one. Here’s what pop culture gets wrong about addiction, detox, and recovery.

Drug Use in Films

The vast majority of content involving drug use in movies and TV shows, especially content aimed at young people, takes one of two angles: that drug abuse is a quick path to death and that once in, there’s no way out, or that drug use isn’t necessarily problematic and recreational use is nothing more than a good time.

Both of these stances are, of course, extremely problematic. Glorifying drug use and tying it to parties, sex, and popularity makes it appealing to teens and young adults, increasing the likelihood of use without a full understanding of the consequences. As many young people start using in school or with friends, an association with good times and sexual relationships can be dangerous.

Additionally, painting a picture of bleak hopelessness isn’t good either. While this can potentially scare individuals out of using in the first place, it also drives home the point that once use starts, it can’t be stopped and there’s no way to move forward. In order to promote getting help and healing, it’s important that users realize that support and treatment are available to aid in recovery.

Detox in Films - Truth and Hollywood

As with many elements of daily life, there’s a division between life and art. These misconceptions can be very damaging, creating long-term problems for users and non-users alike.

Addiction Isn’t Endearing

In many films, addiction is presented as a charming personality quirk that can be problematic but ultimately non-damaging. This perpetuates through dozens of movies and television programs: characters clearly abuse drugs but still manage to be successful or, at the very least, cope with life in an above average manner.

Take, for example, Dr. House in the eponymous show House. While his drug habit is clear and does occasionally cause problems, he is able to make world-class diagnoses and provide care that few doctors, if any, could achieve in real life. This impression sets a dangerous precedent, creating the belief that it’s possible to develop an addiction and still maintain high pressure, important obligations.

Detox Doesn’t Lead to Romance

In many films and television programs, recovering from drugs is often a conduit for a romantic relationship. The setup seems simple: you’re on the same journey with many other people, so the evolution of a relationship would be natural.

However, relationships are completely discouraged and, in some cases, banned, during detox and recovery. While detoxing and getting sober, it’s important to focus on yourself, not other people. You are the only one who can ultimately influence your recovery, and spending time on other people is absolutely more hurtful than helpful. Take, for example, the TV program Dexter. During the second season, Dexter begins a relationship with his sponsor Lila – to disastrous, deadly results.

A Few Meetings Doesn’t Lead to Recovery

Going to meetings and attending treatment is a great way to get started on the road to sobriety, but actually getting sober requires a lot more than a few meetings here and there.

Too often, media portrays the decision to attend rehab as the first and last step needed to get clean. The first meeting is the commitment a character needs, and from there on, they will be largely happy and healthy.

In real life, this is far from the truth. The first meeting is not the magic key to sobriety, and some people will need many first meetings to truly connect with the recovery process. Relapse is a reality, and the real process will require a lot more dedication than a single session in treatment.

Detox Isn’t Necessarily Uncomfortable and Painful

It’s true that detox and withdrawal won’t be much fun. Breaking the cycle of addiction, especially a chemical addiction, often comes with extremely unpleasant side effects. Sandra Bullock’s character Gwen Cummings in 28 Days is a great example of this; her struggles with detox, especially detox alone, provide a miserable picture of the process.

When undertaken in a licensed, certified facility, doctors and nurses help to keep patients as comfortable as possible. Through a combination of medication, counseling, and therapies like yoga and acupuncture, it’s possible to control symptoms to ensure the best chance of success. There will be low moments, but proper help can ensure you’re not in pain or suffering greatly.

It’s Not Easy – or Impossible

Many movies shoe an overly rosy image of addiction, while others create a bleak, fatalistic view of what addiction means. Requiem for a Dream, for example, is lauded as a cinematic masterpiece, but it doesn’t paint a particularly positive picture of the options available for users. Alternately, other movies show rehab as an instant success, as if going through the motions is all it takes to get sober.

Realistically, quitting will take effort, but it’s not impossible. If you develop a substance use disorder, you are not doomed to suffer for life: recovery is always an option and, with help, you, too, can cease a drug or alcohol habit. Making the choice to trust a program, go through detox, and commit to counseling does take a leap of faith, but with determination and dedication, sobriety is fully possible.

The Reality of Detox

In reality, detox is a critical part of ongoing sobriety. The name for the process that breaks the physical bonds of addiction, detoxification is the first step in recovery in most programs. Lasting one to two weeks on average, detox uses a combination of medical, psychological, and physical tools to ease withdrawal and help users stay clean and sober for as long as possible.

The process will have ups and downs – and the pains of withdrawal can be quite hard to bear at times – but making it over the initial hurdle is the key to moving on once and for all. With a successful detox, the stage is set for long-term recovery.

Getting Help from Outpatient Services

If you or someone you love is struggling to manage a substance use disorder, you’re not alone. Outpatient Services is here for you, providing the support throughout detox and recovery you need to succeed. Please contact us today at (844) 211-7944 to learn more about what we can offer.

Rehab Online: What Is It and Does It Work?

What is online rehab? Does it work?

Addiction can be an exclusive disease; not everyone has the good fortune to be located close to an area with great addiction treatment facilities, and not everyone has the resources to travel or send their loved ones to another city for the best treatment.

When you or a loved one struggles with addiction, you’ve likely exhausted all options in your search for relief. Online rehab programs exist for people who want an alternative to standard, inpatient or outpatient rehab programs and want a more flexible setting in which to recover.

But do virtual rehab programs work effectively? Here, we look at strategies used by online rehab programs and whether they work as well as the real thing, and why or why not.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, Outpatient Services wants to help. For more information about the addiction treatment services we offer, call us at (844) 211-7944 or contact us online.

What Is Online Rehab?

Online Rehab - BenefitsIdeally, every person addicted to drugs or alcohol has the free time and ability to spend time in face-to-face recovery programs, but realistically this isn’t always the case. Online rehab programs were invented to give addicts a new way to access the care they need without stopping their lives to get it.

Online rehab usually uses some kind of distance interaction, such as video conferencing to offer treatment to patients. In theory, virtual rehab is no different than physical rehab, but instead of having to be there in person, addicts can stay home and function semi-normally, ideally creating a comfortable, private environment for recovery.

Here are some of the intended benefits of undergoing the process of rehab online:

It Offers Rehab in a Non-Invasive Way

With online rehab, addicts are able to complete a treatment program at a fraction of the interruption to their lives. No relocation, no lapse in work, school or family responsibilities and the ability to undergo a potentially difficult process in the comfort of their own home.

Online Treatment is Among the Most Affordable Options

Online rehab programs are currently offered at a fraction of the price that traditional rehab programs are. For patients without insurance that pays for their treatment, this can be the difference between being able to afford treatment and not.

Online Rehab is Judgment-Free

A major issue that people addicted to drugs or alcohol have with traditional rehab is that they think other people may find out. Studies on the subject have actually shown that fear of being judged is a factor that can bar an addict even asking for help and entering rehab in the first place, so in theory, the ability to receive treatment in total anonymity is a major draw.

Addicts Can Go at Their Own Pace

Because online rehab is so cheap compared to in-person versions, addicts can potentially go through a treatment program at their own speed and comfort levels, without the pressure that finite stints in a rehab facility can create. This, ideally, can increase odds of the effectiveness of treatment.

Virtual Treatment Can Achieve Many of the Same Goals

An issue that comes up when comparing in-person to long-distance rehab is the issues that can be worked through in therapy sessions and group meetings. As at least one program has shown, though, distance learning can complete many of the same objectives:

A computer program, developed by scientists at Yale University, called Computer Based Training for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT4CBT) puts addicts through real-life scenarios through the point of view of Anna, a hypothetical addict. The program allows addicts to place themselves in real situations that help them identify their triggers and the negative consequences of their addiction.

The Issue With Online Rehab

Online rehab - Issues with itIn theory, online rehab provides a simple, private way to recover from substance abuse and addiction, something that 23 million Americans struggle with at any given time. If the treatment community was truly able to standardize distance treatment for addiction, the country’s drug and alcohol addiction epidemic would be much less serious, but realistically, there are several issues with the concept of online rehab:

Lack of Medical Detox

One of the most dangerous times during recovery is the process of detox. If addicts are left to detox on their own, there is a serious liability on the part of the company facilitating the online rehab program because A. detox can be dangerous and even fatal if patients are left unattended and B. trying to stop using drugs or alcohol has a very low success rate when the addict is alone.

Medical supervision in a clinical setting, whether inpatient or outpatient, is the safest and most effective way to help a patient detox.

Meetings and In-Person Treatment Are Proven Effective

Although some addicts may learn through computer programs, time and clinical success rates have shown that the therapy accessed through residential treatment (family and group therapy, face-to-face counseling) and outpatient treatment (12-step meetings, etc.) can foster the creation of a community that is far more effective than a video conference once a week.

The effectiveness of group meetings is having a group of people to provide support, strength, and positivity when you’re feeling weak, and this just isn’t available online.

Online Rehab is Simply Not a Known Quantity at This Time

Even if online rehab has the potential to be the solution that many addicts and their families need to be successful in recovery, it seems too soon to recommend this path. There is too little known about these programs, most of which are still in a pilot stage, and there is no room to guess when talking about the real, life or death consequences of drug and alcohol addiction.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, you need to find a treatment system that works. Inpatient, outpatient or otherwise, our Addiction Counselor’s are standing by to answer your questions, address your concerns about treatment and help guide you to the strategy that will fit you best on your road to recovery. For more information about Outpatient Services, call (844) 211-7944 today.

Why Choose Outpatient Rehab Programs? 

Why choose an outpatient rehab program

Finding sobriety can feel like an uphill battle. But, it’s not a battle you have to fight all alone. At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we are helping people from all walks of life find their sobriety. We offer a variety of treatment paths, including outpatient rehab programs which are geared to patient success. For many in treatment, the outpatient path offers effective healing in a comfortable setting. If you are searching for your best fit in treatment, we invite you to contact our professionals at The Treatment Center Outpatient Services to get started.  

Are outpatient rehab programs right for me?

When it comes to finding sobriety, many people are considering outpatient treatment. Outpatient treatment is often ideal for continuing care after more intensive detox or inpatient treatment. Depending on the severity or type of addiction, standalone outpatient care may prove successful. Finding your fit for care starts by contacting our team at The Treatment Center Outpatient Services. We’ll assess your specific needs in treatment, taking these factors into consideration: 

  • Relapse Risk 
  • Potential Dangers of Withdrawal 
  • Substance Type 
  • Addiction Duration  
  • Patient Support Networks  
  • Care Needs 
  • & More 

With these and other factors taken into consideration, we can determine the efficacy and duration of your outpatient treatment. Studies have proven that long-term care is ideal for solidifying sobriety, and our outpatient rehab program offers long-term care opportunities to help with continuing rehab needs.  

What types of treatment are available at outpatient rehab programs?

At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we think that successful outpatient treatment programs are about more than just meetings. Our programs are designed for your success, incorporating a wide variety of treatment opportunities. We provide many components of care in an outpatient setting, including: 

  • Faith-Based Therapy 
  • Group Therapy 
  • Life Skills Training  
  • Individual Therapy 
  • Partial Hospitalization Therapy 
  • Advanced Recovery 
  • Creative Arts Therapy 
  • & More 

In addition to these treatment paths, our team at The Treatment Center Outpatient Services also offers therapies pinpointed to the needs of Baby Boomers in recovery. We offer day and night programs for all patients, giving you the flexible treatment schedule you need for your success.  

How can I find the outpatient treatment program that’s right for me?

Are you ready to change your life? Are you ready to reclaim your health, happiness and sobriety? It starts by calling our team at The Treatment Center Outpatient Services to determine which outpatient treatment programs are your best fit. You don’t have to struggle with addiction, alcoholism or other challenges any longer. Call today to learn how we can help you heal with our personalized outpatient treatment programs.  

Which Outpatient Rehab Facility Offers Personalized Care? 

Personalized Care at Outpatient Rehab - Blog

With over 23 million Americans facing the challenges of addiction, there is an overwhelming number of people who are seeking help for their struggles. At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we don’t think that you should feel like another number in line as you work your way to sobriety. At our outpatient rehab facility, we’re providing personalized, one-on-one care to support your success. When you work with our outpatient services, you’ll receive so much more than group therapy. You’ll receive the support, guidance and growth you need to walk the road of recovery. If you are ready to heal, if you are ready to finally find and stick to sobriety, it starts by seeing how our outpatient rehab facility can help you.  

What makes a good outpatient rehab facility?

There are many features to consider when it comes to finding your best treatment fit. Patients and loved ones of those struggling with addiction are concerned with finding a “good” treatment program. But, what makes one program better than the next? At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we know it’s one quality- dedication. To truly help patients heal, it is important to provide them with dedicated services. When dedication is the cornerstone of everything you do, your operations will focus on client success. We are dedicated to our clients, from the moment they call our facility to their continuing care and beyond. 

It is our dedication to our clients that drives us to continue providing top quality care for people from all walks of life. We have developed comprehensive treatment paths which offer true healing for many. Our outpatient rehab facility offers day and night programs which can include treatments such as: 

  • Partial Hospitalization Program 
  • 12 Step Programs 
  • Creative Arts Therapy 
  • Mindfulness Programs  
  • Court Liaison Services 
  • Faith-Based Programs 
  • Life Skills Training 
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy  
  • & More 

When you seek treatment at our outpatient rehab facility, you can find healing through these and many other approaches to treatment. Our professionals at The Treatment Center Outpatient Services are dedicated to your success. We can tailor your treatment path to your specific needs, working to give you the resources you need to build strong foundations of sobriety.  

At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we are not your average outpatient rehab facility. With our dedicated care, we are offering the hope, help and caring that people need to truly heal from their challenges. No matter how long you have been struggling, you can get sober. Call us today to learn how we can help.  

Why Are Meetings Important?

Are meetings important?

For the estimated 10 percent of Americans in an addiction rehab program at any given time, meetings are some of the most important continuing factors that play a key role in sobriety.

Since Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) began in 1935 in Akron, Ohio, group meetings — where peers suffering from the same addiction could share their experiences and provide support to the other members — became one of the most effective ways of maintaining strength and sobriety through all the trials of a lifelong addiction. These days, there are many different types of meetings for addicts, with different missions, focuses, and forms, which means that if you’re seeking a support group for your addiction or even a loved one’s addiction, they are very easy to find.

Outpatient care represents some of the most important lifelong continuing support for addicts after inpatient rehab. If you or a loved one is in rehab or struggling with addiction, give Outpatient Services a call at (844)211-7944 today!

The Benefits of Lifelong Attendance at Meetings

Addiction is a disease with unique challenges associated with it. Although the medical community is starting to look at it similarly to other chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease, neither of these conditions come with the same physical and mental compulsion to use drugs and alcohol as addiction does, and because of this, it’s a much harder condition to treat and recover from.

Addicts go to group meetings long after detox and treatment are over because, like the other mentioned diseases, addiction is not curable. Similar to the way a diabetic person will have complications if they stop regulating their blood sugar levels, an addict can relapse with a single exposure to a given substance. Meetings are a great way to prevent and overcome these obstacles because they are a constant within the chaos that daily life often presents. People who are recovering from addiction are given strength when they know they aren’t alone. Here are some of the reasons why meetings of all kinds are important to recovering substance abusers.

Meetings Help Fight the Loneliness that Comes With Stigma

The medical community has come a long way in the past decade with educating the public about the causes of addiction, and how addicts aren’t addicts because they are morally ill, or weak-willed. With that said, addiction still isn’t something that people feel comfortable talking about, especially when an addict is in the company of non-addicts.

This can contribute to a feeling of being alone in the struggle to fight addiction, and group meetings can fight that by showing a recovering addict that there are many like them out there, fighting the same fight every day.

Strength In Numbers

Outpatient Services - Why meetings?Along the same lines, success in recovery gets a major boost from group meetings because of the fellowship that’s born there. When an addict relapses without support from a group, they may have sympathy from their friends and family, but empathy can only come from a group of people in a similar situation.

In most 12-step meetings formats, every new member has a veteran sponsor to help them through tough times, and everyone who hits a bump in the road to recovery has a whole group of people there to lift them back up before addiction can get its grip on a person fully.

Responsibility as a Mentor

There can be an urge to stop going to meetings as time gets farther and farther from the initial period of rehab and recovery, but think of it this way: when new addicts walk through the doors of a group meeting, the reception that they get has to potential to mean everything to their recovery.

If you went to your first meeting and was greeted by an empty room, how would you feel? The power of a group only helps everyone when everyone is accepted fully in the group.

For Addicts, Reason to Keep up the Fight is Felt at Meetings

Not all addicts try to gain strength from a higher power, but many 12-step programs tend to have an element of faith embedded in them. This is because faith can help a person find strength when things seem bleak. For a person who is sick and tired of the urge to use drugs or abuse alcohol, it’s pretty normal to feel frustrated and hopeless.

This doesn’t mean that finding God or a higher power is the only way to use meetings and fellowship to gain strength. Sometimes it’s easier in a group setting to really reflect on your reasons to keep fighting your inner demons. Groups can rally behind a common cause, even if different people within the group have different and unique motivations.

Sharing Experiences Can Be Cathartic

Most 12-step programs are free, which means that you can absolutely afford to keep going over the entire course of your life, more than can be said about costly therapy sessions. If given the opportunity to engage in a group of people similar to you to overcome challenges, it can be extremely beneficial emotionally to share what you’re going through with a group of people who likely have felt the same way.

If sharing isn’t your thing, many attendees of meetings find comfort in the ability to listen to others’ experiences and reflect on their own lives. One of the main advantages of meetings after inpatient rehab is that they can serve any purpose you need, as long as you maintain your commitment to be there and be sober.

Different Types of Meetings

With the different choices in group meetings available today, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs. This allows addicts the ability to find a niche and a group who will accept them while offering support in their shared journey of recovery.

Here are some different types of meetings for support during addiction recovery

  • 12-Step “Anonymous” Meetings: There are 12-step meetings that aren’t AA or NA, but these are by far the most common, especially for alcoholism.
  • Faith-Based Meetings: Groups that use Christian themes in recovery. Commonly, these groups also study the scripture as part of their process.
  • Book Meetings: During book meetings, addicts find strength in the passages of various books. Sometimes this crosses over with faith-based groups, as a common book to study in recovery is the Bible.

There are many other outpatient meeting formats, so feel free to find one where you feel comfortable. Here is a short guide detailing how to find different meetings.

Call Us Today

Outpatient addiction treatment can be what you need to recover successfully. At Outpatient Services, we understand your needs, and we commit fully to helping you meet your recovery goals. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, call us at (844)211-7944.

How to Balance Work, Life and Recovery

Balancing Work, life, and recovery

Schedules, appointments, tasks, groups and sobriety — how do you manage it all? Whether you’re currently in recovery or just beginning to overcome addiction, it can be difficult to find the right balance between work, life and recovery. For the approximately 10% of American adults currently in recovery, juggling responsibilities while trying to remain positive and sober proves to be challenging. Learn what you can do to effectively manage your life while in recovery.

4 Factors that Contribute to Successful Recovery

According to SAMHSA, there are four dimensions that contribute to a healthy, well-balanced life in recovery: community, purpose, home and health. Focusing on these four areas during recovery can promote success, improve your health and benefit others. Explore some practical ways to work on each of these dimensions.

Take Care of Your Physical and Emotional Needs

When you’re in recovery and trying to find a good balance in life, it’s impossible to achieve your goals if neglecting your physical and emotional needs. Some ways you can support your emotional and physical health include:

  • Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep contributes to irritability, poor concentration and an inability to function throughout the day. Additionally, poor sleep can have a negative impact on recovery. Getting plenty of rest is essential to maintaining the energy you need to balance work, recovery and life.
  • Recovery Tips - Healthy DietEat a balanced diet. A busy schedule can be the enemy of a balanced diet. It’s easy to rely on fast food, microwavable dinners and foods that contain high amounts of fat, salt or sugar to get you through the day. However, doing so can deplete your energy levels and affect your ability to concentrate. Try keeping fruit or vegetables with you throughout the day to satisfy your snacking needs and focus on lean protein, whole grains, vegetables and healthy starches for larger meals.
  • Exercise regularly. You don’t need a fancy gym membership or equipment to keep your body in shape. Carve out 15 or 30 minutes a day to walk, swim, lift weights (or gallons of water) or ride a bike to keep your body’s metabolism regulated and improve focus. If you have physical limitations that prevent exercise, talk to your doctor to explore your options. There is always something you can do to keep your body healthy.
  • See your doctor. Whether you have existing health issues or not, it’s a good idea to maintain regular contact with your doctor to ensure your physical health is appropriately managed. For example, issues like uncontrolled high blood pressure, chronic pain or diabetes can have a negative effect on your quality of life and progress in recovery.
  • Participate in counseling. Going through the process of recovery and finding the right balance in life is easier when you have personal support. Engage in individual counseling to focus on your personal emotional needs and gain positive feedback about your progress. Staying proactive when it comes to your emotional well-being is a proven way to support a balanced lifestyle.

Spend Time on You

It’s easy to neglect yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed with responsibility, but taking time out to do something you enjoy alleviates stress and increases life satisfaction. Consider adding one or more of the following activities to your weekly routine:

  • Yoga or meditation. For thousands of years, yoga and meditation have been thought to improve mood and enhance overall health. Yoga ranges from beginner to advanced levels, which is exciting if you’re someone who likes to improve upon a skill. Alternatively, meditation can be done anywhere for varying lengths of time and requires little skill.
  • Creative hobbies. Painting, drawing, singing, dancing, scrapbooking, photography – the list goes on and on. Spending an hour or more a week engaging in a creative activity helps calm your mind, keep you busy and, over time, sharpen your skills in that area.
  • Team Sports - Recovery TipsTeam sports. Whether playing sports with friends or a community group, engaging in physical activity is a good way to have fun while staying in shape. Indoor facilities, like those at the YMCA, make it possible to get involved in a sport regardless of the weather outside.
  • Journaling. An easy and nearly cost-free way to spend time on yourself is to journal. Whether you do it daily, weekly or whenever you feel like it, journaling helps release both positive and negative thoughts, provides an outlet to express yourself and serves as a road map of your progress. In addition to writing out your thoughts, journaling can be used with the purpose of setting and tracking goals.

Invest in Others

Sometimes the best way to improve balance in your own life is by becoming a blessing to someone else’s. If you and your treatment team agree that you’re ready for this step, create space in your schedule to offer support to others or volunteer your time. A few options to invest time in others include:

  • Be a resource for someone else. If you’re at a point in recovery where you can be a resource to others just starting their journey to sobriety, being a resource for them is a great way to provide practical support, empathy and advice.
  • Volunteer for your favorite cause. Are you passionate about animals, underserved populations or a particular organization? Reach out to the organization and schedule an hour every one or two weeks (or more, if you have time) to assist with the charity’s immediate needs.
  • Participate in a charitable event. Life can get busy, so you may not have time to dedicate to regular volunteer work. Special charitable events, like cause-related walks or donation drives, provide a great opportunity to support your community without making an ongoing commitment.
  • Spend time with a loved one in need. Investing in others doesn’t always require a formal organization or charity. Sometimes, simply spending time to help a family member or friend in need can make all the difference in the world.

Control Your Environment

As anyone in recovery will attest, the type of environment you’re in at any point in time can either support or hinder your recovery goals. Part of achieving balance between work, life and recovery is controlling the environments in which you find yourself. Do your best to:

  • Avoid stressful situations. Stress can be a trigger for anyone and if you’re in recovery, avoiding triggers that might lead to a relapse should be a priority. Additionally, experiencing stress can have a physical effect on your body and exacerbate mental health issues.
  • Engage in positive social relationships. Choose to be around people who offer support, provide encouragement and respect your goal of maintaining sobriety. Positive social relationships help remind you that life is not simply about work and responsibilities; it is also meant to be enjoyed.
  • Create a peaceful, safe home environment. The size of your home doesn’t matter. What does matter is whether you feel safe and serene within it. Since you will spend the majority of your downtime at home, make it somewhere you actually want to be. This means something different for everyone, but you can add a personal touch to your home by decorating, using soft lighting or adding comfortable pillows to your seating area — anything that makes you more comfortable and turns your home into a safe haven.

Get Support Today

Balancing work, life and recovery can be overwhelming, but there’s help available for you now. Contact Outpatient Services at (844) 211-7944 if you or someone you love needs assistance. Our trained substance abuse professionals are available 24/7 to provide complimentary, confidential consultations.

Will Intensive Outpatient Treatment Work for Me?

Will intensive outpatient treatment work for me? - Blog

Drugs and alcohol are controlling substances that create many systems of power in a person’s life. Getting sober is about getting help, and the programs that work for one person may not be the best fit for the next. While some people succeed through inpatient treatment, others prefer the features of an outpatient program. Intensive outpatient treatment (IOP) is an increasingly popular treatment path that offers comprehensive treatment to those who prefer living elsewhere while receiving care.  

What is intensive outpatient treatment like?

Our intensive outpatient treatment programs are personalized to the needs of each patient in treatment. For some people needing more intensive therapies, our partial hospitalization program (PHP) offers a different spin on outpatient care. In addition to partial hospitalization care, we also offer services such as: 

  • 12 Step Meetings 
  • Faith-Based Treatment 
  • Family Programs 
  • Creative Arts Therapy 
  • Court Liaison Services  
  • Group Therapy 
  • Life Skills Training 
  • Mindfulness Programs  
  • Individual Therapy  
  • Relapse Prevention Programs 

At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we believe comprehensive care is key when it comes to the success of your intensive outpatient treatment. This is why we’re focused on providing outpatient treatment that is personalized to your needs. Upon admission to our program, our treatment professionals will assess your treatment needs. Then, we’ll help formulate your intensive outpatient treatment path that best addresses your challenges.  

Most individuals involved in intensive outpatient treatment visit our facility for treatment six days a week. Sessions are available during day or night sessions, helping to provide the flexible scheduling our patients need. Our programs also include one-on-one therapy sessions to help set foundations of successful sobriety. 

How can I get started?

Taking the first step along the road of recovery can often be the hardest. At The Treatment Center Outpatient Services, we are proud of you for exploring your opportunities in recovery. We offer the personalized care you need to start on the road to a better tomorrow. With our comprehensive outpatient services, you can focus on your healing while living in an outpatient setting that supports your recovery.  

Our intensive outpatient services offer the support, guidance and freedom that many patients need to start building their better tomorrow. If you are interested in learning about intensive outpatient treatment or your other recovery options, please call our admissions line today. We look forward to hearing from you.