Rehab Questions and Answers

Alcohol and Drug Questions and Answers

As a new service, you can now ask any questions you like

Why are most alcohol and other drug treatment programs limited to 30-days of treatmen? There are some that want you in the program longer. Can you explain how this is the case?

Answer: As with most medical care in the US, the answer is related to money. In the 1950s, those seeking inpatient treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction were sent to mental health wards or facilities. They were treated in the same manner as a person that is suffering from extreme depression or psychosis. This continued to be the standard practice until the 1970s when there was a rise in addiction in America and, therefore an increase in need for treatment.

At that time, there were very few treatment centers and they were mostly dealing with the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol and other drugs. It was obvious that getting someone through withdrawals was a temporary solution because the addiction wasn't treated and the addict was soon needing addiction help to detox.

As the treatment was expanded from an approximate ten-day detox to a longer period of therapy, the insurance companies collectively decided that the maximum number of days needed to treat addiction was 30 days.

Since the reimbursement for alcohol and drug treatment was maximized at 30 days, and since most of the income for rehab came from health insurance payments, the protocol was set at 28 to 30 days. This amount of time had nothing to do with how much time is actually need to treat addiction, but was designed to maintain the income stream.

It was soon discovered that those people that finished a 30-day program were in need of further treatment within months of their original care, so the health insurance companies began to limit the number of 30-day treatments that they would cover. It was common to limit the health insurance coverage to one 30-day treatment within a calendar year. Some polices limited coverage to 30 days for one's lifetime.

The alcohol and drug treatment field was put in a position where they had to compromise their better wisdom and clinical knowledge by providing a service that they knew was too limited to actually handle one's addiction. The clinicians began to extend the aftercare part of treatment in hopes that they could continue to provide enough care to get a successful outcome.

Some rehab modalities realized that they couldn't provide the regime of care needed to handle addiction without the client being in residence for the entire program. Many of these programs take three to six months to deliver all of the needed therapy to trust that their graduates can live alcohol and drug free. The integrity of their clinical protocols and their care for their clients mandated that they couldn't compromise their time in residence. Naturally, these programs offer the most successful treatment.

Do most rehab programs believe that addiciton is a disease and if so why?

Answer: In the 1930s, when the founders of the Alcoholics Anonymous were beginning their efforts to establish a new idea about addiction, the prevailing philosophy or attitude about addiction was being promoted by psychiatry and the belief was that an alcoholic had a mental disorder and needed psychiatric help.

Society was equally unforgiving and moralistic about addiction and many believed that alcoholics were moral reprobates and should be shunned by respectable society.

Basically, no one knew what caused addiction and the only treatment was institutioinalization by the mental health industry or attempts at religious salvation.

With the advent of Alcoholics Anonymous, addiction was promoted as being a disease. The founders of AA knew that they weren't in need of pschyatric help and they knew that they were possessed by demons, and since there was nothing that they had done at that time that ended addiction and it appeared that most people got worse in time, they decided that addiction, (in their case alcoholism), was a chronic and progressive disease and the only cure was abstinence from alcohol.

The American Medical Association agrred with them in the 1950s and this has led to the present prevailing idea that addiction is a disease.

From the beginning of their pronouncement that addiction was a lifelong disease, there have been other researchers, such as Bill Miller, Ph.D., from the University of New Mexico, that disagreed with the progressive disease concept. In the past ten years, there has been a groundswell of opposition to the disease model of addiction, partly based on research and the promotion of treatment programs that believe that addiction is a complex condition with physical, emotional and spiritual components.

Most people, outside of the alcohol and drug treatment professionals, belief that addiction is a matter of personal choice.

About 90% of the residential programs believe in the AA disease model of addiction, but with waning public support for this attitude, many of these programs have been influenced by psychiatry to believe that most addicts also have a diagnosable mental health problem and should take psychotropic medication to handle their mental issues.

This approach is not proving to be a successful treatment since it diminishes the addicts ability to take responsibility for his condition and, instead, makes the person the victim of problems outside of his control.

Presently, the most popular treatment programs demonstrate that there is definitely a physical addiction to alcohol and other drugs, but that this physical addiction can be rehabilitated and through behavioral therapies, control of one's life can be returned to a person that has previously had an alcohol or drug addiction.

Less than 10% of the professionals in addiction treatment believe that an addict can be rehabilitated to a place where he can have total control over his life without ongoing support-group meetings or therapies.

How does nutrition relate to addiction and what types of nutritional help should I find in a rehab?

Answer: For many years, the role of vitamins and minerals wasn't part of the treatment regime of most drug rehab centers. Alcohol treatment centers have used the benefits of vitamin B complex for many years, but it wasn't thought to be necessary for those addicted to other drugs.

However, in the last twenty years, especially with the rapid growth of biophysical rehab programs, it is much more common to find drug treatment centers giving their patients daily doses of vitamins and minerals.

People who are actively abusing alcohol and other drugs are numbing their feelings, which include the feeling of hunger when the body needs nutrition. The diet of an addict is erratic and they don't tend to eat regularly or well, and over time, their strength is drained and they are susceptible to infection because they haven't gotten their basic nutritional needs met.

The body relates to the intake of drugs in the same physiological manner as it does with any alien poison introduced into the blood stream. To protect the body from these substances, the body has to "burn" more than its usual amount of energy to metabolize these drugs or to push them into the dormant fat tissue of the body. This process uses large amounts of calcium and magnesium, which is not being replaced by most people that are actively addicted. Since the heart beat and many other vital functions of the body are dependent on calcium, you will find that many people on methamphetamines and long-term opiate use will have weakened teeth that are easily decayed.

The body knows that it has to take the calcium from the teeth and bones when it isn't available from the diet. Therefore, the use of calcium and magnesium is very important for anyone that is actively using alcohol or drugs and especially during the withdrawals from alcohol and drugs. The transmission of nerve impulses is also hindered by a low vitamin B's as well as iron and folic acid.

All of this information points to the fact that it is essential that all treatment centers need to pay special attention to the nutritional condition of their patients and have appropriate vitamins and minerals to counteract these types of problems. In fact, many of the relapses back to addictive behavior has its base on patients that have exaggerated anxiety and drug cravings because they are needing a better diet and the support of vitamins and minerals to make up for the nutritional damage that comes from alcohol and drug use, abuse and addiction.

Is being on methadone from a methadone clinic really treatment or is it replacing one drug for another?

Answer: In the case of methadone, the simple answer is yes. Methadone is a synthetic opiate that is equally as strong or stronger than morphine. It has the unique quality of having a long half-life, which means that it metabolized much slower than most opiates like morphine or heroin. The painkilling effects of most opiates wear off in four to six hours whereas methadone only needs to be taken every 24 hours.

Opiates are very physically addicting and once a person is physically addicted, they will experience withdrawal symptoms when the drug-effects of the opiate are no longer present. Since the drug effects of methadone last much longer, a person doesn't need to continually be taking repeated doses throughout the day, but only once a day.

Many people believe that once a person is addicted to heroin or other strong opiates, they will always crave these drugs, even after they have recovered from the withdrawals symptoms and since this leads many opiate addicts into repeated relapses, the government of the United States okayed methadone as a replacement drug for heroin addicts and others that are addicted to opiate painkillers.

In the case of methadone, it can certainly be considered that anyone that is on methadone maintenance and taking methadone daily has substituted their previous addiction for a controlled use of another drug.

This is far from an ideal condition since there are good therapies that can end one's addiction to opiates, but these types of treatment are more expensive and usually require residential treatment. Methadone is marketed to those people that don't have the resources in time or money to have more ideal drug-free treatment and choose a replacement until such time that they can withdrawal from methadone and get the help they need to live drug free.

Methadone is a narcotic depressant and suppresses one's ability to think as clearly or quickly as they could if they weren't drug influenced. This depressant effect causes a lowering of one's metabolism, which interferes not only with ones thought processes, but causes weight gain and other side effects. Long-term use of methadone causes problems with calcium metabolism and leads to tooth decay and weaker bones.

Because of these limiting side effects, no one should choose methadone replacement as a treatment for opiate addiction, but it may be useful to assist in the withdrawal from opiates. Buprenorphine or Suboxone® is another drug that is similar to methadone in that it stops the withdrawals from opiates, but is less damaging to the body and mind than methadone.

Opiate addiction limits and destroys one's potential to do as well in life as they could if they were drug-free, so is very little rationale to use a "safer" and legal form of addiction when everyone can do better with other drug-free therapies.

Methadone replacement is highly profitable and owning clinics that dispense methadone as a treatment modality has made small fortunes for the owners of these clinics. There are many drug professionals that strongly support methadone replacement treatment for chronic opiate addicts, but if the profit motive were removed, there would be many fewer backers of this form of treatment.

Many opponents of methadone maintenance claim that this "treatment" is enslaving clients to an addiction that keeps them from actualizing their potentials and is self-serving for the owners of these clinics. This argument has strong evidence to support this position. Many more than half of the patients on methadone maintenance dislike what methadone has done to them and wish that they could get off of their dependence, but feel as though they are trapped since methadone is harder to withdraw from than any other opiate. Many say that if they would have known that this "treatment" would lead to where they are now, they would have never come to the clinic.

Why Should I go to Alcohol or Drug Rehab in Texas?

Answer: In trying to end an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, it is important to know that there are many reasons why someone relapses after deciding to stop their drug use. To stop addiction, one has to address the physical, emotional, spiritual, and social changes that have occurred during the addiction. Some repair is also necessary for those problems that the person had before they first turned to alcohol or drugs as a release or solution.

Everyone wants to take a pill that can fix a problem. Naturally, this is why so many people are ultimately addicted to drugs, they want a quick fix to their problems, rather than confront the situation and using their personal abilities to solve the problem. As a society, we have come to believe that doctors and pharmaceuticals can replace what man has used for centuries to handle life. This is what has led to so many people being addicted.

Once a person has proven to himself that he can't solve his addiction problem without professional help, the addict usually wants to find the quickest and least restrictive program available. This would be outpatient drug counseling. This form of treatment is nearly useless when it comes to handling a serious addiction problem.

A person that is addicted to alcohol and other drugs needs to recognize the tremendous changes that addiction has done to one's body and life and if these changes are not therapeutically addressed, one can expect to have his future limited by either relapses or living with unresolved emotional problems that will affect the entirety of his life.

Therefore, it is imperative to go to rehab, but to also attend a rehab that has a success in treating the entire consequences of addiction. Many problems ignore the physical aspect of addiction, which easily becomes the first problem that causes relapse. Many people attend rehabs that don't keep their patients long enough to address the many areas that need repair in one's life, and they are also setting themselves up for further problems.

The question should be "why should I go to rehab?" but "where can I find the most effective rehabs to attend". The cost of addiction in terms of money and personal suffering is enormous. Any problem that can cause so much pain and suffering in the addict and his family should be seen as a problem as serious as cancer or any other life-threatening problem.

If you feel that your drinking or drugging has caused you from being as successful as you might have been or if your addiction has proven to you that you can't stop this insane use of drugs on your own, then you or a loved one needs to answer this question in its simplest reply:

You need to go to rehab because your addiction will either land you in jail or it will kill you. It is as simple as that. There isn't anything but pain and death and the end of an addict's life. Go to rehab because you or the one's you love are worthy of a better life.

What Steps Should I take to Find an Effective Treatment Program?

Answer: Once you or your loved one decides that it is time to confront one's addiction and to find effective help, they may not know what steps to take to find the best and most accurate advice or treatment program.

Many people will ask their family doctors for advice. This action has proven to be successful in most health concerns, but it is far from the best action in terms of finding effective. Family doctors are not trained in effective methods of alcohol and drug treatment nor do they usually have the time to have weeded through the thousands of treatment programs to delineate their success rates. In medicine, all hospitals deliver treatment based on established principals that they are taught in medical school, so if they were to refer you to someone for a medical problem, they have the knowledge and skills to analyze one service provider over another, but most family doctors do not know that there are different modalities of treatment with huge differences in outcomes.

It is also a mistake of family doctors to connect alcohol and drug addiction to psychiatry. This is easy to understand since medical education only provides one semester where the students working in a mental health facility under a psychiatrist. However, psychiatrist treat mental health problems and are not experts in the alcohol and drug rehab field.

So, what should be one's first step in finding effective treatment program? Nothing can replace getting educated about addiction. Learn the history of addiction treatment in the United States and you will understand that many of the treatment centers that are advertising for patients are delivering programs that are NOT based on evidence that their clinical methods are successful.

Building one's awareness about the different types of treatment will give you a basis of knowledge so that you can challenge some of the statements that will be told you as you search through different treatments. If you don't have an understanding of what works and what doesn't, you will be at the mercy of whomever has the most persuasive sales talk. There are many treatment programs that have well known reputations and references, but actually have very poor outcomes.

The next step in this process is to follow your instincts and common sense. If the program makes sense, then it is, more than likely, better in many ways than programs that try to impress you with "science" and new techniques.

Thirdly, ask for the phone numbers of graduates or the parents of graduates that can tell you their experience at the program and how successful their lives became after treatment. Some of these testimonials are more valuable than any of the program's outcome studies. You can learn a great deal about the strengths and weaknesses of the program by talking with those who are intimately involved with the program.

Once you have found a treatment center that you believe is the best for your given situation, your next task is to ensure that the transition into treatment will be seamless, so as to avoid any problems during the highly emotionally charged window of opportunity when the addict or alcoholic chooses a drug-free live over addiction.

If I were arrested and asked if I had been drinking and I said: NO, and then they wanted to give me a sobriety test, what happens if I refuse?

Answer: First of all, we are not lawyers or legal experts, but we are experts in doing alcohol and drug evaluations and we have done about 400 in the last two years. From that experience, we can tell you that you should have an attorney whenever you are faced with something of this nature. However, to answer your question as best we can:

If you refuse to take a test you will be subject to fines and automatic suspension of your license.

Statutes in Texas barr one from pleaing to a lessor offense, like reckless driving with alcohol, if you are arrested with a BAC that is illegal. Go to our Texas alcohol driving law page and learn more.

What are the most common calls for help in Texas?

Answer: It is a toss-up between marijuana and opiate addiction. Many parents of children from 15 to 25 are calling us with problems related to pot use and it consequences. The calls have a common theme of how their son or daughter was a good or excellent student and then they were introduced to pot and everything changed. Typically they have dropped out of school or are no longer in good communication with other family members. The good news connected to these calls is that most parent have the wherewithal to get their kids into an effective detox and treatment program. This isn't the case with the following example.

Opiate addiction calls are usually not from parents, but are from people that are addicted to painkillers or their spouses are calling us to seek help for a problem that has gotten out of control. Many times the opiate addicts have destroyed their finances and no longer have insurance or money to do a good treatment program, so the help that we are able to provide is limited. We can tell them the best course of action to help with withdrawals and offer support to get them through detox at home. Unfortunately, most people that are addicted to opiates will relapse after they go through withdrawals, so these cases are depressing. Our communities need to offer more resources, other than methadone, for those persons who have serious opiate addictions. It is also obvious that the doctors in our Texas communities are overly prescribing these drugs to their patients. The horror stories that we hear connected to prescription drug abuse are devastating.

What Are the Changes That Marijuana Will Become Legal In Texas?

Answer: This website isn't a proponent for legalized marijuana nor is current on the legal debate that is going on in most states about the legalization of marijuana "legitimate medical" purposes. There may be a need for THC, the compound in marijuana that is responsible for the drugged feeling that comes from smoking marijuana, but it is our judgement that if this is needed, there needs to be a better way to administer this drug than allowing "marijuana shops" to sell smokeable marijuana to anyone that gets a prescription for the drug.

Colorado passed a law in 2000 that allowed for the sale for marijuana for medicinal purposes. At that time there were 5,000 people that were using marijuana under this new law. In 2010, there were 170,000 people that were prescribed marijuana. Either there were a lot of people that were suffering from headaches and other reasons why marijuana is used before 2000, or, we can assume that there are many, many more people now smoking marijuana for whatever reasons they may have.

Along with this rapid raise in the use of marijuana, the culture in Colorado is also thinking differently about marijuana than they did before it was legalized. We get calls from parents whose teenagers are smoking marijuana and they are having trouble telling their kids that it isn't good for them because they all say that it is a medicine and not a drug. We are having enough problems with our education system today without adding a drugged population to the mix. For that and many more reasons, Texas Drug Rehabs is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana in Texas, or elsewhere, for that matter.

With so many people needing drug rehab in Texas and the limited amount of alcohol and drug treatment beds available, we don't need to create a population of others that need these services. Drug treatment experts will tell you that many hard-core drug addicts started their drug use with marijuana, which is a gateway drug to further addiction and problems. If you have been smoking marijuana, you are not operating with as much brightness as you could have been without marijuana in you system. Learn more HERE.

Is Cocaine Addictive?

Answer: Anyone interested in cocaine abuse or ocaine addiction should get a better perspective by reading about some of the history of cocaine in our country. This article is written to help so that you will have an understanding of how cocaine came into use in America and how many myths have been connected to this drug that has kept real, effective treatment from being the mainstream in practice today.

Statistics show that approximately 4 million people are chronic cocaine users, meaning that they use cocaine on a regular basis for an extended period of time. There isn't a breakoff of how long someone has to be on a drug to have a chronic problem, but it is safe to say that six months of use and more would be the cover.

In 1997, the National Hosehold Survey, a survey that is taken in America every couple of years, showed that 600,000 people in America are using crack cocaine or about one/eighth of the total number of chronic cocaine users. This figure has been around the same since the 1980s.

The most absurd myth about cocaine is the one that leads people to believe that cocaine isn't addictive. It is true that the physical addiction, when compared to opiates and alcohol, has a mild addictive effect, but the psychological or mental addiction to cocaine is strong than for most other drugs and is just as damaging to the person who is trying to quit as any physical addiction. Another factor of importance is the fact that cocaine is rarely used by itself, but is usually combined with alcohol or with opiates. i.e. speed balls, which are cocaine or speed mixed with heroin or another opiate. Since cocaine causes nervousness and paranoia with continued use, it is commonly combined with "downers", such as Valium, Ativan and even heroin. In adolescents, it found that it is popular to use cocaine in combination with alcohol and marijuana.

Cocaine occurs naturally as an alkaloid that is extrated from the leaves of the coca shrub, which are usually found in abundance in South America, especially in Columbia, hense the Columbian Drug Wars and cartels. It was the Germans that developed the process that extracts the alkaloid, cocaine from the coca plant.

The story of Coca-Cola originally having cocain in the drink and being the reason that it was so popular is true and continued until the Harrison Narcotic Act of 1914 was enacted to remove the cocaine properties from its drink, but Coca-cola continued to make the drink with caffeine in hopes that they would lose customers that were addicted to the original drink.

Most of the cocaine that you get in America today comes from South America where it is converted into hydrochloride and is exported at a purity of about 95%. After it arrives in America, it is cut by various dealers and the purity of the cocaine that is sold on the streets is anywhere between 0 and 90% pure. Intermediate distributors will dilute, or cut, the cocaine to increase their profits, using sugars, or other drugs that act like cocaine, like procaine or lidocaine. It has also been found to be sold, at times, without a trace of cocaine, but with caffeine, amphetamine, PCP added to simulate the cocaine effects.

It is important to remember that cocaine is actually very addictive. The myth that cocaine isn't addictive has been around for many years, but laboratory research and personal accounts prove that this is absolutely not the case and that the drug is highly addictive.

The duration of effects varies according to the route of administration. If snorted, the effects will peak within 30 minutes with the duration of effects lasting 1-3 hours. If used intravenously or smoked, the effects peakin seconds to two minutes, but the effects only last 15-30 minutes. The metabolites of cocaine can be detected in the urine for 24 to 72 hours, except in chronic users who may how positive test results for up to two weeks. These figures do not take into account the cocaine that is stored in the fat tissue of the body.

Cocaine is fat soluble and if getting treatment for cocaine, one should only consider the biophysical model of care since it will remove all physical cravings for the drug, which in turn lowers the psychological effects. Read More HERE