Arizona Addiction Recovery Center https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org Phoenix & Scottsdale, AZ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 05:36:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/cropped-aarc-icon-32x32.png Arizona Addiction Recovery Center https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org 32 32 Benefits of Inpatient and Outpatient Recovery https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/benefits-of-inpatient-and-outpatient-recovery/ Fri, 18 Oct 2019 05:04:53 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15421 Recovery treatment is a practice for individuals who are suffering from different kinds of addiction such as drugs, alcohol, or sex. You should understand that the faster you acknowledge that you need help, the faster you receive a solution. Recovery treatment helps address the needs of a person in need of recovery and finding what’s best for the individual.

Treatment can be separated into two categories: Inpatient and Outpatient. Choosing between Inpatient and Outpatient Recovery boils down to a person’s preference, needs, level of addiction, the substance that was abused, and how long it was abused for.

Inpatient Recovery

Inpatient Treatment allows a person to stay in a drug and alcohol-free environment. A person can enjoy the luxury of being monitored all the time and is free from all the stress a person can encounter in their daily life. It is nearly impossible for a person to have access to drugs and alcohol. There are three common types of inpatient recovery: residential, luxury, and executive.

Types of Therapies in an Inpatient Recovery

Residential

You have to stay in a place for a certain period while undergoing treatment. You can choose to attend either individual or group therapy, and do some activities with other people in the facility. Medical care is also readily available.

Luxury

Luxury facilities are usually located on a beach or mountain. You can enjoy the same program mentioned in residential but with added activities like massage therapy, swimming, horseback riding, and other beach/mountain-related activities you otherwise wouldn’t get in a normal rehab facility.

Executive

The Executive type is classier than the two mentioned before, a person can enjoy its private meeting room, internet access, and workspace.

Benefits of Inpatient Recovery

Physical Benefits

When a person decides to partake in an Inpatient Recovery, there is zero chance that they will be able to use substances. In nearly every case, patients will experience withdrawal symptoms, but that is normal. Detoxing the body from substances/toxins ingested during addiction is the main goal of rehabilitation. Since a person is confined in an environment that is drug and alcohol-free, they’ll have an easier time dealing with withdrawal. Medical professionals are usually on standby to assist when needed during the uncomfortable stages of withdrawal.

Also, while a person is in an inpatient recovery program, they are far away from the things that caused their addictive ways in the first place.

Psychological Benefits

In most centers, programs for recovery patients are being selected based on their needs because they understand that everyone has their specific needs to address their addiction. This way, an addict can get the proper treatment, and as a result, recover faster.

Emotional Benefits

The place they’re staying in is stress-free, that means nothing from the outside can ruin their mood and affects their treatment. This is perfect for recovering addicts because, during the first stages of recovery, the former addict is extremely sensitive. This allows a person to focus on getting better and it separates them from the challenging and tempting world outside.

Outpatient Recovery

Outpatient recovery is different because it allows a person to attend their sessions at any given time. You can choose to have individual or group sessions depending on your preference. It allows a person to live at home and continue living their normal day-to-day lives. But you have to take note that this form of recovery is best for those people who can resist the temptation of society that revolves around them.

Types of Therapy in an Outpatient Recovery

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

It helps you understand the causes that trigger you to use drugs and alcohol. You can also identify behaviors that can fuel your hunger for those substances.

Motivational Communication

You are given a therapist that will help you address your issues and concerns and it will also give you the right formula to overcome your hesitation from continuing with recovery treatment.

Positive Reinforcement

It is often said that during the recovery stage people start to quit and return to their old ways, which is why this type of therapy is available to help people who struggle to have the will to continue.

Benefits of Outpatient Recovery

Live at Home

It is one of the best feelings to be at home with the people who truly believe in you. You get to be taken care of in the clinic when you are having your sessions and also you can enjoy life with your loved ones when you come home.

Stay connected to the World

A person can continue the treatment without depriving themselves from pursuing their ambitions and goals in life. Imagine doing two things that will help you be a better person.

Keep your privacy

Understandably, a person who went through addiction is prone to embarrassment and that is why privacy is very important to them. Having a certain time to go to sessions and meeting your therapist is something a person with an addiction can handle. Also, if they indulge in group sessions they can get comfortable because a lot of the people in the group relate to one another.

Inexpensive

Cost is everything, that is why people commonly choose outpatient programs. Some people find the outpatient programs are more feasible for their budget. Naturally, people pay for the best solutions, but we can still say that though outpatient treatment is cheaper than others, it still delivers results.

People should understand that if you are looking to see change in life, you’ll need to show some willingness to change and grow. Inpatient and Outpatient Recovery are both extremely beneficial for recovering addicts, for their own reasons. Each treatment program has its own benefits, it is up to the recovering addict to decide what is feasible for them. At the end of the day, both inpatient and outpatient programs reap a lot of benefits for those looking to live a sober life.

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Most Common Drugs that People Become Addicted To https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/most-common-drugs-that-people-become-addicted-to/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:38:22 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15417 Drug addiction is more common than you think. About 21.5 million adults in the US struggle with addiction and that number seems to continue to grow year-over-year. 2019 has been a difficult year in the world of fame, as the news of a celebrity death due to a drug overdose hits headlines far too often. With more news, comes more awareness of the dangers, but unless you’re fully aware of the causes and symptoms of drug abuse, someone you love may also end up risking their own life.

Addiction looks different from person to person and even substance by substance. Regardless of the drug of choice, it is defined as an excess usage or overly high dose of medicine over extended periods of time. This is true of prescription medications as well. 

Here are a few signs that indicate drug addiction:

  • Cravings for addictive drugs
  • Increased tolerance for the medicine
  • Losing interest in hobbies
  • Visiting multiple doctors to get prescriptions for the same drug

Drug addiction may also cause the following physical symptoms:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Abrupt changes in sleeping pattern
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability and anger

Drugs are everywhere so it’s important to take medication as advised by your doctor. If you continuously increase the dosage, your body can develop a resistance to the substance and you will become addicted to it over time. If you use the following medications, it is imperative to be careful in order to avoid becoming addicted:

Most Common: Benzodiazepines

Benzos are a very commonly used psychoactive drugs, also known as minor tranquilizers. They induce calmness and help people enjoy better sleep, as well as reduce body pain. These medicines are usually prescribed to people with alcohol dependence, insomnia, and panic disorders.

Benzodiazepines are addictive drugs and you can develop an addiction if you use them regularly, even for a few months. This medicine floods your brain with neurotransmitters that promote calmness and pleasure. This strong wave of pleasure is irresistible and you may be tempted to increase the dose.

It’s estimated that 44% of people become addicted to this type of drug. While a majority of people develop dependence after around 6 months of use, it is very possible to become an addict sooner.

Benzodiazepines are prescribed for short-term applications due to their addictive properties. But many people stay on the medications for years. Not only does this affect their physical health, but it also leads to mental health issues.

Prolonged or excessive use of Benzodiazepines can lead to cognitive impairment. Drug addicts find it difficult to recall things they already know, and often forget how to perform routine tasks. In addition, this drug can also augment the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease among seniors.

Opioids

Opioids are narcotics with a variety of medical uses. They are generally prescribed to relieve some form of excruciating pain. This class of drugs includes prescription medicines such as OxyContin and Vicodin. Furthermore, the illegal drug, heroin, is also an opioid.

Opioids target your spinal cord and brain to reduce pain. People older than 40 years of age are more likely to experience addiction, while younger users have a lesser chance of developing an opioid addiction. 

Opioid addiction is a prevalent problem in the US, and around 115 people lose their lives to opioid overdose on a daily basis. Opioids cause an intensified euphoria, which is quite an addictive feeling.

Over-the-counter and prescription opioid drugs are legally used by patients to treat pain, but the problem arises when you over consume the drugs for a greater effect. Your body quickly develops a tolerance which increases the risk of respiratory or cardiac arrest.

Getting rid of opioid addiction isn’t easy since it leads to a wide range of uncomfortable conditions. The safe way to treat addiction is to get in touch with a rehab center. Under medical supervision, you can achieve the desired results and the medical staff can treat withdrawal symptoms in order to speed up recovery.

Common Overuse of Amphetamines

Amphetamines are a group of stimulant drugs that boost brain activity and speed up the sharing of messages or signals between your brain and the body. It’s basically a central nervous system stimulant and there are strict regulations in many countries to limit its consumption.

These medicines are prescribed by doctors to treat narcolepsy, obesity, nasal congestion, depression, and ADHD. Athletes also use it to enhance their performance on the field. While it’s a prescription drug, it is also frequently used as a recreational drug.

There are two types of amphetamines: methamphetamine and dextroamphetamine. If you misuse the drug, you can develop an amphetamine dependence and it won’t be easy to stop its consumption, even when your doctor advises you to do so.

Amphetamines are addictive drugs, and dealing with amphetamine addiction has become a major challenge. Its powerful and intense psycho-stimulant properties increase the risk of addiction. Unless you follow the doctor’s prescription, you’re likely to get addicted before you even know it.

These medicines increase the production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that lead to intense euphoric feelings. The person using is tempted to over-prescribe, or use for extended periods even when they don’t need it. This becomes increasingly common among those that have turned to smoking or injecting the drug. Taking the medicine with alcohol further augments the risks of addiction, and deteriorates the person’s physical and mental health.

Amphetamines are energy boosters, which is why professional and amateur athletes use them to give their best performance in the sports field. Teens tend to overdose on amphetamines when they want to stay awake partying or studying for their upcoming exams. It’s usually taken in the form of a pill, but it can also be injected, snorted, or smoked.

As compared to alcohol and many other drugs, amphetamine is more likely to lead to addiction. Doctors prescribe it to increase concentration and enhance performance, but it can cause several mental disorders, such as mood swings and eating disorders, when the patient doesn’t use the drug as recommended.

Millions of people in the US experience drug addiction. It is very common for people turn to drugs in an attempt to overcome grief and run away from their responsibilities, but they end up ruining their lives. With the help of Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, you can overcome addiction and return to a healthy life.

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Long-Term Impacts of Alcohol Blackouts https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/long-term-impacts-of-alcohol-blackouts/ Mon, 14 Oct 2019 17:30:17 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15415 When it comes to alcohol consumption, binge drinking to the point of blacking out has unfortunately become very common among both adults and teenagers. While many people describe a blackout as simply one ‘drinking too much’, what they fail to realize is that it can have serious impacts on their brain. Blackouts cause the brain to shut down and go into a state of stress which can lead to unconsciousness or even a coma. While depicted as just “forgetting what happened” last night, especially in popular media, these episodes of excessive drinking have long-term effects. 

What is a Blackout?

A blackout is a temporary condition that involves a loss of memory and is characterized by a sense of lost time. The most common cause of this is dangerously elevated levels of alcohol in the blood. When an individual consumes too much alcohol, they become intoxicated and the alcohol impairs their ability to construct new memories. The old memories, however, remain as is. 

The amount of memory loss may vary from individual to individual. However, one thing is clear: the more alcohol you drink and the higher the alcohol level rises in your blood, the more the length and rate of memory loss will increase. Typically, if the alcohol content exceeds the threshold of 14%, you will experience a blackout and will not be able to recall anything that may have happened during the blackout period. 

There are certain factors that may affect the rate and length of your blackout by and these may include:

  • Your gender
  • Your body weight 
  • The type of alcohol consumed
  • The speed at which the alcohol is consumed

Signs and Symptoms of an Alcohol Blackout 

It is not easy to tell if someone is experiencing a blackout because chances are, they will behave normally. Many people who binge drink are likely to engage in unusual or risky behaviors but they might be able to recall them the next day. However, there are some signs that may help you identify if an individual is experiencing a blackout versus being drunk. 

These signs and symptoms include:

  • Easy distractibility
  • Inability to hold the thread of a conversation
  • Repetitive sentences during a conversation
  • The tendency to forget where they were or what they were doing
  • No concern for the thoughts or feelings of people around
  • Engaging in risky behaviors that they otherwise would never dare to do
  • Consuming too much alcohol in a short period of time
  • Drinking without eating or drinking water

The Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Blackouts 

The short-term effects of a blackout typically include mental health problems, such as depression, or physical issues, like an injury, a disturbing personal encounter, or a sexually transmitted disease. The fact that a blackout affects the decision-making ability of an individual, pushing them to partake in dangerous behaviors and even perform illegal activities for which they would have to face legal consequences. While some people may not blackout upon binge drinking, it is important to note that heavy drinking may still have negative effects on their brains.

If an individual binge drinks alcohol – and blackouts on a regular basis, they may face serious brain damage. Excessive drinking for a long time, resulting in frequent breakouts, is likely to cause a general memory loss in the individual, even when they are not intoxicated. This may lead to difficulty in forming memories, including the most recent ones.

The severity of the long-term effects of an alcohol blackout ranges from momentary memory ‘slips’ to a serious condition that is permanent. 

Experts believe that too much consumption of alcohol can have a harmful effect on the frontal lobe of the brain – the part where cognitive functions are regulated. The frontal lobe is also responsible for the formation and recall of short-term and long-term memory. Hence, if an individual experiences regular chronic damage to the frontal lobe, it can result in impaired behavior and personality. It may also affect their task performance and the way they perceive and store information. 

In addition to this, binge drinking and blackout can also negatively affect an individual’s ability to:

  • Make reasonable decisions
  • Walk straight and steadily
  • Control their impulses

They may also experience:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive sweating
  • Difficulty breathing

It is imperative for alcohol drinkers to understand that a single blackout can be dangerous enough to cause significant damage to their brain. 

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol delays the brain signals that are responsible for the gag reflex and other autonomic responses. This explains why some people who have blacked out can throw up during sleep. This may even cause them to choke or suffocate on their vomit. 

The Risk of Alcohol Blackouts

You may find it surprising that women are at a greater risk of blacking out than men. A primary reason is their body composition and the difference in hormone levels. Since women get drunk on less alcohol, their blood alcohol level rises quickly hence, they are more likely to experience a blackout.

 In addition to women, young adults are also at a higher risk of experiencing a blackout as compared to older adults. In general, young adults do not only binge drink more often but they are also likely to consume more alcohol per binge. Considering their inexperience in moderate or consistent drinking, they also tend to underestimate how much alcohol they have already consumed and overestimate how much they can handle. Therefore, this exposes them to the risk of experiencing a blackout and thereby, facing legal, academic, financial, and personal consequences including illness, injury, sexual assault, physical violence, and hospitalization. 

The bottom line is that alcohol blackout is not something to be taken lightly. Individuals who regularly binge drink can face dire health consequences. If you are an alcoholic or know someone who I struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction, you can get in touch with a professional at the Arizona Addiction Recovery Center to help you get rid of this malignant habit and lead a sober life.       

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What is the Opioid Epidemic? https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/what-is-the-opioid-epidemic/ Mon, 14 Oct 2019 04:52:53 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15419 If you’ve watched the news in the past few years, chances are you’ve heard of an epidemic we’ve been facing in this country. We aren’t talking about poverty, healthcare, or anything like that, we’re talking about the Opioid Epidemic. This epidemic has been plaguing U.S. citizens for years and it’s time we put a stop to it. However, the problem is that many people are unaware of the seriousness of this issue. This article will help serve as an educational piece for those of you that are unfamiliar with this epidemic and seek to better understand the full weight of a problem like this.

What Is This Epidemic?

First, let’s discuss what an opioid is. An opioid is a prescribed pain reliever, typically meant to be used after extreme surgeries that have excruciating recoveries. These medications can help ease pain that would otherwise be unbearable for most patients. Opioids are among some of the most potent substances on the market and can create extreme euphoria for users, which could explain why people have started to abuse them so frequently. But, if these medications are prescribed in moderate doses, how have people been able to abuse them as much as they have? Well, it all started in the 1990s when pharmaceutical companies started overprescribing opioids without knowing how addictive they could be.

In the 1990s, these companies began overprescribing these medications to patients, unknowingly creating a great influx in addiction among users. Because patients were overprescribed medications, they would take more of the medication than they needed. Widespread misuse of these medications began to surface and addiction started to sweep the nation. Since then, millions of people have begun to abuse these medications and some resort to illicit opioids if they are unable to acquire prescribed ones. Thankfully, people’s cries for help have been heard and the U.S. is doing everything it can to help fight against this growing social issue. The Opioid Epidemic is something that has drastically changed the way we prescribe medications to those in need.

Opioid Epidemic By The Numbers

Here are some quick facts to help you better understand the true effects of this epidemic:

  1. In 2018, there were over 10 million people in the U.S. alone who have abused or actively abuse prescription opioids. About 2 million of these people started to abuse the medications for the first time in that year, all others had previously been abusing them.
  2. It is estimated that about 130+ people die every day from an opioid-related overdose. These drugs are highly potent and the more a person uses, the higher their tolerance becomes. The higher the tolerance, the higher the dose needs to be in order to achieve the desired effects.
  3. In 2018 alone, there were over 47,600 people who died from an opioid-related overdose. 32,656 of those deaths were attributed to prescription opioid overdoses while the other 15,349 were attributed to illicit opioid overdoses (heroin). There were over 800,000 people who were actively using heroin in 2018.
  4. About 8-12% of the people who are prescribed opioids for pain relief wind up with an addiction. Of those people who are diagnosed with opioid addiction, 4-6% of them wind up transitioning to heroin, likely in cases where their prescriptions run out.

What Effects Does An Epidemic Like This Cause?

This epidemic is massive, there is no denying that, but how much of an effect does it have on the U.S. and those who live in it? Let’s discuss what areas in society this epidemic has affected:

  • Economical Effect: An effect on the economy? Chances are you didn’t think this kind of issue could affect something like the economy, but it certainly has! In 2018 alone, the Opioid Epidemic has cost the U.S. $172-$214 billion dollars to cover healthcare costs, mortality costs, loss of productivity, criminal justice, and child/family assistance programs. Since 2015, the epidemic has cost the United States nearly $631 billion.
  • Effect On Our Youth: The opioid epidemic has led to an increase in heroin use, which means the demand for it has increased as well. When demand increases, so does the supply. Heroin is a relatively cheap substance and can be acquired on the street, which can be dangerous for vulnerable youth. In 2018, there were over 81,000 people who tried heroin for the first time and it’s safe to say many of these people who tried for the first time were likely vulnerable teens or young adults. Another alarming statistic is that even babies are affected by this. Every 15 minutes, a baby is born dependent on opioids because their parents abused them. This condition is called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome which causes withdrawal symptoms in a newborn child. The number of children born with this condition has increased by 400% since 2004.
  • Addiction Increases: Because these medications/drugs are so potent, addiction becomes a very real issue for users. If these medications are misused, addiction can easily develop. It can start off with normal use, turn into regular use, misuse, and then ultimately turn into abuse. When a person starts to use the prescribed drug outside of its intended use, this is when addiction can easily form. When addiction forms, the chances of mortality increase or the number of beds in rehab centers decreases.
  • Pharmaceutical Effects: Though the Opioid Epidemic has had some negative consequences, it has allowed us to take a look at how we prescribe medications. In recent years, pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals across the U.S. have started to decrease the number of opioid prescriptions they give out to their patients. This is a step in the right direction in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

This country is facing an epidemic, an epidemic that some people may not know about. Even though this has affected millions of Americans, discussions on this issue are not prevalent enough. If you or a loved one are suffering from opioid addiction, seek professional help. The one thing everyone needs to know is that it’s okay to not be okay. Don’t suffer in silence, get help!

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How to Deal With Recovery In the Workplace https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/how-to-deal-with-recovery-in-the-workplace/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 20:30:01 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15385 The process of recovery is not an easy one and it can take a long time to fully recover from a past addiction. Addiction is a disease that can take complete control of your life, manipulating your mind, body, and soul and changing you into something you previously weren’t. Though addiction is hard to beat, it is not entirely impossible to fully recover from it. Some people are able to take long periods of time to focus on their recovery and seclude themselves away from any possibly triggering environments. However, for most young or already established adults, taking that much time away from their jobs may not be possible. Some businesses may be slightly more flexible when it comes to employees taking time off to go through recovery, but some may not. In a scenario like this, the person will need to learn how to deal with recovery while still being present in the workplace. How can this be done? Let’s discuss it!

Recovery At Work

While going through recovery, you may feel like shutting yourself away and not dealing with any other obligations. As we mentioned previously, that can’t always be done. In this case, we’re talking about people who still have to go to their 9-to-5 jobs while they are inactive recovery. Recovery at your job can be a difficult thing to deal with, especially in the first initial stages of recovery. During the first days of recovery, former addicts will experience something called withdrawal. Symptoms can vary depending on what substance the user abused and for how long. Some common symptoms you’ll often see in someone experiencing withdrawal are:

  • Anxiety, panic attacks, restlessness, irritability
  • Social isolation, lack of enjoyment, fatigue, poor appetite
  • Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Poor concentration, poor memory
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Chest tightness, difficulty breathing
  • Racing heart, skipped beats, palpitations
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach aches
  • Muscle tension, twitches, tremors, shakes, muscle aches
  • Sweating, tingling

As you can probably already tell from this list, experiencing these symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable. Working a job already requires a lot of your mental and physical strength, tacking these symptoms on to the normal workflow can easily become a recipe for disaster. Withdrawal and the cravings that come along with it are easily the hardest things to deal with in recovery, especially if you are trying to live your normal work life. So how does one prepare for recovery in the workplace?

Step #1: Be Transparent

One of the best things for any person in recovery to do is just be transparent. It may be difficult and maybe even inappropriate to tell co-workers of the struggles you’re going through, but letting your boss/employer know ahead of time about what you’re going through can benefit your recovery. If you do not inform your employer of your current/past situations with addiction, they’ll have a harder time understanding what you’re going through. If they see that you are irritable, emotional, and feeling sick, they may ask you to leave or even administer a write-up if you are clearly not present at work. Any sort of quarrel like this at work not only could result in poor outlooks on someone’s work ethic, but it could also cause them to relapse if they are feeling stressed out. Being completely transparent with your employer about your struggles can help deal with recovery in the workplace. 

Step #2: Master Your Coping Mechanisms

As we’ve mentioned, recovery in the workplace is extremely difficult due to cravings and withdrawal. Withdrawal can be a physically and mentally taxing thing to deal with, that’s why mastering your coping mechanisms is essential. Coping mechanisms help a person deal with triggers that can be found in whatever environment they’re in. For example, let’s say a person used to drink on the job if they got stressed; if they get stressed during recovery, this may be a trigger for them to drink again. Finding coping mechanisms to fight against this sort of thing is vital for any recovering addict, in or out of the workplace. Triggers can be found all over and sometimes they can be as simple as a spoken word. Recovering addicts are extremely sensitive individuals because their minds and bodies have been manipulated through their active substance abuse. If a former addict is triggered into relapse, they may relapse hard and their old habits may even carry over to their professional life. Showing up late for work, showing up to work high/drunk, not caring as much about job performance, etc. are all likely signs that someone has relapsed. If you are looking to further your professional career, the last thing you need is a relapse that causes you to lose your job. 

Step #3: Stay Motivated

We cannot emphasize this final step enough: Stay motivated! It is so important to continually reflect on why you started the recovery process. Chances are, your life was headed in a direction you didn’t like or someone else didn’t like, don’t forget that! During recovery, a person will experience ups and downs, but continually reminding oneself of why you started to live a sober life can help the process flow a bit more smoothly. When you start to have intense cravings to use again, just remind yourself that your old life is not the life you want to continue living. Stay motivated, stay sober, and stay in recovery!

Though recovery can be a difficult thing to deal with, especially if you are actively working, it is not impossible. Keep in mind that dealing with recovery in the workplace is only possible if you follow these three steps: be transparent, master your coping mechanisms, and stay motivated. If you are able to follow these steps, you could be that much closer to living a successful sober life in the workplace. 

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Hemp vs. Marijuana: Know the Differences https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/hemp-vs-marijuana-know-the-differences/ Thu, 10 Oct 2019 03:22:31 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15395 There are still a lot of people who don’t know the difference between hemp and marijuana. While both came from the cannabis family, there are a lot of differences if you take a closer look at the two. As the demand for CBD rises, the industry has developed into a market that is independent and yet the controversies surrounding this drug is still evident. In order to avoid confusion, this article will help shed light on the subject for readers like you so you can understand the difference between marijuana and hemp and how both relate to cannabis.

What is Hemp?

The word “hemp” is a term used to classify different varieties of Cannabis that only has 0.3% or even lesser THC level. It is generally used to describe non-toxic cannabis which is harvested mainly for the industrial use of the products derived from it. According to history, hemp was discovered about 10,000 years ago and was believed to be the first crop that was cultivated by humans.

Hemp has the capability to produce different kinds of resources like food, clothing, paper, rope, materials for building, and many others. Many believe that hemp is one of man’s earliest innovations. In fact, hemp has been known to have 50,000 uses and can be used in many ways.

What is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a variety of cannabis that contains more than 0.3% THC and is known for inducing euphoric/psychotropic effects to the person using. The term “marijuana” became widespread in the American culture which also became a misrepresentation of cannabis. In fact, people who believe in the power of cannabis and those who are in the cannabis industry refuse to use the term marijuana as it is believed to be a “racist” term.

During the earlier years in American history, marijuana did not exist and the term widely used to classify the plant as cannabis. During the 1910s to 1920s when the US became a refuge to millions of Mexicans after the Mexican Revolution, an anti-Mexican campaign rose up and the term “marijuana” became a negative association to the Mexican immigrants. Many people were warned about the dangers of this drug or as they call it then as the “locoweed” or Mexican cannabis. It was also during this time that cannabis was regulated more by the government and in 1927, 11 states were able to pass and approve anti-marijuana laws. It was in the 1930s, the propaganda against marijuana began and took a full swing as the fear of this drug became more apparent.

Difference by Chemical Composition

In the US, marijuana is a Cannabis Sativa plant that has more than 0.3% THC, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is the primary compound in cannabis that causes psychotropic side effects. The more THC you consume or use, the “higher” you become. In short, THC changes your cognitive perception and, at the same time, how you feel.

Hemp, on the other hand, has far lesser THC. It has been found that hemp has lesser than 0.3% THC, which basically means it does not affect the user the way marijuana does. In fact, any plant that does not classify as marijuana but has 0.4% THC in it can be considered a cannabis plant. That being said, hemp does not get the user high or have the same effect as marijuana.

Laws Regarding Hemp and Marijuana

Before the 1930s, cannabis was used by many people however, this was the time when the stigma around it was not known yet. However, in 1937 a bill was passed and was called the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The bill instated the first-ever restriction on cannabis. In the 1970s, this drug became illegal as well as other products derived from the cannabis plant as listed under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Even farming of cannabis was restricted in America and people were no longer allowed to grow their own plants whether it be for medicinal uses or industrial uses.

After decades, the Farm Bill of 2014 came into view following the restrictions placed in latter years. Under this bill, hemp plants were defined as plants with 0.3% less THC and were allowed to be grown on a limited basis. The passing of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, hemp products and other agricultural products derived from it became legal in all 50 states of the United States. Because of this legality, the availability of hemp-derived CBD oil surfaced in the market.

While hemp became more accepted by people in the US, marijuana is still under the Schedule 1 drug category. This means that any product derived from this plant is still illegal under federal law. In some states, however, recreational and medicinal marijuana is legal but under a controlled amount only. That is why there are only a few selected states in the US today that are able to use this drug.

Cultivation 

Hemp and marijuana are grown, harvested, and used differently. There are plenty of marijuana varieties that can be grown in selected and controlled environments. These environments are designed for growing a specific variety of marijuana. Some people are even known to breed the characteristics of the plant and at the same time produce female plants that can grow budding flowers.

In order to cultivate marijuana, growers must pay attention the plant during each cycle of its life. They must know how to maintain the conditions needed by the plant so they can grow properly under the right climate, lighting, and temperature.

Contrary to marijuana, hemp can be grown according to its maximum size and capabilities. Hemp can be grown outdoors and does not need a lot of attention or control of the environment the way that marijuana plants do.

Hemp Oil vs. Marijuana Oil

Industrial hemp-derived CBD oil is popular among many people and is used to relieve anxiety, chronic pain, and insomnia. However, many also believe that industrial hemp is not as good as the ones extracted from the cannabis plant. This is because high-resin cannabis plants have the components (upregulated genes) for cannabinoid synthesis which means that marijuana plants are more diverse compared to hemp.

Final Thoughts

Marijuana is still classified as an illicit substance in some regions, for good reason. The drug can easily become abused and people do get addicted to it. However, the hemp plant has been wrongfully viewed as the same thing. Hemp has far more practical uses than marijuana does and it is not addictive. It is important for people to educate themselves on cannabis plants so they can see the difference between marijuana and hemp.

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How Addiction Can Affect Your Life https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/how-addiction-can-affect-your-life/ Mon, 07 Oct 2019 03:10:51 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15393 Have you been suffering from addiction? How are you coping? Is life as good as it gets or does it gets worse every day? Perhaps you’ve answered this question already. If not, then it’s time we talk about the effects of drugs in your life and what it can do.

Physical Effects

How a person is affected by substance abuse will depend on their mood, health, gender, previous experiences with substances, personality, as well as many other factors. A person who is abusing substances regularly will show physical, emotional, and mental signs of use. Here’s what addiction to drugs or alcohol may look like:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Palpitations
  • Hyperactivity
  • Profuse Sweating
  • Chills or body pains
  • Chest pains
  • Increased level of temperature
  • Difficulty in urinating
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Severe headaches
  • Delusions or being delusional
  • Paranoia and other psychotic behavior
  • Agitation or irritability
  • Convulsions

These signs and symptoms may differ depending on the type of substance a person has taken.

Mental Health Effects

Addiction does not only cause harm to your body, but it also does major damage to your psyche. That is why it is not surprising to see addicts take their own lives or even sometimes take other lives. There is a link between addiction and mental health. Those who abuse substances are most likely to fall victim to mental health issues and those who have mental health issues are more likely to fall into substance abuse.

One of the most common reasons why people abuse substances is to fight off anxiousness or anxiety. Keep in mind that anxiety is related to fight or flight response and some people have poor coping skills when it comes to socializing or making conscious decisions. The more anxious you are, the less likely it will be for you to leave the house and socialize or do tasks on your own. It can also be a side effect of the substances that people are addicted to. That being said, medications prescribed to calm the nerves and reduce anxiety can easily be abused. This is why some addicts feel helpless whenever they can’t take their medications. As a result, their dependency on their medications later becomes an addiction.

Depression is also another side effect that many addicts exhibit. It is a feeling of sadness and lack of motivation to do things. Drug addiction can create a chemical imbalance in the brain which can lead to more serious mental health issues if not corrected. Suicidal thoughts are often the end result of depression.

Psychosis can also be exhibited by an addict. This is when they have an impaired perception of reality and is usually caused by stimulants. A person with psychosis often exhibits disorganized or bizarre behavior and may have a sudden burst of psychotic episodes. They may also experience hallucinations and many others.

Effects on Your Finances

Besides the effect on your mental and physical state, drug addiction can also drain your savings. Drugs and alcohol can often be expensive and can lead to financial problems even if you are an occasional or regular user. Addiction cannot be avoided and oftentimes, users find themselves in debt because of their need to “keep up” with their drug habits.

Problems in Relationships

One of the most common reasons why drug addicts stay in their addictive behaviors is because they tend to push supportive/loving people out of their lives. Relationships with friends, families or significant others are often strained because of their addictions. Not only that, the side effects of addiction like aggressiveness, anxiety, and depression are also among the many reasons why a drug addict cannot maintain healthy relationships. Often times, those people who are willing to help them with intervention are considered a threat to their addictive habits rather than a friend/loved one who wants to help them.

Problems with the Law

For some who suffer from addiction, they may get to a point in their lives where they have nothing left to lose mentalities. This may result in them starting to perform criminal behaviors. It could start with petty crimes to fuel their addictions and later escalate to more serious offenses. Serious offenses could hinder your future plans of getting into a good university or even a good job.

Final Thoughts

Addiction is everywhere these days, no doubt. But, stay away from substance abuse, nothing good will ever come from it. If you wish to keep your relationships, have a stable job, have friends and even have that sense of freedom from not doing anything bad, then you must avoid addiction at all costs. It will not only ruin you, but it will also destroy everything you have and lose the people you love. Do you really want to live like this for the rest of your life? Of course not, so stay away from addiction. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done though. If you’ve tried to fight your addiction with little to no success, it may be time to seek professional help. Cutting cold turkey is never easy, so if your addiction is serious enough, consider a rehabilitation center or therapy.

If you are addicted to a substance or know someone who is, seek medical assistance right away. It’s not too late to turn your life around. You still have time to withdraw from it and start your life all over again. After all, we all need a second chance and start on a clean slate and this is your time now.

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What is Salvia? https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/what-is-salvia/ Sat, 05 Oct 2019 15:42:14 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15387 It seems like each year, more and more people are just looking oaddictut for a different kind of “high” that they turn to alternative drugs. Some of which may be marked as “safe” or even “natural” but they are still labeled illicit. One of these drugs is salvia; what is it? Where did it come from?

Breaking Down Salvia

Salvia, or Salvia divinorum, is an herb that is part of the mint family. It is commonly found in the Southern parts of Mexico as well as South and Central America. This plant’s leaves, stem and seeds are often sold online. It can be smoked in bongs or pipes and even be infused in drinks or swallowed. Since it is an herb, this plant can also be chewed and once the materials are dried and vaporized, it often has hallucinogenic effects. 

Since it has hallucinogenic effects, the Salvia is very potent once consumed. It alters perceptions and often results in a distorted reality, creating auditory and visual hallucinations. The user cannot control their body movements and, at the same time, creates fear and anxiety which you may know as a “bad trip”. This is because of the active ingredient found in this herb is called salvinorin. Salvinorin has an atypical hallucinogenic property that binds to the kappa opioid receptors in the brain. This will then result in the rapid onset of a short-lived high that could begin within a few minutes of consuming the drug. The effect usually lasts for about 30 minutes to a few hours depending on the quantity and amount of drug consumed. 

In the United States, salvia is not an approved medical drug, nor is it used for medicinal purposes. However, it is listed under the Drug Enforcement Administration as a “drug of concern” since it has the potential to be abused by people. In 2010, it was reported that 37 states tried to regulate the sale of salvia, but was still available online. Below are some of the many street names salvia goes by:

  • Diviner’s Sage
  • Magic mint
  • Maria Pastora
  • Sally-D

Salvia is not usually addictive but if it is used regularly then it can cause concern since it has hallucinogenic effects. It is however sold as a recreational drug to some people. Although it has been found that salvia has not been thoroughly studied, it does come with neurological, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular effects to the user. That is why more studies are needed in order to understand the full capacity and nature of this drug. 

How is it Used?

Unlike marijuana, salvia cannot be used in joints or rolled cigarettes. This is because the dried leaves of the herb are not as potent compared to marijuana. That is why the leaves must be fresh in order to create an extract from them. It can be used in water bongs and can be infused in drinks as well as vaporizer pens. As mentioned, it can also be chewed but the dried leaves are not as potent. There are still some hallucinogenic effects but are milder when compared to the use of fresh leaves. 

The Effects of Salvia on Your Brain and Body

There is still no clear explanation as to how salvia affects your brain, but it is believed that the main ingredient, salvinorin, attaches itself to nerve cells in your brain and creates hallucinogenic effects. These side effects could take over within 10 minutes of consuming the drug. The effects are usually short-lived but results may also vary since some people can experience the high for a few hours. Some side-effects may include:

  • Auditory, visual hallucinations as users can experience seeing brighter colors, extreme shapes, and figures as well as vivid colors.
  • Slurred speech
  • Having an “out of the body” experience
  • Altered perception of surroundings
  • Anxiety
  • Unexplained fear
  • Uncontrolled laughing

While there are physical side effects seen on the user, it can also cause nausea and vomiting, loss of control over coordination and motor functions, irregular heart rate and dizziness, especially for first-time users. There are also other signs and symptoms that could be labeled as alarming or can cause for concern. Once the user exhibits the following behavior or side effects, you must immediately seek intervention. Here’s what you need to look out for:

  • Drug dependence
  • Using on a daily basis
  • Socially withdrawn and secretive
  • Uses other drugs to keep the effects of salvia even longer
  • Mood swings
  • Takes on risky behaviors or is more prone to accidents
  • Eating pattern has changed (either eats more or less than usual)
  • Sudden change in work/studies performance
  • Loss of interest in physical appearance
  • Cannot focus 
  • Forgetfulness

Treatment for Salvia Abuse

One of the most common treatments for people who are addicted to salvia is detoxification. However, since the effects of this drug happen quickly and briefly, detox may not be necessary. There have been no reports of salvia overdose, so detoxing from this drug is rare, but must be done in a safe and secure environment. Low levels of stimuli are also needed in order to purge the drug out of the user’s system. 

Besides detox, therapy can also help a person who has abused salvia (or other types of drugs), allowing them to redirect their negative behaviors to something more productive. Giving education during therapy sessions can also help the user understand the risks of drug addiction and discourage them from using substances like salvia. Improving the communication skills between loved ones and the user can also help improve their case. Stress management is also important for the user as this teaches them to improve their self-esteem and self-image while getting the treatment. 

Final Thoughts

Yes, salvia is plant-based, but it can still be addicting. Since it has hallucinogenic effects, it could be something that people will be looking forward to using over and over again specially since it is not entirely regulated yet. So if you or someone you know is addicted to salvia, it is best to seek help immediately. By doing this, you can help yourself or your loved one to turn their life around and not spiral down into the destructive effects of drug abuse. Stay away from addiction, it only ruins lives.

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Addiction To Video Games https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/addiction-to-video-games/ Wed, 02 Oct 2019 03:29:23 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15382 Video games were created to be enjoyed and shared with family and friends, but what if you played more than you should? This could lead to an alarming video game addiction without you even noticing it.

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, a lot of gamers suffer from what they call the “Gaming Disorder”. This disorder has been categorized in their International Classification of Disease stating that gaming disorder is a “pattern of persistent gaming behavior, online or offline, as manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over the life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequence.” That being said, being addicted to video games can become unhealthy and could destroy your life. It is also important that you know the signs and symptoms so you can identify whether or not you or someone you love has a gaming disorder.

What Makes a Person Addicted to Video Games?

Video games are fun and as time passes by, graphics have improved to be even more inviting to gamers. But what makes a video game player addicted?

Technically, video games are designed using behavioral psychology to keep gamers hooked. Because these are created to stimulate the brain, overexposure can increase the amounts of dopamine release and change the structures in your brain. That being said, players live in a world that makes them expect instant satisfaction. Players could not even realize that they have been playing for hours on end due to the immersive gameplay. In fact, with newer games designed for players to interact with others and create a world where you feel secure and in control, it is not surprising to see people get hooked.

In order to create more profits, game developers and companies often deploy games that are manipulative in design. This means players can buy things in order to customize their avatars, do micro-transactions, find loot boxes, go on a quest, etc. to keep them invested. In order for the player to get all they need, one has to actually purchase materials, skins, armor and many others that they need with actual money. Governments have even declared online video games loot boxes as illegal because it has been branded as a form of gambling.

Classic Signs and Symptoms of Video Game Addiction

Playing video games for a couple of hours is fine, but to play for more than 10 hrs straight could be destructive. Now, if you or someone you know loves playing video games all the time and has no sense of limitations, gaming disorder treatment could be something to look into. Studies conducted by the American Psychiatric Association say that there are 9 signs that you should watch out for when it comes to diagnosing gaming disorder:

  1. The individual is preoccupied with video games; in short, this person sees, thinks and breathes video games. Not an hour goes by that they don’t think about video games. In fact, it is all they look forward to once they are done with work or school. It is the one thing that is dominating their life.
  2. Mood swings occur once video games are taken away. The person could be irritable, depressed, bored, have uncontrollable cravings, become dull and sad the moment games are taken away from them. This is similar to withdrawal.
  3. A person can play games for hours without any break. They are very much focused on playing, even if it takes them hours to finish something in-game. These people are often motivated by competing with other players, completion of a quest or goal, or simply because they fear that they are “missing out” on the game.
  4. Loss of interest in previous hobbies.
  5. Unsuccessful attempts to control participation in video gaming.
  6. They use video games as a means of escape. It could be used as a way to escape anxiety, helplessness, guilt, etc.
  7. Has lied to their families, therapists or friends about their gaming habits.
  8. Does not care if they have lost a job or relationship, education or even career.

If you or someone you know has exhibited five or more signs on this list, gaming disorder may be the explanation for these actions.

Treatment for Video Games Addiction

If you are diagnosed with video game addiction, it is best to seek help immediately. Treatment for this kind of addiction has a similar approach that is used to treat people with addictions like drug and alcohol abuse. Centers offer residential and outpatient addiction programs to patients that are looking for ways to be treated.

One of the most common treatment therapy is behavioral therapy, self-help groups, and 12-step rehabilitation programs if the case is severe. Since gaming addiction is considered an impulse control disorder, you may struggle with managing your urges to play video games while in therapy. Withdrawal symptoms are very common at this stage, but you will be able to establish a dependent routine that can satisfy your urges.

There are also a number of self-help treatments and therapies that you can try in order to manage your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors related to gaming addiction. They will also teach you ways to divert your urges to something more productive and creative.

Final Thoughts

Video games are great if done in modest amounts. They can be a great way to really pass the time when you are bored or not doing anything. But the truth is that it can quickly turn into something more sinister. This is the digital age and more and more inventions are created each day to help our lives become easier. However, at the same time, it has affected our well-being. We use computers on a daily basis and it is unavoidable to create an addiction may it be to video games, gambling online, or addiction to other things that the computer world offers. If you have developed any addiction and noticed it at an early stage, seek help as soon as you can. Keep in mind that video game addiction can be avoided. You just have to take control of your life and not allow ANY video games to control you.

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Risks of Doing Recovery on Your Own https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/risks-of-doing-recovery-on-your-own/ Tue, 01 Oct 2019 18:54:43 +0000 https://arizonaaddictioncenter.org/?p=15380 Any drug or alcohol addicted person would like to recover from their addiction. In fact, a lot of people want to go through rehabilitation, but not all of them would take the step in admitting themselves into a treatment center. Some even take it into a whole other approach and this is to recover on their own. While trying to beat the addiction on your own is of good intentions, it is not always enough. Being able to stop your habit is possible but staying out of your old and bad habits can be a challenging one. This is why there are a lot of risks in doing recovery on your own.

A brain that is fried by years of taking drugs and alcohol does not always function like a normal person’s brain would. Therefore, decision-making, taking risks and inhibitions vs. rewarding one’s self is always going to be inconsistent.

The Risks of Recovering Alone

Being addicted to drugs or alcohol is tough, it can turn into a lonely situation. You tend to push people who want to help you away while trying to fight your own demons. However, if you decide on quitting and recovering on your own, it may not always be the smartest decision. Why? This is because it could pose a lot of deadly risks. Keep in mind that recovering from drug use is different from alcohol addiction and if you are suffering from both drugs and alcohol addiction, then you may have a deadly combination here.

About 16 million people in America have been reported to fight alcohol addiction alone. About 5% of these people have suffered seizures while withdrawing from acute alcohol addiction. Depending on the severity of the case, it has been reported that 7% to 25% of these individuals have died from the withdrawal of alcohol. This alone is a good reason why recovering from drug or alcohol addiction alone is not a good idea, to begin with.

It Is Not Safe

Alcohol is considered to be more dangerous than drugs when it comes to detoxing. A lot of times, people think it is easy to stop and withdraw from such addiction or its an easy and simple process that anyone can do – this is not the case all the time. Risks always come whenever a person decides on recovering on their own. Inpatient treatment is ideal for those who are recovering from alcohol addiction and is very much effective when a healthcare professional is involved. So if you want to recover on your own without any professional help then you are most likely to suffer some serious consequences, depending on the severity of your addiction.

During alcohol detox, the addict undergoes delirium tremens which is the most dangerous part of withdrawal. People who consume large amounts of alcohol each day are most likely at risk for delirium tremens. This happens when the person has a rapid onset of confusion during the first three days of detoxing and could last up to three days. Without proper supervision, patients can experience intense irregular heart rate, sweating, shaking and shivering that they cannot control. Normal people who are only quitting alcohol require a change in their behavior, but detox and withdrawal are a whole different process.

Extreme alcohol addicts who abruptly stopped drinking alcohol can lead to an untimely death. They will also experience hallucinations, intense heart palpitations, and even convulsions. This is why it is not advised to recover or detox on your own as the two phases of detoxing need assistance from other people, specifically health care professionals.

After the detoxing phase ends, the following months are also critical. This is where healing takes place and where health care professionals help the patient reduce the risk of death and other serious side effects.

Drug addiction and withdrawal is a different process compared to alcohol withdrawal. While it is not as dangerous as alcohol withdrawal, there are still risks involved and those addicts who attempt to detox on their own often end up failing. Those who quit using drugs abruptly often have life-threatening side effects. This is why inpatient treatment is done with the help of experts in order to avoid these side effects and relapse. Withdrawal symptoms usually happen within 12 hours after the person last used their drug of choice. For example, a person who is addicted to heroin usually exhibits withdrawal symptoms 12 hours after the last use. These symptoms include sneezing, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, chills, weakness, abdominal pain, and anxiety which could go on for 2-4 days.

People who are addicted to methamphetamine also undergo withdrawal the moment the user decides to stop using it. However, it does not always involve any physical symptoms. Instead, addicts go through suicidal thoughts, paranoia, severe depression, intense cravings, hunger, aggression, fatigue, anxiety, and lethargy. This is also the reason why meth addicts are not advised to recover on their own as it poses risk to your physical and mental health.

Inpatient Care with Health Care Professionals is the Best Way to Recover

Alcohol is perhaps the only substance that could kill a person who tries to recover from it alone. Drug withdrawal can also put a person at risk during the process if they do this alone. This is why it is always recommended to work with healthcare professionals if you or people you know are suffering from addiction and want to recover. Healthcare experts are able to create a plan and provide the treatment needed for the recovering addict. Not only that, but inpatient care also involves a structure that is carefully designed to help reduce the risks of side effects while making sure that the patient fully recovers.

Final Thoughts

It takes a lot of strength for an addict to decide to quit his or her addiction and we salute them for that. However, taking the responsibility to recover on your own is a different story. Brave as you are, you cannot do this on your own. The risks involved and the battle for your life is more dangerous than you can imagine, so it is best to seek professional help. If you truly love your life, this is the bravest thing that you can do: ask for help when you need it the most. Don’t be ashamed, help comes to those who are seeking it. This may be surprising, but there are people out there who love you and are willing to lend a hand if you just reach out.

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