Arizona Addiction Recovery Center Phoenix & Scottsdale, AZ Thu, 01 Apr 2021 20:39:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Arizona Addiction Recovery Center 32 32 Frequently Abused Stimulants Thu, 01 Apr 2021 04:23:09 +0000 Drug abuse has become a problem that doesn’t seem to be ending soon. Nearly every country has some proportion of drug abuse cases wherein people are illegally trading and consuming drugs. Both prescription and non-prescription drugs have become quite popular among the addicts. In this post, let’s talk about stimulant drugs and their types that are most commonly abused.

What Are Stimulants?

Stimulants are a class of highly addictive and dangerous drugs that are commonly abused around the world. These drugs are referred to as uppers and their intake increases activity in the body. Generally, stimulants are abused due to its euphoric and performance-enhancing effects which spikes energy levels and improves focus.

These drugs are often prescribed for narcolepsy and ADH disorders. However, since the drug is known to be abused by teens, young adults, and athletes, it is only prescribed when other measures are deemed ineffective. Stimulants can induce calming sensations as it increases the release of dopamine in the brain.

How Are They Taken?

Stimulants, like any other drug, are either taken orally, snorted, or even injected to get quick results. The effects, however, depends on the type of stimulant taken and can last from a few minutes to a few hours as well.

Short term effects of the drug encourage people to consume it frequently which leads to daily abuse. Long-term consequences of this drug are even worse as it directly impacts the usual working of the brain and disturbs the very basic function.

What Are The Types Of Stimulants?

There are two types of stimulants – ones that are available legally and others are sold in the illicit market. Let’s dive deep into legal and illegal stimulants and see how harmful they are:

Legal Stimulants

Legal stimulants such as nicotine and caffeine are readily available in stores whereas prescription stimulants are given by the medical personnel to use for a short period of time. Even small doses of stimulants, if continued for long, can lead to serious addiction. Here are the types of legal stimulants:

  • Concerta

Commonly prescribed to the patients suffering from the loss of focus and hyperactivity, this is a prescription medication that is only allowed when prescribed. The drug’s makeup is similar to that of cocaine, making higher intakes of Concerta even more dangerous. It has an addictive nature similar to cocaine and users who take more than recommended doses experience unusual cravings, thus leading them to addiction.

  • Adderall

This stimulant in particular is very common among young adults and teens due to its effects of improving concentration and increasing confidence. Adderall is prescribed to treat patients with ADH disorders and narcolepsy. Various students, adults, consume the drug to improve their focus for studying or exams, which soon turns into an addiction where they just cannot study without the help of this drug.

  • Anabolic Steroids

Generally, anabolic steroids are used by athletes and anyone trying to build muscle fast. These drugs are similar to testosterone and can be prescribed. However, laws around illegal possession of this drug are strict and can cost an addict as high as $1,000.

Illegal Stimulants

In the illegal market, methamphetamine (commonly known as meth) and cocaine are primarily the most frequently abused stimulants. These are deemed illicit due to their addictive nature and harmful effects on the body. If taken for long, these drugs can induce dependency resulting in an uncontrollable urge to abuse.

  • Cocaine

One of the most well-known stimulants in the world, cocaine, is a highly addictive drug. It usually has a fine white powder form, but the crack cocaine that comes in the shape of crystallized small rocks is also quite popular. For powdered cocaine, the most common way of ingesting the drug is by snorting, whereas, for crack cocaine, it is usually crushed, burned, and smoked.

Studies show that the average age for cocaine abuse is very less. Teenagers and young adults fall victim to this drug until they don’t realize it’s too late. What starts as an experimental try makes the body heavily depend on the drug, thereby making it difficult to control the urge.

Cocaine is sometimes also clubbed with other drugs to help suppress the effects of the latter. This is known as polydrug abuse. For example, it is taken with alcohol to eliminate harmful effects such as dizziness and intoxication. However, combining cocaine with another drug is even more dangerous and can have serious consequences on the body.

  • Methamphetamine

Most commonly known as crystal meth or meth, it is an extremely harmful and addictive drug that is primarily sold in crystal form and has a blue-white appearance. Meth can cause dopamine levels in the brain to shoot up which causes high levels of energy and euphoric effects that last for as long as 10-12 hours.

Methamphetamine has severe consequences on both psychological as well as the physical well-being of an individual. The drug is either crushed and smoked or is even ingested through anus or urethra. The addict experience high which lasts for a considerably longer duration, however, after the rush ends, meth can severely alter an individual’s behavior. A feeling of fear and anger overpowers the brain and the emotions get more negative.

Law enforcement agencies have been strict on meth abuse and several sources are constantly being tracked down. However, the drug is still pretty famous among the addicts who are willing to pay even heftier amounts to get the drug.

  • Ecstasy

Also known as MDMA, this drug in particular is very famous in rave parties, music festivals, etc., and is most commonly used by young adults and teenagers. The drug increases dopamine levels in the brain and enhances the pleasure center. However, long-term use can depreciate dopamine levels and increase the body’s dependency on this drug.


Various studies have concluded that teenagers and young adults are most commonly seen abusing both prescribed and illicit stimulants. However, what they fail to understand is the fact that when addiction kicks in, the drug intake can continue for years.

Students who depend on stimulants to improve focus and concentration find it difficult to manage in the absence of these drugs. It is because their body has stopped focusing naturally and it needs a push to do so. And drugs are the push.

Stimulants also have a long-term effect on the body even if you have stopped the abuse a year ago. The withdrawal symptoms are even worse and can cause the addict to relapse. It then becomes crucial to not try these drugs as even one try is enough to induce addiction. And even if you find someone suffering from stimulant abuse, seek immediate medical attention.

What Does Rehab Look Like? Fri, 26 Mar 2021 04:35:39 +0000 Rehab is a process that helps people suffering from addiction stand back on their feet to live a healthy life. Every year, millions of people seek substance abuse treatment to manage their addiction and contain the disorder to achieve long-term health.

Rehab is the best way to do that, but you must never consider it as an easy way out. The rehab centers are all carefully crafted to support those who are serious to eradicate their addictive behavior and want to live a sober life. The quality of addiction treatment programs here are excellent and everything from admission, to the stay and even the aftercare, are well-managed.

However, if you or your loved ones are seeking/about to seek treatment in one of the rehabilitation centers, you must wonder what does it look like, how are they treating their patients, what is the schedule, and how is a typical day in a rehab spent.

To answer these, let’s proceed to first understand how the process starts.

The Start

It all begins with searching for a certified treatment center. There would be a long list of centers you will come across during your search, however, only a few would be able to fit in your criteria. Your insurance package, services offered, waiting list, and location play a crucial rule in decision making.

After this, you need to go to the rehab for the admissions where a series of assessment takes place before you’re officially enrolled for inpatient treatment. This process is crucial as it determines your condition based on which the treatment is finalized. The following process takes place before the treatment begins.


A detailed and focused consultation with the medical practitioner takes place. During the process, the therapist can ask you questions, answer yours, and can help you with your preparatory planning. The consultation usually includes discussion that is focused on your possibilities and the treatment that you are more likely to receive.

Psychological And Physical Analysis

Before the treatment starts, a full psychological analysis is carried out. This is a sign of a quality treatment center. An addiction psychologist would examine you for any disorder such as anxiety, depression, etc. so that the treatment can be curated based on this analysis.

You will also be taken to a physician who will work with you to track down your level of addiction. The examiner will conduct a thorough check to see any health problems that may affect the recovery process. It also lays out the potential severity of withdrawal so corrective measures can be taken well in advance.

The Plan

A cumulative report based on the physical and psychological analysis is shown with a custom plan for you. This plan includes exactly what is required depending on your level of addiction.

The Rehab Days

When in rehab, you must remember sleeping in is not included in your plan. You must get up early and enjoy a healthy breakfast. Some rehabs also offer early morning yoga and meditation classes which are mandatory to attend. The idea is simple – to develop a healthy routine that the people continue to follow even post-rehab.

Following breakfast, there is generally a session led by a therapist focusing on treatment process and recovery. The therapist stresses on the issues or the people who have ignited the desire to carry out substance abuse. The focus here is to provide clarity.

The afternoon is again a series of therapeutic sessions which includes most intensive treatments of the day. Post lunch, you are likely to receive:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

It is a one-to-one session where the therapist studies your behavioral response to certain triggers which are possibly the cause of your addiction. The therapy is executed in a safe environment where it is easier for you to open up and share the details.

After the triggers are well identified, the therapist tries to replace those past traumatic experiences with new, healthier, and more positive thoughts. The frequent practice of CBT causes the patient to adopt alternative responses to their anxiety. The reason why it is considered as one of the most effective treatments for addiction.

  • Specialized Sessions

These specialized sessions are conducted to ensure that people can manage and contain their emotions. The sessions can be helpful for grief counseling, anger and stress management, etc. The primary focus here is to develop coping techniques in the patients to handle such issues with ease rather than choosing the path of substance abuse.

  • Group Therapy

Group therapy is a way for addicts to sit around and share their personal stories with fellow participants who’ve gone through similar experiences. Since all of the people in the room have some struggles of addiction, there is no fear of being judged. In fact, group sessions provide a feeling of trust and friendship among the participants. As a result, they become more open and understand each other’s problems with more empathy. Sharing personal feelings with one another also aids in quick emotional healing.

Additionally, some rehabs may also invite speakers to share their stories. The invited ones are usually those who have been through addiction and overcame it to lead a successful and healthy life. The idea here is to keep the hopes of the residents uplifted irrespective of their current condition.

Residents are advised to go to the bed at reasonable hours so that it cultivates values and ensures a healthy routine is followed always.

Is Rehab Only About Therapeutic Sessions?

No. There are other recreational activities carried out by some of the rehabs which can help distract your mind and also enjoy while you’re at it. Dance, music, art, and exercise therapies are quite famous among rehab residents.

Furthermore, there are a couple of hours window provided for the residents to spend it however they wish to. Various activities including volleyball, basketball, pool, table tennis, and even swimming are available for the people to choose from. However, some people read books or even engage in meditation during their free time.


Rehabilitation centers are a way of providing an adequate environment, conditions, and specific treatments to deep clean addiction disorder from your system. It helps ignite confidence in the residents so that they can keep their healthy traits even after leaving rehab.

The daily meetings and therapeutic sessions will quickly help you analyze patterns of behavior that you need to change in order to overpower your addiction. However, it all works when you are dedicated and passionate to live a sober and healthy life. Rehab can guide you, rest is in your hands.

What’s Better: Individual or Group Therapy? Thu, 25 Mar 2021 22:06:16 +0000 When you are going through the first initial stages of addiction recovery, you will likely go through some different kinds of therapy to help you cope with this newfound sobriety. When you’ve been trapped in addiction for some time, it can be a difficult thing to overcome. Your brain has been rewired to think that substances are necessary for you to function normally. A huge part of addiction recovery therapy is rewiring your brain to what it was before substances took control. However, this is easier said than done. Therapy is used as a means of rewiring a substance-addicted mind and there are two kinds of therapy that people often engage in: individual and group therapy.

These two kinds of therapies are staples in the recovery process, but is one better than the other? Today we’ll be answering the question, “What’s better? Individual or group therapy?”

Individual Therapy

First on our to-do list is defining individual therapy. Individual therapy is when a person receives one-on-one therapy sessions with a licensed counselor or therapist. The great thing about individual therapy is the client can receive the full, undivided attention of their therapist. Therapists work directly with the clients in a controlled environment, which allows them to receive an intense and focused therapeutic experience.

With individual therapy, the client and the therapist can establish a closer connection and a stronger alliance. Typically, clients are able to open up easier in individual therapy because there is no one else there. Sometimes, it can be hard for people to open up about their past when there are more people around. With an individual therapist, a client is guaranteed complete confidentiality; whatever they choose to share is safe between the therapist and client. Since there is a stigma around addiction that causes many addicts to feel shame when people learn of their struggles, individual therapy is often more appealing. 

Individual therapy is tailored towards the client’s needs rather than a collective’s needs. This is just another way for former addicts to tailor their own pace for their journey into sobriety. This form of therapy is specifically for the individual, clients are able to take whatever pace they’re comfortable with. It does take some time for a person to open up to someone they do not know, but eventually, the therapist and client will form a strong alliance. This creates a safe space for the client to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in an effort to get to the root of their problems with addiction. 

Now, let’s discuss group therapy for addiction recovery. 

Group Therapy

Contrary to individual therapy, group therapy consists of more than one individual being treated in a single environment. This kind of therapy typically has one or more therapists are treating two or more than two individuals at a time. The sizes of these groups vary, but the number of therapists is usually one or two, depending on the size of the group. More specifically, group addiction recovery therapy often consists of 10 or more individuals. Research has shown that for these groups to be effective, there should be no more than 15 individuals to one therapist. The bigger the group, the less a person can share. For more effective results, groups should be somewhere between 6-12 individuals. This kind of therapy is also generally more affordable than individual therapy.

One of the great advantages of group therapy is that a person can realize that they are not alone in their struggles. As we mentioned previously, there is a massive stigma surrounding addiction; many people view it as a personal problem. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. People all over the world struggle with addiction and it is far from a choice. When a person surrounds themselves with other people that are having the same/similar problems, they will start to realize they are not alone and what they’re going through is not out of the ordinary. This can help alleviate unnecessary stress and anxiety they may experience after their initial decision to start living sober.

Not only is the therapist able to help provide support to the clients, but clients are able to provide support to one another. Let’s say one person is having an especially difficult time opening up about their past struggles … if they see more people opening up about their past struggles with addiction, they may feel more comfortable sharing their own experiences sooner than they would in individual therapy. This can help them develop a greater sense of self after hearing people who suffer from the same kinds of issues.

This kind of therapy can also help a person develop better communication and social skills. In group therapy, you’re encouraged to work and communicate with others more than you would in individual therapy. They could even create real friendships out of the connections they develop in group therapy. Accountability partners and sober friendships can be easily formed while in group therapy sessions. 

Which is better? Individual or Group Therapy

So now, this begs the question: What’s better? Individual or Group Therapy? The answer is not so simple! There is no “one size fits all” therapy because humans are unique and have different needs. Individual therapy may work great for one person, but it may not work great for another. One former addict may have an easier time opening up in group settings while another may have a more difficult time doing so. This is why the answer to the question is neither. Neither individual or group therapy is better than the other.

There are plenty of factors a person should consider to determine which form of therapy is best for them. Financial status, social abilities, communication skills, etc. all play a significant role in determining which kind of therapy is better for a person. There are plenty of other factors a person will need to consider before choosing individual or group therapy for their addiction recovery, but ultimately they will be able to figure out which kind of therapy will ultimately be best for them. 


Importance of Detox for Substance Abuse and Alcohol Mon, 22 Mar 2021 15:07:07 +0000 If you are looking for substance or alcohol abuse treatment it’s important to understand the importance of detox in terms of recovery. There isn’t a recovery option that is suitable for every substance or situation — and that’s why finding the right program is important.

Proper substance abuse treatment that is catered specifically for the needs of the patient is crucial. We are going to help you understand why detox is so important and how to find the best treatment for alcohol and substance abuse.

Why Detox is Important for Substance and Alcohol Abuse

The environment of the treatment facility plays a key role in the entire recovery process. While some facilities offer what some consider to be comfortable amenities, it’s for reasons far beyond marketing and attracting patients.

A very comfortable and relaxed environment creates a setting that makes the patient more comfortable about opening up and discussing his or her situation with staff members. It’s also distraction free — and away from temptation and bad influence.

It’s much easier for a patient to look forward and keep a positive attitude in a comfortable environment. The more relaxed they are and the more activities available to them, the better chance they stand of staying clean and completing the detox program and entering back into their normal lives sober.

The detoxification process at Detox of South Florida involves much more than simply refraining from drinking alcohol or taking drugs — it involves a complete disconnect, evaluation and plan to move forward and past the problem.

Activities Aid in Detox and Recovery

Keeping recovery patients distracted and occupied while in treatment is very important. Whether it’s physical activities like bike rides or ping pong, or mental exercises like puzzles or board games, organized distractions are part of the detox process.

This is done to keep the patient occupied at all times. The last thing you want to do is create an environment that causes them to become bored — that greatly increases the chance of them thinking about alcohol or drugs — and focusing their energy on that, rather than the recovery process.

Some of the more common activities at Rehab South Florida, the substance abuse and Alcohol facility center include:

  • Board games and puzzles
  • Video games
  • Reading
  • Bike rides
  • Ping pong
  • Swimming
  • Fishing
  • Cooking
  • Running
  • Gym training

Have you ever wondered why many of the top rehab facilities are located in Florida and California? It’s no coincidence — the weather and the available activities play a large role. Being able to participate in outdoor activities year-round is very important.

Being outside is very healthy, and many of the most effective detox activities are done outside. Part of the treatment process is showing the patient that there are many different activities and hobbies that they can participate in that allow one to enjoy life without drugs and alcohol.

Finding the Best Detox Options Available

So, where can you turn when it’s time to find the best detox program to kick a substance or alcohol abuse problem? The internet has quickly become the number one source of information on the available treatment options.

Think about it — how did you land on our website? The internet. There are many different factors to consider when choosing a facility, though. What is the staff to patient ratio? Is it an inpatient or outpatient treatment program? How long is the program? What happens if the patient shows signs of relapsing? What is the overall success rate of long-term sobriety?

These, along with other questions, must be asked. Remember, your goal is to find the very best substance abuse or alcohol abuse treatment program. The answers to these questions will help you find the best detox program.

Mental Health Concerns to Consider

When it comes to substance abuse — drugs and alcohol — there are often issues related to mental health that will also need to be addressed. These are often what directly creates the initial problem and continues to fuel it.

Taking care of the underlying issues in addition to the actual addiction itself, help to ensure long-term recovery and sobriety. Identifying and addressing the issues allows solutions to be created and executed.

It also enables the patient to move past them. Eliminating these issues from the equation removes the possibility of the patient falling back on them and using them as an excuse or reason to relapse. Mental health conditions are highly common in those that suffer from substance abuse.

Identifying and acknowledging them plays a big role in the recovery process. Look for a detox program that focuses on this aspect of recovery — if not, the likelihood of relapse is greatly increased.

Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Detox Treatment

When selecting a detox program to aid in substance abuse treatment you have two choices when it comes to programs available — inpatient and outpatient. One isn’t necessarily better than the other — they both have their pros and cons and it really depends on the patient and his or her specific needs.

Remember, it’s important to find a treatment and detox option that works for the patient’s needs. Otherwise, the odds of a successful treatment and discharge are going to be low. A detox program isn’t a copy and paste solution — they must be tailored specifically for the individual.

When it comes to drug abuse and alcohol abuse, inpatient treatment programs are typically preferred. But, with that being said, it’s not always an option. Some patients might not have access to an inpatient program and an outpatient detox recovery program might be their only option.

For these reasons we will explain both, inpatient and outpatient options. Both offer detox treatment options to those that are serious about making a positive change.

Inpatient Detox Treatment

The major component of an inpatient detox program is the fact that it’s a 24-hour program. The patient stays at the facility, where he or she receives around the clock supervision and help. This creates a secure and safe environment for them to detox under the guidance of addiction professionals.

Most detox programs will assign one main detox and treatment counselor who will be their main point of contact. This is done to establish trust and build a relationship that strengthens over time, allowing the patient to comfortably open up.

The majority of inpatient detox for substance abuse programs are 30 days long. Once completed there is generally another 30, 60 or 90 days of residential treatment, where the program will follow up with the patient to make sure he or she is continuing the program and refraining from relapsing.

For severe detox, there are inpatient programs that are long-term. These programs are typically for the most extreme cases and situations, or for past patients that have already entered and failed programs in the past.

Outpatient Detox Treatment

Some patients cannot commit to a 30 day stay at an inpatient treatment facility, and in those situations a highly monitored outpatient program can still be effective. They are generally more flexible and work around the patient’s schedule and availability.

There are scheduled meetings and treatment sessions that they must attend at the facility, but they are not required to stay overnight. Work and family obligations are the two main reasons patients will opt for an outpatient detox program.

If work or family is a concern and/or priority it’s often a good sign that the patient understands his or her responsibilities and they are serious about getting help before the situation spirals into a larger more serious problem.

Addiction severity for an outpatient program is oftentimes lower than the more interese cases that require inpatient treatment. Alcohol abuse and substance addiction can be effectively treated with outpatient detox programs — as well as lowering the possibility of relapsing.


Long-term Effects of Addiction Thu, 18 Mar 2021 06:14:10 +0000 Drug addiction takes only a couple of attempts to develop but takes a huge amount of time to cure and turn life sober again. What’s even more horrific is the fact that the addiction might not even completely eradicate from your body and you will always be battling the effects of it. And apart from constantly burning a hole in your pocket since they are expensive, frequent usage of drugs can also have severe consequences on your health.

The ill-effects are not limited to physical ailments but also psychological which comes from the fact that drugs and various other harmful substances have the power to rewire the brain and make it depend on the substance abused. This accounts for the uncontrollable urge most addicts get even if they do not wish to continue. What starts as a just for fun adventure soon turns into a lifelong nightmare.

Here is how addiction can destroy your mental and physical well-being:

Effect on Physical Health

Substance abuse can harm your physical health with some of the damage even lasting for years. There might even be complications that may last forever. The impact on your physical health depends largely on the level of addiction, existing health problems, and how long have you been into substance abuse.

  • Kidney Damage

If drug abuse is habitual and has lasted for a long period, it can create serious damage to the kidneys. Many drugs result in muscle breakdown, dehydration, and high body temperatures. All these factors contribute small damages to the kidneys which over time becomes huge. Complete failure of kidneys is observed in addicts who have abused MDMA, heroin, ketamine, and other similar substances for a long time.

  • Cardiovascular System Damage

Drugs are hard on the heart and pose a potential threat to the cardiovascular system. Stimulants like cocaine cause damage to the heart whenever they are used. Long-term use of drugs can cause irregular heartbeats, spike blood pressure, increase the heart rate, and can even cause a heart attack. Drug users who inject drugs may experience collapsed veins and infection in the blood vessels.

  • Liver Damage

Usually, liver failure is associated with alcohol abuse, however, long-term use of steroids, opioids, or inhalants can also damage the organ. The liver is the most important part of our body as it aids in cleaning toxins from the blood vessels. Frequently misusing substances can increase toxicity in the blood which may cause the liver to overwork. This may lead to tissue necrosis, chronic inflammation, scarring, and even cancer in severe cases. The risk doubles when drug use is combined with alcohol abuse.

  • Respiratory System Damage

Various drugs that are inhaled or smoked can weaken the respiratory system and cause serious damage to the lungs. Drugs such as marijuana and crack cocaine can directly affect the lungs causing diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and lung cancer.

  • Intestinal Damage

Intestinal damage refers to the decay in the stomach and intestines which is caused by many drugs. This can weaken the function of intestines and result in acid reflux, chronic pain, and an upset stomach.

Physical health problems become worse with time and so, it is important for anyone suffering from addiction to seek immediate medical attention. Diagnosing the disorder sooner can help the patient to minimize these health problems with an added advantage of also stopping the addiction to further spreading in your system.

Effects on Psychological Health

The power of drugs can be understood from the fact that even a dose or two of some of the drugs is all that’s needed to develop an addiction. Frequent and long-term use of drugs restructures the brain and makes it more dependent on the drug. The brain and the body become so used to the substance, that the day you try to skip the drug intake, your body responds with negative effects like withdrawal symptoms. These can be as bad as cramps, stomach ache, bad mood, or even unnecessary anger. According to PCS Revenue Cycle Management, an authority in medical billing and addiction treatment, the following symptoms are very common with drug addiction Arizona:

  • Depression

Various mood disorders including depression are linked with substance abuse. Either the addiction started with preexisting depression or frequent substance abuse can cause it over time. Drugs induce significant changes to the brain which promotes depressive symptoms. Some people who refuse to undergo treatment choose to self-medicate using drugs which makes the condition even worse.

  • Memory Damage

Drugs impact the brain and reduce its power of conceiving information and storing the same for later use. This not only poses difficulty in remembering things but also makes it tough for the addicts to retain new information in the brain.

  • Paranoia

Some drugs such as marijuana and cocaine make the user paranoid and the symptoms keep in severity increasing over time. Also, people who suffer from addiction tend to hide and lie about their addictive behavior from their friends and families, which roots from the fear of being caught. Since most of the abused drugs are either illegal or aren’t intended for abuse, the feeling of paranoia keeps mounting for long-term drug abusers.

  • Brain Structure

Addiction not only restructures the brain but also makes it nearly impossible to leave drug use without facing consequences. When a drug is abused for a long time, our bodies start getting used to the drugs and once it does, it develops a dependence on the drug. This dependence can go on to become so severe that if even the addict wants to leave drug abuse and live a sober and healthy life, the brain and body disapproves.

Feelings of anger, frustration, irritation, anxiousness, restlessness, and sudden mood swings are all a sign of addiction. A long term substance abuse can make the addict lose physical coordination, develop poor hygiene, and an urge to constantly lie.


Addiction is bad. So much so that the moment you’d come to your senses, it would already be inside your systems weakening the organs one by one. Even if you have an addiction and it’s not been so long, you can immediately seek medical attention to reduce the symptoms to save your body’s health.

Celebrity Deaths Due To Drugs in 2020 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 17:05:29 +0000 Living like a celebrity has its own set of perks.

You live your life like the way you want. It’s all glitz and glamour around you. One tends to feel like they are on top of the world.

Although however, glamorous and positive you may find it, there’s never denying the parts which make it a little less desirable. We may not realize it but they do go through a lot of stuff.

One of them being- drug addiction.

Yes, addiction. It may seem like a vice, but a lot of celebrities are known to have been facing the problem of addiction at some point in their lives.

Although many of these celebrities are able to overcome their addictions and come out stronger, there are some who aren’t able to climb up the ladder again.

Behind all the glamour, at some point of time, there’s depression, loneliness, addiction, stress and much more. All of this when combined with influential social circles and hefty paychecks lead to a vicious cycle of drugs and other addictive and harmful substances.

While the effects of some may seem short-termed, the long-term effects, as we may see, might turn out to be fatal.

2020 has already been a rollercoaster ride for the entire world. What made it worse was a few celebrities which left us and were a victim of drug-related abuse.

  • Jason Davis

The famous actor who stayed in Los Angeles, California, died this year on February 16th.

Jason was a celebrity actor who gained fame as the voice behind Mikey Blumberg, from the animated series Recess.

According to a report released after his death, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner, the actor died from the effects of Fentanyl.

Jason Davis had also co-founded the organisation Cure Addiction Now, which assisted in funding research for people who were suffering through substance abuse.

  • Justin Townes Earle

Justin Townes Earle was a singer, musician and songwriter who hailed from Nashville, Tennessee. A talented soul, Justin went on to release many full-length successful albums which earned him many awards.

However, Justin passed away in August when he was just 38. The cause of death was revealed in a report from the Tennessee Department of Health revealed in December stating that Earle died of an accidental “acute combined drug toxicity”, as mentioned in the Rolling Stones magazine.

Justin was quite vocal and concerned about the opioid epidemic and how legal drugs were one of the major reasons behind major deaths.

In a Facebook post uploaded by his friends and family members, it was revealed that traces of fentanyl were found. It was due to the fentanyl-laced cocaine consumed by the singer that led to an overdose. Justin was the son of alternative country artist Steve Earle.

  • Lexii Alijai

Alexis Alijai Lynch or Lexii Alijai was an American rapper hailing from Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Alexis was just 21 when she died on January 1, 2020, in a hotel room in Minneapolis.

According to a few sources, it was revealed that Alexis was found dead at the Loews Hotel, and didn’t respond to the efforts made by the first responders to revive her.

It’s reported that Alijai died from an overdose of the painkiller Percocet, a prescription opioid that is a combination of oxycodone and acetaminophen.

The young rapper was seen as an upcoming and rising talent in the music industry. Her sudden and untimely death was sad for many of her peers.

  • Chynna Rogers

Chynna Marie Rogers or Chynna was a rapper, model and disc jockey. Chynna died of an overdose. The celebrity had previously suffered addiction but had been sober since 2017. She attended rehab for the same.

Chynna was found dead on April 8, in Philadelphia

According to a statement by the Philadelphia Department of Health, the cause of death for Chynna Rogers was ascertained to be an accidental drug overdose.

In a statement, she stated how it was important to talk about the drug issue, stating that people should know that they aren’t along who are suffering through this.

“I see a lot of artists decide they want to go through s–t with their fans, and that’s cool because it gives your fans something to hold onto. But I need to handle it myself first, and then, when I’ve figured out how I want to word it, we can talk about it–y’all not about to go through it with me,” she said in a statement.

Chynna started her career when she was just 14 and was associated with ASAP Mob, performing singles and collaborative tracks.


Celebrities seem to be like the people who have the most sorted life around. However, as glamorous as it seems, there are certain aspects of everyone’s lives that are hidden and not so good looking.

While they seem to be living their lives as no one else does, they do have their own set of problems, which leads to such unforeseen events, hence jeopardising their and their loved one’s lives.

Keeping that in mind, this goes on to portray how important it is to be grateful for the things that we have.

Impact of Decriminalizing Drug Possession – AZ Prop 207 Fri, 18 Dec 2020 05:34:20 +0000 Arizona just legalized marijuana and has passed prop 207 to decriminalize drug possession. Oregon, too, has become the first state to pass measure 110 and has taken the first step towards making the healthcare system more empathetic and inclusive for addicts. Here’s everything you need to know.

The overall impact of Oregon measure 110 

The entire point of introducing measure 110 is to find an alternative for the current system. Those who voted in favor of the measure said that imprisoning people in possession of drugs hasn’t been shown to work.

There’s no decline in the addiction rates. Instead, the number of deaths and overdose reports have only been growing. So, it’s time to look at our options.

Oregon measure 110 allows the state to offer addiction recovery treatment without raising taxes as it aims to repurpose the money obtained by reducing the incarceration rates, saving $44,021 behind every inmate annually.

The state’s confidence in this new system comes from its historical victory. Six years ago, Oregon legalized the use of marijuana. Since then, they haven’t experienced even the slightest spike in youth usage or in crimes related to drugs.

Additionally, the measure is also set to quadruple funding for non-Medicaid treatment. This includes offering more than $100 million in new funding to recovery services, making healthcare more inclusive for addicts.

This measure will also give rise to addiction recovery centers that will be designed in such a way that they will assess the needs of substance abuse patients and addicts, allowing the state to work on the existing treatment.

But wait! There’s more.

State economists are expecting the 17% tax on retail cannabis to work its magic. The revenue for 2019-21 is projected at $291 million. And the good news is that the money will be used for improving the facilities offered to the public.

The primary reason for their optimism has, again, got something to do with Oregon’s history.

In 2017-19, the state collected $184 million in cannabis tax revenue after legalization. So, the projection of $291 million would mean having a 58% increase in the state’s revenue, which will ultimately benefit the residents.

How Arizona Proposition 207 will change things for everyone

With 59% of positive votes, Prop 207 has allowed the legalization of recreational cannabis for adult use. This also means that the government can now begin taxing it.

Now, people above the age of 21 years can purchase up to 1 oz. of marijuana or have up to 6 plants at home. And apparently, people are loving it.

The decision is a popular one because there are 1,800,000 votes and counting that favor the proposition – a figure that has surpassed the total votes for both Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

It’s a historic win for the public because it promises two things – the release of those convicted for the possession of marijuana and the promotion of a more inclusive public healthcare.

Let’s look at the promise of criminal justice reform. Possession of drugs attracts court intervention and criminal proceedings, leaving a permanent mark on your record.

If drug possession is decriminalized, it can allow people to have a second chance at a better life without the lifelong criminal tag. It will provide people with an opportunity to rebuild their careers without struggling to pursue professions in legal institutions.

Aside from that, it will also make addiction support accessible because drug possession won’t be seen as a punishable offense anymore.

Prop 207 also makes numerical sense. Arizona has 1.2 million cannabis users. So, the state is expecting to generate $341 million in revenue in the first year. The state tax is also said to rise from 4.5% to 8% – a great feat amid COVID-19.

As expected, the money will be deposited into the Smart & Safe Arizona Fund and will be used to offer public safety, community education, better healthcare, and improve the addiction recovery treatment process.

And if that’s not enough, by 2023, prop 207 is also projected to create 385,000 to 475,000 job opportunities in the cannabis industry. So, former addicts will always have a future after their recovery is complete.

Finally, prop 207 will also ensure the promotion of social equity because it’s designed to offer licenses particularly to social equity applicants, which is expected to improve patient and consumer access in Arizona.

So, if you belong to the minority groups, you have a chance at establishing your own dispensary once you embrace sobriety.

What does history tell us about decriminalizing drugs?

Decriminalization of drugs simply means reducing drug prohibition laws. Basically, drug decriminalization refers to supporting the use of fines or other forms of penalties, instead of imprisonment.

They also don’t get an entry in their permanent records, which allows them to pursue career opportunities that they’re interested in.

Most importantly, both Oregon measure 110 and Arizona prop 207 will help reduce the stigma around addiction – something that has possibly caused more harm than the drugs.

Stigmatization of addiction and substance abuse has given rise to a knowledge gap and misinformation among the general population. So, it has become quite difficult to regulate information on drugs and addiction. Removing the stigma is sure to make professional help more accessible.

There are various case studies that have proven the positive impacts of decriminalization drugs with Portugal being one of the most prominent examples of that.

When drugs were first decriminalized in Portugal in 2001, those caught in of them were sent to rehabs or recovery centers. They were offered therapy and the courts avoided giving prison sentences.

As a result, the first five years saw some major changes. The use of illegal drugs among teenagers had gradually declined and the cases of deaths due to heroin and other hard drugs went down by more than 50%.

Another notable change that happened was the rate of HIV infections among substance abusers saw a drop and twice as many people began seeking addiction recovery treatment.

Suffice to say, regulation of drugs can allow the government to make constructive changes in society’s DNA. It can help control and provide the masses with accurate information about substances and mental health disorders while allowing people to find help as soon as possible.

How AARC is doing our part in light of Prop 207

Teenage drug abuse is one of the biggest problems facing America today. Just like the government is taking initiatives to make healthcare inclusive and accessible, AARC is on a mission to offer affordable addiction recovery treatment to everyone involved with us.

With the help of our donors, we’ve enabled thousands of adolescents and teenagers to find mental, financial, and medical support, so they can have a healthier future.

The Story of Tony Hsieh: Don’t Delay Help Thu, 10 Dec 2020 04:54:38 +0000 The sad and unexpected demise of Tony Hsieh left many people sad and numb. Not just the close ones who knew him but the millions of others whom he inspired. He was a person full of positivity and wanted to impact as many lives as he could in a positive manner.

The 46-year-old entrepreneur was a co-founder of a billion-dollar firm called Zappos. His untimely demise has left a void that’s certainly not easy at all to fill.

The entire scenario brings into question an issue which is widely known but less talked about- addiction.

Tony Hsieh and many others like him suffer from various type and kinds of addiction. Whether its substance, or alcohol, or any other kind. The irony is that the victims of addiction are much more talked about after their demise rather than before when they can be saved and given a new life.

Keeping that in mind, let’s study the life of Tony Hsieh and how an early intervention into his lifestyle could have saved his life.

Early Life: Humble Beginnings

Tony’s journey to success started at Harvard. He was born to Taiwanese immigrants living in San Francisco.

At Harvard, Tony Hsieh majored in computer science. Adding to that he started selling pizzas to his dorm. This small entrepreneurial venture made him strengthen his problem-solving ability as well as empathy.

It was while he was studying at Harvard that he met Alfred Lin. Tony and Alfred wet on to create LinkExchange in 1996.

LinkExchange was one of the first digital advertising networks. From there onwards, there was no looking back. They went on to sell it to Microsoft for USD 265 million.

With such a large amount in the kitty, Tony and Alfred started investing in ideas. They opened a venture capital firm. It was during this time that his life was about to change.

The Zappos Story

While Tony was busy with his venture capital firm, he got a call from Nick. Nick was the founder of an online shoe retailer called ShoeSite.

Nick brought Tony on board. Tony invested into the company and it was later renamed to Zappos. Tony always reiterated the fact that shoes weren’t the only thing they were selling. He always focused on the customer experience, something he wanted to get right at all times.

From 24-hour customer service to a 365-day return policy, Zappos went on to become an epitome of customer service.

Seeing the positive response on Zappos, Amazon decided to buy Zappos for USD 1.2 billion. However, Tony remained at the helm of the company till August 2020.

The Downtown Project and Beginning of Addiction

Continuing his dream of creating a world full of happiness and positivity he came up with The Downtown Project. He wanted to convert the sin city of Las Vegas into a tech-oriented hub. So much so, that Tony ended up relocating Zappos to Vegas.

Tony sincerely believed that he can impact many lives involving local communities and entrepreneurs from his Downtown Project. He wanted to create a thriving community involving people from all spheres of life.

However, on the other end, it was reported that Tony’s dream project, The Downtown Project witnessed the deaths of three co-founders. He went on to move away from The Downtown Project and started to disassociate himself from his real life.

He started getting involved in recreational drugs. This started to earn him a tag of an eccentric entrepreneurial guru who partied hard. According to some of his friends, he started getting addicted to vodka, Grey Goose to be specific.

The Disassociation Phase

After stepping away from The Downtown Project, Tony lived a life disassociated from his peers.

Many sources reported him to party at The Burning Man and consume substances in unusual quantities. Most of Tony’s old friends went on to reveal that they haven’t heard from Tony in almost a year. Tony went on to ditch plans with his old friends.

Starting 2020, Tony’s addiction and dissociation problems began to rise.

2020: The Year That Could’ve Been Different

In the year 2020, many friends complained about not being able to reach Tony at all. With the pandemic impacting almost everyone around the world, Tony was impacted too.

Before the pandemic spread, Tony decided to invest in another project which involved creating a utopian dance festival space, resembling the Sundance Film Festival. He began hiring people for the same at ridiculously high salaries.

Hsieh went on to try eccentric practices. Biohacking was one of those. Biohacking refers to training your mind into reframing the body’s functionalities. He used to deprive himself of oxygen, used to go for cold baths, tried not to urinate.

Adding to this was his addiction to psychedelic drugs and most importantly, nitrous oxide. Tony got addicted to nitrous oxide, due to which he consumed more than normal amounts of the gas.

Later on, Tony apparently stepped down as the CEO of Zappos.

Unfortunately, on the morning of 18 November at around 3 AM, Tony Hsieh was found at his home in Connecticut. He went on to survive for the next 9 days but couldn’t be saved. The reason for his death was cited to be “complications due to excessive smoke inhalation.”

Conclusion: It’s Never Too Late

Tony’s sad demise seemed to be a case of isolation and addiction. Entrepreneurial isolation is a common phenomenon. According to a study conducted by a psychiatry professor at the University of California, founders are 30 per cent more likely to suffer from depression than non-founders.

According to reports in The Wall Street Journal and Forbes, Hsieh was battling depression and substance abuse.

Addiction is considered to be a taboo or a vice in our society.

While many of us consume these substances there are some who get addicted to them. Although, it may seem that it’s a choice, for many it isn’t.

Talking and even acknowledging the fact around addiction can go a long way.

The process of early intervention can save a life.

Talk to someone. It’s the best option out there.

How a bad economy and unemployment affects alcohol addiction Wed, 02 Dec 2020 05:07:00 +0000 Every time the economy takes a hit, people turn to alcohol to take the repercussions in stride. And it’s because a poor economy usually leads to a drastic loss of jobs, assets, savings, and source of livelihood for many. In fact, individual unemployment is a risk factor for alcohol misuse.

Office workers may not be the happiest all the time but they surely dodge the risk of falling prey to consuming excessive alcohol.

A recent study has concluded that people who are employed and have job security aren’t usually heavy drinkers. While they do consume alcohol, their level of consumption is much lower than those individuals who are unemployed.

For instance, between 2006 and 2012, job loss among middle-aged individuals during the downturn of the economy, and the recession was positively associated with becoming a hazardous drinker.

And that isn’t limited to middle-aged individuals. Unemployed teenagers are also at risk of alcohol addiction. The employment rate among young adults is quite high. With student loan debts at an all-time high, young adults and adolescents are left with alcohol to deal with their frustration and stress.

Safe to say, recessions in the economy and unemployment do affect alcohol addiction among all age groups. But for the sake of this discussion, let’s take an in-depth look at how and why employment opportunities influence alcoholism.

The relation between addiction and employment

Countless studies have shown that unemployment can lead to excessive consumption of alcohol, eventually leading to addiction. The frustration of being out of work or not having a stable source of income can force people to become heavy drinkers as an escape.

On the other hand, addiction can leave you feeling unproductive, which can significantly affect your job performance. If you’re constantly consumed by the thought of drinking, you might also find it difficult to focus on the most basic tasks. Naturally, this can lead to unemployment.

If anything, it’s a paradoxical situation. Alcohol addiction and unemployment are interlinked and a difficult economy are enough reasons to add insult to injury.

Factors that lead to alcohol addiction

Alcohol addiction doesn’t happen suddenly. There are various triggers that cause adolescents to drink excessively. Besides giving in to peer pressure and drinking to forget, here’s are a few more factors that can lead to alcohol addiction.

1. Length of the unemployment

Probably the most important but overlooked factor in nearly every substance abuse survey is the length of the participant’s unemployment. The question – “how long have you been unemployed?” has led to a groundbreaking discovery for the treatment of addiction.

While it’s true that any type of unemployment can lead to alcohol addiction, two studies have found a correlation between heavy drinking and the duration of unemployment.

A study found that people who have been unemployed since before the recession and have been looking for a job for less than a year struggled with alcohol addiction more than the other groups. Similarly, another study concluded that people who have been unemployed across a span of 13 years were significantly heavy drinkers.

2. Lower educational qualifications

An economic crisis generally means fewer jobs for the population. And more often than not, the ratio of people-to-jobs is, to put it mildly, awful.

So, the less educated people usually have to compete with those with better qualifications and higher-level degrees. This not only increases the competition but also reduces the number of fair opportunities available for people with lower educational qualifications.

Consequently, it puts both men and women at risk of alcohol addiction and binge drinking more than once a week.

3. Emotional influences

Our society isn’t the most forgiving one. One slip is enough to kick anybody on a downward spiral. So, while you’re dealing with major financial losses, you might also have to deal with emotional triggers.

Shame caused due to job loss and emotional traumas such as loss of family or loved ones during the economic recessions can lead people to alcohol consumption. The current pandemic saw an increase in alcohol use, which could also be due to the personal loss of a loved one for many people.

4. Psychological influences

A worldwide pandemic is a perfect opportunity for your mental health to decline over time. Experiencing psychological downsides during downturns in the economy isn’t anything unheard of. It has happened before and 2020 is no stranger to that.

Close to 80% of Australians reported experiencing mental health disorders while the figure is 41% in the United Kingdom. In Japan, COVID-19 cases are no more than 2000 while the suicide rates stand at 13,000 – an alarming gap.

Mental strain and financial pressure have gotten to everyone and people are turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism.

How to get help with addiction when unemployed

The NIDA has been extremely clear about making treatment readily available the moment you’re ready to get help. But when money is an object, and a big one at that, it can be difficult to seek medical attention.

Fortunately, there are quite a few alternatives for people who are willing to get clean. Generally,  insurance providers take care of the partial cost of the treatment. But if you don’t have that, you can also apply for scholarships or private sponsors.

Additionally, AARC also offers to help you with getting healthier. Each year, we raise more than $2 million with the help of our donors to make treatment affordable for you. Through conscious efforts, we subsidize addiction treatment for the majority of our clients.

If you or anyone you know needs help with alcohol addiction, get in touch with our team to understand your options and accelerate your treatment process.

Impact of Election Stress & Anxiety on Addiction Mon, 30 Nov 2020 05:59:10 +0000 The year 2020 started with a bang and it refuses to stop with the rollercoaster of surprises. We’ve had a lot to deal with so much that it feels like the universe accidentally put a decade worth of misery in the same year. And then, came the election. We’re still counting the votes, in case you’ve stopped checking the news.

Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, election stress and election anxiety might have gotten to you by now. And now that the results are out, things may not be celebratory for everyone. A study has revealed that depression may follow post-2020 elections.

In 2016, a set of researchers interviewed about 500,000 people across all the 50 states to find out how they were feeling around the election time.

They found that the states that supported Hillary Clinton experienced a 15% spike in mental and emotional distress between October to December. The condition worsened throughout the first half of 2017.

Countless people don’t even realize the amount of toll constant poll updates can take on our brains. So, what happened in 2016 can essentially happen in 2020. Perhaps more because the stakes were higher this time.

In fact, a survey by the American Psychological Association reported that 70% of adults had high pre-election stress this year. Nearly every citizen had an extreme opinion about the 2020 elections, so there’s a huge possibility that they’ve affected both sides – positively and negatively.

Why elections affect us

The purpose of the study was to encourage people to take care of their mental health. It may not seem like the elections affect us too much but that can’t be further from the truth.

The election process and results can directly create a significant impact on our emotional well-being.

The reason? Emotional investment!

Our relationship with the government is as important as the one with our loved ones. Mostly because they decide our future. We’re so emotionally invested in each of our candidates’ performance that it affects us when we don’t get the desired results.

The higher the stakes, the more you feel it.

Another reason for election stress may be isolation or solitude. This year, specifically, people have been feeling lonely due to the pandemic-driven lockdown.

Younger people from ages 18 to 24 are reportedly most likely to experience loneliness. So, as you burden yourself with additional political stress, it’s natural to feel exhausted and burned out.

What’s not natural is continuing to inflict that torture on yourself without finding a permanent solution for it.

Election anxiety is real

According to Clinical Psychologist Liz Matheis, who deals with special matters, there are a few common telltale signs of election anxiety. You may have election anxiety if you are

  • Frequently checking the polls
  • Thinking about or discussing the candidates and the polls throughout the day
  • Feeling tired during the day but struggling to sleep at night
  • Feeling waves of anxiety when you think about the election results
  • Feeling relieved or unusually disappointed ever since the results of the election were announced

Even as Joe Biden has been announced the 46th President-elect of the United States, the anxiety refuses to settle because the counting won’t stop. It’s been 4 days and Georgia, North Carolina, and Alaska are yet to finish the race.

The anticipation can bottle up and compel you to turn to various coping mechanisms.

Coping with election stress and election anxiety using substances

Alcohol consumption has already become a common response to COVID-19. So, when you add politics to the picture, you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

Fear, guilt, anger, shame, and depression are some of the most common internal triggers for substance abuse and addiction. When you’re so emotionally invested in the elections, it’s not unusual to feel one or more of these triggers kick in when the candidate of your choice doesn’t win.

Your brain learns to crave drugs when it’s stressed out. Election stress is no different. It’s Pavlov’s classical conditioning. So, it’s possible for you to feel the urge to use drugs, for example, if you’re consuming a certain type of political content from a particular social media page.

You may also use substances if you’re feeling vulnerable. That’s also why prescriptions for opioids increased significantly in 2016 and a high voter turnout was experienced in counties struggling with drug overdose as they may have been feeling vulnerable since the previous elections of 2012.

It’s easier to find escape in substances. Most people actually turn to them because they offer a quick fix. That’s also why therapy and treatment are so underrated and underutilized. They are time-consuming and require constant work.

What should you do instead?

Focus on doing what you can control right now. Here are four things you can do right away to cope with election stress and anxiety.

  • Define boundaries

What’s done is done. You did your part by voting for someone who you deemed fit for the President’s office. Now, it’s time to think about your life post-elections.

Give yourself a break.

All you can do is stay informed but cut down on the mindless scrolling and quit burying your head in the news. You don’t necessarily have to quit the conversation but make sure to turn off that TV for a while.

  • Bid social media adieu

Speaking of TV, social media is yet another culprit for poor mental health post-election. Although teenagers have reported that social media has a positive influence on them, it’s unwise to overlook its negative impacts.

Eating disorders, troubled sleeping patterns, and depression have all been linked with social media time and again. Know when to stop or determine a fixed routine to avoid overindulging.

  • Keep it out of the bedroom 

If you think you can’t stop using your phone no matter how much you try, make it a habit to sleep without your phone. It’s a difficult decision to make at first but once you get used to it, you’ll never want to go back to your old ways.

You can consume uncomfortable content all you want throughout the day but reserve bedtime for some light-hearted, easily-digestible content if you want to improve your sleep pattern.

  • Agree to disagree 

Because everyone has such extreme views on subjects today, it has become easier to be ignorant and intolerant toward differing opinions.

This might take some getting used to but learn to be okay with opposing views. “Stop demonizing people who think differently than us,” says clinical psychologist Lynn Bufka.

Understand that you can’t change anybody’s views in a day because their experiences are bound to be different from yours.

Remember that you can only control your actions, so learn the art of letting go when discussing political matters such as the elections.

Lastly, AARC is here to offer any help and support you need to cope with election stress and anxiety. Speak to us if you’re seeking medical assistance and we’ll get on to finding a solution to your problem right away.