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What Makes a Good Intervention Specialist?

Watching a loved one struggle with addiction is painful. You may have tried confronting them directly, imposing consequences, or even cutting off contact. If you haven’t been able to get through to them, you might want to enlist the aid of an intervention specialist.
There are plenty of independent interventionists, specialists affiliated with treatment centers out there. But how do you find an intervention specialist that’s right for you and your situation?

Find an Experienced Addiction Interventionist

No two addictions or people are the same. When you stage an intervention, your loved one may react in unpredictable ways. That’s why it’s important to have the support of someone who has been involved in a variety of interventions.
It would help if you also searched for a specialist who is licensed or registered. Some abbreviations or titles you may encounter during your search could include LAADC (Licensed Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor), LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), or CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor). Ask about their credentials and what types of interventions they have organized to ensure they have adequate experience dealing with your loved one’s substance abuse.

The Methodology of Your Professional Interventionist

Interventions can take many forms. The Johnson Intervention Model is probably the most commonly recognized approach.
Using this model, your specialist will meet with family and friends to understand your loved one’s situation, their history, and any co-occurring issues like anxiety or depression. Then, the people closest to your loved one are selected to participate in the intervention. Everyone is educated on the process and their roles before the actual intervention take place. The person typically enters treatment within a few days if the event was successful, but the specialist stays engaged with the family for support in the days that follow.
Other models take more of a family-focused approach-educating them on how to communicate with and behave around their loved ones. Please talk with your prospective interventionists about their approach so you’ll know what to expect.

The Motivations of an Addiction Interventionist

Talk to your interventionist about why they do what they do. Addiction impacts many people’s lives, and interventionists are no exception. Some of them have faced personal struggles with addiction, and it can be comforting for you and your family to talk with someone who has made great strides in their own recovery.
Their experience might mirror yours if they have also dealt with alcoholism or addiction within the family. Building rapport with your interventionist can have a calming effect on what can be a very stressful situation.

Find Help Staging Interventions in Palmdale, CA

Interventions require a great deal of planning and experience. The addiction interventionists at Cycles of Change in Palmdale, California, are here for you and your family. We understand that every situation is different. Your loved one’s intervention and the treatment plan that would follow will be customized to fit his or her needs.
Our staff and facilities are equipped to deal with alcohol addiction and drug abuse problems, and we offer dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring disorders like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. With innovative treatment programs, your loved one will have access to various therapy models that include education and relapse prevention to help keep them on the road to recovery.
Contact our team for a confidential conversation today.

A soldier works with his therapist to treat PTSD.

What is PTSD and How Does it Affect Addiction?

Seven out 10 American adults have experienced trauma in some form or another in their lives. As many as 20% of those adults may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can occur after a number of near-fatal events including combat experience, automotive accidents, sudden emotional loss, sexual assault and more. Even witnessing one of these events can be enough to develop PTSD. It’s natural to experience troubling memories for days, weeks or even a few months. However, if those intense negative feelings continue beyond that period, you could be suffering from PTSD.

What are Common Symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder often fall into four major categories:

  • Reliving the event. These aren’t just vivid memories. People suffering from PTSD often describe the feeling as actually experiencing everything about that horrible moment again.
  • Avoiding things that remind you of the trauma. After the event, victims may engage in what is commonly called “defensive living.” They avoid people, places or things that are potential triggers or reminders of the painful trauma to a degree that becomes unhealthy or unsustainable for a normal life.
  • Intense energy or anxiety level swings. People experiencing PTSD may feel incredibly jittery, anxious or alert. They can have difficulty sleeping or concentrating. Sudden outbursts of anger or reckless behavior might occur regularly.
  • Increasingly negative feelings and beliefs. PTSD sufferers may express highly pessimistic views or feelings. They may seem unable to enjoy things that once brought them happiness. Feelings of guilt, shame or fear of the world around them can dominate their thoughts.

Who is Susceptible to PTSD?

Before PTSD was recognized as an actual disorder, those afflicted with it often suffered on multiple fronts. In particular, soldiers with PTSD were generally regarded as weak by their peers. They might face ridicule or reassignment. Because the public didn’t understand the disorder, society feared those with the diagnosis. Time and education have changed that somewhat. More and more people realize that PTSD is not a sign of weakness or personal failure. Anyone is capable of developing the disorder, but some potential factors that may increase or decrease the possibility are:

  • Lengthier, more severe traumatic events
  • Bodily injury
  • Physical altercations like combat and sexual assault
  • Previous trauma
  • Age
  • What happens immediately following the event
  • Social support

Additionally, women are statistically more likely to develop PTSD than men. The increased probability of sexual assault is one possible factor here, and many women are more likely than men to condemn or blame themselves in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

PTSD and Addiction

Many people who develop PTSD gravitate towards unhealthy coping mechanisms. Drugs offer quick bursts of dopamine and adrenaline that dull the pain, anxiety and other negative feelings that someone with PTSD has come to associate with everyday life. Because PTSD and most drug withdrawals involve a number of the same pains and struggles, the person becomes lost in a cycle of chasing the highs and avoiding the lows. When multiple conditions like drug addiction and PTSD are involved, it’s referred to as co-occurring disorders. Treating one while neglecting the other often results in relapse. That’s why it’s vital to get simultaneous treatment for both issues.


If You Need Help with PTSD and Drug Rehab Near Palmdale, CA, Call Cycles of Change

At Cycles of Change, our licensed, dedicated and compassionate staff offers the highest level of care. Our counselors have been specially trained to help with PTSD and are certified for Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM). You will have access to a range of treatments that address both substance abuse and mental health issues. We are here to help you recover at your own pace, and we are committed to your long-term health and wellbeing. Your personalized treatment plan can help you understand the links between these issues and give you the tools you need to make a recovery. You don’t have to struggle with PTSD and drug addiction alone. Contact Cycles of Change today.

Several people flee a large ball of pills rolling downhill.

Painkiller and Opioid Detox

What is detox or detoxification? It’s the process your body goes through when you remove something from your system. Painkillers, opioids, and other drugs take a significant toll on your body, and there is an adjustment period where it has to relearn how to regulate itself.

Many people struggling with drug addiction—whether it’s painkillers, alcohol, heroin, or any other addictive substance—have likely already felt some early withdrawal symptoms. It’s not a pleasant feeling, and anxiety over these symptoms continuing or getting worse can drive a person deeper into addiction. You need to know that these feelings and symptoms won’t last forever, and you don’t have to go through this process alone.

Painkillers’ Effects on the Body

The reasons for taking that critical first step towards sobriety are many. Painkiller addiction has increased sharply in recent decades due to greater availability and social acceptance regarding the use of drugs. As a result, drug overdose deaths have more than tripled since 1999, and in 2008, more people died due to opioid abuse than from heroin and cocaine combined.

Opioids compromise your immune system, which can lead to more infections. A commonly known side effect of painkillers is constipation, which can lead to stomach and intestinal issues. Your hormones are affected, too. You may have experienced a lower sex drive, hot flashes, weight gain, or depression. Hormonal imbalances can also lead to infertility and bone loss.

Painkillers can have a profound effect on your brain, too—particularly the part that governs self-control. Many people begin taking painkillers to become addicted, and most heroin users have a history of opioid abuse first.

Withdrawal Symptoms During Opioid Detox

You may have tried to quit using on your own before and failed. That’s okay. Most people who attempt to go through detox on their own find themselves in the same position. Withdrawal symptoms are a significant obstacle to overcome. Even with a proper support system in place, it can be a major challenge. Some of the more common opioid withdrawal symptoms are:

  • Muscle aches
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Intense drug cravings

Medical Detox versus Sub-Acute Detox

Depending on the length and severity of your addiction, withdrawal symptoms can vary in strength. This will also determine whether you should undergo medically-supervised detoxification versus sub-acute detoxification. You should seek the guidance of a medical doctor to choose the right method for you. If medical detox isn’t required, you might be able to use a state-licensed rehab center like Cycles of Change.

Opioid Detox Near Palmdale, California

Cycles of Change is California’s premier opioid rehab treatment center. It’s our mission to help you regain control of your life. Our experienced team will develop a personalized treatment to meet your individual needs. We strive to lessen your pain and discomfort during this difficult process, so you can gain the knowledge, courage, and determination to pursue a happier, healthier, drug-free life. It doesn’t matter if you’ve tried to quit without success in the past. People recover from addiction every day, and we’re here to help you succeed. Contact us to start your recovery journey today.

A young man notices damage to his teeth caused by habitual methamphetamine use.

Can Meth Really Rot Your Teeth?

Methamphetamine (also known as meth, crystal, Tina, and speed, among other names) gives the user an incredible euphoria sense. Through a staggering release of dopamine—sometimes more than 10 times higher than from other pleasurable activities—the user also feels increased.

  • Focus
  • Confidence in physical appearance
  • Sexuality

In a cruel bit of irony, several of the drug’s harmful side effects actively work to damage your physical appearance. A typical physical attribute of someone abusing meth is extreme tooth decay or “meth mouth.”

Why Does Meth Rot Your Teeth?

There is some question over how much of the meth teeth phenomenon is directly attributable to the drug itself versus some common side effects. The chemicals present in methamphetamine have some corrosive properties that can strip away tooth enamel, your teeth’ protective outer layer. The body doesn’t replenish it when it’s damaged. Several side effects contribute to the problem, too:

  • Dried out salivary glands
  • Habitual teeth grinding (common among meth users)
  • Binging on sugary drinks and foods which often goes hand in hand with the drug binges
  • Neglected dental hygiene

All these things actively work to break down your tooth enamel. Also, blood vessels all over your body, including your mouth, constrict and may eventually die. Without healthy blood flow, your body can’t maintain itself. The amount of damage can vary wildly from user to user as no two cases of meth abuse are exactly alike.

Meth Use Causes More Than Just Meth Mouth

As we previously noted, blood and tissue damage occurs everywhere with meth use. Your skin may lose elasticity and begin sagging. Acne breakouts are common, and sores can linger. Meth drives you to burn the candle at both ends—boosting your energy levels while suppressing your appetite. Malnutrition and poor hygiene habits are other contributing factors to your rapidly deteriorating health and appearance.

The physical damage is bad enough on its own, but the drug destroys the mind just as thoroughly. Changes in your brain chemistry can damage your dopamine receptors, so the only way to feel pleasure comes from more drug use. While some studies show these areas can heal at least partially if not entirely, you might suffer from long-term behavioral changes and psychotic episodes, including:

  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Obsessive or binging behavior

Impaired memory, judgment, and coordination could be permanent consequences, and you might die from overdose or complications involved with the side effects.

Meth Addiction Rehab Near Palmdale, CA

If you’re currently struggling with addiction to methamphetamine, you might not have experienced some of these devastating side effects yet. However, meth builds tolerance quickly, requiring you to take more and more to get the same result each time. Thankfully, it’s not too late to reach out for help.

The compassionate, experienced team at Cycles of Change is here for you. No two cases are alike, and we will meet with you to find the right treatment plan for your needs. With proven treatments and supplemental programs to address your addiction’s emotional, physical, and interpersonal effects, we can provide the resources you need to make a recovery. For a confidential conversation about your case, contact our team today.

A young man struggling with cocaine addiction speaks to a counselor about what to expect when detoxing from cocaine.

Detox for Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction can take hold from your first experience with the drug. Unlike other drugs that are physically addictive, such as alcohol and heroin, cocaine is psychologically addictive. It’s second only to methamphetamine in regards to the strength of dependency. With the highs lasting just 15-30 minutes, you’re more likely to binge with it. The more and faster you use it, the stronger that dependency becomes.

When those feelings of euphoria fade, you might find yourself irritated, uncomfortable, or depressed. You may end up using more of the drug to avoid these unpleasant feelings because you think this is how life without cocaine must feel all the time. Thankfully, that’s not the case. You’re just experiencing the early stages of detoxification—that is your body’s way of adjusting to the absence of cocaine in your system. Given enough time and proper support, these feelings can subside, and you can have a healthier, happier life.

What Does Cocaine Detox Feel Like?

When your body begins adjusting to a lack of cocaine, you may experience several side effects. Depending on various factors, including the length and severity of your addiction, mood disorders, and personal background, you may have a completely different experience from someone else in recovery.

Because cocaine addiction is a mental issue instead of a physical one, you won’t have some of the more physical reactions common to alcohol or heroin detox like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. However, it can take longer to shake these mentally motivated symptoms:

  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Depressed mood
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • General feelings of discomfort
  • Vivid, unpleasant dreams
  • Intense cravings for cocaine

These symptoms are not life-threatening, but if you remain unassisted during this trying time, your chances for relapse or overdose are dramatically higher than those of someone in a treatment program.

How Long Does Cocaine Detox Last?

It’s important to seek guidance from a medical doctor to determine the severity of your addiction. While no two addictions are the same, a general timeline for a less severe cocaine detox is 1-3 weeks.

Your first few hours may have you feeling irritable or anxious with an increased appetite. However, your desire for more cocaine might actually decrease at this point. In the coming days and weeks, intense cravings for the drug may arise. You may find yourself struggling to sleep despite feeling tired. Concentration may prove difficult during this time. 2-3 weeks from your last usage may find these feelings subsiding as you return to a healthier frame of mind. The occasional craving can still arise as well as some anxiety.

Find Cocaine Detox Near Palmdale California at Cycles of Change

In less severe cocaine addiction cases, sub-acute detox at a rehab center like Cycles of Change could be exactly what you need. At our facility in Palmdale, California, we are licensed by the state to provide sub-acute detoxification—meaning treatment that does not require hospitalization or 24-hour medical care.

Our staff of licensed clinical psychologists, family therapists, medical personnel, and other industry professionals are fully invested in making your recovery a success. We will develop a personalized cocaine addiction treatment plan to provide you with the tools for continued success. Once you’ve completed rehab, we will continue to assist you on your journey by providing support groups, regular fellowship meetings, and additional wellness resources to help you maintain your sober lifestyle. Take that vital first step towards recovery from cocaine addiction, and contact us now.