All posts in Addiction Treatment

Ten Great Drug Rehab Gifts for the Holidays

Christmas and New Year’s will be difficult this year as the pandemic restrictions will

keep many of us at home, away from loved ones and friends. Office parties, family get-

together, and dinners are now limited to Zoom. ***

 

It can be challenging and depressing. However, a gift in the mail from friends,

colleagues, and family will cheer anyone up. It’s almost as good as being there.

If you have a loved one who is recovering from drug addiction, there are a number of

appropriate, compassionate, and inexpensive gifts you can give them this holiday:

 

  1. A journal: Journaling is a recommended way for people in recovery to be mindful

and to process their feelings during this time. They can also reflect later on their

feelings and struggles. Additionally, it also gives them a first-hand perspective on

how far they have come. It can be raw, honest, and encouraging. A journal is one

of the most practical, and appreciated, gifts you can give.

  1. Photo album: Most albums are kept in smartphones or computer memories.

However, this gift, a hard copy photo album can have several uses. Addiction

can cause family rifts. A photo album filled with photos of family and friends

reminds them of their journey and of those people who support them. You should

leave a few pages blank so they can fill it with meaningful photos.

  1. Fitness Center Membership: Individuals in recovery need physical activity. A

fitness center membership can do wonders for their mind and body. It gets their

mind off of their situation and helps them sleep better, too. They may also meet

people who can encourage them along their journey. (Of course, fitness center

participation varies due to COVID restrictions.)

  1. Personalized jewelry: One constant reminder of their recovery achievements

could be a personalized ring, necklace, or bracelet. It could be embossed with

the first day of sobriety and have their initials on it. (Amazon carries a large

number of jewelry items that celebrate serenity and sobriety.)

  1. Your time: Your time is priceless. So, spending it with someone in recovery is as

special and compassionate as it gets. Take time out from your busy holiday and

schedule coffee, a walk, a movie, or a Zoom call with them. Don’t rush it or look

at your watch. Just sit with them and listen, laugh, cry, and enjoy their company.

You will never regret it and it will bring happiness to their holiday.

 

Holiday arrangements can be complicated by COVID restrictions, but they aren’t

impossible. Make it memorable by giving a special gift to a loved one in recovery.

 

If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment, consult one of our

experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and

Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate behavioral health team that includes therapists, a

Psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric and medical providers a nurse practitioner,

and a psychiatrist. Services include individual, group, and family therapy for adults and

adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

 

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.

 

For more on how Zoom is being utilized for the holiday, go to this New York Post link.

 

Five Successful Sobriety Strategies for the Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner and with them come the challenges to stay sober and still have a good time. The good news is: It can be done!

Thanksgiving and Christmas should never be looked upon as a depressing time for those of us who are sober and want to remain that way. There are millions before us who have not touched a drink or drug over the holidays and made it just fine. However, just like our becoming sober and staying that way, it can’t be done it doesn’t have to be done alone. We have a few strategies for you to employ during the next six weeks that should help you not only keep stay sober but still enjoy the holiday season yourself, substance-free:

  1. Don’t sit still for too long. Idle time can be where the trouble starts dangerously. Instead, get up and get moving! Hike, walk, run, bike, and just be of service to your family and friends. Run in the annual turkey trot race. Set the table, cook the stuffing, or clean the house. There are hundreds of productive things you can do with your time.
  2. Set boundaries and keep them. We all have our “emotional triggers” and most of them can come from our loved ones. One heated conversation with a family member can set tick us off and send us to the local bar to seek old comforts and fall into bad habits. Don’t let that happen. Instead, set boundaries. Make sure they know that your loved ones know politics, religion, relationships, or any other topic you outline that may be contentious and should not be brought to are not on the table for discussion. Keep conversations with family members on lighter, kinder,  and more respectful friendlier topics. Let them know that you don’t want to get into anything that may cause you anyone irritation. If you need to, leave the table and take a walk to cool off. Let them know you have boundaries now and you are keeping them.
  1. BYOB (Bring Your Own Beverage). Going to a party is fine. Going to a party without your own preferred beverage is a mistake. Run to your favorite grocer and get the non-alcoholic drinks you like whether it’s a soft drink, sparkling water, iced tea, it doesn’t matter orange juice or chocolate milk. Bring it with you to the event and enjoy it. You will be less tempted and have fun anyway!
  1. Be thankful. Whether you have been sober for three weeks or thirty years, you should be thankful that you have made it this far. Life can be difficult and you aren’t perfect. Accept what you cannot change and work on those areas that you can change. There is no need to be in control of everything around you. It’s impossible. Your sobriety has opened your eyes to the fact that you have your space and it’s better now. Be grateful for that.
  1. Keep your friends close. Have a friend or two you can reach out to when you are feeling stressed. Your sponsor, spouse, BFF, pastor, rabbi, or neighbor whom you can trust and confide in whenever you need to do so. Make sure they have your back someone you can trust knows you’re depending on them. Keep a journal, too. Write down your thoughts or record them. Whatever you do, don’t keep it all inside.

There’s an old saying about sobriety: “I’d rather stay clean than have to get clean all over again.” If you do the 5 steps listed above you won’t have to get clean all over again. Don’t let the upcoming holidays get you down. You can do it.  It’s one more milestone to celebrate with your success.  

If you or someone you know needs substance abuse treatment, consult one of our experienced counselors. The Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate behavioral health team that includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychiatric and medical providers a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual, group, and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment.

What is Behavioral Therapy?

Treatments for people addicted to drugs vary in scope and focus. 

One type of treatment that has several types of therapies is known as “Behavioral Therapy”***. Addicts need incentives to reduce and end their dependence on the drug(s). Behavioral therapies accomplish this on several levels: 

  1. It helps the addict develop life skills that help them handle stressors that once caused them to resort to the addiction. 
  2. Cravings are blunted by redirecting environmental cues that make them desire the drug. 
  3. Drug abstinence is incentivized through newly learned behaviors.  

Behavioral therapy intimately involves the patient in changing their behavior and moving forward, addiction-free and permanently changed. There are several types of behavioral therapy that are used for addicts and, specifically, opioid users:

  1. Contingency Management (CM) is a popular behavioral therapy. It reinforces positive behaviors. Abstinence is the focus. This is used in methadone programs and has been shown to promote abstinence and increase treatment retention. 
  2. Voucher-Based Reinforcement (VBR) is for opioid abusers, mainly heroin, and cocaine users. The patient gets a “voucher” when their urine is tested and it’s drug-free. That voucher can then be used to purchase food, tickets, or other valuable items the patient can use. The vouchers start at a low value and increase in value as the patient successfully passes each urine test. If the patient has a positive urine test, the voucher values are reversed. Vouchers are an effective method of incentivizing opioid and cocaine users to stay clean. 
  3. Prize Incentives (PI) is similar to the vouchers but actually uses cash prizes as an incentive to stay abstinent. During a three-month period, the patient participates in breath tests or urine tests. If they are clean, their name is entered into a bowl for prizes worth $1-$100. Additionally, the patient may also get extra draws for attending counseling sessions or accomplishing goal-related activities.  (This method has been criticized for promoting gambling though studies have shown that it does the opposite.) 
  4. 12-Step Facilitation Therapy: Once again, abstinence is focused on utilizing 12-step self-help groups. From the patient’s daily or weekly attendance, they agree that their addiction is overwhelming and that they have absolutely no control over it. They cannot overcome their craving and dependence on it by themselves. So, they must surrender to a “Higher Power”. The patient then seeks the fellowship of other recovering addicts. The patient’s commitment to regular attendance and participation in the meetings has been shown to keep them abstinent and sustain recovery. 
  5. Family Behavior Therapy (FBT): Bringing a spouse, parent or significant other into the treatment has been shown also to be quite effective in leading the patient into positive behavior reinforcement. Opioid abuse is addressed along with other issues such as depression, unemployment, and abuse. Family Behavioral Therapy combines behavioral contracting with contingency management. The patient and family members apply the strategies and skills to improve their home life. Patients use new behaviors to stop opioid abuse. CMS (Contingency Management System) is used as an incentive when the behaviors are demonstrated. At the session, behavioral goals are reviewed. Rewards are given as goals are met. Patients can choose interventions from a menu. 

This is not a complete list of behavioral therapies. There are other therapies that we will focus on in a future blog. If you or a family member have an opioid addiction, please contact a drug treatment center immediately. 

Concerted Care Group of Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn, MD, has a compassionate Behavioral Health team which includes therapists, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a nurse practitioner, and a psychiatrist. Services include individual and family therapy for adults and adolescents. Group therapy and psychiatric services are available for adults.

Contact us at (833) CCG-LIVE to make an appointment. 

***Click here for more information on behavioral therapy.

 

   

Outpatient Drug Rehab vs. Inpatient Treatment

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs were developed to meet the immediate needs of the substance abuser. Lodging Homes and Homes for the Fallen, known as “inebriate homes,” were opened in Boston in the 1850s to treat alcoholics. 

In the 1920s, “Morphine Maintenance Clinics” were opened to treat people with morphine addiction. Halfway Houses began in the 1950s for drug and alcohol addicted persons – designed to be safe, recovery-focused homes. 

From these homes and many other treatment advances came the modern outpatient drug rehabilitation and inpatient drug rehabilitation programs. These rehabilitation programs have helped millions of addicts recover from their drug addiction to lead normal, sober lives. 

Outpatient drug rehab and inpatient drug rehab have both similarities and significant differences. Let’s look at how each one works for the patient.

Outpatient Drug Rehab

This type of rehab is a part-time program that does not require the recovering user to stay in a clinic full-time. Outpatient rehab allows the patient to go home or to school during the day. 

The patient typically attends rehab programming 10-12 hours a week over 3-6 months, up to 12 months when needed. Sessions focus on drug abuse education, individual and group counseling, and learning how to cope with the challenges of life without taking the drug(s). 

Outpatient drug rehab allows patients to remain in their home environment while benefiting from a structured therapeutic program. Clinicians assess their progress every week. 

Outpatient drug rehab programs do not isolate them from people and situations which could negatively impact their recovery. Because patients still live in their own homes during treatment, they have to be genuinely motivated to refrain from drug abuse. 

Support systems in their network, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), provide group counseling and encouragement off-site. Thus, no patient will be recovering alone. Sponsors and peers are ready and willing to stand with them through every step of their recovery.   

Many individuals in a long-term program may utilize outpatient drug rehab. Outpatient drug rehab can be effective for patients with mild or strong drug addictions.

Finally, outpatient care relies significantly on the involvement of the patient’s family. Unwavering family support and encouragement are crucial to the patient’s success in recovering from drug addiction. 

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Individuals in a recovery program may also benefit from inpatient drug rehab. It is different in structure from outpatient drug rehab, but its goals are the same.

Inpatient drug rehabs are held in hospitals or residential substance abuse facilities. Both options require patients to live there 24-hours a day – completely removing the patients from their regular lives and peers. Thus, there is less temptation and opportunity to use drugs. In inpatient drug rehab, the patient’s entire focus is on detoxing from all addictive substances, getting sober, and learning how to stay sober.

Treatments times vary from 30, 60, or 90 days up to a year (or longer, depending on the progress made). Clinicians keep patients on strict schedules for medications, meetings, treatments, counseling, and other addiction care.

Inpatient drug rehab teaches patients to focus all their time and effort on taking personal responsibility for their lives while addressing the negative behavior which led to addiction. They also learn to develop positive habits that will help them stay sober. Their relationships, career, and community are tied to their recovery. Patients also receive recommendations for relapse prevention and sobriety support groups to join when treatment ends.   

Outpatient vs. Inpatient

Both types of drug rehab options are beneficial, depending on the patient’s needs. A healthcare team will make a recommendation for each patient. If you or a loved one has a drug addiction, please consult a physician immediately. 

Concerted Care of Central Baltimore and Brooklyn, MD, has an intensive outpatient drug rehab treatment program that allows clients to get the steady ongoing support they need for difficult periods in their recovery. It includes both individual and group sessions with qualified professionals who help guide individuals through challenging periods in their recovery. IOP is not intended to be a long term solution, but a bridge to stable maintenance.

Call Concerted Care at (833) 224-5483 for a consultation. We serve the Central Baltimore, MD, and Brooklyn. MD areas.

Drug Addiction Help for a Loved One: How You Can Support Them

“Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

~ J. K. Rowling

Sometimes, a person has to hit the bottom in their drug addiction before they can get help. Recovery is rarely a thought for them when they are intoxicated.

So, when they do hit rock bottom, like Rowling did, their loved ones need to be there to help them get treatment and help them, if possible, every step of the way to recovery.

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Methadone Treatment: How it Works

Methadone saves lives.

It also ends lives, if done incorrectly.

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Opioid Addiction Recovery, Baltimore Style: Cleaning Up 26ers Park Brings a Sense of Purpose

It’s hard to miss the symbolism: Former opioid addicts cleaning up the drug-infested park they once used. A park that was filled with broken glass, used needles and shattered lives.

But it is much more than just symbolism. It is real change.

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Methadone Treatment: 5 Things to Know

Opioids are in the news.

From the news conferences to talk shows to television dramas, opioids and the people affected by them are getting a lot of exposure. Methadone abuse is costing lives and money. It’s taking a toll on American society. It cannot be ignored anymore.

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Outpatient Addiction Treatment: One Success at a Time

David Cox is an IOP counselor with the Concerted Care Group in Baltimore, Maryland. He specializes in outpatient addiction and was motivated to be a counselor because of his own experiences. David was tired of being a negative and destructive force in his community, so when his life changed, he was able to counsel others who have substance abuse issues.

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Substance Abuse: What is “Whole Person, Whole Life Treatment”?

There are many ways to treat substance abuse.

In fact, there are probably as many different treatments as there are substances. Some substance abuse treatments are successful and have stood the test of time. Many others are trendy and controversial and have not withstood research and testing.

And while the success of any substance abuse treatment truly depends on the patient receiving it, the elements of the treatment and the treatment center doing it are also crucial. It is, ultimately, a team effort.

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