What is Addiction?
The National Council on Alcoholism describes alcoholism as “a complex, progressive disease in which the use of alcohol interferes with health, social and economic functioning. “Left untreated, chemical dependency results in a physical incapacity, permanent mental damage and/or premature death.”


Bath Salts
A new and dangerous designer drug called “bath salts” is making a deadly splash across the United States.


Prescription Painkiller Abuse
Since prescription medications are legal to whom they are prescribed, the symptoms of prescription drug abuse or addiction are sometimes disregarded or overlooked because the initial reason for a person taking such medication was intense and legitimate pain.


Detox
Detoxification, the process of ridding the body of toxins, is a vital initial step for those entering substance abuse rehabilitation.


Elderly Substance Abuse
Elderly substance abuse is close to becoming an epidemic in this country. There are three main contributing factors: the amount of prescription pills that are being prescribed to them; boredom as the result of no routine; and isolation.


In Consideration of Step One
Of all the Steps, this is the one that sets the stage for recovery to happen.


Inhalant Abuse
Inhalant abuse, also known as ‘huffing’, is very common among young people right now and very dangerous.


Medical Necessity
When dealing with third party pay in substance abuse and mental health treatment, one of the biggest misunderstandings we have to address over and over with patients and family members is “My insurance company told me I had 30, 60, 90 days of coverage–why are they denying my treatment now when I’ve only been here 1, 2, or 3 weeks.”


Opiates
Opiates are a class of drugs that that are known to take away pain. Opiates can also cause a euphoric state or a high.


Sober Home and Other Post-Discharge Residential Facility Considerations
These homes are generally a group of newly sober people living together. Sober homes and half-way houses can be a positive experience for those who need housing in early recovery, especially for those motivated for change and committed to their recovery program.


Step Two: The Solution
Step Two is specifically designed for the mental obsession. I, in and of myself, cannot remove an obsession.


Step Three: A Higher Power
Step Three asks me to consider turning all outcomes over to this Power; to live in the reality that I am not in control of how things work out in my life.


Step Nine: Amends
By doing Steps 1 through 8, we have made significant progress in uncovering the things that are blocking us from a conscious connection to God. It is paramount to first address our internal condition if we are ever to make any headway with cleaning up our past.


Suboxone: Help for Opiate Dependence
Persons who are physically dependent on opiates will experience severe withdrawal symptoms when the drug is suddenly stopped. Avoidance of the withdrawal symptoms, which can include sleeplessness, muscle cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, cravings, extreme irritability, loss of appetite, and opiate cravings, is the driving force behind the drug-seeking behavior of persons who are physically addicted to opiates.


K2 and Spice: The Latest and Greatest Ways to Harm Ourselves
These two substances seem to have emerged on the scene in the past year or so and are becoming increasingly more popular, especially among the younger patients. In actuality, reports from the media indicate the phenomenon has been growing since 2006.


Tobacco Dependency
Tobacco dependency occurs in 21% of the population in North America. The vast majority, close to 95%, is by smoking; the rest use smokeless tobacco products. The addicting component of tobacco is nicotine but there are several thousand other chemicals in tobacco smoke or juice that are quite harmful to the body.


Using Pain Medication in Recovery
There are times in recovery in which an individual finds himself in a position to be in need of pain medication. These times include serious injuries and surgical/dental procedures. There can be times when pain medications are medically necessary. Relapse occurs when the medication is used outside of the parameters of the health care provider’s instruction or prescription.


Halfway Houses, Sober Living Homes, and Addiction Recovery Residences
Once called a halfway house, a sober home or recovery residence is a place where persons with substance abuse issues can begin to reintegrate into society while continuing to receive monitoring and support. Sober homes can be instrumental in helping one maintain sobriety after completion of drug/alcohol treatment.


Leadership and Succession Planning in the Addiction Treatment Field
La Hacienda still has an active intern program that we are very proud of. Today all programs are closely regulated by the State of Texas, certification has been replaced by license, and rather than being volunteers, interns are full time employees.


The Significance of Personal Relationships in Addiction Treatment
Much has been written on the significance of personal relationships in evaluating quality of life. The same can be applied to measuring the quality of treatment of alcoholism and other drug addictions. So much of why treatment works involves relationship.