Antidepressant Medication

Prescription antidepressant medications are an important tool in the medical toolbox for treating depression. This class of medications works because they adjust the balance of chemicals in the brain known as neurotransmitters. The brains of those who suffer with depression symptoms don’t utilize these chemicals correctly and medications relieve this problem by making these necessary chemicals more easily available to brain cells.

For most people antidepressants are very effective and even more so when used with in combination with therapy sessions (psychotherapy). Although most that are prescribed antidepressants eventually go see improvement in mood, it is an important fact that these drugs take time to work. Mostly, it will take a minimum of two to three weeks before a patient begins to feel better and much longer, as much as three months, to get all the benefits they can offer.

It is also a fact that many patients do not respond well to the first drug prescribed. In these cases, it is the patient’s responsibility to be open and honest with their doctor about their lack of progress so a new dosage or new prescription can be tried. But, at least three weeks should be allowed to determine if a medication is effective.

Always Take Care With Antidepressant Medication

Care must always be taken with any antidepressant medication. Even if the dosage is correct and the medication is performing well patients often are tempted to stop taking the medication without consulting their doctor. Their reasons may be that the schedule of doses may not fit well with their lifestyle or because of unpleasant or unwanted side effects of the medication such as weight gain. The key is to not stop taking medication even if you are feeling better. For most people, it takes up to a year for medication to be completely successful.

If there are unwanted side effects of any medication, let your doctor know immediately. There are effective strategies to help you manage most of them. For example, if taking your depression medication with food causes nausea, schedule your does between meals. If you experience libido or erection difficulties, another type of medication may be able to help. Also, side effects are often worst in the beginning of treatment and many can diminish on their own.

Antidepressant medication can interact with other medicines you are taking, and sometimes even with OTC dietary or herbal supplements. Obviously unwanted drug interactions can cause severe side effects and even reduce the effectiveness of your antidepressant treatment. It is critical that your doctor be aware of any new prescription or OTC medicine, including supplements, which you are taking.

After some time, you and your doctor will have to decide when is the right time for you to stop taking your antidepressant medication. There is a danger that stopping abruptly can cause side effects or, in some cases, even a relapse. Most frequently, you will gradually reduce your dosage over a period of time to prevent such occurrences. During this period you should keep your doctor well informed of any sudden changes you might experience.

Effects Of Alcohol Dependency

effects of alcohol

Quick Overview of the Effects of Alcohol Dependency

The effects of alcohol dependency can quickly involve every aspect of the alcoholic’s life. A few of the potential effects of alcohol addiction could include:

Physical effects – Pancreatitis, cirrhosis in the liver, insulin resistance, alcoholic dementia, nutritional inadequacies, heart disease and in severe cases; loss of life.

Economic issues – Losing employment plus the resulting economic problems that follow as a result.

Social influences – Social alienation due to unacceptable interpersonal behavior, marital conflict and divorce.

Legal Considerations
– Alcoholics often get into problems with the law possibly because of public disorder or because of driving under the influence.

Alcohol dependency affects not just the alcoholic but also the alcoholic’s entire family who could very well encounter consequences that vary from neglect to domestic abuse to both the partner and also the kids.

Treating Alcoholism

Suddenly stopping the use of alcohol could cause serious physical problems including convulsions, hallucinations, seizures and violent trembling. In extreme instances it could cause heart failure or even death. Due to the significant nature of the effects of alcohol withdrawal, it is suggested that withdrawal issues should necessarily be managed with a monitored detoxification program staffed by experienced professionals.

Treatment for the cessation of alcohol abuse typically includes controlling the actual physical discomforts and bringing about behavioral modifications. This is done by various therapeutic treatments which range from medications to psychiatric therapy.

Antabuse and Natltrexone are two of the commonly used medicines in the treatment of alcohol addiction. Antabuse works by creating a negative response when alcohol is ingested and Natltrexone decreases the real yearnings of alcohol. Long term use of folate and vitamin B12 are frequently proposed to help overcome the damaging effects of alcohol on the body’s organs including the liver.

Alcoholics may deal with a lifelong challenge in their attempt to stay sober and relapsing is a formidable chance on the long road to sobriety. Unlike drug abuse, where it is often more difficult to obtain the drugs, alcohol is readily available and it is simpler for a recovering addict to drop back into the practice of alcohol abuse. Frequently even one drink at a social occasion can set off the dependency. Several experts hold the view that relapsing is part of the learning process which is something that an addict has to undergo to ultimately achieve full abstinence from their addiction to the effects of alcohol.

Social support and life coaching provide recuperating addicts vital assistance and are indispensable aspects of alcohol dependency treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous is but one such organization that is dedicated to encouraging alcoholics overcome their addiction and live normal lives.

Substance Abuse Recovery: Aiding Recovery With Exercise

substance abuse recovery, substance abuse help,substance abuse treatmentBecause physical exercise can make a person busy and healthy, it can be a beneficial tool for patents who have completed their first phases of their substance abuse recovery and are now ready for phase two.  For these patients, physical activities are beneficial in alleviating stress and depression which will help their substance abuse recovery efforts and reduce the chance of becoming addicted again. Exercise releases endorphins which boosts mood and make a person feel more confident about his ability to recover.

Exercise aids Substance Abuse Recovery

According to drug abuse rehab centers professionals, after a recovering addict has accomplished the initial  treatments, it is crucial to find positive to ways that will fill time in a constructive way. Exercise provides a way to physiologically feel better and help to cope with negative emotions which are a part of virtually any substance abuse recovery effort.

A lot of drug addiction rehabilitation professionals say that, depending on the level of activity that a person can manage, there are many different forms of exercises that a recovering addict can do. Best of all are exercises are activities that the patient can enjoy and follow.

Exercise Alleviates Boredom

When a recovering addict follows an exercise routine, he is able to make himself busy with good things instead of focusing on substance abuse recovery itself. Spending time in a gym, biking or trailing is a good replacement for spending time in parties or bars. When it comes to recovery, finding healthy options to undesirable habits is crucial. According to health experts, overcoming boredom and having positive interpersonal interactions are keys to make a recovery successful. Group workouts like yoga or group runs are options for a sober social interaction which can increase the possibility of getting permanent recovery.

Exercise helps people to feel better in many different ways. It mimics negative effects of medicines on the brain as it stimulates particular neurochemicals that feel pleasure. The kind of exercise that a person performs can affect his recovery in many ways. Strength training activities are helpful in boosting metabolism and developing muscles. Cardio exercises help a recovering addict to lose weight, burn fat and get more energy. Moreover, stretching exercises like Pilates and yoga are helpful in making one’s mind quiet and energizing the body through breathing exercises and sequential postures.

Relapses can be prevented by exercises which give a person the strength that he needs to avoid addiction. When his body is strong, his mind is open and clear enabling him to look for other positive ways to increase his energy.

Signs of Substance Abuse – Diazepam Addiction

diazepam dependency,diazepam abuse,diazepam addiction, signs of substance abuseDiazepam (Trade name Valium)  is a sedative that is prescribed by doctors to patients who are experiencing muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and anxiety. While the medication has been helpful because of its sedative effect, using it frequently can lead to addiction. Signs of substance abuse  involves mental and physiological cravings for the drug. Those who are struggling with Diazepam addiction should seek the help of medical experts because withdrawing from the medication can be harmful.

Those who abuse Valium often display signs of substance abuse that include slow breathing, drowsiness, trouble talking and walking, lack of interest in participating in regular activities and drug-seeking behavior. According to addiction treatment specialists, when Diazepam users suddenly quit using the drug, they are likely to experience withdrawal symptoms which include convulsions, appetite loss and sweating.

Diazepam works by depressing a person’s nervous system enabling him to feel relaxed. Individuals who are dependent on the substance may present abnormal signs of substance abuse given that they usually use too much Diazepam at once. For instance, Diazepam addiction can be identified when the individual experiences depression, confusion and consistent drowsiness. Slurred speech and lack of coordination are also likely to be seen together along with with low blood pressure and slow breathing.

People who are dependent on Diazepam may also display behavioral signs of substance abuse that indicates the craving to take larger dosages of the drug. Suspicious behavior is often observed as the addict schemes how to get their hands on the drug to remain high. These behaviors include constant visits to different doctors in order to get prescriptions. Addicts who no longer have prescriptions are likely to forge prescriptions or  attempt to acquire the drug from street dealers.  Many addiction recovery specialists note that another symptom of  Diazepam addiction is declining interest in doing their usual hobbies, a lack  of sleep and focusing only on getting a hold of their drug of choice.  If not treated many addicts will end up dropping out of their lives completely by not going to work and ignoring both their financial responsibilities and their loved ones.

Withdrawal symptoms are experienced by Diazepam abusers who suddenly stop taking the drug. These symptoms include blurry vision, sweating and rapid heartbeat. Loss of appetite, sensitivity to lights and diarrhea are also some of the physical withdrawal symptoms of Diazepam abuse.

If you are observing signs of substance abuse in a loved one, don’t hesitate to get help from your families medical adviser, or another trusted source. By no means should you attempt to treat the addict yourself.  Those who are affected by Diazepam addiction may feel anxious and not able to focus when they suddenly stop taking it. Because of the dangerous effects of Diazepam and its withdrawal symptoms, it is crucial for patients to be medically examined when they stop using the drug.

Signs of Substance Abuse


Substance and Drug Abuse Can Cause Psychoses

psychosis, psychoses, drug abuse facts, help for drug abuse, substance and drug abuseThere are recent studies which indicate that a person’s psychosis may be triggered because of their excessive substance and drug abuse. It is a fact that there are psychoactive drugs available in a pharmacy or on the streets which alters the mental state of a person. Some drugs not merely alters a person’s mood and perception but it would sometimes induce hallucinations or cause panic and anxiety. If a person abuses these types of drugs then it is possible for them to have a psychotic break down in which they may be unable to differentiate reality from hallucinations. It is only one of the side effects of such narcotics which causes a person’s psychosis to grow a whole lot worse.

Some inpatient treatment centers have noticed that most of their patients who are being treated for substance and drug abuse are also suffering from relatively minor cases of psychosis. This is why various treatment programs are prepared to treat people who have this dual diagnosis condition. It is a condition where a subject has developed a mental condition or psychosis and they’re addicted to narcotics or drugs at the same time. Treatment for this condition has just been recently utilized for patients with dual diagnosis.

Before, a patient with dual diagnosis was initially treated by curing their substance and drug abuse first and then their psychological condition next, or the other way around. But, earlier efforts have now been proven to be ineffective. However, when they tried curing the subjects psychosis and drug addiction simultaneously they found out that it was very effective because a person’s psychosis was often caused by their substance and drug abuse. So, when both conditions were treated simultaneously the rates of successful treatment were a lot higher.  If was also observed that the patients did not experience nearly as much discomfort during their withdrawal period because the medication for their psychosis balanced out their medication for their withdrawal or detoxification.

Another fact that proves why substance and drug abuse causes psychosis is what happens when an addict abuses substances with hallucinogenic properties. When an addict abuses drugs that cause hallucinations they risk not being able to distinguish between reality and hallucinations, even when they are not under the influence. Hallucinatory drugs have such a powerful effect on brain functions the risk is that an abuse will suffer permanent brain damage in a relatively short period of time.  Frequently, this damage exhibits itself in the form of one or more psychoses.

All substance and drug abuse is, by definition, very risky behavior. This risk only multiplies as the addiction goes on. At some point or another it is inevitable that an abuser will die from an accidental overdose, or from health issues brought on by their addiction.


Substance and Drug Abuse

Methadone Treatment For Substance Abuse

methadone treatment, methadone, methadone clinic, drug abuseIn the beginning, Methadone was developed as an aid to helping addicts overcome their addictions to heroin and other street drugs. In fact, it is still used today for that reason. However Methadone is itself an opiate drug and there is a risk of dependency if not used correctly. Most of the time dependency happens when the recovering addicts abuses the medication instead of taking it in the prescribed manner. It is not uncommon for the recovering addict to mix their Methadone with other substances seeking the “high” they crave. Just like other opiates, Methadone addiction can be equally as devastating as addiction to other street drugs.

Methadone is an effective addiction treatment

Methadone has proven itself to be a very effective treatment for drug addiction because it significantly reduces the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal without providing the “high”. As an opiate, Methadone is also addictive if not taken exactly as prescribed. Doctors are aware of the potential for dependency but the benefits of Methadone are plentiful and doctors will monitor patients while on this medication. So it is ironic that, in some instances, those who are attempting to recover from an addiction to a street drug will, in fact, become addicted to the medication being used to treat them.

Methadone addiction is potentially life threatening because this is a strong medication and typically is prescribed to be taken only once per day. For those who take it more often, the effects could be deadly. Methadone slows breathing and an overdose can easily cause a coma, or even death. Other side effects of Methadone include hallucinations, fainting, chest pain, and dizziness. Other, non life threatening side effects include dry mouth, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and reduced libido. If Methadone is taken as directed most of these side effects will not be an issue. Extra precautions are taken with nursing moms because the substance can easily be transferred to the baby via the breast milk.

Methadone addiction is gradual

It may be that methadone addiction is a gradual problem, and some may not realize a dependency is forming until it is too late. Some signs of potential problems with Methadone are, among others, slow breathing, trouble following the prescribed dosing schedule (taking more than prescribed), erratic mood swings, lack of appetite, and dry mouth. If these signs present themselves there may well be a problem that should be discussed with medical authorities immediately. Lasting substance and drug abuse can affect mental function and decrease rational thought. Memory and ability to focus are also negatively affected. A study of methadone addiction in animals showed an impairment in attention and brain function when large doses were given. Addiction to drugs affects what you can do to take in information and retain it, along with putting your life in jeopardy.

As with any drug addiction a gradual withdrawal is the best path to getting clean. Gradual decrease means fewer withdrawal symptoms and fewer cravings for drugs. Many addicts put off entering a treatment program due to a fear of the detoxification process. Detoxification is scary when symptoms like hallucination, dehydration, nausea and vomiting, and shakes or tremors are a possibility, but there are medications that can help with withdrawal. For those hesitant to take these medications for fear of developing another addiction, it is important to note that all medications should be taken according to doctor advice.

Recovering addicts who have gone through the detoxification process he then turns to other support functions to reduce the possibility of a relapse. Therapy with a trained counselor can help deal with past traumatic issues and avoiding situations where temptation is likely. Group therapy is available to talk with those who have the same problem and who can offer support twenty-four hours a day.

In rehabilitation the drug abuser learns that his behavior has not only affected him but also his family and friends as well.