Addiction and Substance Abuse

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Can Those Suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder Go Days Without Drinking?

May 28, 2024|Addiction and Substance Abuse|

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a medical condition characterized by an inability to stop or control alcohol use despite adverse social, occupational or health consequences. In this blog, we’ll examine whether individuals suffering from AUD can go days without drinking, as well as the nature of the disorder, challenges associated with withdrawal, and the journey toward recovery. Signs and Symptoms of Alcoholism First, let’s identify signs of an individual struggling with AUD. The symptoms of AUD can be both physical and psychological, often progressing as the disorder worsens. Key signs and symptoms of alcoholism include: 1. Increased Tolerance: An individual [...]

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How Alcohol Affects the Aging Process

May 20, 2024|Addiction and Substance Abuse|

As we age, our bodies undergo many visible and invisible changes. Excessive alcohol consumption can accelerate the aging process. Understanding the relationship between alcohol and aging can help you make informed choices about drinking and maintaining your overall health.  Skin-Deep Aging Effects of Alcohol   One of the most noticeable impacts of alcohol on aging is its effect on the skin. The skin is our largest organ, and it is often the first place signs of aging appear. Excessive alcohol consumption can exacerbate these signs, leading to premature aging.  Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases the production of urine. [...]

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Strategies for Avoiding Relapse and Achieving Long-Term Recovery

May 13, 2024|Addiction and Substance Abuse, Recovery|

Recovery from addiction is an ongoing process with no set timeline, full of challenges and setbacks. To maintain sobriety and achieve long-term success, individuals in recovery must develop the tools to avoid relapse. Relapse can occur when people are exposed to certain triggers that reignite the urge to use substances. Individuals can better manage their recovery by identifying these triggers and implementing effective relapse-prevention strategies. What Triggers Relapse? Relapse triggers vary from person to person, but they commonly fall into several categories. Recognizing triggers is the first step towards developing a robust plan to avoid them. 1. Emotional Triggers: Negative [...]

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The Dangers and Risks of K2 Overdose

April 9, 2024|Addiction and Substance Abuse|

The use of synthetic cannabinoids, commonly known as K2 or spice, has recently surged as an alternative to traditional marijuana. This rise in popularity comes along with a concerning increase in K2 overdoses. Despite its reputation as a "safer" alternative, K2 poses significant risks, including the potential for overdose and severe health complications. In this blog, we'll go over the dangerous effects of K2 and answer the critical question: Can you overdose on K2? Understanding K2 Overdose K2, often marketed as a "legal high," is a synthetic substance designed to mimic the effects of THC, the psychoactive compound found in [...]

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Recognizing “Heroin Eyes” and Other Physical Signs of Heroin Use

April 3, 2024|Addiction and Substance Abuse|

Heroin use ravages the body inside and out. One telltale visible sign that an individual has been using is the phenomenon known as "heroin eyes." In this blog, we'll describe what heroin eyes look like and explore the broader physical effects and signs of heroin use. What Are Heroin Eyes? The phrase “heroin eyes" refers to the distinct physical appearance of a person's eyes after using the potent opioid drug. Heroin eyes are a result of the drug's effects on the body's central nervous system and vascular system. When someone uses heroin, the drug causes blood vessels to constrict, leading [...]

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Addressing the Rising Tide of Addiction in Pennsylvania: How High Focus Centers Can Help

January 2, 2024|Addiction and Substance Abuse|

Pennsylvania in 2023: A State Grappling with a Growing Addiction Crisis In 2023, Pennsylvania has seen a concerning rise in addiction rates, reflecting a broader national trend. Fueled by factors such as economic stress, the ongoing opioid epidemic and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this increase in substance abuse has left many communities searching for effective solutions. With our comprehensive approach to addiction treatment, High Focus Centers is here to help in this challenging landscape.   Understanding the Surge in Addiction While the rise in addiction in Pennsylvania is multifaceted and complex, the widespread availability of opioids, including fentanyl, continues to be [...]

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How Trauma Works as a Trigger for Mental Health and Substance Issues

July 19, 2023|Addiction and Substance Abuse, Trauma|

When someone is struggling with a mental health condition, they often have a relatively fragile emotional or mental state (sometimes both) that can be easily triggered. When someone is struggling with a substance use disorder, the dependence on drugs or alcohol can also make them vulnerable to being influenced into using.  Trauma can act as a trigger for both mental health and substance issues. The severity and generally long-lasting effects of trauma can leave a person reeling, no matter how hard they may try to shove down the feelings of pain. For men, especially, the tendency to avoid facing and [...]

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What is Fentanyl Used For, and Why Do People Abuse It?

May 24, 2023|Addiction and Substance Abuse|

Have you ever popped an Advil and then, after not receiving the desired effects, taken another? Maybe even two? This happens with patients who have been prescribed opioids all of the time. Even though fentanyl is a powerful painkiller, one pill doesn’t always do the job, so a person takes it upon themselves to double or triple their dosage in a desperate attempt to manage their pain. Fentanyl is too potent of a drug to consume frequently in high doses and not experience negative consequences. Unfortunately, one of the most common repercussions of consistent fentanyl consumption is the development of [...]

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How Should I Refer to Someone Struggling With Alcohol Misuse?

May 10, 2023|Addiction and Substance Abuse|

Have you ever been called a name that just rubbed you the wrong way? Did it make you feel suddenly boxed in, or associated with something you didn’t really want to be associated with? When you’re known by a particular name, it can leave you feeling all sorts of negative ways. You might feel like you suddenly can’t be anything different, or have to act a certain way or do certain things in order to live up to that name. Or, you may find yourself anxious to break out of this unwanted label. It is for this very reason why [...]

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How to Tell the Difference Between Problem Drinking and Alcoholism

April 18, 2023|Addiction and Substance Abuse, Problem Drinking|

As a man, would you consider having four drinks in a day, consecutively or spread over a few hours, normal or a problem? As a woman, would you consider having three drinks in one day to be normal or a problem? According to an article by the American Family Physician Journal, both of these circumstances describe problematic drinking patterns. It’s not always easy to determine when occasional or moderate alcohol use turned into a heavy drinking problem or even addiction. The normalization of unhealthy substance habits (like social binge-drinking) has only aided in making the distinction even more difficult to [...]

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Can Marijuana Be A Gateway Drug?

April 4, 2023|Addiction and Substance Abuse, Education Center|

The conversation around marijuana is no longer black and white. In some states, marijuana is promoted as a borderline-miraculous plant in terms of its healing qualities, while other states continue to pump out negative statistics surrounding marijuana use.  While some people preach the potential dangers of marijuana and warn of its ability to act as a gateway drug, others fight equally as hard to de-villainize it and prove its benefits. As marijuana use continues to rise in the States, both legally and illegally, recreationally and medicinally, it’s important to remain aware of its effects on the individual and society as [...]

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Combating Substance Abuse Risk Factors Among Young Adults

December 20, 2022|Addiction and Substance Abuse, Teens and Young Adults|

The transition to independent living, or commonly called “adulting,” is an exciting time for many. Living on your own, having an income, making your own choices and the freedom it brings are experiences worth looking forward to. While moving out of a parent’s home or graduating from college is a thrilling and important step, it also brings its share of hardship. The changes that come with this transition period can also bring risk factors for substance use. Adolescents and young adults are the most susceptible age group to developing an addiction and here are some of the factors that contribute [...]