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When Considering a Treatment Center for Alcoholism and Drug Addiction

Q. Does the State Behavioral Health board, or other State agency license your treatment center?

States have licensing agencies that oversee behavioral health facilities. Some states (Arizona is one) do not require licenses for “halfway” houses thus there are no standards enforced or monitored by the State. The quality of a halfway house in Arizona depends upon the owner’s commitment to recovery and addiction specialist Fairfax county. A license means the facility meets minimum standards to protect the client. A license says nothing about the quality of the program or staff.

Q. What are the credentials of the staff that work with the client?

A. Credentials are important. States vary in the credentialing nomenclature. Arizona uses “LISAC” (Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor). This designation indicates the professional has met a standard established by the State. Not all counselors are licensed in substance abuse. Some facilities have “counselors” who are recent graduates of their program. You can also find similar professionals at the Sober Living South Jersey facility.

Other credentials are more obvious, but you should still ask about them. These include: M.D., N.M.D., PsyD., PhD., MSW, LCSW, R.N., M.Ed. and more. Be sure the staff is qualified and licensed.

Q. What are the staffing hours and addiction specialist Fairfax county?

A. This question lets you know if there is 24/7 staff “on-premises” or staff “on-duty”. “On duty” means a staff member is awake and present in the facility. “On-premises” means that a staff member is on-site, but not necessarily on-duty (awake). Most facilities have a house manager on-site at all times, that does not mean that the house manager is awake and on-duty 24/7. Make sure there is someone who is always awake and on-duty, every hour of every day.

Q. How many clinical hours does each client receive each week?

A. This varies according to the level of care. Residential 28-day facilities generally have a high level of clinical services. Extended care facilities usually have less than a residential one and a transitional facility normally has less than an extended care facility. Most halfway houses have none.

Clinical care means therapeutic care such as individual and group therapy. These services should be delivered by a licensed and credentialed professional, but that’s not always the case. At some facilities an intern with little training and who may have a year or two of sobriety delivers clinical services. Interns work under the supervision of a licensed professional, but even this may be misleading. The licensed professional who “supervises” the intern may have no direct interaction with the client.

Extended Care programs vary in the number of clinical hours offered per client per week. You need to know how many clinical hours you, or your loved one, will receive each week, and by whom. To cut costs, some facilities use interns or a senior resident, often with two years or less of sobriety, to lead group therapy.

Q. What is the client-to-staff ratio?

A. If there is not enough staff to deliver services and programs and/or to adequately supervise all clients, your quality of care may suffer. A good ratio is 1 staff for every 10 clients during normal “awake” periods. A better ratio is one staff for every eight clients.

Q. What are the monthly fees for the program and what do they include/exclude?

A. Fees vary widely for the same levels of care. Some fees cover tuition and exclude counseling, housing and transportation. Some fees are all-inclusive and include counseling, prescriptions, groceries, transportation and personal money for sundries. High fees do not necessarily equate to better care. Be sure you know what is included and what is excluded. A facility with “affordable” rates may have hidden charges. Get the facts first.

Q. Are there admission fees/deposits/etc.?

A. Most facilities have admission fees. Be sure to ask what is included and what the intake process is. For instance, does the fee include a bio/social/psych assessment? Are UA (drug testing) and BAC (blood alcohol) tests included? Are the client’s belongings searched upon entry? Are the client’s belongings inventoried?

Q. Are there refunds for admission or monthly fees?

A. As a general rule; fees are non-refundable except in the event of a no-show for admittance. Even then, some facilities offer no refunds for any reason. Once admitted, there is normally a no-refund policy to avoid “treatment shopping” wherein the client moves from one facility to another, against staff advice.

Q. Does the facility have commercial insurance? If so, what coverage do they have and what are the limits? Ask for an insurance certificate.

A. Any legitimate treatment facility has commercial coverage that includes: fire and other perils, general liability, property coverage, professional liability, medical payments, and commercial auto. Ask them for a copy of their insurance certificate.

Blog

Bicycle Riding Tips for Heavy Riders: A Beginner’s Guide

Biking is a fun activity. For heavy people, this form of activity might bring up issues and worries such as damaging a bicycle, injuring oneself or even finding the appropriate clothing. This variety of reasons hinders them from bicycling and from enjoying its benefits. But with some helpful tips, heavy riders can have a wonderful biking experience.

Know the law:

The biker should be aware of the local rules and regulations governing bike riding. These are the basic things that should be followed and obeyed.

Some of the places considered bicycles as vehicles and bikes for fat people. This will boost one’s confidence among bikers knowing that the same rules are applied to other drivers. This will also allow proper handling of other matters on the road.

Build confidence:

Riding a bicycle requires a lot of confidence. Learning how to properly and carefully ride bicycles can help boost confidence. One should know how to stop correctly. Avoid pressing too hard and too abruptly as this will make the rider go over the handlebars. The best way to stop is to press the brake while putting the weight back over the back tires. It is also necessary to ride the bicycle at a very controllable speed and convenient pace. Avoid pressuring oneself to be as quick or as good as the other bikers.

Get the right bicycle and bikes for fat people:

It is important to know the most suitable bicycle for heavy riders. The best features and designs should be considered at all times to ensure a thrilling riding experience. The bicycle should easily carry and support the weight of the rider. Choose bicycles with lower and wider pedals for quick stopping to prevent accidental falls. The seats should be wide and have extra soft padding for a more comfortable and sturdier feel. Lastly, the durability and strength should also be considered which include powerful rims, tough frames, and heavier tires. Some stores offer custom-made bicycles for heavy riders. This is specifically designed to meet the needs of the rider.

Practice a lot:

One should know, learn and practice the techniques involved in bike riding. Learn smart ways of biking as well as preventing or avoiding falling. It is important to be mindful, attentive, act quickly and stay alert at all times. Never panic and always stay calm.

Keep going:

One should always have fun with the whole biking experience. Just continue pushing the pedals and go on a ride with friends. And never forget to ring a bell to other bikers as an act of solidarity.

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rehab

Pet friendly rehab centers for Methamphetamine Use

Inpatient drug rehab facilities across the country help thousands of meth addicts make lasting recoveries each year. Although methamphetamines are some of the most dangerous and habit-forming substances abused today, advances in inpatient drug rehab allow addiction specialists to effectively treat this crippling disease. Here are some of the most effective treatments for meth addiction.

Rapid Detoxification

Detox is an essential part of almost every inpatient drug rehab program. During active drug use, addicts develop physical dependencies which must be addressed before any other therapy can be used. Even addicts who are eager to get better cannot productively engage their treatments when they still suffer the constant compulsion to seek and use drugs.

For most drug addictions, rehab lasts five to fourteen days. During this painful but necessary procedure, addicts are simply denied their addictive substances until they are weaned of the constant need to use. However, methamphetamine and opiate addictions often require a different approach. At places like Hendersonville Addiction Treatment center, these fourteen days are made easy for the patients with professional services that include the most friendly methods and environment.

Withdrawal from these substances can have extremely dangerous and even fatal consequences. Meth users have been known to experience heart palpitations, trouble breathing, and even cardiac arrest during withdrawal. To mitigate these dangers, pet friendly rehab centers now use rapid detox. Using specialized medications, they take their patients through days’ worth of withdrawal in a matter of hours. By speeding along the detox process, they reduce the risk of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Biofeedback Therapy and pet friendly rehab centers

Meth addiction is known to have disastrous effects on sufferers’ physical well-beings. In a matter of months, meth can cause a person to experience years of aging. Addicts also tend to lose the connections between their bodies and minds – the connections which help people identify the physical signs of drug cravings.

To restore these connections, inpatient drug rehab specialists use medical equipment to teach addicts the physical signs of mental and emotional stress. For instance, patients might learn to associate decreases in body temperature with signs of depression or anger. By recognizing these physical stressors, meth addicts can take steps to calm themselves and avoid drug cravings before they even occur.

Evidence-based Therapies

The most widely-used therapies at inpatient drug rehab centers are called evidence-based therapies. These treatments have been tested in controlled environments and approved by government agencies. There are a variety of forms, but they most often include individual counseling, group discussion, and family therapy.

During individual counseling, meth addicts make the personal breakthroughs necessary for lasting sobriety. They uncover the root causes of their addictions and learn how to avoid the thoughts and behaviors which most often lead them to use drugs.

In group discussions, addicts from all walks of life and stages of recovery come together to talk about their struggles and share coping strategies. These discussions can be invaluable for first-time patients and experienced addicts alike, and they often lead to the formation of lasting friendships and accountability partnerships.

Finally, family therapies help meth addicts to restore healthy relationships with their relatives. Although family members often contribute to addictions, their support is often essential for lasting recoveries. Clinicians will often invite addicts’ family members to participate in group discussion in which they all talk about how to foster healthy home environments.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the disease of addiction, check out the links below. Find a treatment center near you, and get started on one of the most effective inpatient drug rehab programs in the country.

drugs
Blog

On Yoga, Off Drugs

Drugs

In olden times kids died of diseases like leukemia or tuberculosis. By the time I started high school, young people were finding much more creative ways to check out. Michael took a couple of cubes of LSD and stood out on the train tracks enjoying the spectacular sights and sounds of the Amtrak Express—right up till it hit him. Thorbjörn stunned us all by dying suddenly of hepatitis—he’d been injecting heroin with a dirty needle. Carolyn got so drunk she climbed into her dad’s Buick and apparently decided to run down a tree. The tree survived. Being the prissy fussbudget I’ve always been, I couldn’t help wondering: Isn’t there a safer way to get high?

Considering how pervasive drugs and drinking are in our culture, it’s amazing how few people stop and consider the cost/benefit ratio of different ways of getting high.

Obviously not everyone who uses drugs or alcohol ODs or forgets to step out of the way of an oncoming train. Most people drink responsibly, and some recreational drugs, like marijuana, even have proven benefits for particular medical conditions. But considering how pervasive drugs and drinking are in our culture, it’s amazing how few people stop and consider the cost/benefit ratio of different ways of getting high and admit themselves to recovery centers like virginia recovery.

People generally take mind-altering and mood-altering drugs for four reasons:

Increase their energy level.
Relax and lower their anxiety level.
Experience a blissful, euphoric state.
Explore other dimensions of consciousness.
It has been the most harmless way of achieving many health benefits all at once. It brings a positive physical and mental state in your consciousness and changes your outlook in life for good. For reliable and quality yoga training practices, Indian gurus have been quite famous. See for instance, 300 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India, that caters to both foreigners and natives. Let’s take a closer look at how yoga stacks up against drug use.

ALCOHOL USE
Getting drunk is perhaps the most time-honored way of getting a buzz in Western culture, yet alcohol is one of the most toxic substances you can buy without a prescription. Long-term use has proven its debilitating effects on the liver, brain, heart, pancreas, stomach lining, and immune system. Even short-term use can have catastrophic results. Binge drinking can actually depress biological systems to the point of shutting down the breathing reflex. In a number of highly publicized cases, students at high school and college campuses have gone into a coma and died, thanks to tanking up on more alcohol than their body could handle.

Alcoholism is one of the most common, and most serious, social problems in Western countries. Because the function of the front lobe of the brain is partially disabled when the alcohol content of the blood rises, a person loses not only the ability to drive but also the ability to sense that they are in no condition to get behind the wheel of a car. Driving under the influence is a leading cause of death and disability.

Alcoholism is one of the most common, and most serious, social problems in Western countries.
Why do people drink? To relax, loosen up, and wash their problems out of their mind, at least temporarily. In yogic terms, alcohol is a tamasic way to get high. It leads to a lowering of inhibition that some people find pleasant. It also leads to a general lowering of consciousness as one enters an increasing state of stupor, depending on how much one drinks.

Hatha yoga exercises and meditation are also about relaxing and loosening up. But with yoga we aim at relaxing into a state of clarity and lucidity. Hatha yoga tones and invigorates the very physical organs that alcohol attacks. And meditation provides the focus and objectivity that help us face our problems in life, rather than running away from them.

STIMULANTS
Almost everyone in the West is addicted to stimulants of one kind or another. It’s understandable: our lives are busy and demanding, and anything that enhances our energy level can seem like a gift from God. Many of us can’t imagine getting through the day without caffeine. Likewise, nicotine provides a light buzz, and also stimulates the pleasure center in the brain; unfortunately the form in which it’s delivered—tobacco products—can be lethal over the long run.

More powerful stimulants, both physician-prescribed and illegal, are also widely used today. Cocaine was once often recommended by doctors and psychiatrists; early in his career Sigmund Freud was an enthusiastic proponent. During the Vietnam War, amphetamines were routinely provided to American servicemen (thus producing a generation of drug-addicted veterans). Till recently, stimulants like Dexedrine and Benzedrine were widely prescribed for problems ranging from asthma to weight control to depression.

The problem with stimulants like these powerful drugs is that they crank up the brain’s production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine, which provides a hit of energy and elevates the mood. But the brain can churn out only so many biochemicals before it crashes. The depleted brain then sends out signals of distress, which create the symptoms of withdrawal and intense craving for another dose of the chemical stimulant. Extended use can damage the brain so severely that full-blown psychosis may result.

From a yogic perspective, cocaine and amphetamines, which excite the nervous system without replenishing it, are a rajasic way to self-medicate. The deep relaxation they provide allows the tensions draining your life-force to melt away. Yoga is a sattvic way to energize your body and mind. It induces a calm and innervated state that enhances the stamina you need to stay the course of your busy schedule and keeps you connected with the inner resources you need to meet the day’s demands.

From a yogic perspective, cocaine and amphetamines, which excite the nervous system without replenishing it, are a rajasic way to self-medicate.
DEPRESSANTS
In previous decades it was easy to OD on barbiturates, and they were a notorious cause of premature death. The difference between a legal dose and a lethal dose of these pharmaceutical depressants was negligible. Today a relatively safer class of depressants is usually prescribed. These include common medications like Ativan, Valium, Xanax, and Dalmane. They’re often used to help people deal with stress and reduce anxiety, or help them get some sleep, and for severely fearful or high-strung patients, they can be lifesavers. But the problem is, they don’t resolve the problem; they treat the symptoms of anxiety without addressing the underlying cause.

At some point we have to face the reality of our condition, the garbage in our mind, and the bad habits that are sabotaging our happiness.
According to the yoga masters, we’re not on this planet just to work, sleep, and watch TV. Each of us has a purpose in life and important lessons to learn. We can’t duck out on our spiritual lessons forever; at some point we have to face the reality of our condition, the garbage in our mind, and the bad habits that are sabotaging our happiness. Hatha yoga is an excellent way to bring the body and brain into balance. Together with a meditation practice it empowers you to face, control, and release your fears. It puts you in control of your life; ultimately you don’t need a drug to prop up your psyche.

OPIATES
Opiates have been used for thousands of years to treat pain and increase endurance. Today refined forms of opiates such as morphine and heroin, as well as synthetic versions, are common street drugs. These are seductive chemicals, for they produce a sense of euphoria. Unfortunately, even small doses quickly lead to addiction. Without another dose, nasty withdrawal symptoms set in. And as the addict increases the dosage, even more serious medical problems may ensue, including respiratory arrest.

Ananda, or bliss, is one of the symptoms often associated with deep meditation. Interestingly, as people enter deeper states of meditation, their breathing often slows spontaneously. Yogis experience “respiratory arrest” in a natural and carefully modulated manner that enhances concentration and clarity. The yogi is in control, not the drug. There is no addiction, no withdrawal, and no danger. Yogis emerge from their meditations healthy and refreshed, not shaky and ill as many drug users do.

HALLUCINOGENS
In the late 1960s there was a tremendous spurt of experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs like LSD, as well as with substances like peyote and magic mushrooms that some Native Americans incorporated in their spiritual work. Just about all of us who remember those times also recall friends or acquaintances who seriously injured themselves, or frightened themselves out of their wits, on a bad trip. One of my friends jumped out of a fifth-floor window, believing he could fly. He’s spent the last thirty years in a wheelchair.

Ironically, true stories about bad trips turned many drug users away from LSD to potentially even more dangerous drugs like Ecstasy or crack cocaine. In the last few years, though, hallucinogens have been making a comeback on the streets.

The original reason for experimenting with hallucinogens was to undertake a spiritual journey and to understand the mind better. Yet there is no safer and more spiritually authenticated path to inner knowledge than yoga. The yoga masters have thoroughly explored the inner world and mapped out practices to unfold our spiritual potentials in a methodical and progressive manner that keeps our body healthy, our emotions stable, and our mind clear. While drugs like LSD and PCP produce interesting sensory distortions, yoga helps us avoid a distorted view of reality. Yoga leads to the truths beyond the brain, not to a wild-goose chase through the endless maze of chemical phenomena that occur within the brain.

THE DOWNSIDE OF YOGA
Many mind-altering substances are dangerous, expensive, and illegal. Yoga is safe and free, and won’t get you in trouble with the law. It doesn’t require a prescription, either. So how come for every one yoga student, there are hundreds of other people pouring out a cocktail, lighting up a joint, or snorting coke.

Yoga has one major liability: it requires self-effort. Drugs and booze do it for you; with yoga, you’ve got to do it for yourself. If you’re going to start a hatha routine or a meditation practice, you won’t get far without discipline and self-awareness. It’s a lot easier to take a pill or sip a martini. But when you practice yoga, you come out a stronger, healthier, calmer, more creative, and more effective person, just like other healthy and calming activities like fishing, meditation or  artistic pursuits. See thenatureinsider.com for related information. Can you say the same for the person who relies on alcohol or drugs?

For those who are willing to do the work, there is a better way than drugs.
I respect the right of each individual to make their own lifestyle choices. Yet when I think of my fellow high school students who didn’t make it, or my friend Jack in his wheelchair, I’m grateful for yoga. For those who are willing to do the work, there is a better way than drugs.

100% NATURAL HIGH
Sit up comfortably with your head, neck, and spine straight.
Close your eyes and allow your body to relax. Your back stays straight but it should feel at ease, not forced or strained.
Pay attention to your breath for a few minutes. It should be even, slow, and smooth. If it’s jerky or shallow, relax another minute till your breathing is a little deeper and flows without jerking or stopping.
Bring your full awareness to your heart. Focus not so much on the physical organ as on the feeling of peace and expansiveness that radiates out from your heart area.
If thoughts or mental images interrupt your meditation, simply dismiss them. Don’t fight with your uninvited thoughts. Just turn your attention back to your breath or to the warm, expansive feeling in your heart.
After a few minutes, release your attention into the peaceful silence you sense within. Enjoy the state of silent, pure awareness.
Open your eyes and sit quietly. Assimilate the tranquility and mental clarity you experienced in your meditation.
GETTING HIGH ON AIR
When my friend John visited a psychiatric institute in Bangalore, India, he was amazed to find two signs pointing down two separate corridors, one stating “Psychiatric Emergencies” and the other “Kundalini Cases.” The staff there explained that while we in the West often see psychiatric disorders resulting from ill-advised drug experimentation, in India (where most people can’t afford drugs) some suffer mental breakdowns from ill-advised spiritual practices. The most common cause is launching into advanced pranayama (breathing exercises) without years of preparatory exercises under the close guidance of a competent teacher.

Some pranayama techniques involve hyperventilation; others call for breath retention over extensive periods of time. Both can produce a type of euphoria—and both can cause serious damage when performed with greater enthusiasm than wisdom. Breath retention, in particular, can cause brain damage, neurological disorders, and serious heart abnormalities. Pranayama has its place in the exploration of higher states of consciousness, but no yoga student should engage in advanced breathing practices without guidance.

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