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Month: July 2021

Mental Health and Addiction

Mental Health and Addiction

It has been found that addiction and mental health disorders are closely linked and that one does not directly cause the other. This being said it is a fact that the abuse of substances such as alcohol and drugs can be the cause of psychiatric reactions and can make mental illness symptoms even worse.

While mental illness and substance abuse are connected, all we know for sure is that is both can cause severe adverse effects to the user. Although mental illness and substance abuse are very visible to a professional, it may not be apparent to the patient who, until they have accepted their condition, will deny having any such problem.

In this article, we will explain what mental health problems are, what can trigger them and how mental health and addiction tend to work hand in hand with each other to destroy lives.

What is a Mental Health Problem?

Mental health much like physical health needs to be looked after and taken care of in all human beings. Mental illnesses may vary in severity, but scientists have still not established why mental illness and substance abuse are often found together in the same patient.


When a person is in good mental health then they can think, react, and feel things in the ways that are needed to live a normal life. Sometimes a person may go through a period of poor mental health due to sickness or trauma. This can feel even worse than any actual physical illness, making life and daily activities very difficult to cope with.


Mental health issues are a common occurrence and are found in people all over the world. These mental health issues can range from issues such as depression and anxiety to more severe problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Factors Leading to Mental Illness and Substance Abuse

Mental illness is a condition in which a person experiences a severe disorder in the way that they think. In other words, mental illness is diagnosed when a person’s mental state is not in its standard form or as it should be to qualify as a normal state of mind.


There are many mental illnesses that people suffer from. These can include but are not limited to:

  • Depression and anxiety

  • Eating Disorders
  • Schizophrenia Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Dissociation
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Mood Disorders

Mental illness together with substance abuse happens when a person starts to take prescription medication, alcohol, or drugs without a prescription to attain the desired feeling to block out any negative feelings that they may be experiencing due to their mental illness.


Unfortunately, once the person has started to continuously use the substance, they begin to find that they cannot function without regular doses.


A cognitive-behavioral therapy program is a primary therapy for depression by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. A cognitive-behavioral treatment program at The Retreat of Atlanta will assist you in overcoming the issues without the use of psychiatric drugs.

Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Triggers

Mental health problems can be triggered by various factors such as genetics, addiction to illicit substances, and traumatic events.  Sometimes patients who abuse substances for a long time start to gradually develop mental illnesses or psychological problems.


Some Other Triggers of Mental Illness can be:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Abuse
  • A family history of mental illnesses

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at The Retreat of Atlanta

For the benefit of our patients, our residential drug care program provides high-quality CBT services. Our treatment plans contain the following components:

Group Therapy

This solution involves using a group of individuals in the facility who are experiencing the same issues. This approach aims to encourage patient bonding by having them speak about their issues with one another.

Motivational Interviewing

Therapists urge patients to discuss the steps they should take to improve their actions for the better. Since the patient generates their measures, they are simpler to execute.

Trauma Focus

The patient discusses the traumatic experience with the therapist. Talking about it will help you deal with the pain.


Following the procedure, our Retreat of Atlanta workers will contact the patient. It is beneficial to modify their actions so that it is consistent with their proposals.

A cognitive-behavioral therapy program may assist people in changing their thinking patterns. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of talking therapy that helps people manage their problems.


Our drug recovery treatments at The Retreat of Atlanta will address a wide range of physical and mental health issues. It is, however, widely used to treat anxiety and depression.

All About the four C’s of Addiction

The four C’s of addiction was created to distinguish the disease into different parts that are easier for patients and family members to understand.


The four C’s of addiction can be divided into:

  • Compulsion
  • Cravings
  • Consequence
  • Control

The four C’s of addiction has become a very useful tool in describing and identifying the stages of addiction. We know a person is battling with addiction when they:


Have a compulsive urge to seek out drugs, have cravings for drugs, continue to use drugs despite the consequences that it can have on their lives, and altogether lose control of their drug use which makes them start to feel helpless.


When all of these symptoms are present, we can confirm that a person has an addiction or substance abuse disorder and will need professional intervention to detox and recover safely.


Here is some more information and guidance to help you to understand the four C’s of addiction:


Compulsion can be explained as an irresistible urge or desire to do something even if it is not good for your well-being.


This compulsive behavior is intense and extremely overwhelming, and most patients will not be able to control the feelings of compulsion that are leading them to take addictive substances and in turn start exhibiting behavioral problems.


Cravings for drugs are so strong that they can often mimic physical and essential needs such as hunger or thirst. These cravings can become so intense that they will cause a lack of appetite, insomnia, and even hallucinations especially if a patient is trying to stop using the drug and attempt a detox.


When a patient is unable to get their craving satisfied then can become irritated and anxious and cannot think of anything else besides satisfying their craving.


This C which stands for consequences refers to when a person continues to use drugs despite knowing and being aware of the negative consequences that it is bringing into their lives.

These consequences can impact a person’s physical, mental, emotional, and social health not to mention the negative consequences that it will have on their ability to get and keep a job and pay the bills.

These consequences can be devastating and lead to homelessness, unemployment, and even unlawful actions to fund their drug habit.

Other consequences can also include:

  • Feelings of being hungover
  • Brain Fog
  • Forgetfulness
  • Inability to function

Unfortunately, the consequences of their actions do not deter them from continuing to use their drug of choice even though they are aware of the trauma that their addiction is bringing to both their and their family’s lives.


A loss of control happens when a person is unable to show any restraint when it comes to their substance addiction. This means that a severe addiction has begun, and that detoxification and treatment are necessary to save the patient’s life.


In some cases, the person may realize that their substance abuse is spiraling out of control and may try to stop using it. If, however, they try to stop without the help of a professional this could be life-threatening.


It is important to remember that help is available. At The Retreat of Atlanta, we know that no person battling addiction is a lost cause and that there are many treatment options available to help our patients to overcome their addiction and manage their mental illness to achieve sobriety.


At The Retreat of Atlanta, you will concentrate on the current issues in a cognitive-behavioral therapy program. The counseling should not focus too much on past problems. It helps to change your thinking cycle regularly to strengthen your mental health.


A combination of CBT and medicine may be the only solution to your problems in some cases. The Retreat of Atlanta is here to help you tackle mental health problems as well as addiction through these services.

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What Are Short and Long – Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

What Are The Short- And Long-Term Effects Of Heroin Abuse?

Wondering about the short and long-term effects of Heroin Abuse? Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine and mixed with a substance taken from the seed pod of the opioid poppy plant. You can find Heroin in the form of a white or brown powder of a sticky substance called black tar heroin. Both highly addictive and illicit it is one of the most abused drugs in the world due to its rapid-acting properties. When heroin is used it creates a surge of pleasurable sensations otherwise known as a “rush“. This rush feels so good that a first-time user can easily become addicted even if they have tried it only once. After a while, higher doses are needed to feel the same rush as the user felt when it was first taken resulting in physical dependence to the drug.


When this happens the brain’s psychological state is altered, and a person cannot stop using the drug because of opioid withdrawal syndrome. It is a never-ending cycle, that unfortunately if not treated can quickly become deadly.


In this article, we are going to talk about the short and long-term effects of heroin use as well as other indirect risks associated with an addiction to heroin.

The Short-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

It is important to remember that even short-term use of heroin can create dangerous side effects. The severity of these side effects is all dependant on the user’s stature, weight, other drugs that are being taken simultaneously as well as the amount used and the length of time that it has been used for.


Although the side effects of short-term heroin use tend to subside, they are still dangerous and pose a dangerous risk to a person’s overall health.


After using heroin, a person may experience the following short-term health-related effects:

  • A rush of euphoria lasting anywhere from 3-5 hours
  • Slower breathing together with a slow heart rate
  • A Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Profound Itching
  • Disorientation and muddled thinking
  • Drowsiness
  • Small pupils
  • Flushed skin
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • A feeling of limb heaviness

Unfortunately, as a person continues using heroin physical dependence to the drug can quickly set in as a response to the ongoing use of the substance.


Physical dependence can happen with any drug, not just heroin. Those who become addicted to alcohol and smoking can also experience physical dependence with the only difference being that heroin is an unlawful drug while alcohol and cigarettes are freely available.


The body starts to adapt to the drug to survive and develops a tolerance to the drug. A user will start to require more of it for it to produce the desired effect. Once the volume of the drug is increased the risk to the user will automatically become higher.


At The Retreat of Atlanta, we realize that in the United States, heroin addiction has become a big issue. According to the CDC, heroin use has risen among a diverse group of people, including women and those with higher incomes.


 If you’ve ever suffered from heroin addiction, you know how difficult it can be to break free. We are here to help you find the best treatment and help you on the road to recovery and achieving long-term sobriety.

The Long-Term Effects of Heroin Abuse

Using heroin repeatedly can cause changes to the physiology of the brain as well as the brains’ physical structure. This can create an imbalance of the neuronal and hormonal system which is unfortunately not easy to reverse.


Chronic users of heroin are known to suffer from several health problems, including:

  • Liver disease
  • Hepatitis
  • HIV
  • Heart and pulmonary infections
  • Lack of stress-control skills
  • Skin infections
  • Collapsed veins
  • Constipation
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Miscarriage
  • Kidney disease
  • Destruction of white matter in the brain
  • Women Infertility

Long-Term Side Effects: An In-Depth Look

Research has shown that heroin can deteriorate the brain’s white matter. This can adversely affect a person’s ability to make decisions, regulate behavior and respond to stressful situations.


Once chronic Heroin use has affected the white matter of the brain these changes can also cause a greater likelihood of relapse after sobriety has been achieved and unfortunately a person who has had a long history with heroin abuse is more likely than others to start using it again.


No matter what way Heroin is ingested it can cause a plethora of medical complications. One of the most serious complications can be lung problems such as pneumonia and tuberculosis which is caused by Heroin’s devastating ability to suppress respiration.


Mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorder can also be caused or worsened by chronic heroin use.


How heroin is ingested causes a variety of other specific complications. An example would be people who snort Heroin. Snorting Heroin can cause damage to the mucosal tissue in the nose and can also cause the nasal septum to perforate.


Injecting heroin has been known to cause collapsed veins together with the complication of bacterial infections of the blood vessels and the heart valve. Injecting heroin can also cause skin disorders such as abscesses and various other soft tissue infections.


Furthermore, injecting heroin directly into the body by sharing needles can cause a range of complications such as hepatitis and HIV and several other blood-borne viruses that can be passed onto both the drug users’ partners and children.


Heroin is often laced with other additives and heroin sold in the street can contain substances that do not properly dissolve in the body. This can result in blood vessels leading to the brain, liver, lungs, and kidneys becoming clogged. Ultimately this can lead to infection of the parts of the vital organs that have been affected.


A woman who is addicted to heroin is a lot more likely to suffer from infertility, menstrual cycle disruptions, and miscarriage. Those who manage to carry a baby to term may give birth prematurely to an infant with a low birth weight. The baby may also be born addicted to heroin.


Click her to learn about the effects of heroin use on an unborn fetus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohDqyxb3Abc

Long Term Use: Tolerance and Withdrawal

Tolerance and physical addiction are common traits of Heroin use. Tolerance happens when the body requires more of the drug to achieve the same effect. Physical dependence refers to how the body adapts to the drug by causing terrible withdrawal symptoms once a person tries to stop using the drug.


Withdrawal symptoms can start anywhere from a few hours after the drug was last ingested and can cause a person to experience restlessness, muscle aches and bone pain, diarrhea, vomiting, insomnia, chills, and involuntary leg movements.


Between 24-48 hours after using the drug the withdrawal symptoms would have reached their peak and may eventually subside after a few days. Unfortunately, for many, withdrawal symptoms can last for months.


Heroin is a highly addictive opioid and is also one of the most likely to result in an overdose. It may be difficult to avoid using due to painful withdrawal symptoms and cravings.


You will, however, find hope for the future and a way out of addiction with the aid of a drug and alcohol recovery center.  At the Retreat of Atlanta, you will be able to detox in a healthy, relaxed atmosphere when working through the causes of addiction.

Heroin Overdose

  • Low blood pressure
  • Weak pulse
  • Delirium
  • Shallow breathing as well as difficulty breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Discolored tongue, nails, and lips
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tiredness and drowsiness
  • Coma

Luckily only a few individuals who manage to seek and receive treatment in time will die from an overdose.

Heroin Abuse: Other Indirect Risks

To get heroin you need to liaise with drug dealers who are illegally selling the substance. Any exposure to drug dealers whether it be direct or indirect can lead to arrest and other legal troubles and let’s not forget to mention disgruntled drug dealers that can cause trouble for both the user and their family.


People who are caught with heroin or caught using heroin will be apprehended and often face criminal charges that can in most cases lead to prison time.


Drug driving, much the same as drunk driving can cause a heroin user to lose control of their vehicle and not follow road signs. It can also cause a delayed reaction time in the event of a potential accident. Some people who are driving while on Heroin may even fall asleep at the wheel.


It does not matter which way it is administered; heroin is extremely addictive. Injecting or smoking the drug does tend to reach the brain faster which can significantly increase the risk of developing a heroin disorder. Once this disorder has developed a user will dedicate their lives to seeking out and using this drug no matter what it takes for them to get it.


Our goal is to place our patients in the best facility possible so that they can heal and find long-term healing. If you visit one of our facilities, we will assist you in finding the best program to help you achieve long-term sobriety and recovery from Heroin addiction.


Our team is here to represent you. Our mission is to assist you in overcoming the challenges or roadblocks that you can encounter during your early recovery.


Although dealing with some problems alone can be overwhelming, our team can work with you on legal, financial, technical, or other issues. We will assist you in thriving during your early recovery.


Contact us to learn more about The Retreat of Atlanta and how it can assist you or a loved one in breaking free from addiction. Our admissions team will help you find the best fit for you. Call 762-366-0100 today to begin your recovery.

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Can You Reverse the Effects of Alcohol?

Can You Reverse the Effects of Alcohol?

Are you wondering if you can reverse the effects and damage caused by alcohol? Whether the usage of alcohol is safe for human health is a complete mystery to lots of individuals. It is true that the usages of alcohol are seen throughout different fields such as medical institutes, religious and cultural events, and other social activities. However, excessive use or abuse of alcohol can lead to brain damage, physical and emotional damage as well as legal issues for a person. The thing is that some of these problems may not arise immediately for the person if he is still young. But according to a survey, the earlier someone starts drinking, the more they are at risk of facing alcohol damage at their later age.

It is true that the usages of alcohol are seen throughout different fields such as medical institutes, religious and cultural events, and other social activities. However, excessive use or abuse of alcohol can lead to some health and legal issues for a person. The thing is that some of these problems may not arise immediately for the person if he is still young. But according to a survey, the earlier someone starts drinking, the more they are at risk of facing alcohol damage at their later age.

Risks of Long-Term Alcohol Abuse

There is a reason why alcohol is prohibited for people under the age of 21. Excessive usage of alcohol has a number of serious risks. It is a necessity for anyone to know about this stuff beforehand. In that way, you can have an idea of what you are getting into or doing. Below, here are some health issues that can be caused by alcoholism:

  • Brain Damage
  • Ulcers
  • Changes in the neural ways of one’s brain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Damage to the brain’s neurons in several or all areas
  • Liver Issues
  • Preventing brain from working properly
  • Problems in the cardiovascular area
  • The chance of seizure, dementia, brain cancer, and stroke increases.

According to SAMHSA, among many substance uses, alcohol abuse is the most common disorder among people. Unfortunately, most of them do so without knowing the risks. But if you are already doing it and want to reverse the effects of alcohol, there are ways.

Reverse Alcohol Damage on the Brain and Body

By taking the proper steps, you can reverse almost all the damages and changes to your health done by alcohol abuse. But it will take time for the complete recovery. The first steps in all these are to stay sober for 5 to 7 years, as that is how long it takes for your body to recover. Unfortunately, some alterations in the brain are irreversible. These damages depend on how long you have been drinking. But some other factors also work here. Your dietary habits, the amount of physical exercise you perform, your family history, and even genetic factors are vital things that determine the impairment to your body. So, the best thing to do is never to pick up the habit again.

Keep in mind that most of the recovery from the damages happens within only the first year of sobriety. Apparently, most of this recovery happens automatically. All you got to do is to stop yourself from drinking during these times.

There are some health issues where the problem isn’t directly related to alcoholism, but it indirectly causes them. One of them will be the Wenick Korsakoff condition. It may still be present when you are performing sobriety. As it comes from not having enough nutrition, you need to take care of your dietary habits to get rid of the problem.


Heart-Related Problems Caused by Alcoholism

There are several problems that can arise with the habit of drinking alcohol. The worrisome factor is that many of these issues may not be irreversible if the habit has been going on for too long. Moreover, if you had a heart problem before your drinking habit started, it may damage the cardiovascular system even more.

AHA states that these heart issues are common in alcoholic individuals-

  • Arrhythmias
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy
  • Increase of cholesterol level

If you have already got these issues, you should seek professional help. Learn what diet will be the best for you in the scenario and follow that. Note that you can get an idea of how much recovery you will get from the heart problems after quitting drinking. Be careful of your diet, sleep schedule, and exercise, and see how much you recover after one year. Thus you can understand your potential for recovery.


How Long to Reverse Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Most reverse effects of quitting alcohol start in the first year. Your body heals itself in several months. However, being sober from 5-7 years is a good length of time for full psychological and physical recovery. Alcohol abuse affects the brain significantly and that’s why patience is your best friend that can help you get your life back without and eliminate the lingering effects of alcohol.

How to Recover From Alcohol Abuse?

To recover from alcohol abuse, firstly, you must stay sober for the whole recovery period. You have to be sure that no external factors affect your cravings for alcohol after you have quit it. To reverse skin damage, you need to drink a lot of water. It is also necessary to go for a healthy diet, enough exercise, and get proper rest. Since different people may face different issues, you should get professional help, explain everything, and follow their instructions. You must face the truth that some of the damages may be impossible to recover and stay patient.

Begin to Undo the Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Fortunately, the addiction to alcohol is not as severe as some of the other substances. As a result, during your brain recovery period, you won’t face too much craving as those other addictions. But no matter what happens, you must remain sober during the reverse alcoholism timeline. Reversing alcohol damage takes a long time, so you must stay away from any external causes that may provoke you to drink again.

If you or a loved one are in need of help for alcohol addiction, contact our team of professionals today.

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