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No One Should Navigate Addiction Alone

Common Signs & Symptoms of Drug Addiction

Something seems off with your loved one, but you’re not sure what it is. Drug addiction is complex, and the symptoms differ depending on the kinds of substances a person is taking. There are, however, some telltale signs to look for that almost always accompany drug addiction:
 
  1. Loss of Control: She uses more than she wants to, for longer than she intended, or uses despite telling herself that she would stop.
  2. Neglecting Other Activities: She loses interest in activities she used to enjoy.
  3. Relationship Issues: She neglects or acts out against those she is closest to.
  4. Secrecy: She hides her whereabouts, use, and amount of drugs consumed.
  5. Tolerance: She uses more, requiring increased amounts in order to have the same effect.
  6. Withdrawal: This differs depending on the substance being abused. Almost always, she’ll display noticeable anxiety when going without the substance.
  7. Continued Use, Despite Negative Consequences: She continues to use even though her use is causing problems on the job, in relationships, or with her health.
  8. Risk Taking: She takes serious risks in order to obtain drugs.
  9. Change in Appearance: Her appearance changes, decreased personal hygiene, weight loss and sores are common.

Signs & Symptoms of Alcoholism

Since alcohol is legal and it’s socially acceptable to drink, it can be challenging to spot the signs of addiction associated with alcohol—especially in women—unless you know what to look for:
 
  1. Inability to Moderate: She drinks more than she planned, or for longer than she intended.
  2. Inability to Stop: She has said she wants to cut down or stop drinking, or has even tried to, but could not.
  3. Risky Behavior: More than once she’s gotten into situations while drinking that are out of character or dangerous.
  4. Increased Tolerance: She is able to drink much more than she once did.
  5. Continued Use Despite Problems: She continues to drink even though it makes her blackout, feel depressed, anxious, or is causing legal, emotional and financial problems.
  6. Relationship Issues: She continues to drink even though it is causing trouble with family. 
  7. Disrupting Work or Family Life: Her drinking and being sick from drinking is interfering with work, school or family obligations.
  8. Loss of Passions: She’s stopped doing the activities that she used to love.
  9. Legal Issues: She’s been arrested, been held at a police station, or had other legal problems because of drinking.
  10. Withdrawal: She has withdrawal symptoms such as trouble sleeping, shakiness, restlessness, nausea, sweating, racing heart rate, or a seizure.

Next Steps: Are You Enabling an Addict's Addiction?

Breaking the Cycle of Enabling Addiction

The disease of addiction is often poorly understood, and the behaviors of a person with addiction are often bewildering to family and friends. 

Well-intentioned but poorly-informed individuals may inadvertently enable addiction to progress by shielding the person with addiction from consequences that could potentially initiate change.” -Excerpt from a SAMHSA.gov Workshop Series

 
Enabling an addict can be a difficult habit to break. For the addict to realize the consequences of her behavior, her loved ones must stop enabling substance abuse. This is sometimes the only way an addict will ever get professional help.
 
  1. Fear takes over your actions: In order to avoid situations that may be frightening, the enabler may do whatever it takes to avoid them. You also may not act because you are afraid to ‘rock the boat.’ Changing a lifestyle is daunting and even though you know it needs to happen, fear is holding you back from taking the leap.
  2. You put the addict’s needs before your own: It is natural to want to help loved ones when you see them struggling, but when their needs are taken care of while you (the enabler) neglect your own, this is a sure sign that you are enabling the addict.
  3. You ignore the addict’s increasingly dangerous behavior: This can be anything from overlooking problems, to true denial that a problem even exists. This is the number one place to land – and the easiest – when dealing with an addict. It’s too hard to believe, so you don’t.
  4. You have difficulty expressing emotions: You may often be unsure of how to express your feelings, especially when fear kicks in. Even worse is if there are negative repercussions for speaking up, and you are more than likely enabling the situation and the addict.
  5. You lie to others to cover up the addicts’ bad behavior: To present a calm, cool, and controlled exterior to the world, an enabler will lie to keep the peace. By doing this you end up digging yourself deeper and deeper in the lies, and eventually find yourself living in a false, inauthentic environment where you begin to have a hard time recognizing what’s ‘real’ anymore.
  6. Blaming everyone but the addict: The enabler often accuses others to protect the addict from having to face the consequences of their actions, placing the blame on anyone besides the addict herself. This is part of denial and lying that will start to become the enabler’s way of life and, in the end, you may end up losing friends and family by ‘choosing’ the addict.
  7. You may end up resenting the addict: By living with the above behaviors, the enabler will likely start to feel angry and hurt and begin to resent the addict – all while continuing to enable the addiction.

How to Convince a Loved One to Enter Rehab

Recovery Begins with a Small Step

How do you convince a loved one to get help, especially if they are in denial and refuse to commit to treatment? Since there is no hard and fast rule on exactly how to convince a resistant loved one into agreeing to treatment, there are some ways to help make the need more apparent so she may make the decision on her own.

Most women with a substance abuse problem have a hard time admitting they have a problem: denial can keep her stuck in a vicious cycle. An intervention may be a great solution. The old idea that someone must hit her bottom is not necessary and can be harmful, since someone can always fall farther.

A substance abuser’s denial and secrecy about their drug and alcohol use may deter a family member to intervene. One of the greatest dangers of drug and alcohol abuse is that you never know if the next use will result in an overdose, an accident, or death. Family members and loved ones are often the only concerned individuals who can persuade her to seek help.

It is advisable for loved ones to either have an informal but pointed and encouraging talk about rehab or to stage a formal intervention with a trained interventionist. A poorly organized intervention can do more harm than good, cause anger, and undermine the intended goals. The organizers will want to carefully plan the intervention beforehand in order to increase the likelihood of achieving the main goal.

There are many advantages to working with a trained, professional interventionist who specializes in organizing and overseeing an intervention. Let our admissions team help you navigate and find someone appropriate to help you.


The Importance of Gender Targeted Treatment

Addiction Treatment for Women, by Women

The Biology of Women & Addiction

It is commonly understood that there are fundamental differences between men and women: physical, emotional, social, and psychological differences that affect experiences and shape one’s view of the world.
 
While physical contrasts are obvious, biological and psychological differences are less so. Science, historically, has focused little attention on the way a woman’s body is affected by illness. In recent years there has been more research to confirm and support the notion that there are indeed vast differences between the sexes in this regard. The variances in chemical makeup between men and women play a tremendous role in the onset, symptomatology, and progression of many illnesses and addiction is one example of these differences.
 
  • Women’s bodies are unable to process and metabolize substances as quickly as men, therefore retaining more of the substance for a longer period of time
  • Addiction is likely to develop and progress at a much more rapid pace in women
  • Women can become physically dependent on drugs and alcohol even after moderate use
  • Women’s bodies can suffer damage and show signs of illness much earlier in the onset of the disease
  • Women are more affected by the stigma associated with addiction and more likely to suffer guilt and shame
  • Women are generally good at concealing their illness until the disease is quite advanced
  • Women are less likely to seek help
  • Women often suffer with co-occurring conditions making their addiction difficult to identify and diagnose
  • Women are greatly concerned about the consequences with regard to their children when they seek treatment

Evidence shows a woman is much more inclined to become vulnerable and honest in an environment where she is accepted and understood. These are key ingredients to long-term successful recovery. Programming that is created for women and addresses the identified obstacles pertaining to women allows for a meaningful, rich experience. A community of friends to support and love her on the journey can be an invaluable resource. Women have shown they are much more willing to commit to their recovery when they have a network of women whom they support and who support them in return.  

 

Even just a woman’s biology plays a large role in the manifestation of diseases, a female-only environment for healing is extremely influential in a woman’s successful recovery, and while many programs have “gender separate” options, only a few offer truly gender-specific treatment.

 

At Casa Capri Recovery, we have long understood the distinction. While many of the modalities used are the same for both men and women, the format and content of the work is vastly different. Casa Capri Recovery has considered this in every aspect of our program and believe we offer the best addiction treatment available for women. 

 
Care providers should consider the challenges most women face when trying to access treatment, such as the stigma associated with drug abuse, lack of programs for pregnant women, fear of loss of child custody, and so on. An all-female drug rehabilitation center understands these unique needs and takes into consideration childcare, parenting, and body image issues that a lot of women struggle with alongside their addiction.
 
If you have questions about any of the topics covered above, or just 
need to talk, contact our supportive Casa Capri Recovery team today. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Rehab

Will someone be updating my family?

Yes, anyone that is on the consent list will receive periodic updates on your progress!