father isn't sure how to deal with alcoholic adult son

7 Ways To Help Your Alcoholic Adult Son

Knowing how to deal with an alcoholic son is a challenge for parents of adult children with an addiction. However, there are ways to help your son to put them on the path to recovery.

Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living programs for men in recovery from alcohol addiction. When your son is ready for treatment, we’ll be here to guide you through the process.

In the meantime, here are seven ways you can help your alcoholic son:

#1. Get Help for Yourself

When your adult son struggles with alcoholism, this can take a toll on your mental health. It’s understandable to be upset or stressed out dealing with an alcoholic adult son. But it’s important to acknowledge how it affects you and to learn healthy coping skills.

Oftentimes, addiction treatment centers offer support for family members of alcoholics or addicts. This gives you a place to vent, process, and manage your emotions about your son’s behavior.

#2. Attend Family Support Groups

Support groups for families of alcoholics and addicts are great places to get additional help for your own feelings on the issue. One of the most common groups is Al-Anon, which is geared specifically toward family members of alcoholics. However, you can also find other support groups in your community to help you.

#3. Build a Support System

It’s also important to build a support system of family and friends. When you deal with an alcoholic son, other members of your family are affected by the issue. You can all lean on one another for support so that no one gets burnt out by taking on too much.

Your support system can include people you can talk to about the situation, like friends and co-workers. In addition, the people in your support system can help when you need to take your adult son to appointments or treatment programs. For example, you might need a friend to watch a pet while you drive your son to a rehab center out of town.

#4. Set Boundaries and Limits

Setting boundaries and limits are important skills when learning how to deal with an alcoholic son. Without boundaries and limits, you could be unintentionally enabling their addiction or other problematic behaviors.

Some examples of healthy boundaries and limits for an alcoholic son include:

  • Not making excuses for their behavior
  • Not allowing alcohol in your home
  • Not shielding them from the consequences of their actions
  • No longer giving them money or financial support

Remember: the key to setting healthy boundaries and limits isn’t to control your son’s behavior. Rather, it is about controlling your responses to their alcoholism and problematic behaviors.

#5. Learn More About Alcoholism and Treatment

One of the best ways to deal with an alcoholic son is to learn more about alcoholism as well as treatment. Learning more about alcoholism can provide the following benefits:

  • Alleviates feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blame
  • Sympathize with what your son is dealing with
  • Understand the underlying causes of addiction

By learning more about how alcohol addiction is treated, you can help your alcoholic son explore options when they are ready for treatment.

#6. Know What NOT to Say or Do

Of course, there are some things that you want to avoid doing or saying when helping your alcoholic son. The following are things to avoid:

  • Don’t give ultimatums or make threats. Although you might feel like this is in their best interest, ultimatums and threats can ruin your relationship with your son. They can also be difficult for you to uphold—making you seem inconsistent.
  • Don’t confront them—especially if they are currently under the influence. Confrontations about alcoholism aren’t helpful. Instead, discuss the issue from a place of concern and be non-judgmental. Also, never confront an alcoholic about their drinking when they are under the influence. This won’t help anyone and could ignite intense emotions.
  • Don’t blame them. Alcoholism, and any issues related to it, are your son’s responsibility to manage and face the consequences of. However, acknowledging responsibility and facing consequences isn’t the same as taking blame. Blaming them for the issue doesn’t help them come around to dealing with it—it usually makes things worse.
  • Don’t lecture or criticize. Sometimes, parents revert to how they dealt with their son as a child or adolescent. But, now you must talk to your alcoholic son as an adult. Lecturing or criticizing them for their actions could create distance from you and your son.
  • Don’t give mixed messages. If you keep your drinking under control, you might struggle to understand what alcoholism is like for your son. Sometimes, you might pressure them to have a drink or two on holidays or special occasions—rationalizing that they can handle just one. Alternatively, you might drink heavily in front of them. This sends mixed messages to your alcoholic son.

#7. Be Patient and Acknowledge the Wins

It takes time to see significant changes when you deal with an alcoholic son. Oftentimes, you might overlook the small steps they take because you want them to overcome their disorder entirely. But, it’s important to be patient and to acknowledge the wins—even the daily victories.

And, remember that alcoholism is a chronic condition. This means that a relapse is more likely than not. However, a relapse doesn’t mean that your son cannot recover from addiction. They shouldn’t give up because of any setbacks—and neither should you.

Help Your Alcoholic Son Find Treatment Today

Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living programs for those who need a safe and secure place to continue their recovery after inpatient treatment. We also connect our residents to outpatient programs and other helpful resources that put your son on the path to long-lasting recovery from alcohol addiction.

Contact us today to learn more.

man experiences post acute withdrawal syndrome

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome Timeline

Entering into recovery from substance abuse is a courageous journey, yet it’s often not without its challenges. While many individuals focus on the initial withdrawal symptoms, there’s another phase that can follow, known as the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome timeline. At Creekside Recovery Residences, we recognize the importance of understanding PAWS and providing support throughout this phase of recovery. In this article, we delve into what PAWS entails, its common symptoms, a detailed timeline, and effective treatment options.

For more information or to be connected with a treatment program near you, visit our admissions page today. 

What is PAWS?

The Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS) timeline refers to a set of symptoms that can occur after the acute withdrawal phase from substance abuse has passed. Unlike acute withdrawal, which typically lasts for a week or two, PAWS can persist for weeks, months, or even years after the cessation of substance use.

PAWS can manifest differently for each individual and may vary depending on factors such as the type of substance abused, duration of use, and individual physiology.

Common Symptoms of PAWS

There are several symptoms that are common among those suffering from post-acute withdrawal. The symptoms you experience will vary depending on the type of substance you used, the duration of use, and the presence of any pre-existing conditions. Fortunately, most related symptoms can be successfully managed with long-term treatment

1. Mood Swings

During PAWS, individuals may experience significant fluctuations in mood, ranging from periods of depression, characterized by feelings of sadness and hopelessness, to episodes of anxiety, marked by excessive worry and tension.

Additionally, irritability and agitation may surface, leading to heightened sensitivity to environmental stimuli. Emotional numbness, where individuals feel disconnected from their emotions, can also occur, making it challenging to experience pleasure or engage with others.

2. Fatigue

Persistent feelings of exhaustion and low energy levels are common symptoms of PAWS. Despite adequate rest, individuals may struggle to regain their energy and may find even simple tasks to be overwhelming. This fatigue can impact daily functioning and diminish motivation, hindering progress in recovery efforts.

3. Insomnia or Hypersomnia

Sleep disturbances are prevalent during PAWS, with individuals experiencing either difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia) or excessive sleeping (hypersomnia). Disrupted sleep patterns can exacerbate other symptoms such as fatigue and mood disturbances, further complicating the recovery process.

4. Cognitive Impairment

PAWS can impair cognitive function, leading to difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and impaired decision-making abilities. Individuals may find it challenging to focus on tasks, retain information, or make sound judgments, which can interfere with work, school, or interpersonal relationships.

5. Cravings

Intense urges or cravings for the substance of abuse are a hallmark symptom of PAWS. These cravings can be triggered by various cues, such as stress, social situations, or environmental cues associated with substance use. Managing cravings requires coping strategies and support to prevent relapse and maintain sobriety.

6. Physical Symptoms

PAWS can manifest with various physical symptoms, including headaches, muscle aches, tremors, and gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These symptoms may arise as the body adjusts to the absence of the substance and can contribute to discomfort and distress during the recovery process.

7. Emotional Dysregulation

Heightened sensitivity to stress, emotional instability, and mood disturbances are common features of PAWS. Individuals may struggle to regulate their emotions effectively, leading to exaggerated responses to minor stressors or difficulty managing intense emotions. Emotional dysregulation can strain relationships and impede progress in recovery.

PAWS Timeline

Understanding the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome timeline provides individuals in recovery with valuable insights into what to expect throughout the various phases of the post-withdrawal period. By recognizing the evolving nature of PAWS symptoms and implementing effective coping strategies, individuals can navigate through this challenging phase of recovery with resilience and determination toward long-term sobriety and improved quality of life.

Weeks 1-2: Mild PAWS Symptoms Emerge

As individuals progress through the initial phase of acute withdrawal, characterized by intense physical symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and tremors, they may start to experience relief as these symptoms gradually diminish. However, during this time, mild PAWS symptoms may begin to surface.

These early symptoms can include subtle mood swings, lingering fatigue, and occasional cravings for the substance of abuse. While not as intense as acute withdrawal, these symptoms serve as a reminder of the challenges that lie ahead in the recovery journey.

Weeks 3-8: PAWS Symptoms Peak in Severity

During this phase, which typically spans from the third week to the eighth-week post-withdrawal, individuals may encounter the most challenging aspect of PAWS. Symptoms such as mood swings, fatigue, and cravings may peak in severity, causing significant distress and disrupting daily functioning.

Mood swings may become more pronounced, with individuals experiencing periods of intense sadness, anxiety, or irritability. Fatigue can be particularly debilitating, making it difficult to engage in activities and maintain motivation. Cravings for the substance of abuse may intensify, posing a heightened risk of relapse if not managed effectively.

Support and coping strategies are crucial during this time to help individuals navigate through these challenging symptoms.

Months 2-6: Gradual Decrease in Intensity, Intermittent Symptoms Persist

As individuals progress further into recovery, typically spanning from the second month to the sixth-month post-withdrawal, PAWS symptoms gradually decrease in intensity. While individuals may experience relief from the peak severity of symptoms, some symptoms may persist intermittently. Mood swings may become less frequent but can still occur during periods of stress or emotional upheaval.

Fatigue may improve, but individuals may still experience fluctuations in energy levels. Cravings may diminish in intensity but can resurface unexpectedly, requiring ongoing vigilance and coping strategies to prevent relapse.

Months 6-24: Significant Improvement with Residual Symptoms

Many individuals experience significant improvement in PAWS symptoms beyond the sixth-month post-withdrawal, typically extending up to two years or more. During this phase, individuals may notice a substantial reduction in the frequency and intensity of symptoms, allowing for greater stability and functionality in daily life.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge that some residual symptoms may linger, albeit to a lesser extent. While individuals may have made considerable progress in their recovery journey, occasional mood swings, mild fatigue, or fleeting cravings may still arise. Continued support, sober living, and adherence to healthy coping strategies remain crucial during this phase to maintain long-term sobriety and well-being.

Treatment Options for PAWS

  • Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and mindfulness-based therapies can help individuals cope with PAWS symptoms and develop healthy coping strategies.
  • Medication: Certain medications, such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers, may be prescribed to alleviate mood swings, depression, or anxiety associated with PAWS.
  • Support Groups: Participating in support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), provides peer support and encouragement during the recovery journey.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Incorporating regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress-reduction techniques can support overall well-being and aid in PAWS recovery.
  • Holistic Therapies: Practices like yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and massage therapy may help alleviate PAWS symptoms and promote relaxation.

Contact Us to Learn More About PAWS Management

Navigating the Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome timeline can be a challenging aspect of the recovery process, but it is a temporary phase that can be managed with the right support and strategies. At Creekside, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive support to individuals overcoming substance abuse, including guidance through the PAWS phase. By understanding the symptoms, timeline, and treatment options for PAWS, individuals can embark on a journey toward long-term sobriety and improved quality of life.

If you or a loved one are experiencing PAWS symptoms and need support on your recovery journey, reach out to Creekside Recovery Residences today. Our experienced team is here to provide compassionate care and personalized treatment to help you achieve lasting sobriety. Take the first step towards a brighter future by contacting us now.

sober living residents socialize and have fun

Does Insurance Cover Sober Living?

Navigating the road to recovery from addiction is a journey that demands resilience, support, and adequate resources. Sober living homes play a pivotal role in providing a supportive environment for individuals looking to maintain their sobriety after or during their primary treatment. As you consider transitioning into a sober living arrangement, understanding the financial aspect, including insurance coverage, becomes paramount.

Creekside Recovery Residences is here to guide you through this crucial part of your recovery process. If you or a loved one are looking for sober living, call us now at 470-460-6688

What is Sober Living?

Sober living homes are structured living environments for individuals recovering from addiction. These residences operate as a bridge between an inpatient facility and the real world. They offer a drug-free, stable environment where residents can solidify the coping strategies they learned during rehabilitation. By emphasizing community and accountability, sober living homes help individuals transition smoothly into society while maintaining sobriety.

How Do I Know If Sober Living is Right For Me?

Determining whether sober living is the right choice for you involves reflecting on your journey and current needs in recovery. Sober living might be a beneficial next step if you’re seeking a supportive community that values sobriety, accountability, and personal growth. It’s ideal for individuals transitioning from a rehabilitation center who aren’t yet ready to face the full pressures of returning home or to their usual environment. 

If you find yourself needing a structured environment that bridges the gap between intensive treatment and complete independence, or if maintaining sobriety in your current living situation poses significant challenges, sober living can offer the stability and support necessary for your continued recovery. Ultimately, your readiness to embrace a community-focused, substance-free lifestyle while working towards your personal and professional goals can indicate that sober living is a suitable choice for you.

Our Sober Living Locations

What to Expect from Sober Living

Sober living environments vary in structure, rules, and support services, but they share common expectations, including:

  • Abstinence: Residents must commit to sobriety. Regular drug and alcohol testing are standard.
  • Responsibility: Individuals are expected to take responsibility for their actions, contribute to the household, and maintain employment or education.
  • Community Support: Participation in group meetings and support sessions is encouraged, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual support.
  • Independence: While offering support, sober living encourages independence, allowing residents to gradually reintegrate into society.

Insurance Coverage for Sober Living

Insurance coverage for sober living homes can be complex and varies significantly by policy and provider. Generally, traditional health insurance plans may not cover the cost of residing in a sober living home directly, as these facilities provide a supportive living environment rather than medical treatment. However, some aspects of your stay, like outpatient therapy and medical appointments, could be covered under your health insurance plan. It’s crucial to review your insurance policy or consult with your provider to understand what aspects of sober living your insurance might cover.

Alternative Payment Options

Understanding the limitations of insurance coverage for sober living homes, it’s essential to explore alternative payment options:

  • Private Pay: Many residents cover the cost of sober living through personal savings or financial help from family and friends.
  • Scholarships and Grants: Some sober living homes offer scholarships or have grant programs available to help cover costs for those who qualify.
  • State and Local Government Programs: Research programs in your area that offer financial assistance for sober living or recovery housing.
  • Sliding Scale Fees: Some facilities adjust costs based on an individual’s ability to pay, ensuring that sober living is accessible to those in need.

How Much Does Sober Living Cost?

The cost of sober living varies widely depending on location, amenities, and the level of support provided. Monthly fees can range from $500 to $2,000 or more, with higher-end facilities offering additional services like counseling, job placement assistance, outpatient rehab and more luxurious living conditions. Some sober living homes include the cost of utilities, food, and transportation in their fees, while others may charge separately for these expenses. 

It’s important for individuals considering sober living to closely examine what each facility offers and determine whether the cost aligns with their needs and budget. Researching and asking questions about all potential fees and services can help ensure a clear understanding of the financial commitment involved in choosing a sober living environment.

Is Sober Living Ever Free?

While most sober living homes charge a fee to cover expenses and maintain the facility, there are some circumstances where sober living can be accessed for free or at a significantly reduced cost. Non-profit organizations, charitable foundations, and some government-funded programs occasionally offer sober living scholarships or grants to individuals in need. These opportunities are designed to support those who are committed to their recovery but lack the financial resources to afford sober living. 

Availability can be limited and often requires applicants to meet specific criteria or demonstrate financial hardship. For those seeking a free sober living environment, it’s essential to research local resources, recovery support organizations, and state or county health services for potential assistance options.

Contact Us to Find Sober Living Near You

Sober living homes offer a crucial support system for individuals in recovery, providing a structured environment that nurtures sobriety and personal growth. While navigating insurance coverage for sober living can be challenging, understanding your policy and exploring alternative payment options can help make this pivotal step in your recovery journey more accessible.

At Creekside Recovery Residences, we’re committed to supporting you through every stage of your recovery process. Whether you’re exploring sober living options or seeking guidance on financing your stay, our team is here to provide the resources and support you need. Contact us today to learn how we can support your path to sobriety. Your journey to a healthier, sober life is a call away.

outpatient group therapy during rehab

How Long Does Outpatient Rehab Last?

Outpatient rehab can last several months depending on what type of program you attend. Most people transition from inpatient rehab into an outpatient rehab program. This helps them maintain their recovery skills as they continue their treatment program.

In addition, sober living programs provide an additional level of accountability for those in outpatient rehab. Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living programs for those in outpatient rehab.

What Are the Different Types of Outpatient Rehab Programs?

Different types of outpatient rehab programs vary in levels of care. Simply put, this means that some programs are more intensive than others. It is best to step down from each higher level of care to the next as you gradually build the skills needed for long-term recovery.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

Most people go from residential treatment to a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Furthermore, the programming in PHP is similar to residential treatment. As a result, you get a mix of individual and group sessions along with experiential therapy and psychoeducational classes on mental health, life skills, and addiction.

However, unlike residential treatment, you don’t live in a facility during your PHP program. But, you still get about six to eight hours of programming per day, five days per week. After that, you can move on to an intensive outpatient program.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) continue your treatment with a less restrictive schedule compared to PHP. You still get a significant amount of treatment and support, however, you can attend an IOP program while resuming everyday responsibilities. For instance, many IOP programs occur during the evening, allowing you to work full-time during the day.

Most IOP programs last three to four hours per session, four to five days per week. Some rehab programs offer IOP during both the daytime hours and evening so that you can choose which time is best for you. After IOP, you can continue with regular outpatient programs.

Outpatient Program (OP)

Following PHP and IOP programs, you can continue with a regular outpatient program. This is the most flexible type of rehab program because you get to choose what is right for you. This could be meeting with a therapist weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. You can also participate in group or family therapy sessions on a similar schedule.

Most sessions during regular OP will last about an hour. In addition, there are now several virtual options for outpatient rehab. Virtual outpatient rehab provides greater accessibility and flexibility to those in recovery from addiction.

How Long Do Outpatient Rehab Programs Last?

Different types of outpatient rehab programs last different amounts of time. Furthermore, you need to consider the total length of time as you progress from one type of program to the next. Therefore, outpatient rehab programs typically last at least 60 to 90 days from PHP to regular outpatient programs.

Lastly, you might be in regular outpatient therapy for several months or even years. That is because outpatient therapy is a tool to help you navigate everyday life as you build your recovery skills.

In addition, outpatient therapy helps to treat common underlying causes of addiction which is often a co-occurring mental health disorder. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), “More than one in four adults living with serious mental health problems also has a substance use problem.”

What’s the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab?

The primary difference between inpatient and outpatient rehab is where you live during treatment. Throughout inpatient rehab, also called residential treatment, you live within the treatment facility. That way, you can stay safe from any relapse triggers during early recovery.

On the other hand, during outpatient rehab, you can live at home, with family, or in a sober living program. This allows you to resume some of your everyday responsibilities while in treatment. For additional support, you can consider a sober living program throughout outpatient rehab.

How Do Sober Living Programs Differ From Residential Treatment?

The key difference between sober living programs and residential treatment is that during sober living, you have more freedom to leave the home. But, during residential treatment programs, you won’t be able to leave the facility throughout your program. Of course, some exceptions may apply, like medical or psychiatric appointments, for instance.

However, this doesn’t mean that during sober living, you can come and go as you please. For example, while you can go to an outpatient program, work, or school, you might need to return to the sober living home right away. In addition, you will likely have a curfew and randomized drug testing as well as required programming within the home.

Which Type of Rehab Program is Right for Me?

Overall, you need to consider where you are in your recovery to determine which type of rehab program is right for you. The whole process, from inpatient to outpatient rehab, can last a long time, and it’s best to go in succession from higher to lower levels of care.

Additionally, many treatment programs require that you step down from one level of care to the next. Depending on the severity of your addiction and your treatment history, you might be able to start at a lower level of care. However, most treatment providers like to know that you have made progress before you advance.

Regardless of which type of outpatient rehab program you are in, you can choose a sober living program for additional support and structure.

Begin Outpatient Rehab and Sober Living Today

Creekside Recovery Residences provides sober living programs for those in outpatient rehab. You can remain in sober living no matter how long your outpatient rehab will last. In addition, some people continue sober living after active treatment as they get back on their feet in recovery from addiction.

Contact us to begin sober living and outpatient rehab today.

cannabis plant, where marijuana and delta-8 THC are derived

Does Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Delta-8 could show up on a drug test if the test detects marijuana and other cannabis products. This is because many drug tests can’t distinguish between different cannabis compounds. However, this depends on how sensitive the test is and how recently you used delta-8.

Regardless of legal status, delta-8 could be hazardous to your health and lead to an addiction. If you are getting your life back together after attending long-term addiction treatment, sober living programs can help. Creekside Recovery Residences provides sober living homes for those in recovery from addiction.

What is Delta-8?

Delta-8 is one of the naturally occurring cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found in cannabis that act on your brain. In fact, there are over 100 cannabinoids in cannabis.

However, delta-8 is not one of the main cannabinoids. Though there are over 100 total, a vast majority of them occur only in trace amounts. Regardless of the product, most cannabinoids are present and trace amounts of delta-8 can be extracted from other cannabis products.

Delta-8 products are made by extracting delta-8 from legal cannabis products, like hemp. Then, the doses are concentrated in order to affect the user.

What Are the Effects of Delta-8?

Delta-8 only affects you when it is extracted and concentrated because it is not one of the main cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The two main cannabinoids responsible for the effects of cannabis are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Delta-9 THC is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana and cannabis.

But, delta-8 is also a type of THC. Therefore, the effects of delta-8 THC are similar to that of delta-9 THC. The following are some of the effects of delta-8:

  • Mild euphoria
  • Sedation and relaxing effects
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of coordination
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Increased heart rate
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Potential for addiction

While these effects are similar to delta-9 THC, delta-8 is generally less potent. However, because it is derived from legal cannabis products, delta-8 is often sold alongside legal cannabis products that have no psychoactive effects.

Is Delta-8 Safe?

The safety of delta-8 is not researched as much as the main cannabinoids, delta-9 THC and CBD. However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning about delta-8 THC. The FDA states the following concerns about delta-8:

  • The FDA has not approved or evaluated delta-8 for safety, and products with delta-8 could pose a risk to people’s health.
  • The FDA received 104 reports of adverse effects from people using delta-8 between December 1, 2020, and February 28, 2022.
  • Delta-8 products have similar intoxicating and psychoactive effects as delta-9 THC.
  • Potentially harmful chemicals are often involved in the process of extracting delta-8 and making delta-8 products.

Therefore, the safety of delta-8 is not well known at this time. But, due to a lack of knowledge on the safety of delta-8 products, it could pose a health risk to your health.

Is Delta-8 Illegal?

Laws vary from state to state regarding cannabis products. However, because delta-8 is extracted from legal cannabis, products with delta-8 generally float under the radar. In other words, delta-8 THC is technically legal in most states because it is made from other legal products.

But because a product is legal doesn’t mean that it is safe. People could unintentionally purchase delta-8 assuming that it won’t get them high like illegal marijuana. And, despite being legal, it could also show up on a drug test due to its similarities to delta-9.

Will Delta-8 Show Up on a Drug Test?

Delta-8 could show up on a drug test that looks for marijuana use. Drug tests that look for marijuana use detect delta-9 THC because this is the primary psychoactive compound responsible for getting a person high. Since delta-8 and delta-9 are similar chemical compounds, delta-8 could also be detected.

So, if you are being tested for marijuana use, delta-8 will very likely show up on a drug test.

Sober Living Programs for Drug Addiction

Marijuana and similar products like delta-8 can lead to drug addiction. If you are addicted to delta-8, you might have tried to quit on your own but weren’t successful. Drug addiction can have a negative impact on your daily life as well as your physical and mental well-being.

At Creekside Recovery Residences, we offer the following programs to treat drug and alcohol addiction:

  • Sober living homes can help you get back on your feet after long-term residential treatment. We offer programs for men, women, and people in the LGBTQIA+ community. That way, you can feel safe and secure throughout your time in sober living.
  • Case management services connect you to the resources you need to continue your recovery from addiction. These services also help you find permanent housing, employment, and medical needs.
  • Recovery coaching can support you throughout your treatment program. Coaches offer advice and help you reach your goals in sobriety.
  • Sober companions accompany you during the early days of your sobriety. Sometimes, they live with you for the first few days of sobriety. Other times, they can attend triggering events with you, like holiday parties and weddings. Essentially, they help you stay accountable to sobriety.
  • Outpatient rehab programs offer you continuing treatment after you leave an inpatient facility. During outpatient rehab, you don’t need to live within the treatment facility. Many people attending outpatient programs choose to reside in a sober living program to fully focus on recovery.

Get Help for Addiction Today

Creekside Recovery Residences can help you overcome addiction to delta-8 or other cannabis products. We also can connect to other valuable resources that will help you remain drug- and alcohol-free.

Contact us today to get help for addiction.

family therapy during outpatient addiction treatment

Help for Families of Addicts

Finding help for families of addicts is critical to treating the disease of addiction. While many think of addiction as only that person’s problem, addiction affects the entire family unit. Not only that, but family members are most people’s only outlet for support when they begin recovery. Thus, healing the family helps to improve the outcomes for both the addict and their loved ones.

At Creekside Recovery Residences, we understand that addiction is a family disease. We are here to help those struggling with addiction as well as their families.

How Does Addiction Affect the Family?

Addiction most directly affects family members living with the addict. However, other friends and family members outside of the home can still feel the impact in many ways. The way that addiction affects the family depends greatly on the person’s relationship to the addict.

The effects of addiction on different family members can vary based on the following relationships:

Children of Addicts

Children are among the most vulnerable family members affected by addiction. In 2020, parental drug and alcohol use was a condition of removal in 39.0% of cases where a child was removed from their home to out-of-home care in the US, according to the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare.

Children depend upon their parents to meet their physical, mental, and emotional health needs. When one or both parents abuse drugs and alcohol, they often neglect their children’s needs—sometimes unknowingly or unintentionally.

Children of addicts adopt maladaptive family roles to cope with the trauma of addiction in the home. Some children become overachievers while others get into trouble themselves. Still, others make themselves invisible and hold their feelings inside—leading to low self-esteem, depression, and difficulty building healthy relationships.

Siblings

Sometimes, addiction occurs among children in the home—typically teens or young adults. Younger children are often affected by the behaviors of their older siblings. They might be excessively worried about them, even if they don’t show it.

In addition, in homes where one or both parents are addicted, older siblings often take on the parental roles for younger siblings. They might be burdened with the household responsibilities of cleaning, cooking, and tending to the needs of younger children. With these additional responsibilities, they don’t get a chance to have a normal childhood and adolescence.

Parents of Adult Children

Adult children is a term that refers to addicted adults in their relationship with their parents. Even into adulthood, the parents of adult children could be bailing their child out of legal issues, helping with finances, or taking on a parental role with grandchildren.

Spouse/Partner

The spouse or partner of an addict can struggle with the isolation and frustration of being in a relationship with an addict. They might develop a mental health disorder, like depression or anxiety, as a result of the stress. They could be the one who helps to cover up for the other person’s addiction, like calling in for them when the addict is dealing with the aftereffects of substance abuse.

Parenting partners of addicts could also cover up for their addicted partner’s lack of attention to their children. In extreme cases, a spouse or partner might need to legally remove the addict from their home due to safety concerns, especially with children in the home.

Friends and Other Loved Ones

A person’s family could consist of other people outside of blood relatives. Friends and other loved ones could also be affected by an addict. For instance, they might be called to pick them up after a DUI arrest or give them a place to stay if they get kicked out of their homes. Addiction can strain even the closest and longest of friendships.

5 Tips to Help Families of Addicts

Family members and other loved ones of addicts often feel helpless in their situation. They might have tried to intervene in their loved one’s behavior to no avail. Or, they could feel so overwhelmed that they don’t even know where to start.

The following are tips to help families of addicts:

#1. Engage in Self-Care

Self-care is one of the first things that family members of addicts can do to help themselves. Oftentimes, families of addicts put the needs of the addict first. They frequently feel like they have no time to themselves, which leads to increased stress, anxiety, and even depression.

By taking even a few minutes per day to engage in self-care, families can start to change their outlook on the situation at home. Examples of self-care include:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Watching a movie
  • Going for a walk

#2. Attend Therapy

Therapy can also help families of addicts. Many treatment centers offer family therapy when addicts are in a treatment program. Family therapy helps to rebuild the family dynamics and address issues that occur due to addiction.

However, each family member can also attend individual therapy. This can help family members manage stress and anxiety resulting from loving an addict. In addition, since family members’ own issues are often sidelined, therapy can help them become the best version of themselves—even if their addicted loved one refuses to seek help.

#3. Join a Support Group

Support groups have helped families of addicts connect with others in similar situations. Many family members of addicts feel isolated in their situation. This can lead to loneliness as well as shame about their loved one’s addiction.

Support groups remind family members that they aren’t alone. They have peers who are also affected by a loved one’s addiction. Some of the most common support groups for families of addicts include:

#4. Learn More About Addiction

Learning more about addiction can also help families of addicts. Sometimes, additional information can shed light on a loved one’s substance abuse. This can also help family members find solutions as well as look for signs of relapse if a loved one has been in treatment.

The following resources can help family members of addicts find information about addiction and treatment:

#5. Reach Out to Treatment Programs

Reaching out directly to treatment programs can also help families of addicts. They can help families understand the nature of addiction and how to treat an addiction. By understanding the steps involved in recovery, family members have a better understanding of what their loved one will need to recover.

In addition, reaching out to treatment centers can help families find options if and when their loved one decides to get treatment for drug or alcohol addiction.

Reach Out to Sober Living Programs Today

Creekside Recovery Residences understands that addiction doesn’t just affect the addict—the entire family struggles. We’re here to help addicts recover as well as provide help for families of addicts when they seek treatment. Our sober living programs provide a safe and secure environment for those engaged in outpatient drug and alcohol rehab.

Contact us today to learn more about the treatment process at our sober living programs.

woman showing signs and symptoms of a drug-induced psychosis

Signs and Symptoms of a Drug-Induced Psychosis

The signs and symptoms of a drug-induced psychosis can be scary to experience or witness. If you notice these signs in a loved one, it is imperative to get them medical treatment immediately. A drug-induced psychosis could be a warning sign of an overdose or a symptom of an underlying mental health disorder.

Sober living homes and outpatient rehab can help you after you get treatment following a drug-induced psychotic episode. Creekside Recovery Residences is here to help you get back on track.

What Is a Drug-Induced Psychosis?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines psychosis as “a collection of symptoms that affect the mind, where there has been some loss of contact with reality.” Furthermore, NIMH states that psychosis causes disruptions to thoughts and perceptions. In addition, a person will struggle to recognize what is and isn’t real.

A drug-induced psychosis means that drug or alcohol abuse is the cause of a psychotic episode. Drug-induced psychoses are typically episodic, meaning that they are only temporary. However, in some cases, the person could have long-term psychosis, which may indicate an underlying mental health disorder. During psychosis, a person will have hallucinations, delusions, or both.

What Are Hallucinations and Delusions?

Hallucinations and delusions are the primary symptoms of a psychotic episode:

  • Hallucinations are bodily sensations or perceptions that aren’t real. These can include all senses—sight, touch, taste, hearing, or smell. For example, a person might see people who aren’t there or hear voices that sound like they come from another person.
  • Delusions are unshakable beliefs that are not true. These beliefs can include feeling persecuted and believing oneself to have powers.

It is important to remember that these perceptions and beliefs feel real for the person experiencing psychosis. They won’t be able to just “snap out of it” and will struggle to understand that others don’t share the same experience of reality.

How to Recognize a Drug-Induced Psychosis

A drug-induced psychosis causes tell-tale behaviors like outbursts and incoherent speech. Moreover, symptoms of a drug-induced psychosis will gradually worsen—especially if the person continues using or drinking despite these symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of a drug-induced psychosis include:

  • Suspicious or paranoid thoughts
  • Difficulty thinking logically
  • Overly intense thoughts and beliefs
  • Bizarre feelings or even a lack of feelings
  • Agitation and hostility
  • Confusing, rambling speech
  • Seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, or tasting things that aren’t there
  • Appearing manic and restless
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety and excessive nervousness
  • Insomnia

Overall, the person will not appear like themselves. For instance, a person who is normally calm might become increasingly agitated. They might become intensely jealous, hostile, or fear that others are out to get them.

If you notice these signs in a loved one, get them medical help immediately. They are at a high risk of harming themselves or others. They could also unintentionally upset others, who might harm them as a result.

What Causes a Drug-Induced Psychosis?

Drug-induced psychoses occur as a result of excessive drug or alcohol use. They could also be caused by underlying mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder. Severe depression could also cause psychotic symptoms that increase under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Some drugs are more likely to cause drug-induced psychoses, including:

  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis
  • Ecstasy
  • MDMA
  • PCP

Alcohol and prescription medications like benzodiazepines could also cause drug-induced psychoses. Sometimes, psychoses occur during drug detox as the person goes through withdrawal. This could be the case during severe alcohol withdrawal if the person has symptoms called delirium tremens.

Overall, the cause is either the hallucinogenic effects of the drug itself, underlying symptoms of a mental health disorder, or taking a dangerous amount of a particular substance.

How Is a Drug-Induced Psychosis Treated?

First, a person needs stabilization services to treat a drug-induced psychosis. Most often, they will be taken to an emergency room for safety and possibly to treat a drug overdose.

From there, they could remain inpatient at a hospital’s psychiatric unit for further observation of symptoms. It is critical at this time to determine if the person has an underlying mental health condition at the root of their psychosis. Regardless of the cause, the person will need substance use treatment to prevent drug-induced psychosis and other issues from recurring.

Long-term treatment for drug-induced psychosis could include the following:

  • Medication Management: Safely managing medications is crucial to recovery from psychotic episodes if the person has an underly mental health condition. Anti-psychotics and mood stabilizers are some of the psychiatric medications prescribed to those with psychotic disorders.
  • Case Management: A case manager can help to coordinate care across all levels of treatment. They help clients get medical care, employment resources, housing, mental health therapy, drug treatment, and other services.
  • Outpatient Rehab: Following detox and inpatient treatment services, outpatient drug and alcohol rehab gives clients the continuing care they need for long-term addiction recovery. Clients could live at home, with family, or at a sober living home during outpatient rehab.

The signs and symptoms of drug-induced psychosis could be scary for the person experiencing it as well as their loved ones. However, the underlying causes—addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders—are treatable conditions. With professional help, clients can overcome their addictions and thrive in recovery.

Get Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Today

A drug-induced psychosis causes several signs and symptoms that are a cause for immediate concern. Getting a person into emergency care is the number one priority during drug-induced psychosis. After that, they need long-term care to recover from addiction and manage underlying mental health symptoms.

Creekside Recovery Residences offers long-term support for those with drug and alcohol addiction. Contact us to start your long-term recovery today.

alcoholic drinks alone after being legally removed from home

How to Legally Remove an Alcoholic From Your Home

Alcohol addiction can bring several problems into a person’s home. The alcoholic could be putting others in danger or creating an unhealthy environment for children. While many people recover from alcohol addiction, some people refuse to get help or won’t get help until they face severe consequences. Whether a tenant or a family member, it is important to learn how to legally remove an alcoholic from your home.

While no one wants to be put into this position, there are sober living programs that can provide a safe place for alcoholics to live if they cannot stay at home. Creekside Recovery Residences helps people get back on their feet when they are unable to stay sober while living at home.

Tenant vs. Family Member

When an alcoholic is living at another person’s home, their behaviors could be a cause for concern. For example, they might be disruptive to neighbors or others living in the home. Or, the alcoholic could be at risk of overdose or other negative consequences. Family members, especially children, could be in danger when living with an alcoholic.

No matter the reason, legally removing an alcoholic from your home could look different depending on your relationship with the person.

How to Legally Remove an Alcoholic Tenant

Tenants have some legal protections from being kicked out of rental properties. These protections help people who might otherwise face discrimination by their landlords. Since alcoholism and other substance use disorders (SUD) are considered disabilities, “the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing and housing-related transactions” due to these disorders. Thus, a landlord must go through the proper eviction channels to remove an alcoholic tenant.

A landlord needs to go through the following steps and must prove that the person broke rules and regulations or poses a threat:

  • Provide a warning. It is best to begin with a verbal warning if you can do so safely. For some people, a warning could get them to turn their behavior around.
  • Get law enforcement involved. If a warning isn’t enough, you might need to report the issue to law enforcement. That way, you can report any illegal activity or safety concerns as you prepare to evict the person.
  • File an eviction notice. Each state and city might have different laws regarding evictions. However, you can file an eviction notice at your local courthouse and consult with legal professionals if an eviction is warranted.

How to Legally Remove an Alcoholic From Your Family Home

Addiction often affects not only the person struggling but those closest to them as well. Unlike a landlord, family members need to consider the impact on their relationship with the alcoholic. They also have to deal with the negative emotions associated with kicking a family member out of the home.

However, when an alcoholic refuses treatment or engages in abusive behaviors driven by their addiction, family members are left with few options. Depending upon your relationship, your approach may vary. Still, you want to begin by getting legal advice and support from others.

Consult an Attorney and Get Support

It is best to get legal help when you need a family member to leave your home. Unlike a tenant, who is bound to follow the rules and regulations of a lease, families don’t have such documents. Therefore, it helps to talk to an attorney about when, why, and how to legally remove an alcoholic from your home.

In addition to legal counsel, get support from other family members, loved ones, and rehab professionals. Removing an alcoholic from your home can be challenging and emotionally draining—especially for a family member. You can also seek support from a therapist or a support group for families of alcoholics, such as Al-Anon.

Children (Under 18)

According to the Partnership to End Addiction, children or teens struggling with alcohol addiction could be involuntarily committed to addiction treatment in many states. Hopefully, a parent doesn’t need to resort to legally removing their child from their home to attend rehab, however, sometimes, this is what it takes.

Adult Children Living at Home

Unlike children under the age of 18, parents are not legally required to provide the needs of their adult children. Therefore, you can legally remove any adult children living in your home—especially if their behavior is disruptive or violent.

Abusive Spouse or Parent

If the alcoholic in your home is abusive toward any family members—whether this is physical, emotional, or sexual abuse—you can file an order of exclusive occupancy. You will need to gather evidence of the abuse to ensure that you can build a case for the order to go through.

Can I Get a Loved One into a Sober Living Home?

If there is abuse in your home, you must consider your safety or the safety of others in your home and evict your loved one. But, if your loved one is willing to enter treatment, there are options for them. Sober living homes are a great place for alcoholics to get a fresh start as they learn the skills they need to maintain long-term sobriety. Most homes require residents to attend an outpatient rehab program during their stay.

However, if your loved one is actively drinking, they should enter a detox or other form of inpatient rehab before sober living. You can reach out to professionals about their programs, what type of insurance they accept, and what type of program your loved one needs. In some cases, rehab professionals can meet you and your loved one during an intervention.

Overall, if your loved one is willing to get help, it is best to help them find treatment options rather than evict them without a plan. But, no matter what, you must be firm and set limits on what behaviors you will allow in your home.

Find Help for an Alcoholic Living in Your Home Today

When an alcoholic is living in your home, you might be concerned about their safety as well as your own. Sometimes, family members must put limits on their loved one’s behavior and remove them from their homes. On the other hand, a landlord might need to evict a tenant due to problematic behaviors like unpaid rent or destruction of property while under the influence.

Regardless of the reason, legally removing an alcoholic from your home isn’t easy. If you are concerned about a family member or tenant struggling with alcohol addiction, a sober living program might be the best option for them when they can no longer live in your home.

Contact Creekside Recovery Residences today to find solutions for the alcoholic in your life.

family member supports an alcoholic after relapse

What to Do When an Alcoholic Relapses

When an alcoholic relapses, family members, friends, and loved ones are often taken aback. They could feel confused—or even betrayed—as they’ve already seen their loved one doing well, and now they are back where they started before treatment. However, by understanding what relapses are and what to look for, there is hope to get an alcoholic back on track.

Creekside Recovery Residences offers sober living options for those in need of a structured environment for recovery from alcohol addiction. We also provide outpatient treatment services that further help those struggling after a relapse.

What is a Relapse?

A relapse is a re-occurrence of symptoms of a disease or disorder. For alcoholics, this means that they begin drinking again. They might also engage in other problematic behaviors that accompany alcoholism or even supplement drinking with replacement addictions. These could include things like sex addiction, gambling, or excessive shopping.

However, the key takeaway when an alcoholic relapses is that this is not a sign of failure nor does it mean that the person is hopeless. Remember that alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic disease–and all chronic diseases carry the risk of relapse.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA), relapse rates for substance use disorders (SUD) are about 40-60%. Compared to other chronic diseases, like asthma and hypertension, this rate is relatively low. But, despite the lower relapse rates of SUD compared to other diseases, a relapse on alcohol can be dangerous or even deadly.

What to Do When an Alcoholic Relapses?

Knowing what to do during a relapse is critical to recovery from alcoholism. Many treatment programs include relapse prevention as part of the process. That way, clients are equipped with the coping skills they need to recognize a relapse and get back on track in recovery.

However, even with a relapse prevention strategy, an alcoholic in recovery must have a support system to help them in case of a relapse. Oftentimes, during a relapse, alcoholics could be in denial of the problem, or they falsely believe they can handle it on their own.

The following tips can help when an alcoholic relapses:

  • Approach them without judgment. They are likely aware that they’ve made a mistake. They could also be struggling with something else, such as a co-occurring mental health disorder or a distressing life event that caused them to resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
  • Seek medical attention. After a period of sobriety, an alcoholic’s tolerance for alcohol lessens. They could be in danger if they drink excessively, as their bodies cannot handle the amount of alcohol they consumed before treatment.
  • Talk to them about treatment when they are sober. Safety comes first when an alcoholic relapses. Many loved ones feeling upset about the relapse might feel tempted to bring up getting back to treatment. However, the primary concern at first must be ensuring the person is safe.
  • Reach out for help. No one expects the alcoholic to recover alone, and this extends to loved ones. The person’s treatment team could have strategies to help loved ones intervene during a relapse.

Of course, one of the most important things for family and loved ones can do is learn how to recognize when a relapse occurs. It is also vital to know what stage of relapse a person is in.

What Are the 3 Stages of Relapse?

Relapses occur in stages that progress in severity over time. Thus, the earlier a person recognizes a relapse, the better. That way, the alcoholic can get help before fully relapsing and drinking dangerous amounts of alcohol.

According to the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, relapse occurs in the following three stages:

1. Emotional Relapse

During the emotional stage, an alcoholic isn’t even thinking about drinking. However, they are beginning to exhibit poor coping skills that could lead to drinking. For instance, they might bottle up emotions, isolate from loved ones, or no longer attend peer support groups.

Remember that drinking alcohol is a maladaptive way of coping with underlying emotional distress. Thus, when an alcoholic stops using healthy coping strategies, then things could get worse until they resort to alcohol to self-medicate.

2. Mental Relapse

When an alcoholic is in the mental relapse stage, they start thinking about drinking again. This could include reminiscing about past alcohol abuse, minimizing their addiction, or planning how to drink again without others knowing. In addition, an alcoholic in recovery for years could falsely believe that they can handle alcohol now without sliding back to a full-blown addiction.

3. Physical Relapse

The final stage, a physical relapse, is when the alcoholic starts drinking again. Sometimes, a person has one drink—during a celebration or special occasion—and this starts a mental relapse. In other words, they have one drink, put it down, and then start thinking, “I can drink again–that one drink didn’t lead to more.” Gradually, they begin drinking again until they are right back to the same level of severity as they were before treatment.

Often, the physical stage is what most people think of when they hear the word “relapse.” However, a relapse can begin long before a person starts drinking again. It is important to recognize the warning signs in the earlier stages to prevent a physical relapse.

Warning Signs of a Relapse

Family members and loved ones often notice changes during or before a relapse. Since drinking is only one symptom of relapse, other unhealthy behavioral patterns resurface when an alcoholic relapses.

Warning signs of a relapse include the following:

  • Change in mood or attitude
  • Disheveled appearance
  • Glorifying past instances of alcohol abuse
  • Spending more time alone
  • Canceling plans and other obligations
  • Problems at work, like tardiness, not showing up, or arguments with co-workers
  • Secretive behaviors
  • No longer attending peer support or outpatient treatment programs

Overall, any changes that are similar to a person’s behavior before treatment could be a sign of relapse. In addition, it is important to be on alert when an alcoholic experiences significant life changes. For example, moving, having a child, or a death in the family could elevate a person’s stress levels and lead to a relapse.

How to Move Past a Relapse

Moving past a relapse depends upon which stage a person is in when they recognize the relapse. During an emotional or mental relapse, this could involve getting back into therapy or talking to a sponsor or recovery coach about specific issues. This could prevent a physical relapse and get the person back on track before things get worse.

However, moving past a physical relapse could be more challenging. Most importantly, the person must remember that a relapse is not a sign of failure—it’s just a sign that they need additional help. After that, creating a plan with their support team can help them move past a relapse.

Each person will have different treatment needs to get back on track after a relapse. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available.

Treatment Options After Relapse

Some people will need a higher level of care than others after a relapse. Depending upon the severity of the relapse, they could need inpatient detox services again to get sober. After that, they could get either inpatient or outpatient treatment in the following ways:

  • Residential rehab programs. Residential, or inpatient, treatment programs typically last 30-90 days after detoxification. The person will live in the facility throughout their treatment program to keep them safe from relapsing.
  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP). Also called “day treatment, a PHP requires attendance 4-5 days per week for the majority of the day. Unlike residential programs, however, the client can return home or to a supportive living program each day.
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP). IOP programs are a form of outpatient treatment with a flexible schedule to allow clients to work, take care of family, or attend school during treatment. Most IOP programs occur in the evenings to fit around a person’s schedule.
  • Sober living programs. Oftentimes, an alcoholic could relapse if they aren’t in a structured environment. For instance, a recovering alcoholic might struggle to stay sober if their roommate drinks or uses drugs. Sober living homes help clients stay safe and sober as they get their lives together after a relapse.
  • Peer support programs. Attendance at a peer support program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or SMART Recovery can help a person maintain sobriety after a relapse. Recovering alcoholics can share their experiences with peers, build a support system, and learn healthy coping skills from their peers.

Regardless of what treatment path a person chooses, it is vital to get professional help when an alcoholic relapses to prevent life-threatening consequences and get them back on track in recovery.

Get Help for a Relapse Today

Relapses occur during recovery from every chronic disease—including alcohol use disorder (AUD). A relapse is not a sign that a person has failed or cannot recover. Rather, a relapse simply means that a person needs additional support as they continue on their journey in recovery.

Creekside Recovery Residences offers structured sober living homes, as well as outpatient treatment, recovery coaching, and case management for those in recovery from AUD. Contact us today to get back on track after a relapse.

person worries about a loved one's cocaine overdose

Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

The drug overdose epidemic, including cocaine, continues to worsen in the United States. For the loved ones of anyone struggling with cocaine addiction, it can be difficult to watch addiction take hold as their physical and mental health begins to suffer.

The need for cocaine often begins to negatively impact important commitments such as work, school, or family. Cocaine addiction is life-threatening, and long-term use can result in significant health problems and permanent physical damage to the body. For many friends and family members trying to support a loved one, death by a cocaine overdose is the worst fear.

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine—a powerful substance that leads to feelings of euphoria—is an illegal, highly addictive, and powerful stimulant drug that can be snorted, smoked, or dissolved and injected into a vein. It is a powder substance processed from the leaves of the South American coca plant, which has been used for centuries to increase energy.

It’s one of the most popular party drugs for a reason: the drug makes users feel alert, social, energetic, and hypersensitive to stimuli. But because its effects are so short-lived, the risk of overdose on cocaine is very high as users repeatedly seek its high. 

Can You Overdose on Cocaine?

Yes. In fact, according to the CDC, cocaine was involved in nearly 23% of overdose deaths in 2021. Additionally, over 5 million Americans reported current cocaine use in 2020 (almost 2% of the population). Although cocaine-involved overdose death rates in the United States decreased from 2004 to 2012, they began increasing again in 2012. And, from 2020 to 2021, cocaine overdose death rates increased by a whopping 22%—with more than 24,000 Americans dying in 2021 from an overdose involving cocaine.

Cocaine is a risky and unpredictable substance for many reasons. Its effects can vary between users, meaning overdoses don’t always correlate with the amount of cocaine a person ingests. For example, someone might snort a few hundred milligrams of the substance and overdose, while another can ingest several grams without overdosing. 

Like all street drugs, cocaine potency can vary widely—a huge factor in its dangerous, volatile, and unpredictable nature. It’s impossible to know exactly how much cocaine is in a batch, and the drug can easily be laced or cut with other drugs, like fentanyl or heroin, leading to an even higher risk of an overdose. 

What is a Cocaine Overdose?

Similar to any drug overdose, a cocaine overdose occurs when an individual ingests too much, too fast. Essentially, too much cocaine, or cocaine mixed with another substance, poisons the user from the inside out. Their body can’t handle the influx of the drug, and extreme reactions occur when cocaine reaches toxic levels within the body. 

Signs and Symptoms of Cocaine Overdose

As a stimulant drug, cocaine increases the central nervous system functions and ramps the body into high gear. Shortly after taking cocaine, someone will experience an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. There is an increased risk of heart attacks as well as serious neurological risks, including intense headaches, comas, and seizures. Cocaine can also affect the gastrointestinal tract and cause severe nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.

In the case of a drug overdose, side effects can turn deadly—fast. The psychological and physical signs of a cocaine overdose can vary from one person to the next, but these symptoms are common:

  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Increased blood pressure and heart rate
  • Tremors
  • Changes in respiration
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Delirium
  • Seizures

Cocaine addicts often mix the drug with other mood or mind-altering substances to experience a more long-lasting and intense high. That raises the stakes even more—the body’s cardiovascular systems and organs are put at increased risk, especially if cocaine and alcohol are mixed. Because these substances affect the body in opposite ways (as a stimulant and a depressant), each heightens the impact of the other.

What Do I Do After a Cocaine Overdose?

If you suspect someone is experiencing a cocaine overdose, stay calm. Call 911 immediately and do not leave the individual unattended. Seizures are common, so do not hold the person or restrain them. Instead, position them safely on the floor and remove any dangerous objects nearby that could injure their head or limbs. Apply a cold compress to the forehead, side, and back of the neck and wrists to help reduce body temperature.

If caught early, an overdose can be reversible without permanent effects from the incident. 

After an ambulance arrives, medical personnel will take the individual to the ER, where IV fluids and medications will be administered to help reverse the effects of the overdose. Depending on the severity of the situation, an individual may remain in the hospital for several days before a discharge. Attending a rehabilitation program in this situation is crucial.

Cocaine Detox and Withdrawal Symptoms

Because cocaine is an addictive drug, with repeated use, it’s very common to develop a physiological dependence on it to feel like they can “function normally.” As a result, someone may experience withdrawal syndrome when attempting to stop using the drug.

Cocaine withdrawal symptoms can vary in severity depending on several factors but may include the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Poor concentration
  • Slowed movements and thoughts
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Appetite changes
  • Cocaine cravings
  • Paranoia

These uncomfortable symptoms typically last several days after stopping use, but in some cases, may continue for several weeks.

In general, stimulant withdrawal syndromes are relatively less severe than those associated with substances such as alcohol and opioids, but it’s still crucial to seek professional help to detox.

While stimulant withdrawal does not usually involve severe physical symptoms or present immediate medical dangers, some individuals may be at risk for developing debilitating dysphoria (i.e., depression and overwhelmingly negative thoughts and feelings), which can lead to dangerous suicidal thoughts. Because withdrawal experiences can vary, in some cases an individual will require closer medical attention and monitoring.

Finding Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Did you know that cocaine can permanently affect both the body and the brain? Long-term cocaine abuse can cause noticeable changes in brain chemistry and structure and even permanent brain damage in someone who uses large amounts of the drug. Cerebral bleeding can occur in heavy users, and addiction can lead to permanent memory loss and decision-making and motor function issues.

The sooner an individual with a cocaine addiction can seek professional help, the better chance they can prevent a potentially fatal overdose and minimize long-term harm to their physical and mental health. Every day and second counts, so don’t delay seeking addiction treatment.

Recover From a Cocaine Overdose Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with cocaine addiction and seeking treatment options, Creekside Recovery Residences can assist in providing resources and options, including detox facility recommendations and/or interventionists with years of experience assisting families and individuals.

We know what you’re going through and you’re not alone. We are here to help you. Contact us today to get started on your recovery from cocaine addiction.