How to Break the Stigma of Addiction

Stigma is a term that represents the complex attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and structures that interact and may manifest prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors. Stigmas exist across the board when it comes to groups of people, types of professional industries, etc. One particular group of people who constantly face a stigma are addicts.

While there is an abundance of accurate information available about substance use disorders, there is still an abundance of inaccurate information floating around as well. Today we’d like to discuss what addiction actually is, why there is a stigma surrounding addiction, and how we can help you or your loved one today at Atlanta Recovery Place.

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is a chronic, but treatable medical disease that involves complex interaction and genetics brain circuits, the environment, and individual life experiences. In simpler terms, addiction is a brain disorder, also known as an illness, that can take over many aspects in your life. 

When first consuming a substance, it may make people feel good, but after a while they may have to take the substance just to feel normal again. When continuing to use drugs to make you feel normal, this can cause negative consequences. The dependency on a substance can cause biological, psychological, emotional, social, and socioeconomic problems. Addiction can affect anyone regardless of the age, race, or gender. Addiction does not discriminate. 

Drugs and alcohol can change how one’s brain works and these changes can last for a long time. The changes in the brain can cause problems in a person’s behavior and/or emotional state. People suffering from addiction can be moody, have trouble thinking, have memory loss, and have difficulty making decisions.

Why Is There a Stigma Surrounding Addiction?

Unfortunately, there is a stigma surrounding addiction, especially in regards to addiction medicine. It’s taken many years for society to accept and understand addiction as a chronic brain disease and that there is a possibility of remission and recovery. 

The public, healthcare providers, and even the justice system have continued to view addiction as a result of moral weakness and flawed character. Healthcare providers may even see their patient’s drug or alcohol problem as their own fault and may even reject individuals who are seeking treatment. People who show intoxication or withdrawal symptoms are sometimes removed/expelled from emergency rooms by staff because they are fearful that these individuals are only seeking drugs. People with addiction may internalize this stigma, and feel shame and refuse to seek treatment as a result. Due to the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the stigmatization of people with addiction may even be more problematic. 

There are numerous factors that influence stigma about mental disorders and substance use disorders. These factors are:

  • Blame: Others may blame the individual for their addiction and not take into account any other factors. 
  • Stereotypes of dangerousness and unpredictability: Individuals may believe that those with substance abuse disorders and mental health disorders are dangerous. These stereotypes can influence public policy in terms of restricting the rights of those with behavioral disorders. 
  • Knowledge about mental and substance use disorders: Knowledge about these disorders as brain diseases may produce mixed attitudes and behaviors toward those with mental health and substance use disorders.
  • Contact and experience: Increased contact with those who have a mental illness or substance abuse problems does not mean that this will reduce stigmatizing beliefs. Some have found this may even increase the stigma due to the confirmation bias.
  • Media portrayals: The media portrays mental illness and substance abuse disorders in negative perceptions. This may stoke fear and intensify the perceived dangers of those who have the disorders. 
  • Race, ethnicity, and culture:  Several factors may influence stigma and this could be a bias or discrimination. 

How Atlanta Recovery Place Can Help You Today With Addiction

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we understand the consequences of stigma and how it affects those recovering from an addiction. We also know the stigma can discourage addicts from seeking help. We hope that the stigma surrounding addiction can one day be removed. In the meantime, our staff is working tirelessly to help all of our clients achieve long term sobriety.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please reach out to us today. A member from our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding addiction and treatment!  

What Is a Sober Living Home in Atlanta?

Sober Living Home in Atlanta

When thinking about life during or after addiction treatment, it may be crucial for your recovery to find an environment that promotes 100% sober living. When looking for a safe space to live that promotes sobriety post treatment, sober living homes are a great option to pursue. 

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we know the importance of continuing recovery after leaving addiction treatment. The more you focus on sobriety after treatment, the less likely you will relapse. Today we’ll discuss what sober living homes are, what the benefits are, and how we can help you overcome addiction at Atlanta Recovery Place. 

What Is a Sober Living Home?

Sober living homes are alcohol-free and drug-free living environments that provide individuals the ability to abstain from alcohol, drugs, and other substances. These sober living homes offer no formal addiction treatment but often have rules and guidelines the residents need to follow. For example at some sober living homes, all residents must attend some sort of 12 step recovery group in order to live at the house.

Sober living homes provide important resources and support to their residents. Sober living homes are a safe, healthy, family-like, and substance-free living environment. This environment grants support from addiction within a widely structured home while promoting peer support, connection, and long-term recovery. This is reinforced through mutual support groups and recovery support services. There are numerous different standards that a sober living home should meet. These standards and best practices include (but are not limited to):

  • Having a clear operational definition – This means that the sober living home should accurately describe the type and intensity of services that are offered within the home. 
  • Recognizes that a substance use disorder is a chronic condition that requires a range of different recovery supports. 
  • Understand that co-occurring disorders (mental health disorders) often accompany substance abuse disorders. 
  • Assesses the needs of each client/resident and comes to a conclusion on how to appropriately meet their needs.
  • Promote the usage of evidence-based practices and receiving outside treatment/support. 
  • Residents have to follow the written policies, procedures, and expectations.
  • Ensures that each client/resident has quality, integrity, and safety.
  • Learn and practice cultural competency because the disease of addiction does not discriminate among racial, cultural, or socioeconomic lines.
  • Maintains ongoing communication with care specialists and interest parties.
  • Evaluates the programs effectiveness and the success of the residents.

What Are the Benefits of Living in a Sober House?

There are many different advantages/benefits to living in a sober home. These advantages and benefits include:

  •  Removes individuals from destructive living conditions/environment.
  • Creates new social support systems within the residents’ recovery process. 
  • The strong encouragement to join a 12-step program or other self-help groups.
  • There is a required compliance with house rules. This can provide each client with a form of structure. Some of the house rules consist of participating in house chores,  attending house meetings, paying rent and other fees, etc. 
  • Residents are invited to stay within the house as long as they wish as long as they comply with house rules.  This allows residents to decide when they are mentally and emotionally ready to live on their own without fear of a relapse.
  • The encouragement of providing mutual support and encouragement for recovery with fellow residents inside the house. 
  • Provides autonomy and support with residents while granting them the ability to take personal responsibility for their recovery.

Anyone who is interested in living in a sober living home can do so during outpatient treatment or after they complete addiction treatment.  

How Atlanta Recovery Place Can Help You Get Sober

Here at Atlanta Recovery Places, we want our clients to maintain long term sobriety. One of the best ways to ensure recovery for the long run is to live in a sober living home after treatment. This type of housing is also a great place to live while you complete different forms of outpatient treatment.

Our facility offers partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient, and outpatient, all with the option of living in our sober housing.  It is important that our clients receive support not only during treatment but also after treatment/during aftercare. Reach out to us today to find out more information about our addiction treatment facility. 

Adderall Addiction: Symptoms and Signs to Watch Out For

Adderall Addiction

Due to Adderall’s addiction potential, someone can easily move from recreational use to substance abuse or addiction. Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we want our clients to understand the dangers of abusing adderall. Within this article, we describe what adderall is, the signs and symptoms of Adderall addiction, how to treat an Adderall addiction, and how we can help at Atlanta Recovery Place!

What Is Adderall?

Adderall is a prescription amphetamine. It is a drug of abuse among those who are seeking a stimulant high and / or a decreased appetite. This drug is primarily used in the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy. Individuals who abuse Adderall can be subdivided into at least two different groups. The first group consists of individuals who have obtained the drug from having a medical condition. This group is less likely to develop a substance disorder as long as they follow the doctor’s order of the prescription. The second group consists of individuals who do not have a medical condition and obtain the pills through different means. This leads to abusing the Adderall and could even be manipulated to potentiate their high (such as snorting the pills for the receiving a faster high and more intensive euphoric rush).

Adderall Addiction Symptoms

Adderall addiction symptoms can be broken down into three main categories: physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms.

Physical Symptoms: 

  • Dry mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Slowed speech
  • Verbal or muscular tics
  • High body temperature
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart failure
  • Seizures

Psychological Symptoms: 

  • Anxiety, nervousness, and panic
  • Being fearful of the idea of not having Adderall
  • Have a sense of grandiosity, wellbeing, and invincibility
  • Developing insights to the meaning of life

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Doctor shopping
  • Manipulating Adderalls format such as crushing and snorting the pill
  • Actively seeking out the drug and using it

Some of the Signs of Adderall Abuse to Watch Out for Include:

  • Continuing to abuse Adderall even with the negative consequences including psychological and physical problems
  • Consuming higher doses of Adderall or consuming it too frequently in order to receive a high from it
  • Having to consume more Adderall to receive the similar high that they had previously experienced
  • Having withdrawal symptoms when the familiar amount of Adderall consumption drops

How to Get Help With an Adderall Addiction

The best way to get help with an Adderall addiction is to seek professional help. Depending on the length of abuse and how much of the drug was consistently abused, you may need to detox at a facility. Please do not try to detox on your own without consulting a medical professional first. Detox is not necessary in all drug addiction cases.

After the body detoxes from Adderall, it’s time to start healing the mind. Rehab programs such as inpatient, intensive outpatient, and outpatient, are all great ways to learn how to live without Adderall. During this time you will attend individual therapy, group therapy, and develop new coping strategies and life skills. 

Once treatment is complete it’s always recommended to put together an aftercare plan. At Atlanta Recovery Place we want to make sure all of our clients who leave us are being set up for success post treatment. Some examples of aftercare include living in a sober living home, continuing outpatient treatment, attending weekly 12-step groups like Narcotics Anonymous, and continuing therapy on your own. 

How Atlanta Recovery Place Can Help

Here at Atlanta Recovery Place, we help our clients to receive addiction treatment that is individualized to fit their unique needs. We know no two addictions are alike. At our facility we provide ways for our clients to develop a coping strategy to deal with life during and after treatment. We also provide resources, information, and continuing support for those who are going through the recovery process. Reach out to us today to find a treatment program that works for you, your needs, and your schedule!