Top 5 Signs of Drug Abuse

Top 5 Signs of Drug Abuse

Top 5 Signs of Drug Abuse

There is nothing more heartbreaking than watching your loved one suffer, especially at the hands of substance abuse. Such a serious health condition, such as drug abuse, can have serious consequences such as overdose or death. If you’re not sure whether your loved one is suffering from drug abuse or not in order to take your concern to the next level, keep reading for the top 5 signs of drug abuse and how to get help.

Signs of Drug Abuse #1: Physical Changes

One of the first signs of drug abuse that you may begin to notice right away are physical changes. Drug abuse can cause changes in one’s appetite, making them want to eat either more or less than usual. This can cause a sudden change in weight and skin color.

In addition, drug abuse can cause individuals to care less about their appearance and hygiene. If you find your loved one lacking in these areas and they are usually well-groomed, this should be cause for concern. Not taking showers, having an unkempt appearance, body odor, not brushing teeth, and not keeping their surroundings tidy can all be physical signs of drug abuse. More physical signs include dilated pupils, runny nose, poor coordination, and more.

Signs of Drug Abuse #2: Changes in Mood

When drugs take over the brain’s reward system, they can cause serious mood changes. Some of the changes to look for include:

Increased agitation
Depression
Anxiety
Irritability
Short temper
Paranoia
Bursts of energy
Nervousness

It is important to pay attention to these changes in mood, especially if they are unexplained. Crashing from a drug high, being hungover, and looking for drugs can cause an individual to have negative mood swings that can eventually lead to a possibly abusive or volatile situation if left untreated or ignored.

Signs of Drug Abuse #3: Isolation and Change in Social Circle

When an individual is using drugs, they will usually seek privacy and become hard to reach. If your loved one is exhibiting signs of isolation and you are noticing a change in their social circle, this should be cause for concern.

Signs of isolation include:

Distancing from loved ones. Your loved one might be attending less and fewer family functions, are harder to get a hold of, and only come to you if they are in need of something.
Frequently leaving and not returning for long periods. If this is starting to happen, then chances are, your loved one has found a “safe” place to use drugs and is preferring this location over being home.
No interest in activities once enjoyed. If your loved one isn’t going to the gym anymore, not spending as much time with the dog, or has quit the football team, it is time to take your suspicions more seriously.

Signs of Drug Abuse #4: Drug-Seeking Behaviors

Drug-seeking behaviors are one of the major signs of drug abuse that should be taken seriously. If you suspect your loved one is addicted to prescription pills, take note if they have multiple prescriptions at multiple pharmacies and spend a lot of time (and excuses) to go to the doctor or emergency room.

Drug-seeking behaviors can also include selling possessions for money, especially important items like a wedding ring or family heirloom. You may also find paraphernalia, your loved one spending a lot of time on the phone, individuals coming around the home that you do not recognize, or your loved one frequently coming-and-going.

Signs of Drug Abuse #5: Legal and Financial Problems

Drug abuse can cause individuals to act in ways they normally would not when they are sober. Some of the quickest things that this can lead to are legal and financial problems. Your loved one might start engaging in risky behavior due to the drugs, and this can lead to arrest and possible jailtime.

Some signs of financial issues include:

Your loved one asking to borrow money
Becoming fired from their job
Issues in their career or workplace
Unexplained cash in their wallet
Credit cards are maxed out
Items around the home are missing without explanation
Bank accounts are drained

Luckily, the only good news about drug abuse is that it is a treatable condition. If you think your loved one is suffering from drug abuse, it is important to get them help as soon as possible before it leads to deadly consequences.

About New Hope

New Hope Ranch is a residential treatment center focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment, and reintegration for people suffering from substance abuse. Services are provided on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas.

New Hope Ranch’s mission has two basic purposes: to improve social behavior and enhance personal recovery and growth. The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services that meet the community’s needs while maintaining effectiveness, excellence, and professionalism. New Hope Ranch values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services, and providing a full range of services in an efficient manner.

Our Treatment Philosophy consists of providing the highest quality services while ensuring that each patient has a personalized treatment plan. New Hope Ranch met the rigorous standards and regulations the Joint Commission requires for a behavioral health provider to achieve accreditation and we strive every day to represent our gold standard joint commission accreditation proudly.

For more information on New Hope Ranch, visit contact us today.

Financial Issues Related to COVID-19

Financial Issues Related to COVID-19

Tips for Dealing with Financial Issues Related to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked everyone’s lives this year. Whether it’s financially, mentally, or physically, everyone in the world has been affected somehow. One of the biggest issues is unemployment stemming from the shutdown and quarantine measures. While the government has worked to assist its citizens with relief due to lost wages, one of the main federal financial boosts for unemployment is coming to an end at the end of this month. Having a troubling and stressful financial situation can be triggering for many people, but especially for those in recovery, as it can lead to relapse or overdose. Keep reading to learn helpful tips about dealing with financial issues related to COVID-19 and ways you can change your financial situation today.

Tip #1 for Dealing with Financial Issues Related to COVID-19: Check Your Options

Even though the federal unemployment boost is coming to an end, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have other options for supplementing your income during this time. Some other options you may have include:

Loans. Right now, the government is offering several types of loans such as the Paycheck Protection Program and the SBA loan. Additionally, you can speak to your bank to see what they may be offering during this time to give you some room to breathe.
Disability, Maternity, or Paternity leave. If you are disabled or recently had a baby, now is the perfect time to file for disability insurance to take advantage those funds.
Refinance. If you own your own home, look into refinancing options. Not only might you be able to lower your monthly payment, but you also may be able to pull money out of your home’s equity for this emergency.

Tip #2: Brush Up Your Resume

Now is the perfect time to brush up your resume and explore different options for work before the boost is over. You can check online job boards and social media to see who might be hiring in your area, or start making phone calls to businesses near you.

You may also want to explore ways to make part-time money or options for a side job. If you’re crafty, you can open an Etsy store and put your talents to use. If you’re friendly and talkative, you can look into an at-home customer service job. You can also look into getting your real estate license, take on a part-time work-from-home job, or look into buying and reselling goods online with a Poshmark or eBay account.

It can be triggering to feel like you are lowering your standards or consider working a job you may never consider working before, but having some money come in is better than none. Just remember that this is only temporary until things settle down, then you can go back to doing what you are best at.

Tip #3: Downsize

One of the easiest ways you can fix financial issues related to COVID-19 is by downsizing your existing spending habits. This is not ever an easy option, as it does require a change in lifestyle for a period of time.

Some easy ways to start downsizing include:

Lower your bills. Give your cable company, cell phone company, insurance company, and creditors a call to negotiate your bill. You might be surprised at how much money you can save by just making one phone call.
Cancel your automatic payments. Log onto your online banking and take a look at your automatic payments. These are easy to forget about since they are so conveniently taken out every month, which means you may be surprised at what you’re actually spending your money on. Old gym memberships, subscription boxes you may not need right now, and other recurring payments should all be canceled at this time. This way, you will be required to pay all your bills manually, which helps you decide what is actually important.
Trim your expenses. By making a good ol’ fashioned budget, you’ll be able to trim a lot of excess fat. Taking a look at your current budget and reassessing it, you will begin seeing how much money you can save every month — which will make you feel empowered.
Let go of unnecessary luxury items. This is one of the hardest ways to downsize, as it can be triggering for many people and seemingly representative of failure. However, letting go of luxury items can help carry you and your family through this time, and the good news is, they can always be purchased again once you’re in a better financial situation.

Tip #4: Reach Out for Support

For some people, no matter how hard you try to deal with financial issues related to COVID-19, the anxiety, stress, and unfairness that stems from it can be too much to bear. This is why making sure you reach out for support is extremely important. Not only might you be able to get some great advice and avoid a relapse situation, but chances are, many other people in your life are going through the same thing and can relate to you.

About New Hope

New Hope Ranch is a residential treatment center focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment, and reintegration for people suffering from substance abuse. Services are provided on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas.

New Hope Ranch’s mission has two basic purposes: to improve social behavior and enhance personal recovery and growth. The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services that meet the community’s needs while maintaining effectiveness, excellence, and professionalism. New Hope Ranch values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services, and providing a full range of services in an efficient manner.

Our Treatment Philosophy consists of providing the highest quality services while ensuring that each patient has a personalized treatment plan. New Hope Ranch met the rigorous standards and regulations the Joint Commission requires for a behavioral health provider to achieve accreditation and we strive every day to represent our gold standard joint commission accreditation proudly.

For more information on New Hope Ranch, contact us.

The 4 Most Common Summer Triggers

The 4 Most Common Summer Triggers

Seasonal changes can bring about new and different triggers, including some that you may not have realized were triggers for you in the first place. Summer is well-known for being the happiest of seasons, usually packed with activities and things to do. As fun as summer is, it can also bring about some unexpected feelings and triggers — especially this year with the dangers of Coronavirus constantly lurking. Keep reading to find out more about the 4 most common summer triggers and how to overcome them so that you can have an enjoyable, sober summer.

#1 of 4 Common Summer Triggers: Traveling

One of the most common summer triggers is traveling. Even though the Coronavirus has botched most people’s travel plans, you might be one of the many people who feel comfortable going on a staycation to get a change of scenery. No matter what your travel plans may or may not be this year, getting out of your normal environment and into a relaxing, carefree one can be triggering, especially when traveling with a group of people.

Ways to overcome this trigger include:

Make sure you’re not the only sober one on the trip and that you have sober support to lean on
Preplan and find activities to do while you’re gone so that drinking and using substances doesn’t become the group’s only plans. Find local hiking trails, boat rentals, or daytime excursions
Keep busy during the trip, such as being the house’s chef or itinerary planner
If you feel it might be too much for you, sit this trip out

#2 Common Summer Trigger: The Water

The water can be a common summer trigger for many people. This includes the pool, the beach, the lake, the river, or any other kind of body of water. The water has an amazing ability to relax us, make us forget our problems, and bring about happiness. However, for many people in recovery, the water can also equate to a cold beer or the like. This can make it difficult to relax around the water without having cravings.

Ways to overcome this trigger include:

Bring your own cooler with your own drinks. This way, you don’t have to rely on others to provide nonalcoholic drinks, and not using someone else’s cooler means yours won’t be mixed in next to triggering drinks.
Find activities to do at the water that bring you joy, such as jet skiing or swimming with the kids, so that your cravings are given less power every time you go.

#3 Common Summer Trigger: More Time Off

For many individuals, the summer means having more free time. This time of year is typically when people cash in their vacation time or are on summer vacation. Especially now with the social health measures related to Coronavirus, many people are still working from home and are able to sneak out of the house to enjoy the weather. This extra time off can quickly lead to boredom, which is one of the first signs a relapse can be looming.

Ways to avoid this trigger include:

Make plans to keep yourself busy, even if it’s as simple as cleaning around your house
Spend time with others, even if it is virtually or over the phone

#4 Common Summer Trigger: COVID Frustration

One of the newest summer triggers, which is quickly becoming one of the most common summer triggers this year, is dealing with COVID frustration. It’s now been about 4 months since the start of the pandemic in our country, and people are becoming restless especially now that it is summer. Canceled vacations, weddings and other milestone events you can no longer attend, music festivals that are off, not being able to visit theme parks, and the inability to travel can cause a lot of frustration which could potentially lead to a relapse.

Ways to avoid this trigger include:

Talk to someone. Make sure you are keeping up with your regular meetings and therapy sessions so that somebody knows how you feel.
Make some plans this summer whether it is a staycation at a local AirBnB, attending virtual events, or just taking a long drive once a week to get out of your normal surroundings

About New Hope

New Hope Ranch is a residential treatment center focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment, and reintegration for people suffering from substance abuse. Services are provided on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas.

New Hope Ranch’s mission has two basic purposes: to improve social behavior and enhance personal recovery and growth. The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services that meet the community’s needs while maintaining effectiveness, excellence, and professionalism. New Hope Ranch values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services, and providing a full range of services in an efficient manner.

Our Treatment Philosophy consists of providing the highest quality services while ensuring that each patient has a personalized treatment plan. New Hope Ranch met the rigorous standards and regulations the Joint Commission requires for a behavioral health provider to achieve accreditation and we strive every day to represent our gold standard joint commission accreditation proudly.

Contact us today for more information on our treatment program.

Alcohol Withdrawal Explained

Alcohol Withdrawal Explained

Realizing that your drinking habits have spiraled out of control and that you need help can be a terrifying thought. A million questions swirl through your head: What will alcohol treatment be like? What will my family think? How painful will detox be? Keep reading to learn more about alcohol withdrawal, what happens in the days after you quit drinking, what ongoing symptoms may persist, and why medicated-assisted treatment is the best, and safest, course of action for quitting alcohol.

Alcohol Withdrawl Explained: After the First Drink

Alcohol withdrawal can begin as soon as a few hours after the last drink. These symptoms are mostly mild, however, people with a long history of heavy drinking can suffer from more dangerous symptoms, such as seizures.

Common symptoms within the first few hours of the last drink include:

  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

What Determines The Severity of Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcohol withdrawal is different for everybody. There is a wide range of factors that determine how severe, or not severe, your symptoms may be. These include:

The severity of the addiction. An individual who drank all day every day in large volumes may have worse alcohol withdrawal symptoms than someone who didn’t drink as much or as frequently.
The length of the addiction. The body becomes dependent on substances the longer the individual uses it. As such, someone who has been addicted to alcohol for ten years will have more severe symptoms than someone who has been addicted for one year.
Underlying mental health conditions. Alcohol use can exacerbate underlying mental health conditions, which can make it more difficult for individuals suffering from them to overcome. These can include things such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD – all of which are treatable conditions through a treatment plan called dual diagnosis at facilities like ours.

The First 72 Hours

The first 72 hours of alcohol withdrawal are when symptoms peak. It is also the most dangerous period of time because this is when relapse is most common, due to the symptoms peaking.

Common symptoms experienced in the first 72 hours include:

  • Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Cravings
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium tremens

Delirium Tremens

Delirium tremens is a severe form of alcohol withdrawal. It involves sudden and severe mental or nervous system changes. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000766.htm Delirium Tremens can be severe enough to cause hospitalization and even death. This makes it extremely important for individuals who wish to detox from alcohol to do so under the supervision of medical professionals, and never to attempt it alone.

Symptoms of Delirium Tremens include:

  • Delirium, which is sudden severe confusion
  • Body tremors
  • Changes in mental function
  • Agitation, irritability
  • Deep sleep that lasts for a day or longer
  • Excitement or fear
  • Hallucinations (seeing or feeling things that are not really there)
  • Bursts of energy
  • Quick mood changes
  • Restlessness
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, touch
  • Stupor, sleepiness, fatigue
  • Seizures

Ongoing Symptoms

Getting through the first few days of alcohol withdrawal is crucial because that is when symptoms and cravings are at their peaks. However, symptoms may remain ongoing for a week or more. While they are less severe than initial symptoms, they can still be life-threatening.

Acute ongoing alcohol symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Cravings
  • Low energy
  • Dizziness
  • Memory problems
  • Nausea
  • Irritability

Medicated-Assisted Detox

The only safe way to detox from alcohol is under the supervision of medical professionals by way of medicated-assisted detox. By minimizing withdrawal symptoms and having around-the-clock medical care, individuals can rest assured that they will experience a more comfortable detox with minimal complications if any.

Some of the medications involved with medicated-assisted detox include:

  • Sleeping aids to ease insomnia symptoms
  • Nutritional support and exercise to give the body the proper fuel to get through detox safely
  • Medications for physical symptoms, such as nausea or fever
  • Anxiety medication to ease anxiety, depression, and mood swings

Another one of the many benefits of medicated-assisted detox is that the individual will be able to think more clearly more quickly. This allows clients to get more out of their treatment experience by beginning counseling and therapy sessions quicker and avoid relapse.

If you or a loved one are ready to finally quit alcohol for good, medicated-assisted detox is the best way to get through alcohol withdrawal. By getting through this initial stage of sobriety as comfortably as possible, you are setting yourself up for the best possible chances of long-term recovery.

About New Hope

New Hope Ranch is a residential treatment center focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment, and reintegration for people suffering from substance abuse. Services are provided on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas.

New Hope Ranch’s mission has two basic purposes: to improve social behavior and enhance personal recovery and growth. The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services that meet the community’s needs while maintaining effectiveness, excellence, and professionalism. New Hope Ranch values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services, and providing a full range of services in an efficient manner.

Our Treatment Philosophy consists of providing the highest quality services while ensuring that each patient has a personalized treatment plan. New Hope Ranch met the rigorous standards and regulations the Joint Commission requires for a behavioral health provider to achieve accreditation and we strive every day to represent our gold standard joint commission accreditation proudly.

For more information on New Hope Ranch, visit newhoperanch.com

Men and Addiction

Men and Addiction

Men face many unique health risks, such as certain cancers and diseases. They also face an increased risk of addiction and dying from an overdose. Throughout the year, it is important to learn the issues men face with addiction and work to treat the condition early. Keep reading for more information statistics, why men are more likely to use, health risks men face with addiction and more.

Statistics on Men and Addiction

Why Are Men More Likely to Use?

As noted above, men are more likely to use and experience complications from addiction than women. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that men are greater risk-takers, men are more likely to self-medicate, and stereotypical masculinity gets in the way.

Men Are Greater Risk-Takers

According to a study by the American Psychological Association, across a wide range of real-world domains, men engage in more risky behaviors than women. This is because women tend to judge the negative outcomes earlier than men, and these judgments can impact a woman’s decision-making more than in men.

In addition, scientists at Newcastle University in the U.K. have discovered that girls tend to optimize brain connections earlier than boys. The researchers conclude that this may explain why females generally mature faster in certain cognitive and emotional areas than males during childhood and adolescence. This can also be one of the reasons that men are greater risk-takers than women, especially at a time where individuals are specifically vulnerable to peer-pressure.

Men Are More Likely to Self-Medicate

Depression, anxiety and PTSD are major underlying causes of addiction. Men are less likely to enter treatment than women, which leaves them more likely to self-medicate than women. Even though women are more likely to develop depression than men, men are less likely to get help, which puts them at a greater risk of worsening their depression. Luckily, underlying conditions such as these are treatable at facilities like ours through dual diagnosis treatment.

Self-medicating is a dangerous cycle. While it can leave an individual feeling temporarily relieved of symptoms for a few moments, it eventually causes the underlying symptom to worsen. Constantly chasing the temporary feeling of relief will quickly lead an individual down the path toward a deadly addiction. These worsening symptoms lead to more use, which leads to dependency and, eventually, an overdose which can be deadly.

Simply Put: Masculinity

Unfortunately, one of the unique issues men face as a barrier to treatment is the stigma of stereotypical masculinity. This means men can feel “less-than” or “out of control” if they admit any sort of weakness, such as an addiction. Because of this, men are less likely to admit their problems even if they know they have one. This can eventually cause deadly consequences.

Even if men are able to make it to addiction treatment, they are less likely to open up to their therapist and receive the full benefits of treatment than women. This is because it is more difficult for men to talk about their emotions in general, which makes choosing the right treatment center extremely important.

About New Hope

New Hope Ranch is a residential treatment center focusing on prevention, assessment, treatment, and reintegration for people suffering from substance abuse. Services are provided on our beautiful 49-acre ranch just 15 minutes from downtown Austin, Texas.

New Hope Ranch’s mission has two basic purposes: to improve social behavior and enhance personal recovery and growth. The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services that meet the community’s needs while maintaining effectiveness, excellence, and professionalism. New Hope Ranch values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services, and providing a full range of services in an efficient manner.

Our Treatment Philosophy consists of providing the highest quality services while ensuring that each patient has a personalized treatment plan. New Hope Ranch met the rigorous standards and regulations the Joint Commission requires for a behavioral health provider to achieve accreditation and we strive every day to represent our gold standard joint commission accreditation proudly.

Patient, Family & Staff Safety is our Priority: COVID-19Update