I want to share two stories to help those with drug problems — or those with loved ones who have drug problems — see how addiction works and how it can be overcome.
My clients, Belle and Bob, were both addicts. Belle managed to dig herself out. Bob did not. At the most basic level, these two people had bad relationships with themselves. It really all comes down to that. Improve your relationship with yourself and you can get better. Continue to hate yourself, and the ending can be very bad.
Belle, a 23-year-old woman working as an actress in Manhattan, was using Oxycontin and Adderall. She had gotten to the point where she was staying up all night, going to bed at 6 a.m. and waking up at noon. She had been very attractive, but her drug use had given her acne, a sickly skin tone and damaged her hair.
She looked like a drug addict and her life had become totally disorganized. Thankfully, her family recognized that Belle was in trouble. They brought her to a treatment center in Florida where I work and had an intervention with her.
Belle’s Family Intervenes
Belle did not come into treatment because she wanted to. Her family, who had been supporting her, had threatened her that they would cut her off if she didn’t.
Belle would tell you that she had a successful acting career, but she was actually making no money. Her mother was sending her a check for $6,000 every month. (more…)Learn More
Initially the attraction is euphoria taking a mini vacation. Someone once told me getting high is like God putting a warm blanket around you and rubbing your temples telling you everything will be alright. This is a powerful draw. The mini vacation to escape life’s hardships becomes more frequent and all encompassing. Physically the body comes addicted. Psychologically the individual needs the drug to maintain emotional stability and to cope with life’s stress. Individuals with addicted family members are at an unfair disadvantage. Once they get a taste of euphoria from a drug, their bodies crave more drugs. Something is different with this group, they are genetically built to use excessively. Their bodies experience powerful cravings to use addicting drugs and keep using them. Their favorite word is more. Genetic predisposition is one unlucky factor. Another unlucky factor in making someone drug dependent, is being raised and living around drug dependent people. So, there are two forces at work, one is a genetic predisposition to use, another is a learned behavior.
That’s just the start. Once the psyche experiences the high, the escape, and a free ride from life’s problems; new forces take over. The individual goes undercover and must now conceal their activities. They have to make some time to get drugs and to do the drugs. They have to start explaining to others lost blocks of time, money, energy, and different thoughts and behaviors surface. By thoughts I mean all the using and getting drugs takes a lot of planning, manipulating and lying. They need to form a group of people who each contribute something to getting drugs, a place to use them and help with the cover story to disguise what’s really going on. (more…)Learn More
The first question most people ask when visiting a doctor is “What’s wrong with me?” As a psychiatrist I usually beat them to the punch by asking them, “Why are you here?” That question itself is diagnostic in nature. It speaks volumes of an individual’s perception and self assessment of their problem. If the patient is presenting with an addiction issue, invariably there are several assumptions they have already made. Most of the time they assume that they have a disease. That it is chronic. That it is incurable. And that after a period of detoxification their disease will be managed by daily doses of 12-step activity. This in spite of overwhelming statistic that traditional 28 day treatment programs have about a 16% success rate.
This has always been a great curiosity to me. If one in six patients who attend these conventional treatment programs remain abstinent for one year post discharge, why would anybody waste the time, money and psychic investment required by these programs. I would not buy a car that started one out of six times. More importantly, I would not buy a car that stopped one out of six times I applied the brakes.
What if we were treating a disease that does not exist? In my profession that is called a misdiagnosis. What if we spent our time, energy and money trying to stop “addiction” rather than trying to understand addiction? An entire industry has developed around causation rather than cessation. If you had a choice of either understanding why you drink or stopping your drinking the decision would be obvious. Even if you are a comprehension junky for whom the process trumps the product, at some point all growth starts with stopping. (more…)Learn More
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Dr. Mark Agresti, West Palm Beach Drug & Alcohol Detox Specialist – Psychiatrist, discusses why people it is beneficial and best to work with a psychiatrist when detoxing from drugs. Many times drug abuse and drug use come to help with mental illness. If you don’t work on the symptoms of what causes the use of addictive drugs (i.e. depression), you’ll find it difficult to detox completely from addictive drugs.
Call Dr. Agresti today to get help with Drug & Alcohol Addiction.
http://188.8.131.52 ~ (561) 842-9550
Dr. Mark Agresti, West Palm Beach Drug & Alcohol Detox Specialist – Psychiatrist, explains normal steps of how a person becomes an Opiate Addict. He explains the beginning stages of receiving a prescription opiate drug and how the person feels taking them. Opiates bring a state of euphoria and the tolerance level of the pill builds, meaning more pills to reach the initial state of euphoria are required. Dr. Agresti discusses the symptoms of physical symptoms of withdrawal for an opiate addict.
Call Dr. Agresti today to get help with Opiate Addiction.Learn More
http://184.108.40.206 ~ (561) 842-9550
Dr. Agresti, West Palm Beach Mental Health Specialist – Psychiatrist, talks about drug addiction rehab options. If you or a loved one has a problem with drug or alcohol addictions, you should know the options for addiction detox rehab. Not all drug addictions require in-patient treatment. Many drug addictions can be treated in outpatient care. Dr. Agresti, in this video, shares the time periods to expect for drug addiction rehab.
Call Dr. Agresti today to get help with Alcohol & Drug Detox.Learn More
By Dr Mark Agresti
Treating opiate addiction (Oxycodone, Roxycodone dependency) since 1988 has taught me a few things. Opiate dependency is all consuming. Individuals become consumed with getting money for opiates, obtaining opiates and having time to use opiates. All this mental energy is pulled from other activities. Resources are taken from loved ones, leisure activities and business. Individuals using opiates spend discretionary income on opiates (i.e. oxycontin), instead of going out to dinners, dating and playing. Once on opiates the range of activities that individual engages in decrease. Hobbies and sports fall to the side. These individuals lack time and money to do fun things, but also lack desire to have fun. There is no desire to have sex and desire to socialize decrease. These individuals can maintain jobs and relations with a few close others.
They usually become depressed, crave sugar, and gain weight. Their complexion changes to a grayscale cancer looking color. They develop strange eating habits and sleeping habits. Their sense of self worth and self-esteem decline. They have feeling of emptiness and detachment from others. One patient said she looked in the mirror and she saw a skeleton. She no longer existed. The opiate becomes everything.
The opiate becomes an individual’s lover and family. The fear of going into withdrawal is so powerful. When the possibility that the individual may be cut off from drugs, the beast comes out. (more…)Learn More
Initially coming off opiates involves acute detox. That involves anxiety, abdominal cramping, goose flesh, leg jerking, yawning, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache and acute distress. These pains end in five days. After the detox ends, the real problems begin. Individuals begin to experience intense craving for the opiate. They become anxious, depressed and lethargic. They have no energy and have trouble functioning. Problems with sleep develop. People describe feelings; they don’t know who they are or what their purpose in life is. They have problems interacting with others because they are not sure how to act. There’s the feeling of loss. Almost as if they are mourning the loss of a lover. The loss of what they see as an exciting life and living outside the rules. It’s very difficult for these individuals to be integrated back into society and live normal lives. They always feel different. Also in the addict mind is a grandiose sense they are better and superior. This interferes with them finding jobs and forming relationships with others. Commonly individuals who stop opiates relapse, use marijuana or alcohol. Involve themselves in toxic relationships. Some develop gambling behaviors or inappropriate sexual activities. They continue to look for the high.
Opiate addicts must make an initial step and say to themselves they no longer want to alter their mental state. Decide the addict personality must go and a new one must be created. Psychotherapy may be helpful. Problems with depression, anxiety, insomnia, lethargy and drug cravings can be helped with non-addicting medication from a psychiatrist.
Forget one thing nicotine is usually what kills these people because they smoke too much.Learn More