GetRehab.info Helps You Find the Help You Need
GetRehab.info helps you find the very best rehab and addiction treatment services in the Northwest and beyond. Our site is dedicated to helping struggling addicts locate the help they need. We specialize in helping residents of Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and Utah find the help they need, but our services extend far beyond these regions, with rehab facilities and plenty of help scattered all across the country. If you’re struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, GetRehab.info may be your new best friend.
Understanding Drug and Alcohol Addiction
At GetRehab.info, we’re dedicated to helping addicts and their families locate the services they need to thrive in the face of addiction. All too often, though, we encounter addicts who don’t really understand that addiction is a disease, who have endlessly blamed themselves for their struggles, and who have even become suicidal.
Make no mistake about it. Addiction is a disease, and it’s not something anyone willingly chooses. The process of addiction – as well as the length of time addiction takes to set in – varies slightly from person to person and drug to drug, but the general process is essentially the same.
When you begin using drugs or alcohol, these drugs change the way your brain processes information. This affects everything from your ability to think to how you move. This initial high is often the most powerful because your body is not yet used to drugs. Consider, for example, how a newly-minted legal drinker might respond to a can of beer compared to a dyed-in-the-wool alcoholic. Odds are good the new drinker will end up drunk, while the alcoholic may not experience any discernible effects at all.
After this initial use, if you continue using, your body steadily changes your chemistry in response to the drug. This process is the beginning of addiction, though you may not notice clinical signs of addiction for months or even years. What you will notice is that you need to consume larger quantities of drugs or alcohol to get the same effects you once enjoyed with a lower dose. Though your brain doesn’t respond as dramatically as it once did to drugs or alcohol, the effects on your body are still very real. Many addicts – as well as recreational users, including most drinkers – believe that their tolerance makes drugs or alcohol safer, reducing the substance’s effects on their brains and bodies. The truth is that tolerance won’t protect you. Indeed, it can even nurture a latent addiction by requiring you to use progressively more of the substance.
Initially, you may have negative reactions to drugs or alcohol. Cocaine users, for example, often report intense headaches a day or two after use. As your tolerance increases, though, these effects tend to diminish. In their place, though, something more dangerous appears: chemical dependency. When you use a drug long enough and frequently enough, your body begins to change its chemistry such that you don’t just want the drug. You need it. And when you don’t get it, your body goes into a state of withdrawal. In most cases, withdrawal isn’t dangerous – jut unpleasant. But the withdrawal associated with some drugs – most notably alcohol and opioids – can turn deadly, and addicts with a history of health problems can face serious side effects during detox.
For this reason, once a person becomes an addict, quitting drugs and alcohol isn’t a matter of willpower. Addiction is the product of long-term chemical changes, and thus it takes expert assistance to get clean and sober.
What Causes Addiction?
Research into addiction is still very much in its infancy. We understand much more now than we did a mere 20 years ago, and it’s likely that our knowledge 10 or 20 years from now will make what we know now look like a drop in the proverbial bucket. Right now, our best research suggests that a number of factors may play a role:
- Genetics – In the popular press, “genes for addiction” are often trumpeted, but the truth is that this is just not how genetics works. No single gene can make you an addict, and researchers have not yet identified a gene or group of genes that invariably causes addiction. What we do know, though, is that addiction tends to run in families. Even children raised apart from their parents are more likely to become addicts than children of non-addicts. This strongly suggests a genetic component.
- Family history and exposure – The children of addicts are more likely to be addicts themselves. While genetics might help explain some of this, even adopted children of addicts are more likely to struggle with addiction. This suggests that addicts’ children may “learn” that addiction is a healthy coping behavior, making it more likely that they’ll become addicts themselves.
- Stress – People under stress are more likely to try drugs and alcohol, more likely to drink to excess, and more likely to struggle to quit drugs and alcohol.
- Mental illness – About half of all addicts have a diagnosable mental health issue. Mental illness makes life more stressful, tempting some people to turn to drugs and alcohol. In some cases, the medications used to treat mental illness are addictive, further increasing the likelihood of addiction.
- Physical illness – People with physical ailments, especially chronic ones, are more likely to be prescribed potentially addictive medications that turn them into accidental addicts. Likewise, the pain and stress of coping with a chronic illness can tempt some patients to try drugs or alcohol to help them cope.
The truth, though, is that there’s no single risk factor or group of risk factors that can make you an addict. Some addicts have no risk factors and still end up addicted. And in other cases, people with every conceivable risk factor don’t become addicts. Addiction is an unpredictable disease, and it’s impossible for you to know whether you’re prone to addiction until it’s too late.
Instead, the single biggest predictor of addiction is frequent use of drugs or alcohol. If you don’t drink or do drugs, you’ll never become an addict, no matter how many risk factors you face. Any use of drugs is problematic, but alcohol is more likely to become addictive with increasing quantities. The CDC says that drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day for women, or two for men, is a significant risk factor for addiction. Taking multiple prescription medications, taking your medications in a manner different than that prescribed by your doctor, or using someone else’s prescription are also significant predisposing factors for addiction.
Am I an Addict?
If you’re worried you might be an addict, one of the quickest ways to test is to try to quit using drugs or alcohol. Quitting anything you’ve done for a while is challenging, but if the challenge is so difficult you can’t do it, you’re an addict. Chemical dependence – with leads to both psychological and physical withdrawal when you try to quit – is the clinical standard for diagnosing addiction.
Of course, you might be concerned about the risks of trying to withdraw. Or maybe you use prescription medications that you can’t quit. If you need to further evaluate your addiction status, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to three or more, you’re an addict:
- Have you endangered yourself or loved ones trying to get drugs or by using drugs? For example, if you drive high, buy drugs from violent people, or go into debt for drugs, you’re endangering yourself.
- Have drugs or alcohol caused you legal problems, such as being arrested for DUI or drug possession?
- Have drugs or alcohol undermined the quality of your relationships, or caused a relationship to end?
- Have you tried to quit multiple times, only to relapse?
- Do you struggle with behavioral addictions, such as compulsive shopping or gambling?
- Do the people who love and know you the best think you might need treatment?
- Do you spend a lot of time with other drinkers or drug users?
- Do you conceal or understate your drug or alcohol use?
- Do you lie to your doctor about medical symptoms to get prescription drugs?
- Do you engage in doctor-shopping to get prescription drugs?
- Do you mix alcohol or prescription drugs with other substances?
- Have you ever blacked out under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
- Do you regularly binge drink?
- Do you have a prior history of addiction, or does addiction run in your family?
- Have you experienced health problems because of drugs or alcohol?
- Do you use drugs or alcohol to cope with the challenges of living with physical or mental health conditions?
- Do you spend more than you should on drugs or alcohol, or go into debt to pay for your substance use?
- Have you abandoned people or activities you once cared about because of drugs or alcohol?
- Has your job performance suffered because of drugs or alcohol?
- Have you lost your job or career because of alcohol or drugs?
- Has excessive use of drugs or alcohol caused your body to change? For instance, your veins might be damaged due to injectable drugs or you might experience cirrhosis of the liver because of excessive alcohol consumption.
- Do you plan your day according to when you’re going to get your next fix?
- Do you worry you can’t cope with life without drugs or alcohol?
- Do you use drugs or alcohol to feel normal, or to improve your performance at work?
- Have you stolen from loved ones to get money to buy alcohol or drugs?
- Has your live become unrecognizable or unmanageable?
How Addiction Changes Everything
Denial ranks among the most unfortunate – but also the most common – consequences of drug and alcohol addiction. It’s not easy to admit that your life has become dominated by drugs and alcohol, and many addicts spend months or even years denying their addiction. Denial won’t save you, though. It only allows your addiction more time to escalate out of control, destroying everything that matters to you. Recognizing the potentially immense consequences of addiction may help you more carefully consider your need for addiction treatment.
How Addiction Harms Addicts
Every year, illegal drugs kill 17,000 people, and alcohol accounts for almost 90,000 deaths. These figures, though, don’t take into account the thousands of people who suffer serious health problems due to addiction, nor the ways in which chronic symptoms associated with addiction can slowly kill you. Some of the most common health consequence of addiction include:
- Decreased immunity that can make you vulnerable to infections or illnesses.
- Transmission of communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS.
- Cardiovascular problems such as blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, poor circulation, hypertension, and congestive heart failure.
- Organ failure, particularly in the body’s purification system – the kidney and liver.
- Brain damage; in some cases, the damage is irreversible.
- Serious skin problems due to chronic skin picking.
- Tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and other oral health problems.
- Deterioration in sensory perception, or outright loss of some of your senses; some addicts go blind or lose the ability to accurately perceive sound.
- Poor health in your skin, hair, and nails.
- Changes in your physical appearance due to loss of calcium, bone injuries, and tissue decay.
- Internal infections, such as gangrene in your bowels.
- Chronic illness, or worsening of any current health conditions.
- Sudden death.
The physical effects of addiction are just one component of this disease. Many addicts reassure themselves that they must be okay because they have not yet encountered physical side effects. It takes time for the health effects of addiction to fester, though, and by the time they fully set in, it may be too late. Some other common issues with addiction include:
- Intense family conflict. Addicts may lose relationships with loved ones, or even end up divorced. Some addicts are never able to put the pieces of a broken family back together again.
- Accidental injuries.
- Decrease in job performance and, potentially, loss of your job.
- Mental illness.
- Financial challenges.
- Difficulty achieving your goals.
How Addiction Touches Friends and Family
Friends and family of addicts often suffer intense pain as the addict they loves appears to ignore their needs and refuse to acknowledge their pain. Children may have to bail their parents out of jail. Parents may see their children suffer with life-threatening physical ailments. If you think your addiction isn’t harming your friends or family, think again. Addiction is a family disease, and its consequences are so severe that most addiction programs routinely include a component that requires addicts to make amends to those they love the most. Some of the most common ways friends and family suffer include:
- Chronic, unabating anxiety. Many family members can think about little else except for the addict’s safety. Waiting for the addict to call, show up, or agree to get clean can take a massive toll.
- Being mistreated or abused by the addict. As many as 25% of addicts turn physically abusive toward spouses and children, and the overwhelming majority of addicts are emotionally abusive. From missing a child’s play to raiding the wife’s change purse to pay for the next fix, the ways in which addicts mistreat their loved ones are myriad.
- Taking the blame for the addict’s actions. Many loved ones put themselves on the line for the addict they love. Your mother, for instance, might co-sign a loan, only to have to eat the cost when you don’t do what you’ve agreed to do.
- Being exposed to legal and physical risks. If you bring a drug dealer into your home, you endanger your family. Many addicts also drive with drugs or otherwise expose their families to drugs, potentiality subjecting family members to the risk of arrest.
- Exposing loved ones to drugs. If you use drugs, then you make those drugs more accessible to the people you love the most. If children get into your drug stash, for example, the results can quickly turn fatal.
Addiction’s Effects on Society
Addiction costs the U.S. economy more than $500 billion dollars every year, but this financial toll barely scratches the surface of the costs society pays for addiction. Addiction leads to thousands of auto accidents each year, causing property damage and killing innocent people. Alcohol plays a key role in many violent crimes. One survey found that 90% of rapists who raped someone they knew were under the influence of alcohol at the time of the rape.
The underground drug trade is a key contributor to violence. From gang initiations to robbing the homes of people who owe drug dealers money, the ways in which your addiction exposes you to violent dangers are almost limitless. It doesn’t matter if your drug dealer seems “nice.” As soon as you cross him or her, you may pay dearly.
Prescription drug abuse has made it more difficult for people who need prescription drugs to get them. A person with ADHD could once get a long-term prescription, enjoying their life and the relief medication afforded. But the advent of prescription drug use means that doctors are less likely to prescribe these medications and more likely to require frequent – and costly – consultations with users who have a legitimate medical reason for taking these drugs. Some potentially helpful drugs may never make their way into the market because of their high addictive potential.
The consequences of addiction extend well past the borders of the United States, too. A number of drugs directly help to fund terrorism. Ninety-five percent of the world’s opium crop is grown in Afghanistan, a hot bed of terrorism. This opium goes toward a host of opiate drugs, most notably heroin. Terrorist organizations such as ISIL/ISIS and Al Qaeda use the proceeds from the illegal drug trade to help fund wars against innocent third parties, abusive practices of local residents, and terrorist campaigns against western governments. If you use drugs, your habit could be directly funding terrorism.
The process of addiction is no different from any other disease. And just like other diseases, addiction only gets worse with time. Prompt treatment, then, is key to moving past the terrible scourge of addiction. Relapse rates for alcohol and drug addiction are similar to relapse rates associated with other disorders, lingering between 40% and 60%. Prompt treatment can help you reduce your risk of relapsing, while preparing you to bounce back if you’re unfortunate enough to relapse.
At GetRehab.info, helping people find the treatment they need is our bread and butter. We don’t advocate for a specific type of treatment, because we know that addicts are unique individuals, each with their own stories and challenges. What works for one person might not work for another. What we do know, though, is that treatment works. The key to lasting recovery is finding a treatment protocol that works with your needs, your life, and your values, then sticking with it – even when the going gets rough, as it inevitably does during the journey to sobriety. We offer access to trusted partners who offer first-rate care. Those treatment options include:
Most addiction treatment services are for addicts themselves. After all, no addict will get clean until he or she is ready to, so it’s pointless to try to force an addict into treatment. Interventions, though, work with family members to help them put steady pressure on a loved one to seek treatment.
Prior to an intervention, you will meet with a trained interventionist who will help you outline a plan for working with your loved one. Each participant in the intervention will outline the ways in which the addict’s addiction has harmed him or her. For instance, an addict’s spouse might point out how the addiction means she has to do everything by herself, without support or help. A sibling might discuss the chronic anxiety waiting for a loved one to overdose on illegal drugs causes.
Then, all members of the addiction team will agree to meet at a specific time, usually to surprise the addict. This ensures the addict will actually show up, with the element of surprise increasing pressure on the addict to actually listen to what the intervention members have to say. Each member of the group will then share the ways the addiction has touched their life, then plead with the addict to seek treatment. At the end of each speech, each person will share the new boundaries they intend to set if the addict does not pursue treatment. For instance, a romantic partner may move out of the shared home if the addict won’t pursue rehab.
At the end of the intervention, the addict has the chance to pursue treatment or to reject the treatment the team offers. If he or she rejects treatment, each participant will then institute new boundaries so that they can stop enabling the addict. But if the addict accepts treatment, each participant will embrace the addict and do all they can to help him or her through the recovery process.
GetRehab.info helps you connect with skilled intervention experts so you can maximize the chances that your loved one will choose recovery over addiction.
Detoxing from drugs and alcohol is no easy feat. Just a few of the symptoms addicts commonly experience include:
- Anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty thinking about anything but drugs and alcohol
- Shakiness and tremors
- Night sweats
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Sleeping constantly
- Itchy skin
- Food cravings
Rarely, addicts experience more serious symptoms, including confusion, loss of consciousness, blackouts, self-mutilation, seizures, coma, and even death. For this reason, it is critically important to get access to medical detox services. In detox, you’ll slowly and steadily withdraw from drugs and alcohol. Before you begin the withdrawal process, though, a physician will evaluate whether you’re healthy enough to go through detox, while developing a plan designed to minimize the risks associated with detoxing. In some cases, your doctor may even be able to prescribe medications that minimize your cravings. In other instances, your doctor may treat symptoms as they occur – for example, by putting you on an intravenous fluid drip if you become dehydrated.
After you detox, your physician will work with you to develop a plan for your long-term sobriety. If you struggle with chronic mental or physical health problems, your physician can help you devise a plan for staying sober while still treating your condition. Oftentimes this entails a host of lifestyle remedies coupled with less addictive alternatives to the drugs traditionally prescribed for your condition.
Some medical detox facilities offer “substitution” drugs. These are slightly less addictive substances that are sufficiently similar to your drug of choice to trick your body into not initiating withdrawal. For instance, methadone can help prevent the life-threatening symptoms commonly associated with opiate withdrawal. These drugs are potentially dangerous, though, so it’s vitally important to take them under the supervision of a licensed physician.
GetRehab.info hooks you up with medical detox services that can make the process of withdrawing as painless and safe as possible.
Rehab is the Rolls Royce of addiction treatment. The overwhelming majority of rehab facilities are inpatient operations, which means you’ll get relief from the stress and pressures you face at home. Instead, you’ll get to relax and focus on your sobriety in a comfortable, safe, supportive, drug-free environment.
Inpatient rehab blends a host of treatment options together, all under one roof. At most facilities you’ll have access to, at minimum, the following treatment services:
- Medical detox and consultation – Many rehab facilities have a built-in detox wing. Your detox physician will evaluate your health, implement a detox plan, and help you manage your withdrawal symptoms. He or she can also help you make healthy lifestyle choices that can minimize the long-term effects of your addiction.
- Addiction counseling – Therapy is more than just sitting on a couch and talking about your problems! Instead, you’ll work with a trained addiction counselor who will explore your unique story, evaluating why you became an addict, what behaviors keep you an addict, and what you can do to resist the ongoing temptation of drug and alcohol use. If you have an underlying mental health condition, as many addicts do, your therapist can help you institute coping skills for more effectively managing your condition.
- Enrichment activities – If you want to break the cycle of addiction, you have to find a new and healthy “addiction” with which to replace the old one. Exercise, yoga, meditation, art, writing, and a host of other activities can be extremely helpful. Most rehab facilities offer enrichment activities and classes to take your mind off of your addiction while helping you master new skills.
- Group support – Every rehab facility is different, so the specific group services offered may vary. In general, you can expect a combination of 12-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous (AA and NA, respectively), blended with group therapy, informal group discussions, and formal group meetings.
- Education about addiction – If you don’t understand how addiction affects your brain and body, it becomes much harder to fight back against addiction. Most rehab centers offer a wide variety of educational programs designed to help you better understand how addiction affects you.
- Family services – Addiction isn’t only about you; addiction affects everyone you love. Most rehab centers offer some form of family support services. These services may include family educational programs, family therapy, or family outings and activities.
Some rehab facilities offer a gradual step-down program in the form of intensive outpatient programs (IOP). Intensive outpatient services are similar to those you encounter in traditional rehab, but you go home at the end of treatment each night. If you’re already sober but not totally confident in your ability to remain so, intensive outpatient programs are a great in-between option. These programs are also great for people with demanding careers or scheduling demands that won’t allow them to live at a treatment facility full-time.
GetRehab.info helps you locate the perfect inpatient program for you. We know that every addict has a story, and we endeavor to help you find the perfect place for your needs. Whether you want luxurious, resort-style accommodations, a holistic approach, or a simple, cost-effective facility, we can help you find the perfect place to begin the next chapter of your life.
Outpatient Support Services
Rehab is just one step in the journey toward recovery, not the whole journey itself! After you’ve gotten sober, you’ll need continuing support to avoid relapsing, reintegrate into your community, and patch things up with the people you love the most. GetRehab.info helps you find outpatient services in your community that meet your needs. Many recovering addicts opt to start with more intensive treatment options, steadily progressing toward less intense options until they’re finally doing it on their own. We offer help finding a number of continuing care services, including:
- Therapy – Therapy doesn’t end when you check out of rehab! As you deal with the challenges of everyday life, therapy can continue to offer you the support you need to stick with sobriety for the long-haul.
- Wellness services – Your health care tam plays a key role in your recovery, and we hook you up with wellness services that can maximize your health while minimizing your risk of relapsing.
- Sober living – Sometimes it helps to live with people who have similar goals to your own. Sober living environments such as halfway houses can prove invaluable to you as you journey toward lasting sobriety.
The GetRehab.info Difference
Anyone can create a search engine. But at GetRehab, we’ve created a comprehensive one stop shop where all of your addiction treatment needs can be met. We don’t think it’s enough to just offer you links to rehab facilities. Instead, we offer an interactive platform where users can leave honest feedback about their experiences. This makes it easier for you to find the place that will help you take your first steps toward recovery. The very thing one person hated about a facility could be the thing you love, so our review process proves invaluable as our site visitors work toward recovery.
The resources at your disposal don’t end there, though. Our self-evaluation tools can help you assess your need for addiction help, then locate service providers who fill those needs. We offer an extensive resource library that can help you better understand and fight the disease. And if you need personalized assistance to find the right rehab facility, we’re standing by to answer your call.
The journey toward recovery is a long one. Sometimes it’s two steps forward and three steps back. But on the other side of addiction, a new and better life awaits. Getting sober means better relationships with loved ones, a chance at a fulfilling career, and the possibility of living a long and happy life. Sobriety doesn’t come with guarantees, of course. Life may still be painful. You may still suffer. But addiction guarantees a painful existence, and if the addiction persists long enough, the odds that your addiction will kill you exponentially increase.
A sober life really is possible. You didn’t cause your addiction, but it’s up to you to determine what you’ll do about it. We stand behind every addict who’s ready to try a different, better approach to life. We stand behind you, and we’re here for you. You can do this. We can help.