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Opioid Overdose, Withdrawal and Treatment

An opioid overdose occurs when opioids adversely affect the part of the brain that controls respiration. This usually stems from addiction that requires detox. A dangerous and life-threatening symptom of an opioid overdose is problematic or suppressed breathing.

Without sufficient oxygen, death can occur quickly. Thus, an opioid overdose is a medical emergency that requires specific medication and medical attention immediately.

What is An Opioid Overdose?

An opioid overdose happens when high levels of opioids or opioids and other substances excessively stimulate the area of the brain controlling breathing. Respiratory depression leads to death if not treated immediately. Cardiac arrest (heart attack) is a secondary concern after respiratory depression.

Opioids are central nervous system depressants and can lead to overdose, especially when combined with benzodiazepines. Everyone has a personal tolerance level for opioids, but in many cases, people are not aware that opioids are present in the drugs they are using.

When an overdose occurs, medical professionals recommend entering a detox program immediately to avoid future overdose dangers. After an initial overdose, subsequent overdose danger increases. Treatment centers that specialize in detox are fully aware of these dangers and recommend medical supervision during detox.

The leading medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid withdrawal symptoms during detox are the following:

  • Naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids
  • Methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings
  • Buprenorphine softens withdrawal symptoms and cravings

Opioid Statistics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in 2021, just over 50 million people in the United States reported chronic pain, and another 17 million had high-impact pain. Treatments for this population also included 139,523,956 prescriptions for opioids. In the same year, prescriptions of Naloxone exceeded 1,184,612 to treat opioid overdose, and 16,105,318 prescriptions of buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction.

The use of fentanyl in nonmedical opioids is the primary cause of the increase in overdose. Overdose is the leading cause of death in the US, with opioids at the top of the scale of use. The alarming numbers the CDC collects point to 75% of opioid overdoses stemming from nonmedical use of synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Illegal synthetic opioids and drug manufacturers add fentanyl to make their drugs more attractive because of the added potency. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports in 2021, there were 80, 411 deaths from opioid overdoses.

The Opioid Epidemic

An alarming trend brought opioids to the forefront when, from 1999 to 2021, nearly 645,000 people died from drug overdoses involving both prescription and illicit opioids. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immediately took action to monitor this horrific rise inopioid overdose deaths. In 2021, the CDC reported 220 people each day died from opioid-involved overdose.

The opioid epidemic presents in 3 distinctive waves:

  • An increase in opioid prescriptions in the 1990s began the rise in opioid overdose deaths in 1999.
  • In the year 2010, additional increases in overdose deaths were due to the use of heroin.
  • The third and most alarming wave began in 2013 when illicit fentanyl found its way into heroin, counterfeit pills, and cocaine.

Types of Opioids

Opioids are narcotic medications that are both natural and synthetic. They can be very dangerous in their natural, purified, and concentrated form. Prescription narcotics treat chronic pain from injuries or surgery.

Opioids, primarily made in labs, are highly addictive and, through misuse, can cause unintentional addiction. Despite the dangers of addiction, opioids are the leading treatment for chronic pain.

  • Hydrocodone
  • Hydromorphone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl

Fatal and Non-Fatal Opioid Overdoses

Non-fatal opioid overdose is much more common than fatal overdose involving opioids. Treatment options have become much more available to the public for the immediate treatment of opioid overdose. With public education on fentanyl and opioid overdose and the release of Narcan availability, fatalities are beginning to decrease. Knowing the signs of opioid overdose is essential for everyone because illicit opioid users will likely experience overdose.
The World Health Organization describes the likelihood of fatal overdose depending on the administration, with injection being more likely. Other factors that result in a higher risk of fatal overdose with opioids are if tolerance is affected by a period of abstinence. People who are in relapse, hospital care, or custody may be impacted by overdose when use begins as the tolerance level changes. An opioid overdose is always a medical emergency.

The signs and symptoms of opioid overdose include:

  • Unresponsiveness or unconsciousness
  • Cyanosis (blue lips or fingernails)
  • Shallow, slowed or stopped breathing
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Snoring or gurgling sounds coming from the mouth
  • Cold and clammy skin

Opioids and Opiates: Are They the Same?

The 2 words are typically interchangeable, but they are different. Opioids are natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic chemicals that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain.

The primary function of these drugs is to reduce pain levels and feelings of pain. Opiates are natural opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine. Opioids refer to all-natural, semi-synthetic, and synthetic opioids like fentanyl, Vicodin, and Percocet.

Medications and Sprays Used to Treat Opioid Overdoses

Naloxone (Narcan) is the leading treatment for opioid overdose. Narcan reverses opioid overdose by being an opioid antagonist. This mediation attaches to the opioid receptors in the body and blocks the effects of opioids.

It comes in spray or injection form. The effectiveness continues for roughly 30 to 90 minutes, in time to receive professional medical treatment at a facility. Overdose effects can extend beyond that time, but physicians can address breathing issues and offer medical care.

Get Hands-On Opioid Support in Tennessee

Freeman Recovery Center, nestled in Nashville, Tennessee, offers comprehensive rehabilitation services meticulously tailored to address a wide spectrum of substance use disorders including opioid use disorder. Our specialized opioid and drug rehab programs cater to individuals battling alcohol addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, benzo addiction, and prescription drug addiction. By combining evidence-based practices with holistic care, we deliver empathetic and professional support that focuses on the unique needs of each patient. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where teenagers and their parents feel encouraged and empowered to overcome addiction, achieve lasting recovery, and rebuild their lives with confidence and resilience.

Opioid addiction is frightening because of the chance of a fatal overdose. Freeman Recovery Center in Tennessee understands the addictive quality of opioids and how quickly tolerance, dependence, and addiction can happen. Opioid detox can be safe with medical management and the assistance of medication.

Contact the center to discuss the details of admission and begin the ending of an opioid addiction.

What is a Day in Rehab Like?

Deciding to make a healthy and positive life change by entering treatment for a substance use disorder can lead to a long list of questions and concerns. The initial step of undergoing detox can be frightening, with no understanding of the process.

Taking on inpatient rehab can be daunting when there is no idea of what a day in rehab is like. To reduce stress, anxiety, and fear for all parties is to reduce uncertainty and learn about the safest and most supportive environments for successful recovery to know what is suitable for each individual.

The Value of Inpatient Addiction Treatment

Treatment can differ for everyone; although addiction has many common factors, people are all different and have their own needs and wants. Subsequently, inpatient rehab holds its unique advantages, structure, and focus in leading to longevity for sobriety.

Eliminating everyday influences that may be detrimental to recovery allows patients to focus on building a solid foundation with sobriety. Differing from other programs, inpatient rehab includes an opportunity to identify and treat mental health issues co-occurring with a substance use disorder.

A Typical Morning in Rehab

Forming healthy and meaningful lifestyle habits begins in rehab, and the schedule allows patients to establish habits that carry over into life after rehab. Starting a day in rehab begins with breakfast to understand the importance of a nutritious diet.

Developing a meditation or mindfulness routine that includes yoga or self-reflection follows breakfast. Maintaining a focus on self and how to achieve the goals of a new sober lifestyle is the primary concern.
Household chores and personal hygiene are crucial factors for developing a healthy lifestyle. Learning to love yourself and fulfill personal hygiene needs leads to pride in self, confidence, and personal growth. Living in a clean and tidy environment can increase the ability to organize an environment that enables focus and comfort.

Learning how to define yourself as an individual by forming an environment that reflects personal likes and needs helps to maintain peace of mind. Group and individual therapy follow to gain focus on learning new healthy coping mechanisms and investigate or identify contributing factors that led to addiction.

These 2 types of treatment can lead to building trust and forming healthy relationships. For some centers, family therapy is an additional tool for repairing and rebuilding family relationships that are suffering as a result of the substance use disorder. It is vital to set up a relapse prevention plan before leaving inpatient rehab.

A Sample Schedule

A typical morning schedule for inpatient rehab may look like this:

6:00 AM: Wake up

7:00 AM: Breakfast

7:45 to 8:00 AM: Mindfulness or meditation

8:00 AM: Chores and hygiene

9:00 AM: Group and individual therapy time

The Afternoon in Rehab

Lunchtime facilitates a time to feed the body and mind with healthy options that will carry you through the afternoon and supply the energy needed to participate and focus. After lunchtime, a day in rehab can include an opportunity for specialized treatment options is available.

Family, trauma, art, music, equine, or other forms of specialized therapy can address individual needs. Treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions can transpire here. In some rehab facilities, afternoon hours can include self-reflection time, exercise, or group recreational options.

An afternoon schedule may include:

Noon: Lunch

1:00 to 3:00 PM: Specialized therapies

3:00 to 4:00 PM: Free time, self-reflection, exercise, or group recreation

4:00 to 5:00 PM: Peer Support Meeting

Evenings in Rehab

Dinnertime offers another opportunity for residents to learn more about nutrition and a healthy diet. After leaving drug or alcohol rehabilitation, the goal primarily involves maintaining at least 3 meals daily. Supporting basic needs is vital to good health and clarity of mind. In some inpatient centers, a house meeting may follow dinner, when residents and staff review matters that need attention occurring within the facility.

A day in rehab may include a 12-step meeting, which may happen in the evening after dinner. These meetings are an opportunity for sober relationships to form and continue to build communication skills. When meetings are held in a safe and comfortable environment, they are found to promote long-term sobriety. Sharing experiences with others who have experience with substance use disorders is beneficial.

Clean-up time, relaxation time for meditation or reading, or, in some cases, a group activity may occur before bedtime. Sleep is essential, and residents must learn it is vital in a sober lifestyle. As a result, lights out may be a set time every night to promote a good night’s sleep. Every inpatient treatment center has its schedule and timeline so differences may exist.

An evening schedule may include the following:

5:00 to 6:30 PM: Dinnertime

6:30 to 7:00 PM: House meeting
7:00 – 8:00 PM: Clean-Up

8:00 PM: 12-Step Meeting

11:00 PM: Lights Out

Who Benefits Most from Inpatient Treatment?

Residential addiction treatment is for anyone struggling with a substance use disorder. The support and structure of these types of treatment programs are invaluable. A day in rehab offers tools that carry over into a sober lifestyle, and the longer these daily habits are continued with rehab, the probability of longevity in sobriety increases.

It takes time and hard work to build a new, sober lifestyle. Inpatient rehab provides all patients’ needs and proves the importance of therapy and a sense of community for recovery.
Inpatient rehab may be beneficial for specific populations who have not been successful in maintaining sobriety, such as:

  • Those who try to end their addiction independently and relapse
  • Users who cannot manage their addiction after an intervention, outpatient treatment, or 12-step program
  • People who have a substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health conditions
  • People who are living in an unstable environment where overdose could be a concern
  • Those who have been court-ordered to attend inpatient rehab

Discover the Benefits of Inpatient Treatment Programs in Tennessee

Deciding what type of treatment to enroll in for a substance use disorder can be challenging. Freeman Recovery Center in Nashville, Tennessee offers a variety of options, but its inpatient rehab program is an option that provides many of the tools for a successful recovery. Inpatient treatment is an investment for a sober future.

We provide specialized drug and alcohol rehabilitation services designed to support both teenagers and their parents through every step of the recovery journey. Our facilities are dedicated to offering individualized, evidence-based treatment plans that address not only the addiction but also any co-occurring mental health issues. We employ a holistic approach, ensuring that each patient receives compassionate and comprehensive care tailored to their unique needs all the way from therapy to medical detoxification. At Freeman Recovery Center, we understand the challenges families face during such difficult times, and we are committed to fostering an environment of supportive encouragement, professionalism, and empathy to help our clients achieve lasting sobriety and improved mental health.

Contact the Freeman Recovery Center for more details about the inpatient rehab program.

What Are Recovery Halfway Houses?

The goals of completing treatment may include transitioning from inpatient rehab to a halfway house or sober living facility. In some cases, moving in with family is not an option. There may be substances within the residence that could be enticing to a newly sober person.

Recovery halfway houses and sober living homes are similar stepping stones to independent sober living. Yet they may have different standards and rules. It is crucial to understand the differences to choose what transitional housing will best meet individual needs and wants.

Defining Recovery Halfway Houses

Halfway houses are a stepping stone from inpatient rehab and living independently. Additionally, residents in recovery halfway houses might also come from a correctional facility where they were serving time for a drug-related crime. Halfway houses are a protective shield from the pressures and triggers society holds for the newly sober person. It should be noted that there are rules and requirements to adhere to as a resident to continue residency.

Drug tests are required to monitor sobriety. Mental health, medical and recovery, or educational services are often available. There are chores, rent to pay, and meeting requirements to maintain. Most residents must work or enter occupational education programs, and volunteering is encouraged.

Are Halfway Houses and Sober Living Homes the Same?

Recovery halfway houses are transitional housing units similar to sober houses, requiring substance-free living. The similarity lies in the residents who are newly sober but not quite ready to live independently.

In the halfway house, there may be a limit on residency and qualifications for entry. People who have detoxed and completed an inpatient program are most likely to be successful in a halfway house. On the other hand, sober living homes provide a safe, structured, and sober environment for people newly sober who want to live a recovery-based lifestyle.

First, all residents must have sobriety; additional support services are readily available. It is ideal for people just completing inpatient rehab, with many sober living opportunities associated with the treatment center the resident came from. Finally, individual therapy and further healthy living education are encouragements for all residents.

Expectations of residents in a sober living home include:

  • Participation in daily household chores, keeping personal space and belongings organized, neat and clean
  • Participation in a 12-step program
  • Work part or full-time, or go to school and volunteer regularly
  • Maintain total sobriety
  • Be respectful to all housemates
  • Participate in random drug tests

Benefits of Recovery Halfway House

The benefits of recovery halfway houses after an inpatient treatment program or release from a correctional facility are significant. A higher level of freedom is allowable as long as the resident maintains curfew requirements.

Residents can choose the type of work that suits them and the educational goals that are of personal interest. Living with other residents with similar lifestyle goals and challenges allows them to share the experiences that positively affect them. Guidance and structure remain, but the residents can make significant life decisions for a healthy future.

Rules, Responsibilities, and Duties

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that in 2020, there were approximately 17,943 recovery halfway houses in the US. Clear standards for recovery housing must be in writing so that residents know every rule, expectation, and responsibility.

These environments promote a positive, inclusive, and equitable atmosphere, so when residents are ready to be independent in their new sober lifestyle, they are ready. All residents must participate in performing specific household duties and maintaining personal responsibilities while obeying all the rules.

Specific rules can vary in each recovery house, but a general idea of expectations is as follows:

  • To remain sober and submit to random drug testing.
  • Be respectful of other residents, their space and property, and the common area
  • Attend 12-step meetings on a regular schedule.
  • Contribute to the house, including chore schedules, and attend house meetings
  • Avoid fighting with other residents.
  • Keep the curfew.
  • Pay rent and choose to work, attend school or occupational program, and consider volunteering in the community.

Recovery Halfway House Goals

When the time comes to leave the inpatient treatment for a drug or alcohol use disorder, transitioning to a recovery halfway house is the completion of a significant goal. Following inpatient treatment, residents learn how important it is to set goals and plan to achieve them while residing in the recovery halfway house.

Utilizing new tools, such as living in the present moment, avoiding triggers, and continuing to work for personal growth, are integral to achieving new goals. Above all, transitioning to the realization that life is about making goals, attaining them, and setting new goals is healthy and contributes to longevity in sobriety.

Typical goals to make while residing in the halfway house include:

  • Maintain continual sobriety while sustaining excellent physical and mental health.
  • Determine the parameters for independent living after leaving the halfway house and how to get the ideal living situation.
  • Commit to achieving educational goals by working towards occupational opportunities in a desirable field.
  • Find an occupational opportunity that is long-term, fulfilling, and enjoyable while supportive of lifestyle needs.
  • Work toward building relationships, personal growth, and giving back to the community.

Are They Co-Ed?

There are all types of recovery halfway houses with different residential rulings. Some are co-ed, others gender-specific; in some cases, even expectant mothers are acceptable residents.

Various agencies have their requirements and standards to run these transitional living options, which can address the needs of diverse populations. Leaving inpatient treatment or correctional facility, guidance for a suitable living arrangement is often essential.

Funding for Recovery Halfway Housing

An essential parameter to consider is the cost of living in a halfway house. Prices are variable, beginning as low as $100 and upwards to $2000 a month.

Geographics are responsible for much of the variation, but amenities are another factor in the price differences. Insurance coverage is sometimes available, with scholarships, grants, and bank loans as other payment options.

Weigh Options for Transitioning to a Recovery Halfway Housing in Tennessee

Building the foundation for a new life is a huge commitment that requires weighing the pros and cons of the ideal transition home after treatment. Freeman Recovery Center in Tennessee can reveal the benefits of sober living options so that all future decisions revolve around a well-rounded understanding. It is essential to list personal needs and future goals to discover the best option.

Freeman Recovery Center, nestled in Nashville, Tennessee, offers comprehensive rehabilitation services meticulously tailored to address a wide spectrum of substance use disorders. Our specialized programs cater to individuals battling alcohol addiction, opioid addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, benzo addiction, and prescription drug addiction. By combining evidence-based practices with holistic care, we deliver empathetic and professional support that focuses on the unique needs of each patient by providing the needed programs and treatment. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where teenagers and their parents feel encouraged and empowered to overcome addiction, achieve lasting recovery, and rebuild their lives with confidence and resilience.
Contact Freeman Recovery Center to receive all pertinent information to make the right decision.


Treatment Centers for PTSD

Researchers find trauma is the common thread in the development of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorders. As a result, treatment centers for PTSD are addressing the needs of those with a dual diagnosis. 

Dual diagnosis is the condition for someone diagnosed with a mental health condition and a subsequent substance use disorder. Fortunately, professionals have found trauma therapy an essential component in addressing the roots of both conditions. Thus PTSD treatment centers are key to healing.

PTSD: How and Why It Occurs

PTSD is a complex mental health condition occurring as the result of a traumatic experience. Mental health researchers continue to build a better understanding of post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma to include individual trauma therapy as a beneficial treatment option.

Co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD and substance use disorders, find their roots in trauma, and each needs to be a consideration when seeking treatment. An initial evaluation is essential in correctly diagnosing new patients in treatment centers.

Trauma experiences such as war, natural disasters, sexual assault, physical abuse, severe accidents, or being a victim of a violent crime are often initiators in the development of PTSD.

Diagnosis must occur at least 30 days after a traumatic event, but in some cases, symptoms do not appear until months or even years later. Three parts of the brain have a connection to processing trauma. Finally, hormones, or neurotransmitters, also have a contributing effect on coping with trauma.

PTSD, Trauma, and The Brain

Below are facts about trauma and the brain:

  • The amygdala helps control emotions, survival instincts, and memory. Responsible for the fight or flight response. It can become hyperactive, causing a person to experience hypervigilance, an intense awareness of everything around them. This protective force makes sleeping, relaxing, or finding joy challenging.
  • The hippocampus aids in learning and memory. Studies have found that people who have a trauma may have a smaller hippocampus than those who have not. The constant high levels of stress hormones may damage or destroy cells in this area of the brain. People who have PTSD find it difficult to form memories but have vivid memories of their trauma.
  • The prefrontal cortex is responsible for the regulation of emotions and helps the amygdala maintain control. Helping to calm the fight or flight response when understanding safety is present for most people, those affected by trauma find disruptions in the ability of the prefrontal cortex to regulate fear and other emotions, leading to feelings of panic, anxiety, and dysfunctional out-of-place reactions.

Treatment centers for PTSD therapy have a solid grasp of the mind-body connection and how trauma affects people in different ways. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of PTSD is vital during the evaluation process and confirming dual diagnosis.

Many symptoms of trauma are similar to the symptoms of PTSD. Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as substance use, are common for finding relief from uncomfortable PTSD and trauma symptoms. 

The following symptoms stand out in the assessment of patients’ mental health and experiences with trauma:

  • Intrusive thoughts and memories
  • Hypervigilance and hyperarousal
  • Loss of interest in once-important activities
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Unhealthy coping mechanisms

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Continual advances in research have found that C-PTSD, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, shares many of the symptoms common with PTSD. The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies finds that people with C-PTSD also have problems with regulating emotions and managing feelings.

Another symptom is having a negative self-concept and feeling different from others, which breeds issues in maintaining a positive self-image. Lastly, interpersonal problems stand out, including challenges in trusting other people. 

PTSD Treatment Centers Offering Trauma Therapy with Treatment

Typically, people who are uncomfortable or in distress look to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol to escape. Trauma experiences and PTSD carry severe symptoms that are difficult to escape from.

Treatment centers for PTSD utilize new evidence-based therapies, such as trauma therapy, to empower patients to investigate their past trauma. In conjunction with other behavioral therapies, new coping mechanisms grow stronger with the new understanding of how trauma works and how to heal from it.

Individual and Group Therapy in PTSD Treatment Centers

Evidence-based therapies are essential in substance use treatment for changing behaviors and forming new, healthy, sober mindsets. Individual cognitive-behavioral and group therapies offer crucial tools for incorporating new healthy coping mechanisms and finding peer support.

Building trust in group therapy sessions by learning how to share insecurities and past experiences that may be painful initiates personal growth. These therapies are beneficial in combination with trauma therapy for those with PTSD and a co-occurring substance use disorder.

Risk Factors for Trauma and PTSD

The risk factors for trauma and PTSD can lie in family history, dysfunctional family relationships, and those with a military or combat background. The symptoms of PTSD can trigger someone to self-medicate with substances, especially if there is a family history of substance use.

People exposed to domestic violence—including children—may have escalating symptoms from unresolved traumas that lead to substance use. People with anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions may need an evaluation to check for PTSD as well. 

Signs of PTSD

Not all people who experience traumatic events develop post-traumatic stress disorder. About a month after experiencing a trauma, symptoms can intensify and become distracting or uncomfortable. For others, symptoms may appear months or a year later. 

It is imperative to seek professional mental health before symptoms become unmanageable. Those with concerns must contact a medical or mental health professional.

The following are signs of PTSD:

  • Intrusive or negative thoughts, flashbacks, or nightmares
  • Avoidance behaviors cause people to avoid people and places that may be associated with trauma
  • Changes in behavior
  • Mood swings
  • Uncomfortable physical symptoms

Transform Trauma in Tennessee and Live the Life You Deserve

The after-effects of untreated trauma experience may be apparent in the challenging symptoms of PTSD and a substance use disorder. Trauma specialists with Freeman Recovery Center in Tennessee are changing the treatment options for people with trauma in their pasts. A thorough evaluation is a phone call away to begin a journey to wellness.

We offer comprehensive mental health treatment tailored to a variety of mental health conditions all the way to dual diagnosis disorder programs. Our expert team is dedicated to helping individuals manage and overcome disorders such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Utilizing a blend of evidence-based therapies and personalized care plans, we ensure each patient receives the support they need to achieve lasting recovery. Our commitment to mental health is evident in our compassionate approach and proven treatment methods, designed to restore balance and hope.

Contact Freeman Recovery Center to ask any additional questions that may remain.


Klonopin Addiction and Treatment

12Klonopin, the brand name drug for clonazepam, is a central nervous system depressant for the treatment of seizure and panic disorders, acute mania, insomnia, and irregular and uncontrollable face and body movements (tardive dyskinesia). It is a highly addictive benzodiazepine for short-term usage.

This drug inhibits excitation within the brain to inhibit gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) actions. The calming effect calms over-excited nervous systems, but with misuse, treatment can unintentionally turn to abuse and addiction.

Klonopin: Uses and Risks

Klonopin has FDA approval for the treatment of panic disorder and seizures. However, because it is fast-acting, other conditions respond to the drug to eliminate undesirable symptoms immediately.

Calming the nervous system is necessary to treat some medical conditions, but the risk of using this drug lies in the desirable calming effect it produces. Safety requires Klonopin to be in use for a short-term treatment period. Misuse of this drug can easily lead to addiction.

Illicit use of Klonopin raises other risks and concerns. Polydrug use involving Klonopin occurs when the use of clonazepam is for enhancing the euphoric effects of opioids, alcohol, or other substances. Long-term use of Klonopin is risky for developing a physical dependence on the drug. The risk involves developing an addiction once physical dependency takes hold.

Why is Klonopin Addictive?

Klonopin addiction happens quickly and sometimes unintentionally because the body builds a tolerance to the drug in a short time frame. Tolerance is the body adapting to a drug’s dosage, so the dosage must slowly increase to reach a desirable effect.

Dependence follows tolerance, meaning the body must have medication it has adapted to. Tolerance and dependence on Klonopin can lead to a drug addiction that requires treatment.

Short and Long-Term Klonopin Effects

Klonopin is most effective with short-term usage. However, side effects of short-term use do exist. The benefits of short-term use are beneficial in the treatment of anxiety or panic disorder, but other side effects do occur. The user should report any side effects to the prescribing physician.

The following are short-term side effects of Klonopin:

  • Impaired coordination and balance
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Depression

Long-term effects of Klonopin use are:

  • Learning and memory impairments
  • Building a tolerance
  • Physical and psychological dependence that leads to addiction

Mixing Klonopin and Other Drugs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continually strives to raise awareness of the dangers of polydrug use (mixing different drugs or substances to achieve a desired effect). Klonopin, a central nervous system depressant, induces significantly problematic symptoms when combined with other CNS depressants.

Heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl use in combination with Klonopin can slow down breathing and increase the risks of overdose and death. Drinking alcohol, another depressant used in combination with Klonopin could increase the risk of damage to the brain, heart, and other organs.

There may be a misconception that mixing stimulants with Klonopin, a depressant, may cancel out the effects. Drugs and alcohol are potent substances, and the impact of combining these drugs is unpredictable.

The CDC reports combining drugs was a factor in half of the drug overdose deaths in 2019. Treatment for polydrug use is more complicated and poses a greater risk of significant withdrawal symptoms such as trauma.

Klonopin and Xanax combinations may be an attempt to enhance the relaxing effects of each drug. Users claim this drug combination is a tension reliever. Still, another factor to consider is that establishing a tolerance for one of the drugs may make users believe they can reach the original desired effect.

Unfortunately, the use of 2 depressants is dangerous and may cause overdose. Those who have a Klonopin addiction may try to extend the effects of the drug by adding Xanax.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Ending Klonopin use will induce certain signs and symptoms, requiring medical management during detox. The intensity of the symptoms depends upon many factors, but if polydrug use is present, additional symptoms can occur.

Professional treatment programs include medication-assisted treatment options to reduce the discomfort of these symptoms and lessen the risk of relapse during detox. Enduring withdrawal symptoms during detox requires a high level of support, understanding, and compassion in a safe environment.

The following withdrawal symptoms are present with Klonopin withdrawal:

  • Hyperactivity of the central nervous system induces sweating and rapid heart
  • Hand tremors
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Unintentional and uncontrollable repetitive movements
  • Grand mal seizures
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances and insomnia

Mental Health and Klonopin Addiction

Klonopin is a factor in the treatment of anxiety or panic disorders. If a Klonopin addiction develops, the user will face a dual diagnosis and need specialized therapy. Successful detox is possible, but understanding that symptoms of withdrawal and symptoms of generalized anxiety or panic could be confusing during detox.

Specialized evidence-based therapies are effective for the treatment of substance use disorders and mental health conditions.

Treatment and Detox

Deciding to seek treatment is the most significant factor in leaving addiction behind. However, Klonopin addiction presents the challenging foundation of treating a substance use disorder and a mental health condition separately.

The road to recovery offers specialized treatment plans to ensure recovery from 2 separate but relatable issues. The high incidence of unintentional misuse and abuse when Klonopin is treating a mental health condition leads to the question of how to treat it without the use of medication.

Cognitive-behavioral, group therapy programs, and other holistic therapies effectively treat both conditions. Inpatient and outpatient programs after detox, dependent on individual needs, are long-term options.

Substance use treatment is challenging, and taking advantage of programs that facilitate successful recovery is the best chance for longevity in sobriety. Aftercare and relapse prevention protocols are personal options that can be beneficial.

Find Effective Treatment for Klonopin Addiction in Tennessee

Klonopin addiction can unintentionally occur and cause an overwhelming sense of disorientation when searching for the ideal treatment center. Freeman Recovery Center in Tennessee understands the confusion and emotions the treatment process can evoke for all parties surrounding the patient who needs treatment.

Freeman Recovery Center, nestled in Nashville, Tennessee, offers comprehensive rehabilitation services meticulously tailored to address a wide spectrum of substance use disorders. Our specialized programs cater to individuals battling alcohol addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, benzo addiction, and prescription drug addiction. By combining evidence-based practices with holistic care, we deliver empathetic and professional support that focuses on the unique needs of each patient. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where teenagers and their parents feel encouraged and empowered to overcome addiction, achieve lasting recovery, and rebuild their lives with confidence and resilience.

Understanding and compassion during this challenging period soften the blow. Contact the Freeman Recovery Center to move forward with the required therapies for Klonopin use disorder and mental health conditions.

How Does Alcohol Damage the Vital Organs?

When most people think about alcohol-related deaths, they think of drinking and driving. Unfortunately, alcoholism can increase the odds of developing cancer, committing suicide, and many adverse health outcomes.

Drinking alcohol and organ damage go hand in hand with excessive drinking. The Centers for Disease Control are campaigning to educate the American public on what the standard drink is and how it differs from excessive drinking.

Why Is Alcohol So Damaging?

The National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics proved in 2020, 140,557 Americans died from the effects of alcohol in an average year. Alcohol damages vital organs with excessive and long-term use.

Excessive drinking for women is 4 or more drinks during one occasion, and 5 or more for men. Heavy drinking for women is 8 or more drinks a week, and for men 15 or more drinks per week.

Alcohol can weaken the immune system, which works to protect the body and its organs from infection and disease. Consuming alcohol keeps the body from performing normal processes.

It damages vital organs, causing bacteria to grow in the gut, which can migrate into the intestinal wall and the liver. Alcohol and organ damage are only part of a precarious situation with alcoholism. Drinking alcohol can put people at a greater risk of developing cancers.

Regular drinking over time increases the risk of the following cancers:

  • Head and neck cancer, including oral cavity, pharynx, and larynx cancers
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

Alcohol and Brain Damage

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reveals through various studies and research how alcohol has a disturbing effect on brain chemistry. Alcohol damages vital organs and interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, affecting mood, behavior, and cognitive ability.

Hangovers are a typical experience with excessive drinking and can be painful and dangerous. Brain damage can cause challenges with coordination and decision-making skills and add hidden dangers from accidents and the chance of overdose.

Alcohol’s Effect on the Heart and Kidneys

Alcohol damages vital organs, especially the heart. Those with an alcohol use disorder are at a higher risk of high blood pressure. Cardiomyopathy (diseased heart muscle) and arrhythmias (unusual heartbeat) are often the result of excessive alcohol use. A stroke is another critical possibility involving excessive intake of alcohol.

The National Kidney Foundation is trying to raise awareness of the unfortunate effects of alcohol and organ damage. The kidneys filter blood, a vital function, and regulate fluids and electrolytes in the body.

Alcohol abuse disrupts the kidneys from functioning correctly and may dehydrate the body, which affects cells and other organs. Excessive drinking can damage the kidneys and cause them to work inefficiently or not at all.

Alcohol and the Liver

The fact that alcohol damages vital organs is becoming more apparent in the knowledge that the liver must work hard to detoxify and remove alcohol from the blood. The liver cannot store alcohol, so it moves quickly to the front of the line to metabolize.

Thus, the liver detoxifies and removes alcohol from the blood, which is oxidation. Once oxidation is complete, the alcohol in the liver becomes water and carbon dioxide. Fatty liver is a condition that occurs because of the oxidative metabolism of alcohol, which generates molecules that inhibit fat oxidation.

Roughly 90% of people who drink more than 1 ½ to 2 ounces of alcohol per day develop fatty liver. Fatty liver can result in liver fibrosis and, finally, cirrhosis. Fatty liver is reversible within 4 to 6 weeks with no alcohol use, but cirrhosis is irreversible and can lead to liver failure.

Pancreas Damage and Alcoholism

Alcohol damages vital organs such as the pancreas that help the digestive system by producing enzymes that break down sugars, fats, and starches. Also, the pancreas makes hormones, or chemical messengers, to regulate blood sugar levels and appetite.

The chemical messengers are critical in stimulating stomach acids and directing the stomach to empty. Signs and symptoms of problems with the pancreas due to alcoholism can be extreme pain for unknown reasons.

Abusing alcohol can cause organ damage, including the pancreas. Inflammation of the pancreas or pancreatitis results from alcohol, causing the pancreas to produce toxic substances.

This dangerous inflammation can cause extreme pain and swelling and impair the pancreas’s ability to make enzymes and hormones necessary for the proper digestion of foods. Damage to the pancreas can be irreversible, but the long-term condition is manageable with a special diet.

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders

It’s a fact that organ damage is a result of excessive alcohol use. Still, those who seek rehab to stop abusing alcohol can be successful in managing health issues with medical supervision.

Therapy begins with an assessment from healthcare professionals to determine physical and mental health issues. Understanding each individual’s complete picture is vital before starting the detoxification process. Detoxing from alcohol can be challenging to endure.

Medically managed detox from alcohol is imperative for safe and effective detoxification. 

Withdrawal symptoms from ending alcohol use can be uncomfortable and medically challenging to monitor. Symptoms can be extreme, and if delirium tremens develop, it may be life-threatening.

When choosing a rehab center for ending an alcohol use disorder, it is essential to find experienced healthcare professionals who understand how difficult alcohol detox can be.

Find Professional Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorders in Tennessee

Do you question weather you need rehab or not? Concerns for alcohol and vital organ damage are realistic, and those seeking treatment to end an AUD need experience in every aspect of treatment.

Freeman Recovery Center in Nashville, Tennessee, specializes in treating alcohol use disorder with a comprehensive and compassionate approach. Our alcohol rehab program is designed to address the complexities of alcoholism through a combination of evidence-based therapies and personalized care plans. By integrating expert testimonials, we showcase our proven track record in helping individuals achieve lasting sobriety. Our dedicated team of professionals employs a variety of treatment modalities, including individual counseling, group therapy, and medical detoxification, to ensure each patient receives holistic care tailored to their unique needs. At Freeman Recovery Center, we’re committed to guiding you on your journey to recovery, restoring hope, and empowering you to reclaim your life.

We offer safe and effective alcohol detox programs with various options for rehab and options for group and individual therapy programs. Evidence-based therapies are proven to be successful and beneficial for relapse prevention.
Contact Freeman Recovery Center today to make an appointment for an assessment.

What is Meth Mouth?

Methamphetamine misuse can have devastating effects on overall health, but those abusing meth develop meth mouth, which can lead to many other dental health concerns.

Additionally, methamphetamine is acidic and corrosive, which can trigger bad breath, tooth decay, gum problems, and loss of teeth. Painful infections can occur and lead to further oral disease. Some experience an urge to grind their teeth, which can cause further damage. Methamphetamine addiction can be very challenging to achieve, but it is possible to be successful

How Meth Mouth Develops

Meth mouth results from methamphetamine abuse and can develop quickly from the toxins in meth affecting oral hygiene. Abuse extending throughout the year can result in cavities, infections, swelling, pain, chipped and loose teeth, and periodontal disease from dry mouth.

The immune system does not work correctly due to the abuse, poor diet, and damage to the system from meth, and cannot protect against dental disease. Unfortunately, meth mouth is not curable and can lead to loss of teeth and extensive dental work.

Tooth decay is the primary sign of the development of meth mouth, but there are indicators to watch for initially. Teeth develop persistent, unremovable stains. Meth harms the salivary glands by shrinking the blood vessels of the mouth, causing dry mouth. This is the driving factor of meth mouth, the dryness of the mouth, combined with high acidic levels, attacks the teeth.

Research shown by the American Dental Association shows the following statistics from 571 methamphetamine users:

  • 96% of the users had cavities
  • 58% of the users had untreated tooth decay
  • Only 23% retained all their natural teeth
  • 89% of male users in the group study were suffering from periodontitis
  • 85% of female users in the group study were suffering from periodontitis
  • Cigarette smokers had higher rates of decay and tooth loss
  • 31% had 6 or more missing teeth

Heavy meth users are over 4 times more likely to develop meth mouth and 3 times more likely to have broken teeth. Dry mouth induces drinking more liquids, and in the case of meth users, a craving develops for sweetened drinks.

Consequently, meth users also disregard personal hygiene, including brushing and flossing their teeth. The combination of all factors contributes to meth mouth.

Signs of Meth Mouth

The medical diagnosis for dry mouth, xerostomia, contributes to breaking down the enamel on the teeth, reducing their protective component. Methamphetamine use can also cause anxiety, restlessness, and nervousness, causing the user to grind and clench their teeth.

This contributes to teeth breaking and falling out. A high percentage of those who abuse meth do not seek dental care, and often the deterioration is irreversible.

Signs someone could be experiencing meth mouth include:

  • Dry mouth or Cottonmouth
  • Gum disease
  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tooth decay
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Cravings for sugary drinks
  • Stained teeth
  • Inconsistent dental hygiene

Stages of Meth Mouth

The stages of meth mouth are significant and distinctive to the pathway of irreversible damage. The physical and mental side effects of abusing meth go hand in hand with neglect of dental hygiene. Anxiety, paranoia, and stress can induce clenching of the jaw and grinding teeth. Then, dry mouth drives an intense craving for sugary drinks.

The stages of meth mouth include the following:

  • First stage: staining of the teeth, dry mouth, and bad breath
  • Second stage: tooth decay and teeth change shape, sores in mouth
  • Third stage: tooth fractures and loss, gum disease, and sores

Effects of Meth Mouth

Those with meth mouth that still have their teeth most likely have only rotten teeth remaining. Many experience lesions on the inner surface of the mouth, prevalent gum diseases, and teeth grinding.

Difficulties with teeth, pain in the mouth, and toothlessness do not encourage a healthy diet. Chewing problems are also present from rigidity in the oral cavity and jaw. Infections in the mouth and jaw as a result of not taking care of the decay can cause terrible pain.

As such, infections can move throughout the body and affect other organs causing you too need medical attention such as detox. Unfortunately, most dental problems are irreversible. Other physical issues from untreated infection throughout the body can be severe.

Can Meth Mouth be Reversed?

When meth mouth begins, if the drug use stops with professional help, teeth may be able to remain intact. The critical factor is seeking assistance before decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and infection become too severe.

Extensive dental work may have to take place if usage continues. Mouth guards can help with grinding, and dentures or veneers could improve the situation of lost teeth.

How Detox Helps

Methamphetamine addiction can be very challenging to achieve, but it is possible to be successful. Medication-assisted treatment is helpful for withdrawal symptoms to be manageable. The taper method may be an option for treatment professionals, but medical supervision is essential.

Whatever technique the recovery team chooses, the remaining treatment is critical once the medical detox is complete. The second part of treatment is hard work to make long-term changes and set new life goals. Behavioral therapies can help to form new coping mechanisms, individual therapy, and group therapy programs can reach deep into the roots of addiction.
Dental evaluations can begin and begin the changes for dental repair and leaving the effects of meth behind. Leaving dental caries behind and achieving the best dental hygiene possible is a great way to start sober living.

Find the Road to Recovery from Methamphetamine Addiction in Tennessee

Methamphetamine abuse can be challenging to recover from, but leaving the problem of meth mouth behind can be encouraging. While there is no cure for the damage that has been done, Freeman Recovery Center has the best professional detox to begin recovery. Further treatment options are available to learn how to live a positive and sober lifestyle.

Freeman Recovery Center, nestled in Nashville, Tennessee, offers comprehensive rehabilitation services meticulously tailored to address a wide spectrum of substance use disorders. Our specialized programs cater to individuals battling alcohol addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, opioid addiction, benzo addiction, and prescription drug addiction. By combining evidence-based practices with holistic care, we deliver empathetic and professional support that focuses on the unique needs of each patient. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where teenagers and their parents feel encouraged and empowered to overcome addiction, achieve lasting recovery, and rebuild their lives with confidence and resilience.

Contact Freeman Recovery Center today to find the true potential for the best outcomes.

Most Commonly Abused Prescription Drugs

The most commonly abused prescription drugs treat legitimate treatment of chronic pain, illness, and mental health conditions. Unfortunately, many of the prescription drugs in medicine cabinets across the country are misused and abused, leading to addiction.

It is a disturbing fact that misuse and abuse can be unintentional and lead to severe problems. Therefore, educating the public concerning the dangers of prescription drugs is vital. Teaching people how to properly use them can lead to developing a substance use disorder is imperative to help create sober living.

Prescription Drug Abuse Overview

Prescription drug use is at an all-time high in the United States, with opioids leading the list of commonly abused prescription drugs. Chronic pain, mental health conditions, and sleep and weight disorders have prescription drug treatment involving medicines that can quickly lead to an abusive habit.

Non-compliance with drug regimens and the lack of physician oversight in the number of prescriptions patients receive are significant and complex problems. Again, education and individual responsibility for the treatment of these conditions must increase to begin to reduce the chance of addiction.

Opioid Prescription Medications

Opioid medications are natural and synthetic compounds containing chemicals that relax the body and relieve pain. According to The Centers for Disease Control, in 2021, there were approximately 51.6 million people who were experiencing chronic pain. 17.1 million people with high-impact chronic pain, which indicates substantial limitations on daily activities. While there is a considerable need for treatment for chronic pain, these opioids are commonly abused prescription drugs.

Commonly Abused Prescription Opioids

Commonly abused prescription drugs in the opioid class include the following information from the Drug Enforcement Agency:

  • Fentanyl: Brand names Actiq® and Duragesic® dispensed in lozenges, patches, and tablet form. Fentanyl is the treatment for intense pain, usually for cancer patients.
  • Hydrocodone: The brand name Vicodin® Lortab and Lorcet is generally dispensed in tablet, capsule, or liquid forms for treating moderate to severe pain; hydrocodone is one of the most widely prescribed and abused prescription drugs.
  • Methadone: Brand name Dolophine® and Methadose® available in liquid, powder, and diskette form, methadone is for pain management or treatment of cravings and withdrawal from a substance inaddiction treatment programs.
  • Morphine: Brand name MS Contin®, Kadian®, Avinza®, Roxanol®, and Duramorph® for treatment of pain, morphine comes in tablets, capsules, and injectable form.
  • Oxycodone: Brand names Percocet®, Percodan®, Oxycontin®, and Oxycodone® are typically administered orally or injectable for pain management in moderate to severe pain.
  • Codeine: Brand names Empirin w/Codeine, Fiorinal w/Codeine, Robitussin A-C, and Tylenol w/Codeine, forms of ingestion are swallowed in combination with other drugs and injected to treat cough and moderate pain.
  • Hydromorphone: The brand name Dilaudid® is administered in tablets or injectables for pain management.
  • Meperidine: Brand name Demerol® with oral or injectable administration for moderate to severe pain.
  • Oxymorphone: Brand name Opana® with tablets or time-released capsules for managing moderate to severe pain.

Effects of Prescription Opioids

Opioids are among the commonly abused prescription drugs that cause respiratory problems that result in starving the brain of oxygen. Hypoxia can have both short and long-term psychological and neurological effects that can lead to permanent brain damage and potential death.

Unintentional misuse occurs when tolerance for the drug develops, requiring a higher dosage for the same results to appear. Withdrawal from these drugs can be uncomfortable and lead you to need a professional detox program. 


The Drug Enforcement Agency reports benzodiazepines depress the central nervous system and impact the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid, thereby decreasing brain activity.

Benzodiazepines are prescription drugs for the treatment of anxiety, muscle spasms, and seizures. Unintentional misuse and abuse can develop quickly from building a tolerance to the dosage. Therefore, physicians need to monitor their patients who are using benzos.

They are commonly abused prescription drugs and include the following information, including street names for the drugs:

  • Alprazolam: Brand name Xanax® presents in pill form for the treatment of anxiety and panic disorders.
  • Lorazepam: The brand name Ativan® is available in liquid, pill, and extended-release capsule form for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, and situational extreme stress, i.e., before a medical procedure.
  • Clonazepam: The brand name Klonopin® available in tablets for treating panic, seizure disorders, and insomnia.
  • Diazepam: The brand name Valium® is available in tablets to treat anxiety, seizures, muscle spasms, and twitching.
  • Temazepam: Brand name Restoril® is available for oral administration in capsules to treat insomnia.
  • Triazolam: The brand name is Halcion®, and is available in tablets for the treatment of insomnia.
  • Chlordiazepoxide: The brand name is Librium®, and is ingested through pills and capsules to treat anxiety, insomnia, and withdrawal symptoms from abuse of alcohol or other substances.


Z-drugs opened in the drug market in the 1990s, these prescription drugs are only approved for the treatment of insomnia. The risks are high with these drugs for adverse reactions if taken with other drugs or alcohol.
Misuse of these prescription drugs can cause accidents or injuries because of impairment. Additionaly, these sedatives are among the commonly abused prescription drugs that are dangerous if used other than directed.

  • Zolpidem: Brand name Ambien® taken by capsules for treating insomnia.
  • Zaleplon: Brand name Sonata® taken by capsules for treating insomnia.
  • Eszopiclone: Brand name Lunesta® taken by capsules for treating insomnia.

Prescription Stimulants

An escalation of unintentional abuse of prescription drugs is presenting new challenges for pharmacists and physicians while destroying lifestyles. Behavioral changes occur as tolerance increases for the drug, and to support their drug habit, users experience frustration when the prescription is not enough.

Seeking new avenues for the acquisition of additional prescription stimulants may induce doctor shopping or seeking drugs from friends or on the streets. Unfortunately, some people invent new problems to receive other legitimate prescription drugs.

Long-term prescription stimulants can include the following:

  • Amphetamine: The brands Adzenys XR-ODT® and Dyanavel XR® available in tablets for treating ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity.
  • Dexmethylphenidate: The brand Focalin XR® available in capsules for treating ADHD.
  • Amphetamine/Dextroamphetamine: The brand Adderall XR® available in oral administration for treating ADHD.
  • Lisdexamfetamine: The brand Vyvanse® administration by tablet for treating ADHD and binge-eating disorder.
  • Methylphenidate: The brands Concerta®, Daytrana®, Jornay PM®, Metadate CD®, Quillivant XR®, Quillichew ER®, and Ritalin LA® tablet administration for treating ADHD and narcolepsy.


Antidepressants such as Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, and Paxil are all prescription drugs available for treating mental health conditions. These commonly abused prescription drugs can cause adverse complications when there is misuse or abuse.

Many people taking these prescriptions for negative symptoms of a mental health condition may experience similar symptoms from the abuse. Seeking help through a mental health professional or prescribing physician can initiate detox and a new treatment regimen for the mental health disorder.

Find Hope for Prescription Drugs in Tennessee

The problem of misuse and abuse of prescription drugs is widespread, and those developing a substance use disorder can receive successful treatment. Freeman Recovery Center in Tennessee offers professional detox and further treatment options for prescription drug abuse. Evidence-based therapies are available to learn new coping mechanisms to maintain sobriety.

We offer comprehensive rehabilitation services meticulously tailored to address a wide spectrum of substance use disorders. Our specialized programs cater to individuals battling alcohol addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, benzo addiction, and prescription drug addiction. By combining evidence-based practices with holistic care, we deliver empathetic and professional support that focuses on the unique needs of each patient. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where teenagers and their parents feel encouraged and empowered to overcome addiction, achieve lasting recovery, and rebuild their lives with confidence and resilience.

Contact the center today to receive encouraging news on beginning a recovery program.

The Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Researchers have volumes of information concerning the effects of alcohol abuse, as it is the most common substance abuse in the United States today. Despite the illuminating data on the seriousness of alcohol abuse, the problem persists, and new cases develop daily.

For many people, alcohol abuse is unintentional, with social acceptance of drinking alcohol recreationally. Unfortunately, addiction continues to be widespread, although it is easily recognizable, and the effects are well-known and understood.

One of the most painful effects alcohol has is changing the personality and behavior of those suffering from an alcohol use disorder. Raising awareness is potentially life-saving, and understanding how to identify and address the adverse effects of this illness is critical to help create sober living.

Alcohol Abuse Overview

Making a blanket statement concerning the amount of alcohol consumption required to result in an alcohol use disorder is impossible. Every person has a different metabolism and processes alcohol according to specific personal factors. However, the effects of alcohol abuse can impact overall health by leading to chronic disease, organ damage, health problems, and death.

Psychological and physical deterioration is evident to friends and family, but still, alcohol dependence is challenging to overcome independently and distances those closest to its victim.

The reason why people drink alcohol can be a determining factor in whether an addiction could develop. The effects of alcohol abuse typically come to light through how alcohol affects a person’s lifestyle and relationships.

Trends develop, such as binge drinking in teenagers and young adults, where socially it’s acceptable to drink large amounts of alcohol. In reality, those who resort to binge drinking, identified by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) as an emerging trend called high-intensity drinking, have underlying issues that alcohol use helps to numb or hide for a while. “High-intensity drinking is the consumption of alcohol at levels that are two or more times the gender-specific drinking thresholds.”

For women, 4 or more drinks per session, and for men, 5 or more are thresholds, but over 15 drinks a week is excessive. Life issues such as excessive stressors, relationship problems, financial trouble, precarious occupational situations, and unresolved emotions and feelings can be the initial reasons for drinking alcohol. Unfortunately, projecting how habitual drinking patterns become uncontrollable addictions is challenging.

For those who lose control of their drinking habit, tolerance builds for alcohol, and what once required one or two drinks to feel more okay could transpire into three, four, or five drinks in a short period. As tolerance increases, dependence will occur, brain chemistry depends on alcohol use to maintain, and physical factors follow, showing the effects of alcohol abuse.

Short-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

The short-term effects of alcohol abuse differ for each person because everyone metabolizes alcohol differently. It is easy to identify the short-term effects because they are not the usual behavior people exhibit.

Additionally, it may be challenging to pinpoint the cause of behavioral changes, but if alcohol is in hand, it’s apparent. Dangerous situations can develop once this level of change occurs.

Short-term effects of alcohol abuse could include the following:

  • Euphoria or giddiness
  • Change in mood and impulsive behavior
  • Lowered inhibitions and lack of focus
  • Difficulty in making decisions
  • Slowed or slurred speech
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Loss of consciousness and blackouts

Long-Term Effects of Alcohol Abuse

Untreated, the long-term effects of alcohol abuse are significant and can be challenging or impossible to reverse. All of the body’s major organs are affected by excessive long-term drinking. Relationships suffer, and lifestyles take a drastic change for the worse.

Without long term treatment for an alcohol use disorder, serious complications can occur, resulting in cancer, delirium tremens, trauma, or death.

The following symptoms occur from the long-term abuse of alcohol:

  • Heart issues (high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and stroke)
  • Liver damage (inflammation, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis)
  • Kidney damage points to kidney failure and chronic kidney disease
  • Pancreatic problems that include inflammation, swelling of blood vessels that hinder proper digestion
  • Immune system problems that could lead to tuberculosis and pneumonia
  • Cancer (breast, mouth, esophagus, throat, larynx, colon, stomach, rectum, and pancreas)

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms

The effects of alcohol abuse can occur when an individual attempts to stop drinking or decreases the amount of alcohol they use. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms can occur within a few hours of not drinking.

In many cases, individuals who want to stop drinking, cannot withstand the intensity of the symptoms that occur and begin drinking again. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms affect an individual both mentally and physically and can be life-threatening.

Mild alcohol withdrawal symptoms occur just hours after the last drink and can include the following:

  • Anxiety and shakiness
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating profusely
  • Insomnia

More severe or intense withdrawal symptoms begin within 12-48 hours of the last drink:

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizures
  • Racing heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Confusion and heavy sweating
  • Delirium tremens

Delirium Tremens

The most severe symptoms of ethanol withdrawal are delirium tremens. Delirium tremens can be life-threatening if not medically managed. Trained professionals can identify the intense symptoms and put a plan of action together to treat the DTs, should it occur during detoxification. Without treatment, the outcome could be adverse and includes the possibility of death.

Symptoms of delirium tremens include:

  • Visual and auditory hallucinations
  • Whole body tremors
  • Vomiting
  • Diaphoresis
  • Hypertension
  • Seizures
  • Agitation and global confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Fever
  • Autonomic hyperactivity

Treatment and Detox for Alcohol Abuse

Treatment for an alcohol use disorder begins with the desire to seek help and treatment. Once an individual decides to attend treatment, it is vital to find a center offering medically monitored detox from alcohol.

Options for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is another essential program to look for. It is vitally important to enlist the services of a professionally qualified center to detox and receive treatment to prevent relapse and medical complications.

Get Medically Monitored Detox for Alcoholism in Tennessee

Alcohol use disorder is a severe addiction with a complex withdrawal process. Freeman Recovery Center in Tennessee provides medically monitored detoxification from alcohol and continued treatment for recovery from addiction. Offering a number of options to meet the patient’s needs, Freeman Recovery Center is aware of the challenges each individual faces.

We specialize in treating alcohol use disorder with a comprehensive and compassionate approach. Our alcohol rehab program is designed to address the complexities of alcoholism through a combination of evidence-based therapies and personalized case management care plans. By integrating expert testimonials, we showcase our proven track record in helping individuals achieve lasting sobriety. Our dedicated team of professionals employs a variety of treatment modalities, including individual counseling, group therapy, and medical detoxification, to ensure each patient receives holistic care tailored to their unique needs. At Freeman Recovery Center, we’re committed to guiding you on your journey to recovery, restoring hope, and empowering you to reclaim your life.

Contact the center for additional information and to schedule an assessment today.


Stages of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is a highly addictive stimulant substance made from the coca plant. Illegal in the United States, the development of a cocaine addiction can depend upon the ingestion method. Cocaine can be snorted, ingested, or smoked as crack cocaine, the fastest way to develop a habit. Typically, users follow stages of cocaine addiction, resulting in a change in brain chemistry, intense cravings for the drug, and the possibility of overdosing.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association’s Annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health states 1.4 million people over 12 had a cocaine use disorder in the past year of 2021. Cocaine sends high dopamine levels into the brain’s parts responsible for controlling pleasure.

Overall, cocaine addiction develops because the drug induces an intense high with increased energy levels and alertness. A desirable level of happiness and extreme sensitivity to touch, sounds, and sight seem to outweigh the adverse irritability, paranoia, and angry outbursts.

Dangers of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine addiction can cause negative side effects involving brain chemistry and affecting significant organs. The brain adapts to the changes made in brain chemistry and requires more substantial doses to achieve the same desired effect as addiction escalates.

Heart, lung, and stomach problems develop the longer the addiction lasts. As the stages of cocaine addiction progress, the user finds it more challenging to sleep, which additionally creates cognitive and memory difficulties.

Stage 1: Experimental and Recreational Use

Typically, curiosity is the cause of initially trying cocaine, and because of this fact, some people never use it again after the first use. Depending on the age group, some people try to fit in, and others may participate recreationally at parties or get-togethers.

After only a few usages, most people have no adverse consequences and have no intention of developing a cocaine addiction. Other reasons for using cocaine could be self-medication for depression or anxiety, which can result in chronic use.

Stage 2: Dependence Develops

As the stages of cocaine addiction develop, continual experimentation and recreational use can lead to regular use. Regular use may not be daily, but perhaps every weekend or whenever a group gets together. As usage increases, the use habit develops, and changes can occur possibly thinking about help or therapy. Suddenly the user shifts into using the drug when alone and for certain reasons, like fatigue.

Although addiction is not present, thoughts develop about using cocaine more often. During this second stage, cocaine begins to affect lifestyle and relationships negatively. Quitting is still an option, but cocaine addiction is not far from developing. As regular usage increases, dependence grows.

Stage 3: Abuse or Risky Use

Once users reach this stage, they use more than ever. Negative consequences begin to interfere with daily life affecting work, relationships, school, and every aspect of life.

Behavior changes occur, and although the user may not realize it, red flags appear in all aspects. If usage decreases or stops, withdrawal symptoms develop because dependence is present.

Risky behaviors occur with cocaine abuse. The following behaviors indicate cocaine abuse is evident:

  • Financial problems occur, causing the user to ask for money, or stealing becomes acceptable
  • Users will ignore all responsibilities
  • The need to believe they are hiding the use of cocaine
  • Hiding drugs in convenient places
  • Developing a new group of friends
  • A loss of interest in once-important activities occurs

Stage 4: Addiction and Withdrawal

The last of the stages of cocaine addiction, stage 4, represents total reliance on the drug. Typically, addiction is psychological and physical. Withdrawal symptoms occur when usage dwindles or stops. These symptoms are challenging, so users believe they must continue using the drug to end the symptoms.
Cocaine addiction takes control of the individual and every thought and choice they make. At this point, addiction is at a crisis stage and a severe threat to the mind and body. Overdose is an ever-present risk, and most people with cocaine addiction are at rock bottom in stage 4. In these desperate moments, people with this addiction may want to seek help and wonder what happens in rehab

Health Effects of Cocaine Abuse

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, cocaine addiction affects the reward pathways in the brain. Negative effects on mood occur when drug usage decreases or ends, causing displeasure and elevation of sensitivity. Tolerance continually develops in cocaine addiction and with increasing dosages, overdose is a high risk.

High-increased doses of cocaine can cause irritability, restlessness, panic attacks, paranoia, and psychosis. It is not uncommon for users with frequent use of high dosages to develop auditory hallucinations. Users who snort cocaine can lose the sense of smell, develop severe nosebleeds, and have problems swallowing.

Smoking crack produces lung damage and can worsen existing cases of asthma. Lung damage from smoking crack can cause significant lung disease. Cocaine addiction can affect the gastrointestinal tract by reducing blood flow, leading to tears and ulcers. Weight loss and malnutrition often occur as a result of loss of appetite.

Heart problems can occur from cocaine addiction and the risk of stroke increases. Neurological problems occur with long-term use as well as movement disorders. Recovery from cocaine addiction can be challenging with a high risk of relapse.

Treatment for Cocaine Addiction

Medical detox is the first step of treatment for cocaine addiction. Clearing the body of the toxic effects of cocaine can be managed with a medically monitored professional detox program. Each detox is a personal process and can range in time from a few days to months.

Overcoming the withdrawal symptoms can be managed by the medical team and overcoming the strong cravings for the drug is manageable by the mental health team. Drug Rehab is a strong recommendation for cocaine addiction after a successful detox. Individual therapy using cognitive-behavioral therapy is an evidence-based process of learning new coping behaviors to overcome cravings and address emotions and feelings.

Group and family therapy are proven methods for understanding how to live a sober lifestyle while repairing relationships damaged during the addiction. Relapse prevention information helps to address thoughts of using after rehab.

There Is Hope for Successful Cocaine Treatment in Tennessee

The stages of cocaine addiction can lead to the destruction of all factors of life. For those who are seeking treatment for cocaine addiction, Freeman Recovery Center in Tennessee offers detox and several rehab options. Healing from this devastating addiction is possible and the compassionate staff is aware of how challenging rehab can be.

We offer comprehensive rehabilitation services meticulously tailored to address a wide spectrum of substance use disorders. Our specialized programs cater to individuals battling alcohol addiction, drug addiction, cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, meth addiction, benzo addiction, and prescription drug addiction. By combining evidence-based practices with holistic care, we deliver empathetic and professional support that focuses on the unique needs of each patient. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where teenagers and their parents feel encouraged and empowered to overcome addiction, achieve lasting recovery, and rebuild their lives with confidence and resilience.

Contact Freeman Recovery Center today and find help to begin sober living.