Anxiety Medications And The Human Brain

Anxiety Medications And The Human Brain

Anxiety Medications And The Human Brain

We all get normal bouts of anxiety from time to time, which often come in the form of fear, panic attacks, phobia, or social anxiety when we are going through a stressful situation. While there is the difference between anxiety disorders and normal anxiety isn’t always clear, you will know that your everyday anxiety has crossed the line into a disorder that has taken over your life when you experience the following symptoms on a regular basis, and you may need to seek immediate medical advice;

  • Having persistent anxious thoughts that last more than 6 months
  • Being incredibly restless and irritable
  • Finding yourself lying awake, worried or agitated about specific problems
  • Having an irrational, overwhelming, or disruptive fear attached to a specific situation or thing such as crowds, flying, or animals
  • Near-constant muscle tension
  • Chronic digestive problems such as Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Experiencing a sudden, gripping feeling of fear and helplessness that can last for several minutes, accompanied by scary physical symptoms such as breathing problems, heart palpitations, sweating or flushing
  • Persistent self-doubt and second-guessing yourself and much more

We are all vulnerable to mild anxiety, which can be a tad disconcerting, but severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating. There is a range of coping mechanisms and approaches to alleviate this disorder. Aside from relaxation techniques, second-line treatment, anti-anxiety medications such as Xanax, Zoloft, or Valium are effective in relieving symptoms of anxiety, such as panic attacks, or extreme fear and worry.

However, it is not uncommon for people to build up a tolerance to Xanax if they are taken over a long period of time or even become dependent on them and when use is discontinued abruptly, people will show withdrawal symptoms, such as high blood pressure, shaking, intense anxiety, which in severe cases may lead to death.

This because while these medications are approved for the treatment of anxiety disorders, they fall into the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) category of medications known to increase serotonin in the brain and regulate mood, sleep, appetite, and digestion.

And while this is generally great for reducing symptoms associated with anxiety and depression, prolonged usage of antidepressants has been shown to result in changes in the structure of neurons and cause destructive outcomes such as a reduced blood clotting capacity, a worsening of anxiety symptoms, treatment-induced sexual dysfunction, drowsiness, insomnia, long-term weight gain, as well as increased suicidal behavior in both children and young adults.

Additionally, patients taking SSRIs have been shown to develop insomnia, joint and muscle pain, headaches, skin rashes, nausea, stomach upset, and diarrhea.

Prescription anti-anxiety medications may have a calming effect on individuals with anxiety and many people report feeling a great deal of improvement from them, but medications that are designed to have an impact on the neurotransmitter activity of the brain will often times lead to drug abuse or dependence. It is, therefore, important to discuss with your doctor about the potential problems and side effects of these drugs.

Meth and the Brain

Meth and the Brain

Meth and the brain

Methamphetamine aka meth is one of the worst drugs that are being abused in today’s society by individuals of different ages and statuses. As much as the brain may be made to be resilient and tough, the toxicity and stress levels that are brought about by meth abuse are very intense. One of several drugs that has been classified as a central nervous system stimulant. The brain is normally affected in severe ways in which it may take up to years to actually recover fully in the event that one actually comes all the way back. Users of the specific drug need to understand that the injuries it causes are often times permanent and severe to both the body and the mind.

Abusers of the specific drug normally try to find different ways in which they may consume the drug to achieve a high like no other. The next dosage always has to feel better than the previous one. This then leads to addiction of the drug which is basically one reaching the point where they cannot function well without using.

Various issues are normally associated with the extreme use of the drug and this may lead to it affecting the Central Nervous system which is inclusive of the brain and the spinal cord which basically control most of the things in the human body. Some short term damages that may occur to the brain and the whole CNS include:

The increased death of neurons as the chronic use of methamphetamine is known to kill most neuron in the body. The toxicity of the chemicals used to produce the drug normally attack the neurons in the body hence making them regenerate at a slow pace which after being damaged are actually not recoverable. This then may lead to brain damage as it affects the hippocampus, striatum, parietal cortex, frontal and prefrontal cortex, a number of subcortical structure and the cerebellum.

Nevertheless, it may also lead to the decreased production of the white matter, glycogenesis, levels of dopamine and serotonin transporters, increase of glutamate calcium in the brain, increased damage to the dendrites and neurons, damage of the cytoskeletal and circulatory system of the brain among many other effects.

In the long run an increased use of the drug may result in the in various cognitive effects such as one may have problems with paying attention, memory loss, movement issues, emotional control, paranoia, hallucinations, violent behaviors, psychological or psychiatric issues and judgment and problem solving just to mention but a few.

As for pregnant women, the use of meth during pregnancy may end up damaging the child’s brain as it is very sensitive. One may actually end up having problems dealing with normal issues as well as may cause the child to have slow responses in various thing and may affect even their performance in school.

Hence, in the event that one has a member of their family or even friend affected by the drug, then there is need for them to take action before things get out of hand and one ends up reaching a point of no return. There is still hope if treated early.

Opioid Addiction and the Brain

Opioid Addiction and the Brain

Opioid Addiction and the Brain

Opioids are drugs such as morphine, OxyContin, percocet, Vicodin, and Demerol among others that are pain medication legally prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain. Cocaine, methamphetamines, ecstasy, LSD, GHB, Ketamine, heroin, club drugs, or steroids are also opioids but illegal. Opioid drugs work by inhibiting the intensity of pain-signal perception through attaching to opioid protein receptors in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, spinal cord and other organs in the body.

Despite sparse evidence for their effectiveness when used long-term, frequent use of opioids has physically changed the brain to the point where it needs more of them to function normally, and users often become physically dependent, which in some cases can lead to addiction. This is because, in addition to alleviating chronic pain, opioids also activate reward regions in the brain, causing the euphoria very similar to heroin that increases the risk of addiction and overdose even in those who follow their prescription to a tee.

Case and point: a drug such as OxyContin is commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe pain, but according to the Controlled Substances Act, OxyContin is classified as a Schedule II drug because it produces extreme positive feelings of euphoria, sedation, relaxation, reduced anxiety and rewarding sensations in the user, which has a high potential for misuse or overdose when used recreationally. In fact, a significantly slowed respiratory rate can quickly turn life-threatening, especially in overdose circumstances.

While physical dependence is predictable in most cases, not everyone who takes opioids becomes addicted to the euphoria they produce, even those on high doses for long periods of time. In fact, some users develop a condition known as opioid –induced hyperalgesia (OIH) whereby patients become increasingly sensitive to pain as a result of treatment with opioids.

Any addiction forms as a result of repeated stimulation of the brain’s reward system. The unusual levels of opioid stimulation exceed what the brain is equipped to handle at any given time and as a result, alters the brain and produce persistent cravings for opioids.

The brain construes the abundance of euphoric-releasing opioids as a positive familiarity necessary for the body’s survival. And as would be expected in the path of addiction, the development of tolerance and physical dependence occurs, and as tolerance increases, the body’s ability to maintain this stability is outdone, and the body becomes increasingly reliant on the drugs.

The physiological adaptations to chronic exposure to a drug are what leads to dependence and are not really part of addiction. Addiction, on the other hand, involves various changes in the altered brain biology and is distinguished by a very obsessive drug seeking, the inability to control drug use, and a compulsive drug use that prompt the destructive behaviors of addiction.

Misuse of prescription opioids is a risk factor for transitioning to heroin use and other life-threatening drugs. Building a new life which is not connected to drug addiction is a challenging task only a good counselor or therapist can guide anyone through.

Addiction; A Brain Disease

Addiction; A Brain Disease

Imagine telling a person that they have a relapsing brain disease because they are an alcoholic or a drug addict? In fact, how does one know that they have an addiction in the first place because there is really nothing wrong about having fun and feeling enjoyment anyway, right? Well, there are a series of conditions you can use to determine the severity of addictive behaviors that involve chemical dependency such as:

  • How much priority you give to either drugs or alcohol consumption
  • Does taking drugs make you feel better, more in control or does not taking them make you feel worse?
  • How often do you take drugs and how long can you stay without them?
  • What are your initial emotional and physical response, do you feel anxious or panicked without them?
  • Has doing drugs or consuming alcohol disrupted your life and your relationships and have you lost interest in things you once liked to do?

All of these signs point to a much bigger problem – addiction. It takes center stage over your better judgment and negatively impacts the quality and health of your life by controlling your impulses, pleasures, anxieties, fears, or your preferences.

Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disorder characterized by taking a drug more often than the prescription calls for or an obsessive drug seeking and use. Scientific research shows that all drugs of abuse have some unique mechanisms of addiction that are tied to changes in brain structure and function. Drugs change the process of communication between nerve cells in the brain, ultimately altering a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

For instance, a drug like fentanyl is typically used to treat patients with chronic pain or to manage pain after a surgical procedure. However, people can now get street fentanyl, produced in surreptitious laboratories and are often mixed with heroin or cocaine, then sold in powder form or spiked on blotter paper to either be swallowed, snorted, or injected. High doses of potent opioids such as fentanyl can mimic the physical effects similar to those of heroin that may lead to respiratory arrest, unconsciousness, coma, or death.

Another extremely toxic and dreadful drug that produces an initial rush of euphoria and a massive boost of energy is methamphetamine. The long-term health effects of this drug are neither glamorous nor beneficial, because, in addition to the adverse damage to a user’s physical appearance, meth releases a flood of dopamine nearly four times more than cocaine that not only destroys the body’s dopamine receptors and the ability to experience pleasure, but it also impairs motor coordination similar to those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Heavy use of meth also leads to behavioral changes and psychotic propensities including paranoia, aggression, hallucinations, and delusion, while others become socially isolated as their addiction deteriorates. As meth use increases, an addict’s body becomes more susceptible to diseases that lead to death. Therefore, understanding addiction as a brain disease may help us all grasp the plight of those struggling with dependency.

The Opioid Epidemic and Its Effects on Americans Life Expectancy

The Opioid Epidemic and Its Effects on Americans Life Expectancy

Drug-related deaths caused by opioid overdose are rising faster than ever particularly for Americans under the age of 50. Suffice it to say that while any addiction lowers any life expectancy significantly, continued use and abuse of prescription medication that acts on the nervous system to relieve pain can lead to physical dependency and severe withdrawal symptoms.

OxyContin, Vicodin, Codeine, Methadone, Roxanol, Demarol, Percocet, Ritalin, you name them and probably someone you know has used and abused them knowingly or unknowingly. Opiate addiction is a fast-growing issue, and the addiction can develop in a matter of one to two weeks of regular use but this does not stop the over prescription of opioid painkillers being sold in pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices to unsuspecting Americans who as research would show, 91 people, die every day from prescription opioid and overdoses.

Prescription opioids are used to manage moderate to severe pain associated with surgery or injury such as back pain or osteoarthritis or health conditions such as cancer. Despite serious risks or evidence in their long-term effectiveness in alleviating pain, there has been an unrestrained increase in the acceptance and use of prescription opioids.

Drug-related overdoses have killed more American people than vehicular accidents or guns. This because the body becomes accustomed to the presence of the drug and withdrawal symptoms occur if use is reduced or stopped and to avoid feeling sick, people will either up the dosage and some reported cases, combining them with drugs such as heroin or even alcohol to get a quicker fix.

Because opioid receptors regulate pain, which makes them powerful painkillers, they are debilitatingly addictive, and in addition to the serious risks of addiction, abuse, and overdose, whether taken as prescribed, opioid dependency has a number of physical side effects and withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Increased sensitivity to pain tolerance
  • Symptoms of withdrawal when the medication is stopped
  • Dry mouth, severe nausea, and vomiting
  • Chills, shivers, itching and profuse sweating
  • Confusion and depression
  • Sleepiness and dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Lower sex drive, energy, and strength
  • Hallucinations
  • Dilated pupils
  • Body tremors
  • Feelings of hostility or paranoia
  • Dangerously high body temperatures and irregular heartbeat
  • Suicidal thoughts

Opioids are vital, and when used appropriately they can improve the quality of life, particularly for cancer patients and those with suffering from debilitating pain, but it is a losing battle when weighed against the risks of overdose and addiction. Even though withdrawals aren’t necessarily fatal, there are cases of deaths during the withdrawal phase that occurs either from severe dehydration that leads to electrolyte disturbance or when the throes of withdrawal destabilize the addict’s body, leaving it susceptible to various health complication.

There is a lot being done to raise awareness of the American opiate dilemma because not many know that it is an epidemic on the rise and those people in the bondage of opiate and drug addiction can also seek treatment, specifically detox as well as opiate replacement therapy.

Does Your Child Suffer From Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Does Your Child Suffer From Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) is a term used to describe a range of conditions that occur to a person whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy. People that suffer from this may have physical problems or suffer from impaired vision and hearing. Also, they tend to have difficulty in learning and communicating.

In a nutshell, the effects are usually physical and mental problems. There are various types of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum disorders, yet, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is considered the most severe.

Causes of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

When a baby is a womb, it is still developing its organs, regardless of the trimester. That includes organs such as the brain and the liver. That said, when the mother consumes the alcohol, it passes through the placenta to the baby.

Due to the baby’s undeveloped liver, the alcohol is not well processed by the baby. Hence, the ability to cause physical damage to the baby’s organs. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy is also known to cause miscarriage.

The alcohol inhibits the proper circulation of oxygen and nutrition that the baby requires.

Symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

As previously mentioned, the effects are usually physical and mental problems. However, they also include social and behavioral problems. That said, the severity of the symptom varies. Let us take a look at some of them.

Physical Symptoms

There a few distinctive features that tend to stand out, and one needs to look out for. They include:

  • Small eye openings
  • Thin upper lip
  • The head is smaller than usual head
  • They are shorter than normal in terms of height
  • The ridge between the nose and upper lip (The Philtrum) is smooth
  • Vision and hearing impairment
  • Heart defects and problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Slow physical growth
  • Abnormal bone growth

Social And Behavioral Problems

  • Poor time management
  • Problems making new friends or maintaining friendships
  • Poor task management
  • Difficulty setting goals and keeping them

Mental Problems

  • Brain size is smaller than usual
  • Growth of brain is slow
  • Very hyperactive
  • Problems maintaining attention
  • Difficulty in learning, especially with Math
  • Problems in speech, as well as learning any language
  • Problems with coordination
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble remembering anything (Memory problems)

Prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

You should not drink at all when pregnant. It is advisable that you steer clear of any form of an alcoholic beverage if you are pregnant, or working towards pregnancy. Most women often realize that they are pregnant three months later.

Staying completely away from alcohol is the best prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This includes all types of wines and other alcoholic beverages.

Why Prescription Drugs Are Addictive

Why Prescription Drugs Are Addictive

Prescription drug abuse and addiction is one of the most inadequately documented types of substance dependency. A prescription drug is any pill or a tablet regulated by law to require a doctor’s prescription before it can be accessed. Prescription drugs generally work by either suppressing or forcing chemical reactions in the head. People who abuse prescription drugs—that is, consuming them in a manner or a dose other than prescribed, or taking medications recommended for another person hazard addiction and other severe health cost. Prescription drugs are one of the most greatly abused categories of substances in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), over 16 million people in the US found using a prescription drug with no prescription or for a nonmedical intention in the precedent year; about seven million reported doing so in the past month. The condition is getting worse by each passing day.

NIDA states that some of the most frequently abused prescription drugs are:

Opiates

Opiate medications, or prescription pain relief pills, are very frequently abused in the United States. Some of the most accepted prescriptions include:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl

These can be consumed by swallowing, or by crushing them into powder form first then snorting the fine particles or mixing the powder in water and injecting it in veins. When under the control, users often feel euphoric and knocked out. They may also experience burning, nausea, constipation, sweating, and other serious side effects.

Depressants

Benzodiazepines ( for example Ativan, Valium and Xanax), barbiturates, and sleep medications (including Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta) are all inner nervous system depressants. These meds are abused by swallowing the pills, crushing the pills before snorting the resulting powder, or dissolving and injecting the drug. Use and exploitation of these medications cause major sleepiness, puzzlement, and impaired memory. Because they work by slowing the processes of the central nervous system, too much of these drugs can cause inhalation to discontinue. Furthermore, long-term use of the drugs can rapidly lead to addiction which can be a serious concern.

 

Stimulants

Stimulant drugs – amphetamine (which include Adderall and dexedrine) or methylphenidate (Ritalin and Concerta) – boosts the body procedures and create a high in the user. Like other prescription drugs, they are also abused by swallowing huge amounts of the pills, or crushing them before snorting or injecting. They serve to amplify focus and force levels. Unfortunately, taking too much can boost the heart rate and blood pressure too much, causing stroke, seizures, or heart attack. Furthermore, long-term and constant use of these drugs can result in addiction too.

Why they become addictive?

Prescription drugs are more restricted than over-the-counter medications, which can be obtained without a prescription. Generally, only a certified health doctor, dentist, optometrist may engrave the prescription. Registered nurses, medical assistants, clinical nurse specialists, and nurse midwives, emergency medical technicians, psychologists, and social workforce as examples, do not have the right to recommend drugs.

Majority people take medicines only in the method in which their doctors recommend them. However a large amount of people are predisposed to become addicted when they begin to abuse prescription drugs after a genuine recommendation was printed for them by their physician. The remedy may have been written due to constant pain, wound, surgical treatment or sadness.

Prescription drug abuse is mounting. The accessibility of drugs is probably one reason. Doctors are prescribing more drugs for more healthiness problems. The mounting numbers of web pharmacies can make it easier to get prescription drugs with no recommendation.

Most persons don’t start taking prescription drugs with the purpose of becoming an addict. They don’t have any intention of becoming a drug addict. Many individuals take the medication to get some break from their pain. For them it is just like a regular medicine to them to get rid of regular pain. Another effect of the prescription drug is that many provide an enjoyable feeling. In an effort to reduce the pain even further and improve the feeling of pleasure, individuals begin to take more prescription. An acceptance to the prescription drug is steadily developed, so now more and more is required to create the first effect. In this way, the simple pain killers’ pills or medicines become so addictive for them that they become a regular drug addict. The most unfortunate fact is that the story does not end here. After they have found pleasure in these pills or medicines they try to find other more powerful pills to have this kind of pleasure. In this way, their body and immune system gets addictive to more and more high potency tablets and they end up being a professional drug addict.

Numerous prescription drugs have the prospective to become bodily or psychologically addictive. To suddenly discontinue prescription medications could result in severe medical problems, like seizures or convulsions. Pulling out from prescription drugs should be carried only under medical regulation. Withdrawal from sedative medications, in particular, can be life-threatening without appropriate medical control.

LINKAGE BETWEEN GENETICS AND ADDICTION

LINKAGE BETWEEN GENETICS AND ADDICTION

There is a convinced link between a person’s DNA segment and addiction they form. Sometimes it comes from your societal surrounding, peers, poor mental state or stress but that is not always the situation actually. One can be trapped simply in drug addiction of any kind due to its genetics which comes from family straight away. Everyone has certain probability to form an addiction, as the bodily mechanism of dependence occurs in your brain irrespective of liquor or drug exposure. When your mind practices something pleasing, it forms nerve pathways that crave the pleasurable substance repetitively. The illness of addiction forms when those nerve pathways become more continuing and swerve.

However, as exposed in a study directed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, those with direct family who fight addiction have a 50 to 60 percent more possibilities of becoming an alcoholic or drug abuser at some point in their lifespan. This increases the question as to whether addiction is triggered by inheritances alone, or the atmosphere in which a child is raised up. Conferring to a study led by the Colorado Adoption Project, a genetic association does increase the probability of addiction, even when children are not raised in an atmosphere that encourages addiction. Their genetics play a vital factor in general hazard of addiction even when they are not frequently uncovered to drugs and alcohol. However, a parallel research displays that atmosphere plays an even greater part in addiction problems and stoppage.

At least semi of a person’s vulnerability to drug dependence can be associated to genetic aspects. Announcers at an April 8 congressional hearing sketched new investigation on the genetic origin for addiction and suggested ways to incorporate those findings into cure. The hearing was prearranged by APA’s Science Government Relations Office.

Investigators first need to handle and solve public misinterpretation and disbelief regarding genetic testing. That means doctors and the public need to better realize the connections between genetics and addiction, stated Alexandra Shields, director of the Harvard University/Massachusetts General Hospital Center on Genomics, Vulnerable Populations and Health Disparities. Based on a state survey, lone 5 percent of primary-care physicians sense self-assured in their capability to understand genetic tests, and only 4 percent would feel self-confident telling treatment grounded on genetics.

There are very respectable explanations for physicians to pay consideration to the impact advances in genetic testing are expected to have on their capability to handle patients, said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Exploitation. “Understanding the multifaceted connections between the factors involved in drug abuse and habit is dangerous to their effective stoppage and treatment,” she said. With new statistics quickly piling up, doctors might soon be able to incorporate genetic tests in their training, permitting them to well match exact treatments to individuals.

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Opioid Addiction Treatment

Inmates Offered New Program For Opioid Addiction Treatment

In today’s jails, inmates are struggling with many different types of addiction. Some of these addictions are much easier to treat than others. Opioid addiction, however, is one that can take quite a bit of specialized treatment to break the cycle of using. Luckily, there is a new program that offers opioid addiction treatment to inmates. Read on to learn more about this option and how it can help those who reside in our jails.

Jails are places that are meant to be drug-free, however that is not always the reality of the institutions. Different types of drugs are smuggled in, one way or another, and those that are addicted to the substances continue to use. Not everyone entered jail as an addict, some addicts are created in the facility as they manage to find the opioid or other drugs from their fellow inmates. This can be quite trouble for many different reasons. As inmates become addicted, their body actually needs the drugs to function. Should the drug not be available, it can cause many adverse reactions, sometimes it even results in death.

Since being addicted to opioids is not good for the body, and also not having the drug when you are addicted can cause so many horrible side effects, addiction treatment is crucial. Proper treatment, like the new program that is now available to inmates, helps the addict get the drug out of their system in a safe manner. Going off of opioids cold turkey is not a good choice and with the treatment that is offered, the inmates will no longer have to do that. Plus, once the drug is out of their system, the addicted inmates will receive opioid addiction treatment until they feel comfortable with who they are when they do not use the drug.

The process of treating opioid addicts is not an easy or quick one, which means the jails have taken on quite a good thing as they do their part to help those addicted to the drug. Not only will it be helpful for inmates to learn how to handle their addiction while they are in jail, but hopefully once they have been released, they will no longer feel the need do the drug. But if they do, it is hoped that they will have the coping mechanisms in place to stay away and find other ways to spend their time.

Some of the inmates are resisting the treatment, as is the case outside of jail. However, the option is there for them to join the program once they are ready to admit they have a problem and choose to get better. Making that choice is crucial to breaking free from opioid addiction and going on to live a drug-free life where one is happier and healthier.

It hasn’t been easy to fund the new program, but there are some organizations that are stepping up to help. The jails and the addicts are thankful for the help that has been offered.

Married Couples Addicted To Heroin

Married Couples Addicted To Heroin

Treatment For Married Couples Addicted To Heroin

Heroin addiction can take a heavy toll on any relationship, but the effects can be even more damaging when both spouses share the addiction.

Studies show that marriages are 4 to 7 times more likely to end in divorce if one or both spouses has a substance abuse problem. For married couples addicted to heroin, getting help is crucial to a lasting relationship.

Addiction Can Spread

Much like a virus, addiction can spread“through friends, family, and even in a relationship. The people in our lives influence us in many ways, and too often substance abuse is no exception.

This also applies to relapsing. If one partner tries to get clean while the other is reluctant or ambivalent about quitting, then the partner who is still using is going to have an influence on the partner who is not. This may be through deliberate temptation or it may be a subconscious way of sabotaging the other person’s recovery.

How A Relationship Can Be Harmed For Married Couples Addicted To Heroin

Relationships in which both people abuse drugs are common. But a happy marriage is difficult enough to maintain, without adding in the additional stress of addiction. When your judgment is impaired by heroin, it becomes much harder not to say hurtful things, or do things you wouldn’t otherwise do.

Your marriage could be in trouble if using heroin is the only thing you enjoy doing together, or if you need it in order show each other affection or discuss your marriage. You may also be in trouble if using heroin leads to verbal or physical abuse by one or both of you, or if one or both of you neglect important responsibilities, like caring for the children or the house.

Seeking Treatment

It takes great courage to break the cycle and seek treatment. But no matter how difficult it may seem to get help, it’s essential if you want to prevent further destruction in your life. Continued drug use leads to relationship problems, the loss of family or friends, financial instability, and growing risk to your mental and physical health.

Seeking help alone is possible, but your chance at successful recovery is much higher if both spouses go into rehab at the same time. You’ll learn the tools to manage your own addiction, while also learning how to be supportive and communicate better, which will lead to a healthier marriage.

Treatment Options

There are a variety of options for receiving treatment, and it’s important to seek help from professionals and facilities who specialize in helping couples. You’ll need a plan that is tailored to each of you individually, as well as to both of you as a married couple. There are couples drug rehab facilities who will take and treat married couples.

If you have a strong relationship and are both equally committed to recovery, you could attend rehab together. You’ll reaffirm your commitment to your marriage and learn the tools and techniques to function better as a couple.

If your marriage has been badly damaged, or domestic violence or threats have occurred, or if one partner has more challenges to overcome, such as emotional or mental issues, then it may be better to work separately on your own recovery first, so that you can both stabilize and be healthier and stronger before you come back together and work on your marriage as a unit.

You could also participate in couples therapy. Studies have shown that couples therapy can provide many benefits and can reduce the risk of relapse.

The Future

After the completion of rehab, you and your spouse can continue with therapy together and offer each other support by helping each other avoid triggers, stay on track, and keep using the skills learned through rehab.

By taking the first step toward recovery, married couples addicted to heroine can break the chains of substance abuse and begin working toward a healthier, happier life.