What to Expect When Dating a Recovering Addict

What to Expect When Dating a Recovering Addict

Dating a person who is recovering from drug or alcohol use requires some awareness. It doesn't have to be a
relationship deal breaker, but you may want to consider some additional things before starting or ending a
relationship with a former drug addict. There is a stigma attached to the disease of addiction, but many people
recover and find ways to live a sober life.

Benefits and Challenges of Dating a Recovering Drug Addict

A person who works hard toward sobriety may be healthier than individuals who have never experienced addiction.
Recovery requires an individual to become self-aware through therapy and treatment. They are often active in 12-step
programs and closely involved in continuing care.

A person in recovery may attend regular therapy sessions and should understand how to practice healthy coping
strategies to stay sober. A past addiction combined with healthy lifestyle changes can lead to incredible growth if a
person does the work to achieve and maintain sobriety.

Dating someone who attends therapy and works on their mental and physical health can lead to a very healthy
relationship. However, dating a person recovering from substance use can also present challenges for both people in
the relationship. Remember that relapse is always possible at any stage of recovery, and it is up to the person in
recovery to do the work necessary to prevent relapse.

A person recovering from substance use may experience the following:

  • Irritability
  • Isolating behaviors
  • Substance cravings
  • Mental health challenges
  • Health complications caused by past drug use
  • Disinterest in new experiences, hobbies or their partner
  • Vulnerability to other addictions such as sex or gambling addiction

How to Help Your Significant Other Through Addiction Recovery

You could someday find yourself wondering how to support a significant other through addiction recovery. You may begin
dating an addict, start a relationship with someone who relapses later or discover your spouse becoming addicted to
drugs years into a marriage.

In any of these situations, you must remember that your mental and physical health are critical. You cannot heal,
"fix" or force your partner through recovery. However, if it is safe to do so, you can offer support as they do the
recovery work they need to do. You can help your partner through addiction recovery in the following ways:

Learn About the Signs of Addiction and Avoid Enabling

Eliminating or reducing the consequences of another person's unwanted or unhealthy behaviors is enabling. Even if you
enable your partner's behavior with good intentions, it can significantly harm them, yourself and the relationship. Eliminating repercussions encourages a person to continue unhealthy behaviors.

If your significant other manipulates you or others, lies to you or asks you to lie for them because they are using a
substance, it's important to avoid enabling them. Let them experience the consequences of their actions, and let them
know that you do not accept their behavior. Learn the signs of addiction so you recognize when they occur, and encourage your partner to seek help when they exhibit these signs.

Set Boundaries in the Relationship

Boundaries matter in any relationship, but they are essential when you are in a relationship involving past drug
addiction. Let your significant other know what your boundaries and expectations are, and plan what you will do if
they cross your boundaries. You may need to say "no" at times, and you may need to walk away if their actions affect
your mental or physical health.

Remember That You Are Not Responsible for Their Actions

Only your significant other is responsible for their actions, and you cannot control their behaviors. Maintain a
healthy mindset by remembering that you are not responsible for your loved one. While you can show your support for
them, you must also realize that they are responsible for themselves.

Seek counseling or therapy if you feel stressed or overwhelmed trying to control or "fix" your partner. Remember that
it is not your fault if they relapse or struggle in their recovery.

Attend Couples Counseling

Attending couples counseling is an excellent way to maintain a healthy relationship. A therapist can help you and your
partner set healthy boundaries, develop healthy communication skills and recognize any issues you need to address.
Attending therapy separately and alone can help you care for your mental health, and it can help your partner care for
their mental health as well.

Seek Help if Needed

If your loved one relapses, it can affect your mental health. Seek help from a professional such as a therapist if
your significant other's addiction affects you in the following ways:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Poor concentration
  • Constantly worrying about your significant other
  • Weight changes due to overeating or not eating enough
  • Feelings of sadness, depression, hopelessness, anger or rage
  • Inconsistent or poor relationships with your friends and family

When to Consider Leaving a Partner

Past addiction doesn't have to be an absolute deal breaker. However, some situations can lead to an unhealthy
relationship. If your partner experiences a relapse and refuses treatment, or you find yourself enabling unhealthy
behavior from your partner, you may need to consider leaving the relationship.

Staying Healthy When Dating Someone Recovering From Addiction

It can be easy to focus on your partner's health and well-being when they are recovering from drug or alcohol
addiction. However, you must take care of yourself and focus on your well-being. Self-care is necessary to help you
stay healthy, cope with stress and prevent negative reactions to future stress.

While you can support your partner in healthy ways, it's also important to practice self-care in the following ways:

  • Eat healthily
  • Take time to exercise
  • Set healthy boundaries
  • Rest and get enough sleep each night
  • Care for your mental health through therapy, meditation or support groups
  • Maintain healthy relationships with friends and family outside your romantic relationship

Relapses: When to Talk About Additional Treatment Options

For you and your significant other to have a healthy relationship, your partner must have a strong relapse prevention
plan. They should be taking healthy steps to abstain from drugs and alcohol. These steps can include a 12-step program, therapy, healthy coping strategies and healthy lifestyle habits. You and your partner can pursue and maintain a healthy relationship if they do the work necessary to recover and maintain sobriety.

Relapse is always possible in recovery, and 40% to 60% of individuals in recovery will experience a relapse. Your partner should have a plan in place in case relapse occurs. To be prepared, they can list potential rehabilitation and treatment programs to contact if they relapse. If your partner uses any amount of a substance during recovery, they must seek treatment as soon as possible.

Seek Treatment With Transformations By The Gulf

If you or a loved one needs treatment and rehabilitation for substance use, Transformations By The Gulf can help.
Transformations By The Gulf offers individualistic and holistic recovery services. We designed our inpatient and outpatient programs to treat individuals based on biological, psychological, familial and social needs.

Our residential homes and treatment facilities are near the beach and offer a comfortable setting for rehabilitation. If you or a loved one needs help, contact Transformations By The Gulf to learn more about our recovery services.


Tips for Staying Sober After Drug Rehab

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation is a challenging process that involves many ups and downs. After you complete your initial stay in a rehab program, the hard work is only beginning. Returning to “normal” life comes with its fair share of struggles, and you'll want to do everything you can to avoid a relapse.

Lifestyle Changes

Life after your formal discharge from drug or alcohol rehab generally involves some long-term lifestyle changes that promote health, wellness and sobriety, while preventing a return to substance abuse. Specific changes can benefit people who have recently completed a treatment program.

Do you want to know how to become fully sober? These lifestyle tips can keep you on track with addiction recovery.

  • Eat a balanced diet: Healthy eating will keep your energy levels up and help you feel your best. Be sure to include lean proteins and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. The detoxification process can be tough on your body, and addiction often causes malnutrition, so fuel yourself with unprocessed, whole foods to provide all the nutrients you need.
  • Find an exercise program: Exercising is always beneficial for your mental and physical health, keeping your body in shape while you recover. Not only that, but exercise is an excellent stress-relief outlet and can help distract you from cravings and negative thoughts. It also releases endorphins — the feel-good hormones — to help you feel refreshed and energized. Find an enjoyable activity that gets you moving, like walking, biking, swimming, dancing or yoga. That way, you'll want to keep exercising and it won't feel like a chore.
  • Choose social outings carefully: If it is too triggering to be around people you used to drink or use drugs with, you may want to keep your distance for a while. Likewise, you should avoid events and locations where drinking will be a central part of all the activities. You may want to seek new friends and activities that better promote and support your sobriety, especially at first.
  • Do what you love: Sometimes, addiction and any co-occurring mental health issues can cause you to lose sight of responsibilities, hobbies and activities. Now is an excellent time to rediscover the things you once loved doing and spend time exploring new passions. These can keep you happier and help you stay busy to avoid cravings and temptations.

Support Systems

One of the most critical factors in long-term success with sobriety is having a robust support system of people who care about you and understand your goals. Your circle can consist of family members, friends, co-workers and anyone else you regularly interact with. It can even include online connections or fellow support group members who are also in recovery. These are the people who can uplift you when you're struggling and celebrate your milestones and successes with you.

Having a solid support network is crucial for anyone, especially those who are newly out of drug or alcohol rehab. When you have people you know you can count on for help, it can enhance your ability to cope with challenges, relieve stress and boost your mental health. Those with healthy support systems have reduced levels of anxiety and depression, and relapses are less common too. That's why we encourage participation in long-term group therapy and working with a sponsor or mentor. These systems ensure everyone has someone to contact when they need help.

If you want to know how to stay sober after rehab, start by thinking about who is in your support network. Don't be afraid to reach out to loved ones to let them know how to encourage you better. Seek out new friends, in person or online, who share your experiences and interests.

Self-Control and Resilience

If you want to know how to achieve lifelong sobriety, self-control and resilience are critical. Even after detox and rehab, cravings and withdrawal symptoms are typical and may continue for some time. Giving in to your impulse to drink or use drugs doesn't mean you've failed or lack willpower. However, self-control and resilience are skills you can practice, strengthen and improve with time.

One of the best things you can do to help with self-control is remove all temptations. Dispose of any previous substances of use and any items that might be triggers for you. If you live with family or roommates, you can politely ask them not to drink or use around you and keep any alcohol or drugs away from the home. Maintaining healthy habits and having a practical plan for long-term recovery are also crucial for strengthening your self-control over time.

Remember, there is no shame in succumbing to cravings or having a relapse is normal. Strengthening your sense of resilience means picking yourself up and trying again. Don't beat yourself up over a slip-up — know that you are human and can still achieve long-term health and sobriety.

Coping Strategies

Recovery is a long-term process that requires daily work. And while the journey is different for everyone, you'll be more likely to succeed if you have some coping strategies like these in your arsenal.

  • Accept that you may not have full control: It's OK to surrender the idea that you can control everything.
  • Set personal goals: Even small, attainable goals give you something to work toward and celebrate your successes every day.
  • Practice self-care: Prioritize doing what you need to recharge and protect yourself.
  • Embrace spirituality: Whether this includes following a specific religious tradition, meditating or even yoga, these practices help give you hope and deal with your negative thoughts and emotions.
  • Develop connections: Make new sober friends and attend meetings and events where you can connect with people who have similar experiences and will support you.
  • Believe in yourself: Though overcoming addiction is challenging, nurture the idea that you can achieve sobriety. Trust yourself and have confidence.

Get Help From Transformations By The Gulf

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, the professionals at Transformations By The Gulf are here to help. Our unique treatment centers can give you the coping strategies you need to achieve long-term sobriety. If you want to know how to stay sober, our holistic therapies provide everything you need. Contact us today to get started on the path to recovery.


Signs You Need Addiction Treatment and Rehab

Addiction affects millions of Americans, but only a tiny fraction ever
seek treatment. They may not realize they have a problem or don’t believe their substance use adversely affects their

If you routinely drink or use drugs to excess, you may be wondering, “Do I need rehab?” Consider the signs below to
figure out how to know if you need rehab.

You’re Dependent on the Substance

You can become physically and psychologically dependent on any mind-altering substance. That's because alcohol and
drugs change your brain's reward pathways until you feel you need them to be happy. However, alcohol and drug
addiction drastically affect your physical and mental health, including side effects such as:

  • A weakened immune system
  • Organ damage
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Mood changes
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Irritability or aggression
  • Poor cognitive functioning
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Potential coma or overdose

Some people also start using substances to cope with uncomfortable feelings or symptoms from various mental health
conditions, such as stress, depression, anxiety or loneliness. You might rely on substance use to manage stress
instead of dealing with your problems head-on.

Maybe you depend on drugs or alcohol to have fun, especially if you start drinking or using in social situations.
Eventually, you may think these substances are the only way to relax and have a good time if you don't have any
healthy outlets.

Are you wondering how to tell if you need rehab? A worsening substance dependency is one of the most severe signs you
need alcohol rehab from a qualified inpatient or outpatient facility. Addiction specialists can help you safely detox
from harmful substances and equip you with the tools to cope with stressful situations. Your physical and mental
health will also improve throughout your recovery journey.

Your Abuse Is Affecting Your Personal Life

As an addiction takes over, you will eventually lose sight of your other priorities, including the people you care
about most. One of the primary problems with substance abuse is lowered inhibitions, putting you at risk for severe
injury from falls or accidents. You might also engage in risky behaviors, such as driving under the influence, having
unsafe sex or sharing needles. Some substances can also cause blackouts, leading to irresponsible activities during
periods of memory loss.

Drinking or using drugs can also affect your personal life in various ways. People addicted to substances may

  • Strained relationships
  • Social isolation from loved ones and the community
  • Irritation and anger causing you to say or do things you don’t mean or that are out of character
  • Lack of interest in social outings or activities
  • Reduced productivity at work
  • Inability to keep up with responsibilities, such as child care or professional tasks
  • Failure to take care of yourself or your home

If you notice your life has become adversely affected by substance use, it’s time to seek professional help. Addiction
specialists can help you repair your relationships and life through treatment, allowing you to enjoy sober living.

Your Loved Ones Have Tried to Get You to Go

Your loved ones have your best interests at heart and only want you to be healthy and happy. If they’ve noticed your
substance use and its effect on your life, they have likely tried to convince you to seek treatment to improve your
well-being and get you back on track toward sobriety. They may have staged an intervention or talked with you one-on-one in hopes of persuading you to enroll in a rehabilitation facility. Sadly, since denial,
anger and irritability are hallmarks of active addiction, you may have responded to these attempts with

You might believe you are doing a good job hiding your illness, but your loved ones know you best. If people close to
your heart have pleaded with you to seek help, your substance use is likely taking a more significant toll on your
life than you realize.

You Need to Take Excessive Amounts of the Substance to Feel Any Effects

People seek different substances for various reasons, including:

  • Self-medicating for physical and mental health conditions
  • Reducing stress from work, relationship problems and family conflict
  • Dealing with traumatic experiences
  • Alleviating uncomfortable feelings, such as boredom or loneliness

The first few times you drink or use drugs, you won’t need much to feel the effects. While alcohol and drugs can
provide short-term relief, your body will start to build a tolerance over time, so you'll need more and more to
experience the desired effect. Increasing your dose and frequency of use puts you at risk for coma, overdose and

If you’ve noticed you're drinking and using excessive amounts, it’s an obvious indication that you’ve built a
tolerance and should seek professional help to break free from your addiction, improve your health and prevent a
potentially fatal overdose.

You’ve Unsuccessfully Tried to Quit

Addiction is a lifelong condition, and it has a
similar relapse rate as other chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and asthma. A return to substance use isn't a failure, but it
means you haven’t learned appropriate coping mechanisms to deal with stressful situations or addressed the root cause
of your addiction.

If you’ve tried to quit independently without professional help, it may indicate that intervention is necessary to
help you get your life back on track.

An accredited treatment facility can help you understand your disease and why you may rely on drugs or alcohol. The
professional staff will also equip you with the tools to successfully prevent relapse in triggering situations where
you may feel cravings to start using substances again, sustaining your recovery and improving your quality of life.

These treatment facilities offer multiple levels of care to address the unique nature of your addiction. Additionally,
if you’ve tried professional treatment before but have still found it challenging to quit drinking or using, that
could be a sign that you need a higher level of care, such as residential inpatient rehabilitation or frequent attendance in an
intensive outpatient program.

How to Know When You Need Rehab – Take Our Quiz!

The first step in the recovery process is realizing you have a disease that's harming every aspect of your life. Using
the signs above, you can determine whether you need professional addiction treatment to help you get back on track.
Can you just walk into rehab? At Transformations By The Gulf, our experienced providers can assess your condition and
create a treatment plan for you as soon as possible.

If you’re struggling with a substance use disorder, you’re not alone. Transformations By The Gulf offers holistic
addiction treatment programs with a personalized approach to help you achieve sobriety and improve your quality of
life. Our dedicated staff will start you on your recovery journey and provide you with the tools you need to succeed
after treatment. If you’re not sure you need help, you can
take our “Do I Need Rehab” quiz or contact us to learn more about our programs.

Addiction Rehabilitation for Athletes

Athletes demand a lot of their bodies. Whether they are involved in sports professionally or recreationally, they push themselves through training and competition. While this level of physical performance can be good for the body, athletics can also put incredible strain on people physically and mentally. Athletes can experience physical injury and endure intense pressure to maintain peak performance.

It is not uncommon for athletes to take illicit substances, whether to cope with the pain caused by an injury or to enhance performance. While addiction can be a difficult cycle to break, there are treatment options for athletes with addiction.

Risk of Addiction in Athletes

Nearly half of people 12 and older have used illicit substances at least once. Of course, illicit drugs are not the only substances that come with the risk of addiction. It's also common to see alcohol, prescription medications and performance-enhancing drugs in sports. For instance, anabolic-androgenic steroids may boost strength and mood, which may appeal to athletes hoping to improve their performance.

Athletes might have a high risk of substance use disorder for the following reasons:

  • Availability: Addictive substances may be readily accessible to athletes. For example, alcohol and binge drinking can be part of the culture for college athletes. Athletes at all levels may also have ready access to performance-enhancing drugs through fellow athletes or authority figures, such as coaches.
  • Pressure: Athletes can face an enormous amount of pressure, both external and internal. For athletes who publicly compete, they may feel pressure from their teammates, coaches and fans to deliver on their performance. Internally, athletes of any level often feel the need to drive themselves to achieve their goals. If they aren’t performing as well as they think they should, they might turn to performance-enhancing drugs or use other substances, like alcohol, to cope with feelings of failure.
  • Injury: Physical injury is common among athletes. Whether from overuse or an accident, athletes can break bones, tear muscles and tendons and experience head injuries. Chronic pain can lead to misusing prescription medication.

Doctors might prescribe medications like opioids to treat sports-related injuries and chronic pain. One study shows that, among the 52% of athletes prescribed opioids during their NFL career, 71% of people misused them. Athletes might feel pressured to return to the competition before their injuries are resolved, which may lead to misusing pain medications by increasing their dosage. Over time, this can lead to addiction and withdrawal symptoms when they attempt to stop.

Athletes might also seek boosted energy, endurance and focus, which may lead to misusing stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine or ephedrine.

Prescription Painkillers for Sports Injuries

Some sports injuries can resolve quickly, with no lingering effects on performance and comfort level. Other injuries can result in chronic pain. Some athletes may be prescribed medication to manage that pain. If the pain persists, they may start to self-medicate or misuse painkillers.

Common prescription painkillers for sports injuries include:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): You can buy several NSAIDs, such as Advil, over the counter. But there are also strong versions of NSAIDs that are only available via prescription. Celebrex and Nalfon are examples of prescription NSAIDs used for back and neck pain.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids, such as cortisone and prednisone, are prescribed to address inflammation. Athletes may receive an injection of corticosteroids to treat an injury.
  • Muscle relaxants: Benzodiazepines are a common type of muscle relaxant that can be prescribed to help ease pain and improve mobility in athletes. Benzodiazepines can be addictive if misused. Athletes with addiction to benzodiazepines can experience many adverse symptoms, such as poor decision-making abilities, blurred vision, confusion and slurred speech.
  • Opioids: Opioids are commonly misused painkillers. In 2019, more than 10 million people misused opioids. This class of drugs, including prescription medications such as Vicodin and Oxycodone, consists of powerful painkillers. Athletes may be prescribed an opioid to manage pain following an injury or surgery.

What Are the Risks of Using Performance-Enhancing Drugs?

Performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) are used by athletes to gain a competitive edge. Anabolic steroids and human growth hormones are considered PEDs. Natural testosterone is a steroid, though the term “anabolic steroid” is often used to describe synthetic variations of testosterone injected into the body. Most of these drugs are banned in sports, regardless of the level of competition. In addition to the possibility of disqualification, PEDs come with other risks, including:

  • Physiological: PEDs affect a person’s body in many different ways. Some of the common physiological consequences of using PEDs are acne, changes in breast and testicle size, changes in sex drive, infertility, joint pain, high blood pressure and liver damage. Depending on what drugs are used and for how long, the effects may be permanent.
  • Psychological: PEDs can also affect your mental health. Psychological effects of these drugs may include changes in mood, depression, impaired judgment and suicidal thoughts.

Long-term use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports can lead to irreversible physical damage like heart attacks, strokes and psychiatric problems. Many athletes who use PEDs do not consider the negative side effects of these drugs, focusing instead on the potential gains in their performance.

Warning Signs and Symptoms for Drug Use in Athletes

If you are concerned someone you know is struggling, look for the common signs of athletes with addiction:

  • Changes in appearance: PEDs can significantly impact a person’s appearance. Men may develop breasts, while women begin to appear and sound more masculine. Some drugs can lead to dramatic weight gain or weight loss. Any change in appearance without explanation may indicate drug misuse.
  • Sudden changes in performance levels: Many athletes improve over time with hard work and training. Sudden leaps forward in performance beyond what you might expect could be an indication that an athlete is misusing PEDs. On the other hand, an unexplained decrease in performance could mean that an athlete is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or prescription painkillers.
  • Personality changes: Many addictive substances can impact a person’s mood, behavior and personality. If an athlete is struggling with sudden outbursts and bouts of irritability, these issues could be related to substance use disorder.
  • GI symptoms: Many PEDs and painkillers can affect the stomach. If an athlete is exhibiting regular signs of nausea and diarrhea, substance misuse can be a possible explanation.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety and substance use often go hand in hand. The drugs can make the person more anxious than normal. Additionally, the athlete who is misusing a substance may be anxious about keeping that behavior hidden from others.

Sometimes it can be hard to recognize the warning signs of addiction. It can be even harder to speak up if you do recognize the signs in a loved one or in yourself. If you suspect you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, do not ignore the symptoms. It’s best to seek help as soon as possible.

Hope for Athletes With Addiction

For some athletes, the first step toward overcoming addiction is overcoming the fear of asking for help. Many athletes with addiction may feel pressured to continue taking certain medications or experience feelings of shame that keep them from reaching out. Professional addiction rehabilitation for athletes can provide hope and a sense of belonging when you're unsure where to turn.

Athlete rehabilitation first addresses the underlying cause of drug misuse before designing an individualized treatment program for your needs and goals. Programs might include the following treatment methods:

  • Medical detox to safely withdraw from substances
  • Motivational interviewing to help you work through your ambivalence to change
  • Behavioral therapies to identify and change harmful behaviors
  • Group therapy to gain advice and feel a sense of support and belonging
  • Potential medication for muscle dysmorphia
  • Medications to restore hormonal balance
  • Antidepressants for co-occurring conditions like depression and anxiety
  • Aftercare and relapse prevention techniques, such as 12-step programs

The best athlete rehabilitation program addresses all aspects of a person's addiction, including co-occurring conditions and other triggers that might contribute to drug misuse. This way, individuals get a more comprehensive, individualized treatment that addresses all of their unique needs.

Depending on your goals and health needs, you might benefit from an inpatient, residential program or a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Residential treatment is where you live in the treatment center and receive 24/7 assistance and supervision to help you through addiction recovery. PHP programs let you receive intensive medical care during the day and leave to be home with your support system at night.

There are also intensive outpatient programs (IOP) where you only receive treatment at certain days and times of the week that fit your schedule. The option that works for you will depend on factors like the severity of your addiction and whether you have co-occurring conditions that require more intensive care.

Reach out to Us Today

Asking for help can be hard, particularly if you are used to pushing yourself in your athletic pursuits. However, recovery is possible if you take the first steps. At Transformations By The Gulf, we take a personalized approach to addiction treatment to give every client the individual care they need. Your experience is unique, and your road to recovery will be too. You don't have to go it alone, either — support is always available.

Our team partners with you to address your needs and give you varied treatment options. We are here to help you get back on your feet and move forward with your life. If you are ready to make a change in your life, reach out to us to get started.


Family Roles in Addiction

Substance abuse is a disease that can affect an entire family. When you’re living under the same roof with someone struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, you’ll navigate an unpredictable world filled with many uncertainties. You might also have trouble knowing where to turn for help.

Unique family roles can pop up in the event of addiction, which may worsen the situation. To understand how this disease manifests itself, we’ll discuss the family dynamics of addiction below and provide addiction recovery information and resources for you and your loved ones.

Victim or Addict

Family dynamics are affected by at least one victim of addiction. People struggling with substance abuse live in a constant state of chaos, and drugs may become their primary way to cope with emotional issues. Victims display negative behaviors or symptoms that might include:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Confusion
  • Irritability, anxiety or paranoia
  • Rapid or rambling speech
  • Shakes, tremors or slurred speech
  • Dilated pupils
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of personal hygiene
  • Bloodshot eyes

The victim might display anger and avoidance behaviors as they find it harder to manage their mood swings. They’ll often show dependent behaviors such as manipulating or lying to supply and sustain their addiction.

Over time, the victim will become the focal point of the family while other members attempt to deal with their behavioral choices and life changes. The victim might isolate themselves or blame other family members for their problems, negatively affecting those around them.

The Scapegoat of the Family

The scapegoat of the family is often the one who gets blamed for the family issues caused by addiction. Most commonly the middle or second oldest child, the scapegoat exhibits deviant behavior and hostility to divert attention from the victim.

The scapegoat will often lash out and voice the family’s collective anger. They’re also more likely to participate in risky behaviors, so parents focus on their punishment rather than deal with the scary and unpredictable world of addiction.

The scapegoat also distracts family members from internal blame and resentment surrounding the victim’s addiction issues. When scapegoats get older, they’ll find it harder to manage their emotions and may display avoidance behaviors by running away or acting out in violence.

The Enabler

The enabler will deny that there was ever a problem in the first place. They’ll downplay the victims’ behavior or life choices to “protect” the rest of the family from the adverse effects of addiction. They’ll convince themselves that substance abuse isn’t a real issue and make light of the situation by excusing their loved one’s behavior and fueling the addiction.

The enabler has difficulty creating boundaries with the family member who suffers from addiction. They’ll let problems go unchecked rather than deal with them straight away. While they may not realize it, the enabler can assist in the self-destruction of the victim by:

  • Treating an adult victim like a child and making excuses for their behavior.
  • Giving them money to pay for necessities rather than allowing them to pay for their own.
  • Ignoring harmful behavior and not addressing how it’s affecting the family.
  • Helping the victim obtain their substance of choice.

This role is often filled by the victim's spouse or even a child of the family. They often believe they’re helping the family or victim when in reality, their reaction creates a more significant issue by making it difficult for everyone to heal.

The Hero of the Family

The hero of the family tends to be controlling and perfectionistic. They achieve many successes to give their family the illusion that all is well. Often seen as over-responsible and self-sufficient, they’ll also attempt to make decisions for the family behind closed doors.

The hero will feel like the leader of their siblings, though, over time, they'll find it challenging to manage the stress and anxiety that comes with this role. The hero might also attempt to overshadow the victim and be the center of attention, derailing recovery efforts.

The hero believes they are the only one who can solve the victim’s problem. They’ll often harbor ill will toward the victim as they attempt to establish themselves as the focal point of the family and solve family drama. The hero harms rather than helps the situation by making it more difficult for the family to work toward recovery.

The Mascot

Often the youngest sibling, the mascot is the comedian of the family. They’ll typically use humor to resolve family tension, which might come from a place of fragility and a desire for approval from those around them. Employing constant humor might also result in their inability to deal with confrontation or express their emotions.

Supplying comic relief helps the mascot shield themselves from the pain associated with negative family dynamics. Fear, sadness and feelings of vulnerability plague this person as they conceal their emotions by cracking jokes and making light of family arguments. While their humor may lighten the mood, the mascot distracts the family from solving deep problems.

Due to their deep-seated issues, mascots tend to self-medicate as a coping mechanism. This can continue into adulthood and perpetuate the addiction cycle.

The Lost Child

Typically the youngest or middle child, the lost child is uninvolved in family relationships. They’ve likely never received the same level of attention as their siblings, which makes them go virtually unnoticed when there’s an addict in the family.

When this child stays lost, they learn their needs don’t matter and hiding becomes a way of life. They’re shy, withdrawn and commonly depressed for most of their childhood as they use invisibility as their defense.

The lost child often grows up feeling inadequate. They’ll blame themselves for the lack of attention they received growing up and believe that something is inherently wrong with them. This makes it challenging for them to form intimate and lasting adult relationships, and they may self-harm or become involved in abusive relationships. Like the mascot, the lost child might also turn to self-medicating as a way to cope.

If You've Noticed These Dynamics Within Your Family, We Are Here To Help

As you’ve learned, addiction significantly affects the victim and those around them. If your family is struggling with the effects of addiction, we’re here to help.

Transformations By The Gulf is a wellness center that provides substance abuse and alcohol addiction recovery services. Our residential and outpatient programs emphasize compassion, honesty and self-accountability through the path to recovery.

We understand the complexity of addiction and design custom recovery plans for each individual to help them achieve a better quality of life. We also provide family therapy to navigate you through the challenges and unpredictability of an addictive household.

To learn more about our services, contact us today.

Can a Rehab Center Report My Addiction as a Crime?

In short, a rehab center can't report your substance use to the police in most cases. Simply admitting to drug use isn't enough for the rehab to call the police, even if you have an existing criminal record. Whether your substance use disorder is current or in the past, a drug treatment center can't call the police if you're simply seeking drug abuse treatment.

Ultimately, jail shouldn't be a concern if you're seeking treatment for a substance use disorder. Rehabilitation facilities are focused on helping you recover from your substance use and taking you through the drug rehabilitation process — they aren't going to call the police to send you to jail for illicit substance use. Their goal is to help you recover and provide you with healthy coping skills to live an enriching, sober life.

While most cases can't be reported to law enforcement, there are a few instances where a rehab center can call the police. Continue reading to learn more about your rights as a patient, why a rehabilitation center might contact law enforcement and more.


Patient Confidentiality: Knowing Your Rights

As a patient at a rehab center, you have rights that protect your private information. You should familiarize yourself with the laws that protect your medical information to ensure you know what's being done with it. When you start treatment, a rehab center employee will give you the center's privacy and confidentiality guidelines to sign. This paperwork outlines your rights as a patient. The staff at the rehab facility must also sign these documents.

Most of the information and protections in these guidelines come from laws established to give patients more rights than they once had. The following are a few of the laws that health care providers must follow.

The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) was first introduced in 1996 to prevent health care providers from sharing patient information without explicit consent from the patient. The information you share with your physician or any other health care provider must remain private, which is known as doctor-patient confidentiality.

Drug treatment centers fall under "covered entities," which means they're subject to the HIPPA Privacy Rule. Medical staff at the rehab facility can't divulge your medical information to anyone, including law enforcement. The Privacy Rule also allows patients to control how their medical information is used.

Your medical information can only be shared without your consent in specific instances, including:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Suspicion of neglect or abuse
  • Legal warrants or subpoenas
  • Specific research situations

If a medical facility has to disclose your information for any reason, it can only be enough to fulfill the needs of the situation, such as disclosing medications you're taking in the event of a medical emergency. Breaking HIPPA guidelines can result in considerable legal repercussions for the treatment center. If someone in the facility divulges your information with malicious intent, they can face up to 10 years in prison.


The Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records

This regulation was initially instated in 1975 and revised in 1987. It states that rehab facilities can't directly or indirectly divulge information that would identify you as a current or past patient at said facility. If the facility has your explicit written consent, they would be able to share your information with certain parties — but otherwise, they must keep your information private.

If a police officer enters the facility trying to seek information about your substance use and they don't have a warrant or a subpoena, the rehab facility is not allowed to give them your information. Like HIPPA laws, if a staff member shares your medical information with your consent, the facility will face legal repercussions.

There are a few exceptions to this regulation. If there are court-ordered criminal investigations, warrants or subpoenas, your information can be shared with law enforcement. Your information can also be shared if there is suspected child abuse or neglect, a medical emergency or a program evaluation.

However, in most cases, a rehab facility can't share your information since it's legally part of their job to protect your medical records.


Can I Be Charged in Rehab?

Upon admittance to a drug treatment center for substance use disorder, you won't be charged for using drugs, whether you're seeking treatment for a past or current substance use. However, there are some reasons that a rehab facility might call the police.

If you were arrested in the past for a nonviolent drug offense, you might be able to go to drug court rather than jail. Drug court specifically handles drug cases for adults and juveniles. A drug court can sentence you to court-ordered rehab to reduce relapse and the chances of you committing another crime.

If you fail to show up to court-ordered rehab, the facility can call the police, and it'll be seen as a violation of your sentencing, resulting in harsher punishments.

A rehab facility can also contact law enforcement, or law enforcement can get involved, if:

  • You exhibit destructive or violent behavior.
  • You admit yourself into rehab to avoid an arrest for a criminal act.
  • You have a warrant out for your arrest.

You can also be arrested in rehab if a staff member catches you using or possessing drugs within the facility. The facility staff keeps a careful eye out for substance use. If you're caught with drugs, you can be charged with drug possession. If you're caught with a significant amount of illicit or prescription drugs, you can be charged with possession with intent to sell, which comes with more severe legal repercussions.

If you committed a minor crime before admitting yourself into a treatment facility, law enforcement may wait until you've completed treatment to make an arrest.

If you're looking into treatment for substance use, you can rest assured that you won't be arrested in rehab simply for having a substance use disorder. The priority of treatment facilities is to treat your substance use disorder and any underlying conditions contributing to it, not to have you arrested for illicit drug use.


Alcohol and Drug Rehabs That Allow Cell Phones

Rehab centers are a place to go for recovery from alcohol and other drugs. Group therapy and meditation sessions combined with calming interactions make up the better part of the day. Some people may be unsure whether to enter these rehab centers because the experience is new to them, and their bodies must adjust to learning to live without chemical dependency. With so many changes all at once, entering rehab can have a bit of a learning curve.

For most people, their cell phones are the primary communication pipeline to the outside world while they're in rehab. During the first phase of treatment, however, most rehab centers won't allow cell phones. This guideline is set in place so clients can acclimate to a new environment without outside aggressors and influences making it more challenging. Below, learn more about the use of cell phones in rehab and why Transformations By The Gulf allows them.

Why We Allow Cell Phones During Treatment

Completely sheltering clients from contacting anyone outside the rehab center could hinder their recovery and stress out loved ones. Not allowing cell phones at all also creates a situation after discharge where patients can become overwhelmed. They'll be re-entering society's fast-paced lifestyle and having to manage overwhelming amounts of communication from people who were unable to talk to them for an extended period. All these things hitting them at once could trigger a relapse, which could put them right back where they started before they entered rehab.

Allowing cell phones encourages clients to embrace change while staying connected to the right kind of people. In the beginning, there needs to be some oversight of communications to ensure people who would be harmful toward recovery are not communicating with patients. That way, their experience with rehab and with being allowed to use their devices will be pleasant. Rules help establish proper and healthy usage of devices for communication and learning. Some of those rules can include:

    • Blackout period: Upon entry into the rehab center, there will be several days when you'll have no access to your devices to help with acclimation.
    • Prior assessments for usage: Before you enter the rehab center, you may be interviewed so the center's staff can learn about your phone usage needs, current daily routines and things you like to use your devices for. This assessment helps the rehab center establish individual usage parameters.
    • Specific usage times: Creating particular times throughout the day when clients can use their devices gives them something to look forward to and helps them relax from the days' recovery-related stresses.
    • Privacy laws and rules: Your rehab center will have strict policies it must follow for preserving client privacy and safeguarding other information about your medical history and recovery. These rules help keep your personal data safe and instill confidence that your devices will remain secure during your stay.

Benefits to Staying Connected While in Rehab

Another reason cell phones often need to be part of recovery is because society heavily relies on these devices to keep functioning. People are very connected to their devices, whether they're using a cell phone, laptop, tablet or all three. Letting patients keep their electronics helps them build trust with their counselors.

This element of trust also applies to their family life, with their relatives knowing their loved one can handle using their devices and being on the internet without contacting their drug dealer or finding ways to get alcohol. Making people give up those comforts that are not directly a part of their addiction could be just enough to make them not want to try rehab.

Allowing cell phones also lets patients periodically contact their employers to keep them updated and hopefully keep their jobs while in rehab. That way, patients can be reassured they'll have somewhere to work when they're released. Leaving rehab and not having a job waiting for you gives you too much free time and could be a potential danger.

When you get bored, your mind will wander, and you could start reminiscing about old "fun" times when you were high or drunk. For many people in recovery, their job is the most sacred aspect of their lives, and they identify themselves with it.

If you have any romantic partners, staying in touch with them poses a substantial beneficial factor, letting them have a role in your recovery. Your partner can encourage you to keep moving forward, congratulate you on your achievements and make you feel that much more remarkable that you're accomplishing these tasks and changing your lifestyle for the better.

If clients are not allowed to talk to their romantic partners, it could add to their stress and increase the strain on the whole recovery process, making it more probable that they will leave prematurely or not go through rehab at all.

Cons to Having Your Phone in Rehab

While there are plenty of positive reasons cell phones need to be allowed in rehab centers, there are some cons to allowing patients too much device usage or any usage at all. If patients stay in contact with the wrong people, this could pose a danger to them, and they may leave the program before finishing. Clients could also use their devices to contact their dealers or external people to procure drugs and alcohol to sneak into the rehab center or somewhere else on the facility grounds.

If a client makes contact with these negative people, it could trigger relapse and ruin the program before they can genuinely see all the benefits of rehab. Those potential dangers can be avoided with clear rules, security on the grounds and vigilant staff.

Reach Out to Transformations By The Gulf Today to Get Started

If you're ready to begin bettering your life or want to seek help for a loved one, reach out to Transformations By The Gulf. People who seek rehab from us often have fantastic experiences. Our clients have lots of personal time with their counselors and attend smaller group sessions for a more intimate setting. 

With many clinical services available to you, Transformations By The Gulf is ready to help you make lifestyle changes to better your future. Our services include but are not limited to boat therapy, group therapy, intensive outpatient programs and more. 

Change your life for the better by joining us today! Your loved ones can enjoy your next steps in life right alongside you and congratulate you on your successes. Start your journey to recovery and contact Transformations By The Gulf to fill out an admissions form.



Intensive Outpatient Programs

Looking Into The Many Benefits Of An Intensive Outpatient Program For Drug Rehab

What if your best wasn't good enough when it comes to addiction?

With drug addiction, many people think that they can make it through this struggle alone. Or if someone else is suffering, a person may think that all they need is a friendly support network.

The truth is that there is no replacement for actual drug rehabilitation. And with Intensive Outpatient Programs, the road to recovery is faster than ever before.

Wondering what the benefits of such a program are? Keep reading to discover the answer!

What Are Intensive Outpatient Programs?

We have put together the definitive guide to how these programs can help those struggling with drug addiction. First, though, we must define what intensive outpatient programs really are.

In traditional drug rehab, a patient may have to stay within a facility for a certain period of time. This helps medical professionals both monitor their condition and facilitate their needs.

With an outpatient program, no stay is required. Instead, patients attend multiple sessions over a period of time to deal with their addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders.

Many treatment plans start out with multiple sessions each week (sometimes even one a day), with the number of sessions winding down as the patient recovers.

Now that you know more about what these sessions are, it's time to learn more about the benefits of such a program.

More Affordable

There are many different benefits to these outpatient treatment programs. One of the biggest benefits is that they are more affordable.

When it comes to rehab, the only real choices are inpatient and outpatient care. Simply put, inpatient care comes with a much higher price tag.

Inpatient care effectively includes room and board for a patient over a period of weeks or even months. Throw in the cost of medical care and medication and you may end up with a truly frightening bill.

With outpatient care, costs are lower all around. And medical professionals can help develop a treatment plan that takes your budget into consideration.

Access to Support Network

Like we said before, the friends and loved ones of an addict often try to stage an intervention (or two) before seeking professional help. It's easy to develop the idea that a patient must choose help from only one group or another.

However, the flexibility of outpatient care means that a patient still has the same level of access to their support network. While they receive one kind of support within the network, they receive another kind altogether from their friends and family.

Ultimately, recovering from addiction is a long road with many different paths. Outpatient programs are beneficial because they keep every path open while still providing quality care and support.

Open Schedule

Some patients struggling with addiction have a good reason to resist inpatient care. Being tucked away in a rehabilitation center for weeks or months may completely disrupt everything from their home life to their full-time job!

Outpatient programs offer a relatively open schedule for patients. This lets them attain the care they need while still letting them attend to private and professional matters.

This open schedule also lets patients be a bit more discrete about their care. They will not have to disclose their treatment plan to a boss or coworker as they would in the event of inpatient care.

Structured Care

Patients and family alike may worry that outpatient care is somehow inferior to inpatient care. The truth of the matter is that outpatient care provides a higher level of structured care than inpatient care.

With outpatient care, patients help develop a treatment plan that fully meets their needs. As we noted before, this may include meeting with a professional 7 days a week.

Under this system, a patient gets the exact level of care they need exactly when they need it. And a variety of different therapy styles are available to suit various patients and their differing needs.

Extended Network

The scariest thing about addiction is that it never fully goes away. Instead, it is a problem that patients will have to deal with long after their last session has ended.

However, no one should have to struggle alone. And outpatient programs are great because they help patients develop an extended support network that they can call on for help over the years.

Whether it's medical professionals or fellow patients, the members of this network can help patients in their darkest moments. With their help, patients can find their way back into the light.

Different Kinds of Therapy

The outpatient program professionals understand that there is no one solution that fits every problem. That's why they offer a wide variety of therapy options.

Individualized therapy provides a great opportunity for a counselor to learn the nature of the patient's issue and develop a custom treatment plan. It also provides an open environment for the patient to voice their questions and concerns about the process.

Family therapy options help offer "the best of both worlds" to patients. Such sessions allow family members to become part of the healing process, all while providing a powerful incentive for the patient's recovery.

Some programs even offer holistic therapy. This allows patients to discover how outlets such as art and yoga can help them obtain peace of mind and body.

Finally, group therapy options help patients understand that they are not alone. And such sessions form the backbone of the patient's support network, allowing them to meet new allies and friends on their journey.

Customized Treatment

When you or someone you love is suffering, you don't want them to receive just any kind of treatment. Instead, you want them to get treatment tailored to their specific lifestyle and needs. With Intensive Outpatient Programs, patients can receive the kind of customized treatment plan they truly deserve.

The Next Few Steps

Now you know about the power of Intensive Outpatient Programs. But do you know who offers the very best in care and comfort?

At Transformations By the Gulf, we help patients conquer addiction and get their lives back. To find out more or schedule an appointment, contact us today!