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Cannabis-Induced Psychosis

By Addiction, Featured, Mental Health, Misc, Treatment

As of today, marijuana is legal for recreational use in twenty states.  While cannabis may have some legitimate medical benefits, the reality is that for many, there can be serious medical side effects that come with heavy use, including anxiety, depression, addiction, and psychosis.

More frequent marijuana use is linked to an increased risk of psychosis, or losing contact with reality, according to research. Now, a new study that was just released in The Lancet Psychiatry shows that regular marijuana use—especially regular use of high-potency cannabis—increases the risk of later experiencing a psychotic episode.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the chemical in cannabis that gives the drug its psychoactive properties. According to the study’s authors, high-potency cannabis is defined as products with more than 10% of this chemical. The fact that ingesting high-THC cannabis products has a greater risk is troubling because these products are increasingly widespread in the market presently.

Because they contain bigger amounts of resin than a typical Cannabis flower, extracts and concentrates are more potent than a flower. Resins, the separated active components of marijuana, have 3 to 5 times more THC than a marijuana plant, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Symptoms of cannabis-induced psychosis:

 

  • Delusions – characterized as fixed and false beliefs that contradict reality
  • Hallucinations – a false perception of objects or events involving your senses
  • Dissociation – a mental process of disconnecting from one’s thoughts, feelings, memories, or sense of identity
  • Disorganized thoughts – thoughts lose almost all connections with one another and become disconnected and disjointed
  • Affect and behavioral changes – alterations or adjustments of behavior that affect functioning

 

Three separate types of cannabis-induced psychosis can occur: acute psychosis while under the influence, acute psychosis following the drug’s intoxicating effects, and long-term chronic psychosis. Some users will continue to have episodes of psychosis after the drug has worn off, despite the fact that some psychotic effects (hearing or seeing things) are rather frequent during intoxication. Within a month or so, these signs and symptoms usually go away. For those who use marijuana frequently or chronically, especially high-potency marijuana, this poses an obvious difficulty.

The user finds these symptoms unpleasant, and a family finds them frightening. We advise quitting marijuana use and getting professional assistance if you or a family member is having a psychotic episode or any of the aforementioned symptoms while also using it. If you live anywhere close to Longmont or Fort Collins, give us a call at 888-509-3153 to arrange a consultation. If not, look for a local treatment center or seek a  healthcare professional’s advice.

 

 

The Importance of Community in Recovery

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Community, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Mental Health, Misc, Treatment

When somebody is trying to recover from a battle with drugs and alcohol, there are several things that need to be addressed.  Physically, the drugs and alcohol need to leave the body and the person needs some time to heal.  There is often a need for clinical or therapeutic work so that the recovering addict and start to understand themselves and their relationship with drugs on a deeper level.

There is one piece of the recovery process that is often overlooked: the need for community.  Active addiction can be a very lonely place, and sometimes those who are experiencing that loneliness forget about the importance of human connection.  There are so many benefits to sharing experiences with other people, all of which can lead to a better understanding of oneself and one’s importance to society.

Isolation Is A Menace

The need to withdraw leaves us trapped in the grip of our addiction with little hope of recovery. The problem with isolating ourselves while we are still actively abusing drugs is that we keep reinforcing the lies the drug is telling us. The drug convinces us that we must have it to exist. We have to block everyone and everything out of our hearts and brains in order to keep that outlet in our life.

We need forms of social connection that provide coping skills, support, and opportunity for a healthy lifestyle because humans are, by nature, social beings. Disconnection can worsen melancholy, sleeplessness, low self-esteem, worry, and stress. Even if it’s only a small group of people, having a strong support system is crucial.

Leaning On Others

An important realization in early recovery is the understanding that you are not alone.  The idea that there could be others out there who understand the pain and misery that you’ve gone through, and have even experienced it themselves, is truly liberating.  The walls that are built up during the isolation of active addiction and be torn down, and the benefit of shared group experience can be utilized.

During the healing process, developing relationships with others can help you write a new chapter in your life.  When people in recovery surround themselves with healthy, like-minded individuals it creates a space for them to learn more about themselves and others.  The opportunity to openly exchange ideas and information with people who have the best interests of others in mind is an invaluable tool for growth.

A Whole New Life

Change is not necessarily comfortable for anyone, and that is often especially true for addicts.  Part of what keeps people in active addiction is the inability to break free from the lifestyle and routines that have been developed.  Despite the dangers inherent in the day-to-day activities of a using addict, many tend to find comfort in that familiar minutiae.

Ceasing the use of drugs and alcohol is often just the first step on the road to living a health lifestyle.  When the brain fog caused by substance abuse is cleared, mental and physical health can become more of a priority.  Yoga, exercise, and meditation are just a few examples of practices that can lead to someone become wholly healthy after getting sober.  Whatever mental, physical, and spiritual health looks like to each individual; the excitement comes in finding what speaks to you.  A life free from the bonds of active addiction provides an opportunity to create new routines and participate in new activities that promote a healthy mind and healthy life.

Giving It Back

When people are in the midst of a battle with drugs and alcohol, their thoughts and actions often become singularly focused on doing whatever necessary is to maintain the addiction.
The ways that the addiction is kept alive are often highlighted by thoughts and actions that are most accurately described as selfish and self-centered. The need to escape becomes so consuming that it can be difficult for addicts to make the basic needs of other people, or even themselves, a priority.

Many people find that one of the greatest joys of recovery is the renewed pleasure that is found in getting outside of oneself and helping others. Doing things from a place of selflessness and a desire to help others can keep the passion for recovery alive. In short: giving back can keep you sober. The best part is that there is no limit to the ways that people can be of service and help others. Whether that is service work within a recovery community, doing volunteer work, or simply sharing experience and hope with someone in need, the opportunities to give back are almost infinite.

Asking For Help in Recovery

By Addiction, Featured, Mental Health, Therapy

Asking For—and Accepting Help

Asking for help is not easy. In a lot of ways, it means letting go. In addition, many of us were taught to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. Asking for help might feel like the opposite of self-reliance. But that’s a myth. What’s more, it’s one we need to break.

For many in recovery, the term surrender is common. But what does it really mean? Surrender is usually experienced involuntarily at first. We find ourselves in the midst of another personal mess, bender, hangover, or some other mistake. As a result, we are helpless—our egos bruised so much that for a single moment we surrender to the thought: I need help. As time passes, however, it is all too common for our tough exterior, ego voice, to kick in and say, “I can handle it. I’ll never get that bad again.” This leads us to the same cycles of addiction and isolation. So how do we accept support?

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Why We All Need Help

No one wants to struggle and feel like they can’t do it alone. Culturally, it can make us feel weak or impotent. Also, vulnerability is scary. It takes courage to share our pains and sorrows. But when we find ourselves in this position, momentary surrender can save our lives. And asking for help provides a gateway to vulnerability and courage. Our society today praises independence, being self-made, and fighting for what we earn. It feels good to be responsible and on top of our own lives. However, as many experience in addiction or mental health struggles, pulling yourself out of these dilemmas alone can feel impossible. In earlier times, the individual could not survive without the tribe. The safety, camaraderie, and power of the group allow for the conditions of survival. Biologically, we are no different than our ancestors. Sometimes, we need people. And it’s truly okay to need help.

Quieting the Ego

The ego is the voice in our heads that defines our sense of self and the surrounding world. It assigns this meaning based on the past. Furthermore, the ego is influenced by childhood experiences and can impact the way we feel about ourselves and others. In addition, if we are not aware of it, it can drive our behaviors, sometimes into the ground. Depending on what kinds of experiences we had as a child, how we were spoken to, and what beliefs were instilled, we may have a healthy sense of balanced ego-awareness or a distorted one. When the ego is distorted, through abuse, neglect, emotional abandonment, or unhealthy attachment, it is traumatized. This trauma influences our lives. It can isolate us, it can mean we project our fears and insecurities onto others, it can tell us we’re not enough. Therefore, when we dwell in the ego state, we isolate. We don’t ask for help or reach out when hurting. Studies find that extreme self-reliance can be detrimental to our well-being, especially for our youth.

Asking for Help in Recovery

For those of us in recovery, the ego surrender is a part of healing. We let go of the hardness, the layers of protection, the false beliefs to soften towards ourselves and others. Consequently, this allows us to give ourselves a break, and to accept help. We surrender to our humanness. The fellowship in substance abuse programs or AA reminds us of the tribal connection, where we could find help around any corner. Therapists and addiction specialists dedicate their lives to helping others because they truly love doing it. Helping others is their greatest joy. The reality is that we all need help sometimes, and it is there for us, if we surrender to it.

If you are starting to awaken to your sense of self and wondering if support might help, know that you are not alone. Help is available. Whether it is a family member, a trusted friend, or a professional mentor, clinician, or therapist, don’t be afraid to reach out. Don’t let your inner voice or resistance dominate. It is in vulnerability that we find true courage.

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab, Treatment

Signs and Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

At the Redpoint Center, Alcohol Use Disorder is the most common type of substance abuse disorder that we treat. For this reason, our staff is familiar with the signs and symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and know when to refer clients to see our medical director or to a higher level of care.

Many people with Alcohol Use Disorder do not manifest symptoms of alcohol withdrawal when they stop drinking. In fact, it is estimated that only around half of people with alcohol use disorder experience withdrawal when they stop consuming alcohol.

Some predictors of alcohol withdrawal are as follows:

  • How often a person drinks
  • How frequently a person drinks
  • The presence of alcohol related medical problems
  • The severity of the dependence on alcohol
  • A history of alcohol withdrawal in the past
  • A history of alcohol withdrawal seizures or delirium tremens

Like most medical conditions, the severity of alcohol withdrawal varies between individuals and depending on the above variables. In most cases, alcohol withdrawal is mild, but 20% of individuals undergoing alcohol withdrawal experience severe symptoms such as seizures, hallucinations or delirium tremens.

In most cases, the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal begin within 6 to 24 hours of the cessation of drinking or a sudden reduction in the amount of alcohol consumption.

Mild alcohol withdrawal is the most frequently seen type of alcohol withdrawal. Common symptoms include the following:

  • Anxiety, agitation and/or restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Tremor (the shakes)
  • Sweating
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Craving more alcohol

Alcohol hallucinosis is a more severe type of alcohol withdrawal that typically occurs between 12 and 24 hours after the cessation of alcohol consumption or a sudden decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed. The risk for alcohol hallucinosis may be partly determined by genetics and /or a decrease in thiamine absorption.

Alcohol hallucinosis typically involves visual hallucinations, often involving insects or animals, but auditory or tactile hallucinations (feeling something crawling on your skin) can occur as well. These hallucinations typically resolve within 24 to 48 hours.

Alcohol withdrawal seizures are a worrisome type of alcohol withdrawal, and occur in 10-30% of individuals in alcohol withdrawal. The seizures are typically tonic-clonic seizures (grand mal) and occur in clusters of 2 or 3.

Alcohol withdrawal seizures can occur between 6 and 48 hours of the cessation of alcohol consumption or a sudden decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed. Personal history of an alcohol withdrawal seizure greatly increases the likelihood of recurrence in subsequent episodes of alcohol withdrawal.

Delirium Tremens, or DT’s, is the most severe type of alcohol withdrawal and can be fatal if not treated in a timely manner. Delirium Tremens typically doesn’t occur until 72 to 96 hours after the cessation of drinking or a significant decrease in the amount of alcohol consumed. Signs and symptoms of Delirium Tremens are as follows:

  • The rapid onset of fluctuating cognition and attention in the face of alcohol withdrawal
  • Hallucinations
  • Fever
  • Increased heart rate
  • Drenching sweats
  • Increased blood pressure

As noted above, Delirium Tremens can be fatal. In fact, the fatality rate has historically been as high as 20%, but with appropriate medical treatment can be as low as 1-4%.

Any sign of alcohol withdrawal is very concerning and requires immediate medical attention. Proper evaluation by a medical professional can determine the appropriate type of care needed, which may range from home management to formal alcohol detox or hospitalization.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addictiondrug addictionMental Health problems, The Redpoint Center is here to help. The Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 303-710-8496.

 

Medical Model

Medication Assisted Treatment For Alcohol Abuse

By Addiction, Alcohol rehab, Featured, Longmont Drug Rehab

SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, defines Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT, as the use of FDA approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.

At Redpoint Center, one of the most common substance use disorders that we see is Alcohol Use Disorder. This is largely a result of the prevalence and societal acceptance of alcohol use in our country.

Alcohol Use Disorder, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 5th Edition, (DSM-V), was previously referred to as Alcohol Abuse and/or Alcohol Dependence in the DSM-IV. Alcohol Use Disorder  is a broad term for any drinking of alcohol that results in mental or physical health, behavioral, interpersonal relationship or occupational problems.

At The Redpoint Center, we believe that recovery from an Alcohol problem is a process, not an event. We also believe that this recovery requires a combination of treatment modalities including individual and group therapy, recovery coaching, physical and wellness coaching, community building and medical evaluation. In some cases, our medical director, who evaluates all clients upon admission, might suggest Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) to assist in the recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder.

There are several medications that can be invaluable in helping an individual abstain from alcohol and subsequently recover from Alcohol Use Disorder. If MAT is suggested by our medical director, it is only after a comprehensive physical examination has been performed and in conjunction with the other treatment modalities mentioned above.

One of the most commonly used medications to treat alcohol use disorder is naltrexone. Naltrexone works by blocking a receptor in the brain known as the mu-opioid receptor. The stimulation of these receptors is what causes the euphoric effects of alcohol, and by taking medications to block this receptor, a person will not get the same pleasurable sensations if they drink alcohol. Naltrexone has also been found to reduce cravings for alcohol, which can be very helpful in the initial stages of abstinence from alcohol.

Naltrexone comes in two forms: oral and injectable. The oral form, of course, only works if you take it. Therefore, some people prefer the injectable form (Vivitrol) which is given intramuscularly and stays in your system for four weeks.

The most common side effects of naltrexone are nausea, headache and dizziness, and these tend to diminish as a person continues to take the medication. It can also cause a mild elevation of liver enzymes, so your doctor might monitor blood work while you are taking this medication.

Another medication that has been used to help people with alcohol use disorder maintain abstinence is acamprosate. This medication works by modulating the neurotransmission of glutamate, which is a completely different mechanism of action than naltrexone. One drawback to acamprosate is that it needs to be taken orally three times daily, which is challenging for most people.

Although it has been shown to increase the duration of abstinence in people who stopped using alcohol in some studies, other studies have shown that it is no better than placebo. The results, therefore, are conflicting. The primary side effects of acamprosate include nervousness, diarrhea and fatigue. These symptoms usually diminish with continued use of the medication.

Disulfiram is another commonly used drug in the treatment of alcohol use disorder. It is also known by the trade name Antabuse. Antabuse doesn’t work by decreasing the desire to drink, but instead will cause a very unpleasant physical reaction if a person drinks alcohol while taking it.

Antabuse works by blocking an enzyme that breaks down one of the metabolites of alcohol, acetaldehyde. If a person drinks alcohol while taking Antabuse, acetaldehyde accumulates in the body and causes uncomfortable symptoms such as sweating, headache, flushing, shortness of breath, low bread pressure, nausea and vomiting.   The result is that a person will not want to drink alcohol while taking Antabuse because they don’t want to get sick. Again, Antabuse only works if a person takes it, so a person has to be highly motivated to stay sober, or take the drug under supervision, for this drug to be considered.

There are other drugs that are being studied to treat alcohol use disorder, but clinical trials are limited. If one of the drugs above cannot be used, other options might include topiramate and nalmephene.

In summary, some medications have been found to be effective in the treatment of alcohol use disorder. MAT is used to increase a patient’s chance of long term sobriety, since up to 70% of people getting psychosocial treatment (counseling and behavioral therapy) alone, will relapse. However, it is imperative to stress that these medications should never be used alone, without some sort of psychosocial intervention, to treat alcohol use disorder.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, drug addiction, Mental Health problems, Redpoint Center is here to help. Redpoint Center treats both adults and youth struggling with addiction and alcohol. To learn more about our Longmont Drug Rehab, call 888-509-3153.

New, Deadlier Version of Fentanyl

By Addiction, Community, Mental Health, Treatment

Synthetic opioids’ increased availability on the black market poses a threat to worsen the opioid overdose epidemic now raging in the United States. New synthetic opioids are evolving, being abused, and being trafficked, all of which pose serious risks to public safety.

A POWERFUL NEW OPIOD HAS MADE IT’S WAY TO COLORADO

A new deadly narcotic has surfaced in Colorado. “Pyro” (N-pyrrolidino Etonitazene) has already claimed the lives of at least one Denver resident. Pyro is a highly potent synthetic opioid having a chemical structure similar to that of the synthetic opioid Etonitazene, which is a restricted narcotic.

According to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Pyro has flecks of a darker blue color all over it and is almost identical in look to Fentanyl the counterfeit and deadly version of Percocet (M30’s). Replicating the image of both fentanyl and M 30’s – Pyro is branded on one side with an “M”, and on the other, a “30”.

EVEN MORE POWERFUL THAN FENTANYL

The drug is anywhere between 1,000 and 1,500 times more powerful than morphine, and 10 times more powerful than Fentanyl. Fentanyl, for reference, is about 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Pyro, unlike Etonitazene and it’s relative Fentanyl, does not exist in any earlier medical literature or patents, according to the Center for Forensic Science Research, & Education.  It is a brand-new medicine with a distinct mechanism of action that was probably developed outside of the influence of the American pharmaceutical industry. According to a report by the CFSRE, in just two years, at least 21 fatalities have been related to the substance, and up to 44 fatalities may be attributable to Pyro use.

OVERDOSE AWARENESS

A Pyro overdose resembles the majority of other opioid overdoses almost exactly, with respiratory depression being the most common fatal symptom.  Fortunately, the drug responds to Naloxone, and if the poison is immediately neutralized, the devastating effects of an overdose can be avoided.

For more information on Narcan and overdose education, please visit the Narcan website.

If you come across PYRO, please contact law enforcement immediately. You can also report drug-related crimes anonymously to Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

Redpoint Center Expands Mental Health Drug Alcohol Rehab Fort Collins Colorado

The Redpoint Center Expands to Fort Collins, Colorado

By Alcohol rehab, Featured, Mental Health

Redpoint Center Fort Collins is here and we’re thrilled to offer our services to those in need. During the pandemic, the caring Redpoint team has been busy opening our new location in Fort Collins, Colorado. We are so excited to expand our facilities and bring professional care to the greater northern Colorado area. 

“I feel very fortunate,” says Redpoint Team member and Northern Colorado Program Manager and Senior Counselor, Wendy Stine, “to be helping in my community of Northern Colorado. We’ve been typically underserved and I am excited to be part of the solution. Covid has created a great strain on the population, particularly those who might have mental health issues and/or addiction. We are seeing a mental health pandemic as a result of the Covid pandemic. I’m witnessing some really good work being done with our clients under the circumstances.” 

Our founder and CEO, Cody Gardner, expressed his enthusiasm for the recent move saying, “This is a very exciting expansion for the Redpoint Center. Expanding our recovery services throughout Colorado means we help more individuals and families in need. Our licensed treatment professionals understand the complex challenges associated with substance abuse and mental health concerns. Now, more than ever, our citizens need professional treatment support”. The Redpoint Center focuses on an outpatient approach to drug and alcohol recovery as well as mental health services. Offering treatment for adults and adolescents, our new center will allow us to serve a greater range of clients seeking recovery and support. 

We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Fort Collins area and welcome our new move with tenacity and grace. “It’s an honor to provide the much-needed treatment needs of our community,” Gardner added. 

Mental Health Treatment in Colorado

The Redpoint Center mental health and drug rehab treatment program is thrilled to expand our services to Fort Collins, Colorado. We will continue to offer quality care for those struggling with mental health and substance use issues, in Boulder Country and now in Larimer County. The Redpoint Center programming includes adolescent and adult outpatient treatment services that empower clients to find community, purpose, and recovery. 

 “This is a very exciting expansion for the Redpoint Center,” says Cody Gardner, founder and CEO of Redpoint. “Expanding our recovery services throughout Colorado means we help more individuals and families in need. Our licensed treatment professionals understand the complex challenges associated with substance abuse and mental health concerns. Now, more than ever, our citizens need professional treatment support,” adds Gardner

 Redpoint addresses alcohol and drug use, as well as trauma and stressors that influence destructive behavior patterns. The mission is to teach clients how to live a healthy life of recovery. Now, the Fort Collins facility now provides rehab in Larimer County, Colorado, to serve more of those who need drug treatment and alcohol rehab, as well as mental health support. With CSU and a younger community, outpatient services mean more of those who need it to find help.

“We are thrilled that The Redpoint Center is able to offer outpatient services to our home state of Colorado. Expanding to Fort Collins with another addiction treatment facility allows us to continue to serve the rehab needs, and beyond. It’s an honor to provide the much-needed treatment needs of our community,” Gardner added. 

If you or someone you love needs help, contact us. We are here 24/7 to assist you and yours on the path to healing. You are not alone.

Redpoint Center Blog Recovery Sayings

Recovery Sayings: Wisdom for Daily Living

By Addiction, Mental Health

Recovery sayings may seem overly simplistic, but for many, they are powerful messages. Even if you don’t attend 12-Step programs, you may hear the same AA or recovery-oriented sayings and cliches from others in sobriety. Often, these phrases go in one ear and out the other. But every now and then, when we find ourselves struggling or having a rough day, these sayings hit us with such clarity and truth that we see them in a brand new light. Recovering from substance abuse and mental health struggles is a lifelong journey. These are just a few tried and true statements that circle addiction recovery on a daily basis. 

AA Sayings and Wisdom

One Day at a Time

Overwhelm can lead to a lot of destruction in our lives. We may feel powerless and small when fantasizing about the future, the bills we have to pay, and the unfathomable idea of being sober forever. Therefore this core saying is spoken in 12 steps rooms across the globe. One day at a time. Focusing on the now allows us to return to ourselves, our bodies, and our feelings right here and now. This is more manageable than getting swept away in a lifetime of worries, doubts, and fears. Staying present is one of the greatest tools in addiction recovery. This moment is all we have. Furthermore, this awareness is highly beneficial for mental health and stress reduction. What’s more, in many Buddhist and other wisdom tradition teachings, it is said that now is all we really have. The future and the past are an illusion. We have no control over the past and we do not know what is yet to come. Hence, staying present in the now is key. In recovery, we often say – just “take the next right step”. In addition, “just for today”, is one of the greatest assets for people who are sober—and all humans for that matter!

Keep it simple

In recovery, if you don’t have your sobriety, you don’t have sh*t. Most of us watch our professional and personal lives crumble when drinking or using. “Keep it simple” helps keep your ground and focus on what matters — the basics. Feed yourself. Get good sleep. Love yourself (though this may not seem easy all the time it’s a big one). Be grateful for what you do have, and be proud of yourself.  Even if you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing today, you are sober and that means everything. You are worthy of love and happiness. 

Life on life’s terms

Every now and then life hands you something unexpected. There are things that we can’t control. This saying helps us with radical acceptance. We didn’t choose addiction. Furthermore, only when we accept this can we get better. We don’t choose when loved ones leave us or what happens in the world. We don’t get to choose whether or not there is a worldwide pandemic. Accepting life on life’s terms allows us to not panic in the face of uncertainty. Allowing ourselves to flow with the punches of life actually returns power to our hands, granting us the ability to focus on what we do have control over, our actions and reactions. 

Cunning, baffling, powerful 

Straight from the big book of AA, this statement illustrates our addiction. Many of us have tried to have that “one beer”, only to find ourselves bewildered again at the depth of our addiction sometimes only days later. This describes the power that substances have over us despite our best efforts to remain in control. When we respect our addictive ways and no longer underestimate the power destructive patterns can have over us, we allow ourselves to no longer be consumed by them. 

Recovery Sayings: Mental Health Healing

What happened is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility 

Much of our trauma, especially in childhood, was not our fault. We may harbor great resentment at the hurts of our past. We may sit angrily, arms crossed, waiting for the apology that may never come. If we want to heal, we must accept that we have to do the work. It is our responsibility, to no longer pass on the pain of our past by hurting those around us with our addiction and behaviors. Though this may be frustrating, it is truly a gift we give to ourselves to move on and heal. 

You can’t heal in the same environment that made you sick 

We are creatures of habit. Our biology is hardwired to return the familiar. In earlier times, these mechanisms kept us safe, knowing which berries were not safe to eat and which well-trodden paths would lead us home. Unfortunately, when struggling with addiction,  things that feel familiar and safe may be perpetuating our illness. It is our job to create new pathways of thought and action to lead to a healthier life. This may include hanging out with different people, not the usual crowd you partied with every weekend. It may mean different relationships: ie, find a partner who is nothing like your ex. No longer visit areas of town that trigger your cravings and remind you of your rock bottoms and drug dealers. In addition, we choose different activities. It can be amazing to rediscover what you love to do and how you spend your time soberly. Limit the amount of time we spend with people who belittle our worth. Though these people may feel familiar, after we spend time with them we feel bad about ourselves. Find people that lift you up and support you in sobriety and your dreams. It can be hard to recognize which behaviors and relationships need changing, but if we observe and remain present, they will become clear and our resilience and desire for well being will strengthen. 

 

Though we may tire of hearing these recovery phrases, evaluate them with a fresh eye. And lean into the wisdom of daily recovery and sober living. As a result, we have the chance to learn deep wisdom. If you or someone dear to you is in need of support, please reach out for help. You are not alone. 

Redpoint Center Blog Overdose Awareness Colorado

Treat Addiction, Save Lives: Boulder County Overdose Awareness Day

By Addiction

BoCo Overdose Awareness Day 2020

Over this past weekend, Boulder County promoted 2020 Overdose Awareness Day with free education and Narcan distribution as well as a drive-in style showing of the movie “Beautiful Boy”. The aim is to de-stigmatize overdose, drug-related deaths, and spread awareness on how to help those struggling with addiction. Though overdose awareness is always relevant, it’s importance during this time is becoming increasingly important. In addition, focusing on opioid addiction plays a big part in overdose education.

Today, the whole world is uncertain in the face of Covid-19. Unfortunately, stress from the pandemic is creating and compounding preexisting conditions of mental illness and substance use disorder. Addiction can become a coping mechanism for those attempting to regulate their nervous system during times of stress, depression, or anxiety. In addition, challenging times, such as these, can exacerbate stress, leading to greater mental health concerns. In the US, alcohol sales have risen by 27% since March.  Isolation can have very negative effects on depression and mental illness. 

Overdose Awareness & Mental Health Support During COVID-19

Though some feel it is still too early to draw any definite conclusions on how the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting substance abuse, some organizations like Millennium Health report an increase in drug use. In a recent analysis of 500,000 urinalysis drug tests from mid-March into May, a 32% increase is shown for nonprescribed Fentanyl, 20% for methamphetamine, and 10% for cocaine. The ODMAP (Overdose Mapping Application Program), run out of the University of Baltimore, reported almost an 18% increase in suspected overdose in participating counties after stay-at-home orders were implemented in March. In light of these increasing numbers, we see the importance of education, relationships, communication, and compassion. People are struggling—financially, health-wise, emotionally. Mental health support is vital. Substance use disorder programs and detox centers remain open and 12-steps meetings are held virtually online. This helps but more needs to be done.

How to Support Overdose Awareness

There are many things we can do in our communities to create awareness around substance abuse and overdose awareness. Here are some tips from our team!

  • Know the signs. When it comes to substances, educate yourself. In addition, it is wise to know the warning signs of addiction or what an overdose looks like.
  • Stay connected. When it comes to addiction, we know isolation is the silent killer. When we are alone, with our thoughts, we can go to dark places. Even the best of us can experience this so it’s very important to stay connected to those you think might be at a higher risk of substance use issues. Check on your loved ones. Furthermore, if you know someone who has struggled with addiction in the past, reach out just to say hello. When we show up for other people we can truly save lives. 
  • End the stigma. Be an advocate. What we know, from experience, is that there is still a lot of stigma around substances, especially hard drugs such as opiates and heroin. Not only do we need education, but we also need to chip away at this stigma. Some ways to do this are:
    • read about mental health and substance abuse to really understand how interconnected the two are. Some great options are here.
    • talk openly about substances with those you care about
    • let others know there is no shame in struggling

Finally, stay in communication in your region. When we advocate for awareness, education, prevention, and safety, we can help local representatives who need support (and they always do!). If you or someone you know is having a hard time, help is available. Even if Redpoint is not the appropriate fit, we will guide you and help you find what is.

We are here for you. The Redpoint Center offers two locations in Colorado. Call us. (888) 509-3153

Redpoint Center Blog Fentanyl Addiction Denver Opiates

Fentanyl in Colorado

By Addiction, Treatment

Fentanyl Alert

Fentanyl is a highly addictive and dangerous opiate that is often used for pain management. It is a synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin. Opiates are a major source of addiction in the US. Overdoses caused by fentanyl can happen faster and are harder to stop than those caused by other opioids. The drug comes in many forms, including pills, capsules, rock, and powders. 

On Wednesday, July 22, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE) issued an alert about an increase in overdose-related deaths in Denver linked to the synthetic opioid Fentanyl. Compared to 2019, January to May of 2020 yielded a 282% increase in fatal overdoses involving fentanyl. Fentanyl, 50 times more potent than heroin, is an extremely dangerous substance that is undetectable when mixed with heroin, cocaine, crack or methamphetamines. The substance is often mixed with other narcotics to increase the high for a limited cost.

Fentanyl-Related Deaths

The rise in fentanyl-related deaths is not exclusive to Denver county. In NYC in 2017, fentanyl was involved in 57% of overdose deaths.

As Boulder County District Attorney Michael Doughtery stated: “It’s cheap to manufacture and easier to distribute because it’s harder to crack and detect. It’s also more difficult for people using the drug to understand or to know what they’re putting in their bodies.”

For those who are active drug users, the DDPHE offers these precautions against overdose: 

The DDPHE offers the following precautions against overdose:

  • DON’T USE ALONE: If you are using, let someone know or don’t do it alone. 
  • CARRY NALOXONE: If you are an active user, carry naloxone with you to counter an opioid overdose. Available to purchase at www.stoptheclockcolorado.org.
  • TEST YOUR DRUGS: Use smaller doses to test potency, or inject slower if injecting. 
  • DON’T MIX YOUR DRUGS: Mixing opioids, alcohol and benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin) can increase risk of overdose. 
  • CALL 911: If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately.  

Please be careful when dealing with this substance. It is highly dangerous.

 

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