Skip to main content
Category

Featured

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.

Redpoint Center Managing Trauma

Managing Trauma, Together

By Featured, Mental Health

Managing trauma and finding solid support may not feel easy but it’s something we’re doing collectively and independently. Over the past week, we’ve all been focused on supporting one another following the horrific Boulder shooting at King Soopers. When we go through tragedies like this, it’s natural to feel grief, anger, overwhelm, or stress. It’s also completely normal to feel fearful or concern when violence touches close to home. The first key step toward feeling connected is knowing you are not alone. We are all going through this together.

For Redpoint, it hit particularly close since the location is so near our Longmont outpatient program and our team shops at the King Soopers market for our clients.

Managing Trauma

The first, perhaps most important step when we are managing trauma, is to breathe and hold space for ourselves. Your feelings are valid. What’s more, there are others feeling exactly the way you are. In addition, it’s natural to feel confused, upset, or despondent when something awful happens. Depending on whether you know someone directly connected to the shooting, or not,  the impact is felt. Sometimes, when we don’t know someone directly associated, we minimize our emotions or feelings. We don’t need to do this.

Normalize Mental Health

We may tend to think we need to muscle through or wear a brave face after going through a traumatic situation. But we don’t. In fact, when we talk about our experiences, and share the pain we may be feeling, we tend to feel better. Research shows that problems spoken and shared often feel less overwhelming. This is important when it comes to minimizing stress. Speaking to our feelings is also a direct part of taking care of ourselves. Another powerful component of reducing societal stigma around mental health concerns is pulling back the covers. What is held in isolation may invoke shame or feelings of denial.

Make Room for Boundaries

Practicing self-awareness means also carving out healthy boundaries for our mental health. When it comes to managing trauma, in particular, this might mean avoiding excessive news exposure, talking to people with whom you feel comfortable and safe. It also may mean that we take a mental health day at work or turn off certain notifications we don’t need right now. Whatever it is that you feel helps to preserve a sense of support for ourselves is what we need.

Practice Healthy Self-care

There are lot’s of ways to care for ourselves. It may mean we take a day to rest, we might reach out to others in service to get out of our heads, or we may go for a run to let off steam and get into the moment. Perhaps we take some quiet time to read a book or cuddle with our animals. Whatever self-care you feel is right for you, do it. This is important regardless of a tragedy but when trauma hits, we need the comforts of activities that help us to feel grounded.

Connect with Others and Showing Support

When we are struggling, it can be hard to reach out. However, it is vital that we stay connected to those we love. It may also be important to lean on professional support. This may be a therapist, counselor, or group therapy. It may be inpatient or outpatient care is needed. Don’t hesitate to be an advocate for yourself and others as needed.

If you wish to support someone who is struggling, there are some ways you can do so skillfully.

  • Communicate. The best way to connect with someone is to start a dialogue. If you fear someone is really having a hard time, reach out and show them you’re there. Sometimes, that is all we need. You can ask them how they’re feeling, if there’s anything you can do to support them, and you can remind them you are present to share the experience. Communication goes a long way.
  • Show empathy. We sometimes hesitate to share feelings if we feel uncomfortable or wrong to have them in the first place. Normalizing others’ feelings is one way to relate to them and make them feel less alone. This may be an opportunity to share how you are feeling or how you went through a painful period. It’s ideal to avoid words or phrases that might seem judgmental and ensure that your friend or family member knows you get it.
  • Stay in touch. If you don’t get too far or someone needs more time, come back to them, perhaps later or the next day. Let them know you’re here if they need you.

Managing Trauma Through Professional Support

Ultimately, as noted earlier, if you need professional support, reach out for assistance. The team at Redpoint Center is always here to assist and we can help guide you toward the right services if ours are not a good fit. We are here to help. If there’s anything experience has taught us, it’s that now more than ever, we need each other. Together, we can get through. Sending so much love to you and yours. May we all feel supported.

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.