My Friend Drinks Too Much, What Should I Do?

My Friend Drinks Too Much, What Should I Do?

Does “just one drink” always turn into a night of endless drinks for your buddy?

Does every event or get together you go to end up with them in a sloppy mess? Or maybe they don’t go out at all and are drinking by themselves constantly?

Whatever the circumstances might be, if you ever had the thought, “my friend drinks too” and if you’re here reading this, it’s not a great sign. Now, this article isn’t meant to diagnose alcoholism or an alcohol use disorder but the fact is, if you’re worried, you likely have a reason to be.

It’s a noble thing and a sign of a great friend to be concerned so kudos to you already for going the extra mile for your friend.

Alcohol use disorder affects about 15 million people in the United States and only about 8% receive treatment according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Therefore, your concern could very well save your friend’s life.

What Are the Warning Signs That My Friend Drinks Too Much?

From a medical perspective, a person needs to meet particular criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to be properly diagnosed as having alcohol use disorder. It’s a pretty lengthy list of questions but they’re all very straightforward.

Note, you shouldn’t, under really any circumstance, just start interrogating a friend that you suspect drinks too much. That type of accusatory approach will bring nothing but defensiveness and resentment. Moreover, it’ll serve to create a rift and distrust between you and your friend.

Rather, you should be on the lookout for warning signs and these pull from/relate to the aforementioned DSM-5 manual:

  • They spend an inordinate amount of drinking and recovering from drinking (aka hangovers)
  • Inability to cut back, even when they try to
  • Falling behind and failing to keep up with responsibilities at home, school or at the office
  • Strained or lost friendships because of drinking
  • Continually increased tolerance and needing more and more to reach the same level of drunkenness
  • Drinking until blacking out unintentionally
  • Foregoing and just plain giving up on activities they used to enjoy because of alcohol
  • Financial and legal issues related to drinking
  • Unable to relax, feel like “themselves” or generally confident without drinks

It’s a pretty long list and to be honest, a lot of their behavior will start to become more and more noticeable the longer their affair with alcohol continues. It’s a snowball effect in a sense.

How Do I Get My Friend Help?

The warning signs are piling up and the question becomes what to do if your friend is becoming an alcoholic.

As noted earlier, don’t go straight in confrontationally, that’s bound to have negative results. There are vital things you can do though to lead them towards help and the first thing on the list is learning about addiction yourself. You’ve already started that by reading this and understanding the signs of alcohol abuse.

The next thing is to learn about the various treatment options available depending on the scope of the problem.

At a certain point though you will have to have that conversation and the preparation you do is key. Talk to a rehab facility, know what detox and recovery entail in advance. In as delicate a way as possible you want to explain your worries and that it’s affecting not only the relationships they have with you and others but that it’s holding them back. See if there’s anything you can do to help.

Reach Out to Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network Today

At Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network, we’ve seen it all before and have helped countless souls get on the path to recovery. If you’re not sure what to do next, please, don’t hesitate to reach out to us and just ask. That’s what we’re here for.

Four Types of Drug Addiction Support Groups

Four Types of Drug Addiction

Most folks are familiar with the broad strokes of recovery and treatment. The detox, inpatient care and outpatient care. What about after that though?

What happens once you’ve finished your stay at an inpatient facility or completed the outpatient program? Do you just go right back to your day to day and hope for the best?

That’s one way to go but it’s not one that necessarily sets you up for the best chance at making your recovery a lasting one, which is where support groups come in.

Having a place to go where you’re in the company of people who genuinely understand what you’ve gone through and can lend support in ways that those who haven’t might not be able to muster. The benefits are vast, running the gamut from being a place where you can create friendships with other sober-minded people to having another layer of accountability which is always nice.

Stick with a support group long enough and you may even find yourself guiding and mentoring newly sober people. This benefits your own recovery tremendously and also lets you look back at just how far you’ve come.

Here are the 4 big substance abuse support groups to know:

Alcoholics Anonymous

Certainly the most well known of all the support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous has been around since way back in 1935 in Akron, Ohio. To put it in the simplest terms we can go straight to the source, it’s “an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.”

AA is also the group that started the now-iconic 12 step programs and “The Big Book” is listed on Time Magazine’s 100 best and most influential non-fiction books list.

The one caveat with this program is that the 12 steps stress the importance of religion and God which can be a turn-off for some. Don’t’ fret though, keep reading for more options!

Narcotics Anonymous

Off the heels of the success Alcoholics Anonymous had with helping alcoholics, Narcotics Anonymous followed along and created 12 steps programs dedicated to drug abuse rather than alcohol.

It’s worth noting that meetings for both NA and AA are free of charge and the only “cost” is an optional donation that goes towards covering things like the room rental, coffee, snacks, etc. 

SMART Recovery

Like AA, SMART Recovery also has an Ohio connection being headquartered there but was created more recently in 1994. The big difference between this group and AA/NA is that there is no spiritual component, so it removes that perceived barrier for people. They note that their “groups are free and open to anyone seeking science-based, self-empowered addiction recovery”.

SMART, as you may have guessed already is an acronym that stands for, “Self-Management and Recovery Training”.

Pulling from their literature, SMART Recovery’s approach to behavioral change is built around our 4-Point Program®:

  1. Building and maintaining the motivation to change.
  2. Coping with urges to use.
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in an effective way without addictive behaviors.
  4. Living a balanced, positive, and healthy life.

Refuge Recovery

Another relatively new entrant which also takes a markedly different approach to recovery and support groups, Refuge Recovery is built on the foundation of Buddhist principles. Whereas AA/NA focus on 12 steps and SMART Recovery is a 4-point program, Refuge created an eightfold path to recovery which looks like this:

  1. Understanding
  2. Intention
  3. Communication/Community
  4. Action
  5. Livelihood/Service
  6. Effort
  7. Mindfulness/Meditations
  8. Concentration/Meditations

Reach Out to Us Today

The wonderful thing about having options that are so diverse in their methodology, tactics and inspiration is that there truly is a group that suits your specific wants and needs. If you’re having trouble landing on the one that works best for you, give us a buzz at Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network and we can do a deep dive on each with you.

Thinking of Getting Help With Addiction? Here Are the Different Types of Rehab

Different Types of Rehab

While the road to sobriety is a difficult one, finding lasting recovery can end up being the most rewarding journey you take in life. Addiction is an affliction that affects far too many people, a Surgeon General’s report noted that “nearly 21 million Americans – more than the number of people who have all cancers combined – suffer from substance use disorders.”

Perhaps equally devastating is the fact that of those 21 million people, only about 10% are getting treatment.

That’s a problem. 90% of folks grappling with addiction, for whatever reason, aren’t getting the treatment they need. That’s not for a lack of options though. Rehab comes in various forms to accommodate people from all walks of life.

Defining Rehab

In a broad sense, rehab is a program that pulls together various therapies and treatment modalities with the aim of breaking the cycle of addiction and giving you the tools to navigate life without resorting to substances.

The dictionary, always a great place to go for definition, puts rehabilitation this way, “restoration especially by therapeutic means to an improved condition of physical function…also the process of restoring a person to a drug- or alcohol-free state”.

How Does Rehab Help with Addiction?

Rehab helps those struggling with addiction in several crucial ways:

Safe Place – A rehab facility creates a safe environment for recovery. Getting clean in the place you are can feel like an insurmountable mountain, by removing yourself from those surroundings and being a place dedicated to sobriety, you give yourself a better shot.

Counseling – This is where the magic happens so to speak and is the foundational part of rehab. Both individual and group counseling are hallmarks of rehab and work to uncover the deeper levels of your substance abuse.

Foundation – Speaking of “foundational part”, the very idea of rehab is to set you up with tools that allow you to overcome difficulties that may have led you to substances in the past. In that sense, rehab helps create a foundation on which to build out the rest of your life.

Connection – Group therapy is part of this but so too are things like the various 12-step programs that you may be introduced to in rehab. Creating connections and friendships with others that have dedicated themselves to sobriety creates accountability because going back to an environment where you’re surrounded by substance users can be tough.

Different Types of Rehab Facilities

The main types of rehab facilities breakdown as follows:

Detox – The first part of most rehab journeys is detox. This will likely be the toughest part of getting clean to endure as you’ll have to face withdrawal symptoms. Doing this in a place where it’s supervised by those who understand what you’re going through, however, helps to alleviate some of that hardship.

Residential Inpatient – This is sort of what it sounds like, in inpatient care you live in a treatment center. It’s the most intensive type of rehab as it puts your recovery in full focus. It’s all you work on and is without outside distractions. In addition to the counseling and group work that are staples, different facilities will offer additional treatment options like various alternative therapies.

Outpatient – Similar to inpatient in terms of the focus on counseling and group work, with outpatient care you’re free to come and go as you please. You can go to work and school as usual but have scheduled times for care.

Aftercare/Sober Living – After completing your main rehab work, aftercare and sober living are fantastic as transition steps back into your normal day to day. Some people may just find it tough to go straight back and a sober living home provides a clean, safe and regulated environment in which you’re surrounded by others working towards the same goal. Some homes require participation in 12-step programs or the like to ensure progress continues.

Let Lake Arrowhead Recovery Help You Today! 

There really are plenty of different types of rehab facilities out and as you start looking into them individually, you’ll see that they cater to all types of people. Some are more into alternative therapies while others stick more closely to the traditional approaches, if you’re finding it difficult to navigate the abundance of choice, reach out to us at Lake Arrowhead Recovery and we’ll help you find the rehab that’s right for you.

What Do Drug Intervention Specialists Do?

what do drug interventionists do

Often the first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word intervention is the long-running A&E TV show of the same name.

It paints a riveting, harrowing and sometimes hard to watch portrait of addiction and how tough it is to get someone the help they desperately need. While the drama is amplified for TV, interventions don’t routinely escalate into the fireworks on the show, the general concept and point of what you see is the same in real life.

The idea is to get people into addiction treatment.

An intervention specialist is the one that creates the plan to give that outcome the highest likelihood of this happening. 

On a deeper level, according to the Association Of Intervention Specialists, “the interventionist is the individual who helps identify the appropriate people in the life of a person who is experiencing substance use, mental or behavioral health problems that will become an influential part of a recovery team. The team will enable their person and family to accept treatment and recovery. The interventionist supports, educates, provides guidance, direction and training, as well as the facilitation of the intervention and aftercare”.

Drug Intervention: Who Needs One?

Unfortunately, there’s no set in stone answer to that question. Each case of addiction is unique and therefore the solutions are always uniquely tailored.

If you have a loved one struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, you’ve most likely already noticed how fruitless it’s been to suggest that they just cut back or seek help. They don’t want to hear it because, in their minds, they don’t have a problem. There’s nothing to seek help for in their view.

There are signs you can look for that would clue you in on if it’s time to go the intervention route:

  • Tolerance is markedly increased
  • Physical appearance changes dramatically
  • Moodiness and volatile emotionally
  • Work, school and/or family life are suffering
  • Increasing isolation

What Happens During an Intervention?

At a certain point, you’ve reached your limit. It’s a tragic place to arrive as a family member or a friend. You simply can’t take it anymore and confronting the drug or alcohol abuse head-on is the only remaining option.

The Mayo Clinic does an excellent job breaking down what happens before, during and after an intervention:


  • Make a plan – This is where the intervention specialist comes in, this is a very intense situation and having a pro from the outset makes things easier. 
  • Gather information – Understanding the scope of the problem and the best treatment options.
  • Form the intervention team – It’s critical to involve the right people from the family and friend circle. Those who will have the most impact on the user. Then rehearse the message and set the plan in stone.
  • Decide on specific consequences – Arguably the toughest scenario is if your loved one refuses help and you and your intervention team need to lie out the steep consequences of that choice. You need to be ready to stick to those 100%.
  • Make notes on what to say – Given the emotionally charged nature of an intervention, it’s critical to write your message down. With care, explain how addiction has created issues, financially and emotionally.
  • Hold the intervention meeting – Get your loved one to the chosen location and enact the plan you formulated. Everyone expresses their feelings and treatment options are made available which need to be accepted right there and then.
  • Follow up – Make sure the treatment is on course and that you remain completely supportive and available


Who to Talk to About Intervention

Even having to consider an intervention is understandably emotionally taxing. Addiction isn’t something anyone plans for but once it happens, it’s at least possible to plan for a way out. At Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network, we can help you decipher if intervention is the right move and then connect you with an intervention specialist well-suited for your particular needs. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

What Is Alcoholics Anonymous? Is It for Me?

What is alcoholics anonymous

Great questions.

If your drinking has taken way too much control of your life, become a problem that you’re looking to solve or have even been confronted directly by friends and family that it’s an issue, you’ve likely come across Alcoholics Anonymous already.

Drinking is absolutely something that’s addictive and prolonged use leads to a dependency that can be hard to shake on your own. If you’ve been contemplating quitting but just don’t know where to start, AA is an excellent place to start.

Alcoholics Anonymous is where the concept of the 12-step program started back in 1935 and it’s been a stunningly effective resource for those who struggle to quit and stay off the drink. In addition to the steps, it’s a program based on discussion-based meetings and the group/peer support that comes with them. Importantly, those get-togethers are free to attend with the only ask being a donation, if possible, to cover expenses for the meeting, things like refreshments, room rental, etc.

Fast forward to today and you can find AA meetings in almost every country (even on cruise ships). Here at home, consider that 14.4 adults have an alcohol use disorder of which not even 8% receive treatment, having access to free resources like AA is, therefore, a lifesaver for some.

Whether the program is for you is, naturally, up to you but they do have a handy 12 question survey that can point you in the right direction.

Defining Alcoholics Anonymous

In case the above wasn’t clear, here’s how AA describe AA:

 “Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. There are no age or education requirements. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about his or her drinking problem.”

It’s broad, available to all and decentralized by design.

You might be wondering what the steps are, well, wonder no more:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

You might be wondering after reading the steps if you need to be religious for AA? Nope, while it does have religious connotations, a 1990 study notes that “to superficially dismiss AA as a potentially effective addiction recovery support option on the grounds that it is “religious” and therefore unscientific, is inconsistent with the body of rigorous research accumulated during the past 25 years”.

For their part, Alcoholics Anonymous calls their steps “spiritual in nature”. Ultimately, if it’s a potential issue for you, consider swapping in the words “Higher Power” for “God” and defining that how you’d like.

Who Needs to Go to AA?

Getting involved with Alcoholics Anonymous can be just the thing to not only get out sober but keep you sober however the choice is in your hands. If drinking has been a problem that you haven’t managed to get under control on your own, a low pressure, community-based program like AA can work wonders for you. Give us a call at Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network and we can walk you through the ins and outs more thoroughly and help find you a meeting in your area.

Beer Addiction

beer addiction

Beer Addiction: Yes, It’s Real

There are several pernicious myths out there about drinking that work to prevent people from getting the help they need with alcoholism. Though many have been revealed to be thoroughly untrue and largely discredited, one of the biggies that remain is you can’t get addicted to beer. Alternately put as just drinking beer can’t make you an alcoholic.

Not true.

Beer addiction is real and alcoholism can be feed by beer alone.

These are simple yet profound truths that need to be repeated often so people feel start to feel more comfortable talking about their problems with controlling their beer consumption.

It’s already tough enough to struggle with alcoholism, it’s even worse if you feel isolated to the point that you don’t seek assistance or treatment because your addiction isn’t perceived as “real” by friends and family.

Beer Addiction and Alcoholism

The type of alcohol you consume isn’t what defines alcoholism. It bears repeating: the type of alcohol you consume is not what defines alcoholism.

As Mayo Clinic notes, “alcohol use disorder (which includes a level that’s sometimes called alcoholism) is a pattern of alcohol use that involves problems controlling your drinking, being preoccupied with alcohol, continuing to use alcohol even when it causes problems, having to drink more to get the same effect, or having withdrawal symptoms when you rapidly decrease or stop drinking.”

Nothing in that definition, or any definition you’ll find, makes an exception for beer.

Nonetheless, beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage on the planet, being one of the oldest drinks that people created. It’s no wonder its consumption is therefore normalized in the extreme.

Beer addiction presents itself as other any other form of addiction would, and the Mayo Clinic sums that up nicely. Recognizing these symptoms of alcoholism as a larger problem that needs attention is often a problem because of the degree to which society looks at beer as innocuous and innocent.

When we strip it down to brass tacks the same ethyl alcohol (ethanol), the agent which causes intoxication and that’s created during fermentation, is found in all alcoholic beverages, from beer to wine to spirits. Just in different concentrations. So, if our bodies are all simply reacting to same ethyl alcohol then of course beer can, and does, lead to addiction and alcoholism. Same as it could for wine or hard liquors.

It’s the amount of alcohol, not the type that matters.

Can You Be an Alcoholic Drinking Beer?

“It’s just one beer” or “I don’t even drink every day!” or “I can cut back whenever I want”. The excuses we tell ourselves about beer are the same that other addicts tell themselves and the outside world about their own addiction issues.

It’s all denialism.

Drinking too much beer can absolutely lead to being an alcoholic. It’s a cascading effect as drinking beer feeds the cravings and leads to the inability to stop that define alcoholism.

Heavy drinking, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 15 drinks or more per week for men and 8 for women. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism adds that heavy alcohol use is considered 4 or more drinks on any day for men and 3 for women.

Prolonged beer-drinking above those levels can easily have you slip into the world of addiction as your body grows accustomed to that level of alcohol in the system and begins to crave more. 

Get Help with Alcohol

Alcoholism, and particularly beer addiction, is not something you need to tackle and overcome on your own. You don’t have to feel uncomfortable or alone in this, reach out to us at Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network and let’s talk about the effect’s beer has had on your life. Our advisors can connect you with a treatment program that fits your needs.

Addiction Group Therapy

group therapy for addiction

All recovery and treatment centers have plenty of tools at their disposal, it’s the nature of the work. In fact, it’s really because of those varied treatment methods that rehabs are able to achieve the life-changing results they do. The beauty of having a great many options is that it makes it possible for treatment centers to create a highly tailored strategy for each individual suffering through substance abuse addiction that comes through their doors.

Some people just respond better to particular methods of treatment and the key is creating a combination of options and a plan of attack to tackle the underlying issues from all sides. A broad and multifaceted approach that strives to work wonders.

Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network knows depending on the person, group therapy for substance abuse can be a powerful and revelatory part of the process.

What Is Addiction Group Therapy?

The definition is right in the name, group therapy is the idea of getting people together, under the guidance of a trained professional, to try and work through the similar issues they’re all facing, together. By sharing details of their experience in a safe and protected environment and listening to others tell comparable stories, participants end up coming out with a better understanding of themselves.

They get a deeper and more nuanced understanding of their own substance abuse by way of others.

Benefits of Group Therapy for Substance Abuse

The potential upside with group therapy is massive. Just the simple act of sharing things with people outside of your one on one counseling sessions, getting it off your chest to more than an audience of one, pays dividends.

Nothing can replicate the strong community-building aspect that comes from being able to analyze experiences with people that can truly relate.

Often substance abuse becomes an isolating part of one’s life. Relationships and bridges get burned in the process and people fade by the wayside. Getting that next fix is the only goal. In group therapy, you’re with people that have lived through those same situations and have had those feelings of isolation consume them. As conversations evolve, that sense of being alone you’ve felt begins to fade away in the comfort and company of others.

Meanwhile, having those tough talks lead to the formation of strong bonds, the building blocks of meaningful relationships. The people you meet in group therapy could very well become part of your sober network once you leave rehab.

Seeing others succeed and progress in their own recovery journey brings with it its own positive energy. Their success inspires you to strive harder for your own with group therapy becoming a potent motivator.

Additionally, the continuous positive feedback and support from your peers and therapists are game changers.


On top of all of that, you’re learning healthy ways to cope with the trigger’s life inevitably will throw your way.

Being equipped with that type of concrete and actionable knowledge as well as a solid foundation of support means that group therapy can help with your self-confidence and self-worth. The encouragement functions to balloon your optimism.

The litany of benefits to group therapy far outweighs any type of trepidation you might have in getting involved.

Where to Find Group Therapy for Drug Addiction

If group therapy sounds like just the ticket for you or a family member or friend in need but you aren’t sure where to start your search for finding the perfect fit, don’t worry. Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network in southern California can help you sift through what can feel like an overwhelming amount of options and get you into a facility that suits you best. Get in touch with one of our advisors today to learn more.

Holistic Addiction Treatment and Therapy

holistic addiction treatment

Addiction treatment isn’t necessarily a rigid framework. Sure, some big-ticket, broad boxes need to be checked in any treatment program, like getting through detox, for example. Inpatient, outpatient, behavioral, etc. treatment are standards as well. Inside those large silos is a lot of wiggle room though because the treatment process is always suited to individual needs.

That means a lot of rehab facilities are starting to embrace holistic addiction treatment therapies. These don’t replace the traditional, time-honored approaches to addiction but work as add-ons or compliments that often work to improve the results. The reason being is that they break things down to an even more thoroughly personal experience. Treatment centers often use the word “holistic”, when they offer alternative therapies, it’s a good sign they mean it. At Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network’s drug addition center in California, we’d like to share with you more information regarding holistic addiction treatment. 

Types of Holistic Addiction Treatment


Yoga & Mindfulness

It’s become increasingly common to see some type of mindfulness training, most often yoga, being added to holistic treatment for drug addiction and it’s quite clear to see why. Yoga forces a patient to focus their mind on their breathing and their bodies. It’s very deliberate in the way it commands your attention.

According to the American Holistic Health Association it can “contribute to a greater sense of control in more acute states when experiencing cravings, insomnia, and agitation”. Connecting your body and mind, in other words, creates a stronger sense of self-discipline and can reduce stress in moments when triggered.


Art Therapy

Let’s quickly address the elephant in the room, you don’t have to be a good artist or even an artist at all to get the substantial benefits of art therapy. This type of holistic addiction treatment is really meant to promote and celebrate self-expression. It focuses the mind on the process of creation and the emotions associated with it.



This has a more futuristic feel to it. During a biofeedback session, electrical sensors are attached to a patient to measure various processes in the body. There are many methods, some of the more familiar measures; brain waves (EEG), heart rate (ECG) and muscle contraction (EMG).

The idea is that there are certain, involuntary functions that a person can gain control of through the use of biofeedback therapy. It can help you with things like; anxiety, blood pressure, headaches, swearing and more related to your addiction.



Your mind may have gone straight to acupuncture when you read the headline. It’s understandable. Acupuncture is possibly the most visible and certainly the most eye-catching of the alternative therapies out there. You see it offered in spas and on cruise ships these days.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice and involves inserting thin needles into strategic points on the body, the goal of the procedure is to balance the flow of energy or chi.  Addiction throws the energy of your body totally out of whack and this is a chemical-free way to encourage a realignment of sorts. Acupuncture has also anecdotally been linked to increases in dopamine which is a positive as that’s the chemical associated with pleasure.


Fine Holistic Addiction Treatment With Us

This is just a small sample of the many holistic treatments for drug addiction available. It’s a whole new facet of treatment and you’re well within your rights to feel a little overwhelmed by having so many choices. That said, you don’t need to do the research alone, at Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network’s California recovery center, a certified advisor, well versed in all these therapies and more who can walk you through each. Not just a surface, 30,000-foot view either, an in-depth discussion on what each one is and if it’s right for you or your loved one. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

How to Identify a Meth Addict

how to identify a meth addict
Crystal meth aka ice, glass, crank, speed and a whole host of other names, is shorthand for crystal methamphetamine. No matter what you call it, the fact of the matter is that it’s an incredibly addictive stimulant which affects the central nervous system. Crystal meth causes dopamine to flood the brain, which leads to potent feelings of euphoria and pleasure. This is an experience so powerful that it can hook users extremely quickly and have them seeking the high aggressively. It can be smoked, snorted, swallowed or injected, and the method of intake and administration can dramatically affect the intensity of the high. The binge-crash pattern is also notable; the intense pleasure is followed by feelings of depression and tiredness, which are accompanied by severe cravings when the drug wears off. Methamphetamine is not something that occurs naturally, it’s a purely man-made drug and aside from dire effects on the person taking it, the production of meth is itself a wildly dangerous operation that involves dangerous chemicals, and the very real possibility of causing explosions.

How Does It Affect a Meth Addict’s Body?

To put it in no uncertain terms, crystal meth devastates the body. You’ve likely seen the photos of people suffering from a crystal meth addiction, that show the before and after of the horrors of prolonged methamphetamine use. They make for a difficult, but ultimately sobering viewing and provide the most powerful insight into the scourge of this drug. Given the ubiquity of those pictures, the effects on the face of long term crystal meth use are the most well-known and clear. Serious tooth decay. Constant grinding wears down teeth. The general neglect of personal hygiene leads to erosion of the gums. Users can experience liver, kidney and lung damage and permanent damage to blood vessels. Depending on how the drug is ingested, someone who is addicted to crystal meth for a prolonged period can destroy tissue in their nose if snorted, have breathing issues if smoked or develop infections, diseases and abscesses if injected. On top of that, crystal meth has a drastic effect on appetites to weight loss and malnutrition accompany and exacerbate the degradation of the body.

Signs of a Crystal Meth Addiction

A crystal meth addiction isn’t something that necessarily sneaks up on you. The good news is it can be spotted before it gets way out of control. If you’re concerned your loved one may be addicted to meth, there are a number of signs and symptoms to look for that can clue you in.
  • Disregard for their appearance, hygiene or grooming
  • Sores on their skin or picking at it obsessively
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss that’s rapid or extreme
  • Twitchiness and facial tics
  • Erratic movement 
  • Mood swings or outburst
  • Paranoia
  • Increasingly unusual sleeping patterns
Additionally, if someone has used too much meth; seizures, heart attacks and heart attack-like symptoms (i.e. chest pain) and heatstroke are possible, and require immediate attention.

How to Get Help

Given its highly addictive nature, crystal meth is very much among the hardest drug addictions to treat. It’s just so utterly potent. That being said, getting clean from crystal meth is without a doubt doable, but not a task to be undertaken on your own. The psychological pull and drive to continue using crystal meth is something that requires dedicated and knowledgeable professional intervention. With the right treatment and support program, it’s possible for anyone to get through a crystal meth addiction. At Lake Arrowhead Recovery Network, we truly understand the importance of finding an addiction treatment program that suits your needs. Get in touch with us, talk to one of our certified advisors who knows this process intimately, and we will provide treatment options specific to what will help you the most. Contact us today. Don’t wait, take action today, addiction to crystal meth only gets worse when left untreated. 

Ending the Stigma of Addiction Together

Many people believe that addiction is related to moral problems, and that people with substance abuse disorders choose to abuse drugs or alcohol. Unlike other people with chronic illnesses, addicts are blamed for their condition. This kind of stigma creates fear, guilt, and shame that prevents thousands of people from seeking help and getting the proper addiction treatment.

Stigma is the most formidable form of an obstacle when it comes to effective addiction treatment. Addicts have a much better chance of recovery when they feel supported and understood.

Establishing What Stigma Is

Stigma can be defined as a set of negative beliefs in a society about a topic or a particular group of people, and it is mostly fueled by misinformation. It is also a significant cause of discrimination, as it contributes to the abuse of human rights. Stigma not only affects the individual dealing with addiction but also:

  • Their friends
  • Their families
  • Their employers and colleagues 
  • The members of the justice system
  • Health care providers

People with substance abuse disorders are generally discriminated against and excluded because of their health status. Friends and family or the general public that have a negative feeling about drug abuse, may use derogatory terms to refer to them. These labels and negativity can quickly perpetuate stigma. Studies have found that the general public is more likely to have a negative feeling or attitude towards people dealing with substance abuse than those with mental illness.

What Is the Stigma Surrounding Addiction?

The stigma surrounding addiction is fueled by the lack of information about the subject. While scientists have found and helped us understand that addiction is chronic, society is yet to catch up, as most people still believe that addiction is a personal choice. No one chooses to get addicted. Addiction can be caused by many factors, like environmental influences and general vulnerability.

People who don’t understand the medical part of addiction may view it as a willpower problem and may assume that the addict brought it upon themselves. However, like any other health problem, addiction requires proper medical treatment, and adicts require the same support, respect, and treatment as a chronic health patient.  

How Can We Prevent This?

No one likes to be devalued or negatively judged, no matter the situation. To help addicts start their treatment and recovery journey from drug abuse, it’s up to us to get rid of the stigma surrounding addiction. Since the stigma of addiction is closely linked to lack of understanding and proper education, there is no simple way of stopping it, but there are steps that we can take to hasten and make progress in the area. 

When we start speaking up against the stigmatization of addiction, we shed some light on the society about their perception. Some of the most effective ways of reducing stigma include: 

  • Displaying kindness to people dealing with addiction  
  • Offering compassion or being compassionate
  • Listening without subconsciously judging a person
  • Avoiding hurtful labels and speaking out about them
  • Viewing people for who they are and not the kind of substance they use
  • Doing adequate research about drug or substance dependency 
  • Speaking up when you see people being mistreated because of drug use
  • Treating people who are struggling with addiction with respect and dignity
  • Replacing negative comments and posts with evidence and facts
  • Sharing stories of addiction

Reducing stigmatization is a collective effort from the people dealing with addiction and nonaddicts. Everyone has a role to play in bringing positivity in the world of addiction recovery.

We Can Help

Addiction today is a growing problem. With proper treatment plans and support, anyone struggling with addiction can make a full recovery. Don’t let stigma prevent you or people you care about from getting help. 

At Lake Arrowhead Recovery Resource, we are here for you because we care about you and the people you love. Reach out to us if you or someone close to you is looking for a suitable addiction recovery center, and we will help connect you with our holistic centers who will offer you the best addiction treatment plan based on your needs. Our support teams will also be with you throughout your recovery journey. Make your call and start your journey to sobriety today!