TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. – Experts from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center, an addiction treatment center in the Tampa Bay area, are encouraging people struggling with substance abuse and addiction to make positive changes for the New Year.
According to a recent survey conducted by the CDC, more people are reportedly using drugs and alcohol. More than 13 percent of the respondents of the survey conducted in June acknowledged starting or increasing substance abuse (including drugs and alcohol) when compared to early April.
Mental health issues also rose, according to the CDC’s survey. Anxiety disorder symptoms were reported to be about 3 times of those in the second quarter of 2019 (25.5% versus 8.1%), and depressive disorder symptoms were about 4 times the amount of those in Q2 2019 (24.3% versus 6.5%).
“Addiction and mental health go hand in hand. We recommend that people seek treatment for both issues to increase their likelihood of success, resulting in full independence from drug and alcohol abuse or dependency,” said John Templeton Jr., president and co-founder of Footprints Beachside Recovery Center.
Experts also acknowledge that suicide is directly linked to mental health and substance abuse, as well. Sadly, according to the survey, more than twice as many respondents reported serious consideration of suicide in the previous 30 days than did adults in the U.S. in 2018, referring to the previous 12 months (10.7% versus 4.3%).
“Amid stresses caused by the pandemic we are witnessing a surge in substance abuse across the nation. The most alarming statistic is the increase in people contemplating suicide as an option,” said Templeton. “We can’t express how important it is for people to get help before it’s too late.”
To help people in need, recovery experts from Footprints Beachside Recovery Center are offering treatment tips for dealing with addiction.
- Alcohol – While cutting back can be a good start, heavy drinkers may need medical intervention, as the withdrawal symptoms from alcohol can include seizures and even be life threatening. This should never be attempted cold turkey. Medical intervention like a detox followed by a minimum 30 day treatment program with individual therapy can be very effective.
- Opioids – If you or someone you know is abusing prescription pain killers or opiates like heroin, treatment should be sought quickly. Treatment for opioids is very effective and should include a medical detox to ease the symptoms and inpatient treatment to remove the user from their environment. Even for someone who is not intending on misuse, they should have a plan to get off of their prescription safely and that shouldn’t just be “quitting” once the medication runs out. We always recommend speaking with your doctor or an addiction medicine doctor who understands the pharmacology of substances and the effects on each person.
- Stimulants – Prescription medications like Adderall and Ritalin are often used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but like all medication, they can be misused. Cocaine and methamphetamine are two of the most addictive street stimulants and can be snorted, injected or smoked. People who abuse stimulants should seek treatment due to the acute adverse physiological effects to the respiratory, cardiovascular and central nervous symptoms, and altered mental states, like suicidal ideation and neurological problems.
- Smoking – Medications like Chantix and Zyban, as well as nicotine replace products like the patch, inhaler and nasal spray have also shown to be effective. Counseling and medication are both effective for treating tobacco dependence and using them together is more effective than using either one alone. The good news is that there are effective treatment options for smokers. In fact, there are more former smokers than current smokers.
Founded in 2008, Footprints Beachside Recovery Center is a small, private, holistic substance abuse treatment center for adults and is located in Pinellas County, Fla. Footprints provides specialized treatment plans for patients from throughout the U.S. and around the world. Opioid addiction recovery programs at Footprints focus on ensuring safe withdrawals and often combine holistic treatment with medication assisted therapies to reduce cravings and provide more successful recovery outcomes for patients.