Addiction Treatment

After experimenting with marijuana and alcohol for the first time, you’ve developed a psychological dependence. There is much debate about the physical vs. psychological dependence on substances. 

Your emotional processing plays a significant role in the development of a substance use disorder. A substance use disorder can be described as uncontrolled cravings for a substance or behavior, despite the negative consequences and attempts to quit.

Addiction can be a draining force on a person’s life, leading to financial, social, and personal strain. 22% of males and 17% of females used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs within the last year. Over 70,000 drug overdose deaths occur in the US annually. Consequently, the number of overdose deaths increases at an annual rate of 4.0%.

What Is a Dependence on Substances?

When physical dependence happens, the body adapts to chronic substance use. This is when regular doses of certain substances are required just to function. Physical withdrawal symptoms can occur if a person has stopped using these substances. Psychologically we become reliant on something that we know isn’t good for us, and it can be hard to stop.

These physical and psychological changes happen without regard to the choices you make as an individual because chemicals in your brain dictate these physical effects and feelings of dependency. 

For some people, substance use disorders spark from physical discomfort or physical pain. PTSD conditions such as those who have been victims of physical abuse might resort to recreational substance use as a coping mechanism. 

A substance use disorder can be developed from dependence, but dependence on a substance is not a physical disorder. When physical dependency has been reached, withdrawal symptoms often begin if use is discontinued abruptly. 

The main difference between physical and psychological dependences is that physical dependence means the body needs a substance for normal function to occur. Whereas psychological dependence means a person thinks or believes they need the drug to function normally.

What Are Withdrawal Symptoms?

To understand physical vs. psychological dependence, it’s important to know what withdrawal symptoms are. 

For example, common physical withdrawal symptoms from alcohol include:

In contrast, physical dependence on a drug or substance comes the risk of abuse. Someone might use a substance on a more frequent basis than they intend. This is to avoid going through withdrawals while not realizing that physical dependency has formed over time.

What Is A Physical Dependence On Substances? 

Some signs that someone might be psychologically dependent on substances include using substances in larger amounts or for longer. The physical dependence on substances can be described as physical discomfort or physical need. 

It is more common for physical dependence to be associated with substance use disorders than it is for psychological dependence. Still, both physical and psychological factors are closely related to the development and extension of a substance use disorder. 

Physical dependence on substances can lead to withdrawal symptoms if the substances are stopped suddenly without any premeditation. Some people might even experience life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

What Is A Psychological Dependence On Substances? 

Psychological dependence on substances is a reliance on a drug or substance to provide a physical and psychological escape from reality. One of the most common examples of psychological addiction is people who suffer from anxiety disorders; They are more likely to become psychologically addicted to drugs that produce physical side effects.

Additionally, it is important to note that physical dependence does not always lead to psychological addiction and vice versa. Many people who are physically dependent on a substance do not suffer from any sort of psychological addiction. 

Likewise, many people who suffer from psychological addiction do not display any physical dependence on a substance. However, the two are often linked because it is much more difficult to break free from a psychological addiction if there is no physical dependence present. 

How Are They Similar and How Are They Different?

Psychological and physical dependence are similar in that they are both types of addictions. However, physical dependence is typically more physical, while psychological dependence is typically more psychological.

Some signs that someone might be physically dependent on substances include tolerance (the need to use more and more of the substance to get the desired effect), withdrawal symptoms (physical or emotional symptoms that occur when someone stops using a substance after using it for a period of time), and unsuccessful attempts to cut down or stop using the substance.

Which Substances Are Associated in the Physical vs Psychological Dependence Debate?

The substances associated with both physical and psychological dependence are nicotine, opioids, alcohol, and benzodiazepines. These substances have been found to cause physical and psychological dependence in some people who use them.

Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. This slows down the responses in the body but increases the euphoric feelings from a drink. Alcohol can be highly addictive, especially through binge drinking. Alcohol reacts to the GABA receptors in the brain, which are responsible for pleasurable sensations. With the absence of alcohol, a person may begin to experience side effects such as depression and anxiety. 

Nicotine is a popular substance that constricts the blood vessels and causes changes in a person’s heartbeat. The nicotine can be fixed for some, working as a stimulant drug. Nicotine speeds up the messages in the brain. Withdrawals from nicotine can occur if you’ve been using it for extended periods.

Benzodiazepines are used to treat anxiety, serving as a way to calm the central nervous system. Despite popular belief, benzodiazepines can be addictive, especially when paired with other substances. A person can experience withdrawal symptoms from benzodiazepines if they begin to abuse the amounts.

Physical dependence is a state that can develop as a result of the regular use of certain substances. When someone is physically dependent on a substance, their body has adapted to the presence of the substance and needs it to function normally. 

This can lead to withdrawal symptoms if the person stops using the substance abruptly. Physical dependence is not the same thing as addiction, although physical dependence can be a sign that someone is addicted to a substance. 

The Stigmas Related to Substance Abuse

The stigmas related to substance abuse can cause a person to refuse treatment. Addiction is a complex disease that can manipulate the brain’s reward centers. When confronting the deepest parts of yourself to change, sobriety might seem like a distant reality. The price paid for not receiving treatment can be devastating. An overwhelming portion of recovering individuals suffers from mental health issues. 

Addiction is still recognized as a moral failure, but the perception has changed steadily. Sure, a person might have chosen to use a substance for the first time, but the addictive qualities can be suffocating. Many people use substances to self-medicate. Those who are diagnosed with substance use disorders don’t receive treatment.

Your support system can be the make or break of your recovery process. If your loved ones are shaming you for your substance use disorder, you might fall deeper into these uncomfortable feelings. It’s vital to embrace healthier coping mechanisms because psychological dependence can drive these compulsive behaviors.

What Treatments Are Available For Dependence On Substances?

The continuum of care was designed to provide quality care to patients at each stage of the recovery process. The continuum of care includes detoxification, medical management, and psychological treatment. Concerning physical dependence on substances, the medical model focuses primarily on physical symptoms of withdrawal.


Detoxification can be described as a process by which a person may remove physical symptoms experienced due to physical dependence on an addictive substance. Depending on the case, detox lasts between 7-10 days. The body accumulates the toxins from substance use and can prevent the person from attaining their recovery goals. 

Detoxification serves as the first response towards addiction treatment. This model of treatment is not for everyone and may be more beneficial to those with severe physical symptoms of withdrawal if they abruptly stop using their substance.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

If a patient does not require detox, medication-assisted treatment may be a solution for them. 

Medication-assisted treatment consists of prescribing a patient medication to help them with their physical dependence on the substance. Medication-assisted treatment is not for everyone and should be tailored to each patient. 

Treatment for psychological dependence may include therapy and/or medication. It is important to note that physical dependence and psychological dependence are not mutually exclusive. A person can be physically dependent on a substance and psychologically dependent on it, or vice versa. 


Psychotherapy is used to treat the behavioral elements of substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Through psychotherapy, individuals can identify the underlying causes of substance use to develop healthier coping mechanisms. Psychotherapy can include individual, group, and family therapy.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) have been effective treatment methods for addiction. CBT has been practiced to rewire the compulsive behaviors a person relies on to cope by observing the relationships between thoughts and actions. DBT is a modified approach that highlights the motivation to change and encourages change through precise action. 

Sober Living

Sober living homes are residences where people in recovery can live while they work on their sobriety. These homes provide a supportive environment where residents are encouraged to stay sober and participate in group therapy and other activities that promote physical and mental well-being. 

After Care

Aftercare is a critical part of addiction treatment and refers to the services and support that individuals receive after they complete a treatment program. Aftercare may include continuing therapy, attending 12-step meetings, and receiving sober living support.

Addiction is a complex disease that can be physical as well as psychological in nature. Physical dependence occurs when the body becomes reliant on a substance to function normally. This can happen after prolonged use of a drug or alcohol, or after withdrawal from the substance. 

Medication may be prescribed to help individuals with psychological dependence abstain from using substances. Medications used for this purpose include, but are not limited to, antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. 

It is important to seek professional help if you are struggling with psychological dependence. Treatment options are available and can be tailored to meet your individual needs. With the help of a qualified therapist or doctor, you can overcome your addiction and live a healthier life.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment

Dual diagnosis treatment is one of the most effective forms of treatment for psychological dependence. This type of treatment centers around physical and mental health, which both play an important role in addiction. Consequently, this is classified as a co-occurring disorder. This can be a valuable resource against chronic relapse. Relapse affects roughly 40-60% of people on the path of recovery.

Physical well-being is promoted through treatment because it helps individuals avoid physical withdrawal symptoms that would otherwise make them feel like they need to use addictive substances.

Individuals with physical dependence will require medically supervised detoxification before starting psychological dependence treatment. Detoxification should take place under the care of a medical professional who can monitor physical changes that occur during this process. 

As physical dependency is addressed, total focus is directed toward healing emotionally and mentally. This addresses psychological concerns such as anxiety or depression. If you are struggling with both and psychological dependencies, seek a dual diagnosis treatment.

Coastal Detox Awaits With Support

Psychological dependence on a substance can leave you in uncomfortable states. Physical dependence is a physical adaptation to repeated use of a substance that results in tolerance and physical symptoms if someone stops using the substance. 

The road to recovery demands that you embrace this change and find a solution for a healthier lifestyle. There are many resources available to you. There is no single cure for addiction, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t hope for you. Coastal Detox aims to be the support you need. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, contact our facility today.


Through efficient research, it has been shown that connecting with nature and spending time with it is important for an individual’s health. When we decide to spend time outdoors, we are generally more in movement and active while breathing in fresh air, which can be considered nature therapy. Allowing creation to surround us, we tend to begin to feel more mindful. 

By a person simply walking outside and connecting with nature has the potential to reduce blood pressure and anxiety. When you are experiencing a struggle with addiction and mental health disorders, you’ll discover that mental health and nature are romantically involved. Being outside immersing yourself in nature therapy will make it less likely that you’ll relapse. 

As William Blake stated, “To see the world in a grain of sand, and a heaven

in a wildflower is to hold infinity in the palm of your hand

and eternity in an hour.” 

Nature in Recovery

Nature can offer us a strong connection to the five senses: sound, taste, touch, smell, and sight. When we can embrace connecting with nature and nature therapy, we can let go of those thoughts telling us we need to constantly be doing something and just simply be. Once you can witness the beauty that nature holds, the right brain hemisphere is opened up with more of a focus on the following things:

For a moment, it might be beneficial to consider the indigenous cultures who spent most of their time outdoors embracing nature. The indigenous people were able to constantly connect with:

By connecting in nature, the individuals are allowing themselves to open up the four streams of awareness that are filtered through:

Once you are aware of the benefits of nature therapy or connecting with nature, you will be more able to lose yourself in visual beauty. After you are brought to awareness, you’ll be able to connect to all the four streams of understanding that contribute to stability and clarity found in nature and mindfulness. 

What Are the Best Nature-based Activities for Recovery?

  1. Practicing Tai’Chi (soft movement connecting to the Chi “life-giving energy”
  2. Remaining mindful of our diving source for all creation 
  3. Going for a walk or hiking in nature 
  4. Drawing, writing, painting in nature
  5. Meditation outdoors and prayer
  6. Making music outdoors
  7. Gardening 

There was research conducted by Dr. Miles Richardson, a nature connection psychologist, who surveyed 2,000 individuals and revealed that over one-third of the city dwellers spend four times longer looking at a TV or a computer screen instead of spending time outside. Some individuals are afraid of becoming tree huggers. When you’re a tree hugger, and you’re in the presence of trees, your heart rate changes, and you are rebalancing and calming your system, which in turn regulates your emotions

For example, consider the sound of the wind blowing through the trees. The trees have a way of occupying individual senses by providing a soothing influence. An actual physical touch of hugging a tree can produce a type of oneness and trust with nature. 

What is Ecotherapy?

Ecotherapy is based on the idea that individuals are connected and impacted by nature. When figuring out what nature therapy or green therapy is, it’s essential to look to Theodore Rosnak, who developed ecotherapy within the emerging field of ecopsychology. Research has indicated that a nature walk reduces depression symptoms in 71% of participants as compared to 45% who decided to take a walk through a shopping center. 

Think of ecotherapy as the practice of being in nature and to boost healing, growth, and mental health and nature. Individuals might refer to ecotherapy as green exercise, green care, horticulture therapy, and green therapy. The true meaning of nature therapy can vary from person to person, but generally, nature therapy involves the following:

Types of Nature Therapy

Animal-Assisted Therapy or Interventions

Both of the options above include spending valuable time with animals. Animal-assisted therapy focuses on building a therapeutic relationship with animals like horses or dogs. On the other side of the coin, animal-assisted interventions utilize locations such as a farm where you’re able to feed or pet the animals. 

Arts and Crafts

Just like the name suggests, this form of therapy combines nature with creative crafts. You might be able to utilize your creative skills and paint in a park, forest, or green space. This form of therapy also includes using natural materials such as glass, wood, clay, or green spaces for art or inspiration.

Adventure Therapy

This type of therapy uses activities that explore connecting with nature and can be done in a group setting or an individual. Rock climbing and rafting are great examples of this. 

Dark Nature

Dark nature activities will occur at nighttime, so an activity such as stargazing. 


Conversation pairs nature with physical exercise and protection spaces. 

Therapeutic Farming

With this kind of activity, you will participate in farming activities such as taking care of farm animals or growing crops. 

Therapeutic Horticulture

This type of therapeutic activity involves gardening. So you might end up growing food in community gardens. Sometimes these kinds of therapeutic activities can lead to other activities such as selling home-grown crops at a farmers market.

Green Exercise

During this form of therapy, physical activities will be done in green spaces. Examples of this type of therapy will be going on a walk, running, or taking a bike ride. 

Wilderness Therapy

This kind of therapy works best in a group. You will most likely spend time in the wild experiencing activities like making shelters or hiking, which the benefits of hiking are remarkable. Many benefits of hiking will present to be great for an individual’s mind, heart, soul, and body. One of the main benefits of hiking is that it acts as a cardio workout. 

The Benefits of Hiking

Wilderness therapy is under the umbrella of adventure therapy, which is a division of ecopsychology. This form of therapy is utilized to mimic the pressures and challenges found within social structures but is instead set up in a negative free atmosphere and, in turn, processed by trained therapists. The benefit of wilderness programs for the youth is the experimental process that requires specifically the youth to trust in the following:

Due to the cognitive, social, and physical demands of wilderness therapy might not be as effective for older adults. This form of treatment is not as effective for individuals with certain physical and mental disabilities or highly young children. 

How Does Nature Therapy Help?

Nature therapy helps through an individual spending time in natural environments that can be linked to many mental health and nature benefits. For example, being engaged in a green space has been linked to fewer depression symptoms, lower stress levels, and less anxiety. By spending time in nature, it helps individuals with depression and kids with attention issues think more clearly. 

Patricia Hasbach, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, and licensed professional counselor, is an expert in ecotherapy. She recalled an individual who was a patient in a cardiac rehabilitation center who was initially reluctant about starting therapy. 

“He was pretty nervous about talking with me, and I suggested, ‘You want to just take a walk outside?’ And I just noticed how his voice changed,” Hasbach stated. “He became more relaxed, and that was my first ‘aha’ moment that there’s something here that I need to pay attention to.”

 “It’s about noticing what’s around you and increasing our awareness of ourselves in relation to our world and environment,” Lung says. “Just the symbiotic benefits of being outside.”

There have been studied nature’s healing effects discovered in the following areas:

Is Nature Therapy for Everyone?

Not everyone finds the benefits in nature therapy that has mental health conditions. Nature therapy can be done anywhere, whether an individual lives in a suburban, urban, or rural area. It can involve farms, forests, parks, or gardens.

The amount of physical therapy that an individual can receive while engaging in their mental health and nature depends on the individual. It is the most effective to tailor the mental health and nature activity based on the individual. Nature therapy can be paired with the following:

“Ecotherapy is one tool that you have to draw on to strengthen and deepen the work that you’re doing with your clients or your patients,” Hasbach stated.

The Advantages of Engaging in Nature

Nature is the ability to provide a backdrop of a person healing naturally. The challenge lies in taking the time to engage in connecting with nature and nature therapy. Mental health and nature have a connection. 

Individuals will be able to enjoy being present, which is difficult in a generation of cell phones and computers. It’s common for an individual to see people sitting in nature yet not paying any attention to the beauty that is surrounding them. These individuals you might notice sitting with a tablet, computer, or cell phone. 

Although these individuals are found enjoying the fresh air, they are still missing out on the peace that you would experience while engaging in nature therapy. It’s not always cohesive to spend much time in nature therapy. However, various other alternatives will make you feel like you are right there in nature. There are movies that can make you feel as though you are there in nature too. 

An individual can also watch music videos called “Moving Art,” which combines nature and music. It is key to be able to meditate on the fact that natural beauty is surrounding us when we are able to take the time to pay attention to it. If you are currently in recovery, there is value in taking time to watch nature or take a nature walk. It can take your mind off of cravings that can arise. 

The closer you get to establishing a connection with nature, and realize that the connection to nature is imperative for our survival. Nature will act as a reminder that everything is continuously changing, and life happens to connect to nature. It’s important to remember that nature smooths our ability to work on becoming mindful observers from a place of awareness. 

Recovery Awaits at Coastal Detox

Coastal Detox offers holistic approaches to addiction detox and recovery. Connecting with nature can be a great way to stay sober in recovery. Remember that nature is healing.

In recent years you may have begun to hear the term body dysmorphia. This term can be seen seemingly everywhere on the internet or social media these days. But what is body dysmorphia? And what does it have to do with addiction?

In America, one of the most underreported mental health issues is body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Cases of BDD, also commonly known as body dysmorphia, range in severity. Similar to many mental illnesses, the condition gets worse over time without intervention or treatment. There is even a risk of developing an addiction when BDD is left untreated. This is why we’re breaking down what body dysmorphia is exactly and what it has to do with addiction. 

What is Body Dysmorphia?

BDD or body dysmorphic disorder is a mental health condition that causes an impairing preoccupation with perceived bodily flaws. Those who suffer from BDD are prone to finding what they consider to be physical defects, and then fixating on them. This causes immense feelings of distress for the person suffering from body dysmorphia. 

These flaws are often minor and not noticed by others. Yet, someone suffering from body dysmorphia becomes consumed by these flaws, and in many cases, is unable to simply stop thinking about them. As a result, this can lead to extreme feelings of shame, embarrassment, and anxiety that keep a person from participating fully in their own life. For example, someone with BDD may avoid any situation where they believe their flaw will be noticed by others. 

Symptoms of Body Dysmorphia

BDD presents differently depending on the person, the type of BDD they suffer from, and the perceived flaw they are fixating on. If you’re wondering what is body dysmorphia or whether you or a loved one is suffering from it, some common signs and symptoms of BDD include the following:

The exact cause of BDD is not currently known. Exposure to repeated feelings of incompetence and shame during childhood is highly correlated with the disorder, though. While research is currently limited, there are links to many different factors that are genetic, neurological, or psychosocial in nature. 

Types of Body Dysmorphia

We’ve broken down the facts to answer the question: what is body dysmorphia? However, it doesn’t end there. There are different types of body dysmorphia. Specifically, there are two variations of this disorder that differ greatly when it comes to symptoms. The first is Muscle Dysmorphia (MD), and the second is body dysmorphic disorder by proxy. 

Muscle Dysmorphia (MD)

Muscle dysmorphia (MD) is the first type of body dysmorphia. It includes obsessive thoughts or beliefs about one’s self and body surrounding muscle mass. People with MD usually engage in muscle building or weight lifting and are prone to thinking that they are smaller than they actually are. As a result, this disorder is sometimes referred to as “reverse anorexia” because those who suffer from it want to become larger. 

Symptoms of MD include:

While MD is not considered an eating disorder, some individuals suffering from this type of body dysmorphia have a co-occurring eating disorder. In contrast to most eating disorders, individuals with MD are more likely to painstakingly obsess over their diets in order to improve their muscle mass or the leanness of their muscles. 

Body Dysmorphic Disorder by Proxy (BDDBP)

The second type of body dysmorphia is body dysmorphic disorder by proxy (BDDBP). Most mental health issues have to do with the person who has the disorder. BDDBP, on the other hand, has to do with obsessions over other people’s appearances. An individual with BDDBP fixates on another person’s appearance to the point where it causes significant distress and interferes with their ability to function daily. 

Additional symptoms of BDDBP can include the following:

There is usually one person of concern in the mind of a person with BDDBP. This person is usually a spouse or significant other, but may also be a child or parent. The person of concern may change over time, and in some cases, the disorder can be shared by two people in a sort of Folie a Deux. 

Body Dysmophia and Addiciton 

It’s important to note that this disorder doesn’t stop at a preoccupation with perceived physical defects. BDD is a disruptive and debilitating disorder. To cope with the guilt, anxiety, and shame that comes with BDD, many individuals turn to substance abuse. This can lead to developing a co-occurring addiction or substance use disorder (SUD). Drugs commonly used to deal with the symptoms of BDD include: 

Addiction can happen to anyone, but mental illnesses can increase a person’s risk of developing an addiction. The amount of emotional duress and anxiety that BDD causes may lead individuals to turn to drugs for relief. 

This is dangerous as using substances to self-medicate can lead to a person being unable to stop taking drugs as time goes on. Consequently, this makes the relief provides by drugs short-lived. Unfortunately, addiction can also exacerbate the symptoms of a mental illness or create new problems to cope with for the individual. 

Dealing with Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Addiction 

Knowing what body dysmorphia is isn’t enough to combat the debilitating effects of the disorder. To resolve the source of false beliefs and correct compulsive behavior, body dysmorphia requires treatment. When BDD is coupled with a SUD or addiction, treatment has to be tailored to address both conditions. As with many addiction treatment programs, the first step is detox. 

Detox is a safe way to have addictive substances expelled from the body. At a detox center like Coastal Detox, we meet the needs of our patients through a three-step program that allows us to evaluate our patients and provide the best care possible. The three steps are as follows:

Quitting drugs abruptly can be dangerous. This is especially true if a person is addicted to alcohol or opiates. Medical detox allows patients to get off drugs while being monitored by professionals. With the symptoms of withdrawal managed through the detox program, the chances of relapse also decrease significantly for patients. 

How to Help Someone with Body Dysmorphia

It can be upsetting to watch your loved one’s obsessive behaviors and compulsions dictate their happiness. If someone in your life appears to be suffering from body dysmorphia, there are a few ways to help them. 

Ways how to help someone with body dysmorphia include:

If the person suffering from BDD lives with you, it can be increasingly stressful to manage how their disorder affects you. While no one suffering from a mental disorder means to stress out their loved ones, it does happen. It’s important to seek support for yourself. This can be through individual therapy, support groups, or by talking to a close friend. 

Detoxing with Coastal Detox

If you’re wondering what is body dysmorphia, you may find that you are currently suffering from the disorder. If you or a loved one is living with the anxieties and pressure of BDD and an accompanying addiction, we are here to help. 

Here at Coastal Detox, we provide safe and medically monitored detox that facilitates the recovery process. Give us a call today to start your journey towards an addiction-free future. 


Stigmas and mental illnesses result in devastating discrimination to those in our nation suffering with mental illness. One just has to review mental health stigma statistics as well as mental illness discrimination statistics to determine that the most severe problems with mental illness in America lies with our perceptions.

Perceptions and stigma could be the most difficult thing to change. After all, billions of dollars a year are spent on advancing the latest medicines and technology to benefit mental illness in America. But how much is spent on correcting the bogus stigmas many of us have on mental illness?

This article will reveal the overwhelming effects of stigmas and mental illnesses. What are the mental health stigma statistics? By embracing them, perhaps we can begin to view mental illness in America for what it is. In effect, perhaps this new way of thinking will allow those with mental illnesses to be treated equally.

The Effects of Stigma and Mental Illnesses

The most difficult part about correcting stigmas and mental illnesses, is to acknowledge the destruction that they have caused to the nearly one in five Americans who have a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The first step in realizing the consequences of incorrectly stigmatizing mental illness is to observe mental illness discrimination statistics.

Those living with mental illnesses deserve the same rights as every American. Isn’t that the most basic freedom Americans receive at birth? Mental illness in America is governed by the same laws as everyone else, but how these rights are enforced are not always ethical or orderly. As a result, society acquires a tainted and often malicious attitude towards mental illness in America. Initially, let us get a glimpse of how our stigmas affect those with mental illnesses.

How Mental Illness is Treated in the Courtroom

It is a fact that people with mental illnesses are more likely to be imprisoned and are less likely to be offered appropriate treatment while incarcerated. According to a report by the Treatment Advocacy Center, three times as many people are incarcerated than are in hospitals. Still, only a third of prison inmates get mental health treatment. 

The consequences of such social injustice are immense. For starters, many of these people with mental illnesses committed their crimes because of their mental illness. By locking them up and refusing them treatment is depriving them of justice as well as allowing their illness to continue. Most likely, when these untreated prisoners are released they will be more inclined to commit crimes. And thus, perpetuating this system of injustice.

How Mental Illness is Treated at Work

The most damaging consequence of stigmas and mental illnesses, is our society’s inclination not to hire people with mental illness. According to a study, many people with mental illnesses are either unemployed or underemployed. In essence, this stigma results in our mentally ill population as being viewed as incompetent thus, getting a lower paycheck and not much access to quality employment.

Without the employment opportunities as everyone else, those suffering with mental illness in America will potentially choose to consume drugs or alcohol and commit crimes. This does not mention the ethical ramifications of such employment practices. 

Those with mental illness in America are forced to remain unemployed or at best, work the same jobs their whole lives given to teenagers. Effectively, such a stigma begins to convince the mentally ill that they do not deserve anything better.

How Mental Illness is Viewed by Healthcare Professionals

According to this study, mentally ill people generally die 25 years younger than the rest of our population. A huge reason for this eye opening statistic, are the stigmatized perceptions of the medical profession. 

According to this clinical study, health care providers were more likely to assume that patients with mental illnesses would refuse treatment, so wind up not even offering the treatment. Psychiatrists may even hold damaging perceptions of those with mental illnesses, resulting in adverse treatment.

How Mental Illness is Treated in Payment for Care

Despite the massive amount of people suffering from mental illness in America, the cost of treating such an illness is immense. Ever since 2014, most insurance group health plans are required to cover mental health and substance abuse. One of the requirements for a plan to be featured on Obamacare’s Insurance Marketplace is that the plan covers mental health. 

Still, in 2019, mental health treatment and services cost the country $225 billion, according to an Open Minds Market Intelligence Report.  

Medicaid and Medicare laws discriminate against those suffering from mental health. For example, Medicare beneficiaries are limited to just 190 days of lifetime inpatient psychiatric care. What about patients with chronic mental disorders, who won’t feel better after 190 days? Another law prohibits Medicaid funding for non-elderly adults receiving psychiatric care in a hospital with more than sixteen beds. You could go through every physical health textbook, and will not find such a bizarre claim for any other condition. 

Ultimately, such payment discrimination will make those with mental illnesses pay much more for treatment. Meanwhile, the mentally ill are discriminated against at the workplace as well, so they won’t be able to afford treatment. Without treatment, the mentally ill will be forced to steal money or consume drugs and alcohol. Thus, locking them up behind bars. This vicious cycle will only end with the abolition of stigmas and mental illnesses.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment is an Effective Form of Mental Health Treatment

freedom from stigmas and mental illnesses

As detailed in this article, people suffering from mental health need a lot of money to pay for their treatment. Unfortunately, mental health stigmas often makes it difficult for those with mental illness to get good jobs, or at least any employment. As a result, many times people with mental illnesses find themselves committing crimes to make money to survive. They might also resort to the consumption of alcohol or drugs. 

If such a mental health patient finally receives treatment for either one of these disorders and not the other, the chances that the disorders will return are very high. In many degrees, the substance abuse is a reaction to the mental health disorder. If the addiction is cured, the mental health disorder remains intact. 

Dual diagnosis is when a medical professional diagnoses a patient with alcohol or drug abuse as well as another medical condition, often these conditions are related to mental health. Often, a mental health disorder and a substance abuse disorder feed off of each other. 

Finding the Facility that Offers the Treatment that one Needs Can be a Chore

Treating mental health along with a substance abuse disorder is often a difficult task. But as noted earlier, the proper treatment is imperative. Someone with mental health and a substance abuse disorder can go through years of treatment. But if the treatment does not focus on all of their disorders, despite the tremendous recovery they might have made, all advances will get dashed against the rocks. 

Although one disorder might have occurred before the other, both disorders will strengthen the other. In this tangled mesh, physicians may find it difficult to separate the causes caused by each individual disorder. For example, one patient deals with the pain of their mental disorder by taking drugs or is their personality disorder caused by substance abuse?

How Do Treatment Centers Provide Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

Not every rehab facility offers dual diagnosis treatment. Coastal Detox is a nationally recognized facility that offers detox for every sort of addiction. At our facility, a carefully designed detox program is the first step in treating a dual diagnosis. 

Although the length of treatment can vary for different patients, Coastal Detox stresses the importance of not being discharged until one receives the full benefits of treatment. 

Because dual diagnosis is actually treating two disorders, such treatment often requires more attention in the form of a long-term residential program that offers therapy options.

Residential treatment includes:

Contact Coastal Detox Today

Even if you or your loved one does not wind up using Coastal Detox, a call to one of their experienced operators will often lead patients in the right direction. If you or your loved one is seeking abstinence from substance abuse while also dealing with another mental health disorder, Coastal Detox is a good starting place. 

A visit to their website will validate the facility’s dedication and experience. They are prepared to detox anyone suffering from hundreds of different sorts of dual diagnoses, everything from eating disorders to bipolar disorders. 

According to mental health discrimination statistics, as a people, we have a lot to do to improve the lives of the mentally ill. We must start with changing our stigmatized views.


Alcoholism is a disease that can affect anyone from any background. Experts have long tried to pinpoint factors, such as genetics, race, sex, or socioeconomic background, that might make someone more likely to become addicted to alcohol, but no single cause is responsible. Genetic, behavioral, and psychological factors all play a role in the disease.

More than 14 million people over the age of 12 had alcohol use disorder in 2019. Withdrawal can present with many varying symptoms, one of which may be confusion. This delirium occurs in advanced withdrawal and can severely impact the brain and nervous system.

What is Alcohol Withdrawal Confusion?

Delirium is a severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal. It causes sudden and significant problems for the brain and nervous system. It’s estimated that half of the people with an alcohol addiction would experience unpleasant symptoms if they suddenly quit drinking. Of that group, up to 5% will experience confusion and other signs of alcohol withdrawal delirium (AWD), including grand mal seizures.

AWD only affects heavy drinkers who:

  • Have a head injury
  • Suddenly quit drinking
  • Have an infection or are sick
  • Too quickly reduce their use of alcohol
  • Don’t eat enough while reducing their use of alcohol

When a person drinks heavily, they excite and irritate their nervous system daily. Regularly drinking forces the body to rely on alcohol, which has a devastating impact on the nervous system; it will no longer be able to adapt to not having alcohol in the body. Alcohol similarly impacts the brain’s neurotransmitters. These chemicals communicate with the irritated nervous system that relays messages back to the brain.

Why Withdrawal Leads to Symptoms

alcohol withdrawal confusion

Alcohol has a sedating, depressant effect on the brain, which means it slows it down. In heavy, long-term drinkers, the brain is continuously exposed to alcohol and its tranquilizing effects and, over time, adjusts its chemistry to compensate. It produces stimulating chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine in more significant quantities than usual.

After long periods of this inequitable chemistry, the nervous system also gets used to the feeling of constant alcohol exposure. Your body works harder to keep the brain alert so it can keep talking to your nerves. When a heavy drinker suddenly quits drinking, their brain remains in this keyed-up state, leading to withdrawal symptoms.

In severe cases, alcohol withdrawal can be life-threatening. Symptoms can manifest suddenly and last for several hours or days after alcohol use. The heaviest drinkers may experience symptoms for as long as a week. Withdrawal can begin as early as two hours following a drink. Harsher symptoms are more likely for those who have previously suffered them before.

As beneficial as quitting alcohol may be, trying to detox without medical supervision can be a dangerous effort.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal

AWD usually presents symptoms within three days after reducing or ceasing alcohol use. For some, the signs may take a week or longer to manifest. People struggling with AWD may experience:

  • Fear
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Excitement
  • Chest pain
  • Seizures
  • Irritability
  • Nightmares
  • Stomach pain
  • Restlessness
  • Hallucinations
  • Excessive sweating
  • Increased heart rate
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Increased breathing rate

Alcohol withdrawal confusion can occur during alcohol withdrawal. Also, individuals may experience involuntary muscle contractions, delirium (disturbed state of mind), and sensitivity to sound, light, or touch. Eye and muscle movement difficulties can also occur. Individuals who are going through alcohol withdrawal may also have delusions, which cause them to irrationally believe things that cannot be true. Finally, an increased startle reflex may occur, causing people to react to unexpected stimuli in an exaggerated manner.

Complications of Prolonged Alcohol Addiction

Untreated alcohol addiction can lead to several complications, including:

  • Ulcers
  • Bone loss
  • Birth defects
  • Liver disease
  • Heart disease
  • Sexual problems
  • Vision problems
  • Diabetes complications
  • Increased risk of cancer
  • Suppressed immune function

These complications are just some of the many reasons why it’s essential to tackle addiction early. It is possible to avoid or treat nearly all risks associated with addiction with early intervention and successful long-term recovery.

Alcohol Withdrawal Timeline

Withdrawal symptoms may start as early as two hours following the last drink, but it’s more likely to begin sometime within the next day. Symptoms can be broken down into four distinct stages.

Stage 1: 6 hours

Minor withdrawal symptoms usually begin between 6 and 12 hours following your last alcoholic drink. These minor discomforts may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased or irregular heart rate

Stage 2: 12 hours

Alcohol Withdrawal

Alcoholic hallucinations may begin as early as 12 hours after your last drink and can last a day or longer. Hallucinations may include any of the following:

  • Visual hallucinations, in which the person sees images that don’t exist
  • Auditory hallucinations, in which the person hears things that don’t exist
  • Tactile hallucinations, in which the person feels numbness, itching, or burning that doesn’t exist

It’s unusual for someone to experience these hallucinations for longer than 48 hours after their last drink.

Stage 3: 48 hours

Heavy drinkers may start experiencing withdrawal seizures between 24 and 48 hours following their last drink.

Stage 4: 72 hours

Confusion sets in 72 hours after the last drink. In most cases, these symptoms peak five days later and subside within a week.

Confusion During Alcohol Withdrawal

Delirium tremens is an extremely unpleasant and severe symptom of alcohol withdrawal. People affected by this delirium have an altered state of mind and experience significant physical discomfort.

About 5% of people who drink alcohol in excess will experience this confusion if they stop or reduce alcohol use. Those who drink at least a pint of liquor every day for months in a row are most at risk for experiencing alcohol withdrawal confusion. In most cases, delirium tremens occurs two or three days after a person stops drinking, causing major challenges like:

  • Extreme confusion
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Tactile hallucinations

Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome

In some cases, symptoms experienced following withdrawal can occur for up to a year; this condition is called post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). People who struggle with PAWS may experience ongoing symptoms like:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Delayed reflexes

The onset of PAWS may require a former drinker to remain in a rehab facility until the disruptive symptoms go away. Rehab facilities generally recommend staying near specialized professionals who can provide appropriate treatment.

Are You At Risk?

Why Withdrawal Leads to Symptoms

Heavy drinkers are at an elevated risk of experiencing confusion during withdrawal. You may be at a higher risk if you have:

  • Been a heavy drinker for many months or years
  • Other health problems
  • A history of confusion during withdrawal
  • A seizure disorder or brain damage

Unfortunately, no long-term drinker has zero risk of AWD. Heavy drinking is defined as 15 drinks per week for men or 8 per week for women, or drinking 5+ drinks in one sitting. One drink is equal to:

  • 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 12 ounces of beer

Professional Help for Alcohol Use Disorder

Detox is the first step for quitting alcohol. It allows people to safely navigate the uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous process of stopping drinking. However, it doesn’t address the psychological factors that impact behavior and thought patterns that also contribute to the disease. Various treatment settings can help provide the necessary support to help former drinkers maintain their long-term sobriety.

Since severe withdrawal can potentially be fatal, it’s crucial to seek out and rely on close medical monitoring to handle physical symptoms. In some cases, certain sedation medications may also help to minimize seizures and other severe difficulties.

It’s not recommended to attempt self-detox. A medical professional like a doctor can better determine what kind of support you will require to manage your withdrawal symptoms. A detox facility allows people to stay under medical supervision, giving them access to a nursing staff who can provide medications and ensure they receive ongoing care and treatment.

To help keep clients dealing with symptoms comfortable and safe, the supervising physicians and nurses develop individualized plans to monitor and medically intervene as necessary during the first few days. Generally, treatment may involve several medical professionals, including psychologists, social workers, a clinical support staff, and mental health counselors.

Coastal Detox Can Help You!

Alcohol abuse can significantly damage and disturb a person and their relationships. When you’re ready, there are many paths to treatment that can ensure your long-term recovery. Coastal Detox can help.

After detox, former drinkers can tackle addiction with holistic therapies that reduce stress and improve overall well-being. Taking a more holistic approach is essential for helping people regain their personal balance, allowing them to stay focused on recovery and preventing relapse. Contact Coastal Detox today to find out more about how we help Florida residents stay sober.


An alcohol or substance use disorder is a complicated medical condition. People unfortunate enough to suffer from addiction often develop a psychological and physical dependence in the process. Some may argue that quitting drugs cold turkey can work out at times. But it often doesn’t happen that way because of the withdrawal symptoms that can occur when individuals try to stop using alcohol or drugs. 

Once a person tries to quit using drugs cold turkey, they might find the withdrawal symptoms too unbearable. This makes relapse more of a possibility. Around 40%-60% of recovering addicts suffer from relapse. When they don’t have medical professionals to guide them along the way to recovery, it’s almost impossible for individuals to overcome their addiction with sheer willpower. 

The Danger of Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey 

In some cases, recovering addicts are able to quit drugs cold turkey. Their addiction may not be severe, they might have received treatment in the past, or the substance they are addicted to may not have life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. However, this isn’t the case with all drugs. A few drugs that people should always avoid quitting cold turkey include: 

  • Heroin 
  • Alcohol
  • Prescription painkillers 
  • Benzodiazepines 

These substances may cause life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. Of course, that’s not to downplay psychological withdrawal symptoms. For example, severe depression can lead to suicide. Yet, physical withdrawal symptoms aren’t premeditated and usually unexpected. 

Around 2.5 million people in the United States visited the emergency room because of drug abuse in 2011. There were approximately 135 million emergency room visits in 2011 overall. So, over 3% of all emergency room visits were because of non-medical drug use. This shows the severity of why it’s important to quit drugs with medical guidance. 

Tapering off drugs in a medically-supervised setting can avoid emergency room visits. Before addiction treatment, recovering addicts will almost always go through a detoxification protocol. This allows patients to quit drugs without any danger. 


Before Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey

Heroin is a drug that people should avoid quitting without a medically-supervised detox. In 2019, around 14,019 people died because of it. Regular heroin use typically results in a severe psychological and physical dependence. When a person who is addicted to heroin tries to quit, they may fail to do so because of these effects. This can push them to overdo it and overdose. 

In 2011, the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) found that heroin made up 20.6% of all drug-related emergency room visits. That accounts for 258,482 people. Quitting cold turkey can lead to an emergency room visit, or worse. Understanding what it is and its withdrawal symptoms highlight why it’s important to avoid quitting abruptly.  

What Is Heroin? 

Opioid drugs are dangerous to quit abruptly. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), heroin is a type of opioid made from multiple poppy plants. It works by binding to opioid receptors in the brain that control pain, pleasure, sleep, heart rate, and breathing. 

Misuse of prescription painkillers can lead to heroin use. Up to 6% of people that misuse prescription painkillers end up trying heroin. More alarmingly, around 80% of people who ended up using heroin started with prescription painkillers. 

Short-term effects of heroin include: 

  • Feeling warm and heavy 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Lack of brain function 
  • Feeling very itchy 

Long-term effects of heroin are: 

  • Insomnia 
  • Abscesses
  • Collapsed veins 
  • Heart infection
  • Damaged nose tissue 
  • Kidney and liver disease 
  • Lung complications 
  • Mental illnesses 
  • Irregular periods 
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • HIV from sharing needles 

Certain long-term effects depend on how a person uses heroin. It can be used through injection, snorting or sniffing it, and smoking it. So, collapsed veins could happen from injecting it while damaged nasal tissue would result from snorting or sniffing it. 

When a person needs to visit an emergency room for a heroin overdose, they might be given Naloxone. This prescription drug binds to opioid receptors and blocks heroin effects. Since opioid receptors play a role in breathing, a heroin overdose can be life-threatening. Naloxone can help a patient start to breathe again. 

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

The body needs to get back to the way it once was before a person decides to stop using heroin. If they stop without letting their body do that, it can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Oftentimes, a heroin withdrawal is more uncomfortable than anything. However, losing lots of liquid from vomiting and diarrhea can lead to a severe case of dehydration. This could lead to death in some cases. 

Early and late symptoms of heroin withdrawal are: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Increased agitation 
  • Bodily aches and pains 
  • Tearing up 
  • Insomnia 
  • Excessively sweating 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Runny nose 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Goose pimples 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Dilated pupils 


While most people likely know what alcohol is, they may not realize that alcohol is a serious mind-altering drug that can cause severe withdrawal symptoms. This might be because it’s a legal substance that is widely acceptable socially speaking. Just because it’s legal doesn’t make it any less dangerous. A withdrawal can become even more complicated when alcohol and other drugs are involved. 

Alcohol use misuse places an excessive burden on the United States healthcare system. Around 5 million people were admitted to the emergency department in 2014. There were 137,807,901 emergency room visits in the same year. That means almost 4% of all emergency department visits were alcohol-related. 

What Is Alcohol? 

Alcohol is two things. On one hand, it’s a fermented drink that commonly includes sugar, fruit, grain, water, and yeast. On the other hand, it’s a drug classified as a depressant. Drugs that fall into the depressant classification slow down the body’s systems. In particular, alcohol affects the central nervous system (CNS). 

Depressants, like alcohol, make a person feel relaxed. But constant alcohol abuse and binge drinking can lead to an alcohol use disorder. When a person suffers from alcoholism, it makes withdrawal symptoms very severe. In this case, they will need to seek medical help to detox safely. 

Short-term alcohol effects are: 

  • Feeling dizzy 
  • Blacking out 
  • Impaired speech
  • Heightened mood 
  • Trouble urinating 
  • Reckless behavior 
  • Lack of motor coordination 
  • Lower heartbeat, breathing, and blood pressure 

Long-term alcohol effects include: 

  • Stroke 
  • Cancer 
  • Liver diseases 
  • Death from alcohol poisoning
  • Permanent brain and nerve damage 
  • Mental illnesses 
  • Malnutrition 
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome 
  • Brain disorders 

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms 

Those suffering from an alcohol use disorder can have mild to serious withdrawal symptoms. It’s better to seek help instead of guessing whether or not you’ll have a mild or severe withdrawal. Just like heroin, people can die from excessive fluid loss through vomiting and diarrhea. 

Mild and severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Mental illnesses 
  • Shakiness 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Confusion 
  • Racing heart 
  • High blood pressure 
  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Seizures 
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions 
Consider a Medical Detox Before Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey

Severe withdrawal symptoms are known as delirium tremens (DTs) depending on how long ago a person had their last drink. DTs start anywhere from two to three days. A severe withdrawal can start anywhere from a few hours to a day. As of 2017, one in eight Americans suffers from an alcohol use disorder. Withdrawal symptoms are common but are treatable with the right help. 

Prescription Painkillers  

Prescription painkillers are legal when used correctly. But people with an addiction or without one can still experience withdrawal symptoms. Despite being legal, they’re very strong and can lead to a dependence. The more severe a dependence is, the more severe withdrawal symptoms are. 

What Are Prescription Painkillers? 

A painkiller can be Advil. But severe or chronic pain may need a prescription painkiller that is an opioid. Prescription opioids function similarly to heroin in the way it binds to opioid receptors. 

Examples of prescription painkillers are:

Prescription Painkiller Withdrawal Symptoms 

Since both heroin and prescription painkillers are both opioids, they have similar withdrawal symptoms. Again these include: 

  • Enlarged pupils 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Goose pimples 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Runny nose 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Excessive sweating 
  • Insomnia 
  • Tearing up 
  • Aches and pains 
  • Agitation 
  • Mental illness 


Quitting benzodiazepines, or benzos for short, shouldn’t be attempted alone. While quitting drugs cold turkey isn’t a good idea in general, it’s an especially bad idea when it comes to benzos. They’re very addictive, even when prescribed by a doctor.  

What Are Benzodiazepines? 

Benzos are a class of drug that affects the brain’s GABA levels. Doctors might prescribe them in severe cases of anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, and seizures. Types of benzos are: 

Sleep aids and z-aids as a whole can be dangerous to quit without medical supervision. However, the drugs listed above are particularly dangerous. The threat becomes more dangerous when a person has an anxiety disorder and tries to quit quickly just because they feel better. 

Benzodiazepine Withdrawal Symptoms 

Psychological withdrawal symptoms can be just as dangerous as physical withdrawal symptoms at times. This is especially true for benzos. A benzo withdrawal may start a day after the last dose and continue for two weeks. However, cases vary and they could last for longer.  

Examples of benzo withdrawal symptoms include: 

  • Seizures 
  • Sleep disturbance 
  • Increased anxiety 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Heart palpitations 
  • Body aches and pains 
  • Muscle stiffness 
  • Increased irritability 
  • Psychotic breaks 

Consider a Medical Detox Before Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey

A medical detox is a safe, supervised process. Patients going through a detox protocol at a detox center will get rid of all the toxins and traces left behind by substance abuse. Medical professionals will monitor patients the entire time to make sure they are physically and mentally safe. 

Doctors at a detox center may prescribe the following medications to help: 

  • Naltrexone 
  • Disulfiram
  • Methadone 
  • Buprenorphine 
  • Suboxone 

Simultaneously, doctors may prescribe medications to help with the psychological dependence aspect behind withdrawal. One of the most important features of a medical detox is the constant support patients get. 

To say withdrawal is difficult would be an understatement. Detox centers provide 24/7 support and an extended family. Having someone there when suffering from withdrawal symptoms can give people the motivation to see it through. 

Contact Us Before Quitting Drugs Cold Turkey 

Quitting drugs cold turkey is more than a bad idea to attempt alone. It’s life-threatening and dangerous at the least. If you or a loved one wants to stop using drugs and alcohol but can’t, contact us beforehand. We can provide the resources needed to overcome addiction in a safe environment. 


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