Signs of Infection From Shooting Up

People who use drugs like heroin and meth may inject them to experience more rapid effects as their tolerance builds and they seek a new way of getting high. Aside from a worsening addiction, infections are one of the most significant risks associated with intravenous drug use.

Why Do IV Drugs Cause Infections?

When you get injections in a medical setting, your health care provider will take steps to ensure the process is sterile, including swabbing your skin with a disinfecting wipe and using a clean needle. In contrast, IV drug use usually doesn’t take place in a sanitary environment, which creates an opportunity for germs to enter your body. The drugs themselves may also be contaminated.

Though your body has built-in systems to protect you from illness, injecting any substance into your skin bypasses these barriers. Infections from dirty needles, other drug paraphernalia or even surfaces can travel through your bloodstream into your organs and bones. Some people who inject IV drugs can also develop painful skin abscesses.

Symptoms of Infections From IV Drugs

Since long-term substance abuse weakens the immune system, people who inject IV drugs are more vulnerable to viruses like HIV and hepatitis. Skin infections like cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis are other potential severe infections that can result from sharing or reusing needles or neglecting to clean your skin before shooting up.

Some warning signs of an infection can mimic those associated with drug withdrawal, including a fever, dizziness, disorientation, body aches or lightheadedness. Your skin may also be red, hot and sensitive to touch.

Sepsis is an extreme, potentially fatal response to infection that can begin anywhere in your body. If you have a recurring illness or your symptoms are getting worse, seek medical attention immediately. Even people who survive sepsis are at risk of developing life-threatening disabilities such as organ damage and chronic fatigue syndrome.

How to Stop Abusing Drugs

Once you start relying on drugs to cope with life’s challenges, you’ll probably go through withdrawal when you try to quit using. These physical and psychological symptoms can range from uncomfortable to dangerous and may cause a relapse, no matter how determined you are to get clean. Professional treatment is the best way to ensure long-term sobriety and break the patterns of substance abuse.

At PACE Recovery, our experienced team of physicians, doctorate-level clinicians and master’s-level therapists have developed a comprehensive continuum of care informed by the knowledge that diverse treatment options are essential for people who are working to recover from substance use disorders and behavioral health issues.

To verify your insurance coverage or learn more about our men’s-only residential rehab programming in beautiful, sunny California, please reach out to us today.

Causes of Insomnia in Males

The inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, even when you feel tired, can be frustrating. Lying awake night after night will eventually leave you chronically sleep-deprived, which can lead you to develop an array of health issues. However, insomnia can also be a warning sign of various illnesses. Learn more about why you might have trouble sleeping and what you can do about it.

Understanding the Sleep Cycle

Doctors recommend active young adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep per night. While sleep quantity is one part of the equation, quality is equally critical. If you spend each night tossing and turning instead of progressing smoothly through the stages of the sleep cycle, you’ll wake up feeling worn-out and irritable instead of energized and refreshed.

In a typical night, a healthy person goes through four to six sleep cycles lasting approximately 90 minutes each. Your ability to transition seamlessly through these cycles multiple times per night is a vital part of getting restorative sleep. People who keep waking up and interrupting the pattern will eventually struggle with excessive daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating and memory issues. Over time, they may also become more vulnerable to developing health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, a weakened immune system and a loss of balance and coordination.

What Causes Insomnia?

Some sleep disruptions are short-lived and resolve on their own after a few nights. For instance, worries about an upcoming job interview might rob you of a few hours of sleep, but there’s probably no cause for alarm if this issue goes away by itself. Here are some factors that can contribute to long-term insomnia.

Irregular Sleep Schedule

Failure to stick to a regular sleeping schedule may lead to insomnia by confusing your built-in body clock. For instance, some frequent travelers end up developing sleep disorders because they jump between time zones so often. Shift workers might also be more likely to have insomnia. Others naturally have a circadian rhythm that’s out of sync with the norm, so it’s difficult for them to sleep at night.

Medical Conditions

Trouble sleeping is sometimes a symptom of an underlying physical health issue like acid reflux, IBS or restless legs syndrome. People who struggle with breathing problems such as sleep apnea and COPD might wake up dozens of times per night without being consciously aware of it, then wonder why they are so groggy and irritable the next day.

Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders

Many mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD and panic attacks, can consistently interfere with your ability to get a full, restorative night of sleep.

Drinking alcohol interferes with the REM phase of the sleep cycle, which can cause you to wake up abruptly and have trouble falling back asleep. In general, the more alcohol you consume before bed, the more severely it will interfere with your ability to get a full, restful night of sleep. If you regularly rely on alcohol to manage your insomnia, your tolerance will keep building, which can increase your likelihood of having a substance use disorder.

Mental Health and Addiction Treatment at PACE Recovery

Living with a dual diagnosis can significantly interfere with your quality of life. Worsening mental and physical health will eventually impact your relationships and ability to fulfill daily responsibilities.

At our single-gender Orange County treatment facility, we simultaneously address both parts of a co-occurring substance use and mental health disorder by creating a customized plan for each client. Contact us today when you’re ready to learn more about tailored recovery for young men.

What Causes Anxiety?

We’ve all experienced it before: the nervous feeling that comes with different life situations. Whether you’re about to go on stage for a presentation or take on your first day at a new job, you may notice some symptoms of anxiety. But what if these feelings have become consistent? What if you feel scared all the time? There are a few different types of anxiety with various sources, so let’s look at each to help you understand where those feelings are coming from.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

What differentiates uneasy feelings from a mental health disorder is often the duration of symptoms. An anxiety disorder creates consistent feelings of nervousness either regardless of the circumstance or in response to specific situations. Diagnosable anxiety disorders listed in the DSM-5 include:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Specific Phobias
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Separation Anxiety

Each of these are linked to similar symptoms, like feeling restless, fidgeting, increased heart rate, and an impaired level of functioning. However, the causes of each condition can differ. 

What Causes Anxiety?

While there is not a current consensus on the causes of such conditions within the psychological research community, there are some sources or situations that we know can contribute to a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder. 

Life circumstances are often an indicator of anxiety. For example, a child who grows up in an unstable home might react to the lack of consistency by developing separation anxiety. In their need for security, they attempt to cling to sources of comfort and can exhibit symptoms when they are not around their chosen comfort source. Generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder can also develop as a result of life circumstances. Constant changes in a home can make someone more sensitive to differences in routine, resulting in feelings of distress.

Another influential factor for anxiety is a triggering life event. Phobias and social anxiety disorder can develop due to a negative experience a person has in a specific situation. For example, someone who was bitten by a spider and ended up in the hospital could develop arachnophobia: an overwhelming fear of spiders. Social anxiety disorder can develop if a person had an embarrassing moment in front of a group of people, which in turn brings on feelings of distress in social situations. 

Finally, researchers believe genetics can make a person more susceptible to developing an anxiety disorder. It’s not uncommon to see such conditions develop in multiple members of a family, and research has shown there is a genetic component to anxiety. That, in combination with environmental factors, can increase the likelihood that someone will develop an anxiety disorder. 

Mental Health Treatment in Orange County, CA

If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, regardless of the cause, PACE Recovery Center can help. Our treatment model, designed specifically for men, utilizes evidence-based practices to help determine the source of your anxiety and develop healthy coping skills to alleviate symptoms. We offer outpatient treatment to fit with your schedule or residential treatment for a higher level of support. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

5 Signs You Might Have High-Functioning Depression

Popular media and culture typically portray people with depression as exhibiting the more debilitating symptoms of depression such as a lack of motivation to do daily tasks, severe hopelessness, and persistent sadness. While these are common symptoms associated with depression, there are a number of other emotions and behaviors that can go unnoticed by society in a person who has depression. This is especially true if a person has what is considered “high-functioning depression”.

What Is High-Functioning Depression?

The DSM-5 categorizes the different types of depression based on their severity, symptoms present, and the duration of symptoms. The most common form of depression is major depressive disorder, and this is what is typically associated with the cultural understanding of depression. Those with major depressive disorder exhibit severe symptoms that can greatly interfere with their ability to function in society. Other types of depression include seasonal affective disorder and postpartum depression. But one of the lesser-noticed types of depression is dysthymia, and this is often what is considered “high-functioning depression”. 

High-functioning depression is likely to go unnoticed by society due to its persistent nature. Those who exhibit signs of dysthymia have had depressive symptoms for years (2 or more) which can contribute to their ability to manage the symptoms and function more successfully in society than a person with newly-diagnosed depression. So how do you know if you have dysthymia? Let’s look at 5 signs you might have high-functioning depression.

5 Signs of Dysthymia

You’ve Experienced Symptoms of Depression for 2 or More Years

One of the key indicators of dysthymia is persistent depressive symptoms for two or more years. These symptoms often come and go over time, but they can range in severity. Some of the key symptoms of depression include: 

      • Persistent sadness
      • Feelings of hopelessness
      • Loss of interest in hobbies
      • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness

You’ve Learned How to “Mask” Your Symptoms

Often, those who have experienced symptoms of depression for longer periods of time have learned to cope in order to function successfully. Coping skills could look like compartmentalizing feelings to deal with later or putting on a smile despite feeling sad. If you’ve experienced symptoms for a long time, it’s likely that you’re aware of how this affects your daily life. It’s not uncommon to try to hide those feelings to appear more lively in the presence of others.

Your Home Feels Chaotic

When you’re feeling stressed, one of the first things that’s often affected is your ability to keep up with the smaller tasks in life. This becomes most evident in your home and the cleanliness of your space. The high levels of stress your body is feeling make it more difficult to prioritize chores and other small responsibilities. If you have dysthymia, you’ve likely learned to manage the depressive symptoms by allowing other areas of your life to fall behind, such as your home. 

You Feel Constantly Tired

Emotions can be exhausting, and living with depression for a long period of time can have negative effects on your physical health. If your body is living in a state of heightened emotion, whether positive or negative, this can decrease your energy levels and make you feel tired more often than usual. If you find that you’re feeling tired more days than not, and there isn’t a physical health reason, this could be a sign of depression.

Goals Still Motivate You

Despite one of the main symptoms of depression being a lack of interest in hobbies or activities you once enjoyed, a contrasting symptom for those with high-functioning depression is that your goals continue to motivate you to keep going. Those with dysthymia are often able to continue working towards their goals despite feelings of depression. When symptoms of depression and a motivation to achieve are working concurrently, this could be a sign of high-functioning depression.

Help for Symptoms of Depression

No matter what form of depression you have, you deserve help from a professional. Dysthymia is considered high-functioning depression because those who experience symptoms for long periods of time have learned how to function well in society despite their symptoms. Talking to a professional, though, can help you deal with the root causes of your depression to alleviate the burden of trying to function despite your symptoms. If you or a man you know is living with high-functioning depression, PACE Recovery Center can help. Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient mental health services. 

Contact Us

...