Category Archives: addiction treatment

Documentation of Extenuating Circumstances

An extenuating circumstance is any situation or condition that provides a reason for an action. This expression was originally legal terminology for instances that partly excuse a criminal offense and make the resulting consequences less harsh.

The concept of extenuating circumstances can apply to a wide range of situations. For example, many employers and educational institutions would typically frown on people who want to take a prolonged leave of absence from work or school to go on a vacation. However, they would likely be more amenable to you using the time to get help for a substance use disorder and co-occurring mental health condition.

Reasons to Seek Treatment Now

Because addiction is a chronic and progressive illness, it will eventually affect all areas of your life, including your responsibilities as an employee or student. Many people with worsening substance use disorders find they are unable to hold a steady job or stay enrolled in school. By asking for help before these unfortunate circumstances befall you, you stand a better chance of succeeding with your goals and rebuilding damaged relationships with people who may be more forgiving than you expect.

Still, completing a treatment program doesn’t automatically wipe your slate clean of any behavioral issues that may have resulted from your drug and alcohol use, such as unexplained absences or erratic mood swings. Your friends, teachers and colleagues will likely be near the top of the list of people you’ll need to make amends to after returning home.

Rebuild Your Life at PACE Recovery Center

You might hesitate to pursue addiction treatment because you’re unwilling to put your life on hold for at least 90 days while you complete a residential program. At PACE Recovery Center, we will gladly provide documentation of extenuating circumstances to facilitate your re-entry into school or work.

Addiction is a multifaceted disease that affects your body and mind. If you’re living with substance use or a co-occurring disorder, you deserve the chance to regain your health in a compassionate environment. Recovery is possible, but you can’t do it without help. Our programming allows you to restart your life in a setting that is conducive to addressing all facets of your mental and behavioral well-being.

PACE’s extended inpatient program supports long-term recovery via a gender-specific, clinically sophisticated treatment approach. The goal of our men’s-only young adult program is to prepare clients for a healthy, balanced life outside residential treatment. Through education, psychotherapy, 12-step work, integrative health and physical healing, you will gain a more comprehensive insight into the underlying cause of your addiction.

Our accredited team is waiting to speak to you and help you experience the freedom and fulfillment that come with lifelong, purposeful sobriety. Reach out to our admissions counselors to start your journey to wellness.

Observing World Adoption Day

When families welcome a child through adoption, they do their best to provide a loving, stable home environment. Though parents want to do everything in their power to ensure their child grows up happy, healthy and well-adjusted, adoptees’ unique background makes them more vulnerable to developing substance use disorders due to a combination of various factors.

In observance of World Adoption Day on Nov. 9, what are some of the effects of adoption, and how can you overcome them?

1. Adoption Trauma

While adoption can create a new, nurturing family and give a child a better chance to grow up surrounded by caring adults, adoptees experience higher-than-average rates of depression and PTSD and may continue to feel grief and fear throughout their lives.

Many adoptees end up in a much safer environment than they otherwise might have, but that does not necessarily stop them from wondering how their lives could have been different if they had been able to stay with their birth parents. Even children who were adopted as babies and have no memory of their biological family may grow up feeling like something is missing or that nobody understands them.

2. Adverse Childhood Experiences

Being adopted or spending time in the foster system are potentially adverse childhood experiences. ACEs are sources of ongoing stress that can cause chronic toxicity and illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, at least half of the top 10 leading causes of death link back to ACEs.

Prevailing research suggests that stressful or traumatic events are especially impactful during childhood because they happen while your brain is still developing, before you have the emotional maturity to understand the world around you. As a result, you may have trouble dealing with complex feelings and seek to sweep them under the rug instead of confronting them head-on.

3. Attachment Issues

Attachment is the framework we use to develop relationships with others. Ideally, every child would grow up with at least one nurturing, loving caregiver. However, if trust and connection are lacking, a child’s capacity to form secure and meaningful relationships can suffer. Adoptees who struggle to bond with their new family might fear rejection, be uncomfortable with physical affection and prefer to self-soothe instead.

4. Addiction

If you’ve felt isolated, misunderstood, unwelcome or otherwise “different” your whole life, drinking or drug use might seem like a viable solution to your inner turmoil. While substance abuse may temporarily dull the pain and allow you to avoid dealing with your problems, keeping yourself numbed will prevent you from experiencing the growth you need to become a better version of yourself. The mounting mental and physical health issues will also chip away at your quality of life.

Start Your Healing Journey Today

At PACE Recovery, we have created specialized programming to cater to adoptees’ unique circumstances, needs and concerns. We know the effects of adoption can lead to substance use disorders and long-term mental health issues, and we use evidence-based therapies to help adopted people identify and address the root causes of these illnesses. When you are ready to learn more about personalized men’s-only recovery in California, reach out to us.

PACE Recovery Celebrates 10 Years of “Changing Everything”

September 17th marks ten years of PACE Recovery Center. For the past decade, our cutting-edge, evidence-based programming has helped over 1,000 young men turn their lives around. We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate our staff, our programs, and the history of PACE Recovery.

A Decade of Life-Changing Care

PACE is actually an acronym—when broken down, it contains our motto: Positive Attitude Changes Everything. That’s exactly what we’ve been doing since our founding in 2012. Helmed by Founder and Executive Director Lenny Segal, MSW, MBA. PACE Recovery Center offers a variety of programs tailored to the needs of young men in Southern California and beyond.  

From the very beginning, PACE’s recovery team strove to become one of the top drug and alcohol treatment centers in the country. Their dedication and clinical expertise began making waves in the community almost immediately. Word spread, and just two weeks after our grand opening, the house had already filled (and so had the waiting list). This rapid expansion catalyzed the opening of another facility. Today, we have five residential properties that are all state licensed and CARF accredited. PACE is licensed to treat both primary mental health and substance use disorder. To offer our clients the complete continuum of care, we also run several outpatient programs.

As the years passed, PACE helped more and more men struggling with addiction and behavioral health issues. This continuous growth inspired the creation of niche programming unrivaled by any other center in the country.

Unique Programs to Treat the Whole Person

As PACE began dealing with more clients, leadership sought to dig deeper, treating the variety of external factors affecting those hoping to overcome addiction. Men were particularly vulnerable to substance use disorder after a significant loss or traumatic event, for example. They also experienced difficulties as children of adoption, overwhelmed students, and young men with undiagnosed mental illnesses.

To overcome these obstacles, PACE Recovery Center expanded its treatment team to include industry-leading specialists like Neuropsychologist Joanna Savarese, PhD; DBT Therapist Lisa Bahar, M.A., LMFT, LPCC; Nutritionist Kim Conrad, CPT; and Adoption Trauma Expert Brett Furst, PsyD, LMFT. Other staff additions include Clinical Director Will Sanchez, LMFT, SEP; Director of Mental Health Samantha Meyer, PhD; Clinical Psychologist Helen O’Mahony, PhD; and a vast network of primary therapists whose work focuses on trauma, grief, and other niche areas.

We now have a team of 65 employees who support our clients and their families. Together, these clinicians and staff members provide the structure and know-how necessary for in-depth, effective treatment.

Unique programs offered at PACE Recovery include:

  • Inpatient mental health care: The highest possible level of care for those struggling with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, and other severe mental illnesses.
  • PACE Academy: A path for young men seeking to succeed in their academic pursuits, including preparation for high school, GED testing, community college, four-year university programs, graduate school, and CAADAC certification.
  • Adoption-related treatment: Addresses the unhealthy coping mechanisms and inconsistent attachment styles common to men adopted as children.
  • Trauma-first programming: Helps clients to process unresolved traumatic events (whether recent or in the distant past).
  • Relapse prevention: Both our longer-term programming and clinical interventions are designed to aid those who have recently used drugs or alcohol after a period of sobriety.

PACE Recovery: Southern California’s Top Addiction Treatment Center

After ten years of clinical excellence, PACE’s team looks forward to a bright future.

“The last ten years have been nothing short of amazing. In my wildest dreams, I never could have forecasted the successes we have had. My motto—which I heard when I got sober 23 years ago—is to do the next right thing. I will continue to practice this for our next ten years. I am incredibly humbled by my amazing treatment team, many of whom have been with me since our inception, and by the professionals and families who have entrusted PACE with their clients and loved ones.”

 – Lenny Segal, MSW, MBA
Executive Director and Founder of PACE Recovery Center

PACE Recovery Center offers a truly innovative, highly effective approach to addiction treatment and mental health care. As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of our founding, we hope that this observance will encourage more young men to find recovery within our walls. No matter what challenge your family is facing, we’re here to help, 24/7. Contact us today to learn more.

Can You Get Addicted to Benadryl?

What is Benadryl?

Benadryl, also called diphenhydramine, is an antihistamine commonly taken to relieve symptoms of allergies, hay fever and the common cold. The symptoms it combats include skin rashes, watery or itchy eyes, itchy nose or throat, coughing and sneezing. It is also used to treat symptoms of motion sickness such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness.

The US Food and Drug Administration has warned about taking high doses of the drug, as heavy use could result in “serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death.” Fatal cases have been reported from those taking more than 20mg/kg. Increasingly, young adults are abusing Benadryl, becoming addicted and are faced with these risks along with mental instability and toxic psychosis.

Dangers of High Doses

 At high doses, users report troubling hallucinations and several have warned about the incidences of mental instability and psychosis caused by Benadryl.  In 2020 a “Benadryl Challenge” on TikTok started trending among teens and young adults to induce these hallucinations. What teens and young adults don’t consider is that the dose they’re taking to  are hallucinate could be life-threatening. Several have been hospitalized and a 15 year old Oklahoman teen who died from the challenge made headlines in 2020.

Yes, Benadryl Can Be Addictive

According to this literary article from the National Library of Medicine, abusers of antihistamines, particularly diphenhydramine, have been shown to exhibit withdrawal symptoms from the drug after heavy use.

There are several first-hand accounts of the drug’s addictiveness as well. One Redditor who tried the drug to combat depression and insomnia commented that they had developed a dependency on diphenhydramine, leading to a diagnosis of sedative dependency disorder.

Benadryl is not the only drug with harmful side effects and addictive properties. For this reason, it’s important to know about the medicines you’re taking, and the risks involved in seemingly harmless drugs.

Warning for Parents

For parents, it’s important to know how to properly store medicines to keep children safe. Check out the FDA’s guide “Think it Through: Managing the Benefits and Risks of Medicines” for more information on drug risk assessment and management.

If your young adult loved ones needs help, Contact Us at PACE Recovery Center to learn about our addiction and mental health programs for young adults.

Adoption and Addiction

PACE Recovery Center is proud to work with expert clinicians who specialize in issues that contribute to substance use disorder. Our own Brett Furst, PsyD, LMFT was recently published by the prestigious National Council for Adoption in this June’s Adoption Advocate. His paper, “The Intersection of Adoption and Addiction,” covers the link between adoption, attachment issues, trauma and the eventual development of a substance use disorder. Below is a brief summary of Dr. Furst’s paper; to read the complete publication, please visit the link at the bottom of this article.

Deciding to open your heart and home to a child by becoming an adoptive parent is one of the most selfless things you can do. Parents of adoptive children may encounter many unique parenting challenges, especially when taking in older children like adolescents. One of these could be the intersection of adoption and addiction.

What Is the Link Between Adoption and Addiction?

Research shows that adoptees are almost twice as likely to have substance use disorders as those who were not adopted. Addiction is a complex illness with many interconnected risk factors, including genetics and environment. Parental substance abuse is a primary reason children enter the foster system. Unfortunately, this family history can predispose them to develop chemical dependency issues.

As the founder of PACE Recovery’s Adoption Center and an adoptee, Dr. Brett Furst describes addiction as a disease primarily rooted in two things – escapism and attachment. Even if you do your best to provide a stable, loving home, an adopted child might still struggle to trust and accept you after all the upheavals they have experienced.

While adoptees desire a sense of connection, they have frequently learned to view close relationships as risky. As a result, they may start searching for ways to escape from challenging emotions like fear and guilt. In these cases, drugs and alcohol could become a coping mechanism to compensate for a perceived lack in an adopted young adult’s life.

Adoption and Trauma

Adoptees often carry a significant burden of trauma, usually starting from a young age. Adverse childhood experiences like abuse and neglect can leave their mark on young people who lack the context or emotional maturity to process what has happened to them.

Adoption tends to cause feelings like loneliness, helplessness, anger and abandonment, even though many adoptive parents spare children from the toxicity and dysfunction created by their birth families. Though they may recognize that their biological parents were unreliable, they could still hope for a reunion. A deep-seated fear of abandonment might also make them anxious that their new family might eventually reject them. These feelings can leave adoptees looking for a release in the form of drugs and alcohol.

Adoption-Related Treatment Specialists

It is not inevitable that adopted children will develop substance use disorders later in life. Even if an adoptee goes on to struggle with addiction as an adult, he can still live a healthy and fulfilling life by seeking treatment.

PACE Recovery has successfully treated many clients who come from adoptive homes. Over the years, we have created specialized programming that caters to adoptees’ unique circumstances, needs and concerns. We use specialized approaches to treat adopted people for the underlying issues that contributed to their substance use or mental health disorder, including attachment-focused therapy.

If you’re an adoptive parent of a young adult man who grapples with substance misuse and drug dependency, healing is possible. Often, clients who come to PACE Recovery have trouble dealing with the ramifications of the trauma and instability men face starting in early childhood. Contact us to learn more about healing your family.

To read the full text of Dr. Furst’s publication, click here.

Men’s Health Issues

Many men ignore their mental and physical health, which may cause them to develop preventable illnesses that take years off their lives. Having a preventive mindset is one way to be a better steward of your overall well-being. This Men’s Health Month, here are some proactive steps you should take to avoid illness and stay healthy at every stage of your life.

1. Get Screened for Heart Disease

Even if you have no apparent symptoms, you may still be at risk for high blood pressure and other forms of cardiovascular disease. You can take an active role in your heart health by taking your blood pressure, getting routine checkups and being aware of your unique risk factors. Eat a balanced diet, quit smoking, stay active, reduce stress and take other measures as instructed by your health provider.

2. Work to Prevent Cancer

Common cancers diagnosed in men include skin, prostate, colorectal and lung cancers. A combination of a healthy lifestyle and regular screenings can help you stay cancer-free. To reduce your risk of various cancers, wear sunscreen, cut back on meat, quit smoking and talk to your doctor about other preventive measures.

3. Exercise Regularly

The physical and mental health benefits that come with getting in shape are well-documented, but you might still have trouble finding the motivation to work out. If you don’t already have an exercise regimen, use Men’s Health Month as your opportunity to start one.

  • Work out with a friend or partner – that way, you can keep each other accountable.
  • Choose an activity you enjoy. For example, if you’ve tried jogging and couldn’t stick with it, try swimming, biking, rock climbing or hiking instead.
  • Join a recreational sports league. Games like kickball and softball are an excellent way to get active. You’ll elevate your heart rate and burn calories without it feeling like a chore. You could even make some new friends along the way.
  • If it’s hard to carve out time in your schedule, try “exercise snacking.” With this approach, you squeeze in brief periods of activity whenever you have a few free minutes, instead of spending an hour in the gym each day.

4. Know the Signs of Depression

Some men are depressed without realizing it because the symptoms don’t always align with what they expect. Men may experience depression as anger or irritability instead of sadness and hopelessness. You might also prefer to try ignoring your feelings instead of exploring them. If you are having any mood irregularities, take the first step by speaking with a therapist or counselor.

5. Find Healthy Coping Mechanisms

If you regularly use alcohol and drugs to help you relax and feel good about yourself, you are compromising your health in more ways than one. These substances can change your brain to a point where you no longer feel like yourself unless you’re drinking or using. Long-term use will also put you on a path to addiction, cause significant organ damage and compromise your relationships with friends and family members.

Be Proactive About Your Health

You only get one body, so it’s crucial to prioritize your well-being by taking an active role in your health. Form a partnership with a therapist or general provider who can guide you toward recommended tests, answer any questions you may have and put you on a path to improved wellness.

At PACE Recovery Center, we address all facets of addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. We’ve designed our Orange County gender-specific treatment specifically to empower men to experience the freedom of a substance-free lifestyle. Speak with our admissions team to learn more about how we can help you live life on your terms.

Emotional Impact of Foster Care

Sadly, some children do not have loving homes to grow up in. When their parents and extended family can’t provide for their needs, these children will enter the foster care system. While foster care can have a positive impact, children in the foster system often face tremendous hardships from a very young age. As we observe National Foster Care Month, how can these traumatic experiences adversely affect children’s mental and behavioral health?

The Relationship Between Foster Care and Trauma

When abuse and neglect from their biological families make home life too dangerous, social workers or other authorities can place children into the foster care system. Often, foster children bounce from one placement to the next, unable to find a stable, caring environment. When placed into another home, many children may wonder if they did something wrong or question whether their families still love them. They can also feel confusion, anger, fear and mistrust.

Additionally, while foster programs aim to provide children with a safe place to live until they can reunite with their biological family or find permanent placement through adoption, many foster children age out of the system and end up lacking the support they need to live independently.

These traumatic events can have severe mental health effects that extend into adulthood.

Mental Health Disorders Associated With Foster Care

Adverse childhood experiences like trauma and abuse are among the strongest predictors of adult mental and behavioral health problems. Since foster care children are so vulnerable, it shouldn’t be surprising that they are at an increased risk of negative long-term outcomes like these.

  • PTSD
  • Substance use disorders
  • Reactive attachment disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Social phobia
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Conduct disorder
  • ADHD
  • Self-harm
  • Separation anxiety
  • Eating disorders

Children and adolescents who have learned from an early age that the world is an uncertain, hostile or dangerous place might start abusing drugs and alcohol because they have grown up without positive role models and examples of healthy coping behavior. As a result, they can develop an addiction that makes their mental health worse, creating a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle.

Treating Adoption-Related Issues

Many children who are fortunate enough to get adopted out of the foster care system still grow up with significant emotional difficulties, such as trust issues and a lack of self-worth. These insecurities and attachment problems can make it harder for them to establish healthy, secure relationships.

At PACE Recovery, we have worked with many adoptees, and we’ve seen firsthand how many issues they struggle with. Our desire to help adoptees heal is at the heart of our specialized adoption programming, which we’ve developed in partnership with nationally recognized adoption expert Brett Furst. This program focuses on addressing the underlying causes of mental health issues and addiction while fostering healthy, secure attachment styles in a safe, supportive environment.

If you’d like to learn more about our treatment approach, how we address co-occurring disorders and the in-depth mental health services we offer for young men, please reach out to speak to one of our knowledgeable admissions counselors.

Signs of Drug Use

Contrary to popular belief, addiction does not signify a flawed moral compass. It’s a brain disease that can affect anyone, whether they use drugs recreationally or with a doctor’s prescription. Knowing these warning signs can help you identify whether your loved one may be abusing drugs and risking harmful consequences.

1. Tolerance

A growing tolerance is one of the earliest warning signs of drug use. This condition occurs when someone becomes accustomed to having drugs in their system, and their brain’s reward circuits have rewired themselves to expect a baseline level of intoxication. At that point, the user will need to take more drugs to achieve their desired results. That’s why even prescription drugs can be addictive, especially when people start taking higher-than-intended doses or using them in off-label ways, like injecting or snorting them.

2. Withdrawal

When someone abuses drugs, they’ll gradually become physically and psychologically dependent on their substance of use. Then, they’ll eventually experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit, which are some of the most telltale signs of drug use. Your loved one’s withdrawal symptoms can be severe, and might include mood swings, body aches, nausea, insomnia and seizures.

3. Financial Issues

Maintaining a drug habit can be expensive. As his addiction worsens, your loved one might spend more than he can afford on drugs, going into debt or neglecting to pay bills, taxes or child support. He might also have problems keeping his job if he chronically shows up late or has multiple unexplained absences from work, further contributing to his financial difficulties.

4. Relationship Problems

The secrecy, deception and isolation required to maintain a worsening substance use disorder can all drive a wedge between a drug user and the people who care about him. Ultimately, someone with the disease of addiction will lose all interest in other hobbies, instead preferring to prioritize their substance of use. His friend group may dwindle until the only close relationships he has left are with his drug buddies, or he might prefer to use drugs alone and in private because he’s trying to hide how severe his habit has become.

5. Worsening Mental Health

People with addiction are more likely to develop mental health problems, and vice versa. If your loved one struggles with illnesses such as anxiety, depression, OCD or PTSD, using drugs could seem like a temporary escape from his symptoms. Sadly, this misguided coping mechanism will eventually make his mental health worse.

Help Is Here for You

If your loved one is showing any of these signs of drug use and you are seeking a solution, PACE Recovery Center can help. We designed our Orange County residential rehab program specifically to help men overcome a dual diagnosis of addiction and mental illness and live healthy, drug-free lives.

We offer a complete continuum of care for substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders, treating the whole client and setting your loved one up for a lifetime of success. Our accredited team is waiting to help someone you care about experience the freedom that comes with lifelong, purpose-focused sobriety. Take the next step by contacting us today.

Signs of an Alcoholic

Alcohol is legal, easily accessible and socially acceptable. As a result, some people believe drinking is a safe way to relax, make friends and enhance activities like concerts and sports events. However, alcohol has done more cumulative damage to people’s health, relationships and overall quality of life than any other drug. In addition, its harmful societal effects are wide-ranging and can result in illegal activities, irresponsible decisions, violence and legal and financial problems.

Alcohol Abuse Tendencies

Sometimes, it can be challenging to tell when drinking has crossed the line into problematic behavior because for most men, the progression from tolerance to dependence to full-fledged alcohol addiction happens gradually. Occasionally having a beer or a glass of wine doesn’t mean your loved one has a substance use disorder, but when he starts feeling the urge to drink daily, that’s an early warning sign. Another red flag of a growing addiction is craving alcohol or talking about wanting to drink when sober.

Here are some other issues problem drinkers might experience as alcohol begins to take over their lives.

  • Wanting to stop drinking, but finding the habit is too hard to break
  • Prioritizing drinking over other aspects of life
  • Lying about the amount they drink or trying to hide the evidence to prevent other people from suspecting they are addicted
  • Drinking alone because they are ashamed about how much they drink
  • Frequent blackouts, during which they do things they have no memory of the next day
  • Doing irresponsible things under the influence, like driving drunk
  • Becoming distressed or anxious when they run out of alcohol
  • Trying to change the subject if someone mentions that they might need help

The Dangers of Alcohol Withdrawal

Addiction is a chronic disease that affects brain chemistry by hijacking the built-in reward system. Eventually, it will become increasingly difficult to take pleasure from any other activities, and problem drinkers may only feel like their genuine selves when they’re drinking.

The human brain is a plastic organ, which means it can reconfigure and adjust itself in response to changing circumstances. When your loved one’s brain adapts to alcohol’s effects, it will struggle to achieve the same equilibrium when he tries to cut back or quit entirely. At that point, alcohol withdrawal begins.

Withdrawal symptoms include a range of physical and emotional issues that vary in severity. These include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Insomnia and chronic fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to light, noise and touch
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to try quitting cold turkey because some heavy drinkers are at risk of delirium tremens, a serious condition characterized by hallucinations, uncontrollable sweating and shaking, seizures and heart palpitations. Delirium tremens is sometimes fatal, so it’s a medical emergency that requires immediate attention from experienced health professionals.

Addiction Treatment for Men

One long-lasting stigma about addiction is that it only happens to people who have some inherent weakness or moral flaw. At PACE Recovery, we know that couldn’t be further from the truth because we have worked with clients from all belief systems and ways of life.

If your loved one struggles with an alcohol use disorder and has tried to quit, a men’s-only rehab program tailored to his needs will equip him with the tools he needs to manage his illness for the rest of his life. The first step is medically managed detoxification, during which health care providers will monitor withdrawal symptoms and work to make your loved one as comfortable as possible. Then, he can move into the next phases of treatment. Call us today to learn more about thriving in recovery.

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.