Understanding the Difference Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction

Understanding the Difference Between Alcohol Abuse and Alcohol Addiction

Adult alcohol abuse and alcohol addiction are often used interchangeably in conversation, but in the medical field, there is a clear difference and a clear line between the two. 

Alcohol Abuse

When an individual abuses of alcohol, they are not yet addicted, but they can become addicted and dependent.

Alcohol abuse occurs when the individual drinks excessively to a point where their physical health and relationships suffer. It may also be present if they find themselves in legal trouble relating to their drinking habits, such as a DWI. 

Someone who abuses alcohol may continue to drink despite all of these problems and, unfortunately, on the outside, their abuse may not seem like abuse at all–in fact, it may even appear casual at times. Alcohol abuse often manifests as the direct result of an individual drinking alcohol in order to alleviate stress. 

Even though this sounds a lot like addiction, alcohol abusers can understand their consequences and change their behavior far more easily.

Alcohol Addiction – Also Known as Alcohol Dependence

Alcohol addiction as a chemical dependency is an illness that affects adults in the same way that abuse does, but more severely in the sense that even though both abuse and addiction are harmful behaviors, abuse still involves a degree of choice. When it comes to addiction, it’s chronic and choice is nonexistent. In addition to the aforementioned consequences of alcohol abuse, addiction causes problems with all facets of one’s life. Signs of alcohol addiction include, but are not limited to:

  • Intense cravings for alcohol
  • Inability to stop consuming alcohol
  • Continued, excess consumption of alcohol despite the negative consequences

As with any chemical dependency, it is really difficult for individuals to stop drinking on their own, which is why many end up being checked into rehab hospitals like ours and participate in both inpatient and outpatient programs for chemical dependency. 

Their inability to stop drinking may be due to a few reasons. For one, since choice is nonexistent, try as they might, it is easy to fall back on their chronic habits. Second, individuals suffering from an alcohol addiction build a high tolerance for alcohol, so they need to drink more to get the same alleviating effects. Third, alcohol addiction, much like drug addiction, almost always causes withdrawal symptoms when the individual stops drinking, so they drink again to get rid of the symptoms, which may include:

  • Cravings
  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Nausea or vomiting

Sacred Oak in Houston Helps Adults Recover From Alcohol Addiction 

At Sacred Oak Medical Center, our medical professionals offer two kinds of outpatient therapy programs. One is intensive for more severe cases, and the second, though less intensive than its counterpart, is a structured program that focuses on support. Through our various group and individual sessions, our adult patients will learn how to overcome their battle with addiction and live a healthier life. To determine which program is best for you or a loved one, please schedule an assessment so we can help Repair the Body, Mend the Mind, and Heal the Spirit.

Houston Intensive Outpatient Program for Adult Mental Illness

Houston Intensive Outpatient Program for Adult Mental Illness

Adult mental health, although not as taboo as it used to be, is still stigmatized by some. Why, if 1 in 5 adults in the United States will experience mental illness in any given year? Why, if 1 in 25 American adults will experience a mental illness that is so severe it will interfere with their daily lives? Why, if it is entirely possible for adults suffering from poor behavioral health to develop drug addictions as the direct result of substance abuse as a coping mechanism? The truth is, mental illness has only recently been talked about more often, and because of this we are learning something new about behavioral health every day. One surefire way to help adults heal from their challenges with behavioral health is inpatient treatment at a rehab clinic, but our outpatient program is also an effective option for adults.

Our Houston Intensive Outpatient Program for Behavioral Health

Our adult Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for depression treatment or other mental illness is highly recommended for individuals who meet the following criteria:

Our outpatient program, while not as intense as our inpatient programs, is highly structured and still offers a level of intensity that helps make certain that the patient has a continuous support system throughout their rehabilitation and recovery from mental illness.

This state-of-the-art program allows for our adult patients to work one on one with our highly qualified medical professionals, so they can learn about the symptoms of their behavioral health concerns, as well as healthy ways to cope with and overcome the weight of their depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental illness. We have carefully developed this program so that we can give patients a stable foundation for their continued recovery and address the underlying causes.

How Our Outpatient Program for Behavioral Health Works

This program lasts for about 6 weeks and consists of 3 group sessions a week, all of which last three hours so patients can get the most out of them. It also consists of 2 or 3 individual therapy sessions a month so individuals can get more individualized help.

Saked Oak Medical Center in Houston Tailors Our Treatments to Each Individual Seeking Mental Health Improvement

Depression treatment, and mental illness treatment in general, will never be a one-size-fits-all solution. Our medical professionals will tailor treatment plans to the individual so they can get the most out of our program and lead a healthy, happy life. If you or a loved one may be in need of an intensive outpatient program for behavioral health, please get an assessment so we can develop a plan.

Understanding the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

Understanding the Difference Between Drug Abuse and Drug Addiction

The terms “drug abuse” (substance abuse) and “drug addiction” (substance addiction) may often be confused and used interchangeably. Although on the surface they appear similar, there is a clear difference between the terms.

Drug Abuse

An individual who abuses a drug, be it marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, or other altering substances, may not be addicted to it. Abuse refers to using these substances in an inappropriate manner, but their abuse does not appear to have significant effects on their life, as it often appears casual. 

Substance abuse is more common than people think, and this is because of its casual nature. To illustrate, what is defined as moderate drinking is up to one drink a day for women and up to two a day for men. Drinking more than that is considered alcohol abuse.

Simply put, abuse occurs when an individual uses substances as a way to alleviate stress and physical symptoms and to encourage feelings of pleasure. It also occurs, when someone uses prescription drugs for reasons other than what the prescription states.

Drug Addiction

The key difference between drug abuse and drug addiction is that, although both are damaging behaviors, abuse still involves choice; addiction does not.

When individuals become addicted to a substance, it’s extremely hard for them to stop using it. It is very easy for drug abuse to become a drug addiction, so at the point of addiction, what was once meant as a brief mind-altering experience has developed into a long-established chemical imbalance in the brain, resulting in mental disorder and strong chemical dependency.

Addiction is not casual by any means. It is the continued use of a drug despite the damaging consequences the individual faces, such as relationship, legal, and health problems.

Furthermore, drug or alcohol addiction is accompanied by signs of withdrawal. Withdrawal refers to debilitating physical and emotional problems that occur after decreased use of the substance an individual is addicted to. Symptoms will depend on the substance, but in general, they may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations

Sacred Oak Offers Outpatient Programs for Chemical Dependency

At Sacred Oak Medical Center in Houston, we offer specialized supportive outpatient therapy and intensive outpatient therapy programs to help those who suffer an addiction move past their underlying chemical dependency. Through our group therapy sessions and individual therapy sessions, our patients will better understand their addiction and learn healthy ways to recover from it. If you or someone you know may be suffering from drug or alcohol addiction, please schedule an assessment so we can start charting the path to recovery.

What to Do When Depression and Anxiety Occur Together in Houston Adults

What to Do When Depression and Anxiety Occur Together in Houston Adults

Everyone experiences periods of feeling down or anxious based on certain stressors of life, such as moving, losing a loved one, having a hard time at school, or losing your job. These are normal reactions. However, for 16 million American adults, their down days are persistent and exist when everything else in life seems to be going well. This is because they suffer from severe depression.

For 42 million American adults, it’s not just naturally stressful situations that make them anxious, and that’s because they have anxiety disorder. Often, when an individual has depression, anxiety also accompanies their mental illness and vise-versa.

What are Severe Depression and Anxiety Like, Together?

Although the two illnesses are different, there is overlap in their symptoms, and sometimes this only worsens symptoms. Each case is different, but when these mental illnesses come together, they undoubtedly cause debilitating behavioral health challenges.

Adult Depressive Disorder

Depressive Disorder is what we refer to as severe depression or clinical depression. Common symptoms are as follows:

  • Feeling sad, tired, and low-energy
  • Losing interest in enjoyable activities
  • A change in appetite
  • Trouble concentrating and sleeping
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, and hopelessness
  • Suicide thoughts/attempts 

Adult Anxiety Disorder

A little stress and anxiety is normal, and can even be good for us. Stress can trigger our fight or flight response in times of danger and it may also benefit those who wish to succeed in their Houston-based, deadline-driven job. For individuals who have Anxiety Disorder, their behaviors are different:

  • Stress and anxiety can be severe in situations that others may not feel as stressed in
  • Stress and anxiety may be persistent to a point where individuals don't get a break from it
  • Reactions to stress may seem more like overreactions
  • Extreme avoidance of stressful situations

Houston Adults Can Improve Upon Their Mental Illness and Behavioral Health

Ketamine Infusion Therapy 

Research has demonstrated that low, controlled doses of Ketamine reduce the imbalance in the brain’s neurotransmitters. This imbalance contributes to both anxiety and depressive disorder. Ketamine also works faster and more efficiently than typical depression and anxiety medications, often within a few hours.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Behavioral Health

Our Houston Outpatient Program for adult behavioral health is ideal for individuals that have undergone our Partial Hospitalization Program and reached a point in their depression treatment and anxiety treatment where they no longer need round-the-clock care. It allows patients to work with our qualified medical professionals to understand the symptoms of their behavioral health, as well as healthy ways to overcome them. When in conjunction with our Ketamine Infusion Program, recovery is that much closer.

If you would like to know more about how to recover from anxiety and depression, please get an assessment. Our medical professionals will happily develop a customized treatment plan so you can live a happier, healthier life.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for Adults Suffering From Depression May Complement Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for Adults Suffering From Depression May Complement Ketamine Infusion Therapy

It was estimated that in 2017, about 17.3 million adults in the United States experienced a severe episode of depression.

Today, over 16.1 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, and of those adults, 38.3% are not receiving any treatment for this debilitating illness. However, Ketamine Infusion Therapy, along with our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for Behavioral Health may be a viable treatment option.

Understanding Ketamine Infusion Therapy for Depression in Adults

Whereas typical antidepressant medication will take many weeks, and sometimes months, before it has any effect on the patient, Ketamine has been shown to work faster–only within a few hours. Because it works quickly in small doses, it can work wonderfully for preventing suicide so that our patients can make progress in their recovery from depression. Ketamine is a well-favored alternative amongst individuals who have previously had to take multiple medications in hopes of alleviating their depression symptoms.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program for Behavioral Health Challenges May Successfully Complement Ketamine Infusion Therapy

Ketamine as an antidepressant may relieve symptoms of depression, working especially well for treatment-resistant variations of the illness. However, at Sacred Oak Medical Center in Houston, we also care about treating the root cause so that our patients can repair the body, mend the mind, and heal the spirit. In order to achieve this, we offer an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) that helps our patients surpass their mental health challenges. This program offers a highly structured environment for our adult patients while simultaneously granting them some level of independence as they work through their treatment.

This 6-week program consists of individual therapy sessions each month and group sessions every week, each session lasting 3 hours. To best serve our patients, we offer daytime and evening hours. However, depending on the individual’s case, our medical professionals may recommend more sessions in order to ensure adults get the treatment they need and deserve.

Sacred Oak Medical Professionals Will Custom-Tailor Your Treatment

We are dedicated to helping individuals live mentally healthier lives. If you would like to know whether ketamine infusion therapy in conjunction with our intensive outpatient program for behavioral health is the best treatment plan for you, please get an assessment so we can help you decide on your candidacy.