How Police Officers are Prone to Addiction and Mental Health Disorders?

How Police Officers are Prone to Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Police officers have been identified as an at-risk population for developing substance abuse and mental health disorders. Limited research and low numbers of self-reported disorders make quality data on the prevalence hard to find. Still, anecdotal evidence and clinician experience suggest the numbers to be significant. 

Though data is limited, it is not hard to imagine why police officers would experience higher than average rates of substance abuse and mental health disorders. The nature of their work is exceptionally high-stress and involves exposure to death, threats of personal injury, criminal activity, and domestic disputes involving children. Police officers must stay calm, take positions of responsibility and authority, and instill safety in situations that most consider traumatic. This link between police officers and addiction stems from this internalized and consistent stress.

At Relevance Recovery, we specialize in providing treatment for first responders. Our individualized programs in New Jersey will help you or your loved one fight the disease that is impacting your life. You can even verify your insurance benefits before completing the entire admissions process. Contact us today to get started. 

The Relationship Between Police Officers, Addiction, Stress, and Trauma

Trauma can occur in any form of a “critical incident,” which is an experience when an individual has such a strong emotional response that they cannot cope at the scene or later (Civilotti et al. 2021). For police officers, critical incidents occur in the field when responding to emergencies like those described above, by proxy in cases where an empathetic response to a civilian’s suffering affects their ability to cope, and at home when family members of police officers are engaged in the effects of trauma on their home life. Police officers will perceive some experiences as critical incidents that surpass their coping threshold while others do not. That variability makes trauma related to critical incidents so difficult to recognize and treat.3

But stress and trauma come from more than their exposure to critical incidents. Police culture and organizational demand add additional pressure. Police culture refers to the commonality among police cohorts of complicated promotion structures, involuntary work commitments, limited funding, scarce resources, and bullying in the workplace.2

We cannot allow society to make individuals responsible for their struggles when entire systems are accountable for the gap in mental health among first responders—recognizing that social structures contribute to incidences of substance abuse and mental health crises is the first step in reducing stigma and improving outcomes.

How Stress and Trauma Lead to Substance Abuse and Mental Health Disorders

Police officers internalize trauma differently depending on personal background, level of support, and childhood experiences. A domestic dispute may be particularly triggering for an officer who experienced childhood abuse, whereas a deadly car crash involving a child may be triggering for a father of four.  

By understanding that police officers experience stress and trauma to varying degrees, we can assume there is an equal variance among their coping strategies. One study suggests that the best outcomes for police officers can be found in rehab and treatment programs that address the individual officer’s attachment style. 

According to Civilotti et. al (2021),  

“…attachment is considered an interpersonal motivational system that leads people to seek closeness and protection in situations of vulnerability.”

A person’s relational attachment to others can be subcategorized as him being securely attached or insecurely attached and then further into subcategories like anxious attachment. Each type of attachment comes with its own set of challenges. Insecurely attached individuals are at greater risk for substance abuse and mental health disorders as they lack the necessary coping strategies in the face of trauma.

When existing coping strategies fail, either once or often, our bodies explore new ways to normalize feelings and achieve homeostasis. Exposure to drugs and alcohol can activate pleasure centers in the brain, making it feel like coping is effective. The use of those substances, however, leaves some individuals prone to addiction and mental health disorders. Some people are more prone to experiencing addiction and mental health disorders. Much scientific research is being done to explain better why some individuals experience addiction and mental health disorders more quickly or with greater intensity. While we do not know the specific neural pathways that lead to the disease after exposure to stressors, we know that the disorders can affect any person of any race, gender, or age. 

How Can Relevance Recovery Help?

As an observer, you can help by reducing the stigma associated with people suffering from substance abuse and mental health disorders. Acknowledging the problem and seeking help is essential in recovery, but many avoid it because of anticipated judgments. 

Some ways to reduce stigma include openly discussing your trauma and therapy experiences, discussing with someone you believe might be suffering, and speaking up if you hear someone make insensitive comments. 

Mental health screenings occur in many first responder work environments, but self-reported numbers are low. 1 If you are working as a first responder, dare to answer screening questions truthfully without fear of retribution. Revealing the prevalence of people who struggle with mental health disorders and substance abuse will dispel stigmas and drive more research and funding into treatment options. 

Relevance Recovery’s Addiction Treatment Program for Police Officers

Relevance Recovery offers a solution for you or your loved one. We are a full-service center in Freehold, NJ, providing treatment for substance abuse and mental health disorders. Our facilities and clinicians offer inpatient therapy, outpatient therapy, group therapy, adolescent/teen therapy, detox programs, intervention assistance, and aftercare, all with a holistic and practical approach.

If you are suffering from a mental health disorder or substance abuse and are a police officer or first responder, know that we have a program tailored to your specific needs, like the Relevance Recovery’s First Responders program or the PTSD/Trauma program.

No matter where you are in your journey, we have a program to meet your needs, including inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare programs. 



  1. Marshall, R. E., Milligan-Saville, J., Petrie, K., Bryant, R. A., Mitchell, P. B., & Harvey, S. B. (2021). Mental health screening amongst police officers: factors associated with under-reporting of symptoms. BMC psychiatry21(1), 135.

  1. Milliard B. (2020). Utilization and Impact of Peer-Support Programs on Police Officers’ Mental Health. Frontiers in Psychology11, 1686.

  1. Civilotti, C., Di Fini, G., & Maran, D. A. (2021). Trauma and Coping Strategies in Police Officers: A Quantitative-Qualitative Pilot Study. International journal of environmental research and public health18(3), 982.

How Addictive is Alcohol?

Man Refusing the Glass Of Whisky Saying No which is offered by colleague.

Identifying the signs of alcohol abuse can be challenging if you are unfamiliar with how it occurs and its long-term effects. Alcoholism can be tricky to identify and can often be easily hidden by loved ones and family members. 

At Relevance Recovery, we can help you learn more about the signs of alcohol abuse. Learn more today with a confidential callback from an admissions expert. 

How Addictive is Alcohol? 

When it comes to determining how addictive alcohol is, it can be difficult to discern. Many individuals can drink regularly without developing a tolerance or dependence on the substance. However, this is not the same for all individuals. 

Alcohol is a substance considered safe for many people to enjoy but can be addictive if safety precautions are not taken while using the substance. In addition, individuals who do not follow the safety recommendations for their gender and weight may be at a higher risk of developing alcohol dependence. 

Alcohol use disorders occur across a spectrum of severity. Therefore, individuals can experience a range of symptoms and outcomes based on the severity of their disorder, which can impact the amount, length, and style of treatment necessary for rehabilitation.

What Factors Contribute to Alcohol Abuse?

While there are no singular factors that cause addiction to alcohol, there are many factors that can contribute to the development of the disorder. For example, individuals who misuse alcohol, individuals exposed to alcohol and addiction at a young age, genetics, and mental health can all increase the risk that an individual will develop a substance use disorder. 

Misusing alcohol is one of the most common contributing factors when talking to individuals about the development of their use disorder. Misusing alcohol includes binge drinking or drinking more than the recommended limits, drinking alcohol in combination with other drugs or contraindicated substances, and drinking illegally. Individuals drinking underage are at a much higher risk for developing an alcohol use disorder because they are drinking illegally and are more than likely not responsible for the amount consumed. In addition, repeated exposure can increase the likelihood of developing a disorder.

Individuals exposed to alcohol and addiction at a young age are more likely to develop a disorder because of their environment. This exposes children to irresponsible use and misuse early in their formative years and can impact how they view alcohol. While this is not a guarantee for each individual who grows up in this environment, studies have shown increased risk.

Additionally, if individuals exposed at a young age are exposed to alcohol by a genetically related parent, it can have a more severe impact. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), “genetics play a role, with hereditability approximately 60 percent.” Parents’ drinking habits can impact how their child interacts with alcohol.

Finally, mental health is a significant factor in alcohol abuse. Individuals exposed to trauma, those suffering from a mood, personality, or anxiety disorder, and those with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity-Disorder are at a much higher risk of developing a substance use disorder. 

What are the Long-Term Effects of Alcohol on the Brain?

The long-term effects of alcohol can be extreme. The impact on the brain is significantly damaging, in addition to its impact on the body’s overall health. The effects of alcohol can increase the risk of mental health extremes, impact memory, and alter personality.

Alcohol is a factor in about 30% of suicides, approximately 50% of fatal drowning and homicides, and “a significant number of sexual assaults involve alcohol use.” Additionally, as a depressant, alcohol can significantly impact the mental health of clients struggling with depression and other mood disorders.

Excessive alcohol use can also lead to alcohol-related blackouts. A blackout is a gap in a person’s memory from when they were drinking. This happens when a person drinks so much that their memories don’t transfer from short- to long-term memory storage. This is a direct impact that alcohol has on the hippocampus, the learning and memory center of the brain. 

Finally, long-term, alcohol consumption can impact an individual’s personality. Clinical studies of the impact of alcohol on an individual’s personality have come to conclusions indicating that “evidence changes in drinking behaviors but not personality may signify an elevated risk for relapse or sustained risk for associated problem behaviors.” This supports the idea that individuals ready to make a significant change in their health and wellbeing through sobriety also need to undergo a fundamental shift in their thinking.

How to Find Alcohol Addiction Treatment in New Jersey

Alcohol addiction treatment in New Jersey is available through Relevance Recovery. We offer a comprehensive addiction treatment facility to support clients with substance use disorders and comorbid mental health concerns. With multiple pathways for recovery, clients can access addiction treatment from detoxification through outpatient treatment. 

Additionally, we offer addiction services for teens and families and intervention support for family members of individuals struggling with substance abuse. Our drug addiction and mental health rehab center in NJ also supports specialized client groups, including first responders treatment. Speak with a professional at Relevance Recovery today to see how our top-rated rehab in Monmouth County can help you today.

Are Benzos Dangerous For Teens?

Are Benzos Dangerous For Teens?

Benzodiazepines are extremely dangerous for teen use. These drugs are used to induce sedation, reduce anxiety, and even cause amnesia are commonly abused to create a euphoric high. According to the DEA, young adults often take the drug orally, crush it, or snort it to get high.

Relevance Recovery, our New Jersey teen treatment program, is designed to support teens struggling with mental illness and those struggling with substance abuse. If you feel your teen is abusing benzos, it is crucial to get them treated immediately. Contact a counselor today to see if our program fits your child’s needs.

What are Benzos? Can Benzos be Addictive?

Benzodiazepines are prescription medications that cause sedation and can be used to reduce anxiety. Benzos are often called “downers,” “tranks,” and “nerve pills.” These street names refer to the high that Benzos create when taken. 

Benzodiazepines are addictive medications. Approximately half a million people over 12 are addicted to prescription sedatives, and about 75% of them get them from a friend, family member, or physician. 

Are Benzos Dangerous for Teens?

When teens struggle with substance abuse, it can impact more than just their physical health. When the drug mentally alters your child, it can lead them to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms and increase the likelihood of participating in unsafe behaviors to increase the risk of trauma.

Not only Are benzodiazepines addictive, but they can also cause an overdose. Defined as “profound sedation,“ a benzo overdose can depress the lungs and heart to the point where an individual goes into a coma and, without medical treatment, could die. 

Symptoms of Benzo Withdrawal

When an individual stops benzodiazepine use, whether legal or illegal, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult for them to regulate their health and behavior. For example, when teenagers misuse benzos, they often experience more severe withdrawal symptoms.

When an individual goes through benzo withdrawal, they can expect to experience:

  • seizures
  • shakiness
  • anxiety
  • agitation
  • insomnia
  • overactive reflexes
  • increased heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature with sweating
  • hallucinations
  • severe cravings

The severity of these symptoms indicates a need for users to undergo treatment for benzo withdrawal under the care of a medical professional in a detoxification facility. At a New Jersey rehab facility, medical professionals can provide clients with medication, emotional support, and other treatments to lessen withdrawal symptoms. 

How to Find Benzo Addiction Treatment for Teens

When searching for a benzo Addiction treatment, it is critical to consider the factors that your teen will mean through the recovery process. Additionally, when searching for a treatment that meets your teen’s needs, it is important to consider the therapies and amenities as factors That can impact your child’s recovery. 

The therapies provided should combine traditional treatment for mental health and alternative therapies to help your child develop a well-rounded sense of self. Through this process, your child should learn to manage stressors, identify triggering situations, and create a “game plan,” should they be in need. 

Amenities are another thing that parents should consider for teens struggling with substance abuse. While they may not be living at a facility, they will be spending a significant amount of time there and should feel comfortable in that location. In addition, amenities and other services can help teens develop a multidisciplinary approach to their mental health. Some treatment facilities even offer an afterschool program for teens struggling with mental health to help them build connections, community, and their area with other individuals experiencing the same struggles.

In Relevance Recovery, we believe that creating an individual treatment plan for your teen is essential to their effective and successful recovery. Therefore, we offer multiple programs designed to meet your teen’s needs. We use a multidisciplinary approach; our highly trained medical staff address mental health concerns in teens through individual and group therapy. We believe that helping teens regulate their emotions, identify their triggers, and build a plan for the future are the foundational building blocks for sustainable recovery.
At Relevance Recovery, we know that treatment isn’t linear. We understand there will be setbacks and relapses, but with our comprehensive treatment options, we believe we can help your teen make lifelong changes. Request more information today about our New Jersey outpatient or teen intensive outpatient program.

What Drugs Are Most Commonly Abused Among College Students?

At The Wild Party: Person Pours Drink From A Bottle

Because the brain is not fully developed, they are on their own for the first time in their life, and they are surrounded by stressors and peer pressure, college students are more likely to use and abuse drugs. 

At Relevance Recovery, a drug and mental health rehab located in New Jersey, we are here to help you or your loved one find a personal path to healing.

Why Is Drug Use Prevalent Among College Students?

There are many risk factors that increase the likelihood of a college student using drugs. It often has to do with responsibility, knowledge, and peers.

For many college students, this is the first time they are on their own. Living in a dorm and not being responsible to their parents or a curfew can increase the likelihood that a student will experiment with drugs.

Additionally, students are unaware of the dangers of addiction, and drug use in college can fall victim to the lure, availability, and party lifestyle prevalent on many college campuses.

Finally, many college students are at risk because of their peers. Peer pressure to experiment is common in college and requires individuals to have a strong sense of self-worth and an ability to say no and social situations. 

These factors, combined with the stress and newness of the situation, create an environment where drug use is common and identifiable.

What Drugs Are Most Commonly Abused Among College Students?

The three most commonly abused drug categories among college students are alcohol, marijuana, and prescription drugs.


Alcohol is the top most commonly abused drug by college students. Because of the ease of access, alcohol can be accessed by underage students nearly as easily as those who are 21 and up. Parties are common in college as a way for students to relieve stress and meet new people. Because these events are not monitored, and individuals are not required to drink responsibly, individuals Often misuse alcohol and put themselves at high risk for developing an addiction.


Marijuana is another most commonly abused drug on college campuses. Marijuana often follows the same process as alcohol. Because of the ease of access and the fact that it is now legal in many states, college students are often willing to experiment with the drug. Additionally, because marijuana has a calming high, many students use it to relieve stress and sleep better in their new situations.

Prescription Drugs

College students often abuse prescription drugs for performance purposes. For example, ADHD medication can help individuals focus on their studies. Therefore, college students will Illegally purchase ADHD medication and take it before studying for a test or presentation.

Is There Addiction Treatment for College Students

There is addiction treatment for college students struggling to maintain their sobriety. Depending on the severity of the infection in the client’s needs, the type of treatment will vary.

When it comes to addiction treatment, an ideal location will be able to support clients from the beginning of the treatment process through aftercare. This is ideal for college students and teens struggling with consistency and addiction. A comprehensive treatment program will offer detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, and aftercare support. The care provided by this type of program ensures clients transition through the process with familiar counselors and therapists.

At Relevance Recovery, we offer multiple pathways to sobriety. Our Monmouth County, New Jersey drug rehab offers treatment at every step of the addiction treatment process. Our trained professionals are familiar with addressing not only adult addiction but are experienced and educated on adolescent treatment. Our therapies include evidence-based treatments, holistic therapy options, and medication-assisted treatment in supporting clients’ progress.

Additionally, we have a mental health program that runs side-by-side with our substance-abuse treatment program at Relevance. This is ideal for clients struggling with a dual diagnosis of a substance abuse disorder and one of several mental health disorders. For example, clients struggling with anxiety, ADHD, bipolar disorder, depression, mood disorders, personality disorders, or PTSD and trauma can access spEcialized treatment for their disorder in addition to treatment for substance abuse.

Contact the admissions team today to access our holistic, integrative, and comprehensive addiction treatment programs in New Jersey.

Common Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Drug Prescription for treatment medication cure in a container

Each year, medical and mental health providers write thousands of prescriptions to address a range of medical and mental health conditions. Because these drugs are recommended by a trusted medical professional, many people do not consider the addictive nature of many prescription substances. Each year, millions of people develop an addiction to drugs of all kinds, including prescription drugs.

Are Prescription Drugs Addictive?

In short, yes. Many prescription medications are highly addictive. People who abuse prescription medications (taking drugs in a manner other than prescribed or taking drugs prescribed for someone else) are at an increased risk of developing an addiction to prescription drugs. For this reason, prescriptions for most medications are limited to a limited duration. Most prescription drugs are only used for 30 to 60 days.

It is also important for medical and mental health providers to properly assess patients to determine if they have previously struggled with a substance use disorder. This means deciding whether the individual has previously been treated for drug addiction or if a family member has a history of substance abuse or addiction before prescribing a potentially addictive substance.

What are the Dangers of Prescription Drug Use?

Prescription drugs are essential components of many different treatment plans. They help people manage chronic pain, post-surgical discomfort, mental health symptoms, and unpleasant symptoms related to drug or alcohol withdrawal. Although there are many benefits to prescription medications, the use of these drugs is not without potential danger.

When included as part of a treatment plan, prescription drugs are limited to short-term use. This is because they are (typically) highly addictive, and dependency can develop rapidly. Once you are dependent on a substance, your body struggles to function normally when you are not using it.

Also, dependency on prescription drugs can lead to worsening physical and psychological symptoms. Many prescription medications alter how the brain functions. Some even change the structure of the brain. These changes lead to significant alternations in how the brain communicates with vital systems in the body. Without treatment to safely detox and overcome dependency on prescription drugs, it is possible to experience worsening physical and mental illness while using and trying to stop.

Finally, abuse of prescription drugs can lead to death; for some, death results from an overdose. In other cases, side effects of ongoing use lead to other illnesses that can cause loss of life. Also, some people may turn to “street drugs” like heroin when they can no longer access prescription drugs. When trying to chase the high they have grown accustomed to, struggling addicts may overdose on heroin or similar substances either intentionally or unintentionally when those substances are mixed with other drugs.

Common Signs of Prescription Drug Abuse

Common signs of prescription drug abuse will vary based on the substance and other factors related to the individual. These may include how much you use, how often you use, how long you have struggled with addiction, and whether you engage in polysubstance abuse (using multiple substances together). Despite substance-specific differences, there are several common signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse that are often seen. These include:

  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using.
  • Mood swings and irritability.
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed or taking a drug prescribed for someone else.
  • Using medications faster than prescribed by taking higher or more frequent doses.
  • Engaging in drug-seeking behaviors.
  • Stealing or forging prescriptions.
  • Increasing financial and legal problems.

In addition to the above, someone abusing prescription drugs will exhibit various physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms. These will also vary based on the substance, but common examples include cognitive problems, problems with judgment, sleeping problems, stomach problems, heart rate changes, diet or weight changes, changes to respiratory rate, new or worsening medical and mental health problems, and legal or financial problems related to drug use.

How to Find Prescription Drug Abuse Rehab Centers

If you or a loved one struggles with prescription drug addiction, it is essential to seek help from a prescription drug abuse rehab center like Relevance Recovery. We will work with you to design a treatment plan that can help you put a dependency on prescription drugs in the past. Contacting a professional rehab is the first step on your journey to lasting sobriety. Contact Relevance Recovery today to learn more about how our prescription drug abuse rehab program can help.

What is the Relationship Between Anxiety and Alcoholism?

Depressed young man addicted to drinking who is sleeping alone in the bar.

Many people fear nervousness or fear occasionally but, anxiety is more than simple worry or fear. It is a persistent and ongoing struggle that interferes with your day-to-day life. Symptoms begin as early as childhood and continue into adulthood for many who struggle with anxiety. There are several types of anxiety disorders, each producing a range of symptoms. Some of these symptoms are common in most types of anxiety, whereas others are specific to the unique diagnosis.

What is Anxiety?

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists several types of anxiety disorders. The five most familiar people include social anxiety disorders, phobias, generalized anxiety disorders, and separation anxiety. It is possible to have one or multiple anxiety disorders. Regardless of the type of anxiety you struggle with, it is essential to seek professional help at a treatment center to safely overcome anxiety and leave treatment with the tools and skills necessary to cope with triggers without turning to substances.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), anxiety disorders are the most common illness in the United States. Data shows that as many as 19% of the 40 million adults over age eighteen struggle with anxiety. Like addiction, anxiety disorders are treatable, yet few of those who could benefit from treatment ever seek or receive the help they need. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA) estimates that less than 37% of people with anxiety disorders get treatment.

What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Unlike diabetes or the flu, anxiety is not a singular condition. It is a group of related conditions with common and unique symptoms. The most common symptom experienced across all anxiety disorders is persistent and excessive fear in generally not threatening or dangerous situations.

Someone who struggles with anxiety will experience a broad range of physical and psychological symptoms. Common symptoms seen in most types of anxiety include feelings of dread, irritability, restlessness, and feelings of jumpiness or being tense. Anxiety also leads to hypervigilance. Hypervigilance is a state of always being “on the lookout” for danger or harm, even when it is unlikely to exist. Physical symptoms of anxiety will frequently include a racing heart, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, sweating, stomach problems, and frequent headaches.

Signs of Anxiety

Although many aspects of anxiety disorders relate to internal struggles only you can feel, there are a range of outward signs others may notice or you may notice in a friend or loved one. Common physical symptoms of anxiety may include rapid breathing, shaking, sweating, hair loss, lack of energy, fainting, and frequent stomach problems.

The psychological or emotional signs of anxiety may be harder to see from the outside. However, if you are worried a friend or loved one is struggling with anxiety, you may notice they “seem” different. Perhaps someone who was happy now seems fearful, distant, or moody. Also, you may notice your friend or loved one struggles to focus and often seems to overthink things or struggle to concentrate on day-to-day tasks. You may also notice changes in their appetite or sleeping patterns.

Finding Addiction and Mental Health Treatment Near Me

When you struggle with both a mental health condition, such as anxiety, and alcoholism, it is called a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. Some statistics show that as many as half of those who struggle with a mental illness also experience symptoms related to a substance use disorder. Dual-diagnosis conditions such as alcohol addiction and anxiety share many overlapping symptoms. The best opportunity for recovery is to choose a treatment program specializing in dual diagnosis treatment. When you struggle with anxiety, simple day-to-day situations or obligations can be triggering. Learning to manage triggering places, people, or events without using alcohol is a vital part of recovery. Learning about and how to use healthy coping strategies to handle triggers is an essential part of ongoing recovery and relapse prevention. If you struggle with alcoholism and anxiety, seeking help at a skilled dual-diagnosis treatment center is a vital part of your successful recovery. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how the team at Relevance Recovery can help you start your recovery journey.

How Does Depression Relate to Addiction?

Sad woman sitting on the sofa with protective mask at home.

It is not uncommon for people who struggle with overwhelming symptoms stemming from a mental health condition like depression to turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to relax or reduce the intensity of their symptoms. Inevitably, chronic substance abuse can lead to new or worsening mental health symptoms. This means that using drugs and alcohol to self-medicate or manage your symptoms without seeking mental health treatment may not provide any form of lasting benefit. Conversely, it could make your condition worse.

What is Depression?

Feeling blue or “down in the dumps” from time to time is a shared experience for most people. Everyone has moments where they don’t feel happy or overwhelmingly upset about a particular situation or event. When this occurs, we usually refer to these emotions as feeling “depressed.” For many, these feelings are typically short-lived. Often, they will resolve on their own soon after the event or situation resolves. Clinical depression is different. The emotions you experience when you have depression are more than temporary feelings of sadness.

In the mental health community, depression is also referred to as major depressive disorder or clinical depression. These conditions are characterized by overwhelming symptoms of emptiness, sadness, or irritability that affect your ability to function in your day-to-day environment. Without treatment, these symptoms can become so overwhelming that they lead to a loss of function at work and home. For someone to meet the clinical diagnostic criteria for depression, these symptoms must last for a minimum of two weeks. Additionally, the symptoms you experience during depressive episodes must be different from your previous level of functioning. In other words, your symptoms must lead to a clinically significant change in mood and ability.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Depression?

Depression is not the most common mental illness; however, it affects approximately one out of every fifteen American adults. This averages out to about 7% of adults over the age of eighteen each year. Additionally, another 16% will experience depression at some point in their life. Depression is an illness that can occur at any time; however, it generally appears in one’s early teens through mid-20s. Like other mental illnesses, depression is more likely to affect women than men. Some studies indicate more than 1/3 of women will experience major depression at some point in their life.

When someone struggles with depression, they will experience different symptoms. Depending on the individual, they may experience psychological, physical, or behavioral symptoms or a combination of all categories. It is also important to note that depression will “look” different from person to person. Frequently experienced signs and symptoms of depression often include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, loss of interest in hobbies or activities, difficulties concentration, low self-esteem, exhaustion, appetite changes, increased isolation, poor personal hygiene, and self-harm.

Can Addiction Cause Depression?

Many wonder if substance use can cause depression or, conversely, can depression cause addiction. Some research does indicate a direct link between substance use disorders and depression. Each disease can increase the risk of developing the other. Additionally, struggling with the symptoms of one or the other can worsen symptoms of both. Both conditions rank among the most prevalent mental health conditions and frequently co-occur.

Some people may experience overwhelming depression symptoms for which they turn to drugs or alcohol to manage. It is not uncommon for someone who experiences depression symptoms to turn to various substances to help reduce the intensity and severity of their symptoms. Unfortunately, this leads to reliance or dependency on drugs and alcohol to help relieve symptoms and improve mood. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Psychiatry, also points out that there may be a direct link between substance use disorders and the development of major depressive disorders in some individuals.

Finding Depression Treatment in Freehold, NJ

If you or a loved one struggles with a dual diagnosis like depression and a substance use disorder, seeking dual diagnosis treatment is a vital part of your recovery. Although treatment of any kind is an essential first step, completing a treatment program that addresses the needs of only one condition increases your potential for relapse in symptoms and a return to using drugs or alcohol to cope. Not all treatment programs are designed to treat dual diagnosis conditions, and therefore, it is vital to find one where your treatment program will meet your treatment needs. Contact our Freehold, NJ rehab today to learn more about depression treatment at Relevance Recovery.

What Drug Has the Highest Relapse Rate?

photo showing syringes, medication and cocaine kept on the table.

Like many chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease, addiction can be treated, but it cannot be cured. For this reason, addiction is a struggle that many will face for the rest of their lives to varying degrees. While some people may complete an addiction treatment program and remain sober throughout their lives, others will experience one or more relapses as they navigate the challenges that accompany lasting sobriety. Drug or alcohol use disorders are considered chronic relapsing conditions because many people will inevitably relapse at some point. There are many contributing factors to relapse, including the severity of addiction and the substance used. 

What is a Drug Relapse? 

When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, they struggle with a range of physical, psychological, and behavioral symptoms that are complex and difficult to change. Substance use leads to physical and psychological changes to the brain and many vital body systems. Depending on one’s unique relationship with substances, these changes may be difficult to manage or reverse. The deeply rooted nature of addiction is what often leads to relapse. 

When someone experiences a relapse, they return to using their substance of choice after a period of sobriety. Although relapse is understood to be a moment in time, it is essential to know that relapse is not sudden. The end result of a slow return to the harmful behaviors drove the urge to use. It is also essential to be aware of the signs of relapse in a friend or loved one. Knowing what the signs of a potential relapse look like can help ensure you or a loved one gets the help they need early. Early and proactive treatment can help prevent overdose or a drug-related medical emergency.

A final yet vital fact to mention about relapse is that it is not uncommon, nor does it indicate addiction treatment “failed.” The data about relapse statistics have not improved over the last few years. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that the relapse rate for all substances is between 40 and 60%. 

What Drug has the Highest Relapse Rate? 

Although relapse rates for opioid drugs and other substances are indeed high, heroin (also an opioid) has the highest rate of relapse of any drug. Statistics for heroin addiction relapse are as high as 90%, according to a range of studies. Some studies suggest relapse rates for heroin addiction are even higher than 90%. Perhaps even worse is the fact that of the more than 90% of patients who experience relapse, as many as 59% relapse within one week of leaving their addiction treatment program. 

If you or a loved one experiences relapse after treatment for heroin addiction (or any other addiction), it is vital to seek help when you notice any warning signs of relapse. Early help and detox support are crucial to helping your loved one manage relapse as safely as possible. When someone relapses on heroin, they are in danger of significant complications, including overdose and potentially life-threatening medical consequences. Getting back to rehab and seeking help to get back on track with your sobriety are vital steps towards resuming your recovery journey. 
At a rehab like Relevance Recovery, members of our treatment team will work with you on a treatment plan that will help you get sober again while reinforcing relapse prevention skills that can help prevent further relapse in the future. Overcoming heroin addiction is hard. The impacts that heroin use has on the body and mind take time to heal. If you have experienced relapse or are worried a friend or loved one has, contact Relevance Recovery for help today.

The Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Lady holding a drink in her both hands.

Alcoholism, or and alcohol use disorder, is a struggle millions of Americans face each day. Data from the National Institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism suggest that as many as eighteen million American adults over twelve have an alcohol use disorder. Alcoholism is not a problem that develops quickly. Unlike some drugs, where addiction or dependency can develop after just one use, and alcohol use disorder develops out of a pattern of long-term problematic drinking. Alcohol use disorders impact everyone differently, and everyone has varying needs when it comes to safely and effectively addressing addiction to alcohol. When seeking help to overcome an alcohol use disorder, addiction treatment professionals will diagnose your condition as mild, moderate, or severe. Based on your symptoms and the severity of your addiction, members of your therapy team at Relevance Recovery will help design a treatment program including detox, therapy, and aftercare that can help you heal and put a dependency on alcohol in the past.

Warning Signs of Alcoholism

Problematic drinking is defined based on how much and how often someone drinks. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders provides specific criteria to help addiction treatment providers best understand the severity of someone’s alcohol use disorder and the most effective treatment models to help them overcome their symptoms. In total, there are eleven specific factors used to help categorize the severity of alcohol addiction, and one does not need to be present with all eleven to have alcohol use disorder. In general, up to three symptoms is considered a mild addiction, up to five is deemed to be moderate, and six or more is severe. 

Alcoholism occurs when occasional drinking evolves into consistent alcohol use. If a loved one is struggling with an alcohol use disorder, you may notice that obtaining or consuming alcohol has become a priority over all else. Someone with a significant alcohol dependency will choose drinking despite knowing the harmful physical and psychological consequences. Other behavioral changes may include legal troubles, social problems, problems with relationships, and failing performance at work or school.

In addition to behavioral changes, someone with an alcohol use disorder will also struggle with physical and psychological changes related to problem drinking. These can include worsening mental health symptoms, blackouts, problems with memory, changes to personal hygiene and appearance, and various physical elements. Additionally, a notable sign of an alcohol use disorder is the presence of withdrawal symptoms. Suppose a loved one stops drinking, even for a short time, and experiences symptoms related to withdrawal. In that case, it means their body has developed a dependency on alcohol. The safest way to get sober while reducing the potential for medical complications during detox is to choose a professional alcohol rehab like Relevance Recovery.

How to Get Someone Help with an Alcohol Addiction

If a friend or problem is struggling with alcohol addiction and you are not sure where to begin to get them the help they need to get sober, consider reaching out to the admissions team at Relevance Recovery. At our Freehold, NJ, alcohol rehab, our caring and supportive staff members can help explain how therapeutic interventions can help your loved one or friend get sober. In addition, by calling the admissions team at a professional rehab, you can learn about other options that might help your friend get help with alcohol addiction, including interventions. In addition, you can encourage your friend or loved one to contact their primary care provider or a mental health provider. Turning to a trusted individual they feel comfortable confiding in may help provide the incentive they need to seek help with their alcohol addiction.
If you would like to learn more about our programs at Relevance Recovery, reach out to our admissions team today.