Category Archives: Help for Yourself

Information on how to help yourself if you are addicted to or abusing the prescription benzodiazepine Ativan, and get into drug treatment, rehab, or detox.

What Is an Employee Assistance Program?

What Is an Employee Assistance Program?

As understanding of the effects of stress and psychological health continues to improve in the mental health field, many employers now offer various forms of counseling as one of their employee benefits. Alongside traditional health care (which often includes inpatient mental health care), these Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) can help workers deal with a wide range of issues, including the following:

  • Substance abuse (addiction)
  • Stress
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Workplace or occupational stress
  • Marriage problems
  • Financial counseling
  • Emotional disorders
  • Depression
  • Aging issues
  • Physical wellness counseling

These services are often offered at no charge to the employee and counselors retain strict confidentiality regarding anything the employee shares. These services are also usually available to spouses and dependent children. Unfortunately, many employees do not take advantage of these services either because they do not fully understand what they have to offer, or they fear some sort of workplace stigma that may follow them if they seek help for one of these issues. Some fear losing their job if their boss found out that they have an addiction issue. Between the confidentiality and the range of services offered, however, EAPs can be an invaluable resource for both the employee and the employer.

Counseling Is Valuable

There is much more to counseling than many people realize. At its core, all of the various forms of counseling are essentially forms of coaching. While coaching is universally respected in athletics, however, the same kind of objective, evidence-based, life coaching offered by therapists is often dismissed as emotional mumbo-jumbo. The way counseling is often depicted on film and television doesn’t help. The truth is that great strides have been made in psychologists’ understanding about how the brain works and how adjustments in perspective, distress tolerance, and self-awareness can positively impact mental health. Modern counseling is a powerful, and empowering, tool for overall wellness, health, and both professional and interpersonal effectiveness. Like a professional basketball player leaning on coaches to constantly improve his skills on the court, millions of smart business leaders and workers find real value in ongoing help from specially trained counselors.

Employee Assistance and Job Security

An issue like substance abuse can destroy a person’s professional and personal life long before it actually kills him. Many addicts try to manage or hide their disorder until it is so well established and deeply rooted that it changes their entire perspective and understanding. Most addicts believe they are dealing with their need for drugs or alcohol much better than they actually are. As their disorder progresses these workers become increasingly unreliable, unhealthy, or even abusive to other employees. Simply put, debilitating emotional disorders such as addiction are a sure-fire way to lose your job. By seeking help through an Employee Assistance Program, however, you will have a chance to recover from your chemical dependence without losing your job. By law you cannot be dismissed for seeking help from an EAP. You can, however, be dismissed for being late too often, missing work, performing poorly on the job, or using drugs or alcohol while on the job. The sooner you get help the more likely you will be to avoid that fate.

Understanding Your EAP

Would you benefit from an Employee Assistance Program? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have you tried to stop drinking but failed?
  • Do you continue to engage in any behavior despite negative consequences?
  • Do you experience stress on a regular basis?
  • Are you constantly worried about financial issues?
  • Have you noticed significant differences in your eating or sleeping?
  • Have you had thoughts of suicide?
  • Do you feel emotionally numb?
  • Do you have wild mood swings or frequent emotional outbursts?
  • Is your marriage in trouble?
  • Do you have concerns about parenting issues?

If you answered, “yes” to any of these questions you may benefit from an EAP evaluation or consultation. Often these initial consults can be done anonymously over the phone.

Does your employer offer an EAP? Do you know what it covers? We can help you find out. Call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night for free, confidential assistance. We’ll start by talking with you about the challenges you face. Next we will confirm whether or not your insurance plan includes an Employee Assistance Program. If it does we will connect you directly with the best program for your specific needs.

If you do not have an EAP we can still help. Our staff members can help you find the best possible treatment and can connect you with every possible source of financial assistance. We will also advocate on your behalf with your employer to ensure that your job is waiting for you when your treatment is completed. Financial concerns should never keep you from getting the help you need. We’re here to do everything in our power to ensure that they don’t.

24 Hour Mental Health and Addiction Helpline for Employees

There are no strings attached when you call. You can remain as anonymous as you like. Whether you want more information about an Employee Assistance Program or other forms of addiction or mental health treatment, we can help. Don’t let job security concerns keep you from getting the treatment you deserve. We’re here for you at any hour of the night or day. Call now.

How Does HIPAA Protect My Personal Health Information?

How Does HIPAA Protect My Personal Health Information?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 as a way to ensure certain coverage and privacy rights related to the increasingly automated and digitized world of medical records and insurance coverage for American citizens. Although the minutia of the law can be overwhelming for laypeople, the bottom line is that information related to your health care, and your payment for health care, is now protected by stringent Federal law. No information about your medical treatment can be released to unauthorized third parties without your express consent. This guarantee of confidentiality has helped many people seek treatment for disorders they would rather keep private.

HIPAA Title 1: Health Care Access, Portability, and Renewability

The first section of the HIPAA code established strong protection of insurance coverage for a person who lost employment. Under this rule anyone with established group coverage must be allowed to continue to maintain that coverage for up to 18 months if a new job with group benefits was not found. These continuing benefits helped to prevent people from losing all coverage or from being denied future coverage for “pre-existing conditions.” Since the passage of HIPAA many changes have been made to the health care coverage of Americans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as “Obamacare.” Between these two laws millions of people now have access to health care that would have previously been unavailable or unaffordable. Many are now able to take advantage of mandatory coverage for certain types of treatment that used to be considered optional, including addiction recovery treatment.

Title 2: Informational Simplification and Fraud Protection

The second section of the HIPAA code creates strong protection of most of the data surrounding your care. The following types of information are considered “protected health information,” or PHI:

  • Name
  • Address info (other than state)
  • Email address
  • Social security number
  • Medical record number (“locator” numbers)
  • Health insurance account or member numbers
  • Account numbers
  • Full face photo
  • Biometrics (fingerprints, voice prints, retinal prints, blood work)
  • Vehicle information
  • Payment history

You may have noticed that every time you visit a new doctor, dentist, or specialist you are given several pages of information to read and sign. These are the forms that confirm how the practitioner will and will not use your medical information. While this procedure may seem like a hassle, it has been proven to be an effective prevention against identity theft and insurance fraud. It also prevents sensitive information about your health or treatment from falling into the wrong hands. An employer, for instance, would not be able to find your medical history by running a simple background check

How HIPAA Affects You Directly

HIPAA rules have directly impacted Americans in the following ways:

  • When you change doctors you must sign a release form for your records to be transferred
  • Employers and insurance companies are not allowed to check your medical history
  • Other than in issues of criminality, your medical treatment, prescriptions, and financial information remain carefully protected by your provider(s)
  • By legislating that all providers must use a common protocol for the storage of records, the odds of harmful medical interactions or treatment redundancy are greatly reduced

Thanks to HIPAA all medical records are now digital and can be transferred upon request. This makes patients safer and doctors more effective. While you may see few of the impacts of these changes with your own eyes, behind the scenes the shift is massive.

HIPAA and Addiction Recovery

Treatment for addiction to prescription medication such as Ativan is one of the most sensitive forms of medical care a person can receive. Most individuals, however, desire to keep their addiction treatment private. The most effective modern programs develop customized treatment plans for each individual client that involve the following types of therapy:

  • Individual counseling (various styles)
  • Coping skill development and coaching
  • Empowering education about the psychological and physiology of addiction
  • Support group meetings
  • Medically supervised detox
  • Spiritual and moral support
  • Creative expression of different forms (painting, poetry, songwriting, journaling, music)
  • Comprehensive treatment of any co-occurring disorders (depression, anxiety, etc.)

Addiction is a serious physical and psychological disorder, but with the proper treatment it can be successfully overcome. There is certainly nothing any more shameful about receiving addiction treatment than there is in receiving treatment for cancer or internal injuries, but the unfair social stigma certainly exists. It makes sense that you might want to keep addiction treatment, or any other medical care, confidential between you, your loved ones, and your provider. HIPAA rules protect that confidentiality.

24-Hour Informational Helpline

If or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to Ativan or other substance and you would like more information about treatment and how HIPAA regulations protect your personal health information, please call our toll-free helpline right now. Our staff members are available 24 hours a day with free, confidential advice and access to the most successful specialized treatment programs available. There are no strings attached when you call and you can remain completely anonymous if you choose. We’re simply here to help you navigate and important, and potentially confusing, situation.

How Certain Triggers Could be Fueling Your Drug Use

How Certain Triggers Could be Fueling Your Drug Use

Does it seem that sometimes you could be feeling good, with no need for drugs, and then suddenly you find yourself obsessed with getting high? It could be that something sub-conscious is triggering your drug use. Identifying your triggers and finding healthier ways of coping with them is a critical step in recovering from an addiction to Ativan or other substance.

Whether you are aware of it or not, almost all drug use is an attempt to medicate some combination of physical and mental pain. While the particular details will differ from person to person, the presence of underlying triggers is nearly universal among addicts. This is due in part to the brain’s remarkable ability to move many behaviors from its conscious or rational area to the area responsible for automatic behaviors or habits. When a certain substance, or behavior, provides temporary relief of pain the brain remembers that relief and builds neural pathways to support it. These microscopic chemical connections act as behavioral shortcuts. Addicts often do not even realize when the process of pain and relief seeking begins.

Recognizing Your Triggers

The disease of addiction has a way of blinding an addict to many of the thoughts and emotions that are affecting his behavior. Thus one of the first and most important steps in the recovery process is becoming aware of these factors. This awareness enables the addict to move these thoughts and feelings back into the conscious part of the brain where it becomes possible to control them.

The following are common drug-use triggers:

  • Loneliness
  • Frustration
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Fear
  • Disappointment
  • Boredom
  • Physical pain

Recovery experts recognize a certain pattern of addictive behavior. Again, while the specific trigger, or source of pain, will vary, the following pattern remains remarkably consistent:

  • The presence of physical or psychological pain (or both) is noticed
  • The individual feels the need for relief
  • Drug seeking behavior begins
  • The addict uses drugs for relief
  • Shame, anger, disappointment and other negative emotions result in more pain
  • The cycle repeats

The secret to breaking this cycle is not to develop the ability to withstand the temptation to get high, but to deal with the underlying pain that is causing you to want to get high. Various forms of counseling and coaching can help you accomplish this. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) uses Eastern philosophical traditions connected to Buddhism to help you learn to become mindful of the pain that drives your drug use. Through personal reflection and focused attention you can learn to recognize your pain in time to choose a different type of reaction to it. Many people can actually develop an ability to find meaning in their pain. Like an athlete enduring physical pain in order to build muscle or speed, a recovering addict can become consciously connected to the underlying distress that previously caused him to instinctively, or reflexively, seek chemical relief.

Think back to the last time you used drugs or alcohol. What was happening elsewhere in your life? How was work going? How were your finances? How were your relationships? Were you feeling anxious or depressed? Of course, drug abuse causes new pain and distress. If you have been an addict for a while you may not be able to identify which particular source of pain triggers your use. Many people carry layers of pain in their mind. It can take years to work through each layer until you find the peace of mind that you seek. With the proper help, however, you will develop that skill.

Finding the Best Treatment for Your Triggers

Lasting recovery requires healing for both the addictive habits you have developed and for the underlying pain that drives them. There is a lot more to it than simply enduring the discomfort of detox and withdrawal. The most effective recovery programs use specially customized versions of the following therapeutic practices for each individual client:

  • Individual counseling
  • Support group meetings
  • Classes
  • Coping skill development
  • Mindfulness through creative expression
  • Family counseling when appropriate
  • Spiritual and emotional support
  • Preparation for life after treatment
  • Ongoing aftercare through continued counseling and relationship building

For some addicts this requires full time residential treatment while others benefit from outpatient therapy. Residential programs offer significant advantages as the addict is allowed to focus all of his energy and attention on healing instead of worrying about paying bills, working, or navigating complicated and unhealthy relationships. In some cases the initial stage of treatment can be completed in about a month. Sometimes, however, it can take much longer. Once one set of triggers is identified and confronted another reveals itself. With patience and determination, however, you can break the cycle for good.

24-Hour Drug Use Helpline

Are you or a loved one struggling with an addiction to Ativan or other substance of abuse? If you would like to speak with a real live person who has been specially trained and equipped to answer your questions and to refer you to the best possible program for your unique needs, please call our toll-free helpline right now. Regardless of the day or hour we are ready to help. Don’t wait for your next triggering event. Call now.

Debunking the Myth That You Won’t Have to Work in Rehab

Debunking the Myth That You Won’t Have to Work in Rehab

The reality of rehab is often obscured by myth and fiction. The sum total of most people’s knowledge of rehab is based on some combination of dramatic or comedic depictions in films or the sensationalism of reality TV. Most people imagine rehab for drugs like Ativan to either be something akin to the mental hospital in a prison or a luxury spa. Some people suppose that a month in rehab is a month of bone-shaking tremors and convulsions from detox. Others may assume that it is akin to being locked in a padded room for a month. Still others believe the myth that hard work is not a central part of the experience. The truth, however, is that rehab is a time of learning, health care, conversation and healing. There is definitely hard work involved, but it might not be the kind of work you are expecting.

The Basics of Rehab

Addiction is both a physiological and psychological disorder and real healing requires comprehensive and fully integrated treatment of the body and the mind. The most effective rehab programs develop customized treatment plans for each individual client based on the unique aspects of his or her condition.

The first step in most rehab programs is medically supervised detox. Doctors and nurses monitor all aspects of the addict’s withdrawal and carefully administer special medications to relieve most of the worst detox symptoms. This process tends to take from three to 10 days. Medical supervision remains available for minor issues throughout treatment.

Concurrently with detox, however, the most important part of the rehab process begins. Medical and psychological doctors carefully diagnose all aspects of the client’s mental and physical health and then develop a comprehensive therapeutic treatment plan. Most of these plans involve some types of the following elements:

  • Private counseling of various types
  • Educational classes and suggested reading lists
  • Support group meetings
  • Mindfulness training
  • Introduction to healthy new coping techniques
  • Creative or artistic therapeutic projects
  • Physically stimulating and engaging outdoors activities
  • Opportunities to help others
  • Spiritual or faith-based services when appropriate
  • Family counseling sessions and coaching when appropriate
  • Strategic preparation for life after treatment

Addiction to drugs like Ativan changes the psychological and emotional functioning of the brain. The disease trains people to avoid their emotions and to numb themselves to their pain. The brain is constantly growing and building new neural pathways in a process known as elasticity. These pathways serve as behavioral shortcuts. Any behavior that provides relief from emotional or physical pain will be reinforced and wired to work reflexively when discomfort arises. The primary challenge of rehab is to build new and effective behavioral habits. Instead of seeking relief in a drink or a drug, the recovering addict will find relief in a conversation, a workout or a creative endeavor. This relief does not happen easily or automatically. It must be learned and practiced. This practice is the most important work done in rehab.

The Benefits of Rehab Work

The most effective rehab programs offer a wide array of therapeutic tools and practices that can be used in uniquely arrayed configurations for each client. The benefits are many including the following:

  • Restored relationships
  • Improved self-esteem, optimism and ambition
  • Improved physical health
  • Increased peace of mind
  • Decreased stress, anxiety and fear

The work of rehab is designed to help you develop new skills that will often do much more than just keep you sober. The better rehab programs tend to help people become better communicators, more reliable friends and strong leaders and servants of others. Some of the work will be written. Some will involve verbalizing your feelings. Some may seem to be menial, such as kitchen chores, but later you will discover their importance. These exercise also help clients to develop and enforce healthy relational boundaries.

Millions of addicts have pushed through detox numerous times only to relapse again and again. Many work through a certain portion of the treatment process and then quit amidst irrational feelings of overconfidence and optimism. If you don’t do the work of rehab, though, your sobriety will not last long.

Finding the Best Rehab Program for You

Finding the right treatment program can be an extremely daunting process. Where do you begin? We can help. Our staff members are available any time of day or night with free, confidential, no-strings-attached help. We will listen to your story, answer all of your questions and connect you with the best treatment program for your specific needs. We can even confirm your insurance coverage and advocate for you on that front if needed. Most importantly, though, we can describe the work of rehab in a way that is understandable.

Rehab is nothing to be afraid of. Many successfully treated ex-addicts look back on their rehab time as one of the best seasons of their life. Many form long-term relationships and continue to get together with their treatment peers for activities for months or years to come. So yes, there is work to be done in rehab for Ativan. You can handle it, though. It’s more than worth it. Call 24 hour, toll-free helpline now.

5 Ways to Bounce Back After an Ativan Relapse

5 Ways to Bounce Back After an Ativan Relapse

After an Ativan relapse it is easy to let yourself go and to slip right back into an addiction, but by seeking help and staying committed to your recovery in the face of relapse you can continue improving.

Seek Immediate Help After Relapse

The gravest mistake you can make after relapse is not telling anyone and attempting to deal with your relapse on your own. Relapse puts you one step away from developing an abuse habit and addiction again, so it is critical that you get treatment to address your relapse. Tell a loved one as soon as you can and call your treatment center or another resource immediately to find out what kind of treatment they offer following relapse.

Re-evaluate Social Environment

One common reason recovering users experience a relapse is because they are hanging out with friends that abuse or accept Ativan abuse. If you still have friends that are okay with you using Ativan it will only make your recovery from addiction more difficult. Leaving old friends behind can be hard, but when you are facing Ativan addiction you are facing a life-or-death decision. If you continue abusing Ativan, at some point it will ruin your life. Sometimes it is necessary to make new friends in order to move on from your past.

Learn to Cope More Effectively

During addiction treatment you likely had a list of ways to cope with stress that you practiced employing. After addiction treatment ends, however, that may not seem practical. While carrying around a list of coping strategies may not be practical, it is important that you identify ways to cope with stress instead of turning to Ativan for relief. If you do not learn how to cope with stress without the aid of Ativan it will be nearly impossible to avoid another relapse.

Get Support from Loved Ones

No one can ever have too much support during recovery from addiction. After you relapse, reach out to loved ones and people that are close to you in an effort to expand your support group. This may mean an extra phone call to your sponsor or therapist or having coffee with an old friend once a month, but do something to strengthen the system you already have in place so that you can be further protected from relapse in the future.

End Boredom After Relapse

Another reason Ativan users might find themselves relapsing is simply out of boredom. With spare time and nothing to do, the thought of Ativan may become more and more tempting. Instead of dwelling on Ativan abuse, find new, positive activities such as exercise or writing to take up your free time. Not only will these activities fill your time, they will also bring enrichment to your life and relieve stress, further helping you to avoid Ativan abuse.

If you have experienced an Ativan relapse or simply need help, call our toll-free helpline today. Our trained addiction experts are standing by 24 hours a day to help you find a treatment center for Ativan addiction or to answer your questions following Ativan relapse. Call now so you can bounce back and get sober as soon as possible.

Filling the Void Left by Ativan Addiction

Filling the Void Left by Ativan Addiction

Ativan addiction is all-consuming, so once you have been through addiction treatment and are in recovery, filling the void left by your addiction can be a major hurdle. If you do not take active steps to fill the void left by Ativan addiction, relapse will be more likely and you may find yourself addicted to Ativan or another substance again. You have the ability to find new ways to fill up your time instead of abusing Ativan, but it will take some effort to find healthy ways that work for you and satisfy the time you once spent feeding your Ativan addiction.

What is Life Like Without Ativan?

Whether you have been addicted to Ativan for a few months or several years, it is natural for you as a former user to feel lost at first without Ativan. Ativan addiction is so powerful that it can be hard to remember what life was like before you were addicted. Before you were addicted to Ativan there were activities and hobbies that were fulfilling, but when you suffer from addiction it is easy to let these activities fall by the wayside. Old hobbies are replaced by Ativan abuse and addiction and over time you may lose interest in even your most cherished hobbies. It is possible to live without Ativan, but it requires some changes in your lifestyle. Life without Ativan is much happier than a life of addiction, but you must find healthy outlets for stress in order to start this new life.

Living Without Ativan Addiction

Once you leave Ativan addiction treatment and are out on your own you can begin rebuilding your life into a life you will enjoy. You should remain enrolled in some kind of aftercare treatment, whether it is individual therapy or a support group, in order to keep growing in your recovery. Beyond aftercare treatment, you should find new, healthy hobbies that can take your mind off Ativan abuse and give you something enjoyable to immerse yourself in. Sometimes these new hobbies may actually be old hobbies you enjoyed but left behind while suffering from Ativan addiction. New and rekindled relationships with loved ones and new, positive friends can also be a great way to fill the void left by Ativan addiction.

Ativan Addiction Treatment Can Help

No matter how helpless your Ativan addiction may make you feel, help to overcome this addiction is available. Call our toll-free helpline today and speak with our trained addiction experts to learn more about the different types of Ativan addiction treatment available. Our experts are here 24 hours a day to help you locate an effective treatment center and we can even check if your health insurance will help pay for your rehab. Call now and find out how Ativan addiction treatment can improve your life.