Overcoming Stigma: Seeking Help for Addiction Treatment

Addiction Stigma

Attitudes and perceptions about mental health have changed significantly. Researchers have found that stigma associated with mental health treatment has decreased over the past two decades, while support for seeking treatment has increased. 


However, when it comes to addiction, there’s still a lingering stigma that holds people back from seeking the help they need for recovery. 

What Is a Stigma

A stigma is a negative perception or judgment society unfairly attaches to certain characteristics, conditions, or groups. 


It involves adding negative labels in accordance with social norms, stereotypes, or prejudices, which leads to discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion. 


Addicts who experience the stigma of addiction are less likely to seek help or support, which affects their well-being and quality of life. 

Different Types of Addiction Stigma

When we discuss stigma in substance abuse, we are really referring to several types including some major ones like:


The term self-stigma, sometimes referred to as internalized stigma or self-shame, describes the negative perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs that addicts with a particular identity or condition develop about themselves.


A person’s self-stigma can make it difficult for them to seek help and engage in recovery efforts. This can lead to feelings of hopelessness, isolation, and reluctance to seek help.

Social Stigma

A social stigma is a negative attitude, belief, or stereotype held by society towards addicts or groups who possess certain characteristics, conditions, or identities. 


Often, it leads to discrimination and exclusion from social opportunities because of the public’s disapproval or judgment.

Family Stigma

A person with a particular condition, such as drug addiction, may suffer from family stigma when their relatives are subjected to negative attitudes and prejudices. 


Those affected may feel shame, guilt, and isolation within their families, which can further hinder their recovery process by preventing them from seeking help and support.

Drug addiction and Stigma 

It affects those struggling with drug addiction who face negative attitudes, stereotypes, and discrimination due to drug addiction stigma. 

How Does the Stigma of Drug Addiction Affect Recovery?

The damaging stigma surrounding substance abuse takes a heavy toll on those battling addiction. 


Discrimination and the reluctance of others can often drive addicts into isolation, preventing them from seeking the help they desperately need. 


The fear of the stigma of addiction increases when an addict is part of the workforce. They might feel as if their employers will label them as troublemakers or as someone not fit to work in their organization.


Stigma and society’s judgment can push high-functioning addicts further down the addiction rabbit hole. This often keeps them from reaching out for professional help.

Beating Stigma as an Addict

Getting past the stigma of addiction is crucial for a successful recovery journey, which is already challenging. Let’s explore some proactive steps to combat the stigma of addiction and pave the way toward healing:

Embrace Acceptance

Acknowledging and accepting that one has a drug problem is a vital first step. 


By doing so, addicts can mentally prepare themselves for treatment and become open to the support and resources available to them. 

Join Support Groups

Forge connections with others facing similar challenges in a support group environment. Experience the power of camaraderie and banish the feelings of isolation. 


Engage with addicts in recovery who truly understand your struggles, while being surrounded by supportive families, stable careers, and friends. 


Restore confidence, ignite motivation, and persevere through treatment and counseling. 

Seek Education

Empower yourself with knowledge about the root causes of substance use and the available treatment options, like counseling and addiction therapies. 


Understanding withdrawal symptoms and learning effective coping mechanisms for recovery equips you with the tools to navigate triggers successfully. 


Many rehabilitation centers organize drug awareness programs, which can be immensely helpful in preventing relapse.

Raise Your Voice

By sharing personal experiences and challenges related to addiction, you can contribute to creating awareness and breaking down societal stigmas. Sharing stories of struggle and recovery helps to destigmatize addiction and foster understanding among the general public.


By taking these proactive steps, you can combat the stigma surrounding addiction, empowering yourself to overcome obstacles and thrive in your recovery journey. You’ve got this!

Demystifying Addiction Stigma

If you or one of your loved ones is struggling with addiction stigma, then it’s time to get professional help. 


Elysium Healthcare is a top-rated luxury provider of drug and alcohol rehab that offers inpatient and outpatient programs. No matter which treatment option is best for you, we can help.


Contact Elysium today and speak to one of our admission professionals to find out if inpatient rehab is right for you.

What Are the Symptoms of Fentanyl Withdrawal?

You might have heard the term fentanyl thrown around recently in the media. In the last few years, the drug has been responsible for multiple overdose deaths across the country. 

Its withdrawal symptoms can also be deadly if not treated properly, which is why it’s so important that you get familiar with them if you or a loved one is addicted to fentanyl.

What Is Fentanyl

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is commonly prescribed to relieve pain. Generally, this drug is used for treating severe pain, such as that caused by the advanced stages of cancer or by surgery. Fentanyl is an opioid substance, which means it is in the same family as heroin, oxycodone, and morphine.

Like other drugs in this category, Fentanyl can be highly addictive and deadly.

What Does Fentanyl Do To The Body

These are the most common fentanyl effects on the body

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Respiratory depression
  • Slow heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Extreme happiness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Sedation

What Does Fentanyl Do To Addict’s Behaviors

These are the most common fentanyl effects on an addict’s behavior


  • Secrecy or mysterious behaviors
  • Social withdrawal
  • Lack of interest in activities they once enjoyed
  • Financial problems
  • Stealing
  • Lying compulsively
  • Disappearing for long periods of time
  • Changes in mood
  • Issues at work or at school
  • Ignoring responsibilities
  • Changes in appearance such as weight loss or poor hygiene

Risks of Taking Fentanyl

There are many ways in which fentanyl can harm addicts. As with most opioids, prolonged use can lead to death and permanent organ damage. Its withdrawal symptoms can be severe and deadly.

Taking Fentanyl is highly risky since it has a high overdose potential. As a matter of fact, Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the leading cause of overdose deaths. 

In 2021, more than 70,000 deaths were reported from synthetic opioid overdoses. Those numbers were primarily attributed to fentanyl.

The majority of overdoses involving fentanyl are caused by illicitly manufactured fentanyl, not prescription drugs.

What Are Fentanyl Withdrawals 

When patients use fentanyl for a prolonged period of time, they develop a physical dependency on the drug. The bodies of these individuals have become accustomed to having the drug in their system, so when their systems are cleansed of it, they will react negatively.

These negative effects are known as withdrawals. They can be life-threatening if not treated properly.

The main reason addicts attend detox is withdrawal symptoms since detoxifying their bodies requires pharmacological support and medical supervision.

Symptoms of Withdrawal From Fentanyl

There are several factors that determine the severity and duration of withdrawal symptoms, including how long and how much of the drug was taken.

There are a number of symptoms that can be mild and non-life-threatening, while others, like depression and autonomic hyperactivity, can be fatal.

An experienced recovery specialist should be consulted before detoxing from fentanyl. 

If a person experiences any signs or symptoms of withdrawal from fentanyl, he or she should contact their healthcare provider or call 911 immediately.

The common symptoms of withdrawal from fentanyl include:

  • Excessive flow of tears
  • Muscle aches
  • Tremors
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dilated pupils
  • Eye discomfort in bright lights
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Autonomic hyperactivity
  • Irritable moods
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Anxiety

Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction

Taking action before it is too late is essential for anyone suffering from fentanyl or opioid addiction.

The good news is that fentanyl addiction can be treated. However, in most cases, it requires professional help. Drugs like fentanyl are extremely addictive, making quitting them extremely difficult for addicts. 

Withdrawal effects from the drug could also be high risk since they could cause death. When the symptoms of withdrawal from fentanyl are severe, Fentanyl addicts require a pharmacological detox to sober up safely.

In fact, SAMHSA—a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services—points to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as the most effective treatment for opioid addiction.

Through the combination of medication and therapy, MAT can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

A drug addict may also benefit from evidence-based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy. It is possible to overcome addiction, manage withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse with treatments like these.

Finding Treatment for Fentanyl Addiction

Now that you know what the fentanyl effects are and how dangerous it can be, you might want to seek out help if you or someone you love has fallen victim to fentanyl abuse.

At Elysium Healthcare we specialize in the treatment of opioid addiction including treatment for those suffering from fentanyl abuse.

Contact us today and find out how our holistic treatments can help you or your loved ones with withdrawal from fentanyl.

How Does Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently?

How Does Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently?

We might be all equal in the eyes of society, but alcohol can be discriminatory when it comes to affecting both women and men in the same way. 

Alcohol affects men and women quite differently, but how exactly?

Let me explain.

Physical Differences Between Men and Women

One of the primary distinctions between how alcohol affects men and women is how alcohol is metabolized in their bodies. Men and women have different physiologies which is why alcohol tends to produce different effects on them.

Men tend to have a higher water percentage in their bodies when compared to the other sex, which has a significant effect on how alcohol dilutes their system. On the other hand, women tend to have more body fat than men, which affects the way their bodies retain alcohol.

This biological difference could lead to more alcohol retention for women and in turn longer lasting hangovers. 

It also means that women can become more intoxicated than men after consuming the same amount of alcohol. Women can also experience the immediate effects of alcohol more quickly than men.

Alcohol Abuse and Physical Health

Metabolic changes in both sexes can also produce different types of health risks for both men and women. The most obvious is the impact that alcohol consumption can have on the women’s reproductive system.

Women who drink heavily during pregnancy are at risk of fetal alcohol syndrome—a serious developmental condition that can create problems in children that include intellectual disabilities and facial abnormalities. 

Fetal alcohol syndrome can be prevented in its entirety if a woman does not drink during pregnancy. 

Drinking during pregnancy also increases the risk of having a miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, and sudden infant death syndrome.

But there are also adverse effects when it comes to other areas of their sexual health. For men, alcohol abuse could lead to erectile dysfunction. While women may suffer from decreased libido.

Psychological Differences Between Men and Women

There are also significant psychological differences when it comes to how alcohol affects men and women.


When it comes to men, data shows that they are more likely to engage in risky behaviors while they are intoxicated. On the other hand, women are more likely to develop an addiction to alcohol. 

A study shows that a total of 18% of women binge drink. Out of those, it’s believed that at least 25% of them binge drink on a weekly average.

Because binge drinking is a risk factor for sexual assault, women are more likely to experience sexual trauma due to alcohol consumption. Although both genders are equally vulnerable. 

Differences in Treatment

Alcohol affects men and women differently and when it comes to treatment there are also disparities between both genres that can make it difficult to recover.

For example, women might experience a number of challenges when it comes to treatment such as leaving behind family responsibilities, having financial or transport limitations, and suffering from stigma.

Stigmas and social challenges are huge deterrents for women as they tend to lack the social support needed to take steps toward recovery.

It’s primarily for these reasons that women are less likely to receive adequate alcohol abuse treatment. In fact, women only make up about one-third of rehab patients.

Seeking Treatment

Given that alcohol affects men and women differently and that they require different care and attention during treatment it’s important to find a treatment center that can attend to the specific needs of each gender.

At Elysium Healthcare we do just that. Our team of experts is trained to cater to the specific needs of each gender. Our diverse treatment modalities include holistic and bespoke practices for all of our patients.Contact us today and find out how we can help.

Is Alcoholism Prevalent in the LGBTQ Community?

Is Alcoholism Prevalent in the LGBTQ Community

When looking at substance abuse in the LGBTQ community compared to the general public, the numbers are typically higher.

Gay, bisexual, and transgender men and women are more likely to abuse alcohol, but they also have higher drug use rates.

Let’s take a deep dive into alcoholism and LGBTQ community issues and see what the underlying causes of this might be.

LGBTQ Alcoholism

Alcoholism and LGBTQ community issues have been closely related for decades now. Generally speaking, society has had a poor perception of the community which has had a significant impact on the mental health of its members.

Not all people are tolerant of others, and LGBTQ people experience homophobia, discrimination, and even violence because of their sexual orientation. In turn, this can drastically impact their mental health, and increase emotional distress.

As we know, mental health problems are more than just related to alcoholism. It’s a leading cause of it.

The negative outlook has also pushed a large portion of the community underground where a culture of after-hours clubs and underground gay bars has developed.

 It’s within this underground scene and culture that many in the LGBTQ community have sought out comfort in both alcohol and illicit drugs

Prevalence of LGBTQ Alcoholism

While it’s not the entire LGBTQ population who has a problem with alcohol, numbers across the board are higher than for other groups.

Overall, 25% of the LGBTQ community is thought to have a moderate addiction to alcohol–compared to only 5-10% of the general population.

But that’s not the community’s only problem. Other popular substances that are abused among LGBTQ include tobacco, GHB, ecstasy, and prescription opiates. 

Reasons For High Levels of LGBTQ Alcoholism

There are several driving factors behind the increased numbers of alcoholism in the LGBTQ community. The root could be related to various mental illness disorders or emotions that make people more susceptible to alcoholism. 

This could be triggered by serval reasons including shame, anxiety, depression, sexual abuse, anger, and self-harm tendencies. 

For one thing, it’s possible that the intense bigotry that the LGBTQ community faces on a daily basis could be behind it.

The bigotry and challenges that LGBTQ community members have to face often result in intense emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and even PTSD.

It is possible that members of the community may not seek help for mental health difficulties caused by this trauma. This is primarily due to discrimination within the healthcare system. Often, this leads to self-medication and alcoholism.

Co-occurring disorders in The LGBTQ Community

In the LGBTQ community, alcohol use disorders often co-occur with other mental health conditions. This is known as a dual diagnosis.

The LGBTQ and heterosexual communities are both prone to depression, anxiety, and trauma-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although each co-occurring disorder affects a person differently, there are some differences between them.

LGBTQ individuals, for instance, are more likely to suffer from depression than heterosexuals. Alcohol abuse disorders can be fuelled by depression, which could lead to more community addictions. 

In the same way, anxiety can lead to alcohol abuse as a coping mechanism.

Getting Help for LGBTQ Alcoholism

Figuring out the root cause of alcoholism, providing support, and offering recovery options is a big part of the solution.  

Once the cause of drinking is determined, turning to friends, family members or treatment centers for support can be a ticket to beating alcoholism. 

Programs in treatment facilities have been expanded and tailored specifically for members of the LGBTQ community.  If you or someone you know are part of the LGBTQ community and suffer from alcoholism, you are not alone. 

This is an ongoing battle that many other members have struggled with and have been able to overcome. 

With the right support system, treatment plan, and assistance, you can come out on the positive end of the scale. 


Now that you know more about alcoholism and LGBTQ community issues and how to get treatment you might want to join a recovery center that’s tailored to meet the needs of the community. 

Elysium Healthcare offers a leading recovery program for LQGBTQ that’s free of judgment.Contact us today and discover which treatment option is best for you

Connection Between Anxiety and Drug Abuse

Addiction and anxiety are two mental health disorders that often go hand-in-hand, fueling each other in a vicious cycle of mental deterioration. 

In fact, addiction, anxiety, and depression are so closely related that it’s estimated that close to 7.7 million adults have co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. 

Anxiety and Addiction: A Loop of Suffering

Addiction, anxiety, and depression are all co-occurring disorders that tend to exacerbate each other. 

The cycle goes something like this:

  • An addict consumes drugs which creates a physical and mental imbalance
  • The drug then depresses the addict or causes anxiety
  • In order to feel happy or less anxious the addict consumes drugs again
  • The drugs aggravate their co-occurring disorder(s)
  • More drugs are needed to calm the worsening symptoms of anxiety and/or depression
  • Rinse and repeat

As one may imagine, this vicious cycle could quickly lead addicts down a path of self-inflicted destruction and worsen the dual diagnosis to the point where the addict will not be able to get well without the necessary help.

Substance abuse could also cause problems in an addict’s life that could lead to more stress and anxiety. 

For example, drug or alcohol use can lead to financial struggles, legal problems, and strained relationships, all of which are major contributors to the development of anxiety.

Anxiety and Substance Abuse

Addicts with a developing co-occurring disorder or those already suffering from mental health issues seeking to soothe their suffering are both at equal risk of falling prey to the loop of suffering.

People with anxiety disorders are more likely to struggle with substance abuse, and substance abuse can worsen anxiety symptoms. This places a great part of the U.S. population at risk considering that data shows the prevalence of anxiety in America.

Close to 31% of U.S. adults experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. It’s estimated that at least 19% of them had an anxiety disorder last year.

While most people suffering from anxiety will have mild symptoms, data shows that at least 43% of them will suffer from a mild impairment. 

It’s this part of the population that could be at the highest risk as they might not feel their problem is grave enough to consult a doctor but instead might take to self-medicating at home with drugs or alcohol.

Treating Co-Occurring Anxiety and Substance Abuse Disorders

People suffering from addiction and anxiety could be more likely to struggle when it comes to treatment. That’s because addiction, anxiety, and depression can’t be treated in their own bubble. 

If an addict is suffering from a dual diagnosis, then a holistic comprehensive approach must be taken to address both conditions simultaneously. 

If all conditions are not addressed as one, it could be a waste of time for the patient. If an addict is able to stop taking drugs without treating their anxiety and depression, they risk that those disorders will lead them back to a relapse.

One effective way to ensure addiction and anxiety are treated correctly is by attending a rehab center that offers evidence-based treatments and that takes a holistic approach to recovery.

These rehab centers usually employ effective forms of therapy for co-occurring disorders like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). 

CBT can help recovering addicts with anxiety by teaching them coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms without needing to turn to drugs or alcohol to soothe them.

This form of therapy can also help address the underlying issues that may be fueling their addictions in the first place.

Finding Anxiety and Substance Abuse Disorder Treatment

If you or someone you love is suffering from addiction, anxiety, and depression then you must act quickly in order to get them the help they need before the symptoms exacerbate each other.

Elysium Healthcare offers top-rated addiction treatment programs in the U.S. that can help you or your loved ones get the help you need to free yourself from the loop of suffering.

Contact us today and see how our treatments can help.

Addiction and the LGBTQ Community

Addiction is a rampant problem that greatly affects members of the LGBTQ community.

In fact, LGBT addiction statistics show that adults in the community are twice as likely to use illicit substances and suffer from substance abuse disorders. 

Let’s have an in-depth look at addiction in the LGBTQ community and how it differs from its counterpart.

LGBT Addiction Statistics on Drug Use

In comparison to heterosexuals, the LGBTQ community faces different challenges. LGBT addiction statistics show that the community also has different preferences when it comes to the substances they abuse.

Furthermore, the community has a number of drugs that are almost uniquely related to them. Poppers are an example of this. 

These drugs dilate blood vessels and allow more blood to reach the heart. Usually, these drugs are combined with other drugs like Ecstasy to increase their potency. However, they are primarily used by the gay community to enhance their sexual experiences.

The drug methamphetamine is also commonly used in the community as a means of enhancing sexual experiences. Meth has been reportedly used as a means to make group sexual encounters last for extended periods and as a way to enhance pleasure.

LGBT addiction statistics also show that other popular substances in the community include alcohol, tobacco, GHB, ecstasy, and prescription opiates. 

LGBT Addiction Statistics on Co-occurring disorders

There are a number of mental health conditions that coexist with substance use disorders within the LGBTQ community. Just as they are with other addicts.

These disorders can lead addicts in the LGBTQ community down a path of desperation and mental health degradation. Making it even more difficult to get proper treatment and recovery.

LGBTQ and heterosexual communities are both commonly afflicted with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, which are all trauma-related disorders. However, there are some differences in the ways each community is affected by co-occurring disorders.

For example, LGBT addiction statistics show that the community is more likely to experience depression than their heterosexual counterparts. This could ultimately lead to more addictions in the community.

Unequal Treatment Access and Outcomes

Despite the fact that LGBT addiction statistics show higher rates of substance abuse in the community, there appear to be significant disparities when it comes to treatment access and outcomes. 

Some of these barriers might include:

  • Discrimination
  • Lack of understanding
  • Lack of accommodation for their gender
  • Lack of understanding from healthcare providers
  • Difficulties connecting with staff

Furthermore, LGBT addiction statistics show that those in the community may have lower rates of treatment completion and higher rates of relapse compared to the general population.

This could be partly due to the lack of culturally competent care that takes into account the unique needs and challenges of LGBT individuals.

Ultimately, members of the LGBT community may feel more comfortable seeking treatment in an environment that is inclusive and sensitive to their unique needs. 

An empathetic and welcoming environment may help them adjust to a recovery program more easily.

For LGBT addiction statistics to change for the better, it’s critical that rehabs and treatment providers be aware of the unique challenges that the community faces. This will enable them to meet their needs adequately.

Finding Inclusive Treatment

Finding inclusive treatment in the LGBTQ community could represent the difference between a healthy outcome and the need to come back to visit the rehab.

Thus, finding a treatment center that meets the needs of the LGBTQ community is a critical step in their recovery.

Elysium Healthcare is an open community that understands the needs of the LGBTQ community and that is prepared to attend to its own unique demands.

If you are a member of the LGBTQ community struggling with addiction contact us immediately to see how we can help.

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Timeline

Alcohol Withdrawal Symptom Timeline

Without proper medical care, alcohol withdrawals can be life-threatening and with millions of people around the world suffering from alcoholism, it’s never been so critical to understand the alcoholism withdrawal symptoms timeline.

In fact, getting to know the alcoholism withdrawal symptoms timeline can help individuals prepare for what to expect and seek help when necessary.

Let’s take a dive into it and see what to expect.

Alcoholism Withdrawal Symptoms Timeline

The alcoholism withdrawal symptoms timeline is largely determined by the severity of the disease. The worse the addiction is, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms could be, and the longer it might last.

A heavy drinker or an alcoholic may experience withdrawal symptoms shortly after discontinuing a session. This is typically within eight hours of the last drink, although it may take longer in some instances.


It usually takes between seven and ten days for the alcohol withdrawal process to complete, but some symptoms may last for weeks.

The First 12 Hours: Easing Into It

Most people experiencing alcohol withdrawal will begin to feel some discomfort between six and twelve hours after their last drink. However, it can be normal for heavy drinkers to start feeling the effects much sooner. As symptoms develop, they will go from mild to severe. 

During the first few hours, a patient might experience a number of symptoms that include:

  • Tremors
  • Irritability
  • Sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hypertension and hyperventilation
  • Elevated heart rate
  • High body temperature
  • Alcohol cravings
  • Anxiety

The First 24 Hours: Mild Symptoms

After the appearance of the first onset of symptoms, the withdrawal process will progress, bringing about new symptoms and aggravating the existing ones.

The first 24 hours could bring about an experience of increasingly severe and dangerous symptoms of alcohol withdrawal such as:

  • Disorientation 
  • Seizures
  • Feeling pins and needles
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression

Days 2-3: Moderate Symptoms

Symptoms may intensify as the body adjusts to the absence of alcohol. Days 2-3 are often characterized by moderate symptoms such as tremors, insomnia, and an increased heart rate. 

Panic attacks and seizures tend to be more common during this period as well, although they might be moderate in severity. In some cases, individuals may also experience hallucinations, although these are less common.

During this period, the addict is in a delicate medical state and should be supervised by medical professionals. 

Days 4-7: Severe Symptoms

It is typically during days four to seven that the recovering alcoholic suffers the most severe health risks. It is not just debilitating for their mental health, but also for their physical health, which carries the highest risk of mortality.

During this period delirium tremens could lead to cardiac collapse. In fact, statistics show that patients have a 37% risk of mortality during this period if they don’t receive proper medical treatment.

After 7 Days: Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS)

By this time most withdrawal symptoms should begin to ease out. However, those with more acute symptoms might experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms (PAWS). These symptoms could last for weeks or even months depending on the health of the patient and the severity of their alcoholism.

PAWS might include symptoms of anxiety, depression, and insomnia which might need to be treated using therapy. If these co-occurring symptoms are not treated during this period, the patient might be at a higher risk of relapse.

Where to Get Help

If you or someone you know is experiencing alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it’s important to seek professional help. 

Withdrawal from alcohol can be dangerous and even life-threatening, especially for those with a history of heavy drinking or alcoholism.

Elysium Healthcare is a top-rated recovery program in the United States that offers alcohol treatment for withdrawal.

Contact us today to find out more.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?

Cocaine is a powerful stimulant with a high potential for abuse and addiction. Long-term cocaine use can lead to a wide range of negative effects on the body and mind.

With an estimated  2% of the total United States population using cocaine, it becomes ever more important to inform ourselves about the implication of cocaine symptoms. 

Learning more about cocaine signs and the effects of cocaine abuse can help us educate our loved ones about the dangers of the substance and identify if those close to use might be abusing the drug. 

Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Psychological Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Cocaine use can have significant psychological effects on its users which extend far beyond addiction.

The changes in brain chemistry that cocaine causes can develop lasting negative effects on its users and a series of complications such as depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders as well as posing memory and concentration challenges. 

Repeated exposure to cocaine changes the reward pathways in the user’s brain and makes it less susceptible to natural reinforcement. 

Reward pathways are nature’s ways of motivating us and indicating which behaviors we should seek out most. Damaging these pathways can create lasting changes in the mood of the user as well as their natural motivation. 

Less responsive receptors can also fail to act on natural reinforcers such as food, social interactions, or even sex.

Once this system is damaged, it can also become more sensitive to stress and depression and develop co-occurring disorders in the addict. It also builds tolerance which could prompt the addict to consume more and eventually overdose.

If that wasn’t enough, prolonged use of cocaine can also lead to paranoia, hallucinations, and other psychosis symptoms.

Social Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Social effects are one of the less talked about cocaine symptoms of abuse but one of the most influential.

Long-term abuse of cocaine can lead to financial difficulties that could affect the user even long after achieving sobriety.

Cocaine abuse can also cause problems with the law that could hinder around for years and affect the user’s ability to find a job. In the worst of cases, they might need to serve a jail sentence even if they decide to sober up.

Many users could see their personal relationships and careers suffer from nearly irreparable damage. 

In short, it’s not only the mind and body that suffer from cocaine addiction. All aspects of an addict’s life can be affected by their drug habits.

Physical Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use

Cocaine can wreak havoc in the body causing a number of negative long-lasting physical effects. From affecting the nose to damaging the brain and the heart, nearly every organ in the body can suffer from a cocaine habit.

We have broken it down into categories given there are so many ways cocaine can affect the body.

Long-Term Physical Effects of Cocaine on the Nose

Effects of cocaine abuse in the nose include:

  • Sinuses
  • Damaged nose cartilage
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Sense of smell
  • Congestions

Cardiovascular Long-Term Physical Effects of Cocaine 

Cardiovascular effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Chest pains
  • Arrhythmias
  • Heart muscle inflammation
  • Stroke
  • Aortic ruptures
  • High blood pressure
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Heart attack
  • Reduction in the heart’s contraction ability

Respiratory Long-Term Physical Effects of Cocaine

Respiratory effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Lung tumors
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Emphysema
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory distress
  • Worsening of asthma
  • Chronic Cough

Gastrointestinal Long-Term Physical Effects of Cocaine

Gastrointestinal effects of cocaine abuse include:

  • Death of bowel tissue
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Abdominal pain

Long-Term Physical Effects of Cocaine on the Brain and Nervous System

As discussed earlier in the article cocaine can have devastating effects on the brain that can lead to severe damage and psychological consequences. 

These are other effects of cocaine abuse on the brain:

  • Stroke
  • Seizures
  • Brain bleeds
  • Damage to blood vessels in and around the brain
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Impaired memory and impulse control
  • Psychomotor issues
  • Issues with decision making

Getting Help

Long lasting effects of cocaine can worsen the longer a user consumes the drug. But many of these can reverse and heal with time.

Whatever the case, it’s critical that addicts seek help as soon as possible, and there is always a chance to get better for as long as the addict is alive.

Don’t wait for the effects of cocaine to scar you for the rest of your life.

If someone you love is showing signs of cocaine abuse, then we can help.

Elysium Healthcare can help you and your loved ones get the treatment you need.Contact us today and ask to speak to an admission counselor who can help you get the treatment you deserve.

How to Help a Cocaine Addict

How to Help a Cocaine Addict

It’s estimated that close to 2% of the total United States population reported using cocaine in 2021. With such outrageous abuse statistics, you are bound to come across someone who uses it at some point in their lives—or worse! Someone close to you could end up being a victim.

If so, we might be tempted to help, but cocaine is a baffling foe. Its effect could drive our loved ones to the brink of irrationality. 

So one might wonder how one can help with cocaine addiction. Worry no more, the cavalry’s here to save the day. Let’s take a dive into the most effective way to help a cocaine addict.

Care-Base Approach

Finding out that someone we love is addicted to cocaine might stir up all sorts of emotions inside us. We might feel sadness, anguish, fear, worry, and anger. While these are all well-justified emotions, we must do our part to avoid reacting to them.

If our reaction comes from a negative place, the cocaine addict might in turn react negatively by losing trust and developing anger and fear. If that’s the case, then it could become more difficult to achieve a breakthrough and get them the help they need.

Instead, it’s wise to attempt to approach them from a place of care and trust, with compassion and without judgment. By adopting a care-based approach, the probability of being well-received could increase.

A care-based approach could also help reduce the risk of self-harm which many addicts face, particularly when there is a co-occurring disorder like depression.

These are some ways in which you can approach an addict with care-

  • Offer them help but don’t be judgemental
  • Don’t criticize their actions
  • Express your care for them in a positive way
  • Be encouraging 
  • Tell them you are here if they need you
  • Be patient
  • Be calm

Learn and Educate

One of the best ways to appeal to those who need help with cocaine addiction is by educating ourselves and in turn educating them about the dangers involved.

You might be surprised to learn how little addicts may not know about their condition and the ways in which they can overcome it.

Some topics of interest that you can both learn and share with the addict include:

  • How cocaine affects their health
  • How cocaine affects their finances and career
  • How cocaine affects their relationships
  • How to get sober from cocaine
  • What treatments are available
  • Demystifying myths about cocaine

Check out our content library for a variety of useful topics if you aren’t sure where to start.

Taking Inventory

Education is helpful, but we tend to learn more when we experience things for ourselves. Depending on how far down the scale the addict may be, there might already be a trail of evidence in their life to show the adverse effects that cocaine has.

Taking a personal inventory of how cocaine is affecting their life might help them recognize the need for help.

Professional Help

The best way to help someone with cocaine addiction is by getting them help from experts. 

There is no substitute for professional help when addiction has reached severe stages. Withdrawal symptoms could be life-threatening for addicts, reinforcing the need for medical detox. 

Furthermore, therapists, recovery experts, and medical professionals are trained and experienced in helping cocaine addicts get sober and stay that way.

There are a number of professional resources and organizations that can help with cocaine addiction. Some of them include: 

  • Inpatient and Outpatient Rehab
  • Drug counselors or therapists
  • 12-Step groups

How to Help a Cocaine Addict Get Professional Help

At Elysium Healthcare we pride ourselves on offering pristine rehabilitation and care services for addicts. If you are having difficulties helping your loved ones on your own, please contact us today and one of our recovery experts will assist you in the process.

What Is the Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcoholism?

What Is the Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcoholism?

Alcoholism remains an enigmatic disorder, often rendering it challenging to identify the difference between an alcoholic and a binge drinker.

Some may envision alcoholics as people who hit rock bottom—homeless, broke, sick, and dying. Meanwhile, others may view them as those who frequently indulge in binge drinking. But in truth, there is a difference between alcohol abuse and binge drinking.

So, the question arises––how do we discern the border between these two behaviors? 

In this article, we will examine the difference between binge drinking and alcoholism.

What’s Alcoholism?

Understanding the true nature of the disease is important before determining the difference between binge drinking and alcoholism.  

While heavy drinking may pave the way for addiction, it does not necessarily indicate that there is an addictive disorder. 

Alcoholism is technically defined as a medical condition that’s characterized by an individual’s inability to curb their drinking habits. 

The obsession with alcohol develops in both the body and the mind and is accompanied by a number of mild to severe withdrawal symptoms. 

Symptoms of withdrawal appear when a person consumes alcohol for a prolonged period, and their body has become habituated to it, reacting negatively without it.

Consequently, the most apparent indication of alcoholism is the presence of withdrawal symptoms in the individual.


Binge drinkers will lack symptoms of withdrawal which is one of the most important indicators that marks the difference between an alcoholic and a binge drinker.

Symptoms of Alcohol Withdrawal 

The most common mild symptoms of alcoholism include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Visual and auditory disturbances
  • Anxiety

Severe and life-threatening symptoms may include – 

  • Delirium tremens
  • Seizures
  • Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hallucinations
  • Cardiovascular complications

What’s Binge Drinking?

The term “binge drinking” is defined as consuming several drinks in a short period of time. More specifically, binge drinking refers to consuming five or more drinks for men and four or more for women on one occasion.

During a drinking binge, blood alcohol content can rise to dangerous levels, leading to blackouts, vomiting, and even passing out; however, the number of drinks consumed can be considered to be a ballpark figure. 

An individual’s threshold will vary greatly depending on their weight, height, and tolerance. It is therefore possible for some individuals to reach a dangerous blood alcohol level with just two or three drinks.

Risks of Binge Drinking

Binge drinking poses serious risks, similar to those of alcoholism.

Some of the most common risks of binge drinking include:

  • Accidents, crashes, and injuries while intoxicated
  • Risk of violence
  • Risk of STDs
  • Unintended pregnancy or miscarriage
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Cancer
  • Memory problems
  • Other unintended consequences such as missing out on work or acting in ways that one may regret

If the symptoms of binge drinking ring a bell, it is because they are familiar to those of alcoholism. Which prompts the question, if they sound so then what’s the actual difference between an alcoholic and a binge drinker?

Difference Between Binge Drinking and Alcoholism

Now that we have a better understanding of what binge drinking and alcoholism are, let’s examine some key differences between the two. 

The bottom line is that binge drinking can be as dangerous as alcoholism without some of its addictive characteristics. When you binge drink, you experience all the same problems as when you are severely intoxicated. In both cases, car accidents, fights, and trouble with the law are common issues.

The main difference between the two is alcoholism’s physical dependency. The binge drinking experience will not include withdrawal symptoms; however, this does not make it any less deadly.

However, this does not guarantee that a binge drinker won’t experience withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholism can develop from binge drinking.

Some of the symptoms that are unique to an alcoholic may include:

  • A desire to stop drinking but being unable to do so
  • Feeling angry or irritated if the alcohol runs out
  • Hands shaking or having tremors after drinking
  • Hallucinations
  • Trouble sleeping without alcohol
  • Hiding drinking habits from others
  • Strong alcohol cravings

When to Seek Help

There is a difference between alcohol abuse and binge drinking, but that doesn’t necessarily make binge drinking any less dangerous. Binge drinking is a common occurrence in America with one out of every six adults suffering from the behavior. 

Binge drinkers might not see their behavior as a problem and shy away from getting the help they need.

Even if a person is not an alcoholic, they should seek help if their drinking becomes a problem. 

Elysium Healthcare is a top-rated luxury provider of alcohol rehabs that also helps binge drinkers get back on track. We provide rehab facilities that include both inpatient and outpatient treatment.

No matter which treatment option is best for you, we have a rehab that can help.Contact Elysium Healthcare today to learn more about our alcohol rehab options.