Rehab used to mean professional healthcare therapies to improve, maintain, or restore physical strength, cognition, and mobility. Usually after illness, injury or surgery.
When someone you love is addicted, your finances often take a big hit. Bailing loved ones out of jail and other financial emergencies eat away at any cash on hand. Likewise, people who are rebuilding their life after addiction often face financial hardships. Treatment expenses and bills pile up. Here’s two simple things you can do to protect what you have and gain financial recovery.
1. Be Selfish And Secretive With Savings
Many times, fighting addiction is a matter of life and death. People are scared and desperate, and treatment is expensive. In these situations, spouses and parents don’t keep enough margin between them and disaster. Well known financial guru, Dave Ramsey, says step one is to keep an emergency fund.
Emergencies will happen; this is not an if type of crisis, this is a when situation. Not having enough cash on hand means depending on credit cards or cash advance services. Both charge big interest rates, but more importantly, both put you further behind. Dave recommends dropping everything to save $500 to $1,000 for the impending emergency. This logically makes sense, so why don’t people do this?
First, many people believe the best way to help their addicted loved-one is to sacrifice everything. Yet, this won’t work because if you really want to help, you have to be strong enough to help. You have to put yourself first, and you can only give of your excess. Don’t feel guilty about keeping a rainy day fund.
Others are driven by shame and pressure from creditors. Getting your life back on tract after addiction is an amazing accomplishment. It’s important to protect yourself financially first then work on paying back debts. Having a little bit in savings gives you a peace of mind that can help protect your sobriety.
Still others may feel trapped in an abusive relationship due to financial dependency. For many, having money means having choices. If you are in an unsafe relationship, you may have to open a new account at a new bank to keep your emergency fund safe.
2. Defend Your Fortress
Dave calls this protecting the “four walls.” Many times, people get trapped in the vicious debt management cycle. They run short of cash, so they charge things like gas and groceries. These bills run up quickly in crisis. Instead of meeting physical needs first, people feel obligated to protect their credit rating. What if they need to take out another credit card or borrow money for rehab? Making the credit card payment takes top priority, which only perpetuates the cycle of debt. To get off the debt cyclone, you have to make some tough choices. You may not have enough money to pay all of your bills. Which do you pay first?
Groceries Get Top Billing
If you really want to get control of your finances, cooking at home and taking a brown bag lunch are the first big change to make. You can save big money by keeping your fridge full of food. The path to financial recovery is not paved with empty pizza boxes.
Second, Pay Your Rent Or Mortgage
You have to have a roof over your head. Also, make sure to keep current with your utilities like electricity, water and natural gas.
Third, Pay For Transportation
If you have a job, you need to keep it, so you can keep on the path to financial recovery. To keep a job, you have to have a way to get there. Here you might have to make some tough choices. Driving a corvette when you can only afford a scooter won’t let you help anyone. However, repairs and payments on transportation you can afford must take priority over student loans and credit card debts.
The Last Wall Is Clothing
To keep a job, most places require you show up wearing something. Again, keeping your job is crucial, so reasonable clothing comes before credit card payments. Chanel and Ralph Lauren may not be reasonable at this time; you may have to consider shopping at a thrift shop.
As Dave says:
“If you have a place to live, it’s warm and the lights are on, your stomach is full of food and you have clothing to wear and a way to get to work, you live to fight another day. The worry starts to slip away. When your lights are getting ready to be cut off but MasterCard is current, that trips you up. That sends you into a tailspin. You will not win in that situation. Put the four walls of your home up first when you’re in a crisis situation. Then work your way through the other stuff.”
Usually, struggling financially is a symptom of another underlying cause. Family dynamics, co-occurring mental health disorders, and addictions often play a role in financial difficulties. Recovery Guidance lists family therapists and counselors that can help you address the root causes of your financial problems. Click here to find family counseling in your area.
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Here’s your don’t want to miss recovery news for the week ending November 3, 2017. Our news stories are often overlooked. Please share to get our voices heard.
One year ago, Erika Hurt rose to fame, in a horrific fashion. Cops found Erika in her car, passed out from using heroin. Her 10-month-old baby boy was in the backseat of the car. Erika still had the needle in her hand, and police administered several doses of Narcan to save her. Once revived, she was charged on several counts.
This week, she’s back and better than ever! The photos of her in the Dollar General parking lot went viral, but more importantly, they forced her to see her addiction. Erika writes:
I’ve decided to repost the picture simply because it displays exactly what heroin addiction is.
Also because I do not want to ever forget where the road of addiction has taken me. Little did I know that day, my life was about to change, drastically.
Today, I am able to focus on the good that came from that picture.
Today, I am able to be grateful to actually have solid proof where addiction will only lead you, and today I am able to say that I am ONE YEAR SOBER!
I have thousands of shout outs, too many to list.
Just know that I DO NOT tackle recovery alone, I have a very large group of supporters standing behind me each and every day to help make sobriety possible for me!
A Hot Cocoa Read:
Way to go Erika! Thank you for being brave and bold enough to share how your “Mess became a message.” Hug that sweet baby boy and do everything to fight for your sobriety. So glad to see you back in recovery news as a success!
…Is not in any recovery news headlines today. In any other mass killing, CNN, MSNBC, and FoxNews would have a scrolling news feed and live coverage. Reporters would interview bystanders. The FBI would launch an exhaustive man hunt. Yet, none of those things are happening, and the death toll is rising. Ninety-one Americans were also killed on Wednesday. And 91 more on Tuesday. So far today, we can safely assume 30 more victims will die before most Americans get to the office. Why is no one reporting about this?
Because we don’t want to be honest about the cause. Unlike most other mass killings, many blame the victims. Extremists say their death is a glorified suicide because they did after all chose to take the first hit of Heroin. No one forced them to take the first pain pill after all. Yet, scientific evidence says addiction is a chronic and relapsing illness. Officials arrested a Big Pharma CEO for bribing doctors and misleading insurance companies.
A One Cup Read:
This is read is smooth, yet bold and flavorful. Authors David Blumenthal and Shanoor Seervai present a clear overview of how we got where we are. Their statistics are refreshingly different from the CDC and NIDA stats.
Word on the street is, heroin is cheep, but getting off of heroin isn’t. Last week, Recovery Guidance’s article, What Is Methadone explained how it is used to help wean people off of heroin and other opioids. Methadone is one example of a Medical Assisted Treatment program, and buprenorphine is another.
More than 2 million Americans are addicted to some type of opioid, yet only 1 out of 10 are likely to find treatment. Only 350,000 Americans are in a Methadone treatment program. Another 75,000 are in buprenorphine treatment. Too many people live in areas without licensed treatment providers, and too many people with access to the treatment can’t afford it.
Elizabeth Brico reports, “Methadone ranged from $350 per month to $200 per week. Buprenorphine patients reported clinic costs between $100 and $300 per month, with medication costs broaching the thousands for those without insurance.”
A Two Cup Read:
This article is a tough recovery news read unless you’ve had enough coffee. First, it’s full of stats. Second, it’s heartbreaking to realize that recovery comes with a price tag.
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Nay-Sayers say, “Recovery doesn’t work,” because they know someone who relapsed just a few weeks or months after rehab. Recovery is possible, but it takes more than a 30-day fix. In fact, millions of people have found successful recovery and rebuilt their lives using these 7 keys.
1. The Patient Wants A Successful Recovery
Can you force the patient into treatment? People ask us this question daily. Ultimately, yes, in some cases patients can be forced into treatment. But a better case scenario is when the patient is ready to get help. We understand how hard it is to watch another person’s addiction. You feel helpless and beyond scared. While you wait, you can set boundaries and research treatment options. Once the patient is ready, you’ll be able to present lots of information.
2. The Patient Gets A Complete Physical
Every day people have a beer or take a pain pill without getting addicted, so why did this patient get addicted? Genetics, past abuse, trauma, and mental health issues can all contribute to addiction. When the patient sees a physician for an honest and complete physical exam, all of those factors can be addressed. Each patient deserves a personalized, comprehensive evaluation prior to treatment. Patients who have the most success talk to their doctor about:
- Any prior diagnoses of substance use
- Mental and general health problems
- Family, social and environmental problems that could affect the course of care and potential for relapse
3. The Patient Has A Long-Term Treatment Plan
Like most other chronic health illnesses, substance use disorders require ongoing treatment. When a patient is first diagnosed, care is often intensive. The first phase is detox. Once their condition and cravings are stabilized, patients upgraded to either inpatient or outpatient treatment. Sometimes outpatient treatment lasts 12-36 months. Depending on the severity of their disorder, some patients have more months of outpatient care than others. In all cases, on-going treatment solidifies successful recovery.
4. The Patient Sees A Doctor During Treatment
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 8 million Americans with a substance use disorder have a co-occurring mental health disorder. Common mental health problems include:
Likewise, substance use and long-term alcohol consumption lead to many physical health problems like:
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disorders
- Infectious illnesses (e.g. HIV, HCV, TB)
Your physician is a key team player. Doctors can recommend alternative medicines that won’t compromise your recovery. Likewise, doctors can help get your physical health back on track.
5. The Patient Gets Counseling
Behaviors play a big part in addiction, but therapy can help. Patients need to learn new coping skills, and they need to learn about boundaries. Additionally, they need guidance in navigating relationship conflicts. All of these types of therapies help the patient learn healthy new behaviors:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Individual Supportive Psychotherapy
- Families and Couples Therapy
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy
6. The Patient Takes Meds
Some patients use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate chronic pain while others are escaping a painful past trauma. According to SAMSHA, two out of three people in treatment were victims of child abuse. Others might be suffering from a co-occuring mental health problem. Anti-depressants and other meds can help. Also know as MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment), doctors can prescribe meds that help reduce cravings. Some of these medications even create an adverse reaction if the patient relapses.
7. The Patient Has On-going Recovery Support
The first 30 days of treatment intensely focus on saving a patients life and changing a gripping habit. Unfortunately, the patient still needs help tackling these three issues:
- Where to live
- Where to work
- Who to live with
For a successful recovery, the patient needs help transitioning back into life. Group meetings like NA and AA have helped many. Other patients may want to stay in a half-way house or have ongoing outpatient treatment. Most importantly, patients need a strong support system. Recovery doesn’t happen all alone.
* This Recovery Guidance Exclusive was adapted from 2016 Surgeon General’s Report.
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Some people who become addicted to opioid pain relievers begin taking the drugs after painful surgeries. Which surgeries increase patients’ addiction risk?
In 2016, doctors handed out so many pain pills prescriptions that 3.3 billion pills went unused. Research firm, QuintilesIMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, ties this factor to the current American opioid epidemic.
Some Surgeries Carry A Bigger Addiction Risk
Colectomy was the most dangerous risk with 18% of patients becoming long-term users, according to QuintilesIMS. Knee replacement patients came in second at 17% of patients who took the drugs. Hernia and hysterectomy surgeries showed to be lower-risk with about a 7% risk of misuse each. Women, overall, showed to be particularly vulnerable.
According to the report, almost three million Americans took opioids after surgery. Doctors prescribed pain meds to one in 10 post-operative patients for three to six months after their first dose post-surgery.
“The bigger the incision, the more painful something ought to be,” anesthesiologist Dr. Eric Sun told HuffPost. The colectomy is often an invasive surgery that removes part or all of the colon. He also said that “knee surgeries tend to be very painful,” and that “people complain about those.”
Refilling Script 10 Times Is A Warning Sign
A study published in Jama Internal Medicine defines chronic opioid users as:
Those who fill 10 or more prescriptions after a few months have passed since their surgeries.
Knee replacement and open gallbladder surgical patients had the highest risk for developing opioid addictions based on Jama’s research.
Who Is To Blame?
Some may blame doctors as the root cause of addiction through excessive prescription-writing, but post-op pain is real and doctors are required by law to compassionately treat their patients for their pain.
“There’s a lot of other things you can give that can help, but at the end of the day, if someone is in a lot of pain, opioids are part of the mainstay,” Sun said.
“That’s sort of the next phase in all this research,” he said. “We know there’s a problem. The question is: What do you do about it? How do you keep these people from transitioning to long-term use?”
Content Originally Published By: Ariel Scotti @ New York Daily News
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