Addiction Treatment

Holistic Psychiatry, Ketamine Treatments and TMS located in Golden and Greenwood Village, CO and serving Denver, CO, and the Greater Colorado Area via telehealth

“Once I was clear-headed, and I hadn’t been clear-headed in so long, I was like, I can never go back. And I’m still thankful.” – Travis Barker
Owl & Eagle Health and Wellness provides treatment for Addiction in Colorado
If you would like to learn more about Addiction Treatment at Owl & Eagle Health and Wellness in person at our offices in Golden or Greenwood Village, CO or via Telehealth anywhere in Colorado, Contact Us with questions or Book Now to request an intake appointment today.

Drugs and alcohol are depicted in the media as glamorous, sophisticated, and sexy. Video games, smartphones, and social media are everywhere. Addictive products are big business, and companies profiting from them ignore the destruction they can cause in people’s lives. Addictions damage finances, careers, and relationships, but help is available. 

At Owl & Eagle Health and Wellness, our team of board-certified psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychotherapists offer skillful and compassionate treatment for addictions. We will work with you to design a holistic treatment plan combining up to date psychiatric treatment including medications, psychotherapy, and evidence based integrative care. This holistic approach can effectively treat your addictions and any co-occurring psychiatric disorders, while helping you work toward optimal health and wellness.

For expert assessment and holistic psychiatric treatment for Addiction in teens and adults, either in person at our offices convenient to the Denver Metro area, or via telehealth throughout Colorado, Contact Us with questions or Book Now to request an intake appointment today. 

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Addiction Q &A

How common is Addiction?

Addiction to drugs and alcohol, also known as Substance Use Disorder, is very common. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that in 2022 in the US, 49 million people aged 12 or older had Substance Use Disorder. Of those, 30 million had Alcohol Use Disorder, 27.2 million had Drug Use Disorder, and 8 million people had both. About 3.8% of all adults and 13.5% of young adults age 18-25 have both Substance Use Disorder and another psychiatric disorder.

Unfortunately, only about 10% of people with Substance Use Disorder get treatment, especially high quality, evidence based treatment. Addiction medication is one of the most effective treatments for Substance Use Disorder. Despite this fact, 99% of residential treatment centers don’t offer all available types of addiction medication, and about 60% don’t offer addiction medication at all.

Non-Substance Addiction is also common. One study found that 76% of mobile phone users experience more than five of 23 phone addictive behaviors, including 91% who carry a mobile phone at all times, 62% who delay sleep due to phone use, and 85% who immediately check notifications upon waking. Between 0.3-1% of the general population has internet gaming disorder, and about 1% has gambling disorder.

Why should I seek treatment for Addiction?

Development of addictions can be gradual and insidious. People often feel totally in control, until one day, they realize they are not in control at all. By that point, it can be very hard to stop.

Substance Use Disorder can ruin relationships, finances, careers, and health, and can cause legal problems, illness, accidents and injuries, and death. Substance Use Disorder frequently co-occurs with other psychiatric disorders, including mood disorders, anxiety disorders, PTSD, ADHD, psychotic disorders, and personality disorders. People with both Substance Use Disorder and a psychiatric disorder are at higher risk of serious negative outcomes, such as crime, incarceration, and suicide.  

Non-Substance Addictions, including addictions to gambling, mobile phones, video games, and social media, cause changes in the brain that are similar to those seen in Substance Use Disorder. They can lead to mood changes, social withdrawal, mental health problems, and functional impairment just as Substance Use Disorder does.

Fortunately, treatment for Addiction can be very effective. With treatment, people with Addiction can dramatically improve their health, function, relationships, and quality of life.

What causes addiction?

Addiction is caused by four main factors:

1) Genetics. Studies show that 40% to 60% of the vulnerability to addiction is attributable to genetics.

2) Trauma and psychological stressors. Adverse experiences such as poverty, violence, abuse, and discrimination increase risk for addiction.

3) Exposure. If you see important people in your life engaging in addictive behaviors, you are at higher risk for addiction yourself.  

4) Brain changes. Addictions cause reduced sensitivity in the brain's reward system, which includes structures and networks involving dopamine. This is why people with addictions stop getting satisfaction or pleasure from regular activities, and why they need more and more of the addictive substance or activity to get the same effects. At the same time, when people abstain from addictions, stress related neurotransmitters including norepinephrine, corticotropin releasing factor, and dynorphin are activated. This causes an intensified reaction to stress, as well as withdrawal symptoms. This leads to negative emotions and increased emotional reactivity in people with addictions, and causes “cravings” or intense feelings of desire to use. This is why it is so hard for people with addictions to stop without help.

What are the symptoms of addiction?

Addiction involves the following symptoms:

  • Using more frequently or for longer than intended
  • Wanting to stop, but not being able to stop, or being able to stop but not being able to avoid starting again
  • Spending increasing time or energy on the addiction
  • Spending increasing time recovering from “hangovers” or after-effects
  • Having cravings for or strong urges to use
  • Experiencing problems in life, such as difficulty taking care of responsibilities like bills, or having trouble in school, at work, or in relationships due to using, but continuing to use anyway
  • Neglecting friendships, romantic relationships, social engagements, or hobbies due to use
  • Engaging in risky behaviors, like going into dangerous situations or interacting with dangerous people when using, or driving under the influence
  • Continuing to use, despite the realization that using is causing emotional, physical, or legal problems
  • Needing increasing quantity or intensity to get the same feeling
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms, like anxiety, mood changes, sweating, shaking, GI distress, or other uncomfortable effects when abstaining

Accurate diagnosis can be essential to creating an effective treatment plan. The board certified psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychotherapists at Owl & Eagle Health and Wellness have extensive experience and expertise in diagnosing and treating all types of addiction.

What are the consequences of addiction?

Addictions have many serious negative consequences. They cause mood changes, anxiety, erratic behavior, and loss of self-respect. They cause difficulty in relationships with friends, family, and romantic partners. They can cause problems in school, derail careers, damage finances, and ruin reputations. They can lead to additional health problems, accidents, injuries, and even death.

Substance use disorders frequently lead to trouble with the law. Over 1 million drivers are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs yearly. Over 470,000 incarcerated people reported committing their crimes in the process of obtaining drugs, and about 1.16 million get arrested every year for the manufacture, sale, or possession of drugs. About 30-40% of all inmates who committed violent offenses such as child abuse, intimate partner violence, assault, rape, and murder were under the influence of alcohol at the time of their crime, and another 40% were under the influence of drugs.  

Alcohol impairment causes 30% of all traffic-related deaths, and about 28 people die every day in car accidents involving an alcohol impaired driver. More than 70,000 people die annually from drug overdoses, and alcohol is even more deadly, directly causing 95,150 deaths per year. People with alcohol or drug dependence are 5-6 times more likely to die by suicide than non-users, and in those who also have a psychiatric disorder, risk for suicide is an astonishing 13-18 times higher.

The consequences of non-substance addictions are less dire, but these addictions are not entirely benign. In a study of people with smart phone addiction, 46% of participants suffered from depression, 70% from anxiety, and 14% from sleep disturbance. In a study of high school students with gaming disorder, approximately 33% had depressive symptoms, 20% had considered suicide, and in those who gamed for 5+ hours per day, 38% of females and 25% of males had engaged in suicidal behavior. In a study of people with gambling addiction, 50% have had suicidal thoughts, and approximately 17% have attempted suicide. 

How is addiction treated?

Treatment of substance use disorder can include medically supervised detoxification (usually done in a hospital), partial hospitalization, residential treatment, and/or outpatient treatment. Medications can be used to relieve cravings, or to deter use by causing unpleasant symptoms or diminished “high” if drugs or alcohol are used. Psychotherapy or counseling can help people understand the underlying factors that led to the addiction, the damage being caused by the addiction, and the benefits of stopping. Psychotherapy can also provide support in maintaining abstinence and in repairing damaged relationships. Peer support programs can also help.

In people with both a substance use disorder and mental health problems, it is essential that treatment address both issues. In this situation, partial hospitalization and residential treatment should occur at facilities that offer “dual-diagnosis” programs. For those that do not require or have completed higher levels of care, outpatient psychiatric treatment can treat both mental health problems and substance use disorders. Treatments for both psychiatric disorders and substance use disorder can include psychiatric and addiction medications, psychotherapy, and support groups.

Treatment for non-substance addictions does not require abstinence, but works on developing strategies for controlling use and avoiding negative consequences. Medications such as antidepressants and anxiolytics can be helpful. Specialized psychotherapy such as reality therapy, which encourages patients to focus on healthy activities in real life, can be used in the treatment of internet, social media, gaming, and smart phone addictions. Other non-substance addictions can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and supportive and solution focused psychotherapy.

At Owl & Eagle Health and Wellness, our team of board certified psychiatric nurse practitioners and psychotherapists use a holistic approach combining cutting edge medical treatments, psychotherapy, and integrative treatments to maximize treatment efficacy. We will perform a thorough diagnostic evaluation to identify addictions and any co-existing psychiatric disorders, and will develop a personalized treatment program that can include addiction medications, other psychiatric medications, psychotherapy, and integrative care such as nutritional guidance, vitamins, supplements, exercise, sleep hygiene, yoga, meditation, and breathwork. Medications usually have very manageable side effects, and most resolve in the first weeks of treatment. Genetic testing can help identify which medications are more or less likely to be effective and well tolerated for you. Holistic treatment can help you achieve meaningful recovery from addiction, while improving your health, function and well-being.

If you would like to learn more about assessment and holistic psychiatric treatment for Addiction for teens and adults at Owl & Eagle Health and Wellness, Contact Us with questions or Book Now to request an intake appointment today. Appointments are available either in-person in our offices in Golden or Greenwood Village, Colorado, convenient to the Denver Metro area, or via telehealth anywhere in Colorado. We look forward to meeting you!

Please note: If you are dependent on alcohol, please do not stop abruptly without medical supervision. Alcohol withdrawal can cause dangerous and potentially deadly symptoms including elevated heart rate and blood pressure, hallucinations, delirium, and seizures. If you have stopped using alcohol and are experiencing any withdrawal symptoms (even if they are not yet severe), please call 911 or go to the nearest Emergency Room.

 

 

Sources:

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