The client is a 32-year-old male who arrived at treatment following an episode of catatonia. Upon his admission into Destination Hope, the client presented as paranoid, guarded, anxious, and delusional with an obsessive thought process. The client has a history of excessive substance use history, reporting that he has been using alcohol and Adderall since the age of 17 to self-medicate. The client’s substance use disorder inevitably led to a loss of functioning and exacerbation of mental health symptoms however the primary precipitating factor that led to the client requiring residential treatment was noncompliance with his psychiatric medication regimen.
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired you to pursue the career you have today.
I have always worked in some capacity in the helping field. Looking back, my job as an active listener on a 24-hour domestic violence hotline service in my early 20’s was my official entry into the helping field. This was truly an eye-opening experience. I was initially terrified by the stories I heard but motivated at the same time to make a difference. Later on, I worked several years as a family court mediator. Additionally, I have also always been active in my faith community leading women, youth groups as well as facilitating retreats and workshops on varying social issues and empowerment topics.
Despite its portrayal in the media or what common knowledge may try to dictate, drug and alcohol treatment is not just for people who have hit rock bottom with substance abuse. Addiction is a chronic disease, and as with most medical conditions, treatment and subsequent recovery are not a quick fix or a desperate measure, nor does it happen overnight. It requires time, patience, and commitment, and the earlier you start, the more effective it can be. Though many do, there’s no need to wait until you are at your lowest point to enter treatment. If you suspect you or a loved one could use help, act on that feeling and seek help as soon as possible.
Fighting off Depression After MDMA & Methamphetamine
MDMA, also called Molly and Ecstasy, is a drug that achieves its psychedelic and stimulating effects by increasing the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain—including Dopamine and Serotonin. Dopamine and Serotonin are two neurotransmitters that play critical roles in regulating mood and emotions. When a person ingests MDMA, the increase in these neurotransmitters causes the initial “high.” However, as the drug wears off, the activity of the neurotransmitters decreases, and the deficit results in a “low,” often resulting in depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance, and irritability. Extended use of MDMA can cause the brain to adapt to the increased activity of these neurotransmitters, causing the subsequent “low” to become more significant given the brain’s desensitization to the brain’s naturally occurring Dopamine and Serotonin.
While there are various methods and approaches to drug and alcohol treatment, most of these fall under two fundamental types of programs. Inpatient treatment comes to mind for most when thinking about “rehab.” Inpatient treatment can include entering a facility to stay in a live-in program that oversees the day-to-day, allowing treatment professionals to monitor the patient throughout the program, and enabling them to get to know the patient in their most vulnerable stage, cut off from substances and influences. Inpatient treatment facilities, in essence, isolate the addict from their “everyday lives,” working toward a life of sobriety while living and learning with counselors and other addicts. Outpatient treatment differs because the addict still attends meetings, therapy, and group sessions. Rather than stay overnight in the facility, they maintain a sense of regular life, attending work, school and family, and daily functions.
While both have vital considerations, it is essential to note the distinct differences between inpatient and outpatient therapy.
Client is a male in his early 30’s admitting to Destination Hope for his second treatment episode from the Southern region of the United States of America. Client presented for substance abuse and mental health treatment having been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a Personal History of Childhood Psychological Abuse. Client reported first abusing alcohol at age 13 which became progressively worse throughout his life. Although experiencing job loss as a consequence of his alcoholism, he was able to maintain employment in a highly competitive field upon admission. Case Management worked with this client ensuring the necessary documentation was submitted in a timely manner paving the way for him to resume employment upon discharge. This support also eliminating the financial concerns that serve as an external distraction during treatment.
What brought you to the field of addiction and mental health treatment?
My desire to help others. Also, my own life experiences as a teenager peaked my interest in wanting to understand more about what makes people tick, so that led me to go into the field.
We live in an age where the world seems to be zipping by, and sometimes, it can seem like we are being left behind. We start to believe the messaging of famous sayings like FOMO (fear of missing out) and the non-stop barrage of social media memes shouting that amazing things are happening without us. We know in our logical minds that the highly filtered and curated lives we intentionally share on social media are a distraction to our real lives. Oddly, we seem to have stopped living, and we are neglecting “real life” while we wait for this Instagram version to arrive at our doorstep by some magic.
No matter our jobs, social lives, or realities, none of us are immune to these images and pressures. We are internalizing and even passing these insecurities onto our children and spouses. But how do we break free from this cycle – take back a “normal” sense of self and stop punishing ourselves for falling short?
Crystal meth, widely known on the street as methamphetamine, meth, chalk, ice, and crystal, is a highly addictive stimulant belonging to the amphetamine class of drugs. It’s sold illicitly as a white, crystalline powder that’s bitter-tasting and odorless. Amphetamines were first developed in 19th Century Germany and evolved into methamphetamines in Japan in 1919. During World War 2, meth was used to keep soldiers awake, and later, in the 1950s, it was used alternately as a decongestant to lose weight and fight depression. The 1960s saw a period of increased abuse which led to the drug being made illegal for most uses in the US in the 1970s. While the drug remains illegal today, it is a major drug of abuse and continues to be a significant societal concern.
Crystal meth abuse is a widespread problem in the U.S. and is exacerbated by the ease of production in large and small “labs” alike. Additional production of methamphetamine occurs in Mexico, at which point it is brought into the United States illegally. Although it’s not the most popular illicit drug of abuse, it is one of the most destructive.
Case Study: Young Female Untreated Mental Health Stemming From an Adolescence of Unhealthy Family Relationships and Trauma
This is the treatment and early recovery story of a very special young lady who entered the doors of Destination Hope with a track record of instability based in untreated mental health which stemmed from an adolescence filled with unhealthy family relationships and traumatic experiences. Her life was in shambles and she lacked the insight and protective factors necessary to find a semblance of stability on her own. There were significant cultural barriers that impacted her course of treatment due to differing understanding and attitude toward stigmas surrounding mental health as a whole. Continue reading