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Does Court-Ordered Substance Abuse Treatment Actually Work?

court-ordered substance abuse treatmentWhen friends or family members know someone who is struggling with addiction, they may be desperate to take whatever steps possible to get help for their addicted loved one. This may involve a private conversation or a staged intervention. However, when these types of interventions fail, the next option is to try to force someone to go to rehab.

Even though court-ordered substance abuse treatment is an option, many people hesitate to pursue this route out of fear that treatment won’t work. This common misconception can stop people from getting access to the help they desperately need. The truth is, under the right circumstances, court-ordered rehab really does work.

What is Court-Ordered Substance Abuse Treatment?

Court-ordered treatment refers to legally mandating a person to attend a drug and alcohol rehab program. There are two basic types of court-mandated rehab:

Court-Ordered Rehab for Drug-Related Charges

Over 50% of offenders in United States prisons and jails struggle with substance use disorder.[1] Some of these individuals, particularly those with drug-related charges, are able to make plea deals with the judge and prosecution which involve court-ordered rehab. Even though these people are facing prosecution or re-incarceration if they leave rehab early or relapse, studies have shown that this type of forced rehab can be effective for many incarcerated individuals.[1]

Involuntary Commitment Orders for People With Substance Use Disorder

The second type of forced addiction treatment is involuntary commitment orders. Nearly all 50 states have some kind of involuntary commitment law where friends, family members, police officers, doctors, and mental health specialists can force someone who is using drugs to go to treatment. After petitioning the court, providing proof of the individual’s addiction, and a mental health evaluation, eligible individuals may be mandated to a certain number of days at a drug rehabilitation facility.

One study compared individuals who were mandated to treatment and those who entered voluntarily. Although people who were court-ordered to complete substance abuse treatment were less motivated at the time they started treatment, they were actually more likely to complete treatment compared to those who entered the program voluntarily.[1]

Is Court-Ordered Substance Abuse Treatment Really Effective?

Just because a person was unwilling to accept help themselves doesn’t mean forcing them into rehab won’t be effective. Research reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that most people who get into and stay in rehab stop using drugs, engage in less criminal activity, and are able to improve their psychological, social, and occupational functioning.[2]

Still, between 40-60% of patients relapse–some of whom were forced into rehab and some who sought help voluntarily. Relapse doesn’t mean the treatment didn’t work. It simply means there are aspects of a person’s treatment plan that need to be adjusted. This is a similar treatment approach that is taken for other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. A person’s treatment plan needs continual evaluation and modification in order for it to be successful.[2]

A visit to rehab doesn’t guarantee any individual a lifetime of sobriety. What it does do, however, is help open patients’ eyes to the reality of their addictions. Addiction treatment centers separate people from substances long enough to give them the ability to make a sound decision for their care. Therapists also help bring awareness to patients’ maladaptive coping mechanisms and the causes of their substance abuse. Additionally, patients are introduced to all kinds of resources that can help them improve their lives.

Sometimes, even for the most reluctant individuals, simply staying in an environment such as this is enough to make them want to get sober.

Understanding the Principles of Effective Addiction Treatment

Rehab can be effective for anyone–even those who have been forced into it–if the program meets all of the principles of an effective treatment program. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the principles of effective addiction treatment are:[3]

    1. Having counselors who recognize that addiction is a complex but treatable disease that affects brain function and behavior.
    2. Individualized treatment programs that target each patients’ unique needs.
    3. Treatment needs to be readily available.
    4. Effective treatment attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just his or her drug abuse.
    5. Treatment should last for at least 90 days.
    6. Behavioral therapies—including individual, family, or group counseling—are utilized
    7. Medications are an important part of rehabilitation for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies.
    8. A person’s treatment plan must be evaluated and modified as necessary to make sure it meets his or her changing needs.
    9. Many individuals with substance use disorder also have other mental health conditions.
    10. Medically assisted detox is only the first stage of addiction treatment and must be followed by a comprehensive rehab program.
    11. Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. 
    12. Drug use during treatment must be monitored continuously, as lapses during treatment do occur.
    13. Treatment programs should test patients for the presence of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases as well as provide risk-reduction counseling and linking patients to treatment if necessary.

Pay special attention to number 11, “treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective.” Court-ordered substance abuse treatment, whether through involuntary commitment or criminal charges, really does work.

Find Help Today

Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we’re dedicated to giving each of our patients the individualized attention and care they need to get better–no matter the circumstances. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, there’s no reason to hesitate to get the help you need. Call now to see if our addiction treatment programs are right for you.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3578041/
  2. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/frequently-asked-questions/how-effective-drug-addiction-treatment
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment

Can Alcoholism Be Treated on an Outpatient Basis?

can alcoholism be treated on an outpatient basisAlcoholism is a chronic and progressive condition that affects more than 15 million adults nationwide.[1] Many of these individuals continue to go to work, attend classes at their local school, and care for their families while suffering from this condition. If you are a busy individual with responsibilities who is struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you may be desperate to get the help you need while still being able to balance all of your responsibilities.

Fortunately, alcoholism can be treated on an outpatient basis, so you can get the help you need without sacrificing time away from work, school, or family.

Can I Use an Outpatient Detox Program for Alcohol?

You should never attempt to detox from alcohol at home or without medical supervision. In fact, alcohol detox is best conducted on an inpatient basis where you can be monitored 24/7. This is because alcohol is one of the most dangerous substances to detox from. Even though it is legal, alcohol can produce severe and life-threatening withdrawal symptoms like cognitive impairment, seizures, hallucinations, dehydration, and delirium tremens.[2]

If you take the risk of detoxing on an outpatient basis, you also run the risk of medical complications. You could find yourself unable to obtain the medical care you need before severe consequences occur. As a result, it is always recommended that people detox from alcohol at an inpatient medical facility.

Treatment Options for Alcoholism

Alcoholism may be treated on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient rehab programs are the same as residential ones. They require all patients to stay at the treatment facility, even overnight, for the full length of their treatment program. Inpatient programs provide around-the-clock support, medical care, and intensive counseling that is best for people with severe addictions or co-occurring disorders.

Outpatient alcohol rehab programs vary in terms of intensity, cost, and scheduling. The different types of outpatient rehab include:

  • Day treatment – Patients spend several hours, Monday-Friday, at the treatment center, but are able to return home in the evening after therapy is over.
  • Intensive outpatient (IOP) – Patients spend 9-15 hours each week at the treatment center for scheduled therapy sessions only.
  • Standard outpatient (OP) – The lowest level of care in which patients only attend scheduled group and individual therapy sessions.

Which treatment program you select should be determined based on the severity of your addiction and your unique treatment needs.

Who Qualifies for Outpatient Alcohol Rehab?

Whether you have a family who depends on you to take care of them, a job that you can’t take that much time away from, or an education that cannot be put on hold for rehab, you may be questioning whether or not your alcoholism can be treated on an outpatient basis. Outpatient rehab isn’t right for everyone, so it’s important to consult with a trusted substance abuse counselor to determine which treatment program is right for you.

You may qualify for outpatient alcohol treatment if you have:

  • Demonstrated motivation and willingness to do the work needed to stay sober
  • A safe, supportive, and sober living environment
  • Already completed a higher level of care such as inpatient rehab
  • Already detoxed from alcohol and are diagnosed with mild alcohol use disorder
  • A support group of sober individuals who can hold you accountable

On the other hand, you should not consider outpatient care for your alcoholism if you:

  • Have a co-occurring mental health condition that may require dual diagnosis treatment or put you at the risk for relapse
  • Are diagnosed with severe alcohol use disorder
  • Need medical supervision
  • Have a history of relapsing during outpatient alcohol rehab programs

How is Outpatient Alcohol Rehab Structured?

If you are seeking treatment for alcoholism on an outpatient basis, you may be wondering what outpatient services entail. While detox and medical services are usually offered at inpatient facilities, there is a long list of services offered by outpatient programs. These include:

  • Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) – This approach combines behavioral therapy and counseling with the use of treatment medications. Some of the most commonly used medications to treat alcohol use disorder are Vivitrol (naltrexone), Campral (acamprosate), and ReVia (naltrexone).[3]
  • One-on-one counseling – You will meet with your substance abuse counselor on an individual basis at least one time every week to discuss personal issues, your progress in treatment, your treatment goals, and any concerns you may have.
  • Group therapy – Groups are at the foundation of addiction treatment. Most outpatient sessions are structured in the form of group therapy where you work with other like-minded individuals to reach a common goal of sobriety.
  • Additional services – These may include case management, vocational rehabilitation, job training, or life skills therapy. These services are delivered on an as-needed basis.

A major focus of outpatient alcohol rehab is relapse prevention. Since you are not under constant care and supervision, you need to learn how to live and complete day-to-day tasks without drinking alcohol.

Start Outpatient Alcoholism Treatment in Woburn, Massachusetts Today

When it comes to the alcohol rehab and recovery experience at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we incorporate 12-step immersion, the careful development of a personalized treatment plan, and an effective combination of therapeutic and holistic treatment methodologies. We offer a variety of outpatient programs that are flexible enough to fit any and every schedule.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcoholism, let us help you. Call today to get started.

References:

  1. https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/brochures-and-fact-sheets/alcohol-facts-and-statistics
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761825/
  3. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions

Here Are The Ways Addiction Treatment Can Help With Stress-Management

addiction treatment and stress managementStress is a normal human response to certain triggers or perceived danger. Healthy stress helps keep you motivated to complete tasks and able to adjust to changes in life. Chronic stress, however, can make it difficult to cope.

People who struggle with addiction often experience high levels of stress due to the various pressures and emotions that come with drug and alcohol dependence. At the same time, people in recovery often lack the right coping skills to deal with daily stressors, so situations that wouldn’t be stressful for your average person feel extremely overwhelming to people in early recovery. As a result, it is crucial that patients in addiction treatment learn stress management techniques so they can be successful in their sobriety.

Identify The Main Sources of Stress

There are many different sources of stress you may face in daily life. Anything that puts pressure on you to step outside of your regular routine can cause stress. The problem is you can’t learn how to deal with stress if you’re unable to identify what stresses you out in the first place. And, since stress can promote drug and alcohol use, it’s important to learn how to cope with it.

Addiction treatment programs can help you identify the sources of stress and how to cope. Some common sources of stress include:

  • Work conflict
  • Financial difficulty
  • Family conflict
  • Schoolwork
  • Health problems
  • Social obligations

Treatments Used for Stress Management in Addiction Recovery

There are many different approaches to stress management that are used in addiction treatment. Three of the most popular and effective are:

  1. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)
  2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  3. Exercise

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a popular stress-management approach used by addiction treatment centers. MBSR combines psychotherapy with yoga and meditation to help individuals develop mindfulness.[1] Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of the present moment rather than stewing in the past or anticipating the future. The most important aspect of mindfulness, however, is to be able to accept the current circumstances of your life without judgment.

MBSR lowers blood pressure and stress. It can also improve a person’s self-esteem. Patients who participate in MSBR may even be more likely to stay in treatment for the full duration of their treatment plan compared to others. These far-reaching benefits can improve the chances of staying sober after rehab.

MBSR is usually used in combination with other types of therapy like CBT, holistic therapy, family therapy, and 12-step facilitation.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is at the foundation of both addiction treatment and stress management programs. CBT helps you identify problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to both your addiction and stress. It also helps modify these behaviors and teaches you healthy coping mechanisms so you can cope with stress effectively and prevent relapse.[2]

One particular branch of CBT, trauma-focused CBT, can help people who suffer from trauma-related stressors or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This approach can help individuals cope with the stress that has resulted from traumatic events.

Exercise

Exercise reduces levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is a naturally produced stress hormone, but people who suffer from chronic stress may have elevated levels of it in their bodies. As a result, regular exercise can reduce cortisol levels and stress.[3]

Exercise can also improve sleep quality, reduce cravings, and improve self-esteem. Many addiction treatment programs incorporate exercise into their routine to help patients cope with stress.

The Importance of Stress Management in Addiction Recovery

Stress and substance abuse often go hand in hand. Stress can inspire people to self-medicate using drugs and alcohol–a temporary fix that usually leads to addiction and other consequences. On the other hand, addiction can be stressful. You have to hide your addiction from certain people, struggle with financial problems, and face difficulties in your relationships. As a result, addiction is correlated with increased levels of stress.

While addiction can cause stress and vice versa, many people who struggle with addiction and enroll in a treatment program are unable to cope with stress in a healthy way. The inability to cope with stress, a normal human response to perceived danger, can increase your risk of relapse. That’s why it is crucial to learn how to cope with stress if you are embarking on a journey of recovery.

Find Help Today

Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we not only want to help you get sober, but we want to help you revitalize your life by teaching you how to cope with day-to-day stressors in a healthy way. Our addiction treatment program combines evidence-based therapies with stress management techniques that can help improve your recovery journey.

If you or a loved one struggles with chronic stress and addiction, we can help. Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment has state-of-the-art treatment programs that can help you get your life back on track. Call now to get started.

References:

  1. https://www.apa.org/topics/mindfulness/meditation
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5114797/
  3. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/fulltext/2013/05000/stress_relief__the_role_of_exercise_in_stress.6.aspx

What Are The Long-Term Consequences of Suboxone?

long term risks of SuboxoneSuboxone is a prescription medication that is approved by the FDA to treat opioid dependence. It comes in the form of a sublingual film that dissolves under the tongue and is taken on a daily basis. Suboxone contains two active ingredients: buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine helps stop drug cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms, while naloxone prevents misuse of the medication. When taken as prescribed and combined with a comprehensive addiction treatment program, Suboxone can reduce the risk of relapse in people who were addicted to opioids.

Unfortunately, no medication is 100% risk-free, especially when taken in the long term. Suboxone can be used on a short and long-term basis, however, there are a few significant long-term risks of Suboxone. Learning about these risks can help you decide whether or not Suboxone treatment is right for you.

Short-Term Side Effects of Suboxone

Suboxone may cause mild to severe side effects. Most of the more common side effects are relatively mild and include:[1]

  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Increased heart rate
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Burning tongue
  • Redness in the mouth

These side effects usually go away within a couple of days or weeks. If you end up taking Suboxone and these side effects persist,  your doctor or pharmacist may change your treatment regimen.

Other serious side effects are very rare. These include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Breathing problems
  • Coma
  • Hormone problems
  • Abuse and dependence
  • Withdrawal symptoms

If you take Suboxone and experience any of these side effects, you should call your doctor immediately or dial 911 if you think you are having an emergency.

Consequences of Taking Suboxone Long-Term

Suboxone is generally only used as long as it needs to be. Most people will be weaned off of the medication after a few months. In certain circumstances, long-term maintenance using Suboxone is used to treat opioid dependence. However, there are significant risks associated with long-term Suboxone use. The three most concerning health consequences include physical dependence, hormonal problems, and liver damage.

Physical Dependence

Buprenorphine is one of the two medications in Suboxone. It is a partial opioid agonist that reduces physical withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings. However, the medication has opioid properties that can be physically addictive. Anyone who takes Suboxone for a long time will develop a physical dependence on the medication. Similarly, stopping the medication cold turkey will result in opioid withdrawal symptoms.[2]

If you participate in a Suboxone treatment program, you should never stop taking the medication without first speaking with your doctor. Your doctor can give you a tapering schedule and dose to follow that slowly and safely weans your body off of buprenorphine.

Hormone Problems

Some people who take opioid medications long-term, including buprenorphine, develop reduced cortisol levels. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates several bodily functions ranging from metabolism to immune response. Chronically reduced cortisol levels lead to a condition called adrenal insufficiency.[3]

Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency include:

  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness

Some researchers believe secondary adrenal insufficiency caused by opioid replacement therapy is more common than we currently realize.[3]

Liver Damage

Some studies have suggested that long-term Suboxone use can lead to increased liver enzymes. Increased liver enzymes can cause inflammation or damage to the liver. However, it’s important to note that liver damage was more likely in patients who were living with Hepatitis C (HCV.) HCV causes increased liver enzymes, which is thought to be the sole cause of liver damage in most affected patients. Liver damage is also more likely in patients who misuse and inject Suboxone.[4,5]

Although extremely rare, your doctor may conduct tests to check and monitor your liver function and enzyme levels if you are at high risk for liver disease. Symptoms of liver damage may include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes)

Your doctor will ask you to stop taking Suboxone if you show signs of liver damage.

How to Know When it is Time to Stop Taking Suboxone

Once you start having more stable moods and your cravings are under control, your doctor may speak with you about getting off Suboxone. You should never stop taking Suboxone unless you have approval from your physician and feel confident in your sobriety. Your substance abuse counselor may also be able to help you decide when to stop.

When the time comes to stop taking your medication, your doctor will slowly begin lowering your dose. This allows you to gradually get used to not having Suboxone in your system. A Suboxone taper will also prevent withdrawal symptoms.

Suboxone, like all other aspects of addiction treatment, is highly individualized, so no two individuals are exactly the same. Some people need to stay on the medication for a year or more while others only take it for a few months. It’s vital that you stick to your treatment plan and take the suggestions of your treatment provider.

Find the Support You Need

Even though there are long-term risks associated with Suboxone, it is a highly effective treatment medication when used correctly. Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we can help you decide whether or not opioid rehab with Suboxone is right for you. Our team of renowned doctors, nurses, and addiction specialists know how to use the medication correctly to help you recover from addiction–and we monitor you on a regular basis to prevent adverse side effects. With our opioid treatment program, all of your needs will be met.

If you or a loved one are struggling with opioid addiction, give us a call today.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855417/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8632309/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4496564/
  4. https://pcssnow.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PCSS-MATGuidanceMonitoringLiverFunctionTests-and-HepatitisInBupPatients.Saxon_.pdf
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548871/

The Dangers of Getting Sober Without Rehab

getting sober without rehabAddiction is a chronic and progressive condition that requires professional treatment. Nationwide surveys show that nearly 10% of U.S. adults struggle with substance use disorder at some point in their lives but up to 75% report not receiving any form of treatment.[1] Those who don’t go to rehab often face multiple failed attempts at trying to get sober by themselves. Others spend years desperately searching for a quick fix or a cure-all for their addiction. Those who are not as fortunate end up facing a multitude of devastating consequences, ranging from legal troubles to medical issues and preventable death.

If you are tired of living in a cycle of addiction, you may be tempted to try to get sober without going to rehab. Although there are many how-to guides for at-home detox and more, there are significant dangers associated with getting sober on your own. The safest, most effective route towards sobriety is by attending a drug and alcohol rehab near you. Addiction treatment facilities provide individualized care for drugs, alcohol, trauma, mental health, and more, so you can stay safe, sober, and recover successfully.

Here are some of the biggest dangers of getting sober without drug and alcohol rehab.

The Dangers of At-Home Drug and Alcohol Detox

The first obstacle you have to overcome once you decide to get sober is withdrawal. Drug and alcohol withdrawal occurs when you stop taking a substance that your body has become addicted to. Almost all substances cause withdrawal, and some withdrawal syndromes are more dangerous than others.

Two of the most dangerous types of substances to detox from are alcohol and benzodiazepines. Both substances can cause life-threatening symptoms like irregular heartbeat, hallucinations, and seizures.[2] Medical detox programs can prescribe medications that prevent seizures and reduce other severe withdrawal symptoms. This can help prevent severe complications. If you attempt to detox at home and have a medical emergency, you could end up in the emergency room.

Even when drug withdrawal symptoms are not potentially deadly, they can be extremely intense and uncomfortable. For example, opioid withdrawal can feel like a severe case of the flu accompanied by intense drug cravings and insomnia.[3] Symptoms such as these can make it difficult to get through the detox process without picking up a drink or a drug. That is why so many people fail to complete detox on their own.

The Effects of Getting Sober Without Rehab on Your Mental Health

The physical effects of drug and alcohol withdrawal are painful and dangerous, but they only last for 1-2 weeks. The psychological effects of getting sober, however, can last for several months or even years after you stop using substances.

After detox, you may find that you are still struggling with feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, low-self esteem, regret, and more. Further, multiple surveys have found that nearly 50% of people who struggle with substance use disorder also experience mental illness and vice versa.[4] Whether you have a diagnosable mental illness or not, it is completely normal for your mental health to suffer when you first get sober. After all, it takes time for your mind and body to adjust to living without drugs and alcohol.

A huge part of substance abuse treatment is to learn how to cope with difficult feelings. If you struggle with mental health, behavioral therapy can provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to manage your symptoms. Addiction treatment centers also have mental health professionals on staff who can provide comprehensive evaluations and medications, if needed.

You won’t have access to any of these services if you are getting sober without rehab. Ignoring your mental health can result in relapse.

The Problem With Trying to Maintain Long-Term Sobriety Without Rehab

One of the primary focuses of rehab is to learn how to live sober and prevent relapse. Drug rehab centers accomplish this through a multidisciplinary approach involving:

  • Individualized care that targets your specific needs
  • Behavioral therapy to identify and modify self-destructive behaviors and thought patterns
  • Group therapy sessions that allow you to connect with others and build a sober support network
  • Relapse prevention planning that considers your lifestyle, schedule, and beliefs
  • Aftercare planning that consists of outpatient programs, sober living homes, and alumni events
  • 12-Step facilitation to encourage you to participate in a support group after rehab

Without these services, you may not be prepared to stay sober in the long term. This can be problematic because the risk of overdose increases after periods of sobriety. You see, the body develops tolerance to substances that are abused on a regular basis. When a person stops using a drug, such as heroin or Xanax, their tolerance drops. Some people do not realize this and when they relapse, they use the same dose they used to take when they had a tolerance. Reduced or lost tolerance can cause you to overdose.[5]

Get The Help You Need Today

Getting sober without help from a drug and alcohol rehab center can be dangerous. People who try to do so are often unsuccessful. Instead of struggling on your own, reach out to an addiction specialist at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment. We’ll help you find a flexible treatment option that meets your needs. Call now.

References:

  1. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/10-percent-us-adults-have-drug-use-disorder-some-point-their-lives
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606320/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526012/
  4. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/common-comorbidities-substance-use-disorders/part-1-connection-between-substance-use-disorders-mental-illness
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC153851/

How Are Depression and Addiction Treated?

treatment for depression and addictionMajor depressive disorder, often referred to as clinical depression or simply depression, is a chronic mental health condition characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emptiness that last for several months or years. People who suffer from depression may find it difficult to carry out daily tasks, such as getting out of bed, taking a shower, and cleaning the house. These individuals may struggle to find the motivation to perform well at work or socialize with their peers.

Unfortunately, depression is considered a risk factor for substance abuse since the symptoms of depression often cause people to abuse substances to cope. In fact, people with severe depression are twice as likely to struggle with substance abuse compared to the general population.[1]

Although drugs and alcohol may be able to numb the symptoms of depression on a temporary basis, substances are not an effective solution for depression. Using substances to self-medicate will only lead to the development of an addiction.

When an individual struggles with co-occurring depression and substance use disorder, it’s important they seek proper treatment. Here is what patients can expect during treatment for depression and addiction.

Understanding the Relationship Between Depression and Addiction

Treating co-occurring disorders like depression and addiction begins with psychoeducation. This is because patients must understand their condition in order to overcome it. The good news is both conditions are able to be treated simultaneously due to the overlapping symptoms between depression and addiction. People with both conditions may:

  • Give up on participating in social activities or hobbies
  • Refuse to acknowledge self-destructive behaviors or get help for those behaviors
  • Isolate themselves from friends and family
  • Have issues in their personal relationships at work, home, and school

Depression is one of the most common psychiatric comorbidity among patients who struggle with addiction. People with substance use disorder are nearly three times more likely to struggle with depression than the general population.[1,2]

In some cases, depression comes first, causing individuals to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. In other cases, addiction comes first. Over time, repeated substance abuse alters the chemical processes in the brain, making individuals susceptible to mood changes and mental health issues such as depression.[3] Regardless of which condition appeared first, a dual-diagnosis approach is the key to effective care.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Depression and Addiction

Before starting treatment, individuals must undergo a thorough psychiatric assessment. This assessment helps the clinical team determine an appropriate course of action for the patient. Since treating depressive disorders and co-occurring addictions can be difficult, it’s important to tailor therapies and treatment methods to meet a patient’s individual needs.

Antidepressant Medications

Antidepressant medications (usually SSRIs) are often used alongside behavioral therapy techniques to help correct chemical imbalances in the brain. These medications work by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain, a neurotransmitter that affects mood and energy. While most antidepressants have minor side effects, it can be challenging to find the right fit for a patient.

Three of the most widely used antidepressant medications are:

  • Prozac (Fluoxetine)
  • Zoloft (Sertraline)
  • Celexa (Citalopram)

It’s important to note that antidepressant medications do not treat substance use disorder. They can help balance brain chemicals, but they cannot provide the tools needed to sustain sobriety.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

An integral part of treatment for depression and addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT aims to address destructive thoughts and actions that lead to maladaptive coping mechanisms. During CBT sessions, patients focus on identifying negative thought processes and transforming them into more healthy ones. This can help individuals overcome defeating self-talk and feelings of worthlessness.

Motivational Interviewing (MI)

Both depression and substance abuse can make individuals reluctant to ask for help. Furthermore, depression can make it hard for individuals to find the motivation to stay sober and stick to their treatment plan. As a result, motivational interviewing (MI) is a popular approach used when treating these conditions.

During MI, therapists help patients develop positive perspectives about their lives, recovery, and surroundings. Therapists encourage patients to find internal motivation for recovery and to improve their self-esteem.

Family Systems Therapy

Dual diagnosis treatment programs for depression and addiction are most effective when the patient has a strong support system and when the family is involved. Family systems therapy addresses family-wide problems and communication skills to achieve the following goals:

  • Bring the family closer together
  • Educate family members about depression and the disease of addiction
  • Improve communication skills throughout the household
  • Help family members set and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Establish a healthy and supportive home environment

Support Groups and Lifestyle Changes

While individualized therapy and antidepressant medications can provide patients with the foundation they need to stay sober, it’s important to implement lifestyle changes into one’s recovery. Positive lifestyle changes that can help reduce depression include:

  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Regular sleep schedule
  • Journaling

In addition to healthy habits, it’s important for individuals in recovery to have a support group.[2] Support groups can help individuals stay accountable, avoid isolation, and get connected with other like-minded individuals. Popular choices for support groups include:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • SMART Recovery
  • Alumni groups
  • Church groups

Find Treatment for Depression and Addiction in the Boston Area Today

Left untreated, depression can lead to drug relapse and have other devastating effects on a patient’s wellbeing. Fortunately, dual diagnosis treatment programs in the Boston area specializing in treating both depression and addiction. During treatment, patients are given a variety of resources to control their symptoms and reduce the psychological impacts of their conditions.

Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, our individualized rehab programs are custom-tailored to meet each patient’s unique needs. To learn more about our treatment program or to find help for a loved one, contact us today.

References:

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763416306996
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2851027/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3320727/

What Are My Options for Paying for Rehab Without Insurance?

pay for rehab without insuranceWhen you’ve finally admitted to having a drug or alcohol problem and have accepted help, you’ve made a giant first step towards living a better life. Now, you have to make decisions about where you’ll go to rehab, what type of program you’ll participate in, and how you will pay for treatment. While most people pay for rehab using health insurance, more than 25 million Americans are uninsured.[1]

If you are one of the millions of uninsured Americans, you may be wondering how you can possibly pay for rehab without insurance. Fortunately, there are many ways you can comfortably afford rehab in the Boston area.

Ways to Pay for Rehab Without Health Insurance

People who don’t have insurance often search for non-profit or government-run rehab facilities. Nonprofit and government-funded addiction treatment programs in Massachusetts can be a great option for people who don’t have insurance, however, these programs can also be difficult to get into due to long wait times and short staffing. Sometimes, the waitlist for these programs can be as long as several months–which is way too long to wait when you are struggling with addiction. At the same time, these facilities may not provide the same individualized level of care as private drug rehab centers do.

Instead of waiting for a spot to open up at a free treatment center, consider taking advantage of the many different ways you can pay for rehab without insurance.

Financing/Payment Plans

Many treatment centers in the Boston area provide financing options. If you qualify, you can get set up on a payment plan which allows you to pay back the amount you owe in small, monthly increments. Some payment plans require you to start paying during treatment while others don’t start until after you leave rehab. Making small monthly payments are easier to manage and can lessen the financial burden of paying for rehab outright.

Loans and Credit Options

There are several private financial institutions that provide loans or credit options for people who need help covering healthcare bills. The loan amount you receive will vary depending on your credit score and loan history, however, healthcare loans typically have lower interest rates than regular loans. A few financial institutions where you can apply for loans for substance abuse treatment include:

  • Prosper
  • Lightstream

Additionally, some financial institutions provide low-interest credit cards where credit can be applied to medical bills. These include:

  • CareCredit
  • United Medical Credit
  • AccessOne Credit

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and grants are another great way to pay for rehab without insurance. First, many drug rehab centers in Massachusetts offer private scholarships as a part of their treatment program to help cover the costs of people in need. Scholarships don’t hurt your credit and you are not required to pay the money back.

Second, there are private, state-wide, and national scholarships for substance abuse treatment. These include:

You must qualify and apply to have the chance at getting an addiction recovery scholarship. Scholarships and grants are typically reserved for people who have no other payment options.

Fundraising

If you don’t qualify for financing, loans, or scholarships, you can try fundraising money for treatment. There are many online fundraising platforms that allow people to raise money for healthcare bills. Some of the most popular fundraising platforms are GoFundMe, Donorbox, and OneCause.

Sliding-Scale Payments

Some addiction treatment centers in the Boston area offer sliding-scale payment plans that are based on your income. This means someone who makes more money will have to pay more for rehab, while low-income individuals pay less. It is similar to a “pay what you can” approach, but with requirements regarding the minimum payment due. The money can usually be paid upfront in one lump sum or in the form of monthly payments.

Borrowing Money From Family and Friends

Asking for help isn’t easy, especially when money is involved. However, your friends and family want to see you get healthy, and most of them will do anything in their power to help you. In the end, even the smallest amount helps, so it’s worth a shot to ask your family and friends for private loans to help you pay for rehab if you don’t have health insurance.

Speak With a Trusted Admissions Counselor Today

Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we believe everyone is deserving of quality, individualized care–regardless of their income or financial situation. We recognize that most people who walk through the doors of a rehab facility are struggling financially, and many may not be insured.

That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you figure out how to pay for rehab and afford the care you need without using health insurance. Don’t hesitate to speak with one of our trusted admissions counselors to learn more about your payment options. Call today to get started.

References:

  1. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2020/demo/p60-271.html
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/grants

What is Group Therapy Like in Alcohol Rehab in Massachusetts?

Group therapy is an important part of alcohol rehab programs in Massachusetts. Group sessions bring together like-minded individuals who can relate to one another about past, present, and future challenges.

While addiction is often referred to as a disease of isolation, connection is a crucial part of recovery. Group therapy sessions held during alcohol rehab provide a safe and supportive platform where you can begin making connections in recovery and healing from the effects of alcoholism.

What is Group Therapy?

Group therapy is a type of counseling that involves one therapist and at least two or more patients. When it comes to alcohol treatment, groups are usually composed of the same group of individuals who grow close to one another as the therapy sessions continue. People who struggle with psychological disorders, as well as alcoholism, can benefit from group therapy sessions.group therapy in alcohol rehab

There are many different types of group therapy that may be used during alcohol rehab in Massachusetts. Some of the most popular are:

  • Psychoeducational groups – Focus on providing education and information surrounding the general ideas of substance abuse, mental health, compulsive behaviors, and the consequences of these behaviors.
  • Skill development groups – Teach patients how to cope with triggers, manage financial responsibilities, communicate clearly, and cope with stress, anger, etc.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) groups – Help patients identify distorted beliefs and problematic behaviors while teaching them to combat negative thinking and make positive behavioral changes.
  • Interpersonal process groups – Focus on emotional development or unresolved childhood experiences that have led to poor decision-making or unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Regardless of the type of therapy used, group sessions typically follow a three-phase format:

  1. The beginning phase is when members in the group learn the rules, get to know other members of the group, and get acclimated to the therapy process.
  2. The middle phase consumes most of the therapy session where the group focuses on the primary topic at hand, individual members’ behaviors and emotions, and skill development.
  3. The final phase is when the group moves toward closure by acknowledging the progress made during the session and discussing what will happen during the next session.

What to Expect During a Group Therapy Session

Therapy groups are facilitated by a single therapist or substance abuse counselor who has training in group sessions. The therapist’s role is to open up the conversation, set and enforce guidelines for the session, and maintain a supportive, positive environment. While the therapist may ask questions, give feedback, or encourage participation, most of the sessions are driven by the conversation among group participants.

Therapy sessions usually last 1.5-2 hours. This ensures everyone has time to participate in the session, and that topics are covered in their entirety, without overwhelming or exhausting group members. During inpatient or PHP, group therapy sessions are held on a daily basis. However, in outpatient settings, groups may only be held 1-2 times per week.

Topics Covered During Group Therapy in Alcohol Rehab

One advantage of group therapy is that it covers a wide variety of topics. Oftentimes, the topics discussed during groups come up naturally as you, your group, and your therapist dive into the session. Some topics that may be covered during group therapy in alcohol rehab in Massachusetts include:

  • Drinking habits
  • Relationships
  • Conflict resolution
  • Trauma
  • Mental health
  • Stress management
  • Impulse control
  • Anger management
  • Codependency
  • Self-esteem
  • Self-care
  • Short-term goals
  • Long-term goals
  • Life skills
  • Money management

Benefits of Group Therapy in Alcohol Treatment

Group therapy is a core aspect of alcohol rehab in Massachusetts. It is an extremely effective way of promoting healthy relationships, motivation in recovery, and behavioral changes. The psychosocial aspect of group therapy allows you and your peers to open up with one another about your most painful struggles while providing one another with support.

A few benefits of group therapy in substance abuse treatment include:

  • Connect with other like-minded individuals who understand your struggles as well as your goals
  • Improve your communication skills to help you develop healthy relationships
  • Get feedback from other people with similar beliefs and backgrounds
  • Gain a variety of different perspectives from group members
  • Practice the coping and communication skills you learn in rehab with other individuals
  • Allows your therapist to see how you interact with others so they can better understand your treatment needs
  • Empower group members to use their voice in confident yet respectful ways
  • Educate group members about experiences in addiction and in recovery while the rest of the group acts as a sounding board
  • Learn and practice relapse prevention skills with other members

Group therapy sessions are most effective when the counselor maintains consideration of each patients’ unique treatment needs. When structure, safety, and support are maintained, groups can facilitate healing, connectivity, and improved self-esteem.

Start Alcohol Rehab in Woburn, Massachusetts Today

Group therapy is a great way to build connections with other recovering individuals, develop healthy coping skills, and increase your motivation to stay sober. It is a preferred treatment approach when addressing alcoholism that is highly utilized at our alcohol rehab center in Woburn, Massachusetts.

If you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol addiction and ready to begin your recovery, we’re here to help. Call now to get started.

Treatment Solutions for People Struggling with PTSD and Substance Abuse

treatment for PTSD and substance abuseAccording to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, studies have found that 46.4% of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also met the criteria for substance use disorder (SUD).[1] Addiction, even by itself, is a devastating condition characterized by compulsive substance abuse and loss of control. When PTSD and addiction co-occur, individuals can suffer immensely from a vicious cycle of trying to self-medicate their trauma symptoms and control their substance use. PTSD increases the risk of addiction, and substance abuse exacerbates symptoms of PTSD.

Patients who are affected by PTSD and substance abuse can benefit from trauma-informed care and trauma-focused treatment. Treatment for people struggling with PTSD and substance abuse is most effective when therapists use a patient-centered and collaborative approach that targets the patient’s individual needs.[1]

Treatment Approaches for People With Co-Occurring PTSD and Substance Abuse Issues

Co-occurring PTSD and drug or alcohol use disorder can be difficult to treat, and many individuals with PTSD have poorer treatment outcomes than those who do not have PTSD.[2] However, a trauma-focused approach can help these individuals recover from substance abuse, cope with their trauma, and live fulfilling healthy lives. Here are the top treatment methods used when addressing patients with PTSD and substance abuse problems.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is at the foundation of nearly all addiction treatment programs. CBT is a form of talk therapy that helps patients identify, challenge, and change negative thinking patterns or behaviors that are causing problems. When it comes to treating PTSD, CBT can help individuals reframe their thoughts about their trauma, let go of guilt and shame, and reduce feelings of anxiety.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a trauma-focused approach that addresses self-defeating thoughts and beliefs regarding one’s trauma. It is a form of CBT that follows a series of steps where a person retells their trauma, identifies problematic thinking, and begins to challenge those thoughts, replacing them with healthy affirmations. The goal of CPT is to change the way a person thinks and feels about their traumatic experience.[3]

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET)

Prolonged exposure therapy (PET) is thought to be one of the most effective treatments for PTSD.[2] This approach combines psycho-education, breathing retraining, in vivo exposure (thinking about events that trigger symptoms), and imaginal exposure (recalling a traumatic event).

During PET, the therapist helps the patient practice breathing and relaxation skills to try and regulate their response to distress both during and after exposure sessions. When combined with treatments targeted for substance abuse, PET can significantly reduce a person’s PTSD symptoms and risk of relapse.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR)

Another treatment that is often used for people struggling with PTSD and substance abuse is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). EMDR is a newer therapy that was developed in 1987 for the treatment of PTSD.[4]

During EMDR sessions, a therapist facilitates bilateral stimulation to induce eye movements while the patient recalls a traumatic event. The bilateral stimulation is thought to reduce the vividness of traumatic memories and associated emotions. While other therapies for PTSD focus on thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that result from trauma, EMDR solely focuses on memories and how they are stored in the brain.

Holistic and Alternative Therapies

Holistic therapies, such as art, yoga, meditation, massage, and music can also be used in the treatment of individuals with PTSD and substance abuse issues. All of these therapies can be tailored to meet a patient’s individual needs. Holistic therapies are meant to help individuals become more mindful, learn relaxation techniques, and find healthy outlets to express their emotions. Studies have found that practices like deep breathing, yoga, and meditation can benefit patients who struggle with PTSD.[5]

Pharmacological Therapy

Some patients who struggle with PTSD and substance abuse can benefit from pharmacological treatment.[1] Medications used to treat opioid or alcohol use disorders, such as naltrexone or buprenorphine, may help these individuals cope with drug/alcohol cravings. Additionally, certain medications have been found helpful in treating PTSD and other co-occurring disorders.

Medications that may be used to treat symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
    • Sertraline (Zoloft)
    • Paroxetine (Paxil)
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
  • Other antidepressants like Venlafaxine (Effexor)
  • Beta-blocker medications used for anxiety-like propranolol

These medications do not cure PTSD or addiction. They are intended to be used in combination with a comprehensive addiction treatment program.

Find Treatment for Co-Occurring PTSD And Substance Abuse Today

It is important for people who are struggling with PTSD and addiction to seek help that addresses not only their substance abuse but also their trauma. During treatment, patients should learn how to manage cravings, prevent relapse, and change the way they think and feel about traumatic events.

Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we’re dedicated to helping all patients overcome their past struggles and live healthy, sober lives. If you or someone you love is seeking treatment for PTSD and addiction in the Boston area, please give us a call today. We can’t wait to be a part of your recovery journey.

References:

  1.  https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/cooccurring/tx_sud_va.asp
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3466083/
  3. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/cognitive-processing-therapy
  4. https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/eye-movement-reprocessing
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5939561/

Are 30 Days of Rehab Enough to Keep Me Sober?

30 day drug rehabAddiction is a chronic condition of the mind, body, and spirit. It is something that does not develop overnight, but can quickly spiral into a pattern of life-threatening and compulsive behaviors. When the time comes to get help for your addiction, you want the best possible treatment that meets your individual needs.

There are many different types of addiction treatment programs in the Boston area. Some offer extended-care programs that last 90 days or more. Others offer short-term treatment lasting anywhere from 12 to 30 days. Although evidence shows that programs lasting at least 3 months are the most effective, few people are eager to spend that long in a drug rehab program. But are 30 days of rehab really enough to keep you sober?

There are advantages and disadvantages of a 30-day drug rehab program. The best way to find out if you can benefit from a 30-day treatment program is to speak with a qualified addiction specialist.

How Long Should an Addiction Treatment Program Last?

No two individuals will have the exact same treatment program. While a 30-day drug rehab program may be right for your friend, you may require a program that is more intensive.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), it is vital that all patients remain in treatment for an adequate amount of time. Leaving rehab too early or not receiving care for long enough can result in relapse. NIDA explains,

“The appropriate duration for an individual depends on the type and degree of the patient’s problems and needs. Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment.”[1]

As a result, most addiction treatment programs last at least 90 days in totality. These 90 days may involve multiple levels of care, such as residential treatment, day treatment, IOP, and OP.

The Benefits of a 30-Day Drug Rehab Program

Even though longer addiction treatment programs are generally recommended, there are several benefits of a short-term rehab program, such as:

  • You don’t have to take too much time off of work
  • You don’t take too much time away from family and loved ones
  • There is still enough time to learn about the disease of addiction
  • Co-occurring disorders like depression or anxiety can be diagnosed
  • You learn about recovery-related resources in your area which can help support you once the 30 days are over
  • There is a focus on relapse prevention so you will learn practical coping skills for recovery

A 30-day addiction treatment program can give you a solid foundation for recovery in a short period of time. However, it will not guarantee your long-term sobriety.

Determining The Severity of Your Addiction

The primary factor that will influence how long your treatment program should last is the severity of your addiction. Addiction is formally diagnosed as a “substance use disorder” or SUD. SUD is diagnosed on a scale of mild, moderate, and severe. Some people have mild SUD and can sober up with a brief detox program or a 12-day rehab program. However, others have moderate to severe SUD which requires more extensive, longer-lasting care.

There are several signs of addiction, and the more you identify with, the more severe your addiction is thought to be. Signs and symptoms used to diagnose SUD or addiction include:[2]

  • Developing a tolerance that requires you to use increasing amounts of the drug you are addicted to
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using the drug due to physical dependence
  • Having strong cravings for drugs or alcohol
  • Wanting to stop using drugs or moderate your drug use but being unable to do so
  • Trying to stop using drugs but having more than one failed attempts
  • Isolating from friends, family, and loved ones
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school
  • Continuing to use drugs despite a worsening health problem or life issue
  • Spending excess time obtaining, using, and recovering from drugs
  • Acting out in illegal, reckless, or compulsive behaviors to continue your drug use

If you only identify with 2-3 of the above-listed symptoms, a 30-day drug rehab program may be enough to introduce you to a life of sobriety and provide you with the tools you need to stay sober. However, if you identify with more than 3 of these symptoms, you may need to consider a longer-lasting treatment program.

Is a 30-Day Drug Rehab Program Long Enough To Keep You Sober?

Spending 30 days in an addiction treatment program can benefit anyone who struggles with addiction. One month in rehab is always better than none, and your treatment program can be extended at the end of the 30 days if it needs to be. With that being said, no 30, 60, or 90+ day drug rehab program will guarantee you will stay sober for the rest of your life.

Addiction is a chronic disease, and relapse is part of recovery for many people. The best way to prevent relapse is to continue treating your addiction beyond the completion of your treatment program. A few ways you can safeguard your recovery in the long term are:

  • Enrolling an outpatient or nighttime addiction treatment program
  • Participating in a 12-Step group like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Building a sober support network through an alumni program, recovery-based group, religious group, and/or loved ones
  • Practicing relapse prevention strategies like mindfulness and self-care
  • Participating in individual drug and alcohol counseling after finishing rehab

Ultimately, the answer is no, 30 days of rehab is not enough to keep you sober, but it is enough to get you started on your recovery journey.

Find a Drug and Alcohol Rehab Program That Meets Your Needs

Whether you’re in search of a short-term or long-term drug rehab program in Massachusetts, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Woburn Wellness Addiction Treatment, we offer flexible and individually tailored treatment programs that help you recover at your own pace. Get started on the road to recovery by calling and speaking with one of our dedicated admissions coordinators today.

References:

  1. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3767415/