Despite being marketed as a safe alternative to illegal drugs, synthetic marijuana (also known as K2 and spice) is quickly becoming known as one of the most dangerous drugs people are using today. The labels that distributors place on these products often claim that the substance contains “natural” psychoactive materials taken from variety of different plants. Yet, along with the natural origins of the dried plant material used to create the substance, the ingredients include synthetic compounds composed of toxic chemicals. These chemicals, which are the active ingredients that allow individuals to experience the “high” of the drug, can be life-threatening. Historically, spice mixtures were found in common convenience stores, like gas stations. However, after the discovery of the dangerous compounds used to make these drugs, there was a federal ban issued on the substance in 2012. However, this ban did not halt the distribution of synthetic marijuana, it simply pushed it underground, making the sale and purchasing of the product the same as any other illicit substance.
The amount of negative, life-altering effects that can result from just a single use of this dangerous substance is extensive. It can produce the immediate onset of psychosis. It can cause one to fall into a coma, be thrown into seizures, experience heart palpitations, and, devastatingly, it can result in almost instantaneous death.
At Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems in Lafayette, Louisiana, we understand that suffering from an addiction to synthetic marijuana can wreak havoc on a person’s life, as well as on the lives of those around him or her. In order to help put an end to that impending destruction, we provide specialized programming designed to meet the intensive needs of these individuals. With a clear focus on client care and patient safety, our goal is to provide compassionate, individualized, comprehensive, and high quality care and treatment for individuals who are struggling with psychiatric concerns, chemical dependency issues, or co-occurring disorders. At Vermilion, we aim to promote each individual’s mental, emotional, and social wellness by utilizing proven therapeutic techniques and providing a safe and structured treatment environment that is conducive to true healing and recovery. You do not have to look far for help. We are here for you.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If you have a family member or loved one who has begun using synthetic marijuana, you may be feeling extremely concerned about what effect it is going to have on his or her health, mental state, and, ultimately, on his or her future. The long-term consequences of synthetic drug use continue to be scrutinized, however, it is well known that nothing good can come from it. If you suspect that your loved one is using this dangerous substance, it is imperative that you step in and help him or her receive the treatment needed in order to prevent the onset of these devastating consequences. Here are some things to keep in mind when approaching your loved one:
- Educate yourself as much as possible about the substance. In doing so, you will be able to better recognize the warning signs that someone may be using synthetic marijuana, as well as gain an understanding of ways to prevent future use.
- Present your loved one with your concerns in an open, honest, and candid manner. Provide specific examples of things that are worrisome, and, using the education you gained about the substance, present your loved one with the risks of using the drug.
- Anticipate denial, defensiveness, anger, and hostility. Your loved one will most likely not immediately admit to using synthetic marijuana, but remain patient and do not return his or her anger.
- Take your loved one to get a physical examination from a medical doctor in order to determine if the drug has already caused damage to their physical health.
- Encourage your loved one to seek out treatment options and accompany him or her to any appointments are scheduled.
- Remain unconditionally supportive. Treatment can be a long and difficult process.
Why Consider Treatment at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems
If you have begun using synthetic marijuana, you have probably noticed a number of negative effects beginning to taint your life. In addition to any health complications that may have arisen, you might be noticing that you are suddenly experiencing extreme confusion and disorientation. It might be affecting your ability to perform appropriately at work or school. Additionally, you may have noticed that you have started to isolate yourself from family and friends. Things that were once important to you may no longer seem appealing. Overall, you may feel as though you have started a cycle of drug use that you feel powerless to stop. But you can put an end to it.
Inpatient treatment services are a beneficial way of receiving treatment for synthetic marijuana abuse and addiction. First and foremost, by entering into this type of rehab, individuals are able to enter a safe environment where they can be monitored 24/7 for any negative health problems that may have resulted from their use. Due to the dangerous chemical compounds used in making these drugs, it is impossible to be 100% sure as to how one’s body will react. Through the supervision of mental and medical professionals, individuals are provided with immediate intervention in order to treat the onset of any complications. Additionally, while at this type of treatment clinic, people are shielded from the drug itself as they no longer have access to it. Through various therapeutic approaches and the support of mental health professionals and addiction specialists, this treacherous habit can be successfully overcome.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
For over 30 years, Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems in Lafayette has prided itself in being the most comprehensive, free-standing provider of chemical dependency and behavioral health services in the area, providing exceptional patient care in the safest environment possible. Our multidisciplinary team of addiction specialists and mental health professionals is devoted to maintaining optimal training to increase competency with all of the different populations that we serve. We strive to help our patients explore and process issues and challenges while increasing insight and understanding of their own mental health and chemical dependency concerns. By encouraging family involvement and enlisting community support, we aim to assist those who come to us for care in meeting their treatment goals while in the hospital and beyond.
Types of Treatment Offered at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems
Upon first arriving at Vermilion’s treatment clinic, all patients take part in a free, confidential level of care screening by one of our Assessment and Referral Specialists. After gathering all pertinent information, the A&R Specialist will review the evaluation with one of our psychiatrists, who will then recommend the level of care best suited to meet the patient’s needs.
At Vermilion, we believe in the power of using rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) as our main approach to treatment. We have found this therapeutic model to be successful in treating both acute and short-term lengths of stay due to its effectiveness in working quickly by focusing on skill-building, as well as by identifying and disputing irrational beliefs and cognitive distortions. REBT has also proven to be beneficial in providing extended care for substance abuse concerns, mental health illnesses, and services specific to our military population. By implementing this REBT approach to treatment, the therapeutic interventions that are incorporated at our inpatient treatment clinic include the following:
Detoxification: For those adolescents and adults who come to us dealing with a history of synthetic marijuana abuse, we provide fully-monitored medical detox services. As part of the 12-step model of recovery, we implement the idea of “rational recovery,” designed to provide individuals with recovery skills that can last a lifetime and prevent future struggles with addiction.
Medication management: Patients who are suffering from a co-occurring disorder may receive medication in order to treat any symptoms they are experiencing. Meetings with a psychiatrist occur on a regular basis in order to monitor the effectiveness of any medication that is prescribed and to make any necessary changes.
Group therapy: Group therapy is the main component of treatment at our inpatient addiction rehab. Various groups are held on a daily basis and may include discussions on:
- Relapse prevention
- Mental illness education
- Anger management and conflict resolution
- Healthy relationship building
- Developing effective communication skills
- Medication education
- Holistic wellness
Individual therapy: Individual counseling sessions are held on an as-needed basis and provide patients with time to meet alone with their therapist in order to discuss any concerns they have.
Family therapy: We believe that positive changes are initiated through the family unit as a whole, so we strongly encourage our patients’ family members to actively participate in the therapeutic process. Family sessions are designed to address issues that affect the entire family and begin the process of identifying solutions. We also provide educational sessions for our patients’ family members so that they can learn how to most effectively help their loved ones.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT): This form of therapy is designed to help people create a rich and meaningful life, while developing the skills needed to effectively handle the pain and stress that comes with life’s experiences.
In order to provide a fully comprehensive therapeutic experience, Vermilion also offers expressive therapies, experiential therapies, and recreation therapy.
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
At Vermilion’s rehab clinic in Lafayette, LA, we believe that thorough planning is critical to ensuring a patient is discharged into the most supportive environment possible after his or her inpatient stay. By doing so, we are able to promote a positive continuity of care, maximize stabilization, and minimize the need for re-hospitalization. Our social services staff works with each patient’s treatment team to develop a discharge plan based on the patient’s needs, resources, preferences, family involvement, location of residence, and community resources. With patient consent, this plan is then passed on to the designated discharge planner who initiates referrals, schedules appointments, and finalizes any other necessary arrangements.
Whatever your needs may be, the staff at Vermilion Behavioral Health Systems will do everything in their power to get you back on the road to a happy, healthy life.