Confronting a Friend About Alcoholism for the First Time

A common occurrence among alcoholics and friends of alcoholics is denial. We oftentimes deny that there is ever a problem with alcohol because it is such an uncomfortable subject to approach. Other times it can be difficult to tell whether someone truly has a problem with alcohol.

However, if you are concerned about a friend’s drinking, it is alright to approach them. By skillfully approaching the subject, you can hopefully help them make important, potentially life saving changes.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 15 million adults ages 18 and over qualify for having alcohol use disorder. That’s more than 6.2% of the adult population in the United States. Odds are, you know at least one person with alcohol use disorder. Since only about 6.7% of those 15 million ever get clinical treatment, the odds are also high that you know someone who needs help.

While it can be uncomfortable to approach someone regarding their alcohol usage, there are some steps you can take to ensure that you do more to help than to hurt. Here are general guidelines for bringing up and discussing the subject in the most supportive way possible.

Confronting A Friend About Alcoholism For The First Time

Time Your Approach Carefully.

The first thing to keep in mind when planning your approach is to talk with them while they are sober. You’ll have a much better chance of reaching them if they aren’t under the intoxication of chemical substances.

If your friend is someone who is frequently drunk and it’s difficult to find a moment of sobriety, then you may want to try them early in the morning or during a period when they are supposed to be sober, such as while driving or at work.

It’s also best not to approach your friend during times of great stress or anguish. The added difficulty of dealing with alcoholism on top of personal issues may cause them to shut down. Instead, try to find them at moments of relative peace and solitude.

Approach as a Friend, not an Authority

Make sure they know you’re approaching as a friend, not an authority. Some people assume that taking a hard-line approach is the way to go, but you may wind up only alienating your friend further and hurting them even more. Scolding a child or a pet for their behavior may work, but you need to have respect for your friend as an individual with free agency.

Instead of condemning them, take a compassionate approach and use non judgemental language. Don’t label the person as an alcoholic or demand that they get treatment. Simply offer your love and support as a friend and state your concerns about their drinking.

Friends Talking

Offer Help, Don’t Demand It

It’s important to offer your help as a friend and loved one, not to demand that your friend seek it. You can tell them about treatment options, or just urge them to consider an assessment by an addiction professional. You’re not there to save them, you’re just there to let them know that they have a friend available who is concerned about their well-being.

If your friend is ready for help, you can come prepared with treatment centers, counselor contact information, and directions to local AA meetings. You can even offer to drive them if they need it. They may refuse to seek help, and in this case there is not much you can do. A person who gets treatment for addiction needs to be ready to receive it.

State the Consequences

When speaking with your friend, make sure to mention specific instances or events that made you concerned about their drinking. This could be one too many nights they can’t remember, a drunken brawl, or destroyed property. Chances are that there have been multiple events you can reference.

Sometimes however, alcoholism can be more subtle and less physically evident. This doesn’t make the pain and destruction of the disease any less valid. Your friend may have grown distant or verbally abusive. They may appear depressed, anxious, and aloof. You should mention the specific ways that their drinking has affected your relationship in negative ways. Using real, concrete examples brings their drinking behavior into the real world.

You can also look up information about the health consequences of drinking. Explain how drinking can be negatively impacting their health and how it can only continue to cause harm.

Friends drinking

Be Prepared With a Plan of Action

If your friend winds up being open and receptive to the idea, you will want to have some sort of plan of action in place. Have some concrete steps for them to take, such as the location of nearby AA meetings and treatment providers who work with their insurance.

In some situations, it may be useful to call treatment centers and get pricing information beforehand. You can have admissions representatives hold a bed for your friend so that it only takes one car ride to begin treatment.

In some cases, the situation may not be so dire as to need treatment. In these cases, you can provide your friend with informational resources or the contact information of another friend in recovery. Offer your love and support and make sure that they know this conversation stays between you two.

Be Prepared For Pushback

Some people may become hostile when they are confronted with their drinking problem. It’s important to stay resolute and not cave to their pressure. Try not to take their hostility personally, as it’s a natural defense mechanism to deny a problem and direct the anger back at the accuser.

If your friend becomes angry, it’s best to remain calm and approach them at a different time. However, do not consider this backing down. Restate your concerns and tell them that if they continue to drink this way, you will continue to have an issue. Assure them you will be there to offer love and support and that you only wish to see them well.

There you have it! Every person and situation is going to be different, but these are some general guidelines for approaching a friend about alcoholism.


About the Author

Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Recovery, a chain of drug and alcohol rehab facilities in Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Indiana. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years with a new emphasis on recovery. Before his ventures into healthcare, Matthew graduated from Duke University in 2011 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After Duke Matthew went on to work for the Boston Consulting Group before he realized his true passion lies within Recovery. His vision is to save a million lives in 100 years with a unique approach to recovery that creates a supportive environment through trust, treatment, and intervention.


 

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8 Steps to a Calmer Mind in 2019

Addiction recovery can be a stressful time for anyone.  If you’re not in the right frame of mind, it can be difficult to find the strength or motivation.   The daily stresses of modern life can all chip away, reducing your willpower to overcome addiction.  Even simple things such as getting too many emails, forgetting what you’re supposed to be doing today, or tiredness caused by lack of sleep.

It’s important to remember that stress comes in many forms; in fact we may not even realize that we are stressed.

When you’re pre-occupied by work, family, health concerns or even the task of overcoming your addiction, you may not realize you’re constantly carrying tension in your shoulders, in your neck or in your head.  You may not consider that you’re not as happy as you could be, and that things are getting you down.

Taking the time (however small), to work on calming your mind can help you to recognize your stressors, and better cope with them.

So here are 8 steps you can take to a calmer mind in 2019:

8 Steps to a Calmer Mind in 2019

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness has grown massively in the past few years.  A kind of “meditation lite”, it involves focusing on the present, such as focusing on your breath, focusing on the sounds around you or the really tuning in to the food you eat.   There are 100s of mindfulness activities to choose from, some taking as few as 1-10 minutes.  There’s no right or wrong activities, just choose whichever works for you.

It’s important to remember that mindfulness practice takes time and not to put pressure on yourself about whether you’re doing it right or not.

Numerous studies show that mindfulness can help to calm people’s mind and enable them to cope better with daily stresses, thoughts and emotions.

A recent British study found that 11 minutes of mindfulness per day significantly reduced alcohol consumption for “at risk” drinkers.

Calm peaceful scenery

  1. Look After Your Gut Bacteria

Gut health is another field of research which is moving rapidly.   It was not that long ago that scientists made the connection that the gut in essence is the body’s second brain.

There is increasing evidence linking gut bacteria to depression, anxiety, and behavioral responses to addiction.  Taking a daily probiotic is one way of maintaining the healthy balance needed for good gut health.

There are dozens of different probiotics on the market, each with different proposed benefits. Lactobacillus (L.) rhamnosus for example is well researched in helping against anxiety. 

Exercise stretch

  1. Get More Exercise

There are hundreds of studies linking exercise with improved mood and ability to copy with situations we find difficult.  Some people like exercise more than others, but the key thing to remember is that exercise should not be boring.  If you don’t enjoy it then it becomes another drain on your resources.

If you don’t like high intensity workouts for instance, you could try Yoga which helps maintain good posture, flexibility and works on core strength.  Yoga is also an excellent way of calming the mind in itself. 

  1. Create Goals You Can Achieve

When we set unrealistic goals and don’t achieve them, we get down, lose momentum and get stressed out about the future.  Making a habit of setting small but achievable goals is a great way of putting yourself into a calmer more positive frame of mind.  Good goals should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

A goal to go out for a 5 minute walk, within the next two weeks for instance could be an objective which might sound small and insignificant, but it could be a stepping stone onto a bigger goal. 

  1. Turn off Daily Stressors

If it’s causing you stress, doesn’t benefit you and can be removed, take it out of your life.

Technology is a common, constant stressor for most people.  Getting constant notifications when you’re trying to relax, or focus on something important is not helpful.  If you don’t really need them, switch them off.

Most phones have sophisticated settings to select which apps can and can’t send you push notifications.  

Read a book outdoors

  1. Take a Break

Many of us are so preoccupied with modern life that we forget to switch off, to do something we enjoy or to give our brains a rest.  Our brains weren’t designed to be stimulated for most of the day.  In fact humans lived for thousands of years at a much slower pace.    Make a habit of being in nature, zoning out or doing things you enjoy to give yourself a rest.

  1. Eat Your Way to a Calmer Mind

What we eat has a huge effect on our emotions and mindset.  Consider eating more:

  • Oats – Credited with mild sedative properties.
  • Dark chocolate – Is a natural mood enhancer, improving serotonin levels and helping to reduce the stress response.
  • Complex carbohydrates – Such as whole meal bread, pasta, etc.. provide even energy and a host of B vitamins which promote brain health.
  • Eggs – Contain tryptophan which helps to create serotonin (happy hormone).
  • Fatty fish – Such as salmon, sardines, mackerel contain high levels of Omega-3 which can help to reduce depression and anxiety levels. Or consider supplementation.

Drink herbal tea

  1. Switch From Caffeine

Caffeine comes in many forms: tea, coffee, cola etc..  It’s part of a habit for millions of people worldwide, but if you want to be calmer then it may be best to switch away.  This is because caffeine is a stimulant.  It triggers the release of adrenaline which is associated with the stress (fight or flight) response.  You might not feel it, but caffeine can play a background role in keeping our stress-levels elevated and fight against our ability to truly relax.

Many herbal teas such as chamomile and green tea are associated with reduced cortisol levels (stress hormone). 


About The Author 

Article written by Oliver Neely on behalf of Step up Inn in Connecticut, USA.  Step Up Inn is a sober living home for women, designed to provide a safe and calm environment to aid people in their transition from rehab to normal life.


 

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Give Your Mental Health A Boost This Year With These Strategies

It’s a whole new year, which means that this month is the perfect time to take a look at your life, your health and your wellness and consider how you can change and improve each aspect of that. By taking your health and wellness more seriously, you can improve your quality of life, and ensure that you have the best year ever, allowing you to start next year in the most amazing place, health-wise.

If there’s one area of your life that you should consider focusing on this year, it’s your mental health, after all, this is a key area of your health and wellness, and one that very few people put enough time and effort into taking care of.

Wondering what it takes to give your mental health a boost this year? Have a read of the tips and ideas below!

Peace meditate

Photo source: Pixabay

Be more active

One way to enhance your mental health this year is to take steps to become more active. If you want to give your mental health a boost and improve how happy you are, becoming more active is a great way to go about it. Physical activity isn’t only beneficial for physical health, but also for mental health because it helps to reduce feelings of stress, tension and anxiety, which is what makes being more active so important for your mental health. Whether you choose to take up running, swimming or yoga, it doesn’t matter – all that matters is that you’re taking your mental health seriously by taking steps to be more active to help improve your emotional wellness.

Seek support

There’s no shame in seeking support, should you need it. When it comes to your mental health, it’s important to understand that there is no shame in taking the time to get support, should you need it. Regardless of what the problem is and whether you need anxiety counselling, sex addiction counselling or support for another mental health problem, it’s essential that you feel like you can seek the support that you need without needing to feel embarrassed about it. If you are struggling, one of the best things that you can do is seek support, which is why it’s so important that you understand this.

Do what makes you happy

Want to improve your mental health this year? Then, it’s essential that you do what makes you happy. When it comes to mental health and happiness, these two things tend to go hand in hand, with you being less prone to develop mental health problems if you do what makes you happy. Spend more time doing the things that you love and less time doing what other people want you to do – this is important as it could have a huge impact on your mental health and wellness.

There you have it, everything that you need to know about giving your mental health and wellness a boost this year. Take note of the tips and advice above and you can make the whole process much easier for yourself.

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How to Help Your Loved One from Addiction

Addiction is a complex disease. Millions of Americans suffer from addiction and in the past decades, addiction has continued to grow. As a result, addiction statistics has reached an alarming rate. If you are reading this post, you have definitely someone grappling with addiction. Maybe your loved one, friend, spouse or colleague. Helping your loved one recover from addiction can be daunting. Fortunately, there are many drug and alcohol treatment centers that offer various addiction treatment. Before you search for the recovery centers of America, it is significant to know whether your loved one is definitely struggling from addiction.

Identifying the addition in your loved one is one of the most challenging tasks. Your loved one may not agree with addiction as they don’t want to change what they are doing. Sometimes they feel embarrassed to share their addiction problem with you. Each case is different and utmost knowledge about addiction is imperative to deal with your addicted loved one. Fortuitously, with your timely support and help addiction recovery in your loved one is possible. This post will walk you through the essential pieces of information you need to help your loved one from addiction.

How To Help Your Loved One From Addiction

Tell-tale signs that your loved one is in addiction 

If you are keen to help your loved one, then you should have an informed knowledge of addiction symptoms and other factors. Genetical, psychological, and environmental factors are the risks associated with addiction. People who are addicted will behave differently and it depends on the severity of the addiction. Different substances pose several consequences on the individual’s health. However, there are common signs and symptoms to look for which includes both physical and behavioural attributes

  • Looking intoxicated more and more often.
  • Being isolated and poor hygiene.
  • Stealing money for obtaining drugs.
  • Stammered speech and shakiness.
  • Behaving in an abnormal manner and becoming angry, sad too often.
  • Pupils dilated and poor memory.
  • Dropping out of school, office and neglecting personal relationships & commitments.
  • Insomnia and being restless all the time.
  • Lying too often and lashing out when questioned about their drug abuse.
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Being aware of the symptoms of addictions, you will be able to help your loved one recover from addiction. Moreover, individuals may have mental disorders and use drugs occasionally to relieve their stress & depression. On the other hand, few individuals have chronic addiction and can’t live life without abusing substances. Therefore it is essential to scrutinize when your loved one started using drugs or alcohol and what caused them to do so. Knowing all these things will help you identify the right drug and alcohol treatment centers for your loved one.

Mobile addiction

Ways to help your loved one from addiction 

Having a sound knowledge of addiction and addiction symptoms will help you. Moreover, you can’t fix your loved one’s addiction problem directly. Perhaps you need expert guidance and here are the ways to help your loved one.

Intervention 

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) says addiction is a complex and chronic disease which requires a medical intervention to overcome. In most cases simply talking with your loved ones don’t work, hence an intervention is required. Intervention is an organized conversation between an addict and the supporter, supervised by an intervention specialist. The best thing about intervention is the addict gets an opportunity to talk about their feelings and difficulties faced. An intervention can also be staged by a group of peoples including friends, family and intervention professionals.

During the intervention, these people come together to confront your loved one and make him accept the addiction treatment. The ultimate goal of the intervention is to motivate your loved one towards the addiction treatment and provides essential guidelines. Intervention helps your loved one identify the destructive behaviors and the negative consequences of addiction to one’s health.

Pill addiction

Encourage for an addiction treatment 

You may notice destructive behavioral patterns shown by your loved one and day by day the brain’s functions are also depleting. Owing to the long-term addiction its is high-time that your loved one should get a professional treatment. The severity of addiction differs among the individuals and depends upon the type of substance abused. Drug and alcohol treatment centers offer various addiction treatment including detoxification, inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient rehabilitation, therapies, counseling, and 12-step programs. There are also short-term treatments offered by the recovery centers of America, where your loved one can receive expertise treatment without hampering personal & professional work. Initially, your loved one may be reluctant of getting an addiction treatment as they feel embarrassed to discuss it with a professional. An open talk between you and your loved one will help on encouraging the addict to seek a treatment.

In an event of a relapse 

A relapse is just an additional factor during the addiction recovery. Your loved one may have abstained from drugs and lived sober for months & years. However, due to the negative happenings & circumstances of life, your loved one might have turned back to the addiction and this is called a relapse. This kind of relapsing behavior could be disappointing for you and the addicts family. It is necessary to understand the fact that relapse is very common during an addiction treatment and is an “additional factor”. A new treatment approach can be provided for your loved one’s relapsing behavior. A relapse is considered serious if the individual refuses to stop the substance use and denies for an addiction treatment. You can help your loved one stop relapsing by removing the substances from the home that tempts to relapse or triggers the cravings. Your loved one and you can find new activities and pursue new hobbies together to avoid relapses.

Wrapping up- “Strong people don’t put others down. They lift them up.” 

Helping your loved one from addiction is possible! It requires earnest efforts and patience. The more you know about addiction the more you will help your loved one towards the recovery. Do not hesitate to get professional help and do approach the recovery centers of America for the right addiction treatment. Be strong, bold and aggressive to help your loved one face the greatest challenge of addiction recovery. After all, recovery is possible with your great support and compassion for your loved one.

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How to Manage Chronic Pain without Harming Yourself in the Process

Addiction can happen for a number of reasons. It may be because you are going through a hard time in your life right now or it could even be because you are constantly in pain and need to take something to try and alleviate the symptoms. Either way, taking certain kinds of pain relief can be very addictive and if you want to help yourself then it is a good idea for you to try and avoid them altogether by managing your pain holistically. If you want to find out more about that then you can find out whatever you need to know right here.

Learn Deep Breathing

Deep breathing and meditation can really help your body to relax. This can ease pain and it can

also help to relieve any tension as well.  There are so many ways that you can try and relax after a hard day, and when you give it a go for yourself, you will soon see how beneficial it can be to your mind and to your body. When you do relax, you need to try and focus on your breathing, and you also need to ignore your thoughts as well. Sometimes it may help to repeat a certain word or phrase. This can be your mantra, as this can also help you to achieve that relaxed state. If you struggle with the thought of meditation or if you feel as though it’s something that you just can’t do then it is a good idea for you to take a class. When you do this, you can easily learn more about the various techniques you can use, and you can also get to know yourself and your body as well. Find a nice and quiet location, get your body into a comfortable position and block out any thoughts that might be distracting. Then, picture a spot just underneath your navel. You want to try and breathe into that spot. Let your abdomen fill up with air and then let it lift you up. You should feel yourself inflate like a balloon. When you do this, you can then begin to understand how responsive your body is and this can help you to deal with pain as well. This is especially the case if you are able to focus yourself and your thoughts enough.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-holding-gray-ceramic-mug-846080/

Reduce Stress

Negative feelings such as stress, anger, anxiety and even depression can really increase your body’s sensitivity to pain. If you are somehow able to take control of this stress then you may find a good amount of relief from chronic pain. There are several techniques out there that can help you to reduce pain and they can also be used to promote relaxation as well. You can try and listen to calming and even soothing music, not to mention that you can also help to make your chronic pain much more bearable. There really are a ton of relaxation tapes out there that you can use to try and unwind. On top of this, they can also help you to get that mental escape. This can help you to feel way more at peace, not to mention that it can be a good idea for you to picture images that will really help you to focus on something else. Progressive muscle relaxation is another technique that you can use to try and reduce pain as well, so you might want to look into this.

Natural Endorphins

Endorphins are brain chemicals that will improve your mood. They work by blocking out pain signals. Of course, it’s important to know that exercise has another pain-reducing effect because it helps you to strengthen your muscles and it also helps you to stop yourself from being re-injured as well. Exercise can also help you to keep your weight down, and this is great if you want to control your blood sugar, reduce your risk of having a heart attack and diabetes. If you have a certain condition then you may want to consult your doctor because they will be able to work with you to make sure that the activity is suitable for your needs. If you are living with chronic pain then it’s a good idea to look into Cartia as it will help you to reduce inflammation without causing stomach ulcers or other side effects.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/back-view-beach-clouds-dawn-185801/

Join a Support Group

When you are with people who also suffer from chronic pain, they can understand what you are going through. This can also help you to feel less alone as well. You can benefit from some of the wisdom that they have to offer and you can also help yourself to cope at the same time. You might also want to consider meeting up with a mental health professional. It is very easy to develop depression if you are living in constant pain, not to mention that counselling is another option as well. The last thing that you need is to have constant negative thoughts as this can really help to make your pain worse. Remember that asking for help is a symbol of strength and not weakness, too.

Track your Pain Level

If you want to effectively manage your pain then your doctor really does need to know how you have been feeling. If you do this all from memory then you may feel as though the pain is endless and that it is equally the same every single day. This probably isn’t the case, so it is a good idea for you to keep a “pain score”. When you do this, you can then effectively track your pain and you can also take note of the activities that you did every single day. You can then take your logbook to the doctor as well, as this will help them to gain a good understanding of how you are living and your physical level of activity. The more information you can give them, the more they will be able to help you so if you need to, keep a diary detailing all of your symptoms and the times you experienced them at.

Learn Biofeedback

Believe it or not, when you experiment with biofeedback, it is more than possible for you to have complete control over your bodily functions. You wear sensors that help you to see things like your pulse, your digestion, the temperature of your body and even your muscle tension as well. You can then try and teach yourself to control those beeps and wavelengths. Of course, it may take a few sessions before you can start to learn all the skills you need but at the end of the day, it can be a fantastic way for you to boost your own understanding.

Get a Massage

Massage can be a fantastic way for you to relieve stress. If you have never been for one before then now is a great time for you to get started.  Of course, it helps to direct the massage at the part where you feel pain., This could be in your back, your joints or anywhere else for that matter. When you do this, you can then feel confident knowing that you are actively dealing with the problem and this can also promote relaxation as well. Some massages are specifically designed to ease pain as well, so it is worth looking into this as it can really help you to feel better at the end of each session. You may need more than one session to reap the full benefits, but it is really worth giving it a go.

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10 Myths About Drug Addiction That Aren’t True

People love to talk about drug addiction and the harmful effects it has on the lives of those who indulge in it. Most of what people say is common and can be traced to a word of mouth process that dominates how people feel about one of the world’s most serious problems. In this article, we will try to eliminate some myths that revolve around the subject. Be warned – preconceptions can be challenging.

  1. Drug Addicts Can End Their Addiction at Any Time

It is not a choice that drug addicts are making. If you feel they can end their addiction at any time, well, they cannot. Drug addicts need a lot of time, love and patience in order to come out of their addiction. It may take many months, so you need to be calm and understanding to them.

  1. Everyone Who Uses Drugs is an Addict

People take drugs for a number of reasons. They take it when they feel like, or because they need to counter a psychological problem. Addiction, however, is not something that happens to them in their control. People can be addicted at any time – and they may not even realise it.

  1. Drug Addiction is a Moral Issue for The Addict

Addicts don’t choose to be addicted. In fact, most of them would be very happy to get rid of their problems. It would be incorrect to label them as faulty in character. If they really had a choice, the picture would have been different.

  1. Leaving the Addiction Is A Single Step Process

One of the other things people do is to appear for just one step of the treatment process. The rehab programmes are long and need dedication, so a one-step solution is no solution at all.

medical doctor

  1. Treatment Is A Farce and It Does Not Work

Every year, thousands of people are rehabilitated from their addictions. There is no reason to not believe in treatment – it is the only solution. It works better than the emotional methods adopted by most people!

  1. People Need to Be at Their Lowest to Seek Treatment

The quicker the addiction is treated, the better it is for those in need of it. People make the serious mistake of waiting till the last moment to apply for treatment. This could possibly worsen the situation of the addict.

  1. Everyone Can Be Treated in The Same Manner

Everyone who is administered to a rehabilitation programmed must have a dedicated plan that is unique to their needs only. For example, an adolescent rehab program will be different from that of any other similar or different program. Using the same treatment for two different people won’t work.Everyone Succeeds at The First Attempt to Rehabilitation

Not everyone comes out clean after rehabilitation. It may so happen that the first attempt to rehabilitate the addict fails. In such cases, the only way forward is by making a second attempt. Giving up should never be considered. Maybe the second attempt will turn out to be better than a first!

  1. People Will Never Touch Drugs After Treatment

Drug addiction is chronic, and people who have once been addicted may be affected again. It is not a matter of choice, so do not be harsh on the affected individual if you catch them with the substance a second time.

  1. Addicts Can Be Easily Identified by Their Behaviour

People believe that addicts can be easily identified by the way they behave. Actually, this is not quite true. You may not realise a person is an addict until you stumble across material evidence. Trained professionals could only tell the difference.

We often believe what we are told, and that too, without verifying the truth behind each statement we accept. For a person addicted to narcotics, it requires a lot of love, care and time for them to return to normal life. Impatience, arrogance and not understanding their problems may not be the best way to deal with them. Use a rehabilitation service, speak to doctors and try hard for them to get back to where they belong – in the cycle of daily life, free from the clasp of addiction.

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Understanding The Therapeutic And Restorative Benefits Of Healing Gardens

Gardens have been touted for their therapeutic benefits for centuries. Horticulture therapy grew exponentially after World War II as a result of the many veterans who were hospitalized after the war. In the recent past, the benefits of spending time surrounded by beautiful plants in a peaceful garden setting have become even more clear. These days, horticulture therapy is a commonly used treatment that is designed to promote wellness in both body and mind.

Healing gardens, which include therapeutic gardens and restorative gardens, are created with the goal of promoting the well-being of anyone who enters them. The design of these gardens can vary depending on the purpose for which they are created.

The term healing garden is used to describe any garden that is designed to improve the health and well-being of the people who spend time visiting it. You can often find these gardens outside of hospitals or in other areas where health care services are offered. Therapeutic gardens, which are often incorporated into bigger healing gardens, are designed to complement traditional treatment options such as physical therapy or occupational therapy.

Restorative Gardens, on the other hand, are designed to help people reconnect with their inner selves through observing the beauty around them or meditating in a quiet space. You can find these gardens in both private and public settings. The ultimate goal of a restorative garden is to reduce stress and to promote better mental health and physical well-being. 

Understanding The Therapeutic and Restorative Benefits Of Healing Gardens

Healing Garden Benefits

Healing gardens provide countless benefits. Not only can they lower anxiety levels but they can also reduce blood pressure, minimize pain, and can even help counteract depression. People who visit these gardens may be able to get by with lower doses of medication. They may also feel more satisfied with their treatment and may be able to leave the hospital or healthcare facility sooner. In a work environment, healing gardens can also lower turnover rates while at the same time helping employees feel more satisfied with their jobs.

The healing powers of nature have been backed up by recent research. For instance, a study conducted by Texas A and M’s Dr. Roger Ulrich discovered that patients recovered more quickly when they had windows that looked out onto trees or nearby gardens when compared to patients whose windows only offered a view of a brick wall.

Man walking through garden

What Makes Healing Gardens Different Than Standard Gardens?

The goal of a healing garden is to create a plant-filled area that has therapeutic and restorative properties. They are designed to support both physical and mental health and well-being.

Patients with mobility issues often are led by physical therapists through the garden. People who have suffered from strokes, on the other hand, may be asked to pay attention to the plants on either side of their body, identifying the ones that they can see. Activities like watching birds or listening to music in the garden can promote better social interaction. These gardens can also be used by speech therapists to improve cognitive function or to further communication skills. Children who are hospitalized can greatly benefit from playing in these gardens. Ultimately, they are designed to help patients gain strength and mobility, increase their endurance, and improve their cognitive functions.

According to the American Horticulture Therapy Association, these seven features are what define therapeutic gardens:

  • A design that focuses on accessibility
  • Regular activities that follow a specific schedule
  • A clearly defined boundary
  • A number of different types of plants that are chosen specifically for people/plant interactions
  • Plants that are naturally resistant to pests and disease, eliminating the need for chemicals in the garden. Plenty of shaded areas where patients can rest. Water can also help and be therapeutic – look at these water fountain ideas.
  • An inclusive design that accommodates people with a range of abilities.
  • Gardens that are designed to be therapeutic should have a simple, cohesive design
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Helping Your Children Cope With Your Recovery

Sobriety is a hard-won and hard-fought status of being. You have battled through the toughest fight you have ever had and now you’re trying to stay on the straight and narrow. Just because you have had a month or even just a week of being sober from your addiction, doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods yet. What can put us back into a relapse is our lifestyle. Too much stress in your life can cause you to go hunting for trouble you know you should avoid. We all have certain things we do when we want to relax. Some of us drink a glass of wine, smoke a cigarette, or make comfort food. Sooner than we would hope, we end up doing more of these things than we should. In the meantime, we have families to raise, children to help go to school and help them with their homework, do the laundry and make dinner. They are the going through a tough time just as you are, but in different ways. You as their parent, need to help them cope with your lifestyle so they can remain a healthy part of your life.

A needless burden

Children must be talked to about your addiction and your planned recovery. They have to realise that it’s not their fault that mother or father are going through a tough time. Children might feel anxious to talk about it and this can lead to them blaming themselves. They can see that their parents are going through a painful time, and that their home life isn’t like any of the other kids at school. One way you can help children to cope with your recovery is to inform them of your routine or when you need some alone time. It’s best that they know what makes you calm down, what they can do to not bother you when you need to relax and when they can help make life easier by helping out around the kitchen, or with housework etc. They need not carry the same burden you are, so help them to help you.

Parenting in Recovery

In need of care

When you have children that are disabled, going through recovery can be destabilizing to their own way of life too. Yet if you’re a single parent or even a two working parents household, helping your disabled children can become life-altering. They are already not like normal children, they need extra care to get ready for school and putting their clothes on, support with eating and understanding the homework assigned to them. That’s why you should consider an in home care giver that can take over the responsibilities for your disabled children. You have to focus on beating your demons, and you can’t do that when so much of your time is consumed with helping the kids. The care givers are checked properly by the police and their credentials are matching the quality of care required. If you don’t understand the disability care system, the company can also help you through it, so you can get the right kind of care for your child who may have a particular disability that is not common.

A place to speak

Children that have parents that are battling their demons often feel alone. They feel as if they can’t talk to their parents about some issues they worry about, such as ending up in a foster home, losing their parents and possibly being homeless. For these kinds of situations they need to be given and outlet where their voice can be heard. That’s why giving them the option of counselling is a very good avenue to send them down. With a counsellor, they can share their thoughts and anxieties, which can end up helping you to understand what they are going through also. It might just end up leading to you becoming a better parent, adjusting your lifestyle to abate their worries and adapting to a different lifestyle to help them cope. Sometimes, it’s just a good idea for kids to vent and let off some steam. They might be shy in front of their friends and fearful that they might get picked on and bullied for having parents going through addiction recovery.

The relationship between you and your children will obviously go through a little strain when you’re battling addiction. But on the road to recovery, you can do many things to help them cope with your new lifestyle needs. Counselling is certainly one of the best outlets they can use to vent their frustrations. Getting extra care for kids with disabilities will help make your life easier so you can get back on your feet quickly.

 

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Addiction’s Toll on the Body

Addiction can have many dire consequences to our mind and body and therefore we must overcome them. Many of us do not realize how overusing both drugs and alcohol can damage every part of the body in different ways. Addiction is a difficult thing to overcome, but knowing the facts can help to bring a new perspective on the situation. Here are just a few ways in which addiction takes its toll on the body.

Addiction's Toll On The Body

The Brain and Mental Health

There are many different drugs out there and they can all have a different effect on the brain, whether this be depression, anxiety and even hallucinations. The nervous system and brain work in conjunction with each other and putting chemicals into our system that are not usually there disrupts this normal working order. Many drugs can cause psychological dependence, as the brain believes it can no longer function without them. This can damage your memory and concentration and flashbacks. Alcohol can make the user believe they really are invincible and can have devastating consequences. Both alcohol and drug addictions will decrease brain activity and concentration and affect mental health severely.

The Heart

Any addiction can cause a lot of extra strain on your heart which can be too much for it, often causing heart attacks. Many drugs increase how fast your heart is beating and therefore addiction causes the heart to work overtime every day. This can cause weakened muscles and heart irregularities. This also leads to other complications such as raised blood pressure, which can have many other effects on the body too. The heart can be permanently damaged from addiction and this is something that cannot be fixed.

Drug Addiction Pills On Hand

Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the biggest reasons addiction occurs is because people cannot cope with withdrawal symptoms and therefore continue to give their body what it craves until they cannot stop. Withdrawal symptoms affect the body in many ways, such as anxiety, depression and irritable mood, as well as sweating and itching. You may also have uncontrollable shakes and your brain will want you to do anything you can to get your next hit. This is where stealing and violence can also become a part of your addiction and its toll on the body. To battle addiction, you need to recognize the signs of withdrawal and overcome them in other ways.

Hair and Skin

Addiction can completely change how you look, from the strength of your hair to the appearance of your skin. When drugs or alcohol begin to degrade the skin, losings its ability to function as it should, it begins to scar easily and becomes prone to spots and wrinkles. People may also experience hair loss as the hair follicles and scalp are not getting the nutrients they need to grow and repair. If your scalp itches, this may be due to your addiction and the toll it is having on both your skin and hair.

The Gastrointestinal System

What is happening inside us is also very important and as lots of drugs are eaten, every organ it encounters along the way is also being affected. This means constipation or diarrhea is very common in those with addictions as well as bloating and liver damage. Most alcoholics will have an extremely damaged liver, some to the point where they need a liver transplant to survive.

If you or a loved one is battling with addiction, ensure they get help from the right person. Addiction can have many tolls on the human body and some more serious than others. The longer the addiction goes on, the worse the effects on the body will be.

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Drug Addiction, Health, and Life After

The word addiction comes from the Latin term “addictus” which means enslavement. The modern definition of drug addiction is the persistent and compulsive use of a harmful substance where the user is aware that the substances can harm his body. Anyone who has suffered from addiction understands why this word connotes slavery.

Addiction can influence the brain in three different ways. First, the person craves the object of addiction. Second, the person loses control of the way he uses the object of his craving. Third, the person continues to use it even if he knew that the substance has an adverse effect on his body.

Drug Addiction

There are many kinds of addiction that are seen in the world today. Some of them can be gambling, sex, internet, shopping, video games, plastic surgeries, and food addiction. This article focuses on drug addiction since many people may not understand how others become drug addicts.

Some people mistakenly thought that those who use drugs do not have willpower and moral principles. Some think that people who use drug can simply stop whenever they want. In truth, everything about addiction is not as simple as what others think. In terms of drug addiction, quitting is more than just strong will and good intentions. Drugs can change the way the brain is wired and quitting becomes harder than ever. Fortunately, many researchers have found treatments that can help people recover from their drug addiction.

Drug addiction needle

What Happens to the Brain after Taking Drugs?

Drugs are considered as chemicals. When a person puts these chemicals into his body through injecting, smoking, eating or inhaling them, they go directly to the brain’s communication system. These drugs normally manipulate the way the nerve cells send and receive information. For more information about drug addiction, click this link here.

These drugs work by imitating the chemical messengers of the brain and overstimulating the brain’s reward circuit. If a person feels good after taking a drug, he will continue using it even if the long-term effects are bad for his health. When a person takes drugs for the first time, the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens is flooded with dopamine. Dopamine is a kind of neurotransmitter. When the brain releases dopamine in large amounts, it creates a feeling of reward and pleasure. Surges of dopamine can motivate a person to repeat a certain unhealthy behavior such as taking drugs.

More Drugs in the Long Run

The first time that a person takes a drug, it can be a free choice. When the drug is taken continuously, the brain will adapt by reducing the reward circuit response that it produces. This means that in the long run, the person will have to take more drugs to achieve the same high that they have experienced during their first time. They might even find the previous activities that they find pleasurable such as social activities, food or shopping to be lacking compared to drugs.

health after drugs running

Kinds of Drugs

There are a lot of drugs out there that can produce different effects on the body. Marijuana, hashish and cannabis substances can be inhaled, eaten, or smoked. They can give a feeling of euphoria. There are heightened feelings of auditory, taste, and visual perception, and exaggerated cravings for certain food in the middle of the night.

Spice, K2, and bath salts are a group of synthetic drugs that are mostly illegal. They can be prepared as an herbal tea and they can produce elevated moods, an extreme sense of euphoria, and increased blood pressure. Bath salts can alter the mind similar to the effects of cocaine and ecstasy.

Benzodiazepines, Hypnotics, and Barbiturates are used as depressants for the central nervous system. People are often addicted to them because they can produce a sense of relaxation. They can also be used as sedatives and to forget any stressful thoughts.

Cocaine, Methamphetamines and other stimulants can boost the energy of a person. They can promote increased alertness, behavior aggression and feelings of exhilaration. There are a lot more drugs in the market today such as inhalants, hallucinogens, club drugs, and painkillers with opium.

  

Rebuild Your Life   

When a person knows that he has an addiction and reaches out for help, then this is one of the bravest decisions that he will ever do in his life. Getting his life back in control after making a lot of bad choices requires courage and strength. You can get more information about how to rebuild your life with http://www.projectunbroken.com.

The first step is to visit your doctor. If your doctor does not specialize in drug treatment, ask for a referral. Go to a rehabilitation center if needed. Most people find that they are taking a drug to fulfill a psychological need during their childhood. Treatment can take months but recovery is a lifelong process.

While under treatment, the person can change his daily routine. He can build new social circles which are made up of people who are not into drugs. Avoid negative people who promote drug use. Overly emotional and stressful people can trigger drug cravings so one should also avoid them at all costs.

Life after Drugs

It is important to find a purpose before doing recovery. The person can set goals and expectations for himself. On top of that, damaged relationships can be rebuilt over time. One can start a new hobby and join recreational programs. One can also pursue education or getting a job. A healthy diet and good habits can develop over time. Maintenance and consistency is the key. Living a life that is not dependent on anything is bliss.

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