After Addiction: Getting Back to Feeling Like ‘You’ Again

When addiction has its grasp on you, you truly do lose a part of yourself. The addiction becomes the most important thing in your life- it comes ahead of family, friends and everything you value and hold dear to you. When addiction has had its hold on you for a while, you begin to lose a sense of who and what you once were. Many people find they become a shell of their former selves, as the only thing they care about in that time is where their next fix is coming from.

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When addiction has its grasp on you, you truly do lose a part of yourself. The addiction becomes the most important thing in your life- it comes ahead of family, friends and everything you value and hold dear to you. When addiction has had its hold on you for a while, you begin to lose a sense of who and what you once were. Many people find they become a shell of their former selves, as the only thing they care about in that time is where their next fix is coming from.

Restore your looks

Addiction can be hard on a person’s looks. If you’ve been addicted to a substance for some time then your appearance will have probably suffered. One way you can get back to feeling like yourself is to restore your looks. Look into things like all on 4 dental implants to have missing teeth replaced. Go to a salon and have a facial, have them recommend some products that will bring a healthy glow back to your skin. Have your hair cut and coloured and buy some new clothes that you feel good in. Wanting to feel good isn’t being shallow. When you’re happy with the way you look you have confidence, and you’ll feel happier on the inside.

Make new friends

When you break your addiction, it also means breaking away from friends, relationships and acquaintances who were associated with that kind of life. Unfortunately if you want to stay clean in the long run, you need to keep away from anyone who is involved with your past habits. Be social, and meet new people who are suited to the new sober you. Enjoy activities and try new things which will make you feel fulfilled and keep you on the straight and narrow. New hobbies can give your life purpose and make it easier to resist the temptation of returning back to your old ways. There are lots of apps which schedule groups and meetups for people with different interests, go along and meet some new friendly faces. Go out there and live life to the fullest, making up for the time you missed out on when you were caught up in addiction.

Learn to forgive yourself

As an ex addict, chances are you’re harbouring a lot of guilt and blame yourself. One of the healthiest things you can do is to let this go. Instead of looking back, move forward- acknowledge the mistakes you made but use these to learn and become a better person. There are lots of complex reasons that people can become addicted to things, it’s something that affects all genders, races, wealth classes and more- you’re certainly not the first or last person it will get a hold of. When you can truly forgive yourself and let go, you’re able to put the past behind you and move on to something better.

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Substance Use Disorder: Is it a Mental Illness?

Addiction is a common disease that impacts millions of people across the United States, but the lens through which we see addiction can change significantly. Many of us are familiar with the stereotype of an underachiever suffering from alcoholism or drug addiction. It’s easy to see addiction when its effects have created visible marks throughout a person’s life, such as financial difficulties or a criminal record. However, addiction also has a hidden side.

Substance Abuse Disorder - Is It A Mental Illness?

Many high-achieving individuals use drugs and alcohol in ways that cause harm, but the effects of this abuse isn’t visible to the outside observer. There isn’t a typical drug or alcohol addict. This disease impacts people from all walks of life equally. However, people who are able to effectively hide their addiction are less likely to receive treatment than those who wear their addiction on their sleeve.

For high-achieving individuals, addiction is a deeply personal issue. Many professionals facing substance abuse issues may view their addiction as a sign of personal weakness or as a moral defect in their personalities. However, it’s important to remember that addiction is simply a misapplication of the brain’s natural reward circuitry. At its core, addiction is an issue where the brain has trained its reward circuitry to respond to harmful, artificial stimuli (such as drugs and alcohol) instead of natural, beneficial ones.

The reward circuitry in the human brain is driven by a complex chemical cascade. At the core of most reward pathways in the brain is dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. It’s also used by the brain as part of its reward system. When the human body does something that is considered beneficial (in terms of evolutionary survival and reproduction), the brain releases a burst of dopamine.

Lonely woman on pier

Human reward circuitry is designed to respond to activities and environments that improve the odds of passing on genes to the next generation. When we eat a delicious meal, our brains are flooded with dopamine. This is the way that our body tells us what we’re doing is a ‘good thing’ in terms of survival of the human species. When we engage in sexual activity, our brains are also flooded with dopamine, since reproduction is one of our core purposes in life (in evolutionary terms).

Unfortunately, this reward circuitry often backfires in the modern world. In the past, humans were primarily a hunter-gatherer society. To get that hit of dopamine from food, our early ancestors may have had to march dozens of miles across the savannah before they could capture game to eat. Their desire to hunt was driven by a combination of hunger and an unconscious desire to trigger the reward circuitry in their brain. The same applied to gatherers: Each sweet berry that a forager managed to find might trigger a small release of dopamine. Likewise, each time an early human copulated, their brain rewarded them with a hit of dopamine, helping to make sure that we, as humans, would still be around today.

Empty street with benches in autumn

While our brain’s reward circuitry helped humanity survive and flourish in a harsh environment, our modern world has caused problems for many of these systems. Instead of dopamine serving as a reward for behavior that benefitted ourselves (both on an individual and species-level), we can get that same hit of dopamine through many activities that are harmful or detrimental to our health.

Many of us know the dangers of consuming too much fat, sugar or salt. Overconsumption of this trifecta can cause Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and the many health problems associated with obesity. However, our brains are primed to love foods with these ingredients. For early humans, fruits like berries contained natural sugars, which served as a valuable energy source. This sweet tooth led early humans to forage for hours for these small tastes of sweetness nestled among bushes and trees.
Things have changed. Now, we can now go to the grocery store and buy a two-liter bottle of concentrated sugar water for only a few dollars. A single glass of a soft drink may contain the sugar equivalent of several pounds of berries or natural fruit. The same applies for fat and salt.

While fat and salt are essential for human health, our modern lifestyles allows us to consume these substances in amounts that can leave our arteries riddled with plaque and our heart valves crusted with cholesterol.

Drugs and alcohol hijack this reward circuitry in even more insidious ways. While fat, sugar and salt are now available to us in quantities that are harmful to health, they trigger our reward circuitry in the same way as our early ancestors. Drugs and alcohol, on the other hand, hijack this reward circuitry, causing a massive release of dopamine for little or no effort.

Young girls out at night

Just like a computer hacker gaining illegal access to a network, drugs and alcohol cross the blood-brain barrier to trigger specific clusters of neurons in the brain. The reason that drugs and alcohol feel good is because they activate our reward circuitry for an extended period of time. Instead of this reward circuitry being activated for brief moments throughout the day, drugs and alcohol allow us to open the dopamine floodgates in our brains, triggering euphoria in ways that aren’t naturally possible.

Not all drugs are the same. Some milder drugs, such as nicotine, may only trigger a small release of dopamine in the brain. Very addictive drugs, like methamphetamine and heroin, can trigger a release of dopamine that is greater than anything an individual has experienced in his or her life.

One of the reasons that drugs are so addictive is because our reward systems aren’t designed to be continually activated. When we hijack the reward pathways of our brains with addictive substances, we’re literally rewiring the way we pursue pleasure. Instead of getting enjoyment from a nice meal and a romantic evening with a loved one, addiction unconsciously teaches us that we can get an even better substance from a chemical.

Drug or alcohol addiction isn’t a moral failing, nor does it represent a weakness in character. Addiction is a learned behavior that has embedded itself so deep in our psyche that it can drive every decision we make. When the reward circuitry of the brain has been completely hijacked, an individual suffering from addiction will do whatever he or she can to achieve another cascade of dopamine. Addiction completely rewires an individual’s motivations from healthy ones to malicious ones.

 

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How Secondary Gain Fuels Alcoholism

While you may not know it by this name, secondary gain exists in alcoholism, whether we like it or not. Secondary gain plays a huge role in addiction, and, can be a significant contributor to denial and likelihood of relapse once sober.

Simply put, secondary gain equates to: what specifically alcohol is achieving for you, personally, as a “side-benefit”. If they go unchecked, these side-benefits can later morph into the main reasons we’re using alcohol at all.

But, there are ways to understand these underlying factors in our addictions, and undo the damage done. Let’s take a look.

While denial exists to protect our access to the coping mechanism called alcohol; secondary gain is more like – “what benefits am I getting from alcohol, that I may not have thought of?”….and what issues do those point me to?

How Secondary Gain Fuels Alcoholism

Consider the key questions:

  • How has alcohol served me?
  • How has alcohol not served me?

What has alcohol helped me do? What feelings does it help me achieve, that I’m unable to achieve  in other ways? What situations does it help me cope with, and what feelings am I running from, in those scenarios?

I could be drinking because…

  • When I have a drink, I feel “more worthy” or “good enough” again.
  • When I have a drink, I feel more important or respected
  • Or, when I have a drink, I feel more lovable, accepted…. or like “what I say matters”.

At one point in our lives, having a drink was ONE way to cope, but for the alcoholic in us, it quickly became the ONLY means to cope, because of these secondary benefits it gave us.

So we’ve learned over time, a survival strategy belief, for instance:

  • “the way to feel good enough again, is to drink”
  • “the way to feel worthy again, even in the face of outside stressors, is to have a drink”
  • “the way to feel like I matter again, is alcohol”
  • “the way to feel competent again, is to drink”

It’s clear therefore, that we’re using alcohol as a means to quell the underlying self-esteem beliefs, like “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not worthy”, “I’m not important”, or “I’m not acceptable”.

Do you recognise these underlying themes in yourself? In your behaviours when stressed?

Now, if we address these underlying core beliefs, therapeutically, (instead of with alcohol) is it clear  to you that there would be much less need to even turn to a coping mechanism at all?

These are the core elements of self – the highly individual, person-centered elements, that we must understand about ourselves, beyond the group support mechanisms such as A/A, N/A, mutual aid support, etc. Often these are discovered and explored in private rehab settings, such as the folks over at alcohol rehab Scotland.

These elements of secondary gain are the underlying drivers behind the addiction – that sit underneath the addiction. It is the fear of these underlying issues surfacing, untempered, that then drives the patterns of denial, and keeps us in the cycle of addiction, without ever truly understanding *why* we feel the way they do.

Bar Counter

So…How to break the cycle of alcoholism using this understanding?

  • Using the questions above, take the time to consider what secondary advantages alcohol could be giving (or have given you previously) in your life
  • To help this along, try to identify common patterns in your trigger situations, “I always turn to alcohol in _____ situation;” “I always feel like a drink when ____ happens”. What might you be trying to avoid, or gain, in these situations?
  • What feelings does alcohol bring to the fore in these situations, that weren’t there before? What does alcohol help you feel in these situations?
  • When you *do* have a drink, what does it make you/get you/get for you?
  • Now consider the mirror opposite – e.g. when you’re tempted to drink, and you don’t drink, what feelings surface at that point, that weren’t there before?
  • Now using your answers from the above, fill in the blanks: “What makes me ________ is drinking alcohol”; and “The way to feel _________ is to drink alcohol”
  • Usually, the blanks in the above are your core issues and core beliefs which need attention, to change the pattern of the addiction in your life.
  • Finally….stop blaming yourself for the small relapses – but instead – use them to help you truly know yourself, and your addiction, better. Examine what led to the binge or relapse, what you were trying to cope with at the time – and understand that these moments point you to the underlying issues – and as such – are a huge help in overcoming alcoholism in the longer term.

Often times the issues revealed from this exercise are deep core issues, self-esteem blocks, or specific traumas from the past, that need professional mental health assistance.

Just as in our step work, they require us to face our issues directly, accept responsibility for them, and accept that we have a human tendency to choose a negative behaviour over a positive one, whilst in the darker clutches of addiction.

But moving through these issues, getting the third-party help and fellowship we need, and making consistent progress, no matter how little, will ultimately result in us simply no longer needing the coping mechanism we once did….because the underlying truth has been faced.

Now, let’s be realistic, there’s much more to maintaining abstinence and long term recovery than just these issues….but, when we add this self discovery to the bigger picture of mutual aid support, sponsorship, and other mental health care tailored to individual needs – then recovery can feel much more realistic, and one degree more achievable. And that can make all the difference.

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Pros and Cons Of Medical Marijuana

Over the past 20 years, the medicinal value of marijuana has been well documented, and the massive supply of scientific study about the subject has verified its effectiveness when used to treat various health issues.

Michelle William, a budtender at Buybcweedonline.com, says that most firsthand accounts of the drug have been condemned by some people in the scientific community as just unreliable evidence. Knowledge of a substance might be one thing; however, shouldn’t the actual and real-life impacts of medical marijuana that are recognized to relieve health issues in patients be taken as seriously as statistical analysis?

Pros and Cons Medical Marijuana

Pros

You will find some possible health hazards of marijuana, like it can result in dependency and it can affect your memory. But you can also find numerous advantages of medical marijuana:

1. Prevent, fight and regulate numerous illnesses

While you may have heard lots of people say that weed might cause illnesses, scientific study shows that it can help cure a lot of physical issues and diseases. From helping you get through chemo, treating inflammatory bowels, relieving multiple sclerosis pain, helping fight Glaucoma, helping prevent the spread of cancer, easing arthritic pain, controlling epileptic seizures, decreasing side-effects of Hepatitis C, slowing Alzheimer’s  and much more.




2. Various consumption ways

Contrary to some other over the counter drugs, medical marijuana can be eaten, sprayed through portable vaporizers or even inhaled. Some types might be without any THC or tetrahydrocannabinol; the consciousness-altering ingredient that produces the high, permitting a wider choice of treatment options and medical applications.

3. Physiological impacts and positive psychoactive

Marijuana has for a long time been used as a highly effective medicinal agent in societies all over the world, and the practice continues today. Most physicians are in support of patients utilizing medical marijuana under watchful eyes, given the proven ability of the herb to heightened moods, euphoric feelings and promote relaxation.

Marijuana

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Cons

For every individual who is for marijuana legalization for medical reasons, there is another who opposes it. A few of the arguments include:

1. Marijuana is addictive

Researchers are still split with regards to addiction. Some allege cannabis is much less addictive as harder drugs such as meth and crack. Others allege, 1 in 10 users of marijuana develops dependence in the long run. They bring to attention the fact that quitting marijuana may result in turkey withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety and bad temper. The same, however, might be said of using cigarettes (which is allowed by law).

2. Medicinal marijuana is not FDA approved

As it is not FDA approved, some hospitals and physicians might be hesitant to prescribe marijuana as a possible treatment. Most patients will be assuming an ultimately unsure level of risk provided that the substance remains un-FDA approved.




3. Reduced mental health

Those against legalization of recreational marijuana like pointing to research, which shows that marijuana smokers experience everything from the increased possibility of depression, to restricted blood circulation to the brain, to schizophrenia and memory loss. However, science is still not certain regarding these claims. The issue of depression and schizophrenia is especially unclear since scientists do not know if the drug itself causes the issue, or if users of marijuana use the drug to ease and manage the symptoms.

4. Anxiety problems

Marijuana is well-known to have the ability to induce anxiety problems, which include panic attacks. More infrequently, when wrong people use it, it might function as a trigger for psychotic states, which include schizophrenia.

5. Gateway drug

It has for a long time been regarded as a gateway drug. It is claimed that as soon as an individual tries marijuana, he is more prone to trying harder, more harmful drugs. Legalizing marijuana might multiply the number of people who try marijuana and then, ultimately, move on to harder drugs. This can put more financial strain on the public coffers and medical system to offer treatment for these people when they have serious issues.

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Discover The Dark Side Of Prescription Drugs

Let’s talk about drugs. No, not those type of drugs. I’m talking about the drugs that you can buy over the counter or that you were prescribed by a medical professional. These drugs are considered to be legal, and because of their legality, we often believe them to be safe. Is this the case? Not always and there are a number of dangers linked to legal drugs that you need to be aware of. So, what are the issues with legal drugs?

Prescription Drugs

They Can Be Addictive

If you check into a rehab centre, you will often find that there are a lot of people there who are addicted to legal narcotics rather than other common culprits like coke and meth. The reason for this is simple. We are, as a nation and even globally a drug taking culture. We take supplements to keep us fit and well, we take meds to make us feel better and ensure we don’t miss days of work and we take drugs even if we’re only feeling a little under the weather. To put this in perspective, a worrying stat reveals that eighty percent of opiates are prescribed by twenty percent of prescribers. As such, there is clearly an issue here, and they can be addictive. This type of addiction can ultimately result in death. A clear sign that a prescription doesn’t make a drug safe.

Legal And Illegal?

Legal vs Illegal drugs

Perhaps you have dealt with an addiction to a drug like heroin. You might find that a rehab clinic prescribes you with a different drug to weed you off the heroin – methadone. Methadone is just as addictive as heroin, is an opiate thus has a similar impact on the brain, and it has been linked to a number of deaths in rehab patients. As such, you need to be careful how much you take and even then you could still be in danger.




Side Effects

You might think that drugs prescribed by doctors are 100 percent safe, but that’s not true. There are plenty that have serious side effects. Although the risk of these side effects can be minor, the outcome can be great if you are one of the unlucky. You can, for instance, lose your senses from smell to hearing. If you do develop hearing loss after taking a prescribed drug, it’s important to contact a doctor immediately. Researchers at the Ear Science Institute and other similar labs may be able to reverse the effects if it’s caught early enough. Can you hold your doctor accountable for this type of prescription issue? Only if they didn’t advise you of the risks before you took the drug.




Altering Your Immune System

Finally, when you take drugs, you need to realise that you can actually weaken your immune system. If you are too reliant on meds to fix a medical issue, then it’s quite possible that your body will be weaker next time it needs to deal with an illness. This is why you should make sure that you are only using drugs if an illness lasts for more than two weeks or gets worse.

You see, although legal, prescription drugs are, in many ways, no better than the pills you can score on the streets.

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A Holistic Approach To Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex problem that has many contributing factors. The first bridge to cross would be to get clean which may involve a medical detox, and from then on the addict would need to stay away from addictive substances and activities.

This is not the end of the recovery process, it is not complete. In fact it has only just begun. Addiction is deep rooted and even though the addict may be physically clean from any addictive substances, the negative behavior of the addict and the “stinking thinking” is still very much present.

A Holistic Approach To Addiction Treatment

The Importance Of Holistic Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment very much focuses on addressing making changes to the way that an addict thinks and behaves. This is done through individual counseling, group therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, 12 step meetings, religious counseling and/or SMART recovery meetings, as well as holistic addiction treatment. It is through this process that will help the addict achieve long term sobriety.

An addict needs to focus on the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of recovery from addiction and not just one aspect. Taking a holistic approach to addiction treatment will give the addict a much better chance at long term recovery.

Here are some holistic addiction treatment methods that you can consider including in your recovery plan:

Massage for holistic addiction treatment

Massage

Massage therapy has incredible benefits and incorporating it into your treatment plan is highly recommended.

Being in active addiction is stressful and comes with many worries, feelings of guilt, anger and resentment. Deciding to go to rehab or joining a recovery group is scary and comes with a whole new set of concerns for an addict. Being in early recovery and working through your past and problems can be traumatic in itself.

Massage can help to relieve emotional stress and tension that has built up.

Detox is physically traumatic as well as emotional. Massage increases dopamine and serotonin (the feel good hormones) as well as improving circulation and removes metabolic waste from your system. This will not only help your body to detox faster but also to make the process of detox less painful and stressful.

Massage can also improve sleep which is something many addicts struggle with.

Touch may have invoke negative feelings for addicts. Including massage therapy can help to make touch have a positive association.Very often addicts may have a very emotional reaction to massage therapy which is perfectly normal.

Yoga addiction treatment holistic

Yoga

Yoga is more than just a form of exercise, it is a mindful process that teaches you how to connect your mind, body and breath. It is about self-awareness and focusing inward.

The benefits of yoga for addiction treatment include:

  • improved sleep
  • increase in energy levels
  • stress relief
  • increase in self-awareness and self-reflection
  • improved self-image and self-confidence
  • pain relief
  • reduced fatigue
  • increased physical strength and stamina
  • emotional healing

Yoga provides a healthier coping mechanism for addicts which can help to prevent relapse, reduce symptoms of withdrawals and cravings.

Meditation

Meditation can be done in many different ways such as alone or in a group, in silence or with music, your own meditation or a guided meditation.

Meditation has physical, mental and spiritual benefits which makes it an incredible tool for addiction treatment.

Physical benefits include decreased tension related pain,  lowered blood pressure, increased serotonin and increased energy levels.

Mental benefits include increased calmness, decreased stress and anxiety and improved emotional stability.

Spiritual benefits include increased creativity, open-mindedness and happiness.

Meditation will help you to create that feeling of oneness, of being in touch with your mind and your body.

Acupuncture holistic addiction treatment

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a key component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It works on the belief that there are lines of energy running through the body which are called meridians. When there is any pain, discomfort or disease it is believe that these meridians are blocked. Acupuncture uses needles to remove the blockages and free the flow of energy.

The benefits of acupuncture for recovery are:

  • improved sleep
  • reduce in cravings
  • lessened withdrawals
  • decrease in anxiety
  • pain reduction
  • modulated emotions

Reiki holistic addiction treatment

Reiki

Reiki is a Japanese practice used for relaxation and stress relief. It is based on the belief that life energy flows through the body. If your life energy is low then you are more likely to get to get ill or feel stress. If your life energy is high you are more likely to happy, healthy and in harmony. Reiki practitioners make use of palm healing to transfer energy through their hands to benefit their patient.

Nutritional therapy for addiction treatmnt

Nutritional Therapy

The importance of good nutrition during the recovery process cannot be emphasized enough. Addicts make poor eating choices during active addiction and need to focus on eating properly when in treatment and in recovery.

Eating the right foods can make the detox and withdrawal process a little bit easier. Getting in the proper nutrition can also help your body to recover and repair itself after the use of drugs.

Part of recovery is learning healthy living habits and eating properly needs to be high on this list of healthy habits.

Getting in the right vitamins and minerals will have a positive impact on your mental well-being. Good nutrition means stable blood sugar, which in turn will help to keep your moods stable.




These are just some of the types of holistic treatments available for addiction treatment. They key to holistic treatments is that they aim to treat the person as a whole, not just one single element of the symptoms. The same should be said of an addiction treatment plan, just treating the behavioral aspect of addiction is often not going to be adequate.

The best possible approach is to team up holistic treatments with traditional addiction treatment.

The goal is to treat all the underlying issues that an addict is faced with, which will result in changed behaviors, improved physical and emotional health, as well as a spiritual awakening.

Holistic approach to addiction treatment pin

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Careful Not to Trade One Addiction for Another After Treatment

The world is full of temptation. Some of us can go through life having a cigarette once a year, a few beers a month, some can even experiment with drugs and never feel the need to do it again. If you have already been through addiction and recovery once, then you know your limitations. Most people do not, in fact, discover precisely where their weaknesses lie, so while it was a tough lesson, you can yourself lucky in that regard. So now that you know your limitations, now that you know your weaknesses and your strengths, you already have a solid foundation for spotting a new potential addiction when you see it.

Careful not to trade one addiction for another

Not Every Addiction Seems Immediately Dangerous

We probably don’t need to tell you that addiction is not limited strictly to dangerous drugs and alcohol. If you’re going to choose a drug to do every single day, marijuana is certainly safer than cocaine or opiates. But, when you spend all day every day as high as you can possibly get, other areas of your life are still going to suffer. Even a so called healthy addiction can do more harm than good, and addiction can take the form of, well, just about anything. For instance:

  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Video games
  • Weightlifting
  • Running
  • Food
  • “Softer” drugs like coffee and marijuana
  • Shopping
  • Work

Cross Addiction into work

Are All Addictions Bad?

This is just a list of common addictions, and yes, some of them, like running, are healthy. Even food addiction can be healthy if you’re eating well and exercising, and addiction to work at least makes you money rather than costing you money. The problem is not so much the activity itself as your relationship with the activity. Is it costing you time you’d like to spend with friends and family? Is it interfering with other areas of your life? Is it a healthy habit, or a dangerous compulsion? Luckily, you should remember what it was like the first time you developed an addiction, how to spot the signs and keep yourself in check, but it’s not always easy to be objective about your own behavior.




Ask Someone Who Can Be Objective

If you have a friend who’s always able to give you some tough love when you need it, you can ask them to keep an eye on you. It’s a good idea to pursue new hobbies and interests following recovery, so as you’re exploring these avenues, you can check in with your friend now and then and ask if you’re showing any familiar patterns.

Meaningful Pursuits Vs. Addiction

You’ve got to fill your time with something, right? That’s all we can really do on this Earth. Truth be told, the line between addiction and a healthy pursuit can be blurry. A passion and an addiction sound almost the same on paper. If you’re a bit of a bookworm, maybe you spend a lot of your disposable income on books, and you spend most weekend alone in your room reading. That sounds a lot like being a drug addict or an alcoholic, and yet it’s not really the same thing. It’s not always easy to tell the difference, but generally speaking it comes down to this: Do you control it, or does it control you? If you’re concerned that your routine is less a healthy habit and more of an addiction, take a day off and see how you feel.




Pace Yourself

Moderation in all things is essential. If you have a new routine that does not involve drugs or alcohol, and it’s a routine that you really enjoy, if it’s helping you to meet like-minded individuals and if you find it fulfilling, there’s no reason to quit just because you’re worried it might be growing into an addiction.

But, pace yourself, keep an eye out for familiar patterns, and make sure that you’re the one in control.

Developing good habits is part of living a successful life, and keeping those habits under control is how you keep them from becoming addictions. If you love spending all your free time at the gym, there’s really nothing wrong with that as long as you know how to turn it off and relax when appropriate. And be patient with yourself. Just because you completed treatment doesn’t mean you’re magically cured, so go forth with the understanding that a tendency towards compulsion is something you taper off.

Trading one addiction for another is a common occurrence post-rehab. By making yourself aware, you can prevent going down the rabbit hole and stay tuned in to your recovery.


About The Author

Authored by Ocean Hills.


 

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Using Fear To Overcome Addiction

We humans are complex creatures, to say the least.

We might have feelings of sadness, joy, hopelessness, inspiration, and depression, potentially all on the same day. Learning how to cope with our feelings about daily life and addiction is key to overcoming the many obstacles in our path.




For example, an argument with a spouse may bring feelings of frustration and lead to despair. When we dwell on these types of feelings, we become more vulnerable to making choices with negative consequences. The stimulus was probably not that big of a deal.

The argument might have been (and probably was) about something trivial. Something that you both would forget about quickly. But once you let it bother you, your mind automatically looks for some kind of relief.

That relief comes in the form of giving into your addiction, more times than not.

There was a study done on smokers that highlights an important aspect of how we view our addiction. In a poll, the most common response to a question about smoking was that lighting up a “cigarette calmed them down”.

But did it?

Using Fear To Overcome Addiction social

It turns out that those who suffer from a smoking addiction are constantly being harassed on the inside, not being able to concentrate or control their nerves, until they get to smoke. The act of smoking didn’t have the effect they thought it did at all.

It’s like if you were at a basketball game but was on the bench the whole time. You want desperately to get into the game! You’re antsy and irritable because obviously the only joy you get is by actually playing. The coach finally puts you in, but has you tie one hand behind your back. But hey, at least you’re playing, right?

This is the way smoking affects your perception. The times when you feel like you’re getting a “calm down” are actually the times when your hands are tied. You’re not better off than before, in fact you’re still worse off than normal, but because you feel a little bit better about the given action, your mind alters reality.

It’s a harrowing thought.

Any addiction can affect us in similar ways. Alcohol has had a crippling affect on the human race over the past century. Don’t worry, I’m not advocating for any bans or prohibition, but let’s just think about it for a minute.

How many relationships have been ruined by alcohol?

How many sexual assaults have there been where alcohol is involved?

How many children have been left destitute because of the DUI charge of a parent?

This is a beverage, people.

But it’s much more than that. It has the power to dull our senses and affect the way we act. It has the power to help us forget the hard times. It might help us sleep.

So here’s the idea: Instead of using Inspiration as a conduit for change, how about using fear?

Many people see fear as the enemy, something that grips us tight, something we can’t escape. They see it as something innate, like we were born with it and will die with it too. This can’t be any further from the truth, though.

For example, the fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias in the country year after year. It makes us nervous, embarrassed, and even sick to our stomachs at times. But can your same logic that fear is ingrained in us be mitigated by the fact that thousands of people every year work on it, change, and master the art of speaking in front of a group? If their fear can motivate them to change, perhaps yours can too.




And that’s the key.

Use fear to motivate you instead of stifle your growth. Let me provide a disclaimer here, though. If you deal with severe depression, anxiety, or have other factors involved, this may not be the approach for you. Make sure to consult a rehabilitative specialist or counselor before going about these tactics.

When it comes to addiction, we miss out on a lot of things.

Write them down:

  • Time with spouse
  • Money saved by spending it on addiction
  • Playing sports or participating in other hobbies
  • Health
  • Spending time with your kids

In the case of alcohol, think of the consequences of getting in your car when you aren’t fully able to focus on the road. The fear of bodily harm in a car accident can be a powerful motivator to call a friend, get help, and work towards not having the drink in the first place.

Addictions can take many different forms, as indicated by the horrific show on TLC, “My Strange Addiction”. The problem with this type of programming is it highlights the dependence aspect, but doesn’t show all the effects in real life. It’s only  It’s almost like it gives license to mock the trials of others when maybe we have a problem ourselves, just a different one.

As you think of the negative consequences of having an addiction, let the fears of continuing it  propel you to acceptance and freedom by starting the road to recovery.

Fear can be a good thing.

Remember that.

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Does Tramadol Get You High?

Tramadol is a prescription drug; it is not banned unlike Cocaine, ecstasy, and other drugs in that category. However, it is an opiate just like heroin, codeine, methadone or morphine which means it can acts on opioid receptors in the brain to help the user relieve pain and also increases serotonin levels which will lead to a feeling of euphoria and pleasure.




This drug is a synthetic opioid analgesic which means it is used as a painkiller to manage different levels of pains such as arthritis or pain experienced after surgery. Your doctor may prescribe Tramadol for you if you are experiencing serious pain. Taking this drug in a moderate amount will help you to experience longer lasting pain relief without the need to ingest more pain-relieving medications.

Tramadol drug is categorized as a schedule IV substance. Taking tramadol in the amount prescribed by your doctor will likely lead to no side effects or addictions. However, there have been cases of many people who overdose on this drug and some suffering from the side effects of tramadol. Overall, the side effects of tramadol is not as serious as that of heroin or morphine

Does Tramadol Get You High

Can I get High on Tramadol?

Yes, you can get high on tramadol. However, unlike cocaine or ecstasy, it carries a lower risk of addiction since it has mild euphoric effects and in some cases, it is imperceptible.

It is also very possible to get addicted to tramadol. However, the risk of getting addicted to tramadol is lower than other opioids. A research showed that some patients who take this drug for a long time may develop a tolerance which leads to patterns of abuse. The drug can as well trigger addiction in the people with no history of drug addiction.

The effect of tramadol will vary among different users. You can get high depending on how much you went over the safe limit. Some people who take tramadol may never experience a euphoric sensation or become high.

You are more likely to become high by taking tramadol when you are not suffering from pain. Some users prefer to take 50mg, while there are others who prefer to take 100mg or 200mg. You can as well become high by taking tramadol for its medicinal purposes.

What Are the Desired Effect of Tramadol?

The main objective of tramadol is to kill pain for a longer period of time. However, most users abuse this drug to feel good. It shares the same effects with heroin and morphine but much weaker.

Some of the desired effects from abusing tramadol include:

  • Euphoric feeling
  • Lack of pain
  • Elated mood
  • Anxiety reduction
  • Feelings of warmth
  • Feelings of well-being
  • Better sexual performance
  • A state of relaxation




What Are the Side Effects of Tramadol?

The problem is that most people take tramadol for recreational uses as a result of their addiction which usually leads to a host of side effects. On the other hand, one may suffer from these side effects as a result of the irresponsible or careless use of this drug.

Some of these side effects include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Tremulousness
  • Sweating

In some cases, abuse of tramadol can lead to serious side effects such as:

  • Agitation
  • Fever
  • Hallucinations
  • Hives and blisters
  • Lack of coordination
  • Rapid heartbeat

What Are the Long-Term Effect of Tramadol?

In most cases, doctors won’t agree to prescribe tramadol for a long term use because of its side effect. Using tramadol for a very long time can lead to a lot of undesirable consequences. Some of these consequences include:

  • Tolerance

Too much intake of tramadol can lead to high level of tolerance. This means the user will need a higher amount of the drug to feel the effect.

  • Physical Dependence

When taken for a long time, the body will now depend on the drug to function properly. In most cases, the user will become sick if he stops taking the drug.

  • Cognitive Decline

Just like other opioids in this category, taking tramadol for a long time will affect the way you reason. Your brain function will be impaired and you may find it more difficult to understand some easy task.

Seeking Help

Are you or your loved one addicted to tramadol? There is no need to feel shame and avoid seeking treatment. The only way out is by talking to a professional who understands how you can safely withdraw from using the drug. Speak to an expert concerning your tramadol abuse and request for treatment before the problem gets worse.

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Giving Up Alcohol: 8 Health Changes You Can Expect

Giving up alcohol may seem like a big step, however it can herald in a raft of benefits. If you read on you will learn what these are and may be more inclined to give up.

Health Changes Giving Up Alcohol

1) A Better Night’s Sleep

 According to the latest data published in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, drinking before going to sleep increases the brain’s alpha wave patterns. This sort of behaviour is usually seen during periods of conscious rest rather than full-on sleep, and it effectively translates into a disturbed sleep cycle. Data accumulated from 27 different studies confirms that although alcohol may make it easier to fall into a deep sleep, the quality of individuals’ sleep suffers greatly after the first portion of rest. In the immediate aftermath of giving up alcohol, you may find it slightly difficult to get to sleep on the first few nights. The sleep you do get is likely to feel more refreshing, leaving you feeling energised when you wake up. According to this top drug and alcohol rehab centre, getting better sleep will make it easier to concentrate and boost your mood. 

2) Better Appetite Control

Alcohol is, according to a study found in the American Journal of Nutrition, a major factor in overeating. Information from the journal Obesity suggests that this may be because alcohol serves to sharpen our senses. In that study, researchers found that women who received carefully-controlled alcohol “infusions” tended to consume 30 percent more food than control subjects who received a saline solution instead. The addition of a moderate amount of alcohol increased neural activity in the hypothalamus and made test subjects more sensitive to food aromas.

3) Sugar Cravings May Increase

Sugar is a prime culprit for boosting dopamine levels, leading to increased feelings of pleasure. Alcohol has an identical effect. It’s quite likely that cutting yourself off from one dopamine trigger will make you more tempted to reach for a different one. Indulging in something sweet may end up allowing you to recapture the same rush you used to get from taking a drink.

4) Body Weight Drops

Alcoholic beverages are packed with calories, mainly in the form of carbohydrates. As a general rule of thumb, a single serving of alcohol (a glass of wine, a beer, or a cocktail) contains roughly 150 calories. With the exception of the potential health benefits of wine (discussed below), these calories do virtually nothing for you. They provide the body with no usable nutrition, yet they’re very likely to be converted into fat.

If you drop alcohol and refrain from adding in new sources of empty calories, the odds are excellent that you’ll start to see weight loss. If your weekly average hovers around five drinks a week, cutting booze out of your life will save you over 39,000 calories a year. That, in turn, translates into 11 pounds of unwanted body fat. When New Scientist magazine tracked the experiences of 14 staffers who gave up alcohol for just 5 weeks, the participants reported an average body weight loss of two percent.

5) Clearer Skin

You’ll find that your skin gets noticeably more hydrated after just a few days of abstention. Alcohol works as a potent diuretic, leading to more frequent urination. Alcohol also interferes with the body’s ability to reabsorb water by inhibiting the production of antidiuretic hormones. Giving up alcohol can reduce redness in your cheeks and nose, and it may also help with any long-term skin conditions (dandruff, rosacea, eczema, etc) you’re having trouble with.

6) Financial Savings

Drinking can be a costly way to spend your time, especially if you cultivate a palate for fine wines or rare whiskies. Actually sitting down and calculating the amount of money you lose to alcohol can be a potent motivating experience if you need another prod to give up booze.

7) Psychological Changes

Understand that giving up alcohol can complicate your social schedule. Associating with friends who are indulging can be a source of jealousy or anger. Ranking says that alcohol is often used as a ‘social lubricant’ to make emotional exchanges easier. People who give up a drinking habit sometimes struggle with feelings of agitation and restlessness in the aftermath.

(Are you drinking too much? Run down these warning signs.)

8) Reduced Cancer Risk – But Watch The Heart

Alcohol consumption is, according to the National Cancer Institute, a risk factor for cancers occurring in the liver, mouth, breast, rectum, and colon. The more you drink, the greater the risk. Note that moderate drinking may, according to extensive research, reduce your risk of heart disease. If you are a light drinker, giving up alcohol may lead to slight increases in your risk of stroke and diabetes.

The Bottom Line

The positive results experienced in the New Scientist study mentioned above went beyond weight loss. Blood testing showed an average reduction in cholesterol levels of five percent, blood glucose of 16 percent, and liver fat of 15 percent. There’s little scientific disagreement with the contention that kicking booze out of your life will improve your health, but the five-week study show just how rapidly you can expect to see improvements after you decide to give alcohol a pass.

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