5 Mental Health Benefits of Cycling

It goes without saying that cycling is a rewarding, fun and invigorating activity for men and women of all ages. It’s one of the best forms of exercise if you intend to lose weight, gain strength among other benefits. But, did you know that cycling benefits your mental health?

Humanity is constantly affected by depression, anxiety, stroke and other stress-related illnesses. This is a result of daily pressures of life. They range from financial needs, work issues, to relationships and family issues.

No wonder, the substance abuse rate is high. Additionally, mental hospitals and the streets have new mental illnesses brought in every day.

Lack of a balanced mental health may have adverse effects on humans. In the recent years, most people have understood the essence of daily exercise. You not only maintain a physically fit body but also mental health.

This article will help you identify the benefits of cycling for mental health.

5 Mental Health Benefits Of Cycling

Cycling relieves stress

Like most exercises, cycling relieves stress. Cycling and other aerobic exercises reduce the formation of cortisol and adrenaline. In the process, your body produces the endorphins which are your happy hormones.

Pedalling increases the production and circulation of oxygen and consequently the production of endorphins. When your body has a high rate of endorphins, stress has no place. It also makes you focus on beneficial things for a short while.

Sometimes all your body needs is that distraction from your mental negative thoughts and pictures. Furthermore, if you live in a city that has uncontrollable traffic jam during high peak, cycling will help you save the time while relieving you of the financial stress.

The 21st century has seen the rise of work that requires people to sit in front of a computer for hours. This may result in body fatigue, eyes strain and general mental stress. Since cycling engages all your body parts, it’s the best exercise to combat the body and mental strain.

Cycling alleviates an individual’s mood, release the body tension and overall stabilizes their mental structure. As you can see, you have every reason to buy the best bike for women or men and begin cycling.

Freedom cycling

It changes your mental well being

The brain will receive a normal and enhanced blood flow which generally improves your mood, memory and shields you from the effects of aging. In fact, if you are elderly, cycling makes you active and happy thereby reducing the aging cells.

A high self-esteem is vital for every human being. You see, riding will make you set goals and work towards achieving them. You boost your self-esteem in achieving a set goal. You have something to look forward to and you feel worthy.

This activity aides in the production of serotonin and dopamine chemicals which make you feel good and happy. With these chemicals, you will sleep better thus have enough rest for your physical body to handle a new day.

The human hormonal imbalances lead to stress. Taking the right nutrition and the best form of exercise will strengthen you physically and emotionally.

It improves your creative thinking and thus productivity

Everyone in different profession suffers from a mental block at one point in time. Going for a ride makes you bond with nature which then helps you release the mental block. Take time to ride where tall trees are or at the beach among other forms of nature.

As the wind hits your face and there is an exchange of fresh air while increasing your heart rate. In the process, your mind clears of most unnecessary information stored in. this makes you feel good and creative then new ideas begin to flow.

Refocusing your brain power to daily cycling means you have diverted your attention to a positive place. This will help boost your energy levels. Its said that those who ride to their places of work are more productive.

Most people can’t understand how cycling like any other exercise boosts your energy. Here is how this happens; when you use your physical energy, the increased heart rate helps to produce chemicals that boost your energy.

Cycling outing

It combats anxiety and depression

Every other individual experience stress and anxiety at one point or another. However consistent anxiety is detrimental to your health. You begin to develop panic attacks among other related illnesses. When you cycle your cortisol and adrenaline levels balances thus maintaining a good mental health.

Besides, outdoor exercise slowly helps you move from ‘your distractive mind’. Depressed people think and create damaging mental images. In the process, they may either become sick or others decide to abuse drugs.

The mentally ill people often abuse drugs to forget their woes and experience some elation. But, this joy makes you dependent on the drug. That’s why cycling or other forms of exercise is more effective. In fact, if you can find a riding team the better. Developing a social relationship will help you out of mental illnesses.

Instead of fully depending on psychotherapy and anti-depressants, go for engaging exercise like cycling. Commit to the activity everyday and watch the difference.

Makes you happy while boosting your confidence

You don’t need to exercise for hours to boost your moods. Even a 15 minutes cycle every day is great. Various studies have indicated that those with an active lifestyle are happier. You see there are many people who ride as a form of transport, for fitness while others do it for fun.

We achieve happiness by finding out what brings you joy and doing it. Aside from that, riding produces endorphins hormones which are joy boosters. Observing yourself become fit and hearing compliments is a definite confidence booster.

When you see yourself achieving certain set goals, you will believe in yourself more.

Conclusion

Cycling is not only one of the cheapest mode of transportation but also an easy and fun mode of exercise. You don’t need massive preparation in terms of finances especially if you already have the bike. All you need is your motivation and a suitable place to ride for as little as 20 minutes a day.

As you can see, the benefits of riding abound. So, go out and join the world of riders to maintain a healthy mind, spirit and body.


About The Author

Sophie Elise is a passionate cyclist, author, and blogger. She is very passionate about writing on different types of women’s bikes, accessories, health, fitness and more. She regularly writes on sportsly.net


 

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Does Counseling Help with Addiction?

Addiction is not an easy thing to beat. Actually, it can be the most difficult thing you ever have to do. Addiction does not play by the rules like you have to do. Your addiction will lie to you and make you believe that what you are doing is good for you even as it is ruining your life. It does not even matter what it is you are addicted to because no matter what it is, it will be incredibly hard to beat, but it is possible. You can do it. Many people who also thought they could never do it have done it before. You can do it too! Those who have never been addicted to anything think it is easy. Some people may say, “why don’t you just stop?” or “I would never do that” but they have no idea what it is really like unless they have been there.

Does Counseling Help With Addiction

Addiction or Abuse?

Drug addiction and abuse are two of the most common mental health problems in Americans. In fact, there are over 20 million adults in the United States who suffer with one of these addictions. Everyone has heard of drug addiction and abuse, but are they the same thing? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the difference is the number of diagnostic criteria the person has. For example, you are addicted if you have at least three of the seven signs of drug addiction. However, the DSM uses the term dependence rather than addiction. These criteria include:

  • Consuming more of the substance
  • Continuing to use the substance even if it causes issues with school, business, personal life
  • Giving up other interests such as social life, job, and daily activities
  • Spending too much time looking for or trying to get the substance
  • Tolerance (needing more and more to get the same effect)
  • Trying to quit using without being able to
  • Withdrawal (varies depending on the drug)
    • Feeling aggravated
    • Anxiety and stress
    • Depression
    • Hallucinations
    • Nausea and vomiting

Substance Abuse

What exactly is substance abuse then? If the person has at least one, but less than three, of the above criteria, that would be considered substance abuse. With abuse, it is more of an occasional type of drug or alcohol use. For instance, those who abuse alcohol may only drink once or twice a month, but when it happens, they do not know when to stop. With addiction, the problem is continuous and the person is always looking for their next drink (or drug).

Hands on wooden heart

What Addiction Really Means

There have been many experts who believe that addicts have addictive behaviors, so when they try to quit, they will most often just trade one addiction for another. For instance, an alcoholic may quit drinking alcohol but start taking another drug or a smoker may trade nicotine for food. In truth, those with addictive personalities typically will have more than one addiction. For example, some who are addicted to gambling are also addicted to alcohol and those addicted to cigarettes will often drink alcohol as well. This issue is not only applicable to illegal or dangerous substances either. People have become addicted to anything from shopping to video games or even food. Anything that a person does repeatedly and becomes a compulsion can become an addiction. In the same way, addictive behaviors are repeating an activity because it makes the addict feel good. It certainly does not have to be a bad thing, like drugs. In fact, some addictions are good. How do you know the difference? A bad addiction takes away from your life and a good addiction adds to your life.

Some Tips That May Help

Once you realize you have an addiction, it is time to talk to a professional and find out if your addiction is good or bad. Then, if necessary, you can find out how to fix the problem. A therapist or counselor can help you decide what you need to work on. You can also use some of these tips to help you figure out the issue:

  • Accept That There Is No Cure: That’s right, there is no magic pill that can cure your addiction. There is no magic addiction fairy who can wave a magic wand and stop those cravings and urges you may be feeling. Addiction is a disease you will have to deal with your entire life. You cannot just say, “I used to be an addict” because you still are and will always be an addict. You are a recovering addict because you still have that little voice inside you telling you that it is okay to drink that beer or use that drug. Addiction is like a dormant cancer cell inside your body that will stay dormant until you feed it.
  • Get it Out of the House: No matter what it is you are addicted to, get it out of your house. Of course, if it is food that you are addicted to, you cannot get rid of all the food. However, you can get rid of those foods that are most tempting for you such as chocolate, pizza, ravioli, and donuts.
  • Have a Support System: It could be your family, friends, co-workers, or even the members of your AA or NA meetings. You need to have someone to call if you are feeling stressed or if you feel like you want to drink/smoke/gamble/etc. Without a support system, it is harder to stay on track. You can do it, but you will be much more successful if you have someone to back you up when you need it.
  • Talk to Your Doctor: Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor what you are doing and ask for some help. Antidepressants such as bupropion (Wellbutrin) and fluoxetine (Prozac) are two that help curb the cravings and take the edge off the anxiety.
  • Write Down the Pros and Cons: Take a few minutes to write down the pros and cons of beating your addiction. For example, you may put your family and your health in the pros column and job loss and relationship troubles in the cons column.

Whatever you decide to do, be sure to let your psychologist know about it because he or she will surely have some tips for you. Your doctor can help you as well, but, the best thing to do is speak to a mental health professional right away. They will help you begin to understand your addiction. The more you understand, the easier it will be to fight and win.

Pensive woman

Could You Be Addicted?

Although you need a professional to answer that question, there are a few things you can ask yourself if you think you may have a problem:

  • Are you missing days or showing up late at work due to using the substance?
  • Are you using the substance while doing things you used to do sober such as hanging out with friends or watching television?
  • Do you find yourself thinking about the substance during the day?
  • Do you go out of your way to find or use the substance?
  • Has using the substance caused any problems with friends or family?
  • Has using the substance caused you to make mistakes at work or school?
  • Have you had any legal problems due to your substance use?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you definitely should talk to a counselor or your physician. No matter what, you need to get treatment before it becomes a bigger problem than you can handle. Sites like BetterHelp can help you find the right person and you do not even have to leave the house. Don’t wait until it causes you serious trouble. You can talk to someone today and start to feel better.


Marie MiguelAbout The Author

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.


 

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7 Ways Dogs ‘the Mood Boosters’ Can Help You Fight Depression

Dogs have a life-changing impact on you and your family. Dogs not only have an ‘immune-boosting’ impact on your newly-born babies but also they have an impressive ‘mood-boosting’ power to cheer you up in the toughest situation. Whether it’s your mental health or physical health, your dog unconsciously endeavors to keep that in check and get you back on track. Your pooch can help you with your anxiety, stress and depression. Studies have shown that therapy dogs have helped children with autism and people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Did you know that there are two types of mental health issues we are mostly likely prone to due to our family history? We are either prone to anxiety or depression. My family has depression-prone history which makes it easier for me to get upset and depressed on little stuff. I always seek natural ways to cure medical issues rather than depending entirely on medicines for life. My friend, Martin, suggested me to bring home a dog, Leo. Leo had a huge impact on my life and helped me stay engaged with the cute furball during free time at home.

7 Ways Dogs Can Help Your Fight Depression

How Dogs Help us?

Among all the pets, dogs are most attuned to human emotions and behaviors. They have the ability to understand our commands, interpret the tone of our voice, gestures and body language. The man’s best friend looks into the eyes of his owner to understand the emotional state of the person. A person in similar room may not notice the change in your emotions and expressions, but a dog will always be the first one to notice. He is no less than a mind-reader who can understand what you must be thinking and feeling after the dog has acted in a certain way.

Ways in Which Mood-Busters Help Us:

Most of the pet-owners know what joy and happiness a pet brings in their life, but they are not really aware of the mental and physical health benefits they are reaping due to the pet. Various studies have been conducted on dogs and their owner’s mental and physical health which have shown that dogs are literally ‘man’s best friend’. American Heart Association conducted studies to prove the fact that dog ownership, in specific, lowers the risk of heart problems and ensures longevity.

Labrador sniffing hand

Below are the seven reasons why you should bring home these ‘mood-boosting’ Fidos to fight depression:

  1. Improved Mood:

Increase in physical activity with a companion pet doubles the production of serotonin, one of the ‘happiness hormones’. It is a neurotransmitter that assists in the transmission of nerve impulses within the brain. Research has shown that reduced level of serotonin causes depression. Therefore, a pet dog is a necessary addition to your family to enjoy happiness and overall well-being.

  1. Unconditional Love and Acceptance:

We all can be selfish one way or the other, but dogs are different. They teach us to be selfless, be open and share more laughter with the world. People suffering from depression need someone patient enough to listen to them and still continue to love them unconditionally. Your Fido will never leave your side and they will make your life simpler and easier to live. Why? Dogs don’t really complicate anything in spite of your drastic mood swings. Teri Wright, PhD from WebMD, says that the stability of human-animal bond benefits the people suffering from anxiety or depression.

  1. Reduce Blood Pressure:

Petting a dog itself is one of the most relaxing act one can do while sitting on a couch. The contact with pet during hugs, licks, and kisses increases the release of happy hormones in the blood stream. The level of endorphins increases and the stress hormones ‘cortisol’ drops down to a great extent. Study conducted at Harvard Medical School has proved that petting a dog reduces heart rate and, therefore, blood pressure.

Dogs make daily physical activity an essential part of our routine no matter how gloomy we may be feeling. We have to follow active routines to keep the pooch happy and well-behaved. Studies have shown an increased physical activity reduces blood pressure. In consequence, improved heart and mental health are enjoyed by dog owners.

  1. Disciplined Routine:

Dogs only follow routines. They can easily get upset or anxious if the schedule is not followed. It is due to anxiety that many behavioral problems such as destructive chewing, excessive barking, etc develop in pooches. You will have to serve food on time to keep the Fido relaxed. Have you tried following raw diet trends for the pooch? Serve natural and raw if you prefer natural treatments for yourself.

Following routines for the pooch will help you set a daily schedule for yourself. Did you know that timetables have great ability to drive us through the day? The patterns will keep you engaged and disciplined.

Cute puppy

  1. Build Responsibility:

Dogs are a huge responsibility as they have a mind equal to that of a toddler. They provide meaning to our life. You will be encouraged to wake up early in the morning for the sake of your pet. Providing comfort and happiness to the pooch will give you a sense of achievement and satisfaction. It will keep you away from destructive feelings due to depression. Your dog will become the true meaning of your life again.

The continual engagement with the dog will not let your thoughts stray away on the negative side. Moreover, caring for the dog will help you take care of yourself.

  1. Good Company:

Leo’s company is what I adore about him the most! Dogs are your faithful companions who will never leave your side. No matter how much angry you have been the moment before, he will forget it immediately if you fulfill his basic needs and wishes.

Depression forces you to avoid people as you desire a silent companionship. Dogs can quietly listen to you for hours without being critical, judgmental or opinionated.

  1. Improved Social Skills:

Bringing dogs home is equal to opening yourself up to many people around. Dogs wouldn’t enjoy staying at home all day long. Ultimately, you will be advised to take them out for a walk or to dog parks daily to exhaust their extra energies. Moreover, you may have to visit the vet, dog behaviorist, pet sitter and so on for your dog’s sake. It will bring you thousands of opportunities to meet new people and socialize more often.

You will not have to fight depression alone rather you may find like-minded people who are fighting the challenge of depression as well. Wouldn’t it be amazing to do it together?


James ShoreAbout The Author

James is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant with years of experience in dog training and the man behind LabradorTrainingHQ.com. He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times.


 

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Alcohol​ ​And​ ​Dental​ ​Disease

Every alcoholic will probably be aware that their addiction is damaging many aspects of their lives. Personal and professional relationships may have been strained to breaking point. The emotional stress related to alcohol dependence will invariably take a significant toll on mental health. And of course consuming large amounts of alcohol may irreparably damage general health and wellbeing. There is, however, another health aspect that is usually overlooked because of more urgent medical, psychiatric and social problems but is none the less still an important part of living a long and healthy life and that is dental health.




The adverse effects of drinking heavily are well documented, alcohol gets absorbed by the stomach, enters the bloodstream and reaches the brain and central nervous system, and the remains are processed by the liver. This means that there is a risk of stomach ulcers, artery clogging, and liver cirrhosis. The effects on the brain include memory loss, impaired motor functions, and alcohol dependency.

Alcohol is the second leading cause of cancer in human beings, second only to smoking. Also, the risk of heart disease, impotence, wrinkles and early aging increases significantly with heavy alcohol consumption.

The effect on teeth is no less dangerous, as alcohol is consumed through the mouth, meaning it is the most affected organ of all, and since most alcoholic drinks contain added sodas and\or citrus drinks, the effects are multiplied.

Alcohol dental health

Oral diseases related to alcohol abuse are numerous and diverse, including:

    • Teeth staining (as they contain artificial colors and chromogenic bacteria).
    • Bad breath, as alcohol disrupts the balance of bacteria in the mouth.
    • Dryness of the mouth and as saliva is a buffer and can wash away the food remnant and plaque and clean the teeth, the risk of dental decay and gum disease increases. Not only that, but many alcohol abusers tend to skip dental care altogether, causing the damage to increase significantly.
    • Alcohol is acidic in origin, which causes demineralization and softening of the enamel (outer surface of the teeth), also leading to increased decay rate in addition to teeth sensitivity.
    • Due to this acidic nature, it causes changes in the taste sensation of the tongue, as well as burning of the tongue, gums and the insides of the cheeks.
    • Excessive use of alcohol can also lead to vomiting, and since the stomach contents are highly acidic, this causes chemical erosion of the teeth. Significant erosion leads to teeth sensitivity, decay, and bad appearance.




  • Swelling of Salivary glands, especially the Parotid gland (which is present in front of the ear. This carries a lot of risks including decreasing the flow of saliva, nerve compression (as more than 5 nerves that supply the face pass through this gland) and in severe cases, even hearing problems.
  • Alcohol dependence has also been linked to gum disease which can, in turn, lead to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke diabetes, respiratory disease, and cancer.
  • Research has shown that statistically, drinkers are more likely smoke as well. The combination of drinking alcohol and smoking is especially harmful and early research suggests that the combination of using both substances together multiplies the chance of certain cancers.
  • Oral cancer risk is multiplied 6 times with alcohol abusers compared to average risk, especially if combined with smoking.

Alcohol and dental disease

“What​ ​should​ ​I​ ​do​ ​to​ ​avoid​ ​these​ ​effects?”

Unfortunately improving dental health while still suffering from alcohol addiction is very difficult since the user will likely be facing considerable challenges emotionally, socially, physically and financially, but there are some small steps that can be taken to keep the damaging effects to a minimum.

  • Every effort should be made to attend a dentist or clinic regularly to clean the teeth professionally, check for teeth and gum infections and importantly monitor for any sign of mouth cancer.
  • Surveys and research indicate that while practically no addicts floss at all, most still make an effort to clean their teeth regularly and actively maintain an interest in oral health. Unfortunately, in many cases, the daily oral hygiene routine is not still not sufficiently adequate to prevent the buildup of plaque and the resulting decay and gum disease. Interestingly alcoholics often choose a hard bristled brush. Perhaps in an effort to thoroughly scrub away the smell of alcohol from their breath. Hard bristle brushes are not ideal for cleaning teeth as they can potentially damage teeth enamel and contribute to gum recession. A better option is to use a soft bristle brush that is better able to flex into the spaces between the teeth and that won’t damage the teeth. An even better option is to use an electric toothbrush that can reduce the effort required to clean every tooth surface properly. Dentists often recommend Oral-B toothbrushes because of the efficiency of the cup-shaped cleaning heads. Some electric toothbrushes like the Oral-B Pro-2000 have a built-in pressure sensor that will alert the user if excessive pressure is applied during brushing, this is especially useful for people who drink regularly during the day because alcohol has a softening effect on tooth enamel making them susceptible to toothbrush erosion.
  • Brushing directly after drinking is not recommended, but heavy rinsing of your mouth is highly advised. Using a higher fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouthwash is also advisable, although some mouthwashes do contain alcohol, and thus should be avoided since they can further dry out the mouth. Also, there are some suggestions that mouthwashes containing alcohol may be a contributing factor to mouth cancer.
  • Many alcoholics make every effort to cover up their dependence to those around them. One of the giveaway signs of drinking is the smell of alcohol on the breath so it is common practice to use strong breath mints to freshen the breath. Sucking on breath mints or chewing gum is a great way to stimulate saliva production. Saliva is nature’s way of keeping the teeth and gums clean. For people who are are going to use breath mints or chewing gum, it is a great idea to use products containing xylitol. Bacteria thrive on sugar, and it is the toxic byproduct of the metabolized sugar that causes tooth decay and infection. Xylitol is a natural sugar that disrupts bacteria’s ingestion process and effectively kills and reduces the number of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Regularly using xylitol mints, gum, sweets or toothpaste is a very easy way to improve oral health.

Of course, the most important course of action for any alcoholic is to seek help for their addiction as soon as possible, only then can the recovery and healing process really begin. Rebuilding a life after addiction can be a very long process with many fences to mend along the way. Dental health usually takes a back seat compared to other aspects of life but poor oral health can have a very real impact on many chronic and systemic diseases not to mention confidence and self-esteem.

Effects of alcohol on dental health

Dental​ ​Health​ ​Recovery

Alcohol and substance abuse can have a devastating effect on dental health but with a little time and effort, it is possible to regain a healthy smile. Achieving a good level of oral health, in theory, is relatively simple.

By following these simple steps it is possible for anybody to improve their dental health.

  • Schedule regular dentist visits to check and monitor for decay, gum disease and mouth cancer. The dental team will also scale and polish teeth if required.
  • Always brush teeth for 2 minutes twice a day.
  • Floss teeth at least once a day. Flossing can be done with string floss, interdental brushes or electric power flossers like a Waterpik.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Avoid brushing teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks. This is when tooth enamel is at its softest and most vulnerable. Wait for at least half an hour to let the mouth chemistry to stabilize.Avoid brushing teeth immediately after eating or drinking acidic foods and drinks. This is when tooth enamel is at its softest and most vulnerable. Wait for at least half an hour to let the mouth chemistry to stabilize.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to protect teeth.
  • Chew or suck on Xylitol chewing gum or sweets regularly to reduce oral bacteria.Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
  • Eating natural foods that are rich in vital vitamins and minerals will help teeth and gums stay healthy.

Smile Recovery

Smile​ ​Recovery

Having a healthy smile will do wonders for a person’s confidence. For people with missing, discolored teeth or crooked teeth it is worthwhile asking your dentist for available options to improve the appearance of the teeth. Today’s advanced dentistry techniques can easily resolve dental problems and recover a person’s smile.

It is important to replace missing teeth for many health reasons and there are a number of options available:

  • Full dentures
  • Partial dentures
  • Flexible dentures
  • Fixed dentures
  • Implants
  • Mini implants

Discolored teeth can leave people embarrassed to smile, but there are many options available to remove staining and discoloration:

  • Whitening toothpastes
  • Teeth polishing
  • In office professional teeth bleaching
  • At home professional teeth bleaching
  • Veneers

Crowns Crowded or crooked teeth can also cause embarrassment but there are many procedures that can be performed to straighten any smile:

  • Cosmetic contouring
  • Bonding
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Crowns
  • Braces
  • Invisible braces

A genuine smile releases endorphins oxygenate the brain and make us feel relaxed and happy. Don’t underestimate the power of a beautiful smile.


About The Author

Dr.​ ​Mohamed​ ​Abdel​ ​Hamid​ ​BDS,​ ​MFDS​ ​RCSEd,​ ​Member​ ​of​ ​AACD


 

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Understanding Addiction Treatment in Rehab Centres

Rehab usually refers to drug or alcohol treatment programs that are conducted in a residential setting.  The purpose of a rehab is to help you shake off your addiction to alcohol, drugs or other behavioural conditions, so that you can stay sober and maintain long term recovery.

You will be provided with a program of intensive support and care at the rehab by highly trained medical and therapeutic care specialists. They help you stay off drugs and alcohol and guide you through the program, which includes detox, group therapy and individual therapy.

Addiction treatment rehab centres

There are essentially two types of rehabs

#1: Traditional rehabs are facilities where the patient gets a complete break from work and current circumstances. The patients stay at a centre that is at a fair distance away from their home or any familiar environment.

#2: Newer models of rehabs are facilities where you will have access to a structured treatment and local services, in addition to supported housing.

Many rehabs provide the treatment in various stages, such as…

Stage 1: The first stage of the rehab usually consists of a short to long-term stay in the residential facility – which is usually 4 to 12 weeks. Here the focus is on intensive therapeutic care and on the responsiveness of the patient to the treatment.

Stage 2: The second stage is for longer stays at the rehab clinic of 12 weeks and more. Here the focus is on helping the patient develop critical life skills, and to help them reintegrate into the mainstream with high quality education and training. The patients are provided with essential job skills that help them compete in the job market following their stay at the facility, so that they find work and live a productive life that is free from drug use.

Stage 3: The third and the final stage of the rehab program is offered by some organisations only. It involves providing independent living facilities to the patient and providing them extensive support and mentoring through the main rehab centre.

Not all recovering addicts need to go through Stage 2 and 3. However, Stage 1, where the duration of the stay is between 4 to 12 weeks is a must.




Rehab ‘Philosophies’ and Approaches

There are essentially six important philosophies or approaches used by most traditional rehabs. Each of these philosophies have a real impact on how the rehab programme and are customized based on the individual needs and requirements of the patient.

It is important that the right philosophy is used to match the specific issue faced by the client, whether it relates to drug or alcohol abuse or a behavioural addiction, such as sex addiction or gambling addiction.

12 step program rehab treatment

12 Step Programs

12 Step programs are considered to be the most important approach to helping people get over their addiction to drugs or alcohol. These programs were originally based on the 12 Steps of the Minnesota Model, and are today widely used by self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

In this approach, the addiction is seen as a disease that has to be cured.  The residents work their way through each of the 12 steps on their way to recovery. The program is constantly modified and adapted to changing circumstances, and is very flexible.

Residents are required to spend time in different “step” groups. This is different from the individual and group therapies they attend daily. The duration of this program can be 3 months or less. Even after leaving the facility, the residents are expected to attend local meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.




Therapeutic Community

Therapeutic community is a type of treatment where the staff and residents jointly participate as members of the same community. The community is based on a hierarchy. Residents participate in different activities and take on growing responsibilities. They are given more freedom with every improvement, develop practical job skills through education and training and participate in special one-to-one keywork sessions. This approach is similar to the 12 step program but is more flexible. However, it takes more time – anything from 6 to 12 months.

Christian Philosophy/Faith-based

Faith-based services or those that are based on Christian philosophy are deeply religious and incorporate sacred religious texts and beliefs in the various activities geared at helping the residents get over their addiction to alcohol, drugs or other abusive behavioural patterns. Residents spend time studying the Bible (or a religious text of their choice) and discuss the teachings. Prayers are an important part of these programs.

Faith based recovery addiction treatment

Eclectic/Integrated

Eclectic or integrated programs are not based on any particular philosophy. They consist of several different methodologies and interventions. Their goal is to meet the specific needs of each of the residents.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) and social learning

Programs that are based on cognitive behavioural therapy consist of psychological treatments, where the actions of the residents are thought to have an impact on their future behaviour.

Group therapy addiction treatment

Personal and skills development

The personal and skills development approach is based on helping the residents develop critical life skills and job skills that can help them get work later, after leaving the facility. These programs consist of educational classes, team work and practical training on skills such as carpentry, construction, electrical and plumbing and computer repair, to name just a few. They may also involve on the job learning to help the residents build valuable work experience.

Does the Rehab Provide Residential Detox Facilities?

Many rehab clinics provide detox facilities. This is in addition to the rehabilitation program provided by them. Some rehabs don’t provide detox and expect you to have undergone the detoxification prior to your admission into the program.

All rehabs expect residents to be completely drug free before getting started with the rehabilitation program. In case you want to join a rehab program that does not offer detox, you should get the detoxification done at a hospital or a clinic prior to joining the rehab facility.


About The Author

Written by Shane White for Rehabs.asia – The leading resource for addiction rehabilitation programs in Asia.


 

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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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5 Ways Nutrition Plays A Vital Role In Recovery From Addiction

Everything that you put into your body has an effect on your physical and your mental well-being. Taking drugs and consuming excessive amounts of alcohol not only cause damage to your body, but they also often prevent your body from absorbing the vitamins and minerals your body so desperately needs from the food that you eat.

A very common consequence of addiction is that addicts and alcoholics eat very little while using. It is also very common for addicts to vomit during binges so the little food that they have managed to consume is lost.

Depending on the drug the addict may also binge on food, such as marijuana addicts.




Whatever the addicts habits their relationship with food is bound to be unhealthy, causing even more havoc to their body in addition to the physical damages from the alcohol and drugs.

Getting clean from drugs and alcohol is not an easy process and the role that good nutrition plays is often overlooked. When looking for treatment for addiction it is a good idea to ask what emphasis they put on nutrition before choosing a treatment center.

Nutrition Recovery Addiction

Here are some vital ways that nutrition impacts your recovery from addiction:

1 Detoxing from alcohol and drugs

Coming off your drug of choice and going through a withdrawal period is inevitable if you want to get clean. You will need to detox from drugs.

Depending on the drug you are coming off this process can be relatively simple with a small amount of discomfort, or it can be a traumatic and painful process if you are coming off a drug like heroin which has serious withdrawal symptoms and very often has to be medically supervised.

The foods that you eat during this time won’t magically cure you from withdrawal symptoms but you can lessen symptoms significantly by ensuring that you are eating properly.

One of the most important things to do during this time is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Stay away from high caffeine drinks such as coffee and avoid drinking sugary carbonated drinks. If you struggle to drink a lot of plain waster a great option is to drink sugarless iced tea which you can make yourself using an iced tea maker. It is a much healthier option than Coke or Coffee which is what so many addicts drink in recovery!

2 Repairing Body Damage

Drugs and alcohol cause significant damage to your body. While there are some things that won’t be able to be undone such as cocaine damage to your nose, a lot of your body’s internal organs will start healing to some degree once you stop using.

Getting in vitamins and minerals to your body will now be vital to helping your body to recover from drug abuse.

Eating plenty of fruit, vegetables and natural foods will give your body the boost it needs. Focus on getting in foods high in protein, fiber and natural fats.

Stay away from processed foods and foods high in sugar.




3 Healthy Living Habits

While in active addiction addicts often don’t look after themselves in any way. They are often dirty and malnourished. Part of being in recovery is changing your lifestyle and habits. You need to learn to look after yourself properly.

Eating regular, healthy meals is a huge part of this process along with good personal hygiene habits, good sleep habits and exercise.

Recovery from addiction is about change, it is about moving from an unhealthy mindset and lifestyle to the a healthy mind and life.

4 Mental Well-being

While many may think that addiction is just a physical problem this is incorrect. While there definitely is a physical craving for drugs this is not the deeper problem. The mental state of an addict is what needs the most work.

Getting over the physical cravings very often is they easy part, getting over the physical withdrawal and cravings happens in a short space of time.

Staying clean and being mentally well is much harder and has to be maintained. Good nutrition plays another essential role here. By eating properly you can control your blood sugar levels which will help to keep your moods stable.

Eating correctly can help to combat depression and anxiety which can greatly impact your chances of being successful in your recovery from addiction.




Many addicts have a dual diagnosis, meaning that they often get diagnosed with a mood disorder along with addiction. This makes paying attention to your mental health so important since your mood disorder can affect your recovery from addiction and in turn your addiction can affect your mood disorder.

It is important to stay focused on both of these issues and treat them both simultaneously. Good nutrition and healthy eating habits aids you in your recovery from addiction and is highly beneficial to your mental health.

5 The Dangers of Cross Addiction

The importance of healthy eating is not just to help the addict to get physically and mentally well. It is also essentially important to educate the addict against the dangers of cross addiction.

When an addict is withdrawing from a substance, even from cigarettes, it is common to crave unhealthy foods such as foods with high sugar or caffeine. While this may help the addict in the short term to pull through withdrawals there is the possibility that the addict can then form a cross addiction into food.

People can become addicted to anything, from the more obvious things like drugs and addiction, to things like gambling, sex, food, online dating, online games, work and exercise.

With food often being the only thing left that an addict has access to when in treatment for recovery from addiction this needs to be looked at.

Teaching an addict to have a healthy relationship with food is therefore essential on so many levels and can have a direct impact on the addict’s recovery from addiction, both short term and long term.


About The Author

My name is Eva Swain, I am the founder of Women’s Guide. I have a passion for keeping up with the latest information and providing the audience with the facts they need to make better choices in their lives. I started Women’s Guide for women who want to advance both for themselves and the greater good. Follow Eva @EvaCSwain


 

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5 Reasons Why Therapy is Important for Recovery from Addiction

Getting clean from alcohol and drugs is not an easy process, and very often getting off the actual substance is the easiest part. Thereafter the addict or alcoholics behavior and thought processes need to be addressed otherwise the chance of relapse is incredibly high.

There are many ways for an addict or alcoholic to get clean, including attending 12 step meetings (such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Gambling Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous), SMART Recovery meetings, church addiction support groups or booking into a rehab.

Receiving addiction therapy in addition to your chosen plan of recovery from addiction is always a good idea. If you have chosen being booked into an addiction treatment facility you will receive therapy while you are there, and very often also attend addiction support groups too.

However when you leave rehab it is a good idea to continue with an addiction therapist.

If you choose to get clean through support groups very often you will have a sponsor that will guide you and help you with your recovery, however it is important to note that while a sponsor is great support, your sponsor is not a professionally trained addiction therapist.

Why Therapy is Important for Recovery from Addiction

Here are 5 reasons why therapy is important for recovery from addiction:

1 Recognize Behavior Patterns and Triggers

Once an addict is clean from mood and mind altering substances there is still a lot of work to do. A trained addiction therapist can help the addict to not only recognize their destructive behavior patterns but also determine what triggers those behaviors in the first place.

Addicts are well known for what is called Stinking Thinking and it is important for an addict to change these thought patterns, which if left will ultimately lead to using.

These thoughts and behaviors are what prevents the addict from leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

2 Healthy Coping Skills

Everyone goes through stress at some stage in their life and an addict will naturally want to cope by using their drug of choice. It is vital for the addict to learn and practice new and healthy coping skills in preparation for when things get tough.

An addiction therapist can help the addict to be more mentally healthy and cope with stressful situations in a healthy way that is not damaging to the addict or anyone else.

3 Dealing With Past Issues

Addicts usually have a lot of past issues that they need to deal with. Very often an addict has grown up with addiction in the family and very often the addict has been a victim of some form of abuse.

There are also lots of addicts that have grown up with a perfectly stable and loving home environment, however while in active addiction may have gone through many traumatic events.

Dealing with past hurt, pain, anger, resentment and humiliation is not easy for anyone to deal with and addicts usually have a lot of these unresolved feelings.

Having a safe space to work through these past issues with a trained specialist will be the most beneficial for the addict.

It is also vitally important that these past issues are dealt with properly, very often the triggers and destructive behavior patterns can be traced back to past issues. If these things are not addressed chances of relapse are much higher.

4 Dual Diagnosis

Addiction is not simple and a dual diagnosis is very common. A dual diagnosis is when someone has a mood disorder such as depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, as well as a problem with alcohol or drugs.

It is important to firstly recognize that there is a mood disorder, but also to have an additional treatment plan for the additional illness.

If a mood disorder is not diagnozed and treated it will keep the addict mentally unhealthy and the chances of the addict staying clean will diminish significantly.

5 Relapse Prevention and Long Term Support

Having regular sessions with an addiction therapist will help an addict to stay mentally healthy and decrease chances of relapse. Going into rehab is a short term solution that very often will get the addict clean, but what will keep the addict clean after leaving treatment?

Old behavior patterns can creep easily creep back and stinking thinking can return which can lead to relapse. In addition to that, if an addict goes through a stressful time it can be risky.

Having an addiction therapist can help an addict through any future rocky periods and help to keep the addict in check if they start to slip.

Addiction doesn’t go away, it can’t be cured, but it can be managed long term. If you had any other life long illness, like diabetes for example, you would have regular check ups at the doctor. Addiction is just the same, it needs to be managed and having a check up every now and then would give you the best chance of staying healthy.


Christy Forrester LMFT LPCC is an addiction therapist in Laguna Hills CA. Christy is also in recovery and endorses a 12- step model. She offers individual, group, and intensive outpatient services


 

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Cocaine: Understanding How It Can Harm Your Nose

Cocaine addiction can cause significant long-term health effects that can cause problems to a recovering addict for many years to come. The nose can become damaged when cocaine is snorted by the nose.

The blood vessels in the nose are located close to the surface and allow the drug to rapidly be absorbed, causing a quick high. Unfortunately, because the blood vessels are located close to the surface, they can easily be damaged. A perforated septum can also occur. This happens when a hole is formed in the septum. This can cause nosebleeds, foul odors, infections and even a nasal collapse.

Cocaine nose damage

What damage can cocaine cause to the nose?

Many people do not realize that the nose is a complicated organ. When it is exposed to cocaine, a number of issues can arise, including:

* Nosebleeds (epistaxis)

* Infections of the sinus cavities and nasal passages

* A Perforated Septum

* Loss of the Sense of Smell

* A Collapse of the Nasal Passages

* A Nose Hole Caused by Cocaine Usage

Why Does Cocaine Cause These Issues?

The nose contains delicate tissues that are lined with blood vessels. These blood vessels are located very closely to the inner surfaces of the nose. One area that is particularly prone to these injuries is the septum. Cocaine causes the blood vessels in the nose to constrict. When this occurs, the blood flow to the area does not provide the nasal passages with enough oxygen. When these passages do not receive enough oxygen, the lining begins to die. When this occurs, the lining cannot support the cartilage. With continued use, cocaine can even cause the cartilage in the nose to die, resulting in a hole in the septum, known as a septal perforation. Once the septum becomes perforated, it can no longer support the nose structure and can cause a nasal collapse.

When the nasal passages do not receive enough oxygen, it can also be damaged and more prone to nosebleeds and infections. These infections can further damage the nasal tissues, resulting in an increased risk of a septal perforation.

Can It Be Treated?

The first step in treating these injuries is to stop using cocaine. This will help the blood vessels to recover, which will supply more oxygenated blood to the nasal lining. When blood flow is increased, the lining can begin healing itself. However, if you experience a septal perforation, quitting cocaine will not be enough.

A perforated septum is at an increased risk of infection. Additionally, the perforation will increase over time. If the perforation is not corrected, the appearance of the nose can change. When this occurs, your voice may be affected and you may be able to hear a whistle as air passes through the perforation.

Perforations of the septum that are crusted, have dried blood or are large, will need a perforated septum repair by a cosmetic surgeon. Once the repair is completed, the perforated septal defect will be almost invisible.

Septal perforation repair helps to restore airflow to through the sinus passages.

Before the perforation becomes large enough to cause a saddle nose, you should seek out treatment. This treatment is complex and should only be handled by a surgeon that has extensive nasal reconstruction experience.

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10 Things to Do If your Teenager is Drinking Alcohol

Knowing that your teenage daughter or son is drinking alcohol can be quite heartbreaking for any parent. When such is the case, the first thing you need to do is allow this reality to sink in before taking any steps.

Once you have accepted this reality, the next thing to focus on is to understand your teen’s drinking problem to identify how you can help him/her out.

It is important that you do not accept a teen’s drinking behavior as normal. This is because the problem can escalate to addiction and make it hard for your teen son/daughter to quit alcohol.

Teenager Drinking Alcohol

Here are some steps to follow if you have found out your teenager is drinking alcohol:

1 Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

Although you may be absolutely livid it won’t be helpful if you come at your hormonal (and possibly hungover) teenager with guns blazing.

Yes your teenager has been drinking alcohol and it could be serious, but the facts are that teenagers are notorious for experimenting and getting into trouble. Its what they do at that age.

Stay calm and try to assess the situation objectively. What exactly happened, how severe was the incident and who was involved?

Talk to your spouse, or the other parent of your teenager if you are separated, about the incident and make sure you stand together. You don’t have to always agree with each other but you must present a united front.

2 Talk To Your Teenager About the Incident

Talking to your child is essential in this situation for a number of reasons.

The number one being that having a healthy, honest and open relationship with your child is your ultimate goal. If your child feels safe to talk to you and tell you exactly what is going on for him or her a lot of future problems can be avoided or dealt with easier.

Tell your child that you would like to know exactly what happened and you will promise not to judge or freak out.

Be prepared that your teenager may well be defensive and upset. So be prepared for it. Remember to come from a place of love, stay calm and be direct.

3 Explain the Dangers of Alcohol and Drugs to Your Teenager

Be ready to explain to your child why minors are not allowed to drink alcohol, point out things like loss of control and humiliation, getting into trouble with the law and the dangers of addiction. Discuss that dangers of peer influence and how that can lead him or her down a dangerous path.

If your family has a history of addiction chances are you child has a much higher chance of becoming addicted to alcohol or drugs than some other children. It is important that your teenager understands this.

4 Study Your Teenager and Trust Your Gut

During these discussions watch your teenagers body language and reactions to the discussion. Do you feel your teenager is being completely open and honest or is he avoiding eye contact?

Trust your gut instinct here to guide you on whether this was a one off experimental episode with alcohol or is there a deeper problem?

5 Hand Out An Appropriate Consequence

It is important to highlight to your teenager that every action has a consequence. You may want to ground your teenager for a period of time or perhaps you will have to curb your teenagers freedom in other ways such as an earlier curfew for a period of time, or even until further notice. You could also limit who your teenager is allowed to spend time with or the places he goes to.

You could also stop pocket money for a period of time. It is up to you to come up with something that you feel is appropriate.

Remember that the goal here is not to punish your teenager, it is to get your teenager to realize the seriousness of his actions so that he hopefully does not repeat them.

6 Set Boundaries for the Future

Let your teenager know that part of the consequences of his actions you need to relook at boundaries with your child and set new rules.

You may want to change the ways you manage your child’s freedom and privacy. You may feel it necessary to check your teenager’s phone, access his room and limit time online.

Let your child know what the new boundaries are and why they are being set.

Decide on what the consequences will be if there is a future incident with alcohol or drugs and let your child know what it is. Be fully prepared to carry it out.

7 Talk to Other Parents

Being friendly with the parents of your teenagers friends will mean that you can talk to them if any of those teenagers were also involved in the incident. Having all the parents on board and taking similar steps might mean all the difference.

8 Stick to the New Boundaries

It is vitally important to stick to the new boundaries that you have set for your teenager, as we all know they just love to push the boundaries. Having firm boundaries sets a safer space for your teenager.

If your teenager crosses a boundary or breaks a rule you must carry out consequences for that so your teenager knows that you mean business.

Hopefully things ends here, where you teenager pushes a bit, finds firm boundaries and decides not to test again.

9 Contact Professionals

If there are repeat episodes of your teenager drinking alcohol, taking drugs or breaking important boundaries that have been set it is a sign that there could be a much deeper problem. Or perhaps your gut instincts just tell you that something is wrong.

Contact a professional in your area (addiction counselor, therapist, family psychologist) to discuss the way forward.

10 Adolescent Treatment Program

A last and final step may be to look at sending your child to an adolescent unit or an addiction treatment facility.

 


 

This guest post is contributed by Danny from MyParentingJournal.com, a blog dedicated to parenting tips, advice, best practices, and resources.

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