The Ties Between Alcohol and Cancer

Alcohol is one of the most used substances in the country, and one of the deadliest. It is important to learn more about the dangers and health risks associated with overindulging in alcohol. Alcohol is one of the most widely used drugs in the United States and, according to the National Institutes of Health, leads to the death of 88,000 Americans annually. One of the most common problems associated with over drinking is cancer.

Excessive alcohol use leads to the development of a number of different types of cancers. Based on data from 2009, it is estimated that 3.5 percent of cancer deaths in the United States were alcohol related.

The Ties Between Alcohol and Cancer

Types of Alcohol-Related Cancers

There is clear evidence that the use of alcohol leads to the development of multiple types of cancer. In fact, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists alcohol as one of the known human carcinogens in a report.

Head and Neck Cancer

Oral and throat cancers are more prevalent in drinkers than non-drinkers. Specifically, moderate drinkers have a 1.8-fold higher risk of developing these types of cancers than those who don’t drink. For heavy drinkers, it is even higher, as they are five times as likely as developing these types of cancer. Similarly, the risk is even higher if the person uses tobacco as well.

Esophagus Cancer

Alcohol abuse is also associated with a higher risk of esophageal cancer. Similar to oral and throat cancers, those who use alcohol moderately have a slightly higher risk of developing this type of cancer, but heavy drinkers are five times as likely to develop it.

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among alcohol users. In fact, those who drink are two times as likely to develop this type of cancer as nondrinkers.

Breast Cancer

Studies have shown clear evidence that there is an increased risk of breast cancer in those who drink alcohol compared with non-drinkers. Heavy drinkers specifically are 60 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Colon Cancer

Alcohol consumption leads to a 20 to 50 percent increase in the risks of cancers of colon and rectum compared with no alcohol use at all.

There is mounting evidence that alcohol consumption is linked to a number of other cancers and that it is associated with increased risks of melanoma and prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Woman drink

Why Alcohol Increases Cancer Risk

There are a number of hypothesized reasons that alcohol use leads to an increase in the risk of different types of cancers, however, the exact risk isn’t completely understood. One hypothesis is that when the body breaks down ethanol, it turns it into acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical, and probable carcinogen, the substance can damage both the DNA and proteins in the body. Similarly, cells that are damaged by alcohol may try and repair themselves, but this can lead to DNA changes and can be a step toward cancer.

While there is no proven way to avoid cancer completely, there are steps that you can take to help lower your risk of alcohol-related cancer.

For one, you can work to limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages. For men, this means limiting yourself to no more than one or two drinks per day, and for women drinking no more than one drink per day.

Moreover, avoiding binge drinking or drinking heavily can help to reduce your risk of alcohol-related cancer as the risk of cancer increases with the more alcohol that you drink. However, even light drinking can lead to an increased risk of developing some type of cancer. Reducing binge drinking will also help with a number of other physical health problems.

Tobacco

There is much evidence that shows the combination of alcohol and tobacco leads to a much greater risk of developing oral and throat cancers than just using one or the other. The problem becomes much worse if tobacco and alcohol are used together.

Bottles Alcohol

Getting Alcohol Treatment

Recognizing that you or your loved one has a drinking problem is just the first step. For most, getting sober is not an easy process and it is a lifelong struggle. Luckily, there are many treatment options across the country that can help those with alcohol use disorder. Going through an alcohol treatment program can be frightening, especially if you don’t know exactly what to expect. But the more you learn about what treatment can offer the more comfortable you will likely feel about the situation.

Drug and alcohol treatment centers are there to help patients safely detox and to educate patients on the details of addiction and how to prevent relapse following discharge from a facility.

When it comes to getting treatment, detoxification is one of the most important steps in achieving sobriety, especially for those dealing with alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use can lead to dangerous, even life-threatening withdrawals if not handled properly. There are a number of worrisome symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal, including:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Agitation
  • Auditory and visual disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting and more

Alcoholism treatment

A treatment center will likely provide medically supervised detoxification for new patients. Detoxification can last somewhere between a couple of days to a week. During detoxification, patients will overcome the symptoms and problems associated with withdrawals and newfound sobriety. This will allow the patients to deal with hard physical problems before they begin behavioral treatment.

After detoxification, patients will be exposed to group and one-on-one therapy sessions to help them learn more about the details and processes of addiction. Some styles of therapy, like cognitive behavioral therapy, will be used to help patients identify triggers that could lead to a relapse. Following inpatient treatment, patients will likely be given a discharge plan and pointed toward an outpatient facility to help them continue their treatment while getting adjusted back to normal life.

Treatment centers are there to help. They’re there to be a part of the solution and save as many people as possible.


About The Author

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


 

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Why Addicts Should Choose Singapore as a Place to Go to Rehab

A good rehabilitation center should have the necessary facilities to assist drug addicted patients on their recovery journey. If you have a victim in your family, you will agree that this is a serious situation that requires the best solution. That is why people are ready to use any family resources possible to get the best rehab in the world.

For those who did not know, Singapore has some of the best rehab facilities in the world. This is one of the primary reasons why drugs addicts come from various parts of the world. However, there is more that they offer. If you read the highlights below, you will learn more reasons why you should choose Singapore as a place to go to rehab.

Why Addicts Should Choose Singapore As A Place To Go To Rehab

Draconian Drug Laws

The country is a leader in practicing stringent drug laws. Narcotics that are listed as illegal are rarely found in the country. The law is clear about what will happen if one is found manufacturing, distributing, or in possession of such drugs. The imprisonment terms range from punishment to life imprisonment, which is not something that any person would like to get involved in.

But how do these laws assist the country in having rehab centers worth considering? According to reports, people who are recovering from drugs are likely to have a better environment when they are in Singapore. This is because they will not get access to drugs even if they are using outpatient programs. Thus, the recovery process will not only be clear of drugs, but will also be quick as one interacts with people who are already drug-free.

Well-Equipped Rehab Centers

Being a developed country, Singapore does not strain for resources. Although most of them are imported, it is notable that all of the rehab facilities in Singapore follow world standards. The country values high-quality services, especially in medical care, which rehab facilities fall into. With the government in support of operations of these facilities, they are well-funded and equipped.

Thus, people from different parts of the world, especially developing countries, want to bring their addicted family members to enjoy these facilities. Some of the best amenities you will enjoy in Singapore rehab centers include but are not limited to the following:

  • Maintained sports facilities – Rehab centers in Singapore have generous sports grounds for patients to use. One has the option to choose a sport like beach soccer, cricket, tennis, and many others. Indoor games like table tennis, pool tables, and many others are also available. Thus, the patients have a variety of options to choose from depending on their interests and talents.
  • Talent promotion facilities – Drugs addict may have talents that need to be nurtured. Singapore is one of the countries that promote talents in rehab centers through the provision of musical equipment, art facilities, and many others. This means that your patient has a high opportunity of learning new skills and advancing their talents to new levels by the time they leave.
  • Disability facilities – Some drugs lead to disabilities which affect peoples’ mobility. If your victim is like this, there is no reason to get worried. Singapore’s rehab centers usually make this consideration by providing wheelchairs, support racks, and all other equipment that supports disabilities of any kind.

Singapore scene

Qualified Rehab Workers

The state has a high literacy level. They also get qualified professionals from other countries by giving work permits. As a matter of fact, you can easily get a work visa through the Visa Express Singapore agency. As a result of this, all rehab centers are well-equipped with qualified workers. An addiction patient will get enough one-on-one time with a psychologist to get the best assistance possible. Nurses and other workers are also trained to cater to all the needs of an addiction patient.

Reports from the health ministry indicate that all rehab centers in Singapore have enough workers to serve sufficiently when they are at full capacity. They also assure the entire world that the staff has the relevant qualifications. So if you are looking for the best facility to use, Singapore should be your preferred destination.

Services at a Low Cost

We have already mentioned that the Singaporean government supports the health sector very well. Rehab facilities are one of the beneficiaries whether they are government-owned or private. The result of such support is the provision of low-cost services to the patients. Both the medication and boarding services are affordable to both citizens and foreigners.

Another thing that makes it affordable is the use of insurance. You are likely to use health insurance to get some medications and services in Singapore. The good news is that they also accept international medical coverage policies. However, it is important to understand what your health insurance policy will cover before booking your patient.

Group therapy addiction

Serene Environment

Singapore is known to be a city-state. However, it has a vast serene region outside of the city where most of the rehab centers are located. If you do some research about these facilities, you will realize that most of them are surrounded by beautiful trees, flowers, and stunning natural habitats. This allows addicts to reflect on their life and focus more on what they want in the future.

According to psychologists, the serenity is therapy in itself. That is why addicts are in a better position to recover when they are in Singapore. Do not hesitate to bring your patient here to enjoy this rare tranquility and serenity.

Excellent Networking Opportunities

Drug addicts need a network of people who can help them in life. Most rehab centers in Singapore have various programs that bring recovering patients together to share their experiences. Since people come from different countries and careers, it is easy to make good friends. Some people partner in business from such meetings and prosper in life together.

Conclusion

If you are wondering why rehab in Singapore is the best, now you have the main reasons. Traveling to Singapore from another country is also an opportunity to enjoy excellent scenery and have many other experiences.


About The Author

Emily Simpson is a qualified Psychologist in Singapore. She has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and has helped tens of drugs addicts to get back into their feet. She has sat in various forums that enlighten people on the effects of drug abuse and how they can stop the menace. For the love of a drug-free nation, she has also written numerous publications on the negative effects of drug abuse on society. Her dream is to see fewer patients in rehab centers as a result of a responsible world that does not abuse narcotics.


 

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Confronting a Friend About Alcoholism for the First Time

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

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

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

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

Confronting A Friend About Alcoholism For The First Time

Time Your Approach Carefully.

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

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

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

Approach as a Friend, not an Authority

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

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

Friends Talking

Offer Help, Don’t Demand It

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

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

State the Consequences

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

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

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

Friends drinking

Be Prepared With a Plan of Action

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

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

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

Be Prepared For Pushback

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

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

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


About the Author

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


 

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8 Steps to a Calmer Mind in 2019

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

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

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

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

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

8 Steps to a Calmer Mind in 2019

  1. Practice Mindfulness

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

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

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

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

Calm peaceful scenery

  1. Look After Your Gut Bacteria

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

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

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

Exercise stretch

  1. Get More Exercise

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

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

  1. Create Goals You Can Achieve

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

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

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

  1. Turn off Daily Stressors

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

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

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

Read a book outdoors

  1. Take a Break

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

  1. Eat Your Way to a Calmer Mind

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

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

Drink herbal tea

  1. Switch From Caffeine

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

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


About The Author 

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


 

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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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