How To Manage Addiction Triggers During Recovery

If someone manages to finish a treatment program for addiction or substance abuse, they’ve accomplished something major. With that said, the most difficult work is yet to come. From this point on, a person must commit to abstain from alcohol and drugs on a daily basis.

It’s likely that individuals will be tempted to return to old habits. The stresses of life can leave people desperate for an escape or a way to numb their feelings.

Seeing certain people, experiencing stressful events, and experiencing strong emotions can all be triggering. It’s normal for people to want to use drugs or alcohol during recovery. How can people cope? Of course, you can always return to addiction counselling should you need to.

These five suggestions will help people to manage potential triggers during recovery:

How To Manage Your Addiction Triggers During Recovery

Find Out What Your Personal Triggers Are

No two people are exactly alike, which is why not all addicts have the same triggers. There are a number of common triggers, such as boredom, seeing other people drinking or using drugs, arguing with another person, hitting the end of a workweek, or having the money to buy drugs.

Be Aware Of The Situation

A lot of people assume they won’t have to deal with cravings or triggers after completing recovery. However, it can be dangerous to assume that you won’t experience your struggles. It’s better to be aware of potential triggers and understand that you may be put in situations that catch you off guard. Have a plan in place so that you can deal with these situations in a healthy way.

Form A Trigger Plan And Practice It

Spend some time roleplaying what you would do if you’re tempted to use drugs or alcohol. You don’t need another person for this; you can do it when you’re alone. When you’ve already practiced your reaction, it will be easier for you to deal with tough situations when they hit.

Practice Self Care

It’s easier to cope with triggers when you’re getting the sleep you need, sticking to a healthy diet, paying attention to your feelings, and making sure you get enough exercise. You may have heard of H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. All of these four things can lead to both lapses and relapse.

If you take better care of yourself, you’ll be more aware of when you’re feeling these four things. This means you’ll be able to address your needs. Instead of reacting negatively to these feelings, you can take action and stay in control of a situation. Even if a trigger has an emotional impact on you, you don’t have to take action. If you notice that you’re hungry, you can get something to eat. When you’re tired, you can get some rest. If you’re lonely or angry, you can contact a friend, family member, or your sponsor so that you have someone to talk to.

Addiction

Try To Avoid Testing Yourself

If seeing a bar can be triggering for you, you should not go by a bar to confirm that you’ve made progress in your recovery. It’s possible that you will be able to resist going into the bar. However, the experience can still be triggering. You might experience another trigger later on, and you might be pushed to go back to that bar.

Testing yourself is pointless. If you’re familiar with your triggers, understand the situation, have a plan in place, and make sure you’re taking care of yourself, you’re on the right path. You’ll be able to continue recovering from addiction.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The State of Women’s Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the most wonderful, purest time in a woman’s life. This phrase is heard by every woman who is at a noticeable period of pregnancy. It is natural, it is beautiful, it is the renewal of the body. Nature gifted a woman with this ability and modern times should provide everything to enjoy its course. However, matter how natural the process of bearing a child is, it is by no means easy.

It doesn’t matter if a woman carries a native child or acts as a surrogate mother, she still has to deal with a number of unpleasant circumstances that accompany pregnancy. And this is not about toxicosis and unusual taste preferences. Bearing a child is a serious stress for the female body. Big changes, both hormonal and psychological, are fast to hit the expectant mother’s organism. But people are different, and life circumstances also come in different shapes.

Alcohol & Smoking

We all know that alcohol is prohibited for pregnant women. It can damage the embryo early on – it is not filtered by the placenta, which means it quickly enters the baby’s blood. One of the main dangers of alcohol is one of its decay products – acetaldehyde. It has a destructive power both in relation to the nervous system of the child and the mother. All in all, drinking alcohol while carrying a baby can lead to mutations in the intrauterine development of the fetus as well as greatly disrupt the already delicate nervous system of a woman.

As for smoking, it is very important to understand that nicotine is a powerful vasoconstrictor. It narrows the capillaries, veins, and arteries. Of course, all this falls on the lot of the baby, whose mother could not deny herself a bad habit.

A great risk is a fetal hypoxia, that is, suffocation. In addition, a pregnant smoker may experience weakness, dizziness, lack of oxygen, pain in the limbs precisely because nicotine squeezes oxygen out of a weakened body.

Surely, any doctor will insist that a woman, having learned about pregnancy, must quit such bad habits as drinking alcohol and smoking. But for many people, this seems beyond the power of will. Therefore, experts recommend seeking specialized help from a doctor in an antenatal clinic where they will be able to approach this issue with the competence of the appropriate specialists.

Pregnancy

Hormonal “American Rides”

A thing that all husbands and relatives are so afraid – hormonal slides – are faced by every other pregnant woman to a lesser or greater extent. Sensations of vulnerability, sensitivity, tendency to cry, often for no reason. All of these sensations are far from unreasonable, however. After all, the whole body is tuned to the process of bearing and the hormonal background of a woman varies greatly based on that.

And the woman is experiencing a strong emotional shock. Now, she is not what she was really, the body is changing, it is becoming literally a stranger, it seems that everything in life happens without the direct participation of the woman herself. Many are scared when they think about what they can give the newborn, both psychologically and genetically. A critical view of the world appears in which a new person will have to be brought.

These changes, questions, doubts are absolutely natural. Both for mothers who bear their own baby and for surrogate mothers. Female hormones can literally endure a woman’s brain. Irresistible feelings of jealousy, anger, irritation with instant transformation into unbridled joy, euphoria, tenderness – these are typical hormonal slides.

Thus, a woman needs to treat her psychological health with understanding and due attention. Try to share your feelings more with your loved ones and let them help, support as much as they can.

Specifics of Mental Health During Pregnancy

When a woman expects a baby, she often does not feel well. Such phenomena as nausea, dizziness, fastidiousness in food, inconvenience due to weight gain and body position constantly accompany pregnancy. And this leads to the accumulation of psychological disorders.

Of course, you can often get by with the help of loved ones, who carefully and patiently listen to complaints and try to minimize discomfort. But still, there are times when the help of a psychologist is in place.

Studies prove that the psycho-emotional state of a pregnant woman seriously affects the development of the fetus and the preparation for childbirth and motherhood. A favorable psychological state reduces the number of complications and positively affects the development of the child after birth.

Inexplicable anxiety, unstable emotional state, causeless anxiety, with which the pregnant woman cannot cope on her own or with the help of loved ones must be examined by a psychologist.

Surely, all expectant mothers are tormented by doubts about the well-being and normality of the unborn child, and this is normal. But if these suppressive conditions do not go away or drag on for too long, you should contact a specialist to avoid serious psychological disorders.

There are several tips & exercises for harmonizing the mental state

  • Get out into the countryside, go out of town into the fresh air more often
  • Listen to more of your favorite music, especially if it evokes pleasant memories and associations;
  • Practice the technique of “Inner Smile” morning and evening. This is a psychological exercise, like meditation: you need to focus on the area of the heart and smile with your whole body, each cell, and each organ for about 5 minutes. The exercise should provide relaxation in the body and make you calmer as a whole.
  • Coloring mandalas. This is an old technique, from time immemorial, women in the tribe painted this symmetrical pattern, located in a circle as a symbol of the protection of the mother’s womb. This contributes to the internal psychological space.

Pregnant Tummy

Pregnancy & Drugs

But still, no matter how harmless at first glance the anxious state of a pregnant woman may seem, it can have a serious background. In recent years, more and more women have learned about such an unpleasant diagnosis as bipolar disorder precisely during the gestation of the baby.
Bipolar affective disorder (BAD) is one of the most difficult mental conditions for treatment, which leads to a significant change in mood, including manic and even depressive attacks.

Often, women do not understand what happens to them during pregnancy. It is as if hormones are raging and the mood is falling, and everything around is annoying. But these conditions do not pass and only intensify. Bad thoughts come to mind, the situation is aggravated. This may be a sign of the BAD.

Women who already know that they have a BAD and wish to have a baby should plan their pregnancy in advance. To avoid unpleasant surprises and establish the right treatment, you need to see a doctor. They will be able to develop a treatment plan that will provide the baby and mother with a safe pregnancy. This plan often includes:

  • Switch for more advanced medication
  • Custom medications for custom cases
  • Introduction of health supplements
  • Attentive leisure & daily health care

Frequently, doctors completely change the diet of the pregnant woman, and also regularly monitor all changes in the state of her health, both physical and psychological.

Thus, we approached the most complex and dangerous topic regarding pregnancy. Drug addiction. It seems that no one doubts whether drugs are a contraindication to bearing a child. Absolutely yes.

Numerous studies have proven that most drugs have a detrimental effect on the fetus. Women who used drugs during pregnancy or even shortly before conception are highly likely to experience complications in the course of bearing a child. High health risks await both the baby and the mother.

There are substances that cause nutrient deficiencies and anemia. Moreover, the effect can be lightning fast. Slow fetal development is also very common, and women often develop unbearable preeclampsia (late toxicosis of pregnant women).

Is it possible to efficiently avoid the dire consequences of drug addiction in pregnancy? Modern medicine is encouraging – risks can be minimized. First of all, you need to completely stop taking any drugs even before conception.

If pregnancy is a surprise, you should immediately end the drug. And you should definitely be honest with your doctor. It is necessary to tell what specific drugs were used to determine the risk zone. It will be necessary to pass a number of tests and undergo a small examination.

The situation becomes much more complicated if the expectant mother cannot end drug addiction. And this is not uncommon today. In this case, a woman needs to seek outside help from a special center where such people are not only helped to part with their addiction, but they are also supported throughout the pregnancy.

In conclusion, I want to note that pregnancy is a wonderful, unique period in a woman’s life, but it still requires close attention to health. And this is not only about the risks associated with the intrauterine development of the baby.

After all, a woman’s health is subject to great risks during this period as well. It is worth listening to your condition, controlling mood swings, asking for help from relatives, or even a doctor if something worries. Only an attentive attitude to your body will bring a good result – good baby health and trouble-free pregnancy for mom.


About The Author

Barbara Elliott works as an operating nurse at New-Life.ua reproductive medicine clinic. This infertility center offers surrogacy services, IVF, egg donation for infertility treatment for those who want to become parents


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Rehab Success Rates: Does Rehab Really Work?

There’s an endless amount of statistics and information online about rehabilitation from drug and alcohol. Some are scary, claiming that there’s no real way to recover from drug and alcohol abuse. On the other hand, some statistics claim that rehab is a type of miracle cure. In reality, it’s hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

If you or someone you know is in recovery or is beginning the journey to sobriety, it’s up to you to make the most of reality. With the costs for treatments on the rise, how do you know if you’re spending money on an effective program? While there is no “cure” for addiction, it is possible to treat and manage addiction successfully.

Think of addiction like a chronic condition. When left on its own, it only gets worse. However, when you start a treatment plan, it’s possible to live a healthy and happy life with this condition. The hard truth is that addiction is something that never fully goes away. It’s always in the background. That being said, it can be overcome for a brighter future.

In this guide, we’ll break down the walls around rehab treatment to determine if it really works. We’ll look into the success rates as well as what they mean to come out on the other side with an honest answer.

Rehab Success Rates - Does Rehab Really Work?

Drug and Alcohol Rehab Success Rates

If you or someone you know is struggling to recover from drug and alcohol addiction, you’re not alone. Drug overdoses have actually become the top cause of injury-related deaths in the United States. Over 44,000 people a year die from drug overdoses. But for those who seek treatment, how often do they recover?

There’s a lot of conflicting evidence and research that goes into these statistics, and it’s true they might not all be straightforward. However, we should still get to know the numbers.

First, let’s define what rehab means. This is a more confusing term that you’d think since there’s no standard definition of “rehab.” As you might expect, since there’s no standard definition, there’s also no standard way to define whether rehab is successful. A lot of success rates are based just on how many of the patients complete their programs while others follow-up with ongoing sobriety. In addition, how are relapses counted?

These are the questions that need to be asked about drug and alcohol rehab success rates. Understanding the concept of help with drug addiction can sometimes be confusing, but it usually has to do with the individual, facility and situation.

Drug and Alcohol Addiction by the Numbers:

  • Over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 have an addiction
  • 6.8 million people who have an addiction also have a mental illness
  • 16.6 million Americans are considered alcoholics

With these numbers in mind, how does rehab make a difference, if it does at all?

Rehab Success Rates by the Numbers:

  • Compared to those who obtained help with their alcoholism, those who did not get help were less likely to achieve 3-year remission
  • Between 40 – 60% of people who have been treated for addiction or alcoholism will relapse within a year

After seeing these stats above, it’s still not clear whether or not rehab is an effective way to manage addiction or alcoholism. We still need to take a closer look at how rehab works to see why it’s such an effective way to achieve recovery.

Addiction group therapy

Types of Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rehab

There are a number of different types of rehab from drug and alcohol abuse, and they also contribute to whether the program itself is successful. There are some intensive programs that are likely fit for those who are really struggling with recovery and withdrawal, and there are also outpatient programs like therapy and group sessions that are better for ongoing management.

Inpatient Treatment – With an inpatient program, there is a rigorous medication and counseling schedule that helps the patient slowly heal their body and learn coping strategies. These inpatient programs run anywhere from a month to several months, as needed, and they’re supervised by a medical professional.

Residential Treatment – These programs are similar to inpatient, yet they’re intended to last for a longer time. The patient moves into the residential facility for a long-term program which is usually over 70 days. From there, they become a part of the sober community to counsel patients into a better lifestyle change.

Detox – Detox is something that gets a lot of media attention, but it’s actually not a program in itself. Detox is the process of transitioning the body from regular substance. Detox is usually done before a patient enters an inpatient or residential program.

Outpatient Treatment – Finally, outpatient includes a number of things like group therapy, in-person sessions, and counseling. Patients continue to live in their own homes, and these programs are ongoing for a longer period of time.

Support group

Why Do Drug Rehab Programs Work?

Not all drug treatment programs are created equal. Unfortunately, there are many substance abuse programs that don’t live up to their claims. In order for a program to be effective, it needs to have a number of things:

  • Educated, experienced personnel
  • Physicians certified by the American Board of Addiction medicine
  • Individualized treatment
  • Long-term timeframe
  • Mental health counseling and treatment
  • Medications, if needed

Simply treating the symptoms of addiction doesn’t work. There needs to be a customized approach to treatment that addresses the root problems as well as coping strategies for the future. While it’s true that between 40 – 60% of patients relapse in the future, this does not mean the program was a failure.

As we’ve said, addiction is a chronic illness. There is no single cure that magically changes the way the patient’s body and mind are wired. It takes ongoing care and management. There are good days, bad days, and in-between days. As long as the patient recovers from their relapse and keeps moving closer to recovery, it’s a success.

Final Thoughts

If you or someone you love is struggling with the challenges that come with addiction, don’t be deterred by the confusing statistics surrounding drug rehab success. These programs, as long as you’re careful in your choice, are an effective way to achieve a brighter future.

Instead of fixating on success rates, we need to change our perspective on what it means to live with addiction. Things are never that black and white. Relapse or troubles after treatment doesn’t mean the entire program failed. It just means more structure and support is needed to keep moving forward.

Choosing the method of recovery that’s right for you is half the battle. From there, you’ll need to find a treatment that works for your lifestyle. Ultimately, we can all agree that drug rehab is more than worth it to protect your future and your happiness.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Battling Addiction: 5 Ways To Spur Yourself On

When you’re dealing with addiction, you accept that you’re in a lifelong battle. If you take your eye off the ball, you could end up going back a few steps; as such, you need to be spurring yourself on everyday, and reminding yourself that the voice in your head – the voice of your addiction – is smaller, and not as significant, as your voice. Keeping yourself focused can be difficult, but there are many ways to do so, and we’ve noted down 5 of them here.

Image credit

#1: Think about yourself

No matter what your addiction would have you feel or think, you are worth so much more than a life controlled by substances. You have things to achieve, memories to make, and you deserve to do this on your own terms. Recovery from addiction is ultimately about you, so remind yourself that you’re the focus here, and that your voice should prevail, not the one that is pulling you in a toxic direction.

#2: Keep your loved ones in mind

Addiction has a hurricane-like effect on your life, meaning that your family and friends invariably get pulled into the suffering. Think about all of the times that they have stood by you throughout your addiction, and how they never turned their backs on you, because of their love. Whilst recovery is complex, keeping your loved ones in mind can help you in the day-to-day of handling your addiction.

#3: Reward yourself for landmarks

As with anything that you’re trying to achieve, when you’ve reached certain points in your recovery, you need to celebrate! Getting those new veneers from a leading ultimo dentist, having dinner with your loved ones, and even walking around the park and appreciating your new outlook on life, are all great ways to reward yourself for how far you’ve come. And you deserve it!

#4: Make a bucket list

Looking to the future is always a great idea, and making a bucket list could help to keep you focused. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit Niagara Falls, or you want to drive around the country, or you’ve always wanted to skydive. Whatever it is that you want to do, keep your future in mind. This is a future that you may not have had if you were still in the throes of addiction.

#5: Remember how far you’ve come

Staying focused throughout your recovery will be a result of remembering how far you’ve come. A few years (or months) ago, you may have been living a life that you couldn’t even remember due to substance abuse, and now, you’re on the road to freedom. It’s a tough road, but the important thing to remember is that you’re on it. Think about all that you’ve achieved, and all that you could achieve still.

So, if you’re battling addiction, it’s important to remember that the journey will be a difficult one, and there is a lot to overcome. However, it is extremely worthwhile, and taking it day-by-day is important if you’re going to keep your addiction at bay. Spur yourself on, and keep these things in mind; your future will be brighter than you ever expected as a result.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Life-Altering Symptoms of Addiction

Addiction is classified as a disease that has several side effects and comes with a range of dangerous conditions or behaviors. If you are able to take steps to really recognise these behaviors or conditions, before it becomes worse, then it can be a great place to be to help them to deal with what they are going through and get the help that they need.

Disorders of substance abuse can have a range of effects, from things that impact people psychologically, to physically, and socially. It can really reduce quality of living; even the small day to day things can be damaging. The thing is, if you or someone you think may be abusing substances, there are many symptoms that can overlap one another. So really being on the lookout can make a difference as for some people, it isn’t clearly cut.

As an example, when someone experiences a psychological effect of wanting to spend their money from groceries to buying addictive substances, they not only have reduced money, but they have access to substances, and aren’t meeting their nutritional needs either. In a similar vein, relationship problems can occur, as well as more and more of an aversion to interacting socially with others, which can be isolating but can also make lead to or worsen psychological problems, like anxiety or depression.

image

Denial and Secrecy

When someone is abusing substances, then often this will be done alone or secretly. So look out for someone that suddenly, or even not so suddenly, starts to withdraw and become more of a recluse. It is also something to look out for when someone will start to deny what is happening, even if you had witnessed it, perhaps; there will be a denial that there is even a problem. If there is talk of being able to quite anytime that they want to, then that is when alarms bells should start ringing (whether for you or for someone you care about).

Life-Altering Impact

There is no getting away from the fact that substance abuse brings with it some pretty life altering damages. Smoking a substance can lead to respiratory diseases and cancers, for example. Illicit drugs can lead to physical damage to your limbs and problems with your blood vessels, which could lead onto limb amputation and then disability, requiring a huge lifestyle overhaul and the use of things like disability phone apps. If you are someone that regularly drinks alcohol to excess, then it can lead to things like liver problems and generally poor health.

If these things can be dealt with fairly early on, then it can really reduce the negative impact that they have. So intervention as soon as possible is needed, otherwise, life-altering consequences can occur.

Financial Difficulties

At the end of the day, these substances cost money. And when they are used on a daily basis, the cost is going to be large. And with the side-effects that can come as a result, it can often lead to not working or getting fired. So financial difficulties really is something that can happen as a result, and that can also be pretty damaging and life-altering. Seek help as soon as you can, for you or a loved one, to nip it in the bud.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

8 Things You Should Know About Gender and Addiction

There are many misconceptions about addiction and these often include how people perceive how a person’s gender may impact addiction and recovery. While  anyone can become addiction to drugs, alcohol or process addictions there are a few gender related trends to take note of.

8 Things You Should Know About Gender and Addiction

Men Are More Likely To Become Addicts Than Women

According to studies carried out males tend to start using drugs and alcohol at a much younger age than females. Males also tend to drink alcohol and use more drugs more frequently and in much higher quantities than females. Males are more likely to engage in binge drinking.

This does not necessarily mean that men are more susceptible to become addicts. Studies show that teenage males have more opportunity and are more exposed through their peer groups than females. It is often the case that teenage girls are first introduced to drugs by their male peers.

Women are in fact more likely to transition from substance abuse to dependence and addiction and they do so at a faster pace than men.

Death By Overdose

Men are more likely to die from an overdose than women. More than double men have died from overdosing on heroin and opioids than women and almost two thirds of the deaths by prescription opioids have been men.

Dual Diagnosis and Gender

While dual diagnosis is equally prevalent between men and women the types of mental health disorders differ. Men are much more likely to antisocial personality disorders and women tend to have affective disorders such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

Drugs

Detoxing, Recovery and Relapse

Men are more likely to have more intense alcohol withdrawal than women. Women are more likely to experience physical side effects of addiction (such as liver damage) and overdose.

Men are less likely to relapse and have a better chance at long term sobriety than women. Women report more intense cravings and are more likely to relapse than men.

Types Of Drugs

Men are more likely to abuse a variety of illegal drugs such as anabolic steroids, methamphetamines, heroin, LSD, cocaine, ecstasy, opioids and molly. Women are more likely to abuse prescription medications than men.

Process Addictions

In general women are more likely to have an eating disorder than men. Women are more likely to suffer from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa while men with eating disorders are more likely to be overeaters.

Women are more likely to be dissatisfied with their weight and engage in dieting for weight control and purging.

When it comes to sex addiction men are physical and men are emotional. Men tend to obsess over sex and objectify women. Men tend to get involved in sexual behaviors that are not emotional.

Women look to sex for power or control, or to get the attention or praise that they want.

Women are also more likely to have a love addiction, which can easily be mistaken for a sex addiction. With a love addiction the addict looks for all her self-worth from her partner.

Men are about three times more likely to be addicted to gambling. Another difference with gambling addiction is that women tend to favour the slot machines and bingo while men are more likely to get hooked on table casino games or the stock markets.

Prescription overdose

Reason For Stopping Drugs

The biggest motivating factor for both men and women stopping drugs is for their children. 49% of women gave their children as the reason for stopping drugs, almost double that of the 26% of men that gave their children as their motivation.

Reason For Using Drugs

The trigger for men could originate for some men from traditional gender roles. Men may feel that they need to be adventurous and in control. Drugs and alcohol may seem like a good tool to help achieve these things. Men can be encouraged to keep their feeling hidden and taking drugs and drinking alcohol can appear to be a way of coping for some men.

Women often turn to drugs and alcohol in response to a traumatic event from childhood. In one study 30 to 59% of women in an addiction treatment program had a dual diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder.

Although men are more often in situations that are physically dangerous women are at a higher risk (both as a child and as an adult) to be victims of personal violence. In addition to this women are more likely to be sexually victimized while using alcohol than men.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

10 Myths About Drug Addiction That Aren’t True

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

  1. Drug Addicts Can End Their Addiction at Any Time

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

  1. Everyone Who Uses Drugs is an Addict

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

  1. Drug Addiction is a Moral Issue for The Addict

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

  1. Leaving the Addiction Is A Single Step Process

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

medical doctor

  1. Treatment Is A Farce and It Does Not Work

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

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

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

  1. Everyone Can Be Treated in The Same Manner

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

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

  1. People Will Never Touch Drugs After Treatment

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

  1. Addicts Can Be Easily Identified by Their Behaviour

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

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

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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

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

Sourced from this website

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

Restore your looks

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

Make new friends

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

Learn to forgive yourself

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

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

10 Things I Have Learned In 10 Years Of Sobriety

On Thursday 02 August 2018 it was my 10 years sobriety birthday and I honestly can’t believe I have made it so far. Here’s the truth – the thought of living without drugs or alcohol has always been too scary for me. The thought that I am “not allowed” to do something is not good for me. I have a defiant personality – nobody must tell me I can’t because I will go and do it.

Yes I know not exactly mature, but its the truth and I can say it. Instead I have always told myself if I want to use drugs or drink I am allowed to. Instead right now I choose not to. You see if its my choice its ok.

When I’ve had hard days and was tempted I told myself yes I can use and if I still feel this bad tomorrow I can do it, but for this moment I choose sobriety.

I have now chosen sobriety every single day for 10 days and it is incredible. On my 10th sober birthday I was overcome with emotion, I was teary all day. I didn’t expect that.

Hello, I’ve had 9 other big milestones, so what is so special about my first double digit birthday? Honestly I don’t know, but for some reason this one really got the tears going in a big way.

So I guess that this is a big recovery milestone, and in celebration I will share some of the things I have learned in last 10 years.

10 Things I've Learned In 10 Years Of Sobriety

Addiction Has Very Little To Do With Drugs or Alcohol

Yes I know, it sounds crazy right. We all picture addicts as lying in the gutter and not being able to say no to drugs. It’s the alcoholic that cannot stay away from the drink and he drinks until he pukes and passes out.

No, not really this is not true at all. There are so many things that people believe to be true when it comes to addiction.

Addiction is something else entirely, it is actually not centered whatever it is that you are addicted to whether it be street drugs, prescription medication, alcohol, sex, gambling, eating, not eating, exercise, work, internet…

It is about the person.

It is about why I used, what I was trying to escape from. It was about who became when I used drugs and drank. It was not about how much I used, when or how. It wasn’t about drugs, it was about me and the black hole I was trying to fill.

When the drugs and alcohol were gone I had to face myself and I was one messed up person.

Many people assume that the most part of addiction therapy is focused on keeping the addict away from their drug of choice, when in fact it is focused around working through past trauma, changing negative behavioral patterns and providing the addict with tools to cope with their emotions and with every day life.

Recovery Takes Time and Work

There is no such thing as recovered, I have said it over and I over. I am an addict. I am in recovery. I am not recovered. That would imply that I am cured and I am fixed. That will mean I can use again.

I know I can’t use.

It is so interesting to look back on how I have changed and matured over the years. When I was one year clean in my mind I was really working recovery and I was as close to “fixed” as an addict can get. Oh my word no, I was still so messed up then.

I look at even the first 2, 3 or even 4 years of recovery and I was like an emotionally immature child.

Recovery is not going to rehab, it is not going to meetings or doing step work. It is about living recovery, working recovery every day. Being a recovering addict is part of me and something that is part of everything I do. I am always conscious of it and know that I must evaluate every decision I make to see if I am slipping into old behavior. Yes even now 10 years down the line, in fact especially now, so I don’t slip into complacency.

Water lotus flower

Labels Suck

Addict, alcoholic, sex and love addict, codependent, bipolar disorder, nicotine addict, compulsive spender…. oh my word so many labels and so little time. I used to get so stuck on all the labels.

I am who I am and yes maybe those things are part of me, but they do not define me. I am also a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother and many more things.

When I was first diagnosed as bipolar it felt like my world was crashing and I had this huge label on my forehead telling everyone how damaged I was.

If you are in early recovery, let them slap labels on you and just relax. You are still the same person you were yesterday before you got the label. Learn about it, figure out how to manage it and find some coping skills, but don’t get too stuck on it.

There’s More Than One Way

Yes I got clean in rehab and I am part of the 12 step program but that is not the only way. There are people that get clean through their church, youth programs, SMART recovery and cognitive behavioral therapy and they are just fine.

When I got clean it was hammered into me that the 12 steps is THE way. It is a way and it is the way I did it but I now have a much more open mind and yes I attend meetings every now and then but I have a wide circle of recovery friends and lots of them do things differently. That’s ok.

I still do some 12 step meetings, but I mostly have formed my own support network of recovering addicts, other mothers and people with mental health issues. I’ve joined online support groups and I take part in online coaching which I find very beneficial.

Peace and harmony

An Addict Will Do It When Ready

When I sponsored addicts I would get so hung up on them staying clean – if an addict is ready he will find the way. He will find recovery and he will get clean. If he is not ready it will not happen. Yes things that I say or do can perhaps make a difference but it is out of my hands.

Now I don’t get too involved, I take a step back and I guide where needed. I am happier for it.

Happiness Is A Choice

Yes I know there are people with clinical depression that need counseling and possibly medication but I am no talking about those people. I am talking about me.

When I decided to be happy I became happy. When I decided to love myself I started to love myself. When I decided to love my life I started to love my life.

A lot of our mindset is a choice. Often we choose to be stuck. I unstuck myself and I am so grateful I did. I was stuck long into my recovery journey and it is only quite recently that I feel well and truly unstuck.

Finally I feel at one with myself and with my life. Everything feels right and I feel a peace. This is for the first time in my life.

Love Is Not A Feeling

Being a sex and love addict I was always searching for this feeling of love, for this high that comes with it. It does not exist, ok maybe he first time you fall in love with someone you get that giddy feeling but that fades away and reality sets in. After that love is a choice and it is work.

Love is a doing thing, it is not a feeling. Except when it comes to my kids… then it is an overwhelming feeling of love and loads of doing… doing washing, doing dishes, doing homework, wiping little noses…

But when it comes to my marriage there has been a lot of learning. I’ve had to grow up and learn how to truly love someone and be committed.

And love is not only about other people, it is also for myself. I need to look after myself and love myself, this too takes work.

Ashtray cigarattes

Nicotine Addiction Is HECTIC

I started smoking when I was 14 years old and I smoked for 22 years – for more than half my life. Two years ago I quit smoking and it was harder than quitting drugs and alcohol. It knocked me for a sixer, but I did it and I am proud.

I’ve started to wonder what the gateway drug really is. Some people call it marijuana but I wonder if it isn’t actually cigarettes and then alcohol? Both are more “socially acceptable” than street drugs and they are a huge problem.

I bet most people that try marijuana for the first time have smoked a cigarette first.

Active Addiction Is Harder Than Recovery

Everyone tells me “Oh it must have been so hard to get clean!” and yes it was hard. However when I really started to work on my recovery I quickly realized that is was much easier than using. I only put a fraction of the effort into my recovery that I put into using and I flew.

Being in active addiction is so much work! It is hard and it is draining. All that scheming to get money to get drugs, all that scheming to get hold of the drugs, then covering up doing the drugs and lying to people. Then lying to people to cover up the lies that you told other people. Then not remembering what lies you told to each person. All the ducking and diving and worrying.

It was awful. Being in recovery is easier, it is lighter on the soul. Yes you have to start cleaning up the messes you made but you are not living in the mess and drama anymore.

I Detest Drama

Early recovery felt strange, it always felt like something was about to happen, like something should happen. Things were so calm and smooth. It felt uncomfortable and I was always on edge.

Over time this feeling became normal. It is the absence of drama.

My life used to be constant drama and now I detest drama. When things go pear shaped now I get this awful feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach.

I like the quiet and the calm of being at home. I like routine and family life. This is what life is about.

Check out the Abbeycare Foundation for information about recovery,

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Substance Use Disorder: Is it a Mental Illness?

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

Substance Abuse Disorder - Is It A Mental Illness?

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

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

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

Lonely woman on pier

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

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

Empty street with benches in autumn

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

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

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

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

Young girls out at night

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

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

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

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

 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail