Addiction and Treating The Underlying Causes Of Destructive Behaviour

It is a misconception that addiction is all about the drug. Many people believe that once an addict is clean from a drug the hard part is done and dusted and the process of staying off the drugs is easy. This could not be further from the truth. In most cases for an addict the easiest part is getting clean from his drug of choice and the hard part is staying clean and learning how to live without his drug of choice.

Yes it is true that some addicts struggle with getting physically clean from their drug of choice and depending on the drug the addict may need a medically assisted detox. This can make the process of getting clean tough, however the real hard work begins when the addict is considered sober and then has to face life and reality without drugs.

Addiction and Treating The Underlying Cause Of Destructive Behaviour

Trauma and Addiction

According to studies two thirds of drug addicts that seek treatment report being sexually, physically and/ or emotionally abused during childhood.

When a child is growing up his circumstances and experiences will certainly impact his physical and psychological development. Very often these issues are not resolved during childhood and unless dealt with as part of the addiction recovery process these issues will continue to add to the addict’s self destructive behavior.

There is also a link between PTSD and addiction. About 50 – 60% of people that suffer from PTSD have addiction problems, the reverse is true too where. Anyone that has gone through a very traumatic event, like rape, often suffers from PTSD and/ or other psychological problems.

This much is clear – the relationship between substance abuse and trauma is closely intertwined. Click here to find out more about trauma and addiction treatment.

Childhood abuse alcoholism

Trauma During Addiction

Now while it is clear that trauma and addiction are closely linked showing that trauma may contributing to addictive behaviors there is another side to it. While an addict is in active addiction there are countless more traumatic moments. Some severe and some not so severe but still traumatic.

Addicts are well known for wrecking their own lives and the lives of those that they love. Someone that is normally a calm and loving person yet addicted to drugs, may become aggressive and abusive towards his family.

It is simply not possible for an addictive to have a healthy relationship with anyone. Love relationships will be destructive and toxic and most likely with a partner that is also an addict.

Losing a job, losing a home, getting a divorce and being arrested are all terribly traumatic things to happen to anyone and chances are that if you are an addict you have done every single one of these, often more than once.

Very often an addict has a dual diagnosis which means that he suffers from a mental disorder as well as the addiction. This is hardly surprising since going through so much trauma will inevitably lead to things like anxiety, depression, PTSD and more. Drugs and alcohol can also change the chemistry of the brain to even further complicate matters.

Individual Counselling session

 The Importance Of Dealing With Underlying Issues

Focusing on the causes of destructive behaviors is essential during the process of recovery from addiction. Treating the cause of the destructive behaviors and not just the symptoms will help addicts to achieve and maintain long term recovery.

In order to prevent relapse it is essential for addicts to receive trauma counselling to deal with unresolved issues.

Family therapy is also vitally important to recovery from addiction. Family relations will no doubt have suffered damage during the course of addiction. Very often the addict is not the only person in the family that has suffered from trauma and these family patterns will have destructive effects if they are not addressed during therapy.

Very often family members of the addict are addicts themselves, or codependents that are enabling the addicts behaviour.

The addict needs to not only deal with the underlying issues surrounding his addiction, but also be taught new ways of coping with emotional pain, stress and anxiety that has resulted from trauma but also from every day events, so that he can cope with life in a healthy way when leaving treatment for addiction.

When the addict recognizes and understand the triggers and reasons behind them that drive him to use he can start applying the healthy coping skills learned in treatment to help prevent relapsing. Click here to read more about relapse prevention.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

5 Ways Nutrition Plays A Vital Role In Recovery From Addiction

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

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

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




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

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

Nutrition Recovery Addiction

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

1 Detoxing from alcohol and drugs

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

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

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

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

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

2 Repairing Body Damage

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

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

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

Stay away from processed foods and foods high in sugar.




3 Healthy Living Habits

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

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

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

4 Mental Well-being

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

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

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

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




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

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

5 The Dangers of Cross Addiction

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

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

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

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

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


About The Author

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


 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

5 Reasons Why Therapy is Important for Recovery from Addiction

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

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

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

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

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

Why Therapy is Important for Recovery from Addiction

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

1 Recognize Behavior Patterns and Triggers

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

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

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

2 Healthy Coping Skills

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

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

3 Dealing With Past Issues

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

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

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

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

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

4 Dual Diagnosis

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

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

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

5 Relapse Prevention and Long Term Support

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

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

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

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


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


 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The Importance of Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

The teenage years are really tough enough as it is with raging hormones, so when you add in a substance abuse problem it can become a complicated problem.

Many teens experiment with drugs or alcohol with little or no consequences at all, however there are a lot of teenagers that very quickly get stuck in the cycle of addiction. If you find out your teenager has been using drugs or alcohol you must take steps to find out the depth of the problem.

Because teenagers are not yet fully developed their views can be very limited. Very often teenagers simply cannot fully comprehend the severity of the consequences of their using and of their own behavior due to using.




For this reason if your teenager has a substance abuse problem it really is best to ensure you find an addiction treatment center that offers specialized addiction treatment for young adults.

When choosing a rehab for your teenager it is also important to choose a medically supervised addiction treatment program that will help to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.

Medically Supervised Addiction Treatment for Young Adults

Here are the reasons why a medically supervised addiction treatment program is so important for young adults:

A Medically Supervised Detox

Just to put it simply, withdrawal from certain drugs can be dangerous, even deadly which means a medical detox can mean the difference between life and death for your teenager.

There are many drugs that require detoxification, including alcohol, heroin and opiate related drugs, and certain prescription drugs such as Xanas, Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Hydrocodone. Withdrawal symptoms can have severe side effects which can be fatal if not properly treated.

Detoxing from these drugs may cause vomiting, trembling, nausea, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, seizures, and comas.




Trained medical professionals can help to manage these life threatening symptoms by administering medication to wean the addict off of the drug, decrease physical withdrawal symptoms and prevent seizures.

Medical staff are on hand to check vital signs, evaluate mental and physical progress and provide support to the patient throughout the withdrawal process.

There are also other drugs that do not usually require a medical detox, these include marijuana, cocaine, and crystal methamphetamine. Withdrawal symptoms are not so severe ranging from a feeling of tiredness to extreme irritability and agitation.

Very often medical detox is given for these drugs for other reasons such as the patient feels they cannot stop without medical intervention, they have become psychotic from drug use and need a medical intervention, they feel they are a danger to themselves (suicidal) or perhaps they just don’t have anywhere else to go.

It is much safer for an addict to go through a medical detox than to try and attempt it from home, not just from the viewpoint of the physical and mental dangers associated with detox, but also because relapse is a lot more likely when attempting to detox without medical help.

When a drug addict goes back to using drugs during or just after withdrawal their tolerance is usually much lower making an overdose more likely.

Addiction and Dual Diagnosis

When a patient is diagnosed with a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue it is referred to as a dual diagnosis.

Common mental health disorders that occur in conjunction with addiction and substance abuse problems are:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Personality Disorders
  • Mood Disorders (such as Bipolar Disorder)

It may be that a drug addict starts to develop mental health issues when, after chronic drug use, the brain function alters.

Alternatively someone with mental health issues may attempt to treat the symptoms of their mental disorder by taking drugs. For example someone suffering from anxiety may smoke marijuana in an attempt to calm themselves and through prolonged use becomes addicted.




Regardless of which disorder occurs first it is essential that the addiction and the mental health disorder be treated at the same time. The symptoms and effects of the mental disorder can trigger and drive the addiction and vice versa.

At least 30% of people that are suffering with a substance abuse problem have mental health issues.

For these reasons it really is important for teenagers (and any other addict) to be treated at a medically supervised, dual diagnosis addiction center.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail