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Surround yourself with people who get it.

March 21st, 2018

If you are a recovering addict, especially if you are newly sober, it is crucial to surround yourself with people who understand and who support your goals. We always tell people that they do not have to do it alone, in fact, you should not do it alone.

Find friends who understand you, what you have been through and who take your sobriety seriously. These friends will help keep you focused on your goals. These are the people that you will rely on to have your back when the going gets really tough as we all know that trials and temptations are everywhere. But these are also the people who accept you for who you are and support you for no other reason then they get you. This is usually because they are also on a similar path.

If you have completed treatment at a recovery center, you now know that there is no real solution at the end of a bottle or in any drug. This is why your sober friends are a vital part of your personal recovery because it is founded on mutual understanding, compassion and support. Often, the people who are also on a similar path to yours will be the only people that are holding you up.

Unfortunately, you may have to let go of a great many of your old friends that may still be using. Breaking these bonds can be one of the most painful parts of recovery, but you can continue to build on the strong foundation you already have by attending various post-recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Here, you will continue to meet role models and new friends, and also be a part of a support system for others.

You cannot do this alone. Start developing friendships people who you meet throughout your treatment because they are here at the beginning with you. They will understand your struggles at the most fundamental level and will grow with you. If you are invested in your recovery, the relationships you establish with like-minded people at this point will be indispensable to you even after you leave to program.

If you or a loved one has an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.

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Substance Abuse and Depression Recovery

March 14th, 2018

Major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States. For some individuals, major depression can result in severe impairments that interfere with or limit one’s ability to carry out major life activities.

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. An estimated 16.2 million adults in the US had at least one major depressive episode (6.7% of us) in 2016 according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Perhaps the greatest issue is not the mental health disorder itself but the fact that only about one-third of those living with depression sought treatment from a mental health professional. Instead, they attempt to manage the issues at home – or simply ignore them. It’s not uncommon for people living with depression to turn to drugs or alcohol in an attempt to mitigate their experience of sadness, hopelessness, or disillusionment.

The goal of feeling some level of happiness or joy is hopeful and positive, but the use of substances to attain this can ultimately lead to more problems. Many people find that when they try to self-medicate depression with drugs or alcohol, they experience:

  • Increased frequency of depressive episodes
  • Longer depressive episodes
  • More intense depressive symptoms
  • A co-occurring substance abuse disorder or addiction
  • Increased financial, social, and family issues

Depression is a highly treatable disease with a number of different evidence-based treatment options for patients, including a range of inventive therapies and various pharmacological options. However, because every patient is different, different combinations of medications and therapies will be differently effective in each case.

Is it possible to recover from depression naturally? Yes, in some cases, but it is not necessarily sustainable, especially when substance abuse is part of the picture.

Once substance abuse becomes an addiction, a natural recovery is highly unlikely. It is recommended that those who cannot stop drinking or using drugs on their own seek out an addiction treatment program that can help them through detox and beyond. When both depression and addiction are co-occurring, a program that provides comprehensive care for both disorders is recommended for optimum recovery.

If you or a loved one has been dealing with an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.

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Signs of Substance Abuse and Depression

March 7th, 2018

It is often the case that both substance abuse and depression can evolve from small issues into much larger ones. It may be necessary to take a step back and consider how things have changed in the past six months or more and see whether or not issues have become increasingly more significant to determine whether or not it is time to take action.

Some of the signs of depression include:

  • Ongoing sadness or anxiety
  • Low energy
  • Unhealthy sleep patterns (e.g., sleeping too much or too little)
  • Unhealthy eating patterns (e.g., eating too much or too little)
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Lack of interest in hobbies
  • An inability to take pleasure in things
  • Lower libido
  • Feelings of helplessness, guilt, or worthlessness
  • Decreased ability to make decisions, focus, or remember things
  • Suicidal thoughts or behaviors

Signs of substance abuse and addiction include:

  • Increased isolation from friends and family
  • Experiencing issues at work and at home (e.g., often late to work or unable to manage commitments at home)
  • Experiencing financial issues (e.g., never enough money to pay bills)
  • Experiencing legal issues (e.g., arrest for driving under the influence, buying or selling drugs, etc.)
  • Possession of drugs and/or paraphernalia
  • Often complaining of feeling ill or tired
  • Extreme mood swings from highly interactive and feeling good to irritable and aloof

Ultimately, if someone is drinking and using drugs and unable to stop on his own despite multiple attempts and if he struggles with depression despite his best intentions to create positive change in his life, it’s time to seek treatment at a program that has the resources to address both disorders simultaneously.

If you or a loved one has been dealing with an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.

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The Uncooperative Addict

February 28th, 2018

What if the addict does not want help?

If you have someone in your life that suffers from an addiction, you probably have experienced a whole range of unfavorable situations resulting from their poor choices and bad behaviors. These kinds of experiences can wreak an emotional (and quite possibly financial) havoc on everyone involved. Probably the most frustrating thing about these kinds of events is that everyone recognizes that the person has a problem besides the addict. Everyone wants him/her “to get better”, except the addict. What do you do or say when the addict in your life is uncooperative? How can you convince him/her that they need help or make them do something they refuse to do? Here are a few general things to be aware of as you come to terms with the specifics of your situation and start to research the options you have:

Education Beats Denial.

Denial is probably the biggest component of not receiving treatment, for both the alcoholic/ addict and the family. The only way to combat denial is to educate yourself on the nature of the disease and be open to seeing the situation for what it is really is versus rationalizing the person’s various behaviors. It’s easy to avoid doing this because awareness means facing some hard truths about the person you love; truths that are really painful and often, embarrassing. But, there really are no excuses or trauma that can make living with alcoholism or addiction be okay. There may have once been a reason why the addict in your life picked up the bottle or the needle, but spending energy to figure out that reason is like trying to hold water in paper—almost impossible and fleeting at best.

For those who understand they have a problem and are willing to seek treatment, the recovery process will be easier. However, an intervention may be a necessary step for those who are resisting their issues. Many families and friends have found that this is an effective step to aiding the person to recognize he/she has a problem and want to seek help.

Intervention

Because of denial, lack of communication or simply not knowing how to talk about treatment with your loved one, an intervention probably is the best route. In an intervention, friends and families surround the addict usually in a situation that is a surprise to the addict. They openly speak to the addict about their unhappy or traumatic experiences with the addict and how it affected them when the addict is using. By focusing and discussing how the addict/alcoholic’s choices are destroying not only their own life, but those of others around them, the addict has a chance to make a choice to change. The choice is usually an ultimatum to enter a drug/alcohol rehab center or lose friendships and family ties. While you can not force someone to make the “right” choice, you can find peace in knowing you were able to do what you can for them to do so.

Get Support

It is vital to have support from family, trusted friends, and most importantly from a support group such as Al-Anon or Narcotics Anonymous. Even if you are introverted, in groups likes this, you can meet many others from all walks of life experiencing similar situations that you and your family are enduring. We know that when a loved one is using drugs or drinking their life away, it can seem like a selfish, drawn-out suicide. Watching this happen to someone you love who chooses this, can take a toll on you, but having support group can help you gain wisdom as well as detachment on how to move forward daily in your own life.

If you or a loved one has been dealing with an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.

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What To Do After Rehab: Your After-Care Plan

February 21st, 2018

Many believe that undergoing treatment at a rehab center will “fix” them and “cure” their addictions. However, it is not only wise but imperative to have a solid after-care plan in place before graduating and leaving the facility. No matter how much one thinks they have a handle on their disease, the chance of relapse is incredibly high shortly after walking out of the treatment center. In fact, most addicts and alcoholics who relapse do so within the first 18 months after. This is because transitioning seamlessly back into aspects of the “old” life while keeping the new and hard-earned sobriety intact is incredibly challenging. Having an after-care plan in place will certainly assist the recovering addict alcoholic in being prepared for many of the triggering situations that could occur and assist them in making good choices.

There are many tools to consider incorporating into an after-care plan. Some of these include transitional living, extended treatment, and 12-step programs. Speaking with counselors, therapists, family members, and peers with a substantial amount of sobriety behind them will provide insight on which option or combination of options is best for any particular individual. Below is a basic description of each:

Sober Living House: A transitional living or sober living house is a living situation that can help ease the entry back into the “real world” directly from rehab. These places can vary in services, structure, dynamics, and capacity, but generally, they are run by a live-in manager. Often, the house usually integrates drug testing, curfews, meetings, and probation periods. Ask a lot of questions when viewing or selecting a sober living facility as each house has its own distinct personality and specific rules. Remember by viewing it as an extension of one’s treatment and a life-long journey of sobriety, it will help to frame the perception and situation correctly.

Outpatient Care: This is a great tool for extending the benefits of treatment. Counseling, group, and individual therapy, medication management, and drug testing are usually offered. Recovering addicts that do not have the benefit of living in a sober or transitional living facility are highly recommended to utilize outpatient care to provide them with structure and reinforcement of the valuable lessons they learned in treatment. Speaking with the counselors at the rehab prior to exiting will help to find out more about outpatient care program as an option upon exit.

Sober Companion: A sober companion provides excellent support for chronic relapsers, recovering addicts in vulnerable situations or unstable addicts in early recovery. Companions assist individuals in achieving objectives through exploration of problems and their ramifications, examination of attitudes and feelings, consideration of alternative solutions, and aid in decision-making. Coaching helps clients utilize their resources to resolve problems and/or modify behaviors, attitudes, and values. Sober companions usually have been sober for a long while so they have enough experience to know what it is like to be new to recovery as well as the many pitfalls an addict could face early on.

12 Step Programs: 12-step programs are available for addictive, compulsive, or behavioral problems based on the 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. For drug addicts, Narcotics Anonymous meetings are available, as well as other drug-specific 12-step groups. These programs have proven successful for addicts in recovery. With these programs, an addict can find anonymous support and tools from others walking the same path. Many have attested to the fact that belonging or partaking in  12-step program has been vital to their sobriety as well as their sanity. Because many 12-step programs are inclusive to a wide range of people from all walks of life with only the common factor of being an addict or alcoholic, it is an can be an incredibly eye-opening experience to be a part of such a group; one could gain perspective and insight into his/her own life decisions and circumstances through just listening to what so many others share.

Although the disease of addiction is incurable, it is definitely manageable. Boredom can be an instant trigger for relapse. Since addiction is a disease of the mind, “staying out of one’s head” and keeping active are suggested. The old way of living didn’t work. Knowing what to do after a rehab program and how to have fun in sobriety is very important. Sober friends, hobbies, and choices can be fun and ensure a happy healthy way of life.

If you or a loved one has been dealing with an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict or alcoholic, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.

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Children of Addicts Suffer

February 14th, 2018

Many addicts and codependents believe that their behaviors do not affect anyone else besides themselves. This is especially the case if they are high functioning and regarded by those outside the family as being responsible contributors to society; the addict and/or codependent parent(s) may even have the false sense that they are providing the best for their family’s well-being. However, this is certainly far from the truth in almost all cases and children especially suffer the most.

Children are the daily but powerless witnesses to the devastating actions and consequences of addiction. Their childhood is usually stunted because they are often called upon to take on adult duties to keep the family functioning. They also have the extra heavy burden of keeping what happens inside the home a secret to outsiders, and because of this, they usually navigate through the world with a deep sense of shame, fear, and guilt. They spend a great deal of time and energy on figuring out what “normal” means or what it means to be a “normal” child and often they are uncertain how to behave or what to say.

Because the lines are blurred within the home, they sometimes are not able to discern good examples or role models from those that are not. Therefore, the characteristics of children from addict homes and codependent parenting can range and be numerous within any person. There is no one set or predictable outcome to those who grow up with addiction as environmental factors and genetics vary within each individual. For example, a brother and sister within the same alcoholic family system may grow up quite differently; one child may become a hyper-vigilant, super responsible adult who has a hard time “letting go” and having fun, while the other becomes a repeat criminal, with very little sense of remorse or responsibility.

The larger understanding to gain is that most children are affected deeply and in severe ways from growing up with an addict. Sometimes the results follow the child well into adulthood and may become crippling to their wellbeing for a lifetime; they may even pass the dysfunctional beliefs and behaviors into future generations. Some examples of how addiction may affect your children are: they may have an extremely low sense of self-worth or self-esteem, have a terrific fear of abandonment, have trouble becoming close to anyone in intimate relationships, may constantly seek approval from others, may become their own harshest judge, may have trust issues, may behave erratically or in compulsive ways, such as overeating, being a workaholic or even abusing substances or alcohol themselves.

If you or a loved one has an addiction of any nature, and have children, they may be affected and their quality of life may be impacted. If you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.

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Your Sober Network Is Your Lifeline

February 7th, 2018

Your sober network is your lifeline. And it’s a lifelong journey.

If you have just come out of a recovery center or are just at the beginning treatment, you have most likely have heard the saying that “recovery is a journey”. Let’s make it even more crystal clear…recovery is a lifelong journey. Living is a daily process where you get to choose how you want to begin and end each day. You get to choose how to deal with all the things life throws at you or blesses you with. This life is all up to you, but you do not have to do it alone, in fact, you should not do it alone. You also get to choose all those who you surround yourself with.

Developing and maintaining trusted allies that understand you, what you have been through and take your goals and your sobriety seriously, will help keep you on your path. These are the people that you will rely on to have your back when the going gets really tough as we all know that trials and temptations are plenty for the taking. But these are also the people who accept you for who you are and support you for no other reason than they get you. This is usually because they are also on a similar journey. This is what is called the Sober Network and it is one of the most essential components to a successfully staying sober.

Many times, when an individual makes the choice to change their lives and become sober, they have to let go of a great many of their old connections that kept them tied to their old ways. This is often one of the most emotionally painful parts of the process because the people who you love and who you thought loved and cared for you may be the very same people who keep you trapped in an old skin you are desperately trying to shed. If you have completed treatment at a recovery center, you now know that there is no real solution at the end of a bottle or in any drug. This is why your sober network is an incredibly vital part of your personal recovery life because it is founded on mutual understanding, compassion, and support. Sometimes, the people who are also on a similar path to yours will be the only people that are holding you up.

There is a saying: “No man (or woman) is an island to him (her) self”. In sobriety, this is very much the case. You cannot do this alone. Start developing your sober network with people who you meet throughout your treatment program because they are here at the beginning with you. They will understand your struggles at the most fundamental level and will grow with you. If you are invested in your recovery, the bonds you establish with like-minded people at this point will be indispensable to you even after you leave to program. Once you transition out of treatment, continue to build on the strong foundation you already have, by attending various post-recovery programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Here, you will continue to meet role models and inspirations but also be a part of a support system for one another to keep moving forward.

Remember, recovery is a lifelong journey.

If you or a loved one has an addiction of any nature or if you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.

 

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Sending Family Members to Treatment

January 31st, 2018

Alcoholism is a devastating disease, destroying the lives of the alcoholic and loved ones witnessing the destruction. When a loved one is drinking their life away, it can seem like a selfish drawn-out suicide. It’s a disease that lies in the mind. The main component to the disease of alcoholism or addiction is a continuous state of denial, despair, and hopelessness. In most cases, the family of an alcoholic has to take on the challenge of sending their loved one to rehab. It is a challenge, but there comes a time when the suffering just has to stop.

Beat the Denial

Denial is a huge enabler of not receiving treatment, in both the addict and the family. There are no excuses or trauma that can make living with addiction okay. There was once a reason why they picked up the bottle or drug, but what matters now is how to stop the use.

Find a Treatment Center

Treatment centers are professional facilities and specialize in providing the best support, therapy, and medical care. Alcohol rehab centers provide a variety of services, amenities, and dynamics. Do some research to help decide what you’re looking for in an alcohol treatment center. Ultimately they will be in good hands.

Intervention

Because of denial, lack of communication or simply not knowing how to talk about treatment with your loved one, an intervention is probably the best route. An intervention opens the addict’s mind to their behavior, focusing and discussing how their addiction is destroying not only their own lives but of others around them. Presenting another way of life, free of the burden of alcohol, as well as a solution, hopefully, will give them a sense of hope and desperation. Make it their decision. Shine light on how addiction is destroying their life and what they won’t have if they don’t take the gift of treatment.

Get Support

It is vital to have support from family, trusted friends, and most importantly from a support group. Like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon, you can find support from peers of all walks of life experiencing the same feelings that you and your family are enduring. Get help. Call us for a free consultation: 866-737-3574. The conversation is totally private.

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Why Can’t You Sleep?

January 24th, 2018

 

Chronic insomnia and other sleep problems may be a pathway by which problematic substance use develops in individuals predisposed to addiction.

Drugs of all kinds are abused by people with addictive tendencies—from NyQuil to benzodiazepines, to alcohol, to opiates. Those with insomnia and other sleep disturbances may use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate, but tolerance to the sedating effects of these substances develops quickly and, as a result, people suffering from insomnia (and now alcoholism) must consume larger quantities with greater frequency to achieve sleep. The danger in this is that the risk for dependence increases exponentially.

Alcohol-dependent individuals with difficulty falling asleep may have irregular circadian rhythms, as suggested by delayed onset of nocturnal melatonin secretion. They also may have low homeostatic sleep drive, another factor required to achieve slumber.

Nicotine-dependent individuals often experience difficulty falling asleep, sleep fragmentation, and less restful sleep compared with nonsmokers. Those who use marijuana have short-term difficulty falling asleep and decreased slow-wave sleep percentage during withdrawal. Funnily enough, medical marijuana is distributed as a sleep-aid among many of its users.

In people addicted to cocaine, there is a prolonged sleep latency, decreased sleep efficiency, and decreased REM sleep with intranasal self-administration, followed by hypersomnia during withdrawal.

With other stimulants, such as methamphetamines and methylphenidate, sleep complaints are similar to those reported with cocaine use. Typical of the side effects of opiate abuse, users experience decreased slow-wave sleep, increased stage-2 sleep with minimal impact on sleep continuity, vivid dreams and nightmares, and central sleep apnea.

There are a number of things we can do to address and hopefully overcome insomnia. Abstaining from using drugs or alcohol can greatly decrease insomnia; using the bedroom for nothing else but sleep will forge an association between our beds with falling asleep; aside from sexual activity, do not use the bed for anything but sleep—do not read in bed, watch TV in bed, eat in bed, or worry in bed; and avoid taking naps during the day so you are good and tired by the time bedtime rolls around.

Get help. Call us for a free consultation: 866-737-3574. The conversation is totally private.

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The Basics of an Intervention

January 9th, 2018

Drug or alcohol addiction doesn’t just affect the addict—it often also takes an emotional toll on the individual’s friends and family members. As a result, many families have found an intervention to be a successful way to help their loved one get the treatment he needs. The ultimate purpose of an intervention is to show an addict that he is loved and to help him recognize that professional help is needed to recover.

Preparing for the Intervention

Prior to an intervention, family members and loved ones often meet to plan out what will happen. One of the first steps in this planning process is to set a date and time for the intervention and to choose an intervention leader. Each friend or family member who will be present at the intervention should prepare a written statement or letter to the addict as a way to convey concerns and feelings.

Staging the Intervention

For an intervention to be successful, the addict will need to be caught off guard when he arrives. This element of surprise makes it difficult for an addict to come up with an excuse or to avoid the process altogether. Once the addict arrives, he should be asked to sit down and to listen to his loved ones’ concerns.

Issuing the Ultimatum

The purpose of an intervention is to help an addict understand how his behavior is harming friends and family members. At the end of the intervention, an addict’s loved ones will need to issue an ultimatum to get the treatment needed or face certain new boundaries that the group has set in place.

If you or someone you love needs help with alcohol or drug addiction, please call us for a free consultation. The call is completely confidential. It’s worth it.

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