The Importance of a Strong Family in Preventing Addiction

The Importance of a Strong Family in Preventing Addiction

A strong family can go a long way toward preventing addiction

A user’s environment is one of the main factors that leads to addiction, so having a strong family that supports sobriety can play a major role in preventing addiction. While a close family does not guarantee sobriety, it can play a positive role in your life, and it can also steer you away from addiction. However, as positive as a strong family can be, an unhealthy family relationship can make it more likely that someone will abuse drugs or alcohol, a habit that can lead to addiction. Read more

Maintaining Sobriety Through Painful Anniversaries

Traumatic life events can create gut-wrenching emotions; in fact, painful ordeals (such as losing a child, becoming divorced or getting diagnosed with a major illness) can take years to heal. Even after time softens the blow, the anniversary of that incident can trigger a flood of fresh feelings, such as the following examples:

  • Grief
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Loss of purpose

While these normal emotions often form on the anniversary of a loss, they can spell disaster for a recovering addict. When grief intensifies, then the desire for escape and relief can weaken one’s resolve to stay sober, which may lead to relapse. However, you can stay sober during a painful anniversary if you utilize the following tips:

  • Increase recovery meeting attendance
  • Share openly about your sadness, fear and anxiety
  • Be honest about your urges to use
  • Enlist the help of a mentor or addiction counselor who can refresh your coping strategies
  • Talk with a therapist
  • Create a new normal instead of trying to recreate the past
  • Stay on the lookout for depression or other stress-related disorders that could form as a result of remembering the event
  • Connect with others instead of isolating yourself
  • Volunteer as a way to channel your emotions constructively
  • Find creative outlets
  • Minimize stress with meditation or deep breathing exercises

If, despite your greatest efforts, you sense that slipping back into addiction is becoming a greater threat, then pay attention. A relapse may be around the corner if you behave in any of the following ways:

  • Overlook recovery routines, such as going to 12-Step meetings
  • Romanticize your drug-using days
  • Behavior becomes increasingly selfish and moody
  • Rationalize one drink or pill
  • Seek out former partying buddies
  • Get defensive when people ask questions about your shift in attitudes

Recovering from a loss does not happen overnight, on a straight path or at a constant pace; instead, it is a process that ebbs and flows. This point is essential to keep in mind as the anniversary of your traumatic experience approaches, especially as fluctuating emotions tempt you to use drugs again. It is easier to stay sober than it is to get sober, so do not waste the work you have already performed to get clean by relapsing.

Recovery from Addiction

If you or someone you love struggles with addiction, then know that help is available. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can guide you to wellness, so do not go it alone when help is just one phone call away. Start your recovery now by making the call.

Why It’s Important to Realize that Addicted People Are Wounded People

Addicts have often been viewed as selfish and unwilling to change, but it is important to recognize that there are real painful wounds underlying the addiction. While wounding does not give an addict a license to continue down her self-destructive path, empathy can have a profoundly positive impact on recovery. If you can move past the negative thoughts and consider these individuals as not just addicts, but also friends and family members, you have the chance to change lives.

Addicts in Recovery Struggle with Self-Image

Simply put, every recovery addict in recovery struggles with his self-image. He understands the pain and disappointment he has caused with his actions, and he knows trust has been broken. On the down days, he will believe that isolation and sorrow are his lot in life.

An individual in recovery will be overcome by shame at times. She will assume none of her friends and family will support her because she has lost the right to matter to anyone else. These negative emotions can cripple an addict.

Practical Ways to Empathize

As a family member or friend of an addict in recovery, you can help by remembering an addict is wounded, too. There are many practical ways to empathize, but here are some to get you started in the right way of thinking:

  • A quick phone call to see how she is doing
  • Drop a postcard in the mail with a simple message of hope
  • Invite him to lunch, your treat
  • Buy her some candles or lotion to pamper herself
  • Send a text that says, “I have not given up on you. You can do it”

The power of empathy for an addict in recovery can never be underestimated. Empathy gives hope on a bad day. Empathy lends strength to a friend weakened by addiction. Empathy tells the addict she can stay drug free one more day.

Empathy can change lives. It is hard to push past the common perception that drug addicts are selfish and unwilling to change. But how powerful is it to consider the possibility that your words can literally give a friend or a family member the strength to push through one more day?

Learn About More Ways to Help an Addicted Loved One

If you or someone you know is battling a drug or alcohol addiction, we can help you. The admission counselors at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can answer your questions, connect you with resources, and help you learn more about addiction. They can help you find your way.

When Did People Begin to Consider Addiction as a Disease?

When Did People Begin to Consider Addiction as a Disease?

Approaching addiction as a disease necessitates a different type of therapy

Although not officially classified as a disease by the American Medical Association until 1956, the idea that problem drinking could possibly be caused by damage to the brain goes back to at least the 18th century in academia. Early thoughts about what is called the “Disease Theory of Alcoholism” did not fully permeate mainstream psychiatric and medical culture until being endorsed as a dual psychological and physiological disorder by the AMA in 1991. Simply put, this classification acknowledges that alcoholism in particular, and other chemical dependencies by extension, cause physical and emotional changes to the brain. This affects how modern treatment programs view treatment in very significant ways. Read more

Medical Conditions That Can Be Caused by Alcoholism

Medical Conditions That Can Be Caused by Alcoholism

Drinking large amounts of alcohol in a single sitting can spike blood pressure

Many people enjoy consuming alcohol in social situations, but some people consume it somewhat regularly, often to relieve stress. When people consume alcohol, they usually do not consider the possible health results of doing so, but this activity can lead to a number of medical conditions, especially for alcoholics who frequently drink large amounts. It is important to understand what medical conditions can be caused by alcoholism, and a few of them include hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, hypertension, dementia, cancer and depression. Read more

Are Process Addictions Medically Recognized?

Are Process Addictions Medically Recognized?

Mental health professionals have officially recognized problem gambling as a mental health disorder

Process addictions occur when someone participates in a behavior so much that she becomes addicted to the way she feels in response. In other words, because people will repeat acts that make them feel good, so they become addicted to the resulting pleasure, which means they continue the behavior despite all negative consequences. Similar to substance addiction, process addiction often destroys personal relationships while it also hinders success at school and the workplace. The following four behaviors are frequently associated with process addiction:

  • Gambling
  • Shopping
  • Exercise
  • Internet use

Read more

Addiction and Mental Health Conditions

Addiction and Mental Health Conditions

Addiction is one of the most serious and most common mental health disorders

Many people do not realize how closely related addiction and mental health conditions are, but many if not most addicts suffer from at least one co-occurring psychological disorder. However, it is vital to recovery for drug users to address their co-occurring conditions, which they are often self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol. Read more

3 Tips for Avoiding Addiction to Prescription Drugs

3 Tips for Avoiding Addiction to Prescription Drugs

Using medications as prescription will help avoid addiction

Prescription stimulants, depressants and opioid painkillers affect the central nervous system and the brain’s reward pathways, so, even when taken for medical reasons, they have the potential for abuse. Many people wrongly think that prescription medications are safer than illicit drugs, but opioid painkillers are made from the same opium poppy as heroin, and prescription stimulants share similarities with cocaine. Furthermore, the latest Drug Abuse Warning Network reports show that illicit and prescription drugs are now equally represented in medical emergencies that involve recreational drug use. Pharmaceutical companies usually formulate their drugs to limit abuse, but, since all people have unique levels of genetic vulnerability, both medicinal and recreational users can become trapped in addiction. Prescription drugs should always be taken with caution, and the three tips listed below can help users reduce the risks. Read more

Autism and Process Addictions

Autism and Process Addictions

Video game addiction has become one of the most common process addictions

Autism can cause numerous behavioral difficulties and the development of ritualistic-like activities that can often become process addictions. Autistic people are prone to develop process addictions and show resistance and aggression towards treatment for the addiction. Some of the different behaviors California communities can look out for that are common among people with autism that can influence the development of a process addiction can include the following:

  • Difficulty interacting socially with peers
  • The tendency to engage in repetitive behavior or activities
  • Severe attachment to object or activities
  • The need to follow a particular routine
  • Distress if routine cannot be followed or is interrupted
  • The preference to be alone as opposed to having others present
  • Becoming distressed if something is changed
  • The tendency to play or engage in activities ritualistically

Read more

Five Ways to Detect Emotional Symptoms of Possible Drug Abuse

Five Ways to Detect Emotional Symptoms of Possible Drug Abuse

Defensiveness is a symptom of drug abuse

Everyone experiences natural changes in their moods every day. Something as simple as a commercial can cause sadness or happiness. A few hours later, an email from a colleague may trigger anxiety or anger. Mood changes are a natural reaction to the events that unfold every day. However, drug addiction produces emotional side effects that mirror or are masked by natural moods. Californians may find it difficult to tell the difference between natural moods and moods produced by substance abuse. Read more

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