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Alcohol Addiction

Is group therapy helpful for treating drug addiction?

Group therapies of all sorts are available for helping people who are struggling with drug addiction. The most popular group therapy for drug addiction is known as Narcotics Anonymous, and many people have reported that the group was instrumental in helping them stay clean and sober.

 

In this article, we’ll discuss what group therapy is and how it can be useful for helping encourage people to stay sober.

 

What is group therapy?

Group therapy is a form of therapy that allows a number of people to engage in some form of therapy.

 

In its most common form, group therapy for recovering drug users provides a format in which a number of different recovering users can share their experiences with each other.

Depending on the particular group and its facilitator, there may or may not be a ‘theme’ to the therapy session. In many cases, there is no theme, and instead, just an open discussion. However, some forms of group therapy – particularly those that are provided during a rehab program – are facilitated by a counselor or psychiatrist, who will guide the group through some therapeutic practice.

 

In most group therapy sessions, individuals will meet in a room where a number of chairs are arranged in a circle. This allows all the members of the group to engage with each other. In open-ended discussions, there is no ‘head’ of the group, and discussion will be organic.

 

Benefits of Group Therapy

Group therapy provides a number of benefits that one might not be able to experience if they were participating in one-on-one therapy.

 

  • During group therapy, a recovering drug user will be able to communicate with other drug users who have had similar experiences. Any drug user who has gone to therapy can attest to the difficulty of trying to explain addiction to someone who has never been addicted to drugs themselves.
  • Members of the group can share their own experiences, advice, tips, and tricks that they’ve used for managing their own addiction.
  • Group therapy provides recovering users an open, non-judgmental space where they can be open and honest about their addictions. Many users have a hard time finding a safe space where they can openly express themselves without being stigmatized.
  • Struggling group members will be able to model their behavior by figures in the group who have tackled their problems. Group sessions can provide recovering users with positive influences.
  • Group members can work together to overcome feelings of shame, guilt, pain, or stress, which they may otherwise have a difficult time confronting on their own or with friends and family who have never used.
  • Recovering drug users will be able to practice new social skills to help themselves reintegrate into society after sobering up.

 

These are just a few of the benefits that group therapy can provide.

 

Conclusion

Group therapy has been instrumental in helping many recovering drug users to stay sober. The group dynamic allows for a greater exchange of information and learning. If you or a loved one are struggling with recovery, perhaps group therapy could help propel you further down the road to recovery.

The Importance of a Healthy Diet in Addiction Recovery

When a recovering drug user seeks treatment for their problem, they are generally prepared to participate in the standard methods of treatment: detox, therapy, group sessions, and the like. One thing that is not often addressed is the importance of having a healthy diet.

 

A healthy diet can bring a user’s energy levels back to normal, help to stabilize their emotions, and can help ensure longevity by reducing any damage that might have been done by using drugs. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of a healthy diet in addiction recovery.

 

What Is a Healthy Diet?

A healthy diet differs for different people. While the standard dietary guidelines in America seem cut in stone, diet goes much deeper. However, there are some basics that every individual need to attend to.

 

  • Vitamins and minerals. The body needs a varied amount of vitamins and minerals for it to run properly. These vitamins and minerals are best obtained from a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Processed foods are often low in vitamins and minerals and provide little benefit aside from calories.
  • Protein is necessary for the development of healthy muscle tissue and skin. If you’re recovering from a drug addiction, protein can help you build back any muscles that you may have lost.
  • Carbs provide the body with energy. However, refined carbs, like breads and sugars, are actually bad for your health. Look for complex carbs like those found in sweet potatoes and whole grains.

Different people require different amounts of the nutrients listed above. The best way to figure out your own particular nutritional needs is to talk to a nutritionist.

 

Why a Healthy Diet Is Important for Recovering Addicts

There are many reasons that a recovering addict would want to take care of their diet. Some of the more serious reasons include:

 

  • A good diet provides energy, which recovering addicts are often in need of.
  • A healthy diet can help to reduce levels of anxiety, which can be a triggering factor for people struggling with addiction. In fact, some nutritional deficiencies can even cause anxiety, which may make someone more likely to use drugs.
  • A diet rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients can help reduce damage to tissues and organs and can enhance longevity.
  • A healthy diet encourages a stable, positive mind state and can reduce emotional problems.

 

Following a healthy diet plan can also provide recovering drug users with a new fixation. Granted, it is possible to become too fixated on developing an ideal diet plan – however, if this is only a temporary fixation that helps to draw focus away from cravings and addiction, then it can be considered beneficial in the long run.

 

Conclusion

Psychotherapy, detoxification, and group meetings are staples for addicts in recovery. However, one oft-overlooked facet of a complete recovery is a healthy diet.

 

A healthy diet can bring recovering drug users back to baseline by providing them with energy and overall good health. If you or a loved one are going through addiction treatment, don’t forget to address the important issue of diet!

 

Written by Nigel Ford

Is group therapy helpful for managing alcoholism?

Many alcoholics have reported that group therapy is one of the most important things for helping them to stay sober. However, someone who has attended a group meeting might be curious as to how exactly something like this could help manage alcoholism.

 

In this article, we’re going to explain a bit about group therapy, group meetings, and alcoholism. You’ll learn how these unique forms of therapy can be beneficial for anyone hoping to recover from alcoholism.

 

Group Therapy & Group Meetings

Group therapy and group meetings are similar, but technically different forms of therapy. Both can be incredibly useful for helping a recovering alcoholic; however, they can be employed differently.

 

Both forms of therapy involve small groups of people who sit in a circle and communicate with each other. However, the function of each session can differ depending on the needs of the participants and the availability, or need, of a facilitator.

Group Therapy

Group therapy is a form of therapy that involves a psychologist or counselor heading a group of people who struggle with similar conditions. Group therapy is highly effective for helping to counsel a large group of recovering alcoholics and is often used in rehab.

 

Group Meetings

Group meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, are similar to group therapy. However, there may or may not be a facilitator. If there is a facilitator, they don’t necessarily need to be a counselor or psychologist – instead, they’re just someone directing the conversation for the group.

 

Group meetings are generally much more free-flowing than group therapy and focus on the exchange between the members of the group.

 

Why Would Group Therapy or Meetings Help?

Group therapy and group meetings can provide people with a number of benefits that they might not be able to reach just with conventional therapy.

 

The very act of sharing a therapy session with other people allows for a greater range of possibilities. These can include:

 

  • The opportunity to learn and share knowledge and advice about addiction and recovery with other users
  • The chance to work through difficult emotional problems with others who have gone through the same
  • The freedom to openly discuss difficult personal problems in a non-judgmental space with people who genuinely care about you

Group meetings can be immensely useful on their own, especially for people in recovery. One of the toughest things about recovery is feeling like you’re going through it on your own. Group therapy can make you feel accepted as part of a community, which can help provide the strength needed to move forward with recovery.

 

Group meetings with therapy can be particularly beneficial, as the counselor or psychiatrist can provide group members with skills and coping techniques that can help them with their recovery. Members can then share and discuss their own take on these techniques.

 

Conclusion

Many recovering alcoholics claim that group meetings are one of the only things that helped to keep them sober. This is because these meetings can provide a safe space where recovering alcoholics can share knowledge and experience to help further each other’s recovery.

Signs of Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine is second biggest killer among illegal drugs. However, recognizing the signs of cocaine addiction is not easy. You could look out for these red flags.

Signs of Cocaine Use

The effects of cocaine use start soon after consumption and may last about an hour. Some of these are immediate side effects while others are the result of prolonged use.

  • Physical Signs – Nosebleeds, jaw clenching, muscle twitches, tremors or shakiness, increased body temperature, weight loss
  • Mental / Emotional Signs – Excitability, overconfidence, mood swings, depression, restlessness, paranoia, talkativeness
  • Other signs – Social isolation, risky behaviors, changes in sleeping and eating patterns, poor personal hygiene, financial problems

Since the high from cocaine lasts a relatively short period, users may use several doses. Consuming large quantities can lead to unpredictable and even violent behavior. Such changes in your loved one’s behavior could be signs of a cocaine abuse problem.

Drug Paraphernalia

Apart from the signs mentioned above, there are other indications of cocaine use – drug paraphernalia, such as white powder buildup, syringes, or glass pipes. And some of these items may be hiding in plain sight. For instance, dollar bills in a wallet are normal but rolled up dollar bills in a drawer aren’t. Watch out for –

  • Dollar bills
  • Hollow pens
  • Snuff bullets
  • Small mirrors
  • Lockets and bulky rings
  • Small, re-sealable plastic bags
  • Razor blades
  • Plastic cards

Harmful Effects of Long-Term Cocaine Use

Symptoms of prolonged use include:

  • Loss of smell
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Tooth decay
  • Headaches
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Severe depression
  • Seizures
  • Delirium or psychosis
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Lung damage
  • Heart disease
  • Rare autoimmune diseases
  • Permanent damage to blood vessels

If you suspect a loved one of cocaine use, seek help right away.

 

I Relapsed, Now What?

Relapsing can feel like the end of the world. After going through the struggle of addiction, working the programs, and finally getting clean, it can feel like you are falling into a deep hole after a relapse. Whether it happened during a momentary weakness or falling into old unhealthy relationships and habits, relapses do happen, and there is hope for overcoming them. The most important thing is to recognize what is happening, keep a positive attitude, and take measures to ensure it is not ongoing and does not happen again.

Relapse often leads to intense feelings of humiliation and guilt. It is important to brace yourself for these feelings as they may make you even more prone to use again. Contact your support group should be one of the first things you do after a relapse. Addiction is one of the most difficult things to overcome on your own. Therefore, notifying your support group, whether that be family, friends, or a sponsor, is key to ensuring you get the help you need. Even if it’s just reaching out via phone call or text, letting your support group know what happened is vital to moving forward.

 

Each person’s addiction is different, just like each relapse scenario will be different. In some cases, it may be best to return to treatment after a relapse. Yet, in other cases, it may have been a one time slip that is avoidable in the future by making lifestyle changes and leaning on your support group. While it is important to keep a positive attitude, it is also important to recognize that relapse is a big deal. It is important to avoid the negative spiral of relapse, treatment, relapse treatment.

During a relapse, it is important to keep everything in perspective. While it may feel like a setback, you should try to look it at more as a stepping stone, or a challenge to overcome. Regardless of your substance of choice, having a support network is one of the most important factors in overcoming addiction and relapse, and staying clean. Determining what caused the relapse is another important factor. Was it feelings of stress, anxiety, guilt, or depression brought on by something going on in your life? Did you run into an old friend that you used to use with, and it sparked old memories? It is important to determine the trigger that caused the relapse in the first place, in order to put measures in place to avoid that trigger in the future.

A relapse can feel like the end of the world. Feelings of guilt and shame are amplified during a relapse. However, it is important to mitigate these feelings by surrounding yourself with a strong support system who love and care about you, and who knows how to get you to the help you need. Relapses happen to many people going through rehabilitation and recovery. It is ok. The most important thing is to put measures in place, so relapse does not become a habit, and so that you are able to live a fulfilling life after treatment.

How Can I Talk To My Kids About Drugs And Alcohol?

Talking to your kids about drugs and alcohol can be a difficult thing to do. Ideally, the subject could be avoided – but unfortunately, it’s unwise to allow your children to grow up without some knowledge of drugs and alcohol. The hardest thing to know is how to approach them properly.

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can properly talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol.

Approaching Youth About Drugs and Alcohol

The first thing that many parents tell their kids about drugs and alcohol is that they’re completely bad and should be avoided at all costs.

 

While this might sound like the simplest thing to do, it’s also one of the easiest things to backfire on you. There are several reasons for this.

 

  • As anyone who has raised kids will know, simply telling them not to do something without just cause will make them want to do the thing.
  • Telling them that ‘drugs and alcohol are just bad’ will lead to them questioning others who choose to drink recreationally – their perspective on these individuals will either be soured or, if they respect the individual, they will question whether or not drugs are actually ‘just bad.’

 

Both of these situations could actually make your children more interested in drugs and alcohol, which is obviously an undesirable situation. There are a few suggestions that can help you keep your kids away from alcohol.

 

  • Be honest. Young children are especially receptive to truth and authenticity. If you explain that drugs can be very dangerous and that they can easily spiral out of control down the road to addiction, your genuine concern may make them more likely to avoid drugs than simply forbidding them from doing so.
  • Start early. If you’re watching a movie with your kid and someone lights up a cigarette, explain to them about the dangers and health problems caused by tobacco addiction. If you see alcohol glorified in movies, assure them that alcohol can actually be quite problematic.
  • Make sure that they’re comfortable. Be calm, collected, and open when discussing drugs and alcohol with kids. This will encourage them to engage in the conversation and will make them more likely to listen to you.

Tips for Laying Groundwork

There are a few tips that you might want to consider to lay a firm foundation for your kids.

 

  • Be available! If your kid is going through emotional problems, let them know that you are available to talk to them.
  • Consider role-playing. Role-playing can help your child come up with ways to refuse drugs if they’re offered.
  • Create a warm and positive environment where your child feels comfortable expressing themselves openly and honestly.
  • Be aware of their social life. Kids who are isolated may be more prone to drug use – but so are kids who socialize with other drug users.

Conclusion

It’s important to know how to talk to your children about drugs and alcohol. Following these guidelines can help you ensure that your children will never need to go to rehab.

How Can I Help My Recovering Alcoholic Friend Stay Sober?

If you have seen a friend go through a struggle with alcohol, then you know at least a bit about how difficult addiction can be. Cravings, withdrawals, and both physical and mental health problems are things that many alcoholics have to deal with daily.

 

As a loving friend, your first instinct is probably to help them. However, if you have no experience working with an alcoholic, you might not be sure where to start. In this article, I’ll explain how you can help an alcoholic friend stay sober.

 

Understanding Alcoholism

The first thing that you’ll want to do is to make sure that you have a basic understanding of alcoholism.

 

Remember that very few alcoholics want to be where they are. In most cases, they are either struggling with some form of unaddressed mental or emotional condition; in other cases, recreational drinking caught up to them and led to a full-blown addiction. If your friend is struggling with a mental illness, you must take this into account, as well. Many alcoholics struggle with social anxiety, for example. How are you to help them if your mere presence makes them uncomfortable?

 

Following some of the following tips could help you maximize your ability to help your friend.

 

Tips on How to Help Your Friend

Get Some Education

It’s hard for someone who has never battled an addiction to understand what their addicted friends are truly going through. You can combat this by getting some basic education, through books or the Internet (like you’re doing right now.)

 

One thing to be cautious of is coming off as pompous. Don’t try to cajole or impress your friends with your knowledge of addiction – they’re likely aware that you’ve never experienced it firsthand, and this can come off as condescending.

Be There – Whatever the Case

The first and most important thing for you to do for your friend is simply be there for them. If they are open and talkative about their issue, then your simple presence will be a benefit. If they are less talkative, then let them know that you’re willing to hear them out if they want to talk about anything.

 

Remember that a recovering alcoholic will probably be going through emotional turmoil. They may lash out, become aggressive, or be otherwise unstable. Don’t take this personally, and remain as attentive and compassionate as possible.

Find Activities You Both Enjoy

The most common cause of relapse is boredom. Unfortunately, many recovering alcoholics have a hard time finding things that they enjoy enough to take their mind off of drinking. This is where you can come in.

 

Finding an activity that both of you enjoy can bring about an important social aspect. The bonding that occurs during these moments can be just as, if not more, important than the activity itself.

Be Encouraging

Be as encouraging and supportive as possible – but don’t let your kind words fall flat. Make sure your encouraging words are heartfelt and will help your friend see that they’re actually doing better than they were without alcohol.

 

In Conclusion

There are many ways to help a recovering alcoholic. Being educated about the topic and spending time together is one of the best things that you can do for them.

What kind of treatment is available for drug addiction?

Drug addiction is a challenging condition that a lot of people struggle through. One of the reasons that many people have trouble managing their addiction is because they are unaware of the types of treatment available, or because they think that certain types of treatment are unavailable to them.

 

In this article, we’re going to describe some of the common forms of treatment available for drug addicts.

 

Rehabilitation for Drug and Alcohol Users

 

The most common form of treatment for drug and alcohol users is total rehabilitation. Rehabilitation can comprise several different things, all of which are important for the treatment of drug and alcohol addictions.

 

It’s important to note that most of these things can be utilized on their own to help people work through their drug addictions. However, rehab is generally believed to be more effective than any of its individual parts because together, they provide a struggling drug user with a framework to help build a new life.

Therapy

 

One of the most important aspects of rehab is therapy. Therapy will help struggling addicts identify the issues that led to them using drugs in the first place, and will help provide them with the tools that they need to have a happy life when they complete their program.

Group Meetings

 

Group meetings are available during many rehab programs, and they are also a viable tool to help recovering addicts maintain their sobriety after they have completed treatment. Group meetings allow people to share experiences and knowledge about their addictions.

Detox

 

Depending on the severity of your addiction and the drugs that you’re addicted to, you may be required to go through a medically supervised detox before attending treatment. These will help to ensure that you can work through all the physical withdrawal symptoms before attending treatment.

 

Alternative and Holistic Treatments

 

Many studies and research papers have recognized the importance of holistic treatment for drug addiction. Holistic treatments help to treat both the mind and body of the patient. Instead of simply pushing through withdrawal and teaching an individual how to abstain from drugs, holistic treatments aim to restore health and balance throughout the whole person.

 

These include:

 

  • Biofeedback and neurofeedback programs, which identify neural imbalances that contribute to addiction.
  • Acupuncture, Somato-Emotional repatterning, or other techniques that repattern or redirect an individual’s energy and remove blockages
  • Ibogaine therapy, a form of psychedelic-assisted therapy that has a shockingly high success rate for treating serious addictions
  • Yoga, massage, and meditation, all of which contribute to mental and physical stability and can reduce the rates of relapse

 

Ideally, the best way to treat an addiction would be to tackle it from all possible angles. This would mean that including holistic treatments with traditional rehab would be most likely to lead a recovering addict to success.

 

In Conclusion

 

Drug addiction is a serious issue, and unfortunately, it can be difficult to treat. Fortunately, there are a vast number of different treatments available for helping people work through drug addictions.

Can Alcohol Cause Depression?

Written by Nigel Ford

Alcohol is most commonly used in our society to help promote sociability, but many people also use it to numb undesirable feelings. Lots of people use anxiety to help them manage anxiety, depression, and stress.

What’s ironic about this is that alcohol abuse is actually known to cause depression. In the long-term, it certainly won’t help these problems – instead, it would make them worse. In this article, I’ll explain why.

How alcohol affects the body

The first thing that clues many people into alcohol’s ability to influence depressant is its drug classification: alcohol is considered a depressant drug.

Alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and it is known to cause both physical and mental addictions

For many people, however, the term depressant can be a bit of a misnomer. Depressants don’t just cause people to become depressed – if they did, nobody would use them. Rather, depressants are known to help slow (or depress) the effects of the central nervous system (CNS).

Because of alcohol’s ability to slow down the CNS, it has a remarkable ability to reduce anxiety – which is primarily caused by an over-excited nervous system. However, just because it can help people avoid their anxiety or depression in the short-term doesn’t mean that it can do so in the long-term.

How can alcohol cause depression?

There are several ways that alcohol can cause depression in both short- and long-term.

One of the most dangerous and life-threatening ways that alcohol can contribute to depression is by leading someone down the path of addiction. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance, and it is known to cause both physical and mental addictions.

● Physical addiction occurs when someone’s body becomes dependant on a substance – such as alcohol. If they aren’t able to get the drug in their system, they will experience withdrawal symptoms, like shaking, sweating, diarrhea, and anxiety.

● A mental addiction occurs when someone believes that they are unable to function without a drug or a substance.

Being addicted on its own can cause someone to be depressed. Recognizing that your life is controlled by a substance causes many people to feel powerless and unhappy. This, in turn, leads them to become more depressed.

This isn’t to mention the biological effects that alcohol can have on the brain. Alcohol affects the brain’s GABA system – a neurological system involved in helping to regulate feelings of anxiety, and to allow us to feel comfortable and at ease.

Constantly bombarding this system with alcohol eventually diminishes it, leading to imbalances in the system that may or may not be permanent. This can lead someone to develop serious problems with anxiety, stress, and yes – depression.

Furthermore, alcohol is known to cause people to blackout and behave in a manner that doesn’t suit them. This can lead to the loss of friends, jobs, or can cause irreparable damage in relationships that can cause someone to become depressed.

In Conclusion

As you can see, several reasons can lead someone to become depressed after consuming alcohol. If you are worried about developing depression or exacerbating an existing depressive condition, your best bet is to avoid it altogether. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, seek treatment as soon as possible.

Alcoholism in Females

Historically, alcoholism has been a health issue that is more prevalent in men as compared to women. Men have always consumed more alcohol in previous generations. But this appears to be changing of late. Biologically speaking, women are more prone to alcoholism compared to men based on their body compositions – female drinkers tend to experience adverse effects and develop alcohol-related addictions more quickly than their male counterparts.

The changing social norms are playing a role in this development. It is becoming more acceptable for women of all ages to drink. This has reached alarming proportions, to the point that the health epidemic of women and alcoholism that is impacting millions of American families.

At least one statistic here is good news – it has been found that women are also more likely to seek treatment for alcoholism than men. There are several factors for that. It is more socially acceptable for women to be open and honest with their feelings than it is for men, which facilitates the process of getting help and being treated. Women also tend to be more responsible about alcoholism given its obvious impact on pregnancy. They are very careful about protecting their family and cite that as their primary reason for seeking treatment.

Ethnic background plays a role in how likely it is for someone to develop alcoholism

Binge drinking for women is defined as 4 or more drinks in less than a 2-hour period. This activity is becoming increasingly common. It was reported in a recent study that around 40 percent of White women, over 10 percent of Hispanic women, and less than 10 percent of black women were found to binge drink. Women who binge drink are at an increased risk of alcohol abuse and alcoholism, liver damage, dehydration, more likely to be subjected to sexual assault, more prone to reckless and risky behavior, and most critically, have a higher likelihood of suffering from alcohol poisoning, leading to death. Not all binge drinking females are alcoholics, but those who binge drink are more likely to become so, especially if it continues for an extended period of time. Ethnic background plays a role in how likely it is for someone to develop alcoholism. A study has shown that 71 percent of white women become heavy drinkers at some point in their lives, along with 47 percent of black women, 47 percent of Hispanic women, and 37 percent of Asian women.

Women are also more likely to suffer from a number of unique alcohol-related health risks that do not impact their male counterparts. The most critical among them is breast cancer. It has been found that women who consume large amounts of alcohol are at an increased risk of breast cancer (two drinks per day increase the risk by 1%, 6 or more drinks increases the risk by 4%). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a well-known major alcohol-induced complication of pregnancy (occurring at the rate of 1 in 10 pregnant women drink alcohol and 1 in 50 pregnant women binge drink). Other health risks, while not exclusive to women, include alcoholic hepatitis, heart disease, brain damage, mental health issues, fatty liver, and various cancers.