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Alcohol Addiction

The Importance of Healthy Relationships for Preventing Addiction

One of the most important things that can help a person avoid addiction is having healthy relationships with the people in their lives. This is particularly true during childhood. Maintaining healthy relationships with family members, friends, and even school teachers can be instrumental in helping to prevent addiction.

In this article, we’ll explain exactly why relationships are so important for helping to prevent addictions. If you are struggling with addiction, or if you’re in the care of a loved one, make sure that healthy relationships are a priority in your life.

What Makes Relationships So Important?

A person learns a tremendous amount through the relationships that they share with others. People often tend to learn about themselves the most through relationships. If one is observant, they can make careful observations about themselves based on the relationships that they hold with other people.

Relationships are even more important for children and youth, though they may not be as aware of the implications of healthy relationships. For the younger generations, relationships are generally important because they can help people develop a healthy sense of self. In the long-term, this can help prevent the development of mental health problems like anxiety.

The importance of healthy relationships becomes more obvious when you consider the negative repercussions of unhealthy relationships. Unhealthy, or toxic, relationships are those which stunt or even reverse the growth of an individual.

Many different types of relationships can influence an individual’s likelihood of developing an addiction.

Family Relationships

Family relationships are among the most crucial. An individual who has healthy relationships with their family members are more likely to develop a healthy relationship with themselves. They will be less likely to experience anxiety, self-doubt, or insecurity – all problems which many people avoid or cover up with addictions.

On the other hand, toxic family relationships could lead people to develop these problems. This can encourage addiction.

Personal Relationships and Friendships

People learn a lot about themselves through their personal relationships and friendships. Surrounding yourself with healthy, encouraging people will help provide you with emotional support. This will make you less prone to isolation, social anxiety, or other issues that may lead to addiction.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Surrounding yourself with unhealthy or toxic people – especially those that struggle with addictions themselves – will make you much more likely to develop an addiction yourself.

School and Work Relationships

Sometimes, people who are not from healthy families or who have difficulty with friends may do well by developing good relationships with their teachers at school or their employers. Having a healthy relationship with a teacher or an employer provides an opportunity for people to obtain wisdom that they may not otherwise obtain from their normal relationships.

Conclusion

Relationships are incredibly important for everyone. One of the best things that relationships can do is help to encourage healthy behavior and to prevent the development of addictions.

If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction, then don’t hesitate to seek help from a rehab center.

 

 

Written by Nigel Ford

Risk Factors for Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is an all-too-common problem in our society. Alcohol is ubiquitous – it can be purchased at stores across the nation, advertisements for alcohol are displayed everywhere, and the movies portray drinking as something desirable and entertaining.

 

This might lead someone to think that everyone is vulnerable to alcohol addiction – and this is, unfortunately, the case. However, some people are more likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse than others.

 

Understanding the risk factors for alcohol abuse can be one of the best ways to prevent or prepare for potential alcohol problems. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common risk factors involved in alcohol abuse.

Common Risk Factors

Many people are in danger of alcohol addiction because of a number of risk factors. Some of the most common risk factors that could lead someone down the road to alcohol addiction include:

 

Family History of Alcoholism

People who have a family history of alcoholism are more likely to experience problems with alcohol abuse. This can be because of the time spent with alcoholic parents, grandparents, or siblings. There is also some evidence that alcoholism can be hereditary, meaning that it may be more likely for someone born to alcoholic parents to become an alcoholic even if the parents no longer drink.

 

Anxiety, Stress, Depression

Many people use alcohol as a form of self-medication. These people are often unaware that they have mental health problems as well as an addiction, or they simply prefer to self-medicate rather than seek help from a doctor.

 

In some cases, these people may reside in an area where there are no medical facilities or doctors. In these situations, alcohol may be one of the only forms of medicine available. This leads us to our next risk factor:

 

Poverty

Many people who live in poor or impoverished areas are more likely to turn to alcohol. People living in poverty often struggle with many problems related to health, education, social security, and safety. These problems can make someone more likely to develop a problem with alcohol.

Environment

An individual’s environment can affect the likelihood of developing an alcohol problem. The environment can heavily influence people at any stage of their lives, not just during childhood.

 

Children who grow up in unhealthy or toxic environments are particularly likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse, as they may develop issues related to trauma. Children who live in houses or neighborhoods where alcoholism is prominent may also be more likely to develop alcohol problems.

Conclusion

Alcohol abuse is a very common problem, and anyone can fall victim to the dangers of alcoholism. Unfortunately, some people are more likely than others to develop problems with alcohol abuse.

 

If you or any of your loved ones or friends meet the criteria for some of these risk factors, it could be a good idea for you to seek help from a rehab facility or from a counselor. These can help you better understand the problem and prepare for any dangers that may be lurking around the corner.

 

Written By Nigel Ford

Risk Factors for Alcohol Abuse

Alcohol abuse is an all-too-common problem in our society. Alcohol is ubiquitous – it can be purchased at stores across the nation, advertisements for alcohol are displayed everywhere, and the movies portray drinking as something desirable and entertaining.

 

This might lead someone to think that everyone is vulnerable to alcohol addiction – and this is, unfortunately, the case. However, some people are more likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse than others.

 

Understanding the risk factors for alcohol abuse can be one of the best ways to prevent or prepare for potential alcohol problems. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most common risk factors involved in alcohol abuse.

Common Risk Factors

Many people are in danger of alcohol addiction because of a number of risk factors. Some of the most common risk factors that could lead someone down the road to alcohol addiction include:

 

Family History of Alcoholism

People who have a family history of alcoholism are more likely to experience problems with alcohol abuse. This can be because of the time spent with alcoholic parents, grandparents, or siblings. There is also some evidence that alcoholism can be hereditary, meaning that it may be more likely for someone born to alcoholic parents to become an alcoholic even if the parents no longer drink.

 

Anxiety, Stress, Depression

Many people use alcohol as a form of self-medication. These people are often unaware that they have mental health problems as well as an addiction, or they simply prefer to self-medicate rather than seek help from a doctor.

 

In some cases, these people may reside in an area where there are no medical facilities or doctors. In these situations, alcohol may be one of the only forms of medicine available. This leads us to our next risk factor:

 

Poverty

Many people who live in poor or impoverished areas are more likely to turn to alcohol. People living in poverty often struggle with many problems related to health, education, social security, and safety. These problems can make someone more likely to develop a problem with alcohol.

Environment

An individual’s environment can affect the likelihood of developing an alcohol problem. The environment can heavily influence people at any stage of their lives, not just during childhood.

 

Children who grow up in unhealthy or toxic environments are particularly likely to develop problems with alcohol abuse, as they may develop issues related to trauma. Children who live in houses or neighborhoods where alcoholism is prominent may also be more likely to develop alcohol problems.

Conclusion

Alcohol abuse is a very common problem, and anyone can fall victim to the dangers of alcoholism. Unfortunately, some people are more likely than others to develop problems with alcohol abuse.

 

If you or any of your loved ones or friends meet the criteria for some of these risk factors, it could be a good idea for you to seek help from a rehab facility or from a counselor. These can help you better understand the problem and prepare for any dangers that may be lurking around the corner.

 

Written By Nigel Ford

Alcoholism and Trauma

Many people who have lived with alcoholics – especially children who were raised by them – are familiar with the traumatic behavior that an alcoholic can display. Many people have become victims of domestic abuse, car accidents, and other traumatic situations at the hands of an alcoholic.

But what some of these people may not know is that these alcoholics are often traumatized themselves. Trauma is a difficult problem that anyone can experience, and many trauma sufferers turn to alcohol to help them manage their problems.

While alcoholism is undoubtedly no long-term solution to trauma, many people find that it helps them soothe the pain. Learning a bit about how trauma can influence alcoholism can help problem drinkers overcome their issues with alcohol.

Unaddressed Trauma & Alcohol

Almost everyone carries a little bit of trauma with them.

Many people are traumatized at an early age when something happens that we’re not able to cope with. Common examples of trauma include schoolyard bullying, domestic violence, or injuries.

These issues can affect a child deeply and can leave emotional wounds that resurface later in life. Teenagers and adults can also become traumatized.

Whatever the case, anyone who is traumatized will carry the burden of that trauma with them until they have developed the coping skills necessary to work through the trauma. Unfortunately, this is not something taught in school, and many people are unaware that they’re even carrying trauma with them.

For this reason, many people turn to alcohol to help them manage their trauma. Traumatized people are often anxious, unhappy, or face difficulty in situations that other people find easy to manage. This can lead them to develop a belief that they are inferior or incapable, which can lead to drinking.

Drinking may provide confidence and emotional ‘bolstering’ that people need to temporarily rise above their traumas, but in no way does this help them work through them. Alcohol will not help anyone overcome trauma, and in many cases, can lead to more trauma.

The Vicious Cycle of Trauma

Alcoholism can perpetuate a cycle of trauma that can be hard to breakthrough.

Say an individual was traumatized by his father beating his mother at an early age. Unable to cope with the trauma, he begins drinking during his teenage years and becomes an alcoholic. As an alcoholic, he then beats his wife during a blackout, traumatizing his child and perpetuating the cycle.

As you can see, using alcohol to overcome trauma is redundant. The best way to work through trauma is to seek the help of a professional trained to work with traumatized patients.

Conclusion

Many alcoholics choose to drink because they are traumatized and unable to manage the discomfort of their trauma on their own. While this may be an unfortunate reality, alcohol will not help these people work through their trauma.

If you or someone that you love is struggling with alcoholism, don’t hesitate to seek help from a rehab facility so you can overcome the problem.

 

Written by Nigel Ford

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.