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Peer Pressure and Addiction

Peer pressure comes in many forms. It is most widely acknowledged for being a pervasive force during school years; however, peer pressure can affect people of all ages.

 

Peer pressure is any sort of influence that pressures someone to act a certain way. Peer pressure can be direct or indirect, but the result is often the same: it results in someone changing their behavior to match that of their peer group.

 

Unfortunately, many people succumb to addiction as a result of peer pressure. In this article, we’re going to talk about how peer pressure can lead to addiction.

What Is Peer Pressure?

As mentioned above, peer pressure is a type of behavior engaged in – either consciously or unconsciously – by members of a peer group that encourages other members of that peer group to behave a certain way.

 

The two main types of peer pressure are indirect peer pressure and direct peer pressure.

 

  • Indirect peer pressure occurs when an individual becomes aware of the behavior of other members of their peer group. They may feel called to emulate this behavior in hopes that it will help them fit in better.
  • Direct peer pressure occurs when a member (or members) directly encourage or persuade someone to participate in a certain behavior.

 

There are also differences between positive and negative peer pressure.

 

  • Positive peer pressure occurs when someone is pressured into participating in positive, healthy behavior.
  • Negative peer pressure occurs when someone is pressured into doing something that is unhealthy.

How Peer Pressure Leads to Addiction

There are many different instances in which peer pressure can lead to addiction. Both direct and indirect peer pressure can contribute to the problem.

 

Many people have seen anti-drug advertisements, movies, or television shows in which a drug-addled youth encourages a younger, innocent member of their peer group to use drugs.

While this certainly can happen, indirect peer pressure occurs just as often – if not more. Young people are easily influenced by their peers and tend to imitate the behavior of people that they respect and admire.

 

If a youth sees someone using drugs – especially someone that they deem to be a positive influence – then they will become more likely to use drugs themselves. This is especially true if a youth becomes accepted by a group of friends that like to use drugs.

 

It’s also important to note, however, that positive peer pressure can play a role in preventing drug addiction. Encouraging your child to hang out with healthy, positive-minded individuals may provide them with positive peer pressure that steers them away from drug use.

Conclusion

Peer pressure is, unfortunately, an unavoidable part of life. Fortunately, by preparing for it, one can learn to avoid the influence of peer pressure.

 

By encouraging children to hang out with healthy, like-minded individuals, parents can help reduce the risks of peer pressure and addiction. Remember that love, compassion, and open communication are important tools for checking in with your children.

 

If you think that your teen has fallen under peer pressure and begun to use drugs, don’t hesitate to get into contact with a rehab center.

 

Written by Nigel Ford

How to Get the Most Out of Rehab

If you or a loved one are going to be attending rehab, then it’s in your best interest to make sure that you get the most out of it. Rehab is not cheap, and the high rate of post-rehab relapse is enough to remind anyone that it’s best to get it done right the first time.

 

In this article, we’re going to discuss some tips on how to get the most out of your rehab experience. By following this advice, we hope that you will be able to successfully complete your treatment program without needing to go back.

Make Sure You Want to Get Clean

The most important thing that anyone attending rehab needs is the desire to actually get clean.

 

A large number of people who relapse after completing a program relapse because they didn’t actually want to get clean in the first place. They may have attended rehab as the result of legal troubles, family or self-pressure, or health problems. Deep down, however, they may have wanted to continue using drugs.

If you still want to use drugs, then rehab won’t be very helpful. The preliminary requirement for a successful rehab treatment is a heartfelt desire to actually clean up and get sober.

Before, During, and After

You’ll also want to make sure that you make some preparations for your rehabilitation experience. Take the time to plan out your time before, during, and after attending the facility.

Before

  • Consider whether or not you will need to get medical detox. If you are addicted to a drug with serious withdrawal symptoms, especially alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids, this is a good idea.
  • Make sure that you have a clear picture in your mind regarding what you would like to get out of your rehab treatment.

During

  • Remember that rehab, counseling, and recovery will probably not be that comfortable. However, focus on how you’ll be able to build a new life without relying on drugs to function.
  • Try to remain positive and look on the bright side of things. Remember that you are stronger than many people who have never even attempted to get clean.

After

  • One of the most important things about rehab is aftercare. This is a term used to describe a number of things that you can do to ensure that you don’t fall back into the same behavior patterns as those that led you to addiction.
  • Make sure you find a hobby or activity that you enjoy. Try new things until you find something that you are motivated to do and have fun doing – this will help you avoid
  • Try to avoid associating with the same people that you used substances with. Finding a new group of friends can help you replace what you lacked before.

Conclusion

Rehab is costly and time-consuming, and it’s in your best interest to make sure that you complete your program successfully. These tips should help make sure that you can get the most out of your rehab program.

 

Written by Nigel Ford

Triggers that Can Cause Drug Cravings

One of the biggest problems that recovering drug addicts must deal with is a relapse. The rates of relapse are incredibly high, even among people who have successfully gone through rehab. One of the reasons for this is because people may not properly learn how to deal with their drug cravings and the triggers that lead up to them.

 

A trigger can be a person, place, situation, or thing that causes an individual to crave drugs. Drug cravings can be dealt with in a number of ways, but one of the best ways to deal with them is a preventative measure: be aware of your triggers, and learn how to deal with or avoid these triggers so that the cravings don’t come in the first place.

 

This article will outline some of the most common triggers for people who are going through drug cravings.

Most Common Drug Craving Triggers

Understanding these triggers can be a huge help for any recovering addict who wants to avoid risking a relapse. Here are some of the most common triggers for recovering users:

 

  • Being in an area where drugs were frequently used. The environment a recovering user puts themselves in is incredibly important, as going anywhere that they used drugs can be a huge trigger.This trigger is especially important to consider when you recognize that many users abuse drugs in their hometown. People who have recovered and are hoping to make their way to school or work may want to plan a travel route that allows them to avoid any houses or parks that they used to use drugs at.

    In some serious cases, people have found it necessary to move to a different town because their hometown (or the town that they were addicted to) causes them to crave drugs.

  • Being around other drug users, especially ones that you used with. Being around any sort of drug users can be a trigger for a recovering addict, but cravings can become particularly intense if they spend time with someone that they frequently used drugs with. This can bring back fond memories and become a serious trigger.
  • Seeing or hearing media related to drugs. A news story about drugs, a rap song with lyrics related to drug use, or movies that show drug use can all be huge triggers for anyone recovering from an addiction. These triggers can be difficult to avoid, as they can often arise without warning.
  • Boredom can be a trigger in itself. Many recovering addicts are aware that if they get high, they will suddenly feel motivated and enthusiastic. Unfortunately, this is likely to lead back down the road to addiction. Boredom should be avoided by developing a lifestyle filled with activities and hobbies.

 

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many different triggers for recovering addicts. We’ve listed just a few in this article, but there are many more to be aware of. If you or a loved one are working through recovery, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a rehab center or a drug counselor to help you along the path.

 

Written by Nigel Ford

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 Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is not selective. There are no specific types of people who will develop an addiction – the problem can strike people from all walks of life.

 

However, some risk factors may make people more likely to use drugs or become susceptible to addiction than others. Things like environment, heredity, diseases, and mental health problems can all make someone more likely to develop an addiction.

 

In this article, we’re going to talk about some of the most common risk factors that could contribute to the development of drug addiction.

What Are Risk Factors?

A risk factor is something that can put you at risk of developing a condition, trait, or behavior. In regards to addiction, risk factors are issues that would make you more likely to develop a drug addiction at some point in life.

 

Understanding risk factors is useful for helping to prevent and manage addictions. While living with one or more of these risk factors by no means guarantees that you will develop an addiction, accepting and understanding these risk factors can help you avoid the possibility entirely.

 

Risk Factors for Drug Addiction

These are some of the most common risk factors that can increase the likelihood of someone developing an addiction.

 

Environment

A person’s environment – especially during childhood – can have a huge impact on the likelihood of them developing an addiction. Children raised by parents who struggle with addictions, or who grow up in neighborhoods or cities where drug addiction is prevalent are more likely to develop drug addictions later in life.

 

It’s not just children who are susceptible to their environments, though. An individual who has spent their whole life sober may suddenly be at risk for addiction if they move to a new town where drugs run rampant.

 

Heredity

While the link is not exactly clear, there is some evidence that heredity can affect someone’s likelihood to use drugs. People who are born to parents who have had addictions are more likely to use drugs themselves – even if their parents never used drugs around them.

 

Mental Disorders

People who struggle with mental disorders, such as anxiety, depression, and chronic stress, are much more likely to use drugs than other people.  These drugs may be illicit, or they may be prescribed by a doctor – whatever the case, drug abuse, and addiction are much more common among people who have mental health problems – a problem that leads to a dual diagnosis.

 

People who seek medical assistance often assume that they are less likely to develop an addiction because their medication will be regulated. Unfortunately, statistically, huge numbers of Americans have gotten addicted to prescription drugs even when taking them according to their doctor’s orders.

 

Physical Health Problems

People with physical health problems also become more likely to abuse drugs. This is particularly true for people who are prescribed strong prescription painkillers without being properly informed about the risks and dangers involved with using these drugs.

 

Lack of Education

People who are uneducated about drugs and addiction may simply not see addiction as a threat. This can make them much more likely to use drugs to self-medicate or to have fun, without being aware of any of the repercussions.

Conclusion

Nobody is exempt from the dangers of drug addiction, but some people are more likely to experience problems with drugs than others. Risk factors for drug addiction include mental health problems, education, and environmental issues.

 

If you or a loved one are at risk of developing an addiction, don’t hesitate to seek help from a rehab facility.

 

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

How Social Skills Can Influence Addiction

One of the most common uses of drugs and alcohol is to improve sociability. Social drinking and recreational drug use are both great examples of how people use substances to enhance their social skills – at least temporarily.

What many people don’t recognize is that impaired social skills can actually be a serious risk factor in the development of addiction. People who have underdeveloped social skills may come to rely on drugs or alcohol as a crutch. They may feel entirely unable to socialize without using these substances.

In the long-term, this can lead to serious drug or alcohol dependencies. This can also make it more difficult for the individual to improve their social skills on their own. These issues, compounded, can be disastrous for an individual’s social well-being and mental health.

In this article, we’re going to talk about how socialization is a key factor for any individual and how proper social skills can help reduce the chances of developing an addiction.

The Importance of Social Skills

Many people grow up in environments where they are not educated about social skills or properly socialized. These people may develop issues with socializing, such as social anxiety, or they may become extremely shy. In some cases, they may even develop problems with self-worth and self-confidence.

Unfortunately, the world that we live in is incredibly social. Unless they’re willing to isolate themselves and live away from the majority of society, most people need to learn how to socialize properly. If they don’t, they will face difficulty building connections, finding opportunities, or even getting jobs or succeeding in school.

Unfortunately, the importance of social skills is not always stressed, and people who do not learn these skills on their own or at home are often forced to enter the social world unprepared. Many children learn to socialize during school properly, but many others have a great deal of difficulty and struggle with anxiety, shame, or feelings of rejection.

Many of these children become more likely to develop drug addictions or alcohol problems. Many people find that drugs and alcohol can help to improve their social skills in the short-term, and people who face issues with anxiety or self-esteem often come to rely on drugs or alcohol as a band-aid approach to these problems.

Learning to Socialize and Avoid Drug or Alcohol Problems

The most important thing for these people, however, is to remain sober. The only way that they will overcome their social anxiety or social problems permanently is to learn how to socialize properly. Drugs and alcohol may temporarily provide the illusion of being able to socialize properly; however, this can create problems in the long-run and lead to addiction and dependence.

The most important thing to do is to make sure that you – or any loved ones who struggle with addiction – are aware that drugs and alcohol are not effective long-term solutions to social problems. The only way to work through these issues is to do so soberly, and the best way to do this is with the guidance of a counselor or a therapist.

Conclusion

If you or a loved one are using drugs or alcohol to overcome a social problem, the best thing for you to do is to seek help from a therapist after attending rehab.

Doing this will help tackle the root issue of the problems that led to addiction in the first place. This is more effective than simply getting sober through some form of rehab because it will prevent relapses from occurring in the future.

 

 

 

 

Written By Nigel Ford

Drug Abuse and Trauma

Drug abuse and trauma often go hand-in-hand. Many drug users are the victims of trauma already, and yet the addictions that they are likely to fall into may cause even more trauma. This is part of the vicious cycle of drug addiction, and one of the most difficult barriers on the road to recovery.

 

In this article, we’ll talk about how drug abuse and trauma are linked together and how understanding these issues can make someone more likely to overcome their addictions.

 

How Trauma Can Lead to Addiction

One of the main leading causes of addiction is trauma.

 

Trauma is an emotional issue that arises when a person has to go through an intense experience that they are unable to mentally cope with. Since the mind is incapable of coping with the experience, it is internalized in the body in the form of trauma.

Just because trauma has been internalized, however, does not mean that it is gone. People who suffer from trauma often experience things that can hinder their enjoyment of life, such as:

 

  • ‘Triggers,’ certain situations, people, or things that cause them to behave erratically or experience anxiety
  • Being unable to enjoy certain activities or certain places without knowing why
  • Feeling that certain memories are blocked off or inaccessible
  • Frequent emotional problems like anxiety, depression, irritability, and similar things

 

These symptoms can occur alone or in combination with each other. As you can imagine, living with these issues could pose a problem. This means that people who struggle with trauma are more likely to develop drug addictions.

 

Drugs seem like an easy fix – especially when you consider that most traumatized people don’t actually realize that they’re traumatized. Rather, they feel like they are just ‘born like that,’ or that something is wrong with them. That something, they believe, can be healed – or at least made manageable – by using drugs.

 

Drugs Can Cause Trauma

Not every drug user is traumatized, though – and even those people who begin to use drugs to escape from trauma may find that their addiction leads to even more trauma.

 

Drug addiction can be traumatic by its nature. Using drugs does not actually provide anyone with new coping mechanisms – though the drugs may provide that illusion. The gritty nature of the drug underworld may lead people into even more experiences that they are unable to mentally cope with – situations that must later be dealt with in the form of trauma.

 

The compounding trauma that many drug users acquire can make it increasingly difficult to stop using drugs. These traumas may surface soon after they stop using or take a ‘sobriety break,’ only to lead them back into relapse.

Conclusion

There are many things that can cause trauma, and traumatized people are more likely to develop drug addictions. Understanding how trauma works can help struggling drug users overcome their addiction by working through their trauma. A rehab center or counselor can help you understand your trauma better.

 

Written by Nigel Ford

Building a Safe Environment for Recovery

If you or a loved one are planning to go through rehab and you think that’s the end of the road, think again. Rehab is a very vital part of recovery, which allows people to learn the skills and techniques to get clean – but that’s just the beginning.

 

One of the most important things to do in recovery is to set up a safe environment. Many environmental factors can lead to drug use. Conversely, a healthy environment allows you to use the tools and tactics that you learn in rehab to help avoid relapsing.

 

There are many factors involved in setting up a safe environment. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most important ones.

What’s Involved In a Safe Environment?

So what’s in a safe environment, you might ask?

 

A safe environment is one in which the recovering addict or alcoholic feels safe, secure, and has a minimal chance of getting triggered or relapsing. If you want to develop the ideal environment, you should consider the following things.

 

  • Avoid contact with other drug users. Many people successfully complete rehab and then go back to their fellow drug-using friends to inform them that they’ve successfully cleaned up. In many cases, when this happens, the recovering user gets sucked back into their old habits. It’s best to cut contact with other drug users, at least for a while – until the user is completely in control of their addiction. In most cases, this takes years, and many people find they are never able to comfortably associate with drug users again.
  • Avoid places that remind the user of drugs. A big part of developing the ideal environment is actually choosing the external setting. It can be very difficult for a recovering addict to return home, for example, if they will go back to bunking in the same room that they spent years getting high in. Or it can be challenging for a recovering addict to drive to work or school if they have to drive past the homes of their old drug dealers.
  • Provide comfortable, open-minded support. A recovering user needs to have a good support network that makes them feel understood and heard. Make sure that they have access to good people who have a genuine interest in their recovery and are happy to hear them out about their feelings, thoughts, and desires.
  • Prevent boredom. Try to provide an environment that provides enough stimulation to avoid getting bored. Many recovering users find that it’s easier to relapse when they have nothing to do, so try to make sure that you can find hobbies, sports, or activities that you enjoy with a passion.

Conclusion

One of the most important aspects of recovery is setting up the ideal environment for the addict to get sober in. There are lots of factors involved in this. Following the tips and tricks in this article should help you build the ideal environment for getting sober.

 

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 the 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