Recovery Follow-up

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Residential Alcohol Treatment Centers Virginia: Opening to Change

Residential Alcohol Treatment Centers Virginia and Opening to Change.

by Andrea Shipley, MA
          “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”Anais Nin
I’ve heard some debate about whether it was actually Nin who said this, but regardless of who, the message is profound. We all reach those periods in our lives when we have outgrown old ways of being, thinking, and living.  We experience moments when we are met with the choice of continuing on in our outgrown and tattered lifestyles, or risking the unknown by stepping out into something new.

Many of us are met with many gentle nudges as life suggests it may be time to move on. But let’s face it, most of us are too stubborn for subtle messages.  We tend to wait for the overt ones like exhaustion, sickness, or rock-bottom losses. Maybe it doesn’t matter so much what finally wakes us up to the need for change; what matters is that we get there.

Residential Alcohol Treatment Centers Virginia. What Will It take For You to Grow?

From there, it’s a matter of mindful, creative, and self-compassionate movements; trials and errors, as we learn to stretch beyond preconceived limitations and into the next phases of growth. Moments like this can, understandably, feel humbling and scary. This is why reaching out for help from people who can support and guide this kind of natural growth is so important.
If you’re feeling squeezed by life, consider that it may be time for you to blossom.

Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom.

Residential Alcohol Treatment Centers Virginia. Cherry blossoms in Paris in full bloom. By Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0

Source: Andrea’s Blog, published with permission

Food for Cardio

Williamsville Wellness focuses on a total health picture, which includes working out and diet. We’ve found a lot of people have trouble meeting the recommended 30 min of actual cardio a day.

This is different from a 30 min workout designed to get the heart rate up, and you can only really figure out if you’re doing it with a heart-rate tracker of some kind. One thing you can do to make it easier is a diet tweak – although I personally don’t need anymore fiber. 😉

How can parents prevent drug abuse and drug use?

1. Set a positive example.
2. Ask open-ended questions.
3. Practice open communication daily.
4. Get involved in your children’s lives.
5. Be nonjudgmental.
6. Talk about drugs and alcohol early on.
7. Set clear rules and enforce them.
8. Be a parent instead of a friend.
9. Praise your children often.
10. Educate yourself about drugs.

To read the full article, Click Here


Men vs. Women: Does Gender Matter in Addiction Recovery?

Not so long ago, addiction was seen as a “man’s problem.” In recent years, addiction research has broadened its focus to include the differential impact addiction has in the lives of both men and women. We know more than ever about the biological and psychosocial factors that affect how men and women experience addiction.

So in the battle of the sexes, who “wins” in addiction recovery? At first glance, men may appear to have the upper hand as women tend to progress more quickly into chemical dependency and face serious consequences faster than men. However, women are less likely to struggle with addiction than men and fare just as well in treatment. In the end, it’s a draw. Neither sex is better or worse off; they simply experience addiction and recovery in different ways.


To read the full article, Click Here

Symptoms of prescription pain killer abuse and addiction (Top 10)

Do You Think You Or Someone You Love Has A Problem With Pain Killers?

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference between temporary changes in behavior and lasting effects of pain killer abuse. And while self help for opiate addiction is available, it’s a hard row to hoe. Here, we outline the top ten major symptoms of prescription pain killer abuse to help you identify signs of painkiller addiction. Your questions about pain killer abuse or comments about harm reduction in opioid users  are welcomed at the end.

Symptoms Of Prescription Pain Killer Abuse

If you are taking prescription pain killers, or you have a loved one currently prescribed one of these medications, stay aware of these warning signs of drug abuse and possible pain killer addiction:

1. Taking more medication than prescribed. This is usually the first sign of a problem. If you are unable to stick with the dosing regimen given by your doctor, it’s important to speak with him or her about this. It could be that you are in need of a higher dosing, but it’s also important to speak to your physician about the possibility of developing prescription pain killer dependency.

2. Visiting multiple doctors to obtain more drugs. Known as “doctor shopping”, this behavior is a typical way that people addicted to pain killers get the extra dosing they are craving. If you find that your doctor has cut you off or limited the amount of drugs you are prescribed, and, as a result, you are going to additional doctors with the goal of getting more drugs, you are definitely showing signs of addiction.

3. Going to the streets to get your drug of choice. Prescription pain killers are big business on the streets. Just one oxycodone tablet can sell between $5 to $50 depending on the strength. For those who have fallen into addiction, the cost of purchasing drugs on the street can be financially devastating, not to mention the dangers involved.

4. Changes to personality, behavior, or mood. Drug abuse and pain killer addiction causes a preoccupation with the drug of choice. People who abuse drugs to get high no longer show interest infriendships, love, or fun. None of these things matter as much as they did before. The main goal in life of a pain killer addict gradually becomes the drug before everything else. As a result, the person no longer appears to be the person they were before addiction.

5. Social withdrawal. Once addicted to pain killers, a person may pull away from those they are closest to. The desire to deny the problem is one reason for this. Those who know you best are more aware of the changes happening. They may function as a mirror for you, and it can seem easier to pull yourself away than to face the truth about what’s happening.

6. Negative changes in personal hygiene. Along with pain killer abuse comes lethargy and lack of motivation. Even taking a bath, brushing your teeth, or doing laundry can seem like too much work. Housework may also fall to the wayside as an addiction progresses. If you find that the initial positive feelings pain killers created for you have been replaced with an overall lack of motivation, this is a sign of addiction.

7. Defensiveness when discussing the problem. As family and friends witness the changes happening to their loved one, it is normal for them to want to discuss the issues and attempt to help. If you find your family is bringing up the topic of pain killer abuse, and your reaction is to get defensive, then it’s time for you to reflect. Your defensiveness is likely a form of denial.

8. Preoccupation with the pain killer. Do you find yourself counting your pills several times throughout the day? Planning your week or month around your pain pills — When will you run out? When will you need more? Do you accuse others of stealing pills from your bottle because you feel like they’re disappearing too fast. Are you constantly hiding your pill bottle(s) so that no one can find them? When the drug is taking up your thoughts and focus this is addiction.

8. Continued usage of the pain killer even after medical condition has improved. While some people have chronic pain that may require longtime use of pain medication, most people who are prescribed pain killers are not meant to take these drugs for long periods of time. If you received a root canal three months ago, but you’re still taking pain killers, this is an example of pain killer abuse or addiction.

9. Withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Ironically, one of the most common withdrawal symptoms of opioid pain killer addiction is severe pain. This can make it very difficult for the addicted person to stop the cycle since their only immediate relief from the pain is taking more of the drug. Other symptoms of opioid pain killer withdrawal are nausea, vomiting, cramping, and anxiety. Withdrawal can be dangerous if not medically supervised, so if you struggle with any negative symptoms when you don’t take your medication or miss a dose, contact your doctor immediately for assistance or get to a hospital for help.

10. You recognize any or all of the above signs. Depending on the severity of the pain killer abuse, and how long the problem has been going on, some may recognize all of the signs we’ve discussed here, while others may only recognize only one of the symptoms listed above. It’s important to understand that, regardless of how many of the signs exist, if any of symptoms of prescription pain killer abuse exist, it’s time to get help.


To read the full article, Click Here

Natural Highs: A Positive Approach to Mood Alteration

The estimated lifetime prevalence for alcohol and nicotine dependence in the U.S. is 12.5 percent and24 percent, respectively. Pornography accounts for25 percent of all search engine requests. Clinical obesity affects more than one in four adults in this country. Although we have developed effective technologies to track the epidemiology of these, and other, hedonic dependencies, strategies for their prevention and treatment remain sorely inept. Among many addicted individuals, the wisdom of AA (originally formulated in 1935) remains gospel. Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous (to name just a few) rely on minor tweaking of the original AA doctrine: “Stop drinking [or other compulsive pleasure-seeking activity]… Go to meetings… Get a sponsor… Ask for help.”

We need new ways of managing pleasure that go beyond AA.

The evolutionary basis for positive feelings is a good place to start. The brain is actually a giant pharmaceutical factory that manufactures its own mind-altering chemicals. Being in love illustrates this point. Anthropologists at Rutgers University recruited students who claimed to be madly in love for an average of seven months and demonstrated that dopamine acts as our own endogenous love potion, creating intense energy, attention, and exhilaration.[1] “Love makes you bold, makes you bright, makes you run real risks, which you sometimes survive…” [2] Without the powerful association between our reward system and romance, humans simply would not survive.

More specifically, pleasure is associated with an adequate flow of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, the reward center of the brain. Managing our pleasures is possible by the pursuit of “natural highs” — where we consciously, and in healthy ways, orchestrate the brain’s natural chemicals to promote elevated feeling states that are beneficial to the individual and society.[3] This new form of positive psychology emphasizes humans’ capacities for resiliency, strength and making rational choices.


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Behind Every Alcoholic or Drug Addict is a Family Member or Two or Three…

We often forget that behind every alcoholic or drug addict is a family member — often several family members — spouses, parents, children, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

The light in his eyes was gone – blind fury stared forth. Alex* was no longer there. I felt terror like I’d never known but knew I had to break his death grip on my throat and hang on to the balcony railing over which he had me pressed – my daughters needed me. Their tear-strained, hysterical, panic-filled screams pierced my soul and gave me the mama-bear strength to physically break loose.  Unfortunately, it would take many, many more years before the journey to emotional freedom began. And it was that journey that has finally set me free.

To read the full article, Click Here

Father gave up drinking for his child, but there are millions of others who don’t

JOEL SMEATON is a devoted father to seven-year-old Dane, but sometimes he wonders how life got so good. In the grips of alcohol addiction six years ago, Mr Smeaton was in danger of losing Dane, who he now has sole custody of. ”My addiction to alcohol meant I was faced with going to prison at a time when I had a baby at home,” Mr Smeaton said.

Mr Smeaton spent a year in rehab and did everything he could to follow the program. He has not had a drink in nearly six years, completed a diploma of community health at TAFE and is now an Aboriginal support worker.

To read the full article, Click Here

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